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PRISM, The NSA and your right to privacy Options · View
Liz
Posted: Sunday, June 09, 2013 1:59:34 PM

Rank: Scarlet Seductress

Joined: 1/22/2013
Posts: 4,682
Location: In the sweet shop, United Kingdom
Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind revelations of NSA surveillance

The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA's history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows.



The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.

The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. "I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong," he said.

Snowden will go down in history as one of America's most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. He is responsible for handing over material from one of the world's most secretive organisations – the NSA.

In a note accompanying the first set of documents he provided, he wrote: "I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions," but "I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant."

Despite his determination to be publicly unveiled, he repeatedly insisted that he wants to avoid the media spotlight. "I don't want public attention because I don't want the story to be about me. I want it to be about what the US government is doing."

He does not fear the consequences of going public, he said, only that doing so will distract attention from the issues raised by his disclosures. "I know the media likes to personalise political debates, and I know the government will demonise me."

Despite these fears, he remained hopeful his outing will not divert attention from the substance of his disclosures. "I really want the focus to be on these documents and the debate which I hope this will trigger among citizens around the globe about what kind of world we want to live in." He added: "My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them."

He has had "a very comfortable life" that included a salary of roughly $200,000, a girlfriend with whom he shared a home in Hawaii, a stable career, and a family he loves. "I'm willing to sacrifice all of that because I can't in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building."

'I am not afraid, because this is the choice I've made'

Three weeks ago, Snowden made final preparations that resulted in last week's series of blockbuster news stories. At the NSA office in Hawaii where he was working, he copied the last set of documents he intended to disclose.

He then advised his NSA supervisor that he needed to be away from work for "a couple of weeks" in order to receive treatment for epilepsy, a condition he learned he suffers from after a series of seizures last year.

As he packed his bags, he told his girlfriend that he had to be away for a few weeks, though he said he was vague about the reason. "That is not an uncommon occurrence for someone who has spent the last decade working in the intelligence world."

On May 20, he boarded a flight to Hong Kong, where he has remained ever since. He chose the city because "they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent", and because he believed that it was one of the few places in the world that both could and would resist the dictates of the US government.

In the three weeks since he arrived, he has been ensconced in a hotel room. "I've left the room maybe a total of three times during my entire stay," he said. It is a plush hotel and, what with eating meals in his room too, he has run up big bills.

He is deeply worried about being spied on. He lines the door of his hotel room with pillows to prevent eavesdropping. He puts a large red hood over his head and laptop when entering his passwords to prevent any hidden cameras from detecting them.

Though that may sound like paranoia to some, Snowden has good reason for such fears. He worked in the US intelligence world for almost a decade. He knows that the biggest and most secretive surveillance organisation in America, the NSA, along with the most powerful government on the planet, is looking for him.

Since the disclosures began to emerge, he has watched television and monitored the internet, hearing all the threats and vows of prosecution emanating from Washington.

And he knows only too well the sophisticated technology available to them and how easy it will be for them to find him. The NSA police and other law enforcement officers have twice visited his home in Hawaii and already contacted his girlfriend, though he believes that may have been prompted by his absence from work, and not because of suspicions of any connection to the leaks.

"All my options are bad," he said. The US could begin extradition proceedings against him, a potentially problematic, lengthy and unpredictable course for Washington. Or the Chinese government might whisk him away for questioning, viewing him as a useful source of information. Or he might end up being grabbed and bundled into a plane bound for US territory.

"Yes, I could be rendered by the CIA. I could have people come after me. Or any of the third-party partners. They work closely with a number of other nations. Or they could pay off the Triads. Any of their agents or assets," he said.

"We have got a CIA station just up the road – the consulate here in Hong Kong – and I am sure they are going to be busy for the next week. And that is a concern I will live with for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be."

Having watched the Obama administration prosecute whistleblowers at a historically unprecedented rate, he fully expects the US government to attempt to use all its weight to punish him. "I am not afraid," he said calmly, "because this is the choice I've made."

