HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » 70% of the $80+ billion i...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 03:10 PM

70% of the $80+ billion intel budget goes 2 private contractors not bound by constitutional amendmts

Last edited Thu Jun 13, 2013, 08:45 PM - Edit history (1)

Let that sink in. And to add insult to injury, they make a profit on it. We pay for this monster. They make the profit.

Chris Pyle, Whistleblower on Domestic Spying in 70s, Says Be Wary of Attacks on NSA’s Critics



As NSA director General Keith Alexander blasts the leaks that exposed widespread surveillance of Americans, we’re joined by Chris Pyle, a former military instructor who exposed the CIA and Army’s monitoring of millions of Americans in the 1970s. Pyle discovered the Army and CIA were spying on millions of Americans engaged in lawful political activity while he was in the Army working as an instructor. His revelations prompted Senate hearings, including Senator Frank Church’s Select Committee on Intelligence, ultimately leading to a series of laws aimed at curbing government abuses. Now teaching constitutional law and civil liberties at Mount Holyoke College, Pyle says the NSA is known for attacking its critics instead of addressing the problems they expose.

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We want to go on to the National Security Agency director, General Keith Alexander, who testified before Congress Wednesday, a week after a trove of secret documents about his agency’s widespread surveillance program stunned the nation and sparked heated debate. During his testimony, Alexander denied claims he has personal wiretapping abilities at the agency and insisted phone data collection has helped prevent dozens of terrorist attacks. He refused to publicly answer questions about how the NSA had made the transition to collecting phone records of Americans. Alexander also said he hoped for greater transparency around the surveillance programs, but he argued some secrecy helps the agency’s mission. He was also asked about the impact of the NSA leaks. This was his response.

GEN. KEITH ALEXANDER: Great harm has already been done by opening this up. And the consequence, I believe, is our security is jeopardized. There is no doubt in my mind that we will lose capabilities as a result of this and that not only the United States, but those allies that we have helped, will no longer be as safe as they were two weeks ago. And so, I am really concerned about that. I’m also concerned that, as we go forward, we now know that some of this has been released. So what does it make sense to explain to the American people so they have confidence that their government is doing the right thing? Because I believe we are, and we have to show them that.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: The disclosure of the secret NSA surveillance program was based on information leaked by Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who most recently worked inside the NSA’s Hawaii office for the private firm Booz Allen Hamilton. In an exclusive interview with the South China Morning Post, Snowden said, quote, "I’m neither traitor nor hero, I’m an American." He also said he intends to stay in Hong Kong until he’s asked to leave, and he intends to fight any extradition attempts by the U.S. government. Snowden also told the paper, quote, "People who think I made a mistake in picking as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality."

AMY GOODMAN: Well, for more, we’re joined by Christopher Pyle, who first exposed domestic spying in the 1970s here in the U.S. Pyle discovered the CIA was spying on millions of Americans engaged in lawful activity while he was in the Army and worked as an instructor. After he left, he wrote about the Army’s vast and growing spy operations. His article from 1971 began, quote, "For the past four years, the U.S. Army has been closely watching civilian political activity within the United States." Pyle’s story prompted Senate hearings, including Senator Frank Church’s Select Committee on Intelligence. These ultimately led to a series of laws aimed at curbing government abuse. Chris Pyle is the co-author of Military Surveillance of Civilian Politics, Getting Away with Torture and The Constitution Under Siege. He now teaches constitutional law and civil liberties at Mount Holyoke College and recently wrote a piece headlined, "Edward Snowden and the Real Issues." He joins us from Chicopee, Massachusetts.

Welcome to Democracy Now!, Professor Pyle. Talk about what you feel those real issues are. But before you do, explain what happened to you, how it was you revealed in the early ’70s what was going on in the military.

CHRISTOPHER PYLE: I received a briefing at the U.S. Army Intelligence Command that showed me the extent of the surveillance system. There were about 1,500 Army agents in plain clothes watching every demonstration in the United States of 20 people or more. There was also a records system in a giant warehouse on about six million people. I disclosed the existence of that surveillance and then recruited 125 of the Army’s counterintelligence agents to tell what they knew about the spying to Congress, the courts and the press. As a result of those disclosures and the congressional hearings, the entire U.S. Army Intelligence Command was abolished. This was before Watergate.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Professor Pyle, did you, at that time, suffer any repercussions from your willingness to step forward and reveal what was going on to Congress?

