Consistency, Glenn Greenwald Style

In response to an article in The Daily Beast by Gordon Chang, Greenwald tweeted (among other things):

So we can infer that it’s bad for someone to appear on a right-wing talk show. Gotcha.

Well, this happened several hours later:

greenwald_bolling

And why didn’t Greenwald call out Bolling and Fox News’ record on civil liberties, the same way he called out MSNBC for supporting Obama? Interesting, since Fox News has a stellar record on privacy with regards to abortion rights, not to mention civil rights, women’s rights, stop-and-frisk, reproductive rights, Voter ID and so forth. But metadata is bad. Yeahokay.

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  • Badgerite

    There is no real dispute that Snowden is capable of lying. There is surely evidence of that from other people who have stated that he secured their passwords to access NSA material at Booze Allen Hamilton by lying to them as to what he wanted their passwords for. He also violated an oath that he surely was required to take. He sought the job at Booze Allen Hamilton in the first place acting under false pretenses. I do not consider it a stretch to allege that he may have lied about other things as well.
    And for a smart guy, he says some awfully ridiculous things sometimes. Almost designed to mislead the gullible. I mean seriously, he creates a ‘dead man’s switch’ because he considers it likely that the US government will try to kill him but he cannot fathom, even though he thinks they may try to kill him, why they would be so extreme as to pull his passport. That is just ridiculous.
    “All men are created equal”. Sure. But all governments are not and quite a few that he has cozied up to do not even recognize that principle. There is something ‘off’ about the whole thing.

    And as in Russia where he is surrounded by former KGB types, I find it utterly unconvincing to tell me that the Chinese government did not send someone in to interview the guy, even if under the guise of a ‘journalist’. . They are way too smart to let an opportunity like a Snowden pass without doing so and gathering from him whatever information there is to be gathered.
    The assurances to the contrary of someone who has already demonstrated a willingness and ability to lie in this context and who makes the kind of statements he has made, are, for my money, not credible.

    • Snertly

      Any human is capable of lying. That doesn’t seem to be a very good standard for attempting to discern the rightfulness of Snowden’s actions.

      By the by, the Gordon article was simply unsubstantiated speculation. Alleged rumors from anonymous sources. The Daily Beast sacrificed veracity for page views a good ways back. Rather like the Daily Banter has sacrificed veracity for being a faithful supporter of the security state and perpetual surveillance.

      • Badgerite

        Snowden did lie. Not maybe. Not just capable. He took an oath at Booze etc, which he intended to break, and lied to get his hands on passwords of co-workers to get access to NSA materials he wanted. He secured the job there under false pretenses. This isn’t just a ‘calability’. This is him lying in a context where it matters. As in under oath at trial. That kind of lying.
        What I was saying is that the ‘speculation’ is based on rather sound principles of observable human behavior especially in the context of foreign intelligence operations. There is just no way in hell that the Chinese government did not send someone from their intelligence services to interview him. No way in hell that they would let that one get away from them. They are not stupid and have a demonstrated ruthlessness as regards certain governmental interests.
        I’m sure whoever they sent from the government did not announce himself as such. Like I said, not stupid. But they absolutely did that. Whether they got everything he was holding? Who knows. But all we have to the contrary is Snowden’s assurances. And that is all. And Snowden has already lied once to people about the safety of information they were giving to him. So.
        This is not just someone who took enough information to support a lawsuit in the US. This is someone who claims to have taken information that would make the government want to kill him. That both Greenwald and Snowden have claimed could seriously harm the national security of the United States for a long time to come. (whatever that would be) . And he took it to a country like China. That is not hero and that is not whistle blowing and all governments are not created equal. In China, they have no 4th Amendment.
        In China, they recently had to oust the leader of the party because his wife killed a foreign business partner. In China, they beat and imprisoned an internationally known artist because he published the names of children killed in a building collapse. In China, they support the rule of Kim Jong Un in North Korea, who recently killed his uncle in a power struggle and has documented camps of repression in the north of the country. In China, they have the Great Firewall of China which restricts access to information, domestic or foreign, that the government objects to or finds ‘messy’.
        And you are telling me I should just take Snowden’s word for it that they did not manage to somehow get that information off him or that he didn’t voluntarily give it to them. I don’t think I will.

        • Snertly

          “There is just no way in hell that the Chinese government did not send someone from their intelligence services to interview him. No way in hell that they would let that one get away from them.”

