While it's impossible to say just exactly what a fair financial award should be for a person who reports bad corporate activity to the public, it's certainly true that when these whistleblower suits end in failure, it has a chilling effect on other people thinking about coming forward. Not many people are willing to risk their jobs if they think it will cost them every last dime in the end. This is just one more example of how hard it is for whistleblowers to come out even, even if they win jury trials.
The sentencing hearing for Army whistleblower Bradley Manning began Wednesday with a prosecution witness undermining the state’s own claims Manning’s disclosures to WikiLeaks harmed the United States. On Wednesday, retired Brigadier General Robert Carr, who oversaw the Pentagon task force assessing the leaks’ impact, admitted that not a single person lost their lives as a result of the WikiLeaks disclosures. Pressed by Manning’s defense on deaths resulting from the WikiLeaks cables, Carr said: "I don’t have a specific example." Carr suggested the WikiLeaks cables’ main harm to the United States was in souring relations with foreign governments and villagers in Afghanistan. Manning is facing 136 years in prison after being found guilty on 20 counts for leaking hundreds of thousands of government documents to WikiLeaks. He was acquitted on the most serious charge against him, aiding the enemy. The prosecution is expected to call up to 20 witnesses during the sentencing phase.
The US government has paid at least £100m to the UK spy agency GCHQ over the last three years to secure access to and influence over Britain's intelligence gathering programmes.
The top secret payments are set out in documents which make clear that the Americans expect a return on the investment, and that GCHQ has to work hard to meet their demands. "GCHQ must pull its weight and be seen to pull its weight," a GCHQ strategy briefing said.
The funding underlines the closeness of the relationship between GCHQ and its US equivalent, the National Security Agency. But it will raise fears about the hold Washington has over the UK's biggest and most important intelligence agency, and whether Britain's dependency on the NSA has become too great.
There's nothing disingenuous about it and it's odd that anyone would call it such. The point is that Russia has done some fairly bad things under Putin's watch. For instance, his handpicking of his successor, who immediately turns around and names him prime minister and then running for President for a third, non consecutive term is something that the US has yet duplicated.
Snowden is "accepting aid" from Russia because the U.S. government revoked his passport. And as for Pussy Riot they got what they deserved, I mean they did break the law and all amirite? Desecrating a Russian Orthodox Church is very much something that they knew was illegal when they did it so they and their supporters should probably just shut up and accept the consequences of their actions...what's the sarcasm tag again?
Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff’s department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than “fire code violations,” and early this morning, the Sheriff’s department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying.
Pussy Riot is starkly different from Snowden because they knowing did what they did, went to trial to fight the charges and accepted their sentence as a further illustration of problems with the Russian legal system. That's a step up from Snowden's leaving the US to escape any sort of confrontation with the US legal system.
He said he doesn't want to live in a society that does these things, yet is willing to go other countries which have similar or worse systems. If such a system is so morally wrong, why live under any such system? That's the part I don't personally don't get.
"I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things … I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under."
"I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things (If I can prevent it.)… I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. (If I can do something about that.) That is not something I am willing to support or live under. (If I have a choice.)"
Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself.
On top of that, as I indicated at the beginning, there have been a number of serious violations of those rules. For the senators who got the letter last Friday, you know that. I want to tell all the other senators on both sides of the aisle that the violations that I touched on tonight were more serious, a lot more serious, than the public has been told. I believe the American people deserve to know more details about these violations that were described last Friday by Director Clapper. Mr. President, I’m going to keep pressing to make more of those details public. And, Mr. President, it’s my view that the information about the details, the violations of the court orders with respect to the bulk phone record collection program, the admission that the court orders had been violated has not been, I think, fully fleshed out by the intelligence community, and I think considerable amount of additional information can be offered without in any way compromising our national security.
"The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here's what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace."
Look, technology is not going to allow that to happen, unless unless you want to live like the Unibomber.
RUSSELL TICE: This was in 2002-2003 time frame. The NSA were targeting individuals. In that case, they were judges like the Supreme Court. I held in my hand Judge Alito's targeting information for his phones and his staff and his family.
On a more general plane, there is the matter of societal expectations of privacy, which figure in fourth amendment jurisprudence. These are no legal fiction but a precious thing. We know that now. They're like the limb lost in combat: we feel where they were.
1.) Terrorists are changing their communication methods as a result of the leaks, crippling the usefulness of these programs, and
2.) The formerly secret NSA programs continue to deliver crucial, specific, actionable intelligence.
3.) These programs alert the United States to specific terrorist plots, and
4.) The current threat is either in Yemen or is "possibly occurring within or emanating from the Arabian peninsula", or it is also possibly somewhere else on planet Earth including the entire Middle East or North Africa.
A few months ago a number of trains traveling at high speeds arrived at the same station at the same time. Considered together, the epic train wreck known as Snowden was inevitable. The creation of an increasingly privatized intelligence-industrial complex, the opening of state secrets to high-tech novices (some might say geeks), the massive collection and storage capacity of “mega-data” (phone calls, emails, internet searches) by modern technology, and the sense on the part of at least a small number of these privately-employed novices that the public should know what is going on, all combined to give us…Edward Snowden.
A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.
Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin - not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges.
The undated documents show that federal agents are trained to "recreate" the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated, a practice that some experts say violates a defendant's Constitutional right to a fair trial. If defendants don't know how an investigation began, they cannot know to ask to review potential sources of exculpatory evidence - information that could reveal entrapment, mistakes or biased witnesses.
On Friday night, a still-unknown person using an internet protocol address tied to the U.S. Senate edited the Wikipedia page for NSA leaker Edward Snowden to change the description of him from "American dissident" to "American traitor."
Asked in interview with the Guardian whether Snowden was engaged in an act of civil disobedience, Lewis nodded and replied: "In keeping with the philosophy and the discipline of non-violence, in keeping with the teaching of Henry David Thoreau and people like Gandhi and others, if you believe something that is not right, something is unjust, and you are willing to defy customs, traditions, bad laws, then you have a conscience. You have a right to defy those laws and be willing to pay the price."
"That is what we did," he added. "I got arrested 40 times during the sixties. Since I've been in Congress I've been arrested four times. Sometimes you have to act by the dictates of your conscience. You have to do it."
But she said the agency’s activities were lawful and intended to gather intelligence not about Americans but about “foreign powers and their agents, foreign organizations, foreign persons or international terrorists.”
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