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US Justice Department Dug Up Reporter's Phone, Bank Records

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the speak-loudly-into-the-wiretap-please dept.

Democrats 217

tripleevenfall writes "A court filing provides new details about the extraordinary measures Justice Department prosecutors are using to identify government leakers. Prosecutors obtained a suspect's telephone, credit and bank records. Lucy Dalglish, of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press said, 'This tells us the Obama administration will do almost anything to figure out who is leaking government information.'"

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Okay, And? (1, Offtopic)

JRHelgeson (576325) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326768)

How, exactly, is this news?

Re:Okay, And? (0)

hduff (570443) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326834)

How, exactly, is this news?

And they do it on the cops shows on TV at the drop of a hat.

Re:Okay, And? (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326946)

How, exactly, is this news?

I think this is supposed to be news because the President who did it wasn't named 'Bush'. Though we generally expected more from Obama (eg, less of this stuff) we're all being reminded that whomever runs the show acts more like the one they replaced then we wanted/hoped.

Re:Okay, And? (1, Insightful)

davecb (6526) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326992)

It's a tiny bit dishonest to say "the X administration" unless it was a conscious policy of X, not something that you can expect to see from X-1 and x+1. It also appears in the topic sentence of the cited article, which is a tip-off:

If someone wants you to believe something that isn't true, it will appear in the first sentence, even if it logically doesn't belong there or seems jarring. That's a psychological trick that dates back to the ancient Greeks. It was reputedly a specific teaching of the sophists[1].

.--dave
[1] citation needed, although it was on my Plato course several centuries ago...

Re:Okay, And? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327264)

Why dishonest. It's no less good or bad just because more than one administration does it. What's dishonest is ignoring it or not pinning the blame/credit squarely on the person responsible.

Re:Okay, And? (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327288)

It's a tiny bit dishonest to say "the X administration" unless it was a conscious policy of X, not something that you can expect to see from X-1 and x+1. It also appears in the topic sentence of the cited article, which is a tip-off:

Sorry but if someone is not prepared to take responsibility for the actions of their underlings then they are not fit to be in a position of authority. It's alright, plenty of people are not cut out for leadership just like plenty of people are not computer technicians. I don't buy the phony distinction of "conscious policies" and "unconscious policies". If you are in charge and you don't know what your underlings are doing, you're incompetent; if you're in charge and you know what your underlings are doing and you do not require them to change, it is because you approve whether this approval is stated or unstated.

Anyone who thinks that's a tough standard is free to find a job less demanding than the Presidency.

 

If someone wants you to believe something that isn't true, it will appear in the first sentence, even if it logically doesn't belong there or seems jarring. That's a psychological trick that dates back to the ancient Greeks. It was reputedly a specific teaching of the sophists[1].

I would say that if that's all it takes to get someone to believe a lie, especially about anything important, then their love of truth and commitment to objectivity were non-existent anyway. They are soft-minded, naive, and their deceit is inevitable. The only question is who will fool them first. I wish it weren't so easy to deceive so many people but that's the reality.

Well I felt better with Bush doing it (2)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327210)

because we had the press vigorously pursuing every perceived and real attack on our privacy and rights while he was there. Now I am stuck with Fox to do it and have to screen everything they print/show to make sure I am not falling for something from the paranoia side. Worse, all those screaming voices on the Democratic side of Congress are woefully silent with regards to everything our President chooses to do.

If the press rode his ass like they did Bush we would be better off, it might make him live up to his promises/promise. Now all I want is to see him a one term President so we have a chance of something better next time.

Re:Well I felt better with Bush doing it (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327392)

Worse, all those screaming voices on the Democratic side of Congress are woefully silent with regards to everything our President chooses to do.

Of course. These people have no principles. They believe in nothing other than their own indulgence and selfish advancement. Their most heart-felt beliefs are determined by the way the winds are blowing. They are utterly decadent and, if you will, soul-less. That's why the same police-state shit is okay if "their guy" is doing it, but a horrible outrage if the "other guy" does it. Really, the only thing they can't stand is that the puppet performing the action doesn't sport their logo.

 

If the press rode his ass like they did Bush we would be better off, it might make him live up to his promises/promise. Now all I want is to see him a one term President so we have a chance of something better next time.

It will be "change we can believe in!" all over again and people will eat that shit up because they so badly want to believe it. After the warm fuzzies start to fade away, it will be "meet the new boss, same as the old boss". The masses will be surprised by this because they are shallow, so they see that this puppet figurehead is different from the last puppet figurehead -- what they fail to see is that the exact same economic and political forces choose all of the puppet figureheads. Fish in a barrel is what they are. It is what they will remain until they wake up and start wanting something better for themselves.

To further reinforce the point, I'll borrow a quote from Matthew Parris, regarding television shows:

...is it dishonest for the presenter to imply that the pundit in the chair is free to offer any opinion, when the truth is that fifty pundits were
telephoned, but only the fellow prepared to offer the requisite opinion was invited?

