For Reasons As Pure As The Driven Snowden

Take this as you will, from the South China Morning Post:

Edward Snowden secured a job with a US government contractor for one reason alone – to obtain evidence of Washington’s cyberspying networks, the South China Morning Post can reveal.

For the first time, Snowden has admitted he sought a position at Booz Allen Hamilton so he could collect proof about the US National Security Agency’s secret surveillance programmes ahead of planned leaks to the media.

“My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked,” he told the Post on June 12. “That is why I accepted that position about three months ago.”

During a live global online chat last week, Snowden also stated he took pay cuts “in the course of pursuing specific work”. He said: “Booz was not the most I’ve been paid.”

Kinda throws a big-ass crimp in the whole “hero” angle if this is true, yes?

Discuss.

435 replies
  1. 1
    taylormattd says:

    Zandar, according to this site’s proprietor, you may well be part of a Snowden “lynch mob” for posting this.

  2. 2

    Yep, he’s pretty clearly a grandiosely self-involved cementhead.

    So, let’s talk about the policy issues raised rather than his personality.

    Man, even our espionage scandals these days are like reality TV shows.

  3. 3
    Bob says:

    Not at all. Somebody needed to tear the cover off of this and if he took the job was to do that, more power to him.

  4. 4
    El Caganer says:

    If one could imagine a spy novel by Ayn Rand and Nick Gillespie………

  5. 5
    Jockey Full of Malbec says:

    Never trust anyone under 30.

  6. 6
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    I think what this does is explain why his “evidence” has been kind of poor, and by poor I mean that it doesn’t show the government doing anything that hasn’t followed some legal procedure (the quality of that procedure is the discussion we definitely should be having). He went in believing that the government was spying illegally, therefore anything he found was proof of it.

  7. 7
    dubo says:

    In what way would that put a crimp in the “hero” angle or change anything? Do you think that when whistleblowers suspect or have evidence of wrongdoing they just wait for proof to fall into their lap?

  8. 8
    pharniel says:

    Charles Johnson at LGF has been all over this – essentially the first reveals were nothing anyone paying attention didn’t already know; the actual revelations from the documents were utterly different from what was claimed by Glennzilla.

    But yes – it essentially looks like snowden is a Priviliged Glibretarian who was upset with the Government spying on anyone.

    I know that the whole ‘NSA doing bad things’ was good to have confirmed but what those of us who are upset with Snowden are upset about specifically is his giving specifics on cyberwarfare ops to china and/or anyone else.

    I’m not sure he’s an asset but he he’s pushing against Grey’s Law: Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

  9. 9
    srv says:

    If Assange/Wiki enticed Manning, then extradition proceedings need to start on Greenwald.

  10. 10
    blah says:

    Why would that change a single thing?

  11. 11
    Joel says:

    I’m kind of in the middle on Snowden, but it should be noted that Rosa Parks was sitting in the front of the bus as a provocation against unjust policy, not simply because she was tired. That’s what activists do. Just because they’re motivated by activism doesn’t make their actions less heroic.

  12. 12
    Emma says:

    @dubo: A whistleblower is someone who discovers his company/his government agency is doing terrible things, gathers evidence, and goes public. If Snowden had kept his disclosures about the NSA spying on Americans, he could be considered a whistleblower, even though he planned the document thefts in advance.

    BUT after he started releasing other documents dealing with US spying on other countries, he lost the figleaf.

    Unfortunately, we lost the possibility of actually talking about the problems.

  13. 13
    Jane2 says:

    Focusing on Snowden’s personality rather than the issues his actions have raised puts you firmly in the 24/7 cable news wurlitzer reality show camp.

  14. 14
    dedc79 says:

    The significance of the information that’s been leaked should be assessed entirely apart from who Snowden is as a person, what he has done and why he did it.

    It won’t be, but it should be.

  15. 15
    Jockey Full of Malbec says:

    @Bob:
    The ‘cover’ was blown off in 2006. I seem to remember the general response from the press back then to be along the lines of “STFU, Libs! There’s a war on!”.

    But alas, Mark Klein’s not as photogenic as young Mr. Snowden, and Mr Greenwald had yet to complete his miraculous transformation from pro-Bush glibertarian to Global Champion of Civil Rights.

  16. 16
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jane2: nowden has admitted he sought a position at Booz Allen Hamilton so he could collect proof about the US National Security Agency’s secret surveillance programmes ahead of planned leaks to the media.

    Sounds more like “actions” than “personality”, actions resulting from ideology and probably to some degree from personality.

  17. 17
    Pete Mack says:

    Well, actually I think it makes him look good: he was sick of being spied on and did something about it.

  18. 18
    Nathan says:

    Hero, schmero… but what it does show is that the meta-security around the security complex is about a big a joke as the supposed security complex itself. It’s a sham. Burn the whole thing down.

  19. 19
    Ash Can says:

    if this is true

    You bring up a good point. Snowden lied about other things, so maybe we shouldn’t just immediately and automatically assume he’s being truthful about this. It makes sense, though.

  20. 20
    Liberty60 says:

    Kinda throws a big-ass crimp in the whole “hero” angle if this is true, yes?

    Sure does, if we are wishing for a sparkly hero.

    Doesn’t do jack squat about the fact, now established, that the NSA is carrying out surveillance of virtually everyone, everywhere, 24/7.

  21. 21
    LAC says:

    @dubo: i think “whistleblowers” need more than what Snowden has to be called whistleblowers. Like evidence of wrongdoing, not some vague connect the dots paranoid shit that turns out not to be the connect the dots bomb promised by Greebwald, followed by running to “bastions of freedom” like China and Russia with classified information. That is not whistleblowing.

  22. 22
    Joyce says:

    The Chinese were already targeting defense contractors for hacking. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRk2V4nJiyI

  23. 23
    ricky says:

    This is hardly as shocking as the discovery that poor vetting allowed a woman who once contemplated serving a Sambo Burger was once allowed unrestricted access to a nationwide audience via a major culinary network.

  24. 24
    Socoolsofresh says:

    Is anyone going to talk about Thursdays bombshell McClatchy article about government workers being encouraged to snitch on each other? No? I guess that one is just too hard for you guys to figure out how to defend it.

    Okay, continue the lynch mob.

  25. 25
    Kathy in St. Louis says:

    I would think our first clue should have been the date of the release of this info. It happened the same day that Obama met with the leader of China, so it would appear that it was orchestrated to embarrass him and the U.S.government.

  26. 26

    @reflectionephemeral:

    Yep, he’s pretty clearly a grandiosely self-involved cementhead.

    The boy is a Paulbot. What else would you expect?

  27. 27
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Nathan: So, in other words, you don’t know how things work. The security system has worked because the people in it were trusted with the information. If you tried to make the system so secure that no information could get out, then the information could not be used in a reasonable fashion and time.

    As for burning it down, what would that buy? Do you really think it would be a good idea to not know what is going on in other countries?

  28. 28
    dubo says:

    @Emma: @LAC:

    All fair enough, but I don’t see what “the information fell into his lap” vs “he sought out the information” has to do with the morality or how “heroic” his actions were no matter which side of that debate you’re on

  29. 29
    bill d says:

    Go get a throwaway $122k a year job so so he can steal s*it.

    Genius. My hunch is this thing isn’t turning out the way he envisioned it.

  30. 30

    @reflectionephemeral:

    Yep, he’s pretty clearly a grandiosely self-involved cementhead.

    The boy is a Paultard. Is any other description necessary?

  31. 31
    LAC says:

    @Joel: Are we really back to the Rosa Parks/Snowden comparison? Really? Which is it with you fanboys ? It is not about Snowden or is it only about Snowden when you can smear a civil rights icon’s name with his?

  32. 32
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Liberty60:

    Doesn’t do jack squat about the fact, now established, that the NSA is carrying out surveillance of virtually everyone, everywhere, 24/7.

    Link please. What has been shown is that the government as the ability to collect information. We’ve also learned some nifty procedures about how the government has to minimize it’s targeting of American.

  33. 33

    When whistleblowing is criminalized, only criminals will blow whistles. Something can be both an intentional felony and a courageous and heroic course of action.

    (‘Course, Snowden’s done his credibility no favors since going public, which is why the documents should speak for themselves… the one thing no one, not David Gregory, not Glenn Greenwald, not nobody, is doing.)

  34. 34
    Emma says:

    @dubo: Well, I happen to think that revealing your country’s secrets to its competitors is pretty immoral. YMMV.

    (EDIT) Ever since this story broke I have been beating the drums for several things that need to happen. They’re damn unlikely to happen now, because it has all turned into a personality thing.

    (EDIT AGAIN) And it doesn’t help when people take completely polarized positions and defend them to the death. There’s been no conversation, only screaming past each other.

  35. 35
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Liberty60: When was that fact established?

  36. 36
    Jane2 says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I don’t care about his ideology either. I do care about the issues he’s raised, whatever his motivation for doing so.

  37. 37
    ricky says:

    @Liberty60:

    Nor does “the fact, now established, that the NSA is carrying out surveillance of virtually everyone, everywhere, 24/7” indicate the NSA is able to do jack squat with what they have surveilled to prevent their own contract employees
    with breaking the law and skipping away to foreign lands.

  38. 38

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    He went in believing that the government was spying illegally, therefore anything he found was proof of it.

    This. As far as I can tell, he hasn’t provided any evidence that the NSA is actually violating the 4th Amendment or applicable laws. At most, he has shown that they could start doing so without having to change their technical infrastructure- and that the current laws give the government too much leeway. Oh, and that private security contractors are given way too little vetting.

  39. 39
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Socoolsofresh: And what bombshell would that be?

  40. 40

    @Socoolsofresh:

    Is anyone going to talk about Thursdays bombshell McClatchy article about government workers being encouraged to snitch on each other?

    I’d say a pretty good clue would be if co-workers spend time reading wikileaks, or time at teatard rallies, or time reading the wit and wisdom of Ron or Rand Paul. If you see your fellow employees doing any of these things, report them; they shouldn’t be mooching off the government anyway, and should be heroic bootstrapping conservative/libertarians doing stuff to advance markets. And freedom. And wolverines.

  41. 41
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Nathan:

    Hero, schmero… but what it does show is that the meta-security around the security complex is about a big a joke as the supposed security complex itself.

    I’ve been making that point for a while now. There is also the fact that we’re supposed to trust the government wrt what it’s doing with the data. Part of that trust rests on the presumption that the integrity of that data will be guarded as zealously as the methods of collecting it. Snowden’s ability to simply walk out of the door with supposedly top secret information raises some serious questions about that last point. How much other data has been stolen by people who are good at it and who are doing it for reasons other than self-aggrandizement? At the moment, it appears that this question can’t be seriously answered because the gigantic, cobbled-together security apparatus is itself not secure.

  42. 42
    geg6 says:

    @Kathy in St. Louis:

    I have also noticed that. But I just don’t think this Snowden dude is really bright enough to have figured that out. Now, if the Chinese already had their hands on him, they certainly could have set that up. And, heaven knows, Greenwald is blinded enough by his own ego to have fallen for anything the Chinese would have put Snowden, however innocently, up to.

  43. 43
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @dedc79: Just as it was in the case of George W. Bush’s career in the Texas Air National Guard. Just ask Dan Rather.

  44. 44
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @dubo: Wasn’t his original story that he was shocked to find wrongdoing occurring in his establishment, and in a fit of conscience had to act to expose it? Another story might have been fine too, but that’s the one he told, and it’s not looking like that was what happened.

  45. 45
    wmd says:

    @Emma:

    We didn’t lose the possibility of talking about the problems. Policy discussions are still fair game regardless of how big of a hero/traitor/douchebag/colostomybag Mr. Snowden turns out to be.

  46. 46
    rda909 says:

    Wait. If what Glenn-duh the Good Snitch says is true, then why doesn’t the NSA simply hack all his emails and listen to his phone calls so they can arrest this dynamic duo, and stop all this supposedly damaging info from being released?

  47. 47
  48. 48
    Ash Can says:

    I can’t fucking believe this thread. Snowden and Greenwald “reveal” something that anyone who’s been paying any fucking attention has known for years, Snowden runs straight to the foreign spy targets with the details of his info, and still people insist that he’s a good guy. Come on, people. Where’s the love for Jonathan Pollard, Aldrich Ames, and Robert Hanssen?

    I think it’s obvious that we aren’t going to see any serious examination of domestic intelligence gathering and surveillance anytime soon. If people like Snowden and Greenwald are seen as the spearheads of investigation of this issue, it won’t rise above the level of clown show for the foreseeable future.

  49. 49
    4tehlulz says:

    @LAC: Wait, you don’t remember when Ms. Parks sought refuge from Southern racism in Rhodesia?

  50. 50
    Emma says:

    @wmd: Have you read some of the threads lately?

    Seriously. Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans would rather be “safe” that “free.” If we are to shift that to the right side of the equation, we need long term reasoned argument. I don’t see it anywhere. And with figureheads like Snowden, good luck to all of us.

  51. 51

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    He went in believing that the government was spying illegally, therefore anything he found was proof of it.

    Snowden fucked up by relying on Greenwald to describe relevant law.

    When has Greenwald ever succeeded at knowing his ass without a mirror and a hunting dog when it came to real lawyering? He couldn’t get Gluteus Maximus Matthew Hale past character and fitness for a law license, fucked up on Hale’s other legal issues, fucked up on the civil suit for Hale’s encouragement of murder.

    When it comes to knowing law, Greenwald doesn’t.

    The dumbass couldn’t lawyer his way out of a paper bag, and should consider himself lucky if he just gets named as an unindicted co-conspirator.

  52. 52
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    He said: “Booz was not the most I’ve been paid.”

    Maybe he meant “booze”?

  53. 53
    LAC says:

    @Jane2: What issues has he raised? The ones that should have prevented Bush from having a second term, if we had our shit together and voted? The issues that we couldn’t be bothered to discuss when we treat mid term elections with a big yawn and leave it to wingnuts to put other wingnuts in elected office? That, surprise, we spy on other countries and they spy on us? Or that short of seeing Snowden having tea with officials in North Korea, some of us are going to continue to make excuses for this guy and take the ability to credibly discuss the Patriot Act and run over it? That discussion?

  54. 54
    John O says:

    Kinda throws a big-ass crimp in the whole “hero” angle if this is true, yes?

    A little bit, but not much. This shit needs to be discussed, and he started the discussion, though it is maddeningly still about him and not that fact our beloved government is up our asses.

    I guess the polls are clear on this, America is a country of bedwetters who would rather be “safe,” using the word incredibly loosely, than “free,” also taking liberties with the definition of the latter.

  55. 55
    rda909 says:

    So what we learned from this circus act: President Obama has improved transparency and the following of the law regarding how America conducts surveillance. Already knew that myself, but nice to have more people in now on “the national conversation.”

  56. 56
    wmd says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Damn straight. Walking out with a USB drive full of TS data? Far cry from having to log every time a safe containing Secret information is opened/closed along with details about what was accessed that was protocol when I had a clearance.

  57. 57
    LAC says:

    @4tehlulz: I did! I am so sorry…I remember reading MLK’s “Notes from a five star hotel in another country” and being so moved.

    :)

  58. 58

    @Joel:

    I’m kind of in the middle on Snowden, but it should be noted that Rosa Parks was sitting in the front of the bus as a provocation against unjust policy, not simply because she was tired.

    It should also be noted that Rosa Parks was willing to go to jail as part of her protest. She and other civil rights protesters were counting on it; they knew that forcing people to enforce an unjust law was the best way of bringing pressure against it. That willingness to live with the consequences of breaking the law is what separates real civil disobedience from false.

  59. 59
    Ronnie Pudding says:

    Charles Johnson looks back at some interesting Greenwald posts.

    http://littlegreenfootballs.co....._Documents

  60. 60
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Botsplainer, fka Todd: No, its more like if you are going through a divorce, you can be considered an insider threat.

  61. 61
    rda909 says:

    @Joel: Hilarious. White-Privilege Power!!!

  62. 62
    geg6 says:

    @Ash Can:

    Completely agreed. These two attention whores have ruined any chance to have a reasoned discussion of FISA, the NSA or anything having to do with domestic surveillance.

  63. 63
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Roger Moore: Here’s the thing with the idea that the limits are “procedural, not technical” and all that, though. The limits on the police’s ability to just come to your house and shoot you in the head are similarly not “technical.” They _could_ do it to anyone. They _have_ done it to many people. Is there a way to stop them from doing it? Laws don’t make it impossible for guns to fire. It just seems like a trivially true statement that The Government _could_ fuck with you for no reason, and the reason They don’t (presuming they don’t) is because of norms and taboos, not technical capability. By analogy, then, the NSA _could_ do all kinds of things to us, and I don’t see what the greatest, most dogged crusader can actually do to make that impossible.

