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News & Opinion
Yesterday the Guardian had another live Q&A with an attorney.
Edward Snowden's next step: live Q&AThis is a really interesting observation by emptywheel, about a speech that Keith Alexander gave to the employees at NSA, a pep talk of sorts.
Update: Extradition expert, Douglas McNabb will return on Thursday at 12pm ET | 5pm BST to answer a second round of questions.
Ever since Edward Snowden left Hong Kong and reportedly arrived at the Moscow airport, the world has been waiting for him to make his next move. His next destination? Apparently Ecuador – though Cuba and Venezuela have also been floated as possibilities.
There are lots of questions surrounding where Snowden might end up – from the intricacies of traveling without a passport, to whether or not a smaller country like Ecuador might cave to pressure from the US government and allow him to be extradited.
Douglas McNabb, founder of McNabb Associates, a law firm specializing in extradition cases, answered your questions about Snowden’s legal predicament on Wednesday for one hour. He will return on Thursday at 12pm ET | 5pm BST. Post your questions below.
Keith Alexander: “We Must Win, There Is No Substitute for Victorybobswern has a diary about this article in the NYT. I'm very interested in it for a number of reasons, one of them being a time frame mentioned in the article, 2004-2009, which also happens to be roughly the period of time that John Brennan left the CIA and we know that he had involvement with the CIA-on-the-Hudson operation. Another interesting matter of timing is that the last CIA officer embedded in the NYPD left in 2012, just when Brennan was preparing to take over as director of the CIA. It might be a complete coincidence in timing, but it's curious. The other really interesting thing is the way that, yet again, technicalities are used to get around and subvert the laws and Constitution of the country, as in, the leave of absence from the CIA gave them license to operate on US soil, clearly against the intention of the laws.
But it’s this passage I’m far more struck by:Let me say again how proud I am to lead this exceptional workforce, uniformed and civilian, civil service and contract personnel. Your dedication is unsurpassed, your patriotism unquestioned, and your skills are the envy of the world. Together with your colleagues in US Cyber Command, you embody the true meaning of noble intent through your national service. In a 1962 speech to the Corps of Cadets on “duty, honor and country,” one of this nation’s military heroes, General Douglas MacArthur, said these words teach us “not to substitute words for action; not to seek the path of comfort, but to face the stress and spur of difficulty and challenge; to learn to stand up in the storm.” You have done all that and more. “Duty, Honor, Country” could easily be your motto, for you live these words every day. [my emphasis]It’s not just that he calls out Cyber Command in the midst of a scandal that’s not supposed to be (but really is) about offensive war.
It’s not just that he chooses to cite one of the most powerful Generals ever, one who defied civilian command to try to extend a war that — it turns out — wasn’t existential.
But it’s also that he chose to cite a speech that invokes that moment of insubordination, a speech that encourages political inaction among the troops, a speech whose audience MacArthur defined as singularly military.
This Inspector General report was initiated after officials in New Jersey found out that NYPD was doing surveillance all over the place, way outside their jurisdiction, including on the Rutgers campus and the governor and a lot of other people in NJ were pissed.
Update: I should have known. Marcy Wheeler is all over this and yes, thinks Brennan had a hand in it: Who Was the Short-Sighted Personnel Guy at CIA Who Set up NYPD-on-the-Hudson in 2002?
C.I.A. Report Finds Concerns With Ties to New York PoliceThere are some really crazy kinds of apocalyptic allegations flying around about Snowden and how he's worked with Chinese intelligence and Russian intelligence and has divulged all kinds of military secrets, including speculation about how he might have given them our nuclear weapons plans. Some members of or afficionados of the "IC" (an acronym used by the intelligence community to refer to themselves), are spinning like crazy on social media and in an article from a questionable publication called the Washington Free Beacon, which I'll reluctantly link here just so you can see this. A guy with the Twitter handle @20committee has been working overtime at it. Note that they use quotes by John Bolton. Also, NY tabloid papers and the NYT have done hit pieces on Glenn Greenwald where they went through his life history with a fine toothed comb (or somebody did anyway, and fed information to these papers, your tax dollars at work?) and found some embarrassing things, pretty mild, and Glenn wrote a column yesterday in the Guardian to address those. If that's all the dirt they could find, I guess they'll start making shit up now. Some of our hyperpartisan friends are speading it far and wide too, as one would expect.
“While negative public perception is to be expected from the revelation of the agency’s close and direct collaboration with any local domestic police department, a perception that the agency has exceeded its authorities diminishes the trust placed in the organization,” Mr. Buckley wrote in a cover memo to David H. Petraeus, then the C.I.A. director.
