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11 June 2013

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Tyler

One rule for thee, another for me has been the hallmark of this administration.

505thPIR

Not strange at all. Congress is a tank of fish fighting over food pellets with no other sense of purpose than the next pellet they can eagerly grasp on to.

There is no understanding of mission or purpose beyond power and party. "Get the leaker", "hang the leaker", shout it louder than the rest and draw attention to your voice, your 20 second sound byte (aka fish pellet) on the news is your opiate.

Meanwhile, The Director of National Intelligence and the Director of the National Security Agency commiting purjury in testimony before THE PEOPLE'S HOUSE would cause far too much introspection and perhaps even reveal a snippet of the "big picture" in terms of what has emerged as the functional governing force.

jurisV

The latest on Clapper, his lying, Wyden, and Clapper's statements in the Andrea Mitchell interview cited by Co. Lang is this article:

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/us-no-plans-end-broad-surveillance-program

Wyden told Clapper a day in advance of the hearing what questions he would ask. And he told Clapper after the hearing that Clapper could amend his testimony -- but Clapper did not respond. Clapper is either incompetent or a total buffoon in light of the comments/explanations he spouted in the Mitchell interview. I shudder at the implication that he is an example of the people who "we" have entrusted with the security of this nation.

By the way Col Lang, I now have a much deeper appreciation of your arguments against a national data base for firearms.

eakens

Snowden saw something and said something. Guess that wasn't what they were talking about.

oofda

The Clapper comment on "least false ansswer" is an admission of perjury.
He must be very confident of not being held accountable...

Laura Wilson

Congress is so lost in the fog of partisanship (esp. the GOP) that they don't even KNOW what their role is under the Constitution. Unless the two parties IN Congress act together to reclaim their joint power under the Constitution, we are all poorly served. How nice if they remembered that we are Americans first.

Tyler

I'd say 'remove the beam from thy own eye' considering the Democratic side of the aisle is declaring him a traitor as well. The fact you can say "b-b-b-but the GOP!!!" is hilarious in light of that neoliberal Feinstein declaring him a traitor.

The statists are closing ranks now that a real threat has emerged to their power grab. Do you really think there are two parties in the US? Hah.

The Pelican

Upon reflection, I withdraw my resistance to private individuals right to bear arms (2nd Amendment) and will privately and publicly support their constitutional right to do so.

no one

oofda, I'm sure the first PRISM targets were Congress critters. The NSA has all the dirt they need on Congress members to keep them quiet. Got 'em by the short hairs. Congress isn't going to do anything about this; except maybe Rand Paul who sees the situation as a ride to the white house.

Stephanie

"Unless the two parties IN Congress act together to reclaim their joint power under the Constitution, we are all poorly served."

Unfortunately both parties surrended that power some time ago and all too willingly. Bush the Second and Obama have, respectively, created and consolidated the post 9-11 (inter)national surveillance state, but Congress was largely supine before the executive in such matters well before that. Let us also not forget an essential part of the system, lapdog judges who rubber stamp any warrant put before them in the name of national security. It is nice to see more Republicans becoming exercised over our vanishing civil liberties now that a Democrat is in office, accompanied of course by Democrats discovering the importance of Keeping Us Safe even if it does require dispensing with those tired constitutional rights.

Maybe someone can put together a coalition in these circumstances, but I doubt it.

Mark Logan

oofda:

Might be why the ACLU selected his name.

"ACLU v. Clapper"

http://www.aclu.org/files/assets/nsa_phone_spying_complaint.pdf

Clifford Kiracofe

Some background in Salon and Clapper's role in creating the digital Blackwater:

http://www.salon.com/2013/06/10/digital_blackwater_meet_the_contractors_who_analyze_your_personal_data/

There are more than a few problems and issues anent the privatization of intelligence.

samuelburke

Yes they did lie Col, and all we can do is look on.

Gen Wesley Clarke said in his speech when he made the comment about the seven middle east countries that were going to be taken out, " we had instead a policy coup in this country, some hard nosed people took over the direction of our foreign policy and they never bothered to inform the rest of us".

