God Damn You Scott Beauchamp!

Sorry, I meant Edward Snowden:

The list of those caught up in the global surveillance net cast by the National Security Agency and its overseas partners, from social media users to foreign heads of state, now includes another entry: American lawyers.

A top-secret document, obtained by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden, shows that an American law firm was monitored while representing a foreign government in trade disputes with the United States. The disclosure offers a rare glimpse of a specific instance in which Americans were ensnared by the eavesdroppers, and is of particular interest because lawyers in the United States with clients overseas have expressed growing concern that their confidential communications could be compromised by such surveillance.

The government of Indonesia had retained the law firm for help in trade talks, according to the February 2013 document. It reports that the N.S.A.’s Australian counterpart, the Australian Signals Directorate, notified the agency that it was conducting surveillance of the talks, including communications between Indonesian officials and the American law firm, and offered to share the information.

My favorite part of this getting front page NYT coverage will be watching the usual suspects in this affair (Bob Cesca and Charles Johnson- no hyperlink until he fucking stops bombarding people with fucking pop-up ads, I am looking at you) do one of a few things, much like wingnuts did during the Beauchamp Boogaloo- either completely ignore this, re-read it 100 times until they find one detail they don’t like and then, of course, the whole thing is invalid and Glenn Greenwald is a liar, just flame anyone who mentions it as being a member of the Snowden “cult of personality,” or just claim this is old news and HEY- EVERYONE SPIES. They’ll be frantic, because this kind of report, clearly written and easy for everyone to understand, on the pages of the NYTimes, is a big deal- read the piece, people are afraid to do business with us because of the lawlessness of our government.

And the band plays on.

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202 replies
  1. 1
    Aimai says:

    Indonesia? How ling before josh trevino is implicated? Or was he malaysia?

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    Good call on the pop-ups. And since you’ve already dismissed all counterarguments, I guess there is nothing else to say.

  3. 3
    PopeRatzo says:

    Unfortunately, this is one of the sites where the “Snowden is nothing but a fame whore” meme started.

    I just don’t care any more that there are people with whom I disagree politically who are also outraged by what our security regime is doing. The fact that libertarian groups are on the same side of this issue will not dissuade me that it’s the most important issue we face.

    Because ubiquitous security is entirely a tool meant for use by the 1%. It’s another mechanism for redistributing wealth and power upward, and no other issue is really going to improve as long as this is going on unabated. No other political issue means a good goddamn until this one is dealt with.

  4. 4
    Corner Stone says:

    Ahh, Big Law.
    This isn’t a big deal, at all. I mean, everyone does it. Amirite!?
    Known. Yawn. Burger.

  5. 5
    SatanicPanic says:

    @PopeRatzo:

    No other political issue means a good goddamn until this one is dealt with.

    Uh, OK.

  6. 6
    PopeRatzo says:

    @Baud:

    And since you’ve already dismissed all counterarguments, I guess there is nothing else to say.

    No, there’s just nothing else for you to say.

  7. 7
    Mark S. says:

    It probably had something to do with protecting us from terrorism, so it’s all good.

  8. 8
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @PopeRatzo: the most important issue we face.

    That’s where you lost me.

  9. 9
    Corner Stone says:

    @PopeRatzo:

    Unfortunately, this is one of the sites where the “Snowden is nothing but a fame whore” meme started.

    You mean where he’s a narcissist and obviously a Chi-Com/KGB/FSB spy?
    This website? Nah.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    The Dangerman says:

    @PopeRatzo:

    Because ubiquitous security is entirely a tool meant for use by the 1%. It’s another mechanism for redistributing wealth and power upward, and no other issue is really going to improve as long as this is going on unabated.

    You say “A” will lead to “B” but I don’t see the path; care to enlighten me?

    BTW, Snowden isn’t Daniel Ellsburg (if he was, his ass wouldn’t be in Russia right now).

  12. 12
    Corner Stone says:

    I just don’t give a shyte about the constitution!
    Sorry, but I just don’t! The Poors exist!

  13. 13
    James E. Powell says:

    @Mark S.:

    It probably had something to do with protecting us from terrorism, so it’s all good.

    Exactly. I know I feel safer. Don’t you feel safer?

  14. 14
    Corner Stone says:

    Putin gallops his horses bare chested! How could we ever give a shit about anything else until we can put a fucking shirt on him?
    ANSWER THE FUCKING QUESTION!!

  15. 15
    Mark S. says:

    @James E. Powell:

    Yes. I do.

  16. 16
    Cervantes says:

    @Aimai: Malaysia.

  17. 17
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Dangerman: Snowden isn’t Michael Sam either! How will Snowden expect to monetize his gayness if he hasn’t yet publicly come out as gay? And how are we supposed to compare him to Tebow if they don’t both do the same things in the exact same way we desire them to?

  18. 18
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @The Dangerman:

    BTW, Snowden isn’t Daniel Ellsburg (if he was….

    Pointing out to people who say things like this that Daniel Ellsberg himself disagrees with you is the closest most of us ever get to a real-life I-have-Marshall-McLuhan-right-here moment.

    Snowden made the right call when he fled the U.S. -Daniel Ellsberg

  19. 19
    Cervantes says:

    @The Dangerman:

    BTW, Snowden isn’t Daniel Ellsburg (if he was, his ass wouldn’t be in Russia right now).

    If he were Ellsberg, where would he be? Can you elaborate? (Thanks.)

  20. 20
    KG says:

    @The Dangerman: sweet, sweet large government contracts, an extension of the military-industrial complex, because that’s all the security state really is – a way for people with access to make money

  21. 21
    Belafon says:

    Well, the obvious thing to point at is this:

    It reports that the N.S.A.’s Australian counterpart, the Australian Signals Directorate, notified the agency that it was conducting surveillance of the talks

    Watch me state it once more:

    It reports that the Australian Signals Directorate notified the agency that it was conducting surveillance of the talks

    The KGB is the Russian counterpart to FBI, but we don’t accuse the FBI of throwing people in the Gulag.

  22. 22
    The Dangerman says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Snowden isn’t Michael Sam either!

    Well, since we last left this argument with you questioning my intelligence, perhaps you can enlighten me on how YOU passed the “BJ Wonder Lick” test?

    (For those that may not follow football closely, the Wonderlic is an IQ test of sorts for football players – well, others may use it, too, but it’s most closely associated with football).

  23. 23
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Last year, the Supreme Court, in a 5-to-4 decision, rebuffed a legal challenge to a 2008 law allowing warrantless wiretapping that was brought in part by lawyers with foreign clients they believed were likely targets of N.S.A. monitoring. The lawyers contended that the law raised risks that required them to take costly measures, like traveling overseas to meet clients, to protect sensitive communications. But the Supreme Court dismissed their fears as “speculative.”

    From the Times piece. No longer speculative, I guess. That suit will be refiled.

  24. 24
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cervantes:

    If he were Ellsberg, where would he be?

    He’d be sitting in the front of the bus. Or carrying a lantern while riding a horse at night. Or sitting in a jail in Alabama. Or tied to a flaming stake in France. Or invading the sudentland.

  25. 25
    The Dangerman says:

    @Cervantes:

    If he were Ellsberg, where would he be? Can you elaborate?

    Well, amongst other things, Ellsburg stood trial.

  26. 26
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Dangerman: You may be brilliant at whatever it is you do, or enjoy. I have no way of knowing.
    But your comments about Michael Sam are stunningly dense, and obvious for all here to see.
    Those comments and interpretations have been willfully stupid, bigoted and small.

  27. 27
    grislore says:

    the article was describing australilan intelligence monitoring an american law firm working with indonesia on trade talks, and keeping the nsa in the loop. don’t see anything dire here.

  28. 28
    The Dangerman says:

    @KG:

    …an extension of the military-industrial complex, because that’s all the security state really is – a way for people with access to make money

    OK, that’s a potential path; not sure I agree with it, but it isn’t outside the realm of possibility. I do agree, however, there are massive problems with the MIC, just not convinced that the NSA exists to funnel money to the 1%.

