U.S. Supreme Court and Constitution
Welcome to the U.S. Supreme Court & Constitution Section of the ADC Website.
Recent Rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court have the potential to change the United States in profound ways today. The undermining of our Constitution and the Bill of Rights has started to take shape in the past decade. These profound changes will impact all of our lives in the near future. Thus, it is important that we, the people, know about some of these changes and their implications for our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren.
It is also important that we honor and remember our heroes of the past and the present. Our heroes may or may not be famous or remembered but so many stood and fought for their beliefs and their rights. We have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights and it is up to us to protect them. Only by being informed and willing to "stand up" will we remain free.
Synopsis - The Most Dangerous Man in America
In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a leading Vietnam War strategist, concludes that America’s role in the war is based on decades of lies. He leaks 7,000 pages of top-secret documents to The New York Times, a daring act of conscience that leads directly to Watergate, President Nixon’s resignation and the end of the Vietnam War. Ellsberg and a who’s-who of Vietnam-era movers and shakers give a riveting account of those world-changing events in POV’s The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers by award-winning filmmakers Judith Ehrlich (The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It) and Rick Goldsmith (Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press). A co-production of ITVS in association with American Documentary | POV. (In 2011, the entire Pentagon Papers Report was "declassified" and made public.)
Please note: This is an encore broadcast. The Most Dangerous Man in America had its premiere broadcast on POV on Oct. 5, 2010. See the program below: Video
U.S. Constition & Other Information
U.S. Detainees - Torture - Renditions
U.S. Presidents - Signing Statements - Executive Orders
Campaign Funding - Politics
Freedom of Speech - Press - Internet
California Issues + Pensions
Supreme Court Issues & Miscellanous Evidence
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Supreme Court Decisions (Note GE Case)
Laws - Penal Codes - Regulations
Discussion with Raj Patel ("The Value of Nothing") and Naomi Klein ("The Shock Doctrine")
Amy Goodman; Naomi Klein; Raj Patel
About the Program on January 13, 2010 C-SPAN2
Amy Goodman, host of Pacifica Radio's Democracy Now!, talks to Raj Patel, author
of "The Value of Nothing" and Naomi Klein, author of "The Shock Doctrine," about their
books, the economy, the earthquake in Haiti, and other topics.
Citizen Rights & Elections
Universities & Education Issues
Whistleblowers & Watergate
Wiretaps & Spying
New York Times
September 20, 2015
U.S. Government Declassifies Additional Portions of Once-Secret Report on Post-9/11 Surveillance
By CHARLIE SAVAGE
"...In response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by The New York Times, the government has declassified additional portions of a 2009 report by five agencies’ inspectors general about the Stellarwind program, the group of N.S.A. warrantless wiretapping and bulk phone and e-mail records collection activities initiated by President George W. Bush after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In 2009, the government released a 43-page unclassified version which omitted discussion of many key facts that then remained secret. In April, the government released an earlier version of this full report. The newly declassified portions largely consist of references to and descriptions of the text of Mr. Bush’s periodic authorizations to the N.S.A, which evolved over time — especially after a March 2004 confrontation with the Justice Department..."
The report can be downloaded here.
The new pages that are released are here.
U.S. Presidents & Government Policies
The Arrogance of Power
March 10, 2014
Book Discussion on Dragnet Nation:
"...Julia Angwin talked about her book, Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance, in which she looks at the ways that government, private businesses, and criminals can and do collect our private data. She argued that, due to the pervasiveness of the dragnet system we live in today, we are in danger of becoming a society that self-censors instead of demanding rights. This event was hosted by the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia..."
C-SPAN2 - March 18, 2013 "...Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor talked about her book, Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court,
in which she presents a history of the High Court and profiles several of its former Justices. She spoke at Sixth and I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C..." Good information on U.S. education system.
Washington Journal January 28, 2013 - Civil Liberties & the Obama Administration's Imperial Presidency
Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Law School Law Professor
"...Topic: Guest will discuss his views on President Obama’s use of executive power, arguing that the President’s unilateral actions have shown a pattern that undermines the constitutional system of checks and balances. Instances include privacy protections and surveillance; due process; the use of drones; government secrecy; assurances to CIA officials that they would not be prosecuted for torture; recess appointments, among others..."
Threat to U.S. Civil Liberties - President Obama does not have a good record on civil liberties. Why?
President Obama is the Most Powerful President in History of the United States.
C-SPAN2 Video - October 5, 2012 - Book TV - "...Ralph Nader, author of The Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas for Our American Future, presented his thoughts on America’s economic and sociopolitical landscape and spoke about seventeen solutions that he said would answer several issues facing the country. Among the issues were tax reform, the reduction of the military budget, and programs for job growth. He responded to questions from the audience. Ralph Nader ran for President of the United States on the Green Party ticket in 1996 and 2000 and as an independent in 2004. He is the author of several books, including “Unsafe at Any Speed,” an indictment of the auto industry published in 1965..."
C-SPAN2 Video November 3, 2012 - "Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps" by Greg Palast - Investigative reporter Greg Palast examines the financial supporters of Super-PACs and how their influence could affect the 2012 Presidential election. Greg Palast speaks at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C.
Greg Palast is the author of numerous books, including The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. He is a BBC correspondent and a fellow at the Nation Institute. For more information, visit gregpalast.com.
U.S. House Bill 1540 - Obama Insists on Indefinite Detention of American Citizens
December 12, 2011 U.S. Senator Carl Levin in the U.S. Senate on President Obama's Position on the Detention of American citizens.
