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December 14, 2008

Comments

Eh, if the system worked as it should, nobody would have to blow the whistle.

A lot to ask? That gives understatement new meaning...it's absurd, ridiculous; Bush and henchmen have brought us an Orwellian society where language has become meaningless, our Democracy is broken and it will take alot more than Obama to change it. It will take a changed value system in society where people like Thomas M. Tamm who risk it all (their careers, fortune, home, family) for our democracy and constitution are rewarded more than the reporters who miraculously and uncharacteristically chose to even report or publish the threat to our society that he brought to their attention and reap financial rewards for their books, etc., while the guy who took the real risk gets harassed and threatened by the FBI and powers that be. I could go on and on, but thanks hilzoy for bringing this despicable situation with the real protectors of democracy and our constitution to our attention. These are the people we need to be honoring, rewarding and promoting as public servants not Colson and friends who receive awards for attacking democracy and our constitution and liberties. Accountability would be the starting place, it can't be skipped or ignored.

From the Justice Department's viewpoint, nothing was wrong, Hilzoy. There was nothing to blow the whistle on.

The Newsweek piece includes this bit, both Orwellian and Dickensian:

After the raid, Justice Department prosecutors encouraged Tamm to plead guilty to a felony for disclosing classified information—an offer he refused. More recently, Agent Lawless, a former prosecutor from Tennessee, has been methodically tracking down Tamm's friends and former colleagues. The agent and a partner have asked questions about Tamm's associates and political meetings he might have attended, apparently looking for clues about his motivations for going to the press, according to three of those interviewed.

If I'm reading that right, associating with Democrats would have been considered evidence of wrongdoing.

I thought "Three Days of the Condor" was fiction....

Part of the system is the presidential pardon power. Obama should use it in this case within the first week of being sworn in.

Tamm for FBI Director.
Coleen Rowley for his deputy.

... and change the name of that goddam building.

[from a dream I had, once]

Remember, all, Townshend is the fucktard who gave us this priceless gem:

Having asserted the Bush administration had had numerous important anti-terrorist "successes," the reporter asked her about capturing bin Laden.

Townshend replied: "Capturing bin Laden is just a success that hasn't occurred yet."

She's a doublespeaking Bushtool of the highest order, and that anyone think she's any kind of objective analyst on security matters is fucking deranged.

Townsend resigned her post on November 19, 2007. From her resignation letter:

In 1937, the playwright Maxwell Anderson wrote of President George Washington: "There are some men who lift the age they inhabit, til all men walk on higher ground in their lifetime." Mr. President, you are such a man.
I guess that makes it easier to remove one's shoes and throw them at those men.

Townshend fogs things up over at CNN, and lately she's been pimping for a job with the Obamanauts. She's a functionary, not a champion ...

I don’t know. That was a serious trust violated. Really really a serious thing. I just don’t know. No, I do. I still hold a TS security clearance and I’m damned proud of it.

I can say Yay for what he exposed; OTOH, this is a capital offense. Yes, I am damned serious. He needs to burn.

You just don’t get to make the call. You. Do. Not. It’s above your pay grade. Period.

"You just don’t get to make the call. You. Do. Not. It’s above your pay grade. Period."

But can't that *always* be used as an excuse?

@ OCSteve
'fie wuz you, I'd turn in that TS clearance of which you are so proud.

In case you haven't heard, the Nurnberg defense doesn't work.

It is exactly the kind of bravery that Tamm showed, mixed with conscience (which I'd guess you left at the door when you got your clearance) that keeps our democracy functioning at all in the face of folks like the Bushies, and before them the Nixon crowd.

If you were around at the time, you probably wanted Ellsberg fried, too, and thought the people who pulled the black bag job in his shrink's office were heroes.

togolish is absolutely right. If the bureau is still pursuing this bullbleep in January, Tamm should be Obama's first pardon.

He needs to burn.

If he gave away secrets that get guys killed in Iraq, if he sold secret intelligence to the Chinese, if he was helping al Qaeda, sure, burn him.

But instead he exposed government law-breaking. His own superior said it was "probably illegal."

The guy should get a medal. I'm glad his fate is above your pay grade.

@ OCSteve
'fie wuz you, I'd turn in that TS clearance of which you are so proud.

In case you haven't heard, the Nurnberg defense doesn't work.

It is exactly the kind of bravery that Tamm showed, mixed with conscience (which I'd guess you left at the door when you got your clearance) that keeps our democracy functioning at all in the face of folks like the Bushies, and before them the Nixon crowd.

If you were around at the time, you probably wanted Ellsberg fried, too, and thought the people who pulled the black bag job in his shrink's office were heroes.

togolish is absolutely right. If the bureau is still pursuing this bullbleep in January, Tamm should be Obama's first pardon.

sorry about the double post. it hung after i put in the numbers.

this is a capital offense. Yes, I am damned serious. He needs to burn.

You just don’t get to make the call. You. Do. Not. It’s above your pay grade. Period.

How very Soviet.

If you desire to live in a country with less political freedom, there are plenty available to you.

You just don’t get to make the call. You. Do. Not. It’s above your pay grade. Period.

That's right, always remember: Man was made for the law, not the law for man. Also, you exist to serve the state; the state does not exist to serve you. You are its servant, not its master.

OCSteve: the thing is, I agree with you in general, as I said in the post. I also think that going to the media with classified information is one of those things where you absolutely put your career in the hands of the authorities (also what I think about torture in ticking time bomb cases: if you think it's justified, be prepared to explain why in court.)

But precisely because I think this, but also recognize that there are bad things that genuinely need stopping, I also think it's a serious betrayal of trust, on the part of managers, not to put in place some mechanism whereby people can stop illegal activity without going to the press. And it's odd for Townsend to draw attention only to Tamm's going to the press, without bothering to note that the DoJ had left him without any normal means of recourse -- i.e., to note only the betrayal she had no part in.

I also, fwiw, think that Tamm was right in this case. But, as I said, I agree that it should not have been his call to make. Regrettably, though, it had to be.

OC Steve

Ever? What if the president was planning a coup d'etat to become a dictator and eliminate democracy forever? What if the plot was credible and likely to succeed? What if there was a program to send highly trained teams of hit men to kill the president's legal, non-violent political enemies?

The program to spy on Americans, had it continued unchecked, very definitely had the potential to eliminate effective democracy, and usher in a Putin-style situation where only the party in power has a realistic chance of winning.

You think that's an exageration? Everyone- without exception- has said things on the phone that, if taken out of context, could be used to discredit them, and end their chances of winning office. Most people, including me, have said things on the phone that could be construed as evidence of serious crime (at least enough to put the person through a trial, which is threat enough). If the phone surveillance starts being directed at political adversaries- and that is inevitable- then the party in power can make it effectively impossible for the other party to ever succeed.

I'm quite sure I would not have done this myself, but I also think this is an appropriate situation for the power to pardon.

He needs to burn.

Two things.

First: who knows, he might. He's still waiting for the knock on the door. The man put his @ss on the line, period.

Second: WTF is the point of protections for whistleblowers if they don't protect people who expose actual criminal behavior?

Thanks -

Look, this is very complicated for me. I hold a TS clearance. That is not nothing. It involves FBI agents talking to your neighbors about what you put out in your recycling bin. They are totally serious about this, and they should be. You want them to be.