CHRISTOPHER PYLE: Well, two things happened. The Army created a 50-man unit in the Pentagon whose sole job was to discredit my disclosures. That effort failed: The disclosures were all quite accurate. I was also put on President Nixon’s enemies list, which resulted in a tax audit.

AMY GOODMAN: Christopher Pyle, let’s turn for a minute to the Church Committee’s special Senate investigation of government misconduct, which you played a key role in the mid-'70s, U.S. Senate committee chaired by Democratic Senator Frank Church of Idaho, who conducted a massive investigation of the CIA and FBI's misuse of power at home and abroad, the multi-year investigation examining domestic spying, the CIA’s attempts to assassinate foreign leaders, the FBI and CIA’s efforts to infiltrate and disrupt leftist organizations, and a lot more. This is Senator Frank Church speaking during one of the committee’s hearings.

SEN. FRANK CHURCH: You have seen today the dark side of those activities, where many Americans who were not even suspected of crime were not only spied upon, but they were harassed, they were discredited and, at times, endangered.

AMY GOODMAN: And this is another clip from the Church Committee Senate hearing. This is CIA Director William Colby testifying. He was asked if he found the work of the committee unwelcome.

WILLIAM COLBY: No, I do not. I’ve—as I’ve said to the chairman, I welcome the chance to try to describe to the American people what intelligence is really about today. It’s a—it is an opportunity to show how we Americans have modernized the whole concept of intelligence.

AMY GOODMAN: That was then-CIA Director William Colby. So, if you would, Chris Pyle, take this forward, from what came out of the Church Committee hearings, that started with your exposé from being a military whistleblower, to what you’re seeing today with Edward Snowden.

CHRISTOPHER PYLE: Well, what we’ve seen in the ensuing years has been a vast explosion in intelligence-gathering capabilities. But the most significant part of that is the fact that civilian corporations are now doing the government’s work. Seventy percent of the intelligence budget of the United States today goes to private contractors like Booz Allen, which employed Edward Snowden. This is a major change in the power of surveillance. It now goes not only to the government, but to private corporations.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, you seem—in a recent article, you seem to raise what you think are the real issues in these Snowden leaks. You mention, one, the inability of Congress to actually do legitimate oversight over intelligence. You say that the secrecy system is out of control. And you also say that the system is also profoundly corrupt because of all this use of private contractors who make huge amounts of money that no one can actually hold them accountable for. Could you talk about those issues?

CHRISTOPHER PYLE: Yes. The forerunner of the PRISM system that Snowden disclosed was called Trailblazer. It wasted $1 billion on private contracts. It replaced a much less expensive system called ThinThread, which had more privacy protections and had been developed inside the government. Now, the reason that private contractors get this business is because members of Congress intercede with them with government agencies. And we now have a situation where members of the Intelligence Committee and other committees of Congress intercede with the bureaucracy to get sweetheart contracts for companies that waste taxpayers’ money and also violate the Constitution and the privacy of citizens. This is a very serious situation, because it means that it’s much more difficult to get effective oversight from Congress.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to go back to the Senate Appropriation Committee hearing with the NSA director, General Keith Alexander, defending the phone surveillance practices exposed by Edward Snowden.

GEN. KEITH ALEXANDER: I thought the great part about this program was that we brought Congress, the administration and the courts all together. We did that. That’s what our government stands for, under the same Constitution. We follow that Constitution. We swear an oath to it. So I am concerned, and I think we have to balance that. I will not—I would rather take a public beating and people think I’m hiding something than to jeopardize the security of this country.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Pyle, could you respond?

CHRISTOPHER PYLE: Well, we all want to protect the security of the country. We all want to protect the Constitution. But when government agencies are totally unaccountable, we can’t do that. Members of Congress do not go to those briefings, even if they’re offered, because once you go to the briefing, then you can’t talk about what you’ve been told, because it’s classified. So the briefing system is designed to silence Congress, not to promote effective oversight.

Members of Congress don’t want to spend time on oversight. They’re too busy raising money. New members of the House of Representatives this winter were told by the Democratic Campaign Committee that they should spend between four and six hours a day dialing for dollars. They have no time to do the public’s business. They’re too busy begging for money. President Obama himself attended 220 fundraisers last year. Where does he get the time to be president when he’s spending so much time asking wealthy people for money to support his campaign?

