Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

RNC and White House linked to "independent" polls on NSA

If your President faces a potential impeachment over illegal activity, what do you do?

Maybe you hire a firm to suggest the public likes having their rights violated: 64% want violations!

* * *

Added: 3 Jan 2005 Media Matters: How the poll was subsequently used; problems with the way the question is asked.

* * *

It is too late in the game to "take a poll" -- after the crime has occurred -- to ask the uninformed "what they think" about a deliberately confused issue.

Regardless the polls, the "will of the people" has already been expressed through the existing act of Congress: It is called the FISA statute.

Open Secrets data shows the Republican Party in 2003 and 2004, paid Scott Rasmussen, Inc. -- the firm behind the Rasmussen Poll -- $50,000 for polling services.Ref

It remains a matter of evidence to what extent, inter alia:

  • A. RNC funds have been transferred to people/firms like Rasmussen in 2005;

  • B. Whether poll results are skewed or designed to mislead a civilian population;

  • C. How the results compare to independent polls;

  • D. How the results compare to people who are fully informed of the legal issues and rules of evidence [in re warrantless searches, FISA, and the laws of war]; and

  • E. The number of polls and RNC funds transferred to dissuade Congressional oversight of a tyrant.

  • * * *

    US contractors like Lockheed Martin could have designed the NSA monitoring system -- "Echelon" -- in a manner that complied with the law.

    Software steps can be written to give the court access to, and oversight of the warrant process. These requirements can be included, and could have been included, in the software specification review [SSR] during the software development efforts.

    We live in an information age. The court, lawyers, and the judicial officers know how to use computers. Similar flagging systems are used to screen whether the officials need to recuse themselves. It is a separate matter whether the officials choose to heed these warnings, or have back-up systems.

    Software can do the monitoring to ensure compliance with the law. Software designs can accommodate the Constitution. These are management and leadership issues. The software coding capability exists.

    Any other outcome is an excuse: "Oh, that's too hard to follow the law -- our software is only good if it violates the law."

    Regardless the technology, the Constitution remains. Technology is a creature of humans and it can be designed to comply with software standards and the rule of law. There is no other option.

    * * *

    The problem: America's Echelon was created to target the USSR using any means without regard to the law. Echelon was not specifically designed to target American citizens. Over time, the system -- the monitoring capability -- was engineered to spy on America, without letting the Judicial Branch put a leash on Echelon.

    The answer: There needs to be as software program in Echelon that provides reports to Congress and the Courts -- what is going on; how is the information being used; and whether the Echelon is targeting people despite having a warrant denied.

    If a warrant is denied, the monitoring should stop/end with a software-control system.

    However, the existing system continues monitoring despite no warrant.

    * * *

    Because the warrantless monitoring continues, we know

  • A. The Echelon software was designed to violate the law;

  • B. This requirement was known at the time of the design; and

  • C. A reasonable software developer should have known that the law required another standard.

    It remains a matter of law whether software developers who supported this effort failed to timely remove themselves from an activity they knew, or should have known, was in support of an unlawful purpose.

    One may not rely on a "promise of secrecy" when the primary objective of that secrecy agreement is to achieve an unlawful purpose: Ensure there are no consequences for violations of the law.

    This exposes the individual contractors to legal liability for: [a] Creating a system that was [b] known to [c] violate the law; where management [d] failed to make informed and timely action to [e] remedy these [f] known problems.

    It remains a matter of law whether firms like Lockheed Martin -- closely connected to Echelon -- are liable for creating a product that violates the law and people's rights. During Nuremberg, the civilian contractors which made the Zyklon-B were found to have committed war crimes.

    Immunity does not hinge on one's statues, but whether they have removed themselves from an unlawful activity. Promises of immunity are not enforceable when those contracts are for an unlawful purpose.

    Many people know the "warrantless monitoring capability" was designed into Echelon.

    It remains a matter of evidence how many current and former Lockheed Martin, Ford Aerospace, Raytheon and Loral employees face personal liability for creating a product for achieve an unlawful objective.

    Arguably, the statute of limitations is irrelevant when it comes to war crimes. It remains a matter of evidence whether former or retired employees are willing to provide evidence to the courts and Congress.

    * * *

    Echelon intercepts existed pre-9-11. Bush Administration is upset about the NYT article because it doesn't want to face questions about "what Echelon was picking up" prior to 9-11.

    Echelon was not reconfigured after 9-11 to do what is doing today.

    Immediately following 9-11, there was insufficient time to:

  • A. Redefine the software baseline,

  • B. Conduct an analysis of the Echelon system relative to the new requirements; and then

  • C. Redesign the software to do what the President wanted.

    Rather, these capabilities already existed prior to 9-11.

    This capability confirms what is in the Downing Street Memo about the Iraq WMD: The evidence of unlawful activity in re war crimes, unlawful war, and fraud is pervasive within the Echelon system.

    The existence of this adverse information is [a] well known inside the White House, NSC, CIA, and NSA; and [b] in part, behind the delays in the Senate Phase II Intelligence investigation into the Iraq WMD issues.

    The common element: The White House and the Staff's desire to avoid consequences for violations of the law inter alia:

  • War crimes;

  • Fraudulent material statements to Congress; and

  • Unlawful exercise of Judicial and Legislative powers.

    * * *

    Bush is upset. He's also inconsistent. It remains a matter of evidence whether he followed the FISA requirements until got answers he didn't like.

    Fundamentally, the President's argument fails. Nobody can argue "inherent authority" when they have already assented, in many cases, to the court.

    This White House and President cannot explain why, if they have "inherent authority" to do something, why they first [a] assented to the court; and then [b] refused to assent to the court when the court's decisions "didn't agree with the executive."

    Inconsistent action is not evidence of anything inherent, but the opposite: Recklessness.

    The White House opposes the warrants. It knows [a] it had access to NSA's Echelon information before 9-11; and [b] it did not respond to this information. This is called malfeasance.

    Subsequent to 9-11, the White House used the event as the catalyst to continue the unlawful warrantless monitoring with less oversight.

    * * *

    It remains a matter of law and evidence, how many prosecutors have committed fraud on the court and grand juries by presenting inadmissible evidence -- the fruit of unlawful NSA surveillance -- to support indictments.

    Putting aside the legal issues for the moment, if the monitoring program was effective, we should have convictions. We have the opposite: Errors in renditions; and trials which fail. Despite the warrantless monitoring, the prosecutors cannot get evidence to lawfully convict people of crimes. Rather, they change their story, as we have seen before the 4th Circuit in re Padilla.

    It remains a matter of law to what extent the government has violated the writ of habeas corpus. Defendants are sometimes sanctioned for delays. In 2005, we have the opposite: The government seeks creative legal excuses to seek a favorable court. The courts take an adverse view of defendants who engage in "court shopping"; this standard should apply to the government.

    * * *

    The White House knows Echelon will not intercept AlQueda in America -- AlQueda uses couriers to communicate.

    Arguably, Echelon substantially monitors American citizens -- not using private couriers -- who have no connection to the stated objective of the warrantless searches.

    This warrantless monitoring is unreasonable and fails as an exception to the warrant requirement.

    * * *

    Out of court inconsistent statements are admissible when impeaching a witness. We have seen how the court views witnesses who lie -- The court makes adverse inferences:

    "It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy."Ref

    Based on information and belief, we judge the following: The White House staff and NSA personnel:

  • A. Know fraud has been committed on the court;

  • B. Have failed to timely remove themselves from the alleged conspiracy to [1] violate American statutes; and [2] cover up evidence related to war crimes; and

  • C. Continue to engage in illegal activity.

    * * *

    There are perhaps 38,000 NSA employees who appear to substantially support what is an unlawful activity.

    However, there are over 300 Million American citizens.

    The NSA employees and contractors are self-evidently outnumbered.

    * * *

    The Constitutional agreement is simple. If the citizenry agrees to give up power to a leader, the leader agrees to protect their rights.

    This Constitutional system divides power to self-evidently ensure power is not concentrated. This leader has chosen to consolidate power. This defies the Constitution.

    Americans are not required to maintain loyalty to a government which defies the rule of law and Constitution. A leader who is unwilling to meet his obligations -- protect the Constitution -- can no longer have confidence the citizenry will assent to their agreement -- to recognize his power.

    * * *

    With Echelon, we have to ask new questions: Which specific NSA analysts knew there were no WMD in Iraq; and how have they been retaliated against?

    * * *

    The Declaration of Independence of 1776 discusses the same abuses occurring in America between 2001 and 2005.

    For example, the Declaration of Independence has clauses about the King moving people to distant lands -- like rendition -- without trial.

    For other examples, compare the abuses in 2005 with the 1776 Declaration of Independence:

  • Military movement without regard to law

    2005: Failure to hold NSA [DoD Agency] accountable to the rule of law over the warrantless searches

    1776: "He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power."

  • Creating new courts

    2005: NSA [military agency] action outside the American court review

    1776: "He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation"

  • Military commanders not held responsible for violations of the law

    2005: Failure to subject American NSA officers [ military agency] to the FISA court

    1776: "For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:"

  • Sham trials

    2005: Secret evidence, and warrantless searches

    1776: "For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:"

  • Movement of people for abuse

    2005: Using bogus information, or information from torture to "justify" abusing others, and sending them overseas or "rendering" them for abuse.

    1776: "For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:"

  • Moving without regard to the law

    2005: Ignoring the FISA, choosing to ignore the Congress, and assert what he does is acceptable, despite no statutory authority.

    1776: "For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever."

  • Executive consolidates legislative and judicial powers

    2005: Saying the laws are not applicable; ignoring the FISA court when they refuse warrants; creating rules that "permit" him to violate the law.

    1776: "He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good."

    * * *

    If you do not stop him, the long list of abuses will simply grow longer.

    The solution, for those who refuse to lead or manage, is to design a system that is consistent with the Constitution; not use the existing-unlawful technical solution as an excuse to ignore the Constitution.

    During software development, requirements and laws drive solutions; the solution doesn't drive the requirements and laws.

