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  • elk_1l elk_1l May 29, 2014 12:13 AM Flag

    Snowden Interview with Brian Williams

    In which Edward Snowden displays more intelligence and integrity than all our masters in Washington and on Wall Street.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

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    • And he showed more guts & courage than any of them, too.
      What I found despicable was John Kerry calling Snowden a coward & traitor, when he himself a Vietnam war hero was called the same thing by RWNJ's when he rightly protested against the Vietnam war.

    • Edward Snowden says email released by NSA is "incomplete"

    • How do we identify these guys? Oh, assuming that you think they are a threat.

      LONDON — Two years ago, a young man who now calls himself Abu Muhajir slipped into Syria with a few friends and $80,000, forsaking what he said was a job as a high school science teacher in North America to wage jihad.

      In a conversation conducted by text message in recent weeks, he said he was raised in a religious family, studied at a madrasa on Sundays and had no non-Muslim friends growing up. And he suggested that Western governments could indeed have cause to be worried that the foreign jihadis in Syria might someday return home to carry out attacks.

      “Attacks occurring on the soil of Middle Eastern countries,” he said. “We can only expect a response. Americans are still in Afghanistan.

      More than 70 Americans are thought by intelligence and counterterrorism officials to have traveled to Syria to fight the government of President Bashar al-Assad. One of them, still publicly unidentified, carried out a suicide bombing there on Sunday, making him the first United States citizen believed to have been involved in such an attack.

      As many as 3,000 Westerners are believed to have gone to Syria to fight, prompting increasingly aggressive efforts by their home governments to keep them from leaving and to detain them on their return. In Britain, the Home Office has stripped at least 20 jihadis of their citizenship, and the police said that the number of “Syria-related arrests” totaled 40 from January to March of this year, compared with 25 for the whole of last year.

      Just last week, Mashudur Choudhury, 31, of Portsmouth, was convicted of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts after he returned to Britain from Syria in late October. He is the first Briton to be convicted of fighting alongside Islamists in Syria."

    • "Snowden made the point that that he raised the issues several times internally including in meetings, one on one with superiors, and on paper. He was responded to with advice to shut up and at times with veiled or not so veiled threats."

      I assume that he still has copies of those communications with his superiors - will he release those soon?

    • not sure if i trust this government anymore. after Benghazi, they arrested a film maker to cover their ass, pretty damn scary.. by the way is he still behind bars,

    • Snowden is intelligent but he blew his chance of ever having any integrity. I, guess it was the beginning of the end when even the mafia started ratting each other out. Nothing is sacred anymore. You don't get a security clearance without swearing an oath and knowing what the penalties are. Right or wrong Snowden, in his position, doesn't get to make the decision to make off with clasified information and being judge and jury of who it hurts the most. Anyone that had a job gathering intel knows that it only pertains to your job, only, you don't get to see where and how it is used.

    • Snowden is on my list on people who are crying out for a bullet in the back of his head-integrity-no way!!!

    • You're sickening elk. You act like we're the only country spying, when in fact this may be the oldest profession. All that punk did was weaken a nation, not just in reveling our capabilities, but in our status. Fools like you scoff at the idea of American exceptionalism and are apologists for our leading role in the world - you like the idea of equality and taking us down a notch. We'll wake up idiot, other countries are more then happy to take our place, while they bemoan our capabilities and role in the world they are working to displace our interests - you think China is going to be more of a benefactor then the US? Russia? Iran? All your hero Snowden did was make our adversaries job easier. What sickens me more though, is this administrations acceptance of this betrayal.

      • 3 Replies to theresnobeachhere
      • THE DEBATE WE SHOULD BE HAVING IS WHETHER KEITH ALEXANDER AND JAMES CLAPPER ARE HEROES OR TRAITORS, NOT SNOWDEN

        By Juan Cole | truthdig | May 29, 2014

        NBC News’s Brian Williams interviewed Edward Snowden in Moscow on Wednesday night. But then Mr. Williams followed it up with a panel discussion of whether Snowden is a hero or traitor. It was a cowardly and venal thing to do, and Mr. Williams should be ashamed of himself. By framing the post-interview discussion in these inflammatory and black-and-white terms, NBC nearly undid all the good journalism they accomplished with the interview. It was one more sad example of the broken ‘one the one hand, on the other hand’ model of news that dominates the US airwaves, which gave us the Iraq War (Saddam Hussein: WMD menace to the U.S. or mere evil dictator?) and global warming denial as equal to science.

        MIKE MCFAUL, former U.S. ambassador to Russia and now at Stanford University EMBARRASSED HIMSELF BY ANSWERING THE QUESTION OF WHETHER SNOWDEN HARMED ANYONE BY SAYING THAT HE HURT GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL’S FEELINGS WHEN SHE FOUND OUT HER PERSONAL CELL PHONE WAS TAPPED. REALLY, MR. MCFAUL? I THINK WE WERE ASKING WHETHER ANY NOCS GOT THEIR IDENTITY REVEALED BY SNOWDEN AS BUSH-CHENEY OUTED VALERIE PLAME, OR WHETHER ANY U.S. MILITARY PERSONNEL WERE ENDANGERED. SNOWDEN DIDN’T HURT ANGELA’S FEELINGS. THE U.S. GOVERNMENT DID.

