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New Greenwald Guardian Op/Ed: Edward Snowden's Worst Fear Has Not Been Realised – Thankfully


Friday 14 June 2013 14.00 EDT

Edward Snowden's worst fear has not been realised – thankfully

The NSA whistleblower's only concern was that his disclosures would be met with apathy. Instead, they're leading to real reform

In my first substantive discussion with Edward Snowden, which took place via encrypted online chat, he told me he had only one fear. It was that the disclosures he was making, momentous though they were, would fail to trigger a worldwide debate because the public had already been taught to accept that they have no right to privacy in the digital age.

Snowden, at least in that regard, can rest easy. The fallout from the Guardian's first week of revelations is intense and growing.

- snip -

In the wake of the Guardian's articles, I heard from journalists and even government officials from around the world interested in learning the extent of the NSA's secret spying on the communications of their citizens. These stories have resonated globally, and will continue to do so, because the NSA's spying apparatus is designed to target the shared instruments used by human beings around the world to communicate with one another.

The purpose of whistleblowing is to expose secret and wrongful acts by those in power in order to enable reform. A key purpose of journalism is to provide an adversarial check on those who wield the greatest power by shining a light on what they do in the dark, and informing the public about those acts. Both purposes have been significantly advanced by the revelations thus far.


Jeremy Scahill on The Tonight Show Talking NSA, Snowden, Rampant State Secrecy


Jeremy Scahill on NSA leaks - the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Published June 13, 2013.

CNN Breaking News - Multiple people have been shot inside a St. Louis business, CNN affiliate KTVI

Source: CNN

CNN Breaking News - Multiple people have been shot inside a St. Louis business, CNN affiliate KTVI reports, citing police. Reply STOP 2 unsub

Will update.

Read more: Link to source

Barclays’s Jenkins Says Bankers Must Regain ‘Moral Compass’

Source: Bloomberg

Barclays’s Jenkins Says Bankers Must Regain ‘Moral Compass’

By Howard Mustoe
June 12, 2013 1:54 PM EDT

Barclays Plc (BARC) Chief Executive Officer Antony Jenkins said bankers must regain their moral footing and serve society’s long-term interests if the industry is to undo the damage caused by the financial crisis.
Bankers were too focused on the short-term, too self-serving and too aggressive in their actions in the years leading up to the global credit crunch, Jenkins said today at a debate hosted by London’s St. Paul’s Institute, a church group that seeks to engage banks with moral questions.

“The financial crisis exposed the destruction that can be caused if we have capitalism without a moral compass -– lacking the control which can make it a force for good,” Jenkins said in prepared remarks at the 17th-century St. Paul’s Cathedral. “And the behavior of banks, of course, was at the center of this lightning storm.”

Jenkins, 51, who took over as CEO in August, is seeking to revive profit at the lender and avoid repeating the regulatory missteps that led to the resignation of his predecessor, Robert Diamond. Jenkins said in February he will cut 3,700 jobs and target a return on equity, a measure of profitability, that exceeds the lender’s 11.5 percent cost of capital.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-12/barclays-s-jenkins-says-bankers-must-regain-moral-compass-.html

Gallup: Americans Disapprove of Gov't Surveillance Programs; Split on Whether Leaker Right or Wrong

Source: Gallup

June 12, 2013

Americans Disapprove of Government Surveillance Programs Americans split on whether leaker did the right or wrong thing

by Frank Newport PRINCETON, NJ

-- More Americans disapprove (53%) than approve (37%) of the federal government agency program that as part of its efforts to investigate terrorism obtained records from U.S. telephone and Internet companies to "compile telephone call logs and Internet communications."

These results are from a June 10-11 Gallup poll. Although the current survey context was different, these results are similar to those obtained in a May 2006 Gallup poll measuring support for a government program that "obtained records from three of the largest U.S. telephone companies in order to create a database of billions of telephone numbers dialed by Americans." In that survey, 43% approved and 51% disapproved.

