Last Night’s Shit Show

gNHzJbX
Here’s some clever joker at the Vienna airport. I have a hard time believing that Spain, Portugal, France and Italy just decided to deny Evo Morales flyover rights on a whim, and I can’t remember the last time the US fucked with the president of any soverign country in this way. Now that we’ve pissed off every country in the Western Hemisphere south of the Equator, I wonder what other damage we’re going to do before we get done tracking down the world’s greatest villain.

But, as John correctly pointed out last night, the issue isn’t Snowden, or our ham-handed response, but what we’ve given up since 9/11. Here’s a non-Snowden revelation: a picture of every piece of mail sent in the US is recorded and saved in a database.

“In the past, mail covers were used when you had a reason to suspect someone of a crime,” said Mark D. Rasch, the former director of the Justice Department’s computer crime unit, who worked on several fraud cases using mail covers. “Now it seems to be ‘Let’s record everyone’s mail so in the future we might go back and see who you were communicating with.’ Essentially you’ve added mail covers on millions of Americans.”






163 replies
  1. 1
    AxelFoley says:

    *breaks out the popcorn*

    You want some of what Cole got last night, mix?

  2. 2
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    If we pissed of every western nation, then why did Spain, Portugal, France and Italy reroute the plane?

  3. 3
    ruemara says:

    Not entirely sure why this is just “Democratic Security”, but I agree that what we’ve given up is at issue. The Times article cuts both ways: this guy is being targeted just because and that’s wrong, but it’s been useful for domestic terror and criminal cased. What do we do? How do we reign it in and what is reined in? I got no real answers, but who cares what I got, it seems like our electeds have no real answers either.

  4. 4

    Sorry, I am all out of outrage.

  5. 5

    I’m not fond of Snowden and I hate Greenwald’s absolutism, but I think we’re overdue for another Church Commission and for a few heads in the Intel community to roll.

    I mean, Sweet F***ing Buddha, son, if you’re going to commit an international incident and piss off a continent to catch Zippy the Pinhead, first of all, don’t. And second of all, if you insist on being evil anyway, be smart evil. Wait until it doesn’t involve the President of another sovereign nation. You know, wait until after the plane lands and then black bag the dude and smuggle him back to the US.

    I mean, what were they going to do if they did find Snowden there? Arrest everyone?

  6. 6
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    If they’re recording every email that’s sent, then why is nothing being done about spam?

    You’d think it would be in the NSA’s best interest to cut down on payday loan scams, male enhancement pitches, and offers from frustrated lonely housewives in my area to try out my male enhancement on them…

  7. 7
    Ramalama says:

    I wonder what kind of damage we’re going to do …

    It’s all about hearts and minds, people.

    Though I guess now it’s Heart and Soul, a la Lisa Loopner and Todd.

  8. 8
    Chyron HR says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Duh, those countries are all run by rubber-stamp governments who’re in the pocket of Black Hitler.

  9. 9

    I’m sorry, where’s Obama’s signature on this?

  10. 10
    bill d says:

    All my buddies on Facebook are outraged at all of the personal information the government has access too.

    //

  11. 11
    catclub says:

    “I can’t remember the last time the US fucked with the president of any soverign country in this way.”

    I suspect we routinely fucked with Khaddafy when he came to UN meetings. Would not be surprised at doing it to Chavez, or Castro.

  12. 12
    Amir Khalid says:

    It’s starting to look like the only way to escape the surveilance society is to withdraw from society itself. Isn’t it?

  13. 13
    cvstoner says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    I’m not fond of Snowden and I hate Greenwald’s absolutism, but I think we’re overdue for another Church Commission and for a few heads in the Intel community to roll.

    Exactly.

  14. 14
    Professor says:

    Christ on a bike, if you don’t like being spied on, why don’t you ask your congressmen/women to repeal AUMF and the Patriot ACT as well as the Department of Homeland Security? And while you at it, ensure that no NEW NDAA is enacted! At a stroke, you would have removed all the authority given to the administration to spy on you.

  15. 15
    FridayNext says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    You’d think it would be in the NSA’s best interest to cut down on payday loan scams, male enhancement pitches, and offers from frustrated lonely housewives in my area to try out my male enhancement on them…

    Are you kidding? These emails likely originate at NSA. Not only can you track who is answering the emails, they can raise funds for their programs off the official books.

  16. 16
    mistermix says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Get out your map and figure out where the Western Hemisphere and the equator are and then get back to me.

    @Villago Delenda Est: That revelation is about mail, not email.

  17. 17

    I missed the part where the American government forced, or even asked these countries to do this. According to the article, the source of that accusation is just some guy going ‘I know it had to be the US.’ Can anybody see who this Saavedra guy is? Did it occur to anyone that Western European countries might WANT to tell a Russian and Chinese spy to fuck off?

  18. 18
    cvstoner says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    It’s starting to look like the only way to escape the surveilance society is to withdraw from society itself. Isn’t it?

    Not sure you could even do that, now days, unless you’re going to retreat to a cave.

  19. 19
    Ash Can says:

    I can’t remember the last time the US fucked with the president of any soverign country in this way.

    OK, now you’re just fucking with us.

  20. 20
    catclub says:

    @Professor: Also the Espionage Act.

  21. 21
    gbear says:

    Damn, now the government knows where my water utility offices are, and that I communicate with them four times every year.

  22. 22

    When I worked in the USPS they screened the mail going to the Soviet consulate in SF every day. I also know they had a thing on a couple who lived on my route, very senior who had been Communists in the 30s and 40s. That happened in the flow before the mail got to our station.

