Ex-CIA Director Calls For Snowden To Be “Hanged By His Neck Until He Is Dead”

R_James_Woolsey220px-Karl_Morgenschweis_prays_for_Franz_StrasserFormer CIA Director James Woolsey has one wish for the holidays: for Edward Snowden to be tried for treason and “hanged.” That was Woolsey’s response to the suggestion of amnesty for Snowden.Of course, the National Intelligence Director can commit perjury and CIA officials can lie to Congress without nary an investigation let alone prosecution. Intelligence officials can run a torture program in violation of treaties and international law without punishment. CIA officials can openly destroy evidence so that it cannot be used against them in a criminal case and continue in office without penalty. The CIA director can even reveal classified evidence to a filmmaker working on a pro-torture movie. All of that is perfectly correct, but Snowden must die.

Woolsey was appearing with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Hugh Shelton when he proclaimed that Snowden “should be prosecuted for treason. If convicted by a jury of his peers, he should be hanged by his neck until he is dead.”

228px-Picture_of_Edward_SnowdenOf course, Woolsey’s attitude toward holding CIA officials accountable is a bit more generous. When Congress demanded repercussions after the Aldrich Ames disaster on Woolsey’s watch, he refused and said “[s]ome have clamored for heads to roll in order that we could say that heads have rolled. Sorry, that’s not my way.” No, your way is hang whistleblowers while shielding intelligence officials.

After the Snowden disclosures, Congress has pledged reforms. The White House has admitted abuses. Now a federal judge has declared the entire program to be unconstitutional. Yet, Woolsey wants Snowden dead. Welcome back to America’s Animal Farm.

126 thoughts on “Ex-CIA Director Calls For Snowden To Be “Hanged By His Neck Until He Is Dead”

  1. Do the right thing and you are condemned. Engage in greed, corruption, scams, and violence and you are glorified. We live in an upside-down world.

  2. Don’t forget high government fabricating information (lying), about WMDs, Iran Contra, trickle down economics to name a few. And Obama’s ‘Justice’ Department not being able to prosecute one single lying, corrupt, criminal bankster.

    As Goebbels knew so well: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

    The CIA is living the lie.

  3. Woolsey spent his adult life lying. His hatred for whistleblowers is expected.

    Obama claimed he would change the government, make it more transparent. His hatred for whistleblowers is a shocking betrayal of the people who voted for him.

    Snowden should not beleive any promises from Obama that he will be treated with dignity or respect. As an American, I am ashamed that this is true but it is.

  4. Lots of traitors in government need to be hanged. Everyone involved in creating the massive Nazi domestic survielance centers in Utah for instance. Probably all members of previous and currant administration need to have their necks stretched but Snowden is a hero who should, and will be celebrated by millions of free people around the world. Viva La Revolution !

  5. James Madison, Ben Franklin and the other Framers must be spinning in their graves with our cuurent state of government! Sounds like a threat by King George III !

  6. What this country needs is a French revolution, these politicians win a popularity contest and they think their royality

  7. It is Animal Farm. Torturers and murderers walk freely among us, some idolized by various members of the “news” media and followers among the population. These are people who simply either can’t or don’t care, to come to terms with the depravity of those they praise and protect at every turn.

    We need to be a people united against wrong doing by this govt. and its corporate cronies. We need to unite for the rule of law. This means those who idolize the powerful, who protect and nurture them by ignoring or even praising them, must stop doing this.

    As a nation, our powerful class is out of control. To continually present the situation as one of party politics is a form of propagandizing our people. The powerful don’t have a party, they use parties to deliberately obfuscate their power. We must stop buying their propaganda and see things as they are. USG is a vast police state, working hand and glove with corporations and other governments around the world to take resources from the earth and most of its peoples to benefit the few. The powerful have private armies at their disposal. They have media at their disposal.

    Snowden is shedding light on the nature of these corporations/governments. Of course those who benefit from the way things are would like him dead. As more information comes out, there will be even more intense propaganda aimed at citizens so that we will not understand what is happening and takes steps to remedy the abuses at hand. The attempts to obfuscate and misdirect the people must be resisted. The truth should be supported. It is the basis of restoring justice.

