Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 02, 2013

After Snowden's NSA Exposure People Wake Up

The Obama administration is miffed about Russia giving temporary asylum to Edward Snowden and is now foolishly thinking of how to "punish" the Russian Federation and its President Vladimir Putin. The New York Times report on the issue mentions several "issues" the U.S. is claiming to have with Russia. These are the Snowden case, the war on Syria, Iran's non-existing nuclear weapon program and nuclear disarmament.

But as can be gleaned from the comment sections of U.S. news outlets and various polls in all these issues many, many people are not on the side of their government. With currently some 50 recommendations the most reader valued comment on the NYT report is this one by one Mark Thomason from Clawson, MI.

I am disgusted. The Russians, THE RUSSIANS, are on the right side of all four issues, and we look like evil.

In Syria, we are backing al Qaeda, and the whole machine of the same Sunni fanatics we were fighting in Iraq.

With Snowden, we are exposed in crimes against a vast number of friends and allies and our own people, exposed in lies we told and still tell (some under oath), and we are begging people to believe we won't torture or kill him while many for good reason don't believe us.

We broke the ABM Treaty, and we are messing with nuclear arms deterrence and safety from nuclear war. We made a deal with the Russians not to expand into Eastern Europe if they dissolved the Warsaw Pact, and we broke the promises and did exactly that, and with ABM's too.

We are the ones who won't talk to the reformist new guy to settle what we say it a huge crisis, even as we say the basis of the crisis is not true, that the Iranians do not have a nuclear weapons program, and the one guy we demonized is going.

We look like what we used to think of our enemies. This is sick.

I fully concur. On all these issues the NSA is the only government entity listening to the people. That Snowden exposed this fact seems to have been the proverbial drop in bucket. A majority of U.S. people are now speaking out against the imperial security state. For the first time in more than a decade one can hope that the bucket's overflow will have some effect beyond comment section rants.

Posted by b on August 2, 2013 at 9:34 UTC | Permalink

Comments

[comment deleted, IP address blocked - b.]

Posted by: Anthony Clifton | Aug 2 2013 9:59 utc | 1

In various obscure ways, the above comment qualifies as anti-Semitic. This is not of course the end of the world, but some people might seize upon it and brandish it as such.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 2 2013 11:38 utc | 2

zusa has a bad habit of pushing itself and what they "think" into focus.
Additionally it has the bad habit of not noticing reality.

Happily enough he times are over when one had to care about what zusa tinks or plans or wants or complains.

zusa is a bunch of losers, liers, and loudmouths. Who cares the slightest f*ck what they want or blubber.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Aug 2 2013 12:16 utc | 3

Because you think in abstractions ("zusa"), I can't discern what your comment refers to, Mr P.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 2 2013 13:11 utc | 4

I too have noticed that Mr Snowden seems to have provided straws which have, at least, put the camel's back under great strain. It would really be surprising if it was otherwise because it is quite obvious that, not only is the state monitoring and recording all our communications, but its officers are lying and denying whenever the opportunity arises.

There is one point on which I would differ from this new narrative: it is quite untrue to suggest that the United States is becoming what the Soviet Union was. It is becoming what it accused the Soviet Union of being, minus the good bits.

In fact, in the larger issues of imperialism, colonialism, warmongering and the promotion of fascist dictatorships the record of the USA was, throughout the Cold War period, far far worse than the days of Stalinism at its nadir.

There is no need to list these things, Vietnam was simply one mass of criminality among many, and will serve as an example. But the well rehearsed theme : "We're as bad as the Soviets" is not just unfair and annoying but a reminder that it is necessary, if we wish to understand the world, to understand how we got here.

And nothing could be more misleading than to suggest that liberalism was worn away and civil rights lost during the long and heroic struggle, by the "west" against Soviet "totalitarianism." It would be more accurate to believe that the reverse was true

That the many enormous achievements of the Russian revolution, and the international movement that it inspired, were eroded by implacable enmity of the "west" which drove the state into extreme militarism and authoritarian government. But the Soviet Union compared very favourably as a provider of educational opportunity, employment, opportunities for women, support for anti-racist and anti-colonial movements and, not least, assistance and refuge for the opponents of US sponsored fascism, from Chile to Spain, from South Africa to Laos. (And you can put Afghanistan in there somewhere too.)

What the United States is "becoming" is the metropolis of a global empire which, to thrive, requires the subjection of the population, the silencing of dissent; a monopoly of power in the hands of the state controlled by the ruling class, in short a real totalitarianism. Snowden has just showed us how far we have come. And how untenable the position that there is nothing to worry about is.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 2 2013 14:04 utc | 5

@2: Being Anti-Semitic, is much like beauty, it's in the eye of the beholder. Israel, by it's treatment of the Palestinians, deserves nothing but condemnation, a fate the imperial USA is also earning, by being the focus of modern day evil.

Posted by: ben | Aug 2 2013 14:32 utc | 6

You really think people wake up? Come on! Usual reaction to the NSA being able to spy on all your communications is "I don't care, I have nothing to hide!" And the machine behind all this is powerful and can make most of us think the way they want us to think. Its Big Brother 2.0 big time!

Posted by: gregg | Aug 2 2013 14:43 utc | 7

But Russia was a colonial power in central Asia before the revolution, and it went on being one after it, until the collapse of the USSR. In Asia, the USSR faced the same dilemmas regarding cultural and economic modernisation as western colonialism did, and it failed in the same way, most obviously in Afghanistan, and that gave the US its chance. So Brzezinski's remark about "giving the Russians their own Vietnam" was justified in its equation of the two situations, though the Russians did not impose anything like the same level of devastation before withdrawing.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 2 2013 14:49 utc | 8

"But Russia was a colonial power in central Asia before the revolution, and it went on being one after it, until the collapse of the USSR. In Asia, the USSR faced the same dilemmas regarding cultural and economic modernisation as western colonialism did, and it failed in the same way, most obviously in Afghanistan, and that gave the US its chance."

I don't disagree. I'm simply suggesting that, for a variety of reasons, the Soviet Union assisted, to a degree and not in every case, those resisting the burgeoning US (post British) empire. So that, in terms of international politics, during most of the period, the Soviet Union was on the right side.

As to Afghanistan: it is interesting that the staggering opportunism of the US sponsorship of mujahideen has been so clearly reversed. The Soviets believed, as good Fabians do, that modernisation, 'growth' and capital accumulation would solve everything. They were wrong but there is something retrospectively attractive (almost American) in their naivete.
By contrast the US picked up its allies and dropped them like a child with a series of rag dolls. It was the US, in the early fifties which began the economic development and modernisation, including Green Revolution, projects which threatened tribal conservatism. When this began to morph into nationalism of the Nasserist variety, the US returned to backing muslim anti-western forces, after they had, with enormous US assistance, smashed the modernisation forces, they then turned on the mujahideen, the Taliban and we are still watching the bodies pile up as that game progresses.

It is hard not to believe that the utter fascistic ruthlessness of US policy in ushering nations, serially, into holocausts is not a function of the deep-seated racism in the American "project."

Posted by: bevin | Aug 2 2013 15:23 utc | 9

I have yet to run across a single mention of Snowdens revelations (proof), much less discussion or concern in public or private conversations this summer. I tried to slip the subject matter in a couple of times and the conversation was immediately turned into something bizarre about Alex Jones show or those republicans!

Meanwhile they all talk on the phone, text and faceborg each other with/about things I wouldn't put into the either/permanent record even if the NSA didn't exist.

There is little to no public knowledge of this, even less outrage or embarrassment. I'm not sure most Americans have an ability to be collectively embarrassed.

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Aug 2 2013 15:34 utc | 10

@10: Re (proof) Not sure what that means. Will this help?

http://therealnews.com/t2/component/hwdvideoshare/viewvideo/76499

Posted by: ben | Aug 2 2013 16:01 utc | 11

I was referring to the documents Snowden/ Greenwald published as proof.

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Aug 2 2013 16:47 utc | 12

the Zionist terrorists are not Semitic, and neither are the fucking "JEWS".

http://buelahman.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/34-medical-studies-proving-cannabis-cures-cancer/

surely you're not a full blown "jew" worshipper...

Posted by: Anthony Clifton | Aug 2 2013 18:21 utc | 13

"On all these issues the NSA is the only government entity listening to the people."

LOL.

Nice one, b.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 2 2013 18:29 utc | 14

13 is the guy you just blocked, again, bernhard

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 2 2013 18:44 utc | 15

I thought he was blocked for anonymising, not trolling.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 2 2013 18:57 utc | 16

... deleted/warned for anonymising, not trolling.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 2 2013 19:29 utc | 17

It's sad to say but people in the West really don't give a damn with all the revelations going on. Years of constant brainwashing, that resistance is futile, has effectively disarmed any form of public opposition to government criminality. For how could it be that people like Bradley Manning can be considered a traitor by many Americans, despite the rot he exposed about their own government?


People in the West are more concerned about their next hot gadget, celebrity gossip, what Brad Pitt had to lunch etc etc than what the government's actually doing, as long as it doesn't affect them directly.

I think Snowden was right when he said people won't and his fear is that the government will rather double down..Well guess what, congress just passed a bill for more spying of US citizens!!! A society in decay is what I see!!!

Posted by: Zico | Aug 2 2013 19:36 utc | 18

'Sockpuppetry', no, not this time. Comment #1 contained various remarks about Jews & Talmud and a multitude of links. Now he is back again, even though Bernhard says above he blocked him by name and IP. If Bernhard just deletes #13, then the numbering will change, so that it will look as if I was referring to your comment, horsy, currently at #14. Anyway, Anthony's latest comment, unlike his previous one, is about as explicit as one can get. Even Xymph would think twice about it, I imagine.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 2 2013 19:43 utc | 19

What's wrong with Anthony Clifton (13) comment - other that, of course, niqnaq doesn't like it?

I simply see someone expressing his opinion. Quite probably a strange opinion, as at least some jews seem to be semitic (as are many, many non jewish in the mid-east) but, well, who shall be the judge?

While I have observed again and again that some here, for instance niqnaq RB, show a blunt pro-israel bias, I respect their right to freely express their views, and I highly value b's tolerance.

b has created something that works very well. We shouldn't change the rules of the game just because nicnaq demands way more tolerance than he is willing to offer.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Aug 2 2013 21:18 utc | 20

With “many, many people not on the side of the government”,

and “A majority of U.S. people are now speaking out against the imperial security state”

and that now there is a possibility that “the bucket's overflow will have some effect beyond comment section rants”,

I expect, that we can expect some major traumatic (false flag) event to once again instill terror in the hearts of the complacent imperial subjects that will consolidate a majority of support for the imperial power’s forcible intervention once again.

It is most likely all too obvious to most of those living outside the belly of the beast that “THE RUSSIANS, are on the right side of... the issues, and we look like evil” but to those dependent on the beast, the psychological impetus is to do and believe whatever is necessary to keep the imperium functional and powerful.

The death throws of the beast are an ugly and vicious grasping and not a pleasant thing to witness let alone experience. I live in the belly and will witness and experience whatever will be.

In the end, no matter, I am grateful to Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning and a host of courageous others who have risked their personal well being to expose the true nature of the beast. I trust they will breathe their last breaths peacefully and fulfilled, knowing that they have lived and behaved with the integrity of spirit that and those supporting the beast have not.

Posted by: juannie | Aug 2 2013 22:09 utc | 21

I expect, that we can expect some major traumatic (false flag) event to once again instill terror in the hearts of the complacent imperial subjects that will consolidate a majority of support for the imperial power’s forcible intervention once again.

I've been thinking the same thing. The good news is I bet we are not alone. Questioning the official narative on 9/11 10 years ago would have gotten you a lot of trouble. Now disbelief of the cover story is par for the course. The powers that be would be risking the whole thing backfiring if a lot of people openly challenge the cover story.

Posted by: Lysander | Aug 2 2013 22:58 utc | 22

KenM #23 in Open Thread:

In other news, does anyone have any idea what's going on with the US shutting down embassies all over the Middle East on August 4th, including Israel? It sounds like there has to be something big in the works, but what?

http://www.jewishjournal.com/israel/article/u.s._shuts_embassies_in_israel_elsewhere_aug._4

If true...bad omen.