    The FBI had another program during Vietnam where they’d snoop mail for activists.

  23. 23
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @mistermix:

    OK, now you’ve got Ben Franklin revolving at high speeds, generating enough power to light the entire Northeast.

  24. 24
    catclub says:

    @FridayNext: I agree. If anyone is in favor of a program that can be considered a success if it has one hit in 500,000, then the NSA is it. It all becomes clear now.

  25. 25
    bill d says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Obama grounded my plane is the new Obama drank my milkshake.

  26. 26
    raven says:

    @Amir Khalid: Or to have come to grips with about 45 fucking years ago.

  27. 27
    White Trash Liberal says:

    It’s what we gave up legislatively in the dark hours when PATRIOT was passed. But even PATRIOT is part of an ongoing erosion of liberties that started since Truman signed the national security state into existence.

    One pushback occurred. The Church commission and Carter administration efforts. Carter got knifed in 1979 and Reagan swooped in and reversed everything.

    A commission? An inquiry? Legislation?

    Nope. Just scandal and how much this hurts the administration and how if you even try to defend the administration you approve of the new Stasi.

    The dialogue has been gagged.

  28. 28
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @raven:

    No, sorry, can’t do that, too busy being outraged at the blah who’s obviously gathering personal data to case houses for future home invasions. Also, too, for locations of white wimmen.

  29. 29
    catclub says:

    “Carter got knifed in 1979” So the Iranians were in on it. I KNEW it.

  30. 30

    @catclub:
    Er… isn’t that established? Reagan made a deal with the Iranians to hold off on settling the hostage crisis? Or is that just a paranoid rumor? It can be hard to keep history straight sometimes.

  31. 31
    Professor says:

    Don’t forget that FDR warned Americans thus: Any person who is prepared to trade a bit of his Liberty for Security deserves NEITHER (paraphrasing) We traded a bit of our liberty (privacy) for security and see where it got us!

  32. 32
    different-church-lady says:

    France, Spain and Portugal are all denying they denied their airspace.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/n.....hp?ref=fpb

    But let’s not let that stop the freakout.

  33. 33
    Shakezula says:

    I smell the CIA’s horseshit covered hands all over the diversion. It has all the hallmarks of another wannabe cowboy fail parade.

    Wholesale collection of data is what happens when intelligence gathering becomes a massive game of CYA. We have no way of even analyzing the data we’re collecting at the rate we collect it and we don’t know when we’ll have the ability. (I think China might be close, but I doubt they’ll share.) So all of this will be stored somewhere and if something bad happens there is a better chance some dipshit in a suit will be able to say “We had the info, we just weren’t able to analyze it intime. But for the low price of eleventy zillion dollars, we can probably prevent something like this from happening again.”

    In the panic following the latest bad thing, no one will ask if maybe they weren’t able to analyze the pertinent data because they had too much of the irrelevant shit. Repeat as needed.

  34. 34
    boss bitch says:

    The world’s greatest villian? The US intercepted a plane. We didn’t start a war and send thousands of troops to die to find Snowden.

  35. 35
    MomSense says:

    @Professor:

    Um when you say no new NDAA do you mean to say stop funding the military entirely including all the contractors? I think that would be a drastic step and not especially good for all the people who serve in the military or for the economy.

  36. 36
    different-church-lady says:

    @Professor: Franklin.

    But it wasn’t over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor either.

  37. 37
    different-church-lady says:

    @boss bitch:

    The US intercepted a plane.

    We didn’t even do that.

  38. 38
    Tractarian says:

    the issue isn’t Snowden, or our ham-handed response, but what we’ve given up since 9/11.

    What have we given up?

    Seriously, I’m curious.

    You see, that may be the issue to you, but most Americans care more about international fugitive adventures than they do about some nebulous, abstract concern that someone in the government may *gasp* have access to your phone records.

    And by the way, genius, Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela ≠ “entire Western Hemisphere south of the equator”. Those nations are led by anti-American zealots who reap political rewards by opposing U.S. Presidents on anything and everything. In other words, their being pissed off at us has nothing to do with Snowden.

    (Oh, and Venezuela’s in the northern hemisphere, but I’ll let that one slide. Not everyone’s a geography buff.)

  39. 39
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Professor:

    Ben Franklin.

  40. 40
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Tractarian:

    In other words, their being pissed off at us has nothing to do with Snowden.

    Bingo! It’s for domestic consumption.

  41. 41
    different-church-lady says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Who, if he were reincarnated today, would be looking around going, “We did all this work so that 200 years later you could all be this goddamned fat and stupid?”

  42. 42
    Tractarian says:

    @bill d:

    All my buddies on Facebook are outraged at all of the personal information the government has access too.

    Win.

  43. 43
    different-church-lady says:

    @bill d: There; what you done; seen.

  44. 44
    Feudalism Now! says:

    Again we are talking about Snowden the tool and Greenwald the Vaudevillian, not about the Insecurity Apparatus. Enjoy your bread and circus. I need to find another part time job to cover my student loan interest rate hike. Fortunately my work furlough from sequester gives me a bit more time. But please, continue to talk about the Paultard stuck in permanent airport layover hell and our new-found disdain for Evo Morales. Kee-rist.

  45. 45
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Tractarian: I don’t think Zealots is the right word there. Populists I think is the correct one. I doubt that the presidents of any of those places are about to form religious governments.

