Cunningham, CIFA, and Cheney, a New Chronology

In light of the news that Alberto Gonzales granted Cheneypresidential powers to snoop into ongoing investigations in May 2006, I thoughtit was time to update my chronology of the CIFA side of the Cunningham scandal.

  • September 2002, then Deputy Secretary of Defense for Counter-Intelligence Burtt establishes CIFA to oversee counterintelligence units of the armed services; consulting on the new agency was James King, recently retired director of National Imagery and Mapping Agency and MZM vice president
  • Late 2002, Cunningham gets Mitchell Wade a data storage contract worth $6 million, of which $5.4 was profit
  • January 2004, Cunningham adds $16.5 million to defense authorization for a "collaboration     center" that appears to include business for Wade’s company
  • June 27, 2005, James King takes over MZM
  • August 2005 Veritas announces takeover of MZM–will become Athena
  • November 28, 2005, Cunningham pleads guilty to bribery
  • November 30, 2005, USNORTHCOM JPEN deletes all TALON reports
  • December 2005, Pincus reveals a CIFA database contains raw intelligence data on peace activists (and, presumably, Jesus’ General)
  • March 2006, prosecutors in the Cunningham case are reviewing CIFA contracts to MZM
  • March 2006, Stephen Cambone announces an investigation of CIFA’s contracting
  • Goss implicated in Cunningham scandal
  • May 4, 2006, Gonzales gives himself authority to "communicate directly … regarding any matter within the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice" to the Vice President, his Counsel, and Chief of Staff
  • May 5, 2006, Porter Goss resigns under allegations of ties to the Wilkes/Wade bribery ring
  • May 11, 2006, Kyle Sampson emails
  • May 2006, House Intelligence Committee (Peter Hoekstra‘s Committee) first moves to exercise oversight on CIFA (Hoekstra would eventually refuse to release the report on Cunningham)
  • June 15, 2006, Commander USNORTHCOM signs order to terminate JPEN program
  • August 2006, CIFA director David Burtt and deputy director Hefferon (who were instrumental in overriding staff complaints about Cunningham earmarks) resign

The point is this: the JPEN database disappeared just two days after Cunningham signed his plea agreement. Gonzales gave Cheney peeking rights into ongoing criminal investigations just as Goss and Foggo and MZM became targets. And all the earmarks that had supported the JPEN database dried up, just in time to close the program and hide the evidence of spying on Bush’s enemies.

Think about it. This was a domestic spying program instituted under Rummy (and therefore Cheney) favorite Steven Cambone. If there are guardian angels for domestic spying programs in this administration, they are Cheney and Addington. And they got the ability to guard domestic spying a lot more closely just about the time it had to be dismantled  for legal reasons.

And par for the course, Alberto Gonzales doesn’t remember  giving Cheney and Addington that power at all!

  1. Katie Jensen says:

    Why do I feel like I just went swimming in the sewer??

    Ugh, ugh, ugh. Now what. I’ve e-mailed, called and begged for impeachment to my senators, pelosi, conyers, and reid. What do we do next?? I don’t do victim very well. I also called and emailed to feingold. I also begged each of the above to watch Moyer’s special.

  2. phred says:

    Might we finally be seeing what the WH has been so desperate hide all this time — spying on political opponents to enable Rove to achieve his Permanent Majority? Of course Cheney is all about crushing dissent and smearing opponents as well, so I should think there was plenty of joy to go around…

  3. orionATL says:

    now this is interesting, very interesting.

    thanks for the good reporting.

    most importantly, thanks for the good reporting with sensible personal interpretations of events.

    imagine if your story had been written by a wapoop or ny(twi)times reporter:

    â€officials close to the non-spying,

    requesting anonymity due to fear of ——-, said today that any thought of domestic spying was absurd, even histrionic.â€

    â€show us one piece of evidence that there was any domestic spying, one official said, while noting that publicly revealing the details of any surveillance program was a federal offense.â€



    reporting with personal insight and observation.

    thank god samuel clemens didn’t work for wapo or the nytimes.

