Pentagon Report You Can't Read Claims Snowden's Leaks Have Helped Terrorists

Credit: Wikileaks' Youtube Channel via WikimediaCredit: Wikileaks' Youtube Channel via WikimediaAccording to a classified report from the Pentagon, NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden’s leaks have put American military personnel at risk and helped terrorists.

From The Hill:

Edward Snowden's leaks about National Security Agency programs have put U.S. troops at risk and prompted terrorists to change their tactics, according to a classified Pentagon report.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and ranking member Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Mich.) said that the Pentagon report found a significant portion of the 1.7 million documents Snowden took were related to current U.S. military operations.

Given that the report is classified it is impossible for anyone to independently examine its claims.

Rep. Rogers stressed the severity of the report’s finds, saying, “Snowden handed over great insight to our adversaries, endangering each and every American. Make no mistake, Snowden is no patriot and there is no way to excuse the irreparable harm he caused to America and her allies, and continues to cause.”

Glenn Greenwald, who has been reporting on Snowden’s revelations, tweeted a reminder that this sort of rhetoric is nothing new:


Credit: TwitterCredit: Twitter

Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian, has defended the newspapers’ reporting on the documents leaked by Snowden. Last month, Rusbridger told the British Parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee claims that reporting on Snowden's leaks have endangered national security "tend to be very vague and not rooted in specific stories." According to The Guardian

Rusbridger then quoted senior officials from the UK and the US who "have told me personally that there has been no damage. A member of the Senate intelligence committee said to us: 'I have been incredibly impressed by what you have done … I have seen nothing that you have done that has caused damage."

It wouldn’t be surprising if some current critics of the NSA were to change their minds if it was definitively shown that Snowden’s revelations had helped terrorists or put the lives of American troops at risk. It would be in the interest of those lawmakers who support the NSA's behavior exposed by Snowden to make some, if not all, of the Pentagon report public, assuming its findings are what they claim they are. Until then, we are going to be left with members of Congress making extraordinary statements based on a report only they and a limited number of other people are allowed to read.

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  • sarcasmic||

    He gave everything to the ChiComs and Ruskies! Prove he didn't! You can't! That means he did!

  • Quixote||

    Just as long as he doesn't engage in any kind of deadpan satire or send out "Gmail confessions" in Rep. Roger's "name," he should be okay. Otherwise, he will be tracked down, arrested and prosecuted for "identity theft." See the documentation of the current leading criminal satire case at:

    http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  • Paul.||

    No they haven't.

    There, my argument is 100% valid when held against the Pentagon's argument.

  • Pro Libertate||

    If you knew what we knew you'd know what we knew and wouldn't complain about not knowing what we knew because you don't want to know what we know.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    So the terrorists are no long communicating with email and cell phones?

    No, I think the terrorists in question here are domestic. They are small government advocates who have gained ground because now Obama and Senate Big Surveillance hawks look bad on civil liberties. Damn you, Edward Snowden!

  • SusanM||

  • SusanM||

  • Atanarjuat||

    The gag of having the wiggers voiced by Samuel L. Jackson and Charlie Murphy was genius.

  • sarcasmic||

    Recycled Pulp Fiction is recycled.

  • Andrew S.||

    No, that would've been if he'd accidentally shot Riley in the head.

    Boondocks was an awesome show at times.

  • SusanM||

    Though I've never been down with the politics too much, I really liked the strip. McGruder has a wicked sense of humor and a great visual style.

  • Loki||

    I especially like having Jackson go into his Pulp Fiction dialogue.

    "English, motherfucker! Do you speak it?!" If I'd been drinking anything I would need a new keyboard and monitor.

  • Paul.||

    I love me some Charlie Murphy.

  • Paul.||

    You got known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns, meaning there are things we don't know we don't know.

  • ||

    I am interested in unknown knowns

    Things we don't know we know.

    ...

    Note: "Known" is a really fucked up word.

  • Numeromancer||

    What?

  • wareagle||

    govt used to at least pretend to have some respect for people's intelligence. Not any more. Hey, maybe this is the transparency we were promised.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Government used to fear going too far, because the people might do something about it. Now, not so much. The only good news in that is that they may have taken off the mask a little sooner than they should've, because America may not be quite dead yet.

