From WorldNet Daily
So two questions remain: Isn’t the government taking a risk that by running Snowden into the ground they will only make him a hero?
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The reasons to care about this are many, and all the Hillary-love and attempts to just call it (just) a Republican witch hunt are a smokescreen. The obvious reason to care is that these people represent America abroad, and we need to ask what image they are projecting. In addition, such crimes and personal traits as alleged below make them vulnerable to blackmail, either by other members of the USG (promote me, give me a better assignment, or else…) or foreign intelligence (turn over the secrets or the photos go to the press). The fact that the organization apparently cannot police itself internally raises questions about competence (and the former SecState saying she was wholly ignorant of all this sludge is not a defense that actually makes her look presidential), and about what if anything it is accomplishing on America’s behalf. Here’s a roundup to date: – As a special shout-out to We Meant Well regulars, USA Today claims it has a memo detailing how Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, allegedly interceded in an investigation by Diplomatic Security into an affair between failed-Iraq ambassador-designate Brett McGurk and Wall Street Journal reporter Gina Chon. – Cheryl Mills again: Mills, a longtime confidante of Hillary, reportedly played a key role in the State Department’s damage-control efforts on the Benghazi attack last year and was also named in accusations that department higher-ups quashed investigations into diplomats’ potential criminal activity. Cheryl Mills, who served in a dual capacity in recent years as general counsel and chief of staff to Clinton, was accused of attempting to stifle congressional access to a diplomat who held a senior post in Libya at the time of the attack. – U.S. ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman accused of soliciting “sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children.” The ambassador “routinely ditched his protective security detail in order to solicit sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children,” according to documents obtained by NBC News. State Department Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy ordered an end to the investigation. “The ambassador’s protective detail and the embassy’s surveillance detection team [Note: A State Department team that conducts counterespionage surveillance, watching State Department officials to see if they are being watched by foreign spies] . . . were well aware of the behavior.” The ambassador explained that sometimes he fights with his wife, needs air and he goes for a walk in the park because he likes it. The Atlantic reported that the park Gutman trolled, Parc Royal Warandepark, was well-known as a place to pick up adult homosexual and adolescent boy prostitutes. A Belgian newspaper described the park: “I see young children go to adult waiting. Later, another adult waits, often to extort money from the victim after. I’ve been awakened by cries and my terrace, I saw someone being beaten. I had my legs were shaking. Time to call the police, I saw the victim painfully get up and go.” – A State Department security official in Beirut “engaged in sexual assaults” with foreign nationals hired as embassy guards. State’s former regional security officer in Beirut, Chuck Lisenbee, allegedly sexually assaulted guards and was accused of similar assaults in Baghdad, Khartoum and Monrovia. Justine Sincavage, then-director of Diplomatic Security Service, called the allegations a “witch hunt” and gave agents “only three days” to investigate, and no charges were brought, according to USA Today. – Members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries,” a problem the report says was “endemic.” Three members of Clinton’s security detail admitted to hiring prostitutes while on foreign trips and were given suspensions of one day. An investigator for Diplomatic Security launched an investigation into similar allegations against four other members of Clinton’s security detail but was ordered by Kimber Davidson, chief of the special investigations division, and Rob Kelty, his deputy, to shut down the investigation. – The State Department has hired an “alarming number of law-enforcement agents with criminal or checkered backgrounds” because of a flawed hiring process, a stunning memo obtained by The New York Post reveals. “Too many people entering the [Diplomatic Security and Information Management] communities end up as subjects of [Special Investigation Division] investigations and HR adjudications, become Giglio-impaired and can play only limited roles thereafter,” according to the memo. “Giglio” refers to a US Supreme Court case dealing with jury notification that witnesses have made deals with the government to induce testimony. Some Diplomatic Security field offices “have major problems just waiting to be discovered,” the memo adds. – In one case, aggressive interrogation techniques by Diplomatic Service agents “drove an employee to attempt suicide” when accused of raping his maid in Bangkok, Thailand, a memo suggests. “After “being told he would end up in a Thai prison, his wife would lose her job and his children would be pulled out of school, [the man] attempted suicide by jumping out of the 16th-story window at a hotel in Bangkok.” The guy lived, and was flown back to Washington for in-patient psychiatric care, where the agents continued to harass him. The rape charges were ultimately dropped. – The same Diplomatic Security memo cites eight cases involving Diplomatic Security agents who resorted to “false, misleading or incomplete statements in reports,” “privacy-act violations” or “lack of objectivity” in investigations. – Diplomatic security agents learned that James Combs, a senior diplomatic security agent in Baghdad and formerly of the DS Office of Professional Standards, was having an extramarital affair with a subordinate and had numerous affairs with