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10am announcement of Manning's sentence.  I'll update here when the news comes through.  

Update: 35 years.  More than the 25 that defense had recommended. Less than the 60 the govt. wanted.  

He'll be in his late 50s when he gets out if he serves the whole sentence. He gets 1294  days credit.   For the torture at Quantico, the judge gave him 112 days credit. How generous. It should have gotten him released.  I guess the thing to hope for now is a pardon or commutation by a some future president.  No way in hell that Obama will help him in any way.  He declared him guilty long before the trial even started, and it should have been declared a mistrial from that very moment because the commander-in-chief committed unlawful command influence.  Sex offenders have successfully used command influence, but the judge in Manning's case would not consider it.  

Perhaps a successful appeal?  Manning is paying a terrible price and the war criminals go free while the newest one protects the old ones.  Keep in mind that the govt. prosecution team could not prove any harm from Manning's whistleblowing either. They admitted that they wanted to make an example of him.  And this is what we call justice.  Some are saying this could end up in the Supreme Court.

Manning's lawyers will hold a press conference at 1:30pm Eastern.  A protest at the White House has been called for 7:30pm.  It wouldn't surprise me if it started earlier than that.

Bradley Manning to be sentenced on Wednesday morning

A military judge will on Wednesday announce the prison sentence for Bradley Manning, who gave reams of classified information to WikiLeaks.

Colonel Denise Lind said Tuesday she was still deliberating but she was confident she would have a sentence by Wednesday morning.

"At 10am tomorrow I will announce the sentence," she said. Lind made the statement about two and a half hours into her deliberations.

Barack Obama is now on the record seeking to protect the Bush war criminals, using the power of the United States presidency and executive branch against an Iraqi single mother, a victim of their crimes.

Obama DOJ Asks Court to Grant Immunity to George W. Bush For Iraq War

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., (Aug. 20, 2013) — In court papers filed today (PDF), the United States Department of Justice requested that George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz be granted procedural immunity in a case alleging that they planned and waged the Iraq War in violation of international law.

Plaintiff Sundus Shaker Saleh, an Iraqi single mother and refugee now living in Jordan, filed a complaint in March 2013 in San Francisco federal court alleging that the planning and waging of the war constituted a “crime of aggression” against Iraq, a legal theory that was used by the Nuremberg Tribunal to convict Nazi war criminals after World War II.

This isn't looking good for Cameron and British intelligence and police. The former Lord High Chancellor who held the position when the Terrorism Act was debated and passed, says that Miranda's detention was not lawful and that the law can only be used to detain suspects of terrorism and that in Miranda's case the police and the Home Office are "winkling it much too wide".  I suppose this would be similar to that moment when Rep. Sensenbrenner, who wrote the PATRIOT Act, supported the Amash-Conyers amendment, saying that the bulk NSA surveillance is not what was intended when it was passed.  Except this guy is Lord Falconer of Thoroton, a life peer in the House of Lords, who was Lord Chancellor in Tony Blair's cabinet, one of the highest level positions in Britain with responsibility for overseeing the courts and appointment of judges.  This  position was later named "Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs".  After some reorganization of the British government in the 2000's, that position became "Secretary of State for Justice" (I think this is also called "Minister of Justice" and the Lord Chancellor role remains too, not sure why).  Falconer was the first one of those until after Blair left office.
David Miranda's detention had no basis in law, says former lord chancellor
Lord Falconer, who helped introduce Terrorism Act 2000, criticises home secretary's backing of police action at Heathrow

