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NSA Trial Evidence 'Riddled With Boxes and Arrows'

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the we-didn't-mean-to-imply-anything dept.

The Courts 108

decora writes "In the Espionage Act trial of NSA IT Whistleblower Thomas Drake, the main evidence against him are five documents he allegedly 'willfully retained' in his basement. The government, for the first time, is using the Silent Witness Rule to 'substitute' words in this evidence so that the public will not be able to see the allegedly sensitive information. The result of this 'substitution' process has been described by the defense as a tangled mess of boxes, arrows, and code words [PDF] that will impossibly confuse the facts of the case. 'Two weeks before trial, Mr. Drake and his counsel still do not know what evidence the jury will see.'"

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Leaked copy of the document (-1, Troll)

asshole1236 (2234052) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342370)

Get it, while its not deleted. Its torrent, but its address is embedded in picture so it won't get shot by crawlers. Here: http://picpaste.com/secNSA343-aT9MCqvh.jpg [picpaste.com]

Re:Leaked copy of the document (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342388)

Ahh, goatse. It never gets old, does it. Do you have that username because you're the goatse guy, or just a fan?

Re:Leaked copy of the document (0)

dottdot (2234088) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342530)

Bah, forgot to change username. I used that account to post cumshot trolls, as so username didn't matter. Sad that I forgot to change it. Probably revealed the trap to many users.

Re:Leaked copy of the document (0)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342706)

Seriously, why do you bother? Is your life really so meaningless that your highest achievement today is tricking some people into accidentally seeing an image that most Internet users have probably seen before?

Re:Leaked copy of the document (-1, Offtopic)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342892)

Is your life really so meaningless that your highest achievement today...

Little did you know that it was actually Henry Kissinger who posted that, so in theory, that could very well be his highest achievement today.. Tomorrow, he will bash Microsoft to get his karma back...

They guy was also beaten by NSA (-1, Troll)

dotdotter (2234066) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342386)

Here what he says about it his blog [thoughts.com]

Rights? (5, Insightful)

cyrano.mac (916276) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342404)

The rights of the American people are eroding at an alarming rate. It's not new, it has happened before, so we have to conclude that history doesn't really teach us anything.

Re:Rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342578)

Mod parent up. It is getting scary in America. In 20 years this will be worse than 1984.

Re:Rights? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342908)

I'm familiar with Bieber, we're already worse than 1984, 1985, 1986 ...

Re:Rights? (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342928)

We are already touching the Max Headroom [maxheadroom.com] level of civil rights.

Re:Rights? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344244)

Uhhh, actually, no, we haven't reached 1984 yet. Great Britian seems to be about 15 years ahead of us, and they haven't quite reached it. Getting close, though. When they reach the point that every family "on the dole" has multiple surveillance cameras throughout their homes, then we will have reached 1984.

However, I don't think we're going the way of 1984, so much, as in the direction that David Drake portrays in some of his short stories. Specifically, 'Nation Without Wall'.

That story may be a little hard to find, unless you're a criminal who knows how to use torrents . . .

Re:Rights? (4, Insightful)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344374)

When they reach the point that every family "on the dole" has multiple surveillance cameras throughout their homes, then we will have reached 1984.

Orwell's portrayal of cameras in homes was simply one of many, many totalitarian ideas he wove into the story. A large number of them exist today (the most obvious examples being pacification of the "proles" by means of 24-hour media, and constant war with vague enemies about vague things). To say that we won't have his version of society until we have that one thing is pretty odd. That's like saying we won't have Christmas until somebody gets drunk.

Re:Rights? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344730)

The 24/7/365 surveillance is a critical tool in Orwell's as well as the Drake story I mentioned. You're entirely correct that George wove many other tools into the story, they all pretty much depend on the surveillance.

From accounts that I have heard and/or read, both the East German and the old Soviet governments used another somewhat less critical tool from 1984. They brainwashed schoolchildren into "tattling" on their parents. If Daddy got drunk, and ran at the mouth with anti-government ideas, the next day, little Ingrid would tell the teacher about it. And, the teacher would promptly inform higher authority.

So, yes, lots of tools - but most of them rely in one way or another on that surveillance.

Re:Rights? (1)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 3 years ago | (#36347386)

I love Christmas so much that I celebrate it every weekend ;)

Re:Rights? (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344548)

That story may be a little hard to find, unless you're a criminal who knows how to use torrents . . .

Not that hard to find

http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/15-WhentheTideRisesCD/WhentheTideRisesCD/Grimmer%20Than%20Hell/0743435907__13.htm [thefifthimperium.com]

Re:Rights? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344786)

Salutes. I don't know why I've never stumbled over thefifthimperium. Thanks for the link!

Re:Rights? (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 3 years ago | (#36347886)

You means like these webcams and microphones in camera's and laptops, running proprietary software and EFI BIOS having acces to the internet, your RAM, webcam and microphone and extensible firmware drivers to support this?

You mean the leaks in the BIOS that still runs while your OS is up and the remote holes in every consumer OS?

