Open thread

There’s a ton of FISA-related stuff going on … most dramatically whistleblower Russell Tice’s revelations on Olbermann about the extent of the warrantless wiretapping.  Nicole Belle has a transcript on Crooks and Liars, and I’m sure there are going to be discussions of this all over the web; if you see some interesting ones, please share them in the comments.

And if you get a second to add a comment in to some of the discussions elsewhere, make sure to mention Get FISA Right and point people to where they can leave a comment for President Obama at

Speaking of whistleblowers, this is a good time to mention the Thomas Tamm legal defense fund.

What else?

Thoughts on any of these?

Please discuss!



19 Responses to Open thread

  1. Joan Mokray says:

    We need to track down Tice and Tamm and anyone else related to all this.

  2. jonpincus says:

    any suggestions about how? and, once we’ve tracked them down, what would we ask them to do?

  3. jonpincus says:

    Also, it’s up on Slashdot — I got in a comment fairly early, hopefully people will mod it up.

  4. jonpincus says:

    emptywheel has a good summary. The contrarian Slashdot comment here is interesting too, along with Jamie’s response.

  5. Joan Mokray says:

    I said someone should track down Tice and Tamm. Well, I found a phone number for Countdown, called it, asked to speak to a producer, got one, explained that I wanted to get in touch with Tice, she gave me her email, I sent her an email with our press release and the multitude of different web sites about us, and asked that she give that to Tice and invite him to contact me and thus us. We’ll see, but it wasn’t hard and anyone could do this. Did I say he lives in Glen Burnie, Maryland, I think? Anyone have a phone book for that area? Anywho didn’t turn up a number and I’m not yet ready to pay money for it.

  6. benintn says: – anyone see this exec order?

    Looks like a good start on protecting the rights of accused criminals. What about protecting the rights of innocent civilians?

  7. benintn says:

    Thinking out loud … is it possible that Obama’s “sunlight” policy will allow the truth to come out on its own? Obama seems to be exposing ALL processes to sunlight, erring on the side of transparency and disclosure rather than on the side of secrecy.

  8. benintn says: – exec order requires more sunlight on presidential records, stops/rescinds Gonzalez/Bush order

  9. Josh Roberts says:

    His phone is unlisted but here is his address:

    note from Jon: I edited out the address, see Thomas’ point below

  10. I realize that it might be mutually beneficial to establish some contact with both whistleblowers, but I don’t know why we’re listing Mr. Tice’s address here (and would move it be deleted).

    For Mr. Tamm, there is a facebook group “Thomas Tamm did the right thing”, which you could join. I happen to be a co-administrator, by request from the admin a couple of days ago. That might be a good way to pose some questions to Mr. Tamm, if that’s the intent. It appears his son is in the group, so he’d be made aware of reasonable questions.

  11. Meanwhile, do click through and send some $ to the legal defense fund. Thanks for posting the link, Jon.

  12. jonpincus says:

    Good detective work, Josh, thanks! And good point thomas about not posting the address, Thomas. I deleted it and circled back with Josh in email to let him know.

    Ben, agreed that the sunlight policy makes it a lot more likely that things will come out — and is an incredibly encouraging change in general. It’ll be up to us and the other pro-civil-liberties forces to try to get the media to focus on any new revelations (and get word out about them in other ways), and then use this to try to change public opinion and put pressure on legislators.

  13. […] If you only want to check one place, the blog ( will have all critical updates and most of the discussion.   TThe RSS feeds for entries and comments are an easy way of seeing what’s new.  If you want to bring up a new topic, we’ll try to make sure there’s always an “open thread” on the front page — here’s the current one. […]

  14. jonpincus says:

    a few good articles:

    Whistleblower: NSA collected credit card info

    Obama sides with Bush in court case

    Like Bush, Obama disables our privacyNat Hentoff)

    A promising start for Obama, in the National Journal discusses his and Holder’s position on FISA from a conservative perspective

  15. Joan Mokray says:

    Just came on to note that I found the address, which I won’t post, and I’ve written a hard copy cover letter plus printed out much of our material to send come Monday via overnight. If the person who found the address wants to send me an email at we can cross check the addresses we both found. The phone wasn’t listed in what I found too.

