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Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:14 PM

You want "Nixonian"? This, right here, this is Nixonian, if Nixon had grown up in East Germany


The Snowden Effect, Special Sunday Edition
By Charles P. Pierce
at 10:36am


http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/Big_Brother_Takes_A_Government_Job


Sooner or later, we're all going to start paying more attention to the folks at McClatchy than we do to the kidz at Tiger Beat On The Potomac. It was some of them who kept warning us that the Bush administration case for going to war in Iraq was shot through with moonshine and bullshit, but the courtier press got itself dazzled by mushroom clouds, aluminum tubes, African uranium, and Colin Powell, aka The Most Overrated Man In The World, and off to war we went. Now, they've come out with a gigantic story revealing, in detail, that the Obama administration is the most fertile environment for paranoids since the Nixon people first cut a check to Egil Krogh.

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.


You want "Nixonian"? This, right here, this is Nixonian, if Nixon had grown up in East Germany. You've got the entire federal bureaucracy looking for signs of "high-risk persons or behaviors" the way Nixon sent Fred Malek out to count the Jews. You've got created within the entire federal bureaucracy a culture of spies and informers, which will inevitably breed fear and deceit and countless acts of interoffice treachery. (Don't like your boss at the Bureau Of Land Management? Hmm, he looks like a high-risk person. Tell someone.) And this is the clincher.

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.


I don't want to hear about "safeguards" because I don't believe in them any more. I don't want to hear about "transparency" any more because the president lost his privileges on that word when he cited the secret rubber-stamp FISA court as the vehicle for transparency last week. I don't want to hear about "oversight" because, really, stop kidding us all. And I especially don't want to hear about how all the administration's really done is "formalize" programs that were already in place, as though giving the creation of a culture of informers the imprimatur of the presidency makes it better. This, after all, is what you're "formalizing," as dramatized on June 13, 1971 by the Oval Office Players, Richard M. Nixon, artistic director:

President Nixon: Doesn't it involve secure information, a lot of other things? What kind of-what kind of people would do such things?
Kissinger: It has the most-it has the highest classification, Mr. President.
President Nixon: Yeah. Yeah.
Kissinger: It's treasonable. There's no question it's actionable. I'm absolutely certain that this violates all sorts of security laws.
President Nixon: What-what do we do about it? Don't we ask for an-
Kissinger: I think I-I should talk to Mitchell.
President Nixon: Yeah.


No, Mr. Current President, this is not business as usual. This is not even the NSA sifting through e-mails and phone calls. This is giving Big Brother a desk in every federal agency and telling him to go to work.


(snip)