          What do you base this absolutist position on? Got anything at all besides your gut feelings? (Examples of malfeasance in other areas of China do not constitute proof, as similar examples of misbehaving are available for every country.)

          ps – If you swear a corporate oath to obey and then you are charged by your oath to break governmental law, which standard has precedence?

          • Badgerite

            By Snowden’s own account, he took the job to get his hands on classified government documents. The NSA has not broken any laws.
            Not a one. Judge Leon stated the law as he thinks it should be in the future. Judge Pauley based his decision on the law as it currently IS.
            Smith v Maryland is controlling unless the SCOTUS says otherwise.
            There were no laws broken. The person who broke the laws and who intended to when he took that oath, was Snowden.
            Additionally, the information required for that lawsuit was minimal. And he certainly didn’t need to download a million or so documents, as reported, for that. Now did he? Most of what he divulged is not only legal and constitutional but part of the duties of the NSA as mandated by law.
            Your other points are ridiculous. It isn’t absolutist to say that if the sun comes up every morning in the east , you get to trust that it will also do so tomorrow. It is simply common sense and real world experience.

          • Snertly

            By his own admission, James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, has lied to a congressional committee about the NSA “overstepping” (to be extremely generous) the legal boundaries of the FISA program. Or, different program, different law, they “accidentally” broke the law by collecting content from thousands of phone calls, and to rectify this error, they decided to keep the illegal data for some five to twenty years.

            Your statement only flies if one assumes that the NSA and associated agencies are always 100% correct in their interpretation of the law. Considering the disputes with some of the authors of the law and some contrary judicial opinions (which properly trump the NSA’s opinion), to assume that the NSA is 100% lawful is just foolishly willful blindness.

          • Badgerite

            There are two conflicting judicial opinions of equal weight ( federal district court judge vs federal district court judge ) as to the bulk collection of American phone records ( metadata -who call who and when). The NSA was within the law to rely on Smith v Maryland and broke no law in doing so. The issue will go up to the Supreme Court.
            What they look at was phone records. And that is all. Anything more required reporting to the FBI who then sought an individualized warrant.

            The other decision by Judge Bates of the FISA court was to discontinue a program because it overstepped the level of collection authorized by the warrant that the FISA court itself had issued. Again, No breaking of the law. They operated under a warrant of the FISA Court. When the court looked at the audit trails which were kept by law by the NSA he found that they had collected more than he found acceptable and more than they had represented to him that they would. Again, did not break the law. The activities conducted were authorized by statute and by warrant.
            The statute would be the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments of 2008. Go read it if you like. It authorized the collection of foreign communications and ( since in the digital age it is difficult to impossible to separate out all foreign and all domestic communications) the INADVERTENT ( not accidental, and inadvertent – meaning unintentional – is the language used in the statute itself ) capture of purely domestic communications. While doing this they must submit to oversight by various agencies and oversight by the FISA Court. The FISA Court has rolling warrants to authorize these intrusions into domestic communications but exercises periodic oversight as to whether proper procedures are being followed. Those procedures include, by law, that all communications are initially anonymized ( no names or identifiers) and that when an analyst is aware that the communication is of an American citizen he must immediately stop and get a warrant to go any further.
            Judge Bates, during part of his oversight of the program, found that the NSA had overstepped the collection necessary and authorized by statute. That the inadvertent collection ( again, this is the language in the authorizing statute ) was overly broad (too much) . He determined this by examining the audit trail provided to him by the NSA, which the NSA is required to keep. That would be the rubber stamp FISA Court.
            The program itself is constitutional an authorized by statute and court warrants.
            The issue of metadata collection of Americans ( phone records indicating what numbers called what numbers and when) is authorized under Smith v Maryland. These are two separate issues and not to be confused with one another.
            The FISA court ruling was with regards to overstepping a warrant in inadvertent collection of domestic communications while seeking to collect foreign communications. The target of the NSA was the foreign communications and is sanctioned by law.

            The Metadata collection targets the phone records ( what numbers called what numbers and when) of Americans and those are the two cases, one brought by Klayman in front of Judge Leon and one brought by the ACLU in front of Judge Pauley, that conflict.

