IF FRONTLINE IS TO BE BELIEVED THE GOVERNMENT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR A MASSIVE COVERUP OF UNCONSTITUTIONAL SPYING BY NSA AND THE UNLAWFUL PERSECUTION OF PATRIOTS.

If Frontline is to be believed the Government is responsible for a massive cover up of unconstitutional spying by NSA and the unlawful persecution of patriots.

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SNOWDEN, ELLSBERG AND MANNING COMPARED. THE DILEMNA: WHAT TO DO ABOUT PEOPLE OF CONSCIENCE THAT EXPOSE GOVERNMENT SECRET ILLEGALITIES?

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What makes Edward Snowden’s case different from Daniel Ellsberg’s case.  They both worked for the U.S. Government in some capacity. Snowden for the NSA by way of Booz, Allen and Hamilton, Ellsberg as  Marine Corps Officer, Rand employee and Pentagon Assistant to Secretary McNamara. Both worked in intelligence, Snowden as a Data Systems Manager, Ellsberg as intelligence analyst at Rand and in the Pentagon.  They both released voluminous amounts of material: Ellsberg the “Pentagon Papers” which  revealed that the government knew that the Viet Nam war could not be won, yet we were drafting men  and sending them  to their deaths or injuries in a lost cause.(See the movie Born On The  Fourth of July about Ron Kovic who was made a  near quadriplegic at age 18 in Viet Nam.)

Snowden revealed the extent of NSA surveillance of innocent people in the United States and abroad for no purpose except to create a huge data base on every one for possible future use such as the PRISM program and much more including  the  copying and storing of personal Yahoo messaging videos for instance by the British.

Ellsberg has a PhD from Harvard, Edward Snowden had a GED and some college credits, both appeared to be methodical in their methods in regard to the type of materials leaked and the purpose of the leak. Ellsworth stood trial but the case was dismissed for government misconduct. The Watergate plumbers burglarized his psychiatrist’s office among other things. The Ellsberg leak was in the 1970’s almost forty years ago.

In the case of Chelsea ( b. Bradley)  Manning she like Snowden had an education limited to a few college courses. She had a troubled family life and after enlistment in the Army at age 19 had a troubled existence in the Army. At her trial witnesses in her behalf said her mother drank during pregnancy and her lawyer proposed that Manning showed evidence of fetal alcohol syndrome. Whatever her personal circumstances she was morally outraged at some of the documents and videos that she was exposed to as an intelligence technician in Iraq. In particular was a now famous Apache helicopter attack on a group of unarmed civilians on an Iraqi street corner. By some unknown conduit she released the video and about 750,000 combat reports and diplomatic cables to Wiki leaks. These were published in the Guardian, The N.Y. Times and other leading newspapers much like Snowden’s and Ellsberg’s leak.

Of the three none was motivated by money or under the control of a foreign power but moved by the callous deception of the public by the U.S. Government in their conduct of a war. Ellsberg the Viet Nam War, Snowden The War On Terrorism, Manning the War on Terrorism and the Iraq War. Manning was convicted and is in an Army Prison sentenced to 35 years but experts say he will not serve the whole sentence. Ellsberg has been an advocate for government transparency since the criminal case against him was dismissed; Snowden has been indicted but is out of reach of the U.S. Government as he is exiled in Moscow where he has the benefit of a lawyer connected to the Russian FSB (Like our CIA). He says he will return if he is guaranteed a jury trial. Attorney General Holder will not negotiate with him. Normally persons who divulge state secrets don’t get an open jury trial but a secret trial before a judge or  a panel.

Ellsberg tried to have Senators release the papers and when this failed he  went public on his own. Snowden was aware of the fate of prior whistle blowers who went through the official procedures. These people usually lost their jobs and were ostracized, some  were even prosecuted. Manning seems to have gone directly to Wiki leaks through an intermediary without seeking other legal means of disclosure. If she did it probably wouldn’t have worked anyway. Her leak seems to be more a personal cry for help although triggered by what she saw in the videos and documents. Ellsberg and Snowden appear to have made a calculated decision to go public no matter what the consequences on moral and intellectual grounds.

At the present time Snowden has more  public support for his actions than the Government has for its position  and he would almost surely win a jury trial if it is granted. However A.G. Holder has followed a strict application of the law and refuses to guarantee him one. Thus he has  continued to be  exiled in Moscow.

The solution is to prosecute persons and policy makers in the Government who deliberately violate the public trust or the Constitutional and legal principles of our government. Then there will not be any secrets for whistleblowers to expose.

