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Former FBI Agent Pleads Guilty To Leaking Secrets to the Associated Press

Unknown Lamer posted about 10 months ago | from the not-sure-what-to-think dept.

Government 178

McGruber writes "Today, Former FBI agent Donald John Sachtleben has agreed to plead guilty to leaking secret government information about a bomb plot to the Associated Press. In May, Sachtleben agreed to plead guilty to unrelated charges of possessing and distributing child pornography, and to pay restitution to an identified victim portrayed in the images and videos he allegedly possessed." The deal includes a prison sentence of three years and seven months, and "If accepted by a judge, the prison sentence would be the longest ever handed down in a civilian court for a leak of classified information to a reporter."

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178 comments

I'm shocked (0)

djupedal (584558) | about 10 months ago | (#44930541)

. . . shocked, I tell you.

Let the countdown to the next and then the next and then the. . .begin.

Re:I'm shocked (1, Interesting)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 10 months ago | (#44930647)

I'm growing more and more horrified to be a citizen of the USSA.

Re:I'm shocked (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44930737)

I'm growing more and more horrified to be a citizen of the USSA.

You're welcome to leave and find out what an actual repressive state looks like, kid.

Re:I'm shocked (2, Insightful)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 10 months ago | (#44930797)

I'm growing more and more horrified to be a citizen of the USSA.

You're welcome to leave and find out what an actual repressive state looks like, kid.

said the anonymous coward.

Re:I'm shocked (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44930883)

This [youtube.com] will get you started.

Re:I'm shocked (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931013)

This [youtube.com] will get you started.

Why is it that stupid people like you always assume the US must be compared to the USSR
when there are questions about the US ?

Maybe it's because your stupid ass has never traveled outside the US and because your
daddy who bought the old double-wide trailer you live in was a member of the John Birch Society ?

There are many other countries in the world which are far less repressive than
the US or Russia.

Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, and France are good examples.

The US is far from the best country in the world. One of the best strategies for choosing
a country is to avoid any countries which are attempting or even pretending to be a serious
power in the geopolitical sense. That means Russia, China, and the US are out. For an
intelligent person there are metrics which show the US is not even close to the top of the
list of best countries to live in. One example is the number of prisoners per capita. The US
is either at the top of that list or near the top, which is not what anyone with decent intelligence
would expect from a country which was supposed to be so wonderful.

So fuck you and your ignorant redneck brain-dead bullshit.

Re:I'm shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931447)

Illiteracy continues to be a problem world-wide, even among Slashdot posters. Take you, for example. The specific question up post was regarding what a repressive country looks like, particularly since the US was being directly referenced in a way that made it clear that the frame of reference was the USSR. Few people have any idea how bad the USSR actually was and yet they continue to reference the US as the USSR assuming there must be no difference. As a result, many people act like spoiled teenagers that assume their parents, their country, must be the most repressive place ever. The truth is that they were VERY far apart. The US is nothing like the USSR, and never has been. (You should probably be taking notes.)

As much as some people might pretend that the US is as bad as the USSR, the US never executed millions and millions of people for a long collection of random, bullshit reasons. That did happen in the USSR. If you have a bad case of butt hurt because the US isn't the USSR, maybe you should get mental help, not snarl and spit because it just shows how ignorant you are.

As to all of these other, "better" countries according to some "metric," you better be sure what those metrics are telling you. There are plenty of metrics where the US looks bad because the metric is chosen to reward a particular social organization or institution, such as having socialized medicine, or hate speech laws, not necessarily the actual outcomes you think they are showing. Also note that those metrics won't tell you about the ten thousand elderly that died in the last heat wave in that country because they don't have air conditioning, or the tens of thousands of people with worse healthcare outcomes since they can't get the newest medicines, or their life isn't considered worth extending under the healthcare metrics - but they will give you a suicide pill. You can see that happening in Oregon today. They won't tell you about the thousands of people kept way too long in ambulances to game the health system metrics so their facility looks good, or the euthanasia undergrounds operating in some hospitals that help "troublesome" patients get to the morgue. Oh, there are plenty of metrics out there, oh yes. And you better be sure you know what they are telling you, and what they don't, because you'll be just another input into their metric.

If you think European countries can't be socially repressive, you aren't looking very hard. Why don't you try using some "hate speech" in Europe? There are other free speech issues as well, and plenty of others. Much of Europe is in store for some big problems in the coming years. But hey, if you aren't European all ready, I encourage you to go. Please! Sweden is nice, what don't you try setting in Malmo? I think it would suit you. Or perhaps Marseilles in France. It would extend your horizons.

The US prison population is regrettable, but it provides a teachable moment. The prisoners in US prisons are there for actual criminal offenses, even if you think the offense should be handled differently. They aren't there because they made a fat joke about President Obama's wife. People went to prison for 10 years in the Soviet Union for making a joke about Stalin, and many never made it back alive. The prisoners in US prisons are treated humanely, not starved, tortured, and killed as happened so often in Soviet prisons.

I hope the butt hurt heals - I wouldn't want you distracted from learning, and you need it.

Re:I'm shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931471)

The specific question up post was regarding what a repressive country looks like, particularly since the US was being directly referenced in a way that made it clear that the frame of reference was the USSR.