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Aug 2 2013 23:40 utc | 23

23 ask: "In other news, does anyone have any idea what's going on with the US shutting down embassies all over the Middle East on August 4th, including Israel? It sounds like there has to be something big in the works, but what?"

and 21 got the answer:
I expect, that we can expect some major traumatic (false flag) event to once again instill terror in the hearts of the complacent imperial subjects that will consolidate a majority of support for the imperial power’s forcible intervention once again.

Posted by: gregg | Aug 2 2013 23:52 utc | 24

'23 ask: "In other news, does anyone have any idea what's going on with the US shutting down embassies all over the Middle East on August 4th, including Israel?"'

Careless driving?

"NAIROBI, KENYA—An American diplomat who police say was speeding crossed the centre line in his SUV and rammed into a full minibus, killing a father of three whose widow is six months pregnant, officials said Friday.
"U.S. Embassy officials in Nairobi rushed the American and his family out of Kenya the next day, leaving the crash victims with no financial assistance to pay for a funeral and for hospital bills for the eight or so others who were seriously injured...."

Posted by: bevin | Aug 3 2013 0:42 utc | 25

Puppet embassies are closing too
"British Embassy in Sana'a will be closed amid fears of escalating violence."

Posted by: bevin | Aug 3 2013 0:46 utc | 26

Right on cue: proof that the NSA has to collect our email to prevent "terror attacks."

NYTimes
"Intercepted electronic communications in which senior operatives of Al Qaeda discussed attacks in the Middle East and North Africa led the United States to issue a global travel alert to its citizens, officials said."

These are False Flag non-events.

It must be great for Embassy staff to get home for the August holidays, back to school and all the rest. And great for the locals in sa'ana etc to see the backs of them. So everybody is happy.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 3 2013 1:34 utc | 27

there is a libertarian strain freaking out the US political establishment, highlighted by the Amash/Conyers amendment defunding the NSA's phone data-suck program getting shot down by only 12 votes.

I also thought the Chris Hayes framing of the Liz Cheney senate run as being a neocon push back against the Rand Paul incursion was very interesting.

Obama's Democrat brand has been badly damaged for millennials, which means little democrats will no longer be able to take the youth vote for granted. unfortunately, the libertarian brand is like a chew toy the two parties are playing tug-of-war with.

this may be a little off topic, but as a fellow graduate of the University of Montana, I would like to apologize to the UK for Jim Messina, Obama's former campaign manager, who just took a gig whoring for Tories.

Posted by: lizard | Aug 3 2013 2:18 utc | 28

Even Xymph would think twice about it, I imagine.
Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 2, 2013 3:43:35 PM | 19

Nope.
Dead wrong.
The only thing that's certain to get you banned at Xymphora, according to Xymph, is "putting words in my mouth."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 3 2013 5:09 utc | 29

Bevin has it right at #9

We are, still, what we always lyingly claimed the Soviets were. And we're not "becoming" anything - we are the same vampire superstate we have always been, only now inventing - just as we did in 1945 - technologies that at best will destroy all humanity or even worse - destroy our humanity.

Oh, but those RUSSIANS.

What have THE RUSSIANS ever done that can compare with the colonial wars the West waged? Tell me Rowan are you going to talk about conditions in Tajikistan or even Afghanistan in the same breath as the horrors in Kenya, Indochina, Timor or Angola?

What tiny fraction of duplicity have THE RUSSIANS ever engaged in that can compare with the United States and the West did in turning on the Soviets after World War II? The West going so far as to make the remaining Nazi war criminals their allies in propaganda, military affairs and ideology?

What act of treachery did THE RUSSIANS ever imagine, much less engage in, that can compare with the sight of the "free world" looting and dismembering a poor country that was clearly trying to do its damnedest to live up to the Wests ideals of "freedom" and "democracy"?

The Snowden affair is simply laying bare the pure insanity of the United States. Nothing is changing except that Americans are perhaps starting to realize the pathological depth of the psychological projection that our country has engaged in for the last six decades.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 3 2013 5:47 utc | 30

CNN has a good article describing the paranoia that seems to have descended into the CIA. It looks like that they are eating their own.

http://thelead.blogs.cnn.com/2013/08/01/exclusive-dozens-of-cia-operatives-on-the-ground-during-benghazi-attack/?hpt=hp_t1

The story and implications here about Benghazi is not news to those of us who have followed the killing of Stevens but the reaction inside the CIA is. I think it is safe to say the paranoia that is described here is very likely coming straight out of the White House. Obama, is that you?

Posted by: ToivoS | Aug 3 2013 6:24 utc | 31

will all those people in DC who are so mad at Russia for giving Snowden asylum , insist that this guy be handed over to Kenyan authorities. http://rt.com/news/us-diplomat-flees-kenya-accident-979/
pot kettle black?

Posted by: brian | Aug 3 2013 7:48 utc | 32

What's wrong with Anthony Clifton (13) comment - other that, of course, niqnaq doesn't like it? I simply see someone expressing his opinion. Quite probably a strange opinion, as at least some jews seem to be semitic (as are many, many non jewish in the mid-east) but, well, who shall be the judge? While I have observed again and again that some here, for instance niqnaq RB, show a blunt pro-israel bias, I respect their right to freely express their views, and I highly value b's tolerance. b has created something that works very well. We shouldn't change the rules of the game just because nicnaq demands way more tolerance than he is willing to offer. Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Aug 2, 2013 5:18:59 PM | 20
If Anthony Clifton was banned in comment #1 for sockpuppetry, not for anti-Semitism, then so be it, let him be banned again for the same thing in comment #13, since having been banned in the first comment, he must obviously have engaged in more sockpuppetry in order to post the second one. It's only logical. Anyway, I wouldn't call myself 'pro-Israel' by any stretch of the imagination. It's just that I've been running my own blog online with multiple daily posts (far more than here) for ten years, and I know what the hasbara maniacs can get you into trouble for.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 3 2013 8:47 utc | 33

By the way, Mr P, in terms of your abstraction "zusa": though the USA may seem to be enslaved by Israel, that doesn't mean Israel is enslaved by the USA. I started predicting several years ago that one day, Israel would perform another of its lightning reversals of allegiance (it performed the first one in 1948, when it switched from ostensibly pro-Soviet to very concretely pro-USA). And now it appears to be happening, because if you like Israel itself has manoevred the USA into a position whereby Israel's alliance with the Sauds can trump the Sauds' alliance with the US. Look at this and see if you can figure out the game that Israel is playing.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 3 2013 8:55 utc | 34

[comment deleted - user banned - b.]

