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  (Source: Reuters)
Sources say leaker has left Hong Kong

Edward Snowden, the man who let loose secrets on U.S. National Security Agency spying, has escaped the grasp of U.S. authorities bearing down on Hong Kong, flying on Sunday from Hong Kong, China to Moscow, Russia.  The flight comes just days after the self-proclaimed "whistleblower" was charged on two counts of espionage.

I. Icy Chinese Let Snowden Flee to Russia

On Friday U.S. authorties released a criminal complaint dated June 14, which formally charged Mr. Snowden with two offenses -- unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person.

Both charges fell under the auspice of the Espionage Act of 1917 (18 U.S.C. § 792).  The use of the Espionage Act is not terribly surprising -- the Obama administration has charged more than twice as many whistleblowers with Espionage Act offenses as all the previous administrations before him (since the Act was passed in 1917) combined.  Both charges carry 10 years in prison, for a maximum sentence (if served consecutively) of twenty years, plus fines.

But the question remains whether the U.S. will be able to catch Mr. Snowden who appears intent -- at least for now -- in avoiding extradition and U.S. charges.

Hong Kong
Hong Kong officials let Mr. Snowden fly to Moscow without detention. [Image Source: Reuters]

U.S. prosecutors failed to serve a provisional arrest warrant in the Chinese nation, according to Chinese officials.  Much to the Obama administration and its Congressional allies' chagrin, a Chinese government spokesperson wrote:

Mr Edward Snowden left Hong Kong today (June 23) on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel.

The US Government earlier on made a request to the HKSAR Government for the issue of a provisional warrant of arrest against Mr Snowden. Since the documents provided by the US Government did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law, the HKSAR Government has requested the US Government to provide additional information so that the Department of Justice could consider whether the US Government's request can meet the relevant legal conditions. As the HKSAR Government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr Snowden from leaving Hong Kong.

In a coincidentally timed editorial by the state-run Xinhua news agency, editor "Mengjie" attacks U.S. spying efforts, writing:

In the past few months, U.S. politicians and media outlets have thrown out Internet spying accusations one after another against China, trying to make it as one of the biggest perpetrators of Internet spying activities.

And those claims were even highlighted during a highly anticipated summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama held earlier this month in California, which had been designed to help the world's two biggest economies to build a new type of major power relations.

All this has seemed to go relatively well until the revelation of the U.S. National Security Agency's PRISM surveillance program.

According to Snowden, the U.S. government has engaged in wide-ranging dubious spying activities not only on its own citizens, but also on governmental, academic and business entities across the world.

After landing in Moscow, Mr. Snowden reportedly was picked up by the Ecuadorian ambassador.

II. Ecuador Confirms Asylum Request

Mr. Snowden has filed an asylum request, which Ecuador is considering, according to Ecuador's foreign minister:  
Currently Ecuador is providing asylum to Wikileaks executive editor Julian Assange, who is holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in Britain.  The country has become a popular destination for foreign whistleblowers, due to its willingness to fight extradition requests.

Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden, NSA whistleblower [Image Source: Reuters]

It is thought that Mr. Snowden might reach to Ecuador by way of Cuba or Venezuela -- states which are hostile to U.S. requests.  However, early reports that he had boarded a plane to Cuba proved false.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney seemed optimistic that the Russians might prove more cooperative than the Chinese regardin extradition.  He's quoted as saying, "We have a strong co-operative relationship with the Russians on law enforcement matters.  We have known where he is and believe we know where he is now."

III. Republicans Attack Each Other Over Snowden Statements

Meanwhile as the mystery regarding Mr. Snowden's whereabouts grows, the leaks are exposing divisions in the Republican party, among those who largely embrace a common agenda with Democratic President Barack Obama, and those who represent a true counterpoint.

Rep. Peter King (R- N.Y.) -- a fiery critic of Mr. Snowden -- on Monday lashed out against colleague Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), commenting, "I think it is important for the American people to realize that this guy is a traitor, a defector, he’s not a hero.  And I heard Senator Rand Paul this morning actually compared Snowden to General Clapper. What’s happened to our country? This is a traitor, and for anyone to be comparing him to a U.S. military hero is absolutely disgraceful."