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Chris Pyle, in Wednesday’s Senate hearing, Senator Dick Durbin asked NSA director, General Keith Alexander, why someone like Booz Allen employee Edward Snowden was in a position in which he had access to the classified information he leaked.

SEN. DICK DURBIN: He was a high school dropout. He was a community college dropout. He had a GED degree. He was injured in training for the U.S. Army and had to leave as a result of that. And he took a job as a security guard for the NSA in Maryland. Shortly thereafter, he took a job for the CIA in what is characterized as IT security in The Guardian piece that was published. At age 23, he was stationed in an undercover manner overseas for the CIA and was given clearance and access to a wide—a wide array of classified documents. At age 25, he went to work for a private contractor and most recently worked for Booz Allen, another private contractor working for our government. I’m trying to look at this résumé and background—it says he ended up earning somewhere between $122,000 and $200,000 a year. I’m trying to look at the résumé background for this individual who had access to this highly classified information at such a young age, with a limited educational and work experience, part of it as a security guard, and ask you if you’re troubled that he was given that kind of opportunity to be so close to important information that was critical to the security of our nation?

GEN. KEITH ALEXANDER: I do have concerns about that, over the process, Senator. I have grave concerns over that, the access that he had, the process that we did. And those are things that I have to look into and fix from my end, and that across the intel community, Director Clapper said we’re going to look across that, as well. I think those absolutely need to be looked at. I would point out that in the IT arena, in the cyber-arena, some of these folks have tremendous skills to operate networks. That was his job, for the most part, from the 2009-'10, was as an IT, a system administrator within those networks. He had great skills in that areas. But the rest of it, you've hit on—you’ve hit on the head. We do have to go back and look at these processes, the oversight in those—we have those—where they went wrong, and how we fix those.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: That was NSA director, General Keith Alexander, speaking before the Senate on Wednesday. Well, in 2012, General Alexander spoke at DEF CON, the annual hacker convention. During his speech, Alexander tried to court hackers to work at the National Security Agency. The third bullet on his PowerPoint presentation that he refers to is privacy and civil liberties must be protected.

GEN. KEITH ALEXANDER: I think the third bullet down is what we really want to do is innovate freedom, how we’re going to look at where we take this next. This is a great opportunity for not only our nation, but for the world. And, you know, one of the things that I’m really proud of saying is, when you look at Vint Cerf and the others, we’re the ones who helped develop, we’re the ones who built this Internet. And we ought to be the first ones to secure it. And I think you folks can help us do that.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: That was General Keith Alexander speaking in 2012 at DEF CON. For our radio listeners, I should note that he was in a black T-shirt and wearing jeans as he spoke to the hackers. Chris Pyle, your response?

CHRISTOPHER PYLE: Well, it’s true. NSA doesn’t want to hire people like you and me. We don’t know enough about the Internet. That said, it’s important to note that the vice chairman of Booz Allen happens to be Mike McConnell, who was former director of NSA and of national intelligence. There is a revolving door between high government positions and private corporations, and this revolving door allows these people to make a great deal more money upon leaving the government, and then being rented back to the government in a contractor capacity. And that’s part of the corruption of the system.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Now, one of the things you’ve also said is that the top-secret designation is a way to—is more of a way for the government officials, the bureaucrats and the contractors not to be held accountable than it is to actually protect secrets that the government needs to protect. Could you expand on that?

CHRISTOPHER PYLE: Well, yes. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures, only binds the government, doesn’t bind corporations. That’s a serious problem. The reason we have privatization of prisons, in some ways, is for governments to escape liability. They put the liability on the private corporations that run the prisons, and they just charge their liabilities as an operating cost.

AMY GOODMAN: Chris Pyle, the attack on Edward Snowden—I mean, you’ve got the pundits. What Jeffrey Toobin, the legal pundit, quickly blogged: Snowden is "a grandiose narcissist who deserves to be in prison." Thomas Friedman writes, "I don’t believe Edward Snowden, the leaker of all this secret material, is some heroic whistle-blower." David Brooks says, "Though obviously terrifically bright, he could not successfully work his way through the institution of high school. Then he failed to navigate his way through community college." That’s the pundits. And then, of course, there’s the NSA. Can you talk about the attack on the whistleblower today and back when you were blowing the whistle?

