Presidential Poodle Mike McConnell Lost, Without Solutions
Ref 5420.R-1 -- Signals Intelligence Minimization PRoecures, signed by McConnell in 1993
Ref Questions from House Judiciary Cmte which DOJ did not adequately respond, in light of DOJ IG findings that DOJ Staff counsel had violated the law in re warrant requirements.
Ref DoJ Responses to House Judiciary.
Despite clear statutes, the President, Attorney General, NSA, DoJ, and the White House counsel cannot -- and will not -- follow the clearly promulgated minimization procedures.
It is against this backdrop, that McConnell would like to have a discussion.
No. McConnell's problem is that he's failed to go through his released document and specifically outline what needs ot change and why. He's provided nothing by way of reference to indicate why the existing rules he signed are unacceptable. Nor has he provided any information that would suggest that he has any specific reason to change the rules other than to accommodate illegal activity which cannot be defended.
McConnell would have us believe that something new is needed. Yet, look at the plain language of the document he signed in 1993 contradicting this:
"Several themes run through this USSID. The most important is that intelligence operations and protection of constitutional rights is not incompatible. It is not necessary to deny legitimate foreign intelligence collection or suppress legitimate foreign intelligence information to protect the fourth Amendment rights of U. S. persons."Ref
According to McConnell -- who provides no specifics -- supposedly something that worked in 1993 suddenly isn't' working in 2007.
___ How does McConnell explain his assertion in 1993 that the minimization procedures, and existing technology could work in harmony with existing regulations and SIGINT requirements; yet something has changed since the 1993 era?
___ Is there something specific that McConnell can point to -- other than possible other illegal activity this President and Attorney General have authorized with work flows, but have not been given legal authority -- for McConnell in 2007 to reverse himself from his 1993 assertion that minimization procedures were adequate?
___ What's changed since 1993 for McConnell to assert that what he said in 1993 is no longer supportable?
Here's the real problem: Ref Look closely at the criteria the Attorney General must use. Look at section 4.1b on this page
You will see the three criteria which the Attorney General must review, which has been documented in the work flow memorandum, and coordinated with the DOJ Staff counsel, the White House counsel, political office, and the public affairs.
Each of the criteria at 4.1b well identifies what the Attorney General must review.
Small problem. The Untied States President violated these provisions, directed in concert with Gonzalez who was his White House counsel before Sept 2001 procedures and intercept plans. The entire story about 9-11 and the threat of terrorism is a smokescreen. Before the events of Sept 2001, this President with the Attorney General, White house counsel, NSA, and DoJ Staff had coordinated on work flows which violated these minimization procedures.
McConnell's job is to convince Congress to legalize what remains outside the law, has not ended, and started before Sept 2001.
The way forward is to find out why -- despite the clear procedures which Gonzalez did not seek changes to, but McConnell now says in 2007 must be changed -- the Attorney General when he had the support of Congress after Sept 2001, did not ask for changes to the regulations then. He openly admitted that he did not seek changes. You an review the transcript from Feb 2006 before the Senate Judiciary hearing.
Today's problem for Gonzalez is that he continues to have no explanation why he, as Attorney General or White House counsel, did not fully enforce the 4th Amendment, why there were violations of FISA; why the FISA court was ignored; or why the work flows directing this illegal activity have not been timely provided to Congress; or why the illegal activity was not prosecuted, or reported under the Title 28 or Title 50 exception reports.
As with the Geneva Conventions which this President, Attorney General, and White House counsel staff ignored, McConnell is stuck in a box with ongoing NSA intercept activities which still do not comply with the law.
The problem the President and Attorney General is that they have not timely cooperated with the DOJ OPR investigation and blocked that review; yet, openly admitted they were not following the FISA requirements; and fatally admitted that they did not go to the FISA court as required.
There's no telling how many other illegal acts this President, Attorney General, White House counsel staff, or DOJ Staff are complicit. It's too early to talk about changing the regulations, especially when we have het to get a clear story from this President what prompted him to violate the law long before the events of Sept 2001.
AWOL NSA IG
Put aside the possibly that there might be new laws. NSA IG has a responsibility to enforce the existing statues, conduct audits, and ensure compliance. Ref
McConnell proposes new regulations without solving the fundamental problem: What got in the way of the NSA IG reporting the original illegal conduct?
