Our Courtier Press

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

misdirectionWhile the NSA is, perhaps unconstitutionally, intercepting your electronic data, our media is focusing on whether Snowden should be charged with treason. One of reasons Snowden was charged with espionage is so the media would follow that meme. While James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, is getting away with lying to the Senate, our media is playing Where’s Waldo with Snowden. Instead of a debate on the constitutionality of the NSA programs out media is focusing on insignificant details regarding the private lives of Snowden and Greenwald.

One of the most outrageous performances of our lapdog press came on Meet The Press when host David Gregory asked Glenn Greenwald:

Final question for you…. To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?

Snowden had passcodes, tank clearances, and thumb drives. To think that Greenwald could have possibly assisted Snowden in removing the classified data is pure fantasy. Nobody’s lapdog, Greenwald responded:

I think it’s pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies. The assumption in your question, David, is completely without evidence, the idea that I’ve aided and abetted him in any way. The scandal that arose in Washington before our stories began was about the fact that the Obama administration is trying to criminalize investigative journalism by going through the e-mails and phone records of AP reporters, accusing a Fox News journalist of the theory that you just embraced, being a co-conspirator in felonies, for working with sources.

In Bartnicki v. Vopper (2001), a 6-3 U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a radio station was not liable since it did nothing illegal in obtaining an illegally taped conversation. In United States v. Stevens (2010), an 8-1 U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Stevens’ selling of dog fight videos should not be added to the list of First Amendment restrictions. Although Senator Dianne Feinstein, in a feat of empty threat misdirection, wants Greenwald prosecuted, the law is not on her side.

As Noam Chomsky reminds us: distract the people by allowing very lively debate on a limited spectrum of issues. So the courtier press will focus on the illegality of Snowden’s actions and not discuss the legality of the NSA’s actions.

The courtier press is also focusing on how the Snowden affair will effect US-Russian and US-China relations. Playing the leads in this drama are Democratic U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and Secretary of State John Kerry. Schumer’s line was: “Putin always seems almost eager to stick a finger in the eye of the United States – whether it is Syria, Iran and now of course with Snowden,” Kerry’s line was “It would be obviously disappointing if he was willfully allowed to board an airplane.”

We the people need to know the full extent of our surveillance state to make an informed decision of acceptance or rejection. Is some unverifiable and vague spin about successful preventions enough for us to make a reasoned decision to forfeit our civil liberties? Does the FISA court constitute genuine judicial oversight? Should government agencies be required to obtain a warrant, based on probable cause, before searching a citizen’s phone and internet usage? Does the courtier press serve itself or the people?

H/T: David Sirota, Juan Cole, Erik Wemple, Charles P. Pierce, Alfredo Lopez, John Cassidy, Paul Campos, Orin Kerr.

93 thoughts on “Our Courtier Press

  1. That’s one of reasons Snowden was charged with treason, so the media would follow that meme.

    Studies have shown that the American People feel that the military, which includes the NSA, is the most competent institution in America (Stockholm Syndrome on Steroids? – 2). The dynamic competent = honest or competent = harmless may be being used by media as an asset to further the meme.

  2. RE: Snowden, Obama said he welcomed this opportunity to have a public debate about the surveillance issue.

    Well, when’s he going to start debating? He always has access to the public microphone; yet, he never said anything more about this “debate” we were going to have.

    Instead, he started talking about climate change, which is surely important, but it’s not the “debate” he was so eager to have about what rights we are willing to give up to ensure our safety.

    As for the media people, they are a disgrace.

  3. Instead of a debate on the constitutionality of the NSA programs [our] media is focusing on insignificant details regarding the private lives of Snowden and Greenwald.

    The NSA portion of The U.S. Military has all the data it needs to smear anyone now.

    What is interesting is that they learned this smear technique from one of the queens of Stalingrad (The Queens of Stalingrad – 2).

  4. What goes on in the FISA court stays in the FISA court.
    It is Ironic that the NSA and it’s mega network of paid supplicants & sycophants are claiming the same “privilege” as the Gambling industry.

    ….. Of course organized crime in Vegas has been lessened through tougher oversight and regulation. …. NSA not so much.

  5. I firmly believe the only way we are going to get our politicians to listen and understand is when they hear those famous last words: Ready, Aim, Fire.

  6. What goes on in the FISA stays in the FISA court.
    It is Ironic that the same promotional statement for the gambling industry applies and is sought for justification of the NSA secret policies.

    Regulation and oversight has lessened the organized crime and abuses that were common in Vegas. NSA ….not so much.

  7. firefly-

    I think any debate on this issue, in order for it to be true and legitimate, must start with a pardon, either full, limited, or qualified, for Edward Snowden

  8. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/06/24/glenn-greenwald-pushes-back-hard-on-latest-edward-snowden-revelations/

    “This whole theory of aiding and abetting is nothing more than a diversionary tactic,” Greenwald said. “Every single journalist works cooperatively with sources in order to obtain evidence.”

    Greenwald concludes of his and Snowden’s critics: “They are trying to shift attention away from what the U.S. government has done onto what the people who have reported it have done.”

    So they are. And there’s more to come.

  9. I always thought the Grand Jury was the ultimate ex parte. I was wrong. It is the FISA court.

    As for the media, the major media outlets have become nothing but hacks. Some of them do have an excuse. My oldest daughter used to date a newspaper editor. He said that deadlines and trying to compete in the 24-hour news cycle was destroying traditional media. Few reporters have time or resources to really investigate stories before they go to press or on the air. In fact, he said, background investigations and follow up questions of the type he learned in journalism school are becoming a lost art. Speed trumps quality of content.

    The product of that need for speed is being exploited by savvy political operatives like Karl Rove. Lee Atwater is dead now, but his sick sociopathic legacy lives on in people like Rove and Frank Luntz. Aided and abetted by “reporters” who are really celebrities instead of reporters.

    One of the worst things ever to happen to the news was repeal of the Fairness Doctrine. Reporting is reduced to bumper-sticker slogans and seven second sound bites. That is why we have so many low information voters. Analysis of what is being said and who is saying it is a thing of the past. Thus, the poor are sold on voting against their own best interest.

  10. Thanks, Nal! This is certainly an important story that the “courtier press” ought to be investigating and dsicussing. Just as David Gregory and Andrew Ross Sorkin went after Greenwald–others in the courtier press went after Michael Hastings after his story about Gen. Stanley McChrystal appeared in Rolling Stone. They don’t much like the “real” journalists who uncover the important stories.


    Email from Michael Hastings before crash mentions FBI probe
    By Andrew Blankstein and Brian Bennett
    June 21, 2013

    In an email sent hours before his death in a single-car L.A. crash, journalist Michael Hastings wrote that his “close friends and associates” were being interviewed by the FBI and he was going to “go off the radar for a bit.”

    According to the email, sent to KTLA, Hastings wrote he was working on a “big story” and was going to disappear. He told his colleagues that if the FBI came to interview them, they should have legal counsel present.

    The subject of the email was “FBI Investigation re: NSA.” Hastings sent the email to his colleagues just before 1 p.m. Monday and blind-copied his friend, Staff Sgt. Joseph Biggs.


    Hey, MSM: All Journalism is Advocacy Journalism
    By Matt Taibbi
    POSTED: June 27

    So New York Times Dealbook writer Andrew Ross Sorkin has apologized to journalist Glenn Greenwald for saying he’d “almost arrest” him, for his supposed aid and comfort of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. “I veered into hyperbole,” was Sorkin’s explanation.

