Imagine That!

It’s almost like having a whistleblower expose what the government is doing might lead to reform (but let’s cross our fingers and not underestimate the ability of the national security state to weather this just like the NRA weathered Sandy Hook, especially since there are so many willing accomplices on both sides of the aisle):

The outgoing director of the National Security Agency suggested on Thursday that the surveillance giant could accept only being allowed to collect domestic phone data related to terrorist communications, a shift away from its current practice of collecting all such call records regardless of whether there is a suspected connection to terrorism.

General Keith Alexander, testifying before the Senate armed services committee for what could be the final time as head of the NSA, told senators that one option under consideration in the Obama administration’s deliberations about revamping the NSA’s surveillance programs was to “get only that data” relating to terrorist communications.

“Can we come up with a capability that gets just those that are predicated on a terrorist communication?” Alexander said.

Alexander, who is due to end his nearly nine years running the NSA imminently, said there were “pros and cons” to that, as well as to the other proposed options for the future of domestic phone data collection, one of which is having the government continue to gather it in bulk while having a private entity, such as the telephone companies, store it.

In the nine months since the Guardian revealed the NSA’s bulk gathering of US phone data, thanks to whistleblower Edward Snowden, Alexander has been a passionate defender of retaining the scale of such collection, regardless of whether the interception and retention is conducted by the NSA or by a private-sector entity.

Even that is horseshit in a sense, given how widely we have defined terrorism these days. Regardless, the fact that these guys even need to pay lip service to Congress is such a sea change from a year ago. I’d talk more, but Glenn Greenwald and I are talking about splitting our Soros check and whether or not we should just donate the whole thing to the Edward Snowden Dudebro Mancrush Cult of Personality Fund.

And yes, I am trolling you. But just let me inform you that if I see you using the phrase dudebro or mansplaining, my eyes immediately glaze over. I’ll also note that until now, I have not mentioned Obama in this post, so you don’t need to go into hyperactive defense mode to protect the most powerful man on the planet from my non-existent commentary regarding him.






80 replies
  1. 1
    A Humble Lurker says:

    *yawn*

  2. 2
    BGinCHI says:

    Dudebro?

    I’m still momentarily at a loss with “shizzle.”

    Although I do think this post is rotten with Colesplaining.

  3. 3
    NotMax says:

    Well, this comment section should become miasmic in short order.

  4. 4
    Mnemosyne says:

    Actually, what Alexander is saying is exactly what a lot of people have been saying: the NSA isn’t gathering up all of this information because they’re intrinsically evil, but because Congress and other politicians have been demanding it since 9/11/01 (see also “one percent doctrine”).

    Of course, Alexander also knows that he has nothing to worry about, because our Congress will never have the balls to actually try and regulate the NSA. They’re far more comfortable yapping around the edges like Rand Paul than actually doing their fucking jobs, one of which is overseeing and regulating agencies like, well, the NSA.

  5. 5
    amk says:

    riiight, the current corpse of congress critters is the decider-in-chief in this matter.

    eta: Mnemo beat me to it.

  6. 6
    Cassidy says:

    Oh the plight of the liberaltarian.

  7. 7
    srv says:

    Does the General get to take a couple petabytes of snapfish pr0n home with him as a retirement gift?

    I wonder if GCHQ and NSA swap selfies.

    Now we know why Snowman took those laptops with him.

  8. 8
    ruemara says:

    I dunno. I only trust it when I see a signing of the brand new laws.

  9. 9
    RobertDSC-Power Mac G5 Dual says:

    Snowden is not and never will be a whistleblower. He’s a traitor and criminal.

  10. 10
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    “Can we come up with a capability that gets just those that are predicated on a terrorist communication?” Alexander said.

    Well, the capabilities aren’t really the problem. It’s how you use them, and, yes, you need to be able to target better, because the current plan is incredibly wasteful, and fascist undead like Dick Cheney don’t give a rat’s ass for targeted intel anyway, they want to make shit up to support whatever goal they have in mind. Actual facts are irrelevant in that case.

