Skip to main content

Today President Obama will issue an executive order, ostensibly to help crack down on human rights atrocities in other countries--

by conducting surveillance, blocking access to the Internet or tracking the movements of opposition figures.
If this is the true, and only reason, that would be laudable.  But the ulterior purposes to which secret domestic spying has been put belie the real reason: worldwide control of information.

If you think this is mere hyperbole, listen to my client, former NSA Senior Analyst Bill Binney, on DEMOCRACY NOW! this past Friday. (He was the technical director of NSA's World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group, so he knows a thing or two about surveillance.) He discusses the NSA's massive power to spy on Americans, why the FBI raided his home after he became a whistleblower, and how the government made him the target of a federal criminal investigation.

Is America tracking Julian Assange because he's an authoritarian dictator guilty of human rights abuses? No, it's because we don't like him.

Watch Binney's Democracy Now! Interview:

Of course all controversial government actions are going to be shrouded in good intentions. WaPo reports:

The new steps are designed primarily to target companies explicitly aiding authoritarian governments with new technology that assists in civilian repression.
It sounds noble and seductive in theory.

But America's electronic targeting of its own people--for example, New York Times reporter Jim Risen--betrays the true purpose of this initiative, or at a minimum, a real danger that is already being realized.

Binney was a key source for investigative journalist James Bamford’s recent exposé in WIRED Magazine about how the NSA is quietly building the largest spy center in the country in Bluffdale, Utah. The Utah spy center will contain near-bottomless databases to store all forms of communication collected by the agency, including private emails, cell phone calls, Google searches and other personal data of wholly innocent Americans.

Since retiring from the NSA in 2001, he has warned that the NSA’s datamining program has become so vast that it could

create an Orwellian state.
I would submit that it already has.

And now we're openly going to help other countries do so in order to stop human rights abuses. I hope that's true.  But if America is any example, it's not.  We continue to perpetrate human rights abuses--from indefinite preventive detention, to targeted assassination of Americans, to drone killings of innocents--while cracking down on whistleblowers like my NSA clients, Thomas Drake and Bill Binney, who were both targeted (and Drake unsuccessfully prosecuted) as part of the massive, years-long, multi-million dollar investigation into--not why the NSA was using warrantless wiretaps on Americans--but into who leaked the story to the New York Times.

Side note: later today, I'll be discussing whistleblowing on the The Kojo Nnamdi Show on NPR.

Originally posted to Jesselyn Radack on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 04:53 AM PDT.

Also republished by Whistleblowers Round Table.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Obama's unsuccessful prosecutions... (0+ / 0-)

    ... also make it less likely that some future Republican administration will find it worthwhile to conduct further prosecutions that are also likely to fail.  

    Whether that was Obama's intent, he will never say.

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 05:28:47 AM PDT

  •  animal farm (12+ / 0-)

    that was a memorable story.


    What's the updated story line?


    When Big Brother becomes a fact of life,

    How will life change?


    How has it already?

    Is each of our lives, to become an open book

    -- the good and the bad, and the private?


    Who will run the star chambers, that run our lives?


    inquiring minds want to know.


    PS. many thanks for the report(s) JR.  Knowledge used to be power.


    What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
    -- Maslow ...... my list.

    by jamess on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 06:26:39 AM PDT

  •  Binney is a patriot. (9+ / 0-)

    Anyone who stands up against the NSA to call out the agency's wrongdoing should be applauded. It's difficult for these individuals to take a stand against the intelligence industrial complex – just ask Binney or Tom Drake!

    •  They risk spending rest of their lives in jail. (11+ / 0-)

      So for taking that big of a risk, why aren't we listening?

      Why aren't we more alarmed?

      My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

      by Jesselyn Radack on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 06:55:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why aren't we more alarmed ? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deep Harm, shaharazade, CIndyCasella

        People can't imagine it is happening, they don't believe it, like people didn't want to believe that the holocaust under Hitler really was happening. They don't want to face it as a reality.

