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And what kinds of courage? Other this faked “Moral Courage” or “Moral Entity”?

Edward Snowden, Hugh Thompson, Daniel Ellsberg, whistle-blowers…

Note: Re-edit of “Moral Courage? And what other kinds of courage? March 5, 2014

Last Thursday Chris Hedges opened a team debate at the Oxford Union at Oxford University with this speech arguing in favor of the proposition “This house would call Edward Snowden a hero.”

The others on the Hedges team, which won the debate by an audience vote of 212 to 171, were William E. Binney, a former National Security Agency official and a whistle-blower; Chris Huhne, a former member of the British Parliament; and Annie Machon, a former intelligence officer for the United Kingdom.

The opposing team was made up of Philip J. Crowley, a former U.S. State Department officer; Stewart A. Baker, a former chief counsel for the National Security Agency; Jeffrey Toobin, an American television and print commentator; and Oxford student Charles Vaughn.

Chris Hedges posted this Feb.23, 2014

Edward Snowden’s Moral Courage

I have been to war. I have seen physical courage.

But this kind of courage is not moral courage. Very few of even the bravest warriors have moral courage.

For moral courage means to defy the crowd, to stand up as a solitary individual, to shun the intoxicating embrace of comradeship, to be disobedient to authority, even at the risk of your life, for a higher principle.

And with moral courage comes persecution.

The American Army pilot Hugh Thompson had moral courage. He landed his helicopter between a platoon of U.S. soldiers and 10 terrified Vietnamese civilians during the My Lai massacre.

Thompson ordered his gunner to fire his M60 machine gun on the advancing U.S. soldiers if they began to shoot the villagers. And for this act of moral courage, Thompson, like Snowden, was hounded and reviled.

Moral courage always looks like this.

It is always defined by the state as treason—the Army attempted to cover up the massacre and court-martial Thompson. It is the courage to act and to speak the truth. Thompson had it.

Daniel Ellsberg had it. Martin Luther King had it.

What those in authority once said about them they say today about Snowden.

In this still image from video footage released by WikiLeaks on Oct. 11, 2013, former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden speaks in Moscow during a presentation ceremony for the Sam Adams Award. (AP photo)

“My country, right or wrong” is the moral equivalent of “my mother, drunk or sober,” G.K. Chesterton reminded us.

So let me speak to you about those drunk with the power to sweep up all your email correspondence, your tweets, your Web searches, your phone records, your file transfers, your live chats, your financial data, your medical data,

And your criminal and civil court records and your movements, those who are awash in billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars, those who have banks of sophisticated computer systems, along with biosensors, scanners, face recognition technologies and miniature drones, those who have obliterated your anonymity, your privacy and, yes, your liberty.

There is no free press without the ability of the reporters to protect the confidentiality of those who have the moral courage to make public the abuse of power.

Those few individuals inside government who dared to speak out about the system of mass surveillance have been charged as spies or hounded into exile.

An omnipresent surveillance state—and I covered the East German Stasi state—creates a climate of paranoia and fear. It makes democratic dissent impossible.

Any state that has the ability to inflict full-spectrum dominance on its citizens is Not a free state.

It does not matter if it does not use this capacity today; it will use it, history has shown, should it feel threatened or seek greater control.

The goal of wholesale surveillance, as Hannah Arendt wrote: ” is Not, in the end, to discover crimes, but to be on hand when the government decides to arrest a certain category of the population.”

The relationship between those who are constantly watched and tracked and those who watch and track them is the relationship between masters and slaves.

Those who wield this unchecked power become delusional.

Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency, hired a Hollywood set designer to turn his command center at Fort Meade into a replica of the bridge of the starship Enterprise so he could sit in the captain’s chair and pretend he was Jean-Luc Picard.

James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, had the audacity to lie under oath to Congress.

This spectacle was a rare glimpse into the absurdist theater that now characterizes American political life.

A congressional oversight committee holds public hearings. It is lied to.

It knows it is being lied to.

The person who lies knows the committee members know he is lying.

And the committee, to protect their security clearances, says and does nothing.

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CIA behind the formation of extremist Islamic faction Al Nousra since 2004

Edward Snowden revealed secret document that CIA established Al Nousra in Syria from Al Qaeda since 2004 under the code name Swaps Nest.
This plan was made possible after the CIA occupied Iraq in 2003.
Al Nousra was to gather fighters from every corner of the world and whisk them into Syria.

: كيف تعمل قوى الظلام وإلى متى؟
من وثائق إدوارد سنودن، د. سمير قطامي

كشف ضابط المخابرات الأمريكية السابق إدوارد سنودن عن وثيقة خطيرة تعود إلى سنة 2004 تفيد أن الـ (C I A) هي التي استولدت المنظمة الإرهابية الجديدة (جبهة النصرة)، من رحم القاعدة لتحلّ محلّها، وتكون قادرة على جلب المتطرفين من جميع أنحاء العالم، وتجميعهم في الشرق الأوسط في عملية سميت بعش الدبابير (SWAPS NEST)، لزعزعة استقرار الدول العربية، بعد أن وضعت أمريكا يدها على العراق سنة 2003.
يقول سنودن اجتمع في لندن يوم 19/2/2004 مدراء المخابرات (الأمريكية والبريطانية والإسرائيلية) في قصر أحد الأمراء العرب جنوب لندن، لمدة ثلاثة أيام، وتقرّر أن يكون العمل ذا شقين:
1. تأسيس التنظيم المتطرّف
2. القضاء التام على حزب الله اللبناني

وقد اختاروا (أبا مصعب الزرقاوي) و (أحمد فاضل نزال الخلايلة) الذي كان معتقلا في الأردن، وقد أطلق سراحه وخضع لفترة تدريب في أحد معسكرات الـ (C I A) في إحدى الدول العربية، ثم نقل إلى الأنبار العراقية، ومن هناك انطلق في تأسيس التنظيم الجديد (الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والتي اضيف إليها بعد ذلك والشام) تحت إشراف العقيد في المخابرات البريطانية مايكل أريسون الذي يجيد العربية بكل طلاقة، ويتحدّث بلهجة فلسطينية كأنه أحد أبناء فلسطين..

