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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

NSA whistleblowers back Snowden

More importantly, they note that his approach was more successful than theirs:
USA Today has published an extraordinary interview with three former NSA employees who praise Edward Snowden's leaks, corroborate some of his claims, and warn about unlawful government acts....

In other words, they blew the whistle in the way Snowden's critics suggest he should have done. Their method didn't get through to the members of Congress who are saying, in the wake of the Snowden leak, that they had no idea what was going on. But they are nonetheless owed thanks.
And among them, they've now said all of the following:
  • His disclosures did not cause grave damage to national security.
  • What Snowden discovered is "material evidence of an institutional crime."
  • As a system administrator, Snowden "could go on the network or go into any file or any system and change it or add to it or whatever, just to make sure -- because he would be responsible to get it back up and running if, in fact, it failed. So that meant he had access to go in and put anything. That's why he said, I think, 'I can even target the president or a judge.' If he knew their phone numbers or attributes, he could insert them into the target list which would be distributed worldwide. And then it would be collected, yeah, that's right. As a super-user, he could do that."
  • "The idea that we have robust checks and balances on this is a myth."
  • Congressional overseers "have no real way of seeing into what these agencies are doing. They are totally dependent on the agencies briefing them on programs, telling them what they are doing."
  • Lawmakers "don't really don't understand what the NSA does and how it operates. Even when they get briefings, they still don't understand."
  • Asked what Edward Snowden should expect to happen to him, one of the men, William Binney, answered, "first tortured, then maybe even rendered and tortured and then incarcerated and then tried and incarcerated or even executed." Interesting that this is what a whistleblower thinks the U.S. government will do to a citizen. The abuse of Bradley Manning worked.
  • "There is no path for intelligence-community whistle-blowers who know wrong is being done. There is none. It's a toss of the coin, and the odds are you are going to be hammered."
What a tremendous surprise to learn that the government isn't telling the truth about Snowdon and his revelations!

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110 Comments:

Blogger Markku June 18, 2013 4:20 PM  

But why wouldn't someone want to be tortured every day for the rest of his (hopefully short) life? IT'S STILL SUPER SUSPICIOUS HE WENT TO HONG KONG!

Anonymous Godfrey June 18, 2013 4:20 PM  

But...but, I thought government was full of benevolent angelic-like beings that were dedicated to bringing us a happy cuddly equalitarian utopia, right? Everything will be provided for free, right? Nobody will have to work… right? ... what’s going on? I don’t understand? I’m sure it’s all for our own good… right? … right? ... right?

Anonymous Salt June 18, 2013 4:29 PM  

@Markku

Why? Would Sweden or Norway have been better?

Anonymous hausfrau June 18, 2013 4:30 PM  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=SIM8x5wLtR4
all this espionage talk makes me wonder who got the missing $9trillion from the Fed. I'm sure most of it went to foreign banks but it does take a lot of cash to keep an eye on things.

Blogger Markku June 18, 2013 4:32 PM  

Why? Would Sweden or Norway have been better?

I wasn't entirely unsarcastic...

Anonymous Noah B. June 18, 2013 4:43 PM  

At least in Hong Kong he doesn't have to worry about moose bites.

Anonymous Poli_Mis June 18, 2013 4:43 PM  

Is there any question now as to how they flipped Roberts to vote correctly on that supreme court ruling.

And no, this is not off topic. It is how a beneficent government of love and unicorns treats one of its own supreme court justices.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 4:44 PM  

US journalism is depleted. USA Today is scooping the NY Times and Washington post. This is sad.

Anonymous Freddy June 18, 2013 4:49 PM  

Nothing will change in the short-term. Meanwhile wrath continues to heap up on a wicked gov't that is long past due a just judgement

Blogger tz June 18, 2013 4:51 PM  

Markku - he preferred Iceland, but NSA rules had him declare a destination, and HK was on the approved list.

OpenID rufusdog June 18, 2013 4:56 PM  

You know if I was going to risk "first tortured, then maybe even rendered and tortured and then incarcerated and then tried and incarcerated or even executed." it would have to be for more than this. What has he really accomplished? If his motives are pure and he is for real (I remain skeptical) I wonder what went through his head when the story broke and America gave a collective shrug…just say’n.

Blogger tz June 18, 2013 4:56 PM  

Also remember Julian Assange and his "rape" charge - and the extradition and the kerfuffle where they wouldn't give him a guarantee he wouldn't be "disappeared".

Anonymous Poli_Mis June 18, 2013 4:59 PM  

He explained his choice of HK to my satisfaction. And it continues to be a sound choice given the limitations he laid out.

No suspicions. The dude is 100% hero.

And although I can understand (to a point), I wish Snowden's father would drink a nice tall glass of SFTU when talking to the media right now.