        And they feel that they are already so caught up in the network technology and can't function in society anymore without it. They wouldn't even know how to live without it.

        Bill Binney is talking at TC 39:12 today about his own emotional hell he went through after the FBI raided his house and arrested him at gun point.

        What is most disturbing to me is that it seems very likely that for the Obama administration and Congress, if they actually want to control NSA procedures or not set aside, it is not possible to control what is happening inside NSA and CIA. Because other than the ones, who understand in detail the technology they use inside there, all others are dependent on the iinformation they get presented by NSA. They can tell you everything and nobody in Congress or the Obama adminsitration will be able to know if what they presented with is what is actually happening.

        I wonder, why this technology is not seen as self-destructing the democracy.

        •  Congress won't do any meaningful oversight (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mimi, aliasalias, shaharazade

          over the intel agencies.  Congress is complicit in it, as the intel committees knew about the warrantless wiretapping--in part because Bill Binney and Tom Drake told them in no uncertain terms.

          My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

          by Jesselyn Radack on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:45:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I understand, but the question I have, (0+ / 0-)

            if they even could do meaningful oversight, if they wanted to. (doesn't seem they want to, but just in case they do want to exercise oversight)

            You have to have the technical knowledge of a Bill Binney and the ability to access the facilities and equipment on which the technology is used, to be sure that the measurements Congress could implement is really processed in the way they were intended.

            Nobody in Congress or the administration has that capacity, They have to rely on insider IT specialists in the NSA like Bill Benney and others to present them with "the technical truth". How would they ever be able to know if it they are or were presented with the truth, if they can't understand the technology used? I think the NSA can do what they want and nobody would be able to know aside from a few people inside the NSA.

        •  And then they came for me. . . and no one was left (4+ / 0-)

          to speak out for me.

          Pastor Martin Neimoller.

          My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

          by Jesselyn Radack on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:47:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  History's lessons are not encouraging (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mimi, shaharazade

          A recent PBS documentary described the compliance of Jews with the Nazi "relocation" program that, as we know, relocated them to death camps. The problem in part derived from reluctance of Jewish leaders to believe that the horrors were real.

          •  it was tragic, but I think that distracts from (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Harm, shaharazade

            what I wanted to say when making the comparison.

            I was speaking of the general German population. If you would have asked them in 1943, if they could imagine the atrocities of the concentration camps, the majority of the German poputlaion would have denied to believe in such a possibility (gas chambers etc.). In order to make them believe it, you had to confront them with the facts, which was done after the defeat, when it was too late of course. Even then people still couldn't wrap their minds around the facts and still today people play with holocaust denials all the time.

            I made this comparison, because in case of a "technological holocaust of democracy"  - hmm just don't know better how to express what I think this Orwellian state would be - you would have a much harder time to prove that the technology was used "to kill democracy and enslave, exploit the people". I am sure a "smart IT insider expert" will always be able to prove you wrong, because he knows you don't understand and don't know nothing of what he is talking about - technological-wise.

            •  Yes, I knew what you meant (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mimi, aliasalias, shaharazade

              However, the point of the documentary was that even when people did hear the truth, they initially rejected it.  When even people who were themselves targeted for destruction had difficulty coming to terms with the reality of it all, it is even less likely that the general population, distanced from the impacts, would avoid retreating into a state of denial.  People are very reluctant to accept truths that require major changes to their lives, whether it involves leaving an abusive spouse or standing up to  genocide.

              Importantly, the documentary suggested that there was not much targeted Jews could have done to save themselves once the the state began swift implementation of its plans for their destruction. This tells us is that early intervention in a totalitarian state is essential...precisely what a state of denial prevents.

              •  very true, very good comment, I understand your (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                shaharazade, Deep Harm

                point better now.

                This tells us is that early intervention in a totalitarian state is essential...precisely what a state of denial prevents.

                Right.

                I will watch out for that documentary.

                BTW, here is the transcriptof what Obama said in the Holocaust Museum.