You mean phone calls are tapped and acces to FB, reading your every thought, move and concersation that is even being logged?

Hell we already surpassed 1984!

Re:Rights? (5, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342590)

If you missed it,a few weeks ago here we had another story about Drake [newyorker.com] . The story of his case is less of an impenetrable vast state chasing him and more like a handful of people whom he knew from his previous job (critical point: at the NSA) trying to manipulate the law to get him put away for whistleblowing on the NSA's spying program—which he claims he didn't even actually do.

This guy's problems are way more Orwellian than anything the average citizen has ever experienced in the United States. Read the New Yorker article I linked to, and you'll gain a new appreciation for why the government has become so messed up over the past decade. Men with no oversight are doing what they will in the name of national security because they've convinced themselves that they can't permit 9/11 to reoccur, and that it was their fault. They've driven themselves mad, falling into the mentality of "those who prefer security to freedom." It's not that they're innately cruel tyrants, or sadists, it's that they're paranoid and guilt-wracked—a horribly dangerous combination when you add on the "defend the collective" mentality that causes police officers to protect each other when corruption charges manifest.

Re:Rights? (2)

jdpars (1480913) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342774)

Your information seems helpful, if a little opinionated in places. I do agree with you, however, that this seems to be misuse of otherwise normal laws for a less than ethical purpose. I don't think the silent witness rule is inherently bad. If, for example, the security issue were a country with an attack plan that an NSA member decoded and helped to stop, instead of, say, Afghanistan, the silent witness rule could replace Afghanistan with Madeupaland. I guess the issue comes when, instead, the information comes out as "Smurf smurfed those smurfs who smurf smurfy smurfed smurfs."

Re:Rights? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343214)

Given that the silent witness rule doesn't interfere with the normal procedure of the court room (i.e. the jury isn't supposed to know about public opinion in a case anyway) I would most definitely agree, and indeed I don't think it's even that big of a deal in this case. My post was about the origins of this case, which the New Yorker went to great lengths to document. The link to it that I gave in the GP weaves a tale that leaves little room for interpretation and opinion.

Re:Rights? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343314)

Sorry, correction: I misread the part where it said the jurors would not see the original documents. I guess that makes the execution of this court case just as unfair as the initial prosecution.

Re:Rights? (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343016)

...the government has become so messed up over the past decade.

The past decade?? Try the past 23 decades and change... The government has been 'messed up' since, like, forever. The events of ten years ago only provided the necessary pretext to accelerate the process while keeping the 'hearts and minds' of the zombie public captive.. Read a little more closely the policies of, say, Adams, Lincoln, Wilson, or FDR, if you wish to see just how messed up it can get.. The only noticeable difference now is that they can rob the bank on broad daylight in front of the cameras, and nobody will even flinch..

Re:Rights? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343144)

Your point may be valid, but it shows an astounding lack of reading comprehension. I was giving an explanation for the current cycle of problems only, not making a general statement about the history of the United States. I even italicized "why". You should probably start a blog to vent your anger instead of derailing pre-existing conversations.

Re:Rights? (1)

littlewink (996298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343376)

Your point may be valid, but it shows an astounding lack of reading comprehension. I was giving an explanation for the current cycle of problems only, not making a general statement about the history of the United States. I even italicized "why". You should probably start a blog to vent your anger instead of derailing pre-existing conversations.

Whoa! Who's showing anger here, really? I read his post as indicating disgust more than anger.

FWIW I see no italicization of "why" in your post.

In any case, discussing a history of malfeasance is always more enlightening than discussing a single incident in isolation. I view his post as relevant to the discussion.

No respondent can read your mind and know the exact intentions of your post. If you wish to limit the discussion please explicitly state the scope of your argument.

Re:Rights? (3, Informative)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343610)

Whoa! Who's showing anger here, really? I read his post as indicating disgust more than anger.

His decision to move the focus from this specific incident, and its relevance to the origin of the problems of the Bush era, to a more generalized complaint about the administration of the United States throughout its entire history struck me as hasty and rant-like. That usually implies an underlying sense of frustration (and therefore anger). However, assessing whether the tone of a passage of written text is disgusted or angry is very a subjective process, and I don't think it makes sense to try and interpret it. It can, after all, be both.

FWIW I see no italicization of "why" in your post.

The italicised "why" is the sixteenth word in the second sentence of the second paragraph, immediately before the portion that countertrolling quoted. It's not very difficult to find, given that it's the only usage of the word "why" in that post.

In any case, discussing a history of malfeasance is always more enlightening than discussing a single incident in isolation. I view his post as relevant to the discussion.

In general it's a pertinent and relevant subject to discuss, but in the context of my assumption that his post was an angry rant, it seemed more like he was going off-topic. The decision to pivot around topics so rapidly and the lack of connective prose tying his statements back into the previous conversation did not present a natural part of the conversation as much as an attempt to ramble about a pet peeve.

The part that really got me was that he said nothing worth saying: no new combination of facts or feelings was presented; it's just the same bitching that arises every time there's a news article on Slashdot that mentions oppressive misconduct by the government. His post could be cut-and-paste in a solid 20% of all Slashdot articles and be just as relevant. That doesn't mean it should be repeated over and over again.

