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2013-06-24 Home Front: Culture Wars
David Gregory to Glenn Greenwald: Are your papers in order?
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Posted by badanov 2013-06-24 00:00|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [1203 views ]  Top

#1 I don't recognize this site anymore. Why are you people standing up for useful idiots who are aiding and abetting Putin and the PRC? When did it become patriotic to defend flaming a*****es like Assange and Snowden and Manning and Glenn Greenwald?

How does that work, exactly?

Up is down and day is night. At Rantburg, of all places.
Posted by Lex 2013-06-24 00:48||   2013-06-24 00:48|| Front Page Top

#2 “We live in what’s called an open society, which of course means they open our emails, open our phone records, and open our medical records.” – Jay Leno
Posted by Hupuque Bucket2093 2013-06-24 01:09||   2013-06-24 01:09|| Front Page Top

#3 “I got a call last night during dinner from Verizon asking me if I was happy with my long-distance surveillance.” – Bill Maher
Posted by Hupuque Bucket2093 2013-06-24 01:10||   2013-06-24 01:10|| Front Page Top

#4 "There's a little irony in the government charging Snowden with spying right?" by: Alex Edeburn
Posted by Hupuque Bucket2093 2013-06-24 01:15||   2013-06-24 01:15|| Front Page Top

#5 And trolls substituting washed-up comedians' witless jokes for logic or evidence.

Snowden is delivering secrets to our enemies. And you people are cheering him on.

Thus does the paranoid, mindless far right meet the brainless, America-hating Left at the scummy bottom of the political wheel.
Posted by Lex 2013-06-24 01:23||   2013-06-24 01:23|| Front Page Top

#6 I'm certainly not defending the foks [Greenwald or Snowden]. Remember, Snowden did vote for the Champ and I suspect Greenwald did as well. But what exactly are the crimes? What are the specific charges? Snowden still enjoys the "presumption of innocence" until proven guilty of something in a formal court of law. Rants from a fawning, feckless media don't constitute justice.

The irony here is, Snowden suspected he'd get no justice going through established whistleblowing channels. We also suspect that there will be no justice via a legal prosecution of Snowden. The regime has little desire to hang this laundry in an open courtroom, they'll just run out the clock as they are doing with F&F, Benghazi, and the rest, hoping it will go away or be forgotten.

It's classic black humour. Already knowing full well nothing will come of it in the end, we might as well watch it all and have a good laugh.

As far as the "damage to national security", please add it to Champ's bill will you ?
Posted by Besoeker 2013-06-24 01:49||   2013-06-24 01:49|| Front Page Top

#7 "The regime"? WTF?

So you're channeling Chomsky now?

Do you really hate America that much?
Posted by Lex 2013-06-24 03:03||   2013-06-24 03:03|| Front Page Top

#8 "We might as well have a good laugh"

F--- you. Four laptops loaded with NSA sigint, hand delivered first to his Chinese minders and now to the FSB. And to you that's a joke? Because of your sick hatred for the man in the White House?

The lefties who cheered for our enemies to spite Bush made me sick. You're doing the same thing now, and it's equally repulsive.
Posted by Lex 2013-06-24 03:24||   2013-06-24 03:24|| Front Page Top

#9 The truth of the matter is that all the ideals we would LIKE to believe in about America are pretty thin to useless. When No one is the govt. is actually your friend you DO call it a "regime". No one in the present US govt. is our friend. Few ordinary people all across America today actually identify with Obama or TRUST him and they sure don't trust the IRS or the NSA or a host of other bureaucracies who have absolutely no loyalty to common ordinary individual Americans. The Washington bureaucracies serve THEMSELVES. They don't serve the US people.

Snowden was a fool and his only future now is to slit his wrists in some un- airconditioned back room upstairs in Ecuador looking out the windows at the pigs in the yard with the chickens. His bottom line is he DID take four laptops of secret data with him. He isn't a boy scout and he will be caught and shoved head first down the toilet.

The United States govt is STILL not your friend. It will not get better and your elected representatives are a nasty opportunistic completely bought bunch of shills.

The MSUSAMedia does have gills. We did elect a walking pile of garbage and half of the american population has a buttcrack at Walmart.

The only people I trust are the United States Marines. And since the actual Boyscouts went pinkboy I can't even be sure of that.

But then I am not Perry Como in a pastel sweater myself and I do have a concealed carry. I admire Boeseker and several of the others here. I still trust these guys....

Oh, BTW, you still live in a country where you do need to lock your doors at night. Howdy Doody is long gone and I never did like Buffalo Bob.
Posted by Threater Flusoper9823 2013-06-24 04:45||   2013-06-24 04:45|| Front Page Top

#10 Lex,

I deleted several replies that were sure to get me sink-trapped. It's clear to those of us who lurk here daily that you HAVE not been reading the threads from the start on this subject. Those from the Intel community here have had mixed opinions and so have many others. Is he a traitor? Yes, I think so. But then I also think this entire Administration is a bunch of traitors far worse than Clinton and his mafia were. And yet, at this time, what is there that we can do about it? All the admin is going to do is stuff Snowden down a hole til he's forgotten. His bosses won't be held accountable, and neither will anyone else.

At this point in the game, all we can do is find a little humor in it to laugh at since the culture war is still in a tense peace.

I really don't see what you are expecting Lex. The people here are way past tired of venting angry words about the crimes of this government. It won't solve anything and it doesn't even make you feel better. It's not like we can force the government to do anything right now either.

