I’m Sorry, So Sorry

Here’s DNI Clapper in what is being called an “exclusive interview” in the Daily Beast, but I can’t find the transcript, and it looks like the interview is basically him mumbling whatever he wants to say to Eli Lake:

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast, Clapper said the problems facing the U.S. intelligence community over its collection of phone records could have been avoided. “I probably shouldn’t say this, but I will. Had we been transparent about this from the outset right after 9/11—which is the genesis of the 215 program—and said both to the American people and to their elected representatives, we need to cover this gap, we need to make sure this never happens to us again, so here is what we are going to set up, here is how it’s going to work, and why we have to do it, and here are the safeguards… We wouldn’t have had the problem we had,” Clapper said.

“What did us in here, what worked against us was this shocking revelation,” he said, referring to the first disclosures from Snowden. If the program had been publicly introduced in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, most Americans would probably have supported it. “I don’t think it would be of any greater concern to most Americans than fingerprints. Well people kind of accept that because they know about it. But had we been transparent about it and say here’s one more thing we have to do as citizens for the common good, just like we have to go to airports two hours early and take our shoes off, all the other things we do for the common good, this is one more thing.”

Translation- “We’re sorry we got caught lying to you about all the stuff we said we weren’t doing but were, but if we had told you we were doing it while you were still traumatized by 9/11, you’d have let us. No hard feelings, right guys?”

Additionally, re-read this: “What did us in here, what worked against us was this shocking revelation,” he said, referring to the first disclosures from Snowden. I’m reasonably sure DNI Clapper just told us what we all know, that Snowden is a whistleblower, and not a criminal. “WHAT DID US IN HERE” is pretty clear language, folks.

Finally, I was struck by the closing paragraph:

“There is only one person on the planet who actually knows what I was thinking,” Clapper said of his testimony from last March. “Not the media, and not certain members of Congress, only I know what I was thinking.”

Because, you know, he’s the victim.

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175 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    I was waiting for GG to instruct me to post something about this here. Glad he called you up to get this going.
    One of the more despicable parts of this interview is this one:

    “I don’t think it would be of any greater concern to most Americans than fingerprints. Well people kind of accept that because they know about it. But had we been transparent about it and say here’s one more thing we have to do as citizens for the common good, just like we have to go to airports two hours early and take our shoes off, all the other things we do for the common good, this is one more thing.”

    What kind of a sick fuck thinks this is a good outcome?

  2. 2
    Mandalay says:

    I probably shouldn’t say this, but I will.

    Not words you ever want to hear from the Director of National Intelligence. They can only precede comments that will be reckless, dishonest or disingenuous. Or probably all three in the case of Clapper.

  3. 3
    Cassidy says:

    I’m reasonably sure DNI Clapper just told us what we all know, that Snowden is a whistleblower, and not a criminal.

    I can already see the groundwork being laid for you to reluctantly support Rand. I’m starting to think Ricky West had you nailed.

  4. 4
    some guy says:

    Liars lie. It’s what they do. and naturally a Liar like Clapper uses a water boy like Eli Lake to make his lies somewhat more palatable.

  5. 5
    Citizen_X says:

    Alternate shorter Clapper: “Boy, we could get away with ANYTHING after 9/11! Those were the days!”

  6. 6
    John Cole says:

    @Cassidy: What in the hell are you talking about? What does anything in this post have to do with me or Rand Paul.

    Oh wait, that’s right. Nothing. But since you can not handle reading things you don’t like, you go personal.

    I will never vote for Rand Paul ever.

  7. 7
    Corner Stone says:

    Clapper compared the 215 program to fire insurance. “I buy fire insurance ever since I retired, the wife and I bought a house out here and we buy fire insurance every year. Never had a fire. But I am not gonna quit buying my fire insurance, same kind of thing.”

    Except of course, fire insurance doesn’t stop a fire from happening, and if one does, it usually performs the task it’s in place to do.
    What kind of buffoon is this guy?

  8. 8
    James E. Powell says:

    He’s right, though, isn’t he? If Bush/Cheney had announced they were going to do this and it up for a vote, there would have been token opposition. But mostly you would have seen every Republican declaring it to be the minimum standard for any patriot and a horde of Democrats stampeding to the White House to be there when the preznit signed the new bill into law. Cf. Dick Gephardt in the Rose Garden.

    And the American people? Of course they would have gone along with it. We were at war!!!

  9. 9

    Ugh, the clapper. He claps on but never claps off.

  10. 10
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Citizen_X: Yep. That’s about it. But “methods and sources” meant that they couldn’t tell us what they were up to. At least he didn’t go the route of “the Security Establishment has wanted to tell you all along about these things, but that mean Congress won’t let us.”

  11. 11
    different-church-lady says:

    This man is a fool.

  12. 12
    Corner Stone says:

    @James E. Powell: We’re still getting to the airport two hours early, taking our belts and shoooz off. And the reaction here when the DNA swab database issue came up…guess we don’t actually mind much of anything. Long As It Keeps Us Safe ™ !!

  13. 13
    different-church-lady says:

    @Corner Stone: Of all the goddamned nonsense I see from both sides of this issue, the bitching about getting inconvenienced when checking in to our magical flying machines has got to be some of the silliest.

  14. 14
    Cervantes says:

    Eli Lake interviewing Jim Clapper?

    It’s difficult to say which is the more dishonest person.

  15. 15
    Corner Stone says:

    “What did us in here, what worked against us was this shocking revelation,” he said, referring to the first disclosures from Snowden.

    “And we would’ve gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those rotten kids.”

  16. 16
    John Cole says:

    @Cervantes: Remember the good old days when the New York Sun was going to drive the Times out of business? Good times.

  17. 17
    Cassidy says:

    @John Cole: I read things I don’t like all the time. That has nothing to do with it. Calling you wrong and a jackass had nothing to do with whether I like what I read. I just find your “interpretations” of things to be childish. As you get older and more self-hating, it’s obvious that you have gotten stuck in this mindless attempt to recreate the fleeting praise of your “epic” rants. Now you’re just a caricature, a virtual porn blogger playing to your fluffers. The schtick is old.

    Oh well. We know how this goes. You’ll dither back and forth about who to vote for and all that jazz, and then finally say you just can’t get behind whoever the Dem is because DROOOOONNNEEEZZZZ!! or NSA or something. Like I said, Ol’ Ricky had you nailed a long time ago.

  18. 18
    Corner Stone says:

    @different-church-lady: Good for you.

  19. 19
    Cacti says:

    @Cassidy:

    I read things I don’t like all the time. That has nothing to do with it. Calling you wrong and a jackass had nothing to do with whether I like what I read. I just find your “interpretations” of things to be childish. As you get older and more self-hating, it’s obvious that you have gotten stuck in this mindless attempt to recreate the fleeting praise of your “epic” rants. Now you’re just a caricature, a virtual porn blogger playing to your fluffers

    It’s been that way for a while here at Libertarian-Juice.

