I Am So Fucking Over This Already

Before:

One provision that troubles me a great deal is a provision that permits the government under FISA to compel the production of records from any business regarding any person, if that information is sought in connection with an investigation of terrorism or espionage.

Now we’re not talking here about travel records pertaining to a terrorist suspect, which we all can see can be highly relevant to an investigation of a terrorist plot. FISA already gives the FBI the power to get airline, train, hotel, car rental and other records of a suspect.

But under this bill, the government can compel the disclosure of the personal records of anyone — perhaps someone who worked with, or lived next door to, or went to school with, or sat on an airplane with, or has been seen in the company of, or whose phone number was called by — the target of the investigation.

And under this new provisions all business records can be compelled, including those containing sensitive personal information like medical records from hospitals or doctors, or educational records, or records of what books someone has taken out of the library. This is an enormous expansion of authority, under a law that provides only minimal judicial supervision.

During:

Lawmakers who are now expressing outrage over the government’s surveillance of phone records and Internet activity should have paid closer attention when they were voting to reauthorize provisions in the Patriot Act, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said Sunday.

Reacting particularly to fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s assertion this week the programs amount to an “assault on the Constitution,” McCain told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley that members of Congress had not been left in the dark on what powers to government has in monitoring Americans.

“The Republican and Democrat chairs, and … members of the Intelligence Committee have been very well briefed on these programs,” McCain said. “We passed the Patriot Act. We passed specific provisions of the act that allowed for this program to take place, to be enacted in operation. Now, if members of Congress did not know what they were voting on, then I think that that’s their responsibility a lot more than it is the government’s.”

After:

OMG- DID YOU HEAR? THE NSA IS DOING PRECISELY WHAT THOSE WHO WERE AGAINST THE PATRIOT ACT SAID THEY WOULD DO AND THOSE WHO SUPPORTED IT HOPED THEY WOULD!

I am so sick of this bullshit. Now let’s play the typical American political game. Some Dems will rush to the defense of Obama and help to make sure these policies are not undone because, well, Republicans and evil civil libertarians are saying bad things and tribalism, even though the issue is not Obama or the need to defend Obama, the most POWERFUL FUCKING MAN IN THE WORLD WHO IS NEVER RUNNING FOR OFFICE AGAIN. BUT HEY, WHEN YOU ARE A PARTISAN, YOU GOTTA DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO.

Right wing douchebags, who were completely ok with WARRANTLESS wiretapping (NOT TO MENTION TORTURE AND RANDOMLY INVADING COUNTRIES TO BRING THEM OUR FREEDUMBS EVEN THOUGH THEY SPENT EIGHT YEARS TELLING US THEY HATED US FOR OUR FREEDUMBS) during the Bush years and jammed through the Patriot Act legalizing this in the first place can now pretend that Obama is worse than Nixon/Stalin/Joffrey Baratheon. This Patriot Act and the NSA are doing EXACTLY what they intended for it to do.

And then the media can sit there with there thumbs up their collective asses trying to figure out what exactly is going on, because the j-school flunkouts who make up our media are dumb as a sack of hammers and half of them don’t know the difference between FISA and a wallflower or PRISM and a popsicle, and we will continue like this until a cute white girl is kidnapped and we can move on to substantial issues.

And for the record, Obama is not the villain here, he’s just dealing with the laws as they were passed, and it looks like they did everything correctly and followed the letter of the law. If he hadn’t done everything to the extent of the law to implement the patriot act and something happened, they same jackasses now feigning outrage on the right would be flaming him for being soft on terror. Snowden is not the villain here, he just felt this needed to be out there, and if one more jackass all-in Obama supporter tells me he endangered national security, I swear to ALLAH I will start punching babies. The only thing he endangered were the talking points for the permanent security state. The NSA is not the villain here- they are just doing what we allowed them to do. Glenn Greenwald is not the villain here, he’s a civil libertarian who has warned about this and is now reporting the excesses of the program.

No, you want to see the villain, look in the mirror. It’s the pants-wetting populace of the United States, who votes for these assholes who pass bad laws in moments of crisis, because we have to do something and because Americans, unlike every other nation in the world, have a god given right to be safe at all times from all things.

Fuck you all. The only thing that might save this country from a couple more weeks of this partisan bullshit obscuring important issues is maybe we’ll get lucky and a cute young blonde girl will get kidnapped and we can move on to something else.

215 replies
  1. 1
    hilzoy says:

    “Fuck you all.”

    Why thanks, say those of us who voted for no such thing, but apparently get included in the blanket condemnation anyways.

  2. 2
    Rabble Arouser says:

    ‘S about how I feel about it.

  3. 3
    John Cole says:

    @hilzoy: :P You know I love you.

  4. 4
    Antonius says:

    Yes indeed. Fuck me. That about covers it.

  5. 5

    Actually, these leaks look designed to injure Obama. Keep an eye on who’s doing the leaking.

    http://spitfirelist.com/news/p.....e-y-a-w-n/

  6. 6
    kc says:

    I agree with all that, except for the part where you blame MOI.

  7. 7
    Lavocat says:

    A-fucking-men, John Cole!

    However, the buck’s gotta stop somewhere, and, sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, heads will fucking roll.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    Chris says:

    I call bullshit on Glenn Greenwald, but will wholeheartedly endorse this –

    No, you want to see the villain, look in the mirror. It’s the pants-wetting populace of the United States, who votes for these assholes who pass bad laws in moments of crisis, because we have to do something and because Americans, unlike every other nation in the world, have a god given right to be safe at all times from all things.

    Eric Holder’s much maligned “nation of cowards” moment wasn’t about this specifically, but it was spot on and applies here too.

  10. 10
    pokeyblow says:

    Unless you want to start punching babies, I recommend you don’t read the comments section of your blog.

  11. 11
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Fuck yourself. I never supported this shit. Just sayin’. Otherwise, rant on.

  12. 12
    Baud says:

    I’m so sorry, guys.

  13. 13
    gbear says:

    OMG My pants are wet! Oh wait. No they’re not. I’ve been avoiding this story like the plague, although it’s been fun watching LGF go after GG.

  14. 14
    lamh35 says:

    So I guess it’s a fight to see which news story “wins” the day this week huh.

    Immigration reform tanks, “Trayvon Martin Trial” begins, NSA, PRISM, Whistleblower/leaker (can someone please give me a definitive difference between the two, cause I swear I thought one was a crime and one wasn’t quite one???), Pseudo-deathd of Mandela (fuckin’ Twitter) and oh yeah, it’s hurricane season, which I’ve heard is supposed to be a real active one.

    God, I’m not a drinker, but just the thought of this week ahead makes me wanna start on the road to alcoholism.

    *BTW, the “Trayvon Martin Trial” was literally a headline from some blog that posted it to twitter, it has since been deleted and change I supposed, seeing as how the victim is dead and NOT the one on trial here, but….

  15. 15
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Blame your fathers, or in some cases your grandfathers.

    The national security state goes back seventy years, back to the wartime development of nuclear weapons, and Allied crypto successes against Germany and Japan, and the extraordinary measures taken then to restrict knowledge about either one. And to keep an eye on people who had that knowledge, and on anyone interested in it. That’s when the perma-war started.

    It’s had broad bi-partisan support for longer than I’ve been alive. It may be in fact the only thing the two parties have agreed on, to such an extent, for that long.

    It’s been with us nearly as long as slavery was by the coming of the Civil War. Counting from the enabling legislation in 1949 that created the precursor to the NSA and the CIA, ‘four score and seven years’ takes us to 2036. We’re a lot closer to 2036 than 1949. I expect both bodies will be with us still, come then.

    So may we say of the national security state, I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.

  16. 16
    Suzanne says:

    Didn’t vote for this shit. Didn’t vote for people who voted for this shit. Rant on, brother.

  17. 17
    Lolis says:

    They are doing what everybody who was against the PATRIOT Act said they would do. And to all you libertarian fucktards there were plenty of liberals against it. Ron Paul was not the only one.

  18. 18
    Nutella says:

    @Lavocat:

    the buck’s gotta stop somewhere, and, sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, heads will fucking roll.

    And it won’t be the un-American cowards who voted for and supported the Patriot Act whose heads will roll. They’re all expressing surprise that what they voted to do actually happened and they’ll get away with that.

    Some little guys will get fried and the surveillance will continue.

  19. 19
    elftx says:

    LOL Hong Kong?? REALLY????

    I am starting to think GG got punked…hard.

  20. 20
    NotMax says:

    This is a part of what I blogged on about for many years in the previous decade when I was blogging daily*, and am just satisfied to finally, finally see even a part of it getting greater scrutiny.

    Had a semi-regular section of the blog devoted just to the heading “What have we become?”

    *Had a miniscule, but very loyal, coterie of visitors, which kind of brings to mind Phil Ochs.