Yes, it is dishonest. They do that because it takes a lot of money and effort to produce a show and reach a large audience. The people who are putting up that money want some assurance that there will be a return on their investment. So they don't want just any person to offer just any opinion, because that's a wildcard, an unknown. They want exactly what they pay for.

Politics works this way. Only the fellow with the requisite political beliefs and lack of principles will be invited. The monied interests that lobby and pay for campaigns do this because it takes a lot of money and effort to fund a campaign and provide the support it takes to get someone into high office. They want a return on their investment in the form of someone who represents their interests. The voters are taken for granted, for time after time it is the well-funded darling of the media who is never seriously scrutinized, who is always portrayed as a great guy, who gets the votes.

Until you fix that it really doesn't matter what the President's name is.

Re:Well I felt better with Bush doing it (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327562)

even more amusing is that they are chasing after things that the Bush dodo's dropped.

Re:Okay, And? (1, Insightful)

starfishsystems (834319) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327286)

You're saying that Barack Obama instructed the Justice Department to obtain this information?

Wow, that's like no other government I've ever seen, and I've lived and paid taxes in a lot of countries. Mostly, what I've seen is governments that are not under the effective control of any one person. Most large bureacracies are so ponderous that even very deliberate changes in official policy have marginal effect on entrenched attitudes and behavior. But I guess the United States must be an exception. Obama has some special power to change all this, a power that he's failing to exercise?

Re:Okay, And? (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327520)

You're saying that Barack Obama instructed the Justice Department to obtain this information?

Wow, that's like no other government I've ever seen, and I've lived and paid taxes in a lot of countries. Mostly, what I've seen is governments that are not under the effective control of any one person. Most large bureacracies are so ponderous that even very deliberate changes in official policy have marginal effect on entrenched attitudes and behavior. But I guess the United States must be an exception. Obama has some special power to change all this, a power that he's failing to exercise?

In a word: yes. He has. The U.S. has three branches of government. The President has no direct control over the legislative and judicial branches. However, the President is the undisputed leader of the executive branch. Every other member of the executive branch is his subordinate. If the head of an executive department will not comply with the President's wishes, the President can fire that person and replace them with someone else.

For example, Obama disagrees with what is called the "Defense of Marriage Act". Eric Holder is the Attorney General, that is, Holder is the head of the Department of Justice. The DoJ is part of the executive branch. Obama has directly instructed Holder to refuse to enforce this particular law. Holder has three choices in the matter: 1) comply with Obama's order, 2) refuse to comply and be fired and replaced, or 3) resign and be replaced. (Incidentally, this is an attack against the concept of rule of law -- the way we are supposed to deal with laws we don't like is to get them changed, not to selectively enforce them, but I digress).

Obama could absolutely require the DoJ to stop obtaining this information. He doesn't do this for one reason and one reason alone: he does not wish to.

Re:Okay, And? (0)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327584)

slightly off-topic, but what Obama did with regards DOMA was about as huge a grab on executive power as you can get. He's basically decided that he shall be King and decide which laws he likes to enforce and which he does not. We are now at the point that whatever political party comes to power will simply non-enforce laws with which they disagree. Even if Obama had legit concerns over this law (or any other) it is SCOTUS, not President, who determines the constitutionality.

Re:Okay, And? (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326964)

And what's this "almost anything"? Please! It's the damn government. It does what it wants.

Re:Okay, And? (1)

cadience (770683) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327000)

Sure, it's not news to you, but it still merits reporting. If a tree falls in the forest and no-one hears it, does it make a sound - or something like that.

Re:Okay, And? (4, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327180)

It's news because it is yet another example of Obama's public campaign (and in-office) lies. This is yet another promise he made during his campaign and in office (protecting confidential news sources) that he broke at the first opportunity, and continues to do.

Let's face it: Obama tends to say one thing publicly, then behind everybody's back does the opposite. By now you can't convince me that it isn't his real policy, because he's done it too often.

Re:Okay, And? (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327246)

um that or it is the justice department doing things as they always have, and the administration in charge knows nothing of.

When you get so many layers of beuacracy those in charge really aren't in charge, because they aren't told everything.

Being president of the USA sucks. people expect you to know every detail of the 10 million employees under you. While Bush can be blamed on lots of things and Obama is doing some really nasty shite themselves, not everything can be blamed on "the administration".

Re:Okay, And? (1)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327572)

Being president of the USA sucks. people expect you to know every detail of the 10 million employees under you.

That sounds like yet another good argument in favor of a smaller, less powerful federal government. That would be more manageable and therefore more likely to ensure accountability. Though as far as how badly it sucks to be President, remember these are people who strongly desire power. Power can and should carry a great deal of responsibility. If anything, it doesn't carry enough. I have no sympathy whatsoever if someone's thirst for political power causes them some occasional discomfort.

