“No laws define the limits of the N.S.A.’s power. No Congressional committee subjects the agency’s budget to a systematic, informed and skeptical review. With unknown billions of Federal dollars, the agency purchases the most sophisticated communications and computer equipment in the world. But truly to comprehend the growing reach of this formidable organization, it is necessary to recall once again how the computers that power the N.S.A. are also gradually changing lives of Americans - the way they bank, obtain benefits from the Government and communicate with family and friends. Every day, in almost every area of culture and commerce, systems and procedures are being adopted by private companies and organizations as well as by the nation’s security leaders that make it easier for the N.S.A. to dominate American society should it ever decide such action is necessary.”
“Only ten people in American history have been charged with espionage for leaking classified information, seven of them under Barack Obama. The effect of the charge on a person’s life – being viewed as a traitor, being shunned by family and friends, incurring massive legal bills – is all a part of the plan to force the whistleblower into personal ruin, to weaken him to the point where he will plead guilty to just about anything to make the case go away. I know. The three espionage charges against me made me one of “the Obama Seven”.”
John Kiriakou penned an op-ed for The Guardian’s Comment is free section challenging the Obama administration’s antagonism to whistleblowers and the conviction of Bradley Manning under the 1917 Espionage Act. (via dendroica)
“The American public must understand that actual defense spending is close to double the budget figures reported in the media. The official military budget does not include the hundreds of millions of dollars for war supplementals (Iraq and Afghanistan); nuclear defense and safety (Department of Energy); military intelligence (the CIA and various collection agencies such as NSA); and military disability (Veteran’s Administration).”
Author Melvin Goodman in a new Q&A with POGO about his book “National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism.”
“I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack, and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract.”
John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.
“Where Mr. Snowden chooses asylum is a sideshow to critical matters facing our nation. What we should be focusing on are the important issues he has exposed—a broken system for whistleblowers and how secrecy is undermining our constitutional democracy.”
POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian in a newly released statement.