“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best


I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Monday, July 08, 2013

INTERVIEWER: But if details about this system are now exposed, who will be charged? SNOWDEN: In front of US courts? I'm not sure if you're serious. An investigation found the specific people who authorized the warrantless wiretapping of millions and millions of communications, which per count would have resulted in the longest sentences in world history, and our highest official simply demanded the investigation be halted. Who "can" be brought up on charges is immaterial when the rule of law is not respected. Laws are meant for you, not for them.


07/08/2013 03:34 PM
Edward Snowden Interview
The NSA and Its Willing Helpers
In an interview conducted using encrypted e-mails, whistleblower Edward Snowden discusses the power of the NSA, how it is "in bed together with the Germans" and the vast scope of Internet spying conducted by the United States and Britain.
Shortly before he became a household name around the world as a whistleblower, Edward Snowden answered a comprehensive list of questions. They originated from Jacob Appelbaum, 30, a developer of encryption and security software. Appelbaum provides training to international human rights groups and journalists on how to use the Internet anonymously.
Appelbaum first became more broadly known to the public after he spoke on behalf of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a hacker conference in New York in 2010. Together with Assange and other co-authors, Appelbaum recently released a compilation of interviews in book form under the title "Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet."
Appelbaum wound up on the radar of American authorities in the course of their investigation into the WikiLeaks revelations. They have since served legal orders to Twitter, Google and Sonic to hand over information about his accounts. But Appelbaum describes his relationship with WikiLeaks as being "ambiguous," and explains here how he was able to pose questions to Snowden.
"In mid-May, documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras contacted me," Appelbaum said. "She told me she was in contact with a possible anonymous National Security Agency (NSA) source who had agreed to be interviewed by her."
"She was in the process of putting questions together and thought that asking some specific technical questions was an important part of the source verification process. One of the goals was to determine whether we were really dealing with an NSA whistleblower. I had deep concerns of COINTELPRO-style entrapment. We sent our securely encrypted questions to our source. I had no knowledge of Edward Snowden's identity before he was revealed to the world in Hong Kong. He also didn't know who I was. I expected that when the anonymity was removed, we would find a man in his sixties."
"The following questions are excerpted from a larger interview that covered numerous topics, many of which are highly technical in nature. Some of the questions have been reordered to provide the required context. The questions focus almost entirely on the NSA's capabilities and activities. It is critical to understand that these questions were not asked in a context that is reactive to this week's or even this month's events. They were asked in a relatively quiet period, when Snowden was likely enjoying his last moments in a Hawaiian paradise -- a paradise he abandoned so that every person on the planet might come to understand the current situation as he does."
"At a later point, I also had direct contact with Edward Snowden in which I revealed my own identity. At that time, he expressed his willingness to have his feelings and observations on these topics published when I thought the time was right."
Editor's note: The following excerpts are taken from the original English-language version of the interview. Potential differences in language between the German and English versions can be explained by the fact that we have largely preserved the technical terms used by Snowden in this transcript. Explanations for some of the terminology used by Snowden as well as editor's notes are provided in the form of footnotes.
Interviewer: What is the mission of America's National Security Agency (NSA) -- and how is the job it does compatible with the rule of law?
Snowden: They're tasked to know everything of importance that happens outside of the United States. That's a significant challenge. When it is made to appear as though not knowing everything about everyone is an existential crisis, then you feel that bending the rules is okay. Once people hate you for bending those rules, breaking them becomes a matter of survival.
Interviewer: Are German authorities or German politicians involved in the NSA surveillance system?
Snowden: Yes, of course. We're 1 in bed together with the Germans the same as with most other Western countries. For example, we 2 tip them off when someone we want is flying through their airports (that we for example, have learned from the cell phone of a suspected hacker's girlfriend in a totally unrelated third country -- and they hand them over to us. They 3 don't ask to justify how we know something, and vice versa, to insulate their political leaders from the backlash of knowing how grievously they're violating global privacy.
Interviewer: But if details about this system are now exposed, who will be charged?
Snowden: In front of US courts? I'm not sure if you're serious. An investigation found the specific people who authorized the warrantless wiretapping of millions and millions of communications, which per count would have resulted in the longest sentences in world history, and our highest official simply demanded the investigation be halted. Who "can" be brought up on charges is immaterial when the rule of law is not respected. Laws are meant for you, not for them.
Interviewer: Does the NSA partner with other nations, like Israel?
Snowden: Yes. All the time. The NSA has a massive body responsible for this: FAD, the Foreign Affairs Directorate.
Interviewer: Did the NSA help to create Stuxnet? (Stuxnet is the computer worm that was deployed against the Iranian nuclear program.)
Snowden: NSA and Israel co-wrote it.
Interviewer: What are some of the big surveillance programs that are active today and how do international partners aid the NSA?
Snowden: In some cases, the so-called Five Eye Partners 4 go beyond what NSA itself does. For instance, the UK's General Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has a system called TEMPORA. TEMPORA is the signals intelligence community's first "full-take" Internet buffer that doesn't care about content type and pays only marginal attention to the Human Rights Act. It snarfs everything, in a rolling buffer to allow retroactive investigation without missing a single bit. Right now the buffer can hold three days of traffic, but that's being improved. Three days may not sound like much, but remember that that's not metadata. "Full-take" means it doesn't miss anything, and ingests the entirety of each circuit's capacity. If you send a single ICMP packet 5 and it routes through the UK, we get it. If you download something and the CDN (Content Delivery Network) happens to serve from the UK, we get it. If your sick daughter's medical records get processed at a London call center … well, you get the idea.
Interviewer: Is there a way of circumventing that?
Snowden: As a general rule, so long as you have any choice at all, you should never route through or peer with the UK under any circumstances. Their fibers are radioactive, and even the Queen's selfies to the pool boy get logged.
Interviewer: Do the NSA and its partners across the globe do full dragnet data collection for telephone calls, text and data?
Snowden: Yes, but how much they get depends on the capabilities of the individual collection sites -- i.e., some circuits have fat pipes but tiny collection systems, so they have to be selective. This is more of a problem for overseas collection sites than domestic 6 ones, which is what makes domestic collection so terrifying. NSA isn't limited by power, space and cooling PSC constraints.

'US Multinationals Should Not Be Trusted'
Interviewer: The NSA is building a massive new data center in Utah. What is its purpose?
Snowden: The massive data repositories.
Interviewer: How long is the collected data being stored for?
Snowden: As of right now, full-take collection ages off quickly ( a few days) due to its size unless an analyst has "tasked" 7 a target or communication, in which the tasked communications get stored "forever and ever," regardless of policy, because you can always get a waiver. The metadata 8 also ages off, though less quickly. The NSA wants to be at the point where at least all of the metadata is permanently stored. In most cases, content isn't as valuable as metadata because you can either re-fetch content based on the metadata or, if not, simply task all future communications of interest for permanent collection since the metadata tells you what out of their data stream you actually want.
Interviewer: Do private companies help the NSA?
Snowden: Yes. Definitive proof of this is the hard part because the NSA considers the identities of telecom collaborators to be the jewels in their crown of omniscience. As a general rule, US-based multinationals should not be trusted until they prove otherwise. This is sad, because they have the capability to provide the best and most trusted services in the world if they actually desire to do so. To facilitate this, civil liberties organizations should use this disclosure to push them to update their contracts to include enforceable clauses indicating they aren't spying on you, and they need to implement technical changes. If they can get even one company to play ball, it will change the security of global communications forever. If they won't, consider starting that company.
Interviewer: Are there companies that refuse to cooperate with the NSA?
Snowden: Also yes, but I'm not aware of any list. This category will get a lot larger if the collaborators are punished by consumers in the market, which should be considered Priority One for anyone who believes in freedom of thought.
Interviewer: What websites should a person avoid if they don't want to get targeted by the NSA?
Snowden: Normally you'd be specifically selected for targeting based on, for example, your Facebook or webmail content. The only one I personally know of that might get you hit untargeted are jihadi forums.
Interviewer: What happens after the NSA targets a user?
Snowden: They're just owned. An analyst will get a daily (or scheduled based on exfiltration summary) report on what changed on the system, PCAPS 9 of leftover data that wasn't understood by the automated dissectors, and so forth. It's up to the analyst to do whatever they want at that point -- the target's machine doesn't belong to them anymore, it belongs to the US government.
1 "We're" refers to the NSA.
2 "We" refers to the US intelligence service apparatus
3 "They" refers to the other authorities.
4 The "Five Eye Partners" is a reference to the intelligence services of United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
5 "ICMP" is a reference to Internet Control Message Protocol. The answer provided here by Snowden was highly technical, but it was clear that he was referring to all data packets sent to or from Britain.
6 "Domestic" is a reference to the United States.
7 In this context, "tasked" refers to the full collection and storage of metadata and content for any matched identifiers by the NSA or its partners.
8 "Metadata" can include telephone numbers, IP addresses and connection times, among other things. Wired Magazine offers a solid primer on metadata.
9 "PCAPS" is an abbreviation of the term "packet capture".
Interview conducted by Jacob Appelbaum and Laura Poitras
  1. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-with-whistleblower-edward-snowden-on-global-spying-a-910006.html


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/ccdcaaa6-e7f2-11e2-babb-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2YVfB4upx

    2. Brazil pledged to push through measures at the UN and International Telecommunications Union against spying after allegations that it is the biggest foreign target of US espionage in the Americas.
      “Brazil will launch . . . UN initiatives aimed at prohibiting abuse and preventing invasion of privacy of virtual network users, establishing clear standards of behaviour for states in the field of information and telecommunications in order to ensure cyber security,” foreign minister Antonio Patriota said.

      The allegations add to Brazil’s growing indignation over the matter of fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked documents regarding US monitoring of telephone and email traffic.

      Dilma Rousseff, the president of Latin America’s largest country, was outraged over the treatment in Europe last week of Bolivian president Evo Morales, whose flight was forced to stop in Austria amid unfounded suspicions he was harbouring Mr Snowden in his private jet.

      Mr Morales has said Bolivia would offer Mr Snowden asylum if asked. But the former contractor is still stranded at the international airport in Moscow while he assesses his options.

      “We have to debate the protection of secrets, of our cyber system, our hiring of satellites, all of this has to be discussed,” said Brazilian Senator Ricardo Ferraço, in O Globo.


  2. Political Philosophy of John Locke

    Locke proposed a radical conception of political philosophy deduced from the principle of self-ownership and the corollary right to own property, which in turn is based on his famous claim that a man earns ownership over a resource when he mixes his labour with it. Government, he argued, should be limited to securing the life and property of its citizens, and is only necessary because in an ideal, anarchic state of nature, various problems arise that would make life more insecure than under the protection of a minimal state. Locke is also renown for his writings on toleration in which he espoused the right to freedom of conscience and religion (except when religion was deemed intolerant!), and for his cogent criticism of hereditary monarchy and patriarchalism. After his death, his mature political philosophy leant support to the British Whig party and its principles, to the Age of Enlightenment, and to the development of the separation of the State and Church in the American Constitution as well as to the rise of human rights theories in the Twentieth Century.

