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Irony Overload (Page 2)
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Posting Junkie
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Aug 23, 2013, 06:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
There is too much trust in the other thread. I find myself not in a trusting mood. As the alarms ring louder, it seems not everyone hears them.

Government is a special threat category, because they create the rules (laws), interpret them, and enforce them. We are vulnerable to corrupt government in a way we aren't vulnerable to corporations or foreign governments. Because we can appeal to our own for assistance.

I've been reading about other whistleblowers in the last decade. When they go through channels, they get fired. Sometimes bogus charges are included gratis. When whistleblowers go straight to journalists and the public, they are vilified and charged with espionage. The crimes they expose do not draw investigation, nor is anyone in high office charged. If this isn't corruption, then someone has been redefining the word.

James Clapper is a confessed felon. If any of us admitted lying to Congress, we'd be in the slammer for 5 years fast enough to make your head spin. No charges filed, no one's fired him, his paychecks keep coming.
^^^KABOOM!

That's just it, they're above the law. Not unlike Holder who obviously (read, without question) either lied to a Federal judge for subpoenaing phone records or lied to the House Judiciary committee under oath.
ebuddy
     
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Aug 23, 2013, 07:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
First off, when one uses a communication channel provided by DoD, one explicitly acknowledges that it is subject to surveillance; Green Zone conversations were handled by military-provided communications systems, with that specific proviso. NO reasonable expectation for privacy existed there.
That's understood.

As to your first point, I'm saying that if you work with classified information, you can talk about your lunch, about office gossip, and about how the air conditioning was broken today, but you can't talk about your work because that would be talking about classified information to someone without a clearance. Further, in order to pass classified information to someone who HAS the appropriate clearance, you must also establish need to know that information.
Oh, you mean like a highschool dropout who couldn't complete his basic training? He "needed to know"? This is what I'm telling you. You keep repeating the "ideal" that they can't breach these clearances, but they're being breached essentially at will. Manning, sentenced. Highschool dropout and basic training flunky, Snowden is running about the globe with "need to know" information he has absolutely no business knowing. Your trusted oversight authority is mired in one scandal after another and literally no one, not one person has been held to account. When someone is finally held to account, it's the least-consequential lackey.

The "intruder" is not someone who can either trace back a listened to channel to a specific individual, (ignoring the possibility that the people conversing may essentially fully identify each other), and is bound by the same classification system to NOT divulge outside appropriate channels what they have heard. That is the same as exposing any other classified information without authorization.
I wonder how seriously this will be taken when the breach happens to bring down a political foe of the oversight authority. I'm pretty sure (nearly damned-certain) the people with the wherewithal to have the proper access to this information can easily identify who the parties are on either end of the conversation.

If you are working with classified information, you have already received a clearance (albeit sometimes a provisional clearance - something that 9/11 and an explosion of classified data has driven) and have signed and sworn that you will follow all the rules "so help you." If your job is listening to Green Zone conversations to find out who is plotting to bring in a suicide bomber, you already know the work is classified, and "spilling the beans" outside specific channels is a violation that can get you sent to Levenworth for a very long time. There ARE channels; the simplest is to go to your commander, and if your commander is not appropriate (he's mentioned in the sketchy conversation, say,) there is an Inspector General phone number that is confidential and very responsive. Going outside these channels is "taking matters in your own hands," and that is both explicitly forbidden and regularly reinforced.
This I understand and agree with you. I have problems with how Snowden's information for example, is getting out to the public and do believe there are several congresspeople who would've heard his grievances and acted; many of them already actively pursuing government breaches of the public trust. We agree here. There's a right way to deliver this information and a wrong way.

The kind of things you're talking about aren't "overhearing something on the police scanner" while you're a runner for the local paper. This is a highly regimented, very rule-bound and legally binding system of rules and procedures, and one knows what they're getting into from the very beginning.
With all due respect, this sounds a little naive. Today, there is nearly no highly-regimented government agency. Zero. It's a hodge-podge, swiss cheese of security problems, leaks, and highschool dropout/basic training flunkies running about the globe with "need to know" information I wouldn't have entrusted to walk my dog.

Violating those rules is something that should be a very, very last resort after the entire system has fallen down, and it's obvious that in the two big "whistleblower" scenarios we've been discussing that neither one even tried the simplest of channels for reporting what they thought were improprieties.
I don't know, can you think of an example where a whistleblowers' career or livelihood hadn't essentially ended by taking the proper channels? Not that the other routes have proven any more successful, the "right" way seems to carry some pretty devastating consequences as well. But only for the lackey who brings the information to the fore, none of the agencies commissioned to govern and manage the activities. They're clearly above the law.
ebuddy
     
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Aug 26, 2013, 10:07 PM
 
I have experience with folks like those to whom you attribute all sorts of "potential" nefarious motives, and all I can provide is negative evidence. Have you any evidence at all to support your firmly held belief that such folks do have such motives and/or the willingness to apply them? A suspicion, the possibility of such motives, and the potential for applying those motives causing all sorts of chaos are not, by the way, "evidence."

Sure, those "wrong hands" you seem to see everywhere could do bad things. But since there have been people with their hands on everything from a fwe small-change random secrets to nuclear weapons for a very long time without a "Seven Days in May" scenario, I stand with my previous statements that such abuses are highly unlikely.

The oft quoted (and wrongly attributed to Voltaire) statement "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" applies very strongly to (at least the leadership generation of) defense and (most) intelligence workers, uniformed and civilian. Frankly, I spent almost a quarter century putting up with crap jobs in crap situations, sometimes in crap places, and sometimes in places that put my family in danger, just to support your right to form opinions that I disagree with. In that time I worked with and for a lot of very dedicated people who put the needs of their country far ahead fo their own desires, and did so for a very long time. I did work around jerks and idiots, sometimes in pretty high level jobs, but they were more than balanced by the others over and unde them who either slapped them down or provided moderating influence on their poor choices.

For all that touble, I get less expensive license plates and free parking in (limited) city lots (except when they change the rules). And I get to act as a flame magnet for stating my own opinions in a forum where absolute distrust seems to be the norm, rather than at least informed cynicism. What a payoff! </sarcasm> I'd settle for a hint of respect that I am free to form and even state my own opinions without being subjected to the amount of harsh and vehement crap I've taken for doing so.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Aug 27, 2013, 08:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I have experience with folks like those to whom you attribute all sorts of "potential" nefarious motives, and all I can provide is negative evidence. Have you any evidence at all to support your firmly held belief that such folks do have such motives and/or the willingness to apply them? A suspicion, the possibility of such motives, and the potential for applying those motives causing all sorts of chaos are not, by the way, "evidence."
Does the US Attorney General not count?

Again, you might've been able to maintain this line of reasoning with a straight face before it was apparent a highschool dropout and basic-training flunky was running about Russia with "need to know" information he had no business knowing, or incredible breaches of the public trust coming out of the DoJ, NSA, the IRS, and EPA, but now? Because you worked with a few good people? With all due respect, this is a meaningless appeal to authority when we simply have too much information to the contrary.

You're asking for proof, I'd suggest perhaps looking somewhere other than the Military Times.
ebuddy
     
 
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