If venting like this is what keeps you sane, fine, vent away. But understand that just because you vent, it doesn't change the reality of this moment.
Posted by Silentbrick - Schlumberger Squishy Mud Division 2013-06-24 05:44||   2013-06-24 05:44|| Front Page Top

#11 Five years into the Obama regime, and I doubt anything on Mr Snowden's laptops came as news to the Russians or the Chinese.
Posted by Grunter in Sydney 2013-06-24 06:20||   2013-06-24 06:20|| Front Page Top

#12 "The regime"? WTF?

So you're channeling Chomsky now?

Do you really hate America that much?

Rush Limbaugh started using the term "regime" in reference to the Obama administration the spring of 2009. I don't think he hates America.
Posted by badanov 2013-06-24 06:57||  2013-06-24 06:57|| Front Page Top

#13 1,5,7,8. Am I correct in assuming we have have a leftard pretending to be (that he thinks) a "right-winger"? Or do we have a genuine rightard?
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2013-06-24 07:08||   2013-06-24 07:08|| Front Page Top

#14 Threater Flusoper9823, remember---there's only one Joseph Mendiola.
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2013-06-24 07:10||   2013-06-24 07:10|| Front Page Top

#15 badanov, long time no see. Ni hao.
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2013-06-24 07:22||   2013-06-24 07:22|| Front Page Top

#16 Been here right along, just like you, only lurking as a commenter, Grom.

Trying to get another e-book ready for sale.

(Yes, that is a shameless ebook promotion.)
Posted by badanov 2013-06-24 07:38||  2013-06-24 07:38|| Front Page Top

#17 To be fair, the American Left used 'regime' to describe the Bush administration, and they certainly hated him, and likely hated the America he (and we) stand for.

Lex: who in the world are you? And why have you not been reading the Burg consistently?

See my two points in salmon color above. I stand by them: this administration has attacked journalists who do their jobs but are giving Glen Greenwald a pass. Why? And David Gregory, a useless idiot, doesn't understand that he's a tool and is destined to be a resident in the American Gulag someday. He'll no doubt petition Stalin Obama: "if only he knew".

Now then: it's a little hard to know for sure what to think of Snowden since we don't have all the facts. He sure does look like a traitor. But consider: what 'secrets' did he reveal? What sources did he compromise? What's the harm? All that goes into the calculation of whether and how he's a traitor.

Further, Lex: who's behind him? You mean to tell me that Snowden, a high school dropout, working a temporary job, who stated even before the got the job that he was going to reveal secrets, somehow used his 'sys admin' privileges to fill four laptops (rather dramatic that, eh)? Really?

Who helped Snowden? Who gathered the information? Who got him the job? He's a catspaw.

But I've been saying that the last two weeks. If only you'd been here.
Posted by Steve White 2013-06-24 07:38||   2013-06-24 07:38|| Front Page Top

#18 Sorry if I have offended with my 'regime' descriptor Lex, but one has to somehow separate cheap political theater from reality. The benefits [mind you there are painfully few] of old age, hemorrhoids and poor vision one must sit still long enough to concentrate, to reflect on history and personal experience, while at the same time not disrupt steady blood pressure. Having an understanding of Chicago machine politics is also a plus. More than a few who frequent this blog are quite adept at sitting still and using common sense to make fairly accurate intelligence assessments. Black humour if you will, sometimes help mask the pain.

The commonly used term "irreparable harm to national security" is somewhat vague. Forgive me, but I prefer specifics. To coin a phrase somewhat in vogue, my day-to-day "line in the sand" has become.... 'dead Americans'. If Americans somewhere are dying, then the system is not working properly, be it Waco, PanAm 103, Beirut Marine Barracks, The World Trade Center, FOB Chapman in AFG, Benghazi, or the Boston Bombing.

Political embarrassment does not necessarily constitute "Irreparable harm to national security". I have no particular use for the Snowdens, but no one has turned up dead yet, so let's conduct the damage assessments and use this incident as an opportunity to, if nothing else, fix some obvious OPSEC problems.

As far as Laptops goes, Add Snowden's to this aging and badly out of date list.
Posted by Besoeker 2013-06-24 07:45||   2013-06-24 07:45|| Front Page Top

#19 Besoeker makes an excellent point we should remember: political embarrassment does not equate to a breach in national security. Every president since Washington has tried to invoke this humbug at some point, and it rarely works.

Again, to Lex: Edward Snowden is a mope. He's a cheap version of Julian Assange. I see little difference in ensconcing him in Ecuador versus a maximum security prison in the U.S. They're welcome to the skinny little creep.

I have yet to see a true breach of national security. Maybe there is and the right people in Washington are keeping their mouths shut (for once) to try and limit the damage. Perhaps we'll hear at some point what secrets he revealed that harm our country.

But what's been put out so far is a big nothing-burger. You mean the NSA intercepts communications abroad? You mean they're really doing the job we've been paying them to do this past half-century or more, and that the whole intelligent world knows they've been doing all this time? Really?

On what day did you fall off the turnip truck, Lex?

