Abby Martin speaks about how Yale University’s secret invite to Henry Kissinger has shined a new light into the former Secretary of State’s long list of criminality, by helping facilitate US war crimes in South East Asia, South America and the Middle East, which resulted in the deaths of millions of civilians.
Tag Archives | secrecy
Conscientiousness as a domino effect, via Common Dreams:
The “courage” of Edward Snowden is “contagious,” according to lawyer and transparency advocate Jesselyn Radack.
In an interview with ABC News on Thursday, Radack revealed that an influx of NSA whistleblowers, inspired by Snowden, are now knocking on the doors of her organization, coming forward with what they consider objectionable practices by their employer.
According to Radack, several more whistleblowers have approached the Government Accountability Project (GAP)—the nation’s leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization where she is the director of National Security and Human Rights—since Snowden’s story broke.
“There definitely could be more revelations in addition to those that Snowden has revealed and that are continuing to come out,” she told ABC News.
Time for a return to analog? Via the BBC:
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Russia’s agency responsible for the Kremlin security is buying typewriters – a move reportedly prompted by recent leaks by WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden. A 486,540-rouble order for electric typewriters has been placed by the FSO agency on the state procurement website.
The FSO has not commented on why it needs the old-fashioned devices. But an agency source told Russia’s Izvestiya newspaper the aim was to prevent leaks from computer hardware.
“After scandals with the distribution of secret documents by WikiLeaks, the exposes by Edward Snowden, reports about Dmitry Medvedev being bugged during his visit to the G20 London summit (in 2009), it has been decided to expand the practice of creating paper documents,” the source said.
The source added that typewriters were already being used at Russia’s defence and emergencies ministries for drafts and secret notes, and some reports had been prepared for President Vladimir Putin by typewriter.
Obama pushes for officials to gain the right to lie about the existence of documents or materials. Via the Denver Post:
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The federal Freedom of Information Act was supposed to be a torch that journalists, advocates and ordinary people could use to cast a light on the operations of their government. It’s profoundly disappointing to see the Obama administration proposing changes to FOIA that would allow federal agencies to lie about the very existence of information being sought.
The worst among them is the proposed change that would allow the government to tell those requesting information under FOIA that the material does not exist when, in fact, it does. The change would apply to certain law enforcement or national security documents.
Currently, the government can issue what is called a Glomar response, which is when the government neither confirms nor denies the existence of the material.
That term was coined after a Los Angeles Times reporter in the mid-1970s attempted to obtain information about the CIA’s Glomar Explorer, a vessel built to raise a sunken Soviet submarine from the floor of the Pacific Ocean.
Federal District Court Judge Royce Lamberth has said what many civil libertarians have long thought. According to Politico …
Speaking at a conference for federal employees who process Freedom of Information Act requests, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth said his fellow jurists usually rubber-stamp agency claims that disclosing information would jeopardize national security.
“It bothers me that judges, in general, are far too deferential to Exemption 1 claims,” Lamberth said, referring the language in FOIA that allows for withholding of information classified pursuant to an executive order. “Most judges give almost blind deference on Exemption 1 claims.”
Judge Lamberth, a graduate of the University of Texas, was appointed to the bench by Ronald Reagan in 1987. He previously served as an Army JAG officer and as a federal prosecutor. His recent decisions have included ordering the release of Richard Nixon’s testimony concerning the Watergate scandal and controversially issuing an injunction to prevent the Obama administration from destroying embryos used in stem cell research.… Read the rest
Via We Me Make Money Not Art, a conversation with artist Trevor Paglen, who acts as a modern-day discoverer, travelling the globe attempting to photograph the last “uncharted territory” — classified locations such as the CIA’s rendition sites:
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For his Limit Telephotography series, Paglen used high powered telescopes to picture the “black” sites, a series of secret locations operated by the CIA. Often outside of U.S. territory and legal jurisdiction, these locations do not officially exist, they range from American torture camps in Afghanistan to front companies running airlines whose purpose is to covertly move suspects around.
Paradoxically Paglen’s images deepen the secrecy of their subject rather than uncover it. Limit-telephotography most closely resembles astrophotography, a technique that astronomers use to photograph objects that might be trillions of miles from Earth. Paglen’s subjects are much closer but also even more difficult to photograph. To physical distance, one has indeed to add the obstacle of informational concealment.
Perhaps the most perverse aspect of the PATRIOT Act is the federal government’s refusal to reveal how it interprets and puts into practice the (vague and far-reaching) law. Techdirt reports that the New York Times is stepping up to the plate and challenging Washington:
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Reporter Charlie Savage of the New York Times filed a Freedom of Information Act request to find out the federal government’s interpretation of its own law…and had it refused. According to the federal government, its own interpretation of the law is classified. What sort of democracy are we living in when the government can refuse to even say how it’s interpreting its own law? That’s not democracy at all.
We’ve been covering for a while now how Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall have been very concerned over the secret interpretation the feds have of one piece of the PATRIOT Act. They’ve been trying to pressure the government into publicly explaining how they interpret the law, because they believe that it directly contrasts how most of the public (and many elected officials) believe the feds are interpreting the law.