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Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 46,360

About Me

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Journal Archives

The Fable of Edward Snowden

Of all the lies that Edward Snowden has told since his massive theft of secrets from the National Security Agency and his journey to Russia via Hong Kong in 2013, none is more provocative than the claim that he never intended to engage in espionage, and was only a “whistleblower” seeking to expose the overreach of NSA’s information gathering. With the clock ticking on Mr. Snowden’s chance of a pardon, now is a good time to review what we have learned about his real mission.

Mr. Snowden’s theft of America’s most closely guarded communication secrets occurred in May 2013, according to the criminal complaint filed against him by federal prosecutors the following month. At the time Mr. Snowden was a 29-year-old technologist working as an analyst-in-training for the consulting firm of Booz Allen Hamilton at the regional base of the National Security Agency (NSA) in Oahu, Hawaii. On May 20, only some six weeks after his job there began, he failed to show up for work, emailing his supervisor that he was at the hospital being tested for epilepsy.

This excuse was untrue. Mr. Snowden was not even in Hawaii. He was in Hong Kong. He had flown there with a cache of secret data that he had stolen from the NSA.

This was not the only lie Mr. Snowden told. As became clear during my investigation over the past three years, nearly every element of the narrative Mr. Snowden has provided, which reached its final iteration in Oliver Stone’s 2016 movie, “Snowden,” is demonstrably false.

This narrative began soon after Mr. Snowden arrived in Hong Kong, where he arranged to meet with Laura Poitras, a Berlin-based documentary filmmaker, and Glenn Greenwald, a Brazil-based blogger for the Guardian. Both journalists were longtime critics of NSA surveillance with whom Mr. Snowden (under the alias Citizen Four) had been in contact for four months.


Just wondering, is anyone around here still trying to defend Glenn Fucking Greenwald?

If so, read these and get back to me (will update as needed)




Russia is harassing U.S. diplomats all over Europe

At a recent meeting of U.S. ambassadors from Russia and Europe in Washington, U.S. ambassadors to several European countries complained that Russian intelligence officials were constantly perpetrating acts of harassment against their diplomatic staff that ranged from the weird to the downright scary. Some of the intimidation has been routine: following diplomats or their family members, showing up at their social events uninvited or paying reporters to write negative stories about them.

But many of the recent acts of intimidation by Russian security services have crossed the line into apparent criminality. In a series of secret memos sent back to Washington, described to me by several current and former U.S. officials who have written or read them, diplomats reported that Russian intruders had broken into their homes late at night, only to rearrange the furniture or turn on all the lights and televisions, and then leave. One diplomat reported that an intruder had defecated on his living room carpet.

In Moscow, where the harassment is most pervasive, diplomats reported slashed tires and regular harassment by traffic police. Former ambassador Michael McFaul was hounded by government-paid protesters, and intelligence personnel followed his children to school. The harassment is not new; in the first term of the Obama administration, Russian intelligence personnel broke into the house of the U.S. defense attache in Moscow and killed his dog, according to multiple former officials who read the intelligence reports.

But since the 2014 Russian intervention in Ukraine, which prompted a wide range of U.S. sanctions against Russian officials and businesses close to Putin, harassment and surveillance of U.S. diplomatic staff in Moscow by security personnel and traffic police have increased significantly, State Department press secretary John Kirby confirmed to me.


So what have I missed around here in my absence??

Anything good?

Glenn Greenwald’s Sympathy for the Devil

After five years of equivocation on Syria, Glenn Greenwald has finally taken a stance. He is attacking Syria’s leading dissident who spent 16 years in Assad’s notorious prisons for his left-wing politics, whose two brothers were abducted by ISIS, and whose wife was disappeared three years ago.

Greenwald’s charge? That Yassin al Haj Saleh doesn’t mention Obama in his criticisms; and that in an interview with The Intercept Saleh accuses most leftists of being Assad sympathisers without naming them. Does Yassin omit Obama in his criticisms?