    * * *

    How much NSA data was used to move the wrong people?

    I suppose Americans won't wake up until Americans are rendered. Oh, wait -- they already did that. His name is Padilla.

    They're still asleep to the Constitution, but awake enough to take a poll.

    * * *

    They can create software to do amazing things. The trick is to create a system that is consistent with the rule of law; not modify a system designed to target the USSR.

    They're using the "technology of filtering" as a distraction. The real problem: They designed the software system without considering the law. That's backwards.

    It is possible to design a system that is consistent with the Constitution, but there was no incentive to do during the Cold War.

    It's over. Time to develop a system that is consistent with the principles we hope to "show by example" are worth asserting:

  • A. Constitutional respect for privacy;

  • B. Freedom from unreasonable searches; and

  • C. Uphold the requirement: Warrants shall not be issued unless there is probable cause."

    * * *

    This nonsense about "warrantless searches" hinge on three assumptions:

  • 1. Emergency -- which doesn't exist when your enemy knows to not use the phone -- and you have the option to file a retroactive-warrant 72 hours;

  • 2. Consent -- which doesn't exist when your citizens aren't informed; and

  • 3. Circumstances incident to lawful arrest -- which do not apply, but this tyrant characterizes the surveillance as "not required to comply with the rule of law," -- no different than what King George did.

    The above three assumptions -- permitting warrantless searches -- do not exist with the NSA warrantless monitoring. FISA is already a compromise on the balance between the 4th Amendment and Security.

    The White House, DoD, DoJ, and NSA know they're violating the law; and have been, and were monitoring prior to 9-11.

    * * *

    The White House and NSA want it both ways with Echelon and 9-11.

    With Echelon's capabilities -- which could not be modified after 9-11 -- we know the data inside NSA about 9-11 is vast.

    If Echelon "could be modified after 9-11", why didn't they modify it to comply with the rule of law?

    They have no answer.

    * * *

    Why isn't Echelon shut off -- the warrantless monitoring ended -- if there is no warrant issued?

    They could make the software do that, and send a report to Congress and the Court if there are violations of that requirement.

    It's not that hard.

    * * *

    Echelon needs to be scrapped, and a new system designed from the bottom up -- one that is consistent with the rule of law, Constitution, and warrant requirements.

    The problem: There is a leadership problem, and lack of will to "comply with the rule of law." More abuses are on the way.

    * * *

    How many NSA Senior Executive Service personnel will have to be targeted using Echelon? The leaks aren't related to a "concern" with the rule of law -- rather, insiders in the intelligence community are getting hit by Echelon.

    Maybe the CIA and DOJ want to have more of its under cover operatives and informants targeted. That can be arranged.

    If it doesn't stop, it's going to get worse.

    * * *

    NSA has intercepted their own employees and NSA contractors engaging in this activity. [ Read more . . . ]

    The NSA personnel have known about this monitoring -- the flaws in the oversight between FISA, NSA and the FBI were well known.

    There is no basis for the NSA employees to claim their "privacy" has been violated. Rather, they consented to the illegal monitoring.

    Therefore, all NSA data -- related to NSA personnel planning, discussing, or attempting to avoid consequences for this illegal activity -- was collected without any expectation that it remain private or confidential.

    The intercepts of the NSA employee discussions about the unlawful activity remains admissible.

    Copies of these intercepts are outside the American's control.

    * * *

    All NSA information showing NSA or other officials have known about war crimes -- but have engaged in coverups, or have refused to take action on war crimes -- is also admissible.

    * * *

    GCHG's Gunn has already released information. We have copies of the Downing Street Memos.

    And more information from other overseas government officials.

    If you destroy the files, there are backups.

    The US Attorney can bring charges for evidence destruction, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice.

    Those who know of war crimes -- and cover it up -- are presumed to be accessories.

    The punishment for war crimes includes the death penalty.

    * * *

    American and British citizens -- peoples with a common history and respect for the rule of law -- are cooperating in releasing, publishing, and disseminating the information related to this unlawful activity. [More . . .]

    There is no excuse for hiding evidence of criminal activity.

    Anything else would consent to violations of the Constitution.

    * * *

    Echelon has intercepted data showing Americans are aware of war crimes, and are impeding those lawful investigations.

    This is a violation of the laws of war.

    It remains a matter of evidence to what extent NSA personnel and contractors have or are engaging in efforts to destroy this evidence.

    When evidence that should be retained has been destroyed, the court can make adverse judgments.

    There are backups outside the American's control.

    * * *

    Your options:

    A. Adhere to your oath: "Preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution"; or

    B. Face jail time, or possible court-imposed-death penalty/loss of life for involvement in war crimes.


    * * *

    You have a dilemma.

    If you refuse to assent to the rule of law, you may later be found to be an unlawful combatant.

    If you refuse to abide by the rules of war -- failing to ensure your conduct is consistent with the laws of the land and war -- you may subject yourself to lawful retaliation on the battlefield.

    You're going to lose.

    * * *

    Choose: Do you want to have this dispute resolved

    A. In the court of justice; or

    B. On the battlefield.

    That is not a question. Choose wisely.

    You are outnumbered.

    Your guide is the Constitution.

    Hoc Voluerunt !

    * * *

    Added: 30 Dec 2005

    Others are reading this, and it's just the tip of the iceberg. . . Want to know more? Share your comments here . . .

    Welcome and Thanks for the interest -- to first time visitors and my loyal readers -- and especially to David Swanson of AfterDowningStreet.Org and for the opportunity to contribute to the After-DSM discussion about the American Military's continuing unlawful support of the White House through the NSA.

    * * *

    The NSA is a military organization. It is being used in a domestic law enforcement capacity. This violates the law. The Posse Comitatus Act is a ban against the use of military forces in a domestic role.

    It remains a matter of evidence to extent the White House staff have, as they did with Operation Falcon, use American military forces in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act.

    The coverup:

  • A. Change the focus from the White House . . .

  • B. Hide the problem . . .

  • C. Silence the wayward inside the NSA and Joint Staff . . .

  • D. Rally the masses to the cause of tyranny.

  • E. Conduct a phony investigation into NSA -- to distract attention from the President's statements which confirmed the NYT information -- why isn't the President being investigated for confirming the information leaked about his unlawful activity.

  • F. Dissuade Congress from looking at the issues of the NSA monitoring in a new light as they relate to:
    - The Downing Street Memo, and the NSA intercepts confirming the validity of the DSM and GCHQ's concerns about the war of aggression;
    - Sibel Edmonds, and what she can tell you about the stonewalling into needed investigations;
    - Iraq WMD and what NSA analysts knew didn't exist -- evidence of WMD;
    - Padilla, and why the torture-related-evidence from Morocco was recorded on NSA intercepts, and confirmed by agents in route there was a problem;
    - The use of NSA intercepts to, using the Patriot Act, point law enforcement to monitor lawful, non-criminal activity;
    - How NSA-intercepted-data is provided to law enforcement as "investigative leads" and the role non-American interceptors are used in going around the warrant requirements;
    - How NSA monitoring is used to fill in holes in the domestic law enforcement databases; pre-textual stops are also used to fill in the holes; and how law enforcement lies to the public to dissuade their awareness of this domestic intelligence gathering supported by the NSA;
    - How NSA data is used to add people to the watch lists for domestic surveillance and on the TSA watch lists issued by DHS;
    - How inadmissible evidence from NSA intercepts is used to issue National Security Letters -- another way around the checks and balances
    - Renditions, and the movement of personnel based on information the FISA court would not issue a warrant for;
    - Issues of reasonableness of Immigrant Detentions and subsequent abuse while in detention;
    - RNC Demonstrations prior to the Iraq war, and the subsequent detentions in "GITMO on the Hudson";
    - NYPD/New York DA's use of fabricated video evidence to charge RNC demonstrators with crimes they did not commit;
    - Basis for issuing national security letters; how NSA data was used as the "justification" to issue a NSL for over 1M records of all hotel guests in Las Vegas;
    - How information from NSA warrantless searches flows to DHS regarding bogus threats of terrorism in NYC subways; and this NSA information is leaked to DHS personnel and their families, but not to the public;
    - Basis for detaining professors and attorneys for "material support" for terrorism, but those cases falling apart;
    - 4th Circuit admonishment of the government in re Padilla,
    - Judge Robertson's resignationM from FISA;
    - DoJ smear efforts at Judge Lamberth as a retaliation for FBI agents being banned from the FISA court for false affidavits;
    - FBI leaks from the secret FISA court as retaliation against the Judges for pointing out the FBI agents are unfit to appear before the FISA court;
    - Why Goss was moved out of the oversight role in Congress;
    - Why Phase II of the Senate Intelligence investigation is going nowhere;
    - Why Conyers' FOIA requests were modified, and now delayed.

    Here's a hint: NSA and GCHQ have the answers.

    * * *

    Curiously, if the activity was legal and a bonafide classified program, why didn't the President in 2004 -- when he was informed of the NYT's investigation into NSA -- presumably by the NSA's monitoring of the NYT -- immediately direct Gonzalez to appoint a special counsel?

    The fact that he, Gonzalez, and others have delayed for more than a year taking "timely action" on something presumably well known in the White House to have been provided to the NYT -- raises the opposite conclusion: The White House failed to timely take action when it "should have" thereby destroying any legal foundation for the subsequent "leak investigation" into the NYT.

    In other words, there are three investigations:

    1. Congress

    2. The Phony DoJ investigation into the NYT

    3. The real Grand Jury that should be empaneled in secret to review the NSA program, and the failure of the President to immediately end the unlawful activity when he confirmed, admitted, and was confronted with the fact in 2004.

    Here's what the White House plans to do -- in order to keep the DoJ Special prosecutor, Grand Jury, and Congress from getting access to the information, NSA employees, and data from the NSA contractors -- the direction is to comment, "This is part of an ongoing investigation" and "they wish to exert their rights to silence." Bluntly, the President's "leak investigation" is designed to circle the wagons, delay fact finding by the grand jury, and not find answers.