138 replies, 11297 views

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Reply You want "Nixonian"? This, right here, this is Nixonian, if Nixon had grown up in East Germany (Original post)
nashville_brook Jun 2013 OP
dkf Jun 2013 #1
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #3
Buzz Clik Jun 2013 #2
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #5
pscot Jun 2013 #11
Hell Hath No Fury Jun 2013 #12
DirkGently Jun 2013 #78
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #91
ReRe Jun 2013 #104
Zen Democrat Jun 2013 #118
deurbano Jun 2013 #88
JDPriestly Jun 2013 #96
ReRe Jun 2013 #105
NoMoreWarNow Jun 2013 #127
Uncle Joe Jun 2013 #4
IDemo Jun 2013 #6
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #8
DirkGently Jun 2013 #7
DirkGently Jun 2013 #14
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #17
DirkGently Jun 2013 #19
rwsanders Jun 2013 #68
NoMoreWarNow Jun 2013 #121
rwsanders Jun 2013 #135
NoMoreWarNow Jun 2013 #137
NYC_SKP Jun 2013 #75
pscot Jun 2013 #100
NYC_SKP Jun 2013 #101
ReRe Jun 2013 #107
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #117
Hell Hath No Fury Jun 2013 #9
Maven Jun 2013 #10
ucrdem Jun 2013 #13
DirkGently Jun 2013 #15
ucrdem Jun 2013 #18
DirkGently Jun 2013 #21
ucrdem Jun 2013 #31
ForgoTheConsequence Jun 2013 #35
ucrdem Jun 2013 #38
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #44
ucrdem Jun 2013 #48
ForgoTheConsequence Jun 2013 #52
Maedhros Jun 2013 #130
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #58
ucrdem Jun 2013 #60
DirkGently Jun 2013 #36
ucrdem Jun 2013 #39
DirkGently Jun 2013 #51
ucrdem Jun 2013 #54
DirkGently Jun 2013 #55
appal_jack Jun 2013 #112
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #115
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #40
ucrdem Jun 2013 #47
Maedhros Jun 2013 #131
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #56
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #22
ucrdem Jun 2013 #24
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #37
DirkGently Jun 2013 #42
ucrdem Jun 2013 #49
DirkGently Jun 2013 #53
ucrdem Jun 2013 #57
DirkGently Jun 2013 #62
ReRe Jun 2013 #108
DirkGently Jun 2013 #110
Maedhros Jun 2013 #132
frylock Jun 2013 #123
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #61
ucrdem Jun 2013 #63
DirkGently Jun 2013 #73
cantbeserious Jun 2013 #16
suffragette Jun 2013 #20
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #25
suffragette Jun 2013 #64
IDemo Jun 2013 #30
suffragette Jun 2013 #66
steve2470 Jun 2013 #23
DirkGently Jun 2013 #26
steve2470 Jun 2013 #29
DirkGently Jun 2013 #33
steve2470 Jun 2013 #41
DirkGently Jun 2013 #45
dkf Jun 2013 #32
DirkGently Jun 2013 #65
NYC_SKP Jun 2013 #74
steve2470 Jun 2013 #77
NYC_SKP Jun 2013 #81
steve2470 Jun 2013 #82
NYC_SKP Jun 2013 #85
A Simple Game Jun 2013 #95
MisterP Jun 2013 #97
DirkGently Jun 2013 #129
forestpath Jun 2013 #27
Tierra_y_Libertad Jun 2013 #28
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #34
shawn703 Jun 2013 #43
DirkGently Jun 2013 #70
Zen Democrat Jun 2013 #93
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #94
stevenleser Jun 2013 #102
Maedhros Jun 2013 #133
HardTimes99 Jun 2013 #46
Iliyah Jun 2013 #50
ucrdem Jun 2013 #59
JoeyT Jun 2013 #67
frylock Jun 2013 #124
DirkGently Jun 2013 #72
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #89
DirkGently Jun 2013 #92
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #116
deurbano Jun 2013 #80
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #84
sibelian Jun 2013 #138
WillyT Jun 2013 #69
Ichingcarpenter Jun 2013 #71
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #114
stevenleser Jun 2013 #76
DirkGently Jun 2013 #87
Bluenorthwest Jun 2013 #98
stevenleser Jun 2013 #99
Octafish Jun 2013 #79
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #83
DirkGently Jun 2013 #86
DLevine Jun 2013 #90
hfojvt Jun 2013 #103
NoMoreWarNow Jun 2013 #122
hfojvt Jun 2013 #125
NoMoreWarNow Jun 2013 #128
WillyT Jun 2013 #106
ReRe Jun 2013 #109
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #113
jsr Jun 2013 #111
madrchsod Jun 2013 #119
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #120
Maedhros Jun 2013 #134
NoMoreWarNow Jun 2013 #126
TheKentuckian Jun 2013 #136

Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:17 PM

1. Telling us there are whistleblower protections while instituting this program is insulting.

 

Wow.

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Response to dkf (Reply #1)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:19 PM

3. for reals.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:19 PM

2. Just a fucking minute. This is spinning into another quantum level of pure stupidity.

Nixon's paranoia was not about national security and threats to the US, it was about loyalty to HIM and threats to his administration.

Sweet Jesus, this is insane.

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #2)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:20 PM

5. whistleblowing vs leaking -- how does this dynamic not smack of the loyalty trope?

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #2)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:28 PM

11. You got that right

But it's not Charlie Pearce who's nuts. It's the President's Men, who see every
Amercan as a potential security threat. This is power paranoia run amok.

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #2)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:28 PM

12. Are you sure --

that's the Administration's motives aren't, in many ways, the same?

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #2)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:47 PM

78. "When the President does it, that means it's not illegal."


That IS the issue, and that is a direct quote. Moreover, it's the precise position taken by the Obama fundamentalists trying to deflect on every basis from Snowden's girlfriend's pole dancing to racism to Republican plants.

Don't you FUCKING talk about stupidity to this OP, when you're shouting from that side of the goddamned fence.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #78)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 03:11 PM

91. +1

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #91)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:47 PM

104. +2

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #78)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 10:08 AM

118. That was a quote from the David Frost interviews a couple of years after resignation.

And everyone laughed. The whole country laughed at Tricky Dick. And don't forget he personally ordered fire-bombings, breaking and entering for medical records to smear Daniel Ellsberg, and all manner of hate and meanness, including ordering journalists to be audited directly from the top to a plant at the IRS.

If you don't know what Nixon did, don't whitewash his crimes. Most of them weren't investigated to spare the American people an even bigger mess. He should have gone to jail but Ford pardoned him for any and all crimes in the past and in the future. How 'bout that?

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #2)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 03:02 PM

88. It's the actual actions we should be most concerned about...

not motivation. A "better" motivation doesn't make a bad action good. (And it's easier to judge actions than motivations... or personalities... or character... etc.)

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #2)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 03:29 PM

96. It's a line so thin as to be invisible.

The paranoia is in the administration that allows these kinds of programs to exist in a democratic government. Leaking is a part of democracy. Let it be.