  8. While I and most everyone here consider Snowden a whistleblower, you all must have some level of realization that the government never will. I hope the guy gets amnesty in some stable, nice climate, country. I hope he finds a way to support himself and live comfortably in that country. Like you folks, I wish he could come home and be treated as a righteous whistleblower. But, that isn’t going to happen. I’m an unabashed realist.

  9. The Woolsey’s and Bolton’s of the world would have us believe that they are speaking as responsible and furious patriots when they call for the prosecution of Snowden.

    But the fact is that if we ever take the revelations of Snowden seriously then it is people like Woolsey and Bolton who would likely be prosecuted.

    In that sense Woolsey and Bolton are not speaking for the general good but to suppress those who would build the case and give evidence against them.

    They are speaking for their own self preservation.

  10. Leave the man alone…. Snowden deserves a Medal of Honor as well as the Nobel peace prize….. More deserving than the one receiving it a few years ago…..

  11. The metaphor at work, which the right-wing has propagandized onto the collective mind of the nation, is as follows:

    What links Strict Father family-based morality to politics is a common metaphor, shared by conservatives and liberals alike — the Nation-as-Family metaphor, in which the nation is seen as a family, the government as a parent and the citizens as children. This metaphor turns family-based morality into political morality, providing the link between conservative family values and conservative political policies. The Strict Father model, which brings together the conservative metaphors for morality, is what unites the various conservative political positions into a coherent whole when it is imposed on political life by the Nation-as-Family metaphor.

    (Security: Familyland, Fatherland, or Homeland? – 3, quoting Lakoff). Blind trust in “a strong father government” has led to an Orwellian world that the wishful mind of a child simply cannot believe in.

    Step up adults.

    The fascists are real and aren’t even trying to hide their fascism.

  12. This response indicates those in the intelligence arena are terrified of Edward Snowden. John Bolton wants the same thing, as if killing Snowden undoes the information already released, nor will it magically erase any copies of it.

    This also seems to indicate Snowden has not yet released what terrifies them the most. It will keep the heat up, but likely not high enough for this Congress to pass any kind of meaningful reform. More courts will have to do some striking down for that to happen.

    But if Woolsey is squealing, we’re on the right track.

  13. It is good to see so many well informed contributors to the Turley site that are not fooled by the selective amnesia, sin of ommission methods of the establishment apologists…that try to muddy the waters to cover for their sins…what legal action can be taken to give Snowden support…?

  14. **Bruce 1, December 18, 2013 at 9:27 am

    What this country needs is a French revolution, these politicians win a popularity contest and they think their royalty
    **

    Bruce, et al:

    I’ve seen on the web for the past few years suggestions for revolution and I flat out reject that idea!!!

    First off people need to recognize that there was a group of Nazi type aholes that violently revolted against our nation & now they are largely in control.

    And more importantly if any of you take action towards violence I would bet you will likely be arrested.

    What I think you guys are really wanting to say is you wish to Protect & Defend the US Constitution & use it to Arrest or Run Off the Nazi Aholes causing this trouble so we can restore the Republic.

    Like with myself, I’m Pro USA Government, it is those Nazi Ahole types in keyman slots that are Anti- USA Government!

    Maybe you’d say it different then I, but the point is I don’t anyone getting in trouble because they made a poor choice of words.

  15. Its good to see so many well informed posters on the Turley site that are not fooled by the selective amnesia, sin of ommission apologists that provide cover for the establishment…

  16. The ACLU’s position on Snowden by Executive Director, Anthony D. Romero:

    https://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/edward-snowden-patriot

    A brief excerpt:

    “Edward Snowden is a great American and a true patriot. My colleagues and I at the ACLU are proud to be his legal advisors. We are committed to assisting him on legal issues he may confront.

    Thank goodness for patriots like him, who are willing to endure personal sacrifice to defend truths that we hold self-evident, but which too many Americans take for granted.”

  17. Woolsey’s own comments are Exhibit A in why he should never have had anything to do with government, but he has no self-awareness as to why that is true. The main problem with our Intelligence Establishment is that they aren’t.

  18. John Bolton is as trustworthy as a snake. I think he and Woolsey are both worried about their names showing up in print from a Snowden leaked document!