  21. 21

    The guy who just outed himself about this works for Booz Allen Hamilton, which is owned by the Carlyle Group. Remember them?

    Note who in the media blame “Obama” for everything that the NSA et al does. I doubt if they let him in the building.

  22. 22
    Corner Stone says:

    maybe we’ll get lucky and a cute young blonde girl will get kidnapped

    On it!
    .
    .
    Oh…wait…NBA finals, anyone?

  23. 23
    Comrade Jake says:

    Yeah I’m thinking it might not be such a bad week to step away from the internees a bit.

  24. 24
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @lamh35: FWIW I still have confidence that Zimmerman will be convicted.*

    *But then I also believe my unicorn was back ordered and will be delivered any day now so I might not be the best source on things like this.

  25. 25
    Chickamin Slam says:

    John Cole is just upset he never got in with the NSA. That Snowden guy did and exposed it all. Cole on the other hand would have continued the job. As much as one can raid the contents of another’s computer or read their email while at NSA, it also gives the opportunity to upload more pictures of Tunch into the world. The only inkling that something might be amiss is when they reboot and Tunch is now their wallpaper. “Feed me!”

  26. 26
    brad says:

    I love you, JC, but I have to remind you of something when you go off on that mirror bullshit; some of us have gotten it right all along while remaining rational and connected to reality. Unless you can tell me how to go back and retroactively be registered to vote in Florida in 2000, along with a few thousand like me, enough with the tantrums blaming everyone for shit you did.

  27. 27
    pokeyblow says:

    The Boston Marathon bombings totally sucked. I’m sorry anyone was killed, I’m sorry anyone was injured, I’m sorry businesses had to close, I’m sorry the Marathon itself couldn’t be finished.

    At the same time… I was on the phone with a friend who lives near Fenway at the moment news of Tsarnaev-the-younger’s capture came out. She was horrified to hear people whooping it up in the streets. She said it was like a carnival.

    By then, of course, massive mounds of flowers had been placed on Boylston. If I remember correctly, it was another day or two before “Boston Strong” and other slogans started popping up. The celebrity concerts were only in their planning stages. Maybe a week later, some knucklehead from Toronto (I think) would become anathema for holding up a “Toronto Strong” sign during some stupid sports event.

    Everywhere in the Hub you could smell freshly-printed t-shirts commemorating the event, and the fact that Boston still, um, existed.

    This is childish America. People get killed, in very nasty days, every fucking day all over the world. I don’t think other places start picking out the new rubber wristband color before the bodies are buried, however.

  28. 28
    piratedan says:

    posted this brief summation over at LGF, for those of you trying to keep score:

    is it okay if I do this, because I want to make sure I have the plot turns down correctly…

    a few days back GG and WaPo get into a “me first!” match to post some supposedly incriminating crap regarding a data collection program that NSA has been running since the Bush Administration.

    said program has a modest budget and makes requests and handles the metadata needs of the agency by using said queries against the data collected to profile and track persons of interest when their activity touches upon the web portals that the US has “control” over.

    We find out that instead of all the tech companies rolling over and pumping Uncle Sam with everything that Uncle requests, that instead, they require that there be specific requests so that they can filter the data that will be forwarded so that it pertains to specific items. This ensures that “our” data isn’t being sent to Uncle Sam as he trolls the metadata seas.

    When that begins to permeate through the media, the WaPo folks change their story to take a more cautious tone than the one with which they led with. GG and his “side” double down.

    Then the guy who “leaked” the info to GG that exposes the potential for abuse by the NSA but doesn’t actually show any abuse examples, leaves the country for China while there is a cybercrimes meeting ongoing with the Chinese as the President continues to press the Chinese about their theft of intellectual and business property.

    This somehow stands as vindication of the fact that OUR Government is the one stomping on personal freedoms.

    is that a valid synopsis so far?

  29. 29
    Corner Stone says:

    @kc: Will you, just for once, just fucking own it?! We all know what you did!

  30. 30
    gbear says:

    I’ve been paying more attention to who’s heads are going to roll after that building collapse in Philadelphia. It looks like they’re only going to arrest the crane operator who was smoking pot while he and one other guy were taking down a four story building for $10,000. I really want to see the contractor and the owner get their shit seriously messed with for setting up this disaster, but why get my hopes up?

  31. 31
    askew says:

    I never gave a crap about this under Bush and I don’t care about it under Obama. I’ve assumed that the gov’t has been spying on Americans for decades now and this is just a new way to do it. On my list of issues, it doesn’t even crack the top 100.

    What I am concerned with is the media, the left and the Republicans are all working together to re-create the 2010 midterm massacre. The left and the left punditry has learned zero from 2010 and seems to be doing their damnedest to drag Obama’s approval down to keep Dem voters home. And that matters to me because if we don’t hold the Senate and Ginsburg retires or dies we’re fucked. It also matters because I didn’t work and spend money to re-elect Obama to have his entire second term be about nothing. I want immigration reform, infrastructure spending, and liberals to be appointed to the bench. And that matters more than this outrage, because it doesn’t matter who is in the oval office, Democrat or Republican, the government will continue to spy on Americans either way.

  32. 32
    askew says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Yep, I really want them to get to the bottom of the never-ending stream of classified leaks. It definitely seems to happening to take attention away from the improving economy and to drag down Obama’s approvals ahead of the 2014 midterms.

  33. 33
    Comrade Jake says:

    Heckofa game going on down in Miami.

  34. 34
  35. 35
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I’ll add my voice to the “Hey, I never voted for this” crowd. I was 12 when they passed the Patriot Act. And I think bad things happen, you’re never gonna stop 100% of them from happening, and there’s a certain point where the cure is worse than the disease. If we haven’t moved beyond that point, we’re getting there.

  36. 36
    Hal says:

    @lamh35:

    God, I’m not a drinker, but just the thought of this week ahead makes me wanna start on the road to alcoholism.

    The Zimmerman trial should be all sorts of sucktastic. Can’t wait for endless Facebook posts about how we really don’t know what that kid was doing, and oh, did you know he smoked pot and was suspended from school?

    I am mentally shuddering over what’s coming in the next few weeks.

    Also, in regard to Greenwald. There is something in the tone of his writing and his past interactions that makes me not trust him. He seems too inclined to the most incendiary possible scenarios and descriptions, aided and abetted by a media at large that have been so amazingly hypocritical on this issue, yet still wants the public to trust them to protect from big brother, who apparently only existed as of 2009.

    Also:

    maybe we’ll get lucky and a cute young blonde girl will get kidnapped and we can move on to something else.

    Any white people on this blog have a well in their back yard? Just a lease for a few days.

  37. 37
    jayboat says:

    Shit is fucked up and bullshit.

    I can’t help but think-
    With the gubmint’s increasing reliance on ‘contractors’ is it possible this will become a more common occurrence?

    Does kinda make ya wonder who is driving the friggin bus.

  38. 38
    bottyguy says:

    Right on, well said.

    Now go watch the Tony’s it’ll remove some of the aggravation NP Harris killed it in the opening.

  39. 39
    Narcissus says:

    @brad: Yeah, not to toot my own horn but I’ve been on the right side of all this stuff since GWB trotted out Axis of Evil in a televised address and I was like, “Aw, hell naw.”

    The weird part is how suddenly everyone else is paying attention.

  40. 40
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @askew:

    But most people don’t care about the issue. The number of people who see civil liberties as a make-or-break issue is pretty small. You can’t see this as no big deal and also argue it will devastate Obama’s presidency. Same as arguing that the Greenwald/FDL/Kos left is a bunch of whiny, useless, hipster nothingburgers and also argue they’re an existential threat to the Democratic Party.

    For my own part, I really hate government spying and corporate spying in general, but I wouldn’t even THINK of staying home on election day 2014, and I’d shoot a puppy before I’d vote Republican. Don’t know if that puts me in the majority, though.

  41. 41
    Baud says:

    @lamh35:

    “No.”

    Shortest column ever.

  42. 42
    Chris says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    The number of people who see civil liberties as a make-or-break issue is pretty small.

    Sadly this. We already tried reining it in during the Church Committee years. Didn’t work. Don’t know how to change that.

  43. 43
    broken says:

    @askew:

    Where was the media outrage in 2006 when this program had no oversight whatsoever? The data mining operation in particular was leaked and reported on multiple times during 2005-7 by NYT, USA Today, Slate, Wash Post and others.

    This is the exact same program despite the media’s efforts to portray it as something new. Don’t believe me? Read this:

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com.....OE=NEWISVA

    This is yet another manufactured “scandal” to discredit Obama. The question is, why?

  44. 44
    4tehlulz says:

    >Snowden is not the villain here, he just felt this needed to be out there,

    I’m sorry, but if that was his motive, I would hope that he would have tried harder not to look like an asset of Chinese intelligence.