He predicts the government will launch an investigation and "say I have broken the Espionage Act and helped our enemies, but that can be used against anyone who points out how massive and invasive the system has become".

The only time he became emotional during the many hours of interviews was when he pondered the impact his choices would have on his family, many of whom work for the US government. "The only thing I fear is the harmful effects on my family, who I won't be able to help any more. That's what keeps me up at night," he said, his eyes welling up with tears.

'You can't wait around for someone else to act'

Snowden did not always believe the US government posed a threat to his political values. He was brought up originally in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. His family moved later to Maryland, near the NSA headquarters in Fort Meade.

By his own admission, he was not a stellar student. In order to get the credits necessary to obtain a high school diploma, he attended a community college in Maryland, studying computing, but never completed the coursework.

In 2003, he enlisted in the US army and began a training program to join the Special Forces. Invoking the same principles that he now cites to justify his leaks, he said: "I wanted to fight in the Iraq war because I felt like I had an obligation as a human being to help free people from oppression".

He recounted how his beliefs about the war's purpose were quickly dispelled. "Most of the people training us seemed pumped up about killing Arabs, not helping anyone," he said. After he broke both his legs in a training accident, he was discharged.

After that, he got his first job in an NSA facility, working as a security guard for one of the agency's covert facilities at the University of Maryland. From there, he went to the CIA, where he worked on IT security. His understanding of the internet and his talent for computer programming enabled him to rise fairly quickly for someone who lacked even a high school diploma.

By 2007, the CIA stationed him with diplomatic cover in Geneva, Switzerland. His responsibility for maintaining computer network security meant he had clearance to access a wide array of classified documents.

That access, along with the almost three years he spent around CIA officers, led him to begin seriously questioning the rightness of what he saw.

He described as formative an incident in which he claimed CIA operatives were attempting to recruit a Swiss banker to obtain secret banking information. Snowden said they achieved this by purposely getting the banker drunk and encouraging him to drive home in his car. When the banker was arrested for drunk driving, the undercover agent seeking to befriend him offered to help, and a bond was formed that led to successful recruitment.

"Much of what I saw in Geneva really disillusioned me about how my government functions and what its impact is in the world," he says. "I realised that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good."

He said it was during his CIA stint in Geneva that he thought for the first time about exposing government secrets. But, at the time, he chose not to for two reasons.

First, he said: "Most of the secrets the CIA has are about people, not machines and systems, so I didn't feel comfortable with disclosures that I thought could endanger anyone". Secondly, the election of Barack Obama in 2008 gave him hope that there would be real reforms, rendering disclosures unnecessary.

He left the CIA in 2009 in order to take his first job working for a private contractor that assigned him to a functioning NSA facility, stationed on a military base in Japan. It was then, he said, that he "watched as Obama advanced the very policies that I thought would be reined in", and as a result, "I got hardened."

The primary lesson from this experience was that "you can't wait around for someone else to act. I had been looking for leaders, but I realised that leadership is about being the first to act."

Over the next three years, he learned just how all-consuming the NSA's surveillance activities were, claiming "they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behaviour in the world known to them".

He described how he once viewed the internet as "the most important invention in all of human history". As an adolescent, he spent days at a time "speaking to people with all sorts of views that I would never have encountered on my own".

But he believed that the value of the internet, along with basic privacy, is being rapidly destroyed by ubiquitous surveillance. "I don't see myself as a hero," he said, "because what I'm doing is self-interested: I don't want to live in a world where there's no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity."

Once he reached the conclusion that the NSA's surveillance net would soon be irrevocable, he said it was just a matter of time before he chose to act. "What they're doing" poses "an existential threat to democracy", he said.

A matter of principle

As strong as those beliefs are, there still remains the question: why did he do it? Giving up his freedom and a privileged lifestyle? "There are more important things than money. If I were motivated by money, I could have sold these documents to any number of countries and gotten very rich."