    1. The earlier Locke, a student and tutor at Oxford, was morally and politically conservative, Hobbesian one could say were such thoughts not so generally reflective of the post-bellum times in England in which strong and stable government was manifestly preferable to the apparent anarchy of the recent Civil Wars in the British Isles (1642-51). The mature Locke developed into a radical proponent of religious freedom, individual liberty and conscience.
      By no means did he become an anarchist or a thorough and consistent libertarian who decried the use of power – power, he believed, is essential to the running of a peaceful commonwealth, but it must be vigorously checked and controlled, as well as used to secure national interests.

    2. His later writings are certainly in the vein of what is now termed ‘classical liberalism’ upholding the sanctity of private property, self-ownership, minimal government, and the innate distrust of the use of power, yet throughout his political theorising and despite the later emphasis towards inviolable rights, he remains, politically conservative, economically mercantilist, morally authoritarian, highly Christian, and generally suspicious of swathes of people who could affect the Commonwealth’s peace and security (atheists, Quakers, Roman Catholics). Locke also enjoyed dabbling in rationalist designs for how societies ought to be run, which is far removed from the hero of libertarian thinking of live and let live that he is sometimes held to be.

      For example, Locke retained an Oxford born academic scepticism of the people (tinted with a sense of noblesse oblige – he left money for the poor of the parishes of his birth and death) well into his Shaftesbury years, but this is later admixed with his political experiences in which he gained a healthier cynicism of those who wield power and of their effects on what he increasingly believed ought to remain private and thus beyond the remit of the magistrate.

      Throughout Locke’s writings those who would threaten or undermine government through their intolerance, leanings toward papal theocracy, or indulging in bone idleness are castigated and are to be outlawed according to his schemes: inconsistencies or at least intolerances or prudential considerations linger within his general libertarian framework.

      Indeed, writing in 1669 Locke accepts the institution of slavery (FCC) and as late as 1697 (a good decade and a half after writing the Two Treatises), he advises press-ganging beggars into military service and that begging minors should be “soundly whipped.” (EPL).


  3. The Quest for Justice in The Republic

    One of the most fundamental ethical and political concepts is justice. It is a complex and ambiguous concept. It may refer to individual virtue, the order of society, as well as individual rights in contrast to the claims of the general social order.

    In Book I of the Republic, Socrates and his interlocutors discuss the meaning of justice. Four definitions that report how the word “justice” (dikaiosune) is actually used, are offered. The old man of means Cephalus suggests the first definition. Justice is “speaking the truth and repaying what one has borrowed” (331d). Yet this definition, which is based on traditional moral custom and relates justice to honesty and goodness; i.e. paying one’s debts, speaking the truth, loving one’s country, having good manners, showing proper respect for the gods, and so on, is found to be inadequate.

    It cannot withstand the challenge of new times and the power of critical thinking. Socrates refutes it by presenting a counterexample. If we tacitly agree that justice is related to goodness, to return a weapon that was borrowed from someone who, although once sane, has turned into a madman does not seem to be just but involves a danger of harm to both sides.

    Cephalus’ son Polemarchus, who continues the discussion after his father leaves to offer a sacrifice, gives his opinion that the poet Simonides was correct in saying that it was just “to render to each his due” (331e). He explains this statement by defining justice as “treating friends well and enemies badly” (332d).

    Under the pressure of Socrates’ objections that one may be mistaken in judging others and thus harm good people, Polemarchus modifies his definition to say that justice is “to treat well a friend who is good and to harm an enemy who is bad” (335a). However, when Socrates finally objects that it cannot be just to harm anyone, because justice cannot produce injustice, Polemarchus is completely confused.

    He agrees with Socrates that justice, which both sides tacitly agree relates to goodness, cannot produce any harm, which can only be caused by injustice. Like his father, he withdraws from the dialogue.

    The careful reader will note that Socrates does not reject the definition of justice implied in the saying of Simonides, who is called a wise man, namely, that “justice is rendering to each what befits him” (332b), but only its explication given by Polemarchus. This definition is, nevertheless, found unclear.

    1. Platonic dialogues are expressions of the ultimate communication that can take place between humans; and true communication is likely to take place only if individuals can share meanings of the words they use. Communication based on false beliefs, such as statements of ideology, is still possible, but seems limited, dividing people into factions, and, as history teaches us, can finally lead only to confusion.

      The definition of justice as “treating friends well and enemies badly” is for Plato not only inadequate because it is too narrow, but also wrong because it is based on a mistaken belief of what justice is, namely, on the belief grounded in factionalism, which Socrates does not associate with the wise ones but with tyrants

    2. What the hell are you rambling on about rat?

      The Republic!

      Not a book any Libertarian could embrace. A nightmare of social organization. Good God!

      Only good thing in it is the Myth of Er, towards the end.


  4. Libertarianism = Feudalism in Sunday dress.

    1. Rufianian National Security State = mental incontinence


    2. The Rufian National Security State does resemble in some ways the Republic, but without any supposed wise men at the top. East Germany with the stasi come to mind, though.


  5. Europe under Catholicism in the ago has been thought of as a type of Platonic 'Republic'.

    You got your wise boys at the top in the Vatican, not really up to the job, you got your enforcers/guardians in the Princes Various scattered about, you got your workers and the whole apparatus supported by the peasants.

    This shit sandwich should last forever? Thankfully it was overturned by a combination of self interest, the arts, and sciences, and industrialism.

    But the truth in the Myth of Er lives on.


  6. Replies
    1. Maybe Comrade Rufus isn't as far gone as I had thought. Or he is returning to his old Uncle Rufus truer self. Will Rogers compared to Karl Marx is mother's milk to hemlock.


    2. Will Rogers wouldn't support the NSA and ObamaCare.


  7. Self-described "ex-madam" Kristin Davis used Spitzer's campaign to once again announce her already-declared candidacy for comptroller on Monday.

    "Eliot Spitzer broke state and federal laws in his use of prostitutes and paid no penalty; I broke the law and paid my debt to society," Davis, who served four months in prison, said in a statement. "There cannot be two standards of justice, one for the average citizen and another for the political and social elite."

  8. I just received my tax return for 2013 back from the IRS. It puzzles me!!!

    They are questioning how many dependents I claimed.

    I guess it was because of my response to the question: "List all dependents?"

    I replied: 12 million illegal immigrants; 3 million crack heads; 42 million

    unemployed people on food stamps, 2 million people in over 243 prisons;

    Half of Mexico; and 535 persons in the U.S. House and Senate."

    They said this was NOT an acceptable answer.


    1. I just sent that one on the OGF in Vegas.

      :) heh

  9. July 8, 2013
    Case Against Zimmerman Collapsing
    Jack Cashill

    On Monday afternoon, the State of Florida's case against George Zimmerman all but collapsed when the defense put a lie to the State's claim that Trayvon Martin was the one whose voice was heard on the 9-1-1 tapes.
    A critical part of the evidence to support the second-degree murder affidavit against Zimmerman was the identification by Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, of her son's screaming voice on what the defense calls the "Lauer tape," the 9-1-1 call that recorded forty seconds of cries for help.
    On Friday, July 8, the State closed its case by calling Fulton to the witness stand. As expected, and as highly anticipated by those wanting Zimmerman's head, Fulton claimed that it was her son's voice on the 9-1-1 tape.
    In cross examination, defense attorney Mark O'Mara asked Fulton two questions, the impact of which was understood only by those following the case closely -- namely did she anticipate what she was about to hear when she first heard the 9-1-1 tape and did she discuss the tape in advance with any member of the family.
    On late Friday and into Monday, the defense led its case with six friends or family members identifying the screaming voice as Zimmerman's, but it was two Sanford PD officers who brought the roof down on the prosecution's case.
    Under defense attorney Mark O'Mara's guidance, Chris Serino, the lead investigator in the case, told how he played the 9-1-1 tapes for Tracy Martin, Trayvon's father, two days after the shooting.
    When Serino asked Martin if the screaming voice on the 9-1-1 tape was his son's, Martin said "no." Sanford PD officer Doris Singleton testified next. She witnessed the exchange and confirmed what Serino had said. "[Tracy Martin] was telling Chris it was not his son's voice," said Singleton.
    It is unlikely that the media will say so, but Fulton almost assuredly lied when she told the court she was unaware of the 9-1-1 call until she heard it in Tracy Martin's presence two weeks after he heard it. Could he really have failed to mention it?
    The report that Fulton had run crying from the room upon hearing the tape sparked the hysteria in March 2012. An unquestioning media have helped sustain it ever since. That much said, don't expect an apology for the misinformation any time soon -- or even a correction.

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/07/case_against_zimmerman_collapsing.html#ixzz2YSoCNr4L
    Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

  10. Did Robert Kennedy Kill Marilyn Monroe?


    You decide.


  11. Another Republican strategist, a veteran of presidential campaigns, said one risk of attacking Clinton’s age is that it would make her more sympathetic to seniors.


    Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List said there’s a reason the GOP is trying, however disjointedly, to ding Clinton as a politician of the past.

    “Republicans know Hillary’s experience is leaps and bounds beyond their bench, which is why they are already falling all over themselves to attack her,” said Schriock, whose group works to elect women to public office. “Should Hillary decide to run, she will have unprecedented, unified support from women and men across the country who are ready to continue the fight for working families and make history by electing our first Madam President.”

  12. NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer is asking the public for a second chance as he starts collecting thousands of signatures needed to enter the race for New York City comptroller, years after he was caught in a prostitution scandal that culminated in one of politics’ steepest falls from power.

    Spitzer, a Democrat, met with voters in Union Square on Monday to launch his comeback attempt. Candidates for citywide offices like comptroller have to have 3,750 signatures from registered voters in their party by Thursday.

    “The happiest years of my life professionally were as attorney general, as governor, as a prosecutor and I’d like to go back to public service,” he told CBS 2′s Weijia Jiang.

    1. Spitzy just got roundly boo-ed at some public appearance. He was a little late, and it was like, 'where you been with a hooker'?



  14. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/17/edward-snowden-nsa-files-whistleblower#start-of-comments

  15. 1) First, the US Government, just as they did with other whistleblowers, immediately and predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial at home, openly declaring me guilty of treason and that the disclosure of secret, criminal, and even unconstitutional acts is an unforgivable crime. That's not justice, and it would be foolish to volunteer yourself to it if you can do more good outside of prison than in it.

    Second, let's be clear: I did not reveal any US operations against legitimate military targets. I pointed out where the NSA has hacked civilian infrastructure such as universities, hospitals, and private businesses because it is dangerous. These nakedly, aggressively criminal acts are wrong no matter the target. Not only that, when NSA makes a technical mistake during an exploitation operation, critical systems crash. Congress hasn't declared war on the countries - the majority of them are our allies - but without asking for public permission, NSA is running network operations against them that affect millions of innocent people. And for what? So we can have secret access to a computer in a country we're not even fighting? So we can potentially reveal a potential terrorist with the potential to kill fewer Americans than our own Police? No, the public needs to know the kinds of things a government does in its name, or the "consent of the governed" is meaningless.

    2) All I can say right now is the US Government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me. Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped.