  45. 45
  46. 46
    Comrade Jake says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: put another way, we’ve had a few months of “scandals” now and Obama’s numbers have been holding steady.

    Meanwhile, the economy actually seems to be improving. Slowly, but steadily.

    I wonder what will have the bigger impact come 2014.

  47. 47
    burnspbesq says:

    @John Cole:

    if one more jackass all-in Obama supporter tells me he endangered national security, I swear to ALLAH I will start punching babies.

    Start punching. It is what it is.

  48. 48
    askew says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    But most people don’t care about the issue. The number of people who see civil liberties as a make-or-break issue is pretty small. You can’t see this as no big deal and also argue it will devastate Obama’s presidency. Same as arguing that the Greenwald/FDL/Kos left is a bunch of whiny, useless, hipster nothingburgers and also argue they’re an existential threat to the Democratic Party.

    For my own part, I really hate government spying and corporate spying in general, but I wouldn’t even THINK of staying home on election day 2014, and I’d shoot a puppy before I’d vote Republican. Don’t know if that puts me in the majority, though.

    I think it is less about how people feel on this one issue and more about trying to just wear down Dems with the constant Obama “scandals” and trying to drag him down to Bush’s level.

  49. 49
    askew says:

    @broken:

    This is yet another manufactured “scandal” to discredit Obama. The question is, why?

    Clearly they are trying to depress Dem turnout out in 2013 (VA and NJ races) and 2014.

  50. 50

    Obama is not the villain here, he’s just dealing with the laws as they were passed, and it looks like they did everything correctly and followed the letter of the law.

    Well, if something is legal, then it is 100% ethical and moral, isn’t it? That settles that.

  51. 51
    piratedan says:

    @burnspbesq: well that’s what patriots do apparently, flee to Hong Kong to bask in their courage

  52. 52
    jamick6000 says:

    how about the DNI lying to congress about these programs? I think that’s a problem; the executive branch is not blameless.

  53. 53
    brad says:

    @Narcissus: There’s a sad and wonderful moment in the old movie Broadcast News. Holly Hunter’s boss sarcastically says to her (paraphrasing from memory) “It must be wonderful to always be right”. Her reply was “No, it’s awful”.
    I remember realizing Reagan was either lying to me or incompetent still as a child. My first ever vote was for Nader in 96 in NY, by 2000 I had worked for NYPIRG and learned the truth of who Ralph was and is.

    The weird thing to me is no one is actually paying attention. This is almost solely a political topic, people still don’t know or care, because if they do know they, like the rest of us, figured there never was such a thing as privacy online.

  54. 54
    lojasmo says:

    @pokeyblow:

    Unless you want to start punching babies, I recommend you don’t read the comments section of your blog.

    Fuck you

    John said it, not me.

  55. 55
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    I think most people just aren’t going to change their minds about someone who’s been president for five years already. Obama’s approval ratings have been in the 45-55 range pretty much his whole presidency. This isn’t like 2007-08 when Bush just spiraled downward.

    I don’t think 2014 will be like 2010. One, the thing about massive gerrymandering is that it makes the blue districts bluer, and two, a big chunk of 2010’s gains came from the South. There aren’t any southern blue dogs left to defeat, except for John Barrow. What seats are left for the Republicans to win?

    Also, can I just say that I find the claims that it’s an anti-Obama smear job just hilarious? Guys, if the media wanted to cook up a story to hurt Obama it would be about prostitutes or cocaine, not bureaucratic data farming. I just think the general sentiment “Glenn Greenwald, the Village, and the far left are teaming up to unfairly smear Obama” is great. It’s like the Balloon-Juiciest thing anyone’s ever believed.

  56. 56
    Scotty says:

    If you weren’t a Penguins or Steelers fan I’d say I agree with everything you say.

  57. 57
    Comrade Jake says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: yes I agree with everything you wrote there.

  58. 58
    srv says:

    John, the media marched with the National Security State for the last decade and did the gubmints bidding. Then Eric had the gaul to use those very tools on them for a pretty weak ass reason, and did so House of Blue Leaves style.

    Of course they’re butthurt. They’ve been stabbed in the back.

    Why doesn’t Soros fund a cruise ship purser who can throw a random blonde overboard with a tweet? Sometimes eggs have to be broken to change the news flavor of the week.

  59. 59
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Fucking Amen. Get back to me when something about this is really news.

    ETA: To those of you who can’t read and are criticizing John for lumping you in with those who enabled this, RTFA:

    It’s the pants-wetting populace of the United States, who votes for these assholes who pass bad laws in moments of crisis …

    Now if you did vote for these assholes… :)

    @Suzanne:

    Exactly.

  60. 60
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @askew:

    But it’s not working. His approval ratings have been holding steady during it all. People mostly have their minds made up about him for good or for ill. If there really is some sinister whoever doing this, I recommend they try something else. Like I said, maybe the tried-and-true hookers and drugs route?

    And you know, I’ve never been a fan of the ‘dissent only helps the enemy, so shut up’ mindset. It’s rarely been used by the most pleasant of people.

  61. 61
    ericblair says:

    @jayboat:

    I can’t help but think-
    With the gubmint’s increasing reliance on ‘contractors’ is it possible this will become a more common occurrence?

    There are a bunch of issues with how much government work is done by contractors, but the clearance process is for all intents and purposes the same. You could argue that it’s easier for uniformed military to get cleared, since their leadership can push things along and let things go in ways that nobody can for contractors.

    My understanding (i.e. the rumor I heard) is that they’re investigating the possibility of it being Chinese espionage. The guy could have done it himself, but it’s not unheard of for an agent to pretend to be from a friendly country and screw with the guy’s head (Hong Kong, really?). Either way, my guess is that this dude is going to spend some quality time with the Chinese intelligence services before maybe being turned over to the US for some concession after they’ve squeezed his head dry.

  62. 62
    EZSmirkzz says:

    Yes, John, but tell us what you really think.

    Well said. This is between the people and their government, and since we elected this government we are responsible to and for it. That being said, we now have a choice between the Constitution and a police state, because we can no longer delude ourselves about it, although many will do so out of fear, complacency or as you have noted, political obtuseness.

    I hope your post winds up being conventional wisdom. We probably will never know why Congress passed and Obama signed these programs into law, but given the complexity of the surveillance state now in place, the impact of the revelations will go beyond our own borders, as per the Register article by Trevor Potts, which basically calls on people to boycott American firms which are subject to those laws.

    Given the extent of government/business incest there may be some reason to wonder about the underlying problems with too big to fail, since they too will have been pressured or persuaded to give the same informational access as technology and phone companies. The breadth of the program is almost beyond comprehension.

    If we are to address the problem and restore our Constitution then the Constitution will have to become the high moral ground on which we stand. That means putting politics as we have known it for the last twenty years behind us and moving forward with allies wherever we may find them. This of course is a nice way of saying we will all have to eat a lot of shit if we want to restore America to what it could be. That didn’t work out so well for Jane Hamsher, but that is the only direction forward.

    It is the people of the United States and the Constitution versus the government of America without it.

    Thanks for letting me post this here, my blog is currently suspended for what only God knows what this time. I’m working on the presumption that it was something I said.

  63. 63
    Poopyman says:

    Just be glad Michael Fucking Hayden isn’t in charge of the joint anymore. God, I hated his guts.

  64. 64
    Corner Stone says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Guys, if the media wanted to cook up a story to hurt Obama it would be about prostitutes or cocaine, not bureaucratic data farming.

    Isn’t that kind of wild? Like the Republicans are smart enough and organized enough to use The Carlyle Group to filter through a Booz Allen employee who then goes to HK to try and take Obama down a notch with the US public.
    On a topic that, depending on how you poll the question, most public polls would applaud the NSA for doing it!
    And yet, somehow, this is the ultimate ratfuck.
    Personally, I want to know who this Heinz Doofenschmirtz level evil villain is that masterminded this all.

  65. 65
    pokeyblow says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: They should set up some sort of digital séance to make sure William of Ockham hears the “Obama can do no wrong” logic which shows up here.

    Wrap some wire around his tomb, get him spinning fast enough, and say “goodbye energy crisis!”

  66. 66
    jamick6000 says:

    @askew:

    What I am concerned with is the media, the left and the Republicans are all working together to re-create the 2010 midterm massacre. The left and the left punditry has learned zero from 2010 and seems to be doing their damnedest to drag Obama’s approval down to keep Dem voters home.

    Yeah, what suppresses D turnout isn’t Obama trying to cut social security or the abuses of the surveillance state. The problem is the media reporting on it!

    This is political-junkie stupidity at its stupidest. The Politico mindset — theater is what’s important, not substance.

  67. 67
    Corner Stone says:

    If they really wanted to ratfuck Obama they’d have film of him doing drugs with Len Bias on the WH basketball court, with Ayers and Putin making up the other two on two pickup game.
    In this scenario, who’s got next up?

