Judge James Zagel FISA judge, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Blagojevich trial judge, April order access Verizon phone records, John Roberts appointment

Judge James Zagel FISA judge, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Blagojevich trial judge, April order access  Verizon phone records, John Roberts appointment

“Why did Judge James Zagel allow only 2 percent of the Blagojevich wiretaps to be released?”…Citizen Wells

“I can tell you that, based on court rules and procedures, Judge James Zagel carries some of the blame for the delay in the transcripts.

The question is, what was Judge Zagel’s motivation?”…Citizen Wells

From the Chicago SunTimes June 1o, 2013.

“Chicago judge Zagel sits on secret FISA surveillance court”

“U.S. District Court Judge James Zagel regularly presides over high-profile cases in Chicago — notably Rod Blagojevich’s corruption and the Family Secrets mob trials — but much lesser known is his secret role on the most secret court in the nation.

Zagel is one of 11 judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court — the court in the news because the April order signed by one of its judges, Roger Vinson, allowed the National Security Agency to collect tens of millions of Verizon phone records of its U.S. customers.

The court is nicknamed the “FISA Court” after the 1978 law creating it, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. A FISA Court judge approved a government request for the collection of Internet and social media records in the program code-named “PRISM.”

Combined, the Verizon and PRISM leaks have touched off a national debate about privacy and anti-terrorism surveillance in the post-9/11 era as well as whether self-admitted NSA leaker Edward Snowden — now in hiding — should be treated as a hero or a criminal, because it is only a matter of time before he faces a federal indictment.

From time to time Zagel leaves his high-ceiling courtroom in the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago, where the public is free to observe his trials, to travel to Washington for FISA Court business at the District Court building here, a short stroll from the Capitol.

According to FISA court spokesman Sheldon Snook, the 11 FISA judges rotate one-week stints in Washington, so Zagel leaves his bench in Chicago for FISA work as part of a regular routine.

A former Justice Department attorney I talked to — who handled FISA-related matters — told me FISA court personnel work in a secret room the intelligence community calls a “SKIFF” — a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility.

A SKIFF is a windowless secure room — it may be filled with white noise to avoid eavesdropping —where a FISA Court judge such as Zagel reviews highly classified applications from Justice Department lawyers to allow surveillance.

Zagel, 72, entered this secret world on May 18, 2008, tapped for the spot by John Roberts, the chief justice of the United States who appoints all the FISA Court judges. Zagel’s term runs to May 18, 2015.”


Thanks to commenter Bessie.

39 responses to “Judge James Zagel FISA judge, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Blagojevich trial judge, April order access Verizon phone records, John Roberts appointment

  1. Could John Roberts have appointed Zagel as “cover” for his shortcomings?……maybe this will come out from Snowdon? Could the worm have turned on Roberts? Who knows? Nothing surprises me about this government any more.

  2. Something turned John Roberts on OBAMACARE and made him flip flop……

    Calling NSA…calling MSA…come in NSA…I have a request for information.

  3. What ever secrets John Roberts has/HAD are now in enemy hands…

  4. NSA, excuse me…would you please redirect my call to Mr. Snowdon a former member of your organization, last known location Hong Kong, China….thank you.

  5. What ever happened to Danny boy?

  6. Up to the release of the info by Snowden, we have seen probably one-tenth of the problem that many have suspected existed – just like an iceberg that keeps nine-tenths beneath the surface. NOW, however, the “iceberg” of NSA scandal is gradually rising to the surface, and we are beginning to learn more about why they need that huge, new storage facility in Utah. Aren’t you thrilled that our tax dollars are paying for it?

  7. cabbyaz…we are all just TICKLED to death…. literally that is…for now anyway !

  8. Just here for a moment. Thanks for the comments about the Snowden affair. Imagine if Obama gets to pick a justice to the SC (or any high level court) that Obama knows has dark, dark secrets the Obama could use. It would force loyalty and compliance.

    I would bet that’s why Obama picked Petraeus. Obama knew before picking him about the affairs.

    RMinNC – I can certainly imagine – Calling NSA…calling MSA…come in NSA…I have a request for information.

