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Sun Jun 1, 2014, 02:41 PM

The Goal of Wholesale Surveillance



The goal of wholesale surveillance, [font color="green"]as (Hannah) Arendt wrote in “The Origins of Totalitarianism,” is not, in the end, to discover crimes, “but to be on hand when the government decides to arrest a certain category of the population.” [/font color]And because Americans’ emails, phone conversations, Web searches and geographical movements are recorded and stored in perpetuity in government databases, there will be more than enough “evidence” to seize us should the state deem it necessary. This information waits like a deadly virus inside government vaults to be turned against us. It does not matter how trivial or innocent that information is. In totalitarian states, justice, like truth, is irrelevant.

Chris Hedges, The Last Gasp of American Democracy

95 replies, 11854 views

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Arrow 95 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Goal of Wholesale Surveillance (Original post)
Octafish Jun 2014 OP
Name removed Jun 2014 #1
Octafish Jun 2014 #3
Name removed Jun 2014 #5
Bernardo de La Paz Jun 2014 #35
Name removed Jun 2014 #38
L0oniX Jun 2014 #7
Bernardo de La Paz Jun 2014 #36
villager Jun 2014 #26
grasswire Jun 2014 #2
Octafish Jun 2014 #8
sabrina 1 Jun 2014 #22
Tierra_y_Libertad Jun 2014 #4
Octafish Jun 2014 #10
Name removed Jun 2014 #11
Octafish Jun 2014 #17
Name removed Jun 2014 #18
Octafish Jun 2014 #21
Name removed Jun 2014 #23
carolinayellowdog Jun 2014 #33
sabrina 1 Jun 2014 #24
freebrew Jun 2014 #80
Octafish Jun 2014 #89
fasttense Jun 2014 #71
L0oniX Jun 2014 #6
Octafish Jun 2014 #12
Name removed Jun 2014 #14
Octafish Jun 2014 #19
zeemike Jun 2014 #20
sabrina 1 Jun 2014 #25
RKP5637 Jun 2014 #29
Name removed Jun 2014 #31
RKP5637 Jun 2014 #34
Name removed Jun 2014 #39
RKP5637 Jun 2014 #40
Name removed Jun 2014 #42
RKP5637 Jun 2014 #46
woo me with science Jun 2014 #86
rickyhall Jun 2014 #9
Octafish Jun 2014 #27
cantbeserious Jun 2014 #13
L0oniX Jun 2014 #16
zeemike Jun 2014 #15
djean111 Jun 2014 #51
Politicub Jun 2014 #28
elias49 Jun 2014 #30
Name removed Jun 2014 #32
Unknown Beatle Jun 2014 #37
Maedhros Jun 2014 #59
blkmusclmachine Jun 2014 #63
Enthusiast Jun 2014 #41
blkmusclmachine Jun 2014 #64
Enthusiast Jun 2014 #68
MannyGoldstein Jun 2014 #43
Shandris Jun 2014 #44
JDPriestly Jun 2014 #45
Uncle Joe Jun 2014 #47
bbgrunt Jun 2014 #48
Hubert Flottz Jun 2014 #49
blkmusclmachine Jun 2014 #65
Octafish Jun 2014 #75
Hubert Flottz Jun 2014 #82
Octafish Jun 2014 #84
Hubert Flottz Jun 2014 #91
Octafish Jun 2014 #92
Hubert Flottz Jun 2014 #94
smallcat88 Jun 2014 #50
Jake2413 Jun 2014 #52
Maedhros Jun 2014 #60
blkmusclmachine Jun 2014 #66
NorthCarolina Jun 2014 #70
JEB Jun 2014 #53
krispos42 Jun 2014 #54
nikto Jun 2014 #55
davidthegnome Jun 2014 #56
nikto Jun 2014 #57
scarletwoman Jun 2014 #58
Octafish Jun 2014 #87
woo me with science Jun 2014 #61
blkmusclmachine Jun 2014 #67
blkmusclmachine Jun 2014 #62
NuttyFluffers Jun 2014 #69
MrScorpio Jun 2014 #72
Octafish Jun 2014 #78
MrScorpio Jun 2014 #79
raouldukelives Jun 2014 #73
navarth Jun 2014 #74
Octafish Jun 2014 #76
Demo_Chris Jun 2014 #77
Octafish Jun 2014 #83
DeSwiss Jun 2014 #81
woo me with science Jun 2014 #85
woo me with science Jun 2014 #88
woo me with science Jun 2014 #90
woo me with science Jun 2014 #93
ReRe Nov 2014 #95

Response to Octafish (Original post)


Response to Name removed (Reply #1)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 03:08 PM

3. Hannah Arendt knew what she was talking about...

First published Thu Jul 27, 2006; substantive revision Thu Apr 10, 2014

Hannah Arendt (1906–1975) was one of the most influential political philosophers of the twentieth century. Born into a German-Jewish family, she was forced to leave Germany in 1933 and lived in Paris for the next eight years, working for a number of Jewish refugee organisations. In 1941 she immigrated to the United States and soon became part of a lively intellectual circle in New York. She held a number of academic positions at various American universities until her death in 1975. She is best known for two works that had a major impact both within and outside the academic community. The first, The Origins of Totalitarianism, published in 1951, was a study of the Nazi and Stalinist regimes that generated a wide-ranging debate on the nature and historical antecedents of the totalitarian phenomenon. The second, The Human Condition, published in 1958, was an original philosophical study that investigated the fundamental categories of the vita activa (labor, work, action). In addition to these two important works, Arendt published a number of influential essays on topics such as the nature of revolution, freedom, authority, tradition and the modern age. At the time of her death in 1975, she had completed the first two volumes of her last major philosophical work, The Life of the Mind, which examined the three fundamental faculties of the vita contemplativa (thinking, willing, judging).

