(UPDATE: Other sites have linked to this post, for which I am grateful. But people who come here without reading my most recent story
are not getting the full picture. I think I know who the "Mystery Poster" is. There may be a bit less here than meets the eye.)
In my post below, I give voice to the increasingly popular suspicion that the NSA surveillance program at the heart of the controversial testimony by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was being used to "mine" data on the administration's political enemies in an election year. A good case can, I think, be made for this idea.
But a more complicated scenario has appeared on TPM Muckraker
. The person behind this theory is not one of Josh Marshall's investigators but an anonymous "mystery poster." After writing long and detailed pieces, this individual refuses to sign his or her name -- not even with a nick, not even with "Anon." The same person may have presented his case ten days ago on the CREW
Some folks think that the mystery poster is a Bush administration insider gone blabby.
Since these comments can be a little difficult to find on the original page, I have decided to reprint them here. You'll find them after the jump.(To read the rest, click "Permalink" below)Is this The Real Shit? Is this a side-trip into Red-Herringland? Is it just an interesting theory? Make up your own minds. All the words after the asterisks were written by our enigmatic friend:
* * *
To those who are asking for views/comments/reactions, I would encourage you to take a large perspective on this Gonzalez situation. I'm going to point you to something that may not seem related, but with time you'll see there is something to this.
1 Enter at URL [ http://mpuc.informe.org/easyfile/easyweb.php?func=easyweb_query ]
2. At the second block, "Case ID" -- Enter this number [ 2006274 ]
The case file you are looking at is the backup information and messages related to the Maine Power Utility Lawsuit against Verizon. This relates to the recent ruling that the state AG's of Vermont, Maine, Missouri, and New Jersey can proceed with the litigation on re NSA at the _state_ level. Recall DoJ threatened to sue the state AGs to dissuade them from taking action, in re Honorable Vaughn R. Walker.
There are some important things to notice in the casefile: If you go through the records, as you have with the DOJ E-mail dumps you're going to see some interesting things.
* Disclosed Verizon E-mail Addresses Link To NSA, FISA Intermediaries [Disclosures mean Verizon cannot hide e-mails from Grand Jury]
Recall, one of the problems has been the missing RNC e-mails. There's an answer to the missing holes. Inside the Maine PUC file for the Verizon, are their e-mail addresses for their internal e-mails. These were not supposed to have been disclosed; but one of the counsel's memoranda lists an e-mail for the internal system. To make a long story short, once you index the e-mails for the Verizon internal e-mail system, you can then use open source information to cross-index with the outside NSA-FISA intermediaries: One of them is AMDOCS. Within the Verizon e-mail is also open disclosure of the Verizon General Counsel request for and receipt of information related to specific legal questions related to various litigation issues of interest to the FISA-NSA surveillance.
In court, once something has been disclosed, that cannot be hidden.
In light of the Gonzalez testimony on FISA, and the Verizon GC disclosures, plus the knowledge that Verizon does have this internal e-mail system, I would encourage a broad view: There is an overlap between the WH, RNC, Verizon, DoJ on the FISA through the AMDCOS-intermediary link within the Verizon e-mail.
ALso, you will notice that the Verizon GC initially _failed to deny_ (very important) something that they later _changed their position_ (also important) on whether the NSA did or did not have "access" to their systems/facilities.
Verizon is also linked through the NSA with one of its certified fiber optic test centers; and this NSA contractor appears on the JROC funding/operational documents within the pentagon; and is also listed on classified documents related to testing, performance, and other things.
The point is simple: The MAINE PUC data set on this case -- like the DOJ Staff e-mails -- is a gold mine of information related to the very things the DOJ and President are refusing to provide to Congress on the ground of privilege.
As a heads up to the Verizon e-mails in the PUC data, they're somewhat clunky to link to. I would encourage you to reference them not by links, but by the _date_ of the file. [If you attempt to directly Link to the PDF file from TPM, it can be a problem.]
Here are my suggestions:
1. In light of the FISA-DoJ-US Atty-DoJ Staff e-mail lessons (thinks that are surfacing, or disclosures by the General counsel), look through the documents.
2. Make a records of any Verizon e-mail reference; and then do a cross index with all NSA contractors, intermediaries, and RNC business units linked with the White House IT department. You will be able to see that the White House-RNC e-mail connection on the RNC e0-mails is also something that traces from the WH to the RNC IT then into the Verizon e-mail system: The common link will be the companies names listed on the Verizon BCC copies.
3. Note closely the comments of the Verizon General Counsel immediately after they were asked questions: They have said some things about NSA access.
4. Then, you want to compare the nature, and terms of the Verizon contract with the various media-messaging firms within the GOP-WH-DOJ that are linked with AT&T. One of the names that may appear is Fleishman Hilliard. This firm's name is one that has been linked with AT&T, and could very well have a contract that permits it to get the stripped down versions of the NSA intercept data; and which they use to develop some sort of media messages. The speculation is that the Gonzalez testimony about "this program" or "that program" relates to the method by which NSA data is stripped of identifying information; and how this non-specific information is then transferred possibly through an Intermediary to a firm associated with DoJ and DoD. As you dig into the Fleishman Hilliard Contracts, you Will find a common contract number that crosses multiple Presidential programs and appropriations -- DoJ, DHS, DoD. The contract numbers are essentially the same.