What this scandal (that's what it is so far), the IRS scandal, the AP tapping scandal, the Benghazi affair (which DID impact national security), and our Middle Eastern policy have shown us is this:

1) our current administration is incompetent at governance
2) that's because it spends way too much time trying to control its citizens

To some, those points are a feature, not a problem. That's another problem.
Posted by Steve White 2013-06-24 09:01||   2013-06-24 09:01|| Front Page Top

#20 Some additional perspective from Roger Simon at PJM.
Posted by Besoeker 2013-06-24 09:39||   2013-06-24 09:39|| Front Page Top

#21 I sense Lex is deeply concerned about this business and I don't blame him, it very confusing.

Posted by Shipman 2013-06-24 09:52||   2013-06-24 09:52|| Front Page Top

#22 I agree with Besoeker, Threater Flusoper9823, Silentbrick, Steve White, badanov, and others here. We have a far too bloated government that is self-serving. We are over-regulated and the free-market has be damaged severely. PC dictates over having meaningful debates. Bills are passed in Congress without anyone reading them. It is left to the agencies to make requirements up as they go along. It is full of corruption. The administration can't tell the truth to the people about anything. The government has created a schism between itself and the people--basically a culture of us (the government) vs. them (the people). There is no accountability in government. Whistle-blower laws have not worked well--nearly everyone trying to address corruption has paid a heavy price. Scandal after scandal has emerged that has not been addressed in a way that say, Watergate was. Benghazi, Fast & Furious, Soyndra, Cash for Clunkers, corporate bailouts (mainly to pay off the unions), the IRS, NSA, and others. The main stream media has been "bought" and are basically willing watercarriers for the present administration and the left (check journolists and check George Soros). People are basically here to provide taxes and serve the government--except for the 47% who don't pay taxes. The Constitution and the rule of law have been undermined. Immigration reform has become a cruel joke. The existing laws are not enforced. Voting laws have been corrupted. Election outcomes are suspect. I worry that we are not far from a complete breakdown of order.

If people have been paying attention to this site over the years, posters have criticized both Bush when appropriate and Obama. It just seems that things have drifted far left and basically we have a government that is driven by a cult of personality and aided and abetted by the press. The 1st, 2nd, and 4th amendments have suffered greatly over the recent years in the name of protecting the country from terrorism--I'm afraid as Franklin said, if we continue down this path, and give up freedom for security we won't have or deserve either.

So I ask you Lex, what do you expect from the people of this country at this time?
Posted by JohnQC 2013-06-24 10:08||   2013-06-24 10:08|| Front Page Top

#23 Basically, short of an all out nuclear exchange or the release of a custom made bug more lethal than the original Black Plague, no outside power has the ability to bring this country down anytime in the near future. It's the internal destruction both of the culture and the legitimacy of the government that can end this experiment. We're headed there fast. We're watching the warning signs of the end of the republic. We're about the Gracchi brothers period that the Romans went through to the Caesars. Democracy is an unnatural form of governing in history far more than the hierarchical versions of rule. "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." - Baron Acton
Posted by Procopius2k 2013-06-24 10:28||   2013-06-24 10:28|| Front Page Top

#24 I began reading this site about eight or nine years ago. I'm a national security liberal who was disgusted by the Howard Dean and other Bush-derangement syndrome Democrats' vicious, in many cases bad faith, attacks on our president and our military. I didn't agree with everthing, esp the TeaParty silliness on domestic issues when that started to gain a following a few years later, but I did enjoy the insider view on military and intel matters that came from OldSpook, Pappy, Bulldog and TrailingWife.

For job and other reasons (family health and financial issues), around 2010 I stopped visiting and sinking time into political bloggery including this one. I was not a fan of Obama's prior to that time, but since then I've seen him demonstrate an iron ruthlessness in the WOT - drone attacks, continuing with Gitmo and renditions, and overruling his advisers on snuffing Bin Laden - and I've changed my view. It also helps that, in the teeth of TP madmen he persevered with that crucial reform that has, finally, allowed my family to get health insurance instead of being denied same by a rapacious for-profit health insurance mafia due to the bogus pretext of what they call a "pre-existing condition." (Y'all in the military have never faced this absurd, outrageous abuse. No civilized country allows this like we do.)

So when the Snowden $hit hit the fan, I came back to Rantburg expecting to see some sanity on this issue instead of the paranoia, the ignorance of technology and the law, and the frothing hatred of the president that we now see from both the Nutroots and the far right maroons. I would have thought the intel/military community here would have understood how the NSA works and has worked, for many years now, or that electronic intercepts have been around for effing SIXTY ONE YEARS. One could also expect a right-leaning crowd to get its schooling on legal-constitutional nat. sec'y matters from rational, deeply informed insider experts like National Review's Andy McCarthy.

But no. More frothing paranoia. Embarrassing ignorance. And of course, an old friend of Rantburg who calls this out is labeled a "troll" when he stands up for national security and the incredibly tightly restricted surveillance procedures that have been plain as day to anyone who was paying attention all these years.

and now the final descent into incoherence, above, from Boris badenough: from his refuge in the PRC, he praises for the banditry and thuggery of Communist China and by implication Putin's mafiya state (the late great Hitchens called it "cockroach capitalism").

I don't recognize this place. I don't recognize my fellow citizens anymore either: right and left descending deeper into paranoia and Internet- fueled stoopidity. I feel like a JFK supporter in 1963, surrounded by little Bircher nutcases and Stalinists...
Posted by Lex 2013-06-24 10:41||   2013-06-24 10:41|| Front Page Top

#25 and now the final descent into incoherence, above, from Boris badenough: from his refuge in the PRC, he praises for the banditry and thuggery of Communist China and by implication Putin's mafiya state (the late great Hitchens called it "cockroach capitalism").

I suggest you either get your eyes checked, or you get checked for a reading comprehension problem.

I did the blue colored commentary on the article including the headline, as well as my two comments.

How the f*ck you got that from what I have posted is anyone's guess.

You know, we went through this very thing waay back in 2005 when a lot of "national security liberals" decided that Bush was evil and the left were good. So, now you got what you wanted, a liberal in the White House, but you attack us for using humor in the face of the raw power that that very liberal wields against conservatives.

And I can tell you are a liberal by what you have written. It's all about behavior instead of freedom with your ilk, isn't it. You talk the talk about national security but you walk the walk of your boy God Barky.

Good luck with that in the future because, in my opinion it has none here.
Posted by badanov 2013-06-24 10:59||  2013-06-24 10:59|| Front Page Top

#26 Champ is doing everything Bush was accused of. The short term damage of the Snowden leak is considerably less than the long term damage this administration is doing.
Posted by Iblis 2013-06-24 11:18||   2013-06-24 11:18|| Front Page Top

#27 "Raw power"? That's your weird paranoid fantasy. The Chinese use "raw power." So does Putin. Nothing that has benn done by either party or recent president in this country comes anywhere close to what is done, routinely, by the leaders of China and Russia. Putin has ordered the assassination of over a dozen Russian journalists; the siloviki have killed dozens more Russian citizens.

And now as of 11:17am ET, it appears that the FSB is now Snowden's master. Even odds that this deluded little $hit follows in Philby and Mackean's footsteps for the next 5-10 years. Or until Putin's chased out by his own people, finally rising up against his mafiya thuggery and bandit state. At which point Snowden will be on the run again.

[PS "Covert", before you attack someone's good faith and threaten him at someone else's website, you might want to stop using that site to tout your commercial interests. Bad form.]
Posted by Lex 2013-06-24 11:18||   2013-06-24 11:18|| Front Page Top

#28 Hey Lex, Badanov's comments are blue, I'm the one in the PRC now. As someone with a pre-existing condition, I too appreciate finally being able to get insurance, but Obamacare is totally overblown, and the deductibles are high and the coverage is pretty crappy. I'm not a fan, but I don't apologize for giving 'em credit for being open about watching everything and everyone. You might like living in a secret surveillance state but I think I actually prefer a more openly oppressive society.
Posted by Scooter McGruder 2013-06-24 11:19||   2013-06-24 11:19|| Front Page Top

#29 If there is paranoia on the part of the public outside of the bubble of government, there is nothing like truth to remove that paranoia. Suppose, for a minute that what you are hearing is not paranoia but what is actually going on? One does not get much comfort from watching CSPAN Congressional intelligence and security hearings. Specifically, I'm referring to the House hearings where the NSA head, and representatives from the FBI and another agency testified. This appearance to seemed be a mutual admiration society annual get-together which was scripted beforehand. What is it that the American people cannot hear? Americans give their lives to protect this country. Don't we and they deserve more? Currently, there is an impenetrable curtain of secrecy and over-classification of information. Just as Snowden deserves a hearing where he is not considered guilty before such a hearing, the government needs to explain what irreparable harm has been done to our country by Snowden. A good airing-out needs to occur. National security is important. Freedom is more important.
Posted by JohnQC 2013-06-24 11:22||   2013-06-24 11:22|| Front Page Top

#30 Oh, for the curious: just learned that Russian Internet connections are down. Skype ne rabotayet. Incoming phone call from R. was cut short just now.

Prediction: Snowden will end up in a pod-moskovskiye safe house and will be drained of every last scrap of info on our sigint techniques. Then traded for favors a la the Cuban for Turkey-based missile swap in 1962.
Posted by Lex 2013-06-24 11:25||   2013-06-24 11:25|| Front Page Top

#31 You may have something there, Lex, after all Snowden 'missed' his plane to Cuba. Add-in four laptops...three of which were most likely stolen from his employer...and the Ruskies might as well have an office in the NSA now.
Posted by Mugsy Glink 2013-06-24 11:36||   2013-06-24 11:36|| Front Page Top

#32 Snowden is a cat's paw,

Posted by Gleamp Shaimp6175 2013-06-24 11:48||   2013-06-24 11:48|| Front Page Top

#33 We are way past paranoid fantasy. When a president uses the tax authority of his government to stop funding his political opponents, a known fact, that is not fantasy but a reality of what a tyrant does. Tyrants use taxing power against his opponents. That is raw power. You think of it as using force, but what is force if not the ability to cut off funding?

Sorta like when you complain about my "bad form". That's what tyrants do. When you disagree with an opponent you go after the opponent rather than debate the merits. That's what liberals do. That is what you are doing.

Something else I should say just to clarify: I am not trading on what I write here to sell books. That is separate. You want to make issue of some nexus between what I have written in my capacity as a citizen and what I am trying to sell, I can't stop you.

As for the issue of my putative threats, I fail to see in what way you were threatened here.

You should probably clarify rather than let the comment stand, so I can be clear about the nature of the supposed threat I pose to you.
Posted by badanov 2013-06-24 11:57||  2013-06-24 11:57|| Front Page Top

#34 Way too much above to comment except to say that "regime" usage is apropos since it identifies a rigged system where traditional/oppositional ideas are thwarted by the tri-fecta: out of control Government, the educational system and media.
Posted by Jack Salami 2013-06-24 12:15||   2013-06-24 12:15|| Front Page Top

#35 Obama didn't pressure the IRS. That came from a mid-level Republican IRS manager who was just trying to interpret a stupidly-crafted SCOTUS decision that put him and his colleagues in an impossible damned-if-we-do, damned-if-we-don't position. Enough with the conspiracy lunacy.
Oh fer god's sake. That's just stupid.

It was the Chicago way: "will no one rid me of this meddlesome Tea Party?" And lo, it happened. Funny thing, too, that all the progressive 501(c)4 applications from the same time period sailed through the approvals process without having to disclose their donors.

You can push your nonsense at Kos but it doesn't fly with educated people.

Posted by Lex 2013-06-24 12:31||   2013-06-24 12:31|| Front Page Top

#36 LOL!

Yes. Let's all be good little liberals and discuss the IRS the way liberals our betters want us to.

Freedom is such a foreign concept to liberals.

This is a debate, not a script.
Posted by badanov 2013-06-24 12:35||  2013-06-24 12:35|| Front Page Top

#37 B - Perhaps I misinterpreted your thinly-veiled threat, above, to the effect that I should be blocked from the burg: "Good luck with that in the future because, in my opinion, *it has none here *."

Fwiw, I may well leave the site if the new, prevailing view here is that our elected democratic gov't is somehow a totalitarian "regime." That's bat$hit crazy, and can only be said by blowhards who have never lived and worked under such a regime.
Posted by Lex 2013-06-24 12:36||   2013-06-24 12:36|| Front Page Top

#38 I call, whatever one calls when being the first to spot a troll.
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2013-06-24 12:40||   2013-06-24 12:40|| Front Page Top

#39 Not so much a troll as a rube on the path to self identification. We should help him on his journey, not name call.
Posted by Nimble Spemble 2013-06-24 12:50||   2013-06-24 12:50|| Front Page Top

#40 Don't feed the Trolls.
Posted by Sum Dum Guy 2013-06-24 12:54||   2013-06-24 12:54|| Front Page Top

#41 Lex:

Democratically elected dictators and totalitiarian regimes are becoming quite common.
Posted by Iblis 2013-06-24 12:55||   2013-06-24 12:55|| Front Page Top

#42 As a point of order, the collection of tax is the use of force by a government against its citizens. Don't want to pay taxes, ask Wesley Snipes. When I ring people up, sales tax is not an option. Now, how we feel that lost revenue is being spent directly influences how we feel about that tax being collected and/or what it is used for. So yes, the politicizing of what should be, for its own sake, completely neutral parts of the government is and always should be a concern. These are faceless tax collectors, the tax collectors' historic take being well deserved, and they should be monitored and rocked when out of line out of mission. Its why no taxation without representation should mold you to the bone.

Second, I can imagine being a wide receiver for the Saints and being both appreciative of the knowledge that the defense end is/was targeting opponents' offense for injury, and also being disgusted that your worst fears were confirmed and by your own team nonetheless.

Back on point, this administration, if I can call it that, has more leaks than the halftime of the Super Bowl. In fact, I could argue that it is administration and policy by leaking - and it makes people whose jobs and perhaps ideology is guided by it. Like planning your vacation dependant upon what the coworkers at the water cooler have to say. Rumor has it that Branson is for loosers, well re-plan for California or shuttupaboutit.

And for the record, I don't remember any high-5'ing here at Rantburg, and even a few threads of good posters throwing some flags at the guy/situation.
Posted by swksvolFF 2013-06-24 13:02||   2013-06-24 13:02|| Front Page Top

#43 Nimble - my convictions haven't changed. I want my elected leaders to ruthlessly prosecute the WOT while working within the bipartisan, carefully crafted restrictions imposed on the surveillance state. Please read Andy McCarthy's detailed, expert inside description ( cf his recent National Review article on blowhard Foghorn Leghorn) to see just how careful and sweeping these restrictions actually are.

As I said above, I support this president's ruthless prosecution of the WOT just as I supported the previous one's. Has each made mistakes? Of course. So did JFK (read Donald Kahan's take on his misjudgments of Khrushchev). So did Reagan.

But these were honest mistakes made by democratically elected leaders trying to thread the needle. None of your/Snowden's new-found mates in the Kremlin, or the Ecuadorian embassy or the ClearChannel broadcast booth, gives a rat's ass about preserving this balance. Those odious characters deserve our scorn, not slavish praise and foolish defense.
Posted by Lex 2013-06-24 13:05||   2013-06-24 13:05|| Front Page Top

#44 and the Ruskies might as well have an office in the NSA now. Posted by Mugsy Glink

One in NSA, one in the White House. A matched set.
Posted by Besoeker 2013-06-24 13:07||   2013-06-24 13:07|| Front Page Top

#45 "...and the Ruskies might as well have an office in the NSA now."

I assume they already do. We've built a surveillance apparatus so far reaching and with so many participants accessing it that it's a sure bet the systems will be subverted.
Posted by Classical_Liberal 2013-06-24 13:26||   2013-06-24 13:26|| Front Page Top

#46 Based on Lex's #35 we need an ignore button. Lex is an idiot.
Posted by Hellfish 2013-06-24 13:28||   2013-06-24 13:28|| Front Page Top

#47 The endgame here is that Putin will demand, in exchange for handing over Snowden once they've drained him of all his sigint files and knowledge, that the US neuter the Magnitsky Act, cease all support for NGOs in Russia, and give him a green light for his head-bashing and gulag activity domestically.

Plus more intel-sharing. Which means the net effect of this little $hit's misguided stunt will be to increase repression globally and to reinforce Putin's repression. Molodets!
Posted by Lex 2013-06-24 13:33||   2013-06-24 13:33|| Front Page Top

"The regime"? WTF?

So you're channeling Chomsky now?

Do you really hate America that much?

Nope. I hate the administration that used the feral government to drive its critics out of the political arena, and which turned the tools for security against foreign threats towards the people that much.
Posted by Rob Crawford 2013-06-24 13:39||   2013-06-24 13:39|| Front Page Top

#49 The endgame here is that Putin will demand, in exchange for handing over Snowden once they've drained him of all his sigint files and knowledge, that the US neuter the Magnitsky Act, cease all support for NGOs in Russia, and give him a green light for his head-bashing and gulag activity domestically.

Who will want him back? Let him stay with his new friends.
Posted by Nimble Spemble 2013-06-24 13:47||   2013-06-24 13:47|| Front Page Top

#50 I'd like him to come back, be convicted and given a Pollard-ish sentence, with some reduction if he agrees to pass on to the other inmates whatever his gf taught him about pole-dancing.

He and Manning could entertain the gang a la Bialystok & Blum: everybody now - "Pris'ners in love..."
Posted by Lex 2013-06-24 13:52||   2013-06-24 13:52|| Front Page Top

#51 As should have been obvious ever since Greenwald revealed that Snowden approached him long BEFORE taking the NSA job, this is a case of espionage, pure and simple. Not a brave truth teller, not John Galt striking at the evil statists blah blah blah.

Check out the latest from Hong Kong:
Posted by Lex 2013-06-24 14:03||   2013-06-24 14:03|| Front Page Top

#52 I suspect he is more of a self-righteous post-adolescent punk who got in over his pinhead and really screwed the pooch.
Posted by Nimble Spemble 2013-06-24 14:41||   2013-06-24 14:41|| Front Page Top

#53 Another perspective, from The War Room.
Posted by Besoeker 2013-06-24 14:49||   2013-06-24 14:49|| Front Page Top

#54 As I said above, I support this president's ruthless prosecution of the WOT just as I supported the previous one's. Has each made mistakes? Of course. So did JFK (read Donald Kahan's take on his misjudgments of Khrushchev). So did Reagan.

Ruthless? He discovered the Pakistan continued to shield Bin Laden but did nothing whatsoever to counteract this.


He passively-aggressively gave up our hard-won basing rights in Iraq (to the tune of ~ 5k dead American soldiers) but then acts so surprised when he's unable to get Iraq to do anything to stop the flow of Iranian arms to Syria.

I suppose that's supposed to be ruthless too.

I'm not the one who said all the bad things in the Russian/American relationship were Bush's fault and pretended they weren't going to be there _after_ Obama was elected.

I'm not the one who said that my Administration would have more flexibility in dealing with Russia after I was re-elected. Mr. Ruthless did.

Finally, I'm not the one who refused to send an in-extremis force to help an ambassador under attack by terrorists we armed in the first place.

Hmm., now that I think about it, that _is_ pretty ruthless. For an agent provocateur, but not for anyone else. Was that the sort of ruthless you were hoping for?

And now you're concerned that the Moscow/Shanghai/Beijing branches of the Red Mafia are dangerous. And we all have to shut the fuck up and be good little cheerleaders of the Diaper Baby branch of the Red Mafia currently controlling DC.

Well, I got news for you: Snowden only acted on the set of moral values that people like Obama, and Bill Ayers, and Sec. of State John F. Kerry, have been teaching for the last forty-five years or so: that we were morally wrong and the Moscow-based and Beijing-based branches of the Red Mafia were morally right.

If this batch of craven idiots really were serious about the sudden existance of (former)-Soviet antagonism they would resign in shame.
Posted by Thing From Snowy Mountain 2013-06-24 15:03||   2013-06-24 15:03|| Front Page Top

#55 One final note on the new Cold War and its discontents: Snowden and his supporters wouldn't be able to tell the lies and half-truths he has to both himself and to the TV cameras, nor enable those of Putin and whoever is China's Mini-Mao right now, if Obama did not create for himself credibility problems, both by turning the federal bureaucracy into an enforcement mechanism against his political opponents and by creating a far-reaching surveillance network, that judging by the Boston Bombings, _didn't work_.
Posted by Thing From Snowy Mountain 2013-06-24 15:11||   2013-06-24 15:11|| Front Page Top

#56 IF there's a New Cold War, the Obama Administrations' bureaucratic war-by-other-means against his domestic opposition has been about as useful to the US as George Wallace's various efforts on behalf of segregation.
Posted by Thing From Snowy Mountain 2013-06-24 15:18||   2013-06-24 15:18|| Front Page Top

#57 Mid level IRS manager? Would that be the registered democrat Lois Lerner currently on paid leave after taking the 5th? Does that mean to you that the 8 democrat Senators asking for Tea Party scruitiny in 2010 had no bearing on the IRSA decisions at the highest levels?
Posted by Mugsy Glink 2013-06-24 15:18||   2013-06-24 15:18|| Front Page Top

#58 Let's compare Obama and Bush - again, I've supported both, first against the bat$hit left and now against the right-wing neo-Bircher nuts. Here's Richard Clarke reminding everyone of the basic facts:

"What would be best for the country on the issue of counterterrorism is if we could somehow manage to return it to a nonpartisan matter. Unfortunately, this early in the election year, that seems unlikely. Therefore, voters should be advised to look carefully at claims that are made by both sides, and stick to the facts.
"Ten facts that tell the true story:
First, the Bush administration moved assets to Iraq away from the search for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Second, in 2006, the Bush administration closed the Bin Laden unit at the CIA in a reorganization.
Third, Bush changed his rhetoric from wanting Bin Laden “dead or alive” to publicly minimizing his importance. (Mitt Romney followed this pattern, saying in 2007, “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.”)
Fourth, in 2007, candidate Obama said he would send troops into Pakistan to get Bin Laden, unilaterally if necessary, and was criticized by leading Republicans (Romney included) for saying so.
Fifth, after he took office, Obama directed an increased priority be given to getting Bin Laden.
Sixth, the President personally participated in repeated high-level meetings on his aggressive new strategy for getting Al Qaeda and its leaders in Pakistan.
Seventh, Obama ordered a dramatic increase in drone attacks in Pakistan, wiping out Al Qaeda leaders and making it almost impossible for Bin Laden’s senior commanders to operate there.
Eighth, the President rejected cabinet members’ advice and ordered the raid that killed Bin Laden to go ahead.
Ninth, it was the commander-in-chief who ordered that additional helicopters be made part of the operation, a decision that turned out to be crucial.
Tenth, Bin Laden is dead.
This is not to say that counterterrorism professionals weren’t hard at work in the Bush administration trying to do what they could to get Bin Laden. But it is to note that the elected and politically appointed officials of that administration did much less than they could have done to get Bin Laden both before 9/11 and after it.
Nor is it to say that the threat from Al Qaeda is over. Its franchises, particularly the one in Yemen, are still a significant danger, and the group there still wants to target the United States. Drones and Special Forces used by the Obama administration are stepping up the tempo of operations even further against Al Qaeda in Yemen.
Because the effort to eliminate Al Qaeda is not yet over, who our elected and politically appointed leaders are still matters. And so do the facts.
Posted by Lex 2013-06-24 15:31||   2013-06-24 15:31|| Front Page Top

#59 As for killing bin Laden, even Lenin knew that you gotta protect the revolution.
Posted by Ebbang Uluque6305 2013-06-24 15:37||   2013-06-24 15:37|| Front Page Top

#60 Cut and pasted. It's the administration's line.

And if there's anything more to Al Qaeda than Osama Bin Laden, it's wrong.

He was discovered living in a special Pakistani military zone. Which fact Pakistan has suffered NO consequences for. And which we can't really do anything about, as Super-Genius moved troops back to Afghanistan, where we have to supply them via one of two routes: Through Pakistan, or Through Putin's Commonwealth of Independent States.

We bomb Al Qaeda in Yemen and supply them in Libya and Syria. And they nearly took over Mali from what they managed to get in Libya.
Posted by Thing From Snowy Mountain 2013-06-24 15:42||   2013-06-24 15:42|| Front Page Top

#61 And part of the cost of shifting all that stuff to Afghanistan was that the US gave up basing rights in Iraq. Just in time for the Syrian Civil War. (The other side of which is supported by Putin, who you think opposing is important when you can beat up straw men, but apparently not otherwise).
Posted by Thing From Snowy Mountain 2013-06-24 15:44||   2013-06-24 15:44|| Front Page Top

#62 Thing -"admin talking points"? You do realize that Clarke served in *Bush's* admin, don't you? He knows, as everyone does now, that Bush and Romney tried to pooh pooh the importance of Bin Laden.

If you want to make an argument supported by logic and evidence, cool. I gave you one: a detailed, point by point comparison of the two admins re Bin Laden in 2004-2011. It's about as complete and devastating a defense of Obama's record on ObL as you'll find. Your turn.
Posted by Lex 2013-06-24 15:50||   2013-06-24 15:50|| Front Page Top

#63 The NSA is the Obama Regime's KGB. Agents and controllers. Domestic intelligence gathering for the purpose of targeting internal threats to the Regime was standard procedure.

The KGB infiltrated opposition groups to influence and provide information back to the directorate. The NSA is now doing the same thing.

But Obama, his regime, and his sycophants (aka fawning parasites) as you can tell on this thread are in full panic mode. Snowden has now in the presence of the world's most famous former KGB agent who is far more capable, cunning and lethal to the Obama Regime. And frankly, I don't give a damn about the Obama regime, nor does the rest of the world.

Posted by Hupuque Bucket2093 2013-06-24 15:50||   2013-06-24 15:50|| Front Page Top

#64 Thanks for leaving your picture Hup.
Posted by Nimble Spemble 2013-06-24 15:59||   2013-06-24 15:59|| Front Page Top

#65 Forget bin Laden. He was never anything but a small time terrorist and a tool or our real enemies. The Paks could have turned him over to us any time they wanted but they never did. Why not? The worst enemies of the United States are China, Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. And how does Obama deal with them. He kisses their asses. Get real.
Posted by Ebbang Uluque6305 2013-06-24 16:01||   2013-06-24 16:01|| Front Page Top

#66 AoS - you're behind the curve. John Shafer, a conservative Republican manager in the Cincinnati IRS office, has put forth sworn testimony that debunks your fevered conspiracy theories. Issa tried and failed to quash it, but it's out now. The White House didn't direct this, sorry.. Time to bring your knowledge up to date, Ace.
Any time you want to explain Lois Lerner and the many Democrats in that office who did what they were told to do by the White House, do so.

Your move, pal.
Posted by Lex 2013-06-24 16:08||   2013-06-24 16:08|| Front Page Top

#67 What's the frequency, Hup?

And just what are they doing with our precious bodily fluids?
Posted by Lex 2013-06-24 16:10||   2013-06-24 16:10|| Front Page Top

#68 You were doing well until you got to the It was a Bush-Republican Mid-level Manager case closed part. Let that segment go, you still have a fighting chance with the rest.
Posted by Shipman 2013-06-24 16:11||   2013-06-24 16:11|| Front Page Top

#69 Fine, Shipman, whatever. Just tired of the conspiracy-everywhere mindlessness that seems to have infected so many minds here. The paranoid style may be a hardy perennial in US politics, but it's toxic. Bad for the discussion, bad for the country.
Posted by Lex 2013-06-24 16:20||   2013-06-24 16:20|| Front Page Top

#70 Back on topic, Russian experts weigh in on what's likely happening with the once (and future) would-be male modeling king at his safe house in the ol' Soyuz.

Interesting thoughts above on whether he's actually in a third country - probably Belarus, on the Old Smolensk Road.
Posted by Lex 2013-06-24 16:26||   2013-06-24 16:26|| Front Page Top

#71 "Your turn."

You merely posted a victory-lap newsclip and didn't actually stop to address any of my arguments. You argue by refusing to acknowledge that giving up all influence in Iraq has had detrimental effects on things you claim are important: Opposing Vladimir Putin and his allies in Syria, for example. And you refuse to acknowledge that not following up on the linkage between Bin Laden and the Pakistani government that was sheltering him has also hurt us.

What next, you'll have another newsclip talking about how the apparent life imprisonment of the Pakistani agent who _found_ Bin Laden in a Pakistani prison is apparently a good thing? Maybe it'll have some Senior Bush-Administration Bureaucrats and you'll pretend that makes the points inarguable?
Posted by Thing From Snowy Mountain 2013-06-24 17:20||   2013-06-24 17:20|| Front Page Top

#72 A final statement of mine for a bit:

Maybe if the administration hadn't worked so hard to remake the intelligence apparatus in its own image it wouldn't have been so damn easy for Putin to have penetrated it like this?
Posted by Thing From Snowy Mountain 2013-06-24 17:35||   2013-06-24 17:35|| Front Page Top

#73 Lex (Luther?) I see you are taking the Elijah Cummins route of "nothing to see here". Perhaps you can go back a few weeks and check this WSJ story:
And while you are checking your dnc meme list for retorts, the IRS scandal is far from over with this bunch, unless you subscribe to Jay the Carney saying it happened a long time ago.
Posted by Mugsy Glink 2013-06-24 17:40||   2013-06-24 17:40|| Front Page Top

#74 Thing -I don't agree with everything Obama's done. UMO we shoulda kepta base in Kurdistan, but I'm not a military strategist. Iraq is and was a mess with no good options. Ditto for Iran, and for Putin's gangster state. He's made a few mistakes. So did W, and Reagan, and JFK, and ....

Which is why I refuse to play the game of saying that President [insert your favorite scapegoat here] is an Alien Sent to Destroy Life On Earth / The Manchurian Candidate / the Golem or whatever. A little more complicated than all these fever swamp conspiracies make it out to be.
Posted by Don Vito Splat3043 2013-06-24 17:44||   2013-06-24 17:44|| Front Page Top

#75 A secret is best kept between two persons only, one of them dead.

When I hear that half a million people have TS clearance, you might as well give up.
Posted by European Conservative 2013-06-24 18:34||   2013-06-24 18:34|| Front Page Top

#76 Liberal trolls are so stupid.

Putin sent for Snowden to find out if it was Obama or Kerry who told his wife about the gymnast.
Posted by Hupuque Bucket2093 2013-06-24 19:59||   2013-06-24 19:59|| Front Page Top

#77 Dear Lex, let me say only that I really don't belong on a list of those who have an insider perspective on matters military and intelligence, but I am highly flattered that is how you mis-remember me. Please be a little more polite in your opening remarks next time, to avoid the "Chew toy!!" reaction.

Other than that, I am too tired to contribute intelligently to this thread. A rough start, but y'all have done what we do best at Rantburg: bring out the facts from different sources, and beat them into submission. Snowy Thing, in my opinion you win the thread.
Posted by trailing wife 2013-06-24 23:21||   2013-06-24 23:21|| Front Page Top

23:47 Woodrow Guelph8541
23:41 Pappy
23:21 trailing wife
22:43 junkiron
22:34 Procopius2k
22:33 junkiron
22:21 CrazyFool
22:08 Mullah Richard
21:35 Redneck Jim
21:34 Redneck Jim
21:29 Redneck Jim
21:26 Frank G
21:20 Redneck Jim
20:52 Pappy
20:36 Frank G
20:35 Frank G
20:10 USN,ret
20:08 USN,ret
20:06 USN,ret
20:05 Jack Salami
20:03 Rivrdog
19:59 Hupuque Bucket2093
19:39 JosephMendiola
19:20 AlanC

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