  68. 68
    ChrisNYC says:

    I’m pretty sure Snowden is the villain here. Even if it’s not some weird conspiracy/spook thing wrt China, and he just “felt that this should be out there,” um, who they hell voted for him?

    I get that his issue is the “victimization of privacy worldwide.” But that doesn’t give him boundless rights to make huge, momentous decisions that effect scads of other people with zero authority or consent or checks. And to apparently insert himself super recklessly into the US-China relationship, which has a lot of consequences for about 1.3 billion of the rest of us.

  69. 69
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Dr. Mantis Toboggan:

    Well, if something is legal, then it is 100% ethical and moral, isn’t it? That settles that.

    If you’re looking at things from the perspective of a state, well, basically, yes. Because you’re never going to get more than an overlapping consensus from individuals on what’s ethical, what’s moral. The law with all its flaws is a place to start, and a place to stop before we start killing each other over what isn’t going to get settled.

  70. 70
    Scotty says:

    If the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branch all had a say in okaying this then everything was checked and balanced all the way around. So Tyranny?!?!?!!?!?!?

  71. 71
    different-church-lady says:

    Aren’t you worried the NSA knows you just said all that?

  72. 72
    Baud says:

    Can we stop trying to predict what Dem turnout will be in an off-year election 18 months from now? Jeebus.

  73. 73
    Redshirt says:

    Trust no one, except me.

  74. 74
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @piratedan:

    Yup. The problem with the story for the manic progressives is that you aren’t hyperventilating enough about it, as if you just discovered this was going on and are SHOCKED, JUST SHOCKED!, about it.

    IOW, the GG style of delivery.

  75. 75
    Corner Stone says:

    @Scotty: I’m using my direct access to all internets to determine your current location and send in the dronez. Your excessive abuse of punctuation is a threat to national security.
    Have a nice day.

  76. 76
    Baud says:

    @Redshirt:

    I trust you, Redshirt.

  77. 77
    Scotty says:

    Is this guys name really even Snowden? Or is this some symbolic reference to Catch-22?

  78. 78
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud: Why would we? It’s going to be +/- the exact same turnout for all the recent modern off year elections.
    But let’s start blaming Ed Schultz now so we can get ahead of the curve.

  79. 79
    Todd says:

    Meh. It’s a nothingburger.

    Call me when you’ve burnt your credit, grocery, pharmacy and PetSmart loyalty cards, and ditched your smart phones for shitty convenience store flip phones if you want me to believe you really care about privacy. While you’re at it, you’ll have to buy a shitload of stamps and envelopes.

  80. 80
    Todd says:

    Meh. It’s a nothingburger.

    Call me when you’ve burnt your credit, grocery, ph4rmacy and PetSmart loyalty cards, and ditched your smart phones for shitty convenience store flip phones if you want me to believe you really care about privacy. While you’re at it, you’ll have to buy a shitload of stamps and envelopes.

  81. 81
    JWL says:

    Is there even such a thing as “partisan bullshit” in the two party system of the U.S.A?

    I say no. It’s all bullshit, all smoke and mirrors. There’s nothing of import that truly differentiates the leadership of democratic or republican parties.

    Their rank and files are a different story.

  82. 82
    Mnemosyne says:

    @gbear:

    It’s becoming pretty obvious that Greenwald and the WaPo don’t really understand technology, because the tech writers are doing some major debunking of the claims about what the NSA is receiving. LGF linked to this article in Tech Crunch that explains how places like Apple, Google, etc. use segregated systems to prevent the government from seeing anything other than what they present a warrant for.

    If we want to have a conversation about the FISA law and Patriot Act being fucked up, we can do that, but I would love to hear an apology or two from the people who were running around with their hair on fire because OMG THE GOVERNMENT IS TRACKING MY EVERY MOVEMENT!! No, they fucking aren’t, unless you’ve forgotten to tell us about that FISA warrant out against you. Calm down and change your underpants.

  83. 83

    @jamick6000:

    Exactly. It’s always the media, history’s greatest monster.

  84. 84
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Happy to include Ed in the blame if he tells his viewers to stay home again. But I feel bad for him since he was replaced by Chris.

  85. 85
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Scotty:

    If the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branch all had a say in okaying this then everything was checked and balanced all the way around. So Tyranny?!?!?!!?!?!?

    You need to start from a perspective where all government is tyranny, and then hit yourself in the head with a hammer. Then it will make sense.

  86. 86

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Is murder legal? Opinions differ. How about slavery? Lots of disagreements there throughout history. Child labor? Lots of passion on both sides.

    Gosh, it’s all just so difficult. Who can decide what is right and wrong?

  87. 87
  88. 88

    @Hal:

    “Also, in regard to Greenwald. There is something in the tone of his writing and his past interactions that makes me not trust him. ”

    Wow, that is a very strong case you make.

  89. 89
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Todd:

    Yes, and burn down your house and kill everyone on your cellphone contact list and start wearing bedsheets and build your own house in the woods where you eat mushrooms and cicadas and drink your own piss. Only then will you be pure and good enough to dare have any complaints about corporations spying on you!

    Seriously, I hate this attitude. No, you don’t have to be the freaking unabomber to wish that advertising wasn’t so intrusive and that personal data wasn’t so ripe for the taking. I don’t care about your phony purity test. People should be able to live normal lives without being seen as marks by every corporation on earth or anyone good with a computer and a desire to fuck with people.

  90. 90
    Scotty says:

    @Mnemosyne: Steel or rubber mallet?

  91. 91
    Redshirt says:

    @Baud: Cool. Have you ever considered a career in repossession?

  92. 92
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @askew: “What I am concerned with is the media, the left and the Republicans are all working together to re-create the 2010 midterm massacre.”

    They’re well on their way there too. Nothing kicks the ass of Democrats like the manic progressives. Who needs enemies with friends like that?

    They get played like a violin by the right. One with play-by-the-numbers on it.

    @Dr. Mantis Toboggan:

    I see that reading is not your strong suit. No wonder you’re outraged about this.

  93. 93

    @ChrisNYC:

    “I’m pretty sure Snowden is the villain here. Even if it’s not some weird conspiracy/spook thing wrt China, and he just “felt that this should be out there,” um, who they hell voted for him?”

    Just out of curiosity, how does one vote for a whistleblower? I've voted for sheriffs, trustees, judges, but I don't remember seeing "whistleblower" on the ballot.

  94. 94
    Comrade Jake says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    “We’ve created a segregated system for the government.” – Google

    “So you admit to cooperating with the NSA after all!” – Greenwald

  95. 95
    Baud says:

    @Redshirt:

    No. Does it pay well?

  96. 96

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    “They’re well on their way there too. Nothing kicks the ass of Democrats like the manic progressives. Who needs enemies with friends like that?”

    So, your contention is many people want to vote for a party that is trying to cut Social Security and Medicare, but “manic progressives” are tricking them into not wanting to vote for it.

  97. 97
    ChrisNYC says:

    @Dr. Mantis Toboggan: Why is he a whistle blower? I think he’s an “I don’t agree with this” blower. Not the same.

  98. 98
    Baud says:

    @Dr. Mantis Toboggan:

    a party that is trying to cut Social Security and Medicare

    You keep saying that. But Obama is the only Democrat that put them at issue, and he did it with so many caveats as to make it meaningless. You can legitimately disagree with his approach, but to say that the “party” is “trying” to cut those programs is just false.

  99. 99

    @ChrisNYC:

    I’m trying to decide if whistleblowers who blow the whistle on something they agree with are common enough to merit your distinction. I’m leaning toward No.

  100. 100
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud:

    But Obama is the only Democrat that put them at issue, and he did it with so many caveats as to make it meaningless. You can legitimately disagree with his approach, but to say that the “party” is “trying” to cut those programs is just false.

    Ummm, so Obama didn’t really mean it, then? The elected head of the D party was playing 11-D chess with the bedrock programs of the entire D party?

  101. 101
    Baud says:

    @ChrisNYC:

    I’m willing to consider him a whistleblower, in that he appears to have released specific documents (as opposed to a broad document dump) aimed at revealing activity that he believed to be unlawful. Not all whistleblowers are entitled to protection under the law, however.

  102. 102

    @Baud:

    “As president, however, [President Obama] has come to believe the news media have had a role in frustrating his ambitions to change the terms of the country’s political discussion. He particularly believes that Democrats do not receive enough credit for their willingness to accept cuts in Medicare and Social Security”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08......html?_r=0

    If you believe that President Obama is not actively seeking meaningful cuts to these programs, then you are so isolated from reality that there is no real point in talking to you.

  103. 103
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    Ah, Christ, you guys are pathetic. You’re like the mirror-image teabaggers. They think that public school teachers and DMV workers and EPA officials are a secret mafia that runs the country and destroys all enemies, you think the same thing about people who gripe about things on blogs. Seriously, I bet Kos and FDL would love to have even half the sinister power you give to them.