  29. 29
    Culture of Truth says:

    Unfortunately, Greenwald started the whole Obama Cult of Personality thing, severely degrading his credibility.

    Also, yes, actually, this was well known before Snowden informed us of surveillance, the FISA court, Smith v Maryland, and other assorted “secrets”.

    The disclosure offers a rare glimpse of a specific instance in which Americans were ensnared by the eavesdroppers,

    Wait, I thought Americans lived in surveillance state?

    A top-secret document, obtained by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden

    Why can’t we see this document?

    the Australian surveillance of talks underscores the extent to which the N.S.A. and its close partners engage in economic espionage.

    Clever.

    Other documents obtained from Mr. Snowden reveal that the N.S.A. shares reports from its surveillance widely among civilian agencies. A 2004 N.S.A. document, for example

    OBAMA!!!

    The N.S.A. and its Australian counterpart have also cooperated on efforts to defeat encryption. A 2003 memo

    OBAMA!!!

  30. 30
    Corner Stone says:

    @Culture of Truth: Why are you screaming about Obama? You sound stupid.

  31. 31
    Cervantes says:

    @The Dangerman: In open court, you mean?

  32. 32
    Cervantes says:

    @Belafon:

    Well, the obvious thing to point at is this:

    It reports that the N.S.A.’s Australian counterpart, the Australian Signals Directorate, notified the agency that it was conducting surveillance of the talks

    Watch me state it once more:

    It reports that the Australian Signals Directorate notified the agency that it was conducting surveillance of the talks

    Thanks, and thanks again. From the same article, watch me state this just once:

    The N.S.A. is prohibited from targeting Americans, including businesses, law firms and other organizations based in the United States, for surveillance without warrants, and intelligence officials have repeatedly said the N.S.A. does not use the spy services of its partners in the so-called Five Eyes alliance — Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand — to skirt the law.

  33. 33
    The Dangerman says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Those comments and interpretations have been willfully stupid, bigoted and small.

    Quite the contrary; those statements were based on years of education and decades of experience. I expect Sam to be treated just like every other football player; no more, no less. If his draft stock drops because he came out, that is a shame (and I said such in the VERY first post on the matter if you care to go look). If he cashes in on his “openly gay NFL player” status, that is a shame, too. BTW, in case you are wondering, I’ve found some of the things that Tebow has done to cash in is rather offensive, too. Treating people equally, what a concept; certainly neither small nor bigoted.

    You may be brilliant at whatever it is you do…

    I am. Thank you for asking.

  34. 34
    Belafon says:

    @Culture of Truth:
    I figure there are two reasons that presidents keep the NSA and other agencies – the US military for example – at the levels they are:
    1. They see lots of worrisome evidence and when you see a lot of that over and over, it starts creeping into your views of the world.
    2. They don’t want to be the president that let his guard down.
    In neither case are the going to do something while half of Congress is screaming about how they are not protecting the country.

  35. 35
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Cervantes:

    The most important thing is to ignore the report and question the virtue of the reporter.

    Keep it up. Snowden must be smeared, and good!

  36. 36
    PopeRatzo says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    >That’s where you lost me.

    That’s OK, you’ll come around. The other issues are just there for window dressing to distract us from the others. I’m becoming convinced that the entire Left/Right battle that consumes our political discussion daily just keeps us distracted from the Top/Bottom battle in which we are losing our asses. And the surveillance regime is nothing if not the ultimate control mechanism for those at the top. I’ll bet Tom Perkins is plenty OK with the NSA and also thinks Snowden should be hung. The NSA is there for his benefit, not the unemployed young people on Chicago’s West Side or transgender kids or the 62 year-old who’s been laid off.

    There can be no improvement in income equality as long as there is total control over communications by corporate/ruling elite. How long do you think the single-issue political movements that you care about are really going to last in the face of ubiquitous surveillance? We’re being given any “successes” in those areas because the elite don’t really have a problem with them and they make us feel satisfied while the lockdown goes on. But make no mistake, they’re holding those things we hold dear by a string like a cat’s toy. And we’re being distracted while the gates lock behind us.

    And the biggest one, the patent unfairness of our current economic and political systems, have no chance of improving if the elite have these surveillance tools at their disposal.

  37. 37
    The Dangerman says:

    @Cervantes:

    In open court, you mean?

    I don’t recall the details of the trial and too tired/lazy to go look it up right now. If memory serves (and it may not), he wasn’t convicted.

  38. 38
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @PopeRatzo: The other issues are just there for window dressing to distract us from the others

    So you’re a climate change denier?

  39. 39
    ruth crocker says:

    According to the article, Australian intelligence was monitoring an American law firm’s communication with Indonesia about a trade negotiation about cigarette packaging, and keeping the NSA in the loop to make sure protocols were being followed. Nothing dire that I can see. I think we have to admit that we’re lay people, and simply do not know what is usual in these cases.

  40. 40
    Cervantes says:

    @Joey Giraud: Not following your train of thought, sorry.

  41. 41
    Baud says:

    FWIW, this is what the NYT provided as the sole source material for the whole article:

    Following is an excerpt from a document provided by the former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden. It is from the February 2013 edition of a monthly bulletin of SUSLOC, the acronym for the N.S.A. office that handles liaisons with Australian intelligence. It describes how Australian intelligence conducted surveillance of trade talks between Indonesia and the United States and, in the process, monitored communications between Indonesian officials and an American law firm retained by Indonesia for help with the trade dispute. The Australians then sought legal guidance from the N.S.A. (The document refers to the D.S.D — the Defense Signals Directorate — the former name of Australia’s counterpart to the N.S.A. In May 2013, the agency was renamed the Australian Signals Directorate, or A.S.D.)

    (TS//SI//REL) SUSLOC Facilitates Sensitive DSD Reporting on Trade Talks: According to SIGINT information obtained by DSD, the Indonesian Government has employed a US law firm to represent its interests in trade talks with the US. On DSD’s behalf, SUSLOC sought NSA OGC guidance regarding continued reporting on the Indonesian government communications, taking into account that information covered by attorney-client privilege may be included. OGC provided clear guidance and DSD has been able to continue to cover the talks, providing highly useful intelligence for interested US customers.

  42. 42
    John Cole says:

    @ruth crocker:

    According to the article, Australian intelligence was monitoring an American law firm’s communication with Indonesia about a trade negotiation about cigarette packaging, and keeping the NSA in the loop to make sure protocols were being followed. Nothing dire that I can see.

    Fucking WIN! WE WERE ONLY SPYING ON THEM TO MAKE SURE THEY FOLLOWED PROTOCOL.

    Seriously, I fucking give up. Who wants another pet pic?

  43. 43
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Belafon:

    More importantly, any President doesn’t get to just say “do this” and “do that,” and have it happen. There are limits and costs.

    President Barack Obama, our first black President, is in no way going to be the one to “take on” our national security state, and anyone expecting him to is quite naive.

  44. 44
    Cervantes says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I don’t recall the details of the trial and too tired/lazy to go look it up right now. If memory serves (and it may not), he wasn’t convicted.

    And yet you are sure about the utility of your comparing Ellsberg and Snowden?

    Thanks for your contribution.

    (Incidentally, the Ellsberg case was thrown out of court because Ellsberg’s rights as a citizen were violated by the same executive branch that was prosecuting him. Consider that for a moment.)

  45. 45
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Cervantes:

    It’s very important to smear whistleblowers. And it’s very good that there are so many people willing to believe the smears and take them to heart and repeat them with great emotion.

    There are many folk here happy to help move that project forward.

  46. 46
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud: So….ummm, is that a good source or not?

  47. 47
    lol says:

    @Baud:

    Australian intelligence services conducting surveillance on Indonesian business communication with American lawyers. Clearly an example of NSA overreach.

    Is it any surprise that another Greenwald blockbuster exclusive has dissolved into a wet fart with just a passing examination?

  48. 48
    The Dangerman says:

    @PopeRatzo:

    There can be no improvement in income equality as long as there is total control over communications by corporate/ruling elite.