    It will remain a matter of evidence whether GCHQ will release copies of the message traffic confirming this direction. More broadly, it remains to be seen whether the send DoJ investigation -- the one with the Grand Jury -- uses this NSA intercept data to show NSA and the White House are part of an effort to obstruct justice.

    Senior NSA personnel have already decided they've had enough; while at the same time there are NSA senior leaders who have contacted attorneys. NSA leadership is split.

  • Here is how the Grand Jury can penetrate and break into DoD's Joint Staff and NSA

  • Here is how the Grand Jury can break into and get access to the White House Staff files

  • Here is how to use the NSA system to target your discovery in re NSA contractors and broaden, focus, and target your FOIA requests

    * * *

    The American military and civilian leadership have forgotten what they're supposed to do for a living: Preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.

    Against all enemies. Not just where it is easy to fabricate evidence overseas, but at home, where American citizens live.

    * * *

    When you look at the DOJ "investigation into the NSA leak" recall the following:
    the very criminal investigators charged with "gathering facts" for Congress could very well be the same interrogators from the NAVY assigned to and cycled through GITMO. Ref

    . . . and . . .
    Let me say that another way: Those people which like to say, "We are in the inspector general's office and work for Congress" are conflicted: Those people who are your criminal investigators for NCIS and JTTF [both OSD, DOJ] are the ones who are trying to cover this up: Their buddies are the ones who engaged in the war crimes. Ref

    . . . oh, you need a third nail in your head? . . .

    Remember, the "criminal investigators" that work in the NCIS, CID, and OSI are actually the ones who cross flowed through GITMO with JTTF and CIFA.Ref

    The people who are "doing the investigation" are actually the ones that should be targeted by the Grand Jury.

    They're going into NSA to seize, suppress, and destroy evidence that Congress and the Grand Jury should get access to!

    But DoJ and the FBI do not realize that GCHQ has already intercepted and stored that data the FBI is seizing -- and hoping to suppress -- and! [wait for it]. . .GCHQ also has intercepted the FBI and US Attorney's discussions on their investigation plan.

    Remember, history is set. They cannot change history. All the subsequent activity needs to be looked at through this lens: It is additional information showing obstruction of justice by the FBI, DoJ, Gonzalez, the White House staff, and the President.

    A "credible investigation" should have started discretely in 2004 when the President and NSA "learned" of the "leaks" to the NYT. Because the President failed to timely report his disclosures, confirmations, and discussions with the NYT, the President is actually one of the targets of the leak investigation.

    The President is one of the leakers of his "classified" illegal program -- and the NYT used the White House's concern as confirmation of what they were told in 2004 by the NSA.

    We judge the failure to timely investigate, combined with the President's admissions that he illegally used warrantless searches on the American population using military resources -- is a fatal admission; and all subsequent "investigations" into NSA are to obstruct justice.

    The original wrong: 9-11 occurred despite Echelon's warnings. And all subsequent "actions" have been to coverup the malfeasance.

    Think of this as many layers like Russian doll. The events in 2005 and 2006 are part of the ongoing obstruction of justice which started in 2001.

    * * *

    Some are curious: Why does this seem familiar . . . the notes at the bottom of this link may remind you . . .

    Read more . . .

  • Wednesday, December 28, 2005

    Potential evidence of White House retalation in re Iraq WMD

    Former military member, later assigned to ISG, discusses Scott Ritter investigation.

    In re JRR on HuffingtonPost.

    Claims to have knowledge of the evidence collection. Ref


    when I worked with ISG, information was found about Scott Ritter and was (is?) being investigated. I know because I took part in collecting evidence

    Posted by: jrr on December 28, 2005 at 04:16pm

    Discovery for impeachment purposes: Potential evidence of leaking of classified information related to an ongoing federal investigation

    There are potentially a finite number of people who meet this description, and narrowed.

    This is what can be discovered using open sources, without an e-mail or an IP.

    You might want to get a lawyer, because with all the information you've provided, it will only be a matter of minutes before GCHQ has you nailed. Here's a sample of what can be done with just a couple of pieces of information: pinpoint the most likely launch point of something the FBI is trying to cover-up.

    You're going to lose.

    Identifying information:

    13 years, gulf war, Kosovo, airborne, air assault, FA, signal, ISG contractor

    May be aware of 1st Battallion, Fort Sill, OK with howitzers.

    On the FSO team [Fire Support Officer], worked with two other LTs in first assignment. Unclear why, despite supervising a platoon of 26 enlisted, unable to find a job other than computers.

    Familiar with following terms: [Ref: jrr on December 13, 2005 at 01:45am ]

    CMPC Combined Media Processing Center
    DOCEX Document Exploitatoin
    cat 2
    MEDEX Media Exploitation

    See other in re ISG.

    Not fluent in Arabic or Farsi: "You don't have top speak the language as an analyst when you work with a linguist as I indicated. " [jrr on December 13, 2005 at 02:57pm]

    Claims to have made an FOIA request in re ISG [to DoD?] before December 12, 2005 at 10:10pm.

    Potential "other person" mixing up above data: See detailed profile [JRR on November 03, 2005 at 10:38am] Ref

    Asserts familiarity with language translation in ISG
    "much of the translation in the ISG facility also used third party nationals who speak arabic for the non classified translations. There is no shortage of linguists for this project. There is an overall lack of qualified arabic linguists within the government, but a lot of this is due to security clearance issues. There are now 3 year waiting periods. This is a big problem with very expensive solutions that no agency wants to pay for."[ jrr on December 12, 2005 at 06:05pm ] Ref


  • Would someone who holds an existing TS-SCI security clearance be stupid enough to leave this many details to be identified, tracked, and monitored; or is this disinformation?

  • Why is someone with a security clearance discussing the details of investigations?

  • What relationship does this person have with ISG?

  • Is there a disclosure statement that precludes discussion of the information related to an investigation?

  • Was the alleged investigation by ISG into Mr. Ritter lawful, or part of a program of retalation by the White House?

    Legal issues

    It's out: Either JRR is telling the truth, and ISG was involved; or JRR is telling a lie and ISG has a potential defamation case against JRR; and/or ISG is a classified Iraq investigation and the disclosures relate to a classified program/investigation.

    Either way, JRR could be a potential witness.

    Discussion and analysis

    FA = Field Artillery

    ISG = Iraq Survey Group.

    ISG = intercept namees with "Charles Duelfer"

    82nd Airborne -- Cross reference with "Khamisiyah" -- site of an ammunition cache called, "Khamisiyah Ammunition Storage Area". If he was downwind, he's got medical problems; if he's involved, but survived or arrived later, it means he was on the upwind side or knows something called, "Presidential Advisory Committee".

    82nd AB = Fort Bragg, the same place that special forces units like to jump on CIA planes, but there's no mention of special forces, just field artillery.

    Here is information that appears to be unrelated -- meaning, although assigned to the 101st, this infformation about the 1-17th Cavalry would be in the "exclude" option:
    In the summer of 1990 the 1st Squadron received the new OH-58D scout aircraft. In August 1990, the 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry was conducting a rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center when the 82D Airborne Division was deployed to Saudi Arabia in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Troop B and part of Troop A deployed with Task Force 1-82. The units were alerted on the 5th of August 1990 and deployed on the 8th. The Squadron returned from Ft. Chaffee and deployed with the Headquarters and Delta pilots and aircraft on the 12th of August. The remainder of the Squadron deployed in September. The Squadron was commanded by LTC Roger I. Anglin, the executive officer was MAJ Michael C. Flowers, and the S3 was MAJ Robert D. Richardson.Ref

    Air Assualt = 101st.

    There is and intercept between Gulf War and Afghanistan, but he makes no mention of Afghanistan:
    In September 1990, the Rakkasans once again answered the call and began deploying to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, during Operation DESERT SHIELD. On 20 and 21 February 1991, two companies from 1st Battalion air assaulted into Objective Weber and captured 434 Iraqi soldiers. On 25 February 1991, the 48th Anniversary of the Regiment, the Rakkasans conducted the largest and deepest air assault operation in history, as it struck 155 miles behind enemy lines into the Euphrates River Valley. This action led to the timely defeat of Iraqi Forces and helped ensure a total allied victory.

    The 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, deployed to Afghanistan in early 2002, to provide security to the Kandahar International Aiport, as part of Task Force Rakkasans. 3rd Brigade

    This suggests that he was not part of 101st, but more likely assigned to 82nd.

    101st also eans that this person knows about Highway 8 in Iraq
    In August, 1990 the Iraqi Army invaded Kuwait. The US responded by deploying troops to Saudi Arabia. with one the first units to deploy being the 101st. The division fired the first shots of "Desert Storm" by taking out Iraqi radar sites on 17 January 1991. After the ground war began, the 101st was ordered to go deep into Iraq and set up a base of operations for further attacks. During the ground war phase of "Desert Storm," the 101st made the longest and largest Air Assault in history.

    More than 2,000 men, 50 transport vehicles, artillery, and tons of fuel and ammunition were airlifted 50 miles into Iraq. Units from the division Air Assaulted into Iraq and set up Forward Operation Base Cobra. Land vehicles took another 2,000 troops into Iraqi territory west of Kuwait to allow U.S. Armored Forces unrestricted access to Iraq.

    The 101st was responsible for seizing highway 8, which was used to resupply the Iraqi Army from Baghdad. To accomplish this, the division conducted the largest Air Assault in history. The division moved from FOB Cobra to set up FOB Viper, which was used as a base of operations to attack Iraqi Army units withdrawing from the Kuwait border. A cease fire was declared within 100 hours of the US launching the ground war. Five soldiers from the 101st lost their lives during the ground war. With the cease fire established on 27 February 1991, the division began preparations for redeployment. By 1 May 1991, the Screaming Eagles were home.

    Guess who was dumb enough to have their picture taken on Highway 8? That's right -- A finite number of people, with names provided by DoD, and can easily be subponaed: "Do you know anyone who meets the above description?"