No respondent can read your mind and know the exact intentions of your post. If you wish to limit the discussion please explicitly state the scope of your argument.

While telepathy is indeed not generally an ability found amongst Slashdot posters, I believe I have presented a coherent and consistent position that can be understood without too much trouble. Please read the above carefully and let me know if you have any further concerns.

Re:Rights? (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345796)

You seem to have difficulty discerning a disagreement, or in this case, a correction, from anger. There is no anger on my part whatsoever, only resignation to the facts. This current cycle is no different from any other cycle. It is merely another cycle. And in fact, it's not even a cycle, because throughout the entire written history of mankind nothing has has changed in any significant manner. It only looks different because things move faster, but it's all still in the same circle.

Another thing is that it is pointless to single out the US. All authority is corrupt, by its very nature. Here again, history bears this out.

There is nothing new about this man's case in the grand scheme. All we have is the same old crap, but in much greater detail. Personally I'm much more interested in the root causes, and the type of conditioning it will take to overcome it. Focusing on petty politics will do nothing about the underlying psychosis that needs to be brought to light.

Re:Rights? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346428)

I completely agree with your position, and apologise for the accusation. Unfortunately, however, having a solution to the problem isn't actually enough: there are so many psychotics and special interest groups and lobbyists that nothing short of a massive popular uprising like in the recent Arab revolutions (in the US's case, easily on the order of tens of millions of people) could have any coherent sway.

Re:Rights? (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343080)

Men with no oversight are doing what they will in the name of national security because they've convinced themselves that they can't permit 9/11 to reoccur, and that it was their fault. They've driven themselves mad, falling into the mentality of "those who prefer security to freedom." It's not that they're innately cruel tyrants, or sadists, it's that they're paranoid and guilt-wracked

"Battle not with monsters lest ye become a monster; and if you gaze into the abyss the abyss gazes into you."
--Friedrich Nietzsche

Re:Rights? (3, Interesting)

jet_silver (27654) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343242)

In the second link there is a line: This problem is exacerbated by the fact that the jury will see that the unclassified lan- guage has been changed and left to wonder why they cannot see information the government’s expert deems unclassified. The jurors will be completely and hopelessly confused.1. So, if the jurors are completely and hopelessly confused, is the real problem that they won't know it? In the face of hopelessly confusing evidence, it seems as though the responsibility of the jury is to acquit. IANAL, but if I were the defense would it not be entirely reasonable to say just that in the wind-up of arguments?

Re:Rights? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343308)

Oh dang. I missed that part. I thought the silent witness rule was supposed to only be applied to the general public, and that the jurors were going to see the full documents, similar to a closed case. That's definitely another layer of foul play at work.

Re:Rights? (0)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343584)

To be fair, the NSA was culpable for allowing 9/11 to happen. They had information that indicated that the perps were doing something. They also refused to share that info with the FBI and the CIA... It wasn't the first time either. [historycommons.org]

BUT, rather than own it, Hayden pretty much sells the idea that the only way to prevent this from happening again is to increase spying and to increase the scope of what the NSA can sweep. I don't think it's tyrannical... But I also don't believe for a second that they're guilt-wracked. I've seen this pattern before... It's called not owning the issue and covering your ass. Hayden did exactly that. He came up with another "option" that made it look like it wasn't his (or the NSA's fault) and it was bought.

Re:Rights? (3, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343760)

To be fair, the NSA was culpable for allowing 9/11 to happen. They had information that indicated that the perps were doing something. They also refused to share that info with the FBI and the CIA... It wasn't the first time either.

That culpability is premised on 100% effectiveness. That's an impossible standard for anyone, especially a bureaucracy. I blame the "culture of blame" as the root cause for the over-reaction. Societally we need to have realistic expectations. That isn't to say that government agency's shouldn't be accountable, but that the standards we set for that accountability have be to realistic, not impossible. Being 100% risk averse is to guarantee failure.

Re:Rights? (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346312)

I agree the "culture of blame" has been the driving force in these security related issues. No one wants to be blamed for the next attack. However, on the other side there are the people who complain loudly about the governments actions but they are also the first ones who pop up to blame the government for not doing a enough. You can reduce risk but you can never eliminate it totally and frankly I think life would be boring as hell with no risks.

Re:Rights? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#36347046)

However, on the other side there are the people who complain loudly about the governments actions but they are also the first ones who pop up to blame the government for not doing a enough.

Cite. Seriously, that canard is a big pet peeve of mine. I have yet to see an actual case of someone doing that other than "my friend's uncle."

Re:Rights? (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 3 years ago | (#36349616)

Here is one example. If another terrorist incident occurs when the Democrats are running the government go to your favorite republican website and check out the comments being put forward. Do the opposite if the republicans happen to be in charge when the incident occurs.

