Priceless

This, by far, is my favorite reaction to the new NSA revelations in the WaPo that Mistermix mentioned earlier:

Civil Liberties Hero Edward Snowden Commits Massive Civil Liberties Violation -Hands over 160,000 private emails to journalists and Glenn Greenwald

By Charles Johnson

I’m just going to point and laugh. Y’all can read it for yourself. But do note, he’s okay with his emails being read, so if he is okay with it, why then it’s okay for your emails to be read, too. There, you don’t even have to worry your little head anymore. Charles is in charge.






219 replies
  1. 1
    Howard Beale IV says:

    Shhh…you don’t want to hurt his feefees now….

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    And it looks like I won’t be spending Sunday night on Balloon Juice. Hope everyone had a good weekend. See y’all tomorrow.

  3. 3
    ruemara says:

    I kinda do have a problem with both the NSA storing unintended hits without limit AND Snowden, Greenwald, news editors et al deciding what is sensitive natsec documents & possessing my unredacted emails. Is that ok with you? I’m not really good with letting journos decide.

    JC, you know that’s not what Charles said. There’s some fair points to it.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Morzer says:

    Great. John Cole is starting a flame war to kiss up to Griftwald – again!

    Time for a few more hours spent doing something more interesting than watching the same dogs chasing after the same truck.

  6. 6

    @ruemara: THAT’S A FUCKING CUT AND PASTE OF HIS POST. IT IS PRECISELY WHAT HE WROTE.

  7. 7
    Cassidy says:

    /eyeroll

  8. 8
    Tommy says:

    Before I started to work for myself I was the VP of Marketing for an email software company. Before that worked at ad agencies. Google list brokers or Dun & Bradstreet. Very easy for me to buy your email if I wanted to. That my email address or yours was in those documents doesn’t bother me in the least.

  9. 9
    Mnemosyne says:

    So, just to be clear, John, you have no problem with journalists at the Washington Post reading your private emails that have your name on them as long as Snowden is the one who gave them to the WaPo?

    Benjamin Wittes at Lawfare has a pretty good explanation of why giving these emails to journalists was unethical at best. But, hey, the government collected the emails first, so two wrongs make a right!

  10. 10
    Cassidy says:

    To the twitter machine! We must express our suburban outrage!

  11. 11
    Violet says:

    @Tommy: It’s not just the addresses–it’s the emails themselves. The content of the email:

    They tell stories of love and heartbreak, illicit sexual liaisons, mental-health crises, political and religious conversions, financial anxieties and disappointed hopes. The daily lives of more than 10,000 account holders who were not targeted are catalogued and recorded nevertheless.

    I have long figured anything in email is not private but that’s just me.

  12. 12
    gbear says:

    @Baud: Ditto.

    @Mnemosyne: I’ll second that link too.

  13. 13
    Ash Can says:

    Johnson and his joint pile up a load of evidence and analysis to back up their opinions, and this joint does nothing but make fun of that. Yeah, like Baud, I think I know which place is more worth spending time with.

  14. 14
    Cassidy says:

    Time for the John Cole and Mistermix theme song.

    http://youtu.be/m5csNO3oMrQ

  15. 15
    LT says:

    Bush/Cheney and the republican party big lied Americans into waging war. How and/or why anyone would trust either them or their NSA hand-puppets about anything is beyond me.

    The democratic rank-and-file continues to pay a steep price for their party’s complicity in unleashing hell on the people of Iraq.

    The cowardly refusal of the democratic party to own up to their own malfeasance, much less their refusal to call out the war criminals for what they are, is reprehensible.

  16. 16
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: I had to backtrack to see what you noted. That is a little troubling. I am a huge Snowden and Greenwald fan but I try hard to be fair and honest. My gut is he just dumped the documents. Never read most of them. Didn’t even now what was in them, including all these emails. But still troubling. I mean how easy would it to be to blackmail somebody.

  17. 17
    ruemara says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole: What are you, giving in to a ragegasm because you’re overdue?

    But do note, he’s okay with his emails being read, so if he is okay with it, why then it’s okay for your emails to be read, too.

    is a simplification of what he wrote. The cut and past, is the headline. Your rage, is because I dared question. Thanks for conforming to type.

  18. 18
    RSR says:

    *deletes long post*

    ah, eff it. I guess in another 10 years they can tell us how sorry they were to be wrong, again.

  19. 19
    D58826 says:

    Slightly OT but this will cause some heads to explode:

    I’ve never done a “breaking” story, but this one comes almost wholly from Al Jazeera.
    The detainees’ lawyers said courts have previously concluded that Guantanamo detainees do not have “religious free exercise rights” because they are not “persons within the scope of the RFRA.”
    But the detainees’ lawyers say the Hobby Lobby decision changes that.

    Full post is over on KOS.

    Well the SCOTUS ladies did warn us.

  20. 20
    Linnaeus says:

    Johnson’s reaction strikes me as way too blasé. You don’t have to be a Snowden or Greenwald fan to be a little troubled by NSA collection of people’s data. From what I can tell, Johnson is saying, “If you don’t have anything to hide, there’s nothing to worry about.”

  21. 21
    Cassidy says:

    Your rage, is because I dared question.

    You mean a white, male libertarian comes unglued when disagreed with? Say it ain’t so….

  22. 22
    Tractarian says:

    This gets to the heart of the matter, doesn’t it.

    My email being collected and stored by the NSA != my email being posted on the internet for public access.

    It’s what Snowden and his defenders never realized.

  23. 23
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    But do note, he’s okay with his emails being read,

    He’s not okay with it if they’re being read because Edward Snowden gave them to the Washington Post to read. That’s a “massive violation” of his civil rights. As opposed to the NSA collecting and reading them, which was fine.

    Looking for coherence or integrity here will fail every time.

    He quotes the WAPO article saying that actual dangerous plots were uncovered, then asks, exasperated, why anyone would claim that it’s “evil and wrong” for these things to be uncovered?

    Except that the article wasn’t saying that it was evil and wrong. The part he left out, which came just before the passage he quoted, says that these were indeed good things to uncover, and that creates a dilemma because of the massive privacy violations of others involved in getting them.

  24. 24
    Cassidy says:

    We inch one day closer to the inevitable “I hate it, but have to support Rand Paul” post. Ricky West was right it seems.

  25. 25
    Amir Khalid says:

    Is it me, or is it teh intertubes? When I try to click on that headline, or to go to the Little Green Footballs site, all I get is a 403 Forbidden error saying I don’t have permission to access the server.

  26. 26
    SatanicPanic says:

    Eh, just don’t care if the Obama admin is doing it. I know I used to care when Bush was, but that’s because it was Bush. Both for political reasons and also because I don’t trust that guy. I’m just being real.

  27. 27
    raven says:

    @Amir Khalid: Count yourself lucky.

  28. 28
    Holden Pattern says:

    So now we imagine that Snowden hadn’t provided this cache of emails. This conversation then goes like so:

    “The NSA is collecting and storing personal emails without any kind of realistic criteria for targeting the individuals involved. And they keep them forever without any realistic need.”

    NSA defenders: “nunh-unh.”

    “No, actually, I have seen the emails. They are really doing this. It’s really invasive, and they never delete anything.”

    NSA defenders: “nunh-unh.”

    “Okay, fine. Since you are always going to claim I’m lying, I have given a large set of emails to some journalists so they can tell you that they’ve seen the personal emails from non-targets that the NSA just keeps forever just in case.”

    NSA defenders: “Two or three journalists seeing stored emails that any NSA analyst can apparently collect and keep forever is is an egregious violation of the privacy of the individuals involved. Get me my fainting pearls!”

    In a world in which Snowden and Greenwald are always the bad guys, the outcome is predetermined. Greenwald’s a dick, Snowden is weird. If you nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.

  29. 29
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Except that the article wasn’t saying that it was evil and wrong. The part he left out just before the passage he quoted, says that these were indeed good things to uncover, and that creates a dilemma because of the massive privacy violations of others involved in getting them.

    Congratulations — you just expressed far more nuance and comprehension of the complexity of this story than either mistermix or John Cole has succeeded in expressing.

    I know people will run around bleating that Franklin quote at us, but they never seem to have an answer for whether or not, say, uncovering a plot to construct secret nuclear weapons is worth the trade-off.

    Is privacy the sole and paramount consideration at all times, or are there trade-offs that sometimes need to be made? What are those trade-offs? What should be done with the emails that are incorrectly swept up (and why the hell is the NSA not required to delete them as soon as they confirm that they have nothing to do with the investigation?)