    We agree there…

    How long do you think the single-issue political movements that you care about are really going to last in the face of ubiquitous surveillance?

    …and now we diverge (or you will have to share with me what you mean by ubiquitous surveillance).

  49. 49
    lol says:

    @John Cole:

    “We?” I didn’t know you were Australian, John.

  50. 50
    Corner Stone says:

    @ruth crocker:

    was monitoring an American law firm’s communication

    ….
    You’re ok with this?

  51. 51
    Corner Stone says:

    Hey! Fucking privilege. Amirite!?

  52. 52
    lol says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    Take Aldrich Ames for example. A brave patriot trying to call attention to illegal activities undertaken by the US overseas and for that he was branded a traitor.

  53. 53
    The Dangerman says:

    @Cervantes:

    Incidentally, the Ellsberg case was thrown out of court because Ellsberg’s rights as a citizen were violated by the same executive branch that was prosecuting him. Consider that for a moment.

    OK, I did…

    …and my point still stands; Ellsburg didn’t run. He stayed and went to trial (and, if there are executive branch issues, they can be addressed similarly).

  54. 54
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I don’t recall the details of the trial and too tired/lazy to go look it up right now.

    Maybe you should reconsider your brilliance, then?

  55. 55
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Not sure what you mean by “good source.”

  56. 56
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Dangerman: This is absolutely antithetical to every comment you have made on that subject.
    You’ve made the argument that Sam had something to sell, to raise his price. He was being treated as a hero while Tebow, who was a religious NFL person, was castigated by the same people revering Sam’s brave stance.

  57. 57
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Corner Stone: I don’t know if you follow Snowden and his reporters (Greenwald, Scahill et al) but they have a slight Obama obsession (ie they were apolitical during Bush’s wars, suddenly very concerned about the NSA during the Obama presidency) even though many of Snowden’s ‘revelations’ are of things that took place years ago, as this NYT Australia piece shows. It would be interesting, IMO, to ask Snowden about this. Sorry if I “sound stupid” to you. It was meant to point this out. I will try better to to live up to your standards in the future.

  58. 58
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud: WTF do you think I mean?
    This is you:
    “provided as the sole source material”
    Well, if it is that sole source, then is it a good one?
    Otherwise, wtf are you trying to claim?

  59. 59
    Joey Giraud says:

    @lol:

    That’s not even close to true.

  60. 60
    The Dangerman says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Maybe you should reconsider your brilliance, then?

    You didn’t ask if I was brilliant about all things; you asked if I was brilliant on what I do. Sorry, but I don’t consider myself an expert on things that happened prior to me hitting puberty; some stuff before I had my first wet dream, I’m well read on (WWII, Kennedy Assassination), other things I am not.

  61. 61
    ruth crocker says:

    No, the Australians were consulting with the NSA on their surveillance to make sure protocol was being followed, and nothing illegal was being done.

  62. 62
    The Dangerman says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You’ve made the argument that Sam had something to sell, to raise his price.

    Huh?

    He was being treated as a hero while Tebow, who was a religious NFL person, was castigated by the same people revering Sam’s brave stance.

    Now, THAT is a true representation of what I had said; stand by that statement, too. What is bigoted about it? It’s basically an extension of treating everyone the same, isn’t it?

  63. 63
    Corner Stone says:

    @Culture of Truth: You should try to live up to the actual facts, instead. Pace Greenwald’s critical discussions of the NSA in 2006. Yes, during the GWB era.
    It’s “stupid” to say this is because Obama. Do you think Scahill did not care about Blackwater until 2009? Published in Feb 2007?
    “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army is a book written by independent journalist Jeremy Scahill, published by Nation Books in 2007”
    OBAMAMAMAMAMAMAAAA!!!

  64. 64
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    It’s stupid to say that Greenwald was apolitical during the Bush presidency.

    Because there’s so much in the public record that shows the opposite.

  65. 65
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    The list of those caught up in the global surveillance net cast by the National Security Agency and its overseas partners, from social media users to foreign heads of state, now includes another entry: American lawyers.
    A top-secret document, obtained by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden, shows that an American law firm was monitored while representing a foreign government in trade disputes with the United States.

    That’s some pretty sloppy writing. I’m kind of surprised it made it past an editor.

  66. 66
    Culture of Truth says:

    The Australians then sought legal guidance from the N.S.A.

    I assume “Australians Sought Legal Guidance From NSA” wasn’t bombshelly enough

  67. 67
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Dangerman: Sigh. You said Sam was going to make a nice pile of dough even if he turned out to be a stiff in the NFL. I can find all those BS statements but I’m too bored/lazy at the moment.
    But if you say you didn’t?

  68. 68
    Cervantes says:

    @The Dangerman:

    if there are executive branch issues, they can be addressed similarly).

    Just so you know: those “executive branch issues” were illegal wire-tapping, etc.

  69. 69
    ruth crocker says:

    I don’t see how you can blame the NSA for what Australian intelligence does.

  70. 70
    lol says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    Sounds like someone has bought into the smears targeted towards a heroic whistleblower.

    The difference is that Ames was much more discrete in his revelations and didn’t seek to embarrass the United States.

    Even today, Ames languishes in jail, a political prisoner that Obama continues to hold hostage.

  71. 71
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Spying by N.S.A. Ally Entangled U.S. Law Firm
    By JAMES RISEN and LAURA POITRASFEB. 15, 2014

    That, too. The Australian agency isn’t an “ally” of the NSA, Australia is an ally of the United States, and the agencies are counterparts.

  72. 72
    Mark S. says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Greenwald was apolitical during the Bush years? Are you fucking kidding? He was extremely critical of the Bush Administration.

  73. 73
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I thought people might be interested in what the article is based on, since it’s short enough to digest. That way they can judge for themselves what the source documents reveal. Is that wrong?

  74. 74

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    I’m not. Every Snowden revelation so far has been misleadingly described in exactly the same way.

  75. 75
    lol says:

    @ruth crocker:

    Because like such as Snowden also too Greenwald in conclusion OBAMABOT!

  76. 76
    Cervantes says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    That’s some pretty sloppy writing. I’m kind of surprised it made it past an editor.

    How would you make it less sloppy?

  77. 77
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud: No, not at all. I appreciate sourcing. But I don’t see how you could possibly be confused by my response.

  78. 78
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: and let’s also not concern ourselves with gonad politics

  79. 79
    The Dangerman says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You said Sam was going to make a nice pile of dough even if he turned out to be a stiff in the NFL.

    OK, that is different and, yes, that is exactly what I said; now, do be a good soul and go look up the endorsement deals that Sam is already inking his name to (I think I linked a Fortune article the other night and, no, I’m not going to go look it up for you). Sam will be fine financially even if he doesn’t play a down in the NFL (of course, he will be finer if he does). BTW, this isn’t something against Sam; shit, if I had people offering me money like they are offering him, I’d take the deal, too. It’s an extension of the strange “hero” status he has obtained through his coming out.

  80. 80

    I have to say, I can’t stand Greenwald, but ‘only hates Obama’ is not a charge I’d level against him. He goes into hysterics about everyone and everything in power, which is consistent with his status as a libertarian.

  81. 81
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cervantes:

    A top-secret document, obtained by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden, shows that an American law firm was monitored while representing a foreign government in trade disputes with the United States

    who did the monitoring? The first two paragraphs conflate the NSA and the Australian agency, the incomplete use of the passive voice here suggests that the NSA’s involvement was much greater than it apparently was.

  82. 82
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Corner Stone: You’re talking ‘actual facts’, I didn’t say any of those things. Perhaps it is because Obama is currently the President, but GG, who was apathetic during the Bush wars, and Snowden, who postively despised whistleblowers back then, seem to have it in for Obama. This has the unfortunate effect of giving free reign to nuts like Darrell Issa, who uncontested in Congressional hearings, blame Obama for tapping Angela Merkel.

    But none of that matters. What matters is revelations of NSA practices. It’s interesting that so many of these in the linked NYT piece are from so many years ago, and yet are written up as if they happened yesterday.