SOURCE w/links n details: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/arendt/

PS: A hearty welcome to DU, surgence!

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Response to Octafish (Reply #3)


Response to Name removed (Reply #5)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 05:13 PM

35. Welcome, surgence. I think Octafish was posting for the benefit of all DU readers. nt

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #35)


Response to Octafish (Reply #3)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 03:28 PM

7. ^^^this^^^

 

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #7)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 05:14 PM

36. Which this?

Surely not my post. And if someone replies to my post, then surely not their post.

Possibly post #3 or #5. Dunno which.

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Response to Name removed (Reply #1)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 04:38 PM

26. Look how many, even at this website, have been manipulated into defending it

 

The virus works

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 03:07 PM

2. Refresh my memory...

Is Hedges already under the bus? Probably.

I consider him an oracle of our time. Will read. Thanks.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #2)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 03:50 PM

8. Tire tracks up and down his back.

As Jimi would say, show he's had his fun. When Greenwald's big "NSA Watched Who" article comes out, I bet his name is one of those on the list. Going by their sense of humor, real reporters automatically are on it. The phonies, they're in on the joke.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #2)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 04:24 PM

22. Definitely, I believe he was one of the first to get there.

Actually I can't think of any of our most credible writers and journalists who isn't?

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 03:12 PM

4. The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants. Albert Camus

 

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #4)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 03:55 PM

10. Camus pegged Them.

These people who have undermined the Constitution and shredded the Bill of Rights swear they are in the public service. They lied America into war. Their families and cronies have profited from war. The courts stacked over the decades with their appointees give them impugnity. The economic benefits of the greatest wealth the world has ever seen are theirs as a result.

Thank you for noticing, Tierra_y_Libertad! ¡Palante, siempre palante!

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Response to Octafish (Reply #10)


Response to Name removed (Reply #11)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 04:16 PM

17. Bush and Cheney and all their enablers and cronies going back decades...

...if not a century. For lack of a better handle, Bartcop called Them the "BFEE" for the Bush Family Evil Empire. I borrowed the term, finding them the public face of the secret government in service to the wealthy and their holdings. As an old person who remembers what life was like during JFK's administration, I find America's history since November 22, 1963 to be one long slog of war, which is why the words of the selected "president" George W Bush to be particularly telling:

"Money trumps peace." Uttered at a press conference at the White House on Feb. 14, 2007 in which not a single of the callow, cowed press corpse saw fit to ask a follow-up.



One person who bothered to bring it to our attention is the mother of a serviceman killed defending the nation in a war based on a lie, Cindy Sheehan.

As for his Poppy: Bush Sr told the FBI he was in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. Vietnam hit the fan less than a year later, opening up many business opportunities for the connected which continue to the present day.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #17)


Response to Name removed (Reply #18)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 04:23 PM

21. I know. It's a shock to me, too.

He said he would end the practice. Instead, he seems to have forgiven all concerned. Yeah, a puzzler.

I don't believe he's one of Them. I just think he has no choice in the matter.

Do you think he wants to protect Them?

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Response to Octafish (Reply #21)


Response to Octafish (Reply #21)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 05:00 PM

33. not one of Them, but has no choice

Thanks for saying that because I've long since reached the point of utter neutrality about Obama, which makes a lot of the discussion here irrelevant and annoying.

People want to make it about how good or bad an actor is playing the role of POTUS. I loathed Dubya in the role, and like Obama more than any president in my lifetime-- at playing POTUS. But who wrote the script, who directs the production, who are the producers? It is the people who define the role of POTUS that are terrifying, not any individual playing it.

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Response to Name removed (Reply #18)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 04:32 PM

24. They are never 'gone'. They leave the public stage and continue their 'work' offstage.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #17)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 12:27 PM

80. Don't forget Prescot Bush...

Poppy's old man, making deals with the nazis, fought against the New Deal for all he was worth.

Even implicated in a plot to Assassinate FDR. Such a wonderful and loyal family(loyal to money, that is) should go the way of that guy 'no one knows his name' and banish the entire clan. They've stolen enough from us by now.

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Response to freebrew (Reply #80)

Wed Jun 4, 2014, 07:12 AM

89. A real blast from the past:

Sen. Prescott Sheldon Bush, Sr.

Prescott Bush was a Nazi-whore, but his father Samuel was worse (WWI)

Makes it easy to see how the fourth generation warmonger could utter:

"Money trumps peace" while pretzeldentin' at a White House press conference, Feb. 14, 2007.

What's hard to see -- and makes those who denigrate whistleblowers and reporters -- is just how cowed the nation's press corpse is when it comes to reporting on the Bush Family, an Empire of Evil in service to the warmongers.