I agree that what the guy did was right, but he needs to be willing to pay the price for that. It seems that he was.

You. Do. Not. Get. To. Make. The. Call.

You don’t. Need to know means that you don’t likely have the full story. Information is compartmentalized for a reason.

I applaud the guy for what he did. He was right. But he needed to be prepared to serve serious time before he made that decision.

He made the right one. I hope I could do the same thing in his place. Now he needs to serve some serious time.

This is not frivolous crap you can disregard at your leisure. This is serious.

"He needs to burn... It’s above your pay grade."

I am not necessarily opposed to the principle that a whistleblower could be tried, but the following conditions should hold:

a) Due process: no intimidation of those involved or even not involved. No tampering of evidence. More controversially, no hiding evidence behind "state secrets' or "executive priviledge".

b) An allowable positive defense that there was no where up the chain of command to go. This of course is the whole point of whistleblowing.

As Marcy Wheeler points out, Tamm has been informed by the current DoJ that there will be no further action on his case until the new administration takes over. She (correctly, I think) attributes that to Mukasey & Co.'s reluctance to have Tamm give any public testimony before the judge rules in the telcom immunity case.

So, OCS, if you're upset that Tamm hasn't "burned" yet, direct your anger at the Bush-Cheney regime. The priority is and has always been preventing accountability for their own law-breaking, and every other possible interest is being bent to that end.

If I had the money, I would set up a legal defense fund for Mr. Tamm; I would buy him an annuity that pays his last salary for life; and I would set up an institute called something like the Citizens' Intelligence Agency and make him its director.

Tamm did not betray the nation. He betrayed the government to the nation. He "spied" for us. It's a sorry thing that we need spies to know what our own goddamned government is doing behind our backs. The right response is to fix the goddamned government, not "burn" the spies.

President Obama will quickly discover that OCSteve's code of honor ("You.Do.Not.") is a dead letter among the very same self-styled patriots who considered it their highest duty to keep Dubya's secrets. If he's as smart as I think he is, Obama will encourage whistleblowers like Tamm, in order to strengthen his moral position vis a vis actual traitors -- people who blow the cover of CIA officers, for instance.

--TP

Nell: You woke me up to some important things. You were right about that, but I am right about this. End of story IMO.

TP: Ah, never mind.

Look – I agree with what the guy did, but I think he broke the law and he needs to do some serious prison time. He did the right thing, but he was still wrong.

I can respect and admire what he did while still wanting to see him smacked for it. He was wrong. But right. More right than wrong – but way wrong.

Look: I agree with OCSteve about the seriousness of this. He's right, as is Townsend, that you really, really do not want people deciding for themselves what classified information to release.

There are two big differences between OCSteve and Townsend, though. First, OCSteve thinks that Tamm made the right call (but should do time), which Townsend does not seem to admit. Second, OCSteve had no authority to fix the DoJ. And -- I'm just taking a wild flying guess here, but: I suspect that OCSteve would agree that precisely because you do not want people to do this, you must create ways for them to do it within the system, and to genuinely be heard. (Not that people have to agree with them, but they have to know that their concerns will be heard.)

If you don't want stuff like this to happen in an organization you manage, you need to do one of two things. (a) Develop Godlike powers (omniscience, omnipotence, benevolence), so that nothing bad ever happens. (b) Develop structures that allow people to voice their concerns over whatever bad things do happen, have those concerns heard, and not be punished.

Focussing only on what the whistleblower got wrong, when you are part of the management team whose failure partly explains the whistleblowing, is disingenuous. But OCSteve is not part of that team, so the same strictures do not, imho, apply.

This is not frivolous crap you can disregard at your leisure. This is serious.

Hey man, I've held a secret clearance, and have also been through the drill of sitting across for the DIA agent and explaining every nit and detail of anything questionable in my life, and of having them talk to my friends and neighbors.

I agree that it's serious.

So, I repeat my question again. What is the point of having whistleblower protection if it doesn't protect people who are exposing illegal behavior?

Tamm took it up his chain of command, and was told to drop it. He took it up with a friend on the SJC, and was shut off.

So, you tell me -- what's his next stop? Assuming he doesn't just want to eat it, what's his next stop?

Thanks -

Hilzoy:Look: I agree with OCSteve about the seriousness of this. He's right, as is Townsend, that you really, really do not want people deciding for themselves what classified information to release.

Hilzoy, you and OCSteve both use the same construction: "you ... do no want", addressing the readership at large.

Forgive my impertinence, but I, at least, do want. Partly, that's because I make a distinction between the "release" of secrets to the American public, and the betrayal of secrets to "the enemy". Secretly giving secret information to the secret services of a foreign nation is a very different thing from telling the New York Times.

Consider this scenario: on "Top Secret" orders from Dick and Dubya, self-styled patriots waterboard some "enemy combatants". The torture is not a secret from the enemy combatants, only from us -- the great unwashed without "clearance". Are you really, really sure you want to enjoin those patriots that "You.Do.Not." reveal the secret?

--TP

Nell: You woke me up to some important things. You were right about that, but I am right about this. End of story IMO.

No, Steve, you are not right. What is revealed must be a consideration in what the repercussions are. If he "burns," then you are telling everyone in government that they must not reveal illegality that they see. If you tell them that, they won't reveal illegality that they learn of.

You seem to understand the concept of incentives when discussing economics. Do you not see that this is also about incentives? Or, if you do, do you want the government to be able to get away with breaking the law by classifying their actions? That will be the result if you have your way.

The best commentary on this whole thing, and maybe on the whole last eight years: Frank Langella as Nixon "...if the president does it, its not illegal!"

OC Steve, I happen to know that one of the rules for people with security clearances is that you must NOT, ever, post on a website (even under a pseudonym) that you have a clearance. What gives?

Also, someone who does this needs to take the RISK of serving serious time. This is comparable to the "ticking bomb" scenario- if you think torture is OK to prevent the nuclear incineration of an American city, the guy who authorizes the torture must be taking the risk of going to jail- otherwise torture will spread everywhere (as, in fact it has). (I'm against torture even in the "ticking bomb" scenario, but I'm a deranged Catholic.)

However, one of the many virtues of trial by jury is that it permits the jury to decide that in this case, Mr. Tamm should not "burn". Were I on the jury, one vote for jury nullification!

This is George W. Bush carrying the water and chopping the wood for Osama Bin Laden.

Between January and August 2006 I gathered together Congressional Testimony, Senate Judiciary correspondence with telecoms and Constitutional Law experts, Congressional Research Service Reports, position papers by noted experts and other related items - all widely scattered pdf files - and converted them into navigable html pages with links to citations.

I did the same with the initial filings of Hepting vs AT&T and ACLU vs National Security Agency.

This collection is downloadable and available at

http://thewall.civiblog.org/nsa.html

I hope it will be of use to those who would pursue the restoration of the rule of law to the United States.

-dcm

Tony P: apologies.

Tony: Forgive my impertinence, but I, at least, do want. Partly, that's because I make a distinction between the "release" of secrets to the American public, and the betrayal of secrets to "the enemy". Secretly giving secret information to the secret services of a foreign nation is a very different thing from telling the New York Times.

Not if you regard the American public at large as the enemy.

SCI is not "a level above Top Secret". Sorry, it's just not. Bad, bad journalist. SCI is just a restriction on TS-classified info, somewhat similar to SAR restrictions on SECRET material.