People don't leak things if a) they really believe those things are vital to their own security and the security of the people they love (obviously, Snowden and Manning were disillusioned by what they witnessed in their work and did not believe the secrets they knew were vital to protect themselves and those they loved) b) they feel themselves to be respected in their workplace and they respect others in their workplace (we need to change the dynamics of the workplace so that all employees feel respected and understand which aspects of what they are doing should be kept secret and PRECISELY WHY THEY SHOULD BE KEPT SECRET). Clearly, Snowden and Manning were told to keep things secret that a) probably should not have been secret and b) they believed in their souls, in their consciences, should not have been secret.

Usually people will obey secrecy instructions. I think the reason that Manning and Snowden did not is that they felt that it was their patriotic duty to inform the American people of the unconstitutional and criminal activities to which they were privy. I trust them for those reasons. They were not betraying the country to which they owed the greatest allegiance. They were betraying a criminal cabal within the administration of the country they love.

I hope people understand this.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #96)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:51 PM

105. I do. 100%.

Why don't you turn your reply into an OP Poll?

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #96)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 12:18 PM

127. yes, totally

 

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:20 PM

4. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, nashville brook.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:20 PM

6. But, "I'm not a crook" Dick Nixon was a crook, and this is all entirely legal

Therefore, it's all moral, ethical, patriotic, and just look at that shine!

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Response to IDemo (Reply #6)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:24 PM

8. we're all shiny happy people in our panopticon of love

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:23 PM

7. "The Insider Threat Program."



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.


http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2013_06/surveillance_state_news_snowde045426.php

This is the core issue. Government classifying and pursuing as criminal any revelation of politically inconvenient information.

We knew it was horrendous when Bush was doing it.

The cold reality is that the Obama administration has continued and expanded upon the same authoritarian premise.

It cannot stand.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #7)


Response to DirkGently (Reply #7)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:36 PM

17. An online tutorial titled "Treason 101" teaches Administration employees to recognize... spies

Did this come out under Bush? No. Does Obama own this? Yes.

An online tutorial titled "Treason 101" teaches Department of Agriculture and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration employees to recognize the psychological profile of spies. A Defense Security Service online pamphlet lists a wide range of "reportable" suspicious behaviors, including working outside of normal duty hours. While conceding that not every behavior "represents a spy in our midst," the pamphlet adds that "every situation needs to be examined to determine whether our nation's secrets are at risk."


When I read this I thought "this is the sort of thing I'd expect under a Rick Scott presidency." Beyond the sheer malevolence of casting all government employees as SPIES, it knee-caps our government's ability to FUNCTION.

This initiative covers all agencies, meaning that there's not one place in our PUBLIC sector where people aren't under suspicion. How can anyone work in those conditions? We know the answer to this -- it's the last gasp of authoritarianism as it collapses into decadence.


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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #17)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:38 PM

19. What information, when disclosed, constitutes a crime against "The United States?"



Again and again, we see this attempt to conflate "America" with the interests of the wealthy and powerful. That is not what "America" is. "We" don't need certain leaders in place in South America or the Middle East to provide convenience for business interests. "We" are not harmed when secret government programs regarding spying on the private lives of Americans are revealed.

Conflating those two things -- secrets that protect Americans and secrets that protect political or monied interests -- is the problem progressives always face.

This administration does not recognize it, or worse, believes in the opposite point of view.

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.


http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2013_06/surveillance_state_news_snowde045426.php

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #17)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:33 PM

68. Where I work, the training ID'd a risky behavior as...

"Disagreeing with the foreign policy of the United States"
Beyond creepy. Those that are defending these programs whether through loyalty to Obama, or thinking it won't affect them are crazy.
All it will take is one vindictive, manipulative supervisor and they are out on the street. There are many who will see these programs as a chance to further their own goals. It is like Afganistan brought home, report an "enemy" and get promoted, whether or not they were an enemy.

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Response to rwsanders (Reply #68)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 10:49 AM

121. this is beyond creepy and the worst part is it makes me want to agree with republicans when they see

 

big government as the problem.

Our state is freaking out of control and seems more concerned with protecting itself than us.

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Response to NoMoreWarNow (Reply #121)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 08:58 PM

135. Well the government is too big, but I wouldn't jump on their bandwagon too soon...

I've been trying to reason out their opposition to "big government" and their addiction to guns to "stand up to the government" and their propensity to vote for bigger government, that includes a bloated military that would overwhelm their little pop-guns in seconds.
I finally have a working hypothesis. The "government" that they hate and want to fight is only the part that provides help and assistance to minorities. They hate the minorities so much it doesn't matter to them that they benefit from some of those same programs.
So the bottom line is that they are really just gearing up for a race war.
We need to find a majority in this country that wants a sane, rational government, but I don't know how we could ever get there.

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Response to rwsanders (Reply #135)

Tue Jun 25, 2013, 07:39 AM

137. I think that is partly true

 

I don't know about the race war, but the RWers are definitely racist at some level. But also just poor and uneducated and overly religious, and hate to see "their money" going to helping people they don't like or trust.