For him, it is a matter of principle. "The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to," he said.

His allegiance to internet freedom is reflected in the stickers on his laptop: "I support Online Rights: Electronic Frontier Foundation," reads one. Another hails the online organisation offering anonymity, the Tor Project.

Asked by reporters to establish his authenticity to ensure he is not some fantasist, he laid bare, without hesitation, his personal details, from his social security number to his CIA ID and his expired diplomatic passport. There is no shiftiness. Ask him about anything in his personal life and he will answer.

He is quiet, smart, easy-going and self-effacing. A master on computers, he seemed happiest when talking about the technical side of surveillance, at a level of detail comprehensible probably only to fellow communication specialists. But he showed intense passion when talking about the value of privacy and how he felt it was being steadily eroded by the behaviour of the intelligence services.

His manner was calm and relaxed but he has been understandably twitchy since he went into hiding, waiting for the knock on the hotel door. A fire alarm goes off. "That has not happened before," he said, betraying anxiety wondering if was real, a test or a CIA ploy to get him out onto the street.

Strewn about the side of his bed are his suitcase, a plate with the remains of room-service breakfast, and a copy of Angler, the biography of former vice-president Dick Cheney.

Ever since last week's news stories began to appear in the Guardian, Snowden has vigilantly watched TV and read the internet to see the effects of his choices. He seemed satisfied that the debate he longed to provoke was finally taking place.

He lay, propped up against pillows, watching CNN's Wolf Blitzer ask a discussion panel about government intrusion if they had any idea who the leaker was. From 8,000 miles away, the leaker looked on impassively, not even indulging in a wry smile.

Snowden said that he admires both Ellsberg and Manning, but argues that there is one important distinction between himself and the army private, whose trial coincidentally began the week Snowden's leaks began to make news.

"I carefully evaluated every single document I disclosed to ensure that each was legitimately in the public interest," he said. "There are all sorts of documents that would have made a big impact that I didn't turn over, because harming people isn't my goal. Transparency is."

He purposely chose, he said, to give the documents to journalists whose judgment he trusted about what should be public and what should remain concealed.

As for his future, he is vague. He hoped the publicity the leaks have generated will offer him some protection, making it "harder for them to get dirty".

He views his best hope as the possibility of asylum, with Iceland – with its reputation of a champion of internet freedom – at the top of his list. He knows that may prove a wish unfulfilled.

But after the intense political controversy he has already created with just the first week's haul of stories, "I feel satisfied that this was all worth it. I have no regrets."

Source: Guardian


elitfromnorth
Posted: Sunday, June 09, 2013 5:06:00 PM

Rank: Brawling Berserker

Joined: 2/12/2012
Posts: 1,620
Location: Burrowed, Norway
I say this is another win for the terrorists who are now rubbing their hands together as they see the once free America turn into a country that's throwing more and more of it's freedom out the window to keep safe. It's like a modern 1984 or V for Vendetta society. Thankfully, this dude looks like a more likeable fellah than the arrogant Julian Assagne who reeks of a man that wants international recognition for Wikileaks as a sort of freedom fighter.

The positive thing is that as more cases like this gets uncovered the more pissed off people will get. I really hope and believe that it will force them to tighten the ropes on the dudes deciding to pull off stunts like this.

That said, I doubt the US is the only country where crap like this is happening, it's just happening at a much larger scale.

"It's at that point you realise Lady Luck is actually a hooker, and you're fresh out of cash."
writergirl
Posted: Monday, June 10, 2013 8:30:43 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 6/6/2013
Posts: 27
Location: United Kingdom
I think whistleblowers should be appreciated and supported by society instead of being forced to flee countries because they feel like their lives are under threat. If there was no dishonesty there would not need to be such extreme measures against them. What have they done apart from tell the truth?

