Dec 30 2005
Updates at the end
Washington Post CIA Prison story also being probed – see Update VII
All my FISA-NSA posts can be found here
This is great news:
The U.S. Justice Department has launched an investigation to determine who disclosed a secret NSA eavesdropping operation approved by President George W. Bush after the September 11 attacks, officials said on Friday.
“We are opening an investigation into the unauthorized disclosure of classified materials related to the NSA,” one official said.
And I hope those people who felt they could break our laws and risk our lives by tipping off the terrorists here in the US will do some serious time for these leaks.
The disclosure of the covert domestic spying program has triggered concerns among both Democrats and Republicans, with many lawmakers questioning whether it violates the U.S. Constitution.
There is a process in this country for changing policies. We call them elections. “Concen’ is not a reason for breaking the law. The liberal media and leakers need to remember they too are not above the law. No matter how much they hate Bush.
Mac Ranger was right! Mac’s sources say there will be an announcement today at 12:30. If Bush administration is ready to weild their resources against these people, watch out. They have some big guns.
Michelle has a round up starting here.
CNN has a clip of Bush defending the NSA program and its implication in the GWOT.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Newsday has some details:
The officials, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the probe, said the inquiry will focus on disclosures to The New York Times about warrantless surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The Justice Department’s investigation was being initiated after the agency received a request for the probe from the NSA.
Well now we know the NSA initiated the probe request. Now we shall see if anyone’s schedules start changing.
The administration’s legal interpretation of the president’s powers allowed the government to avoid requirements under the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
As I post ealier, the Constitution cannot be amended or superceded by Congressional legislation, so the law is on the administration’s side.
This is hitting the airwaves hard since CNN is going to put this story on their International News segment – which it would not normally do. Will try and live blog this if there is a news conference.
The short CNN report I just heard started with some background and then said most leak investigations do not work. They said the invesitgation will be handled by FBI and DOJ investigators. They did end it with a very ominous statement that many people inside the government felt the leak had severely impacted our intelligence efforts. That was much stronger than I expected.
More from FOXNews (thankfully this is coming during lunch!):
Officials have confirmed to FOX News that the FBI is involved in the investigation, but did not comment on whether other agencies were involved, or when the investigation began. One official has said the referral for the probe came from the National Security Agency.
The White House is expected to comment further on the investigation at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Expect another round of updates soon.
Sorry folks, juggling a bit here. More from that FOXNews story linked above:
A leak investigation could have taken at least two forms: through normal channels within the Justice Department or through a special task force. The investigation could focus on individuals in the media or the government.
Ronald Cass, a legal scholar and former dean of the Boston University School of Law, told FOX News that special investigations can be distractions, and too much pressure will be put on bringing back an indictment.
“It’s better to leave these matters in the hands of the Justice Department; let them handle it through the ordinary course,” Cass said.
But a special prosecution might be needed to speed up the process, said Edward Turzanski, a senior fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a national security analyst at La Salle University.
“We’ve reached a critical mass,” Turzanski told FOX News. “There’s too much damage to our national security capabilities, to critical information and to the war-fighting effort. And that is where this urgency comes in.”
Devine said at least two laws protect a potential leak source. One is a so-called anti-gag statute that prevents the government from spending money on a leak investigation unless it specifically warned the employee that its gag rules cannot trump good-government laws.
The leak also could be legal if the Whistleblower Protection Act covers it, Devine said, as long as the leaker was not in the FBI, CIA or NSA, which aren’t covered by the act. For instance, a civilian Pentagon employee who wanted to expose government wrongdoing would have free speech protections to expose abuses of power or illegal actions.
Nothing on a news conference yet.
1:00 PM Eastern: Fox News is reporting on this, basically what everyone already knows. FBI is involved in the investigation at the moment. This is a report coming from Crawford, TX. Right now they are playing Bush’s initial response to the leaks. FOX is comparing this to Plame and making the case the leaking of the NSA program was much more serious and damaging. Nothing else folks. Enjoy your Friday.
Spoke (wrote) to soon. Turns out the NY Times is not the only paper to have its
leakers sources investigated. The Washington Post is reporting their CIA Prison story leaks are being investigated
The Justice Department has also opened a probe into whether classified information was illegally disclosed to The Washington Post, which reported on a network of secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe and elsewhere.
Note: Blatant linking to Stop The ACLU to get the word out on the CIA Prison leak Probe
Flopping Aces has a possible inside scoop.
I am being told in private by someone with sources that there are multiple targets, Flopping Aces is right that the targets are known since the investigation is well along, and the Robertson resignation is linked. Now if all of this comes true I will be a very happy person!
The person who passed this along is free to brag if they want, and I will give credit where credit is due.
ACLU is trying to shift the focus of this story to the Impeach Bush spin:
The American Civil Liberties Union has urged the government to name a special counsel to determine whether Bush violated federal wiretapping laws by authorizing illegal surveillance.
In a statement on Friday, the ACLU criticized the Justice Department’s investigation. “President Bush broke the law and lied to the American people when he unilaterally authorized secret wiretaps of U.S. citizens,” said ACLU executive director Anthony Romero.
“But rather than focus on this constitutional crisis, Attorney General (Alberto) Gonzales is cracking down on critics of his friend and boss,” he said. “Our nation is strengthened, not weakened by those whistle-blowers who are courageous enough to speak out on violations of the law.”
Excellent. The left is planning to impail themselves on the question of whether or not we should be monitoring our enemies in order to stop their efforts to kill us. And they will use as the core of their argument their unbridled partisan hate to rationalize why we should not protect ourselves and take down Bush. Every 1oth grader knows FISA cannot trump the constitution, and decades of court precedence backing up the constitutional claims just seals the case. Americans don’t want to have hysterical people fib to them on any subject. Let alone protecting us from terrorist attacks. The ACLU will need firm examples of Americans being truly injured to make a case against stopping the next 9-11. Shrill claims won’t cut it.