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Message started by George W. Maschke on Dec 30th, 2005 at 12:27pm

Title: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by George W. Maschke on Dec 30th, 2005 at 12:27pm
Former Navy officer and NSA employee Wayne Madsen, now an independent journalist, reports that the NSA has spied on journalists under a codeword project called FIRSTFRUITS and that since 2001, the NSA has also illegally spied on its own employees and other members of the intelligence community who contacted journalists, members of Congress, inspectors general, and other oversight agencies:


Quote:
December 28, 2005 -- BREAKING NEWS. NSA spied on its own employees, other U.S. intelligence personnel, and their journalist and congressional contacts. WMR has learned that the National Security Agency (NSA), on the orders of the Bush administration, eavesdropped on the private conversations and e-mail of its own employees, employees of other U.S. intelligence agencies -- including the CIA and DIA -- and their contacts in the media, Congress, and oversight agencies and offices.

The journalist surveillance program, code named "Firstfruits," was part of a Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) program that was maintained at least until October 2004 and was authorized by then-DCI Porter Goss. Firstfruits was authorized as part of a DCI "Countering Denial and Deception" program responsible to an entity known as the Foreign Denial and Deception Committee (FDDC). Since the intelligence community's reorganization, the DCI has been replaced by the Director of National Intelligence headed by John Negroponte and his deputy, former NSA director Gen. Michael Hayden.

Firstfruits was a database that contained both the articles and the transcripts of telephone and other communications of particular Washington journalists known to report on sensitive U.S. intelligence activities, particularly those involving NSA. According to NSA sources, the targeted journalists included author James Bamford, the New York Times' James Risen, the Washington Post's Vernon Loeb, the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh, the Washington Times' Bill Gertz, UPI's John C. K. Daly, and this editor [Wayne Madsen], who has written about NSA for The Village Voice, CAQ, Intelligence Online, and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).

In addition, beginning in 2001 but before the 9-11 attacks, NSA began to target anyone in the U.S. intelligence community who was deemed a "disgruntled employee." According to NSA sources, this surveillance was a violation of United States Signals Intelligence Directive (USSID) 18 and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. The surveillance of U.S. intelligence personnel by other intelligence personnel in the United States and abroad was conducted without any warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The targeted U.S. intelligence agency personnel included those who made contact with members of the media, including the journalists targeted by Firstfruits, as well as members of Congress, Inspectors General, and other oversight agencies. Those discovered to have spoken to journalists and oversight personnel were subjected to sudden clearance revocation and termination as "security risks."

In 2001, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court rejected a number of FISA wiretap applications from Michael Resnick, the FBI supervisor in charge of counter-terrorism surveillance. The court said that some 75 warrant requests from the FBI were erroneous and that the FBI, under Louis Freeh and Robert Mueller, had misled the court and misused the FISA law on dozens of occasions. In a May 17, 2002 opinion, the presiding FISA Judge, Royce C. Lamberth (a Texan appointed by Ronald Reagan), barred Resnick from ever appearing before the court again. The ruling, released by Lamberth's successor, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelley, stated in extremely strong terms, "In virtually every instance, the government's misstatements and omissions in FISA applications and violations of the Court's orders involved information sharing and unauthorized disseminations to criminal investigators and prosecutors . . . How these misrepresentations occurred remains unexplained to the court."

After the Justice Department appealed the FISC decision, the FISA Review court met for the first time in its history. The three-member review court, composed of Ralph Guy of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Edward Leavy of the 9th Circuit, and Laurence Silberman [of the Robb-Silberman Commission on 911 "intelligence failures"] of the D.C. Circuit, overturned the FISC decision on the Bush administration's wiretap requests.

Based on recent disclosures that the Bush administration has been using the NSA to conduct illegal surveillance of U.S. citizens, it is now becoming apparent what vexed the FISC to the point that it rejected, in an unprecedented manner, numerous wiretap requests and sanctioned Resnick.


It seems that Madsen has an informed source. The illustrations he provides:







appear to be croppings from a photograph of a computer screen at a classified workstation. Madsen has previously published a similar screen shot providing a directory of the NSA's personnel security staff, including the Agency's polygraph examiners.

Although Madsen's current article does not directly address polygraph issues, the reason I post it here is that it raises the question of whether or not AntiPolygraph.org has been the target of illegal wiretapping under FIRSTFRUITS.

Madsen notes that those targeted included "anyone in the U.S. intelligence community who was deemed a 'disgruntled employee.'" By 2000, I fit that profile. Under the pseudonym "Captain Jones," I had posted a public statement about my polygraph experience on the website (no longer on-line) NoPolygraph.com. An updated version of that statement, now under my real name, is available on AntiPolygraph.org here. As I note there, although my statement initially appeared under a pseudonym, I had included enough specific detail that if someone in the U.S. Government really wanted to learn my identity, they could do so. And by November 2000, someone in the Polygraph Section of the 902nd Military Intelligence Group, which is co-located with the NSA at Fort Meade, Maryland, had in fact done precisely that.

By that time (and also since then) I had additionally communicated with Washington Post staff writer Vernon Loeb, one of the journalists allegedly targeted under FIRSTFRUITS, who quoted me in an article titled "Putting More Energy into Counterintelligence" that was published on 10 July 2000.

And I've corresponded with numerous "disgruntled" current and former members of the intelligence community.

If the NSA targeted AntiPolygraph.org under FIRSTFRUITS (or any other program, for that matter), it is possible that the U.S. Government has determined (or could potentially determine) the identies of most who have contacted AntiPolygraph.org by e-mail, posted on this message board, downloaded The Lie Behind the Lie Detector, or even just visited this website.

Title: Re: NSA Spied on IC Employees, Congress, Journalis
Post by NSAreject on Dec 30th, 2005 at 2:14pm
George,

 None of this surprises me; an agency without
boundaries.  Being an ex-NSA employee, and currently
in the Intel community, I have posted numerous
times, but obviously don't care.  For some reason,
NSA thinks they are something special, so many NSA
rejects simply apply to other Intel agencies, as in my
case.  Comparatively, I found their work generally pretty
boring.  I am sure they have enough information from
my posts, but again, I don't care.  My only beef with
them, is that NSA security are assholes.  By the way, a
while back, I was interviewing with Lockheed, and
talked with a former NSA military assignee, and he told
me how he used to listen to our oversees troops'
phone conversations over MILSAT.  Nice, hugh ?  Also,
I heard that NSA was tracking peoples' "cookies", as
they visited the NSA web site.  This kind of behavior
indicates that NSA is lacking in real targets, since the
Cold War...

Title: Re: NSA Spied on IC Employees, Congress, Journalis
Post by polyfool on Dec 30th, 2005 at 6:44pm

NSAreject wrote on Dec 30th, 2005 at 2:14pm:
George,

 None of this surprises me; an agency without
boundaries.  Being an ex-NSA employee, and currently
in the Intel community, I have posted numerous
times, but obviously don't care.  For some reason,
NSA thinks they are something special, so many NSA
rejects simply apply to other Intel agencies, as in my
case.  Comparatively, I found their work generally pretty
boring.  I am sure they have enough information from
my posts, but again, I don't care.  My only beef with
them, is that NSA security are assholes.  By the way, a
while back, I was interviewing with Lockheed, and
talked with a former NSA military assignee, and he told
me how he used to listen to our oversees troops'
phone conversations over MILSAT.  Nice, hugh ?  Also,
I heard that NSA was tracking peoples' "cookies", as
they visited the NSA web site.  This kind of behavior
indicates that NSA is lacking in real targets, since the
Cold War...


NSAReject,

What you heard about NSA using cookies to track internet use of visitors to its site is right on target. It was a top story on the news networks last night. The NSA's official response is that the whole thing was an unintentional error and once the agency was alerted to the problem, it corrected it.

Title: Re: NSA Spied on IC Employees, Congress, Journalis
Post by NSAreject on Dec 30th, 2005 at 6:53pm
polyfool,

  I would love for Congress to somehow audit the NSA,
and see for themselves, all the databases full of
USSID-18 violations (and would probably enjoy all the
porn); of  course, that information is supposed to
be purged:

   http://cryptome.org/ussid18-guide.htm

 The same lame excuse, about the "cookies", happened
about 8 years ago, during Black History Month.  In their
newsletter, in the crossword puzzle, was found a
column:

             U
             B
             R
             E
             A
             L
             T
             R
             A
             S
             H

  The NSA claimed that the entire staff,  that worked on
the puzzle, was African American, so it had to be a
random mistake...

Title: Re: NSA Spied on IC Employees, Congress, Journalis
Post by polyfool on Dec 30th, 2005 at 7:28pm

wrote on Dec 30th, 2005 at 12:27pm:
Former Navy officer and NSA employee Wayne Madsen, now an independent journalist, reports that since 2001 under a codeword project called FIRSTFRUITS, the NSA has spied on its own employees and other members of the intelligence community perceived to be "disgruntled" employees as well as journalists and the Congress:


It seems that Madsen has an informed source. The illustrations he provides:

http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/firstfruits.htm

appear to be croppings from a photograph of a computer screen at a classified workstation. Madsen has previously published a similar screen shot providing a directory of the NSA's personnel security staff, including the Agency's polygraph examiners.

Although Madsen's current article does not directly address polygraph issues, the reason I post it here is that it raises the question of whether or not AntiPolygraph.org has been the target of illegal wiretapping under FIRSTFRUITS.