Poll question: ''Let’s forgive the NAZI war criminals.''

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #4)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 08:49 AM

71. But here is the question

 

Why would a supposedly democratic government want to arrest and imprison a certain group of people?

It has to be to shut them up to protect another certain group of people.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 03:27 PM

6. Germany collected info on Jews too once upon a time. I know it's not an exact comparison but...

 

it's worth considering what a government can do with info about it's civilians.

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #6)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 04:03 PM

12. IMO, it is an exact comparison.

Edwin Black spelled it out: Who enabled NAZI Germany to round up the Jews? Think IBM.

While I trust the vast majority of those who serve us in our government and military, I do not trust government conducted in secrecy. Whether through war, natural disaster or environmental collapse, when putsch comes to shove-off, you know the Bush affiliated members will do whatever is necessary to survive. The rest of us will be lucky to afford a few days' rations.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #12)


Response to Name removed (Reply #14)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 04:18 PM

19. No. The illegal domestic surveillance continues under the current administration.

'I Have Been to the Darkest Corners of Government, and What They Fear Is Light'

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=4947194

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Response to Name removed (Reply #14)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 04:18 PM

20. Just to inject my own opinion here

The Obama administration is irrevelent...sometimes the PTB have one of their own as president and sometimes not, but the policies continue on ether way.
Power is much to important to them to be a the whim of a democratic election...and rule from the shadows is just as effective as rule in the light.

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #6)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 04:34 PM

25. I think it's a perfectly legitimate comparison. The East German Stasi also spied on the people.

It's not new, as some here like to say, but it has generally been purview of totalitarian states. Certainly no real democracy is going to be doing it.

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #6)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 04:50 PM

29. And today they have the ultimate tools, basically prying into everyone's mind. It's dangerous and

it certainly does not bode well for a democracy. I think it's quite logical to assume millions of Americans are being classified into categories, basically pigeonhole based on character traits and predictive behavior. I find it quite unsettling.


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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #29)


Response to Name removed (Reply #31)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 05:12 PM

34. Sometimes I feel like we're moving right back into the McCarthy era. It's hard to tell

where all of this is going to end up, but my hunch is NOT for the betterment of "we the people."

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #34)


Response to Name removed (Reply #39)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 05:26 PM

40. Not to me ... it indicates a lack of trust, and it's used under the guise of

looking for terrorists. When trust starts to fail in a democracy it is an ominous sign.

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #40)


Response to Name removed (Reply #42)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 05:49 PM

46. Yep, SOS! Pair what sounds an acceptable premise with a covert result. n/t

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #6)

Tue Jun 3, 2014, 11:17 AM

86. It's an important comparison.

What is the use of history if not to learn from it.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 03:52 PM

9. What I've been sayin all along

but I got it from 1984 & Player Piano

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Response to rickyhall (Reply #9)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 04:40 PM

27. Ideas to strengthen minds and nations.

The works of Orwell and Vonnegut are tops in every way.

The great works of fiction contain great truths.

From France, a little 'Social Fiction' from Chantal Montellier...





NEXT!
...IT'S COMING ALONG WELL...A VERY NICE SCAR...YOU CAN PUT YOUR CAP BACK ON...

I SEE YOU SIGNED ALL THE DOCUMENTS YOU WERE GIVEN...NO REGRETS?
N...NO...SSS...SI...SIR...NO REGRETS...

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE GOVERNMENT?
I...I...APPROVE...OF IT...
COMPLETELY?
YES...COM...COMPLETELY...
GOOD! NO FIGHTS WITH THE OTHER INMATES OR GUARDS?

OH!...NO S...S...SIR...NO...NO...FIGHTS!



In the series, originally published in France's "Metal Hurlant" magazine and published as "1996" in the United States' "Heavy Metal" magazine, nuclear radiation has gone global and is diminishing the critical faculties of the masses. The state resorts to brain surgery to help "stabilize" those who realize they exist in an insane system.





GOOD!...DO YOU STILL FEEL WE WERE WRONG TO MAKE YOU SUBMIT TO THIS OPERATION?
OH!...N...NO...S...S...SIR...I DON'T THINK THAT NO MO...MORE...

GOOD...YOU'RE FINE!...HOLD ON TO YOUR RELEASE SLIP...YOU ARE NOW READY TO FIND YOUR PLACE IN SOCIETY...

NEXT!

W-WARE UY GOWIN? LEEVIN?
YES...I I HAVE...MY...SLIP!...

LEE MEEYULONE! YU GOD NO RIDE!
AWRIDE! SHADAB!



The English translations, I believe, are intended to mimic the way the masses who've been traumatized by the polluted environment and deprivations of the fascist state.





(SIGN -) CENTRE FOR IDEOLOGICAL REEDUCATION - MINISTRY OF HEALTH
...MY...MY PLACE...IN SOCIETY...
MY PLACE...



That's what we are seeing, whether from depleted uranium weapons left on the world's battlefields or from hot particles spewing from Fukushima.

Those are from ca. 1976.

Details on the artist...

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 04:04 PM

13. Democratic Underground - Who - Rest Assured We Are Watched

eom

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #13)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 04:15 PM

16. Agent Mike has been a member since the start.

 

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 04:10 PM

15. Looks like I got here before the swarm.

Who will tell you it is all legal and to keep us safe.
K&R...