  83. 83
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I posted it because it was the NYT’s source material, and you asked whether it was a “good source or not”? I still don’t know what you meant by that. I assume the document is not a forgery (although I’m a little confused about why we only have an excerpt), if that’s what you meant.

  84. 84
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Dangerman: Nope. If you have proof then bring it. You can’t just drop that bullshit and say it’s true.
    I tell you what, home skillet. I googled
    michael sam endorsement deals
    Take a good long look at the first result. Every other link says, play well, get paid well. Soooprise!

  85. 85
    Joey Giraud says:

    @lol:

    Have I? Perhaps. I didn’t pay that much attention to Aldrich Ames, Knew he was convicted of espionage, was supposedly proven to have taken tens of thousands of dollars.

    Are you saying Ames was framed? I suppose that’s possible.

    Did Ames make any effort to reveal his secrets to the public? Any reporters receive any select documents?

    Or are you just trying to snark? I’m betting it’s the snark.

  86. 86
    Cervantes says:

    @The Dangerman:

    my point still stands; Ellsburg didn’t run. He stayed and went to trial

    You think his actions constitute a “point” of yours that “still stands.”

    Guess who disagrees?

    Many people compare Edward Snowden to me unfavorably for leaving the country and seeking asylum, rather than facing trial as I did. I don’t agree. The country I stayed in was a different America, a long time ago. […]

    Yet when I surrendered to arrest in Boston, having given out my last copies of the papers the night before, I was released on personal recognizance bond the same day. Later, when my charges were increased from the original three counts to 12, carrying a possible 115-year sentence, my bond was increased to $50,000. But for the whole two years I was under indictment, I was free to speak to the media and at rallies and public lectures. I was, after all, part of a movement against an ongoing war. Helping to end that war was my preeminent concern. I couldn’t have done that abroad, and leaving the country never entered my mind.

    There is no chance that experience could be reproduced today, let alone that a trial could be terminated by the revelation of White House actions against a defendant that were clearly criminal in Richard Nixon’s era — and figured in his resignation in the face of impeachment — but are today all regarded as legal (including an attempt to “incapacitate me totally”).

    That’s from an article published in the WP last July.

  87. 87
    Corner Stone says:

    @Culture of Truth: Good God.

  88. 88
    Mark S. says:

    I wonder if the NSA would do anything if they learned the Chinese were spying on an American law firm?

  89. 89
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mark S.:

    I wonder if the NSA would do anything if they learned the Chinese were spying on an American law firm?

    Why would they? It’s all fair game, amirite?

  90. 90
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Mark S.: I doubt the Chinese would contact the NSA for legal guidance.

  91. 91
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    I love that phrase “it seemed he”. It just reeks of smear.

  92. 92
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Of course they would do something. They would tell some other spooks, and try to figure out how it was done.

    The NSA isn’t the real problem. The NSA is just a bunch of geeks having their geeky fun.

  93. 93
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    It’s stupid to say that Greenwald was apolitical during the Bush presidency.

    That’s probably true. You direct that at me, although that’s not what I said. I clearly said ‘Bush’s wars’, not ‘Bush’s Presidency’. As GG clearly said, “before 2004, I had been politically apathetic and indifferent”. For whatever reason, he was indifferent to the buildup, launch, and first months of the invasion and occupation of Iraq (and Afghanistan).

    In any case, as I said, it’s not that important. But it’s interesting that so many revelations are from so many years ago, but are reported, rather slyly, as if they are breaking news in their implementation as well as revelation.

  94. 94
    ruth crocker says:

    @John Cole:

    No, Australian intelligence was checking with NSA to make sure their protocol was being followed and that they were acting within the law. You may not like it, but it’s not illegal. And I think none of us really understand what is normal as far as governments monitoring trade negotiations. This is distinct from governments spying on corporations to steal their trade secrets, as China does. This was an Australiian deal, but If this kind of activity is undertaken to make sure we get the best possible trade deals, I won’t object.

  95. 95
    Corner Stone says:

    @Culture of Truth: Bush’s wars v Bush’s presidency?
    Hack.

  96. 96
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mark S.: I wonder if people would suggest the US government was abusing the Constitution if we all learned the Chinese government was spying on an American law firm.

  97. 97
    Corner Stone says:

    @Culture of Truth: You also included Scahill, et al.

  98. 98
    Cervantes says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Sure, writing it in the active voice might have been snappier.

    There’s the NSA and then there are a few overseas counterparts it works closely with. In this case, on behalf of the Australian counterpart, “the [NSA’s] liaison officials [in Australia] asked the N.S.A. general counsel’s office for guidance about the spying. The bulletin notes only that the counsel’s office ‘provided clear guidance’ and that the Australian agency ‘has been able to continue to cover the talks, providing highly useful intelligence for interested US customers.'”

    Meanwhile, “The N.S.A. is prohibited from targeting Americans, including businesses, law firms and other organizations based in the United States, for surveillance without warrants, and intelligence officials have repeatedly said the N.S.A. does not use the spy services of its partners in the so-called Five Eyes alliance — Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand — to skirt the law.”

  99. 99
    Corner Stone says:

    We don’t do active voice here.

  100. 100
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I think you meant to say, “active voice is not done here.”

  101. 101
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: It was just done by you.

  102. 102
    The Dangerman says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Every other link says, play well, get paid well.

    Well, duh; if he is a star in the NFL or even makes a roster, he will be paid really well…

    …but he’s already been offered deals; how many downs has he played? Oh, that’s right; zero.

    So, my position remains the same; he could be a stiff in the NFL and will do fine. If he plays well, he’ll be FINE. Did I not just say that above? I’m pretty sure I did. Now, obviously “fine” is a whole lot less enviable than “FINE”, but I doubt Sam ever has to work an 8 to 5 job if he’s a stiff (unless he squanders it like far too many players do).

  103. 103
    Cervantes says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I wonder if people would suggest the US government was abusing the Constitution if we all learned the Chinese government was spying on an American law firm.

    What if the Chinese government had contacted the NSA, seeking and receiving permission to proceed?

  104. 104
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Some might say that was the point.

  105. 105
    The Dangerman says:

    @Cervantes:

    I don’t agree. The country I stayed in was a different America, a long time ago.

    In which case, I disagree with Ellsburg. Does he really think the Obama Administration is more corrupt than the Nixon Administration?

  106. 106
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Fair enough. I do recall reading him saying that.

    It’s stupid to respond to something without parsing it carefully. Guilty.

  107. 107
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: Oooh, a “some might say.”

    @Cervantes: I would say that, at the very least, the spirit of the law is being violated.

  108. 108
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Dangerman: Really? What deals? What endorsements? If he’s a stiff that plays on special teams for two years and then washes out you think he’s not going to need a job?
    Give it up, man.

  109. 109
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: You have seen him play quite a bit, right? Do you think he will make the transition to linebacker in a 3-4?

  110. 110
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Joey Giraud: I love that phrase “it seemed he”.

    You put that in quotation marks. Not sure why.

    In any case, but reading GG writing’s and tweets, he seems to go out of his way, to me, to put much of the NSA stuff on Obama personally, even now, not just with the whole if Obama raped a nun business, but yes, that’s just how it seems to me. It’s an opinion. Hardly a smear.

    I confess, by the time the buildup to the war was clear, I “had it in” for George Bush. (if not before) If someone said that about me, I wouldn’t consider that a smear.

  111. 111
    Joey Giraud says:

    @The Dangerman:

    The “country” isn’t the President you know.

    Ellsburg was talking about the whole country.

  112. 112
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    “It seems” “it seemed”

    People use these phrases when they insinuate. Is that really so hard to understand?

  113. 113
    Cervantes says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I disagree with Ellsburg. Does he really think the Obama Administration is more corrupt than the Nixon Administration?

    That’s not what he said, is it?

  114. 114
    The Dangerman says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Really? What deals? What endorsements?