  19. Dear,Ex-Director…. May your children and your children’s children all grow up to be progressive Democrats…

  20. Also let’s not stereotype entire agencies as monolithic – many of these government employees agree with the ACLU and civil liberties groups – and disagree with the leaders of their own agencies trying to become a version of an East German Stasi.

    It is actually possible to have a “constitutional” CIA, constitutional FBI and constitutional NSA – if they would properly separate foreign citizens from American citizens (their employers – us)!

    If we stereotype the entire agency, we attack the “constitution wing” as well. Most subordinates have little control over corrupt leadership at their agencies.

  21. One would think that a former CIA director would know that under federal law a person sentenced to death for espionage the execution method would be that of the state in which the conviction was handed down. If no death penalty is proscribed in that state the judge would be required to hand the case off to another state where the death penalty is authorized. Only two are applicable. New Hampshire only offers hanging if lethal injection was unavailable. Washington allows hanging if the condemned chooses it over lethal injection.

    My advice to Mr. Snowden would be to never trust anyone in the US Government, for obvious reasons. I recognize their are decent people working there but they ultimately report to an administration that only accepts the rule of law when it suits them.

  22. How is it that men like James Woolsey climb so high in our democracy when their hearts are aghast at our Bill of Rights?

    Stephan Gregory Patterson

  23. Darren,

    I think that may have been true at one time…. Under Furman….. But since Gregg v Georiga is that still true? This is respect to the Capitol Punishment….

  24. Why aren’t average Joe’s allowed to express themselves in such a way that is afforded these high brow people? To be allowed to go on air and wish, opine, dream of physical harm to the very people that have brought on our pains…
    … Joe plumber wishing for Clapper to be hung, or Sally Smith wishing for Bank CEO Blankfein to be hung, etc.

    Where’s those interviews?
    … ‘Cause I know the people are out there just waiting to be interviewed.

  25. Michael Murry 1, December 18, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    As the ancient Sanskrit aphorism says: “Satyam Eva Jayati” (Only Truth Conquers)

    So let us have the truth, praise the truth-tellers, and unemploy the liars.
    ——————————-

    Yes.

    “Glenn Greenwald ‏@ggreenwald 5h

    Dear UK media: is Tory MP @JulianSmithMP blatantly lying about today’s EU Parliament testimony? Decide for yourself http://utdocuments.blogspot.com.br/2013/12/the-lie-of-mp-julian-smith.html …”

    http://utdocuments.blogspot.com.br/2013/12/the-lie-of-mp-julian-smith.html

    “I realize that expectations for the veracity and ethics of Tory MPs is exceedingly low, but this sort of lying – which he refused to acknowledge or apologize for once it was brought to his attention – descends well beneath even that low bar. An eagerness to see the Guardian criminally prosecuted for its journalism doesn’t justify public fabrications of this sort from public officials.”

  26. Most appalling is that Obama would never dream of repudiating and distancing himself from the sentiments expressed by Woolsey and Bolton — which says an awful lot if his silence on the matter can itself be judged as a mode of communication.

  27. Jill says,

    “As a nation, our powerful class is out of control. To continually present the situation as one of party politics is a form of propagandizing our people. The powerful don’t have a party, they use parties to deliberately obfuscate their power. We must stop buying their propaganda and see things as they are. ”

    Bingo!!

  28. I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.
    ~ Last words of Nathan Hale, Captain Continental Army, 22Sept1776

    Dear Mr. Woolsey/Bolton be careful what you wish for karma is a real SOB.

  29. Pretty much the same ideation of my violent husband when I revealed his threats and assault upon me to the police: reporting crime is bad, committing them not so much. I believe the term used for such backward thinking is narcissistic projection.

  30. It is amazing that some people think it is actually worth a few minutes of their time to listen to the likes of “bonkers bolton” and his ilk.

  31. Typical misleading spin – to be expected. The fine public servant Woolsey of course meant hanging ONLY IF CONVICTED OF TREASON!
    Treason carries the death penalty and has a very high bar indeed.

    Mr. Turley should read his own post – ““…should be prosecuted for treason. If convicted by a jury of his peers, he should be hanged by his neck until he is dead.”