  16. QUESTION:Kimberly Dozier @KimberlyDozier

    US officials say terrorists already altering TTPs because of your leaks, & calling you traitor. Respond? http://www.guardiannews.com #AskSnowden
    10:34 AM - 17 Jun 2013


    US officials say this every time there's a public discussion that could limit their authority. US officials also provide misleading or directly false assertions about the value of these programs, as they did just recently with the Zazi case, which court documents clearly show was not unveiled by PRISM.

    Journalists should ask a specific question: since these programs began operation shortly after September 11th, how many terrorist attacks were prevented SOLELY by information derived from this suspicionless surveillance that could not be gained via any other source? Then ask how many individual communications were ingested to acheive that, and ask yourself if it was worth it. Bathtub falls and police officers kill more Americans than terrorism, yet we've been asked to sacrifice our most sacred rights for fear of falling victim to it.

    Further, it's important to bear in mind I'm being called a traitor by men like former Vice President Dick Cheney. This is a man who gave us the warrantless wiretapping scheme as a kind of atrocity warm-up on the way to deceitfully engineering a conflict that has killed over 4,400 and maimed nearly 32,000 Americans, as well as leaving over 100,000 Iraqis dead. Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American, and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him, Feinstein, and King, the better off we all are. If they had taught a class on how to be the kind of citizen Dick Cheney worries about, I would have finished high school.

  17. 12.34pm ET

    17 June 2013 2:12pm
    My question: given the enormity of what you are facing now in terms of repercussions, can you describe the exact moment when you knew you absolutely were going to do this, no matter the fallout, and what it now feels like to be living in a post-revelation world? Or was it a series of moments that culminated in action? I think it might help other people contemplating becoming whistleblowers if they knew what the ah-ha moment was like. Again, thanks for your courage and heroism.


    I imagine everyone's experience is different, but for me, there was no single moment. It was seeing a continuing litany of lies from senior officials to Congress - and therefore the American people - and the realization that that Congress, specifically the Gang of Eight, wholly supported the lies that compelled me to act. Seeing someone in the position of James Clapper - the Director of National Intelligence - baldly lying to the public without repercussion is the evidence of a subverted democracy. The consent of the governed is not consent if it is not informed.

  18. It would be interesting for populist libertarian candidates to run national campaigns as a referendum for freeing, pardoning and thanking Edward Snowden.

    I believe that they would win.

  19. The world must hear from Edward Snowden again

    The White House and its media allies are gradually undermining the NSA whistleblower. The cause of liberty needs his advocacy

    Mark Weisbrot
    guardian.co.uk, Monday 8 July 2013 10.20 EDT

    In the statement released by WikiLeaks, Snowden claimed the US president had employed the 'old, bad tools of political aggression'.

    In the case of Edward Snowden and the secret surveillance abuses that he has exposed, it's us against them. But who is "us" and who is "them?"

    This started out as a story of government spying programs exposed by a daring whistleblower, akin to the famous Pentagon Papers of 1971. This clearly pitted "us", the citizens and residents of the United States, against "them", an abusive, unaccountable government violating our rights and our constitution in secret. The citizens of other countries who had their rights violated by NSA spying, such as in Europe and, now we learn, Brazil, also became part of that "us".

    But over the last few weeks powerful media outlets, mirroring the efforts of the US government, have shifted the narrative to more convenient terrain. "Us" now means "America", led by our national security state, which – if possibly overzealous sometimes – is trying to protect "us". "Them" is our adversaries – terrorists, of course, but also any government that is independent enough to be branded as "anti-American". And Edward Snowden – the "fugitive leaker" at best, or "traitorous spy" at worst – has, in some unexplained manner, helped "them", and seems to be getting help from "them" (in this case, governments that are "anti-American"; that is, independent of Washington).

    Never mind that even Russia didn't want to get involved in the whole thing, and insisted that Snowden could only stay there if he would "cease his work aimed at damaging our American partners", the cold war rhetoric is too irresistible for journalists steeped in its patriotic fervor. Like Mike Meyers' Austin Powers, who woke up after a decades' long nap and didn't know that the cold war was over, they are ready to do battle with America's "enemies".

    One of the most influential human rights organizations in the world, Amnesty International, didn't buy this media narrative. Last Tuesday, it accused the US government of "gross violations of [Snowden's] human rights", for trying to block him from applying for political asylum. Amnesty declared:

    "It appears he is being charged by the US government primarily for revealing its – and other governments' – unlawful actions that violate human rights …

    "No one should be charged under any law for disclosing information of human rights violations … Snowden is a whistleblower. He has disclosed issues of enormous public interest in the US and around the world."

    The leading media outlets virtually ignored this voice and the legal issues that it raised.



    1. {…}

      The media can often determine what most people think on most issues, if given enough time and insufficient opposition. So, it is not surprising that the number of people who think that Snowden "did the right thing" has fallen over the past few weeks.

      At this point, there is only one person who can turn this around: that is Edward Snowden himself. He has recorded only one interview, the one with Glenn Greenwald in which he took responsibility for the disclosures. It was a brilliant interview: he was crystal clear – morally, politically, and rhetorically.

      "I'm no different from anybody else. I don't have special skills. I'm just another guy who sits there day to day in the office, watches what's happening and goes, 'This is something that's not our place to decide, the public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong.'"

      The sincerity of his appeal convinced millions that he was "us" – and that the people who now want to put him behind bars for life are "them".

      It is understandable why he hasn't given any media interviews since then. He didn't expose these programs, despite some ridiculous punditry to the contrary, to promote himself. He wants the focus to be on the crimes committed in secret by government, not on him. But sometimes, there is no avoiding center stage.

      Snowden is the only person right now who can reach hundreds of millions of people with a truthful message. The media is currently hungry for his words; they are eager to ignore most of the other truth-tellers, like Amnesty International; or to disparage them. They have demonized Julian Assange, who has yet to be even charged with a single crime, not even a misdemeanor. They will eventually destroy Snowden if he does not forcefully speak out and defend himself.

      This has practical, as well as political, consequences. On Friday, Venezuela and Nicaragua offered asylum to Snowden, followed by Bolivia on Saturday. And there are an unknown number of other countries – including Ecuador – that would almost certainly grant him asylum if he showed up there. There are a number of ways for him to fly to these places without passing over any country that takes orders from Washington. But will the US government violate international law again, and risk innocent lives, by trying to force down a plane in international air space?

      This decision may depend on the Obama team's forecast of how the media would portray such a crime. If Snowden explains to the world why his actions were a legitimate and eminently justifiable exposure of government criminality, the White House may think twice about further illegal and possibly forceful efforts to block Snowden's right to political asylum.

      The Obama team did not comment on the offers of asylum. This was very smart, since it was a safe bet that the media would respond for them, framing the issue not as one of independent governments exercising their right and obligation to offer political asylum to a whistleblower, but rather "them" trying to poke a finger in the eye of the United States.

      But there are millions of Americans, and many more throughout the world, who can see through this crusty cold war retread. Snowden can reach many millions more with the truth. He needs to speak – not only to save himself, but also future whistleblowers whom the Obama administration wants to silence by punishing him. What is at stake is the whole cause of human rights, especially the right to asylum. The citizens of the world need to see that triumph over the intimidation from those who believe that raw power is all that counts.

  20. The Obama team did not comment on the offers of asylum. This was very smart, since it was a safe bet that the media would respond for them, framing the issue not as one of independent governments exercising their right and obligation to offer political asylum to a whistleblower, but rather "them" trying to poke a finger in the eye of the United States.

    But there are millions of Americans, and many more throughout the world, who can see through this crusty cold war retread. Snowden can reach many millions more with the truth. He needs to speak – not only to save himself, but also future whistleblowers whom the Obama administration wants to silence by punishing him. What is at stake is the whole cause of human rights, especially the right to asylum. The citizens of the world need to see that triumph over the intimidation from those who believe that raw power is all that counts.

  21. 10. Witness #8, the "phone friend," the real-life Rachel Jeantel, the plus-size American-born daughter of Haitian and Dominican parents, provided a few aha! moments of her own. Right away, the defense established for the jury the many lies that Jeantel and/or her handlers had been telling. No, Jeantel was not sixteen and a minor, as first insisted. She was eighteen at the time of the shooting. And no, she had not been hospitalized on hearing of Martin's death. That too was pure fabrication.
    9. In the six-week-long hysteria between Martin's shooting and Zimmerman's arrest, Mary Cutcher, a thirtyish blonde, was the media's favorite eyewitness. To spread the message that the Sanford PD were ignoring witnesses unfavorable to Zimmerman, Cutcher appeared on local TV, on CNN's Anderson Cooper Show, on Dateline NBC, and at rallies with the Martin family. The State did not call on Cutcher to testify. Prosecutors had very good reasons not to.
    8. During his first interview with the Sanford PD, Zimmerman observed that officer Doris Singleton was wearing a cross. He asked if she was Catholic. She asked why that might matter, and he responded, "In the Catholic religion, it's always wrong to kill someone." She responded, "If what you're telling me is true, I don't think that what God meant was that you couldn't save your own life." If the prosecution had hoped that Singleton would paint Zimmerman as a person of "depraved" mind who killed Martin out of ill will, spite, and/or hatred, she did not at all oblige them. In fact, she endorsed his behavior.
    7. The defense caught Jeantel changing her testimony one more time. In her first phone interview, Jeantel recounted that when Martin asked Zimmerman, "Why are you following me?," Zimmerman responded non-threateningly, "What are you talking about?" At the trial, Jeantel tailored her response to fit the State's case, alleging that Zimmerman answered that same question with the confrontational response, "What are you doing around here?"

    1. 6. JAG officer Capt. Alexis Carter, an African-American prosecution witness, taught Zimmerman a course in criminal law. Whatever good he did for the prosecution was undone by the time the defense finished introducing its client: "You see George over here?" Zimmerman stood and nodded. Carter gave him a friendly wave. "How ya doing, George?" he said, eliciting in the process a shy smile out of George. In his opening statement, the defense had said, "There are no monsters here." With a wave and a smile, Capt. Carter confirmed the truth of that contention.
      5. State witness Wendy Dorival, an African-American who served as volunteer program coordinator for the Sanford PD, proved even more helpful to Zimmerman's cause. The State had hoped that she would confirm that Zimmerman was an overzealous cop wannabe. Instead, Dorival spoke highly of Zimmerman throughout and repeated the point frequently that the Sanford PD "always encourage [neighborhood watch people] to call." Asked by the defense, "You err on the side of making the call?," Dorival answered in the affirmative. "When something about them doesn't seem quite right?" asked the defense again. "Yes," said Dorival.
      4. Lead Sanford PD investigator Chris Serino told how he played the 9-1-1 tapes for Tracy Martin, Trayvon's father, two days after the shooting. When Serino asked Martin if the screaming voice on the 9-1-1 tape was his son's, Martin said "no." Sanford PD officer Singleton testified next. She had witnessed the exchange and confirmed what Serino had said. "He was telling Chris it was not his son's voice," said Singleton. Martin would later change his story, but his shaky testimony threw into doubt that of Trayvon's mother, Sybrina Fulton.
      3. Usually, the lead investigator is the one who nails the coffin shut in a murder trial. Serino, however, spent much of his time on the witness stand prying the nails loose. Serino told the court that he could find no reason to doubt George Zimmerman's account of what transpired that fateful night in February. "Do you think George Zimmerman was telling you the truth?" O'Mara asked him. "Yes," admitted Serino as the Monday, July 1 afternoon session wrapped up. So compelling was this admission that the Tuesday proceedings began with the prosecution demanding that it be stricken from the record.
      2. The un-coached highlight of the trial was Jeantel's response to the question of how Martin described Zimmerman on first seeing him. According to Jeantel, Martin called him "a creepy-ass cracka," a racial slur she liked enough to repeat a couple times. In so saying, she introduced a phrase into the American lexicon that may outlast the memory of Trayvon Martin. She also reversed the understanding of just who profiled whom. In the trial's most pathetic moment, Jeantel admitted not being able to "read cursive."
      1. Neighbor Jonathan Good's testimony was worth more than all the other witnesses, eye or ear, combined. Towards the end of it, the defense asked Good to confirm what he told Serino immediately after the shooting: "So I open my door. It was a black man with a black hoodie on top of the other, either a white guy or now I found out I think it was a Hispanic guy with a red sweatshirt on the ground yelling out, 'Help!' And I tried to tell them, get out of here, you know, stop or whatever, and then one guy on top in the black hoodie was pretty much just throwing down blows on the guy, kind of MMA-style." He confirmed and, in so doing, made a joke out of the State's case. Time will tell if the jury feels the same way.

      Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/07/ten_aha_moments_in_the_zimmerman_trial_to_date.html#ixzz2YUHTDKUJ
      Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook


    2. Another example of the state, this time the State of Florida, run wild.

      Total farce.


    3. The only trial in my lifetime where both the prosecution and defense spoke for the defense.


  22. .

    Has anyone noticed the absence of Obama over the last months or so?

    Syria, Turkey, Egypt, Snowden, Congressional hearings, IRS, immigration, gun control, Europe's faux outrage at being spied upon, Obamacare delays, et al, and yet Obama stays above it all letting his flunkies deliver the bad news.

    I mean I saw him vacationing in Africa for a while, visiting the sights. I saw pictures of him on two different occasions, one on the golf course and one going to the golf course. If you check his schedule over the last four weeks, it shows meetings and lunch with Joe Biden yesterday and nothing public scheduled for today. Last week, he was busy in meetings with his staff Monday and Tuesday, nothing for the rest of the week. The week prior was the African vacation. And just before going on that vacation he delivered his speech on global warming that met with mixed reviews (Gore vs Krauthammer). The week prior to that, zip scheduled. The week prior to that his ill-fated trip to Europe for the G-8.

    As for Egypt, Obama was golfing, Kerry was yachting, Patterson was who knows were. Hagel was the only one in his office. Another example of clueless in the ME.

    Not that I am complaining.

    The disastrous G-8 tour shows what happens when Obama actually gets involved. As for Kerry, he should continue to call it in from his yacht. He will do less harm there.


    1. He's been shooting hoops.


  23. The events in Egypt are beyond US control, but not influence, Q.

    The influential tools have already been deployed.
    The Game is afoot, the pieces in motion, and not a lot more can be done by publicly rending clothe.

    The Saudi have publicly backed the Egyptian military, whether they continue to fund the Brotherhood can not be directly controlled by the US, they can be influenced though, but through private statements rather than public proclamations by the US government.

    The people of Egypt care less about the content of statements made by US officials regarding Egyptian politics than do most of the voting public in the US. There is little to be gained by any US spokesman or figurehead to wax eloquently about democracy, voting rights or religious tolerance in the Middle East. If US officials could speak to any of those subjects from a position of knowledge, well, that is another subject entirely.

    When did, in your opinion Q, the US did employ "knowledgeable", "informed", and "eloquent" staff that could speak to issues in the Middle East and Europe?
    When was the "Golden Age"?

    When did the Secretary of State make a real difference to the internal affairs of another nation by making public proclamations?

    The policies that the US pursues, in regards Egypt have simple aims.
    Keep the Suez Canal open.
    Limit the influence of the Russians on the shores of the southern Med.
    Maintain the peace with Israel.

    All of those policy aims are being met, the tools the US has in the chest are being used to good effect. There is no need for histrionics from the US government.

    1. .

      This is the last time I will even try, rat. Your views on U.S. foreign policy in Egypt are absurd. I've pointed it out too many times already.

      The influential tools have already been deployed.

      We pay baksheesh to Egypt so that they don't enter overt war with Israel. We have been doing it for decades. And even those ransom payments were showing the signs of becoming useless as the MB was consolidating power under Morsi.

      The Game is afoot, the pieces in motion, and not a lot more can be done by publicly rending clothe.

      More bullshit, a roundabout way of saying the US isn't a player.

      The Saudi have publicly backed the Egyptian military, whether they continue to fund the Brotherhood can not be directly controlled by the US, they can be influenced though, but through private statements rather than public proclamations by the US government.

      Completely absurd. The Saudi back the military because they have kicked the MB out. The Saudi have not supported the MB since the MB sided with Iran in the Iran-Iraq war. Qatar on the other hand, another US ally, did support the MB and now they are pissed. Any influence on the Saudis had nothing to do with US action or inaction. Influenced by private statements? You're credulity is astounding.

      The people of Egypt care less about the content of statements made by US officials regarding Egyptian politics than do most of the voting public in the US.

      The exact opposite is true. We have the public on both sides of the dispute in Egypt pissed off at us right now. Don't you read the news? Don't you look at the signs they are carrying in the street? Haven't you seen the links that have been put up here? The American people, on the other hand, are sheeple. They don't give a shit what is going on in Egypt.

      When did, in your opinion Q, the US did employ "knowledgeable", "informed", and "eloquent" staff that could speak to issues in the Middle East and Europe?

      You make my friggin point for me. Foggy Bottom is pretty much useless. Hillary was embarrassing. Kerry is a joke. Patterson is a disaster hiding out so that she doesn't get bumped off by one side or the other. You have to go back a long time to find any clear thinking coming out of Washington regarding the ME. It was probably when Woodrow Wilson turned down the British offer for the US to share in the spoils of the Ottoman Empire after WWI. I guess you could say that Ike's decision to end the Suez conflict in 1956 was necessary, but you can also argue both sides of the question was it wise. The rest of it as I recall has been a complete clusterfuck.

      When did the Secretary of State make a real difference to the internal affairs of another nation by making public proclamations?

      Well, I guess Kissinger would qualify when we sold our allies down the river in Vietnam.

      Keep the Suez Canal open.
      Limit the influence of the Russians on the shores of the southern Med.
      Maintain the peace with Israel.

      The Suez Canal is one of six or seven chokepoints around the world. However, just as there is no fear that that Saudi Arabia of Kuwait would stop selling oil, there is no fear that Egypt will shut down the Suez. They need the money. They need the foreign exchange. They would all be economic basket cases without it. Egypt already is.

      I can't deny the other two aims you listed aren't legitimate but we could accomplish both by merely dropping our monthly check in the mail. Instead we continue to embarrass ourselves on the world stage, being whipsawed by events we don't anticipate or understand, playing the hypocrite on every issue, changing our positions whenever the political wind moves in a different direction, under Hillary, on a weekly basis.

      US foreign policy is a joke.


    2. .

      There is no need for histrionics from the US government.

      And yet that is all we do. The only effective tool we have in Egypt is our check book. We bribe them. That's it. Yet, we try to excuse that with the most pompous, hypocritical histrionics imaginable. We saw it with Hillary. First, she praised Mubarek and indicated his regime was stable. A week later, as protest grew, she indicated he needed to grant concessions and become more democratic. A week after that, when the army sided with the protestors, she proclaimed Mubarek had to go. When Morsi and the MB came in we praised the fact that democracy had finally arrived. When Morsi started consolidating his power, forced an unrepresentative constitution on the people, declared that he not the courts would make the final decisions, the US said and did nothing. When the people complained and started taking to the streets, our ambassador, Patterson, warned them against rising up, saying she didn't trust their motives. The military was warned not to interfere. Yet, when the people did rise up, when the military did take sides, our objections were perfunctory kabuki, the checks kept flowing even if it required changing the definition of 'coup'.

      Where the people of Egypt influenced by the Obama administration? No, except to be pissed off. It didn't affect their actions. Where the military influenced by threats of having military aid cut off? No. They did what was in their best interests. Tell me, who is influencing who.

      After Stephen Decatur pretty much put an end to the Barbary pirates preying on US vessels around 1805, Dey Omar wrote to President Madison, proposing a renewal of the tribute treaty the United States had signed with Algiers in 1796. Madison wrote back that "the United States, whilst they wish for war with no nation, will buy peace with none." He concluded that it was the "settled policy" of the United States "that as peace is better than war, war is better than tribute."

      It's a lesson we seem to have forgotten, at least since Jimmy Carter.


  24. As to the philosophers, boobie, and their intellectual influences ...

    We trace the intellectual roots of the United States to John Locke and Adam Smith. That of "Western Civilization" back to Hellenic Greece. So the political works of Plato, following the defeat of Athens in a long and costly war, offers insight to the foundations of political thinking in the "West".

    The nature of political power and the source of government authority can be viewed intellectually at many levels.
    Even Locke held very Hobbesian views on how the state could legitimately limit the liberty of individuals.

    The Hobbesian view held widely today, in the Halls of Government, well exemplified by the Snowden episode.

    You compare the Platonic philosophy to the historic examples of Catholic Hegemony in Europe and Eastern Germany.
    I'd liken it to the Israeli portion of Palestine, today.

    Deuce posted a nice piece on Natural Law a few threads back. These ramblings are in that same vein. As we are now discussing just what is "Western Civilization" and its intellectual root and branch.

    Where the practical implementation of these ideas are best illustrated, today.

    1. Mao wrote ...

      Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun

      In a practical sense he was not wrong.

      He then goes to the central point of political power ...
      Our Principle is that the Party commands the gun, and the gun must never be allowed to command the Party.

      Mao was known for the brevity of his marketed quotes, but a US leader made statements in 1961 that echoed Mao.

    2. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

      This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

      In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

      We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

      Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

      In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

      Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

      The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present ...

      ... and is gravely to be regarded.

      Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientifictechnological elite.

      It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system -- ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.

      Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961

    3. Ike, who everyone liked ...

      ...in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientifictechnological elite.

    4. :)
      heh, I love it!


    5. Particularly this part -

      >>>You compare the Platonic philosophy to the historic examples of Catholic Hegemony in Europe and Eastern Germany.
      (((I'd liken it to the Israeli portion of Palestine, today.)))<<<<

      Why of course you would.

      And I didn't compare it, I said something like it has been compared....many have compared....


      Pure you know what.


    6. The ultimate challenge to all political systems, control of the standing military ...

      an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government.

      Even the most authoritative of despots saw the political dangers inherent in a powerful security establishment

      One of the most critical challenges faced by Mao in this regard was establishing strong military support for the revolution while simultaneously preventing the armed forces from becoming too powerful.

