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Obama DoJ indicts NSA whistleblower...are you mad yet?

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Headlined to H1 4/19/10

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If you were mad at all about Bush's violations of civil liberties when he was president, this will get you fuming:

In a rare legal action against a government employee accused of leaking secrets, a grand jury has indicted a former senior National Security Agency official on charges of providing classified information to a newspaper reporter in hundreds of e-mail messages in 2006 and 2007.

The official, Thomas A. Drake, 52, was also accused of obstructing justice by shredding documents, deleting computer records and lying to investigators who were looking into the reporter's sources.

"Our national security demands that the sort of conduct alleged here -- violating the government's trust by illegally retaining and disclosing classified information -- be prosecuted and prosecuted vigorously," Lanny A. Breuer, the assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department's criminal division, said in a statement.

This is not just a single instance of outrage. It is a microcosm of the Obama presidency, the political success of corporate America, and the failure of its opposition.

So the Obama Administration successfully indicted an important recent whistleblower, a man who revealed a lot about the secret (and very, very possibly unconstitutional, not to mention immoral) wiretapping programs at the NSA. This takes it one step further than the Bush Administration ever took the cat and mouse game they played with whistleblowers, since this is the first one who has actually been prosecuted. The New York Times writes,

The indictment suggests the Obama administration may be no less aggressive than the Bush administration in pursuing whistleblowers and reporters' sources who disclose government secrets. In a little-noticed case last December, a former contract linguist for the F.B.I., Shamai Kedem Leibowitz, pleaded guilty to leaking five classified documents to a blogger.

In the Bush administration, the Justice Department spent several years investigating The New York Times's sources for a 2005 article that revealed the existence of the N.S.A. program of eavesdropping without warrants. No one has been charged in that case.

And just what information was this man supplying to journalist Siobhan Gorman? Well, here's an excerpt of one of the articles written based on that information:

In what intelligence experts describe as rigorous testing of ThinThread in 1998, the project succeeded at each task with high marks. For example, its ability to sort through massive amounts of data to find threat-related communications far surpassed the existing system, sources said. It also was able to rapidly separate and encrypt U.S.-related communications to ensure privacy.

But the NSA, then headed by Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden, opted against both of those tools, as well as the feature that monitored potential abuse of the records. Only the data analysis facet of the program survived and became the basis for the warrantless surveillance program.

The decision, which one official attributed to "turf protection and empire building," has undermined the agency's ability to zero in on potential threats, sources say. In the wake of revelations about the agency's wide gathering of U.S. phone records, they add, ThinThread could have provided a simple solution to privacy concerns.

So what did he get for supplying this valuable information to the public?

Drake was charged with 10 felonies, including obstruction of justice, making false statements to the FBI, and the willful retention of classified information related to four classified emails and one classified document. He is alleged to have obstructed justice by shredding classified and unclassified documents, including his handwritten notes that he had removed from the NSA and deleted classified and unclassified information on his home computer

That President Obama, who is regarded by many as a progressive, would not only continue some of Bush's worst policies but extend them even further is a sign of several things.

One, Obama's presidency is, to paraphrase Howard Zinn, dangerously mediocre. As a leader, he is not willing to, well, lead on many important issues. He is not willing to stand up to some of the more powerful interests in Washington in meaningful ways, and this is just one of them. In fact, here he seems to be bending over backwards to accommodate the military industrial complex - private companies like Boeing were the ones administering this program - rather than even putting up a weak fight. On top of that broader look at his presidency, this is just one more instance of our constitutional scholar president failing to uphold the rule of law.

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Ross Levin a young activist who also writes for keystonepolitics.com, operationitch.com, independentpoliticalreport.com. He first became active in politics in the 2008 presidential campaign through Mike Gravel's quixotic run for the Democratic (more...)
 
