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NSA Records Show Further Rule Breaking

by Mike Hoffman on September 11, 2013

NSA HQThe U.S. National Security Agency released declassified records that show the spy agency broke rules in targeting specific citizen’s telephone records, and then proceeded to hide it from the courts overseeing the operation.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released the records Tuesday in response to a series of lawsuits filed by privacy groups. The documents cover the four years stretching from 2006 to 2009.

NSA Director Keith Alexander admitted in one of the declassified documents that the NSA went beyond the authorities yielded to the agency by the courts “and some of these inconsistencies were not recognized for more than two and a half years.”

What the director is referring to is the agency running phone numbers against databases from May 2006 to January 2009 without a reasonable expectation that those numbers were connected to terrorists. The NSA waited to report the violations until five days before President Obama was sworn in.

NSA officials were also found to illegally add phone numbers to a list that received close attention.

The NSA’s surveillance activities have fallen under close scrutiny after Edward Snowden, a contractor, released a bevy of classified NSA documents to the The Guardian and the Washington Post.

Clapper released the records on the eve of the 9/11 anniversary — the terrorist attach that has since motivated the intensive domestic search for terrorists and the next attack.

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{ 163 comments… read them below or add one }

Bernard September 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm

I can't believe we let this Edward Snowden guy get away, but I guess the Russians were always good at spying on us :-

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Rest Pal September 11, 2013 at 8:55 pm

"I can't believe we let this Edward Snowden guy get away" — where there is a will, there is a way.

"I guess the Russians were always good at spying on us " — nowhere nearly as good and extensive as the US federal government. (the US govt guarantees this, with full support from people like yourself.)

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Bernard September 12, 2013 at 11:47 am

They stole the atom bomb from us and they probably planted Snowden. Why else are they giving him asylum? Why else did he run there and China (friend of Russia)?

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Rest Pal September 12, 2013 at 1:47 pm

America stole the atomic bomb from Germany and Nazi scientists.

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tiger September 12, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Head scratch……… We had plenty of our own brains on that project. No stealing needed

10-4 September 11, 2013 at 10:25 pm
Bernard September 12, 2013 at 11:50 am

That's a lot better than being traitor to the United States of America who violated a sworn oath and even swore that oath with the very intention of breaking so he could run back to Russia.

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Mark September 13, 2013 at 5:26 pm

So you mean Snowden is like most all politicians we have in office today?

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Rest Pal September 16, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Good one. LOL.

VCT_Retired_Army September 12, 2013 at 11:30 am

Ummm … because we didn't know he was a threat until after he left the country and went to the press from Hong Cong?

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Robert Thiviergw September 11, 2013 at 3:17 pm

LMAO, he helps privacy groups and the Senate address privacy issues and you want to hang him?

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tiger September 11, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Snowden IS NOT a good guy. While you may like the opening of information to public view. The damage to the greater good is massive. Bucking the channels was the wrong thing to do. Now he is a Man without a country.

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USS ENTERPRISE September 11, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Got that right. Amazing that even on 9/11, people fail to see what these programs have prevented since then. Its sad.

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UAVGeek September 12, 2013 at 11:13 am

Do I need wake Ben Franklin up and bring him out in the midst of the debate? Even if they were successful, it wouldn't be worth it.

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WL September 13, 2013 at 12:50 pm
Rest Pal September 13, 2013 at 12:59 pm

BSS ENTERPRISE, what's your evidence those BS programs have prevented anything? In fact, what's your evidence that 9/11 was actually what the government claims it to be?

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beslagsmed September 11, 2013 at 11:03 pm

If he's not the good guy, tell me who is? We already know BHO, NSA and many in Congress are bad guys.

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tiger September 11, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Good Guy? The guys In the NYFD who ran into certain death some 12 year ago today were good guys……
You work the chain of command & those in Congress with oversight. Not run off to Hong Kong & cause a spy breach worse than the Cold War bunch like John Walker.

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UAVGeek September 12, 2013 at 11:12 am

The chain of command IS the problem. The system IS the problem. You don't solve jack working within it.

xzimppledink September 12, 2013 at 2:27 am

Snowden did what the law requires, report violation of the law. we are a democracy and if our government cant' do their job without breaking the law they should resign and let someone who can do it. law MUST be respected.

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tiger September 12, 2013 at 11:21 am

He did not take it to those with oversight, he took it to the press. Not the same thing. Then he runs to China & Russia & spills his guts to them. That is not reporting a violation of the law….

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Rest Pal September 12, 2013 at 12:14 pm

The press AND the people are supposed to be an integral part of the checks and balances against government abuse of power – this is pretty explicitly stated by the founding members of the US. And it worked in Snowden's case.

The US government IS the criminal offender in this case. SO what's the point to taking the case to the criminal when you already know before hand that you will be jailed for exposing crimes by the government itself?

Your so-called "solution" is theoretically unsound and practically infeasible. This case doesn't even require complex logical or legal analysis; it falls squarely in the realm of common sense.

VCT_Retired_Army September 12, 2013 at 11:33 am

Bull – he did not report it to the FBI or the NSA IG – he leaked classified information to the press.

