Dempsey Talks Snowden, Syria and Sex Assaults

Dempsey Talks Snowden, Syria and Sex Assaults

The U.S. military’s top officer said Russia may have already obtained classified information about American surveillance programs, Syrian troops are “gaining momentum” against rebel forces and the brass is open to ways to curb sexual assault.

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in an interview yesterday with ABC’s “This Week,” said the decision by former government contractor Edward Snowden to leak information about National Security Agency programs was “disappointing” and “damaging.”

“He has caused us some considerable damage to our intelligence architecture,” he said on the television show. “Our adversaries are changing the way that they communicate.”


Dempsey, who last week was confirmed by the Senate to another two-year term, said he didn’t know how much classified intelligence Snowden had in his possession, only that it was a “significant” amount.

“No, it wouldn’t surprise me,” he said, when asked if the Russians or the Chinese may have already obtained the material from Snowden.

Dempsey also took issue with the self-professed goals of the former contractor for the National Security Agency.

“Snowden is not a guy who’s doing these things for honorable or noble purposes,” he said. “He’s not doing this to make some kind of statement or a debate.”

After allegedly providing information about the programs to The Guardian and The Washington Post newspapers, Snowden initially fled to Hong Kong, then to Russia. Last week, he was allowed to leave a Moscow airport, where he was holed up for weeks, after receiving temporary asylum in the country.

On Syria, Dempsey declined to say whether the regime of President Bashar al-Assad was winning in the country’s civil war after military troops ousted rebel forces from an area they previously held outside Damascus.

“This kind of conflict, an internal civil war insurgency, always ebbs and flows,” he said. “He appears to be gaining momentum, but I don’t think it will be sustainable.”

More than 100,000 people have died in the two-year-old uprising against the regime of al-Assad, according to a June estimate from the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the death toll through a network of activists in the country.

When asked what happens next, Dempsey said that’s “the source of continuing discussions of our strategy and whether we should become directly involved or become involved through support to the opposition, building partners in the region, humanitarian relief.”

Dempsey recently sparred with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., over what role the U.S. should play in Syria. McCain, who supports a U.S.-led military intervention and enforcement of a no-fly zone in the country, accused the general of flip-flopping on whether to arm the opposition.

Dempsey said the recent war in Iraq, where he commanded U.S. forces, has factored into his thinking on Syria.

“It has branded in me the idea that the use of military power must be part of an overall strategic solution that includes international partners and a whole of government and that simply an application of forces rarely produces and in fact maybe never produces the outcome that we see,” he said.

When asked why the brass opposes legislation introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand D-N.Y., to remove the chain of command from the prosecution of sexual assaults, Dempsey said, “A victim doesn’t have to go to the commander. There are at least nine other places where a victim can go.”

The Defense Department is also considering wider adoption of an Air Force program that provides special counsel to victims of sexual assault or unwanted sexual contact, Dempsey said.

“We’re looking at every possible way and open-minded to every single option,” he said.

An estimated 26,000 active-duty troops had unwanted sexual contact in fiscal 2012, up from about 19,300 in 2010, according to a report the Pentagon released May 7. By comparison, 3,374 troops reported sexual assaults last year, an increase of 5.7 percent from the previous year, according to the report.

Advocates say the discrepancy in the figures shows the degree to which victims are reluctant to come forward.

On Egypt, Dempsey declined to say whether Secretary of State John Kerry misspoke recently when he said Egypt’s military was “restoring democracy” when it removed the country’s first democratically elected leader, Mohamed Morsi, on July 3 after mass protests against his rule.

“I’m not going to speak for the secretary of state,” he said. “He’s the leading diplomat of our nation.”

Dempsey ended the interview with a joke, saying he was recently tasked with babysitting after the birth of his eighth grandchild.

“My job was to babysit the newest grandson’s two-year-old twin brothers, which actually was probably the most difficult thing I’ve done since I’ve been chairman,” he quipped.

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“He has caused us some considerable damage to our intelligence architecture,” he said on the television show. “Our adversaries are changing the way that they communicate.”

This is a red herring statement. If the intelligence agencies had not been spying on Americans, it would not have been necessary for Snowden to release anything. It is the NSA et al that are in the wrong, but Gen Dempsey ignores that.

I’m confused. They can gather whatever they want to about my family because we’ve got to be the most boring people alive. We pay our taxes, support democratic reform vice violent overthrow, and are not involved in anything illegal. Should any of that change, I guess I would be worried. So why are you worried?

Snowden is another case of Julian Assange. Nothing new to see, only a ‘verification’ of what we all knew. Surveillance, duh. Every country wiretaps his own citizens and many abroad. Yes, even political meetings etc. Nothing the NSA has or has done is groundbreaking. The Russians and Chinese have the exact same capabilities. It’s nothing like in sci fi movies. If anything, I’d dare say the Chinese are at the very least ‘on par’ with the US monitoring capabilities (probably much better even).

Syria: good that Obama doesn’t do much about it. Let them battle it out. Better to have a known ‘evil’, instead of unknown ‘evils’ after the toppling of Assad. I know Israel loves to get rid of Assad (he doesn’t do anything, and with islamic rebels at the helm in Syria afterward, Israel can keep playing the ‘victim of the region’. So let’s just keep Israel’s interest out of our minds, and keep WESTERN interest in mind. Let the civil war continue until both sides are more weakened. In the end my preferable outcome would be: Assad wins, but is greatly weakened and as such, Iran loses a powerful ally in the region for a less powerful one.

