Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 23, 2013

Obama: Network Spying Is Serious Human Rights Abuse

The Obama administration sees any leak which it does not itself provides to hype its policies as aiding the enemy. Through its "Insider Threat Program" it pushes this view as an official policy throughout the government:
“Hammer this fact home . . . leaking is tantamount to aiding the enemies of the United States,” says a June 1, 2012, Defense Department strategy for the program that was obtained by McClatchy.
The administration ruthlessly prosecutes anyone who dares to leak even the tiniest issue.

That is why Edward Snowden had to flee the country after he decided to reveal the unlimited spying of the U.S. government against the whole world as well as its own citizen. The Obama administration wants to prosecute Snowden for "espionage" for revealing U.S. spying to the public. Is that irony intended?

Snowden fled to Hongkong where he revealed that the U.S. government not only targets its own citizens but also attacked China's Tsinghua University with extensive hacking, hacked Pacnet, the Asia Pacific fibre-optic network operator, spies on Chinese mobile phone companies and steals Chinese SMS data. The U.S. asked Hongkong to arrest Snowden and to send him back to the States. Meanwhile Snowden, with the help of Wikileaks lawyers, already planed to move elsewhere. The Hongkong government was not amused about the U.S. arrest and extradition request and did not fulfill it. When Snowden stepped on a plane this morning to fly to Moscow it released a statement that rejected the warrant and added:

Meanwhile, the HKSAR Government has formally written to the US Government requesting clarification on earlier reports about the hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by US government agencies. The HKSAR Government will continue to follow up on the matter so as to protect the legal rights of the people of Hong Kong.
It is not yet known where Snowdens travel will end. The Wikileaks organization's press release states:
Mr Edward Snowden, the American whistleblower who exposed evidence of a global surveillance regime conducted by US and UK intelligence agencies, has left Hong Kong legally. He is bound for a democratic nation via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks.

Mr Snowden requested that WikiLeaks use its legal expertise and experience to secure his safety. Once Mr Snowden arrives at his final destination his request will be formally processed.

Snowden may stay in Moscow and ask for asylum there. He may fly to Iceland, Venezuela or Equador. Wherever he goes, except for the United States, the people will be on his side. Some U.S. government hacks are now trying to smear Snowden because he is traveling to "autocratic regimes". "That is outrages," said Obama. "Now get the Saudis on the line so we can to talk about Syria."

It is Kafkaesque that those who reveal spying are accused of espionage. It is also Kafkaesque that the U.S. government accuses other governments of "serious human rights abuses" for doing the same thing, on a much smaller scale, that the U.S. does to its own and world citizens. Obama should reread the Executive Order 13606 (pdf) (h/t DB) he himself issued:

I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, hereby determine that the commission of serious human rights abuses against the people [...] by their governments, facilitated by computer and network disruption, monitoring, and tracking by those governments, and abetted by entities [...] that are complicit in their governments’ malign use of technology for those purposes, threaten the national security and foreign policy of the United States.
There is some truth in that statement. Privacy is a human right. Spying is destroying it. The U.S. is the one state that wants to destroy privacy on a global base. That it wants to do so threatens the national security and foreign policy of the United States. When will Obama sanction it?

Posted by b on June 23, 2013 at 13:13 UTC | Permalink


RT ‏@RT_com 9m
WATCH LIVE: #Snowden arriving in Moscow for transit to Cuba, then Venezuela

but is he genuine? or a plant to be sown in venezuela?

Posted by: brian | Jun 23 2013 13:30 utc | 1

Would be a smart move heading to Venezuela. No extradition treaty with the United Stasi of America, a friendly government for at least another 6 years, enough oil wealth to ignore the fascists. If Europe had a spine they should have offered him Asylum, obviously from the GCHQ leaks he knows a lot on the spying of Europeans.

On Europe in particular the actions of Britain are appalling. Wiretapping all the Fiber Optic cables and then passing the information to the NSA. I've always known the British are treasonous whores with more loyalty to the US than there own continent but this crosses the line. Luckily German politicians are fuming about it.

Is there a way to kick Britain out of the European parliament for passing information to a foreign power? Certainly it goes against EU Privacy and Data Protection law. Its one thing to spy on diplomats at the G8, quite another to monitor the continents internet traffic and pass it to the Yanks.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jun 23 2013 13:44 utc | 2

I dont think Venezuela would be a good choice, opposition influenced by US and zionists is strong there and is getting stronger everyday since Chavez era. Crime is rampant, and for US to organize kidnapping or assassination of Snowden would be extremely easy there, compared to Russia or China.

Posted by: Harry | Jun 23 2013 14:04 utc | 3

B it's Iceland not Island.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jun 23 2013 14:07 utc | 4

Where the F are those people that cheered obama? Liberal hypocrites!

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 23 2013 14:10 utc | 5

I only know that I wish Snowden a speedy and safe trip wherever he decides to go. Traitor?
No way! He's shone a light on the REAL USA, and our motives.