  30. 30
  31. 31
    Belafon says:

    @Tommy: Charles’s point is that he expects some emails to be swept up in people who are linked with people under investigation; it just can’t be avoided. So there are other safeguards, like name and email hiding, for Americans. But Snowden dumped them all onto the NYT.

  32. 32
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Holden Pattern:

    Uh, I guess you weren’t really following the NSA story during the Bush years if the fact that the NSA has been collecting emails is fresh and new to you.

    Most of us “NSA defenders” aren’t saying it didn’t happen. We’re pointing out that we told you years ago that this was happening and you didn’t give a shit until Snowden shoved it in your face.

  33. 33
    Iden Hill says:

    @Tommy:

    I’m totally with you on this. Merchants own way more info about us than the NSA. Just ask 100 Million Target customers. It’s getting more common to NOT be able to make an online purchase, without opening an account. And, as you say, anyone can purchase a surprising amount of personal info about someone; for the right price.

  34. 34
    bystander says:

    @Holden Pattern:

    +10

  35. 35
    Tommy says:

    @Belafon: Put aside the NSA. Lets talk Snowden. I hope my comments here have been clear. I am a huge Snowden fan. What he did here is messed up. I don’t think he meant to, but alas it is what it is.

  36. 36
    LT says:

    @Tractarian: It’s even easier to understand than that, simple simon. To repeat: The people whom you apparently deem trustworthy as guardians of your personal* information started the Iraq War by lying to the American people. That’s the biggest clue I can provide– the rest is up to you to comprehend.

    * (look the word up in the dictionary).

  37. 37
    efgoldman says:

    @Violet:

    I have long figured anything in email is not private but that’s just me.

    Part of the problem was calling it “email” when it was invented, because of the long legal and moral tradition of the privacy of paper mail. If it were called “ecom” or something like that the expectation wouldn’t be the same.
    Think of email as an old party-line phone, rather than analogous to US mail.

  38. 38
    Linnaeus says:

    @Belafon:

    Charles’s point is that he expects some emails to be swept up in people who are linked with people under investigation; it just can’t be avoided. So there are other safeguards, like name and email hiding, for Americans. But Snowden dumped them all onto the NYT.

    If that’s Johnson’s point, I don’t think he made it very well, because his post doesn’t have that caveat. He wrote this:

    Secret nuclear weapons projects, aggressive hackers, double-dealing by purported allies — why is it supposed to be evil and wrong for the NSA to uncover these kinds of things? Why in the world would anyone be upset that their communications were intercepted if it helps the US government discover a secret nuclear project?

    If my emails are collected by the NSA as part of this effort, I say, “Go ahead, collect away.” Call me crazy, but I want the US government to discover these things before it’s too late.

    It’s hard not to interpret that as saying that anyone’s communications are fair game in the name of national security.

  39. 39
    Botsplainer says:

    http://www.lawfareblog.com/201.....ally-said/

    The words appear originally in a 1755 letter that Franklin is presumed to have written on behalf of the Pennsylvania Assembly to the colonial governor during the French and Indian War. The letter was a salvo in a power struggle between the governor and the Assembly over funding for security on the frontier, one in which the Assembly wished to tax the lands of the Penn family, which ruled Pennsylvania from afar, to raise money for defense against French and Indian attacks. The governor kept vetoing the Assembly’s efforts at the behest of the family, which had appointed him. So to start matters, Franklin was writing not as a subject being asked to cede his liberty to government, but in his capacity as a legislator being asked to renounce his power to tax lands notionally under his jurisdiction. In other words, the “essential liberty” to which Franklin referred was thus not what we would think of today as civil liberties but, rather, the right of self-governance of a legislature in the interests of collective security.

    What’s more the “purchase [of] a little temporary safety” of which Franklin complains was not the ceding of power to a government Leviathan in exchange for some promise of protection from external threat; for in Franklin’s letter, the word “purchase” does not appear to have been a metaphor. The governor was accusing the Assembly of stalling on appropriating money for frontier defense by insisting on including the Penn lands in its taxes–and thus triggering his intervention. And the Penn family later offered cash to fund defense of the frontier–as long as the Assembly would acknowledge that it lacked the power to tax the family’s lands. Franklin was thus complaining of the choice facing the legislature between being able to make funds available for frontier defense and maintaining its right of self-governance–and he was criticizing the governor for suggesting it should be willing to give up the latter to ensure the former.

    The central tenet held by the proclaimers of the American Revolution was participatory government, not guns, not property, although that was held in abundance. They were certainly happy enough to seize loyalist property.

    That’s what made their failure to extend participation rights to people of color all the more egregious.

  40. 40
    SatanicPanic says:

    @LT: the NSA started the Iraq War?

  41. 41
    Cassidy says:

    Merchants own way more info about us than the NSA.

    Privacy disappeared with the internet and free shipping. This is the world now. I trust our gov’t more than the corporations that have actively pursued a malicious agenda to fuck us over.

  42. 42

    @Linnaeus: No shit. I think people just read what they want to read rather than what people actually write.

  43. 43
    Zandar says:

    Entirely possible for both the NSA and Snowden to be in the wrong here, and no, I don’t think two wrongs make a right.

  44. 44

    @Mnemosyne:

    Uh, I guess you weren’t really following the NSA story during the Bush years if the fact that the NSA has been collecting emails is fresh and new to you.

    Most of us “NSA defenders” aren’t saying it didn’t happen. We’re pointing out that we told you years ago that this was happening and you didn’t give a shit until Snowden shoved it in your face.

    Quit being so dense and snotty. During the Bush years and prior we THOUGHT the NSA was doing this. After Snowden, we have proof. And your response is basically to tell anyone talking about the Snowden documents “YOU HAVEN’T CARED ABOUT THIS LONG ENOUGH!”

  45. 45
    efgoldman says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    When I try to click on that headline, or to go to the Little Green Footballs site, all I get is a 403 Forbidden error saying I don’t have permission to access the server.

    Is it possible your government is interfering in some way, for some reason?

  46. 46
    LT says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole: That’s a fair point by Cole, Mnem.

  47. 47
    LT says:

    @SatanicPanic: Let me put it this way: the NSA did nothing to stop it.

    Jeezuz, they’re political operatives, not plaster saints. Maybe understanding that fact is a matter of age, as in, I can see a grade schooler having trouble wrapping their minds around it.

  48. 48
    Mnemosyne says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole:

    During the Bush years and prior we THOUGHT the NSA was doing this.

    During the Bush years you supported the NSA doing this. So, yeah, as I’ve said before about other issues, I get a little tired of being lectured about how I’m not upset enough about things that I was pissed off about years before you were.

    I’m glad that you’re pissed off about it now, but don’t come telling me that I’m not sufficiently pure, Mr. Johnny-Come-Lately.

  49. 49

    Well the Edward Snowden/Glenn Greenwald fan club despises Charles Johnson and, I’m sure, will begin a new blogger flame war post-haste. It’s disgusting to see.

  50. 50
    Violet says:

    @efgoldman: I worked in the network side of IT. I had a creepy boss. I learned quickly email at work was the furthest thing from private. And all of it can be subpoenaed in a court case. And there’s zero legal protection for emails that are over six months old.

    So yeah, you aren’t quite posting the content of your emails on a public forum or on a blackboard on your front lawn when you send one, but anyone who wants know what you wrote in an email can do it whether you want them to or not and there’s little to no legal protection for you about that.

  51. 51
    SatanicPanic says:

    @LT: “Did nothing to stop it” is a long way from “started the Iraq War.” The people who started the Iraq War have been gone since Jan 2009.

  52. 52
    Emma says:

    O@John (MCCARTHY) Cole: You know, I admire you. Your sense of family, your work with your brothers at the college… but in this, you’re heading into the wall. You are so enamored of Greenwald the freedom fighter that you think it was fine to hand people’s private lives to the newspapers.

  53. 53
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Amir Khalid: LGF and its proprietor have a long history of bitter interchanges with rabid anti-Muslim bloggers. Is it possible the Malaysian government watchdogs inadvertently “tagged” LGF because of linked-content attacks on people like Pam Gellar and the ‘Gates of Vienna’ nutballs?

  54. 54
    eemom says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Mr. Johnny-Come-Lately.

    Also too, isn’t Charles Johnson like another Cole, except even come-latelier?