Also breaking is revelations concerning the Government Accountability Office's (GAO) "Boundless Informant" tool, which tracked NSA internet spying requests.  The tool's statistics, leaked by Mr. Snowden, reveal that the U.S. captured 97 billion pieces of information (including so called "metadata").  While much of this information was harvested in Iran (14 billion) and Pakistan (13.5 billion), a substantial portion (2.9 billion) was captured domestically.

IV. DNI -- Caught in a Lie to Congress?

The 2.9 billion seized messages in the U.S., do not include the data from seized telephone records (which is likely a much larger set).  Reportedly the U.S. is seizing 99 percent of telephone metadata, allowing it to track its citizens' locations on a daily basis and check up on who they're calling.  The information profiled by Boundless Informant includes seized emails and chat logs from "computer networks".

Boundless Informant
Boundless Informant reveals that the NSA has a pretty good idea how much spying is going on, even though it claims it doesn't. [Image Source: Guardian]

The information appears to expose that James Clapper, the director of national intelligence (DNI) lied to Congress.  Questioned by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) who asked, "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"

Director Clapper responds, "No sir."

James Clapper
Director Clapper, seen here with President Obama, appears to have lied to Congress while under oath. [Image Source: AP]

Refusing to produce documents to Congress can lead to contempt of Congress charges (2 USC § 192), which carry a sentence of up to a year in jail, plus up to $1,000 USD in fines.  So far no charges have been raised against Mr. Clapper.

In response to the growing criticism, President Obama seemingly blamed Congress, saying only Congressional oversight can prevent abusive spying.  He comments, "These are the folks you all vote for as your representatives in Congress and they are being fully briefed on these programs."

Obama administration
Obama blames Congress for the spy programs. [Image Modifications: Jason Mick/DailyTech]
 
Ironically, though, members of Congress like Sens. Paul, Wyden, and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) have complained consistently about the NSA not providing them sufficient briefings.  In a letter last year to NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander, Sens. Wyden and Udall wrote, "the intelligence community has stated repeatedly that it is not possible to provide even a rough estimate of how many American communications have been collected under the Fisa Amendments Act, and has even declined to estimate the scale of this collection."

Ironically it appears that the agencies indeed had this information via Boundless Informant, but simply chose to lie to Congress to keep up their charade of ignorance.

Sources: South China Morning Post, Hong Kong [gov], Reuters, Guardian



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Blame and Ignorance
By Reclaimer77 on 6/24/2013 5:48:01 PM , Rating: 4
You gotta love this President. If he can't blame a scandal on someone else, he just claims ignorance. Which leads people to conclude one of two things:

1. He's not a leader and is completely asleep at the wheel

or

2. He's incompetent.

Of course the truth is he has not only been aware of what's going on, but he's been 100% complicit. To think otherwise requires complete suspension of disbelief.

Obama is the man who campaigned against Bush's wiretapping programs and pledged to end them. Now several magnitudes more Americans are being spied on under his Administration with absolutely NO oversight, and his answer is to blame Congress?




RE: Blame and Ignorance
By superstition on 6/24/2013 6:07:32 PM , Rating: 5
People focus far too much on the figurehead and not nearly enough on the system. That's part of the beauty of the system. Divide and conquer with venal simplistic partisanship and then distract them with a monolith.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9woRJ7-mD7Y

If Obama were to become deathly ill tomorrow and Biden were to take over, it would be the same business. If a Republican were to take over again, most of the business would also be the same.

The business of America isn't "business", it's -- like practically all other human cultures -- about maintaining elite privilege.

Bush had his IT guy's "plane crash" and Obama has had a nemesis journalist's "car crash".

