Self Referencing Laws defy Checks and Balances

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Self Referencing Laws defy Checks and Balances

Postby WalkerARCHITECTS » Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:48 pm

Design Intelligence is an imperative in government. What we see today is the emergence of a secret government inside our government. Architects as agents of design intelligence are critical to the debate. Currently frightening information about the secret government that is emerging is in the headlines. The sudden awareness that we are in the danger zone, although there have been whistle blowers in the past, it has never reached these proportions.

The recent public disclosures of US National Security Agency (NSA) dragnet surveillance have given new urgency to an important global debate on what controls are needed to ensure that the rights of people everywhere to privacy, expression, information and association are adequately protected. This debate has been long in gaining prominence, in large part due to the excessive secrecy that shrouds both the security programs and their government oversight. It has taken leaks of classified information to inform the public of the extraordinary scope of NSA surveillance and galvanize political interest in reforms.

The government is entitled to protect sensitive information, and not all leaks deserve protection. However, whistleblowers are those who reveal misconduct or unethical policies in the public interest, and their important role in keeping government honest is recognized in laws that provide at least some protection from retaliation for their disclosures. Yet in the United States, whistleblowers in the intelligence and national security sectors are highly vulnerable to retaliation should they try to bring serious abuses to light. This is the current state of the matter.

Stop the idea of a GENERAL WARRANT!

Congress has failed to give such whistleblowers effective legal protection for the disclosure of secret information; the Obama administration has aggressively prosecuted them under espionage laws designed for spies acting as agents of a foreign power; and the security agencies have found ways to destroy their careers. This is the new evil contrived to strip justice from the American people one legislative act at a time. Despite this hostility, people have continued to bring forward reports of abuses. They deserve protection for revelations that have weighty public interest, such as widespread violation of human rights.

There is something evil going on in America. I have received this from Alan Grayson Congressman for Florida.

“Last month, 10,000 of us submitted comments to the United States Trade Representative (USTR), in which we objected to new so-called free trade agreements. We asked that the government not sell out our democracy to corporate interests. “

“Because of this pressure, the USTR finally let a member of Congress - little ole me, Alan Grayson - actually see the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is a large, secret trade agreement that is being negotiated with many countries in East Asia and South America. “

“The TPP is nicknamed "NAFTA on steroids." Now that I've read it, I can see why. I can't tell you what's in the agreement, because the U.S. Trade Representative calls it classified. But I can tell you two things about it. “

1) There is no national security purpose in keeping this text secret.

2) This agreement hands the sovereignty of our country over to corporate interests.

3) What they can't afford to tell the American public is that [the rest of this sentence is classified].

(Well, I did promise to tell you only two things about it.)

“I will be fighting this agreement with everything I've got. And I know you'll be there every step of the way. “

“For now, I've set up an e-mail address where you can ask me questions on this topic or other topics:

“I'll pick a few and answer them by video. True Blue Democrats. Get ready. We're coming. “

America is being altered significantly by legislation that empowers corporations to own this country and to radically truncate the freedoms of the American people.

In the last few days, President Barack Obama further defended the National Security Agency's collection of phone and other electronic records to PBS' Charlie Rose, calling the program "transparent."

If this were not so surprising to all of us, that they were doing this, “illegally” wire-tapping.. apparently all of us to some extent, then the word “transparent” would apply. This is potentially a secret investigation of each and every American. There appear to be no safeguards or limitations to what is allowed. They are examining all of our communications. We had no idea. Calling this transparent is simply a lie. The president is trying to spin a tale, redirect the narrative and there is no choice but to call him out. There are of course two ways and more... to look at the issue.

In a pre-taped interview set to air Monday evening, Obama gave a forceful defense of the program, saying that the NSA had not unlawfully targeted Americans. This is true. They passed a law, never told us it would lead to this, and are now claiming it is lawful to wire-tap anyone and everyone without probable cause or a court order. It might not technically be a wire-tap but it technically a method of spying on every American electronically. The technicality is a distinction without a difference. A secret law that destroys fundamental freedoms of the American people exists and the president of the united states is defending this law.

Obama said; "What I can say unequivocally is that if you are a U.S. person, the NSA cannot listen to your telephone calls, and the NSA cannot target your emails … and have not," Obama said, according to a transcript provided by PBS. Yet, they can know the content of our communications by using other tools, such as PRISM.

Rose pressed Obama on the point, according to the transcript:
Rose: So I hear you saying, I have no problem with what NSA has been doing.