Madsen notes that those targeted included "anyone in the U.S. intelligence community who was deemed a 'disgruntled employee.'" By 2000, I fit that profile. Under the pseudonym "Captain Jones," I had posted a public statement about my polygraph experience on the website (no longer on-line) NoPolygraph.com. An updated version of that statement, now under my real name, is available on AntiPolygraph.org here. As I note there, although my statement initially appeared under a pseudonym, I had included enough specific detail that if someone in the U.S. Government really wanted to learn my identity, they could do so. And by November 2000, someone in the Polygraph Section of the 902nd Military Intelligence Group, which is co-located with the NSA at Fort Meade, Maryland, had in fact done precisely that.

By that time (and also since then) I had additionally communicated with Washington Post staff writer Vernon Loeb, one of the journalists allegedly targeted under FIRSTFRUITS, who quoted me in an article titled "Putting More Energy into Counterintelligence" that was published on 10 July 2000.

And I've corresponded with numerous "disgruntled" current and former members of the intelligence community.

If the NSA targeted AntiPolygraph.org under FIRSTFRUITS (or any other program, for that matter), it is possible that the U.S. Government has determined (or could potentially determine) the identies of most who have contacted AntiPolygraph.org by e-mail, posted on this message board, downloaded The Lie Behind the Lie Detector, or even just visited this website.


George,

I'm with NSAReject on this one. Nothing surprises me anymore. It's pretty sad if the government is wasting its time spying on this website and the people who use it when it should be doing what it's supposed to do. I think NSAReject is right in that it would show just how few leads the intel agencies have and just how desperate they are to get their hands on anything even if it means violating the rights of U.S citizens who trust and believe in their government. It astounds me how there seems to be no regard whatsoever for the U.S. Constitution. The framers/ founding fathers must surely be "rolling in their graves."  

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by George W. Maschke on Jan 1st, 2006 at 4:53pm
The NSA FIRSTFRUIT graphics provided on Mr. Madsen's website, and copied above, include the logo of the "Foreign Denial & Deception Committee" (FDDC). FDDC Vice Chairman James B. Bruce, writing in a 2003 Studies in Intelligence article titled, "Laws and Leaks of Classified Intelligence: The Consequences of Permissive Neglect," explains that "This committee represents an inter­agency effort to understand how foreign adversaries learn about, then try to defeat, our secret intelligence collection activities." In his article, among other things, Bruce called for laws to criminalize the publishing of classified information leaked to journalists. By the time Bruce's article was published, the alleged FIRSTFRUITS illegal wiretapping would have been well underway.

Elsewhere, in an article originally published by the website NewsMax.com, but since yanked from that site (but now mirrored  on TheMemoryHole.com), Bruce has been quoted as saying, "We've got to do whatever it takes -- if it takes sending SWAT teams into journalists' homes -- to stop these leaks."

Bruce's publicly expressed views, combined with that which has already been reported by the New York Times about illegal NSA domestic surveillance, make the  FIRSTFRUITS allegations reported by Madsen seem not so very farfetched.

Bruce's minimalist attitude toward Americans' First Amendment rights also calls to mind DoDPI instructor Paul M. Menges' suggestion in 2002 that making information about polygraph countermeasures publicly available (as AntiPolygraph.org does) should be outlawed.

If anyone reading this message board has knowledge of illegal domestic espionage such as has been alleged under FIRSTFRUITS, please consider contacting the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition. On 30 December 2005, founder Sibel Edmonds and senior advisor William Weaver published the following appeal:


Quote:
December 30, 2005

NSWBC Call to Patriotic Duty


By Sibel Edmonds & William Weaver


Without whistleblowers the public would never know of the many abuses of constitutional rights by the government.  Whistleblowers, Truth Tellers, are responsible for the disclosure that President George W. Bush ordered unconstitutional surveillance of American citizens.  These constitutional lifeguards take their patriotic oaths to heart and soul: Rather than complying with classification and secrecy orders designed to protect officials engaging in criminal conduct, whistleblowers chose to risk their livelihoods and the wrath of their agencies to get the truth out.  But will they be listened to by those who are charged with accountability?

The Whistleblowers Law of Congressional Hearings holds that the higher ranking the official who testifies the less the likelihood that the truth will be revealed.  With this in mind, it is impossible to proceed to the viscera of what happened to whom and when without asking those who are charged with putting policy decisions into the actual stream of practice.  High officials have perverse incentives to hide what is done in their orders by the employees below them.  It is indispensable that Congress reach deep inside the National Security Agency and other agencies, seeking out employees at the operational level to determine how the President’s illegal order was carried into action.  To assure that this occurs, we need for people with information from the agencies involved to come forward and ask to be interviewed by Congress.  The National Security Whistleblowers Coalition calls on people with knowledge of unconstitutional surveillance of American citizens to contact NSWBC and let us know that they are willing to provide congress with information and testimony.  Anonymity, if desired, will be scrupulously honored.  NSWBC will provide contact information to Congress and investigative authorities, and will follow up to ensure that these witnesses were in fact interviewed in good faith by congressional staff and committees and allowed to participate in the hearing process.   NSWBC will be the conduit between agents and Congress for those like Russ Tice, a former intelligence agent at the National Security Agency, who announced his willingness to disclose to Congress illegal acts by officials at his former employer.  At NSWBC we know what we are asking people to do: Our organization is made up exclusively of veteran intelligence and law enforcement officers, agents and analysts.

Now is the time to come forward, not to reveal legitimately classified information, but to make yourselves available as witnesses and to serve the true supervisor of us all: the Constitution. Ordinarily one would expect the congress to be the guardian of our freedom by living up to its storied role as a check and balance to the President and the  Executive Branch.  But for four years, members of our Congress in supposed oversight committees were aware of illegal spying on American citizens.  Co-opted by an unscrupulous commitment to secrecy and the state, intelligence oversight committees in Congress must step out of the way for a People’s hearing on the matter of presidentially ordered illegal surveillance.  Congress must engage in a broad, public hearing of these matters.

Accountability, in the end, always comes down to the public’s right to know, the right to have the most basic knowledge about what its servants are doing with its money and its authority. Ambassador Maxwell Taylor, when asked what he thought about the public’s right to know of what the government is doing on its behalf, infamously responded the he did not “believe in that as a general rule.”  Fortunately, that is not a general rule that comports with our system of government.  Citizens cannot make informed choices if they do not have the facts.  Public servants should not be forced to choose between career and conscience, between commitment to oath and commitment to colleagues, and if we live by our words, laws, and principles they will not have to.  Protecting all employees of the People are that:

  • Their higher loyalty is to the Constitution and the rule of law;

  • Information may never be classified as secret merely because it is embarrassing or incriminating, or to cover up criminal and unlawful conduct;

  • There is no agreement that public servants may sign that will require them lie to the Congress or courts;

  • The United States’ Code of Ethics for Government Service explains carefully and clearly in an assured voice that "Any person in government service should put loyalty to the highest moral principles and to the Country above loyalty to persons, party, or Government department."


Contact: Sibel Edmonds-Director, National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, sedmonds@nswbc.org

Sibel Edmonds, NSWBC Founder & President, sedmonds@nswbc.org

Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI language specialist, was terminated from the bureau after reporting security breaches, cover-up, and blocking of intelligence with national security implications. Since that time, court proceedings in her whistleblower case have been blocked by the imposition of “State Secret Privilege,” and Congress has been prevented from discussion of her case through retroactive reclassification by the Department of Justice. Edmonds, fluent in Turkish, Farsi and Azerbaijani; holds an MA in Public Policy and International Commerce from George Mason University, and a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from George Washington University.

Professor William Weaver, NSWBC Senior Advisor, wweaver@nswbc.org

Bill Weaver served in U.S. Army signals intelligence for eight years in Berlin and Augsburg, Germany, in the late 1970s and 1980s. He holds a law degree and Ph.D. in politics from the University of Virginia. He currently is an associate professor and associate director of faculty for the Institute for Policy and Economic Development and an Associate in the Center for Law and Border Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso. He specializes in executive branch secrecy policy, governmental abuse, and law and bureaucracy.

About National Security Whistleblowers Coalition

National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC), founded in August 2004, is an independent and nonpartisan alliance of whistleblowers who have come forward to address our nation’s security weaknesses; to inform authorities of security vulnerabilities in our intelligence agencies, at nuclear power plants and weapon facilities, in airports, and at our nation’s borders and ports; to uncover government waste, fraud, abuse, and in some cases criminal conduct. The NSWBC is dedicated to aiding national security whistleblowers through a variety of methods, including advocacy of governmental and legal reform, educating the public concerning whistleblowing activity, provision of comfort and fellowship to national security whistleblowers suffering retaliation and other harms, and working with other public interest organizations to affect goals defined in the NSWBC mission statement. For more on NSWBC visit
www.nswbc.org

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by EosJupiter on Jan 2nd, 2006 at 2:39am
Happy New Years Folks ...

Now down to business ....