    The individual would know about Forward Operating Bases called Viper and Cobra.

    However, there are details linking this profile to the 82nd:
    82nd Airborne Division paratroopers were among the first ground troops sent into the war-torn Kosovo region of the Balkans in Summer 1999, when the 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment moved in from neighboring Macedonia. They were followed shortly by the 3d Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, who themselves will be followed by the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment in January 2001 as part of regular peacekeeping operation rotations.Ref

    We judge, based on ISG involement, individual has college degree, meaning he is an officer, most likely a senior captain or junior major -- most likely a captain.

    Potential perseonnl meeting this description are from the Citadel.

    Most likely assigned to the 82nd Airborne.


    One would think if they were involved in other activities, they would list them. Some of the assignments during the 82nd-101st overlsap with areas of operations "not listed" suggests these unit numbers are not bonafide for JRR.

    Unless he went to West Point, it's unusual to have a combination of field artillery, engineering, video analysis, computers and 82nd Airborne. But West Pointers would have had a legal course, so why assert, "I'm no lawyer" and claim ignorance of the laws?

    * * *

    Other details

    Age: As of 2005, approx 39 years old, born about 1966 or 1967.
    Home: Bought 1997, 31 years old

    Fatal admissions:

    A. Service: 1988-2001, assuming 13 years credible: "I left the army 4 years ago" [jrr on December 16, 2005 at 05:40pm]Ref

    B. Degreed, officer: "Has anybody here even been to an engineering school like me?" Ref

    C. Officer, field artillery: "I was a fire support officer with the field artillery and have pretty good knowledge of this. Even to fire a round in direct fire mode would require knowledge and consent of the fire support officer, fire direction officer, ground commander, and all the NCOs staffing those functions." [JRR on November 08, 2005 at 02:07pm]Ref

    D. Post Army Employment, DoD Civilian: "I went into a DOD facility for a roll out" [JRR on December 02, 2005 at 10:40am] Ref

    E. Experience in computers: "I got laid off when the IT bubble burst. I had to take some desktop roll out jobs as there was nothing in network engineering because new jobs were outsourced." [ JRR on December 02, 2005 at 10:40am ] Ref

    F. No legal degree. "I am no lawyer," [jrr on December 03, 2005 at 08:48pm] Ref

    G. Asserts employment/involvement with ISG, reviewing videos. " I worked with the Iraqi Survey Group" and "I analyzed hundreds of videos captured in Iraq" [jrr on December 09, 2005 at 11:23am ] Ref

    H. Political affiliation: RNC, " I am a conservative" [jrr on December 16, 2005 at 04:48pm] Ref

    I. Home ownership status, owns: "I bought my home in 1997" [ jrr on December 14, 2005 at 03:52pm]Ref

    J. Religious affiliation, Christian "I am a Christian" [jrr on December 13, 2005 at 11:30am] Ref

    K. View on death pentalty, opposed: "I am against the death penalty except in the most extreme case." [jrr on December 05, 2005 at 10:58am] Ref [Note: Rarely does he post more than once; but never at the beginning. Suggests using RSS-feeds for alerts].

    * * *

    Disinformation issues

    A. Discounting.

    We now know the US classified report about White Phosphorous [that they were illegal, and used by Saddam] are at odds with the claims by JRR that it wasn't a problem/didn't happen/not an issue. [JRR on November 16, 2005 at 12:51pm] Ref

    B. Shifting, Changing the issue from US crimes to Saddam: "If WP is a chemical weapon, then Saddam had chemical weapons thus WMDs, thus President Bush was right."[JRR on November 21, 2005 at 07:25pm] Ref

    C. Irrelevant assertions, insinuation of distractions: "If WP was a chemical weapon that guy in the pic would not be running, he would be dead already, but don't let facts get in the way... " [JRR on November 21, 2005 at 07:26pm]Ref

    D. Contrast the above with:
    Harry, as I understand it, the denial of WP use came from the state department, not the military. Is there a reference to a DoD denial that is used WP? If not, how does that constitute a disaster for the U.S. military?
    Posted by: JRR on November 16, 2005 at 11:56am Ref
    It's almost as if JRR in November was surprised by the revelations -- yet this was documented in the Ft Leavenworth lessons learned; then he changes to denials/not a problem.

    Things aren't matching:

    A. If it was legal, why deny the possibility in December; however,

    B. If it wasn't legal, why not assert the denial when the information surfaced in November?

    Let's put aside the potential that someone is playing around, and consider the potential link to AEI -- likely?

    Note: A discussion about Rendon Disinformation caused a stir. [baldmelon on December 15, 2005 at 02:44pm] Ref

    JRR -- A Tolkein Fan, Lord of the Rings?

    Rule of law, how does it stack up to POTUS? "I respect Fitzgerald, he is doing his job, and if it turns out some one violated the law, they should be punished. " [jrr on December 04, 2005 at 07:54pm] Ref

    Note the contrast: Fighting for Iraqis right to demonstrate, but the RNC doesn't like the Americans to exercise those same protest rights: "We gave them the right and they use it to some extent. Why are there not millions of them on the street telling us to leave?" [jrr on December 23, 2005 at 10:30am] Ref

    Summary Concern

    There are some inconsistencies in the assertions; and he's asserting knowledge of things which, as Conyers has indicated, are contrary to the laws of war. Ref

    Read more . . .

  • American Frankenstein

    Beware . . .

    Asserting one's rights is a threat to tyranny. The talk of war means a leader will not have to be accountable when ignoring the rights of the people he terrorizes.

    Beware the leader who points to false evidence in order to excite the citizenry into fervor -- patriotism warms the heart, but cools the mind.

    The masses, suffused with mindless passion, will silence those who dare chirp when their rights are ignored; and the foolish masses in the media, academia, and intelligencia will acquiesce to tyranny, putting their personal safety before the right of their fellow man to say what is self-evident: We have a dictatorship without regard for the rule of law.

    The intelligencia, focusing on grammar, punctuation, and trivialities at winter cocktail parties, will [a] miss the tyrant’s threat to the free exercise of their right to engage in discourse; and [b] suffocate those who dare assert their rights, even accusing the few with a clear mind with charges of treason. The foolish buffoons will agree -- attacking friend and foe -- while the tyrant enjoys the convenient distraction from his abuses.

    The citizenry -- no thanks to the spineless legal community and literary scholars who might assert the rule of law and reason against this tyrant -- suffused with fear and blind patriotism, will celebrate the tyrant's efforts to ignore their rights.

    The toads in the legal community will assent to tyranny, using this as evidence of their patriotism, thereby securing tenure at law school. But what type of law will they teach? That tyranny will preserve all -- a legal fiction.

    The citizenry will celebrate the tyrant's excuses, believing [a] rights are not to be asserted; and [b] safety is best preserved if they assent to tyranny.

    The tyrant's security measures require additional intrusions, but there was little evidence the intrusions solved the security problem. The tyrant denied information permitting the citizens to realize that the intrusions into their personal privacy did nothing -- the enemy developed other methods to evade detection.

    Only those naive -- failing to assert their rights, believing they are free -- will suffer; but this suffering will be explained away by convincing the suffering their toil is the needed stepping stone for character development or some nebulous future reward.

    It never arrives, but tyranny has an open door and remains as welcome as a hot fire on a cold winter's morning.

    Rights are meaningless unless asserted. Character is the guide to whether the rights will be asserted or foregone.

    By failing to assert their right to stand up to a tyrant's abuse, intrusions, and violations of the law, the mindless citizenry is no longer free or safe. The tyrant doesn't care. He will ignore the people's rights, invade their homes, and pretend he has the authority to move contrary to the laws constraining others.

    When compared to other tyrants, the tyrant will accuse those who love history and the law as being a threat to the nation's stability and security. This tyrant feigns shock when reminded of King George, the American Declaration of Independence, or the list of the King's abuses.

    No mention will be made that the purpose of the American government was to preserve the Constitution and rights, not simply assert the unconstrained option to impose order.

    The tyrant failed to keep his promise to preserve, protect, and defend their rights; and the mindless failed to realize they were no longer bound to assent to tyranny. Rather, they celebrate their slavery, thinking they are free to accuse others of being threats to the tyrant's power.

    They fail to see they have been manipulated -- most assenting to tyranny; silence over the state of affairs is the kiss of death to their right to be free and independent citizens.

    Who are they? They are Ben Franklin's Americans who [a] failed to assert their rights; and [b] are neither free nor safe; they won the Cold War, but let their Constitutional system of checks and balances crumble.

    It was a fine celebration, which wasn't really much fun, yet the masses were deluded otherwise. How do I know? I kept my eyes open.

    Hoc Voluerunt !


    Credit due: Robert McHenry for the editing tips and suggestions.


    1. Above comments were originally written in 2001. This version, self-evidently, expands on those comments.

    2. Explanations of the original comment.

    3. The above incorporates feedback from Robert McHenry.

    Read more . . .

    Tuesday, December 20, 2005

    Budget battles: If you want money, call it terrorism

    What do you do if you have responsibilities, but no funding?

    You call it something that DC will throw money at: Terrorism.

    NYT reports the FBI is calling religious groups terrorists.

    What's curious is the FBI has the time to monitor Quakers, but the Army's CID can't be bothered with investigating use of dogs to threaten detainees.

    Apparently, there aren't enough DoD investigators to deal with the abuse investigations, so the investigators will, on their own, close out cases when they think the abuses -- use of dogs to intimdiate detainess -- are "no big deal." [Source: Tana McKelvey, The American Prospect]

    In other words, because DoD can't attract enough people for all the missions, the troops are poorly led, not well trained, and are not credibly disciplined when there are violations of the law.

    This is a leadership problem within DoD. Without a credible threat of sanctions for violations of the UCMJ and laws of war, one cannot argue their military forces are competently organized, trained, or equipped -- they are barbarians.

    Will the ghosts from the long gray line surface: Patton, Eisenhower, and McCarthur? They've never left -- for now, ignored.

    America's officer corps has failed.