    I got into trouble the other day on Twitter for asking if David Gregory may have just had a “brain fart” when he asked Greenwald his infamous question, “To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you be charged with a crime?” I hadn’t seen the show and had only read the quote, and quite frankly, I don’t watch a lot of David Gregory. Apparently, in context, even the question I asked is absurd (more on that later). But Sorkin is different. For Sorkin to call his outburst an accident, that I know is hilarious.

    Did he also “veer into” a long career as a shameless, ball-gargling prostitute for Wall Street? As Jeff Cohen eloquently pointed out on HuffPo, isn’t Sorkin the guy who’s always bragging about how close he is to top bankers and parroting their views on things? This is a man who admitted, in print, that he only went down to Zucotti Park after a bank C.E.O. asked him, “Is this Occupy thing a big deal?”

    (Sorkin’s reassuring response: “As I wandered around the park, it was clear to me that most bankers probably don’t have to worry about being in imminent personal danger . . .”)

    And when Senator Carl Levin’s report about Goldman’s “Big Short” and deals like Abacus and Timberwolf came out, it was Sorkin who released a lengthy screed in Dealbook defending Goldman, one I instantly recognized as being nearly indistinguishable from the excuses I’d heard from Goldman’s own P.R. people.

  11. Hello,

    I have long been of the opinion that many, perhaps even most, of these soi-disant journalists are not merely fawning courtiers, but are active assets of the intelligence community serving the interests of a de facto military despotism.

    I wonder what FOIA requests might reveal about the likes of David Gregory, Kurt Eichenwald, David Ignatius, Richard Cohen, Edward Epstein, Barbara Starr, etc.




  12. To expect different from the mainstream corporate media is delusional. They pumped the Iraq War based on flimsy government evidence, they are pumping the govt’s Syria intervention meme because of “chemical weapons.” They pump the govt’s need to keep Guantanamo open to mention but a couple of examples. The mainstream, corporate controlled media is an arm of govt. The great independent journalists, such a Greenwald, Palast, Scahill, Taibbi, and groups like ProPublica unearth reality while corporate media parrots its govt overlords.

  13. Otteray Scribe 1, June 29, 2013 at 9:03 am

    I always thought the Grand Jury was the ultimate ex parte. I was wrong. It is the FISA court.

    As for the media, the major media outlets have become nothing but hacks.

    The major problem with them is that they, like us being infiltrated and spied on by the military NSA, have also been infiltrated, spied on, and made an asset:

    Later that year [1948] Wisner established Mockingbird, a program to influence the domestic American media. Wisner recruited Philip Graham (Washington Post) to run the project within the industry. Graham himself recruited others who had worked for military intelligence during the war. This included James Truitt, Russell Wiggins, Phil Geyelin, John Hayes and Alan Barth. Others like Stewart Alsop, Joseph Alsop and James Reston, were recruited from within the Georgetown Set. According to Deborah Davis (Katharine the Great): “By the early 1950s, Wisner ‘owned’ respected members of the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communications vehicles.”

    In 1951 Allen W. Dulles persuaded Cord Meyer to join the CIA. However, there is evidence that he was recruited several years earlier and had been spying on the liberal organizations he had been a member of in the later 1940s. According to Deborah Davis, Meyer became Mockingbird’s “principal operative”.

    The Bush administration turned the U.S. military into a global propaganda machine while imposing tough restrictions on journalists seeking to give the public truthful reports about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Associated Press chief executive Tom Curley said Friday.

    (Mocking America). This is quite well documented in American history.

  14. The “Word Press” censors are sensing American history again, and are not allowing comments to be published.

    So excuse me if I make multiple posts to fool them.

  15. David,

    Thank you for this important piece. “Courtier Press” is a perfect appellation for those who speak for and control our Nation’s news media. They are “courtiers” to the new “American Nobility” which consists of the most wealthy among us. They are as one with our “Courtier Congress”, “Courtier Presidency and of course “Courtier Supreme Court”. One has only to watch the Washington Press Corps dinner to understand this. The G.W. Bush bit where he was pretending to look for weapons of mass destruction, under tables and chairs, was greeted with uproarious laughter by all present. That many had died because of the lies about weapons of mass destruction justifying the Iraq invasion, was immaterial to the people there, when outrage should have been the reaction. For people like Gregory, Friedman and their ilk disgust is the only emotion the rest of us should feel.

  16. First of all, this is a very good topic and the article is well written. The theme courier press is perfect. I do have issues with reference to “lapdog press”. Feinstein is off with huspandpoo buying up closed U.S., Post Offices. Al Franken went South. No one in the Congress is speaking out about our privacy. Our privacy rights have constitutional grounding in several provisions of the Constitution. The Ninth Amendment right of privacy is just one provision that can be involved. But we are not talking about abortion here. We are living with a government that reads your emails and other computer transgressions. Obama is in the Horn of Africa and the media is weenie as can be. The future for liberty will rest on computer blogs. The media is all owned by Rupert Murdoch and his type. Our right to get together here on the blog is grounded on the right to assemble prong. Our right to speak freely is based on the free speech clause. Our right to petition our government for redress of grievances is grounded on that prong of the First Amendment. What we have here is similar to the round up of the American citizens who were of Japanese descent back in 1941. Each of us has standing to sue the government actors who are stealing our rights to free speech et al and right of privacy. The ACLU case in the SD of NY is well composed but they omit the 5th Amendment and the 9th. The one in DC district court seeks damages and will get a jury. We should report in on legal developments daily. In the ACLU suit they are suing as an organization which has been violated. They use Verizon. The dogpac is thinking of litigation in the international Court. Take it to Den Haag. Nuremberg revisited. Whitney Harris is up their in heaven rooting us on. Snowden ought to get to Den Haag and seek refuge in the International Court.

  17. Great article, keep the message alive. Mike, great comment.

    Remember all this in November 2014. Do not vote for a sitting Congressman/Senator that has voted to take your rights away. Give a third or fourth party a chance. Can they do worse?

  18. Let’s hope that the Snowden case, as it will likely be at some date, reflects the highest in reasoned application of the Constitution by the Nine Justices sitting at that time. Surely it will be the cornerstone for the US going forward, perhaps a make or brake as to whether the focus on rights by the crafters (not mere drafters) of the Constitution is maintained, or we as a nation turn the corner to the chicken shit side control. There’s more, but I bet you get it.

  19. Great job David. It is amazing that the main stream media is trying as hard as they can to get the American people to “ignore the man behind the curtain”. I guess when one considers who controls the main stream median, it isn’t so amazing after all.

  20. Greenwald’s response to David Gregory’s question is interesting, but so is the question itself, and I’m not so sure it’s as Prof. Turley seeks to portray it. Gregory might have been functioning here like a criminal defense attorney who asks a defendant on the stand, “Did you kill the butler?”

    Usually, the questions for these interviews are prescreeened; in other words, NBC submits the schedule of questions it wants to ask and the interveiwee can strike any question they won’t answer. Often, the interviews are contingent on questions the subject would rather not answer – after all, there needs to be some fireworks, but if they don’t want to answer, they don’t get the interview, and with it, the opportunity for other necessary messaging so useful to one’s agenda or career. This kind of back and forth negotiation goes on all the time. As with the case of a criminal defendant, knowing a question is coming allows for a prepared response. Glen Greenwald is savvy enough to demand the question schedule up front in order to formulate his answers, and perhaps even suggested this question by mentioning Senator Feinstein’s remarks during the pre-interview process.