  64. 64

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    It’s like arguing with Tea Partiers – no matter what, they always return to the catechism.

  65. 65
    burnspbesq says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    Is anyone going to talk about Thursdays bombshell McClatchy article about government workers being encouraged to snitch on each other? No?

    If you want that conversation, a link would just be ordinary common courtesy.

    Couldn’t be bothered? Well, that tells us pretty much everything we need to know.

  66. 66
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Socoolsofresh: I did read the article you linked to. I don’t have time to write this at work, but look at the article again. There is a lot of gnashing of teeth about things that the government could be doing but isn’t and a lot of worst case scenario reporting. Also, they talk about the ‘unprecedented” nature of Obama and leakers, but a lot of the examples are from times before he took office. Also, they mention Drake as an example of a whistleblower of fraud and abuse, but fail to mention what he leaked (becuase that would be a grey area).

    There are a lot of agencies who deal with information that is classified that we actually want to stay classified, not just for spying purposes. The only one of the agencies they talk about that I find a bit odd is Education. But the FDA and Agriculture do actually have employees who handle things that are eventually released to the public (they aren’t state secrets, but they are valuable none-the-less) and I can understand a little bit trying to figure out ways to keep that data private until it is time to release it.

  67. 67
    ricky says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    Yeah. I’ll talk about that “bombshell” Mc Clatchy article.
    The reporters offered no examples to back up any of the points they tried to make about the “new” policies. We are left to trust two unnamed DOD “officials,” one former CIA analyst and a lawyer, all four of whom contribute almost nothing of substance to the silent explosion emanating from this “bombshell” of an article.

  68. 68
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Socoolsofresh: Hey, that sounds like the job I work at, and considering my previous experience in the military – and other family members as well – sounds about right to me.

    Sorry, I consider leaking to be a crime. Now, circumstances may dictate that your leaking was done for a greater good, but you don’t get to avoid scrutiny. Similar to what should happen if you shoot someone.

  69. 69
    burnspbesq says:

    @Infamous Heel-Filcher:

    Something can be both an intentional felony and a courageous and heroic course of action.

    Yup. And the courage and heroism can be taken into account at sentencing. Not before.

  70. 70
    ruemara says:

    To get this amount of attention, usually a lady has to drive cross country in an adult diaper to attack her romantic rivals. Are we seriously so addled that we can’t discuss an issue without needing heros, villains and icons? This is a hell of a problem, the outsourcing, the depth of the NSA data mining, the FISA court rubber stamp for everything. I can think Snowden is strange, lacking in good judgement and probably specious while still agreeing that these issues right here are worth discussing and correcting.

  71. 71
    geg6 says:

    @Joel:

    Jeebus. Another one.

    No, Snowden is nothing like Rosa Parks and never was nor will be. Unlike Parks and other Civil Rights era leaders who engaged in civil disobedience, Brave Brave Sir Edward bravely ran away from the consequences of that disobedience.

  72. 72
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @ruemara: This.

  73. 73
    Patricia Kayden says:

    “Kinda throws a big-ass crimp in the whole “hero” angle if this is true, yes?”

    HELLZ YEAH!

    But never thought he was a hero from the get go so no surprise for me. Hopefully, people are able to separate Snowden from the need to address the Patriot Act’s excesses.

  74. 74
    Yatsuno says:

    @Bob: Ends justify the means eh?

  75. 75
    rda909 says:

    @dubo: Dude isn’t a whistleblower. And why take classified information to China and Russia. You think those countries have been able to gain extra info from this unaccomplished twit that they didn’t already have from their own surveillance, which might complicate American activities around the globe? Surely you don’t think the U.S. government can never, ever keep any military or other sensitive information classified.

  76. 76
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @ricky: Ya, I guess the sources should come out and name themselves so that you could give them a good Snowden demonizing.

  77. 77
    Tone in DC says:

    @Joel:

    Please do not compare Rosa Parks to this guy. Just don’t.

  78. 78
    Gravenstone says:

    @Socoolsofresh: Gotta link there, sparkle pony?

  79. 79
    Emma says:

    @Socoolsofresh: Why is it that people who scream for transparency always want to keep things secret?

  80. 80

    @burnspbesq: Yup. And the courage and heroism can be taken into account at sentencing. Not before.

    Prosecutorial discretion, bitch.

  81. 81
    MikeJ says:

    @Joel: Rosa Parks was arrested. That was the whole point.

  82. 82
    grape_crush says:

    > Kinda throws a big-ass crimp in the whole “hero” angle if this is true, yes?

    Yes.

    Big difference between an act of conscience and and act of espionage.

  83. 83
    The Dangerman says:

    It all comes down to whether or not the NSA was doing anything illegal; if it was following the law, Snowden deserves to go to jail for a very long time. Embarassing your employer (or your employers customers) for following the law you may not like doesn’t make you a whistleblower or a hero; it just makes you a fucking dick and a criminal.

  84. 84
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @ruemara: For instance, if there were a way to create a sort of “civilian review board” to oversee the FISA Court, or to make sure that at least some FISA judges were of a civil libertarian bent, there would be some assurance that the whole process isn’t a rubber stamp or a Star Chamber for secretively cracking down on internal enemies.

  85. 85
    japa21 says:

    Never considered him a hero. He is, to put it simply, a coward. Comparing him to Parks, or Ellsberg, or MLK is idiotic.

    As has been pointed out many times, the data mining has been public knowledge for years. Even PRISM has been known, though not as widely.

    Also known is that in 2009, the Obama DOJ found abuses of the system and cracked down on them, increasing layers of protection to the system being abused. We also know that PRISM does not allow direct access to anyone’s email or any other items.

    Anybody who states that the government is spying on American citizens 24/7 is wrong, totally and completely wrong.

    Does this mean the programs are wonderful? No, but as long as the hyperbole is flying, there can never be an open discussion of them.

    Finally, when Snowden went beyond the original exposures, he went from being a naive, misdrected person to someone who under even the broadest definition possible, does not deserve to be called anything close to a hero.

  86. 86
    John O says:

    @Tone in DC:

    I simply do not understand how you can make that call yet. History may prove him to be either hero or traitor, it’s way too early to call on that large a scale.

    For now, he’s a potential hero to me, though likely for naught since the U.S. public has been sufficiently cowed into obsequious servitude by the combined corporate/military/surveillance/police state. It’s working exactly like it is supposed to.

  87. 87
    kc says:

    Kinda throws a big-ass crimp in the whole “hero” angle if this is true, yes?

    Um, no. I don’t know as I would call him a “hero,” but the fact that he took the job for that reason doesn’t make what he did WORSE. Except maybe in the eyes of Booz Allen. Maybe they can sue him for fraud or some shit.

    In the meantime, maybe we could talk about the fact that we’re paying private contractors millions of dollars to spy on us?

  88. 88
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Liberty60:

    Doesn’t do jack squat about the fact, now established, that the NSA is carrying out surveillance of virtually everyone, everywhere, 24/7.

    Links, please. Snowden’s original claims were that the NSA was carrying out surveillance of virtually every American citizen 24/7. Now he’s changed his story to what seems to have been bothering him all along, which is CIA practices and NSA surveillance overseas of foreign citizens.

    If anyone has changed the conversation, it’s Snowden, because he was unable to back up his claims about actions against US citizens within the US but provided a whole crapload of information about US surveillance of foreign countries and foreign citizens.

  89. 89
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Socoolsofresh: Yes and no. I remember looking at the comment of the lawyer and it seems so over the top and does not inform anyone what is going on. “What’s next? A $50 reward to snitch on your friends?” O.K. but the government isn’t offering $50 to snitch on anyone. So what is it doing? It isn’t very clear in the article. It may be a foolish policy to expect people who work with each other to report to (whom exactly), but then what is the issue if that isn’t what they report on.

  90. 90

    @El Caganer: It would need a rape scene and a couple of 8 hour monologues on the evils of collectivism.

    And Snowden would be wearing a ‘cool’ black leather jacket.

  91. 91
    Nutella says:

    @geg6:

    These two attention whores have ruined any chance to have a reasoned discussion of FISA, the NSA or anything having to do with domestic surveillance.

    Actually these two attention whores have made such a big splash in the media that we are having a much more active discussion, in the media and in congress, than we had when other disclosures have come out. There’s some chance we can get what needs to be disclosed and discussed and legislated actually done now that more people are paying attention.

  92. 92
    balconesfault says:

    From Brecht’s Galileo:

    Andrea: Unhappy is the land that breeds no hero.
    Galileo: No, Andrea Unhappy the land that is in need of heroes

  93. 93
    Dave says:

    IMO, real activists/heroes are the one who are confronting real issues, take a stand and accept the consequences. Rosa Parks, Thoreau not paying taxes because of the Mexican/American war…both broke the law and then stood and took the consequences. That’s heroic.

    Snowden broke the law and then ran like a scalded dog through every country that has some axe to grind with the US. I’m glad he exposed PRISM, but he’s no fucking hero.

  94. 94
    kc says:

    @Liberty60:

    Doesn’t do jack squat about the fact, now established, that the NSA is carrying out surveillance of virtually everyone, everywhere, 24/7.

    The NSA and a bunch of contractors. And we’re paying out the nose for it!

  95. 95
    MomSense says:

    It seems like the original claims made by the Guardian and the Post have been retracted. The public hasn’t been provided any information yet revealing the NSA or the Obama administration to have broken the law. I think it is important to discuss what changes we would like to see regarding privacy and oversight of the NSA and FISC.

    There are many reasons why Snowden’s actions are troubling. We know that he was in contact with Greenwald before he took a job at BAH and that he has admitted he took the job with the intent to access information about the NSA’s surveillance programs. Asking the Post and Guardian to post online a cryptographic key so he could prove to a foreign embassy that he was the source of the leaks really makes me wonder about his motivations. Did he sucker Greenwald and Gellman into proving to a foreign embassy that he had valuable top-secret information? Was he selling it?

  96. 96
    Hoodie says:

    @Botsplainer, fka Todd: I was catching up on some old scenes from Breaking Bad and this comment reminds me of the lab notebook of the murdered new age meth cook Gale Boetticher. The DEA guy is leafing through it and there is a brief glimpse of a Ron Paul 08 sticker on one of the pages. Nice touch.

  97. 97

    @The Dangerman: It all comes down to whether or not the NSA was doing anything illegal

    Nonsense. There’s the additional question of whether the NSA has the authority under the law to do things which are violations of people’s human or civil rights.

    It was entirely legal for the British to quarter soldiers in private homes and beget a generation of children whose fathers we must doubt of.

  98. 98
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Maybe they could be elected. It’s worked so well here in Texas. /snark

    Please name another court that has civilian oversight. This is the point of Congress. If you don’t like the way they do their job, we have a procedure for fixing that.

  99. 99
    sharl says:

    @Emma:

    Seriously. Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans would rather be “safe” that “free.”

    Yup. The Benjamin Franklin quote they probably heard in high school goes right over their pointy heads.

    Those Congresscritters who have been voting – by lopsided margins IIRC – to prevent Obama from closing Guantanamo know how many pants-pissing Security Moms (& Dads) are out there. Y’know, the kind of citizens who show up in various interviews and online forums to say that removing shoes at the airport is OK, “as long as it keeps us safe”.*

    Congresspeople and Senators in red & purple districts/states know those keep-Gitmo-open votes will have no significant blowback on Election Day; a vote to close Gitmo, on the other hand, is going to bring you a mess of grief during the campaign. As I understand it, Obama could take unilateral action, but there would likely be severe consequences to be found in a veto-proof defense funding bill passed by the duly elected legislators representing our brave, brave fellow citizens. [I assume Medea Benjamin’s response to such a scenario would be “Good! Don’t need those warmongers anyway. Close ’em down!” — an argument that, whether or not she would actually make it, IS worth visiting from time-to-time, Gitmo-or-not.]

    *IMO, it’s a good thing that Richard Reid attempted a shoe-bomb instead of an asscrack-bomb. Think of what airport security protocols would be like in response to the latter! (They’d probably charge extra for a reach-around too…thievin’ bastids.)

  100. 100

    First MLK, then Rosa Parks. Do I see a Mandela? Or how about we just skip ahead to Gandhi?

  101. 101
    LAC says:

    @Nutella: Unless of course, the sparkle pony brigade starts its 2014 version of 2010’s “it just doesn’t matter” and folks stay away from the polls. You know, the place where you might actually make a change.

  102. 102
    Badmoodman says:

    I flagged and wrote about this “oh by the way” tweet from Glenn Greenwald back on June 10. What’s odd about the tweet is Greenwald says he’s been working with Snowden since February. Why is that odd? Because Snowden didn’t start work at Booz Allen until March.

    https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/344040301972815872

  103. 103
    Plantsmantx says:

    Kinda throws a big-ass crimp in the whole “hero” angle if this is true, yes?

    I don’t necessarily see him as a hero, but…no, it doesn’t necessarily put a crimp in the “hero” angle. Then again, whether or not he’s a “hero” isn’t really the point.

  104. 104

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    How much other data has been stolen by people who are good at it and who are doing it for reasons other than self-aggrandizement?

    Bingo. That would be a question I’d like answered.

    Part of me suspects the reason why China and Russia are letting this guy go about his business without giving him asylum or detaining him for interrogation is because he doesn’t really know anything that they don’t know already from their own intelligence sources.

  105. 105

    @SatanicPanic: Snowden died for your sins. I have a tract I’d like you to read.

  106. 106
    John O says:

    I don’t necessarily see him as a hero, but…no, it doesn’t necessarily put a crimp in the “hero” angle. Then again, whether or not he’s a “hero” isn’t really the point.

    Right! Thank you, and duh!

    Snowden is nothing in this story to me except a vehicle towards what my Sainted Obama government is doing in my fucking name. And so it should be to everyone else with a fucking brain.

  107. 107
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): I don’t know the answer to your questions. But if people don’t think that the FISA Court is acting responsibly, some sort of additional layer of review might be in order. What form that takes… I don’t have a particular stake in that. Declassification of FISA Court decisions (after some time passed, if it’s important to protect ongoing investigations and such) seemed like an appealing idea to me as well. _That_ discussion would be productive.

  108. 108
    pokeyblow says:

    The fact that Upton Sinclair went to work in a slaughterhouse with an exposé in mind kind of puts a crimp in the whole “the Jungle is an important book” angle, doesn’t it?

  109. 109
    Emma says:

    @John O: Snowden is nothing in this story to me except a vehicle towards what my Sainted Obama government is doing in my fucking name. And so it should be to everyone else with a fucking brain.

    Do you realize how much this phrasing reveals about your preset biases?

  110. 110
    ricky says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    What “Snowden treatment” have I given anybody, sport?

    One of the two anonymous DOD officials they quote is defending the programs. The other lends his expertise to this serious issue by quoting scenarios from two works of fiction.

    To snitch on myself, I failed to mention that the bombshell also quotes someone by name who notes that these nefarious policies did little to stop Snowden. Just like all this data collection by the NSA will do little to infringe on Americans because we are far better at devising expensive systems that garner mountains of facts that we haven’t the trained personnel to any real use of.

  111. 111
    jamick6000 says:

    fyi, here’s zandar gay baiting Greenwald: https://twitter.com/ZandarVTS/status/343838370977443840

    makes you wonder where this unhinged Snowden post is really coming from.

  112. 112
    John O says:

    @Emma:

    LOL. Yes. Didn’t phrase that one very carefully, but still STRONGLY believe the citizenry should know what is being done in Their Name.

    Sorry. The discussion about Snowden’s motives makes me a bit crazy, as most discussions of motive do, since if you’ve ever had a peek inside your own head you realize motive is very, very difficult to ascertain.

    Snowden is not the point.

  113. 113
    lojasmo says:

    @Bob: @blah: @Jane2: @Socoolsofresh: y@Liberty60:

    Who crossposted to Randpaulforpresident2016.com ?

    Jackass.

  114. 114
    Hal says:

    For fucks sake folks (some of you). We can question snowden’s motivations and judgement and still have an active discussion about how far the security state goes. Multitask for glob’s sake.

    And please stop comparing an upper middle class white man to 50’s civil rights pioneers or nelson Mandela. Dude is none of the above.

  115. 115
    roc says:

    So is he holding back because he’s an Assange-style attention whore? Or is he just stalling because it finally sunk in that he can’t go home and probably can’t even get asylum without the promise of having kept something in his back pocket?

  116. 116
    Cacti says:

    Zandar, why are you persecuting middle class white males?

    They haven’t held the Executive branch for almost 5 whole years now.