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xzimppledink September 13, 2013 at 1:22 pm

I reported a coverup as engineer over the ALQ-131 anti missile pod that would have jeopardized the lives of flight crew and aircraft. I went the defined route of going to the inspector general and absolutely nothing was done. I kept making noise and was fired and lifetime blacklisted but as result of my whistle blowing not a single aircraft that was equipped with my pod has been lost and not a single pilot or flight crew member has left a grieving widow. I paid a high price with false defamation and lifetime blacklisting. At least 3 other NSA whistle blowers went the defined route before Snowden and not a single step to correct the direct constitutional violation was taken. I'm sure that anyone who has taken the "proper" measures will agree. it's not a matter of national security, its saving face and anger at being apprehended in a lie.

Bernard September 12, 2013 at 11:52 am

He should be shot, he violated a sworn oath an is a traitor the United State of America now hiding on Russian soil.

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Joe Boyum September 11, 2013 at 3:20 pm

just drink the friggin kool aid already. Israel is our only real ally. the NSA will only use intel to fight terror. and no one needs an ar-15 because the right to bear arms only covers muskets and stuff like that.

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tiger September 11, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Getting off topic But your off base on both your last 2 points. The NSA was doing far more than that. Nor is the right to bear arms just for muskets.

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IknowIT September 11, 2013 at 5:04 pm

I am not a number…

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kev September 11, 2013 at 7:28 pm

If the 2nd amendment only cover muskets, then the 1st amendment does not protect free speech over the internet, or radios, or telephones…

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AROD September 11, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Actually you can't say whatever you want over the radio tv and Internet for example cussing which are just words and doesn't hurt anyone, is regulated and censored by the government. Where in the 1st amendment does it say you can't cuss on the radio ?????

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tiger September 11, 2013 at 11:12 pm

The FCC does…….
To broadcast, you need a license issued by the FCC. Break the rules, they can pull it. Simple as that…..

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AROD September 12, 2013 at 7:40 am

Wow your so smart lmao…….. Duhhhhh that's what I meant, which is what I'm saying the government regulates speech through the FCC. The constitution says specially FREEDOM of speech everywhere and anywhere in the United States. Our government should not be regulating our speech…… (Freedom)- the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. The power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity. familiarity or openness in speech or behavior. Unrestricted use of something.
This meaning becomes useless more and more as the years go by in America because our government finds ways to bend and twist loopholes in our constitution just like the NSA mass data collection which in most part another loophole they are trying to add to the constitution. But you know what there are no loopholes in our constitution it's plain and simple freedom of speech (no smaller) clauses for the FCC to regulate what we say on a radio. Plus mass data collection without a warrant for each individual person is a direct violation of the 4th amendment unreasonable search or seizure. How is gathering millions of pieces of information reasonable???? It's excessive! Again the constitution doesn't have a clause for mass data collection. This kind of information can be used to pick and choose people our government doesn't like just because the freedoms we try to exercise.

blight_ September 13, 2013 at 3:33 pm

A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right to bear arms shall not be infringed.

AR-15s? Nope. Muskets? Nope.

Bear in mind that militias /did/ employ the occasional very small cannon, in addition to having muskets. They weren't necessarily very effective when used as replacements for a standing army either.

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W Johnson December 14, 2013 at 10:35 pm

Fellow… You need to study more before you speak. When you are educated on the meaning and purpose of the second amendment, then speak.

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curt September 11, 2013 at 3:54 pm

NSA is giving Israel intel on American citizens…. Snowden is a good thing…

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Rest Pal September 11, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Snowden is a good man. Revealing government crimes is a good thing.

Hope there will be more brave souls like Snowden and B. Manning.

The few secrets the US government keeps, the safer the world will be.

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USS ENTERPRISE September 13, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Yup, and the more secrets Russia keeps, the better. Am I right or am I right?

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Rest Pal September 16, 2013 at 1:47 pm

The fewer secrets the US govt keeps, the safer the world will be.

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Musson September 12, 2013 at 8:48 am

Don't worry about Israel.

I get the feeling the NSA spends most of it's time reading the emails and evesdropping on the phone conversations of the Federal Reserve Board Chairmen cause – you don't get prosecuted for insider trading when you are spying on the SEC!

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Peter Guild September 11, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Edward Snowden is a hero. Even if he disrupted "the greater good". Privacy of U.S. citizens is a right granted by The U.S. Constitution. Russia is now openly questioning the U.S. for human rights violations. Putin has shown leadership as a politician and showed up the current administration in the U.S. Finally, our corrupt Federal government is getting a piece of its own medicine. Apparently, those who got Barack Obama elected by voting fraud didn't consider the superior opposition he would face from outside the U.S.A. Peter Guild, Quincy, MA.

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Bob September 11, 2013 at 9:16 pm

What are you smoking Snowden is a traitor and should be locked up for life. Putting Americans in harms way .I'm sorry your from MA, that makes your statement even worse. They were other ways Snowden could of handled this without causing harm to our programs to protect the USA.

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Rest Pal September 12, 2013 at 1:02 am

Wrong. Snowden is an American hero. You are a traitor, like the US government, because you've betrayed the founding principles of the country.

