Tag Archive: James Clapper

May 23 2018

Former DNI Clapper Speaks

Tuesday night’s “Rachel Maddow Show” was dedicated to interviewing former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper who has written a book, “Facts and Fears.” Rachel reads some excerpts from the book between her interview with Clapper, a retired lieutenant general in the United States Air Force and career intelligence officer for over 50 years. She …

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Feb 24 2014

Wanted: Trojan With Soul

Interested in working for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence?

Then visit us online next Wednesday, Feb. 26, during the Intelligence Community Virtual Career Fair.

We’ll have recruiters and other experts available to chat while you visit virtual booths, watch presentations and network live with other job seekers.

To learn more or register today to reserve your spot visit: www.icvirtualfair.com

Heads up! Are YOU a real geek?

A computer wizard (whizzerd?) who can make the machine dance to your own tune with a couple of keystrokes while giving Clapper a stroke?

Have a winning smile and the ability to seduce a government HR hiring manager in seconds flat? Do you have a pocket full of thumb drives?

Have you been writing trojans but secretly always wanted to BE a trojan?

Here’s the opportunity you’ve been waiting for!

This Wednesday Feb. 26 James Clappers Office of the Director of National Intelligence will hold an Intelligence Community Virtual Career Fair!

Are YOU the next Ed Snowden?

Go for it! Reserve your page in history!

Ruin Clappers day while making him pay you to do it, and have fun too!

Aug 13 2013

Despite the Promise, Still No Tranparency on Surveillance

During his press conference on Friday, President Barack Obama admitted, without giving him credit, that the reason the conversation on the NSA is now taking place is thanks to Edward Snowden.

“The leaks triggered a much more rapid and passionate response than would have been the case if I had simply appointed this review board,” Obama said, while adding, “I actually think we would have gotten to the same place-and we would have done so without putting at risk our national security.”

With public opinion rapidly eroding over the surveillance, the president still refused to concede that the program was abused:

“America is not interested in spying on ordinary people,” Obama said. The surveillance programs, he said, were valuable and “should be preserved.” The flaw, if there was one, he said, lay in his assumption that the public would trust that the “checks and balances” in place between the administration, Congress, and the courts was enough to secure personal freedom. Instead, he said, after Snowden’s revelations, “I think people have questions about this program.”

While Obama promised a to create an an independent advisory group made up of “outside experts” who will review controversial surveillance programs, it’s pretty clear that [the group won’t exactly be completely independent of the NSA, as Marcy Wheeler reports:

In the memo Obama just released (pdf) ordering James Clapper to form such a committee, those words “outside” and “independent” disappear entirely.

   I believe it is important to take stock of how these technological advances alter the environment in which we conduct our intelligence mission. To this end, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I am directing you to establish a Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies (Review Group).

   The Review Group will assess whether, in light of advancements in communications technologies, the United States employs its technical collection capabilities in a manner that optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while appropriately accounting for other policy considerations, such as the risk of unauthorized disclosure and our need to maintain the public trust. Within 60 days of its establishment, the Review Group will brief their interim findings to me through the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), and the Review Group will provide a final report and recommendations to me through the DNI no later than December 15, 2013. [my emphasis]

And neither Obama nor the Intelligence Committees get to hear from this Group themselves. It all goes through James Clapper.

And the other group members

President Obama and Director Clapper may solicit advice from notable figures in the technology industry; the president reportedly met with several leaders last Thursday, including Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google VP Vint Cerf. But with both Apple and Google implicated in some level of cooperation with the government under PRISM, the government may need to solicit input from a broader coalition of stakeholders.

So, Obama is putting the liar in charge, asking advice from those who willingly aided and abetted the spying and isn’t going to make the report public but expects this will win over public opinion. Yeah, right. If the public falls for this malarkey, I have a bridge to sell, too.

Jul 28 2013

Anti-Capitalist MeetUp: Surveillance Corps Capture Congress, Courts, Exec. by Justina

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Wired.com, in a July 26, 2013 piece by David Cravats, details that not-very-surprising fact that those congressional representatives who received the largest political donations from defense contractors voted last week, 217 to 205, to oppose cuts to NSA’s phone-spying dragnet budget.   Those who opposed the cuts, and thus the “Amash amendment” received 122% more defense contractor funds than those who voted against it, with one Democratic exception of Representative Dennis Moran of Virginia.

