Tuesday Morning Open Thread

nsa can do anything except ohman
(Jack Ohman via GoComics.com)

Another brave effort, per the Washington Post:

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday renewed long-frustrated efforts to expand congressional oversight of government surveillance programs following disclosures about the intelligence community’s collection of phone and Internet records.

The FISA Accountability and Privacy Protection Act, introduced Monday by Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), would raise the legal bar the government must meet before obtaining call detail records from U.S. phone companies, effectively narrowing the scope of collection.

The bill would amend Section 215 of the Patriot Act to require officials to demonstrate that the phone records sought are relevant not only to an authorized investigation but that they also have links to a foreign terrorist group or power…

A separate provision in Leahy’s bill would terminate Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, which authorizes a far-reaching Internet surveillance program, in June 2015 — two years sooner than its current expiration date. Details of that program, called PRISM by the National Security Agency, were revealed in articles based on documents obtained by The Washington Post and the Guardian from the same NSA contractor….

Leahy’s bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.). Udall and Wyden, members of the Intelligence Committee, have introduced similar legislation to narrow the scope of Section 215.

“The recent public revelations about two classified data collection programs have brought renewed attention to the use of government surveillance powers, which deserve close scrutiny by Congress,” Leahy said in a statement. “The comprehensive legislation that I am introducing today will not only improve the privacy protections and accountability provisions associated with these authorities, but also strengthen oversight and transparency provisions in other parts of the USA Patriot Act.”

The legislation calls for an unclassified report summarizing the impact of the surveillance program on Americans’ privacy. It also would mandate formal reviews of Patriot Act Section 215 and the FISA Amendments Act Section 702….

What’s on the agenda for another busy morning?

181 replies
  1. 1
    JWL says:

    “What’s on the agenda for another busy morning”?

    [2 AM PST; Sonoma County]

    Well, roosters may be crowing in Florida, but I’m about to sack out here in California.

    Of course, that’s well known.

    I’ll add only this: God bless Uncle Sam & Admiral Poindexter for watching over me as I slumber. I haven’t felt as safe since the duck ‘n cover drills of my youth.

  2. 2
    Elizabelle says:

    I’m just happy the National Zoo’s red panda was found.

    Was concerned about the little guy.

  3. 3
    geg6 says:

    Well, what do you know? The branch of government that actually has the power to modify and/or repeal the Patriot Act finally decides to weigh in while the executive which is charged with executing the current one is in the midst of being pilloried for doing what it is required by the current PAct to do. About fucking time. Sure hope all the Paulites, glibertarians and all around Chicken Littles give them the grief over this as they have the president. Oh wait. That won’t happen because in their ignorant and fact-free fantasy world the president passes all laws, executes them and makes all determinations of lawfulness. The other two branchs of government are there for show or shits and giggles or…something.

  4. 4
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @JWL:

    Duck-n-cover:

    You’re showing your age, sweetheart. :-)

    But this is very good news coming out of the Senate. Bravo. And if something really does come of it, then Snowden will have succeeded.

    He needs to find a safe spot and build a life: write books, raise a family, etc. A spot where he can have contact with the internet.

  5. 5
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Good for Leahy. Great start. That’s how you handle this NSA “scandal”. The Patriot Act has already been found to be constitutional by the Supreme Court, so it’s up to Congress to change it.

  6. 6
    Elizabelle says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Ah, you got me to read the WaPost excerpt.

    And it does sound like a good legislative start.

  7. 7
    geg6 says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    I’d wish him well if I thought he hadn’t exposed things to our global adversaries that have national security implications. I’d feel the same about Bradley Manning if he hadn’t done the same thing. Manning is going to take his medicine and I’m sad it had to come to that. But I don’t wish Snowden a good and happy life. I hope he hates himself forever for ruining his own life. I hope he never has another day of feeling safe and secure.

    One can be opposed to the security state and the Patriot Act and still be opposed to what Manning and Snowden did.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    Baud says:

    @geg6:

    Yep. You’ll notice Rand Paul isn’t a co-sponsor of Leahy’s bill, and as far as I know, hasn’t done shit except put ads on this site asking for money to sue the NSA. But I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot about how Rand is leading the fight against TYRANNY by opposing Obama’s NSA.

  10. 10
    geg6 says:

    @Baud:

    There may be no people on earth that I have more contempt for than Paulites. So concerned about LIBERTY!11! Oh wait. That’s liberty for white males only. Womb carriers and blah or brown people not so much.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Keith G says:

    @geg6: You are giving this executive (whom I overwhelmingly support) an unnecessarily large pass on this. He has an important role to play in these decisions.

    Plans for today: Packing for domestic flight. It’s been a long while. Total travel time 7 hrs.

    I understand that I can take on two carry ons (they will be small). One will be a “go bag” with flight essentials including Nexus 7, iPods, phone & batteries, Rxs, and snacks (and maybe a few mini bottles of single malt – I hear that this is allowed). The other will be my laptop satchel – which will be stashed in the overhead.

    Any advice or guidance?

  13. 13
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Another topic:

    Expanding solar power.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....w#comments

    I find this especially encouraging.

    Historically, feudalism gave way to capitalism because folks found ways of meeting their needs without the largess of the overlords. And then they started supplying things they just wanted. There was an economic revolution before the political structure fell in line.

    For years, I’ve been looking for an economic revolution to displace our present system. This might be it.

    Now, if we can get locally made electricity available to vulnerable populations so they can establish clean and adequate water supplies, we might evade a lot of grief.

  14. 14
    raven says:

    @Keith G: Headphones.

  15. 15
    WereBear says:

    @Keith G: Get up and walk around every hour, even if the flight attendants glare at you. Immobility is a literal killer.

  16. 16
    Botsplainer, fka Todd says:

    Why don’t they just call it “The Omnibus Freedom for Shit Drawling White Racist Men to Plot to Commit Acts of Domestic Terror via the Internet Bill of 2013”?

    Yeehaw.

  17. 17
    WereBear says:

    I am happy to announce, especially in such Foodie territory, that my nephew graduated from high school this Saturday, and he’s been accepted at CIA… the Culinary Institute of America.

    What makes it extra special is that I had a chat with him at fifteen; to discover no one else had discussed his future.

    I pointed out he takes after his father and I; so military is not a good option for him. And I can’t see him happy getting some minimum wage job and living in his mother’s basement. So I told him that if he applied himself academically, where he has some gifts, his teachers would be focused on getting him into a college somewhere and he would actually have a future he could build on.

    He was ready to go to a local college with a fine culinary program when he told me he was thinking of applying to CIA; I told him go for it.

    He is a mirror image of the discouraged young person I had the talk with. This makes me immensely happy.

  18. 18
  19. 19
    Comrade Jake says:

    @Keith G: wear shoes that are easy to take off, and socks that don’t have holes in them. Not sure where you’re flying out of, but these days an hour lead time is sufficient to get through security.

  20. 20
    Comrade Jake says:

    Good on Leahy. He seems like one of the few people left in the Senate actually interested in governing.

  21. 21
    agrippa says:

    The Senators seem to be off to a good start. I think that the Patriot Act does need serious revision. And that is the responsibility of Congress.

  22. 22
    agrippa says:

    @geg6:

    I agree with you about Snowden.

  23. 23
    kindness says:

    Let’s appreciate the newly submitted law but, it isn’t law yet. If it does become law powerful interests will have to apply it to the meat grinder. Hmmm, what could this law possibly need? I know, more tax cuts for our burdened corporate citizens & overlord class…

  24. 24
    martha says:

    @Keith G: @Keith G: the bottles of single malt and any other liquids must be in a 1 quart ziplock bag…you will have to take that bag out of your carry on and have it screened separately in the bin with your shoes. Also, don’t bring a big drink with you pre- screening…you’ll just have to toss it. /road warrior

  25. 25
    Botsplainer, fka Todd says:

    @Baud:

    Huh

    Sorry, my snark is sometimes so subtle that it is incomprehensible to everybody but me.

    Basically, a new requirement for foreign power involvement would give the militia/Teatard demographic the ability to get much further with a domestic terror plot.

    As a culture, we have a tendency to coddle right wing males in their expressions of paranoia and hyperbolic claims of tyranny, even to the point of tolerating overt plots and threats of violence. That shit needs to stop.

  26. 26
    JPL says:

    @WereBear: How exciting! Google tells me that they have several locations, which one is he going to attend?

