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Recent News Items:
In 2012, after WIRED reported widespread warrantless spying by the NSA on all US citizens, the NSA chief testified before congress denying that it occured.

In 2012, Obama pressured Euro nations to drop an anti-FISA provision in new Euro privacy legislation.

In 2013, Snowden  delivered proof that the NSA has multiple warrantless spying systems, both domestic and international working right now. Every US citizen has a file, is being actively surveilled, and has no privacy from the federal government.

The EU today considers cancelling all data sharing with the US because of the NSA fallout.

The EU today is telling its citizens to stop using American internet service providers because all of the have been willingly corrupted by the NSA.

Yesterday, France stated it is starting moves to cancel trade talks with the USA because of the NSA spying scandal.

Yesterday, the European Commission suggested that all Euro companies stop doing business with US internet companies.

Last week, the Guardian revealed that US agencies were caught trying to bug the French embassies, as well of other nations' embassies in Washington.

The incoming president of the EU, Graibauskaite of Lithuania, warned that US cloud companies could be losing all foreign business, because of their close ties to the NSA. She suggested that no euro or asian company would feel doing business or storing data in a US based cloud company. (The US has a huge lead in cloud technology. For now.)

Japan is reportedly reassessing its current Pacific trade talks with the US because of this scandal.

So far, the domestic response to the Snowden leak has been rather muted. Given how the entire talking head class in DC has unified to defend the NSA and attack the messenger, that is of little surprise. The willingness of the "insiders" in the Bloatway to support this serious erosion of our Bill of RIghts is astounding, especially since several of them made their bones in a Watergate era of politics.

As for most USers? the strongest response I read was in today's paper. "If I do nothing wrong, why would I worry about NSA activities here? Especially if they make me safer."

That statement is so wrong, on so many levels, that it will be the subject of an other diarrhee or future sermon. But, given the lack of journalistic integrity, effort, and professionalism these days, it is no surprise. Instead of screaming fucking bloody murder about Snowden's disclosures, they prefer talking and writing about the spectacle in a Florida trial.

On the other hand, the Rude Pundit gets it. His Bolivian Steamer  is spot on. (seriously, is there any adult awake in the White House? Is Kerry that bad of a SecState? And why the fuck is he wasting his time in Israel? those talks will never go anywhere. Not this year. Not next. And certainly not until we have better relations with Iran.)

Someone (and I am guessing it was us) managed to fuck up the gauges on the Bolivian president's plane, forcing the Bolivian president to land prematurely in Austria, where folks demanded to search the plane for Snowden. How FUCKING STUPID is that, Mr. President? Have your top foreign aides and advisors  lost their marbles, and are they doing a colo-rectal search for them of late?  How do like the idea that EVERY SINGLE South American leader is meeting in Lima, to discuss how fucked up the US is at this slice of time?  You think this is good news? Are your advisors even telling you about this flesh meet? (or are they reading the transcripts from the microphones they hid there in advance of the meet?)

Temporarily, the clustered fuck that is our current foreign policy is raising few waves here in the Colonies. But, our growing intertube businesses, some of the best in the world, will find themselves locked out of the eurasian, african, and South American markets. That is just suicidal as a business plan.  Our best allies wonder if we can be trusted, what with our bugging of embassies, our lies about spying, and our attacks on their governmental, corporate and personal privacies.

They also wonder about sharing data with us. Trading with us. Allowing their citizens and companies do intertube business with us. There is no upside to this scandal, none at all. So far, there is no sign that the bRain tRust in the White House even realizes what a shitstorm it has landed in, simply by continuing (and expanding) Bush policies.

Our own spies are lying to Congress about the nature and extent of their DOMESTIC spying. Warrantless Domestic spying. Approved (maybe) by a kangaroo court called FISA (maybe, not always, and sometimes, after the fact), a court which in its entire existence since 1979, only once said no to a request.   Senator Udall believes that the NSA is lying to his face.

Director of Intelligence Clapper admitted to lying to congress about domestic spying.  If you and I did that in court, we'd be in jail.  If we did that to congress, we'd be in jail. If Clapper lies to congress and to us, he probably gets a raise.
Just think of what these two liars are doing to our credibility across the Atlantic Pond.