  46. 46
    different-church-lady says:

    @Professor:

    Christ on a bike, if you don’t like being spied on, why don’t you ask your congressmen/women to repeal AUMF and the Patriot ACT as well as the Department of Homeland Security?

    I would, but I have no way of doing it without the government finding out!!!

  47. 47
    catclub says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: All that happened in 1980 or even 1981.
    The revolution and embassy takeover were 1979. I was suggesting that the Iranian revolution and embassy takeover were the knifing of Carter. All to stop the Church commission findings on the CIA being enforced. Now it makes sense, right?

  48. 48
  49. 49
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @different-church-lady:

    “That’s no way to go through life, son.”

  50. 50
    mistermix says:

    @Tractarian: Argentina and Uruguay also protested as of the last update. If your definition of “anti-American zealot” is any country that protests something we do, then they are all zealots and not worthy of our attention.

    By the way, here’s a headline from the CSM “Latin America Outraged Over Morales’ European Pat Down”

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World.....n-pat-down

    They must be anti-American, too. Lots of that going around.

  51. 51
    Chyron HR says:

    Here’s a non-Snowden revelation: every piece of mail sent in the US is recorded and saved in a database.

    GOVERNMENT AGENCY THAT DELIVERS MAIL USES COMPUTERS! DEVELOPING…

  52. 52

    @different-church-lady:
    There’s no evidence we’ve done ANYTHING except talk a lot with the Chinese government when Snowden was in China. This is like the time some journalist in a snit said he thought the administration was helping BP cover up the oil spill, and the conspiracy nuts on the left ran with it.

  53. 53
    Tractarian says:

    @Suffern ACE: Didn’t know that “zealot” has to be religious, but OK.

  54. 54
    Violet says:

    That picture made me laugh. Thanks for posting it.

  55. 55
    cleek says:

    every piece of mail sent in the US is recorded and saved in a database.

    um. no.

    a picture of the envelope is saved. (so far as we know) this has nothing to do with the contents. this is snail-mail metadata.

  56. 56
    catclub says:

    @White Trash Liberal: the date of your event is 1980. The date in the posting I responded to was 1979, hence the difference.

    Why say Carter was knifed in 1979 when you mean 1980, except for the fact that 79 and 80 are exactly one keystroke off – which is being recorded by the NSA … as we speak!

  57. 57
    gogol's wife says:

    @Feudalism Now!:

    I don’t think student loans got even a single thread here. Correct me if I’m wrong. But it certainly wasn’t 24/7.

  58. 58
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @mistermix: My bad. Erase what I said. Totally missed the word southern.

  59. 59
    Tractarian says:

    They must be anti-American, too. Lots of that going around.

    Yep, there’s lots of anti-Americanism in the world. It’s been that way for a looooong time. Or do you think it just started with the Snowden/Morales affair?

    By the way, the leaders of Argentina and Uruguay were humiliated, not outraged. Big difference. And indeed, it is humiliating for a neighbor to be suspected of harboring an international fugitive.

  60. 60
    mistermix says:

    @cleek: You’re right, I fixed it.

  61. 61
    different-church-lady says:

    @cleek: DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH THEY CAN FIGURE OUT FROM METADATA?!?

    Oh, wait, what? But I thought that was the appropriate answer for “It’s just Metadata.”

  62. 62
    different-church-lady says:

    @gogol’s wife: Hell, we only just found out a few minutes ago there’s something going on in a country called Egypt.

  63. 63
    cleek says:

    @Professor:
    FDR, the guy who imprisoned, without trail, Americans of Japanese ancestry ?

  64. 64
    Mandalay says:

    @mistermix

    I can’t remember the last time the US fucked with the president of any soverign country in this way

    I don’t know about the other countries that refused landing to Morales’ plane, but I wouldn’t assume that Spain needed any prompting from anyone to treat Morales like a piece of unwelcome shit….
    Bolivia Seizes Local Assets of Spanish Utility
    Bolivia’s Evo Morales nationalizes Spanish-owned airport company
    One bad turn deserves another.

  65. 65
    cleek says:

    i heard that the USPS also has a system where they can keep track of the location of a package and can report the location data in real time, on the web. UPS and FedEx are rumored to have similar systems.

    bbbbzzzzzzZZZZtTTTTTTtttTt!!!!
    that’s the sound of me being shocked.

  66. 66
    different-church-lady says:

    @cleek: [thinks]

    >>>ZOT!!<<<

    Introducing "4th Amendment Shipping™" — For a premium… we WON'T track your package!!!

  67. 67
    scav says:

    All Mail not hand sorted by millions of elderly grannies with reccurent nightly amnesia!

  68. 68
    Violet says:

    @cleek: The Post Office now requires you put a return address on anything you mail–at least that’s what the clerk at the post office told me. I was mailing some things and didn’t have return addresses on them. She refused to take them and told me it return addresses were required by the Patriot Act. This was quite a few years ago now, so I think it was a new requirement then.

  69. 69
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    So we’re going to copy the new format of Daily Kos Snowden here? Good thing there’s LGF for info regarding the exploits of Snowjob and Beckwald, this place has lost it’s mind on the matter.

    ‘Let’s just set aside the laws that Snowden broke and talk about shit that we all knew was already happening but were ignoring.’

    No, let’s don’t.

    I can’t wait for the Pollard defenders to chime in on their savior.

  70. 70
    mistermix says:

    @cleek: As you well know, only a tiny fraction of US mail is part of that tracking system.

    The issue as with all this stuff is transparency and oversight. When you send a piece of first-class mail, the person mailing it has no idea how long it will be tracked, and the database of all the letters sent in the US has no open oversight on its use.

