Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Where you stand depends on where you sit

Pro Publica (@ProPublica ) has published a wonderful article entitled, "The Surveillance Reforms Obama Supported Before He Was President". It is worth reading.

By the way, have you noticed that this and previous Administrations feel quite free to disclose their chosen tidbits of secret information when it is politically expedient to do so.  The story-hungry press lets them get away with this with impunity, often citing "Administration sources who could not be identified because of the sensitivity of the information" or some such silly moniker.  Like the one this week about Al Qaeda threats discovered in secret ways:

It is unusual for the United States to come across discussions among senior Qaeda operatives about operational planning — through informants, intercepted e-mails or eavesdropping on cellphone calls. So when the high-level intercepts were collected and analyzed this week, senior officials at the C.I.A., State Department and White House immediately seized on their significance.

“This was a lot more than the usual chatter,” said one senior American official who had been briefed on the information but would not provide details.

And then look at the complicity of the media:

At the request of intelligence officials, The New York Times withheld some details about the intercepted communications.  

Note how the Administration discloses certain details to select newspapers on the condition the information is not released. It extends special privileges to some reporters to make them feel like they are on the "inside." These favors are returned over time.

Just saying, the boundaries of security clearances are extremely elastic and will be used by any administration to suit its purposes. But these guys will never be prosecuted for doing so.

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