Posts Tagged ‘hypocrite’

Doing her part for the spies.

Doing her part for the spies.

Jane Harman used to be a card-carrying member of the oligarchy, one to whom the laws that we little people follow don’t apply. When she got a phone call asking her to lobby the Justice Department to reduce charges of espionage against two men from AIPAC, she was happy to oblige.

An NSA wiretap caught Harman saying she would “waddle into” the AIPAC case “if you think it’ll make a difference.” She ended the call with, “this conversation doesn’t exist.”

Before she was bagged for this corruption, Harman had long been a supporter of illegal spying on U.S. citizens. Just before the 2004 election, she helped persuade the NYT not to print a story exposing the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program.

And on Dec. 21, 2005, when criticism about the wiretaps was coming from all directions, Harman defended the program and excoriated the NYT for having finally printed the story. She said, “I believe it essential to U.S. national security, and that its disclosure has damaged critical intelligence capabilities.”

Harman seems to have had a change of heart.

She now wants to shut down the federal agency, the National Applications Office (NAO), that will oversee the use of satellites for spying on U.S. residents suspected of terrorism and other crimes. She has introduced two bills that would close the NAO.

In a press release Harman said: “[I]magine, for a moment, what it would be like if one of these satellites were directed on your neighborhood or home, a school or place of worship – and without an adequate legal framework or operating procedures in place for regulating their use. I daresay the reaction might be that Big Brother has finally arrived and the black helicopters can’t be far behind.”

Oh, thank you, Jane! It is always a pleasure seeing a public servant selflessly and tirelessly working for the citizens.

One of the little people, making her voice heard.

One of the little people, making her voice heard.


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Justice Scalia recently scoffed at the idea, at an Institute of American and Talmudic Law conference, that it is a problem when corporations and others can use technology to collect huge amounts of an individual’s personal information by following his or her online actions.

“I don’t find that particularly offensive,” he said. “I don’t find it a secret what I buy, unless it’s shameful.”

Fordham University Law Professor Joel Reidenberg, who teaches a class on Information Privacy Law, seems to have taken that as a challenge. To demonstrate the wealth of personal information available on the web, Reidenberg has made it a regular feature of his course to have students find everything they can about their professor online.

But this year he asked them to cast their web nets over Justice Scalia. His class collected a 15-page dossier on Scalia, including his home address, the value of his home, his phone number, his favorite movies and foods, his wife’s e-mail address, and family photos.

Well, now they’ve done it. Scalia is pissed. In Above the Law he expressed his displeasure:

It is not a rare phenomenon that what is legal may also be quite irresponsible. That appears in the First Amendment context all the time. What can be said often should not be said. Prof. Reidenberg’s exercise is an example of perfectly legal, abominably poor judgment. Since he was not teaching a course in judgment, I presume he felt no responsibility to display any.

It’s no wonder he is so miffed. I would be, too, if pictures like these were unveiled to the world.





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