    This is the future of ‘Journalism’ – misleading headlines to draw page hits and revenue, or vanish.

  32. As a Vietnam era veteran who volunteered for active duty in the military, I always like to check on the background of such people as Woolsey and Bolton. Guess there should be NO surprise to any that they BOTH fought to stay OUT of the war. Bolton dodged the draft by joining the National Guard, and at least Woolsey had the decency at the time of not supporting the war and running from the draft. Obviously, now once he was no longer in personal danger, he decided to become a war hawk. That shows the mark of a hypocritical coward and so his words should be judge by his deeds.

    As for Bolton, I think he has the wrong person to be at the end of a hangman’s rope. It should be him.

  33. ” The fine public servant Woolsey of course meant hanging ONLY IF CONVICTED OF TREASON!”

    I read the Turley post and it was clear to me that Woolsey made a conditional statement dependent on conviction.

    I am still deeply concerned at the Woolsey statement and consider it an outrageous attempt to smear the name of Snowden, one of the few great heroes of our time.

    I appreciate Turley for bringing to our attention the most important fact of the Woolsey statement – that this former high government official has no respect for the constitution rights of American citizens or those who take courageous action to preserver them.

    We can all give a moment of thanks that we have men like Snowden on the side of ordinary citizens and men like Turley to defend them and report on their actions.

  34. Actually, Woolsey and Bolton should be imprisoned and interrogated using according to Dick Cheney, “harsh methods”, such as waterboarding, to see just what plots and how many others have been involved with their evildoing. Then they should be given a fair trial, “and a proper hanging”.

  35. Excellent idea Murray. Unlike both of them, I AM willing to do the dirty work of actually carrying out their execution since that is what I advocate. I don’t ask any person to do something that I would not be willing to personally do myself.

  36. If we request our government to try Woolsey for treason and punish him by hanging then we are lawfully petitioning our government for redress of grievances. If we volunteer to do the hanging in the absence of a trial then we are putting ourselves up sh!t creek without a paddle. So be careful out there.
    Us dogs understand the Animal Farm. But then there is the Animal Fair.

  37. Arthur wrote:
    “…Obviously, now once he was no longer in personal danger, he decided to become a war hawk…”
    ~+~
    Chicken hawk comes to my mind.

  38. Swathmoremom’s video, titled “John Bolton: Hang Snowden From A Tall Oak Tree.” reminded me of a song.

    The original song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon” by Tony Orlando & Dawn. Now re-recorded by John Bolton with back-up vocals by James Woolsey:

    Chorus:

    Hang a yellow traitor from the old oak tree
    It’s been one long year
    He should not be free!
    If I don’t see him hangin from the old oak tree
    Toss him under the bus
    Forget what’s just
    Put the blame on Turley
    If I don’t see Ed Snowden hanging from the old oak tree

  39. Here’s what I dont understand. The administration and several others like Dick Cheney say Snowden is a traitor for aiding the enemy. Aiding the enemy….how??? By revealing that the US is spying on its OWN people??? How is that aiding terrorists?? If telling the American people that they are being spied on is “aiding the enemy”, well then it stands to reason that the US government considers the American people the enemy.

  40. I personally don’t have much respect for Mr. Woolsley after his disappointing public meeting he had with California citizens re: CIA illegal narcotics trafficking. He lied horribly.

    However, do not think everyone understands what Snowden did and what the NSA is REALLY doing. I mentioned earlier in another post that 60 Minutes was going to do a piece that would explain everything. Well here it is. Please watch the video below and read the script. Woolsley and Bolton are really FOS and Snowden doesn’t need to die.