  • Atanarjuat||

    I think the report exists so pundits can go on the screaming heads shows and have "evidence" Snowden committed treason. By the time the report is declassified, and their claims disproven, the ideological battle will be long forgotten.

    Insulting our intelligence for short-term political gain only sows the seeds of distrust in their institution.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Proof: Redacted.
    Verdict: Guilty.
    Punishment: Death.

  • CatoTheElder||

    ‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first — verdict afterwards.’

  • GamerFromJump||

    "The offender Snowden has been found guilty of aiding and abetting seditious acts against the state. The sentence is death; let the trial begin."

  • ||

    So if the spying is no longer useful for catching terrorists, that means there's no reason for it to continue, right?

  • Paul.||

    No, more funds and agencies are needed to expand it.

    You've never played this game before, huh?

  • R C Dean||

    OT:

    Holder assigns big-time Obama supporter to investigate IRS abuses of the Tea Party.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....rty-probe/

    They're just so brazen about it. Its like they have complete confidence that, no matter what they do, it will be covered up, ignored, and/or justified by the DemOp Media, and thus vanish into the memory hole.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Jesus, how about an independent counsel or whatever they call them these days? WTF, Congress?

  • Paul.||

    ICs went out of fashion after Clinton. Democrats realized, for possibly the first time in the history of politics, that it was a power that could be used against them.

    Back when it was only Nixon and Reagan, the IC seemed like a peachy idea.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I demand satisfaction!

  • playa manhattan||

    They would never consent to it now. An impartial IC/SP would absolutely destroy the entire Obama administration. I doubt a single cabinet member would escape felony charges.

  • John||

    If you strictly prosecuted lying to Congress, none would. All it would take is starting at the bottom with people like Lerner and indicting them and granting immunity in return for truthful testimony and the whole thing would fall like a house of cards.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Indeed. Congress can do it independently, if it wants to. And the Democrats in Congress know they're dead meat if they stonewall too much. See, they have elections to worry about.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    It will happen if the Reps take back the Senate.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That's what I said in the first place. That's what they're waiting on.

  • Paul.||

    it will be covered up, ignored, and/or justified by the DemOp Media, and thus vanish into the memory hole.

    Hasn't it already?

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, not really. These things take time, and I suspect the Republican Congress of early 2015 will take more direct action. The GOP is probably saving its ammunition for that increasingly likely event.

  • R C Dean||

    Oh, fer fuck's sake. They already control one House, which is all they need to hold all the hearings they want on anything.

    I am sick unto death of the Repub excuse that they are utterly powerless until they hold veto proof majorities and the Presidency.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm not agreeing with it, of course, I'm just observing what I think is going on.

    If it were up to me, I'd stop the government entirely and go after the administration with everything I had, and damn the supposed political consequences in November. This administration appears to be worse than the Nixon one, which we all agree had to go.

  • John||

    The House has had tons of hearings. And the Administration refuses to turn over documents and does things like have the Chief Counsel of the IRS answer "I don't remember" 80 separate times.

    Normally just craven behavior would create so much public outrage that the Democrats in Congress would feel enough political pressure to make the White House knock it off. But since the media is fully committed to covering up anything the administration has done, such acts are reported in by a few right wing news sources and no one else and the public can't be outraged by what it doesn't know.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You know, R C Dean is right. The House could make all sorts of noise and try to force the issue. But it's being quiet, likely for the reasons I state above--they can take very serious action in 2015, almost without a doubt.

    But waiting allows a very corrupt and dangerous administration to keep doing very bad things. I mean, we're all up in arms about the scandals we know about.

  • Paul.||

    But waiting allows a very corrupt and dangerous administration to keep doing very bad things.

    It also allows Aaron Sorkin time to craft a cover story.

  • John||

    What could they do? Refuse to fund the government so that the media could call them terrorists taking the country hostage so they can investigate "fake scandals"?

    The only thing that is going to bring down this administration is the Democrats in Congress finally turning on it. The only thing that will cause that is an epic disaster in the coming midterms. If the Democrats lose the Senate along with significant House seats, the remaining Dems will be forced to distance themselves from Obama. And the way they will do that is to finally find some backbone on the scandals.

    I suspect 2015 will be a very bad year for Obama. The other thing that will occur is the media will turn on him in the hopes that everyone forgets how they lied for him for so long. As soon Obama is no longer useful to the cause, they will turn on him and then claim they were tougher on him than any other administration.