“Nothing could diminish the despicable crime the Obama administration has committed against Syria and its population. And history will not forget this for a long time. ”

Yes, those are Yassin’s words. He has never been shy to indict the Obama or the rest of the world.

Does Yassin criticise leftists without naming them? Yassin names and shames them where necessary. But when he is talking about general trends he has no obligation.

But let me oblige Greenwald and name one prominent leftist who is objectively pro-Assad: Glenn Greenwald....


Why a disabled person was assaulted in an Indian cinema

A disability activist who uses a wheelchair was assaulted in India for not standing up to the national anthem being played in a cinema. The incident triggered outrage over what many say is the rise of aggressive nationalism in the country. Salil Chaturvedi, who has been using a wheelchair since 1984, recounts the incident that left him shaken.

...But just before the movie begins the national anthem is played and everyone in the hall stands up. It's one of those moments when I feel a bit singled out since I am the only one sitting. It's an unsettling kind of feeling, as if one is not participating, somehow alienated.
I can hear a couple behind me singing the anthem loudly and with obvious pride. I pay attention to their singing, admiring their passion.

Suddenly I get a rude whack on my head from behind. I flip my head back and the man gestures for me to stand up. Stunned, I turn back to the screen and wait for the national anthem to get over. I should be feeling rage, I think to myself, but my hands begin to shake with nervousness.

When the anthem ends I turn around in my seat and address the man - "Why don't you just relax in life?"

"You can't even stand up for the national anthem?" his partner screams at me.

"Look, you don't even know the story here," I say. "You should just learn to relax a little in life. Why do you have to get physical and hit people?"

Monika is watching this with surprise wondering what's going on. My friend is also clueless about what has just happened.

"Did you just hit my husband?" she shouts....


Inside The Strange, Paranoid World Of Julian Assange

On 29 November 2010, then US secretary of state Hillary Clinton stepped out in front of reporters to condemn the release of classified documents by WikiLeaks and five major news organisations the previous day.
WikiLeaks’ release, she said, “puts people’s lives in danger”, “threatens our national security”, and “undermines our efforts to work with other countries”.

“Releasing them poses real risks to real people,” she noted, adding, “We are taking aggressive steps to hold responsible those who stole this information.”

Julian Assange watched that message on a television in the corner of a living room in Ellingham Hall, a stately home in rural Norfolk, around 120 miles away from London.

I was sitting around 8ft away from him as he did so, the room’s antique furniture and rugs strewn with laptops, cables, and the mess of a tiny organisation orchestrating the world’s biggest news story.
Minutes later, the roar of a military jet sounded sharply overhead. I looked around the room and could see everyone thinking the same thing, but no one wanting to say it. Surely not. Surely? Of course, the jet passed harmlessly overhead – Ellingham Hall is not far from a Royal Air Force base – but such was the pressure, the adrenaline, and the paranoia in the room around Assange at that time that nothing felt impossible.

Spending those few months at such close proximity to Assange and his confidants, and experiencing first-hand the pressures exerted on those there, have given me a particular insight into how WikiLeaks has become what it is today.


Julian's mask is off and the walls are closing in...

So... How was *your* one-night stand this weekend?


MEANWHILE, in St. Louis...

Man Allegedly Conned Multiple Women Into Buying Him A Lamborghini, Corvette And Mustang

I still can’t wrap my head around exactly how all this transpired, but a Missouri man is facing several charges for allegedly conning various women into buying him sports cars of which he sold and kept the cash.

According to kmov.com of St. Loius, Timothy Rossell, 28, is charged with four counts of identity theft and one count of impersonating a federal officer.

Police say that Rossell met three women on a dating site called “Plenty of Fish” and convinced them to purchase expensive cars for him in their name. He would then sell those cars, keep the money, and report them stolen.

One woman in Florida is on the hook for over $300,000 after she purchased a Lamborghini Gallardo and a Corvette Z06. His fiancée ended up buying him a brand new Shelby Mustang, a motorcycle and a Cadillac Escalade.

