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October 23, 2007


Despite Nacchio's legal woes, I'd say Payne is making out rather well.

I wonder why the prosecutors did not inform Nacchio of the Payne/FBI interview(s) before Nacchio had to make his proffer? I seems Payne's commnets help to prove Nacchio's statement that the NSA was asking Qwest to cooperate with its spying programs. But if not, re: Payne (as a reliable witness), I recall bmaz in an earlier comments thread mentioned Payne is now working for Bechtel.

"Mr. Payne brings to Bechtel a distinguished record of more than 25 years of successful management experience with some of the largest U.S. telecommunications firms. Most recently, as the Senior Vice President and General Manager of a $400 million division of Qwest, he achieved a 300 percent increase in revenue in just 3 years and established Qwest as a major provider in the federal civilian and defense market. Previously, during 16 years with Sprint Communications, he led the strategic planning and marketing for the company's government division. He was the capture manager and operations manager of a $1.3 billion Federal Technology Service program for the General Services Administration that provides efficient, low-cost long-distance, Internet, and data transmission services to civilian agencies, including the Justice and Treasury departments, the White House, NASA, and the Veterans Administration."

Nacchio's recently released court filing also makes it fairly clear that the NSA refused to get a FISA court ruling on the program's legality to assuage Qwest's legal counsel so that Qwest could say yes to the NSA offer. Nacchio's court filing also makes it clear the NSA did not have for Qwest, in lieu of a FISA ruling, an Attorney General-signed letter asserting the legality of the proposed spying program.

From the public's standpoint, this gets to the crux of the issue on NSA eavesdropping: one has to assume the remaining telcos were helping the NSA to spy illegally on Americans. Hope retroactive immunity deals remain off the table in Congress...

It was a "howdy call" [Two lines redacted]

Kind of the DOJ version of a secret handshake - a state secrets classification of the words used to formulate the essence of "howdy"

Here's the question I think is interesting. All of the redactions indicate that Nacchio is in on all the state secrets.

You know - Nacchio - the DOJ convicted felon guy. So that's the example of how they will be protecting the program and the info from the program? By only involving sterling characters like Nacchio? Their felon who was more concerned about the legality of their program than the rest of DOJ is in on all the secrets, but they argued to courts that they couldn't tell the judges about the program bc of the risks to national security.

DOJ meets Laughably Idiotic and Immorally Dishonest - no howdy needed, you guys have been friends now for 6 years.

The key new information in this document is the first line on page 3:

Mr. Nacchio's refusal to allow [REDACTION] resulted in reprisal by NSA...

There is really only one thing that can reasonably follow "allow" and that is some form of unfettered access to Qwest's network. This is as close as we'll get to proof that the wiretapping started before 9/11.

". . .As this citation further makes clear, Mr. Payne describes this meeting as a "howdy call" not a meeting to discuss Groundbreaker. . ."

that is plainly the government's
version of it -- however. . .
it is my opinion that these two
are not mutually-exclusive: just
because this was apparently, one
of the last "eyeball-check" meetings
before qwest was to undertake "im-
portant, substantial, secret work",
does NOT, in any way, refute the
nacchio central claim -- that this
WAS already about groundbreaker.

EW -- i do think you are dead to rights
about this being a shiny object -- but
i also think mr. nacchio will go to
jail, anyway. what remains to be
seen is whether leahy, conyers, waxman
(and others) will ever get to see the still-
blacked-out portions -- and whether,
in fact, a program was being bid-out
[by the government] for "built-in"
warrantless wiretapping and surveillance
[via metadata searches, among other
means], as early as spring of 2001.

just my 0.02.

ps: the filed-page EW refers to, above, may be
viewed in its entirety as a standalone
jpeg right here

p e a c e

sorry. i forgot to mention
that payne, on the very same
page -- at the end of the third
paragraph from the bottom (counting
redacted paragraphs as paragraphs) -- was
quoted as saying that "a record of the
meeting would have been made.

he plainly means "by the agency."

why is it that the government hasn't
made that record available? why?

because it very likely indicates
the subject to be: groundbreaker
"howdy" meeting with CEO. . .