That being said, Obama's War on Whistleblowing does fit nicely with the high-technology surveillance/control apparatus being built up as we speak.

quote:
the Obama administration has charged more than twice as many whistleblowers with Espionage Act offenses as all the previous administrations before him

Snowden is narcissistic, or something, right? Ignore the leaked mega surveillance complex that's growing.

quote:
"We have a strong co-operative relationship with the Russians on law enforcement matters. We have known where he is and believe we know where he is now."

Given the gulag Russia is creating for every gay person, just ahead of their hosting of the Olympics, it's not surprising that the US feels their relationship is strong. Gay gulags there. Prison labor here.

http://americablog.com/2013/06/russia-on-verge-of-...
http://americablog.com/2013/06/human-rights-watch-...
https://www.google.com/search?q=rise+prison+labor&...

quote:
Rep. Pete King, who has been a a fiery critic

King is hardly a "fiery critic". He makes shit up, as he did when he tried to hurt Greenwald. If ever the "doth protest too much" meme were applicable... The war on press freedoms is looking pretty ham-handed so far.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp...


RE: Blame and Ignorance
By ritualm on 6/24/2013 6:19:46 PM , Rating: 2
Would you like Obama or Putin as your wingman? Serious question.

http://jokertelevision.com/wp-content/uploads/2012...


RE: Blame and Ignorance
By Kumo77 on 6/29/2013 1:17:40 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, well that is easy, definitely Putin. Obama cannot even shoot skeet properly.

http://www.usnews.com/pubdbimages/image/43586/FE_D...

While I would not want to live in his country because of their recent civil rights violations, there's a lot of misconceptions about Putin. He's not a Commie, he's more of a Moderate or even Conservative.

Geo-politically his opinions of not getting involved in other countries wars and disputes are very similar to the way we were before WWII. He was against going into Iraq and Afghanistan, and he turned out to be right. Both situations were a huge money pit for the US Government and it's Allies and it led to even further destabilization in the region. Saddam may have been an a**hole but he was a stabilizing a**hole. He was doing a fairly good job of keeping the Iranians in check. Fast forward a little over a decade and we see how things turned out. We would have been best off minding our own business in the first place. I'd say it's a good incentive not to get involved in Syria.


RE: Blame and Ignorance
By retrospooty on 6/24/2013 6:08:48 PM , Rating: 4
"1. He's not a leader and is completely asleep at the wheel

or

2. He's incompetent."


Or...

3. He is 100% a politician.
- full of shit? -check
- Blames the other side for everything? -check
- Takes responsibility for nothing? -check
- Spends our money like it grows on trees? -check
- Changes with the popular wind? -check
- Failed to come through on promises ? -check

Sickening at this point... I am disgusted that I actually voted for him in 2008. :(


RE: Blame and Ignorance
By superstition on 6/24/2013 6:18:08 PM , Rating: 4
Voting is just as theatrical as falling for OZ The Great and Powerful's floorshow.

some top "donors" in 2008:

Obama’s:

Goldman Sachs ($1,013,091)
JPMorgan Chase & Co ($808,799)
Citigroup Inc ($736,771)
WilmerHale LLP ($550,668)
Skadden, Arps et al ($543,539)
UBS AG ($532,674), and...
Morgan Stanley ($512,232).

McCain’s:

JPMorgan Chase & Co ($343,505)
Citigroup Inc ($338,202)
Morgan Stanley ($271,902)
Goldman Sachs ($240,295)
UBS AG ($187,493)
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher ($160,346)
Greenberg Traurig LLP ($147,437), and...
Lehman Brothers ($126,557).

Matt Taibbi:

"Obama’s list included all the major banks and bailout recipients, plus a smattering of high-dollar defense lawyers from firms like WilmerHale and Skadden Arps who make their money representing those same banks. McCain’s list included exactly the same banks and a similar list of law firms, the minor difference being that it was Gibson Dunn instead of WilmerHale, etc.

Those numbers tell us that both parties rely upon the same core of major donors among the top law firms, the Wall Street companies, and business leaders – basically, the 1%. The 1% donors are remarkably tolerant. They’ll give to just about anyone who polls well, provided they fall within certain parameters. What they won’t do is give to anyone who is even a remote threat to make significant structural changes.