Anonymous Poli_Mis June 18, 2013 4:59 PM  

That acronym is STFU. But you all knew that.

Anonymous Noah B. June 18, 2013 5:04 PM  

Edward Snowden's father is probably getting threatened and manipulated by the FBI in just about every conceivable way. I doubt he's acting entirely on his own beliefs, and I feel equally sure that E.S. is aware of this. Still, it has to be hard seeing his father on TV like that.

Anonymous Porky June 18, 2013 5:04 PM  

USA Today is scooping the NY Times and Washington post. This is sad.

The only way NYT and WP would have interviewed NSA whistleblowers is if the whistleblower was a Kardashian.

Blogger tz June 18, 2013 5:13 PM  

It is futile to play by the rules when your opponents are breaking them.

It is foolishness when the game is deadly.

OpenID cailcorishev June 18, 2013 5:14 PM  

I wonder what went through his head when the story broke and America gave a collective shrug…just say’n.

Probably, "Good thing I left the country." After all, a guy who expected the American people to rise up in outrage might have foolishly stayed to lead the revolution. He didn't, and it turns out that was smart.

Anonymous Van June 18, 2013 5:21 PM  

I assumed SFTU was Some Fucking Tiger Urine.

Anonymous Mike M. June 18, 2013 5:23 PM  

Snowden is not the big story. The Big Story is that this highlights just how clueless Congress is about anything other than campaigning.

And I specifically include in this the dynamics of bureaucracies. ANY bureaucracy will try to expand - it's the nature of the beast. And Pournelle's Iron Law dominates - the people who grow the bureaucracy will be promoted over the people who are focused on the mission.

The real question is how we fix this. My own approach?

a. A technically literate NSA Oversight Board. With both the technical know-how and the clearance to have access to all NSA programs. Former NSA employees need not apply.

b. Specific legal restrictions on the information that NSA can provide. Basically, they can cue law enforcement "watch this person", but cannot legally provide details. Violation is a felony.

Blogger Scott June 18, 2013 5:27 PM  

Whether or not Snowden is legitimate, his story provides excellent cover for three of the most agregious scandals in recent history. For those who've already paged them out of memory to accomodate the frenzy of reporting relating to Snowden they are the Benghazi, AP, and IRS scandals. Snowden conveniently provides the distraction the MSM needs to avoid having to fess up about the Obama admin's role in [choose scandal]. The story now shifts focus completely away from them and toward Snowden: is a hero or a traitor. It's about some obscure geek who has more faith in communist China than in America (a debatable topic). Even sites like Vox's are distracted trying to backup their initial proclamation of heroism.

Anonymous Daniel June 18, 2013 5:32 PM  

Scott, CNN just reported that a majority of Americans believe Obama to be behind the IRS targeting, Ham has been called back for testimony on Benghazi, and the AP thing was kindling for the NSA thing.

Snowden isn't cover: he's a unifying storyline.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 5:37 PM  

b. Specific legal restrictions on the information that NSA can provide. Basically, they can cue law enforcement "watch this person", but cannot legally provide details. Violation is a felony.

New laws not good enough. No enforcement. There is a technical solution to the problem that would prevent abuse, but it's complicted and you can't Jack Bauer it in a pinch.

Anonymous Will Best June 18, 2013 5:38 PM  

Snowden is not the big story. The Big Story is that this highlights just how clueless Congress is about anything other than campaigning.

If congress was clueless then they would treat him as a hero or at least grant him total immunity, while passing order of impeachment against half the executive branch pending Snowden's complete and total debriefing and investigation into all potential wrong doing.

Are they doing any of that?

Blogger tz June 18, 2013 5:43 PM  

USA Today is scooping the NY Times and Washington post. This is sad.

It is not sad, perhaps the USAT has realized the mainstream propaganda machine is dying the slow death of the rest of legacy media.

There are three viable media models. Red-state republican cheer-leading and talking points, Blue-state democratic cheer-leading and talking points, and real reporting - investigative, hard-hitting, iconoclastic, traditional 4th estate journalism as the founding fathers would have said compliments the constitution (even at its even worse vitriolic level - like the federalist papers v.s. the anti-federalists, or later the presidents). For all the vitriol, such was more thoughtful, reasoned, and convincing on both sides - a real argument. Not a shouting match.

Perhaps there is HOPE after all.

Anonymous Salt June 18, 2013 5:44 PM  

The problem isn't individual scandals. It's the government as a whole.

Anonymous rycamor June 18, 2013 5:45 PM  

dh June 18, 2013 5:37 PM
There is a technical solution to the problem that would prevent abuse, but it's complicted and you can't Jack Bauer it in a pinch.