  9. I got to go. Rand Paul is planning a class action lawsuit. This new NSA scandal certainly makes one wonder about so many judges that we had faith in being flipped on forcing Obama to prove his eligibility. It feels like America is sinking and I have a thimble to bail with.

  10. Every thing and everybody that Obama comes in contact with turns to S H * T….Just two weeks ago he was chumming with the Prime Minister of Turkey….tonight Turkey is in the first stage of REVOLUTION.

    Now do you suppose O’Bummer has anything to do with the situation in Turkey tonight? Well if he doesn’t I’m almost positive the CIA does.

  11. Just read at Newsmax John Bolton going buck chow against Snowden, calling his whistle blowing treason and an act of war??? Act of war??? Has he lost it?

  12. Hey DEAN…. Maybe BOLTON is afraid of the CHEESE that SNOWDON can eat on him….reckon?

  13. RMinNC — I recon. I think Bolton and a lot of others are freaked out. Maybe they have good reason to be?

  14. I’m really amazed…all the so called expert “talking heads” coming on Fox trying to assure the American public that Snowdon is a Traitor….yet to my knowledge Snowdon has NOT released any classified material…….

    I think what is really bothering all the politicians is that Snowdon will put out some real bad “personal conduct” problems of those now calling him a traitor…..

    I say, put it out there to the public…we need to know just how rotten our elected officials are.

    Power corrupts…where there is power…there will be corruption. Mr. Obama is proving this every day with new revelations.

  15. RM, from last thread to answer your question. Yes. There really is only one choice. I agree fully.

  16. I cannot believe, that in one week, the whole country is now so mistrustful of everything the govt. is doing, that it is almost impossible to take anything that comes out of DC as having one shred of truth.

    They have planted the big question mark right in everyone’s heads. None of us trusted everything that was being done in DC, but now we have gone to a whole new level. I always felt somewhat that they were trying to do the right things to some extent for the country. Obama has successfully ruined whatever belief we had in our republic’s governance. Now we have to figure out what they are really doing. The ruin of our country’s laws is almost completed.

    I honestly don’t know what to think anymore.

  17. Is this another test run to see how much they can get away with or how stupid Americans really are in giving up their most personal information for a little money?


  18. Let’s put aside if the issue is treason or not. The more important issue is do people realize the extent that Obama is spying on them? Obama said he would stop this when he campaigned in 2008. Now he is even worse than Bush. And all the military personnel, diplomatic guys and gals, etc., when they go overseas and have affairs, this can be used against them if they say something Obama doesn’t like. That to me is the issue. The Supreme Court, Congress, the press and everyday people can be threatened with the contents of their emails and calls, if they go against the government, and that is why Snowden had to leak this info, because everyone in our government and press is being threatened with what the goverment has on them.

  19. ACLU Sues Obama Administration Over Dragnet Phone Record Collections
    Posted by Andrea Ryan on Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 4:38 PM

    Today, the ACLU did what the ACLU does best…file lawsuits. This time it’s against the Obama Administration for illegally collecting phone records of millions of Americans.

    The New York Times reports,


  20. RMinNC,

    Just a thought………….what if Snowden expunged all information pertaining to himself and family before he left the NSA? It would not surprise me if he did. Would that even be possible?

  21. I fear that many in Congress are not there for the benefit of the American people but rather for perks, power, privilege, prestige and pension. Where else can you work for a few years and “retire” with a big pension and other benefits for life? I never used to think like that, but seeing how members have behaved – shirking their duties -the last several years, has changed my mind.

  22. SUEQ…
    the answer to your question is…YES it would be possible, but the government would just build another FALSE data base against Snowdon that would probably be much worse than the original.

  23. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmanuel_Goldstein

    The Ministry of Truth is out to get Snowden/Goldstein

  24. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden

    Great article at Wikipedia on Snowden.

  25. bob strauss

    Now we know why people are getting their Obama phones. That way, even the poor can be tracked, and spied on.

  26. bob strauss

    Tina | June 11, 2013 at 5:43 pm |

    Let’s put aside if the issue is treason or not.
    Let’s concentrate on the treason of the usurper!

  27. bob strauss:
    Let’s concentrate on the treason of the usurper!
    Totally agree, Bob!