Also it is necessary to have a separate agency to handle whistleblowers outside and independent  of the agencies that the whistleblowers are reporting on. One that will protect the whistleblowers not punish them. Then the whistleblower laws will have credence.

As for Snowden give him his public jury trial. The secrets are out anyway and let a jury decide if he was right or wrong. This is much better than having him in Russia with an FSB lawyer for counsel.

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EDWARD SNOWDEN’S OPEN LETTER TO BRAZIL

December 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: asylum, Brazil, EDWARD SNOWDEN, leaks, NSA, power, terrorism 

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 They’re about power… Not prevention of terrorism.

 

Snowden reveals his belief of the real purpose of NSA spying in an open letter to the people of  Brazil published in the Brazilian newspaper Folia de Sao Paulo                       

 Saying: ” There is a huge difference between legal programs , legitimate spying , legitimate law enforcement- where individuals are targeted on a reasonable individualized suspicion- and these programs of dragnet mass surveillance that put entire populations behind an all seeing eye and save copies for ever. These programs were never about terrorism: They’re about economic spying , social control and diplomatic manipulation. They’re about power.”

Snowden’s insight into the nature of the NSA program and other government programs that it was basically control of whole populations of people rather than to locate terrorists is correct. How many terrorists did they expect to locate in the president of Brazil’s Dilma Rouseff’s personal calls or Angela Merkal, Chancellor of Germany’s personal calls or the personal calls of millions of ordinary people scooped up en mass.

NSA programs were allegedly different for foreigners than for American people where only “meta data” was collected. However there is evidence that not only meta data was being collected in the United States but every electronic communication as well with the justification we only look at substance after we have suspicions that the creator has committed a crime.

This is an enormous power far beyond necessary policing power or the power allegedly necessary to combat terrorists and apparently ineffectual in that regard. We knew nothing about the plans of Boston bombers before hand or the Times Square bomber in advance.

We  once had a Federal bureau of Investigation head,  J. Edgar Hoover, who collected files on politicians and other people he wished to control for almost  forty years. This helped to maintain his powerful position in Washington until he died long past his effectiveness as  the leader of the  FBI. This megalomaniac let  criminal organizations like the Mafia flower on his watch  while puffing up his crime fighting statistics by adding to the total every minor crime. Taking a stolen or reportedly stolen car over state lines was a big item. He became a master of his own self importance while investigating ordinary citizens and politicians in order to intimidate them for his own power rather than for the safety of the public.

You say this information the NSA seek  could not be used to control people and enhance their own power but as said above  it has already been done by Hoover.

The Framers of the Constitution were escaping oppressive British rule and control of their lives. That is why we have separation of powers in our own government and Fourth Amendment guarantees against illegal searches and seizures among other things.

Yet when so much power and control is centralized in a few agencies of government the opportunities for abuse of that power are great.  The FISA  oversight court and the congressional committees charged with protecting the values of the Constitution are willing to look with a blind eye or willing to bend basic principles based on the testimony of the mangers of the very agencies they are supposed to supervise and control in the interest of the public. These agencies may not always divulge the true nature and scope of their activities. Witness National Intelligence Director James Clapper’s misleading testimony before Congress on the nature of data collected.

Richard J. Leon A Federal District Court Judge  In Washinton D.C.  has already ruled that collection of meta data on all electronic communications is in violation of the Fourth Amendment saying “ I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval” Also he noted that the alleged threat that the government said justified the program was never proved.  Usually the Government demands, due to national security, that the proceeding be in- camera, which means that whatever information they give the judge is not disclosed to the other side or the public and goes unrebutted just as their  testimony before Congress justifying their programs is in secret session unknown to the majority of legislators or the public.

The system that now exists is can easily abused by a government more intent on perpetuating itself in the guise of protecting the public against some external threat. North Korea is doing that now, the Soviet Union did  for most of the Twentieth Century and Snowden rightly perceived that is the direction this country is headed for now. As Lord Acton observed: Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

What we see now is that the agencies collecting the data are the ones presenting their justification before select courts in secret and to select members of Congress in secret.  In other words the agencies are in control and not the public or their their appointed judges and representatives. This is a recipe for a dictatorship or an oligarchy if that is not the case already. In any event the machinery for such a political coup establishing a police state like East Germany’s during the Cold War  is already in place

The people who have tried to disseminate what was going on before Snowden have lost their jobs, been imprisoned and disparaged as traitors.