Since the USSR doesn't exist any more, perhaps you need to update your encyclopedia set, smart boy.

Re:I'm shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931525)

The USSR is an "internationale" standard, sort of like a political kilogram mass. It can be clarifying to have a standard like that to compare against.

Re:I'm shocked (1)

cripkd (709136) | about 10 months ago | (#44931591)

And the prototype is kept in Kremlin.

Re:I'm shocked (1)

pspahn (1175617) | about 10 months ago | (#44931627)

False! I could have sworn I've seen it in Hollywood... at least, like, five times!

Re: I'm shocked (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931505)

A very long post about nothing. Yes, we know that US is nowhere near USSR, it is the slow enroachment on our freedoms that is getting us close. We already have secret courts and secret police, and political dissidents are detained at airports as we speak. According to Naomi Wolf we are like Germany in the 30's - not a Nazi state but getting there.

Re: I'm shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931621)

Naomi Wolf? She thinks Snowden is a plant. [nymag.com] Do you think it might be a mistake to take her seriously?

The FISA court doesn't try anybody, so that is a big red line difference. The US doesn't have secret police arresting people purely for opposing the government like the KGB, Stasi, or Gestapo.

There is certainly reason to be concerned, but the US isn't anywhere close to the burden on civil liberties that it was under during WW2. There were troubling things [youtube.com] going on in the US at the time too.

Re: I'm shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931957)

The FISA court doesn't try anybody because the people it effectively does try don't actually get trials

Re: I'm shocked (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44932027)

The US doesn't have secret police arresting people purely for opposing the government like the KGB, Stasi, or Gestapo.

The US has 16 different secret agencies and many of them have police authorities. And Yes, they have arrested people purely for opposing the government, though certainly not on the same scale as the KGB.

Re: I'm shocked (1)

rioki (1328185) | about 10 months ago | (#44931623)

+1 finally somebody said it (where are my mod points!!!!)

Re: I'm shocked (1)

pspahn (1175617) | about 10 months ago | (#44931657)

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

I am an American, early-mid 30's, and this statement I have known to be true (somewhere in a repressed part of my brain) for nearly two decades.

I am human. I have seen the photos that also humanize the folks in Syria. It's terrible the things that happen.

How about, instead, we simply discuss the merits of CodeIgniter vs. Laraval... or something... ???

The future of web development rides on us figuring out how to make PHP not completely suck. Enough with the ideological crusades. Lets start fixing problems that impact the world we love... the world we intend to leave for our sons and daughters (after giving them a link to php.net...)

Some things are truly worth it. Gather 'round boys. We've got work to do...

Re:I'm shocked (1)

Internetuser1248 (1787630) | about 10 months ago | (#44931733)

US never executed millions and millions of people for a long collection of random, bullshit reasons.

Are you sure? A couple of million here [wikipedia.org] , a half a million there [wikipedia.org] , it adds up.

Re:I'm shocked (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44932125)

The US is nothing like the USSR, and never has been. (You should probably be taking notes.)

That's right. Now, please have your identification papers ready for me to inspect, comrade. I mean bro.

Protip, cocknozzle: There are comparisons to be made. Comparisons to be properly made. Probably because twatdrizzles like you want to go on and on about how those darn, godless Commies were evil, dontchaknow - then ignore every goddamned step we take along the path to that destination.

Re:I'm shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44930951)

I'm growing more and more horrified to be a citizen of the USSA.

You're welcome to leave and find out what an actual repressive state looks like, kid.

said the anonymous coward.

Online anonymity is a fundamental human right that MUST be cherished and defended against aggressors...

Except on Slashdot. And now, there's no irony at all because (distinction without a difference 1, 2, 3...)

- Slashdot

Re:I'm shocked (2)

Desler (1608317) | about 10 months ago | (#44931001)

Yes, anonymous free speech. A necessary right spoken of in the Federalist Papers. Why is his point less valid because he used a different pseudonym than you? If not hiding behind pseudo-anonymity makes your point more valid please provide all your personally identifying info.

Re:I'm shocked (0)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 10 months ago | (#44931181)

pseudonym != anonymous. noh8rz10 is a pseudonym, because even though it's not connected to a specific person, there is one voice who makes all the noh8rz posts. AC is anonymous; all number of people post comments that way. his point is less valid because it's snarky and cowardly. and I don't want to travel the world to learn what a repressive state looks like - I can do that from home!

Re:I'm shocked (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931263)

Only pedants even bother to attempt to undermine the validity of someone's post based on
whether they used a user ID or not.

The user ID ( or lack thereof ) has no bearing on the worth or validity of a post on
this forum or any other forum. The words contained in the post are all that matters,
and if the argument made in a post by an "anonymous coward" is a good argument
then that argument has equal merit to the very same argument in a post made by someone
who logged in and posted from his or her own account.

Your contention that a post is somehow less valid because it is "snarky" is an argument
I would expect from a child. Perhaps you are a child ? Your posts do seem to have a childlike
crudeness of thought running through them.

Re:I'm shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931473)

sure it matters, i'll say all kinds of wrong when it won't effect my immaginary fiqure of karma, and it's easier to ignore all the reasonable replies.