                •  oops, sorry, the link was the wrong one. (0+ / 0-)

                  the transcript is not up yet online. It's a public record, so I guess it's not a violation of anyone's copyrights to put it here, before it's available on the WH website.

                  For Immediate Release                                                                          April 23, 2012

                  REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT

                  AT THE UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM

                  Washington, D.C.

                  10:00 A.M. EDT

                  THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning, everyone.  It is a great honor to be with you here today.  Of course, it is a truly humbling moment to be introduced by Elie Wiesel.  Along with Sara Bloomfield, the outstanding director here, we just spent some time among the exhibits, and this is now the second visit I've had here.  My daughters have come here.  It is a searing occasion whenever you visit.  And as we walked, I was taken back to the visit that Elie mentioned, the time that we traveled together to Buchenwald.  

                  And I recall how he showed me the barbed-wire fences and the guard towers.  And we walked the rows where the barracks once stood, where so many left this Earth -- including Elie's father, Shlomo.  We stopped at an old photo -- men and boys lying in their wooden bunks, barely more than skeletons.  And if you look closely, you can see a 16-year old boy, looking right at the camera, right into your eyes.  You can see Elie.  

                  And at the end of our visit that day, Elie spoke of his father.  "I thought one day I will come back and speak to him," he said, "of times in which memory has become a sacred duty of all people of goodwill."  Elie, you've devoted your life to upholding that sacred duty.  You've challenged us all -- as individuals, and as nations -- to do the same, with the power of your example, the eloquence of your words, as you did again just now.  And so to you and Marion, we are extraordinarily grateful.

                  To Sara, to Tom Bernstein, to Josh Bolten, members of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, and everyone who sustains this living memorial -- thank you for welcoming us here today.  To the members of Congress, members of the diplomatic corps, including Ambassador Michael Oren of Israel, we are glad to be with you.  

                  And most of all, we are honored to be in the presence of men and women whose lives are a testament to the endurance and the strength of the human spirit -- the inspiring survivors.  It is a privilege to be with you, on a very personal level.  As I've told some of you before, I grew up hearing stories about my great uncle -- a soldier in the 89th Infantry Division who was stunned and shaken by what he saw when he helped to liberate Ordruf, part of Buchenwald.   And I'll never forget what I saw at Buchenwald, where so many perished with the words of Sh'ma Yis'ra'eil on their lips.  

                  I've stood with survivors, in the old Warsaw ghettos, where a monument honors heroes who said we will not go quietly; we will stand up, we will fight back.  And I've walked those sacred grounds at Yad Vashem, with its lesson for all nations -- the Shoah cannot be denied.  

                  During my visit to Yad Vashem I was given a gift, inscribed with those words from the Book of Joel:  "Has the like of this happened in your days or in the days of your fathers?  Tell your children about it, and let your children tell theirs, and their children the next generation."  That's why we're here.  Not simply to remember, but to speak.  

                  I say this as a President, and I say it as a father.  We must tell our children about a crime unique in human history.  The one and only Holocaust -- six million innocent people -- men, women, children, babies -- sent to their deaths just for being different, just for being Jewish.  We tell them, our children, about the millions of Poles and Catholics and Roma and gay people and so many others who also must never be forgotten.  Let us tell our children not only how they died, but also how they lived -- as fathers and mothers, and sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters who loved and hoped and dreamed, just like us.    

                  We must tell our children about how this evil was allowed to happen -- because so many people succumbed to their darkest instincts, and because so many others stood silent.  Let us also tell our children about the Righteous Among the Nations.  Among them was Jan Karski, a young Polish Catholic, who witnessed Jews being put on cattle cars, who saw the killings, and who told the truth, all the way to President Roosevelt himself.  

                  Jan Karski passed away more than a decade ago.  But today, I'm proud to announce that this spring I will honor him with America's highest civilian honor -- the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  (Applause.)

