June 10, 2013

Daniel Ellsberg says "there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden's release of NSA material..."

"... and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago. Snowden's whistleblowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what has amounted to an 'executive coup' against the US constitution."

The canonization of Snowden continues apace. The Snowden PR is cranking out material steadily. The criers of "treason" are cringing somewhere.

Obama was strolling about in California with the Chinese President — making some sort of show of not wearing neckties, assuming we'd maintain the usual admiring gaze.

Where are his defenders? Where are all the people who loved him so much and defended everything? Does he know how to operate without adulation, when the politics of infatuation with heroes has latched on to some other guy?

52 comments:

Tibore said...

"Where are his defenders? Where are all the people who loved him so much and defended everything?"

(*Smirk*) They're cringing somewhere too. The Emperor's sartorial sense has finally been acknowledged.

"Does he know how to operate without adulation, when the politics of infatuation with heroes has latched on to some other guy?"

Of course not. He's a creation of the Politics of Infatuation; he sort of deflates to just-some-guy status without that.

Oso Negro said...

I expect his defenders will be along pretty soon. I have yet to see evidence that he functions well in the face of adversity. It was his great fortune to be born a clean, articulate mulatto on the New Frontier. Must be tough to get so much criticism when people have been shoving you to the head of the line all your life.

edutcher said...

Stick around.

Ritmo, some phony folksy, and the She Devil of the SS are all resting.

The day shift sockpuppets will be along soon.

PS If the Choom Gang is letting all this stuff out, as some say, they're forgetting one of the big rules of Lefty propaganda.

Throw as much against the wall as you can. Something will eventually stick.

That can work against you as easily as it can work for you.

Once the details of L'Affaire Monica came out, the American public quickly wearied of the Hilly/Willie soap opera and were glad to see them go.

pm317 said...

I don't see canonization of Snowden. In fact, the Rs and even lefty Obots think Snowden is an inconvenience.

MayBee said...

I don't know what to think about Snowden.

Obama better get on top of this.

roesch/voltaire said...

This is an example of what can happen when, as we have done, use a free-market approach to spy. No background checks or testing to join a non-governament agency that won a contract.This is old news-- if you remember our past senator from Wisconsin, who voted against the Patriot Act, warned us of the implications of extensive spying-- and everyone turned a blind eye.

Mogget said...

If Snowden really did just up and disappear from his job on May 20 as he claims then two points should be made:

1) His disappearance would have sparked a massive deletion of his access to the systems he worked with, as well as a quiet but thorough manhunt. He is not the first NSA employee to go rogue. His value to the Chinese is mostly as an irritant to Americans without his access.

2) once the PRISM stuff appeared, he likely moved to the front of the suspect list. In fact, the NSA might have already confirmed his identity before he revealed himself by checking through his computer activity logs.

If this is the case, then it is likely that Mr. Obama has known all along who did it, how it happened, and where Snowden was. His promise of a massive leak investigation was simply show. It is also quite possible that the foreign governments who routinely monitor us picked up this information from our traffic. If so, the Chinese PM might have also known during the recents talks.

rhhardin said...

It's a question for women.

Which narrative will confuse them less.

That's the one that survives.

edutcher said...

You may grow very old waiting.

The Red Chinese aren't going to be too inclined to do Choom any favors after Moochelle dissed their First Lady.

PS Off the sidebar and FWIW:

Supposedly Snowden wanted to be in Special Forces.

The guys at Blackfive are skeptical about him.

Hagar said...

The defenders of the "snooping" programs all say we should not worry, because look at the rules in place to see that we are protected from "illegal" snooping.

But this administration has consistently shown that it does not believe "the rules" apply to them.

MayBee said...

RV- are you sure there are no background checks if you're working for a contractor at the NSA?

Hagar said...

And they are the only ones who have the power to enforce those "rules."

So, how good are they?

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Disappeared.

Obama wishes.

exhelodrvr1 said...
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exhelodrvr1 said...

That's why we voted for Obama, because sometimes Pres Bush didn't wear ties, and we wanted to continue that.

Old RPM Daddy said...

@MayBee: RV- are you sure there are no background checks if you're working for a contractor at the NSA?

Contractors in classified positions are subject to the same background checks, by the same people, as are military personnel and government civilians. This fellow would have been pretty extensively vetted.

Mogget said...

Everybody who works with classified info or operations has the appropriate security clearance. In addition to a very high clearance, as a civilian worker in the NSA Snowden also took and passed numerous polygraph tests, including lifestyle tests.

Anonymous said...

Blogger roesch/voltaire said...

This is an example of what can happen when, as we have done, use a free-market approach to spy.

-------------------------------------

You're a moron. Do I have to list all of the regular government employees with security clearances that betrayed their country? FBI,CIA,NSA, military.....