men over a 30-year span without the knowledge of his wife. This presented “counterintelligence concerns,” but the investigation never reached a conclusion. – A security contractor in Baghdad died of an overdose of methadone, which he was taking to counteract an addiction to the painkiller oxycodone. An underground drug ring may have been supplying the drugs, but State’s regional security officer did not allow a special investigations agent to pursue that possibility. – In Miami, agents investigating a car accident by diplomatic security agent Evelyn Kittinger learned that she had been claiming full pay for several years “but had actually only worked very few hours.” State Department supervisors told the investigator to advise her to resign to avoid facing criminal charges and a major fine. – Another report states that a top State Department official stymied investigators trying to get to the bottom of four killings in Honduras involving DEA agents and local police. The incident ended in the deaths of two pregnant women and two men last year, after Honduran national police opened fire from a State Department-owned helicopter on a small boat. Honduran police said drugs were involved, but locals said the boat was full of fishermen. - See more at: http://wemeantwell.com/#sthash.wQYXZzhC.dpuf
John Yoo writes below about prosecuting NSA leaker Edward Snowden, and observes en passant: If he is a spy — it is amazing that someone with such little education and background was given such extensive security clearance — he may well continue running abroad. John knows government from the inside as well as anyone, so I don’t know why it would be “amazing” at all. Over 4 million people hold US security clearances: That’s the equivalent of giving security clearances to the entire population of New Zealand. According to the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, a total of 642,831 people were approved for Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret clearances in FY 2010 alone (scroll down to page five). You know the way the bureaucracy works, John: How seriously do you think those two-thirds-of-a-million people were looked at? The report seems to suggest a turnover of about 600,000 in a typical year, which means that the actual number of Americans with some kind of security clearance from the last half-decade alone could be closer to seven million. Even more amazing are the words immediately preceding that: The number of clearances approved could not be obtained for FY 2009 . . . So the same government that presumes the right to know my phone calls, my emails and my MasterCard purchases doesn’t know how many security clearances it issued in a given year. The rationale given by defenders of this system over the last few days — oh, relax; there are over 300 million of us; the government doesn’t have time to comb through all the stuff it’s got on you — would seem to apply here: When 4 million people have security clearances, and another 1,800 people are getting new security clearances every day, the government doesn’t even have time to comb through them before it lets them comb through you. Over at Powerline, Scott Johnson writes of Mr Snowden: Read the Guardian profile and the Post articles and you will see that Snowden professes no loyalty to the United States. He conceives of himself as a citizen of the world, or of the realm of Digitalia. He does not sound like anyone to be trusted with an assessment on our behalf the costs and benefits of the course of action he has undertaken. Just so. One reason for the citizenry not to entrust its personal information to the government is that the big, bloated, blundering government is stupid enough to entrust it to Edward Snowden, as it was previously stupid enough to entrust it to Bradley Manning (the Wikileaks leaker). It’s only a matter of time before the halfwit leviathan entrusts it to a Major Hasan or a Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
The surveillance scandal is a direct result of our national denial about jihad This surveillance scandal arises out of our national bipartisan unwillingness to face the reality of Islamic jihad. Because we all agree that Islam is a religion of peace, we can't possibly address where the threat is really coming from, and monitor mosques or subject Muslims with Islamic supremacist ties to greater surveillance. Instead, we have to pretend that anyone and everyone is a potential terrorist, and surveil everyone. Our freedoms and privacy are now at risk because of our refusal to admit the truth about Islam. People who leak classified information need to be punished, but Snowden is more of a whistleblower, akin to a Soviet dissident working against an all-encompassing government. It is good that it came out that they're watching our every move, reading all our emails, etc. It needed to come out because it needs to stop if we are going to have any chance of surviving as a free people and not becoming a totalitarian state in which every slave of the authoritarian rulers is under constant surveillance. "White House disputes comparisons to Bush amid leak scandal," by Dave Boyer for The Washington Times, June 10: Embarrassed by national-security leaks of historic proportions, the White House rebutted accusations Monday by the disillusioned former government contractor who leaked the surveillance secrets that President Obama is no different than President George W. Bush in his anti-terrorism tactics. Obviously Obama is far worse, but actually the two are on a continuum. As a debate raged over whether the leaker, former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, is a hero or a criminal, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said there was no reason for Mr. Snowden to have been disappointed in Mr. Obama. “The president’s record on making the kinds of changes that he promised he would make to the ways that we pursue our fight against al Qaeda and our fight against terrorists and extremists, he has lived up to,” Mr. Carney said.... How? By pretending that everyone in the country is a member of al-Qaeda?