Your job should be to consider the Gonzalez testimony and WH efforts to claim privilege as a _subset_ effort to shield attention from the open source information that can be back doored into the WH, DoJ, and DOD. IN other words, the WH, DoJ, and AG are screaming, "You can't come in this door," and apparently hoping you don't realize that the stuff they're hiding, and the WH connection, isn't noticed through the Maine PUC data. I'll leave it up to you to independently conclude whether the link is real; or whether the data supports something else.
To review, the Maine PUC data affirmatively links Verizon e-mail with a FISA intermediary; Verizon General counsel disclosures outside the firm; and to WH IT entities that have been liked with the NSA Fiber optic testing facilities and NSA budgeting documents held at the JROC level. Also within the data set is information suggesting that the DOJ Staff counsel -- after the Verizon GC commented in writing -- did intervene behind the scenes to provide a copy of WH EOP/OVP/OLC legal positions on issues of privilege.
It would appear, given the disclosures, change in position, and the link between Verizon and the NSA -- through their openly available documents -- that the Congress has the basis to subpoena those who are familiar with the DoJ OLC-Verizon GC coordination related to the media inquiry. Because the Verizon GC has changed their position, this forms the basis to ask about what they have disclosed. Further, once the Walker Court ruled the State AGs could proceed with the litigation, we need to look at the DoJ Staff counsel "threats" against State AGs and determine whether this was an improper use of DOJ resources, an illegal threat of prosecution, or other actionable conduct per DC Bar Rules.
Also consider the Vaughn Court finding: That the States are not required to assent to the Federal law; and that the states are not behold to follow the lead of Congress, DoJ, or the President when the Federal Government is not protecting the state citizens' rights. This is important when planning the State AG prosecutions of the President, VP, and Members of congress: State AGs do have standing, and the inaction of Congress on these matters does not mean the State AGs are forced into inaction.
The point is simple: If the Congress and DoJ-WH Counsel_President get into a tug of war, and protracted litigation over the RNC e0-mails, remember there are NSA contractors who, with the right financial leverage applied to them, can be inducted to disclose more of what they've already disclosed. Congress has the power of the purse: The Congress can say to the President, AG, and NSA contractors: WE know about your internal e-mails; we've got open records linking the WH with the NSA contractors on this n arrow issue of FISA warrants; and we also have the contract numbers of the Media messaging firm. Either you give us the documents we are asking for, or we in Congress -- like Murtha did -- will zero-out the budgets for those contractor facilities, test ranges, system program offices, and other activities which the NSA contractors are currently working under. If you want your money, give us the information; no information means no money -- but the litigation will continue.
In other words, don't let the WH-President make you believe that you have to play nice "while the RNC-WH Counsel" waste your time in court arguing over privilege. You have leverage _right now_ to go to the Joint staff and say: We want the information by Close of business today; if you don't get it, your budgets are going to get zeroed out, just like Murtha did with the congressional liaison. Then the NSA contractors will have to decide whether they're going to want to go through termination negotiations, and lose funding; or whether they're going to turn over the evidence linked with these disclosed Verizon documents. Don't wait for congress and the DOJ to agree: Press now for the Congress to cut the budget first; then tell the WH to provide the information, or the litigation will continue, and he has no prospect of getting that money returned. Time to remind the President: If he refuses to cooperate, hes' going to get no money; and the Congress is fully prepared to litigate. The money gets taken first.
All information you glean is then then admissible to the State AGs as the prepare to prosecute the Members of Congress, contractors, President, VP, and legal counsel for their alleged complicity with, and refusal to prevent FISA violations, war crimes, prisoner abuse, rendition, and other illegal activity. As you collect the responses, keep in mind you'll want to organize it so the Grand Jury can understand what happened first; and they can see the inconsistent statements between [a] the contracts; [b] the e-mail responses before DOJ intervened; [c] the e-mails after DoJ intervened; and [d] the subsequent response to you, Congress, or the media on this subject. As stated above, the problem the President, DOJ, and the NSA have is that they're stuck with the original lines of evidence that have been captured, retained, and stored outside their control.
Date: July 30, 2007 5:58 PM
FOCUSING ON VERIZON GC COMMENTS _BEFORE_ DOJ STAFF COORDINATED ON FISA RESPONSES
1. Sample file
When you look at the MPUC file, you'll want to go to the first records, at the end of the file. The date you want to look for is May 2006. Currently, this file is at the _end_ on page 9; if the future, as more documents are added at the beginning, this last page will increase.
Today, the last page is page 9 of the file. Look for this file, and open it: [Click on the far _left_ yellow file folder] which has this information on the line [Columns_# left to right]:
- Col_2: Date: 05/08/2006
- Col_4: DocTYpe: Initial Filing
- Col_12: Name: Cowie
You'll see two files, click on the one that is 58 pages, the top row; pdf file is on the left. Click that icon. The file we're focusing on is 58 pages long.
- - - - -
Scroll to the end, page 58: You'll see a name: The Verizon GC name listed is "Arena", the one who isn't the primary Verizon GC: Here's your first connection with the FISA: "Arena" is a former DoJ Type; and has been linked with the intermediaries; and his name is linked with the same AT&T-conference attendees in re NSA-JTTF-FISA intermediaries for processing warrants.
- Play with the phone numbers in the DC Madam list. Just for fun.