Thanks George for this particular thread, The meer thought of domestic spying on loyal US citizens, is repugnant on more levels than I care to comment on. But as far as being a member of this website and NSA or anyother agency finding out, then so be it. Because I think Congress, ( I did write my Senator and Congressman, and voiced that investigation and possible legal action is neccessary). Is in no mood for an administration doing illegal things in time of war. The president should have extraordinary powers to fight a war. But this violates constitutional law, war or no war, hiding under the guise of NATIONAL SECURITY.  And now that we know that this particular operation was and is underway. I think the perpetrators will be running for the holes they have buried themselves in. Because I will be more than happy to bring litigation on my rights to free speech and privacy. I hope the congressional investigation gets full discloser of the lists of people operation FirstFruits listened too or monitored. More and more I see this government swinging to the extreme right and suppressing the constitution at every move.  Because I don't think that dissent with  polygraph interrogations has any link to the War on Terror.  No matter what our distinguished polygraphers have to say. And for that matter just remember, that I do believe that federal employees are hard working, honest, and to try to live to the code of ethics. THen  again there will be a few who think they are above the law.  This too shall be dealt with.

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by letsENDstupidity on Jan 6th, 2006 at 9:24am
Ok people lets think about something here, everyone knows there are several methods used for passing polygraph tests, so why would the government waste our  tax dollars monitoring this site, there are far better lie detectors trust me, the polygraph is old news, and if the government really did care about this site do you think it would still be on the internet :-/

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by George W. Maschke on Jan 6th, 2006 at 9:42am

letsENDstupidity wrote on Jan 6th, 2006 at 9:24am:
Ok people lets think about something here, everyone knows there are several methods used for passing polygraph tests, so why would the government waste our  tax dollars monitoring this site, there are far better lie detectors trust me, the polygraph is old news, and if the government really did care about this site do you think it would still be on the internet :-/


There are a number of plausible reasons why some in the U.S. Government might want to monitor this website. Polygraph screening is the cornerstone of U.S. counterintelligence policy. This website provides information on how to pass the polygraph whether or not one is telling the truth. Security officers at agencies such as the CIA, NSA, and FBI might well want to know which applicants and employees have sought information regarding polygraph countermeasures. Access to AntiPolygraph.org's e-mail, or to the account information and IP addresses of registered users on this message board, would be very helpful in this regard.

Now, I am not positively asserting that AntiPolygraph.org has been the target of federal wiretapping, but such monitoring of law abiding citizens who disagree with certain policies of the U.S. Government is not without precedent (for example, the FBI's infamous COINTELPRO). I think that Wayne Madsen's recent reporting on illegal NSA monitoring of U.S. persons (in addition to that which James Risen of the New York Times has revealed) is cause for concern.

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by Johnn on Jan 17th, 2006 at 5:44pm
George,
How can an outsider gain access to the IP addresses of the board's registered users?  Do they not require admin rights?  Can you tell if someone was looking in this area?

Also, what if someone had a static IP address, or posted with an annonymous proxy, wouldn't that defy the purpose of looking into that information for indentification purpose?

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by NSAreject on Jan 17th, 2006 at 6:10pm
 Maybe NSA can hack into computers and attack proxy
servers ?   Am I glad, I'm outta there !   Go get um,
Russ Tice !  :)

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by George W. Maschke on Jan 18th, 2006 at 4:56pm

Johnn wrote on Jan 17th, 2006 at 5:44pm:
George,
How can an outsider gain access to the IP addresses of the board's registered users?  Do they not require admin rights?  Can you tell if someone was looking in this area?


The easiest way would be to secure the cooperation of the company that hosts this website. When AntiPolygraph.org's server was located in the United States (we're now on a server in Canada), under the Patriot Act, the FBI could have demanded records by issuing our webhosting company a "National Security Letter." The company would be forbidden from telling us about the letter. The FBI may also have convinced a FISA judge to issue a warrant for surreptitious monitoring of this site.

An intelligence agency such as the NSA could trawl Internet traffic for e-mail sent to or from the domain antipolygraph.org. By doing so, it would receive, among other things, copies of the usernames and passwords assigned when people register on this message board. I suppose it could also sniff traffic other than e-mail, for example, the HTTP POST commands that are sent when a person posts a message.


Quote:
Also, what if someone had a static IP address, or posted with an annonymous proxy, wouldn't that defy the purpose of looking into that information for indentification purpose?


A static (fixed) IP address would make identifying a poster easier, even long after the post was made. Tracing posts made through an anonymous proxy could be considerably more difficult, especially if a sophisticated proxy network like Tor were used and the e-mail address used for registration purposes were also created (and only checked) through such a proxy.

I don't know whether this site is now, or has ever been, the target of government eavesdropping. But it is a possibility that cannot be dismissed out of hand.

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by polyfool on Jan 28th, 2006 at 9:59pm
For those with doubts about the possibility of this site being monitored, read the article below.


ACLU Releases Government Photos
   WXIA TV, Atlanta

   Friday 27 January 2006

     
A government photo shows Caitlin Childs protesting.
(Photo: WXIA 11Alive.com)
     
   The ACLU of Georgia released copies of government files on Wednesday that illustrate the extent to which the FBI, the DeKalb County Division of Homeland Security and other government agencies have gone to compile information on Georgians suspected of being threats simply for expressing controversial opinions.

   Two documents relating to anti-war and anti-government protests, and a vegan rally, prove the agencies have been "spying" on Georgia residents unconstitutionally, the ACLU said.

   For example, more than two dozen government surveillance photographs show 22-year-old Caitlin Childs of Atlanta, a strict vegetarian, and other vegans picketing against meat eating, in December 2003. They staged their protest outside a HoneyBaked Ham store on Buford Highway in DeKalb County.

   An undercover DeKalb County Homeland Security detective was assigned to conduct surveillance of the protest and the protestors, and take the photographs. The detective arrested Childs and another protester after he saw Childs approach him and write down, on a piece of paper, the license plate number of his unmarked government car.

   "They told me if I didn't give over the piece of paper I would go to jail and I refused and I went to jail, and the piece of paper was taken away from me at the jail and the officer who transferred me said that was why I was arrested," Childs said on Wednesday.

   The government file lists anti-war protesters in Atlanta as threats, the ACLU said. The ACLU of Georgia accuses the Bush administration of labeling those who disagree with its policy as disloyal Americans.

   "We believe that spying on American citizens for no good reason is fundamentally un-American, that it's not the place of the government or the best use of resources to spy on its own citizens and we want it to stop. We want the spies in our government to pack their bags, close up their notebooks, take their cameras home and not engage in the spying anymore," Gerald Weber of the ACLU of Georgia said during a news conference.

   "We have heard of not a single, government surveillance of a pro-war group," Weber said. "And I doubt we will ever hear of a single surveillance of a pro-war group."

     
     
Caitlin Childs, shown at an ACLU news conference.
(Photo: WXIA 11Alive.com)
   The ACLU wants Congress and the courts to order government agencies, including the FBI, to stop unconstitutional surveillance.

   Weber said the ACLU of Georgia may sue the government, in order to define, once and for all, what unconstitutional surveillance is in a post-911 America.

   The FBI in Atlanta declined to comment. According to the Associated Press, FBI spokesman Bill Carter in Washington, D.C. said that all FBI investigations are conducted in response to information that the people being investigated were involved in or might have information about crimes.

   As for Caitlin Childs' protest against meat eating, the files obtained by the ACLU include the DeKalb County Homeland Security report on the surveillance of Childs and the others. The detective wrote that he ordered Childs to give him the piece of paper on which she had written his license tag number, telling her that he did not want her or anyone else to have the tag number of his undercover vehicle.

   The detective did not comment in his report about why his license tag number was already visible to the public.

   The detective wrote that Childs was "hostile, uncooperative and boisterous toward the officers."

   Childs said today that the agents shouldn't have been there in the first place, squelching legal dissent.

   "We have the right to gather and protest and speak out."


Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by George W. Maschke on Jan 29th, 2006 at 10:49am
Here's a link to the WXIA-TV Atlanta article polyfool cited:

http://www.11alive.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=75151

For related reading see the ACLU of Georgia's press release:

http://www.acluga.org/press.releases/0509/vegans.honeybaked.html

and also the statement of complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia:

http://www.acluga.org/briefs/honeybaked/Complaintl.pdf

Is America becoming a police state?

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by polyfool on Feb 14th, 2006 at 5:25am
Inquiry into Wiretapping Article Widens
   By David Johnston
   The New York Times

   Sunday 12 February 2006

   Washington - Federal agents have interviewed officials at several of the country's law enforcement and national security agencies in a rapidly expanding criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding a New York Times article published in December that disclosed the existence of a highly classified domestic eavesdropping program, according to government officials.

   The investigation, which appears to cover the case from 2004, when the newspaper began reporting the story, is being closely coordinated with criminal prosecutors at the Justice Department, the officials said. People who have been interviewed and others in the government who have been briefed on the interviews said the investigation seemed to lay the groundwork for a grand jury inquiry that could lead to criminal charges.

   The inquiry is progressing as a debate about the eavesdropping rages in Congress and elsewhere. President Bush has condemned the leak as a "shameful act." Others, like Porter J. Goss, the C.I.A. director, have expressed the hope that reporters will be summoned before a grand jury and asked to reveal the identities of those who provided them classified information.

   Mr. Goss, speaking at a Senate intelligence committee hearing on Feb. 2, said: "It is my aim and it is my hope that we will witness a grand jury investigation with reporters present being asked to reveal who is leaking this information. I believe the safety of this nation and the people of this country deserve nothing less."

   The case is viewed as potentially far reaching because it places on a collision course constitutional principles that each side regards as paramount. For the government, the investigation represents an effort to punish those responsible for a serious security breach and enforce legal sanctions against leaks of classified information at a time of heightened terrorist threats. For news organizations, the inquiry threatens the confidentiality of sources and the ability to report on controversial national security issues free of government interference.