I am hoping we are evolving out of their mentality-- it can't happen too soon.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #17)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:45 PM

75. Link please.

Providing original source material.

Would love to see it.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #75)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:17 PM

100. It would appear that this is wide spread

And has its origins in the tech industry; think Microsoft's preoccupation with security and copyright.

Insider Threat Workshop

The CERT Program at Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute has been researching insider threats since 2002. We have compiled a database containing hundreds of actual insider threat cases. Our insider threat research focuses on both technical and behavioral aspects of actual compromises; our goal is to raise awareness of the risks of insider threat and to help identify the factors influencing an insider's decision to act, the indicators and precursors of malicious acts, and the countermeasures that will improve the survivability and resiliency of the organization

http://www.sei.cmu.edu/training/p76.cfm?wt.srch=1&wt.mc_id=G-cr0166

Course Fees

U.S. Industry: $1800

U.S. Government/Academic: $1500

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Response to pscot (Reply #100)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:21 PM

101. I finally found a possible source.

Searched for "treason 101" and NOAA.

http://www.wrc.noaa.gov/wrso/security_guide/intro-3.htm

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #17)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 05:19 PM

107. That's right...

Massive "paranoia" is what we have to fight against. To not trust your fellow worker or your friends, neighbors, employers, even close family members turns us into a totalitarian state. Germany was like this, no? Nobody could trust anyone. Hell, the whole "fear, fear, fear" campaign tells everyone to be aware of what's going on around them and to turn in anyone you feel is "suspicious." I didn't need to be told to do my civic duty, as I've done that all my life and certainly don't need to be told to do so. But the message is to "be suspicious". Can you imagine the fear someone must feel to walk around in this world and be suspicious of everyone you meet or know?

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Response to ReRe (Reply #107)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 09:27 AM

117. conveniently undermines government functions while funding sequestration does its job

of completely killing off our public sector. this is the corporate model that libertarian feudalists have been drooling over for decades -- and it's a Dem president putting it into practice. beyond unacceptable.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:27 PM

9. Happy to K&R

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)


Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:29 PM

13. Oh joy, Obama is Nixon and Obama is Stalin, all on the same day!

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #13)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:34 PM

15. More truthful than "critics are racists" anyway, eh?

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #15)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:36 PM

18. You'd think they'd coordinate their efforts

but then logic never plays much of a role in this.

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #18)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:45 PM

21. The knee-jerk NSA apologists certainly seem more uniform.


First they tried attacking Snowden for supposedly contributing to a Paul once.

Then they tried smearing his girlfriend for "pole dancing."

Then there was some entertaining nonsense about boxes in his garage and not being a "friendly neighbor."

Then Hong Kong was bad because it's China, sort of. There was a fascinating attempt at a conspiracy theory involving the Bush family and Booz Allen Hamilton being cohorts, that somehow was supposed to add up to Snowden being a rightwing plant. And by "rightwing plant," they literally meant "rightwing plant." Because that's super realistic.

Then the predictable bottom of the barrel stuff equating government criticism while Obama is in office as "racism." Because the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are known to be such "racists," you know.

So it'd be a bit rich to complain of "Nixonian" as being unfair at this point anyway. But Nixon was fond of the conceit that "If the President does it, that means it's not illegal."

Which is precisely the crux of the argument being made in defense of NSA spying.

So, unlike all the infantile messenger-shooting attempts regarding Snowden, yeah, I'd say this shoe fits a lot better.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #21)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:52 PM

31. It's fun to think that this is about some kind of courageous act of whistleblowing.

But it isn't. It's the same old GOP dirty tricksters launching Swiftboat #862 and in the case of Obama, yes, racism is and always has been the magic dust that makes it work every time.

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #31)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:55 PM

35. Proof?

Which GOPers are launching this attack? Certainly not McCain, Boehner or Lindsey Graham, they're all in your corner.

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Response to ForgoTheConsequence (Reply #35)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:56 PM

38. Look up BAH. nt

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #38)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:59 PM

44. what a lame response! there's either a connection or there isn't.

show us the connection. the fact that BAH exists isn't a connection.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #44)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:03 PM

48. There are connections aplenty for anyone with eyes. Here's a few to get you started:

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #48)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:07 PM

52. This doesn't prove anything.

Show me proof that the GOP is conspiring with Snowden to target Obama.

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Response to ForgoTheConsequence (Reply #52)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 01:12 PM

130. Isn't it strange how requests for evidence

are always ignored or rebuffed? (Not counting the recursive links offered in lieu of evidence by one poster).

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #48)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:10 PM

58. OMG -- that deserves it's own Alex Jones forum!

bravo!

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #58)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:11 PM

60. Oh that's rich. nt

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #31)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:55 PM

36. Please explain the ACLU's GOP "magic racism dust" to us.


"This dragnet program is surely one of the largest surveillance efforts ever launched by a democratic government against its own citizens," said Jameel Jaffer, ACLU deputy legal director. "It is the equivalent of requiring every American to file a daily report with the government of every location they visited, every person they talked to on the phone, the time of each call, and the length of every conversation. The program goes far beyond even the permissive limits set by the Patriot Act and represents a gross infringement of the freedom of association and the right to privacy."