    Also, if you think that they’re suckers because they’ve been duped into fighting Democrats instead of Republicans, may I kindly point out you’re doing the exact same thing.

  104. 104
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I don’t know what you mean by “mean it.” But he’s not on the ballot in 2014, and whether or not Obama’s actions hurt the Democrats, it’s false to say that the “party” is “trying” to cut those programs.

  105. 105
    Redshirt says:

    @Baud: Compared to working at Taco Wal King? Great! But there’s some moral grey areas. Not Wall St moral grey areas, but still. Are you willing to throw your ethics aside for 4-10 hours per day, 7 days a week?

  106. 106
    ChrisNYC says:

    @Dr. Mantis Toboggan: Ok, well that’s fine. That’s your OPINION. Just like in Snowden’s opinion, the policy of the US, laws passed in our Congress, the oversight of Congress and the executive and judicial branches are wrong/insufficient. But that’s a policy position, not whistle blowing.

  107. 107
    Baud says:

    @Dr. Mantis Toboggan:

    then you are so isolated from reality that there is no real point in talking to you.

    Well, I guess this is goodbye, then, since I happen to believe the Democratic Party is a distinct entity from Obama.

    I’ll miss you, but we’ll always have the “I Am So Fucking Over This Already” thread.

  108. 108
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Corner Stone: Why do you always have to be a wiseass? It’s pretty clear this is all about ratfucking, Obama and the 2013/2014 elections. I mean, if Obama is involved somehow and it isn’t just because he’s so awesomely awesome, then it’s a sting. Duh.

  109. 109
    m says:

    @Scotty:

    I’m the bombardier.

  110. 110
    Baud says:

    @Redshirt:

    Are you willing to throw your ethics aside for 4-10 hours per day, 7 days a week?

    I comment on Balloon Juice. ‘Nuff said.

  111. 111
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Dr. Mantis Toboggan:

    How about slavery? Lots of disagreements there throughout history.

    In this country, right up until passage of the 13th Amendment, slavery, yes. Opinions can’t differ on the legality of slavery, only on its morality, unless your statute books are remarkably confused.

    States, polities, don’t have an ability to hold anything good, or evil. Only licit or illicit. Moral judgments aren’t what states are for — they’re what people are for.

  112. 112

    @ChrisNYC:

    I don’t think you know what a whistleblower is.

  113. 113
    magurakurin says:

    testing something

    I’m the bombardier

  114. 114
    scav says:

    Minor side quibble with the USPS haven of safety meme. Even with stamps, remember you’ll need to not put on a return address on all outgoing mail and figure out how to get a fake persona for incoming mail. Notice all those little codes on the bottom of envelopes? Lots of automation in the post office, no reason there couldn’t be O-D tracking of contacts there I would imagine. Even only ZIP+4 tracking gets things down to a smallish geographic area and limited number of people, down to individual boxes once in a while.

    On the upside, the USPS could use the traffic.

  115. 115

    @Baud:

    ” I happen to believe the Democratic Party is a distinct entity from Obama.”

    Many people, on the other hand, believe the president of the United States is the titular head of the party, and view midterm elections as a referendum on his policies and goals.

  116. 116
    Baud says:

    @Dr. Mantis Toboggan:

    I thought you weren’t speaking to me.

    Anywho, I I agree with what you just said, but that doesn’t make your prior statement that the “party is trying” to cut SS and Medicare accurate.

  117. 117
    Tokyokie says:

    Cole, When the Patriot Act was being debated, I had no doubts that it would pass and something like what we’ve learned about in recent days would be the result. I was also prescient about the load of crap we were being fed during the run-up to the Iraq War and the ginormous cock-up that would result from it. And although having been right about this sort of crap allows me the satisfaction of not being directly at fault, watching the awful chain of events transpire still makes me feel like shit. And I think that’s probably how a whole lot of the participants of your blog feel as well.

  118. 118

    @Baud:

    “that doesn’t make your prior statement that the “party is trying” to cut SS and Medicare accurate”

    It would be interesting to see how successful that would be as a campaign strategy: “Vote Democratic Party, because only one of our party’s officeholders, the president of the United States, has been trying to cut Social Security for years!” Personally I wouldn’t go with that, but I’m no campaign strategist.

  119. 119
    broken says:

    @askew:

    Ya think? Seems kinda early for that. This crap started the moment Obama was sworn in for term two. The number of Republican/Tea Party political ads on CNN TV, etc., have been running real high considering we just HAD an election.

  120. 120

    @elftx:

    “LOL Hong Kong?? REALLY????

    I am starting to think GG got punked…hard.”

    If you wanted to avoid arrest by the US government, where would you go? Toledo, Ohio?

  121. 121
    ChrisNYC says:

    @Baud: I haven’t read everything — not even close — but believed to be unlawful? I honestly have not seen that. I’ve seen that he referenced abuses — but no details (which, to me, is part of the frustration with this stuff — this guy has no oversight and no duty to anyone — he’ll reveal what he likes when he likes and how he likes). Anyway, from what I’ve seen he’s closer to a wikileaks stance where he’s against state secrets and the aforementioned victimization of privacy worldwide. It seems to me he’s working outside of the structure of law either because he thinks the structure of law is insufficient or because he has a much broader view — a global position on states and privacy and secrets. But that’s where the authority/consent issue arises. I just find it incredibly self-centered and hubristic.

  122. 122
    Baud says:

    @Dr. Mantis Toboggan:

    Neither would I. I would go with: “The President made a good faith effort to meet the Republicans halfway for the good of the country, but he went too far. SS and Medicare should not be on the table, and I won’t vote for any budget plan that cuts these programs.”

  123. 123
    ChrisNYC says:

    @Dr. Mantis Toboggan: Ok, so explain. What did he blow the whistle on?

  124. 124
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud: I’m…uh…you don’t know what you’re talking about when you’re defending Obama here, do you?
    It’s ok, I mean I know it’s reflexive for you and all, but this isn’t a surprise. I’m not speaking in hieroglyphs.

  125. 125
    Corner Stone says:

    @Dr. Mantis Toboggan: I’d go to Detroit. Apparently they don’t have a police force or actual working street lights.

  126. 126
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Odd, because I didn’t defend Obama. I didn’t opine one way or the other on Obama. But keep creating your own reality. I’m sure it’s a really happy place.

  127. 127
    Suzanne says:

    @Baud:

    I’ll miss you, but we’ll always have the “I Am So Fucking Over This Already” thread.

    LMMFAO.
    This is why I love this blog.

  128. 128

    @ChrisNYC:

    He blew the whistle on the NSA’s invasion of privacy.

  129. 129
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud: Doesn’t every comment you make here essentially defend the most powerful man on the planet?

  130. 130
    Yatsuno says:

    @Dr. Mantis Toboggan: A country without an extradition treaty with the US is a good start.

  131. 131
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone:

    No. I sometimes disagree with Cole.

  132. 132
    magurakurin says:

    @ChrisNYC:

    yeah, that’s my question. How did a power point presentation tell us anything we didn’t already know in 2006?

    I just read the article about Snowden over at TPM. I dunno, he sounds pretty frickin’ unstable. And running away to Hong Kong sounds like a really bad idea. Big time bad idea.

  133. 133

    @Yatsuno:

    Is Hong Kong/ China such a place?

  134. 134
    Corner Stone says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: You’re right, and I apologize.
    I’ve learned a few things lately. I’ve been learnt up recently on how shit’s gotta be round here.
    I’m still wondering who’s got up.

  135. 135
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Dr. Mantis Toboggan:

    If you wanted to avoid arrest by the US government, where would you go?

    A country that does not have an extradition treaty with the US would probably be a good start, rather than choosing one where the local authorities will be happy (and legally permitted) to ship him back to the US for trial.

  136. 136
    jamick6000 says:

    i love this NSA story because it’s perfect, all the agony it’s caused throughout the obot-osphere.

    how long have the bots been telling everyone to trust the president? When he looks like a right winger or a centrist, everybody should shut up and trust him, he knows what he’s doing. He’s just acting like a right winger or a WaPo pinup, he’s really a good liberal at heart; Obama’s just trying to appease [banks, republicans, the media, whoever].

    And who’s the one to blow the doors off that “trust” garbage? Who’s got the big scoop? Glenn-mothereffing-Greenwald, public enemy no. 1, the guy who pisses them off the most. It burns! I love it, I just love it.

  137. 137
    Scotty says:

    @magurakurin: Help the bombardier!!

  138. 138
    magurakurin says:

    @Yatsuno:

    Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, the Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo (Kinshasa), Congo (Brazzaville), Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Macedonia, Madagascar, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Samoa, São Tomé & Príncipe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican, Vietnam and Yemen.