Re:I'm shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931069)

I assume "noh8rz10" is your actual legal name then? Or is at least easily linked with your real world identity? No? You mean you're just a petty little internet hypocrite?

Re:I'm shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931199)

said the anonymous coward.

Can't be bothered to find my login.

Re:I'm shocked (1)

moteyalpha (1228680) | about 10 months ago | (#44931073)

Just because they are toads doesn't mean other people aren't too. It is difficult to judge either behavior if it is done in secret. If the NSA records everything then they must be storing child porn on their computers and if there is one in their midst who is " wrong minded" then their computers should be confiscated and we need to search and see who had what access to information and how they used it. Think of the children.
If possession is the only measure, they are guilty and they need to prove that they were not having bad thoughts.
But then I read the barn this morning and it said "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others" and now I feel better. All is well that ends Orwell.

Re:I'm shocked (2)

rioki (1328185) | about 10 months ago | (#44931653)

The possession as single ground for prosecution is a dangerous can of worms. Originally with VCR tapes and paper pictures this law made some sense, but now you can embed a 0x0 sized picture into a website and boom instant dissident conviction machine. Although I don't know about the details of this case, this sounds somewhat similar... Oh, you leaked some secret documents, ey?

Re:I'm shocked (4, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 10 months ago | (#44931113)

I'm growing more and more horrified to be a citizen of the USA.

Why? It seems like a fair sentence to me. There was no "whistleblowing" here that I can see. His disclosure compromised field agents, and could have done real harm. He was apparently just leaking classified info for his own benefit. This guy was not a Snowden, or even a Manning.

Re:I'm shocked (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 10 months ago | (#44931169)

ok, what was his own benefit here? was he paid? or what?

when you can't step on the neck of the free press, just stomp on everybody who dares to talk to them.

Re:I'm shocked (2)

rtb61 (674572) | about 10 months ago | (#44931173)

It seems likely that something else was really going on, the FBI agent was feeding information to the reporter for money but they couldn't prove it, hence they searched for anything and everything they could charge the agent with instead. So likely there were a whole series of leaks they couldn't pin to the agent but they where fairly certain the agent was the problem.

News for Nerds... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44930563)

This doesn't fit the bill.

Congrats Obama! (3, Interesting)

the_scoots (1595597) | about 10 months ago | (#44930597)

Way to go on that transparency and leaker protection thing you so loved.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9GSBT_-JoQ [youtube.com]

Re:Congrats Obama! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44930831)

Thats an impressive clip. Two minutes of promises and I'm not sure a single one of them has been kept.

No lobbyist in administration
No corporate welfare pork barrel spending
Posting bills for 5 days for comments before signing them
Meetings between lobbyst and administration publically shown
All tax breaks/subsidies for business publically listed

So are people who called him a liar when he made that speech still racists?
"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." - Voltare

Re:Congrats Obama! (0)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 10 months ago | (#44931099)

Thats an impressive clip. Two minutes of promises and I'm not sure a single one of them has been kept.

So are people who called him a liar when he made that speech still racists?
"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." - Voltare

Yes, of course they/you/we are. What a silly question.

Re:Congrats Obama! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931945)

Posting AC cause it isn't my actual opinion and I'm sure I'd get down modded for it....

What if this was Obama's plan all along?
1. Try to bring the US to transparency by normal means.. Get blackmailed: fail.
2. Find a bunch of good civil servants and convince them privately to disclose everything possible even at risk of jail.
3. Act indignant and demand harsh punishment so he doesn't get implicated.
4. Make minor changes as per his masters demands. (PR)
5. Wake up enough people as to the problems.
6. Hope that the next president has better luck.

All part of the big master plan. I only say this as a possibility because I liked him as a candidate, but consider him awful now.

Re:Congrats Obama! (4, Informative)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about 10 months ago | (#44931465)

He traded child pornography on numerous occasions with someone online. Both of whom were caught and pled guilty. They probably found evidence in their investigation which linked him to the leaks. These links weren't exposing wrong doing or malfeasance they were just straight up classified leaks that could expose undercover agents. It's believed he leaked them for monetary gain not even any noble patriotism. That's not a whistleblower, that's a pedophile who got caught selling classified documents.

Why is he guilty when he should be a hero? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44930607)

What ever happened to the whistleblower act? He should have immunity over this. Clearly the government has lost their mind and have gone completely tyrannical. Did you know that just last week the feds now told the police that anyone that there may be more to 9/11 than what meets the eye, like believing in WTC7 means that they're probably a terrorist? Using VPN, proxies, encryption, storing food for more than 5-days are other reasons as well. Every month new possibilities come up and anything we say online, on the phone, or over the radio can and will be used against us if we're deemed a threat to the government. In other words, the government doesn't give a shit about us, it's all about THEIR better interest. Whether you believe in any whistleblower or not of the past decade isn't what matters, what matters is the result of calling out your government for doing something illegal and then getting arrested that matters. This is a BIG problem and why people should be concerned. Next, your visitation to the therapist or doctor could be a reason for you to not bare arms or even be arrested as a suspected terrorist because quite frankly EVERYONE is a suspect at this point. But you know what they say, if everyone else is a suspect, there's a possibility that you're the one who's the real suspect, and quite frankly I think we can all agree that the government is the real terrorist, trying to scare the living crap out of people and telling them what to do "or else". /rant

Re:Why is he guilty when he should be a hero? (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 10 months ago | (#44930979)

Score 1 currently and yet nail on head.