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Response to zeemike (Reply #15)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 06:45 PM

51. I think if it was announced that WalMart had been given a contract to inject all of us

 

with RFIDs - a certain contingent would say hey, what's the harm in that.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 04:47 PM

28. Makes sense

And the argument is a great rebuttal to the people who don't care because they say they don't do anything illegal.

Hadn't heard this POV before. Thank you for posting it.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 04:53 PM

30. Right on the mark...

 

that's where the metadata comes in....each individual marker may not in itself be important or accusatory, but taken all together, categorized, and compartmentalized, the metadata becomes a force to pigeon-hole and, if needed, accuse and denigrate the individual or the group. And as we know, since 2001, everybody and anybody could be a "terrorist".
Fear will drive this country to hell.

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Response to elias49 (Reply #30)


Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 05:16 PM

37. Truth-Out

is labeling the Obama administration as Bush's Third and Fourth Term.

Third Term

Fourth Term

But I find that Obama has gone beyond Bush in some aspects. Such as punishing whistleblowers more harshly than Bush, and being more secretive since Nixon.

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Response to Unknown Beatle (Reply #37)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 12:08 AM

59. Also, Bush did not claim the authority to execute American citizens without due process.

 

That one's all on Obama.

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #59)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 04:40 AM

63. Hey, nobody ever promised you'd like the "Change," now, did they?!?!

 

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 05:29 PM

41. I always knew recommending Octafish threads would get me on a list.

Seriously though, great post.

Everyone together now, "Hey, NSA, fuck you!"

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #41)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 04:42 AM

64. Uh oh. Now you did it. Is that one of Obama's 30,000 Drones outside???

 

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Response to blkmusclmachine (Reply #64)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 04:57 AM

68. If they blow me up I'm sure I must deserve it.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 05:35 PM

43. Exactly the problem

 

And the reasons why the Founders banned the practice: it can only lead to mischief.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 05:39 PM

44. Combine the power of being able to cherrypick any situation, word, or phrase out of context...

 

...and combine it with the awesome power of social manipulation/engineering, applied through social shaming, and you begin to understand JUST how pervasive the threat really is. It's a large part of why although I understand the intent behind the massive press of social shaming, I am against it as an organ of power.

A word from here, a word from there, a search term out of context and suddenly you have 'evidence' that someone did something that doesn't fit the 'modern view' once upon a time. We've already proven that it doesn't matter WHEN it happened (Paula Deen) and that no amount of money can stop it (the guy at Firefox) or even how big the target is (the entire videogame industry), the right words can stir up more people than any force can possibly stop. But it's all based on one belief: that what we're hearing, witnessing, or otherwise being disseminated is actually true.

Now don't get me wrong; Deen and the Firefox guy, I don't support them one iota. Not one little bit. But they were just test cases. They were obvious 'bad people' that no one was going to defend, but the real question was whether the power of social control would be enough to topple them. It was. And who defines what a bad person is? The narrative does. And who gives us the narrative?

The very people who have such a vested interest in keeping track of every little thing said, thought, spoken, or otherwise communicated. We have delivered the most powerful weapon into their hands of our own accord, and even worse...we're proud of ourselves for doing so. Don't think for a moment that just because the narrative is on our side at the moment that it can't and won't change on a dime's notice. Ask any Jewish person about it, as they went almost overnight from 'protected minority class' to 'just another white person'. A week ago, the same thing happened to Eurasians. The lines can be redrawn very, very quickly, and there are companies out there who specialize in doing just that sort of thing by poisoning both sides of the well simultaneously.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 05:49 PM

45. Hedges gets it. If you read one article today, read Hedges' essay.

And that is not surprising.

He has far more experience on this issue than even I do, and I have many times more than DUers do.

Here is what he said in a couple of other paragraphs:

"The public debates about the government’s measures to prevent terrorism, the character assassination of Edward Snowden and his supporters, the assurances by the powerful that no one is abusing the massive collection and storage of our electronic communications miss the point. Any state that has the capacity to monitor all its citizenry, any state that has the ability to snuff out factual public debate through control of information, any state that has the tools to instantly shut down all dissent is totalitarian. Our corporate state may not use this power today. But it will use it if it feels threatened by a population made restive by its corruption, ineptitude and mounting repression. The moment a popular movement arises—and one will arise—that truly confronts our corporate masters, our venal system of total surveillance will be thrust into overdrive.

"The most radical evil, as Hannah Arendt pointed out, is the political system that effectively crushes its marginalized and harassed opponents and, through fear and the obliteration of privacy, incapacitates everyone else. Our system of mass surveillance is the machine by which this radical evil will be activated. If we do not immediately dismantle the security and surveillance apparatus, there will be no investigative journalism or judicial oversight to address abuse of power. There will be no organized dissent. There will be no independent thought. Criticisms, however tepid, will be treated as acts of subversion. And the security apparatus will blanket the body politic like black mold until even the banal and ridiculous become concerns of national security.