Think that President Obama will stand by his word and veto the legislation that will allow the government to detain American citizens without charge or trial? Think again... President Obama Signed U.S. House Bill 1540 into Law on December 31, 2011 and also Issued a Signing Statement on December 31, 2011.
The White House-President Barack Obama
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
December 31, 2011 Statement by the President on H.R. 1540
"60 Minutes-November 20, 2011
The Pledge: Grover Norquist's hold on the GOP"
Watch the Segment: " Steve Kroft takes a look at Grover Norquist, the man many blame for holding up the deficit-reduction process because of the anti-tax pledges he has obtained from nearly all the Republican politicians in Washington."
Washington Journal - U.S. Congressman Kucinich Explains Legal Challenge to Libya Campaign
June 16, 2011 - U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) joined the Washington Journal this morning to explain a suit he filed with nine other House members challenging President Obama's Libya policy.
The complaint, filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, claims that President Obama violated the War Powers Act by not seeking Congressional approval before he initiated the Libyan bombing campaign on March 19, 2011. In addition, the complaint alleges that the President violated the Constitution by relying on NATO and the United Nations for authorization of the military campaign instead of seeking the support of Congress.
The complaint comes on the heels of a letter from House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) warning the President that he may be in violation of the War Powers act on Sunday when the required 90-day notice to Congress comes due.
In a press statement responding to his Congressional critics, President Obama argued that he did not need Congressional approval because the U.S. is playing a limited role in the Libya campaign and no American forces are engaged on the ground.
Other House members in the bipartisan group filing the complaint included:
U.S. Representative Walter Jones (R-NC), Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC), Rep. John Duncan (R-TN),
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX),
Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA), Rep. Tim Johnson (R-IL), and Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN).
*Guantanamo NOW PBS Video & Transcript - September 4, 2009*
This week NOW, as part of a collaboration with the nonprofit investigative unit ProPublica, <http://www.propublica.org/detention> explores the controversial tactic of "preventative detention," a government plan that may detain suspects indefinitely without trial or even formal charges. _Implementing such a plan may have far-reaching consequences on not just our fight against terrorism, but the integrity of the U.S. Constitution and the cause of human rights.
*Saving American Journalism PBS NOW January 15, 2010
"...Is good journalism going extinct? Fractured audiences and tight budgets have downsized or sunk many of the fourth estate's major battleships, including this very program. This week, NOW's David Brancaccio talks to professor Bob McChesney and journalist John Nichols about the perils of a shrinking news media landscape, and their bold proposal to save journalism with government subsidies. Their new book is "The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again..."
C-SPAN - October 6, 2011 Prosecuting Leaks - The Obama Administration - National Security Issues - Freedom of the Press
"James Risen (Book: State of War), talked about prosecutions of reporters and others involved in the leak and publishing of national security information. He had refused to testify before two grand juries investigating leaks that revealed secret warrantless eavesdropping by the National Security Agency on American citizens. Former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice could testify at a criminal trial later in the month of an ex-Central Intelligence Agency officer accused of leaking highly classified information to Mr. Risen. He also responded to questions from the audience." Introduced by Lowell Bergman
Washington, DC - C-SPAN
Monday, November 7, 2011
Journalist Marvin Kalb of "The Kalb Report" interviews CBS Foreign Correspondent Lara Logan about reporting from war and crisis zones. Logan will sit down with Kalb to discuss the dangers of war reporting and if the benefits outweigh the costs.
“From the Cuban Missile Crisis to the war in Afghanistan, Marvin Kalb and Lara Logan represent 50 years of extraordinary coverage," said Michael Freedman, executive producer of 'The Kalb Report' in a statement.
“The Kalb Report” is produced by the GW Global Media Institute in partnership with the National Press Club and the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School.
For nearly 20 years Lara Logan has traveled the globe, reporting from some of the world’s most tumultuous regions. She has been CBS News chief foreign correspondent since February 2006, and became a correspondent for “60 Minutes” that same year. Over the course of her career, Ms. Logan’s reports have provided an up-close look at combat, crisis and conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Egypt, Pakistan, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Kosovo, Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, Mozambique and Burundi.
November 8, 2011 9:42 AM EST-60 Minutes
Abramoff said it. The members who are guilty (few are not) are in charge of making changes in the rules........ If you have ever tried to read a bill before the House or Senate, you realize how easy it is to slip in stuff most Americans would not like..... If you have ever watched a hearing on Capitol Hill, you realize it is mostly an opportunity for the committee members to put on a show for their constituents, not much else seems to be accomplished. Work for a lobbyists after leaving as Staff Person for Senator or U.S. Congressman.
C-SPAN November 8, 2011
U.S. v. Jones Oral Arguments
U.S. Supreme Court
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on United States v. Jones, which questions the notion that advances in technology alter a person's reasonable expectation of privacy. The case specifically involves the question of the necessity of police needing a warrant before secretly attaching a Global Positioning System (GPS) device to a suspect's car. Antoine Jones, a nightclub owner in Washington, D.C., challenged his conviction for drug trafficking, asserting that the police violated his Fourth Amendment rights when, without a valid warrant or his consent, officers placed a GPS device on his car to track his movements on public streets.
60 Minutes - November 13, 2011 - Insider Trading (The Stock Act Never Passed the U.S. Congress)
"Nobody would talk to us." That's what 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft says happened when he tried to get members of Congress to talk about "insider trading" on Capitol Hill. It turns out that it is not illegal for member of Congress to make stock trades using inside information they learn while working on legislation, and Steve had some questions about some specific stock trades. Since nobody involved would give him an interview, Steve had to find other ways to get some answers. As you'll see on Overtime this week, Steve looked for some lawmakers at their homes, attempted to track others down in their offices, and finally ended up asking questions at press conferences held by Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner.
