Archives for posts with tag: Edward Snowden

In the Tom Englehardt interview with Laura Poitras (Snowden documentary film-maker) wondering if, in relation to the security state…

“the goal that they proclaim is not the goal”

…is the most astute and least explored observation in not only the interview, but the least explored phenomena of the entire security state. The usurping of our constitution and rule of law is not about fighting terror and fighting terror is in fact a purposeful avenue to coup de état. The same purpose is served with NATO aggression with pretext of Ukraine. A social tension to a degree where military is justified to make policy (we already see this) is avenue to suspension of habeas corpus.

Where Poitras has missed the boat and is to a great extent misled, is also where professional intelligence information operations will spend high $ and go into hyper-drive/overtime to shape the public discourse away from the deep state goal. That strategy can include deliberate leaks accompanied by persecution/prosecution to draw attention to the Mannings & Assanges of this world, to keep the focus of personalities like Poitras off the mark. Katrina vanden Heuval, in her ‘The Nation’ interview with Snowden, brought up a ‘deep state’ concept which Snowden acknowledged but the subject was as quickly dropped. Why? Because they’ve no idea where that trail leads to?

So long as the focus can kept be on personalities revealing facts but not leading to motive, and individual acts & information that distract from an internal ‘deep state’ are the obsession, the perpetrators within a security state’s concealed agenda will be winning. In this scenario, if Snowden was unforeseen, Assange has been a tool where the man is the issue, as much as what he has released doesn’t touch where the internal threat of the security state issues from. This becomes a distraction and creates numerous rabbit trails obscuring the source of the malevolent security state behaviors. Poitras and her ilk on the left hasn’t seen through this.

One reason for Poitras and the left’s myopia is embrace of a political mythology. When your archetype myth is challenged, there is a visceral rejection of evidence that is staring one in the face. In fact Pentagon liaison to the CIA, L. Fletcher Prouty, a man who would be in position to know without a doubt as one of the authors of the so-called Pentagon Papers, long ago fingered Daniel Ellsberg as at the center of a deliberately engineered (by the security state) leak meant to shift responsibility for the failures of Vietnam policy from the CIA to the military. Ellsberg is a keystone of the deep state disinformation campaign on the left; the people who’ve built information that tend to support Colonel Prouty’s revelation (not a hypothesis) are on the center right and better positioned to know where the deep state derives from (the right.)

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is one such organization. Presided over by a Reagan White House attorney, Mikey Weinstein, there is no one better positioned to point to a hyper-right-wing Christian religious coup at the Pentagon. Colonel Prouty, an old line conservative, had labeled this deep state cult ‘The Secret Team’ and described it as a “new religion.” Investigative reporter Jeff Sharlet has documented the related Doug Coe cult extensively. Seymour Hersh and more have touched on it. It has both Catholic & Protestant membership that overlaps with Opus Dei and Assemblies of God (and other sects.) This endeavor had began in the 1930s with Hitler sympathetic-religious businessmen organized into cells based on intelligence agency model. The goal of an elite, weaponized, Christian hierarchy usurping western democratic institutions, an international endeavor based in powerful corporate board interests integrated to our most powerful law enforcement, intelligence agency and military personalities, is nearly within reach for what amounts to a self-annointed ‘chosen’ Christian religious cult-international criminal syndicate.

So long as the left embraces a mythology induced myopia that precludes a straightforward exam of this reality, the deep state will remain poised to win at the end of a day that is not very far away-


^ Daniel Ellsberg behind the curtain


WikiLeaks & Spy Agencies Distracting from the real actors

Background material on America’s deep state:

Sociopaths & Democracy

The proposal in this essay “In fact it is perfectly possible by the time Snowden had traveled to Moscow with Harrison, he may no longer have been in possession of the documents at all” in fact had been almost immediately established as the case in fact, when Snowden stated he was no longer in possession of any NSA documents when he’d traveled to Russia, in his Moscow interview with NBC

It is a near impossible task to try and wipe egg off someone’s face, that is, if that someone doesn’t care to acknowledge the facts, if the facts shake their foundation in reality or they are simply willfully stubborn. When egg yolk has dried on ceramic, those of you who know how to wash dishes will know to use fingernails, or risk scratches and look for the steel wool. So this analysis is going to be abrasive to the idealists in the peace movement and associated journalists concerned with social justice. And it is an attempt to pull Glenn Greenwald’s chestnuts out of the fire, before they are reduced to ashes by counter-espionage and damage control spooks. Good luck with that, is the cynical admonition to myself, because this one might get eggs thrown at me with a vengeance.

Our present story begins precisely 11 months ago, 23 June 2013, when The Guardian had reported concerning the WikiLeaks supposed (reported widely in ‘mainstream’ media) ‘legal expert’ accompanying Edward Snowden, Sarah Harrison, on Snowden’s odyssey to Moscow:

“Despite her closeness to Assange, Harrison may seem a strange choice to accompany Snowden, as unlike several people close to WikiLeaks – most notably human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson – Harrison has no legal qualifications or background”

Yeah, that’s likely why Snowden faxed perfectly useless asylum requests all over the world from the Moscow airport, not realizing (technically speaking, such as in an embassy) he had to be standing on the territory of the nation he would wish to acquire asylum in. But it gets by far more interesting. As I’d pointed out in my piece ‘WikiLeaks & Spy Agencies‘…

“In espionage [or counter-espionage], there are three basic means of penetrating and/or using a hostile organization to one’s advantage:

1)  Turning an employee through some means such as blackmail, sex, bribery or appeal to a psychological weakness such as working on someone’s conscience or ideology and convince them to become your organization’s asset (agent/traitor)

2)  Placing your own officer within the organization as an employee (spy)

3) Using psychology and disinformation to convince the organization’s staff to work to your advantage and/or commit acts against its own interests (false flag/sale)

Typically there would be each of these approaches assessed individually and in various combinations and/or variants when planning an operation. WikiLeaks would be vulnerable to this on several counts”

…now, we will look at this a bit more closely in a related development of the past several days.