- - - - -
3. Verizon Internal E-mail Format Disclosed
Go to page 56 of 58: This is the funny part: Look at the e-mails: That is a unique Verizon internal e-mail format that can be cross indexed within the RNC and WH e-mail systems to get some hits; as well as with DoJ, DoD, NSA, and outside legal counsel. This is the third party data transfer system we've been talking about. . . someone said it was "impossible" -- sorry, there it is. That e-mail is linked with an IP number; which is then cross indexed with various US government computers in other databases. Ooops! Funny, weren't those DOJ Staff supposed to be processing warrants not using their computers for unofficial things?
The format also includes the CITY where the Particular verizon emloyee is assigned. YOu'll have to review how the employee transfers related to changes or no changes in designations.
Here's the neat thing: Verizon in that e-mail on page 56 has an EMPL format: That means "employee": Verizon General counsel has foolish in disclosing their e-mail outside their office; also Verizon _contractors_ have another formatted code. If you play with this format, you're going to see the open records, and you can eventually find which Verizon employees have been sharing information with the FISA intermediaries.
- - - -
4. Out of court Inconsistent statements
YOu want to comare what Arena first said to Cowie with all subsequent Verizon-Gonzalez statements. The short version: What Arena said doesn't later match with the DoJ "version" of spin, subsequent sent through the Verizon GC.
- - - - -
5. Subpoenas of Verizon E-mail senders/recivers
Page 54 has an e-mail, and you can find others. The point is that, as with the RNC e-mails in the DOJ Staff dump to the Congress, Verizon has disclosed that there is a _contractor_ e-mail system which -- with their own records -- links them to the FISA intermediaries. This means that those working with the JTTF, NSLs, and the DoJ FISA processing warrants' system have to explain why their computers and e-mails include the Verizon notes in them. Congress needs to go to the DOJ and say, "OK, we know about these e-mails; and can link them to the FISA; let's see the DOJ, NSA, DOJ, and WH/OVP e-mails sent to coordinate the Verizon responses which _contradict_ Arena's first statements.
- Why did the DOJ's later responses adjust what Arena first said?
DoJ, OVP, EOP, RNC, and Verizon are stuck: The e-mails have been disclosed; and the link between Verizon and the NSA fiber optic testing center matches the NSA budgeting documents at the JROC, which are disclosed through an executive order. No wonder they OVP said they didn't apply: "We don't want you to look there."
- - - - - -
6. COnnections to FISA, NSA, and White House
Bottom line: The RNC e-mails can be cross indexed with the holes within the Verizon e-mails system: And any of the US government e-mails sent to these Verizon addresses can be requested. We know there was coordination because the DOJ and Verizon openly confirmed their cooperation; but this isn't "provided" because it relates to an inconsistent statement by the Verizon counsel: Did NSA and Verizon have an agreement; and why did the first response of "may" have given access not match the later "refuse to comment"?
The answer is the same as what Berenson was saying about Rendition: First he commented on PBS; then it went to "can nether conform nor deny.," IT appears WH Counsel, DoJ Staff, OLC and Sidley Austin-Verizon changed their position. That is admissible: There would have been a meeting, agreement, or communication to go from the original position to the second one. Where documents have been destroyed, or not provided, adverse inferences may be made.
- - - - -
7. Where to find the baseilne data to check for RNC and Verizon Email Destruction/Holes
The key will be to find any verizon e-mails sent _oustide_ the US government, use those as a baseline; then look in teh verizon archives to see if any of those sent e-mails -- unrelated to the nSA-DoJ -- have also been destroyed/removed. Verizon has no clue where else these are being stored right now. Yes, the files were sent; but who knows about those files; and who has forwarded them to the Grand Jury, TPM, and Congress?
Date: July 30, 2007 7:08 PM
[Here is the CREW offering]:
We disagree with the NYT emphasis on e-mails. Based on Ralston's denial, it appears there is something else going on.
Question: Karl Rove didn't discuss this claim with you?
[Ralston, response]: No.
Mr. Berenson [Ralston Counsel]. Do you want to clarify that last answer?
Ralston. I don't recall. I don't have a recollection of anyone discussing with me specifically that claim.
Ralson leaves open the possibility that the GOP and WH-EOP have an online collaborative file sharing program such as SharePoint, which integrates with MicrosoftOutlook. However, this is a third-party website, which RNC could hide, say it is not a file system they own, and avoid providing it to Congress. What review has Congress does on online collaborative file sharing programs which are not related to e-mail, but could fit nicely within Ralston's denial above?
Prior, related, basis for statements below:
[ http://www.citizensforethics.org/node/29131#comment-6429 ]
What's curious about Ralston's denial is that she, as Goodling did, leaves open other possibilities. This information builds off the discussion related to Ralston's apparent vague, open-ended comment. Ralston stated in her deposition that she was not aware of any discussions related to this claim:
I don't have a recollection of anyone discussing with me specifically that claim.
The above Ralston comment leaves open the possibility that Ralston was aware of non-discussions: Online White House-EOP-DoJ communications in a collaborative electronic environment. As Ralston as carefully worded her denial, she does not specifically exclude the possibility that she, while working for Rove, was not aware of any online electronic data exchange; or collaborative work product review. One such product that integrates with Windows Office 2007 is SharePoint from Microsoft.
