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Rep. Johnson seeks intelligence firms' contracts in ChamberLeaks scandal


By FZ - Posted on 05 April 2011

March 28, 2011- Congressman writes Gates, Holder and Clapper; says he will lead investigation himself if necessary

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA-04) has requested that the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, and Director of National Intelligence turn over to Congress all contracts with intelligence firms HBGary Federal, Palantir Technologies, and Berico Technologies.  (Click HERE to read the letters – .pdf, 3 pgs)

Rep. Johnson has led calls for a formal Congressional probe into allegations that the contractors conspired to use intelligence and counterterrorism tools to attack U.S. citizens.  “We need aggressive action to defend American citizens in the cyber domain,” said Johnson.  “This scandal cries out for a full investigation.  I’ll do it myself if I have to.”

Bush Administration counterterrorism and cybersecurity chief Richard Clarke speculated in an interview with ThinkProgress last week that the private use of cyberwarfare tools against U.S. citizens would constitute a criminal offense.  “I think it’s a violation of 10USC,” said Clarke.  “I think it’s a felony, and I think they should go to jail.” (Click HERE to read story)

On March 1, Johnson and nineteen House colleagues sent a letter to the House Armed Services, Judiciary, Intelligence, and Oversight & Government Reform committees requesting a formal investigation into the alleged conspiracy.

At a March 16 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, Johnson questioned Gen. Keith Alexander (commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the NSA) and Dr. James Miller, Jr. (Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy) regarding allegations that the three intelligence contractors and the law firm Hunton & Williams conspired to spy on and harm U.S. citizens using tools and technologies developed for counterterrorism.  Click HERE for video of the exchange.

According to emails recently made public, the alleged high-tech “dirty tricks” campaign planned by contractors and law firm may have included cyber attacks against political opponents of Hunton & Williams' clients, the submission of fraudulent documents to discredit targeted U.S. citizens, and the manipulation of online social networks to find damaging information.

Source HankJohnson.House.Gov