On 19 May, 2014, the new venture of Greenwald (among others) ‘The Intercept’ published a piece based on the Snowden NSA documents, concerning MYSTIC sub-project SOMALGET, detailing how entire nations are being prepared for TOTAL surveillance of phone traffic, inclusive of all audio conversation. The apparent ‘pilot program’ of laboratory test animals is the Bahamas and an unnamed nation (in the intercept article.)


^NSA illustration via The Intercept

Almost immediately, Julian Assange (@WikiLeaks) and Greenwald were in a ‘twitter’ spat over Greenwald with-holding the 2nd nations name, Assange claiming Greenwald’s rationale for following long established journalism protocol to protect at risk persons by with-holding information was essentially selling out. AND THEN, WikiLeaks (Assange) threatened to reveal the nation’s name, if The Intercept and Greenwald refused to do so .. and subsequently named Afghanistan. What we see here, on its face, is brilliant counter-espionage work, of a nature so serious a threat to Greenwald (and others) journalism at The Intercept, as to appear to send Greenwald to Moscow to meet with Snowden, or so rumor would have it:

^Destination Moscow (in closing remarks by hostess)

The problem with WikiLeaks naming the unnamed country? Now, the ‘mainstream’ (CIA manipulated) media can claim in full on attack on Greenwald and the others at The Intercept, these journalists have no credibility insofar as security of content concerning the NSA documents in their possession. As well, there most certainly will be assessment of possibility to link Greenwald (and others at The Intercept) to any criminal case being developed against Assange. Touche, NSA! Counter-espionage has drawn blood.

Now to the question .. how did WikiLeaks acquire the name of Afghanistan? WikiLeaks isn’t saying. But first suspicion would naturally fall on close Assange confidant Sarah Harrison who’d been with Snowden ’24/7′ for weeks while Snowden was sorting out where he might be able to safely stay (having to ultimately settle on Russia.) I believe this is the least likely scenario, however we will go there first. It’s as simple as Sarah Harrison would have stole the documents from Snowden. If that were the case, WikiLeaks has all of the Snowden NSA disclosures and they don’t dare admit they’d violated Snowden’s trust. If Greenwald is indeed in Moscow meeting with Snowden, it would go to exploring this possibility. But I doubt this is what happened, not because WikiLeaks would not have stolen the documents if they could have, but because I expect Snowden was smart enough to secure the documents throughout Sarah Harrison’s stay with him, not every possible ‘honey-pot’ or using a woman in seduction for operational purposes is going to be successful. Whether Harrison were Assange’s mole or a British intelligence agent or double agent, Snowden was not a good candidate to fall for this sort of operation when it is demonstrable Snowden’s own girlfriend had no idea what he was  up to in the months and days leading up to his revelations and flight. The man is well disciplined in the rules of personal secrecy attending espionage. In fact it is perfectly possible by the time Snowden had traveled to Moscow with Harrison, he may no longer have been in possession of the documents at all. But the brilliant aspect of this, from the point of view of counter-espionage and exploiting public perception is, it will appear the documents were not secured and Greenwald & Laura Poitras can be pilloried as irresponsible and endangering the USA’s national security, inclusive of putting lives at risk, possibly to a point of building a criminal case. Meanwhile, if Greenwald had traveled to Moscow, he is barking up the wrong tree.

The more likely scenario is quite straightforward. The NSA arranged to ‘leak’ the information concerned to WikiLeaks, for clear intent of going after Greenwald and The Intercept with PsyOps, sowing distrust and misleading the principal players in a counter-operation that will be highly publicized propaganda.

So, one might ask, how can leaking the nation’s name, Afghanistan, almost certainly laundered via some CIA embed or ‘social justice’ source known to WikiLeaks, square with the USA purportedly concerned for the lives put at risk? Here is where the cynicism of evil plays in the world of spy craft; people at the top, certainly inclusive of Obama’s CIA Director John ‘Kill List‘ Brennan, NSA associates and ‘friends’ play the game of ‘trade-offs.’ The people whose lives are ‘at risk’ due to the disclosures will be relatively low level assets, easily expendable technicians. They are suddenly fodder for the greater gain of going after Greenwald and damaging The Intercept. It is actually as simple as that. If some of these technicians are killed, so much the better from the point of view at the top, that will be frosting on the cake of working to destroy (and likely pursue a frame-up with criminal charges) those persons who initially broke the Snowden story and facilitated the NSA documents release.

To Glenn & Co at The Intercept, welcome to the real world of spies.

Related stories:

Above Top Secret How (not) To Leak

WikiLeaks and Spy Agencies Probable information operations

Snowden and Snooping

Cambridge, Massachusetts – 12 December 2013

Remarks at the MIT Center for International Studies by Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. (USFS Ret.)

We live in what the National Security Agency [NSA] has called “the golden age of SIGINT [signals intelligence].”  We might have guessed this.  We now know it for a fact because of a spectacular act of civil disobedience by Edward Snowden.  His is perhaps the most consequential such act for both our domestic liberties and our foreign relations in the more than two century-long history of our republic.