        THE QUESTION MR. WILLIAMS AND HIS GUESTS SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISCUSSING IS WHETHER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE JAMES CLAPPER AND FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY HEAD KEITH ALEXANDER ARE CRIMINALS.

        What happened is fairly obvious. The U.S. national security apparatuses took advantage of the rise of the internet and its dominance by U.S. firms to subvert the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution and mountains of case law. They collected and stored the cellphone records and therefore the private lives and locations of tens of millions of innocent Americans. THEY INSERTED THEMSELVES SECRETLY INTO GOOGLE’S SERVERS AND THOSE OF MANY OTHER GIANT TECH COMPANIES. THEY WEAKENED ENCRYPTION STANDARDS. THEY TURNED MUCH AMERICAN TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE INTO SPYWARE. THEY SCOOPED UP NOT ONLY INFORMATION ABOUT WHO AMERICANS CALLED, AND WHEN AND WHERE THEY WERE WHEN THEY DID IT, BUT ALSO USED THE TRANSNATIONAL CHARACTER OF THE INTERNET TO COLLECT THE ACTUAL TEXTS OF EMAILS AND THE ELECTRONIC FILES OF TELEPHONE CALLS.

        THEY USED THIS DATA COLLECTION NOT AGAINST TERRORISTS BUT IN DRUG AND OTHER PETTY CRIME CASES, SHARING THE ILLEGALLY-GATHERED INFORMATION WITH THE DEA AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, WHO THEN LIED TO JUDGES ABOUT HOW THEY HAD COME TO INVESTIGATE THESE INDIVIDUALS IN THE FIRST PLACE. THE DOMESTIC SURVEILLANCE NOT ONLY UNDERMINED THE CONSTITUTION, IT CORRUPTED THE ENTIRE JUSTICE SYSTEM. LEST YOU REPLY THAT YOU CAN HARDLY SHED TEARS FOR CRIMINALS, IT SHOULD BE POINTED OUT THAT IN SOME INSTANCES THE FEDS WERE PROSECUTING PEOPLE FOR DOING THINGS NOT ILLEGAL IN STATE LAW, AND USING ILLEGAL METHODS TO DO IT. IN OTHER INSTANCES, THEY APPEAR TO HAVE TARGETED CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS, INTERPRETING THEIR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE CAMPAIGNS AS CRIMINAL CONSPIRACIES.

        They also engaged in political and economic spying on American allies such as Germany and France and friendly countries such as Brazil, and even tapped the personal phones of leaders like Merkel and Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff.

        These guys went wild. A beat cop who entered somebody’s apartment without a warrant and used evidence found there to build a case against the person would be drummed out of the force if he got caught. But these high-tech rapscallions rampaged around in the private records of millions of Americans and it is still being debated whether they did anything wrong!

        WE DON’T KNOW THE FULL DAMAGE THEY DID TO CIVIL LIBERTIES WHEN ORDERED TO BY THEIR SUPERIORS. WE KNOW SOMEONE IN THE BUSH WHITE HOUSE INSTRUCTED THE CIA TO DESTROY MY OWN REPUTATION BECAUSE OF MY OPPOSITION TO THE IRAQ WAR. Isn’t it likely that this sort of thing was routine?

        NOT ONLY WAS THIS MASSIVE DOMESTIC SPYING OPERATION GOING ON WITH IMPUNITY, BUT IT WAS CAREFULLY HIDDEN FROM THE AMERICAN PUBLIC, WITH BRUTAL AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL METHODS. Poor Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Or) got a whiff of some of it, but was forestalled by the [un-] Patriot Act from revealing it, even on the Senate floor. When sitting senators are being muzzled from discussing a massive U.S. government program with the public, that is no longer a democracy. Who do they think is paying for their national security state? And when Wyden asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper whether the NSA was spying on Americans, Clapper told a bald-faced lie. No, he said. He lied under oath. Clinton was impeached for a white lie over oral sex. Clapper lied to cover up a gargantuan violation of the constitution, but nothing has happened to him.

        We can debate till the cows come home about whether Snowden had any other choice but to make his reveal, or had any other avenue to do something about these violations. Given that Barack Obama was briefed into them and let it go on, the likely answer is no. For all we know, the intelligence agencies blackmailed him into acquiescence. We know they spy on the other branches of government for their own purposes. And if it went to the Tea Party Supreme Court, we have reason to suspect that Mssrs. Scalia and Roberts would be perfectly happy to assign a policeman to every bedroom in the U.S.

        BUT NOW THAT SNOWDEN’S REVELATIONS ARE THERE, THE AMERICAN STATE FACES A PROFOUND CRISIS. IT CAN EITHER RETURN TO CONSTITUTIONAL VALUES, OR IT CAN CONTINUE ON ITS PATH TO AMERICAN STALINISM. THAT SO MANY AMERICANS SEEM COMPLETELY UNDISTURBED BY WHAT WAS DONE MAKES ME THINK IT IS TOO LATE FOR DEMOCRACY.

