Friday, August 23, 2013

footnote 14 - clapper, alexander, an'em - are some lying sacks....,

WaPo | Footnote 14 should scare every American. Even the parts that aren’t blacked out.

The footnote is contained in the just-declassified 2011 opinion by U.S. District Judge John Bates, then the chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. 

In the ruling, Bates found that the government had been sweeping up e-mails before receiving court approval in 2008 and, even after that, was illegally collecting “tens of thousands of wholly domestic communications.” 

That’s not the really scary part. This is: “The court is troubled that the government’s revelations . . . mark the third instance in less than three years in which the government has disclosed a substantial misrepresentation regarding the scope of a major collection program,” Bates wrote in Footnote 14.
He cited a 2009 finding that the court’s approval of the National Security Agency’s telephone records program was premised on “a flawed depiction” of how the NSA uses metadata, a “misperception . . . buttressed by repeated inaccurate statements made in the government’s submissions, and despite a government-devised and Court-mandated oversight regime.

“Contrary to the government’s repeated assurances, NSA had been routinely running queries of the metadata using querying terms that did not meet the required standard for querying. The Court concluded that this requirement had been ‘so frequently and systemically violated that it can fairly be said that this critical element of the overall . . . regime has never functioned effectively.’ ”

Followed by two full paragraphs of redactions. We can only imagine what that episode entailed.
To judge the significance of Bates’s footnote, it helps to know something about the judge. This is no wild-eyed liberal. Bates spent almost two decades in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington. He served as deputy to independent counsel Kenneth Starr during the investigation of President Bill Clinton. He was named to the bench by President George W. Bush. 

If Bates is worked up about being misled by the government — and the sober language of that footnote is the judicial version of a severe dressing-down — people should listen.


John Kurman said...

Kind of reminds me of when the Russians poisoned Victor Yushchhenko (former President of Ukraine) with dioxin and didn't care who knew. They advertised the fact that "We will fuck with anyone we want". So, how are these latest news stories any different? Seems to me, "they" don't care who knows that we've moved from Military-Industrial-Complex territory into the all-speed-ahead Deep State.

CNu said...

"They" is not a unitary ensemble John. Matter fact, life is most interesting at moments like these when "they" are not on the same page and various factions of the Deep State get in conflict with one another. The fact that the 4th estate has begun showing signs of "going native" strikes me as a clear indication of factional friction. There are clearly elements of the Deep State who have nurtured and supported the creation of the all-seeing eye, and, there are quite powerful and capable factions of the Deep State who are putting up an increasingly fascinating show of resistance against it.

Please recall my speculations concerning the Cato aspect of coordinating Snowden's successful flight. Since the death of Armand Hammer (who my mother firmly believed to be the most interesting man in the world I can't think of an anglospheric elite with more juice in Russia than the Kochs - and it's not just that ancient history. The Koch's have a joint venture in the largest cracking station/refinery in the world in Russia today, so it's powerful and ongoing.

John Kurman said...

As a on-agin off-agin student of folly, I mean history, I'm quite aware that a) "they" is never singular, and b) it only looks like the right hand knows what the left hand is doing, even when - no, especially when - it's sawing the other one off at the wrist.

CNu said...

I was sad to note that James R. MacLean's very interesting website came down this summer and very thankful once again for the Internet Archive so I could make some copies for my own records of his essays about the Trans-European Project or TEP.