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View Diary: This Takes The Biscuit. [I'm still laughing btw.] (113 comments)

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  •  What are they so afraid of? (12+ / 0-)

    "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

    by elwior on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 12:46:47 AM PDT

    •  Us? (16+ / 0-)

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 12:47:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  By This Point, And The Government Has Said (12+ / 0-)

      this, although not very loudly, they now EXACTLY what Snowden got. And if you watch interviews with Greenwald on like Democracy Now or dig a level or two deeper (and I have) then just the MSNBC 4-5 minute story or front page news brief here, Glenn has said that not only does he have thousands, and thousands (hinted at tens of thousands of documents) that many he hasn't released are FAR worse then anything he has already written about. Far, far worse.

      That is what they are worried about .... among other things!

      •  In other words we're now living (0+ / 0-)

        a Dan Brown novel?  When is Greenwald going to use the secret passage that takes him to what should be safety but there's a camera drone?  

        And what exactly do I know now that I didn't know 8 years ago?  There's a huge spy apparatus?  Color me shocked!  

        I'll tell you what I just learned recently.  Obama has strengthened whistle-blower protections 3 times since he took office.  Specific to NSA.  As specific as "if you see abuses report them and you'll be protected."  Wouldn't that apply to Wyden and Udall as well?  

        At this point it feels like a really dreadful book, and I'm waiting to find out what the point is.

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 07:40:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, not a Dan Brown novel... (10+ / 0-)

          a managed democracy, and that is the point.

          I shave my legs with Occam's razor~

          by triv33 on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 07:46:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  As we've seen ... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gooderservice, triv33, SpecialKinFlag

          ... "strengthening whistleblower protections" doesn't help whistleblowers unless they get classed as whistleblowers.

          And if this can be read to suggest that someone leaking information about the information gathering system is a terrorist, then the immunity of the information gathering system from having its whistleblowers classified as whistleblowers is quite substantial:

          Here you go:
          From MI5:

          The use or threat of action designed to influence the government or an international governmental organisation or to intimidate the public, or a section of the public; made for the purposes of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause; and it involves or causes:
              serious violence against a person;
              serious damage to a property;
              a threat to a person's life;
              a serious risk to the health and safety of the public; or
              serious interference with or disruption to an electronic system.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 09:45:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So you think Edward Snowden qualifies (0+ / 0-)

            as a whistleblower even though he left the country rather than use a clear process that would have protected him from having to leave the country.  If his claims are true he fits the parameters- he was seeing abuses of power, people not following the legal guidelines.  Those protections were upgraded in 2011, the third round on Obama's watch.  If he wasn't seeing any abuses but thinks the apparatus is too large, that's his opinion.  Does he actually know what the point of metadata collection was?  Do we know how long records are kept?  How they're used?  Do we know that people are being held with no legal reason for holding them, no protections from the justice system?  Wouldn't, after 11 years, some rumors be circulating about disappeared citizens?  We LOVE CT, how does this kind of Stasi/KGB tactic exist and there's no shocking revelation of government thugs appearing and kidnapping ordinary citizens?  

            We have tens of thousands of out of control SWAT Teams arresting tomato plants and killing baby deer, but mostly acting as Plantation overseers sweeping up POC who are doing the same thing CEO's are doing, using drugs, and with proof that this is a clear and present danger to our society I don't see much passion about that.

            Or about women's bodies no longer being under our own control. Or about ALEC turning Red States into third world hegemonies.  

            And as long as Glenn Greenwald keeps the faucet dripping we'll never address those issues or take any action about NSA surveillance, because being scared and outraged sucks the life out of taking action.

            I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

            by I love OCD on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 12:23:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You actually believe that the ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              triv33

              ... protections against whistleblowers really would have been available to Edward Snowden.

              Naivete noted.

              Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

              by BruceMcF on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 12:50:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, because 1200 whistleblowers (0+ / 0-)

                have proven that.  Unless he wasn't seeing actual abuses and illegalities.  In that case he's a concerned citizen who decided the NSA apparatus was too large and decided to break his oath and the law, for a greater good.  

                My question is whether or not we're going to make his sacrifice worthwhile, or is it more fun to be outraged and appalled?  Or do we stick with a whistle-blower scenario that appears untenable, unless he documents the abuses he saw.  

                I'm on the side of concerned citizen, despite his connections to Libertarians.  Unless that Libertarian bent means that ANY government is de facto evil.  