It makes no sense to give blanket authority to any President to do something when the President retains the discretion to violate eh law, block the inspector General, athen claim the evidence of his illegal activity is privileged. This violates ORCON.
If McConnell is serious about the Constitution, then he needs to outline the solutions to the existing oversight problems. He offers us nothing. It's premature to talk about newauthoirty when the existing problems which this President refuses to face have not been addressed. McConnell offers us nothing:
___ How will the NSA IG better do what it refused to do?
___ How will a President who is violating the law be blocked from thwarting NSA IG in reporting illegal activity to the Congress?
___ What happens when Congress assent to illegal Presidential activity, and the courts refuse to hear evidence of violations of the Constitution?
McConnell's other goal is to codify new exceptions to the minimization procedures. The emergency situations provide discretion. Yet, despite these any many other escetions, and the possibility to get retroactive warrants, McConnell would has us believe that new changes are needed. Even when exceptions are broadly defined, the Attorney General refused to get retroactive warrants as required.
___ What is wrong with the exinst list of exceptions?
___ What ongoing procedures which violate the law do not fit neatly within these exceptions?
___ What good is it to talk about new exceptions and rules, when even the most absurd interpretation of an exception does not generate DOJ Staff counsel complicate to get a retroactive warrant?
Changes To Data Retention
McConnel offers us no insight into his thinking on what changes he would like to see with data retention.
___ What's wrong with the existing data retention standards?
___ Why are NSA contractors unwilling to develop technology that complies with these existing requirements?
___ Why aren't US goverment communicaitosn realted to illeagl NSA surveillance similarly retained?
___ When does the intelligence community plan to provide SIgnals intelligence support to Congerss so that Members of Congerss can monitor the Executive as he plans illegal warfare, and coordiantes that activity with DoJ and White House Counsel?
___ What new oversight will the President have forced upon him -- without any input from him -- in a New Constutin?
Anything this Presidenet claims he needs authrithy to do, We the Peole need the technical capability to use to monitor him. If he says his DOJ Staff and White House counsel communiations cannot be monitored, this President shall be denied the power to use new technology to plan, implement, and wage illegal warfare.
The PResident cannot claim execute prividlge to wage illegal warfare; but not expect like NSA monitoring of that planning for illegal warfare. A New COnstution would provide We the People with the tools to ensure the President's pubilc statemetns to Congress match the planning the President is coordianting with DOJ Staff and the White House counsel's office through the Pentagon.
No Information On Manpower Constraints
Available DOJ Staff work flow data indicates personnel were not processing warrants, but working on unofficial business. The issue isn't lack of time to process warrants, it's a fa lure of the President and Attorney General to comply with the law. DOJ IG confirms the DOJ Staff has violated the warrant requirement.
McConnell's implicit argument is that there's insufficient time or manpower to do something. Yet, the information technology scans and work flow analysis of the DOJ Staff counsel suggests the opposite. Rather than working on FISA warrants -- as required -- the staff was engaged in unofficial business.
This President and Attorney General have asserted they have constraints, but the available data does not support their assertion. Whether these are real or imagined problems is secondary to the core issue: This White House cannot be believed that a problem is real. The most likely problem is the opposite: As before 9-11, the Administration is engaged in ongoing illegal activity, and wants to find new loopholes to support things which -- despite the expansive interpretation of statute, rules and minimization procedures -- they are still unable to justify.
Despite expansive discretion to exercise judgement, the American leadership still refused to comply with the retroactive warrant requirement.
___ What data is McConnell relying on, using, or has fabricated to assert there is a constraint?
___ How does the intelligence community justify confidence that these constraints are real, despite the exceptions afforded to them under the minimization procedures?
___ Even if we accept McConnell's argument that new authority is needed, what is to say that these new exceptions are not going to be excuses to ignore the retroactive warrant requirements?
Bolton and Sham Training
Bolton is reported to have received and reviewed countless piles of NSA intercept data from domestic sources. McConnell's problem is explaining why, despite the so-called "training exception," people like Bolton get access to intercept data from people who have not agreed to be targeted for that training.