وقد حوّل للتنظيم في بداية الأمر 860 مليون دولار، وكانت الأموال تنقل إلى الزرقاوي بالشاحنات، ليقوم بإرسال المتدربين إلى معسكر مراد ناظملي في (غازي عنتاب) بتركيا، كي يعمل على تدمير المقاومة المسلحة العراقية التي كانت قد بدأت ضد القوات الأمريكية.

اتّسع نفوذ الزرقاوي في الموصل وتكريت والأنبار وديالي، فبدأ يتمرّد على قائده العقيد مايكل أريسون، مما اضطره إلى التخلص منه وقتله في بعقوبة في 7/6/2006، ليسلم التنظيم لـ (إبراهيم البدري) المكنى بـ (أبي بكر البغدادي) الذي كان في سجن بوكا في بغداد، إذ أخرج ونقل بطائرة أمريكية إلى إسرائيل حيث تلقّى تدريبا عسكريا ومخابراتيا مكثفا لدى الموساد الإسرائيلي في مركز نحال موشي، وعاد بعد ذلك إلى العراق وأخذ يجيّش أبناء الشعب العراقي من الطائفة السنية بحجة التهميش وقتال المحتلين والروافض، وينفق عليهم من الأموال التي كانت ترسل إليه، ليلتف حوله عدد كبير من أبناء الشعب العراقي.

كانت سنة 2006 سنة الفصل الأساسي في منطقة الشرق الأوسط، إذ قرّرت الحكومة الإسرائيلية أن تنفّذ العملية ضد حزب الله في شهر أيلول سنة 2006، وحدّدت لها بين 7 – 10 أيام من خلال عملية إنزال بحري وجوي شمال مدينة صيدا، ليقع حزب الله بين فكّي كماشة من شمال ومن جنوب (الحدود الإسرائيلية).

لكن حزب الله علم بالخطة فقام بالاستعداد الكبير لها من خلال التنسيق مع سورية وإيران، لينقل إلى حزب الله آلاف الصواريخ والمعدات العسكرية عبر سورية..

ونشبت الحرب في منتصف شهر حزيران سنة 2006 بسبب أسر حزب الله جنديين لإسرائيل.. وامتدت الحرب لمدة 33 يوما دمّرت خلالها إسرائيل البنية التحتية للبنان من الشمال إلى الجنوب دون أن تتمكن من القضاء على حزب الله كما كان مخططا، بل إنها خرجت بخسائر هائلة في الأفراد والمعدات، مما دفع الحكومة لتشكيل لجنة تحقيق لتقييم الأمر، وكشف جوانب القصور..

وقد قضت اللجنة شهورا عدة من البحث والتقييم، لتخرج بنتيجة أن القضاء على حزب الله لا يمكن أن يتمّ إلا بتجفيف منابعه من سورية وإيران..

وهكذا بدأت خطط الإعداد الإسرائيلية الأمريكية العربية ضد حزب الله وإيران.

يقول سنودن في شهر نيسان سنة 2007 استدعي (أبو بكر البغدادي) إلى تركيا، ومنها نقل إلى تل أبيب بطائرة خاصة، ليطلب منه أن يستوعب أعدادا كبيرة من المقاتلين السنة من السعودية واليمن وتونس وفرنسا وبريطانيا…

وتمّ فتح مركز تدريب في (غازي عنتاب) لتدريب المقاتلين الجدد، وكلّف (أشرف ريفي) و (وسام الحسن) من مديرية الأمن الداخلي في لبنان، بتهريب الأسلحة إلى القرى السورية التي يغلب فيها نفوذ الإخوان المسلمين، كما بدأ ضخّ الأموال إلى الداخل السوري..

وما أن انطلقت الانتفاضة في درعا حتى كان هناك 17 ألف مقاتل سوري تمّ تدريبهم في تركيا وبعض الدول العربية، وكانت تصرف لكل منهم 750 دولارا راتبا شهريا، كما طلب من البغدادي التوسع إلى الداخل السوري.. وقد عملت هذه الأجهزة على أن تكون سورية محطة يجتمع فيها كافة المتطرفين الإسلاميين في العالم.. وهكذا بلغ عدد الجنسيات التي تقاتل في سورية 78 جنسية، وعدد المقاتلين 148 ألفا، وقد أنفق على هذه العمليات 107 مليارات دولار من الدول العربية، كما يقول سنودن، علما بأن حمد بن جاسم رئيس وزراء قطر السابق يقول إنهم أنفقوا على ما سمي بالثورة السورية 137 مليار دولار، وإنهم دفعوا لرياض حجاب رئيس الوزراء السوري 50 مليون دولار كي ينشق عن النظام!..

هذا ما كشفه ضابط المخابرات الأمريكي، فماذا نقول نحن أبناء اليعاربة الكرام ونحن نشاهد سيول الدماء المسفوكة بالمال العربي والسلاح الأجنبي، ومدننا المدمرة، وأبناءنا المشرّدين في أصقاع المعمورة؟

متى نعي أننا ضحايا مؤامرات رهيبة خططت في ليل دامس بمشاركة إخوة عرب؟

How the Pentagon punished NSA whistleblowers

Not a secret. Just how doing it

Sunday 22 May 2016

Long before Edward Snowden went public, John Crane was a top Pentagon official fighting to protect NSA whistle-blowers.