An analysis done by the Berkeley non-profit, MapLight for Wired showed that Defense contractor donations averaged $41,635 from the pot, whereas House members who voted to repeal authority averaged $18,765 for the previous two year period.

The only really surprising fact is how very little the defense contractors had to pony-up to buy their contractor-collusive representative over the two year period:  $12.97 million.

In contrast to the billions of dollars these big corporations make each year from their defense contracts in the surveillance industry, the going price for representatives is trifling low.  (Of course, undoubtedly some representatives with committee assignments critical to surveillance budget issues do undoubtedly get lucrative extra perks in the form of post-term jobs, many as lobbyists, should they leave Congress, but still the cost of doing business with friendly congressional representatives is  virtually a rounding error in their corporate budgets.  

Jul 25 2013

The NSA – Hiding a Shadow Government Behind a Haystack, “To Keep Us Safe”

obama stasiThe enormous service that a certain whistleblower has provided to Americans and the world at large, is becoming clear even in the face of shrill cries of “traitor” and histrionic accusations of “aiding the enemy.”

That certain whistleblower (who will not be named, in hopes of avoiding comments about personalities rather than revelations) has shone a light on a shadow government, a set of parallel institutions that operate without democratic controls.  It is a government-corporate warren of institutions that uses secrecy and the application of large amounts of cash to avoid democratic control by the people and has allied with corporate chieftains and hijacked large corporations, defying the “discipline of the market” and the democratic controls of shareholders and chartering states.

Some portion of these institutions have been described before; Dana Priest and William Arkin did ground-breaking work scouring the public record and describing the size and shape of the leviathan entity:

These are some of the findings of a two-year investigation by The Washington Post that discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.

The investigation’s other findings include:

* Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.

* An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.

* In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings – about 17 million square feet of space.

* Many security and intelligence agencies do the same work, creating redundancy and waste. For example, 51 federal organizations and military commands, operating in 15 U.S. cities, track the flow of money to and from terrorist networks.

* Analysts who make sense of documents and conversations obtained by foreign and domestic spying share their judgment by publishing 50,000 intelligence reports each year – a volume so large that many are routinely ignored.

James Bamford did remarkable work describing the capabilities of some of these institutions and previous whistleblowers like William Binney and Thomas Drake have described what some of these institutions do.  Binney and Drake, however, did not have documentary proof, the gold standard of credibility, which changes discussions marred with accusations of “conspiracy theories” to discussions about conspiracy reality:  

One of the arguments about [redacted] that I’ve occasionally gotten caught up in is: What difference has he made? Has he really told us very much we didn’t know before?

In a broad sense, you can argue that he hasn’t. We knew (or certainly suspected) that NSA was collecting enormous streams of telephone metadata. We knew they were issuing subpoenas for data from companies like Google and Microsoft. We knew that Section 702 warrants were very broad. We knew that domestic data sometimes got inadvertently collected. We knew that massive amounts of foreign phone and email traffic were monitored.

As it happens, we’ve learned more than just this from the documents on [redacted’s] four laptops. Still, even if you accept this argument in general terms-and I’ve made it myself-[redacted] still matters. It’s one thing to know about this stuff in broad strokes. It’s quite another to have specific, documented details. That’s what [redacted] has given us, and it makes a big difference in public debate. …

This is how change happens. The public gets hit over the head with something, lawmakers are forced to take notice, and maybe, just maybe, Congress holds oversight hearings and decides to change the law. There’s no guarantee that will happen this time, but it might. And regardless of how “new” [redacted’s] revelations have been, we have him to thank for this.

A certain whistleblower has documentation.  That documentation has already outed high government officials as (unindicted) perjurers and liars and impugned the veracity of information presented to the public on the NSA website and caused the NSA to hastily remove the misleading documents.

These high government officials have made a mockery of the President’s asssertion that his administration is being transparent and that we should have a national debate about these matters.  One cannot seriously debate an issue when one side controls access to the facts and is economical with the truth, while at the same time introducing blatant falsehoods into the discussion.  If the administration wanted to have a debate, and its behaviors indicate otherwise, it must stop acting in bad faith toward the American people.