"I saw evil of this kind as a reporter in the Stasi state of East Germany. I was followed by men, invariably with crew cuts and wearing leather jackets, whom I presumed to be agents of the Stasi—the Ministry for State Security, which the ruling Communist Party described as the “shield and sword” of the nation. People I interviewed were visited by Stasi agents soon after I left their homes. My phone was bugged. Some of those I worked with were pressured to become informants. Fear hung like icicles over every conversation."

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_last_gasp_of_american_democracy_20140105

And the Americans who support the NSA's spying think they are the patriots. No. They are not patriots. They are ignorant and inexperienced. They do not know where the spying is going because they have never seen where it goes.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 05:56 PM

47. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, Octafish.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 06:08 PM

48. Hedges is both eloquent and completely right.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 06:16 PM

49. That's why I moon the sons of %$#@#$# on a regular basis.

You have to wonder, what is that information worth, to the people pulling the political strings. Why would our government spend all that time and money snooping, if that information wasn't going to be used, at some point, for something? How do we know that, in the future, it won't be someone like Dick Cheney, who decides that the democrats need to be whisked away to some North Slope work camp, for "reeducation?" What would J Edgar Hoover or Nixon have given, to have had that quantity of personal information on every American Citizen. What will the Koch brothers do, if they can gain accesses, through their political stooges,(by hook or by crook)to such a bank of personal information on you and me?

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Response to Hubert Flottz (Reply #49)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 04:45 AM

65. 30,000 Drones, cameras @ every intersection & all along the freeways. And next, cameras/microphones

 

hardwired into your television set.

Like the Feds stated:

"Nothing is beyond our reach."




Thanks, 9/11

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Response to Hubert Flottz (Reply #49)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 10:11 AM

75. ''J Edgar Hoover with Supercomputers'' is how Ray McGovern put it in 2006...

From when Gonzo was a squirt.



J. Edgar Hoover With Supercomputers

by Ray McGovern
AntiWar.com, Jan. 6, 2006

EXCERPT...

The most cynical and, I fear, the most direct answer can be gleaned from Vice President Cheney's bizarre assertion – supported, no doubt, by a stack of in-house legal opinion – that in wartime, the president "needs to have his powers unimpaired." As noted above, on Dec. 19, Gonzales invoked the "inherent authority under the Constitution" of the commander in chief, as well as the equally ludicrous claim that Congress' authorization of war after 9/11 trumps FISA – a claim that even the Washington Post has termed "impossible to believe."

These extreme views are the same ones that underpin the president's decision to flout international and U.S. criminal law by approving practices like torture, until now almost universally rejected by civilized societies. The answer may be simple – "imperial hubris," one might call it. And if – as seems to be the case – senior leaders like Colin Powell acquiesce in torture and Gen. Mike Hayden in illegal eavesdropping, shame on them. This would merely show, once again, that absolute power truly does corrupt absolutely – indeed, that even closeness to absolute power can.

A more nuanced explanation may lie in the physics of the challenges faced by the NSA and the availability of sophisticated technologies not foreseen when the FISA law was passed in 1978. At the press conference, the attorney general issued a pointed reminder that there have been "tremendous advances in technology" since 1978. Recent press reports on the number of communications being monitored by the NSA suggest that the number may be so large as to be technically or practically impossible to take to the attorney general for approval as individual FISA "emergencies." Consistently high numbers of monitored communications could have trouble passing muster at the FISA court as "emergencies," for the exceptions would quickly swallow the rule.

A recent article by Charles Fried in the Boston Globe suggests that communications are now selected for monitoring based on highly sophisticated algorithm programs and that "at the first, broadest stages of the scan, no human being is involved – only computers." This, and the high numbers involved, would make it impossible to obtain "emergency" AG approval on an individual basis, as required by FISA.

As Gonzales has indicated, initial soundings were taken with Congress and the prognosis was deemed poor for obtaining NSA vacuum-cleaner-type authority to suck up communications – including those to or from Americans – from wires and the ether. But is that not what government lawyers are for; i.e., to devise ways to make such things legal and possible at the same time? There is no sign of any serious effort on the administration's part toward that end. Rather, administration officials preferred to fall back on the "anyway" rationalization; i.e., the notion pushed by top administration lawyers that the president has the power to authorize eavesdropping anyway.

CONTINUED...

http://www.antiwar.com/mcgovern/?articleid=8349



Certainly, when pretzeldent Jebthro puts his feet up on JFK's desk, everyone on DU now thinking NSA tracking is somebody else's problem will be OK with it.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #75)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 03:15 PM

82. Jeb will complete the Empire that Dumbya was too stupid to finish.

Whoever gave Dick Cheney a used heart, deserves the mother of all asskickings.

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Response to Hubert Flottz (Reply #82)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 03:48 PM

84. Lynn's prolly ticked, too.

That guy's made a mint. Emptied another. And used the proceeds for wars without end for profits into infinity and beyond. Thank us very not.

His stash alone could save Detroit.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #84)

Wed Jun 4, 2014, 02:15 PM

91. Some called them, "the Bush Administration"

I call them, a rogue's gallery. Ali Bubba and his 440 thieves.

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Response to Hubert Flottz (Reply #91)

Wed Jun 4, 2014, 02:56 PM

92. Prolly save Cleveland, too.

Control Fraud is how William Black puts it. The corporations' leaders use their positions to legally or not loot the company trough. With the Ali Bubba Crime Family and their 440 Thieves, it became "open sesamee" on the national Treasury. Over and over and over again.

