Everything is secret about us and nothing secret about you…

A  disturbing article by Cyrus Safdari  of Iran Affairs about the rights of US citizens where ‘state secrets’ just  could be involved…

The (Reuters article on Iran winning legal  battles about blocking the activity  Iranian banks)   article goes on to mention the procedure used in the UK to present classified information as evidence in the court whilst minimizing the risk of disclosure by allowing the judge to see the “secret’ evidence privately. In this case the judge was apparently not terribly impressed by the quality of this evidence since he still ruled in favor of Iran.

The US has a similar procedure ( limited to criminal prosecutions) but I don’t know if any such lawsuits in US court would be as successful, for a variety of reasons not the least of which is the State Secrets Privilege, which once invoked by the govt has the effect of ending all lawsuits because the govt can prevent the disclosure of any evidence during the trial that it claims would risk exposure of national security secrets. All the govt lawyers have to do is say “State Secrets Privilege” and usually that’s the end of the case since crucial information is then prevented from being considered by the court.

Tilly the kitten
Tilly the kitten

 

Tilly the kitten

Read the rest here

And a wonderful  little piece  here by  Peter Lee at  Asian  Times Online  about three earlier NSA whistleblowers and what  Snowden  can expect in  terms of US justice..

And a lovely piece by  William Pfaff on  the US’s indefatigable attempts to  undermine the rule of international  law here

Or read that  always acerbic Australian  John Pilger here on ‘Understanding the Prism leaks is understanding the rise of a new fascism’

Or, another great cutting article about secrecy and  corporatism  from  Arthur Silbur entitled  “Intelligence, Corporatism, and the Dance of Death”

Or an  erudite article on Snowden by David Bromwich at  London Review of Books

Or this great little article by  Digby  at  Hullabaloo analysing  what  is already  very  clear:-that  these “spymasters” are about as incompetent and basically just  as stupid  as you can possibly  imagine..

Or this authoritative article on  international  law by  Richard Falk  entitled Misreading the Snowden Affair

This post is a revised and modified version of an essay published as an Op/Ed two days ago by Al Jazeera English; it attempt to reflect on the significance of the Snowden disclosures, and why governments did not rebuff the American efforts to take Snowden into custody as an accused criminal by the simple assertion that ‘political crimes‘ should never be the subject of cooperative inter-governmental efforts to achieve the enforcement of criminal law in a foreign country. The world benefits from the safety valve of such sanctuary, as does the country that is seeking to arrest and punish the whistleblower even if most of its leaders and opinion makers do not realize this.

An interesting Wikipedia note on Russ Tice, NSA whistleblower in  2005, who  noted  the very  same issues that  Snowden refers to. ( note that Tice’s allegations were dismissed by the Inspector General , who  stated in  an unclassified report that found “no evidence” to support Tice’s claims.[4]

 

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