  117. 117
    lojasmo says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    Again, post a link, jackalope.

  118. 118
    Steve Crickmore says:

    The most common reaction is that most of you feel ho hum what has Snowden revelaed that we didn’t already know, followed by hang him as a traitor, for revealing a secret modus operandi that everyone knew but was prevented by gag orders (which is the most oppresive) from talking about. Most of you seemingly would be content to crucify the little boys such as Greenwald, Assange and Snowden, who wrote that the emperor had no clothes. And as for the debate that Obama now welcomes, about liberty and authority. I thought we had that debate in 2008 election and Obama and sunlight won, not secrecy and darkness, Obama (the 2008 versión) “the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in governement (are whistleblowers) “such acts of courage and patriotism. . . should be encouraged rather than stifled.” What Snowden is saying is power corrupts and absolute power….

  119. 119
    Laertes says:

    Doesn’t change a damn thing. That he took the job with the intention of revealing classified info doesn’t make him any more or less of a hero/asshole/take-your-pick.

    Honestly, is this what you’ve got? The guy has done some very big things. You could reasonably argue that he’s done great harm, and you could reasonably argue that he’s done a lot of good. You could reasonably argue that he’s done both.

    And you’re telling me that I’m supposed to give a shit that he lied in his job interview about why he wanted the job? Seriously?

  120. 120
    JGabriel says:

    Joel:

    I’m kind of in the middle on Snowden, but it should be noted that Rosa Parks was sitting in the front of the bus as a provocation against unjust policy, not simply because she was tired. That’s what activists do. Just because they’re motivated by activism doesn’t make their actions less heroic.

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. So I just quoted you instead.

    Seriously, though, that pretty much encapsulates my thoughts, and where I am on this, as well.

  121. 121
    jamick6000 says:

    @MomSense:

    The public hasn’t been provided any information yet revealing the NSA or the Obama administration to have broken the law.

    Actually that’s not quite true! One of the big revelations was that the DNI lied to congress. Not many people have been talking about that, but it’s important I think.

  122. 122
    The Other Chuck says:

    I think Snowden did a vital service, really, one that everyone should be waking up to:

    Your most private information could end up in the hands of people like Edward Snowden.

  123. 123
    Svensker says:

    @Joel:

    Yes. Me, too.

  124. 124
    John O says:

    Just to clarify, I’m an O-bot, for the most part. I’ve met the man in intimate settings (while still professional, you perverts) and he’s a good man with good intentions. I just think the US government is being a bit hypocritical when they hire a guy to do espionage at SOME level and then proceed to prosecute him for same.

    And this shit needs to be discussed, in the open, and out loud. I don’t like my e-mails read, if that’s what is really happening. It made me nuts that my beloved corporation of near 30 years “owned” my e-mails. Huh? Those were the work of MY brain.

  125. 125
    LAC says:

    Hey, does anyone know what country Sinclair went to after being denounced by Roosevelt as a “crackpot”? i think it was a land called New Jerseyia and then to Californiastan. It is like Snowden took a page out of his biography, huh?

  126. 126
    Cacti says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    First MLK, then Rosa Parks. Do I see a Mandela? Or how about we just skip ahead to Gandhi

    This morning on DU(mb), I saw Snowden’s jetting from China to Moscow being compared to a trip on the Underground Railroad.

    Do white liberals not have any of their own heroes they can invoke?

  127. 127
    sharl says:

    @lojasmo: See comment #47.

  128. 128

    @Ash Can:
    Exactly, I’m old enough to remember the year 2006 when the DFH’s were all up in arms about this and most of the media were yawning and conservatives and moderates were trying and succeeding at giving the telecoms immunity. One important difference from then and now is that Bush circumvented the FISA court and, by all indications, Obama has followed the law. Hence, Obama is the new Hitler.

  129. 129
    Shakezula says:

    Snowden also stated he took pay cuts “in the course of pursuing specific work”. He said: “Booz was not the most I’ve been paid.”

    If true I’m surprised this wasn’t picked up during his clearance process.

  130. 130
    Lolis says:

    @Ash Can:

    You’re right. I remember being upset when Obama in 2008 reversed his position on FISA courts. I knew exactly what I was voting for and had a good idea what the government has been up to for years since it is what people said would happen under the Patriot Act. I keep waiting for a revelation and it hasn’t happened. I was irritated that Snowden tried to pretend that he thought Obama would fix things and acted like a disillusioned liberal. That is pretty damn misleading for someone who has given money to Ron Paul. I wish he would be up front about his political leanings.

  131. 131

    @Comrade Dread: TOO SOON! We can’t just bump him straight to the top. Where do we go after that?

  132. 132
    Svensker says:

    @lojasmo:

    Here’s Digby linking to Pierce who links to McClatchy

    It IS creepy. Obama seems to be something of a control freak.

  133. 133
    kc says:

    @Lolis:

    I was irritated that Snowden tried to pretend that he thought Obama would fix things

    Did Snowden do that? I must have missed it.

    Doesn’t matter what Snowden thought anyway. We’re paying Booz Allen big bucks to spy on us. I guess a lot of us are cool with that.

  134. 134
    JGabriel says:

    Hal:

    And please stop comparing an upper middle class white man to 50′s civil rights pioneers or nelson Mandela. Dude is none of the above.

    I don’t think anyone’s comparing Snowden to Rosa Parks, per se; they just used Parks as an example of how activists seek out ways to call attention to their cause.

    .

  135. 135
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Steve Crickmore: Nope, I’m for prosecuting him for taking things that are secret and then giving them to other governments.

  136. 136
    The Other Chuck says:

    One of the panelists on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me had a great thing to say about the phone records: If the NSA is getting records of all my phone calls, I think the appropriate punishment is that they should be made to listen to all of them.

  137. 137
    jayjaybear says:

    I swear to Og Little Green Footballs is becoming the only blog I can stand to read anymore. Jesus…there’s more hair on fire here and at DKos than in twenty Michael Jackson Pepsi commercials…

  138. 138
    rda909 says:

    @kc: “In the meantime, maybe we could talk about the fact that we’re paying private contractors millions of dollars to spy on us?”

    Would love to. Don’t see why we need the Free Market ™ handling that aspect of national security at all. Why aren’t Glenn-duh the Good Snitch and his sidekick talking about that though, and instead going all Obummer is EVILLLLLLL? They seem to be missing the point they’re supposedly trying to make.

  139. 139
    kc says:

    @Svensker:

    We spy on them taking shits over there so we don’t have to fight them here.

  140. 140
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Socoolsofresh: I was actually tinkering with a front page piece on that topic, but the paying gig got in the way. Maybe later if I have time.

  141. 141
    ricky says:

    @lojasmo:

    How does posting or not posting a link leazd to or prevent jackalopism?

    (And the link was posted long ago.)

  142. 142
    kc says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Nope, I’m for prosecuting him for taking things that are secret and then giving them to other governments.

    According to half the posters here, they’re not secret. Why, anyone who is surprised by these revelations is an ignorant dumb-ass who’s had his head in the sand!

  143. 143

    @Lolis:
    I agree with your comment but one small quibble

    Obama in 2008 reversed his position on FISA courts

    Obama reversed his position on giving the telecom’s immunity from civil lawsuits. Bush did an end run around the FISA Court. (I wonder why?)

  144. 144
    LAC says:

    @Cacti: @John O: ummmm…they hired him to work in the NSA on behalf of US government- not play “guess what intel I have in my hand?” with China and Russia.

  145. 145
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jamick6000:

    One of the big revelations was that the DNI lied to congress.

    Links, please. I saw claims that the DNI had lied to Congress but no supporting evidence, and several claims made have been debunked (like the “blockbuster!” story about someone in intelligence lying to Congress when it turned out the congressman with the question had misunderstood what he had been told in the classified briefing).

  146. 146
    pokeyblow says:

    @LAC: Can’t help yourself. Too bad; self-control is an important attribute of the complete personality.

  147. 147
    lol says:

    What is spying but the act of blowing the whistle on surveillance of and to victimized nations?

  148. 148
    kc says:

    @rda909:

    Why aren’t Glenn-duh the Good Snitch and his sidekick talking about that though

    Dude, I don’t know; I don’t read Greenwald.

    Is Greenwald preventing anyone ELSE from talking about it?

  149. 149
    Laertes says:

    @kc:

    No, you don’t understand. It’s secret when it’s convenient for THEM, not when it’s convenient for you. It’s perfectly consistent, for a given definition of consistent.

  150. 150
    Another Bot Splainer says:

    This whole mess is just an operation to ratf*ck Obama. The ever changing stories and sometimes self debunking articles are clues.

  151. 151

    @Cacti: Oh, are we talking liberal heroes? Ok, then I place Snowden above George Carlin but below Bobby Kennedy. Except I don’t think Snowden is a liberal, does that complicate things?

  152. 152
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Kinda throws a big-ass crimp in the whole “hero” angle if this is true, yes?

    Only from your warped perspective as a Megabotsplainer.

    Jesus.

  153. 153
    lojasmo says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    Seems like good policy. Thanks for pointing it out.

  154. 154
    patroclus says:

    I just can’t decide whether a statue of Snowden deserves its place next to Frederick Douglass in Emancipation Hall or whether he should be lynched. It’s got to be one or the other…

  155. 155
    geg6 says:

    @Nutella:

    Actually these two attention whores have made such a big splash in the media that we are having a much more active discussion, in the media and in congress, than we had when other disclosures have come out. There’s some chance we can get what needs to be disclosed and discussed and legislated actually done now that more people are paying attention.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    I don’t know what media you’ve been consuming, but I have yet to see a discussion of the repeal of the Patriot Act, which is what is needed. And has anyone in the major media that is actually consumed by most Americans actually gotten a word of any of this story straight? And the House will just go along with getting rid of all domestic spying, right? And is that even a desirable outcome?

    I had all these discussions back in 2006. Seven years later, we still have the Patriot Act and the polling numbers for it are good enough that it could be elected POTUS. So, no, you may be having this discussion here and the Village may be discussing it, but in the real world, there will be as much discussion of this now as there was seven years ago. I, personally, have resigned myself to the fact that this is the way it is now, like it or not. What shocks me is how many people (even here, where I expect people to be a bit more informed) are claiming they had no idea this was happening. What doesn’t shock me is that I don’t a hear a peep about this from anyone who isn’t a political junkie.

  156. 156
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kc:

    According to half the posters here, they’re not secret. Why, anyone who is surprised by these revelations is an ignorant dumb-ass who’s had his head in the sand!

    I’m sure China already knew we were spying on them, just as we already knew they were spying on us. Still, it’s very useful for China to know the actual mechanisms and how we’re getting into their systems, don’t you think?

    ETA: By your standards, we shouldn’t have prosecuted Robert Hanssen for spying for the Russians because, hey, we already knew they were spying on us, so why get all upset when we find the guy who was doing it?

  157. 157
    lojasmo says:

    @ricky:

    I asked him/her to post the link in a previous thread. When he posted sans link in this thread…well.

  158. 158
    LAC says:

    @pokeyblow: shorter you: “How dare you use facts on me? You are mean…whaaaaaaaaaaaaa”

  159. 159
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @srv:

    If Assange/Wiki enticed Manning, then extradition proceedings need to start on Greenwald.

    lol. Freak.

  160. 160
    Cacti says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Oh, are we talking liberal heroes? Ok, then I place Snowden above George Carlin but below Bobby Kennedy. Except I don’t think Snowden is a liberal, does that complicate things?

    I don’t think he is either. Just speaking to the need of his almost entirely white hallelujah chorus to co-opt the African American experience by comparing him to everyone from civil rights pioneers to runaway slaves FFS.

  161. 161
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @SatanicPanic: Or Jesus Christ?

  162. 162
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Emma:

    we lost the possibility of actually talking about the problems.

    YOU did. Sane people carry on talking about them even as we speak…

  163. 163
    pokeyblow says:

    @LAC: Shorter pokeyblow: “LOL”

  164. 164
    ricky says:

    @Svensker:

    Yes, Obama “seems” to be something of a control freak.
    Seems he issued a dastardly Executive Order to the agencies in the branch he was elected to head telling them to keep better watch over the computer systems they maintain containing classified information since some low level enlisted grunt was able to become the biggest thing of his rank in the US Army since Elvis by releasing a boatload of such classified information.

  165. 165
    rda909 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Exactly. And for no particular reason, here’s Hanssen’s home for life:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.....orence_ADX

  166. 166
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Kathy in St. Louis:

    It happened the same day that Obama met with the leader of China, so it would appear that it was orchestrated to embarrass him and the U.S.government.

    HOW DARE THEY!

  167. 167
    kc says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    No, really . . . that would be a BRILLIANT PR move for the administration.

  168. 168
    Mandalay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    It should also be noted that Rosa Parks was willing to go to jail as part of her protest.

    Yes, Rosa Parks chose not to take the easy way out and board a plane to Hong Kong back in 1955!

    Great analogy.

  169. 169

    @Patricia Kayden: Awesome. Another apostle. I’ll take the Eastern church, you can have the Western one.

  170. 170
    Cacti says:

    While we’re on the subject of how Moscow Ed Snowden is like a braver version of runaway slaves…

    Can’t we get a thread on how unfair it is that Ice Cube can say the N-word but Paula Deen can’t?

  171. 171

    @The Other Chuck:

    Your most private information could end up in the hands of people like Edward Snowden.

    I don’t think he’s actually demonstrated even that much. One of the things I got out of this is that there are actually procedural safeguards that prevent the NSA from digging too deep without a warrant. I actually wonder if Snowden’s hasty departure wasn’t in part because he set off procedural alarms by trying to get information he shouldn’t have been- and in the actual event wasn’t- able to get.

  172. 172

    @Cacti: White liberal courage envy has been quite prominent lately. It is unfortunate that us white (in my case, whitish) libs don’t have a ton of physically courageous people we can look to. Maybe the Kennedys.

  173. 173
    pokeyblow says:

    @Roger Moore: Charles Pierce, among others, says the warrants you mention are rubber-stamps.

    Do you agree?

  174. 174
    Cacti says:

    @Mandalay:

    Yes, Rosa Parks chose not to take the easy way out and board a plane to Hong Kong back in 1955!

    MLK decided to stick around after the Klan dynamited his house. But he never had to worry about the Patriot Act.

  175. 175
    kc says:

    Well, I can see why we really need to cut food stamp allotments.

    Spying on every single human on the planet can’t be cheap. How many Snowdens are getting paid 6 figures a year to do this shit?

  176. 176
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @lojasmo: I have, but here is the link again:

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/201.....ks-as.html

  177. 177
    Mandalay says:

    @Cacti:

    Just speaking to the need of his almost entirely white hallelujah chorus to co-opt the African American experience by comparing him to everyone from civil rights pioneers to runaway slaves FFS

    I haven’t noticed that, but I have noticed that Snowden’s detractors keep comparing Snowden to people such as Rosa Parks and MLK with absurd strawman arguments. It’s happening on this thread.

  178. 178
    pokeyblow says:

    @kc: How many Cheneys are getting paid 7 or 8 figures running the companies selling those services to the government?

  179. 179
    Lavocat says:

    This only makes Snowden even more of a hero, BUT WITH FAR BIGGER BALLS!

    Stick it to the man, mofo!

  180. 180
    burnspbesq says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Sane people carry on talking about them even as we speak…

    Perhaps, but how would you know, since you’re excluded?

  181. 181
    LAC says:

    @Mandalay: Joel says:
    June 24, 2013 at 3:42 pm
    I’m kind of in the middle on Snowden, but it should be noted that Rosa Parks was sitting in the front of the bus as a provocation against unjust policy, not simply because she was tired. That’s what activists do. Just because they’re motivated by activism doesn’t make their actions less heroic.

    **************************
    Yes, those Snowden “detractors”…bad Snowden “detractors”!

  182. 182
    kc says:

    @pokeyblow:

    Didn’t Nancy Pelosi make a point this weekend about the CEO of Booz Allen working for Booz Allen, then jumping to the NSA, then jumping back to Booz Allen?

  183. 183
    Lavocat says:

    I mean, think it through.

    A guy who the media likes to pillory as “having only a GED” just brought down the house of fucking cards that is our surveillance state – perhaps all because he was merely pissed off that the system seemed rigged to him.

    Better yet, I would LOVE it if it turned out that he did this whole thing based on a beer bet or some such shit.

    Shit, I feel like signing my week’s wages over to this big-balled wunderkind.

    DAMN!

  184. 184
    NR says:

    @kc:

    Doesn’t matter what Snowden thought anyway. We’re paying Booz Allen big bucks to spy on us. I guess a lot of us are cool with that.