This past spring, Mr. Snowden decided to place his oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” and his allegiance to the Bill of Rights above his contractual obligations to the intelligence community and the government for which it snoops.  He blew the whistle on NSA’s ruthless drive for digital omniscience.  When he did this, he knew that many of his fellow citizens would impugn his patriotism.  He also knew he would be prosecuted for violating the growing maze of legislation that criminalizes revelations about the national security practices of America’s post-9/11 warfare state.

Mr. Snowden does not dispute that he is guilty of legally criminal acts.  But he places himself in the long line of Americans convinced, as Martin Luther King put it, that “noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.”  As someone long in service to our country, I am upset by such defiance of authority.  As an American, I am not.

Like Henry David Thoreau and many others in protest movements in our country over the past century and a half, Mr. Snowden deliberately broke the law to bring to public attention government behavior he considered at odds with the U.S. Constitution, American values, and the rule of law.  One point he wanted to make was that we Americans now live under a government that precludes legal or political challenges to its own increasingly deviant behavior.  Our government has criminalized the release of information exposing such behavior or revealing the policies that authorize it.  The only way to challenge its policies and activities is to break the law by exposing them.

Mr. Snowden justifies his flight abroad on the grounds that, had he remained within the jurisdiction of the United States, he could not have had a fair trial, would very likely have been subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, and would have been isolated and silenced to avert informed debate by Americans about the public policy issues his revelations raise.  Not so very long ago – let’s say in the time of Daniel Ellsberg – it would have been fairly easy to show that such fears were groundless. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.  Mr. Snowden has been driven to ground in Russia, a country with an incomparably worse record of lawlessness than ours that he never intended to visit, let alone reside in.  If he tries to go elsewhere, he will be hunted down and made to disappear.

Post 9/11, practices not seen in our political culture since the abolition of the Star Chamber by the Habeas Corpus Act of 1640 have again become commonplace.  Such practices include – but are not limited to – detention without charge or trial, various forms of physical and psychological abuse, and the extrajudicial murder of American citizens on the orders of the president.  All of these are facilitated by electronic eavesdropping, as is state terrorism by drone and death squad.  Like the inhabitants of countries we condemn for gross violations of human rights, Americans are now subject to warrantless surveillance of our electronic interactions with each other, the arbitrary seizure at the border of our computers and private correspondence, the use of torture and degrading practices in interrogation and pretrial detention, and prosecution upon evidence we cannot see or challenge because it is “classified.”

In the thirteen years since the 21st century began, many of the rights that once defined our republic have been progressively revoked, in particular those enumerated in the 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments to our Constitution.  The freedoms that have been curtailed include the rights to:

1) immunity from searches and seizures except “upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly  describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

2) not “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

3) “a speedy and public trial . . . and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation.”

Mr. Snowden has brought home to us that, while we Americans do not yet live in a police state or tyranny, we are well along in building the infrastructure on which either could be instantly erected if our leaders decided to do so.  No longer protected by the law, our freedoms now depend on the self-restraint of men and women in authority, many of them in uniform.  History protests that if one builds a turnkey totalitarian state, those who hold the keys will eventually turn them.

One does not have to approve of Mr. Snowden’s conduct to recognize the service he has done us by exposing the cancerous growth of our government’s surveillance apparatus.  The issues before us are neither his character nor the punishment he should receive.  The issues we must address are: (1) how much domestic surveillance can be reconciled with the Constitution and the immunities from government intrusion it once guaranteed to individuals and groups, and (2) where, against which foreigners, and to what extent such electronic snooping should be carried out abroad.

The United States was founded on the principle that “that government is best that governs least.”  This concept of limited government is wholly incompatible with the notion of an omniscient executive, still less one that is protected by secrecy from both accountability and the checks and balances imposed by independent judicial review, congressional and public oversight, or even common sense.  Yet, we can be in no doubt that our fear of foreign and domestic terrorism has caused us to nurture just such a governmental leviathan.

Judicial checks on surveillance activities by an essentially coopted FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance] Court have been both minimal and ineffective.  NSA has not always heeded its rulings anyway.  There is no evidence of congressional push-back against the steady expansion of snooping on Americans or foreigners or of presidential efforts to restrain either.  The very members of Congress responsible for intelligence community oversight professed to be shocked when they learned about the scope of NSA’s eavesdropping on both Americans and foreign leaders.  The president claimed ignorance.  Whether these political postures reflect dishonesty or incompetence is unclear.

What is not in doubt is that there has been a massive, ongoing failure by our government to conduct its intelligence activities in a manner supportive of our liberties and our alliances with foreign nations.  Both oversight and management of intelligence collection programs need urgent corrective surgery.   And it is time for a major pruning of the jungle of surveillance programs that national hysteria about terrorism, essentially limitless funding, and burgeoning technical capabilities have combined to produce.

The very purpose of the state is the management of the nation’s defense.  To do this, the authorities must have situational awareness and early warning of possible threats from both state and non-state actors.  SIGINT, like other forms of espionage and diplomatic reporting and analysis, is part of the answer to this need.  But SIGINT was invented to support actions on the battlefield.  For the most part, it remains a military project.  We do not – we should not – ask our military to exercise restraint when attacking perceived threats.  Armies are not expected to play by the rules but to win.  They are inevitably inclined to overkill.  It has been said that “an elephant is a mouse built to mil-specs.”  True to the military culture of excess from which it sprang, NSA is an intrusive collection apparatus that has evolved to “collect it all.”  “All” is much too much.

Given their invisibility, secret programs have a particular propensity to expand beyond their original purposes.  The view that activities that are not legal are not necessarily illegal, and that any and all technology should be exploited à l’outrance is what underlies the decision to “collect it all.”  It is hardly surprising that this has become NSA’s self-proclaimed mission.  Why does a chicken cross the road?  Why does a dog lick its balls?  Because it can.  Why does NSA snoop on everyone everywhere online?  Because it has the money and means to do so, not because what it collects meets any valid, externally determined national requirement, standard of efficiency, or foreign policy judgment.  The fact that we are able to do things that violate the trust and privacy of others does not make it wise or appropriate to do them.