Authorities say that Rossell would tell these women that he worked as a federal agent as a U.S. Marshall and he had the money, but just need the women to put their name on the loan.

His scheme came unraveled when his fiancée discovered government IDs that had different names on them. That is when she contacted the police.

Rossell was caught in Illinois when his Lamborghini got a flat tire and he attempted to have one of the other women pay for a bus pass. He will likely face even more charges as the investigation unfolds.


Personally, I've been doing the online dating thing for a lot of years, and I haven't even gotten a woman to buy me a Hot Wheels car... Need to step my game up!


On a recent morning in Washington, D.C., Tim Kaine, the Democratic nominee for Vice-President, ambled into a room at the Jefferson Hotel and introduced himself: “Hi, I’m Tim.” With thinning gray-brown hair, sensible rubber-soled loafers, and an expression of surprised contentment, he looked, at fifty-eight, like the happy customer in an insurance commercial. Despite more than two decades in politics—he has been a governor of Virginia and the head of the Democratic National Committee, and is now a member of the U.S. Senate—he is unassuming to the point of obscurity. In September, more than six weeks after he became Hillary Clinton’s running mate, forty per cent of voters said that they had never heard of Tim Kaine or had no opinion of him, according to a CNN/ORC International poll.

The absence of slickness has been mostly for the good. Paired with one of the best-known and least-trusted nominees in Presidential history, Kaine has helped the Clinton campaign look less frosty and stage-managed. Last week, as women came forward to accuse Donald Trump of groping them, the Times columnist Gail Collins suggested that “boring people have never looked better.” Kaine spent years cultivating his reputation for approachability, and he has parted with it grudgingly. Once he became the nominee, his wife, Anne Holton, a lawyer and former Virginia secretary of education, continued driving the family’s Volkswagen Jetta around Richmond, until Secret Service personnel prevailed upon her to accept a ride from them. In Kaine’s speech at the Democratic National Convention, he touted his Midwestern roots, and mocked Donald Trump’s use of the phrase “Believe me!,” inspiring a round of dad jokes online. (“Tim Kaine is your friend’s dad who catches you smoking weed at a sleepover and doesn’t rat you out but talks to you about brain development.”)

When we met, Kaine was back in Washington, after a string of campaign stops, to cast two votes in the Senate. Earlier in the week, he had appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” where the host had arranged a surprise visit by John Popper, the harmonica maestro from Blues Traveler. Kaine is a harmonica buff who has performed in a bluegrass bar band called the Jugbusters. Popper left him starstruck. “After Toots Thielemans died, he’s now the man,” Kaine told me. “Toots Thielemans was the man, and played a different style—Toots played chromatic and was a jazz player—but, since he died, Popper’s the guy.” Popper had given Kaine a copy of his memoir (“Suck and Blow”), and he was midway through it. “I’ve been on a string of music books, so I read Elvis Costello’s autobiography. I read this book by Bob Mehr—who worked for the Memphis Appeal—called ‘Trouble Boys,’ about the Replacements, a band that I really love,” Kaine went on. “Then I have another book—it’s called ‘The Saint and the Sultan’—that I’m halfway through, about this weird moment in St. Francis of Assisi’s life, where he went to Egypt to meet with one of the main religious leaders to try to broker an end to the Crusades. I didn’t know that part of his life.”

A devout Roman Catholic, Kaine is more comfortable quoting Scripture than any Democrat to reach the level of Presidential politics since Jimmy Carter. Asked to name his heroes, Kaine begins with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran theologian who was executed by the Nazis for his involvement in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. For more than three decades, Kaine and his family have attended St. Elizabeth’s, a traditionally black church in Richmond. “We deliberately put ourselves in a position where we are in a racial minority,” Holton told me. “Our African-American friends have done that all their lives in one context or another. There is insight that we can learn.” She went on, “It’s no longer just the divide between black and white. Virginia’s gotten more diverse, but how do we come together across differences of all sorts?”

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