    It is all so confuzzlerating.

  55. 55
  56. 56
    LT says:

    @SatanicPanic: There you and I fundamentally disagree about how and why that war was unleashed. Suffice to say, the bar you set to exonerate principle players is preposterous.

  57. 57
    SatanicPanic says:

    @LT: You’re saying the NSA was a principle player in the start of the Iraq War? How so? And can you give me some names?

  58. 58
    Mnemosyne says:

    @eemom:

    Yep, and I don’t let Johnson lecture me about how I don’t care enough, either.

    Again: I’m glad that Cole has come over to the correct side, but having him lecture me about the bad actions of the NSA is like having my 14-year-old niece realize that littering is wrong. Glad you’re on the right side and all, but this isn’t really a new revelation to me.

  59. 59
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @eemom:

    There was a time when they both seemed to see in black and white. The difference now is that Johnson seems to see more nuance these days, while Cole, on certain issues, just flipped the polarity of his black-and-white perspective.

  60. 60

    @Mnemosyne:

    During the Bush years you supported the NSA doing this. So, yeah, as I’ve said before about other issues, I get a little tired of being lectured about how I’m not upset enough about things that I was pissed off about years before you were.

    I’m glad that you’re pissed off about it now, but don’t come telling me that I’m not sufficiently pure, Mr. Johnny-Come-Lately

    No. I didn’t. The archives are right there—————————–>

    Find one post supporting NSA surveillance.

  61. 61
    LT says:

    @SatanicPanic: That’s a stupid question. Of course I can’t. I’ve got a life, and they’re the NSA.

    You tell me: what did the NSA do to stop that illegal war? And don’t tell me they were misled, either. And name names doing it, wise guy.

  62. 62

    @Mnemosyne:

    Again: I’m glad that Cole has come over to the correct side, but having him lecture me about the bad actions of the NSA is like having my 14-year-old niece realize that littering is wrong. Glad you’re on the right side and all, but this isn’t really a new revelation to me.

    Again. I was never on the other side. Pro-tip: I have always been pro-choice, too. And always against the death penalty. You want to lecture me about what I cared about and when, fine. You’re wrong, though.

  63. 63
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Amir Khalid: Can you reach the top of the site Little Green Footballs? Because if you can’t, it’s definitely on your end.

  64. 64
    Violet says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole: If you were pro-choice, against the death penalty and against NSA surveillance, how the hell were you a Republican?

  65. 65
    SatanicPanic says:

    @LT: I didn’t know the NSA was in charge of stopping or starting wars. What other agencies should I be mad at? HUD? the EPA? DoE?

  66. 66

    @Violet: For the same reason millions of idiots are voting Republican against their own interests. Tribalism and stupidity and I was a product of the culture I was raised in.

  67. 67
    RSR says:

    @atrios

    https://twitter.com/Atrios/status/485913792384368641

    snowden: I have your emails. NSA liberals: no you don’t. snowden: ok i’ll prove it. NSA liberals:YOU VIOLATED CIVIL RIGHTS BY LEAKING EMAILS

  68. 68
    Mnemosyne says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole:

    That’s right, you only voted (twice) for the guy who put the current NSA regime into place, and supported the war that helped him do it. That makes it all better and gives you plenty of moral space to lecture me, right?

    But, yes, I will give you that by at least 2005, you disliked the Patriot Act. That’s the earliest link about it that I can get Google to give me, but there are probably earlier ones as well.

  69. 69
    Cacti says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole:

    And always against the death penalty.

    Which is rather hollow when you’re pro aggressive war, no?

  70. 70
    Violet says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole: Okay. You seem like a guy who thinks about things so I guess I’m just surprised it took you that long to realize what was going on. I get it though.

  71. 71
    Mnemosyne says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole:

    I was never on the other side.

    So you did not, in fact, vote for Bush — twice? You were not a Republican? Because that’s the “side” I’m referring to, not specifically anything about the NSA.

  72. 72
    SatanicPanic says:

    hoocoodanode this thread would turn out this way

  73. 73
    Cacti says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    hoocoodanode this thread would turn out this way

    Cole must have run out of cat photos.

  74. 74
    LT says:

    @SatanicPanic: Now you’re just being a dick. Or in matters pertaining to the national security, do you really equate HUD with the NSA? Either way, adios.

  75. 75
    RSR says:

    @Emma: lol, wut?

  76. 76
    Cacti says:

    Months of tracking communications across more than 50 alias accounts, the files show, led directly to the 2011 capture in Abbottabad of Muhammad Tahir Shahzad, a Pakistan-based bomb builder, and Umar Patek, a suspect in a 2002 terrorist bombing on the Indonesian island of Bali.

    Now wait a second.

    The Apostle of Liberty has long been writing 20,000 word jeremiads about how nothing the NSA did led to anything useful.

    So, was he wrong about this, or just lying again?

  77. 77
    Cassidy says:

    @Cacti: maybe he should stick with creepy posts about his slutty dog.

  78. 78
    SatanicPanic says:

    @LT: Well since the NSA doesn’t control any armed forces I think it’s a fair analogy. You made the claim dude. Just asking how you think the NSA was responsible for the Iraq War.

  79. 79
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Anne Laurie: “Interchanges” is putting it kindly. LGF was an anti-Muslim hate site for YEARS. Kudos to its proprietor for belatedly seeing the error of his ways, but if the site still gets caught in the KKK filter occasionally, I’m not surprised.

  80. 80
    RSR says:

    @Emma: outsource to Dr Black (really)

    NSA liberals: giving emails to 3 reporters is a bigger deal than everyone in the NSA having access to them!!!

  81. 81
    Patricia Kayden says:

    “I’m just going to point and laugh.”

    What’s the joke? I’m too daft to figure it out. Oh well.

  82. 82
    Jasmine Bleach says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I know people will run around bleating that Franklin quote at us, but they never seem to have an answer for whether or not, say, uncovering a plot to construct secret nuclear weapons is worth the trade-off.

    Bullpucky. I’ve answered this (for myself at least) here at this site before. Nobody seemed to respond to me at the time, so I’ll state it again.

    Collecting e-mails, private text messages, Facebook posts, private tweets, which web sites you’re visiting or blog posting to, en masse is a violation of the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Period.

    Law enforcement (or spy agencies of the government) may collect evidence and track the papers of someone suspected of criminal activity if they have enough probable cause to get judicial approval and a warrant for it for an individual person. And not in a secret court. It’s not that hard to do, really.

    I am also okay with spying on and collecting information from militaries and governments (not private citizens unless an evidence trail leads to them) of countries that have made explicit threats of harm against the United States (N. Korea, Iran, Syria fall under that–there are others). Otherwise, even for spying on foreign citizens, you should need probable cause and judicial approval.

    Otherwise, it’s a corruption of what we are supposed to stand for. Nothing is worth the “trade-off”; otherwise you just head down the rabbit hole to abuse of that collected knowledge.

  83. 83
    LT says:

    @SatanicPanic: Don’t drag the good name of the Armed Forces of the United States through the mud. Not with me. Do not attempt to equate the at-best malfeasance of the NSA to the sacrifice of genuine patriots. The army, navy, air force, and marines have consistently upheld their end of the Constitutional bargain in good faith– betrayed though they were by the treason of the Bush administration and its operatives.

  84. 84
    Kerry Reid says:

    @Violet: Oh c’mon! It’s not as if voting for Dubya had any serious consequences for women’s rights to reproductive health vis a vis SCOTUS appointments. I mean, the right to privacy is totes fungible when it’s women’s bodies we’re discussing.

  85. 85
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @LT:

    The NSA does signals intelligence. If there’s nothing in their intel that turns up evidence, it doesn’t mean that evidence is out there.

    The CIA did boots-on-the-ground intel gathering in the run-up. They sent Joseph Wilson to Niger. He came back with intel that Dick Cheney didn’t like. Cheney and his errand boy, Scooter Libby, outed and smeared Wilson’s CIA wife in order to destroy Wilson’s credibility. The press deferred to Cheney long enough to allow the invasion grow into an occupation, and the majority of Americans really didn’t give a fuck.
    .

  86. 86
    Zandar says:

    @Howard Beale IV: “There’s no way to know if you’re being surveilled 24/7 or not!” doesn’t seem like a solution, neither does “Abolish the NSA”.