Posted by: ben | Jun 23 2013 14:15 utc | 6

@Colm O'Toole: Venezuela does have an extradition treaty with the USA, dated 1922. The actual text of it is is here.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jun 23 2013 14:21 utc | 7

Sorry, that second link is messed up, it should be:

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jun 23 2013 14:26 utc | 8

@1 What do you base that on? Just curious.

@3 The situation in Venezuela is, unfortunately, a little more fluid than I'd feel comfortable with. A lot can "happen" there in which, without substantial protection, could be played in the media as a standard express kidnapping. It seems to me that Moscow would likely be the safest. Though a western country like Iceland would give the best political cover and quality of life.

@5 They're around in shocking numbers. Really, I've seen Obama supporters trash Snowden more viciously than the most virulent security state patriot. Then they call themselves "real liberals". They're reading off a list of talking points generated by Organizing for America, Obama's "Grassroots" organization, as far as I can tell.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 23 2013 14:28 utc | 9

This whole travel thing is really funny. Its such a game. Yesterday there were reports of an Icelandic business man who had a private plane ready to take him to Iceland - today he ends up in Moscow. Now he's supposedly on his way to South America... we'll see.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 23 2013 14:39 utc | 10

Talk about irony.

The US has sanctioned Iran for various reasons besides nuclear, including human rights abuses, development of unconventional weapons and ballistic missiles, support for international terrorism, deceptive banking and of course for evading sanctions.

It’s interesting that, in light of current news reports about Edward Snowden, as well as cyberwarfare against Iran, the US has also sanctioned Iran (and Syria) for “grave human rights abuses” related to computer monitoring.

Executive Order 13606 of April 22, 2012

294 - Executive Order 13606 - Blocking the Property and Suspending Entry into the United States of Certain Persons With Respect to Grave Human Rights Abuses by the Governments of Iran and Syria Via Information Technology

–Grave Human Rights Abuses. . . facilitated by computer and network disruption, monitoring, and tracking by those governments, and abetted by entities in Iran and Syria that are complicit in their governments’ malign use of technology for those purposes

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2013 14:39 utc | 11

Forma you opinión, what is the more secure VPN?

Posted by: anonymous | Jun 23 2013 14:58 utc | 12

Whoever hoped for change should change their hope.

Obama '08

Barack Obama understands that we must use all available technologies and methods to open up the federal government, creating a new level of transparency to change the way business is conducted in Washington and giving Americans the chance to participate in government deliberations and decision-making in ways that were not possible only a few years ago. To achieve this vision, Barack Obama will encourage the deployment of the most modern communications infrastructure.

In turn, that infrastructure can be used by government and business to reduce the costs of health care, help solve our energy crisis, create new jobs, and fuel our economic growth. And an Obama administration will ensure America remains competitive in the global economy.

Safeguard our Right to Privacy:
The open information platforms of the 21st century can also tempt institutions to violate the privacy of citizens. Dramatic increases in computing power, decreases in storage costs and huge flows of information that characterize the digital age bring enormous benefits, but also create risk of abuse. We need sensible safeguards that protect privacy in this dynamic new world. As president, Barack Obama will strengthen privacy protections for the digital age and will harness the power of technology to hold government and business accountable for violations of personal privacy.

• To ensure that powerful databases containing inform ation on Americans that are necessary tools in the fight against terrorism are not misused for other purposes, Barack Obama supports restrictions on how information may be used and technology safeguards to verify how the information has actually been used.
• Obama supports updating surveillance laws and ensuring that law enforcement investigations and intelligence-gathering relating to U.S. citizens are done only under the rule of law.
• Obama will also work to provide robust protection against misuses of particularly sensitive kinds of information, such as e-health records and location data that do not fit comfortably within sector-specific privacy laws.
• Obama will increase the Federal Trade Commission’s enforcement budget and will step up international cooperation to track down cyber-criminals so that U.S. law enforcement can better prevent and punish spam, spyware, telemarketing and phishing intrusions into the privacy of American homes and computers.
--Paid for by Obama for America

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2013 15:07 utc | 13

@William Boles - thanks, corrected

@Don Bacon - if you would have read my piece ...

Posted by: b | Jun 23 2013 15:30 utc | 14

I don't think the US is the only country that wants to conduct global surveillance, I don't think we're the only ones trying to do so. We are most likely the lead dog on this issue, but it's naive to think we're the only ones with the temerity to do so.

Posted by: scottindallas | Jun 23 2013 15:47 utc | 15

@scottindallas #14
I don't think the US is the only country that wants to conduct global surveillance, I don't think we're the only ones trying to do so.

What's your point, with your "I don't think"s? Does that make it right, because others may do it, as you think?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2013 15:55 utc | 16

Just like the Assange case, the so called western democracies show its true hatred for free speech.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 23 2013 16:02 utc | 17

@ scottindallas

Well yeah there is "Intelligeance Gathering" going on amoung all nations. This is generally legit and expected in International Affairs. Trying to bug the phone of a diplomat or blackmailing some random embassy staffer. Sure these things go on all the time. As they should. But global surveillance is an entirely different matter.

Would other countries be interested in this global surveillance? I'm sure they would. China? certainly but I doubt it has the infrastructure outside of targeted hacks. Russia? Even further behind than China. Europe? Outside of Britain I would doubt it. Germany and France would find global surveillance distasteful on principle. That leaves only the US engaged in this and it comes with huge ethical concerns.

As a European I'm wondering if the US is using this to steal European trade secrets? Gain an unfair advantage over European investment banks? Using internet records to blackmail political figures or military generals? As well as the obvious Big Brother concerns and the fact that its illegal under EU law.

An obvious example is if the US is reading European emails (which it is) whats to stop them reading the internal emails of Societe Generale or Deutsche Bank and selling this info to Wall St banks to use against Europe.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jun 23 2013 16:18 utc | 18

RT, Jun 11
Germany most-spied-on EU country by US - leaked NSA report

Germany appears to be the most snooped on EU country by the US, a map of secret surveillance activities by the National Security Agency (NSA) shows. EU officials are to question their US counterparts on data snooping in Europe.

The color-coded map of secret surveillance activities by the NSA ranks countries according to how much surveillance they are currently undergoing - green for the least and red for the most watched.

While all EU member states boast variant shades of green, Germany stands out, color-coded orange.

Is that because Germany has by far the largest economy in Europe, or because it is deemed a security threat to the U.S., or because it has many Islamic extremists, or what? We don't know, BUT there must be a reason. I'm sure that Angela is looking into it and might speak with ex-friend Barry about it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2013 16:58 utc | 19

One of the more chilling aspects of surveillance at this level- giving the State a source of data far exceeding anything that anthropologists and other social scientists ever dreamed of- is that it enables the said State to refine its propaganda and political campaigning in order to manipulate democracy into a permanent mandate to rule and oppress.

Forget focus groups and surveys, the data now available to the ruling class gives them the potential to manipulate opinion and isolate opposing ideas and trends, as it were at birth.

Big Brother was a blind man in comparison with the denizens of the British and American GCHQs.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 23 2013 17:02 utc | 20

12.55 Eastern Standard Time
``AFP reports that Snowden has requested asylum from the government of Ecuador.``
This was the update to a Raw Story suggesting he was en route to Venezuela

Posted by: bevin | Jun 23 2013 17:07 utc | 21

confirmed by wikileaks - Snowden going to Equador,253.html?updated

Posted by: b | Jun 23 2013 17:22 utc | 22

Germany again.

BERLIN (Reuters) - Britain's European partners will seek urgent clarification from London about whether a British spy agency has tapped international telephone and Internet traffic on a massive scale, Germany's justice minister said on Saturday.

Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said a report in Britain's Guardian newspaper read like the plot of a horror film and, if confirmed as true, would be a "catastrophe".

In its latest article based on information from Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), the Guardian reported a project codenamed "Tempora" under which Britain's eavesdropping agency can tap into and store huge volumes of data from fiber-optic cables.

Tempora has been running for about 18 months and allows the Government Communications Headquarters agency (GCHQ) to access the data and keep it for 30 days, the paper said, adding that much information was shared with the NSA.

"If these accusations are correct, this would be a catastrophe," Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

This is big.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2013 17:37 utc | 23

It's so sad that so many people fall for this fake Snowden story which is clearly another Israeli operation. This site also seems to cover for Israel re: Syria and other geopolitical issues. Bashing blindly Obama and blaming him for this world's evil recently has become a popular entertainment among many "useful idiots" unable to see that the US president has been cooperating with Russia on a new project regarding ME already for some time. Their bigest problem is the zionist abomination spreading cowardly ruthless terror throughout the world, recently in Nanga, Pakistan. If you want to understand the real picture read Gordon Duff at Veterans Today, Thierry Meyssan at Voltairenet and Webster Tarpley at Press TV.
Veil of Lies, Snowden and Wikileaks
PressTV - How to identify CIA limited hangout op?
PressTV - Bloomberg plays hoax against Obama
Israel and the NSA Scandal
Telephone conversation between Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama
Obama II – the purge and the pact
John Kerry enters the stage
John Kerry's murky game
Only fools, hasbara and sayanim spread misinformation covering up for Israeli regime, falsely equating the whole US government actions to those of Obama and his (renewed and purged) team.

Posted by: Reason | Jun 23 2013 17:54 utc | 24

Parviziyi/63 (other thread)

Please dont be that naive, Jordan smuggle arms to Syria, they even have american troops ready to enter Syria.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 23 2013 18:09 utc | 25

@Reason #24
Bashing blindly Obama and blaming him for this world's evil recently has become a popular entertainment among many "useful idiots" . .

Thank you for calling us useful. We hope that that is so.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2013 19:14 utc | 26

from International Living:

Live in Ecuador
There Are Many Reasons to Live in Ecuador
By living in Ecuador, you’ll be able to enjoy a quality of life that’s hard to beat anywhere else in the world. If you like the outdoors, dream of owning a Spanish colonial home in a colonial city, or want to spend hours strolling on an undeveloped beach, then living in Ecuador may be for you.