  • Paul.||

    I still haven't wrapped my head around "Obama administration delays x/y provision of Law". By what authority? Who cares whether I agree with the law or not, it was passed by a duly elected representative body of legislators. How in hell does an administration just say, "Yeah, no, not gonna do that."

  • Ted S.||

    and does things like have the Chief Counsel of the IRS answer "I don't remember" 80 separate times.

    Any time the IRS says anything, the response should be, "Why should we trust you since you can't remember anything else?"

  • Pro Libertate||

    Wages, salaries, tips, etc. Attach Form(s) W-2. . .I don't remember

  • playa manhattan||

    Or "It's going to take 24-36 months to process that paperwork"

  • Pro Libertate||

    "I'll provide this information when you provide your answers to Congress."

  • John||

    It does two things. First it allows them to refuse to answer any questions because they don't want to compromise an ongoing investigation. This will allow them to get the subject off the front page because there is an investigation going on and there is nothing to see.

    Second of course, putting a DOJ hack in charge of it will ensure the investigation finds little wrong doing and does everything to minimize that when the results are released around 5:30 pm on the Friday before the 2015 Super Bowl.

  • AlexInCT||

    This is axactly about proviiding them cover before the election followed by a rubber stamp. Haven't we seen a bunch of these investigations, all by cronies and vasals of this administration, all come bac and say nothing was wrong even though the evidence was staggering?

  • John||

    Yes. It will be about as thorough as the New York Times Investigation of Bengazi.

  • Raston Bot||

    Is the IRS retaliatory behavior the epitome of petty corruption in this administration? It sure feels like it. But am I missing another scandal? For having an outsized impact on targeted smallfolk, I can't think of anything worse. Sure, there's the ACA but that was an act of one entire political party harming an entire country regardless of affiliation.

  • John||

    It is. I don't think Obama directed it. I think it is the result of a culture that came from Obama that the government is there to be used as a hammer to punish his enemies. In that culture the liberals at the IRS felt empowered to go after anyone they liked. Obama didn't order it because he didn't need to. They knew what to do.

  • kinnath||

    I grew up under Nixon. Distrust and disrespect for government was ingrained in me a young and tender age. And somehow I am still left in utter amazement at the inherent evilness of the Obama administration.

  • Paul.||

    I grew up under Nixon. Distrust and disrespect for government was ingrained in me a young and tender age.

    And ingrained into you by? Anyone? Beuller? Anyone? That's right: Liberals. Oh how far they've fallen from the tree.

  • playa manhattan||

    I grew up in the 80s and 90s, and they were certainly singing a different tune by then...

  • Paul.||

    The tune switched largely in the 90s.

    Liberals still had a healthy distrust of government throughout the reagan years. They certainly stood by an unfettered free speech during the Meese commission era.

  • AlexInCT||

    Liberals only distrusted government when it wasn't one of their guys. As Clinton and now Obama prove, they have no problem with government abuses, no matter how egregious, if their guy (or as many hope, soon to be their gal) is the one doing it.

    Just like war, torture, Gitmo, rendition, drones, spying on people, violations of the constitution, spending too much, and a slew of other such talking points went from being bad and super important to being inconsequential, if not good things now, after the letter behind the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue changed.

  • Paul.||

    I actually see it as a war in the liberal ranks. You had liberals... real liberals, the one's who didn't want their personal lives regulated (abortion), civil liberties (the liberals I used to know didn't like anti-smoking legislation), less interventionist foreign policy etc., but mixed in with them were the great society progressives.

    one part of the liberal wing distrusted curbs on free speech and had a distrust of concentrations of power(McCarthy era, Meese commission etc.) The progressive wing believed in the total welfare state.

    Unfortunately, the one half wasn't really compatible with the other. Over time, a quiet, internal war was waged for the heart of the Democratic party and generally the liberal wing, and the total welfare statists won out.

    Politics in the modern era is just so cynical that yes, now it's just about who's in charge. But at the core, the modern Democratic party is a party of the total welfare state.

  • kinnath||

    Liberals weren't necessary. "I am not a crook" Dick Nixon was sufficient.

  • The Last American Hero||

    This is reaching Catch-22 levels of absurdity, and rapidly heading towards Monty Python territory.

  • Pro Libertate||

    The Dead Constitution sketch.