What we have seen since 9/11 is a combination of adaptation to new international circumstances and a growing ration of purposeless program growth, only tangentially related to threats to our national security.  In the case of SIGINT, this is a dangerous misdirection of resources.  Conventional threats of all kinds are now minimal but cyber threats are escalating.  SIGINT capabilities should be focused on potential enemies and on defending citizens and their government against foreign cyber intrusions, theft, and sabotage, not on collecting information about citizens in the United States and other democracies.  It is neither necessary nor proper to spy on democratic foreign allies who do not spy on us.

It is not necessary because these allies are open societies that debate their basic policies in public.  We are represented in their capitals by diplomatic missions whose purpose, in part, is to keep our government informed about their motivations, reasoning, plans, and operations.  If we need to understand these societies and their capabilities and intentions better, we should strengthen our diplomacy, not our covert military trespasses against them.

Mr. Snowden documented misbehavior that was a Pandora’s box of embarrassments waiting to burst open.  It should have been seen as such by those who authorized and carried it out.  Their overreach has now done great damage to our moral standing internationally.  This is a painful reminder that eavesdropping on allies is no more compatible with mutually respectful and cooperative relationships than behaving like a peeping Tom is with friendship.

By alienating our foreign admirers and supporters, we have weakened our country’s political influence abroad.  By hacking into our great information technology companies to create Trojan horses, our government has spread distrust of U.S. products and services and damaged the competitiveness of our economy.  By belying the decent respect for the opinions of mankind with which we inaugurated our nation, Washington has catalyzed a global loss of confidence in the righteousness of American leadership.  By showing suspicious contempt for allies and ready hostility toward other nations, Americans have undermined the prospects for both future international cooperation by allies with our armed forces and peaceful coexistence with our competitors.

In the Cold War, we Americans and our allies justly saw ourselves as threatened with nuclear annihilation or ideological subjugation.  Someone in Moscow could turn a key and most of us would soon be dead.  The threats before us are in no way comparable.  Yet, in the face of a greatly lessened danger, our leaders have chosen – mostly in secret – to defend our freedoms and preserve our international standing in ways that diminish both.  Our own government has become a vastly more potent threat to the traditions and civil liberties of our republic and to the rule of law than al-Qaeda could ever hope to be.

Our ability to intercept, decipher, and understand the communications of those who wish us ill is an invaluable competency.  But it is a capability that coexists uneasily with a free society and with cooperation with other free societies.  Those who exercise it are – for the most part – patriots attempting to defend our nation, not infringe its liberties.  But our misapplication of their  ability to eavesdrop to their fellow citizens as well as democratic allies who do not spy on us is a perversion of its purpose that must be curtailed.  The collection of intelligence is essential to our national security.  It is not and cannot be an end in itself.   And in a democracy, it cannot be safely conducted without judgment based on a sense of propriety and self-restraint born of deference to the rule of law.

Freedom requires checks and balances, not paternalistic monitoring by the government.   It is now incontrovertible that we have failed to apply effective checks and balances to core national security and intelligence functions.  No one in Washington or anywhere else should be in a position to turn a key and deprive us or our posterity of the blessings of liberty.  It is past time to rethink and radically downsize both the warfare state and the undisciplined surveillance apparatus it has given birth to.

Original post at with my thanks to where I’d initially discovered it



Re-blogged by Ronald Thomas West

A synopsis of the legal rationale of this article is this: when the USA joined the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (a multi-lateral treaty with force of international law) but held out the treaty would be “non-self-executing”, the USA essentially claimed its own constitutional principles would enforce the treaty’s provisions. This places the USA in a unique circumstance of substituting its own provisions of law for the provisions enumerated in the International Covenant. In this case, Snowden should argue the Obama administration’s demonstrable violation of foundational American principles of law are subject to interpretation relevant to his rights under the treaty, in any nation he should apply for asylum in. Restated, Snowden can put the USA’s record, in relation to its own civil liberties provisions, on trial in any suit he might bring in jurisdiction where the treaty may be enforced, examples given, Germany and subsequently the European Court of Human Rights.

Use of ‘The Espionage Act’ to prosecute whistle-blowers by the Obama administration is unfortunate reality. It is unprecedented persecution by a sublime neo-liberal political liar & cohorts, but it is presently matter of fact circumstance and what people like Snowden must contend with when considering any act of willful transparency in defiance of secrecy law.

Because it is unlikely use of the Espionage Act to prosecute whistle-blowing will be struck down by the courts, particularly with a Supreme Court majority aligned with the ‘Federalist Society’ whose neo-conservative agenda will sometimes converge with neo-liberal objectives, particularly in philosophy of supremacy concerning the executive in matters of security, one must develop a robust constitutional foundation for defense of whistle-blowing.

In the case of Snowden, he also should show a valid rationale of why the United States Constitution’s Article Six ‘supremacy clause’ .. “and any treaty made shall be the supreme law of the land” applied in the offensive sense versus the United States, as opposed defending himself, in regards to claims the multi-lateral treaty “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights” should protect him.

How this is a legal necessity in Snowden’s case arises from the USA being party to the treaty and how the treaty might or might not be applied in American courts. Legitimacy of claim for political asylum must be established in relation to not only the treaty’s general provisions, but it must be shown the USA’s relationship to the treaty is presently a relationship of bad faith.