Follow me in my challenge to write a story for each and every category on Lush!
Completed so far:
ANAL – True Colours – Fiona finally sees her boyfriend for what he really is.
FIRST TIME – The One – Kate finally takes the plunge.
HARDCORE – A Girl Called Lauren – Lauren knows what she has to do to cover her expenses.
LOVE STORIES – Jonas (Excerpt) – Rae finds herself falling for a complete stranger.
RELUCTANCE – Wedding Day – Forbidden temptations show up on the morning of Cat’s wedding.
TABOO – My Favourite Teacher – An illicit hook-up between Hannah and Mr. Myers.
ByronLord
Posted: Monday, June 10, 2013 9:31:49 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 11/14/2010
Posts: 754
Location: Massachusetts, United States
What sticks in my craw is the people in Congress who voted for the PATRIOT act because they were too cowardly to stand up against this when they had a choice and are now running round telling us how terrible the Administration is for doing exactly what the law was written to enable.

PRISM may be unconstitutional, but it is not illegal. Congress gave that power to Bush.

The same justifications are being trotted out for PRISM as were used to defend torture in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and the Drone Program: Terrorism! Run! Hide!

Terrorism isn't a national security issue, it is a criminal matter. Bin Laden killed 3,000 people on US soil. Thats less than were murdered with handguns since the start of this year.

The big problem with the PRISM program in my view is that it is being managed by a military agency. The NSA is military intelligence, not a police force.

WellMadeMale
Posted: Monday, June 10, 2013 3:39:06 PM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,301
Location: Cakeland, United States


If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
WellMadeMale
Posted: Monday, June 10, 2013 4:36:57 PM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,301
Location: Cakeland, United States
Candidate Obama debates President Obama on Government surveillance of its citizenry.




This is just one of the things about this assclown which really pisses me off. I believed his bullshit when he was campaigning.
He's simply W.Bush version 2.0





If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
Delphi
Posted: Monday, June 10, 2013 6:02:09 PM

Rank: Story Verifier

Joined: 6/30/2012
Posts: 1,369
Location: United States
It's sad.








The Delphi/Dirty_D collaboration - a winner of the Series Award!
Buz
Posted: Monday, June 10, 2013 8:38:55 PM

Rank: The Linebacker

Joined: 3/2/2011
Posts: 5,832
Location: Atlanta, United States
Obama could have led the charge to do away with all of this massive attack on our privacy rights and civil liberties in the Patriot Act and all, but he instead has eagerly adopted its use. Shame on Bush, Shame on Obama, Shame on Congress.

George Orwell's 1984 is slowly becoming a reality.


CleverFox
Posted: Monday, June 10, 2013 9:53:53 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 1/25/2012
Posts: 482
Location: United States
Buz wrote:
Obama could have led the charge to do away with all of this massive attack on our privacy rights and civil liberties in the Patriot Act and all, but he instead has eagerly adopted its use. Shame on Bush, Shame on Obama, Shame on Congress.

George Orwell's 1984 is slowly becoming a reality.


If the people want the spying to stop then they have to make the spying stop and they know how to stop it.

By the way, it was demonstrated to me recently that if you tell people something and they don't want to hear what you have to say they will just ignore and pooh-pooh your message. Nothing is going to change.
flytoomuch
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 9:49:41 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 2/24/2011
Posts: 242
Location: Fremont, United States
Haha yes George Orwell is looking pretty damn prescient right now isn't he. Not a half bad writer either. ByronLord has made the point, but I'll just add my own details. Gun deaths (Americans killing Americans with their own guns) will top 33,000 in 2015 and will exceed motor vehicle fatalities. "Terrorism" is the bogey-man they are using to pick your pocket and fund their ridiculous and illegal activities. Billions are being spent and profited from for no reason whatsoever. Did these billions stop the Boston Marathon bombing? Not at all. They didn't even pick up on the photos right away. This money is being flushed down the drain and into Booz Allen's pockets. In the time it took me to write this message China has leant another $100 million or so to the USA to fund??? China has about 1 million people working on monitoring their citizens. People thought that was simply SHOCKING! Now we finally realize the USA apparently has some 1.5 million people employed with high level security clearance doing the same thing to Americans. Let's hear the same shock and criticism for Obama that is leveled at the Chinese. (Hey......you.....yes you.....wake up.....read my fucking message you high school drop out dweeb!!)
LadyX
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 10:03:26 AM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
flytoomuch wrote:
Let's hear the same shock and criticism for Obama that is leveled at the Chinese.