The following information is not an endorsement of this product, nor a solicitation to buy, sell, or review the product for private or commercial purposes. The information below may related to online collaboration between White House Staff, legal counsel, and other contractors on issues related to war crimes and Geneva violations. If you are in the law enforcement community, intelligence services, or legal profession and have a duty to report allegations of war crimes-related evidence, you are encouraged to discuss the information below with counsel for advise how to proceed and remain in compliance with your legal and ethical obligations under Article 82 of the Geneva Conventions.
Basis for Subpoena Discussion
The information below forms the basis to request a subpoena of all White House IT information contracts, software, and data which is used in a collaborative environment. The current Congressional Subpoenas do not appear to adequately focus on non-email data interchange. As Ralston's denial is worded, she leaves open the possibility that the White House staff has engaged in online data transfer using software and hosts outside the White House on separate software systems.
1. There is evidence identifying Microsoft Outlook as one of the software products which Karl Rove used. Karl Rove is widely reported, and it was disclosed on the DOJ Staff e-mails to the Congressional Senate and House Judicial Committees in the "data dump", that he had an F:drive. The nomenclature and spacing for his published/inadvertently disclosed e-mail archive is in the format matching Microsoft Outlook.
2. Microsoft Outlook, Internet Explorer and Firefox have RSS-intercept capability
3. Using methods which the NSA cannot intercept, we can confirm that Sidley Austin, and personnel associated with Bradford Berenson, formerly of the White House counsel's office and Ralston's defense counsel, use RSS intercept systems to track online communications. Testing of the Sidley Austin interception capabilities confirms that personnel assigned to Sidley Austin are using software products to timely capture within hours published material matching issues, personnel, names, and key areas of interest to Sidley Austin.
4. The Scooter Libby Court identified the speed with which counsel was able to quickly mobilize within 72 hours to rapidly collaborate on a work product for the court to review.
5. The Department of Justice US Atty e-mails indicates DoJ Staff uses Microsoft Outlook, as evidenced by the calendar templates matching closely the Microsoft Outlook Calendar Options.
6. Ralston in her deposition did not exclude the possibility that the WH, DoJ Staff, and outside counsel were or were not using non-verbal methods to interact. Ralston only asserted that she was not aware of "discussions" leaving open the possibility that she was aware of online interactions, briefings, and other electronic information posted to a common website, and collaboratively updated.
7. Microsoft Outlook SharePoint has an e-mail notification system to notify users of their password; and the e-mail notifications are archived, can be deleted.
8. Using methods which the NSA cannot intercept, we can confirm that EOP and Sidley Austin have jointly met on common websites, and have connected to common websites outside the District of Columbia in websites linked with Indiana. The IP numbers for the White House EOP and Sidley Austin are jointly linked with common websites that are not obviously related to law enforcement, intelligence, national security, or bonafide official US government business.
Stop reading if you do not understand this:
The following information are not statements of fact, but are allegations based on the above theory. We continue with the presumption that the information is not allegations of illegal activity directed at any specific individual with Sidley Austin, nor are they conclusions of law about the conduct of Ralston.
9. Rove's C: Drive format is consistent with Microsoft Outlook, compatible with Sharepoint. Based on information and belief, the White House EOP and outside counsel have collaboratively worked on various intelligence briefings, work products, and other "non discussions". Mary Walker of the Department of Justice General Counsel's office has been widely reported in the open media has been one of the chief architects of the policies to circumvent Geneva. We judge the speed, efficiency that these rendition-interrogation briefings supports the conclusion that online collaboration, not using e-mail, was used coordinate the communication, briefing updates, and process information from the interrogations.
10. Bradford Berenson of Sidley Austin, self-disclosed on a PBS Frontline interview that he did not personally attend briefings, but was aware of intelligence gathering operations. We judge his statements could be linked with data sharing protocols and software such as SharePoint; and the means by which Berenson and other WH counsel were informed of the progress of the intelligence gathering was through online file sharing systems similar to SharePoint; or some system of sharing files that did not rely on e-mails to send and receive data.
11. SharePoint is not the only software product related to Microsoft Outlook which would permit online collaboration, avoid discussions, and fall within what Ralston asserted. Other products the public may be familiar are LotusNotes, newsgroups, permission notes, remote access to data files. Each of these require sign-in and access authority sent through e-mails.
12. The speed with which the Military Commissions Act, and Scooter Libby Sentencing Defense documents were coordinated are instructive. As the Scooter Sentencing Court concluded, it is very unusual for counsel to be able to process this much information pro bono, yet not have major data errors. We judge the legal defense and amicus briefs related to the Scooter Libby Sentencing memoranda, and notifications about the Sentencing Letters, was widely known on WH, EOP, and DOJ newsgroups, online filing sharing systems.
13. A close reading of the Scooter Libby Sentencing Letters indicates on more than one occasion that personnel were notified of the letters, yet they were emphatic that nobody asked them to act. This suggests that there was some sort of common website, newsgroup, or method of sharing the status of the court information with a close knit group, that there were legal disclaimers on the information, and that legal counsel had access to a closely held group.
14. DoJ and WH E-mails regularly refer to issues as a "close hold." This implies that there is a file sharing system, not necessarily related to e-mail, that permits DOJ and WH personnel to quickly share information within EOP, OMB, and other divisions.
15. We judge the Ralston change in response, prompted by counsel Berenson, is very important. As with Goodling's less than emphatic denials, prompting DOJ OPR to review issues related to the AG, we conclude that Ralston restatement has enough wiggle room in the denial to permit other methods of "non discussions".