Posted by: Anthony Clifton | Aug 3 2013 9:33 utc | 35

What have THE RUSSIANS ever done that can compare with the colonial wars the West waged? Tell me Rowan are you going to talk about conditions in Tajikistan or even Afghanistan in the same breath as the horrors in Kenya, Indochina, Timor or Angola? Posted by: guest77 | Aug 3, 2013 1:47:06 AM | 30
Well, they made an awful mess of Chechnya. And it seems widely agreed that the so-called Second Chechen War was actually manufactured by false flag agents, in much the same way that the US's Iraq war was manufactured via the false flag attack of 9/11.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 3 2013 10:31 utc | 36

36) you mean the same way that Al Queida was empowered to draw the Russians into a support of their allies in Afghanistan they could not sustain ....

Posted by: somebody | Aug 3 2013 10:51 utc | 37

Rowan Berkeley

Yes, quite probably israel isn't enslaved by anyone. On the other hand though, israel is a little nothing without a major protector.

I know, I know, the have the samson option but frankly that isn't much worth for (at least) 2 reasons:
- israel is tiny while Iran is large (not to even talk about Russia).
- I'd bet my ass that Russia (and probably others, too) know the position of the israeli submarines at any time.

Summary: israel will be terminated quite soon. And I have some Champagne ready.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Aug 3 2013 10:59 utc | 38

[comment deleted - user banned - b.]

Posted by: Anthony Clifton | Aug 3 2013 11:00 utc | 39

36) you mean the same way that Al Queida was empowered to draw the Russians into a support of their allies in Afghanistan they could not sustain .... Posted by: somebody | Aug 3, 2013 6:51:49 AM | 37
No, I don't mean to suggest that the false flag agents who precipitated the Second Chechen War were US agents, as they were in Afghanistan. I'm talking about Shamil Basayev and al-Khattab. They were working for the GRU, not the CIA. The inner workings of the plot are not exactly clear to me, but Boris Berezovsky seems to have been the middleman.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 3 2013 11:10 utc | 40

Israel is a US base with an unusually large supporters club. But it is still just a catspaw.

We are seeing some curious comparisons here. On the Erdogan thread Kurdish nationalism is dismissed as no more significant than calls for an Albanian state in Kosovo, and Rowan compares Europe in Africa with Russia in Chechnya.

And there are points of comparison, which, if anyone were arguing that the Soviet Union was guiltless, virtuous and angelic, might be compelling. I, however was simply pointing out that its misdeeds were on a much smaller scale than those of the US/British empire.
And I was doing this, not to redeem the reputations of dead soviet statesmen but in order that we might come closer to discovering the historical truth. I don't believe that it is helpful to dignify propaganda by accepting its validity.

From 1919 until 1989 the Soviet Union (to employ an anachronism) was under siege by the imperialist powers. Over the seventy years the armies of forty or more states fought against the Red Army. Operation Barbarossa was just the largest of these offensives, in which, for no good reasons, the imperialists tore off pieces of the Tsarist empire to employ their resources and strategic assets against the Soviet revolution.

The Chechen wars, revived by the Nazis in 1941/2, and picked up again by the United States (which in many ways has been the successor regime to the Nazi state) and its allies were designed to cripple Russia and impoverish the Russian people. They took place because the "west" willed them. This is not to deny that Russian expansion in the C19th was imperialism or that the Chechen population had and has legitimate grievances including, in some, a desire for national self determination. As do Basques, Catalans, Quebecois and many others.

Imperialists might argue that the same was true of Kenya, Malaya, Angola and other anti-colonial movements. But I see no significant comparison and enormous differences.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 3 2013 12:46 utc | 41

brian @ 32 -- Re: will US turn over US diplomat to Kenyan justice for these traffic accident deaths?

Based on the Diplomatic Incidents section of Wiki's post on Diplomatic

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

Posted by: jawbone | Aug 3 2013 13:27 utc | 42

Hhmmm-- I thought I'd posted a comment in reply to Brian at 32...but not seeing it.

Oh, well.

Posted by: jawbone | Aug 3 2013 13:32 utc | 43

Oops, now it shows up. Sorry for the clutter on the thread.

Posted by: jawbone | Aug 3 2013 13:32 utc | 44

b wrote: For the first time in more than a decade one can hope that the bucket's overflow will have some effect beyond comment section rants. Also bloody well hope so, but I’m not sure.

For ex. it is possible to read the diplomatic ballet ending in Snowden -soon to be- Snowdenski's one-year residence permit as calculated by the Obama admin. Snowden is poison to poodles - Putin has the backbone for keeping him - but Eddy is noxious to the US as well. Putting him in a dungeon and on trial after Manning looks like the straw that might cripple, if not break, the camel’s back.

Therefore, it is all best avoided.

This way Putin comes out looking noble, no loss to him, and the Obama admin can blame the arch-enemy Russia and rant and foam at the mouth. Of course it involves a huge loss of face for the US and Obiman personally, but then, that’s the breaks. This way everybody goes home metaphorically, without fuss. Books/films can feature Eddy characters.

Why did the US rescind his passport? (A move both illegal and empty, as he is at the same time “ a US citizen and must face the music in the US”..) That signaled they did not want to keep him or get him back and absolutely wished to be rid of him, leaving a wide open door for treating him as as a stateless person or some such. The US owes Putin! Anything to have this whole story trivialized and buried.

“Oh, Snow-dan? What secrets did he have? Has some hot Russian chick GF now? Or like is she like Latvian? Not a pole dancer like the what...”

One thing is for sure, commercial and other relations will not be impacted, beyond fakey blustering and opinion pieces in the US Press.

One might also imagine that NSA spying has shown precisely that Eddy is a sort of sticking point.

Note that Putin’s one demand was Eddy stop leaking, which he accepted.

