Sunday, June 30, 2013
Was investigative journalist Michael Hasting's death last week in a high-speed single-car automobile crash a bizare accident? Or was he assassinated by someone hacking into his car's controls?
Bush advisor: Hastings crash ‘consistent with a car cyberattack’
Published time: June 25, 2013 16:19
Edited time: June 26, 2013 15:59 Original here
A former cybersecurity advisor to President George W. Bush says a sophisticated computer hack could have been the cause of the automobile accident that claimed the life of journalist Michael Hastings last week in Los Angeles.
Richard Clarke, a State Department official-turned-special advisor to several United States presidents, said the early morning auto crash last Tuesday was "consistent with a car cyberattack,” raising new questions about the death of the award-winning journalist.
Hastings died last week when his 2013 Mercedes C250 coupe collided with a tree in Los Angeles, California on the morning of June 18. He was reportedly traveling at a high rate of speed and failed to stop at a red light moments before the single-car crash. He was only 33.
Speaking to Huffington Post this week, Clarke said that a cyberattack waged at the vehicle could have caused the fatal collision.
"What has been revealed as a result of some research at universities is that it's relatively easy to hack your way into the control system of a car, and to do such things as cause acceleration when the driver doesn't want acceleration, to throw on the brakes when the driver doesn't want the brakes on, to launch an air bag," Clarke told The Huffington Post. "You can do some really highly destructive things now, through hacking a car, and it's not that hard."
"So if there were a cyberattack on the car — and I'm not saying there was," Clarke continued, "I think whoever did it would probably get away with it."
The Los Angeles Police Department said they don’t expect foul play was involved in the crash, but an investigation has been opened nonetheless.
In an email reportedly sent by Hastings hours before the crash, he told colleagues that he thought he was the target of a federal investigation.
“Hey [redacted}, the Feds are interviewing my ‘close friends and associates,’” Hastings wrote 15 hours before the crash.
“Also: I’m onto a big story, and need to go off the rada[r] for a bit,” he added. “All the best, and hope to see you all soon.”
The email was supplied to KTLA News in Los Angeles by Staff Sgt. Joseph Biggs, who says he met Hastings while the journalist was embedded in Afghanistan in 2008. It was reportedly send to a handful of Hastings’ associates and was blind-copied to Biggs.
“I just said it doesn’t seem like him. I don’t know, I just had this gut feeling and it just really bothered me,” Biggs told KTLA.
Reporters at Buzzfeed where Hastings worked say they received an email from their colleague, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a statement two days after Hastings’ death to quash rumors that they had been looking into the reporter.
“At no time was Michael Hastings under investigation by the FBI,” FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.
According to the Associated Press, however, Hastings’ fingerprints were on file with the FBI and were used by the bureau to identify his body after flames consumed much the auto wreckage last week.
"I believe the FBI when they say they weren't investigating him," Clarke told the Huffington Post. "That was very unusual, and I'm sure they checked very carefully before they said that."
"I'm not a conspiracy guy. In fact, I've spent most of my life knocking down conspiracy theories," he said. "But my rule has always been you don't knock down a conspiracy theory until you can prove it [wrong]. And in the case of Michael Hastings, what evidence is available publicly is consistent with a car cyberattack. And the problem with that is you can't prove it."
Clarke, 62, spent nearly two decades at the Pentagon before relocating to the White House where he served under President Ronald Reagan and both Presidents Bush. He served as special advisor to President George W. Bush on cybersecurity until leaving the administration in 2003 and is currently the chairman and CEO of Good Harbor Security Risk Management, LLC.
Friday, June 28, 2013
If you haven't treated yourself to the film "V For Vendeta," download or buy a copy. It's about people's desire for liberty in a futuristic England, which parallel's today's America ...except that the strength of Americans' desire for liberty remains to be seen.
Washington Is Driving The World To The Final War — Paul Craig Roberts
June 28, 2013 | Original Here Go here to sign up to receive email notice of this news letter
Washington Is Driving The World To The Final War
Paul Craig Roberts
“V For Vendetta,” a film that portrays evil in a futuristic England as a proxy for the evil that exists today in America, ends with the defeat of evil. But this is a movie in which the hero has super powers. If you have not seen this film, you should watch it. It might wake you up and give you courage. The excerpts below show that, at least among some filmmakers, the desire for liberty still exists.
Whether the desire for liberty exists in America remains to be seen. If Americans can overcome their gullibility, their lifelong brainwashing, their propensity to believe every lie that “their” government tells them, and if Americans can escape the Matrix in which they live, they can reestablish the morality, justice, peace, freedom, and liberty that “their” government has taken from them. It is not impossible for Americans to again stand with uplifted heads. They only have to recognize that “their” government is the enemy of truth, justice, human rights and life itself.
Can mere ordinary Americans triumph over the evil that is “their” government without the aid of a superhero? If ideas are strong enough and Americans can comprehend them, good can prevail over the evil that is concentrated in Washington. What stands between the American people and their comprehension of evil is their gullibility.
If good fails in its battle with Washington’s evil, our future is a boot stamping on the human face forever.
If you, an American, living in superpower America lack the courage to stand up to the evil that is “your” government, perhaps the courage of Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and tiny Ecuador will give you heart.
A US senator from New Jersey, Robert Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told the Ecuadoran government that he would block the import of vegetables and flowers from Ecuador if Ecuador gives asylum to Edward Snowden. The cost to Ecuador would be one billion dollars in lost revenues.
Menendez’s statement–”Our government will not reward countries for bad behavior”–is ironic. It equates bad behavior with protecting a truth-teller and good behavior with betraying a truth-teller. Menendez’s statement is also a lie. The US government only rewards bad behavior. The US government consistently rewards those who conspire against the elected governments of their own countries, setting them up as dictators when Washington overthrows the elected governments.
Menendez’s threat did not work, but the senator did succeed in delivering yet another humiliating blow to Washington’s prestige. The Ecuadoran President, Rafael Correa, beat Menendez to the punch and cancelled the trade pact with the US on the grounds that the pact was a threat to the sovereignty of Ecuador and to moral principles and was being used by Washington to blackmail Ecuador. “Ecuador doesn’t accept pressure or threats from anyone,” added Communications Secretary Fernando Alvarado who then offered Washington foreign aid to provide human rights training to combat torture, illegal executions and attacks on peoples’ privacy.
