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Thread: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans

  1. #161
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    When a hearing is loaded for an engineered result, it will get that result. None there were skeptical of the programs, so it was nothing more than for show and public opinion handling.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Public show for government mishandling you mean?
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    NSA Hearing By the Numbers

    By Kim Zetter
    06.18.13
    3:00 PM

    Follow @KimZetter

    Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), Gen. Keith B. Alexander, testifies about NSA surveillance before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Capitol Hill. Photo: Charles Dharapak/AP

    A federal hearing today on NSA surveillance programs leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden produced some interesting numbers about the scope of the data collections and other issues. We’ve produced a roundup below of some of the interesting stats and intelligence gleaned from the discussion.

    The hearing, before Congress’s Select Committee on Intelligence, included NSA Director, General Keith Alexander; Deputy Attorney General James Cole; Deputy Director of the FBI Sean Joyce; and General Counsel Robert Litt, from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence General Counsel.

    1) NSA Only Uses Section 215 of Patriot Act to Obtain Phone records. NSA Director Keith Alexander, responding to questions about the kinds of business records the agency obtains using this power granted by the Patriot Act, said that the agency only uses it to obtain phone records from companies. This would seem to contradict a recent Wall Street Journal story, which disclosed that the agency was collecting credit card transactions. But Alexander’s statement doesn’t rule out that the FBI is collecting credit card transactions and providing data pertaining to foreign intelligence cases to the NSA. The vast majority of business records requests under Section 215 are done by the FBI and other federal agencies, not the NSA.

    2) Phone Records Obtained by NSA under Section 215 Are Destroyed After 5 Years. ODNI General Counsel Robert Litt asserted that the records are not kept indefinitely. Nor are they used for general data mining and pattern analysis, according to Alexander. He stated that the records are only used to perform individual “queries” against specific phone numbers. Presumably this means that pattern analysis likely would be done on those targeted phone numbers that are under investigation in order to ascertain any and all phone numbers that have communicated with the targeted number.

    3) Only 22 People at NSA Can Authorize Queries of Phone Records Database. This number includes 20 analysts and two supervisors. Among the 22 people who can authorize such queries of the phone records database are Gen. Alexander himself and Litt.

    4) Records/Data Obtained under 215 and Section 702 of FISA Thwarted 50 Potential Terrorist Plots. NSA Director Alexander and FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce said that at least 50 cases they investigated used data obtained under the two surveillance programs that Snowden exposed. Section 702 of FISA can cover real-time emails and chats, IP addresses and other data. Asked by Rep. Jim Himes (D-Connecticut), how many of these 50 episodes “would have occurred but for your ability to use 702″ (or “How essential are these authorizations to stopping these attacks?”), Alexander said that he believed that in at least half of these cases, the data obtained under Section 702 of FISA was “critical.” He said that of the cases involving the use of phone records obtained under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, a little more than 10 of these cases involved some kind of “domestic nexus” — meaning they involved a U.S. citizen overseas or in the U.S. The vast majority of these cases “had a contribution from the business records requests.”

    5) Snowden Worked for the NSA for 15 Months at Time of Leaks. Although it’s been reported that Snowden had only been working for defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton for three months at the time of the leaks, and had only been stationed at the NSA’s Hawaii facility a few weeks pior to leaking, Alexander noted that Snowden had actually been working for the NSA under a different contractor during the 12 months prior to moving to Booz Allen Hamilton, which would have given him more time to scope out the network and determine which data he wanted to take.

    6) NSA Plans to Institute a Two-Person Rule to Govern Activities of SysAdmins This would presumably involve requiring a shadow for every sysadmin to ensure that no one operator can download the kind of data Snowden obtained without authorization from another operator, or change auditing and logging instructions on the system to hide their tracks. Alexander noted that Snowden, as a systems administrator, had great authority to access parts of the network that are not accessible to regular analysts. The sysadmin also has the ability to set the auditing conditions on a portion of the network. “This is a huge problem,” Alexander said. “We’re coming up with a two-person rule to make sure we have a way to block” someone from taking information out of the system. “This is a work in progress,” he said.

    7) NSA Has About 1,000 SysAdmins Worldwide. Alexander said the NSA has about 1,000 system administrators that have, in certain sections, the level of authority comparable to what Snowden had to access data. This number seems small, and Alexander said they were working on trying to get a more exact figure, but he noted that the majority of these system administrators were contract workers.

    Finally, something else of note that Alexander said in the hearing today. The NSA apparently doesn’t yet know how Snowden obtained access to the court order that authorized Verizon to hand over the phone records of millions of American customers. He noted that to access the kind of data collected under the program required special “certificates” or keys to gain physical access to areas where the data was stored.

    “To get to any data like business records under 215, that’s in controlled area,” Alexander said. “You need specific certificates to get in to that. I’m not aware that Snowden had any certificates to get into that.” He later noted that by “certificates” he meant keys, meaning presumably electronic door access keys.