 

While Bush can be blamed on lots of things and Obama is doing some really nasty shite themselves, not everything can be blamed on "the administration".

The meaningful question is: now that this has come to light and is being reported in the media, now that the President can no longer claim ignorance, what is he going to do about it? The likely answer: absolutely nothing. That can and should be blamed on his administration.

Re:Okay, And? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327644)

"When you get so many layers of beuacracy those in charge really aren't in charge, because they aren't told everything."

Doesn't matter. He said he was going to make the situation better, and he hasn't. As far as I know he hasn't even tried, and frankly I think that is on purpose.

Why? Because he promised to back off on surveillance of civilians, too, but those programs have actually increased since he took office. The Obama administration has backed not just extending, but worsening provisions of the Patriot Act, for example.

He just doesn't do what he says. Period. He has broken nearly every promise he made, and has continued to do so.

If all the things he said he would do -- but actually did the opposite when it all came down to it -- are beyond his control, then there isn't much point in having a President at all.

Re:Okay, And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35327298)

the Obama administration will do almost anything

How, exactly, is this news?

Confirmation is nice to report.

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Re:bhgkjhkjkjhkfjjfh (0)

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Moderation -1
  70% Offtopic
  30% Insightful

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Good Fucking Grief (-1, Flamebait)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326792)

This tells us the Obama administration will do almost anything to figure out who is leaking government information

Seems like something they *should* be doing... Seriously, leaking US Gov "secrets" IS against the law. So it only makes sense they are doing what they can to find the leak?

What's next? Slashdotters complain that the US Gov doesn't nothing to locate leaks because they are incompetent? Can't have it both ways...

They pulled records on a non-suspect (4, Interesting)

mykos (1627575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326870)

The summary says prosecutors obtained the suspect's records. But the title has it right; DoJ pulled bank and credit records on someone not suspected of a crime. If I were the news man, I'd demand to see the warrant.

Re:They pulled records on a non-suspect (1, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326926)

The summary says prosecutors obtained the suspect's records. But the title has it right; DoJ pulled bank and credit records on someone not suspected of a crime. If I were the news man, I'd demand to see the warrant.

Not hundred percent sure how it works exactly, but I think only the suspect has protection of the law. If you are suspected of a crime, evidence of your crime is in my posession, and the police gets that evidence without a warrant, then my rights might be violated. So that evidence couldn't be used against me, but _you_ are not protected.

Re:They pulled records on a non-suspect (3, Insightful)

Israfels (730298) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327010)

Actually, as a military police officer, we have a saying shared by other police agencies, "Fruit of the poisonous tree". if the means in which the evidence is obtained is illegal, then the evidence cannot be used. The 4th Amendment protects every citizen, not just suspects. In fact, only suspects can be searched. Either by a warrant or a good faith search.

Re:They pulled records on a non-suspect (2)

sed quid in infernos (1167989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327150)

Actually, as a military police officer, we have a saying shared by other police agencies, "Fruit of the poisonous tree". if the means in which the evidence is obtained is illegal, then the evidence cannot be used. The 4th Amendment protects every citizen, not just suspects. In fact, only suspects can be searched. Either by a warrant or a good faith search.

This is flat out not true, for two reasons. First, the constitution requires that there be probable cause (a very low evidentiary standard) that the search will uncover items or information useful as evidence of a crime. There is NO requirement that the person who is being searched (or whose belongings are being searched) be a suspect in that crime.

Second, a defendant has standing to object to the admission of evidence gathered in violation of the fourth amendment only if the evidence was gathered in violation of the defendant's fourth amendment rights. If a third party's fourth amendment right was violated, the defendant cannot object to the admission of that evidence. The third party has other remedies available to him. Note that this does not apply to evidence obtained via coercion of a third party - a different standard for asserting such objections applies.

Re:They pulled records on a non-suspect (3, Informative)

gamricstone (1879210) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327236)

According to Alderman v. US, 394 US 165 (1969)

1. Suppression of the product of a Fourth Amendment violation can be successfully urged only by those whose rights were violated by the search itself, and not those who are aggrieved solely by the introduction of damaging evidence. Thus, codefendants and coconspirators have no special standing, and cannot prevent the admission against them of information which has been obtained through electronic surveillance which is illegal against another. Pp. 394 U. S. 171-176.

So evidence obtained through an illegal S&S CAN be used against anyone except for those whom had their rights violated during the search (IE the home/business owners and no one else).

Re:They pulled records on a non-suspect (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327196)

Actually, violation of "civil rights" is a crime and can be prosecuted as such.

Re:They pulled records on a non-suspect (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327198)

Doesn't matter in this case - nobody is claiming the evidence was obtained illegally, just the article is implying it. If you read the linked story you'll see the DOJ issued subpoenas for the information which presumably could have been challenged if they were thought to be invalid.

Re:They pulled records on a non-suspect (0)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327088)

The reporter did commit a crime he knowingly disseminated classified information, for whatever reason the DOJ has had a long standing tradition of not going after newspapers for committing this crime.

