Category Archives: Spies & such

Breaking: Appeals Court Backs Justice Dept., Drop-Kicks Trump’s Florida Lawsuit

AP News: Trump probe: Court halts Mar-a-Lago special master review

45: You, your sidekick & your phony lawsuit are outta here!

BY ERIC TUCKER — December 1, 2022

WASHINGTON (AP) — A unanimous federal appeals court on Thursday ended an independent review of documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate, removing a hurdle the Justice Department said had delayed its criminal investigation into the retention of top-secret government information. Continue reading Breaking: Appeals Court Backs Justice Dept., Drop-Kicks Trump’s Florida Lawsuit

Chelsea Manning Is an American Hero. Full Stop.

. . . And both an  inspiration & challenge to Quakers & other people of faith.

Thank you to the Times for implicitly acknowledging this. And to Obama for commuting her prison sentence.

Chelsea Manning: ‘I’m Still Bound to Secrecy’

Ms. Manning is an American activist and the author of the forthcoming memoir “README.txt,” from which this essay has been adapted.

It is not possible to work in intelligence and not imagine disclosing the many secrets you bear.

I can’t pinpoint exactly when the idea first crossed my mind. Maybe it was in 2008, when I was learning to be an intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army and was exposed to sensitive information for the first time. Or maybe the germ of the idea was planted when I was stationed at Fort Drum, in upstate New York. I was tasked with transporting a cache of classified hard drives in a large box in the summer heat, and I began to imagine what might happen if I screwed it up and left the box unattended. If someone managed to get ahold of a stray hard drive, what ripple effects might it cause?

Chelsea Manning

I knew the official version of why these secrets had to be kept secret. We were protecting sources. We were protecting troop movements. We were protecting national security. Those things made sense. But it also seemed, to me, that we were protecting ourselves.

While I felt that my job was important, and I took my obligations seriously, a part of me always wondered: If we were acting ethically, why were we keeping so many secrets?

The months I spent in Iraq in 2009changed the way I understood the world. Every night, I woke up in the desert at 9 p.m. and walked from my tiny trailer to the Saddam Hussein-era basketball court that the military had converted into an intelligence operations center.

Trump a “Whistleblower”? Gwynne Dyer on Those Secret Papers

[NOTE: Gwynne Dyer makes important points here, e. g.: too much is Classified; many “secrets” conceal mostly the spooks’ plentiful failures & evil deeds rather than actually dangerous stuff; and many others who took & disclosed secrets at heavy personal risk have served justice, truth, the nation & humanity. But if 45’s super-stash does any public good, it will be more by accident and the labor of others.]

In Defense of Whistleblowers — (and Donald Trump) — how harmful are those secret documents?

Gwynne Dyer

Sept. 8, 2022

I never thought I’d be writing a column in defence of Donald Trump, but a journalist has to go where the evidence leads.

Over the years, I have written columns in defence of Daniel Ellsberg, Mordechai Vanunu, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, so how could I abandon Donald Trump in his time of need?

Admittedly, Trump is not your traditional whistle-blower, driven by high motives and a need to speak truth to power. He’s more of a pack-rat, whose motives for stealing government documents may be obscure even to himself. (I use the word ‘stealing’ because that’s the word that was used for all the honourable men in whose footsteps he has followed.)

Maybe Trump was taking the documents — and clinging to them fiercely, despite insistent demands for their return from the National Archives, the Justice Department and the FBI — with some vague notion that they might prove useful one day. But for what? Blackmail? Selling them to the Russians? Writing his memoirs? Continue reading Trump a “Whistleblower”? Gwynne Dyer on Those Secret Papers