    Remember when Assad affiliates started gassing civilians in Syria, and guru Cole started the front page Jonestown revival meeting of Obama being an insane warmonger who was dragging us into another Iraq?

  20. 20
    Mandalay says:

    @John Cole:

    But since you can not handle reading things you don’t like, you go personal.

    You nailed it right there.

  21. 21
    Shakezula says:

    I don’t think it would be of any greater concern to most Americans than fingerprints. Well people kind of accept that because they know about it.

    Is he saying the government collects our fingerprints and tracks where they show up without our knowledge?

  22. 22
    John Cole says:

    @Cacti:

    It’s been that way for a while here at Libertarian-Juice.

    Remember when Assad affiliates started gassing civilians in Syria, and guru Cole started the front page Jonestown revival meeting of Obama being an insane warmonger who was dragging us into another Iraq?

    I sure don’t remember that. Got some links?

  23. 23
    SatanicPanic says:

    Uh oh, looks like a Battle for the Soul of Balloon Juice thread.

  24. 24
    Cassidy says:

    @Cacti: Yup. Big swingin’ dick to get his war on and all.

    @Mandalay: Like I said. Fluffers. If I were charitable, I’d say enablers, but that implies some sort of caring on my part.

  25. 25
    aimai says:

    Jeezus Christ what is it with you creeps? If you don’t like the blog commentary then don’t read the fucking blog and comment here. Its that simple. No one will miss any of you since you add nothing to the discussions.

  26. 26
    Corner Stone says:

    @SatanicPanic: I prefer:
    Schism Too: Balloon Juice Boogaloo

  27. 27
    Violet says:

    @different-church-lady: If the inconvenience was seen to be worthwhile and effective then people probably wouldn’t bitch as much. But security experts refer to it as security theater, it’s not that effective and is designed to line the pockets of the rape scan machine manufacturers and the former government officials who got the machines adopted. People know it’s stupid and even dangerous as large groups waiting to go through security are prime targets. Yet we still have to do it.

  28. 28
    Redshift says:

    I don’t think it would be of any greater concern to most Americans than fingerprints. Well people kind of accept that because they know about it.

    Huh, I must have missed it when they started mass fingerprinting all Americans and everyone accepted it. When did that happen?

  29. 29
    Corner Stone says:

    Also, while we’re at it, I just wanted to say that if nothing else, I am grateful to the whole NJ GW Bridge scandal because it has brought about the revival of the word “imbroglio” , which, IMO, can not be used enough.

  30. 30
    Carl's can of pudding says:

    Sheesh Cassidy knows how to shave a cat’s ass.

  31. 31
    Mandalay says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Except of course, fire insurance doesn’t stop a fire from happening

    Right. Using Clapper’s analogy, just as fire insurance doesn’t prevent a fire, so grabbing a ton of metadata on American citizens doesn’t prevent terrorist acts.

  32. 32
    askew says:

    I guess this makes me a bad liberal, but I just don’t give a fuck about this. I’ve assumed that NSA has been spying on us through one method or another for decades. And I am being fair about it. I didn’t care when Bush did it and I don’t care when Obama does it.

    It wouldn’t even make the top 100 list of things I am worried about in politics. Maybe if I was a white, middle-class/upper-class man, I would have time to worry about this.

  33. 33
    Belafon says:

    They great thing about these kinds of threads is that they make me want to do work.

  34. 34
    Corner Stone says:

    @Violet:

    If the inconvenience

    It’s the fact that she sees the issue as one of “inconvenience”. There’s not much else to say to someone when they see it that way.

  35. 35
    Gene108 says:

    For Republicans to have their ideology validated they need to show “government is the problem”.

    For liberals to have their ideology validated by the voting public they need to show government can be a trustworthy partner for the greater good.

    How to do folks think the Snowden-NSA revelations can help restore faith in government and liberalism?

    I think the general public does not do nuance. Either you are all in, in trusting government or you are all out.

  36. 36
    different-church-lady says:

    @Violet:

    If the inconvenience was seen to be worthwhile and effective…

    Yes, there’s a good point to be made there…

    …then people probably wouldn’t bitch as much.

    Did you just say that with a straight face? Bitching about first world problems is our national pastime, constitutional right and the country’s biggest export. Whining is the only thing we still manufacture in this country.

  37. 37
    burnspbesq says:

    Snowden is a whistleblower, and not a crimina

    That’s bullshit, John, and you damn well know it. Those conditions are not mutually exclusive. I don’t know whether Snowden was advised by counsel before he blew town, but he blew town for a reason. The facts are what we we all know them to be, and they make out the entire prima facie case for at least three felonies.

    but if we had told you we were doing it while you were still traumatized by 9/11, you’d have let us

    Clapper is correct, and you know that, too. You were around in the fall of 2001. The Bush Administration could have put literally anything it wanted in the PATRIOT Act and Congress would have passed it nearly unanimously.

  38. 38
    Cervantes says:

    @askew: Your not having thought about it, for lack of time and lack of interest — are all obvious from your comment. No, I would not say it makes you “a bad liberal” — not at all.

  39. 39
    Cassidy says:

    @Carl’s can of pudding: Well, I’ve never tried it, but I’d imagine nothing less than a thick towel and some duct tape would be involved.

  40. 40
    different-church-lady says:

    @Corner Stone: What do you see it as, a constitutional violation or something?

  41. 41
    Mandalay says:

    @Redshift:

    Huh, I must have missed it when they started mass fingerprinting all Americans and everyone accepted it. When did that happen?

    Never, of course. But I do remember when all American citizens entering Brazil were required to provide fingerprints in reciprocity for US immigration requiring fingerprints from all Brazilians. Our government squealed like a piglet…

    “While we acknowledge Brazil’s sovereign right to determine the requirements for entry into Brazil, we regret the way in which new procedures have suddenly been put in place that single out U.S. citizens for exceptional treatment that has meant lengthy delays in processing, such as the case today with a more than nine hour delay for some U.S. citizens arriving at Rio’s international airport,” the US embassy said in a statement.

    Rio de Janeiro’s international airport joined other airports across Brazil Saturday in photographing and fingerprinting all arriving American passengers in a tit-for-tat move meant to respond to a similar U.S. program that began this week.

  42. 42
    kimp says:

    Why Clapper is allowed free after lying directly to Congress, under oath, much less giving interviews, will forever be a embarrassment to us

  43. 43
    Cervantes says:

    @aimai: Attention-seeking behavior is attention-seeking.

    You’re a parent. You must recognize it, even if it’s been years since you’ve had toddlers at home.

  44. 44
    Yatsuno says:

    @askew: I’m still waiting for a damn TBogg unit. Every time one of these threads pops up I get hopeful and then my hopes and dreams are dashed to pieces. Oh well.