   Bill Keller, executive editor of The Times, said no one at the paper had been contacted in connection with the investigation, and he defended the paper's reporting.

   "Before running the story we gave long and sober consideration to the administration's contention that disclosing the program would damage the country's counterterrorism efforts," Mr. Keller said. "We were not convinced then, and have not been convinced since, that our reporting compromised national security.

   "What our reporting has done is set off an intense national debate about the proper balance between security and liberty - a debate that many government officials of both parties, and in all three branches of government, seem to regard as in the national interest."

   Civil liberties groups and Democratic lawmakers as well as some Republicans have called for an inquiry into the eavesdropping program as an improper and possibly illegal intrusion on the privacy rights of innocent Americans. These critics have noted that the program appears to have circumvented the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which requires court approval for eavesdropping on American citizens.

   Former Vice President Al Gore has called for a special prosecutor to investigate the government's use of the program, and at least one Democrat, Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, has said the eavesdropping effort may amount to an impeachable offense.

   At the same time, conservatives have attacked the disclosure of classified information as an illegal act, demanding a vigorous investigative effort to find and prosecute whoever disclosed classified information. An upcoming article in Commentary magazine suggests that the newspaper may be prosecuted for violations of the Espionage Act and says, "What The New York Times has done is nothing less than to compromise the centerpiece of our defensive efforts in the war on terrorism."

   The Justice Department took the unusual step of announcing the opening of the investigation on Dec. 30, and since then, government officials said, investigators and prosecutors have worked quickly to assemble an investigative team and obtain a preliminary grasp of whether the leaking of the information violated the law. Among the statutes being reviewed by the investigators are espionage laws that prohibit the disclosure, dissemination or publication of national security information.

   A Federal Bureau of Investigation team under the direction of the bureau's counterintelligence division at agency headquarters has questioned employees at the F.B.I., the National Security Agency, the Justice Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the office of the Director of National Intelligence, the officials said. Prosecutors have also taken steps to activate a grand jury.

   The interviews have focused initially on identifying government officials who have had contact with Times reporters, particularly those in the newspaper's Washington bureau. The interviews appeared to be initially intended to determine who in the government spoke with Times reporters about intelligence and counterterrorism matters.

   In addition, investigators are trying to determine who in the government was authorized to know about the eavesdropping program. Several officials described the investigation as aggressive and fast-moving. The officials who described the interviews did so on condition of anonymity, citing the confidentiality of an ongoing criminal inquiry.

   The administration's chief legal defender of the program is Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, who is also the senior official responsible for the leak investigation. At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Feb. 6, Mr. Gonzales said: "I'm not going to get into specific laws that are being looked at. But, obviously, our prosecutors are going to look to see all the laws that have been violated. And if the evidence is there, they're going to prosecute those violations."

   Mr. Bush and other senior officials have said that the electronic surveillance operation was authorized by what they call the president's wartime powers and a Congressional resolution authorizing the use of force against Al Qaeda passed in the days after the September 2001 terror attacks.

   The government's increasing unwillingness to honor confidentiality pledges between journalists and their sources in national security cases has been evident in another case, involving the disclosure in 2003 of the identity of an undercover C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson. The special counsel in the case, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, demanded that several journalists disclose their conversations with their sources.

   Judith Miller, at the time a reporter for The Times, went to jail for 85 days before agreeing to comply with a subpoena to testify about her conversations with I. Lewis Libby Jr., who was chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. Mr. Libby has been indicted on charges of making false statements and obstruction of justice and has pleaded not guilty.

   "An outgrowth of the Fitzgerald investigation is that the gloves are off in leak cases," said George J. Terwilliger III, former deputy attorney general in the administration of the first President Bush. "New rules apply."

   How aggressively prosecutors pursue the new case involving the N.S.A. may depend on their assessment of the damage caused by the disclosure, Mr. Terwilliger said. "If the program is as sensitive and critical as it has been described, and leaking its existence could put the lives of innocent American people in jeopardy," he said, "that surely would have an effect on the exercise of prosecutorial discretion."

   Recently, federal authorities have used espionage statutes to move beyond prosecutions of government officials who disclose classified information to indict private citizens who receive it. In the case of a former Pentagon analyst, Lawrence A. Franklin, who pleaded guilty to disclosing defense secrets, federal authorities have charged Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, formerly representatives of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group.

   The two men have been indicted on charges of turning over information obtained from Mr. Franklin to a foreign government, which has been identified as Israel, and to journalists. At Mr. Franklin's sentencing hearing in Alexandria, Va., Judge T. S. Ellis III of Federal District Court said he believed that private citizens and government employees must obey laws against illegally disseminating classified information.

   "Persons who have unauthorized possession, who come into unauthorized possession of classified information, must abide by the law," Judge Ellis said. "That applies to academics, lawyers, journalists, professors, whatever."

   Some media lawyers believe that The Times has powerful legal arguments in defense of its reporting and in protecting its sources.

   Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., who has represented publications like The Wall Street Journal and Time magazine, said: "There is a very strong argument that a federal common-law reporters' privilege exists and that privilege would protect confidential sources in this case. There is an extremely strong public interest in this information, and the public has the right to understand this controversial and possibly unconstitutional public policy."


Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by polyfool on Feb 16th, 2006 at 5:18am
Whistleblower Says NSA Violations Bigger
   UPI

   Tuesday 14 February 2006

   Washington - A former NSA employee said Tuesday there is another ongoing top-secret surveillance program that might have violated millions of Americans' Constitutional rights.

   Russell D. Tice told the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations he has concerns about a "special access" electronic surveillance program that he characterized as far more wide-ranging than the warrentless wiretapping recently exposed by the New York Times but he is forbidden from discussing the program with Congress.

   Tice said he believes it violates the Constitution's protection against unlawful search and seizures but has no way of sharing the information without breaking classification laws. He is not even allowed to tell the congressional intelligence committees - members or their staff - because they lack high enough clearance.

   Neither could he brief the inspector general of the NSA because that office is not cleared to hear the information, he said.

   Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., and Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, said they believe a few members of the Armed Services Committee are cleared for the information, but they said believe their committee and the intelligence committees have jurisdiction to hear the allegations.

   "Congressman Kucinich wants Congressman Shays to hold a hearing (on the program)," said Doug Gordon, Kucinich's spokesman. "Obviously it would have to take place in some kind of a closed hearing. But Congress has a role to play in oversight. The (Bush) administration does not get to decide what Congress can and can not hear."

   Tice was testifying because he was a National Security Agency intelligence officer who was stripped of his security clearance after he reported his suspicions that a former colleague at the Defense Intelligence Agency was a spy. The matter was dismissed by the DIA, but Tice pressed it later and was subsequently ordered to take a psychological examination, during which he was declared paranoid. He is now unemployed.

   Tice was one of the New York Times sources for its wiretapping story, but he told the committee the information he provided was not secret and could have been provided by an private sector electronic communications professional.


Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by polyfool on Feb 17th, 2006 at 6:06am
Judge Orders Action on Spying Documents
   By Pete Yost
   The Associated Press

   Thursday 16 February 2006

   Washington - A federal judge dealt a setback to the Bush administration on its warrantless surveillance program, ordering the Justice Department on Thursday to release documents about the highly classified effort within 20 days or compile a list of what it is withholding.

   US District Judge Henry Kennedy said a private group will suffer irreparable harm if the documents it has been seeking since December are not processed promptly under the Freedom of Information Act.

   The Justice Department failed to meet the time restraints under FOIA and failed to make a case that it was impractical to deal quickly with the request by the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

   Justice Department spokesman Charles Miller said no determination has been made as to what the government's next step will be.

   At a court hearing a week ago, Justice Department lawyer Rupa Bhattacharyya said the government would respond starting March 3, but she said she had no information on when the process might be completed.

   Timing will depend on complexity, "and in this case there are a lot of complexities," Bhattacharyya said.

   Kennedy wrote that "courts have the authority to impose concrete deadlines on agencies that delay the processing of requests meriting expedition."

   Routine FOIA requests are to be handled within 20 days while expedited requests have no set time limit under the law, prompting the Justice Department to take the position that the amount of time for expedited requests could be longer than that for the routine 20-day handling.

   "Congress could not have intended to create the absurd situation enabling the government to unilaterally exceed the standard 20-day period," Kennedy wrote.


Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by EosJupiter on Feb 17th, 2006 at 9:51am
Polyfool,

You beat me to the punch on this posting (Yours Above) , but I wanted to add this link on the stand from American Bar Association on their stand against the Domestic Spying issue and President Bush.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,184717,00.html

I can hear the teeth being sharpened on the law cases that are coming from this.  This is going to get very, very ugly for the Government. Especially if the full disclosure is released on who was spied upon.

And as far as this website being monitored:

The thing to remember is, it is not a crime to research polygraphy. And its not a crime to come to this website. And its not a crime to disbelieve in the polygraph. And its not a crime to use any information gleened from that research. So whether NSA or who ever likes it or not. There is nothing illegal at all about this website, or being a poster here.

Regards ...


Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by George W. Maschke on Feb 25th, 2006 at 8:43am
Wayne Madsen has posted the following update regarding alleged unlawful NSA surveillance of journalists:


Quote:
February 24, 2006 -- NSA expands surveillance of journalists. According to NSA sources, the signals intelligence agency, which has been at the center of a political storm over President Bush's warrantless wiretaps of U.S. citizens, has expanded the surveillance of journalists identified by the Bush administration as alleged recipients of classified information. The surveillance database, part of the intelligence community's "Denial and Deception" operations and once known as "Firstfruit" until WMR revealed its existence last May, now includes transcripts of phone calls and e-mails between journalists and their contacts and associates.