Snowden, being rational, took the only course possible since the Executive, the FISA Court and Congress was nonresponsive. He lost his job, is now called a traitor and forced into exile while responsible managers of the agencies disassemble before  Congress and the public saying the external treat is so great that their activities must be condoned. It is always some amorphous external threat, usually greatly exaggerated, which is used as the justification of the suspension of civil liberties and the imposition of a police state.

 

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JUST IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING IF BY SOME COINCIDENCE OR RANDOM OCCURRENCE IF YOU ARE BEING SURVEILLED IN DEPTH CHANCES ARE YOU ARE ACCORDING TO THIS ARTICLE BY SEAN GALLAGHER: You may already be a winner in NSA’s “three-degrees” surveillance sweepstakes!

  1. NSA SURVEILLANCE SCOOPS UP THE INNOCENT AS WELL AS “PERSONS WHO MAY BE OF INTEREST” 

PROTEST IN BERLIN OVER DATA MINING 2013

JUST IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING IF BY SOME COINCIDENCE OR RANDOM OCCURRENCE  IF YOU ARE BEING SURVEILLED IN DEPTH CHANCES ARE YOU ARE  ACCORDING TO THIS ARTICLE BY SEAN GALLAGHER: You may already be a winner in NSA’s “three-degrees” surveillance sweepstakes!

“When the first revelations about the National Security Agency’s (NSA) widespread collection of phone call metadata and Internet traffic began to surface, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham noted that for those not talking to terrorists on the phone, “We don’t have anything to worry about. I’m glad that activity is going on, but it is limited to tracking people who are suspected to be terrorists and who they may be talking to.”

Turns out the data collection is not so limited. In testimony yesterday before the House Judiciary Committee, National Security Agency Deputy Director Chris Inglis said that the NSA’s probing of data in search of terrorist activity extended “two to three hops” away from suspected terrorists. Previously, NSA leaders had said surveillance was limited to only two “hops” from a suspect.” This according to the Sean Gallagher article above.

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NOT TO WORRY IF YOU LOSE ELECTRONIC DATA: SOUTH UTAH NSA DATA CENTER CAPABLE OF HOLDING 500 QUINTILLION (500,000,000,000,000,000,000) PAGES OF TEXT

SOUTH UTAH NSA DATA COLLECTION CENTER<IN/ HOME OF LOVEINT

MORE AND MORE JAMES CLAPPER’S AND KEITH ALEXANDER’S EXPLANATIONS OF THE AMOUNT OF DATA COLLECTED AND STORED SOUND LIKE THE IRANIAN EXPLANATION OF WHY THEY NEED MORE AND MORE CENTRIFUGES.

MAUREEN DOWD N.Y. COLUMNIST ON NSA’S COLLECTION PRACTICES
NSA’S CREEPING CLOUD OF SURVEILLANCE OR NSA’S CROWD OF CREEPS
“I believe it is in the nation’s best interest to put all the phone records into a lockbox that we could search when the nation needs to do it, yes,” Alexander said.

Yet, news broke this past week that the N.S.A. inspector general admitted that there have been a dozen instances of staffers spying on love interests. (The Wall Street Journal said this practice is known as “LOVEINT,” for love intelligence.)

JUST IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING IF BY SOME COINCIDENCE OR RANDOM OCCURRENCE  IF YOU ARE BEING SURVEILLED IN DEPTH CHANCES ARE YOU ARE  ACCORDING TO THIS ARTICLE BY SEAN GALLAGHER: You may already be a winner in NSA’s “three-degrees” surveillance sweepstakes!

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EDWARD SNOWDEN AND BRADLEY MANNING: LEAKERS OR WHISTLEBLOWERS? IDEALISTS OR FANATICS? CRIMINALS OR SCAPEGOATS?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DO SNOWDEN AND MANNING BELONG IN THE SAME CATEGORY? SNOWDEN HAD A THOUGHTFUL PLAN OF LEAKING DOCUMENTS TO  INFORM THE PUBLIC.  MANNING’S ACTS APPEAR TO BE AN EMOTIONAL REACTION TO THE CARNAGE AND CYNICISM  OF THE GOVERNMENT IN ITS COMBAT REPORTS, VIDEOS AND DIPLOMATIC CABLES BECAUSE OF HIS CONFUSION AND IMMATURITY.