    I’m no fan of David Gregory, I have long viewed him as lazy, but he knows how to play the message game inside the Beltway; everyone has a message to spin and he is a facilitator. In asking why Greenwald shouldn’t be charged with a crime, he was essentially giving him the roundabout opportunity to respond to Sen. Feinstein, and control his message in a high profile public forum. I’m merely speculating that Gregory may have purposely given Greenwald the opening to remind everyone in the court of public opinion that journalists have a duty to perform in a free society.

  21. Yikes, sorry Mr. Drumm. I attributed this column to the Prof. by accident The coffee hasn’t kicked in yet. BTW, I miss the tunes.

  22. Nal, You usually lead off the weekend and you’re the perfect lead off hitter. Whether it’s lighthearted or serious, it gets us going every weekend. Of course, I’m a notorious, “ass kisser” so take it this kudo as you will.

    Glenn Greenwald has been part of my reading rotation for several years. I read ALL types of columnist, bloggers, etc. He’s more left than me, but I don’t allow that small potatoes stuff bother me. I look for honesty, integrity, intellectual honesty, etc. and he almost always cut the mustard. I was watching the Howdy Doody Show when Greenwald came back @ Howdy w/ both barrels. I literally stood up as if I were watching a sports game and yelled “Yes, sir!” My wife was reading the Sunday paper and I scared the shit out of the poor woman. Politics, journalism, hell even sports to a great degree has become sycophantic. But, it’s all on the fringes. Regular folks don’t believe pols, press, and have come to see professional sports is just biz w/o an ounce of loyalty.

  23. RTC, What is your source for pre screened questions. I loathe the press but I doubt that is a regular occurrence. I can see someone like Hillary getting royal treatment, but only in “I don’t want this question,” not being given a list of questions.

  24. This seems to be a good place to reprise a speech that took place on April 27, 1961. President John F. Kennedy gave this speech in New York before the American Newspaper Publishers Association.

    It needs to be heard again for reinforcement purposes.

    Here is a link to the transcript of that speech:

  25. Nick-

    My brother-in-law was a reporter for CNN and then an ABC affiliate in Texas, and his wife is a producer. His proudest moment came when he interviewed Reagan in the Oval Office. They both insist the media is controlled by liberals, although all their media friends are staunch, well-paid conservatives, so over the years I’ve read a number of books about the media in order to research holiday talking points. Mostly, I suppose I was looking for “buttons” to push.

    There was a good deal of discussion about this process in connection with Sarah Pallid’s disastrous meltdown interview with Katie Couric. Staff members have since revealed her refusal when they tried to prepare her for that interview.

  26. Snowden is a TRUE PATRIOT.

    Think of it as such. What did he possibly gain? He has walked away from a lucrative career, a beautiful woman to live a life in fear.

    If he was a traitor he would have simply sold information to China and Russia.

    Another point, the information that he has passed on to us was already known by the Chinese, Russians and informed American people.
    The only ones who did not know this information were the American Media and the American people as a whole.

    He has merely turned the spot light on the cockroaches.

    The true traitors are those who work AGAINST the US Constitution. Undermine it. Weaken it. Destroying the Bill of Rights.

    Who is attacking the Constitution in spite of their oath to ‘uphold and defend it” ?

    That would be the NSA. Our Congress. Our President. They are actual TRAITORS.

    It is time to drive them out of our government and hold them accountable for their treason to the Constitution.

    It is time for a Revolution.

  27. RTC, Interesting. and kudos to your brother-in-law and wife. I am a firm believer in real world info and experience. It is the real world where most of us reside. However, in watching the good HBO flick about Sara Palin, it was clear she was unfocused and didn’t want to do her homework. Her handlers were prepping her on questions TO EXPECT. And yes, the MSM is quite predictable. However, saying guest are given the questions would be the ultimate scandal and you are not even close to making me suspect of that occurring, much less convinced.

  28. RTC:

    I don’t think the question was prescreened.

    It was an impertinent question, and was retorted with a quiet vitriole questioning the questioner’s status as a journalist.

    Both those q’s I believe were too strong to have been rehearsed.

  29. G.Mason 1, June 29, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Snowden is a TRUE PATRIOT.

    Think of it as such. What did he possibly gain? He has walked away from a lucrative career, a beautiful woman to live a life in fear.

    If he was a traitor he would have simply sold information to China and Russia.

    Another point, the information that he has passed on to us was already known by the Chinese, Russians and informed American people.

    Let’s continue to inform one another, because we can not stop them.

    History says they will destroy themselves, taking many of us with them.

    Then we rebuild, hopefully with a better structure this time.

  30. I am going to write something that may piss people off. It is not my intent to hurt anyone here.

    The administration and its press lackeys are engaging in propaganda because it works. I say this from personal experience in face to face interactions and my experience on this blog. I watched as people whom I believe to be genuinely good people took on all the characteristics of a mob when confronted with uncomfortable truths about Obama.

    People here were easily manipulated by the very thing Chomsky speaks about. For example, there were heated debates on “tea baggers” verses understanding what was really happening in our nation. Mike Appleton wrote an entire post on how tea baggers are a danger to our nation. This was at a time that the govt. itself was so clearly the biggest danger to the rule of law, to Americans and to other peoples of the world that it was difficult for me to fathom how he would even worry very much about “tea baggers”. I could have better understood writing that post if there had also been a real, deep and completely honest accounting of the danger this govt. poses to our society. Mike A. is one of the best writers/thinkers on this blog and I kept wondering why he would not address the crimes of the govt. I consider him to be a person who cares deeply about our nation and the rule of law. I have seen comments from him but not an in depth post on the abuses of the govt. (If I missed that post, I apologize.)

    Propaganda is aimed at and works on all sorts of people. Left wing, highly educated people have been some of the easiest marks for it under Obama. We are still subjected to incredibly sophisticated forms of mind manipulation by this govt. We must all help each other to understand how this works so when it comes at us from the “press” we will know exactly what they are trying to do and why/how they are doing it.

    These are people who know what they are doing and how to do it. I will take all the help I can get in undoing the BS coming my way. I feel I need that help. I wish to see what is going on so I have some chance of joining with others to make this a good society. I am sickened by what has happened. We have so many good people in our nation and I do not want all this harm in the world. People deserve good lives. The earth and its myriad creatures deserve to flourish. We can do this, maybe. I don’t know. It’s what I hope for.

  31. “I watched as people whom I believe to be genuinely good people took on all the characteristics of a mob when confronted with uncomfortable truths about Obama.”


    Don’t start this crap again. I knew exactly who I was voting for with Obama. Had he lost would things be any better, since Romney’s team were from PNAC?

  32. One problem w a lot of people who are making policy decisions for our country is that they really respect credentials. If someone doesn’t have “adequate” credentials then they think that their message must be inadequate. If they policy makers have great credentials, then many or most people won’t even attempt to rethink the subject.

    Personally I was really impressed that Obama had worked as a constitutional law professor at University of Chicago.