NSA sources revealed that the renamed Firstfruit database now contains signals intelligence intercepts, in contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), U.S. Signals Intelligence Directive 18 (USSID 18), and the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, of individuals who have communicated via phone, fax, and email with journalists who include James Bamford, James Risen, Seymour Hersh, Vernon Loeb, Bill Gertz, John C. K. Daly, and this editor, Wayne Madsen, among a growing list of others.

NSA's spying on this editor must entail some surprises for the White House. Although they and their right-wing minions consider this site "fringe" and "conspiratorial," they must be surprised at the number of calls and e-mails received by this editor from such "mainstream media" outlets as the New York Times, CBS News, CNN, Fox, MS-NBC, Boston Globe, Salon, Knight-Ridder Tribune, and yes, even Rupert Murdoch's British flagship publication, The Times of London. Why does a "fringe" web publisher deserve the high-level attention of the Bush administration and its law-violating intelligence officials? Perhaps its because the Bush administration has damaged the U.S. intelligence infrastructure to the point where this web site is now a primary steam vent for U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials who've had enough of the neo-cons and their GOP enablers.

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by polyfool on Mar 7th, 2006 at 4:27am
On March 7, the Senate Intelligence Committee will hold a vote on whether to
investigate the domestic wiretaps that the president has already admitted were
performed in defiance of the FISA court.
>
>Bill Frist has now threatened to restructure the Senate Intelligence Committee
itself to strip it of oversight responsibility if it even dares to investigate
the president's dictatorial violations of the law.
>
>It is critically important that we speak out now to make sure justice prevails
in this very winnable fight. With the votes against him three weeks ago, senator
Roberts has already once unilaterally blocked a vote on this matter. We must
raise every voice to make sure they know the people will not let them get away
with it again.
>
>ACTION PAGE: http://www.millionphonemarch.com/wiretap_hearing.php
>
>Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed to be
ours, and forward this message to everyone else you know.

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by polyfool on Mar 14th, 2006 at 4:37am
Feingold Proposes Bush Censure Over Spying
   By Douglass K. Daniel
   The Associated Press

   Monday 13 March 2006

   Washington - A liberal Democrat and potential White House contender is proposing censuring President Bush for authorizing domestic eavesdropping, saying the White House misled Americans about its legality.

   "The president has broken the law and, in some way, he must be held accountable," Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., told The Associated Press in an interview.

   A censure resolution, which simply would scold the president, has been used just once in U.S. history - against Andrew Jackson in 1834.

   Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., called the proposal "a crazy political move" that would weaken the U.S. during wartime.

   The five-page resolution to be introduced on Monday contends that Bush violated the law when, on his own, he set up the eavesdropping program within the National Security Agency in the months following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

   Bush claims that his authority as commander in chief as well as a September 2001 congressional authorization to use force in the fight against terrorism gave him the power to authorize the surveillance.

   The White House had no immediate response on Sunday.

   The resolution says the president "repeatedly misled the public" before the disclosure of the NSA program last December when he indicated the administration was relying on court orders to wiretap terror suspects inside the U.S.

   "Congress has to reassert our system of government, and the cleanest and the most efficient way to do that is to censure the president," Feingold said. "And, hopefully, he will acknowledge that he did something wrong."

   The Wisconsin Democrat, considered a presidential contender for 2008, said he had not discussed censure with other senators but that, based on criticism leveled at Bush by both Democrats and Republicans, the resolution makes sense.

   The president's action were "in the strike zone" in terms of being an impeachable offense, Feingold said. The senator questioned whether impeaching Bush and removing him from office would be good for the country.

   In the House, Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, is pushing legislation that would call on the Republican-controlled Congress to determine whether there are grounds for impeachment.

   The program granted intelligence officers the power to monitor - without court approval - the international calls and e-mails of U.S. residents, when those officers suspect terrorism may be involved.

   Frist, appearing on ABC's "This Week," said that he hoped al-Qaida and other enemies of the U.S. were not listening to the infighting.

   "The signal that it sends, that there is in any way a lack of support for our commander in chief who is leading us with a bold vision in a way that is making our homeland safer, is wrong," Frist said.

   Sen. John Warner, R-Va., said on CNN's "Late Edition" that Feingold's announcement on a Sunday talk show was "political grandstanding. And it tends to weaken our president."

   A longtime critic of the administration, Feingold was the first senator to urge a withdrawal timetable for U.S. troops in Iraq and was the only senator to vote in 2001 against the USA Patriot Act, the post-Sept. 11 law that expanded the government's surveillance and prosecutorial powers. He also voted against the 2002 resolution authorizing Bush to use force in Iraq.

   Jackson was censured by the Senate in 1834 after he removed the nation's money from a private bank in defiance of the Whig Party, which controlled the Senate.

   On Feb. 12, 1999, the Senate failed to gain enough votes to bring a censure resolution against President Clinton. The Senate had just acquitted Clinton after the House impeached him in December 1998, accusing him of committing perjury and obstructing justice in the Monica Lewinsky affair.

   Impeachment is the only punishment outlined in the Constitution for a president. But the Constitution says the House and Senate can punish their own members through censure.


Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by polyfool on Mar 18th, 2006 at 7:21pm
Bill Would Allow Warrantless Spying
   By Charles Babington
   The Washington Post

   Friday 17 March 2006

   GOP plan would bring surveillance under review of Congress, FISA Court.

   The Bush administration could continue its policy of spying on targeted Americans without obtaining warrants, but only if it justifies the action to a small group of lawmakers, under legislation introduced yesterday by key Republican senators.

   The four senators hope to settle the debate over National Security Agency eavesdropping on international communications involving Americans when one of the parties is suspected of terrorist ties. President Bush prompted a months-long uproar when he said that constitutional powers absolve him of the need to seek warrants in such cases, even though the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act requires warrants for domestic wiretaps.

   The program, begun in 2001, was first publicized late last year.

   The bill would allow the NSA to eavesdrop, without a warrant, for up to 45 days per case, at which point the Justice Department would have three options. It could drop the surveillance, seek a warrant from FISA's court, or convince a handful of House and Senate members that although there is insufficient evidence for a warrant, continued surveillance "is necessary to protect the United States," according to a summary the four sponsors provided yesterday. They are Mike DeWine (Ohio), Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), Chuck Hagel (Neb.) and Olympia J. Snowe (Maine).

   All but Graham are members of the sharply divided intelligence committee, whose Democratic members have unsuccessfully sought an investigation into the NSA program. Hagel and Snowe threatened last month to join the Democrats' request unless the administration and Congress agreed on a way to bring the wiretap program under the review of FISA's court and Congress.

   It is far from clear whether the bill can win passage. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) - whose panel plays a major role in the surveillance matter - pointed his thumb down yesterday when asked about the measure. He said he particularly objects to letting the government "do whatever the hell it wants" for 45 days without seeking judicial or congressional approval.

   The Senate intelligence committee's chairman, Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), who has defended the administration's actions, said seven members of a newly appointed subcommittee should be given time "to complete their review of the program before moving ahead with legislation." He added: "I am concerned that some of the procedural requirements included in the bill may limit the program's effectiveness."

   Committee Vice Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) said through a spokeswoman that it is "too soon to consider legislation until the oversight subcommittee can answer critical questions about the program."

   DeWine told reporters that White House officials "agree with the general concept" of the bill. Most Americans think "this type of surveillance should continue," he said, but Congress must impose oversight.

   Details of the program, and Justice Department requests for exemptions from FISA warrants, would go only to the seven-member Senate subcommittee and a similar House intelligence subcommittee yet to be named. Both subcommittees would include Democrats and Republicans.

   The bill introduced yesterday calls for fines of up to $1 million and prison terms of up to 15 years for those who disclose "classified information related to the Terrorist Surveillance Program," the administration's name for the NSA operation. The penalties would not apply to journalists.


Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by polyfool on Mar 25th, 2006 at 9:35pm
DOJ: NSA Could've Monitored Lawyers' Calls
   By Katherine Shrader
   Associated Press

   Saturday 25 March 2006

   Washington - The National Security Agency could have legally monitored ordinarily confidential communications between doctors and patients or attorneys and their clients, the Justice Department said Friday of its controversial warrantless surveillance program.

   Responding to questions from Congress, the department also said that it sees no prohibition to using information collected under the NSA's program in court.

   "Because collecting foreign intelligence information without a warrant does not violate the Fourth Amendment and because the Terrorist Surveillance Program is lawful, there appears to be no legal barrier against introducing this evidence in a criminal prosecution," the department said in responses to questions from lawmakers released Friday evening.

   The department said that considerations, including whether classified information could be disclosed, must be weighed.

   In classified court filings, the Justice Department has responded to questions about whether information from the government's warrantless surveillance program was used to prosecute terror suspects. Defense attorneys are hoping to use that information to challenge the cases against their clients.

   Since the program was disclosed in December, some skeptical lawmakers have investigated the Bush administration's legal footing, raising questions including whether the program could capture doctor-patient and attorney-client communications. Such communications normally receive special legal protections.

   "Although the program does not specifically target the communications of attorneys or physicians, calls involving such persons would not be categorically excluded from interception," the department said.