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Brian September 12, 2013 at 1:32 am
Brian September 12, 2013 at 1:33 am
Brian September 12, 2013 at 1:34 am
tiger September 12, 2013 at 11:08 am

He compromised ongoing intel collection operations. Those who were under observation are not warned & change tactics. Al Quedia changed from using trackable communications to hand delivered messages. It was not till we could ID the Courier that we found Bin Ladden's hideout. Much like the release of Submarine operations leaks that tipped off the Russians We were tapping underwater cables near their bases. Or the location of the Sosus net to hear their ships & subs.

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Rest Pal September 13, 2013 at 1:25 am

the intel collection was illegal. Those behind the plan and operation should be arrested and charged.

al Qaeda is a product of US govt and military.

blight_ September 13, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Ivy Bells was compromised by a traitor who wanted money from the Soviets; not someone who disagreed with the principle of tapping Americans domestically.
http://www.hanford.gov/c.cfm/oci/ci_spy.cfm?dossi

Ronald Pelton the Soviet traitor is apparently going to be released in 2015. No way…

Most of America's spy efforts are undone by government workers who want money. Hansen ruined our counter-intel, Pelton sold Ivy Bells, and there are more that I can't recall off the top of my head.

I'm not happy at all with the specific details that Snowden revealed re PRISM and other programs. However, if he simply said that the NSA was spying, he would be challenged to provide proof or be a liar; and by providing proof he is upgraded from liar to traitor.

At the same time, too much information is trickling out about American cyberwar capability. I think people would've been happier assuming 'murrica was too dumb to fight on the internet; now we know the opposite is true and we are still unhappy about it!

Bradley Manning's reveal of transcripts and cables are what did him in. In principle, the release of the AH-64 clip would've been enough to send him to jail, but perhaps not for the full term he was going to get for bundling in the tapes.

tiger September 11, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Snowden is a prick who should be in jail.

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Rest Pal September 11, 2013 at 10:29 pm

What about government officials who have deliberately engaged in criminal activities against the US Constitution, established federal laws, and the American people?

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tiger September 12, 2013 at 4:07 pm

We have a court & legal system to deal with them. As for Americans? They should be smarter voters. Vote the the bums out.

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Rest Pal September 12, 2013 at 4:32 pm

The US federal court system has been part of the problem – a collaborator of government crimes. US federal judges are as corruptible, incompetent and subject to coercion as judges in other countries.

The people running the American legal systems (federal and state) are arguably more criminal than those convicted through the systems.

snowwhite September 14, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I agree whole heartedly with this statement

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humanx September 11, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Privacy is not a right granted by the U. S. Constitution. It is not a right in the Bill of Rights (Amendments 1-10) or any other amendments. Secondly, heroes don't flee their own countries. Third, Putin is an opportunist (if not also a common thief ). Fourth, due to the large election margins, voting fraud didn't get Obama elected. The election results were so large, they were never challenged in court. By the time Russian intelligence gets through with Snowden, he'll wish he had reported any violations as per the Agency's rules. But by then, the damage is done and people are dead because of Snowden's 'conscience.' I can't wait until we get him back!!

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Rest Pal September 11, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Wrong on all counts.

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d. kellogg September 12, 2013 at 7:59 am

"But by then, the damage is done and people are dead because of Snowden's 'conscience.."

Who, specifically?
Who died directly (or even indirectly) because of this?
Just like that Army PFC who released all that secure info,
it has yet to be proven exactly who was killed directly or indirectly because of the leaks.
Not that I defend their actions in the least,
this is more a case of somebody high up getting a sucker-punch bloody nose and they lost face because of it.
Oddly enough, go figure it took the US 4 years to bring to justice a willful terrorists who intentionally, deliberately, without remorse, slaughtered US servicemembers and some of their loved ones on a US military installation. We all know Hassan did it, yet the travesty of American military justice took 4 years to convict him.
And he deliberately intentionally killed people.

With all the code of conduct and morality/ethics briefings the US government enforces its employees (military and civilian) to attend annually, it's the epitome of hypocrisy that certain groups within the US government feel such rules, regulations, standards, and expectations of moral and ethical behavior do not apply to them.

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VCT_Retired_Army September 12, 2013 at 11:43 am

So you want to claim Swoden is a here because he exposed breached by the NSA but then say we should not have followed the law when prosecuting Hasan. Yes it took 4 years – most case of murder take several years to convict. We could have ignored the law and gone faster – but then he would have won on appeal and we would have to do it all again. Learn the LAW!

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d. kellogg September 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm

No, it's a case of we can't prove directly or indirectly the leaks killed anyone, and can't prove whether either Snowden or Manning did or didn't intend people to die from it.
So these throwbacks decrying "death! death! DEATH!" need a much better argument for any death penalty on those two than just a childish "because I said so".
Have to prove their intent to murder (premeditated), or show the after effects where people deliberately died as a direct, primary result.

You want traitors dead? Why not go after some of our so-called "intel" folks who, we see now, obviously stepped way out of bounds in believing they were doing what was right for "their America".
Can't have hypocrites setting a higher standard they demand from the lesser folk, that they themselves do not keep.