Which I currently own. I've had a TS clearance, but it's not current. I actually was a little afraid of being responsible for that level of material, and am a bit relieved that I never actually got exposed to it. As OCSteve says, it's very serious business, indeed.

I think this is one of those situations where you have to be prepared to take your lumps, and hope that the courts vindicate you. I don't see how there could possibly be a way to whistleblow classified information the way in a way that maps onto other kinds of whistleblower protection.

Hilzoy: I can't believe you said this, "(also what I think about torture in ticking time bomb cases: if you think it's justified, be prepared to explain why in court.)" please tell me I misunderstood. You appear to have swallowed the lie that "the ticking time bomb" is or could be a justification for torture! All the scientific evidence i.e., government, army, and academic has shown that torture DOES NOT work PERIOD. Torture does exclude getting any reliable information from the victim probably forever. Torture is ILLEGAL and has been for a long time, it goes against all this country has stood for, the use of which by Bush and Company miscreants has robbed this country of any respect worldwide and thrown away any standing and influence we previously enjoyed in the world. Ticking time bombs or whatever does not justify torture and to suggest it could is just plain WRONG. If one has any interest in protecting the country it is not served by torture but quite the opposite. After Sept. 11, the U.S. enjoyed unanimous support, sympathy, and influence around the world, Bush and the idiot savants of his administration managed to squander it all in record time by corrupt behavior that rivals any ever exhibited anywhere in time including this stupid "excuse" for torture. We all really should be way beyond this by now, it is high time we started putting this country back together again if it isn't to late! Giving any credence to justifications for torture is really too much. I respectfully request you reconsider your idea that there ever could be a justification for torture, including the "so called ticking time bomb," just look at the research for country's sake.

Fran Townsend should worry about whistleblowers. She omitted the hospital with the highest patient death toll after Hurricane Katrina from her Lessons Learned report.

Memorial Medical Center lost 34 patients in Katrina's aftermath. Ten belonged to Memorial and 24 to LifeCare Hospital. MMC housed LifeCare's LTAC unit.

Who omits any mention of the above in a credible investigation? And why? No answers.

Memorial is owned by Tenet Health. LifeCare was purchased by The Carlyle Group just weeks before landfall.

A year after Fran's report, Jeb Bush was appointed to the Board of Tenet Health. George W. served on the board of Carlyle affiliate, CaterAir in the 1990's.

Speak up Fran, especially if she wants a job in the Obama administration.

I think this is one of those situations where you have to be prepared to take your lumps, and hope that the courts vindicate you. I don't see how there could possibly be a way to whistleblow classified information the way in a way that maps onto other kinds of whistleblower protection.

To this extent, I agree. It is entirely proper for this to be determined within the judicial system. Bringing charges, in and of itself, is not what I'm objecting to. Where I draw the line is before Steve's position, which seems to be that, if classified material is leaked, the verdict must be guilty. I think that a finding of guilt or innocence is in part based upon what exactly was leaked, why it was leaked, and whether the reported actions were themselves illegal.

Um...I think there's some law or other that prevents things from being classified to hide the fact that they're illegal. No time to Google that just now, though.

I don't know whether that would exonerate, but it might mitigate sentencing a bit.

Slartibartfast- you are correct, it's illegal to use the security classification system to cover up illegal activity (or even mistakes or incompetance by officials). However, in this case I think the Bush administration would argue that the purpose of classifying "The Program" was not to cover up illegal actions, but to prevent terrorists from avoiding detection by abandoning the phones/email.

Knowdoubt- even though, like you, I think torture should never, ever happen, I don't think the research you refer to applies in the ticking time bomb case. In the ticking time bomb scenario, the US government knows without a doubt that a nuclear device is shortly going to detonate in an American city, has no idea where the device is located, but has captured a specific terrorist who definitely, with 100% certainty, does know where the device is. In other words, what you need to know from the terrorist can be immediately checked with complete accuracy (by sending your guys to deactivate the device) so the terrorist cannot lie to you. Obviously, that's a completely unrealistic scenario, which is why the torture advocates like it so much.

Although I agree that torture is always off limits, realistically the US president would order torture in the ticking time bomb case (which is ok, because it ain't gonna happen). I think Hilzoy's point is valid, that it's essential that the president know he/she may face a trial for war crimes if torture is used. Otherwise, the criteria will soften from "stop New York from being nuked" to "this guy MIGHT know something useful"- and eventually to "this guy is a political opponent".

knowdoubt: "Hilzoy: I can't believe you said this, "(also what I think about torture in ticking time bomb cases: if you think it's justified, be prepared to explain why in court.)" please tell me I misunderstood. You appear to have swallowed the lie that "the ticking time bomb" is or could be a justification for torture!"

My basic response to people who propose a ticking time bomb rationale for torture, complete with wildly extreme scenarios (e.g., the person you've caught is the only person who knows the location of a bomb that will blow up the entire world!!!) is: supposing, for the sake of argument, that such an extreme situation ever actually happened, it could not show that we should ever make torture legal. In such a situation, someone might decide that the future of the planet was worth putting their own future in the hands of the courts, just as, if saving the planet for some reason required robbing a bank, someone might decide that it was justifiable to violate the law then as well. But (a) even granting every assumption the people who invoke these scenarios want to make, the remote possibility of some one-off event is not a justification for policy, and (b) I want the legal sanctions in place, since in that case I can be sure that the people in question will have thought long and hard about whether what they're proposing to do is really necessary.

It's essential to the ticking time bomb scenario that there's a very short time window, and thus that even if e.g. building trust is a better interrogation technique in general, it won't have time to work in this case. Is there any reason to think that, given (say) half an hour to get results, torture would be more likely than nothing to get results? I have no idea. Is there any scenario, however far-fetched, in which I might think that getting those results justified actions that would be, under virtually any other circumstances, abhorrent? I'd have to think about that one: if we get to include, say, the actual destruction of the planet as the alternative to torture, the case does not seem to me clear.

But what is absolutely clear to me is, as I said, that (a) this is no grounds for making policy, and (b) I want anyone who is so much as tempted to make that call to have to think very long and very hard about the likelihood of spending the rest of his or her life in prison.

OCSteve: You were right about that, but I am right about this. End of story IMO.

I do in fact disagree with your position (for reasons best articulated by J. Michael Neal at 11:43 above), but in my comment I was not doing so.

I was pointing out that your anger seems to be focused entirely on Tamm, when it is the current regime's Justice Department that has failed to prosecute him.

I was all set to jump in and defend hilzoy at length in regard to knowdoubts comment, but I was called away and when I got back I found that AnneE and hilzoy had done so quite ably.