  71. 71
    different-church-lady says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    So we’re going to copy the new format of Daily Kos Snowden here?

    Jerry thinks it’s an entity.

  72. 72
    NR says:

    Well, this discussion just goes to prove one thing: There is nothing–literally nothing–that this administration could do that you guys won’t excuse, minimize, or try to handwave away.

  73. 73
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Read the article about the mail covers program. They caught the woman who sent the ricin letters by looking at the mail that sent at the same time as the letters to determine time and location. They used the time to determine her husband was at work when she tried to accuse him of doing it.

  74. 74
    different-church-lady says:

    @NR: That’s right: we’ll defend even things they don’t do! WOLVERINES! MARS, BITCHES! KAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHN!!!!

  75. 75
    burnspbesq says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Bingo! It’s for domestic consumption.

    As is the noise emanating from Germany, methinks.

  76. 76
    Professor says:

    @MomSense: No. I mean the part sponsored by Sens. Levin, McCain etc regarding the detention indefinitely of persons deemed to be terrorists!

  77. 77
    cleek says:

    @mistermix:
    As you well know, only a tiny fraction of US mail is part of that tracking system.
    well, i did say “package”.

  78. 78
    amk says:

    So another 300 post thread ? Nice job, mm.

  79. 79
    Shakezula says:

    @Chyron HR: No, really. There is no reason to store pictures of the nation’s Festivus card envelopes. Talk about unnecessary.

  80. 80
    cleek says:

    @NR:
    the libs in your imagination sound like real assholes. maybe you should have them exorcised.

  81. 81
    Professor says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Thanks for the correction!

  82. 82
    different-church-lady says:

    @cleek: What? And deny their right to asylum?

  83. 83
    White Trash Liberal says:

    @NR:

    “you guys”

    Lol

    You and your confirmation bias.

  84. 84
    burnspbesq says:

    @Shakezula:

    There is no reason to store pictures of the nation’s Festivus card envelopes.

    More fodder for the Airing of Grievances. It’s perfectly circular.

  85. 85
    eemom says:

    Can someone with access get into the FP Preferences and click off the Default Firebagger setting? kthx.

  86. 86
    scav says:

    @cleek: Then again, there are all the automated postal kiosks and the bar codes printed on envelopes and automated sorting going on. Data-stream is likely there for purposes of mere efficiency (granny isn’t reading every zip code into the computerized sorter, unless that’s the nickname of a gen 1 OCR system) the issue is are they saving it and for how long? The tracking packages and certain letters part could be visible because it’s profitable.

  87. 87
    Steve M. says:

    and I can’t remember the last time the US fucked with the president of any soverign country in this way

    Though it would amuse me to learn that the U.S. sent the Stuxnet virus into the computers operating that Russian rocket.

    “Pity about your rocket, Vladimir. By the way, is there anything you’d like to tell me about Mr. Snowden?”

  88. 88
    cleek says:

    @scav:

    the issue is are they saving it and for how long?

    i’m going to guess: forever.

    this sounds pretty close to the cell-phone metadata collection scheme.

    my guess is that someone down in Legal figured out that the law says it’s OK to capture and store all the metadata you can get, so long as a court order is needed to actually look at it.

  89. 89
    kc says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Because we’re still bigger than they are.

  90. 90
    most Americans says:

    @Tractarian:

    You see, that may be the issue to you, but most Americans care more about international fugitive adventures than they do about some nebulous, abstract concern that someone in the government may *gasp* have access to your phone records.

    Speak for yourself.

  91. 91
    scav says:

    @cleek: Memory is certainly cheap. But they’ve (meaning USPS) probably never done much about the time and labor-intensive next step of organizing it, tidying it, let alone coordinating all the vast other accumulating piles of raw data from other parts of the system into an accessible and useful whole, not on their cash-starved lonesome. Even companies with control of their own budgets sometimes balk at that step even when it’s in their own long term interest. Paying for that — well, lot of outsourcing in that neck of the budget.

  92. 92
    jon says:

    Want your conversations to be private? Meet people in person.
    Want your correspondence private? Deliver the mail yourself. Don’t use the government service.

    Sheesh, this isn’t that hard. This kerfuffle is almost as obvious and pointless as the people who use the internet to complain that the government never makes anything useful.

  93. 93
    Kay says:

    @mistermix:

    The issue as with all this stuff is transparency and oversight. When you send a piece of first-class mail, the person mailing it has no idea how long it will be tracked, and the database of all the letters sent in the US has no open oversight on its use.

    That’s your issue, but that isn’t really THE issue. This discussion is really running on two tracks. There’s the people who are concerned about privacy and the people who are concerned about oversight and transparency.

    This guy has a much bigger hill to climb than you do:

    Bruce Schneier, a computer security expert and an author, said whether it was a postal worker taking down information or a computer taking images, the program was still an invasion of privacy.

    Because of this:

    Court challenges to mail covers have generally failed because judges have ruled that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy for information contained on the outside of a letter.

    That is not changing, so the transparency/oversight/regulatory track is probably the only available route.

  94. 94

    I agree with many here. We need to do whatever is necessary capture the treasonous Snowden as he is giving our secrets away to the Chinese/Russians.

    I was happy to see the plane of the Mexican president forced down — OH NOES!!! WE UPSET OUR “ALLIES” —what good does bowing to our allies do when our secrets are at stake? Libs obsess over the approval of the UN, etc., but they will respect us when we show our strength. Look at any example from history.