Obama: Well, let me — let me finish, because I don’t. So, what happens is that the FBI — if, in fact, it now wants to get content; if, in fact, it wants to start tapping that phone — it’s got to go to the FISA court with probable cause and ask for a warrant. (The FISA court is a SECRET COURT!!)

Rose: But has FISA court turned down any request?

Obama: The — because — the — first of all, Charlie, the number of requests are surprisingly small… number one. Number two, folks don’t go with a query unless they’ve got a pretty good suspicion.

Rose: Should this be transparent in some way?

Obama: It is transparent. That’s why we set up the FISA court.

(The FISA court is a secret court it IS NOT TRANSPARENT!)

Later in the interview, Obama said the program had "disrupted" terrorist plots in the United States as well as overseas. The president pointed specifically to the prosecution of Najibullah Zazi, who was arrested in 2009 as part of a plan to bomb the New York City subway system.

"Now, we might have caught him some other way. We might have disrupted it because a New York cop saw he was suspicious," Obama said. "Maybe he turned out to be incompetent and the bomb didn’t go off. But at the margins we are increasing our chances of preventing a catastrophe like that through these programs."

Note: No demonstrated cause to effect in the president’s statement.

While Zazi's name has come up frequently in defense of the NSA, the Associated Press and others have thrown cold water on the talking point, stating that the email the NSA says led to the plot's disruption could have been intercepted without the PRISM program. Obviously this is true.

Obama struck a similar tone during a June 7 speech in San Jose, Calif., saying that Congress has been briefed on the programs' details.

"The programs are secret in the sense that they are classified.’ Since when is secret and classified the same as transparent? Newspeak from the lips of the President of the United States! They are not secret, in that every member of Congress has been briefed," he said. "These are programs that have been authored by large bipartisan majorities repeatedly since 2006."


So we are being spied upon by our own government. It is not illegal spying because members of that same government know about it and authorized it. Self-referencing nonsense. That this was kept secret from the entire working class of the United States of America is an established fact, yet it is “transparent” because a few elected officials in the congress of the United States, (the government) many of whom participated in creating these laws, people who enjoy wealth and power, people who claim to have our interests at heart,… have been told. They are not allowed to share this secret with the rest of us. Consequently this is lawful because the elite who run the country say so and voted to make it so and kept it secret from the rest of us, so we could never know, they were doing this…. If that is not corruption…. WHAT IS? Do you all understand where this will inevitably lead!

In George Orwell's novel 1984, "Big Brother" is the dictator of Oceania. No one knows whether Big Brother is a real person, or simply the personification of the dictatorship. Big Brother spies on every citizen through "telescreens." Everyone is reminded constantly, "Big Brother is Watching You."

All legal disclosure required has taken place without exception. That is what the president means by transparency. It should be required that American’s can only be investigated where probable cause exists, that is another of the elements that has been taken from the American people.

White House chief of staff Denis McDonough also stood by the program on Sunday during an appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation," insisting that Obama "does not" have privacy concerns related to the NSA's phone records collection.

Let's compare that to the recent revelations about the Orwellian-named National Security Agency (NSA), an arm of the U.S. Department of Defense. News reports in the Guardian and the Washington Post have uncovered a secret court order dated April 23, 2013, issued to Verizon. Verizon is the largest cell phone company in America. The court order requires Verizon to give to the NSA "all call detail records or ‘telephony metadata' created by Verizon for communications (i) between the United States and abroad; or (ii) wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls. " "Call detail records" are records of who you called, when you called, and how long you spoke.

The court order in the news reports is classified, and it's marked "Declassify on: April 12, 2038."

There is no reason to think that the NSA singled out Verizon. So that implies that the NSA is collecting records of every telephone call that you and I make, even local telephone calls. In fact, Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who worked at the NSA, told reporters that he could get the records for the calls from the President's own personal cell phone.

The NSA has not denied that it is collecting call records on every American. On the contrary, the NSA sees nothing wrong with it!

I see three fundamental problems with this:

1. This is worse than the proverbial "fishing expedition"; this is like putting the entire ocean through a sieve. It makes a mockery of the Fourth Amendment's requirement that government searches be "particular."

2. This assumes not only that everyone is guilty until proven innocent, but that everyone is guilty. The Fourth Amendment limits searches to cases of "probable cause," meaning that a prudent and cautious person would reasonably believe that the search will yield evidence of a crime. Obviously, most phone records have absolutely nothing to do with the commission of any crime.