    You need to understand the prevailing political philosophy around here. I can sum it up for you in two sentences:

    If Obama does it, it’s good.

    If Obama does it, I support it.

    The end.

  185. 185

    And as has been noted elsewhere, it makes Glenn Greenwald’s earlier quote that he started talking with Snowden back in February all the more suspicious, since Snowden didn’t start working at Booz until March.

    At least, that’s what I read on the interboobz.

  186. 186
    Cacti says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    White liberal courage envy has been quite prominent lately. It is unfortunate that us white (in my case, whitish) libs don’t have a ton of physically courageous people we can look to. Maybe the Kennedys.

    Well, the founding generation took very real risks to their lives and property by attaching their names to the declaration of independence.

    Had they been like Ed Snowden, John Hancock would have been on board the first ship to France.

    Patrick Henry would have said “give me liberty, or I’ll hide out in a foreign nation!”

  187. 187
    pokeyblow says:

    @kc: Not sure, but that sort of thing always happens, and it’s a scandal.

    If you’re trolling me about Nancy Pelosi, by the way, I never said she does nothing right.

  188. 188
    ricky says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    If you cover the Mc Clatchy “bombshell” I hope you skip the part where they prove how bad this “new” two year old Obama administration program is by saying it might lead to the kind of group think we had in the CIA ten years ago. Before we had the new program.

  189. 189
    Knockabout says:

    Trolling Zandar is trolling hard.

    Snowden’s reasons are 100% irrelevant. The bad guys in this scenario remain “anyone in either party moronic enough to still believe Obama is a liberal.”

  190. 190
    kc says:

    @pokeyblow:

    I’m not trolling you at all. I think I mostly agree with you on this.

  191. 191
    Hal says:

    @pokeyblow: I think legality discussions are ultimately pointless. Rubber stamps or not if procedures were followed arguing you acted legally isn’t difficult. The real question to me is should it be legal and if so how many checks and balances should we have when systems like this are in use?

  192. 192
    pokeyblow says:

    @kc: Just asking because I spent an entire thread yesterday bitching that Nancy Pelosi took “impeachment off the table” for Bush.

    In the good old days, before we were all ordered to look forward only.

  193. 193
    LAC says:

    @NR: The other prevailing philosophy: Obama did something bad – I don’t know what it is, but I am sooooooooooooo mad. I am stomping off to remove my (imaginary) Obama sticker……… wait, congressional action is needed? Noooooo! Brain hurts….obama still bad and it doesn’t matter who is in charge. Comparisons to totalitarian state and hit the bottle hard…

    ….and scene.

  194. 194
    Another Bot Splainer says:

    @jayjaybear: Aint it the truth.

  195. 195
    pokeyblow says:

    @Hal: I just thought I’d ask Roger since it seemed like the “warrant” component gave him comfort.

  196. 196
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Lavocat:

    A guy who the media likes to pillory as “having only a GED” just brought down the house of fucking cards that is our surveillance state…

    Did I miss the big yard sale at Ft. Meade?

  197. 197

    @Cacti: We’d have to wrestle those guys back from the right, which might be worth it.

  198. 198
    Mandalay says:

    @Lavocat:

    A guy who the media likes to pillory as “having only a GED”

    It’s not just the media. Several BJ posters have openly sneered at his lack of education.

    The Snowden issue has certainly opened my eyes to the true (ugly) nature of some of the folks who post here.

  199. 199
    kc says:

    @pokeyblow:

    Oh, I actually missed that. Well, I’d disagree with you on THAT issue. ;)

  200. 200
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Please stop saying that Rosa Parks is more awesome than Edward Snowden.

    Just don’t.

    I mean…I don’t even, I can’t even…

    Full stop.

  201. 201
    ricky says:

    @lojasmo:

    Sorry. Two threads and no links is clearly insensitive, and jackalopes are nothing if not the most insincere beasts on our once barbed wire free range.

    And I do find mythical beast invocations as useful in blog commentary as mythical movie character invocations by anonymous DOD officials in McClatchy bombshells.

  202. 202
    rda909 says:

    @kc: Obviously you and I are, and are many other people who know how the Obama Administration has already greatly reduced private contract spending by the DoD:

    “In the years 2008 to 2011 there was a profound shift in DoD contract spending. While absolute obligations for defense services contracts declined by $25 billion and dropped from 64 percent of total DoD acquisition outlays to 55 percent,…However, anticipated reductions in defense spending beginning in 2012 will likely affect all DoD outlays in the coming years.”
    http://csis.org/files/publicat.....g_Web2.pdf

    (Much of what was going to private contractors was and is shifting back into regular military operations, just as President Obama pledged.)

    “The White House recently announced a goal of reducing service contracting by 15 percent (), and then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates called for a reduction in contractors in August 2010.
    “We view it as a success” when the Secretary of Defense urges similar changes as the watchdog groups, Freeman said. It is not clear yet where the new secretary, Leon Panetta, will stand on the issue. “Our hope is that he will continue where Gates left off, further eliminating overspending on service contractors and saving taxpayers money,” Freeman said.” (which Panetta carried on)
    http://nationalsecurityzone.or.....-spending/

    But Snowdenwald can come out of nowhere with false claims and dominate the media for days and weeks. I’d much rather have people talking about private contractor spending by the military too, and then there would be enough public support to continue and accelerate the great work the Obama Administration has already done on this issue. Instead we’re left with yet more “Obama SUX” 24/7 and spies on you through the IRS and spies on journalists supposedly and so on.

  203. 203
    Jasmine Bleach says:

    Kinda throws a big-ass crimp in the whole “hero” angle if this is true, yes?

    Umm. Why, exactly? Snowden revealed details of one (or more) of the biggest un-constitutional programs the government has instituted.

    So, he took the job to steal the secrets so he could reveal them? The programs are still illegal according to the constitution. Good on him!

  204. 204
    Hal says:

    @Mandalay: I think the GED comments cut both ways. I’ve seen comments from people praising Snowden because OMG he only has a GED and look what he’s done. There is a certain disdain for lack of certain education credentials from many people. I agree it shouldn’t be a focus.

  205. 205

    What this thread demonstrates yet again, is that the civil liberties progressives think that civil rights is minor league stuff while their obsession with bullshit is the moral center of the universe

  206. 206
    gelfling545 says:

    I’d say his motivations to matter to the extent that one wonders whether he was manipulated or coaxed into this action by anyone and if so by whom. Since he has looked like a deer in the headlights in every picture I’ve seen of him, I have wondered. I have also wondered if he was fed a line of bull like they’d never dare prosecute him, he’ll be a hero, etc. I don’t know, I just wonder because the things he’s actually saying don’t make him sound like he thought this whole thing through and I end up feeling a bit sorry for him more than anything

    I have also been under the impression in regards criminal law that admitting that you gained access to premises for the sole purpose of committing theft was not a smart line to take. That among other moves – giving information to China comes to mind – have maybe not been the best course to take and if the legal people supposedly advising him are letting him do that I wonder about that too.

  207. 207
    Socoolsofresh says:

    I know this will pain you, but Greenwald explains the timeline, and it doesn’t look like any aiding and abetting took place:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....velations/

  208. 208
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I’m afraid I’m not getting the point. He’s a bad guy because he went after the information instead of stumbling upon it? He’d be more moral if he stumbled upon it? Doesn’t make much sense to me.

  209. 209
    pokeyblow says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: I think you understand the argument as well as it is understandable.

  210. 210
    Cardus says:

    @Shakezula:

    Picked up by the clearance process???

    He had the clearance granted long before he was employed at Booz…

  211. 211
    Joe Buck says:

    So evidently he was so motivated to blow the lid off of the abuses of the security state that he took a pay cut to get a position where he could get the dirt. If you think that this should make us think worse of him, perhaps you’re confused.

    Speculation about whether such a revelation was a smart move doesn’t impress me. If Snowden is captured, he will be sent to solitary confinement. The justification will be that this is to prevent him from revealing more secrets; the fact that long-term solitary confinement causes brain damage will be ignored by the defenders of the security-at-all-costs state.

  212. 212
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @pokeyblow:

    Well, that settles that. I’m still working on “If he doesn’t go to jail, everything he did doesn’t count, anti-quitsies no backsies.”

  213. 213
    pokeyblow says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: I think what he did doesn’t count now. It would have counted five years ago, and might count again in another four.

    Right now, though, he should be suicided.

  214. 214
    Cardus says:

    To clarify, the only reason Snowden would be hired by a company like Booz Allen, despite a crappy-ish resume (no college?) was that he brought a very rare clearance level along with him (granted, I’m sure, when he was a CIA/NSA employee).

    BAH had a staff slot to filled that required A) a full-scope poly clearance and B) in-demand IT skills. Those two factors are what drive the $122k salary as well. Having a polygraph clearance, especially fullscope, is a license for young morons like Snowden to print money….

  215. 215
    LAC says:

    @Socoolsofresh: I know this will pain you but it is a lot of gobbedy-gook that doesn’t explain his tweet about working Snowden before he went to Booz Allen nor does it cover the stench of Snowden running away. Oh, yeah, just some nobody rang him up and said “hey ya want a scoop?” He also claimed earlier that his source was a reader that he had been in touch with.

    But it is self-serving and along with his bromance appearance on Chris Hayes foundering show tonight, CYA seems to be on his mind, as usual…so congrats on being a lemming.

  216. 216
    Betty Cracker says:

    @ricky: After reading through this entire thread, I’m thinking, ah, fuck it.

  217. 217
    ruemara says:

    hmm, I just got blocked on the twitters for asking one of our vaunted media betters if it wasn’t fair to ask the question of influence if, as stated by both GG & Snowden, they started talking prior to Snowden taking a job at Booz. First I was told I was inventing connections and acts. When I pointed out I was referencing their own statements, he said I was a troll and blocked me. You do have to wonder why the same people who decry a security state and say we should be free to ask questions, turn authoritarian when you ask them a question.

  218. 218
    Emma says:

    @John O: Actually, the problem is that he has made himself the problem.

  219. 219
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @LAC: Um, gobbedy-gook? Snowden contacted him without giving his name, they set up a encryption system which wasn’t in place until May. This is when Greenwald found out who he was. I think that makes sense. He can contact him and know he was a reader without knowing who he is.

    Ya, but I must be a lemming because I’m not willing to immediately dismiss anything Greenwald says as a complete lie. But if that what passes for a lemming by you authoritarian Democrats, I’ll take it.

  220. 220
    PopeRatzo says:

    He’s not a hero, but we’re better off for having the stuff he’s exposed aired out and discussed.

    Well, I guess that kind of does make him a hero, at least a little bit.

    We need to ask ourselves if we’d be reacting the same way to him if he had made these revelations during a Romney Administration. I’m guessing that in if that were the case we’d be carrying him around on our shoulders.

    And I don’t give a shit if he’s a glibertarian. I’m a little more concerned that progressives are suddenly falling over themselves making excuses for a police state. Do you really want to come down on the side of ubiquitous surveillance? Secret courts? Secret laws?

    I’ve even heard some so-called progressives coming down on Glenn Greenwald for writing about Snowden’s revelations, in the most homophobic and ugly ways. Just because teabaggers hate the government doesn’t mean that by contrast we have to love and embrace every stinking thing it does.

  221. 221
    ricky says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    That’s the kind of group non-think that caused down on their luck Russians royals to let us steal their superbowl state of Alaska for a song.

  222. 222
    kc says:

    @PopeRatzo:

    I don’t give a shit if he’s a glibertarian. I’m a little more concerned that progressives are suddenly falling over themselves making excuses for a police state. Do you really want to come down on the side of ubiquitous surveillance? Secret courts? Secret laws?

    Bizarre, isn’t it?

  223. 223
    piratedan says:

    @Knockabout: your poni is waiting for you over at customer relations….

    and because you’re zombie bullshit apparently won’t die without another stake thru its skull

    ACA passed, why? because there weren’t enough votes for single payer, so he took what he could get and made it happen despite the Republican Party losing it’s ever loving mind considering it was their answer to the dreaded Clinton Health Plan and a media complicit on page clicks and short on actual dissemination on what was in it.

    Lily Ledbetter, passed… you know that women are people too and should be paid the same nvm that Texas is trying to nullify it now

    DADT, gone…. AFAIK our way of life continues post implementation

    IRAQ, left….

    Afghanistan, leaving

    GITMO, still open, but it’s not like he didn’t try

    Auto Industry, rescued and damn little thanks for it apparently

    Stimulus passed, while not perfect, was better than nothing which was the R game plan

    Bush Tax Cuts rescinded, but fainting couch sales went up

    President comes out in favor of Same Sex marriage….

    President attempts to get new gun safety passed…

    He’s also the guy who put IN checks and balances to the Patriot Act (feel free to state that they aren’t enough and I’ll raise you a presidential Board on civil liberties oversight)

    so what the FUCK do you want from this corporatist tool?

  224. 224
    Knockabout says:

    @Betty Cracker: Your response is the precise reason why we have a surveillance state today.

    At any point the President can declare YOU an enemy of the state…but F it, right?

    Guess what millions of liberals are going to say to the surveillance state-enabling Democrats in 2014 and 2016?

    F it, right?

  225. 225
    NR says:

    @Cacti: Right, I forgot. The Founding Fathers surrendered to King George right after the Declaration of Independence.

    This concludes your official Obot history lesson for the day.

  226. 226
    NR says:

    @LAC:

    Obama did something bad – I don’t know what it is,

    We know exactly what it is. His NSA spied on American citizens.

    Nice try, though.

  227. 227
    Liberty60 says:

    Its maddeningly stupid to ponder if Snowden is a “hero” or “Traitor”. Go ahead, call him either, or both, it doesn’t change what the surveillance state is doing.

    I agree that we need to be careful not to get carried away with hyperbole and Godwining; No, Obama isn’t history’s greatest monster (that privilege belongs to a certain Georgia peanut farmer); and no, we are not just like East Germany;

    But something IS wrong- and I would like to think that liberals are the first ones to zealously protect civil liberties.

    And yes, its infuriating to see the same rightwingers who called us traitors from 2004-2009, now discovering their inner civil libertarian. And yes, there are plenty of flawed actors in the bunch- Greenwald, Snowden, etc.

    But when has it ever been different? Does anyone think that the anti-war protestors weren’t filled with idotic distractions, drama queens, and inside agendas?

    Something is wrong with how our government is behaving– and no criticism of the people involved will wash that away.

  228. 228
    Knockabout says:

    @piratedan: I’d like my civil liberties back.

    I’d like to not be the most unequal country as far as income goes in the developed world.

    I’d like something to be done on climate change.

    Most of all, I’d like stupid enabling morons to stop making excuses for this conservative president.

  229. 229
    Emma says:

    From the LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/news/wo.....1329.story

    Russia has eagerly joined a conspiracy of silence around Snowden to protect his life and security, said Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of the National Defense monthly journal. Korotchenko said he is sure that if Snowden is still in Moscow, he is talking to the FSB, the Federal Security Service, the intelligence agency that is the successor to the Soviet KGB.

    Now I’m hoping to God the poor bastard is on his way to Ecuador or wherever…

  230. 230
    Wayne t says:

    I grow more confused of this story by the day. There are some basic red flags that keep me puzzled. Greenwald apparently deletes tweets when new information contradicts him, that’s weird. He originally said snowden worked for NSA since 2009, that’s incorrect. He didn’t seem to understand or verify some of the claims he was making based on the slides he first revealed. They were pretty quickly debunked and then he just kept shifting the blame. He acts like a 12 yearold kid constantly getting into twitter wars. His behavior is very odd. I’m not a GG hater or lover, but it keeps giving me second thoughts about what is really going on.

    I’m starting to think the Snowden/Greenwald/Assange trinity is doing a lot more damage and will prevent actually getting some real oversight/change to our surveillance overreach. Now everything is getting discounted as the fantasies of absolutists reliving a never-ending episode of Alias.

    I’m just confused by this whole thing…. The one thing that seems pretty clear that just like with war, if you create a profit center for private contractors the surveillance state will only keep growing.

  231. 231
    piratedan says:

    @Knockabout: yup, missing your poni still….feel free to donate to the Dennis Kucinich for President fund, he can be found working for Fox, I’m sorry that Nader hasn’t left a forwarding address.

  232. 232
    Emma says:

    @Liberty60: Something is wrong with how our government is behaving. Actually, the current government returned to the checks and balances that the Bush government had ignored.

    Having said that, you’re right. But you’re looking at the wrong branch.

