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East Coast Pirate

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Member since: Tue May 15, 2012, 02:33 PM
Number of posts: 775

Journal Archives

Edward Snowden is a whistleblower, not a spy –but do our leaders care?

According to US legislators and journalists, the surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden actively aided America's enemies. They are just missing one essential element for the meme to take flight: evidence.

An op-ed by Representative Mike Pompeo (Republican, Kansas) proclaiming Snowden, who provided disclosed widespread surveillance on phone records and internet communications by the National Security Agency, "not a whistleblower" is indicative of the emerging narrative. Writing in the Wichita Eagle on 30 June Pompeo, a member of the House intelligence committee, wrote that Snowden "has provided intelligence to America's adversaries".

Pompeo correctly notes in his op-ed that "facts are important". Yet when asked for the evidence justifying the claim that Snowden gave intelligence to American adversaries, his spokesman, JP Freire, cited Snowden's leak of NSA documents. Those documents, however, were provided to the Guardian and the Washington Post, not al-Qaeda or North Korea.

It's true that information published in the press can be read by anyone, including people who mean America harm. But to conflate that with actively handing information to foreign adversaries is to foreclose on the crucial distinction between a whistleblower and a spy, and makes journalists the handmaidens of enemies of the state.

Yet powerful legislators are eager to make that conflation about Snowden.

More: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/05/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-spy
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Fri Jul 5, 2013, 08:33 PM (3 replies)

Is 2 weeks of 90+ weather normal for the NYC area?

I've lived here for 6 1/2 years and can't remember it being this hot and humid for this long.
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Fri Jul 5, 2013, 05:00 PM (14 replies)

Latin American leaders, on first-name basis, unite against critics

BOGOTA, Colombia –Bolivian President Evo Morales was stuck in Vienna, his plane diverted from its path home by officials who believed that American fugitive Edward Snowden was hiding aboard. Fortunately, Morales could count on his friends.

First, Rafa phoned Cristina late Tuesday during the crisis. That’s Rafael Correa, president of Ecuador, calling his Argentine counterpart, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. “Rafa, how are you?” she recounted on her Twitter account. “He answered angry and anguished. ‘Don’t you know what’s happened?’”

“Cristina,” Correa explained, “Evo’s plane has been detained, and they won’t let him leave Europe.”

She was outraged, she told her Twitter followers, and so was Pepe. Soon Ollanta was working to convene a continent-wide meeting of leaders and making sure the influential ones, including Nicolás and Dilma, were there.

On Thursday, some of these leaders —Peruvian President Ollanta Humala, Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, José“Pepe” Mujica of Uruguay, along with Correa and others —rushed to an emergency summit in Cochabamba, Bolivia, to express fury about Morales’s treatment.

More: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/united-against-world-in-latin-america/2013/07/04/dc38c59e-e4f4-11e2-bffd-37a36ddab820_story.html
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Fri Jul 5, 2013, 06:02 AM (3 replies)

I'll be right across the Hudson for the Macy's firework display this year

My view:

Posted by East Coast Pirate | Thu Jul 4, 2013, 04:51 PM (2 replies)

Cockatoos can pick their way through a series of locks to reach a reward, scientists have found

Researchers presented 10 birds with a box containing a cashew nut treat, which they could reach by removing five different interlocking devices.

One of the Goffin's cockatoos, called "Pipin", solved the complex mechanical puzzle unassisted within two hours.

Several other birds mastered the task after observing peers or being presented with the locks incrementally.


To reach the nut, the captive Goffin's cockatoos (Cacatua goffini) had to remove a pin, followed by a screw, a bolt, then turn a wheel and move a latch sideways.

"The progress of the birds towards the solution is unaffected by the fact that the goal is very distant," said Professor Alex Kacelnik from the University of Oxford's department of zoology, who co-authored the study.

More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/23150941
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Thu Jul 4, 2013, 02:51 PM (4 replies)

The plane was rerouted, why make up stories?

Now it's because the pilot changed his flight plan. You sound like Fox and friends.

Democrats aren't supposed to mindlessly fall in lockstep behind politicians and parrot talking points. That's what Republicans do.

I understand that you don't like the nonstop criticism of President Obama. I felt that way during the Clinton years. But please, step back and take a breath once in a while.
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Thu Jul 4, 2013, 06:50 AM (30 replies)

As a true patriot I volunteer to be strip searched

any time the feds want to storm into my dwelling. I have nothing to hide and I like being naked.

Posted by East Coast Pirate | Wed Jul 3, 2013, 09:46 PM (18 replies)

16 fewer terrorists - USA! USA! USA!

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — At least 16 people were killed and five others wounded when an American drone strike hit a suspected Haqqani militant compound in a remote tribal region of northwestern Pakistan late Tuesday, according to government and intelligence officials.

The strike was the deadliest since Pakistan’s new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, took power a month ago and demanded an end to the drone attacks. A local government official said the house was being used by the militants for the past few months.

“At least four missiles were fired from two drones at a house of local tribesmen in Sarai Darpa Khel village at 11 p.m. last night,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

A local militant source said that the militants who were killed were from the Haqqani network, a militant group that is responsible for orchestrating and executing attacks against American and Afghan forces across the border in Afghanistan and is believed to be active in the region.

More: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/world/asia/drone-attack-pakistan.html
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Wed Jul 3, 2013, 06:39 AM (8 replies)

There’s a Secret Patriot Act, Senator Says

(This article is from May 25, 2011 but I think it's more relevant now than ever.)

You think you understand how the Patriot Act allows the government to spy on its citizens. Sen. Ron Wyden says it’s worse than you know.

Congress is set to reauthorize three controversial provisions of the surveillance law as early as Thursday. Wyden (D-Oregon) says that powers they grant the government on their face, the government applies a far broader legal interpretation — an interpretation that the government has conveniently classified, so it cannot be publicly assessed or challenged. But one prominent Patriot-watcher asserts that the secret interpretation empowers the government to deploy ”dragnets” for massive amounts of information on private citizens; the government portrays its data-collection efforts much differently.

“We’re getting to a gap between what the public thinks the law says and what the American government secretly thinks the law says,” Wyden told Danger Room in an interview in his Senate office. “When you’ve got that kind of a gap, you’re going to have a problem on your hands.”

What exactly does Wyden mean by that? As a member of the intelligence committee, he laments that he can’t precisely explain without disclosing classified information. But one component of the Patriot Act in particular gives him immense pause: the so-called “business-records provision,” which empowers the FBI to get businesses, medical offices, banks and other organizations to turn over any “tangible things” it deems relevant to a security investigation.

More: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/05/secret-patriot-act/
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Tue Jul 2, 2013, 01:54 PM (157 replies)

Is our constitution now meaningless?

It seems to me that all our government has to do is claim "national security" and it's anything goes.
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Tue Jul 2, 2013, 07:00 AM (2 replies)
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