  4. nolo says:



    too good to be true!

    back from vacation, and to shed
    the jet-lag, i am staying up to
    make a few on topic videos. . .

    in this new â€nightly noloâ€, i examine,
    in 2:43 edited time, the suggestion
    by arlen specter that a special prosecutor
    be appointed to deal with white house
    obstruction of subpoena enforcement
    . . .

    i will also [only-semi-
    shamelessly] point everyone
    to my first installment, on the
    whole sheldon whitehouse line of
    questioning of alberto gonzales, from
    april 19, 2007, an early â€nightly nolo,â€
    in which, in about 2:30 of edited
    footage whitehouse destroys atty. general
    alberto gonzales on the swiss-cheese
    access to confidential DoJ prosecution
    cases and files and investigations information
    in the hands of white house staffers
    . . .

    it is actually refreshing to be
    back from seclusion. . . indeed.

    tomorrow is another big day, with
    contempt on tap in the HJC at 10:15 a.m. –
    and i’ll have a live-feed. . .

  5. orionATL says:


    i’m thinking along the dame lines.

    i’m dying to know who they spied on.

    you can bet it wasn’t just a bunch of quakers.

    congressmen who had been given briefing, diplomats, us.s and otherwise, american soldiers reporting back home, particularly troublesome newspaper personalities,

    i doubt i’ve even scratched the surface.

    i can’t wait to see who was on the list.

    just as an aside, i wonder if the no-fly list was compiled form phone â€tapsâ€, which are not taps anymore, i guess.

    the computer age is going to be lots of fun and games for authoritarians.

  6. albert fall says:


    To supplement your timeline, I am copying in a comment from earlier today at FDL.

    It breaks down the late April/early May 2006 timeline down even more finely, and ties in Kyle Sampson and the â€Carol Lam problem.â€

    Giving Cheney a view into investigations at the DOJ right at the same time (certainly not initiated by any party other than OVP)means that the administration is very nervous about Duke and his crooked pals—and Duke was back in San Diego today, presumably testifying.

    Here is the timeline:

    CHECK out the dates folks!!


    “Below I noted this paragraph in tonight’s article from McClatchy …

    In an e-mail dated May 11, 2006, Sampson urged the White House counsel’s office to call him regarding “the real problem we have right now with Carol Lam,†who then the U.S. attorney for southern California. Earlier that morning, the Los Angeles Times reported that Lam’s corruption investigation of former Rep. Randy “Duke†Cunningham, R-Calif., had expanded to include another California Republican, Rep Jerry Lewis.

    The timing is well worth noting. But the Lewis investigation wasn’t the only trouble Lam was making. Look what else was happening in the couple weeks before May 11th …

    April 28th, 2006 — Cunningham-Wilkes-Foggo “Hookergate†scandal breaks open. Probe grows out of San Diego US Attorney’s Office’s Cunningham investigation. CIA Director Goss denies involvement.

    April 29th, 2006 — Washington Post reports that Hookergate’s Shirlington Limo Service had $21 million contract with Department of Homeland Security.

    May 2nd, 2006 — Kyle “Dusty†Foggo confirms attendence at Wilkes/Cunningham Hookergate parties.

    May 4th, 2006 — Watergate Hotel subpoenaed in San Diego/Cunningham/Hookergate probe.

    May 5th, 2006 — WSJ reports that Kyle “Dusty†Foggo, who Goss installed as #3 at CIA, is under criminal investigation as part of the San Diego/Cunningham investigation.

    May 5th, 2006 — Porter Goss resigns as Director of Central Intelligence.

    May 6th, 2006 — WaPo reports on questionable DHS contract awarded to Shirlington Limo, the ‘hookergate’ Limo service under scrutiny as part of the San Diego/Cunningham investigation. Similar report in the Times.

    May 7th, 2006 — House Committee to investigate DHS contract with Hookergate’s Shirlington Limo.

    May 8th, 2006 — Lyle “Dusty†Foggo resigns at CIA.

    May 11th, 2006 — LA Times reports that Cunningham investigation has expanded into the dealings of Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA), House Appropriations Committee Chairman.â€

  7. Anonymous says:

    EW – Are the 5/11/06 Sampson emails you list the ones where he says â€we have a problem with Lam†or something to that effect?

  8. radiofreewill says:

    OT – How about this March 3, 2006 WaPo article:…..01783.html

    Harman, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said she sent Gonzales a fax â€seeking clarification about his written testimony, which has left room for the possibility of an additional program or a broader program†of surveillance without court approval.