"You don't like to do that stuff," Kroft tells Overtime producer David Rubin. "But on the other hand, if they don't want to talk to you and they don't want to give you an interview, and they are in powerful positions and play a prominent role in the story that you're doing, then you feel like sometimes you've got to do it." "Steve's 60 Minutes piece, Insiders, was produced by Ira Rosen and Gabrielle Schonder..."
President Barack Obama Speech May 21, 2009
Rachel Maddow MSNBC on "Prolonged Detention"
"Develop an Appropriate Legal Regime"
<p><a href="/sites/default/files/flash/2003_Frontline_blue_and_brown_eyes.flv" rel="shadowbox;width=640;height=480"><img alt="Frontline: Blue and Brown eyes" src="/sites/default/files/image/video_images/werner_boch.jpg" style="width:250px" /></a><br />
Frontline: Blue and Brown eyes. Click on photo to start video.</p>
2003 Frontline: Blue and Brown eyes
<p><a href="/sites/default/files/flash/Carter_1996.flv" rel="shadowbox;width=640;height=480"><img alt="Carter, 1996" src="/sites/default/files/image/video_images/werner_boch.jpg" style="width:250px" /></a><br />
Carter, 1996. Click on photo to start video.</p>
<p><a href="/sites/default/files/flash/Greg_Palast_the_best_democracy_money_can_buy.flv" rel="shadowbox;width=640;height=480"><img alt="Greg Palast: The best democracy money can buy" src="/sites/default/files/image/video_images/werner_boch.jpg" style="width:250px" /></a><br />
Greg Palast: The best democracy money can buy. Click on photo to start video.</p>
<p><a href="/sites/default/files/flash/Nancy_Pelosi_20050303.flv" rel="shadowbox;width=640;height=480"><img alt="Nancy Pelosi March 03, 2005" src="/sites/default/files/image/video_images/werner_boch.jpg" style="width:250px" /></a><br />
Nancy Pelosi March 03, 2005. Click on photo to start video.</p>
Talk by Naomi Wolf - /author of "The End of America: Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot"
given October 11, 2007 at Kane Hall on the University of Washington Campus...about the shutting
down of Liberty and Freedom in the United States. History is important in order not to repeat
errors and horrors of the past-from abuse of power.
The 10 Steps to Despotism and the shutting down of Democracy (Germany+Italy+Russia) and now America:
- Invoke an internal and external threat and enhance the rhetoric. (Words: Sleeper Cells-Homeland-Imbedded Journalists-Fake Documents: Yellow Cake example)
- Create a secret prison + military tribunal system - torture. Places pressure on the rest of civil society. Eventually turns the abuse against its own people. Legalized Torture + Renditions in Fascist states. (Germany-Italy) Blurring of the line...and going after those who speak out-dissenters-the press. Starts small and then grows over time. President Bush now claims the power to name anyone an enemy combatant - and keep in solitary confinement up to three years in the United States without habeas corpus. Close down in a series of tipping points. Starts slow and then escalates very fast.
- Paramilitary force created under Bush - needed to close down a society. Can send to intimidate civilians who are too afraid to push back. Ordinary people feel separated from the Constitution...due process. Very important: 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. Mercenaries-we can't have a standing mercenaries...and yet Blackwater is operating on main street USA in New Orleans - $Billion contract from the U.S. government to work in emergencies in the U.S. at this time. (Also Federalized National Guard under Bush)
- Surveillance is easy...just let everyone think that they are being surveiled and they will curtail their activities and speech. Profit motive for this industry - Global War on Terror needed to fund security-industrial war machine. Create Americans as the enemy and make a profit on us as the enemy. And put those that dissent on the terror watch list for travel.
- -10. Detain and Release Citizens, infiltrate citizen groups, instigate dissent within groups or behavior, careers derailed inside and outside the military, Dan Rather-White House Pressure, restrict the press, definition of terrorist begins to expand to animal rights activists, blurring of the lines, espionage act drumbeat...classified information released...roundup people without warrants-mass arrests, quieted dissent for decades. Greg Palast Investigated - Other journalists arrested for wrong images being transmitted...also those that dissent. Time to destabilize is during an election. Scenario - Firing of all U.S. Attorneys tried by Bush Administration to close society down. Closed Society looks OK just corrupted. Elections are the public coating that all is OK - even though corrupted. Still a judiciary that can't go against the State...just silenced.
Window is closing...people need to push back against this move to undermine Democracy and our Republic. Takes a Democracy movement and insisting on the rule of law. American Freedom Campaign Movement started...to restore the Constitution.
The violence is escalating - with the State Department protecting Blackwater and other contractors, etc.
The New Police Siren You Can Actually Feel
"The Howler" uses a low frequency vibration that can be felt from up to 200 feet away
Posted: Jan 23, 2012 AOL
"...A new kind of police siren that emits low-frequency vibrations, is making waves -- quite literally -- in the town of Bartow, Fla. Although pedestrians may find it unpleasant, officers think it's a safer and more effective means of announcing their presence. "I don't know if I could go back to a regular siren and feel safe with it," Bartow Officer Bryan Dorman told WTSP.
Co-developed by a former Florida highway patrol officer, the Howler works by sending out a low-frequency vibration people can feel from up to 200 feet away. With electronic distractions becoming an ever-present part of our lives, the addition of the vibration to the lights and audible siren could be an invaluable safety tool.
Hundreds of police departments around the country have started using the system, including the NYPD.
While officers think the Howler is an effective device, not everyone thinks it's such a good idea. Noise control groups have voiced their opposition, calling the siren "disorienting."