    The NSA spook assigned to Snowden is open to amnesty for Snowden if he is willing to roll up his package and cease and desist and turn himself in. However General Alexander has not shared that feeling yet. Its all in the video below:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nsa-speaks-out-on-snowden-spying/

  41. but what would happen if edward snowden
    showed that he actually had evidence (after all he worked at the NSA for years) which would be used to convict certain of the neocons
    of treason, and various other crimes

    that would be so drole

  42. …Of course, Woolsey’s attitude toward holding CIA officials accountable is a bit more generous. When Congress demanded repercussions after the Aldrich Ames disaster on Woolsey’s watch, he refused and said “[s]ome have clamored for heads to roll in order that we could say that heads have rolled. Sorry, that’s not my way.” No, your way is hang whistleblowers while shielding intelligence officials…

    Yeah Dr. Turley you should know (snicker)… ;-)

  43. @chris m – “Judge Richard Leon granted a preliminary injunction to Verizon customers Larry Klayman and Charles Strange, saying that they were suffering harm from having his records collected and that he had made a strong case that the NSA’s secret court orders, which require carriers to provide metadata on virtually all US phone calls, were likely to violate the fourth amendment.

    Judge Leon is arguably a NEOCON. He was appointed by NEOCONS. Therefore, he is setting the bar by making a really stupid judgment** against the NSA which will be struck down on appeal. However, is this just the “opening shot across the bow” for NECONS to try and stop more information being collected about them? As you say that information already collected and held by Snowden COULD be damaging to them. That’s of course if President Obama is willing to pursue this and have Eric Holder (USAG) set up prosecution (which I doubt).

    **I say “stupid judgment” as this does NOT violate the 4th Amendment as Verizon is the true OWNER of the Metadata (not the customers) in this case and they clearly volunteered to release it to NSA and was not illegally “searched & seized”. Also the audio content is also Verizon’s but the NSA is not collecting audio content from phone calls of US citizens. Foreign governments are though.

  44. TO ALL FOLKS THAT THINK SNOWDEN IS A HERO
    In the recent CBS 60 Minutes piece below, the NSA spook Legett, who is tasked to work on the Snowden issue, the question was asked if Russia or China got to Snowden to get him to betray his country and if Snowden’s package is potentially the “keys to the kingdom” to foreign intelligence agencies… Legett was non-committal and basically said no comment… HMMMM… Legett says some people may die over this… STILL THINK SNOWDEN IS A HERO?

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nsa-speaks-out-on-snowden-spying/

    Did anybody know Snowden was a high school drop out and illegally hacked into NSA to pass the NSA entrance exams?

  45. “James Bamford ‏@WashAuthor 16 Dec

    60 Minutes has become 60 Morons. I was asked to help on the piece weeks ago but said no, that it sounded like a puff piece, and it was.”

  46. Without the duplication:

  47. 12/16/2013 @ 8:30AM

    “An NSA Coworker Remembers The Real Edward Snowden: ‘A Genius Among Geniuses'”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2013/12/16/an-nsa-coworker-remembers-the-real-edward-snowden-a-genius-among-geniuses/

    Excerpt:

    “Instead, there’s little mystery as to how Snowden gained his access: It was given to him.

    “That kid was a genius among geniuses,” says the NSA staffer. “NSA is full of smart people, but anybody who sat in a meeting with Ed will tell you he was in a class of his own…I’ve never seen anything like it.””

  48. @anonymously posted – All due respect to the former USN intelligence analyst Bamford but did you ACTUALLY watch the puff piece? Watch it first and point out to me where there was anything “exaggerated” as the phrase puff-piece indicates:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nsa-speaks-out-on-snowden-spying/

    Mr. Miller used to work for DNI and was ADir FBI which puts him in a distinct position to interview General Alexander. Somewhere in the middle of the piece he explains why he doesn’t “beat General Alexander up” like the way other 60 Minutes reporters might have done.

    Bamford was being a little too hard on 60 Minutes. I think Alexander answered all the questions you pro-Snowden people have about NSA ops and Snowden’s involvement. “Puff-piece” is a little misleading. Soft-ball questions yes but no exaggerations about NSA’s innocence about your privacy. Your not the target. Foreigners are. And FYI Merkel’s hands are arguably dirty and needs to be watched by NSA to ostensibly protect our security.

    Judge Leon is a moron not CBS. He says the NSA has not shown any success stories for their cyber-collecting techniques… HELLO McFLY! Since when did Leon get a TS Security Clearance? Let him obtain one and then re-think his ridiculous judgment recently.

  49. “The NSA spook assigned to Snowden is open to amnesty for Snowden if he is “willing to roll up his package and cease and desist and turn himself in.”