      Mao's concerns are reflected in the last two quotations; while arguing that political power cannot be achieved without resorting to the use of force, ("Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun" — the gun being a metaphor for the military), Mao also believed that the party must always remain in ultimate political control of the nation in order for peace and prosperity to be achieved ("...the gun must never be allowed to command the Party").

      If the reader were to replace "Party" with "We the People", well, the correlation seems pretty clear. The power of the gun needs to be contained and controlled.

      Here in the US we have allowed "the gun" to run amok.

      Even boobie is linking to articles that claim the US is a Gulag Nation, in the "American Stinker".

    7. Now we have boobie what his butt buddy, Quot, refers to as the "Wiggle".
      I said something like it has been compared....many have compared....
      Lovin' every minute of it.

      Who compared it, boobie?
      Who said it, other than you, and when did they do it?
      Provide a background reference, if the sentence structure was not merely a personal projection.

      Who are these anoni whose testimony you wish to enter into evidence?
      Who is your intellectual proxy, in making this comparison?

    8. rat's picked up a copy or two of Will Durant somewhere.


  25. Has the United States reached the point where the gun is in control of the party?

    Rather than the people controlling the gun.

    Have the warnings of Ike been ignored, the consequences of which are now blooming amongst us?

    Seems so to me.

  26. We would be safer with at least a 50% reduction of the military, 75% less general staff and half the carriers. The entire enlisted corps should be made of draftees and eliminate military contractors by 75%.

    The stealth militarization of the local police came about because of the federalization and use of the National Guard, most of which are heavily staffed with cops and first responders so that they can double dip on pensions. That should be stopped.

    1. What a great Libertarian idea. Draft every 18 year old, male and female, and take their freedom away for two or three years just at the moment they want to be with the boyfriend or girlfriend and be left along for once.

      What if they just say f it, I'm a Libertarian, I ain't goin'?

      The college Deans will object too.




    2. Intellectually founded in the writing of John Locke, boobie.

      Everyone has a duty to the state, and a responsibility for the defense and preservation of their society.

      The US should not have a standing professional military.
      It is the greatest threat to a free people that exists.

      Washington, Madison, Monroe, Jefferson, why all the Founders on that point agree.

      Where are your intellectual roots?
      Who allows for a citizenship with out duty or responsibility?

      Why do you promote the "rights" of an individual as a member of the polity but then deny that the individual also has responsibilities to it?

    3. This is the last of it for me today with you rat. I have never said any such thing.

      It's just like WiO has said. You put words in other people's mouths.

      Go monkey with Quirk or someone else the rest of the day.


    4. Draft every 18 year old, male and female, and take their freedom away for two or three years just at the moment they want to be with the boyfriend or girlfriend and be left along for once.

      In that sentence, boobie, you place personal freedom and hedonistic pleasure above duty and responsibility to society. You have truly become a dilettante, perhaps you always were.

  27. It makes as much sense to me to draft all forty years olds for three years. They're probably bored with life by then anyway.


  28. With a population of 315 million, there is no need for woman draftees at all.

  29. Economist Hazem el-Beblawi, a compromise candidate supported by a key Islamist party, was named Egypt's prime minister Tuesday.

    Interim President Adli Mansour also appointed former U.N. nuclear agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei as deputy to the president, responsible for foreign affairs, spokesman Ahmed el-Musalamani said.

    Middle East websites said Egypt's hard-line Islamist Al-Nour Party, which has objected to several candidates put forward by the military-backed interim government, had thrown its support behind el-Beblawi's appointment. The party said it was still studying ElBaradei's appointment.

    Last week, ElBaradei was a top candidate for prime minister, but Al-Nour rejected him, the websites reported. Al-Nour was the lone ultraconservative party to back the military's removal of Mohammed Morsi from the presidency last week.

    Egypt's army chief, referring to Al-Nour, said Tuesday that the military will not accept political "maneuvering." Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said "the future of the nation is too important and sacred for maneuvers or hindrance, whatever the justifications."

    El-Beblawi, who is in his 70s, served as finance minister in the "Revolutionary Cabinet" formed after a 2011 uprising forced out President Hosni Mubarak. Egypt's military council rejected el-Beblawi's resignation in October 2011, when he quit in protest over deadly clashes that left at least 26 people dead. Soon after, Muslim Brotherhood member Mohammed Morsi was elected president. The military ousted Morsi last week.

    Al Jazeera reports that ElBaradei, who has the backing of the June 30 Front, a coalition of groups that backed Morsi's ouster, is widely respected in Egypt and received the country's highest honor, the Nile Shas, in 2006.


  30. Duty to the State

    The state is the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies, too; and this lie creeps from its mouth: `I, the state, am the people.'... Everything about it is false; it bites with stolen teeth.

    The state is a recent development in human life, a few thousand years at most. Before that, from time out of mind, 100,000 years or more, there was no state, only the tribe. Around my neck of the woods there wasn't even a tribal consciousness until the shock of the coming of the whites, only village life with a headman. And you could leave at any time.

    To which state does one owe an inborn human duty? The German State, Soviet Union, Italy? Any state you are born into? Some may think so.

    The biggest cultural influence in the United States has been Jesus, not any philosopher at all, or all of them together. His duty was to his own vision, which he tried to pass on. Matt. 4:1-17

    Nietzche said there was only one Christian though, and he died on a cross. They might well have liked one another, odd as it may seem.


  31. Jesus would have had nothing of any will to power idea though, and was by far the better of the two men.


  32. Whatever happened to the Red Lines? Obama is out of the Red Line stage these days?

    By AFP6:29PM BST 09 Jul 2013

    Vitaly Churkin said Russian experts had been to the scene of an attack at Khan al-Assal near Aleppo and had gathered firsthand evidence.

    Syria's government has refused to let a UN inspection team into the country, but this week invited UN officials for talks on launching an investigation.
    Mr Churkin said the Russian inquiry had "established" that rebel forces had fired a Bashar 3 missile at the town, killing 26 people, including 16 troops.
    "The results of the analysis clearly indicate that the ordinance used in Khan al-Assal was not industrially manufactured and was filled with sarin," Mr Churkin said.
    "There is every reason to believe that it was the armed opposition fighters who used chemical weapons in Khan al-Assal."

    1. .

      Obama is writing one-liners for Tammy Haddad's next White House Correspondent's Dinner, organizing Jay leno's retirement party, and trying to synchronize his schedule with that of Tiger Woods for another $1 million dollar golf weekend. Heck, he's only got about three more years to enjoy the perks.


  33. (Reuters) - Egypt named an interim prime minister on Tuesday and rich Gulf states poured in $8 billion in aid, as the biggest Arab nation sought ways out of a crisis a day after troops killed dozens of Islamists.

    ... Hazem el-Beblawi, a liberal economist and former finance minister, was named interim prime minister. Former U.N. diplomat Mohamed ElBaradei, now a liberal party leader, was named deputy president for foreign affairs.

    News quickly followed of $8 billion in grants, loans and fuel from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

    Crucially, the choice of Beblawi won the acceptance of the ultra-orthodox Islamist Nour Party - sometime ally of toppled President Mohamed Mursi and his Brotherhood. Nour leaders have been courted by the military-backed interim authorities to prove that Islamists will not be marginalized by the new government.

  34. Assad's air of confidence - a constant through more than two years of conflict - appeared almost delusional when rebel mortars and bombs were tearing at the heart of Damascus and fighting closed its airport to foreign airlines late last year.

    But after weeks of counter-offensives by Assad's army in the south of the country - against rebel supply routes east of Damascus and most recently in the border town of Qusair - that optimism looks less irrational.

    The fall last week of President Mohamed Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt prompted a defiant Assad to proclaim the defeat of political Islam.

    The Brotherhood's Syrian branch, already under pressure from more radical opposition groups, was dealt a psychological blow that comes on top of delays to promised supplies of weapons from Washington.

    Congressional committees are holding up a plan to send U.S. arms to the rebels because they doubt the deliveries will be decisive in the war and they fear the weapons might end up in the hands of Islamist militants, U.S. national security sources have told Reuters.

    1. So we see, that through a series of both covert and overt political maneuvers by the US, often seen as "miscues" and fumbling, the Muslim Brotherhood has been destabilized across the entire region, with the acquiescence of the Saudi Arabians.

      Now while the US seems to be indecisive, the goals of marginalizing the most politically organized of the radical Islamoids is going well.

      All is well that is going well.
      Stay the Course!


    2. Sometimes it's better to be lucky, than good. :)

  35. The new head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition said he expected advanced weapons supplied by Saudi Arabia to reach rebel fighters soon and that the Geneva peace conference “is not possible” for now due to their currently weak military position.

    Ahmad al-Jarba, who has close links to Saudi Arabia, told Reuters in his first interview since being elected president of the coalition on July 6 that the opposition would not go to a proposed peace conference in Geneva sponsored by the United States and Russia unless its military fortunes improve.

    “Geneva in these circumstances is not possible. If we are going to go to Geneva we have to be strong on the ground, unlike the situation now, which is weak,” al-Jarba said July 7 after returning from the northern Syrian province of Idlib, where he met commanders of rebel brigades.

    Asked if shoulder-fired weapons that could blunt President Bashar al-Assad’s massive advantage in amour and air power would reach the rebels after Saudi Arabia took a lead role in supporting the opposition in recent weeks, al-Jarba said, “We are pushing in this direction.”

    ‘No rest’ until getting advanced weapons

    “I think the situation is better than before. I think these weapons will arrive in Syria soon,” he said. “My priority [is] to secure two-tier support for the Syrian people: military and humanitarian. We are working on getting advanced and medium-range weapons to the Free Syrian Army and the liberated areas,” he added.

    1. Weaponry promised, but not delivered.

      ... dealt a psychological blow that comes on top of delays to promised supplies of weapons from ...

    2. All of which occurs, we are informed by friends who think they know, by happenstance ...

    3. It was often referred to as the ....

      Long War

      Stay the Course!


  36. .

    All of which occurs, we are informed by friends who think they know, by happenstance ...


    Rat in wonderland.

    With every miscue the US makes in the ME things apparently get better in rat-World.


    Syria is merely a re-wind of the way we screwed up in Egypt (as noted a few posts up). We avow one position one day and then change it 180 days the next and rat calls this staying the course. It's all part of the 'plan', the genius of John Kerry, the omniscience of Obama. Sure the world laughs at us. Sure we manage to get both sides in every argument pissed at us. That's all part of the plan.

    Staying the course? Sure, if staying the course amounts to incompetence, to hypocrisy, to looking like a fool.

    When your foreign policy is determined by trying to prevent Bill Clinton from calling you a wuss, 'friends who think they know' would say you got problems.

    But not in rat-World.

    Naw, it's all good.

    In rat-World.


  37. Meanwhile I read Obama is thinking of totally pulling out of Afghanistan, the war we had to win, the important war.

    This won't be so good for the women and children there.


  38. Jerry Brown's Collapsing House of Cards


  39. Vitaly Churkin said Russian experts had been to the scene of an attack at Khan al-Assal near Aleppo and had gathered firsthand evidence.