"[The] siren easily triggers an involuntary stress response commonly known as 'fight or flight.' This results in the secretion of adrenaline, with ensuing spikes in cardio-respiratory rates, muscle tension, and elevated blood pressure," claims NoiseOFF, a coalition aimed at reducing noise pollution. "Infrasound is low frequency sound energy that affects the nervous system and prolonged exposure can lead to progressive medical conditions."
Police officers and noise-control groups may not agree on the Howler's viability as a safety tool, they concur on one thing: You know when a police car is coming..." (See 2 Videos About this capability.)
Judge Napolitano. How to get fired from Fox Business in under 5 minutes.
The Judge said on his facebook page the final show is Feb 13th, 2012. This video is allowed under DMCA Fair Use Act
The Obama Syndrome
September 20, 2010 - C-SPAN2 Video
Tariq Ali takes a critical look at Barack Obama's presidency. He argues that President Obama has continued, without much change, George W. Bush's war on terrorism and has repeatedly capitulated to Republicans on domestic policy issues. Harper's magazine publisher John MacArthur and City University of New York professor Frances Fox Piven provided their own commentaries. Then the panelists responded to questions from members of the audience during this Brecht Forum co-sponsored by Verso Books.
Drones Coming To A Sky Near You As Interest Surges
By MARCUS WOHLSEN April 1, 2012 - Huffington Post: "...The use of drones in the U.S. by law enforcement and other government agencies has privacy advocates on edge...Drones are the signature weapon of U.S. wars in the 21st Century..."
ADC Note: This technology is an easy way for law enforcement or anyone to spy on citizens without their consent or knowledge. They can also carry listening and other high tech devices...The U.S. Navy now has drone ranges in Oregon and other areas which support their 5-Year Warfare Testing Ranges like Navy's NWTRC (Northwest Training Range Complex), operating in Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Navy Website: http://nwstfboardmaneis.com/Home.aspx
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - C-SPAN Video
"...The Brookings Institution hosted a discussion on a bill signed into law in February that opens U.S. Airspace for unmanned aircraft, or drones. The discussion focused on the privacy, safety and national security implications of unmanned aircraft, including how local law enforcement might use the drones, how to ensure safety in the crowded U.S. airspace and how to prevent use of the aircraft by domestic and international terrorists. The Panel consisted of Kenneth Anderson, Professor of Law at the Washington College of Law at American University; Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney for the Speech, Privacy & Technology Project of the ACLU; Paul Rosenzweig, a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation; and John Villasenor, Professor of Electrical Engineering at UCLA.Updated: Wednesday at 3:41pm (ET)..."
C-SPAN Video April 3, 2012 - American Constitution Society for Law and Policy | Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Student Chapter Yeshiva University | Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy
Panelists discussed many of the issues on which national debate has been promoted by litigation and public education from the American Civil Liberties Union. Topics included national, security, public safety, freedom of thought. Panelists discussed many of the issues on which national debate has been promoted by litigation and public education from the American Civil Liberties Union. Topics included national, security, public safety, freedom of thought, civil rights, reproductive rights, academic freedom, and same sex marriage, that. "The ACLU in American Life" was a program of the Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy at Yeshiva University's Cordozo School of Law, co-sponsored by the Cardozo Student Chapter of the American Constitution Society. It was held in the Jacob Burns Moot Court Room.
C-SPAN After Words With Senator Bernie Sanders+Ira Shapiro Video February 8, 2012
"...Former Ambassador Ira Shapiro shines a spotlight on the senators of the 1960s and 1970s, who passed the Civil Rights and Great Society legislation. He argues that the Senate was diminished by the Republican gains of the 1980s and hasn't recovered in the elections of the last 30 years. He discussed the evolution of the institution over the last half century with independent senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders..."
C-SPAN Video February 28, 2012 - "...Former U.S. Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman argues that former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney broke several laws and international treaties during their tenure in office and should be held accountable. The author contends that the Bush administration lied to the American public in the lead-up to the war in Iraq and permitted torturous practices in opposition to international agreements. Elizabeth Holtzman speaks at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City..." Excellent Presentation
*C-SPAN Video - February 9, 2012 "...John Nichols reports on the public protests that took place in Madison, Wisconsin, in February 2011 in reaction to Governor Scott Walker's decision to remove collective bargaining rights from teachers and public employees. Mr. Nichols examines the development of the demonstrations and the shared concerns between the Wisconsin protestors and the Occupy Wall Street movement. John Nichols responded to questions from members of the audience in the Tripp Commons of the Memorial Union at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This opening event for Mr. Nichols's _Uprising_* *__book tour was held by the Friends of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries..."*
C-SPAN Interview - April 18, 2012 - Washington Journal
Wired Magazine Article by James Bamford - NSA Building U.S. Largest Spy Center
Wired Magazine: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/04/shady-companies-nsa/all/1
"...James Bamford talked about his Wired.com article on the National Security Agency (NSA), "The NSA Is Building the Country's Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)", and he responded to telephone calls and electronic communications. The NSA's stated purpose of the building is to "intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world's communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks." The heavily fortified $2 billion center will debut in September 2013. This program was part of a "Washington Journal" series highlighting recent magazine articles..."
Democracy Now Video: Published on Apr 20, 2012 by democracynow
DemocracyNow.org - National Security Agency whistleblower William Binney reveals he believes domestic surveillance has become more expansive under President Obama than President George W. Bush.