  27. 27
    amk says:

    @Botsplainer, fka Todd: Also. Too. Didn’t senate rethugs force funding for dronez to check on the other in the immigration bill ?

  28. 28
    danielx says:

    Sigh….wrestling with an Excel problem as part of a consulting gig. If there are any BJers out there who qualify as serious Excel geeks, let me know.

  29. 29
    geg6 says:

    @Keith G:

    What is he supposed to do that he hasn’t done under the restrictions of the law? He already cleaned up the complete and utter clusterfuck that Bush/Cheney made of the law and it’s actually working as intended instead of as some kind of Star Chamber. What does he have the power to do without a revision or repeal of the Patriot Act?

  30. 30
    WereBear says:

    @JPL: Right outside NYC, Hyde Park. Thanks! He’s such a sweetheart.

  31. 31
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @WereBear:
    Congratulations to your nephew! And how wonderful that you took the time to talk with him about his future when he was feeling discouraged. You done good!!
    @JPL: Sorry, JPL, I didn’t see your nice comment in yesterday’s Morning Open Thread until late evening, and didn’t respond as the thread was long dead. But I’d love to get together for lunch next week, maybe Tuesday or Wednesday? Email me SiubhanDuinne (at) gmail (dot) com, we’ll exchange phone numbers and figure out time and place.

  32. 32
    jayackroyd says:

    @geg6:

    Who are our global adversaries?

    What has he exposed to them?

    Are our global adversaries different from Canada’s global adversaries?

    If so, why? If not, why not?

  33. 33
    Baud says:

    @Botsplainer, fka Todd:

    I agree with the stance about domestic terrorism, but the current program doesn’t target domestic activities, so I don’t get how the bill makes a difference one way or the other.

  34. 34
    Anton Sirius says:

    “Details of that program, called PRISM by the National Security Agency…”

    Wrong.

    It’s really hard to take an article seriously when the author a) clearly doesn’t understand the background to the piece, and b) continues to make factual errors that have been corrected in public.

  35. 35
    Kay says:

    @jayackroyd:

    The question about what he has exposed is being asked because you’ll recall we were told there were two sets of information. There were the documents that the Guardian and WaPo published and those they determined they would not publish. Some discretionary process was used there, right?
    So the question then becomes what gets released to others without that check.
    It’s a fair question.

  36. 36
    Keith G says:

    @geg6: With regards to some of the more notorious behaviors of surveillance and data collection, I imagine that the Patriot Act (and related law) gives the administration permission and funding to act in certain ways. As we have seen for decades, it is then left to each administration to address the duties and powers given to them by Congressional legislation.

    I have seen some write here in a way that seems to imply that when Congress barks the executive jumps. That has never been the case. The executive has multitudes of options and interpretations it can employ when considering complex legislation like the Patriot Act. I have never seen a presidential administration aggressively do what it does not want to do – if it does it at all.

  37. 37
    jayackroyd says:

    @Kay:

    MY question is what has he exposed.

    geg6 says:

    I’d wish him well if I thought he hadn’t exposed things to our global adversaries that have national security implications

    I asked geg6 what geg6 thought Snowden had exposed that has national security implications.

  38. 38
    Kay says:

    @jayackroyd:

    Again, we were told that the two news outlets held back information Snowden gave them using some discretionary process.
    The concern then becomes what Snowden releases without the Guardian or WaPo gatekeeper, and to whom.
    Recall, the Guardian and WaPo chose NOT to publish. I don’t know what discretionary process they used, and either do you, but it’s a fair question.

  39. 39

    Texas is upset that FEMA will only cover 75% of the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion.

    Gosh, I’m so old I remember Texas Gov. Rick Perry talking about how wonderful the state’s low-tax, deregulated business environment is. I think that was oh, waaay back in … last week?

  40. 40
    jayackroyd says:

    @Kay:

    Yes, Kay, I understand what you’re saying. I’m asking a different question of geg6. geg6 thinks Snowden has released material that endangers US national security. I am asking geg6 what material has been released that leads to him/her reaching that conclusion.

  41. 41
    Another Halocene Human says:

    I love the cartoon. It’s funny–and almost exactly how I feel about our intelligence services. CIA and NSA both.

    CIA needs a righteous night of the long knives removal of the cancer at the top and completely new management that didn’t come out of CIA. CIA is racist, sexist, paranoid, leaky, uses trust inappropriately, and fucking ineffective.

    (FBI, by contrast, is not only mismanaged but has whole divisions full of dirty detectives. It’s telling that nobody saw anything wrong with agents fighting an ethnic proxy war, the mission be damned.)

    I am now going to get trolled for five hours for saying this, but bqwhatever. Boston lost, anyway. fscking Blackhawks.

    Another random thought: maybe it’s not that all serial killers are white males. Maybe the black serial killers just aren’t getting caught b/c serial killers with a sex fetish tend to kill a certain ‘type’ which tends to be their own race, and #missing white girls. Take that Cleveland case. Those women were dying and nobody cared.

  42. 42
    Kay says:

    @jayackroyd:

    I disagree with “what Snowden released”
    Snowden released more than was published, correct?
    You were never relying on Snowden’s discretion. You were relying on the discretion of the WaPo and the Guardian.
    Since Snowden gave MORE information to media than was published, we know 2 things. The Wapo and Guardian decided SOME was not to be released, and Snowden’s determination of what to release was broader than the 2 media outlets.

  43. 43
    Another Halocene Human says:

    I just called Leahy’s office to voice my support. I could call my senator and ask him to cosponsor, but I know that won’t happen. Half the time I can’t even reach his office. He’s the Senator from Bored Well Heeled Retirees (or at least Decently Heeled, granted, probably they are the more likely to call him) and he does their bidding. I think a lot of septagenarians are lucky to be able to get the internet machine to go to msn where they can check their stock tickers. My grandfather does twiddle around on Facebook a bit (he was playing with settings a few weeks ago, which is a good sign of his continued cognitive health) but he’s outsourced the tech support to his kids. Which is a long way of saying that I doubt most of Nelson’s Lauderdale and Broward and Dade County constituents even really get what PRISM is or care.

  44. 44
    Kirbster says:

    It’s (Special) US Senate Election Day in Massachusetts. I’m off to my town’s Community Center to vote for Ed Markey. I hope my fellow Bay State BJers also plan to vote. I expect the turnout will be pretty low and the whole process, from checking in, to casting my ballot, to checking out, will take no more than about two minutes.

  45. 45
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Kay: Didn’t Snowden or Glennssandra brag that Snowden had the names of covert agents? I mean, sure, that might have been more bullshit. But if true, foreign govs got it all now. Hope it’s not true.

  46. 46
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Kirbster: The nice thing about MA is that if all the oldsters vote (and even those who snowbird should be home or at least in Maine… uh-oh, what if they’re deep in rural Maine? mail delivery takes forever up there), the Democrats crush it.

  47. 47
    Anya says:

    @geg6: He could have worked with congress to make changes to the problematic parts. He could’ve also spoke up about it. Yes, the president is only applying the law that’s in the book. And he did clean Bush’s mess but he did ask Congress to renew three very problematic provisions of the Patriot Act that were set to expire in 2010. That was a major error in my opinion. I know the president had a lot on his plate but this fight was worth having.

  48. 48
    Botsplainer, fka Todd says:

    @amk:

    Didn’t senate rethugs force funding for dronez to check on the other in the immigration bill ?

    It’s OK if you use technology on “the other”.

    It’s just like aggressive policing – America’s bestest patriots were all fine with police brutality, oppression and fuckups when they were being directed at the blahs and browns. In those days, white youthful hijinks were understood on the streets or in the stationhouse, thee perpetrators warned to “not do it again, you’re from a good family” while the blah kids got beaten and jailed. Now that institution creep has extended police misconduct to white areas, they’re all up in arms.

  49. 49
    Ben Cisco says:

    @geg6:

    Well, what do you know? The branch of government that actually has the power to modify and/or repeal the Patriot Act finally decides to weigh in while the executive which is charged with executing the current one is in the midst of being pilloried for doing what it is required by the current PAct to do. About fucking time. Sure hope all the Paulites, glibertarians and all around Chicken Littles give them the grief over this as they have the president. Oh wait. That won’t happen because in their ignorant and fact-free fantasy world the president passes all laws, executes them and makes all determinations of lawfulness. The other two branchs of government are there for show or shits and giggles or…something.