    Syria's government has refused to let a UN inspection team into the country, but this week invited UN officials for talks on launching an investigation.

    Mr Churkin said the Russian inquiry had "established" that rebel forces had fired a Bashar 3 missile at the town, killing 26 people, including 16 troops.

    "The results of the analysis clearly indicate that the ordinance used in Khan al-Assal was not industrially manufactured and was filled with sarin," Mr Churkin said.

    "There is every reason to believe that it was the armed opposition fighters who used chemical weapons in Khan al-Assal."


    I saw this Churkin fellow speak at a university near here once, back in the days of the breakup of the Soviet Union. How time flies.


  40. Well, that post has a familiar ring to it.

  41. >>>It is difficult to find much, if any, intellectual coherence to the president's foreign policy. He fought for a surge of troops in Afghanistan but then refused to rally public support for the war he escalated. Worse, he later rendered the surge moot by announcing to our enemies that we'd soon bug out, no matter what.

    During Iran's Green Revolution, he stood pat as the mullahs crushed a democracy movement seeking to overthrow a regime hostile to U.S. interests. In Libya, he intervened to oust a dictator who had become a de facto ally, insisting he couldn't stand by as innocents were slaughtered. In Syria, a vassal of Iran, he has stood by as innocents were slaughtered.<<<



  42. There you go again, Q.

    The Neocon dream, to destabilize the islamic Arc, focus the attention of the Islamoid radicals on the "Near Enemy", while maintain the basic goals of the US in the region.

    You quibble about the rhetoric, while ignoring just how good things are going for US interests.

    The Muslim Brotherhood, is in shambles all across the Islamic Arc.
    That, amigo, is a good thing, no matter how it happened.
    The policy in Egypt was set long ago, in the Carter/Reagan era. It's worked.

    The Suez is secure, the Russians are limited to looking in from the outside and the Muslim extremists not only have lost the momentum, they are falling back.

    Even in Turkey, our NATO ally has been strengthened by the political maneuvering in Egypt.


    1. .


      Buffoons, buffoonery, and the bumpkins who buy the blarney we are dealt in the Berry and Kerry show. Reminds me of the Saturday Night Live skit about Reagan.

      Stop it rat, you are killing me.


    2. .

      Rat in Wonderland.

      1. You haven't a clue as to what the neocon dream is.

      2. You ascribe everything that happens in the ME as attributable to the US influence. Absurd. There are forces there the US does not control. The Egyptian army and the Egyptian people being just two of them. Below you state, "We even have the Saudi and UAE committed to $8 Billion USD in aid to the "New" government, in Egypt." What arrogant bushwa. "We" had nothing to do with it. Saudi Arabia gave Egypt the money because the army ousted Morsi and the MB, something the US begged the army 'not' to do.

      You are guilty of 'post hoc ergo, propter hoc fallacy'. When things move to our benefit in the ME it is not because of US words and actions but in spite of them.

      What happened in Egypt was beyond US control. You trying to say otherwise is like trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

      As Rufus said, sometimes it is better to be lucky than good. Unfortunately, when it comes to foreign policy 'good luck' is all the US can hope for.


    3. The US has made its own luck, across the Med.

      While the US has not yet been successful in removing the Russians from their Syrian outpost on the Med, the secondary target, collateral damage as it were, the Muslim Brotherhood has taken a lickin', in Syria.

      Both physically and psychologically.

      In Egypt the Saudi and UAE Wahhabi are coming to the financial aid of the government, with $8 billion USD in various types of aid, grants and comfort women. This move constitutes another set back to the Muslim Brotherhood. The US does not control the Saudi or UAE Wahhabi, but it can influence them, and I'd bet has.

      A psychological blow to radicalized political Islam, to say the least.

      Better than "Occupation", anytime.

      Most all done behind the scenes, without histrionics or fanfare.

    4. .

      Most all done behind the scenes, without histrionics or fanfare.

      You are hilarious. I've been laying off the drink for some time now but you have given me a good laugh this evening. I broke open a bottle of Glenfiddich and am now enjoying a healthy one.


  43. Not all Sarin Gas Attacks are Equal

    The United States has rejected Russian claims raised at the United Nations that Syrian opposition fighters had used chemical weapons.

    "We have yet to see any evidence that backs up the assertion that anybody besides the Syrian government has the ability to use chemical weapons, [or] has used chemical weapons," White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Tuesday.

    Russia earlier handed over evidence to the United Nations which its envoy said indicated Syrian opposition used sarin gas in an attack in March.

    Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Russian experts had been to the scene of the attack at Khan al-Assal near Aleppo and gathered firsthand evidence.

    The Russian action risks reigniting an international dispute over the use of chemical weapons in the 26-month-old war, in which the United Nations says up to 100,000 people have been killed.

    The Syrian government has refused to let a UN inspection team into the country, but this week invited UN officials for talks on the investigation.

    Carney again called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to allow foreign investigators to probe claims of chemical weapons use.

    "The way to answer this question is to allow the United Nations to investigate," he said.

  44. Can you believe they can do this with a straight face?

    1. .

      Ask rat, it's all part of the master plan started by that genius Carter.


    2. No, by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the central character in boobie's American Stinker conspiracy theories concerning Mr Obama, his birth records, smuggling him into Hawaii from Kenya, the missing years at Columbia University, the Afghanistan connection to John Brennan.

      The Rosicrucians should have recruited Zbigniew, perhaps they did?

      But if he has been instrumental in getting Mr Obama into the White House, well then, he'd really qualify as being something of a genius.

    3. .


      Illuminati conspiracies promulgated by the Illiterati.



    4. That he Zbigniew would have been instrumental in the decision to prop up the Egyptian Army, that to was a stroke of common sense. There was the track record of the Turkish Army, in maintaining a secular balance in Turkey, that in 1977 & 1978 still was in ascendency.

      A successful model to followed.
      Sadat was assassinated and the Egyptian military ran the place for over 30 years.

      The military did not plan well for the transfer of power, after the Mubarak, they had no good options. Mubarak Jr was not deemed suitable, by the military or the opposition.

      They attempted an election, the reality of which, past political oppression left the radical Islamoids the best politically organized, as the elected government veered to theocracy, the military stepped in, secured the Republic and scheduled another round of elections.

  45. Sarin gas with no Red Line attached.

    Special handling instructions:

    This sarin gas does not have the USA DC approved “game changing component.”

  46. The US no friends around the world, Q, only interests.

    The US listens in, to friend and foe alike, it makes no difference to the Security State. The "New" reports by Mr Snowden, that the US listens to everyone, intercepts everyone, is neither shocking or all that "News".

    The US interests, our strategic goals are still secure in Egypt. More today than yesterday, I'd venture to say.

    We even have the Saudi and UAE committed to $8 Billion USD in aid to the "New" government, in Egypt.

    You are not looking for results, but seem to want to judge the politicos 'form'... as if we were judging a high diving performance at a NCAA swim meet and not a high wire adventure, crossing a cultural canyon without wings and barely a prayer.

    You want to isolate some foolish rhetoric and fancy bicycle or windsurfing bodysuit that makes Mr Kerry look like an under stuffed circus clown.

    Mr Obama has gone into the typical summer time shut down. GW, he went to Crawford, TX for the summer, never to be seen.

    The Clinton's, they went to Cape Cod, up to Kennedy Country.

    Bush Senior retreated to Maine.

    Mr Reagan, Simi Valley.

    As you have said, the less they do and say, the better.
    Events will take their course, the MB will continue to be destabilized.
    If boobie is right, and the US leaves Afghanistan to the Afghans, that is how it should be. The US has no legitimate claim to responsibility to the "White Man's Burden"

    1. Maybe you think that because you are a kind that doesn't know friendship.

    2. No, it is because I appreciate what George Washingon had to say about the United States and i's relationships with foreign flags.

      “a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification”….

      “And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country,”

      “such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils.”

      It is nothing personal, the United States is not a person, it is a polity.

    3. More of the man who renounced the title of George the First, going home to Virginia, instead.

      Mr Washington well knew that political power grew out of the barrel of a gun.
      He disarmed it, for a time.
      Then utilized it to put down a tax revolt in Pennsylvania.

      “nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded;” …

      “The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave”…

      “It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest”….

      “The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim.”

      “The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible”…..

    4. This sentiment, expressed by Mr Washington was latter echoed by T. Roosevelt in his campaign against hyphenated Americans

      ... “And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country,” ...

      It is a common thread of Presidential responsibility, to recognize those most likely to commit acts of sedition, treason and other low down dirty deeds done against the common good.

  47. The current Turkish obsession with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's downfall, in other words, is not merely a natural concern for their Egyptian brothers. It's about ideology, to be sure, but it's above all about domestic politics. The unrest in Turkey has not died down, and under normal circumstances, Turks wouldn't really care that much about Egyptian democracy, unless they were saturated 24 hours a day with horrified but shallow commentary about the coup.

    In reality, the protesters who chant Bu Daha Başlangıç, Mücadeleye Devam – "This is only the beginning, the struggle continues" – may be right. And if they are, it's not clear what cards Erdoğan will have left to play to make them appear to be marginalized coup-plotters. That said, the prime minister does seem to be unusually skillful at dealing from the bottom of the deck.

    Claire Berlinski is Senior Fellow for Turkey at the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, DC. She resides in Istanbul.

  48. >>>AFP - Part of an ancient Egyptian king's unique sphinx was unveiled at a dig in northern Israel on Tuesday, with researchers struggling to understand just how the unexpected find ended up there.

    The broken granite sphinx statue -- including the paws and some of the mythical creature's forearms -- displayed at Tel Hazor archaeological site in Israel's Galilee, is the first such find in the region.

    Its discovery also marks the first time ever that researchers have found a statue dedicated to Egyptian ruler Mycerinus who ruled circa 2,500 BC and was builder of one of the three Giza pyramids, an expert said.<<<



  49. Comrade Rufus would approve, but will Uncle Rufus regain his senses --

    >>>>WASHINGTON In a initiative aimed at rooting out future leakers and other security violators, President Barack Obama has ordered federal employees to report suspicious actions of their colleagues based on behavioral profiling techniques that are not scientifically proven to work, according to experts and government documents.

    The techniques are a key pillar of the Insider Threat Program, an unprecedented government-wide crackdown under which millions of federal bureaucrats and contractors must watch out for “high-risk persons or behaviors” among co-workers. Those who fail to report them could face penalties, including criminal charges.

    Obama mandated the program in an October 2011 executive order after Army Pfc. Bradley Manning downloaded hundreds of thousands of documents from a classified computer network and gave them to WikiLeaks, the anti-government secrecy group. The order covers virtually every federal department and agency, including the Peace Corps, the Department of Education and others not directly involved in national security.<<<<

    Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/07/09/196211/linchpin-for-obamas-plan-to-predict.html#storylink=cpy


    1. boobie, who has long advocated profiling Americans based upon religious creed or racial background now objects to profiling the actual behavior patterns of Federal employees.

      He obviously believes that increasing the situational awareness of Federal employees to threats that undermine the continued war on international terrorists that endanger US interests ...
      ... "The Long War", to be counter productive to defeating the international terrorists that endanger US interests, the enemy which the AUMF pf 14SEP2001 so empowers the President to determine the identity of.

