Right out of the box, Snowden made a complete statement to the press about his intentions and motives. He just wants to expose the illegal spying on all US citizens so the public can decide what should be done, because after all, this is still a democracy.
Snowden says he doesn’t want praise. He’s not a hero. He just wants transparency. And the NSA is breaking the law over and over.
Snowden looks the part. Young, bright. A self-effacing yet steadfast nerd. Perfect. Nothing nasty about him. He doesn’t have that Julian Assange edge. He’s just a boy. Look at him. He obviously means well.
Honorable hero? CIA operative? Either way, the US government is in a pickle. It’s not going to be a slam-dunk with this guy.
In a related issue, it’s astonishing (to anyone who is awake) that the Congress hasn’t come down on NSA like a ton of bricks.
We should be hearing a grilling like this, directed at NSA head, Keith Alexander:
“Let me get this straight, General Alexander. Snowden captured and stole your most secret data. Anyone of his rank at NSA could have done the same, because you have no security protection against it. And now, with the most sophisticated spying system in the world, you can’t find Snowden. This makes the NSA the most bumbling stumbling trillion-dollar organization in the history of mankind. Can you give me a good reason why we shouldn’t move to de-fund NSA completely and start over from scratch? This is outrageous.”
And that would just be the beginning of the assault.
Yet, that’s not what we’re getting. Instead, so far, we’re hearing a few modest criticisms.
The most obvious answer is, Congress is afraid of the NSA. This bunch of legislators, these crooks and con men and perverts and felonious scum are scared that they’ve been under the NSA spying lens for a long time.
And what could come crawling out of NSA files is terrifying to them.
So they hold still. They take a deep breath. They pray for safety. They go on the attack against Snowden. They fall all over themselves calling Snowden a vile traitor who must be brought to justice.
Which tells you something about who’s running things in Washington.
It also tells you something about the level of resentment that’s built up over the years against the NSA. Not just in the Congress. In certain quarters of the CIA and the elite media, because NSA has been spying on reporters and editors and taking huge chunks of federal budget $$ away from the CIA.
Lots of important people have been hoping for a way to take down NSA a peg or two.
So this is the kind of Congressional-NSA conversation that’s going on right now, behind closed doors in Washington:
“Here’s the thing, General Alexander. We spoken about this before. Your NSA has been invading our lives with your snooping for far too long. Now we have a trump card. Ed Snowden. We’re playing it. I’m not admitting he’s our creature, I’m just saying he’s doing the kind of work we ourselves should have done years ago. So we want some give and take here.”
“What kind of give and take?”
“Get off our backs. We’ll go easy on you. We won’t turn all our guns on you. We’ll call Snowden a traitor. We’ll focus all the public attention on him. But give us our privacy back. Now.”
“Well, I suppose we might do that.”
“But we have to know you’re setting us free to do whatever the hell we want to do, without fear of being seen doing it. We need guarantees.”
“How might that work?”
“We need people we appoint to have oversight on NSA. Real oversight.”
Whatever, I don't tell people not to read other people's posts, however much they post.
Anna, I think Ted is merely referring to your recent dominance of this thread. I don't think anyone here on Dead.net has anywhere close to your keen eye for what's lurking in the shadows, and I'm pretty sure we all greatly appreciate you reminding us all of what's out there. In no way am I attempting to tread any toes here, but I think his comment was a harmless one and an attempt at a joke; he meant no offense, I believe.
Just my $0.02.
Let's see, how many bands have parted ways so far this year? I think I remember hearing that Wilco has called it quits, Stone Temple Pilots fired Scott Weiland, Kim Deal left the Pixies to--most likely--focus her attention on the Breeders...did I miss anything? I feel like I've left at least one band off this list but, for the life of me, can't remember who.
And it's not even July!
We have the right to vote and staying informed is key to having an informed opinion on which way to vote. Put a humurous, interesting twist on any important news story and, however much you might disagree, you are a bit more informed.
Take, for instance, the Suprmeme Court's striking down of the heart of the Voting Rights Act. This has highly pissed off black people, organized black people. It has disenfranchised tens of thousands in Texas alone, already, with the new requirement of a voter ID card.
If you've seen the movie of the anatomy of the LA riots in the early 90s you can see how tensions mounted leading up to the outcome of the Rodney King trial. Those people who were gathered at LA City Hall were there because they heard the news, they were informed. It's important to be informed, Ted.
Then, when George Zimmerman is acquitted on charges of 2nd degree murder in about three weeks (most likely) and there may be large rioting breaking out in Sanford, Orlando, Overtown, Tampa and Jacksonville in which more blacks will be inevitably slaughtered, you won't walk around with a look that says "I don't have a clue why this happened in this great country of ours where we all share the same freedoms".
On another tack, it was my spouse's birthday and we had a delightful couple of days picking strawberries, watching the movie Before Midnight, eating out at an Indian Restaurant, giving a nice gift inside a golden Dancing Bear birthday card and looking forward to seeing Furthur in a few weeks in a lovely venue. You see Ted, it takes me about 20 minutes to write my posts on this site in the morning and the rest of the day is spent in lovely splendor, most of the time.