Re:They pulled records on a non-suspect (5, Insightful)

Arker (91948) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327102)

The reporter did commit a crime he knowingly disseminated classified information, for whatever reason the DOJ has had a long standing tradition of not going after newspapers for committing this crime.

Do some research. The reason they *never* file charges on this is because if they did it would be thrown out of court. We have something called the first amendment that trumps statute whenever the two conflict. You should also look up a guy named Daniel Ellsberg.

Re:They pulled records on a non-suspect (1)

HBI (604924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327248)

Ellsberg only avoided conviction and a long prison sentence as a result of government misconduct of a gross nature surrounding a break-in of his house.

He *should * have spent a half-century in jail or so.

Re:They pulled records on a non-suspect (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327224)

Just to reinforce the other responder here: this is exactly why so many in government want to shut down WikiLeaks. Actually stealing classified information is illegal. But printing it is not: that is covered by the First Amendment.

And it should be! The right of the people to speak about what goes on behind closed government doors without fear of prosecution is essential to the fundamental freedom of speech. Without it, there would none.

Re:Good Fucking Grief (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326876)

So is better that be the government that do the law breaking thing instead of citizens or foreigners? Shouldnt it give the example, instead of doing the same or worse?

Re:Good Fucking Grief (2)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326894)

No, because the terrorists, criminals and child pornographers win unless we stoop to their level.

Re:Good Fucking Grief (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35327188)

Said the politician who was molesting a child smoking weed, while wearing a bomb vest.

captcha: uprising

Re:Good Fucking Grief (2)

hduff (570443) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326878)

What's next? Slashdotters complain that the US Gov doesn't nothing to locate leaks because they are incompetent? Can't have it both ways...

Of course we can -- it's Slashdot!

Re:Good Fucking Grief (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326936)

What's next? Slashdotters complain that the US Gov doesn't nothing to locate leaks because they are incompetent? Can't have it both ways...

Of course we can -- it's Slashdot!

Do you mean Quantum Slashdot?

Re:Good Fucking Grief (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326880)

You're wrong.

Leaking GWB gov secrets is good

Leaking BHO gov secrets is bad

Or Visa Versa. People want it both was all the time.

Re:Good Fucking Grief (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35326898)

What bothers me most about that quote is that, typically, a Democratic administration will be far more open than a Republican administration. So either the quote is specious, or Lucy Dalgrish doesn't understand the lesser of two evils: "this one's not good enough... so we'd rather have the worst than put up with it"
::facepalm::

Re:Good Fucking Grief (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35327074)

This article is Obama trolling. Why this had an "democrat" icon? It is the US Justice department work, not Obama's or his party. Stop take any thing gouvernemnet do as a partisant act. Also, when Bush was wrong doing, why there was no monkey icon?

Re:Good Fucking Grief (2)

doug (926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327306)

The party and political inclination of the POTUS has everything to do with it. When W was elected, his DoJ decided to stop investigating/charging MS for violating the Sherman Antitrust Act, although Clinton's DoJ put a lot of time/money into it. Now O's DoJ has decided that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional and unenforceable, something that W's DoJ would never have done. Different administrations, different slants on things.

- doug

PS: I'm not saying that W or O had any direct influence over either of these choices. But the president does get to nominate a lot of the top people in the DoJ, and everyone in the executive branch works for the president. And it is a good thing that the president's views come out in DoJ, because that is the whole point of having elections.

Re:Good Fucking Grief (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35327532)

I am not saying that the presient do not have influence. But ever since Obama was elected, it is always "Obama's this", "Obama's that" where before it was "Governement did shit! Blah blah blah. In conclusion Bush MAY be to blame". This is clearly Obama trolling.

Take any boring stuff governemnt do, add "Obama's" in front and you got your headline.

Re:Good Fucking Grief (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327160)

Actually, we are getting it both ways...and we like it!

Re:Good Fucking Grief (5, Interesting)

FridayBob (619244) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327384)

Excuse me, but often today's leaker turns out to be tomorrow's hero.

For example, after the Pentagon Papers were leaked to the New York Times in 1971, it showed that a number of presidents had lied to the American people and violated their oaths to uphold the Constitution. That leak helped to end the Vietnam war.

Daniel Ellsberg, the leaker and the first person ever to be prosecuted for a leak in the United States, was prosecuted under the Espionage Act of 1917. This act had been designed for espionage and, until that time, had never been used for anything else except to prosecute spies: those who act with the express intent to harm the US or help a foreign power. However, against Ellsberg they used a clause within the act that says only those with legal authority may publish classified documents. The same clause is now being used against Bradley Manning.

Why use the Espionage Act against leakers? Because, unlike Great Britain, the US has never had an Official Secrets Act: a law that would criminalize any and all disclosure of classified information. Efforts have been made by Congress to pass one -- the last time under Bill Clinton (which he vetoed) -- but this has never succeeded, because lawmakers have always considered that it would be too much at odds with the First Amendment. Yet, that's the way the Espionage Act is now being used.