  • CatoTheElder||

    I'd say it's well nigh into Brazil territory.

  • Loki||

    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and ranking member Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Mich.) said that the Pentagon report found a significant portion of the 1.7 million documents Snowden took were related to current U.S. military operations.

    And have any of the documents related to current US military operations actually been published?

    Rusbridger then quoted senior officials from the UK and the US who "have told me personally that there has been no damage. A member of the Senate intelligence committee said to us: 'I have been incredibly impressed by what you have done … I have seen nothing that you have done that has caused damage."

    I'll take that as no. Fuck off, slavers.

  • playa manhattan||

    They can't tell you. It's highly classified. For, uh, national security reasons.

  • John||

    I used to think if there was any proof of damage they would release it. But then I remember how reflexively secretive and arrogant these people are. It is entirely possible that Snowden did cause real damage but these people are so arrogant that they actually think "just take our work for it" is sufficient proof of that.

    They very well may be or probably are lying. But it is entirely believable that they could have some no kidding proof of harm and be so stupid and arrogant they think people will believe them without them releasing such proof.

  • playa manhattan||

    I doubt it. Lying seems much more likely given their track record.

  • John||

    But even liars tell the truth when it suits their purposes. Their propensity to lie doesn't mean that Snowden didn't do any damage. It just means you can't believe them when they tell you he did. It is not like they would say anything different regardless of what the truth is.

  • R C Dean||

    So, bottom line: these people saying it caused damage proves absolutely nothing, and we can safely conclude that there is currently no reason to believe it did.

  • John||

    Snowden released a lot more than just the activities of the NSA in America. I think it is reasonable to believe some of the other things he released might have done some damage. But who knows.

  • Pro Libertate||

    "Trust us" coming from people who violated our trust in the first place is absurd.

  • Paul.||

    Especially considering they said they weren't doing any of the things that Snowden revealed. This is nothing more than a tantrum on the part of the Pentagon.

  • Ted S.||

    There was no damage to national security. There may have been damage to government security, but that's not national security.

  • CatoTheElder||

    "But even liars tell the truth when it suits their purposes."

    Ordinary psychopaths tell the truth to the extent that suits their purposes.

    But we're not talking about ordinary psychopaths. These guys are pathological liars. They lie when they don't have to. Hell, these guys are so bad that they lie even when it's not in their immediate interest.

  • John||

    No. These guys are so arrogant and reflexively secret, it would never dawn on them that not releasing their proof hurts their case. The could have a recording of Snowden taking instructions from the Iranians and would be too stupid to release it.

  • Pro Libertate||

    COMMENT REDACTED

  • CatoTheElder||

    Actually, I don't think these are mutually exclusive. These guys are so pathologically arrogant and reflexively secret that they always lie.

    Their arrogance and secretiveness is so awesomely profound that they will even lie about being the most transparent administration in history.

  • JW||

    I used to think if there was any proof of damage they would release it.

    They'll give you as much evidence as they did when the killed Bin Laden.

  • Invisible Finger||

    They have proof of Snowden's damage just like they had proof of Saddam's WMD's.

    The Pentagon has ZERO credibility.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    You know the old saying, "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you"?

    Well, Mike Rogers just doesn't want to have to kill you. It's for your own good.

  • Andrew S.||

    Wait, does that mean if Mike Rogers knows, we get to kill him?

    (dammit... I just got myself on another list, didn't I?)

  • Agammamon||

    Like the No-Fly List, there's only one - but there are a fuck-ton of agencies that can put you on it.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Holder assigns big-time Obama supporter to investigate IRS abuses of the Tea Party.

    The IRS is part of DOJ, now?

  • Pro Libertate||

    The IRS is, apparently, part of the DNC now.

  • R C Dean||

    The IRS and the DOJ are both operating arms of the Democratic Party.

    And, likely, have been for some time. Its just that now they see no reason to hide it.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Read the story about the IRS and Andrew Mellon. Or how the IRS leaked Nixon's tax returns.

    The Dems created the modern IRS in 1913, and the IRS worships its creator.

  • John||

    Every single person who has stood up in public and done anything that caused embarrassment to Obama from Joe the Plumber to the woman with cancer who lost her insurance policy and doctor has ended up being audited. People who started tea party groups and filed for tax exempt status got visits from the FBI. There are dozens of anecdotes of this. The media just refuses to cover it.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Eventually, the monster (the welfare state) will eat its creator (the dems primarily but also the repubs). When your creature is as interwoven monstrosity of dependency, incompetence, and violence you can bet it'll turn on you when you fail to fed it.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Given that the report is classified it is impossible for anyone to independently examine its claims.

    Mr. Feeney, are you implying that we cannot take the Pentagon at its good word?

  • Tim||

    Snowden leaked secrets. The US government knows which secrets he leaked, it also knows that terrorists now know those secrets. Yet they can't tell the American people what the secrets are because... why?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Because they're secrets, silly!

  • playa manhattan||

    Shhhh!

  • ||

    Let's imagine this. Let's imagine there were five identifiable "tactics" that were changed because of the Snowden revelations. And let's say that revealing the detail actually would compromise some aspect of the National Security apparatus. For example, we'd have to pull some operative out because this would blow their cover.

    At this point, wouldn't it be worth revealing it in detail simply to restore the credibility of the Government? Isn't the cost/benefit of restoring the trust of your citizenry vs. the cost of terminating one operation worth it?

  • CatoTheElder||

    FYTW.

  • Fluffy||

    Here's the other thing:

    It's entirely possible that leaking evidence of wrongdoing by the executive branch could "endanger the nation".

    If Obama had a secret team kidnapping people and sacrificing them to the devil, if you got hold of tapes of that and leaked it, that act might "endanger the nation". Outraged people might watch those tapes and decide to strike back at Obama and his Satanist Kidnap Team.

    But you should still leak it. Because fuck danger. Truth beats danger just like scissors beats paper, and Spock beats lizard.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Kirk beats lizard. Dear lord, how long have you been commenting here, yet you still get this wrong?

  • sarcasmic||

    Dork.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yeah, like you don't know this fact. What does that make you?

  • sarcasmic||

    Someone whose cousin died in a traffic accident on the way to a Trekkie convention.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You're a dork denier. You deny your dork.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm more of a nerd than a dork.

  • ||

    Kirk beats lizard

    Not if JJ Abrams has anything to say about it in "Star Trek 3: Crazy Alternate Timelines"

  • Agammamon||

    Kirk is killed by the lizard but the lizard is overcome by grief at destroying something so awesome that it repents and peacefully joins the federation.

    Then Kirk is resurrected by Khan's superblood.

    And we only know AbrahmsKirk is awesome because the script has the actors telling us every couple of minutes how awesome he is despite his doing really stupid things over and over.

  • John||

    You are correct. Whether it damages the security of the nation is not the same question as whether the actions that were leaked were legal.

    Beyond that, since Snowden released a lot more information than just the fact that the NSA collects on Americans, it is entirely possible that some of that information was damaging why the release of the NSA tactics of spying on Americans had no effect at all. If fact, if I had to bet, I would bet that the report could show Snowden did do some damage but that none of that damage resulted from his revealing the things everyone is angry about.

    This report is really just a more sophisticated ad homonym attack. The NSA is claiming that because Snowden released some information that damaged the country we should totally not worry about the legality and effectiveness of the NSA collecting on Americans.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Really, even if we were damaged, aren't we more damaged by an agency massively and regularly violating a right specifically protected under the Constitution? I mean, it's not like we're talking about my right to drink tea, here.

  • John||

    Yes. There is that. But you can see the sort of sophistry I am talking about here. Snowden release NSA tactic A,B,C, and D. Tactic A is that it collects on every American and everyone goes justifiably crazy but forgets about B,C, and D. The NSA has some proof that the release of tactic D caused some damage. So they release a report that says "Snowden's leaks damaged national security" never saying which parts of the leaks did so and using it to imply that the NSA spying on Americans is effective when in fact it is not.

  • BakedPenguin||

    The NSA is part of America.
    Snowden's revelations damaged the NSA.
    Therefore, Snowden's revelations damaged America.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That logic. . .is irrefutable. Norman, coordinate.

  • Agammamon||

    No, you can't have your privacy violated if you don't know it was violated.

    We weren't damaged by the NSA's spying until we *knew* they were spying. If Snowden had just kept hi mouth shut everything would be hunky-dory.

  • sarcasmic||

    Shoot the messenger.

  • Pro Libertate||

    With a bamboo cannon?

  • sarcasmic||

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    ...Spock beats lizard.

