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Second Channel

June 4th, 2013 - 4:54 pm

Lost in the blizzard of scandals over the past week are news stories describing a network of secret email accounts used by Obama administration officials to conduct business. The practice allows officials to conceal their official tracks. However the administration contends that maintaining secret email accounts under aliases was simply an understandable convenience.

Some of President Barack Obama’s political appointees, including the secretary for Health and Human Services, are using secret government email accounts they say are necessary to prevent their inboxes from being overwhelmed with unwanted messages, according to a review by The Associated Press.

“That’s a very reasonable thing to do,” according to Jay Carney. The extent of this practice is still unknown.

The scope of using the secret accounts across government remains a mystery: Most U.S. agencies have failed to turn over lists of political appointees’ email addresses, which the AP sought under the Freedom of Information Act more than three months ago. The Labor Department initially asked the AP to pay more than $1 million for its email addresses.

The AP asked for the addresses following last year’s disclosures that the former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency had used separate email accounts at work. The practice is separate from officials who use personal, non-government email accounts for work, which generally is discouraged – but often happens anyway – due to laws requiring that most federal records be preserved.

It’s hard not to think that business was conducted along two channels. The first was the official or ‘noise channel’ to which “unwanted messages” — to use their own phrase — was directed. The public channel was for the rubes and for the benefit of anyone who was listening to the open source stuff. And then there was the second secret channel were the good stuff got sent and received. The place you didn’t want to clutter with “unwanted messages”.

The existence of a second channel between the administration and the press was unearthed in 2007. JournoList (sometimes referred to as the J-List) was a private Google Groups forum for discussing politics and the news media with 400 ‘left-leaning’ journalists, academics and others. One of the things they discussed — privately of course so as not to be inundated with unwanted noise — was how to shut down Fox News.

Jonathan Zasloff, a law professor at UCLA, suggested that the federal government simply yank Fox off the air. “I hate to open this can of worms,” he wrote, “but is there any reason why the FCC couldn’t simply pull their broadcasting permit once it expires?”

Of course we are assured the Journolist exchanges were nothing but innocent banter. We would be churlish to doubt that. Still, readers who grew up reading Vietnam era memoirs will recall all those heart stopping moments in the narrative when the intrepid recon team finds comm wires running all over the jungle floor.

Finding these secret email accounts under opened under aliases, given what is now known about the IRS to name but one, is almost like finding comm wires heading off in every direction. Where do they go? Is there for example, a circuit between the IRS and journalists? And do any of these comm wires lead into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

Finding comm wires actually happened when 506th was approaching Hamburger Hill. “Everyone knew that something big going on. Hoping to draw off NVA fighting the 187th, Bravo Company was ordered to set up blocking positions to the west of Hamburger Hill. While there, they found communications wire an inch thick running into the hill. The men knew the NVA were well dug in and fortified, and had no intention of going anywhere.”

Back in those innocent days people thought that when you found stuff like that it usually meant something bad was going to happen and soon. How foolish of them. Too bad the old Vietnam grunts are not as sophisticated as we are now. We could have told them those wires were laid so that people could wish each other good night and recommend good restaurants to friends.

But if you were the paranoid sort of guy, you might come to the conclusion that the minions of the Obama administration were dug deep and wired in. That they weren’t planning on going anywhere, not willingly at least. And whatever they say to the contrary take anything you hear on the noise channel with a grain of salt. It’s what it is in the second channel that counts.


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Top Rated Comments   
Unfortunately, those working for the IRS consider themselves above the law. They KNOW that they hold all the power in government. The IRS Union calls the shots. It would take something truly radical, e.g. a situation where these leftists feared for their very lives, before they would consider changing. These guys - the Obama Democrats are truly militant. They have the government money, the power, and the guns, and they know how to give orders use all of them.

No one can change the Federal tax system to reduce the power of the IRS. No one can reign in the government unions that control the Federal government. Congress cannot and will not touch them.

These Obama leftist and civil "servants" have nakedly behaved as though they are free from accountability or risk for their actions, because in fact, they are. It's like the fellow who bugged the Speaker of the House's capital hill offices, and then just bragged about it the other day. He knows that "his team" holds all levers of power. No one will prosecute him for his clear felony.

No one will be fired over the Treasury/IRS and Justice department abuses and broken laws, no one will be arrested, and certainly no one will die. They've violated the Constitutional rights, indeed the human rights of thousands of American citizens, and they KNOW no one can or will stop them.

"Arc Light" would be 1860v2. What other options are there to return Constitution government? Not Congress, not the courts, certainly no part of the executive branch will do one damn thing.