The ACLU is a customer of Verizon Business Network Services, which was the recipient of a secret FISA Court order published by The Guardian last week. The order required the company to "turn over on 'an ongoing daily basis' phone call details" such as who calls are placed to and from, and when those calls are made. The lawsuit argues that the government's blanket seizure of and ability to search the ACLU's phone records compromises sensitive information about its work, undermining the organization's ability to engage in legitimate communications with clients, journalists, advocacy partners, and others.

"The crux of the government's justification for the program is the chilling logic that it can collect everyone's data now and ask questions later," said Alex Abdo, a staff attorney for the ACLU's National Security Project. "The Constitution does not permit the suspicionless surveillance of every person in the country."

http://www.aclu.org/national-security/aclu-files-lawsuit-challenging-constitutionality-nsa-phone-spying-program

The argument you are making is a lie.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #36)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:57 PM

39. I'm not the ACLU. You need to ask them what their motives are. nt

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #39)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:06 PM

51. No, you need to support your argument with factual information.



The fact is the NSA spying story did not originate with Republicans.

The fact is that Greenwald and the ACLU and Chris Hayes and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are not racists.

The fact is that the universe neither revolves around nor depends upon the political convenience of the Obama administration.

The fact is that Republicans LOVE secretive spying on Americans. They supported Bush when he did it, and precious few are taking issue with it now. Republicans hate checks on police power of any kind, because police power protects the status quo and the rich, and those are the Republicans' constituents.

DEMOCRATS typically support transparency in government and careful public oversight of possible abuses of civil liberties, particularly those pertaining to free speech and the right to disagree with entrenched power.

What are you going to say when President Teabagger is in office? Will you call those demanding transparency and restraint on domestic spying traitors and racists, too?

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #51)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:08 PM

54. Here are some facts and this is my last kick of this delightful specimen:

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #54)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:09 PM

55. So sorry to see you go. Thanks for your support!

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #39)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 12:29 AM

112. No, you definitely are NOT about civil liberties at all, are you? k&r, n/t

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #39)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 08:56 AM

115. partisanship over principles is definitely not an ACLU value

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #31)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:57 PM

40. talk about adding to the hilarity. got a link for that?

where's the evidence that extraordinary claim that the GOP is behind Snowden? you'd think that would be plastered all over the news.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #40)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:02 PM

47. It's been plastered all over DU since WaPo Guardian launched this baloney. Start here:

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #47)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 01:16 PM

131. Nothing in your linked post

explains how the GOP is behind the leaks, ergo it is poor evidence for your assertion.

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #31)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:09 PM

56. it's fun to think being a true partisan believer is some kind of courageous

but instead it's just sad.

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #13)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:45 PM

22. if not for true believers, there would be neither Stalin nor Nixon

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #22)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:47 PM

24. Thank you for adding to the hilarity. nt

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #24)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:56 PM

37. and to you.

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #24)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:59 PM

42. Hilariously impossible to refute, you mean.


Otherwise, you'd be positing some kind of rationale, rather than this drive-by nonsense.

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #49)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:07 PM

53. I'm not fetching your links. Make an argument here, if you have one.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #53)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:09 PM

57. Okay, you want facts, but you won't read them. Fail. Gotta go, have fun. nt.

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #57)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:11 PM

62. Once again, if you have an argument, feel free to MAKE IT.


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Response to DirkGently (Reply #53)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 05:31 PM

108. DG, I did check out his link and all it is....

... is a link to a conversation among the "loyalists," i.e those who think that anyone who criticizes PO in any way is racist. You're NOT missing anything.

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Response to ReRe (Reply #108)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 06:06 PM

110. Thus the declined invitation to argue here. Thanks.

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Response to ReRe (Reply #108)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 01:20 PM

132. I think this is the argument:

1. Snowden released information on the UK spying on the Russian delegates to the G8.
2. Obama had a meeting with Putin.
3. ???
4. Everything Snowden has done is part of a Republican plot to destroy the President.

All the proof is RIGHT THERE under Item 3!

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #53)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 11:35 AM

123. it's whitehouse.gov copy+paste..

don't bother.

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #49)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:11 PM

61. more Alex Jones tinfoilery.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #61)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:12 PM

63. Oh? And what would you call this noble effort?

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #63)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:42 PM

73. "A citation to a thoughtful article containing actual information?"


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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:36 PM

16. K&R

eom

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:44 PM

20. It's reminding me more and more of the film Brazil

Some of the propaganda posters from that film like, "Don't suspect a friend, report him" and "Suspicion Breeds Confidence" fit right in with initiatives like the Insider Threat Program.