            Judge Bates, of the FISA Court, did not invalidate the statute that authorizes the NSA to collect foreign communications. No Congressman has said that they want to repeal it. It will stay on the books because it is necessary and constitutional.
            The collection of American phone records is another matter. This is the one that some members of congress are up in arms about. It is possible that this one will be ruled unconstitutional but there is no question that the NSA was on solid legal ground in relying on Smith v Maryland as controlling. As I said, two conflicting rulings of equal weight there. In open court, and with the adversarial process.
            Nobody is %100 percent correct about anything, especially the law.
            But Smith v Maryland was found as controlling by Judge Pauley so the NSA was on firm ground in assuming the law was on their side.

            As to Clapper, all the Congress people of the oversight committee, including Wyden, admit that they were informed of this program in closed door sessions. What Clapper wouldn’t do is violate his oath and disclose what was then classified information in an open session of Congress to congressmen that already knew the answer.

            Not quite on a par with activities involving lying to get access to information that by Snowden’s own account can severely damage the national security of the United States and taking it to China and then Russia. Not quite the same.

          • Snertly

            For someone who types so much, you say very little.

            “There are two conflicting judicial opinions of equal weight”

            No, those are two different lawsuits, in two different courts. Very similar cases, but not the same. If not for Judge Leon in the Washington DC district court giving the NSA yet another chance to get their act squared away in Klayman vs. Obama, they’d be barred from bulk telephone collections today. Judge Pauley, in the Manhattan district court, was deciding a different issue brought by the ACLU. Different districts, different judges, different cases.

            Somewhat disingenuous, whether intentional or not, to conflate the two cases. Dragging in a third judge, Bates, just clouds the issue more. All you’re really doing is agreeing with the stuff you agree with by spouting a rehash of pseudofactual information.

          • Snertly

            Bubbie, when you act on a legal interpretation that is twisted to the breaking point, that’s called breaking the law. Doesn’t matter whether you’ve rationalized it in the name of national security or anything else. Also, it is misleading to say that no laws were broken and then try to exempt the known examples of law breaking.

            It’s as if you said Bonny and Clyde never robbed anything except for a few banks.

          • Badgerite

            Bonnie and Clyde were not the Office of Legal Counsel to the President of the United States. The person in that position is responsible for determining for the executive, short of a court pronouncement to the contrary, what is and is not constitutional in the operations of the executive. John Yoos interpretation of executive powers in time of war is not totally specious. Just mostly. You cannot charge a person as violating the law for making a mostly specious constitutional interpretation.
            Law is not now, nor has it ever been an exact science. The operative words are ‘it depends’. But once the Office of Legal Counsel has told you that something is constitutional and the AG ( John Ashcroft at that time ) has signed off on it, as a member of the executive branch, you are entitled to rely on that unless a court says otherwise.
            In short, it does indeed matter whether you have JUSTIFIED it in the name of national security.
            What are the known examples of law breaking? They violated the Geneva Conventions which the US is a signatory to but they did so by redefining torture so that certain practices fall outside the Convention definition. I don’t believe the treaty was that explicit so….
            In just about all that they did including Gitmo, they relied on powers of war that adhere in the executive when the country has been attacked. Powers that are exercised on the battlefield and not in the court system. And on the Authorization for the Use of Military Force enacted by Congress. AUMF.
            And the cure for that is an election and congressional repeals. The election came and a lot of those practices were thus discarded. The Congressional part has yet to materialize.

          • Snertly

            How (what’s the opposite of insightful?) of you to think the legal credentials of Bonny and Clyde were the important part of that comment.

            The guy in the Office of Legal Counsel is just another lawyer, same as any other, no more, no less. If he says something is so, then it should be on the basis of right and precedence. If someone hand you a piece of paper that says it’s ok to torture people if we don’t call it torture, I don’t think you’ll get far by saying you were only following orders. John Yoo is a puppet who will say anything the hand up his butt wants him to say. Attempts to justify such things through the vague auspices of the AUMF are the efforts of people who want to do away with the Constitution but not be seen making the killing blow.

            I don’t think the founding fathers would agree that if a President does it, it must be legal.

          • Badgerite

            No, the guy in the Office of Legal Counsel is, as I said, the person charged with determining the compliance of executive actions with the Constitution. The position he occupies in the Administration is not the same as any other lawyer. But it wasn’t just his call. David Addington, the Vice President’s lawyer supported him as did John Ashcroft the Attorney General, at least initially. As did the head of the FBI, etc. As time went on and the country was not hit with another wave of assaults, they started to have second thoughts.
            When James Comey succeeded Yoo as Office of Legal Council. He did not accept Yoo’s reasoning as sound and refused to authorize NSA warrantless surveillance activities. When Alberto Gonzales tried to keep the program going without oversight there was a revolt at Justice, and at the FBI. This was in March of 2004 and Bush was facing a ‘saturday night massacre’. He backed down.