    I seriously doubt any Vulcans "beat the lizard". Of course, Spock is half-human, so maybe he does? Most illogical...

  • Pro Libertate||

    He does it, but only to the point of orgasm every seven years.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Ah, yes. Now I remember.

    I'm gonna' start an epic viewing of Star Trek on Netflix. Every episode from every series in order. Plus all the movies. Is there any resource which indicates the chronological placement of movies within the ST timeline?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Memory Alpha?

  • ||

    Every episode from every series in order.

    So you have to start out with the Scott Bakula series?

    I am thinking your plan will not get past the first 5 episodes.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    QUESTION AUTHORITY

    If

    you

    DARE.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Edward Snowden's leaks about National Security Agency programs have put U.S. troops at risk and prompted terrorists to change their tactics, according to a classified Pentagon report.

    IOW

    Disclosing HOW the NSA was shitting all over the Fourth Amendment by collecting our digital data, tipped off bad guys that the NSA could use the same techniques on them, prompting them to change their tactics.

    Just think. If the NSA hadn't SHIT ALL OVER the 4th Amendment by collecting American citizen's personal information using these "techniques", the NSA would still have their secret technique to use on bad guys.

    FUCK OFF SLAVERS! You don't get to spy on me, and when you do, bad shit happens...like you lose the ability to spy on the real bad guys.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Yup. Funny thing is, this type of stupidity is pissing off exactly the wrong sort of people; the sort who should be generally supportive. I'm not a braindead hippie -- neither are you. I supported the Cold War, served in the military, and generally like the military culture. I like guns and 'splosions. I understand the necessity of intelligence agencies. In short, I should be the military-industrial establishment's bottom bitch. Yet, the more I see the more people like me are completely turned off by the offensive BS that comes out of these organizations and their lack of any respect whatsoever for the Constitution, legality, and the people they're serving.

    If there ever comes a day when the NSA and FBI are shut down, they will have only themselves to blame for a fate that they have richly earned.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I have a feeling we're approaching Church Committee territory.

  • sarcasmic||

    If there ever comes a day when the NSA and FBI are shut down

    Haaaaaaa ha ha ha ha! A government agency shutting down? Haaaaaaaaaaaa ha ha ha!

  • John||

    They are so arrogant. They think that 911 gave them a blank check. They have totally forgotten that there was a time not too long ago when intelligence collection was a dirty phrase that everyone hated. For 23 years following the Church Commission until 911, the IT community lived in mortal fear of ever being used to spy on Americans. And in 12 short years they forgot all of those lessons and are going to end up with a full on public revolt that results in a lot of nasty consequences for them.

  • sarcasmic||

    Consequences? Like what? Seriously. I don't think anything will happen. No one will lose their job. No one will be prosecuted. They're not going to stop collecting data. Nothing will change.

  • John||

    Oh yes they will. You watch. We will end up with legal restrictions and even worse, they will lose funding. That is what made the Church Commission so devastating. It ended up with Congress cutting the hell out of the CIA's budget. That left a scare that lasted 20 years.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yes, that's why I think they're all dumb not to self-correct.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I think John's right. People just don't like or support the GWoT anymore, and it's no longer received wisdom that giving intelligence agencies carte blanche leads to better outcomes.

  • kinnath||

    People don't matter. Money and power matter. Nothing will change until congress's access to money and power is threatened.

  • Ted S.||

    What are you smoking to make you so optimistic?

  • kinnath||

    All the tech giants (other that Amazon) are starting to cooperate to put limits on the NSA. They are being hurt in the pocket book big time in expanding markets outside the US. These are companies with billions of dollars sitting in the bank. Once they decide to intervene in elections, Congress will have to do more than pay lip service.

  • John||

    I think that is why they are so pissed at Snowden. Once this came out, the Tech companies were screwed. Who would use Yahoo or google Email after this? They have no choice but to get this stopped. If they don't, they will be out of business.

  • kinnath||

    These companies have never given a shit about the privacy of their users (and I never expected different).

    But now the feds have fucked the revenue stream in emerging markets. The tech giants have to do something and do it now.

  • kinnath||

    Of course, it is RSA that is now absolutely totally fucked.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    The old story of never let a tragedy go to waste when you can use it to gain more power.

    I remember those in support of the Patriot act (nearly everyone) screaming at the top of their lungs...TEH INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES DON'T TALK TO EACH OTHER...