    @geg6:

    There may be no people on earth that I have more contempt for than Paulites. So concerned about LIBERTY!11! Oh wait. That’s liberty for white males only. Womb carriers and blah or brown people not so much.

    Well worth repeating.

  50. 50
    Another Halocene Human says:

    Do the people who scream “no secrets” actually think about what they’re saying?

    So… current Census data should be released? People only cooperate because they trust that there’s an embargo and that it’s enforced.

    IRS records should be free to be you and me?

    Open the mails!

    There’s plenty of stuff the gov keeps confidential that has nothing to do with the MIC. One of the problems with the internet and phone record collection is that by gathering BIG DATA you end up with the BIG PROBLEM of millions of private peoples’ info being stored in multiple databases that have to be kept secure lest angry exes, identity thieves, power-tripping bosses, high school rivals, industrial saboteurs, and other sociopaths gain access to it. The less you grab, the less you have to guard.

    The problem with the security state is not a 2000s or 1970s problem. It goes back to the WWII era when the high court held that the US Government could not be compelled to reveal secrets pertaining to national security. The case was about some servicemen who died during a training exercise. Now that the info’s been declassified, we now know what the families only suspected–it had nothing to do with national security and everything to do with protecting the incompetent and negligent. Later, the government was also cleared from having to compensate families of people in fallout zones who were sickened and died because of government negligence in that matter. “National security”.

    It is THOSE decisions which are the cancer. It’s backbone upon which the FISA court rests, at least politically. (IANAL)

  51. 51
    jayackroyd says:

    @Kay:

    O Kay, you may disagree with “what Snowden has released” in somebody else’s formulation, or in geg6’s. But I really am asking a very narrow question of geg6 here. geg6 thinks US national security has been endangered. I’m asking how he or she believes US national security has been endangered.

    And, then, whether Canada’s has been.

    And then, if not or if so, why?

    In response to what you’re saying here, I think it’s bootless. We don’t know what has been withheld by the WaPo or the Guardian. Snowden has said that he expected them to withhold material, and has claimed that he is behaving responsibly because he has let trusted journalistic sources vet the material released. IMO, he is simply trying to forestall criticism that he has acted irresponsibly and dangerously.

    But I obviously agree that we don’t know what he has given to the Guardian and the Post that they have decided to suppress. The reason I think the discussion is bootless is because we don’t know.

  52. 52
    raven says:

    So they “can’t catch” Snowden huh? I’d love to hear the screams if they Seal Team 6’d his ass.

  53. 53
    Another Halocene Human says:

    Speaking during a visit to India, US Secretary of State John Kerry said it would be “deeply troubling” if it became clear that China had “wilfully” allowed him to fly out of Hong Kong. “There would be without any question some effect and impact on the relationship and consequences,” he said. He also called on Russia to “live by the standards of the law because that’s in the interests of everybody”.

    I miss Hilary.

  54. 54
    Anya says:

    @Another Halocene Human: Glennssandra?
    I absolutely have no use for GG. I think he’s a self righteous dishonest douchebag, but I truly hate the hidden homophobia that some display. I don’t understand how perpetuating the feminization of a gay man is helpful in any way? And how is that different from the masculinization of lesbian woman like Rachel Maddow by wingnut blogs and their commentators. This absolutely drives me nuts. We’re liberals, damn it! Shouldn’t we be better?

  55. 55
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @jayackroyd: Nice diversion. f*ck the Guardian and the Post. Snowden has been talking with Chinese officials from the beginning. I have no idea how much of his bragged about info he ever actually had and how much the Chinese slurped off his equipment. But Snowden and Greenwald have said plenty to at least imply that the Chinese gov’t could have some pretty sensitive info now.

    Of course we don’t know for certain because Snowden, at the least, seems to have a problem with the truth. And the Chinese ain’t talking.

  56. 56
    raven says:

    @Anya: Get a grip
    “In more modern literature, Cassandra has often served as a model for tragedy and romance, and has given rise to the archetypal character of someone whose prophetic insight is obscured by insanity, turning their revelations into riddles or disjointed statements that are not fully comprehended until after the fact.”

  57. 57
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Anya: Nice. You don’t know me. ‘ssandra as in CASSandra? That is who Glenn thinks he is.

    If you think being compared to a female mythological figure is a slur (hmmm) then I will move on and call him Glenn the Baptist. “A voice in the wilderness”. Kind of lacks that “nobody’s listening” implication, however.

  58. 58
    Mandalay says:

    @jayackroyd:

    geg6 thinks Snowden has released material that endangers US national security.

    What Snowden has released covertly or inadvertently – if anything – is unknown. It is obvious but unsaid that Snowden has not publicly released any information that endangers US national security.

    Security people, politicians and Administration officials (e.g. Keith Alexander, Mike Rogers) are also being asked that question, and of course they insist that Snowden has endangered national security, but I have not yet found anyone in the media never follow up with the obvious question “How?”.

  59. 59
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @raven: Perfect. Sounds like Glenn’s twitter feed.

  60. 60
    Emma says:

    @WereBear: Bravo! It’s difficult these days for the kids coming out of high school; an non-judgmental adult to help them think it through is essential. Good job.

  61. 61
    piratedan says:

    @Anya: and 2010 was the last time we had Dem control of both houses of Congress and those guys did nada Anya. Couldn’t anyone in Congress, Senate or House, have sponsored something, anything to revise that law and expect it to have passed? I would assume so and yet, that opportunity has passed. It can’t all be on Obama, who could have suggested something, surely yet he’s not solely responsible.

  62. 62
  63. 63
    Kay says:

    @jayackroyd:

    and has claimed that he is behaving responsibly because he has let trusted journalistic sources vet the material released. IMO, he is simply trying to forestall criticism that he has acted irresponsibly and dangerously.

    Pointing to what “Snowden has released” as a response to “what has Snowden released?” doesn’t work.

    Snowden released more than were permitted to see. The Guardian and the WaPo were the gatekeepers, not Snowden. That’s fact. We’re not talking about the entire universe of information. They published less then he gave them.

    Of the larger set of information Snowden gave them, the media outlets determined that some portion of what Snowden gave them was not to be released. They told us that.

    If Snowden is now out from under the gatekeepers, it’s a fair question to ask what he will release and to whom, since he has already released more than the Guardian and the WaPo will publish.

  64. 64
    Mandalay says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Do the people who scream “no secrets”…

    That’s a terrific straw man you built there. Well done.

  65. 65
  66. 66
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Mandalay: How? By downloading sensitive info onto his USB drive at his slacky mcslackerton (whoops, just slurred Irish people now, as an Irish person HOW DARE I) contractor outfit. (Srsly, my dad used to work for a contractor where USBs were not allowed in or out of the building and they did searches. Of course, this was old school we build stuff for the Air Force MIC, not new school, revolving door/billionaire boy’s club MIC.)

    And then flying out of the country with all that info, hooking up his ‘puters to the internet, and having closed door meetings with agents of a foreign power. Plus he revealed slightly stale info about NSA surveillance of foreign leaders which is embarrassing, to say the least, and might compromise current efforts depending on how quickly each side evolves.

    The how you are asking for is “how much” but of course we don’t know that. Belaboring this point does not make you look clever.

  67. 67
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Mandalay: It’s not a strawman, it’s comments made in the comment section of this very blog last night. Not by you, so I’m not sure why you responded.

  68. 68
    jayackroyd says:

    Thanks @Mandalay:

    Yes, I think that’s right. So I am still wondering how geg6 has reached his or her conclusion regarding endangered national security.

  69. 69
    Mandalay says:

    @Kay:

    Pointing to what “Snowden has released” as a response to “what has Snowden released?” doesn’t work.

    That’s certainly a fair point, but would you accept that none of the information that Snowden is known to have released has endangered national security?

  70. 70
    Emma says:

    @Another Halocene Human: Thank you. I am so damn tired of repeating some of this. Add to it the fact that large numbers of the younger generation seem to see no problem in spreading their information far and wide through social media — which is readily collected and sometimes sold for commercial purposes — that we need to redefine what should be private and what should be optional. From the start. Before more damn laws are passed.

  71. 71
    jayackroyd says:

    @Kay:

    I suppose. But it’s a bootless question. We’ll see what we see.

    BTW, you also don’t know whether the material the Guardian and the Post didn’t publish does indeed represent a threat to US national security. As I said, it’s my (obviously speculative) opinion that he used those outlets to forestall this criticism, and not necessarily because he gave them actually sensitive material. But we don’t know.