Fortunately, that's starting to happen now, and not just from the "anti-everything Obama" right. The Chinese are truly the least of anyone's worries indeed. Actually, I hear very little anti-China rhetoric at all lately.

elitfromnorth
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 11:17:18 AM

Rank: Brawling Berserker

Joined: 2/12/2012
Posts: 1,620
Location: Burrowed, Norway
Buz wrote:
Obama could have led the charge to do away with all of this massive attack on our privacy rights and civil liberties in the Patriot Act and all, but he instead has eagerly adopted its use. Shame on Bush, Shame on Obama, Shame on Congress.


Why did those acts appear? Due to the terrorism threat. People cried wolf and Bush made laws that suited that cry very well. But what I fear could just as easily have happened is that if Obama had stood on the podium saying that he would remove the Patriot Act. The opposition would have had a field day with saying that Obama is opening the country to terrorists and whatnots. With his attempt to get through Obamacare and later on the gun control as well as the budget every year, then you pretty much have a "pick your battles wisely" situation. Sadly, it seems as if people are willing to give up quite a bit of their civil liberties in order to be safe and have enough money to buy their second SUV...

"It's at that point you realise Lady Luck is actually a hooker, and you're fresh out of cash."
LadyX
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 11:26:29 AM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
elitfromnorth wrote:


With his attempt to get through Obamacare and later on the gun control as well as the budget every year, then you pretty much have a "pick your battles wisely" situation.


Let's not kid ourselves: Obama's not 'picking his battles wisely'. If he wanted to remove intrusive surveillance, he would've attempted to shove those changes down everyone's throats the same way he did Obamacare. He never had (well, except for when he ran for President- see video below) and still has no notion to walk this back at all. To suggest otherwise gives him and his administration way too much credit. He's obviously very much on board with everything that's being done.


*credit to WellMadeMale, who also posted this above
CleverFox
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 12:17:29 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 1/25/2012
Posts: 482
Location: United States
I remember when all these acts were being passed by congress after 9-11-2001 how the people that spoke against all of this were called unpartiotic and un-American.

You reap what you sow.
ByronLord
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 7:34:58 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 11/14/2010
Posts: 754
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Well I really don't want to get too deep into this. But one of the things that is really noticeable about the whole episode is how little people who are meant to be in charge of it all really know.

PRISM was obviously not the holy of hollies at the NSA. It was on a non-compartmentalized computer being overseen by a contractor for a start. And from what we hear a blue badger not even a black. He wasn't fully cleared. But he was sufficiently cleared to see all the data washing across PRISM.

So yes, Snowden was a shit, he was the worst fucking shit ever. And he is one of the hundreds of people that the NSA gave access to all our emails and private stuff. So what does that tell us about how far we can trust the rest? How many blackmailers, rapists and other criminals are among them? Statistically about 10% of any population are utter shits. And the military isn't any better no matter what bullshit they try to fill peoples heads with.

The NSA is a military intelligence outfit. Part of the same institution that was up on capitol hill explaining why they have such a rape problem this week. And that isn't a new problem either. The Japanese living on Ockinawa have been complaining about the rape thing for decades without the slightest interest from DC. Now we are told we have to trust the same institution with all our private data and no controls at all.