RE: Blame and Ignorance
By retrospooty on 6/24/2013 6:43:44 PM , Rating: 1
Your preachin to the choir with me. I know both sides are full of shit and are essentially the same. I guess what makes me ill is I actually thought Obama would be different. The only thing he changed was his stance on "change".


RE: Blame and Ignorance
By StevoLincolnite on 6/24/2013 11:57:07 PM , Rating: 2
You should vote for Ron Paul next time around.
Sure he has some *strange ideas* (Like the gold standard)
But at-least he sticks up for the constitution and the people.

Failing that, ship him over here to Australia and we will have him.


RE: Blame and Ignorance
By Omega215D on 6/25/2013 12:57:27 AM , Rating: 3
Ron Paul looks to be getting up there in age so I'd go with Gary Johnson.


RE: Blame and Ignorance
By phxfreddy on 6/25/2013 8:44:05 AM , Rating: 2
Rand Paul or Ru Paul. Any Paul is better than Dear Leader Obamao!


RE: Blame and Ignorance
By BRB29 on 6/25/2013 9:36:49 AM , Rating: 4
Idiots like you are why we have bad leaders.

OMG anything is better than the current. Let's put them in office without actually making sure it's the right decision. Everybody complains and just go for the next quick fix.


RE: Blame and Ignorance
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2013 3:42:12 PM , Rating: 3
Well usually it's not true. But in this case, yes, nearly anyone would be a better President for this country than Obama.


RE: Blame and Ignorance
By BSMonitor on 6/25/2013 4:48:57 PM , Rating: 2
George W Bush

Bubble boy!


RE: Blame and Ignorance
By Reclaimer77 on 6/26/2013 9:57:01 AM , Rating: 2
Even Bush was a better president than Obama thanks for making my point.

Obama aparently thinks Bush was a pretty kickass president, because he hasn't rolled back or changed a single damn thing he's done.


RE: Blame and Ignorance
By BRB29 on 6/26/2013 12:08:32 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, everyone is hating on the government because of the economic meltdown.

Most of our deficit increase was from the Iraqi War that Bush refused to end.

The rest of the deficit came from Bush lowering taxes and increasing government spending.

You can find all this information from official websites to textbooks.

Bush followed Reagan's philosophy of "deficit spending doesn't matter" made famous back in the late 70s(also the same time period Newt Gingrich came to power because of it). Cheney believes the same. Bush promised a smaller government to win election but ended up doing the opposite.

History will repeat itself again and again unless people wise up.


RE: Blame and Ignorance
By KoS on 6/28/2013 5:12:09 PM , Rating: 2
Who controls the purse strings? Who votes for war? Who can defund it at any time? Only Bush?

Ya it was all Bushs fault.

You seemed to leave out all the deficit spending Obama has done. Which if memory serves me right, you can combine all the spending done by previous Congress/Admintrations and it wouldn't match the spending done by the current crew in office.


RE: Blame and Ignorance
By sorry dog on 6/28/2013 10:50:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Most of our deficit increase was from the Iraqi War that Bush refused to end. The rest of the deficit came from Bush lowering taxes and increasing government spending. You can find all this information from official websites to textbooks.


Which "official" websites or textbooks?

I was under the impression that transfer payments make up the vast majority of government spending. It depends on the source but it's basically 2/3rd of government spending, and it's expected to increase even more as boomers start to qualify SS and medicare. Also, the high unemployment rate and put a lot of pressure on SSI disability.
Dont get me wrong...I don't think we got a whole lot for our money in Iraq (not to mention the human cost), but saying the war(s) are the proximate cause for the US budget being upside down is pretty much false.


RE: Blame and Ignorance
By superflex on 6/25/2013 3:46:02 PM , Rating: 2
...and you voted for who in 2008 without a proper vetting?