    Also, too, Congress could do something, but Congress will not. The Rethugs would much rather blame the blah guy than actually do some fucking work for a change.

  11. 11
    The Dangerman says:

    “Can we come up with a capability that gets just those that are predicated on a terrorist communication?” Alexander said.

    Well, shit, that would make things really easy now, wouldn’t it?

  12. 12
    Yatsuno says:

    @RobertDSC-Power Mac G5 Dual: Wot you said exactly.

  13. 13

    The NSA having direct access to the records telephone companies use to figure out phone bills does not exactly fill me with quavering fear. Still, I’m quite happy with reining it in more tightly. We’re not getting much return for this stuff, and the ideal would be that they have very limited access to the information they don’t absolutely need all the time at a moment’s notice.

  14. 14
    Howard Beale IV says:

    Oh, for fuck sakes, the goddamed FBI keeps ginning up dumb ass wannbee pseudo-terrorists while ignoring the real terrorists (Botson Marathon, anyone?)

    For all the money we’re pouring into Israel and the Mossad, the last we could do is learn from them how to do it right.

    Clapper should be charged with perjury, but neither party has the balls to do that.

    Alexander’s mission to protect the US homeland’s cyberspace has been an abject failure, and he should not be awarded a goddamed thing.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    RandomMonster says:

    And yes, I am trolling you.

    Wait, I can do that one, too. “Let me just inform you that I’m not ever asking about specific evidence of crimes committed, I’m only ever talking about Greenwald being gay, and shouting AMERICA FUCK YEAH.”

    See how great the world looks in 2D, John? Pretty flat.

  17. 17
    jl says:

    @BGinCHI:

    What is Colesplaining? is that related to a ColeTroll (which is not trolls attacking the hapless communist glibertarian Cole, but Cole trolling)?

    Edit: maybe you meant ‘Trollsplaining’?

    But you do have a point about ‘Dudebro’ After ‘Dudebro’ I had a hard time deciphering Cole’s self-announced trolling.

    Edit: And I am so unhip, I am not even sure what the troll was.

  18. 18
    Chris says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Of course, Alexander also knows that he has nothing to worry about, because our Congress will never have the balls to actually try and regulate the NSA. They’re far more comfortable yapping around the edges like Rand Paul than actually doing their fucking jobs, one of which is overseeing and regulating agencies like, well, the NSA.

    This.

  19. 19
    jl says:

    To the extent I understand Cole’s text below the blockquote, I agree that with this Congress and with the weasel words in the quote, this kind of talk is pretty cheap.

    I guess in this instance, Colesplaining is blowing up the supposed point of the post all by himself at the end of his text, and then double dawg daring anyone to point it out to him?

  20. 20
    Punchy says:

    @RobertDSC-Power Mac G5 Dual: THIS is throwing Whitey Pete on the discussion….

  21. 21
    Chris says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    Oh, for fuck sakes, the goddamed FBI keeps ginning up dumb ass wannbee pseudo-terrorists while ignoring the real terrorists (Botson Marathon, anyone?)

    Who was it who said that in your average domestic terrorist group, half the members were police informants and the other half were undercover cops?

  22. 22
    Anton Sirius says:

    John, this isn’t trolling. This is a fairly reasonable reaction to a legitimate news story.

    Trolling is when you rush to your computer to scream ARGLE BARGLE at the latest Power Point-fueled NSA “revelation” without bothering to read past the headline to see how you’re being bullshitted.

  23. 23
    Cassidy says:

    @Punchy: Willy Pete

  24. 24
    NotMax says:

    @jl

    Heck, I’m so unhip that still unclear what dudebro is supposed to mean or what void in the language it fills.

    Other than being the sound one makes after swallowing too much fizzy beverage too fast.

  25. 25
    Cassidy says:

    @Anton Sirius: To be fair, you’ve got to get several paragraphs into a Greenwald piece before he states that he has no facts to back up his wild fantasies and is only speculating.

  26. 26
    srv says:

    @NotMax: It’s like bubba, unless you’re in a prison movie or a certain county in North Central Florida.