Re:Rights? (1)

feynmanfan1 (1803416) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343970)

Men with no oversight are doing what they will in the name of national security because they've convinced themselves that they can't permit 9/11 to reoccur, and that it was their fault. They've driven themselves mad, falling into the mentality of "those who prefer security to freedom." It's not that they're innately cruel tyrants, or sadists, it's that they're paranoid and guilt-wracked—a horribly dangerous combination when you add on the "defend the collective" mentality that causes police officers to protect each other when corruption charges manifest.

you don't point out that there is a hell of a lot of money sloshing around in all this, I doubt that these peoples motives are as pure as you present them, they are not just worried about 'national security.' Fraud in defense contracting is extremely common. See Boeing tanker contract fraud, BAE systems Bribery and the primary contractor for trailblazer, SAIC, has had previous fraud prosecutions for the FBI information system they worked on and the New York citytime contract: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20110527/FREE/110529884 [crainsnewyork.com] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/17/AR2006081701485.html [washingtonpost.com] http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/16/business/16tanker.html?_r=2 [nytimes.com] http://www.politico.com/blogs/laurarozen/0210/US_settles_with_BAE_in_Saudi_bribery_case.html [politico.com] This kind of activity is very common in the defense department and more generally in corporate america, see the massive amount of fraud that at least partially caused the 2007-2008 financial crisis. The U.S. needs to attack white collar crime much more vigorously. http://natsecurityeb.blogspot.com/2010/10/top-secret-america.html [blogspot.com] http://natsecurityeb.blogspot.com/2010/10/13-bankers-vrs-brooksley-born.html [blogspot.com]

Re:Rights? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344134)

That's pretty fair—although, to my knowledge, the 'bastardised' version of ThinThread that the NSA didn't appear to be a budget-sucker like Trailblazer as much as just a quick-and-dirty solution. I wouldn't argue that their motives are pure, merely that they've been using the supposedly-pure goal of national security as a partial justification in their own minds.

In general, we like to treat people in positions of power such as this as purely rational beings, but there's a lot of evidence to consider that suggests they're really not. Consider, for example, that Bush and Cheney were once both avid alcoholics, and that (in general) prolonged alcoholism can have profound effects on behaviour that lead to a kind of psychosis that glosses over incongruous behaviour, like gross displays of corruption, carried out under duress; they develop an extremely warped self-image. I would argue that many heavily corrupt or despotic governments in the past century could have been stopped by a publicly-available psychological evaluation (assuming access to modern knowledge.)

Re:Rights? (1)

feynmanfan1 (1803416) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345086)

I don't think we should make too many excuses for people who implement fraud. They should be punished for what they do. You seem to focus on the psychological aspect, the profession does not have the highest standard of scientific rigor and can be easily manipulated.

Re:Rights? (1)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344040)

Men

(I'll assume you aren't a misandrist and really meant "people" there) and

It's not that they're innately cruel tyrants, or sadists

The problem is the last assertion is contradicted by the first statement. People are tyrants and sadists. It takes an effort of will for people not to be like that. Remember all those experiments 40 and 50 years ago - like dividing university students up into "guards" and "prisoners" and just how astonishingly fast the "guards" became tyrannical and brutal?

Re:Rights? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344234)

(I'll assume you aren't a misandrist and really meant "people" there)

I'm sorry; coming from a literary background I was using "men" in its historical meaning, which looks uncomfortably gendered to us today, but once simply meant "humans". I assumed that the floweriness of the rest of my post would fend off any misunderstandings. If you're interested in the mechanics of the history of the word, "wifman" used to mean "male person", which parallels "woman" much better, but is confusing next to "wife". "Were" (as in werewolf) was also a term used for a male human.

The problem is the last assertion is contradicted by the first statement. People are tyrants and sadists. It takes an effort of will for people not to be like that. Remember all those experiments 40 and 50 years ago - like dividing university students up into "guards" and "prisoners" and just how astonishingly fast the "guards" became tyrannical and brutal?

You're thinking of the Stanford prison experiment [wikipedia.org] , of which there was only one (fortunately), and perhaps also the less-immediately-pertinent Milgram experiment [wikipedia.org] . Also related are the experiments carried out by Harry Harlow [wikipedia.org] on Rhesus monkeys, to which we owe the term "pit of despair", which was an actual pit.

The Stanford experiment didn't necessarily show that people are innately horrible, but that under the right circumstances they can become horrible. Nothing about its design suggested that the subjects involved were waiting for an opportunity to express their inner sociopath; instead, it confirms the results of the Milgram experiment, where the guards were pushed by the perception of an authority figure to act in a given way, and the prisoners responded in a manner (out of desperation) that drove the guards to sink further into their complementary roles.

At any rate, if we accept that people are sadists and tyrants just waiting to bubble up, I would change my original post to say that the people at the NSA in this case aren't necessarily behaving in a sadistic or tyrannical manner given that Drake's account suggests their motives are more about revenge and protecting their tribe from another loss.

Re:Rights? (1)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344446)

The Stanford experiment has been repeated elsewhere with pretty much the same results - however I was too lazy to go dig up the references.