AnneE: I would toughen the standard you mention at the end of your post: "I think Hilzoy's point is valid, that it's essential that the president know he/she may face a trial for war crimes if torture is used." For the highest or worst or most abusable crimes, I think that the necessity defense should be absolutely disabled. The reason is hard to see from the present standpoint, where it's looking unlikely that present torture issues will even reach court, but consider how things would work if and when we were at that level. In the classic "ticking time bomb" case, a horrible thing was done - and let's say there was a good outcome, a city was saved, or the world was saved. In such a circumstance, the reasons and outcome would be shown in court, and I think it is quite likely that an acquittal or suspended formal unsentence or tiny sentence would result - which would undermine the moral line against torture, by example. I'd say that if you make such a terrible moral rule, for what you must think is inescapable moral necessity, you had better be sure enough to be definitely sacrificing yourself. Extenuating circumstances, even huge ones, might extend only to the difference between decades in prison and life in prison. The question isn't whether that feels "extreme." Can you actually have a hard moral and legal limit in regard to terrible situations and terrible responsibilities without this? I submit that you don't and won't have such a limit if it's simply a matter of "facing court." (And I didn't even bring in the political talking and gamesterizing that would surround things.)

if you make such a terrible moral rule,

I meant "if you make such a terrible moral decision."

Here's a dilemma:

You.Do.Not. torture prisoners.
You.Do.Not. reveal secrets.

So what the hell are "you" supposed to do when "you" are ordered to torture prisoners and keep it a secret?

"You" are the human being who happens to be a government officer. Your dilemma is strictly a professional one. Never mind your personal feelings about either torture or secrecy. Which policy do you violate?

--TP

Hilzoy: First, I love your blog, well, I at least like it a lot, have generally been of the opinion that your thought processes were way ahead of mine and leading in the direction that was good for earth and good for humanity. This statement, "Is there any reason to think that, given (say) half an hour to get results, torture would be more likely than nothing to get results? I have no idea." Come on! This is simply supporting that same "Orwellian Think" that Bush - Rumsfield have been using to try to justify the unjustifiable, i.e., you're willing to lose the country/planet/whatever rather than torture some terrorist to save the country/planet/whatever (substitute your most valued thing or idea. These people are willing to blow themselves up and sacrifice everything because they feel so wronged/threatened or whatever by our society and clearly have nothing else to lose or zero hope for the future or would they be willing to go to such extremes? At this point there can be no justification for under estimating their resolve and determination and lets face it, ingenuity. All the mental contortions you put yourself through to come up with some scenario that might just possibly justify torture is beneath you; come on, if there is just "(say) half an hour to get results" can you not imagine the subject would just send you on a goose chase that would take an half hour..., then his problems and yours would be over. Pray about it, reflect on it, meditate on it or just plain think about it for Pete or Pities sake! I would very respectfully suggest that if there is a ticking time bomb and you have to throw away everything you believe in and stand for then you would have been better off with the time bomb. This country is not the Twin Towers or Wall Street or even the Big Three but an IDEA that our forefathers shed their blood and died for..., check out the Declaration of Independence and the documents that follow, from the Declaration comes this wild statement, "..these truths to be self evident, that all men are _____ ____..." comes to mind and apropos to the situation of torture. Fill in the blanks, I think terrorists will also fit in there. Now to the lesser points like, I want anyone who is so much as tempted to make that call to have to think very long and very hard about the likelihood of spending the rest of his or her life in prison. All the academic research has shown that the death penalty is not a deterrent to that crime so I think it is a HUGE stretch to suggest that the possibility of jail is going to stop these people is simply wrong headed and kidding yourselves and ourselves or lets jsut say everybody. The smart money, people who know more about law and government than people like me, say Bush can simply pardon himself and company even preemptively so this dog just doesn't hunt either. ( I want get into it, but think Scooter Libby) Finally, as for the ticking time bomb and the eminent destruction of the planet all the scientists, National Academies and International Academies, have agreed for some time that we are indeed facing just such a real scenario with climate change and no one has done squat, but were all ready to throw away everything this country has ever stood for and, in fact, its only reason for existence over some impossibly unreal fictional scenario as "the ticking time bomb". Let's put this piece of garbage away and hold these bastards accountable for the very real destruction of the planet and its inhabitants for their personal gain and nothing else. They've screwed us all with just such crap, lets try to save what's left to save of not just our country but the planet, we're all in this together. Thanks in advance for even considering my humble opinion.

@Tony P.:

The stricture 'Never mind your personal feelings about either torture or secrecy' is an odd one.

How could anyone make a decision about which policy to violate without taking into account "personal feelings" about the two issues, which feelings derive from one's own moral hierarchy and principles?

Hilzoy: First, I love your blog, well, I at least like it a lot, have generally been of the opinion that your thought processes were way ahead of mine and leading in the direction that was good for earth and good for humanity. This statement, "Is there any reason to think that, given (say) half an hour to get results, torture would be more likely than nothing to get results? I have no idea." Come on! This is simply supporting that same "Orwellian Think" that Bush - Rumsfield have been using to try to justify the unjustifiable, i.e., you're willing to lose the country/planet/whatever rather than torture some terrorist to save the country/planet/whatever (substitute your most valued thing or idea. These people are willing to blow themselves up and sacrifice everything because they feel so wronged/threatened or whatever by our society and clearly have nothing else to lose or zero hope for the future or would they be willing to go to such extremes? At this point there can be no justification for under estimating their resolve and determination and lets face it, ingenuity. All the mental contortions you put yourself through to come up with some scenario that might just possibly justify torture is beneath you; come on, if there is just "(say) half an hour to get results" can you not imagine the subject would just send you on a goose chase that would take an half hour..., then his problems and yours would be over. Pray about it, reflect on it, meditate on it or just plain think about it for Pete or Pities sake! I would very respectfully suggest that if there is a ticking time bomb and you have to throw away everything you believe in and stand for then you would have been better off with the time bomb. This country is not the Twin Towers or Wall Street or even the Big Three but an IDEA that our forefathers shed their blood and died for..., check out the Declaration of Independence and the documents that follow, from the Declaration comes this wild statement, "..these truths to be self evident, that all men are _____ ____..." comes to mind and apropos to the situation of torture. Fill in the blanks, I think terrorists will also fit in there. Now to the lesser points like, I want anyone who is so much as tempted to make that call to have to think very long and very hard about the likelihood of spending the rest of his or her life in prison. All the academic research has shown that the death penalty is not a deterrent to that crime so I think it is a HUGE stretch to suggest that the possibility of jail is going to stop these people is simply wrong headed and kidding yourselves and ourselves or lets jsut say everybody. The smart money, people who know more about law and government than people like me, say Bush can simply pardon himself and company even preemptively so this dog just doesn't hunt either. ( I want get into it, but think Scooter Libby) Finally, as for the ticking time bomb and the eminent destruction of the planet all the scientists, National Academies and International Academies, have agreed for some time that we are indeed facing just such a real scenario with climate change and no one has done squat, but were all ready to throw away everything this country has ever stood for and, in fact, its only reason for existence over some impossibly unreal fictional scenario as "the ticking time bomb". Let's put this piece of garbage away and hold these bastards accountable for the very real destruction of the planet and its inhabitants for their personal gain and nothing else. They've screwed us all with just such crap, lets try to save what's left to save of not just our country but the planet, we're all in this together. Thanks in advance for even considering my humble opinion.

But to respond directly to the question: I violate the policy on secrecy.

The prohibition on torture is absolute and universal, across nations, societies, and time. It's a fundamental human rights issue

Official secrets are far more contingent on the politics, bureaucracy, military and foreign policy stance, and legal system of the state involved.

@knowdoubt:

I'm pleased that you're contributing to the comments. But could I ask that from here on out that you commit to using paragraph breaks?