    It is Congress’ duty to pass laws for the benefit of the country. What we have now is a Congress that passes laws only when it has to, whose primary job seems to be “screwing the President’s agenda no matter what.” Even in those days where Democrats had a so-called Majority, the Blue Dogs seemed to be more interested in obstructing than helping. The Conservatives seem to be fixated in legislating us back to the 16th century. Add to that the fact that they react more to campaign contributions than anything else, and we have a real, real problem.

  233. 233
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’m still waiting for someone to link to any updated stories that show Snowden was telling the truth about domestic (US citizen) surveillance. Both the Washington Post and the Guardian have “updated” or “edited” their original stories about that because Snowden’s claims weren’t checking out. Snowden himself has changed his story from domestic (US citizen) surveillance to being upset about foreign (non-US) surveillance of countries like — surprise! — China and Russia.

    Anyone have updated information on the domestic spying claims? Anyone? Bueller? Or is it all just accepted as The TROOF! now with no proof required?

  234. 234
    Cacti says:

    @NR:

    Right, I forgot. The Founding Fathers surrendered to King George right after the Declaration of Independence

    Nope, they all ran away and never returned to avoid the possibility of negative consequence.

    Wait no, that was Jesus H. MLK Snowden.

  235. 235
    Another Bot Splainer says:

    @Mnemosyne: Thank you.

  236. 236
    NR says:

    Meanwhile, in the realm of Shit That Actually Matters, we have this:

    Even before a former U.S. intelligence contractor exposed the secret collection of Americans’ phone records, the Obama administration was pressing a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report their suspicions.

    President Barack Obama’s unprecedented initiative, known as the Insider Threat Program, is sweeping in its reach. It has received scant public attention even though it extends beyond the U.S. national security bureaucracies to most federal departments and agencies nationwide, including the Peace Corps, the Social Security Administration and the Education and Agriculture departments. It emphasizes leaks of classified material, but catchall definitions of “insider threat” give agencies latitude to pursue and penalize a range of other conduct.

    But of course, this isn’t what we should be talking about. No, what we should be talking about is that Glenn Greenwald deleted some tweets, and Snowden boarded a plane in Russia. Those are absolutely the most important things and the only things that matter.

    Thank god we have the Obot brigade to let us know what’s really important.

  237. 237
    gelfling545 says:

    @Roger Moore: This, to my mind is the real heroism of civil disobedience – the willingness to bear the consequences. We’d all be brave if there were no repercussions.

  238. 238

    What I’m really tired of is being told what I have to believe to be a liberal/progressive/leftist. So I just call myself a Democrat and let the petty doctrine officers police each other.

  239. 239
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @NR: Ya, people here already came up with their own excuses to explain away why this isn’t important. Betty Cracker said she was going to post about it, but then decided, it wasn’t worth it, cause, I dunno, encouraging government employees to snitch on each other and turn their workplace into a paranoid hellhole is not that important.

  240. 240

    @Socoolsofresh:So true. The last thing we want is to prevent, for example, right-to-life zealots from providing information about Fed terrorism investigations to abortion doctor killers. That would be Authoritarian and Not Freedom. We want not total transparency, but all the information fed employees and contractors decide to publish! That’s principled and stuff.

  241. 241
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @rootless (@root_e): Never said anything of the sort, but if you want to be all about the straw man fallacy with some slippery slope thrown in, go for it.

  242. 242

    @Knockabout: Oh you’re right — for want of a post at a blog called Balloon Juice, the US was transformed into East Germany. Christ on a cracker. I said “fuck it,” because the issue was being pretty well thrashed out in this thread. But you’ve changed my mind, or at least the pronoun: Fuck YOU.

  243. 243
  244. 244
    AHH onna Droid says:

    @Hal: While I am grateful for the job I have and dont think a persons worth is measured in academic honors, I understand the anger and envy expressed by those in this brutal economy who busted their ass in school and in career development and would be happy with half of what he was given but can’t even get their foot in the door. It seems unfair and it is unfair. The anger against Snowden is mostly misdirected but he does seem to exaggerate and self-aggrandize so to the extent that hes been deceitful hes earned that anger.

  245. 245
    AnonPhenom. says:

    “Kinda throws a big-ass crimp in the whole “hero” angle if this is true, yes?”
    Let us know when you find out what kind of countertops he had in his kitchen. M’kay?

  246. 246
    Waysel says:

    @Betty Cracker: I believe I get what you’re sayin’.

  247. 247
    Rex Everything says:

    Andrew Sullivan is a dildo.

  248. 248
    AHH onna Droid says:

    @rootless (@root_e): Fauxgressives. Or naecissists, embarrassed Republicans…

  249. 249
    MikeBoyScout says:

    I suppose at 244 comments it has already been said, but if anyone is looking for a hero you can stop looking.
    Snowden is not the next MLK.
    Obama is not the next Mandella.
    And Boehner is lucky to be able to tie his shoes.

    You don’t get heroes, no matter how hard you wish or how much we all deserve one. That’s the movies folks.

    Snowden did you and me a service. He reminded us that we’ve (yes, WE) allowed our government to run off the rails all in the name of “safety”.

    The imperfect vessel that is Eric Snowden does not come into being unless and until we created a government of secrets.
    Get over him.
    Get on to busting your ass to fix what is broken.

    /end rant.

  250. 250
    different-church-lady says:

    @Liberty60:

    (that privilege belongs to a certain Georgia peanut farmer)

    If that wasn’t a tell, there’s no such thing as a tell.

  251. 251
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NR:

    Even before a former U.S. intelligence contractor exposed the secret collection of Americans’ phone records, the Obama administration was pressing a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report their suspicions.

    So, just to be clear, you are A-OK with US government employees taking confidential information from the system and giving it to whoever they want in the name of “freedom.”

    John Connolly must be one of your heroes. After all, by giving Whitey Bulger FBI information on Bulger’s enemies, Connolly was sticking it to the MAN! Information wants to be free!

  252. 252
    gogol's wife says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Yeah, what was THAT about?

  253. 253
    Another Bot Splainer says:

    @Betty Cracker: @Betty Cracker: Right on!

  254. 254
    taylormattd says:

    @jamick6000: you’re either a liar or stupid, perhaps both

  255. 255
    LAC says:

    @Betty Cracker: thank you. They are like a tag team made up of a bag of dicks.

  256. 256
    different-church-lady says:

    So: go at things with a pre-determined conclusion. Seek out a job you think will allow you to prove your conclusion. Grab a bunch of documents you’re sure prove your pre-determined conclusion. Give them to another guy who shares your pre-determined conclusion. Blast them out to the world with heavy coatings of pre-determined conclusion veneer.

    Yeah… exactly how a “whistleblower” behaves.

  257. 257
    Liberty60 says:

    @Emma: You are correct in every accusation you level at Congress, but it is also true that even a with Democratic supermajority in Congress, the NSA would still be doing exactly what it is doing.

    There isn’t a strong (enough) caucus of civil libertarians who are willing to get angry and demand to know exactly what is going on. If it takes flawed actors with their own petty and stupid agendas to get this going, then so be it.

    And as I said upthread, all political movements are messy, and filled with all sorts of distracting sideshows of vanity and hidden agendas.
    There are no spontaneous uprisings of the proletariat, there are very few if any selfless noble hearos who just happen to be standing at the barricades; politics is changed by determined operatives who are as often as not vainglorious and filled with themselves.

  258. 258

    So when the Chinese Premier/President/WhatHaveYou comes to America, Snowden is spilling his guts about America spying on China. Then Obama sees Merkel and he’s spilling his guts about the US spying on Germany.

    Does anyone not think that the Germans and Chinese and every other country in the world is spying on us and each other?

    My point is if Snowden wanted to reveal the intelligence community’s deepest secrets, it seems synchronized to make Obama look bad. Does anyone really think that Obama has any real control over the intelligence community?

    The more that Snowden globetrots the more he looks like he’s an agent on a mission to destabilize Obama.

    The other thing I notice is that various voices in the Wurlitzer keep referring to this scandal as if it’s all Obama’s doing. It’s Obama who is personally prosecuting Snowden, it’s Obama who is going through IRS files. Please.

  259. 259
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Betty Cracker: Yeah, it was thrashed out, into becoming, surprise, surprise no big deal! Nothing to see here folks!

  260. 260
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @LAC: Nice, cut to name calling! It hurts so much! Love the reasoned discussion on here.

  261. 261
    different-church-lady says:

    @piratedan: I’ve seen progressive laundry list criticism aplenty, but this is the first time I’ve seen a pre-emptive rebuttal to a progressive laundry list criticism .

  262. 262
    Liberty60 says:

    @gogol’s wife: You mean it isn’t a truth universally acknowledged, that Jimmy Carter was History’s Greatest Monster?

  263. 263

    @Liberty60: It’s not just that there isn’t a strong enough caucus of civil libertarians. Our country fundamentally changed fifty years ago when the President was shot in broad daylight. Our foreign policy is now controlled by our military and intelligence services and their corporate allies. That spills over into the drug war (E. Howard Hunt did the initial staffing for the DEA and filled it with his CIA cronies), into the war on terror and all the other things we’ve militarized over the last half century.

  264. 264
    NR says:

    @Mnemosyne: Reading is fundamental:

    President Barack Obama’s unprecedented initiative, known as the Insider Threat Program, is sweeping in its reach. It has received scant public attention even though it extends beyond the U.S. national security bureaucracies to most federal departments and agencies nationwide, including the Peace Corps, the Social Security Administration and the Education and Agriculture departments. It emphasizes leaks of classified material, but catchall definitions of “insider threat” give agencies latitude to pursue and penalize a range of other conduct.

    I’ve bolded some things to make it easier for you. Try actually reading and comprehending before replying next time so you don’t look like quite as big an idiot.

  265. 265
    Liberty60 says:

    @different-church-lady:
    Objective and noble truth-telling is almost never a goal of whistleblowers..

    I’m not sure why it should be. If it turns out the guys who leaked tobacco company documents were really just disgruntled employees passed over for promotion, would your opinion change?

  266. 266

    @Socoolsofresh: ” I dunno, encouraging government employees to snitch on each other and turn their workplace into a paranoid hellhole is not that important.”

    Do you want every government employee/contractor with access to any information to have latitude to publish it or not?

  267. 267
    Emma says:

    @Liberty60: I agree with you in that there isn’t a caucus of civil libertarians. More, there is a consensus among the citizenry that giving up “freedom” is ok if it keeps you “safe.” Poll after poll after poll shows it. The Conservatives and their allies have spent decades scaring Americans to death. Moving that needle back is going to take around the same amount of time — if we’re lucky.

  268. 268
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @rootless (@root_e): This is not the main issue, it is more that even if one hasn’t actually leaked information, their co-employee is encouraged to spy on them and determine under a broad range of what constitutes high risk behavior. So, you don’t like said employee, why not tell your superiors that you suspect he might be high risk cause you heard that he was going through marriage problems. Superiors have to report it or they get in trouble. Now this guy is a suspect and he hasn’t done anything, except get in an argument with his wife. And no, he isn’t working at the NSA or military, he’s just an employee of the department of education. Not really the most encouraging workplace environment. But if you are cool with that, I guess that is how you feel.

  269. 269
    Liberty60 says:

    @Emma:
    This is why it is so important that there be progressive pushback against Obama on this.

    Most ordinary (non-political junkies) Americans understand, I think, that Obama is about as progressive on civil liberties as political winds will allow- nobody, for instance, really thinks that Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum is even one bit more supportive of privacy.

    But things change! Which political party will earn the reputation for being trusted on privacy and civil liberty?
    If the progressive movement falls lockstep into embracing the arguments of the NSA, we will have a hard time later trying to explain in 2017 why President Santorum’s IntraVaginal Surveillance Camera Program is a bad idea.

    Its one thing to be pragmatic, and go along with the political winds you can’t change- its another to fail to seize the moment of public uncertainty to point a different path. Right now everyone in Amereica is talking about this, and unsettled- this is the moment that progressives have been waiting for, to get the average low info voter angry about the Security State.
    If public opinion is strong enough, the 2016 candidates will fall into line. At least the ones who read Nate Silver.

  270. 270
    different-church-lady says:

    @Liberty60:

    Objective and noble truth-telling is almost never a goal of whistleblowers..

    Man… I was thinking you were at denial, but I see you’ve already leap-frogged to bargaining.

  271. 271
    Emma says:

    @Liberty60: All right, I’ll play seriously. What steps do we take? What kind of political pushback is possible? Because I’ve got to tell you, you overestimate who’s talking about this.

    The Paula Deen story is bigger than this with the average american.

  272. 272
    Another Bot Splainer says:

    @Socoolsofresh: I notice all your concerns are hypotheticals. The actual regulations for Civil Service employees are laws. There is due process and union representation. This is a nothing burger.

    Let me tell you working for the feds sucks right now. And you think this is the worst? Shit, every Republican in Congress wants to cut the pay and benefits of every worker. They are continually demonized by everyone and are losing money due the sequestration and furloughs.

    Get a grip, the Republicans are the worst thing about this country, but eveything sucks, because Obama.

  273. 273
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NR:

    So you’re A-OK with a disgruntled Social Security Administration employee publishing everyone’s name and SSN, right? After all, it’s not like that information needs to be “private” or “confidential.”

  274. 274

    @Socoolsofresh: So “my co-worker at Dept. of Education is an anti-gay bigot who may be considering sending information about the filers of bullying complaints to his dominianist church” – fascism?

  275. 275
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Does anyone not think that the Germans and Chinese and every other country in the world is spying on us and each other?

    Snowden claims it was a shock and a surprise to him when he discovered that the US was spying on other countries. But I think it’s already been established that he’s a pretty special snowflake.

  276. 276
    Liberty60 says:

    @Emma:
    Obama has won his last election.

    Progressives are free to criticize him from the left. “Criticize” doesn’t mean asserting false equivalency, or making a pact with the rightwing, but why can’t we find a champion who will introduce bills to limit spying and data collection? Even if they go nowhere, we have the power to define ourselves, and make “progressive” synonymous with concern for civil liberty.

    The sweat of fear is fading away- notice how fewer and fewer people are buying the “Commander in Chief of a NATION AT WAR!” stuff anymore? It is madness to embrace the National Security argument, just as it is losing traction.

    The biggest disaster that could befall progressives is for the rightwing to suddenly seize the 4th Amendment as the companion to the 2nd, and paint us as the party of Stalinists.

    Already you can see the arguments being made, that the Gummint snoops and regulators are the bad guys, that spying on Americans can be destroyed by eliminating the EPA and EEOC.

    When the Amerivcan people become more afraid of NSA spying than Al Quaida, which political party will they turn to?

  277. 277
    Another Bot Splainer says:

    @Liberty60: Exactly so why do you think this Snowedem stuff is being done? To ratf*ck the Democrats.

  278. 278
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Liberty60:

    If the progressive movement falls lockstep into embracing the arguments of the NSA, we will have a hard time later trying to explain in 2017 why President Santorum’s IntraVaginal Surveillance Camera Program is a bad idea.

    Uh-huh. Because heroic libertarian Rand Paul and other libertarians have been pushing back so hard against the uterine surveillance laws they passed in places like Virginia, totally defending women against unwarranted medical meddling. I’m sure Reason magazine devoted an entire issue to what a horrendous civil liberties infringement it is to force women to have vaginal ultrasounds before an abortion.

    Sorry, pull the other one. The day libertarians give a shit about anything regarding women’s rights will be the day I get to build a snow fort in Hell. They’ll pass that law while screeching about “government intrusion into our liberties” and the avowed civil libertarians won’t give a shit any more than they gave about vaginal ultrasounds.

  279. 279
    different-church-lady says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Snowden claims it was a shock and a surprise to him when he discovered that the US was spying on other countries.

    “Yeah, I mean, when I went after that job to prove my suspicions that the US government spies on its own citizens, it never ever occurred to me they might spy on other countries!! Jeez, how long has that been going on for?”

  280. 280
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Liberty60:

    “Criticize” doesn’t mean asserting false equivalency, or making a pact with the rightwing, but why can’t we find a champion who will introduce bills to limit spying and data collection?

    You may need to review US Government 101 if you think the president is able to introduce bills to limit spying.

    I have no problem with you going out and finding that heroic congressperson or senator who’s willing to sponsor those bills. I will mock you if you’re under the impression that it’s the job of the president to sponsor those bills.

  281. 281
    MikeBoyScout says:

    @255 different-church-lady: Right. Obtaining super duper secret evidence that supports one’s hypothesis is some sort of sciencey thing.

    Snowden should have obtained evidence that did not support his “pre-determined conclusion” as well and given it all to David Gregory and then the unicorn would have farted a rainbow.

    jeebus

  282. 282
    sparky says:

    @Cacti:

    You may remove your finger from Mandy’s eye anytime, now.