And i will add that those same hard nosed people that were part of that coup do whatever they want whenever they want it and all we can do is look on.

Farmer Don

Col Lang,

What do YOU think of Governments access to more and more information on people because of developments in technology?

Are you worried that a modern version of “1984” is in our future?

Or do you feel that the tradition of Democracy will be strong enough to stop this outcome?


I am worried.

But I’m only a farmer in the middle of nowhere. You on the other hand have been in this business all your life.

turcopolier

Farmer Don

As you know I am a small government person. I worked in the only part of the federal government that interested me and which is necessarily almost completely national. that is Defense. I deplore the relentless growth of centralized power. such power is inherently unbounded and grasps continuously for more and more control over the actions of the ruled. For that reason the US Constitution was "built" to restrain government not to enable it. So, when people like Clapper lie to the Congress they attack the very basis of US government in the interest of their nationalist instincts and personal ambition. pl

Edward Amame

So what happens to Clapper? Given how congress has pretty much deferentially handed over the national security keys to the store with few questions asked to the exec branch, probably not much to nothing.

Snowden's another story. The admin and most of congress will demand that we go medieval on his ass for the crime of confirming the existence of a data mining program that surveills the phone and internet use of all Americans which we pretty much already knew the existence of, and that congress itself authorized in 2007 and 8.

Alba Etie

"He who governs bests, governs least "

robt willmann

Gen. Alexander will be testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee on "cybersecurity threats" at 2:00 p.m. Eastern daylight time on the C-Span 3 television channel. A taped replay might be broadcast on C-Span 1 or 2 later today, which sometimes happens with events that were earlier on C-Span 3.

Meanwhile, someone in the business community with money speaks out in support of Edward Snowden and the leaks about surveillance: Ed Langone, a co-founder of the Home Depot retail chain--

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rMtKgLMEl8

harry

Very wise of Clapper to get ahead of this. Otherwise there is a chance of charges.

Lucky the media is so utterly tame!

The Twisted Genius

Jacob Applebaum had an apt phrase for this affair... Wer sich nicht bewegt, spürt seine Fesseln nicht. His twitter account has a wealth of info on how this is playing out in the techie/hacker community. His twitter account is ioerror, his handle from his days at Cult of the Dead Cow. You might remember him from an earlier post.

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2013/02/rage-against-the-machine-ttg.html

Senator Wyden is calling for public hearings on the NSA programs and secrecy laws. He's going to up against a lot of apathy and resistance from his colleagues as well as those more loyal to the national security state than the Constitution. I wish him luck. Think I'll drop him a note of encouragement. It's just a small way to rage against the machine.

Clifford Kiracofe

The Thomas Drake case is similar in some ways to Snowden. Says Drake:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/12/snowden-surveillance-subverting-constitution

walrus

The Administration continues the character assassination of Snowden - accusing him of being a know nothing liar, no doubt with a view to desensitizing the public to his intended ultimate fate.

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/305409-house-intel-chiefs-snowden-lying

Of course this bes the question that assuming Snowden actually was a "know nothing liar", then why would an Administration pursue him?

marcus

Investigation and or prosecution of of an Executive Branch Lieutenant? Fogetaboudit.

Just further evidence of the erosion of the rule of law. Protected classes and selective enforcement.

Next step will be sharing of NSA information with selected local police forces.

Charles I

Least false or illegal is emerging as a theme in legitimating these crimes.

Here's former NSA head General Michael Hayden assuring us we are getting off with the shallowest rectal exam Big Brother can mete out without a prescription:

“I can’t think of a lighter touch on American privacy than getting records created by Verizon,” said Hayden.

And just for the record, such a caress although an assault on every citizen:

"It's constitutionally protected. It’s not illegal.”

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/06/14/nsa_whistleblower_edward_snowdens_claims_dismissed_by_us_general.html

Harrumph.

Boonsong

" all the dirt they need " indeed.
It worked for J. Edgar...

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