    HOepfully the Bush adminsitration will be able to convict this rat snowden for espoinage as well as treason.

  95. 95
    LAC says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Of course not! If Cole has to have a drunken sprewing rage last night, it is time for the baton to switch over to mistermix to foam at the mouth at something else Obama has done to teh poor countries. Nevermind that they may not want the hassle of this dweeb in their country.

    Festivus airing of the grievances…now the feats of strength!

  96. 96
    LAC says:

    @NR: And that there is no amount of handwringing and whining you won’t do about a…ny…thing.

  97. 97
    different-church-lady says:

    @Steve M.:

    “Pity about your rocket, Vladimir. By the way, is there anything you’d like to tell me about Mr. Snowden?”

    “He’s an idiot. Take him back.”

  98. 98
    Snarla says:

    Serious-fucking-ly? There have been no planes intercepted nor forced down. There is no manhunt. What the absolute fuck are people on about here?

    Snowdrop’s passport got revoked because he is wanted for a felony crime. That’s what happens. I’m sure it happens to numerous people many times a year.

  99. 99
    Paul in KY says:

    Will note that photgraphing & keeping in a database 168 billion recs is a whopping amount of storage. What is beyond terrabytes? Cause that’s what you would need, even zipped.

  100. 100
    dollared says:

    @Tractarian: And you are a fucking moron. The US has a long history of disrespecting all Latin American governments and people. Over 500,000 killed in the last 40 years, you know. That’s why it’s good politics for the Latin American leaders. Because it’s fucking real, and it affects real lives.

    If you troubled yourself to understand exactly how Evo Morales got elected and how close oil companies came to deposing him, and if you learned a bit about Latin American history, you would shut your pie hole.

    This Evo Morales plane thing is a real, global, international embarrassment for the US. And yes, it really happened.. And boy, was it stupid.

  101. 101
    different-church-lady says:

    @BIBLE_DUDE1:

    I was happy to see the plane of the Mexican president forced down…

    Are you having fun?

  102. 102
    dollared says:

    @Snarla: A plane carrying a head of state was searched in Austria, denied Spanish and French airspace. Actions like that are major international incidents. Learn the facts.

  103. 103
    beliebert says:

    Another day on ball juice and mistermix talking out of his ass as usual. Snowden is nothing but a criminal and countries need to act exactly the same way they do with any common criminal fugitive.

  104. 104
    sbjules says:

    Snoden is a self important ass.

  105. 105
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    @BIBLE_DUDE1: hell to the yeah fuck Mexico and fuck their America-hating “presidente”. What the fuck kind of title is that, anyway? Why they gotta spell it differently?

    It’s “President”, Juan. Learn English for fuck’s sake.

  106. 106
    sbjules says:

    snoden is a sef impoton ass

  107. 107
  108. 108
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    @BIBLE_DUDE1: Hi, DougJ. You aren’t trying very hard.

  109. 109
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    I take that back – you appear to be trying VERY hard.

  110. 110
    scav says:

    The BibleThrower is just being true to his persona (sic) creed of domination through might and fear of violence as reportedly validated by a specific magically appearing mid-range edition of a general text. Works with hiz wimminz, on whom he stands. Works well with other nations, on whom he likewise. Perish the meek, right?

  111. 111

    @dollared: Yes, it’s an embarrassment. But who’s responsible for it? Did someone in the State Dept or NSA or CIA or FBI advance this order, and were they working with Obama’s knowledge?

    Obama’s not stupid. He’d know that stopping Morales’ plane would cause an international incident. And let’s face it, if the intention of our intelligence division is to catch or eliminate Snowden, it would be easier to do so in Bolivia or Ecuador. Our intelligence tentacles are stronger in South America than Moscow.

    I suspect that Snowden is part of an operation by elements of the national security state (maybe the historical Nazi wing) precisely to embarrass Obama.

  112. 112
    srv says:

    I guess Obama can only look forward to visiting Thug-Bros Bush’s Paraguay estate now.

  113. 113
    Snarla says:

    The plane was “forced” down in the sense that it needed more fuel.

    It was searched by Austrian authorities so that an international fugitive not end up in their country.

    I understand perfectly well why the Bolivian president is mad, but it’s ridiculous sensationalism to pretend we “intercepted” the plane.

  114. 114
    Emma says:

    @Snarla: Or that the other countries are denying doing it.

  115. 115
    Laertes says:

    @different-church-lady:

    France, Spain and Portugal are all denying they denied their airspace.

    They’ve all issued weaselly non-denials which tend to reinforce the Bolivian version of the story more than they refute it. For example:

    French government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said “France ended up authorizing the flight over its airspace by Mr. Morales’ plane.”

    She said the plane “was authorized to fly over French territory” but wouldn’t explain whether there had been an initial refusal Tuesday night amid the rumors about Snowden’s presence on the plane.

    and

    Spain’s foreign ministry said…that the country on Tuesday authorized Morales’ plane to fly within its airspace…

    A foreign ministry official declined comment when asked if Spain demanded the right to inspect the plane.

    And:

    The Portuguese Foreign Ministry said in a written statement Wednesday that Portugal had granted permission for the plane to fly through its air space but declined Bolivia’s request for a refueling stop in Lisbon due to unspecified technical reasons.

    From up here in the cheap seats that sounds like, respectively:

    France: We refused when it counted, then relented once we were sure that Snowden wasn’t aboard.

    Spain: We gave them permission, on the condition that they let us search their plane for Snowden.

    Portugal: We finessed the problem by granting them access but attaching a poison pill that made it impractical for them to accept.