There are significant partisan differences in views of the government's program to obtain call logs and Internet communication. Democrats are more likely to approve, by 49% to 40%. Independents (34% vs. 56%) and Republicans (32% to 63%) are much more likely to disapprove than approve.

In 2006, when Gallup asked a similar question about a program that came to light at that point, Republicans were significantly more likely to approve than Democrats. The differences in partisan reaction between 2006 and 2013 reflect the party of the president under whose watch the programs were carried out at those two points in time.

Read more: http://www.gallup.com/poll/163043/americans-disapprove-government-surveillance-programs.aspx

CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell Resigns

Source: Associated Press / Washington Post

@AP: BREAKING: CIA deputy director Michael Morell resigns. -MM

@ReutersUS: Obama to appoint Avril Haines as CIA deputy director; Michael Morell joins presidential intelligence advisory board #developing


— Jun. 12 4:12 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell retired from his post Wednesday, after managing the resignation of former CIA Director David Petraeus (peh-TRAY'-uhs) over an extramarital affair, and defending the agency's performance over the attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya.

Morell was passed over for the top CIA spot by President Barack Obama in favor of his counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, who announced Morrell's departure Wednesday.

Brennan said he Morell will be replaced by Avril Haines, currently a deputy assistant to the president and legal adviser at the National Security Council.

Morell agreed to the State Department's request to remove a reference to militants in a controversial memo of talking points on the Libya attack.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/cia-deputy-director-morell-steps-down


CIA’s deputy director to be replaced with White House lawyer

By Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller, Published: WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12, 3:35 PM ET

The CIA’s deputy director plans to resign and will be replaced by White House lawyer and agency outsider Avril D. Haines, Director John O. Brennan said Wednesday.

Haines, who will succeed career officer Michael Morell on Aug. 9, has served for three years as President Obama’s deputy counsel in charge of national security issues and as legal adviser to the National Security Council. Although she has never worked inside the intelligence agency, “she knows more about covert action than anyone in the U.S. government outside of the CIA,” Brennan said his first interview since becoming CIA director in March.

The surprise move gives Brennan an ally in the CIA’s executive suite who helped him rewrite the rules of the drone campaign that were recently announced by Obama. Unlike an agency insider, Haines has no direct investment in any of the counterterrorism programs that Brennan has indicated he will seek to rein in.

In a message to the CIA on Wednesday afternoon, Brennan emphasized that Haines, 43, has worked closely with senior national security officials. “She has participated in virtually every deputies and principals committee meeting over the past two years and chairs the Lawyer’s Group that reviews the Agency’s most sensitive programs,” the statement said.

Peter King Calls For Legal Action to Be Brought Against Greenwald

Source: TPM

Peter King Calls For Legal Action To Be Brought Against Greenwald


Rep. Peter King (R-NY) on Wednesday elaborated on his call for journalists to be punished if they report on classified information, singling out The Guardian reporter at the center of the firestorm over top secret National Security Agency surveillance programs.

During an interview on Fox News Channel, King made it clear that he was referring to The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald when he called for prosecution of reporters who publish classified information.

"I'm talking about Greenwald. Greenwald, not only did he disclose this information, he has said he has names of cia agents and assets around the world and threatening to disclose that," King said. "The last time that was done in this country, we saw the CIA station chief murdered in Greece. No right is absolute and even the press has certain restrictions. I think it should be very targeted, very selective and certainly a very rare exception. But in this case, when you have someone who's disclosed secrets like this and threatens to release more, then to me, yes, there has to be, legal action should be taken against him. This is a very unusual case with life and death implications for Americans."

Read more: http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/peter-king-calls-for-legal-action-to-be

@ggreenwald: Never RT @andylevy When, exactly, did @ggreenwald "threaten to disclose the names of CIA agents and assets," as @RepPeteKing alleges?