Charlie September 13, 2013 at 12:06 am

"Privacy is not a right granted by the U.S. Constitution." ??! You are technically correct in that it is not granted by the Constitution. It is a God-given right that is explicitly recognized and spelled out by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution by the explicit wisdom of the Founding Fathers and British civil law from which our whole system of laws originates.

The Fourth Amendment states: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." How can that not be clear to anyone? Ben Franklin also stated that those who surrender their freedom for simple and temporary safety will ultimately lose both.

As a 20-year military member I recognize that we have to allow the Government at times to violate our constitutional rights a little for the greater good, but it must not be a wholesale termination of our rights done for carte-blanche snooping and hoping it is right. The FISA protections that were intended to guarantee that such illegal activity would not happen obviously failed; honest politicians (if there is such a thing) must address these failures and never allow them to happen again.

When NSA admits thousands of "accidents" and "goofs," the results must be the same as when I served — people must be fired (thrown out), "heads must roll, from the top down. Such unethical behavior must not be tolerated or allowed to happen again.

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snowwhite September 14, 2013 at 8:12 pm

freedom from an oppressive government is a right. If your argument is true then why are we discussing "illegal" actions by these people? why are we reporting treaty violations?? We violated treaties. Like it or not, these agencies and actions have made us the bad guys. And yes, the obama machine is at best opportunistic as well. With him and his thug lap dog holder America has dimmed sooooo much. Its pathetic.

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VCT_Retired_Army September 12, 2013 at 11:38 am

Please name the paragraph or amendment that say we have a right to privacy. We have rights for due process and a lot of freedoms to and from. But the word privacy isn't in there. And what election fraud can you prove?

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Rest Pal September 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm

it doesn't have to be explicitly stated in the US Constitution to be a protected right … the right to privacy follows from rights explicitly granted in the Constitution, e.g. life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, due process etc. And such rights cannot be abrogated by state or federal laws — US Const. Art. VI. Clause 2.

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Charlie September 13, 2013 at 12:14 am

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated" = "Right to privacy".

The right to due process is in the Fifth Amendment.

I re-read the Constitution as our foundation and fundamental statement of rights, freedoms, and system of laws (over government and men) at least once every year. I think you and every other citizen of our once-free and noble country should do likewise.

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peter guild September 13, 2013 at 1:02 am

Excellent! Thank you. Peter Guild, Quincy, MA.

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snowwhite September 14, 2013 at 8:13 pm

amen charlie!

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Jeff Nmi Ruiz September 11, 2013 at 9:43 pm

If I had the money, I would offer a reward/bounty for Snowden. He may have had good intentions, but with the way he did it, he fucking marked himself a traitor that deserves to be shot!

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Menzie September 11, 2013 at 11:24 pm

How else does one reveal classified secrets? I do not believe he deserves to be shot but his sentence is not strong enough. Maybe Russia will let us lease a gulag just for him.

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Rest Pal September 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm

no gulag in Russia anymore.

Why not just use the Guantanamo Torture Camp? Too crowded over there?

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USS ENTERPRISE September 13, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Nah, just send him to those North Korean Work camps you all have hidden in Siberia. Oh, what is that you say? I'm hallucinating?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awQDLoOnkdI&li

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Rest Pal September 16, 2013 at 1:45 pm

at best a second rate copycat of the American torture camp at Guantanamo.

Warg September 12, 2013 at 6:45 am

Actually it is you who, promoting a totalitarian 1984esque state, deserve to be shot

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Menzie September 11, 2013 at 11:21 pm

And….this is a durprise to whom?

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Spunkbubble September 13, 2013 at 8:11 am

Those who can't dpell

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Rest Pal September 13, 2013 at 12:35 pm

"And….this is a durprise to whom?"

It depends on what dur word "durprise" means. Is it a word Mentle?

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Thomas L. Nielsen September 16, 2013 at 1:41 am

Well, I would say it's either

a) a typo ("s" and "d" being next to each other on my US/Int'l keyboard)

or

b) a word used to describe something which some people consider a surprise, but where others just go "well, dur…."; hence, "durprise".

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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Speedy September 12, 2013 at 2:45 am

Totaly passing on the NSA's good or bad hobbies…

Looking at that picture… The carparks for that building have a bigger footprint than the building.

Haven't you people heard of multi level car parks???

BUILD UP, sell the other car parks to other government agencies, or use it to build more NSA buildings to hold all the Laywers the NSA will have to employ to handle their naughtyness.

It is almost criminal to waste land like that.
Bet it isn't even pay parking?

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VCT_Retired_Army September 12, 2013 at 11:45 am

Nobody should have to "pay" to park when they are working. All employers should provide parking for their employees.

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Rest Pal September 12, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Disagree. Using this line of argument, all employees should be provided free gas for driving to work.

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Speedy September 13, 2013 at 1:29 am

What about if I walk, ride a push bike, catch a bus or ride a motorbike (Free parking in Oz for Motorbikes EVERYWHERE). Does my boss have to cover any of the following:

Shoe wear and tear,
Bike costs (Repairing flats caused by dogs eating tyres etc)
Bus fare
Motorbike rego and fuel?

