Secrecy, legality, congress - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Secrecy, legality, congress

A retired senator attended classified briefings in which apparently he took personal notes and brought them outside of the briefing for his own personal use. A previous DCIA did that and got in a lot of trouble. A previous national security advisor also got in trouble for violating the rules.

When you get read into the classified world at the technical/analytic level the rules are extraordinarily crystalline -- screw-up and it's your a$$. There are plenty of folks in jail who did it intentionally and legions who got the boot who did it unintentionally, just to illustrate the point.

Why is it bigwig VIP's get the tut-tut and flunkies get jail time? Wouldn't we agree that a separate set of standards for VIP's and for flunkies is not a winning combination?

B

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and that’s what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 09:58 AM
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 10:08 AM
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Money buys freedom, this example is no exception, the more money you have the more freedom you get, the more important you appear. Keeps all us little hamsters spinning feverishly that ignorant fucking wheel.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 10:10 AM
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A retired senator attended classified briefings in which apparently he took personal notes and brought them outside of the briefing for his own personal use.
Uh, no – the famous notebooks (complied since 1977) document wake up times, when the Post was read, and a preference for Raisin Brand Cereal – are an itinerary only and contain no details.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 10:12 AM
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I've always questioned the wisdom of employing a Waffle House as a venue for such deliberations.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 10:18 AM
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Why can't I get my friends to eat at Luby's?
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 10:26 AM
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I've always questioned the wisdom of employing a Waffle House as a venue for such deliberations.
Indeed – the notebooks also contain weigh loss/gain data.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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Apparently more than just the unusual OCD listings: Graham: CIA Gave Me False Information About Interrogation Briefings

In which the senator claims that dates are ambiguous and then suggests what could or could not have been discussed within those dates and some irrelevant opinions. He may not have taken notes sufficiently specific to violate law. But that does not explain the previous breaches of other high officers. Nor the one in which a senator divulged how NSA was tracking the specific location of OBL.

B

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and that’s what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama

Last edited by Botnst; 05-16-2009 at 10:38 AM.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 01:48 PM
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I am more interested in the concept that the CIA cooked the books on the times and dates and number of hearings on the waterboarding issue. Seems that Graham didn't take notes at the hearing but did have dates/times and CIA verified his list as correct when called on it.

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Now, one of the things I do, and for which I have taken some flack, is keep a spiral notebook of what I do throughout the day. And so I went through my records and through a combination of my daily schedule, which I keep, and my notebooks, I confirmed and the CIA agreed that my notes were accurate; that three of those four dates there had been no briefing. There was only one day that I had been briefed, which was September the 27th of 2002."

As for the one briefing he did attend, the Florida Democrat said that he had "no recollection that issues such as waterboarding were discussed." He was not, per the sensitive nature of the matters discussed, allowed to take notes at the time. But he did highlight what he considered to be pretty strong proof that the controversial technique was not discussed.
Does this change the complexity of Pelosi's case. She has been saying all along that things didn't add up. Seems like this confirms at least PART of it.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mcbear View Post
I am more interested in the concept that the CIA cooked the books on the times and dates and number of hearings on the waterboarding issue. Seems that Graham didn't take notes at the hearing but did have dates/times and CIA verified his list as correct when called on it.



Does this change the complexity of Pelosi's case. She has been saying all along that things didn't add up. Seems like this confirms at least PART of it.
I can't imagine that Senator OCD would get the dates and places wrong so I'm guessing it was CIA that has it wrong. I don't believe CIA ever visits Congress (at least since Charlie Wilson) without 2 briefers and a minder. If it's like what I do, everybody involved writes a trip report and turns it in. If it comes to subpoenas, they'll probably haul out trip logs and trip reports and they'll find the usual discrepancies among names, dates, places and times. Even though everybody gets cautioned for accuracy, most people give it the "Oops, I forgot to turn in a trip report from last pay period. What day was that? Ws it when Junior busted his lip at baseball practice? Yeah, that's it...".

IOW, I doubt it's intentional CIA shenanigans. That's a long-term and short-term loser -- to screw with any member of congress, especially the Speaker. Especially when the Speaker is under pressure and when reauthorizations are coming up.

I'll bet Mr Penetta grabbed a bunch of boys by the ear and took them for a stern lecture in the proverbial woodshed. Then he tasked an internal security squirrel to find all the nuts. Look for corrective shoes to drop next week.

B

PS If this builds enough and has enough lose ends that everybody is unhappy and everybody is screaming, there will be full-blown hearings and we will all get to sniff the undies to find the dirty pair.

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and that’s what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama

Last edited by Botnst; 05-16-2009 at 04:32 PM.
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