            And since we are on precedence, the precedent for 9/11 was Pearl Harbor, 1941. And what did the US do then. Oh yeah. Manzanar. They rounded up people of Japanese descent, confiscated their property and put them in detention camps. I don’t recall anyone being prosecuted for that. There were reparations awarded to the survivors or their heirs many, many years later. (decades later) Does it get any more OBVIOUSLY unconstitutional than that? I don’t think so. These were American citizens. They were rounded up and put into camps because of their ethnic decent. Let’s see. Who was ‘prosecuted’ for that boner. Oh yeah. NO ONE. What’s more the SCOTUS signed off on the executive order issued by Roosevelt which allowed for the detention in the case of Korematsu v United States, 213 US 214 (1944). The decision 6-3 and was written by Justice Hugo Black and it held that “the need to protect against espionage outweighed Fred Korematsu’s individual rights and the rights of American’s of Japanese descent.” ( quoted from Wikipedia entry).
            Who was arrested? Prosecuted? No one. How about dropping a bomb on Hiroshima? Dresden, Germany? Anyone arrested? Prosecuted? In other words, during times when the nation is under attack, and on the battlefield, different constitutional standards may be applied. There is no hard and fast rule. John Yoo sure as hell pushed the envelope. But his reasoning was no more extreme than the ‘precedence’ that you claim would have restricted him. So, no, you can’t put him in prison for that. And you can’t prosecute people for relying on it.
            In fact in the detentions on Guantanamo, I believe they pointed to some other WWII cases as precedent for their actions.

          • Snertly

            You think the detention of Japanese-Americans during WW2 is a example of good governmental behavior? That sugary sweet NSA koolaid has done rotted out the fillings of your mind. Because it’s sounding a whole lot like you’re saying “this obvious Constitutional violation worked out for US then, so any Constitutional violation now will probably work out for US too. Which is beyond mere stupidity.

            By the by, while you’re trying to work out who’s the most authoritative lawyer around, guy by the name of John Rizzo was on NPR this morning, pushing a book and taking credit away from John Yoo saying he, Rizzo, had done the actual determinations of what is or isn’t torture. Kinda like a dimwitted child claiming to make the smelliest poop, but that’s our tax dollars at work.

            So while you’re laboriously trying to string the justifications for one use of one kind of surveillance, the NSA has spun up a couple new programs and gave all the old ones new names. If there’s any one thing the NSA knows how to do, it’s move the goal posts.

            By the by, if you want to know what went wrong at DoJ, look back to Bush Jr and his restocking the place with people who’s primary credential was loyalty to Bush Jr. They just shuffle out lawyers until they find one saying what they want to hear.

          • Badgerite

            I see you recovered from your ridiculous contention that John Yoo and everyone else should have looked to ‘precedence’ to realize that what was and was not constitutional. Because clearly ‘precedence’ was not on your side on that one.
            I already know what went wrong in the Bush White House.
            And that would be BUSH.

          • Snertly

            The correct precedent would be the realization that thugs and bullies cannot maintain an image as global good guys. That our image is not diminished in foreign lands because of their opinion of US, but by what US has done over there. Bush Jr was just the logical advancement of the preceding two decades of GOP direction.

            Right now I think it’s a toss up as to whether or not the current office holder will be remembered as the start of a rising progressive tide, or Bush Jr-Jr.

          • Rollo Tamasi

            “What do you base this absolutist position on? Got anything at all besides your gut feelings? (Examples of malfeasance in other areas of China do not constitute proof, as similar examples of misbehaving are available for every country.)”

            Come on. You’re not being intellectually honest now. Common sense tell us this. And we’re not talking about malfeasance from China. We’re talking about a country doing due diligence in terms of their own national security interests. Why would any country let Snowden walk without vigorously exploring what information they can obtain from him? It makes no sense.

          • Badgerite

            Exactly.

          • Snertly

            An appeal to “common sense” proves nothing at all, except perhaps a lack of opposing data.

            Also, when did China “let Snowden walk” or have any other dealings substantiated by anything other than baseless rumor mongering such as was demonstrated by Chang?