To watch the complete daily, independent news hour, read the transcript, download the podcast, and for more information, visit http://www.democracynow.org/
JUAN GONZALEZ: Today we bring you a Democracy Now! special on the growing domestic surveillance state and the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to spy on dissident journalists and activists. In a national broadcast exclusive, we’re joined by National Security Agency whistleblower William Binney. He was a key source for James Bamford’s recent [exposé] in Wired Magazine about the NSA—how the NSA is quietly building the largest spy center in the country in Bluffdale, Utah. The Utah spy center will contain nearly bottomless databases to store all forms of communication collected by the agency, including private emails, cell phone calls and Google searches and other personal data.
Binney served in the NSA for over 30 years, including a time as director of the NSA’s World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group. Since retiring from the NSA in 2001, he has warned that the agency’s data-mining program has become so vast that it could, quote, "create an Orwellian state." Today marks the first time Binney has spoken on national television about surveillance by the National Security Agency.
AMY GOODMAN: We’re also joined by two individuals who have been frequent targets of government surveillance: Laura Poitras, the Academy Award-nominated filmmaker, and Jacob Appelbaum, a computer security researcher who has volunteered with WikiLeaks. Poitras is the director of the documentary films My Country, My Country and The Oath. Both Poitras and Appelbaum have been repeatedly detained and interrogated by federal agents when entering the United States. Their laptops, cameras and cell phones have been seized, and presumably their data has been copied.
The Justice Department has also targeted Applebaum’s online communications. In November, a federal judge ordered Twitter to hand over information about his account. In October, the Wall Street Journal revealed the Justice Department had obtained a secret court order to force Google and the internet provider Sonic.net to turn over information about Appelbaum’s email accounts.
William Binney, Laura Poitras and Jacob Appelbaum will be speaking tonight at the Whitney Museum here in New York for a teach-in on surveillance. The three of them join us here in our studio together in a broadcast for the first time. We’re going to begin with William Binney.
You worked for the National Security Agency for more than three decades.
WILLIAM BINNEY: Almost four.
AMY GOODMAN: Almost four decades.
WILLIAM BINNEY: Yeah.
AMY GOODMAN: You, for a time, directed the NSA’s World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group. Tell us what you did and then why you left and what happened to you afterwards.
WILLIAM BINNEY: Well, I was the technical director of that group, that basically looked at the world, so we looked at all the technical problems of—in the world, and see how we could solve collection, analysis and reporting on military and geopolitical issues all around the world, every country in the world. So, it was a rather large technical problem to tackle, but it—and one of the largest problems we thought we had was looking at the World Wide Web and all the ballooning and mushrooming communications in the world. And our ability to deal with that was diminishing over time, so I kind of referred to it as our inability to keep up with the rate of change. So, we were falling behind the rate of change.
So we—I had a very small group of people in a lab, and we decided to attack that problem. And we did it by looking at how we could graph the network of communications and all the communications in the world, and then—and then focus in on that graph and use the graph to limit what we wanted to attack. And we basically succeeded at that, but in the process, of course, we scooped up Americans from different places, so we had to protect their identities, according to our laws and privacy rights of U.S. citizens. So, under USSID 18, we built in protections to anonymize their identities, so you couldn’t really tell who you were looking at.
JUAN GONZALEZ: And that’s because the NSA could do surveillance from abroad, but not of U.S. citizens.
WILLIAM BINNEY: Well, and, you see, the World Wide Web routes things all over, so you never really know where U.S. citizens’ communications are going to be routed. So, you—if you were collecting somewhere else on another continent, you could still get U.S. citizens. That’s—see, that was a universal problem. So we devised how to do that and protect U.S. citizens. So—and this was all before 9/11. And we devised how to do that, made that effective and operating. So we were actually prepared to deploy about eight months before 9/11 and actually have a system that would run and manage the—what I call 20 terabytes a minute of activity.
So—but after 9/11, all the wraps came off for NSA, and they decided to—between the White House and NSA and CIA, they decided to eliminate the protections on U.S. citizens and collect on domestically. So they started collecting from a commercial—the one commercial company that I know of that participated provided over 300—probably, on the average, about 320 million records of communication of a U.S. citizen to a U.S. citizen inside this country.
AMY GOODMAN: What company?
WILLIAM BINNEY: AT&T. It was long-distance communications. So they were providing billing data. At that point, I knew I could not stay, because it was a direct violation of the constitutional rights of everybody in the country. Plus it violated the pen register law and Stored Communications Act, the Electronic Privacy Act, the intelligence acts of 1947 and 1978. I mean, it was just this whole series of—plus all the laws covering federal communications governing telecoms. I mean, all those laws were being violated, including the Constitution. And that was a decision made that wasn’t going to be reversed, so I could not stay there. I had to leave.
JUAN GONZALEZ: And I wanted to get back to, for a moment, when you say that you were developing a way to cope with the fact that the agency was falling behind, just because the sheer volume of the material that they were sweeping up was so great, that it was impossible, at times, to find the important intelligence material.
WILLIAM BINNEY: Yes.
JUAN GONZALEZ: So you, in essence, were creating a program that filtered out the valuable stuff.
WILLIAM BINNEY: Right. That’s right.
JUAN GONZALEZ: What—did it have a name, the program?
WILLIAM BINNEY: Well, it was called Thin Thread. I mean, Thin Thread was our—a test program that we set up to do that. By the way, I viewed it as we never had enough data, OK? We never got enough. It was never enough for us to work at, because I looked at velocity, variety and volume as all positive things. Volume meant you got more about your target. Velocity meant you got it faster. Variety meant you got more aspects. These were all positive things. All we had to do was to devise a way to use and utilize all of those inputs and be able to make sense of them, which is what we did.
JUAN GONZALEZ: And when they didn’t use your system, they—the NSA developed another or attempted to develop another system to do the same?
WILLIAM BINNEY: Well, that one failed. They didn’t produce anything with that one.