By now, almost everyone knows what Edward Snowden did. He leaked top-secret documents revealing that the National Security Agency was spying on hundreds of millions of people across the world, collecting the phone calls and emails of virtually everyone on Earth who used a mobile phone or the internet.

When this newspaper began publishing the NSA documents in June 2013, it ignited a fierce political debate that continues to this day – about government surveillance, but also about the morality, legality and civic value of whistleblowing.

But if you want to know why Snowden did it, and the way he did it, you have to know the stories of two other men.

The first is Thomas Drake, who blew the whistle on the very same NSA activities 10 years before Snowden did. Drake was a much higher-ranking NSA official than Snowden, and he obeyed US whistleblower laws, raising his concerns through official channels. And he got crushed.

Drake was fired, arrested at dawn by gun-wielding FBI agents, stripped of his security clearance, charged with crimes that could have sent him to prison for the rest of his life, and all but ruined financially and professionally. The only job he could find afterwards was working in an Apple store in suburban Washington, where he remains today. Adding insult to injury, his warnings about the dangers of the NSA’s surveillance programme were largely ignored.

The government spent many years trying to break me, and the more I resisted, the nastier they got,” Drake told me.

Drake’s story has since been told – and in fact, it had a profound impact on Snowden, who told an interviewer in 2015 that: “It’s fair to say that if there hadn’t been a Thomas Drake, there wouldn’t have been an Edward Snowden.”

But there is another man whose story has never been told before, who is speaking out publicly for the first time here. His name is John Crane, and he was a senior official in the Department of Defense who fought to provide fair treatment for whistleblowers such as Thomas Drake – until Crane himself was forced out of his job and became a whistleblower as well.

His testimony reveals a crucial new chapter in the Snowden story – and Crane’s failed battle to protect earlier whistleblowers should now make it very clear that Snowden had good reasons to go public with his revelations.

During dozens of hours of interviews, Crane told me how senior Defense Department officials repeatedly broke the law to persecute Drake.

First, he alleged, they revealed Drake’s identity to the Justice Department; then they withheld (and perhaps destroyed) evidence after Drake was indicted; finally, they lied about all this to a federal judge.

The supreme irony? In their zeal to punish Drake, these Pentagon officials unwittingly taught Snowden how to evade their clutches when the 29-year-old NSA contract employee blew the whistle himself.

Snowden was unaware of the hidden machinations inside the Pentagon that undid Drake, but the outcome of those machinations – Drake’s arrest, indictment and persecution – sent an unmistakable message: raising concerns within the system promised doom.

“Name one whistleblower from the intelligence community whose disclosures led to real change – overturning laws, ending policies – who didn’t face retaliation as a result. The protections just aren’t there,” Snowden told the Guardian this week. “The sad reality of today’s policies is that going to the inspector general with evidence of truly serious wrongdoing is often a mistake. Going to the press involves serious risks, but at least you’ve got a chance.”

Snowden saw what had happened to Drake and other whistleblowers like him. The key to Snowden’s effectiveness, according to Thomas Devine, the legal director of the Government Accountability Project (GAP), was that he practised “civil disobedience” rather than “lawful” whistleblowing. (GAP, a non-profit group in Washington, DC, that defends whistleblowers, has represented Snowden, Drake and Crane.)

“None of the lawful whistleblowers who tried to expose the government’s warrantless surveillance – and Drake was far from the only one who tried – had any success,” Devine told me. “They came forward and made their charges, but the government just said, ‘They’re lying, they’re paranoid, we’re not doing those things.’ And the whistleblowers couldn’t prove their case because the government had classified all the evidence. Whereas Snowden took the evidence with him, so when the government issued its usual denials, he could produce document after document showing that they were lying. That is civil disobedience whistleblowing.”

Crane, a solidly built Virginia resident with flecks of grey in a neatly trimmed chinstrap beard, understood Snowden’s decision to break the rules – but lamented it. “Someone like Snowden should not have felt the need to harm himself just to do the right thing,” he told me.

Crane’s testimony is not simply a clue to Snowden’s motivations and methods: if his allegations are confirmed in court, they could put current and former senior Pentagon officials in jail. (Official investigations are quietly under way.)

But Crane’s account has even larger ramifications: it repudiates the position on Snowden taken by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton – who both maintain that Snowden should have raised his concerns through official channels because US whistleblower law would have protected him.

By the time Snowden went public in 2013, Crane had spent years fighting a losing battle inside the Pentagon to provide whistleblowers the legal protections to which they were entitled. He took his responsibilities so seriously, and clashed with his superiors so often, that he carried copies of the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 and the US constitution in his breast pocket and pulled them out during office conflicts.

Crane’s attorneys at GAP – who were used to working with all types of government and corporate whistleblowers – were baffled by him: in their experience, most senior government officials cared little for whistleblowers’ rights. So what motivated Crane to keep fighting for the rights of whistleblowers inside the Pentagon, even as his superiors grew increasingly hostile and eventually forced him to resign?

To hear Crane tell it, the courage to stand up and fight runs in his family. He never forgot the story he heard as a child, about his own grandfather, a German army officer who once faced down Adolf Hitler at gunpoint – on the night the future Fuhrer first tried to take over Germany.

