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

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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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