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.
“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”
Yes, in a perfect world.
No, he may not have gotten any payments now, but he SURE AS HELL will make a bundle off the book he will write, crucifying every conservative he has ever met as a neo-nazi with an IQ of 15.
Remember those hundreds of missing FBI files on Congressional Republicans that surprisingly showed up in the hands of a schmuck at the White House? We couldn’t even get to the truth of who HIRED him, let alone WHY the SECRET FILES were there. Yeah, there is someone doing HARD time for that one!
I have a long memory of LOTS of cases that were just as, if not MORE outrageous than what this traitorous piece of scum did that were never brought to trial because of political reasons. Prosecutors who just let stuff slide because it was better for their careers than irritate the Washingtonian elite and buddies in the media.
Talking about the current situation with prosecutions and political influence, Mr. Fitzpatrick, the same guy who KNEW at the outset of the Palme investigation EXACTLY WHO told Robert Novak she was a CIA employee AND STILL LOOKED TO HANG IT ON THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION, now says that Blago is the only fish he is after! He is EXPOSING the ENTIRE investigation BEFORE it is complete because he wants to give Mr. Obama time to choose those of his circle he will throw under the bus to keep his name clear.
We do not have a “justice system”, we have a corrupt “LEGAL SYSTEM”.
You talk about the “free press” that we have. Our big time media did EVERYTHING it could to win this last election for Barak Obama and it worked. We now have as President Elect a person who has DIRECT TIES with known terrorist murderers (Ayers) and anti-Semitic lunatics (Rev. Wright & Louis Farrakhan). The same media that branded anyone who DARED use his middle name as a racist will now SMILE WITH APPROVAL as now he will make a POINT of using the SAME name to be sworn into office.
You want to give this guy a medal for leaking a story to the press about how the US was snooping on possible terrorists who were making calls INTO the US, feel free. You want to nominate this guy for the “hero of justice” hall of fame? Go ahead.
He makes me want to puke and I would not waste a tear if he stopped breathing this very instant.
“You want to give this guy a medal for leaking a story to the press about how the US was snooping on possible terrorists who were making calls INTO the US, feel free. You want to nominate this guy for the hero of justice hall of fame? Go ahead.
He makes me want to puke and I would not waste a tear if he stopped breathing this very instant.”
You need to go back on antidepressants, apparently. I didn’t suggest giving him a medal, or nominating him for any sort of hall of fame. I suggested, and still do, that you wanting to have him shot without a trial was at least as bad as what he did. It is. Quite possibly worse, since you should know better.
Feel free to puke, if you need to. Feel free not to shed a tear if he stops breathing naturally. No problem there. Murdering someone because you do not agree with what they did is just as bad as killing people who leave your religion for another, as just one example of evil.
If you are suggesting that I go back to anti-depressants, then I will suggest you awake from your marijuana or cough syrup induced stupor and look at the world around you, before you give the benefit of the doubt to all the thugs who inhabit this world. The A.C.L.U. just LOVES Americans with your kind of attitude.
You think “I suggested, and still do, that you wanting to have him shot without a trial was at least as bad as what he did. It is. Quite possibly worse, since you should know better.”
So I am worse than HE because I want to see this traitor summarily executed? You need to read some history and understand what has been sacrificed for you, so that you can act so pious.
“Murdering someone because you do not agree with what they did is just as bad as killing people who leave your religion for another, as just one example of evil.”
May I offer you the case of Khalid Sheik Mohamed. Do you think that the death penalty would be “just as bad” as what this murderer planned and carried out on 11 September, 2001? Do you think that if he had resisted during his capture, that the forces bringing him in would not have had the authority to use “lethal self defense” BECAUSE he had not been tried in a court, military or otherwise? What about Usama Bin Ladin? Think the Marines or other troops approaching his final hide out had better be shouting his “Miranda Rights” before the take him? You seem to think that we should fight this war (AND have no doubt about this, my friend, WE ARE AT WAR with a disciplined, trained and highly motivated enemy force) as Clinton did, by using stern language and lawyers! The enemy will use the Constitution and ALL our laws to the extreme in order to achieve their goals of a dead YOU, ME and all our children as their slaves.
By the way, I hoped you enjoyed your jury duty time while you sat for the first O.J. Simpson trial. Bet that Judge Ito was taller in person, right?
“I’ve seen the IG not working because people were afraid to use it because it whitewashed improper and possibly illegal activities.”
I’m not sure what IG you may be talking about. In the intelligence community the IG has to answer to the Senate and House intelligence committees. Everything they do is an open book for those committees. It would be virtually impossible for them to begin an investigation (and all complaints open an investigation) and not have it be available to congressmen, senators, and their staff. If laws were being broken it is their responsibility to correct it. THe problem with going to the media is that they only tell one side of the story and the other side often can’t be told due to national security.
I spent 24 years in the Air Force. Lots of different bases. Some were better than others, and some were excellent, but some were pretty bad. According to the article, this guy talked to supervisors and others in his organization, and got told to shut up. I've seen that happen in the Air Force, and it always comes back to haunt someone eventually, but that doesn't stop some folks from giving it a try. One of the training bases I went to lost their base commander over an IG complaint that got stonewalled for a couple of years at the local level. Eventually, higher HQ IG wandered through, as they do, and everything fell apart: the commander, and several of his officers and sr. nco’s got taken down. This happened just before I got there, and we suffered the repercussions the whole time I was there.
You are a disgrace to your son's uniform. INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY!!!
If you don't buy that, you ARE the enemy. Get your shit together! Tell me to read history? I've taught that, and government, both. Improve your own reading comprehension, and get your head on tight, and then maybe we'll have something to talk about.
Well, in the rest of the government, particularly in the intelligence community, the IG is not one person but a staff, and they can’t stonewall since complaints are a matter of record, reviewed by multiple people. The IG in these cases have no vested interest in stonewalling any complaints because their charter is to investigate and make findings. They aren’t under the command of any single group and they can’t be pressured by people who have no impact on their careers.
Dear OLD STUDENT,
I see how your articulately handled my arguments, by thumping your chest attempting to insult me through my son.
You are a real class act.
I believe in the rule of law.
I believe in shooting traitorous bastards.
Sounds to me like you do not believe in capital punishment for ANY crime.
To you I say “Merry Christmas” and Alpha Mike Foxtrot, SSGT. Blue Falcon.
You are a real class act.
I believe in the rule of law.
I believe in shooting traitorous bastards.
Sounds to me like you do not believe in capital punishment for ANY crime."
You made an argument? Not so I can see. You made a bunch of loose talk about things you apparently know nothing about.
Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
Since he's not been convicted, or even charged, your so-called respect for the rule of law is not exactly evident. You have been ranting and raving, not speaking in a reasoned manner. It's as simple as that. Lib tactics, in fact. Where are your facts? Maybe you know something I don't, but if so, you have not articulated it.
If you think I'm a class act, look in a mirror, if you can stand it. Since you know nothing of my stance on capital punishment, maybe you should keep your mouth shut. Or you could even ask a question, instead of making wild and unsupported statements. Another lib tactic, btw. You seem very practiced at the wild statements without facts to back them. You a troll?
Merry Christmas to you, too.
"Stumbled upon" my *ss. You don't stumble upon things like that.
That is true in the Air Force, as well. There is THE IG, at a particular base, and they have a staff. Then there is the Command IG, as well, and the Air Force IG. People who are old-timers know to go around if necessary, but some folks don't know that. Looks like the guy in this article was one of them.
There is also pressure to address issues at the lowest level. Sometimes that is a good idea, and sometimes not. Especially when the lowest level IS the problem.