  33. So what does one do? The courts are packed, Congress is feckless, and it turns out Obama is just a guy with a nicely tailored suit, a home-spun speaking style, and a crypto-fascist kink. Keep pissing and moaning, sure. Vote for the lesser of two evils, o.k. But I suggest my fellow liberals (with either upper or lower case L) start learning how to shoot.

  34. “Personally I was really impressed that Obama had worked as a constitutional law professor at University of Chicago.”

    So was I, kay, until he demonstrated it is possible to teach a subject and then totally ignore and violate the principles taught.

  35. GaryT, A great point. Stevie Wonder could have just listened to Greenwald’s voice, much less his seen body language, to know that reaction was visceral.

  36. “Obama had worked as a constitutional law professor at University of Chicago”

    I tend to look at his proffered expertise in the Constitution more like Sun Tzu

    “So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss”

    Expertise in a subject doesn’t guarantee it will be used Honorably.

  37. One thing I think a that is totally shocking about DoJ right now is their new FOIPA portal


    They set the software up but instead of answering questions from the entire agency, it excludes the offices of U.S. Attorneys, the FBI, the USMS, the Office of Professional Responsibility, the Office of Inspector General, etc. Those are all the components that are most likely to have records of DoJ misconduct. So the portal increases the appearance of transparency but it is confusing if you have a request for a different component.

    Personally I used the portal to request records of the Office of Professional Responsibility that allow it to avoid the Open Meetings Act. The OIP didn’t even attempt to find the records for me.

  38. Jill 1, June 29, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    I am going to write something that may piss people off. It is not my intent to hurt anyone here.

    What AY said.

    Please remember that “we” are psychologically a very, very disturbed group of people.

    By “we” I mean the human species.

    And to your general point, yes, the U.S.eh? is one centralized locus for many if not most of the defective brain cells of the world.

    But since this blog allows comment from the worst and best of us, because JT is just that way, I comment here.

    Speak up! is the JT mantra.

    Before I commented here on JT’s blog, I noticed that people thought you were radical.

    Now they think I am radical.

    You can relax some now. ;)

    A while back, Gene H had a post something about “Who Is The Real Enemy Of The State“, on which said post I made a comment:

    Four things are small on the earth,
    But they are exceedingly wise:

    The ants are not a strong people,
    But they prepare their food in the summer;

    The shephanim are not mighty people,
    Yet they make their houses in the rocks;

    The locusts have no king,
    Yet all of them go out in ranks;

    The lizard you may grasp with the hands,
    Yet it is in kings’ palaces.

    (Dredd Comment on Turley Blog). Now, soon after that comment, came the Ed Snowden / Glenn Greenwald episode.

    So, we can now get an easier grasp of what that proverb means to me.

    And doesn’t mean.

    For example, “The locusts have no king, Yet all of them go out in ranks” can mean that we pull together even though we have no king; further meaning that we have no one universal doctrine we can all agree with.

    But we can agree with a notion of fundamental freedom to the point that we “go out in ranks“, i.e. we see eye to eye on issues that seriously threaten our freedoms, and are strongly united to preserve those freedoms.

    Included in those “locusts going out in ranks”, is “The lizard you may grasp with the hands, Yet it is in kings’ palaces“, which depicts the energy around Snowden / Greenwald, and all whistleblowers who are inside the king’s palace.

    They are the proverbial “fly on the wall” –our spies see their spies.

    We have a cadre of Ed Showdens and Glenn Greenwalds in the kings palaces and they are locusts just like us, if you will.

    They will march in ranks with us when the time comes.

    So whatever we do we must not despair.

    We got game.

  39. Kay:

    I looked at the website you suggested and found the page having those other agency contacts you mentioned.


    The default view, The Org Chart View, threw script errors on my browser that rendered it unviewable. To avoid this, look below the large black band having a picture of an eagle and you will see the words “List View” click on that and you can see the contact information for various other agencies.

    I have only done one information act request at the federal level, but I fortunately did not have the experience you did. It was from the American Battle Monuments Commission, and they took only a few days to provide what I requested.

    I guess it matters how controversial it is.

  40. The preclearance of questions is not scandalous. It’s frequently done on the advice of lawyers. 60 Minutes readily admits to the practice, as do other productions like Frontline. It may not be standard in every case, but neither is it unusual. My point is that Glen Greenwald would be savvy enough to want to know beforehand what to expect, and in any case Meet the Press would have tipped it’s hand when approaching him for an interview following the accusations made by Feinstein.

    As for any perceived animus (vitriol?), modern-day journalism is as much about the image as show business. The criminal defense attorneys reading this know that there are times when they need to give the appearance of being harsh with their clients on the stand in order to make the questioning look believable for the jury; questioning that would be completely different in tone in a bench trial.

    Remember, nobody seriously thinks there’s much of a chance Greenwald’s going to be charged with treason or conspiracy; Mr. Drumm makes that point in his post when he cites the precedents that forestall a conviction, so that tells me there’s some inside journalism at play here, a little self-serving in nature. Greenwald’s role becomes larger, or more widely known; Gregory cements his stature as Tim Russert’s heir. Gregory knew he had to be tossing up a softball for Greenwald and giving him a chance to respond to Feinstein’s remarks without having to address her directly. In fact, Greenwald may have insisted on having the chance to answer a question about her charges. Greenwald gives his response, Gregory looks tough and hard hitting; everybody’s a winner.

    And Nick, as for your belief in a Liberal media…the media is wholly owned and controlled by four or five mega-conglomerates, and whenever news organizations are compelled to report the truth, as they are about the NSA surveillance program, GE and Disney want you to believe that it’s all the work of hokum-filled liberals trying to stir people up. If the media really was as liberal as you claim, the world wouldn’t be in the mess it’s in right now, and Americans wouldn’t be so ignorant. So slap on those Mickey Mouse ears and have another drink of Kool-Aid, my friendly friend.

  41. Jill,

    The Tea Party facilitates the worst abuses by our government by fomenting anger against it. The Tea Bag message is carefully crafted to appeal to the less educated class of Americans who want believe that government is the enemy, that it is not competent to address any situation, and is so riddled with vice and corruption that nothing short of cataclysmic revolution will fix it – a revolution that will have to wait until a night when there’s nothing good on tv. The corporations have used this disenchantment to seize control of government and, quite honestly, they don’t care if you are pissed off. In fact, they hope you are. It’s the ultimate distraction. They want you so angry at government that you lose track of what they’re doing to you, your bank account, and the environment. And most importantly, that you’ll never view government as an instrument for improving things.

  42. Darren

    DoJ is one agency. It isn’t contact information for other agencies, it is for other components within DoJ. I think that DoJ deliberately sets up its organization so that the agency as a whole can stall and avoid responsibility.

    The Office of Information Policy, for instance, sent a letter to my congressional representative saying that they had no contact with me before a civil hearing that one of their attorneys went to. That was a misrepresentation because before the hearing I had already been arrested twice by the USMS component of DoJ and detained for more than four months on DoJ’s dollar.

    Another way that DoJ obstructs justice is by submitting documents labeled affidavits under penalty of perjury with the scanned signature of a blind man testifying about documents that he can’t read. DoJ writes misleading statements and puts the blind man’s scanned signature on and then no one is responsible. The Office of Professional Responsibility says that they have a policy of not receiving complaints that might end up in court. Of course that policy isn’t published, it’s a special policy for only a few people.