16. One apparent assumption of Congress was that the DOJ Staff counsel and others involved with the US Atty firings and Ambramoff issues was that there was specific e-mail sent to coordinate issues. We do not dispute that e-mail was being used. However, recall the scope of Goodling's defense counsel's assertions as a basis to induce Congress to grand immunity: That unless she got immunity, she would not be able to provide valuable information which was incriminating. Goodling's counsel specifically asserted that perjury was on the table if Goodling was not granted immunity. We judge this assertion was a red herring to trump up Goodling's apparent value to the Congress, and create the impressing that because Goodling's legal consequences might be grave, she could not share any information. Similarly, we judge Berenson is doing the same in re Ralston. However, we believe that the sleight of hand in re Goodling is slightly different with Berenson-Ralston: Rather than emphasize her value, Berenson appears to be confirming the existence of Ralston's knowledge of e-mails, yet this has nothing to do with the ambiguous denial of Ralston. Note closely what Berenson keeps focusing on in the deposition -- e-mails -- and contrast that with the denial Ralston officers: Leaving open that non-e-mails were used to share information. As with Goodling, it appears Counsel is creating a red herring for Congress. If this theory is true, then we need to reconsider, in light of Ralston's half-incomplete-denial, what Berenson might be attempting to do with his objections. We judge Berenson is not a disinterested counsel acting only to assert his clients' interests, but has a personal interest in seeing that the alleged non-email communication is suppressed, not raised; and that he has a motivation to distract attention from Ralston's apparent knowledge of Rove's Outlook software products that integrate with SharePoint: Berenson would have been in a position to get access to this SharePoint information.
17. Note closely the PBS Frontline statements Berenson made in re Rendition: He was fairly open. Yet, years later Berenson asserted that the issues involving foreign countries could neither be confirmed nor denied. The issue is Bronson's' apparent inconsistent statements on whether he can or cannot discuss rendition. We judge after the first disclosures of rendition of the PBS Frontline, there was a meeting between WH Counsel, other legal counsel, and Sidley Austin personnel to develop a common media message and commentary. One possible means to review the "new policy" -- that of neither confirming nor denying information on rendition, as opposed to openly commenting on rendition -- was through a online collaborative tool which shared a policy memo. IT remains to be understood how this policy memo, if it existed on this narrow issue of rendition, was crated, reviewed, sent, coordinated; and what "not discussions" occurred to promulgate the new policy on media comments related to rendition.
18. Also implicated with the rendition-FISA violations-warrantless surveillance-Prisoner abuse are several DoD-DOJ Contractors: Abraxas, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, SAIC, Titan. Using the online collaborative tools, contractors could quickly update policies, procedures, and share information, but by pass the e-mail interception NSA uses. Whether this was occurring, or whether this assumption was reasonable remains to be seen. The speed with which the Military Commissions Act updates were coordinated after copying and pasting the UCMJ clauses suggests that there was an on-line collaborative tool which contractors, legal counsel, and other personnel were able to quickly update, make changes, leave comments, and produce a final MCA. Whether the final language was Constitution remains a legal mater outside this discussion.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DISCOVERY
18. It is not appropriate to focus only on E-mails. To date, it does not appear Congress has the independent means to specifically target, detect, and sample on-line collaborative tools and data sharing platforms unless Congress receives a copy of the e-mail authorization for that particular platform. We recommend Congress request for all e-mail approvals for any online platform; and that all codes related to the access of these platforms be independently reviewed by a special master and sealed.
19. We are concerned that the Congress appears to be narrowly focusing on e-mails, without necessarily considering the non-email methods for WH, EOP, and outside counsel to have "non discussions". How the online collaboration relates to e-mails, links, URLs, decisions, timing of meetings, or subsequent actions/patterns/decisions remains to be understood. Ralston's changed comment does not in any way exclude the possibility this has occurred and qualifies as a "non discussion."
20. We judge he objective of the online collaboration -- outside e-mails -- was to hide the connection between DoJ and DoD Contractors; insulate them from discovery; and hide the specific information contractors provided to the online collaboration platform. If this online collaboration model was used to have "non discussions", there would be specific contractors accessed the collaboration tool, made changes, or provided comments. Of interest to Congress within these online collaboration tools would be the legal comments related to counsel on issues of Geneva.
21. We judge Ralston's incomplete denial leaves open the possibility that these online tools exist; because their apparent method of communication would be to allegedly violate the Hatch Act, this would remove any expectation of confidentiality or privilege; and legal counsel knew or should have known because the objective of the online collaboration was not to comply with the law, their alleged illegal activity could not be protected by ORCON or any expectation of privilege.
22. Note closely again, Berenson's comments on the PBS Frontline piece: Comments were made with the expectation that they would not be disclosed; and that he "believed" the actions were lawful. Whether this belief was reasonable is another issue: Once Berenson discusses the existence of these comments, he's disclosed specific communications or "non discussions" to working products which fall neatly within the Ralston non-denial, yet would arguably amount to a disclosure that there was a specific online collaborative data exchange on intelligence, rendition, prisoner abuse, FISA violations, and other alleged illegal activity. How this relates to Abramoff and the ongoing Grand Jury remains to be seen, adjudicated, and beyond this discussion.