In response to these liars being found out, the feds are pulling out all stops. Hayden (former secrutiny chief of the US), said the FISA stats were good news. "We should be asking the court for even more data. The lack of rejections proves just  how benign our actions are."

Bullshit, Mr. Hayden.

Last week, we also found out that EVERY SINGLE CALL on a Verizon phone is being tracked by the NSA. For our own good? Are you shitting me?  

At some point, this shit storm is going to boil over. When that happens, and when Americans realize the foolhardy extensive intrusion on our lives that happens daily, you can bet that there will be demands for change. I wonder how the Obama team will respond to this mess. So far, their only response has been to lie, to congress, to us, to our allies, to pursue Snowden at all costs, (including the cost of good relations with our southern allies), and to bug embassies here and abroad.

I recall a young President Obama exciting all of us with hope and change. I recall crowds, huge crowds, both domestic and international greeting him. I recall a young President Obama winning the Nobel prize.

Does anyone know if Nobel has a system to withdraw a prize after it has been rewarded?

But back to the original question. Does Europe have bigger balls than us? So far, the EU is rightly concerned and quite possibly taking serious actions against our political leaders. In part, due to a dead or dying journalistic class in the Colonies, the stories are not being investigated, reported on or discussed. Except to parrot US talking points about Snowden being a traitor. In that respect, our media's behavior today is just as bad as when the Bush admin was dictating talking points during our Little Iraqnam Invasion.

Given the poor reporting, the lack of outrage, and the sheeplike response so far, the answer is clear. Euro balls are huge. Ours have been castrated.

Poll

How will Obama respond to this growing scandal?

17%12 votes
35%24 votes
2%2 votes
1%1 votes
17%12 votes
7%5 votes
2%2 votes
4%3 votes
8%6 votes

| 67 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Listen, Mr. President (18+ / 0-)

    aw, heck. You already are!

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 01:24:44 PM PDT

  •  Equating balls with courage = sexism n/t (10+ / 0-)

    John Roberts? Melville Fuller?? WTF is the difference???.

    by Walt starr on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 01:36:27 PM PDT

  •  I'm pretty sure we got 'em beat concerning twine. (5+ / 0-)

    Living the austerity dream.

    by jwinIL14 on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 01:37:16 PM PDT

  •  Rugby vs Football? Yes. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ericlewis0, TomP

    Football vs Basketball? No.

  •  Balls? Seriously? Good luck with that (10+ / 0-)

    Maybe you missed the consensus here on DKos that the balls=bravery analogy is not cool.

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 01:40:32 PM PDT

  •  No, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    splashy

    I think these days European soccer players use the same regulation ones as the rest of the world.

    On the other hand, rumor has it that Italian women, on the average, tend to have larger breasts than American women, which I suppose means American women are cowardly in comparison.

    SRSLY, could people retire the word "balls" as a term for courage, implying that courage and masculinity are one?

    Thoughtless sexism can deface the most thoughtful opinion piece.

    (I see someone got there before me while I was previewing and you changed the headline. Excellent. The closing needs the edit as well.)

  •  Saber rattling to appease the masses. It's (5+ / 0-)

    naive to believe that the EU nations and all our allies don't want the same info about their citizens.

    Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    by thestructureguy on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 01:53:01 PM PDT

    •  possibly. but the EU (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert

      has been working very hard to pass a universal set of rules of what behavior (spying, surveillance, etc.) is permissible, and what privacy is guaranteed to each citizen.

      That is something that our congress  . . .   oh, fuck, what am I thinking? Our Congress? Doing something important?  with TeaBaggers in charge of the GOP? They would say no to their own bill, if it would hurt this administration. Luckily for them, Obama's negotiating skills aren't the best.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 01:57:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We don't track every call made here (4+ / 0-)

      in America (despite the exaggerations of some), and the EU countries spy agencies do all the things ours do. Anyone who thinks that there is a big difference in terms of the actual practices of the West's clandestine services is foolish.

      •  it did occur to me why cloud computing (0+ / 0-)

        is so far ahead here in the Colonies.