RE: Blame and Ignorance
By EricMartello on 6/26/2013 4:53:39 AM , Rating: 2
The reason we have leaders who can't lead is a reflection of what people are allowing to happen by burying their heads in the sand and/or participating in groupthink rather than doing any kind of real research on political candidates, the surrounding issues and related materials themselves.

How many times to you hear people say "I don't care about politics" or "They're both bad so I'll just pick the one I think is less bad."

People make ignorant, idiotic statements because the scope of their concern is for themselves. People have grown incredibly selfish and many attempt to live their lives falsely believing they are special flowers destined for greatness, too self important to worry about the state of the nation (and that's just the way DC wants it).

When the amount of dollars raised and spent determines who gets to run for office and essentially who gets to win, you can ascertain that most of the population is going to side with whoever has more compelling TV commercials and speeches. They're more concerned with what to think rather than thinking critically.


RE: Blame and Ignorance
By JediJeb on 6/26/2013 2:22:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How many times to you hear people say "I don't care about politics" or "They're both bad so I'll just pick the one I think is less bad."


The more I talk to younger people and see interviews asking them questions current to politics the more I see those things are accurate. Makes you wonder if the reason they lowered the voting age years ago was to capture just that set of votes, the ones that will go along with what the popular media says is good.

Maybe what we should do is raise the minimum voting age to 40 and lower the maximum age allowed for an elected official to run to 40. That way we would have older wiser people voting for younger more open minded leaders.


RE: Blame and Ignorance
By BSMonitor on 6/25/2013 10:09:59 AM , Rating: 2
It doesn't matter whether he is different or not. He was elected by the Democratic party and nothing can inhibit the next round of elections. Certain "change" risks too much for the next Congressional or Presidential election and at ALL COST they must stay in the White House/Congress.

Both parties primary function is to achieve and maintain a majority for their guys...


RE: Blame and Ignorance
By dgingerich on 6/24/2013 6:11:39 PM , Rating: 2
You forget possibility 3: he knows all about what's going on and uses that knowledge to consolidate his power, then claims ignorance or blames others when the people find out about it.

Simply put, he's a wannabe king. He's just like Hugo Chavez in that respect, and is following his plan for gaining power, and is becoming nearly as successful at it. President Obama is NOT to be trusted! He's a liar and a power monger. All he wants is a kingdom. Our rights and protections are not in his interest.


RE: Blame and Ignorance
By BSMonitor on 6/25/13, Rating: -1
RE: Blame and Ignorance
By DockScience on 6/25/2013 7:19:37 PM , Rating: 2
With this administration, you really don't have to choose between corruption, incompetence, inattention, ignorance, idiocy, or ideology.

In THE Chicago Way, all these are simultaneously possible.


Pain
By Ammohunt on 6/24/2013 9:13:04 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
"These are the folks you all vote for as your representatives in Congress and they are being fully briefed on these programs."


As much as it pains me to agree with the President...he is right. All the Faux outrage about this program from congress is nauseating.




RE: Pain
By ritualm on 6/24/2013 10:54:38 PM , Rating: 2
You can disagree with Obama - all he needs to do is authorize sending the Secret Service on you and letting the American (in)justice system imprison you indefinately without being read your Miranda's Rights.

You are delusional.


RE: Pain
By BSMonitor on 6/25/2013 10:16:19 AM , Rating: 1
Pot, Kettle.. Kettle, Pot

Right, number of Americans imprisoned by this "spying"....

Wait for it...

ZERO


RE: Pain
By Cerin218 on 6/25/2013 6:20:38 PM , Rating: 2
By the time the conspiracy theorists and crack pots are proven right, it will be too late. All because the sheep weren't possessed of enough intelligence to question the slaughter house being erected before they were put in to.

When Hitler started his ethnic cleansing, the first Jews to be put in the gas chamber boarded the trains willingly because they trusted that their government was relocating them for their safety.

There are none so blind as those that willingly choose not to see.


RE: Pain
By BRB29 on 6/25/2013 10:42:39 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
You can disagree with Obama - all he needs to do is authorize sending the Secret Service on you and letting the American (in)justice system imprison you indefinately without being read your Miranda's Rights.