Another important lesson in American history from a smart and brave guy with integrity:



The Bush Family: A Continuing Criminal Enterprise?

Gary W. Potter, PhD.
Professor, Criminal Justice
Eastern Kentucky University

The S&Ls, the Mob and the Bushs

During the 1980's hundred of Savings and Loan Banks failed. Those bank failures cost U.S. taxpayers over $500 billion to cover federally insured losses, and much more to investigate the bank failures (Pizzo, Fricker, and Muolo, 1989; Brewton, 1992; Johnston, 1990). More than 75% of the Savings and Loan insolvencies where directly linked to serious and often criminal misconduct by senior financial insiders (Pizzo, Fricker and Muolo, 1989: 305). In fact, less than 10 percent of bank failures are related to economic conditions, the rest are caused by mismanagement or criminal conduct (Pizzo, Fricker and Muolo, 1989: 305).

A good example of the Savings and Loan failures can be found in the activities of Mario Renda, a Savings and Loan insider who often worked in close collaboration with organized crime (Pizzo, Fricker and Muolo, 1989: 123-126;302). Renda served as a middle man in arranging about $5 billion a year in deposits into 130 Savings and Loans, all of which failed (Kwitny, 1992: 27). Many of these deposits were made contingent on an agreement that the Savings and Loan involved would lend money to borrowers recommended by Renda, many of whom were organized crime figures or people entirely unknown to the banking institution involved (Kwitny, 1992: 27).

SNIP...

Prescott Bush: The Yakuza’s Frontman

Finally, and perhaps most seriously, the Bush family pioneered the practice which has now become commonplace of collaboration between corporate and organized criminals. Prescott Bush, uncle of the current President and brother of the former President, played a key role in helping the Japanese Yakuza extend their financial and real estate holdings to the United States. In 1989, Prescott Bush made arrangements for a front company for Japanese organized crime groups to buy into two U.S. corporations and to make a sizeable real investment in the U.S. (Helm, 1991a: 1; Isikoff, 1992: A1). West Tsusho, a Japanese corporation, was identified by Japanese police officials as a front company for one of that country’s largest organized crime syndicates. Prescott Bush was paid a fee of $500,000 for his help in negotiating West Tsusho’s purchase of controlling interest in Assets Management, a U.S. corporation (Helm, 1991a: 1; Isikoff, 1992: A1). Bush also assisted the Japanese mob in investing in Quantam Access, a U.S. software company, which was ultimately taken over by the Japanese (Helm, 1991b: 10; Isikoff, 1992: A1). Both companies ultimately went into bankruptcy (Isikoff, 1992: A1; Moses, 1992).

George Bush Sr.: Shutting Down the Organize Crime Strike Forces

Despite assessments from senior law enforcement officers and experts on organized crime that efforts to control organized crime would be crippled, in December 1989, the administration of George Bush, Sr. abolished all 14 regional organized crime strike forces (McAlister, 1989: A 21; Struck out, 1990). The organized crime strike had been created as independent entities so they would not be subject to political influences or bureaucratic wrangling within federal law enforcement. In the two decades of their operation the strike forces had secured convictions of major organized crime figures in several U.S. cities (Struck out, 1990). It is at the very least curious to note that the federal strike force in Miami had been responsible for indicting Miguel Recarey, the man for whom Jeb Bush had intervened with regulators. Organized crime strike forces had similarly indicted Mario Renda, the organized crime liaison to the S& L’s, as well as several other key figures in the Savings and Loan Fiasco (Pizzo, Fricker, and Mulolo, 1989: 112, 120-123, 303, 337).

CONTINUED...

http://critcrim.org/critpapers/potter.htm



That's the way a professor of criminal justice puts it. Bartcop, to get a better handle on War Inc's first family, called them the "BFEE" for short.



Welfare for the wealthy. Austerity for the rest.

Old news to you, Hubert Flottz. A real shocker for those tuned in to Corporate McPravda.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #92)

Wed Jun 4, 2014, 07:53 PM

94. Another Bush in the White House would be the end of...

the American dream, for all, but the billionaires and the international bankster/mobsters.

"The thousand points of light," would be holding the US Constitution up to the daylight and seeing all the holes the neocons shot through it, down at the pig ranch. Meanwhile back at the boars nest ranch down in Waco, the chainsaws are rusting away now that Karl don't need to play Cowboys and Tali ban anymore. Talking about putting on the dog. That was the only thing Bush could really half assed do, play act. George was the Studio pResident. A friggment of Karl's twisted political imagination. The Make Believe pResident.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 06:25 PM

50. Great thread

After watching the interview with Snowden the other night his real crime became suddenly apparent: he embarrassed the government and the NSA. He told us what we needed to know and what they thought they had safely under wraps. At least I hope it was apparent. I've thought so from the beginning but kept hearing the 'traitor' crap from people I never expected to. Heard on the news the next day that polls before the interview were around 50-something % thinking he was a traitor. 60% the day after thought he was a hero.