    Read more . . .

    Iran and Syria -- Doubts about their statements

    We judge "diplomatic sources" in re Syrian and Iranian cooperation to be an overstatement and unreliable.

    BBC reported earlier this year of discussions.

    We remain skeptical of diplomatic claims that Syrian and Iran are plan to protect eachother's stockpiles.

    Bluntly, Iran does not appear to have a credible nuclear program in place -- so what would Syria possibly protect?

    No answer from the State Department -- they haven't figured out which contractor to place that article.

    Read more . . .

    Tortured argument: The ticking time bomb

    One scenario bantered about is the ticking time bomb. The same legal team used to defend unlawful conduct will rely on this scenario to defend the Executive during impeachment. The scenario is flawed, has no merit, and has no legal foundation.

    We discuss this scenario, illustrate why it is flawed, and discuss how this scenario is used to justify unlawful conduct. We discuss this flawed argument in the context of the NSA warrantless monitoring and the events following 9-11. The scenario is used as a flawed argument to justify unlawful action.

    While you review this discussion, it may be useful to consider the two diagrams on this page. Also, you may wish to review the following ideas in the context of the unreasonable basis to argue for waterboarding. [Other topics related to the ticking time bomb scenario.]

    * * *

    There’s a scenario that people like to use to justify torture – the ticking time bomb scenario. The premise of the argument is that someone who has placed a bomb refuses to talk; if you don’t torture him, the bomb will explode. Bluntly, this argument is circular.

    I wanted to spend some time discussing this argument to show:

  • Why it is a flawed argument;

  • Demonstrate the weaknesses of the argument;

  • Illustrate why the information – needed to justify this argument – are based on equally dubious premises;

  • Why the situation –- that there existed no information, thereby mandating torture -- would never occur;

  • What other information – which would exist if this situation were to occur – would exist, and there would be no basis to torture someone; and

  • How the scenario fits in with today’s world of NSA domestic spying, the Patriot Act, WMD, and the post 9-11 world.

    * * *

    Let’s review the assumptions behind the premise: That someone “we just know is involved and has the information” refuses to cooperate – and we have to torture them. The assumptions behind the scenario – mandating torture – hinge on the following flawed assumptions:

  • A. We know someone has information;

  • B. There is no other source of information; and

  • C. The information we have that they are “the only one who knows” is reliable.

    Each of the above three assumptions are flawed. First, let us explore the premise that the person we are holding “is the only one who knows” where the bomb is.

    Put aside the issue of the bomb for the moment, and focus exclusively on the information this person supposedly has. Think about what is being asserted: That somehow –- we know -– that this person knows something.

    How can this be –- how can [a] we know with [b] complete certainty that [c] this person is the [d] only person who knows [e] this information?

    To conclude that [c] this person is [d] the “only one” with [e]“this information” is only possible if we have other non-mentioned, but critical piece of information: That we have found out about [e] this information about [c] this person from . . . wait for it . . . [f] another source.

    * * *

    The fundamental flaw with the entire “ticking time bomb scenario” is the false assumption that “the person we are proposing to torture” is in an isolated world, has no interaction with anyone else, and that they have failed to discuss this issue with anyone else.

    If this is true –- that they have not discussed the specifics with anyone, thereby resulting in our facing the “dilemma of not knowing something we need to know” –- then we have to ask ourselves:

  • A. If they are the “only one” with this information – how did we learn of this?

  • B. If there is [1] a “ticking time bomb” that is [2] about to go off in a [3] specific time period –- how do we know this?

    In other words, the entire scenario -– “mandating” that we consider using torture –- is premised on us concluding information that could only be found from a cooperative witness: Someone else, not the person we propose to torture.

    Yet, this is at odds with the premise of the argument –- that we have “only one person” who knows this. Are we saying: “The person who refuses to tell us details about the bomb” has told us everything else without torture:

  • There is a bomb;

  • It is about to go off;

  • It is about to go off at a specific time;

  • But the person refuses to say the last piece of information – where it is located;

    Question: Why would someone – apparently willing to talk about everything else without torture -- suddenly clamp up?

    If we are told – “they are crazy and can't trust them” –- then why would we believe the other details –- that there was a bomb?

    * * *

    Bluntly, at this point, the investigators would have something very simple: They would have a specific person in front of them, who could be traced to a specific location – the obviously came from somewhere, were going somewhere, and did have minimal interactions with others – to at least review the full situation:

  • Are there bomb-making materials in the person’s control;

  • Does the person have bomb-making residue on their clothing and hands;

  • Is there evidence of bomb-making material where they travel, spend their time, work, or reside?

    * * *


    It may be useful to organize the issues into various groups. Here is a checklist for discussion on this scenario.

    * * *

    Challenging The Ticking Time Bomb Scenario

    The Ticking Time Bomb Scenario, when presented, should be challenged, if possible. This section identifies a list of questions and issues that the public, educators, and policy analysis may wish to raise when the Ticking Time Bomb Scenario is raised.


    __ Are those who advocate imposing this abuse willing to assent to the same standards of accusation and abuse

    Constraints __ Why are we ignoring rules – the fruit of reason – when we are less inclined to use reason, but most in need of thinking from calmer periods

    Risk ___ What is the chance of error: That someone has been set-up to make it look as though there were involved, but this was a ruse?


    Responsibilities ___ How will the backlash based on an incorrect decision undermine public confidence in the leadership, supervision

    Responsibility ___ Are there real consequences if the accusations prove incorrect

    Responsibility ___ Is there a chance that a false accusation (someone misleading us about who does or does not have information) will go unpunished; and is this chance of no consequences factored into whether we do or do not believe the information

    Responsibility ___ Are we considering the consequences of what this decision involves – expedience at the risk of giving up future options; are we accepting the responsibilities that attach to either approach, or are we making this decision with the false believe that there are no responsibilities with either decision, or that the responsibilities are less with one decision

    Responsibility __ Have we incorrectly downplayed the real responsibilities that attach with this approach

    Responsibilities __ Are we attaching with this decision the real resources to prevail and implement the full range of responsibilities that attach with this decision

    Surveillance Oversight Plan

    Surveillance plan ___ What it is about the person that were are monitoring, and got the original information about the planned event, that would warrant the initial monitoring; was there something else that we could look at to determine what was going on, who else is involved?

    Surveillance legacy ___ What has been the track record of the surveillance

    Surveillance plan ___ What original conditions triggered the initial monitoring

    Surveillance legacy ___ What information have we gleaned since the initial monitoring suggesting that there is a lot of activity, but we are unable to confirm the information

    Surveillance plan ___ If we have acquired information through electronic surveillance that someone has done something, but we have not been able to monitor them closely enough to get the details, why weren’t the electronic surveillance supervisors informed of the increased risk and additional resources allocated to monitor the situation earlier as it was developing

    Surveillance plan ___ Why should we believe, given the initial decision to engage in surveillance and monitoring, that there is no other information related to where they traveled, who they spoke to, hat they acquired, or what their plans were

    Surveillance plan ___ If the person, despite electronic surveillance, was able to do all these things without detection, what does this say about the basis for the original monitoring; and the decision on whether to detain or not detain this person earlier

    Surveillance plan ___ If there were factors that triggered the original surveillance, what is the basis to believe these original planning assumptions were linked with a real threat, not mistaken belief, or accusations based on a desire to retaliate, not solve a problem

    Surveillance legacy ___ How do we explain or vast information related to who they are, but no information related to planning activities – why is there an inconsistency; is the inconsistency explained by a problem, or that there is no real problem

    Surveillance legacy ___ Why do we have vast information about useless details, but no information about what we want to know – is it possible that the person we are monitoring is not engaged in any illegal activity; and the basis for the increased monitoring is our confusion, and poor management, or desire for a quick solution rather than a credible solution.

    Surveillance review ___ How many of the initial assertions – used as the basis for increased initial surveillance – are based on flawed, incorrect, or invalid information

    Surveillance review factor ___ Why is the oversight system quick to accept information from abuse, but slow to accept voluntary submittals of information that are more reliable

    Surveillance supervision ___ How do we explain a management system that is slow to respond to real problems, but quick to respond to imagined problems

    Surveillance supervision ___ Why isn’t the same level of scrutiny, burden, and proof – as loosely applied to those we propose to abuse – not similarly applied to those who are directing that others be abused

    Surveillance oversight __ Why are there two standards on the monitoring: A lackadaisical attitude toward monitoring – that of monitoring and gathering information that is not useful; but no method to collect information that is valuable – why should we believe that that activity is real given the increased monitoring produces less valuable information

    Proponent Issues

    Proponent adverse consequences ___ Why would abusers publicly claim “success” using abuse, yet fatally admit that they had engaged in illegal conduct

    Proponent discipline ___ What effort has been made to determine whether the abuse was inflicted, and whether the people who inflicted that abuse have been appropriately disciplined

    Proponent veracity ___ If there has been no discipline on the person making the claim, why should we believe that the abuse occurred; or that the claimed benefits of abuse (that of producing information) is real

    Proponent illegal testing, experimentation ___ Is there any way to independently check whether abuse has or has not produced better or worse information

    Proponent illegal testing ___ What is the basis to believe there have been “scientific studies” on this method of getting information, when such experimentation is illegal and contrary to the Nuremburg Code?


    Scenario application __ Are the set of conditions – which narrowly have been used to argue for abuse -- been inappropriately expanded to include any situation, however disconnected they are from the original, narrow situation

    Scenario plausibility __ Why is every possible argument against engaging in abuse challenged with more convoluted exceptions and rationalizations to engage in abuse – at some point, it’s more believable that there is no bomb, rather than in the low probability that all the conditions have been conveniently aligned to compel only one decision: Abuse.

    Urgency Issues

    Urgency factors ___ If we have enough time to translate the communication, only find one person, why should we believe there is an imminent problem

    Urgency factors ___ What is the backlog of the communications related to this electronic intercept

    Urgency factors ___ Is it possible that the communication occurred long ago, and the planned event is far in the future

    Urgency factors ___ If the event is about to occur, why should we believe it will be easier to find the person, than find the equipment used to place the bomb?