CHRISTOPHER PYLE: Well, when I was blowing the whistle and they couldn’t get any dirt on me—I had led a very uninteresting life—they made up dirt and tried to peddle it on Capitol Hill in order to discredit me and prevent me from testifying before Senator Ervin’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights. Every bureaucracy hates dissenters. They must expel dissenters and discredit dissenters, because dissenters force them to reconsider what it is they’re doing, and no bureaucracy wants anybody to interrupt what they’re doing. And so, this is the natural, organic response of any bureaucracy or any establishment.

Now, I think it is inappropriate and quite irrelevant to analyze Ed Snowden’s motivations. It doesn’t matter much—except in court, to prove that he either did or did not intend to aid a foreign power or hurt the United States. But separate from that motivation, whether he’s a narcissist, like many people on television are, no, I don’t think that’s relevant at all. He’s neither a traitor nor a hero, and he says this himself. He’s just an ordinary American. He’s trying to start a debate in this nation over something that is critically important. He should be respected for that, taken at face value, and then we should move on to the big issues, including the corruption of our system that is done by massive secrecy and by massive amounts of money in politics.

AMY GOODMAN: Chris Pyle, we want to thank you for being with us, co-author of Military Surveillance of Civilian Politics, Getting Away with Torture and The Constitution Under Siege. In 1970, Christopher Pyle disclosed the military’s spying on civilians and worked for three congressional committees to end it, including Frank Church’s Select Committee on Intelligence. He now teaches constitutional law and civil liberties at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. This is Democracy Now! Back in a minute.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to "democracynow.org"

http://www.democracynow.org/2013/6/13/chris_pyle_whistleblower_on_cia_domestic


Note:
Intel budget for 2010 was $80.1 Billion - http://articles.latimes.com/2010/oct/28/nation/la-na-intel-budget-20101029

Related threads:
Edward Snowden and Washington's revolving-door culture /Who's running the drug war?
- http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023008444

Edward Snowden and the Real Issues (by Christopher H. Pyle): http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023012293

63 replies, 6877 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 63 replies Author Time Post
Reply 70% of the $80+ billion intel budget goes 2 private contractors not bound by constitutional amendmts (Original post)
Catherina Jun 2013 OP
liberal_at_heart Jun 2013 #1
Comrade Grumpy Jun 2013 #2
MuseRider Jun 2013 #3
Laelth Jun 2013 #4
Puzzledtraveller Jun 2013 #5
sabrina 1 Jun 2013 #6
Catherina Jun 2013 #17
sabrina 1 Jun 2013 #49
ReRe Jun 2013 #52
KoKo Jun 2013 #55
Catherina Jun 2013 #63
Octafish Jun 2013 #7
nineteen50 Jun 2013 #19
Octafish Jun 2013 #54
marmar Jun 2013 #8
AnotherMcIntosh Jun 2013 #9
Catherina Jun 2013 #12
RT Atlanta Jun 2013 #10
WillyT Jun 2013 #11
99th_Monkey Jun 2013 #13
magellan Jun 2013 #26
99th_Monkey Jun 2013 #30
magellan Jun 2013 #33
99th_Monkey Jun 2013 #35
magellan Jun 2013 #38
99th_Monkey Jun 2013 #39
zeemike Jun 2013 #29
99th_Monkey Jun 2013 #31
jeff47 Jun 2013 #41
zeemike Jun 2013 #44
jeff47 Jun 2013 #45
zeemike Jun 2013 #48
jeff47 Jun 2013 #58
zeemike Jun 2013 #60
jeff47 Jun 2013 #40
99th_Monkey Jun 2013 #43
jeff47 Jun 2013 #46
RainDog Jun 2013 #14
LondonReign2 Jun 2013 #15
Egalitarian Thug Jun 2013 #16
avaistheone1 Jun 2013 #18
Divernan Jun 2013 #20
cliffordu Jun 2013 #21
TalkingDog Jun 2013 #22
Initech Jun 2013 #23
annabanana Jun 2013 #24
snagglepuss Jun 2013 #56
freshwest Jun 2013 #25
1-Old-Man Jun 2013 #27
xiamiam Jun 2013 #36
hay rick Jun 2013 #28
KoKo Jun 2013 #32
scarletwoman Jun 2013 #34
Catherina Jun 2013 #37
Autumn Jun 2013 #42
aquart Jun 2013 #47
glinda Jun 2013 #50
MotherPetrie Jun 2013 #51
timdog44 Jun 2013 #53
OldHippieChick Jun 2013 #57
uponit7771 Jun 2013 #59
azmom Jun 2013 #61
HiPointDem Jun 2013 #62

Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 03:12 PM

1. and the privatization continues thanks to republicans and democrats alike.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 03:18 PM

2. Good OP. Thank you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 03:34 PM

3. Scary

"Members of Congress do not go to those briefings, even if they’re offered, because once you go to the briefing, then you can’t talk about what you’ve been told, because it’s classified. So the briefing system is designed to silence Congress, not to promote effective oversight."

Exactly and this is intolerable.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 03:45 PM

4. k&r for exposure. n/t

-Laelth

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 03:46 PM

5. k&r

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 04:15 PM

6. I have read the entire transcript. Everyone who cares about this country should read it.

Our Constitutional Rights are in the hands of, mostly populated by Bush people, Private Security Corporations whose main motivation is PROFIT. They are NOT, as Pyle points out, responsible for protecting our rights. Congress has passed that responsibility to them with no obligation to defend the Constitutional Rights of American citizens.

Do people really grasp the incredible danger of this?

Then, to make matters worse, they go from these Private Corps who need contracts to stay in business, contracts voted for by Congress, right into Government. Eg, Clapper, a Repubican, former and probably future employee of Booz Allen, is now DIRECTOR OF INTELLIGENCE. Surely the conflict of interest is apparent to even the most blind partisan? Speaking of which, he's a Republican and a Bush guy, so why is ANY democrat defending this person who has lied to Congress already before we even begin??

And why is someone like this still in our government. Are there no Democrats this administration can find for these positions?

I do not support Republicans. This forum forbids anyone supporting Republicans. How can this be rationalized then? DUers supporting a lying Republican??

As for this from the General:

There is no doubt in my mind that we will lose capabilities as a result of this and that not only the United States, but those allies that we have helped,


He better start reading what our 'allies' have to say about THEIR ally spying on them too. But he blames the messenger, rather than explain WHY they are spying on Europeans and Americans. Is there no IQ required to be in these positions? If they were not spying on their allies and the American people, Snowden would have nothing to report.

If you commit a crime and someone reports you, is the person who reports to blame for the crime? THIS is the logic we get from our top officials these days.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #6)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 05:12 PM

17. Thanks Sabrina. And about that help...

Was just reading this comment from a European under an article titled "EU 'assessing U.S. relationship' amid PRISM spying claims". This is just one little guy's opinion. Imagine what their business community is going through thinking of intellectual property theft, industrial espionage, political blackmail etc....

Meh americans

Some ridiculous comments here, Europe has 731 million people across 48 countries, America has 314 million people, combined nominal GDP in 2010 of Europe is higher then the USA by a more than notable degree, in addition to more money, we have the highest living standards in the world, better healthcare, 5 of the top 10 countries in world's economies exist in Europe and so and so forth ...

Its far more likely that the stronger party Europe would be protecting the weaker party America from dangers than the other way around.
...

And its a pity all your much vaunted rights and unique democracy seem to have failed to protect you against the excesses of your own government, who seem to have decided to save the terrorists the trouble of ruining your freedoms by pre-emptively beating them to it, and from having one of the worst healthcare services in the developed world, which charge nie double per person to what say the UK's NHS provides (which btw is not the best in the world either, but close and far superior nonetheless), and when your government finally decided to no longer be sending old grannies into to the street in nightgowns dropped off in the middle of nowhere by taxis because they don't have medical insurance, half of your country decided to demonize the guy responsible for such a travesty, and equate him to the devil for being so evil as to actually give a shit if your fellow citizens live or die... The fact your doctors charge so ridiculously much is your own fault in addition, such things prove America as a whole has no sense of morality, or if it has one, its warped at best.