I’m not doing anything wrong, so why should I care? If you’re doing nothing wrong, then you’ve got nothing to hide! See above. The definition of “wrong” can change very quickly. I trust Obama on this. All of your personal data is in the hands of the same people that run the TSA, the IRS and likely the DMV. Do you trust all of them all the time to never make mistakes or act on personal grudges or political biases? Do you believe none of them would ever sell your data for personal profit ever? In fact, the NSA is already sharing your data with, at minimum, British intelligence. That’s a foreign government that your American government is informing on you to, FYI. Also, the alleged leaker, Edward Snowden, worked for a private contracting company and had access to your data. I really trust Obama on this. OK, let’s stipulate that Obama will never do anything bad with the data. But once collected, your personal data exists forever, and is available to whomever in the future can access it, using whatever technologies come to exist. Trusting anyone with such power is foolish.
Vast amounts of money and resources, though, are being spent in preparing for an exact replay of September 11. And remember that the number of terrorists caught by the TSA hovers around the zero level. The shoe, underpants, and Times Square bombers weren’t even caught by security at all and many other such cases can be listed. In addition to this, the U.S.-Mexico border is practically open. The ultimate problem is that the number of terrorists is very low and the fact is that for anyone who isn’t insane their characteristics are pretty clear, that is they are about 99 percent revolutionary and violent Islamists. Obama has now admitted three very important things. First, the war on terrorism has not been won. Second, the war on al-Qaida has not really been won, since its continued campaigning is undeniable and it has even grown in Syria, partly thanks to U.S. policy. Third, the biggest threat on the American homeland is autonomous terrorists who have been inspired by al-Qaida but are not technically part of the nomination. (That allows Obama to claim to be winning the war on al-Qaida). What he has not yet admitted is that the Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist groups or sponsors are controlling Egypt, Tunisia, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Turkey, Sudan, Syria, and Iran, while terrorists run free in the Palestinian Authority, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, is not conducive to the protection of America against terrorism. The fact that his policy promotes some of these problems makes things even worse. Yet the new, expensive, expansive, and time-consuming technological methods are relatively ineffective against the current priorities of anti-American terrorist groups. Incidentally, Obama policy has been disastrous against a four factor, radical Islamists—though not al-Qaida taking over places. Compared to the time Obama came to office, the Islamists who support violence against America now rule Egypt, Tunisia, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, and perhaps soon Syria. Offenses have been stepped up in Somalia, Yemen; are being maintained in Iraq; and of course still rule over Syria and Iran. In Turkey, an Islamist terror-supporting regime has been embraced by Obama. This represents a massive retreat even if it is a largely unnoticed one. So the problem of growing government spying is three-fold. --First, it is against the American system and reduces liberty. --Second, it is a misapplication of resources, in other words money is being spent and liberty sacrificed for no real gain. --Third, since government decisionmaking and policy about international terrorism is very bad the threat is increasing. If you don’t get value for money or enhanced security while freedom is being reduced and the enemy is getting stronger it certainly isn’t a bargain.
In the Middle East, to paraphrase President Barack Obama's mentor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the dodo birds are coming home to roost. At this moment, the administration's policy team consists of CIA director John Brennan, father of the ""moderate" Islamism-and-the-Muslim Brotherhood-are-good school; the Secretary of State John Kerry who thinks he is going to make Israel-Palestinian peace in one month; the know-nothing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel; the chilling ideologue Samantha Powers as UN ambassador; and the dupe of the Benghazi scandal Susan Rice rewarded by being made national security adviser. Can things get any more Alice in Wonderland? But what's really happening in the region?
(Reuters) - An Egyptian court convicted 43 Americans, Europeans, Egyptians and other Arabs on Tuesday in a case against democracy promotion groups that plunged U.S.-Egyptian ties into their worst crisis in decades. Judge Makram Awad gave five-year sentences to 27 defendants tried in absentia including 15 U.S. citizens. Another American who stayed for trial was given a two-year sentence but left Egypt on Tuesday on the advice of his lawyers.It was entirely predictable: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S003043870700004X.