Hilzoy: I offer this video link as a supplement to my previous post. I think it helps illuminate the issue.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B5BNeWNShs#t=0m32s
thanksv

Nell: I haven't commented that much, like not more than a few times. When I'm looking in that little rectangle provided for comments it looks so totally different than after the post. Anyway, I will try to do paragraphs, I vaguely remember the term.

I tried to offer a supplement that I thought might provide some illumination on the issue, but it posted to the wrong thread so I'll try again. here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B5BNeWNShs#t=0m32s

I'm hoping it's evident to everyone that the torture/secrecy question has nothing to do with Tamm, except possibly by analogy.

Slartibartfast: I think inextricably intertwined might be a little more accurate. This video concerning findings by the Center for Public Policy points out that of 1,273 whistleblower complaints filed during the Bush administration all but 17 were dismissed and a great deal more info on why it is necessary and in the public interest to have people like Mr. Tamm rewarded rather than punished. Check it out...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsnRzfJPgh4

Whistle blowing in the Nuclear Power Industry has historically been fraught with peril also. I'm personally aware of engineers within the TVA (largest utility in the country at the time, may still be) who realized there was a design flaw in the Three mile Island design that could lead to a melt down.

Several tried to bring it to their Lords and Masters attention and to B&W the designer of the plant to no avail and were rewarded with rebukes, demotions, etc. Some were watching TV when three mile island happened and knew exactly what was going on and why. One after the near meltdown was rewarded with a position in the NRC otherwise his career would have been a dead end within the agency.

Later came Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Alabama. Nearing the end of construction some engineers realized all the control cables from the control room were run in one cable tunnel or tray and a fire could result in a complete loss of control of the plant, remember were talking nuclear here not a boom limited to the property and contained therein.

When these concerns were brought to their supervisors and up the later it was decided that things had gone to far and the best action was to act like an ostrich and ignore the information. I just recently learned of this from a manager involved who chose not to say anything because others had been ignored and told to drop it.

Needless, to say a fire did occur in this tunnel and complete control was lost. A catastrophe of planetary dimensions was narrowly avoided when an operator realized what was happening and why. He/she had the presence of mind to send his assistants to manually operated valves, etc. to bring the plant back under control and shut it down. There was then and still now no functioning mechanism for resolving issues of this or lesser magnitude. Because of the wide knowledge of how whistle blowers are treated in our government/society at least some managers never raised the issue with the very top (read chairman, board etc.,) and NONE went public which would have almost certainly rectified the problem. After all, you didn't need to be a nuclear physicist to understand the problem, but fear of retribution and the terrible price to pay for crossing superiors requires a person of heroic proportions to even consider blowing the whistle and one prepared to lose everything. These people are probably not one in a million.

Clearly, our survival as a society depends on fixing whatever it is in government and our society that allows people like Mr Tamms to be persecuted and harassed. They should be applauded and rewarded and people who attack and cause the problems have to be held accountable without which there is no hope. All the guilty continued on their career climbs reaping all the rewards and benefits they so richly didn't deserve and retired in glory.

I think inextricably intertwined might be a little more accurate

I don't see it that way, though. Telephone surveillance is not torture, even if you wish really hard.

Slartibartfast: Obviously, you take exception to my comments but, rather than address whatever it is you disagree with, you choose to attack their presence in this thread and at the same time engage in a little intellectual dishonesty which often makes things easier. No one has suggested that telephone surveillance is torture but, I do like the little quibble, "even if you wish really hard". I have seen it before and I liked it then too..., It's just ever soooh clever. I can appreciate your desire to have your own blog or at least be a moderator, then you could just delete anything and everything you don't like or agree with. That would be oh so much easier than having to engage on a civil and intellectual level. I really think your beef is with the moderator/s, I stand by the appropriateness of my comments whether you "see it that way" or not. Wishing really hard that, oh never mind, Best of luck with your objections. I think the ground has pretty much been covered but, torture does just seem to keep popping up all over as I'm sure it will as long as there are exceptions to it's use...even little tiny ones.

The thread may be dead at this point, but in case not, and for the use of anyone who might be interested, contributions to Tamm's legal defense may be made out and sent to:

Thomas Tamm Legal Defense Fund
Bank of Georgetown
5236 44th St.
Washington, DC 20015

Via bmaz at Emptywheel.

Nell, thanks for that link.

This is exactly the sort of thing that David Brin's Henchman's Prize was made for. It's only the occasional whistleblower that keeps our society working.

Imagine how much more light could be shed if people who exposed this kind of malfeasance didn't have to destroy their own lives to do so.

Obviously, you take exception to my comments but, rather than address whatever it is you disagree with, you choose to attack their presence in this thread and at the same time engage in a little intellectual dishonesty which often makes things easier.

No, I simply disagree that surveillance and torture are in any way comparable. They are, I say, not even within metaphor-range of each other.

Lots of words spent in the rest of your comment psychoanalyzing me, where you could otherwise be telling me why you think inextricably intertwined is apt in this instance.

If I wanted to delete your words, I actually could. So, there's always the fact that I'm not deleting them to consider.

Slartibartfast: I'm going "to wish really hard" (and, not believe my lying eyes) that you honestly can't see the connection between the illegal torture and illegal surveillance that Mr. Tamms blew the whistle on. It wasn't me who brought up the subject although, I would be proud to take the (blame?) for what I would consider a credit.

I didn't bring "torture and ticking time bombs" into this thread, the blogger hilzoy did (see post,"hilzoy to OCSteve Dec. 14, 2008 @6:11PM) I, in a momentary lapse, had the temerity to comment in a blog (for my first time). I took exception to this apparent willingness to grant "exceptions" for torture, albeit a small and unsure one. Good grief, it appeared that I had wandered into a cult and thrown a shoe at the "revered one". See the comment posted by Alex Russell Dec 15, 2008 @1:28 PM: "I was all set to jump in and defend hilzoy at length in regard to knowdoubts comment, but I was called away and when I got back I found that AnneE and hilzoy had done so quite ably." Quite ably indeed! I had to do some quick research just to make sure I hadn't wandered into some scientology or other cult's private blog.

I didn't originate the comments about torture and illegal surveillance of American citizens into this thread, but I don't mind defending those comments, if no one else is willing to defend the appropriateness of their own comments in this thread? They are inextricably intertwined, analgous, or connected ( she chose your preferred word) in that both are illegal acts existing because they were both hidden behind a cloak of secrecy (albeit illegally). I didn't bring up torture! I simply took exception to the justification (albeit small or even reluctant) offered by hilzoy? I wasn't attacking hilzoy personally, just the idea she presented about exceptions that might excuse torture. Actually, we are closer together than apart on this thing. It was just the distinction that she seemed to be making concerning a possible "justifiable exception" to our own and international prohibitions on torture that I questioned out loud. Bushies have shown themselves quite capable of taking the slighest crack in the door slither through and launch torture, illegal surveillance of American citizens, and more. The idea that they will ever be held accountable is just not credible, more likje incredible.