Heh... yes, there's got to be any number of ways to make it less prone to abuse than "could go on the network or go into any file or any system and change it or add to it or whatever", but the more complex the solution, the more likely it is to
a) fall apart easily
b) become so unwieldy as to be useless
c) come at such a high CPU cost that it becomes untenable.

I'm sure these giant databases could encrypt all fields and distribute keys only to those few "need to know" players, and the filesystems could be encrypted top-to-bottom and public/private key pairs be managed properly (geez, even that alone is hard in a large organization). Even so, at the end of the day, such a thing would still be open to abuse, even if by a much smaller (but lest trustworthy, IMHO) cast of characters.

Anonymous Noah B. June 18, 2013 5:46 PM  

In the months following passage of the Patriot Act and the AUMF, Congress was probably informed of what laws they had passed. They've literally known about this for a decade.

Blogger Scott June 18, 2013 5:47 PM  

Daniel, you miss my point. Those three scandals provide direct ties from the Obama admin, probably Obama himself, to impeachable crimes. While CNN and the line may still be giving them scant air time, they're certainly not the focus and are fading daily. That same poll given say a month from now will yield very different results, but the poll wont be given because it will have been forgotten.

Anonymous Salt June 18, 2013 5:52 PM  

For some good news -

Paul Mannina, the U.S. Department of Labor attorney charged in a home invasion, was found dead in a D.C. jail cell of an apparent suicide Tuesday, reported NBC4's Mark Segraves.

Mannina, 58, was arrested last week in connection with a violent home invasion at the residence of one of his coworkers.



Anonymous Dan in Tx June 18, 2013 5:52 PM  

I saw fearless leader on TV this morning looking very serious. He essentially said that the government does not collect ANY of this information. Then he went on to say that because of this program of not collecting any of this information the government had stopped dozens of scary terrorist attacks. The interviewer looked serious back and nodded his head. Thus is the state of "journalism" in America.

OpenID rufusdog June 18, 2013 5:53 PM  

After all, a guy who expected the American people to rise up in outrage might have foolishly stayed to lead the revolution. He didn't

Right, so this is one of the reasons I remain skeptical, why did he do it? If he was smart enough to understand Americans wouldn’t care and left, then why bother in the first place or at least try to do it anonymously, without the whole torture, then more torture deal. I am trying to understand what his motivation is. Outing a NSA program that most don’t give a rip about, that’s worth a torturous death…really? I do not see motivational forces at work that I believe.

Also why would he assume the Chinese wouldn’t “disappear” him and torture him for what he knows or force him to work for them? If he does disappear how will we ever know who did it and why, some will say we did it, others the Chinese, maybe the Russians (and don’t forget about the aliens). Where does this trust come from that the Chinese are going to treat him fairly?

It is interesting, I am curious to see how it all plays out.

Blogger Scott June 18, 2013 5:55 PM  

Daniel, think fast and furious.

Blogger Markku June 18, 2013 5:55 PM  

There's this concept of doing the right thing. You should try it sometime, rufusdog.

Anonymous Scintan June 18, 2013 6:00 PM  

What's been fascinating to me has been the reaction of the so-called conservative blogosphere.

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother June 18, 2013 6:00 PM  

Doing the right thing for its own sake. That is called having principles.

Blogger RobertT June 18, 2013 6:05 PM  

i may be psychopathic, Machiavellian and a touch narcissistic, but it's good to know i'm not paranoid ... congress IS the enemy ... scientists DO cheat and lie ... they are spying on us ... i wish i hadn't brushed off that guy with the tinfoil hat

Anonymous bob k. mando June 18, 2013 6:06 PM  

dh June 18, 2013 5:37 PM
New laws not good enough.



that's absolutely true.

the Constitutional Republic is designed for a moral people. if ( too many ) of the people have no morals, ethics or standards ...

this is what you get.

NO law and
NO procedure will prevent lawlessness when you can't find enough administrators and laborers to do the job with quality and integrity if you aren't holding a gun to their head.

Blogger RobertT June 18, 2013 6:08 PM  

... USA Today is scooping the NY Times and Washington post. This is sad ...

Darn, I left newspapers and msm off my list.

OpenID rufusdog June 18, 2013 6:26 PM  

Markku,

Spare me your high sounding nonsense. There are things worth dying for, but outing a secret surveillance program that your countrymen do not care about isn’t one of them.

Blogger Markku June 18, 2013 6:28 PM  

You disgust me, spineless piece of shit.

Anonymous MendoScot June 18, 2013 6:29 PM  

Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?

Not a comforting thought.

Anonymous VD June 18, 2013 6:36 PM  

Spare me your high sounding nonsense. There are things worth dying for, but outing a secret surveillance program that your countrymen do not care about isn’t one of them.

