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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

NSA: AP Publishes Misleading Information On Verizon Inconsistent Statements

The Associated Press published misleading information on Verizon's statements related to the NSA illegal activities. Contrary to AP's assertions, Verizon has made out of court, inconsistent statements when responding to questions related to the Verizon relationship with the NSA. This AP error indirectly relates to the New Jersey counsel subpoena against the President, but the point is significant.

This AP statement is factually wrong, and inconsistent with Verizon General counsel statements [Emphasis added]:
Verizon has consistently denied that it provided the NSA with customer phone recordsRef
Rather, Verizon has not consistently denied anything. To the contrary, Verizon counsel initially publicly failed to deny the illegal activity. This failure to deny, in itself, is admissible evidence. Neither Verizon nor the Government can explain Verizon's out-of-court inconsistent statements. A small thing like this can prove to be the fatal kernel which tips the balance away from the White House, and convict the President of criminal conduct.

* * *

Verizon attorneys, when initially asked by Maine resident and lead plaintiff Mr. Cowie, whether Verizon was or was not providing NSA with material. AP would find that Verizon did not, as Caruso suggests "consistently deny" anything.

The opposite is true. Rather, the Verizon counsel did not, as the Associated Press reports, "consistently" deny anything, but left open the possibility that the terms of the relationship between Verizon and NSA may have included the possibility that Verizon had granted NSA unfettered access to the Verizon facilities. This hardly amounts to a denial, much less a consistent position on anything.

But the issue isn't simply what was or wasn't said, but who did or didn't say this. Verizon's Drew Arena isn't a clerk, but an experienced former DoJ Asst. Attorney General, having investigated and prosecuted in the early 1990s those who illegally transferred weapons to Iraq. An experienced Attorney would, if they were aware of the White House concern, would have refused to confirm or deny.

Arena's approach was different, and strangely similar to the contract terms in the AT&T subsidiary and the lobbyist assurances about the NSA letter for AT&T, referring to "authorization." Ref What Verizon would have us believe cannot be commented on, the AT&T lobbyist is otherwise publicly confirming:

  • There was a relationship;

  • The relationship has been memorialized in writing;

  • Someone reviewed, approved, coordinated on that letter;

  • Someone signed the letter;

  • Someone verified that the letter was transmitted, then received;

  • The DoJ and White House have not adequately or timely denied the existence of this letter;

  • That letter was arguably transferred through the US Mails;

  • Someone, rightly or wrongly, relied on that letter, without getting an assurance about warrants that the Qwest CEO was denied;

  • A reasonable fact finder and fiduciary at Qwest, upon examination and discussion with counsel, did not conclude that the request, letter, or authorization was a sufficient defense, nor lawful;

  • There is an admissible letter for the Grand Jury to review;

  • If the publicly-commented on letter is not available, then either the AT&T lobbyist is lying; or someone has illegally destroyed evidence they knew, or should know would be the target of a subpoena.

  • Someone at Verizon and AT&T appears to have made a conclusion about the legality of a program without looking at the full factors available to the Qwest CEO, and this is arguably reckless: Failing to examine facts or adequately review the contract, arrangement, and legality. Because of its arguable link with fraud, executive privilege is not recognized; and the activity is not protected by the "business judgment rule" or "business decision rule" which immunizes corporate officers from liability when there are matters of discretion. Arguably, in this case, there was no lawful discretion, and the defense fails. Rather, Verizon and AT&T should have been in a position, as was the Qwest CEO to gather facts, and appropriately conclude that the requested cooperation was not lawful, inconsistent with law, and beyond what either Verizon or AT&T could lawfully support. Qwest chose to remove itself, Verizon and AT&T chose to remain.

    * * *

    As you review the Verizon counsel statement, which mentions the word "authorization," consider also the language in this contract, which is common throughout the Executive Branch: Ref

    Specifically, [ check para 7a and 7b, on page 17 of 41 Ref ] There is a full discussion here: [ Ref ]

    * * *

    Verizon E-mail: Evidence of Not Consistently Denying

    Judge for yourself. You can check the E-mail sent internally through the Verizon VZNotes; and the public release of this information. The e-mail is publicly available, and has already been discussed at length. Ref

    To read the e-mail, the Maine site does not permit direct linking to the PDF file. There is a workaround. [Warning: Large 5.07MB PDF file may take several minutes to load]:

    1. Click this link: Ref;
    2. Then, click on the Google link below the Google Search box;
    3. You will be directed to the PDF file; and
    4. Scroll to page 53 (interchange beween Cowie and Arena/Verizon)

    Key Point: Drew C. Arena is the Verizon Counsel; the "authorization" comment is on page 57, where Verizon fails to deny anything, but leave open the possibilty of Verizon having given NSA access to the Verizon facilities. This is not a denial, and as you wlil see below is very important, and fatal to the litigation and defense objectives of both the White House and Verizon.