AMY GOODMAN: And that one was called?
WILLIAM BINNEY: Trailblazer, yeah.
AMY GOODMAN: Trailblazer, and—
WILLIAM BINNEY: I called it—I called it five-year plan number one. Five-year plan number two was Turbulence. Five-year plan number three is—
AMY GOODMAN: And Trailblazer cost how much money?
WILLIAM BINNEY: That was, I think, in my—my sense, was a little over $4 billion.
AMY GOODMAN: Four billion dollars.
WILLIAM BINNEY: Right.
AMY GOODMAN: But it was scuttled. It was done away with in 2006?
WILLIAM BINNEY: Yes, '05, I think it was. But yes, that's right. And we developed our program with $3 million, roughly.
JUAN GONZALEZ: And Trailblazer was largely developed by SAIC, the—
WILLIAM BINNEY: Well, they were contributing contractors, yeah. But they—I think they had the lead—they were the lead contractors in some of contracts, yeah.
AMY GOODMAN: And why did they go with this one, though, ultimately, they did not use it? This is under Michael Hayden at the time?
WILLIAM BINNEY: Yes. Well—
AMY GOODMAN: Under the Bush administration?
WILLIAM BINNEY: Well, I thought—my sense was it was a good employment program. And it was a large budget program. It would spend money, a lot of money, so it would build the budget and—
AMY GOODMAN: Go to a major weapons manufacturer.
WILLIAM BINNEY: Right.
AMY GOODMAN: And heads of the agency, National Security Agency, would go back and forth working at NSA, working at SAIC.
WILLIAM BINNEY: It was—we called it an incestuous relationship, yeah.
AMY GOODMAN: What happened to you after you quit? You quit within a month of the 9/11 attacks.
WILLIAM BINNEY: Thirty-first of October of 2001, yeah.
AMY GOODMAN: And then what happened?
WILLIAM BINNEY: Well, we tried to form out the company to at least help the government to deal with some of the massive data problems they had, like in—even in the FBI, and also Customs and Border Protection and NRO and various other agencies. And every time we went somewhere to try to develop something, why, we got canceled, our contract got canceled, for—basically because, we have heard, anyway, that they were told that certain agencies didn’t want them hiring us, so they didn’t want us working for them, so...
JUAN GONZALEZ: And before you left, in that short period when it became obvious to you the direction that the NSA was going to, did you—when you raised objections or raised concerns, what was the response?
WILLIAM BINNEY: Well, I went directly to the Intelligence Committee, because it was their job to—because, first of all, when that happened, I mean, the people they had to use to set it up—since they used part of the program we developed to set it up, they had to use our people to set it up, initially, because no one else knew the code, and no one else knew how to get it operating. So, when they did that, they came—those people came to me and said, "You know, they’re doing this," you know, and they told me what they were doing. And so I immediately went to the Intelligence Committee, because they were—the intelligence committees were formed to have oversight over the intelligence community to make sure they didn’t monitor U.S. citizens. This was a fallout of the Church Committee back in the '70s. And the member of the staff that I went to went to Porter Goss, who was chairman of that committee at the time, and he referred her to General Hayden for any further. When it was the job of that committee to do the oversight on all this domestic spying, they weren't doing it, OK? Basically, the—at the time, according to Dick Cheney’s interview on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, he said the—at that time, only the majority or minority leaders, the HPSCI and the SSCI, were involved in having knowledge about this program, Stellar Wind, which you had talked with Tom Drake about.
AMY GOODMAN: The former NSA—
WILLIAM BINNEY: Right, right.
AMY GOODMAN: —employee who was also a whistleblower.
WILLIAM BINNEY: And that was the program, of course, that Director Mueller reported was the issue that—with the hospital visit with Ashcroft. So—
AMY GOODMAN: And explain that, very briefly, for—to remind people.
WILLIAM BINNEY: Well, the whole program, I guess, had to be reauthorized every 45 days, and they had to have the director of NSA, director of CIA and the attorney general sign an affidavit that they still needed the program and that it was legal. And when Comey and Goldsmith in the DOJ decided that this really was a violation of the Constitution and was illegal, then that issue came up. And that’s what—that’s what got everybody kind of disturbed and ready to—ready, actually, to resign in 2004, early 2004, I believe that was. And as a part of it was coming up for reauthorization, and so Gonzales left the White House, along with one other person I can’t remember, and went to the hospital where Ashcroft was, because he was—had pancreatitis, I believe, and was in the hospital, and Comey was the acting attorney general. And so, at that point, they went to Ashcroft to see if he would overrule Comey, who had denied reauthorization and declared it basically illegal. And so, they tried to get Ashcroft to overrule that and went to the hospital to do that. And Director Mueller, I think, also quickly got to the hospital to help ensure that Ashcroft was not taken advantage of, I guess. So...
AMY GOODMAN: When was your home raided?
WILLIAM BINNEY: Twenty-sixth of July of 2007.
AMY GOODMAN: What happened? Where did you
WILLIAM BINNEY: I should—I should say that it was the morning of the second day after Gonzales’s testimony, the then-Attorney General Gonzales’s testimony, to the Senate Judiciary Committee on the TSP, the—what was called the TSP, which I refer to as a fabricated plan. It was created to cover a number of plans, one of which was Stellar Wind, and the others—which they didn’t want to discuss. And the others were wiretapping. And so, they picked on the wiretapping ones, because the public would generally say, "Yes, anybody that was potentially a terrorist, a foreign terrorist, communicating with anybody in the United States, we want you to monitor their communications." So that was the acceptable part of it. But it was grouped with Stellar Wind and some other programs, so that they could give cover to it, talk about some programs, say they’re talking about the Terrorist Surveillance Program, but it was basically a group of programs, some of which they did not want to talk about. And he did not testify to that at the—and I believe some of the—Whitehouse and Feingold, I think, were the two who were on the Senate Intelligence Committee that did challenge him at the time, saying he wasn’t being truthful, and that was—he wasn’t being completely honest. So...
