Constant's pations

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

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

NSA: AT&T's James Cicconi Is An Alleged War Criminal

The AT&T crew in DC appears to be smoking something, asserting that it's all legal. Putting aside the decision of the court to proceed, let's consider a few lines of evidence showing James Cicconi is misinformed.

* * *

Ref Comments

James Cicconi has asserted, in so many words, that there exists some sort of letter which the Attorney General has signed. Fine.

The problem is "the letter," if it exists, hasn't resolved the matter. Let's consider four issues.

(1) Qwest

Qwest, arguably, was given the same letter. However, Qwest CEO through counsel indicated that the DOJ statement was not sufficient.

Qwest did not buy the argument which AT&T has apparently

(2) Public Comments

The other issues is that even if we ignore the issue of whether there is or is not a latter, the problem DoJ and AT&T have, is that they've made inconsistent arguments.

First, they actually did get involved.

Second, they then denied involvement.

Third, they claimed that they could not comment.

Fourth, now they are commenting.

These are out of court inconsistent statements. They do one thing: Tend to show that AT&T is not being candid. Bluntly, the public comments on the matters means that the "state secret" claim is dubious.

(3) DoJ OPR

Put all of the above aside, and pretend they are not problems. If AT&T did in fact have a letter, then surely the President would have no objection to DoJ OPR reviewing that letter.

AT&T's position, rightly or wrongly, is that the letter is a credible defense. Fine. Then the problem for the White House, DoJ, and AT&T is to explain:

  • A. Why is the existence/non-existence of that letter something which AT&T is commenting on;

  • B. If the letter is legitimate, would it not have been in the interests of the White House, AT&T, and DoJ to publicly show that the letter was proper?

  • C. If as AT&T suggests the letter would explain everything, would it not have been a strategic victory to have opened the DOJ OPR files and let everyone see that the DOJ-generated letter was sufficient?

    on all counts, the President did what is most consistent with a problem, namely preventing access to information which AT&T's Cicconi otherwise says shows there is no problem.

    (4) Links to Verizon

    But let's pretend you don't like any of the above. There's another problem which is more fundamental: All the evidence linking AT&T to NARUS, and the fact that there was no warrant, can also be traced through the NSA directly into the billing companies and intermediaries which are linked through CALEA to AT&T and Verizon.

    It's the same crew. Ref

    If we are to believe Cicconi, then this letter would resolve the issues. The problem the letter, even if it does exist, does not explain why the intermediaries were used; or why the warrants -- known to be required -- were explained away.

    Qwest has already rejected the letters which Cicconi, it appears, says otherwise prevent prosecution.

    Let's see the letter, let’s get the DOJ OPR to publicly review the DOJ OPR conduct. Until the President, Cicconi, AT&T and Verizon get on the same page, there's ample evidence to impeach Cicconi as a witness.

    Cicconi statements are not credible. The conduct of those who say there is "no problem" belie that assertion. Cicconi has a harder time convincing this corner of the blogosphere that AT&T has a credible defense. Maybe AT&T does, then again maybe the President isn't willing to let AT&T prove that there's nothing wrong.

    DoJ cannot credibly claim in any district court that the matter "cannot be discussed" when Verizon and AT&T personnel, along with 19 Members of Congress are discussing the details.

    * * *

    The court finds that the conduct is not lawful as it pertains to the domestic surveillance. The problem for Cicconi, AT&T, Verizon, and DOJ is that the same people -- connected with what Judge Diggs says is illegal -- are also connected to the billing companies, intermediaries, and the NSA. Ref

    Thank you for publicly confirming another piece of the puzzle, which is rapidly emerging: The lines of evidence used to find the AT&T-NARUS-NSA warrantless surveillance activity is illegal is essentially the same line of evidence that is linked to Verizon and the billing activities. Ref

    Where there is one line of evidence that is related to illegal conduct, the entire lines of evidence also linked with that original line is also evidence of other illegal conduct. This is not simply a matter of the law, but an alleged conspiracy.

    To read more about the scope of this conspiracy, you can read the draft Grand Jury indictment here. Yes, Verizon, AT&T, DoJ, NSA, the White House staff, and the DOJ Staff Attorneys have been confirmed, through Cicconi's statement and fatal assertion, to be alleged co-conspirators.

    The Grand Jury, as you will note in this link, has been provided the full lines of evidence linking AT&T and Verizon to the lines of evidence publicly confirming the relationship, activity, and intermediaries which CALEA, NARUS, DoJ, and the NSA have employed.