Washington, exposed with its hand in the cookie jar devouring the privacy of the entire world and prevented by its hubris from acknowledging its illegal behavior and apologizing, has so mishandled the Snowden affair that Washington has done far more damage to itself than occurred from Snowden’s revelations. Washington has proven conclusively that it has no respect for anyone’s human rights, that it has no respect for any country’s sovereignty, that it has no respect for any moral principles, especially those it most often mouths, and that it relies on coercion and violence alone. The rest of the world now knows who its enemy is.
Washington’s presstitutes, by helping Washington demonize Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Manning, Assange, and Ecuador, have demonstrated to the world that the US media is devoid of integrity and that nothing it reports can be believed. The US print and TV media and NPR comprise a ministry of propaganda for Washington’s immoral agendas.
On June 24, the Stasi State’s favorite whore, the Washington Post, denounced three times democratically-elected Rafael Correa as “the autocratic leader of tiny, impoverished Ecuador,” without realizing that the editorial not only demonstrated the Washington Post’s lack of any ethics whatsoever but also showed the entire world that if “tiny, impoverished Ecuador” can stand up to Washington’s threats, so can the rest of the world.
President Correa replied that the Washington Post “managed to focus attention on Snowden and on the ‘wicked’ countries that support him, making us forget the terrible things against the US people and the whole world that he denounced.” Correa added that Washington’s “world order isn’t only unjust, it’s immoral.”
The reason Washington hates Correa has nothing to do with Snowden. That Ecuador is considering asylum for Snowden is just an excuse. Correa is hated, because in the second year of his first term he repudiated the $3 billion dollar foreign debt that corrupt and despotic prior regimes had been paid to contract with international finance. Correa’s default threat forced the international financial gangsters to write down the debt by 60 percent.
Washington also hates Correa because he has been successful in reducing the high rates of poverty in Ecuador, thus building public support that makes if difficult for Washington to overthrow him from within.
Yet another reason Washington hates Correa is because he took steps against the multinational oil companies’ exploitation of Ecuador’s oil resources and limited the amount of offshore deposits in the country’s banks in order to block Washington’s ability to destabilize Ecuador’s financial system.
Washington also hates Correa for refusing to renew Washington’s lease of the air base in Manta.
Essentially, Correa has fought to take control of Ecuador’s government, media and national resources out of Washington’s hands and the hands of the small rich elite allied with Washington. It is a David vs. Goliath story.
In other words, Correa, like Venezuela’s Chevez, is the rare foreign leader who represents the interests of his own country instead of Washington’s interest.
Washington uses the various corrupt NGOs and the puppet government in Colombia as weapons against Correa and the Ecuadoran government. Many believe that it is only a matter of time before Washington succeeds in assassinating Correa.
American patriots, who feel that they should be on “their” government’s side regardless of the facts, would do well to remember what true patriotism is. For Americans, patriotism has always meant allegiance to the Constitution, not to the government. The oath is to defend the Constitution against enemies domestic and foreign. The Bush and Obama regimes have proven themselves to be the Constitution’s worst enemies. It is not possible for a true patriot to support a government that destroys the Constitution. The United States is the Constitution. Our country is not the Obama regime, the Bush regime, or some other administration. Our country is the Constitution. The Constitution is our country.
Beyond obligations to one’s own country, all humans have a responsibility to human life itself. Washington’s puppet states, such as the NATO countries, Japan, and Colombia, by providing cover and support for Washington’s aggression are enabling Washington to drive the world into World War III.
The temptation of Washington’s money easily overwhelms weak characters such as Tony Blair and David Cameron. But the governments of NATO countries and other accommodating states are not only selling out their own peoples by supporting Washington’s wars of aggression, they are selling out humanity. Washington’s hubris and arrogance grow as Washington bumps off country after country. Sooner or later Russia and China, will realize that they themselves are targets and will draw firmer lines. Arrogance will prevent Washington from acknowledging the lines, and the final war will be launched.
Washington’s hegemonic impulse is driving the world to destruction. The peoples of the world should realize this and force their governments to stop enabling Washington’s aggression.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Once again, Juan Cole cuts to the chase. Don't look for this in the "mainstream" media. But do keep an eye out for police stateness.
Top Ten American Steps toward a Police State
Posted on 06/23/2013 by Juan Cole Original Here
|Welcome to Informed Comment,|
where I do my best to provide
an independent and informed
perspective on Middle Eastern
and American politics.
1. The United States National Security Administration recently requisitioned all Verizon phone records in the US for a period of 3 months. Your telephone records (who you called and for how long) say a great deal about you. This is a form of mass surveillance.
2. The US has assigned 250 NSA agents to sift through a massive further British database of US telecommunications and email, derived from attaching packet analyzers to transatlantic fiber optic cables.
3. The Federal government claims the right to examine the contents of the laptops of US citizens whenever the enter the United States, in contravention of the Fourth Amendment. Some 60 million Americans travel abroad annually.
4. The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Those in prison have grown from 220 per 100,000 population to over 700 per 100,000 population since 1980. The US holds over two million inmates, and has 6 million people at any one time under carceral supervision– more than were in Stalin’s Gulag. State spending on prisons has risen at 6 times the rate of spending on higher education.
5. Some 6 million persons convicted of felonies have been disenfranchised and cannot vote. Most are not in prison. Because of the ‘war on drugs,’ many of these persons are not actually guilty of serious crimes. The practice hits the poor and minorities. Some 7 percent of African-Americans is ineligible to vote, but less than 2 percent of whites is.
6. Police can take DNA samples of all arrestees on serious crimes, whether they are proven guilty or not. Even Justice Scalia believes the ruling opens the door for DNA sample collection for all arrests. Some 13 million Americans are arrested annually, 1.6 million on drugs charges and half of those on marijuana charges.
7. American police are becoming militarized, with SWAT teams proliferating, and use of drones, GPS tracking devices, and military equipment, as well as participation of National Guards in the ‘war on drugs.’
8. Legislators are increasingly attempting to criminalize public protest, as with a current bill that would make it a crime knowingly to ‘trespass’ in security zones where persons are found who are under secret service protection. Authorities have sometimes also attempted to restrict public protesters to “protest zones”, thus keeping them out of the view of news cameras.
9. The USA PATRIOT Act institutes gag orders that are a violation of the 1st Amendment,forbidding persons and companies from revealing that the government has secretly asked for surveillance records.