    Not a lot of fan favorites in that list. Although Andorra would at least offer skiing, and decent food. Bali is in Indonesia, that is pretty appealing…way better than Hong Kong I’d reckon. The Maldives would be a sort of paradise if he brought his girlfriend, but it is super expensive and really, really small, mostly ocean. I think I’d go with Bali because it’s really nice and you could have the option of going to the big city in Java by visiting Jakarta.

  139. 139

    @jamick6000:

    Well, there’s agony and then there’s agony. Mostly they’re worried that the wonderful Democratic Party might not do well in the midterms because of stories like this, rather than being worried about the massive agglomeration of power the government is undertaking and its potential threat to freedom.

  140. 140
    Joel says:

    This is why none of this shit bothered me all that much when it came out. Of course it was going on and will continue to go on. That die was cast with the Patriot Act. Like Jim Fallows said, the security state is like a ratchet.

  141. 141
    jamick6000 says:

    @Dr. Mantis Toboggan: you’re probably right, but there’s quite a few who are pissed that the president is looking bad and somebody they HATE HATE HATE is the one to do it.

    Obviously I think having proof about what the surveillance is/does is the most important thing here.

  142. 142
    ShadeTail says:

    Hey, all of you people getting self-righteously indignant at Mr. Cole and protesting innocence in this matter. Let me clue you in on something that will blow your collective mind:

    **HE WASN’T TALKING TO YOU!!!**

    If you actually read what he wrote, he quite explicitly was addressing “the pants-wetting populace…who votes for these assholes.” If that isn’t you, then chill the goddamn fuck out.

  143. 143
    Todd says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Only then will you be pure and good enough to dare have any complaints about corporations spying on you!

    Actually, they’re not spying on you. You’ve specifically allowed them to sell your shit off to valued partner third parties by contract. You didn’t read the fine print when you got that separate brochure with the credit card, nor did you bother reading the terms of the agreement on that net purchase when you clicked “accept”.

    Yet you still want to claim that your expectation of privacy is “reasonable” when it goes against all 4th Amendment jurisprudence? lol

  144. 144
    magurakurin says:

    @Scotty:

    I remember my father getting so angry when they cut out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLMDIlxUa58 when they showed Catch-22 on tv….that was back in the 70’s mind you, before video tapes and when you had to wait for “world television premiers” of movies.

    great film even better book. I actually was allowed to do a book report on it in 11th grade English.

  145. 145

    I agree with John, as I wrote yesterday, it’s like that movie “50 First Dates” where very day is a new day with no collective memory of the days preceding it. We’re still stuck in the “OMG THEY’RE DOING WHAT???!” stage. And this is why we can never have the grown-up conversation because we’re perpetually stuck in kindergarten.

  146. 146
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @magurakurin:

    China’s on that list, though, and isn’t Hong Kong legally just a regular part of China now?

    I’ve never seen that list. I’m surprised how many small countries are on it. If a wanted criminal was hiding out in, say, Cape Verde, am I really to believe the Feds would just throw up their hands and close the case? Seems like the relative difference in global clout would leave a few options for the US to exploit.

    And the obvious choice is Samoa. Gorgeous weather and all the spam you can eat.

  147. 147
    ChrisNYC says:

    @Dr. Mantis Toboggan: You mean the invasion of privacy voted for by our elected representatives and then reauthorized and overseen by our elected exec branch? I understand that he doesn’t like our law but that doesn’t mean that he’s a whistle blower — it probably means he’s not. It also doesn’t mean that he gets immunization from criticism when he imposes his own vision and takes action on his own issue without the consent of his fellow citizens.

  148. 148
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Sorry fuckwit, manic progressives (and their allies, conservative libertarians) are fighting Democratic politicians.

    I’m fighting with those stupid fuckers. There is a difference, and if anyone is doing the teabagging of their own side it’s the manic progressives.

  149. 149
    Suzanne says:

    @Joel: Concur. The only thing that surprised me is that other people seemed surprised at all. Like, DUH. Y’all let the government spy and then seemed shocked, SHOCKED that they spied? What, you thought they would only spy on brown people?

    I’m afraid that I can’t get too passionate about this story. I ran out of outrage opposing the Patriot Act when it was dreamed up. I resigned myself to this a long time ago.

  150. 150
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @jamick6000:

    i love this NSA story because it’s perfect, all the agony it’s caused throughout the obot-osphere.

    And I’m sure you’ll love it when the economically libertarian backers of Glenn Greenwald have, via GG’s campaign to dispirit the American public’s attitude towards the federal government, succeeded in shrinking and drowning that government in the tub, amirite?

    (and what’s the deal with FYFWP eating a comment when a certain Roman orator’s four letter name is typed in?)

  151. 151
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Todd:

    Dude, I know that it happens, I’m saying it shouldn’t. Two different arguments.

  152. 152
    Todd says:

    @jamick6000:

    And who’s the one to blow the doors off that “trust” garbage? Who’s got the big scoop? Glenn-mothereffing-Greenwald, public enemy no. 1, the guy who pisses them off the most. It burns! I love it, I just love it.

    You mean the candyassed liar expat who has never accomplished anything and is responsible for nothing? Fuck him and his horse.

  153. 153
    WJS says:

    Edward Snowden was a Paultard. He gave the Ron Paul campaign money. Twice. Not that it matters or anything…

  154. 154
    broken says:

    @Hal:

    The media has paid zero attention to Greenwald the last dozen years. He would cover exactly the same stuff under Bush (NSA, Patriot Act, warrantless wiretapping, etc) and not get a single reference in the “MSM”. He was a pariah.

    Now he is their hero.

  155. 155
    jamick6000 says:

    @Todd:

    :(……

  156. 156
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @hilzoy:

    Why thanks, say those of us who voted for no such thing, but apparently get included in the blanket condemnation anyways.

    Every single member of the Senate voted yea to the Patriot Act, except for Russ Feingold (nay) and Mary Landrieu (who didn’t vote). It’s hard to avoid some kind of indirect complicity for that unless you never voted for any winning Senate candidates or live in Louisiana or Wisconsin.

  157. 157
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    GG’s campaign to dispirit the American public’s attitude towards the federal government

    Ooh, a campaign! That’s the spirit–people disagreeing with you doesn’t just happen by accident, it’s all a sinister conspiracy! Man, that must be a heavy burden to bear.

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    “I’m not focusing on the wrong enemy, I just want to blame everything on people on the far left and accuse them of being traitors and stooges for the right! They do that to me, but when I do it it’s DIFFERENT!” Sorry, but you’re not making much sense.

  158. 158
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Todd:

    “Accomplished anything”? Like what?

  159. 159
    Keith says:

    I agree with JC 100% on this. We, as a country, got exactly what we deserved. Maybe next time, we won’t be jumping over each other to elect the next politician who runs on “law and order” and “I’ll make sure the ‘bad guys’ get killed” bullshit. I didn’t vote for any of this shit, and I hate to see Democrats try to out-tough their competition, but part of democracy is realizing that the majority of the electorate are fucking idiots who can get hypnotized by a friggin’ pocket watch.

  160. 160
    Suzanne says:

    @Matt McIrvin: if you’re a Dem in a red state, as I am, it’s very easy to primarily vote for losers.

    Hell, the last election, I didn’t know what to do with myself.

  161. 161
    Scotty says:

    @magurakurin: I’d have to say the movie does an injustice to the book. It’s brilliant writing.

  162. 162
    El Cid says:

    Just wanted

    I am so sick of this bullshit. Now let’s play the typical American political game. Some Dems will rush to the defense of Obama and help to make sure these policies are not undone because, well, Republicans and evil civil libertarians are saying bad things and tribalism, even though the issue is not Obama or the need to defend Obama, the most POWERFUL FUCKING MAN IN THE WORLD WHO IS NEVER RUNNING FOR OFFICE AGAIN. BUT HEY, WHEN YOU ARE A PARTISAN, YOU GOTTA DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO.

    Right wing douchebags, who were completely ok with WARRANTLESS wiretapping (NOT TO MENTION TORTURE AND RANDOMLY INVADING COUNTRIES TO BRING THEM OUR FREEDUMBS EVEN THOUGH THEY SPENT EIGHT YEARS TELLING US THEY HATED US FOR OUR FREEDUMBS) during the Bush years and jammed through the Patriot Act legalizing this in the first place can now pretend that Obama is worse than Nixon/Stalin/Joffrey Baratheon. This Patriot Act and the NSA are doing EXACTLY what they intended for it to do.

    And then the media can sit there with there thumbs up their collective asses trying to figure out what exactly is going on, because the j-school flunkouts who make up our media are dumb as a sack of hammers and half of them don’t know the difference between FISA and a wallflower or PRISM and a popsicle, and we will continue like this until a cute white girl is kidnapped and we can move on to substantial issues.

