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Update on Snowden’s “Op” as Destabilization of Obama

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Thank you, Edward Snowden!

COMMENT: Supplementing FTR #762, we note, again, the extreme right-wing nature of the forces underlying Snowden’s “Op.” This post supplements that program, analyzing L’Affaire Snowden as a destabilization operation against Obama.

A recent lawsuit against the NSA about its spying operations was brought by Larry Klayman, who is far more than just the “conservative” that he is labeled.

Klayman is an extreme right-winger who called on the “Muslim” Obama to put down the “Quran” and come out of the White House with his hands up!

The judge–Richard J. Leon–was appointed by George W. Bush to the Federal bench in 2002. A loyal Bush family running dog, Leon helped cover-up the Iran-Contra scandal, the October Surprise and was involved with the destabilization of the Clinton administration over the non-existent Whitewater “crimes.”

Klayman and Leon worked together on the Whitewater destabilization of Clinton.

Don’t fail to note the revolting pronouncement by Snowden about what a great triumph of civil liberties this is.

“Rallier tells Obama to ‘put the Quran down’ ” by Ashley Killough and Shannon Travis and Brian Rokus; CNN; 10/13/2013.

EXCERPT: Angered by the closure of national landmarks due to the partial government shutdown, a crowd of conservatives removed barricades Sunday at the World War II Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial as they rallied against President Barack Obama and Democrats for their role in the ongoing stalemate.

High-profile speakers with close ties to the tea party appeared at the event, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. . . .

. . . . One speaker went as far as saying the president was a Muslim and separately urged the crowd of hundreds to initiate a peaceful uprising.

“I call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience, and to demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up,” said Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch, a conservative political advocacy group. . . .”

“Judge Ques­tions Legal­ity of N.S.A. Phone Records” by Charlie Savage; The New York Times; 12/16/2013.

EXCERPT: A fed­eral dis­trict judge ruled on Mon­day that the National Secu­rity Agency pro­gram that is sys­tem­at­i­cally keep­ing records of all Amer­i­cans’ phone calls most likely vio­lates the Con­sti­tu­tion, describ­ing its tech­nol­ogy as “almost Orwellian” and sug­gest­ing that James Madi­son would be “aghast” to learn that the gov­ern­ment was encroach­ing on lib­erty in such a way.

Judge Richard J. Leon of the Dis­trict of Colum­bia ordered the gov­ern­ment to stop col­lect­ing data on the per­sonal calls of the two plain­tiffs in the case and to destroy the records of their call­ing his­tory. But the judge, appointed to the bench in 2002 by Pres­i­dent George W. Bush, stayed his injunc­tion “in light of the sig­nif­i­cant national secu­rity inter­ests at stake in this case and the nov­elty of the con­sti­tu­tional issues,” allow­ing the gov­ern­ment time to appeal it, a mat­ter that he said could take at least six months. The case is the first in which a fed­eral judge who is not on the For­eign Intel­li­gence Sur­veil­lance Court, which autho­rized the once-secret pro­gram, has exam­ined the bulk data col­lec­tion on behalf of some­one who is not a crim­i­nal defen­dant.

The Jus­tice Depart­ment has said that 15 sep­a­rate judges on the sur­veil­lance court have held on 35 occa­sions that the call­ing data pro­gram is legal. It also marks the first suc­cess­ful legal chal­lenge brought against the pro­gram since it was revealed in June after leaks by the for­mer N.S.A. con­trac­tor Edward J. Snowden. . . . .

. . . .. . . . “I acted on my belief that the N.S.A.’s mass surveillance programs would not withstand a constitutional challenge, and that the American public deserved a chance to see these issues determined by open courts,” Mr. Snowden said in his statement. It was distributed by Glenn Greenwald, a journalist who received leaked documents from Mr. Snowden and wrote the first article about the bulk data collection. “Today, a secret program authorized by a secret court was, when exposed to the light of day, found to violate Americans’ rights,” the statement said. “It is the first of many.” . . . .

. . . . The case was brought by sev­eral plain­tiffs led by Larry Klay­man, a con­ser­v­a­tive legal activist. Mr. Klay­man, who rep­re­sented him­self and the other plain­tiffs, said in an inter­view on Mon­day that he was seek­ing to turn the case into a class action on behalf of all Amer­i­cans. “I’m extremely grat­i­fied that Judge Leon had the courage to make this rul­ing,” he said. “He is an Amer­i­can hero.” . . . .

“Who Is Judge Richard Leon?” by Robert Parry; Con­sor­tium News; 11/9/2011.

EXCERPT: . . . Leon was appointed to his life­time judi­cial post by George W. Bush in 2002 after Leon had “earned” the grat­i­tude of the Bush Fam­ily by pro­tect­ing its inter­ests as an aggres­sive and reli­able Repub­li­can legal appa­ratchik on Capi­tol Hill. There, the heavy-set Leon gained a rep­u­ta­tion as a par­ti­san bully who made sure polit­i­cally charged inves­ti­ga­tions reached a desired out­come, what­ever the facts.

In the 1990s, Leon served as spe­cial coun­sel to the House Bank­ing Com­mit­tee as it trans­formed Pres­i­dent Bill Clinton’s minor White­wa­ter real estate deal into a major scan­dal that even­tu­ally led to the House vote to impeach Clin­ton in 1998 and thus set the stage for Bush’s dis­puted elec­tion vic­tory in 2000.

