House Intelligence Parrot: These Programs Are Not Secret…

… but it’s a grave danger for you to know about them.

Bob Minehart, a staffer for Democrats (presumably Dutch Ruppersberger) on the House Intelligence Committee, has put together a pair of talking point documents for members of the House to talk about the programs revealed by the Guardian last week. (I found out Minehart is the author by checking the documents’ metadata.) The talking points largely track what James Clapper released, though with a few differences that may come from Mike Rogers which I may return to.

The talking points claim the reporting on the programs have inaccuracies.

The articles referenced above contain numerous inaccuracies that imply the United States Government is spying on Americans. That is just plain false.

But the documents include a number of claims that are meaningless, given the underlying standards involved.

The FISA Court authorizes intelligence collection only after the Intelligence Community has proven its case, based on underlying facts and investigations.

The most pathetic part of these talking points, however, is the claim that these are not secret programs. Not the Section 215 dragnet of every Americans’ call data.

There is no secret program involved here – it is strictly authorized by a U.S. statute.

And not the direct access to Internet companies data with just a 51% certainty that the data collected is foreign.

There is no secret program involved – it is strictly authorized by a U.S. statute.

But in spite of this claim that massive dragnets deceitfully denied in Congressional hearings are not secret, the PRISM-related set still warns about what grave danger the leak of the information created.

The unauthorized disclosure of information about this critical legal tool puts our national security in grave danger, puts Americans at risk of terrorist and cyber attacks, and puts our military intelligence resources in danger of being revealed to our adversaries.

These are not secret programs, Dutch Ruppersberger wants you to know. But revealing them will kill us all.

10 replies
  1. P J Evans says:

    ‘These are not the programs you’re looking for.’ By a talking parrot sitting on a stormtrooper’s helmet. (Inside one would be better, but most parrots aren’t big enough.)

    Guys, I understand all y’all think we’re not capable of understanding this stuff, but I assure you we’re following your inanities with great interest. (And not a little snark, when you contradict your own talking points.) Please read your own effing PR handouts first.

  2. William Ockham says:

    Well, he did get one thing right:

    Despite what appears to be a broad scope in the FISA Court’s order, the Intelligence Community uses only a small fraction of a percent of the business records collected to pursue terrorism subjects.

    So, just tell us what they are using the rest of the business records for.

  3. grayslady says:

    Hmmm. Who are we supposed to believe: this corrupt liar? Or Jim Sensenbrenner, who has already told us that the Patriot Act was never intended to be interpreted this way? Or, perhaps, Ed Snowden, who, you know, was actually executing the program per his instructions? Tough decision. /s

  4. Frank33 says:

    Bob Minehart may be part of the US Space Command. That is really, really secret. The Air Force wants to enhance space situational awareness. Who doesn’t! Well actually the Air Force, wants to enhance space awareness, with the private sector, not you or I.

    Bob Minehart wants to share with the private sector. And Minehart wants to have government and commercial ties, tied more closely. So Satellites will be part of PRISM.

    The U.S. Air Force is in the midst of assessing how much data to share with the private sector to enhance space situational awareness (SSA) without jeopardizing national security, said Gen. Jay Santee, principal director, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Space Policy)…

    During times of stress, government tends to clamp down and not share data, said another panelist, Robert “Bob” Minehart, Jr., a congressional aide with the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. But the private sector plays an important role in SSA, Minehart said.

    “Our national security is dependent upon data of commercial satellites,” Minehart said.

    The speed to make decisions about SSA is getting shorter, while the need to have government and commercial systems more closely tied together is increasing, Minehart said.

    Or is Bob Minehart a Spy?

  5. lefty665 says:

    @Frank33: The address you link goes to DIA at Bolling AFB in S.E. D.C. (but you knew that I expect). Could be he’s detached as congressional staff/liason. Wouldn’t want Congress to get off on a frolic. DoD is pleased to provide some management and intelligence, er staff support.
    That’s a Virginia area code, guess it switches through the pentagon.

  6. omphaloscepsis says:

    DiFi: “As you know, this is just metadata. There is no content involved.”

    Feinstein, Rogers, and associates are performing meta-oversight.

    There is no content involved.

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