  27. 27
    chopper says:

    Hey, at least you didn’t go all “and Glenn Greenwald is gay”, which makes my eyes glaze over. Good show, Cole.

  28. 28
    jl says:

    One of the advantages of these new fangled high tech inventions like clay and wax tablets and the stylus, or paper and pencil, or parchment and ink, or electronic documents is that if something you write down does not make much sense, you have a record or what you have done, so you can read it over, and think about it, and then change it so that it makes more sense.

    You do this before you bake the clay tablet, or show the wax tablet around the roomfull of admiring acolytes, or give the paper or parchment to somebody, or publish the electronic document.

    Not sure what brought this thought to mind, but it seemed interesting all of a sudden.

    And anyway, I have not been able to prompt Cole to cuss me out in years, and I am sleepy and bored, so thought it would be a good time to chip in those two cents worth.

    Edit: Now old farts like me who grew up with talk around the fire as the prime mode of communication, we had to hem and haw and wriggle around when we made no sense. These dang kids today just don’t know how easy they have it. And you damn kids get off my lawn.

  29. 29
    NotMax says:

    @srv

    The South makes my eyes glaze over.

    (Not really, but it ain’t a bad line.)

  30. 30
    gratuitous says:

    I’m reading Seth Rosenfeld’s book “Subversives.” Alexander sounds eerily like the folks from the 1950s and 1960s excusing Hoover, the FBI, random ruination of jobs and lives, black bag jobs, mail covers, phone taps, and all the rest. My goodness, but it was so necessary for the FBI to send agents around to interrogate folks who expressed a bad opinion about J. Edgar, or who didn’t think the United States was always all that and a bag of chips. Or who might have known someone who talked to someone who was at a party with someone who thought once upon a time that maybe some of the economic experimentation going on in the Soviet Union might have some promise for helping the Great Depression. This Must Be Tracked Down.

    Back then, the fear was who could say what might happen if the FBI let its guard down, even for a second? Now we get the same nonsense about the NSA and driftnetting of every last bit of cyber-information, just in case. I’ll just say I prefer to let the Constitution do its job. I don’t expect the government to guarantee my safety every second of every day – because it can’t. Just preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, please.

  31. 31
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Chris:exactamundo.

  32. 32
    The Tragically Flip says:

    I share the distaste for dudebro and mansplaining. Both terms have honourable origins but get wildly overused to apply to things that aren’t dudebro culture or men condescending to feminists.

  33. 33
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Punchy: It’s twits like him who fail to lean from history-which means he’ll have to relive it.

  34. 34
    Ripley says:

    To coin a phrase, Cole, so many people do not realize that being a total dick is more effort and less rewarding and just bad for you mentally and physically…

  35. 35
    RobertDSC-Power Mac G5 Dual says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    After Snowden, Griftwald, and their entire band go first.

  36. 36
    Cervantes says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    For all the money we’re pouring into Israel and the Mossad, the last we could do is learn from them how to do it right.

    “Right” is not a word I associate with them in any sense.

    There was that time 15 years ago, for example, when their Unit 8200 (their NSA) acquired a Hezbollah cell-phone in Lebanon, carefully carted it back to their super-secure facility in Israel, forgot to X-ray it on the way in, found the battery uncharged, plugged it in to charge it, and promptly blew it up together with the better part of several people.

    Our NSA has helped butcher wedding parties in Yemen, sure, but nothing yet in Fort Meade — except maybe a conscience or three.

  37. 37
    Suffern ACE says:

    I’d be with you in your rant, but I’m sitting here in the nude in front of my computer, wating for British intelligence will snap my picture.

  38. 38
    James E. Powell says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Congress and other politicians have been demanding it since 9/11/01

    And they will continue to do so despite faux-libertarian hysterics about Obama being a dictator. It is certain that if another big terrorist attack takes place in the US, any elected official who did not support all the intelligence gathering that can be done will be politically dead, objectively pro-terrorist, part of Andrew Sullivan’s fifth column.