Screw on that dunce cap real tight.

Anonymous said...

If he exposed the government violating the 4th Amendment, he is a hero. National Security is not a valid reason for the Government to violate the Constitution. If the gov't stopped giving visas to Muslim Men we would not need PRISM. Let us keep in mind that PRISM is (probably) how they put pressure on Petraus over Benghazi.

And it will all depend on the judge who decides to block him from defending himself based on the hero theory. He once swore and oath to "defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic". The people in power, and the POS judge they will find, will try to keep that oath out of the ears of the jury.

Pastafarian said...

This entire affair appears to me to be a red herring meant to distract us from the real scandal, Obama's weaponizing of the IRS, EPA, and OSHA against his political opponents.

Was a law broken here? If not, then they've succeeded in moving the conversation from their own criminal acts, to whether a particular policy is good or bad. A policy of which the right has some ownership.

How convenient.

pm317 said...

@Hagar..

But this administration has consistently shown that it does not believe "the rules" apply to them.

This and not sure why it does not register even with smart people like Ann.

Here is more reading material:
What If China Hacks the NSA's Massive Data Trove?
The immediate worry is not the Chinese but Obama and his collusion with companies like Google. Google's Schimdt formed a company, a data analytics company pooling all the stellar talent(!) from Obama campaign. Schimdt like people are not shy about their political agenda or views as they go about footlicking this Dem president. So what will they do with this massive data collection, their own and then the government's? Politics and Corporations are increasingly colluding together. If some corporation grabs your click stream to analyze who you are and what you buy, that is temporary but this has a ring of permanence and retro-activity not seen with your run of the mill corporate Big data; besides, corporations don't have endless funds like the govt does to grab private information and store them forever.

pm317 said...

This entire affair appears to me to be a red herring meant to distract us from the real scandal, Obama's weaponizing of the IRS, EPA, and OSHA against his political opponents.

Actually, all those scandals should be looked at within the context of this leak. If Obama can use seemingly benign procedures at IRS to thwart political opponents, what will he do (or has done) with this massive data that can be easily manipulated to find specific information against his political opponents?

George M. Spencer said...

This scandal, the IRS scandal, Fast & Furious, etc, etc...

The President's defense? "I dunno nuthin'." Ha.

Where are the calls for impeachment hearings?

What does it take these days?

What say you, Professor?

Deirdre Mundy said...

His defenders are on facebook. The Tea party asked for an audit, the NSA surveillance is necessary, Obama the lightworker can do no evil and all you stinking libertarian types better shut up or we'll put you in camps where you belong.

There's a whole cadre of Obama-Youth members who are ready to make his utopian vision come true. Just wait, comrade. You'll see their fury when the revolution comes.

Actually, I wonder if he's purposely sabotaging the economy so he can harvest the fury of the young, godless, and impotent children who support him......

BAS said...

It's telling that he released it to the British press and not to the US press. With internet, I get more and more of my information from the English papers then the US papers.

Anonymous said...

No background checks or testing to join a non-governament agency that won a contract.

This is simply not true. He would have been subjected to the same vetting (and granting of presumably a Top Secret clearance) as any government employee.

Anonymous said...

If the gov't stopped giving visas to Muslim Men we would not need PRISM.

So your solution to preserving the Fourth Amendment is to destroy the First.

Scott M said...

More important that Oppenheimer leaking to the Soviets?

John henry said...

Perhaps OT but why do we care about Daniel Ellsburg?

Most people think that what he did harmed Nixon in some way. The Pentagon Papers only went up to about 1967 or so. They harmed Kennedy and LBJ if they harmed anyone at all.

By the time Ellsburg released them, the info was more than 4 years old and we had almost 3 years of Nixon trying to undo the mistakes of the two DEMMIES JFK and LBJ.

We must always remember that it was the demmies that got us into Vietnam, Nixon who got us out and who helped the SVN to beat the piss out of the north.

And the Demmies who forced the SVN to lose the war.

Not that I am a Nixon fan. He was not much better than LBJ but that is certainly faint praise.

John Henry

Brennan said...

Congress should be concerned with how the Executive branch operates top secret programs.

Maybe the Executive branch could hire Booz Allen Hamilton to advise them on how to keep a top secret program secret.

Brian Brown said...

roesch/voltaire said...

This is an example of what can happen when, as we have done, use a free-market approach to spy. No background checks or testing to join a non-governament agency that won a contract


You sir, are a fucking moron.

Anonymous said...

"when the politics of infatuation with heroes"

Please clarify what incident/incidents qualified him to be a hero? Community organizing amidst gun slinging Chicago? Heard from the grape vine, he community organized to a real estate deal for himself from his slum lord buddy. Not very heroic.

glenn said...