   The department said the same general criteria for the surveillance program would also apply to doctors' and lawyers' calls: one party must be outside the United States and there must be reason to believe one party is linked to al-Qaida. The department's written response also said that these communications aren't specifically targeted and safeguards are in place to protect privacy rights.

   Michigan Rep. John Conyers, the House Judiciary Committee's top Democrat, complained about the department's evasiveness in answers to questions from the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, submitted to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. All but two of 45 answers to the House Judiciary Democrats were vague and unresponsive, Conyers said.

   He found the response regarding doctor-patient and attorney-client privilege particularly troublesome. More generally, the "need for oversight is especially glaring," he said in a statement.

   Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said the department "has been extremely forthcoming and clear about the administration's legal analysis through multiple briefings with Congress, three hearings with the Attorney General, multiple letters to Congress, a 42-page white paper and dozens of questions for the record."

   Responding in 75 typed pages, the department clarified some points in the three-month-old debate over the program. But it also left many questions unanswered, citing the need for national security.

   The House Democrats asked if any other president has authorized wiretaps without court warrants since the passage of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which governs intelligence collection inside the United States.

   Choosing its words carefully, the department said, "if the question is limited to 'electronic surveillance' ... we are unaware of such authorizations."

   The department also made clear that the program - as confirmed by President Bush - has never been suspended since it began in October 2001. That would include 2004, when reports indicate serious doubts about the program were raised by Justice Department officials.

   But the department refused to discuss, or even confirm, a meeting in 2004 at then-Attorney General John Ashcroft's hospital bed. News reports indicated that White House Chief of Staff Andy Card and Gonzales, then White House counsel, needed his help to quell dissent about the program.

   Lawmakers also asked whether federal judges on a secretive intelligence court objected to the program and, if so, how the administration responded.

   The department wouldn't answer, citing the need to protect classified information. "We assure you, however, that the department keeps the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court fully informed regarding information that is relevant to the FISA process," the response said.

   The department also avoided questions on whether the administration believes it is legal to wiretap purely domestic calls without a warrant, when al-Qaida activity is suspected. The department wouldn't say specifically that it hasn't been done.

   "Interception of the content of domestic communications would present a different legal question," the department said.


Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by polyfool on May 1st, 2006 at 3:25am
 Data Show How Patriot Act Used
   By Richard B. Schmitt
   The Los Angeles Times

   Saturday 29 April 2006

   The Justice Department for the first time reports on 9,254 FBI subpoenas for monitoring citizens. Some surveillance in the US has been rising.

   Washington - The FBI issued thousands of subpoenas to banks, phone companies and Internet providers last year, aggressively using a power enhanced under the Patriot Act to monitor the activities of U.S. citizens, Justice Department data released late Friday showed.

   The report given to members of Congress was the first to detail the government's use of a controversial form of administrative subpoena that has drawn fire because it can be issued by investigators without court oversight.

   The Justice Department report also disclosed that its use of electronic surveillance and search warrants in national security investigations jumped 15% in 2005.

   The data show that U.S. authorities are in some cases escalating their use of anti-terrorism statutes.

   Civil liberties groups said they found the new information worrisome. They said it raised concerns about whether investigators were being sensitive to the rights of citizens caught in terrorism-related probes.

   The report includes the first look at the use of what are known as national security letters, which let the FBI obtain phone logs, Internet traffic records, and bank and credit information about individuals without a court order.

   The Bush administration had fought the release of the information on grounds that it could imperil national security. But Congress ordered the release when it reauthorized portions of the Patriot Act this year.

   According to the new report, the FBI issued 9,254 national security letters in 2005, covering 3,501 U.S. citizens and legal foreign residents.

   The Justice Department said the data did not include what probably were thousands of additional letters issued to obtain more limited information about some individuals - such as a home address - or letters that were issued about targets who were in the U.S. illegally.

   The number of such letters previously had been provided to members of Congress on a classified basis. Data from other years aren't available, although some experts said the number probably had increased substantially.

   "Now we can see why the administration was so eager to hide the number," said Lisa Graves, a senior legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington.

   The original Patriot Act, enacted weeks after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, made it easier for the FBI to issue the letters, and for the first time permitted agents based outside Washington to issue the letters.

   "These used to be fairly difficult to obtain, and now the authorities have been delegated very widely," said Michael Woods, former head of the FBI national-security law unit. "I think [the report] primarily shows that they are a lot easier to get."

   The Justice Department report also included an annual update on the number of warrants that the department had obtained through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a secret federal court for intelligence and terrorism investigations.

   Applications for electronic surveillance and physical search warrants - which almost always are approved by the court - rose to 2,074 in 2005, compared with 1,758 in 2004. Last year's total was more than double the number sought in 2000.

   That court is the tribunal that the Bush administration has been bypassing in a warrantless domestic surveillance program since shortly after Sept. 11.

   James Dempsey, policy director of the nonprofit Center for Democracy and Technology in Washington, said the increased use of the secret court belied the government's contention that it needed to go outside the court to get the information it needed.

   Dempsey said he was surprised the number of warrants issued by that court had continued to grow substantially "when the war on terrorism has reached a sort of steady state."


Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by George W. Maschke on May 11th, 2006 at 12:48pm
USA Today reports that the NSA, with the assistance of AT&T, Verizon, and BellSouth, has been compiling a database of all customer calling records:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-05-10-nsa_x.htm

With such a database, it would be possible, among other things, to find out who has called reporters and whom reporters have called. Similarly find out who has called and left a message on AntiPolygraph.org's voice mail.

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by George W. Maschke on May 15th, 2006 at 9:24pm
http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2006/05/federal_source_.html

Federal Source to ABC News: We Know Who You're Calling

May 15, 2006 10:33 AM

Brian Ross and Richard Esposito Report:

A senior federal law enforcement official tells ABC News the government is tracking the phone numbers we call in an effort to root out confidential sources.

"It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick," the source told us in an in-person conversation.

ABC News does not know how the government determined who we are calling, or whether our phone records were provided to the government as part of the recently-disclosed NSA collection of domestic phone calls.

Other sources have told us that phone calls and contacts by reporters for ABC News, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, are being examined as part of a widespread CIA leak investigation.

One former official was asked to sign a document stating he was not a confidential source for New York Times reporter James Risen.

Our reports on the CIA's secret prisons in Romania and Poland were known to have upset CIA officials.

People questioned by the FBI about leaks of intelligence information say the CIA was also disturbed by ABC News reports that revealed the use of CIA predator missiles inside Pakistan.

Under Bush Administration guidelines, it is not considered illegal for the government to keep track of numbers dialed by phone customers.

The official who warned ABC News said there was no indication our phones were being tapped so the content of the conversation could be recorded.

A pattern of phone calls from a reporter, however, could provide valuable clues for leak investigators.

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by EosJupiter on Aug 17th, 2006 at 7:23pm
To all concerned;

A federal judge just shutdown the program. Chalk one up for the 4th Amendment and privacy rights. NSA just got flushed.

Link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14393611/

Article:
---------------------

Federal judge orders end to wiretap program
Says governments listening in without warrant is unconstitutional



DETROIT - A federal judge ruled Thursday that the government's warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered an immediate halt to it.

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit became the first judge to strike down the National Security Agency's program, which she says violates the rights to free speech and privacy.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on behalf of journalists, scholars and lawyers who say the program has made it difficult for them to do their jobs.



Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by George W. Maschke on Aug 18th, 2006 at 8:32am
EosJupiter,

U.S. District Court Judge Anna Diggs Taylor's order that the government immediately terminate its unconstitutional, warrantless wiretapping is indeed a victory for democracy and the rule of law in America. The court's 44-page decision in ACLU v. NSA may be downloaded here:

http://www.aclu.org/images/nsaspying/asset_upload_file863_26477.pdf

Let us hope that this decision will be sustained upon the government's already announced appeal.

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by retcopper on Aug 22nd, 2006 at 3:37pm
George:

Why in the hell is this a victory.  Anyone living in the U.S.A. who thiks so has a deaht wish. Her ruling is an absolute disgrace and indirectly places our country in great danger.  You make it sound as if wtaps are put on any citizen fro the hell of it .That is not the case.  In any event this case will quickly go to the U.S. Supreme Court on appeal wheremore resposible judges using better "judgement" will overturn it.

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by EosJupiter on Aug 23rd, 2006 at 12:58am
RetCopper,

Its a victory for the preservation of your Constitutional Rights. The process for doing this type of surveillance was designed to use the approval & protections of the FISA courts in order to get a warrant. Bush circumvented that protection and squashed the 4th Amendment under the guise of National Security and the war effort. Everytime we lose a protection of our rights we head further into the abyss of becoming a police state with no rights. Your a retired LEO, this should be readily apparent to you, that once a right is lost it is never returned.  Bush and this administration has consistantly shown it will circumvent personal protections for its own ends. I am more than willing to accept the threat without trashing the Bill Of Rights.

Regards

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by Dippityshurff on Aug 23rd, 2006 at 1:09am

EosJupiter wrote on Aug 23rd, 2006 at 12:58am:
RetCopper,

Its a victory for the preservation of your Constitutional Rights. The process for doing this type of surveillance was designed to use the approval & protections of the FISA courts in order to get a warrant. Bush circumvented that protection and squashed the 4th Amendment under the guise of National Security and the war effort. Everytime we lose a protection of our rights we head further into the abyss of becoming a police state with no rights. Your a retired LEO, this should be readily apparent to you, that once a right is lost it is never returned.  Bush and this administration has consistantly shown it will circumvent personal protections for its own ends. I am more than willing to accept the threat without trashing the Bill Of Rights.