    * * *

    We can make adverse inferences:

    A. Out of court inconsistent statements impeach Cicconi and AT&T as witnesses;

    B. AT&T's initial receipt of the letter is confirmation the activity is real, contrary to DoJ's assertions that the public cannot be discussed, or that the existence of this activity is uncertain;

    C. AT&T's commentary on the billing and letter is at odds with DOJ's assertions that the activity cannot be commented on, and tend to lend support to claims that 19 members of Congress have also openly discussed the details of a real program, not smoething imagined or a bonafide secret;

    D. DoJ's assertions before the states that the details of the billing operation are at odds with (1) AT&T comments related to the letter, that DoJ would have us believe cannot be discussed; and (2) Verizon General counsel statements that leave open the possibility that Verizon, as it appears AT&T has done, given NSA access to the telecom facilities.

    E. It doesn't matter how the telecoms thought or believed the law did or did not say; the issue is what would a reasonable attorney have required once presented with this issue. Qwest rejected the letter; and we still have no warrants. Despite DoJ asserting the details cannot be discussed, the contractors not only discuss the issues, but openly leave ample evidence showing a link between NSA, DoJ, AT&T, Verizon, and the billing-subpoena intermediaries. It all goes through NARUS STA 6400, CALEA, and the conferences which the entire DoJ Staff, AT&T, and Verizon well know is publicly documented and in the Klein affidavit.

    Keep it up Cicconi. Despite apparent warnings from DoJ to keep silent on a matter the states are investigating, your comments have helped strengthen the line of evidence between Verizon, AT&T, DoJ, NSA, and the billing activity. Your comments have fatally undermined the DoJ motions filed in district court in re their alleged illegal effort to thwart state officials from enforcing the law and protecting the Constitution.

    Congratulations Cicconi on convincing many people you deserve to be paid, despite your making out of court statements which are fatal to your client, and at odds with the written statements filed by the DOJ Staff attorneys before the District Courts.

    Choose whether you want to be on the side of the law; or those who are the subject of this broadening, expanding, and deepening public investigation. Before you choose, you are also reminded that the lines of evidence also related to the rendition program.

    Bluntly, this is not a matter for the DoJ Staff or Gonzalez to immunize. Rather, these are matters of international war crimes. Verizon and AT&T and others appear to have permitted their systems to be accessed not simply to gather information, but to assist the US government in perpetrating war crimes against American civilians.

    Cicconi’s problem is that he’s publicly talking about matters of criminal law. He doesn’t realize that even civilians were lawfully indicted and prosecuted for war crimes. If you have any doubt about the seriousness of these matters, you need only look at the Hamdan case and Geneva. It is a requirement that all people follow the laws of war. Those civilians, as was the case in WWII Germany, who provided technical assistance to the Germans were subsequently indicted for war crimes.

    AT&T and Verizon’s problem isn’t an issue of domestic warrants. It’s that regardless any pardon the President might give, or any letter that may or may not be issued, there is no excuse to engage in illegal activity. There is no credible immunity when a firm like Verizon or AT&T chooses to ignore legal requirements, or relies on a promise without adequately investigating the facts.

    Verizon and AT&T’s problem – and this well known – is that the issue isn’t simply a warrant or a pardon, but what is going to be done when an international war crimes tribunal concludes that AT&T and Verizon were reckless, unlike Qwest, and failed to remove themselves from the illegal conduct when it was known the NSA and White House were using the data to illegal detain, kidnap, and abuse American civilians with torture, warrantless interrogations, and engage in an unlawful conspiracy against rights.

    These are matters of international law. No President can pardon anyone for war crimes. Verizon and AT&T, unlike Qwest, do not appear to have made a credible showing that they have consistently complied with the law. Rather, the conduct and statements appear related to a desire to immunize themselves from the greater threat: A lawful conviction of having substantially supported, and failing to prevent, illegal war crimes committed against American civilians and others around the globe.

    Verizon and AT&T’s problem is that the above can be proven based on public information. No claim of state secrecy can protect Verizon or AT&T employees from the real possibility you may soon be indicted for war crimes. There is no statute of limitation for war crimes, civilians may be prosecuted.

    You have no excuse. You made a poor choice.

    Congratulations Cicconi, you are an alleged war criminal, and are on the draft grand jury indictment.