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JackRiddler

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 24,759

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Obviously, though...

I can tell you there was a horrible phase in 2003 when about a third of this board at the time lined up to support the planned war of aggression on Iraq. But for the most part these were conservative democrats, no one was claiming that the opponents of the war (the majority here, as today with those who oppose the NSA-led surveillance state) were actually right-wing libertarians paid by the right to sabotage Democrats, etc. etc.

Actually, there's a whole class of perverts here...

The ones watching these disgusting anti-humanist "news" programs and howling for the girl's scalp, whether because homosexuality is the sin or out of a supposed hyper-formalist strict construction of "law." And a society that blindly sets up such laws without understanding the consequences at any point. (Can't they figure out an age difference?!) And a prosecuting arm that uses its ample discretion in this extremist fashion to punish the harmless in the most high-profile way possible. And they all sit in judgement of this girl, they get their moral rocks off this case, they preach hellfire for her and style themselves "morally superior," including on this "progressive board" -- they who pay taxes to imprison millions and drop bombs on millions more. A society full of perverts!

And so? How does that justify anything?!

If these were medieval times and she was accused of witchcraft, she'd have already been drowned or stoned! I suspect this is what most of the people watching these disgusting 24/7 crime drama "news" programs would like to see.

It's so damn unfair that this teenager is only going being threatened with 15 years in prison as a sex offender, when others committing similar non-"crimes" might get even worse treatment.

Shoot them all and let God sort them out!

Do you not have better things to do

than to want to join the right-wing effort to destroy this girl's life?

This girl's prosecution is almost literally a Salem witchhunt. It is disgusting that they want to ruin her, whether by the draconian plea deal or the off-the-scale bloodthirsty alternative. Supporting her sets "us" back by nothing whatsoever. Hooray for TYT for telling it like it is. Shame on you for being swept up in the intolerant nonsense.

Really? Where does it say that in the Constitution?

Maybe that's the problem, that the Beast can be investigated only by those whom the Beast has vetted?

Isn't it interesting that elected and appointed officials of the elected government get vetted by the Beast, and not vice-versa?

Speeches and utterances don't count for much.

He was president, with veto power equivalent to 2/3+1 of both houses of Congress. While I can remember a lot of palaver about how we needed a "bridge to the 21st Century" that was all neoliberal technofetishist code, it doesn't matter. Because I can point you to something a lot more important than his speeches: the Gramm-Leach-Bliley bill deregulating banking and ending the Glass-Steagal limits that had been in place since 1934, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 which basically banned regulation on derivatives, also NAFTA on "fast track" and a number of other key "free trade" agreements. All signed by Clinton, no gun to his head necessary. (Not to mention the Welfare "reform," highly repressive mandatory sentencing crime laws that helped cause prison inmate numbers to skyrocket more in the Clinton admin than under any other US govt, etc. etc.)

"Vote for Hillary or else!"

(Clarification: Based on how many people around here are talking today, that's the mentality we will see expressed if Hillary Clinton becomes the Democratic Party nominee for president in 2016. Some in fact have already begun to say that Clinton is both inevitable and necessary as the candidate, so the rest of us should accept it.)

This is the way of thinking that got the Republican House elected in 2010. The genuine popular movement that had been so successful in electing Obama in 2008 was directed to go home and watch on TV while the policy reins were suddenly handed over to neoliberal class warriors like Rahm Emanuel and Larry Summers (old miscreants of vacuous power politics who had not been forefronted during the campaign). Under Geithner's management the bailout of the banks directly responsible for the economic crash was completed, so that they were made more powerful than ever, while foreclosures of underwater homeowners proceeded apace. Incredibly a primary criminal from the Bush regime's aggressive war on Iraq (Robert Gates, who oversaw "the surge," former Iran-Contra criminal) was kept on as secretary of war.