    No shit Sherlock, they were designed that way to protect Americans from EXACTLY this type of shit. CIA is international, FBI is domestic... That way you can spy on foreign bad guys without needing to deal with constitutional issues and make the FBI work under a stricter set of guidelines without mixing which were acquired how.

    Short sighted reaction to fear.

  • John||

    Actually they were allowed to talk to each other. That is a misnomer. The CIA could pass information on to the FBI if it related to a foreign person and criminal activity in the US. There was no law prior to 911 that prevented the NSA from picking up the phone and telling DOJ that there were Saudis in the country they had reason to believe were dangerous and had overstayed their VISAs. They just didn't do it.

    To the extent there was a restriction it was that the FBI couldn't call up the NSA and ask them if they knew anything about this lunatic they have in custody who was training to take off but not land a plane. But that restriction was created by the Clinton Administration, not the law. Sharing information is not the same as collecting.

    But the truth of all of that was covered up by the 911 Commission. The Commission was made up of the same people who had fucked up and allowed it to happen. In particular Jamie Goehrlick, who should go down in history as the greatest fuck up ever to serve in Government. Goerhrlick was the Clinton DOJ hack who invented the rule that the FBI couldn't ask the intel community for information. That rule as much as anything caused the problem. And she was on the Commission.

    Even under the Patriot Act and 12333, it is illegal for the IC community to collect on US persons without a foreign nexus. But what they did was used Goehrlick's fuck up as an excuse to make "foreign nexus" mean pretty much anything they want it to.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "generally like the military culture"

    Ugh. I do not like 'the military culture' any more than I like 'the public school culture,' 'the DMV culture' or any other culture that lives off taking my money from me.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Well then I guess it's a good thing I don't ask you to like the same things I like, Bo.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Just reminding people that government employee cultures are rarely celebrated in libertarian circles.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    No one really gives a shit what you like, Bo, because you're just snot nosed, wet behind the ears, punk, kid who likes listening to himself talk about inane topics because you think it makes you look like a grownup.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    You really have come to nothing but sound and fury, signifying nothing when talking with me. Are you that terrified of actually talking with someone that might not automatically agree with your generalizations?

  • Agammamon||

    Have you ever been in the military, past the first couple of years as a junior enlisted (which *nobody* likes)?

    And we're not talking about the military-industrial culture - the interface between DoD, civilian suppliers, and government - but the culture of the people that actually fight/support fighters.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The 'people that actually fight/support fighters' are federal government employees which live off of my hard earned money, so no, I do not care any more for their 'culture' than I do that of police officers, public school teachers or other government employees. I am sorry, perhaps it is that I do not have any conservative leanings, but I do not give the military a pass on this.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I supported the Cold War, served in the military, and generally like the military culture.

    All the proves is you're not a hippie.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    If Obama had a secret team kidnapping people and sacrificing them to the devil,

    large numbers of people (some known to me personally) would be outraged if you let the cat out of the bag, because they would, as an act of their most devout faith, choose to believe it was necessary and appropriate.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    It is really quite irrelevant whether this claim is true or not -- the fact of the matter is the policy should not have been implemented without the public's knowledge and in violation of the Constitution.

    What claims like these do is infuriate people who know when they're being patronized and treated like morons.

    Yet, I am certain that by tomorrow some NatSec idiot or other on my FB will be flogging this claim as "proof" of the utter wrongness of letting the American public in on this secret.

  • Pro Libertate||

    What if the "damaging" information was illegally obtained information?

  • John||

    That is the part they never talk about. Even if it doesn't violate the 4th Amendment, it still should have been up for public debate whether they did it or not.

    The fact is that most people don't want them doing this legal or not. But they don't think the public should have a say. They are top men professionals and know what is best.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "should not have been implemented without the public's knowledge and in violation of the Constitution."

    I do not think it is clear that the PRISM program as I understand it is contrary to 4th Amendment caselaw (I am not a fan of some of that caselaw, but it is what it is), but it seems to me that operating a program on the American public without its knowledge and approval (via its representatives) is immoral and should be made illegal.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Either way, the foundational structure of our government presupposes public debate and consent for what is going on. Kind of hard to vote if no one knows what the public servants are doing for your ostensible benefit.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well said, to me this is the heart of the transgression. It is fundamentally counter to basic democratic or republican values, the people can not consent to that which is hidden from them.