A great deal of internet traffic goes through the US; in which case the NSA has a home court advantage.

To me, as the PRC helps Africa and the Middle East build infrastructure, it allows them to put backdoors and the like in place to snoop traffic.

Haven’t learned anything about the capriciousness of government from history?

Today’s “loyal citizen” is tomorrow’s criminal. Look up a pressure cooker and checked into yelp at a Turkish coffee shop frequented by ethnics? Boom; eight degrees of separation from Abdul The Terrorist.

Watchlist for you!

The words “support…reform” have translated into “sedition” and “high treason” in government-ese before.

Then again, most of the “victims” of government in the United States have been minorities, or poorer whites, or the young, or “scruffy looking types”. It must be good to not belong to either of those four categories, and especially to not be both of the last two and one of the first two?

True.

I wonder how much of this internet snooping is really relevant? ‘Citizens’s freedoms’ are nonsense anyway, we are all subjects of the state. They choose to allow us a certain degree of freedom. This is a pact we made with the government in order to prevent anarchy. Any ‘rugged individual American’ who disagrees kids himself. The government owns you, we live not in the 1200’s anymore.

This snooping of citizens is against terrorism. Fine. But is there any other pro to it all? Industrial espionage etc? I would like to believe that high tech companies have ‘old school’ paper trails for their most important designs. Seen as how China managed to hack the heck out of all US companies, I hope they have some paper files instead of it being ‘out in the open’.

The only thing that protects the citzenry is limits on government action. Gathering can always be done in secret and evade oversight, but actually arresting who they please…once they cross that Rubicon it’s game over.

True. But the US, as well as we in Europe, have age old laws regarding what constitutes enough grounds for arrest. I find it mildy, and sadly, amusing that Americans can get riled up about these wiretappings (infringing on their rights), while for over a decade you’ve held more than 150 men in a slave camp (lot’s of experience with that) in Guantanamo. See, their rights are being infringed upon in the utmost horrific manner (having no rights at all).

Why I mention this is: both have ‘to do’ with terrorism (the NSA surveillance and Guantanamo), yet those brown ‘camels’ don’t matter, but ‘we’ matter. Even if it’s only a phone call that’s being listened to.

Gatorlady:

You are 1000% right Baby.The COST of trying to SPY on Americans would be enormous.That’s NOT what was being done anyway.Certain PHONE RECORDS were being monitored and I as you.Don’t CARE how much they monitor my phone calls because I don’t GOSSIP,degrade,slander,arrange encounters with the Spouses of my neighbors etc.What Snowden did was dead WRONG and the naive and ignorant on these message boards are so Blinded with hate they cannot see the reality of what this man has done.He had access to classified information NOT just American phone calls.

We don’t know anything. We can’t believe the news media because they don’t know either! They twist what little facts they can to their bias and Americans eat it up. Snowden is a very young man and despite his clearances he was real low on the totem pole! He’s done nothing that someone didn’t know about. So, I’m certain there’s more to this pile of _ _ _ _ than meets the eye! Don’t be idiots, readers.

Last time Dempsey flapped his jaws, he was supporting that miserable excuse for an officer, Sinclair
I will not even dignify him by using his rank.
Dempsey ought to retire.….….….along with the rest who have outlived whatever usefulness they
provided earlier

fools always ignore the facts

if you are part of the problem, you see no problem

Always funny to see someone hide behind a fake name and claim they don’t need privacy. Post your name and social security number and we’ll make sure your life is much more interesting.

Go on give it — the NSA already has it and what have you got to hide ?

Dempsey should have just kept quiet in his shame. He could have kept his vows to the Constitution and the American people and the nation and blown the whistle long before Snowdon but he kept quiet to further his career.

I WANT MY OFFICIAL, WITHHELD-WITHOUT-ANY-CAUSE, i.e., ILLEGALLY-WITHHELD, FULLY-UPDATED, FULLY-AUTHENTICATED, FULLY-AUTHORIZED, FULLY-EMPOWERED ET AL., ALL INCLUSIVE, U.S. ET AL., ALL INCLUSIVE, U.S. DOD ET AL., ALL INCLUSIVE, COMMON ACCESS CARDS (i.e., one set for the Delois Albert Brassell Estate (D-U-N-S Number 831823948 and active CAGE Code 5PAZ8) and another for the Robert James Brassell Estate (D-U-N-S Number 962019514 and active CAGE Code 64WJ9)) ASAP, i.e., NOW!!!!

“miserable excuse for an officer, Sinclair”? so what you mean is you have already convicted a man in your mind of being guilty of something that has yet to be proven guilty of in a court of law? Or youre simply referring to the fact that he cheated on his wife? Because no one in the world ever cheats on their wife. Save your judgement for someone who hasnt spent their entire life protecting their counrty and the very system hes now being paraded through, thats what sets him apart fromt he majority of citizens. Am i condoning it? No, but the fact that he cheated on his wife makes him the same as the rest of us, human.

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