          • Badgerite

            Whether China did or did not get any valuable information out of Snowden is anybodies guess. But it is beyond ridiculous to assert that they would not even try. Of course they did. And the only evidence one has for the proposition that they did not get any information from him is the usual ‘Snowden says’. Which I might point out, is not ‘evidence’ either. It is a contention that cannot be proved or disproved at this time.
            But it insults the intelligence to claim that they did not even try.

          • Snertly

            Let’s be a bit more basic than that. After all, to address the question of whether or not China got useful information from Snowden, you first have to have, implicitly or otherwise, agree that there has been some sort of communication method or channel by which China and Snowden have had some form of contact.

            Creating this impression, this disparaging innuendo, is the point of the question. Kind of like asking did Snowden have dinner with Karl Marx on a Saturday night or a Sunday afternoon? Either answer assumes a meeting which hasn’t happened.

          • Badgerite

            He was interviewed by a ‘journalist’ from the South China Morning News.
            Chang alleges that his source say the ‘journalist’ was accompanied by a government intelligence agent. If China didn’t do that, I’ll eat my socks.
            They would certainly make an attempt to plump him for information. The NSA aren’t the only spooks in the world.

          • Snertly

            People willing to consume their own footwear is the recognized gold standard for veracity. I’m sure if Snowden knew of your vow, he would change his story immediately.

          • Badgerite

            I’m not in any danger of having to eat my socks.

          • Snertly

            Of course not, because obviously that argument is so powerfully persuasive that no simple construct of logic and reason can prevail. Or, like the preceding sentence, it’s total BS.

          • Badgerite

            Have it your way. It would never occur to the Chinese intelligence services to ever do anything so underhanded and immoral as actually engage in spying. I stand corrected. Due to simple logic, or more realistically, Fantasy Land.

          • Snertly

            No matter how much you or Mr Chang think it impossible to have happened otherwise, you do of course realize that your certainty is in no way a substitute for proof.

            Mr Chang’s entire argument boils down to “you should believe what I say over what Glenn Greenwald says because I say I’m more credible”. He makes, and you repeat, a statement of belief, but not an argument.

      • http://www.dlancystreet.com reginahny

        Which country are you claiming the Daily Banter faithfully supports? The United States is neither a security state, nor do we live under perpetual surveillance so I’m curious. Just tossing around words like “security state” and “perpetual surveillance” is a symptom of the whole problem with these non-revealing revelations and the breathless claims of “they watch everything we do!!!1!!!11!!!”. (Never mind claims that the President is going to take Snowden out with drones, non-journalist life-partner information mules have been subjected to tyranny, Central American planes are practically being shot out of the sky, etc. ad nauseum.) Hyperbole, buckets and buckets of fact-free hyperbole.

        • Snertly

          US may not be yet, but we’re well on our way. Apparently lots of people in Washington DC think this would be a dandy thing, and they have supporters in other places, such as the Daily Banter. The only real argument against perpetual pervasive surveillance being the current mode is quibbling over what perpetual and pervasive means.

          • http://www.dlancystreet.com reginahny

            Let the goal post changing commence. At least you stepped away from the hyperbole a bit, so there’s that.

          • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

            Deleted post, stupid thing won’t allow animated gifs

          • Badgerite

            Perpetual and pervasive means China or especially North Korea.

          • Snertly

            Really? Is there some geographic component at work which no one else, aside from yourself and the NSA apparently, is aware of? Perpetual means always and pervasive means as much as possible. I don’t think these terms are bound by location.

          • Badgerite

            You don’t think! What’s more if you are so oblivious to what people in North Korea have had to endure, ( and we have some idea of what that is because of the North Koreans who have managed to escape into China ) you lose any kind of claim to care about freedom or human dignity. You seem to care a whole lot more about ‘metadata’ then you do about actual people.

          • Snertly

            I do think that North Korea has not entered this conversation until this moment. I’m not sure what that has to do with anything preceding it in the discussion or with the article above. Unless your purpose was just to raise another bogie man. “Be afraid! Be very afraid!”

            The sticky point of the whole thing is how the collection and use of metadata and/or content affects actual people. Lots of stuff out recently on COINTELPRO which, given that it’s forty years old, makes for a pretty good primer on how data surveillance can be misused to throttle the freedom and rights, and destroy the lives of people with whom the surveillance operatives felt they had bones to pick whether that was a lone agent in the field or J Edgar himself.