    Dude, the second link from your search, IN THE TITLE, agrees with me; from ESPN (a fairly reliable source) “Sam will get opportunities, but the big money will happen if he plays well”. Isn’t that exactly what I said? I think it is; I think there will be “big money” (my “FINE”) if he plays well. He will have “opportunities” (using ESPN’s lingo, but that would be my “fine”) if he doesn’t.

    If he’s a stiff that plays on special teams for two years and then washes out you think he’s not going to need a job?

    No, I don’t. Right now, he could go undrafted (which won’t happen) and not make a team (probably won’t happen…

    …yet he will still be fine. He will never have to work another 8 to 5 job in his life, unless he wants to, of course (shit, right now, he could probably have speaking deals lined up for the next who knows how many years … and he hasn’t played a down … and, again, I can’t say this enough, if I was in his position, I’d fucking milk the adulation he is receiving, too).

  115. 115
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    You have seen him play quite a bit, right? Do you think he will make the transition to linebacker in a 3-4?

    I’ve seen a small bit of real time play from him and some small amount of film.
    I think he has a great talent and good quickness. IMO, at this point, I am very sceptical that he will translate to an impact player in the NFL. I just am not sure he can run the splits and cover athletic tight ends 5 to 7 yards off the line.
    For me, I compare him to Melvin Ingram of the Chargers who was with the SC Gamecocks, that I saw a ton of game film on. And Sam is not even close to an Ingram.
    I will be super happy to be proven wrong but I think at this point, a 3rd round pick by a team needing someone who has proven he gets better every year and is willing to go to the wall to make it will be the best case scenario.
    He’s not an immediate starter unless injuries put him in a great spot. I think if he goes 3rd round the team that takes him expects him to play the first year, at least a few games. So we should know pretty quickly.

  116. 116
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Corner Stone: Bush’s wars v Bush’s presidency?
    Hack.

    Truly you have a wit.

    Ha, no seriously, I chose my words carefully because I have mixed feelings about GG. When you have been invovled in politics as long as I have, it’s mind-boggling an adult as smart as GG could have been so indifferent to the wars and so right afterwards, especially on civil liberties, where Bush was so, so, so, terrible. So, I like GG, but I often wonder if if he isn’t holding Obama to a highter standard, or more probably highlighting problems under Obama because — YES — Obama is the President! Which I get.

    But so often I read article like this one and lo and behold they all happened years and years ago “A 2003 memo” “A 2004 N.S.A. document” and it would be helpful to put this into context, that though this is ‘news’ it is not “new” …. not to mention in 2003 when GG and Snowden were apathetic real liberals were fighting this stuff and they were nowhere to be found or doing whatever Snowden was doing to help the security state.

  117. 117
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Dangerman: You are out of your mind.

  118. 118
    The Dangerman says:

    @Cervantes:

    That’s not what he said, is it?

    No, but that’s the salient point, isn’t it? If his point is “the country is different”, well, duh, of course, in many different ways; if his concern is his trial would be handled differently, that’s Executive Branch, isn’t it? I mean, isn’t that how Ellsburg’s case was tossed out of court (assuming I read that right above)?

  119. 119
    Cervantes says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    But so often I read article like this one and lo and behold they all happened years and years ago

    So you’re upset that the information was not leaked earlier?

  120. 120
    Corner Stone says:

    @Culture of Truth: There is no “afterwards”. Bush’s wars lasted until after he was out of office. What timeline are you using to justify your criticisms?

  121. 121
    Cervantes says:

    @The Dangerman:

    assuming I read that right above

    Yes, but at this point I’m not making that assumption, sorry.

  122. 122
    The Dangerman says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You are out of your mind.

    And you’re wrong. See how easy it is to make blanket statements and not back them up? Dude, go read the ESPN link; right now, not playing a down, not even drafted, and he has opportunities (of COURSE he does, shit, his Q Number, or whatever the fuck it’s called, just went through the roof).

  123. 123
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Joey Giraud: Perhaps other people do. I use that word to be cautious. My sense of GG’s writings is that he thinks Obama is a consistent violater of civil libertiers, but could be worse. I also feel like he invokes Obama’s name, either out of outright dislike or as a provacation. It feels to me that GG dislikes Obama. ( you disagee? I admit – I “disliked” Bush. And Cheney. and…lots of others….lol ) I’m pretty sure Scahill thinks Obama is a war criminal.

  124. 124
    The Dangerman says:

    @Cervantes:

    Yes, but at this point I’m not making that assumption, sorry.

    Fair enough … let’s go look…

    …the Ellsberg case was thrown out of court because Ellsberg’s rights as a citizen were violated by the same executive branch that was prosecuting him….

    Well, hot damn, looks like I read it right.

  125. 125
    chopper says:

    another win for the 24 hour rule.

  126. 126
    Cervantes says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Well, hot damn, looks like I read it right.

    Baby steps, but congratulations.

    Now tackle Ellsberg’s article.

  127. 127
    The Dangerman says:

    Now, it’s been fun, but I’m going to go off now and consume a few. And then, maybe, a few more. Been a long damned day….

  128. 128
    The Dangerman says:

    @Cervantes:

    Now tackle Ellsberg’s article.

    Already did; see Executive Branch comments above.

    Seriously, I’m outta here.

  129. 129
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Dangerman:

    but he’s already been offered deals; how many downs has he played?

    ANSWER THE FUCKING QUESTION

    Tell us about these deals or shut the fuck up.

    “While there is plenty of excitement in the marketing community about Sam’s potential, some argue that it’s just that — potential. After all, Collins, without a team and without a big platform, hasn’t gotten huge deals. Neither has Griner.

    “It’s amazing and courageous what he’s done, but I don’t think it’s necessarily going to shoot him to marketing stardom,” said Ryan Williams, director of marketing for Athletes First, which represents the likes of Clay Matthews, Wes Welker and Von Miller. “He’ll get more speaking opportunities and maybe an eventual book deal, but the real money will most likely come only if he plays well on the field.”

  130. 130
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Corner Stone:

    There is no “afterwards”. Bush’s wars lasted until after he was out of office. What timeline are you using to justify your criticisms?

    No, I was merely pointing out that GG was less passionate about civil liberties when he was indifferent and more correct after he ceased to be indifferent, something I very much doubt he would disgree with.

    Again, this isn’t terribly important, but Cole’s post reveals how too often we make this about GG, ES, good or bad, and I probably fell into that trap. But yes, I was underwhelmed by the NYT piece.

  131. 131
    Cervantes says:

    @John Cole:

    WE WERE ONLY SPYING ON THEM TO MAKE SURE THEY FOLLOWED PROTOCOL.

    Actually, that’s not what ruth crocker said.

  132. 132
    Cervantes says:

    @The Dangerman: You missed Ellsberg’s point entirely.

    But I agree, after a long day, your time is better spent elsewhere.

    (Before a long day? Who can say?)

  133. 133
    Corner Stone says:

    @Culture of Truth: You stepped in it and have no way out but to keep trying shit like this pathetic effort.

  134. 134
    Mark S. says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I wonder if people would suggest the US government was abusing the Constitution if we all learned the Chinese government was spying on an American law firm.

    But maybe the US government shouldn’t sit back and let the Chinese govt spy on the firm? Or helpfully answer any questions the Chinese might have about protocol?

  135. 135
    LT says:

    Had not seen the “Aussies were only making sure they were following protocol” thing.

    I just killed myself. Again.

    P.S. Fuck you, Daniel Ellsberg – I’LL FUCKING TELL YOU WHAT YOU STAND FOR YOU OLD FUCK.

  136. 136
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Frankly, Glenn Greenwald’s affections or lack thereof is such trivial non-issue that I find *any* concern expressed about them to be ridiculous.

  137. 137
    Cervantes says:

    @Joey Giraud: Exactly.

  138. 138
    LT says:

    Attorney-client privilege – throw it on the bonfire along it the rest. We’re a shiny new Democratic party.

  139. 139
    Cervantes says:

    @LT: I doubt it helps to generalize in this case. Some Democrats oppose, others may be in favor, too many are silent.