As a result European citizens aren't to pleased to be drip feeding our information to a people whose morals are so low they could hop under a floor barrel with a top hat on, whose politicians accept massive bribes on a daily basis while no one bats an eyelid, whose judges pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to be elected for privilege, whose laws are controlled primarily by lobby groups, and despite being aware of all this, whose people are so thick they still haven't worked out that it ceased being the best place to live in the world back when Roosevelt died (a man who btw wanted to introduce a national health service to the USA) by the time the puppet Reagan and has bank masters had finished has been getting steadily worse year on year, and rather then doing anything about fixing it, your politicians and their supporters, which seem to be about 49.9% of the us population per side, would rather insult each other and block any attempt by the other side to do anything positive about it in attempt to claim the credit for any benefit or prevent credit accruing to the other side, and whose efforts are of course equally and oppositely blocked by the other side regardless, so neither of you achieve anything but a whole load of time wasting, whilst your country dips even further into the figurative sea of feces before you.

America is just another country, it has its benefits and its downsides, and if you wish to operate worldwide, you WILL respect other countries laws, as we don't need you, you need us, everything you once exclusively made, China now makes too, and are only to happy to provide, hell it come out the same factory as the ones you sell, so why exactly do we still need you?, cant think of a reason.

http://www.zdnet.com/eu-assessing-u-s-relationship-amid-prism-spying-claims-7000016794/

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Reply #17)

Fri Jun 14, 2013, 12:18 AM

49. How sad, because it's a snapshot of how the world sees us now, and most of it is true.

And its a pity all your much vaunted rights and unique democracy seem to have failed to protect you against the excesses of your own government, who seem to have decided to save the terrorists the trouble of ruining your freedoms by pre-emptively beating them to it, and from having one of the worst healthcare services in the developed world,


We could be such a shining light in the world. What happened? Was it all those right wing 'refugees' we took in after the dictators they and we supported were finally toppled and they had to flee the wrath of their victims? The nazis we rescued and brought over here, the right wing S. Americans, the right wing Cubans? I don't get it, something has gone very wrong because we really did have a great ideal to strive for, a road map that could have made us the envy of the world?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Reply #17)

Fri Jun 14, 2013, 05:28 AM

52. Wow!

This is like Chunky Mark in print. Now them's some run-on-sentences THAT was a true rant!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Reply #17)

Fri Jun 14, 2013, 11:14 AM

55. Thank You Catherina and Sabrina 1.....Excellent reads...! Worth Bookmarking, also.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to KoKo (Reply #55)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 03:17 PM

63. I bookmarked it too. Thought it was to the point n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 04:18 PM

7. What Sabrina1 said.

ex:

CHRISTOPHER PYLE: I received a briefing at the U.S. Army Intelligence Command that showed me the extent of the surveillance system. There were about 1,500 Army agents in plain clothes watching every demonstration in the United States of 20 people or more. There was also a records system in a giant warehouse on about six million people. I disclosed the existence of that surveillance and then recruited 125 of the Army’s counterintelligence agents to tell what they knew about the spying to Congress, the courts and the press...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Octafish (Reply #7)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 05:16 PM

19. I believe

this program of meta-data mining is being used to determine the intent and timing of dissent and protest in order to control and defuse it. It is a tool of the power-elite oligarchy, which owns both political parties and has wrapped itself in the authority and cloak of the American Government.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to nineteen50 (Reply #19)

Fri Jun 14, 2013, 10:51 AM

54. I believe you are correct.

The imposter pretzeldent George W Bush exposed the game when he said "Money trumps peace. Uh. Sometimes."



http://journals.democraticunderground.com/Octafish/958

Thank youo, nineteen50, for standing up to the warmongers.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 04:18 PM

8. k/r

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 04:41 PM

9. Do the 2 private contractors not share any of their billions with any of the politicians?

 

How selfish of them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #9)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 04:59 PM

12. Well that's part 2

Part 2: Edward Snowden and Washington's revolving-door culture / Who's running the drug war? - http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023008444

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 04:41 PM

10. $ for the war machine

yet we can't feed, clothe or educate our own citizens, beginning with children up to the elderly.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 04:56 PM

11. K & R !!!


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 05:04 PM

13. Isn't the Government still responsible for actions of its paid contractors?

Isn't it true, that the exact terms of the contract, define the scope of (and limitations on) the
authority of the private corporation?

At least this is how it should work, in a perfect world; which of course is not the case, but
still

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #13)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 06:04 PM

26. Interesting question

My feeling, from some generally applied experience, is any government responsibility would be very limited at best. Sometimes government immunity is extended to contractors, depending on the situation. I don't know what the case would be for contractors working in national security, but here's a broad discussion of the subject: Are Federal Contractors Immune from Tort Suits Just Because the Government Is?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to magellan (Reply #26)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 07:19 PM

30. Ah, I see. They've created a way around it, through a back door of "immunity"

Yes, that sounds like how it likely works. I admit to being a bit foggy on how such
"government immunity" works, because there are numerous cases of lawsuits against
the gov't , such as Chris Hedges v. Obama/Holder re: the NDAA.

