Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Saturday, December 28, 2013

When is indisputable disputable?

by digby

I don't think the word means what Judge William Pauley thinks it means. Adam Serwer writes:
When Judge William H. Pauley ruled that the National Security Agency’s metadata program was lawful on Friday, he argued that there was no significant dispute about “the effectiveness of bulk telephony metadata collection.”

Pauley–who issued his ruling from a courthouse less than two miles from where the twin towers once stood–then offered a series of examples cited by the NSA to bolster their claims that the program is effective, all of which have been “seriously disputed.”

Only four plots among the fifty-four the NSA claims to have helped foil have been made public. Pauley cited three of those four plots in arguing that the metadata program was effective, but journalists and legislators have picked already picked those examples apart. ProPublica published a piece in October by Justin Elliott and Theodoric Meyer noting that in each of the three cases Pauley mentions, there were serious doubts as to whether or not the NSA was exaggerating either the plot itself or the impact of the program.
Serwer goes on to describe the "dispute" surrounding these three cases in some detail and notes:

All of this information would have been available to Pauley, because the ProPublica piece disputing the NSA’s claims was cited as a footnote in the prior ruling by Judge Richard Leon that found the NSA’s data gathering program unconstitutional. Pauley refers to Leon’s ruling multiple times in his own, indicating that he read it.

In fact, Pauley’s affirmation of the NSA’s effectiveness could be read as an implicit criticism of Leon. Where Leon had written that he had “serious doubts about the efficacy of the metadata collection program,” Pauley wrote that “the effectiveness of bulk telephony metadata collection cannot be seriously disputed.”
There are also some "hair on fire" Senators with access to the classified information who have been saying these programs are not as advertised.

Oh and these yahoos too:
Aside from Leon and federal legislators, there’s one more entity that has disputed the usefulness of the NSA metadata program: The review board appointed by the White House itself. In their report, the board concluded that bulk collection of metadata “was not essential to preventing attacks.” After the report was released, one of the review board members, Geoffrey Stone, a University of Chicago law professor, told NBC News there was no evidence the program had thwarted any attacks.
Serwer notes that the only people aside from Judge Pauley who insist that the programs have been vital in catching terrorists is the NSA itself. To say that's "undisputed" is simply ridiculous.

Obviously the Supreme Court is going to end up deciding whether or not these programs are constitutional. But whether or not they are actually useful requires a simple ability to tell fact from fiction. I wish I had faith that we could at least agree on that in this country but history shows that facts are very often disputed even when the evidence is obvious,if its in the best interest of the government to do it.

Update: Also too, this, from Pro-publica:
In his decision, Pauley writes: "The NSA intercepted those calls using overseas signals intelligence capabilities that could not capture al-Mihdhar's telephone number identifier. Without that identifier, NSA analysts concluded mistakenly that al-Mihdhar was overseas and not in the United States."

As his source, the judge writes in a footnote, "See generally, The 9/11 Commission Report." In fact, the 9/11 Commission report does not detail the NSA's intercepts of calls between al-Mihdhar and Yemen. As the executive director of the commission told us over the summer, "We could not, because the information was so highly classified publicly detail the nature of or limits on NSA monitoring of telephone or email communications.”

To this day, some details related to the incident and the NSA's eavesdropping have never been aired publicly. And some experts told us that even before 9/11 -- and before the creation of the metadata surveillance program -- the NSA did have the ability to track the origins of the phone calls, but simply failed to do so.