TESTING OF THIS THEORY
Before we can accept the above theory as having any merit, there are some tests that can be done based on Berenson's comments during the Ralston deposition. If we presume for the moment that the above theory is true, but reconsider Berenson's questions and comments in light of this, we might have another view of what he was doing.
A. Did Berenson hope to focus on e-mails knowing full well that the real information which Congress needed was not in any discussion, e-mail, or meeting, but within a separate platform unrelated to e-mails?
B. To what extent did Berenson hope to mislead Congress to have them believe that the incriminating information was in e-mails, yet Ralston's denial does not exclude the possibility of non-emails to collaborate?
Once we consider the Berenson's statements, we might reconsider his objections and ask whether he was consistently making objections to protect Ralston in re e-mails; or whether Berenson permitted some questions inconsistently on e-mails, when he should have objected to all of them. Based on Berenson's incomplete and inconsistent objections, we judge that Berenson was not objecting to questions about e-mails, but attempting to block inquiry into incriminating evidence, which may or may not be an e-mail.
We encourage the Congress and Staff counsel to re-approach Berenson's objections with an open mind and reconsider whether he consistently objected; and consider the online collaboration theory:
If Berenson was objecting to having Ralston disclose anything incriminating, why Would Ralston's denial leave open the possibility that non-emails were used to "not discuss" information in the online format? Berenson's objections during Ralston's deposition do not appear consitent, especially in light of Ralston's non-denial denial.
We judge Berenson's motivation when he objected during the Ralston deposition was not to protect his client, but to act as a smokescreen from the alleged online collaboration tools and "non discussion" and get Congress to believe that Ralston was "only" worried about e-mails. It appears based on Relston's non-denial of "non discussions" that Berenson was objecting as a red herring from the real data in the common file tools connected with Microsoft Outlook.
We judge the e-mails are, in themselves, only part of the picture; and the larger story is the method by which the files were accessed by outside counsel, lobbyists, contractors, and other DoJ-EOP personnel; and to the extent that the e-mail destruction has not bee to hide information and content, but to hide connections with named legal counsel, contractors, and third parities which the Vice President hoped to suppress by blocking disclosure of the OVP entry-access list.
Again, whether the VP can create a separate data base outside the statute or block the archivists from making a decision is a separate issue; however, in light of the Scooter Libby Sentencing letters which disclose the names and meetings between legal counsel and the OVP Staff, we conclude the OVP has no legal standing to "block" disclosure of information which counsel disclosed freely, voluntarily in the Scooter Sentencing letters.
1. Which software tools has the WH-EOP-DOJ used to engage in "non discussions"?
2. Which Microsoft Outlook-compatible software does EOP-DOJ use to engage in online collaboration?
3. How do we explain the speed with with the Libby defense counsel worked, pro bono, to coordinate in 72 hours this many documents?
4. What was the means by which Berenson, Walker, and other legal counsel coordinated their information sharing on intelligence briefings?
5. How many contractor visits related to rendition, FISA violations,a and prisoner abuse is the OVP attempting to hide by suppressing the entry-access lists?
6. Which online software tool was used to exchange information related to prisoner abuse, FISA violations, and share media strategy between OVP, EOP, DoJ, DoD?
7. Using the DoD Public Affairs and Information Warfare models known to Mary Walker of DoD Genral Counsel's office, was it the aim of DoD General Counsel
to coordinate the "Geneva violation plan" using online collaboration tools?
8. What was the nature of the non-disclosure agreement between the US Government and DoD-DOJ contractors on issues of rendition, FISA violations, NSLs, intermediary support for subpoena processing: Were contractors not allowed to mention that online collaboration tools were being used?
9. To what extent did the DoJ and EOP coordinate the updates to the MCA using these online collaboration tools?
10. How much input did lobbyists with access to these online collaboration tools have in updating the plans to transport prisoners, engage in interrogation and prisoner abuse, and bypass the known NARUS STA 6400 system which focus on e-mails?
11. To what extent did the GOP rely on their knowledge of the NSA intercept capabilities when developing online collaboration tools?
12. To what extent did the GOP legal counsel assigned to the White House counsel's office know or should have known that the "non discussions" using online collaboration tools did not fully comply with the Hatch Act in re data retention requirements?
13. Why is SIdley Austin's IP number connected to the same site as EOP in Indiana?
14. Which Sidley Austin RSS feeds return results on issues of war crimes surfaces while mentioning issues of rendition, outside counsel, data collaboration, and alleged legal counsel involvement with that activity ,despite the DC Bar Atty Rule 1.6 compelling counsel to withdraw when legal services are being provided to support illegal activity?
15. When Sidley Austin did the financial review of Boeing -- the mother company of the firm alleged attached to rendition -- did Sidley Austin use extensively the Microsoft Outlook SharePoint to coordinate its audit; or was the information contained only in non-electronic format?
16. How does Berenson explain his knowledge of the Ralston e-mails: IS Berenson still on the WH F:Drive access list with Karl Rove; and is this Sidley Austin access part of a contract which has been fully disclosed on the required A-76 contract?
17. Which newsgroups or data file sharing do the NSA-DoD-DoJ-DHS contractors associated with warrantless surveillance, warrantless interrogation of US Citizen not want Congress to know about; and how does Ralston wish to restate her denial in terms of these "non discussions"?
18. Who controls the newsgroup, file sharing system, or platform which WH, outside counsel, and DoD-DoJ contractors allegedly use to share information related to MCA, rendition, prisoner abuse, intelligence?