I'll check out that link too. Thanks.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #30)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 07:32 PM

33. No prob

It doesn't really answer the question in this case, but my guess, considering it involves state secrets and national security, would be immunity is extended to them. Not that it makes much difference. We've already seen how the government reacts to any issue of impropriety in this.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to magellan (Reply #33)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 07:46 PM

35. I'm confident that our beloved Government will return to "normal" eventually, w/ rights respected

You know, once we have vanquished every last "bad guy" on the planet.

NOT.

In first place, power never yields ground willingly; secondly the way we wage
the "war on terror" actually CREATES MORE TERRORISTS, rather than vanquishing
them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #35)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 08:31 PM

38. I truly wish I didn't know what I do. N/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to magellan (Reply #38)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 08:37 PM

39. Which pill was that again?

blue or red? I can't quite remember.

ps - I hear you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #13)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 07:14 PM

29. Contracts can be written ether way

A contract can absolve them of any responsibility if you want.
I would bet you that theirs does.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to zeemike (Reply #29)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 07:26 PM

31. Yes, we were just talking about that upstring.

This seems to be the Achilles Heel -- if there is one -- to this
massive invasion of the citizenry's privacy. If contracts can and
are written either way, then Congress CAN pass a law requiring
that ALL contracts (even with NSA, CIA, et. al.) must be written
so as to NOT render them immune from prosecution for criminal
activity ...

Otherwise, we may as well be dealing with the Mob, when dealing
with our own "democratic" government.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to zeemike (Reply #29)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 08:38 PM

41. No, they can't.

If the contractor is acting at the direction of the government, they have to follow the same rules as the government.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jeff47 (Reply #41)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 08:48 PM

44. You mean if it says so in the contract?

If not what law do you base that on?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to zeemike (Reply #44)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 09:00 PM

45. No, the contract can not remove this requirement.

If the government is directing the contractor, then the contractor has to follow the same rules as the government.

As for where this is found, a laundry list of rulings where various government entities tried to use private citizens, companies and contractors to violate the Constitution.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jeff47 (Reply #45)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 11:31 PM

48. So you can't state a case or law.

So it just seems right to you?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to zeemike (Reply #48)

Fri Jun 14, 2013, 01:34 PM

58. You're free to start here

https://www.google.com/search?q=ruling+contractor+acting+as+government+agent

There's a few thousand hits agreeing with me, and a laundry lists of acts, agency regulations and rulings.

Alternatively, you could take a nanosecond to realize that if your claim was true, the government would never request a search warrant for any case. They'd just have a contractor conduct the search and turn over the results.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jeff47 (Reply #58)

Fri Jun 14, 2013, 01:51 PM

60. You mean I should research it for you?

You are the one that makes the claim that non responsibility cannot be written into a contract.., so it is up to you to provide your source.
In fact the none responsibility for losses is written in most contracts with big business...it is called cost plus which means the company is not responsible for losses due to cost mistakes made in the bid.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #13)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 08:37 PM

40. Yes.

That's one of the reasons this story is great for getting people excited, but not so good for informing people.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jeff47 (Reply #40)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 08:45 PM

43. What about this "immunity" angle?

This IS what they use apparently, to presto-chango commit whatever the fuck crime they
damn well want to, then to make it all nice and "legal", i.e. above the law, a law unto themselves,
imposed on everyone else. The claim is that the state MUST have all our secrets to "keep
us safe", but everybody knows that's not what's really going on .. at least according to Leonard
Cohen, and I think he's right.

Pretty much everybody knows by now.
https://

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #43)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 09:02 PM

46. The "immunity" angle isn't true.

Acting at the behest of the government means the contractor is bound by the same rules. It is not possible to construct a contract such that the company can violate the Constitution at the direction of the government.