    We need to have a conversation about how to effectively rein in the NSA while still retaining their capability to do their job. Like it or not, countries spy on each other, even allies. Just because we’re rightfully outraged that it’s happening doesn’t mean other countries aren’t doing it too.

    I will say I believe Snowden’s constant drip of “maybe THIS revelation will be the one that makes the country reach critical mass!” is unhelpful if not counter-productive.

    We have to accept some basic tradeoffs at some point.

  87. 87
    Mnemosyne says:

    So anyway, to get back on topic, here’s a bit from WaPo (linked through the mistermix post):

    Among the most valuable contents — which The Post will not describe in detail, to avoid interfering with ongoing operations — are fresh revelations about a secret overseas nuclear project, double-dealing by an ostensible ally, a military calamity that befell an unfriendly power, and the identities of aggressive intruders into U.S. computer networks.

    Months of tracking communications across more than 50 alias accounts, the files show, led directly to the 2011 capture in Abbottabad of Muhammad Tahir Shahzad, a Pakistan-based bomb builder, and Umar Patek, a suspect in a 2002 terrorist bombing on the Indonesian island of Bali. At the request of CIA officials, The Post is withholding other examples that officials said would compromise ongoing operations.

    So the position of at least two front-pagers is that internet privacy should be absolute and override all other concerns, including the operations reported on above?

    As I’ve said in both this thread and the last one, I see no reason the NSA should be allowed to hold onto private emails after they’ve determined them to be irrelevant to the investigation and that should absolutely be changed, but is the information described by the WaPo important for the US to have, or not?

  88. 88

    @Mnemosyne:

    So you did not, in fact, vote for Bush — twice? You were not a Republican? Because that’s the “side” I’m referring to, not specifically anything about the NSA.

    Yes, I voted for Bush. But I was on the right side of this issue. Frankly, if it really all boils down to you is whether I was a Republican until the mid-2000’s, and this is a just a binary construct for you, then yes, I was on the “wrong side.” But I was never on the “wrong side” of this issue. I spent the entire 2000’s while a Republican saying things like “Republicans, do you want Hillary Clinton to have this power, because a Republican isn’t always going to hold the WH?”

    And yes, I was on the “wrong side” politically, but I was still reasonable enough that had a large number of Democrats and liberals reading me EVEN though I was a Republican. I correctly believed that the Patriot Act was basically the Oklahoma City wishlist on steroids that Clinton wanted and Republicans blocked. I could go on and on, but you’ll just create more strawmen about what I believed and then tell me google failed you.

    If Charles is ok with his email being read to stop terrorism, that’s his right. But any argument that says “I’m ok with this so you all are idiots for thinking otherwise” isn’t much of an argument in my book, and sorry if it isn’t nuanced enough for all of you these days. How much nuance does it take to deal with that nonsense?

    And then to be attacked (incorrectly), for not caring about the issue long enough. Well, that’s just a bit much.

  89. 89
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Violet:

    I have long figured anything in email is not private but that’s just me.

    No, it’s not just you.

  90. 90
    LT says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): “Americans don’t give a fuck” pretty well summarizes Dick Cheney’s view of us all.

    And I couldn’t disagree more.

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

    @LT:

    The army, navy, air force, and marines have consistently upheld their end of the Constitutional bargain in good faith– betrayed though they were by the treason of the Bush administration and its operatives.

    The chief operatives being military officers working in the Defense Intelligence Agency, under the directions of then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. You didn’t have to pay a ton of attention back then to know that DIA was trying to usurp the powers of the separate intel agencies.

  92. 92
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jasmine Bleach:

    Nothing is worth the “trade-off”; otherwise you just head down the rabbit hole to abuse of that collected knowledge.

    Actually, I would say that the abuse comes in not from the collecting but because they are allowed to keep and store that collected knowledge. If there was a regulation in place similar to the one for gun purchases that said that collected knowledge had to be examined for relevance to the investigation within 1 week of collection and deleted within 48 hours of determining it was not relevant, I think it would be much less problematic.

    It’s not the collection in and of itself that’s the problem, because you’re always going to have errors with overcollection even if you’re investigating Whitey Bulger. It’s that they keep it on file even after determining that it’s irrelevant.

  93. 93

    @Mnemosyne: There is also this:

    The documents reviewed by the Post came from domestic NSA operations under the broad authority granted by Congress in 2008 with amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, according to the Post. Since Snowden originally leaked material to journalists, intelligence officials have said these types of documents were far beyond what Snowden could have acquired.

    Since you have personally deemed my interest in this issue and concerns only began in 2005, since this is all post-2008, I think I am godfathered in and allowed to have an opinion, thank you very much.

  94. 94
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Uh, I guess you weren’t really following the NSA story during the Bush years if the fact that the NSA has been collecting emails is fresh and new to you.

    Most of us “NSA defenders” aren’t saying it didn’t happen. We’re pointing out that we told you years ago that this was happening and you didn’t give a shit until Snowden shoved it in your face. figured out there was a democrat in the White House.

    Fixt

  95. 95

    @Mnemosyne:

    Actually, I would say that the abuse comes in not from the collecting but because they are allowed to keep and store that collected knowledge.

    It’s both! What they are doing is clearly wrong and an abuse of power.

  96. 96
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @LT:

    At the time, the majority of Americans didn’t give a fuck. It was all, ‘Yay, us!’ to the majority, with Old Glory and yellow ribbon car-magnets flying off the shelves of retailers. It took about a year or year-and-a-half after the invasion for the worm to turn.

  97. 97
    Mnemosyne says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole:

    And then to be attacked (incorrectly), for not caring about the issue long enough. Well, that’s just a bit much.

    Welcome to my world. How many times have I been called an apologist for the NSA because I don’t worship at Greenwald’s feet and have my suspicions about how Snowden just happened to end up in both China and Russia?

    But, you know, I’m only skeptical of their actions because I don’t care enough about internet privacy and want Obama to be able to read everyone’s email.

  98. 98
    eemom says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole:

    I spent the entire 2000′s while a Republican saying things like “Republicans, do you want Hillary Clinton to have this power, because a Republican isn’t always going to hold the WH?”

    And that’s an argument for how nuanced you’ve always been?

    Oh well….irony being DOA, I’ll just go with hilarious.

  99. 99
    SatanicPanic says:

    @LT: ? So far you’ve called me names, insinuated that I’m stupid and now you’re feigning outrage on behalf of the armed forces, all because I asked you to explain to me how the NSA was responsible for the Iraq War. NSA gathers intelligence. I don’t remember any of the evidence that was presented in the run up to the war as being put forward as coming from the NSA. And other than the NSA sitting on emails between Bush admin people saying “heh heh, lookit we’re fakin’ all this evidence and the American people don’t know it” then I can’t really imagine what it could have had to stop it.

    If you have evidence of the NSA acting of its own accord to start a war (or otherwise being responsible for not stopping it) then post it. Otherwise you’re acting like a Randroid- implying things you can’t back up.

  100. 100
    Mnemosyne says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole:

    So, to be clear, you would prefer the Bali bomber to still be free rather than have any American’s emails be read, ever, even by accident. It’s better for a foreign power to have a secret nuclear program than for a picture of someone’s kid to be looked at, even for a second.

  101. 101

    @eemom: Yes. It’s the only thing Republicans understand is power and how it can be used against their opposition. The realization that one day that power might be used against them by Hitlery is the only thing they might understand.

    Until Democrats understand that Republicans only respond to power and force and are undeterred by logic, reason, or facts, the better off we all are. So that was the argument I tried to use to show my fellow Republicans that this was a bad idea.

  102. 102
    Cacti says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole:

    I correctly believed that the Patriot Act was basically the Oklahoma City wishlist on steroids that Clinton wanted and Republicans blocked.

    “Progressive” Cole, still blaming evil horndog Clinton for things that his boy Dubya did.

  103. 103
    kc says:

    I’m gonna enjoy pointing and laughing at some of y’all in a few years.

  104. 104
    LT says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): “You didn’t have to pay a ton of attention back then..”?

    Bullshit. You’d be surprised how many people don’t give such matters a second’s thought. Then again, you probably wouldn’t be. But since you’re making a show of insight (if not outright expertise) into The Machine, why not answer the question: what did the NSA do to prevent the Iraq War?

  105. 105
    Cassidy says:

    It’s hard to argue with an entitled libertarian. It’s like trying to convince a bowel movement.

  106. 106
    Cacti says:

    For Cole, muckymux, and the other Snowdenistas…

    Just how many felonies are you okay with him committing “for the greater good”?