  39. 39
    Cervantes says:

    @Chris:

    Who was it who said that in your average domestic terrorist group, half the members were police informants and the other half were undercover cops?

    There were a number of dissident groups in the ’50s and ’60s that could never have survived without the dues paid by FBI and local-police infiltrators.

  40. 40
    Cervantes says:

    @Suffern ACE: Just smile.

  41. 41
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Cervantes: Well, now, a couple of folks got injured for not following protocol. How many US spooks fucked up over the years for not following protocol, eh?

  42. 42
    Cervantes says:

    @gratuitous:

    Just preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, please.

    That is not only a quaint notion, it takes politics and justice. It’s hard work.

    Much easier to let the boys in the back room play with their computers. And what harm could it do?

  43. 43
    lamh36 says:

    OT, but don’t feel like waiting for the post from Elon and TWIB for this topic.

    In case you missed it, POTUS spoke powerfully about his new initiative “My Brother’s Keeper” today, aimed at helping young men of color.

    President Obama Speaks on the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative

    I know it’s not as sexy a read as Snowden/NSA but still warrants some discussing or at least a listen to. That is if one really cares to go further on the subject of issues arising for young men of color in America outside of just the appropriate outrage over the latest “SYG-esque” shooting of an unarmed Black kid.

    Good night guys.

  44. 44
    Cervantes says:

    @The Tragically Flip:

    I share the distaste for dudebro and mansplaining. Both terms have honourable origins but get wildly overused to apply to things that aren’t dudebro culture or men condescending to feminists.

    You might even say both terms are tragical-

    Never mind.

  45. 45
    trollhattan says:

    O/T I smell senate campaign!

    Attorney General Kamala Harris announced on Thursday she would appeal a ruling overturning California’s concealed-weapons law.

    Two weeks ago, a three-judge federal appeals court struck down a California law requiring people to demonstrate “good cause” – beyond self defense – before they can carry a concealed handgun in public.

    As a result of that rule, some counties have a more stringent standard for obtaining permits, requiring applicants to justify a need beyond self-defense. A group of San Diego County residents had sued after their permit applications were rejected in 2009.

    Harris had until Thursday to declare the state’s legal response, and she announced in a press release that she had filed a motion urging the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its decision.

    “Local law enforcement must be able to use their discretion to determine who can carry a concealed weapon,” Harris said in a statement. “I will do everything possible to restore law enforcement’s authority to protect public safety, and so today am calling on the court to review and reverse its decision.”

    http://blogs.sacbee.com/capito.....rylink=cpy

    Also, too, must agree with my president, the AG’s pretty hawt. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  46. 46
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @RobertDSC-Power Mac G5 Dual: As of now, looks like that’s gonna take a while. Meanwhile, the water torture continues. The latest release on the Yahoo camera peeping by the GCHQ isn’t going over too well.

    By your vehement hatred of Snowden and Greenwald I can only assume you approve of the NSA/GCHQ’s activities.

  47. 47
    Suffern ACE says:

    @James E. Powell: LOL. And if there is another major terrorist attack, it will prove that we need to gather MORE photos of kids doing their homework. In fact the NSA will start doing homework for the kids if they promise to sit still while their photos are taken.

  48. 48
    John O says:

    All I wanted was some transparency and discussion.

    Snowden provided that. Or at least was the genesis.

  49. 49
    LesGS says:

    I’m not sure what mansplaining (a perfectly cromulent term) has to do with the NSA. Dudebro, yes, that can be used to shrug off concerns of being over-observed. But mansplaining, no. I’ve lived as a man for the last 15 years and as a woman 40 years before that. Mansplaining is a real thing and I don’t know why you’ve included that term in this particular rant, John.

  50. 50
    Cervantes says:

    @lamh36: Thanks, it was a good speech.

    Transcript here.

  51. 51
    Kropadope says:

    @Cassidy:

    Oh the plight of the liberaltarian.

    It’s unfortunate, the reason we can’t seem to get any traction on dismantling the national security state is the state of relationships between factions across parties.