It also comes amid lawsuits against the Police Department alleging unconstitutional surveillance of Muslim communities and mosques in New Jersey and New York. And a group of plaintiffs from a 1971 lawsuit over harassment of political groups by the Police Department’s so-called Red Squad has asked a judge to tighten guidelines stemming from that case on police investigations involving political or religious activity.
Paul J. Browne, a police spokesman, said that the lawsuits were without merit. He also said that the inspector general had found nothing illegal and that the last embedded C.I.A. official left the police in 2012.
BreachUPDATE: #ggscandals is trending and it's a hilarious push back at the smear artists and opposition research firms who have been targeting him.
U.S. officials: China, Russia gained access to Snowden’s secrets
Intelligence agencies in China and Russia gained access to highly classified U.S. intelligence and military information contained on electronic media held by renegade former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, according to U.S. officials.
One of the biggest fears about the compromise is whether Snowden, an NSA contractor and former CIA technician who hacked into classified intelligence networks, gained access to new U.S. nuclear war plans, the officials said.
The nuclear war plans, among the most closely guarded U.S. secrets, were recently modified as a result of President Barack Obama’s shift in U.S. nuclear strategy.
Glenn Greenwald once played vigorous air guitar to Rod Stewart's "Hot Legs". #ggscandals— racymind (@racymind) June 27, 2013
Glenn Greenwald cuts the tags off his mattresses #ggscandals— T_R_A_V_I_S (@Trivs) June 27, 2013
Glenn Greenwald once tried curling…in Canada. Coincidence? #ggscandals— Dave Lewis (@gattaca) June 27, 2013
BREAKING: Glenn Greenwald once used Comic Sans! #ggscandals— Ra (@Ra__) June 27, 2013
As a youth Glenn Greenwald played Black Sabbath albums backwards to get soup recipes. #ggscandals— Dave Lewis (@gattaca) June 27, 2013
Glenn Greenwald trended on Twitter globally and he is not even aware of it. #ggscandals— Jayel Aheram (@aheram) June 27, 2013
Glenn Greenwald once clapped between movements. #ggscandals— Scott Crissman (@smcrissman) June 27, 2013
Glenn Greenwald never flosses. #ggscandals— Jayel Aheram (@aheram) June 27, 2013
Glenn Greenwald was once caught dancing to elevator music. Something is not right about that man. #ggscandals— Jayel Aheram (@aheram) June 27, 2013
That other "intervention" is a total mess for the Libyan people. But the up side is that while there is chaos and the government cannot control a thing, those oil fields and contracts are probably being sorted out among the humanitarian nations who so generously came in to help some extremists overthrow their government (just a they're doing all over again)! See how that works! And France is rediscovering their colonial nature in Northern Africa, so I guess they're happy too. Party like it's ... I don't know, 1945?
Fear, panic grip Libyan capital as unknown fighters wage battle in TripoliMaybe if we get into another war during the summer, and keep it out of the news, the American people won't notice. Col. Pat Lang says that a partition of Syria is "a real possibility" and perhaps the goal here. Remaking the Middle East again. It went so well last time. Even Zbig, the grand chess player who urged the US to seize control of certain areas of the Middle East while a single superpower, says that "Promoting destabilization and turmoil in the Arab world will not create a good longterm outcome for the US or Israel".
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (CNN) -- A tense calm prevailed over Libya's capital Thursday after days of chaos left at least seven people dead -- including a 12-year-old boy.
But it's unclear if the violence is really over -- or even who the warring groups are.
LANA said it was not clear what groups were involved in Wednesday's fighting. It quoted witnesses as saying the densely populated Abu Saleem area was in a state of "panic and fear" as fighting closed off main roads in the area, including the one leading to the international airport.
On Tuesday, an armed group attacked the headquarters of the Petroleum Facilities Protection Guard (PFG) in the Salaheddin district of the capital.
Syria and the Monarchs: A Perfect StormThis creep, Governor GoodHair, is going to do it again. He says that he wants to protect women. So I'm sure we all fully expect that they'll be more "prepared" this time around and will pull some dirty tricks to try to hold a session on short notice, or to fill the state capitol with armies of police, perhaps not allow spectators or not allow people into the building. Maybe they'll pull out the riot gear for a bunch of unarmed women trying to protect our rights. He seems determined. I would think that the best chance, maybe the only chance to keep this from passing now is the legislators themselves refusing to go along with SB5. I'm reminded of when the Democratic caucus left the state in Wisconsin.