  107. 107
    Cassidy says:

    @Cacti: I’m sure it involves skullfucking and a nun.

  108. 108
    Violet says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole: Republican voters respond very strongly to fear as well. Anything they can be made to be afraid of will get traction.

  109. 109
    Morzer says:

    @Cassidy:

    At least with a bowel movement you get something out of it. Ain’t no-one ever gained from engaging with a libertarian.

  110. 110
    Hobbes says:

    @LT:

    The army, navy, air force, and marines have consistently upheld their end of the Constitutional bargain in good faith

    So you’re implying one branch of the US armed forces may not have acted in good faith?

  111. 111
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @LT:

    What could they do even if they had intel proving the administration wrong? Resign en masse, only to be replaced with Bushco’s allies? Leak it and become targets like Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame? What’s your best-case counter-factual scenario?

    Again, the NSA does signal intelligence gathering. They aren’t limited to collecting signal intel on military threats. They’re hacking foreign networks while protecting our own. They gather signal intel for the Stte Deprtment. They gather signal intel for Treasury. They gther signal intel for the DoE. SIGNAL intel- not snail mail, not face-to-face communications.

  112. 112

    @Cacti:

    “Progressive” Cole, still blaming evil horndog Clinton for things that his boy Dubya did.

    Really, you want to argue that much of the Patriot Act was drafted by Joe Biden and introduced by Clinton and then largely blocked by Republicans?

    Criminy.

  113. 113
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LT:

    But since you’re making a show of insight (if not outright expertise) into The Machine, why not answer the question: what did the NSA do to prevent the Iraq War?

    You realize that’s a completely different question than your previous statement that the NSA started the Iraq War, right? Prevention =/= starting.

  114. 114
    LT says:

    @Mnemosyne: Not quite. I contended the NSA was complicit, you word weaseling dick. Up to its elbows in blood.

  115. 115
    Corner Stone says:

    This may be the greatest single thread ever in the history of BJ. Capt Mnemo, Cacti and eemom all attacking Cole for heresy. With Morzy on bass and Cassidy on rhythm.
    This is so good.

  116. 116
    Aaron says:

    I have read BJ and LGF for many years. To me they bring a compelling viewpoint- former republicans who have left the cult. My observation of Charles Johnson is that he continues to use what I believe to be a standard right wing personal assault schema against Greenwald and Snowden because thats where he comes from and because he believes in the rightness and necessity of the NSA surveillance. His posts against them are highly personal, and frequently try to magnify personal failings into proof of their wrongness.
    Personally I dont care much about GG and Snowden. What they have done or done wrong (such as winding up in Russia, GG using his bf to transfer information across borders) is a melodrama that I don’t care about.
    The big issue of NSA surveillance however I find deeply offensive. It also bothers me that Johnson has been repeatedly selling out the 4 amendment protections in favor of some deeply personal vendetta. Still I read LGF for his other posts and in the hope that he will “snap out of it.”

  117. 117
    LT says:

    @Aaron: The key being it’s not a melodrama of their own making. People tend to lose sight of that fact. By my lights, they’re in there pitching for all of us.

  118. 118
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @LT:

    And how would they be complicit unless they lied and said that they recorded a call between a few Iraqi’s that showed that, yes indeed, they had WMDs? Everyone one fucking everywhere was saying, no, they don’t have them, and they were saying that in front of video cams, being broadcast around the world…Saddam’s people, the UN, fucking everyone but a few dubious sources…Do you think the NSA goes to the National Security Council and say, ‘Here, we’ve got this conference call on tape, Saddam telling his kids that he absotively HAS NO WMDs- cancel the invasion!”?

  119. 119
    LT says:

    Chuck Johnson, Bob Cesca, and their pet doughnut, GUS, are a few weeks away from rattlesnakes in a bag moment, pretty sure. That hole’s just gonna have to dig itself.

  120. 120
    LT says:

    @LT: Hey. I don’t know how long you’ve been here, but I’ve been here for a lot of years. As LT.

  121. 121
    FlipYrWhig says:

    IIRC, the way “minimization” is supposed to work is that the NSA sweeps up a whole bunch of stuff on “targets” and their associates, knowing that most of it is going to be fruitless. They then use “minimization” to redact the names and other identifiers for American citizens. Am I right that it takes a warrant to examine the material that has been minimized?

    I’m not surprised that if you look at the material that’s supposed to have been anonymized you can find a lot of embarrassing stories. But is there reason to believe that the NSA does this? By analogy, red-light cameras probably catch a lot of people picking their noses and scratching their balls. But do the cops just sit around watching for ball-scratchers, or are they reviewing tape when they have a bead on a criminal suspect who drove through that light? It sort of makes a difference, no?

  122. 122
    Flukebucket says:

    @Cassidy: Ricky West was right it seems.

    What the hell ever happened to Ricky West?

  123. 123
    LT says:

    @LT: Then I will defer, and change my moniker.

  124. 124
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Aaron: uh, highly personal attacks are not exactly rare from Greenwald. Ask the blogger he compared to Leni Riefenstahl for posting too many happy pictures of Obama, or the one he said would cheer on Obama for raping a nun. That’s not going to be a reliable way to differentiate between Team Greenwald/Snowden and Team Cesca/Johnson.

  125. 125
    Cassidy says:

    @Flukebucket: I don’t know. He shut down his blog right around Cole’s “conversion”. One of his regular commenters started his own blog and he commented there for a bit, but then the guy shut it down when he ran for state assembly; New Hampshire I think. Haven’t seen him after that.

  126. 126
    LT says:

    @LT:

    EDIT: Comment deleeted, thank you, other LT.

  127. 127
    LT says:

    @LT: In case you didn’t see that I changerd my previous comment – thank you very much.

  128. 128
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Sigh.

  129. 129
    Culture of Truth says:

    There, you don’t even have to worry your little head anymore. Charles is in charge.

    Clever, but he’s not the one asserting the right to make decisions on behalf of everyone else.

  130. 130
    LT says:

    @LT: I was best known recently on Balloon Juice as JWL.

  131. 131
    LT says:

    @Culture of Truth: “Clever, but he’s not the one asserting the right to make decisions on behalf of everyone else.”

    Complete the circle of derp for us and tell us how you suport the concept of whistleblowing.

  132. 132
    LT says:

    Wasn’t that Hesiod person sane once:

    @Green_Footballs @emptywheel – That argument sounds suspiciously like "she dressed like a slut. What did you expect?"— Hesiod Theogeny (@Hesiod2k11) July 6, 2014

    Whistelblowing the NSA is JUST LIKE RAPE.

  133. 133
    LT says:

    @LT: I honestly can’t remember that moniker. Not frequent? (I ain’t an everydayer myself.)

  134. 134
    LT says:

    @LT: I mention it only in the event you get jammed up with the NSA, so you can name a name.

  135. 135
    Anton Sirius says:

    @RSR:

    snowden: I have your emails. NSA liberals: no you don’t. snowden: ok i’ll prove it. NSA liberals:YOU VIOLATED CIVIL RIGHTS BY LEAKING EMAILS

    Speaking only for myself, my distrust of that aspect of Snowden’s story was not that he might be in possession of some random emails from random people. That looks like Atrios moving the goalposts to me, but I suppose there may be people out there who didn’t believe he had any emails at all.

    I called bullshit on Snowden claiming he could wiretap the President, or that scooping up the emails of random citizens was something he could do easily as part of his job description.

    Given that we now know he had to scam passwords from other people in the NSA to get the emails Gellman talked about in his article, Snowden flat out lied about the second thing. I’ve got no reason to believe him on the first thing either.

  136. 136
    LT says:

    @LT: Yer killin me.

  137. 137
    lol says:

    @Jasmine Bleach:

    Not sure why this “secret court” thing gets bandied about. if I’m the target of some law enforcement investigation, the court might as well be “secret”. I don’t get the chance to defend myself from a search warrant.

    And as far as I can tell, the approval rates between the UBER SECRETIVE ABUSE STASI FISA COURT and your bog standard court issuing warrants is pretty much the same so that’s not much of an argument either.

  138. 138
    LT says:

    @Anton Sirius: “Given that we now know…”

    written in Stone: people like you NEVER provide a link when you say shit like that. When pressed, you provide link to **NSA sayign that** – like that’s proof.

    P.S. Fuck you.