                  We must tell our children.  But more than that, we must teach them.  Because remembrance without resolve is a hollow gesture.  Awareness without action changes nothing.  In this sense, "never again" is a challenge to us all -- to pause and to look within.

                  For the Holocaust may have reached its barbaric climax at Treblinka and Auschwitz and Belzec, but it started in the hearts of ordinary men and women.  And we have seen it again -- madness that can sweep through peoples, sweep through nations, embed itself.  The killings in Cambodia, the killings in Rwanda, the killings in Bosnia, the killings in Darfur -- they shock our conscience, but they are the awful extreme of a spectrum of ignorance and intolerance that we see every day; the bigotry that says another person is less than my equal, less than human.  These are the seeds of hate that we cannot let take root in our heart.

                  "Never again" is a challenge to reject hatred in all of its forms -- including anti-Semitism, which has no place in a civilized world.  And today, just steps from where he gave his life protecting this place, we honor the memory of Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns, whose family joins us today.

                  "Never again" is a challenge to defend the fundamental right of free people and free nations to exist in peace and security -- and that includes the State of Israel.  And on my visit to the old Warsaw Ghetto, a woman looked me in the eye, and she wanted to make sure America stood with Israel.  She said, "It's the only Jewish state we have."  And I made her a promise in that solemn place.  I said I will always be there for Israel.

                  So when efforts are made to equate Zionism to racism, we reject them.  When international fora single out Israel with unfair resolutions, we vote against them.  When attempts are made to delegitimize the state of Israel, we oppose them.  When faced with a regime that threatens global security and denies the Holocaust and threatens to destroy Israel, the United States will do everything in our power to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.    

                  "Never again" is a challenge to societies.  We're joined today by communities who've made it your mission to prevent mass atrocities in our time.  This museum's Committee of Conscience, NGOs, faith groups, college students, you've harnessed the tools of the digital age -- online maps and satellites and a video and social media campaign seen by millions.  You understand that change comes from the bottom up, from the grassroots.  You understand -- to quote the task force convened by this museum -- "preventing genocide is an achievable goal."  It is an achievable goal.  It is one that does not start from the top; it starts from the bottom up.

                  It's remarkable -- as we walked through this exhibit, Elie and I were talking as we looked at the unhappy record of the State Department and so many officials here in the United States during those years.  And he asked, "What would you do?"  But what you all understand is you don't just count on officials, you don't just count on governments.  You count on people -- and mobilizing their consciences.  

                  And finally, "never again" is a challenge to nations.  It's a bitter truth -- too often, the world has failed to prevent the killing of innocents on a massive scale.  And we are haunted by the atrocities that we did not stop and the lives we did not save.  

                  Three years ago today, I joined many of you for a ceremony of remembrance at the U.S. Capitol.  And I said that we had to do "everything we can to prevent and end atrocities."  And so I want to report back to some of you today to let you know that as President I've done my utmost to back up those words with deeds.  Last year, in the first-ever presidential directive on this challenge, I made it clear that "preventing mass atrocities and genocide is a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States of America."

                  That does not mean that we intervene militarily every time there's an injustice in the world.  We cannot and should not.  It does mean we possess many tools -- diplomatic and political, and economic and financial, and intelligence and law enforcement and our moral suasion -- and using these tools over the past three years, I believe -- I know -- that we have saved countless lives.    

                  When the referendum in South Sudan was in doubt, it threatened to reignite a conflict that had killed millions.  But with determined diplomacy, including by some people in this room, South Sudan became the world's newest nation.  And our diplomacy continues, because in Darfur, in Abyei, in Southern Kordofan and the Blue Nile, the killing of innocents must come to an end.  The Presidents of Sudan and South Sudan must have the courage to negotiate -- because the people of Sudan and South Sudan deserve peace.  That is work that we have done, and it has saved lives.