One has to wonder the impact of the video of the Apache Attack Helicopter attack and the death of the
http://youtu.be/25EWUUBjPMo   and the death of the men in a Bagdad street had on 22 year old Bradley Manning when he first saw the  gunship attack on unknown men dressed in mufti on a street via copies of the gunships video cameras which were in a classified file he had accessed.

The attack allegedly occurred when the crew of the helicopter was called in by ground troops because there was insurgent unrest in the area and troops had been fired on.  The crew thought the men were armed. It turned out it was Reuter’s newsmen with cameras with large lenses. Apparently another two of the eight or nine in the group allegedly were armed with an AK-47 and maybe an RPG launcher but they were not firing or holding the weapons in any confrontational manner.

The men were fired on and wounded or killed. A passerby in a van who stopped in a humanitarian attempt to help the wounded and dying was also attacked. There were two children ages 6 and 9 in this vehicle who were also injured. The attack helicopter circled around after the initial attack killing anyone who was wounded but appeared to be alive.  Usually the Geneva Conventions does not condone the killing of unarmed wounded men.

Bradley who was 5’2, 105 lbs and homosexual with gender identity problems was accepted into the Army’s 101st Mountain Division in 208 in 2008 and after training  deployed to Iraq as an intelligence specialist.

There he had access to the Apache Attack Helicopter videos, combat reports and diplomatic cables.  Approximately  700,000 items in all were copied by him. He managed to download this material on to a thumb drive and later to smuggle the material on a camera digital card out of his camp. At some point in late 2010 he gave the materials unredacted to Julian Assange of Wiki Leaks. Exactly where, when or how this transfer was made is unknown and the rest is history.

Now he has been tried and awaits sentencing. He previously pled guilty to 10 of the lesser charges against him in exchange of a sentence of 16 years. He was acquitted of the charge of aiding the enemy which could have carried a life sentence without parole. However the Judge who presided over the trial, Col. Denise Lind, found Manning guilty of 17 of the 22 charges in their entirety which included five counts of espionage and theft. His sentencing hearing is in progress

Edward Snowden, born June 21, 1983, was enraged enough to act when as  a computer infrastructure analyst expert for the NSA, CIA and later as an independent contractor with Booz Allen Hamilton a giant government contractor he determined that the NSA was not only collecting telephone call  meta data (time, numbers locations etc.) inside and outside  the United States but also capturing and storing the substance of the calls as well as all computer online activity including e-mails , web browsing and other activities.

Both men felt compelled to download and leak the data. Manning, to Wiki Leaks who shared it with the Guardian, N.Y. Times and the Washington Post in the United States and the equivalent foreign newspapers in Germany and Spain.

Snowden leaked to the Guardian which is slowly releasing the information he gave them on government spying activities.

Both men believed the government was engaged in illegal activities and concealing them from the public.

They saw themselves as whistleblowers although they did not avail themselves of The Whistleblower Statute and its procedures, perhaps because others had done so ineffectually and to their detriment.

Both men come from middleclass families whose fathers were careerists in the military. Manning’s father was an enlisted man in intelligence in the Navy and Snowden’s father was a career Coast Guard officer.

Both were computer literate neither was well educated formally.

Neither man acted for mercenary reasons but with great sacrifice to themselves. Manning probably will be subject to a long prison term. Snowden is in self exile in Russia right now.  A place without a clear definition or protection  of privacy rights.

Interestingly enough while the Justice Department and the Army has doggedly pursued these men on criminal violations no criminal charges has been brought against the actors on the government side.

For Example on March 12, 2013 before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence James Clapper, Director Of National Intelligence, said this about surveillance while under oath testifying to the Senate:

(Senator) Wyden asked Director Clapper, “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”

Response: “No, sir.”

Wyden asked “It does not.” and Clapper said “Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect, but not wittingly.”

Another is the Apache helicopter incident when the wounded, unarmed man is machine-gunned to death while trying to crawl to safety, probably a war crime.

There seems to be a double standard in operation here. Leakers are punished severely probably as a warning to others while on the government side wrong doing even to the extent of killing a wounded unarmed man or a massive invasion of the public’s Fourth Amendment rights is overlooked or excused away as fog of war occurrences or necessary for protection against terrorism.

SNOWDEN POST SCRIPT

Today, August 8, 2013, on  the Washington Post’s Wonkblog  in a post by Ezra Klein, Edward Snowden was called a “patriot” in small case because of the measures President Obama said he was taking in regard to safeguarding American’s privacy which were a direct response to Snowden’s disclosures.

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