Somewhere, some Fed is monitoring this post, and he's laughing. He's chuckling, because he or she knows it's true. Obama has gone rogue on the Constitution, and there's not one damn thing that US citizens can do to stop it. He's laughing at us for even discussing the lawlessness of Obama's government.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As it was noted, this is a violation of law. But the current regime does not feel bound by law. Yes, any subpoena for all communications requires that all the secret and hidden files be turned over. However, if a regime is already not going to obey the law, then it suddenly becomes a matter of option whether the back channel communications are revealed. And when such revelation can mean penalties; what are the odds that they will be revealed in such a case?

---"I guess we would be unnerved if the commo wire belonged to a deadly, implacable enemy like the NVA. No, these are our employees passing anonymous notes and leaving rude comments on the bulletin board. "---

This makes, I fear, a set of unwarranted assumptions. We see that they have long ago burst outside the bounds of just being our employees. Even if we had not seen the last 20 years, or even the last 5; the last couple of months have shown that they wish to control every aspect of our lives and thoughts and have no hesitation about violating the law, the Constitution, or any set of non-situational ethics.

The combination of those in power being used to an assumption of absolute power, the authoritarian collectivist ego [yeah, there is an overlap], and the ability and habit of concealing governing reality from the lesser beings is fatal to constitutional government. And we are there.

Routine resort to extralegal means by those in power leads inevitably [we have several thousand years of confirming human history] to the shortcuts of making inconvenient people disappear. We are not there yet, but with the accumulation of extraordinary statutory powers, DHS troops loyal only to the regime, and massive firepower; all aimed explicitly at the civilian population, how far away can we be?

Restraining those operating outside law from inside the government is impossible by legal processes if they resist those processes. The defiance of the IRS, the DOJ, and the White House to normal Constitutional processes is already the norm. They simply refuse or ignore questions, subpoenas, or demands for specific information that is in Congress' purview. The courts are ignored at will. The fake recess appointments to the NLRB has been struck down by two Circuit Courts of Appeal and upheld by none. And the illegally appointed members are still operating.

We have not had a constitutional budget for 5 years, and have no prospect of ever having one again. Our electoral system has been corrupted to the point where the voter rolls and vote counts are in the realm of fantasy.

If we do not rein in the regime very, very, shortly by political means; that option will be gone forever.

And only the Great Blue Sky Tengri Nor knows what the outcome will be.

We will be proved worthy of our forefathers, or not. And our children and our children's children will endure or rejoice at the disproof or the proof.

Subotai Bahadur
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I guess that we could say something like information wants to be free. I guess we could be surprised. I guess we could be shocked about the second channel.

But I'm not. It just convinces us that the conspiracy is strong and deep. That a lot of people know what has been and is going on. That the rule of law in these United States is now officially a joke. That when enough people come to realize this, that the country will probably either fall apart or come to accept that the rule of law is now dead and learn to live with it.

So I would personally like to thank Barack Obama for living up to his campaign promise of fundamentally changing America, because he is succeeding at about a 100% level.

We should now look at Argentina, as that is our future. The road ahead has already been paved by previous republics that rotted out from within. We have or should read about what has gone before, because it is going to happen again here. And really, there is very little that any of us can do about it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (29)
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Well, in light of the revelations that they are monitoring our calls and Internet, it seems terribly hypocritical. Monitoring for thee , but not for me.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Speaking purely theoretically, if a return to constitutional government by what would be considered normal political means is foreclosed by illegal actions of the state backed by the threat of coercive force; it does not mean that politics ends. Politics is how any society allocates power, resources, and wealth within the constraints of the culture. Power, resources, and wealth are not static things, but only have effect when they flow. And that flow has a force and inertia that cannot be easily stopped. Politics is any way that flow is guided, and can come in many forms.

Karl von Clausewitz' "On War" defined [in the final edition] things thusly:

"War is simply the continuation of political intercourse with the addition of other means. We deliberately use the phrase "with the addition of other means" because we also want to make it clear that war in itself does not suspend political intercourse or change it into something entirely different. In essentials that intercourse continues, irrespective of the means it employs. The main lines along which military events progress, and to which they are restricted, are political lines that continue throughout the war into the subsequent peace."

Just as the State will be adding kinetic means to the methods of the coercive organs of the State; the nature of politics will require that all parties will resort to kinetic means in order to survive. This will continue until either society fails, one side or another triumphs, or a new social contract is agreed upon.

Given the path we are on; those who are aware and concerned about the situation would probably benefit from study and consideration of both the macro and micro aspects. Or in military terms, Strategic, Operational, and Tactical aspects.