      Does boobie now advocate that the President should leave the United States vulnerable to terorrist attack, to satisfy some perverted concept of privacy rights of Federal employees, while they are on the job?

    2. I could understand boobie not wanting to be involved in policing his own community, but that he now does not want the Federal government to even attempt to police itself, sheer insanity.

    3. .

      Pure bullshit.

      It's the same techniques used in the Inquisition, Nazi Germany, the Stasi under Stalin, Mao's Red Guard, and every other petty dictator in history. Instill fear in the masses to assure they don't get out of line. Soon you have people trying to settle old scores or to gain favor and get ahead. Obama did the same thing with Obamacare, asking his apparatchiks to report negative reviews of the bill.

      Threatening those that don't report their suspicions. Intimidate. Sounds like something the Nazis would have done during WWII.

      It would be interesting to see the 'profiling sheets' and how they identify 'suspicious persons'. Perhaps the IRS took their lead from this program or vice versa.


    4. Not at all, profiling is essential to good police work.

      What is Criminal Profiling?

      Criminal profiling is a process used by police authorities to help identify an unknown criminal suspect. Police investigators may use a wide range of evidence from related cases to create a profile of a possible suspect for. This is done by identifying the possible characteristics and mindset of a person who may have committed the crime in question.

      Criminal profiling is common in cases involving repeat offenses of the same type. The suspected person may have committed the crime in a recognizable manner or pattern, thus leaving the police with clues for identifying the suspect. The police can gather their information from a variety of sources, such as crime scene evidence, forensic evidence, and characteristics of criminals who have committed the same type of crime.
      What Types of Characteristics are Considered when Creating a Criminal Profile?

      Investigators attempt to “recreate” the suspect using physical evidence such as footprints, fingerprints, or other bodily indicators. They may also consider the facts surrounding the crime to reconstruct the events leading up to the crime.

      When creating the criminal profile, police investigators may try to determine the suspect’s:

      Mental or psychological traits
      Cultural or religious beliefs
      Intelligence quotient (I.Q.)

      Police authorities will then use the criminal profile to try and to find a “match” amongst various suspects.
      How do Police Gather Information for Criminal Profiling?

      The police will usually consider four stages of the crime to gather as much information that they can about a possible suspect. These four stages include:

      Pre-offense behavior: plans or motives the suspect may have had before the crime was committed
      Method: the manner in which the crime was actually committed
      Concealment of evidence: If the suspect concealed or disposed of evidence, this can provide clues as to the suspect’s identity
      Post-offense conduct: A suspect may often act differently after committing a crime

      These stages of criminal conduct can provide police with valuable information that can lead to identifying the suspect.
      What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Criminal Profiling?

      The rules governing criminal profiling may differ in each locality. Some regions favor the use of criminal profiling due to the advantages it can offer police forces. For example, the use of criminal profiling techniques can often save time and resources, as it tends to narrow down the range of suspects being searched for.

      On the other hand, criminal profile is sometimes considered socially unacceptable. For this reason, many jurisdictions employ criminal profile only sparingly. Many persons feel that criminal profile is limited and can lead to misidentification (i.e., incarcerating an innocent person). Police may often have only a limited set of facts with which to create a criminal profile.

      The war rages on Q.

      Until that 4SEP2001 AUMF is repealed or rescinded, the US remains on a war footing.
      Giving the President extraordinary powers.

      There is some reasoning you expouse for the President to not take those steps necessary to protect the vital interests of the US, all around the globe?

      First you bemoan the governments inactivity in pursuing the interests of the United States, then you wail even louder when they do take active steps to protect US interests from foreign intelligence networks and propagandized public disclosure of what was not secret.

    5. .

      Excellent find, Bob.

      You encouraged me to read up on the Insider Threat Program and the more I read the worse it gets. Evidently Obama thinks 1984 IS an instructional manual.


    6. .

      From the McClatchy piece Bob linked,

      President Barack Obama’s unprecedented initiative, known as the Insider Threat Program, is sweeping in its reach. It has received scant public attention even though it extends beyond the U.S. national security bureaucracies to most federal departments and agencies nationwide, including the Peace Corps, the Social Security Administration and the Education and Agriculture departments. It emphasizes leaks of classified material, but catchall definitions of “insider threat” give agencies latitude to pursue and penalize a range of other conduct.

      Government documents reviewed by McClatchy illustrate how some agencies are using that latitude to pursue unauthorized disclosures of any information, not just classified material. They also show how millions of federal employees and contractors must watch for “high-risk persons or behaviors” among co-workers and could face penalties, including criminal charges, for failing to report them. Leaks to the media are equated with espionage.

      “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.


    7. .

      And another key section: “The program could make it easier for the government to stifle the flow of unclassified and potentially vital information to the public, while creating toxic work environments poisoned by unfounded suspicions and spurious investigations of loyal Americans, according to these current and former officials and experts. Some non-intelligence agencies already are urging employees to watch their co-workers for ‘indicators’ that include stress, divorce and financial problems."


      Follow us: @thenation on Twitter | TheNationMagazine on Facebook

    8. .

      A fellow worker confides he is getting divorced? Report him.

      He says his mortgage is under water? Report him.

      He's uptight about having to carpool his son's travel team around? Report him.


    9. .

      In proposing the program, Obama indicated his objective is to make it easier for whistleblowers to go through official channels in reporting abuse and illegalities.


      As if anyone in his right mind who valued either his job or even his life would report things through 'official channels'.


    10. .

      “It’s about people’s profiles, their approach to work, how they interact with management,” a senior Pentagon official told McClatchy. “Are they cheery? Are they looking at Salon.com or The Onion during their lunch break?”

      “If reading Salon.com is enough to make you a suspicious person, that feels like the ’50s to me,” University of South Florida historian David Johnson told MSNBC. Johnson is the author of The Lavender Scare, a history of Washington’s efforts to out any closeted homosexuals from the federal government during the Cold War.

      “Being Communist and being homosexual were seen as psychological problems,” said Johnson. “You were psychologically weak, so you were susceptible to either Communist indoctrination or homosexuality.”

      Similarly, the Insider Threat Program relies at least in part on behavioral profiles and attempts to ferret out anyone who appears disgruntled or is exhibiting odd behavior.

      “The divorce thing is a real odd one,” said Johnson. “It sounds familiar. If you’re psychologically weak, if you have personal problems, then this makes you susceptible to other bad stuff.”



    11. .

      Reading the Onion?

      Lordy, I'm in trouble. Now, I have to go back and find my post with the Slut Spill video in it and delete it.


    12. .

      Also from the MSNBC link above,

      Rather than thwarting Wikileaks, such behavior may be playing right into its hands. Years before Wikileaks founder Julian Assange published the leaks which would make him internationally famous, he was writing about the potential of leaks to trigger hysteria in government officials.

      “The more secretive or unjust an organization is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie,” he wrote [PDF] in 2006.

      “The leak, in other words, is only the catalyst for the desired counter-overreaction,” wrote future New Inquiry editor-at-large Aaron Bady in 2010. “Wikileaks wants to provoke the conspiracy into turning off its own brain in response to the threat.”


    13. .

      How many times have he heard Snowden described as a narcissist?

      One site put together for federal government employees and hosted by the Department of Agriculture is “a short course in Treason.” It looks like it was made on an Angelfire domain back in the early days of the Internet and uses cheesy animated GIFs to accent the authoritarianism rife within the “course.”

      The site consists of “a series of articles on how spies are caught, the prevalence of espionage, and why people spy.” It asserts that the “information revolution” has produced changes to an extent where the “prevalence of insider betrayal may be greater today than during the Cold War.”

      A page on the psychology of spies suggests the two most common personality disorders individuals who commit espionage have are “antisocial personality disorder and narcissism.” These people are “usually manipulative, self-serving, and seek immediate gratification of their desires. They are oriented toward what they can get now, with little interest in the future and no interest in learning from the past. They have little capacity to form attachments, or to develop a commitment to anyone or anything. This suggests that their ability to develop any degree of loyalty is seriously compromised.”

      Narcissists are people who “feel undervalued by their supervisor or their organization generally need to defend themselves against feelings of inadequacy. They may respond in ways that are rebellious, passive-aggressive, or vindictive. They may also seek out some other source for validation and affirmation of their self-perceived abilities or importance. In some cases, they have turned to a foreign intelligence service to fulfill their emotional needs, gaining satisfaction from working as a spy and outsmarting the organization that devalued them.”


      Both the antisocial personality and the narcissist may engage in deliberate behavior that violates routine security rules and regulations, but they do this for different reasons. The antisocial personality rejects the rules. The narcissist accepts the rules but believes he or she is so special that the rules don’t apply; they only apply to others.

      This is why any deliberate security violation such as taking classified reports home or giving classified information to an unauthorized person is a serious security concern even if no real damage is done. Any deliberate violation is evidence of an unwillingness or inability to abide by the rules that can have broad implications.

      From the description of a narcissist, it becomes apparent that this word may not have the same meaning it does for average citizens. It is a code-word for a spy or someone likely to engage in espionage, not just a trait of someone hard to work side-by-side with in an agency or business.

      The course on “Treason” outlines “reporting responsibilities” that employees have if they are “entrusted with safeguarding classified material.”



    14. .

      For those who believe there is a legal and effective path for whistleblowers to pursue, read the following



    15. .

      “The real danger is that you get a bland common denominator working in the government,” warned Ilana Greenstein, a former CIA case officer who says she quit the agency after being falsely accused of being a security risk. “You don’t get people speaking up when there’s wrongdoing. You don’t get people who look at things in a different way and who are willing to stand up for things. What you get are people who toe the party line, and that’s really dangerous for national security.”



    16. What a nightmare! American exceptionalism.

  50. Meanwhile boobie begins to hyperventilate about the fate of the women of Afpakistan if the US withdraws its military from that locale.

    So there is no desire on his part to rescind the 14SEP2001 AUMF.

    boobie is still a proponent of the US commitment to ...
    ... The Long War ...

    His hypocrisy is palpable.

  51. The main liberal opposition coalition in Egypt has rejected interim leader Adly Mansour's decree, which sets a new poll timetable to stop the unrest.

    The National Salvation Front (NSF) demanded more changes and consultation on the document.

    Both the Muslim Brotherhood, which supports ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, and the Tamarod protest movement earlier rejected the decree.

    The Mansour plan also envisages changes to the Islamist-drafted constitution.

    In other developments on Tuesday:

    Mr Mansour named ex-Finance Minister Hazem el-Beblawi as new Prime Minister

    in turn, Mr el-Beblawi pledged to give cabinet posts to Muslim Brotherhood members - an offer immediately rejected by Mohamed Kamal, senior member of the Brotherhood's political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP)

    Defence Minister Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi warned against any attempts to disrupt the country's "difficult" transition.

    1. .

      It's all part of 'The Plan'.


    2. Pretty much so.

      The Plan is to start the discussions that Mr Morsai refused to start.
      Now those discussion have begun, in public, assuredly, we are reading about the public discussions and pronouncements by Egyptians, about Egyptians.