  43. Darren

    The links aren’t to other agencies, they are to divisions within the agency. My understanding is that the agency itself is supposed to implement the FOIA at the agency level instead of making requestors go from one component to another.

    One thing that is really confusing about the Freedom of Information Act as currently implemented is that DoJ claims that you have to do a so called administrative appeal before you can go to court. That isn’t in the statute only in the Code of Federal Regulations. It isn’t even in the notes.

    Another FOIA/ PA fact is that DoJ has special forms called certification of searches that its employees are supposed to sign under penalty of perjury showing which computer system they searched, what search words they used, and the date of search. I have submitted at least 100 requests for records searches but I only got back one certification of search form. That shows that they didn’t search the prosecutor’s data base, PROMIS, which includes investigation for criminal acts and discussion of both what is and what is not prosecuted, for records about myself, even though I was a federal prisoner three times for 5 months total. But even though they claim there are no records about me in PROMIS, they won’t return certification of search forms showing that they actually searched the prosecutors’ system of records for Kay Sieverding.

    The United States Marshals Service is DoJ’s police department. They are police. They hire young men who never went to college based on their size and strength and these men wear uniforms and capture and chain up American citizens. The USMS captured me, put me in chains, and held me against my will for more than 4 months. After that there was a court hearing and that was the first time that a DoJ prosecutor showed up. All he said was that DoJ wasn’t involved with me. But the USMS kept me in chains or locked in a cage anyway for another three weeks after that hearing. I asked my congressman Ed Markey to get a search of the PROMIS system so that I could find out why the USMS captured me and locked me up. The Office of Information Policy wrote a letter to Representative Markey and said that that hearing was the first and only interaction DoJ had with me and that is why there weren’t any records about me in the PROMIS system. But I wasn’t a state prisoner — I was a federal prisoner held on DoJ’s dime with no state charges. I even have the bills paid by DoJ listing me as a prisoner.

  44. George Orwell had a Newspeak word for this “journalism” thing as practiced in the U.S. Corporate Media: prolefeed. Or, as the culturally degenerate Boobies — who willingly chose to spurn the sunlight and return to watching shadows on the wall of a cave — would call it:

    Boobie Infotainment
    (from Fernando Po, U.S.A., America’s post-linguistic retreat to Plato’s Cave)

    Some chose to place a saintly crown
    Upon her dead blonde head,
    While others felt relieved at last:
    “She’s better off,” they said.
    A woman born of others’ needs:
    An unreal life she led.

    The tabloids built an image up
    To vend to those who dreamed
    Of two deadbeat aristocrats
    Unreasonably teamed:
    A fable for frustrated lives
    Vicariously beamed

    Into those households where the proles
    Preferred their rubbish crass
    Along with propaganda “news,”
    Leaked from and to an ass,
    Delivered by celebrities
    With tits or balls of brass.

    Thus Marilyn, Diana, or
    Maid Monica will do —
    Along with Michael Jackson and
    Dead Elvis Presley, too —
    Distracting ‘Murcans from the bad
    And ugly larger view.

    Just so did Bush and Blair concoct
    Some “coalition” fun.
    They’d have a go at poor Saddam
    And set him on the run:
    The mad dog and his Englishman
    Out in the noonday sun.

    This illustrates a lesson that
    Some liars never learn:
    Do not believe the lie yourself
    Or else you’ll surely burn
    And find your ashes dumped into
    A small ceramic urn.

    As Hayakawa wrote, we have
    This thing, the Empty Eye:
    A Technicolor campfire on
    Which Boobies now rely
    To dull the pain with images
    That pass too swiftly by.

    The Eye emitted “content” both
    Innocuous and bland
    And pushed it past the limits of
    What Boobie brains could stand,
    Inducing thought rejection all
    Across the Boobies’ land.

    The pictures came and went too fast
    To process on the fly,
    So Boobies felt upset but they
    Could find no reason why.
    The only thing they knew is that
    They felt compelled to buy.

    With nervous systems stunned and jazzed
    They couldn’t bring to mind
    Some cartoons from the past that told
    Of just this Boobie kind:
    A salesman of the bait-and-switch
    Who robbed a sailor blind.

    He’d beg a meal from Popeye then
    This Wimpy guy would say:
    “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for
    A hamburger today.”
    Which meant, of course, that he had no
    Intention to repay.

    King George the bumbling Boobie, too,
    Worked things the selfsame way.
    He waged a war on nothing down
    But promised that some day
    Some other one would come along
    And all the costs defray.

    “When Tuesday comes, I won’t be here,”
    He snickered as he spent.
    “I’ll eat my burger now and get
    Those lenders to relent
    Till I can high-tail out of town
    And stiff them for the rent.”

    The Infotainment tabloids, though,
    Saw no need to retort.
    They liked the dead-blonde pictures that
    They showed around for sport.
    Convinced that only “good news” lies
    Deserved a full “report.”

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2006, 2009

  45. Gregory is a disgrace. He is a fascist.

    The US media is filled with cowards, hypocrites and government -corporate propagandists.

  46. Mike Spindell 1, June 29, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    … I knew exactly who I was voting for with Obama. …
    That is really funny.

  47. Our Constitution makes the trial of a person for “treason” a bit difficult for the government. Here is some Wikipedia stuff on the Aaron Burr trial and the Constitution:

    The Aaron Burr Treason Trial — Historical Background and Documents
    A Short Narrative

    The trial of Aaron Burr for treason in 1807 has few rivals in American history for dramatic appeal and for its colorful cast of characters. The accused traitor had been Vice President during the first administration of Thomas Jefferson. In the summer of 1804, Burr killed his rival Alexander Hamilton in a duel, an event that effectively ended Burr’s career in national politics. Three years later, he was on trial, charged with the capital crime of treason by the government headed by Jefferson, his former partner in political office. Presiding over the trial was John Marshall, Chief Justice of the United States, the President’s distant cousin and political foe. Finally, there was James Wilkinson, general of the army, once Burr’s associate and at trial his chief accuser. With these principal players, the trial in the U.S. Circuit Court at Richmond was as much high political and personal drama as it was a judicial proceeding.

    The law of treason

    From the standpoint of constitutional law, the Burr trial is notable for Chief Justice Marshall’s landmark decision narrowly construing the Constitution’s definition of treason and thereby making conviction for this crime exceedingly difficult. Article III, section 3, of the Constitution provides that “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.” The government charged Burr with the first of these two crimes of treason, levying war against the United States.

    In limiting treason “only” to levying war and giving aid and comfort to enemies, the framers established a more restrictive definition than had prevailed in Great Britain. Some of the language used in the Constitution was identical to an English statute of 1352 that listed seven treasonable actions, including levying war against the king and adhering to his enemies and giving them aid and comfort. Of the other treasonable actions in the English law, the most important was “compassing” (bringing about) or imagining the death of the king. English judges had extended this category of treason by “construction” (interpretation) to embrace spoken or written words critical of government policy and actions taken to prevent the execution of a law. The framers’ omission of this definition of treason was intended to restrict the concept of “constructive treason”—in other words, speaking or acting to encourage treason—that in England had been exploited to suppress dissent and political opposition.

