Category ►►► Able Danger for the Masses
June 9, 2013
The Disabling Danger of Datagate
I agree with most commentators of the Right that the program initiated by the National Security Agency some time ago -- scooping up all the "metadata" surrounding phone calls by and to Americans, immigrants, transient residents, and illegals, then trying to match the other end to known terrorists -- was probably constitutional and not necessarily intrusive to ordinary people.
Nevertheless, I have a very strong feeling (I'll make it a prediction) that, strangely enough, this non-scandal will turn out to be the most devastating scandal of the Obama administration:
- It feels very Nixonian.
- It enrages the Left at Barack "You didn't build that" Obama at a time when the Right is already enraged at and mobilized against him, leaving no friendly forces other than a handful of universally despised, Democratic members of Congress and the tuned-out Plantation Media.
- Almost everybody in America now realizes that their very own "metadata" has surely been captured, along with such trivialities as credit-card transactions; this scares the bejesus out of most folks.
- I suspect that a very large percent of those same suddenly awakened citizens believe or suspect that all their phone calls are being recorded and analyzed as well. (This is almost certainly false -- though I would never say absolutely false, considering the current POTUS; but that doesn't stop people thinking that they're phones have been "tapped".)
- The other Obamic scandals -- especially the IRS targeting of conservatives and the potential prosecution of Fox-News reporter James Rosen -- play right into the same fear of intrusion, keyhole listening, tribalism, and a totalitarian Obamunist apparatus that wants to destroy the very concepts of privacy, liberty, and freedom.
- It's incredibly easy for conservative or libertarian Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY, 100%) and Sillicone Valley technocrat Democrats to demagogue the issue and whip up an absolute firestorm of hysteria, and a deep distrust of the government. (I'm all in favor of the latter but not the former!)
Ergo, I see the NSA scandal twisting out of control, dragging Obama and many of his Donkey-Party allies down into the big muddy, like a crocodile's death spiral.
Keep watching the sties...!
October 22, 2005
The 800 Pound Gorelick
I'm quite reluctant to run with this, considering the source -- actually, considering both the original and the reporting sources! -- but what the heck. Consider yourselves duly cautioned: objects in the mirror may be farther than they appear.
Newsmax.com alleges that Congressman Curt Weldon (R-PA) now alleges that the staffer who actually blocked the 9/11 Commission from hearing testimony about Able Danger was none other than Dieter Snell, one of the chief investigating lawyers on the commission and a former prosecutor of Ramzi Yousef for the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 -- and that Snell, according to Weldon, was "the lead staffer for Jamie Gorelick." It's this last part that is a new claim, a supposed direct connection between Snell and Gorelick... and that is the part I cannot independently verify.
(I am guessing this is why Captain Ed has not yet commented on this: he is waiting for some verification of the central claim.)
It has been known for some time that it was Snell who did not pass along Navy Captain Scott Philpot's testimony to the commission; for example, consider these two postings on National Review Online's blog the Corner, two posts the same day (August 20th, 2005) by Andrew McCarthy:
This is a troublesome story, we don’t know all the facts, and I happen to know and be fond of Dieter Snell--the Commission staffer who did the interview of the naval intel officer [Scott Philpot] -- so if Snell found him unpersuasive, that carries a lot of weight with me. ("WANT TO REPHRASE THAT?," at 4:52 am)
As I've noted with respect to the former, we don't know enough about what happened, and the fact that someone as able as commission staffer Dieter Snell appears to have rejected the naval officer's information gives me cause for pause. ("THE POINT IS TRAINING AND FOCUS, NOT ASSOCIATIVE MEMORY," at 10:45 am)
But Weldon now claims that Dietrich Dieter Snell was "the lead staffer for Jamie Gorelick." Alas, I cannot find any definitive evidence that Snell was specifically working for Gorelick, as opposed simply to being the lead investigative staffer (or one of the leads) for the commission as a whole. Also, I'm not sure how much weight to give this even if true: I can't find any connection between Gorelick and Snell prior to the 9/11 Commission. If that is correct, then the mere fact that he was appointed her staffer -- if he actually was, that is -- wouldn't mean he would necessarily collaborate with her on some deep conspiracy to keep Able Danger out of the public eye in order to hide the damage caused by what I called "Jamie Gorelick's wall of separation between intelligence and law enforcement" back on Captain's Quarters.
Until I see much stronger evidence of some prior connection between Snell and Gorelick than the mere fact that he was an investigator on the commission that she (and many others) sat on, I'm not going to believe in a conspiracy arising between the two... despite the fact that Rep. Weldon has been right more often than wrong on this issue.
Commenters with knowledge of this specific question -- the actual connection, if any, between Snell and Gorelick -- are urged to share.
© 2005-2013 by Dafydd ab Hugh - All Rights Reserved