It's an easy balance to strike and one that keeps me happy. I choose not to talk about the darker aspects of the Grateful Dead, though that would be totally appropriate to do on this website. On the current events thread, I stick to current events. I'm so sorry they are not the same current events you would choose to speak about.
WTF is Anthony Bennett!? Good luck Cleveland! (take a break from all the Annarexia posts)
In Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport international transit lounge. We've been desperately looking for Snowden who seems to have dropped off the face of the earth after arriving from Hong Kong several days ago. Apparently he never made the flight to Cuba that had been reserved for him.
Then we noticed several swarthy men with mustaches and cheap suits hurry through, forming a cordon for what appeared to be a youngish caucasian with glasses. One of them gave the young man a fine Cuban cigar as he awkwardly took the five foot hookah from him. Could it be Ed "The Red Panda" Snowden? Yes, it was, our facial recognition app. quickly gave us a 97% match.
We followed as far as we could until airport security blocked us from following the party through the security door. We followed with a small set of binoculars as a dark-colored SUV scooped up the men. The license plate read "Raoul". The SUV traveled a few hundred yards to a Gulfstream 500 where the men quickly hustled aboard, their tail fin sporting the logo of the Cuban state.
Quickly the plane gunned away down a pre-cleared taxi route to a runway where it received immediate clearance for takeoff. The Red Panda had a play date with Raoul Castro in about 12 hours. We'd been the only press with boots on the ground to catch the fast-moving party.
Next: Ed parties like a rock-star with revolutionary Cuban hookers in the People's Palace in Havana. Keep it tuned here for the latest on the commie traitor's movements to elude the intelligence omnivores.
Today the news is about DOMA but it is a smokescreen for the huge ruling handed down last Monday: The Right To Remain Silent -- Otherwise known as the 5th Amendment, has been gutted by Alito and Roberts.
First in 2010 the court held that a suspect did not sufficiently invoke the right to remain silent when he stubbornly refused to talk, after receiving his Miranda warnings, during two hours of questioning. This meant that since that time (which I majorly underlined in this thread without one comment) you have to indicate to a police officer that you are specifically invoking your right to remain silent, not just remain silent.
In this newest ruling last Monday the case involved a man who owned a shotgun that was used in a murder. They did not arrest him or read him his Miranda warnings. Salinas agreed to give the police his shotgun for testing. Then the cops asked whether the gun would match the shells from the scene of the murder. According to the police, Salinas stopped talking, shuffled his feet, bit his lip, and started to tighten up.
At trial, Salinas did not testify, but prosecutors described his reportedly uncomfortable reaction to the question about his shotgun. Salinas argued this violated his Fifth Amendment rights: He had remained silent, and the Supreme Court had previously made clear that prosecutors can’t bring up a defendant’s refusal to answer the state’s questions. This time around, however, Justice Samuel Alito blithely responded that Salinas was “free to leave” and did not assert his right to remain silent. He was silent. But somehow, without a lawyer, and without being told his rights, he should have affirmatively “invoked” his right to not answer questions.
There are now special dangers that police may, intentionally or not, coax false confessions from innocent suspects. A large group of those innocent people falsely confessed, and many supposedly admitted their guilt, even before any formal interrogation.
The Supreme Court has now officially gutted the 5th Amendment. YOU HAVE TO ASSERT YOUR RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT EVEN IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN READ YOUR MIRANDA RIGHTS.
The scales are tipping in a big way towards fascism these days.
President Vladimir Putin has said that the US whistleblower Edward Snowden was still in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, and was free to leave.
Apparently the story about Putin stealing Bob Kraft's Patriots Super Bowl ring, while true, was part of a blackmailing smear campaign orchestrated by the US government and the now compromised US press. If they thought Putin could have cared even a teensy amount about his image on the planet they were wrong. His position among the oligarchs (heads of criminal enterprises and Russia's vast oil empire), is well-entrenched.
Snowden is traveling on an arc of evil, no doubt. With the exception of Venezuela and Ecuador he is dealing with some pretty unsavory regimes. All of this in an effort to get to a country that honors freedom and privacy more than this one does.
On the lighter side, Putin is complaining about the amount of high grade herb Ed is blowing through in his huge five foot hookah he and his supporters are using in the smoking section of the transit lounge. Putin has refused to pipe in anymore Bob Dylan or Rodiriguez for their enjoyment and is threatening to bill Wikki-Leaks for the air-freshening that will be required when they depart.
Lets be clear. Roberts removed restrictions against the "Famous 15" states who have been racially profiled by the Fed's Voting Rights Act. Section 5 is the clause at the heart of the Act and the Court said more up-to-date evidence is needed.
I would have to agree that the 15 states in question are still heavily guilty. I would say that the states who bear the burden of proof haven't changed.
But I still think the liberals have gone slightly hysterical over the matter. There are more important issues out there. If the blacks want to dust it up then from Tuscon to Lubbock to Wichita Falls to Houston to Tupelo to Birmingham to Mobile to Tallahassee, to the heart of rebel evil - Charleston, SC where the legions of Darth Vaders are assembled, all they need to do is utter the word "Reparations".
In the more important, shorter term, the Supreme Court just lit the fuse for a long, hot summer in the wake of the Treyvon Martin trial and verdict in Florida, if Jorge gets acquitted.