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View Diary: Clapper Admits He Lied to Congress in Letter Posted by Senator Wyden (237 comments)

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  •  That's possibly the most ridiculous statement I've (2+ / 0-)
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    Dumbo, wayoutinthestix

    heard all day -- that we can't use the information that Snowden provided because he's fled.  The information that Snowden released hasn't been, to my knowledge, specifically rebutted by the NSA.  They haven't denied that PRISM exists or that the internet collection program existed.  The information he released indicated that the telephony and internet collection programs were two different programs -- and that is consistent with the way that the NSA and government programs tend to work in general.

    "Furthermore, you have a collection effort that, based on public disclosures not from Snowden, appears to conform with the Patiot Act and FISA court laws."

    Except that it does not.  The laws as written forbid the collection of data of american citizens.  Since the NSA has an interpretation of the word 'collect' which is radically at odds with common usage and common sense, you can only say that his statement is true by using that perverted definition.  By their definition, spam doesn't 'collect' in my inbox until I actually open and download it.

    •  Ya know, that whole chain of evidence thing (0+ / 0-)

      and being able to challenge one's accusers or the evidence presented in court.  Subject not present, can't use it.  Hearsay.  Why do you think there has been an effort to get journalists (or "journalists") to reveal their sources in criminal prosecutions.  

      As far as this:

      The laws as written forbid the collection of data of american citizens.
      Go read up on pen registers and what it takes to gain the sorts of information that has been collected.  That kind of authority has been around for a long time...

      Maybe before you say something is reidiculous, you should check first.

      To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

      by dizzydean on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 03:52:12 PM PDT

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      •  Your argument about the evidence being hearsay (0+ / 0-)

        is rather invalidated by the statements of various government agencies to their employees that they can lose their job or be subject to criminal prosecution if they download the leaked information that Snowden leaked to The Guardian, along with the blocking of those pages on government websites.  This is pretty much a confirmation that the information leaked was classified, and, thus, apparently accurate.

      •  Also... (0+ / 0-)

        This isn't hearsay anyway.  I would suggest you read up on it.  Hearsay is specifically applied to what may be entered into evidence during an actual criminal or civil case.  Hearsay is sufficient to subpoena witnesses and documents, and it can be sufficient to issue arrest or search warrants.  Furthermore, in this case, even if it was in court, it specifically meets an exception to the hearsay rules because it's regarding government records.

        •  And you think you can get a contempt of Congress (1+ / 0-)
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          ruling on this?  

          In all honesty, this argument is running around in circles--nothing can be done in seriousness with the Snowden stuff until more is revealed.  The Snowden docs and revelations themselves only get you so far.  What is really needed is a congressional investigation (an honest one, not a Darryl Issa BS thing) and more info being released, such as the FISA court ruling that is the target of Wyden's bill from June.  

          I believe that we all need this, because (1) it takes the emphasis off of Snowden and puts it firmly on the issue and (2) it is the best way to ensure that decent legislation is produced.

          Unfortunately, given the state of the House right now, I doubt that much good will come from there.

          In the meantime, calls for Clapper's head based on what we have so far are counter-productive--that places the focus on the players and not the system.  The system is the thing that needs reforming.  I hope everyone here can agree to that....

          To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

          by dizzydean on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 05:25:02 PM PDT

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      •  chain of evidence... (2+ / 0-)
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        wayoutinthestix, dizzydean

        This isn't a murder trial.  The accused works for the US Government.  It's not Snowden's word against Clapper's because he only released the government's own documents, and they know whether they are correct or not.  

        Of course, our own government COULD act as a dishonest agent and not admit that they are true documents, even though they are.  But they could not play chain of evidence games with any court and get away with it.

        And they seem very anxious to nail Snowden, afraid of terrible, terrible things that might be on one of his laptops.  It might be he has more smoking guns that are both gunnier and smokier, and we may get to see them sometime soon.

        •  The documents I have seen from the Guardian are (0+ / 0-)

          clearly not of the same file, or if they are, are pulled from different parts of the file.  Maybe Snowden did not have access to all of the records showing the authorization chain or the judge's ruling, but essentially what has been released is a bunch of piece-parts.  That's why chain of custody is significant here--you have an actor producing things which may or may not reflect the entirety of the picture.  So no, no judge will allow this to be used.  

          Now, again, I'm not against an investigation, but I feel it has to be done in a way to maximize the credibility.  Be happy that Snowden brought the issue to light, but he's done in terms of providing actionable information or material.  

          To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

          by dizzydean on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:37:24 AM PDT

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