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Photo by: joanneleon.  May, 2013.

Photo by: joanneleon.  May, 2013.


Fleetwood mac - Little lies

News & Opinion

Guardian Liveblog:

Candidate Obama debates President Obama on Government Surveillance

Some Greenwald interviews.  With each interview you can generally get a bit more information. In the Tapper interview he says that Snowden first tried to contact him in February.  He has not set up encrypted email and Snowden tried to help him do it but Greenwald got busy with other things. Snowden then went to Laura Poitras who worked with Glenn and they started communicating. Mika on Morning Joe says Snowden claimed he was going to Hong Kong for medical treatment when he left Hawaii.  The Morning Joe segment is a must watch if you haven't seen it.  The FoxNews segment shows video of Snowden's parents' Pennsylvania house so I guess the paparazzi are camped out there, which is useless.  
Greenwald Interviews

The NSA Black Hole: 5 Basic Things We Still Don’t Know About the Agency’s Snooping

Has the NSA’s massive collection of metadata thwarted any terrorist attacks?

It depends which senator you ask. And evidence that would help settle the matter is, yes, classified.

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., told CNN on Sunday, “It's unclear to me that we've developed any intelligence through the metadata program that's led to the disruption of plots that we could [not] have developed through other data and other intelligence.”

He said he could not elaborate on his case “without further declassification.”

Sen. Feinstein told ABC that the collection of phone records described in the Verizon order had been “used” in the case of would-be New York subway bomber Najibullah Zazi. Later in the interview, Feinstein said she couldn’t disclose more because the information is classified. (It’s worth noting that there’s also evidence that old-fashioned police work helped solve the Zazi case — and that other reports suggest the Prism program, not the phone records, helped solve the case.)

The Guardian has an interview with Jesselyn Radack on their YouTube channel this morning.
Edward Snowden's NSA leaks: a whistleblower's view

LOL.  A transcript of this is a must have, when it becomes available.
NSA Prism programme William Hague makes statement on GCHQ

William Hague makes a statement to the House of Commons following allegations that GCHQ tried to circumvent UK law by using the Prism computer network in the US. The foreign secretary tells parliament that intelligence services operate within the law, saying warrants are required for any intercepts. Hague defends UK cooperation with US intelligence agencies, saying the partnership has saved many lives.

Bernie Sanders.

Inside the ‘Q Group,’ the Directorate Hunting Down Edward Snowden
The top-secret ‘Q Group’ has been chasing Edward Snowden since he disappeared in May. Eli Lake on the intel community’s internal police—and why the agency is in ‘complete freakout mode.’

The people who began chasing Snowden work for the Associate Directorate for Security and Counterintelligence, according to former U.S. intelligence officers who spoke on condition of anonymity. The directorate, sometimes known as “the Q Group,” is continuing to track Snowden now that he’s outed himself as The Guardian’s source, according to the intelligence officers. Snowden began final preparations for his departure three weeks ago, The Guardian reports, copying the final documents he intended to share, telling his supervisor that he would need time off for medical treatment, and his girlfriend simply that he would be away. "That is not an uncommon occurrence for someone who has spent the last decade working in the intelligence world," he told the paper in his interview from Hong Kong.
The impact of the leak inside the NSA has been enormous. “There is complete freakout mode at the agency right now,” one former intelligence officer tells The Daily Beast. “There has never been anything like this in terms of the speed of referral of a crime report to the Justice Department. Normally this kind of thing takes weeks and weeks.”

Put the NSA on trial
With potential perjury by top officials, and new questions about spying, let's stop assuming everything is legal

The idea here, which has quickly become the standard talking point for partisans trying to defend the NSA program and the Obama administration, is that while you may object to the NSA’s mass surveillance system, it is nonetheless perfectly legal as is the conduct surrounding it. Therefore, the logic goes, Snowden isn’t an honorable “whistle-blower” he’s a traitorous “leaker,” and the only criminal in this case is Snowden and Snowden alone.

The first — and most simple — way to debunk this talking point is to simply behold two sets of testimony by Obama administration national security officials. In one, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper categorically denies that the government “collect(s) any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.” In another, the Guardian reports that NSA Director General Keith Alexander “denied point-blank that the agency had the figures on how many Americans had their electronic communications collected or reviewed.”
That’s not some technicality, by the way; the whole reason perjury before Congress is considered a serious crime is because if executive branch officials like Clapper and Alexander are permitted to lie to the legislative branch, then that branch cannot exercise its constitutional oversight responsibilities. Harsh punishment for perjury is considered a necessary deterrent to such deception.
Four cases are particularly relevant here. In the first two (ACLU vs. NSA and the al-Haramain charity case), district courts ruled for plaintiffs in their arguments that the NSA’s warrantless surveillance is illegal. There was also the Clapper vs. Amnesty International case, which challenged the constitutionality of the underlying FISA law, which authorizes the kind of surveillance that Snowden’s disclosures document. And, according to Mother Jones, there is “an 86-page court opinion that determined that the government had violated the spirit of federal surveillance laws and engaged in unconstitutional spying.” In that latter case, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence actually admits that the NSA has engaged in behavior that is “unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment” and that “circumvented the spirit of the law.”

This is the same banquet Steve Clemons was referring to.
Banqueters and the Spying News Bombshell

No one planned it that way, but the twin blockbuster stories exposing national security agencies’ collection of domestic telephone logs and foreigners’ Web traffic made for some surreal juxtapositions on Friday at the annual banquet of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.

With the current and past directors of national intelligence at the Omni Shoreham to honor former CIA and National Security Agency chief Michael Hayden, the result in speeches and interviews with intel professionals was a gumbo of outrage, worry and humor.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the black-tie crowd of more than 700 he would “address the elephant in the room” and proceeded, to applause, to denounce “the unauthorized leaks as reprehensible and egregious.” Clapper characterized the program as completely legal, debated and reauthorized by Congress under strict oversight and by court order “to make our nation safe and secure.”

He then cracked a few jokes. “Some of you expressed surprise that I showed up—so many emails to read!” Clapper said. Greeting fellow banqueter John Pistole, the administrator of the Transportation Security Administration who recently reversed a planned policy to permit air travelers to carry certain knives on planes, Clapper said, “John, can I borrow your pocket knife?”

Speaking of that Steve Clemons tweet, I don't know what's going on with that.

86 Civil Liberties Groups and Internet Companies Demand an End to NSA Spying

Today, a bipartisan coalition of 86 civil liberties organizations and Internet companies – including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, reddit, Mozilla, FreedomWorks, and the American Civil Liberties Union – are demanding swift action from Congress in light of the recent revelations about unchecked domestic surveillance.

In an open letter to lawmakers sent today, the groups call for a congressional investigatory committee, similar to the Church Committee of the 1970s. The letter also demands legal reforms to rein in domestic spying and demands that public officials responsible for this illegal surveillance are held accountable for their actions.

The letter was accompanied by the launch of, a global petition calling on Congress to provide a public accounting of the United States' domestic spying capabilites and to bring an end to illegal surveillance.


Stop Watching Us.

The revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance apparatus, if true, represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights. We demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA's spying programs.

Crowd-Fund a Court Stenographer for Bradley Manning's Trial

The trial of Bradley Manning will have an enormous impact on press freedom and the rights of future whistleblowers. Help us crowd-fund enough donations so we can hire a court stenographer to take transcripts of the trial. The government refuses to make its transcripts available to the public.

Your donation to this project will be tax-deductible. You can also donate by check.

Blog Posts and Tweets of Interest

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