Finally, is it not highly ironic that, even as the government prosecutes Bradley Manning, the State Dept. is promoting a documentary film that celebrates Daniel Ellsberg and his leaking of the Pentagon Papers? (see this link [tampabay.com] ).

Tor, encryption, etc. (5, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326802)

...journalists should learn about Tor, email encryption, steganography, and other privacy protecting technologies. It is unfortunate, but if journalists wish to protect their sources, these are the lengths they will have to go to (if not now, then in the near future).

Re:Tor, encryption, etc. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35326912)

Misread what you said as 'Stenography' instead; they seem to already be well versed in that.

Re:Tor, encryption, etc. (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326924)

... you just gave me a great idea for a business. It's getting to the point where those services are *required* by journalists and others.

Re:Tor, encryption, etc. (3, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326928)

...journalists should learn about Tor, email encryption, steganography, and other privacy protecting technologies.

They should also be using their "bully pulpits" to argue against the ongoing centralisation of databases. If our society weren't so enthused with the centralized collection of as much data as possible about its citizens, these sorts of trawling expeditions would be much more difficult to pull off.

We need policies and laws that restrict such databases to collecting and maintaining records to the minimum required for their primary purpose only. For example, call records that go back at least 6 years are completely unnecessary for billing purposes - 6 months, maybe a year at tops, should be the limit.

Obama's been in for 6 years? (1)

topham (32406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326812)

really? Now that IS news.

Re:Obama's been in for 6 years? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35326884)

It just feels that way to a lot of Conservatives.

Re:Obama's been in for 6 years? (3, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326960)

No, Obama hasn't been in for 6 years. However, we are in the start of the 11th year of the Bush Administration and their agenda.

Re:Obama's been in for 6 years? (1, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327472)

That's odd. I seem to remember Bush getting railed all the time for just about anything, including gas prices in the US. Obama seems to be living the easy life, with no tough questions, or even worrying about world issues(not that there's a shortage). Personally to an outsider, who pays attention to US news, this all reeks of media whitewashing their favorite kid, because well he can do no wrong. Unlike that other guy, who ended up not being as bad as everyone thought.

Oh I'm sure people will be frothing at the mouth at that, but if you're so blinded by partisan ideology that you can't see it. You should be reviewing not only the news you watch, but how it's presented to you.

Re:Obama's been in for 6 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35327700)

You neglected parent's point. Obama is running things just as Bush did, he isn't dismantling his programs, his policies, anything.

Obama isn't getting tough questions because Bush never got tough questions. The media let him do as he please and hardly anyone bothered to complain. That's why we had the war, remember? Even though it all came down to one information source who was on the payroll of Bush and the Saudis, who incidentally are the same people that did 9/11.

Hardly surprising (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35326818)

Obama is letting Bradley Manning get tortured and as seen in the HBGary case, is encouraging businesses to destroy the lives of journalists to keep information from getting released.

Bush did the exact same things with Lindh and journalists who dug to deep into why we went to war.

As a life-long Democrat, I'm amazed to see that Obama is just another Bush in disguise.

Re:Hardly surprising (0)

Asclepius99 (1527727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326886)

It should be noted that at least in this case, TFA specifically says that they haven't commented yet on which administration, Obama or Bush, was the one that actually began the investigation.

Re:Hardly surprising (0)

Asclepius99 (1527727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326918)

I actually misread that, they're unsure which administration made the request for bank/credit records. The investigation has been going on for over 6 years, so this was originally a Bush administration case.

Re:Hardly surprising (4, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326998)

TFA specifically says that they haven't commented yet on which administration, Obama or Bush, was the one that actually began the investigation

Why would it matter? The two administrations have repeatedly made the same decisions at every opportunity thus far. We were led to believe that Obama was going to do things differently, instead what we see is that Obama is doing things exactly the same as Bush. Had Bush managed to steal a third term in office, we would have likely seen the exact same policies come to fruit that we've seen since Obama's inauguration in 2009.

Re:Hardly surprising (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327146)

Almost exact. The parties agree to disagree on a few issues that are really of no importance, like gay marriage, in order to maintain the illusion that the vote matters.

Re:Hardly surprising (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327220)

They followed the rules, obtained subpoenas, and investigated a crime. This, of course, is exactly the same as secretly abducting and torturing people, because.... well, because Slashdot is full of hard-core libertarian-anarchists who would only be happy if the government was completely eradicated.

Re:Hardly surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35327702)

There was a word missing from Obama's auto-cue. Change you can ONLY believe in...

Re:Hardly surprising (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327174)

as a life-long 3rd party-crat, im not

the republican party is the rich u dont realize the peasant can revolt
the democratic party is the rich who knows they can

now which one do i prefer the idiots who only help themselves, or the reasonably capable who still only care for themselves but does it secretly and in moderation?