Regards



I am as well.  Though I think perhaps we are going overboard in treating non-citizens with the same safeguards as citizens,  I'm always wary when any right is eroded, even though that erosion may have a built-in sunset provision.  But tough times call for tough measures and I do wish there were a little less carping from the left.  Having said that, carping for the greater good is always welcome *LOL*

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by retcopper on Aug 23rd, 2006 at 5:36pm
Eos:
I am a staunch supporter of our constitutional rights. In fact I spent 30 yrs defending these rights.
(Please refer back to my post about how I supported the Miranda decision becasue of the abuse by cops in the past.)  However, there comes a time when  the safety of our country becomes more important than our rights. Common sense has to prevail. I won't go on about how I think Bush has the safety of our countyr  at hear  because you are  probably a liberal  who is anti Bush everything and I am a conservative Bush backer and we will never agree. I would rather have the Feds do  wtaps on suspected individuals who mean to do harm to us than see one of our cities become destroyed by some "dirty bomb" because we were concerned about some terrorist's constitutional rights.

Have a good day.

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by underlyingtruth on Aug 23rd, 2006 at 6:02pm

retcopper wrote on Aug 23rd, 2006 at 5:36pm:
I would rather have the Feds do  wtaps on suspected individuals who mean to do harm to us than see one of our cities become destroyed by some "dirty bomb" because we were concerned about some terrorist's constitutional rights.


There are not very many bank robberies in Mexico.  That is because when someone tries hold up a bank, the guards start shooting everything that moves until the perpetrators are dead.  If you happen to be a customer or a worker, you better hit the floor and take cover because your life is inconsequential. They WILL get the perpetrators and anybody that gets in the way is just the cost of security.

I have no concern for a terrorist's constitutional rights, but I do have concern for individuals who are caught in the crossfire.

Does the end justify the means?

Also, wouldn’t the intelligent terrorists be using secure methods of communication that are nearly impossible to intercept?

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by EosJupiter on Aug 24th, 2006 at 12:44am

retcopper wrote on Aug 23rd, 2006 at 5:36pm:
Eos:
I am a staunch supporter of our constitutional rights. In fact I spent 30 yrs defending these rights.
(Please refer back to my post about how I supported the Miranda decision becasue of the abuse by cops in the past.)  However, there comes a time when  the safety of our country becomes more important than our rights. Common sense has to prevail. I won't go on about how I think Bush has the safety of our countyr  at hear  because you are  probably a liberal  who is anti Bush everything and I am a conservative Bush backer and we will never agree. I would rather have the Feds do  wtaps on suspected individuals who mean to do harm to us than see one of our cities become destroyed by some "dirty bomb" because we were concerned about some terrorist's constitutional rights.

Have a good day.


RetCopper,

I am neither conservative or liberal. I make my decisions on issues by what I perceive as moral, honest and correct for any given problem. GW Bush has nothing but the best interest of the country I am sure. Except he listens to his cabinet full of self important neophytes that have, since he was first elected given him bad info and advice on policies, Iraq, and homeland security.
But you bring up a good point and you show it quite well in your message. That you are willing to give up some of your liberties for security. This is dangerous as it sets us down this police state road everytime we do this. The germans did this in 1932 when they elected Hitler because he promised them security, in return he expected complete loyalty by the population. If you do not see this correlation, then I suggest reading the "Rise and Fall of the 3rd Reich". The similarities to today will scare you. Especially the part where Hitler was given the powers from the Enabling Act. He guaranteed security with the giving up of liberties.

Regards ...

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by cesium_133 on Aug 24th, 2006 at 8:16am
The polygraph, as a work of fiction, creates fictional security.  So does the concept of GSR monitors ar airports, VSA, and all else in the truth-telling pseudosciences.

Any sort of wiretap sans warrant, searching in houses without warrant (like by heat detection), and things of that nature erode liberty and security.  And as someone said once:

"Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security."

That was Ben Franklin...

Hitler promised security, which the Jews never got to enjoy because he used his security crap to exterminate them.  His nation was wiped out in 12 years.  And he took liberty, also...

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by retcopper on Aug 24th, 2006 at 4:09pm
Eos:
Yo make some good points and I respect your opinions but the leader of some of the Middle East countries like Iran are sounding just like Hitler with their vitriolic remarks about "wiping Israel off the face of the earth".  The world didn't take Hitler seriously and look what happened. I did read the Rise and Fall many yrs ago but I will have to reread it again to refresh my memory. (Too many bad concussions over the yrs.)

Cesium:

I have read many books abuot Franklin and our founding fathers  but it is my opinon that you cannot take their words and thoughts  from that period and apply them to todays world.

Thanx to both of you for your remarks regarding history. I am a history buff and ehjoy the analogies.

Have a good day.

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by EosJupiter on Aug 25th, 2006 at 7:36am

retcopper wrote on Aug 24th, 2006 at 4:09pm:
Eos:
Yo make some good points and I respect your opinions but the leader of some of the Middle East countries like Iran are sounding just like Hitler with their vitriolic remarks about "wiping Israel off the face of the earth".  The world didn't take Hitler seriously and look what happened. I did read the Rise and Fall many yrs ago but I will have to reread it again to refresh my memory. (Too many bad concussions over the yrs.)


Retcopper,

I have no doubt that those despotic regimes will never have our best intentions, but most tolerate us as long as the $$$ keeps coming from us buying their oil.  I don't have a problem with us cleanng house either. Iran & Syria I think also need a good butt kicking. But that fight is for a later time. But we still need to watch our own government to make sure that they follow the laws too. Hence why the judge shut the NSA program down. If it had been done right with the warrants and FISA court, this whole discussion would be mute. I played football and lacrosse, and I fully understand concussions and the follow on issues that come from them.

Regards ....

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by EosJupiter on Jan 18th, 2007 at 5:06am
To all Concerned,

It looks like the Bush Administration lost its battle to keep its domestic spying without oversite going.
Here is the link to the article:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16673270/

This is a definate win for privacy and the 4th Amendment.

Text follows:

Independent body to monitor spying program

Court has already approved one surveillance request from government

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration has agreed to let a secret but independent panel of federal judges oversee the government’s controversial domestic spying program, the Justice Department said Wednesday.

In a letter to the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court will have final say in approving wiretaps placed on people with suspected terror links.

“Any electronic surveillance that was occurring as part of the Terrorist Surveillance Program will now be conducted subject to the approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court,” Gonzales wrote in the two-page letter to Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa.

“Accordingly, under these circumstances, the President has determined not to reauthorize the Terrorist Surveillance Program when the current authorization expires,” the attorney general wrote.

The Bush administration secretly launched the surveillance program in 2001 to monitor international phone calls and e-mails to or from the United States involving people suspected by the government of having terrorist links.

The White House said it is satisfied with new guidelines the FISA court adopted on Jan. 10 to address administration officials’ concerns about national security.

“The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has put together its guidelines and its rules and those have met administration concerns about speed and agility when it comes to responding to bits of intelligence where we may to be able to save American lives,” White House press secretary Tony Snow said.

Snow said he could not explain why those concerns could not have been addressed before the program was started. He said the president will not reauthorize the present program because the new rules will serve as guideposts.

The secret panel of judges, known as the FISA court, was established in the late 1970s to review requests for warrants to conduct surveillance inside the United States. The Bush administration had resisted giving the court final approval over the Terrorist Surveillance Program, even when communications involved someone inside the country.

A federal judge in Detroit last August declared the program unconstitutional, saying it violates the rights to free speech and privacy and the separation of powers. In October, a three-judge panel of the Cincinnati-based appeals court ruled that the administration could keep the program in place while it appeals the Detroit decision.

Additionally, the Justice Department’s inspector general is investigating the agency’s use of information gathered in the spying program. In testimony last fall in front of the Senate panel, FBI Director Robert Mueller said he was not allowed to discuss classified details that could show whether it has curbed terrorist activity in the United States.

Congressional intelligence committees have already been briefed on the court’s orders, Gonzales said in his letter. It was sent to the committee the day before he is set to testify before the panel, which oversees the Justice Department.

--------

This is how it was suppose to be done !!

Regards ....

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by George W. Maschke on Jan 22nd, 2009 at 7:22am
NSA whistleblower Russ Tice appeared on MSNBC's Countdown program with Keith Olbermann to speak more about the NSA's illegal monitoring of journalists. See "Whistleblower: NSA spied on everyone, targeted journalists" on RawStory.com. Here's the Countdown video:

[media width=425]http://216.87.173.33/media/2009/0901/msnbc_ko_tice_nsa_090121a.flv[/media]

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by T.M. Cullen on Jan 22nd, 2009 at 6:42pm
The NSA's Project "Echelon" probably did the same kind of thing, and took place, I believe, under the CLINTON administration.  I wonder why the left leaning obermann didn't ask about that?  Even as a sidebar.  Selective journalism at it's best.   8-)

TC

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by George W. Maschke on Jan 22nd, 2009 at 7:43pm

T.M. Cullen wrote on Jan 22nd, 2009 at 6:42pm:
The NSA's Project "Echelon" probably did the same kind of thing, and took place, I believe, under the CLINTON administration.  I wonder why the left leaning obermann didn't ask about that?  Even as a sidebar.  Selective journalism at it's best.   8-)

TC


I disagree. That Olbermann did not discuss Echelon (the code name of a computer system for sharing intercept information between the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) is readily explained by the fact that Tice's allegations of governmental criminality do not concern Echelon. Rather, they are about the NSA's illegal interception of the communications of essentially all Americans -- even those with no terrorist connections -- as well as NSA's (also illegal) targeting of journalists. Olbermann questioned Tice about what he knew and how he knew it. And I think his commentary in this case was spot-on.