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What are your thoughts on this specific action by ... by Ross Levin on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 6:22:48 AM
As a journalist who has worked with a number of wh... by Joan Brunwasser on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 8:10:29 AM
In-depth info here:hereAsides to consider here:her... by boomerang on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 9:34:22 AM
It's the Magician's Birthday.Every day in Amerika.... by Ned Lud on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 10:24:48 AM
Americans and Whistle Blowers have probably never ... by Steven G. Erickson on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 11:15:10 AM
Perhaps they should join the Tea Party movement. N... by Conspiracy Girl on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 1:06:45 PM
within the Green Party to do "Green Tea Parties." ... by Ross Levin on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 1:53:34 PM
I love it! That's great! :-)... by Conspiracy Girl on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 2:17:00 PM
in any way at all, or just want to stay updated.My... by Ross Levin on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 2:30:09 PM
It seems to me that a lot of people share more com... by Conspiracy Girl on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 4:54:02 PM
I too like the idea of the Green Party using a gra... by Michael Shaw on Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 2:25:45 PM
Dick Armey of Freedomworks is an anti-corporatist?... by Michael Shaw on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 3:06:05 PM
in Illinois, iirc. So it very well might have been... by Ross Levin on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 3:11:12 PM
A big wing of the Tea Party movement is made of li... by Conspiracy Girl on Monday, Apr 26, 2010 at 4:41:24 PM
I'm sorry Conspiracy Girl but I don't buy it! My n... by Michael Shaw on Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 1:20:01 AM
I appreciate you taking the time to answer my post... by Conspiracy Girl on Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 12:44:47 PM
CG:You mention a few times in your reply about how... by Charlie L on Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 2:02:56 PM
I would add the entire tea party movement. more th... by Michael Shaw on Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 2:42:14 PM
click hereCato leads the push for privatization of... by Michael Shaw on Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 2:52:09 PM
I don't take my cue from Cato and am not in lock-s... by Conspiracy Girl on Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 7:00:09 PM
Well a minute ago you were defending CATO. I think... by Michael Shaw on Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 1:00:01 PM
This will be of interest.OpedNews is Bold and Dari... by William Bradley on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 9:46:35 PM
...as i await my next water-boarding 'therapy'. s... by Ned Lud on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 7:23:01 AM
Obama's past is hidden and protected, nobody remem... by boomerang on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 8:44:28 AM
"Nobody remembers him at all from the schools he s... by Joan Brunwasser on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 8:52:04 AM
He's just parroting the usual birther conspiracy n... by J. Edward Tremlett on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 1:24:23 PM
I don't parrot...I leave that to the Strawberry Da... by boomerang on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 2:19:53 PM
We can all just call it, what it is, the Mafia. Fr... by marko polo on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 8:46:16 AM
You want to know what I think, Ross? I think you n... by Professor Fandel on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 8:59:33 AM
Because your post is the epitome of that which you... by Terry on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 9:51:06 AM
YOU CAN SEND ME AS MUCH AS YOU CAN AFFORD.FOR I HA... by Ned Lud on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 10:29:08 AM
You might not want to vote up your own comments, P... by J. Edward Tremlett on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 1:29:31 PM
And admittedly my own article wasn't the best thin... by Ross Levin on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 2:01:51 PM
I'm sure you've heard this, (and it certainly does... by Nick van Nes on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 11:34:38 PM
Yet many so called progressives continue to defend... by Old Uncle Dave on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 9:05:40 AM
who never defended, let alone believed that notion... by Michael Shaw on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 2:24:45 PM
...only applies to crimes against humanity and agg... by Terry on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 9:32:21 AM
... are you mad about?What is the specific informa... by Professor Fandel on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 10:28:32 AM
Speaking specifically then: I want 40,000 dollars.... by Ned Lud on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 10:40:58 AM
I really don't know what you're talking about, but... by Professor Fandel on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 1:13:26 PM
1. Your assertion that prosecution of Mr. Drake is... by Blaine Kinsey on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 11:41:32 AM
I see that I misspelled "advice" in the third sent... by Blaine Kinsey on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 12:01:12 PM
the professor is not necessarily wrong. Daniel Ell... by Michael Shaw on Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010 at 1:26:27 AM
There is no basis to suggest that the prosecution ... by Blaine Kinsey on Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010 at 11:14:29 AM
Am I to read into your romantic interpretation of ... by Charlie L on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 12:59:57 PM
but not impossible. We can argue about it till hel... by Michael Shaw on Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010 at 1:33:39 AM
that give specifics. And I believe you're saying t... by Ross Levin on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 2:06:24 PM
I never said any of this is irrelevant. Quite the ... by Michael Shaw on Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010 at 1:46:08 AM
Yeah Obama and Holder. Can't we just kind of forge... by Nick van Nes on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 11:42:44 PM
I'm scared by what the person I so strongly suppor... by Miriam Callaghan on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 12:09:22 PM
...of everything but the truth. I guess we all don... by Professor Fandel on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 1:03:30 PM
Professor Fandel:I wish I could have the lovely at... by Charlie L on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 1:51:50 PM
Professor Fandel:I wish I could have the lovely at... by Charlie L on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 1:53:03 PM
You state; "You're all scared of everything but th... by Blaine Kinsey on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 3:03:49 PM
is based solely upon political motives accompanied... by Michael Shaw on Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010 at 2:51:01 AM
to simply bury all of the crimes of the Bush admin... by Michael Shaw on Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010 at 2:34:05 AM
It seems to me the government, regardless of which... by Michael Shaw on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 1:39:47 PM
no matter what system you have, no matter who is i... by Ross Levin on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 2:11:02 PM
Ross! Well put!... by Michael Shaw on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 2:54:08 PM
If you've got 15 minutes, here is a nonpartisan Te... by Conspiracy Girl on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 6:36:14 PM
Instead of getting mad at Obama per se, we should ... by Peter Duveen on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 2:48:29 PM
When we focus solely on Obama with something like ... by Ross Levin on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 2:59:33 PM
of a democracy who should have the legal right to ... by Nick van Nes on Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010 at 12:25:39 AM
Of course he's not perfect. He's a politition. H... by Davol on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 3:37:56 PM
Heck with the fake BCs - if Orly doesn't pay the $... by J. Edward Tremlett on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 5:09:15 PM
Thanks for the link -- Good thing this idea can be... by Chantal Laurent on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 9:12:40 PM
Because what you wrote is completely inconsistent ... by Ross Levin on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 9:14:50 PM
Boomerang comment was titled: "I don't like being... by Chantal Laurent on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 9:23:19 PM
You should have replied to his comment.... by Ross Levin on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 9:26:41 PM
Thanks for the link, Chantal. Your last paragraph ... by boomerang on Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010 at 12:58:22 PM
I think it's "Where's the Birth Certificate?" Eve... by J. Edward Tremlett on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 11:07:27 PM
There's more going on here than people know; Josef... by Nathon Hale on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 10:41:11 PM
For the past decade, this country has been run by ... by Ian MacLeod on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 10:44:40 PM
I can't wait to see who Obama appoints to the SCOT... by Michael Shaw on Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 3:25:37 PM
No it wasn't. It was started by the insurance comp... by Ian MacLeod on Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 10:48:22 PM
Sure, the insurance companies got demonized, but t... by Conspiracy Girl on Monday, Apr 26, 2010 at 4:51:56 PM
History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy,... by GLloyd Rowsey on Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010 at 7:37:41 AM
I suggest anyone not familiar with this "science" ... by boomerang on Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010 at 1:32:51 PM