  72. 72
    Mandalay says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    It’s not a strawman, it’s comments made in the comment section of this very blog last night.

    Links?

  73. 73
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Botsplainer, fka Todd: That’s possible. I don’t know to what degree it would hamper the LEOs who investigate these kinds of things. I’m not sure to what degree the Feds really investigate these clowns anyway. The most effective intel they get is from former members who have a change of heart and become informants. Plus there’s the whole watching their facebook pages thing.

    Not being able to trace gunpowder is probably a lot more relevant than being able to ask Facebook for three year old baleeted status updates.

    Also, too, can’t they obtain a warrant and grab that shit in regular court? In the world of stop&frisk, how damn hard is it for a cop to get a warrant?

    Perhaps someone with more specific info could explain. And perhaps also inform Leahy that he needs to take that into account.

  74. 74
    Chyron HR says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Srsly, my dad used to work for a contractor where USBs were not allowed in or out of the building and they did searches.

    Strip? Cavity? I’m not really seeing the point unless they go all the way (pardon the expression).

  75. 75
    Botsplainer, fka Todd says:

    Wouldn’t it be funny if the reason that Snowden is incommunicado is because his new besties have locked him in a cell and are extracting info using coercive techniques?

  76. 76
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @geg6: it’s actually working as intended instead of as some kind of Star Chamber.

    “working as intended” doesn’t exclude “star chamber”

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves–it’s a secret court with no accountability staffed by arch conservatives. Yeah, that’ll end well.

    All those prosecutions of middle class Arab-Americans who had involvement with ME charities that were less than 6 degrees of separation from Terrah! make me wonder. I mean, voting in a federal election puts me less than 6 degrees from nukes, so, uh, rubber glue no backsies.

  77. 77
    Kay says:

    @Mandalay:

    is known to have released has endangered national security?

    To whom? Apparently what Snowden released to the WaPo and the Guardian DID “endanger national security” or there was some other reason they didn’t publish. I don’t know what their discretionary process entails. Perhaps it was something as simple as revealing personal information about a party.
    You weren’t relying on Snowden. Obviously. That’s why it doesn’t work to keep going back to “what Snowden released”. More than the media saw fit to publish. That’s the answer so far. That’s why it’s a good question.

  78. 78
    piratedan says:

    @Chyron HR: we have Eric Carmen and The Raspberries on line three regarding copyright infringement…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OwTOlBVs3g

  79. 79
    Mandalay says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    The how you are asking for is “how much” but of course we don’t know that.

    Exactly. We don’t know. It is unknown.

    I have yet to see anyone (bloggers, the media, politicians, gpvernment officials, etc.) cite any information publicly released by Snowdon that has endangered national security. Until someone does that with a coherent argument I view any allegations that Snowden has definitely endangered national security as unproven.

  80. 80
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Chyron HR: I think there was a threat of strip searches, dunno about cavity. I think maybe there was routine pocket patting and you couldn’t bring briefcases or packages in either? I never knew the details, just that my Dad found it irritating and a little scary. I think, IIRC, that the security was actually a separate company or division and had power over the egghead brigade.

  81. 81
    Baud says:

    @Mandalay:

    By the same token, no one should venerate Snowden since we just don’t know the extent of what he has done.

  82. 82
    Steeplejack says:

    @Chyron HR:

    I really wonder how you can possibly prevent microSD cards from going in and out.

  83. 83
    Mandalay says:

    @Kay:

    To whom?

    To the world of course! Can you cite anything that Snowden has said publicly, or any quote attributed to Snowden, that has endangered national security?

    It’s a very straightforward question.

  84. 84
    geg6 says:

    @jayackroyd:

    So, the guy spends time in both China and Russia, displays less savvy than my twelve-year-old niece about the capabilities and nature of each of those countries (especially as demonstrated by his remarks about how Hong Kong was some bastion of FREEDOM!11!), and apparently plans an eventual escape to Ecuador, a country with an exponentially more draconian view of government criticism and freedom of press and association than the one whose laws he has broken and I’m supposed to believe that there was nothing else on his drive that we haven’t seen that could give up important national security information to people who know how to analyze and interpret it? They never touched his stuff or found any way to get to it? Not in China and not in Russia?

    If you believe that, I know of a bridge for sale…

  85. 85
    Keith G says:

    @Mandalay: Yeah links or other indications of degree of seriousness would be a good thing. One can find souls on the interwebs who will advocate any quixotic notion one can conceive of.

    So yeah there is a “no secrets” crowd just like there is a “no pets” crowd, and a “no vaccines” crowd, but please don’t use them as serious evidence in this case.

  86. 86
    Keith G says:

    opps.

  87. 87
    magurakurin says:

    @Botsplainer, fka Todd:

    that’s exactly what’s happen, I believe. To paraphrase the Classics, Putin called in a coupla hard, vodka hitting cossacks to go to work on him with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch.

  88. 88
    jayackroyd says:

    @Kay:

    I don’t know what their discretionary process entails.

    Indeed.

  89. 89
    jayackroyd says:

    @Baud:

    Yes, that’s right.

  90. 90
    Emma says:

    Well, Mandalay, you can stop asking the question. IF this is true, http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201.....d-snowden/ and IF he has names of covert agents as he has suggested, he’ll spill them. That enough harm for you?

    God help the poor bastard. I hope he’s on his way to Ecuador or Iceland or whatever.

  91. 91
    jayackroyd says:

    @geg6:

    That answers exactly none of the four questions I asked.

  92. 92
    Kay says:

    @Mandalay:

    Mandalay, you can keep dodging this if you want, but the Guardian and the WaPo were the gatekeepers.
    You were relying on the two media individuals (and their editors) and now you’re relying on one individual to come up with the proper balance between secrecy and security.
    But, hey, the balance between secrecy and security is what’s under discussion here, so now you’ve reached that question, so it shouldn’t make you uncomfortable.
    You weren’t relying on Snowden’s discretion for what’s been released so far, actually, but now you are. The analysis has changed.

  93. 93
    Mandalay says:

    @Baud:

    By the same token, no one should venerate Snowden since we just don’t know the extent of what he has done.

    Agreed. I readily acknowledge that nobody knows what Snowden has done in private.

    But to assert with certainty that he has endangered national security is just nonsense. It’s just a very convenient diversion that makes it harder to focus on the issues raised by the information Snowden has released.

    For example, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers has a real interest in smearing Snowden. Because otherwise the media might start asking him thorny questions about the lack of congressional oversight of security matters. So Rogers just attacks the messenger.

  94. 94
    magurakurin says:

    @jayackroyd:

    you’re gonna defend this piece of shit? Fuck, I know the NSA is fucked in its own special ways and the US is far from an angel state, but honestly, I don’t want either the Chinese or the Russians in charge of this shit show we call Planet Earth.

    Fuck Snowden.

  95. 95
    amk says:

    @geg6: Even if such an info comes through saying it endangered US, it’ll be most prolly through msm or from admin and hence not believable. So, you can’t win. Ever. With the freedumb crowd.

  96. 96
    Kay says:

    @jayackroyd:

    I think in the WaPo’s case, it entails notifying the gubmint, which is sort of amusing in its own crazy way, given the context. I’m not familiar with the Guardian, so I don’t know if they ask if they can publish on such and such a date, or if they (voluntarily) heed calls to hold off, “scrub”. whatever. We know the WaPo and the NYTimes do.

  97. 97
    piratedan says:

    @Mandalay: here’s a thought for you… if he doesn’t have information that is damaging to national security, why is there a need to flee the country?

  98. 98
    Amir Khalid says:

    @WereBear:
    I had dinner once at the Culinary Institute of America’s Poughkeepsie campus, as a guest of IBM.

  99. 99
    jayackroyd says:

    @Emma:

    He was not on board Monday’s flight to Cuba on which he was booked, and his current whereabouts have not been confirmed amid speculation he could still be in Russia or have flown to another destination.

    From the linked story. I really think people should wait for actual developments before tossing around accusations.

  100. 100
    Keith G says:

    @geg6:

    I’m supposed to believe that there was nothing else on his drive that we haven’t seen that could give up important national security information to people who know how to analyze and interpret it?

    I am thinking that you can believe anything that you want, but why bother. The truth will come out soon enough, if our government wants us to know the truth in this – a somewhat dicey supposition.

    Focus on the teachable moment. The thread leads off with the idea that verifiable good things are coming about because of this. Democratic behavior (small ‘d’) is not a bad thing and it is best helped by the sunlight of as much information as possible. The 55 years of my life has seen this government become more obsessed with, and better at, keeping significant information away from the public. Debate, it seems, is for sissies and not for the citizens of this republic. The President said he welcomes this debate. Well, now seems like a good time. Let’s see if he steps up.

  101. 101
    jayackroyd says:

    @piratedan: Because there’s a good chance they’ll put him in solitary awaiting a trial that doesn’t take place for a long time?

  102. 102
    Baud says:

    @Mandalay:

    What is pretty clear is that Snowden broke the law, however, regardless of whether the info released harms national security. So I don’t see how we can get past Snowden unless we are willing to give the Justice Department the leeway to apprehen and prosecute him.

  103. 103
    Emma says:

    @jayackroyd: What accusation? According to the French press (that doesn’t sound right somehow) and some others, he’s still in Moscow and he’s probably being interrogated by the direct descendant of the KGB. Notice the IFs in my earlier post.

    And I will repeat it. IF he’s being interrogated and IF he knows secrets, he’ll spill them.

  104. 104
    Mandalay says:

    @Kay:

    Mandalay, you can keep dodging this if you want

    I am not dodging anything, but you certainly are. For the second time:

    Can you cite anything that Snowden has said publicly, or any quote attributed to Snowden, that has endangered national security?

    It’s a very simple yes/no question that you are refusing to answer.

  105. 105
    Keith G says:

    @magurakurin:
    Quote modified by me as indicated by [ ].

    …you’re gonna defend this piece of shit? Fuck, [A] I know the NSA is fucked in its own special ways and the US is far from an angel state, but honestly, [B] I don’t want either the Chinese or the Russians in charge of this shit show we call Planet Earth.

    How are you getting from A to B?

  106. 106
    raven says:

    @jayackroyd: Xin Loi mofo.

  107. 107
    piratedan says:

    @jayackroyd: oh, yeah, right, because then he’s engaging in an act of civil disobedience and would have turned himself in to expose the abuse that’s inherent in the system

  108. 108
    Mandalay says:

    @piratedan:

    if he doesn’t have information that is damaging to national security…

    Well that looks like yet another straw man. I don’t know anyone who is making that claim. Nobody should either, since nobody knows what information Snowden took with him to Hong Kong.

    All I am arguing is that to date Snowden has not publicly said anything to endanger national security.

  109. 109
    ericblair says:

    @Chyron HR:

    Strip? Cavity? I’m not really seeing the point unless they go all the way (pardon the expression).

    Yeah, USB drives are universally banned at this point I think, but you’ve got to remember that these people are supposed to be trusted and you’re not going to turn the place into a prison. What are you going to do, wipe their memories when they go out the door: there’s sensitive stuff there, too?

    There are a bunch of problems with the extensive contractor presence in national security (which Obama has been decreasing for the last few years, if anyone cares), but all the discussions I’ve see here and elsewhere completely miss the point. Contractors go through the same process for clearance as government civilians, and the contractor has no control over it. Most classified processing goes on in government facilities, but the contractor facilities are held to the same standards there too, and are usually bigger sticklers for following procedure because they’re terrified of losing their facility security clearance. The ones with the loosest rules are usually the ones run by a military commander, since they have considerable leeway to waive procedures if it looks like it impacts their missions.

    The real problem, besides too many people needing clearances to see too much overclassified material, is the security clearance process. It’s very much a checkbox, paint-by-the-numbers bureaucratic sausage factory where the best candidate is 19 year old kid from the sticks who has never been anywhere, met anybody, or done anything. You don’t “graduate” from lower to higher levels of trust. They’re perfectly happy to send someone who just fell off the turnip truck into a complex, morally ambiguous environment with experience opponents trying to turn or compromise him. The intelligence community relies on polygraphs, which congressional committees have told them over and over again are worthless, but still insist on dragging everyone through this farce.

    I also remember a few weeks ago where we had some threads on jobs bemoaning the stupid credentialism that has taken over the hiring process. Now all I’m hearing is screaming about how a guy who didn’t graduate from college could have possibly gotten this job: well, that’s why credentialism exists. If this yutz had a degree from Stanford, that would have taken a lot of heat off, and maybe offload it onto Stanford. Not relying on credentials means the hiring company is taking a risk, and when the shit hits the fan nobody is going to respect your willingness to buck the system.

  110. 110
    geg6 says:

    @jayackroyd:

    Well, since I am neither a contractor nor an employee of the NSA or CIA or DIA, I wouldn’t know what this asshole may have downloaded, knowingly or not. Do you? I really don’t know how you expect me to tell you what China and Russia most likely got from his little stunt, but as Kay says, there was plenty that the WaPo and Guardian declined to publish and that’s just from what he gave them, not his drives. And you’re braindead if you think neither China nor Russia have the will or the capability to get whatever they want from him, whether he has his head under a blanket or not.

  111. 111
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Mandalay: woooo, goal post teleportation! that was astounding!

  112. 112
    Kay says:

    @Mandalay:

    Whatever, Mandalay. It doesn’t matter what I ask. Media are already asking the same question because it’s a perfectly valid question, and defending by pointing to “what Snowden has released so far” doesn’t work, because it was the Guardian and the WaPo who “released”, selectively and carefully, not Snowden.
    Now you’re at Snowden. There’s just no way to avoid it. There will be a discussion about Snowden’s discretion and reliability because the gatekeepers are gone. It’s a new analysis.

  113. 113
    geg6 says:

    @Keith G:

    And with that, I completely agree. But I haven’t been waiting for the president to, as you say, “step up.” That is not his job. The people I’ve been waiting to step up have now done so, or at least a few of them. Let’s see if the rest decide to step up. If they do, THEN I’ll start worrying about whether the president does the same. But I believe he will.

  114. 114
    Mandalay says:

    @Kay: OK. So you cannot cite anything that Snowden has stated publicly to harm our national security. Thanks.

  115. 115
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @ericblair: Huh, that’s interesting. Back in the early 80s they used to ask you if you’d ever been a member of the John Birch Society. Wonder if that needs to be updated?

    Also, it looks like the background check agency was spun off as a private company (now we get the punchline to that Clinton era Goldman Sachs revolving door) and they were already in hot water for, basically, sucking before Snowden was even working at Booz.

    Polygraphs aren’t useless, but they become worse than useless when misused. CNS arousal doesn’t mean someone’s lying and the lack doesn’t mean they’re being truthful. There are appropriate uses of polygraph but it requires thinking ahead and not treating it like a magic box. They do that in Japan but maybe they don’t have IQ ceilings for Japanese cops, lol.

  116. 116
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Srsly, my dad used to work for a contractor where USBs were not allowed in or out of the building and they did searches.

    I really wonder how you can possibly prevent microSD cards from going in and out.

    @Steeplejack:
    @Another Halocene Human:

    Difficult to search for, although the time-honored practice of “terrorizing the workers” is always a good deterrent.

    Far more effective is:

    1. Gluing the ports shut.
    2. Disabling the operating system’s ability to mount an external drive.

    Any secure environment (at least one that takes security truly seriously) this is how it’s done.

    Appears this morning that Snowden has gone missing. If that’s true, I hope his parents can get his body back someday.

  117. 117
    Mandalay says:

    @Keith G:

    The President said he welcomes this debate. Well, now seems like a good time. Let’s see if he steps up.

    Indeed. He certainly appears far more interested in that debate than most other politicians. I just wish that he had welcomed the debate before Snowden went public rather than after.

  118. 118
    Keith G says:

    @piratedan: I have no problem which Snowden being charged with crimes related to leaking classified info (ironically something this and other administrations do with impunity, but oh well). And since I know what type of federal incarceration he would face even if eventually cleared (totally unlikely), I have no problem with him running.

    But. These. Are. The. Sideshow. Issues.

    And I am sure that there are bunches of people in and around D.C. who are loving that this is your focus and not the debate we need to have about privacy and civil liberties.