  45. 45
    Belafon says:

    @Gene108: What’s the quote: Democrats try to make government work, Republicans try to make it fail; sometimes the Democrats get it wrong.

  46. 46
    Cacti says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Clapper is correct, and you know that, too. You were around in the fall of 2001. The Bush Administration could have put literally anything it wanted in the PATRIOT Act and Congress would have passed by nearly unanimously.

    And Cole would have endorsed it as if it were the word of Yahweh, coming down from Sinai.

  47. 47
    Violet says:

    @different-church-lady: Have you ever been out of the country? People bitch and whine everywhere. It’s not some special American thing.

  48. 48
    John Cole says:

    @burnspbesq:

    You want to hold a parade for Snowden, you can hold it in 2045 when he gets out of prison. The facts are what we we all know them to be, and they make out the entire prima facie case for at least three felonies.

    What is it about some of you that you just can’t help yourselves? Because I disagree with you, I want to throw a parade for Snowden or am in this “Snowden Cult of Personality” that is basically just a fiction in the minds of those who hate him. I could give a shit about him personally.

    I’m not sitting here saying you want to suck Clapper’s dick because we disagree. Fer christs sake.

  49. 49
    burnspbesq says:

    @Belafon:

    They great thing about these kinds of threads is that they make me want to do work.

    Or say one’s piece quickly and get out before the walls fall down.

  50. 50
    Hill Dweller says:

    Clapper needs to spend some time with his family…

    Now that the Dems have shit-canned the filibuster for executive and judicial nominations, it’s time for a new DNI. Nominate a replacement to come in around the same time Alexander’s replacement at the NSA starts his confirmation process. Get some new blood in those two important positions, and push for the reforms recommended by the President’s panel. Force congress to go on record in support or opposition of the reforms, which will have the added benefit of undercutting charlatans like Rand Paul and his racist daddy.

  51. 51
    Josie says:

    @askew: I’m a white middle class woman and I don’t care about it either. If you’ve been a liberal as long as I have and supported as many anti capitalist, anti war policies as I have, you kind of figure you have been on several shit lists through the years. So far, I’m still OK. There are way too many other important things to worry about.

  52. 52
    lethargytartare says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Clapper is correct, and you know that, too. You were around in the fall of 2001. The Bush Administration could have put literally anything it wanted in the PATRIOT Act and Congress would have passed by nearly unanimously.

    and what with it being 2001 and all, Cole would have called anyone who worried aloud about it a traitor.

  53. 53
    different-church-lady says:

    @askew:

    I didn’t care when Bush did it and I don’t care when Obama does it.

    Leaving aside the question of whether it’s worth caring about (and I believe it is), many of our progressive betters have made the mistake of believing we were all in an identical lock step outrage regarding the Patriot Act, and have only decided we’re groovy with it now because of the guy in the White House.

    Well, some of us weren’t frothing at the mouth about it 8 years ago, but nonetheless ain’t entirely down with it today. But when your outrage knob is welded in place at 11, you really can’t hear anyone else in the band.

  54. 54
    Tractarian says:

    @John Cole:

    I will never vote for Rand Paul ever.

    Methinks the blogger doth protest too much…

  55. 55
    Corner Stone says:

    @kimp: It’s not that he was “lying” to Congress. It’s just that he didn’t understand the question he was asked by Sen Wyden. After having it in writing 24 hours beforehand.
    Caught him off guard.

  56. 56
    different-church-lady says:

    @Gene108:

    I think the general public does not do nuance.

    This blog sure as fuck doesn’t.

  57. 57
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Gene108:

    How to do folks think the Snowden-NSA revelations can help restore faith in government and liberalism?

    They might or they might not, but I think most of us liberals who aren’t enamoured of Snowden think he’s hoping they don’t.

  58. 58
    Mandalay says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Force congress to go on record in support or opposition of the reforms

    This, many times over.

  59. 59
    burnspbesq says:

    @John Cole:

    If you’ll notice, the sentence to which you’re objecting was deleted (before you objected) because I thought better of it.

  60. 60

    @John Cole:

    Because I disagree with you, I want to throw a parade for Snowden or am in this “Snowden Cult of Personality” that is basically just a fiction in the minds of those who hate him. I could give a shit about him personally.

    What do you want to happen? put it out there then you can reference your explanation later.

  61. 61
    Cassidy says:

    @Cervantes: And faux intellectual above it all is boring.

  62. 62
    askew says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Leaving aside the question of whether it’s worth caring about (and I believe it is), many of our progressive betters have made the mistake of believing we were all in an identical lock step outrage regarding the Patriot Act, and have only decided we’re groovy with it now because of the guy in the White House.

    Well, some of us weren’t frothing at the mouth about it 8 years ago, but nonetheless ain’t entirely down with it today. But when your outrage knob is welded in place at 11, you really can’t hear anyone else in the band.

    That is a good way of looking at it. I was frothing at the mouth about the Iraq War 8 years ago and Katrina and the Valerie Plame leak and Terri Schiavo that I just ran out of energy for any more outrage.

  63. 63
    different-church-lady says:

    @John Cole:

    I’m not sitting here saying you want to suck Clapper’s dick because we disagree. Fer christs sake.

    Not yet

    I could give a shit about him personally.

    You could?

  64. 64
    burnspbesq says:

    @ranchandsyrup:

    For the record, if Cole throws a parade for Snowden after he gets out of prison, I’ll be there. Snowden’s methods were inexcusable, but this is a conversation we need to have as a country.

  65. 65
    different-church-lady says:

    @askew: Exactly. Laundry list liberals always assume everyone who agrees on one point agrees on all of them. They really expect that everyone will buy the entire package. And it seems they go wobbly when they try to mentally process someone who didn’t.

  66. 66
    Chyron HR says:

    @different-church-lady:

    John Cole is an honorable man. He definitely would never stoop to accusing everyone who disagrees with him of belonging to (and understand that this is an entirely hypothetical example) a “cult”.

  67. 67
    Corner Stone says:

    @Josie:

    So far, I’m still OK. There are way too many other important things to worry about.

    I’m never sure how people who say this think it seems somehow instructive? You don’t give a shit about, askew doesn’t give a shit about it, only wealthy white males give a shit about it.
    Adding that up, should no one give a shit about it?

    It’s kind of like a Randinho post, IMO. I don’t care about soccer so I don’t continually pop in to say, “I Don’t Give A Shit About This. Too many other sports to care about.”

  68. 68
    burnspbesq says:

    @different-church-lady:

    I don’t do that on the first date. Clapper’s going to at least have to spring for dinner and a movie.

  69. 69

    @burnspbesq:

    this is a conversation we need to have as a country.

    Agree. Took me a while to come around on it, though. I is still learning.

  70. 70
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Corner Stone: Too much of this and I’m going back to the GOS.