                  When the incumbent in Côte D'Ivoire lost an election but refused to give it up -- give up power, it threatened to unleash untold ethnic and religious killings.  But with regional and international diplomacy, and U.N. peacekeepers who stood their ground and protected civilians, the former leader is now in The Hague, and Côte D'Ivoire is governed by its rightful leader -- and lives were saved.  

                  When the Libyan people demanded their rights and Muammar Qaddafi's forces bore down on Benghazi, a city of 700,000, and threatened to hunt down its people like rats, we forged with allies and partners a coalition that stopped his troops in their tracks.  And today, the Libyan people are forging their own future, and the world can take pride in the innocent lives that we saved.

                  And when the Lord's Resistance Army led by Joseph Kony continued its atrocities in Central Africa, I ordered a small number of American advisors to help Uganda and its neighbors pursue the LRA.  And when I made that announcement, I directed my National Security Council to review our progress after 150 days.  We have done so, and today I can announce that our advisors will continue their efforts to bring this madman to justice, and to save lives.  (Applause.)  It is part of our regional strategy to end the scourge that is the LRA, and help realize a future where no African child is stolen from their family and no girl is raped and no boy is turned into a child soldier.  

                  We've stepped up our efforts in other ways.  We're doing more to protect women and girls from the horror of wartime sexual violence.  With the arrest of fugitives like Ratko Mladic, charged with ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, the world sent a message to war criminals everywhere:  We will not relent in bringing you to justice.  Be on notice.  And for the first time, we explicitly barred entry into the United States of those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

                  Now we're doing something more.  We're making sure that the United States government has the structures, the mechanisms to better prevent and respond to mass atrocities.  So I created the first-ever White House position dedicated to this task. It's why I created a new Atrocities Prevention Board, to bring together senior officials from across our government to focus on this critical mission.  This is not an afterthought.  This is not a sideline in our foreign policy.  The board will convene for the first time today, at the White House.  And I'm pleased that one of its first acts will be to meet with some of your organizations -- citizens and activists who are partners in this work, who have been carrying this torch.

                  Going forward, we'll strengthen our tools across the board, and we'll create new ones. The intelligence community will prepare, for example, the first-ever National Intelligence Estimate on the risk of mass atrocities and genocide.  We're going to institutionalize the focus on this issue.  Across government, "alert channels" will ensure that information about unfolding crises -- and dissenting opinions -- quickly reach decision-makers, including me.

                  Our Treasury Department will work to more quickly deploy its financial tools to block the flow of money to abusive regimes.  Our military will take additional steps to incorporate the prevention of atrocities into its doctrine and its planning.  And the State Department will increase its ability to surge our diplomats and experts in a crisis.  USAID will invite people and high-tech companies to help create new technologies to quickly expose violations of human rights.  And we'll work with other nations so the burden is better shared -- because this is a global responsibility.

                  In short, we need to be doing everything we can to prevent and respond to these kinds of atrocities -- because national sovereignty is never a license to slaughter your people.  (Applause.)  

                  We recognize that, even as we do all we can, we cannot control every event.  And when innocents suffer, it tears at our conscience.  Elie alluded to what we feel as we see the Syrian people subjected to unspeakable violence, simply for demanding their universal rights.  And we have to do everything we can.  And as we do, we have to remember that despite all the tanks and all the snipers, all the torture and brutality unleashed against them, the Syrian people still brave the streets.  They still demand to be heard.  They still seek their dignity.  The Syrian people have not given up, which is why we cannot give up.

                  And so with allies and partners, we will keep increasing the pressure, with a diplomatic effort to further isolate Assad and his regime, so that those who stick with Assad know that they are making a losing bet.  We'll keep increasing sanctions to cut off the regime from the money it needs to survive.  We'll sustain a legal effort to document atrocities so killers face justice, and a humanitarian effort to get relief and medicine to the Syrian people.  And we'll keep working with the "Friends of Syria" to increase support for the Syrian opposition as it grows stronger.