It’s not just properties that are affordable in Ecuador–nearly everything is. From the cost of hiring a full-time maid to the price of dinner in a fine restaurant, you’ll be surprised at how little it costs to live in Ecuador.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2013 19:19 utc | 27

Good stuff about Ed

Posted by: jo6pac | Jun 23 2013 20:07 utc | 28

@ 'Reason' (24): I have always felt that Gordon Duff and his Veterans Today were completely phony. Webster Tarpley is working himself up into paroxisms of contempt for the most conspicuous anti-imperialist phenomena of the last decade: first Assange then Snowden. He is just making himself ridiculous, in my view. I've listened to his weekly rants for the last couple of months, and though he can produce very entertaining invective, he makes it clear that his own loyalty is to an otherwise unknown progressive bourgeois faction within the Roman Catholic Church. His core followers are a split-off faction from Larouche, and like Larouche's own audience, they are practicing Christians, mostly Catholics. Tarpley leapt to the defense of the new Pope when others were producing documented proof of his collaboration with the Argentinian Junta. I found it quite puky when Tarpley waxed adulatory about the new Pope washing the feet of Muslim women. It's sad to see Press TV falling more and more under the spell of these cranks.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jun 23 2013 20:52 utc | 29

Funny thing is, the US actively encourages and supports "activists" and dissidents of other countries to engage in the very activities that Snowden's been engaged in..They're always every ready to accept and give such people political cover and asylum on their territory.

Anyone remember the blind Chinese "activists" that suddenly became popular because Obama loved him so much??? Even worse, how the US's been encouraging dissidents/activists in Iran and even easing sanctions on communication tools for them to "expose" the Iranian government for their "brutal human rights record"????

Like I said sometime ago, the joke must surely be on us!!!

Suddenly, whistle-blowing is not a democratic act anymore in the West. American/Western politicians always like to delude themselves that it was their promotion of democracy/freedom in former Soviet Union countries that led to the collapse of the USSR..What they fail to realize is that the USSR was already decaying from within due to the very things the US is doing today. They're not too far off. The emperor's no clothes!!!

Posted by: Zico | Jun 23 2013 21:23 utc | 30

Oh sh*t, I forgot..The NSA must be snooping in on this right now..Oh well, what does it matter, we're all on their list

Posted by: Zico | Jun 23 2013 21:24 utc | 31

This just in--

Washington — The former National Security Agency contractor who disclosed a highly classified surveillance program has had his U.S. passport revoked, an official said Sunday.

I guess this means that Washington doesn't want Snowden back in the country -- that's a load off his mind.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2013 21:29 utc | 32

Don Bacon @ 31

What it means is that he's no longer an American citizen and can now be targeted for assassination...

I just wish the majority of Americans will wake up to what they've now become..That their government can simply revoke not only their rights but also their citizenship at will for simply crossing the government's path..

But given the nature of Hollywood fed and entertainment drunk American society, this will hardly be news tomorrow on the front pages...Sad state of affairs, indeed :(

Posted by: Zico | Jun 23 2013 21:39 utc | 33

@ Zico #32
he's no longer an American citizen and can now be targeted for assassination

Oh, are US citizens Anwar al-Awlaki, Samir Khan, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki and Jude Kenan Mohammed still alive? I don't think so.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2013 21:49 utc | 34

@Zico #32
Loss of passport is not loss of citizenship.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2013 21:52 utc | 35

Executive Order 13636:

Sec. 5. Privacy and Civil Liberties Protections. (a) Agencies shall coordinate their activities under this order with their senior agency officials for privacy and civil liberties and ensure that privacy and civil liberties protections are incorporated into such activities. Such protections shall be based upon the Fair Information Practice Principles and other privacy and civil liberties policies, principles, and frameworks as they apply to each agency's activities.

(b) The Chief Privacy Officer and the Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shall assess the privacy and civil liberties risks of the functions and programs undertaken by DHS as called for in this order and shall recommend to the Secretary ways to minimize or mitigate such risks, in a publicly available report, to be released within 1 year of the date of this order. Senior agency privacy and civil liberties officials for other agencies engaged in activities under this order shall conduct assessments of their agency activities and provide those assessments to DHS for consideration and inclusion in the report. The report shall be reviewed on an annual basis and revised as necessary. The report may contain a classified annex if necessary. Assessments shall include evaluation of activities against the Fair Information Practice Principles and other applicable privacy and civil liberties policies, principles, and frameworks. Agencies shall consider the assessments and recommendations of the report in implementing privacy and civil liberties protections for agency activities.

(c) In producing the report required under subsection (b) of this section, the Chief Privacy Officer and the Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of DHS shall consult with the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and coordinate with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

(d) Information submitted voluntarily in accordance with 6 U.S.C. 133 by private entities under this order shall be protected from disclosure to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Posted by: g_h | Jun 23 2013 22:00 utc | 36

Colm O'Toole,
As a fellow European I don't only suspect that the US is using the espionage for economic and political gain, I also suspect that our governments are in on it. I hope Snowden has more to reveal on that.

Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Jun 23 2013 22:54 utc | 37

"leaking is tantamount to aiding the enemies of the United States,”

"The enemies of"? They don't have names? Or is "enemies of the United States, to be designated later"
That's the kind of facist-speak they feed US government employees, and expect them to like it?

Posted by: Mooser | Jun 23 2013 22:56 utc | 38

re: "enemies of the U.S.", I've noticed that ISAF in Afghanistan has gone from "insurgents" to "extremists" in daily reports.

from ISAF June 23 Command Operational Update,
--An Afghan and coalition security force arrested two extremists . . .
--Afghan and Coalition Forces disrupted an extremist command and control point . . .
--An Afghan and coalition security force wounded one extremist during an operation . .
--Afghan and Coalition Forces arrested extremist leader Mulla Abdulla Gark . .

What it means for the future, I don't know.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 23 2013 23:17 utc | 39

@ Don Bacon #13--

"Whoever hoped for change should change their hope."

Classic. Should be a bumpersticker!


Posted by: Gaianne | Jun 24 2013 0:09 utc | 40

In 2008, candidate Obama hailed whistleblowing as: "acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled as they have been during the Bush administration."

Obama continues to lay bare the philosophy by which he lives: The Audacity of Hype.

Posted by: Cynthia | Jun 24 2013 0:17 utc | 41

Severe U.S. foreign relations problems -- Merkel, Putin and Xi for starters

Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said China "clearly had a role in this." Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., accused Russia's Vladimir Putin of "aiding and abetting Snowden's escape."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 24 2013 0:38 utc | 42

Severe U.S. foreign relations problems -- Merkel, Putin and Xi for starters.

Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said China "clearly had a role in this." Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., accused Russia's Vladimir Putin of "aiding and abetting Snowden's escape."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 24 2013 0:40 utc | 43

Google "hastings". Its tied in, I believe.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Jun 24 2013 0:45 utc | 44

“Obama continues to lay bare the philosophy by which he lives: The Audacity of Hype.”

It’s more “The Audacity of Lie(s)” he was and is a shameless operator with zero sense of self dignity

Posted by: kooshy | Jun 24 2013 2:04 utc | 46

I first heard about Snowden's exit from HK on BBC World News. BBC didn't bother concealing the fact that this was a hearty slap in the face for the United Stasi Of America (nice one, Colm O'Toole) from Russia + China. If reports that Snowden's ultimate destination of Iceland/Equador prove to be correct, then Russia's involvement in this interim relocation was clearly intended as an act of naked provocation. The fact that the Yankees are whining about it merely accentuates their accelerating impotence and descent into irrelevance.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 24 2013 4:02 utc | 47

I think the most exciting part of all of this is the fissures between Germany and the US/UK.

I wouldn't be surprised if these revelations accelerate the departure of the UK from the EU.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 24 2013 4:10 utc | 48

Just curious to know. Do you think it is about "Obama"? I mean he said "no" to the invasion of Iraq when pretty much everyone thought that US would be "victorious" in Iraq, when everyone thought US would easily make a regime change and install a puppet in Iraq and change Iraq into Mubarak's Egypt. He said "no" to the Iraq's invasion back then.
Don't misunderstand me please. I am not defending Obama at all. I dislike him as much as any of you do. I am just curious, do you think if it weren't Obama, and we would have someone else in his stead, and I mean ANY ONE you may approve of or admire, do you think that would make any difference?
As a very good friend of mine once asked me, is it the personality of the president which defines the presidency? Or is it the presidency which dictates the personality of the president? Which one?

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Jun 24 2013 4:25 utc | 49

@28 R. Berkley: I couldn't agree more.

@Bevin The machinery of what's been created is really astonishing. As a tool of social control, it is most certainly unmatched. The Nazi's had their "street-block" system. The United States has PRISM. And the most ingenious part is that it takes liberal ideals like "Free Speech" and "Public Access to Communication" and turns it into weapons against those very things.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 24 2013 4:26 utc | 50

CIA Director Michael Hayden on RT, live interview. Hilarious.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 24 2013 4:51 utc | 51

Zico #29

Yeah exactly, imagine if Snowden was iranian and exposed how the iranian gov. spied on the whole world. In fact I cant even imagine what the overwhelming response would be.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 24 2013 8:20 utc | 52

A bunch of journalists in Moscow jumped on an Aeroflot plane to fly to Havanna. The thought Snowden is on bord. But he ain't. Actually, Snowden has never been seen in Moscow. He may be anywhere ...

Posted by: b | Jun 24 2013 10:38 utc | 53

Even more funny - Aeroflot flight to Havanna takes 12 hours, no alcoholic drinks served. The journos have economy class seats. They will hate Snowden for that ...


Snowden, walking quietly away from *** airport, smiling secretly to himself, his limp turning into a normal, unbroken stride
This will be a funny movie.

Posted by: b | Jun 24 2013 11:00 utc | 54

b | Jun 24, 2013 7:00:17 AM | 54, Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio would be apt, in fact a collaborative screen play would be epic, ‘MoA Productions’, the alternative - raising the ‘Bar’. Just for that you should make a post dedicated to this type of ‘production’ as well as many other issues, a Independent cinema, and why not, it gets funding to ‘Voice’. Bugger it even include funding opt like Indigogo.