  119. 119
    piratedan says:

    @Mandalay: no more so than the shit you’ve been peddling, you keep asking what has he been publishing that is so damaging, yet the two entities in the west that have seen it have said “thanks, but no thanks, this is a bridge too far for us”, so he takes his show on the road. If he’s looking for a neutral arbiter Iceland seems like a fit, true, the Nordic nirvanna with no extradition, yet, he doesn’t go there does he. So please, spare us you’re own glibertarian naivete about true intentions and get back to the deeds

    1) he downloads TS documents, illegally onto a thumb drive
    2) leaves his job for HK
    3) talks extensively to the PRC media arm in HK
    4) flees HK before extradition to the US for the other significant US political adversary, Russia
    5) rinse and repeat #3 substitute FSB for PRC Media arm

    still nothing from WaPo or TG regarding the data he shared with them, three weeks into the story. If this was about domestic spying, there’s no way that these guys don’t run apeshit with it.

  120. 120
    Another Halocene Human says:

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201.....d-snowden/
    But whatever Russia gains from speaking to Snowden, on a diplomatic level the fugitive’s case will exacerbate a deep-freeze in the already tense relations between Moscow and Washington.

    Nooo, doesn’t effect national security at all.

    But Mandalay is happy, because it’s only what Snowden did in fleeing to Moscow, rather than anything he said publicly.

  121. 121
    geg6 says:

    @Mandalay:

    Why does it have to be public? Who is claiming he said any such thing? I haven’t claimed that and neither has Kay. What we are concerned about is what he hasn’t told you and me that he has told the Chinese and Russians. Or what he may have documentation of that he is too stupid or ignorant to understand that may now be in the hands of Russian and Chinese intelligence.

    I know it’s a difficult concept for you to realize that not all national security information is or should be public. And that you actually believe this idiot knows about and understands everything he stole. But I can assure you, there is such a thing as national security and it is legitimate and this dimwit understands little to nothing of what he most likely has.

  122. 122
    Mandalay says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    Far more effective is:

    1. Gluing the ports shut.
    2. Disabling the operating system’s ability to mount an external drive.

    This. I still find it astounding that someone in Snowden’s position would even have had the ability to use a USB drive.

  123. 123
    magurakurin says:

    @Keith G:

    whatever, dude. If you think some jackass giving state secrets to the Russians and the Chinese is a positive development in the world, good for you.

  124. 124
    Kay says:

    @Mandalay:

    No, Mandalay. Edward Snowden has not said anything that will harm “national security” in his interview(s), as far as you or I know. I don’t really accept that you are the arbiter of what harms “national security”, but that’s a different problem with your analysis.
    But the facts are (going back to the documents! which is what you insisted we focus on!) he DID release more than than two media outlets deemed wise to publish.
    If we’re relying on Snowden’s discretion and reliability, and we are, now, we can admit that. It’s true.
    You can’t insist on the reward without the risk. The risk exists. This was always about what level “we” were going to accept. I, “we”, didn’t actually consent to Snowden’s risk analysis, but I’m okay with a lot of risk. I don’t really have any other choice in this instance, now do I? I accept Snowden’s discretion on risk-reward because that’s what I’m relying on.

  125. 125
    Keith G says:

    @geg6:

    That is not his job.

    That’s funny. And all this time I thought he wanted to be the leader of this country. Presidents often do stuff that is out in front of where the people are. That is what leaders – great leaders – do.

    From Jefferson to Lincoln, to the great Post War Presidents, leaders have stepped out, put their credibility on the line, and said in effect, “This is where we need to go.” And they have had their allies in Congress introduce the necessary legislation empowering their ideals.

    Who has stopped this President from leading in this issue? I might add, an issue that I have been reading about for over a decade.

  126. 126
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: I did start to write something about how the computers in the building were not your standard off the shelf stuff. Also, this was before microSD cards. But I deleted it because I don’t know the details.

    As for terrorizing the work force, I guess the big boys with their big houses from their big contracts didn’t want the pocket protector brigade with their overdeveloped IQs and resentment at their crummy work conditions and lack of job security to get any notions of turning Snowden and cutting off the gravy train.

    At the time, I’m not sure they weren’t more worried about somebody selling industrial secrets to a competitor or trying to go into business for themselves with some tech they’d developed while working for them. Late 1990s.

  127. 127
    ericblair says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Huh, that’s interesting. Back in the early 80s they used to ask you if you’d ever been a member of the John Birch Society. Wonder if that needs to be updated?

    It’s pretty general now, to do with allegiance to the US. So, for example, if you were a member of some skinhead group or the Alaska Independence Party, that would be a real problem. If you want some sort of interesting reading, the actual way they determine clearances is in the reference manual here.

    That’s the “collateral” clearance; for intelligence jobs you need SCI, which is another level of investigation on top of that, with either a counterintel poly (questions about whether you would compromise information), or lifestyle poly (why did you steal that bag of candy in second grade?). If you work on Presidential detail, there’s an even more restrictive level of investigation where they really get out the lube and rubber gloves. That’s why Snowden’s claim of tapping Obama’s phone was obvious bullshit: there’s a special office for presidential comms that’s nothing to do with NSA and the vast majority of NSA people aren’t cleared for it.

    Also, it looks like the background check agency was spun off as a private company (now we get the punchline to that Clinton era Goldman Sachs revolving door) and they were already in hot water for, basically, sucking before Snowden was even working at Booz.

    There are several, which are contracted through the clearance granting agencies like OPM and have nothing to do with companies like Booz (which is fairly confusing). This was started a while ago to cut costs, and has been a real clusterfuck with antiquated processes and an enormous push to do things too quickly. If you want to know all the complaints from both the clearance contractors themselves and gummint investigators, they hang out at this blog.

  128. 128
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Keith G: A ha ha ha, back to the old “failure to lead” trope.

    It’s always Obama’s fault.

  129. 129
    Tone in DC says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Heh, indeed.

  130. 130
    Mandalay says:

    @piratedan:

    So please, spare us you’re own glibertarian naivete about true intentions

    I don’t claim to know anything about Snowden’s true intentions. But neither does anyone else here.

    He may have been a Russian or Chinese plant while he was working at the NSA for all I know, and the stuff he has publicly stated is a diversion to mask the more harmful information that he has stolen and handed over to some foreign country. Anything is possible.

    But there is so much bullshit being attributed to Snowden by armchair experts that either isn’t true or relevant.

  131. 131
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @ericblair: Thanks for the polite and informative answer. FYWP broke your second link, btw.

  132. 132
    Liberty60 says:

    I hope Wyden, Leahy, and other Dems hold hearings on all of this, and some of the questions they should be asking:

    How secure is the information that is being collected by Booz Allen? How do we know that these private corporations aren’tr rife with Snowdens? Who else has been able to pocket millions secretly selling secrets?

    In the CIA and FBI, they have massive counterintelligence programs in place to protect against moles. What process did we go through before awarding billions in fees to Booz Allen to make sure they were at least as secure?

    What we do know for a fact is that a thinly vetted young man was able to gather a massive amount of top secret data and walk out the door with it.

  133. 133
    geg6 says:

    @Keith G:

    It is not his job to change the law. That’s why he does not need to “step up” here. He has already “stepped up” by tightening the rules for the NSA and making sure the process is followed to the law, an action his predecessor declined. Until the law changes, that’s about all he can do. Unless you are advocating for some of that bully pulpit nonsense, that’s pretty much it.

  134. 134
    Keith G says:

    @magurakurin: 1) Assuming facts not in evidence. 2) Many things have been called “state secrets” to keep them from being used to hold this government accountable for it actions. 3) If we survived the leaks that helped the “Commies” get to workable hydrogen bombs, I’m thinking that we will survive this – whatever its turns out to be.

    Like our Founding Fathers, I have always been more worried about tyranny from within than “enemies” outside.

  135. 135
    geg6 says:

    @Liberty60:

    I’d like to see the answers to those, too.

  136. 136
    amk says:

    @Another Halocene Human: It’s as if they want him to be the messiah. :)

  137. 137
    Liberty60 says:

    @Keith G:

    Who has stopped this President from leading in this issue? I might add, an issue that I have been reading about for over a decade.

    Here it is again- framing this as a referendum on Obama, when the issue is a decade old, and has massive support of both houses of Congress and 5/9 of the Court.

    You are- perhaps inadvertantly- accepting the framing of the rightwing- that if Secret Service agent screws a prostitute, it is a failure of leadership by Obama; if an IRS agent gives a little extra scrutiny to a Tea Party group, it is on direct orders from the Oval Office; if a Dept of Agriculture county administrator in Shitstain Georgia hangs up on a caller, it is an example of the lawless tyranny of the Kenyan Usurper.