  140. 140
    LT says:

    Try to grok this:

    Charles Johnson is retweeting this:

    Newsflash. If WNET is corrupt for taking money to report on pensions from John Arnold then so is ProPublica. http://t.co/R8tIdNf8V3— Gus (@Gus_802) February 16, 2014

    The Sirota hate is similar to the Greenwald hate. (And that was a real fucking good.)

    – Oh for fuck’s’sake. That GUS character is a writer at LGF? Jesus. That guy is Jim Hoft dumb on Twitter.

  141. 141
    LT says:

    @Cervantes: I’m talking about the Cescas, the many Dems on DKos, and whoever Dems who have been shit on this and so many other issues.

    And this includes ABL and Soonergrunt and many more here, just to be honest here on BJ.

    This deserves calling out. RWers – sure, they suck on just about everything. But Dems have to call out Dems fucking up on this.

  142. 142
    LT says:

    @LT: @LT: Here’s how GUS at LGF finishes up his Sirota hate piece:

    The question remains, how can WNET be accused of corruption when ProPublica, who also cover pensions, is the recipient of $2 million from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and gets away unnoticed?

    WNET gave the $3.5 million back. That’s a pretty good bit of evidence it was ugly.

    Not to mention Sirota went into a lot of detail on how the money was influencing WNET:

    The news of PBS actively soliciting financing from billionaire political activists – and custom tailoring original program proposals for those financiers – follows a wave of damning revelations about the influence of super-wealthy political interests over public broadcasting.

    GUS of course did not show anything of the kind about Pando (and many of the Pando crew seem like fucking idiot fucknuts) or ProPublica.

  143. 143
    Cervantes says:

    @LT: So long as criticism is precise and accurate, I have no problem with it, either.

    Thanks.

  144. 144
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @LT: I may be missing something here, but what does this have to do with any of the NSA stuff?

    Just to to make my position clear, I am opposed to any NSA domestic intercepts without a properly issued search warrant and I think Greenwald is a douchecanoe (specifically a thin-skinned polemicist and a doctrinaire libertarian -neither of which I tend to find useful as a rule).

  145. 145
    LT says:

    @Cervantes: Sure. Precise and accurate: We used to hold things like atty-client privilege sacred. That, and so many other things – including the ACLU itself – fuck em all. Just fucking broken.

  146. 146
    LT says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It doesn’t. I changed topic. Just pointing out Charles Johnson’s all around lunacy since the Snowden stories came.

    If people want to hate on Greenwald – whatever. It almost always accompanies hypocrisy on a host of issues – but maybe not you?

  147. 147
    Cervantes says:

    @LT: Yet when Dan Ellsberg practically spells it out …

  148. 148
    LT says:

    @Cervantes: ” Yet when Dan Ellsberg practically spells it out …”

    Explain, please.

  149. 149
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @LT: I believe the character of Greenwald and Snowden to be irrelevant here. I also don’t accept Greenwald’s interpretations of the material he is publishing. I prefer to look at it myself.

  150. 150
    LT says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: People who say this, in almost every case I’ve seen, pretend Greenwald exists in a vauum. No such thing as other reporters, no such things as editors, fact checkers – it is self-defeating nonsense, and very tiring to have to deal with over and over again.

  151. 151
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @LT: My record of commenting on NSA issues is public record. My opinion of Greewald exists independently of it.

  152. 152
    LT says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: No, it doesn’t. NOt if you say, “I also don’t accept Greenwald’s interpretations of the material he is publishing.”

    And, again, this implies something that is not true – that Greenwald does that work alone.

  153. 153
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @LT: No. Greenwald writes his interpretations of the material he has received. I simply don’t accept his interpretations at face value. Does that make me wrong? I thought that looking at the evidence on my own and coming to my own conclusions was a good thing.

  154. 154
    LT says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: “No. Greenwald writes his interpretations of the material he has received.”

    This is not a maybe thing. This is not opinion. This is wrong. Aside from his consultations with Snowden himself, Greenwald, for almost every NSA related story he has done – if not in fact all of them – worked with other reporters, and with outside experts, and the stories then went through the normal editing process of the news organizations he and those colleagues worked with for the stories.

    Can you admit a wrong on this? Again – it’s not opinion. You’re simply wrong.

  155. 155
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @LT: Columnists do not go through the same editorial process as reporters. Editors will simply verify the facts in his column. His interpretation of the facts is his own. I do not necessarily agree with his conclusions. Sue me. Again, my record of comments on NSA issues is out there. Disagreeing with government policy on surveillance does not require adherence to Glenn Greenwald’s viewpoints.

  156. 156
    LT says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: God almighty. You won’t/can’t admit it.

    You’re not going to even address that there are other bylines on all the stories?

    Wow. This is just creepy.

  157. 157
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @LT: The story cited in the OP is a Risen/Poitras pure news story. Greenwald’s are not pure news.

    Why is my take on Greenwald so important to you? I agree with you on the basic issue. Why is the personality important?

  158. 158
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    LT? Hello?

  159. 159
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Echo?

  160. 160
    LT says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Sorry – fixing dinner.

    Why is it important? It’s not that important. We’re talking on John’s blog about something. Why are you doing a “why is it important to you?” thing?

    “Greenwald’s are not pure news.” This is simply nonsense. Yo uthink stories done with, for example, Ewen MacAskill weren’t news stories?

  161. 161
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @LT: Oh ffs. I don’t like Greenwald. I think the NSA programs are a problem. Choose which matters.

  162. 162
    LT says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Bizarre. You’ve made factually incorrect statements.

    I gotta go.

  163. 163
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @LT: Blow me.

  164. 164
    Cervantes says:

    So … maybe you’re both right?

    @LT to Omnes Omnibus:

    “Greenwald’s are not pure news.” This is simply nonsense. Yo uthink stories done with, for example, Ewen MacAskill weren’t news stories?

    1. There’s really no such thing as “pure news.” Simply selecting a topic to write about involves judgment.

    2. Greenwald has written lots of things; some are reportorial, others are more analytical. This is not difficult to understand.

    3. For example, here is a story Greenwald did with Laura Poitras and Ewen MacAskill (“NSA shares raw intelligence including Americans’ data with Israel — Secret deal places no legal limits on use of data by Israelis,” The Guardian, September 11. 2013). Anyone should feel free to critique it: for example, what parts of it should not be taken at face value, and why?

    And then there’s this:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    [1] I also don’t accept Greenwald’s interpretations of the material he is publishing. I prefer to look at it myself.

    [2] I simply don’t accept his interpretations at face value. Does that make me wrong? I thought that looking at the evidence on my own and coming to my own conclusions was a good thing.

    To me it’s not even a question: no one’s premises or argument should be taken on faith. I think if [1] had included “at face value” the way [2] subsequently (but too late) did, the conversation would have proceeded differently.

  165. 165
    ruth crocker says:

    About client-atty privilege, if you read the NYT article, you will see that under its own rules, the NSA is forbiddent to monitor such communications in this country, and there is no evidence of its having done so. Read the headline, skim the article and be outraged, or read the article carefully and understand that no abuse is being revealed.

  166. 166
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes: You are probably correct.

  167. 167
    Rex Everything says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    ie they were apolitical during Bush’s wars

    That is just a complete fucking lie.

    Do you know you’re peddling bullshit, or did someone you for some tragically mistaken reason trust tell you this?

  168. 168
    Cervantes says:

    @LT:

    Explain, please.

    Sure. It’s nothing you don’t already know. Folks who complain that Snowden is ignoble for not doing everything the way Ellsberg did are somehow able to ignore Ellsberg’s own argument to the contrary. Compared to the early 70s, the entire legal infrastructure surrounding Ellsberg’s actions is different now, and not in any way that would advance justice.

  169. 169
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I just want to quote something you wrote:

    Disagreeing with government policy on surveillance does not require adherence to Glenn Greenwald’s viewpoints.

    Exactly, nor does it require deviating from them. One would think these points are easily understood.