Re:Why is he guilty when he should be a hero? (2)

flimflammer (956759) | about 10 months ago | (#44931051)

Do you actually know the purpose of whistleblowing laws? You think it is designed to protect people who leak random classified information of no consequence to the law?

Re:Why is he guilty when he should be a hero? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931121)

Yes, I know the purpose of the whistleblower protection act. Let me quote it for you.

"The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, Pub.L. 101-12 as amended, is a United States federal law that protects federal whistleblowers who work for the government and report agency misconduct. A federal agency violates the Whistleblower Protection Act if agency authorities take (or threaten to take) retaliatory personnel action against any employee or applicant because of disclosure of information by that employee or applicant. Whistleblowers may file complaints that they believe reasonably evidences a violation of a law, rule or regulation; gross mismanagement; gross waste of funds; an abuse of authority; or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety."

Now you're telling me that what was leaked is random classified information? Please... Cry me a river. We need a lot MORE transparency but this administration did the complete opposite of delivering it regardless of its promises to create it. You sound very ill informed and need a good lesson on what's going on in the US. When you're done, please come back and state your arguments again if they still apply. The government gets caught doing something illegal and the whistle-blowers are the ones going to prison. Who's the real criminal here? Who cares if the leak contains super classified information even if it has battle tactics, if the government doesn't want to be responsible then they don't deserve to use them in secrecy. Same with whatever else they do. They work for US not the other way around.

Re:Why is he guilty when he should be a hero? (2)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 10 months ago | (#44932165)

Where was he leaking information that fell under any of those categories?

Priorities (2, Insightful)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 10 months ago | (#44930619)

They're pissed about the press leaks and out for blood, so he gets the longest ever sentence for leaking classified information.

But the kiddie porn charges? Nah, just pay a fine.

Wow.

Re:Priorities (3, Informative)

subsoniq (652203) | about 10 months ago | (#44930729)

From the FBI press release abut the guilty plea on possession of child porn:

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven D. DeBrota, who is prosecuting the case for the government, Sachtleben could face five to 20 years in prison for the distribution charge and up to 10 years for the possession charge. Both charges also carry up to a $250,000 fine and lifetime supervised release if he is found to be guilty.

Re:Priorities (3, Insightful)

BitterOak (537666) | about 10 months ago | (#44930999)

From the FBI press release abut the guilty plea on possession of child porn: According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven D. DeBrota, who is prosecuting the case for the government, Sachtleben could face five to 20 years in prison for the distribution charge and up to 10 years for the possession charge. Both charges also carry up to a $250,000 fine and lifetime supervised release if he is found to be guilty.

Does anyone besides me think it's ridiculous that a person can get 10 years in prison for possession of a JPEG image on his computer?

Re:Priorities (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931133)

Hey, I have pictures of your family member being gang-raped by my friends. Would you like to buy one? If you like it, I can get more.

Just name your preference if you like them tall/short, skinny/fat, young/old, black/white/asian, blond/brunette/redhead, etc.

There are so many potential sources of new photos, we just grab who we need at the time.

Re:Priorities (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931709)

Is this supposed to make me think with my feelings instead of my brain?
What if there were no pictures but the gang-rape happened anyway. Would everything be fine and dandy then?

No, the problem is that people can't differ between committing an action and the documenting thereof.
10 years in prison for a rapist, fine. 10 years in prison for possessing a picture of the action while not otherwise taking part thereof, that is excessive.

This will never change as long as people show up to defend such a skewed system.
Please change your opinions, you are one of the reasons out legal system doesn't work.

Re:Priorities (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44932207)

The problem is that this topic is emotionally-charged making people think it's okay to ruin someone's life over something like this. This could include drug possession, pirated media (software, movies, TV shows, etc.), etc.

The laws seem abused and out of control. It's my opinion that the criminal justice system should be rehabilitation-focused. (One of the first things we should do is ban private prisons. Also, we should mandate a minimum wage for prisoners if they do work out-of-house". Just two examples: Laundry=in-house. Picking-up-litter-along-highway=out-of-house.)

What if we were to limit non-distribution possession penalties to being a 1-year-max misdemeanor? But also require psychological counseling if applicable. (Probably not applicable to pirated media.)

Even bad people are still people, and just because they do bad things doesn't mean their life should be ruined. Nor does it mean they should get away with the criminal act they are accused of doing.

We should focus more efforts on those distributing and/or creating the illegal material, whether it's this, drugs or pirated media.

From what I gather, it sounds like he is accused of not only possessing it, but also distributing it. Whether this is true, not sure. It could have been planted.

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931153)

You think that's bad, wait until you hear what the MAFIAA does with mp3's and mp4's. You'll be lucky if your anus is still intact.

Re:Priorities (2)

GumphMaster (772693) | about 10 months ago | (#44931197)

Does anyone besides me think it's ridiculous that a person can get 10 years in prison for possession of a JPEG image on his computer?

Probably. However, that is the upper bound of sentencing available to the judge; tempered by the facts of the case and offender, not a mandatory sentence, and probably not even a typical sentence.