    Everything the NSA has done, would have happened under President McCain, President Clinton, President Romney.

    Don’t let RedState and Gateway Pundit define the terms of our arguments for us.

  138. 138
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Liberty60: Ha ha, CIA has a policy to not promote people who aren’t white christian males. FBI had white protestant Hanssen stealing infos for years for money and they KNEW they had a mole and still didn’t catch him.

    Both agencies rely too much on “trust” not enough on procedure. More RCC than MCC. Guess which of those two churches has never had to weather a child rape scandal.

    I have serious questions about intelligence contractors but it’s not like the public sector is a shining beacon in the night here. Dulles and Hoover left their mark, yo.

    When you realize that the CIA pretty much got its start as the summer camp for toffs, especially when they pushed that army guy out and brought Dulles in, a lot of stuff becomes more clear. CIA was pretty much a bunch of hyperprivileged Brahmins playing British Intelligence. They successfully wagged the dog on US foreign policy for years (for example: Iran).

    The WASPs had open control during WWI (demonizing Germans, throwing in with the English, surprise, surprise), but by WWII they were facing this mass of “ethnic whites” who now spoke English and voted (Lithuanians, Germans, Finns, Sicilians, Greeks, etc, etc). So they went covert.

    It’s a long and disgusting history and goes a long way to explaining why Americans don’t trust their government.

  139. 139
    Tone in DC says:

    @magurakurin:

    Good one.

    Though I can’t see Vlad invoking Ezekiel 25:17, but hey…

  140. 140
    Keith G says:

    @geg6: It was not LBJ’s job to change Civil Rights law in 64, 67, & 68, but he stepped up and led. It wan’t his job (technically) to see to it that laws creating Head Start and Medicare were written and shepherded through Congress, but he stepped up and led – and Medicare was a fight and a half.

    Truman’s Marshall Plan and Ike’s Highway System were both administration initiatives that were not easy sells to Congress, but they stepped up and led.

  141. 141
    Kay says:

    @Liberty60:

    We’ll see, Liberty60, but I have trouble believing “hearings” will allay your concerns, because Leahy won’t release everything.

    The “hearings” will be limited to some analysis of national security risk, transparency versus security. Leahy won’t say everything. You are going to end up back at “trust”, inevitably and always. It’s why people are pointing to Leahy (rightfully, I think) because he has credibility on these issues. That’s earned. Part of how it’s earned, why it’s legitimate, in this country anyway, is because he was elected. He didn’t appoint himself.

  142. 142
    ericblair says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Thanks for the polite and informative answer. FYWP broke your second link, btw.

    Fixed that link. No problem, I think this really has to go to Congress to change the laws and maybe something will come out of Leahy’s bill, but we’re working with a totally broken legislative branch and I’m not optimistic.

  143. 143
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    The FISA Court is “staffed by arch conservatives”? I think I read that the Chief Justice appoints judges to the FISA Court, but do we know he appoints “arch conservatives”?

  144. 144
    magurakurin says:

    @Keith G:

    Do you believe that it is better that the Soviets got the bomb and the ensuing arms race led to thousands of nuclear weapons in the world?

    like I said, whatever. You’re a fucking douche bag anyway who spews more shit than a new born baby. So, climb back up on your fucking high horse and go save us all from the “tyanny within.” Fuckwit.

  145. 145
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @geg6: Bully pulpit? I thought Obama went on ther teevee last week about that shit. That’s all the bully pulpit is. And some senators are now going public with a bill, so sounds like there was some communication there and cooperation.

    It’s not Obama’s fault that Boehner and Cantor are at war and can’t even pass a corporation-fellating farm bill, never mind come to grips with something like FISA like adults. How is Obama to blame for THAT shit?

  146. 146
    Mandalay says:

    @Kay:

    No, Mandalay. Edward Snowden has not said anything that will harm “national security” in his interview(s), as far as you or I know.

    Yet we have anonymous Administration officials, the House Chair of the Intelligence Committee, the Director of the FBI, and the Director of the NSA all insisting that Snowden has “harmed national security”. But none of them can actually specify exactly how he has harmed “harmed national security”. How strange.

    Now Snowden may be halfway through a bottle of vodka getting ready to puke on the pillow after whispering the passwords of his four laptops to some sexy Russian agent right now. Who knows?

    But what I do know for sure is that Snowden has not publicly said anything to harm our national security to date, regardless of what our lying apparatchiks in Washington would like us to believe.

  147. 147
    Another Halocene Human says:

    Also, too, didn’t Obama announce yet ANOTHER civil liberties citizens advisory board which will presumably make recommendations to Congress and do the whole press circuit when they’re ready?

    Presumably they’ll be at it for months… oh gosh, they didn’t present something instantly.

    Apparently expectations are being set by PATRIOT Act bursting fully formed from Ashcroft post 9/11, or maybe those ALEC bills that mushroom up annually … never considering there is something wrong with that, maybe subverting our democracy. I can’t even.

  148. 148
    muddy says:

    @Mandalay:

    I just wish that he had welcomed the debate before Snowden went public rather than after.

    I don’t guess it occurs to you that many would not be interested until there was an exciting “story” to tack it to. Now there is.

    I just wish that Snowden “had welcomed the debate”. He seems to think it only goes one way.

  149. 149
    burnspbesq says:

    Decision in Shelby County, the Voting Rights Act case, is out, and I don’t know of anybody who predicted this specific outcome.

    Section 5, the pre-clearance procedure, remains in place, but Section 4, the “coverage formula” that determines which states are subject to pre-clearance, is unconstitutional as applied. So for the moment, Section 5 is inoperative. Congress can, if it chooses to, tweak the coverage formula and then zombie Section 5 springs back to life.

    On balance, that’s far from the worst result imaginable.

    The trick, of course, is to win back control of the House in 2014, so that a new coverage formula can be enacted. Elections have consequences.

  150. 150
    Anya says:

    @raven: @Another Halocene Human: Okay, so I’ve been driven over the edge by all the “gigi” and “Ms. Glen” crap. It might not apply here, but my point is still valid.

  151. 151
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Mandalay: That link that’s been posted twice on this thread detailed the harm Snowden is causing to US-Russian relations. You could have seized on the guy who said that relations are so bad they can’t get any worse so Snowden is a nonevent, but apparently you didn’t follow the link.

  152. 152
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Anya: I agree, that Ms Glenn crap is hateful. I did think about it and was worried but at the same time Cassandra seemed so apt. Maybe trying to portmanteau the names was a mistake.

  153. 153
    Keith G says:

    @Liberty60: Yet we might not be having to deal with this this much, if at all, had actions been taking sooner.

    But at it’s root I want to politely reject the notion that saying to this President that he should have made other choices is letting “RedState and Gateway Pundit define the terms of our arguments for us.” If that is our stance then we sound like Republicans in 03-05 who knew the war was going sideways but would not confront Bush or Cheney. and I an not stating that the underlying problems are similar – just the reluctance to engage in important discussions.

  154. 154
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @burnspbesq: Damn. I actually would be happy to see many more states subject to preclearance, but it’s a kind of ourobouros in that first the House has to change and the House is determined by the maps and the maps are determined by the same bastards who started this whole thing…. ahhhhhghghghg

    fuckers

  155. 155
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Just going off the media reports. Apparently some other federal judges told the media that the FISA peeps are really, really conservative, more so than federal judiciary in general.

    If arch conservative is not the appropriate term, I’m sure we can gin one up.

  156. 156
    Kay says:

    @Mandalay:

    regardless of what our lying apparatchiks in Washington would like us to believe.

    Now that’s a calm and rational analysis, right there. You’re doing the same thing you’re lecturing on.

  157. 157
    muddy says:

    I don’t think it is a mistake, and has nothing to do with those other nicknames. The point of those others are to make him seem girly, the point of this one is about the person warning doom doom doom and no one listens. I was trying to come up with a masculine example to use in place of Cassandra, and can’t think of one. So what would be the equivalent, to avoid offense?

    The mistake could lie in the portion about nobody listening though. Seems like all I hear about.

  158. 158
    Mandalay says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    That link that’s been posted twice on this thread detailed the harm Snowden is causing to US-Russian relations.

    You are blaming Snowden for the breakdown in US-Russia relations? Seriously?

    I’d be more inclined to blame that on a poor relationship being made even worse by the ineptness of the bumbling John Kerry.