3. Providing this information to the Department of Defense violates the fundamental principle that our military does not operate on American soil, against American citizens. That principle has been embodied in law since the 1870s. From this perspective, providing this personal call record information to DoD is no different from providing it to the CIA - another agency that is not allowed to operate on US soil.

For the record the author does not have personal concerns, …yet,… about the NSA spying on me. But I can be investigated with absolutely no probable cause at all and no court order is needed. Secret investigations, perpetrated on every American, and it is transparent because the insiders in the government have been told. That is just one of the problems with this. It is however not clear yet, how we measure the success of this project. There is no oversight that we know of. We, the people, can’t determine if it is actually worth the costs that we pay for this. Show us the success record. Show me how I can defend myself, as a patriot, from a government that is monitoring my communications. How do I know or you know,… when they are wire tapping us and when they are not? They get to do what ever they want and we can never find out about it! We must now assume that big brother is watching all the time.

So Congress knows… sort of… that is a long way from being transparent.

Chief of staff Denis McDonough "The president is not saying, 'Trust me,'" he said. "The president is saying, 'I want every member of Congress, on whose authority we are running this program, to be briefed on it, to come to the administration with questions and to also be accountable for it.'"

That is simply not good enough. I have the right to NOT BE SPIED UPON BY MY GOVERNMENT, unless they have probable cause. “Electronic Mining” for probable cause is the same as constructing probable cause out of thin air.

Out of the three main arguments in defense of the sweeping NSA surveillance – are these (1) it's legal; (2) it keeps us safe; (3) it's not that intrusive -- the problem is that only one of the three is true. Because it is true, we have a problem in America that we need to correct right away.

“It is the destruction of freedom… for the purpose of protecting our freedom.”

“In order to save the village it became necessary to destroy it.”

The president and his allies argue that the NSA's telephone metadata gathering is a legitimate exercise of state power because all three branches of government have signed off on it.

For the record I did not sign off on it. Neither did you, I am a voter. You are a voter. We did not sign off on this. I am part of the government process. I am a patriot. I am happy to speak out against anything that is dangerous and damaging to America. This is a dangerous thing to empower and we need to shut it down now because it places unwarranted power into the hands of a few with little or no oversight.

They created a secret government within the government. The potential for this to expand as government frequently does, is probable. They are watching each and every citizen in the United States. That is pretty much over the top in the crazy paranoid direction. That is not the way we do things in the United States. Since when is that acceptable government activity?

The news reports also reprinted five pages from an NSA PowerPoint presentation about the NSA's "Prism" program. According to that NSA presentation, the NSA collects information "directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.""What information?", you may wonder. This information, according to the NSA presentation: "E-mail, Chat-video, voice, Videos, Photos, Stored data, VoIP [Voice over Internet Protocol], File transfers, Video Conferencing, Notifications of target activity - logins, etc., Online Social Networking details [and] Special Requests."

The PowerPoint presentation in the news reports is classified, and it's marked "Declassify On: 20360901" (Meaning Sept. 1, 2036.)

The plain meaning of this, in the context of the presentation, is that the NSA is pulling unlimited amounts of e-mails from Microsoft's hosted Hotmail accounts, e-mails from Google's hosted Gmail accounts, search records from Google's search servers, private "friend" communications from Facebook's servers, the content of telephone calls from Skype's VoIP service, etc., etc.

Regarding the Prism program, despite what the presentation specifically states, the NSA contends that it cannot actually collect information directly from the servers of all those internet service providers. The NSA also has put out that it collects such information (e-mails, photos, call content, etc.) only for foreigners not residing in the United States. Honestly, I don't know how the NSA could do that in any reliable manner, because Google, Microsoft, Facebook and all the others have no way of knowing your citizenship or your residence. But that's what the NSA is saying.

The bottom line is that the NSA evidently is getting call information on virtually every phone call by virtually every American, it is definitely getting the e-mails and call content of foreigners, and it may or may not be getting the e-mails and call content of Americans.

So is Uncle Sam actually Big Brother? I won't dwell on the convoluted intimate relations that would be necessary to make your uncle also your brother. Rather, as noted above, the essence of Big Brother was that "Big Brother is Watching You." Uncle Sam isn't physically observing you at all times - that much is true. But if Uncle Sam is receiving information about every phone call that you make (as the NSA concedes), and Uncle Sam has access every other electronic communication of yours, including your e-mails and web browsing and storing it all (which the NSA disputes), then yes, Big Brother is Watching You.

