Shut down and sequestration grandstanding was at an all-time high as the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, went before the Senate on Wednesday.
Clapper said a double whammy of a government shut down and sequestration budget cuts “seriously damages” the ability of government to protect its citizens.
“This is not just a Beltway issue. This affects our global capability to support the military, to support diplomacy, to support our policymakers,” Clapper told the Senate Judiciary Committee as it held court on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a repeatedly amended 1978 law providing a paper excuse for the government to surveil the American people. “The danger here, of course, [is] that this will accumulate over time. The damage will be insidious, so each day that goes by the jeopardy increases.”
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Army has ordered its personnel not to go to the latest postings on the website of the British newspaper The Guardian to read revelations of information given to its reporter because it contains a “TOP SECRET slide show.”
The email, which WND received from a Department of Defense source, was addressed to a couple hundred military personnel and civilians working for DOD. The source who provided the email asked for anonymity.
“Do not go to ‘The Guardian’ news website as they have TOP SECRET slide show on the main page and you will be flagged,” according to the writer from the 304th MIBN, or military intelligence battalion.
“If someone is not included on this email inform them this website is off limits,” the email said. “If anyone has visited this page today and clicked on any ‘NSA program’ slide show please inform me immediately. It is much easier fix (sic) an issue before it becomes a problem then (sic) after it becomes a disaster.”
Following initial leaks of the highly classified slides by The Guardian based on interviews and files given to its reporter by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the Pentagon had informed all military personnel not to access the website on military office computers, even though the NSA information is in the public domain.
I have, oh-so-cynically, referred to the court set up under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act as a “phony baloney” court that grants rubber-stamp approval to virtually every snooping request that comes its way. Of course, I base that subjective assessment on the fact that, in 11 years, the court has denied only 10 applications, and modified a few dozen, and approved more than 15,000. The president says if people share my jaded take on such judicial review, then “we’re going to have some problems here.” But, as noted at Reason 24/7, we already have a problem, in that this rubber-stamp body is secretly transforming the laws governing surveillance, and enormously expanding the powers available to the National Security Agency,
President Obama will now be forced to weigh in on the public’s desire to pardon PRISM whistleblower Edward Snowden, despite a carefully crafted effort to neither praise nor condemn him.
A We the People petition titled “Pardon Edward Snowden” reached the requisite 100,000 signatures Saturday morning. By the Obama administration’s own rules, any petition that reaches that threshold will receive a formal response from the White House, though there’s no formal timetable for the official comment.
National Security Agency discloses in secret Capitol Hill briefing that thousands of analysts can listen to domestic phone calls. That authorization appears to extend to e-mail and text messages too.
NSA Director Keith Alexander says his agency’s analysts, which until recently included Edward Snowden among their ranks, take protecting “civil liberties and privacy and the security of this nation to their heart every day.” (Credit: Getty Images)
The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed “simply based on an analyst deciding that.”
If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. “I was rather startled,” said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.