  28. It Has Come to This: German Gov’t Official Accuses U.S. of Stasi Tactics Ahead of Obama Visit

    News that the U.S. government has massive Internet surveillance programs in place has at least a few German politicians outraged, one even likening the feds penchant for snooping to the tactics used by the feared East German Stasi.

    All this comes ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit to Germany, the European Union’s most prosperous and stable country.

    Talk about slightly awkward.

    Read more: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/06/11/it-has-come-to-this-german-govt-official-accuses-u-s-of-stasi-tactics-ahead-of-obama-visit/

  29. What a world our elite politicians have built for themselves over the decades! Rulers, not leaders doesn’t come close to the confounding selfish acts committed against us -the citizens. They are they few, and a very few the are in fact.

    It is easier for any leader to think how to act (behavior), than it is for a leader to act by thinking!

    Just my personal leadership experience and 2 cents.

  30. Sorry, my “y’ key stuck on keyboard. But you get my point.

    Perhaps some NSA Nazi word-smiths can assist…

    A clue for any NSA reading my thoughts, a hint….

    – I am right handed
    – My less useful is null
    – I have a full set raised
    – A full set is 5
    – I am minus 4, but showing you one
    – Need a pick of the finger left in residual? Or can you read my thought?

  31. Troops ‘targeted by NSA for anti-Obama views’
    The NSA is systematically monitoring the Internet posts and telephone conversations of U.S. military returning from Afghanistan, according to a civil-liberties attorney.

    “The FBI and the Secret Service are showing up to request an interview to question specific Internet posts the veteran has placed on websites such as Facebook,” explained attorney John Whitehead, founder of the Rutherford Institute.

    Whitehead said the agencies are looking for “anti-Obama views that can be interpreted to reflect psychological problems of sufficient seriousness to disqualify the veteran from ever owning a firearm.”

    Rutherford told WND credible sources within the National Security Agency have told him the NSA is downloading 1 trillion communications on the Internet per month, including posts to various websites, emails, instant message communications and texting messages.

    Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/06/troops-targeted-by-nsa-for-anti-obama-views/#zPmeUc9AxrgtVl68.99

  32. oldsailor80

    According to Fox News there are a few people onnearth who think Snowden did NOTHING WRONG,in fact it appears that they think he is a real Patriot. They have compared him with the people of 1776. I will keep my opinion to myself. This was the thoughts of a guest on a Fox talk show.

  33. oldsailor80

    Now the ACLU has acted to bring it’s own suit against the Soetoro crowd. It will be interesting to see how far it gets. There is also the next coming class action by the “LADY PITBULL”.
    To compound thhat lawsuit is the one being prepared by Rand Paul. He wants 10,000,000 signatures as quickly as he can get them. Do you suppose that it would be okay if we signed the roster several times sort of like the black female Democratic poll worker in Ohio, who voted for Soetoro SEVERAL times, by her OWN ADMISSION.

  34. oldsailor80

    I have heard that Pakistan might be considering filing WAR CRIMES charges at the Hague against Soetoro,for murdering people on Pakistan soil.

  35. oldsailor80

    I wonder what the Hague will do if actual charges are filed by Pakistan against Soetoro.

  36. The worse thing to me is if we continue life as normal. If Obummer continues his Presidency after all these scandals and the Republicans do nothing Obummer will be called the greatest comeback kid of all time, and he will continue his agenda unabated. Republicans or Arpaio need to act and soon, or people will think all of this is no big deal.

  37. Republican Congressman Files Amendments to Protect First Amendment Rights of Christian Soldiers

    Congressman Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) filed amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) today. One amendment would restrain the Army from conducting its court martial of Master Sgt. Nathan Sommers unless and until the Army first files a report for the Congress to review. Another amendment would unblock the courthouse door so that service members whose First Amendment rights have been violated by the Federal government can seek redress like any other American.
    Master Sgt. Nathan Sommers was reprimanded by the military for reading Hannity, Levin and Limbaugh and for an anti-Obama bumper sticker on his car.


  38. Good morning Fellow American Patriots.
    Good morning NSA.

    A Hero Or Traitor? Edward Snowden, 29, Has Fled To Hong Kong – Judge Andrew Napolitano

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s