How­ever, Leon’s most impor­tant work for the Bushes may have come in the 1980s and early 1990s when he helped con­struct legal jus­ti­fi­ca­tions for Repub­li­can law-breaking and sought to intim­i­date Iran-Contra-related wit­nesses who came for­ward to expose GOP wrongdoing.

In 1987, when Rep. Dick Cheney, R-Wyoming, was lead­ing the Repub­li­can coun­terof­fen­sive against the Iran-Contra inves­ti­ga­tion into evi­dence that Pres­i­dent Ronald Rea­gan and Vice Pres­i­dent George H.W. Bush had engaged in a wide-ranging con­spir­acy involv­ing ille­gal weapons ship­ments and money trans­fers, Leon stepped for­ward as deputy chief coun­sel on the Repub­li­can side.

Leon worked with Cheney not only in fend­ing off accu­sa­tions of wrong­do­ing, but in com­ing up with a counter-argument that accused Con­gress of intrud­ing on for­eign pol­icy pre­rog­a­tives of the President.

“Con­gres­sional actions to limit the Pres­i­dent in this area … should be reviewed with a con­sid­er­able degree of skep­ti­cism,” the Repub­li­can minor­ity report said. “If they inter­fere with the core pres­i­den­tial for­eign pol­icy func­tions, they should be struck down.”

In 2005 as vice pres­i­dent, Cheney harkened back to that Iran-Contra minor­ity report in defend­ing George W. Bush’s asser­tion of unlim­ited pres­i­den­tial pow­ers dur­ing wartime.

“If you want ref­er­ence to an obscure text, go look at the minor­ity views that were filed with the Iran-Contra com­mit­tee,” Cheney told a reporter. Cheney said those old argu­ments “are very good in lay­ing out a robust view of the president’s pre­rog­a­tives with respect to the con­duct of espe­cially for­eign pol­icy and national secu­rity matters.”

So, one could say that Richard Leon was there at the birth of what became George W. Bush’s impe­r­ial presidency.

Cover-up of Crimes

But Leon’s cru­cial work went beyond build­ing a legal frame­work for Repub­li­can pres­i­dents to ignore the law. More sig­nif­i­cantly, he con­ducted cover-ups of their crimes.

In 1992, when a House task force was exam­in­ing evi­dence that Rea­gan and Bush began their secret con­tacts with Iran in 1980 while try­ing to unseat Pres­i­dent Jimmy Carter, Leon was the Repub­li­can point man to make sure noth­ing too dam­ag­ing came out. Leon served as chief minor­ity coun­sel to the House task force inves­ti­gat­ing the so-called Octo­ber Sur­prise allegations.

“Larry Klayman, Conservative Attack Dog, Slams Fox News And Bush” by Marcus Baram; Huffington Post; 3/18/2010.

EXCERPT. . . . the fastest trigger finger in D.C. when it comes to filing legal briefs, the founder of Judicial Watch is best known for playing an instrumental role in fueling the Whitewater crisis that drowned President Clinton in multiple scandals. . . .



2 comments for “Update on Snowden’s “Op” as Destabilization of Obama”

  1. It’s been quite a week for the NSA: First we have the NSA possibly float an amnesty offer that would have strongly benefitted from Snowden having whistleblower status. Then on Monday, we have Judge Leon’s ruling, which would potentially facilitate that whistleblower status by finding the meta-data collection to be unconstitutional. And then on Tuesday, Snowden publishes a letter in Brazil about how he’d love to help them investigate NSA spying in Brazil while simultaneously pointing out that he can’t assist them without first getting asylum (which must have puzzled the EU parliament a bit). On Wedsnesday, Brazil’s president sort of denies the request while Brazil’s government proceeds to make a surprise announcement that Brazil will not be building its next generation fighter jet with Boeing. It was surpising in terms of the choice of contract and any announcement about Brazil’s next-generation fighter jet contract wasn’t expected for another couple of years until after next elections. And also on Wednesday, the Obama Administration authorizes the release of an NSA-review advisory panel weeks ahead of schedule that recommends shutting down the hoovering up of metadata.

    Lot’s of twists and turns and a few questions raised…for instance, did the NSA float the amnesty idea in anticipation of Judge Leon’s ruling on Monday? Was Snowden’s letter to Brazil intended to be an indirect response to the amnesty proposal? And was Brazil’s surprise announcement of the Swedish jet deal in response to public pressure placed on Brazil’s government to grant Snowden amnesty? And, more generally, which country is going to finally grant Snowden asylum since he doesn’t appear to be very keen on staying in Russia?

    Also, interesting fun fact: If Snowden had stayed in Hong Kong instead traveling to Moscow and then dug a hole to the opposite side of the earth, he would almost make it to Brazil and might actually end up in Bolivia! Freedom! Everyone is assuming a Snowden movie will be non-fiction but that’s totally not necessary.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 19, 2013, 8:18 pm
  2. Great article by Sean Wilentz in The New Republic:


    Readers of Spitfire will not be surprised, as Dave has covered most of the material, but it’s good to see skepticism of motive in the mainslime media.

    Posted by Kathleen | January 20, 2014, 4:31 pm

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