    Urgency factor ___ Even if we were to abuse someone and get information, would it take longer to check the possibly wrong information

    Urgency factors ___ Why is there an urgency on action, but not an urgency on considering whether there is or is not a problem

    Urgency factors ___ Why should we believe the time constraints involved

    Urgency factors ___ What is the basis to conclude that the assumptions about the situation are or are not reasonable

    Urgency factors ___ Why is there “time to abuse” but no time to consult with other sources related to the electronic intercepts, or other communication related to the planning

    Urgency factors __ How can there be an imminent time limit on something that supposedly occurred (a) during increased monitoring, and was subject to increased emphasis; yet, (b) There’s lower certainty over what was happening.

    Urgency factor ___ If we have enough information to now there is an imminent event, why are we bothering to talk with those who are involved, why not talk with those that the person has interacted with, and may be in the path of where they have traveled

    Urgency factor __ If there is time to review information, gather facts to make accusations, why is there no time to consult an independent judge who is paid to make informed decisions?

    Urgency factor ___ What is this person’s motivation to publicly communicating information that would call attention to an imminent problem; why would they not silently plan and implement their objective, as opposed to disclosing to others what may be about to happen


    Certainty ___ How do we know this person has this information

    Disinformation ___ If someone is intent on exploding a bomb, would they not have an interest to share incorrect information so that personnel went to the wrong location

    Allegation nonspecific; defendant specific ___ Why is the source of the information (the person making the accusation that someone else has information) able to make accusations based on non-specific evidence, but is able to make a specific allegation against a specific person

    Information veracity ___ Why are there two standards on belief: Believing questionable sources, but not believing those who have been accused on the basis of false evidence.

    Information veracity ___ Why should we believe that they have information, but we have no evidence how that information was obtained, created, acquired, disseminated, collected

    Information inconsistency ___ How do we explain (a) we supposedly know that the person is working alone; and may have done something; but (b) we have no information about what is or isn’t happening

    Information timing ___ Is there a reason that the person making this communication has disclosed information related to a specific planning event?

    Information credibility ___ Is the claim, plan, or design wishful thinking, a desire, a sense of frustration, and unrelated to any real activity or specific action

    Information credibility ___ How can we have two different scales: A low burden of proof on whether they do or do not have information; but a high level of proof on whether they are or are not innocent of doing anything.

    Information __ What is the chance that the evidence has been fabricated; or the assertions that they know something is based on fabricated evidence.

    Information ___ What other information are we relying on to conclude that this person is the only one who has the information

    Information ___ What if the communication is a hoax to distract resources

    Information ___ Why should we believe this information

    Information ___ If there was electronic monitoring, what other documents, records, communications, or coordinating activity was there

    Information ___ How do we explain the information used as the basis for the original monitoring, but no information related to the details, plans, and other activities to put this plan into effect; how do we explain the inconstancy between the (a) time when there was limited monitoring, but vast information; with the (b) increased monitoring, but no additional information. What is the reason that the original methods of collecting information are not being used, as opposed to the current methods which produce no better results?

    Information ___ What is the reason that the original transcripts of the electronic intercept cannot be reviewed for other information

    Information __ Is here nobody else with insight into what this person has been doing, how they have spent their time, who they interacted with, or what they have been doing

    Information __ Can we corroborate the information


    Defendant right to challenge ___ Is the person who supposedly has the information able to challenge the claims, assumptions, or assertions of the person claiming someone else has information

    Defendant inconsistencies ___ What is the basis to have two arguments about the same person: That they are mentally competent to provide information; but they are not mentally competent to trust them to cooperate?

    Other alleged defendants ___ What is the reason we cannot discuss the issue with all people who are involved with the communication

    Defendant___ What is the basis to assert that this person has the information

    Defendant ___ What is the basis to assert that this person is the only one who has the information?

    Defendant ___ How do we know that this person has the information

    Defendant ___ Does the person who may have information live in an isolated world

    Defendant ___ How did we come across this person

    Defendant ___ If the person (who has been accused of having information) is unable to present a challenge to the accusations, why should we believe that the basis for the decision (to target them for abuse) is based on something that is real

    Defendant ___ What physical evidence do we have that says the person that we have in custody is linked with what is supposed to happen

    Defendant ___ Is there a reason that we should believe that the person we have detained knows something, has taken action, but we don’t have the information related to the details of that activity

    Defendant ___ Is there no other information about their living arrangements

    Defendant ___ Who else does the person interact with; if they are alone, then what is the basis to say that they have left evidence, or communicated a plan; why are we not discussing this issue with someone else they have interacted with

    Defendant ___ Have we considered that their initial refusal to cooperate has nothing to do with guilt, but a desire not to do what they are unable to do: Provide information

    Defendant __ What is the basis to assign a numerical probability to the chance that they have information, but are not cooperating; as opposed to the chance that they are innocent, but we assume their non-cooperating is because of guilt.

    Defendant ___ What information do we have about their planning, or other activity indicating that they know something

    Defendant Planning Factors

    Planning factors ___ Are the claims about what they might know consistent with what they most likely know given the required planning, physical constraints, and other planning factors to carry out the event: Is there sufficient cooling for the proposed

    Planning ___ If there is specific information of an event, how was the information transmitted: What was its origin; what was the path the information traveled; who was the intended receiver

    Planning ___ How were the planning activities carried out, yet there was some sort of electronic monitoring, but there is no information on who else was involved – how can we have a basis for early monitoring of something/someone, but no information from that monitoring that will solve the problem, only information that will create more problems?

    explosive device; do the people have the required planning documents and approvals in place to put the plan into effect

    Planning ___ Who else lives in the neighborhood where this activity is supposed to occur


    Source motivation ___ Is the source of the accusation an anonymous law enforcement tip, making an accusation based on a grudge, desire to get event, or hopes to retaliate against someone for an unproven accusation

    Source motivation___ What is the reason that they are willing to make a specific accusation against someone else, but they are not willing to disclose specific information about the source of the information

    Source motivation ___ Is the objective of the abuse not to acquire information, but to hide the source of the original information – the electronic monitoring

    Source-defendant interaction ___ What kind of interaction does the person (making the accusation that someone else has information) have with the person they are making the accusation about

    Source history ___ What is the history between the person who supposedly has the information and the one who is accusing them of having this information – have there been previous claims that the accuser has engaged in misconduct, abuse, or other conduct which violates established policies, procedures

    Source focus ___ What is the reason for not putting attention on those who are making the accusation that this person has information

    Source certainty ___ If this other source “knows” that someone has information, how do they know that this second person has the information?

    Source certainty ___ How does the person (making the accusation that someone has information) know with any certainty that someone else has information

    Source credibility ___ Why should we believe this other source

    Source credibility ___ What is the credibility of the source who claims they know someone else has information

    Source veracity ___ How does the person (making the accusation that someone has information) know that someone else has information

    Source ___ What is the reliability of the source saying that this person is the only one with the information

    Source ___ How did we learn of the information

    Source ___ What is the source of the information

    Source ___ What outside sources are we relying on to state that this person has the information

    Source ___ Is there a reason that the sources, which assert that this person has the information, are unable to provide additional information

    Source ___ What is the method by which we have been informed that this person has the information

    Source ___ Why isn’t the same method – which tells us this person has the information – leading us to other sources of information

    Source ___ What is the source of the claim that this person has information

    Source ___ What is the source of the claim or information that someone has information

    Source ___ Why are we willing to defer to a source that leads to an unsupportable outcome – but are unwilling to rely on a second source that would dissuade us from taking adverse action?

    Source ___ What other information do we have about the source of the claim

    Source ___ How did the person (making the accusation that someone else has information) come across the information, or learn that a particular person may have information

    Source ___ Is the person (making the accusation that someone else has information) making this accusation based on specific information, a hunch, or some other basis?

    Source ___ What is the source of the original information that something is about to happen – what is the reason that the original source of this information cannot be discussed, consulted, reviewed, or checked against other confirming information, or other planning events

    Source ___ What is the basis to conclude that someone (who is making specific allegations based on vague claims) should be believed more than someone who is simply accused, but has no opportunity to challenge those claims

    Source ___ If the person (who is making the claim that someone else has information) will not cooperate with questions, why should they not be abused to get the information they will not reveal?

    Source ___ Is there anyone else who can help?

    Source ___ If there is nobody else who will assist, then how do we explain how we got the information – that this person has information: What is the source of the claim that this person has the information; how did we get that information; who was the third person involved in the communication suggesting that this person has information?

    Source ___ What is the basis for this person’s accusation that they know someone else has information

    Source ___ If this source is confident that they have information, why are we bothering to discuss this issue, and not simply act on the available information we have from the original source

    Source ___ If there is certainty that this person has information, but no method to corroborate that claim, why should we believe that the person really has the information?

    Source ___ Why are we relying on sources of information that cannot be timely corroborated

    Source ___ Is it reasonable to conclude that this person (who someone says has information about an impending activity) was able to participate in this event, but there is no record of any other interaction by anyone else; yet all this activity occurred, but there is an imminent problem – how could all this activity occur, but there be no prior record, communication, or interaction – how does this appear out of the blue?


    Results ___ Why should we believe claims that there have been successes based on the use of this abuses

    Results ___ How was it shown that the abuse did yield reliable information

    Results proponents claims ___ What were the motivations of those claiming that they engaged in abuse


    Environment ___ Are there other methods of organizing governance, oversight, and leadership that will more effectively respond to problems, and less likely trigger a violent approach to problem resolution

    Environment ___ What are these responses, reactions, and assumptions saying about the original system which supposedly triggered the response

    * * *

    Implications for Accusors

    I appreciate the issue facing us: That potentially, there are ethical situations where torture may – in theory – be discussed as an option. Let’s put aside the issue of whether the person we are proposing torture is around.