There should be at least 100 million citizens in prison then. You should be in prison then. I guess wifi is in prison now so you are posting from there.

quote:
the American (in)justice system imprison you indefinately without being read your Miranda's Rights.

knowing a few people that got off a charge due to not being read Miranda's rights in both military court and civilian courts, I don't think you're anywhere near correct. You can probably search for ton of cases dismissed because the officer forgot to read their Miranda's rights.

quote:
You are delusional.

lol coming from the guy that thinks Obama is imprisoning everyone against him. Yet you are against him but still free as a bird.


RE: Pain
By Cerin218 on 6/25/2013 6:24:38 PM , Rating: 1
So because it hasn't happened is proof that it isn't possible and can never be?


RE: Pain
By Reclaimer77 on 6/26/2013 2:47:02 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah that's crazy, what a looney!

Next he'll be saying Obama used the IRS to intimidate and harass Conservative groups who disagreed with his policies and agenda!

Oh..wait


RE: Pain
By Ammohunt on 6/25/2013 2:11:03 PM , Rating: 2
I know someone that got paid a visit by the secret service and he brought it on himself and frankly i was glad to see that they follow up to assess the nuts in our society. The only thing i didn't like about that visit was the on the spot suspension of this persons due process rights; executive branch gone wild!


RE: Pain
By BRB29 on 6/25/2013 2:26:59 PM , Rating: 2
how is visits intruding any rights? or do you mean arrest without warrant?

You mean Congress went wild creating all these laws and regulations?


RE: Pain
By Spuke on 6/25/2013 3:47:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
how is visits intruding any rights? or do you mean arrest without warrant?
X2 How was his rights intruded on by a visit exactly?


RE: Pain
By M'n'M on 6/26/2013 12:24:26 AM , Rating: 2
Until AH replies ... let me offer up 1 potential for abuse this allows.

So the NSA flags you, by virtue of your phone calls to a "bad" country and your visits to a "bad" website as a potential terrorist. The FBI visits you and you explain that as refugees from that war torn province, you still call home and visit the enemies websites so as to refute the crap you hear from people back at home. The FBI, because they have no evidence you about to commit a crime, does not arrest you. But because they are under pressure from the Boston bombings, put you on the "watch list". From this how hard is it for you to get on the "no fly" list ? Who knows but one thing is sure, once on that list you'll be spending a lot of $$$ trying to get off of it. And depending on the political climate of the time ... probably not successfully.

Does this sound fair to you ?

Here's my issue with the spying done. It's a dragnet, and who knows how many innocent fish are going to get swept up in it. The administrations of GWB and Obama are most likely trying to stop terrorism with this. But what will administrations 20 or 30 years down the road do with this power ? What will the precedent of searching w/no reasonable suspicion of wrong doing become ? You only have to look at history to get some idea of what will happen.

A small example ... the city of INDIANAPOLIS decided that since DUI stops (a search w/o such suspicion) were deemed legal, that such stops would be expanded to search cars entering/exiting from certain bad neighborhoods. It tooks years and another SCOTUS ruling (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?c... to rule that Indy was wrong. If you read the ruling you'll soon get the idea that the ruling was somewhat "malleable". That DUI stops were a violation of your 4'th Amendment rights wasn't contested (even in the Sitz ruling), but that it was OK when it came to drunk drivers. It wasn't OK when it came to getting drug dealers (or other "ordinary" criminals) off the streets. Why ? Read the opinions of the Court.

The wording ...
We have also upheld brief, suspicionless seizures of motorists at a fixed Border Patrol checkpoint designed to intercept illegal aliens, Martinez-Fuerte, supra, and at a sobriety checkpoint aimed at removing drunk drivers from the road, Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz, 496 U. S. 444 (1990). In addition, in Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U. S. 648, 663 (1979), we suggested that a similar type of roadblock with the purpose of verifying drivers' licenses and vehicle registrations would be permissible. In none of these cases, however, did we indicate approval of a checkpoint program whose primary purpose was to detect evidence of ordinary criminal wrongdoing.