    National security demagogues among Democrats and Republicans recognize each other for natural allies. They work together to not only pass their preferred omnipotent state policies, but also police the dialogue to marginalize anyone who suggests we should not provide absolute power to the state.

    Meanwhile incrementalist reformers and eliminationists can’t seem to find common ground. Every small reform that’s served up with a heaping bucket of status quo is a horrible betrayal. Although, cross-party eliminationists (your liberaltarians) manage to set aside their own set of differences just enough to declare the reformers no better, perhaps worse than the national security boosters.

  52. 52
    John O says:

    And to me GG is just a fanatic civil libertarian who walks the talk and talks the walk a lot better than most. I’m sort of fascinated by any vitriol directed towards either Greenwald or Snowden.

  53. 53
    LesGS says:

    @James E. Powell: Sullivan has done such a complete 180 on his response to 9/11, that while I’m in no way wishing another similar attack on us, I confess I’m curious as to how he’d react to one.

  54. 54
    Kropadope says:

    @John O: What I just wanna know is where was GG when the legal framework for this vast data collection was being built? How did he feel when American students and Canadian lawyers were actually (not theoretically) getting arrested on abuse of our less built up spying capabilities?

  55. 55
    Ian says:

    Thread needs MOAR flame war. This is disappointing for a BJ/GG thread.

  56. 56
    RobertDSC-Power Mac G5 Dual says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    Actually, I don’t have a stake one way or another on what the NSA does. All we’ve ever heard are allegations. No proof whatsoever. But I absolutely unequivocally despise what Snowden, Griftwald, and their band have done. They deserve no praise and should be pursued to the ends of the Earth for the damage done to international relationships and perceptions.

    The world is hard enough without fuckwads like Snowden and Griftwald spewing nonsense every which way.

    Besides, your boy Snowden was pretty vehement on leakers back in the day. Too bad he can’t live up to those words.

  57. 57
    Citizen_X says:

    How about dudesplaining or manbros?

  58. 58
    Cervantes says:

    @RobertDSC-Power Mac G5 Dual:

    Actually, I don’t have a stake one way or another on what the NSA does.

    A remarkable statement.

  59. 59
    John O says:

    @Kropadope:

    GG was ranting and raving about the Patriot Act from Day 1, IIRC.

  60. 60
    NotMax says:

    @lamh36

    The phrase “young men of color” was repeatedly rolling off many, many lips in the media.

    Made me shudder a bit each time, as way too close when heard to “young colored men.”

    A bit flummoxed too, as to what the other side of the coin might be. “Young men” is absolutely insulting and repugnant if used solely to describe whites. “Young men of non-color” is ridiculous.

    There has to be some better phrasing which could be employed all around. Am not calling the phrase discriminatory (nor reverse discriminatory), just mentioning that it mentally speed bumped me each time and, IMHO, detracted from the impact of the message.

    (Realize I may be opening a can of worms, but did not intend to.)

  61. 61
    Kropadope says:

    @RobertDSC-Power Mac G5 Dual:

    All we’ve ever heard are allegations. No proof whatsoever.

    No, there is a very real metadata collection program. This and other issues brought to light pushed to the front pages by these “revelations” are not in dispute even by government officials. Though these “revelations” are often over-interpreted to reveal things they don’t. Metadata collection turns into content collection in the public consciousness, even though implementation of such a content collection program strains plausibility.

    The hysterical nature of the coverage of these issues, which GG has been very much a part of, derails conversation about what the actual limits of our security state should be by exacerbating the split between reformers and eliminationists I described above.

  62. 62
    Kropadope says:

    @John O: I’ll start some research, but I recall otherwise. However, if he was on the PATRIOT Act from day one, how can he treat the Snowden leaks as stunning revelations?

  63. 63
    David Koch says:

    the Edward Snowden Dudebro Mancrush Cult of Personality Fund.

    That’s what it is.

    You guys sit around and moon over Snowden, but ignore Manning. If it’s anyone who deserves attention it’s Manning.