A former press aide to Republican members of Congress, John Crane was hired by the Inspector General’s office of the Department of Defense in 1988. Within US government agencies, an inspector general serves as a kind of judge and police chief. The IG, as the inspector general is known, is charged with making sure a given agency is operating according to the law – obeying rules and regulations, spending money as authorised by Congress. “In the IG’s office, we were the guys with the white hats,” Crane said.

By 2004 Crane had been promoted to assistant inspector general. At the age of 48, his responsibilities included supervising the whistleblower unit at the Department of Defense, as well as handling all whistleblower allegations arising from the department’s two million employees (by far the largest workforce in the US government), in some cases including allegations originating in the NSA and other intelligence agencies.

Drake, a father of five, had worked for the NSA for 12 years as a private-sector contractor. Now, as a staff member proper, he reported directly to the NSA’s third highest ranking official, Maureen Baginski; she headed the NSA’s largest division, the Signals Intelligence Directorate, which was responsible for the interception of phone calls and other communications.

Tall, sombre, intense, Drake was a championship chess player in high school whose gift for mathematics, computers and languages made him a natural for foreign eavesdropping and the cryptographic and linguistic skills it required. During the cold war, he worked for air force intelligence, monitoring the communications of East Germany’s infamous secret police, the Stasi.

Within weeks of the September 11 attacks, Drake was assigned to prepare the NSA’s postmortem on the disaster. Congress, the news media and the public were demanding answers: what had gone wrong at the NSA and other federal agencies to allow Osama bin Laden’s operatives to conduct such a devastating attack?

As Drake interviewed NSA colleagues and scoured the agency’s records, he came across information that horrified him. It appeared that the NSA – even before September 11 – had secretly revised its scope of operations to expand its powers.

Since its inception, the NSA had been strictly forbidden from eavesdropping on domestic communications. Drake’s investigation persuaded him that the NSA was now violating this restriction by collecting information on communications within as well as outside of the United States. And it was doing so without obtaining legally required court orders.

A straight arrow since high school – he once gave the police the names of classmates he suspected of selling pot – Drake told me he felt compelled to act. “I took an oath to uphold and defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic,” he explained.

To Drake, the President’s Surveillance Program, as it was known inside the George W Bush administration, recalled the mindset of the Stasi. “You don’t spend year after year listening to a police state without being affected, you just don’t,” he told me. “I remember saying to myself, ‘Wow, I don’t want this to happen in our country!’ How could you live in a society where you always have to be looking over your shoulders, not knowing who you could trust, even in your own family?”

Drake’s descent into a nightmare of persecution at the hands of his own government began innocently. Having uncovered evidence of apparently illegal behaviour, he did what his military training and US whistleblower law instructed: he reported the information up the chain of command. Beginning in early 2002, he shared his concerns first with a small number of high-ranking NSA officials, then with the appropriate members of Congress and staff at the oversight committees of the US Senate and House of Representatives.

Drake spent countless hours in these sessions but eventually came to the conclusion that no one in a position of authority wanted to hear what he was saying. When he told his boss, Baginski, that the NSA’s expanded surveillance following 9/11 seemed legally dubious, she reportedly told him to drop the issue: the White House had ruled otherwise.


John Crane first heard about Thomas Drake when Crane and his colleagues at the Pentagon’s Office of the Inspector General received a whistleblower complaint in September 2002.

The complaint alleged that the NSA was backing an approach to electronic surveillance that was both financially and constitutionally irresponsible. The complaint was signed by three former NSA officials, William Binney, Kirk Wiebe and Edward Loomis, and a former senior Congressional staffer, Diane Roark.

Drake also endorsed the complaint – but because he, unlike the other four, had not yet retired from government service, he asked that his name be kept anonymous, even in a document that was supposed to be treated confidentially within the government.

Binney, Wiebe, Loomis and Roark shared Drake’s concerns about the constitutional implications of warrantless mass surveillance, but their complaint focused on two other issues.

Drake had discovered a shocking example while researching his postmortem report on the September 11 attacks. Months beforehand, the NSA had come into possession of a telephone number in San Diego that was used by two of the hijackers who later crashed planes into the World Trade Center. But the NSA did not act on this finding.

As Drake later told the NSA expert James Bamford, the NSA intercepted seven phone calls between this San Diego phone number and an al-Qaida “safe house” in Yemen. Drake found a record of the seven calls buried in an NSA database.

US officials had long known that the Yemen safe house was the operational hub through which Bin Laden, from a cave in Afghanistan, ordered attacks. Seven phone calls to such a hub from the same phone number was obviously suspicious. Yet the NSA took no action – the information had apparently been overlooked.

The NSA whistleblowers first sent their complaint to the inspector general of the NSA, who ruled against them. So they went up the bureaucratic ladder, filing the complaint with the Department of Defense inspector general. There, Crane and his staff “substantially affirmed” the complaint – in other words, their own investigation concluded that the NSA whistleblowers’ charges were probably on target.

In the course of their investigation, Crane and his colleagues in the inspector general’s office also affirmed the whistleblowers’ allegation that the Bush administration’s surveillance programme violated the fourth amendment of the US constitution by collecting Americans’ phone and internet communications without a warrant. “We were concerned about these constitutional issues even before we investigated their complaint,” Crane told me. “We had received other whistleblower filings that flagged the issue.”

In line with standard procedure, these investigative findings were relayed to the House and Senate committees overseeing the NSA – and this helped nudge Congress to end funding for the Trailblazer programme. But for the NSA whistleblowers, this apparent victory was the beginning of a dark saga that would change their lives for ever.

Crane could not believe his ears. “I told Henry that destruction of documents under such circumstances was, as he knew, a very serious matter and could lead to the inspector general being accused of obstructing a criminal investigation.” Shelley replied, according to Crane, that it didn’t have to be a problem if everyone was a good team player.