    “In this case, what the system administrator had access to is what we’ll call the public web forums that NSA operates, and these are the things that talk about how we do our business, not necessarily what’s being collected as a results of that,” Alexander said. “Nor does it necessarily give them the insights that the training and the other issues that training and certification process and accreditation that our folks go through to actually do this. So those are in separate programs and require other certificates to get into.”

    When asked if this meant Snowden did not have the certificates necessary to leave that public forum, Alexander replied, “So each set of data that we would have, and in this case let’s say the business records, FISA, you have to have specific certificates … because this is a cordoned off, so that would be extremely difficult for him to. . . he’d have to get up to NSA and get into that room to do. Others require certificates for you to be working in this area to have that. He would have to get one of those certificates to actually enter that area…. In other words, it’s a key.”

    Following the hearing, reporters in the room cornered Alexander for further explanation about this, during which Alexander reportedly said that the NSA believes Snowden obtained access to the court order while he was undergoing orientation and training at the NSA’s headquarters at Ft. Meade.

    “The FISA warrant was on a web server that he had access to as an analyst coming into the Threat Operations Center,” Alexander told Politico. “It was in a special classified section that as he was getting his training he went to.”
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Yes, Rick. Mishandling.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    on reddit at http://www.reddit.com/r/picrequests/...enix_in_china/

    This was created from a request for Snowden in China with a Phoenix.

    Name:  pofn0w1.jpg
Views: 38
Size:  356.9 KB

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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    I haven't really commented on Snowden and his actions much because I wanted more information and to see how things shake out.

    Now that some time has passed I figured I'd throw out my thoughts on this as they currently stand.

    Unlike some people who I largely agree with have said, I don't think Snowden is a traitor. He has brought to light something that has been going on which most surely should not have been, especially in the hands of a statist like Obama.

    That said the way Snowden has gone about bringing this information to light gives me pause. Despite claims to the contrary Hong Kong is, for all intents and purposes, China. No way and no how should Snowden gone anywhere near the place if his intentions are what he claims they were. If he were serious about shedding light on this government overreach, he would have reached out to someone trustworthy in the House or Senate like Daryl Issa, Rand Paul, or Ted Cruz.

    If it comes to light that he has or is providing our nation's enemies any information, I'll join in calling him a traitor. As it stands I won't call him a hero either. I think "whistleblower" is adequate at the moment.

    The real issue shouldn't be Snowden though, it should be government overreach and the soft tyranny we are living in.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    I concur with your current assessment Ryan, save for any possible elected official being able to assist Snowden. While I am not altogether happy with his going to Asia, I see why he did. It is hard to find him there if he chose to disappear. Also, he did contact Western papers first and between US based and UK based, he had a better and more even handed reception in the UK. Not surprising really since so much media here has acted blind to so much and demonized anyone counter to Obama.

    Also, I am standing by my theory as the most plausible. CIA is pissed at Obama and has been releasing small bits and none took hold to harm him. That is until their asset did this. I have serious doubts CIA will bring him in, but that is not to say other states services would not, or that some team on order from Obama directly would. Still, I count CIA out on this one except for show.

    If you have not heard the interview with Snowden's father, it was quite compelling. The son is no loon and is not out to undermine our country, just shed light on what is intrusive and illegal to do. A whistleblower he is in my eyes.

    We will continue to see rebuff from Obama squared sources, such as this farce today. Expect that. They are not lying, but excluding part of the issue. They only talk about the actual legal requests, save for non specific references to meta data. I find this amusing as it is damage control after the initial admissions.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Not sure if someone has posted this thought yet, I haven't kept up very well with the threads lately but....


    I know they were talking about the attacks this activity has stopped as it's defense. If this thing keeps going and the heat just builds and builds on it and it is proven to be even bigger and bigger. I think they will come out and claim some big shock story that a very serious situation was stopped because of this program. I think if this story and public opinion don't let it go by the fall then they unload something juicy probably stopping a major wmd attack. You will see reenactments of JSOC having all the NSA intel stopping the big one. This will probably crash the stock market if it comes out to be a nuke in a city.

    Just a thought of a tired guys wild imagination but I am preparing myself for some serious theater here just when you think you got them forget it.

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    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    AGEUSAF,
    Interestingly I heard Mark Levin touch on a similar thought earlier today. He mentioned how the story on this program has already changed several times to seemingly embellish the effectiveness of this program.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    My biggest problem with the NSA casting a big net and getting everything they can, sorting through it to find the needles within the haystack, is that in no small way we are now guilty until proven innocent. The 4th amendment makes it so government and it's entities must have reasonable suspicion and evidence that indicates you have violated some law. What they have been doing however, is essentially making sure you're innocent and then casting you aside. It's bass-ackwards. We're all suspect by their method.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    That's an excellent point Toad.

    As Mark Levin touched on in the same discussion I mentioned above, the 4th Amendment is supposed to protect against searches unless reasonable suspicion or probable cause to conduct them, otherwise they can be considered unreasonable.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Reminds me to some degree of the old Soviet Union. Watch over the citizens.... just... "because". Our government has become "them".