    What I’m asking of him is to contact us and to engage in conversation. That’s a start and if we can work together, it will become obvious.

    Also concur with Lee on one of the other sites, that I can’t remember where what is and readily lose track of stuff. I’m on the side of being ok receiving emails as they are push reminders and if I have to internally push, things get lost, as in the confusion over the google group vs. this vs. wetpaint. Each of us has different mental organizational methods. I am in awe of Jon’s, not to mention his work ethic and positive approach to human interaction.

  16. Joan Mokray says:

    Hard copy materials and a letter have now been sent to Tice, as of Monday this week, 1/26. No phone call or email yet.
    Separately, maybe we want to tag on to a call-in day called by Campaign for Liberty.
    Dear friend of liberty,

    While driving to work two weeks ago, Campaign for Liberty member Chris Engel was listening to a conversation on talk radio.

    After one particular caller, Chris decided he couldn’t just listen anymore; he had to join the discussion.

    “It is hard not to pay attention to what is going on in the world today,” Chris said. “To put it lightly, there is a lot.”

    So, he picked up the phone and dialed the number for Bill Bennett’s radio program, “Morning in America.”

    “The host and screener were very nice and the show had many opinions offered,” Chris explained.

    After getting on the air, Chris made a great point about how we not only enjoy the sacrifices made by our nation’s founders, but that our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents struggled to give us an inheritance we are now too willing to throw away for a short-term gain.

    “At the end, I got a quick shout-out in for Dr. Paul and the folks trying to swing the pendulum back the other way at Campaign for Liberty,” Chris said.

    Chris did a great job!

    Inspired by Chris, Campaign for Liberty would like to encourage all of you to follow his lead with our first Mass Action Day.

    Campaign for Liberty Mass Action Days are one-day events where the national organization encourages its members and state groups to perform a specific task in order to achieve a stated organizational goal.

    The first Mass Action Day will be centered on National Freedom Day.

    According to the Library of Congress,

    Major Richard Robert Wright Sr., a former slave, fought to have a day when freedom for all Americans would be celebrated. When Wright received his freedom, he went on to become a successful businessman and community leader in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Major Wright chose February 1 as National Freedom Day because it was the day in 1865 that President Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution…

    Wright gathered national and local leaders together to write a bill declaring February 1 “National Freedom Day” and President Harry Truman signed the bill in 1948 making it official.

    “National Freedom Day” provides a backdrop for us to discuss the principles that made our country great – limited government, a noninterventionist foreign policy, and a respect for civil liberties.

    For this Mass Action Day, we are asking you to contact national and local talk radio programs to share and elaborate on items within Campaign for Liberty’s Core Principles and message of freedom.

    This year, February 1 falls on a Sunday. For that reason, and because most talk shows accept a wider range of calls on Fridays, the Action Day is this Friday, January 30th.

    A set of basic talking points along with a list of national talk radio programs and their contact information has been created to help you with this effort. Please view these documents here and here.

    The goal is simple: we want to educate and influence mainstream political thought so that its adherents begin to adopt our core principles as their own.

    Thanks for all the hard work you have done, and for the support you have given to Dr. Paul and his message of freedom. Together, we can ensure the success of our message and see a day when our Constitution is respected and our liberties are secured.

    If you make it on the air, please send a link to the audio of that show. We will be posting successful calls on Campaign for Liberty’s main page.

    For liberty,

    Matt Holdridge

    Director of Marketing, Campaign for Liberty

    P.S. Follow the lead of Campaign for Liberty member Chris Engel, and call a national or local talk radio program on Friday, January 30, 2009. Click here for a set of basic talking points along with a list of national talk radio shows and their contact information here. If you make it on the air, please send a link to the audio of that show. Again, we will be posting successful calls on Campaign for Liberty’s main page.

  17. Josh Roberts says:

    If you give a few active members limited admin rights, maybe you could keep the spam down. Just a thought

  18. jon says:

    excellent point, Josh. would you have time to help with this?



  19. thomasn528 says:

    [Temporary message: Comments for *this* open thread are closed, it’s just attracting spam now. (We can open another one whenever anyone likes.)]