Subotai Bahadur
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I learned from Prof. Paul Lubeck at Uni of California, Santa Cruz: if you want to know how to defeat your enemies, listen to them talking to each other.
I don't know if this is Art of War or some kind of communist theology.
He had us read the Wall Street Journal, by the way, to learn how the Capitalists can be taken down.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Most of their communications, if you are to believe them, come over the news networks anyway. What's the big deal about email?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I guess the government ammo purchases, MRAP's, military HSA paramilitary teams, and the designation of military veterans and conservatives groups as national security risks, makes a lot more sense now. It was sort of a nutty notion that the US Government would actually turn against American citizens, against the U.S. Constitution, that they would even fire on civilians at all. It might have been thought silly before, but not now.

Are all of Obama's Constitutional violations known? What's still hidden?

The really fearful thing about the IRSgate and Pressgate scandals is the casual way the Democrats response to them. The real problem, they say, is the GOP focus on trumped up scandals just to damage the Obama Presidency, rather than focusing on "fixing America". They haven't the foresight to understand that the Democrat's socialist "reich" will not rule for 1000 years, that what is done by Obama may become the constitutional norm when Republicans resume control of the government.

It is a fearful thing is that the IRS continues it's unconstitutional behavior to this very day, unobstructed. It is fearful that every IRS agent, every supervisor, every Democrat aid, Senator, and Congressman that knew about the IRS activities as far back as 2010, said nothing. They're all on board with the Obamanation of America.

Every fear that the conservative political right has had about Obama's lawlessness has come to fruition. Conspiracy's are tough to keep, so one would expect more scandals to come out, more secrets revealed about more abuses, and more people speaking from the shadows. Indeed the victims are speaking out, and there are many victims of Obama's lawlessness.

Then again, the East German Stasi, the Soviet KGB, and the German Waffen-SS were able to keep their evil secret, in some cases for decades. I may not live long enough to see a free America again. However, I very well may see the second U.S. Civil War (1860v2). Obama has his foot on the accelerator, and no one can stop him now.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
They haven't the foresight to understand that the Democrat's socialist "reich" will not rule for 1000 years, that what is done by Obama may become the constitutional norm when Republicans resume control of the government.

Sorry to disagree, but I think that they have correctly pegged the fact that they own every lever of power in the country. Even if a nominal Republican administration is ever elected again (something I'm not certain about; see Subotai's past writings), they still occupy the civil service, the academy, the mass media, and the public school system. A Republican administration would never dare to even use a tiny fraction of that power back on the progressives. I don't think I need to detail that scenario for you. Recall what happened when GWB completely legally tried to dismiss a small handful of the US Attorneys who serve at his pleasure. Even if they did have the gonads to try it, the other captured sectors would refuse to comply, then of course rat out administration. That's why so many of the progressives don't seem to care that the IRS is attacking us. They have no worries that the weapon will be turned back on them, and they don't give a crap about playing fair or the rule of law.

The weaponized government has not been slowed down in the least bit. In fact, I think that even as more and more abuses of the peaceable citizenry come out, they aren't scared, they are smiling at us just like the man caught in bed with the wife in Wretchard's scenario. We appear to be the feckless cuckold who can't do a damn thing but seethe at our impotence.

Take a look at Turkey for example. Population-wise, they are quite a bit smaller than us, but look at how many of them are protesting today. I admittedly don't know a lot of the details about their grievances, but I would say that our problems are at least as bad as theirs, and probably much worse. Yet we can't even muster more than a handful of protesters at each IRS office. What will it take to get the non-violent civil disobedience that might be the only chance to change course outside of more kinetic actions? FWIW, I'm just as guilty as everyone else. Both my wife and I are very busy trying to keep our family afloat in this economy. We both cannot afford to take days off to protest; at least not if it's just a handful of participants. It's kind of a chicken-and-egg scenario. I hope we see some kind of non-violent catalyst to wake more people the hell up.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I very much miss the "edit" function (spelling!).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Have they checked for email under the name Harrison J. Bounel?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As it was noted, this is a violation of law. But the current regime does not feel bound by law. Yes, any subpoena for all communications requires that all the secret and hidden files be turned over. However, if a regime is already not going to obey the law, then it suddenly becomes a matter of option whether the back channel communications are revealed. And when such revelation can mean penalties; what are the odds that they will be revealed in such a case?

---"I guess we would be unnerved if the commo wire belonged to a deadly, implacable enemy like the NVA. No, these are our employees passing anonymous notes and leaving rude comments on the bulletin board. "---

This makes, I fear, a set of unwarranted assumptions. We see that they have long ago burst outside the bounds of just being our employees. Even if we had not seen the last 20 years, or even the last 5; the last couple of months have shown that they wish to control every aspect of our lives and thoughts and have no hesitation about violating the law, the Constitution, or any set of non-situational ethics.