I know what to think of Snowden. He's one of two things. A fool or a spy for the Chinese. Actually if he's aspy he's also a fool. Or well paid.

edutcher said...

Freder Frederson said...

If the gov't stopped giving visas to Muslim Men we would not need PRISM.

So your solution to preserving the Fourth Amendment is to destroy the First.


First I heard being allowed to emigrate this country was a Constitutional right.

What Dingy Harry means by "undocumented Americans", no doubt.

And, yes, here are the day shift sockpuppets, loopy as ever.

Colonel Angus said...

Freder Frederson said... If the gov't stopped giving visas to Muslim Men we would not need PRISM.

So your solution to preserving the Fourth Amendment is to destroy the First.


Where does it say Muslim men have a Constitutional right to emigrate to the United States?

Anonymous said...

Jay, your comment is succinct.

roesch/Voltaire wishes everyone touches govt. business (i.e. our business) behaves like the IRS agents to fight their Man's potential political enemy. See, if the Democrats controlled the House, there wouldn't be any investigations, whatever "scandals" would disappear Fast & Furious. The Republican partisan witch hunt is the real scandal. Let's get back to solve the nation's problems, get back to the people's business.

Like my talking points? The Press is already in the tank. Snoobama needs to send out more trolls to turn the scandal tides before the tank dwellers escape.

Scott M said...
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Scott M said...

But this administration has consistently shown that it does not believe "the rules" apply to them.

And, as bad or worse, pick and choose which rules they wish to enforce on others.

Scott M said...

Contractors in classified positions are subject to the same background checks, by the same people, as are military personnel and government civilians.

Good point. A good friend of mine works at an IT company that got a contract recently with the VA in their records retention section. He had never been subjected to a security clearance process and it was pretty extensive.

Anonymous said...

Daniel Ellsberg says

Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear? (/yossarian)

Anonymous said...

Whether Snowden is a fool or a spy or a patriot is irrelevant.

The NSA which is supposed to keep the nation secure hasn't done its job. As they say, if this is in times of war... Ooops, we are in a war, the War on Terror, that's why the NSA sweeps our phone records and conscripts the Big Techs to do its dirty work. But hasn't Obama said just recently that the War on Terror was over? Then why Snoobama snoops?

What Snowden has exposed is how incompetent NSA was. If NSA's snooping was legit, why didn't they notify Congress? Something called Congressional oversight is hard coded in the Constitution, you know. Snowden has exposed an illegal act. If NSA cannot secure its secrets, how can they secure ours? If the Justice Dept could fool the court for a warrant to track an inconvenient journalist, a few IRS "rogue" agents could target their Man's political enemies, what could a few NSA "rogue" agents do for their Man. Make his enemies "disappeared"?

Btw, what value does a spy have exposing the secrets he was paid for by a foreign govt to the world to see? If Snowden was a Chinese spy, he would still be in deep cover feeding the Chinese NSA secrets, he would not have exposed the secrets and plugged his money pipe line. So it is absolutely stupid to accuse Snowden of being a spy.

Now, who leaked Stuxnet, who leaked the operation of the gutsy call?

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

Last week Rush Limbaugh referred to what's happening as a "coup". Now Daniel Ellsberg uses the exact same language.

It could be a sign of the apocalypse that Rush and Ellsberg are on the same side of an issue. Keep an eye out for flying pigs.

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

Last week Rush Limbaugh referred to what's happening as a "coup". Now Daniel Ellsberg uses the exact same language.

It could be a sign of the apocalypse that Rush and Ellsberg are on the same side of an issue. Keep an eye out for flying pigs.

Bruce Hayden said...

If he exposed the government violating the 4th Amendment, he is a hero. National Security is not a valid reason for the Government to violate the Constitution. If the gov't stopped giving visas to Muslim Men we would not need PRISM. Let us keep in mind that PRISM is (probably) how they put pressure on Petraus over Benghazi.

Not clear yet that the NSA stuff does violate the 4th Amdt. Mere archiving of call records probably doesn't. Emails maybe. Google searches, etc., again, probably not. If Gen. Hayden is correct, of course, about the data mining being strictly controlled under FISA, and the FISC controlling and approving the minimization and warrants.

I say that the email is iffy, and that is because I think that a lot of people have a misconception of how it works. It is direct, point to point, source email server to destination email server. Sure, the segments of the emails are store-and-forward, visible to everyone, but there is quite often at least rudimentary encryption on the emails, and you would often need most, or all, of the segments to make any sense of the emails. So, there is an argument in favor of a reasonable expectation of privacy. But, this is also why the feds went to the big email systems to get all those emails, because that is the only way for them to pick up a large amount of email. But, since passwords are most often required for access to email, isn't there a reasonable expectation of privacy(requiring a warrant under at least the 4th Amdt)? Of course, the users of such email systems may have given this away when accepting the click-through EULA...