AMY GOODMAN: You live where?
WILLIAM BINNEY: I live in Maryland, actually four miles from NSA.
AMY GOODMAN: And what happened?
WILLIAM BINNEY: They came busting in.
AMY GOODMAN: Who’s "they"?
WILLIAM BINNEY: The FBI. About 12 of them, I think, 10 to 12. They came in with the guns drawn, on my house.
AMY GOODMAN: Where were you?
WILLIAM BINNEY: I was in the shower. I was taking a shower, so my son answered the door. And they of course pushed him out of the way at gunpoint and came running upstairs and found me in the shower, and came in and pointed the gun at me while I was, you know—
AMY GOODMAN: Pointed a gun at your head?
WILLIAM BINNEY: Oh, yeah. Yes. Wanted to make sure I saw it and that I was duly intimidated, I guess.
JUAN GONZALEZ: And what did they—what did they do at that point? Did they begin questioning you? Or they just took you to headquarters? Or—
WILLIAM BINNEY: No, no. Yeah, they basically separated us from—I was separated from my family. Took me on the back porch, and they started asking me questions about it. They were basically wanting me to tell them something that would implicate someone in a crime. And so, I told them that I didn’t really know—they wanted to know about certain people, that was—they were the ones that were being raided at the same time, people who—we all signed—those who were raided that day, all of us signed the DOD-IG complaint. We were the ones who filed that complaint.
AMY GOODMAN: The Pentagon—
WILLIAM BINNEY: The Pentagon DOD-IG, against—
AMY GOODMAN: —inspector general complaint.
WILLIAM BINNEY: Against NSA, yes, talking about fraud—basically corruption, fraud, waste and abuse. And then—
AMY GOODMAN: Tom Drake was raided at the same time?
WILLIAM BINNEY: No, he was raided in November of that year. We were just the ones who signed it, were raided.
JUAN GONZALEZ: So, and who were the other people that were raided that same day?
WILLIAM BINNEY: Diane Roark, Kirk Wiebe and Ed Loomis.
AMY GOODMAN: Diane Roark worked for the Senate committee?
WILLIAM BINNEY: Diane was the senior staffer. She had the NSA account on the HPSCI side, on the House side. So she was monitoring. She was doing oversight. She was doing real oversight; the others weren’t. Basically, the others were simply taking what the NSA said verbatim and taking them at their word. So, basically, that was not oversight. But Diane would probe and be prying into what they were saying to find out really clearly what was going on. And—
JUAN GONZALEZ: And ostensibly, they were searching for who was leaking information to the—who had leaked information to the New York Times.
WILLIAM BINNEY: That was the pretext, yes. But I accused them of being sent there by someone outside the FBI. And that—their body language told me that I hit it right on the head. So—and I also—after a while, they were questioning me, and I couldn’t tell them anything, because I didn’t know anything that would implicate any of the four of us, so—
AMY GOODMAN: They were looking for leaks.
WILLIAM BINNEY: Well, that was the pretext, the leak on the—to give the New York Times thing. The real thing—what they were really doing was retribution and intimidation so we didn’t go to the Judiciary Committee in the Senate and tell them, "Well, here’s what Gonzales didn’t tell you, OK." That was what it was really all about. And also, it was retribution for that DOD-IG complaint, because it was a rather embarrassing report that they gave, so...
JUAN GONZALEZ: And what is it that Gonzales didn’t tell them, in your perspective, in terms of what is happening to our national security surveillance situation?
WILLIAM BINNEY: Well, it was about—it was about Stellar Wind and all of the domestic spying.
AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to break and come back to this conversation. William Binney was the technical director of the National Security Agency, which, by the way, is a number of times larger than the CIA, the National Security Agency’s World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group. When we come back, we’ll also speak with a well-known hacker, Jacob Appelbaum, who has volunteered for WikiLeaks—he’s a computer security researcher—and Laura Poitras, whose films, My Country, My Country and The Oath, are well known. She’s been nominated for an Oscar. This is Democracy Now! Back in a minute.
C-SPAN-2 Video - Book: United States of Fear - February 10, 2012
Tom Engelhardt, creator and editor of TomDispatch.com, argues that the U.S. government successfully used the threat of terrorism to scare the public into supporting increased spending on war, the military, and homeland security, leading the country down the same path the Soviet Union took just prior to its collapse. During this event, Mr. Engelhardt is in conversation with journalist and author Jeremy Scahill. Hosted by New York University.
C-SPAN2 Book TV - Video Interview with Van Jones - Afterwords - April 20, 2012
"...Rebuild the Dream" details the strategy and action plan of the platform and online organization of the same name. It suggests initiatives for supporting the middle class and putting people back to work. Mr. Jones discusses the Contract for the American Dream and the campaign to restore economic stability for the 99 percent with USA Today's Jackie Kucinich..."
New York Times August 22, 2012 Video & Article on the NSA Domestic Spying Program "Stellar Wind"
"The Program" by LAURA POITRAS, "...a documentary filmmaker who has been nominated for an Academy Award and whose work was exhibited in the 2012 Whitney Biennial. She is working on a trilogy of films about post-9/11 America. This Op-Doc is adapted from a work in progress to be released in 2013...The 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which oversees the N.S.A. activities, are up for renewal in December. Two members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado, both Democrats, are trying to revise the amendments to insure greater privacy protections. They have been warning about “secret interpretations” of laws and backdoor “loopholes” that allow the government to collect our private communications. Thirteen senators have signed a letter expressing concern about a “loophole” in the law that permits the collection of United States data. The A.C.L.U. and other groups have also challenged the constitutionality of the law, and the Supreme Court will hear arguments in that case on Oct. 29, 2012..."