                  Indeed, today we're taking another step.  I've signed an executive order that authorizes new sanctions against the Syrian government and Iran and those that abet them for using technologies to monitor and track and target citizens for violence.  These technologies should not empower -- these technologies should be in place to empower citizens, not to repress them.  And it's one more step that we can take toward the day that we know will come -- the end of the Assad regime that has brutalized the Syrian people -- and allow the Syrian people to chart their own destiny.

                  Even with all the efforts I've described today, even with everything that hopefully we have learned, even with the incredible power of museums like this one, even with everything that we do to try to teach our children about our own responsibilities, we know that our work will never be done. There will be conflicts that are not easily resolved.  There will be senseless deaths that aren't prevented.  There will be stories of pain and hardship that test our hopes and try our conscience.  And in such moments it can be hard to imagine a more just world.  

                  It can be tempting to throw up our hands and resign ourselves to man's endless capacity for cruelty.  It's tempting sometimes to believe that there is nothing we can do.  And all of us have those doubts.  All of us have those moments -- perhaps especially those who work most ardently in these fields.

                  So in the end, I come back to something Elie said that day we visited Buchenwald together.  Reflecting on all that he had endured, he said, "We had the right to give up."  "We had the right to give up on humanity, to give up on culture, to give up on education, to give up on the possibility of living one's life with dignity, in a world that has no place for dignity."  They had that right.  Imagine what they went through.  They had the right to give up.  Nobody would begrudge them that.  Who'd question someone giving up in such circumstances?  

                  But, Elie said, "We rejected that possibility, and we said, no, we must continue believing in a future."  To stare into the abyss, to face the darkness and insist there is a future -- to not give up, to say yes to life, to believe in the possibility of justice.  

                  To Elie and to the survivors who are here today, thank you for not giving up.  You show us the way.  (Applause.)  You show us the way.  If you cannot give up, if you can believe, then we can believe.  If you can continue to strive and speak, then we can speak and strive for a future where there's a place for dignity for every human being.  That has been the cause of your lives.  It must be the work of our nation and of all nations.  

                  So God bless you.  And God bless the United States of America.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

                                                                    END                   10:27 A.M. EDT  

                  So, you see, this speech is important in many aspects, but it doesn't address the concerns raised here. I wonder if he sees the importance of the attempt of an "early intervention in a totalitarian state" - what Binney's whistleblowing represents.
  •  Intelligence Community Whistleblowers (8+ / 0-)

    like Binney have no meaningful legal protections, and suffer some of the worst retaliation, such as, in Binney's case, criminal investigation, and in Drake's case, prosecution under the Espionage Act.

  •  "Of course all controversial (5+ / 0-)

    government actions are going to be shrouded in good intentions."

    So true! Makes me think of USDA's privatized poultry inspection plan. The government touts that it will "modernize" and "improve food safety" but really it's about saving money and handing oversight responsibilities over to industry. Sad to hear that the U.S. is focusing efforts to control information around the globe, rather than improving the transparency structure (or lack thereof) within itself.

  •  Definitely hypocritical (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilJD, mimi, aliasalias, shaharazade

    The USA's use of technology (drones) to kill people who may be innocent is a human rights abuse even worse than the domestic surveillance.  But, that may change as Congress continues to shower federal agencies with even broader powers...for example, the CISPA legislation  that would allow corporations to freely share information about us with the government (and vice versa).  Of course, in the absence of transparency, any "restrictions" are purely decorative.

    CISPA specifically seeks to encourage Web companies and U.S. intelligence agencies to share more information with each other about cybersecurity threats, including, potentially, personally identifiable information about Web users.

    {snip}

    Internet service providers such as Time Warner Cable and other Web companies such as Facebook and Twitter already routinely share such information about their users with law enforcement and other government agencies when compelled by subpoenas, warrants and other court orders or emergency circumstances.

    CISPA, however, would seek to allow for increased information sharing without going through such steps.

    {snip}

    ...currently only selected companies have the security clearance to receive classified cyber threat intelligence gathered by the government, but his bill is designed to bring more companies into the fold without having to go through a time consuming process.

