When the Senate Intelligence Committee was investigating the CIA torture program (the report of which the Obama administration still refuses to release), they made a deal with the CIA that they could use computers at the agency without being monitored. It looks like the CIA violated that agreement and spied on legislators and staffers anyway.
Category Archive: Transparency
Mar 09 2014
Dec 20 2013
Politico has an article on the now-completed report by the commission appointed by President Obama to make recommendations after Edward Snowden revealed just how intrusive and clearly illegal the NSA’s data mining operations have become. And the article claims that the commission may be recommending real reform, though not as much as critics would like.
Dec 17 2013
W. Paul Smith notes that it was one year ago that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence finished compiling a massive report, more than 6000 pages, on the torture regime constructed by Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. You’ve never seen that report because the Obama administration has classified it and refused to release it, even in …
Sep 29 2013
Foreign Policy reports on newly declassified documents that show that the NSA spied on a whole range of people that the LBJ and Nixon administrations considered their political enemies, including at least two sitting U.S. Senators, Martin Luther King and even — for crying out loud — Art Buchwald.
Aug 27 2013
Lost in all the noise and attention surrounding the trial and sentencing of Chelsea Manning for turning over a huge stash of classified documents to Wikileaks is the substance that those documents contained. Greg Mitchell at The Nation offers up a list of the many important things being hidden from the public that Manning’s actions …
Aug 19 2013
Don’t worry, we’ve been told by President Obama and many members of Congress, the NSA has strict guidelines and procedures to prevent violations of privacy in their surveillance programs. Turns out that some of the documents that Edward Snowden provided to the Washington Post prove otherwise.
Aug 15 2013
I wrote the other day that the promises that President Obama made last week about greater transparency were mostly hollow, especially the appointment of a commission to study the problem. Such commission are a political black hole. But it turns out that his “independent” commission won’t be independent at all:
Aug 14 2013
Longtime friend of Dispatches Radley Balko has a great idea for a whistleblower prize, or a series of them, that would provide some incentive for whistleblowers to come forward and reveal wrongdoing. It would require a lot of funding, but I think it’s a great idea.
Jul 30 2013
The dedicated folks at the Sunlight Foundation have discovered something very interesting. The Obama administration’s Change.gov website, which was set up during the 2008 transition and still available as of early last month, has now disappeared from the web. They suggest one possible reason why:
May 20 2013
With the Obama administration’s furious war against whistleblowers who reveal abuses and illegality by the government, especially the executive branch, the New Yorker is rolling out a new way for sources to turn over incriminating evidence that the public should know about. It was coded by the last Aaron Swartz, the open-source crusader who committed …
May 17 2013
There’s an interesting debate going on at the Volokh Conspiracy over whether the story about the DOJ seizing phone records of innumerable AP reporters and editors is a real story or not. Orin Kerr, who is a libertarian-leaning law professor and therefore generally likely to oppose unnecessary searches and seizures, declares it a non-story at …
May 02 2013
The Senate Intelligence Committee put out a massive and comprehensive report on the use of torture by the government, but no one outside the government has ever seen it because the CIA is afraid it will reveal too much. Vice President Joe Biden says he thinks it should be released:
Mar 05 2013
Yochai Benkler, a Harvard law professor and one of the expert witnesses in the Bradley Manning case, has a long and very compelling article in the New Republic about the dangers of that prosecution and how it is being pursued primarily as a deterrent to future whistleblowers. I found this passage particularly prescient:
Feb 11 2013
I definitely would like to know who leaked the memo that has an abbreviated version of the Obama administration’s legal justification for the drone strike program, a memo so badly written and reasoned that you can see now why the DOJ has refused to make it public. Jack Shafer has some ideas:
Jan 07 2013
The Obama administration’s efforts to keep every tiny detail of its actions in the war on terror secret continues to succeed in court and has now been extended even further. A federal judge has ruled that the administration doesn’t even have to reveal the legal basis for the drone strikes it uses so often. You …