Re:Hardly surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35327344)

As a life-long Democrat, I'm amazed to see that Obama is just another Bush in disguise.

Are you serious? As a life-long democrat I would expect you to be quite used to this sort of thing.

Re:Hardly surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35327372)

So do you have a better approach to containing a suspect, who by all appearances is still intent on breaking the law? I suppose you could just continue to let him pass secrets, just the same way you could let a child molester continue to work in a school while the trial is ongoing. The big difference is that a child molester probably won't kill anyone, while Manning's intent is perfectly clear.

Re:Hardly surprising (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327454)

Rule #1 of politics: You can replace the flies, but the shit will remain the same.

Re:Hardly surprising (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327498)

Obama is deeply disappointing on some issues, but he's hardly a second Bush. Or did I miss Bush deciding to push for comprehensive healthcare reform, banking regulation, ending DADT and stop defending DOMA? The President is hardly perfect, but claiming that he's a second Bush is just plain dishonest.

Most Transparent Administration EVAR (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327606)

Perhaps you were asleep during Bush's presidency... Bush brought us medicare part d, the largest expansion in entitlements in 20 years. not that that or Obama's "reform" are any good... for anyone who isn't in the health care industry. one of the statistics the left used as a rhetoric bludgeon was the lower cost of healthcare as a % of GDP in countries with socialized health care. a casual look at the "reform" enacted shows clearly that healthcare spending as a % of GDP in the US will go dramatically *up*, not down. it's change you can't believe in.

at the time DADT was instituted it was considered a progressive reform, enabling gays to serve in a military that had thitherto been actively pursuing them rather than simply reacting to reports. was it still bad? yes. but to pretend that its end was some great victory of Obama is madness, especially when our military has such trouble meeting recruitment objectives that nearly half our forces in iraq and afghanistan are mercenaries. letting gays serve openly is just one lever to alleviate pressure before having to reinstitute the draft, something which would instantly invert popular support for the wars.

and in some ways he's *worse* than Bush, not merely "deeply disappointing." don't take my word for it, ask the EFF or the ACLU.

and how about them wars after all? no, you can keep your Bush III. sane people will be voting for someone else. almost anyone else.

but back to the topic. Obama ran explicitly on a platform of openness, transparency, and not punishing whistleblowers. Most Transparent Administration EVAR.

Re:Hardly surprising (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327622)

The only thing that the Obama administration did was delay a revolt that was about to happen by appeasing it's subjects with free healthcare promises and making you feel like you have rights by paying lip service to the basic rights of a minority group.

And it's not him personally, the whole government from local to federal is corrupt. Everywhere (look critically at your news sources) both dem's and rep's are pushing to limit your rights to and staging government takeovers of civil services (banks, car manufacturers, school districts, unions, press, religion...) all the while making the gap between them (the aristocracy) and us (the plebes) bigger.

They'll not detect the big leaks until too late (1)

EnergyScholar (801915) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326822)

Because the big leaks will come from unauthorized entry. The US Gov't is very focussed on detecting leakers, but have they considered the possibility that their computer security might be inadequate to the threat they face? Perhaps the whistleblowers just add credibility as to where the leaks are coming from?

I'm a security professional, and I'm not at all confident that large institutions effectively guard their borders. For example, is does any organization have a security posture that can effectively block access by a quantum neural network AI based on topological quantum computing principles, should such a thing exist? Insider threats are real and serious, but, perhaps, they should also be looking elsewhere for their vulnerabilities?

I think its disgraceful, but not surprising, that governments attempt to find and punish whistleblowers. A person only becomes a whistleblower if there is egregiously bad stuff going on, in which case they are doing the morally right thing. This puts almost any organization trying to track down and punish whistleblowers as automatically in the wrong.

Re:They'll not detect the big leaks until too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35326914)

A. History shows that you're wrong
B. We have an agency, half of which is devoted to protecting government networks from external threats
C. You're a pretty lousy security professional if you're unaware of A. and B.

Re:They'll not detect the big leaks until too late (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327164)

D. Or they could just use lax security, then totally destroy the life of anyone stupid enough to exploit it until the hackers learn not to try.

Re:They'll not detect the big leaks until too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35326980)

does any organization have a security posture that can effectively block access by a quantum neural network AI based on topological quantum computing principles?

Yes, I do. It can't be hacked by leprechauns, either.

Re:They'll not detect the big leaks until too late (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327118)

For example, does any organization have a security posture that can effectively block access by a quantum neural network AI based on topological quantum computing principles, should such a thing exist?

No, they are appallingly unprepared for that possibility. What's worse, they also have absolutely no defenses against intruders who read the contents of classified hard drives via ESP, should such a thing exist. They should all be sacked for negligence.

Re:They'll not detect the big leaks until too late (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327152)

For example, is does any organization...

I dunno paw, is does they?