The combination of those in power being used to an assumption of absolute power, the authoritarian collectivist ego [yeah, there is an overlap], and the ability and habit of concealing governing reality from the lesser beings is fatal to constitutional government. And we are there.

Routine resort to extralegal means by those in power leads inevitably [we have several thousand years of confirming human history] to the shortcuts of making inconvenient people disappear. We are not there yet, but with the accumulation of extraordinary statutory powers, DHS troops loyal only to the regime, and massive firepower; all aimed explicitly at the civilian population, how far away can we be?

Restraining those operating outside law from inside the government is impossible by legal processes if they resist those processes. The defiance of the IRS, the DOJ, and the White House to normal Constitutional processes is already the norm. They simply refuse or ignore questions, subpoenas, or demands for specific information that is in Congress' purview. The courts are ignored at will. The fake recess appointments to the NLRB has been struck down by two Circuit Courts of Appeal and upheld by none. And the illegally appointed members are still operating.

We have not had a constitutional budget for 5 years, and have no prospect of ever having one again. Our electoral system has been corrupted to the point where the voter rolls and vote counts are in the realm of fantasy.

If we do not rein in the regime very, very, shortly by political means; that option will be gone forever.

And only the Great Blue Sky Tengri Nor knows what the outcome will be.

We will be proved worthy of our forefathers, or not. And our children and our children's children will endure or rejoice at the disproof or the proof.

Subotai Bahadur
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I suppose this means that this is the opening act of the Danse Macabre (or in our case Danza de la Muerte). We should start looking out for Oliver Cromwell to appear and hope he’s more George Washington but may have to settle for Augusto Pinochet or God help us, Napoleon Bonaparte.

Someone I know who was at Nha Trang for Tet suggested to me that one worrisome possible reason for DHS stockpiling munitions is to equip a sapper army flown in from … who knows.

Stats for the Time of Troubles go something like this (from memory)…
5K square miles
22K Brit Squadies plus paramilitary plus regular police
500 Provos max at any one time
300 Provo KIA
600 Civvies killed by both sides (many on purpose)
1100 British Army and other security services KIA
And these guys and gals want to bring that here. To paraphrase the great philosopher Bugs Bunny “What bunch of maroons”.

Songs about “sweet Mauser music” and the Armalite widow maker

Erin Go Bragh
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3Nqg2ohiDY

Come Out Ye Black and Tans
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVAOW23GnFM

My Little Armalite
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHY14OVk7r0
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think the real business has always gotten done out of channel, and any government official who doesn't make sure that he has taken every reasonable precaution to avoid bugs and written records is not competent. Think of dear old Ollie North. That said, this email business raises the stakes because it is real temptation to create back channels and email is notoriously insecure. Think of dear old David Petraeus. Now that these email channels have been revealed to exist I think they will see the light of day. Think of dear old East Anglia Climatic Research Unit.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This practice is so common as to be ubiquitous in the corporate world, so this administration has simply replicated email practices along with the rest of the game that treats our government as though it is a west coast corporation marketing its product to consumers who once were "we the people".

Their IT people and management know exactly who owns every email address and that those emails "count" toward any request for information or subpoena. Every Supervisor has approved every email alias used by her staff and her management above her has approved them. There are lists of them in her intranet admin pages. Usually, all the emails come into the same primary account mailbox, and use filtering to separate them, so these are all operating by the same IT rules as those applied to the primary email address. It is a very simple task to collect emails from the aliases because they all sit under the same umbrella. This is not complex - this is primary school IT stuff, and is practiced in even tiny companies all over the place.

Do not believe for a minute that this is why those emails were not released - every corporate lawyer and every employee who has multiple aliases knows these have to be included in any subpoena or FOIA request. Every one of them also understands the email retention policy. The only questions are whether and to what extent the attorneys decide to comply once they have reviewed the amassed emails, regardless of alias.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
if we ever get to the supoena stage. Rosemary's boo boo with the tapes, to make another comparison to Watergate, (and this isn't anything like Watergate in scope)
all the info could be "accidently" destroyed, no?





1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I guess we would be unnerved if the commo wire belonged to a deadly, implacable enemy like the NVA. No, these are our employees passing anonymous notes and leaving rude comments on the bulletin board.
Compelling as the witnesses to IRS intimidation in the hearings were today, I was struck by the lack of backbone and righteous indignation in any of the testimony. These people work for us, it is time they were made to realize it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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