    As for your comments re how Greenwald’s writing (reporting? analysis?) should be read skeptically, I was hoping for a specific adumbration (using the Greenwald/Poitras/MacAskill article I linked to above, or something more egregious if you have it) — but if this is not the right time for that exercise, no problem.

    Thanks.

  170. 170
    Cervantes says:

    @ruth crocker:

    read the article carefully and understand that no abuse is being revealed

    Thanks, ruth. Can you say what is revealed in the article? What does it say that you did not know before?

  171. 171
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    not to mention in 2003 when GG and Snowden were apathetic real liberals were fighting this stuff and they were nowhere to be found or doing whatever Snowden was doing to help the security state.

    In 2003 Edward Snowden was 20 years old and taking classes at a community college.

    Glenn Greenwald at the time was running his own law firm specializing in free speech and other First Amendment issues. He didn’t start blogging until 2005, when he founded Unclaimed Territory, and from the first days of his blogging began, according to Wikipedia, “focusing on the investigation pertaining to the Plame affair, the CIA leak grand jury investigation, the federal indictment of Scooter Libby and the NSA warrantless surveillance (2001–07) controversy.”

    I have no idea why someone thinks that it discredits either Snowden’s or Greenwald’s work in 2014 to claim that they weren’t equally committed eleven years ago, especially since one of them was still a 20 year old full-time student and the other running a full-time business.

  172. 172
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes: I can give a quick example off of the top of my head, but then I must be out and about doing things. When Greenwald’s partner was held in the UK during his trip to meet with Poitras, Greenwald reported that Miranda was held without access to a lawyer. As it turned out, he was actually offered counsel but declined the offer because, IIRC, he did not trust that he would be given proper counsel. This may or may not have been a legitimate concern, but that fact that Miranda was without counsel for hours while in custody was due to his choice not that of the British governement. In my opinion, Greenwald often elides details like that. As a result, I tend to subscribe to what people have referred to as a “24 hour rule” with any revelations that come from him – wait and see what a day’s worth of reporting and commentary say before making a judgment about any of his allegations.

  173. 173
    Rafer Janders says:

    @ruth crocker:

    Read the headline, skim the article and be outraged, or read the article carefully and understand that no abuse is being revealed.

    When the US government found out that an American law firm was being spied on by a foreign intelligence service, why didn’t the US government let that American law firm know? Why did we side with Australian spies against our own citizens?

  174. 174
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    But so often I read article like this one and lo and behold they all happened years and years ago “A 2003 memo” “A 2004 N.S.A. document” and it would be helpful to put this into context, that though this is ‘news’ it is not “new

    So your complaint is that there was a not contemporaneous 2003-2004 era whistleblower to reveal this earlier? That the NSA managed to keep this secret until now?

    We work with what we’ve got, you know.

  175. 175
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    (ie they were apolitical during Bush’s wars, suddenly very concerned about the NSA during the Obama presidency)

    As others have noted, this is a complete lie. And yes, I know you’ve backtracked and tried to claim a distinction between “Bush’s wars” and “Bush’s presidency” but two points:

    (1) As you quoted Greenwald he said he’d been apolitical about this stuff “before 2004”. Bush, however, was president until 2009, so that gives Greenwald 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 to have been concerned about Bush’s abuses, and

    (2) the timeline between “Bush’s wars” and “Bush’s presidency” is pretty much the same.

  176. 176
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    it’s mind-boggling an adult as smart as GG could have been so indifferent to the wars and so right afterwards, especially on civil liberties, where Bush was so, so, so, terrible. So, I like GG, but I often wonder if if he isn’t holding Obama to a highter standard, or more probably highlighting problems under Obama because — YES — Obama is the President!

    Once again, Greenwald started blogging in 2005 and highlighting civil liberties abuses on his blog. Before that he was a lawyer in private practice, also focusing on civil liberties issues. He was therefore “highlighting problems” under Bush in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 and not just waiting around until Obama became president. The timeline here is so clear and so well-known that I find it, how to put it, mind-boggling that you think you can lie about it.

  177. 177
    Cervantes says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    mind-boggling that you think you can lie about it.

    Culture of Truth lie about something? Surely, you jest.

    It must be an innocent mistake.

  178. 178
    Bill Arnold says:

    @PopeRatzo:

    How long do you think the single-issue political movements that you care about are really going to last in the face of ubiquitous surveillance?

    I assume you mean ubiquitous surveillance by the powerful.
    In the dystopian limit (fueled by Moore’s law), the surveillance is not actually fully ubiquitous. The powerful (governments, the very rich corporations and humans) are able to keep secrets, lots of them, and do, be cause how else would they be able to maintain order, or more mundanely, lifestyles and practices that the majority would not approve of.

  179. 179
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: OK, first of all, thanks. I thought we were talking about Greenwald’s unreliability as an interpreter of leaked NSA material, so I was hoping for a demonstration thereof. Given that he’s allegedly so unreliable an analyst, I’m sure there are lots of examples we can dissect.

    But never mind that; let’s look instead at the incident you’re citing …

    I did not follow the story as it was happening. I do know that Miranda was detained under Schedule 7 of the UK’s Terrorism Act (2000), a statute I’m familiar with. You say that “Greenwald reported that Miranda was held without access to a lawyer.” Where did he say this? Is this the report (August 18) you are referring to? Greenwald writes:

    The security official [on the telephone] told me that they had the right to detain [Miranda] for up to 9 hours in order to question him, at which point they could either arrest and charge him or ask a court to extend the question time. The official – who refused to give his name but would only identify himself by his number: 203654 – said David was not allowed to have a lawyer present, nor would they allow me to talk to him.

    Does that passage contain the falsehood you’re talking about? Was Greenwald dissembling? Was 203654 telling the truth?

    Where could Greenwald have gotten the notion that Miranda was being denied access to a lawyer? And how could he have disabused himself of this notion? (Obviously you’re not saying he could have just called Miranda right away to find out.)

    When Miranda was released, he was interviewed by The Guardian, which reported (August 19): “[Miranda] was offered a lawyer and a cup of water, but he refused both because he did not trust the authorities.”

    So … where were we, again?

  180. 180
    Cervantes says:

    @Rafer Janders: Where you obtain your patience I do not know — but it’s remarkable.

    Thanks.

  181. 181
    Bill Arnold says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Does he really think the Obama Administration is more corrupt than the Nixon Administration?

    Manning was treated about as horribly as the military though it could get away with. He was military, but still, any leaker, even civilian, post Manning/wikileaks would need to consider the real (>10%) possibility of this sort of treatment.

  182. 182
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Cervantes:

    Where you obtain your patience I do not know — but it’s remarkable.

    I’m under mild sedation….

  183. 183
    Rafer Janders says:

    @The Dangerman:

    In which case, I disagree with Ellsburg.

    Then you can stop citing Ellsberg as an example of what Snowden should have done. You can’t simultaneously disagree with Ellsberg and hold him up as the beau ideal of conduct. As Ellsberg himself notes, he was released without bail for over two years before trial and was able to speak freely to the public and media. Snowden, by contrast, would have been immediately arrested and held incommunicado.

  184. 184
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    But so often I read article like this one and lo and behold they all happened years and years ago “A 2003 memo” “A 2004 N.S.A. document” and it would be helpful to put this into context, that though this is ‘news’ it is not “new” ….

    So you would have liked the newspapers to report on this before it was known to them? The way it generally happens in the news world is that you publish something when you find out about it, not before. If something happens in 2003 and you don’t find out about it until 2014, you don’t usually throw up your hands and say oh well, no publishing about stuff more than a few days old! If we didn’t learn about the secret right when it happened, then too bad! I’m also sure there’s some bad stuff happening now that we won’t find out about until 2025, but since we don’t know about it yet, we can’t publish.

    Also, too, informing you of the dates — “a 2003 memo”, a “2004 N.S.A. document” — IS putting it into context. I think the reporters and editors assume you’re smart enough to (a) know what year it is now and (b) remember who was president in 2003/2004.