  139. 139
    Anton Sirius says:

    @LT:

    Whistelblowing the NSA is JUST LIKE RAPE

    Uh, that’s not even close to what was said. Try again.

  140. 140
    eemom says:

    @Corner Stone:

    This may be the greatest single thread ever in the history of BJ.

    Why Cornie, you do yourself a grave injustice. Surely that epic clusterfuck of AL leaping in to defend your honor against big bad old ABL is a contender for GSTEITHOBJ.

  141. 141
    Anton Sirius says:

    @LT: Link was posted in the mistermix thread. I can go get it if you’re too pathetically incompetent to find it yourself or Google the story.

  142. 142
    Cassidy says:

    @LT: Ummm, that’s been reported as part if the story since the beginning.

  143. 143
    LT says:

    @Anton Sirius:

    ‘ That argument sounds suspiciously like “she dressed like a slut. What did you expect?” ‘

    Real slow:

    1. “That argument” being talked about is about Snowden taking data from NSA.

    2. ” sounds suspiciously like “she dressed like a slut. What did you expect?” ” is equating NSA’s horribly unsafe security methods re that data with defense of rapists with horrible “she asked for it arguemtn.

    3. That’s equating Snowden’s taking data from NSA with rape.

    Slow enough?

  144. 144
    LT says:

    @Anton Sirius: Yeah, why don’t you do that? But take your time, take all the time in the world. Please.

    Unless your addressing the bona fide LT, a conversation into which I’ve intruded and proceeded to misspeak.

    (Reminder to self: change moniker).

  145. 145
    LT says:

    @Anton Sirius: Oh no, I’ll go get it! I haven’t seen that post, but don’t want to be pathetically incompetent!

    P.S. I know what it’s going to say.

  146. 146
    LT says:

    @LT: Other LT, you’re making Anton think that’s me.

  147. 147
    Keith G says:

    I wish that I lived in a better USA where Snowden’s very troubling actions where not damned near essential to get the powerful (and other gatekeepers) as well as the hoi poloi talking about the encroachments and growing opaqueness of our enlarging security state.

    A freedom loving society must be continually willing to push back against the desire of governing elites to consolidate their power and streamline their ability to govern with greater efficiency , effectiveness and even power.

    At least two commenters in the above fracas are able to see that this is not about reporters, leakers, or presidents. It is about a trans-generational struggle to determine the relationship between the governed and their government.

    @Holden Pattern:

    In a world in which Snowden and Greenwald are always the bad guys, the outcome is predetermined. Greenwald’s a dick, Snowden is weird.

    @Aaron:

    …he continues to use what I believe to be a standard right wing personal assault schema against Greenwald and Snowden because thats where he comes from and because he believes in the rightness and necessity of the NSA surveillance. His posts against them are highly personal, and frequently try to magnify personal failings into proof of their wrongness.

    Personally I dont care much about GG and Snowden. What they have done or done wrong (such as winding up in Russia, GG using his bf to transfer information across borders) is a melodrama that I don’t care about.

    The big issue of NSA surveillance however I find deeply offensive.

    Jasmine Bleach at comment 82 also hits the nail on the head, but alas I am near my link limit. Go read her comment.

  148. 148
    LT says:

    @Anton Sirius: Aaaaaaand – here’s the brilliant Anton, taking an NSA memo – leaked by the NSA (absorb the irony) as proven fact:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....story.html

    http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/ms.....n_Memo.pdf

    You know who has a history of lying to the American public? NSA.

    You know who doesn’t? Edward Snowden.

  149. 149
    LT says:

    @LT: No worries, Other LT. Just don’t want to add confusion to the fountain of lies this crowd spews.

  150. 150
    Corner Stone says:

    @eemom: Nah, your doucheiness et al in this thread make me feel like it’s better than that.
    The repeated Capt Mnemo non sequitur attacks, combined with your unmasked vitriol is just too good.

  151. 151

    @LT: Change your handle back to JWL or I block you. It’s unfair to keep using LT and having other people think you are talking as the LT who has been here for years.

  152. 152
    LT says:

    @Anton Sirius: Oh and by the way – if Snowden “stole passwords” – good for him. Ellsberg did “bad” things too. That’s often what whistleblowing entails.

  153. 153
    LT says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole: I appreciate it, John, but I think that last one was an honest accident.

  154. 154
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @LT: He’s part of the useful idiot commntariot over at LGF, where statements from the NSA are treated like the Gospels and other religious texts.

  155. 155
    Corner Stone says:

    @LT: Snowden has claimed he did not, and Anton and others have yet to provide any links to him “admitting” he did.
    They just keep claiming it. As usual, the false narrative fits their agenda.

  156. 156
    LT says:

    @Howard Beale IV: Oh really? Did not know. I love how johnson and Cesca’s “READ DOWN TO THE 18TH PARAGRAPH!!!” thing is always, “Here’s what the NSA says…”

    We need better doofuses.

  157. 157
    Corner Stone says:

    @Anton Sirius: No it wasn’t you fucking freak. You posted some bullshit, not Snowden “admitting” anything.
    Try again.

  158. 158
    Corner Stone says:

    @LT: Cescites. They never stop being full on lying douchecanoes.

  159. 159
    LT says:

    @Corner Stone: Well, they do have that NSA memo. But using that as “proof” is hilarious. It also doens’t speak to the fact that, as far as I understand, a sys admin asks for others’ passwords as part of their normal duties. Might not be the case here, but in any case – who gives a fuck?

  160. 160
    LT says:

    @Corner Stone: You’d think they’d want to stop looking stupid.

  161. 161
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LT:

    So since there are two of you in this thread, was it the other LT who said the following?

    It’s even easier to understand than that, simple simon. To repeat: The people whom you apparently deem trustworthy as guardians of your personal* information started the Iraq War by lying to the American people. That’s the biggest clue I can provide– the rest is up to you to comprehend. (emphasis mine)

  162. 162
    gian says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    umm only we KNEW it was being done during the bush years. If you cared or paid attention, you’d have KNOWN it too.

    to say it wasn’t KNOWN is bullshit evasion.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/.....klein.html

    What’s your job at Folsom Street when you get there, and does that give any more light on what’s going on?

    Yes. That’s when I finally found out what they’re doing, by sheer accident. … My main assignment was to oversee the Internet room, and that meant keeping it going. If there were any trouble calls, I had to answer them. If there’s any upgrading work to do, I had to either do it or arrange for others to do it in off hours. Just oversee the flow of work in the Internet room and watch things.

    As it turned out, one of the key pieces of spy equipment they installed was in the Internet room, and I discovered that in the process of learning the job. When I got there in October there was still a guy there who had been there years and years and years. He was thoroughly familiar with the whole office, … and he was showing me the ropes for the Internet room because he was, as it turned out, planning to retire, and he left a couple months later. But in those two months he was showing me the ropes, and at one point I asked him about this secret room, because the secret room is on the sixth floor; the Internet room is on the seventh floor. It didn’t seem to be an obvious connection, and I had said to him, “Well, it seems to me that the secret room is right next to the phone switch room, so I assume they’re listening to phone calls,” and his answer was: “No. Internet.” That was his instant answer. He said, “I’ll show you.”

    He was referring to what I found later, was what we called the splitter cabinet. The seventh-floor Internet room has whole lineups of equipment, row after row after row of equipment. In one row, they installed a cabinet that had optical splitters in it. So there were optical splitters, which basically were connected by fiber-optic cable down to the secret room on the sixth floor. …

  163. 163
    LT says:

    @Mnemosyne: Pretty sure you can tell mine by the fact my LT is hotlink. I did not say that, but I agree with the point. NSA defenders who are also big anti-Iraq War ppl overlook how deeply NSA WAS Iraq War.

  164. 164
    Corner Stone says:

    @LT: The NSA memo is internally generated to CYA. It indicates one person claims they shared their PublicKey cert with Snowden. He has never acknowledged that.
    And contra Capt Mnemo, she may want to get a grip on what the actual issue is before she continues running her stupid lying mouth.
    Oh, wait. It’s Capt Mnemo. She never stops running her stupid lying mouth.

  165. 165
    dubo says:

    Why did the WaPo sit on this for months while NSA officials repeatedly perjured themselves about what Snowden had? Reminds me of the NYT sitting on the wiretapping story

  166. 166
    LT says:

    @dubo: NYT say on story because they were chickenshit tools. Gellman – and I have no reason to doubt him – said he’s been **working on the story. Some stories take a very long time to do correctly.