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blight_ September 16, 2013 at 3:31 pm

I thought workers only had the right to work, or to find employment elsewhere. Darn those cushy government jobs…

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Ray Clark September 12, 2013 at 6:41 am

We as a nation need to "wake up" off our Jerry Springer sofa time and understand that we have lost our way as a nation of the people, by the people, for the people and now have an elite ruling class with an unelected 4th branch of government, the Ministry of Information, that is key in influencing the electoral process and creating public opinion through the dissemination of incredibly biased information. Because we already "have" lost our way, the NRA has to promote "Hunter's rights" because well more than a majority of the people understand that the "right for the people" to bear arms is for the sole purpose of holding a despotic government accountable. Also, in the day these words were penned into our Constitution, the muzzle loader you refer to was the state of the art weapon at the time and comfortably in the hands of the Militia, the Continental Army, and the people. Snowden is a whistle blower who should be protected for defending the people of these United States of America, against a tyrannical government that has for too long now overstepped its bounds, even though way too many of its citizens have been lulled to sleep.

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snowwhite September 14, 2013 at 8:33 pm

I am in complete agreement! We need to organize and march!

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anon September 12, 2013 at 11:34 am

NSA -> 10 years -> SS ?

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Rest Pal September 12, 2013 at 2:01 pm

might even be as soon as 5 years.

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USS ENTERPRISE September 13, 2013 at 5:47 pm

NSA-> 10 years -> another 9/11, cause people don't give a crap.

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tiger September 12, 2013 at 1:09 pm

I guess they want the freedom to be the next "Carlos Danger?"

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HJH September 12, 2013 at 1:35 pm

The liberals are trying to preserve your rights as well.

And we Americans should relish our rights to redress grievences with the government, something that cannot be done in China or Russia.

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tiger September 12, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Strange…… Most are busy TAKING my rights.

Libs Don't want me to smoke. Have a gun, Drive the car I like, Buy a light bulb, Have a large soda, Eat Foie Gras or dozens of other things. Now they want to run my health care.

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Another Voice September 12, 2013 at 3:08 pm

So… it’s bad for Russia or China to read our emails, but good when our own government does the same thing? Those on this list who proclaim an intimate knowledge of our Constitution show how limited their understanding of wording and concepts really are. Our Constitution was written to limit or eliminate government intrusion into the citizen’s lives, writings, possessions, beliefs, etc.

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blight_ September 16, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Gotta break it to you, but the Constitution was pretty hopeless from the get-go. Think the Alien Act and Sedition Acts would pass Constitutional muster? Sure, Judicial Review would have to wait, but even before then a legislative branch would have had the power to pass laws undoing previous laws, but never did so (even then, people were human instead of objective).

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Another Voice September 12, 2013 at 3:19 pm
Another Voice September 12, 2013 at 3:22 pm

So… it’s bad for Russia or China to read our emails, but good when our own government does the same thing? Those on this list who proclaim an intimate knowledge of our Constitution show how limited their understanding of wording and concepts really are. Our Constitution was written to limit or eliminate government intrusion into the citizen’s lives, writings, possessions, beliefs, etc.

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tiger September 13, 2013 at 4:52 pm

There no absolute to anything. You have a freedom of religion, yet we don't let you sacrifice virgins to the Volcano gods…… You have free speech, but not to slander.

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snowwhite September 14, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Theyve admitted that what theyve done is illegal. Even YOU can admit theyve done WRONG. And even if you wont the whole world knows its true and blame lays at the feet of our tyrant "leader" in the white house.

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USS ENTERPRISE September 13, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Difference is what is done with the info collected from emails. Russians and Chinese folks go on do, well, why don't you ask the NSA? In our case, we are protected.

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Kent Clark September 13, 2013 at 3:28 am

NSA mission is "global monitoring, collection, decoding, translation and analysis of information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes." I'd say it is doing a pretty good job. It processes 1.7 BILLION emails and phone calls EACH DAY with automated software looking for patterns of communications between terrorists and other targets. If you think it is reading your shopping list you are failing miserably to understand the scale involved.

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Bob Heffern September 13, 2013 at 4:01 pm

I will make some comments to resolve the N.S.A. question.

First do not believe the news you see on TV unless you absolutely know the facts yourself because you searched for them to find the real truth.

example: General Clarke was given the list of the planned takeover of countries.

Iraq,Aphganistan,Lybia,Syria and then Iran. Russia and China are slowly being surrounded with our military bases and they are aware of it..In recognition of this Putin flew to China and they signed a agreement to protect ea. other. Why wasn,t the Boston Chief of police notified about a potential terrorist threat before it happened. 1400 plus people were effected by the chemical attack in Syria but only 300 plus died not 1400. Why did this happen while congress was in recess ? And so on. Think on things you see on the news before you believe it . Thats all I have to say. Pardon for any misspelled words.

Airplanes flying threw buildings caused cars to be turned over and flattened ????

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tiger September 13, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Bob, you sound like the Grassy knoll, ufo, area 51, fake moon landing, black chopper bunch………….. The Agents of the MIB will visit you shortly to clear your thoughts.

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Rest Pal September 13, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Holely Mecca roni, you still wanna deny the existence of Area 51? Even the mainstream propaganda network is reporting it now. See:
http://articles.latimes.com/2013/aug/21/opinion/l
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/23/us/cia-acknowle

The fake manned lunar landing site is still in there somewhere.