Lord Falconer of Thoroton, who helped introduce the bill in the House of Lords, said [...]  "I am very clear that this does not apply, either on its terms or in its spirit, to Mr Miranda."
Falconer conceded that the word "instigation" in the act could be open to interpretation. But, he said: "You could argue that publishing this material could drive the world into such a frenzy that terrorism takes place. But that is much too wide a definition of instigation. What the act has in mind is people who are encouraging others, specifically and directly, to commit acts of terrorism, which neither Miranda nor Greenwald are engaged in. So my view – and I am very clear about this – is that schedule 7 does not cover what happened subject to one thing: if the government has got reason to believe that Greenwald or Miranda were engaged in something I know nothing about then obviously it might cover it – but from what has been said the basis of the stopping was a connection with the Snowden activities."
The former lord chancellor said: "That [Theresa May's statement] is putting it too widely. The reason that the examining officer may question the person is to determine whether he is a person who is, or has been, concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism. What they are doing is winkling it much too wide. They are forcing into the wording of 40(1)(b), which is referred to in schedule seven paragraph 2, much too wide words."

This Wall Street Journal article by Jennifer Valentino-Devries and Siobhan Gorman is getting a lot of attention.  WSJ did a very nice graphic that goes along with the article. The graphic is not behind the paywall though and you can see it here.   It's clear that a lot of work went into this piece of investigative journalism.  The first journalist on the byline, Jennifer Valentino-Devries, an expert in digital privacy, has a Reddit Ask me Anything (AMA) that you can read here where you can learn more about here and get tips for secure online communication.  Siobhan Gorman used to write for the Baltimore Sun, and Thomas Drake was one of her sources for articles on Trailblazer (and he was later prosecuted unsuccessfully for that and some other bogus charges.  The govt's case imploded, but they still managed to wreck his life and career.

A lot of the information in this article is not really news for those who have been listening to NSA whistleblowers like Binney, Tice and telecom whistleblower Mark Klein.  I want to clarify that when I say it's not really news, I don't mean that it's not important.  It's highly important for a number of reasons and it's moved from word of mouth whistleblower information to a new level and as far as I can tell, the NSA is not really denying what's been reported here. Plus, this is the Wall Street Journal, so we're talking about an entirely different audience than that of the Guardian and to me, this substantial work signals another turning point.  

Now... didn't an NSA official just say that the NSA only "touches" some much smaller percentage, like 1.6% or something? Somebody's got some more splainin' to do, again.  Is this another case of the intel community (IC) and this administration having a different definition for common words than the rest of the world?  It sounds like NSA did give a quote to the WSJ talking again about "incidentally" collecting stuff and how "“minimization procedures that are approved by the U.S. attorney general and designed to protect the privacy of United States persons.”  Ask emptywheel who has been trying to figure out those "minimization" rules for a long time now (years).  Bottom line is that instead of throwing out the stuff they pickup "incidentally" they keep that data.  Minimization usually means that they don't attach a name or identifying information with it, which is a joke because we know they can easily get that identifying info.  Plus, I believe that some of the minimization rules are classified.  More secret laws or secret legal justifications.  

emptywheel will be all over this and I'll pick up and excerpt some of her posts on this when I see them.  And I'd put this article in your "must read" folder and keep it as one of the key articles.  Barton Gellman provided a link on Twitter where it can be read in its entirety, which I've used below. Hopefully that link will continue to work.  I wish I could excerpt more of it.  In any case, this excerpt is not as important as investing the time to read the whole article while you have access to it.  emptywheel says that there is an article and an "explainer".  I think the link below refers to the explainer.  I don't have access to the article yet. There is also the graphic that I mentioned and linked above.  This might be worth purchasing a subscription to WSJ for, especially if these two journalists are going to continue to do this kind of work, even if it's very "polite" to the NSA, as emptywheel says. I might do that.

What You Need to Know on New Details of NSA Spying

Today's report in The Wall Street Journal reveals that the National Security Agency's spying tools extend deep into the domestic U.S. telecommunications infrastructure, giving the agency a surveillance structure with the ability to cover the majority of Internet traffic in the country, according to current and former U.S. officials and other people familiar with the system.


Although the system is focused on collecting foreign communications, it includes content of Americans' emails and other electronic communications, as well as "metadata," which involves information such as the "to" or "from" lines of emails, or the IP addresses people are using.