I see you're a man of principle, rufusdog. As I've pointed out previously, the man who won't stand up for the truth when pressed won't stand up for the Truth when persecuted.

I suspect that no matter what it is, you'd find an excuse for not paying the necessary price.

Anonymous VD June 18, 2013 6:42 PM  

Edward Snowden's father is probably getting threatened and manipulated by the FBI in just about every conceivable way.

I can guarantee he's being pressured and threatened with prosecution, jail, and so forth. When they were after my Dad, for considerably less important matters, my brothers, my cousins and even my uncles were threatened by the federal agents.

Anonymous Salt June 18, 2013 6:57 PM  

That right there is illegal, VD, under the concept of corruption of blood.

Anonymous The One June 18, 2013 7:01 PM  

I see a market for cyanide pills in the near future. This is the level the government has brought people too.

Blogger Scott June 18, 2013 7:02 PM  

VD, ignoring rufusdog's integrity as a patriot, he presents a valid argument. Basically, his skepticism is well founded wrt conflicting attributes in Snowden's character. (and I personally can't get over the name, Snowden. The connotations oozing from that name, as if spawned from the mind of a spy novelist. I'm not a nut, I know the guy is real, just sayin')

Anonymous The One June 18, 2013 7:02 PM  

Hey Markku, what's the current churchian position on suicidE?

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother June 18, 2013 7:14 PM  

Fatal, weasel pragmatism, thy name is Rufusdog. Who here doesn't hope they have the spine and resolve to answer when God, destiny and country call?

I certainly pray that I will be equal to the task.

Blogger James Dixon June 18, 2013 7:16 PM  

> The real question is how we fix this.

Busab: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bureau_of_Sabotage

Anonymous Daniel June 18, 2013 7:19 PM  

OT: Got SE today. The cover harmony w/ ATOB is outstanding, although I looked at the bottom of the spine on SE for a subheader "AoDaL Book Zero".

My ATOB is a matte-like finish, and SE is glossy but they are nonetheless well-twinned. (I prefer the matte-like, but that's minor.)

What I'm surprised by is the size of SE. Much larger than I expected, compared to the old paperback.

Not hyperbole: these are the most striking books in the library, by a mile.

Anonymous Global Rabbit Jihad June 18, 2013 7:19 PM  

"“We do not believe,” the researchers caution, “that the spread of cell phone technology has an overall negative effect on the African continent."

I have heard that lots of Africans believe in magic.

Anonymous VD June 18, 2013 7:20 PM  

That right there is illegal, VD, under the concept of corruption of blood.

They do it as a matter of course. I mean, you should understand I didn't write those articles about the rule of law being dead in the USA out of theory, but experience of real-world practices.

Anonymous Global Rabbit Jihad June 18, 2013 7:21 PM  

The first rule of BuSab is don't talk about BuSab.

Anonymous VD June 18, 2013 7:21 PM  

My ATOB is a matte-like finish, and SE is glossy but they are nonetheless well-twinned.

You have the first ATOB print run. Second and later are glossy. Pleased to hear they turned out well.

Anonymous bw June 18, 2013 7:34 PM  

The current admin, before elected, loudly and clearly voiced support for "whistleblowers" who were being silenced by that terrible, warmongering, corporatist last regime.
Unconscious, unprincipled, enabling sheep will sheep.

Anonymous Salt June 18, 2013 7:52 PM  

They do it as a matter of course.

I file suit, as a matter of course. I see it as bearing public witness.

Anonymous Azimus June 18, 2013 7:58 PM  

Has Snowden released any evidence that can be weighed and evaluated of actual cases? From what I've seen he has spoken more to the "system" and what it/he is capable of doing with it than actual cases of abuse. There's no subtext here - I would actually just like to look at the evidence and evaluate for myself, inasmuch as I am able. Like the East Anglia Emails for AGW. Is there any?

Anonymous tbell June 18, 2013 8:03 PM  

The truth comes out.

Anonymous Global Rabbit Jihad June 18, 2013 8:12 PM  

'The current admin, before elected, loudly and clearly voiced support for "whistleblowers"'

Look who else has changed their spots.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/06/18/bill_ayers_obama_should_be_put_on_trial_for_war_crimes.html

Anonymous JI June 18, 2013 8:36 PM  

J. Edgar Hoover never had it nearly as good as the NSA. I wonder who's now wearing the ballerina tutu while reading/listening/watching our electronic communications...

OpenID rufusdog June 18, 2013 8:49 PM  

Scott,

I would not call myself a patriot. Faith and Family are what counts for me. America has a rotten core, we are sowing all sorts of evil, and when I look out I see it getting worse not better. I suppose I am a patriot in the sense of what America was or could be. But living in the IS I can’t call myself a patriot. If we stopped killing the unborn, came back to God and left this lazy paganism we have adopted maybe we could fix things. But I am not holding my breath.

Anonymous Global Rabbit Jihad June 18, 2013 8:50 PM  

Another theory: http://isteve.blogspot.com/2013/06/snowden-dont-mention-i-word.html

Anonymous Cinco June 18, 2013 8:55 PM  

@salt

"The problem isn't individual scandals. It's the government as a whole."

You nailed it. With a government this big, it doesn't matter which side (repubs or dems) is driving the trains, they end up at the same camps.

I just hope that they have a nice play area for my kids...

Anonymous Global Rabbit Jihad June 18, 2013 8:56 PM  

There is a certain appeal to the old saying:

http://dyspepsiageneration.com/?p=91304

OpenID rufusdog June 18, 2013 9:02 PM  

Vox, Markku, stg58,

None of you know me well enough to be slinging the insults my way like you are. I think it is very possible Snowden is not the Hero you think he is, you are being too quick to hold him up as a Saint. I stand by what I said earlier, I don’t see motive, and that bothers me a lot.

We are not talking about returning someone’s wallet too them that was full of cash. We are talking about a man willing to die, exposing a government secret, to a country that doesn’t care and can’t be bothered and Snowden should have known this if he has been paying any attention at all. If American was something other than what it IS this would make more sense to me. I realize you care deeply about privacy, but that ship has sailed in America as a whole and they just don’t care.
That’s what I just don’t get. He has really put his ass in a sling for almost no real reason. The principled position is not to die a horrible death exposing a secret to a country that doesn’t give a damn. Talk about pearls before swine…

Anonymous Lana June 18, 2013 9:26 PM  

Has Snowden released any evidence that can be weighed and evaluated of actual cases? From what I've seen he has spoken more to the "system" and what it/he is capable of doing with it than actual cases of abuse. There's no subtext here - I would actually just like to look at the evidence and evaluate for myself, inasmuch as I am able. Like the East Anglia Emails for AGW. Is there any?

Binney's testimony about the capabilities which he worked on developing, IIRC, warned of this very thing. It's why he resigned. I'm not sure it was included in this article, but he was very clear about what could be done and why they had no business doing it. Snowden is merely confirmation that yes they can and yes they are.

Anonymous Azimus June 18, 2013 9:28 PM  

That’s what I just don’t get. He has really put his ass in a sling for almost no real reason.

Rufusdog I have no horse in this race, but is this what you'd say about the Alamo, for example?

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 9:37 PM  

Rufusdog--

This is the 4th major whistleblower. Are they all suspect?

Anonymous Anonagain June 18, 2013 9:57 PM  

I can guarantee he's being pressured and threatened with prosecution, jail, and so forth.

They are also flat-out lying to Snowden's family, friends about his supposed illegal activities. It is a common MO for authorities to spread malicious lies about someone, trying to turn family, friends, even neighbors against them, so they will feel they are not betraying a friend, but are instead aiding authorities, the good guys, do their job against a complete scumbag.

Anonymous BoGo June 18, 2013 9:59 PM  

Vox -
FYI - Websense has changed the classification of your site to "Adult Material". I can no longer access it at my workplace.

Sorry to post this here, but apparently my internet provider won't let me email you through your Email Vox link.

Must be the rabbits are biting ankles again.

Anonymous Phil Mann June 18, 2013 10:00 PM  

"We are talking about a man willing to die, exposing a government secret, to a country that doesn’t care and can’t be bothered and Snowden should have known this if he has been paying any attention at all. "

Were you ever twenty nine? Were you ever idealistic? Ever hear of Nathan Hale? Did you ever believe that maybe, just maybe, those who started this country actually believed what they wrote?

The motive you do not see just might be a genuine desire to make this country and world a better place. True, it's rare, but not altogether non existent.

You have to get old and jaded before believing there's just no use. Perhaps Mr. Snowden just isn't there yet.

Anonymous Godfrey June 18, 2013 10:11 PM  

"We are talking about a man willing to die, exposing a government secret, to a country that doesn’t care and can’t be bothered..."


In the final analysis a man has to be true to himself. The world be damned.

Fight the power.

Anonymous TheExpat June 18, 2013 10:27 PM  

As a system administrator, Snowden "could go on the network or go into any file or any system and change it or add to it or whatever, just to make sure -- because he would be responsible to get it back up and running if, in fact, it failed. So that meant he had access to go in and put anything. That's why he said, I think, 'I can even target the president or a judge.' If he knew their phone numbers or attributes, he could insert them into the target list which would be distributed worldwide. And then it would be collected, yeah, that's right. As a super-user, he could do that."

IMO this is the key point that makes Snowden different from all previous whistleblowers, and in the initial Guardian article he also mentioned as much, that most insiders see limited abuse here and there, mostly related to their current duties and responsibilities, but that it is only when you were in a position such as his - system administrator - that you saw what was really going on system-wide.

And given his "authorities" (used in the sense of system privileges rather than legal authorization), who knows what aces he might have up his sleeve. I would guess that the NSA and those in oversight positions are sweating bricks.

Anonymous Lana June 18, 2013 10:37 PM  

Also, completely OT, but since someone else mentioned it, I also received my hardback of SE yesterday. The art on these covers, as I previously mentioned, is utterly compelling. People cannot stop themselves from picking them up and asking about them. It's rather remarkable.

I gave ATOB to my son for Christmas, for example, and one of his friends recently invited me to join Goodreads so that I could pass on my SF/F recommendations to him. (I know nothing about SF/F) Based on his seeing ATOB at my son's house. I kid you not.

OpenID rufusdog June 18, 2013 10:40 PM  

dh,
No and, to be clear, I am not doubting what Snowden is saying is true. Why he is saying it is what I still haven’t figured out yet. But maybe I am just too cynical.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 10:43 PM  

No and, to be clear, I am not doubting what Snowden is saying is true. Why he is saying it is what I still haven’t figured out yet. But maybe I am just too cynical.

That's fair enough. Motives are largely uninteresting the big picture.

Anonymous zen0 June 18, 2013 10:44 PM  

rufusdog mis-characterizes the situation: There are things worth dying for, but outing a secret surveillance program that your countrymen do not care about isn’t one of them.

Other sources disagree: (June 16th)
Multiple New Polls Show Americans Reject Wholesale NSA Domestic Spying
Yesterday, the Guardian released a comprehensive poll showing widespread concern about NSA spying. Two-thirds of Americans think the NSA's role should be reviewed. The poll also showed Americans demanding accountability and more information from public officials—two key points of our recently launched stopwatching.us campaign.

So far, Gallup has one of the better-worded questions, finding that 53% of Americans disapprove of the NSA spying. A CBS poll also showed that a majority—at 58%—of Americans disapprove of the government "collecting phone records of ordinary Americans." And Rasmussen—though sometimes known for push polling—also recently conducted a poll showing that 59% of Americans are opposed to the current NSA spying

Anonymous Phil Mann June 18, 2013 11:00 PM  

"Why he is saying it is what I still haven’t figured out yet."

True.

Plausible explanations can run from he is a true patriot who loves his country, to he is a complete traitor who hates it, to he is an agent of China working to hurt the USA, to he is a CIA/NSA agent engaged in some nefarious plot, the purposes of which are not yet apparent. Hard to tell at this point.

For reasons I'm not really sure of myself, I kind of hope it's number one.

OpenID rufusdog June 18, 2013 11:06 PM  

<a href="http://www.people-press.org/2013/06/10/majority-views-nsa-phone-tracking-as-acceptable-anti-terror-tactic/>Pew</a>

I was going off Pew.

You would expect to see real change if American's really care, right? I think time will show me to be correct. The Snowden affair will not change anything substantial...and even if the government said it did...would you believe them?

Anonymous Phil Mann June 18, 2013 11:12 PM  

"You would expect to see real change if American's really care, right? I think time will show me to be correct. The Snowden affair will not change anything substantial..."

I suspect you are correct, much as I'd like to think otherwise. But then, I'm old and jaded myself.

Blogger Doom June 18, 2013 11:35 PM  

Oh come on. Many of us have pretty much known this for years. I don't believe a single puppet talking to the talking heads about this isn't on so many strings they can barely breath. My guess is they have enough, planted or real, on Paul that even he is keeping his nose out of it. The gig has been up for a very long time now. Admittedly before I realized, but at least I did come to understand and quite some time ago.

It has to be used corruptly, all power is. And realizing "conservative politicians", for the most part, are really just business oriented socialists at best, freedom, even the illusion of it, is over. There is a civilian based civil war but I don't think that will go far, at this point. The military might not act, but on either side, mostly. If you are in the "states", and can, get out. Years at most, that is all that remains of the possibility to escape. I think it will turn genocidal, always has before. Well, leave if you think you might be on the 'kill list'.

Most Americans are used to be slaves now. They can stay. Just don't get sick, don't discuss the government, and don't do anything outside norms... or pray.

Blogger hadley June 18, 2013 11:36 PM  

"I would guess that the NSA and those in oversight positions are sweating bricks."

I think that should be either "sweating bullets" or "sh!tting bricks".

Just sayin'.

Blogger hadley June 18, 2013 11:36 PM  

"I would guess that the NSA and those in oversight positions are sweating bricks."

I think that should be either "sweating bullets" or "sh!tting bricks".

Just sayin'.

Anonymous dh June 18, 2013 11:52 PM  

Oh come on. Many of us have pretty much known this for years. I don't believe a single puppet talking to the talking heads about this isn't on so many strings they can barely breath. My guess is they have enough, planted or real, on Paul that even he is keeping his nose out of it. The gig has been up for a very long time now. Admittedly before I realized, but at least I did come to understand and quite some time ago.

I never imagined the NSA had less IT access controls than say the Department of Agriculture or the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Or a local FedEx Kinko's.

Anonymous Full-Fledged Fiasco June 18, 2013 11:54 PM  

O.T.: What the Gay Lobby Doesn't Want You to Know.

Anonymous Mr. Pea June 19, 2013 1:18 AM  

You would expect to see real change if American's really care, right?

Most Americans just want to pretend it is nothing and continue on with their dreary lives as if they still lived in the land of the free.

On the other hand, there are the Americans who always need that just right button to get pushed. This is one of those buttons... and forevermore they are changed. Every push opens another eye. And then one day, there will be a shove. And one day, someone is going to shoot back. And another... And there will be martyrs and there will be the rage of someones son, and daughter, and wife, and girlfriend, and boyfriend...

And... who knows.

But one day, tptb will tip their hat the wrong way. And when push comes to shove...

Anonymous Mr. Pea June 19, 2013 1:31 AM  

We are not talking about returning someone’s wallet too them that was full of cash. We are talking about a man willing to die, exposing a government secret, to a country that doesn’t care and can’t be bothered and Snowden should have known this if he has been paying any attention at all. If American was something other than what it IS this would make more sense to me.

Most Americans didn't give a flying rats ass during the first American revolution either. It was the little things here and there that led up to a full blown revolution... and still, most Americans didn't give a rat's ass either way... And during the revolution, it was the little atrocities here and there that flamed someones ass here and there to pick up a musket and shoot some redcoats. But still, most Americans didn't give a flying rats ass either way.

You don't need 300,000,000 Americans to get pissed off... just a tireless dedicated minority.

Anonymous Mr. Pea June 19, 2013 1:38 AM  

Well crap, this is the second post today to just disappear. Hit refresh and it is gone. At least one made it... so far.

Blogger Doorstop June 19, 2013 3:13 AM  

Clearly the NSA should have hired more female IT staff. Correct me if I'm wrong, I have yet to hear of one of them risking imprisonment, (let alone rendition, torture, and/or murder) to stand alone for the truth. A woman I was explaining Snowden's predicament to earlier tonight (who ironically makes a living tracking down "deadbeat dads" for child support) told me that she isn't concerned about electronic surveillance because she doesn't do much online. A great example of female solipsism...I told her that it's not just about her, and that perhaps someday someone she supports (politically or religiously) could fall victim to such intrusions.

Anonymous Herman the German June 19, 2013 3:25 AM  

Doorstop is correct. Women crave herd acceptance, security, & fascism. These are excellent qualities to have in employees one wishes to keep silent and compiant.

Anonymous Herman the German June 19, 2013 3:26 AM  

compliant....(i canz typing...lol)

Anonymous TheExpat June 19, 2013 8:24 AM  

I think that should be either "sweating bullets" or "sh!tting bricks".

Yes.

Blogger Markku June 19, 2013 8:34 AM  

but that ship has sailed in America as a whole and they just don’t care.

I'm sure you think the ship has sailed on this one too, and we should just accept it.

Anonymous bobo June 19, 2013 8:49 AM  

I don't make a habit out of agreeing w/Rufasdog (or crapping naked in traffic), but...

http://www.sott.net/article/262774-My-creeping-concern-that-the-NSA-leaker-is-not-who-he-purports-to-be

Skepticism in all public matters is usually the wise path. That said, I hope she's totally wrong.

OpenID rufusdog June 19, 2013 10:44 AM  

Markku,

I know you are a more careful thinker than what you are showing. I have not stated Americans should accept this behavior, I am simply pointing out that they do.

The article is really creepy, I wouldn’t allow something like that in my home. It would be interesting to see what rank and file people would do, especially if they reduced their bill or paid them to place it in their house.

Blogger Markku June 19, 2013 11:12 AM  

I know you are a more careful thinker than what you are showing. I have not stated Americans should accept this behavior, I am simply pointing out that they do.

And that it would be stupid to sacrifice everything in fighting it. This is what cowardice is made of. It always has a rationalization for itself. And it is exactly why Snowden is a hero. I'd say the greatest hero of this decade.