At a conference recently there was a presentation about problems in the Do Not Fly program. A husband had decided to get rid of his wife by listing her on the Do Not Fly List and she was stopped from reentering the US for two years because of it. Nobody checked, nobody listened to her protests. The crime was only detected when the manager was up for promotion and the background check revealed his wife was a security risk. This was presented as a threat to national security because he might have taken someone off the list as easily as put them on. The presentation had been given to several agencies. I was the first person to point out that what it actually demonstrates is a callous disinterest in the welfare of the woman and the arrogance of the bureaucrats.

Another thing about these PRISM revelations is that so far all we actually know is that the program exists and some pretty hazy outlines of its capabilities. But despite this we are being told that the revelations are a grave blow to national security. You can almost hear them pinching themselves so they stop short before going on about stopping the commie bastards.

We are also being told that the administration welcomes the debate and moreover everyone knew about these programs. Which makes the threat to national security all the more mysterious as how can we be threatened by revelations about what we already know? And how could we have a debate without being told?

elitfromnorth
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 7:59:33 PM

Rank: Brawling Berserker

Joined: 2/12/2012
Posts: 1,620
Location: Burrowed, Norway
LadyX wrote:


Let's not kid ourselves: Obama's not 'picking his battles wisely'. If he wanted to remove intrusive surveillance, he would've attempted to shove those changes down everyone's throats the same way he did Obamacare. He never had (well, except for when he ran for President- see video below) and still has no notion to walk this back at all. To suggest otherwise gives him and his administration way too much credit. He's obviously very much on board with everything that's being done.


*credit to WellMadeMale, who also posted this above


Would it surprise you at all if this was something the NSA and FBI were doing without informing the president or anyone in the Administration simply because then they would have been shut down? Now Obama is left with a dilemma; either appear like a typical politician(i.e. say something and then not do it) or appear like he has no control over his military and federal agencies. Which is the better? Hell, with all the crap all kinds of different "security" organisations have been doing up over the years, I'm not surprised if they pulled off a stunt like this without telling the politicians.

"It's at that point you realise Lady Luck is actually a hooker, and you're fresh out of cash."
LadyX
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 8:38:25 PM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
elitfromnorth wrote:


Would it surprise you at all if this was something the NSA and FBI were doing without informing the president or anyone in the Administration simply because then they would have been shut down? Now Obama is left with a dilemma; either appear like a typical politician(i.e. say something and then not do it) or appear like he has no control over his military and federal agencies..


There's no dilemma. No doubt in my mind he's aware of what goes on. But his administration has a habit of claiming they knew nothing about anything, regardless of the issue.
Buz
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 8:44:01 PM

Rank: The Linebacker

Joined: 3/2/2011
Posts: 5,832
Location: Atlanta, United States
ByronLord wrote:
Well I really don't want to get too deep into this. But one of the things that is really noticeable about the whole episode is how little people who are meant to be in charge of it all really know.


Either they know and are lying or they or incompetent. I don't believe they are incompetent.

WellMadeMale
Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 12:42:03 PM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,301
Location: Cakeland, United States
ByronLord wrote:


So yes, Snowden was a shit, he was the worst fucking shit ever. And he is one of the hundreds of people that the NSA gave access to all our emails and private stuff.


Well, hey...you're in great company. Politics sure does create strange bedfellows, doesn't it.

This decrepit, insignificant cunt doesn't think much of Snowden either.


And I'm sure that waste of human flesh (above) thinks the FBI using drones against the domestic population of America is a splendid use of technology too.

What little I've read about Snowden, makes me admire the fucking guy for putting his life on the line and speaking up. Where some see a martyr/attentionwhoar/traitor - I see a whistle-blowing hero/patriot/human.








If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
Guest
Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 9:19:12 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 537,425
Glad to see the impetus for the devaluing of life is getting closer to the true source (no not just the Bushes, you plebs) and not just the symptom. Funny how whistle-blowing is becoming devalued as well. So many cry wolf, we don't know when to take it seriously anymore and run.
WellMadeMale
Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013 8:14:52 AM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,301
Location: Cakeland, United States
Highwayman wrote:
Glad to see the impetus for the devaluing of life is getting closer to the true source (no not just the Bushes, you plebs) and not just the symptom. Funny how whistle-blowing is becoming devalued as well. So many cry wolf, we don't know when to take it seriously anymore and run.