10. The same act allows government agencies (including the Pentagon) to issue “National Security Letters” without any warrant, making broad and unspecific demands for records on large numbers of persons.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Here is precisely why I get the news that matters from reliable internet sources and not the prestitute US "mainstream" media.
Posted on 06/24/2013 by Juan Cole
|Welcome to Informed Comment,|
where I do my best to provide
an independent and informed
perspective on Middle Eastern
and American politics.
Now, corporate television news is repeating this shameful performance with regard to the revelations by Edward Snowden of massive, unconstitutional government surveillance of Americans’ electronic communications. The full failure to do proper journalism was on display on Sunday (when, unfortunately, critical voices such as Rachel Maddow are absent). Here are the propaganda techniques used to stack the deck on Sunday:
1. Focus on the personality, location, and charges against the leaker instead of the substance of his revelations.
2. Smear Snowden with ad hominem fallacies. His transit through Moscow was held up as a sign of disloyalty to the United States, as though nowadays American business people and government officials don’t transit through Moscow all the time. The US ships significant amounts of military materiel for Afghanistan through Russia. Is that treasonous?
3. Focus on politicians making empty threats against China and Russia for not being sufficiently obedient to the United States. The US can’t do anything to either one that wouldn’t hurt the US more than it did them.
4. Ignore important breaking stories that impugn the government case. For instance, The Guardian broke the story Saturday morning that the NSA PRISM program was small compared to the TEMPORA program of GCHQ, its British counterpart, which Snowden alleged has attached sniffers to the fiber optic cables that stretch from New York to London, and is vacuuming up massive amounts of email and telephone conversations. A Lexis Nexis search in broadcast transcripts for Sunday showed that no US news broadcaster mentioned TEMPORA or GCHQ. This was true even though the NSA has 250 analysts assigned to TEMPORA and even though that program sweeps up and stores exactly the kind of material (telephone calls, emails) that President Obama denied were being collected.
5. Skew the guest list. Television news interviewed Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Rep. Ilena Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and a gaggle of retired FBI and CIA figures. All of them without exception were cheerleaders for the Iraq War. Glenn Greenwald was virtually the only voice allowed on the other side. He was cut short on CNN and was at a disadvantage on television because he was on the phone from Rio. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Al Gore, Steve Wozniak, Pierre Omidyar, and a whole host of figures supportive of Snowden having told us what is going on were not invited on the air to balance the hard liners interviewed.
6. Accuse journalists of treason for reporting Snowden’s revelations. This was the absolutely shameful tack taken by David Gregory on Meet The Press, when he asked Greenwald, “To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?” The “to the extent” and “aided and abetted” language isn’t journalism it is shilling for the most despicable elements in Congress (and that is way over on the despicable scale).
7. Ignore past government misuse of classified information. Television news has studiedly avoided referring to Dick Cheney’s outing of Valerie Plame as a CIA field officer (and therefore outing of all the CIA field officers who used the same dummy corporation as she did as a cover,as well as all local informants known to be connected to that dummy corporation). Television anchors seem to think that the government is always trying to ‘protect’ us and is on the side of the angels, and sidestep the question of whether secret information can be used for private or shady policy purposes. Plame, by the way, is warning about the intelligence-industrial complex.
8. Continually allege or allow guests to allege that Snowden could have taken his concerns to the NSA or to Congress internally. None of his predecessors had any luck with that approach. Even sitting senators of the United States of America like Ron Wyden have been muzzled and cannot conduct a public debate on these abuses.
9. No one on television has discussed how many of the 850,000 analysts with access to secret databases containing your information work for private corporations such as Booz Allen Hamilton. That is, they aren’t even government employees. And, how much lobbying do these intelligence contractors do of Congress?
10. Focus the discussion on the alleged criminality of Snowden’s disclosures instead of on the obvious lawlessness of programs such as Tempora, which sweep up vast amounts of personal information on private individuals and store them in data bases. As Noam Chomsky has said, the way to distract the public in a democracy is to allow more and more vigorous debate about a more and more narrow set of issues. By narrowing the debate to “how illegal were Snowden’s actions?” instead of allowing the question, “how legal are the NSA’s actions,” the US mass media give the impression of debating both sides of a controversy while in fact suppressing large numbers of pertinent questions.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Edward Snowden and Julian Assange have been in the news, but if you have relied on the "mainstream media" for the latest you certainly would not have heard things this way.
MONDAY, JUNE 24, 2013
Where is Edward Snowden? Glenn Greenwald on Asylum Request, Espionage Charge; More Leaks to Come
"Back Off": Assange Attorney Michael Ratner Urges U.K., U.S. to Respect Asylum Decision, Int’l Law
The death of Michael Hastings has been in the news, but if you have relied on the "mainstream media" for the latest you have certainly would not have heard it from this angle.
More Details Emerge on the Death of Michael Hastings
The Young Turks
Published on Jun 19, 2013
"Earlier today, WikiLeaks sent out a cryptic tweet that hinted they had more information about yesterday's tragic death of reporter Michael Hastings. They followed through with another tweet claiming that Hastings reached out to one of their lawyers to reveal to them he believed the FBI was investigating him."*
Our friend and colleague Michael Hastings died early Tuesday morning in a one-car crash in Los Angeles. Wikileaks' Twitter account is now reporting that hours before his death, Hastings contacted Wikileaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson saying he was being investigated by the FBI. Some establishment media outlets have taken care to try and assault Hasting's character and achievements as a journalist. Cenk Uygur breaks it down.
Saturday, June 22, 2013
Obama displays his lies and hypocracy in Germany to a selected audience. "A real audience would have hooted [him] out of Berlin."
Stasi In The White House — Paul Craig Roberts
June 21, 2013 | Original Here Go here to sign up to receive email notice of this news letter
Stasi in the White House
Paul Craig Roberts, June 21, 2013
On June 19, 2013, US President Obama, hoping to raise himself above the developing National Security Agency (NSA) spy scandals, sought to associate himself with two iconic speeches made at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.
Fifty years ago, President John F. Kennedy pledged: “Ich bin ein Berliner”. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan challenged: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
Obama’s speech was delivered to a relatively small, specially selected audience of invitees. Even so, Obama spoke from behind bullet proof glass.
Obama’s speech will go down in history as the most hypocritical of all time. Little wonder that the audience was there by invitation only. A real audience would have hooted Obama out of Berlin.