  71. 71
    James E. Powell says:

    A portion of Clapper’s testimony not included in the linked article:

    You weep for Snowden, and you curse the NSA. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Snowden’s exile, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on your phone, you need me on your phone.

    Here’s what happens. The people who make money or gain power from scaring the shit out people either invent or exaggerate a threat to peoples’ safety. Extreme measures ensue, both by the government with things like the HUAC or the McCarthy hearings or the Patriot Act, or by the private sector with blacklisting or banning the Dixie Chicks. Anyone brave enough to object is denounced as a naive or treasonous.

    Then, a generation later, someone makes a movie about it, like The Front or Good Night and Good Luck. Everyone agrees that Americans back then were shamefully weak and morally bankrupt. And that the leaders who did these things were bad people. But in real time, almost everybody goes along with it, not by merely by acceding to it, but by embracing it enthusiastically. Does our history give us a counter example?

  72. 72
    Cassidy says:

    @Chyron HR: Or call someone who dared to disagree with him a cunt or any number of boorish dipshittery.

  73. 73
    Josie says:

    @Corner Stone: Wasn’t trying to instruct you – just expressing agreement with Askew. I don’t care whether you agree with me or not.

  74. 74
    Corner Stone says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Too much of this and I’m going back to the GOS.

    What remedy would you suggest?

  75. 75
    Belafon says:

    @Yatsuno: There are too many other threads for people to stay on one for any length of time. Plus, the readers here are not in the same league as FDL readers: Eventually, our desire to drink overcomes our need to comment.

  76. 76
    Belafon says:

    @Redshift: It occurred at the same time the NSA actually collected data on every American.

  77. 77
    Corner Stone says:

    @different-church-lady: Give yourself a break. Exactly who is saying this issue ain’t worth shit? Alternatively, is anyone saying this is the *only* issue that should be discussed?
    “Nobody gives a shit” on the one hand, or “this is also important”.

  78. 78
    aimai says:

    @Cervantes: Yes, of course I recognize it. I just don’t think it should be rewarded.

  79. 79
    Corner Stone says:

    @Josie: Sure.

  80. 80
    Mandalay says:

    @James E. Powell:

    But in real time, almost everybody goes along with it, not by merely by acceding to it, but by embracing it enthusiastically. Does our history give us a counter example?

    Surely the current situation regarding surveillance by our security services – the topic of this thread – is a counter example. Do you really think that surveillance has been embraced enthusiastically? Until Snowden spilled the beans we had no clue about the extent of that surveillance (excluding a few know-it-alls here, who believe they are experts on everything).

  81. 81
    different-church-lady says:

    @Corner Stone: That’s not what I’m taking about — I’m talking about the phenomenon where someone assumes, “Hey, you’re as outraged about the Iraq War as I am; that must mean you’re also as outraged about the Patriot Act as I am.”

  82. 82
    Cassidy says:

    @aimai: I know right! It’s like when some suburban liberal decides to denigrate whole classes of people for daring to spend their money as they see best and not at the places she thinks would be best for them. Okay, they’re nothing like. That was just you being entitled and out of touch.

  83. 83
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @James E. Powell:

    Here’s what happens. The people who make money or gain power from scaring the shit out people either invent or exaggerate a threat to peoples’ safety. Extreme measures ensue, both by the government with things like the HUAC or the McCarthy hearings or the Patriot Act, or by the private sector with blacklisting or banning the Dixie Chicks. Anyone brave enough to object is denounced as a naive or treasonous.

    How does the collection of metadata equate to ruining the lives of very identifiable people?

  84. 84
    Hill Dweller says:

    @James E. Powell: Also too, the insane amount of power the Pentagon, NSA, CIA, etc. have accrued over the years is rarely considered when “we” demand reforms. A Democratic president is taking a massive risk and expending an significant amount of political capital by going to war with one of those agencies. Couple that with the current Democratic party having already undercut Obama on Gitmo(never mind the wingnut attacks), and it’s not hard to see why he’d be reluctant to stick his neck out.

    That said, the reforms PO’s panel suggested will never get through congress, but it will give him some political cover if/when he pushes them. But pushing for reforms without riling up the intelligence community will be threading the proverbial needle.

  85. 85
    Tractarian says:

    @burnspbesq:

    this is a conversation we need to have as a country.

    This is a well-worn cliche, but think about what it means. We need a national conversation on which specific SIGINT methods are effective and worthwhile for counterterrorism purposes? Really? Did we need a national conversation on spying techniques during the cold war? Do we need a national conversation to determine how domestic law enforcement carries out undercover ops?

    The answer to all these questions is no, because there are some topics that are just inappropriate for national conversation. We need a national conversation on taxes, on immigration, on race, sure – but on spying techniques? No. The intelligence community needs the freedom to operate in the dark so they can most effectively do their job – i.e., preventing you and your children from being violently dismembered in a terrorist attack.

    You may not like the fact that the government has all this information at its disposal, but that is just a very minor inconvenience to you. You are not being harmed by the fact that the text you sent to your cousin last week is being stored in a mainframe in the NSA basement. You may be offended, depending on how sensitive you are, but you are not harmed. And therefore you have no standing to complain.

    The bottom line is this. We have the luxury of living in a free society, and we should never forget that. But we do not have the luxury of living in a free society where it is impermissible for authorities to collect information to identify potential criminals.

  86. 86
    Arclite says:

    @burnspbesq:

    For the record, if Cole throws a parade for Snowden after he gets out of prison, I’ll be there. Snowden’s methods were inexcusable, but this is a conversation we need to have as a country.

    And what methods SHOULD he have used? The only time we’ve seen this discussed is if there’s some leak, such as those by Manning or Snowden.

  87. 87
    James E. Powell says:

    @Mandalay:

    Surely the current situation regarding surveillance by our security services – the topic of this thread – is a counter example. Do you really think that surveillance has been embraced enthusiastically?

    First, when I said in real time, I meant back when this all started. We aren’t ready for the film about regrets and shame, but we are no longer in the moment. Remember, in January 2009 the greatest threat to American freedom was no longer living in Pakistan but in Our White House!

    Second, the only reason this issue is still alive outside of blogs is that the Republicans oppose everything this president does or can be seen as doing. It doesn’t matter if the very same Republicans insisted upon the very same policy before; they are against it now!

    See, for example, the 2008 FISA Authorization. Not one Republican senator voted against it. Only one Republican in the house voted no. How do you think they would vote if the exact same bill was before them today?

    Keep in mind that if anything makes any portion of the electorate angry the Republicans are going to keep talking about it because anger seems to work bring their voters out and keep Democratic voters home.

  88. 88
    Gravenstone says:

    He’s not wrong when he argues that the American public would have eaten up the proposed data capture and screening in the immediate wake of 9/11. Little Bush and Friends managed to turn the majority of the country into pants pissing cowards via that event. Hell, popular public outcry would likely have called for even more invasive and comprehensive measures at the time.