Other issues that play in any defense of Snowden, to show he is not in violation of the Espionage Act, is Private Manning’s conviction & what constitutes a legitimate whistle-blow as opposed to malicious leaking of secrets, what is a valid press vehicle (Manning and WikiLeaks? Snowden and the Guardian? Yes or no in individual and separate circumstance) and how Snowden’s case would likely sort out in American courts in the present climate of law and politics. And it must be shown the decision to pursue Snowden is a political persecution at odds with law.

This defense of Snowden begins with disposing of Manning as a comparable case.

The neo-liberal New York Times has on several occasions resorted to torture lawyer John Yoo for legal opinions and recently Yoo had suggested WikiLeaks does not qualify as legitimate journalism under the American philosophy of law governed by the American constitution’s First Amendment. In other words. WikiLeaks cannot be claimed as a valid outlet for whistle-blowers under American law, particularly in relation to the case of Private Manning.

Manning’s case is significantly different than that of Snowden, and in any case Yoo’s suggestion would not apply to Snowden who leaked to The Guardian. But let’s look at the at-large & uncharged criminal Yoo’s idea, to compare the two cases a bit, particularly in regards to the Espionage Act and what constitutes legitimate journalism or a free press in American law.

Firstly, American military law, the “Uniform Code of Military Justice”, should not be conflated with the American federal criminal code and associated case law, they are separate animals. When you enter the military, you surrender your politics in relation to performing your duty and the only natural avenue of dissent is to refuse illegal orders. In effect, as a soldier, the only possibly justifiable leaks would be having to do with war crimes, orders to commit crimes or concealment of crimes by the military per se, or crimes against the constitution by your superiors. Politics do not play as a defensible action for whistle-blowing in the American military. To quote an Admiral addressing a West Point graduating class, in relation to the United States military having always been under civilian control, if you don’t like the policies “vote with your feet” (leave the military.) Manning could have taken that advice to heart, his defense of moral conscience had no chance in the military justice structure. This is old news in American military experience, quoting Robert E Lee’s observation on his artillery slaughter of advancing Union soldiers: “It is good war is so terrible, or we should become too fond of it.” Manning could not expect to act on a social conscience in relation to military experience, having joined voluntarily an organization whose nature is apolitical violence, however that violence might be at the direction of politics, politics is not the soldiers job.

The hard truth is, the American constitution’s First Amendment protects several things and political lies are protected speech. In this respect, until there were to be a change to the foundational law, American law is amoral. In the case of the ‘cables’ leak, example given, there Manning made no defense of any crime against the American constitution and in fact the greater or overall thrust of the cables, as despicable as this is, concerns revealing perfectly legal political lies in geo-politics. Insofar as Yoo’s assertion of WikiLeaks as a whistle-blowing platform having no press freedom protection under American law, he may have it ½ right. When considering charges brought under the Espionage Act in an American court, one would need a trump card and crimes against the American constitution should constitute such. But Manning did not present any defense related to this and WikiLeaks has never made a case the USA’s purported violations of press freedoms meet this test per American law in relation to any failure to conform to its international law obligations. To conform to journalism standards protected by the American First Amendment, when faced with charges brought under the Espionage Act, one would have to convincingly show a political nature of the prosecution attending crimes against the constitutional order. Massive dumps of  unrelated and unorganized or functionally incoherent information do not meet the necessary legal test to qualify as journalism in this regard. In metaphor, Manning & WikiLeaks fail the law on account of behaving as a harvested organs black market as opposed to acting as a legitimate medical professional’s prescribed transfusion in a proper setting of surgery. They didn’t conform to presenting cohesive facts in telling a story that highly restricted the leaked documents to a context of making points in a socially responsible and news worthy presentation, serving society in a positive sense.

The military judge’s niggardly acknowledgement Manning was patently and illegally treated (tortured) in his detention is an altogether unrelated issue in law with no bearing on the present subject.

The case of Snowden is fundamentally different.

In the case of the USA signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in relation to American basic or foundational law, The American constitution’s Article Six is straightforward on its face “any treaty made shall be the supreme law of the land.”  But it is, of course, not this simple. The treaty in question has been ratified by the Americans in large part as “non-self-executing” which is a legal fiction indicating American law already covers the most fundamental rights promised by the treaty. In other words, the USA claim in relation to the treaty is one of ‘our laws are already in compliance and we have all of the treaty’s demands covered.’ And so it is, in any USA court, although a judge may consider the treaty in her/his ‘finding of facts and conclusions of law’, the laws applied will in fact be American laws and interpretations in relation to any question of rights promised by the International Covenant.

This preceding would place Snowden’s rights squarely in the case law of the USA were he to be tried in any American federal court, in actuality the rights promised in the treaty itself are already become in a sense moot in relation any American prosecution, where there is no political will to enforce the treaty’s provisions, demonstrated in the decision to prosecute to begin with.

To show pursuing Snowden is a political decision trumping the rule of law, one must examine the facts of how American laws are applied in a negative political light.

In the USA, federal judges are political appointments, pure and simple. The executive provides lists of desired appointments to fill court positions to the senate for confirmation and that is it. That the senate often fights among themselves over the appointments, that the appointments are often long delayed, cannot conceal the fact every sitting United States federal judge is the result of raw politics. That merit does not presently play in this process is amply demonstrated by the fact Bush administration torture lawyer Jay Bybee became a sitting federal appellate judge and there is no movement whatsoever to impeach and remove Bybee from the bench since it had become public knowledge Bybee authored memos justifying torture.

That American judges are not bound to the rights promised in the International Covenant is ably demonstrated by the fact a sitting supreme court justice had, as a federal judge, let an innocent man rot eight additional years in prison on a rules technicality, when exculpatory evidence showing the man’s innocence had been produced for the court, prior to the justice’s appointment by  Obama and confirmation to the Supreme Court of the United States.

