Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Posts Tagged ‘blackmail’

Bush’s Foiled NSA Blackmail Scheme

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 23, 2013

As bad as Obama’s been with regard to the NSA, believe it or not Bush was still worse.

Bush actually tried to use the NSA to dig up blackmailing material on UN Security Council members so he could force them into backing the US-led invasion of Iraq — and only the principled actions of Katherine Gun thwarted his blackmail scheme:

n early 2003, as the U.S. and British governments were seeking international acquiescence to their aggressive war on Iraq, an unexpected cog throw into the propaganda machine was the disclosure that the National Security Agency was spying on UN Security Council members in search of blackmail material.

The revelation received little attention in the mainstream U.S. news media, which was almost fully onboard the pro-war bandwagon, but the disclosure received wide international attention and stopped the blackmail scheme. U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair were forced to abandon a UN resolution and invade Iraq with a ragtag “coalition of the willing.”

Several months later, the identity of the leaker was revealed, a young woman named Katharine Gun who worked as a linguist at the NSA’s UK counterpart, British Government Communications Headquarters. Gun lost her job and was charged under British secrecy laws, but the case was dropped because the court would have required the Blair government to disclose that it also had twisted the arms of legal advisers to extract an opinion endorsing the invasion.

Now, a decade later, Edward Snowden, a young American systems analyst working for the NSA, has leaked documents revealing a global surveillance network and prompted another international debate – about government spying vs. personal privacy.

And unless you’re a regular reader of The Guardian, you (if you’re a US resident) have likely never heard of this until now.

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Blackmail?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 15, 2009

That’s what Scott Horton’s been saying:

Senate Republicans are now privately threatening to derail the confirmation of key Obama administration nominees for top legal positions by linking the votes to suppressing critical torture memos from the Bush era. A reliable Justice Department source advises me that Senate Republicans are planning to “go nuclear” over the nominations of Dawn Johnsen as chief of the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice and Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh as State Department legal counsel if the torture documents are made public. The source says these threats are the principle reason for the Obama administration’s abrupt pullback last week from a commitment to release some of the documents. A Republican Senate source confirms the strategy. It now appears that Republicans are seeking an Obama commitment to safeguard the Bush administration’s darkest secrets in exchange for letting these nominations go forward.

We will see tomorrow who won.

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