  89. 89
    srv says:

    @Tractarian:

    Do we need a national conversation to determine how domestic law enforcement carries out undercover ops?

    Parallel construction much?

    We’ve reached a point that it is quite technically trivial to grep and filter the list of people attending any given protest or commenting at Balloon-Juice. You may trust Obama, GW or your local Federal District Attorney (or their designee) with that power. Others might see that as a bad direction to head down.

    We gave the IC everything they needed to stop 9/11, and they had the information and capacity to do so. Instead of doing their job, they blamed Jamie Gorelick.

    There will always be a Jamie Gorelick and there will always be a need for another $1B program that does nothing.

  90. 90
    different-church-lady says:

    @Tractarian: I see what you’re saying, but dammit, it’s not off limits to have a conversation about exactly how flexible the NSA thinks the envelope of the 4th Amendment is. Because it may not be the block of granite some people think it is, but ain’t made of elastic either.

  91. 91
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Arclite:

    How about limiting his pilfering to documents that pointed to provable abuses inside the US or against US citizens abroad?

  92. 92
    Mandalay says:

    @Tractarian:

    The intelligence community needs the freedom to operate in the dark so they can most effectively do their job – i.e., preventing you and your children from being violently dismembered in a terrorist attack.

    Do you work for the NSA? Choosing to use carefully crafted phrases like “your children” and “violently dismembered” are a red flag to me.

    How about we contrast the probability of your scenario occurring with that with that of “your children” being “violently dismembered” in a car accident? Or even from dying in a fall in the bathroom, or being struck by lightning.

    Our government has deemed that the risks of car travel, tobacco and alcohol are acceptable, yet they result in the deaths of a gazillion more Americans every day than terrorism ever has.

    But we do not have the luxury of living in a free society where it is impermissible for authorities to collect information to identify potential criminals.

    But we do have the luxury of demanding that the government tells us what they are monitoring. The claim that this would increase the terrorist threat is so bogus.

  93. 93
    srv says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Some have argued that target information/violations may be the one thing the agency does have audit controls over. So he would have been stopped at the door. IDK.

    I know first hand from a civilian agency that coworkers who went where they weren’t supposed to on citizen’s info got nailed. And that was in 1985.

    What Snowden said was likely true, he could probably request any record tied to a SS#, phone number, IP address or bank account. Whether he would get to the door, completely different question.

  94. 94
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @srv:

    So did being stopped at that door give him carte blanche to steal and/or reveal documents pertaining to the NSA’s foreign intelligence gathering programs?

  95. 95
    Cervantes says:

    @aimai: OK, so how does one avoid rewarding attention-seeking behavior?

  96. 96
    srv says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Not saying it did, just that it could argued if your choice was “whistleblowing” on the capabilities or throwing yourself on the sword at the exit, that really isn’t an option.

    Like Manning, I think some of the information is in fact informative and welcome that this is the most debate we will ever have about this topic in this country. Honestly, this site was one of the few to really get into the nuance of the FISA debate by commenters and I kinda wonder where all that poutrage went.

  97. 97
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Mandalay: Oh. It’s the “if it’s less common than lightening, we shouldn’t find it frightening” load of crap. Do you think that if we experience the results of our foreign policy more directly through frequent blowback terrorist attacks at home, we’ll somehow change our foreign policy to be more benign?

  98. 98
    James E. Powell says:

    @Gravenstone:

    Little Bush and Friends managed to turn the majority of the country into pants pissing cowards via that event.

    I am pretty sure that the majority of the country have been pants pissing cowards for a very long time. The Bush/Cheney Junta just took advantage of it. And who wouldn’t have?

  99. 99
    Corner Stone says:

    @different-church-lady: So what you’re talking about is a list of people that do not exist. Not here, in any event. If you want to go find them “in some weird quarters” with as much success as you did with the whole “Some say Snowden=MLK” thing, please proceed.

  100. 100
    Corner Stone says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    A Democratic president is taking a massive risk and expending an significant amount of political capital by going to war with one of those agencies.

    Are you suggesting this is the case, currently?

  101. 101
    Corner Stone says:

    @Tractarian:

    We need a national conversation on which specific SIGINT methods are effective and worthwhile for counterterrorism purposes? Really? Did we need a national conversation on spying techniques during the cold war? Do we need a national conversation to determine how domestic law enforcement carries out undercover ops?

    I’m not sure I have ever seen a more disingenuous argument attempted here.

  102. 102
    Corner Stone says:

    @Arclite: They all *want* to have the conversation. They just didn’t want anyone to *actually* start it.

  103. 103
    Citizen_X says:

    @Tractarian:

    You may not like the fact that the government has all this information at its disposal, but that is just a very minor inconvenience to you. You are not being harmed by the fact that the text you sent to your cousin last week is being stored in a mainframe in the NSA basement. You may be offended, depending on how sensitive you are, but you are not harmed. And therefore you have no standing to complain.

    Wow. Nice job paraphrasing Col. Jessup (more obviously paraphrased back up here).

  104. 104
    James E. Powell says:

    @srv:

    There will always be a Jamie Gorelick and there will always be a need for another $1B program that does nothing.

    I recall that within a few days of 9/11 (unfortunately I do not have specific memory of which show or which day) McCain was on a TV show arguing that the US could not prevent the 9/11 attacks because the Church reforms had tied the hands of the intelligence services rendering them incapable of doing their jobs.

    They never stop. We have to keep that in mind. They never stop.

  105. 105
    Corner Stone says:

    @Suffern ACE: Oh come the fuck on. An independent review has said there is no evidence these programs have had any effect at stopping any god damned thing at all.
    Maybe we should purchase lightning strike insurance, like DNI Clapper suggests?

  106. 106
    Mandalay says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    It’s the “if it’s less common than lightening, we shouldn’t find it frightening” load of crap.

    Except that it isn’t a load of crap. And when pressed by Congress to provide statistics on how all their surveillance has prevented terrorist attacks they can’t come up with shit.

    If there is a real case for the massive amount of surveillance, and the massive associated cost, then the government should make it. This nonsense about how they can’t reveal how many attacks they have prevented, or what the surveillance is costing, or even what surveillance is being performed, is a load of crap. As long as these agencies remain unaccountable to Congress they will continue doing whatever they want with impunity.

  107. 107
    James E. Powell says:

    @Corner Stone:

    A Democratic president is taking a massive risk and expending an significant amount of political capital by going to war with one of those agencies.

    Are you suggesting this is the case, currently?

    I am pretty sure that President Obama signaled his acceptance/surrender to the military-industrial-security complex before he was even elected. He switched his position on the FISA authorization. Then, once he was elected, he agreed to keep Gates at Defense.

    He has had some personality conflicts, McChrystal, but has never messed with their missions or their money. Obama is not a foreign or military policy president.