19. Is the MITRE Corporation in a position to discuss the OSIS system which they apparently know something about; or is the system "so secret" that even the Congress has not been told about?
20. To what extent have the "classified communication systems" been used not to protect national security related information, but to act as a conduit to hide evidence of illegal activity, which ORCON prohibits?
21. What platform did the WH IT department and RNC establish to share data with the GOP membership, outside counsel, lobbyists: Where is the software contract hidden; why has this method to violate Hatch been "classified" when legal counsel knew or should have known the alleged online collaboration tools were to bypass the Hatch requirements in re data retention?
22. When did legal counsel learn that the objective of the e-mail destruction was not to just hide communications, but to block Congress from discovering which contractors have been given access to these online collaboration tools; and prevent Congress from independently auditing the IT software contractors Contractors would allegedly use to gain access to the GOP-EOP-DOJ online collaboration tools to engage in a "non discussion"?
23. Did legal counsel, once they realized Ralston did not have a complete denial, appropriately forward all evidence related to "non discussions" contained in SharePoint, or any other online collaborative file sharing platform?
24. Where are the e-mail notifications sent through Outlook indicating to users, contractors, legal counsel, and WH-EOP-DoJ-GOP staff that they had been given access to this online collaborative tool?
25. What is the contract number of the SharePoint online collaboration tool which the WH-EOP apparently are using, and giving access to legal counsel to apparently assisting with data updates, and inputs from contractors on plans, memoranda, and policies related to alleged war crimes, prisoner abuse, and FISA violations?
26. Does Ralston have an explanation why her modified response does not address the SharePoint storage, and does not exclude the possibility that EOP-WH-DOJ staff were engaging "non discussions' with counsel and contractors using non-email?
27. Why should we believe Ralston's assertions that she wanted the question "repeated"; yet, Raslton when interrupted by counsel could almost recite verbatim -- with appropriately qualifications -- the exact words Congressional Counsel were asking?
28. Who is collaborating on the files in the WH-EOP on issues of Executive Orders used to by pass Congress, and not fully inform Congress -- as required by statute -- of illegal decisions not to enforce the law?
29. To what extent was the budget cutting and "civliznationation" efforts of OMB used as an excuse to "outsource" government policy making, and create an online collaborative tool which would solicit inputs from contractors, lobbyists, and legal counsel -- but without regard to whether there was accountability on those fiduciaries for alleged reckless conduct which did not fully comply with Geneva?
30. Does Sidley Austin have an explanation why it openly discusses its connection with data retention requirements; yet its Client does not exclude the possibility that the data has been retained in a "non discussion" format outside the Hatch Act requirements?
31. How long has Sidley Austin and Berenson had access to the WH-EOP-DoD-DoJ SharePoint/online collaboration platform; and has Berenson or anyone destroyed any entry-access-update information in this platform?
32. Which specific comments related to illegal activity did OVP, WH, EOP, Outside counsel, contractors not want the public to know were being made by third parties, outside the Hatch Act,with the intent to implement FISA violations, illegal rendition, prisoner abuse, and war crimes?
33. What are the terms of the contracts which outside counsel, law firms, EOP, WH, DoJ, DoD, NSA contractors, and other intermediaries relied upon to get access to these records in the common platform?
34. When the Verizon General counsel initially disclosed that it may have given the NSA access to its felicities, was this access also the other way: Verizon had access to the NSA online collaboration tools, but the agreement was that this collaborative tool -- and its existence -- would be classified "secret" because the database did not comply with the Hatch Act, compelling records retention and fully compliance with Geneva?
35. When was the last time DC-Bar Affiliated counsel read rule 1.6 compelling mandatory withdrawals when legal counsel services are used to advance unlawful activity; can all DC-Bar affiliated counsel at all firms, DoJ, NSA, EOP, and outside counsel certify in writing that they have reviewed this requirement; and are in fully compliance with this requirement; When will this certification be made in writing to the Committees without any promise of immunity to any outside counsel or any DC Bar Affiliated personnel?
36. Given all that we don't know about the online collaborative tools like SharePoint which Ralston has not emphatically denied were being used to engage in "non discussions," why should anyone seriously consider a request by Berenson that his client get any immunity: What is Congress immunizing; does Congress understand the scope of data -- outside e-mail -- which Ralston and Berenson have yet to account?
37. What review was done on all Ralston IP numbers she ever used to access her e-mail account, or access any Outlook-related software?
38. Have all IP numbers which Ralston used been resolved to the White House, EOP, or her home; or are there IP numbers which she used, when traced to SharePoint, indicate there is other activity and "non discussions" occurring using online collaboration tools?
39. Did Ralston open any e-mails at DoD, DoJ, or while traveling; or while at any outside legal counsel; or any firms associated with NSA, rendition, FISA violations?
41. What do the records from anyone in re RNC emails to Ralston say about the times Ralston reviewed, accessed, or had information related to IP access information?
42. What patterns of log-in times, unrelated to e-mails, does Ralston have related to newsgroup access, online collaboration tools?
43. Which e-mails did Ralston open first; which did she ignore; which e-mails did she delete without opening?
44. What was the timing of the openly of the blind copies of the e-mails; and how do these relate to updates on key documents RNC-WH-EOP-DoD-DOJ were updating in re FISA violations, NSA surveillance, prisoner abuse, Eastern European detention?