Posted by: kev | Jun 24 2013 12:16 utc | 55

HK/China - Remember Chen Guangcheng, the US milked that baby, yet they cry at the powered milk keg, one would think it was ‘China’ baby milk contaminated revisited story? In that, he has been back in the News, how apt. All I can say is blindness on the part of the administration (No pun intended).

Posted by: kev | Jun 24 2013 12:33 utc | 56

No more secrets,no more advantage ,no more war.
so what realm will be used to settle scores ,asked jub,when all is known
why of course the final front,the mind ,not your enemies but your own

ha ha ho ho

mcohen 2013

Posted by: jub | Jun 24 2013 13:26 utc | 57

@Pirouz_2 #49
"Obama"? I mean he said "no" to the invasion of Iraq

Let's not revise history.

Obama said "no" when he was nobody until he got into a position where he actually had some influence. Then he said "yes, ye, yes." Obama in the senate totally supported the Iraq war and its funding along with Clinton, and with Clinton promoted a larger ground force.

Upon arriving in the Senate, Sen. Obama supported every funding bill for Iraq, some $300 billion….until he started running for President. [2005 Vote # 117, HR1268, 5/10/05; 2005 Vote # 326, S1042, 11/15/05; 2006 Vote # 112, HR4939, 5/4/06; 2006 Vote # 239; 2006 Vote # 186, S2766, 6/22/06; HR5631, 9/7/06]
As a Senate candidate in November 2003, Sen. Obama said he would have 'unequivocally' voted against war funding because it was the only way to oppose Bush on Iraq. "Just this week, when I was asked, would I have voted for the $87 billion dollars, I said 'no.' I said no unequivocally because, at a certain point, we have to say no to George Bush. If we keep on getting steamrolled, we are not going to stand a chance." [Obama remarks, New Trier Democratic Organization forum, 11/16/03; Video] [Sounds like a flip-flop]

Since Obama entered the U.S. Senate, his record on Iraq is identical to Hillary's, with one exception. ABC News reported that, "In fact, Obama's Senate voting record on Iraq is nearly identical to Clinton's. Over the two years Obama has been in the Senate, the only Iraq-related vote on which they differed was the confirmation earlier this year of General George Casey to be Chief of Staff of the Army, which Obama voted for and Clinton voted against." [ABC, 5/17/07;; see chart]

As president Obama has taken credit for ending the Iraq war when actually he wanted US forces to stay there but he was forced by Iraq to adhere to Bush's agreement with Iraq to get out.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 24 2013 13:31 utc | 58

Kooshy, you're right. “The Audacity of Lie(s)” is a much better description of Obama.

Barry's concerned about leaks
Distrust in his government peaks
He's fighting for air
But just doesn't care
And lies every time that he speaks

The Limerick King

Posted by: Cynthia | Jun 24 2013 13:35 utc | 59

Blowback: The world is looking at an international crisis -- as a result of Edward Snowden's description of an illegal data theft "Process" -- perpetrated against their own citizens. The US is engaged in ongoing criminal activity against their sovereignty. And they are scrambling to put a stop to it. The United States can no longer be trusted, never, ever again. This is a watershed moment that changes everything. You are witnessing an epic geopolitical shift that will profoundly effect the United States standing throughout the world. It will certainly affect your future.
Having the world's Internet traffic routed through the U.S. and having those telecommunications companies under its jurisdiction compromises the constitutionally guaranteed privacy rights of citizens of all other sovereign nations.
This will end.
The rest of the world will not stand for it.

Posted by: Maracatu | Jun 24 2013 14:01 utc | 60

@ b, This will be a funny movie.

Especially if/when Russia/China make their contribution to the sound track.
(Maybe, one day, the Yankees will learn to keep quiet when they've nothing to say)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 24 2013 14:14 utc | 61

Tariq Ali sould update his book on the fraud named Obama.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 24 2013 14:15 utc | 62

Ecaudor worried about reprecussions by the US.

".../noting that Ecuadorian officials are also considering “the consequences of our decisions.”

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 24 2013 14:22 utc | 63

You are witnessing an epic geopolitical shift that will profoundly effect the United States standing throughout the world. It will certainly affect your future.

Absolutely, starting with Germany, China and Russia and extending to Latin America, coupled with other degrading situations in Syria and Afghanistan. The implications of this affair go way beyond Snowden himself.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 24 2013 15:36 utc | 64

@63 They made the same statements re: Assange, eventually it was granted.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 24 2013 15:38 utc | 65

So here's the latest: US has been hacking the emails of the European Parliament! focusing on members of the Pirate Party.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jun 24 2013 15:52 utc | 66

And they call Snowden a traitor!