On 15 February, 2011, Shelley and Halbrooks sent the judge in the Drake case a letter that repeated the excuse given to Crane: the requested documents had been destroyed, by mistake, during a routine purge. This routine purge, the letter assured Judge Richard D Bennett, took place before Drake was indicted.

“Lynne and Henry had frozen me out by then, so I had no input into their letter to Judge Bennett,” Crane said. “So they ended up lying to a judge in a criminal case, which of course is a crime.”

With Drake adamantly resisting prosecutors’ pressure to make a plea deal – “I won’t bargain with the truth,” he declared – the government eventually withdrew most of its charges against him. Afterwards, the judge blasted the government’s conduct. It was “extraordinary”, he said, that the government barged into Drake’s home, indicted him, but then dropped the case on the eve of trial as if it wasn’t a big deal after all.

“I find that unconscionable,” Bennett added. “Unconscionable. It is at the very root of what this country was founded on … It was one of the most fundamental things in the bill of rights, that this country was not to be exposed to people knocking on the door with government authority and coming into their homes.”

When John Crane put his career on the line by standing up for legal treatment of Pentagon whistleblowers, he was following a moral code laid down 80 years before by his German grandfather. Crane grew up in suburban Virginia, but he spent nearly every summer in Germany with his mother’s extended family.

During these summer sojourns, Crane heard countless times about the moment when his grandfather confronted Hitler. His mother and his grandmother both told the story, and the moral never changed. “One must always try to do the right thing, even when there are risks,” Crane recalled being instructed. “And should someone do the right thing, there can of course be consequences.”

Crane’s grandfather was days shy of turning 40 on the night of Hitler’s “Beer Hall Putsch”, 8 November, 1923. Plotting to overthrow the Weimar Republic, Hitler and 600 armed members of his fledgling Nazi party surrounded a beer hall in Munich where the governor of Bavaria, Gustav von Kahr, was addressing a large crowd. The rebels burst into the hall, hoping to kidnap Von Kahr and march on Berlin.

After his men unveiled a machine gun hidden in the upstairs gallery, Hitler fired his pistol into the air and shouted, “The national revolution has begun!”

Crane’s grandfather, Günther Rüdel, was in the hall as part of his military duties, Rüdel recalled in an eight-page, single-spaced, typewritten affidavit that provides a minute-by-minute eyewitness account of the putsch. (Rüdel was later a government witness in the trial that sentenced Hitler to five years in prison, though he was not called to testify.)

The son of a prominent German general, Rüdel had served with distinction in the first world war, earning two Iron Crosses. By 1923, he was serving as chief political aide to General Otto von Lossow, the German army’s highest official in Bavaria. As such, Rüdel was the chief liaison between Von Lossow and Von Kahr and privy to the two men’s many dealings with Hitler.

Suspecting that Hitler and his followers were planning a coup, Lossow and Rüdel had forced their way into the beer hall to monitor developments. The head of Bavaria’s state police, Hans Ritter von Seisser, was also there, accompanied by a bodyguard. Rüdel was standing with Lossow and Von Seisser when armed men burst into the hall, with Hitler in the lead.

“Hitler, with pistol held high, escorted on right and left by armed men, his tunic stained with beer, stormed through the hall towards the podium,” Rüdel wrote in his affidavit. “When he was directly in front of us, police chief Von Seisser’s adjutant gripped [but did not unsheath] his sword. Hitler immediately aimed his pistol at the man’s chest. I shouted, ‘Mr Hitler, in this way you will never liberate Germany.’ Hitler hesitated, lowered his pistol and pushed his way between us to the podium.”

In the surrounding chaos, Hitler’s men tried to force Von Kahr, Lossow and Von Seisser to join the coup, but their uprising soon fizzled. A few days later, Hitler was arrested and charged with treason. He served a year in jail, where he wrote his autobiography, Mein Kampf.

Incredible as it may sound, Crane aims to get his old job back. His attorney, Devine, thinks that is a fantasy. In Devine’s view, the problems facing whistleblowers are systemic – and the system does not forgive, especially someone who has exposed the system’s corruption as devastatingly as Crane has done.

To Crane, however, it is a simple matter of right and wrong. It was not he who broke the law; it was his superiors. Therefore it is not he who should pay the price but they.

“I just want to see the system work properly,” he says. “I know the system can fail – world war two, Nazi Germany – but I also know that you need to do what is right. Because the government is so powerful, you need to have it run efficiently and honestly and according to the law.”

“What are the odds the system will work properly in your case?” I asked Crane.

“I’m not giving you odds,” he replies with a chuckle. “This is just something that I have to do.”

This article is adapted from Mark Hertsgaard’s new book, Bravehearts: Whistle Blowing in the Age of Snowden (Hot Books/Skyhorse)

Illustration by Nathalie Lees

Follow the Long Read on Twitter at @gdnlongread, or sign up to the long read weekly email here.

WashPost Makes History:

First Paper to Call for Prosecution of Its Own Source (After Accepting Pulitzer)

Journalistic treachery

Three of the four media outlets that received and published large numbers of secret NSA documents provided by Edward Snowden — The Guardian, the New York Times, and The Intercept –– have called for the U.S. government to allow the NSA whistleblower to return to the U.S. with no charges.

That’s the normal course for a news organization, which owes its sources duties of protection, and which — by virtue of accepting the source’s materials and then publishing them — implicitly declares the source’s information to be in the public interest.

