Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Department of Coincidences, U.S. government edition

Have  you heard of a guy named Joseph Nacchio? Wish I could say I knew the name before Monday, but I didn't.

When the NSA asked telecommunications companies in 2001 to allow the agency to spy on phone customers, only one company said no. Mr. Nacchio was the CEO of the company, Qwest. The company's lawyers told Nacchio that the NSA spying was illegal, and alone among telephone executives, he stood up to the NSA.

Qwest immediately began losing government contracts. And by an amazing coincidence, the government discovered that Mr. Nacchio was a dangerous criminal, guilty of insider training.

Mr. Nacchio's defense was that he was the victim of a political prosecution, retaliation for not giving in when the NSA said, "Nice little phone company you've got there. Be a shame if something happened to it."

Maybe Mr. Nacchio WAS a dangerous criminal, and was offering a weak defense. Then again, it's hard to judge, since the federal judge refused to allow him to present any evidence in support of his allegations.

Of course, only a crazy conspiracy theorist would think the federal government uses its vast power to punish people who make themselves inconvenient. Nothing to see here, folks, move along. How about those crazy Kardashians?

More here, and here.

Hat tip: Timothy Lee.


michael said...

This is what tears it for me: the story from the NSA and Obama Admin is that they're not "listening in to our conversations;" they're only trying to keep Americans safe from terrorist attacks.

But they you get this story, and all the other persecutions of whistleblowers (like Nacchio..."uncooperative") and...anyone who cares to follow all this has to sit back and think about "coincidence" or "accident" when Michael Hastings dies in an early morning fiery wreck.

The national security apparatus,Obama, TV "journalists" and most of Congress cannot be taken seriously anymore when it comes to The Official Story. Not as I see it. I had very heavy doubts already, and then...Snowden.

The State as some species of organized crime?

The very definition of injustice: Chelsea Manning in prison for a long time, Dick Cheney not only not in prison, but asked to be on TV to give his opinion about affairs of State!

BTW: Hastings was a supporter of Barrett Brown. And where is Barrett Brown?

Probably only one 'dem whatycall..."coincidences."

fyreflye said...

I think that should be "insider trading," not "training."