It is, however, not just a JPEG ( I would be surprised if cases before the courts hinged on a single JPEG). The image is evidence of of crime and pattern of behaviour that few societies, including prison societies, will tolerate. Sure, the possessor might not have perpetrated the original child-abuse crime but at the very best they are ignoring it and allowing it to continue.

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44932099)

pattern of behaviour that few societies will tolerate

It was no big deal anywhere until the 60s, when prudish 'Murica went all Maude Flanders on it.

Re:Priorities (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 10 months ago | (#44931619)

No it is not cridiculous. It is a very convenient way to remove an opponent...

Re:Priorities (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44930813)

They're pissed about the press leaks and out for blood, so he gets the longest ever sentence for leaking classified information.

But the kiddie porn charges? Nah, just pay a fine.

Wow.

Please. The kiddie porn charges were to merely get him to enter a plea and move this along.

Doesn't take a card-carrying FBI agent to Scooby Doo that bullshit. It's called a pressure point, and a rather effective one too, as you can see.

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44930877)

You're not marked insightful +5 because even after explaining it to them. They just don't get it.

Re:Priorities (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 10 months ago | (#44931091)

They're pissed about the press leaks and out for blood, so he gets the longest ever sentence for leaking classified information.

But the kiddie porn charges? Nah, just pay a fine.

Wow.

Please. The kiddie porn charges were to merely get him to enter a plea and move this along.

Doesn't take a card-carrying FBI agent to Scooby Doo that bullshit. It's called a pressure point, and a rather effective one too, as you can see.

And he would have got away with it to if it hadn't been for those meddling kids!

Re:Priorities (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 10 months ago | (#44930985)

But the kiddie porn charges? Nah, just pay a fine.

I'll bet that if you could get a look at the actual evidence, you'd find that the kiddie porn thing is BS.

If the government wants to pressure you to do something, that kind of blackmail is at the top of the hit list of their favorite moves.

I guarantee you will never hear of a whistleblower and not hear shortly thereafter the words "kiddie porn" or "rape" or a whole basket of smears.

See, the NSA couldn't do the kiddie porn or rape thing with Ed Snowden, because that might hurt their nice cozy contract the private intelligence firm Snowden worked for. But they still did their best to smear every detail of his life. Reading Bart Gellman's profile in the Washington Post is a revelation for anyone who has gotten their notions about Snowden from the usual royal court stenographers in the media.

The entire security/intelligence apparatus of the United States stinks to high heaven. They're doing the kind of things that anyone who grew up in, or spent time in, Soviet satellite countries would recognize right away.

Re:Priorities (1)

ThatAblaze (1723456) | about 10 months ago | (#44931223)

(almost) No one is listening when the government says Snowden is a bad guy. Any government would say something like that in this situation. No one I know cares or gets emotional about it. That would be like getting mad at a parakeet for chirping all day long.

Re:Priorities (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44932139)

I was living in one of those Soviet satellite countries and I am afraid that USA (and to high level other western countries) is about half way to become as oppressive as commie regimes in these countries in late 80s - I'll give it another 15-20 years.
The horror is it wont stop there. With the increasing surveillance capabilities it will go all the way to North Korea status.
Spying and blackmailing is the most effective tool to terrorize the citizens. Even if you are a superhero and you don not mind to be threatened by imprisonment or ruining your own life, there are other methods (one popular and very disgusting commie trick was to threaten to deny your children high level education).

The Surveillance is THE SINGLE BIGGEST danger to democracy because once it exceeds a certain threshold then there might not be a way back for centuries - if ever until humanity destroys itself.

What restitution? (2)

guises (2423402) | about 10 months ago | (#44930633)

The idea behind restitution is to make whole someone who has been injured or caused some loss by another's actions. Unless this is a copyright issue, I don't see how possessing or distributing child pornography could be associated with any kind of monetary restitution. Creation of child pornography perhaps - the child could claim some trauma or, maybe at the outside, damage to their reputation. This doesn't make any sense though.

Re:What restitution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44930725)

It's literally the new voodoo. Every time someone looks at a picture of a naked kid, it hurts them. Just like sticking needles in a straw doll.

Posting AC because it's fucking retarded but anyone who points out this emperor is wearing no clothes must be a hellbound kiddy fiddler. Is the emperor a little kid?

Re:What restitution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931043)

Yup.

Besides voodoo, that every time you look at a picture of a naked kid you psychically rape them again, if you say the word 'nigger' and a Black hears it, the Black falls victim to 'stereotype threat' and loses 15 IQ points.

No, really, look it up.

There are studies to prove that stereotype threat exists. Furthermore, if you express the opinion that stereotype threat does not exist, you're suspected of maybe being the kind of person who casts that spell yourself. It's literally illegal to knowingly employ someone who is known to cast the spell. Just ask Anil Dash how he got Pax Dickinson fired.

Voodoo. Hexes. Progressives have had at least the last 50 years to remake the West into a utopia according to scientific principles. They still claim that "reality has a liberal bias".

Re:What restitution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931171)

This thread is taking a weird twist. Just want to point out that Anil Dash can't have been an easy name to go to school with.