I considered Milgram but, as you did, decided it was not directly pertinent in this case - although that was of course based on my limited knowledge of the case at hand.

I do think the Stanford experiment showed "people are innately horrible"... and will act in that manner unless other forces come into play to promote different behaviour. So I don't see, as you seem to, the people involved as innately good and being driven to evil by circumstances. Quite the opposite, I see them as human and behaving that way in the absence of any opposing influence. Words like "tyrannical" and "sadistic" are unfortunately loaded and tend to produce unfortunate reactions when applied.

Some animals are this way and some are not. We seem to belong to the group that are that way. Are cats sadistic with their prey? Or are they just cats?

If you now prefer to make the motive revenge rather than sadism... sure that is possible. But if we are looking at things through a moral lens then I don't see revenge as being more acceptable than sadism. Of course YMMV.

Re:Rights? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344506)

I would say that a substantially less antisocial perspective can permit the internal justification of vengefulness in the context of protecting a social unit, whereas Western culture treats downright predatory behaviour without any such pretext as much less acceptable.

Re:Rights? (1)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344610)

As I said YMMV.

Re:Rights? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344662)

I must respectfully disagree. We have a psychiatric diagnosis for being unable to act better than your cat-and-mouse example: sociopathy. A great deal of the success of the human species is owed to the ability to suppress that.

Re:Rights? (1)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346560)

ok, apparently you do not understand the meaning of YMMV. Please look it up.

Re:Rights? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36347138)

No, I'm well aware what you meant. I'm respectfully disagreeing that mileage may vary in this case. We are discussing a matter of fact, not a personal experience or opinion. The human brain is naturally wired to suppress primitive predatory instincts (when raised properly) as part of the whole social animal gig. Perhaps you've just been around a lot of crappy people?

Re:Rights? (1)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36347468)

I could argue about what it is that you lavish with the label "fact" and also about your apparent lack of familiarity with human history as it pertains to the topic at hand, but then I'm not looking for an argument since these sort of arguments are almost invariably a waste of my time. However you do seem to be looking for an argument. So there is nothing for me to do but say that everyone is entitled to their opinion and, once again, that on this topic YMMV. You also seem to have a real need to have the last word so please be my guest...

Re:Rights? (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345578)

to get him put away for whistleblowing on the NSA's spying program—which he claims he didn't even actually do.

Well of course he didn't compromise the NSA spying program, since that agency doesn't exist in the first place! And even if it did, which it didn't, he certainly didn't work there, doing something we can't talk about, for people we don't know and have never met, and definitely couldn't identify us in a court of law, especially not after what we did with the plutonium and the mangos... ahem. Just forget we said that.

Re:Rights? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345608)

You're right! How could I ever have forgotten that? Or remember it? What a world.

Re:Rights? (3)

kimvette (919543) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343070)

The cause of this is that early in the history of our nation the courts started layering precedent [wikipedia.org] over constitutional law, and use that as a basis for determining future cases, even in cases where the decision is obviously a poor one. In this case, it's the State Secrets Privilege which one would argue is a gross violation of the Constitutional right to freedom of exrpession, and also can be used to eliminate accountability of the government to the People.

When you layer enough of these precedents on top of the Constitution and use those precedents to filter your view, the Constitution can become meaningless and irrelevant in cases, and that is how we arrive at the existence of situations such as this, the grossly unconstitutional patriot act, "john doe" lawsuits and warrants, "assault weapons" bans, and the like. Accountability of the government which is supposed to be of the people, by the people, for the people gradually over time becomes government of the sheeple, by the elite, for the elite, and eventually over time the system distills into a two-party or even one-party system where a few elite hand-pick candidates which are distinguished only by spin, and not truly by methodology or ideals, and put them out for election. Oh, we may still have grassroots-supported candidates now and then (Ron Paul, H. Ross Perot, and so on) but we have become so entrenched in the two party system with corporate-sponsored candidates that we (almost) never pick anyone outside of the two major parties for anything other than local government, never quite coming to the realization that we have been victims of social engineering by the media to believe there really is a difference between republican and democrat politicians, when in reality although their spin on issues may sound different, the ultimate goal is personal gain, increasing pork in legislation, and putting the screws to consumers.

And, these politicians of course, being chosen horses for the courses, never even attempt to correct the judicial system but instead take advantage of the established corrupt system to implement their sponsors' preferred policies.

And yet, we see a great divide between republican and democrat voters, who are convinced that the two parties really are different. Doesn't it strike anyone as odd that most of the larger corporate entities who hire lobbyists contribute to not just one candidate's campaigns, but usually one candidate from each party? They really don't care which candidate wins; they just care that one of the bought-and-paid-for candidates gets onto the ballot, then either way they win.

Yes, our rights are eroding at an alarming rate, and it's because we won't open our eyes, realize what has been going on for decades, and simply vote out ALL career politicians and replace them with true leaders; with "leader" being defined as one who is willing to serve. The mark of a truly great leader has been a servant attitude. We as a people have long since forgotten that.