But not the Washington Post

In the face of a growing ACLU and Amnesty-led campaign to secure a pardon for Snowden, timed to this weekend’s release of the Oliver Stone biopic “Snowden,” the Post editorial page today not only argued in opposition to a pardon, but explicitly demanded that Snowden — the paper’s own source — stand trial on espionage charges or, as a “second-best solution,” accept “a measure of criminal responsibility for his excesses and the U.S. government offers a measure of leniency.”

In doing so, the Washington Post has achieved an ignominious feat in U.S. media history: the first-ever paper to explicitly editorialize for the criminal prosecution of its own source — one on whose back the paper won and eagerly accepted a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
But even more staggering than this act of journalistic treachery against the paper’s own source are the claims made to justify it.

The Post editors concede that one — and only one — of the programs that Snowden enabled to be revealed was justifiably exposed — namely, the domestic metadata program, because it “was a stretch, if not an outright violation, of federal surveillance law, and posed risks to privacy.”

Regarding the “corrective legislation” that followed its exposure, the Post acknowledges: “We owe these necessary reforms to Mr. Snowden.” But that metadata program wasn’t revealed by the Post, but rather by The Guardian.

Other than that initial Snowden revelation, the Post suggests, there was no public interest whatsoever in revealing any of the other programs. In fact, the editors say, real harm was done by their exposure.

That includes PRISM, about which the Post says this:

The complication is that Mr. Snowden did more than that. He also pilfered, and leaked, information about a separate overseas NSA Internet-monitoring program, PRISM, that was both clearly legal and not clearly threatening to privacy. (It was also not permanent; the law authorizing it expires next year.)

In arguing that no public interest was served by exposing PRISM, what did the Post editors forget to mention?

That the newspaper that (simultaneous with The Guardian) made the choice to expose the PRISM program by spreading its operational details and top-secret manual all over its front page is called … the Washington Post.

Then, once they made the choice to do so, they explicitly heralded their exposure of the PRISM program (along with other revelations) when they asked to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

If the Post editorial page editors really believe that PRISM was a totally legitimate program and no public interest was served by its exposure, shouldn’t they be attacking their own paper’s news editors for having chosen to make it public, apologizing to the public for harming their security, and agitating for a return of the Pulitzer?

If the Post editorial page editors had any intellectual honesty at all, this is what they would be doing — accepting institutional responsibility for what they apparently regard as a grievous error that endangered the public — rather than pretending that it was all the doing of their source as a means of advocating for his criminal prosecution.

 

Worse than the intellectual dishonesty of this editorial is its towering cowardice.

After denouncing their own paper’s PRISM revelation, the editors proclaim: “Worse, he also leaked details of basically defensible international intelligence operations.” But what they inexcusably omit is that it was not Edward Snowden, but the top editors of the Washington Post who decided to make these programs public.

Again, just look at the stories for which the Post was cited when receiving a Pulitzer Prize:

Almost every one of those stories entailed the exposure of what the Post editors today call “details of international intelligence operations.” I personally think there were very solid justifications for the Post’s decision to reveal those.

As Snowden explained in the first online interview with readers I conducted, in July 2013, he was not only concerned about privacy infringement of Americans but of all human beings, because — in his words — “suspicionless surveillance does not become okay simply because it’s only victimizing 95 percent of the world instead of 100 percent. Our founders did not write that ‘We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all U.S. Persons are created equal.’”

So I support the decision of the Post back then to publish documents exposing “international intelligence operations.” That’s because I agree with what Post Executive Editor Marty Baron said in 2014, in an article in the Washington Post where they celebrated their own Pulitzer:

Post Executive Editor Martin Baron said Monday that the reporting exposed a national policy “with profound implications for American citizens’ constitutional rights” and the rights of individuals around the world (emphasis added). “Disclosing the massive expansion of the NSA’s surveillance network absolutely was a public service. In constructing a surveillance system of breathtaking scope and intrusiveness, our government also sharply eroded individual privacy. All of this was done in secret, without public debate, and with clear weaknesses in oversight.”

The editorial page is separate from the news organization and does not speak for the latter; I seriously doubt the journalists or editors at the Post who worked on these news stories would agree with any of that editorial.

But still, if the Post editorial page editors now want to denounce these revelations, and even call for the imprisonment of their paper’s own source on this ground, then they should at least have the courage to acknowledge that it was the Washington Post — not Edward Snowden — who made the editorial and institutional choice to expose those programs to the public.

They might want to denounce their own paper and even possibly call for its prosecution for revealing top-secret programs they now are bizarrely claiming should never have been revealed to the public in the first place.

 

But this highlights a chronic cowardice that often arises when establishment figures want to denounce Snowden. As has been amply documented, and as all newspapers involved in this reporting (including the Post) have made clear, Snowden himself played no role in deciding which of these programs would be exposed (beyond providing the materials to newspapers in the first place).

He did not trust himself to make those journalistic determinations, and so he left it to the newspapers to decide which revelations would and would not serve the public interest.

If a program ended up being revealed, one can argue that Snowden bears some responsibility (because he provided the documents in the first place), but the ultimate responsibility lies with the editors of the paper that made the choice to reveal it, presumably because they concluded that the public interest was served by doing so.

Yet over and over, Snowden critics — such as Slate’s Fred Kaplan and today’s Post editorial — omit this crucial fact, and are thus profoundly misleading.

In attacking Snowden this week, for instance, Kaplan again makes the same point he has made over and over: that Snowden’s revelations extended beyond privacy infringements of Americans.

Leave aside the narcissistic and jingoistic view that whistleblowers and media outlets should only care about privacy infringements of American citizens, but not the 95 percent of the rest of the planet called “non-Americans.”