  283. 283
    NR says:

    @Mnemosyne: You’re just flat-out making shit up now. Are you bots really that desperate?

  284. 284
    scott says:

    I. Don’t. Care. Whether. This Guy. Is a Hero. Refreshing to see that the tactics used against Ellsberg 40 years ago (is he crazy or just a traitor?) to distract attention from the substance of the disclosures is alive and well, among so-called progressives and liberals. On a twitter feed today, I read that given the reactions we’ve seen on the so-called left, the movie “All the President’s Men” would be remade this time with Nixon as the hero and Woodstein as the villains. Jesus Christ.

  285. 285
    scott says:

    I. Don’t. Care. Whether. This Guy. Is a Hero. Refreshing to see that the tactics used against Ellsberg 40 years ago (is he crazy or just a traitor?) to distract attention from the substance of the disclosures is alive and well, among so-called progressives and liberals. On a twitter feed today, I read that given the reactions we’ve seen on the so-called left, the movie “All the President’s Men” would be remade this time with Nixon as the hero and Woodstein as the villains. Jesus Christ.

  286. 286
    Emma says:

    @Liberty60: You still haven’t given me specifics. Like… who in Congress can introduce that measure? There are maybe two who are interested in the issue. Ok, say one does.

    How do we spread the word? It can’t be through the MSM. They will cover it as an “uprising against Obama.” And/or “are democrats soft on defense?” Other than the usual suspects (Rachel, et al) we’re screwed there. What kind of organization do we set up? How? ok, say we do.

    Next, lobby Congress. Who do we target? Who would be willing to risk their career? How do we square the circle?

    It’s a given that the bill will fail. How do we keep the momentum going for the next time?

    These are all necessary steps in a political campaign. Obama got elected because it had Obama, who, whatever anyone may say, is charismatic as all hell, and to some extent after eight years of the Shrub we would have elected a ham sandwich. We’ll have to swim against the current political and social culture.

  287. 287
    different-church-lady says:

    @MikeBoyScout: Well, certainly explains why the ‘THE DOCUMENTS THE DOCUMENTS THE DOCUMENTS THE DOCUMENTS!’ didn’t quite say what Snowdenwald said.

  288. 288
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Another Bot Splainer: I love how the thinking here is Republicans=bad, so math must force Democrats=good! They can’t both be bad. That cannot compute. So Democrats keep on doing shitty things but because you have to follow that math, they must somehow be explained away as good, because, math.

  289. 289
    NR says:

    @scott: If these people had been around in 1969, Ellsberg would still be in jail today.

  290. 290
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @rootless (@root_e): Again, straw man and slippery slope seem to be your only tactics to any response.

  291. 291
    Emma says:

    @NR: Nice superior strawman. Too bad it’s flammable.

  292. 292
    MikeBoyScout says:

    And while I’m ranting…

    By what light does anyone (I’m looking at you John Kerry and Chuck Schumer) think Russia or China or ….. should act to support our Espionage Agencies?

    Because the US of A has laws saying it is verboten to talk about our spying on furiners, the furiners should respect the law? Is that what we do? Really?

    Good Dog we’re fked up.

  293. 293
    MikeBoyScout says:

    @scott: thank-you

  294. 294
    MikeBoyScout says:

    @287 different-church-lady: whatever.

  295. 295
    NR says:

    @Emma: Not so much. I know the truth hurts, though.

  296. 296

    @Socoolsofresh: Logical consequence is not the same as strawman. You want to be able to make sweeping statements without considering consequences.

  297. 297
    MikeBoyScout says:

    I’m done after this.
    As is usual Atrios puts it stright up in few words
    All Knowing, Wrong, And Useless

    I’m enjoying the admittedly somewhat jokey arguments that if the tentacles of the NSA octopus can’t locate and grab Snowden then it can’t be that much of a big deal. I do suspect that our surveillance state is mostly useless for its supposed purpose. But, hey, we spend gobs of money on it and general spy v. spy stuff because freedom.

    It’s an argument for smashing the surveillance state, not keeping it.

  298. 298
    Emma says:

    @NR: Dear boy, you wouldn’t know the truth if it bit you in the ass with Dracula fangs.

  299. 299
    Another Bot Splainer says:

    @Socoolsofresh: I’d shoot a puppy before I’d ever vote for or help the Republican party. You’re helping them, you’re stupid.

  300. 300
    Mike Lamb says:

    @scott: I really don’t get the comparison to Ellsburg. The guy revealed illegal activities by a presidential administration, kept it “in-house” so-to-speak, and then faced the music.

    Snowden revealed information that appears to have statutory blessing (rendering them de facto constitutional until otherwise determined by a court–this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work to change these things–only that it is far from clear if he revealed something we don’t want happening vs. illicit activities). He is also skirting the line of whether he’s divulging classified information to other gov’ts (aka espionage). The new allegation today that he was looking for a job for the express purpose of revealing classified information simply adds fuel to the fire that he committed an act of espionage. This is simply not comparable to Ellsburg (and I really don’t care if Ellsburg himself sees similarities).

    I don’t think it’s mutually exclusive to be furious at the meta data collection/surveillance net while simultaneously being furious at Snowden for (possibly) disclosing classified materials to China and others.

  301. 301
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Another Bot Splainer: Right, cause any criticism of Democrats aides the enemy! This authoritarian mindset is how you are helping the Democrats continue to enact right wing policies.

  302. 302
    different-church-lady says:

    @Liberty60: It could possibly: would I be as willing to trust their interpretation of those documents?

    Wouldn’t change how I felt about tobacco companies, though. Because that’s based on science, not intrigue.

    Tobacco is legal. It shouldn’t be, but it is. It wouldn’t be if I had my way. But that doesn’t mean I believe everyone who comes out against tobacco is telling the truth about it.

  303. 303
    Another Bot Splainer says:

    @Socoolsofresh: Yes dude Democrats suck, they cave to the Republicans all the time. They piss me off to no end, that said, I would still shoot a puppy before I would vote for or help the Republicans. Keep kicking Obama in the balls, Mitch McConnell and the rest of the wrecking crew are enjoying their popcorn.

  304. 304
    Kristin says:

    Why can there not be shades of grey? (And, I’d direct this to John Cole’s tweets today.) Why can’t I think Greenwald is an egomaniacal jackass with the maturity level of a 6 year old, but also be concerned about the surveillance state? Why does my thinking Greenwald and Snowden are lying sacks of shit mean that I defend everything Obama does?

    Ad hominem bullshit. People who resort to that aren’t helping their cause.

  305. 305
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Please keep whipping the Libertarians of the Left into a frenzy over Fast Eddie Snowjob and Glenn Beckwald, I’ve been enjoying this immensely. The more they defend Snowjob the more they expose themselves as crazy cranks, just like the Libertarians of the Right. Daily Snowjob, I mean Kos, has revealed once and for all that it is a place infested with Libertarians from both sides who are now engaged in an orgy of mutual reacharounds. Beckwald has accomplished what Calamity Jane couldn’t, a perfect blending of the libertarian left and right into one issue.

    Defending a criminal and his publicist.

    Please proceed, Libertarians. :)

  306. 306
    Tripod says:

    ….someday this war’s gonna end.

  307. 307
    David Koch says:

    @Kristin: last week cole admitted that he trolls the readers of this cite to drive up page views. nothing he says can be taken seriously.

  308. 308
    Another Bot Splainer says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: yep, and in the mean time ole Baby Doc will be griftin’ on this to the tune of millions for his 2016 campaign.

  309. 309
    David Koch says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: dailykook was exposed as an impotent and insignificant site years ago

  310. 310
    David Koch says:

    @Tripod: not until the uppity negro is deposed and Hillary is returned to her rightful throne.

  311. 311
    David Koch says:

    @Another Bot Splainer: silver lining in every cloud. i’m maxing out for Aqqua Buddha. He’s goldwater with curly hair plugs.

  312. 312
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Another Bot Splainer:

    Luap Dnar/Sanders 2016!

    @David Koch:

    Oh I know that, it’s just that now it’s being gloriously exposed as a Libertarian site, not a Democratic one. The few sane voices left there are being browbeaten to death by the Beckwald/Snowjob cheerleaders.

    What I can’t believe is that LGF is a tropical island of sanity in The Great Snowjob of 2013.

  313. 313
    Liberty60 says:

    @Emma:
    Specifics?
    The same as we do for any political movement.
    We develop our line of logic, and talking points; we hammer them home, again and again and again.

    We frame the issue in terms that unite our side, and fracture the opposing side.

    The NSA spying has cause divisions among us liberals, but it is mostly surface, having to do with the embarrassment of “our guy” doing what we wish he didn’t.

    But it has, I think, forced a huge wedge into the conservative side- have you guys ventured through Wingnutopia lately? Nearly any post is split between Traitor and Hero, between Establishment conservatives and Tea Party, and most importantly, between the NeoCons and the Main Street conservatives.

    We can sharpen this wedge, and splinter the conservative coalition.
    For instance- I head up a Social Justice group at my church; our congressman is a Tea Party type. I am organizing other religious left groups, and trying to put together a series of Candidate Forums next summer during the election cycle, and focus on wedge issues; Immigration reform, NSA spying, and so on.

    This isn’t rocket science; this is political organizing basics.

    Stop allowing them to frame this as a referendum on Obama; start framing this as a referendum on the size of the security establishment or better, on the dangers of outsourcing and privatizing (Thank you, Madame Speaker!)

    Stop framing this as a sacrifice we need to make- start framing this as a consequence of endless warmaking. Don’t let “gummint” in the abstract be the villain; make the Neocons, Halliburton, and Booz Allen the bad guys.

    Progressives have 30 years of reputation as the party of peaceniks; time to make that work in our favor.

  314. 314
    different-church-lady says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    it’s just that now it’s being gloriously exposed as a Libertarian site, not a Democratic one.

    Not quite, it’s still a democratic site, but it’s got a deeply entrenched pocket of invasive libertarian pond carp, and for some strange reason Kos doesn’t want to fiddle with their habitat on the right side of the page.

  315. 315
    different-church-lady says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    What I can’t believe is that LGF is a tropical island of sanity in The Great Snowjob of 2013.

    I said this about two weeks ago, and it bears saying again: the idea that Charles Johnson’s BS detector is now more finely tuned than DKos is truly frightening to contemplate.

  316. 316
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Another Bot Splainer: Ya, no criticism cause McConnell! Democrats need to stay on message just as hard as the Republicans do, its their zest for authoritarianism that makes them such a threat, that we must adopt their tactics! Come on guys, we can be even more authoritarian than they are! Maybe then Democrats will start enacting progressive policies!

  317. 317
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @different-church-lady:

    I am a former five digit member there who left in 2005 when I saw the general direction they were going didn’t mesh with my views. A site isn’t all about the FPers, it’s the membership that drives a site…

    forward or over a cliff. I’m just waiting for the SPLAT! as they hit bottom. :)

    @different-church-lady:

    The difference is also that Charles leads his site, Markos lets his run much like the cacophony that OWS has become.

  318. 318

    Dear Purer than Snowjob Progressives: If someone says “your specific criticism of the President is a mishmash of rumor, GOP spin, libertarian gibberish, and bad faith” that argument cannot be logically defended by “it’s ok to criticize the President”. As a similar example, given the proposition “3+3 = 19” and the criticism “that’s wrong”, one cannot defend the original proposition on the grounds that “doing arithmetic is a good thing”.

  319. 319
    Emma says:

    @Liberty60: You don’t get it. I am not framing this as a referendum on Obama; but MOST OF THE PLAYERS are. Read the threads if you don’t believe me. You will have to be ready to counter them again and again and again.

    I’m impressed you’re wading into the fray as you are. Next year’s elections are really crucial. If democrats can solidify the message we might make headway.

  320. 320
    different-church-lady says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    ’m just waiting for the SPLAT! as they hit bottom. :)

    Two more Snowden press conferences ought to do the trick. You should have seen BobSwern circling his unhinged wagons today.

  321. 321
    Another Bot Splainer says:

    @Socoolsofresh: Goddamn but you are stupid. The Democrats can never bring you your progressive paradise until the Republicans are detroyed and the ground that spawned them is salted so that nothing else can grow there. Are you even aware of what the hell has been going on in this country for the last 50 years?

  322. 322
    Emma says:

    @Emma: And that’s weird. Undefined?

  323. 323
    different-church-lady says:

    @rootless (@root_e): Why should the addere labor under the oppression of the summare?

  324. 324
    Liberty60 says:

    @Emma:
    No, I didn’t mean you personally- I did mean the political players at large.

    Right now this issue has caused all sorts of confusion in the political world, and is re-arranging alliances and confusing everyone’s talking points.

    This is a good thing. This is an opportunity for someone to capture the moment, some group to catch the wind of popular opinion and make a permanent change of course in our politics. Why can’t it be us?

  325. 325
    David Koch says:

    @Socoolsofresh: if this is such a bad pgm why does even the liberal Elizabeth Warren support it?

  326. 326
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    Rosa Parks is more awesome than Ed Snowden.

  327. 327
    Tripod says:

    @David Koch:

    Ah… back when it was a BIG FUCKIN’ DEAL.

    I’m shocked that a bunch of older, whiter, and wealthier Democrats would hit on the southern white guy….

    That was the last night of at least maintaining the appearance of a coherent progressive online presence.

    Jane opined that Hillary’s “gravitas” would carry the day, then went completely nuts.

  328. 328
    ijustdon'tknow says:

    I would be more inclined to believe this “quote” if it had appeared in The Guardian.

  329. 329
    Jeremy says:

    I find it funny that people keep on talking about loss of freedoms when our lives haven’t changed much from decades ago. Now the anti-women, anti-worker legislation is a loss of freedom but not this.

    Also stop with the comparisons to the Civil Rights era because it’s ridiculous and offensive.

  330. 330
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Another Bot Splainer: Right, the Republicans are so bad that Democrats can’t help but adopt a lot of their policies! Even if there wasn’t a Republican left in government, all that would do is highlight how corporatist, and conservative the Democrats really are. The Democrats need the Republicans to be the boogy man so all you guys can point fingers and say, see! They are worse!

    And so what if the Republicans become a fringe party that cannot get elected? Its just one Democratic mono government? I imagine the blue dogs become the power brokers then, and the same watered down shit bills continue to be passed.

  331. 331
  332. 332
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @David Koch: Right, cause Warren is considered a progressive, one is supposed to automatically support anything she is for.

  333. 333
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @different-church-lady:

    I call him bobswoon. He needs to hand out fainting couches with his diatribes.

  334. 334
    David Koch says:

    @Socoolsofresh: just answer the question. if this is so bad why would the liberal Messiah support this?

  335. 335
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @NR:

    You’re just flat-out making shit up now.

    It’s what she does.

    It’s all she’s got.

  336. 336
    Jeremy says:

    @Mike Lamb: It’s not comparable to Ellsberg but some people are stuck in the 60’s and 70’s “fight the man” era when we live in the 21 st century. People need to move on and get real.

    Also for those crying about “government tyranny” or “government control” don’t advocate for Single payer or Socialized medicine, or other government regulations since you don’t trust the government. Cognitive Dissonance !

  337. 337
    David Koch says:

    @different-church-lady: can you explain/expand on this for people who don’t read that site and don’t know the names you speak of

  338. 338
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @David Koch: I gave you my answer, I disagree with her viewpoint on this. And I believe her viewpoint on surveillance wouldn’t be considered progressive. It is you who is aggressively labeling her as a progressive. I know, crazy right? Independent thought, not just mindlessly following whomever one deems fits their own pigeonholing into a category.

  339. 339
    different-church-lady says:

    @David Koch: Well, basically BobSwern is a Naked Captialism-ite and regular on the rec list who can be reliably counted upon for rambling posts involving at least 25 links (most of which go to either Yves Smith or his own previous diaries about what Yves Smith said) that read like Glen Beck run through the invert filter in Photoshop. He’s got about 300 acolytes who will reliably give him “That’s right Bobs!”. His skin is amazing thin, he will brook no push back whatsoever, if you say anything at all that is not completely in agreement he will make it personal immediately, and he is one of the worst hide-rate abusers they’ve ever had over there.

  340. 340
    Rex Everything says:

    @Socoolsofresh: Don’t worry about these Obot clowns. They’re just pissed cause they keep accidentally channeling the likes of Peter King, David Brooks, and David Gregory, right down to the fucking details.

    The only way this could get funnier is if Limbaugh goes on the air tomorrow ranting about “a criminal and his publicist” and the February timeline smoking gun.

  341. 341
    Thymezone says:

    There’s no “hero angle.” Snowden is an asshole.