    Supposedly, we have been told – perhaps by another source – that the person we have, or propose detaining, has information about a bomb. Think only about the person who has told us about the other person we propose to detain:

  • A. What is their credibility

  • B. How do they know what they tell us

  • C. Why are they certain that the other person is involved?

    * * *

    The flaw with the ticking time bomb scenario is that it presumes – incorrectly – that the person we propose detaining live in a world without any interaction with another person.

    If this is true:

  • A. how did we get in contact with this person?

  • B. Who originally had contact with them?

  • C. How do they know there is a bomb?

  • D. Why should we believe that they are the only one who knows?

    * * *

    The danger with the “ticking time bomb scenario” is that presumes – out of thin air – that we can make an informed decision about a specific individual – that they have the information we need – but the scenario fails to discuss the other factors: Why is it reasonable to make this presumption without any information about

  • Where they live

  • The nature of their living arrangements

  • The evidence along the routes that they travel, live, work

  • Who else they interact with

  • Who may have observed them moving, traveling, and transporting the materials

  • Who they spoke to in order to acquire this information

    * * *

    Regardless the scenario-assumptions, the flaws with the scenario are as follows:

  • The scenario incorrectly assumes that somehow we have superior knowledge about the nature of the person we are talking about, but no information to trace their route from [a] where they acquired/fabricated the material to [b] the location where they placed the material

  • The scenario incorrectly assumes that we have “superior knowledge” about what they know about eh situation – but no information about the information we want. This premise fails to account for the required contact the person must have with [a] the earth, [b] travel route and [c] some other person.

    * * *

    At worst, the “certainty that we have” about this person’s status may be the fruit of torture. Again, the objective here isn’t to say that the person does or doesn’t have information. Rather, it is to illustrate that – if we are to believe they are the one with important information – their knowledge, acquisition, and credibility with respect to that knowledge hinges on other connections, interactions, and evidence that need not be gleaned through torture.

    The entire scenario is based on the false premise that -- by accusation alone -- we can assert with sufficient confidence that anyone we accuse is guilty of having information; and that if they do not give the information to us, it is proof that they are holding the information. That is a circular argument.

    If the person has been falsely accused based on false evidence, then no amount of toture will yield truth, only what they think we want to hear.

    Consider the case of Mr. Nuckols who was interrogated on the basis of an error, but accused and abused. Under the "tikcing time bomb scenario," an innocent man could have been executed because of an error, not because of a threat. Violating someone's right doesn't remedy the error, merely compounds the abuses.

    This circualar logic is what inspires the Iraqi insurgency to fight and prevail over American ground forces in Iraq.

    * * *

    My concern is that the scenario – as it stands, as a basis to “justify” an outcome, namely torture – is premised on assumptions that are narrow, arguably invalid, and not consistent with a real life scenario.

    I would hope in the future that if you or someone you know if faced with this theoretical scenario – whether it be in training or in discussions – that you force the people proposing this scenario to break down the situation, and consider:

  • A. Are we making reasonable assumptions about what this person does or does not know;

  • B. What is the basis to assert we know this person is the right person – where did we get that information; why should we believe it;

  • C. If we have “other sources” that this person is the “right person” for this information – have we going back to the original source to determine how they know what they are talking about?

  • D. Once we go back to the original source of the information that “the person before us knows something” – we can then ask this other person questions to get answers about: When were they told this information; how do they know; are there other sources of ways to find out whether the person we are holding is the right person; and what is the basis for the time-limit that is behind the scenario we are being provided?

    * * *

    Scenario Assumptions Should Be Challenged

    I have a hard time with the scenario in that it presumes that “all sorts of activity is occurring” [someone placed a bomb; they have a specific time in mind, someone else knows this, and we have been informed of this] but we are not allowed to go back to the original source that gives us the information.

    If we are told, “We can’t go back to the original source” – then this raises doubts about the veracity of the information:

  • If the source will not be identified, then what risk is there to their reputation if they are proven wrong? None.

    Another way to ask this is the difference between two sources [1, 2]:

  • Why are we inclined to believe information about “there being a bomb” from [1] a source that may be questionable;

  • But were are unwilling to believe [2] someone who may have been falsely accused when they deny the facts as having been charged?

    The issue is: Why are we willing to defer to a source that leads to an unsupportable outcome – but are unwilling to rely on a second source that would dissuade us from taking adverse action?

    The answer is related to what we are inclined to do in the vacuum of facts: Violence or reason.

    The way we drift – either using violence or reason – tells us something about the logic, or lack thereof, of the society, leadership, and Congressional staffers who are advising those in charge.

    Bluntly, it would appear that a society that condones torture using the above scenario, have Congressional staffers who are inclined to make poor logic diagrams; raising reasonable questions about how they possibly ranked in the Law Aptitude Tests – the aptitude tests are simply logical arguments.

    Another way to look at this: If society can be thrown a scenario such as the one above, and the scenario – despite its flaws – is blindly embraced – this tells us something about the nature of the decision making, the inclination to explore premises, and whether the society can truly stand up under the weight of passion, violence, and lack of reason.

    If the overwhelming majority of Americans are inclined to buy into the above scenario, not explore the nuances, then we have a problem. Fortunately, we have the wise analysts in the legal profession – they are called Judges and can see through this non-sense.

    However, the problem Americans have is if they – in their desires to rush a decision – remove the Judicial branch and the wise Judges from this analysis.

    In other words, the problem with the American society under the Bush Administration is that it relies only on legal arguments that support pre-determined outcomes – and refuses to expose that argument, however flawed it might be, to the rigorous scrutiny of both the Legislature and the Judicial Branch.

    This is the heart of checks and balances.

    This President – by having his minions propose the above scenario – is hoping to shift the issue from [a] whether we are a society based on prudence and reason – to [b] whether the civilian population can be manipulated to assent to government decisions that mandates torture.

    A society like America that uses the above scenario, and refuses to explore the logic flaws in that argument, is simply demonstrating the flaws of its society:

  • It creates situations to justify outcomes, regardless their legality, prudence, or other options. It narrowly defines a scenario in order to get people to agree to something that should not be assented to

  • It’s planning is not robust and incorrectly based on the assumption of success. It creates a narrow definition of what might narrowly appear to be “the only option,” without exploring the other issues

  • It’s planning is imprudent -- the premises are based on incomplete and invalid assumptions

  • The law is secondary to outcomes. The range of options available, however valid they may appear, are contrary to the law

  • The outcomes of that action – however valid they might be in the flawed scenario – are dubious; hence, the planned risk mitigation is insufficient.

  • The law takes a second seat to both the means and the ends -- The range of acceptable options of that dubious scenario are narrowly designed to arrive at a dilemma where the only “approved” solution is one that is contrary to the law

  • The investigators and decision makers assent to dubious evidence -- The range of options the public is given does not include a detailed discussion of the other factors and issues: Sourcing, other avenues of information, alternative evidence.

  • The leadership fails to look at other options to determine the status, evidence, and situation -- The scenario fails to address the other logical implications – that there must be some “source” of this information that we know for certain this person is the only source of what we want to know

  • The society is more interested in making quick decisions, when experience tells us that fast decisions, in the vacuum of facts leads to imprudence. The scenario is used to get people to quickly react, work under a false time limit, and fails to show us how the time limit we have been provided is not also linked with some knowledge about that nature of the bomb, it’s location, how it got there, who else may have seen it – information that we supposedly could get.

  • The society is more willing to listen to sources that are consistent with desired outcomes, regardless the facts, veracity, or credibility of that source, the proposed options, or the resources required to implement that solution.

    If we “are sure” that the person we have is “the only one” who knows this – there must be another source that can confirm that information – so, why aren’t we talking to the person who is the source about “all the stuff we want to know about – stuff that warrants the concern in the first place” rather than wasting our time talking to someone who may simply have been accused of something they know nothing about?

    As you read the above, you’ll have some other examples come to mind:

  • Downing Street Memo

  • The decision to grant the President authority to use force

  • The “confusion” over whether “supporting an option to use force” is the same as “declaring war” or “being for the use of illegal force in the absence of an imminent threat.”

    This is a nation of laws. We are not forced to choose between victory and defeat abroad; but whether we have the rule of law or tyranny at home.

    This tyrant enjoys pretending the stakes are high abroad – so that the civilian population will quickly assent to have their rights and liberties given up.

    This is the same as the quote I wrote, which Barbra Streisand was kind enough to recite before the DNC: “Beware the leader . . . “

    It’s all the same non-sense: Bush is using non-sense to justify destroying the system of checks and balances; and the public, during the holidays, is given religious symbols so that Bush will have “verbal armor” to put more pressure on the Congress to assent to more tyranny:

  • Violate the law. The FISA act has a specific provision relating to “Wiretapping During Wartime” -- that mandates within 15 days of war starting, the Congress be informed. Here we are 4 years later, and the President wants us to believe that he’s the war President.

  • Use 9-11 as an excuse. The problem with relying on 9-11 as the excuse for NSA intercepts in 2005 is – in the interim – the President has gone to Congress to request the use of force in Iraq. If the President, in the wake of 9-11 “didn’t have to ask for approval to violate the FISA act,” then why did the President go to Congress to ask for something else he “didn’t have to ask for – and could have relied upon in the wake of 9-11” – the authority to use force?

    Once the President breaks the link between 9-11 and his actions – by asking in 2002 for the authority from Congress to use force against Iraq [note: the legality of the use of that force another issue] – the President can no longer rely on 9-11 as an excuse not to go to Congress between 9-11 and 2005 in re FISA and the NSA intercepts.

    * * *

    Let’s get back to the scenario and the ticking time bomb.

    Again: The issue is – Why are we willing to believe one source – the information pointing the finger at another -- over another – the accused?

    If the accuser – the one who says, “That person knows but refuses to cooperate” – emphatically knows this, then why not go after the accuser and get them to talk about “how they know” and “what makes them so sure” and “are there other sources of information that can confirm”?

    If they refuse to cooperate – then the issue becomes – why would they take the time to come forward to “help out,” but suddenly “no longer want to help out”?

    There may be a plausible explanation.