And let’s also set to the side the fact that many of the most celebrated news stories in U.S. media history were devoted to revealing secret foreign operations that had nothing to do with infringing the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens (such as the Pentagon Papers, Abu Ghraib, and the Post’s revelations of CIA black sites).

What’s critical here is that Kaplan’s list of Bad Snowden Revelations (just like the Post’s) invariably involves stories published not by Snowden (or even by The Intercept or The Guardian), but by the New York Times and the Washington Post.

But like the Post editorial page editors, Kaplan is too much of a coward to accuse the nation’s top editors at those two papers of treason, helping terrorists, or endangering national security, so he pretends that it was Snowden, and Snowden alone, who made the choice to reveal these programs to the public.

If Kaplan and the Post editors truly believe that all of these stories ought to have remained secret and have endangered people’s safety, why are they not attacking the editors and newspapers that made the ultimate decision to expose them? Snowden himself never publicly disclosed a single document, so any programs that were revealed were the ultimate doing of news organizations.

Whatever else may be true, one’s loyalty to U.S. government officials has to be slavish in the extreme in order to consider oneself a journalist while simultaneously advocating the criminalization of transparency, leaks, sources, and public debates.

But that’s not new: There has long been in the U.S. a large group that ought to call itself U.S. Journalists Against Transparency: journalists whose loyalty lies far more with the U.S. government than with the ostensible objectives of their own profession, and thus routinely take the side of those keeping official secrets rather than those who reveal them, even to the point of wanting to see sources imprisoned.

But what makes today’s Washington Post editorial so remarkable, such a tour de force, is that the editors are literally calling for the criminal prosecution of one of the most important sources in their own newspaper’s history.

Having basked in the glory of awards and accolades, and benefited from untold millions of clicks, the editorial page editors of the Post now want to see the source who enabled all of that be put in an American cage and branded a felon. That is warped beyond anything that can be described.

From “Bind man by chains of Constitution” to “Bind man by chains of Cryptography”:  No more confidence or faith in man behaviors  

Equal Internet to all? Any why science must outpace laws on restricting collective data gathering  and national security?

Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1798:

In questions of power. Let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution

In 2008, Edward Snowden wrote in his manifesto of pro-privacy, anti-surveillance of massive collective data gathering solidarity cause:

“Let us speak no more of faith in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of cryptography.

Equal internet will work to the advantage of the average person when science outpaces law.

By understanding the mechanisms through which our privacy is violated, we can win. We can guarantee people equal protection against unreasonable search through universal law, but only if the technical community is willing to face the threat and commit to implementing over engineered solutions in (cryptography)

The successive US governments worked hard in the last decade to demonstrate unlimited power. It preempted wars, tortured prisoners and imprisoned people without charges in undisclosed incarceration camps, drone-bombed targets in extrajudicial killings in Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria…

President Obama directive of Nov. 2012 stated:

“To senior national security and intelligence officials: Draw up list of potential overseas targets for US cyber attacks. Prepare for a series of aggressive offensive cyber operations around the world

And the messengers of divulging such atrocities and mass collective gathering of communication on private citizens in the US and abroad were Not immune under the law of free press.

Whistle-blowers were abused, prosecuted and jailed.

Investigative reporters and journalists were threatened with jail terms.

The decade of cultivated display of intimidation to anyone who even contemplate of challenging the power-to-be in the US is still thriving and immune from blame and prosecution.

On June 9, 2013, The Guardian revealed Edward Snowden, the leaker of top secret documents on the worldwide data gathering of the NSA.

Laura Poitras posted a 12-minute interview with Ed:

“Um, my name is Ed Snowden. I’m 29 years old. I work for Booz Allen Hamilton as an infrastructure analyst for NSA in Hawaii…

For 6 months, Snowden was emailing Glenn Greenwald under Cincinnatus encouraging him to install a PGP encryption program that shield email and online communication from surveillance and hacking activities. and so communications cannot be intercepted

And Glenn procrastinated because he was no expert in such installation. Snowden then contacted Laura Poitras and sent her a few secret documents in order to win Glenn over and join him in Hong Kong. Snowden identity was still a secret and on leave for epileptic treatments.

Snowden didn’t finish high school but was hired as an internet expert by the CIA, NSA and Booz Allen. He had a diplomatic passport when stationed in Switzerland and was ordered to visit many locations in Europe to install communication infrastructure in order to gather secret communication on a wide scale.

And Glenn and Laura published a series of top secret documents of the NSA in the Guardian.

And I’m wondering:

1. By what chains can we bind our morbid species from igniting a Hydrogen Bomb?

2. By what chains can we bind our fickle and instant gratifying species from poisoning our environment to an irreversible state of no return?

If history is a guide, the few occasional decades of enlightenment and culture do Not match the consistent trend of our species for self-immolation 

Note 1: Laura Poitras made the documentaries “My Country” in the Sunni Triangle during the US invasion of Iraq and “The Oath” following bin Laden’s bodyguard and driver in Yemen.

Note 2: Read “No Place to Hide” by Glenn Greenwald

https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/no-place-to-hide-when-investigative-journalists-are-prosecuted-for-divulging-secret-government-illegal-actions/

 

 

 

No Place to Hide? When investigative journalists are prosecuted for divulging secret government illegal actions

Machiavelli wrote in The Prince:

The character of the common people is mobile and easy to lead to an opinion. The real problem for the power-to-be is how to maintain this character, how to force the common people to believe when they cease to believe in the opinion of the powerful.

Nietzsche wrote in Beyond Good and Evil:

The key word for those keen minds of conscientious people working on secret projects is: How to Trespass morality.

