We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, June 10. 2013
Greenwald is a despicable, foolish person, but he is making news: Greenwald Says ‘There’s A Lot More Coming.’
Note this: Military told not to read Obama-scandal news
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Back in 1999, it was revealed that intel microprocessors each have a unique identification number, which can presumably be readily accessed by "those in the know". We now know that 50 major US companies which provide the software. hardware, internet services, phone services, etc have opened up all the computers, phones, tablets, data, files etc of their customers to be easily taken by spies. All our medical records are now required to be computerized, and readily available for spy download. Each computer and its contents, now correlated with all phone calls, location of the caller at the time of the call, all emails. all medical records, all credit card, check and other purchases - all without a reasonable cause warrant. Why would anyone who can find an alternative company buy anything from a US company? And there will be alternative companies. There will be foreign operating systems, software, microprocessors and services sponsored and quickly developed to replace our US companies. Our government doesn't care that its demands will destroy US companies, jobs, and trust in the US. No one can't now trust what our companies say, because they are required to comply, and required to lie. Even if the government claims to stop collecting everything on everyone, who would believe them?
This massive snooping and data collection did not prevent the Boston bombings, even though the Russians warned us twice. The data collection must be for a different purpose than stopping terrorists. But the IRS and EPA can find "Tea Party" and other political enemies to harass.
As despicable as Glen Greenwald has been, he is right this time. (even a broken clock is right twice a day)
I'm not sure what to think about Greenwald - but his revelations have a good possibility of being the straw that broke the camel's back as far as trust in Obama and his administration goes.
The story about the military not being allowed to look at anything regarding Obama's scandal-plagued administration is not going to set well. The military trusts the administration to use it wisely overall (if not well, at times) - but it's made of a lot of people of varying political opinions. This seems like an attempt to keep anything but 'official' information from the troops - which might have worked in WW2, but it's not going to be working now.
Domestically there's far too many sources of information - and overseas if our soldiers are told to 'not look at something', you can pretty much bet they're going bend every effort to find it via local sources.
Someone has dared to say the Emperor has no clothes. Those words cannot be unsaid, much as the emperor or his minions might want to silence them.
I know nothing about the guy - but that giant NSA domestic spying operation has made me nervous for a long time. I'm glad it will now be subject to a national debate.
The fact that the NSA spying is overseen by all three branches of the federal government offers small comfort to me. We know from the other scandals now facing the Obama administration that the executive branch of the federal government can't be trusted to do the right thing. Congress is dysfunctional and no longer can or wants to legislate, preferring instead to pass opaque 3000 page bills that no one has read, and leaving it to administrative agencies to interpret and execute the law. And finally the unelected rubber-stamp secret FISA court that supposedly oversees the intelligence gathering of the NSA is hardly what you'd call open government as imagined by this nation's Founding Fathers; it's a star chamber of faceless black-robed government officials who act in complete secret with no public oversight or accountability. Such secrecy is easily subject to abuse. It's anathema to those of us who cherish democratic government and freedom.
Agent Cooper, how can you say the secret star-chamber FISA court is a "rubber-stamp. It was just pure chance that they didn't deny any of the 1,856 spying applications during calendar year 2012. Why, its just as if you were flipping a coin and it just happened to come up "heads" 1856 times in a row - pure chance, happens all the time somewhere in the universe.
Also, because its officially the "FOREIGN Intelligence Surveillance Court", they couldn't possibly authorize any data collection on American citizens without a showing of specific cause against the citizen. Surely the secret FISA court, that won't even publish any non-confidential parts of its opinions (such as legal reasoning) can be trusted to follow the Constitution!!!
Very few people actually know what the british "Star Chamber" court was for, and why our founders intended the Constitution to prevent it happening here. But it looks like it is a model for the government leviathan.
Whistleblower is dubious definition of Snowden's actions.
Some suggest treason better defines his actions.
Methinks his own estimation is that he's a hero.
He definitely ain't sharpest tack taking refuge in Honk Kong.
Me thinks treason and espionage are still capital offenses.
Poor idiot be he, me thinks.
I am not in favor of the government gathering information and/or spying on citizens. If our government does something unconstitutional it should be stopped either in our courts or at the ballot box. However I am much more opposed to former employees giving away secrets. I hope Snowden gets a long and well deserved stay in prison for what he did and the same for anyone else who feels the need to give away state secrets. The two issues are not one and the same. Our government should answer to the people and the courts not to Snowden and the Guardian.
Despicable and Foolish? Foolish, sure; but I give him credit because since the Bush years because he's been pretty consistent. He didn't change his fundamental tune on civil rights / human rights vs. national security / terror just because a Democrat got elected President, and he didn't shut up about it.
Back in the Bush years guys like him irked me because, when criticizing something like the Patriot Act, they tended to ignore or downplay that the nature of the threat required a different approach and different Gov't powers to deal with it. It wasn't that the Patriot Act didn't deserve criticism - boy did it - it was the unreasonableness and exaggeration of the most common criticisms and complete refusal to allow anything but a sinister motive for what the Gov't wanted. They were crying "Wolf!!" all the time at the top of their lungs about everything, when more sober and accurate critiques might have been more convincing.
I've since been annoyed, though not surprised, at the evident lack of sincerity of most those critics, given how silent they went when nothing much changed other than a President. If I have to choose between a fair-weather advocate for civil rights and a overzealous jackass like Greenwald, I'll take him.
If I find anything particularly despicable about him, it's his turgid prose. He could knock off being so self-righteous, too. Truly, he could change a lot of things. . . .
James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told NBC that the leaks "violate a sacred trust for this country. The damage that these revelations incur are huge."
James Clapper has no shame. The sacred trust that's been violated is the solemn obligation of government officials to uphold the Constitution and to secure the rights of individual citizens. The damage that's been done by these revelations is that citizens cannot trust their elected officials to respect the laws of the land. Because of their actions, it is people like Clapper who deserve our scorn.
Note this: Military told not to read Obama-scandal news
Um, do you have a legitimate source for this story? World Net Daily has about as much credibility as the Weekly World News.
Didn't pay any attention to the memo graphic in there, did you?
From the memo:
Details: Classified documents regarding the Verizon phone record collection and court order have been identified as being hosted on publically accessible Internet Web Sites, mot notable "The Guardian" news site. Viewing and/or downloading these documents on Air Force NIPRNET computers could constitutions a Classified Message Incident. Therefore, users are not to access file for any reason (i.e. viewing, downloading, forwarding, etc).
Nothing stopping them from accessing it at any internet cafe, on a cell phone, through a free wifi hotspot and the like, though. And by telling them to not look, that's practically guaranteeing they're going to seek it out.
"Don't look, Ethel!" - but it was too late, she'd already gotten a free shot...