    * * *

    The AP misleading statement doesn't change facts. Rather, the more errors DoJ, AT&T, and Verizon make, the more it’s evident that the alleged FISA conspiracy is wide, and involves organizations and entities that have public, provable relationships with the White House and NSA.

    The small errors point to a wider conspiracy. The problem for Verizon, AT&T, NSA, DoJ Staff, and the White House, is that the above information related to the billing issues, and NSA access to the Verizon facilities, also involves the same people connected to AT&T and NARUS.

    The connection is easy to understand. It is possible to see how Mr. Arena and Mr. Barr at Verizon are related to, linked, and otherwise connected to the AT&T crowd. AT&T is linked through the CALEA billing and subpoena intermediaries to the White House, JTTF, and NSA. Despite FISA, AT&T has been admonished by both the Diggs and Vaughn rulings.

    You can examine the details yourself at this draft indictment, and the well documented connection in the evidence area. ref ]

    * * *

    White House, Verizon and the New Jersey Subpoena

    It's also important to take the AP misinformation in the context of the New Jersey subpoenas against the President. The nexus involves some inconsistent White House statements.

    The New Jersey litigators have evidence that the NSA was engaged in the illegal wire tapping before Sept 2001. put aside the issue that the illegal activity failed to prevent 9-11. Focus on the narrow issue of:

  • Who knew about the monitoring prior to Sept 2001
  • What is the basis to keep this monitoring from the Court

    Arguably, any and all conclusions in the now-discredited 9-11 report are dubious. Rather, the opposite, more insidious conclusion appears more credible:

  • A. The President was not, as he would have us believe, engaging in illegal activity to stop terrorism – it hadn’t started;

  • B. The President wasn’t concerned that the court would find out about illegal activity, argued to be related to national security – the event hadn’t occurred; rather

  • C. The President prior to Sept 2001, in the absence of any crisis, was engaged in domestic monitoring to target non-security related issues.

    If we are to take the President at his word in 2006, that the illegal NSA activity was related to national security information and events, the problem is how the President will explain his use of that illegal activity, and its subsequent failure to detect the 9-11 events. The only reasonable answer is that the NSA did detect the pre 9-11 planning; and the goal of the NSA monitoring, contrary to the President and Vice President’s assertions, had nothing to do with anything that had not otherwise happened but with something else.

    We are asked to believe that the President and others in DoJ didn’t trust the court to agree to the surveillance. Put aside the issue that the Congress had, in the wake of Sept 2001, already agreed to make changes to FISA. Once the President raises the issue of what the court may or may not have done, we have to ask: What could the court possibly have rejected prior to 9-11? Again, Sept 2001 events had no occurred; so the claim that the court would reject or not reject monitoring on the basis of connection or non-connection to national security is a red herring: 9-11 had not happened.

    The only reasonable conclusion was that the White House believe that the pre Sept 2001 monitoring, which was not related to any event that had not happened, would have been found to be illegal for one reason: It was illegally engaged in non-national security related monitoring. This is at the heat of the current New Jersey subpoena against the President.

    * * *

    Let’s consider the Verizon failure to deny in the context of the Pre Sept 2001 monitoring, and what we know NSA was discussing with Qwest. NSA had already said to the Qwest CEO prior to Sept 2001 that other companies were cooperating; and that Qwest was holding out. The big scary events of 2001 had not yet happened, and Qwest still rejected the overture to cooperate because there was no warrant.

    Consider the details of the contract, permitting the government access to the facility. Now consider the Verizon Counsel comments. We have the same theme: Contractors, without ensuring there were warrants, were providing access to private communications before Sept 2001, and without the legally required warrants. Put aside the issue of whether this is a basis to lawfully prosecute anyone in either the Department of Justice, White House, Verizon, AT&T, or the intermediaries.

    The President has yet to explain what he knew prior to Sept 2001 that would warrant the monitoring, yet for him to know enough that the Court would not agree with the reviews. We can only conclude, as evidenced by Bolton's public statements, that the New Jersey subpoenas are linked with a credible concern: that the President's monitoring, despite the option to use lawful methods prior to Sept 2001, was aimed at a non-lawful objective: Political espionage, domestic harassment, and other efforts to monitor who may or may not be opposing the illegal activity itself.

    In light of the discredited 9-11 Commission, it remains to be understood to what extent the illegal monitoring was linked with the government’s complicity with the pre 9-11 planning, and would reveal who in the United States government knew of the planned demolition of the WTC towers.