    What did Snowden do that Manning didn’t?

    Manning is some poor mixed up private, who joined the service because he didn’t have elsewhere to turn, and he ended up in the shit and didn’t like the atrocities he was seeing.

    Snowden is Paultard making six figures as a hacker, living with a stripper in Hawaii, who joined a NSA contractor with the intent on stealing documents and then he defected to Putin’s libertarian paradise.

    Yet it’s the well-off yuppie, living free in a cosmopolitan city, working at a hi-tech firm, banging russians chick who gets all your devotion, while the poor Okie sits in a cell.

    So what’s accounts for the difference in slavish attention, if not a mancrush and a cult of personality.

    Perhaps it’s just easier to project your white male privileged on a yuppie then some entry level shlub.

  64. 64
    Kropadope says:

    @John O: While writing in retrospect, Glenn Greenwald describes his own position at the time as deferring to the president’s (that is W’s) wisdom on his vast national security doctrine of blunder and overreach:

    This is not to say that I was not angry about the attacks. I believed that Islamic extremism posed a serious threat to the country, and I wanted an aggressive response from our government. I was ready to stand behind President Bush and I wanted him to exact vengeance on the perpetrators and find ways to decrease the likelihood of future attacks. During the following two weeks, my confidence in the Bush administration grew as the president gave a series of serious, substantive, coherent, and eloquent speeches that struck the right balance between aggression and restraint. And I was fully supportive of both the president’s ultimatum to the Taliban and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan when our demands were not met. Well into 2002, the president’s approval ratings remained in the high 60 percent range, or even above 70 percent, and I was among those who strongly approved of his performance. […]

    During the lead-up to the invasion, I was concerned that the hell-bent focus on invading Iraq was being driven by agendas and strategic objectives that had nothing to do with terrorism or the 9/11 attacks. The overt rationale for the invasion was exceedingly weak, particularly given that it would lead to an open-ended, incalculably costly, and intensely risky preemptive war. Around the same time, it was revealed that an invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein had been high on the agenda of various senior administration officials long before September 11. Despite these doubts, concerns, and grounds for ambivalence, I had not abandoned my trust in the Bush administration. Between the president’s performance in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the swift removal of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the fact that I wanted the president to succeed, because my loyalty is to my country and he was the leader of my country, I still gave the administration the benefit of the doubt. I believed then that the president was entitled to have his national security judgment deferred to, and to the extent that I was able to develop a definitive view, I accepted his judgment that American security really would be enhanced by the invasion of this sovereign country.

    Even the part GG got right, the Iraq War, he still thought Bush deserved the benefit of the doubt. Where’s the benefit of the doubt for Obama who could be a good faith partner in dismantling the NSA-hyper-security-state? Obama and certain representatives in Congress and certain judges, despite every attempt by the national-security clique in Congress, have managed to roll back at least some of the worst excesses. What has GG done but pick up a set of keys and wave them about? OOH SO SHINY

  65. 65
    piratedan says:

    @Kropadope: ty, this is one of the parts that for whatever reason never gets any traction…. who has introduced the changes in the NSA, Obama did from what I could see, adding more checks and calls for transparency, yet he can’t legislate it alone. Plus the NSA has to request the data to be mined (supposedly) from private carriers and yet no one seems to mind that private carriers have this information on file for the government to request and sift through or someone else to hack into them and access it.

    Is the NSA and the Patriot Act perfect, far from it, and hey lets have a discussion about what they have a right to see and how they’re justified in asking for it to be sifted through and the procedures and methodologies involved. I think Wyden and Udall welcome that discussion and I haven’t seen anything that indicates that Obama would shy away from it (considering he said as much while speechifying multiple times).

    I don’t believe that Greenwald and Snowden are good faith players based on their behavior and actions/deeds. Whistleblowers don’t con their coworkers for their passwords and then flee the country. Journalists (that matter) don’t write an endless string of stories with hyperbolic headlines and bury the lede twelve paragraphs in stating that they don’t have specifics of any wrongdoing.