In the United States theory of law there is a known and in the past applied concept called ‘color of law.’ Color of law is when the apparatus of state puts up a pretense of legitimate authority to pursue what are in fact illegal acts.

 In the case of the FISA court authorizing PRISM and one must presume XkeyScore revealed by Snowden, there is ZERO constitutional foundation for any secret jurisprudence violating citizens’ rights laid out in the first through eighth amendments or American Bill of Rights, which the FISA court in fact sets out to do. When the constitutional language authorizing congress to create courts is construed in a way to cancel out other clauses of the constitution, there cannot be legitimacy where a constitutional oxymoron has been created. It is precisely the American Bill of Rights the USA holds is binding it to conformity to the International Covenant.

Congressional leaders Diane Feinstein and John Boehner have used the terms ‘treason’ and ‘traitor’ in relation to Snowden, poisoning the jury pool on a national basis, HOWEVER; 

any actual criminal acts defined as treason in the American sense under any authentic American ‘de jure’ rule of law are those persons putting forth a pretense the secret court authorizing civil liberties violations are legitimate. This points first to the Congress authoring patently unconstitutional legislation, then second, to any president signing and implementing such unlawful authority and subsequently, any Chief Justice appointing members of said secret court, and finally those persons accepting and serving FISA, these are the ‘traitors’ if the USA constitution were to mean anything in the present day, when in fact it would appear it does not. 

Obama must have been a terrible law professor or he has simply thrown out any principled view of American foundational law when ensconced in the halls of power. Diane Feinstein claiming “PRISM is legal” (one must presume she holds the same view of XkeyScore) because it had been approved by the FISA court, is patent ‘color of law’ and should be held as precisely such in any un-politicized judicial determination.

Obama’s disregard for the American foundational law is perhaps best demonstrated by his vote as Senator giving immunity to the telecoms, when the telecoms had played ball with criminals in the Bush administration (we now know likely had been authorized by the FISA court, on account of Snowden’s revelations), participating in what amounted to warrant-less searches and eves-dropping without a warrant, stealing and handing over peoples personal information in criminal acts Americans had been historically protected from by the USA constitution and pertinent laws, the 4th Amendment of the USA Bill of Rights particularly.

These violations should have opened the telecom corporations to both criminal penalties and civil liabilities. There were crimes committed which should have been prosecuted and people have a right to sue. The potential liability looked pretty big and the telecoms lobbied for immunity. The following constitutional violations were endorsed by Obama’s Senate vote:

1) ex post facto. The USA constitution specifically prohibits Congress making any “ex post facto” law, as typically or historically applied that means a behavior cannot be criminalized after the fact and applied retroactively, or more broadly, new laws cannot be made governing an event that is in the past. In this 2nd case we have a valid constitutional claim prohibiting making a law excusing past criminal civil liberties violations against our citizens, violations which had created liabilities. What is required for the criminal aspect solely, is a PARDON

2) legislative pardon: Congress cannot give pardons to the individuals within the telecoms who’d signed off on and perpetrated the crimes, that is reserved by the USA constitution to the president and neither can the congress or the president pardon corporations in any manner excusing civil liability, the corporations must be held accountable and seek any leniency based on possible mitigation factors from the courts, because [3 & 4 combine to make a constitutional principle]

3) the” right to petition for redress” is promised to every citizen who has been wronged and

4) “suit at equity”, that is, the courts existing to do what is right by the citizen, is the avenue provided by the USA’s constitution to fulfill the promise of every wronged citizen’s ‘right to petition for redress’ or it should be said there is no right of corporate or government impunity. Citizen’s petitions for remedies and compensation may not be preemptively denied fair hearing, in the USA’s courts of law by the Congress

The oath to uphold the USA’s constitution had been meant to prevent such patently wrong laws in the first instance. When this oath is become patently meaningless, as in the case of the majority of congress, points squarely to the core of corrupt process usurping the USA foundational law.

Obama’s proposal to create a court to oversee the USA’s drone strikes are an admission the targeted killings of Anwar al-Awaliki and his son, both American citizens, were extra-judicial assassinations, that, and congressmen proposing to amend the FISA law to create an advocate for the American public in presentations before the secret court, which to now has only heard the executive side arguments, are an admission there is no compulsory (constitutionally required) due process for citizens in the secret venue. Both of these proposals underscore overwhelming fact the USA institutions of governance have become removed practically altogether from its foundational rule of law. The very fact nearly the entirety of any ‘legal rationales’ related to the preceding phenomena are classified ‘state secrets’ reinforces the argument of a regime denying the people and the peoples advocates any avenue to right the ship of state per the constitutional order.

This degenerate state of American law, beginning at the top, with Obama, should be Snowden’s first line of defense, where he can correctly testify he was trapped by law requiring secrecy surrounding crimes against the constitutional order, and it had to be the American oath to “uphold the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic”, as a personal conviction, prevailed.

That Snowden cannot get a fair trial in the USA would be his follow-on argument in presenting the persona or legal track record of Obama’s Attorney General; Eric Holder.

Point one in fact, Snowden should not have been charged by Holder’s Department of Justice in the 1st instance, we can already see the prosecution is political punishment for revealing crimes against the American constitutional order.

To give additional legitimate legal cover to any State that would provide Snowden asylum under the International Covenant, having already shown the American political establishment holds its own citizens’ rights in contempt, we look at top American law enforcement officer Eric Holder, a political appointment who serves at the pleasure of Obama, and his track record in relation to a person’s rights.