I think that it's wrong, and it has to end. As do the 13,000 people in 24 hours who signed the petition supporting our legislation at Because we can't protect our freedom by destroying it.

I understand that there may be some people who see no problem in the Department of Defense monitoring their communications. I also understand that there are some people who have been so traumatized, so terrorized, by terrorism that they are willing to give up all of their freedom - all of everyone's freedom - for the promise of some safety.

I am not one of those people.

Have secret laws been deliberately contrived by insiders to grip the working class, to use this secret tool to some future purpose, we are not allowed to know about, where are they going with this, is this to be used to shape our future, or to protect us from terrorists, clearly they are playing the big brother role, to examine each of us for the presence of a possible thought crime.

Ok it is not that bad yet, but it will get that bad! So let’s shut it down now while we can. Let’s shut down Citizens United too.

Some pundits are buying that line, some slavishly so (not to be outdone in its contempt for public accountability, the Wall Street Journal's editorial board complains of too much government oversight and advises taking the judiciary out of it). REALLY? What does that accomplish? Regardless if we are currently confused about this, then freedom has already been removed from our society. Ignorance is

It is game over for freedom.

If they can make this law then they can eliminate freedom altogether. This is exactly what evil looks like before it turns ugly.

There's obviously no shortage of controversy over that claim. The degree to which lawmakers outside of a select circle of members of the House and Senate intelligence committees were afforded a meaningful opportunity to be read into the NSA programs is a matter of fierce dispute. And the FISA courts, with their secret, non-adversarial, government-only proceedings, have always existed in a murky and mysterious quagmire of self- referencing constitutionality.

Clearly this circumvents free speech and it’s intention to safeguard American Freedom. Under no circumstance did this happen by accident. The intent is to enslave the population, to destroy freedom and to use the threat of terrorism to constrict freedom tighter and tighter until it is gone, is deliberate. These laws if they do not embody that intent certainly have been very abused already and will only expand in the future. It is a government within the government.

They do not need to have any probable cause to engage the wire taping, The unlimited surveillance of ”free” US citizens has been empowered by a the rubber stamp congress of the Bush administration. Can the government use surveillance technology and wire-tap me without a court order? Yes. Can the government wiretap me without evidence of any kind? Yes.

Have they? I can’t find out. Did they do it to you? You can’t find out.

The need for probable cause to engage in wire-taping, has nothing to do with protecting the American people and every potential to eliminate freedom in America completely. This is what evil looks like before it turns ugly!

First they collect information then they take bits a pieces and construct a case against anyone they choose, whenever they choose, who ever they choose and they do not have to have any probable cause to engage the wire taping in the first place. They are now empowered to engage the practice of manufacturing crimes out of thin air. This is dangerous. There are no checks and balances.

Even if it is true that legislators were widely and duly briefed on the surveillance programs, that shouldn't allay the concerns people have over the growing imbalance in power and prerogative between the government and civil society – rather: it is a very cogent reason for even further alarm.

One of the most disturbing realities that the surveillance revelations have brought into relief is that in its drive to safeguard national security, the Bush & Obama Administration has concocted policies and tactics that draw a sharp line of division between the state and the general public that tend to cast the latter in the role of potential conspirator. I am concerned about the failure to engage the moral imperative implied, by the office of these presidents. As commander and chief they chose the destruction of our personal liberties to facilitate the capacity to identify anyone who might be a potential terrorist. Not a logical trade off. How many lives did they invade to acquire this knowledge? How useful is this information in stopping terrorists. What will they do with the information they obtained on the rest of us?

The Patriot Act needs to be struck down. That needs to happen now. This is what evil looks like before it turns ugly, and we are running out of time.

The problem isn't the government's assumption that there are those among us who may wittingly or unwittingly enable terrorists (or be terrorists ourselves), which is both credible and impossible to dispute. It's that in the Administration's view, our very understanding of what the government is doing and how it does it, is deemed a priori an unacceptable security risk. It's not only the secrecy around the NSA's databanks of phone records: it's the AP spying, the Stasi-like investigation of James Rosen, the merciless pursuit of leakers and whistleblowers -- it's the entire attitude of the current government, toward public scrutiny of its conduct. The Patriot Act was not the act of any patriot!

This legislation arises from the crucible of lies. From this crucible, the liar created this legislation from the fear woven by false intelligence and propaganda . It is not something freedom can live with. This is not the agent of deliverance of our liberty, it is the antithesis of our spirit as a people, it is the very face of the evil we have fought so long, on so many battlefields to defeat. It is the evil within the Trojan horse, the treachery of the con artist and the assassin; it is the ultimate death that strikes at the heart of liberty itself.