  108. 108
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Mandalay: you see, that is the good question. That’s the one that could be asked. But the response of “our government lets us drive cars and smoke and the GWOT is just a figment of your imagination” is the argument that gets trotted out, again and again. It doesn’t convince anyone. Could the government every few years let us in on how they’re measuring the success of these security programs? Certainly they could and probably should.

    @Corner Stone: And yes, that’s the better line. These programs are expensive and ineffective. I’m not certain what they are being used for. I don’t think they actually are being used to identify terrorists. But I’m not convinced that the data collection is some security industry make-work program either.

  109. 109
    Corner Stone says:

    @James E. Powell:

    Obama is not a foreign or military policy president.

    I would say he has had a significant presence in US foreign policy. Some good and some for concern. Depending on what happens with Iran and/or Syria, IMO historians may re-rank him way up the scale in the years to come.
    But to my question, if I understand your answer correctly, you do not believe Obama has gone to war with any section of our IC or MIC agencies.

  110. 110
    Mandalay says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    the GWOT is just a figment of your imagination” is the argument that gets trotted out, again and again. It doesn’t convince anyone.

    Really? It seems that the Obama Administration were persuaded….

    A message sent recently to senior Pentagon staff explains that “this administration prefers to avoid using the term Long War or Global War On Terror (Gwot) … please pass this on to your speechwriters”. Instead, they have been asked to use a bureaucratic phrase that could hardly be further from the fiery rhetoric of the months immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The global war on terror is dead; long live “overseas contingency operations”.

  111. 111
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Looks like Corner Stone prevented us from having the conversation we needed to have. Thanks again asshole.

  112. 112
    Corner Stone says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    But I’m not convinced that the data collection is some security industry make-work program either.

    It’s increasingly difficult to argue that it is not. At least some significant component.
    What are they doing with all that data? What useful feature does it provide for? Why does it exist if it’s been of no use?

  113. 113
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    We have nothing to fear but fear itself.

    It’s not just a political cliche, it the goddamn truth.

    I detest the fear-mongers most of all. Don’t be one.

  114. 114
    Corner Stone says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I live to serve.

  115. 115
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Corner Stone:

    The data may be of some use in the near future:

    1. Identify leaders of grassroots populist movements, and discover tidbits about them that can be turned into effective smears to discredit them.

    2. Identify facts about insurgent politicians that can be turned into effective smears to discredit them, or if lucky even blackmail them into compliance.

    3. Identify top capos of grassroots movements and find methods to punish them for their activities.

    Geez, the list of uses is almost endless. It is good to spy!

  116. 116
    James E. Powell says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Where I disagree is on how much of Obama’s foreign or military policy is his and how much is just him standing up for what the IC or MIC tell him they want.

  117. 117
    Corner Stone says:

    @James E. Powell: Ok, thanks for that clarification. That is certainly a fair critique, or question to be considered.

  118. 118
    Cervantes says:

    @Tractarian:

    The intelligence community needs the freedom to operate in the dark so they can most effectively do their job – i.e., preventing you and your children from being violently dismembered in a terrorist attack.

    First of all, what makes you think you have correctly identified the “job” of “the intelligence community”?

    What makes you think you’re even close?

  119. 119
    moderateindy says:

    Honestly, I still don’t get why this NSA story is considered a big revelation. Granted, we have many more details about the program, but the entire Metadata collection / data mining program was exposed back when W was sill president, was it not?

    As far as whether or not Snowden was guilty of a crime or not, and why he went on the lam. Let’s face it , even if he was not guilty of anything but being a whistleblower, this administration has been about as kind to whistleblowers as they have been to undocumented workers.

  120. 120
    Corner Stone says:

    @Joey Giraud: Listen. Sometimes the commentariat here just goes off the wilding edge.
    Are you suggesting authorities would use collected info to influence political leaders? Or stymie potential activists from working on their issues?
    And blackmail, really? Isn’t that a little bit too far into conspiratorial territory?
    It’s not like people in possession of this info would use it to intimidate a politician, an activist, a community leader, or an outspoken opponent to an issue or program.
    I mean, even years later it’s not like the authorities could go back through collected info and piece together a story that debased and/or discredited an individual that was causing trouble for the status quo.
    That’s silly. Only wealthy white males worry about something crazy like that potentially happening.

  121. 121
    Corner Stone says:

    @moderateindy:

    this administration has been about as kind to whistleblowers as they have been to undocumented workers

    What is the issue with this administration and undocumented workers?
    I’m a wealthy white male so I have only ever gave a shit about white people problems. Are you saying there’s something else going on in the world that people should be interested in?

  122. 122
    different-church-lady says:

    @Corner Stone: You can’t Google “Fire Dog Lake”?

  123. 123
    Cervantes says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: How so?

    And what is the conversation you needed to have?

  124. 124
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Corner Stone:

    sarcasm noted :)

  125. 125
    Corner Stone says:

    @different-church-lady: Ha! Just wave the white flag if you want to quit even trying to put up an argument.
    Or maybe you should go to LGF if that suits your climes better?

  126. 126
    different-church-lady says:

    @Corner Stone: Who says you don’t know how to have a serious conversation?

  127. 127
    Corner Stone says:

    @different-church-lady: Only idiots.

  128. 128
    Corner Stone says:

    @different-church-lady: But seriously, even though you do not deserve any measure of seriousness, try sticking with something that makes sense.
    If you make an argument here, don’t tell me to go to herpy-derpy land to prove your fucking point about a series of discussions here.
    If we were arguing in some amalgamated media, that would be fine. But your stupid fucking attempts at nutpicking are irrelevant.

  129. 129
    different-church-lady says:

    @Corner Stone: I’m sorry, but if you want me to go on arguing, you’ll have to pay for another five minutes.

  130. 130
    Corner Stone says:

    @different-church-lady: Ok, here’s your nickel.

  131. 131
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Joey Giraud: So I get accused of being a fear monger for wondering what the data is being used for if it isn’t effective and you aren’t being one for listing out on a liberal blog ways it might be used against liberals in the future?

    If the data isn’t useful in identifying terrorists in Pakistan, do you think it will be any more effective against liberal insurgents? Better than infiltrating those groups? Better than going to their twitter feeds and just writing down what is found?

  132. 132
    moderateindy says:

    I do think that it is mostly a make-work program. If our gov’t ever get’s tyrannical enough that they start craking down on dissidents, this program won’t really be neccessary to achieve those goals.
    First, anyone of any import in leading any type of opposition will be easily identified, without ever having to see a single e-mail.
    Second, this program isn’t needed, because if they wanted, even before 9/11 they could easily have gotten a warrant to legally monitor basically anyone’s correspondence.
    Last, even if you never wrote anything radical opposing the government, if they decided to target you, they could easily manufacture evidence that you said, or wrote whatever. Even if you had serious cash, enough resources to hire a computer forensic expert to prove that it was planted evidence, they could easily classify you as a terrorist, and invoke all kinds of reasons that would keep a forensics expert from ever getting a chance to prove your innocence.