I'm a security professional...

Jeepers, you was the guy stringin' the tin cans across the telephone wire like that! The mayor's purty pissed about his news of his cheatin' getting all over town, they say he's been knockin' boots wtih a Moolie!

Re:They'll not detect the big leaks until too late (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327272)

"This puts almost any organization trying to track down and punish whistleblowers as automatically in the wrong."

Mod parent up.

Uhm... (1, Insightful)

Nailer235 (1822054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326844)

So the Justice Department used lawful means to obtain these records - records pertaining to an event that casts a shadow over the entire country - and we are supposed to be on her side for this one? I mean, it just seems we have warrants going out for all sorts of trivial stuff. Leaking government information, on the other hand, actually seems like something important that's worth investigating.

Re:Uhm... (1, Insightful)

Asclepius99 (1527727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326948)

I have to agree with you here. This isn't about he DOJ bugging someone's phone or abducting them, they went to a judge and asked to get records which the article even indicates are a standard practice in criminal investigations. I don't see the big deal here, the CIA doesn't want people to publish books that include specific operations they've carried out against foreign nations, especially if it happened within recent memory (under Clinton, so at some point in the 90s).

Re:Uhm... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327320)

"So the Justice Department used lawful means to obtain these records"

Were the means lawful? To subpoena the private records of someone who is not a criminal suspect? Remember that the journalist did not commit any crimes, and apparently was not even suspected of doing so. Yet they obtained years' worth of records on him.

citizens digging up doj/politicos' BANKING etc... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35326922)

what's good for any of US, must be good for ALL of US?

illegal/immoral behavior radiates from DC (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35327052)

it's no wonder they want to kill folks who talk about it. looks like it's either the nobel peace prize or gitmo for that asshanged guy. the rest of the wwworld seems to agree with his reporting as well as reacting to the content. better days ahead? see you there? remember, it all starts/ends with baby care. there's nowhere left to hide.

LOLZ (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35326942)

It took you guys this long to figure out that the guy who did nothing to repeal the PATRIOT Act when he had free reign is evil? Jesus fuck. Let's face facts, anything that the government does today to somehow promote good will to us peasants has some ulterior motive and we're paying for it somehow.

Open your eyes and see that the system is broken and neither the elephant or the jackass are going to fix it. Stop being worried about looking like a fucktard for admitting that your guy, whichever side he is on, is an asshole and let's get on with getting on. If your voting for the winner is a bigger deal to you than voting for someone who's going to try to fix things then I guess you'll always be on the losing end of the deal.

Re:LOLZ (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35327024)

Repeal the Patriot act? Hell, on Friday he signed a three-month extension of it. [washingtonpost.com]

Re:LOLZ (0)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327176)

It took you guys this long to figure out that the guy who did nothing to repeal the PATRIOT Act when he had free reign is evil?

"Free reign"? Really? There seems to be this delusion that the USA is a dictatorship, where the President can simply enact or repeal any law he desires.

Contrast that with reality -- it is Congress that makes the laws, and the President can, at best, ask them to make laws he likes, or veto newly passed laws that he doesn't like.

Go ahead and fault Obama for not trying harder and twisting more arms, if you like, but let's not pretend he's Superman, or that Congress is a rubber stamp. The truth is that Congress deserves at least as much of the blame as the Obama Administration, and arguably the majority of it.

Re:LOLZ (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327284)

There seems to be this delusion that the USA is a dictatorship, where the President can simply enact or repeal any law he desires.

Contrast that with reality -- it is Congress that makes the laws, and the President can, at best, ask them to make laws he likes, or veto newly passed laws that he doesn't like.

Indeed. And Obama was elected as a Democrat President with a Democrat Congress... you think he couldn't have got these laws repealed if he really wanted to?

Re:LOLZ (0)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327514)

That's bullshit and you know it. He had a veto proof majority in the Senate for what less than a month? And not if you recognize that the blue dog coalition is every bit as ready to sell us out for national security as the opposing party is.

I realize this may come as a shock, but there's significantly less party unity with the Democrats than there is with the Republicans.

Re:LOLZ (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35327544)

The truth is that Congress deserves at least as much of the blame as the Obama Administration, and arguably the majority of it.

Funny, it seemed to be the exact opposite sentiment prior to 2008. Any invasion of privacy was immediately decried as evil-doing by Bush and Bush alone. But now that the Democrats have "their man" at the top, it switches to "No! Congress is to blame!"

Of course I expect nothing different from the same people who wanted to paint Bush as the most evil man alive while at the same time talking about how much of an idiot he was. If he's an idiot, how can he be an evil mastermind? If he's an evil mastermind, how can he be an idiot?

I'll stick with "he was the most powerful idiot in the world." And we reversed things in 2008. Obama is far from stupid, but he's proving to be just as evil as the previous idiot. Net result? No real "Change"...