  167. 167
    gian says:

    @LT:

    except, for being not true. it’s a great point. the frontline story above is only one.
    there’s plenty more coverage about the NSA doing this, the frontline piece is an interview with a long time technician who saw the stuff connected to the internet systems in san francisco

  168. 168
    Cassidy says:

    I see we’re having that selective reasoning thing that is common amongst teabaggers.

  169. 169
    Cacti says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole:

    Really, you want to argue that much of the Patriot Act was drafted by Joe Biden and introduced by Clinton and then largely blocked by Republicans?

    Yes Cole, we’re all aware that GOPers are fine with corn fed caucasian terrorism.

    You’re the only one obtuse enough to mistake it as principled opposition because you were a card carrying GOPer back then.

  170. 170
    Anton Sirius says:

    @LT:

    “That argument” being talked about is about Snowden taking data from NSA, blah blah blah

    That tweet was in direct reference to Marcy’s argument that the NSA was at fault for allowing data to be stolen, rather than blaming the thief for stealing it. Hence the analogy to ‘ dressing like a slut’.

    If you find the analogy offensive, fine (actually not, since your trollish behavior makes me think you don’t give a shit about any of this and are just having some giggles, but whatevs), but it was very clearly not equating whistleblowing with rape, which is what you posted. You do know this is a text-based medium and people can read what you previously wrote, right? Here, I’ll even quote it again, typo and all:

    Whistelblowing the NSA is JUST LIKE RAPE

    The analogy was of one terrible defense of a crime to another. It had nothing to do with the crimes themselves.

    Other LT should really consider a defamation lawsuit at this point.

  171. 171
    dubo says:

    @LT: I’m sure it did take a long time to comb through the documents, analyze, and research them for the story. But they knew months ago that, without a doubt, Snowden did in fact have access to information the NSA repeatedly claimed he didn’t, and stayed silent about it until now

  172. 172
    LT says:

    @SatanicPanic: ” The people who started the Iraq War have been gone since Jan 2009.”

    Hugely enormous and shocking mistake. You don’t think NSA, CIA, the many other intel orgs have enorumous hand in “starting” wars?

    ADDED: It’s like saying NSA had no part in Vietnam War.

  173. 173
    LT says:

    @dubo: And? Are you mad because today’s not Christmas? Things do take time.

  174. 174
    Anton Sirius says:

    @LT:

    Aaaaaaand – here’s the brilliant Anton, taking an NSA memo – leaked by the NSA (absorb the irony) as proven fact:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..story.html

    Just to be clear: your position is that some WaPo stories are gospel, and some are total bullshit.

    Do you have a magic decoder ring to determine which is which?

  175. 175
    Anton Sirius says:

    @LT:

    Oh and by the way – if Snowden “stole passwords” – good for him. Ellsberg did “bad” things too. That’s often what whistleblowing entails.

    Snowden says he didn’t steal passwords, and he would never lie.

    And good on him if did steal them! Fuck yeah!

    Your consistency is inspiring, fake LT.

  176. 176
    LAC says:

    @Holden Pattern: well, here is what the snowden defenders sound like:

    Reporter : today, Edward snowden said…
    Fanboys : “AHHHHHH!!! I LOVE HIM! OH MY GOD!!! HE IS SOOOO GREAT! I CANT BREATHE!!!!”

  177. 177
    dubo says:

    @Anton Sirius: Well, “If a person who is BY YOUR OWN ARGUMENT a sociopathic criminal can access everyone’s personal “secure” data, you’re doing things horribly wrong” is actually a really good argument and “she dressed like a slut. What did you expect?” is an attack on a victim of a horrible crime who invariably did not actually dress anything like a slut

    But besides that, sure, it’s a fine analogy

  178. 178
    LAC says:

    @Corner Stone: and here’s the moment when the third drink kicks and we get angry bully corner stone. Little early tonight.

  179. 179
    LT says:

    @Anton Sirius:

    Just to be clear: your position is that some WaPo stories are gospel, and some are total bullshit.

    Which one does JRube fall under?

    Snowden says he didn’t steal passwords, and he would never lie.

    And good on him if did steal them! Fuck yeah!

    Snowden said he didn’t steal passwords – I have no reason to think he’s lying. If he is – I could give four shits.

    kiss kiss

  180. 180
    LT says:

    YEEEEE HAW!

    @Green_Footballs @michaelterry337 I hope ppl have learned recognize a false messiah. Greenwald and Snowden are horsemen of the apocalypse.— Richard Punko (@retiredfirstsgt) July 7, 2014

  181. 181
    Anton Sirius says:

    @LT:

    Which one does JRube fall under?

    Opinion writer and not journalist.

    Try again.

  182. 182
    Anton Sirius says:

    @dubo: See, and that’s a well-reasoned argument against the analogy.

    Unlike fake LT’s trolling bullshit.

  183. 183
    LT says:

    @Anton Sirius:

    Some WaPo journalism stories are based on NSA docs the NSA HATES were released, and NSA has been caught lying about, rpeatedly. Some WaPo journalism stories are based on NSA docs the NSA either leaked themselves or just LOVES were released because they further smears against Snowden.

    Do you need your hand held for the rest?

  184. 184
    Dave says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m generally of the opinion that privacy is pretty much dead. What I would like to see is a leveling of the power imbalance between institutions private and public and individuals (And there probably needs to be some cultural evolution where stop caring about someone posting a picture of themselves being dumb on their own time). I’m open to the possibility that I could be completely wrong about the privacy thing but it’s where I’m heading. I do think Johnson and LGF as a whole let there hate on for Snowden and Greenwald (and that guy is a prick) allow them to become to blase about the whole thing but there you are. Some things should be classified but the government over classifies even if it’s just to CYA. Again I think there needs to more level playing field but how to achieve that is the question. Also that seems to be one of the themes in a great many issues we have power imbalance. Sorry if this is incoherent just ran 15 miles and I’m somewhat fried.

  185. 185
    Dave says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m generally of the opinion that privacy is pretty much dead. What I would like to see is a leveling of the power imbalance between institutions private and public and individuals (And there probably needs to be some cultural evolution where stop caring about someone posting a picture of themselves being dumb on their own time). I’m open to the possibility that I could be completely wrong about the privacy thing but it’s where I’m heading. I do think Johnson and LGF as a whole let there hate on for Snowden and Greenwald (and that guy is a prick) allow them to become to blase about the whole thing but there you are. Some things should be classified but the government over classifies even if it’s just to CYA. Again I think there needs to more level playing field but how to achieve that is the question. Also that seems to be one of the themes in a great many issues we have power imbalance. Sorry if this is incoherent just ran 15 miles and I’m somewhat fried.

  186. 186
    LT says:

    @Anton Sirius: And I’ll try treating you seriously for a second:

    The NSA is *the accused* in this formulation. The denials of the accused cannot be treated as proof of anything. O.J. Simpson’s denials aren’t *proof* of anything.

    Does this not make sense to you?

    Also: NSA is accused of things they have been found guilty of repeatedly, over decades.

  187. 187
    Corner Stone says:

    @LAC: Get a new schtick, clown.

  188. 188
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: seems kind of relevant to me. The NSA catches a bunch of stuff, the vast majority banal and dulling, a small amount embarrassing, so they take names out of the trove of data. As I said in the other thread, it seems totally legit to say, “well, that’s a stupid waste of time. Why even build a massive trove of insignificant data in the first place?” Valid point. It opens the possibility of abuse. But the fact that some of the stuff is private and has nothing to do with law enforcement or terrorism… Right, yes, true, that’s why they cooked up “minimization” in the first place. If minimization is a sham, that’s a problem. But the fact that the body of material they’re minimizing includes private stuff, some of which is embarrassing, isn’t a shock — that’s why they minimize it. This is just a description of the procedure: pulling in massive amounts of stuff, taking out the personal identifiers of the people who aren’t targets, then storing it somewhere in case something something. Wiretaps on mobsters’ phones probably pull in hours of talk about takeout orders and medical ailments and other conversations that have nothing to do with the suspected crimes. That’s the nature of surveillance. Most people under surveillance aren’t doing anything interesting or significant most of the time, and neither are their associates, so the intelligence amassed on them is going to be overwhelmingly boring with a side of potentially embarrassing.

    What this all means still comes down to who looks at the minimized dataset, why, and with what kinds of approvals from whom. That was the question before this story, and it’s the same question after this story.