  133. 133
    different-church-lady says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    So I get accused of being a fear monger for wondering what the data is being used for if it isn’t effective and you aren’t being one for listing out on a liberal blog ways it might be used against liberals in the future?

    [ding!]

    What we got here is a war of two different groups that want us to be afraid. One group wants us to be afraid of terrorists, and the other group wants us to be afraid of the government.

  134. 134
    Corner Stone says:

    @moderateindy:

    Last, even if you never wrote anything radical opposing the government, if they decided to target you, they could easily manufacture evidence that you said, or wrote whatever. Even if you had serious cash, enough resources to hire a computer forensic expert to prove that it was planted evidence, they could easily classify you as a terrorist, and invoke all kinds of reasons that would keep a forensics expert from ever getting a chance to prove your innocence.

    That’s an interesting series of contentions. Probably never happen though, right?
    That was just speculation to consider.

  135. 135
    Corner Stone says:

    @different-church-lady: God. Looks like I have been overpaying.

  136. 136
    different-church-lady says:

    @Corner Stone: No you didn’t.

  137. 137
    Corner Stone says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    and you aren’t being one for listing out on a liberal blog ways it might be used against liberals in the future?

    IMO, that was actually a retrospective of what the power of the state has actually done in the past.

    If the data isn’t useful in identifying terrorists in Pakistan, do you think it will be any more effective against liberal insurgents? Better than infiltrating those groups?

    This is an interesting attempt at counterargument. Not sure it’s helpful to what you are trying to argue, but…

  138. 138
    Corner Stone says:

    @different-church-lady:

    One group wants us to be afraid of terrorists, and the other group wants us to be afraid of the government.

    And again, you fail at making an argument. One group wants us to fear an amorphous and ill-defined group labeled terrorists. Who are basically categorized by the state in an at-will situation.
    And a group saying “be cognizant that all power can be abused when too freely given”.

  139. 139
    different-church-lady says:

    @Corner Stone: No I don’t.

  140. 140
    barry says:

    @Cassidy: your response to John is non-responsive to his categorical statement that he won’t vote for Rand Paul. Frankly, it’s hard to understand where this shit is coming from. You don’t have any basis for it.

  141. 141
    Cervantes says:

    @different-church-lady:

    One group wants us to be afraid of terrorists, and the other group wants us to be afraid of the government.

    There are even “groups” in various locations who think (and/or used to think) that “terrorists” and “US government” are not disjoint sets.

    So count higher than two, maybe.

  142. 142
    Cervantes says:

    @barry:

    Frankly, it’s hard to understand where this shit is coming from.

    Just think about that and all will be clear.

  143. 143
    different-church-lady says:

    @Cervantes:

    There are even “groups” in various locations who think (and/or used to think) that “terrorists” and “US government” are not disjoint sets.

    Depending on where and when you lived on this planet, that’s an understandable view.

  144. 144
    Corner Stone says:

    @different-church-lady: I am going to have to reiterate that $.60 an hour is way too much for your time contributing here.
    You going to stick your fingers in your ears next and start yelling LALALALALALA?

  145. 145
    different-church-lady says:

    @Corner Stone: I told you, I’m not allowed to argue unless you’ve paid!

  146. 146
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes: Nicely played.

  147. 147
    Corner Stone says:

    @different-church-lady: I think you may have confused me with another commenter. He’s the one who’s always paying for services rendered.

  148. 148
    LAC says:

    @Josie: get ready for the StonedCorner jib jab. Three drinks and he is ready to recreate his last argument with the ex on you. He is right and you are wrong.

  149. 149
    burnspbesq says:

    @Tractarian:

    Like hell. Free societies are supposed to fight terrorism with one hand tied behind their backs. That’s what being a free society entails. And yes, that means that some random people will from time to time die horrible, senseless deaths. That’s the deal you sign up for every morning when you vote with your feet to remain an American. Because if we become like our enemies, then they have won.

  150. 150
    different-church-lady says:

    @burnspbesq: Holy Jesus, the overheat light on my Poe’s Law detector just exploded.

  151. 151
    burnspbesq says:

    @Arclite:

    And what methods SHOULD he have used?

    Well, he could have given the stuff he stole to a member of Congress. If Ron Wyden or Bernie Sanders dumps all of the stuff Snowden stole into the Congressional Record, under the Speech and Debate Clause they’re immune from prosecution (and as a practical matter, DOJ would never be able to go after their source).

    Would it have worked? We’ll never know, because it wasn’t tried.

  152. 152
    Joey Giraud says:

    @different-church-lady:

    I don’t want you or ACE to be afraid of your government.

    Geez, it’s like some people are tuned for fear and nothing else.

  153. 153
    Joey Giraud says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Wow, a comment from you I can agree with. What’s next? Cats lying with dogs?

    Freedom requires bravery. Cowards need not apply.

  154. 154
  155. 155
    Litbrit says:

    I’m reasonably sure DNI Clapper just told us what we all know, that Snowden is a whistleblower, and not a criminal.

    THANK YOU. That’s exactly right.

    (And no, I am not a Rand Paul supporter, as anyone who knows me will confirm. What I am is someone who is deeply disturbed by the surveillance state; who wishes to see the Patriot Act dismantled; who believes the old guys had it right when they wrote the Fourth Amendment the way they did; who believes one can be a strong civil libertarian AND a strong liberal at the same time.)

  156. 156
    Gvg says:

    I think we the voters have made unfortunately made clear to elected officials that we will blame them for anything bad that happens terrorist style so all of them are trying to escape blame for what can’t entirely be prevented. They have in turn made clear to all the agencies that attacks must be prevented or else blame will be shifted. Everyone is trying to look good in the meantime.
    There is apparently no benefit in the truth such as that I think the metadata is very useful after any crime has happened, get a normal warrant, then follow the trail to any criminal. I think the boston bomber was probably caught that way. If the metadata isn’t collected I think it might not be as possible. But people want protection before something happens not after….that’why they buy the sugar stories. Star Wars defense shield is an example and so is this prevent terrorist attacks by data mining story? Once we have a few leads we can get further with data than without but totally random just listen to everything?

  157. 157
    Corner Stone says:

    @Gvg:

    I think we the voters have made unfortunately made clear to elected officials that we will blame them for anything bad that happens terrorist style

    No, “we” haven’t. The elected officials are scared to death that other well funded elected/potential officials will run attack ads blaming them for anything bad that happens.
    “We” did not punish GWB or the Republicans after 9/11. We did ask why some very common sense decisions were disregarded (command center location in NYC), and other items. But, given that “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the US” was an actual document prior to 9/11, I don’t think it’s fair to say “we” are the problem.
    The rest of your comment was slightly incoherent, so I’m not sure what to make of it.