    At some level, however, a federal law of treason could not entirely dispense with the concept of constructive treason. The Constitution might define treason as “levying war,” but the precise meaning of that term could only emerge by judicial construction in a series of cases. Before the Burr trial, the few United States cases of treason were limited to the federal government’s prosecution of persons involved in resisting a tax on distilled spirits and a direct tax in the 1790s. These cases were not important precedents for the Burr trial, though they provided examples of what some federal judges regarded as the conditions and circumstances necessary to constitute levying war. To discover the meaning of levying war, the Burr trial lawyers combed through many volumes of reports of English state trials. These cases shed much light, but American lawyers had to choose carefully which parts of English law they wanted judges to say were applicable to the United States.

  48. So, what has Snowden done? Levied war? Who is the enemy? The American people are the victims of the governments spying. If the government attempts to try him in some secret court then many of us will rebel.

  49. Mike S.,

    Not that I wish to take sides with Jill or anyone else against you in this instance, but, sure, with a President Mitt Romney things might have turned out as badly, except that the Republicans would have needed to celebrate and defend endless Owellian “war” and corporate crypto-fascism themselves instead of getting a free ride laughing their asses off watching President Obama and the Democrats do it for them — as “Liberals.”

    In other words, as Glenn Greenwald and Chris Hedges (among others) have written extensively, President Obama and the Democrats have validated and legitimized practically the entire neoconservative project, making it “bi-partisan” and thereby moving it beyond the realm of discussion or challenge. The Republicans by themselves could not have done this.

    As Edward Snowden said, having Five-Deferment Dick Cheney call you a traitor leaves no higher award for a patriotic American to achieve. Conversely, having the same motherless cretin praise President Obama for adopting and extending Dirty Dick’s bloodstained policies must rank as the nadir of all slurs.

  50. Michael M.,

    Both parties are corporatist. The Dems will always follow in the same dirction as the Repubs, just slower. I made this point in both elections and have been making it ever since. We are on a downward slope towards feudalism unless a massive movement arises. With the Dems the completion of the feudalistic takeover will take a little longer, giving the opposition to Corporate Feudalism a little longer window to coalesce. Judging by what we have as a movement today I’m pessimistic any viable movement will materialize, but I refuse to give up hope and so a stalling game is in order.

  51. Secret proceedings. Unseal the Indictment. We are entitled to see it.

    By filing a criminal complaint, prosecutors have a legal basis to make the detention request of the authorities in Hong Kong. Prosecutors now have 60 days to file an indictment, probably under seal, and can then move to have Snowden extradited from Hong Kong for trial in the United States.

    They have 60 days huh? Then the Indictment will be under seal. Navy Seal I presume. And they expect Hong Kong to extradict him based on that. They expect Russia to extradict him on some secret apCray.

  52. Once Big Sibling (Brother or Sister) has you under permanent observation, what sort of suspicions do you think it might arouse should you attempt to “hide” out of range of sight and sound, even for a moment?

    “… to do anything that suggested a taste for solitude, even to go for a walk by yourself, was always slightly dangerous.There was a word for it in Newspeak: ownlife, meaning individualism and eccentricity.” 1984

    Just Google “McDermott” and “pledge” to see what happens when a public figure chooses to take a breath rather than utter a preposterous prepositional phrase while under surveillance.

  53. “It was not desirable that the proles should have strong political feelings. All that was required of them was a primitive patriotism which could be appealed to whenever it was necessary to make them accept longer working hours or shorter rations. And even when they became discontented, as they sometimes did, their discontent led nowhere, because, being without general ideas, they could only focus it on petty specific grievances. The larger evils invariably escaped their notice.” 1984

    How hauntingly reminiscent of Civil War veteran Ambrose Bierce’s definition of patriotism: i.e., “combustible rubbish ready to the torch of anyone ambitious to illuminate his name.”

    With no shortage of erstwhile name-illuminators ready for the next act in the bi-annual Electoral Circus, stand by for a real bonfire as the “patriotic” combustible rubbish goes up in a cloud of acrid smoke at a polling place (should you manage to locate one) near you.

  54. Nal,

    Ever since the “hunt for Snowden” started I’ve been waiting for a piece like this. I was expecting someone like Howard Kurtz of Reliable Sources to bring it up, but you sir are the first I’ve found.

    I can’t tell you how angry I’ve been watching the media waste all its time on the “where’s Snowden” story in lieu of carrying out it’s 4th estate obligation to analyze and explain to the U.S. citizen what the constitutional implications are.

    The fate of Snowden is completely irrelevant per the bigger issue that he was able to bring to public awareness.

    Great job.

  55. Sometimes I wonder if the administrations’ allowing Hollywood into the whitehouse and chumming up to them is more of a bread & circuses type of tactic to placate the masses and allow them a distration for when the gov’t gets itself into a controversy.

    To me it seems increasingly it is the case where the public now wants to be entertained rather than informed.

  56. The Complaint against Snowden is difficult to come by. The mainstream media does not publish it. Pacer does not publish it because it is sealed. But the Complaint charges him with violating three statutes. The Complaint says that the Attached Affidavit explains it all but the Affidavit is under Navy Seal. The first statute cited just in one paraphrase is 18 U.S.C. Section 641 of Theft. That statute reads as follows:

    Sec. 641. Public money, property or records

    Whoever embezzles, steals, purloins, or knowingly converts to his
    use or the use of another, or without authority, sells, conveys or
    disposes of any record, voucher, money, or thing of value of the
    United States or of any department or agency thereof, or any
    property made or being made under contract for the United States or
    any department or agency thereof; or
    Whoever receives, conceals, or retains the same with intent to
    convert it to his use or gain, knowing it to have been embezzled,
    stolen, purloined or converted –

    Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten
    years, or both; but if the value of such property in the aggregate,
    combining amounts from all the counts for which the defendant is
    convicted in a single case, does not exceed the sum of $1,000, he
    shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one
    year, or both.
    The word “value” means face, par, or market value, or cost price,
    either wholesale or retail, whichever is greater.

    (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 725; Pub. L. 103-322, title
    XXXIII, Sec. 330016(1)(H), (L), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147;
    Pub. L. 104-294, title VI, Sec. 606(a), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat.
    3511; Pub. L. 108-275, Sec. 4, July 15, 2004, 118 Stat. 833.)


    In another comment I will discuss the other two statutes cited by the government in their Complaint. But here the thing they must be secretly stating in their sealed affidavit is that he acquired some “record”. This statute does not employ the word Traitor or Clown as Jefferie Toobin uses on CNN to describe Snowden. So, for this allegation he took some “record”. Probably Gladdis Knifht and the Pips.

    Write your Congressman or women and ask them to demand that the Affidavit be made public. Inquiring minds want to know. The Ecuadorians might want to know what he is accused of doing.

  57. Kay:

    It is rather a matter of semantics, I know the FBI and several other agencies are under the umbrella of the DoJ but I don’t see anything nefarious or illegal about the structure of this with regard to FOI requests. It is rather a matter of data flow more than anything. One bureaucracy is not going to be able to be the best at disemination of information of all its component agencies because everything is not stored in a central location and there are differing rules of release depending on the information retrieved or the agency involved. For example the Department of Education is not going to have all the information stored in the component agencies in one central databank, the DoJ is the same.

    Also concerning the marshal’s service the requirements for admission are as follows for education requirements;

    “Must have a bachelor’s degree,1 year of specialized experience, or a combination of education and experience equivalent to the GL-07 level”

    Also I haven’t seen a US marshal wearing a uniform other than a jacket or sweater with labeling, they are more of the arm of the Federal Court system rather than a direct police service of the DoJ but they are a Federal LE agency organized under DoJ.

