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January 27, 2013


This is from the new Time cover story about Zero Dark Thirty (not online):

Virtually everything about Zero Dark Thirty is debatable, according to [Mark] Boal. "Even simple factual questions are being debated and litigated at the highest levels of government…even among those agencies. I've spoken to two people in the CIA who worked with the same prisoner, who had two totally different views of what got him to talk and of the value of a particular piece of intelligence in the overall puzzle."

This is the famous National Security Council Directive 11, issued in 1950:

The departments and agencies of the Government engaged in intelligence activities shall take steps to prevent unauthorized disclosure of information on United States intelligence sources and methods.

This is George W. Bush on September 14, 2001:

...let me condition the press this way: Any sources and methods of intelligence will remain guarded in secret. My administration will not talk about how we gather intelligence, if we gather intelligence and what the intelligence says. That's for the protection of the American people. It is important, as we battle this enemy, to conduct ourselves that way.

And this is Barack Obama last June:

The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive. It's wrong. And people I think need to have a better sense of how I approach this office and how the people around me here approach this office.

Could there be any clearer disclosure of "sources and methods" than people at the CIA telling the screenwriter for a $40 million movie about who they interrogated, what they were told, and why? Obviously the U.S. government has always used classification to cover up embarrassing facts, while simultaneously leaking like the Titanic whenever it's to their advantage. But man, they're getting even more in your face than usual these days. Hopefully they'll have this issue of Time at whatever jail where they're sticking John Kiriakou so he can read all about it.

—Jon Schwarz

Posted at January 27, 2013 01:45 PM

"Constitution of the USA" is a "Living Document".... I kept hearing it again and again....and it has to change with times..... and it has. Past and current administrations have added....... for their benefit......

To keep the citizens SECURE, hypocrisy, will be mandatory to keep law and order. That will keep all the wrong doings by the govt ( perceived by the citizens ) classified ( as determined by the govt ).

Posted by: rupa shah at January 27, 2013 05:06 PM

Waterboarding's all legal-like now, so's treason, just ask Deadeye.
Spilling secrets&back stabbing, that's business-as-usual.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 27, 2013 08:07 PM

The Golden Globes had a Zero Dark Thirty joke. I saw the monologue on Youtube and laughed, thought is was really clever.

But the more I thought about it the more offended I was. In some way it might be the most offensive joke I have ever heard - not sure.

In case anyone cares, they were married 2 years, Cameron had an affair, Bigelow got the house + $500,000 + lawyers fees. Fey and Poehler compare this to waterboarding. I find the joke offensive from both the humanist and also the men's rights perspective

Posted by: indirecteffect dude at January 27, 2013 08:26 PM

Never in the history of man has there been a time that was devoid of conflict and never has there been a time when freer societies like ours exist. They exist precariously at the whim of events that threaten it. I do not know if the government is abridging my 4th amendment rights over something OTHER than terrorism. I don't know that but deep in the marrow of my belief is the fact that I do not care if they monitor what web pages I go to, emails I send, opinion blogs I have because I love my country and want to take the best of what we have and would never threaten its structure. If you threaten you better have a good gd reason to do so because shaking the structure of a culture threatens all the good things like YES flush toilets and clean water that we as Americans take for granted. And those who are poor would be threatened by the lack of it first.

We truly do, I believe THIS TIME have a reason for our fear. There really ARE those out there who if they could get their hands on a dirty bomb would unleash it on us. So I do NOT care about my 4th Amendment rights being abridged some what so that those who want to annihilate us DON'T!

Posted by: Natalie at January 27, 2013 08:55 PM

Natalie, see that guy named as the enemy in the post below this one? He killed a 16 year old American kid with a drone for no apparent reason.

Shouldn't we try to stop that kind of shit?

No "terrorist" from some foreign country has the power to hurt you as much as that guy and his enablers (which at this point seems to include you).

Posted by: Linda J at January 27, 2013 11:15 PM

fwiw I read that Obama didn't authorize the killing of the kid. I know I'm coming off as as an obsessive Obama apologist with comments like that, but oh well. That's what I read.

Posted by: godoggo at January 27, 2013 11:52 PM

...whereas Natalie's comment just seems to express a worldview so far from mine that I don't know how to respond.

