FBI agent tries to copyright super-secret torture manual, inadvertently makes it public


1 Like

Perhaps he wanted it to be discovered.


At this point I’m hoping the person that did this thought ‘I need to get this out into public attention but I don’t want to pull a Snowden in case something bigger comes across my desk’ so uses the fact their bosses are so out of touch that they slide the idea across the desk and frame it as being helpful.


Wikileaks would seem an easier path than the LOC.

Wikileaks gets him sent to an undisclosed location - LOC gets a reprimand.


Why are they so pissy about something that should be working out in their favor?

Julian Sanchez, a fellow with the libertarian Cato Institute who has studied copyright policy, was harsher…

I.e. “Dammit, if you release this stuff it’s harder for me to pretend to be a libertarian an not just a Republican stooge!”


I want this document to be public, so I will apply for copyright for it under my own name, and that will allow me to say that I was just stupid instead of treasonous, and so avoid consequences for the leak? This is back in 2010, was anyone thinking like that back then? Then you just sit back and wait as many years as it takes for someone to notice it?

Just doesn’t sound likely to me, but that’s not definitive of course.


Great. These are the guys to whom we entrust our security and who are asking us to just trust them.

I no longer fear for the republic. It’s over.

1 Like

Well the tinfoil had suggested things like Prism had been going on for decades and as it turns out Prism itself has been going on since '07 so it is possible that this person was feeling extra paranoid or maybe they knew things we didn’t at the time.


Yeah your and “Julian Sanchez, a fellow with the libertarian Cato Institute who has studied copyright policy” issue is that they can’t be trusted with security and don’t know how copyright works…

… that they wrote a fucking torture manual seems no big deal though. Torture is bad 'mmkay. Torture or no torture is what differentiates rule of law from the Middle Ages or some third world authoritarian shithole.

How the mighty have fallen…


Wikileaks was established 2006.

That aside: every once in a while even in institutions like the FBI there are people who have information the feel they must share with the general public. For instance someone like Mark Felt aka Deep Throat.

It is a plausible explanation that this was a ploy to leak it without getting into too much trouble and burning bridges etc…


The Snowden leaks hadn’t happened yet in 2010, but the atmosphere of secrecy around torture was about the same IMHO – it feels like people have been thinking like this for quite a long time, actually. Waterboarding and the Patriot Act had already happened.

1 Like

This is the problem with knee-jerk reactions. Julian Sanchez is less of a Republican than Obama or Hillary Clinton or any other Democratic leader. He’s certainly more liberal than they are on issues of civil rights, criminal justice, and foreign policy.

Suggestions that Sanchez is a Republican stooge merely because he’s a libertarian are no different than the reflexive comments you see on Free Republic or Red State that call Democrats socialists or even communists.


Now I’m thinking how funny it would be to read CIA patent applications for ways to assassinate a person, or NSA patents on how to obfuscate the truth when under oath.

I can’t draw but here goes.


Then laughter turns to tears when for every one of these that somebody decides to try copyrighting there are hundreds or more that go through with none outside of the system knowing about it.

If you’ve read Julian Sanchez over the years, it’s pretty clear that that he is more concerned with torture than copyright law. He’s certainly more concerned with it than those in the Democratic leadership.


Doesn’t sound very parsimonious.

Not “you” – this guy was a unit chief. It’s plausible that a smart underling played him into making an ass of himself - after all, somebody trying to claim copyright of a federal document (which is by definition in the public domain, in the US) must have quite the sense of entitlement, and likely an ego to with it. Being a slow-burning prank, the underling was likely to get away with it scot-free; who knows, s/he might actually be one who eventually tipped off reporters.

(Or, since the filing happened in 2010 when, I presume, the legal battle over it was in full swing, it might have been a last-ditch attempt at keeping it private: “Sorry, we can’t release it because it’s copyrighted by the author”. I have seen similar arguments used in FOIA refusals used in the past – “sensitive commercial documents” and all that.)


Anyone got a, like, link to a PDF of the manual? Please?


I myself don’t really want to read it. I know what I’ll find.