Henry Kissinger & Richard Milhous Nixon, two peas in a pod, both vying for the title of the most worthless piece of influential flesh in America (during the 1960s & 70s). They reviled Daniel Ellsberg - as did many Americans who felt Ellsberg was the ultimate US traitor.

Who was the Most Dangerous Man, in America?

Ellsberg, or one of those two power-mad mouth-breathers who considered the rest of humanity to be worthless eaters?



The US Military Industrial Complex was able to test most of their lethal toys of mass destruction during the Vietnam skirmish on the worthless cultures of Southeastern Asia. The only cost was the millions of lives on all sides of the conflict. Not just those murdered, but also those horribly maimed.

And how is it that Kissinger is still so highly regarded as to be considered for anything resembling advice by the last Bush administration? Birds of a feather, I say.

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
Guest
Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013 5:47:15 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 537,425
Pretty much WMM. The only reason, if you can call it that, for Kissinger being so acclaimed is the ridiculous propensity for human beings to be forgetful, and forgiving due to the lack of memory.

Waring nations have since time immemorial used their nations crop as test subjects for ideology, and expanding ones own wants. Men have always wanted to spew all over the world in the most efficient and destructive means. "By the people, for the people," indeed.

In this case, it's just a swelling notion to also keep tabs on ones own people with the excuse of 911. Please. You guys dropped the ball, as you have in the past, and then you want to use that oversight against your own. It's time for a new paradigm, and a new way of thinking.

It's a babbling brook so far. And your governments would like to decrease that to a trickle by any means necessary.
Guest
Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013 10:03:19 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 537,425
Highwayman wrote:
In this case, it's just a swelling notion to also keep tabs on ones own people with the excuse of 911. Please. You guys dropped the ball, as you have in the past, and then you want to use that oversight against your own. It's time for a new paradigm, and a new way of thinking. It's a babbling brook so far. And your governments would like to decrease that to a trickle by any means necessary.


I don't mean to pick on Highwayman but his statement pretty much sums up what most posters have been saying on this topic. However, in this new age of terror where terrorists use cell phones to co-ordinate their efforts and even detonate their bombs, how do you fight that except to collect the information? If you're not a terrorist you have nothing to be concerned about when it comes to harvesting phone calls. Right? Are you really offended that the Feds gleaned your information when you called Grandma Jones or even your mistress? Its the terrorists that they can glean information from and put the pieces together to thwart attacks. I mean, after the Boston bombing so many people were complaining that the Feds had enough on those brothers and why weren't they more efficient with what information they had.

And about Obama...no, he is not the President that everyone thought he would be. I'll bet he's not the President that he wanted to be. But when you come into office and the American, as well as the worlds, economy is tanking fast you have do whatever it takes to plug that hole. And then, you have the party of "no" blocking their own reform bills because suddenly this man sides with them (torte reform, for example. A republican effort that they turned their backs on).
The other day the House Republicans passed another (the 37th I believe) anti-abortion bill that has no chance of survival. And not even one jobs bill. In fact, Republicans have blocked two jobs bills from even being debated. I'd hate to be Obama with this kind of obstruction in his face. And it wasn't his administration that created the Patriot Bill that our leaders determined they needed to fight...terrorism. Thats like entering the French Open and complaining it is played on clay instead of grass.

On this guy Snowdon, I think what this guy did rates up there with hero status - not treason.

But my question is...what alternatives do the govt have to track terrorists without stepping on liberties? And what "new paradigm" or "new way of thinking" do you suggest. Or are you just tired of this system an dreaming of a new one.
Guest
Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013 10:40:53 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 537,425
Dreaming of a new one, as most eras poppulations have. No pick taken, but when we allow intrusion into simple liberties, it gives way to more. It's what other well funded intersts call to as well, however, cash is king. It's not a call to arms, it's just a weak excuse to infringe, and control.