The Bush Administration's simply taking a hatchet to the English language and trying to redefine torture and trying to make waterboarding appear not to be what it has always been and always will be, and that is TORTURE is just plain dishonest not to mention immoral, cruel, illegal, uncivilized and a fraud. Fraud is another commanality in the two cases, claiming that he only listens to non citizens or people engaged in terrorism has turned out to be a fraud. His administration listens to everybody, even soldiers having intimate conversations with their wives back home then the listeners share the conversations for their own personal arousal or amusement. These are some of the ways torture and illegal surveillance are connected, the lack of real whistleblower protections or public outcry over their abuse are another that has allowed both to exist. The idea of prosecuting someone for exposing something so fraudulent on its face is simply absurd. It simply robs the citizens of this country of any foundation to stand on, morally or intellectually. Everything becomes absurd...morality, law, religion and even language these are the tools that create the basic fundamental principles that are the very footing that the foundation of our society and government rest on. Dubya and his company of the corrupt have declared that the "Constitution is nothing but a [email protected]@#@#$ piece of paper" and relegated its principles to history. He and his minions continue to rule by fear and intimidation threatening any dissenter with sure destruction.

The last issue you raised so illustrates "the problem". You said, "If I wanted to delete your words, I actually could. So, there's always the fact that I'm not deleting them to consider." Well, I don't quite know what it is that I'm to consider? Is it the threat of deletion? or, that you're grandstanding for the other readers, displaying your assumed prowess and supeiority over me in assuming I don't have the ability to retaliate or know someone who does? or, That I'm somehow indebted to you for even being alllowed to exist by virtue of comments in this thread? "The problem" with this way of thinking, also exists in torture and illegal surveillance, and that is.... it's a two way street. If you torture (or delete my comments) then I will torture (or delete your comments), we as a country and the other signatories of the Geneva Conventions have acknowledged (prior to this administration) this unfortunate problem. None of us torture because we don't won't our soldiers (enemy combatants, human beings, or whatever you want to call them) tortured, as if we couldn't find a better reason not to torture. Surely, you don't think you're the only one with enough hacking skills to get in a system and delete comments or whatever other foolishness might pop into your mind! Bush and the other "idiot savants" of his administration have been guilty of this same faulty logic in their conduct of national and international affairs, IMHO. Go ahead and delete them, they're just ideas, not even my own they go back at least as far as the Magna Carta.

you honestly can't see the connection between the illegal torture and illegal surveillance

Hm. Well, there's a connection, but "illegal" doesn't seem to be quite as good of an analogy as you'd think. Speeding is illegal, as is assassinating heads of state.

There are lots of illegal acts. There are even lots of illegal acts that can be hidden under the cloak of classification. This doesn't make them inextricably intertwined, but if that's the extent of your point, consider it made, and disagreed with.

Surely, you don't think you're the only one with enough hacking skills to get in a system and delete comments or whatever other foolishness might pop into your mind

This is really a sidetrack, but unfortunately I followed you down it. Short answer is: I have the login and password, because I used to be a front-pager. But: no, I wouldn't delete your comments, even if I can. It would go counter to pretty much all of what this blog is about. And if I did do something like that, the regulars would change the password, because it runs counter to policy.

So, no, I'm not a megalomaniac, and I don't care at all about suppressing your POV. I just disagree with it. For the reasons stated. It certainly wasn't my intention to try and run you off. Sometimes I forget that not everyone knows me. Please: feel free to stay and have a look around.

To Slartibard, hilzoy, and whomever might of been offended... my sincere apology to all, I had no intention of offending anyone.

Wouldn't it be great to disagree without being disagreeable I'm sure I will be much more sensitive in any future comments I might make as a result of this experience. It's not easy being a nobody and not knowing the somebodies. Your points are well taken and I confess I wasn't all that comfortable with the "inextricably intertwined" either. I'm not really passionate about that, just very anti-torture. That's it appreciate your making me think. Best to all

I can't find any fault with very anti-torture, knowdoubt. And I'm not offended by you, not that it should matter if I was.

I'm also nobody, really. I actually adopted this handle because in the book, when Slartibartfast was asked his name, he said something like "it's not important".

Hey Slartibartfast: It does matter to me 'cause nobody ever won over any "hearts or minds" by being offensive, excluding satire maybe.
T
hanks for the explanation of the name, I wondered where it came from but was afraid to ask, and after googling found the hitch hiking book I haven't even read yet, but do remember buying for one of my kids in another life time. I saw it around here somewhere the other day, I think I'll read it.
Clearly, you are somebody and way out front as evidenced by your early involvement in the early days of this blog. Probably, before I ever figured out what a blog was. BTW, I was bluffing about maybe knowing how to hack - I haven't got a clue! Even funnier, I couldn't get my wife to read my posts, she said they were too long. Talk about being put in ones place!

Hilzoy: I can't believe you said this, "(also what I think about torture in ticking time bomb cases: if you think it's justified, be prepared to explain why in court.)" please tell me I misunderstood. You appear to have swallowed the lie that "the ticking time bomb" is or could be a justification for torture!
You misunderstood.

"Torture is ILLEGAL and has been for a long time"

Which is why it follows that "if you think it's justified, be prepared to explain why in court."

"When I'm looking in that little rectangle provided for comments it looks so totally different than after the post."

Thus the "preview" button.

Slart:

I don't see it that way, though. Telephone surveillance is not torture, even if you wish really hard.
Response:
Slartibartfast: Obviously, you take exception to my comments but, rather than address whatever it is you disagree with,
He addressed it: what you said makes no sense. Illegal surveillance is not, in fact, torture.

"you choose to attack their presence in this thread"

Whose presence?

"and at the same time engage in a little intellectual dishonesty which often makes things easier."

You're still not making any sense.

"I can appreciate your desire to have your own blog or at least be a moderator,"

Which he has been here.

"I think the ground has pretty much been covered but, torture does just seem to keep popping up all over as I'm sure it will as long as there are exceptions to it's use...even little tiny ones."

And: what? Torture is "popping up"? What are you trying to say? You've got a lot of enthusiasm, which is great, but slowing down and trying to write coherently might be a good idea.

"Wouldn't it be great to disagree without being disagreeable I'm sure I will be much more sensitive in any future comments I might make as a result of this experience."

Just take a breath, and try writing in sentences.

"It's not easy being a nobody and not knowing the somebodies."

It's not a matter of "nobodies" or "somebodies," but taking a few moments to find out what's going on somewhere before plunging in is always wise. Nobody will hold your initial enthusiasm against you, otherwise -- everyone has first starts in a given environment or medium: welcome.

Gary Farber: I donut thank I diid misunderstood. I have repeatedly pointed out that I and nobydy else, EVa, EVa said "illegal surveillance and torture were the same thing"! This'uns beaten to deeth, really....not geest a deed horse at this pint, but a gooey stinkey mess and burryd one, have a consyderatshun of the sensulbillytees of tha utter commentatees.

xhumin long deed stuff shud be ferst preecded by a warnnin. Maybe, in yer "enthusiasm" you didn't buther to reyd the hole thread, I down nough....gust guessin.

I do nough thar ware plynty of responses, supporting the idee of a "ticking time bomb" xempshun for torture and supoort fer hilzoy's utterunc in that thar rezpect. If, I mistunnerstoud souh diid a slew of utters. Not makin any seance, well... hay; you're not makin a hole butnch uh seance eiter. En one whatchmacallet paragraf yu're tillin me that dude, Slartibart, haz ben a muderater hair and I shood have nown thaat beefour makin uh commint in this blaawaog and thin naxt u're lecturin that, "It's not a matter of "nobodies" or "somebodies" and "who's who" doesn't matter". Whale I ain't gonna sahay witch un I bleve i ben burnt bfour n this hair blaaugh.