Re:What restitution? (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#44930763)

I don't see how possessing or distributing child pornography could be associated with any kind of monetary restitution. Creation of child pornography perhaps

The restitution goes to a kid in one of the pictures he was distributing. Maybe not 100% fair, but there's nothing fair about that situation.

Re:What restitution? (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 10 months ago | (#44931595)

The restitution goes to a kid in one of the pictures he was distributing. Maybe not 100% fair, but there's nothing fair about that situation.

I would be wary of the situation. Firstly, what the courts accept as child pornography can be seriously out of balance with what the average person would consider it as. Parents have been convicted of taking pictures of their children playing in the bathtub to send to family members. Most families have taken pictures of their young children in the nude, and this is not sexual in any way for them. So be very careful taking any charge or conviction of a sexual nature at face value. People have been put on sex offender registries for taking a drunken piss in the bushes. And then there's teenagers having sex; Something I think most of us will admit we did, but that can seriously ruin someone's life due to poorly worded or draconian "for the children" legislation.

I guess my point is... there are plenty of examples where a fine is purely punitive, and there is, in actuality, no victim. Is that the case here? I don't know; It's not like the article provides sufficient detail. And this all ignores the thorny issue of how this 'child porn' charge is claimed to be unrelated, yet turns up over the course of an investigation into leaking of classified information and then makes it into the popular press. It is a suspect situation to say the least. And the entire plea bargaining system is hopelessly corrupt -- they typically trump up the charges so much that you could be looking at 300 years in the electric chair because they've taken a single criminal act and turned it into thirty different felonies.

Most cases don't go to trial, not because the defense has no merit, but because the defense browns its pants due to the enormity of what it's being charged with and decides taking a plea deal that's a tiny fraction of what they're being charged with is reasonable even if they aren't guilty. Any public defender will tell you the legal system is a crap shoot. Sometimes you get justice, but there's a lot of innocent people in jail, victims of racial profiling, or for simply "looking guilty" to the jury. All of these considerations means that what's stated in the press release can safely be assumed to not be enough to form any conclusion about the person's guilt or innocence.

And in cases like this, doubly so because the political pressure is so great; One of the first things they teach you in psychological warfare is to discredit your detractors. If someone leaks government information, you have to destroy their credibility. Nothing kills credibility like an accusation of child porn, rape, etc. You'll notice that many of the people who have been accused of leaking classified information have been later accused of sexual impropriety; This is statistically very improbable.

Re:What restitution? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#44931625)

You'll notice that many of the people who have been accused of leaking classified information have been later accused of sexual impropriety; This is statistically very improbable.

Are you so sure?

Re:What restitution? (1, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 10 months ago | (#44931695)

Are you so sure?

Julian Assange was accused of rape. Bradley Manning was outed as a transsexual. Tons of diplomatic cables were released by Wikipedia, showing that our diplomats overseas are horny toads. The list goes on. Accusing people of sexual impropriety has long been used as a means of discrediting people, or for blackmail purposes. Being gay, until recently, was a reason to disqualify someone from holding a high level security clearance in this country. Bill Clinton's fall from grace over the Monica Lewinsky affair. And how many Republicans have been caught in public restrooms doing, achem, decidedly gay things while supporting decidedly anti-gay legislation?

Any woman will tell you sex is a weapon; Only men need convincing of this. And if you read the accusations that follow leaks like this, you will tend to notice that a discussion of the person's sexual past and present come up with startling regularity, and invariably cast as deviant, abnormal, etc. Now, whether this is actually the case, or just the mental acrobatics of a sexually repressed society... I'll leave that one for the reader to figure out.

Re:What restitution? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#44931719)

I'm just wondering why you think it's statistically improbable. Seems there are plenty of people like that.

Re:What restitution? (1)

guises (2423402) | about 10 months ago | (#44931979)

This is just so... girlintraining makes an argument that accusations of rape and sexual impropriety are bizarrely common among whistleblowers, and provides examples such accusations. Your response is: "Well, looks like you've shown that lots of people are being accused of rape and sexual impropriety. So it can't really be out of the ordinary, can it?"

As w/ Freedom Hosting, the feds planted child porn (1)

Rujiel (1632063) | about 10 months ago | (#44930635)

Maybe this is a more common tactic than I thought.

Re:As w/ Freedom Hosting, the feds planted child p (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44930705)

"Maybe this is a more common tactic than I thought".

Usually they're found trussed-up dead in a sex-game gone wrong, but that one's become too well known from overuse. The kiddie-porn charge is to dissuade people from taking too close a look at the case, after all the FEDs would never knowingly lie about a case.

Re:As w/ Freedom Hosting, the feds planted child p (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 10 months ago | (#44930771)

Holy shit, the FBI killed David Carradine?

Re:As w/ Freedom Hosting, the feds planted child p (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44930861)

You seem to have a very active fantasy life.

Re:As w/ Freedom Hosting, the feds planted child p (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931067)

He pleaded guilty. Speaking for myself, I would NEVER plead guilty to such a heinous crime if the evidence were planted. I'd go to prison first.

This guy was an FBI agent, so he's not a wallflower Aaron Swartz type.

Whistleblowers and kiddie porn .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44930657)

It's become a standard responce by the state security apparatus to smear whistleblowers with kiddie porn charges.

