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Blind Faith - Can't Find My Way Home

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NPR radio segment.  Just an exercise, of course.

U.S. War Planes Participate In Exercises In Jordan

ordan is hosting major military exercises known as Eager Lion 2013. More than 15,000 soldiers from 18 countries, including the U.S., will be participating. The war games kicked off as Syria's civil war rages next door.

Col. Pat Lang's thoughts on the situation with Syria below. He's commenting on a USA Today article.  To me, this feels even worse than the clusterf*k decision to invade Iraq because Iran and Russia are standing up against it, and because the imperialist/colonialists driving it are hardly even trying to mask their motives at this point with the humanitarian and chemical weapon fig leaves.  In last night's Charlie Rose interview the president made it clear that we have "interests" there.  All I can feel about this is dread, for a lot of obvious reasons, one of them being that I wonder how Pentagon military brass feel about being shoved into another war.  They were against going into Libya, or at least Gates was.

Yesterday, people were paying attention to a Twitter account "the 47th" said that Saudi Arabia will be surprising everyone "very soon".  A woman @jenanmoussa said "A diplomat told me today I might have to cut my holiday short due to urgent developments in # Syria. Eyes open. Let's see."

Obama's approaching humiliation over Syria

Barack Obama is about to have his "butt kicked" by the Russians over Syria.  This will be the latest in a long series of defeats for him in his second term, not to mention the unceremonious way the US was disinvited from a continuing presence in Iraq and the massive and thinly disguised failure of his COIN strategic decision in Afghanistan.  These were in his first term.

There is a video interview at the link below.  If embedded, it autoplays, so I took it out.  There is also a transcript. A side note, it's interesting to see all the paper news media outlets, and cable news too (now MSNBC is building up an MSNBC Digital organization) all building digital news units that are, presumably, creating digital content for mobile and internet delivery, doing both print and video segments.
3 NSA veterans speak out on whistle-blower: We told you so

On Friday, USA TODAY brought Drake, Binney and Wiebe together for the first time since the story broke to discuss the NSA revelations. With their lawyer, Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project, they weighed their implications and their repercussions. They disputed the administration's claim of the impact of the disclosures on national security — and President Obama's argument that Congress and the courts are providing effective oversight.

And after watching that video, it makes what these Very Serious People/Pundit (VSP) are saying seem even more ridiculous.  As for whatever solutions Big Brother might feel he needs to come up with to keep the milennials in line and keep them from allowing their idealism to get into the way of the demands of the surveillance state, well I hardly even want to think about that right now.  
David Brooks, Tom Friedman, Bill Keller Wish Snowden Had Just Followed Orders

Edward Snowden’s disclosures, the New York Times reported on Sunday, “have renewed a longstanding concern: that young Internet aficionados whose skills the agencies need for counterterrorism and cyberdefense sometimes bring an anti-authority spirit that does not fit the security bureaucracy.”

Agencies like the NSA and CIA -- and private contractors like Booz Allen -- can’t be sure that all employees will obey the rules without interference from their own idealism. This is a basic dilemma for the warfare/surveillance state, which must hire and retain a huge pool of young talent to service the digital innards of a growing Big Brother.
That’s what Booz Allen and similar outfits do. They buy brains. And obedience.

But despite the best efforts of those contractors and government agencies, the brains still belong to people. And, as the Times put it, an “anti-authority spirit” might not fit “the security bureaucracy.”

ACLU. Can't excerpt very well, so here are the first few paragraphs.
Some Thoughts on DMV Image Databases and the Police

The Washington Post has an excellent, in-depth article today on the growing use of driver’s license photo databases combined with face recognition analytics by police.

There are two ways to think about this. First, it is yet another long stride toward a surveillance society:

-  These systems represent yet another technology of control “honed on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq,” as the Post puts it, now being brought back and applied to the American people.

-  DMVs are being used to compile what is essentially a national identity system. The CEO of the company that makes most states’ face-rec systems, MorphoTrust USA, tries to claim in a Washington Post video accompanying the story that having one’s photo taken in a DMV is “voluntary” but clearly that’s not true—at this point everyone needs a driver’s license or non-driver’s ID in order to participate fully in our society. That means virtually everybody’s photo is going to reside in their state’s DMV photo database—and the FBI would like to connect all those databases into a single distributed image database.

I don't even know what to say about that Charlie Rose interview.  Just kind of speechless about it.


Stop Watching Us.

The revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance apparatus, if true, represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights. We demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA's spying programs.

Crowd-Fund a Court Stenographer for Bradley Manning's Trial

The trial of Bradley Manning will have an enormous impact on press freedom and the rights of future whistleblowers. Help us crowd-fund enough donations so we can hire a court stenographer to take transcripts of the trial. The government refuses to make its transcripts available to the public.

Your donation to this project will be tax-deductible. You can also donate by check.

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