    White House counsel Harriet Miers called Harman on Wednesday, and Gonzales phoned yesterday, Harman said. She said both of them â€assured me that there is not a broader program or an additional program out there involving surveillance of U.S. persons.â€


    Either Gonzo lied to the SJC about ’no DoJ disagreements’ over the Program

    Or Gonzo and Miers lied to Rep. Harman in the article above by saying there is no other Program

    Because Comey and the senior staff were ready to resign en masse in a ’disagreement’ over the legality of ’the Program’ in question.

  9. Mauimom says:

    Marcy, minor point: should be â€peeking†rights [the right to peek into the records] rather than â€peaking†[the right to climb peaks? to â€peak out†his popularity?] ones.

    Any word on when/if C-Span will re-run today’s hearing? That was really something else!! It deserves to be widely watched.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Please forgive a newcomer (already a big fan of emptywheel) his ignorance. I am always seeing a lot of acronyms here. Of course I can and do Google to learn what they stand for, but for cross-reference and review, is there a glossary somewhere or other?

    For example: CIFA

    Thank you very much.

  11. whenwego says:

    Wanna bet that Rove’s hand shows up in this AND that Rove used the wiretapping on journos, judges, Dems, protesters and other fancied â€enemies of the stateâ€?

  12. jazz says:


    Since you answered my last question,can you answer this? Assumming Bush/Cheney run the clock out re impeacment ect., a new administration(Democrats) comes 2009 along with a newly constituted USAG, can we still go after Bush/Cheney? Will executive privilege follow Bush out of office or can the new AG break it down?

  13. Anonymous says:

    above, ralph wrote:

    Please forgive a newcomer (already a big fan of emptywheel) his ignorance. I am always seeing a lot of acronyms here. Of course I can and do Google to learn what they stand for, but for cross-reference and review, is there a glossary somewhere or other?

    For example: CIFA

    Thank you very much.

    Posted by: Ralph | July 24, 2007 at 22:49

    CIFA = â€Counterintelligence Field Activityâ€,
    a pentagon agency — as per the â€wa poâ€
    (washington post) article EW linked next
    to the reference to CIFA. . .

    i know of no compiled glossary,
    so i hope this of some help.

    i generally follow the links, when
    i am unsure of the context — EW is
    particularly adroit at leaving good
    links to background, for the uninitiated.

    p e a c e

  14. Anonymous says:

    let me also say that i am still
    reeling from the notion that dick
    cheney was given access to DoJ case
    and investigation data in time to
    presumably take personally-protective
    â€evasive action for damage controlâ€
    in the duke cunningham flame-out. . .

    so, how do we distill this blockbuster
    into small enough words so that the
    american public at large will be able
    to latch their arms about it, effectively?

    that would be the pearl of great price. . .

  15. Anonymous says:

    Is it just me, or has the TNH site here been acting goofy today? Albet Fall’s post on the additional timeline was not there when I posted my comment asking EW if the 5/11/06 Sampson emails indeed were related to Lam, and it wasn’t there AFTER my comment posted. Now, it is above mine. Anyway, thanks Albert for answering my question…

  16. rukus says:

    â€Assumming Bush/Cheney run the clock out re impeacment ect., a new administration(Democrats) comes 2009 along with a newly constituted USAG, can we still go after Bush/Cheney? â€

    I want to know this—are any of these people going to be eligible for government pensions? And why should they be paid them?

    Also, are any of these people, and I mean Cheney, going to have security clearances when they leave office? And why should they have them?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Jazz – Yes Bush and Cheney can be pursued under the criminal law once out of office (won’t happen I imagine, but is possible) and there is little executive privilege that could be invoked (exec priv not impossible from my understanding, but would have to be asserted through the new administration).

    ruckus – Unless impeached and refused pensions as a punishment upon conviction thereon, they will get their pensions. I don’t know about security clearances. Clearances are re-evaluated at least yearly, but my guess is they would keep them unless specifically stripped of them through impeachment. This is a very off the cuff guess, so take it with a giant grain of salt. Of course, having a security clearance to see information is not of much good if nobody will give access to see that info….