The Journal reporting demonstrates that the NSA, in conjunction with telecommunications companies, has built a system that can reach deep into the U.S. Internet backbone and cover 75% of traffic in the country, including not only metadata but the content of online communications. The report also explains how the NSA relies on probabilities, algorithms and filtering techniques to sift through the data and find information related to foreign intelligence investigations.

In general, the system copies traffic flowing through the U.S. Internet system and then runs it through a series of filters. These filters are designed to sift out communications that involve at least one person outside the U.S. and that may be of foreign-intelligence value. [...] two common methods [...]  In one, a fiber-optic line is split at a junction, and traffic is copied to a processing system that interacts with the NSA's systems, sifting through information based on NSA parameters [...] In another, companies program their routers to do initial filtering based on metadata from Internet "packets" and send copied data along

[Emphasis added]

Here's emptywheel on the WSJ article.  I think she'll have much more on this. The WSJ article was published fairly late last night, at 8:12pm Eastern.

How NSA Bypassed the Fourth Amendment for 3 Years

On October 3, 2011, the FISA Court deemed some of the NSA’s collections to violate the Fourth Amendment. Since Ron Wyden first declassified vague outlines of that ruling a year ago, we’ve been trying to sort through precisely what practice that decision curtailed.

A new WSJ story not only expands on previous descriptions of the practice [...] But it reveals the illegal program continued for 3 years, during which the telecoms and NSA simply policed (or did not police) themselves.


I think we’re getting closer and closer to the iceberg Ron Wyden and Mark Udall warned us about.

[Emphasis added]

This article by The Hill talks about the WSJ article.  
NSA surveillance said to be broader than initially believed

The National Security Agency’s (NSA) reach covers about 75 percent of all U.S. Internet traffic through a slew of partnerships with some of the largest telecom companies in the country, according to a Wall Street Journal report released late Tuesday.

According to the report, gathered from interviews with current and former government officials and telecom industry workers, telecom companies like AT&T filter the data for the NSA, but in looking for communications that begin or end outside of the country, often sweep up unrelated domestic communications.
In addition, the surveillance network at times retains the content of emails and phone calls sent between U.S. citizens as part of a dragnet meant to capture correspondences between foreign targets.


In this interview last night with Anderson Cooper, neither Miranda nor Greenwald discloses what digital materials Miranda was carrying.  I am skeptical of the NYT article that claims Greenwald said they were the Snowden documents.  I don't know if that is accurate or not (and I think the article says "Greenwald said" but does not use quotations around what he supposedly said. At the very least, I don't think that's the whole story.  This is a good interview.  The follow up discussion with Toobin and Radack is good too, and whoa, Toobin really twists himself into some pretzel logic, uses the "mule" talking point (funny, that talking point has been thrown around here a lot too!) and Radack calls him out on his inconsistent logic as to what is fair and what is an outrageous abuse of power.  He also started a meme, I think, about immunity and "magical immunity sauce".  It looks to me like Toobin can no longer think clearly and rationally whenever Greenwald is involved in a story.
AC360 with Greenwald, Miranda and bonus follow up with Jeffrey Toobin and Jesselyn Radack

Bart Gellman has some important things to say here. I'd definitely put this one on your video news playlist for today.  It's interesting to see all the media organizations rushing to create a digital division and all the video clips being published.  Note that Gellman emphasizes the whole thing about "minimalization" and things that get collected "incidentally".  Big point: If they collect it, even "incidentally" they keep it in their data base.  Always remember that.  And then think about the three hops queries and how many people get scooped up in those. Is that an example of incidental collection? Hell, you could work things out so that you do some fairly small number of official, auditable queries with a wide "aperture" (as Snowden called it) three hop queries and scoop up hundreds of millions of Americans' data "incidentally" and then keep it.  And that doesn't even count the things they pick up from the fiber optic cables, internet backbone.  Presumably, if you do the queries on the metadata and then connect it up with all the content you collect "as it passes by" in the fiber...
Barton Gellman: Evidence portrays NSA as 'flawed organization'

August 19, 2013 11:46 AM EDT — Barton Gellman, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, first reported for the The Washington Post on the National Security Agency's extensive surveillance programs. Nia-Malika Henderson sits down with Gellman On Background about reporting on the controversial activities. (The Washington Post)

A "Twitlonger" message from Greenwald.