        In any case, binary journalism only hurts the public debate, making it appear that people who want to trash the Bill of Rights are on the same footing as those who want to defend it.

        Sentiment: Strong Buy

      • "Snowden pointed out that over a million NSA related employees have Top Secret clearance, many of them as employees of private corporations hired by the NSA." If this was his concern then he could have raised it but instead he outted the whole freakin system.

        Your paranoia is freakin laughable with your silly scenarios - you always blast B/C over intelligence failures related to 9/11. Meta data gathering (not listening to personal calls etc) may have made those connections.

        The spy versus spy game is going to go on whether you like it or not.Unfortunately its people like YOU that just set us back. Even Secretary Kerry blasted the guy - that should tell you and everyone else what a joke your position is.

      • Re: "You're sickening elk. You act like we're the only country spying, when in fact this may be the oldest profession. All that punk did was weaken a nation, not just in reveling our capabilities, but in our status. …."

        And you are a fool, nobeach. Your mantra is "my country right or wrong" with no concern or understanding of the danger of our possibly moving towards becoming a hyper security and surveillance state like East Germany, a modern technology version of it.

        You RWNJs are constantly and self-righteously on your megaphones shouting about freedom and liberty but you have no idea what is going on in the NSA. It's even worse than J Edgar Hoover and the FBI who virtually ran a terror show at many of our elected national office holders.

        The fact is much of the surveillance being done by the NSA is aimed at gaining domestic political/corporate leverage. Snowden pointed out that over a million NSA related employees have Top Secret clearance, many of them as employees of private corporations hired by the NSA. The NSA safeguards on them have been ridiculously ineffective. As Snowden pointed out the NSA now admits they have no idea what he took so they also don't know how many others might have previously taken similar info or even more than he did. We know, separate from Snowden's info, that some of those employees of private firms were using their NSA access to spy on their competitors to gain advantage against them in the market place. It also previously had come out, again separate from Snowden's info, that some of these employees were even using their NSA access to spy on girlfriends or wives, or ex-girlfriends and ex-wives, etc., etc.

        Snowden makes the point that one danger with the vast collection of data on citizens means that the NSA (and this could again be done for purely political reasons) can target any individual they want and could make some kind of case against just about anyone by selectively putting together superficial maps of Internet or cell phone activity that they can make look suspicious.

        Keep in mind that currently you RWNJs are more in danger of being victims of NSA practices than I am and if Hillary wins in 2016 that would continue.

        For instance, if Hillary wins in 2016 the NSA might want to curry various kinds of favor (budgetary, etc.) with Hillary by showing her how helpful they can be to her and her goals and ambitions.

        We can now, thanks to Snowden, imagine it. They could easily show up in the Oval Office one day and express great concern because of a possible anti-Hillary cabal they have isolated through surveillance of Internet and cell phone activity. This is a group of characters who are in contact with each other and possibly support a dangerous agenda and certainly an anti-Administration one.

        One of them goes by "theresnobeachhere" and has a second cousin who knew Tim McVeigh when he was in the Army.

        Others he is in touch with are "dickw3939" whose Uncle taught a college math course which was taken and completed by the Unibomber, Ted Kaczynski.

        Also, fighterpilot who may have connections with German intelligence and be trying to get information on US military plane technology. He also seems to own more than one farm for which he purchases a lot of fertilizer and we are not sure all of it is being used on the farms, if you now what we mean.

        Also, "bum5353" is a Dr. who brags about a very good friend and colleague he admires greatly, a Dr. Morad, who came to the US from Iran and may still have important governmental connections there. We must also tell you, Hillary, this "bum" is opposed to the ACA, which you love, and also supports the terrible polluting by Big Coal in WVa you are trying to stop and he probably supports it because it provides him with a great number of very sick patients that greatly helps his bottom line.

        Also in this group is a fellow going by "jnichols_9627111" who comes across quite often as quite incoherent and possibly on drugs and at times seems threatening and talks about guns a lot so he could really be quite dangerous and a likely trigger guy.

        They are also in contact with "aceofbasefanatic" and "lonesome_polecatt" who do seem to be too dumb to do any harm but it is possible they are faking that and are, in fact, dangerous.

        These NSA guys also know very well that you can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich so even though they know full well they are just totally making up a farcical story they also know they have cleverly made a case that could bring an indictment and they might very well push for a trial with excellent prosecutors striving for a conviction that would put a feather in their hat while also helping them get more funding and/or approval from Hillary of various pet harebrained schemes they want to carry out. And these NSA guys also know that even if there is an acquittal it will still cost these "cabal members" they have targeted a lot of time and money so somewhere before that might happen they might convince them to cop a plea, even though they are totally innocent and total victims of a farcical ploy, to avoid all of that. (This kind of thing happens many times a day to Black folks in our court system [see The Divide by Matt Taibbi.)

        On the other hand, if Ted Cruz wins in 2016 then I and some others here will be the ones who will have to worry ………about our wonderful NSA that is always looking out only for our best interests and national safety.

        Sentiment: Strong Buy