    However, the more likely one is that they wish to assert a fact without taking responsibility for the adverse consequences.

    That is fine. But the issue migrated from [a] whether we do or do not torture someone; to [b] whether there is any real evidence behind the basis to point the finger at someone.

    Bluntly, there’s little evidence to suggest that the allegation is credible – or that the arguments proposed – that we have no other option, therefore we must torture – have any merit.

    * * *

    The scenario is also flawed because it assumes the individual before us has had no interaction; that there is no second source of information; and that other corroborating evidence not relying on torture does not exist

    If we are “sure” this person – who some have proposed torturing – has the information – then that “second source of information used to form that opinion about the potential torture-target” is simply that – a second source that is arguably one that will cooperate and lead us to other avenues.

    The issue then becomes – once we find this information using the second source -- are we in a position to corroborate that information?

    If not, then we have no case – merely an accusation without evidence.

    Bombs don’t appear out of nowhere.

    Accusations without evidence – and excuses to torture innocent people – are the fruit of non-sense.

    There’s no plausible scenario that would justify torture. Rather, the only scenario is one where people have given up using their brains. That’s the sign of a flawed society.

    America – your Congress is full of idiots. They’re gradually waking up. But this tyrant plans to continue the non-sense to consolidate more power.

    The real threat to your way of life is from the White House, and the assenting toads on the Congressional Staffs. They’ve gone to law school, but like Mr. Yoo have flawed legal arguments to justify illegal conduct.

    That’s not the kind of leadership you need or can afford.

    You deserve better. Your leadership is not to be trusted, nor are their staffs. They’ve let you down and assented to tyranny.

    * * *

    People who rely on this scenario – as a basis to discuss the ethics of torture -- are using it as bait to test your ethics.

    In the post 9-11 world, where reason is a rare thing, the scenario is easy to use as an excuse to engage in abuse.

    In another way of saying this: Stupid people who are unable to reason – and inclined to abuse, not use their mind or the rule of law – will rely on this “argument” because nothing they say can justify the pre-determined outcome they want – an excuse to justify abuse without being held to account.

    * * *

    The world we find ourselves – one that we have collectively assented to and allowed to exist in the post 9-11 world – is one where [a] the law is one thing; and [b] the country focuses on conduct in terms of whether it is effective, not legal.

    This is another way of saying that in order to avoid assenting to the rule of law – as this President is doing – he focuses on the “effectiveness” of his actions: Spying, rendition, and torture.

    Yet, we are a nation of laws. Our conduct must assent to the rule of law. Congress, when it allows the debate to shift from [a] the legality of the conduct; to [b] whether the conduct is effective or not, fails to take responsibility for the issue – that we are focusing on outcomes, not the legality of that result.

    * * *

    The President continues to point to 9-11 as the excuse to ignore the FISA in re NSA. This argument is problematic.

    If the President does have the authority to use this wiretapping power “because of its link to the Congressional approval after 9-11” – then there was no reason the President should have gone to Congress to ask for approval to use force in Iraq.

    However, the President did request Congressional involvement in re Iraq despite what he refers to in 2005 as the blanket approval from Congress to do what he wants.

    The problem the President has in 2005 is that he argues the NSA monitoring in 2005 is linked with 9-11 – but that “he need not ask for Congressional approval. That argument is flawed:

  • He’s shown the linkage between 9-11 and subsequent events in 2002 require Congressional approval

  • The linkage between 9-11 and 2005 actions are too distant

  • One cannot argue that events in 2002 are not related to 9-11 – mandating Congressional involvement in the Iraq decision, and use that as verbal armor to avoid Executive branch accountability for the results -- while at the same time suggesting events in 2005 are related, not requiring Congressional review.

    The law states otherwise: Within 15 days of combat, the President has to get Congressional involvement. He has not made a fair showing that he’s met this requirement.

    Nor can the President timely show that, once the NYT discussed the issues in 2004, that the issues about “leaks” were timely provided to DoJ for investigation. Rather, despite the “leak,” the White House continued to negotiate over the NYT findings. If this were a bonafide leak about something that were permissible, it would be more convincing if the White House had shut down discussion and referred the matter to DoJ.

    The evidence points the other way – the White House was not concerned about the leak, just in the publication. This suggests the NYT found information which the White House should know about, but was contrary to the RNC interests, and not something that could credibly face a court gag order over state secrets.

    Recall, rightly or wrongly, DoJ got a gag order on the information from Sibel Edmonds. Despite this option – and the alleged seriousness -- we see no effort in 2004 to get a gag order on the NSA information. The failure to timely act on the leak that is – as the President would call it in 2005 – unacceptable, is not persuasive or compelling.

    We judge the information could not credibly be classified or remain secret – rather, it is evidence of criminal wrong doing which the President hopes to cloud as “part of the war on terror.” But we are too far from 9-11, and Congress has already had the time to review other matters.

    The President’s argument fails.

    This matter – the issue of NSA monitoring without apparent compliance with FISA -- should be referred to a special prosecutor to investigate.

    * * *

    Notice who you are dealing with in this Administration -- These are the same people who, when the ship in 1975 off the coast of Vietnam were attacked, failed to take responsibility. Today, we find out that the story was fabricated as an excuse to justify invading Cambodia.

    Rumsfeld and Cheney were DoD and White House the players in 1975 – and they’re still around, messing things up. Ignoring the laws. Making excuses for disasters. Making up stories. That’s why the didn’t want the stuff about 1975 surfacing in 2005 – yes, it’s relevant to what is going on in Iraq – more made up stories, fiction, and excuses to engage in unlawful conduct.

    What seems curious in 2005 in the wake of the NSA disclosures, is that the White House did have time to talk to the New York Times a year ago about the NSA conduct – taking the time to ask that it not be published – but doesn’t have the time to do the same with Congress.

    Arguably, if the issue was “so sensitive” there should have been an investigation into the leak a year ago when the NYT first raised the issue. We judge, in the absence of a timely investigation that the issue wasn’t the leak, but that the public would find out about the White House conduct contrary to the FISA – mandating during times of war the Executive notify Congress within 15 days of the action. It appears the President ignored this requirement.

    Preserving our liberties doesn’t mean ignoring the law.

    We’re safe without the Patriot Act – the law gives the FBI the power to do what must be done. If the President needs constitutional powers, then he should openly work with Congress to get that authority, not “do what he wants”.

    Before we had the Patriot Act, we had the FISA which permitted NSA to intercept Osama Bin Ladin. Whether the Patriot Act does or doesn’t exist is irrelevant to whether FISA exists or applies – FISA does exist, it does apply – and the President has ignored the provisions – Wiretaps During War Time – self-evidently applicable, but ignored, during wartime.

    It is another matter whether that war is legal.

    * * *

    Added: 03 Jan 2006 -- For reference [Cross Posted]

    We live in a remarkable world when the President can freely choose to ignore, interpret, undermine, and violate laws at his own discretion. This President fails to meet his oath of office of preserving the laws of the land.

    There is no foreseeable scenario -- but one based on fiction and tortured arguments -- that would justify the President's proposed-potential use of torture. I read with interest and alarm the "ticking time bomb" excuse to justify torture.

    A template for this conduct is well stated in the Declaration of Independence. Despite the "outing" over the NSA domestic wiretapping issues, this President's conduct continues: Exercising the powers of all three branches of government, in contravention to the Federalist #47. Ref

    The flawed White House excuse[Ref: Boston Globe]

    QUOTE: But, the official said, a situation could arise in which Bush may have to waive the law's restrictions to carry out his responsibilities to protect national security. He cited as an example a ''ticking time bomb" scenario, in which a detainee is believed to have information that could prevent a planned terrorist attack. ENDQUOTE RefRef

    This "excuse" is problematic as I discuss here. In short, for someone to have "information that we just know they have," we must've had an independent source -- why aren't we going after the source that is [A] pointing at the person-to-be-tortured and [b] saying, "This person knows, we need to torture them"?

    The White House statement indicates the President plans to [a] violate the law; and [b] go after the wrong people: Those accused by possibly anonymous sources, with axes to grind, or also relying on torture-induced-admissions/confessions/accusations. This is at the heart of Padilla's problems with DoJ -- a Moroccan torture session falsely linked Padilla; and now DoJ changes their position because they don't want the court to know the original basis for Padilla's detention was based on [a] NSA data unlawfully acquired; and [b] Torture-related evidence from Morocco. Ref.

    Never mind the fact that the Padilla case is flawed -- as evidenced by the 4th Circuit's grating, justified attack on DoJ Ref -- and there remains no admissible evidence to justify the original cause of action; yet the writ of habeas corpus is ignored.

    Even former NSA's Tice wonders how many Americans have been tortured in secret detention: "U.S. citizens are being arrested and thrown in jail with the key being thrown away, you know, potentially being sent overseas to be tortured" Ref.

    Who's doing this? The President of the United States.

    DSM and Iraq WMD: Same Conduct planned for abuses

    One cannot credibly argue they are relying on "flawed arguments" to justify unlawful action. However, despite this President's similar conduct -- twisting the laws, making up facts, and creating excuses to "justify" an unlawful invasion of Iraq without an imminent threat based on illusory evidence the NSA knew didn't exist -- this President proceeds with the full expectation that his excuses, sophistry, and hand waving will go unchallenged.

    Foreseeable the President intends to violate the statute

    The "ticking time bomb-excuse to justify violating the ban against torture" is problematic in that it has no merit, and as seen from the discussion, is merely an excuse to:

  • Induce Congress to assent to terms the President has no commitment to comply with;

  • Rely on illusory excuses to rationalize a pre-existing policy to engage in abuse, contrary to the law; and

  • Engage in unconstitutional judicial-powers of "asserting what the law means" without regard to the specific Congressional intent that it prohibits the planned abuses. [Ref via Conyers]

    * * *

    What you can do: Pass this list of phone numbers, and get the media and your friends to directly call these fascists in DC.

    What's going to happen if you don't? He'll do it again -- Watch . . .

    Read more . . .