      There is not need for pronunciations or proclamations from US authorities needed for the process to move forward, in a viable and productive manner.

      The Suez Canal remains open for business...
      The Israeli are not being attacked from the Sinai...

    3. The Russian Bear does not over fly, let alone land in Egypt.
      F16s do.

  52. .

    Get a clue, rat, you are drifting.

    A couple weeks ago the US was telling the secularists to go home, that Morsi was our guy, that we didn't trust the motives of the secularist movement. We were telling the military not to get involved.

    And, basically, they all told us to go piss up a rope.

    I don't know if you are trying to save face or if you have just been licking those frogs again.



    1. The US rhetoric is meaningless, Q.

      The Federals will say aything, at any time, if they think it will further whatever momentary thrill the speaker is seeking.

      The US supported President Diem, in Vietnam, until it had him deposed.
      The US supported the Shah, in Iran, until it airlifted him to Panama.
      The US supported Noriega, in Panama, until he was sent to a US Federal prison, in Florida.

      The US is a fickle friend to say the least.

      It spies upon its own NATO allies.

      What the Egyptians tell US, publicly has no more meaning than what boobie writes in his cross gender ravings. It is what the Egyptians do that matters.

      They are not invading Israel
      The are keeping the Suez Canal open
      The Russians are not refueling Bears at the Inchas Air Base

      The rest is kabuki theater

    2. .

      Keep on drifting, ratso...

      (And don't bogart that toad, my friend. Pass it over to me.)



    3. It's the licking them damned frogs again. That's why he's so damn acidic and nasty.


  53. Right on cue...

    Acknowledging the difficulty of squaring U.S. law with national security priorities in dealing with the military overthrow of Egypt's president, the Obama administration said Tuesday it was encouraged by a proposal from the country's interim government to restore democratically elected civilian leadership.

    While insisting that they have not taken sides in the crisis that has enveloped Egypt over the past week, U.S. officials expressed satisfaction with the plan and urged all Egyptians to take advantage of the opportunity it presents to draft and vote on a new constitution, parliament and president over the next several months. At the same time, the White House conceded it was struggling to deal with "the elephant in the room," which is balancing a legal requirement to cut off U.S. aid to countries where coups occur and the national security importance of supporting Egypt's military.

    The administration thus far has refused to describe deposed President Mohammed Morsi's ouster as a coup, saying it is still undergoing a legal review. Officials also have said the administration has no plans to suspend the $1.5 billion in annual assistance the U.S. provides to Egypt. Of that total, $1.3 billion is direct military aid.

    "There's an elephant in the room here," White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday. "It is in our national interest, the best interests of the United States and the best interests, in our view, of our goal of assisting the Egyptian people in their transition to democracy to take the time necessary to evaluate the situation before making such a determination."

    In the meantime, Carney said the administration wanted to work with all sides to ensure that "a dangerous level of political polarization" that exists now in Egypt gives way to "reconciliation." To that end, he said Washington was broadly supportive of the transition plan presented to the Egyptian people for their consideration.

    "We are cautiously encouraged by the announcement by the interim government that it has a potential plan for moving forward with a democratic process and elections, both parliamentary and presidential, and we think that's a good thing," Carney said.

  54. .

    Translation: We will continue to stand around with one finger in the air checking the way the wind is blowing and with our other thumb up our ass waiting for anything that might happen that we can spin as positive.

    That is our 'plan'.

    Right on cue.




  55. On this day in 1948, Hall of Fame pitcher Leroy “Satchel” Paige made his major league debut. The debut came 21 years after his debut in the Negro Leagues, and Paige would continue pitching in the bigs until 1965 when, at 59 years old, he became the oldest pitcher ever to play a game in the major leagues.

  56. If the results and the San Francisco investigation suggest room for improvements, the government will come up with comprehensive measures, Deputy Minister for Civil Aviation Choi Jeong-ho told reporters.


    So far, 13 Koreans and 18 Chinese have been flown to San Francisco to see injured family members. Ten more Koreans will leave for the U.S. Wednesday and two on Friday, according to the government.

    On top of 18 passengers who have already returned to Korea, nine are set to land in Incheon International Airport Wednesday.

  57. Detroit Community Stunned

    Police in Detroit last night announced the discovery of an arms cache of 200 semi-automatic rifles with 25,000 rounds of ammunition, 20 tons of heroin, 5 million in forged US banknotes, and 25 trafficked Latino prostitutes. All in a semi-detached house behind the public library on Woodward Ave.

    Local residents were stunned and a community spokesman said, "We're all shocked, we never knew we had a library."

    1. .


      I'm glad I had the scotch earlier.

      Made it funnier.


  58. .

    The Arab Spring stemmed largely from political and economic factors embedded in the region, not from the actions of outside powers. Nonetheless, in 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama’s month-long equivocation about Egypt’s direction, followed at last by supporting Mubarak’s ouster, undoubtedly had negative consequences in Egypt and throughout the region. Loyalty and upholding commitments are valuable commodities in international affairs, even if the regime involved doesn’t meet our standards of democratic purity. But loyalty works both ways, and the impression Obama created was that America expected it from its allies, but wasn’t prepared to extend it in return. We will pay for that perception as a fair-weather friend...



    1. Lets stay out of Egypt and it's problems. Then we can get out of the rest of the world. This country and the world would have been a far better place if we had never left these shores in1917. Germany would have probably won the war. There would have been no Hitler or Stalin. All we did in WW2 was to give Hitler's partner in starting the war Stalin, half of Europe and a lot of Asia. Then we had a 50 year cold war. One intervention only leads to more interventions. Obama has us fighting even more wars then the Bushes. It is time to stop it and bring the troops home to their families to defend these borders and shores. Let the world figure it out for themselves. We are broke sticking our noses in other peoples squabbles.

    2. If Germany had won the Great War, the British would have lost their Empire, my niece would not be speaking English, and I would never met her.


      That argument is an old one, it is so speculative in so many ways I see it as meaningless. Flushed with victory jerry would sooner or later have turned his guns elsewhere.


  59. Egyptian Army Commander and Defense Minister Abdul Fattah al-Sisi was faced in Cairo with that experts say was the largest human gathering in history -- somewhere between 17 and 30 million people -- demanding a chance to redo the 2011 revolution. A "mulligan," so to speak. The military responded by removing Morsi and announcing that it would not rule but rather manage a civilian-run transition.

    The Obama administration should be pleased. Having made a mess of Egypt by abruptly withdrawing support from a longtime ally; by failing effectively to express its displeasure with 18 months of military rule that included the arrest of American and Egyptian NGO workers; and by accepting without comment Mohammad Morsi's power-grabs, his increasingly heavy-handed imposition of Sharia law, and violence against minorities, the U.S. is essentially getting its own "mulligan."

    And indeed, the U.S. appears loath to deem the army ouster of Morsi a "coup," which would trigger an automatic cutoff of U.S. aid, more than 80 percent of which goes to the military. While never explicitly linked to the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty of 1979, successive American governments have done their best not to tamper with the military figure, believing... well, believing what? Mainly, the United States appears to believe that we pay Egypt not to go to war against Israel and they'll march on Jerusalem if we stop.

    This formulation was always a mistake, first because it ceded American leverage in advance. It also allowed Israel to be blamed over the years for the repression of the Egyptian people, and contributed to anti-Americanism based on the belief that the U.S. would tolerate anything that happened inside Egypt (the assassination of Anwar Sadat, corruption, sectarian violence) as long as Israel was protected. The truth is more complicated and might be made to serve American interests as much as Egyptian ones.

  60. The Egyptian military is not champing at the bit to go to war with Israel, and is not held back by the American bribe -- um, aid. Furthermore, the generals are not sanguine about losing the United States as their chief supporter and do not see their future in the arms of Vladimir Putin. That is the definition of American leverage, but for it to be effective, the U.S. has to be willing to withhold as well as to pay.

    Saudi Arabia, thrilled by the ouster of Morsi, has promised billions to the new Egyptian government, but that money will be needed to shore up the sinking civilian sector, buying food and fuel. Even if there was something left for the military, it isn't only the money. Egyptian military officers attend schools in the U.S. and partner with U.S. forces in counterterrorism and special operations exercises; the relationship is deep and valued by the Egyptians. The Saudis cannot replace that -- and neither can the Russians.

    Despite 30 years of upgrades in weaponry and training, or because of them, the army has shown no interest in a) provoking Israel or b) helping Hamas. The military has no desire to put itself to the test against the IDF, and understands that the IDF isn't the enemy.

    In Sinai over the past few years, weapons flowing westward from Iran and eastward from Libya have crossed the peninsula, and terrorism from international jihadist groups has increased. This is despite the efforts of the Egyptian military, not by collusion. The agreed-upon-with Israel increase in military sweeps, the additional equipment, and the operations close to the Israel-Egypt border have, according to Israel's Defense Minister, slowed smuggling. That fact that Islamists have been reported heading toward Sinai to fight the Egyptian military since the ouster of Morsi argues that this is a moment when American leverage would be at its peak.

    Hamas, which had believed the election of Morsi would end its political and economic isolation and open a supply line from Egypt to Gaza, has been furious that the military has gone to great lengths to improve its performance and seal the Gaza/Egypt border. Contrary to popular opinion (including popular opinion in Washington) the military was uninterested in helping boost Hamas in its war against Israel, not only because of the American input, but also for two reasons entirely unrelated to Israel. First, Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Second, despite the fact that Palestinians are Sunni, Hamas is an outpost of Shiite Iran.

    1. Among the regional players the Egyptian military most detests is Iran. This is another exploitable point of agreement with the United States, and a difference with Russia.

      An article in the London Sunday Times recounted the growing closeness of Morsi and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, including the latter's visit to Cairo in February. According to the article, Sisi believed Morsi was planning to replace him and was doubly worried when Ahmadinejad said he had offered to defend Egypt in the event of an attack. The Times cited the Egyptian weekly Al-Usbua, saying, "Sisi told the president the army objected to his remarks, which were an insult to the military and questioned its strength and its ability to face threats to the security of the country."

      But even when Morsi took a position that irked the Iranians, he didn't do well with the military. Shortly before his ouster, Morsi had broken relations with Syrian President Bashaar Assad, giving a boost to the Islamist rebels fighting the government. While the military might have been pleased by Morsi's break with Iran on that issue, the specter of a Muslim Brotherhood or al-Nusra victory over a secular dictator was unappealing in the extreme.

      The Egyptian military gave the people their "mulligan" and gave us another chance to get it right. This time, the administration should understand where the real power in Egypt lies, and not be afraid to use its considerable leverage to support the civilian demand for an accountable and transparent government. Ambassador Patterson should be brought home if for no other reason than that the Egyptian people believe she is President Obama's emissary to the Muslim Brotherhood, and the president should make it clear that participation in elections is a privilege reserved for those who ascribe to at least minimal standards of respect for individual civil liberties and rule of law. If President Obama can't or doesn't want to, if he prefers to pay what he thinks is bribe money, or chooses to cut off the funds to slap at the military or support the Brotherhood, the failures in Egypt will only multiply.




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