        The amount of data storage that the NSA does on a daily basis, plus the need for indexing, search capability, and and getting fast results, means that our suppliers have sold billions of dollars of technology to the NSA. Therefore, the price of manufacturing has dropped significantly, and the cost of building a Cloud warehouse is pennies compared to several years ago. (but still expensive)

        Solid state drives, super high capacity drives, super fast searches, and data going back years? The mind boggles at how huge the data files can be.

        Even if we do not track every call, (something that the Verizon leaks suggests), that is still a hell of a lot of data.

        What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

        by agnostic on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 02:37:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yawn. I don't care if there is an (0+ / 0-)

          electronic record of every call on some server somewhere. It is not the case that the actual call itself is being recorded, and it is not the case that a human being actually even sees who it is i talk to (unless they have a reason to dig through the data to figure it out). There is so much in this world to be worried about, from the climate to poverty to lack of health care to conditions in the Third World to the treatment of animals to a thousand other things that rank higher in my mind than the fact that there is some record kept electronically of my phone logs. I could give a shit, actually.

          •  we differ, then. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            3goldens

            Putting tiny pieces of data together can lead to a surprising amount of indications about behavior, etc. I do NOT want Big Uncle Brother Sam having that capacity  - about me.

            What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

            by agnostic on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 02:58:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But you are not ever going to (0+ / 0-)

              be on a call with a terrorist, so there is almost no chance any government employee will have the time or inclination to look into your behavior. On the other hand, the fact that they can piece together the behavior of people who actually do wish to participate in violent actions against us is a good thing, as we all would like to live in peace. I'm one of the vast majority of Americans who are happy that we have dedicated people focused on keeping us safe (without starting wars) and proud that our covert services are smart enough to be able to do what they are "accused" of doing. Face it, the NSA is pretty kick-ass in terms of their technological abilities.

              •  why on earth would they be compelled to (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, 3goldens

                limit their review of data to one simple contact with a terrorist?

                There are countless examples of how giving some authority an inch ends up becoming a mile wide. If they have that data, nothing stops them from using it at some point at time.

                Even worse, MISUSING it. You do know that the right of a cop to lie to you  is constitutionally protected? So sayeth the Supreme Robes. But, if you lie to an officer conducting an investigation, you risk criminal penalties. It is not a far stretch to see how this type of data can be misused for a variety of reasons.

                What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

                by agnostic on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 03:11:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Some of us understand that there (0+ / 0-)

                  really are people on this planet who would kill innocent Americans if we do not stop them first. There are people who would detonate a nuclear weapon in a populated US city if they had the ability to do so. Our intelligence services must be vigilant against this very real threat. Some people here have openly stated that there is no threat and that no amount of security is justifiable (since, after all, there is no threat). I'm sure you can come up with theoretically constructs where the "government" misuses data on my electronic communications. But I'll take that theoretical risk any day if it helps diminish the actual, real-world risk of violence.

    •  oh, look (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marsanges

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 03:10:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't have all the story yet-"French Agency Spies (4+ / 0-)

    on phone calls, email, web use, paper says..  While the fact that others--including at least one European nation, according to the linked report--may be practicing domestic surveillance doesn't make it an acceptable policy to their respective citizens, it does reveal that there is much about who's spying on whom and what they do with that information that we just don't know.  

    At the same time that there are reports that "France starting moves to cancel trade talks with the USA because of the NSA spying scandal," there are also reports that...

    ...France's external intelligence agency spies on the French public's phone calls, emails and social media activity in France and abroad, the daily Le Monde said on Thursday.

    It said the DGSE intercepted signals from computers and telephones in France, and between France and other countries, although not the content of phone calls, to create a map of "who is talking to whom". It said the activity was illegal.

    "All of our communications are spied on," wrote Le Monde, which based its report on unnamed intelligence sources as well as remarks made publicly by intelligence officials...

    While I think that Congress can and should investigate the NSA/ Intelligence Community to determine the scope of domestic surveillance, the qualifications of the personnel handling sensitive information--and especially whether the activities of these Agencies violate the Fourth Amendment--I'm not quick to assume that European countries are totally blameless in the spy vs. spy, or the domestic surveillance areas.  
  •  you are overstating the case. (4+ / 0-)

    Europe is as complex (actually much more so) than the US. Some did do and say and suggest these things that you list: e. g. the EU parliament had voices suggesting stopping data exchange. But that parliament is nearly powerless. Some leftist parties in the EU are railing against the surveillance systems. Yet the fact is that Europe is widely governed by a center-right bourgeoisie supperted by a plain conservative bureaucracy, and these folks have no intention of not doing, and continuing to do all that that the US is now revealed to do.

