Aug 06 2007

NSA Leak Case Moving Out

Published by at 8:32 am under All General Discussions,FISA-NSA

Clean Up: Moved all updates to the end in reverse chronological order (latest at the end). But one irony update for the top of this post. Seems the warrant to search Tamm’s house came from the FIS Court, since it was a “classified warrant”. Too funny

Original Post: It seems the US Government has an eye on who might have exposed our national security efforts to the media, and therefore al-Qaeda. Not only was the leak of our efforts to monitor terrorists overseas exposed, but the fact we were tracking down and investigating contacts they had here in the US. This is no different from a legal wiretap in the US – if someone not covered by a surveillance warrant makes contact with a mafia boss or drug dealer, they are identified and investigated to determine if they need to be included in the ongoing investigation. Dealing with terrorist cells is no different. Once we have them identified overseas, if they contact someone here that is just as legal since the target that trapped them was a legal target of a wiretap.

But as usual, some think it is their job to take the law and the country into their own personal hands and dictate what is and is not legal. The first candidate for crazed bureaucrat turned traitor is a Department of Justice lawyer, sadly working in the anti-terrorism area:

The controversy over President Bush’s warrantless surveillance program took another surprise turn last week when a team of FBI agents, armed with a classified search warrant, raided the suburban Washington home of a former Justice Department lawyer. The lawyer, Thomas M. Tamm, previously worked in Justice’s Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR)—the supersecret unit that oversees surveillance of terrorist and espionage targets.

People always assume only a President can misuse government and the media for his/her own purpose. But the fact is, after Nixon, it is now some mid to low level bureaucrat who tries to gain game the system and the gullible media (who need those Pulitzers you know) for personal gain. Think Valerie and Joe Wilson who created a lie about forged documents to get head lines and accuse Bush of lying to get into Iraq. It was Joe Wilson’s lies that were the only ones discovered – in the end. But I digress. Clarice Feldman has some comments up on the matter and points to some great investigative efforts by Tom Maguire.

I think this is the tip of the iceberg. It seems someone is trying to cover their tracks. I found this on a google search for Thomas Tamm, Justice Department:

Equal Justice USA
Trial Attorney, United States Department of Justice, 1972-1974. Thomas L. Crowe, Baltimore, MD … Thomas M. Tamm, Rockville, MD. Assistant State’s … – 15k – Cached

It is not much, but I assume this fits Tamm’s liberal leanings. Equal Justice is a liberal activist group:

Equal Justice USA was launched in 1990, building on several years of Quixote Center work opposing the death penalty in our home state of Maryland. Our purpose was to build public scrutiny and protest of human rights in the U.S. legal system abolishing the death penalty being a top priority.

I gather that includes abolishing the death penalty for terrorists too. Given the fact all references to Tamm have been removed it might be they are reacting to the breaking news. Actually, the site is starting to lose some of their pages as I copy them. This seems to be a clear indication they want to cover up their connections.

Updates: Seems Tamm was a a Montgomery County Prosecutor before heading to the Justice Department. This is confirmed by another google search that hit on a now gone page at Equal Justice USA:

Equal Justice USA
Honorable Andrew Sonner, Rockville, MD. Judge, Court of Special Appeals, … Thomas M. Tamm, Rockville, MD. Assistant State’s Attorney, Montgomery County … – 15k – Cached

A little digging on other sites that copied the Equal Justice USA gives us this complete listing. A snippet shows:

Honorable Andrew Sonner, Rockville, MD
Judge, Court of Special Appeals, 1996-2004
State’s Attorney, Montgomery County, 1971-1996

Ronald E. Stalling, Clarksville, MD
United States Secret Service, Uniform Division, 1970-2002

Thomas M. Tamm, Rockville, MD
Assistant State’s Attorney, Montgomery County
Trial Attorney, Capital Case Unit, United States Department of Justice
Assistant United States Attorney, Washington D.C.

The trial attorney for the Capital Case Unit of the DoJ was against the death penalty. Strange combination there. But I can tell you there is an interesting set of dots to connect. From Judge Sonner who cosigned with Tamm you get to one Judge Reggie B. Walton, who presided over the Libby trial and is now on the FISA Court. Small world, eh?

Updates: I keep wondering if Thomas M. Tamm was the son or relative of Quinn Tamm, a former FBI agent and police system reformer, who may have been the brother of Edward A. Tamm, a famous Federal judge that practiced law in DC for quite some time. The reason is Edward A Tamm seemed to serve when the current judge Royce Lamberth, the outspoken FISA Court Chief judge who presided over the FIS Court when the NY Times started breaking the NSA surveillance story, was an attorney. Another case here. It would be a classic story of a DC power families taking it upon themselves to disrupt the power of a President. This area believes the Presidents that come through serve at their pleasure – not the peoples’. Whatever, there are too many familiar names surrounding this person.

Major Update: Clarice Feldman updated her post to let us all know that Equal Justice USA is a George Soros fronted company. Why am I not surprised this Tamm guy may be a Soros funded agent?

Major Update: Bob Sunshine posted the first comment with an incredible reference that says Thomas A. Tamm is working for donating to the Democratic National Committee (DNC)!


09/17/2004 300.00 24991283185

So the NSA leak trail leads right into the DNC – in a sense. Think that will make headlines – nope. Just another democrat doing his civic duty.

Addendum: While I jumped the gun a bit on the DNC connection (dealing with a major work issue in parallel to this breaking news – not good to divide one’s attention) I did want to note the timing again of the above donation. September 2004 was right before the Kerry-Bush election, and around the time the NSA story was supposed to have broken. There was a big uproar by the lefties that the NSA false story did not come out before the elections. I would not be surprised if someone realized that a leak of this kind, with so few people in the know, would be easy to track down. Someone may have thought they could win without it, or it was not worth the resulting fire storm.