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 3 2013 13:39 utc | 45

Well, you haven't addressed the murky tale of Basayev, al-Khattab, the GRU, Berezovsky, and possibly Berezonsky's then-protégé, Putin. I'd really like to see a clear exposition of it, but just googling around (for the benefit of NSA researchers if no-one else), I found, eg:

Berezovsky financed terrorists by paying ransoms – Chechen prez
Russia Today, Apr 7 2009

Boris Berezovsky encouraged Chechen warlords Shamil Basayev and Salman Raduyev to kidnap people so that Berezovsky could finance them by paying ransoms, claims Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. In an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the Chechen leader said he personally witnessed the agreement. Kadyrov said: “He couldn’t just give money to the militants, so he invented this mechanism. In my presence, Berezovsky suggested to Raduyev and Basayev: ‘Capture people and I’ll ransom them. I’ll get good publicity and you’ll get money.’ He paid millions of dollars to Basayev.” During the time in question, 1996-97, Berezovsky was deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, and negotiated the release of hostages captured in Chechnya. This became a profitable business for rampaging warlords in the de facto independent republic. Both Basayev and Raduyev held posts in the Chechen government under President Aslan Maskhadov. Aleksandr Korzhakov, the former head of Kremlin security, says he believes Kadyrov’s statements 100%. Korzhakov said: “In fact, I'm sure there isn't a person in Russia who does not believe this idea. We've had statements from the people who were kidnapped during the wars. And their stories only support the claim.” Kadyrov also said he believed Berezovsky was behind the killing of journalist Anna Politkovskaya. She was exposing crimes in the Chechen republic. He said: “We would need Politkovskaya today to show what she used to say, and what there is now. People arrive and walk freely around Grozny. A normal life! How could our enemies use Politkovskaya effectively? By killing her. Who did it? Berezovsky, I believe.” The official investigation into the murder of the journalist never revealed who ordered it. Four men were tried for doing the killing, but were found not guilty by the jury. Russian prosecutors are now revising the case. According to Kadyrov, 'Berezovsky and the likes of him’ have drawn Chechnya into two bloody conflicts to cripple and dissolve Russia. Kadyrov said: “The people doing world politics chose our republic because they knew us: our strength, courage, spirituality … In the first and the second campaigns, they used us as a tool, dragged us into this war. The White House (he means, the White House in Moscow, seat of the Russian Government, not the US White House - RB) said: take sovereignty. They armed us and used us against the sovereign state of Russia.”


I can't see any sign that the US or more specifically the CIA were involved. What I can see is claims that the GRU, that is Russian Army Intelligence, was involved:
In Aug 1999, Basayev and Khattab led a 1,400-strong army of Islamist fighters in unsuccessful attempt to aid Dagestani Wahhabis to take over the neighbouring Republic of Dagestan and establish a new Chechen-Dagestan Islamic republic. By the end of the month, Russian forces had managed to repel the invasion, but admitted suffering more than 1,200 casualties. It was alleged that Alexander Voloshin, a key figure in the Yeltsin administration, paid Basayev to stage the Dagestan incursion, and that Basayev was working for the Russian GRU at the time. In early September, a series of bombings of Russian apartment blocks took place, killing 293 people. The attacks were blamed on terrorists with Chechen links, although this attribution remains controversial. Robert Young Pelton, who was with the rebels in Grozny during the siege, interviewed a captured GRU agent named Aleksei Galkin. Galkin claimed that the government had sponsored the destruction of the apartments. He said that the bombing in Buynaksk was organized by GRU detachments under the general command of Valentin Korabelnikov. After escaping from his captors, Galkin retracted the story and claimed to have been tortured. Although Basayev and Khattab denied responsibility, the Russian government blamed the Chechen government for allowing Basayev to use Chechnya as a base. Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov denied any involvement in the attacks, and offered a crackdown on the renegade warlords, which Russia refused. The new Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, famously promised a harsh crackdown on "Chechen terrorists": "We'll get them anywhere. If we find terrorists in the shithouse, then we'll waste them in the shithouse. That's all there is to it." By the end of September the Second Chechen War was underway.

Berezovsky had his own spin on what had happened:
According to Alexander Litvinenko's book Death of a Dissident, Kremlin-critic Boris Berezovsky said that he had a conversation with the Chechen Islamist leader Movladi Udugov in 1999, six months before the beginning of fighting in Dagestan. A transcript of the phone conversation between Berezovsky and Udugov was leaked to one of Moscow tabloids on Sep 10 1999. Udugov proposed to start the Dagestan war to provoke the Russian response, topple the Chechen president Aslan Maskhadov and establish new Islamic republic of Basayev-Udugov that would be friendly to Russia. Berezovsky asserted that he refused the offer, but "Udugov and Basayev conspired with Stepashin and Putin to provoke a war to topple Maskhadov, but the agreement was for the Russian army to stop at the Terek River. However, Putin double-crossed the Chechens and started an all-out war." However, Litvinenko and Berezovsky provided little evidence for their claims. Researcher Henry Plater-Zyberk has described Litvinenko as "a one man disinformation bureau" who was hungry for attention and provided little, if any, evidence for his claims. It was also alleged that Alexander Voloshin, a key figure in the Yeltsin administration, paid Basayev to stage the Dagestan incursion, and that Basayev was working for the Russian GRU at the time.

There's definitely something under there, to the effect that some elements in the Russian deep state, put it that way, wanted a Second Chechen War, but I can't find any accounts that cut right through it in a straight line. Sorry this comment is so long, but it's a really interesting story.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 3 2013 13:45 utc | 46

juannie @ 21 said:

"In the end, no matter, I am grateful to Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning and a host of courageous others who have risked their personal well being to expose the true nature of the beast. I trust they will breathe their last breaths peacefully and fulfilled, knowing that they have lived and behaved with the integrity of spirit that and those supporting the beast have not."

Well said, and I agree.

Posted by: ben | Aug 3 2013 14:07 utc | 47

Hat tip...

That's a damn fine piece of writing from Mark Thomason from Clawson, MI.
A brief and lucid plain English summary of four contentious issues in just over 200 words.
That's Communication.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 3 2013 17:05 utc | 48

b's point about the drop in the bucket and Juannie's (21) emphasising it is very important in the Snowden context. At successive intervals the government alternately states: "We are not spying on you", then "We have to spy on you" (to keep you safe). Before Snowden, it took months between these contradictory statements, and generally in quite different contexts; so most people could live with the resultant stress from cognitive dissidence.

After Snowden, with the contradictory statements occurring daily, the stress of having to believe both that "they spy" and that "they don't spy" is much greater. Since no one wants to be spied on, and the supposed safety benefit is increasingly dubious. In this sense it seems that Snowden's drop in the bucket has really forced the system to a critical point.