US/UK imprisons whistleblowers, calls journalists criminals for working with their sources, detain my partner under a TERRORISM law and take his passwords to his Facebook and email accounts, block Evo Morales' plane from flying, smash the Guardian's hard drives, but - WE are the ones being "threatening"

#CNN #LapdopJournalism

Interesting exchange yesterday.

Video interview with Miranda and Greenwald at the airport is now available via the Guardian, so people can hear exactly what they said in Portugese.

Greenwald's partner David Miranda on his detention under terror laws
Lisa O'Carroll from the Guardian. I'm trying to note the bylines of all of these articles so that we can see how many journalists they have working on this story.  I can't really tell which articles were published through their New York outlet and which from London because everything (as far as I can tell) is published under their new global name "" and even if I type in their UK site URL "" it redirects me to "".  Okay, now I see how you can look at their different editions. At the top of their site, they've got links for the different editions.  UK, US, AU and Mobile.  Yes, this was on the front page of the UK edition as well, as part of their collection of stories under their liveblog. Anyway, taking this to the courts could be a good thing, unless, of course, they uphold this kind of detention for people who aren't even suspected of terrorism.  In any case, it could reveal more about what kind of list he was on, if any, and what the latest definition of "terrorism" is in the UK.  Then again, there could be a settlement.  What's interesting in this article is that they are asking that the equipment be returned and that the data not be reviewed or disclosed, which doesn't sound like NSA documents. It sounds more like original work (perhaps some of Poitras' documentary?). I can't see them filing a suit telling the govt. not to disclose leaked NSA documents.   Of course the letter also cites the abuse of the Terrorism laws for the detention.  The Guardian says they support the claim that Miranda is filing regarding his detention.
David Miranda's lawyers threaten legal action over 'unlawful' detention
Partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald seeks return of equipment seized during nine-hour interrogation at Heathrow

Lawyers for the partner of the Guardian journalist who exposed mass email surveillance have written to home secretary Theresa May and the head of the Metropolitan police warning them that they are set to take legal action over what they say amounted to his "unlawful" detention at Heathrow airport under anti-terror laws.

In their letter to May and Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe they warn they are seeking immediate undertakings for the return David Miranda's laptop and all other electronic equipment within seven days.

His lawyers at the London firm Bindmans are seeking an official undertaking that there will be "no inspection, copying, disclosure, transfer, distribution or interference, in any way with our client's data".
The lawyers say they will also be seeking a "quashing order" confirming that his detention was "unlawful" and a mandatory order that all data seized is returned and copies destroyed.

"The decisions to use schedule 7 powers in our client's case amounted to a grave and manifestly disproportionate interference with the claimant's rights" under European human rights legislation, the letter adds.

Charles Pierce at Esquire.

There is one thing for which we can thank Edward Snowden, International Man Of Luggage. His revelations clearly have delineated, once and for all, the parameters of liberalism's inner authoritarian.[...]

Comes now Jeffrey Toobin in The New Yorker, to kick things off with a slapstick comedy episode of Bad Historical Analogy Theater, after which he moves along to explaining how much damage Snowden may have done because, as we know, they are all honorable men, First, our drama critic steps in.

The assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy led directly to the passage of a historic law, the Gun Control Act of 1968. Does that change your view of the assassinations? Should we be grateful for the deaths of these two men? Of course not. That's lunatic logic. But the same reasoning is now being applied to the actions of Edward Snowden.
I am sorry, but I'd forgotten how, at trial, James Earl Ray mounted a defense saying that he'd iced Dr. King in order that the country might have more effective gun control. I know how much damage the assassinations of King and Kennedy did. I watched their funerals on TV. We have no idea what damage Snowden may or may not have caused. The NSA would like to tell us but, goshdarnit, they just can't. And, of course, they are all honorable men. This is so far off the plane of the ecliptic that Toobin's already halfway to Mars.
Long form piece by Quinn Norton (Aaron Swartz' ex-girlfriend/partner) at
Bradley Manning and the Two Americas

Somewhere in the Iraqi desert in 2009 in the middle of a flailing war, a soldier committed a seemingly small crime. Private Bradley Manning didn’t kill anyone, or rape anyone, but by nabbing information from his commanders and giving it to WikiLeaks, he lit up the world, like a match discarded into a great parched forest.

Bored and depressed by army life, Manning started hanging out on the WikiLeaks IRC channel with its controversial founder, Julian Assange. It began as a simple act of communication no different in most respects from millions of casual chats that meander daily through uncounted online forums. Manning would occasionally get into conversations and debates, which he would say nourished him in a court statement years later. “[They] allowed me to feel connected to others even when alone. They helped me pass the time and keep motivated throughout the deployment.”

Manning described the WikiLeaks IRC channel as “almost academic in nature,” and Assange, years after the channel had vanished, agreed: “… the public IRC channel was filled with technical, academic, and geopolitical analysis, with many interesting people from different countries.” Assange said it wasn’t unusual for the channel to be visited by soldiers, like Manning.

The soldiers used WikiLeaks in the course of their work. “I had produced a logistics guide to understanding the U.S. military equipment purchasing system, which the Pentagon linked to in order to explain how their byzantine equipment numbering system worked,” said Assange. “We would often get soldiers coming in from far flung outposts asking us how to order a new tread for their tank.” It was easier, it seemed, to use WikiLeaks than the army’s own information services.

Jay Rosen (NYU journalism prof). I tried to excerpt it, but you really have to read it. Rosen captured something that I've been puzzling and marveling about a lot lately, trying to wrap my mind around what's happening with the world. KBO could tell you how much I tend to muse about this.
Conspiracy to commit journalism
“If sunlight coalitions are to succeed, they won’t succeed by outwitting surveillance. Not better technology, but greater legitimacy is their edge.”

This battle is global. Just as the surveillance state is an international actor — not one government, but many working together — and just as the surveillance net stretches worldwide because the communications network does too, the struggle to report on the secret system’s overreach is global, as well. It’s the collect-it-all coalition against an expanded Fourth Estate, worldwide.
Wikileaks was modeling the concept. Now we are seeing different expressions of it every day. ”We just won’t do it from London” is one. The collaboration among Edward Snowden, an American exile living in Russia, filmmaker Laura Poitras, an American living in Berlin, and Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald, an American living in Brazil— that’s another. A few days ago, when Greenwald’s spouse, David Miranda, was detained at Heathrow airport by the UK branch of the surveillance state, Greenwald naturally alerted The Guardian’s lawyers in the UK, but he also alerted officials in the Brazilian government, who brought pressure to bear through the foreign ministry.
This type of sunlight coalition — large and small pieces, loosely joined — is a countervailing power to the security forces, the people who are utterly serious when they say: ”You’ve had your debate. There’s no need to write any more,” the same people who, as Bruce Schneier has written, “commandeered the internet” for their use because, viewed from a certain angle, it’s the best machine ever made for spying on the population.

Wow, Dana Milbank is getting in on the game?  Maybe Greenwald and Snowden were right == courage is contagious. Well... pretty much.

The price Gina Gray paid for whistleblowing

President Obama, in his news conference this month, said that Edward Snowden was wrong to go public with revelations about secret surveillance programs because “there were other avenues available for somebody whose conscience was stirred and thought that they needed to question government actions.”

This is a common refrain among administration officials and some lawmakers: If only Snowden had made his concerns known through the proper internal channels, everything would have turned out well. The notion sounds reasonable, as do the memorandums Obama signed supposedly protecting whistleblowers.

But it’s a load of nonsense. Ask Gina Gray. [...]

White House Daily Briefing. Tuesday Aug. 20th



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