    Arguably, those who know are associated with the Potomac Golf Association, the premiere social event for the United States intelligence community. The Grand Jury can check the IP information between the DoJ and PGA in the months prior to the Sept 2001 attacks. DoJ has yet to explain their connection in July 2001.

    If we are to take the AP position, this would arguably mean that the Verizon and other NSA-related contractors were in a position to know, or do something, about information they had prior to Sept 2001, but failed to act on:

  • A. Knowledge of illegal surveillance

  • B. Knowledge of pre Sept 2001 planning

  • C. Subsequent illegal acts, and unlawful warfare

  • D. Their alleged involvement in a conspiracy against the Constitution, rule of law, and other criminal conduct.

    It appears Verizon, as has the government, hopes to rewrite history for one simple reason: Verizon has a vested interest in pretending their initial responses were something other than what they are now doing. They changed their position for a reason. That reason appears to be related to the larger issue of who inside corporate America financially benefits by supporting an unlawful war against a bogus enemy, all the while knowing that the corporate Board of Verizon, AT&T, and NARUS have arguably been actively supporting illegal activity with one goal: To unlawfully deprive Americans of honest services; and illegally support what should be obvious – Illegal war crimes, and unlawful rendering of Americans to Eastern Europe for purposes of abuse, torture, and unlawful death. These are war crimes which Verizon appears to be linked to, and apparently behind the Verizon motivation to pretend their public statements have been consistent, when they have not.

    Litigation is hard to predict. The public evidence is already damaging to the government, Verizon, AT&T, and the billing-subpoena intermediaries linked to NSA, the White House, and CALEA.

    A single word from any subpoena will be sufficient to further shred the White House defenses. After these subpoenas are either quashed, or applied, will leave the White House will be in a worse position. As you can see from the Verizon slip-up, it only takes a minute revelation, and the larger connections can be publicly examined using open source information

    The New Jersey subpoenas could find out which specific personnel inside the NSA and NSA contractors knew of the illegal monitoring, and have otherwise failed to prevent the continued support for illegal kidnapping and abuse of American citizens. It appears the illegal activity has nothing to do with any state secret, lawful objective, but merely with one goal: To abuse those who dare to stand up against what are war crimes and grave breaches of domestic law.

    * * *

    The Associated Press appears to take a deferential view to the government claims. AP has not fully reviewed the full record of Verizon's out of court statements which belie any contention that Verizon has consistently done anything. This single quote, combined with the faulty reporting on the Vermont 603 issue, is part of a pattern: Poor fact checking.

    At best, Verizon has not consistently defended anything, but simply made out of court, inconsistent statements -- fully admissible. This forms a reasonable basis for a Grand Jury to impeach Verizon as a witness, and make an adverse judgment: Verizon did not follow the law; rather it failed to ensure the NSA only lawfully accessed Verizon facilities. This is an issue of governance, fiduciary duty, and due diligence. The Qwest CEO said no; Verizon wishes it had, but is stuck in this self-made mess called litigation.

    It would be appropriate for the Associated Press to review the full record, and closely monitor the Maine Litigation against Verizon. AP should be in a position to closely examine the public record. AP appears to have failed to take a casual look at Mr. Cowie’s public statements and the Verizon counsel response, which amounts to a tacit admission.

    DoJ Staff counsel has inappropriately injected themselves into a non-Federal matter. Especially troublesome in that as attorneys Mr. Haas and Mr. Keisler have apparently violate the attorney code of conduct prohibiting public comment on whether the case does or does not have merit; and not fully complied with the rules of procedure in re filing and notice.

    * * *

    These are grave matters. The outlook for the White House, DoJ Staff, AT&T, and Verizon is bleak. Where there are issues of fraud, government claims to executive privilege fail. Verizon made several mistakes in publicly commenting on, and failing to deny the original possibility.

    DoJ’s legal position has already been discredited. The new assertions appear to be linked with an agenda, not with a sincere desire by AP to inform the public. Rather, the issue is how are Keiser and Hass in the DoJ Civil Division going to credibly argue this defense, while explaining away their non-court-filing which are not protected as a bar to prosecution or disbarment.

    Verizon and AT&T well know they are attached to this illegal conduct. This oval office clerk belongs in jail. He remains a fugitive, and no American can lawfully justify continuing to support or provide any aid and comfort to someone who has violated the law and laws of war.

    Make no mistake, this is far from resolution. The President, regardless Congressional inaction on impeachment, could be convicted of violating state criminal law. It remains to be seen which state governor is ultimately asked to pardon the President. Stay tuned.

    * * *

    Associated Press Quote from:
    Lawyers to seek White House documents on alleged phone spying program
    Associated Press Writer

    August 29, 2006, 2:14 PM EDT