"As part of a plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court in Indiana, Donald John Sachtleben agreed to a prison sentence of three years and seven months for the leak"

"Sachtleben could face five to 20 years in prison for the distribution charge and up to 10 years for the possession charge"

Re:Whistleblowers and kiddie porn .. (2)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 10 months ago | (#44930683)

It does seem that way. Before you leak, destroy all your storage media lest you find unexpected photos appearing on them.

Re:Whistleblowers and kiddie porn .. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44930929)

It does seem that way. Before you leak, destroy all your storage media lest you find unexpected photos appearing on them.

If you do not have incriminating media or devices, one will be provided for you by the state.

Re:Whistleblowers and kiddie porn .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931865)

mod funny, this comment fits perfectly in the discussion

Re:Whistleblowers and kiddie porn .. (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 10 months ago | (#44930765)

It's become a standard responce by the state security apparatus to smear whistleblowers with kiddie porn charges.

Who can blame them? It works. Anyone who disagrees with these procedures is a pedo/terrorist that's soft on drugs/crime. As long as we reelect the trash we put into office, I will continue to insist that this is the government we want... This is how majority rule works..

Re:Whistleblowers and kiddie porn .. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44930917)

Or they're legit charges. I've spent a lot of years in the "state security apparatus" as an outlier. I have been deployed far, far forward, worked 'back office', cross assigned, etc. I will say that my experience with the FBI (never having worked for them, only with them) is that they are consummate professionals. I know they have politics like the rest of the community, but somehow they seemed to rise above it, even to their own detriment. This guy was likely really into his flavor of porn. The community at large, like it or not, is a microcosm of society. There is every flavor of criminal that slips past the interview process (and the pathetic 'box' (polygraph)). While it may seem en vogue to support any whistle blower that comes along, they are often doing what they do to cover for something else. I know that's not popular, but it is reality. Anyway, the FBI is by an large a good group of folks. Their leadership may suck at times and they may have some cosmic proportion failures to their credit, but I don't believe they're wrong on the prosecution of this fellow.

Re:Whistleblowers and kiddie porn .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44930983)

Says the AC.

Re:Whistleblowers and kiddie porn .. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931831)

I will say that my experience with the FBI (never having worked for them, only with them) is that they are consummate professionals.

Your comment may be sincere but I have news for you, there are things you have missed.

The FBI lies on a regular basis on Form 302s, the FBI practices witness intimidation and this is a technique
which is TAUGHT at the FBI Academy.

The FBI complied files on people like John Lennon because politicians in power at the time viewed Lennon
as a threat. Ask yourself this : what threat could John Lennon possibly have been, unless you wanted to
have a war and you knew that war might not have popular approval ?

The FBI is a tool of the state and it exists to ensure that the FBI and the state retain the power they have
and gain more power as is desired. The FBI does not serve the average citizen any more than the Queen of
England helps people get seated at Wembley Stadium.

Like I said, your comment might be sincere and you might actually just be ignorant of how things really
are, but there are too many examples to list here of conduct on the part of the FBI that is not ethical or honest
or morally right. But as a mercenary you know that none of that matters when you're the one holding the gun,
don't you ?

Re:Whistleblowers and kiddie porn .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931083)

They also leaked that they found porn in Bin Laden's compound. Why would they even tell us that if not to smear him and reduce the chance radical muslims would stand up to his assassination?

Ah, the Child Porn manouever.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44930717)

Ok Donald, here's how it goes.

The longer it takes you to plead guilty, the more (and worse) "child porn" we'll find. Got it? Don't fuck around or we'll manuf^h^h^h^h^h find some rape victims too.

Not A Saint (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44930741)

Did he leak info that uncovered government wrong doing? No. Did he leak info that showed corruption? No. Did he leak info to protect innocent victims from harm? No. Those would all be excellent and justifiable reasons to break his oath and provide information to outside sources. He was just being a moron.

Not everyone who leaks information deserves protection or is a whistle blower.

Re:Not A Saint (2)

tlambert (566799) | about 10 months ago | (#44930969)

Did he leak info that uncovered government wrong doing? No. Did he leak info that showed corruption? No. Did he leak info to protect innocent victims from harm? No. Those would all be excellent and justifiable reasons to break his oath and provide information to outside sources. He was just being a moron.

Not everyone who leaks information deserves protection or is a whistle blower.

Why did Bradley Manning get outed as a transexual, and Donald Sachtleben get outed as a trafficker in child pornography? Bradley Manning got first pick.

Makes you wonder what Edward Snowden will have retroactively done to offend the religious right and justify a long prison sentence. You know, after he's extradited by the U.S. from a country with which the U.S. has no extradition treaty.

Re:Not A Saint (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931419)

Why did Bradley Manning get outed as a transexual, and Donald Sachtleben get outed as a trafficker in child pornography? Bradley Manning got first pick.

Bradley (Chelsea) Manning, outed himself as a transexual. It actually appears he did what he did deliberately to get imprisoned so the federal government would have to pay for his expensive hormone replacement/gender reassignment "therapy".

The guy is a kink, decides he's too kinky for the army, and hatches a plan to get the government to pay for his kinky fetish.

