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LiberalLovinLug

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Gender: Male
Home country: Canada
Current location: Vancouver
Member since: Mon Mar 21, 2005, 09:14 PM
Number of posts: 2,439

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Vladimir Putin must be called to account on surveillance just like Obama

Source: The Guardian

On Thursday, I questioned Russia's involvement in mass surveillance on live television. I asked Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, a question that cannot credibly be answered in the negative by any leader who runs a modern, intrusive surveillance program: "Does intercept, analyse or store millions of individuals' communications?" I went on to challenge whether, even if such a mass surveillance program were effective and technically legal, it could ever be morally justified.

The question was intended to mirror the now infamous exchange in US Senate intelligence committee hearings between senator Ron Wyden and the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, about whether the NSA collected records on millions of Americans, and to invite either an important concession or a clear evasion. (See a side-by-side comparison of Wyden's question and mine here.) Clapper's lie – to the Senate and to the public – was a major motivating force behind my decision to go public, and a historic example of the importance of official accountability.

In his response, Putin denied the first part of the question and dodged on the latter. There are serious inconsistencies in his denial – and we'll get to them soon – but it was not the president's suspiciously narrow answer that was criticised by many pundits. It was that I had chosen to ask a question at all.

I was surprised that people who witnessed me risk my life to expose the surveillance practices of my own country could not believe that I might also criticize the surveillance policies of Russia, a country to which I have sworn no allegiance, without ulterior motive. I regret that my question could be misinterpreted, and that it enabled many to ignore the substance of the question – and Putin's evasive response – in order to speculate, wildly and incorrectly, about my motives for asking it.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/18/vladimir-putin-surveillance-us-leaders-snowden



I thought Snowden deserved to defend his reasons for asking Putin questions of Russia's surveillance operations. I can't believe how many even on DU think he is a some kind of traitor. And that his questioning of Putin was a part of some nefarious evil plot. I've heard views that are almost to the point of Snowden being some super secret international spy who is colluding with Dr. Evil to destroy the USA.

I will grant that I think Putin never would have allowed the question in a public forum like that if he thought he could not use it in some way. In this case most likely to be able to publicly deny his own country was as bad as the USA. It was for the Russian people's consumption. But I believe that Snowden simply took advantage of the opportunity to raise the question. To start asking questions like this in Russia too. I'm sure he was smart enough to realize that he wouldn't be getting the truth, he just wanted to get the ball rolling. Read the second paragraph of the excerpt.
Posted by LiberalLovinLug | Fri Apr 18, 2014, 03:01 PM (8 replies)

Boston Bruin Tim Thomas steps in it again

"....On Wednesday, Thomas’ Facebook page again created some news, as the Bruins’ goaltender issued an unsolicited statement in support of Catholics.

“I Stand with the Catholics in the fight for Religious Freedom,” Thomas wrote, followed by a quote from Martin Niemoller.

“In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist,” Niemoller’s quote begins. “Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

It’s likely Thomas is referencing the ongoing debate regarding the Obama administration’s decision to require religious organizations — like hospitals and schools — to provide free birth control to employees. The decision has been opposed strongly, with Christianity Today writing an open letter that used the same Niemoller quotes to illustrate its point...."

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/02/08/bruins-thomas-declares-he-stands-with-the-catholics-in-the-fight-for-religious-freedom/



So making available birth control is .....denying freedoms?

This follows his public snub of President Obama at the traditional meeting at the White House for the winning Stanley Cup team. The reason he gave for this?
“I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People. This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government,”



A multi-millionaire teabagger professional sports star. What is particularly appalling is his co-opting of Neimoller's famous quote which spoke about the creeping fascism of Nazi Germany.....to criticize a freedom of choice issue, on the side of NO choice. Not to mention the veiled implication of the present federal government with Nazi Germany.

This story is an example of how insidieous this poisonous fear based idiocy can spread to all professions and incomes.
Posted by LiberalLovinLug | Wed Feb 8, 2012, 04:27 PM (25 replies)
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