Posted by: godoggo at January 28, 2013 12:05 AM

hey, Natalie, good thing the US government never makes a mistake or mixes someone up with someone else or anything like that - right?

Just because we have seen MASSIVE intelligence failures multiple times and MASSIVE fraud and corruption along with MASSIVE violations of human rights (all in the last 12 years) is no reason to question what your government is doing. After all, they don't make mistakes.

Posted by: Susan at January 28, 2013 12:41 AM

People like Natalie should devote more time to the study of statistics and science. They focus so much on things with low probability and instead let something worse happen to them. Maybe It's misplaced self importance. Like the small towns afraid of sharia law or someone with agoraphobia so afraid of something maybe outside that they imprison themselves in something worse.

Posted by: steve talbert at January 28, 2013 03:19 AM

@ Natalie

What happened on September 11, 2001 was enough to scare the Americans into believing all the lies told by our govt. Why did the govt not encourage the public to ask the question WHY IT HAPPENED? Some who did were called "unpatriotic'. If the media were allowed to discuss that question, may be the govt would not have been able to instill 'deathly fear' into Americans that the whole country was under attack and the citizens would not have allowed the govt to take total control over our lives.....patriot act, war on terror in our name, unprecedented warrantless surveillance of law abiding citizens and targeted assassinations of "alleged enemies" of the country including USA citizens, torture, renditions...... the list goes on and on.
You write "So I do NOT care about my 4th Amendment rights being abridged some what so that those who want to annihilate us DON'T!".
First thing, there are NO GUARANTEES in can die unexpectedly ..... may be a drunken driver or a disease or pollution (yes, pollution causes unnecessary deaths in city like Chicago because of Asthma ).
Secondly, chances of people dying from exposure to industrial toxic waste are much higher than dying from a so called Dirty Bomb ( and yes, people are dying with all kinds of Cancers right now because of the exposures ).
And right now, you are not worried about your 4th Amendment but what will be taken from us next? First Amendment? What if you and I are not allowed to write on this blog or any blog? OR, Solitary confinement without being charged ( like Bradley Manning ) just because the govt thinks, one is "a person of interest"? OR being placed on NO FLY list without any explanation? Would any of these possibilities bother you? If yes, it is happening NOW. And if one wants some information under FOIA, one may wait for 20 yrs! Yes, that is true.


In one case, a person writing a book and needing information for "factual information" during his research, died before the information was available.
Unfortunately LIES and SECRECY are the hallmark of past and current administrations and they are being used to accumulate absolute executive powers.
Only WE, as citizens can challenge this and prevent our country from becoming a TOTAL police state ( though some will argue, it already
is ).

Posted by: rupa shah at January 28, 2013 02:15 PM

I was born during the "Great Depression", remember WWII from beginning to end, watched Senator McCarthy's hearings on TV, ruining a lot of people's lives unnecessarily, was aware of the Viet Nam war, but at the time was still too much under the influence of the WWII Koolaid to think critically, benefitted from both the Civil Rights Movements, and the Womens Lib movements, already had the vote thanks to womens suffrage, thought more than once, "maybe we're finally getting some of the kinks out of the Constitution in my lifetime, only to see it all being destroyed by the gutting of the same Constitution. Can't remember who described it in these words, but can't help but agree: Our society is "an oligarchy, anarchy, and police state, characterized by banality, sentimentality, and violence." Very sad--can't imagine that it will improve in my lifetime short of an "act of God".

Posted by: Flyover Country at January 28, 2013 02:59 PM

Hey, how's about that Valerie Plame? She sure took it well, didn't she,she's been a sport it, and so did the country as a WHOLE, too, I see. Hardly a peep about it once the Scooter/Fitzgerald Magic Show was over----the TREASON I mean. Then again--she IS A WOMAN and there's that Article I sec.2 U.S.C. thingy so maybe that's it.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 28, 2013 03:30 PM

Here is great example of individual citizen fighting for his rights......

"Man With 4th Amendment Written on Chest Wins Trial Over Airport Arrest"
By David Kravets


Posted by: rupa shah at January 28, 2013 03:38 PM