REPEATEDLY, Holder’s Department of Justice has denied discovery in evidence in suits brought by victims of both; torture and warrant-less surveillance, citing “national security” and “state secrets” arguments, which have been routinely rubber stamped by American federal courts, denying the fundamental “Right to petition for redress” per the American foundational law. This, despite a past Supreme Court decision finding federal common law prohibits executive privilege or state secrets denying the right to petition for redress in the case of six unknown (to the plaintiff) federal agents in an illegal invasion of a private home, pointing to the present regime of American law patently ignoring its own principles. Holder’s Department of Justice should have settled rather than shut down the cases of the plantiffs.

Holder’s Department of Justice has assiduously protected the Bush criminal regime by refusing to bring warranted prosecutions. Directly relevant to this, because of Snowden’s revelations, we now know both the Bush and Obama administrations had engaged in egregious crimes against the American constitutional order, all with the approval of the secret FISA court

It should be noted as well, Holder having been at the nexus of a ‘color of law’ arrangement (legalized bribe) where Chiquita Corporation paid a fine, and in return the identities of those Chiquita executives responsible for giving cash and machine guns to the AUC terrorist group which went on to murder approximately 4,000 people, had their identities concealed under seal in lieu of prosecution. Obama’s Attorney General altogether fails on Ethics, he should be prosecuted for frustrating the course of justice but instead has been elevated to Attorney General of the United States and you don’t get much stronger evidence of a state in violation of its own rule of law.

Another note would be judicial forum shopping, where Holder’s Department of Justice would almost certainly choose to prosecute Snowden in the federal district most likely sympathetic to the government’s stance in this case. With a judge willing to deny any line of argument to Snowden based on his obligation as a patriotic American compelled to act on crimes against the constitutional order, his fate would be sealed, as any jury would not be allowed to consider such argument in Snowden’s defense.

How the preceding arguments can be tied to the American obligations to the International Covenant is quite simple; “no nation may go against its own acts” is an international common law principle as old as Rome, and when the USA asserts its own constitutional principles are the glue that binds its obligation to uphold the International Covenant with its ‘non-self-executing’ ratifying rationale, the USA cannot undermine its own constitutional principles in regards to individual rights and be construed to be in good standing with the treaty. It is not only going against the act of its own foundational law, it is doing this violation having bound its foundational law to the International Covenant and is therefore going against the treaty it has committed itself to, when by act of non-self-executing rationale, it entered Snowden’s American constitutional rights per se into force of international law, subject to adjudication under the general principles of the International Covenant in diverse jurisdiction.

With this preceding outline fleshed out with the copious evidence available in the public record, Snowden could retain excellent German lawyers, walk this legal argument into the German embassy in Moscow, file it with a petition for political asylum and sue in the European Court of Human Rights when or if asylum were turned down by Germany and subsequently the German courts.

Insofar as associating with WikiLeaks, Snowden cannot help Manning’s case except to provide fodder for pro-Manning political cannons, but association with and any legal comparisons to Manning’s case certainly could eventually bring Snowden’s case down in abject failure. A personal note to Snowden: you are being used by WikiLeaks, and this could be to your absolute disadvantage.

© Ronald Thomas West. This article may be reproduced in full with attribution to the author




Chief Justice John Roberts


It only seems fair to ask the Supreme Court directly, what the fuck is going on? Not that I expect any straightforward answer. The ethical inversions of our power elite almost certainly determine an honest answer, if there were to be any answer at all, would require the narcissism of a sociopath point the finger at itself as the guilty party, which of course, is a psychological impossibility. But at least this might make them squirm under their sanctimonious robes-

Letter sent via online form on 22 June 2013

Subject: Judicial Ethics

Dear Justices of the Supreme Court

When considering the news Edwards Snowden, who revealed the existence of ‘’PRISM’, has been charged with espionage, let’s not forget PRISM had been authorized by the FISA court. The United States constitution’s clause authorizing Congress to create courts does not employ language allowing a constitutional oxymoron; that is creating secret court undermining other clauses of the constitution, or one clause empowered to cancel out the other clauses. Where is the constitutional language specifying ‘secret’ courts? This is anathema to our founders principles and intent.

Restated in the simplest terms; When the clause allowing Congress to create courts is construed in such a way as to undermine other constitutional clauses, only one clause will count: the clause Congress gave away to secrecy. This says to me we can forget about the rest, including the clauses which guarantee a trial by our peers, the right to confront our accusers, our right to freely associate, our right to peaceably assemble, our right of public speech, all of which can now be prosecuted in secret, and now our private speech which can be stolen and misconstrued as evidence in secret star chamber proceedings where we have no right of presence or counsel to challenge evidence or present contrary evidence, et cetera. The end result is no constitution at all.

It appears to me any actual ‘treason’ committed has been the Congress authoring the FISA legislation, the President signing it, the Chief Justice employing the law’s clause authorizing him to make appointments to the secret FISA court and those appointees serving.

Overlooking the political animal Obama who’s demonstrated not to have any constitutional principles at all, particularly this prima facie treason points to Chief Justice John Roberts, who possesses the training in law from a position which should, had the American Constitution meant anything at all, have prevented his conscience from making the appointments, effectively stopping the secret court in its tracks. Is it too late to right the ship of state?

Sincerely (from Exile)

Ronald Thomas West



John Roberts appoints the FISA Star Chamber


In the United States theory of law there is a known and in the past prosecuted concept called ‘color of law.’ Color of law is when the apparatus of state puts up a pretense of legitimate authority to pursue what are in fact illegal acts.

In the case of the FISA court, there is ZERO constitutional foundation for any secret jurisprudence violating American citizens’ individual rights laid out in our constitution’s first through eighth amendments, which the FISA court authorizing Prism in fact sets out to do.