  185. 185
    Rafer Janders says:

    @The Dangerman:

    If his point is “the country is different”, well, duh, of course, in many different ways; if his concern is his trial would be handled differently, that’s Executive Branch, isn’t it?

    No, that’s executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Over the course of the last four decades (a) the legislative branch has passed new laws dealing with security, (b) the judicial branch has interpreted these laws in new ways, and (c ) the executive branch has become more aggressive in going after whistle-blowers. The leniency available to Ellsberg is no longer on the table these days.

  186. 186
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    When the US government found out that an American law firm was being spied on by a foreign intelligence service, why didn’t the US government let that American law firm know?

    The NSA knew, but it does not share information freely. (I’ve dealt with NSA employees in several contexts. It is remarkable how one-sided the information flows tend to be.) In this case, warning the American law firm could be considered equivalent to revealing partner intelligence capabilities, and uhm also helping the Indonesian clove cigarette and shrimp industries relative to U.S. side of a trade dispute. (One doesn’t have to agree with this to understand the reasoning.)

    My takeaway from reading the Rosen/Poitras article (besides it being heavy on conjecture, light on detail with regard to the actually spying) is that it is another confirmation that there needs to be a renewed push for secure communications, perhaps led by business interests. The technology is available, and FUD (much of it perhaps driven by intelligence agencies) doesn’t make this less true, just less certain that a technology choice isn’t compromised. It’s long overdue; particularly with all the recent major corporate security compromises. (Not just Target etc. The last two electric companies I’ve dealt with quietly informed (a year or three ago) their customers that billing and payment information including bank account numbers had been compromised. Oops. Year of free credit monitoring. After that you’re on your own, problems not provably our fault, since who knows what other compromised corporate IT infrastructures you deal with.)

  187. 187
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    In this case, warning the American law firm could be considered equivalent to revealing partner intelligence capabilities, and uhm also helping the Indonesian clove cigarette and shrimp industries relative to U.S. side of a trade dispute. (One doesn’t have to agree with this to understand the reasoning.)

    Yes, and that’s the problem. Whatever the reasoning, the end result is that in a conflict between a foreign spy agency and an American business, the US government chose the side of the foreign spy agency.

  188. 188
    Cervantes says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    As Ellsberg himself notes, he was released without bail for over two years before trial and was able to speak freely to the public and media. Snowden, by contrast, would have been immediately arrested and held incommunicado.

    Exactly. What people forget (or never knew) is that, sometimes, defendants want justice, too! Daniel Ellsberg willingly faced trial not meekly and not in contrition but because he knew he was right and believed he would receive justice! It’s precisely to the extent he does not think justice is attainable these days that he supports Snowden’s chosen course of action.

    Comparisons between Ellsberg and Snowden that do not take into account this elementary fact, well, they are risible.

  189. 189

    There has been espionage in the business world since people wrote in cunieform. And there have been linkages between government and private business. That’s just one result of fascism.

    Refresh yourselves on COINTELPRO, then ask yourselves about the fairy tale of Hillary Clinton going from being a Goldwater Girl to working at the same law firm that was representing the Black Panthers in Oakland.

    Sorry, Snowden is merely a loss leader and most of us don’t even know what we’re buying.

  190. 190
    LT says:

    @Cervantes: Being refused *your own choice of lawyer* is being refused a lawyer. Being offered access only to lawyers chosen by the government is being refeused a lawyer. To interpret it in any other way is to admit you do not actually care about the truth, but are simpy on a smear mision.

    Also: He was not allowed to seen any lawyer until he had been detained for 8 hours. He was able to see his lawyer only when he had 1 hour of detainment left. He was then by any reasonable definition of the phrase, legally and otherwise, refused a lawyer – for the first 8 hours of his detention. This is not a meaningless thing.

    Omnes is repeating really ugly – and really stupid – talking pts spread by the likes of C Johnson and Cesca.

  191. 191
    Cervantes says:

    @LT: As I said above, I had ignored the episode when it was happening, so that when it was brought up here today, I had to look it up. What I found is implied in my response above.

    In the process of looking things up, I encountered this Cesca person for the first time. His take on the episode is either silly or dishonest. It could be just silliness if he does not understand that Greenwald was writing as events were unfolding.

    The other thing I encountered was a comment thread here discussing the subject, in which all the usual suspects were behaving … as expected.

  192. 192
    LT says:

    @Cervantes: My response was to Omnes through you. I did get that you are treating this fairly, and see thru talking points.

    You’re lucky to not be familiar with Cesca. He’s been around for a while, wrote, still writes I think at HuffPo – for some reason lost his mind completely on Snowdne/NSA thing. Swear to God if it comes out tomorrow NSA tapped senators’ phones and read their emails Cesca would construct a way to defend it, and/or focus on some wrong he finds in how it was reported. That’s what @johncole is talking about in post with, “re-read it 100 times until they find one detail they don’t like and then, of course, the whole thing is invalid and Glenn Greenwald is a liar.”

    Check this out: https://twitter.com/bobcesca_go/status/434795610244280320

    The Poitras, Risen story in NYT is invalid – cuz they didn’t use ASD acronym. This is what we’re talking about with Cesca.

  193. 193
    Rex Everything says:

    Interesting that Cacti, Mnemnosyne, Different Church Lady, Cassidy et al haven’t come around to peddle their special high-potency paint peeling manure. Maybe they’ve finally abandoned a lost cause? One can hope.

  194. 194
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @LT: FWIW I do not mean to suggest that Greenwald is a liar. I think he is a polemicist who can sometimes let his rhetoric get ahead of his facts. My opinion. You may disagree and probably do. I regret that this conversation as even gone down this path because Greenwald is not the issue. Nor is Snowden. The issues, IMO, are how does one define personal privacy in the 21st century and what steps can be taken to ensure that against its its erosion at the hands of either governments or corporations.

  195. 195
    Cervantes says:

    @LT:

    My response was to Omnes through you.

    Yes, I figured. Not a problem.

    Re Cesca, as I say, I do not know him, but your description suggests to me that I do not want to.

  196. 196
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: What do you make of the attorney-client privilege issue in the case at hand?

  197. 197
    LT says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: But you still have not addressed, or begin to admit, that your ciritique is based on false assumption: that Greenwald works on stories alone. That is false. And the fact that you dont’ say *anything* about other reporters he works with on stories proves your citique silly. You are doing the equivalent of critiquing one person on a footbal team of 100% responsibility for a (perceived) loss. It ust doesn’t cut it.

    The one example you give: it’s not even a Snowden/NSA story. It’s about Greenwald’s paertnet being detained. For fuck’s sake.

  198. 198
    Cervantes says:

    @Rex Everything: They are highly potent in the same way that Ebola is.

  199. 199
    LT says:

    @Cervantes: @Omnes Omnibus: “What do you make of the attorney-client privilege issue in the case at hand?”

    And pls note that this could be about anything – including a torture victime using U.S. lawyers to sue USG.

  200. 200
    Socoolsofresh says:

    @Rex Everything: IT’S ONLY A WHITE DUDEBRO PROBLEM! YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT POOR PEOPLE!

    It is refreshing to see a thread that hasn’t been polluted with those dead enders.

  201. 201
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes: I think it a blatant violation of privilege. Information that comes into government hands through this means should be inadmissible in court. I would also say that evidence discovered by following investigatory paths uncovered by these means from this should also be excluded.

    @LT: The Miranda example was something the occurred to me as I was about to walk out the door. I am not going to argue about Greenwald with anyone anymore. I don’t and never have advanced the types of arguments that you say Cesca and Johnson do (I don’t read either Cesca or Johnson). The material that Greenwald ,among others, has made public is important. Why don’t we leave it at that?

  202. 202
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    The Miranda example was something the occurred to me as I was about to walk out the door

    Yes, you made that clear when you mentioned it. I looked into it and found nothing there to write home about, except the misbehavior or silliness of people like Cesca.

    If you do come across (or remember) instances where Greenwald’s work is unreliable, I would certainly appreciate your letting me know here. (Thanks.)

    About the law firm whose people were being spied on: I do wonder what the repercussions will be.

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