If you don't think that what the NSA is presently doing won't be expanded (short of some future SCOTUS ruling, which might be somewhat difficult since the details will be classified) and eventually abused (look at how NSL's have been found to be abused now) ... then I don't know how to scale the degree of your naivety.


RE: Pain
By Ammohunt on 6/26/2013 8:02:49 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with that analogy is that it applies to any and all people that have power over others. Why doesn't the locksmith cut a key open up the door door to your house or car and rob you blind? The mere possession of powers over others does not constitute a crime or imply that a crime will be committed. That's failed logic.


RE: Pain
By Ammohunt on 6/26/2013 7:55:44 PM , Rating: 2
The individual was informed on the spot before any conversation happened that "Due process does not apply"


By superstition on 6/24/2013 5:53:27 PM , Rating: 5
Secret courts are not courts of law.




By maugrimtr on 6/25/2013 9:55:02 AM , Rating: 3
Isn't that the point? FISA is a secret non-public court granted the ability to erect secret case law.

You can't appeal or challenge case law and rulings that are secret.

Anyone who actually considers these "courts" are morons. It exists solely for the purpose of achieving the illusion of legitimacy. It's a review panel that approves 99% or more of all requests.

You'll have to find your checks and balances elsewhere. Like Congress which couldn't even get basic numbers, or higher courts which can't be applied to since the information needed is classified under federal law.


By BRB29 on 6/25/2013 10:32:53 AM , Rating: 2
FISA is an Act.
FISC is the Court.

It does have a judge and issue warrants.

Since 1979, it has only issued about 34k warrants.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Foreign...

Yes it has a 99+% approval rates. Why does that matter? Investigators know what the requirements are before they submit a request. I would say that if the approval rates are low then it means we have incompetent employees. You can argue both sides but I'm just saying working under clearance is not easy. If you don't check your work and do it right the first time, you are asking for a lot of legal problems because a lot of other people will check your work. The problem with working under clearance is if you screw up, your career is over when you lose your clearance. It doesn't take much to lose it either. You usually live a very boring life but get paid well.

Anyone can easily get a Top Secret Clearance. Just get a job in the government or government contractors.


By BSMonitor on 6/25/2013 10:14:24 AM , Rating: 2
If its so secret, why does every know what it is??


By BRB29 on 6/25/2013 10:34:51 AM , Rating: 2
superstition and a woman's intuition


By Spuke on 6/25/2013 3:31:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If its so secret, why does every know what it is??
VERY few organizations are entirely secret. Classified doesn't mean off the radar, it means access is restricted. The higher the level of restriction, the less people in the know but someone ALWAYS knows and someone is ALWAYS watching. Because the general public can't directly monitor what's going on, there's even more rules and regulations governing what happens outside the public eye. It is extremely difficult to do something illegal or even immoral or unethical because of high standards and expectations nevermind laws and regulations. Like BRB said, most anyone here can get a clearance even to the most sensitive stuff. You'd be surprised just how ethical and law abiding the average US citizen is that's applies for these positions requiring clearances.


By Adonlude on 6/25/2013 4:06:54 PM , Rating: 2
Information classification was mean to protect our intel from falling into enemy hands. Unfortunately in this day and age information is classified more often to keep the American public from knowing about it.


By superstition on 6/27/2013 4:30:26 PM , Rating: 2
Overclassification has been a problem from the beginning, though. Corruption needs darkness.


1984
By DrApop on 6/25/2013 10:57:37 AM , Rating: 3
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

George Orwell

We, the American people, should NOT focus on Snowden...congress can do that if they want. We, the American people, should focus on congress and the administration and their KGB style surveillance tactics against the American people.

Today they may be looking for "terrorist and terrorist activities" but tomorrow they may be looking at the guns you buy, the books you read, the organizations you belong to, the food you buy, the political party you affiliate with. They will have all the data....they can look at anything they want and label it a national security.