Government mistrust of the public is nothing new, of course. What has changed is our unadulterated certainty that government has literally become the enemy that needs to spy on it’s own people. It's been a conspicuous feature of our political landscape since 9/11, and it was even more pronounced during certain particularly terrible periods of the Cold War.

We went to war as the Patriot act came to form in a swift current of lies. In the political toroid of those events, the cold and calculating did what they could to destroy freedom in America. It is time now for that to be repaired. That our government is now held hostage by these same villains is made crystal clear with every word they speak.

That fact is but a part of the disturbing if not treacherous appearance of these events, upon reflection, the fact that it is surprising us now, is the awakening that the NSA story has revealed to us that President Obama's security policies are not and have never been a break from the Bush era. The Bush ideology was embraced and maintained. Because there was no choice.

The certain death of American freedom has been belatedly announced to the shock and disbelief of the American people, not merely a continuation but a digital enhancement to accelerate the destruction of American freedom has transported reason itself to a far distant place than the home land we once knew. It is game over for freedom. The evolution of the national security state has been served and to the people a great injustice has been delivered and the abuse of privilege; of a few elites, have consequently achieved staggering levels of power. It was clearly understood that the Intelligence services would not spy on Americans. This was never repealed to our knowledge. We have been betrayed. That needs to be acknowledged and repaired.

It started with the Second World War and has continued to the present, with a brief lull between the collapse of the Berlin Wall and 9/11.

In this light, the possibility that Congress went along with the judiciary (if you can consider the FISA court that) in approving the NSA surveillance regime is in no way reassuring. To the contrary, it is alarming, it demonstrates that when it comes to national security issues, there are no longer any meaningful checks and balances within the formal structure of government.

By all appearances, members of Congress, Administration personnel and FISA court judges see themselves as part of the same special team -- and not just Team America along with the rest of us. They're the security-cleared elect, with their own sets of keys and handshakes and secret passwords, who know things we don't and have a grave responsibility to protect us by keeping each others' secrets safe from our prying eyes -- as they've apparently been doing for the past fifteen years.

Now we are supposed to go forward and trust them.

The essential difference in our collective belief about America and the body politic of the nation which is the larger political community, is to recognize that the state has become malevolent to the interests of freedom. It is a tangible malevolence that holds jobs hostage and denies climate change, that creates scandals so they can grab headlines and stall out every effort to repair a broken government.

They put a stick in the spokes of a perfectly good ride. The debate must take place quite openly and aggressively right now, before it becomes unlawful to disagree with the direction and intentions of the current American leadership. Clearly they spy on us today so that they can enslave us tomorrow.

The American people should not be paying taxes that our own government uses in turn to spy on us!

Opening up our books for the American Government once a year is a necessary thing. The practice of examining all of our communications however should easily demonstrate that the practice of spying on Americans by their own government is not worth it. The cost of this is staggering and that cost forces change on many levels.

What benefit is delivered by this practice and in what proportion? The bad news is that because it is secret they will not answer that question. Consequently we need to cut the spending on this program in the most urgent manner.

WE aren’t the droids your looking for!

We are not rebels or terrorists.

From a rational perspective there's no balancing to be done. The leak is a good thing and something we needed to know so we can protect ourselves from spies. All disclosure is good. Either from the perspective of transparency in principle or upending something you believe must be radically changed.

Indiscriminate leaks like this are purely destructive. That’s good when they destroy something that needs to be destroyed. Sometimes they're attacks on something you fundamentally believe in, identify with, think is working on your behalf and just as often that which is adverse to those same sentiments. It is expensive and also discomforting to know that the government is reading your email, listening to your calls, making lists of who you have called and who calls you and so forth.

It is not so comforting to know that you are paying for that infringement of your rights.

It is expensive in many ways. The one nagging question is exactly who is now immune from the spying on Americans, that the remainder of America is now actively violated? What members of the congress are they wire taping? What high members of the government are being blackmailed with the information these spies are gathering? Spying like this creates very concentrated power and that power is very centralized and very dangerous. In who’s hands will this power permanently be held because this kind of power entrenches and permanently embeds the insiders. This is not the electorates will being exercised, this is an elite group with expanding power.

Both Congress and the Obama administration should rethink surveillance programs and reform them to ensure that they intrude no more than necessary on the private communications of all people, not just US citizens. The United States has been a strong proponent of Internet freedom, but it risks its reputation when it fails to respect the rights of Internet and phone users.