Bruce Hayden said...

He had never been subjected to a security clearance process and it was pretty extensive.

Brings back memories of my DoE "Q" clearance. Was working for a contractor doing work on the computers at a number of western DoE labs (Sandia, Livermore, Hanford, etc.) Took almost 6 months, and the FBI found a lot of stuff that I had forgotten, esp. about my college days, a decade and a half earlier. They used the list of references I gave them as a start, then asked them about others who knew me, and then did that again. Didn't get to the lie detector stage, when I pointed out that these indiscretions were well in the past, and I was on the straight and narrow now, but they did utilize such when a friend who had had a cocaine conviction on his record got his Q clearance.

It was worth the hassle though, since I got a lot of travel out of the clearance visiting different DoE national labs, since I was one of the only ones available for this sort of work west of the Mississippi. Before that, I would have a vivid red badge indicating that I needed an escort at all times. When they were processing confidential data, they would be flashing a red strobe light, and anyone without a clearance would need to be out of the area. Major pain.

jr565 said...
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jr565 said...

Martinkh wrote:
"If the gov't stopped giving visas to Muslim Men we would not need PRISM. Let us keep in mind that PRISM is (probably) how they put pressure on Petraus over Benghazi."



The problem I have with this is simple. Yes, most terrorists are muslim. but it doesn't hold that most muslims are terrorists. So, if you say deny all Muslims visas, and I assume you also mean American Muslims, how is that not a violation of their rights? And an even more drastic violation of their rights than putting their phone records in a database.
Are American Muslims not entitled to the same constitutional protections that other Americans are?
You say that you don't like the govt should find American citizens guilty automatically , but what you are suggesting is that we should find American muslims guilty automatically, simply because they are muslim.
Should we deny a visa, for example, to Kareem Abdul Jabaar?
So, your alternative to what you say is extreme govt response is an even more extreme govt response.

Since no president, not even Rand Paul will deny all Muslims Visas, maybe we in fact need PRISM after all.

jr565 said...

"If he exposed the government violating the 4th Amendment, he is a hero. National Security is not a valid reason for the Government to violate the Constitution."

And what if the govt wasn't in fact violating the 4th Amendment, or the constitution. Is he then a saboteur, or a treasonous cunt?

Fabi said...

Bruce Hayden said:

...but they did utilize such when a friend who had had a cocaine conviction on his record got his Q clearance.

Bullshit. You don't get a Q clearance with a felony narcotics conviction.

I would have a vivid red badge indicating that I needed an escort at all times. When they were processing confidential data...

Again, bullshit. You cannot even get your terminology correct.

Limited Blogger said...

Two can't-quit-you Brokebacks -- no cover of the Economist has made me laugh so hard.

http://www.economist.com/printedition/covers/2013-06-06/ap-la-na

Bruce Hayden said...

Sorry Fabi - but those are my memories. But they are 25-30 years old. The neighbor kid was arrested for coke in his early 20s, and he just turned 60. Instead of a conviction, may have been a plea deal, with some sort of dismissal if he didn't violate the terms of probation, etc. He always called it his coke conviction, but he is an engineer, and not an attorney. Still, according to him, FBI worked him over pretty good about it. And awhile later, while finishing his PhD got a DoE clearance. His work probably wasn't really that sensitive, just was controlling the environment in the DoE plant.

Even though I never saw any real secret or classified stuff over maybe 6 years with a Q clearance, I did know when they were processing such (mostly at Sandia, which probably meant bomb designs). Didn't have any need to know, so didn't, or if I did, it was in a binary systems dump. Before my clearance came through (5-6 months), this was a big thing, both that I couldn't be in the computer room when they were processing classified data, and that I had to be escorted at all times when in the computer area, which is where I spent most of my time, at least at Sandia (didn't start traveling to other DoE labs until clearance was issued).

Figure that I had that clearance between 25 and 3o years ago (inclusive) during the Reagan Admin, and friend got his a couple of years earlier during the Carter Admin. We did both have our interviews in the same offices, because it was at his work and the closest DoE site to where I was based (but I never worked there). So, if my memories are not completely accurate, it has been a long time.

Robert Cook said...

"If NSA's snooping was legit, why didn't they notify Congress? Something called Congressional oversight is hard coded in the Constitution, you know."

The NSA does not believe any rules apply to them, least of all the Constitution. Moreover, any here who still believe the NSA were/are merely compiling call logs--not keeping records on people's actual activities and telephone conversations and electronic communications content--are willfully blind.

James Clapper lied directly to Congress; don't think anything they claim about the innocuousness of their activity vis a vis our private behavior and communications comes within a parsec of the truth.

They are a secret police organization and WE are the primary target of their inquiries.