          • Badgerite

            You brought it up. “Perpetual and pervasive surveillance”.
            As to COINTELPRO , first of all it did anything but “throttle freedom and rights”. The anti war movement won the national argument, as did the Civil Rights Movement. Barack Obama is evidence of that. We don’t have a national day honoring Hoover.
            You wildly overestimate what Hoover accomplished. All he really accomplished was to tarnish his reputation for all time. Especially by trying to intimidate and smear MLK.
            In other words COINTELPRO didn’t work. It accomplished nothing.
            And J Edgar could never get away with the same kind of thing under the FISA system. There are monitors and audit trails and by statute their authority is only to search for information about terrorists or terror plots. There are really too many oversight features built in. The programs have to be warranted by the judges on the FISC and those judges must review and renew those rolling warrants every 90 days or so, which is how Judge Bates was apprised of the fact that the NSA had exceeded the warrant it was operating under. Additionally there must be periodic reports to the AG and various other agencies to show compliance with the law. And reports to the oversight committees in Congress. This programs is anything but ‘rubber stamp’. An individual may abuse it based on a personal grudge. But they would likely be caught ( and indeed were caught). J. Edgar Hoover never had to deal with anything like this. And please don’t tell me they would use the system to blackmail everybody on the planet so that no one would spill the beans. I think that is ridiculous on its face. Like Judge Pauley says, if you are blackmailing someone, your activities aren’t ‘secret’ anymore.

          • Snertly

            What ran COINTELPRO off the tracks? Whistleblowers. What it did accomplish was to wreck a lot of lives. Doing bad things for good reasons is still doing bad things. The most that plan can accomplish is teaching others how to do bad things too.

          • Badgerite

            Oh and by the way, COINTELPRO was about domestic intelligence gathering and activities under taken to disrupt internal dissent. There were no implications at all for the foreign intelligence gathering capabilities of the United States. As I have said before, Snowden could have stayed in this country and leaked whatever he had about the bulk collection of American phone records and risked pretty much nothing. He went abroad and specifically to country’s that had an quasi adversarial relationship with the US in order to leak information about programs that are not only clearly legal but clearly constitutional.
            Spying on China and even on Angel Merkel is what the NSA is supposed to be doing. And it is surely what China and Russia are doing, whenever they can. The only debate that was really started internationally is “So, how bad do you think the US is, anyway, evil or mostly evil?” for doing exactly what other countries making these judgments are doing without apology.
            It’s ridiculous.
            As to what COINTELPRO accomplished, I don’t know that it accomplished even that. But law enforcement goes off the tracks all the time and lives get ‘wrecked’. (See the conviction error rate on death row in Illinois as shown up by DNA testing of evidence) Though I don’t know of anyone’s life that was wrecked, frankly. The program just flat out failed whatever they were trying to accomplish. They were not able to even damper, let alone squelch dissent, and there is literally no comparison between a program personally run by J. Edgar Hoover and one that is authorized by statue and case law and overseen by all three branches of government.

          • Badgerite

            By the way, you want to know what really ‘throttled’ the ‘peace movement’? Those idiots couldn’t tell the difference between a man like Hubert Humphrey and a man like Richard Nixon. Michael Moore actually was a volunteer in Nixon’s 1968 campaign because he thought Nixon was the “peace” candidate. Of course, what they actually did, was help elect the man most responsible for the war not being settled at the negotiation table in 1968. Nixon had an emissary convince the South Vietnamese to walk away from the table promising that he would stand by them and get them a much better deal later on. He got them the same deal many years and many lives later. COINTELPRO had nothing to do with ‘throttling’ anything. The ‘peace movement’ did it to themselves and the rest of the country as well.

          • Jan Civil

            “The only real argument against perpetual pervasive surveillance being the current mode is quibbling over what perpetual and pervasive means.”

            All you’re really shown us is a point-of-view. You keep dancing focusing on the side issue instead of addressing points
            and as if it makes some point, yet it does nothing in the conversation.

            You present an absolutism and a pre-emptive dismissal of any arguments. You seem to think assertion is an argument, and you need to distort what’s being said in service of, well, again nothing more than you have this POV. “Apparently lots of people in Washington DC think this would be a dandy
            thing, and they have supporters in other places, such as the Daily Banter.” You do know what a straw man is, right?

            There is a real argument to be made out of an understanding of factual reality. You come in obviously believing in Snowden’s nonsense. “Perpetual pervasive surveillance” sounds like an argument to you but it’s just hype. You can place that more accurately as per Google or Facebook than NSA metadata collection. You’re kind of just ridiculous at this point.