I thank that dude Slartibart an me made our pieese, but he can gust speek for hisself. Thar seams to be some snubbery and cuming to the sirface are top, OK I made a miztook, sommin aboht pargrafs in uh post, witch was pinted out and xceptid by me. Nowh, my sentense maykn is knot upin two yer snuff. Whale, I ain't got no ivory leggue edukashun butt i got a pint two make two an hay i got gust a good a wright as u.

"Torture is "popping up""? Whayt s it you kant git wit dis un? Howd anyoned have mizzed the dude throwin shoes or missed his screams of pain as he was "removed" form Bush's press biggey in Iraq, seemed to me that torture commenced before they even got him out of the room. Credible reporting is "popping up" all over that torture has again, raised it's ugly head; describing multiple broken bones sustained by the "shoe bomber" in either his arrest or detention. Bush's insistence that it is another shining example of Democracy in action in this hell hole his administration has created in our name is garbaje. "Popping up" is simply an expression that is commonly used, at least in my locale, or socioecomomic strata of society (read people who eat pop corn) It has absolutely nothing to do with "enthusiasm" and is certainly not incoherent, find something of substance to criticize i.e., expressed viewpoint or idea, not made up ones like "illegal surveillance and illegal torture are equal". Seems to me that commentaors of such grand academicaly grammatical accomplishments would recognize "argumentum ad hominum" when they see it. Heck, I know people who can't spell kat or have no idea what to do with a period who would put your intellectual skills to shame. I made the point, that torture isn't justifiable ever, not even in the so called "ticking time bomb" scenario and that's what was important to me. The attacks on grammer, spelling, and unappreciated colloquial phrases, aren't really relevant to the issues or ideas being discussed, just an unwelcome distraction or an attempt to exclude commentors who won't or can't display a certain academic achievement level as determined by such a dubious authority as yourself.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the thought or lack of behind/before the welcome but, let me just humbly request that others who might be standing in line and have not yet availed themselves of the opportunity of "welcoming" my humble soul (grammatical/pov/sensibility deficiencies apparently excluded) to the world of Obsidian Wings consider just the simple more straightforward kick in the teeth.

"Whale, I ain't got no ivory leggue edukashun"

I'm a college drop-out, myself.

"butt i got a pint two make two an hay i got gust a good a wright as u."

Of course. But basic netiquette is to spend some small amount of time familiarizing one's self with any new net environment before plunging in; this isn't a matter of "snobbishness" at all, but simply of avoiding simple errors.

"Seems to me that commentaors of such grand academicaly grammatical accomplishments would recognize 'argumentum ad hominum' when they see it."

Your notions of my being "grand academically," etc., are in complete error; I've had all of three months of college.

Similarly, the ad hominum is an irrelevant attack on a person, not a suggestion that one try to slow down and write coherent sentences and paragraphs.

Similarly, the notion that anyone is trying to "exclude" you, while a slightly amusing, but mostly tiresome, reiteration of a meme reminiscent of Eternal September, is mistaken.

If you'd prefer me not to suggest that you're welcome here, and not do you the favor of giving you the respect of responding to you as I would anyone else, I can do that, but, really, you might also try turning down the newbie paranoia. Just comment, and nobody is going to treat you differently from, or think of you differently from, anyone who has been commenting here longer than a day or three. New people come along every other day or so: big whup. People are treated as the individuals they act as.

Unless, of course, you act particularly more dopey than most anyone else. For instance, carrying on with a bunch of personal insults based on completely false assumptions.

But if you relax, and quit being so defensive, that probably won't happen, in which case you'll have as fine a time as most folks do. And, you know, be welcome.

I'm going to take a break (well deserved, I think) defending the lack of importance of my (or anyone else's for that matter) grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure to their pov/ideas submitted to a, could I say a sometimes somewhat critical audience. Simply trying to get back to something remotely related to the ideas and povs expressed in a thread purportedly about whistleblowing. Principle, to any productive discourse, is an understanding of logic and what constitutes a fallacious argument. I went to Wikipedia in an effort to put a name on something that I recognized as fallacious but didn't no what to call it. I offer it here for consideration:

"A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.[1] To "set up a straw man," one describes a position that superficially resembles an opponent's actual view, yet is easier to refute. Then, one attributes that position to the opponent. For example, someone might deliberately overstate the opponent's position.[1] While a straw man argument may work as a rhetorical technique—and succeed in persuading people—it carries little or no real evidential weight, since the opponent's actual argument has not been refuted.[2]

The term is derived from the practice in ages past of using human-shaped straw dummies in combat training. In such training, a scarecrow is made in the image of the enemy, sometimes dressed in an enemy uniform or decorated in some way to vaguely resemble them. A trainee then attacks the dummy with a weapon such as a sword, club, bow or musket. Such a target is, naturally, immobile and does not fight back, and is therefore not a realistic test of skill compared to a live and armed opponent. It is occasionally called a straw dog fallacy, scarecrow argument, "straw person", or wooden dummy argument.

Carefully presenting and refuting a weakened form of an opponent's argument is not always itself a fallacy. It can refocus the scope of an argument or be a legitimate step of a proof by exhaustion. In contrast the straw man fallacy occurs in the following pattern:

1. Person A has position X.

2. Person B ignores X and instead presents position Y.
Y is a distorted version of X and can be set up in several ways, including:

1. Presenting a misrepresentation of the opponent's position and then refuting it, thus giving the appearance that the opponent's actual position has been refuted.[1]
2. Quoting an opponent's words out of context — i.e., choosing quotations that are not representative of the opponent's actual intentions (see contextomy and quote mining).[2]
3. Presenting someone who defends a position poorly as the defender and then refuting that person's arguments, thus giving the appearance that every upholder of that position, and thus the position itself, has been defeated.[1]
4. Inventing a fictitious persona with actions or beliefs that are criticized, such that the person represents a group of whom the speaker is critical.
5. Oversimplifying an opponent's argument, then attacking the simplified version.

3. Person B attacks position Y.

4. Person B draws a conclusion that X is false/incorrect/flawed.
This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because attacking a distorted version of a position simply does not constitute an attack on the position itself."

"Deep Throat" of Watergate fame passed away the other day, probably the most famous whistle blower of all time. I guess he qualifies as a "whitleblower", the information provided to Woodward and Bernstein brought down a government. I think it is interesting to note the differences between his "situation" and Mr. Tamms. Mr. Tamms has my great respect for clearly his motives were driven by patriotism and moral altruistic concerns in I think, stark contrast, to the motivations of Mark Felt. I'll resort to Wikipedia once again as a source, they're are others:

"Felt called "obvious" the reasons why he was suspected by the White House as the reporters' source:

I was supposed to be jealous of Gray for having received the appointment as Acting Director instead of myself. They felt that my high position in the FBI gave me access to all the Watergate information and that I was releasing it to Woodward and Bernstein in an effort to discredit Gray so that he would be removed and I would have another chance at the job. Then there were those frequent instances when I had been much less than cooperative in responding to requests from the White House which I felt were improper. I suppose the White House staff had me tagged as an insubordinate.[41]

Felt wrote, "it is true I would like to have been appointed FBI director," but "I never leaked information to Woodward and Bernstein or anyone else!"