    I know you have had a bad experience, but I do not see the US Marshal’s service as being in your case anything other than those who acted upon an arrest warrant that they were bound to serve. I have worked with US Marshals for years and I haven’t seen them detaining anybody for that amount of time unless it was pursuant to finding of probable cause delegated by a court. Especially since case law does not permit the detention of a person for months unless a judge or magistrate so orders it.

    If yours was a different case I would be interested to know how you were detained for several months without having the opportunity to have a hearing before a judge.

  58. The second statute which is cited in the very short Complaint, for which an Affidavit is hidden from public view, is 18 U.S.C. Section 793(d) which reads in full:





    Sec. 793. Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information


    (d) Whoever, lawfully having possession of, access to, control

    over, or being entrusted with any document, writing, code book,

    signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint,

    plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the

    national defense, or information relating to the national defense

    which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used

    to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any

    foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or

    causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted or attempts to

    communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated,

    delivered or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to

    receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it

    on demand to the officer or employee of the United States entitled

    to receive it; or


    Here this statute requires that the possessor delivers the information and has reason to believe that it is injurious to the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation. The defense to this is that it is not in Snowdens’ mind injurious to the U.S,. and not to the advantage of a foreign nation.

    This statute does not, as Jeffrey Toobin, the CNN legal expert who has never tried a jury trial in his life, refer to Clowns or Traitors. Yet Toobin calls Snowden both. I will deal with the third statutory provision cited in the Complaint in the next comment.

  59. The third statute cited in the Complaint against Snowden in the Complaint filed in the ED of Virginia District Court is longer winded. As mentioned before the Affidavit in support of the allegation is Secret. So even Jeffrey Toobin of CNN who is their legal expert has not seen their affidavit and has not knowledge as to why Snowden is a Clown and a Traitor. But this is the “willful communication of unauthorized information” portion of the statutes:





    Sec. 798. Disclosure of classified information


    (a) Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes,

    transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person,

    or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or

    interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign

    government to the detriment of the United States any classified

    information –

    (1) concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code,

    cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any

    foreign government; or

    (2) concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or

    repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or

    planned for use by the United States or any foreign government

    for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or

    (3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the

    United States or any foreign government; or

    (4) obtained by the processes of communication intelligence

    from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the

    same to have been obtained by such processes –

    Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten

    years, or both.

    (b) As used in subsection (a) of this section –

    The term “classified information” means information which, at the

    time of a violation of this section, is, for reasons of national

    security, specifically designated by a United States Government

    Agency for limited or restricted dissemination or distribution;

    The terms “code,” “cipher,” and “cryptographic system” include in

    their meanings, in addition to their usual meanings, any method of

    secret writing and any mechanical or electrical device or method

    used for the purpose of disguising or concealing the contents,

    significance, or meanings of communications;

    The term “foreign government” includes in its meaning any person

    or persons acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of any

    faction, party, department, agency, bureau, or military force of or

    within a foreign country, or for or on behalf of any government or

    any person or persons purporting to act as a government within a

    foreign country, whether or not such government is recognized by

    the United States;

    The term “communication intelligence” means all procedures and

    methods used in the interception of communications and the

    obtaining of information from such communications by other than the

    intended recipients;

    The term “unauthorized person” means any person who, or agency

    which, is not authorized to receive information of the categories

    set forth in subsection (a) of this section, by the President, or

    by the head of a department or agency of the United States

    Government which is expressly designated by the President to engage

    in communication intelligence activities for the United States.

    (c) Nothing in this section shall prohibit the furnishing, upon

    lawful demand, of information to any regularly constituted

    committee of the Senate or House of Representatives of the United

    States of America, or joint committee thereof.

    (d)(1) Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall

    forfeit to the United States irrespective of any provision of State

    law –

    (A) any property constituting, or derived from, any proceeds

    the person obtained, directly or indirectly, as the result of

    such violation; and

    (B) any of the person’s property used, or intended to be used,

    in any manner or part, to commit, or to facilitate the commission

    of, such violation.

    (2) The court, in imposing sentence on a defendant for a

    conviction of a violation of this section, shall order that the

    defendant forfeit to the United States all property described in

    paragraph (1).

    (3) Except as provided in paragraph (4), the provisions of

    subsections (b), (c), and (e) through (p) of section 413 of the

    Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 (21

    U.S.C. 853(b), (c), and (e)-(p)), shall apply to –

    (A) property subject to forfeiture under this subsection;

    (B) any seizure or disposition of such property; and

    (C) any administrative or judicial proceeding in relation to

    such property,

    if not inconsistent with this subsection.

    (4) Notwithstanding section 524(c) of title 28, there shall be

    deposited in the Crime Victims Fund established under section 1402

    of the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (42 U.S.C. 10601) all amounts

    from the forfeiture of property under this subsection remaining

    after the payment of expenses for forfeiture and sale authorized by


    (5) As used in this subsection, the term “State” means any State

    of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of

    Puerto Rico, and any territory or possession of the United States.


    (Added Oct. 31, 1951, ch. 655, Sec. 24(a), 65 Stat. 719; amended

    Pub. L. 103-322, title XXXIII, Sec. 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994,

    108 Stat. 2147; Pub. L. 103-359, title VIII, Sec. 804(a), Oct. 14,

    1994, 108 Stat. 3439; Pub. L. 104-294, title VI, Sec. 602(c), Oct.

    11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3503.)


    Of course here the government has to prove that the information disclosed was to the detriment of the United States or for the benefit of a foreign country. The Affidavit might state some facts that show that items disclosed are detrimental to the United States or for the benefit of a foreign state. This dog says that what we have learned is beneficial to the citizens of the United States to know that we are being spied on.
    A jury might agree. This provision does not include the term Clown or Traitor. So Jeffrey Toobin, the CNN expert on legal matters has his head up the arse of Rupert Murdoch or some such schmuck.

  60. Obama: Show us your papers on Snowden. Lets see the Affidavit in Support of the Complaint. We know that you are roaming around the Horn of Africa right now but Show Us Your Papers Obama!

  61. I think that HumpinDog is onto something. A campaign by protestors with whistles Occupying The Justice Department steps with signs saying
    Obama: Show Us Your Papers! is in order. Unless Snowden gave the Russians the names and addresses of spies then this Metadata apCray gets the shaft. I think that slogon goes: Metadata, Metadata, We Got The Shaft!

    BarkinDog is all over that Jeffry Toobin creep but I think that Fox is the worst. None of these media geeks is saying Show Us The Papers. Show us the Affidavit. Show us what Snowden did as a Traitor. No. The media in America ukSays.

  62. The Aaron Burr case and the provisions of the Constitution in trial and prosecution for treason raise some interesting questions. None Dare Call It Treason! That was a Goldwater era RepubliCon line. But it has some resonance here. Congress cannot pass a statute on “treason” which does not comport with the Constitutional requirements. It is obvious from the Constitution that the three statutes cited for the prosecution against Snowden do not cut the Constitutional mustard and obvious that they cannot try him in some secret court in Cuba. Article III, section 3, of the Constitution provides that “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.” Snowden needs to make the case that his trial in Virginia stays in a federal district court with a jury of his peers and not some FISA fart court. Now, the government wont tell the people of the United States what is in their Affidavit which is under Navy Seal that was filed with their Complaint. An Affidavit has to be made under oath by at least one person. So some person must have said enough along with another person under oath to comport with the Treason requirements. So did he levy War against the United States, or adhering to our enemies and who are they? Did he give our enemies aid and comfort and who are our enemies?