So, I guess I should wake up and look around.

Stop believing in the myth of how much our government knows, and call. They won't show, and just don't ask anymore. So, we should keep equal tab on their bet as they do on our bluff.

Get pissed off, and take action when we don't agree, and support those that do take action instead of critisizing them, and only them.

Watch your rep, and senator, and call their bluff.

Maybe...use the internet to gain a collective and move some ant hills before the mountain. Oh, yeah, sorry. Lets not go there, cause it may be concieved as a terrorist action.

budwilliams
Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:09:19 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 2/17/2011
Posts: 494
Location: United States
ByronLord wrote:
The big problem with the PRISM program in my view is that it is being managed by a military agency. The NSA is military intelligence, not a police force.


The big problem with the PRISM program is that it isn't being managed by a military agency, but by a private contractor operating with very little oversight and more concerned about profit that about security
budwilliams
Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:12:45 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 2/17/2011
Posts: 494
Location: United States
LadyX wrote:

Actually, I hear very little anti-China rhetoric at all lately.



Of course not.
When people work for $20/month, dealing with China is very profitable
Guest
Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:13:51 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 537,425
It still doesn't answer the question...how do we stay safe? How do we stay one step ahead of creeps who will do anything to kill us? I understand the concept of giving up liberties will lead to more intrusion but HOW DO WE STAY SAFE? Tough one, I know.
budwilliams
Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:28:27 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 2/17/2011
Posts: 494
Location: United States
elitfromnorth wrote:
Would it surprise you at all if this was something the NSA and FBI were doing without informing the president or anyone in the Administration simply because then they would have been shut down?


My uncle worked for the Treasury Department. Based on some of the stories I've heard, no, it wouldn't surprise me a bit.
Especially when it's left to a private contractor who can bill the Pentagon as much as they want to gather information, then turn around and sell it to advertising agencies for billions of dollars

Quote:
Now Obama is left with a dilemma; either appear like a typical politician(i.e. say something and then not do it) or appear like he has no control over his military and federal agencies.


Which is exactly what the Right-wing propaganda machine wants. For example, they go on and on about how he hasn't closed Guantanamo Bay, and yet the GOP has blocked several attempts to do so in Congress.
Another example: Universal Healthcare was originally floated by the CATO Foundation in 1966 and put forward by a young senator by the name of Richard Nixon; and later included in the campaign promises of Ronald Reagan, but you never heard it called "Nixoncare" or "Reagancare"
budwilliams
Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:48:16 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 2/17/2011
Posts: 494
Location: United States
Kristind wrote:
If you're not a terrorist you have nothing to be concerned about when it comes to harvesting phone calls. Right? Are you really offended that the Feds gleaned your information when you called Grandma Jones or even your mistress?


I agree. They say there are 3-billion phone calls a day in this country
How many techs would they need to trace all of them, at $3,000 each?
I'm sure they could watch my every move if they wanted to, but I doubt very much that they would find me interesting enough to spend the time and man power on.

Quote:
then, you have the party of "no" blocking their own reform bills because suddenly this man sides with them (torte reform, for example. A republican effort that they turned their backs on).
The other day the House Republicans passed another (the 37th I believe) anti-abortion bill that has no chance of survival. And not even one jobs bill. In fact, Republicans have blocked two jobs bills from even being debated.


I said, long before the election, that if Obama won the election, the GOP would do everything in its power to prevent an economic recovery so they could blame Obama for it
Never mind the simple fact that the economy did much better under Clinton than it did under either Reagan or Bush


Guest
Posted: Friday, June 21, 2013 2:45:19 AM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 537,425
We actually talk to one another. Meet at a bookstore or for coffee and have some human discourse. Raise the level of awareness around us. Read, read to others, and stop with LOL, and OMG and get back to some face to face. It's just a first step, but, people do love their iPhones. So, there's that. It's a great LoJack.
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