    My money is on the Bolivian version of the story.

  116. 116
    ruemara says:

    @NR: Honey, you got proof that this is just “this administration” who did this? Jesus, you think package tracking started in 2009 around March?

  117. 117
    Emma says:

    @ruemara: Everything bad/confused/incompetent started with Obama. Didn’t you know? And we wonder why the Republicans kick our asses on a regular basis.

  118. 118
    different-church-lady says:

    @Laertes: I suppose in our choice between weaselly non-denials and weaselly accusations, you’ve chosen wisely. Or something.

  119. 119
    different-church-lady says:

    BTW, I haven’t seen anyone mention that’s a hella cool looking arrival display in the photo.

  120. 120
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Thank goodness that this will in no way make Snowden a more credible figure.

  121. 121
    Shakezula says:

    @Paul in KY: Terabyte, Petabyte, Exabyte, Zettabyte & Petaflop

  122. 122
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I have trouble believe that the US would pressure allies to force down the plane of a head of state to search for Snowden. I shall await more facts before succumbing to outrage.

  123. 123
    different-church-lady says:

    @Shakezula: And finally, the neutronbyte: a drive so dense that all other bytes in the area are sucked into its platters.

  124. 124
    different-church-lady says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Oh. Well what fun is that?

  125. 125
    gussie says:

    I remember back when Cole was the reactionary and his commenters were reality-based. Sweet memories.

  126. 126
    fuckwit says:

    @bill d: WIN.

  127. 127
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @different-church-lady: It makes me less likely to have comments I need to walk back later.

  128. 128
    different-church-lady says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Walk back comments? Who the heck does that anymore?

  129. 129
    fuckwit says:

    @Professor: Because the President makes the laws, don’t you know anything? Our system of government is an elected dictatorship, with a president, and the people he hires to work for him. It’s like a corporation, everyone knows how that works! We have an election every 4 years to choose who is the boss, just like those useless proxy slips they send out in the mail to stockholders. There’s a boss who makes ALL the decisions, and employees who do what they’re told or get fired, just like any other business. The business of America is business!

    END SNARK. The number of adult, uneducated or miseducated voters who slept through Schoolhouse Rock is astounding. There’s a deeply-rooted, even among the left (bully pulpit!), and very broken tendency in this country to completely forget that there’s a Congress and what it is they do (or are supposed to do).

    Yes, indeed. Repeal those laws and solve the problem. Good luck getting voters to understand that.

  130. 130
    Gavin says:

    @Shakezula:

    A-fuckin’-men to that. If you look at congressional/agency post-mortems on 9/11, Ft. Hood, the Underwear Bombing, the Mumbai Attacks, etc. the consensus always seems to be that plenty of damning information–most of it obtained through traditional surveillance and criminal informants–found its way into the data streams being parsed by the various arms of our national security apparatus. The breakdowns occurred because analysts were incompetent, overworked, or because even when they did their jobs well, the intelligence they red-flagged ended up lost in a sea of bad leads and never caught the attention of the right people. I think what outrages me so much about PRISM is that it seems like its been implemented prematurely. Like, you want to redefine my privacy rights? How about this: improve overall tradecraft, improve interagency communication, improve training and traditional intelligence gathering programs, and if that doesn’t do the trick, we’ll talk. Until then, SNAP has better uses for that $10 bil.

  131. 131
    Cacti says:

    Poor Mistermix has a sad that some third world LatAm Presidente might not be free to help his favorite fugitive make an unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

    And this concludes another morning in the politics of brogressive outrage.

  132. 132

    @NR: This administration?

    You realize this has been going on since the OSS in WWII. I find it curious the people who feel the need to attach Obama’s name to everything the national security state does, as if he’s interrupting state dinners to tell his minions in Europe to force down the jet of Bolivia’s President.

    The confusion around who ordered what and what exactly happened almost 24 hours after it happened suggests that there are people here and in Europe who are covering their trails.

    In the summer of 2008 Senate Republicans unanimously voted for the FISA extension crap. Are all Republicans so unclear as to the balance of power in the government that they would vote for these huge powers to go to Obama or Clinton, as the odds were in favor of a Democrat winning the White House then? Same when the last FISA bill went through.

    The Repubs have been screaming about the IRS. That’s a fake scandal. Why aren’t they screaming about this abuse of power with the NSA (except Rand Paul, and he’s got permission to be the outlier)? Why? Because they know that the power of surveillance goes to the agencies that do it, not the President. In fact, Republicans know that the armies of the night are a lot more in alliance with them than Democrats. They have nothing to fear.

    Eisenhower tried to rein in the national security state and the CIA dropped a U-2 over the USSR to sabotage the Paris peace talks. JFK tried to rein in the CIA after the Bay of Pigs. Need I say more on that subject? Nixon tried to create his own spy network. Unfortunately, he used E. Howard Hunt whose allegiance was to the Agency. Ford, the only appointed President in history, was the CIA’s friend on the Warren Commission. When Carter’s Stansfield Turner tried to weed out the cowboys in CIA ops he got the October Surprise and a decade of heavy CIA drug-smuggling. Pretty much smooth sailing for the Agency after that. I suspect that either Obama somehow pissed off Langley or it’s just in their nature to fuck with Democratic administrations.

  133. 133
    Emma says:

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com.....art/66838/

    At least Spain is on record, with names attached, saying “bs”.