The minimization procedures require coordination, yet this President and Attorney General have refused.
___ What does McConnell propose to occur to comply with the existing requirements?
___ Does McConnell propose to broaden the training exception to permit training against non-cooperating US citizens?
Credible leadership in the intelligence community would first demonstrate that they could comply with the existing laws. This leadership in the Oval Office refuses to do that. Rather than comply with the laws, we're asked to believe they need new authority.
___ Where are the specific citations relative to 5420.1-R indicating the problems with the reulgaitons;
___ How will the proposed changes meet the Constitutional requirements;
___ What existing technology solutions -- which would support the minimization procedures, meet the legal requirements, and support war fighters -- has this President not funded;
___ Why is McConnell asking for new legal authority when this President will not use his existing authority to fully deploy available technologies to meet the needs of war fighters;
___ Where in the minimization procedures does McConnell specifically hope to have an open discussion
___ Despite no credible answers from the President, DOJ, or NSA -- supposedly from one branch of government to the Congress -- what does McConnell propose to provide with Congress by means of starting this discussion?
___ What new information -- other than evidence of illegal activity and violated statutes and procurers -- does McConnell plan to bring to the table to start this discussion?
___ Why is new authority needed to do anything when the existing authority is not being used to lawfully use all technical solutions the NSA contractors have provided?
McConnell offers nothing. It is not the job of We the People to ferret out of McConnell's mind his idea. Where there is no precision, there is no idea. Rather, the adverse inference is the President, Gonzalez, and McConnell know full well they have violated the law, and the proposed regulatory change are not to give them new powers or authority, but to legalize what they know violates the law.
Until McConnell, Gonzalez, and the President are held accountable for the reckless violations of the existing laws and regulations -- which this President and Attorney General have ignored and signed work flows to violate -- there will be no discussion about new laws.
Rather than comply with the existing laws, this Attorney General and President, have illegally blocked DOJ OPR, directed and encouraged American legal counsel to find a way to justify illegal activity, lied to Congress about what they were doing, and engaged in other illegal activity including illegal warrants. The President and Attorney General do not dispute the DOJ IG findings of DoJ Staff counsel illegal activity in re warrants.
This is hardly consistent with the notion of comity, but consistent with criminal activity which the Framers concluded required three separate branches of government. It's likely the President and Attorney General have talked about the need for a "discussion" on new regulations that would legalize illegal activity they've already implemented.
There is no reason to trust McConnell, the President, or Gonzalez. Rather than cooperate with the requirements, the Attorney General has consistently directed in writing and work flows personnel circumvent the law, avoid the FISA court, block investigations, then pretend it was someone else's problem.
McConnell's Leadership Problem
The existing laws are clear. What remains to be understood is how this President and Congress jointly decided to ignore the Constitution.
Despite claims that the US has gotten valuable intelligence, the combat successes in Iran and Afghanistan are not consistent with the proposition. If the US did have something to show for the ill gal activity, American would have a victory, not more defeat.
Rather than focusing on how the laws were ignored, the White House and intelligence director want to change the subject. It's too early to talk about new laws. The existing laws need to be enforced.
Yet, despite this President taking an oath to protect the Constitution, he ignored it, along with the DOJ and White House counsel.
Calls for another debate are a smokescreen from the two issues:
A. What technical solutions which exist and comply with the law have not been fully supported by this President; and
B. What is the plan for this President to fully cooperate with Congress as they review how this President violated the law to use illegal warrants
When the President cooperates, we might have a discussion about solutions. Until then, it remains the job of the GOP to solve this problem. They have abused their authority. Theydontneed more power or authority to abuse; they need a shorter leash.
If you're going to claim that your hands are unreasonably tied, let's see some examples.
___ Why wasn't the NSA capability of complying with FISA fully funded?
Contrary to Mike McConnell's assertions, despite the law, this President refused to use all capabilities to defend American. The illegal surveillance started before Sept 2001.
Last time the President called for a debate on intelligence, he ignored the debate, and continued with his illegal activity.
When Mike McConnell can develop plans to comply with the existing law using existing technology and proven concepts, then the Congress might consider debating the issue.
Mike McConnell does not need new tools or authority. He needs a leash.
Mike McConnell might want to revisit the existing requirements -- which this President ignores -- before talking about any new ideas. Once this President complies with the law, perhaps we might have a discussion about novel solutions.
This President has the power to make rules and regulations. Mike McConnell appears to be ignorant of the Unitary Theory of Power which Bybee advocated with Addington. Why does Mike McConnell hate Addington so much?
Mike McConnell needs to be specific with the problems he's facing and outline some solutions that apply the existing technology.
It is meaningless that some talents and capabilities are not being used: Some of them cannot be used unless the FISA court approves those methods.
The assertion that there "might be" a problem is meaningless. We have a Constitution. Mike McConnell's job, with his oath, is to conduct his job within those requirements.
NSA contractors have solutions. Mike McConnell apparently hasn't visited the contractors to review which funding, not new regulations, is needed.
It would be preferable if Mike McConnell would stop talking bout what might be good for "protecting America," and start talking about what would be lawful to defend the Constitution. National Security does not trump the Constitution; when the Construction is fully asserted and the Rule of Law prevails, we will have a more secure nation.
Mike McConnell needs to be specific. If there are existing tools, those tools need to be lawfully used.
The time for debate has ended. We need to have Mike McConnell appear to discuss what specific things he contemplates that, in his words, are preventing people from fully asserting their oath.
Mike McConnell, on place to start is with the NSA SETA contractors who well know the legal requirements; and have plans in place to fully comply with the Constitution. Time to end the excuses for the illegal activity. We don't need a debate. We need prosecutions.
This President has blocked DOJ OPR from reviewing the DOJ Staff counsel knowledge of the NSA illegal activity. The White House e-mails show DoJ Staff were coordinating on many illegal things.
There is no reason to trust Mike McConnell. He's asserting an agenda, not providing solutions or offering leadership. He learned well from the reckless clerk in the Oval Office. The President has illegally usurped Judicial Power. The President has no judicial authority to assert that something is or is not legal; only the FISA court may determine whether the warrants were or were not lawful.
DOJ IG concludes the NSLs and other NSA-related warrants were not lawful.
It is a red herring to talk about how many lives might have been saved; This President using illegally captured information has waged illegal war, and sent thousands to their deaths.
This President using secret evidence, accusations, and illegal surveillance has put himself above the law. With Great Confidence, We the People will one day reassert the rule of law over this President. Until then Mike McConnell is not to be trusted. He is, like Tony Blair, a poodle.
McConnel needs to offer specifics. If he has run out of ideas, or cannot motivate the NSA contractors to do what is possible -- comply with the law -- Mike McConnell should resign and let someone else marginally interested in the Constitution to do what Mike McConnell refuses to do: Fully assert his oath, not make excuses for illegal activity.
The issue is less whether Mike McConnell has respect of the American public, but whether he can be trusted to fully assert his oath to protect the Constitution. The law exists as a requirement. Mike McConnell needs to stop being vague, and get specific.
When Mike McConnell shows he's exhausted all lawful options, and has fully reviewed the existing NSA illegal activity and cooperated with Congress, perhaps we might consider having a debate about new authority. Until Mike McConnell shows he can comply with the existing Constitution, we need not take him seriously, especially when he has no solutions.
DoJ and White House counsel cannot assert there is a problem when their track record shows they are the problem.
Time for Mike McConnell to choose which side of the Constitution he's on. If he wants to stand with the President, he's opposing We the People and the Rule of Law.
If Mike McConnell is serious about the rules and regulations guiding behavior, then he should work with Congress to provide all evidence how this President illegally used US government resources to ignore the FISA Court.
To the best of Mike McConnell 's ability, he should either agree to cooperate with the Congressional inquiry into this President's illegal NSA surveillance, and openly discuss how the NSA monitoring was abused in conjunction with illegal warrants.
Mike McConnell, we need to see the e-mails, what the White House counsel discussed, and what coordination your staff had with the DOJ Staff counsel. Until we see the evidence, we're not going to have a discussion about new authority.
First we find out what the problem is, then we discuss a solution. You’re avoiding the problem -- this President and the White House e-mails -- but have no specific solutions. Mike McConnell is not a leader. He is part of the President’s smokescreen.
Mike McConnell needs to change.