45. What review has been done on all opening and closing of all recipient BCC of RNC e-mails; and what method was used to specifically target with key words online collaboration tools like SharePoint, LotusNotes, newsgroups, or common file sharing programs?
46. What information does RNC and the ISP keep of when an e-mail is opened; and how does this record keeping change with opening of a blind copy: Who gets notified that a file has been uploaded to a common online data sharing platform; where's the archive of the e-mail opening data
47. What as the form of the "non discussion" and "non overheard" communication which Ralston alluded to: Memos, summaries, transcripts, media message based on an NSA intercept given to the GOP?
48. Did Ralston personally review and forward comments about NSLs?
49. What method was Ralston using to track the information, workflows to
Goodling; and how was this tracking system integrated with SharePoint or an Outlook Compatible online collaboration tool?
50. What do the records for anyone in the RNC e-mails to Ralston say about the times that Ralston or others reviewed e-mail or online tools; the IP access information thy had; the partners and groups of files reviewed and commented on; the e-mails and files Ralston and others opened first, ignored, or deleted without comment?
E-mail does not appear to be the only method of exchanging information, especially in light of Ralston's non-denial denial. Ralston's incomplete denial warrants further inquiry. It is premature to consider offering Ralston immunity. Ralston has left open the possibly that online collaborative tools -- outside e-mail -- were used to engage in "non discussions".
If the Outlook compatible SharePoint was used, we may have answer why the GOP has deleted e-mails: To hide who was on n the access list to SharePoint. An online collaboration tool permits "non discussions" without using e-mail. It is possible to plan Boeing-related schedules using these online collaboration tools, avoid NSA detection, and delete information if Congress is not aware of this method of engaging in "non discussions." This method allows outside counsel and EOP-DoJ-DoD to send messages to their peers, coordinate legal briefs, share the progress of interrogations in Eastern Europe, and engage in illegal activity. Whether there is evidence of this alleged illegal activity related to rendition, FISA violations, war crimes, prisoner abuse, or unlawful CIA activity in Eastern Europe remains to be understood.
The evidence is overwhelming: Ralston's incomplete denials leaving open the possibly that there were "non discussions" using SharePoint; Rove's C:drive format showing that the EOP was using Outlook; the Sidley Austin-EOP common websites connected to their respective IP numbers; and the speed with which information is transmitted related to intelligence issues indicates there is non-email communication occurring. Berenson has previously disclosed his awareness of this information related to rendition and intelligence; and the information substantially matches the lines of evidence which Mary Walker of DoD General Counsel coordinated.
It is time for the OVP to stop wasting the Grand Jury's time, cooperate with the inquiry into who visited, and provide a full list of all contractors, legal counsel, and others who are working with Addington, OVP, and the Vice President using online collaboration tools outside e-mail to coordinate FISA violations, rendition, and prisoner abuse. It is time for Ralston and Berenson to be called on the carpet without any promise of immunity and discuss what they know about the online collaboration tools.
The existence, use, and access logs related to SharePoint and any other online file sharing, newsgroup, or file transfer system is material information for the OSC, Grand Jury, and war crimes prosecutors. Ralston's incomplete denial is arguably grounds to review all electronic means which could be used to engage in a "non discussion" as it relates to allegations of war crimes, bribery, and other issues with the Federal Bureau of Investigation is currently involved. FBI leadership needs to explain why it has, in the past, rebuffed information related to voluntary cooperation from informants; and share what they know about non-email systems used within EOP, OVP, and GOP to coordinate "non discussions" related to prisoner abuse, FISA violations, and other Geneva Violations. The FBI's track record on NSLs does not put the Bureau in a favorable light, and raises reasonable questions about the competency of the FBI leadership, compelling a review of the complaints against the FBI leadership going back to 2001; Which information did they rebuff; which concerns about illegal activity did they inappropriately decline; and which specific legal counsel provided any assurances to SACs and ASACs to rebuff information from confidential informants related to alleged illegal activity. it is arrogant for the FBI to pretend that its doing a "great" job when it was instrumental in rebuffing the very information Congress seeks, and the OVP-EOP and outside counsel appear to have hidden in the online collaboration tools. The OSC and Grand Jury need information about when these online tools were created; who knew about them; and when Rove and Ralston were aware that "non discussions" could occur without using e-mail using these systems. This is not impressive, especially given the clearly promulgated DC Standards of Conduct and the Hatch requirements.
Someone has some explaining to do. Ralston needs to get called back without any promise of immunity. Find the files, get the access-authorization e-mails, and find the IP numbers which EOP and Sidley Austin have openly permitted to be disclosed linking them to non-official websites. If anyone says that the information doesn't exist under oath, information exists outside NSA and American control showing they would have committed perjury. It's too early to talk to Ralston about immunity.
For the reasons above, we respectfully
# Reject the NYT's call for a "focus" on e-mails;
# Ask the media to broaden the call for a Congressional review of all collaborative tools EOP, OVP, GOP, DoJ, and outside contractors and legal counsel appear well positioned to use, and remain within the Ralston non-denial;
# Call for understanding how this collaborative software program integrates with the Rove_K file format linked with Outlook, as disclosed in the DOJ data dump; and
# Encourage a determination why Ralston's denial would not eliminate this means of "not discussing" an issue outside e-mail.