Let others focus on the so called spy, Snowden. But he American PEOPLE need to focus on who is spying on us.




By ritualm on 6/24/2013 6:00:37 PM , Rating: 2
As if you need any more reasons not to enrage your detractors to the point such that they utterly hate you to death, this is it.

Everyone in the Obama Administration is an hypocrite. They want every other nations to adhere to the rule of law, when they themselves will not do the same. Now they're whining how Sino-US relations are under attack because China refused to play ball re: extradition request of Snowden.




The Con Law "Professor" gets a F
By TheGAGLine on 6/25/2013 12:24:28 AM , Rating: 2
The Chief Executive Officer who presides over the NSA which is part of the Executive Brach, blames the Legislative Branch for spying. Separation of powers be damned. The constitutional law "professor" gets a F




Accuracy
By croc on 6/25/2013 2:07:34 AM , Rating: 2
"Both charges fell under the auspice of the Espionage Act of 1917 (18 U.S.C. § 792). The use of the Espionage Act is not terribly surprising -- the Obama administration has charged more than twice as many whistleblowers with Espionage Act offenses as all the previous administrations before him (since the Act was passed in 1917) combined."

Please explain.




By DT_Reader on 6/25/2013 1:11:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Refusing to produce documents to Congress can lead to contempt of Congress charges (2 USC § 192), which carry a sentence of up to a year in jail, plus up to $1,000 USD in fines. So far no charges have been raised against Mr. Clapper.
And they never will. The tobacco industry CEOs all sat in a row before Congress and lied. Just a few months later the proof of their lies came out, leading to one of the largest cash settlements in history, and not one of those liars was charged with contempt of Congress. Why? Because their campaign contributions showed they didn't hold Congress in contempt, on the contrary they hold Congress in high regard. Similarly, Clapper's secret files prove he holds Congress in high regard, too, just like J. Edgar Hoover did.




The end
By Vonrikken on 6/25/2013 2:51:08 PM , Rating: 2
Not excusing The current government in anyway, but I want to point out that the loss privacy and personal freedom in the US started with the bush administration and is an indication of how corrupt the US government is in general. I won't hesitate to call snowden a hero of the people's rights, and poo poo the US government for being so upset at getting caught with their pants around their ankles whilst theypenetrate the buttocks of the publics freedom. Because they think its in their countries interest they think they can justifying turning into the worlds nazi big brother? I think the bell tolls on US leading the world in rights and freedom among other things...




The Limbaugh Theorem
By Arsynic on 6/25/2013 3:01:01 PM , Rating: 2
Obama's running a perpetual campaign always an outsider always fighting for us. Anything bad that happens isn't his fault and anything good that happens is because of him.

If we had a free press, the Limbaugh Theorem wouldn't be possible. But when a journalists career is tied to access to the White House, they can be easily manipulated.




paperwork
By ianweck on 6/25/2013 5:17:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The US Government earlier on made a request to the HKSAR Government for the issue of a provisional warrant of arrest against Mr Snowden. Since the documents provided by the US Government did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law, the HKSAR Government has requested the US Government to provide additional information so that the Department of Justice could consider whether the US Government's request can meet the relevant legal conditions. As the HKSAR Government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr Snowden from leaving Hong Kong.


I find this bit hilarious. HK officials jerk Washington around about the proper paperwork, requesting more of it. Sounds like what the IRS did to some of those conservative groups and their tax exempt status.
Sucks to be jerked around doesn't it, Washington?




Obama didn't blame anyone
By jdietz on 6/27/2013 10:43:34 AM , Rating: 2
He simply said Congress knew about the programs. He might be implying Congress agrees with the programs through their own inaction. Obama is right, Congress could have stopped the programs. They simply chose not to.

No one is being blamed here. He's just stating facts. More questionable is Obama's opinion is that the right balance between privacy and security is being struck with the programs.




From 2Pac to Hitler
By intelcpu on 6/25/13, Rating: -1
"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive














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