And, perhaps a little naïve here, but I'm also hoping the long history of at least believing you live in a free country counts for something. The 99% rallies may not have accomplished what they set out to but they did prove not everyone in this country is just going to lie down and take it. If some of the more dire predictions I just read in this thread were to come to pass . . .
I'm hoping they'll get more than they bargained for.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 07:43 PM

52. I don't know why so many people are so willing to defend the NSA's

information gathering on US citizens.

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Response to Jake2413 (Reply #52)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 12:09 AM

60. Because if The Leader approves, so must the vassals [n/t]

 

Last edited Mon Jun 2, 2014, 11:33 AM - Edit history (1)

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Response to Jake2413 (Reply #52)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 04:50 AM

66. Because of the "D" after his name. And nothing else.

 

Very foolish.

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Response to Jake2413 (Reply #52)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 07:42 AM

70. $$$ nt

 

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 08:00 PM

53. Last gasp indeed.

 

Hedges says it like it is.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 08:54 PM

54. Except gun and gun-owner registration.

Right?

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 11:43 PM

55. Hedges just called a bunch of DUers "ignorant and inexperienced"

 

"Americans who support the NSA's spying think they are the patriots. No. They are not patriots. They are ignorant and inexperienced. They do not know where the spying is going because they have never seen where it goes."

---Chris Hedges


IMO,
Hedges>>>>>smarter>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Snowden-hating DUers.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 11:45 PM

56. Control.

What other reason really makes sense?

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 11:48 PM

57. Let's face it...

 

DU's, and America's, lowbrow population will always fall for, "My Country, (even if)Wrong."


It was a common malady during the Vietnam years.

There will always be a certain number of those
weak-minded individuals who are vulnerable to it.
Just like repetition of lies causes some to believe.

Not everyone learns from the past and evolves.
Not even all moderates and "Liberals".

Nearly all Conservatives though.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 12:00 AM

58. Principiis obsta and Finem respice—‘Resist the beginnings’ and ‘Consider the end.’

They Thought They Were Free

"What no one seemed to notice," said a colleague of mine, a philologist, "was the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people. Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany. And it became always wider. You know, it doesn’t make people close to their government to be told that this is a people’s government, a true democracy, or to be enrolled in civilian defense, or even to vote. All this has little, really nothing, to do with knowing one is governing.

"What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.

"This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.

<snip>

"To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it—please try to believe me—unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.

"How is this to be avoided, among ordinary men, even highly educated ordinary men? Frankly, I do not know. I do not see, even now. Many, many times since it all happened I have pondered that pair of great maxims, Principiis obsta and Finem respice—‘Resist the beginnings’ and ‘Consider the end.’ But one must foresee the end in order to resist, or even see, the beginnings. One must foresee the end clearly and certainly and how is this to be done, by ordinary men or even by extraordinary men? Things might have. And everyone counts on that might.


"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right." - Thomas Paine

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #58)

Tue Jun 3, 2014, 12:28 PM

87. Bow and Arrow

Thank you, scarletwoman. You are so correct -- so exactly, precisely, immediately, and pertinently correct.

Just around the corner awaits the same peril that consumed Germany in the 1930s. It is so evil, many prefer to put their heads in the sand or sound off "yada yada yada I can't heeeeear you!"

Hitting the target requires great skill in aiming, as with the technique of releasing the bow and propelling the arrow. If off by a fraction of a millimeter, the point of impact of a target 50 meters away can be off by a meter or more. Such is the function of truth -- something that may be so small it can't be measure, or so huge that we can't recognize it when we see it.

Here's my algorithm or syllogism:

If ours is a democratic republic based on the constitution, then We the People are in charge, not the elected or unelected officials.

Secret government means some people have inside information and can act in secret, beyond accountability and above the law.

Therefore, the Constitution, the nation's laws and public accountability don't apply to the members of the secret government.

And that means this is no longer a nation based on equal justice under law, which is, from our -- you and me and what I hope are most DUers' -- way of looking at it, wrong.

Anyone who doesn't see that, isn't just part of the problem. They're in the way of its solution.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 01:07 AM

61. It's unfathomable that any of this is even considered debatable.

It's a testament to how deep the tentacles really are, how sick with propaganda we are and dumbed down to our own system of government and what it is supposed to mean...

...that any of this is considered debatable at all.

It's like waking up in an Orwell novel, when these people who can form complex sentences, who look as though they have been educated, some of whom even claim to be Constitutional scholars...can stand up in front of us and justify ANY of this.

I never truly understood how deeply money corrupts. I honestly never thought my country would come to this.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #61)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 04:51 AM

67. +1. Right back to the 1930s, perhaps. But this time, there are no good guys to come to the rescue.

 

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 04:35 AM

62. You'll be "disappeared," and the people that question your whereabouts will be threatened.

 

All perfectly legal thanks to Bush's and Obama's rubberstamping the numerous Constitutional rewrites that followed 9/11/2001.

I suspect that gay Americans will be the first group to be targeted with these new, bad laws.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 05:22 AM

69. :) this is useful to know.

i miss receiving useful to know things. keep DU relevant, Octafish!

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 08:53 AM

72. The goal is actually to create a steady source of income for govt. surveillance contractors...

The better the job that they do, the more valuable the become as a resource, and the more that they're able to lobby Congress for more capital and expanded responsibility.

