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LoveINT ‽

The Wall Street Journal continues its reporting on NSA with NSA Officers Sometimes Spy on Love Interests.

NSA Chief Compliance Officer John DeLong emphasized in a conference call with reporters last week that ‘It was rare … didn’t happen often … just a few bad apples … it’s just a flesh wound …’ [not a real quote]

It was so rare that they took the time and energy to create a name for it: LoveINT.

Every time they say things didn’t happen, you know that they will come to grips with the reality that Snowden may have a PowerPoint slide that shows it was happening, so they announce they ‘misspoke’ and offer a little truth that will be more defensible it the slide shows up. This is a glacier of bad karma that is creeping over the entire effort.

Until these guys make Senator Ron Wyden happy, there is no point in thinking that we have seen the end of the bad news about this program.

August 23, 2013   4 Comments

Doubling Down On Ignorance

In reaction to Charlie Pierce’s piece, Jeffrey Toobin wrote a response that Charlie posted. It included this gem:

Let’s start with the easy stuff – about the Nazis. Snowden leaked the classified information because, he said, he believes in the principle “declared at Nuremberg.” I wrote that Snowden’s invocation of Nuremberg was grotesque because it compared those who worked for the government and chose not to leak this material to the Good Germans who were Only Following Orders. You write, “Snowden here is not remotely comparing anyone at the NSA to the Nazis.” Of course he is. “Nuremberg,” as you surely know, means one thing in this country: Nazis. You attempt the subtle distinction that the Nuremberg principle was only established after World War II. Nice try. Any reasonable reading of what Snowden wrote shows that he meant he alone had the fortitude to strike out against the banality of evil.

If Mr. Toobin had been through basic training for the US military, as both Mr. Snowden and I have, he would know exactly what the reference meant: “I was only following orders” is not an acceptable excuse in the US military, and you will be prosecuted if you follow illegal orders.

The Nuremberg Principles are incorporated in the laws on war, and the laws of the United States, especially the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Mr. Toobin might be shocked that the number of people who actually know what the Nuremberg Principles are, is probably limited to historians and members of the US military. The principles are constantly in play in the proceedings of the International Criminal Court, and in US military courts-martial.

Mr. Toobin is the one with the Nazi fixation, not Edward Snowden. Edward Snowden felt what the government was doing was in violation of the Constitution and the laws of the United States, and he acted to expose it. We now have a de-classified FISA court opinion that says he was correct in his judgment.

August 23, 2013   2 Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

Excise Trap

Friday Cat Blogging


[Editor: This is not an invitation to rub his tummy. This is an invitation to getting shredded.]

Friday Ark

August 23, 2013   8 Comments