The following is the 14th in a series of excerpts from my New York Times bestseller “Stonewalled,” which recounts the government intrusions of my computers. More excerpts to follow. Links to previous excerpts are below.
I haven’t named the Justice Department as a culprit or suspect. But considering the AP and FOX News incidents, it’s only natural that someone else in the media would ask the Justice Department to comment on the Attkisson case.
In response, the agency issues this statement: “To our knowledge, the Justice Department has never ‘compromised’ Ms. Attkisson’s computers, or otherwise sought any information from or concerning any telephone, computer, or other media device she may own or use.”
As someone who’s now an old hand at the way the administration parses words, my brain automatically shifts into read-between-the- lines mode.
To our knowledge . . . says the Justice Department’s quasi-denial. Okay, that’s a qualifier. Leaves open a little room. And who is “our” referring to in “To our knowledge”? Does it mean the guy who wrote the statement and another who pressed the send button? The whole press office? The entire Justice Department? Did officials there really, in the blink of an eye, conduct an investigation and question 113,543 Justice Department employees? That’s impressive! I’m still waiting for answers to Freedom of Information Act requests I filed with them years ago, but they’re able to provide this semi-definitive statement within minutes of the question being posed.
Oddly enough, most of my colleagues have been avoiding the whole topic of my computer intrusions. It seems they don’t want to think about it or talk about it or know about it. As if it’s somehow contagious. I haven’t offered up much information, but several of them are aware that the CBS analyst has confirmed my intrusion. Yet the natural curiosity you might expect from fellow journalists, the outcry, seems strangely absent. If the shoe were on the other foot, I’d be outraged that anyone had illegally entered the CBS computer system. If I were them I’d want to find out as much as possible to see if the same thing might be happening to me, potentially compromising my story information and sources.
I’d wonder if the infiltrators had peered in my home computer, too, and if they’d rifled through my private files. The new revelations about AP and FOX seem to trigger the first spark of interest from some colleagues.
“Is this what’s happening to you?” one of them dares to ask.
Another ventures a little deeper.
“How does it make you feel to know the administration is going after you like that?
I think for a moment.
They don’t want to linger on the topic. They broach it, ask a ques-
tion, make a joke, and move on. Like a butterfly lighting for a moment and then, thinking better of it, fluttering off.
| SNOWDEN AND CLAPPER: HARD TRUTHS
It’s hard to imagine there are more shoes to drop. But the next one is a bona fide rubber-soled size 14 extra wide. So large and damaging, it stands to undermine the credibility of the nation’s entire intelligence infrastructure.
On Wednesday, June 5, 2013, the Washington Post and the Guard- ian begin exposés that vault an unknown National Security Agency (NSA) contract employee named Edward Snowden into cult status as an American Patriot, Public Enemy #1, or both, depending on your viewpoint. Snowden’s information reveals a shocking government effort to watch over, or spy on, its own citizens—depending on your viewpoint.
To be continued…
[hr]Read excerpt #1 here: The Computer Intrusions: Up at Night
#12: Obama’s War on Leaks