Posted by: JohnE | Aug 3 2013 19:26 utc | 49

@40 I don't know Rowan. I've read a lot of all that nonsense, it all seems to come from the same source - that Litivenko character.

I don't think the claims of the apartment bombings being false flags have any credibility whatsoever much less being "widely agreed" upon.

The Chechen separatists seemed to be trying to blame others for their worst excesses, and Litivenko - dubbed by one American officer as "a one-man misinformation agency" - seemed to be doing anything to trash Putin.

I don't know the facts anymore than you. I am, though, extremely skeptical of the "honest word" of foreign funded terrorist madmen and billionaire ex-pats. As for "Robert Young Pelton, who was with the rebels in Grozny during the siege, interviewed a captured GRU agent named Aleksei Galkin" that whole sentence put up so many red flags I thought I wandered into a Red Square during a military parade. An American "with" the terrorists reporting on the words of a captured soldier? All I know is what I read in the papers, of course, but that sure sounds fishy to me.

I'm not sure of any reason that would have kept Putin from launching operations in Chechnya that he'd need to blow up apartment buildings full of Russian citizens. But perhaps I'm naive.

I'd also remind you that the "deep state" is a feature of western democracies, not of former Communist states.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 3 2013 23:40 utc | 50

What Guest 77 says is spot on.........

Berezovsky was a billionaire ex-pat who fled to Londongrad when the going got tough. he died a broken man who was begging Putin to return before his death. This is what a UK judge said about Berezovsky (shortly before his death) when he ruled against him in the Abramovich case:

“…..I found Mr. Berezovsky an unimpressive, and inherently unreliable, witness, who regarded truth as a transitory, flexible concept, which could be molded to suit his current purposes. At times the evidence which he gave was deliberately dishonest; sometimes he was clearly making his evidence up as he went along in response to the perceived difficulty in answering the questions in a manner consistent with his case; at other times, I gained the impression that he was not necessarily being deliberately dishonest, but had deluded himself into believing his own version of events. On occasions he tried to avoid answering questions by making long and irrelevant speeches, or by professing to have forgotten facts which he had been happy to record in his pleadings or witness statements. He embroidered or supplemented statements in his witness statements, or directly contradicted them. He departed from his own previous oral evidence, sometimes within minutes of having given it. When the evidence presented problems, Mr. Berezovsky simply changed his case so as to distance himself from statements and in witness statements which he had signed or approved, blaming the “interpretation” of his lawyers, as if this somehow diminished his pleadings and witness statements. His “I blame my lawyers” excuse was not convincing.”

Berezovsky was known for spinning yarns on Putin & Russia & Litivenko was one of his associates. The polonium poisoning (if that is indeed what happened) was a story that later imploded. It was later revealed by Litivenko's wife that he was indeed a British agent. Nearly a decade after this incident, the coroner still has NOT ruled if it was homicide or if Litivenko was illegally handling a radioactive substance. Since so much of the tabloid journalism screamed "Putin" it's now embarrassing that the evidence is pointing elsewhere and the UK government would simply like to bury this story. This was one of the most cynical attempts I've ever seen to vilify a government and I personally never believed it for a second.

Posted by: RC | Aug 4 2013 0:48 utc | 51

#51 RC. Excellent summary of Litvenko and Berezovsky. There is no evidence that either were killed by the Russian FSB. However, it is pretty clear that Litvenko died of Po 210 poisoning. The evidence here is pretty strong. Po 210 has no commercial uses and it appears that there are only two countries that produce the stuff; namely Russia and Israel. There is very little information on the symptoms of Po 210 poisoning beyond accidents in Irene Curie's in the 1930s. But there does seem to have been a major accidental contamination in Israel that killed some technicians that showed similar symptoms to Litvenko's autopsy.

We still have no idea who poisoned him but it seems most likely that someone either in Russia or Israel provided this toxin to Litvenko's assassin. Even if it came from Russia, the level of criminal infiltration into the Russian state makes it very difficult to blame the current Russian government.

This will remain an interesting whodunit for some time or until one of the principles spill the beans.

Posted by: ToivoS | Aug 4 2013 3:39 utc | 52

I don't want to give the impression I think the Soviet Union was some kind of utopia with a shining foreign policy, though I will not go as far as Chomsky has gone as to call it a dungeon.

I see a state that was - as bevin notes - the prime target of aggression from the moment of its inception through its downfall. I am well aware of the heavy repression of Stalin's regime but to try and place it into Soviet history without taking into account the period before his rule and Khruschev's denunciation of the period is at the very best cherry-picking history and at worst carrying forward Goebbel's talking points into the 21st Century.

Self-satisfied liberals are eager to praise Nelson Mandela, but they often seem to forget that it was the US and UK who labeled him a terrorist while the USSR was providing training for the ANC resistance.

The west repaid Khruschev's bold de-Stalinization and Gorbachev's brave, if completely naive, Perestroika with the same duplicitous coinage. The west never for a moment cared about "democracy" or "freedom" despite all the rhetoric. The west cared only about discrediting and reversing the Revolution of 1917.

And when the west finally succeeded in their goals, we are left with the world as we see it today. A world of medieval poverty, medieval politics, and medieval warfare. Every liberal who ever spent more time attacking the Soviet Union instead of attacking the growing military and corporate power at home should ask themselves if it was really worth it.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 4 2013 3:54 utc | 53

More data points for the NSA:

Apple's New iPhone has Fingerprint Sensors

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/10210480/Apples-new-iPhone-has-fingerprint-sensor.html

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 4 2013 4:17 utc | 54

Obliquely on topic.
Re: Telegraph iPhone fingerprint article.

The NWO cranks seem to be scared shitless about widely disseminated Public Opinion.
I noticed that when I filed the Tele article, the comments (disqus) were omitted from the saved copy.
Ten years ago all comments on pages everywhere were an integral part of any saved page but that's becoming rarer by the month.