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Response to suffragette (Reply #20)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:48 PM

25. i keep thinking of the office setting in that movie

with the listening devices and steampunk vibe. it's very contemporary in a strange way.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #25)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:18 PM

64. Yes, and the ongoing surveillance

And the possibility of a life being destroyed if the power of that comes to bear on someone, even through an error such as that with Tuttle and Buttle.

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Response to suffragette (Reply #20)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:51 PM

30. We've even got the same governmental agencies now:


Ministry of Information Services - NSA, CIA, FBI

Ministry of Information Retrieval - Guantanamo Bay.

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Response to IDemo (Reply #30)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:22 PM

66. Scary to emulate such a dystopia

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:46 PM

23. this grabbed my attention:

The Department of Education, meanwhile, informs employees that co-workers going through "certain life experiences . . . might turn a trusted user into an insider threat." Those experiences, the department says in a computer training manual, include "stress, divorce, financial problems" or "frustrations with co-workers or the organization." An online tutorial titled "Treason 101" teaches Department of Agriculture and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration employees to recognize the psychological profile of spies. A Defense Security Service online pamphlet lists a wide range of "reportable" suspicious behaviors, including working outside of normal duty hours. While conceding that not every behavior "represents a spy in our midst," the pamphlet adds that "every situation needs to be examined to determine whether our nation's secrets are at risk."


Disturbing.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #23)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:48 PM

26. In other words, dissidents. Boat rockers. Democrats.


Disturbing, indeed.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #26)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:50 PM

29. yes

"Undesirables", of all types.

Joe McCarthy is smiling in his grave. Sorry folks, I'm a loyal Dem since 1976 but this sucks.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #29)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:54 PM

33. I don't get how Dems can suddenly identify with secretive power structures.


They've never been on our side. Being liberal / Democratic / progressive is supposed to mean (I thought) a distrust of the empowered, whereas conservatives / Republicans / assholes distrust the disempowered.

They punch down. Down on hippies, down on the poor, down on the leakers and the tattletales and the dissident shouters. The FBI spied on MLK, John Lennon, Democratic Headquarters. This is not new. This is not about one person. This is about how secret power is always a constraint on progress and equality and fairness.

We punch up.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #33)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:59 PM

41. totally agree

The surveillance state has grown way too large and too intrusive. This latest revelation chills me to the core. I'm waiting for people to justify it.

We need to have a very public and very frank discussion of terrorism and its real causes in this country, and get back to pre-911 government functioning. I'm yet to be convinced that we MUST have this massive surveillance state to keep us safe.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #41)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:00 PM

45. They're not even trying to justify it. They're screaming "racists!"


instead.

Sad, really.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #23)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:53 PM

32. Department of Ag and NOAA? Treason? WTH?

 

Now this is kind of scary if they know some thing about Monsanto perhaps or GMOs and can't tell the public. Is this fascism where the government and certain corporations are intertwined?

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Response to dkf (Reply #32)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:20 PM

65. That's always been the danger in the U.S.


All the worst we've ever done as a nation has been at the behest of monied interests. The whole "PNAC" manifesto embraced by the architects of the Iraq war was the U.S. should "project its military power" to further corporate interests.

The same people, with the same reasoning, naturally think it's a fine idea to utilize government surveillance to enhance and protect power and wealth.

It's not a stretch or a conspiracy. It's the history of power dynamics in America. Banana Republics in South America. Iran / Contra. All the CIA fuckery we've ever seen.

Government power is abused to further powerful interests, and those opposed are quickly labeled "traitors" and threatened with prison.

It SHOULD be the thing small and large "d" Democrats should be most concerned about.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #23)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:43 PM

74. Looking for a link to any page more than a month old..

To any of this language.
No success.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #77)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:50 PM

81. Yes, but...

Excerpts are from "Treason 101".
I'm looking for the alleged source of these.

On an ipad...

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #81)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:53 PM

82. oh, maybe it's on an intra-office LAN

only thing I can think of

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #23)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 03:27 PM

95. The following quote says a lot.

"every situation needs to be examined to determine whether our nation's secrets are at risk."

So who does the examining? Surely not the supervisor, they are not trained for it nor I would assume are they to be trusted with the evaluation. So does this get kicked up to the NSA? Probably? So the NSA or some contractor working for them starts spying on an American citizen because they did the dastardly deed of voluntarily working some overtime?

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #23)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 03:37 PM

97. the enforcers are actually always those in the hottest seat: a self-consuming system can produce

great extremes of behavior (see: Yagoda and Yezhov)

some say that Snowden's Paul-admiration discredits him, but in my analysis that shows that they're packing these enforcers with right-of-center ideologues, encouraging group- and doublethink

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Response to MisterP (Reply #97)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 01:08 PM

129. Right. Kind of double-edged to argue Snowden's a RW ideologue.


or a "bad neighbor" or whatever ... if that's true, why are such people packing NSA security clearances?