  18. nolo says:

    thanks, bmaz — and you’re right — the
    typepad comments were misbehaving earlier
    today — i could not get the first post
    i made (above) to appear in the thread on
    sheldon whitehouse — so i doubled up,
    and put it here, above. . .

    i do already miss the ocean, though. . .

    p e a c e

  19. dotsright says:

    And, of course, Cheney could also use his peeking powers to keep up with what was going on in the Scooter Libby investigation. Bonus.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Morning folks. I’m working on some big posts in my head, but I’ve got to go to Lansing today.

    Sorry about the site glitches yeseterday. Dick Cheney’s behind it, I’m sure.

  21. darclay says:

    welcome back nolo. bmaz keep missing ur posts,I look for yours and nolo’s comments and they are missed.
    off topic sort of, what ticked me off (lord knows you graciously overlooked this) was AG’s â€comforting a HYSTERICAL woman†I work with women all day and over the years have only seen one or two women I could say were hysterical. Women I know especially mothers can not afford to be hysterical and I find it highly unlikely that Goodling is the type to get hysterical.What a joke we have as AG

  22. Neil says:

    Have a safe trip to Lansing EW. How did you get three posts up yesterday WHILE watching the hearing on C SPAN 3 and blogging at FDL? You’re are amazing.

  23. AJ says:

    Both the Post and the NY Times failed to even mention the OVP stuff and the Gonzalez memo this am. The LA Times did pick up on it — but nobody (except EW) seems to have taken the next step and asked why.

    It’s been said before…but I’ll say it again. Thank you.

  24. Neil says:

    Heckuva job Davey Palmer
    More subversion of the principles and practice of justice at DOJ, this time in EEOC…

    Senators are asked to block Bush’s EEOC nominee
    By Greg Gordon, McClatchy, 7/23/7


  25. bill_here says:

    This comment has nothing to do with above threads, but I just wanted to pose a question?
    Shouldn’t the Republicans be worried about how this grab for executive power is going to play out when a Democrat (Hillary or any frail human being ) becomes president? Do they really want to play by the new rules that this administration is establishing?

  26. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Scott Horton at Harpers has a blistering recap of Gonzales. Shorter Horton: Gonzales has likely committed crimes against humanity and should be careful where he visits when out of office. (Not to mention obstruction of justice, perjury and contempt of Congress – â€Good question, Senator.â€) Without snark, Horton also observes that though most countries – the USA excepted – prohibit capital punishment, they make an exception for war crimes.

  27. Boston1775 says:

    Does anyone know how Whitehouse got his hands on that May 6th doc? I swear that Gonzales looked like he had never seen or heard about it before. Did you see how he kept looking at it, like he couldn’t believe his eyes?

    I’m wondering if Fitz got wind that Cheney and Addington were watching his every move.

    As I watched the hearing yesterday, I typed and erased the word Addington during Whitehouse’s grilling. Is it possible that Addington prepared that document and autopenned it?

  28. Katie Jensen says:

    The scary but valid point is that at this point, â€anything is possible.†That is the reality of this administration. I think many folks would prefer not to realize this. They are operating outside the law and without regard for human life. That is who is driving our bus.

    Buckle your seat belts.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Forgive me if this obvious to you all, but jeez, Goss, Delay and Frist as part of the Gang of Eight as if they are not deeply implicated in corrupt practices already. As noted earlier and generally, doesn’t leave much hope for the truth comming out through their recollections. And by the way seems to me that AGAG was trying to have it two ways yesterday: meeting with Ashcroft on behalf of Congress (read Gang of Eight) and meeting with Ashcroft on behalf of the President. Uh am I missing something?

  30. Boston1775 says:

    I’m still marveling that Whitehouse questioned Gonzales until Gonzales said that he was, indeed, working to make the DOJ a better place – he chose to stay and fix the problems – and then, wham, out comes something that is uneffingbelievable.

    How or better yet from whom did he get that document?

  31. AJ says:

    Boston 1775 — Don’t you just really really want to know who the Deep Throat of DOJ is? I know I do.

  32. Boston1775 says:

    AJ, You bet I do. I am thrilled there are some brave people out there. If you’re reading this, thank you.

  33. JohnJ says:

    I still think that Abu Gonzo is nothing but a bright shiny object. The wimps didn’t go after him the first time he told a blatant lie, so the Big Dick put him up there to do it again. Going after AG AFTER he has conceded his job to the Big Dick’s mafia, won’t even slow the real players down.