The Obama administration’s decision to directly supply weapons to the Syrian opposition may end up torpedoing the possibility of a political settlement. It will almost certainly accelerate the chaos spreading from the almost three-year old civil war. It will also align Washington with one of the most undemocratic alliances on the planet, and one that looks increasingly unstable.
In short, we are headed into a perfect political storm.
In any case, if they keep the bill as is, it's bound to be a showdown because this governor clearly intends to shove these new laws down the throats of the women of Texas... to protect them. The governor knows what's best for women, better than they know themselves. We second class citizens don't know what's good for us and must be kept in our place and have decisions about our lives and our bodies made for us. Decisions about when to become a mother, a life changing and lifelong commitment, are not ours to make, whether it was an unintended pregnancy or a life situation changed, or a health complication arose, or anything. If you're pregnant, you have no right to make decisions for yourself.
Rick Perry Calls Second Special Session To Pass Abortion Restrictions
"I am calling the Legislature back into session because too much important work remains undone for the people of Texas," Perry said in a statement. "Texans value life and want to protect women and the unborn."
Planned Parenthood President: "We'll Be Ready" if Texas Governor Revives Anti-Abortion Senate Bill 5A documentary by Journeyman Pictures, promoted on the Boing Boing site in May, seems relevant to have a look at now if you haven't seen it already. I'm going to watch this during my rest time today or this evening.
Kafka, meet Orwell: peek behind the scenes of the modern surveillance state
Journeyman Pictures' short documentary "Naked Citizens" is an absolutely terrifying and amazing must-see glimpse of the modern security state, and the ways in which it automatically ascribes guilt to people based on algorithmic inferences, and, having done so, conducts such far-reaching surveillance into its victims' lives that the lack of anything incriminating is treated of proof of being a criminal mastermind:
Stop Watching Us.
Blog Posts and Tweets of Interest
Obama "I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down [DOMA]." I'm so old, I remember when he defended it. Took some grief for that.— Joe Sudbay (@JoeSudbay) June 26, 2013
Tour bus passes by Stonewall. Rally-goer shouts to tourists: "Guys! All you need is love. Love is all you need! The Supreme Court decided!"— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) June 26, 2013
#Snowden revoked passport means nothing; countries can/do waive passport requirement for asylum seekers. Just another tantrum by U.S.— Peter Van Buren (@WeMeantWell) June 23, 2013
Pentagon spokesperson/CNN personality Barbara Starr has been at this BS game for a long time: http://t.co/...— jeremy scahill (@jeremyscahill) June 26, 2013
.@AthertonKD I'm getting a bit tired of the profit-driven fearmongering of the sham surveillance expert industry, personally.— J.M. Berger (@intelwire) June 26, 2013
I have a big exclusive coming up: Interview with a kid @ggreenwald was mean to in 3rd grade.— jeremy scahill (@jeremyscahill) June 26, 2013
AFP and witnesses: Armed groups clash in Libyan capital— Blogs of War (@BlogsofWar) June 26, 2013
And you know WHY AQAP encrypted & then got caught for it? Because Pete Hoekstra revealed NSA had a tap on him. #WhyDoesCrazyPeteHateAmerica— emptywheel (@emptywheel) June 26, 2013
Fun fact: there is no imagery of Bill Clinton signing DOMA because, well, he knew what he was doing.— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) June 26, 2013
June 26,2013— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) June 26, 2013
UN denounces torture, arbitrary arrests in Libya http://t.co/...— Blogs of War (@BlogsofWar) June 21, 2013
"Complex multinational effort financed largely by Qatar, to transport arms from Libya to Syria’s opposition fighters" http://t.co/...— שחררו את פלסטין (@SultanAlQassemi) June 22, 2013
@gaylelemmon Economist has called for NFZ for a yr. Also did in Libya + Bosnia. They love that tactic; don't explain its strategic purpose.— Micah Zenko (@MicahZenko) June 26, 2013
Clearly an opposition research file on @ggreenwald was delivered to these "journalists" at the same time. They're tools.— jeremy scahill (@jeremyscahill) June 27, 2013
BREAKING: CIA Admits to Senate Intelligence Committee Millions of Its Official Records Are Badly InaccurateJune 27, 2013
Who Was the Short-Sighted Personnel Guy at CIA Who Set up NYPD-on-the-Hudson in 2002? http://t.co/... Did SSCI ask Brennan?— emptywheel (@emptywheel) June 27, 2013
Creepy: Glenn Greenwald's partner's laptop was stolen from their Rio home. Nothing else was taken. http://t.co/...— ACLU Massachusetts (@ACLU_Mass) June 25, 2013
B.B. King & Bonnie Raitt by Right Place Wrong Time