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:49 PM

27. K&R

 

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:49 PM

28. Yep. Complete with lies, CYA statements, and the pursuit of the whistle blower.

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #28)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:55 PM

34. have you noticed global media refers to Snowden as "whistleblower"

while US media refers to him as "leaker." doubleplusgood for cocktail journalists.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 01:59 PM

43. I believe an extension of Godwin's Law is warranted

To cover comparisons to Nixon and Watergate.

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Response to shawn703 (Reply #43)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:38 PM

70. It wouldn't apply where there is an actual parallel.


Comparing something that isn't Nazi Germany to Nazi Germany is often off base.

Comparing a U.S. President to another U.S. President who embraced a radical view of Executive power is much harder to write off as hyperbole.

I don't believe the OP mentioned "Watergate." But "Nixonian" is properly part of the American vocabulary in debating the notion that "If the President does it, that means it isn't illegal."

That IS actually what we are talking about here. Not genocide. Not taking over Europe, no. But the view that the Executive can make its own rules, conduct its own oversight, decide Constitutionality on its own, and savage those who expose wrongdoing as "Enemies of State?"

No, that's a real thing, and we really have it here, right now. Ask Thomas Drake. Ask Bradley Manning. If this isn't "Nixonian," why isn't it?

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #70)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 03:18 PM

93. Ask President Kennedy. Oh yeah, he was murdered in the street at midday for opposing war power.

Now, only the ways and means are new.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #70)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 03:21 PM

94. and they thought they had a new internet meme!

DirkGently FTW.

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Response to shawn703 (Reply #43)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:24 PM

102. Good point. I think Godwin's law is really implied anytime one compares someone to a

horrific past leader unless its easily proven that the comparison is not hyperbole.

In the case of Nixon, Obama is specifically respecting a law enacted after Nixon to prevent Nixonian abuses.

Hence, the OP is hyperbole and qualifies as a variation of Godwin.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #102)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 01:39 PM

133. The problem with Godwin's Law

is that Nazi Germany, along with Stalin's Soviet Union and Pol Pot's Cambodia, is pretty much the top of the A list when it comes to modern repressive states. These states set the bar really high when it comes to repression and brutality. It's hard to use any of these states in a comparison because their acts were so horrific.

However, there are definitely elements of the development of the Nazi state that have been paralleled by subsequent governments - the use of multimedia state propaganda, for one. It is useful to refer back to Nazi Germany as a cautionary tale, to understand how the German people came to embrace a totalitarian government. Comparing a policy or behavior of a current government with a similar policy or behavior of Nazi Germany can be constructive. For example, comparing a government's system of secret laws prosecuted in secret courts with a similar policy in Nazi Germany does not assert that the government is also committing a Holocaust. It just asserts that secret laws are bad.

Godwin's Law is essentially a straw man argument, which intends to invalidate an argument by accusing it of hyperbole.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:01 PM

46. We have met the enemy and it is . . . us (Pogo) - nt

 

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:04 PM

50. GOPer propaganda at its finest

Logic DIVIDE and CONQUER

My GOSH, on and on and on bullshit on this board.

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Response to Iliyah (Reply #50)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:10 PM

59. Yes. nt

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Response to Iliyah (Reply #50)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:29 PM

67. As opposed to your thoughtful and incisive comment.

Which neither offers facts nor attempts to refute points. Just more complaining that people disagree with you.

If the GOP is so hellbent on this scandal, why are so many of them, the vilest of the bunch, at that, coming out in support of Obama?

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #67)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 11:38 AM

124. they must be 11th-dimensional chess masters as well

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Response to Iliyah (Reply #50)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:41 PM

72. Do you have a response to the substance of the OP?


The NSA / domestic surveillance scandal is not a Republican issue.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #72)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 03:08 PM

89. but...it's racism! it's a GOP plot! it's a bird it's a plane...it's Super Strawman!

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #89)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 03:12 PM

92. If there's a GOP plot, it would be to keep all this going


... until President Rubio or President (gulp) Ryan ascends to power.

Which begs the question, "Who here thinks 'we're being totally careful with your privacy' will be a satisfactory response then?"

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #92)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 09:10 AM

116. the inconvenient truth about civil liberties is that while folks might trust Obama like a brother

he's not president for life, and in reality these policies empower the intelligence agencies that answer to no one.

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Response to Iliyah (Reply #50)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:48 PM

80. Charles Pierce?

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Response to Iliyah (Reply #50)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:57 PM

84. what the true believers will always fail to recognize,

is that there's partisanship in the principles put forth here. we either live under the Constitution or we don't.

the dividing and conquering that's happening right now is between us and our neighbors, co-workers and family members who are being asked to look at EVERYONE with suspicion.

so -- you're half right. which in this case means nada.

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Response to Iliyah (Reply #50)

Tue Jun 25, 2013, 07:47 AM

138. So, you don't actually refute it.


You paint it with a nebulous "GOP" label.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:38 PM

69. HUGE K & R !!! - Thank You !!!


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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:40 PM

71. kick ..didn't see this post

on the subject

I don't like dupes so I deleted mine.