  159. 159
    Keith G says:

    @magurakurin: Funny how I did not say it was better, I said we survived (and even dominated— USA! USA!)

    Do not refer to me with profanity. It is quite unnecessary, and betrays a lack of emotional intelligence that you may well wish to keep hidden.

  160. 160
    muddy says:

    @Mandalay: Or people who insist on ordering the bun that they are not going to eat just so the restaurant doesn’t rip them off.

  161. 161
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Keith G: What a lie. Obama stepped up and led on health care and on DADT and DOMA. Not to mention other issues. But there’s such a thing as becoming King Canute. Obama is pushing for an assault weapons ban but that is going nowhere fast with our ideological congress. And, oh, there’s this little thing called Guantanamo.

    Truman had Taft-Hartley. Eisenhower’s American Autobahn turned into a tool of segregationists and racists to raze Jewish and African-American neighborhoods and divide enclaves from each other. LBJ never got all of the Great Society reforms he wanted because of Vietnam. LBJ was a very talented politician but he also had two parties with multiple factions that he could work instead of two very polarized parties with a bloc within one that brought everything to a halt. Truth be told the Dixiecrats did block a whole lot, but the TPers have taken it to an entirely new level.

    Only a few years ago LBJ was voted “worst president” with the exception of Nixon in a national poll. Historians were mad because they had a tidy list of 19th century executives they thought were worse, like, oh, Buchanan. It’s amazing watching this transformation to megos heros.

  162. 162
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Another Halocene Human: I just hadn’t seen anything about that.

  163. 163
    Mandalay says:

    @Kay:

    Now that’s a calm and rational analysis, right there. You’re doing the same thing you’re lecturing on.

    Hardly. The Director of the FBI lied about Snowden having harmed national security. The Director of the NSA lied about Snowden having harmed national security. The Chair of the House Intelligence Committee lied about Snowden having harmed national security. The establishment closed ranks, and made a coordinated attack on Snowden by carefully pushing the same lie.

    You really can’t see that?

  164. 164
    geg6 says:

    @Keith G:

    LBJ was proposing new legislation and was working with congressional majority the size of which this president can only dream. The president has led on issues which were his proposals. In the case of the Patriot Act, you’re talking about making tweaks to an existing law. That is not the president’s job, it’s the job of Congress. He has said he’s open to seeing re-opening discussion of the Act, so I’m not sure what else he’s supposed to do.

  165. 165
    Another Bot Splainer says:

    @Keith G: The stuff LBJ did with Civil Rights legislation started when he was a Senator.

  166. 166
    Emma says:

    @Mandalay: And you’re ignorant enough not to know that a diplomatic spat over issues such as returning classified documents can’t escalate into a disaster? Really?

    Never mind. You have your scenario, you’ll stick to it. No matter what history or reality have to say about it.

  167. 167
    muddy says:

    @Mandalay: You really can’t see that there is no way that you can tell at this point whether national security was harmed, regardless of what anyone says publicly?

    You’re the anti-Cassandra I guess.

  168. 168
    geg6 says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    I think I wasn’t clear. I’m making fun of the idea of the bully pulpit, which Keith seems to think is effective. I beg to disagree.

  169. 169
    geg6 says:

    @Mandalay:

    what I do know for sure is that Snowden has not publicly said anything to harm our national security to date

    This is not relevant to the concerns that any of us have put forward. But feel free to pat yourself on the back that you’ve somehow won a point of some sort.

  170. 170
    Keith G says:

    @Another Halocene Human: Don’t lose it. We were talking about executive behavior on this topic only, not the others that you have now thrown into the mix. Some folks act as if any questioning of Obama’s decision(s) in one area is a categorical rejection of the whole Obama presidency. That doesn’t seem to be very helpful. Your dislike of the outcome of legislation does not change the reality of how it was initiated.

    @geg6: True! And he still faced opposition from without and within his party. He had to work like hell as well as put his reputation on the line. Same with the others that I mentioned.

    Another Bot – that does not change the reality that as president, he needed to work to bring Congress and the nation along with him in some of his most important legislation. That is a key part of the modern presidency.

  171. 171
    Keith G says:

    @geg6: Might be a good idea not to put words in my mouth.

  172. 172
    ericblair says:

    @geg6:

    I think I wasn’t clear. I’m making fun of the idea of the bully pulpit, which Keith seems to think is effective. I beg to disagree.

    Looks like bullypulpitizing can move public opinion in the wake of a public incident, but doesn’t do dick to change any votes in Congress. The uber-example is Sandy Hook: Obama did a full-court press, pushed hard, and what happened to gun control? We have to change Congress, because they’re not going to change themselves.

  173. 173
    Liberty60 says:

    @Kay:
    Hearing don’t, by themselves, do much.
    But they do provide a way to keep the spotlight on things, and they do allow us to direct the attention to where it should be paid- the dangerous collusion of private profiteers armed with government power.

    The more this stays in the headlines, the more we can unearth damaging information on the Halliburtons/ Booz Allens/ Blackwaters of the world, the better.

  174. 174
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    The Director of the FBI lied about Snowden having harmed national security. The Director of the NSA lied about Snowden having harmed national security. The Chair of the House Intelligence Committee lied about Snowden having harmed national security.

    I find it fascinating that you’re completely convinced that the only information Snowden has is what was published in the Guardian and Washington Post, so therefore it’s impossible for him to have harmed national security. This despite what the Guardian and WaPo themselves said about only being able to publish a small portion of what he gave them.

    So it’s completely impossible that Snowden has other information that was not published that he has provided to China and Russia?

    That’s what Kay has been trying to tell you — Snowden provided information to the WaPo and Guardian that those newspapers decided was too sensitive to publish. Snowden then took that same information to China and Russia.

    But anyone who says that the information the WaPo and Guardian refused to publish as being “too sensitive” must be lying if they say Snowden’s unpublished information is damaging to the US?

  175. 175
    Keith G says:

    @geg6: Probably a lost cause at this point, but for the sake of clarity:

    In the case of the Patriot Act, you’re talking about making tweaks to an existing law. That is not the president’s job, it’s the job of Congress.

    So no president has ever campaigned (or as president advocated) to change minimum wage law or CAFE standards?

  176. 176
    Yatsuno says:

    @piratedan:

    If he’s looking for a neutral arbiter Iceland seems like a fit, true, the Nordic nirvanna with no extradition

    Umm…

  177. 177
    Socoolsofresh says:

    Some of you guys are hilarious! I was hearing people cry about how because Snowden leaked that info, they were afraid no one in Washington would be able to have a reasoned discussion and pass any laws to change the program. Which is funny because no one was caring or talking about the surveillance state before Snowden, and no one was particularly interested in talking about it as well. Now the senate is actually trying to introduce a bill as a result of Snowden’s leaks that will increase transparency on surveillance, and you guys are still ‘FUCK SNOWDEN’, even though if this bill is passed he will have done more good for the country than you could have ever hoped for. Ya, but he is still a TRAITOR! hahaha..

  178. 178
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Mnemosyne: Hey, I thought the earlier Snowden stories that the guardian published two weeks ago were completely debunked? Wait, now the senate is introducing a bill as a result of these ‘debunked’ reveals? Not sure you know what ‘debunked’ means.

  179. 179
    Keith G says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    Which is funny because no one was caring or talking about the surveillance state before Snowden, and no one was particularly interested in talking about it as well.

    Not really. Some were, here, and here are examples.

    Please take time to read the second link.

    Anyway some were writing and talking about it and some were expressing concerns. And yes, many Americans were not listening because of “Terrorist!”, or “Our guy got elected, so it’s cool” or Honey Booboo. Whatever.

    Maybe now is a good time to talk about these and related issues.

  180. 180
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Socoolsofresh:

    Hey, I thought the earlier Snowden stories that the guardian published two weeks ago were completely debunked? Wait, now the senate is introducing a bill as a result of these ‘debunked’ reveals? Not sure you know what ‘debunked’ means.

    People here have already pointed out that the article cited the debunked “PRISM” claim, so I wouldn’t hang my hat on the details in this story.

    What I said was debunked was Snowden’s claim that there was widespread, warrantless information gathering by the government. This legislation fixes the FISA warrant process.

    Not sure you know what “warrant” means since you don’t seem to understand the difference between FISA warrants and warrantless information gathering.

  181. 181
    jayackroyd says:

    @geg6: You’re the one who made the affirmative claim, one that you’ve never substantiated.

    That’s my point.

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