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Name: Jim
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Member since: Thu Apr 5, 2012, 08:33 PM
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Why does the Guardian hate BHO so?

I'm beginning to think that they are a racist rag that should be boycotted here in the states.

It could just be however, that they are still jealous that we won our war of independence, and became the shining beacon of human liberty and rights while they still entertain royalty. WHat are the odds they'll ever get a black prince, princess, king, or queen, as we did a pres, no?

For several years, federal judges have done nothing to remedy this injustice; one famously concluded that the prisoners sentenced under the old law had simply "lost on a temporal roll of the cosmic dice". So, there are American citizens serving tens of thousands of years in prison because, according to all three branches of government, it's just their tough luck?

Apparently so, until two months ago. On 17 May 2013, the US court of appeals for the sixth circuit held that the new, "fair" sentences must be applied to all those previously sentenced under laws that everyone acknowledges were discriminatory. The two-judge majority opinion wrote forcefully (pdf) and with unusual candor about the history of unequal treatment under the old laws. The judges ordered that those sentenced under those laws were entitled to ask federal judges to reduce their sentences.

The Justice Department is now seeking to overturn that decision – which will be devastating news to many thousands like my original crack cocaine client. The Obama administration would surely condemn an oppressive foreign dictator's regime for the singular cruelty of declaring to its population that thousands of its citizens must continue to sit in prison for no good reason. The fact that few have even heard of the stunning position taken by President Obama is a sad reflection on how incurious mainstream US public opinion is about what underpins our mass incarceration society.

It looks like the Greenwald left has a lot of recruits

it sure is tragic that so many elected leaders have gone down the conspiracy kook trail, ain't it?

Joan McCarterFollowRSS
Daily Kos staffProfileDiaries (list)Stream.Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 11:54 AM PDT.

House to vote on bipartisan amendment curtailing the NSA's powerby Joan McCarterFollow .

59 Comments / 59 New.A bipartisan amendment to the defense authorization bill to curtail the NSA's surveillance power has been approved for a vote, possible as soon as Wednesday. The amendment, introduced by Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), co-sponsored by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and over 30 other bipartisan members, would substantially curtail the NSA's domestic spying.
The amendment basically defunds the NSA's dragnet collection of every bit of metadata on all phone records as well as other bulk records that have not yet been revealed. The amendment still would allow the NSA to collect information under the original intent—and understanding—of the law, that is information actually related to actual investigations.

The NSA and its supporters are, of course, fighting back. They've introduced a second amendment intended to peel support away from the Amash amendment. What this second amendment, from Rep. Richard Nugent (R-FL), does is to pretend that it will withhold funding for bulk collection, but it actually just reiterates what's already in the law, and it just reiterates the status quo.

I'm shocked that Kos would even allow such treachery to be reported on his board.

Should they take the "foreign" outta FISA, and rename it

or add "domestic" to it for accuracy?

I do think so. Furthermore, for those who seem to think that poor BHO has been unjustly/unduly criticized for his role in all of this, it seems to me that defenses of him over it are getting narrowed down to whether or not he was ignorant as to the scope of it all, as well as all the "interpretations" of this and that. This is why I suggested weeks ago now it seems, that if illegality or unconstitutionality questions are present in terms of implementation of the "interpretations" that he's long been aware of, then it's a mystery to me why he couldn't simply quit stonewalling on the legal front and allow the cases pursued to be heard in open court http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2013/jul/09/fisa-courts-judge-nsa-surveillance in way similar to but not to be confused with refusing to defend DOMA. It seems to me an argument against that would require the assertion that he can be compelled to keep defending against any non-FISA court scrutiny with national security, state secrets, etc claims.

Much like with his offering up chained cpi, it's his choice in this matter that damns him, whether or not in that case it is actually inevitably put on the chopping block or not.

That's also why I say he has more ownership of all this than his adoring fans have been willing to admit to this point. And quite frankly, it's a mystery to me given that BHO himself has framed all this as a weighing of national security v civil liberties, and that it's practically a given which side he's gonna lean towards, why any of this would surprise anyone anyway.

but what could a racist/Bushbot/Paulite know, no?