  342. 342
    David Koch says:

    @Socoolsofresh: I guess you guys have no reading comprehension. That probably explains most of your stupidity.

    I didn’t ask you if you agreed with her opinion. I could care less.

    For the third and final time I’ll ask why would the leading light of liberalism support this?

    Can’t answer that can you — inconvenient truths hurt.

  343. 343
    David Koch says:

    @Rex Everything: why does Elizabeth Warren, Russ Feingold, Al Franken, Ed Markey, and even the liberal Keith Ellison support this? Are they Obots too?

  344. 344
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @David Koch: Seems like you can’t read as you are the one who continues to label her with exaggerated claims of her being a beacon of progressiveness. I said she isn’t a progressive in terms of surveillance. That is why she supports that. I guess its tough for you to understand that just because some think of her as a progressive, doesn’t mean that every viewpoint she has automatically is a progressive viewpoint! I don’t know why this is so hard for you to comprehend. Also, love how you guys continue to dish out name calling, like it makes your argument more valid.

  345. 345
    spacewalrus says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Snowden went in believing that all spying is wrong. It wouldn’t have mattered what oversight and checks were in place. It was spying, and according to the man himself, spying is inherently wrong.

  346. 346
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Thymezone: “Snowden is an asshole.”

    He’s a Ron Paul Libertarian but your description is less wordy. :)

    Long thyme, no see. ;) I hope you and RA are doing well.

  347. 347
    Rex Everything says:

    @David Koch: You, Mnemosyne, Todd-whatever-he-calls-himself-these-days, et al haven’t made a single anti-Snowden/GG point that’s not echoed and amplified by the most hideous rightwing gargoyles in the entire Beltway/media establishment. Choke on it, you tools.

  348. 348
    David Koch says:

    @Socoolsofresh: I knew you didn’t have the capabilities to answer the question, you born losers are a dime a dozen.

  349. 349
    Rex Everything says:

    @David Koch:

    why does Elizabeth Warren, Russ Feingold, Al Franken, Ed Markey, and even the liberal Keith Ellison support this? Are they Obots too?

    I’m sorry; where did Elizabeth Warren say GG should be arrested, or that Snowden is an irresponsible flake, or that they’re guilty of espionage, or that the February timeline is proof of sedition, you feces-puking, GOP-water-carrying idiot?

  350. 350
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Rex Everything:

    You, socoolsofresh and Ted and-whatever-the-Sandusky-rape-apologist-calls-himself-these-days, et al haven’t made a single pro Snowden/GG point that’s not echoed and amplified by the most hideous rightwing gargoyles in the entire Libertarian movement. Choke on it, you worthless tools.

  351. 351
    Jasmine Bleach says:

    @Jeremy:

    Also for those crying about “government tyranny” or “government control” don’t advocate for Single payer or Socialized medicine, or other government regulations since you don’t trust the government. Cognitive Dissonance !

    Meh. Lame attempt there at turning the argument to a dumb and non-relevant point.

    Well regulated government can do wonders. Things like Social Security, the GI Bill back in the day, etc.

    Government IS a problem when they act against the constitution (viewing my personal letters without a warrant, indefinite detention without due process, torture, etc.). Then, the portion of the government that is overstepping its bounds, needs to be reigned in. Simple really, and no cognitive dissonance at all.

    The government spying constantly on everyone, and single payer healthcare have pretty much nothing in common. If the NSA was the entity processing single-payer healthcare claims, I’d have a problem with it.

  352. 352
    Jeremy says:

    @Rex Everything: This is not a right wing vs. left wing thing. Because liberal democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Al Franken agree that leaking classified info to other countries is illegal.

    You can call people Obots or whatever stupid childish name you people like to come up with, but the fact is that the majority of people agree that what he did was wrong.

    I find it funny that the people complaining about “government tyranny” are typically white and middle class/ upper class and with all the privilege and advantages in life.

  353. 353
    Thymezone says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    We are, but we’re mad as hell and not going to take it any more.

    I would love the Snowden worshippers to explain to me how Snowden is any different from, say, Scooter Libby?

    You know, the country elects a government that operates the largest military and intelligence operations in the world, and depends on kept secrets and loyalty to a clandestine world that has, for better or worse, protected us from various world evils for a long time. This isn’t a parlor game or a reality show. It’s real and we’re shooting live ammunition. We don’t get to decide one day, yeah, let’s have this level of security, and the next day, oh gee, this security is uncomfortable, I think I’ll just decide for myself to throw a giant wrench into the gears of the security machine and fuck it up on my own initiative and then run away to China to avoid prosecution while some morons back home cheer me on as a hero. Because, you know, I get to decide for myself, you know, just like the Unibomber did, what’s right for the country and what isn’t.

    Meanwhile a hell of a lot of people out there are putting on uniforms, or working undercover and in great danger and risking their lives for us, and we don’t get to decide halfway through the semester that we don’t really like the class treasurer and we just want to turn the sprinklers on in the classroom and get the school to let us out early. We need to support the government we asked for, and if we don’t like the policy, the remedy is at the voting booth, not at the keyboard of the computer we were entrusted to take care of.

    But yeah, we’re fine. Thanks for asking!

  354. 354

    @Rex Everything: Funny, because Fox is packed with the same phrases the libertarians-pretending-to-be-leftists use. For example “criminalizing journalism” is big over there.

  355. 355
    Rex Everything says:

    @Jeremy:

    This is not a right wing vs. left wing thing.

    Yeah, whatever, but all the rightwing authoritarian suckups in Washington just happen to make all the same arguments as our Balloon Juice pals here.

    Get as much mileage as you can out of Pelosi’s or Franken’s general support for surveillance, but they are not making & have not made those bullshit arguments.

    Oh, I almost forgot my favorite: GG (like NOW, Greenpeace, et al) “has an agenda.”

  356. 356
    David Koch says:

    @Rex Everything: another born loser who can’t deal with inconvenient questions that shatter their make-believe worlds. pathetic.

  357. 357
    Rex Everything says:

    @rootless (@root_e): I know! Because every journalist who had a problem with David Gregory is a libertarian pretending to be a leftist! Who works for FOX! Every one!

  358. 358
    different-church-lady says:

    @spacewalrus:

    Snowden went in believing that all spying is wrong. It wouldn’t have mattered what oversight and checks were in place. It was spying, and according to the man himself, spying is inherently wrong.

    Which is kind of ironic, since what Snowden did basically amounted to spying in and of itself.

  359. 359
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @David Koch: Yup, you carry serious blindspots! Go back to the name calling, I guess that is your main modus operandi, as its obvious you are incapable of understanding anything slightly more difficult. Warrens position on surveillance is not a progressive one, hence why she supports that. I know, its super tough for you to get that!

  360. 360
    Rex Everything says:

    @David Koch: Eat it raw, jerkoff!

  361. 361
    Jeremy says:

    @rootless (@root_e): Because there are hardly any differences between a left wing nut job and a right wing nut job.They love to complain about how the world sucks and that the government is evil. They have a deep hatred for Obama, and they have an authoritarian mindset.

  362. 362

    @Rex Everything: Sometime, take a remedial course on logical quantification.

  363. 363
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Jeremy: Not sure you understand what authoritarian means.

  364. 364
    Rex Everything says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    You, socoolsofresh and Ted and-whatever-the-Sandusky-rape-apologist-calls-himself-these-days, et al haven’t made a single pro Snowden/GG point that’s not echoed and amplified by the most hideous rightwing gargoyles in the entire Libertarian movement.

    You wish, you unoriginal clown.

    This whole episode is going to leave you guys looking and smelling pretty damn bad, and the stink of it won’t come off for years.

  365. 365
    Thymezone says:

    News flash for the cognition-impaired: Creating a government such as the one I described in my post above, empowering it and building it and nurturing it for 75 years, and then deciding that it’s “authoritarian” for carrying out the policies we asked for, or agreed to pay for, or even volunteered to work for or to put on the uniform for, is the height of irresponsibility and cowardice.

    Who.The.Fuck elected or otherwise chose this pimply lying bastard Snowden to decide for us … never mind deciding for himself, which is bad enough by itself .. but for us, that the policy is now unacceptable or that the machinery needs to be smashed in a fit of childish pique? Who gave him this power? Because the law does not give him that power, and in fact the law is now looking for his face in a mug shot owing to the fact that he broke the law and had the gall to say “Oh, this is a debate we need to have” after running away to China. Really? You mean like they debate such things in China? Or Russia? Or Cuba? Or any of the other shitholes you now seek asylum in?

  366. 366
    Rex Everything says:

    @rootless (@root_e):

    Sometime, take a remedial course on logical quantification.

    Why, do you feel it’s unfair that only your side is currently being taken to school?

  367. 367
    Jeremy says:

    The difference is that the right wing nutjobs have taken over the republican party but the left wing nuts haven’t because they are not the base of the party. The base happens to be diverse not 98 percent white like daily kos or code pink, etc.

  368. 368
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Thymezone:

    Good to hear that you folks are doing well and I join you in being pissed about this issue. In addition to what you have said, libertarians comparing Snowden to great civil rights leaders of the past is truly gagworthy. What Snowden did was ideologically, not ethically driven. He is no civil rights leader nor is he a whistleblower. He took that job intending to expose top secret information and was trying to involve others in his plan before he did so. He’s no fucking saint, he’s a criminal and it’s possible that GG and others are accomplices. Nothing he has told us of government spying in America is new news except to those who weren’t paying attention for the last twelve years. The information on our spying on other countries sure has been helpful though…

    to those countries.

    Stay well. :)

  369. 369
    Thymezone says:

    @Jeremy:

    What, you mean the Neo-Nihilists at DKos are not the Dem base?

  370. 370
    Thymezone says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    Back atcha Odie.

  371. 371
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Rex Everything: “This whole episode is going to leave you guys looking and smelling pretty damn bad, and the stink of it won’t come off for years.”

    Now that is funny! Keep it up, you make a great joke.

  372. 372
    Jeremy says:

    @Jeremy: @Thymezone: Unfortunately for them… Yes. If we need more evidence the 2012 election results and polls on democratic voters clearly show they are not the base. They are a vocal minority and many democratic voters don’t even know what daily kos is, or who Glenn greenwald is.

  373. 373
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Rex Everything:

    You seem pretty upset that Snowden’s original claims have fallen apart and that he’s now started the exact tour of interested parties that we all predicted last week — China to Russia, with all of his files conveniently copied for them to study. He probably will end up in Cuba since the Castro brothers would love to poke us in the eye by sheltering him until they get bored and send him on his way.

    But, hey, it’s still totally innocent that he ran to Russia with all of his information on how the US spies on Russia, amirite? Nothing to see here, he’s just a crusader for the US Constitution!

  374. 374
    Thymezone says:

    @Jeremy:

    I think Markos put the icing on his site’s marginalization when he jumped on the Kill The Bill bandwagon at the key moment in the ACA process. I didn’t like him much before that, but since, I basically have no respect for anything he says. And his blog audience is just a pack of hyenas.

  375. 375
    Elie says:

    @Thymezone:

    THIS and also your comment downstring. This is the heart of the issue for adults…. still see a lot of kids wrapped up in nya nya thinking about the US. It is not surprising that most folks want to learn more about our privacy and the government. We don’t hate our country or want it humiliated and shown up. I don’t get that desire at all — that celebration —
    Lots of people have been jailed, been attacked by dogs and been killed to make this country better. THIS country was fought for by the sons and daughters of slaves, of native Americans who have suffered mightily but still stuck by THIS country. Lots of blood, tears and dreams have been invested here to be disrespected by some buffoon who obviously has very little character or integrity. Also true a few folks on this thread don’t “get” why Snowden’s character is an issue. Its an issue because to change something, you have to present your very best self in order to hold your opposition to their own highest standards.

  376. 376
    Thymezone says:

    This is what a real whistleblower looks like. Having honorably served, he sat in front of congress and told them he didn’t like their policy. He didn’t run away to China after throwing a molotov cocktail at the capitol and hiring a Glen Greenwald as his press agent.

    Just in case you were born fucking yesterday.

  377. 377
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Elie: Not sure if Native Americans stuck by this country, or were slaughtered in a great genocide.

    How dare Snowden expose government overreach! I just wanted to have the government pat me on the head and tell me its all right, we are doing everything for your own good! You don’t need to know or debate the validity of our surveillance state which makes everyone a potential suspect, its much too upsetting for your little brain. Keep on believing that we are this shining beacon, even if our actions show that we are the complete opposite. Wouldn’t want your feelings hurt.

  378. 378
    Thymezone says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    The existence of surveillance does not constitute a “surveillance state,” you horse’s ass. I suppose you think that the TSA search at the airport is the same thing as Auschwitz?

  379. 379
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Thymezone: Um, if having a dragnet that stores every persons communications in the world in a massive database, even if its ‘just’ metadata, is not considered living in a surveillance state, not sure what is. I also love that government officals are saying, don’t worry, we don’t do it for all Americans, but the rest of the world you are just shit out of luck! Also, don’t worry that we are in the process of shredding the fourth amendment, its for your own good!

    But you know, keep up with the name calling, it makes your argument so much more persuasive. And I love the false equivalence of the TSA must mean its Auschwitz. It’s not as bad as the Nazis! So it must not be that bad at all!

  380. 380
    Roy G. says:

    Thomas Drake was a legit whistleblower, so let’s hear what he thinks about Snowden:

    DRAKE: I consider Edward Snowden as a whistle-blower. I know some have called him a hero, some have called him a traitor. I focus on what he disclosed. I don’t focus on him as a person. He had a belief that what he was exposed to—U.S. actions in secret—were violating human rights and privacy on a very, very large scale, far beyond anything that had been admitted to date by the government. In the public interest, he made that available.

    INTERVIEWER: What do you say to the argument, advanced by those with the opposite viewpoint to you, especially in the U.S. Congress and the White House, that Edward Snowden is a traitor who made a narcissistic decision that he personally had a right to decide what public information should be in the public domain?

    DRAKE: That’s a government meme, a government cover—that’s a government story. The government is desperate to not deal with the actual exposures, the content of the disclosures. Because they do reveal a vast, systemic, institutionalized, industrial-scale Leviathan surveillance state that has clearly gone far beyond the original mandate to deal with terrorism—far beyond.

  381. 381
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    I also love that government officals are saying, don’t worry, we don’t do it for all Americans, but the rest of the world you are just shit out of luck!

    So, just to be clear, you’re upset that the US is monitoring communications in places like China and Russia but you don’t care that China and Russia are monitoring your communications? ‘Cause I hate to break it to you, but China and Russia are watching what you do. Right now.

  382. 382
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roy G.:

    I’m still waiting for a link to updated stories about Snowden’s original claims of massive domestic spying. Not the ones the Guardian and Washington Post “corrected” after the fact, or Greenwald’s walkbacks of the original claims, but current stories that actually back up Snowden’s domestic spying claims.

    This is the third time I’ve asked in this thread, and no one has been able to link to any.

  383. 383
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Mnemosyne: Not just the usual boogeymen of Russia and China, but also European and American (as in the Americas) countries that are supposed to be considered allies but these spying actions show that they are clearly not. And I guess you are trying to compare the US with China and Russia. So I guess you are arguing that the US needs to be just as bad as China and Russia when it comes to spying.

  384. 384
    kc says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You debate like a wingnut.

  385. 385
    LAC says:

    @NR: what nice try. Here is nice try for you. Try not to sound like every fucking loser in libertarian land moving goal posts around and pretending that you know shit.

  386. 386
    Roy G. says:

    @Mnemosyne: Ask Thomas Drake. Or Mark Klein.

  387. 387
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    Not just the usual boogeymen of Russia and China, but also European and American (as in the Americas) countries that are supposed to be considered allies but these spying actions show that they are clearly not.

    And they, in turn, are all spying on us. I’m astonished that this is a revelation to you: countries spy on each other! Even allies!

    It’s not that the US is like China or Russia — it’s that the US is like every other country on Earth with the technological capability. You honestly thought the French weren’t really monitoring us, just in case? How stupid are you?

    @Roy G.:

    I’m waiting for someone to bring me the head of Diego Garcia – so what?

    Alfredo Garcia. But I do find it fascinating that most of you guys have wisely dropped your “domestic spying” claims and have switched to whining about foreign spying, which also seems to be what Snowden’s problem was with the NSA’s actions.

  388. 388
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kc:

    You do realize that Socoolsofresh is the troll formerly known as belieber, right? But, hey, if a known troll agrees with you, that just proves how right you are! What’s next, trumpeting that Ted & Hellen is on your side, so that proves the rest of us are just Obots?

  389. 389
    kc says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Look, you’re doing it again!