From the same wiki entry comes this:


"In the early 1970s, Felt oversaw a turbulent period in the FBI's history. The FBI was pursuing radicals in the Weather Underground who had planted bombs at the Capitol, the Pentagon, and the State Department. Felt, along with Edward S. Miller, authorized FBI agents to break into homes secretly in 1972 and 1973, without a search warrant, on nine separate occasions. These kinds of FBI burglaries were known as "black bag jobs." The break-ins occurred at five addresses in New York and New Jersey, at the homes of relatives and acquaintances of Weather Underground members, and did not lead to the capture of any fugitives. The use of "black bag jobs" by the FBI was declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in the Plamondon case, 407 U.S. 297 (1972).

After revelation by the Church Committee of the FBI's illegal activities, many agents were investigated. Felt in 1976 publicly stated he had ordered break-ins and that individual agents were merely obeying orders and should not be punished for it. Felt also stated Gray also authorized the break-ins, but Gray denied this. Felt said on the CBS television program Face the Nation he would probably be a "scapegoat" for the Bureau's work.[48] "I think this is justified and I'd do it again tomorrow", he said on the program. While admitting the break-ins were "extralegal", he justified it as protecting the "greater good." Felt said:

To not take action against these people and know of a bombing in advance would simply be to stick your fingers in your ears and protect your eardrums when the explosion went off and then start the investigation.

Here's the link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Mark_Felt

I was struck by the ironies, Felt appeared to me to likely have been motivated by nothing, but revenge for having been passed over for the position of "Acting Director of the FBI". His career displayed none of the moral foundations of Mr. Tamms, he was guilty of illegal acts, break-ins, etc., as Nixon and most strikingly his justifications for his approach to investigating the Weather Underground were much the same as some of the justifications offered for torture. I thought it was fascinating reading in the context of today.

Disclaimer: I have preemptively sought and received a dispensation from the highest authorities for any grammatical, including sentence structure, errors that might be found in this post also, the author makes no claims as to the author's sensibilities or or lack of sensitivities (expect a response in kind to personal attacks) and that includes Wikipedia.

Reporting: Eavesdropping to cover-up NSA/CSS and CIA Directed Energy Weapons Torture and Abuse
There is a growing awareness of U.S. Government‘s Intelligence community and the Department of Defenses engagement in covert cognitive neuroscience and neuro-technology research through the use of Extreme Low Frequency (ELF) and microwave based electromagnetic Directed Energy Weapons. I can assure you that these weapons exist and that I am one of thousands people in and outside of the U.S. who have become nonconsensual participants in such research. NSA whistleblowers blowers past and present have provided testimony before the U.S. congress that the NSA is responsible for much more then illegal intelligence surveillance. The resent ABC News reports of privacy and civil liberties abuses via phone and e-mail interception is an unfounded and absurd cover-up for the much more serious crime of covert cognitive neuroscience and neuro-technology research and testing through the use of Extreme Low Frequency (ELF) pulsed microwave “Psychotronic” weapons. It is common knowledge that the primary mission of the National Security Agency (NSA) is, “Signals Intelligence”, “Cryptanalysis”, and “Data Mining”. Oversight, in October 2008 Senator Jay Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, announced an examination of allegations by former NSA employees of inappropriate eavesdropping. The NSA has 40,000 employees and an annual budget of $3.6 billion, inappropriate “Signals Intelligence” is the least or our worries.
Two former NSA employees Russell Tice and John St. Clair Akwei both testified they used electromagnetic weapons on Americans in America. The New York Times reported that in May of 2005 the NSA ordered Mr. Tice to undergo an unscheduled psychological evaluation and later dismissed him. “There, a Defense Department psychologist concluded that Tice suffered from psychotic paranoia." Tice later wrote that he "did this even though he admitted that I did not show any of the normal indications of someone suffering from paranoia." The law suit filed by former NSA employee John St. Clair Akwei against the NSA, details the capabilities of ELF electromagnetic weapons in use for remote neural monitoring and cognitive manipulation on a human subjects.
The NSA's Signals Intelligence has the proprietary ability to remotely, evasively and non-invasively monitor information in the human body by digitally decoding the evoked potentials in the 30-50 Hz, .5 milliwatt electromagnetic emissions from the brain. The participants are subjected to torture through various degrees of psychological and physiological cognitive manipulation for extended periods of time. This neuroscientific research includes, remote neuro-signals-processing, brain-computer electronic interface, enables the following:
1. Remote mind reading, Voice to skull (V2K) also known as synthetic telepathy, computer to brain non-verbal communication by passing the ears. The covert intelligence operator or analyst communicates full spectrum or 3D audio directly into the participant’s audio cortex.
2. Remote neural visual monitoring and augmentation, the intelligence operator can interpret what the subject sees and invoke 3D images in the participant’s visual cortex, by passing the eyes and optic nerves.
3. Neuro-physiological manipulation many participants report torture through the manipulation of the central nervous system (e.g., brain) and somatic, autonomic, and neuroendocrine processes.
The participant reports his or her experience of audio visual and physiological torture, manipulation and abuse to authorities and is immediately discredited as being delusional and mentally ill. Recently the U.S. Government has gone public with its intentions to generously fund to the tune $300 million, further research in the development of computer-brain based speech recognition applications that can decode the EEG signals and, in-brain imaging technology that will allow the commercial development of synthetic telepathy, (Remote Mind Reading) applications. We have suffered too long, only now are elected officials both State and Federal are finally beginning to take our reports of torture and abuse seriously. This is the greatest military intelligence blunder in the history of our country. We are demanding full disclosure and an immediate investigation of this pandemic at all levels of Government.
In 2007 the U.S. Department of Defense’s Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative program issued press release No. 257-07 on March 07, which reported 67 Universities selected to receive $207 Million in technology research funding for engineering and cognitive neurosciences. Stating its goal is to develop applications for military and commercial uses. On August 13, 2008 a team of University of California, at Irvine scientists were awarded a $4 Million grant from the U.S. Army Research Office to study the neuroscientific and signal-processing foundations of synthetic telepathy.
In 2001, HR2977, The Space Preservation Act (2001) was introduced into Congress to ban all Directed Energy Weapons. Its passage has thusfar been blocked. In 2002, the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) formally listed a new category of Weapons of Mass Destruction (Psychotronic Mind Control and other Electromagnetic Resonance Weapons) in their 2002 Media Guide to Disarmament. In 2003, the State of Michigan passed into Law House Bills 4513 and 4514 banning the use of all forms of electromagnetic weapons against Human Beings in the State of Michigan. In 1999, the European Union Parliament passed Resolution A4-0005/1999 Section 27 which “Calls for an International Convention introducing a global ban on all developments and deployments of weapons which might enable any forms of manipulation of Human Beings.” (PSYCHOTRONIC WEAPONS).
The local authorities, mental health community, psychiatrists and psychologists when confronted with real hard sciences, specifically neurophysiology, cognitive neuroscience discipline(s), in every case respond with the same ignorance and incompetence. Given the overwhelming evidence pointing to the U.S. Government’s intelligence community and Department of Defense’s private contractors of being at the top of the list of beneficiaries of ongoing covert Directed Energy Weapons experimentation and research. This is a Government that has a history of such abuses, the local law enforcement and mental heath community can no longer place the burden of proof on the victim of these crimes.

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