    And for the record, Obama is not the villain here, he’s just dealing with the laws as they were passed, and it looks like they did everything correctly and followed the letter of the law. If he hadn’t done everything to the extent of the law to implement the patriot act and something happened, they same jackasses now feigning outrage on the right would be flaming him for being soft on terror. Snowden is not the villain here, he just felt this needed to be out there, and if one more jackass all-in Obama supporter tells me he endangered national security, I swear to ALLAH I will start punching babies. The only thing he endangered were the talking points for the permanent security state. The NSA is not the villain here- they are just doing what we allowed them to do. Glenn Greenwald is not the villain here, he’s a civil libertarian who has warned about this and is now reporting the excesses of the program.

    to see that again.

  163. 163
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @WJS:

    Color me surprised. Not. A. Bit.

  164. 164
    Todd says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    “Accomplished anything”? Like what?

    Succeeded as a lawyer. Managed anything. Been responsible for anything.

    Told a story that wasn’t a conflated lie and quit acting like the hysterical drama queen he is.

    He’s a shitstain contrarian.

  165. 165
    nineone says:

    @jamick6000: You’ll probably need a towel to clean up after yourself. Then, take a victory lap, as you survey your conquest. The vanquished await instructions from our new Overlords.

    Congrats.

    Hee- hee-hee.

  166. 166
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Other than Gary Johnson, what’s the guy ever supported? He sure opposes a lot.

  167. 167
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Don’t know, I don’t really read the guy.

  168. 168
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @broken:

    Gee, I wonder what’s different now. Hmmmmm…

  169. 169
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Enough for me, I can take only so much stupid and you are dishing it out by the shitload.

    Fuck you can be an idiot with so little effort. It’s amazing.

  170. 170
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    No prob! Let me know when you’ve rooted out those traitors, kay?

  171. 171
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    (and what’s the deal with FYFWP eating a comment when a certain Roman orator’s four letter name is typed in?)

    That was the nym of a troll who had the banhammer lowered on him. Think, “Unlimited Corporate Cash!”

  172. 172
    LAC says:

    @4tehlulz: @ShadeTail: thank you, Mrs. Cole… You must be very proud of your son.

  173. 173
    LAC says:

    @Baud: oh don’t bother explaining to corner stone. You got a nice dining room table to talk this out with? Then you got a stew going on. ;-)

  174. 174
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Suzanne: Of course, the problem with taking taint-by-association reasoning too seriously is that it breaks democracy: the only way you can keep your hands clean, if that’s the overriding concern, is to either not vote, or intentionally pick guaranteed losers, so that you can be sure to have no positive political effect at all. (I suspect this is the animating principle behind some minor political parties.)

  175. 175
    jshooper says:

    The sheer number of Corner Stone comments is making these threads almost unreadable.

    I came here to gloat about Greenwald being exposed as the agenda driven hack that most of us knew he was, but I got deflated by having to wade through about 40 Corner Stone comments.

    Good lord.

  176. 176
    mclaren says:

    When Cole says this stuff, he gets applause. When I say the exact same damn thing, people shit themselves screaming incoherent insults, up to an including “you’ve got butt rabies” (what the hell does that even mean?).

    The American people: stuck at age three, banging their little spoons on their little high chairs in outrage whenever the politicians and national security bureaucrats give them exactly what those selfsame voters whined and wailed for after 9/11.

  177. 177
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Someone at the GoS has tried to correct the foaming at the mouth manic depressives and is being pilloried by the Purity Brigade.

    What a fucking train wreck, as usual.

  178. 178
    bill says:

    I won’t be back if another advert autoplays a video with sound.
    pass it on to you advert people, and try to replace if they insist in it.

  179. 179
    Narcissus says:

    @mclaren:

    butt rabies

    that is just awesome

  180. 180
    Suzanne says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    taint-by-association

    I had to read this a couple of times, because I thought you meant something else the first time.

    @mclaren:

    When I say the exact same damn thing, people shit themselves screaming incoherent insults, up to an including “you’ve got butt rabies”

    That’s because you’re douchier.

  181. 181
    Ted & Hellen says:

    No, you want to see the villain, look in the mirror. It’s the pants-wetting populace of the United States, who votes for these assholes who pass bad laws in moments of crisis, because we have to do something and because Americans, unlike every other nation in the world, have a god given right to be safe at all times from all things.

    Utter horseshit.

    Speak for yourself, panty-wetter. Millions of us did not freak out after 9/11 or any other attack. It was YOU, Cole, and gazillions of other authoritarian shit heads; a few of whom have switched their tribal allegiance from Bush to Obama and then try to force the few of us who were/are sane to take the blame along with them.

    Fuck that bullshit, wienie. I NEVER voted Obama because it was always obvious he was a corporate ass kisser and that these types of things were just a matter of time.

    YOU look in the mirror, buddy. Many of us have no guilt to ponder in that glass, thank you very much.

  182. 182
  183. 183
    Tripod says:

    Why does Cole hate cute blonde girls?

  184. 184
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @bill:

    Check out the Adblock Plus browser add-on. It’ll take care of that.

  185. 185
    eco2geek says:

    And for the record, Obama is not the villain here, he’s just dealing with the laws as they were passed, and it looks like they did everything correctly and followed the letter of the law. If he hadn’t done everything to the extent of the law to implement the patriot act and something happened, they same jackasses now feigning outrage on the right would be flaming him for being soft on terror.

    Poor Obama. Since the NSA is part of the DOD, you might think that Obama might have some say in what the NSA does. But the thought of what those meanies on the right might say if “something” happened gave him no choice in the matter.

    It’s the same thing with the use of drones, really. Just think of what mean things people would say if he didn’t use drones and something “bad” happened.

    No, you are so right, Obama’s not the villain here. Why, he’s practically a victim of circumstance.

  186. 186
    pattonbt says:

    Meh. I just assume everything about me is publicly available and don’t worry about it. I figure the government has bigger things to worry about than spying on me (in detail). And if they do spy on me in detail, I havent been impacted in any way because of it and am living (maybe ignorantly) a nice simple life. Sure theres the whole “first they came for…”, but we are not near there yet.

    The government (left, right or center) has and always will do this to some degree legally and illegally. I dont think this is an “Obama” thing, this is a government thing. But on the Obama front, I always believed he would disappoint me on this front, he voted for FISA after all before the 2008 elections. That showed where he was on these issues, so no surprise here. So I am not disappoitned in Obama or think this really has anything to do with Obama.

    So, to me, it looks like this was all done legally. So again, meh. But I’m glad this guy did it to bring the issue up again. He’s not a hero, though.

    Do I want this shit to be legal or done. No. But given what the US has become, its not surprising this happens. And it will get worse. The populace is not ready to be brave and fight things like this because “terrorists”, “shut up thats why” and “MUSLIMS!” of more than half the population.

  187. 187
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    I’ve been reading Charles and the proles over at LGF since before Charles pulled his head out of his ass and they are calling this for what it is, bullshit. I when I contrast it with the hyperventilating at this place I have to laugh at the stupid fucks here who back what this idiot did. I just might have to consider joining up and start hanging out some over at LGF.

    I might need a handy place to hang when it gets too insane here. Their commentary is pretty good so there’s that too.

  188. 188
    giantslor says:

    @askew: Ding ding ding, we have a winner.

  189. 189
    Kris Collins says:

    I’ve been a long- time reader and Lurker her who just recently stuck my toe into actual commenting
    What

  190. 190
    Mike D. says:

    This is actually kind of incoherent.

  191. 191
    Kris Collins says:

    I’ve been a long- time reader and Lurker here who just recently stuck her toe into actual commenting and damn have I been overwhelmingly disappointed. The majority of.the.comments are ill-informed crap designed mostly to jerk the chains of other regular commenters, most of whom don’t really know.anything about anything
    OK, so now beat the shit out of me, I’m a stupid piece of crap troll, right? Damn, you guys are complacent lazy-ass jerks.

  192. 192
    Kris Collins says:

    @Mike D.: yeah tough commenting on my phone, shit happens get over it

  193. 193
    Xenos says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Aren’t you worried the NSA knows you just said all that?

    As far as all of us on BJ are concerned the NSA is free to read the archives any time they want.

    FYWP indeed!

  194. 194
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @mclaren:

    When Cole says this stuff, he gets applause. When I say the exact same damn thing, people shit themselves screaming incoherent insults, up to an including “you’ve got butt rabies” (what the hell does that even mean?).

    Cole didn’t post to a thread about a tornado-devastated town saying that they deserved it.

  195. 195
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Bob Cesca sez:

    It turns out, the NSA PRISM story isn’t quite the bombshell that everyone said it was. Yes, there continues to be a serious cause for concern when it comes to government spying and overreach with its counter-terrorism efforts. But the reporting from Glenn Greenwald and the Washington Post has been shoddy and misleading.
    […]
    But with new contravening information emerging since the original stories were posted by Greenwald and the Washington Post,it’s clear that the reporting by each news outlet was filled with possibly agenda-driven speculation and key inaccuracies.