Which was titled

WTF?

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Reply #71)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 08:50 AM

114. wtf indeed.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:45 PM

76. Hilarious hyperbole. The only thing this will achieve is to scuttle dialogue on this issue.

No one is going to take this nonsense seriously.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #76)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 03:02 PM

87. I take it seriously. So, you're wrong. n/t

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #76)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:05 PM

98. Hey speaking of hyperbole did your coworker Rachel ever come up with that

big scoop you were touting the other day? Or was that just more right wing nonsense from your 'debate partner'?

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #98)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:13 PM

99. I posted it. It's up to you to decide. I'm not responsible for other journalists' claims or what you

think of them.

Nice try... not

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:47 PM

79. If we have a free press, that only helps the enemy.

Who, of course, are We the People.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #79)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 02:55 PM

83. down with the tyranny of a free press!

yargle. bargle.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #79)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 03:00 PM

86. The broad-brush smearing of journalism is a rightwing idea.


It's disappointing to see it here so often. I don't mean when the press it gets it wrong, or when it's co-opted, or when the Fox Network perverts journalism into wide-open, proud propaganda.

But there is real journalism in the world. There are real reporters. And there is a reason we protected the press in the very First Amendment.

And yet so many seem willing to buy into the idea that it is now "espionage" for someone to reveal embarrassing information about our own government's activities.

That's not how it's supposed to work. People aren't supposed to be afraid of embarrassing the government.

The government is supposed to be afraid of embarrassing its people.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 03:08 PM

90. K&R. nt

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:43 PM

103. this is strange stuff

coming from the guy who said Obama was so awesome because he ignored his critics and supporters on the left.

Maybe Pierce only supports the President when the President is giving tax cuts to the rich.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #103)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 11:26 AM

122. Pierce has written a lot on Obama, and I don't think he has been uniformly positive at all

 

In any case, this program sounds terrible.

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Response to NoMoreWarNow (Reply #122)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 12:05 PM

125. I was thinking of this nonsense

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022237431

"In short, the more things that Barack Obama did that angered his liberal base, the more the conservatives convinced themselves that he was setting up an elaborate plot to cater to that same base over his second four years in office. "

...

"That is the challenge of his second term. It is, to borrow a useful verb from a president currently packing them in at your local octoplex, to disenthrall the country, including all of us, and including himself most of all, from the nonsense of the quiet past that is inadequate to the stormy reality. We can think anew. He can act anew. And, by God, he might have a chance to save the country. "


Obama was gonna save the country.

Now, he's gonna turn it into East Germany.

Maybe Pierce is either hyping in one direction or in another direction. Things are either really awesome to him, or else really scary.

But I don't understand why THIS TOO does not fit the pattern of "save the country by angering your liberal base" that Pierce seemed to believe in before.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #125)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 12:25 PM

128. well, I really doubt (at this point) that Obama is doing anything just to anger his liberal base

 

though I can't rule that out either

I know I'm not alone in thinking Obama is not a real liberal (though he talks amazingly like one sometimes), and I really worry about his ultimate motives.

I think Charlie Pierce is a funny and sometimes astute commentator, but he's hardly the go-to guy for in-depth analysis.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 05:16 PM

106. Kick !!!


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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 05:49 PM

109. K&R

Thanks for the OP, nashville_cat, er, I mean Nashville_brook

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Response to ReRe (Reply #109)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 08:09 AM

113. :)

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 06:20 PM

111. Great article

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 10:11 AM

119. i thought 1984 would be fully implemented under a republican president but i was wrong

it became reality under a democratic president who received more popular votes and electoral college votes than anyone.

i guess ..."there`s no hope, no reasoning, on this rainy day in june"

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Response to madrchsod (Reply #119)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 10:42 AM

120. if this is allowed to continue, it will be "fully implemented" beyond imagination

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Response to madrchsod (Reply #119)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 01:51 PM

134. In Frank Herbert's "Dune"

House Harkonnen was granted control of the planet Arrakis, the only place in the universe that produced the spice necessary for interstellar travel and trade.

Baron Vladimir Harkonnen dispatched his nephew Glossu "Beast" Rabban to Arrakis with instructions to rule with an iron fist, to oppress and enslave and abuse the native Fremen. According to his plan, after an extended period of brutal rule by the Beast, the Baron would replace him with his other nephew - the dashing and eloquent Feyd Rautha - who would be welcomed as a savior by the oppressed Fremen. The truth was that the Baron would be the real ruler the entire time.

Like his protagonist, Paul Atreides, Herbert was quite prescient. We had our eight years of Beast Rabban, now we've got our Feyd Rautha. What we need to do is get rid of the Baron.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 12:17 PM

126. but I learned here on DU that Obama was not conducting any "war on whistleblowers"?

 

how can this be???

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 09:34 PM

136. Pretty damned scary.

Absolutely chilling.

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