Re:Not A Saint (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931549)

Bradley (Chelsea) Manning, outed himself as a transexual. It actually appears he did what he did deliberately to get imprisoned so the federal government would have to pay for his expensive hormone replacement/gender reassignment "therapy".

Except the federal government doesn't do that, even if a few right wing nutjobs want to pretend it does.

Re:Not A Saint (2)

tlambert (566799) | about 10 months ago | (#44931689)

Bradley (Chelsea) Manning, outed himself as a transexual. It actually appears he did what he did deliberately to get imprisoned so the federal government would have to pay for his expensive hormone replacement/gender reassignment "therapy".

Except the federal government doesn't do that, even if a few right wing nutjobs want to pretend it does.

Exactly. The 8th amendment decisions that apply to state and federal prisons, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, do NOT apply to military prisons, which are under the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice), rather than the U.S. Constitution. So this was not the reason.

Re:Not A Saint (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 10 months ago | (#44931637)

Did he leak info that uncovered government wrong doing? No. Did he leak info that showed corruption? No. Did he leak info to protect innocent victims from harm? No. Those would all be excellent and justifiable reasons to break his oath and provide information to outside sources.

Yes, but not the only "excellent and justifiable" reasons to leak. For all the money we spend on the 'war on terror', it would be nice to occasionally hear from the front lines what the actual threats are. But we almost never do. We're simply told there are terrorists out there, and we have to spend tons of money and sacrifice our civil liberty, but we're rarely handed evidence to support this. It has to be taken on faith.

Do you feel this is an acceptable state of affairs for a democratic country? The claim of 'national security' has been going on for over a decade now, and it's gotten to the point that we have CNN reporters standing outside commenting and speculating about why police cruisers and military convoys are coming and going out of an area, and the official word is... erm, nothing. We've had to guess so often at what's really going on that it's become a running joke for political satirists.

Not everyone who leaks information deserves protection or is a whistle blower.

No, but neither should the mere act of leaking information invoke charges of treason, decades in prison, etc. The value of the information and the actual harm caused by its release must also be taken into consideration. Here we have a case where the public was never made aware of the leak. Only a few reporters were, who promptly contacted the government and abided their wishes not to publish. The damage to operational security here was minimal. We do not punish people on the "what could have happened" scales, but on the "what did happen" scales of justice.

Yet, when it comes to matters of national security (which is increasingly invoked for everything from senators being stopped for speeding to drug dealers handing out marijuana), we're not being told what's going on, nor is there much evidence that the punishment is at all in keeping with the actual harm caused. This is a problem, and while I'm not disagreeing that this guy should have kept is damn mouth shut, his opening it didn't cause much harm... he should have simply been fired, and perhaps spend a few months to a year at most in jail, or put on probation. Sometimes people are stupid... it doesn't mean they're a continuing threat to society, and that's the only reason we should ever consider imprisonment.

Obama Terror War On Big Whitey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44930747)

The Summer was dismal in Obama's Terror War against the U.S.A., read "BIG WHITEY."

Failure after failure after failure after failure.

Both domestic and International with Putin outflanking Obama at every turn of the game.

This win for Obama is like a 'Technical Score On Penalty' worth one point. ONE MEASLY POINT.

That sum up the worth of Obama: One Measly Point.

Never fear though as the Fall offers Obama such a failure terrain that has not been seen since Neapolitan's Army marched into Russia and Moscow in the winter of 1812! And that little fiasco gave birth to the 1812 Overture.

Just think of it. The Destruction Of Obama Overture.

Right Up the alley of the US National Symphony!

QED

It's just a page from Machiavelli's "The Prince" - (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44930793)

Respect can be lost, but fear sticks around.

And that is exactly what the sons of bitches who are behind the
curtain ( the ones who pull the strings that make Obama move )
are interested in : making sure Americans are terrified to speak
out.

Re:It's just a page from Machiavelli's "The Prince (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 10 months ago | (#44931513)

And so the Anonymous Cowards protested. They rose up with their masks to protect their identity, and with picket signs of void pointers: Not even in white, for that could be misunderstood as flags of surrender, but unvoiced as transparencies instead. In silence they marched, unseen, all around us, always and forever. Not the heroes we need, but quantum superpositions of both the heroes we deserve and the ones that don't exist... The potential for great change -- A waveform never destined to collapse.

Re:It's just a page from Machiavelli's "The Prince (1)

basecastula (2556196) | about 10 months ago | (#44931601)

Fueled by doobie?

Re:It's just a page from Machiavelli's "The Prince (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931531)

The Jews are the one pulling the strings.

Re:It's just a page from Machiavelli's "The Prince (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931893)

Your IP address has been recorded with this post and now the NSA will have you put on a no fly list enforced by TSA and copies forwarded to Israel.
Also, we know you were saying something about child porn, therefore you are a ... you get the picture?

As long as there are humans running the government (2)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | about 10 months ago | (#44931543)

rule of law is exactly the same as rule of man, just a couple more inconvenient steps.

So, apart from the Kiddie porn ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44930957)

This Guy's a Hero?

Child Pornography (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44931969)

Hmm, now I see a use for the NSA backdoors in systems. Offend your masters and hey presto, you're paedophile and here's [uploading .... ] the evidence to prove it.

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