Dec 30 2005

DOJ Investigating NSA Leaks

Published by at 12:34 pm under All General Discussions,FISA-NSA

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!

UPDATE:

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As I post ealier, the Constitution cannot be amended or superceded by Congressional legislation, so the law is on the administration’s side.

UPDATE II:

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.

UPDATE III:

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.

UPDATE IV:

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.

UPDATE V:

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.

UPDATE VI:

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.

UPDATE VII:

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

UPDATE VIII:

Flopping Aces has a possible inside scoop.

UPDATE IX:

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.

UPDATE X:

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.

18 responses so far

18 Responses to “DOJ Investigating NSA Leaks”

  1. BurbankErnie says:

    Sweet. That Judge who quit is in some serious trouble, along with a couple of Dem Senators. Will the investigation get to the bootom of things? Er, no, but it will bring some shivers to the MSM and CIA and the Houses of Congress and the Senate.

  2. edray1 says:

    Investigate, find’em, try’em, convict’em, fry’em!!

  3. [...] Michelle Malkin, Sister Toldjah, The Political Pitbull, Never Yet Melted,  The Strata-Sphere, Stop The ACLU, Martin’s Musings, Say Anything, Ace Of Spades HQ, The New Editor Technorati Tags: Intelligence Leak Wiretaps Filed in: NSA Wiretap’s | No Comments » [...]

  4. [...] Strata-Sphere gives us some updates: 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 [...]

  5. baldilocks says:

    Wheels of Justice Turning

    And you thought 2005 was fun politically! The Justice Department has opened an investigation to discover who leaked the classified information regarding the formerly Top Secret NSA program in which warrantless surveillance was conducted on selected tar…

  6. ReidBlog says:

    Some leaks are bigger than others…

    Strata, I’ve noted your outrage at “those who would risk our lives” by leaking. Do you then support the Fitzgerald investigation into who leaked the covert identity of Valerie Plame, who worked on crucial WMD intel for the CIA? I’m going to go out …

  7. MerryJ1 says:

    “Newsday has some details:

    The officials, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the probe ….. ”

    Arrrrghrgrh!

  8. AJStrata says:

    Reid Blog challenged me to make my case.

    If you are interested my response is at his site.

  9. Good News, Expected News

    The Good News:
    The Justice Department has opened an investigation into the leak of classified information about President Bush’s secret domestic spying program.
    […]
    White House spokesman Trent Duffy said Justice undertook the action on its o…

  10. ACLU Slams DOJ Investigation of NSA Whistleblower, Asks For Investigation To Be Called Off

    ACLU Website
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Contact: Media@aclu.org
    NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union today sharply criticized a Justice Department investigation into the disclosure of an illegal National Security Agency domestic eavesdropping o…

  11. Snapple says:

    A guy named Ron Kessler on TV says that this program is so secret that it will not be difficult to narrow down the people who had the information and catch the leakers.

    Kessler said said a “whistle blower” in an intelligence situation should go to the intelligence committees and to the inspector general (?) and he says that is exactly what Bush did.

    Kessler is very interesting. It’s on FOX.

    I suppose we have to have this debate, but I wish it were being done secretly and not becoming a partisan football. But maybe if it is public, we will see who the terrorists’ 5th column are.

    The publicity will work in Bush’s favor, but it may also give our enemies clues.

    My son was in Manhattan on 9-11. My husband was in D.C.
    The plane that hit the Pentagon went right by my window at work.
    We all heard it. I can never forget it, and I never want to go through that again.

    I don’t feel like the government will violate my rights with these NSA technologies. I think they would still have to turn over anything to the FBI who would then have to investigate and make a case.

    On some issues, I am moderate to liberal, but I don’t trust the leaders of the Democratic Party. I don’t think they care about my freedom and security. In fact, I wonder why the leaders are destroying the Party by embracing the ACLU agenda, which is really wanting to give the terrorists a free reign in our country.

    I was really put off by the arrogant Joe Wilson and others who supported him.

    I think this NSA is mostly used to determine people who should be looked at more because they might be planning some violence.

    They aren’t just going after dissenters. They are going after terrorists. Bush is worried about another 9-11, not nonviolent political critics.

    The Harvard professor’s article was reasonable.

  12. [...] Strata-Sphere gives us some updates: 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 [...]

  13. Jihadis and Wiretaps and Moonbats! Oh, My! — Part 4

    (Click here for some earlier related posts.) It’s about damned time: … If I died right now it’d take ‘em a week to get the big grin off my face. I’ll fetch a rope, you go find a tree! Happy New Year, people!

  14. Getting Around To Adult Supervision

    And another question that ought to be asked is what exactly was the purpose for these leaks in the first place. Was it to discredit and undermine a President and his Administration for political gain? Were there truly legal concerns that outweigh eve…

  15. [...] Michelle Malkin has another great post tonight. It’s about the breaking news on the FBI investigation involving the leak to the NY Times that the NSA conducted domestic spying ordered by President Bush. Also being investigated is the leak to the Washington Post that the CIA ran secret prisons. Here is a LINK to Michelle Malkin’s main page where you can read the rest of the story. But get this, At the end of the post Michelle notes that Stop the ACLU is tracking the story. When I saw that I thought ‘this I’ve got to see’. So I rubbed my fingers for a moment, wispered “excellent” and clicked the link. The post at Stop The ACLU (linked here is full of quotes and links to other blogs that are covering the stroy. One of the quotes on is from The Strata-Sphere; 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 [...]

  16. NSA Requests Investigation into Leaks

    There have been several investigations on the Hill in the past couple of decades. Some have the appearance of political vendetas, but this one is justified. Someone somewhere is giving away or selling classified information to people they should not.

  17. Execute the Leakers and Publishers

    Apparently collecting signals intelligence regarding our enemies who have infiltrated/invaded this country is a crime publishable in the New York Times and The Washington Post. I suppose fighting back against your attackers is just not the way of the …

  18. Justice Dept. Finally Investigating The Leak

    Take a look at the below screenshot of the yahoo page. The headlines on the right hand side say “Justice Dept. Opens Domestic Spying Probe” as if they are going to investigate Bush. Of course when you click the story the real title is &#82…