There's been many, many attempts over the centuries to do so, so there's been a ton of rulings saying the government can't do this.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 05:07 PM

14. k&r n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 05:09 PM

15. Alexander was a Rumsfled protege

Amazing how similar he sounds to Rummy...and amaizing how he absolutely rocketed from a 1 start general to 4 stars.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 05:11 PM

16. What could possibly go wrong?

 

...and that government of the thieves, by the thieves, for the thieves, shall always profit.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 05:14 PM

18. Bet these contractors are too big too fail.

I fear we will never get out of war particularly with all these contractors whos corporate profits have become dependent on government welfare. Certainly these big contractors spend hundred of millions of dollars on corporate lobbyists to ratchet up the paranoia and to promote themselves as the solution.

These huge contractors are never going to let their death grip off this country. Those contracts need to keep rolling their way.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 05:17 PM

20. Very powerful documentation to condemn privatized profiteers.

Effectively shuts up the bot cheerleaders - scurrying around like rats in a maze trying to find a way to deflect the facts by attacking the messenger.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 05:24 PM

21. Fucking rats

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 05:33 PM

22. THIS /\ /\ /\

Fucking THIS!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 05:42 PM

23. OK we lock up petty offenders, while these criminals violate the constitution and profit?

Fuckin' a!!!! Where do we get the pitchforks and torches??

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 05:52 PM

24. So. Only a mass movement that would be impossible for even THEM to stop is the

only remedy.

Talk about a heavy lift, especially when most people in this Country neither know nor care. Maybe Europe will save us.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to annabanana (Reply #24)

Fri Jun 14, 2013, 01:16 PM

56. I heard an interesting comment regarding public apathy about surveillence

by the author of an Orwell biography. He said no one would be apathetic in every day they saw someone with a notebook going through their trash or someone with a pad and paper noting their every movement at work, noting when they arrived and left, what they ate, who they spoke with with etc.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 06:00 PM

25. There should be no privatization of any government function and anything that's a necessity should

be nationalized yesterday. Until the true American religion, capitalism, is strangled by its entrails, we'll have no relief from any of this fucking shit.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 06:12 PM

27. You can not legally contract for an illegal purpose, and the Constitution is the 1st Law

So to put it quite simply, no contractor is authorized in any way to break any law, including the safeguards of the Bill of Rights.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1-Old-Man (Reply #27)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 07:57 PM

36. thats a start..I wonder if that argument has legs if it is the us govt doing the contracting?

it is an excellent point however

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 07:01 PM

28. K&R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 07:27 PM

32. K&R!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 07:38 PM

34. THIS is what we ought to be discussing on DU!

Instead we have a cohort of woodchucks posting multiple threads daily railing on about Snowden and/or Greenwald. They're doing their best to jam the signal with constant noise, cluttering up our shared discussion space with crap that serves no purpose but to deflect and drown out serious discussion about the real, substantive issues about the pervasive corruption of the governmental/corporate axis that we ought to be focusing on.

For me it's gone way beyond merely annoying to outright infuriating.

Thank your for the excellent, thought-provoking, extremely valuable OP.

sw



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to scarletwoman (Reply #34)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 08:24 PM

37. You're welcome

I put them all on ignore and DU is just how I like it right now, with mostly important and informative threads showing. Time's too short to wade through that drivel.

Can you imagine if we didn't have sites with solid, consistent credentials like Democracy Now, The Guardian, Common Dreams, etc? I shudder to think about it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 08:44 PM

42. Fuck

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 10:42 PM

47. Which is what we should be investigating.

Privatization, which is government for profit, is anathema to privacy. There is no secret profiteers won't cheerfully sell.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Fri Jun 14, 2013, 12:20 AM

50. K&R n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Fri Jun 14, 2013, 12:26 AM

51. K&R

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Fri Jun 14, 2013, 09:44 AM

53. Spies,

bought and paid for, are of course for sale to the highest bidder. Pond scum. Unprincipled, unpatriotic money grubbers. Even our government is out sourced.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Fri Jun 14, 2013, 01:25 PM

57. No matter whether you consider Snowden a traitor or a hero

he is responsible for bringing the corporate involvement in NSA surveillance to the fore. This should be the outrage. Talk about a horrid waste of taxpayer dollars. 1191 private contractors??!!?? Really!!??

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Fri Jun 14, 2013, 01:35 PM

59. THIS IS THE STORY!!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Fri Jun 14, 2013, 02:09 PM

61. I have a daughter

going to Mount Holyoke this fall. I have to tell her about this professor.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Fri Jun 14, 2013, 02:12 PM

62. kr

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread