...What is bizarre is that Obama haven't just tolerated the Brotherhood's rise to power, he has abetted it. It would be defensible to argue that we have little power to influence events in Egypt, and, moreover, attempts on our part to exercise influence are likely to backfire; therefore we should stand aside and do nothing. But why Obama would consider it a good idea to put America's thumb on the scale on the side of the Brotherhood is beyond me.
Why would one want to travel to Pakistan in 1981? Seriously, what would the draw be? Why would the LA Times embargo the Khalidi tape? Why is an anti-muslim film maker in jail; why hasnt he been charged? And why did Obama meet with Abdullah bin Bayyah (who's main agenda is globally pushing to criminalize blasphemy) at the White House.
The fact that for the first time in Our country's history, there is a man in jail for effectively violating sharia law is of major significance. And taking the rest of the talking points together, creates a major implication.
This is an outrageous breach of security and privacy, even from an administration that has shown little regard for either over the last eight years, Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton told CNN in a statement. Our governments duty is to protect the private information of the American people, not use it for political purposes.
Somewhere in there is the classical tale of selling one's soul, counted in millions of dollars in small donations made with untraceable pre-paid credit cards from Europe to someone's 2008 election campaign. Faust should play well at the Nationaltheater München this year.
@ Vanity Fair of all places
Now, before I get into the specifics of Snowden's China leaks, I want to stop for a minute. I know that, from the time he disclosed classified documents about the mass collection of Americans' telecommunications data, there have been plenty of debates about whether Snowden is a whistle-blower or a traitor. And I can understand that disagreement when it comes to the data-mining program that slurps up e-mail and phone data of American citizens. But what, exactly, is Snowden attempting to prove with his China revelations? That countries engage in espionage? That the United States listens in on communications of countries with which it maintains often tense and occasionally volatile relations?
The existence of electronic espionage seems to be his beef. In an interview with the South China Morning Post--in which he admitted that he took a job as a systems administrator with an N.S.A. consultant, Booz Allen Hamilton, for the purpose of stealing classified documents--Snowden laid out his bizarre and egomaniacal philosophy: he would decide what information to pass on in countries around the world.
"If I have time to go through this information, I would like to make it available to journalists in each country to make their own assessment, independent of my bias, as to whether or not the knowledge of US network operations against their people should be published."
Note the language. It's against the people, not the governments. He wants everyone to think we're doing this against Joe Grocer in Hong Kong out of malice.
I'll have to assume that Snowden is on this fit of self-righteous arrogance because he thinks there is something wrong with what he's seen of United States surveillance in other countries. But to decide that standard espionage activities are improper is a foolish, ahistorical belief.
N.S.A. surveillance has been beneficial repeatedly in American foreign policy. Although most instances remain secret, we already know that the N.S.A. listened to Soviet pilots during the 1983 shooting down of a South Korean airliner; used intercepted diplomatic messages to track a 1986 Berlin disco bombing to Libya; and used the cell phones' SIM cards to track terrorist suspects after the 9/11 attacks.
But let's take a more important example. In 1937--at a time when the United States was declaring neutrality in the emerging global tensions that fueled World War II--the Japanese government created a cipher for its military messages using a device called the "97-shiki O-bun In-ji-ki." The Americans code-named it "Purple."
The United States military was able to intercept Japanese communications (the very reason that Tokyo needed a code) but couldn't decrypt the information sent through the Purple machine. William Friedman, the first American cryptography expert who tried to break the code, made some progress before suffering a nervous breakdown. Using that initial information, others managed to break more of the code. Once cracked, the United States could track Japanese naval-troop movements and even intercepted communications containing plans for the Pearl Harbor attack--information that was not properly used.
Would Snowden have been outraged that the United States was intercepting Japanese data at a time when the countries were not at war? It took years to crack the Purple code--would Snowden think the United States should have waited until after Pearl Harbor to tap into Japanese communication lines, and only then begin the arduous effort to break the code? And if not, then what is his point in turning over these kinds of secrets to the Chinese? All I have to say is, thank God Snowden was not around in 1937, four years before the United States joined the war--Lord knows how many Americans would have died if he had acted with whatever arrogance, or self-righteousness, or narcissism, or pure treasonous beliefs that drove him to his espionage on behalf of the Chinese. I didn't really want to get into the big digression on modern techniques here, just wanted to point out the historical context, and the modern social context the author points out here:
Which brings us back to Snowden's global hypocrisy tour. I think nothing has more thoroughly damaged Snowden's "whistle-blower" persona than his bizarre--and, I would say, cowardly--decision to rely on some of the countries with the greatest history of oppression to help keep him out of the Americans' hands. (Usually, when people engage in civil disobedience for a cause--which Snowden seems to want people to believe he is doing--they accept the punishment that will accompany their decision. Snowden, instead, has acted like a spy, fleeing to countries with deeply strained relationships with the United States.
The irony of someone purportedly dedicated to privacy and human rights aiding the Chinese government grew even starker while Snowden was in Hong Kong. Last week, Human Rights Watch issued a report condemning a massive surveillance campaign undertaken by the Chinese government in Tibetan villages, which results in political re-education of those who may question the Communist regime and the establishment of partisan security units. "These tactics discriminate against those perceived as potentially disloyal, and restrict their freedom of religion and opinion," Human Rights Watch wrote.
But hey, that's just real life, not the Internet privacy that concerns Snowden. And, of course, the level of the Chinese government's surveillance and control of their citizens' use of the Internet is almost an art form. Just six months ago, China's legislative body, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, adopted the "Decision to Strengthen the Protection of Online Information." The new rules, which Human Rights Watch says "threaten security and privacy of internet users," require telecommunications providers to collect reams of personal information about customers who sign up for Internet, landline, or cell-phone service. The law also requires for the providers to insure they have the ability to immediately identify the real names of people who post comments under pseudonyms. Guess why? "In the days following the decision,'' Human Rights Watch reported, "several well-known online activists found that their weibo micro-blogging accounts had been shut down.''
As for Russia, the crackdown on public activism has intensified in recent months, which, again, has led to Human Rights Watch issuing a report just a few weeks before Snowden landed in Moscow. "The crackdown is threatening civil society," said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "The EU has spoken out strongly in recent months, but now is the time to directly call on Russia's leadership to revise restrictive laws and stop the harassment of independent groups." Primarily, the Russians are going after hundreds of rights groups and related activist organizations as part of a massive campaign to force them to register as foreign agents. "The authorities are seeking to define 'political' so broadly as to make any involvement in public life that is not controlled by the government off-limits," Williamson said. "They are also trying to tarnish groups with the 'foreign agents' label, which in Russia can only mean 'spy.'"
And what about Ecuador? Why, just two weeks ago, this country that is apparently on Snowden's list of possible future homes passed new rules that impede free expression. The statute, called the Communications Law, prohibits anyone from disseminating information through the media that might undermine the prestige or credibility of a person or institution (you know, like revealing a government-sponsored surveillance program). The law also places burdens on journalists, making them subject to civil or criminal penalties for publishing information that serves to undermine the security of the state (you know, like revealing a government-sponsored surveillance program).
The takeaway from all of this is perplexing. Perhaps Snowden is so impaired by his tunnel vision about America's espionage techniques that he doesn't understand he has made himself an international fool by cozying up to some of the world's less-admirable regimes on issues of human rights. And there is another thing to bear in mind: Since Snowden seems keen on turning over secret American information to repressive governments, will he be, in the end, acting to aid that repression? Will whatever information he yields be the missing thread that these authoritarian governments need to oppress their citizens more?
I don't know. Neither do you. And, in the most horrible reality of all, neither does Edward Snowden.
The skinny little creep is a catspaw. Question is, who's controlling him? That's what we need to know, and that's precisely what the Obama administration, WaPo, the Guardian and the rest won't say. Why do you think Putin is chuckling so? He knows...
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain ||
07/01/2013 12:20 ||
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It's time for the absurd paradigm governing the Israel-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflict -- as well as the "peace process" -- to be abandoned or challenged. This narrative has become increasingly ridiculous. The following is close to being the official version:
The Palestinians desperately want an independent state and are ready to compromise to obtain that goal. They will then live peacefully alongside Israel in a two-state solution. Unfortunately, this is blocked either by a) misunderstanding on both sides, or b), per the recent words of the Huffington Post, "the hard-line opponents who dominate Israel's ruling coalition." Israel is behaving foolishly, not seeing that -- as former President Bill Clinton recently said -- Israel needs peace in order to survive. One reason, perhaps a leading one, why Israel desperately needs peace is because of Arab demographic growth. Also, the main barrier to peace is the Jewish settlements.
This interpretation has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with reality. People on both sides know this, even if they rarely say so publicly.
But, but, but what about reverse mortgages, the Electoral College, PCmatic, Erectile Dysfunction, Made in China, Labor Unions, Wymn's Choice, Eminent Domain, Public Education, Gaye Rights, Affirmative Action, Social Security, Fuel Café Standards, Green Energy, Wymn in Combat, Carbon Emissions and Global Warming? Shovel Ready gov't projects, Is it "Time to Tell The Truth About" these as well ?
...what does Obama get in return for his push for big government? A government that loves him back. Unlike the financial, insurance and real-estate industries that have been fickle about him showering him with hosannas and cash in 2008, while offering a relative trickle of support in 2012Obama remains the living end for government workers.
IRS employees donated to Obama over Romney by a 4-to-1 margin, IRS attorneys favored Obama by 20-to-1, and government lawyers at the National Labor Relations Board and the Department of Education shut out the Romney campaign completely. The federal bureaucracy had effectively lined up against nearly half the country.
Meanwhile, the White House press secretary dissembles daily; the intelligence community appears incapable of delivering a complete and truthful answer to Congress
They too, are silently "showering him with hosannas". The wars must eventually end [if only for a while]. It's all about budgets and market share. Notice how seldom intelligence community officials testifying before congress mentioned EO-12333 ? The American people have become market share.
Governor Tarkin: The Imperial Senate will no longer be of any concern to us. I have just received word that the Emperor has dissolved the council permanently. The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away forever.
General Tagge: But that's impossible! How will the Emperor maintain control without the bureaucracy?
Governor Tarkin: The regional governors Czars and the bureaucracy will now have direct control over their territories domains.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.