Have you worked out the physics of the "magic bullet" in JFK's assassination?

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Thomas L. Nielsen September 16, 2013 at 1:55 am

"First do not believe the news you see on TV" – so we should believe some guy on the interwebs instead?

"General Clarke was given the list of the planned takeover of countries" – and you know this how?

"Why wasn,t the Boston Chief of police notified about a potential terrorist threat before it happened" – maybe no-one knew enough in advance to issue a valid warning? Or maybe someone f**ked up and the message never got through the bureaucracy.

"1400 plus people were effected by the chemical attack in Syria but only 300 plus died not 1400" – because nerve agents are not 100% effective.

"Why did this happen while congress was in recess" – why wouldn't it? Coincidences happen.

"Airplanes flying threw buildings caused cars to be turned over and flattened" – it's called "debris".

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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Bob Heffern September 16, 2013 at 12:24 pm
Thomas L. Nielsen September 17, 2013 at 10:43 am

OK, here goes:

"If you go to you tube and do a search on General Clarks interviews" –
So you expect me to go and find your supporting evidence for you? That’s not how it works. The least you could do was provide a link. I mean, you have actually seen this supposed clip, right? And not just heard about it?

"The amount of deaths stated by the news media was incorrect" –
The media got something wrong? No, really? Well that obviously wouldn’t happen without a major conspiracy somewhere….

"It,s common sense that the Boston Police Chief should have been advised to be on his toes"
No one should have to warn or advise the Boston Chief of Police to be on his toes in a situation like this. He should know!

"Congress on recess? Have we yet to hear the U.N. inspectors evidence on what really or who was responsible. NO." –
And this has what to do with Congress being or not being in recess, which was what you highlighted as “suspicious”?

Cont.

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Thomas L. Nielsen September 17, 2013 at 10:44 am

Cont.:

"Oh , why were we not shown dead bodies of the Rebels in this area where the nerve gas was distributed." –
Maybe there were no rebels in the area, or maybe the rebels evacuated their dead and injured?

"They would have died very quickly with their weapons by their side?" –
That depends entirely on exposure levels and available protective equipment. As I vouchsafed to you earlier: nerve agents, like other weapons, are not 100% certain, immediate killers.

"Explain to me where the force came from to turn cars over two blocks away from the incident of the Plane fly through issue?" –
First of all, argumentation from ignorance doesn’t work. The fact that you (or I, or anyone else not an expert in collapsing buildings) cannot explain something doesn’t automatically mean a conspiracy. However, an airliner flying through a large building, which then collapses, produces a lot of debris flying around. Two blocks sounds pretty conservative.

Oh, and it’s Nielsen, not Nelson.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

Rest Pal September 16, 2013 at 5:23 pm

"so we should believe some guy on the interwebs instead?" – no, but that's not a reason to believe the mainstream media / propaganda network.

"why wouldn't it? Coincidences happen. " – with the US govt, well-planned coincidences happen far more frequently.

"it's called "debris"" – falling debris don't normally overturn cars. Shock wave and debris of nearby explosions usually do. And there were plenty of explosions near ground level.

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tiger September 12, 2013 at 11:17 am

Running to Wikkileaks or some UK paper is the wrong solution.

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VCT_Retired_Army September 12, 2013 at 11:32 am

Bull. I'm in the "system", I've workedit, and I have solved problems. And i never got punished for it either. He never ever tried.

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Thomas L. Nielsen September 12, 2013 at 11:35 am

To quote the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork in Terry Pratchett's book "Going Postal": "You see I believe in freedom. Not many people do, although they will of course protest otherwise. And no practical definition of freedom would be complete without the freedom to take the consequences".

Yes, freedom of speech in principle means that you can say whatever you want to whomever you want whenever you want. But if, e.g., you say that all [name-you-minority-of-choice] are evil, will be the destruction of civilization as we know it and therefore should be genocided wholesale, don't be surprised if you get locked up for it.

Like any other freedom, your (or my, or anyone's) freedom of speech ends at the point where it starts to limit the freedom of others – and also keep in mind that if you have freedom of speech, so does everyone else.

Regards & all

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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Rest Pal September 12, 2013 at 12:18 pm

But we are not talking about getting a particular brand of coffee, cream or sugar in the break room, or similar trivial issues.

We are talking about crimes by the government where people involved could face long prison terms, and hence strong motives to preempt prosecution by silencing the whistle-blower, including the use of deadly means.

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IknowIT September 12, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Reporting violations of the Constitution is hard to call a crime. You guys are not thinking outside the military box

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SJE September 13, 2013 at 2:23 pm

I've seen plenty of people forced out for speaking out through the proper channels, if what they have to say is embarrassing to the top brass. There are people in the NSA who complained, and got blacklisted. Hell, there is a woman who was fired from Arlington National Cemetary for revealing that gravestones were being tossed in the river, bodies were not buried where they were supposed to be, etc. This is not a national secret.

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Zachary Mark Anderson September 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm

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Rest Pal September 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm

But it was German brains that produced the atomic bomb in America.

