Skip to comments.The Fed Who Blew The Whistle
Posted on 12/16/2008 1:32:20 PM PST by Signalman
Thomas M. Tamm was entrusted with some of the government's most important secrets. He had a Sensitive Compartmented Information security clearance, a level above Top Secret. Government agents had probed Tamm's background, his friends and associates, and determined him trustworthy.
It's easy to see why: he comes from a family of high-ranking FBI officials. During his childhood, he played under the desk of J. Edgar Hoover, and as an adult, he enjoyed a long and successful career as a prosecutor. Now gray-haired, 56 and fighting a paunch, Tamm prides himself on his personal rectitude. He has what his 23-year-old son, Terry, calls a "passion for justice." For that reason, there was one secret he says he felt duty-bound to reveal.
In the spring of 2004, Tamm had just finished a yearlong stint at a Justice Department unit handling wiretaps of suspected terrorists and spiesa unit so sensitive that employees are required to put their hands through a biometric scanner to check their fingerprints upon entering. While there, Tamm stumbled upon the existence of a highly classified National Security Agency program that seemed to be eavesdropping on U.S. citizens. The unit had special rules that appeared to be hiding the NSA activities from a panel of federal judges who are required to approve such surveillance. When Tamm started asking questions, his supervisors told him to drop the subject. He says one volunteered that "the program" (as it was commonly called within the office) was "probably illegal."
(Excerpt) Read more at newsweek.com ...
I don't care what the circumstances were, I would NEVER have told anyone about that if I were him.........
I would read the story but I will NEVER give NewsBleak even a single click.
This guy in the story is a traitor and should be shot, ... NOW.
Fat chance the Obama administration will prosecute this sleazeball. They’ll probably give him an award.
This guy in the story is a traitor and should be shot, ... NOW.
I agree he’s a TRAITOR. If he thinks the government doesn’t have the right to wiretap people who could be involved in terrorism in time of war, he’s sadly mistaken. During wartime, the President has widely expanded powers.
Tom Maguire notes that Mr. Tamm made a contribution to the DNC in 2004. Elsewhere, the JOM’ers have turned up these tidbits on Mr. Tamm and the OIPR where he was once employed.
There’s a blog comment from a Thomas Tamm from Nov 2006, critical of the Bush Admin not calling Iraq a Civil War in sarcastic terms.
The next Republican president is going to have to root out the Democrat moles in the Justice Department.
You said — “I agree hes a TRAITOR. If he thinks the government doesnt have the right to wiretap people who could be involved in terrorism in time of war, hes sadly mistaken. During wartime, the President has widely expanded powers.”
Well, either the government *does* — or — it *does not* have the right to wiretap people who could be involved in terrorism.”
Now, thinking this through — if they do, without judicial review, then there’s really nothing to tell. In other words, if the government can proceed without this judicial review (that we’re talking about here), how can one “rat out” the government. If they’re doing it right, you can’t rat them out... LOL..
It’s only in the event that the government is not getting the proper judicial review that causes the problem, and if they weren’t doing that — then — there is a problem.
Even someone “inside the program” said that it was probably illegal. He had to say “probably” because what they were doing was not vetted properly. If it had been, then that guy could say, “No, they’ve run it through the courts and the judges and they say it’s all legal.” They hadn’t and that’s the problem.
The government needs to do the proper thing, regardless of what side someone is on. You can’t accuse the “other side” of illegal actions, and then proceed to do them “yourself”... LOL...
You cant accuse the other side of illegal actions, and then proceed to do them yourself... LOL...
We can’t fight the War on Terrorism with our hands tied behind our backs. We need to do everything necessary to protect America, and if that means the government performing acts that would be illegal during peacetime, so be it.
You said — “We cant fight the War on Terrorism with our hands tied behind our backs. We need to do everything necessary to protect America, and if that means the government performing acts that would be illegal during peacetime, so be it.”
It’s either a legal action or it’s not. It’s that simple. And if it *should be legal* — then make it so and pass a law affirming it. And make it so that the courts would also *affirm* its legality — that way.
It’s not good enough to say that we can do illegal things, just because we think that this is what is necessary for us to win. *Make it legal* — that’s all that is required...
BUT, having said that — there is *already* a legal procedure in place for dealing with it. It doesn’t go out to the public and it’s not in an open court of law. The problem was — that the government still wanted to do it illegally... That’s not what I signed up for with the Constitution that we have...
The article said the FISA law was created in 1978. I immediately thought of Frank Church, the late Senator from Idaho. I always suspected he leaned pretty far to the left.
"While there, Tamm stumbled upon the existence of a highly classified National Security Agency program that seemed to be incidentally eavesdropping on U.S. citizens when they were talking to known terrorists overseas who had no legal protection against such wiretaps."
Tut tut, Isikoff.
Oh? Maybe you should go back and read your own tagline. Isn't there something about “Duty, Honor, Country” in there somewhere? I've heard the same things about the guys who protested Mai Lai, too.
Either we're the good guys, or someone else is. If it's us, we are supposed to obey our own laws. The FISA court was bypassed on this, and when they figured it out, they were giving the justice department hell about it. I have personally seen far too many people decide to do something they knew wasn't right just because it was expedient.
And I saw over 3,000 innocent American who DIED because of a WALL put up by the Clinton administration!
Those lives would not have been sacrificed if we hadn’t followed THAT boneheaded rule.
Want to risk some more?
“The Constitution is not a suicide pact.”
Lets give thanks to this guy for our next 911
Every government organization that has Secret/SCI cleared employees has a mechanism for reporting illegal activity. It is called the IG and their job is to ensure there is an outlet for whistleblowing without breaching national security. He had absolutely no right to divulge classified information to the media and should be indicted.
“Either we’re the good guys, or someone else is. If it’s us, we are supposed to obey our own laws.”
I agree, but that’s why we have a Chain of Command and an Inspector General. Not the NYsLimes and Newsweak.
I just wonder how much the sleazebag was paid to sell our Country out.
No, it's a set of rules for the citizens of the US to live under. You want to violate it because this guy did. That makes you at least as bad as him. Maybe even worse, since he could at least argue that he tried to talk to people about it in his own organization, and got stonewalled there.
See yazoo’s post 16 for the correct answer. He needs to be indicted, tried, and punished according to the law IF he is convicted. Presumption of innocence, anyone?
I just wonder how much the sleazebag was paid to sell our Country out.”
See yazoo’s post 16 for the correct answer. And as I said to Mr. Jazzy, according to the article, he tried talking to people in his organization about the problem, and did not get any help there. Unless you consider the one person telling him “they're probably doing something illegal” to be help. I've seen the IG not working because people were afraid to use it because it whitewashed improper and possibly illegal activities. There is a reason we have constitutional protections for a free press specified in the Bill of Rights.
Also from the article, it doesn't look like he got any kind of payment or even protection. Barring info otherwise, I'm willing to presume that he did what he thought best after trying the other options. Finding out that sort of thing is what trials are for, after all.
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