Some Democrats and civil libertarians have expressed disappointment in what they say is a pattern of excessive secrecy from President Obama. He had pledged to run a more transparent administration than his predecessor, George W. Bush, who signed off on the NSA’s controversial warrantless wiretapping program and, with the authorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, launched the bulk data-collection program that has continued.

“The national security state has grown so that any administration is now not upfront with Congress,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee. “It’s an imbalance that’s grown in our government, and one that we have to cleanse.”

Administration officials say they have been as transparent as they could be in disclosing information about sensitive classified programs. All House and Senate members were invited to two classified briefings in 2010 and 2011 at which the programs were discussed, officials said.

Defenders of the surveillance programs in Congress, including Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House intelligence panel, have said the programs were fully explained. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) pointed to “many, many meetings” where surveillance was discussed and said members had “every opportunity to be aware of these programs.”

But some lawmakers say they feel that many of the administration’s public statements — often couched in terms that offered assurances of the government’s respect for civil liberties and privacy — seemed designed to mislead Americans and avoid congressional scrutiny.

Wyden said that a number of administration statements have made it “impossible for the public or Congress to have a genuinely informed debate” about government surveillance. The Oregon senator, whose membership on the Senate Intelligence Committee gives him access to the classified court rulings authorizing broad surveillance, has tried in recent years to force a public discussion of what he has called “secret law.”

“These statements gave the public a false impression of how these authorities were actually being interpreted,” Wyden said. “The disclosures of the last few weeks have made it clear that a secret body of law authorizing secret surveillance overseen by a largely secret court has infringed on Americans’ civil liberties and privacy rights without offering the public the ability to judge for themselves whether these broad powers are appropriate or necessary.”


SO the WP had to post a correction about Greenwald eh?


Surely these errors in reporting don't matter, because he's obviously guilty of so much more, like practicing journalism for example. I'm surprised that none of his detractors haven't tried to make hay outta the fact that he rescues dogs off the street. Surely there's something nefarious about that just waiting to be revealed.

That damn Greenwald is at it again

will his racist scaremongering ever end, and should the Guardian oversee his work more closely and print them in colors representing "error alerts"? His noting for example as I recall, that the NSA power point used "direct access", was a biggie.

That's why Democratic senators such as Ron Wyden and Mark Udall spent years asking the NSA: how many Americans are having their telephone calls listened to and emails read by you without individualized warrants? Unlike the current attempts to convince Americans that the answer is "none", the NSA repeatedly refused to provide any answers, claiming that providing an accurate number was beyond their current technological capabilities. Obviously, the answer is far from "none".

Contrary to the claims by NSA defenders that the surveillance being conducted is legal, the Obama DOJ has repeatedly thwarted any efforts to obtain judicial rulings on whether this law is consistent with the Fourth Amendment or otherwise legal. Every time a lawsuit is brought contesting the legality of intercepting Americans' communications without warrants, the Obama DOJ raises claims of secrecy, standing and immunity to prevent any such determination from being made.

Are fears of big "brother" racist?


The "real" reason for alleged NSA excesses?

I've long thought as many others no doubt have, that big brother is less worried about threats from without as those from within.

After all, what foreign threat threatens the corporate grip on power in this country, and all that entails? Since 9/11, OBL has won if the goal was to witness that pain and worse with some of the self-inflicted variety to follow. Sadly that's happened, and we all know who has suffered the most and worst of it, and it ain't the 1%.

If you assume that big brother is mostly a righty given the way our gov has married the corporate/monied interests, then it's pretty clear he has problems within his own family on the domestic front. The reason why they so vociferously killed the 2009 DHS report on the growing rightwing extremist threat in this country was no doubt due to the guilt by association thingy, and it also no doubt had a role in their recent outrage over the IRS thing. Maintaining victim status while being the victimizers is critical to the success of any "Big Lie" effort. That is after all, what underlies the great "war on terror" we're embroiled in that this NSA stuff is alleged solely attached to/directed at. The fear that rightwingnuttery itself (in its current form here in this country anyway) might become suspect as a governing ideology should more McVeighs arise, is likely a rational one, so I can understand why they'd wanna ride herd on their own.

And then of course is the threat of we good guys to consider.