The atomic bomb was conceived by German physicists. Just because the US captured German physicists and engineers and brought them to the states to finish the development doesn't render those brains "American"

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Jason Ghent September 12, 2013 at 11:01 pm

NSA doesn't hold a candle to to the STASI, STASI had 1/3 of the East German population on the payroll for spying.

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Thomas L. Nielsen September 13, 2013 at 2:03 am

Up to a point, perhaps. Like the Patrician, I believe in freedom. A lot. But freedom comes with responsibility, and the greater the freedom, the greater the responsibility that comes with it. And the sad truth is that not everyone can manage great responsibilities.

Consequently, I believe in freedom, but not without limits. Freedom without limits is not freedom, but anarchy (IMFFHO).

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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blight_ September 13, 2013 at 2:02 pm

You never know, you might get vindicated some day.

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Rest Pal September 13, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Consider filing suit under the federal whislte-blower act but you need to act fast before the statute of limitations runs out. Represent yourself if you have a few hours a day to do the necessary research (there will be a lot to read).

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SJE September 13, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Vindicated doesnt put food on the table right now. The sad thing is that this engineer saved lives, and did the right thing, but the brass who fired him are still in service and looking forward to nice pensions.

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Rest Pal September 13, 2013 at 2:28 pm

To get a glimpse of what happens in federal courts when former government employees become whistle-blowers, search "chip tatum" on youtube and pick the longest clip (about 2 hours).

Very interesting and informative video.

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blight_ September 13, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Same on the private sector side.

Look at Hewlett Packard.Apotheker bought Palm and Autonomy…two duds in a row. Doing the right thing isn't important anymore.

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Rest Pal September 13, 2013 at 4:26 pm

NSA has a collection of supercomputers to assist its domestic AND foreign espionage operations. NSA's domestic spy program covers EVERY one in the US. It's foreign spy program wiretaps leaders of sovereign countries on every continent (France, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Japan, Korea, China, Russia, India). The NSA even spies on the United Nations.

Tell us the specifics of corresponding programs by STASI.

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tiger September 13, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Thanks for the details………

However, still no hero. As for Manning? I'd really love to meet his Army Recruiter.

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blight_ September 13, 2013 at 5:27 pm

If Hitler wanted them to leave Germany, they were happy to oblige him. As if any Jewish scientist would /want/ to stay in Germany…

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tiger September 13, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Uh……. Your mixing the Manhattan project with Operation Paperclip ( The post war project to bring Von Braun & Company here). Please give Oppenhimer, Groves, Fermi, et al their props.

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tiger September 13, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Hmmmm………. Careful with the term "illegal." Folks use a broad brush.

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blight_ September 13, 2013 at 5:29 pm

At the end of the day, we are forced to judge Manning for his actions, not his intentions. Whistleblowing is dead, so the only option left is treason. If that's the way the cookie must crumble, then he can go to jail for a few decades thinking that he did the republic a great service.

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tiger September 13, 2013 at 5:42 pm

To quote the "Right Stuff": "Our Nazi's are better than their Nazi's."

:-)

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Rest Pal September 13, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Many Jewish scientists didn't stay in Germany, and came to the states. But that's precisely one of my points.

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tiger September 13, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Leavenworth is getting quite a crowd of misfits lately. Manning, Hasan, that jerk that went Rambo on a village…..

Like that song says, We are on the "Eve of Destruction."

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Rest Pal September 16, 2013 at 5:37 pm

"At the end of the day, we are forced to judge Manning for his actions, not his intentions." —- against the long established fundamental principle of criminal law, i.e. finding mens rea before conviction.

What happened to "actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea"??

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Rest Pal September 13, 2013 at 6:54 pm

In general, yes; but not when you are talking about the US government … where even a intuitive "smell test" would give you a better than a fifty percent chance of a correct call.

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Rest Pal September 13, 2013 at 7:31 pm

No. Without Nazi / German (or Jewish) scientists, be they pre-1939-immigrants or Paperclipers, the US would not have been able to succeed in the Manhattan Project.

No credits due to Groves, who was not even a scientist.

Oppenheimer and Fermi? False prestige and product of American propaganda, in an era when proper credit owed to German scientists inside and outside of Nazi Germany would have been unforgivably scandalous.

American progress in atomic research was accomplished mostly through espionage, i.e. spying on developments in Nazi Germany, followed by contributions of German/Jewish immigrants and collaborations with Britain and Canada.

See The Alsos Mission. It's the most crucial part of the Manhattan Project.

Always be skeptical about America's claims. History can be and has often been distorted for political expedience and propaganda. (this applies to all countries: America, Britain, China, Germany, India, Japan, Russia.)

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SJE September 15, 2013 at 9:52 pm

And remain blacklisted for life?. I'd hire a guy who did the right thing and got scr*wed, but a lot of companies don't want litigious employees, especially when the company does govt contracts.

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Rest Pal September 16, 2013 at 2:44 pm

In other words, "our Hitler's are better than their Hitler."

Wish GW Bush and Obama could learn about your warm, comforting quotes.