Roland Barthes wrote:

Fascism is to pressure people to express the opinions of the rulers

From a 1975 statement of Senator Frank Church to the committees of the  intelligence agencies:

“The US government has perfected a tech capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air…

That capability could at any time turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left…

Such is the capability to monitor everything, telephone conversations, telegram…it doesn’t matter.

There would be No Place to Hide”

This monitoring capability has extended to internet, social platforms, mobile phones, public and private video cameras, satellite imaging, instant location capturing features…

The US government strategy, backed by Congressmen, Senators and leading journalists… was to mute Glenn Greenwald bold and direct reporting on the widespread surveillance on everyone (collective data gathering). The strategy was to label Glenn as just another blogger and an activist. Why?

Journalists in the US and in many other States have formal and unwritten legal protection that are unavailable to any one else when they reveal secret intelligence pieces through their job of investigative reporting.

Thus, robbing Glenn from this status of journalist was to expose him to legal criminal harassment.

For example, the misleading claims that he is:

1. A co-conspirator working with sources to obtain document

2. Establishing a covert communication plan to speak without being detected with sources

3. Employing flattery and playing to the sources’ vanity and ego to persuade the source to leak secrets documents

are routine tactics within the job description and methods of investigative journalists, but would not cover bloggers and activists.

Leonard Downie Jr. former executive editor of the Wash. Post, wrote in the name of the Committee to protect Journalists:

“The Obama Administration war on leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive since the Nixon Adm.  The 30 experienced Wash Journalists at a variety of news organizations interviewed for the report could not remember any precedent (on this scale)”

“The Obama Adm. had crossed a red line that no other administration has crossed before and blown right past” said Jane Mayer in the New republic. It is a huge impediment to reporting and beyond chilling. It’s more like freezing the whole process into a standstill”

Even the NYTimes reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin, who had fought all the way to the US Supreme Court in order to publish the Pentagon Papers, advocated the arrest of Glenn.

No one in the US dared confirm any “informal assurance” that Glenn would not be prosecuted if he lands in the USA.

The US government was ready to concoct a theory that Greenwald’s repeated meetings with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong and in Russia and publishing reports on a “freelance basis” with newspapers around the world do fall under the criminal law of “aided and abetted” Snowden in his leaks and helped a “fugitive” flee justice or that the reports constituted some type of espionage.

It is evident that the security state in the USA is more powerful than the highest elected officials and do boast a wide array of influential loyalists.

So what kinds of reforms are necessary to check this wave of collective meta-data collection surveillance on people and institutions?

1. Targeted surveillance backed with substantial evidence of real wrongdoing

2. This “Collect it all” approach and indiscriminate mass surveillance is constitutionally illegal.

3. Using metadata analysis technique has not produced or disclosed a single terrorist plot: This a terrible burden on the budget dedicated to hiring specialized data analysts who have no clue on how to handle their job.

4. The government must provide some evidence of probable cause of wrongdoing before listening to a person conversations. That’s the job of FISA court.

5. FISA court. must be reformed so that it is not used as a rubber stamp. Converting FISA court into a real judicial system would be a positive first step in the reform

6. This trend of co-opting entities by the national security state badly needs an oversight control system to tame its abuses.

7. Building a new Internet infrastructure so that all the communication traffics have no longer to transit through the US network. European tech companies are spewing alternative special platforms to Google and Facebook intended Not to provide data to the NSA

8. More encryption programs and browsing-anonymity tools are being designed for users working in sensitive jobs such as journalists, lawyers, civil rights advocate organizations…

9. Advancing government transparency reforms

Whistle-blowers have learned that speaking the truth does not necessarily destroy their life: The side of supporters has grown immensely and are promoting the human capacity to reason and make decisions outside the boundaries of government status quo.

Note: Glenn Greenwald published 4 books. Among them:

1. With Liberty and Justice for some

2. A Tragic Legacy

3. No place to hide

He published Edward Snowden secret stories in The Guardian before co-founding the investigative publication The Intercept

Snowden confirms: Al Baghdadi (ISIS Caliphate) was formed by Israel MOSSAD

Everyone in the “Arab” world know this fact.

And the program was planed many decades ago by the British  under the code-name “Hornet Nest” and taken up by Israel and the US for their Greater Middle East dismemberment of this region.

Just to safeguard the “existence of the State of Israel

Snowden a indiqué que les services de renseignement de trois pays, à savoir les États-Unis, la Grande-Bretagne et l’entité sioniste ont collaboré ensemble afin de créer une organisation terroriste qui soit capable d’attirer tous les extrémistes du monde vers un seul endroit, selon une stratégie baptisée « le nid de frelons ».

Les documents de l’Agence nationale de sécurité américaine évoque « la mise en place récente d’un vieux plan britannique connu sous le nom de “nid de frelons” pour protéger l’entité sioniste, et ce en créant une religion comprenant des slogans islamiques qui rejettent toute autre religion ou confession ».

La presse révisée posted this July 10, 2014

L’ancien employé à l’Agence nationale de sécurité américaine, Edward Snowden, a révélé que les services de renseignement britannique et américain, ainsi que le Mossad, ont collaboré ensemble pour la création de l’ex-EIIL ou l’État islamique en Irak et au Levant, selon l’agence d’information iranienne Farsnews.

Snowden confirme que Al Baghdadi a été formé par le MOSSAD

Selon les documents de Snowden, « la seule solution pour la protection de “l’État juif” est de créer un ennemi près de ses frontières, mais de le dresser contre les États islamiques qui s’opposent à sa présence ».

Les fuites ont révélé qu’« Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi a suivi une formation militaire intensive durant une année entière entre les mains du Mossad, sans compter des cours en théologie et pour maîtriser l’art du discours ».


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