I'll end this with a few great quotes:

"A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation." ~James Freeman Clarke, Sermon

"Politicians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly and for the same reason." (unknown)

"And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." - John F. Kennedy

And for the last one, which is the one I adhere to for most elections:

"Hell, I never vote for anybody, I always vote against." ~W.C. Fields

Re:Rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343758)

Yeh. But they are all good christians, right? It's that kind of people who are rotten to the core and should be removed from any function with a leading or steering role.

Re:Rights? (1)

AlterEager (1803124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36348232)

The cause of this is that early in the history of our nation the courts started layering precedentover constitutional law,

Nope, precedent preceeds your constituition.

Re:Rights? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36348418)

The Americans tend to have strong, almost religious, attitudes toward their constitution. But really, the constitution of any country is simply a political pact between the power centers. The chief objective of a constitution is to prevent a civil war. The U.S. constitution has had reasonable success: only one civil war during more than 200 years.

In particular, the constitution is not there to protect the individual from the government. If anything, the constitution came about to protect the states against the federal government but even that aspect was nullified after the civil war.

Re:Rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36346394)

The rights of the American people are eroding at an alarming rate. It's not new, it has happened before, so we have to conclude that history doesn't really teach us anything.

I have to agree. The view here from Australia towards you guys is scary. We are at risk ourselves of following the UK descent into Orwellianism.

Time for us all to start helping each other out of the "freedom gutter" guys.

Re:Rights? (1)

marty23571113 (972462) | more than 3 years ago | (#36347498)

Think about this. This is the Obama administration - the most secretive ever - beyond even Bush(s).

Re:Rights? (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 3 years ago | (#36348704)

Not really.

Go to work for NSA and you voluntarily agree to basically waive a few rights (at least pertaining to your employment).

Go out and be a spokesman for PETA on your spare time, they really won't care a wit. Mention something even vaguely related to your work - say hello to the men in black sedans.

NSA. They will stop at nothing to punish whistle blowers... but not out of vindictiveness. They simply don't want info leaving their facilities, for any reason, right or wrong. It makes it far easier to filter information if your filter is set to "ALL".

Re:Rights? (1)

Phoghat (1288088) | more than 3 years ago | (#36349522)

They're playing a game called: How many Constitutional Amendments Can You Violate.

Mayer writes that Drake felt the NSA was committing serious crimes against the American people; on a level worse than what president Nixon had done in the 1970s

from Wiki

Seriously, worse than Nixon !

This Comment (4, Funny)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342408)

[See Reference 1] "FALCON" [Page 2.3, line 8] REDACTED your mom

Its very simple (-1, Troll)

dotdott (2234076) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342414)

The 5 dollar [tinyurl.com] cryptanalysis works again

A video interview with the guy (-1, Troll)

dottdot (2234088) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342432)

click here [bit.ly]

small note on possible COI & wikipedia link (4, Informative)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342448)

I generally avoid linking to wikipedia articles that I wrote from slashdot articles that I wrote, to avoid perceived conflict of interest, and prevent 'one source' circular errors and hidden bias. In this /. story, I did not originally link to the wikipedia Silent Witness Rule article. The link to wikipedia was made by the slashdot editors and not by me, and they had no reason to suspect that the article author and wikipedia author were the same person.

Re:small note on possible COI & wikipedia link (-1, Troll)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342480)

Don't worry, your credibility has been ruined by admitting that you're engaged in the Wikipedia MMORPG.

Re:small note on possible COI & wikipedia link (1)

Maestro4k (707634) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342536)

Frankly, the Wikipedia link isn't a problem, the failure to link to anything but a PDF document besides that is. The entire article is basically the summary, which doesn't contain much information. (Basically just enough to allow someone to go Google to find out what the hell the whole thing is about.) Not criticizing you necessarily, but this really needs links to something explaining what in the hell is going on.

Re:small note on possible COI & wikipedia link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342594)

streisand effect, nobody cared about the wiki like, but now i'm pissed off about it

good point (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342912)

there are some SWR articles i could have linked to, i should have done that. thanks for pointing this out, i will try to remember your comment in the future if i can...

Leaked copy of the document (-1, Troll)

dottdot (2234088) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342472)

Get the document [tinyurl.com] while its hot.

Re:Leaked copy of the document (4, Funny)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342504)

This is grown up talk, 4chan is that way ->

Re:Leaked copy of the document (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342598)

No it's not, it's slashdot. This place is about as grown up a titty-bar full of middle schoolers.

Re:Leaked copy of the document (0)

ArcCoyote (634356) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342960)

Ok, seriously, you can base64 encode an entire document in a URL, that URL shorteners will allow linking to something in no way resembles a valid URL, and web browsers are silly enough to render it? It's even an proposed RFC!

On a page is one thing, neat way to inline small images. But as a redirect URL? What domain is it in? Local?

If you wanted to get even more evil about it, you could have base64 encoded hello.jpg and included it directly as image/jpeg.. assuming you could get it under the 255 character string limit for URIs.

I'm pretty sure I see a huge, gaping hole here.

Re:Leaked copy of the document (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343364)

I'm pretty sure I see a huge, gaping hole here.