BTW – here is another posting on a website possibly by our mysterious Thomas Tamm.

Update: I queried below above if Thomas M Tamm was the son of one Quinn H Tamm, former FBI agent and brother of Edward A Tamm, a famous federal judge. I also wonder if Quinn John Tamm Jr, staff member of the 9-11 Commission, is also related to the Thomas M Tamm. Just wondering…

Update: This story gets more bizarre as I continue to hunt for info. Our mystery mole, Thomas M Tamm, worked in the DoJ Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR), which also has some notoriety with regards to an internet data mining effort called “Carnivore” and a missed opportunity with one Osama Bin Laden:

The one-page memo at issue, dated April 5, 2000, and sent via e-mail, was intended to outline the problems that had arisen in a Denver terrorism case for Marion “Spike” Bowman, the FBI’s associate general counsel for national security. Yesterday, Bowman declined to comment and authorities declined to identify the memo’s author or provide further details about the case.

The probe involved the FBI team that investigates suspected operatives of the al Qaeda network. It is known as the Usama bin Laden, or UBL, unit for the agency’s spelling of the al Qaeda leader’s name. The same unit has come under congressional scrutiny in recent weeks over its role in shelving a July 2001 memo from Phoenix FBI agent Kenneth Williams, who had suggested that al Qaeda members might be infiltrating aviation schools and requested that the FBI canvass them for Middle Easterners.

In the latest case to come to light, the UBL unit acquired in March 2000 a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for use against a suspect in an investigation based in Denver, according to the memo released yesterday.

The names of the suspect and all others in the memo, except for Bowman’s, were redacted from the copy provided to EPIC.

The memo says that on March 16, 2000, the Carnivore “software was turned on and did not work properly,” capturing e-mails involving both the target and others unconnected to the case.

The memo goes on to say that “the FBI technical person was apparently so upset that he destroyed all the E-Mail take, including the take” from the target. Collingwood, the FBI spokesman, said that the memo is incorrect and that the e-mails gathered in the operation were kept and remain under seal in the court that administers secret wiretaps.

The memo makes clear that the Justice Department’s Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR), which oversees FISA warrants, was enraged by the blunders in the case, in part because the Justice Department office was allegedly not told that Carnivore was considered experimental at the time.

Referring to an official at OIPR, the memo’s author says: “[To] state that she is unhappy with [the International Terrorism Operations Section] and the UBL Unit would be an understatement of incredible proportions.”

Is there a connection? Who knows. Some more here on Carnivore and 9-11. But Thomas M Tamm did receive an award from Janet Reno around this same time.M

Major Update: I forgot to mention how I got from Thomas Tamm to EPIC and Carnivore (update below). The FISA Court judge who resigned in protest and made news with the NY Times exposure of the NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program was the same James Robertson who turned over the FBI memos on Carnivore to EPIC. I find all these coincidences surrounding these people quite interesting.

Some background on Quinn John Tamm, the 9-11 Commission staff member who shares the same name as our mystery leaker Thomas M Tamm.

28 responses so far

28 Responses to “NSA Leak Case Moving Out”

  1. ivehadit says:

    I went to see the Bourne movie out now. It reminds me of this quite a lot. Pathetic.

    The dems are trying to focus the public’s attention on Bush being the enemy for trying to collect inte on the terroristsl, not the terrorists that are trying to blow up our cites, poison our children and cut off our heads. It is unbelievable to me. But truly they do this not out of principle, but out of a raw political power grab. It’s just a tool for them, they think. Again, pathetic.

    But it has made me think to ask Mr. Pelicano of HIllary fame, why is he in jail? For smearing/spying on people who get/got in Hillary’s way?

    That is why the dems are so hot on this. IT is what THEY would do.
    What a dishonorable group…that is being/WILL BE exposed BIG TIME.

  2. Pal2pal says:

    Break in the NSA/NYT Lead Case…

    I had flagged this story to writeabout it the other day and then got sidetracked. I, along with many others, have been wondering what the heck was happening in the investigation of the New York Times NSA leak case. Now we know at least a little more an…

  3. Pal2pal says:

    Break in the NSA/NYT Leak Case…

    I had flagged this story to writeabout it the other day and then got sidetracked. I, along with many others, have been wondering what the heck was happening in the investigation of the New York Times NSA leak case. Now we know at least a little more an…

  4. Dc says:

    I doubt we shall be hearing from our friend Soothie for a little while.

  5. jb says:

    Good post. Excellent post.


    I’d swear it was “game the system,” not “gain.”

    “…it is now some mid to low level bureaucrat who tries to gain the system and the gullible media…”

  6. AJStrata says:


    You are correct. In case you are not aware I am a typo generating machine.

  7. Carol J says:


    Thanks for the post on this, it is huge! So…what’s going to happen next, guys? Will all of this simply dissolve away like every other scandal to hit congress. Or worse yet (is that possible?) it is consigned to the dark and moldy black hole we call the national archives, where someone like Sandy Berger can rob us blind…AGAIN!!

  8. Newinfo says:

    Thomas Tamm is the son of Quinn Tamm of Kensington, MD who had a very successful carrer with the FBI. He might the the newphew of Judge Edward Tamm. No information on Quinn John Tamm, Jr. but how many Quinn Tamms are there? Thomas Tamm is a graduate of Georgetown Prep and Georgetown Law School.