    On MSNBC this morning, a NBC reporter said she asked Greenwald about the legality of the program and Greenwald fired back that she was using White House talking points in asking her question, completely avoiding having to answer to her question. I’m going to enjoy watching GG twist in the wind and scream louder and louder as his shit falls apart on him.

    That’s what happens when you personally inject yourself and your opinions into your shitty ‘reporting’.

  196. 196
    Davis X. Machina says:

    But the reporting from Glenn Greenwald and the Washington Post has been shoddy and misleading.

    Cui bono?

    Always a good question….

  197. 197
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    GG just now:

    “I just tol… I just tol… I just tol… I just told you [blah blah blah]….”

    The idiot is on Morning Schmoe stammering like Elmer Fudd…lol! It seems that he is having problems addressing the legality of the program(s). GG pulled the “you are using White House talking points with your question of the legality of the program(s). Joe is whining about how the courts are interpreting the laws incorrectly, conflating that with them somehow being illegal.

    GG now wants a court to determine if the program(s) is(are) legal…lol! GG now lets on that he has the names of covert agents and more.

    Keep digging Glenn.

  198. 198
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    And the interview ends oddly with GG talking and then Mika abruptly cuts to the next story without a word to GG. Odd way to end it.

  199. 199
    Barney says:

    if that information is sought in connection with an investigation of terrorism or espionage.

    But the point is that the information is not sought in connection with an investigation of terrorism or espionage; it’s collected all the time, for the entire population. And in case you think “well, everyone knew they were collecting everyone’s information all the time”, I remind you that James Clapper lied to Congress (under oath? I’m not sure) a few months ago:

    In March, DNI Clapper specifically told me #NSA does not wittingly collect any type of data on millions of Americans

    http://twitter.com/RonWyden/st.....3361820672

  200. 200
    JohnMcC says:

    @Davis X. Machina: There was an interesting moratorium in the secret spying state’s history that my friend Mr Machina did not mention. In 1929 the US Dept of State and the US Army jointly financed a cryptography office. The Secretary of State, Mr Stimson, stopped the State Dept from paying it’s share causing the abandonment of the enterprise. His famous remark was “Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail.”

    Most people who look into it find his action (and famous quote) amazingly stupid.

  201. 201

    He could, of course, have stood up to Congress. But he never does. The King can do no wrong. He is above criticism.

    I swear I never asked for any of this.

  202. 202

    Thanks, John! All of us concerned citizens are relieved to hear that you have personally inspected every document that Snowden stole, including those in Glenn Greenwald’s possession that have not yet been shared with the public, and determined definitively that no national security interest has been harmed. I can sleep better knowing that you’ve completed this diligent and authoritative review.

  203. 203

    “I don’t want to live in a world where there’s no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity.”—Edward Snowden

    Remember that. That is what matters.

  204. 204

    @The Raven on the Hill: You and Snowden can leave this world at any time you like, but there are easier ways to do it than being executed as a traitor.

  205. 205
    Elie says:

    @Self-Righteous Little White Guy:

    Totally agree with your sarcastic but right-on statement. The defenders of this guy’s action are giving cover to a) a person who prima facie, betrayed a major trust in I think, a highly dubious way and b) ran off to one of the worst cyber crime abuser countries as if its some sort of bastion of freedom from state power.

    This all stinks like shit and those who protect it need to step very carefully if they value their own sense of integrity.

  206. 206
    JVader says:

    I knew our privacy was over for sure when New Yorkers spent a decade being whiny little bitches about the trade center. 3k people dead is sad, but not worth what the families were able to extract from the government for their loss. Doesn’t anyone in NYC have appropriate life insurance? Their actions have done nothing but ensure that the USGov’t will take away all of our liberty on just a slight chance that they catch a stupid terrorist on the phone making specific threats against actionable targets in the US.

    No one in the msm is talking about it, but the salient point about the surveillance state and, in particular, Snowden, is the pathetic amount of documents and data that is “classified” (it is massively overused). If the PA allowed all of this to happen, why go after Snowden? Because now the “ruling class” on the hill will have to explain this shit.

  207. 207
    Elie says:

    “Their actions have done nothing but ensure that the USGov’t will take away all of our liberty on just a slight chance that they catch a stupid terrorist on the phone making specific threats against actionable targets in the US.”

    It is not just that information, but linkages to other activities that could result in loss of American lives. Do you actually know how many plots have been stopped to give the sense that there is just a “slight” chance? Do you? I doubt it.

    I agree that we do not want a hyper surveillance state — but please show some humility around your ability to know the specifics of our risk from external assault. And that doesnt even address cyber invasions that could be extremely damaging to individuals and to our economy and society. Not important, you say? Then you are a either a fool or an idealogue. Doesnt matter which to me — I am very glad you are not making those decisions for me, thank you very much. I am also pretty damned sure that I don’t want GG and his mouseketeers making that decision. Who elected him? How is HE accountable?

  208. 208
    JVader says:

    @Elie: I know more specifics than you do about attacks directed at the US (in particular the US government)… I’ll leave it at that. It is not possible for the average citizen to know “how many plots have been stopped”. Our government would lie about that in a heartbeat in order to keep spying. Remember WMD in Iraq?

    Cyber invasions is a good topic for thought. The problem is that even though the NSA is 8 times the size of the CIA, there is only so much time in a day for analysts to dig through enormous amounts of data (even if it is only meta data). That is what leaves us vulnerable to cyber attacks. Anyone who wishes to do harm to this country is certainly smart enough to encrypt their data as it is sent from one person to another. All the surveillance in the world won’t help with that (as long as they aren’t using a previously hacked encryption algorithm)… there are plenty of good ones out there. I’m not willing to give up my freedom to any government… and no, I don’t have anything to hide. It is the principle of the issue.

  209. 209
    Elie says:

    @JVader:

    When you say you are not willing to give up your “freedom to any government”, that is a pretty broad statement and I have no way to know the scope of that statement. Does that mean you see no need at all and in any way for government to have any information about you or anyone else? That there is no broad identification of a “national interest” of any kind that might at least compete if not supercede your “freedom” as an individual? Why, if that is the case? Taken to its extreme, there wouldn’t be anything but Darwinian warfare among individuals to maximize each of their own “freedom”. I am pretty sure you did not mean that, but if you would, try to sketch out a balanced approach to this that does take national interest for safety of citizens and interests with individual “freedoms”. Telling me you have absolute rights is not an answer and you will be graded an F for that response (kidding)

  210. 210
    JVader says:

    Elle,
    You’ve gone off the rails. Yes, I do believe that the government has the right to some of my personal information. I’m not a whack job glibatarian that doesn’t want to participate in the Census, file my taxes annually, and some other things that the government is supposed to do. That does NOT include hiring contracting agencies to conduct spying operations on American citizens which is most certainly what is happening. If you take time to read the Symantec 2012 Government threat assessment (cyber security), one of the biggest threats to this country and one that is being actively pursued is for hackers to access government networks via contractors (and subcontractors… where there are contractors, there are many, many subcontractors). If the government wants this power, fine, it needs to tell its citizens. Frankly, I will take my chances with the very remote possibility that some nut job teahadist or terrorist strikes the US and keep my liberty and the government away from the illegal actions they are taking against its citizens.

  211. 211
    Elie says:

    @JVader:

    Well we can both agree on what you just said and I would like a very vigorous discussion of the role/s and access of contractors. If we can ever calm things down enough, I also strongly advocate a very detailed public discussion of many of our assumptions about how our safety and security are managed.

    I am glad you aren’t a glibertarian. Those people scare me and way too many of them seem more like narcissists than freedom lovers in a true sense…

  212. 212
    Dick Schwing says:

    And for the record, Obama is not the villain here, he’s just dealing with the laws as they were passed.

    What a pathetic cop-out. The guy campaigned against telecom immunity, changed course almost immediately and doubled-down. That is pathetic in itself. Doubly so are the partisan tire-swingers professing themselves as non-partisan on the issue yet conveniently explaining away O’s failure on the issue as “not his fault.”

    When are we going to see some spine and leadership from this guy?

  213. 213
    The Raven says:

    “I don’t want to live in a world where there’s no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity.”—Edward Snowden

    @Self-Righteous Little White Guy: “You and Snowden can leave this world at any time you like, but there are easier ways to do it than being executed as a traitor.”

    Perhaps one need not leave. Entertain the possibility.

  214. 214

    […] I Am So Fucking Over This Already by John Cole onna BJ, in re: the citizenry of these United States acting all surprised at getting […]

  215. 215

    […] blame for our metastasized domestic spying programs lies with the American people. John Cole put it bluntly (via Corrente): “No, you want to see the villain, look in the mirror.” Charles Pierce was a […]

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