    •  That last part deserves special attention (5+ / 0-)
      currently only selected companies have the security clearance to receive classified cyber threat intelligence gathered by the government, but his bill is designed to bring more companies into the fold without having to go through a time consuming process.
      Why is it that a program like this is "transparent" to corporations (who typically have broken laws before) and not to the public, who are vulnerable to grave abuses of power?  And, by the way, the legislation would deny the public any right to compensation for injuries resulting from the proposed corporate/government collaboration.
  •  Make sure you listen to Bill Binney TODAY too ! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilJD, Deep Harm, aliasalias, shaharazade

    just heard the continuation of Democracy Now's interview with him with the same two other guests as Friday, to which I pointed on Friday here

    Today's interview had also very useful information from Jacob Applebaum ((a computer security researcher who volunteered with Wikileaks). If you want to listen to the interview you can just go More Secrets on Growing State Surveillance: Exclusive Part 2 with NSA Whistleblower, Targeted Hacker. For the transcripts they might be available aroudn 3pm EST. It's very worthwhile and made my hair stand up. Had the feeling I should just throw the computers out of my life and become a self-sustaining cave woman ... :)

    Thank you for writing here, Ms. Raddack, and thanks for pointing out to your interview on the Kojo Nnamdi show.

  •  So you're just assuming that it will be (0+ / 0-)

    misused to the extent that you're willing to title the diary saying they will do it (without the "I'm predicting" caveat), and you also like Julian Assange.

    Did I miss anything?

    Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:16:26 AM PDT

    •  They're already doing it or will be doing it soon (3+ / 0-)

      enough.  If the government is willing to crush dissent via secret domestic spying, it will be willing to silence speech it doesn't like from other countries.

      I gave Julian Assange as an example of a person who the U.S. does not like (which has no bearing on my personal feelings) and is therefore targeting even though he is not a dictatorial human rights abuser.

      My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

      by Jesselyn Radack on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:28:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One man's "human rights abuse"... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pfiore8, shaharazade

    ...is another man's "homeland security monitoring".

    The test of whether we're willing to stand up to the thugs that wrote voter suppression laws is this: Are you willing to hold hands with someone that needs hand holding in order to qualify to vote?

    by Richard Cranium on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:43:15 AM PDT

  •  Kind of like (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pfiore8, shaharazade

    the Spanish Civil War being a nice opportunity for the Germans to experiment with carpet bombing.

    "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

    by northsylvania on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:50:44 AM PDT

  •  And where did he announce this? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mimi, aliasalias, shaharazade
    Obama’s executive order, which he announced during a Monday speech at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum...
    A darkly ironic choice given that the kinds of powers the US government is accumulating have the potential to enable the kinds of abuses highlighted in the museum...only with far greater efficiency.
  •  "If this is the true, ... (0+ / 0-)
    ... and only reason, that would be laudable.  But the ulterior purposes to which secret domestic spying has been put belie the real reason: worldwide control of information.... If you think this is mere hyperbole ....
    Yes. Yes I do think it is hyperbole. Although you may be self-serving in describing it so tenderly. If you had a slightly better source than some guy who left the NSA eleven years ago, your arguments might have credibility.

    Would you please quote the information procedures in place, including all safeguards for privacy, especially for American citizens? I know you know them. Please share them with your readers.

    I do appreciate the fact that you've provided another reason to re-elect President Obama and to elect many more Democrats to the legislature. We can't ever let Republicans gain control of the new techniques available to gain information. (They wouldn't have the strict privacy safeguards implemented by President Obama.).    

    "I'm Mitt Romney, and I'm the real Mitt Romney. All the other Mitt Romneys are just mass-debating." -- Mittbot ver.12.0

    by Tortmaster on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:17:55 AM PDT

    •  here we go ... you just proved my point above - (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias, shaharazade, Deep Harm
      I made this comparison, because in case of a "technological holocaust of democracy"  - hmm just don't know better how to express what I think this Orwellian state would be - you would have a much harder time to prove that the technology was used "to kill democracy and enslave, exploit the people". I am sure a "smart IT insider expert" will always be able to prove you wrong, because he knows you don't understand and don't know nothing of what he is talking about - technological-wise.
      The game is on - one "some guy who left the NSA eleven years ago" against "some other guy, who tries to put you down, because you .. don't know anything.