I did too, but it didn't require any mental lifting on my part to do so.

The code words are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342558)

Such a simple code, it's already been broken

Politician = Douche
Polical Intern = Whore
Lobyist = The Ones Paying The Policiticians
Police = Uneducated Nazis
TSA = Stupid Uneducated Nazis
Trouble Maker = Concerned Citizen
Terrorist = Protestor
Necessary Sacrifice = Your Rights Turned to Mud
The Law = Abuses of the American constitution made legal without the people's consent
Education = Brain Washing

Oh, you didn't just mean the one they use in the newspapers.

Re:The code words are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342894)

Anonymous Coward = dipshit

Tangled mess of .. (4, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342626)

...boxes, arrows and code words.

For some reason, this reminds me of:

We walked in, sat down, Obie came in with the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, sat down. Man came in said, "All rise." We all stood up, and Obie stood up with the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures, and the judge walked in sat down with a seeing eye dog, and he sat down, we sat down. Obie looked at the seeing eye dog, and then at the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, and looked at the seeing eye dog. And then at twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one and began to cry, 'cause Obie came to the realization that it was a typical case of American blind justice, and there wasn't nothing he could do about it, and the judge wasn't going to look at the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us. And we was fined $50 and had to pick up the garbage in the snow, but thats not what I came to tell you about.

From Alice' Restaurant [arlo.net] by Arlo Guthrie.

Re:Tangled mess of .. (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#36342926)

came for the alice ref.

went away satisfied.

Re:Tangled mess of .. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343006)

haha i thought the EXACT same thing and actually started humming a bar of alices resturant while reading TFA!

Re:Tangled mess of .. (2)

Chelloveck (14643) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343520)

Imagine fifty people a day walking in singing a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. They may thinks it's a movement.

(Not only did I start humming it when I read the story, I went and put it on the stereo and sang along. With four-part harmony and feeling.)

Re:Tangled mess of .. (2)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343102)

Contrary to what the mods might think, you're not really entirely off topic there, but you could've shortened it up a bit.. or use a completely different quote:

"I had another idea. I think we should have some plays. You know, usually in football you have some organized plays."
"I took the liberty."
"Oh, you have... "
"I drew up about seven or eight plays. I figure that's about all this bunch can handle."
"Oh, these are good. These are very good. Uh, what are these little arrows here?"

Re:Tangled mess of .. (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#36347474)

Random MASH quotes are nowhere near as memorable as Alice's Restaurant

Re:Tangled mess of .. (1)

emurphy42 (631808) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343106)

Fourthed.

Convict Him Now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342658)

It seems clear to me that he's guilty of doing the right thing. I think it's now time to convict him before anything else can be said.

Kvetch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36342752)

Franz Kafka at his best.

jr

Politics administering to justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343438)

The separation between Church and State was made mandatory in the US. Sadly, there is no separation of corporation and state. With this trial, people can also observe an unholy union between politics and justice in the US. I have no doubt that the unholy union of corporation and state means an unholy coupling between corporation and justice. This man is being railroaded. The laws surrounding this case are draconian. The 'secret special orders' means justice is denied.

Security Clearances (3, Insightful)

hakioawa (127597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36343654)

These sorts of trials/prosecutions, where the USG invokes national security to avoid presenting evidence, are becoming all too common. We currently have 800,000+ citizens with TS clearances (http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/). I used to. I'd be happy to serve on a jury in these situations and I assume many other folks would too. With that many people to draw from I would think we could find a good jury pool and give people a fair trial instead of dropping charges or kangaroo courts. It would be slightly more expensive, but I don't understand why this couldn't work.

Re:Security Clearances (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343842)

Because a bunch like that might have a higher chance of acquitting him?

They clearly don't want a fair trial.

Re:Security Clearances (1)

feynmanfan1 (1803416) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344098)

exactly

Re:Security Clearances (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345122)

Brilliant idea. After all, military trials have military juries. To stop it from becoming incestuous, it can be defendant's privilege (as with a jury trial, vs bench trial, itself.) That way, the defendant can choose between full disclosure to people familiar with National Security infrastructure, ie, genuine peers, or obfuscated information but a "clean" jury.

Whereas currently, anyone with any form of clearance would probably be excluded from the jury-pool.

Re:Security Clearances (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36346860)

The US Gov't should pay for whatever clearance the jurors need, if this means they need a pool of 100 jurors to get 12 good ones, then so be it.
I would exclude those with existing clearances as there is a definite culture of paranoia in those circles.

Re:Security Clearances (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36347410)

The other challenge, though is that the defendent has rights -- right to see the evidence presented against them, and the right to pick their lawyer. Does he really have those rights if his security clearance is revoked or expired? It's not as simple as you posit.