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blight_ September 16, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Let's go down the list of Manhattan Project people, objectively:

Szilard: German-educated Hungarian Jew, theorycrafted the nuclear chain reaction. Columbia in '38, doesn't seem to be forced out by Nazis.
Enrico Fermi: Italian, left in '38 for the US (his wife was Jewish)
Wigner: German-educated Hungarian-born Jew (not observant); went to the US in '30, bounced around universities until naturalized in '37. Probably wasn't kicked out of Nazi Germany, but saw the writing on the wall and never returned.
Albert Einstein: non-observant German Jews; Swiss secondary education. Decided not to return to Germany from the US in '33.
JR Oppenheimer: Born to German Jews in the US; the second part to the Born-Oppenheimer approximation used today by computational chemists (who thank him for reduction in complexity of equations…as the motion of the atoms in physical space takes place on a vastly different timescale than electronic motion, thus small time-step electronic motion happens before the atoms can move, thus calculation is not required).

The '20s were an exciting time to be a theoretical physicist investigating quantum mechanics. The field was very tightly interconnected, and it's probably fair to say they were all theoretically equal, with some more equal than others.

Bear in mind the Germans still had Heisenberg, Schrodinger and other famous German QM guys, and didn't make sufficient progress due to lack of funds and wartime disruption. It is the vast engineering and no-expense-spared by the United States that gave us the bomb.

In addition, it was the army of less theoretical physicists and engineers who developed the metallurgy and the means of casting the U and the Pu to make the weapons, let alone developing ways to produce enough radioactive material, the explosive timers to correctly synchronize an implosion device, optimal shape design to maximize yields and minimize fizzle…

Edit: Disclosure, my favorite QM physicist is actually Dirac.

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Rest Pal September 16, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Germany was already in the final stages of nuclear bomb development, and certainly was not restrained by money – tanks and machine guns were far more efficient currencies.

War time disruption, yes, of course, I just mentioned the Alsos Mission.

None of the scientists you mentioned, including Einstein, had comparable hands-on experience in the nuclear weapon R&D as Nazi scientists.

You might want to research the Alsos Mission.

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tempeAZ September 17, 2013 at 9:38 pm

I think it's fair to say that Germany ran out of time to finish the atomic bomb. The US planned well in seizing the majority and the most notable German scientists and engineers in competition with the French and the Soviets.

The credit of the atomic bomb should first go to German scientists and engineers and then to British scientists.

However, even though Groves was not a scientist, he was a figure in the seizing many very important German scientists and engineers, and bringing them to the U.S. Therefore he contributed significantly, albeit in a different way.

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tempeAZ September 17, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Correction: last paragraph: I meant to say " … he was a key figure in seizing many very important German scientists …"

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Bob Hefferb September 17, 2013 at 10:38 pm
Rest Pal September 18, 2013 at 1:40 am

That's an unproven claim. The Soviets had brought a group of German scientists to Moscow, just like the Americans, the Brits and the French, but not as many.

Again, it's the Americans who invented the atomic bomb!! It's the Germans!

Same argument for China. What's your evidence of stealing? claims by the US govt and reports of US mainstream propaganda networks don't count as evidence.

Many posters here claim that China copied F-35's DSI. If so, then one would expect their DSI to be no better than the one on F-35. But China's DSI (used on the J-20 and the J-31) is better – it's adjustable!! The DSI on F-35 is not.

Don't just regurgitate whatever you hear on CNN or Fox or other US media. They have no credibility.

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blight_ September 18, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Klaus Fuchs was a British scientist sent along to work on the Manhattan Project because the UK wanted a seat at the atomic table. :/

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Rest Pal September 18, 2013 at 1:42 am

edit – Again, it's NOT the Americans who invented the atomic bomb. It's the Germans.

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Bob Heffern September 20, 2013 at 5:11 pm
blight_ September 18, 2013 at 12:23 pm

…no, they weren't. They were still at the research reactor stage, whereas the United States had the test reactors, isotope separation systems and engineers working out gun-type and implosion type weapons systems, plus the bombers for delivery.

Even without the bombers, there are no extant designs for a nuclear weapon designed for the V-1, V-2 or V-3. They were not in the "final stages" of nuclear bomb development.

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blight_ September 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Dare I ask if this applies in a military court?

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Bob Heffern September 18, 2013 at 2:20 pm
Rest Pal October 14, 2013 at 3:17 pm

The US government has answered that with its actions over the years. Principles of justice and rule of law do not apply to the government.

Just look at the so-called "Patriot Act" – indefinite detention without trial and access to legal representation when the government considers a person a terrorist.

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Rest Pal October 14, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Of course they were. In the final months of WWII, a small group of German scientists working under Diebner, with support from physicist Walther Gerlach, built and tested a nuclear device. The German had already succeeded in uranium 235 enrichment. Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker even tried to patent a Uranium Machine. Centrifuges

In the end, they ran out of time because of the war. Had they pushed harder and earlier, they would have been the first one with the bomb. Notwithstanding German scientists' limited resources compared to those working in the US, the Germans were almost always the first in conducting crucial experiments, such bombarding uranium with neutrons.

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Rest Pal October 14, 2013 at 3:13 pm

The fear of getting blacklisted is itself a damning revelation of nature of US government. Agreed?

I'd say it's every citizen's duty to fight crime by the government in the face of certain retaliation. A country of citizens living in fear of the government is not worth existing.

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