But why have Western security agencies developed such an unprecedented capacity to spy on their own domestic populations? Since the 2008 economic crash, security agencies have increasingly spied on political activists, especially environmental groups, on behalf of corporate interests. This activity is linked to the last decade of US defence planning, which has been increasingly concerned by the risk of civil unrest at home triggered by catastrophic events linked to climate change, energy shocks or economic crisis – or all three.

Methinks they've long recognized and rightly feared this looming perfect storm, and that inevitably it will be non-ideological climate change and dedicated self-interest it will foster in the individual that give the storm its fury and strength. After all, to mitigate the human toll and suffering here and abroad AGW will bring is likely gonna require "socialistic" solutions their ideology will never entertain or offer -- not without a big fight anyway. That's why I've long seen the neverending and increasing wealth inequality and increasing radicalization, apathy, ect of the rightwing in this country as analogous to the building of the arks in the movie 2012. They want their horde of wealth to be maximized before circumstances and happenstances start wittling away at it, so that they are still on the top of the wealth mountain when the waters recede.

While they've always played the survival of the fittest/laws of the jungle game, never before have they faced the existential threat to their power they are in this country. Hell, I'd guess that looming brown demographic tsunami alone (who as we all know, is comprised soley of lazy and freeloading socialists) would be sufficient cause for their fears. They should just make their job of spying on them easier, and give them all Obamaphones like so many trojan horses.

What do NSA's likely excesses and DOMA have in common?

I'd say they are both laws on the books.

In the one case, BHO decided he/we could/should ignore the law based on his perceiving it as unconstitutional http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/23/obama-doma-unconstitutional_n_827134.html whereas in the latter that isn't as far as we know, even under consideration. This is why more than anything else, I think all of the arguments I've seen made regarding who does and doesn't own this abomination, give him a disproportionate share of that ownership. Similarly, I’ve never understood the “well he has to, because if another attack occurs rightwingers will crucify him!” line. How I’d ask, by revealing state secrets in the form of what could be done versus what has been done that Snowden shined the spotlight on?

One could make the case that he simply doesn't think unconstitutionality to be the case, but if that's so, why not make that case? It looks like a chink has been found in the secrecy armor https://www.eff.org/document/fisc-opinion-and-order-granting-effs-motion and the likelihood of other Snowdens and revelations are inevitable anyway -- kinda like the terrorists communicating in ways most of this garbage won't catch going forward. I’d question how many have been caught recently based on this stuff alone anyway. http://www.juancole.com/2013/06/others-headley-rotella.html#more-34906

And how are we to ever know if the proper and acceptable balance has been struck between our 4th Amendment rights and national security if we don't know the extent of the infringements upon them? Imo, this situation adds some life and truth to the worst thing Saint Raygun ever said as President to be and beyond -- "the nine most feared words in the English language are - "I'm with the Government and I'm here to help.", which led directly to the brand of rightwingnuttery we are burdened with today. I'd grant that his reasons for uttering those words were grounded in economic, etc, issues as opposed to national security, but distrust is distrust.

The last thing this country needs is more distrust in its government, and I don't see how this whole issue can be discussed and debated without considering the ramifications of further erosions. This of course can translate into voter participation or not http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/obama-admits-democratic-turnout-dips-in-midterm-elections?ref=fpb and with 2014 just around the corner, I'd think participation is what the dems would want, and this discourages that -- kinda like continuing to support DOMA would have, or chained cpi being shoved down our collective throats. And the need for that trust is hardly confined to trifling issues. http://consortiumnews.com/2013/06/12/obamas-dangerous-dilemma/

BHO is just a small part of the big picture, even though he has the greatest influence right now on what that big picture will inevitably be. The cult of personality that are subordinating the issues to keeping his Teflon coat intact are obviously blind to that fact. While hindsight is no replacement for foresight, it remains far better than the blindness a lack of using it results in.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"

And like all iceberg riders http://thehill.com/video/house/305047-dem-rep-lawmakers-learned-significantly-more-about-surveillance-programs-in-nsa-briefing of the past, BHO is gonna lose the perch he now has. The only question in my mind is will the “evolution” card prevent the tarnishment of his legacy over this in the minds of many.