On the other hand, what I know about computers wouldn't irritate a gnat's eye if it was pushed in sideways, sharp end first.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 4 2013 7:09 utc | 55

ToivoS

That's just it...We have no idea if he was poisoned or if he was carelessly poisoned by handling a radioactive substance for someone. Yet the question of what actually happened to Litvinenko still begs an answer. The autopsy report has not been made public. The coroner has not issued a death certificate. Common-sense tells me that if the FSB wanted him dead, it would make little sense to do it by leaving a radioactive trail from London to Moscow. Why would they do this when 99 cent rat poison could've easily done the job? using a highly radioactive and VERY expensive radioactive substance to kill someone who the Kremlin could care less about never made much sense to me. William Dunkerley who has been writing on the Litvinenko case had this to say in an op-ed a week ago:


"Right from the beginning, the Litvinenko coverage has presented a panoply of misinformation. The basic media story that Litvinenko was murdered on orders of Russian president Vladimir Putin was a fabrication of Berezovsky's. I detailed that in my book, The Phony Litvinenko Murder. There is ample evidence that any stories or allegations coming from the Berezovsky clan should receive extreme scrutiny. Berezovsky himself was declared "inherently unreliable" by a British high court judge. Berezovsky is not the only unreliable one. His right-hand man claimed Litvinenko had dictated to him a deathbed allegation fingering Putin. But it was a hoax, too. The hoaxer later confessed that the so-called deathbed statement contained his words, not Litvinenko's. Despite all that, most media outlets continue to refer to the deathbed accusation as though it were factual. And now they are referring to a potentially secret inquiry as "public." Perhaps the final kicker is the "spy" moniker widely given Litvinenko by the media. There's no reliable evidence that Litvinenko ever did espionage work. He wasn't a spy, and he never worked for the KGB. What is most puzzling is why any legitimate journalist would believe any story told by anyone who was a member of Berezovsky's inner circle. Are the journalists severely gullible, or corrupt, or incompetent, or do they simply not care about getting things right? Whatever the case, it is a sad commentary on the media that almost all news stories about the Litvinenko case amount to nothing more than a journalistic flimflam."

Posted by: RC | Aug 4 2013 7:14 utc | 56

OK, I'll buy all that. But the 1999 Ryazan attempted apartment building bombings are crazy. And this time, it's FSB (but with a GRU unit in tow). I recommend you go here and read on down through "Ryazan incident controversy" et seq. If you are a veteran of the 9/11 disinfo wars, you will recognise all the telltale signs of a damage limitation exercise: the FSB said, yes, it was a training exercise, we were only using sugar. There followed several more classic blunders, including the announcement in the Duma of another bombing three days before it happened, followed by Zhirinovsky's microphone being turned off when he tried to raise a question about it, various subsequent denials by police investigators of the FSB's damage limitation story (that the 'explosives' were only 'sugar'), contradictory claims of responsibility by Khattab & Co in Chechnya, and so on. None of this comes from pests like Berezovsky or Litvinenko, it's all straight news coverage. There is also another page dealing with 'explanation attempts', here. I must admit Berezovksy and Litvinenko rear their ugly heads again in the course of this, but they are not alone. An independent public commission to investigate the bombings was chaired by Duma deputy Sergei Kovalev. The commission was rendered ineffective because of government refusal to respond to its inquiries. Two of its members were assassinated in 2003; a third was attacked in 2003 and finally died of his injuries in 2005. The Commission's lawyer was arrested by the FSB for exposing classified information, imprisoned for 4 years, and all his materials destroyed by the FSB. He later stated that his supervisors and the people from the FSB promised not to arrest him if he left the Kovalev commission and started working together with the FSB "against Alexander Litvinenko". The Duma voted to seal all materials related to the Ryazan incident for the next 75 years and forbade any further public investigation into what happened. In 2000, Putin dismissed the allegations of FSB involvement in the bombings as "delirious nonsense." "There are no people in the Russian secret services who would be capable of such crime against their own people. The very allegation is immoral," he said.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 4 2013 8:53 utc | 57

@55 No, you're right. I especially notice comments missing from UK papers.

Many studies show that internet comments actually have a big impact on the way people think of issues. I think the UK press, ostensibly because of stricter libel laws but more likely due to restrictions on free speech there generally, have chosen to remove them in ever-more cases.

This wikipedia article certainly opens some interesting avenues of investigation into influencing public opinion via social media (of which internet comments are a prime example) if you look through the References section.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 4 2013 15:38 utc | 58

@58 forgot the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astroturfing

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 4 2013 15:41 utc | 59

Can anyone remember the last Presidential Administration that followed the Constitution or Moral Common Sense? Who ever the hell is pulling the strings likes us dichotomizing into republicans against democrats, or liberal against conservatives, or tea partiers against progressives. It's a scam to keep folks in there place and not have another revolution or civil war in this country. They are paranoid and thus keep secrets, wealth, power, and information from us. And the mainstream media is usually their spokesman.

Posted by: Cynthia | Aug 4 2013 16:53 utc | 60

@Cynthia: I'm sure they want to prevent a revolution, though I think they'd probably accept a civil war if they thought they could win.
_______________________

And here we see more damage from Snowden's leaks, in line with Assange's theory that the act of leaking, more so than even the information leaked, damages a conspiracy's ability to function:


U.S. NSA revelations could hurt collaboration with 'betrayed' hackers

The U.S. government's efforts to recruit talented hackers could suffer from the recent revelations about its vast domestic surveillance programs, as many private researchers express disillusionment with the National Security Agency.

Though hackers tend to be anti-establishment by nature, the NSA and other intelligence agencies had made major inroads in recent years in hiring some of the best and brightest, and paying for information on software flaws that help them gain access to target computers and phones.

Much of that goodwill has been erased after the NSA's classified programs to monitor phone records and Internet activity were exposed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, according to prominent hackers and cyber experts.

http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/08/03/usa-security-hacking-ethics-idINL1N0G404020130803

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 4 2013 17:06 utc | 61

guest77,

The more whistleblowers that get prosecuted, the more whistleblowers that will come forward, each learning from the lessons of the last. The number of skeletons in the US intelligence agency closets is surely far far greater and more damning than any of us dare imagine.

"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." -- William Blum

We are witnessing the lasts gasps of a once great country.

Posted by: Cynthia | Aug 4 2013 17:18 utc | 62

The 1999 Moscow bombing "conspiracy" is another fabrication to vilify Putin. Period. Is it any coincidence that the same people peddling this "Putin did it" nonsense are all the same people (Masha Gessen, Ed Lucas, Berezovsky, etc.;) who continue to spin the most lurid tales about "Putin's Russia" till this day? Gessen wrote a book on Putin (Man without a Face) with virtually no footnotes which consisted of nothing but gossip and hearsay and it's treated as some sort of definitive biography in the west. I've the feeling that if an objective well-researched scholarly book ever came out written on Putin, it would probably be ignored or trashed for not treating this garbage as fact.

