BREAKING NEWS

ISIS is Israeli Secret Intelligence Service

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Truth Tellers

The Truth Tellers

By Christopher Brauchli
Common Dreams.org
Saturday, June 29, 2013

“I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least
untruthful manner, by saying no.”

— James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence in an interview
with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell

The question: is the lesser offender (Lesser) or the greater offender
(Greater) the greater offender?

It depends on one’s perspective.

If the listener relies on spokesmen for the Greater (aka the
government) then it is clear that the Lesser is the greater, if
not indeed, the only offender.

If one considers the Constitution and listens to the non-governmental
commentators, the answer is less clear.

It becomes even less clear when in its rush to condemn the Lesser,
the Greater has been forced to acknowledge that it has lied and
misrepresented things to those whom it governs.

The Greater uses bluster and strong words to convince the listener
that all virtue is found in its corner and none in the corner of the
Lesser.

The Greater is not content to rail against its citizens who question
its motives.

They rail against foreign powers that fail to recognize the evils the
Greater sees in the Lesser and threaten to jeopardize relations with
those powers if they fail to accept the Greater’s demands with
respect to Edward Snowden.

Edward Snowden is, of course, the man who has forced the United
States government to come clean about its activities that invade
the privacy of citizen and non-citizen alike.

And Mr. Snowden has not only forced the United States government
to admit that it has lied to its people, it has caused the government
to make blustery pronouncements to foreign countries.

His actions have generated millions of words of commentary
about the government’s actions.

In his daily briefing on June 24, White House Press Secretary,
Jay Carney, expressed the administration’s outrage that China
had not arrested Mr. Snowden after he had been formally charged
by the United States with three felonies.

Mr. Carney said that letting Mr. Snowden leave China for Moscow
would have “a negative impact on the U.S. China relationship.”

Mr. Carney failed to comment on the fact that Mr. Snowden’s
disclosures have had a negative impact on the relationship
many U.S. citizens have with their government.

On June 17, 2013, President Obama told Charlie Rose that the cyber-
hacking of U.S. companies and government agencies by China that
was disclosed in a report early in 2013, could lead to a deterioration
of relations between the two powers.

He said that the Chinese understand “this can adversely
affect the fundamentals of the US-China relationship.”

Those comments were made before the South China Morning
Post reported that Snowden said the NSA has hacked major
telecommunication companies in China, attacked network
backbones at Tsinghua University and hacked computers at
the Hong Kong headquarters of Pacnet.

Thanks to Mr. Snowden we now know that the National Security
Agency has lied to the Congress, and to the American people,
about its surveillance activities.

We might have learned about it many years ago but for the law
that prohibits those who know the government may be breaking
the law from telling the people they represent that their
government is breaking the law.

As The Guardian reported, for at least two years Senators
Mark Udall and Ron Wyden have been publicly stating that
the U.S. government is relying on “secret legal interpretations”
to claim surveillance powers that are so broad that Americans
would be “stunned” were they to learn of them.

Since the violations of law were classified the Senators could
not let their constituents know what they are.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder 2012 they said:

“We believe that most Americans would be stunned to learn the
details of how these secret court opinions [Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Court] have interpreted section 215 of the Patriot
Act. As we see it, there is now a significant gap between what
most Americans think the law allows and what the government
secretly claims the law allows.”

In a letter to Gen. Keith Alexander, the head of the National
Security Agency, Sen. Udall accused the agency of providing
false information in a fact sheet it gave members of Congress
about its spying programs.

The letter says the fact sheet has “significant inaccuracies.”

Mr. Udall could not say what part of the fact sheet is inaccurate
since that would “divulge classified information.”

However, Mr. Udall says, “In our judgment this inaccuracy is
significant, as it portrays protections for American’s privacy
as being significantly stronger than they actually are.

We urge you to correct this statement as soon as possible.
(The Fact sheet was pulled by the agency.)

We now know that the NSA is collecting telephone call
metadata on millions of Verizon customers.

That contradicts Gen. Alexander who told Fox News in
2012 that the agency “does not ‘hold data’ on U.S.
citizens.

In a speech at the Reuters Cybersecurity Summit he said:

“The great irony is we’re the only ones not spying on the
American people.”

It was General Alexander who told Congress that over 50
Terrorist Plots were thwarted thanks to the programs that
he and his colleagues said didn’t exist.

Citizens can decide for themselves whether or not to believe
him.

What Senators Udall and Wyden thought citizens should know
but could not disclose we now know.

Not because of our elected representatives but because of a
man now charged as a criminal.

Go figure.



Christopher Brauchli is a columnist and lawyer known nationally for
his work. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the University
of Colorado School of Law where he served on the Board of Editors
of the Rocky Mountain Law Review.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/06/29-2

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