    SOTB,

    How about we allow Woolsey a deal for amnesty against treason and war crimes if he delineates all of the violations he’s committed and apologizes to us all for the tortures and murders committed under his direction? We’ll even let him keep his pension.

  50. SOTB,

    With all due respect I deeply believe that the U.S. intelligence establishment is out of control and the general belief is that it is above the Constitution. Beyond that though I believe that not only is the Intelligence establishment incompetent, but that they have actually put our Country at risk. Therefore in my opinion Snowden is indeed a hero and the Agencies are traitors to our country, its people and the Constitution.

  51. @Mike Spindell – I don’t disagree with you about the Central Intelligence Agency (i.e. certain factions within it pointed out by the late Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HW) during Iran Contra Hearings). I do not know what you speak of re: Woolsey’s hands being dirty during his tenure at CIA. I do know he could hardly ever get a meeting with POTUS Clinton. I don’t know why. I know he wouldn’t penalize CIA staff over Aldrich Ames debacle. Here is some stuff you can read up on him and his feelings on Snowden and how terrorists have been emboldened by Snowden’s revelations:

    http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/Woolsey_James

    I have difficulty with calling Snowden a hero when his own co-workers don’t agree. He didn’t really reveal anything noteworthy about your privacy rights being violated by NSA because they haven’t. Woolsey used to be the vice president of Snowden’s defense contractor employer (Booz Allen) and I can understand his angst. I do not agree with his comments about executing Snowden. Ed needs to stand trial for his violation of his NDA and maybe serve some jail time. He’s not helping USA with his revelations. He’s actually harming US – imo.

    SOTB

  52. Let me reiterate: the NSA has NOT violated the Constitution (4th amendment?) How so – you may ask? Because illegal search & seizure of YOUR property has not occurred with “metadata” collection. The metadata property belongs to the SERVICE PROVIDER not YOU. The service provider FREELY (or voluntarily) gives the metadata to the NSA without a warrant and is not illegally search nor seized. So now the argument is to prove that the metadata is actually yours and not Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc. Good luck with that…

    Thanks to Snowden Russia, China, Hezbollah, Iran, etc. now knows NSA has this and will now avoid telephones and other forms of electronic communications that identify them. Yeah he’s a hero alright… but for who?

    SOTB

  53. He’s a hero for me.

    Because he revealed to the OTHER powers that be; Russia, China, Germany, et al, that we are not their “friends.” And it is THOSE powers that CAN do something about who we have become.

    Perhaps hero is too strong a word, but he’s earned my respect.

    This is where things get interesting. What will THEY do about us?

  54. sonofT, I see that you forgot that Bin Laden got off the phones LONG before Snowden revealed the massive surveillance ops of NSA. I have known for years about the fact that NSA listens in on all phone communications over the phones in the US, and any reasonably intelligent person, much less terrorists have known this for years as well. NSA does NOT just get the places, numbers and other data that the service providers own. You also forgot about the FACT that NSA listened into the private phone calls of allies, and opponents. THAT kind of thing applied to our citizens is NOT legal under any stretch of your fantasy worldview.

  55. @Arthur Randolph Erb – You can call me SOTB… We actually know each other from another forum… but anyway your preaching to the choir Art. I was well aware of Echelon many years ago during the COld War Period. It was used to spy on IVAN (USSR, CUBA, Et Al) and THE GANG OF 4 (Red China) not Joe Plumber (USA). Albeit, NSA allowed UK, AUS, ISRAEL, CANADA, etc to use Echelon to actually listen to Joe Plumber. That way NSA can have plausible denaibilty that THEY aren’t spying domestically.

    For instance, Australia has a Echelon station at Pine Gap. They listen to our voice traffic all the time. If they find anything they notify NSA to do follow-ups. But Ft Meade IS NOT listening to Joe Plumber. Yes they are pulling metadata from the LECs( service providers). Israel does it too from AMDOCS & COMSYS in Washington DC. Why I don’t know.

    AY thinks I blowing smoke but I’m not. NSA has NOT violated 4th Amendment and Judge Leon will learn that maybe today or next week. He wasn’t sure anyway. He’s the only judge to pull that bone-head maneuver and all of the privacy-nuts went “Yeah – see see?! I knew it!”

    Watch the video (puff-piece?) and see what General Alexander responds to all of the privacy nuts. This is an NON-ISSUE. I think their angst needs to be aimed at Israel and why are they spying on US. No reason for it. Go pound on Netanyaho and his henchman Tamir Pardo (MOSSAD chief). NSA is doing it to protect us from harm. Israel is doing it for what?

    What you said about Ussama Bin Laden is quite true. When CIA/USN Seal-Team 6 took his hooch at Abbotabad PK, they found the worldwide communication system he was using. It was so very low-tech but simply brilliant. There was no way for Echelon or Prism to track it.

    SOTB

  56. @Arthur Randolph Erb – Actually the point is Art that no TANGOS (Terrorists) use phones or internet any more. They abandoned that long ago once they started watching the news and the latest spy movies. Even throw-away (burners) are not safe to use any more. That’s why I keep preaching that the American IC (intel community) is looking at SOMEONE ELSE who is not so “towel-headed” (i.e. the usual suspects?). Some one who feels so secure in using phones and internet thinking they are immune to NSA/CIA/FBI etc. (ELINT/SIGINT) surveillance. That’s a very short list. I’ll let you use your imagination as to who that could be. I think General Alexander alludes to that in the video I posted above too.

    But believe me THEY don’t want to listen to you calling sex chat rooms, ordering pizza, talking to your wife about picking up milk, or some teenage air-head babbling about some really cool dude at school… maybe they do like listening to AY’s phone calls because he’s so darned paranoid. But yes I know the old saying about paranoia…

    Blowing smoke (out) – SOTB :cool:

  57. “AY thinks I blowing smoke but I’m not.” -SOTB

    SOTB,

    As I said before, you’re blowing smoke. You need to get your facts straight.

    (And that should be “ap”, not “AY”.)

  58. SOTB,

    Well, that was predictable — if one can’t attack the message, go after the messenger.

    Get your facts straight. And your names.

  59. @Nate – What if you found out he’s just being “handled” by Putin, Xi Ping, Tamir Pardo, or believe it or not by John O. Brennan? You do know that Christopher Boyce (1977 Falcon and the Snowman- TRW infamy?)was just a “disinformation-delivery-boy” for DCI George H. W. Bush (1977)? They just wanted to feed USSR some bogus satellite codes so they could feed IVAN more disinfo. Ivan bought it and probably still doesn’t know what really happened. Boyce got a LIFE SENTENCE. Guess where he is now? Not in jail.

    Same could be true of Snowden. I mean he didn’t finish high school nor community college because some say he so brilliant he didn’t need to. They say he hacked his way into the most secret intelligence agency ever who is more paranoid then people like AY. He goes to Booz Allen while Woolsly was its VP and some how they just GIVE him the keys to the kingdom? I mean to me he’s a functional retard. I don’t see the brilliance or genius in knowing how to write HTML front-ends for NSA? Who does that anyway? Can you smell a rat in your hero – just a bit?

  60. @Anonymously Posted – Oops your right. There is another here named Anonymously Yours. I got yo two sideways I guess. My bad…

    BTW I’m not attacking you. I really do believe you are a bit too paranoid. Why do you think Americans need to be wary of it’s NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY? They aren’t the enemy. I can think of OTHERS that are so called FRIENDS who spy on US and do US harm who should be moved up to enemy status.

    OK. I’ll bite, what facts do I need to “get straight”? I’m open-minded enough to admit error when pointed out to me. But I need details and not just allusions.

    SOTB

  61. The enemy are those that lie to me.

    But they’re not really enemies, they just don’t interest me.

    For your information. This one time.

  62. Nate 1, December 20, 2013 at 11:47 am

    The enemy are those that lie to me.

    But they’re not really enemies, they just don’t interest me.

    For your information. This one time.

    OK Nate “I feel ya’ ” on that one. I too hate to be lied to or manipulated by someone who thinks they are smarter or craftier than myself. It’s basic human nature. However, if you need to identify or label who is your enemy, try and pick the “correct” targets of your angst.