  66. 66
  67. 67
    SectarianSofa says:

    @LesGS: I was going to say much the same thing. It’s almost like John doesn’t care what ‘mansplaining’ means (or care, because trolling, ha ha). The term is hilariously, sadly appropriate in some contexts. The fuck this has to do with Greenwald, NSA stuff, or anything else in the post, is beyond me.

  68. 68
    SectarianSofa says:

    @AxelFoley: Yep, there’s no mansplainin’ that away.

  69. 69
    patrick II says:

    You can’t troll me by complementing Snowden and Greenwald. Snowden in particular has shown incredible bravery to get done what he felt needed to be done. And he is right.

  70. 70
    Thlayli says:

    I’ll also note that until now, I have not mentioned Obama in this post, so you don’t need to go into hyperactive defense mode to protect the most powerful man on the planet from my non-existent commentary regarding him.

    The only one making this about Obama is you.

    This is the most tiresome part of the whole thing: “Everyone knows Greenwald is right, but some of you are just too wrapped up in Obama-worship to admit it.”

    I bet you used to accuse people of Bush Derangement Syndrome all the time, right?

  71. 71
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @RobertDSC-Power Mac G5 Dual: If a miracle happens and Congress actually revises the Patriot Act and puts more controls on the NSA because of Greenwald and Snowden, that would be great. GG and Snowden would deserve some credit for getting that ball rolling, at the very least.

  72. 72
    Anton Sirius says:

    @NotMax:

    A bit flummoxed too, as to what the other side of the coin might be.

    There is no other side of the coin. It’s not an either/or thing. “Young men of color” is a subset of “young men”. “Young white men” would be another subset, as would “young Latino men”, “young gay men”, “young men who are Macklemore fans” etc.

  73. 73
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    By your vehement hatred of Snowden and Greenwald I can only assume you approve of the NSA/GCHQ’s activities.

    Is this a frank admission of stupidity on your part?

  74. 74
  75. 75
    Joey Giraud says:

    @patrick II:

    Edward Snowden did something good for America and has been smeared and had his character assassinated.

    You *can* fool some of the people all of the time.

  76. 76
    gwangung says:

    Edward Snowden did something good for America and has been smeared and had his character assassinated.

    He also did a lot of dumb shit. THAT’S what he’s being “smeared” for…and rightly so.

    Anybody who’s not an analyst who says he personally vetted the material he released is an idiot and a fool. He doesn’t have the deep background to properly decide what is and what is not safe to release.

  77. 77
    gratuitous says:

    @gwangung: But, oddly enough, the folks who do “have the deep background to properly decide what is and what is not safe to release” have shot their credibility all to hell, and nobody with an ounce of brains should trust them any further than I could throw the Washington Monument.

    It’s kind of a pickle, it is.

    And, in response to a comment made up thread about the alleged damage Snowden and Greenwald have done to our relations with other countries, I liken it to the guy who’s cheating with his best friend’s wife: “Everything was hunky-dory until that blabbermouth motel clerk wised up my buddy! It’s all that damn clerk’s fault that my friend hates me, my wife wants to leave me, and I’m not getting any on the side anymore.”

  78. 78
    dollared says:

    @gratuitous: This. Exactly right. People who condemn Snowden and Greenwald (and Manning) have no idea when and how we would have ever found out about the NSA’s activities. Because the NSA are not stupid and they had made learning the truth illegal.

    The haters are simply authoritarians. They would be very happy in Singapore. The streets are very clean, and nobody swears in public.

    @RobertDSC-Power Mac G5 Dual:

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    David Koch says:

    @dollared: Ha! That’s a hoot coming from a Fidel Castro lover like you. And even a bigger hoot, considering Snowden’s love for authoritarian Russia.

  80. 80
    Nerull says:

    I’m not sure why half of your posts need to include a “ALSO FEMNISTS ARE STUPID AND THE CONCERNS OF WOMEN ARE UNIMPORTANT” jab, utterly unrelated to the post itself, and what exactly you think it accomplishes other than pissing off people who might otherwise agree with you.

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