Note that Olbermann also took Barack Obama to task over the latter's support for the FISA bill granting telecommunications companies immunity from lawsuits for their complicity in the NSA's law-breaking.

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by T.M. Cullen on Jan 23rd, 2009 at 1:42am
I said as a side bar, since they were talking about illegally collecting on US citizens.

From what I have read about Echelon (and I had nothing to do with it when I worked in the SIGINT community, and only know what I know from what I've read on the web)  the NSA would collect on UK citizens (which would be illegal for the NSA SIGINT counterpart in the UK ?GCHQ?), then share the info with the UK government.  GCHQ, in turn, spied on americans and shared the info with the NSA.  This so as to not violate USSID 18.  The net effect was as if the NSA had actually spied on Americans.

As for the specific targeting individuals (journalists, funeral directors, gay florists...etc).  Echelon may not have specifically targeted individuals, and was just a computer driven system of collection receivers...etc. as you said,  but who knows how analysts could have sifted through the data once collected by the system.  Via meta tags...etc.   Again, UK on US citizens, US on UK citizens, with the two working together.  

Do you think OBAMA will make any changes as to polygraph policy within the federal government?   That's the million dollar question.

My point is they can get around this stuff, and have for years.  Under all administrations going way back.  As for the Oberman piece, your average viewer (say my mom) would have come away thinking, "Gee, that GW spied on us!".  Which is probably the impression he wanted to make.  

You have to take what you see on TV with a grain of salt, whether from Oberman, O'reilly, hannity, whomever.

Now, as for the CIA's giving unsuspecting soldiers LSD.....just kidding.

TC

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by Fair Chance on Jan 23rd, 2009 at 2:47am
Gentlemen,

Even paranoids have real enemies.  Welcome to EVE,  HAL's ugly stepsister.  How close to the truth you are.  So close we better not mention it here.

Regards.

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by George W. Maschke on Jan 23rd, 2009 at 4:53am
Here is the second part of Keith Olbermann's interview of Russ Tice, in which it is revealed that the NSA also collected credit card records of American citizens. Olbermann also speaks with New York Times reporter James Risen, who was the subject of government surveillance:

[media width=425]http://216.87.173.33/media/2009/0901/msnbc_ko_tice_part2_090122a.flv[/media]

A text summary is available on RawStory.com.

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by T.M. Cullen on Jan 23rd, 2009 at 6:01am
New York Times?  They lost their credibility with me a long time ago.  If you want the real "dope" you have to read "Hustler"!

It's all politics.  If Obama did it, they'd find a way to cover for him!  Just like they will find a handy excuse for him when he FAILS to pull the troops out of Iraq.

They covered him pretty well during the election campaign.  We will find out soon enough what this lack of vetting will be mean for the country.

But I don't want to get political!   :)

TC

P.S.  I forget which of our founding fathers said it, maybe TJ.  But it was words to the effect that any politician even , in his most angelic form is but a "necessary evil", in his worse form a "curse".  The less government and politicians effect us, what ever their ilk, the better!  The best any politician can do is pick our pocket and try to control us!

Joke:  What is the difference between a prostitute and a politician?

Ans:  Well, they both take our money and screw us in the end, but at least with a prostitute, we get our rocks off!!

Title: Glenn Greenwald Comments on the Plausibility of AntiPolygraph.org Being Targeted by the NSA
Post by George W. Maschke on May 21st, 2014 at 7:14pm
In October 2013, I wrote on the AntiPolygraph.org blog about an e-mail that I received from a U.S. navy petty officer in August of that year relating that during a recent DoD polygraph, he had been presented with logs of the websites that he had visited the night before on his personal computer, in his personal home, using his personal Internet service provider. The logs showed that he had visited AntiPolygraph.org, and they went about trying to discredit this website. I took that report (along with additional information from NSA whistleblower Russ Tice) seriously, and it's why there are warnings on the home page and on this message board suggesting that visitors use the Tor Browser Bundle when visiting this site.

Last night, Glenn Greenwald, the journalist to whom NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden entrusted a large cache of NSA documents detailing the vast system of mass suspicionless surveillance that the NSA has erected in the dark, was in Amsterdam to give a talk about his new book, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State. I found the book both fascinating and compelling, and I recommend it to all, including our friends in the polygraph community.

I was one of a fortunate few who were able to ask a question during Greenwald's presentation, and I took the opportunity to mention the communication I had received from the Navy petty officer and to ask Greenwald whether he thought that kind of thing is plausible. While he did not directly answer that question, his comments clearly indicated that yes, it is plausible. He intimated that his future reporting will show that the NSA targets activists, civil rights leaders, and foreign policy critics.

Greenwald's entire Amsterdam presentation has been posted to YouTube. The following link jumps to my question and Greenwald's reply:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ihRjmFcGxjE#t=4745

Title: Re: NSA FIRSTFRUITS: Is This Site Being Monitored?
Post by George W. Maschke on May 20th, 2020 at 2:05pm
Journalist Barton Gellman, who had access to documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, discusses the NSA's FIRSTFRUITS program in an article titled, "Since I Met Edward Snowden, I’ve Never Stopped Watching My Back" published in The Atlantic. Excerpt:


Quote:
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/06/edward-snowden-operation-firstfruits/610573/?utm_term=2020-05-18T20%25253A37%25253A08&utm_content=edit-promo&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=the-atlantic

The first time I heard the name FIRSTFRUITS, years before the Snowden leak, a confidential source told me to search for it on the internet. All I turned up were ravings on blogs about spooky plots. The George W. Bush administration, according to these accounts, had an off-the-books spying program akin to the work of the East German Stasi. FIRSTFRUITS allegedly listened in on journalists, political dissenters, members of Congress, and other threats to the globalist order. In some versions of the story, the program marked its victims for arrest or assassination. As best I could tell, these stories all traced back to a series of posts by a man named Wayne Madsen, who has aptly been described as “a paranoid conspiracy theorist in the tradition of Alex Jones.” I did a little bit of reading in these fever swamps and concluded that FIRSTFRUITS was a crank’s dark fantasy.

Then came the day I found my name in the Snowden archive. Sixteen documents, including the one that talked about me, named FIRSTFRUITS as a counterintelligence database that tracked unauthorized disclosures in the news media. According to top-secret briefing materials prepared by Joseph J. Brand, a senior NSA official who was also among the leading advocates of a crackdown on leaks, FIRSTFRUITS got its name from the phrase the fruits of our labor. “Adversaries know more about SIGINT sources & methods today than ever before,” Brand wrote. Some damaging disclosures came from the U.S. government’s own official communications, he noted; other secrets were acquired by foreign spies. But “most often,” Brand wrote, “these disclosures occur through the media.” He listed four “flagrant media leakers”: the Post, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Washington Times. The FIRSTFRUITS project aimed to “drastically reduce significant losses of collection capability” at journalists’ hands.

In NSA parlance, exposure of a source or method of surveillance is a “cryptologic insecurity.” If exposure leads to loss of intelligence collection, that is “impairment.” I was fully prepared to believe that some leaks cause impairment, but Brand’s accounting—like many of the government’s public assertions—left something to be desired.

By far the most frequent accusation invoked in debates about whether journalists cause “impairment” to the U.S. government is that it was journalists’ fault that the U.S. lost access to Osama bin Laden’s satellite-phone communications in the late 1990s. It is hard to overstate the centrality of this episode to the intelligence community’s lore about the news media. The accusation, as best as I can ascertain, was first made publicly in 2002 by then–White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. After a newspaper reported that the NSA could listen to Osama bin Laden on his satellite phone, as Fleischer put it, the al‑Qaeda leader abandoned the device. President Bush and a long line of other officials reprised this assertion in the years to come.

But the tale of the busted satellite-phone surveillance is almost certainly untrue. The story in question said nothing about U.S. eavesdropping. And one day before it was published, the United States launched barrages of cruise missiles against al‑Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and a factory in Sudan, including a facility that bin Laden had recently visited. After this, bin Laden went deep underground, forswearing electronic communications that might give his location away. Blaming a news story for this development, rather than a close miss on bin Laden’s life, strained all logic. Yet somehow it became an article of faith in the intelligence community.

In 2001, according to Brand’s NSA documents, the agency “stood up” a staff of leak trackers, and the CIA director hired a contractor “to build [a] foreign knowledge database”—FIRSTFRUITS. One of its major purposes was to feed information about harmful news stories to the “Attorney General task force to investigate media leaks.”

The FIRSTFRUITS project produced 49 “crime reports to DOJ,” three of them involving me. The FBI, in turn, was left with a conundrum. What crime, exactly, was it being asked to investigate? Congress has never passed a law that squarely addresses unauthorized disclosures to reporters by public officials. The United States has no counterpart to the United Kingdom’s Official Secrets Act. Government employees sign a pledge to protect classified information; if they break that pledge, they can lose their security clearance or their job. Those are civil penalties. When it comes to criminal law, they may be subject to charges of theft or unlawful possession of government property. The nearest analogy in the law, however, and the charge most commonly prosecuted in such cases, is espionage.

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