  158. 158
    Cervantes says:

    @Corner Stone:

    @Gvg: I think we the voters have made unfortunately made clear to elected officials that we will blame them for anything bad that happens terrorist style

    No, “we” haven’t. … “We” did not punish GWB or the Republicans after 9/11. [And] given that “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the US” was an actual document prior to 9/11, I don’t think it’s fair to say “we” are the problem.

    Exactly right.

    Thanks.

  159. 159
    Corner Stone says:

    U.S. and U.K. Targeted WikiLeaks With Surveillance and Political Pressure, Documents Show
    WHITE PEOPLE PROBLEMS!! AMIRITE!?

    Hey, pro tip to those who keep telling us all how many fucks you do not have to give about this issue. Guess what? Read a teensy bit of US history.

  160. 160
    Corner Stone says:

    “I just don’t care about this issue. My begonias need watering. Much more pressing of an issue for me.”
    /BJ Commenter At Large

  161. 161
    LT says:

    What the people who have written all this off since the beginning have done with Clapper’s lie to Congress is – I don’t know.

    The head of **every American intel agency** LIED TO CONGRESS.

    If that means nothing, then Nixon meant nothing. Iran-Contra meant nothing. No government wrongdoing ever meant anything. And especially – no journalism, no investigation, no followup of clues – of lies – none of it. It never meant anything. Go ahead, DNI, vice-president, president, member of Congress – lie to Congress. We don’t give a fuck.

  162. 162
    different-church-lady says:

    @Corner Stone: They spied on an organization dedicated to stealing and publishing their state secrets? Get out!

  163. 163
    Corner Stone says:

    @different-church-lady: No you stupid git.
    Learn to fucking read you god damned clown. Take that state sponsored rod out of your ass for just a second, eh?

  164. 164
    Corner Stone says:

    @different-church-lady: Just tired of your stupid fucking authoritarian excusing tedious self.

  165. 165
    Corner Stone says:

    *sputters*! Not me, says I! You must be meaning to tip your cap to someone else, I say I say!

  166. 166
    Xantar says:

    And as usual, in this entire thread there are maybe four comments (on either side) which deal with the issue in any kind of substantive manner instead of immediately jumping to accusations and arguing in bad faith.

    And we wonder why people keep saying the public isn’t ready for a serious conversation about national security.

  167. 167
    Corner Stone says:

    @Xantar:

    And we wonder why people keep saying the public isn’t ready for a serious conversation about national security.

    I’m not sure anyone is wondering why.
    And, FTR, your comment doesn’t heighten the contradictions either, champ.

  168. 168
    Cervantes says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Hey, pro tip to those who keep telling us all how many fucks you do not have to give about this issue. Guess what? Read a teensy bit of US history.

    That would be work.

  169. 169
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Xantar:

    People get the government they deserve, on the average. But some deserve worse then others.

    Please forgive the few of us who deserve a better government then the half-asleep, apathetic, authority-respecting, nothing-burger patrol here at balloon-juice deserve. We few get rather angry that the nation must be shared with these modern-day peasants, these Good Germans, who prefer blind trust to constant vigilance.

    ( ugh, more stuffy writing. Hard to avoid when talking about big affairs. )

  170. 170
    Corner Stone says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    the half-asleep, apathetic, authority-respecting, nothing-burger patrol here at balloon-juice deserve. We few get rather angry that the nation must be shared with these modern-day peasants, these Good Germans

    I would say that’s gonna leave a mark, but…I’m sure they’ll tell you what a narcissist someone is, or what an asshole someone else is, or how this is nothing new, or they’re glad to know they were being kept safe because they had nothing to hide.

  171. 171
    David Koch says:

    The information disclosed by Edward Snowden has been extremely important in allowing Congress and the American people to understand the degree to which the NSA has abused its authority and violated our constitutional rights.

    On the other hand, there is no debate that Mr. Snowden violated an oath and committed a crime.

    In my view, the interests of justice would be best served if our government granted him some form of clemency or a plea agreement that would spare him a long prison sentence or permanent exile from the country whose freedoms he cared enough about to risk his own freedom.

    Bernie Sanders, January 6, 2014

    Cole, even Uncle Bernie, just one month ago, saying you’re wrong. Here’s an openly proud Socializt, in a safe seat, in the bluest state in the country, saying Snowden is both a whistleblower and a criminal.

    Even Mark Udall says you’re wrong.

    The Colorado senator didn’t appear to be too sympathetic to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who was responsible for leaking the NSA secrets, saying that he should face charges. “He broke his oath, he broke the law. Come home, make the case that somehow there was a higher purpose here. But Edward Snowden ought to come back to the United States,” Udall said.

    So Cole who just became progressive is right, and life long civil libertarians like Bernie and Udall are wrong.

    I would love to post Ron Wyden’s position, but he doesn’t have a position. Asked repeatedly last month if Snowden is a whistleblower, the Oregon Senator refused to comment on the subject. Heh!

    Of course I’m sure people will find a way to tear Bernie, Wyden, and Udall down for not agreeing.

  172. 172
    David Koch says:

    @Redshift:

    Huh, I must have missed it when they started mass fingerprinting all Americans and everyone accepted it. When did that happen?

    It depends on your definition of fingerprinting.

    Don’t all states thumbprint their resident’s for driver’s licenses and state identifications.

  173. 173
    David Koch says:

    I don’t give a shit (183+ / 0-)

    Seriously, I just don’t care.

    NSA spying is bad! So is stop and frisk. So is splitting up families by deporting children to countries they’ve never been to and don’t speak the language. So is harassing American muslims.

    Government overreach is bad. But to act like having the government track who you call is the height of government abuse is a very white privileged view of the privacy issue.

    But as for Greenwald and Snowden? Seriously, I don’t give two shits.

    Markos Moulitsas on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 3:40:39 PM EDT

    Wow.

    I guess Kos is just a second rate blogger who really only gives a shit about hippy punching, website hits, and his well known little Obot cult of “Defend the Democratic President at All Cost.”

    Never thought I would see the same sort of reflexive and intransigent pigheadedness and self-delusion on the Kos side of the aisle.

  174. 174
    Rafer Janders says:

    @David Koch:

    Don’t all states thumbprint their resident’s for driver’s licenses and state identifications.

    No. No they certainly don’t.

  175. 175
    Cervantes says:

    @David Koch: As for Bernie Sanders on CNN, did you notice what he said about how “the interests of justice” would be served? That’s not much different from what Dan Ellsberg and others have said.

    As for Udall on ABC, he was not as clear about what should happen to Snowden.

    As for what Markos Moulitsas says, I’m not particularly interested. He has his priorities, I suppose, and that’s fine by me.

    What’s your point?

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