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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Not to mention the whole "If you see something, say something", Attack Watch, and flag@whitehouse.gov crap to get citizens to turn in fellow citizens.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Not that I'm a big "environmentalist" or anything, but when you cast out a huge net to catch ALL the fish, you catch the dolphins as well.

    (Just a metaphor, but you get the point. Who wants to kill the dolphins? Bad fishermen....)
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    More DHS insider from DC

    Image courtesy of Canada Free Press



    By Douglas J. Hagmann



    20 June 2013: As noted in my June 7, 2013 report titled DHS Insider: It’s about to get very ugly, the additional information provided to me that was temporarily withheld from publication is now being released. The methodical and incremental release of information was (and is) deliberate, to allow other things to play out, such as the public exposure to the name Edward Snowden and his revelations regarding just how extensive the domestic surveillance apparatus is – and who the surveillance is actually targeting. Back to the early hours of June 7, 2013


    “You’ve got to understand that they are trying to find the likes of me,” stated my source. Pretty soon, no one is going to be talking to anybody, especially in the alternative media, even about the damn weather. They won’t risk it, and I’m not just talking about a risk to their careers, either. There has been a systematic method of intimidation with some known and even ‘approved’ media contacts, not just against them, but against their families,” he emphasized.

    “Just give it two weeks at most, it will come out that no one will talk to the media,” he added. [Author note: See this article about AP CEO confirming their sources won't talk anymore, dated 19 June 2013]. “But let me give you some details about some things I was told too. I know this is second-hand information, but it was from someone in a position of authority to know, someone I trust, and someone who I expect to reveal to [name of elected official deleted] the true extent of what has and in some cases, still is taking place. This individual is preparing to disclose much, and has obtained legal counsel, but the problem is that one misstep could be fatal in a literal sense, and [this source] knows that. If not fatal, there are other legal challenges, especially under a corrupt judiciary. By the time this appears in print, the disclosures will likely have already been made, just not made public.”

    The Holder hammer & the Chicago plumbers


    “The revelation last month that the Justice Department seized two months of telephone records from the Associated Press (AP) last year is only a small part of the story. The public admission is that the Holder Justice Department obtained only telephone records from three locations, something like 20 lines, and records of calls from the House press gallery for about two months. That’s one of the biggest lies ever told,” stated my source.

    “The truth is that it was not limited to AP, and not limited to just number identification and call duration, but was an extensive and active wiretapping operation that included every reporter’s telephone conversations, landline and cell, text messages from their personal and business cellular telephones and other electronic devices. The primary focus is on the press gallery, where everything was monitored in real time.”

    “Not only were the communications of reporters compromised, so were the private communications of congressmen and their aides. Listen to what I am saying,” he stressed, “the operation was much larger than anyone can imagine. Recordings, actual voice recordings, were turned over to the Obama administration, along with transcripts of texts, other communications and contacts.”

    “NSA assets were used, with the NSA acting as the collection agency for their intermediate client, the DHS. Then, at the highest levels of DHS, they sifted through the information collected. But the ultimate client or recipient of the information was the Obama White House. I don’t know if other agencies were involved in sorting through the material, but DHS, and this was limited to the highest of levels at DHS under the personal direction of Janet Napolitano, provided volumes of data directly to the Obama administration. One person inside the administration I know received the data was Valerie Jarrett,” he stated.

    “The other part of the lie is that this operation lasted only two months. That’s a lie. It went on well into late last year, was halted shortly after the election, but then picked back up sometime in January,” he said. Something happened in January where there appeared to be another active wiretapping operation started, but this one appeared to be more focused, or more limited in scope. Maybe, and I’m just guessing here based on some of the things I heard, that the Obama people had narrowed their interests based on the fruits of the previous operation.”

    Now the ‘Holder hammer’ is coming down on anyone who opens their mouth, or previously leaked any information that could have been or be detrimental to Obama. I can tell you that Valerie Jarrett is working, out of the White House, with DHS and other agencies to co-ordinate their efforts with Justice,” the latter a reference to the Eric Holder Justice Department. “At the same time, on the media side, there is a ‘plumbers team’ headed out of Chicago, with a long reach to the New York and Washington press correspondents. So they are not only going after those on the inside, but the journalists from the other side.”

    “The intimidation factor is huge if a media contact is outside of a small circle of ‘vetted’ journalists who are completely loyal to Obama and his agenda. If you are not part of that inner circle, you are a target, it’s that simple. You are seeing the formation of a state-run media and an administration that will intimidate, punish or prosecute anyone considered unfriendly to the Obama camp from the inside and the outside. Like I said, this also involves elected officials, their staffs and even in some cases, their families. And it is all being done under the color of authority and the pretext of national security,” he added.

    Loyalty to the man, not the office


    It was at this point I asked my source, what were or are they looking for?

