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Why I Left The Intercept: The Surveillance Story They Let Go Untold for 15 Months  by Marcy Wheeler

The Intercept has a long, must-read story from James Risen about the government's targeting of him for his reporting on the war on terror. It's self-serving in many ways -- there are parts of his telling of the Wen Ho Lee, the Valerie Plame, and the Jeffrey Sterling stories he leaves out, which I may return to. But it provides a critical narrative of DOJ's pursuit of him. He describes how DOJ tracked even his financial transactions with his kids (which I wrote about here).

    The government eventually disclosed that they had not subpoenaed my phone records, but had subpoenaed the records of people with whom I was in contact. The government obtained my credit reports, along with my credit card and bank records, and hotel and flight records from my travel. They also monitored my financial transactions with my children, including cash I wired to one of my sons while he was studying in Europe.

He also reveals that DOJ sent him a letter suggesting he might be a subject of the investigation into Stellar Wind.

    But in August 2007, I found out that the government hadn't forgotten about me. Penny called to tell me that a FedEx envelope had arrived from the Justice Department. It was a letter saying the DOJ was conducting a criminal investigation into "the unauthorized disclosure of classified information" in "State of War." The letter was apparently sent to satisfy the requirements of the Justice Department's internal guidelines that lay out how prosecutors should proceed before issuing subpoenas to journalists to testify in criminal cases.


    When my lawyers called the Justice Department about the letter I had received, prosecutors refused to assure them that I was not a "subject" of their investigation. That was bad news. If I were considered a "subject," rather than simply a witness, it meant the government hadn't ruled out prosecuting me for publishing classified information or other alleged offenses.

But a key part of the story lays out the NYT's refusals to report Risen's Merlin story and its reluctance -- until Risen threatened to scoop him with his book -- to publish the Stellar Wind one.

Glenn Greenwald is rightly touting the piece, suggesting that the NYT was corrupt for acceding to the government's wishes to hold the Stellar Wind story. But in doing so he suggests The Intercept would never do the same.

That's not correct.

One of two reasons I left The Intercept is because John Cook did not want to publish a story I had written -- it was drafted in the content management system -- about how the government uses Section 702 to track cyberattacks. Given that The Intercept thinks such stories are newsworthy, I'm breaking my silence now to explain why I left The Intercept.

From my new diary - The Story Behind Chris Steele - Ukraine and Nuland.

by Oui on Sun Jan 7th, 2018 at 03:12:17 PM EST
At that point, the discussion of hiring me turned into a discussion of a temporary part time hire. I should have balked at that point...

Part of my is trying to feel sympathetic. Temp-to-hire propositions, "spec work," NCAs, work-product waivers --these rent traps will never disappear. I know jobs that suck even when one can command a four- or five-figure day rate. Which is one reason why one demands bank and per diem or the press credential, if that's what one needs, to produce original, not derivative, work and walk away.

But another part of me has a low opinion of DKos' dedicated-DNC farm league ambitions. The reluctance to read into Patriot Act I-II in real time was a side of blind loyalty. "Criminal" conduct that congress dealt the agencies with plausible deniability was plain in the shear volume and novel construction of "sharing" info. Homeland Security, DNI--FFS! And slews of law firms were publishing notes on the web about business records liability!

Instead there was DNC fundraising, DNC fan fiction, and DNC skepticism about DNI [!], NSA, CIA, FBI "whistleblowers". Risen and Scahill reporting --to whom EW compares her "expertise"-- were sandbagged by *Post and *Times columnists years before Greenwald and Christ Snowden shopped a hard drive. At DKos that obscurity was met with incredulity, because that was a group that could not imagine bureaucrats willing --required by duty in fact NEW! "national security" privileges -- to lie to the public until some newsfeed produces the fait accompli. A decade later, anyone still deconstructing narratives instead of interrogating congressional reps and mid-career bureaucrats oe highjacking shredding machines is still behind the curve. Fine. Education is never wasted.

But please. stroking Schiff and polishing "reform" of corrupt police powers first injected by PAT I (2001) into USC is not news. Filtering telecom data that should not in the first instance be collected is not protection. Hell. Who can name one successful § 702 conviction or civil suit?

Of course USA Rights amendment did not pass the House. Agreement on § 702 in principle for 17 years is plainly nonpartisan.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Jan 12th, 2018 at 07:59:34 AM EST
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