The Democratic administration in power no longer presented a distinctive alternative to the destructive policies of the Bush regime, but actually adopted and worked to evolve many of these, including the perpetual global war and, as we have since discovered, warrantless mass surveillance of the American people. In its relations with the left the 2010 Democratic election campaign abandoned positive programmatic messaging for rote threats that if the other guys won it would be much worse. Despite Democratic control of the Congress, major policy initiatives were watered down to woo Republicans, even though the latter maintained a no-compromise front that absurdly painted a pro-industry health insurance reform act and a laughably ineffective attempt to re-impose regulation on the criminal banking sector as the advent of Stalinism.

A vacuum was created for the Tea Party Republican astroturfing operation to profile itself as something "revolutionary," the only real "movement" happening. Not surprisingly, this intentional move to the right, coupled with the expectation of obedience among voting clienteles as though they belong to the Democratic Party as a matter of its privilege, failed to mobilize the Democratic left but also failed to inspire the independent voter with the thought that there were clear alternatives from which to choose. A self-made disaster followed for the Democrats at the midterm polls, although this was also a product of gerrymandering (as the Democratic share of the vote nationwide was actually equal to the Republican).

Perhaps a similar scenario is now being set up by those who support the well-known champion of neoliberalism and "humanitarian" imperialist wars, Hillary Clinton, as the candidate in 2016. Given the awesome scale of the real ecological, economic and political crises confronting the world (almost none of which are being addressed in the predominant US political discourse with its obsessive focus on personal trivialities) we need imaginative and bold alternatives. Yet a lazy political cadre wish to present yet another dynastic avatar who was a stale act, right wing in spirit and void of ideas, already back when she first rose to prominence in the 1990s.

Then again, you never know, right?

Because there's nothing very implausible about the idea that random Arabs or Muslims might want to indiscriminately (and wrongly!) murder Americans, given the USG's high-profile international policy of global war, universal jurisdiction, remote-control assassination on executive whim, arbitrary targeting, killing civilians, arming the same "bad guys" who are later called enemies, supporting the absolute worst regimes in the world (starting with the Oil Kingdoms), backing Israeli occupation, maintaining the world's best known site for sadistic torture of randomly arrested brown men, etc. etc.

They've worked so hard to make real enemies!

Did Clapper commit perjury? Yes. Is the "chatter" real? Maybe.

Clapper lied to the Senate and he's even admitted it, but no move will be ever made to hold him accountable.

Is the NSA lying when they still claim they aren't collecting phone calls of millions of Americans? Yes! They've redefined the language so that even though they are doing this, it's only counts as "collecting" once they use a secret-court blanket warrant to conduct official searches within the collected material. (And it's not even a "search" long as it's just analysts having a casual look-see with XKeyscore; maybe sharing the info informally with their private clients or spook networks on the side.) But of course they have collected this data to store it in the first place. If language still has any meaning, that is.

Is the NSA in a crisis of sorts, the greatest in its history, as a result of revelations of its constitutional violations? Certainly. It's so serious that a vote to defund NSA mass surveillance programs fell short in the House by just 7 votes. Sadly, this crisis is highly unlikely to be fatal to the spook agency that is about to activate the world's largest data storage facility in Utah.

So, what does the above establish?

The NSA lies. Intelligence agencies lie (and see this as their duty, the fuckers). They are engaged in criminal activity that is being exposed. (They have engaged in far greater crimes in the various imperialist wars of the last seven decades, of course.) They have ambitions to expand this total surveillance industry encompassing all forms of data produced int the world, make it even more comprehensive, deeper, omnipresent and, of course, profitable to the real beneficiaries, the private corporate contractors.

At the moment, they have a lot of incentive to lie! They have motive to create distractions from the ongoing revelations.

Now. Will politicians in Congress and White House nod "yes" like bobble-heads to any bullshit about "chatter" that currently comes out of the NSA and its cousin agencies? Absolutely.

