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View Diary: NSA bugged UN headquarters, European Union, and UN nuclear watchdog organization (267 comments)

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  •  "us" and "them", not "friends" or "enemies" (5+ / 0-)

    Holly Molly ! I can't believe I have to defend the NSA. This is hilarious :-)

    It's not about "friends" or "enemies".

    It's about "us" and "them".

    If they are "not us", if they are "them", then we must know what they are up to, the stuff they tell us, the stuff they don't tell us and the stuff they tell us but isn't true, whether we consider "them" to be friends or enemies or anything in between. No exception.

    And, as I said, you may or may not agree with this state of mind and state of affair but that's how that game has been played since, well, ever. And that's been true since at least Thomas Jefferson.

    And that's precisely what the NSA has been created for, to know everything that's being told and written in other countries and other countries' embassies and, yes, international agencies.

    You can be angry at the NSA for snooping on domestic communications, a job it is NOT supposed to do. But you can't blame them for doing that they've openly been created to do! Listening on "them" is their freaking charter, for Pete's sake!

    Any blame for that specific stuff, if any, because you consider it wrong/immoral/wasteful/unfair should be directed to Congress and the executive branch. But, in this precise case, the NSA is simply doing the job it's been asked to do ever since it was created, 60 years ago.

    I deal in facts. My friends are few but fast.

    by Farugia on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 01:36:47 PM PDT

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    •  Where's your snark tag? OMFG. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bronte17, Tweedledee5, Betty Pinson, Cliss

      The GOP says you have to have an ID to vote, but $ Millionaire donors should remain anonymous?

      by JVolvo on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 01:41:37 PM PDT

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      •  Because it's half and half (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wynter, lordcopper, ModerateJosh

        I agree it's a bit loopy but it's also very serious.

        What I'm saying is very literally the basis for existence of the NSA and of all the other TLAs. This is how they work. This how they've always worked. And this is what they are paid for.

        Now, I agree. You can find that state of affair completely ridiculous or utterly unacceptable or both or neither and something else entirely.

        But it doesn't change the fact that is the way it is, right now, and has been ever since the end of WWII and, in reality, since ever under other forms.

        I deal in facts. My friends are few but fast.

        by Farugia on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 01:57:32 PM PDT

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        •  Information is power... if you don't have it.. doh (0+ / 0-)

          The NSA snooping on dignitaries and diplomats has been going on since it was first created. Outing their activities is HIGHLY damaging. And quite unnecessary for Snowden to do.

          This action is downright dangerous for him to be doing. It damages our relations, our credibility, and is naive to think no one else is doing it against us.

          Information is power in the intelligence world. Knowing more about other countries than they know about your business is what this is all about. By outing spying efforts, he is damaging our capabilities to obtain valuable information that is meant to protect us. This is the whole reason the NSA exists. Or did you think it didn't spy on just about everyone?

          If this came from Snowden's data gathering he just raised his own "threat level" a good bit. I'm sorry, I am a Progressive, but I am also quite aware of the need for intelligence gathering. It's the difference between life and death in many cases.

          "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

          by Wynter on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 05:16:18 PM PDT

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      •  Uprated too... and continued right on down (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the thread with the jingo surveillance cheerleading.

        One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

        by bronte17 on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 02:58:05 PM PDT

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        •  I uprated the first comment, because it had an (0+ / 0-)

          interesting historical fact, which he over interpreted without proof.

          Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

          by CIndyCasella on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 03:03:33 PM PDT

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          •  Whatever jingles your toes hon (0+ / 0-)

            The right to your own idiosyncrasies and buttons... that's what makes the world go round.

            One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

            by bronte17 on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 03:14:34 PM PDT

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            •  I went to UVA, so I did enjoy learning about (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Betty Pinson, JVolvo

              the cypher Thomas Jefferson designed.  However, I made the point that designing a cypher does not prove that Thos Jefferson was using it to snoop, because it was used to encode his own writing so that prying eyes would not understand what he wrote.  

              It doesn't jingle my toes, though, just interests me.  

              I think it wise to engage in conversation those with whom you disagree to hone your own arguments and to learn theirs.

              Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

              by CIndyCasella on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 03:29:47 PM PDT

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              •  It shows that spying was already the rule! (0+ / 0-)

                Goodness gracious, people! Make some effort !

                Every bit of information and every statements in a comment cannot be pre-chewed and pre-digested for the readers' consumption...

                I deal in facts. My friends are few but fast.

                by Farugia on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 05:35:39 PM PDT

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                •  oh sheesh... spying did not bankrupt the king (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  back then.

                  The money and men spent in spying today is obscene. The kings of yore would think it ridiculous to outlay his fortune for such a thing.

                  One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

                  by bronte17 on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 07:27:41 PM PDT

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      •  Shh! New talking points (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JVolvo, Cliss, Johnny Q, ozsea1, Just Bob

        Be quiet and pay attention, comrade. We have new scripts to memorize.

        "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

        by Betty Pinson on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 03:51:25 PM PDT

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    •  Then I'm kind of uncomfortable with the NSA (15+ / 0-)

      in its current form.  Gathering everything on everybody, even if it starts at our borders and we are held magically immune, is creepy and tends toward totalitarianism. I don't think America needs to know what a German granny bought at the grocery store, for instance.

      This case is more relevant and justifiable than a lot of what they're doing, but I'm still not OK with blanket hoovering of data; what the hell is so wrong with going after things only if you have a reason to or are asked to? as opposed to just going after everything and everyone, all the time?

      The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 01:42:39 PM PDT

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      •  Wait till German Granny flies an airplane into a (1+ / 0-)
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        9/11.  Never forget.

        "So what if a guy threw a shoe at me!"

        by FoodChillinMFr on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 02:18:30 PM PDT

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      •  "kind of uncomfortable"? (13+ / 0-)

        Personally, I'm terrified.

        Of my own government.

        Consider what's happening in Wisconsin. Now consider that Scott Walker clearly intends to be President of the United States, and have full access to the most powerful tools of suppression ever imagined.

        Impossible, you say? Let's hope. Some of us remember saying exactly the same thing when W. first started making noises about going for POTUS -- that could NEVER happen. Far too stupid and crazy... Well, Scott Walker is W. on steroids. And he has the Koch billions behind him.

        Still just "kind of uncomfortable"?

        •  Hell, the day before St. Ron was elected the first (8+ / 0-)

          time, I bet a friend dinner it would never happen.

          Despite the polls, I couldn't believe the American people would do something as downright bizarre as elect Ronald Reagan President.

          You'd think that even people here with unwavering confidence in the intelligence, thoughtfulness and goodwill of Barack Obama would be given pause by the nightmare likelihood that someday a Thug will wield these powers.

          You'd think.

          The only answer seems to be a smug

          Well we'd better make sure that never happens then. Shut up and GOTV.

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

          by PhilJD on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 03:28:02 PM PDT

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      •  I started to write a diary yesterday which was (8+ / 0-)

        supposed to be a lighthearted attempt to have some fun wondering what else the NSA was up to, but I thought it was too soon to mock this serious issue.

        One of my own paranoid suggestions to start the ball rolling was that not only does the NSA have the capability to turn on your IPhone's recorder and listen in when you think you turned off your phone, but it can view you as you're typing through the camcorder on your laptop.  This may be true, because one day a commenter accused me of lounging in my PJs, having a sink full of dirty dishes, and that assessment was spot on.

        Just in case the NSA can video tape me, I'm going to moon my laptop from time to time to let them know exactly what I think of their spying on me.

        Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by CIndyCasella on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 03:10:48 PM PDT

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      •  "its current form"? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        That has ALWAYS been its form.  That is the NSA's purpose, and has been since its inception.

        If you're interested, here's a brief, declassified "Early History of the NSA" straight from the horse's mouth.

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 06:51:38 PM PDT

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    •  Allies will be reluctant to share intelligence (7+ / 0-)

      with us if 1) we're spying on them and 2) our intelligence agencies are leak-prone.

      Al Qaeda-1, US-0.

      "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10 UID: 8519

      by Bob Love on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 01:59:24 PM PDT

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    •  how exquisitely tribal of you. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bronte17, Tweedledee5

      not to mention utterly amoral and unethical.

      but then, the essential function of tribalism is to validate and enable the unethical and amoral treatment of others.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 02:51:46 PM PDT

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    •  I still see no proof from the cypher that TJ was a (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JVolvo, nogo postal

      snoop.  All the cypher proves is he was a savvy communicator, who protected his letters from the prying eyes of snoops.

      Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

      by CIndyCasella on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 03:01:51 PM PDT

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