  189. 189
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Most people under surveillance aren’t doing anything interesting or significant most of the time, and neither are their associates, so the intelligence amassed on them is going to be overwhelmingly boring with a side of potentially embarrassing.

    If you’re not doing anything wrong then you have nothing to hide, amirite?
    Just stop apologizing man.
    There is no justification for these programs.

  190. 190
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Tommy:

    My gut is he just dumped the documents. Never read most of them. Didn’t even now what was in them, including all these emails. But still troubling.

    I’m not sure why there’s a “But still” there. His reckless handling of the documents is kind of the entire fucking point.

  191. 191
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Mnemosyne: There’s no one as pious as a former whore.

  192. 192
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @LT:

    Hugely enormous and shocking mistake. You don’t think NSA, CIA, the many other intel orgs have enorumous hand in “starting” wars?

    I suppose epistemic closure means it is absolutely pointless to point out the Neo-Cons like Cheny absolutely despise the CIA for running their fun with facts.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_Plame

  193. 193
    eemom says:

    @LAC:

    and here’s the moment when the third drink kicks and we get angry bully corner stone. Little early tonight.

    Nah, he’s still in the pathetically pleading for attention from people he hates stage.

    Doesn’t get much sadder than that.

  194. 194
    Corner Stone says:

    @Bobby Thomson: That’s pretty harsh for you to be calling her that.

  195. 195
    Corner Stone says:

    @eemom: Nice try bone muncher.
    Munch munch munch.

  196. 196
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Corner Stone: Go home, Corner. You’re drunk.

  197. 197
    LT says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: and Cheney hated NSA for warrentless wiretapping, huh?

  198. 198
    Corner Stone says:

    @Bobby Thomson: How about you stop calling female commenters here whores?

  199. 199
    Rex Everything says:

    @Cassidy: You’re retarded.

  200. 200
    Rex Everything says:

    @Corner Stone: Yup. Speaks volumes, really.

  201. 201
    CT says:

    Every white progressive blogger/commentor would be a better president than the actual president.

  202. 202
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    I think of it more as Converted Catholics vs. Cradle Catholics — nothing’s better than some dude who just finished his first catechism lecturing me about Church doctrine.

  203. 203
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole: You’re against the death penalty, and yet you voted twice for a man who snuffed death row inmates by the dozen in Texas and laughed about it? I grew up in the same tribal environment, but the pro-death penalty sentiments of friends and family had no influence on my views about it.

  204. 204
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: you have nothing to hide because the whole point of minimization is that they hide it for you. If you’re not the target, your name is taken out. IOW, “they” aren’t reading “your” emails, “they” are reading some unidentifiable person’s emails, when they look at them at all, which they really don’t. The security camera example is still instructive. Do the cops use security camera footage to humiliate people buying p0rn and picking up prescrip’tions? There are miles of tape of people doing embarrassing things. There are not a correspondingly huge number of cases of official harassment for those things. Why do you think that is? I would say it’s because there’s a difference between collecting information to use it and collecting information to have it. And, again, I think it’s almost certainly true that they’re collecting information willy nilly without much of a plan for what to do with it. But I don’t think the risk of doing that is that they harass and humiliate random people. They have bigger fish to fry than that.

  205. 205
    Ramalama says:

    @Corner Stone: Game over. You won.

  206. 206
    Ramalama says:

    I’ve read all the comments and want to ask those of youse who support the NSA in its data collection (kind of American in its hoarding): Where is the oversight? Who watches the watchers?

  207. 207
    Keith G says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    They have bigger fish to fry than that

    .
    Until they don’t.

    Surveying several generations of our history, we can see numerous examples of executive branch buggery of civil liberties – much of it not only sinister but also (ironically) juvenile in it’s conception and well beyond the parameters of simple logic.

  208. 208
    AnonPhenom says:

    But do note, he’s okay with his emails being read, so if he is okay with it, why then it’s okay for your emails to be read, too

    Right. So, since Johnson is cool with taking a dump with the bathroom door open the rest of the human race should be cool with the NSA taking our bathroom doors away.
    Whadda Phuckin’ Maroon.

  209. 209
    LAC says:

    @Corner Stone: get sober, ass

  210. 210
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    And, again, I think it’s almost certainly true that they’re collecting information willy nilly without much of a plan for what to do with it. But I don’t think the risk of doing that is that they harass and humiliate random people. They have bigger fish to fry than that.

    It’s baffling to me that this could somehow be used as a justification or excuse as to why it’s ok.

  211. 211
    Cassidy says:

    @LAC: I’m hoping for liver failure.

    @Rex Everything: Go jam your face onto some rebar.

  212. 212
    Tractarian says:

    @LT:

    The people whom you apparently deem trustworthy as guardians of your personal* information started the Iraq War by lying to the American people

    Big Bad Government started a disastrous and ill-advised war, therefore Big Bad Government cannot be trusted to do anything forevermore. Am I getting that right?

    The truth is, I trust the government to do a lot of different things, and you do too. We have no choice. It is what it is.

    Meanwhile, the only one threatening to reveal my personal information to the public is Edward Snowden.

  213. 213
    Tractarian says:

    @Corner Stone:

    If you’re not doing anything wrong then you have nothing to hide, amirite?

    This is always trotted out as a supposed argument-stopper, but it’s a straw man. Everyone does things they are ashamed of; everyone has skeletons in their closet. I’ll bet most people have some evidence of illegality somewhere in their inbox.

    Personally, there are plenty of emails in my inbox that I would never want to be publicized. And yet I really don’t care that the NSA has access to it. Because, among all the various illegal and immoral things that I’ve done in my life and documented in emails, conspiring to commit mass murder is not one of them.

    There is no justification for these programs.

    “These programs” are designed to (and who knows, just might) prevent deranged militants from maiming you and killing your family. You may not like the trade-off (i.e., giving up your abstract satisfaction in knowing that no one anywhere could ever see what you write in your emails and texts) but the “justification” should be pretty clear.

  214. 214
    Corner Stone says:

    @Tractarian: You pop in and do this kind of fear mongering on some of these threads. It’s beyond ridiculous at this point. We’ve been scooping up everything, all over the world, for at least a solid decade now. I know it started long ago, but the technologies and capabilities have gone through the roof in the last decade.
    And yet, we’re as blind as a nation as we were during the Cold War and the USSR popped out of nowhere and bought massive amounts of grain because their crops had failed. We were caught short then and we are consistently caught short now. Even though we have increased spending and all the other things.
    So stop telling me about a murderous militant maiming my mentionables.

    And I, for one, could give zero fucks that you are just fine with the NSA having your emails.

  215. 215
    Tractarian says:

    You pop in and do this kind of fear mongering

    Guilty as charged. I think this issue essentially comes down to a privacy/security balance, and so it’s worth keeping in mind exactly the costs and benefits we’re talking about here.

    My point is that the costs (someone at the NSA reading my email) are relatively small and the benefits (preventing mass murder) potentially large.

    the technologies and capabilities have gone through the roof in the last decade. And yet, we’re as blind as a nation as we were during the Cold War

    I don’t think this is true, but if it is, wouldn’t that be an argument for more intelligence gathering?

    And I, for one, could give zero fucks that you are just fine with the NSA having your emails.

    Good, you shouldn’t. But you should be aware that some (probably most) of the voters in this country feel the same way.

  216. 216
    kfreed says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Isn’t it fun when your hyperbole turns arund and bites you in the hind quarters?

    The KKK filter lands a Greenwald (courtesy NSFWCorp/video of the Greenwaldian “Liberty Tour”): “The Convergence of Glenn Greenwald and Rand Paul’s ‘Southern Avenger’”
    http://littlegreenfootballs.co.....Vpie6P2.99

  217. 217
    Corner Stone says:

    @Tractarian:

    I don’t think this is true, but if it is, wouldn’t that be an argument for more intelligence gathering?

    Boston, Ukraine, Egypt, Syria, Libya, ISIS.
    And, no. That makes an argument that we’ve been doing it completely wrong.

  218. 218
    Corner Stone says:

    @Tractarian: 50 million people voted for Romney. I guess that’s important too, somehow.

  219. 219
    Corner Stone says:

    @Tractarian:

    and so it’s worth keeping in mind exactly the costs and benefits we’re talking about here.

    Pearl Harbor, WTC 1 and 9/11.
    What else fits on your scale? What else should we have known about and didn’t?

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