An associate, Alexander Mercouris, A UK legal expert who blogs on Russia wrote:

"I had occasion to research the Moscow apartment bombings seven years ago. I quickly concluded that neither Putin nor the FSB nor any other branch of the Russian government were involved and that the bombings were the work of jihadi terrorists just as the Russian authorities said they were.

More to the point it became obvious to me that even if Berezovsky was not the actual originator of the myth that the Russian authorities were behind the apartment bombings, he was the person who was largely responsible for keeping the myth alive. Witness after witness of the supposed involvement of the Russian authorities in the bombings turned out either to have connections to Berezovsky or to people connected to Berezovsky who could be plausibly described as members of his network or organization. Always and invariably the trail led back to Berezovsky. Even witnesses who initially seemed to be genuinely independent proved to have had been in contact with Berezovsky or his agents.

I remember being impressed at the time by the amount of energy and resources Berezovsky had invested in the affair. The most detailed account of the Russian authorities’ supposed involvement in the bombings was a book co-authored by Litvinenko who was at the time Berezovsky’s employee. The book was worthless as evidence as shown by the fact that around half the interviews in it were anonymous. It remains however the often unacknowledged source for many of the details that regularly appear in the western press about the affair."

Posted by: RC | Aug 4 2013 18:05 utc | 63

Cynthia’s (#62) quote of William Blum’s reminded me of his contribution to the discussion of Snowden that I thought some here might find interesting: That most charming of couples: Nationalism and hypocrisy.

It’s not easy being a flag-waving American nationalist. In addition to having to deal with the usual disillusion, anger, and scorn from around the world incited by Washington’s endless bombings and endless wars, the nationalist is assaulted by whistle blowers like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, who have disclosed a steady stream of human-rights and civil-liberties scandals, atrocities, embarrassing lies, and embarrassing truths. Believers in “American exceptionalism” and “noble intentions” have been hard pressed to keep the rhetorical flag waving by the dawn’s early light and the twilight’s last gleaming.

... I long for a modern version of the Army-McCarthy hearings of 1954 at which Carney – or much better, Barack Obama himself – is spewing one lie and one sickening defense of his imperialist destruction after another. And the committee counsel (in the famous words of Joseph Welch) is finally moved to declare: “Sir, you’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” The Congressional gallery burst into applause and this incident is widely marked as the beginning of the end of the McCarthy sickness.

... what country brags about its alleged freedoms more than the United States? And its alleged democracy? Its alleged civil rights and human rights? Its alleged “exceptionalism”? Its alleged everything? Given that, why should not the United States be held to the very highest of standards?

American hypocrisy in its foreign policy is manifested on a routine, virtually continual, basis. Here is President Obama speaking recently in South Africa about Nelson Mandela: “The struggle here against apartheid, for freedom; [Mandela’s] moral courage; this country’s historic transition to a free and democratic nation has been a personal inspiration to me. It has been an inspiration to the world – and it continues to be.”

How touching. But no mention – never any mention by any American leader – that the United States was directly responsible for sending Nelson Mandela to prison for 28 years.
...

IMO a very worthwhile read.

Posted by: juannie | Aug 4 2013 22:57 utc | 64

The US government today reminds me of the Brezhnev government of Russia (optimistically!!!) or of the Wilhelm II government of Germany after he dismissed Bismarck (pessimistically!)

It has to go. It is not fit for purpose. The longer it is left around the more of a mess it will make. Brezhnev left the USSR in an unsustainable state, and a few years later it actually *broke apart*. Wilhelm II did worse -- he *caused World War I*.

Posted by: Nathanael | Aug 5 2013 6:24 utc | 65

guest77 @ 58 & 59.

Thanks. Excellent Astroturfing article.
Wide-ranging, relevant and pertinent.
Should be taught in schools and be No.1 pre-requisite for ascent to official 'adulthood'.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 5 2013 6:44 utc | 66

There are now more and more stories creeping up about "other" (than nsa & fbi) zusa agencies complaining about how so bad their access to the data is and that - now pay attention! - their requests almost always are declined because - pay attention again! - they do not meet the immensely high standards of nsa and fbi.

For those among us with a limited attention span or difficulties to spot blinking pink 800 pound gorillas some of those "news" also reword the message, typically by quoting one or the other agent (sometimes anonymously) who doesn't mince his words. Result? Something like "Those data would be soooo useful for us to fight crime (fire/poaching/drugs/illegal aliens/) but they (nsa/fbi) are demanding exaggerated conditions which we just can't meet and they always cite the necessity to protect the privacy of citizens." sounding somewhat like "a normal court order doesn't suffice. You need the presidents and the popes signature, too"

In other words: Snowden is lying or at least exaggerating; yes the brave and industrious fbi/nsa people gather quite some data but they just kind of melt away because no demands meet their excessively stringent concern for the privacy of the citizens. Actually this whole program is just in case Osama Bin Laden came back from the dead.

Well, I take bets on how many zamericans take the bait incl. sinker and return to their TV set continuing their normal lifes. How about 114%?

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Aug 5 2013 7:33 utc | 67

Welcome to Post-Constitution America
What If Your Country Begins to Change and No One Notices?
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175732/tomgram%3A_peter_van_buren%2C_the_manning_trial_began_on_9_11/

The author of this August 4 Tomdispatch essay, Peter van Buren, (an early or ex- whistle blower) connects many dots tracing the adoption by the USG/NSA of spying methods devised and fine-tuned by the US Military in Iraq and AfPak, for use in the Homeland. It possibly helps to explain the NSA's apparent trumping of the CIA as the US's previously (reputed) top intel gatherer/(creator).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 5 2013 9:25 utc | 68

Well, horsy, if the NSA really succeed in trumping the CIA on this one, then the Yemeni security service will certainly be the losers by it, because they'll get a message from the CIA saying: "Listen, just shut up about your having warned us that AQAP was planning something big. I know we told you to do it, but now we've been told we shouldn't be peddling that particular fabrication. The official line is that NSA got it with their gorgeous global antennae. Just make it so, OK?"

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 5 2013 11:19 utc | 69

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