    They got a problem. The three statutes which I quoted in the prior comments don’t comport with the Treason requirements of Art. III, section 3. If he pooped in the wrong side of the outhouse, women’s instead of men’s, that is not Treason just because it offends Obama or Biden or Jeffrey Toobin. There is nothing in the Constitution about clowning around (Toobin’s accusation) and nothing has been told to us that shows he committed treason for blowing the whistle on a spy operation against me and you.

    In a separate comment I will include the spy memorandum found on a computer left in a restroom by some IBM guy that demonstrates the various spy tactics that NSA, CIA, and KBG employ and share.

  63. None Dare Call It Treason. The following is a recitation, not an exact quote of a blog. The “copy” button and “paste” button wont replicate it. But it was found on a computer left in a restroom in Europe by some IBM guy. It is a litany if gibberish but depicts some spying on some Brits.

    …Conga is lesbian but is having S with Smirnoff who is just in from Chechnia with Blubba. names sic. Dataphone from hometown to London and call that phone to Brussels connection possible to MusBros in Brussels and American Embassy contacts for visa. Email contents coded in Russian to effect that visa granted for Conga.

    So, if this is not some internet phony replication of a NSA communication it appears that they are following phone calls not listening yet to the calls and reading all the emails verbatim. MusBros might be Muslim Brotherhood.

    Coming to a theatre near you. I hope you do not know anyone from the Embassy because your emails will be scrutinized from here on out. I hope you don’t know no MuslimBro.

  64. Unfortunately for a long time the media has been on the side of power. This is only one example. The Iraq war and its aftermath is another. When I read or hear something from the media if it sounds illogical I don’t us lend disbelief I assume its a lie. I take every thing the media says with a bag of salt. There are some real journalists out there but, unlike Christmas, they are really under attack. Our leaders, “lovers of the CONSTITUION all” don’t care. It serves their purposes to keep the citizens in the dark and to blacken the reputation of anyone who dares to say wait a minute—–
    Whistleblowers like Sowden and others are painted as the problem when it its what they have disclosed IS THE PROBLEM. But if the media reported that it would lose access. As a result the jump on the smear the whistle blower train. Some are more brutal than others but they all make it clear that stepping on the one who discloses the truth is the way to go.

  65. That something Gregory guy on NBC had some folks on and the rant was loosely aimed at trashing Snowden for disclosing the system to the world. No concern that the system is Stassi. Then they implied that since he had to go to Hong Kong and now Russia for sanctuary that he must be disclosing more stuff t them. Gregory did not use the Traitor word life that Jeffry Lenard guy on CNN. But again the media here this a.m. was courtsey to the Big Brother government of ours. No one on tv this morning questioned the fact that the Complaint against Snowden is about fifty words long and the Affidavit attached thereto for some Judge to see but not us, is Secret. This Complaint on its face does not articulate a case of Treason. The statutes relied on do not comport with the Constitutional definition of Treason. Hiding the facts from the American people and calling this guy a Traitor is closer to Treason than anything they say that he did.

    The step in fetch it media this morning was a disgrace. Obama: Show Me Your Papers On Snowden. No, we are not asking about your heritage. Show us the Affidavit that is Secret.

  66. I went back to that website about the IBM guy who left his computer in some restroom and it had all the spy stuff on it. They found another email that said that the concern about MusBro was unjustified because it was the abbreciation for some business run by two Mexicans in Europe with the last name Muscato. So, the NSA guys were in a rush to judgment on what they thought was Muslim Brothers when it was Muscato Brothers shoe stores. But, if this is true then the U.S. Government, through its Booze Brothers company affiliate is spying on the likes of you and me and the Muscatos by reading our emails in toto. And this ain’t Kansas Toto.

  67. Nal,

    If you happen to stumble across any articles that discuss the Snowden distraction like you, would you mind posting them?

    I’d really appreciate it.


  68. Fine, I’ll post it without the expletive.


    You’re not giving yourself enough credit. While I haven’t checked all the H/T’s yet, I doubt I’m going to find one similar to yours in discussing how the focus on how the Snowden story serves as a distraction.

    To wit: “We the people need to know the full extent of our surveillance state to make an informed decision of acceptance or rejection. Is some unverifiable and vague spin about successful preventions enough for us to make a reasoned decision to forfeit our civil liberties? Does the FISA court constitute genuine judicial oversight? Should government agencies be required to obtain a warrant, based on probable cause, before searching a citizen’s phone and internet usage? Does the courtier press serve itself or the people?”

    Kerry made the claim that Snowden broke his oath of loyalty. I say Snowden upheld his oath to defend the constitution by leaking information showing that the NSA, in toto, was treating the 4th Amendment like a urinal puck. The Pen Register case from 1979 is inapplicable to what the NSA is doing now since meta-data in 1979 could not be used like a GPS tracking device in real time like it can today.

    The hunt for Snowden is bread and circuses courtesy of the press serving only to distract the public from the real questions before us; just as you delineated in your last paragraph.

    Articles that take off where your last paragraph left off are what I’m looking for.

    Like I said, you did a [f’n] great job.

    Expletive deleted because of moderator thingy

  69. Bob,

    Thank you.

    Most of my posts are a mixture of the H/T’s. I try to put it in my words, but the H/T’s are far superior writers.

  70. The Press, and I capitalized the word to give it the P word significance which it deserves, is quick to mush the facts of this Prism and Metadata crime syndicate operated by your Executive and Legislative branches. Big facts which are mushed. The difference between tracking the direction of phone calls– who called who and the identify of phone number with person, And, the tracking and preserving the emails and the content of emails.

    A guy like Jeffrey Toobin will spin it off and say, Oh they are not recording your telephone calls. Answer: What about the emails. All of our email messages, complete content, is up in the Clouds and in the computers of the NSA and the Boozer companies.

    Just a little thought for the day.

  71. Silver Lining: Snowden and other whistleblowers now have solid “legal standing” to overturn federal statutes that are unconstitutional, including parts of the Patriot Act.

    The courts have abdicated their duty in protecting the targets of surveillance but the whistleblowers have also been harmed by these unconstitutional statutes. It will be harder for the courts to betray the Constitution with these Plaintiffs!

  72. What an NSA charm offensive looks like

    Although each outlet on the tour added additional reporting beyond what the duo disclosed, and each has done fine work since Snowden dropped his bomb, the stories reek of official spin, of news by press release, of a government handout, and of a coordinated propaganda push. And the unnamed duo’s disclosure was a tad redundant: More than two weeks ago, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper went on NBC News to say the Snowden leaks would “obviously give our enemies a ‘playbook’ of how to avoid detection.”

    Emphasis added.

  73. The Washington Post takes the cake. They have some schmuck named Marc Theissen who pinned a Snowden is a traitor article yesterday. This is the apogee of the Courtier Press. You can Google: Washington Post, Thiessen, Snowden. What a snake this Thiessen guy is. We had a paper copy of the paper and put the pages up in the outhouse last night and removed the toilet paper. There were no users as of an hour ago. This guy is repugnant to some of the worst asses in the state of Florida.

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