Now, I find it strange that it isn't all over American news that China has essentially said that they will put their military might behind Snowden (in stronger terms that I have ever heard from China), so clearly his choices paid off. It was in Finnish news just a few hours after they made their statement.

There was a big chance to be tortured for the rest of his life, but there was also a chance to win. And heroes take such chances.

Blogger Markku June 19, 2013 11:18 AM  

The article is really creepy, I wouldn’t allow something like that in my home.

I think you would, after television won't show anything unless the camera and the microphone are seeing viewers in front of it. You wouldn't want to destroy the planet with global warming by wanting to keep the TV on while nobody is watching it, now would you?

No, in a few years, that ship has sailed. After all, you're not asking anybody to like it, but you can't turn back the clock.

Blogger Markku June 19, 2013 11:22 AM  

Don't HAVE a television in a few years? Now THAT is suspicious. You're probably one of those alt-right malcontents. No-fly for you!

OpenID rufusdog June 19, 2013 11:46 AM  

Markku,

Snowden has won nothing. He has changed nothing. Nothing will come of this. Your “hero” isn’t even going to be a historical footnote. Sheez, grow up and join me in reality. You are like a teenage girl with a crush.

I am content to let this play out, we shall see what Snowden “wins” and what changes take place due to his actions.

“Greatest hero in a decade”…man are you in for a rude awakening.

Blogger Markku June 19, 2013 11:55 AM  

Sure, let's wait. You see the situation from over there, I see it from over here. And the perception of USA has changed so suddenly and dramatically that it's like Twilight Zone.

So, let's have this discussion again in a few months.

Anonymous rycamor June 19, 2013 12:05 PM  

Markku June 19, 2013 11:55 AM

Sure, let's wait. You see the situation from over there, I see it from over here. And the perception of USA has changed so suddenly and dramatically that it's like Twilight Zone.


Are you talking about the general public's perception, over in Finland? How has it changed?

Blogger Markku June 19, 2013 12:14 PM  

Are you talking about the general public's perception, over in Finland? How has it changed?

It's now a proper small talk subject that Americans are constantly watching you. Before this you would have been considered a tinfoil hat if you said such a thing. It is also on the headlines and news every day. Last time I checked the national news channel YLE (equivalent to BBC in Great Britain), on the front page was F-Secure's Mikko Hyppönen saying that Microsoft's (and the other companies') assurances are worthless, that the operations are probably run by NSA and CIA moles in the companies, and that the leadership doesn't probably even know who they are.

We are all tinfoil hats now.

And I'm absolutely certain that this will soon be reflected on voting behavior (nationalistic parties will benefit) and the amount of USA's influence on politicians.

Blogger Markku June 19, 2013 12:16 PM  

This will also greatly increase the number of people using Tor. Before this, the problem has been that they are such a minority that you could guess who they are simply from the fact that it's Tor traffic. The only way to make it really anonymous is to increase the number. And that is exactly what Snowden has accomplished, by making everyone talk about it.

Anonymous rycamor June 19, 2013 12:23 PM  

@Markku,

Once again, blowback is a bitch. I just hope she gets a lot bitchier by the time this decade is out.

Blogger Markku June 19, 2013 12:25 PM  

And I'm absolutely certain that Hyppönen, for example, has known this for a long time. He just couldn't talk about it. Then the news would have been that F-Secure is a tinfoil hat company with all these oddball conspiracy theories. He probably talked about it in bars after a couple of drinks, and that's it.

But now Snowden made the sacrifice and paved the way. Now they can speak out. It just required one person, with the intelligence to plan it and the courage to do it. It opened the floodgates.

Blogger Markku June 19, 2013 12:31 PM  

This is the lesson to take in the smaller scale. Your church has gone gay? It just isn't rational to speak out. That ship has sailed.

No, what it might require is:

That. One. Person.

And then the floodgates are open.

Anonymous Orlok June 19, 2013 4:40 PM  

I ( WITH OUT PROOF ) FEEL HE IS A WILLING OR UNWITTING TOOL OF THE CHINESE TO EMBARRASS THE US AND POSSIBLY PAY THEM BACK FOR ALL THE MEAN THINGS THE U.S. HAS SAID ABOUT THEM REGARDING HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNET FREEDOM. HE HAS POSITIVE LIFE EVENTS WITH CHINA, WHO IS TO SAY WITHOUT DOUBT WHAT HIS REASONS WERE. DOES ANYONE REALLY TRUST SOMEONE THEY HAVEN'T COME TO KNOW AS A BROTHER AND ONLY HAVE INTERNET AND NEW STORIES ABOUT FOR REFERENCE.

Anonymous Yalorti June 20, 2013 1:41 PM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Blogger Markku June 20, 2013 2:06 PM  

That was spam with a lot more effort than usual, so props for that. But still spam.

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