Privacy rights be damned as long as the Almighty Dollar is at stake.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #72)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 10:40 AM

78. That's a happy benefit for the Secret Keepers...

...like Carlyle Group -- always working the "inside angle" if you know what I mean.



When War is Swell

Bush’s Crusades and the Carlyle Group

by JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
CounterPunch, WEEKEND EDITION MAY 22-24, 2004

Across all fronts, Bush’s war deteriorates with stunning rapidity. The death count of American soldiers killed in Iraq will soon top 800, with no end in sight. The members of the handpicked Iraqi Governor Council are being knocked off one after another. Once loyal Shia clerics, like Ayatollah Sistani, are now telling the administration to pull out or face a nationalist insurgency. The trail of culpability for the abuse, torture and murder of Iraqi detainees seems to lead inexorably into the office of Donald Rumsfeld. The war for Iraqi oil has ended up driving the price of crude oil through the roof. Even Kurdish leaders, brutalized by the Ba’athists for decades, are now saying Iraq was a safer place under their nemesis Saddam Hussein. Like Medea whacking her own kids, the US turned on its own creation, Ahmed Chalabi, raiding his Baghdad compound and fingering him as an agent of the ayatollahs of Iran. And on and on it goes.

Still not all of the president’s men are in a despairing mood. Amid the wreckage, there remain opportunities for profit and plunder. Halliburton and Bechtel’s triumphs in Iraq have been chewed over for months. Less well chronicled is the profiteering of the Carlyle Group, a company with ties that extend directly into the Oval Office itself.

Even Pappy Bush stands in line to profit handsomely from his son’s war making. The former president is on retainer with the Carlyle Group, the largest privately held defense contractor in the nation. Carlyle is run by Frank Carlucci, who served as the National Security advisor and Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan. Carlucci has his own embeds in the current Bush administration. At Princeton, his college roommate was Donald Rumsfeld. They’ve remained close friends and business associates ever since. When you have friends like this, you don’t need to hire lobbyists..

Bush Sr. serves as a kind of global emissary for Carlyle. The ex-president doesn’t negotiate arms deals; he simply opens the door for them, a kind of high level meet-and-greet. His special area of influence is the Middle East, primarily Saudi Arabia, where the Bush family has extensive business and political ties. According to an account in the Washington Post, Bush Sr. earns around $500,000 for each speech he makes on Carlyle’s behalf.

One of the Saudi investors lured to Carlyle by Bush was the BinLaden Group, the construction conglomerate owned by the family of Osama bin Laden. According to an investigation by the Wall Street Journal, Bush convinced Shafiq Bin Laden, Osama’s half brother, to sink $2 million of BinLaden Group money into Carlyle’s accounts. In a pr move, the Carlyle group cut its ties to the BinLaden Group in October 2001.

SNIP...

In 2002, Carlyle sold off its biggest holding, United Defense. The sale may have been prompted by insider information leaked to Carlucci by his pal Rumsfeld. In early 2001, Carlyle was furiously lobbying the Pentagon to approve contracts for the production of United Defense’s Crusader artillery system, an unwieldy and outrageously expensive super-cannon. Rumsfeld disliked the Crusader and had it high on his hit list of weapon systems to be killed off in order to save money for other big ticket schemes, particularly the Strategic Defense Initiative.

CONTINUED...

http://www.counterpunch.org/2004/05/22/bush-s-crusades-and-the-carlyle-group/



These same fine folks now own Booze Allen Hamilton, the Big Time NSA contractor.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #78)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 11:05 AM

79. They get to pick and choose who the gate keepers are and reward them accordingly

And of course, very of this has to do with merit, as it does who's connected to whom.

The process of lobbying and contributions is used to sway CongressCritters to their way of thinking AND they're using our taxpayer dollars to do this.

IF we had completely publicly financed elections AND full voter participation, who would think that the problem would be as bad as it is?

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 09:49 AM

73. K&R nt

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 09:50 AM

74. I can't help being curious

about all those auto-hidden posts. Looks like I missed something. Or somebody.

Thanks again, Octafish, for what you do here.

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Response to navarth (Reply #74)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 10:26 AM

76. The poster was new. Now, he's gone.

I think it was a "he" based on the tone of the writing -- snippy when there was no confrontation. From what I could tell, there was nothing to indicate the person was a troll, other than pointing out NSA spying was still going on with Obama.

Most importantly: You are most welcome, navarth. Thank you for the kind words.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 10:35 AM

77. Wrong. The ultimate end is, simply, terror. nt

 

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #77)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 03:42 PM

83. You got that right (said in the vocal intonations of Chief Justice John Roberts, R-Florida Stealer).

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 02:25 PM

81. K&R

 

- Pointing out the defects and corruption is an important first step. But only the first step.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 06:08 PM

85. K&R

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Tue Jun 3, 2014, 03:25 PM

88. kick

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Jun 4, 2014, 02:12 PM

90. kick

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Jun 4, 2014, 04:48 PM

93. kick

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Nov 19, 2014, 06:02 PM

95. Octafish's "Goal of Wholesale Survaillance"

K&R

I continue to be amazed by the number of great threads I miss on DU. This one happened to appear when I was on hiatus between April-June. So glad I finally ran into it! Marking to come back to later this evening... (life calls.)

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