    Look at the guy; he’s pretty much worthless as anything more than cannon fodder. I seriously doubt he’s seen half the things that his signature is on. At the rate the Dems are moving, they’ll be busy with him until 2010.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Boston1775-I’ve been waiting for Abu to declare that someone must have stolen his auto signature stamp.

  35. Albert Fall says:

    Re-reading this post, I am struck by the convergence of the CIFA timelines and the Cunningham corruption/DOJ â€Carol Lam problem†timelines.

    This program could be the real â€White House Horror†whose details could unravel this administratino.

  36. Anonymous says:

    â€Will executive privilege follow Bush out of office…â€

    Only if a Republican follows Bush INTO office…

  37. Anonymous says:

    Well, its pretty early in the morning here in the west, and I am still a little groggy, but if the source of that document is the DOJ, my money is on McNulty. He ain’t no saint, but there are traces of being a real line level prosecutor left in him and the last time (or was it two times ago) he carried some water for them, Gonzales came out and did a press conference or something and basically dumped on and blamed a whole bunch on McNulty. He may also know Whitehouse from the time Whitehouse served as US Atorney. I reserve the right to amend this when i have had time to think about it more.

  38. Anonymous says:

    You can see in early May, 2006, where Cheney decided the poll numbers were getting out of their control, and he demanded a direct DOJ line, right into the OVP, so he could micromanage that part of government, too, along with the war, the price of energy, and those no-bid Halliburton contracts.

    And wasn’t it coincidental, Cheney’s backroom control of the DOJ started just as the heat of election season really got cooking?

    I’ve said it before, the timing of those changes suggest that â€whenwego†was correct in an earlier comment… no one got spied on more than The Dems.

    But that is something we will probably never know for certain, because as this worm turns, that may prove to be the proof that brings about the demise of the Republican Party.

  39. Anonymous says:

    â€Buckle your seat belts.â€

    Don’t you mean â€grab hold of that rope, tight!â€

    Lately, it is more like a bull ride than a bus ride…

  40. earlofhuntingdon says:

    On a Cheney related tangent, read Nonny Mouse Goes Down Under at C&L. Int’l transit passengers on non-stop flights, which stop in the US only for provisions and fuel, who have no intention of entering the US or doing anything other than getting back on their fueled planes as quickly as possible, are being catalogued, photographed and fingerprinted. Fingerprinted! Imagine the data farms full to overflowing with data that has nothing whatever to do with legitimate criminal investigation.

    â€It’s the law†irate passengers were told. As the writer explains, we’re not becoming a police state, we are one.

  41. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Alberto Gonzales is an abject failure as a lawyer, as a manager, as a citizen, and as a human being. (He left work at 3.50 pm on Monday, the day before his Senate testimony, to go for a bike ride – per DailyKos.) But he ain’t stupid.

    Abu is doing precisely what is expected of him. Like Libby, he probably has an understanding that he’ll receive a pardon in January ’09. But he is not comic. He is not tragic, not bumbling, or inept. He is performing to plan. Opening up the guts of the DOJ, probably in language drafted by Addington, was just part of it.

  42. jazz says:

    Again, it would be great to have all of the Bush/Cheney dictatorship impeached, but I do not think Congress has the stomach for it. However, if the Dems can take back more of Congress and the WH in the 2008 election, lets go after the Bush/Cheney dictatorship when they are stripped of their ability to obstruct justice. I also ask anyone who lives in Texas or DC to file a bar complaint against Gonzo.

  43. phred says:

    bill_here at 9:19 — I agree with your question, it makes no sense that Rethugs would set up a system that they themselves would consider unacceptable under a Dem president. That is why one needs to bear in mind that this whole scandal revolves around three key goals:

    1) Rove’s â€Permanent Majority†– if successful, this renders your question moot. It is this goal that led them to rig the DoJ, suppress minority votes, politicize criminal investigations, favor paperless Diebold voting machines, run the results from those machines through RNC servers, and give political briefings throughout the executive branch to let civil servants know how they could help elect Rethugs and defeat Dems

    2) Cheney’s â€Unitary Executive†– unchecked executive power allows those who wield such power to do as they see fit, without having to defer to the desires of the Congress, the Judiciary, and most of all, the public. Why would they need such power, you ask? to achieve goal #3…

    3) Neocon’s â€Free Market†— neocons despise any checks at all on the â€free†market. Hence their desire to dismantle any and all restrictions on business. This is not about leveling the playing field, it is about a philosophy that can be summed up by â€to the victor go the spoilsâ€. With this thinking, the growing gap between rich and poor is perfectly justified, the rich have earned their winnings. It isn’t about competition either, that’s a ruse. They have no problem with monopolies. Of course, this would have serious consequences, for the public at large, worker’s rights, health care, education, the environment, you name it. But none of that matters. All that matters, is the unrestricted ability to amass wealth.