This is power in the hands of some person or persons. What will those people do with this power, how will they shape America with it? Did they influence the Citizens United Decision? Do we really want a big brother?

The explosive revelations of the U.S. National Security Agency's (NSA) spying programs were provided by Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee and NSA contractor currently holed up in Hong Kong, a China-controlled city. China made its first substantive comments on Monday to reports of U.S. surveillance of the Internet, demanding that Washington explain its monitoring programs to the international community. Several nations, including U.S. allies, have reacted angrily to revelations by an ex-CIA employee over a week ago that U.S. authorities had tapped the servers of internet companies for personal data.

"We believe the United States should pay attention to the international community's concerns and demands and give the international community the necessary explanation," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily briefing. The Chinese government has previously not commented directly on the case, simply repeating the government's standard line that China is one of the world's biggest victims of hacking attacks. There is much to be resolved. China has a lot of nerve playing the “hacking card”.

A senior source with ties to the Communist Party leadership said Beijing was reluctant to jeopardise recently improved ties with Washington. Snowden told the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong's main English language newspaper, last week that Americans had spied extensively on targets in China and Hong Kong. He said these included the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the site of an exchange which handles nearly all the city's domestic web traffic. Other alleged targets included government officials, businesses and students. At the briefing, Hua rejected a suggestion that Snowden was a spy for China.

"This is sheer nonsense," she said, without elaborating.

It will likely be up to the central government to decide what happens if Washington requests Snowden's extradition, as Beijing controls Hong Kong's diplomatic affairs. The U.S. Justice Department is investigating the case but Snowden has not yet been charged with any crime. In a poll on the website of the Global Times, a popular tabloid published by the Communist Party's official People's Daily, 98 percent of respondents said China should refuse to send him back to the United States.

"Unlike a common criminal, Snowden did not hurt anybody. His 'crime' is that he blew the whistle on the U.S. government's violation of civil rights," the newspaper said in an editorial.

"His whistle-blowing is in the global public interest. Therefore, extraditing Snowden back to the U.S. would not only be a betrayal of Snowden's trust, but a disappointment for expectations around the world. The image of Hong Kong would be forever tarnished."

China is cashing in on the story. The former British colony of Hong Kong is supposed to enjoy wide-ranging autonomy and broad freedoms denied to people in mainland China, including an independent judiciary and free press. China does not have a stellar reputation on human rights issues.

We believe US authorities should exercise discretion when considering prosecuting such leaks under US laws governing classified information. They should not bring charges against whistleblowers who expose government wrongdoing unless they can make a compelling case that the harm to national security caused by the disclosure is so significant that it overrides the public’s right to know and are prepared to make that case publicly, providing as much detail as possible on the actual harm. There is cause for pause, and clear thinking about who betrayed whom.

Any law that respects rights should place the burden of this argument on the government, not the whistleblower, and the simple fact that information is classified should never be sufficient on its own to defeat protection for disclosures that are in the public interest. In particular, the Espionage Act, which was framed to punish the passing of sensitive information to a foreign enemy, should never be distorted beyond its intended purpose and used to punish whistleblowers.

Legal protection for government employees who, in the public interest, disclose wrongdoing is a relatively new practice in many countries. Such “whistleblower” laws are often narrowly drawn around specific unlawful acts and notification procedures, and even the best are not always effective in shielding those who disclose wrongdoing from all negative consequences. Yet,… however imperfect these protections are, they are scant to non-existent for government employees in the security sector who divulge classified information to the media in an effort to bring wrongs to public attention

Congress should live up to its responsibility to provide effective protection and meaningful recourse to whistleblowers. To start, it should enact meaningful laws on which they can rely, both to challenge official retaliation and to defend themselves from criminal and civil liability. It should insist on greater disclosure from security agencies and share information concerning the dimensions and modalities of security surveillance with the public. And it should work with the administration to cut back on the overwhelming growth of classified information and protect the public’s right to know.


What is happening to America is the impact of elitist mentalities in positions of power and influence. This is happening in conformance with a deliberate and fully considered plan, to strip the American people of their freedoms. It is surprisingly consistent. Even in immigration we find threads of blatant government abuse of power.

The cost of college has increased 440% over the past 25 years,1 students are graduating with an average of $26,000 in college loans, and student loan debt is now at more than $1 trillion—more than the nation's combined credit card debt. The future generations of Americans are being deliberately stunted. More in the next post.
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