Perhaps the most hypocritical of all of Obama’s statements was his proposal that the US and Russia reduce their nuclear weapons by one-third. The entire world, and certainly the Russians, saw through this ploy. The US is currently surrounding Russia with anti-ballistic missiles on Russia’s borders and hopes to leverage this advantage by talking Russia into reducing its weapons, thereby making it easier for Washington to target them. Obama’s proposal is clearly intended to weaken Russia’s nuclear deterrent and ability to resist US hegemony.
Obama spoke lofty words of peace, while beating the drums of war in Syria and Iran. Witness Obama’s aggressive policies of surrounding Russia with missile bases and establishing new military bases in the Pacific Ocean with which to confront China.
This is the same Obama who promised to close the Guantanamo Torture Prison, but did not; the same Obama who promised to tell us the purpose for Washington’s decade-long war in Afghanistan, but did not; the same Obama who promised to end the wars, but started new ones; the same Obama who said he stood for the US Constitution, but shredded it; the same Obama who refused to hold the Bush regime accountable for its crimes against law and humanity; the same Obama who unleashed drones against civilian populations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen; the same Obama who claimed and exercised power to murder US citizens without due process and who continues the Bush regime’s unconstitutional practice of violating habeas corpus and detaining US citizens indefinitely; the same Obama who promised transparency but runs the most secretive government in US history.
The tyrant’s speech of spectacular hypocrisy elicited from the invited audience applause on 36 occasions. Like so many others, Germans proved themselves willing to be used for Washington’s propaganda purposes.
Here was Obama, who consistently lies, speaking of “eternal truth.”
Here was Obama, who enabled Wall Street to rob the American and European peoples and who destroyed Americans’ civil liberties and the lives of vast numbers of Iraqis, Afghans, Yemenis, Libyans, Pakistanis, Syrians, and others, speaking of “the yearnings of justice.” Obama equates demands for justice with “terrorism.”
Here was Obama, who has constructed an international spy network and a domestic police state, speaking of “the yearnings for freedom.”
Here was Obama, president of a country that has initiated wars or military action against six countries since 2001 and has three more Muslim countries–Syria, Lebanon, and Iran–in its crosshairs and perhaps several more in Africa, speaking of “the yearnings of peace that burns in the human heart,” but clearly not in Obama’s heart.
Obama has turned America into a surveillance state that has far more in common with Stasi East Germany than with the America of the Kennedy and Reagan eras. Strange, isn’t it, that freedom was gained in East Germany and lost in America.
At the Brandenburg Gate, Obama invoked the pledge of nations to “a Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” but Obama continues to violate human rights both at home and abroad.
Obama has taken hypocrisy to new heights. He has destroyed US civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution. In place of a government accountable to law, he has turned law into a weapon in the hands of the government. He has intimidated a free press and prosecutes whistleblowers who reveal his government’s crimes. He makes no objection when American police brutalize peacefully protesting citizens. His government intercepts and stores in National Security Agency computers every communication of every American and also the private communications of Europeans and Canadians, including the communications of the members of the governments, the better to blackmail those with secrets. Obama sends in drones or assassins to murder people in countries with which the US is not at war, and his victims on most occasions turn out to be women, children, farmers, and village elders.
Obama kept Bradley Manning in solitary confinement for nearly a year assaulting his human dignity in an effort to break him and obtain a false confession. In defiance of the US Constitution, Obama denied Manning a trial for three years. On Obama’s instructions, London denies Julian Assange free passage to his political asylum in Ecuador. Assange has become a modern-day Cardinal Mindszenty. [Jozsef Mindszenty was the leader of the Hungarian Catholic Church who sought refuge from Soviet oppression in the US Embassy in Budapest. Denied free passage by the Soviets, the Cardinal lived in the US Embassy for 15 years as a symbol of Soviet oppression.]
This is the Obama who asked at the orchestrated event at the Brandenburg Gate: “Will we live free or in chains? Under governments that uphold our universal rights, or regimes that suppress them? In open societies that respect the sanctity of the individual and our free will, or in closed societies that suffocate the soul?”
When the Berlin Wall came down, the Stasi Spy State that suffocates the soul moved to Washington. The Stasi is alive and well in the Obama regime.
Obama’s speech at the Brandenburg Gate: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/06/19/remarks-president-obama-brandenburg-gate-berlin-germany
Sunday, June 16, 2013
If you don't have the time to read the whole article, fast forward to the short video at the end (where the 2006 version of Joe Biden debates the 2013 version of Barack Obama)!
On Prism, partisanship and propaganda
Addressing many of the issues arising from last week's NSA stories
|James Clapper, on Saturday decried the release of the information and said media reports about it have been inaccurate Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images|
I haven't been able to write this week here because I've been participating in the debate over the fallout from last week's NSA stories, and because we are very busy working on and writing the next series of stories that will begin appearing very shortly. I did, though, want to note a few points, and particularly highlight what Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez said after Congress on Wednesday was given a classified briefing by NSA officials on the agency's previously secret surveillance activities:
"What we learned in there is significantly more than what is out in the media today. . . . I can't speak to what we learned in there, and I don't know if there are other leaks, if there's more information somewhere, if somebody else is going to step up, but I will tell you that I believe it's the tip of the iceberg . . . . I think it's just broader than most people even realize, and I think that's, in one way, what astounded most of us, too."The Congresswoman is absolutely right: what we have reported thus far is merely "the tip of the iceberg" of what the NSA is doing in spying on Americans and the world. She's also right that when it comes to NSA spying, "there is significantly more than what is out in the media today", and that's exactly what we're working to rectify.
But just consider what she's saying: as a member of Congress, she had no idea how invasive and vast the NSA's surveillance activities are. Sen. Jon Tester, who is a member of the Homeland Security Committee, said the same thing, telling MSNBC about the disclosures that "I don't see how that compromises the security of this country whatsoever" and adding: "quite frankly, it helps people like me become aware of a situation that I wasn't aware of before because I don't sit on that Intelligence Committee."
How can anyone think that it's remotely healthy in a democracy to have the NSA building a massive spying apparatus about which even members of Congress, including Senators on the Homeland Security Committee, are totally ignorant and find "astounding" when they learn of them? How can anyone claim with a straight face that there is robust oversight when even members of the Senate Intelligence Committee are so constrained in their ability to act that they are reduced to issuing vague, impotent warnings to the public about what they call radical "secret law" enabling domestic spying that would "stun" Americans to learn about it, but are barred to disclose what it is they're so alarmed by? Put another way, how can anyone contest the value and justifiability of the stories that we were able to publish as a result of Edward Snowden's whistleblowing: stories that informed the American public - including even the US Congress - about these incredibly consequential programs? What kind of person would think that it would be preferable to remain in the dark - totally ignorant - about them?
I have a column in the Guardian's newspaper edition tomorrow examining the fallout from these stories. That will be posted here and I won't repeat that now. I will, though, note the following brief items:
(1) Much of US politics, and most of the pundit reaction to the NSA stories, are summarized by this one single visual from Pew:
The most vocal media critics of our NSA reporting, and the most vehement defenders of NSA surveillance, have been, by far, Democratic (especially Obama-loyal) pundits. As I've written many times, one of the most significant aspects of the Obama legacy has been the transformation of Democrats from pretend-opponents of the Bush War on Terror and National Security State into their biggest proponents: exactly what the CIA presciently and excitedly predicted in 2008 would happen with Obama's election.
Some Democrats have tried to distinguish 2006 from 2013 by claiming that the former involved illegal spying while the latter does not. But the claim that current NSA spying is legal is dubious in the extreme: the Obama DOJ has repeatedly thwarted efforts by the ACLU, EFF and others to obtain judicial rulings on their legality and constitutionality by invoking procedural claims of secrecy, immunity and standing. If Democrats are so sure these spying programs are legal, why has the Obama DOJ been so eager to block courts from adjudicating that question?
More to the point, Democratic critiques of Bush's spying were about more than just legality. I know that because I actively participated in the campaign to amplify those critiques. Indeed, by 2006, most of Bush's spying programs - definitely his bulk collection of phone records - were already being conducted under the supervision and with the blessing of the FISA court. Moreover, leading members of Congress - including Nancy Pelosi - were repeatedly briefed on all aspects of Bush's NSA spying program. So the distinctions Democrats are seeking to draw are mostly illusory.
To see how that this is so, just listen to then-Senator Joe Biden in 2006 attack the NSA for collecting phone records: he does criticize the program for lacking FISA court supervision (which wasn't actually true), but also claims to be alarmed by just how invasive and privacy-destroying that sort of bulk record collection is. He says he "doesn't think" that the program passes the Fourth Amendment test: how can Bush's bulk record collection program be unconstitutional while Obama's program is constitutional? But Biden also rejected Bush's defense (exactly the argument Obama is making now) - that "we're not listening to the phone calls, we're just looking for patterns" - by saying this:
I don't have to listen to your phone calls to know what you're doing. If I know every single phone call you made, I'm able to determine every single person you talked to. I can get a pattern about your life that is very, very intrusive. . . . If it's true that 200 million Americans' phone calls were monitored - in terms of not listening to what they said, but to whom they spoke and who spoke to them - I don't know, the Congress should investigative this."Is collecting everyone's phone records not "very intrusive" when Democrats are doing it? Just listen to that short segment to see how every defense Obama defenders are making now were the ones Bush defenders made back then. Again, leading members of Congress and the FISA court were both briefed on and participants in the Bush telephone record collection program as well, yet Joe Biden and most Democrats found those programs very alarming and "very intrusive" back then.
(2) Notwithstanding the partisan-driven Democratic support for these programs, and notwithstanding the sustained demonization campaign aimed at Edward Snowden from official Washington, polling data, though mixed, has thus far been surprisingly encouraging.
A Time Magazine poll found that 54% of Americans believe Snowden did "a good thing", while only 30% disagreed. That approval rating is higher than the one enjoyed by both Congress and President Obama. While a majority think he should be nonetheless prosecuted, a plurality of young Americans, who overwhelmingly view Snowden favorably, do not even want to see him charged. Reuters found that more Americans see Snowden as a "patriot" than a "traitor". A Gallup poll this week found that more Americans disapprove (53%) than approve (37%) of the two NSA spying programs revealed last week by the Guardian.
(3) Thomas Drake, an NSA whistleblower who was unsuccessfully prosecuted by the Obama DOJ, writes in the Guardian that as a long-time NSA official, he saw all of the same things at the NSA that Edward Snowden is now warning Americans about. Drake calls Snowden's acts "an amazingly brave and courageous act of civil disobedience." William Binney, the mathematician who resigned after a 30-year career as a senior NSA official in protest of post-9/11 domestic surveillance, said on Democracy Now this week that Snowden's claims about the NSA are absolutely true.
Meanwhile, Daniel Ellsberg, writing in the Guardian, wrote that "there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden's release of NSA material – and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago." He added: "Snowden did what he did because he recognized the NSA's surveillance programs for what they are: dangerous, unconstitutional activity."
Listen to actual experts and patriots - people who have spent their careers inside the NSA and/or who risked their liberty for the good of the country - and the truth of Snowden's claims and the justifiability of his acts become manifest.
(4) As we were about to begin publishing these NSA stories, a veteran journalist friend warned me that the tactic used by Democratic partisans would be to cling to and then endlessly harp on any alleged inaccuracy in any one of the stories we publish as a means of distracting attention away from the revelations and discrediting the entire project. That proved quite prescient, as that is exactly what they are attempting to do.
Thus far we have revealed four independent programs: the bulk collection of telephone records, the Prism program, Obama's implementation of an aggressive foreign and domestic cyber-operations policy, and false claims by NSA officials to Congress. Every one of those articles was vetted by multiple Guardian editors and journalists - not just me. Democratic partisans have raised questions about only one of the stories - the only one that happened to be also published by the Washington Post (and presumably vetted by multiple Post editors and journalists) - in order to claim that an alleged inaccuracy in it means our journalism in general is discredited.
They are wrong. Our story was not inaccurate. The Washington Post revised parts of its article, but its reporter, Bart Gellman, stands by its core claims ("From their workstations anywhere in the world, government employees cleared for Prism access may 'task' the system and receive results from an Internet company without further interaction with the company's staff").
The Guardian has not revised any of our articles and, to my knowledge, has no intention to do so. That's because we did not claim that the NSA document alleging direct collection from the servers was true; we reported - accurately - that the NSA document claims that the program allows direct collection from the companies' servers. Before publishing, we went to the internet companies named in the documents and asked about these claims. When they denied it, we purposely presented the story as one of a major discrepancy between what the NSA document claims and what the internet companies claim, as the headline itself makes indisputably clear:
The NSA document says exactly what we reported. Just read it and judge for yourself (Prism is "collection directly from the servers of these US service providers"). It's endearingly naive how some people seem to think that because government officials or corporate executives issue carefully crafted denials, this resolves the matter. Read the ACLU's tech expert, Chris Soghoian, explain why the tech companies' denials are far less significant and far more semantic than many are claiming.
Nor do these denials make any sense. If all the tech companies are doing under Prism is providing what they've always provided to the NSA, but simply doing it by a different technological means, then why would a new program be necessary at all? How can NSA officials claim that a program that does nothing more than change the means for how this data is delivered is vital in stopping terrorist threats? Why does the NSA document hail the program as one that enables new forms of collection? Why would it be "top secret" if all this was were just some new way of transmitting court-ordered data? How is Prism any different in any meaningful way from how the relationship between the companies and the NSA has always functioned?
As a follow-up to our article, the New York Times reported on extensive secret negotiations between Silicon Valley executives and NSA officials over government access to the companies' data. It's precisely because these arrangements are secret and murky yet incredibly significant that we published our story about these conflicting claims. They ought to be resolved in public, not in secret. The public should know exactly what access the NSA is trying to obtain to the data of these companies, and should know exactly what access these companies are providing. Self-serving, unchecked, lawyer-vetted denials by these companies don't remotely resolve these questions.
In a Nation post yesterday, Rick Perlstein falsely accuses me of not having addressed the questions about the Prism story. I've done at least half-a-dozen television shows in the last week where I was asked about exactly those questions and answered fully with exactly what I've written here (see this appearance with Chris Hayes as just the latest example); the fact that Perlstein couldn't be bothered to use Google doesn't entitle him to falsely claim I haven't addressed these questions. I have done so repeatedly, and do so here again.
I know that many Democrats want to cling to the belief that, in Perlstein's words, "the powers that be will find it very easy to seize on this one error to discredit [my] NSA revelation, even the ones he nailed dead to rights". Perlstein cleverly writes that "such distraction campaigns are how power does its dirtiest work" as he promotes exactly that campaign.
But that won't happen. The documents and revelations are too powerful. The story isn't me, or Edward Snowden, or the eagerness of Democratic partisans to defend the NSA as a means of defending President Obama, and try as they might, Democrats won't succeed in making the story be any of those things. The story is the worldwide surveillance apparatus the NSA is constructing in the dark and the way that has grown under Obama, and that's where my focus is going to remain.
(5) NYU Journalism professor Jay Rosen examines complaints that my having strong, candidly acknowledged opinions on surveillance policies somehow means that the journalism I do on those issues is suspect. It is very worth reading what he has to say on this topic as it gets to the heart about several core myths about what journalism is.
(6) Last week, prior to the revelation of our source's identity, I wrote that "ever since the Nixon administration broke into the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychoanalyst's office, the tactic of the US government has been to attack and demonize whistleblowers as a means of distracting attention from their own exposed wrongdoing and destroying the credibility of the messenger so that everyone tunes out the message" and "that attempt will undoubtedly be made here."
The predictable personality assaults on Snowden have begun in full force from official Washington and their media spokespeople. They are only going to intensify. There is nobody who political officials and their supine media class hate more than those who meaningfully dissent from their institutional orthodoxies and shine light on what they do. The hatred for such individuals is boundless.
There are two great columns on this dynamic. This one by Reuters' Jack Shafer explores how elite Washington reveres powerful leakers that glorify political officials, but only hate marginalized and powerless leakers who discredit Washington and its institutions. And perhaps the best column yet on Snowden comes this morning from the Daily Beast's Kirsten Powers: just please take the time to read it all, as it really conveys the political and psychological rot that is driving the attacks on him and on his very carefully vetted disclosures.
UPDATEThe New York Times reports today that Yahoo went to court in order to vehemently resist the NSA's directive that they join the Prism program, and joined only when the court compelled it to do so. The company specifically "argued that the order violated its users' Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures."
If, as NSA (and Silicon Valley) defenders claim, Prism is nothing more than a harmless little drop-box mechanism for delivering to the government what these companies were already providing, why would Yahoo possibly be in court so vigorously resisting it and arguing that it violates their users' Fourth Amendment rights? Similarly, how could it possibly be said - as US government officials have - that Prism has been instrumental in stopping terrorist plots if it did not enhance the NSA's collection capabilities? The denials from the internet companies make little sense when compared to what we know about the program. At the very least, there is ample reason to demand more disclosure and transparency about exactly what this is and what data-access arrangements they have agreed to.
UPDATE IIMy column that is appearing in the Guardian newspaper, on the fallout from the NSA stories, is now posted here.
UPDATE IIIUnderscoring all of these points, please take two minutes to watch this amazing video, courtesy of EFF, in which the 2006 version of Joe Biden aggressively debates the 2013 version of Barack Obama on whether the US government should be engaged in the bulk collection of American's phone records:
That's the kind of debate we need more of.
Friday, June 14, 2013
Those who oppose the proposition that student loans should be granted the same low interest rate as the criminal banks that wrecked our economy are either hopelessly uninformed or sociopaths.
Posted on June 14, 2013 by Ellen Brown
On July 1, interest rates will double for millions of students – from 3.4% to 6.8% – unless Congress acts; and the legislative fixes on the table are largely just compromises. Only one proposal promises real relief – Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act.” This bill has been dismissed out of hand as “shameless populist demagoguery” and “a cheap political gimmick,” but is it? Or could Warren’s outside-the-box bill represent the sort of game-changing thinking sorely needed to turn the economy around?
Warren and her co-sponsor John Tierney propose that students be allowed to borrow directly from the government at the same rate that banks get from the Federal Reserve — 0.75 percent. They argue:
The archly critical Brookings Institute says the bill “confuses market interest rates on long-term loans (such as the 10-year Treasury rate) with the Federal Reserve’s Discount Window (used to make short-term loans to banks), and does not reflect the administrative costs and default risk that increase the costs of the federal student loan program.”Some people say that we can’t afford low interest rates for students. But the federal government offers far lower rates on loans every single day — they just don’t do it for everyone. Right now, a bank can get a loan through the Federal Reserve discount window at a rate of less than one percent. The same big banks that destroyed millions of jobs and broke our economy can borrow at about 0.75 percent, while our students will be paying nine times as much as of July 1.
This is not fair. And it’s not necessary, either. The federal government makes 36 cents on every dollar it lends to students. Just last week, the Congressional Budget Office announced that the government will make $51 billion on the student loans it issued this year — more than the annual profit of any Fortune 500 company, and about five times Google’s yearly earnings. We should not be profiting from students who are drowning in debt while we are giving great deals to big banks.
Those criticisms would be valid if the provider of funds were either a private bank or the American taxpayer; but in this case, it is the U.S. Federal Reserve. Warren and Tierney assert, “For one year, the Federal Reserve would make funds available to the Department of Education to make these loans to our students.” For the Fed, completely different banking rules apply. As “lender of last resort,” it can expand its balance sheet by buying all the assets it likes. The Fed bought over $1 trillion in “toxic” mortgage-backed securities in QE 1, and reportedly turned a profit on them. It could just as easily buy $1 trillion in student debt and refinance it at 0.75%.
Which Is a Better Investment, Banks or Students?
Students are considered risky investments because they don’t own valuable assets against which the debt can be collected. But this argument overlooks the fact that these young trainees are assets themselves. They represent an investment in “human capital” that can pay for itself many times over, if properly supported and developed. This was demonstrated in the 1940s with the G.I. Bill, which provided free technical training and educational support for nearly 16 million returning servicemen, along with government-subsidized loans and unemployment benefits. The outlay not only paid for itself but returned a substantial profit to the government and significant stimulus to the economy. It made higher education accessible to all and created a nation of homeowners, new technology, new products, and new companies, with the Veterans Administration guaranteeing an estimated 53,000 business loans. Economists have determined that for every 1944 dollar invested, the country received approximately $7 in return, through increased economic productivity, consumer spending, and tax revenues.
Similarly in the 1930s and 1940s, the Reconstruction Finance Corporation funded the New Deal and World War II and wound up turning a profit, without drawing on taxpayer funds. It’s an initial capitalization was only $500 million; yet the RFC eventually lent out $50 billion – the equivalent of about $500 billion today. It raised money by issuing debentures, a form of bond. It got all of this money back, made a profit for the government, and left a legacy of roads, bridges, dams, post offices, universities, electrical power, mortgages, farms, and much more that the country did not have before.
In 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt proposed an Economic Bill of Rights, in which higher education would be provided by the government for free; and in the progressive 1960s, tuition actually was free or nearly free at state universities. Some countries provide nearly-free higher education today. In Norway, Denmark, France and Sweden, the cost of college is less than 3% of median income, as compared to 51% in the U.S.
Other countries make loans available to their students interest-free. For more than twenty years, the Australian government has successfully funded students by giving out what are in effect interest-free loans. They are “contingent loans,” which are repaid only if and when the borrower’s income reaches a certain level. New Zealand also offers 0 percent interest loans to New Zealand students, with repayment to be made from their incomes after they graduate.
Banks Are Good Credit Risks Only Because They Are Backed by the Government
In a National Review article titled “Warren’s Student-loan Demagoguery,” Ian Tuttle argues that the discount window should not be available to students because the Fed defines that resource as “an instrument of monetary policy that allows eligible institutions to borrow money, usually on a short-term basis, to meet temporary shortages of liquidity caused by internal or external disruptions,” and because the discount window is “an emergency measure used to prevent runs on banks.”
It may be true that the Fed’s discount window is open only to banks, but the Federal Reserve Pact was passed by Congress and can be modified by Congress. The reasoning behind the policy needs to be re-examined.
The question is, why do banks routinely have “shortages of liquidity”? What does that mean? It means they have lent out depositor funds that don’t properly belong to them, gambling that they will be able to replace the money before the depositors demand it back. The banks have a binding commitment to return customer money “on demand.” They can make good on that commitment because, and only because, the Fed and the FDIC back them up in a massive shell game, in which they borrow from each other or the Fed overnight – just long enough to make their books appear to balance – and then give the money back the next day. Banks are good credit risks only because they have the backstop of the Fed and the government behind them. Without those guarantees, we would be back to the cycle of endless bank runs of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
“Our students are just as important to our recovery,” says Warren, “as our banks.” What if students, too, were backed by the government’s guarantee? What if, as in Australia and New Zealand, students were not required to repay the investment in human capital represented by their educations until the economy provided them with jobs? What if the government made it a policy to provide them with jobs? This too has been done before, quite successfully. It was part of Roosevelt’s New Deal. As detailed by Prof. Randall Wray, citing N. Taylor’s The Enduring Legacy of the WPA:
In the 1930s, the government was in a worse financial position to achieve all this than it is now; but the commitment and the will were there, and the means were found. In World War II, the means were found again. The government always seems to be able to find the means to fund a war. We can just as easily find the means to fund our economic recovery. And if the funding comes from the Federal Reserve, the government need not be propelled into a mounting debt owed at mounting interest. The funds can be provided interest-free; and because they represent an investment in productive capital, the debt itself can be repaid with the fruits of the investment – the jobs that create the salaries that generate taxes and consumer demand.The New Deal jobs programs employed 13 million people; the WPA was the biggest program, employing 8.5 million, lasting 8 years and spending about $10.5 billion. It took a broken country and in many important respects helped to not only revive it, but to bring it into the 20th century. The WPA built 650,000 miles of roads, 78,000 bridges, 125,000 civilian and military buildings, 700 miles of airport runways; it fed 900 million hot lunches to kids, operated 1500 nursery schools, gave concerts before audiences of 150 million, and created 475,000 works of art. It transformed and modernized America.
The default rate on student loans is close to 10% today because there are no jobs available to repay the loans, and because the interest rate is so high that the debt is doubled or tripled over the life of the loan. Give students loans and jobs, and the default problem will cure itself.
Investing in our young people has worked before and can work again; and if Congress orders the Fed to fund this investment in our collective futures by “quantitative easing,” it need cost the taxpayers nothing at all. The Japanese have finally seen the light and are using their QE tool as economic stimulus rather than just to keep their banks afloat, and we need to do the same.
Ellen Brown is an attorney, chairman of the Public Banking Institute and author of twelve books, including Web of Debt and the just-released sequel, The Public Bank Solution. Her websites are webofdebt.com and publicbanksolution.com.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
"It has been public information for a decade that the US government secretly, illegally, and unconstitutionally spies on its citizens. Congress and the federal courts have done nothing about this extreme violation of the US Constitution and statutory law, and the insouciant US public seems unperturbed." ... "Germans in the Third Reich and Soviet citizens in the Stalin era had a better idea of their government’s agendas than do 'freedom and democracy' Americans today. The American people are the most uninformed people in modern history." -- Paul Craig Roberts
What is the Government’s Agenda? -- Paul Craig Roberts
June 11, 2013 | Original Here Go here to sign up to receive email notice of this news letter
What is the Government’s Agenda?
Paul Craig Roberts
It has been public information for a decade that the US government secretly, illegally, and unconstitutionally spies on its citizens. Congress and the federal courts have done nothing about this extreme violation of the US Constitution and statutory law, and the insouciant US public seems unperturbed.
In 2004 a whistleblower informed the New York Times that the National Security Agency (NSA) was violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by ignoring the FISA court and spying on Americans without obtaining the necessary warrants. The corrupt New York Times put the interests of the US government ahead of those of the American public and sat on the story for one year until George W. Bush was safely reelected.
By the time the New York Times published the story of the illegal spying one year later, the law-breaking government had had time to mitigate the offense with ex post facto law or executive orders and explain away its law-breaking as being in the country’s interest.
Last year William Binney, who was in charge of NSA’s global digital data gathering program revealed that NSA had everyone in the US under total surveillance. Every email, Internet site visited and phone call is captured and stored. In 2012 Binney received the Callaway Award for Civic Courage, an annual award given to those who champion constitutional rights at risk to their professional and personal lives.
There have been a number of whistleblowers. For example, in 2006 Mark Klein revealed that AT&T had a secret room in its San Francisco office that NSA used to collect Internet and phone-call data from US citizens who were under no suspicion. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/homefront/interviews/klein.html
The presstitute media handled these stories in ways that protected the government’s lawlessness from scrutiny and public outrage. The usual spin was that the public needs to be safe from terrorists, and safety is what the government is providing.
The latest whistle blower, Edward Snowden, has sought refuge in Hong Kong, which has a better record of protecting free speech than the US government. Snowden did not trust any US news source and took the story to the British newspaper, the Guardian.
There is no longer any doubt whatsoever that the US government is lawless, that it regards the US Constitution as a scrap of paper, that it does not believe Americans have any rights other than those that the government tolerates at any point in time, and that the government has no fear of being held accountable by the weak and castrated US Congress, the sycophantic federal courts, a controlled media, and an insouciant public.
Binney and Snowden have described in precisely accurate detail the extreme danger from the government’s surveillance of the population. No one is exempt, not the Director of the CIA, US Army Generals, Senators and Representatives, not even the president himself.
Anyone with access to a computer and the Internet can find interviews with Binney and Snowden and become acquainted with why you do have very much indeed to fear whether or not you are doing anything wrong.
James Clapper, the lying Director of National Intelligence, who would have been perfectly at home in the Hitler or Stalin regimes, condemned Snowden as “reprehensible” for insisting that in a democracy the public should know what the government is doing. Clapper insisted that secretly spying on every ordinary American was essential in order to “protect our nation.” http://news.antiwar.com/2013/06/07/us-spy-chief-slams-reprehensible-leak-of-nsa-surveillance-scheme/
Clapper is “offended” that Americans now know that the NSA is spying on the ordinary life of every American. Clapper wants Snowden to be severely punished for his “reckless disclosure” that the US government is totally violating the privacy that the US Constitution guarantees to every US citizen.
President Obama, allegedly educated in constitutional law, justified Clapper’s program of spying on every communication of every American citizen as a necessary violation of Americans’ civil liberties that “protects your civil liberties.” Contrast the lack of veracity of the President of the United States with the truthfulness of Snowden, who correctly stated that the NSA spying is an “existential threat to democracy.”
The presstitutes are busy at work defending Clapper and Obama. On June 9, CNN rolled out former CIA case officer Bob Baer to implant into the public’s mind that Snowden, far from trying to preserve US civil liberties, might be a Chinese spy and that Snowden’s revelations might be indicative of a Chinese espionage case.
Demonization is the US government’s technique for discrediting Bradley Manning for complying with the US Military Code and reporting war crimes and for persecuting Julian Assage of Wikileaks for reporting leaked information about the US government’s crimes. Demonization and false charges will be the government’s weapon against Snowden.
If Washington and its presstitutes can convince Americans that courageous people, who are trying to inform Americans that their historic rights are disappearing into a police state, are espionage agents of foreign powers, America can continue to be subverted by its own government.
This brings us to the crux of the matter. What is the purpose of the spying program?
Even if an American believes the official stories of 9/11 and the Boston Marathon Bombing, these are the only two terrorist acts in the US that resulted in the loss of human life in 12 years. Far more people are killed in traffic accidents and from bad diets. Why should the Constitution and civil liberty be deep-sixed because of two alleged terrorist acts in 12 years?
What is astounding is the absence of terrorist attacks. Washington is in the second decade of invading and destroying Muslim governments and countries. Civilian casualties in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya are extremely high, and in those countries that Washington has not yet invaded, such as Pakistan, Yemen, and Syria, civilians are being murdered by Washington’s drones and proxies on the ground.
It is extraordinary that Washington’s brutal 12 year assault on Muslim lives in six countries has not resulted in at least one dozen real, not fake FBI orchestrated, terrorist attacks in the US every day.
How can something as rare as terrorism justify the destruction of the US Constitution and US civil liberty? How safe is any American when their government regards every citizen as a potential suspect who has no rights?
Why is there no discussion of this in American public life? Watch the presstitutes turn Snowden’s revelations into an account of his disaffection and motives and away from the existential threat to democracy and civil liberty.
What is the government’s real agenda? Clearly, “the war on terror” is a front for an undeclared agenda. In “freedom and democracy” America, citizens have no idea what their government’s motives are in fomenting endless wars and a gestapo police state. The only information Americans have comes from whistleblowers, who Obama ruthlessly prosecutes. The presstitutes quickly discredit the information and demonize the whistleblowers.
Germans in the Third Reich and Soviet citizens in the Stalin era had a better idea of their government’s agendas than do “freedom and democracy” Americans today. The American people are the most uninformed people in modern history.
In America there is no democracy that holds government accountable. There is only a brainwashed people who are chaff in the wind.