In his quest for complete safety, Snowden had the right idea

assuming they can find solutions to the prison rape and violence problems.

If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/d/dwightdei107094.html#6iVsBZytQpkJUxjz.99

maybe he was referring to solitary confinement, no?

What similarities do the SS/chained CPI and the NSA story have in common?

I'd say most of them are to be found in the reactions to them -- outrage running headlong into denials, kinda like that proverbial irresistable force meeting the immovable object.

I suspect the outcome will likely be the same as well in terms of this debate. The irresistable force, fueled by reality, will move what was once thought to be immovable, and here's why.


and because there's no reason to be dishonest or to even attempt to mislead unless one has something to hide.

Mr. Wyden and Mr. Udall have for months been raising concerns that the government has secretly interpreted a part of the Patriot Act in a way that they portray as twisted, allowing the Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct some kind of unspecified domestic surveillance that they say does not dovetail with a plain reading of the statute.

The dispute has focused on Section 215 of the Patriot Act. It allows a secret national security court to issue an order allowing the F.B.I. to obtain “any tangible things” in connection with a national security investigation. It is sometimes referred to as the “business records” section because public discussion around it has centered on using it to obtain customer information like hotel or credit card records.

But in addition to that kind of collection, the senators contend that the government has also interpreted the provision, based on rulings by the secret national security court, as allowing some other kind of activity that allows the government to obtain private information about people who have no link to a terrorism or espionage case.

Justice Department officials have sought to play down such concerns, saying that both the court and the intelligence committees know about the program. But the two lawmakers contended in their letter that officials have been misleading in their descriptions of the issue to the public.

The issue being debated here is whether a legal/constitutional, and otherwise proper balance has been struck between civil liberties and national security, and given that the latter is the higher priority for BHO, it occurs to me that lines being crossed or smudged a tad from being stepped/slipped on (accidently of course) is likely as a result. And even if that is not the case, that hardly makes the policy desirable to many anyway, and is no doubt likely what is being hidden. The only thing I haven't figured out yet is where all this "this is nothing new" stuff is coming from. Maybe Jameel has it all wrong,

But even in the unlikely case that the government never eavesdrops on the wrong people, the cost to civil liberties is still too high. The tiny chance of a useful match cannot justify collecting everyone’s phone records, or running searches on millions of e-mail messages and Internet chats.

As Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, put it today, imagine if the government required every American to report to the government every night who they spoke to, or texted, for how long, and from where. People would be furious, but that’s precisely the information the N.S.A. is collecting from telecom companies. And it’s precisely why the government desperately wanted to keep the practice a secret.

But now the world knows what many members of Congress have kept buttoned up for years. Will Democrats stick to their principles and criticize President Obama for perpetuating a practice that began under President George W. Bush? And will Republicans, happy to find something new to stimulate anger against the White House, demand actual change in a program they defended for years?

it does seem to be a bit odd that they'd be going after a whistleblower that simply shared common knowledge too.

As I understand it, BHO welcomes this debate, and he will likely be compelled in the days and weeks to come, to give us that oppose this stuff much the same bizness

Relying incessantly on drone strikes and other means to kill whomever the U.S. government decides are terrorists and their “associated forces” is endless war by other means. The president’s speech was less about a real shift and more about indefinitely extended hostilities framed in a way that normalizes and institutionalizes them.
Read more: http://www.utne.com/politics/obamas-speech-antiwar-movement.aspx#ixzz2VmcZMChC

but have no fear -- only those with something to hide need fear the ride from big brother. One can quibble about the source, question asked, etc, but there it is http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/june_2013/59_oppose_government_s_secret_collecting_of_phone_records It would appear that the public opinion is not moving in the desired direction for some.

Here's to hoping that the continuation of these policies becomes as popular as chained CPI did -- people rejecting it in sufficient numbers over what it is they're losing for what it is they're getting for the loss. That would be austerity and a compelled sense of compliance respectively. Seniors didn't vote for or ask to have their checks cut, much as many of us didn't vote for or ask to have our lives recorded.

Meanwhile the cries to "Hang all Snowedmen" will contininue, which was kinda the sentiment many held for those who wrote/spoke the heresy that BHO intended to put chained CPI on the table.
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