Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pull The Other One, Mr. Clapper

Via Kevin Gosztola, DNI Director James Clapper would like us to believe the Obama administration recently voluntarily declassified secret NSA documents, documents already leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, in the interest of openness and transparency:

... These documents were properly classified, and their declassification is not done lightly.  I have determined, however, that the harm to national security in these circumstances is outweighed by the public interest.  

Release of these documents reflects the Executive Branch’s continued commitment to making information about this intelligence collection program publicly available when appropriate and consistent with the national security of the United States.  Some information has been redacted...

[Bolds in quotation by Gosztola.]

Right. Pull the other one, Mr. Director.

AFTERTHOUGHT: as is so often the case, the ACLU had a hand in this release. Again from Gosztola's article:
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also apparently played a role in getting the documents released. They were provided with fourteen documents they had asked for in their FOIA lawsuit seeking details on the “government’s use and interpretation of the Patriot Act’s Section 215.”

Alex Abdo, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project, reacted, “These documents show that the NSA repeatedly violated court-imposed limits on its surveillance powers, and they confirm that the agency simply cannot be trusted with such sweeping authority

He added, “The abuses revealed in these documents are alarming but also predictable. These violations are the inevitable result of allowing the NSA to assemble a vast database of sensitive information about every American. The documents provide further evidence that secret and one-sided judicial review is not an adequate check on the NSA’s surveillance practices. The so-called ‘compliance incidents’ are troubling, but this is a program that should never have been authorized to begin with. The NSA should end the bulk collection of information about Americans.” ...
The ACLU is suing for still more... be sure to read the rest at FDL.

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