      As if this is an issue of whom to elect. It's not. The issue is not if Obama puts in the better privacy safequards than the Republican, the issue is that no President might be able to control and check whatever privacy safeguards they have attempted to put in place. The issue is that the technology you created becomes your tyranny that you can't escape from or control.

      •  Why so flippant about ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... accepting a diary about the NSA under President Obama based upon the science fiction dreams of a person who hasn't stepped inside the NSA for 11 years? This guy missed all or almost all of George W. Bush's NSA, and he missed all of President Obama's NSA. But we're supposed to take him as some kind of expert on the Obama NSA? When the diarist's primary authority last worked at the NSA, Michael Jackson had just released his Invincible album, Wikipedia and Google News were being launched on the internet, and Bill Clinton had just finished his second term in office.

        As for our Orwellian future, I would simply ask you this:  If you were President of the United States in 1945, what would you've done about American nuclear technology?  

        "I'm Mitt Romney, and I'm the real Mitt Romney. All the other Mitt Romneys are just mass-debating." -- Mittbot ver.12.0

        by Tortmaster on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 11:38:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  not used it /nt (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias, shaharazade
          •  Thanks for being succinct! ; ) (0+ / 0-)

            "I'm Mitt Romney, and I'm the real Mitt Romney. All the other Mitt Romneys are just mass-debating." -- Mittbot ver.12.0

            by Tortmaster on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:22:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I see nuclear technology ... (0+ / 0-)

            ... in the 1940s as that shot in hundreds of movies where you see the bad guy look at the gun spinning on the floor and then the camera pans to the good guy, who's also looking intently at the now slowly rotating gun. They both run and dive for it, and blah, blah, blah, the good guy gets to it first and either holds off the bad guy with it until the police arrive or kills the bad guy.

            Nuclear technology was going to happen in the 1940s or 50s or 60s. Would it not be best to be wielded by a country that at least tries to live up to the standards in the Constitution? In other words, whether Truman dropped the bomb or not, the United States still needed that technology. Think of the geo-political realities of the time and subsequent years.  

            And whether we like it or not, world-wide surveillance and information technology will be with us someday. Heck, in the future, we each might get to carry it in our hands. The thing is, why should we cede that "gun" to the bad guys?

            "I'm Mitt Romney, and I'm the real Mitt Romney. All the other Mitt Romneys are just mass-debating." -- Mittbot ver.12.0

            by Tortmaster on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:51:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  to follow this up (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, laserhaas

    Baltimore Sun just reports that the Pentagon is creating a new spy service, which will do that kind of spying ... Pentagon creating new spy service - Hundreds of officers to gather intelligence on China, North Korea, Africa:

    Several hundred officers drawn from the Defense Intelligence Agency will work alongside CIA officers in places such as Africa, where al-Qaida is increasingly active, to parts of Asia where Chinese military expansion and North Korean missiles are causing increasing U.S. concern.
    ...
    The new service is intended to curb personnel losses by making clandestine work part of the Pentagon's professional career track and rewarding those who prove successful at operating covertly overseas with further tours and promotions, like their CIA colleagues.
    ...
    The changes were worked out by the top Pentagon intelligence official, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers, and his CIA counterpart who heads the National Clandestine Service, and briefed to Congress before Defense Secretary Leon Panetta signed off on the new program last Friday.
  •  Our great country - doing more to protect those (0+ / 0-)

    abroad - than they would ever do here.

    PLEASE ☺ - Help Stop Mitt the Pitts Romney from Stealing ☻ the POTUS

    by laserhaas on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:23:14 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site