  • CatoTheElder||

    What claims like these do is infuriate people who know when they're being patronized and treated like morons.

    The problem is that only a tiny minority of people know that they're being treated like morons. Otherwise there would already be a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate the abuses of the NSA and other privacy-invading intelligence-gathering agencies of the total-information-awareness State.

  • John||

    We have a slow system. You can't do much to petition the government other than vote. And we haven't had an election since this came out.

    Beyond that, we have a huge country and most people don't pay a lot of attention to politics. If the media had taken this story seriously and were anything but effectively a state run media, there would have been hell to pay. The Leftists took over the media for good reason.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You know, this isn't politics. This is oppression.

  • John||

    It is a fake scandal Pro. It is just Republicans playing politics with our safety. Nothing to see here.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Jesus, I wish the aliens would hurry up and give me that power ring. I've got some fixin' to do.

  • GamerFromJump||

    Unfortunately, you're not allowed to use it for lethal force in most circumstances.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "If the media had taken this story seriously and were anything but effectively a state run media"

    I am pretty sure it was in fact the 'leftist media' from which you became aware of this story in the first place. If I recall correctly, the Guardian, Washington Post and the New York Times broke this story, not Commentary, the National Review or Fox News. The conservative victimization card about the 'biased MSM' is a bit tiresome.

  • Dave Krueger||

    ...the 1.7 million documents Snowden took...

    So, that's the new number they're pulling out of their ass, huh?

    I suspect they are using that number just to see if Snowden refutes it, which is apparently the only way they have of trying to figure out how much he took.

  • Agammamon||

    Its probably simply the number of *computer files* he took - many of which may simply be 1 page summaries or even just a single (small set of) picture.

  • GILMORE||

    "According to a classified report from the Pentagon..."

    "...leaked to the press..."

    DO YOU PEOPLE NOT UNDERSTAND THAT THIS 'CONSTITUION' IS YOUR ENEMY?? YOU WILL DIE UNLESS WE BE GIVEN TOTAL AUTHORITY TO BYPASS THIS PERNICIOUS, EVIL THING

  • Invisible Finger||

    Snowden leaked that too.

  • Invisible Finger||

    The only thing that is going to bring down this administration is the Democrats in Congress finally turning on it.

    Will. Never. Happen.

    The Democrats would just as soon have him assassinated, blame it on someone else, and get to use the "Obama Martyr Shield" as their defense for 30 years.

    They did it before.

  • John||

    I suspect you are right. What is going to happen is that they are going to end up out of power in 2016 lamenting how America was just too racist to handle having a black President.

    They should save themselves. Instead they are going to go right over the cliff with the Black Jesus on this and a lot of other issues.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I suppose having him assassinated would be the Democrats turning on the administration.

    If they don't go that far, they haven't turned on him. At best they'll force him to come up with a couple of sacrificial lambs before November. It doesn't even matter WHICH scandal the lambs are for. Sebelius is gone in 8 months for sure. Shit, if she wanted out for health reasons this administration would ask her "Can we make it look like we're firing you?"

  • RishJoMo||

    lol, those pompous windbags are real full of themselves.

    www.Privacy-Planet.com

  • happel||

    Fact: NSA has existed prior to 9/11. Fact: Nothing prevented that attack. Q.E.D.

  • MoreFreedom||

    The statists are grasping at straws to keep the NSA spying going. The program has prevented nothing, and helped catch no one.

    Anyone with an understanding of computers and databases will realize that a database of everyone's calls will yield nothing. They have to start with a known terrorist and his calls, in which case they could simply, and legally, obtain a search warrant, and they could also obtain search warrants for those he calls.

    The only reason for this, is so Obama's political appointees can spy on individual citizens and see what they are up to. Obama can check who all called the guys who closed the lanes for Chris Christy, and use it to blackmail Christy. They can see who Carl Ican is talking to, and buy stocks in his takeover targes on that inside knowledge. He can also use it to blackmail the governor of Arizona. Frankly I think he already has. Look for Obama to talk to someone on an airport tarmac, far away from eavesdropping ears, then they'll cave to him. As he did with Christy and Brewer.

    Obama likely told someone to write up such a report, and to make it classified, but to report the executive summary. That's what lying statists do. They make up lies. Like "you can keep your plan".

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