Correction (4, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35326944)

Should read

"This tells us the Obama Administration will do everything that the Bush Administration did"

And that applies to a lot more than just matters of "national security".

Re:Correction (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327106)

"This tells us the Obama Administration will do everything that the Bush Administration did"

I, for one, am looking forward to next year's invasion of some annoying-yet-irrelevent country. Where will we fail to find the WMDs this time?

Re:Correction (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327518)

I suggest Jamaica or perhaps Tahiti, plenty of beaches and sun.

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35327664)

meh, seems unlikely. Obama is a reader, not a leader. Revolution in Egypt? Revolution in Libya? He waits until the rest of the world weighs in before saying anything, and when he does say something (a week later), he doesn't actually say anything.

Re:Correction (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35327590)

Iran, it is at least trying to enrich uranium, just needs a bit of hype and away you go (although the locals might get there first).

But only Bush does that stuff. . . (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35327004)

Apparently not.

As well they should (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35327084)

The problem arises when they use the information they find for purposes other than their original intention. A no holes barred search for a gov't leak is 100% expected and necessary.

I don't see a problem here (3, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327090)

They are investigating a crime. The guy they pulled the records on is directly linked to it (albeit not a suspect himself due to the nature of the law). They've got a warrant for it too, right and proper. And it's not something unusual in general - quote :

because subpoenas for financial records are standard practice in criminal investigations, there is no reason for the Justice Department not to use them to obtain records from journalists in leak probes. The data from credit and bank records would allow prosecutors to home in on where journalists have traveled, lunches or dinners they might have paid for, and other information that could help identify their sources for a story, the former prosecutor said.

So what's the big deal?

Re:I don't see a problem here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35327136)

The big deal is, this is /. therefore everything/everyone is evil and whining must take place.

Maybe not on Obama's Watch (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327168)

From the article:

Matt Miller, a spokesman for the Justice Department, declined to comment on the court filing or say whether department subpoenas for Risenâ(TM)s bank and credit reports occurred under President Barack Obamaâ(TM)s attorney general, Eric Holder, or earlier, during the Bush administration, when the investigation into Sterling began. A lawyer for Risen also declined comment.

So we don't actually know under which administration the subpoenas were issued.

Therefore most of the comments on the story putting forth the idea that Obama = Bush in this case are speculation. It's also interesting to note that the information was obtained with subpoena, so due process was followed.

 

Re:Maybe not on Obama's Watch (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35327560)

From the article:

Matt Miller, a spokesman for the Justice Department, declined to comment on the court filing or say whether department subpoenas for Risenâ(TM)s bank and credit reports occurred under President Barack Obamaâ(TM)s attorney general, Eric Holder, or earlier, during the Bush administration, when the investigation into Sterling began. A lawyer for Risen also declined comment.

So we don't actually know under which administration the subpoenas were issued.

Therefore most of the comments on the story putting forth the idea that Obama = Bush in this case are speculation. It's also interesting to note that the information was obtained with subpoena, so due process was followed.

Nice try.

Not.

Now wipe off your chin.

Policy positions from earlier admininstrations sure didn't stop the Obama DoJ from changing its mind on whether or not to defend the "Defense of Marriage Act".

So if the subpeonas were actually issued during the Bush administration, the Obama DoJ sure as hell could drop pursuing them, now couldn't they?

Although the way Obama has gone from excoriating the "Patriot Act" to signing extensions of it, or from claiming he'd close Gitmo to keeping it open for indefinite detention, or from attacking the Bush-era tax rates to actually agreeing to extend them while Democrats still had majority control of the House and Senate(!!!!) does make one wonder...

Re:Maybe not on Obama's Watch (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35327652)

The subpoenas could have easily been executed during the Bush administration. You certainly have no evidence when it happened.

As far as the other points, I would have liked other outcomes there too. Unfortunately they didn't happen.

Re:Maybe not on Obama's Watch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35327754)

The subpoenas could have easily been executed during the Bush administration. You certainly have no evidence when it happened.

As far as the other points, I would have liked other outcomes there too. Unfortunately they didn't happen.

It's OBAMA'S DoJ that's following up in the subpeona(s), NOT the BUSH DoJ.

If the Obama DoJ thought the subpeonas were wrong, they DON'T have to follow up on them. They were able to change their policy regarding the Defense of Marriage Act, much to Newt Gingrich's consternation.

Therefore, one MUST assume that the Obama DoJ thinks going after this information is fine. Because even if the Bush DoJ originated the request, the Obama DoJ is free to say, "Nevermind".

If it's National Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35327618)

If it's National Security related, then yes, not only should they dig through everything- they should charge them with treason and kill them if found guilty. But if it won't get any US Citizens killed now or in the future, then no. It's not national security related.

Since the leak was "national defense information", that sounds like it falls into the former category. Which means not only should they crawl up that reporters ass, but they should come to an understanding that releasing the information will get you charged with treason. And effectively end your life, before you get other people killed for your ego.

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