  390. 390
    LAC says:

    @Socoolsofresh: since you havent participated in a reasonable discussion since you rolled your ass up in here, I wonder what the hell you are talking about.

  391. 391
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Mnemosyne: Ya, now you are just making up shit about who I am. Wow.

  392. 392
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Roy G.:

    Thomas Drake? Really? The charges against him were filed by the Bush administration, then dropped- by the Obama Administration, in June, 2011.

    Mark Klein? Never charged for unveiling the Folsom Street thing. His reveals led to revelations that the Bush administration was snooping without warrants, something the Obama administration worked to prohibit.

    And that’s the thing here: Snowden, via Greenwald, claimed to have proof that the Obama administration was doing something illegal when, in fact, the Obama administration was doing it’s damnedest to make doing illegal shit much fucking harder to do.

    And if no one’s corrected you yet, it’s Alfredo Garcia. If you’re gonna drop pop culture references, get the reference right.

  393. 393
    kc says:

    @Mnemosyne

    A “known troll,” lol. I don’t evev know who belieber is, let alone how you know these two are the same.

    Anyway, I guess agreeing with Lindsay Grabam just proves how right you are, eh? :)

  394. 394
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Mnemosyne: Also, never said I didn’t think people were being spied on by other countries, but if your argument is that the US has to be just as brash as authoritarian regimes like Russia and China, then so be it. Just don’t be surprised when no one listens to the US when they wag their finger at everyone else. I also like how the government was supposed to do this to deter terrorism, but now you have justified it as being that every country spies, so we need to be the best at it!

  395. 395
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kc:

    Lindsay Graham argues that every country spies on each other so it’s not really a big deal that the US is spying on China and Russia? I haven’t been following his public pronouncements, so you could be right.

    Though I do love how the same people who decided they could “Stand with Rand” over the single issue of drones without adopting his whole platform are now howling about how horrible others are if they have a vague agreement with a conservative that every country spies on each other.

  396. 396
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @LAC: Not sure what you define as a reasonable discussion, because it seems to me that you mean not straying from government approved boilerplate talking points. And stringent adherence to defending the Democratic partys position on issues.

  397. 397
    kc says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You’re just playing dumb now.

  398. 398
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    Also, never said I didn’t think people were being spied on by other countries, but if your argument is that the US has to be just as brash as authoritarian regimes like Russia and China, then so be it.

    The UK is even more brash than the US, and they’re our ally. But, hey, the US is worse than any of the others because shut up, that’s why!

    I also like how the government was supposed to do this to deter terrorism, but now you have justified it as being that every country spies, so we need to be the best at it!

    You’re conflating domestic spying (which is what the scandal was supposedly about when it first broke) and foreign spying. Some people (not me, by the way) were claiming that domestic spying would be justified if it stopped terrorist attacks. The fact that Snowden was actually upset about foreign spying didn’t come up until his interviews with the Hong Kong newspapers.

    If you want to keep the focus on domestic spying, you should probably get Snowden to STFU about foreign spying, because that’s what he’s actually crying about. He dropped the whole “domestic spying” thing as soon as he started talking to the Hong Kong papers.

  399. 399
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kc:

    Believe it or not, I try not to pay attention to Lindsay Graham. Please link to his comments that duplicate what I’ve said here.

    Though it’s awfully sweet that you still think Snowden is a crusader for US civil liberties under the Constitution now that he’s given his NSA information to both China and Russia. Because that’s what a true constitutional crusader does.

  400. 400
    Roy G. says:

    @Mnemosyne: Woah, you got me – my mistaken pop culture reference proves I’m wrong about everything.

    You’re a fool or a sock puppet if you think people are ignoring illegal domestic data spying. I trust Bruce Schneier on security more than some anonymounyms in the comment section.

    //

    Skype, the Internet-based calling service, began its own secret program, Project Chess, to explore the legal and technical issues in making Skype calls readily available to intelligence agencies and law enforcement officials, according to people briefed on the program who asked not to be named to avoid trouble with the intelligence agencies.
    Project Chess, which has never been previously disclosed, was small, limited to fewer than a dozen people inside Skype, and was developed as the company had sometimes contentious talks with the government over legal issues, said one of the people briefed on the project. The project began about five years ago, before most of the company was sold by its parent, eBay, to outside investors in 2009. Microsoft acquired Skype in an $8.5 billion deal that was completed in October 2011.

    A Skype executive denied last year in a blog post that recent changes in the way Skype operated were made at the behest of Microsoft to make snooping easier for law enforcement. It appears, however, that Skype figured out how to cooperate with the intelligence community before Microsoft took over the company, according to documents leaked by Edward J. Snowden, a former contractor for the N.S.A. One of the documents about the Prism program made public by Mr. Snowden says Skype joined Prism on Feb. 6, 2011.

    Reread that Skype denial from last July, knowing that at the time the company knew that they were giving the NSA access to customer communications. Notice how it is precisely worded to be technically accurate, yet leave the reader with the wrong conclusion. This is where we are with all the tech companies right now; we can’t trust their denials, just as we can’t trust the NSA — or the FBI — when it denies programs, capabilities, or practices.

    Back in January, we wondered whom Skype lets spy on their users. Now we know.

    http://www.schneier.com/blog/a.....ls_on.html

  401. 401
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Mnemosyne: Um, still upset that they are forcing Verizon dragnet orders and obtaining access to internet communications. But I guess one can’t talk about both topics because its too hard? Also Snowden can do what he wants, because I’m not trying to shoot the messenger and believe the issues should be talked about and not his character. As this will continue to be the governments main tactic of distracting people from seeing that they are shredding everyone’s right to some privacy.

  402. 402
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    I also like how the government was supposed to do this to deter terrorism, but now you have justified it as being that every country spies, so we need to be the best at it!

    And why not? Not that it saved them*, but Poland had a damned good intelligence apparatus between the World Wars, and ended up sneaking a Nazi three-wheeled Enigma machine to France (it ended up in the UK), and that ended up saving a lot of lives.

    Intelligence gathering is cheap, and it helps a nation (or guild or commune) to efficiently position itself from outside threats, whether those threats are military or economic.

    *Poland not only had a weak military, it was sandwiched between two hostile nations that had formerly had it carved up. And it had few geographic obstacles that lent themselves to defending aginst those hostiles. Didn’t help them that the nations with whom they had defense pacts were still stinging from WWI and not capable to defend them

  403. 403
    Mnemosyne says:

    By the way, since some of his defenders don’t seem to have seen it, here’s Snowden’s interview with the South China Morning Post.

    Because there’s no better way to defend the US Constitution than by telling foreign governments how the US is spying on them.

  404. 404
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    Um, still upset that they are forcing Verizon dragnet orders and obtaining access to internet communications. But I guess one can’t talk about both topics because its too hard?

    Those claims have been debunked and retracted by both the Washington Post and the Guardian. The claims that are still operative seem to be that people are upset that tech companies are able to provide information to the government after they are served a valid warrant by the government, which seems like being shocked and upset because the police dared to arrest someone after a judge issued an arrest warrant.

    Also Snowden can do what he wants, because I’m not trying to shoot the messenger and believe the issues should be talked about and not his character.

    I’m pointing out to you that Snowden lied about the original issue of supposed wholesale, warrantless spying on American citizen, and the Guardian and Washington Post have retracted those parts of their stories.

    But, hey, if you want to hold up as your poster boy someone who lied to you, that’s your choice. My choice is to laugh at you.

  405. 405
    Roy G. says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): I’m not sure what you think you’re proving here. Klein’s revelation led to Congress retroactively giving the Telcos immunity, and the case against Drake simply fell apart on Obama’s watch, so neither is an endorsement for whatever you are selling.

  406. 406
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roy G.:

    So, just to be clear, you’re upset that law enforcement agents with valid warrants are allowed to access people’s communications? I guess getting a warrant to tap John Gotti’s phone was also immoral in your world because Gotti should have been allowed to plan his crimes without a judge letting the government listen in.

    Again: Snowden’s claims of wholesale, warrantless information gathering have been debunked. And, yes, it’s true, if the police get a warrant, they can get your cell phone records from the phone company and see who you’ve been calling, just like they could get your landline records if they had a proper warrant.

    If you want to argue that it’s too easy for the cops or the FBI to get a warrant to obtain that information, then argue that, but drop the whole “they’re listening to everything!” bullshit. That got debunked within about 48 hours of Snowden’s “revelations.”

  407. 407
    Mnemosyne says:

    And now that I have finally managed to drive the number of comments over 400, it’s time for me to go to sleep. Good night.

  408. 408
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Snowjob himself says that what he did was a result of his political opinions. From his plea to Ecuador for asylum:

    As a result of my political opinions, and my desire to exercise my freedom of speech, through which I’ve shown that the government of the United States is intercepting the majority of communications in the world, the government of the United States has publicly announced a criminal investigation against me.

    Snowjob is another one of those idiots who think free speech means that he gets to say what he wants without consequence. Part of what he said above is true though; his political opinions drove him to lie to gain access to information that he decided to freely share with the world. The problem with his argument is that he deliberately chose to break the law and now he wants to avoid the consequences of his actions. His claim of political persecution rings hollow when you look at the totality of what he has done.

    Nobody stopped him, he exercised his free speech. Now it’s time for him to answer for what he said.

  409. 409
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Mnemosyne: Who has debunked these claims? Any articles? So did Snowden obtain classified material and then leaked it, or did he make it up the material that was leaked? So that FISA court order for Verison was false? And there isn’t a PRISM program going on?

  410. 410
    Roy G. says:

    @Mnemosyne: That’s a great analogy, except tapping a single phone is totally dissimilar to the wholesale harvesting and warehousing of domestic phone calls and internet traffic. The legality of this concept is on par with a far better analogy, John Yoo’s famous memo that said torture was legal. The legal theory that this is legal is a flight of fancy that has been classified so that it may not crumble in the light of day.

    Oh, and here’s what Mark Klein had to say:

    “It was clear that the NSA was looking at everything,” Klein said. “It wasn’t limited to foreign communications.”

    I don’t think anything’s been debunked yet, that’s just your fever dream. There should be a Congressional hearing, and testimony under oath. But Clapper would just lie again, and evade Constitutionally mandated oversight – which you are apparently fine with.

  411. 411
    Thymezone says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    You don’t have to convince me that you don’t know what it is. Your spooftroll fu is weak.

  412. 412
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Roy G.:

    “It was clear that the NSA was looking at everything,” Klein said. “It wasn’t limited to foreign communications.”

    Right…Back during Bush’s tenure. This all came to light in 2006. Bushco had the NSA looking at this stuff without warrants. What do you not get about a change in policy and strengthening of protections in the legal code made by the current administration?

  413. 413
    Thymezone says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    your argument so much more persuasive

    Uh, surely you don’t think anyone here is trying to persuade you of anything, do you? I can assure you that nobody here thinks you are worth persuading. You are being laughed at, mostly. But if it weren’t for trolls, this site would have been dead years ago. Quaker meetings are not really attracting big crowds these days, you silly guy with a handle that sounds like a new deodorant.

  414. 414
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Thymezone: ooh, nice put downs! I really don’t mind being laughed at by a bunch of Democrat Authoritarians! Also, its been a good mix of for and against, but if in your mind that means all, then keep it up! Love that troll here means, disagrees with Democratic party establishment talking points, but I guess that leaves not much space for other opinions.

  415. 415
    Thymezone says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    Actually, troll means fake, as you surely know, and you’re fake. Sorry, but your material is pretty second rate.

    “Surveillance state!!” Really, how late did you have to stay up to come up with that one?

  416. 416
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Thymezone: ” Quaker meetings are not really attracting big crowds these days, you silly guy with a handle that sounds like a new deodorant.”

    I was thinking more like a new deodorant urinal cake with a socoolsofresh scent.

  417. 417
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Thymezone: I’m fake because, I disagree with what some people are posting on here? Okay, again, its either boilerplate Democratic adherence, or must be troll! You can continue to dismiss any government wrongdoing and believe its all hyperbole, but I hope you stay consistent when the Repubs are back in charge, otherwise you are basically being a tribal cheerleader. But ya, keep on thinking up funny word insults that show your impeccable wit.

  418. 418
    Thymezone says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    Eww. But, funny. The bathed-in-urine imagery is really working for me.

  419. 419
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Time for you bros to team up and get out your best withering insults! Better than actually discussing the issues!

  420. 420
    Thymezone says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    I’ll tell you what a surveillance state is. It’s an ex girlfriend following you to Safeway and going through the trash you throw in the refuse container outside the store, and then keeping the receipts and the cigarette butts for analysis later. That’s a fucking surveillance state.

  421. 421
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Socoolsofresh: “Time for you bros to team up and get out your best withering insults! Better than actually discussing the issues watching us libertarians give each other reacharounds!”

    FTFY.

  422. 422
    Thymezone says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    I’m fake because

    You’re fake because your material is so boilerplate trollalicious that anybody who has been around BJ for three days can spot it in a second. You’re a disgrace to the troll profession. At least put some goddam effort into it. My third grade granddaughter can write better stuff. If nothing else, sign up for some creating writing classes down at the junior college. Have a few shots of Wild Turkey before you post. Something. Jesus.

  423. 423
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Heh-Indeedy!

  424. 424
    Thymezone says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    Better than actually discussing the issues!

    Yeah, issues like “The government knows as much about me as Verizon and Google!” Yeah, I can see the riots in the streets already.

    It’s Silicon Valley Spring right around the corner. Tear gas. Pepper spray. Jackbooted thugs listening in on your calls to Domino’s for pizza and wings and Mountain Dew 24-packs. The horror, the outrage.

  425. 425
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Thymezone: oohh, that really hurts! You compared my vocabulary to an 8 year old! Burn! Not sure why my writing skills need to get better, I imagine I could be William Faulkner and you would still whine that I’m a troll and think what I wrote is shit. I know, its crazy, people have differing opinions than you do! Must be a troll! Cause you are the final arbitrator on what is right and good!

  426. 426
    Thymezone says:

    Wait until Obama’s secret police find out about the Pos-T-Vac you ordered. You’ll never feel alone in the bathroom again.

  427. 427
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Thymezone: Neither private companies or the government having everyone’s information is good but call me naive in thinking that maybe something can be changed about what a democratic government keeps. I guess you are fine with losing your right to privacy, but not sure if everyone is on that same page as you.

  428. 428
    Thymezone says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    I imagine I could be William Faulkner and you would still whine that I’m a troll and think what I wrote is shit.

    Well, your imagination is much more imaginey than mine, but the point is, what you write is shit. You see, that’s the problem. If you would stop writing shit, I would stop treating you like you write shit. I swear, I would. Just try it and see.

    Now remember, frowning is not the same thing as thinking, it just looks the same in the mirror.

  429. 429
    Thymezone says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    What privacy do you think you have a right to, dude? Your cel provider already tells you (in case you don’t understand) ANYBODY CAN LISTEN TO YOUR CALLS AND THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. There is nothing Verizon can do about it either. Not even the Baby Jesus can do anything about it. You have no privacy in that medium, or on the Internet. None, zero. The things you communicate to others are not private in general, unless you are talking to your lawyer or a priest or your doctor, that sort of thing. If you tell me a story, that story is mine the moment it leaves your little chapped lips. You don’t own it any more. It belongs to the world, like Shakespeare’s sonnets and the Gettysburg Address. No privacy. None, zero. Your person is private, your property is private, but your communications are not your property once you, uh, communicate them, you see. Not private. No privacy.

  430. 430
    Thymezone says:

    Neither private companies or the government having everyone’s information is good

    I suppose you will be shocked to find out that the government has your Social Security Number. Try to find a chair, I think you will need to sit down.

  431. 431
    Thymezone says:

    Okay, I think all this agita has exhausted you and you have fallen asleep with your tinfoil hat and your Dick Tracy Wrist Radio … maybe we can take this up another day. Meanwhile, please work on getting that GED and getting yourself ready for the outside world. Sooner or later you are going to need to get a job and start supporting yourself.

  432. 432
    Thymezone says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    You compared my vocabulary to an 8 year old!

    I certainly did not suggest that your vocabulary compares to an 8 year old’s. You would need to improve it considerably to meet that standard.

  433. 433
    LAC says:

    Wow…come back and see that schoolio got an ass whipping online. Bravo….

  434. 434
    kc says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Lying is wrong, Mnemosyne. Please stop lying.

  435. 435
    Rex Everything says:

    Though it’s awfully sweet that you still think Snowden is a crusader for US civil liberties under the Constitution now that he’s given his NSA information to both China and Russia. Because that’s what a true constitutional crusader does.

    That’s a super duper talking point, but to me it won’t really have been said until I hear Pat Buchanan say it on Fox & Friends.

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