    The only way to implement the neocon vision is a fundamental sweeping away of the institutions and laws/rules that stand in their way. Realistically the only way that can happen is under a unitary executive that cannot be reined in. And, they cannot afford for a non-neocon to become that executive, because then their vision could be as easily swept away as our constitution under such an executive. Hence, the need for the permanent majority is paramount to achieving the neocon vision.

    Since Rethugs believed the â€genius†Rove would be successful, they saw no reason to worry about setting up a system that the Dems could turn against them. I believe Rove was sincere when he referred to â€his†math showing the ’thugs would hold in 2006. The fact that he was wrong has undoubtedly rattled some very important cages. All of the cracks in the system that have appeared since are due to the possibility that Rove may fail.

  44. Mimikatz says:

    All the money coming into the Dems suggests that the R’s will have real troubkle even limiting losses in 2008. Which leads to the question whether these folks will even leave in 2009.

    They don’t believe in free markets, they believe in rigged markets and governmental subsidies and (no-bid) government contracts etc. They believe in screwing everyone else. they aren’t pro-business, they are just greedy.

  45. phred says:

    I agree Mimikatz. All evidence points to these folks being firmly in the â€ends justifies the means†camp. That begs the question of just how far they are willing to go…

  46. Anonymous says:

    bmaz- things were flaky on Tuesday PM- power outage in SF maybe had something to do with it? I couldn’t get the site to load for at least an hour or so.

  47. lysias says:

    What’s the point of amassing a lot of wealth, if you can only have it in a society where you have no freedom, where the government is all-powerful?

  48. lysias says:

    Was Alberto Gonzales’s bike ride at 3:50 P.M. on Monday done in the company of Bush? Isn’t that around the time Bush goes for his bike rides?

  49. lysias says:

    If McNulty leaked that document, I wonder what his decision will be on the issue of whether or not to appoint a special prosecutor.

  50. rxbusa says:

    Bill_here: â€Shouldn’t the Republicans be worried about how this grab for executive power is going to play out when a Democrat (Hillary or any frail human being ) becomes president? Do they really want to play by the new rules that this administration is establishing?â€

    I feel my tinfoil hat spinning every time I think that question. I have a friend who keeps saying â€if we have elections in 2008â€â€¦there goes that hat again.

  51. rxbusa says:

    Bill_here: â€Shouldn’t the Republicans be worried about how this grab for executive power is going to play out when a Democrat (Hillary or any frail human being ) becomes president? Do they really want to play by the new rules that this administration is establishing?â€

    I feel my tinfoil hat spinning every time I think that question. I have a friend who keeps saying â€if we have elections in 2008â€â€¦there goes that hat again.

  52. phred says:

    lysias @ 19:06 The wealthy would be the government, a new noble class. They would have all the freedom they could wish for…

  53. ex insider says:

    I was an insider during this period, and your analysis while compelling is incorrect. The thread linking Duke, Foggo, Mitch Wade, Dave Burtt and CIFA is simple greed; they set up their own cog in the military-industrial complex and decided to get rich.

    JPEN, I’m sorry to say, was a legitimate though at times misguided program. The idea that Law Enforcement and intelligence databases need to be merged is an old one that is based on a misunderstanding of counterintelligence as focusing on people committing the crimes of espionage, sabotage, or subversion.

    The problem with the TALON system, part of JPEN, was that there was no system to review information to see if it was legal to retain under DoD regulation 5240-1R, the rulebook for intelligence collection (including domestic). Thus, when gate guards reported â€suspicious†happenings outside military bases and information about Americans was reported, and the info was not substantiated, the information was never purged as required. That, plus a very few cases of poorly trained, poorly led military personnel deliberately and illegally collecting information on radical protesters does not a conspiracy make.

    I appreciate your enthusiasm and interest; I wish more Americans were as involved in the debate about security issues.