"...The filmmaker Laura Poitras profiles William Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency who helped design a top-secret program he says is broadly collecting Americans’ personal data..."
August 31, 2012 Transcript & Video by Bill Moyers on "Ralph Reed: From Purgatory to Power"
"...BILL MOYERS: Welcome. If you watched the Republican Convention in Tampa only on Primetime television you would have missed the story we’re about to report. And it’s the one that could make the biggest difference on Election Day in November. On the seventh day, we’re told, God rested. But not Ralph Reed. There he was, the Sunday before the convention opened, speaking at a rally of his Faith and Freedom Coalition..." Transcript: http://billmoyers.com/wp-content/themes/billmoyers/transcript-print.php?...
"...Reed is again armed for “guerrilla warfare” with millions of dollars that are almost impossible to trace. It’s reported that some of the money has come from billionaire Bernie Marcus, a co-founder of Home Depot, and some has come from a nonprofit partly funded by the billionaire Koch Brothers. The brothers also have their own tax exempt vehicle, Americans for Prosperity, a 501c4 nonprofit-- which allows them to raise money without revealing the source. It is run by Tim Phillips, Ralph Reed’s former business partner. It’s an incestuous world they have created, and much of the money travels in secret subterranean pipelines from donors whose identities and agendas remain hidden. We may never find out where Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition funds are coming from. The “right hand of God” doesn’t have to reveal what the left hand is doing..."
C-SPAN Video March 19, 1998 Booknotes
Ms. Ivins talked about her new book, You Got to Dance with Them What Brung You: Politics in the Clinton Years,
published by Random House. The book, a collection of Ms. Ivin's columns, talks about her impressions of
political life in the 1990s including the financial corruption of the American political system and what it
means to be a Texan, and touches on issues such as militias, multiculturalism, members of Congress, job
losses to Mexico, and Texas politics. Ms. Ivins is a nationally syndicated political columnist.
C-SPAN2 BOOKTV Video October 17, 2012
"Pulitzer Prize winner Hedrick Smith discussed his book, Who Stole the American Dream?
He argues that over the past four decades the American Dream has been dismantled
and we have become two Americas..." No Longer the Land of Opportunity? Democracy or
Wealth in the Hands of the Few-We Can't Have Both... (Book: The Power Game by Smith)
Starkly Unequal Democracy-Predicament We Now Live in Today...Polarized Extremes...What
happened - How did we miss the big picture?
C-SPAN2 Video - Greg Palast, Author, "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy" - Washington, DC - November 24, 2010 Greg Palast, Harper's Magazine Contributor and author of "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy," discusses how Florida is likely to have the same problems with miscounted votes that it had in the 2000 Election.
Washington, DC - C-SPAN
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - "...The late Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-WV), the longest-serving U.S. senator, was honored during a book signing party featuring Byrd biographers Ira Shapiro and David Corbin. The West Virginia State Society hosted the signing in Washington, DC. Robert Byrd served for six years in the House before moving to the Senate, where he served nine terms..."
C-SPAN2 January 27, 2013 Book: "Words from the White House: Words and Phrases Coined or Popularized by America's Presidents" Author: Paul Dickson - About the Program
Paul Dickson presents a collection of words popularized by American Presidents. The authors’ collection includes Warren G. Harding’s “Founding Fathers,” invoked during his 1920 presidential campaign, Theodore Roosevelt’s use of the word, “muckracker,” in a 1906 speech critical of specific journalists, and “military-industrial complex,” delivered by President Eisenhower during his final presidential address to the American public in 1961. Paul Dickson speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
C-SPAN February 4, 2013 - THE FCC by: "...Michael Copps spoke at the Roosevelt House in New York City about the Future of the Federal Communications Commission
He warned that the agency is headed towards allowing a new wave of media consolidation that will hurt the public interest and limit diversity. He also noted that as a candidate, President Obama had expressed concerns about media consolidation. After serving on the Commission from 2001 to 2011. Mr. Copps is now a Senior Adviser at the activist group Common Cause..."
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein Accuses CIA of Searching Congressional Computers Violating Federal Law
"...The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee says the CIA improperly searched a stand-alone computer network established for Congress as part of its investigation into allegations of CIA abuse in a Bush-era detention and interrogation program. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California defended her committee's work and challenged the CIA on Tuesday as she sought to set the record straight amid various reports of disputes between Congress and the agency..."
U.S. Senate Speech by Senator Dianne Feinstein March 11, 2014 C-SPAN Video
Washington Post Article: March 11, 2014
"...The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee (Senator Dianne Feinstein-CA), on Tuesday sharply accused the CIA of violating federal law and undermining the constitutional principle of congressional oversight as she detailed publicly for the first time how the agency secretly removed documents from computers used by her panel to investigate a controversial interrogation program.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said that the situation amounted to attempted intimidation of congressional investigators, adding: “I am not taking it lightly..."
April 2014 - NBC News Predicted that by 2017 Every American May Own an RFID Implant and other Privacy Issues.
(Note that Pope Francis goes Public With Support of RFID Chip Implantation - May 21, 2014 - The Bishop of Rome explained to those in attendance his excitement over making RFID implantation a mandatory procedure for all employees and residents of the Vatican.)