This was always true, and it's worse than ever after 13 years of terror-war fearmongering and after, most recently, the total hysteria over "Benghazi." In some sense, they have no choice -- not if they don't have the courage to call bullshit on the entire terror-intel-homeland-military-industrial complex that's been paying their bills and getting their votes all these years.

Does the NSA's "chatter" about potential terror attacks come at a very convenient time? Sure, just like all those times earlier this century, back when Democrats were often ready to claim the Bush regime's terror warnings were only issued whenever Bush's approval ratings were falling:


Note: There was a time when this chart was posted on DU about once a week. Very few DUers decried it as "conspiracy theory."

Does this mean the chatter is bullshit this time? Possibly.

Of course it's also possible real people in Yemen et al. have a strong motive to blow up Americans, whether or not this is the right thing to do, or wise of them. It is neither, but of course a deniable and illegal global war has been waged on their people by the USG for many years. As was already the case back in 2001. These policies effectively recruit for "the enemy" and invite violent and criminal retaliation in the form of what the USG then terms "terrorism."

And of course, thousands of men were just broken out of various Middle Eastern prisons. Some of them might be genuinely criminal minded, or looking for revenge on their former captors. It's not implausible.

Over in Guantanamo, your USG is still torturing dozens of prisoners every day with force-feedings. Same USG has acknowledged half those men were never guilty of anything, yet they are still held and held and held for years, tortured in the hell-prison. The world remains acutely aware of this crime against humanity, even if Americans generally manage to ignore, deny and trivialize it. It's a constant source of anger for many people in the Arab and Muslim worlds.

There's always "chatter" of course. Let's say the NSA or other agencies are picking and choosing "chatter" to exaggerate, so as to create a distraction from the ongoing exposure of the routine and massive unconstitutional surveillance and other criminal behavior at NSA, DEA, CIA, FBI, ETC. Does that require a "conspiracy" between, say, Obama and Graham?

Hell no. Those are the civilian bobbleheads. They're way too high up to ever possibly follow all the details and know what's the substance of the chatter. They may not all be equally smart, but they tend to have a good sense of things they are safer not knowing. And as public figures they're way too vulnerable not to kowtow to the "national security" "expert" class.

Again, that's if they don't have the courage to call bullshit on the entire terror-intel-homeland-military-industrial complex that's for all these years has been frightening and bullying Americans and making threats to the world, paying the bills for agencies and contractors, and funding politician campaigns and lobbyists and media ad buys and think-tankers and other shills to corral the votes.

Which, of course, they do not even conceive of doing.

Did Clapper commit perjury? Yes.

Is the NSA lying when they still claim they aren't collecting phone calls of millions of Americans? Yes. They've redefined it so that it's only "collecting" once they search within it with one of their secret court blanket warrants, but of course they have collected it to store it in the first place.

As a result of revelations of its constitutional violations (that even caused a defunding vote to fall short by just 7 votes in the House) is the NSA in a crisis of sorts, the greatest in its history? Certainly.

So, established: NSA lies. Intelligence agencies lie (and see this as their duty, the fuckers). They are engaged in criminal activity that is being exposed. They have motive to lie at the moment.

Will politicians in Congress and White House do the bobble-head nodding "yes" to any bullshit about "chatter" that comes out of the NSA? Absolutely, after 13 years of terror-war fearmongering and especially after the Benghazi hysteria.

Does the NSA's chatter about potential terror attacks come at a very convenient time? Sure, just like all those times Democrats were ready to say terror warnings were only being issued because Bush's approval ratings were falling.

Does this mean this chatter is bullshit this time? Possibly. Of course it's also possible real people in Yemen et al. actually have a strong motive to blow up Americans, rightly or wrongly. Since of course an illegal global war is waged on their people by the USG. As was already the case back in 2001.

Does any of this require a "conspiracy" between Obama and Graham? Hell no. Those are the civilian bobbleheads. Wait too high up to actually ever possibly follow all the details and know what's the substance of the chatter.
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