                That's the problem.  We have limited knowledge, Glenn Greenwald isn't the most clear and reliable person to have taking point, Snowden's silent, the NSA can't reveal a whole lot without losing genuine effectiveness.  The best outcome at this point seems to be organizing for a national referendum on mythical safety vs Constitutional protections.  If that's well managed we could win, if winning equals refusing to be terrorized into surrendering our rights.  There needs to be an admission that freedom comes with a price tag.  We'll never get off the surveillance merry-go-round if we believe life should be safe and fair, government exists to protect us from all threats.  We're not going to be safe from everything.  We regulate business hoping to block the most egregious excesses.  We provide a safety net hoping to protect most citizens.  We pass anti-crime laws hoping to keep the brakes on the worst criminals.  It's time to grow up and get it that 10% of our population is incapable of self-support, so we either support them or euthanize them.  The slow destruction is our way of avoiding knowing it's euthanasia.  It's time to admit terrorists only have to succeed once, government has to succeed 100% or they're punished for failing us.  It's time to admit that crooks are always a step ahead of the law, we can only do our best to punish appropriately and and regulate sanely.  

                Until we, as a culture, as a nation, grow up and face reality we will keep swinging back and forth between untenable extremes.

                I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                by I love OCD on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 01:58:42 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  And note the contradiction ... (5+ / 0-)

          ... between the first two paragraphs of this comment.

          The first paragraph is a straw-man argument aimed at mocking the idea that the secret surveillance state is there, which is taken up again later in the comment.

          The second paragraph claims "we've known about this for year, there's nothing new here".

          But the argument of the diary is that many of us have known about this and have been warning about this for years, and considers the implication of the fact that it took a decade for a large number of others have become conscious of recently, has become an entrenched institution. So "there's nothing new here" talking point that is a Red Herring in this context.

          And the evidence offered that there really is nothing to see is that whistleblower protections that were denied to Bradly Manning and denied to Edward Snowden have been strengthened.

          Evidently the administration was quite effective in making sure that its whistleblower protection reforms remained in the pretty window dressing territory and did not stray into the territory where that would in fact threaten to permit whistleblowing on the intelligence gather activity.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 09:57:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, I stand by my comment. (0+ / 0-)

            Snowden had a mechanism if he saw abuses and illegalities. 1200 people have used those channels without being arrested, fired, slapped into Gitmo.  

            If Snowden saw no abuses or illegalities but thought the system was too damn big (my position), he had a right as a citizen to do what he could to reveal that.  But that makes Greenwald's claim that he can bring the US Government to it's knees a bit hyperbolic.  So what's true?  Is the size of the program country-destroying?  What if the primary focus is on cyber-terrorism, not AQ?  What if it's tracking the 700 new white supremacy groups?  What if it's tracking where corporations launder their obscene profits and hide them somewhere?  What if someone is assigned to Dick Cheney, trying to find the cash that disappeared in Iraq?  What if someone's looking for the 3 or 5 trillion dollars whisked out of the economy as the crash occurred?  How do you feel then?  

            I'm just introducing some new ideas into the mix because I'm bored with the same old same old.  

            I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

            by I love OCD on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 12:40:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  1200 NSA whistle blowers? (0+ / 0-)

              That's an extraordinary claim, you have a link for it?

              And match the impact of your purported 1200 NSA whistleblowers vs the impact of Snowden. Which one was the most effective whistleblower seems beyond dispute.

              Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

              by BruceMcF on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 03:11:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You don't know his impact (0+ / 0-)

                because nothing's changed.  

                The 1200 number came from an APR link.  If it's wrong it was still posted here.  These are stats presented to the oversight committee, so probably not a point of pride for NSA on the one hand, but also something encouraging.  It's since Obama took office and strengthened the whistleblower protections, so a couple hundred plus a year is not huge, given the data they manage, but it's still a signal that there are, indeed, protections in place.  

                And I remain convinced that we don't need an apparatus this huge unless it's got an advocate arguing for privacy rights, an oversight committee with whistleblower protections, and some info, general, on the thrust of the investigations.  And even then, can we stop hackers?  Does anyone know?  Can we do anything to prevent violence from homegrown terrorists?  Can we take back the laundered money?  Think of a trillion dollar SS fund, clawed back from fraudulent corps!  

                I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                by I love OCD on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 04:24:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  I like the juxtaposition of your question (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      triv33, poligirl, Just Bob

      and your sig line.

      When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

      by PhilJD on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 08:33:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That is actually a really good question (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poligirl, elwior, Just Bob

      they have been flopping around like a fish on a bank, except that when they do it, the flopping could cause almost anything up to and including a war.

      Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 08:51:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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