In the case of Edward Snowden:


Congressional leaders Diane Feinstein and John Boehner have used the terms ‘treason’ and ‘traitor’ HOWEVER:

The actual traitors under any authentic American or ‘de jure’ rule of law are those persons putting forth a pretense these civil liberties violations are legitimate. This points first to the Congress authoring patently unconstitutional legislation, then second, to any president signing and implementing such unlawful authority and subsequently, any Chief Justice appointing members of said secret court under FISA law, and finally those persons accepting and serving FISA, these are the ‘traitors’ if our constitution were to mean anything in the present day, which in fact it would appear it does not.

It is clear our core American values in philosophy, theory and practice of law, have been discarded by the national leadership of both parties.

When Senator Diane Feinstein claims ‘prism’ is ‘legal’ she is in a philosophy of law tar pit. Prism is unconstitutional from top to bottom, our constitution’s clause authorizing congress to create courts does not employ language allowing a constitutional oxymoron, that is creating secret jurisdiction undermining other clauses of the constitution or one clause empowered to undermine the other clauses.

Restated in the simplest terms; When the clause allowing congress to create courts is construed in such a way as to undermine other constitutional clauses, only one clause will count: the clause congress gave away to secrecy. You can forget about the rest, including the clauses which guarantee a trial by your peers, the right to confront your accusers, your right to freely associate, your right to peaceably assemble, your right of public speech, all of which you can now be prosecuted in secret, and now your private speech can be stolen and misconstrued in secret star chamber proceedings, et cetera, add nausea. The end result is no constitution at all. Only people living in denial, mental pygmies and deliberate liars could hold any other point of view. It is abundantly clear Color of law has overtaken the highest institutions of the USA. Does it say anything to you Dick Cheney lawyer Shannen Coffin is a big fan (and close personal friend) of Chief Justice John Roberts, the man who appoints the FISA Star Chamber judges? “The Star Chamber has, for centuries, symbolized disregard of basic human rights”  Faretta v. California 422 US 806, 821-22 (1975)

Obama must have been a terrible law professor or he has actually thrown out any principled view of American foundational law when ensconced in the halls of power, which appears to be a widespread and socially contagious disease at the apex of 21st century American politics; particularly noting Chief Justice John Roberts who appoints the members of the secret FISA court. With this ‘star chamber’ in place, one only need examine who is hunted and sent to prison or murdered without charge or trial, such as 16 years old U.S. citizen Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, as opposed to those rewarded for crimes of unspeakable magnitude; as fans of fascism and impunity were never in short supply in ‘civilized’ peoples power structures. And so it is the power corrupt, example given, recent Director of Central Intelligence General Patraeus who’d provided cover to James Steele in Iraq for organized torture centers and death squads, is rewarded with a seat at Bilderberg, where no doubt Patraeus can offer innovative method recently applied in Iraq to the longstanding organizing of Black African militia murdering Black Africans to the advantage of corporate rip-off of African peoples’ resources.

One only need compare this to the aggressive pursuit of Edward Snowden for whistle-blowing crimes against the rule of law; to understand what is actually going on in those rarified circles of empowered White men (a term inclusive of Condoleezza & Susan Rice) knowing what is good for deliberately disenfranchised Brown people, also known as corporate money means murder around the world.

If one carefully considers what Edward Snowden has stated in the video, it was never more clear corporate boards have access to all of the information corporate criminal personalities would need to prepare ‘kill lists’ independent of any governmental ‘authority’ Read it HERE


Condoleezza & CHEVRON have access to PRISM


My investigation into breaking laws associated with a proposed CHEVRON drilling project stopped (nearly single-handedly) a CHEVRON exploration into what is believed by some to be one of the most potentially rich hydro-carbon domes in the USA (which happens to be under pristine wild land sacred to the Blackfeet Indians.) The subsequent dirty business of trying to take me out is in tandum with Bush-Cheney big oil personalities at the top of the corporate food chain. The George H.W. Bush White House was on board in 1989-1993 with counterfeiting the environmental laws process, and it became a Bush Jr/Cheney issue after the fact, particularly having to do with covering up the John Yoo/Jay Bybee torture lawyers earlier involvement with the Bush Sr administration’s corruption in this case.

Look at these CHEVRON personalities and their raw power:

When CHEVRON employs former Bush National Security Advisor & Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice together with  former NATO Supreme Commander & Obama National Security Advisor General James Jones, two of the most influential hyper-extremist Christians in the world, utilizing Congress for integrating CHEVRON policy to United States policy, I expect there is little doubt CHEVRON has access to PRISM to carry out its objectives, inclusive of when those objectives incorporate murder. These power corrupt people, responsible for numerous international crimes, actually believe ‘God’ places them above the law.

Their criminal reach has been nearly unlimited. When I had escaped the USA alive and subsequently positively identified CIA associated persons directly tied to attempted assassination of myself, I became a ‘national security threat’ on account of the extent of possible exposure of corporate boards deep reach into the security services and associated abuses of USA power. This is why nothing changed under Obama. My sense is, my story has become a threat to the entire status quo.

When the western democracies leadership preach (give lip service to) the rule of law, it includes everyone except themselves as pimps and whores for corporate boards that in actuality rule our lives using democracy as a front. It would appear this is why there has been no arrests and prosecutions related to my case, in which the relevant authorities have all the necessary information.

Watch Judge Napolitano excoriate the U.S. government’s PRISM constitutional violations HERE

Read National Security experts Valerie Plame & Joe Wilson’s take on PRISM HERE


Related: Letter to Parliament


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