Posts filed under “War/Defense”

NSA Apologists Try to Smear Snowden

NSA Apologists Try to Smear Snowden as a “Russian Spy” … Exactly Like Authorities Tried to Smear Daniel Ellsberg, Ben Franklin and Samuel Adams


But Even the FBI and NSA Say There’s No Evidence that Snowden Worked With Others


While NSA apologists like Mike Rogers say that Snowden is a Russian spy, the New York Times observes:

Officials at both the N.S.A. and the F.B.I. have said their investigations have turned up no evidence that Mr. Snowden was aided by others.

The Freedom of the Press Foundation points out that the Nixon administration also tried to smear Daniel Ellsberg as a Russian spy:

While it’s well-known that Rep. Rogers has a long history of making things up and telling the media, it’s less known that his tactics are drawn straight from Richard Nixon’s playbook, when his administration tried to discredit Daniel Ellsberg after he leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times in 1971.

Ellsberg is commonly looked at as the quintessential whistleblower today, but shortly after he leaked the top secret Vietnam War study, the Nixon administration made a concerted effort to paint him as a Soviet spy in the press, using anonymous quotes and non-existent ‘secret’ evidence. (Sound familiar?)

This is from the New York Times on August 11, 1973:

An attorney for Dr. Daniel Ellsberg has chided the Senate Watergate committee for failing to challenge what he called “totally false and slanderous” testimony by the former White House aide, John D. Ehrlichman, suggesting that Dr. Ellsberg delivered copies of the Pentagon papers to the Soviet embassy.

“During his testimony before your committee, Mr. Ehrlichman repeatedly asserted that the Pentagon papers had been given in 1971 to the Soviet Embassy and implied that this might have been done by my client, Dr. Daniel Ellsberg, or with his knowledge,” the attorney, Leonard B. Boudin, who wrote the committee. “These allegations are made of whole cloth; they are totally false and slanderous of Dr. Ellsberg.”

In December 1973, the New York Times reported on Nixon administration’s alleged reasoning for starting the White House Plumbers unit, which conducted several illegal operations against Ellsberg and the Watergate break-in:

One was a fear—nourished in part, some sources said, by Henry A. Kissinger, then the President’s national security adviser—that Daniel Ellsberg, who said he turned over the Pentagon papers to the press, might pass on to the Soviet Union secrets far more important than any information contained in the Pentagon study of the Vietnam war.

Specifically, the sources said, the White House feared that Dr. Ellsberg, a former Rand Corporation and Defense Department official, may have been a Soviet intelligence informer who, in the weeks after publication of the Pentagon Papers in June, 1971, was capable of turning over details of the most closely held nuclear targeting secrets of the United States, which were contained in a highly classified documents known as the Single Integrated Operation Plans, or S.I.O.P.

The second major concern was that a highly placed Soviet agent of the K.G.B., the Soviet intelligence agency, operating as an American counterspy, would be compromised by continued inquiry by the special prosecutor and the Senate Watergate committee into the Ellsberg case. The agent informed his F.B.I. contact that a set of the Pentagon papers had been delivered to the Soviet Embassy in Washington shortly after a Federal court had ordered The Times to stop printing its series of articles on the papers.

In July 1974, the New York Times published a leaked Nixon administration memo written in August 1971 on how they could discredit Ellsberg’s principal lawyer Leonard B. Boudin:

Most of what Daniel Ellsberg has said in public since he acknowledged stealing the Pentagon Papers seems calculated to position him as having responded to an order of morality higher than his onetime solemn undertakings to his country. This rationale, let it be remembered, was earlier employed by atomic spies Klaus Fuchs, David Greenglass, Morton Sobell and Bruno Pontecorvo.

And although there is as yet no conclusive evidence that Daniel Ellsberg acted on specific instructions of the Soviet Union—as did those earlier informants—the distinct possibility remains that Ellsberg’s “higher order” will one day be revealed as the Soviet Fatherland. For history is replete with repetition and notable similarities exist.

But in the case of Daniel Ellsberg the benefits of [an acquittal] will accrue to the Soviet Union, the Vietcong and Communist China. For if Boudin is again successful—as he has been so often in the past—the agents of foreign powers will enjoy a liberty of action never before accorded them in the history of our country.

Whether it’s the Nixon administration or anyone else, any allegations made with no proof—and under the veil of secrecy—deserve extreme skepticism and strong pushback from the press. Rep. Mike Rogers’ evidence-free smears against Edward Snowden are no different.

Indeed, Founding Fathers Benjamin Franklin and Samuel Adams did exactly what Edward Snowden did … and were likewise labeled as traitors by the British government.


Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

We Vanquish Terrorism When We Tap Into the Huge Reserve of Courage Within Each One of Us, and Refuse To Be Terrorized   Northwestern professor Peter Ludlow writes in the New York Times: Philosophers have long noted the utility of fear to the state. Machiavelli notoriously argued that a good leader should induce fear in…Read More

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

Spying On Metadata

NSA Spying On “Metadata” Is As Bad As Listening to the Content of Our Phone Calls … Or WORSE Why Spying On Metadata Is Even MORE Intrusive than Listening to Content The government has sought to reassure us that it is only tracking “metadata” such as the time and place of our phone calls, and…Read More

Category: Legal, Think Tank, War/Defense

Why Does Anyone Still Believe the NSA?

Only a FOOL Still Believes the NSA   The NSA and other intelligence officials have been repeatedly caught lying about their spying programs. Officials in the legislative, judicial and executive branches of government all say that the mass surveillance on Americans is unnecessary: 3 Senators with top secret clearance “have reviewed this surveillance extensively and…Read More

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

NSA Spying On Congress

What It Really Means The NSA pretty much admitted to spying on Congress this week. It’s not the first time.  David Sirota notes: When I asked U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) if the NSA was keeping files on his colleagues, he recounted a meeting between NSA officials and lawmakers in the lead-up to a closely…Read More

Category: Legal, War/Defense

Clues to Future Snowden Leaks Found In His Past

Work for Covert NSA Facility at University of Maryland May Be Hint Only a tiny fraction of Snowden’s documents have been published. What’s still to come? We believe one hint comes from Snowden’s past as a security specialist at one of one the NSA’s covert facilities at the University of Maryland. Pre-Crime and the NSA…Read More

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

The Big Lie About NSA Spying

Even Before 9/11, NSA Knew In Real-Time Which Countries Both Parties to Phone Calls Were In In finding the NSA’s metadata collection program legal today, Judge William Pauley III ruled: The September 11th terrorist attacks revealed, in the starkest terms, just how dangerous and interconnected the world is. While Americans depended on technology for the…Read More

Category: Legal, Think Tank, War/Defense

Military Law Expert: Obama Should Pardon Snowden

How Can Obama Let Criminals Like Clapper Go … Yet Go After Snowden? Professor Jonathan Turley is one of the nation’s top military and constitutional law experts. Turley: Has held a top-secret clearance since the Reagan administration Is the second most cited law professor in the country Has worked as both the CBS and NBC…Read More

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

If You Want to Rein In the NSA, HERE’s How to Do It

There’s An Easy Technical Fix To A Good Chunk of Our Spy Problems Bill Binney is the high-level NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information. A 32-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency, Binney was the senior technical director within the agency and managed thousands of…Read More

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

White House Panel Slams NSA, Says Mass Spying Is Unnecessary

Even Commission Which Obama Created Says We Should Rein In the NSA … and Shouldn’t Blindly Trust Government   The White House panel on NSA spying released its report today, slamming mass surveillance and vindicating what critics have been saying all along. Specifically, the commission set up by President Obama – formally known as the…Read More

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense