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Photos by: joanneleon. August, 2013.


Carly Simon - You're So Vain

News & Opinion

Here's a Twitchy feed (collection of tweets filtered by someone) about the Time magazine's Michael Grunwald salivating at the thought of Julian Assange being killed by a drone strike.  There are probably a bunch of other ones in Storify, another place to collect tweets and publish them.  

Time’s Michael Grunwald deletes tweet about droning Julian Assange
Grunwald tries in a number of different ways to turn himself into the victim after the blowback starts but really just makes matters worse by taking shots at both the right and left.

Huffington Post picks it up.  In this article you can see some tweets that have since been deleted.

Michael Grunwald, Time Magazine Reporter, Sends Out Shocking Tweet About Julian Assange

A TIME magazine reporter caused ire on Twitter Saturday night when he said that he "can't wait to write a defense of the drone strike that takes out" Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Michael Grunwald's tweet, since deleted, was quickly met with outrage and bewilderment. Glenn Greenwald, who recently broke several revelations about NSA surveillance programs based on documents provided to him by leaker Edward Snowden, was particularly vocal in expressing his disgust with Grunwald's statement.

RT picks it up too.  
Assassination TIME: Sr. journalist ‘can’t wait’ to justify drone strike that will kill Assange

The unethical and legally questionable statement made by TIME magazine’s senior national correspondent has been met with a barrage of criticism. Although Michael Grunwald deleted the comment and apologized, WikiLeaks is still pushing for his resignation.

We already know that Assange is not a fan of Time magazine. They have a history, apparently and he made a subtle jab at them on a recent Sunday morning news show.  Assange fights back using the Wikileaks Twitter account.

Jeff Jarvis.

The White House credibility deficit
The NSA leaks ended the power of Obama officials to ration access. No self-respecting journalist believes what they say

According to Britons, Americans are incapable of irony – and our president is certainly proving their point.

In his address about Egypt's military coup – or whatever bowdlerizing euphemism is permitted this week in Washington – Obama condemned the notion that "security trumps individual freedom." Really?

After his press conference announcing an oversight commission for the NSA, it emerged that the NSA's truth-challenged director of national intelligence, James Clapper, would apparently oversee the oversight. [...] administration – which supposedly welcomes this discussion and at first permitted a spokesman to defend the administration on the record – tried to withdraw his quotes and replace them with a new statement.

Editorial from Bloomberg news calls for a new Church Committee.
The NSA’s Alarming Misbehavior

Under two presidents, the NSA has been found to be exceeding its legal authority, systematically “overcollecting” data and failing to exercise adequate oversight. Its leadership has obfuscated, misled the public and issued statements that now look like something very close to outright lies.

President Barack Obama, in a news conference that sounds a lot worse today than it did last week, asserted that one of the NSA’s programs “is an important tool in our effort to disrupt terrorist plots.” But he offered no evidence, so as with most things involving the NSA, no one has any idea if it’s true. That makes judging the costs and benefits of such programs extremely difficult -- the benefits are entirely secret, but the costs keep piling up in public.
There’s one branch of the government that can, and that’s Congress. Congressional inquiries are not always the most high-minded affairs. But we’ve reached the point where an expansive, intrusive and transparent investigation -- modeled on that of the Church Committee in the 1970s -- may be the best way to fully protect Americans’ security and privacy. If NSA officials find themselves under uncomfortably public and revealing scrutiny, they’ll have no one to blame but themselves.

Text of President Obama remarks on Egypt

The United States strongly condemns the steps that have been taken by Egypt's interim government and security forces. We deplore violence against civilians. We support universal rights essential to human dignity, including the right to peaceful protest. We oppose the pursuit of martial law, which denies those rights to citizens under the principle that security trumps individual freedom or that might makes right. And today the United States extends its condolences to the families of those who were killed and those who were wounded.

Given the depths of our partnership with Egypt, our national security interest in this pivotal part of the world, and our belief that engagement can support a transition back to a democratically elected civilian government, we've sustained our commitment to Egypt and its people. But while we want to sustain our relationship with Egypt, our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual when civilians are being killed in the streets and rights are being rolled back.

From the UK Independent's journalist, Alastair Beach, who is on the ground in Cairo, reporting on Friday's "Day of Rage" protest.
'This is not our country any more': Gun battles rage in Egypt as death toll continues to rise
Army helicopters hover over Cairo as forces continue bloody crackdown

With army helicopters hovering high over the city centre and security services marshalling firepower to continue their bloody crackdown, Egypt looked in danger of sinking into greater violence.

Last night there was no confirmed death toll, but dozens of civilians were reported to have been killed. The violence spread across the country, with deaths reported in numerous provinces, including eight in Damietta, and four in Ismailia.

“The army and the police are killing their own people,” said Mohamed Mahmoud, an Islamist who had made his way to central Cairo for a rally. With bursts of machine-gun fire rattling around the central train station, he told The Independent that “this is not our country any more”.

This morning, from the Guardian.
Egypt braces for more unrest as Muslim Brotherhood calls for fresh protests
Military-backed government signals that crackdown will continue amid defiant campaign to rebuff international criticism

Egypt braced for further unrest on Sunday after the Muslim Brotherhood called for fresh marches in Cairo and the military-backed government signalled a continuing crackdown and a defiant campaign to rebuff mounting international criticism of the killing of hundreds of Islamists over the last week.

Armoured vehicles were deployed around the presidential palace and constitutional court after the Brotherhood said its protests against the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi would go on despite the bloodshed.

The EU said it would urgently review relations with Egypt, and William Hague condemned the "disproportionate use of force by the security forces or violent actions by some demonstrators".

Hours after Egyptian security forces cleared Brotherhood protesters out of a mosque in central Cairo, state media was pumping out attacks on what it called "terrorists", accusing them of having desecrated a holy place by firing from the minaret at troops and police in the street below.

This comes from Sharif Kouddous, an independent journalist and correspondent to DemocracyNow!

I find the government's argument here to be astounding, given the way they've tried to completely control the narrative in Manning's case and the lengths to which independent journalists and bloggers had to go just to get any kind of reporting out there on it.  Why are they so afraid of what Barrett Brown will say?  Isn't keeping him in prison for more than a year before his trial enough?  Isn't trying to throw him in jail for more than a century enough?  With Manning, they had a lot more control since he was in a brig.  Brown is in a civilian prison. It's not like he can give press conferences whenever he wants.  This is really interesting and if they succeed in gagging him, what kind of precedent will that set?  How far will this administration's war on journalists and bloggers go?  But here's another really significant point. When the DoJ published their new safeguards for the media, they did not include bloggers in those protections, or at least it's vague. But when the govt. decides to gag Barrett Brown, look who they refer to: "The Gag Order is for all parties to refrain from talking to members of any television, radio, newspaper, magazine, website (including bloggers), or other media organization about this case, other than in matters of public record."

The government wants media gag for Barrett Brown
The journalist-come-hacktivist faces a century in prison and the prosecution want him silenced

There is good reason to pay attention to Brown and his case, which could set a troubling precedent for liability when reposting information online were he to be found guilty. However, the government prosecution has filed a motion for a “Gag Order” (to disallow media).

Brown’s defense has pointed out to the presiding judge that despite writing from jail and speaking to a handful of journalists, Brown has made no justice-obstructing statements. The government’s argument is that they want to ensure Brown’s case is tried in court rather than put on public trial in the media, with Brown’s and his defense team controlling the narrative.

Marine brings the fight to the NSA—1 county at a time

So Mahoney convinced the Jonestown Borough Council—population around 1,000, with borders only barely more than half a square mile—to formally oppose NSA spying. It has since adopted a resolution Mahoney wrote. Among other things, it declares "broad based drag net seizure and storage of every individual citizen’s private electronic data is a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution."

"I think the fight needs to start locally," Mahoney, a 32-year-old Iraq war veteran, told the Daily Dot in an email. "People need to take action within their own towns. It's too easy to get drowned out at the Federal level where lobbyist money speaks louder than constituent voices."
Mahoney's not stopping with Jonestown. On Thursday, at his behest, Swarta Township—30 miles away and containing about 4,000 people—adopted the same resolution. He plans to get all six boroughs and 17 townships that remain in Lebanon County, too.

"I am trying to get every town in the county to approve this," he said. "I have a long way to go since most of them only meet once a month."

I'm not sure what to make of this NYT piece. Some interesting things, but big grain of salt.  Personally, I need to know more about what the U.S. and NATO did to stir this up first before considering the lamenting of how they tried and lost control of the situation.  What role did the CIA play in this coup? What kind of meddling was done in the lead up to this? This is a long, four page piece that goes through the whole sequence of events and describes the actions of a number of different countries who have a hand in this.  It was written by several different journalists and really has to be read in full.
How American Hopes for a Deal in Egypt Were Undercut

All of the efforts of the United States government, all the cajoling, the veiled threats, the high-level envoys from Washington and the 17 personal phone calls by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, failed to forestall the worst political bloodletting in modern Egyptian history. The generals in Cairo felt free to ignore the Americans first on the prisoner release and then on the statement, in a cold-eyed calculation that they would not pay a significant cost — a conclusion bolstered when President Obama responded by canceling a joint military exercise but not $1.5 billion in annual aid.

The violent crackdown has left Mr. Obama in a no-win position: risk a partnership that has been the bedrock of Middle East peace for 35 years, or stand by while longtime allies try to hold on to power by mowing down opponents. From one side, the Israelis, Saudis and other Arab allies have lobbied him to go easy on the generals in the interest of thwarting what they see as the larger and more insidious Islamist threat. From the other, an unusual mix of conservatives and liberals has urged him to stand more forcefully against the sort of autocracy that has been a staple of Egyptian life for decades.
As Mr. Obama acknowledged in a statement on Thursday, the American response turns not only on humanitarian values but also on national interests. A country consumed by civil strife may no longer function as a stabilizing ally in a volatile region.
When Secretary of State John Kerry visited Cairo in the spring, he urged Mr. Morsi to reach out to his opposition. If not, Mr. Kerry warned, Mr. Morsi would set the stage for another uprising, this time against himself. But the implied threat only hardened Mr. Morsi’s resolve not to bend, his aides said.
But while the Qataris and Emiratis talked about “reconciliation” in front of the Americans, Western diplomats here said they believed the Emiratis were privately urging the Egyptian security forces to crack down.
The Israelis, whose military had close ties to General Sisi from his former post as head of military intelligence, were supporting the takeover as well. Western diplomats say that General Sisi and his circle appeared to be in heavy communication with Israeli colleagues, and the diplomats believed the Israelis were also undercutting the Western message by reassuring the Egyptians not to worry about American threats to cut off aid.


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.

Blog Posts and Tweets of Interest

The Evening Blues

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Carly Simon - Anticipation

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good morning (29+ / 0-)

    Hope everyone is well this Sunday and having fun.

    Here's KBO's breakfast at Hank's on Friday.  Eggs, smoked salmon, onion and capers with a bagel and cream cheese and a side of hash browns.
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    I had a Kennett Square (mushroom capital of the world) mushroom frittata (eggs, mushrooms, provolone) with hash browns and whole wheat toast.

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    If you're ever driving through Southeastern Pennsylvania, near the Brandywine Battlefield in Chadds Ford, be sure to stop by Hank's for a meal or a dessert.  It was a favorite of Andrew Wyeth's who lived just down the road.  It was also a favorite of a favorite uncle of mine who passed away in June, RIP.  And it's a favorite of KBO's and mine.  It's casual and the food is delicious.  

    It's the place with tons of flowers all around it.

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    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 06:17:25 AM PDT

  •  Morning tune (16+ / 0-)

    Your wounded pride is burning you up edition

    Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

    by BOHICA on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 07:11:28 AM PDT

    •  I was a big fan (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BOHICA, smiley7, kharma, dharmafarmer, OLinda, KBO

      of Stevie Winwood back in the 80's and early 90's and then I lost track of him.  I don't know if I've ever heard this one before.

      My sons are big fans of his now, mostly because my one son is big on musicians who have mastered many different instruments and can lay down tracks of themselves playing different instruments and do entire songs almost by themselves.  He and his band partner did that with the album they recorded.  Between the two of them they can play a lot of different things, but not the brass. Neither of them can do a horn section. I suspect that will change.  And to be honest, I'm not really looking forward to hearing him learn those. I like them, but I've already been through years of listening to him learn keyboard, strings and percussion, going through the different amps, etc. :)  And now my youngest is learning guitar.  My oldest started out on sax but never really took to playing an instrument after that. But he sings a lot now.  I'm always happy when they feel comfortable enough to sing out loud in the house. I would have been too embarrassed to do that when I was a kid. My brothers would have teased the heck out of me :)

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:01:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Swat teams and Doritos (15+ / 0-)

    Texas Police Hit Organic Farm With Massive SWAT Raid

    SPD hands out Doritos with pot information at Hempfest

    Only one of these makes the world go round, even though I really really hate what looks to be Nacho Cheese flavored Doritos.

    h/t Digby

  •  Good Morning All! (13+ / 0-)

    Yesterday we went to Asheville to meet a friend of ours and the spend the day downtown.  Rain was predicted and was threatening the whole time, but held off so we were able to enjoy the day.  There's no place quite as funky as downtown Asheville with the street musicians, artists, and hippies.  We had a great day!

    It's raining here this morning so it looks like I may not get my walk in anytime soon.

    "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

    by gulfgal98 on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 07:19:12 AM PDT

    •  That part of the world (8+ / 0-)

      is on my list of things to do (and to stay there).  Jim White, over at emptywheel, stayed at a vacation cabin a few weeks ago and I got the information about it.  It's marvelous, has a waterfall on the property, and is near Asheville.  It's kind of funny to call it a cabin. It's really pricey, but has all the amenities and such, and overlooks just a gorgeous mountainous landscape.  

      I've never done the Blue Ridge parkway or any of that area at all.  I'm thinking maybe next summer if things go well this year, I should be well enough and have a better financial situation and can take the kids on some trips if they still want to do that. If not, KBO and I can set off on some adventures.  They've not seen New England either (though my oldest now has with his weekly travels to universities from Massachusetts to Virginia). They've been to NC a couple of times to the beach and went to Florida but were so young they hardly remember. We have a lot of time to make up.

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:07:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Blue Ridge Parkway (0+ / 0-)

        is such a beautiful drive.  I have only been on the most southern part but I have heard that all of it is incredible.  Asheville is one of the funkiest towns I have ever been to. the energy and the population are different than probably anywhere in the south.  It is a very vibrant place.  We are located south of there in a very low key and quiet small town.  If you ever decide to come this way, let me know.

        "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

        by gulfgal98 on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 06:03:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good morning, happenistas (17+ / 0-)

    This piece struck a chord with me, particularly the paragraph I quote below.

    Focusing on the Core Harms of Surveillance

    Tragically, the core surveillance harms are not likely to provoke much political pushback against the NSA. Unlike the Framers, who wrote the Constitution shortly after risking their lives for their political commitments, most Americans have little respect for the political targets of NSA/DHS/FBI/Police/DEA surveillance and information sharing. For the average voter, about the only thing more suspect than the two major parties are political activists who operate outside their ken. Justice Roberts's FISA Court, and the dozens of appellate judges like them, are unlikely to have more enlightened views. A movement to make the surveillance apparatus more accountable will need to achieve its goals indirectly, focusing on the costs, creepiness, or crony capitalism of mass surveillance. I hope to elaborate on each of these issues in future posts.
    And in light of that,
    The Cost of PRISM Will Be Larger Than ITIF Projects

    Earlier this month The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) published a prediction that the U.S. cloud computing industry stands to lose up to $35 billion by 2016 thanks to the National Security Agency (NSA) PRISM project, leaked to the media in June. We think this estimate is too low and could be as high as $180 billion or a 25% hit to overall IT service provider revenues in that same timeframe. That is, if you believe the assumption that government spying is more a concern than the business benefits of going cloud.
    For myself, I think this might be worthy of further effort here, to break out of the quagmire that is recent DK crap discourse, and put time on more productive investigation

    achieve its goals indirectly, focusing on the costs, creepiness, or crony capitalism of mass surveillance.


    Here is a very moving memoir from a young man who had been active in the Arab Spring,

    Everything Was Possible

    But what do we have if not our beliefs? They are the foundation of our actions, of our identities. And it was transformative: the belief we all shared, for a moment, in each other. In an eternity of disappointment and greed and malice that moment, that moment in which being human was finally worth something, in which having a community was preferable to being alone with a book, had a value that will never be lost.  You cannot underestimate how important these two and half years have been for people, how empowered, how unafraid people were. The existence of the revolution should not be confused with the existence of a political leadership and process. The revolution is dead when we say it’s dead. The revolution is dead when we will no longer die for it.

    Society is like a stew. If you don't stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top. ~Edward Abbey

    by cosmic debris on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 07:19:20 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for the great excerpts, cos (6+ / 0-)

      I've been falling down on the job lately in finding and including the best pieces.  Always glad to have your contributions.

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:08:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The memoir (6+ / 0-)

      is something I did include.  I read most of it.  It's just soul crushing.  I'm sure this kind of thing has repeated itself throughout history. The American revolution is not the norm.  A Brit pointed that out recently in something I read.  The reason it is so notorious is because it's not the norm.  And look where we're headed.  In the larger scheme of things, after a couple of hundred years, we're now the empire we once fought against, and it's like the British and American empires are just a merger.  I often wonder about that.

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:11:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A corporate merger (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kharma, dharmafarmer, KBO

        Or as I have come to think of it a revival and extension of,  probably most with the economic unity between Reagan and Thatcher through Clinton and Poodlebreath Blair, and foreign policy unity with Shrub and Poodle. Now joined completely at the hip.

        Society is like a stew. If you don't stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top. ~Edward Abbey

        by cosmic debris on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:29:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "I often wonder about that." One of the great (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dharmafarmer, KBO

        ironies of history. We inherited the colonial empire we despised. Well, at least for a couple decades once upon a time we despised it. Well, at least a few of the founding fathers did. Inherited, expanded, and finessed it into a purely profit-driven enforced suicide pact.

        I sure wish Cromwell had done a better job.

        The Americas greatest political dynasty...the Kaan

        by catilinus on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:50:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good morning... (14+ / 0-)
    According to Britons, Americans are incapable of irony – and our president is certainly proving their point.
    It wasn't wasted on me.  I don't listen to him because I think he's an empty suit and wind up toy saying whatever he needs to say.  When he was talking about Egypt, a few words drifted my way; and I wondered if he could hear himself?   America's best and brightest are a sorry lot and shouldn't ever be left in charge, let alone home alone.

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House. Warren 2016

    by dkmich on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 07:23:10 AM PDT

    •  I felt the same way (8+ / 0-)

      about that statement.  I think a lot more people are coming around and can see the immense irony and rank hypocrisy. But there are probably still a lot of people who just listen to the speeches. He counts on that.  It's less and less a reliable tool for him and the status quo now though. Hence, the war on journalism.  They are not toeing the line like they used to in the media and fewer people rely on network and cable news every day.

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:15:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good morning. (13+ / 0-)

    A little mellow Sunday morning music.

    "Differences in political opinion are as unavoidable as, to a certain point, they may perhaps be necessary." George Washington

    by civil wingnut on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 07:26:06 AM PDT

  •  I lost it today. Reading "Dirty Wars" (15+ / 0-)

    and then Juan Cole had a post up

    Has Military Suppression of Political Islam ever Worked?

    In "Dirty Wars" Mathew Ho, former military man, who joined the state department, resigned his post in Afghanistan in 2009 pointing out how counterproductive it was to have both COIN to work with the locals, and murder from JSOC when at times a local war lord would give out his enemy to the intelligence groups and the special ops of drones would kill them. Being gamed in their own problems.

    Egypt. Is the military using terrorism in their 80 year fight with the Muslim Brotherhood? Both sides have been terrible, but the use of terrorism to cover the attempted military solution of governance issues is on the path of failure just as our approach has been.

    Here is the long comment I posted on Juan Cole's blog. It has not yet been posted on line - Juan gets a lot of hate mail and goes through all comments before posting them - but don't see any reason why he wouldn't post it.  

    Here is what I wrote:

    Strongly recommend book "Dirty Wars" by Jeremy Scahill.

    It took years and many people to write a book like this.

    It focuses on the covert operations and special operations groups like JSOC and how they are operating at the top levels of the government including Obama.

    At Chautauqua last week, an ex diplomat, who I later saw on CNN, Aaron David Miller, 40 years working on Middle East, said that Obama is the most hands on president on foreign policy that he has seen.

    "Dirty Wars" is so well written to interleave tracking down particular people and then back to the policy decisions and doing things like putting McChrystal, the one responsible for torture and killings in Iraq, putting him as the head of the war effort in Afghanistan.

    McChrystal ran both the regular COIN effort and stepped up the JSOC effort. Mathew Ho, former military man who joined the State Department and whose resignation in 2009 received wide coverage, pointed out that the dual strategy of two kinds of forces was often making things worse. One of the things that happened is that a clan would tell the US intelligence that someone from another clan was a terrorist and a JSOC team and drones, etc. killed them. In other words, tribal fights engaged the JSOC and other US efforts. We all recall the "terrorists" turned in by bounty hunters some of whom have been in Guantanamo for a dozen years wit out charges. I bring up Mathew Ho because of his place in the "Dirty Wars" book.

    And I went on the web and from 2 days ago there is an article by HO

    Time to Take the U.S. Out of the Afghanistan Equation

    How much of what is going on in Egypt is the 80 year old fight between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood? Did you know that an Islamist is a terrorist?  The Egyptians are using the same logic to frame their massacre as the US and others have used to frame the "war on terror"

    And as I am writing this comment, I looked up Stanley McChrystal and find him with a VP of HP giving speeches on leadership. Both business and military are about people, he says. NPR and CSPAN have had long segments about the big drone conference in DC this week. The military experience comes home to the domestic scene. As Norman Solomon, who presented the Bradley Manning application for the Nobel Peace Prize noted this week, the military state and the surveillance state are two sides of the same coin.

    I apologize for how long this comment is, but while have read Juan Cole's blog the first thing every morning for a decade, it took "Dirty Wars" to get me back into our military activities. I am not good at remembering details and following events in the many countries like Yemen and Somalia so too often I just read quickly, or sometimes just glance at articles and have not read the many books about our wars. In short, it takes a lot of time and effort to be informed and even with the time I spend, I fall far short of really understanding.

    Here is the link to the article where business consultant Stanley McChrystal is treated like a hero.

    The theme of "Dirty Wars" is how the US effort has a major component of murder in our military efforts. The use of high tech weapons, like the video games look in the video of the precision bombs being dropped on Iraq years ago, has expanded to video games of drones.

    In summary, the military in Egypt, is using the cover of terrorism to settle old accounts? The US involvement in these counties and the increased weapons around the world (an earlier link from Juan pointed out how Egypt military aid is in fact a direct sales subsidy to US military contracting companies) -- this military effort has failed to help the countries or to make the world a better place.

    But the effort has helped the MIIC - military, industrial, intelligence complex.

    And the lessons learned have been used to attack the constitution as seen in the NSA documents that show that the constitution has been bypassed in the name of terrorism. And along with the Occupy Group and Environmental groups being treated as terrorists, we have the continued protection of the oligarchy and the tactics of disruption used here in the US.

    Where will the conflict in Egypt go?

    For that matter, where will the US go? Can't really call it the conflict in the US yet because of the successful propaganda supported by the corporate media and still the basic faith in America that the pendulum will swing back to the center like it has in the past. Our form of government is able to recover from "temporary" repression or problems like the decline of the middle class.

    Jeremy Scahill was in Columbus OH a while back for a showing of his film "Dirty Wars."

    Anyone who sees the film with even a semblance of a moral sense, should be shocked at who we have become and what we are doing in the world.

    During the question and answer session, I asked about this indirectly.

    My question was: Are the revelations of NSA leading to a reduction of American exceptionalism?  His immediate answer was NO. American exceptionalism is so deeply buried in our character that he is unsure what can pry it loose.

    In order to have fundamental change in the US, we will have to deeply realize that American exceptionalism has been used to turn the country into the corrupt entity that props up the oligarchy throughout the world.

    A further insight from "Dirty Wars" which is dedicated to journalists. Without the committed journalists around the world it would have been impossible to piece together this story of what our military and foreign policy has become. Twice as many journalists have been killed in the war on terror as were killed in WW II. And with the collapse of the media, there are by some estimates 25,000 fewer journalists so it is even harder to get reports from the front line.

    •  Don, you've really got a good handle on this (7+ / 0-)

      and so many people don't.  I strongly agree with you on the Dirty Wars book. It's not just about Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia.  You can see that Scahill really began to understand, deeply, what was going on when he spent time in those countries and when he discovered JSOC and started following that path.  His first chapter is a must read for all Americans but especially for activists on the left. I think that things have gotten so complicated with our wars and foreign policy that most have thrown up their hands and just can't understand what is going on, other than a few simple concepts that are obvious (e.g. imperialism and resources).

      pointing out how counterproductive it was to have both COIN to work with the locals, and murder from JSOC when at times a local war lord would give out his enemy to the intelligence groups and the special ops of drones would kill them. Being gamed in their own problems.
      This is key.  The left hand and the right hand, and tentacles is probably a better analogy, that don't coordinate and work at odds with each other.  This is what happened in Libya.  The deaths at Benghazi were a direct result, blowback, for the conflict between COIN and JSOC.  But nobody has reported on that aspect of the story except for two men, Webb and Murphy, and even with CNN's big expose last week, they did not even touch on it.  It looks more and more like that report was a limited hangout. Brennan does not want anyone to know what the causes of that attack were.  Obama doesn't want the country to know that there were and still are boots on the ground in Libya.  And we are beginning to find out even more about special ops in Afghanistan.  I heard an account just yesterday from SSG Biggs in an interview where he recounts some things his unit was involved in in Afghanistan, where missions were used as cover for special groups, including the DEA and OGA (other govt agencies which he is not even aware of who they are, perhaps were JSOC) guys who had the beards and who tortured while Biggs' unit stood outside the building, guarding, having no idea what was going on.  Why is the DEA over there? Why was his unit ordered to destroy some opium fields and guard others?  

      Anyway, there's so much.  I'm glad that somebody else here is reading Dirty Wars.  There's a lot in the book that's not in the movie, understandably. I need to find a bit of time every day to read more of the book. One really good thing about it is how it's compartmentalized, so if you put it down and pick it up again later, it's not like other books where you might have forgotten a lot. You can read separate chapters.  You're right to point out that it was years of work in that book, and very dangerous trips to these countries, first hand accounts of conversations and visits with people who we'd never otherwise hear from.

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:28:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I should also say (5+ / 0-)

        that I think it affected Scahill profoundly and he is forever changed as a result of it. I wonder what he will take on next.  I kind of hope it will be the surveillance state, and/or the CIA, but that could be a very dangerous thing to do.  He seems pretty tight with some military guys, and with people he has met in the Middle East, so I wonder if he'll continue with the Dirty Wars subject matter.

        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:30:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Keeping one's blood pressure low organically (15+ / 0-)

    Pet the dogs and read.


    Typical day today, 63 degrees with a high of 82 predicted. Lazy day in Little Beirut.

    Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

    by BOHICA on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 07:31:16 AM PDT

  •  There is a diary on the rec list (12+ / 0-)

    NOT my vet but only by the GRACE of God..
    Check it out jo.....

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 07:42:30 AM PDT

  •  Re: Voter ID (11+ / 0-)

    Much has been said about the difficulty of obtaining voter ID cards in stupid states. A thought came to me; a revival of the civil rights movement program of sending people into these states to identify and contact those without the means of getting an ID and help them get one.

    Wouldn't it be a thing of beauty to see these states invaded by DFH voting rights activists?

    The counter demonstrations would be predicable.

    Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

    by BOHICA on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 07:46:41 AM PDT

  •  Sunday morning smile. (7+ / 0-)

    "Differences in political opinion are as unavoidable as, to a certain point, they may perhaps be necessary." George Washington

    by civil wingnut on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 07:57:09 AM PDT

  •  Good mornin' joanne, KBO and All (9+ / 0-)

    Lovely photos of the flowers and critters, joanne.  Can't decide which is more striking - the vibrant colors at Hank's or the beautiful field of white...

    I've "finished" the diary I've been talking about.  I put finished in scare quotes because I am the Queen of Revision and it's hard for me to consider anything I've ever written "done."  I diary so seldom that I could use some advice on when to post to get the most eyes.  Whenever that turns out to be, I hope you'll all stop by.

    •  CRS (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joanneleon, dharmafarmer, kharma, KBO

      If Ive seen you mention it, Ive forgotten. Refresh my memory? what's the topic?

      Queen of Revision, lol. ... moi aussi.

      If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

      by Lady Libertine on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:23:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Morning, dharma (5+ / 0-)

      I'd recommend publishing it in the morning, around the same time that this diary publishes (8:30am weekdays, 10am weekends and holidays Eastern time).  That way you can give us a link in the comments here and we'll be sure not to miss it.

      I tend to miss a lot of diaries that publish at other times of day because I'm off doing other things, but the rec list is clearer in the morning. The downside is that a lot of west coasters are not up yet though.  Another good time is around 11am Eastern. After that, it's hard to know what's a good time.  Some like to publish around 3pm eastern. Lunch time or west coasters, later in the work day for East coasters and central.

      On weekends, I really don't know what is the best time.  Maybe Sunday evening when people are finishing up with their weekend and checking what's happening online?  

      I'm looking forward to it.  Make sure you let us know either here or (or both) through kosmail.

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:44:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks so much for the feedback, joanne (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lady Libertine, KBO

        I think I'll go with an evening, that way I'll be certain that I can be around to tend it...likely tomorrow evening (that way, I can fret over it for one more day, lol).  If you and joe don't mind, I'll mention it in tomorrow morning's WH and put a link up in EB.

  •  Heading up to Guerneville for an overnight (9+ / 0-)

    so I intend to be willfully out of touch with everything but nature, food and wine until sometime Monday nite. Have fun.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:18:58 AM PDT

  •  good Sunday mornin, y'all (6+ / 0-)

    big windy rainstorm yesterday seems to have brought us some  reprieve from our usual August heat. In the low 70's here, practically unheard of.

    Other than that, Louise, everything kinda looks the same. Weeds are mad busy while flowers are struggling for breath. Car's runnin now but the checkbook ain't quite keepin' up. Back-log of home office filing still waits for me to get my damn ass offa that dahmn! computer and the GOS, well, same ol' same ol': lots of talkin' not a whole lotta walkin'.

    Sigh... just let me make it through August!

    If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

    by Lady Libertine on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:30:56 AM PDT

    •  Wow, that's such a gift (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lady Libertine, dharmafarmer, KBO

      isn't it?  Low 70's there does sound way out of the norm.  I've had the windows open here all over the house for a week now.  I love it so much.  We're getting a mini heat wave later in the week, Tues - Friday but then the forecast is for more high 70s and cool nights (in some cases high 50s).  What a relief.  I'm thinking about new flowers for the pots, mums and pansies and was wondering what else I could use.

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:53:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  assume protagonists will act in their best interes (5+ / 0-)

    Have you fallen for this trap?

    vision of the future is often determined or over-influenced by the assumption that protagonists will act in their own best interests
    or that people or leaders will act in the best interest of the whole, like act in the interest of the country

    I was cynical, but hoped, and thought it was feasible, that the Hope Obama ran on would happen.

    was my view determined or over-influenced by the assumption that he would act in the best interests of the country and the world?

    Sheldon Wolin predicted the 2010 election disaster in 2007 by saying that the fact that the Dems who won the election of the house in 2006 sat on their hands, and even if the first time since Carter, if the dems won both houses and the presidency in 2008, that nothing much would happen because of the power of the military, corporations, finance, etc.

    yes. Obama elected and the political parties continue to work for the oligarchs.

    The sentence at the start of this comment is from an article I linked above about Egypt. I started reflecting on myself and what I see around me.

    Here are two sentences

    There is a further reason why the predictions of experts are frequently wrong. Their vision of the future is often determined or over-influenced by the assumption that protagonists will act in their own best interests.
    I thought that the US would act in its own best interests and end the disastrous wars. I thought that the US would follow the constitution and not implement Total Information Awareness, or whatever the name of the system is that the NSA now has implemented. I thought that the middle class would survive.

    this is the end of the paragraph that is quoted above

    But again and again – be it Soviet Communist Party officials in the 1980s, Saddam Hussein in 1990-91 or Egyptian leaders in 2011-13 – those in charge opt for self-destructive moves with disastrous consequences for themselves. Right up to the giant rallies in Egypt on 30 June Morsi believed the mass petition against his rule was "absurd and unconstitutional". He convinced himself, against compelling evidence to the contrary, that the Egyptian armed forces had accepted a subsidiary role so long as their interests were protected. By policies of sustained ineptitude Morsi and the Brotherhood forced together a strange and awkward alliance against themselves of officials from Mubarak's police state, the military establishment, anti-Mubarak leftists and liberals, businessmen, Copts, intelligentsia and even Salafists.
    Interesting how foreign policy issues mirror the decline of the American empire.

    Here is the article

    [ Egypt on the brink of a new dark age, as the generals close in for the kill
    World View: Compromise is no longer feasible, and the army controls the levers of power. But can its victory be conclusive?
  •  How often has this been the case? (7+ / 0-)
    President Barack Obama, in a news conference that sounds a lot worse today than it did last week,
    And people bristle when he is accused of bait and switch?  Actually, if you take what he says explicitly with no interpretation, it's usually less or  lot less than meet the eye (ear).  So from that perspective maybe he isn't the bait and switcher in but instead the Obfuscater-in-Chief.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:45:05 AM PDT

  •  Good morning! (4+ / 0-)

    Interesting to note that Wikileaks uploaded a shit load of insurance coming on the heels of Michael Grunwald's odious tweet.  Lisa Lockwood has a diary about the 350 Gigs of insurance.

  •  Jesselyn has an article in Salon (6+ / 0-)

    How to trap a whistleblower
    Tell them that going through "proper channels" will provide meaningful redress to their concerns, not injure them

    Snowden figured out the game and has so far avoided the trap.

    Jesselyn has not been posting much here lately even with all the NSA stuff.

    Is she now going to the more mainstream media?

    Is she avoiding the pie fights here?

    The title of this article is one of the many excuses which are used over and over again by those trying to change the subject of NSA violations of the constitution and the law

  •  That "Gov't Afraid of Itself" article is shocking. (3+ / 0-)

    In it, WaPO reports that all civilian departments have gotten verbatim orders from the military to "watch" their fellow employees.


    Send your old shoes to the new George W. Bush library.

    by maxschell on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:05:01 AM PDT

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