          • Snertly

            Let’s look at the law as having two components, the spirit and the letter. Take the Constitution as an example, after the opening most of it is concerned with the letter of the law. Compare that to the Bill of Rights which was, I think, constructed to rely as much as possible on the spirit of the law in that it tries to describe a series of positions in a fashion as vague and encompassing as possible.

            The NSA lives and dies by the letter of the law. When viewed with the spirit of the law, it is quite obvious that they have, for a very long time, been undermining not only the Constitution and the rule of law (by essentially claiming their own private law which they can’t tell you about) but the safety, security, and privacy of everyone on the planet. For their own purposes, to create their own advantages.

            You cannot uphold the law by being above the law. Go re-read The Once and Future King or most any other retelling of King Arthur.

            It’s foolish to debate the NSA on the letter of the law, which several here would like to do. That would take teams of people working around the clock for years, probably. Then you get junk like Clapper saying “Oh, did you mean program X? I thought you were talking about program Y which is why my answer sounded like nonsense. No, I will not answer your question about program X at this time, but please allow me to use our time to tell you some hype about program Y and maybe program Z.”

          • Badgerite

            Your above post is the stupidest pile of bilge I have ever heard.
            uchicagolaw.typepad.com/faculty/2006/09/not_a_suicide_p.html
            Third paragraph:
            “At least in principle, I am open to this view. Constitutional rights are not absolute. In almost all instances either the text or the judicial interpretation takes into account the necessity of limitation.
            Whether the question is whether the restriction is ‘reasonable’ or ‘necessary to serve a compelling government interest’, we often balance the degree of limitation of the right against the strength and nature of the competing government interest. Thus, if the stakes are sufficiently high, even rights we ordinarily protect can legitimately be limited. and certainly this is so in times of real crisis, as the Constitution itself recognizes in the Suspension Clause (governing habeus corpus ). Civil libertarians who argue otherwise may be taking a wise and defensible position from the standpoint of advocacy, but they are not quite accurately depicting the real nature of Constitutional law. ”

          • Snertly

            They both sounded willing to grind up personal liberty in the name of national security, though they’d take different paths to get there.

            Rights is a slippery term and often gets used when what’s really meant is privileges. The Bill of Rights was not meant to be special candy only for US citizens (that would make them privileges not rights) but a recognition of some basic elements of the human condition.

            For instance, why is there freedom of speech? What makes that a right instead of a privilege? I think it’s mostly because, in the long run, you just can’t make people shut up and stay that way. They can be forced or coerced for a while sometimes, but eventually it always blows up and folks go back to saying what they want to say.

          • Badgerite

            The phrase was “the real nature of Constitutional law”. You are advocating for a version of Constitutional Law that has never existed anywhere, not even in the United States. This law is based on SCOTUS decisions interpreting that document for over 200 years now in all sorts of times and situations. And the hard and fast rule they have come up with is this. In order for the state to infringe on what is recognized as a fundamental right the state must show a compelling national interest ( read preventing people from blowing up buildings or airports with bombs or planes ) and that the activity undertaken by the state is the least intrusive on that right possible to achieve the compelling state interest. This is the law. And this is why Congress itself signed off on the inadvertent capture of American communications when trying to capture foreign communications in the 2008 FISA legislation. If someone decided to challenge that legislation in court, they would lose, because it is clearly constitutional.

          • Horace Boothroyd III

            Let me put it this way: when the United States becomes a national security state, you will be the first in line at the secret police office to sign up for a juicy gig spying on your fellow citizens. The braggarts and blathermouths are always quickest to scurry and cover their sorry butts when the chips go down. I’ll take badgerite and reginahny on my side, thank you very much.

          • Snertly

            Beg pardon? Did you determine that with tarot cards? Iching? Staring into a crystal ball? Or are you just riding a wave of emotional certainty, no matter how mistaken?

            What was it about the spirit and the letter of the law that caused you to think borrowing insults from the 1940s was a fitting response?

          • Badgerite

            It’s the way you talk.

          • Snertly

            You’re free to fuel your gut feelings with whatever you like. Doesn’t make them right though.

    • Horace Boothroyd III

      Given people’s hunger for astonishing revelations, I am astounded that more attention is not being paid to the claim that Snowden got passwords to secret material just by asking.

      In my organization, my password is mine and if you ask for it I report you to the chain of command for a serious violation of protocol. Seriously, that is a Falcon and Snowman level security breach that should never be tolerated.