p e a c e

I would look at the USTA record for the timeframe during which Qw's ceo is accused of insider trading. I sense an in-crowd flinging of elbows the ref is blocked from seeing here. JNacc is going to employ the CIFA dot process because it is available, naturlich. Also similar in JNacc's argument is the white house use of the press as a source after planting a story with a chosen acolyte; at least, my particular stretch on this argument among titans would have it that way (comparing Judy's role in a separate matter and the political strategist managing these affairs for Bush at the time): namely, it is a small club which comprises the likeliest bidders on defense telecoms, and among those candidates' spreadsheets the one with the least dominating bottom line was Qw, though in certain subregions of the global telco landscape Qw was better than it could be in strictly domestic defense bids, e.g., as a commenter said earlier, in Latin America, and central Europe during the timeframe of the ostensible insider trading. I found a notice of an amicus filing today by that outfit, as well. Footnote*2: Greenberg Traurig is the firm of the prosecutor, another name from past whitehouse politics. Admittedly, I have yet to be current with this case, but I noticed another possibly interesting Footnote*3, viz., one early case was brought by plaintiff SEC; I am trying to remember when precisely CCox won that post's appointment process. Another factor in whether the suit was brought against a get-shorty JNacc could be, going wayback, MPowell's tenure's having spanned the early period when the infractions were occurring but then MPowell's having left that oversight commissionFCC helm before the GJ process completed; or so go my approximations of the multithreaded history involved here. Incidentally, defendant's firm's website is slightly differently named from the way the firm members email return addresses are drawn; the barebone website is there.

Um, is there a time-wiki on this subject? I feel like I'm reading a foreign language where I don't know the the direct objects - i.e. who is doing what to whom (and telling lies about it). Maybe if someone could give a link to the starting point?

sail', There is the industry gossip entity, which I read assiduously for one decade; take it with an insider's skeptical grain of salt. I worked for consultants thru most of this saga, but am out of the trade currently enjoying other pursuits as the characterization goes. My suggestions were for history taking; ew excells at that, and has posted many appropriate insights, so the full comparative chronology should be a fairly easy next phase here. I have written to a journalist who used to work in the business concerning the JNacc case, which is scheduled for argument in a few months; so there is a modicum of time for some research to develop. I am very busy on other projects.

Go read my comments - mostly concerning black-bag jobs (see here at CNET http://www.news.com/8301-13578_3-9801975-38.html) - here http://www.talkleft.com/comments/2007/10/23/173823/69/2#2 and here http://www.talkleft.com/comments/2007/10/23/173823/69/3#3 on the intersection of New FISA and how Nacchio's treatment was a foretaste of how the discretionary immunity the AG can dole out under New FISA will work.

Comply, or else.

Sigh. Another bright shiny object? Aren't we already blinded by the glare?
Looks like 'Groundbreaker' is the ArmitageRedHerring of this mess.

OT but related

I read Valerie Wilson's HuffPo article regarding "Why Military types should not run the CIA":


Followed by Charlie Rose's HuffPo article on his interview of Gen. Hayden, which includes two video clips (Rose bumped Valerie so he could interview Hayden):


Valerie is right on - the CIA needs a strong civilian Director that can give independent, un-biased intelligence assessments to the President, and not a Yes-man facilitator marching to the beat of the President's unrestrained Political Policy.

My take-away from the video clips in Rose's article is that Gen. Hayden, and probably all of the Military in general, clearly does not have it in his personality to stand-up to Bush unless he has Legal support - that's just not the way he thinks. Hayden is a 'make it happen' order follower.

That being said, if a Court were to decide that Bush is operating outside the Rule of Law and ordered a remedy (ie - put the Program under FISA/C where it belongs,) then I believe Gen. Hayden would implement the Court's Order.

However, because Gen. Hayden is a Military man, there is every reason to believe he considers Bush's signing statements to carry the force of Law. Until successfully challenged in Court, which means ajudicating the UE Argument, we cannot be certain that Bush isn't using 'secret' Executive Orders and signing statements to 'evade' Court Review of otherwise un-lawful activities - dutifully assisted by Gen. Hayden.

If We could challenge the UE Argument in Court, then at least We could begin to get some important, basic definitions of Power and Authority that could/should/would pro-scribe Bush's exercise of untrammelled Executive Power.

Until then, Hayden has no choice but to operate trying to reconcile two worlds. Under the UE, Gen. Hayden has to serve two Masters - the Rule of Law in public, and Bush's Law/Orders in secret.


Yes, civilian leaders for the CIA. I think that people also need to crack down on the Pentagon doing intelligence. IE Iraq study group. Remember CIA didn't do the stovepiping really the DOD did under the direction and auspices of Cheney.

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