  134. 134
    AHH onna Droid says:

    @Violet: yet my fugitive friend’s monster of a mother successfully sent a harrassing letter to me without a return address

  135. 135
    CanadaGoose says:

    @Professor: Not FDR. A different Franklin. Ben.

  136. 136
    mistermix says:

    @Cacti: If Bush had done the same thing you and the rest of the crew who are making noises about “brogressive” and “firebagger” would be yammering on about Bolivian sovereignty and the injustice of interfering with the transit of the sovereign leader of another country. But when it’s an Obama Administration fuckup, all of a sudden he’s “Some LatAm Presidente”. Did you steal that from a commenter at RedState? Because it sure sounds like the way some of those cretins would refer to Morales.

    I don’t have a problem with Snowden being subject to our justice system in an open trial, and it’s perfectly reasonable to deny him his passport to push for his extradition. Last night’s shitshow went far beyond that.

  137. 137
    Emma says:

    @mistermix: You mean the shitshow where the plane asked permission to land in Austria not because anyone had denied them landing permission but because of a faulty fuel gage?

    Control tower: Do you need any assistance?

    Pilot: Not at this moment. We need to land because we cannot get a correct indication of the fuel indication so as a precaution we need to land.

    Or this one?

    Spain, where Morales’s plane is due to refuel during its current journey, denied Bolivian claims that it only agreed to allow the plane to refuel in the Canaries if Bolivian authorities allowed it to be inspected. The foreign minister said this was not the case. The prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, said authorisation was given for the refuelling stop but that it was important that Snowden was not aboard.

    The second quote is from The Guardian, btw.

  138. 138
    Professor says:

    @CanadaGoose: Thanks. I have acknowledged the error up-thread.

  139. 139
    Dr. Squid says:

    @NR: There is nothing you won’t believe if it doesn’t confirm your little narrative in your tiny mind, sheethead.

    Nothing.

  140. 140
    Dr. Squid says:

    @mistermix: There was no shitshow.

    You did know that Snowden is stuck at one airport. And that The Bolivians left from a different airport 27 miles away. Now in mistermix physics, it might be possible for Snowden to have been on that plane, but in reality? No.

    You really should be ashamed of yourself for believing such easily debunkable crap that confirms your narrative.

  141. 141
    mistermix says:

    @Emma: If you read that Atlantic piece you linked, it’s just a re-parsing of the same ass-covering statements given by the governments that @Laertes parsed above. Here’s the tell:

    There is a decent amount of wiggle room in both countries’ statements, as is the nature of official responses from government agencies. For example, does France’s denial extend to Tuesday? It’s not clear.

    I don’t buy that this is “the nature of official responses”. If Morales were telling a big old lie, these countries would issue forceful, categorical denials. They’re weasel-wording everything. And Austria did say they searched the plane, voluntarily or involuntarily.

  142. 142
    mistermix says:

    @Dr. Squid: If Morales plane was denied overflight on the suspicion that Snowden was aboard even though Morales took off 27 miles from the airport where Snowden was staying, then that is definitely a shitshow.

    If Morales is telling a big fat lie about this whole thing, and therefore invented an international incident out of whole cloth, that is also a shitshow.

    Some of you seem to think the latter is the case. If so, proceed.

  143. 143
    LAC says:

    @Emma: Emma we have to get this right. Because years from now, when our children’s children are being taught at the st. Snowden’s academy about the Bolivian American war of 2013, they will learn whose shit hit the fan first.
    WOLVERINES!!

  144. 144
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @gussie:

    I remember back when Cole was the reactionary and his commenters were reality-based. Sweet memories.

    That ship sailed long ago. Now it’s a gang of nutbars telling front pagers to go fuck themselves. Or, to stop trolling, which is actually hilarious.

  145. 145
    Dr. Squid says:

    @mistermix: Occam’s Razor and all that.

    Instead you went down the Alex Jones rabbit hole and believed the story that confirms the NEGRO BAD AIEEEE narrative. You’re already on saying that Obamabots will defend anything the administration does, indicating that you think the shitstory must be true. Shit, you even called those that disbelieve Morales’ story RedState racists.

    But when it’s an Obama Administration fuckup, all of a sudden he’s “Some LatAm Presidente”. Did you steal that from a commenter at RedState? Because it sure sounds like the way some of those cretins would refer to Morales.

    Don’t lie and say you didn’t.

  146. 146
    Hoodie says:

    @mistermix: None of us have any fucking idea where Snowden is. Have you seen him? Then quit assuming facts not in evidence. The thing that makes no sense in your argument is that France is not going to take orders from the US in that way, after all, it’s France we’re talking about here. The problem may be that Morales was in Moscow at the same time as Snowden, Morales is a bit of a wild card that some Europeans don’t trust and Bolivia doesn’t have a plane that can go all the way to Bolivia from Moscow without refueling. Morales’ plane had to refuel somewhere in Europe, and France didn’t want Snowden showing up and the circus that could go along with that. The US probably has informed everyone that it will expect arrest and extradition if Snowden shows up in their countries. That is a completely legitimate thing for the US to say, but it puts France and others in a tight spot, especially if Morales is crazy enough to get into the middle of all of this. What’s the US supposed to say? Go ahead and let your airspace and facilities be used for the escape of a fugitive? It sounds like the Spanish told them they could land in the Canaries, but they wanted assurances that Snowden was not on board. Maybe Morales’ people took that as a threat of being searched but it could have just as likely been an attempt by the Spanish to cover their ass. You have to wonder whether the Spanish would actually search, seems more likely that would let the plane sit on the tarmac and refuel while they looked the other way. That way, if Snowden was on the flight, they could say the Morales lied to them but they had to respect the diplomatic immunity of Morales. The French didn’t want to take that chance. The result of any EU country detaining and extraditing Snowden will likely be a bunch of demonstrations because Snowden has become a bit of a cult hero in Europe. They understandably don’t want anything to do with that.