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 24 2013 16:01 utc | 67

According to Assange holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London, Snowden has been granted political asylum in Ecuador. Al that remains is to get him there, with some commentators hinting that any plane carrying Snowden might be shot down or at least forced down if it enters US airspace.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jun 24 2013 16:12 utc | 68

Israel threat Gaza with ethnic cleansing, no I am not kidding.
CNN,BBC wont cover this.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 24 2013 16:23 utc | 69


I think there is a misunderstanding, maybe I didn't explain myself very well.
At any rate, it really does not matter because what you say actually confirms what I said in my earlier comment.

So someone from the state senate in 2002 swam against the current and opposed the invasion of Iraq. That very same person once he got into the position of power changed tune completely. So, in your opinion, which one is it:

1)Is it the lack of character in Obama? Had it been some one else with a sound character, with honesty and courage, would it have been different?

2) It is not about "Obama". It is about the position of "presidency" and the requirements of -or in Iranian political literature the "high expediency" of- the system. No matter whom you bring to the office of the US president, he or she will act more or less in the same way, irrespective of his or her character (be it Jesus Christ or the devil himself it does not matter). In other words, it is the office of the presidency which dictates the character of the president, not the other way around! It is not the wheel that turns the machinery, it is the other way around it is the machinery which dictates the motion of the wheel! or as the great Turkish poet Pir Sultan Abdal once said: "you cannot be the functioning wheel in a dysfunctional machine!"

So Don, in your opinion, which one is it? #1 or #2?

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Jun 24 2013 17:12 utc | 70

On RT, an interviewee declared "the US went from being the worlds cop, to being the worlds spy". This is so sad and pathetic, our hubris and self righteousness has come back to haunt us. We think we rule the world, Odummy the antichrist, all of us who voted for him. Our souls are forfeit in believing his lies, what fools we were. Not all that shines is gold, fresh poop has a very nice shimmer to it as well.

Posted by: Fernando | Jun 24 2013 17:35 utc | 71

Hong Kong has made its contribution to the (funny) soundtrack.

"Mr Snowden was advised that if he arranged to leave HK immediately he would not be stopped or intercepted at the airport." (Per BBC).
I got the distinct impression that BBC News staffers are struggling to contain the urge to roll on the floor laughing their asses off.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 24 2013 17:41 utc | 72

They just don't get it. No, this is not from the Onion:

U.S. Seemingly Unaware of Irony in Accusing Snowden of Spying : The New Yorker

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—The United States government charged former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden with spying on Friday, apparently unaware that in doing so it had created a situation dripping with irony.

At a press conference to discuss the accusations, an N.S.A. spokesman surprised observers by announcing the spying charges against Mr. Snowden with a totally straight face.

“These charges send a clear message,” the spokesman said. “In the United States, you can’t spy on people.”

Seemingly not kidding, the spokesman went on to discuss another charge against Mr. Snowden—the theft of government documents: “The American people have the right to assume that their private documents will remain private and won’t be collected by someone in the government for his own purposes.”

“Only by bringing Mr. Snowden to justice can we safeguard the most precious of American rights: privacy,” added the spokesman, apparently serious.

Posted by: Fran | Jun 24 2013 20:55 utc | 73

Borowitz obviously picked up on b -- "It is Kafkaesque." (Marked by a senseless, disorienting, often menacing complexity.)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 24 2013 21:18 utc | 74

The National Security Agency (NSA) has this mission:

Collect (including through clandestine means), process, analyze, produce, and disseminate signals intelligence information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes to support national and departmental missions

Here's the genius that is charge of analyzing information regarding US security, NSA Director General Keith Alexander, with his analysis of some important intelligence information, appearing on abc's 'This Week' yesterday.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The final point that Pierre made, the question about some government officials are asking whether WikiLeaks is a legitimate journalistic organization or an enemy of the state, where do you come down on that?

ALEXANDER: I have no opinion on WikiLeaks. I really don't track them. I don't know -- I really don't know who WikiLeaks are, other than this Assange person.

Go Keith. Please. Go.
I mean, I know as much as this clown does, just from reading the news.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2013 0:47 utc | 75

We've talked about Strategic Communications and Public Diplomacy before, and here we see the US controlling the narrative, keeping the focus on Snowden instead of on the illegal US snooping. Even at the State Department briefing, where the reporters are not especially kind to the spokesperson, the questioning has been all about Snowden and where he is, and what other countries are doing about him, and not on the massive spying of the US.

"The US secretary of state is wrong in law," said Assange. He added, "The Obama administration was not given a mandate by the people of the US to hack and spy upon the entire world, to abridge the US constitution or the laws of others nations."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2013 1:07 utc | 76

@73 Well, it is from the Borowitz report, which is also a satirical humor site.

Not that it makes a difference. Watching Hayden try and explain this away on RT with "We're not an Athenian democracy, we're a representative democracy, and the representatives voted on this...." LOLolol.

Idiot Assholes.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 25 2013 2:50 utc | 77

amnesty pleads with US
'Amnesty Intl launches appeal urging US not to prosecute anyone who discloses data on US govt human rights violations'

while with ecuador: the case is very different
'“Ecuador’s government must respect freedom of expression and allow journalists to criticise those in power without fear of being shut down or facing jail time or other harsh sentences.”'

amnesty on wikileaks
amnesty keen to get Assange to sweden? forgets he was cleared by swedish magistrate ages ago


Posted by: brian | Jun 25 2013 8:19 utc | 78

Moody’s downgrades Hong Kong over Snowden: Is ratings agency a political arm of US?