      The fact that people sweep this kind of thing aside in favor of “The NSA is reading my brain” style sensationalism is proof that hysterical ninnies will be hysterical and that none of the primping poseurs actually give two shits about anything of consequence.

      • Badgerite

        I believe Bob mentioned that the people who gave him their passwords were fired.

      • Snertly

        But social engineering is the easiest way to break a password. No guessing. Lots of companies inadvertently teach their employees bad habits about such things as a byproduct of their support polices and IT habits. .

  • WiscoJoe

    Meh, Greenwald is just too special to have to conform to such collectivist notions as consistency.

  • Lady Willpower

    Greenwald is just deliberately fucking with us now, right? What’s next for him, making fun of someone who tweets a lot?

    • Norbrook

      I’m pretty sure he’ll tweet it.

    • Horace Boothroyd III

      Sweet baby Jeebus, I think I just ruptured myself from laughing so hard.

  • js hooper

    Greenwald might be the biggest douchebag in all of politics.I say this because most right wingers are open about their views and associations and don’t try to hide it. Greenwald is like a Rovian Frankenstein.He will wildly lash out and attack anyone for the EXACT same bullshit he does and won’t even blink an eye about it.Then if you point it out…he and his cult followers will flame the shit out of you.

    Greenwald is a right wing Libertarian. All the “fauxgressive” dudebros and professional left grifters who buy in to his bullshit are biggest tools this side of the tea party.

  • js hooper

    I read the Daily Beast article the other day and didn’t think it was earth shattering.It was an interesting perspective on Snowden and a lot of the points brought up made sense from a common sense perspective.

    Snowden is a spy for Russia and China. That’s obvious. The fact that Greenwald and his cult are squealing about it so loudly means that it must have poked them in an area they are really concerned about.

    They are attacking Gordon Chang with everything they’ve got. I don’t know anything about Chang so I won’t defend him…but the claims he made against Snowden are no more outlandish than what Greenwald/Snowden and crew say on a regular basis.

    • Snertly

      “That’s obvious.”

      Yeah, no. If nothing else, work released by Glenn Greenwald is far better sourced and documented than anything in Chang’s article.

      • js hooper

        I don’t need Chang’s article to know that Snowden is a spy for China & Russia.

        Anyone who isn’t part of the Snowald cult can see that.It’s been obvious since Snowden started handing out intelligence info like candy while in Hong Kong.

        Info that had absolutely NOTHING to do with American’s civil liberties or privacy.

        Snowden is a spy & traitor.

        • Snertly

          I suppose it can be comforting to base one’s theories on nothing more than gut instinct. Quite the time saver, I’m sure.

      • Horace Boothroyd III

        Speaking of sources, what do you suppose Glenn is up to with those 1699980 Snowden documents that were not used to prop up the domestic surveillance stories and did they have anything to do with the quarter billion dollars Glenn was handed to set up his own media empire?

        You being so well informed and all.

        • Snertly

          Well thanks for the vote of confidence, but I must admit I’ve no idea. Keep doing what he’s been doing would seem a pretty safe bet. That is, turning them into insightful, documented studies of what goes on behind the curtains of national security.

  • mrbrink

    According to Glenn Greenwald, this isn’t about left or right, democrat or republican. Especially Democrat. It’s about ‘owing your allegiance to the U.S. government’ or to The Patriots– Edward Snowden… and the Greenwald-in-law.

    What side are you on? Too late! You have now been banned from Glenn’s Twitter Militia for literal treason and conduct unbecoming a Clapper-loving O-bot Statist!

    Because this is all about having a civil, if not spirited, reasoned debate with anyone except anyone who’ll disagree with his outlandish characterizations.

    Someday he’ll divide and conquer the 8th grade and you’ll see! You’ll see.

    • Victor_the_Crab

      Did you ever know that you’re my hero, brink?

      • mrbrink

        Goosebumps. I’ve always sort of sensed it, but nothing every really confirmed, you know? I thought this costume was going to go to waste. You saved me. We’re even.

    • Snertly

      Would Glenn Greenwald really condemn anyone for “conduct unbecoming a Clapper-loving O-bot Statist”?

      • mrbrink

        None of your trick questions, Riddler.

        • Snertly

          But my trick is based on your unbecoming.

  • Chez Pazienza

    Seriously, fuck this guy.

    • Snertly

      Well, if that’s your thing, and they’re into it too…