    Mostly because it is useful

    Consider this, from the times when Mohammed Merah ran around in the Toulouse area shooting soldiers and jewish people.

    Ainsi, l'une des 23 notes partiellement déclassifiées et dont Le Monde a eu connaissance, datée du 26 avril 2011, fait état de "1 863 communications relevées entre le 1er septembre 2010 et le 20 février 2011". Durant cette période, celui qui n'est encore qu'un apprenti terroriste effectue un voyage dans plusieurs pays du Moyen-Orient et en Afghanistan. Il passe notamment 186 appels à des correspondants installés hors de France, dans 20 pays différents.
    How did the French authorities have all that detail so quickly? Well, now we know. See this diary of today, based on this sweeping Le Monde article.

    The European governments are basically all on the side of the American security establishment, nonwithstanding what the european people or some politicians outside of actual governing circles might say.

    •  saw that, too. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marsanges

      I love Le Monde. Great articles always.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 02:23:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it could be (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        agnostic

        that the very hard right (short of actual neonazis; think Le Pen) offers resistance to US-EU hand-in-glove police symbiosis. I say it could because these are not close to powet yet though they´re inching closer. Detestable as they are, they do value this "national sovereignty" concept. It has some logic that in Germany a right-flank law-and-order politician suggested opening a court case over US data mining and its possible that a FN government in France (may it never come to that) actually goes forward and shuts down data exchange. (Of course they´d gladly continue and boost doing it internally).

        though one wishes it were not so. Europe lost a MAJOR battle when Jospin succumbed third at Chirac´s reelection bid, that was our equivalent of the US 2000 election, and Europe has not recovered from it.

        •  Oh, I'm willing to group LePen (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          agnostic

          With Nazis.  Close enough.

          I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

          by tom 47 on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 03:46:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  the French voted Chirac and stopped Le Pen (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marsanges

          so  they didn't get the Jospin choice - no disaster, surely?  

          Chirac was sensible enough to look Bliar in the eye and say that the invasion of Iraq was a stupid idea and no, we would not be greeted as liberators (only for the Bliar to say that Chirac just didn't 'get it', did he..)

          Le Pen would have been a disaster; no dispute there.  He lost fair and square, and there was no Nader confusion and no Supreme mess up.  2000 is your problem.

          •  hi :) (0+ / 0-)

            it was a bit different, Jospin would have had a good chance to beat Chirac in the final, yet n the first round, all the left vote splintered heavily, amongst a multitude of candidates, some of them pretty spurious like a trotskyist and the like. And by french law, only No. 1 and No. 2 got to the runoff - and so Le Pen, instead of Jospin, made No. 2. place and Jospin never got to run against Chirac.

            That was the most horrific shooting-into-own-foot that the French left has done in a long time.

            That Chirac then went over Le Pen was a done deal but was also irrelevant, the damage was done.

            The problem was that in those years, the critical negotiations about the restructuring of the EU were running, in the context of the eastern enlargement. And so it was Chirac, who was determined to let national government power prevail, negotiating with Schroeder, who was dithering, in Nice, which was a catastrophe. Jospin could have gotten Schroeder (who was governing with the Greens) around to a model preserving independent power for the EU organs against the national governments.

            So as it was, essentially through Jospin´s/the left´s self-defeat, the federalist conception of Europe got sunk, the intergovernmentalist conception ruled the day, and the current European malaise (political, and in economic, social, and environmental policy) is the direct consequence of that. We arent finished yet paying the price.

            •  Lets not forget that Chirac won 80/20 (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marsanges

              in the second round.

              Even the socialists held their noses and voted for Chirac to keep Le Pen out. Like in most countries, there ia a hard core right wing that make up less than 20% of the vote, and they rarely get anywhere in democratic politics except where there is proportional representation.

    •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      agnostic

      ...and that is why they are cutting off business?  I suppose you think that what has been done to US is okay?  Probably for our security, right?  HAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

  •  France has it's own domestic spying program (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stegro

    they all do.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    This is all theater.

  •  OK, prove this statement (0+ / 0-)
    In 2013, Snowden  delivered proof that the NSA has multiple warrantless spying systems, both domestic and international working right now.
    Here are the slides that have been published.  In these slides, please point out the evidence that supports the block quoted statement.  On the VERY FIRST SLIDE at that link, it describes the PRISM tasking process.  Check out that second step entitled "Special FISA Oversight and Processing."  Hmm...

    One slide even gives the PRISM budget...a paltry $20 million per year.  That is chump change.  

    The sequester is the new Republican immigration reform plan. Make things so bad here in the US that no one will want to live here.

    by Mote Dai on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 02:47:25 PM PDT

  •  Europe will do a little kabuki dance, (0+ / 0-)

    then nothing.  

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 03:07:40 PM PDT

    •  Y Sud Americanos? (0+ / 0-)

      Tambien?

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 03:12:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Jury's out on them, but I suspect (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marsanges, agnostic

        a lot of nothing on their part too -- just louder nothing.  Given their size and power, however, it's more understandable in Latin America's case.  The outrage on their part is also a bit less insincere.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 03:23:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Strikes me that this could be used as the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agnostic

    coup de gras of Hillary and Biden and several other possible POTUS candidates, by the the Republicans.

    Except they are such super patriots that they can't actually go there without exposing the fauxness of their their the US is Exceptional BS.

    A lot can happen in a year but the Dims need to tread carefully if they want the liberal, progressive votes.  And pretty much the same for the Republicans if they want the Libertarian and TeePeer vote.

  •  Other (0+ / 0-)

    He will kick-off a charm offensive to sell the security and safety of American IT equipment and services including the "analytics" and warn Europeans about the hazards buying IT infrastructure from China.

    400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

    by koNko on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 05:04:17 PM PDT

    •  You are right (0+ / 0-)

      and that sucks.  They will probably act as if there is an understanding but behind the scenes will never trust our country again.  A lot of damage done here due to the  gwb/Obama administration.  Everyone blames Snowden for the tragedy of this admin.

  •  Europeans are just as stupid, brilliant... (0+ / 0-)

    ...insane, well-adjusted, good and evil and middle-of-the-road as everybody else.  We're all people.

    I do have to forget about France's Maginot Line though.  "Oh the Germans will never dare to come through the Ardennes so let's just stop here."

    Warren/3-D Print of Warren in 2016!

    by dov12348 on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 06:07:45 PM PDT

  •  SPOT ON! (0+ / 0-)

    It is quite difficult talking to Dems who believe that the kind of thinking in this writing is unpatriotic.  I agree with every word that you have written.  If ever the eF word was appropriate, it is in this article.  I AM FURIOUS, and yes, Europe does have bigger, sharper, more open-minded, higher I Qu'ed brains.  It is made evident by this issue alone.  They are making all sorts of decisions around the fact that they cannot trust us.  And they can't,  and nobody in this country is doing a dam* thing about it!!  I am tired and old and was out there protesting Bush, with only a few people.  When do we DO something about our freedom, when there is martial law?  "I don't mind being listened to," how utterly (what is a better word for stupid?)  Wake up liberals!  Conservatives will never get it, but LIBERALS?!?!?!?  Obama is black and many were swept away by it.  He got the Nobel Peace Prize.  I tried to give him the benefit of doubt one too many times.  I was convinced to vote for him the second time, wasn't planning on it.  He has not been coerced by the Repubs, he has done exactly what fits his belief system, his personal monetary needs, his personal need for power, his deal making with the corporates.  He has been Obama, he has not been poor Obama, look-at-how-the-pugs-have-treated-him Obama.  He has been Obama and he has served the top 1%.  He has been less honest than gwb because bush at least told us that he was  conservative, "compassionate conservative."  

    Spying on us is NOT okay, it is a matter of losing our FREEDOM.  It is exactly what we grew up fearing.  The use of terrorists is what Hitler did.  Wake up!!!!!!!!

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