Posted by: TikTok | Jun 25 2013 12:43 utc | 79

Is ratings agency a political arm of US?

Yes, and has been for a long time.

Posted by: b | Jun 25 2013 13:11 utc | 80

Every morning I check what the enemy is thinking by perusing the NY Ziotimes and the Wapo nest of traitors.They had a poll(Wapo) on Snowdens culpability of being a espionage threat,and the vote was 51-49 that he shouldn't be prosecuted.(at last glance)
Are the sheeple awakening?
Someone mentioned yesterday about a story being big;Only if the monsters print it,as the Boston perps(alleged)asylum,flight 800,flight 93,the murder of the associate of the Tsarnaevs,suicide of soldiers,our abysmal economy,fracking,Syria,Pakistan and myriad other disasters are given short shrift by our intrepid and noble(sheesh)media.

Posted by: dahoit | Jun 25 2013 15:42 utc | 81

On Moody's let's just say that they're extremely grateful.

Reuters, Feb 7, 2013
The Justice Department and multiple states are discussing also suing Moody's Corp (MCO.N) for defrauding investors, according to people familiar with the matter, but any such move will likely wait until a similar lawsuit against rival Standard and Poor's is tested in the courts.

WSJ, Apr 7, 2013
Why is the U.S. government trying to obtain billions of dollars in damages from Standard & Poor's Ratings Services for allegedly slipshod work on mortgage-linked securities, but nothing from rival Moody's Investors Service?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2013 17:39 utc | 82

Greenwald: Snowden’s Files Are Out There if “Anything Happens” To Him

“When I was in Hong Kong, I spoke to my partner in Rio via Skype and told him I would send an electronic encrypted copy of the documents,” Greenwald said. “I did not end up doing it. Two days later his laptop was stolen from our house and nothing else was taken. Nothing like that has happened before. I am not saying it’s connected to this, but obviously the possibility exists.”

When asked if Greenwald believed his computer was being monitored by the U.S. government. “I would be shocked if the U.S. government were not trying to access the information on my computer. I carry my computers and data with me everywhere I go.”

Posted by: b | Jun 25 2013 18:25 utc | 83

#82 Moody's

Does the whistleblower Karen Hudes answer any questions?

In a different document she says - "All of these problems are going to drive down the US credit rating, there’s no question about it. That is why the Attorney General, Eric Holder, is suing the credit rating agencies. Thirteen other countries have written to me about the illegality I have been reporting to them."

I didn't give the link to her own website because in the first link there are many sentences re attacks with viruses on her site. Also I'm not sure if you've read ev. Ms. Hudes discusses and what your thoughts are on her, I can't help but think Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Posted by: TikTok | Jun 25 2013 19:19 utc | 84

Daily Caller

White House press secretary Jay Carney was careful Monday to only condemn the “unauthorized” leak of classified information.

Carney was responding to a question about the range of information National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden may have access to as he continues to evade American authorities.

“I can simply say that we are concerned about, in general, the leak of — unauthorized leaks of — classified information,” Carney told reporters from the White House press room. “We’re concerned about the kinds of information that has been leaked.”

Carney’s language — he repeated “unauthorized leaks” many times on Monday — demonstrates the delicate line the White House has walked since Snowden began revealing the extent of the government’s secret surveillance capabilities.

White House observers have noted that the Obama administration has regularly leaked information that reflects well on the president or supports his agenda.

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
― George Orwell, Animal Farm

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2013 19:31 utc | 85

Has Snowden been charged, or not?

June 14
Federal prosecutors filed espionage charges against alleged National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. . .Snowden has been charged with three violations: theft of government property and two offenses under the espionage statutes.

June 25
White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said the legal basis for expelling Snowden [from Russia] are the status of his travel documents and the pending espionage charges against him.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2013 19:57 utc | 86

Those in precarious yet seemingly powerful positions will seek to spy on their own citizens and cow them, threaten them, control them, as they, the ppl, are a threat.

Far more dangerous than any foreign power!

I didn’t see some of the original moves posted, so:

Barry’s Insider Threat program:

Global res:

Fox news:

Just to be ...balanced!

First reported by McClatchy, link to original is bust. Go to

type in search: Obama Crackdown.

Note how this program is social coercion and encourages or rewards interpersonal snitching, accusations, witch-hunting - nothing to do with gathering info, blanket spying on citizens, computer records, etc. Spying on communications is useless, what is needed is enforced allegiance, denunciations, and vicious repression, prosecution of those who step out of line. Exactly like MacCarthyism.

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 26 2013 19:03 utc | 87

This government spying scandal is only the beginning. As a private citizen - i can easily spy on you (and vice versa). online resources like this make it easy for me to dig into your past. And you can't stop me.

If i can do this, what's to stop the government from doing the same thing?

Posted by: We All Spy | Jul 7 2013 5:45 utc | 88

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