Thomas Drake: Snowden Saw What I Saw


Wednesday 12 June 2013 07.00 EDT

Snowden saw what I saw: surveillance criminally subverting the constitution

So we refused to be part of the NSA's dark blanket. That is why whistleblowers pay the price for being the backstop of democracy

Thomas Drake

- snip -

I differed as a whistleblower to Snowden only in this respect: in accordance with the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act, I took my concerns up within the chain of command, to the very highest levels at the NSA, and then to Congress and the Department of Defense. I understand why Snowden has taken his course of action, because he's been following this for years: he's seen what's happened to other whistleblowers like me.

- snip -

But as I found out later, none of the material evidence I disclosed went into the official record. It became a state secret even to give information of this kind to the 9/11 investigation.

I reached a point in early 2006 when I decided I would contact a reporter. I had the same level of security clearance as Snowden. If you look at the indictment from 2010, you can see that I was accused of causing "exceptionally grave damage to US national security". Despite allegations that I had tippy-top-secret documents, In fact, I had no classified information in my possession, and I disclosed none to the Baltimore Sun journalist during 2006 and 2007. But I got hammered: in November 2007, I was raided by a dozen armed FBI agents, when I was served with a search warrant. The nightmare had only just begun, including extensive physical and electronic surveillance.

In April 2008, in a secret meeting with the FBI, the chief prosecutor from the Department of Justice assigned to lead the prosecution said, "How would you like to spend the rest of your life in jail, Mr Drake?" – unless I co-operated with their multi-year, multimillion-dollar criminal leak investigation, launched in 2005 after the explosive New York Times article revealing for the first time the warrantless wiretapping operation. Two years later, they finally charged me with a ten felony count indictment, including five counts under the Espionage Act. I faced upwards of 35 years in prison.


The Nation: Remember When NSA Surveillance Was Used to Help Launch the Iraq War?


Remember When NSA Surveillance Was Used to Help Launch the Iraq War?

George Zornick on June 11, 2013 - 10:33 AM ET

- snip -

But what if the government abuses the vast surveillance power it is accumulating? What if the NSA is used for political purposes, not safety? This is often left out of the debate, or dismissed outright. Eric Posner wrote at The New York Times website that “I am unaware—and correct me if I am wrong—of a single instance during the last 12 years of war-on-terror-related surveillance in which the government used information obtained for security purposes to target a political opponent, dissenter or critic.”

Unfortunately, the NSA has already abused its surveillance power in at least one case where political opponents were targeted, and it’s a big one.

In 2003, a woman named Katharine Gun, who was working for a British intelligence agency, leaked a memo to the press from an NSA agent named Frank Koza. It described a massive American effort to monitor the communications of six delegations to the United Nations—the so-called “Middle Six” who were undecided on authorizing the Iraq War and who were being fiercely courted by both sides.

Here’s what memo said, in part. (Note “the Agency” is the NSA):

- snip -

James Bamford, a veteran journalist covering the NSA, confirmed the account in his book and said it extended to monitoring United Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq. At the time, however, US media outlets covered the story lightly, or ignored it completely, in the case of The New York Times.

- snip -

One chief argument made by civil libertarians is that massive surveillance power will inevitably lead to abuse—that the mission will creep from security to political and diplomatic applications. The fact is, it already has.

So one must then wonder: Where does it go next?


Pope Confirms 'Gay Lobby' at Work at Vatican

Source: Associated Press


— Jun. 11 8:02 PM EDT

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis lamented that a "gay lobby" was at work at the Vatican in private remarks to the leadership of a key Latin American church group — a stunning acknowledgment that appears to confirm earlier reports about corruption and dysfunction in the Holy See.

The Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious — the regional organization for priests and nuns of religious orders — confirmed Tuesday that its leaders had written a synthesis of Francis' remarks after their June 6 audience. The group, known by its Spanish acronym CLAR, said it was greatly distressed that the document had been published and apologized to the pope.

In the document, Francis is quoted as saying that while there were many holy people in the Vatican, there was also corruption: "The 'gay lobby' is mentioned, and it is true, it is there ... We need to see what we can do ..." the synthesis reads.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Tuesday the audience was private and that as a result he had nothing to say.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/pope-confirms-gay-lobby-work-vatican
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