    “Anything and everything,” he responded. “Obviously, it’s about loyalty to the man, damn the country and damn the law. Protect the man and the agenda, which is not just his agenda, but the people who put him in office.” Like who? I asked.

    “Who benefits? This is about dismantling the United States and nothing less. This is about foreign interests who have taken over our government without a shot. Look at Syria and our economy, both issues that are expected, at least as discussed within DHS, to play out this year. You had it correct on both counts when you wrote about our involvement in Syria, by way of weapons shipments from Benghazi, to open another war. You also had it correct when you wrote about the killing of the U.S. Dollar. You want to know how I know this? Because the blowback from those two issues alone, one foreign and the other domestic, are what DHS is gearing up for in our ‘homeland,’” he stated.

    “Unless there are enough people who wake up fast enough, we will become involved in a war in Syria, with boots on the ground, facing not only Syrian troops but Russian forces. There will be blowback here in the United States. Along with this, you will see the U.S. dollar ‘collapse’ as the reserve currency, and social uprisings here in the U.S. over both. It will be DHS teamed with other federal agencies who will meet, with force, the uprisings. There will be chaos here, but it is expected to be different depending upon where you are at. Big cities will have the most problems, and plans are being made to cordon off cities and restrict travel at the time when these uprisings start. I really didn’t want to use this phrase, but expect martial law to be used ‘for the security’ of those affected by the turmoil.”

    “Then, you will see the internet being regulated in a manner that will serve only the agenda of this administration. Either right before or during these events, so-called citizen journalists will be particularly vulnerable. Watch for a serious crackdown of bloggers, online news publications and websites, but not in the way that will be immediately obvious. The ‘plumbers team’ have coordinated their efforts with Internet Service Providers to identify the people like you and others who publish their information on web sites. At first they will cite violations of terms of service. Then, they will select a few ‘troublemakers’ and identify them for criminal prosecution. Others will experience hacking and other electronic attacks. And during all of that, there will be the Obama team flooding the internet with misinformation and disinformation. In fact, that is already taking place.”

    During our conversation, I started to ask about certain journalists and bloggers who died, either from ‘natural causes’ or in accidents, suicides, and under other strange circumstances. My source interrupted before I could finish my question.

    “Don’t even go there, don’t bother asking me, because I just don’t know, he stated in a rather agitated manner. I do have my suspicions about one, maybe two who got a bit too close to the truth and foolishly trusted certain people, but I really don’t know for sure.”

    So, what will all of this look like, I asked, when it all comes down.

    “I’ve thought about that myself, and have seen some DHS documents outlining different scenarios. Maybe not what you think,” he replied. “Outside of the rioting in certain urban areas, the low stocks at your local stores, and rationing of gas, maybe not as dire as you imagine. My best guess is a combination of the riots of the 1960′s along with the gasoline rationing of the 1970′s, at least at first. Once people who want to save the country, those with good intentions begin to organize, it will become incrementally worse,” he stated.

    “Like a car careening off a cliff, but not hitting the bottom right away. It will hit jagged edges first, each time suffering more damage. Each blow will be worse than the next.”

    Centralization


    “Let me try to sum it up for you. It’s getting late, and I mean it’s getting late this morning and late for our country. This is all about centralization of power and pursuing an agenda that makes no sense or has any benefit to the United States. All of the things we are seeing are related. The IRS, Syria, Benghazi, the NSA, and just about everything you can name is about one thing: the consolidation of power and the centralization of authority. This party did not start with Obama, and might not end with him either.”

    I interjected my surprise at this point, noting that I thought the worst, like others, that we might not see another presidential election. “When did I mention anything about an election?”

    “You’re not thinking big enough,” he admonished. Nobody is thinking big enough, or has been thinking at all, which is why we’re in this position. This is a global agenda, or an agenda of the global interests, the money interests. Do you think for one second that if a person, and I don’t give a damn who it is or what position they hold, becomes a liability to those interests that they wouldn’t get rid of them? Don’t you think those in power know this?

    Cryptically, he spoke of Obama’s apparent infatuation with Abraham Lincoln and asked, rhetorically whether that means anything. A country that will fall into a civil war of sorts, and all of the things common to both. Does Obama know something, or feel something? Is that playing in to his desire for oaths only to him, and not the country? Think about it.”

    Time frame

    As we were parting, I felt a bit like Peter Falk playing Columbo in the 1970′s television series when I said that I had “just one more question.” When is all of this going to start?

    What? He turned and looked at me as if I had uttered an insult.

    “It’s already begun. You’re seeing it now. If you want to know a date when our money will tank, or when the war goes hot, or when you won’t be able to get food or gas, I can’t tell you, and I don’t think anyone can. But remember what I said before, about the metals taking a hit and something happening after that. Look at the metals market. The U.S. has very little gold. Everything you see is being manipulated, from the economy to the metals to foreign policy. I believe that most politicians know how dire things are, and most are clawing their way for a seat at the global table. But if I had to answer you, and I guess I will so you’ll let me leave, I’d look for something to happen in early July as a precursor to the more major events later in the summer or fall, maybe in October.”

    “But don’t try to look at dates for answers, look at events, even the small ones. Remember, their objectives haven’t changed, only their plans to adapt to the right conditions. To the unaware, it will look like everything was just one big unfortunate coincidence.” Click here to save this article in PDF format
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Some people have postulated Snowden got the job at the NSA with the express purpose of committing espionage. This news is certainly giving credence to that theory or, it could be Axis members taking advantage of the situation.

    Snowden Leaves Hong Kong, Frustrating U.S. Extradition Effort - Lands In Moscow

    June 23, 2013

    An aircraft believed to be carrying Edward Snowden landed in Moscow on Sunday after Hong Kong let the fugitive former U.S. security contractor leave the territory, frustrating Washington's efforts to extradite him on espionage charges.

    The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said Snowden was heading for a "democratic nation" which it did not name, although a source at the Russian airline Aeroflot said he would fly on within 24 hours to Cuba and then planned to go to Venezuela.

    Snowden's departure from Hong Kong, a former British colony which returned to China in 1997, is likely to be highly embarrassing for the administration of President Barack Obama. U.S. authorities had said only on Saturday they were optimistic Hong Kong would cooperate over Snowden, who revealed extensive U.S. government surveillance in the United States and abroad.

    Moscow airport officials said the flight from Hong Kong had landed but could not immediately confirm Snowden was on board. However, a source at Aeroflot said he had booked a seat on the service.

    Snowden, who worked for the National Security Agency, had been hiding in Hong Kong since leaking details about the U.S. surveillance activities to news media.

    In their statement announcing Snowden's departure, the Hong Kong authorities said they were seeking clarification from Washington about reports of U.S. spying on government computers in the territory.

    The Obama administration has previously painted the United States as a victim of Chinese government computer hacking.

    Earlier this month Obama called on his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to acknowledge the threat posed by "cyber-enabled espionage" against the United States and to investigate the problem when they met in California. Obama also met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Northern Ireland last week.

    A spokesman for the Hong Kong government said it had allowed the departure of Snowden - regarded by his supporters as a whistleblower and by his critics as a criminal and perhaps even a traitor - because the U.S. request to have him arrested did not comply with the law.

    In Washington, a Justice Department official said it would seek cooperation with countries Snowden may try to go to.

    "It's a shocker," said Simon Young, a law professor with Hong Kong University. "I thought he was going to stay and fight it out. The U.S. government will be irate."

    OBAMA AGENDA SIDELINED

    Obama has found his domestic and international policy agenda sidelined as he has scrambled to deflect accusations that the surveillance violates privacy protections and civil rights. The president has maintained it has been necessary to thwart attacks on the United States, and the U.S. government filed espionage charges against Snowden on Friday.

    A source at Aeroflot said Snowden would fly from Moscow to Cuba on Monday and then planned to go on to Venezuela. Reporters at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport said there was no immediate sign of Snowden, but Russian media suggested he may have been whisked away by car to a foreign embassy in the capital.

    Hong Kong's South China Morning Post newspaper said earlier his final destination might be Ecuador or Iceland.

    The WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website said it helped Snowden find "political asylum in a democratic country".

    The group said he was accompanied by diplomats and was travelling via a safe route for the purposes of seeking asylum. Sarah Harrison, a legal researcher working for the WikiLeaks, was "accompanying Mr. Snowden in his passage to safety".

    "The WikiLeaks legal team and I are interested in preserving Mr Snowden's rights and protecting him as a person," former Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon, legal director of WikiLeaks and lawyer for the group's founder Julian Assange, said in a statement.

    "What is being done to Mr Snowden and to Mr Julian Assange - for making or facilitating disclosures in the public interest - is an assault against the people."

    Assange has taken sanctuary in the Ecuadorean embassy in London and said last week he would not leave even if Sweden stopped pursuing sexual assault claims against him because he feared arrest on the orders of the United States.

    U.S. authorities have charged Snowden with theft of U.S. government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence to an unauthorized person, with the latter two charges falling under the U.S. Espionage Act.

    The United States had asked Hong Kong, a special administrative region (SAR) of China, to send Snowden home.

    "The U.S. government earlier on made a request to the HKSAR government for the issue of a provisional warrant of arrest against Mr Snowden," the Hong Kong government said in a statement.

    "Since the documents provided by the U.S. government did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law, the HKSAR government has requested the U.S. government to provide additional information ... As the HKSAR government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr Snowden from leaving Hong Kong."

    It did not say what further information it needed.

    The White House had no comment.

    CHINA SAYS U.S. "BIGGEST VILLAIN"

    Although Hong Kong has an independent legal system and its own extradition laws, China controls its foreign affairs. Some observers see Beijing's hand in Snowden's sudden departure.

    Iceland refused on Friday to say whether it would grant asylum to Snowden, a former employee of contractor Booz Allen Hamilton who worked at an NSA facility in Hawaii.

    Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said earlier this month that Russia would consider granting Snowden asylum if he were to ask for it and pro-Kremlin lawmakers supported the idea, but there has been no indication he has done so.

    The South China Morning Post earlier quoted Snowden offering new details about the United States' spy activities, including accusations of U.S. hacking of Chinese mobile telephone companies and targeting China's Tsinghua University.

    Documents previously leaked by Snowden revealed that the NSA has access to vast amounts of internet data such as emails, chat rooms and video from large companies, including Facebook and Google, under a government program known as Prism.

    China's Xinhua news agency, referring to Snowden's accusations about the hacking of Chinese targets, said they were "clearly troubling signs".

    It added: "They demonstrate that the United States, which has long been trying to play innocent as a victim of cyber attacks, has turned out to be the biggest villain in our age."

    Venezuela, Cuba and Ecuador are all members of the ALBA bloc, an alliance of leftist governments in Latin America who pride themselves on their "anti-imperialist" credentials.

  17. #177
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    I think this lends credence to Phil's idea too.

    CIA did this. They don't like Obama and figured out a way to nuke him. They gave this guy a way out, set him up with their buddies on the other side. Last I heard last night a certain South American country was not only offering him asylum, arrangements were being made for him to get there. The country (I believe it was Argentina actually, though my lack of sleep last night is messing with my memory at this moment) had a plane standing by for him.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  18. #178
    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Sorry it was Ecuador, NOT Argentina.... duh. I knew that. I am just tired as hell today. lol



    Russia says it has no authority to expel Snowden; Kerry: ‘Deeply troubling’

    View Photo Gallery — Who is Edward Snowden?: A 29-year-old government contractor has been charged with espionage for recent leaks of classified intelligence. He has vaulted from obscurity to international notoriety, joining the ranks of high-profile leakers such as Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame.


    By Kathy Lally, Anthony Faiola and Karen DeYoung, Updated: Monday, June 24, 4:55 AM E-mail the writers

    MOSCOW — Despite a direct request from the United States to return Edward Snowden to U.S. soil to face charges of leaking government secrets, Russian officials said Monday that they had no legal authority to detain the fugitive former government contractor, who arrived in Moscow from Hong Kong on Sunday and was seeking asylum in Ecuador, reportedly by way of Havana.

    A frustrated Secretary of State John F. Kerry said he was troubled by the apparent refusal of fellow world powers China and Russia to respond to espionage charges the United States had filed against Snowden, who leaked top-secret documents about U.S. surveillance programs.

    “It is a very serious question for all of us in all our relationships,” Kerry said. “There is no small irony here,” Kerry added, posing the hypothetical question of whether Snowden sought refuge in China and Russia “because they’re such powerful bastions of Internet freedom.”

    News services said Snowden was expected to board an Aeroflot flight to Havana, scheduled to depart Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport at 6:05 a.m. Eastern time Monday. But reporters on board the flight said on Twitter that he had not been spotted among the passengers.

    “They’ve just locked the doors of the plane, #Snowden is NOT on this plane!!!” tweeted Egor Piskunov, a reporter with Russia’s government-financed RT.

    There was no official confirmation of Snowden’s whereabouts, however, meaning that it was still possible that he was on board — out of sight of the journalists, perhaps, or wearing a disguise.

    Vladimir Lukin, Russia’s human rights ombudsman and a former ambassador to the United States, told the Interfax news agency that Russia had no authority to expel Snowden, as Washington was asking it to do. Russian officials said travelers who never leave a secure transit zone inside an airport — which means not crossing passport control — are not officially on Russian soil. Snowden did not have a Russia visa, several officials said, and therefore could not leave the transit zone.

    In addition, Russia and the United States do not have a bilateral extradition treaty, although Kerry said Moscow was obligated to cooperate under international law.

    “The Americans can’t demand anything,” Lukin said, referring to the saga dismissively. “Detective stories are good bedtime reading.”

    Kerry said the United States has extradited seven Russian prisoners in the past two years and noted: “Reciprocity is pretty important.”

    “It would be very disappointing if he was willfully allowed to board an airplane,” said Kerry, who was traveling in New Delhi. “There would be without any doubt . . . consequences.”

    Noting that law enforcement agencies in the two countries have worked closely together in the wake of the deadly Boston Marathon bombings, National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said “we expect the Russian Government to look at all options available” for returning Snowden to U.S. jurisdiction.

    Kerry said “all appropriate countries” in Latin America had been notified with respect to Snowden’s legal status. “That is the appropriate step to take, to put them on notice that he is an indicted individual, three felony counts, wanted by the legal process of the United States.”

    Snowden has been charged with espionage in the United States. He flew into Moscow from Hong Kong on Sunday with the help of the WikiLeaks organization and stayed out of sight overnight, apparently hidden away either in a VIP room or a small hotel.

    The Associated Press reported that he was expected to fly to Havana and then to continue on to Ecuador, perhaps by way of Venezuela.

    The Aeroflot flight to Havana usually crosses U.S. airspace, but a check of recent flights showed the route can vary, apparently with the weather, and sometimes steers well clear of the United States.

    Ricardo Patiño, Ecuador’s foreign minister, tweeted Sunday afternoon that his government had received a request for asylum from Snowden. WikiLeaks released a statement saying Snowden was “bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum.”

    Despite U.S. officials’ insistence that Snowden’s passport was revoked Saturday, the Hong Kong government said Sunday that he left “on his own accord for a third country.” Aeroflot told the Associated Press that Snowden registered for the flight on Sunday using his U.S. passport. Ecuadoran diplomats were at the airport Sunday when Snowden landed. It was not clear whether they were meeting with Snowden or with others who accompanied him.

    WikiLeaks, which has published hundreds of thousands of classified documents over the past several years, said it is aiding Snowden in his bid to avoid a return to the United States. Snowden, 30, had fled to Hong Kong, where he revealed two weeks ago that he was the source of leaked National Security Agency documents. Federal prosecutors in Virginia filed espionage charges against him June 14 and had asked Hong Kong to detain him.

    WikiLeaks said Snowden was accompanied on his flight to Moscow by Sarah Harrison, who the organization said is a British citizen, journalist and researcher working with the WikiLeaks legal defense team.

    “As is routine and consistent with U.S. regulations, persons with felony arrest warrants are subject to having their passport revoked,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki. “. . . Persons wanted on felony charges, such as Mr. Snowden, should not be allowed to proceed in any further international travel, other than is necessary to return him to the United States.”

    But the Interfax news agency, quoting a Russian law enforcement source, said Snowden could continue on his journey from Moscow without a U.S. passport if the country where he was seeking asylum provided him with travel documents. Those documents could include affirmation of refugee status, Interfax reported, or even a passport from the destination country.

    “We are disappointed by the decision of the authorities in Hong Kong to permit Mr. Snowden to flee despite the legally valid U.S. request to arrest him for purposes of his extradition under the U.S.-Hong Kong Surrender Agreement,” Hayden said. “We have registered our strong objections to the authorities in Hong Kong as well as to the Chinese government through diplomatic channels and noted that such behavior is detrimental to U.S.-Hong Kong and U.S.-China bilateral relations.”

    Russia’s role under fire

    The apparent cooperation of the Russian government in Snowden’s attempt to avoid extradition to the United States outraged some members of Congress.

    “What’s infuriating here is [President Vladimir] Putin of Russia aiding and abetting Snowden’s escape,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

    “The bottom line is very simple,” Schumer said. “Allies are supposed to treat each other in decent ways, and Putin always seems almost eager to put a finger in the eye of the United States, whether it is Syria, Iran and now, of course, with Snowden. That’s not how allies should treat one another, and I think it will have serious consequences for the United States-Russia relationship.”

    Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) agreed that Sunday’s events call “into question what kind of relationship we ever have had with China and Russia. We pretend that everything is hunky-dory when it is not. It isn’t with China. It isn’t with Russia. It certainly isn’t with Cuba, with Venezuela nor with Ecuador.”

    She added: “These are countries that violate press freedoms every day. And yet [Snowden]’s seeking political asylum in those very countries where . . . if he were to pull a Snowden in these countries, they’d jail him immediately.”

    The heated rhetoric comes as the Obama administration is making a strong effort to build better ties with both China and Russia, with Kerry investing considerable effort in developing a personal relationship with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that might help him in tackling thorny issues such as how to respond to the ongoing civil war in Syria.

    “Our hope is that we can work with the Russians very closely” on Syria, Kerry said Saturday in Qatar, before Snowden fled Hong Kong on a Russian flight. “I take at face value President Putin’s and Foreign Minister Lavrov’s willingness to try to work with us in good faith.”

    Hong Kong’s government said that the U.S. request for a warrant for Snowden’s arrest “did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law” and that it had asked for “additional information.”

    “As the HKSAR Government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr. Snowden from leaving Hong Kong,” the statement said.

    A senior Justice Department official disputed that claim. “The request met the requirements of the agreement,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “They came back to us late Friday with additional questions, and we were in the process of responding. Obviously, this raises concerns for us, and we will continue to discuss this with the authorities there.”

    The United States had asked Hong Kong to issue a provisional arrest warrant and filed charges against Snowden, including theft, “unauthorized communication of national defense information” and “willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person.”

    Patiño, the Ecuadoran foreign minister, recently said Quito would be willing to consider an asylum claim by Snowden. Speaking at a news conference in London after visiting Assange last Monday, Patiño suggested that his nation would approve such a request.

    On Monday, Patiño was in Vietnam and said that the nation is “in touch with the highest authorities of Russia” about an asylum claim from Snowden, according to the Associated Press. He said that the request “has to do with freedom of expression and with the security of citizens around the world” and that Ecuador will not make its decision based on its relationship with the United States.

    “There are some governments that act more upon their own interests, but we do not,” Patiño said, according to the Associated Press. “We act upon our principles.”

    He added, “We take care of the human rights of the people.”

    Assange has been unable to leave the Ecuadoran Embassy in London because Britain has refused to provide him safe passage while he is sought by Sweden for questioning about sexual-assault allegations.

    U.S. relations with Ecuador

    Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa has emerged as one of the most vehement critics of U.S. policy in the Western Hemisphere. In 2011, his administration expelled the American ambassador in Quito to protest a cable released by WikiLeaks that alleged the Ecuadoran police force was rife with corruption.

    The extradition treaty between the United States and Ecuador, signed in 1872, states that offenses of “a political character” do not warrant extradition — much like the U.S. agreement with Hong Kong.

    It’s unclear whether the Chinese leadership in Beijing had any role in Hong Kong’s decision to let Snowden leave. Hong Kong is a semiautonomous region that prides itself on its independent legal system, but the government ultimately answers to the mainland, whose influence can be difficult to discern. Residents in Hong Kong are deeply resistant to any overt sign of interference from the Communist Party.

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing said in a statement Sunday that it had seen the reports of Snowden’s departure and would continue to pay attention to developments but did not have “specific details.” The government added that it was “deeply concerned” about reports of U.S. government cyberattacks on China, saying they “proved that China is a victim of cyberattacks.”

    Faiola reported from London and DeYoung reported from New Delhi. Jia Lynn Yang in Hong Kong, Juan Forero in Bogota, Colombia, Ernesto Londoño in Kabul, Lenny Bernstein, Sari Horwitz and David Nakamura in Washington, and Liu Liu in Beijing contributed to this report.


    Kristinn Hrafnsson, an Icelandic investigative journalist and spokesman for WikiLeaks, said in a phone interview that Snowden would stay overnight in Moscow, but said the city was “not a final destination.” He declined to say when Snowden would be departing or where his final stop would be.

    Hrafnsson said he established contact with Snowden last week while the American was in Hong Kong. Arrangements were made for Harrison to meet Snowden in Hong Kong and accompany him out. Harrison was still with Snowden in Moscow, Hrafnsson said.

    “The WikiLeaks legal team and I are interested in preserving Mr. Snowden’s rights and protecting him as a person,” said Baltasar Garzón, legal director of WikiLeaks and attorney for Julian Assange, the group’s founder, who has spent the past year holed up in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London. “What is being done to Mr. Snowden and to Mr. Julian Assange — for making or facilitating disclosures in the public interest — is an assault against the people.”

    A State Department spokeswoman said privacy laws prevented her from commenting specifically on the status of Snowden’s passport. But U.S. officials speaking anonymously said his passport had been revoked before he left Hong Kong.
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  19. #179
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    I keep hearing calls for this guy to come to the US, to face consequences.

    Not, "come to the US for a fair hearing" or anything like that.

    If the guy were to come to the US, he'd be put in a hole, the proceedings would become secret and he'd disappear except for a 60 minutes interview in 15 years.

    Whether it's a plot by the CIA or not, frankly, the NSA thing really pisses me off. Stop domestic spying and it wouldn't be an issue! They can argue till they are blue in the face, the fact remains, they are spying on us without cause. It needs to end.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


  20. #180
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    I couldn't agree more, Mal.

    He is "innocent until proved guilty" in America. If he comes back (which he won't, I think he's a coward and went about this the wrong way) he should be tried in a court, in full public view, NOT hidden away.

    The NSA thing is WRONG, period. Fuck that shit. Spy on SPIES and Foreign Governments and Spy on the criminals and known terrorists. Do NOT COLLECT everyone's information and KEEP the crap for five years. No, No, No, No a million times NO. Just stop it. I don't and never did have a problem with them collecting information on foreign terrorists and perhaps whomever is communicating with them IN the states. I DO have a problem on regular Americans' data and phone calls etc being collected and kept for a "just in case" situation!

    In my opinion... I can't quite call him a "traitor" at this point. While he DID do something *I* wouldn't do given the same circumstances, he certainly did something that woke up the entire world. Is he a "hero"? I don't think so, not yet. I don't consider him a traitor either (and it does depends on what he released, and what he still could release).


    Now... with that said, the fact he hit China up, and then went to Moscow and might head to Ecuador says a lot about his "motivation". I'm beginning to believe he was a turned spy. However, I really think Phil hit the nail on the head with his supposition now. There are some other factors to consider, and I'm not going to voice those right now, not in this venue. Those "listening in" will know the factors and they know for sure whether they are right or wrong.

    And by the way right and wrong doesn't mean "for the good of the majority". It means "for the good of America" and they damned well know what I'm talking about. Whether they are REALLY reading everything or not remains to be seen, but as of this moment, I'm almost positive they are and do. It's not RIGHT. It's WRONG.
    Libertatem Prius!


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