Snowden and a Muzzled Free Press

“Snowden and a Muzzled Free Press”

By Frank Snepp, Posted CNN.com, July 3, 2013

The conservative Republican Rep. Peter King of New York recently uncorked the genie that journalists fear most, by calling for a crackdown on anyone who gives air time to Edward Snowden and like-minded leakers. To most of my journalist colleagues, this seems to violate the most basic tenets of press freedom. But as I discovered from my own bout with the U.S. Supreme Court, the First Amendment can be a fickle friend for anyone who dares defy the guardians of “official secrecy.”

The continued hemorrhaging of some of our most closely held intelligence could make the administration an ally of King’s, particularly if Snowden keeps lobbing headline-grabbers from some hideaway abroad. Attorney General Eric Holder has already shown his colors by prosecuting more leak cases under the espionage statutes than any of his predecessors, and by making reporters’ phone and e-mail records fair game in related investigations.

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Ex-CIA Spy Dishes on Witch Hunts and Whistleblowers

“Ex-CIA Spy Dishes On Witch Hunts and  Whistleblowers”

(Originally Posted: Jeff Stein’s SpyTalk – Snowden and Press June 12, 2013

Former CIA operations analyst Frank Snepp touched off a firestorm of controversy in 1977 with the publication of Decent Interval, his unauthorized, embarrassing account of how the spy agency deserted its files and friends in a hasty exit from Vietnam.

Even though Snepp concealed the true names of CIA undercover operatives and their Vietnamese assets, and most experts agreed the book had no real classified information, Democratic President Jimmy Carter’s Justice Department, abetted by a furious CIA, pursued Snepp with a vengeance worthy of a covert action operation.

In the end, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the administration’s argument that Snepp’s violation of his employment agreement (not to publish anything without the CIA’s approval) trumped his First Amendment rights.

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The Vietnam syndrome

Regarding Iraq and Afghanistan, are we telling ourselves — and believing — the same false story we told in 1975?

May 05, 2013 | By Frank Snepp
Thirty-eight years ago last week, I was among the last CIA officers to be choppered off the U.S. Embassy roof in Saigon as the North Vietnamese took the country. Just two years before that chaotic rush for the exits, the Nixon administration had withdrawn the last American troops from the war zone and had declared indigenous forces strong enough, and the government reliable enough, to withstand whatever the enemy might throw into the fray after U.S. forces were gone.

That’s the same story we told ourselves in Iraq when we pulled out of that country in 2011. And today, as American troops are being drawn down in Afghanistan, we’re hearing variations on the same claims once again. Yet security remains so fragile in both Iraq and Afghanistan, it is impossible not to worry that we are deluding ourselves and that we failed to learn the most important lessons of Vietnam.

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Are California Medical Corporations Stealing the Physical Therapy Trade?

A spokesperson for the California Association of Independent Therapists says bill amendments would force physical therapists to present themselves in disclosure documents as “incompetents”

A long-running catfight between the states powerful medical lobby and independent physical therapists is heating up again in Sacramento, threatening an uneasy truce that promised new benefits for patients and taxpayers.

Recent amendments to a health care bill worked out by the warring parties earlier this year would place new burdens on independent therapists by requiring them to attach warning labels to their services. These labels, they say, would frighten off patients and drive them into the arms of competing clinicians who work for doctor-owned medical corporations.

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