  147. 147
    Dr. Squid says:

    @Hoodie: It sound like the Guardian made some shit up. Wouldn’t be the first time a publication has invented quotes.

  148. 148
    different-church-lady says:

    @mistermix: You know, I never had you pegged as a double-down kinda guy. Guess I was wrong.

  149. 149
    different-church-lady says:

    @Dr. Squid: MM’s screw up was not decoupling his proper indignation over a condescending (and quazi-racist) sneer from his credulity in regards to an incomplete-reporting-hearsay-wild-accusation salad.

    MM Dude — deescalation: it’s what’s for dinner.

  150. 150
    different-church-lady says:

    @mistermix: I don’t suppose a comical series of misunderstandings has crossed your mind as a possibility?

  151. 151
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @different-church-lady: See, this is why I wanted to wait for more info.

  152. 152
    Dr. Squid says:

    @different-church-lady: Can we couple Evo Morales’ statement with Yakety Sax?

  153. 153
    Socoolsofresh says:

    I love how crazy you guys go if someone just slightly implies, that maybe the Obama administration might have just be a tiny bit responsibility for these things, and immediately it’s ‘you are saying it’s all his fault!!! Why are you putting all the blame on him!’ It is awesome.

  154. 154
    Hoodie says:

    @Socoolsofresh: No. You’re problem is assuming that someone is to blame. Shit sometimes just happens due to circumstances. You could be right, but the scenarios you’re constructing — Obama giving orders to sovereign nations that they follow like robots — are, to say the least, questionable.

  155. 155

    @Socoolsofresh: How much power does a sitting President have over the National Security State? Really. Can a President, say, end any NSA programs? And how would he enforce an order? Does a sitting President even know all the NSA programs?

    I love the folks who missed the last fifty years and now are presuming that Obama is Dr. Evil.

    I suspect that after 1963 the major candidates for President have got to be pretty pliable, so in that sense, yes, Obama knows the deal. He may even be complicit. However, if people from the national security state are doing stupid things that weaken Obama’s position of power in the country and the world it’s hard to believe that he’d be going along with it.

    Get your lobes around it.

  156. 156
    eemom says:

    If Morales plane was denied overflight on the suspicion that Snowden was aboard even though Morales took off 27 miles from the airport where Snowden was staying, then that is definitely a shitshow.
    If Morales is telling a big fat lie about this whole thing, and therefore invented an international incident out of whole cloth, that is also a shitshow.

    Look y’all, it may just be that this isn’t a firebagger/obotauthoritariantribalist thing at all, but simply that reasonable minds can differ over the proper definition of a shitshow. Let’s get that straightened out first and see if we can’t work this thing out.

  157. 157
    different-church-lady says:

    @eemom: You are like the worst Calvinball player ever.

  158. 158
    lojasmo says:

    @catclub:

    Also the Espionage Act

    .

    And FISA. Curse that monster Carter…worse than…ford?

  159. 159
    Emma says:

    @mistermix: You know, you are remarkably naive or remarkably convinced of the evilness of Obama — enough to ignore the PRIME MINISTER OF SPAIN saying “we gave them permission to land in the Canary Islands and they did.” Also the recording –a freaking recording — of the pilot talking to the tower saying “we have a faulty fuel gage.”

  160. 160
    Emma says:

    @LAC: You know what Bolivia is playing? They’re playing “we hate the United States more than you do”. It’s a Latin American intramural sport. The United States has earned a lot of it. It has been a miserable neighbour to Latin American, in more ways than one. So every time they can, they tweak the devil’s tail.

  161. 161
    Larv says:

    I’m unclear on why anyone thinks there must me active US involvement in this shitshow. As somebody above noted, Morales has been doing plenty to piss off Spain lately, and relations between the two countries are shaky at best and the Spanish regard Marales as a loose cannon. I don’t find it unthinkable that the Spaniards made refueling permission in the Canaries contingent upon assurances that Snowden wasn’t aboard, if for no other reason than to tweak Morales. The Bolivians would almost certainly take affront at that and refuse to do so on general principles. The problem is, once they do so, any other country they ask is going to look askance at that refusal and demand the same assurances. So when they ask Austria for permission to land because of the fuel gauge issue, Austria would very likely demand that they be allowed to ensure that Snowden wasn’t aboard, even without the US actively requesting it. Nobody wants to be the sap that causes a diplomatic incident by allowing Snowden through.

    I mean, I don’t have any problem believing that the State Dept has made it clear that we will not look kindly upon anybody who allows Snowden to transit through their airspace on his way to wherever. But I don’t see why it has to go any further than that, absent some evidence of direct US involvement in the Morales flap.

  162. 162
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Bob In Portland: Well seems like the big, bad Bush loves to be blamed by many here as being responsible for all this shit. Too bad poor little Obama, who has his exact same job title, doesn’t have the ability to do anything! Oh right, blame always goes to Republicans, Congress, Blue Dogs, etc. Can never be maybe Obama endorses these garbage policies! Oh no, never that!

  163. 163
    LAC says:

    @Emma: so true. This why this is more like a shit spray than a shit show. But who knows, hon – I am on my first manhattan Maybe it will become the Vesuvius of shitshows in my mind too by 10 pm.

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