Re:Security Clearances (1)

SeeSp0tRun (1270464) | more than 3 years ago | (#36349228)

You would never, in a million years, be allowed to serve on such a jury. A preemptory challenge would be invoked, and you'd find yourself headed back to work the next day. The only way this wouldn't happen is if the party against having someone like you on the jury ran out of their challenges.
Jury selection isn't about an unbiased group, it is about finding the people naive enough to see it from your angle first.
(IANAL)

money sloshing (0)

feynmanfan1 (1803416) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344022)

There is a hell of a lot of money sloshing around in all this, I doubt that these peoples motives are as pure as you present them, they are not just worried about 'national security.' Fraud in defense contracting is extremely common. See Boeing tanker contract fraud, BAE systems Bribery and the primary contractor for trailblazer, SAIC, has had previous fraud prosecutions for the FBI information system they worked on and the New York citytime contract: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20110527/FREE/110529884 [crainsnewyork.com] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/17/AR2006081701485.html [washingtonpost.com] http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/16/business/16tanker.html?_r=2 [nytimes.com] http://www.politico.com/blogs/laurarozen/0210/US_settles_with_BAE_in_Saudi_bribery_case.html [politico.com] This kind of activity is very common in the defense department and more generally in corporate america, see the massive amount of fraud that at least partially caused the 2007-2008 financial crisis. The U.S. needs to attack white collar crime much more vigorously. http://natsecurityeb.blogspot.com/2010/10/top-secret-america.html [blogspot.com] http://natsecurityeb.blogspot.com/2010/10/13-bankers-vrs-brooksley-born.html [blogspot.com]

money sloshing (0)

feynmanfan1 (1803416) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344056)

you don't point out that there is a hell of a lot of money sloshing around in all this, I doubt that these peoples motives are as pure, they are not just worried about 'national security.' Fraud in defense contracting is extremely common. See Boeing tanker contract fraud, BAE systems Bribery and the primary contractor for trailblazer, SAIC, has had previous fraud prosecutions for the FBI information system they worked on and the New York citytime contract: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20110527/FREE/110529884 [crainsnewyork.com] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/17/AR2006081701485.html [washingtonpost.com] http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/16/business/16tanker.html?_r=2 [nytimes.com] http://www.politico.com/blogs/laurarozen/0210/US_settles_with_BAE_in_Saudi_bribery_case.html [politico.com] This kind of activity is very common in the defense department and more generally in corporate america, see the massive amount of fraud that at least partially caused the 2007-2008 financial crisis. The U.S. needs to attack white collar crime much more vigorously. http://natsecurityeb.blogspot.com/2010/10/top-secret-america.html [blogspot.com] http://natsecurityeb.blogspot.com/2010/10/13-bankers-vrs-brooksley-born.html [blogspot.com]

Good to know (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 3 years ago | (#36344230)

I'm not the only one who things UML is a gruesome collection of boxes and arrows!

Tangled Mess of Acrobat Versions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36344302)

I get "the file is damaged and cannot be repaired" when I click on the PDF, so yeah, I can see that the the case is going to be a real clusterfuck.

May I suggest ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36344922)

he quickly converts to Judaism.

Problem solved.

So, lets see (3, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345764)

OK, the government is allowed to present fabricated evidence to the jury IFF the information is otherwise classified, secret, or the government suggests it's better not published, based on the government's say-so, but only if they pinkie swear that there is real evidence somewhere and it's bad news for the defendant? I'm sure that'll NEVER get abused!

If the jury actually understands what is happening, they would have no choice but to acquit, since they won't be shown actual evidence of anything. Since the prosecutor wouldn't bother with a sure loss, I'm guessing the strategy is to confuse the jury as much as possible and smile a lot.

The interesting thing here is that they don't feel they can show these documents to 12 citizens and ask them to keep it quiet for the good of their country. That means either they believe citizens are to be managed like children, or that the information doesn't need to be classified in the first place, or perhaps that it's classified because it would reveal misdeeds on the part of some people in power (that the citizens probably SHOULD know about).

So, is the defendant allowed to present a blank piece of paper if he swears it represents a full confession to trumping up the charges and baby raping on the part of the prosecution if he also swears there's secret stuff in it?

Re:So, lets see (1)

rust627 (1072296) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346198)

"So, is the defendant allowed to present a blank piece of paper if he swears it represents a full confession to trumping up the charges and FATHER raping on the part of the prosecution if he also swears there's secret stuff in it?"

Fixed it for you

Well it has to be father raping in light of the earlier 'Alices Restaraunt' references, doesn't it.

Re:So, lets see (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346330)

Not necessarily, it could also be mother stabbing I suppose.

Re:So, lets see (1)

adamchou (993073) | more than 3 years ago | (#36347378)

interesting thing here is that they don't feel they can show these documents to 12 citizens and ask them to keep it quiet for the good of their country

What if they instead selected a jury from a pool of people that already have a clearance? There are hundreds of thousands of people in the US that have some sort of clearance and at least thousands that have a TS/SCI clearance.

Re:So, lets see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36348310)

The government gives that clearance and can take it away.
The case is government vs private individual.

Perhaps, to have that specific level of clearance, only NSA personal can be jurors, ...
You're getting my point right?

Just change the font... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36346112)

...from Wingdings (or Marlett?) to Arial. Should clear things right up.

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