    I know you are probably referring to the Clapper incident in Congress as a typical example of the USG “lying” to it’s people. First of all Clapper is NOT with the NSA. His lie was one of OMISSION not COMMISSION. There’s a difference. Clapper is from the old school of thought that Oliver North is from. Lies are a matter of degree with them. He probably thought he was being loyal to his mandate to protect national security. He overstepped it and either goofed up or really consciously did it on purpose. He’s now trying to fix it. Good luck on that Jimbo…

    The NSA’s role in domestic spying is really complex. They are NOT supposed to do it but they do it “kinda’ sorta'” when needed (i.e. metadata), but legally and Constitutionally. It’s a gray area. Then they try to separate themselves from the USA audio-intercepts their foreign partners are doing abroad. However, General Alexander NEVER lied to the American public. He just tried to explain his complex point of view to people who have trouble understanding complex things.

    Alexander is trying to protect his country from a NEW blended threat that you and others are not familiar with. Sometimes it involves American citizens who are either working with the true enemies or ARE the enemies themselves. He’s not talking about John Q. Public. He is referring to people a bit higher on the social scale.

    Snowden is either a dupe at the hands of a puppet-master (either home or abroad) or he is running with a misguided sense of honor and duty. Either way he is sitting on MILLIONS of pages of unreleased data that very well could “screw the pooch” if it gets into the wrong hands. He was never really NSA material yet somehow he excelled at getting access to their crown jewels. Somebody is lying here but it’s not the NSA.

    And if I got my facts mixed up please help me get them straight…

    SOTB

  63. Somehow I think you old-timers are remembering some old school NSA shenanigans that just make it easier for you to vilify them again in this scenario. I am referring to their early tactics of trying to suppress certain mathematics education in US public schools. And there are other things like the clipper chip debacle and others. All that was an effort to allow NSA not to have any real future challenges from within domestically to their cryptological efforts. I imagine they thought that if they could suppress mainstream academia from teaching certain things related to cryptography then they wouldn’t have to deal with it in the future. Did it work? The jury is still out on that one.

    Then there was Echelon. Someone releases a story about this cyber-vacuum cleaner that listens for Americans saying or typing the word “bomb” and everybody believes it. That’s just science-fiction IMO, as How could supercomputers slow down slow enough to listen to 330,000,000 people talking all at once and still be able to capture keywords and phrases at light-speed? The truth was that NSA was only pointing this thing at specific targets and mainly foreigners not every American. And the thing broke down once.

    The same is true of it’s foreign-friends who use Echelon too. They have to aim at specific American POI targets not everyone. (POI=Person of Interest).

    Then there is the lunatic-fringe stuff that NSA has been rumored to be involved in (i.e. Staring at Goats movie?). That is a bit much and it’s not just NSA that was doing it. It was our military, our IC, and our foreign counterparts that fooled around with that foolishness. That stuff has all but been abandoned as it never really worked.

    So the NSA may have gotten a bad-rep from the old days, but I feel General Alexander allowing CBS and Miller into the inner-sanctum was the right move. I totally thought that Black Chamber would look like something from another world. It looked like a typical insurance company cubicle-office just like the CIA HQ in Langley VA. Nothing unusual. Just people trying to protect our country in very isolated and secret ways. Can you blame them for wanting to exclude you from their secret world?

    SOTB

  64. sonofthunderboanerges is an apologist for the unconstitutional abuses of the US surveillance state.

    Nothing like trying to polish a turd.

  65. “Alexander is trying to protect his country from a NEW blended threat that you and others are not familiar with. Sometimes it involves American citizens who are either working with the true enemies or ARE the enemies themselves. He’s not talking about John Q. Public. He is referring to people a bit higher on the social scale.”

    SOTB,

    Nice try but I just don’t buy it. I’m sure in Alexander’s mind and in the minds of his minions that is what they think they’re doing. however, when J.Edgar Hoover taped MLK in bed with a woman, When the CIA plotted to kill Castro, when Patrice Lumumba was murdered, when Mosadegh was overthrown in Iran and so on and so forth it was done by people who thought they were protecting America, when in fact they were actively destroying it as a country with values. Much of that was done to protect American industrial interests that in the end stopped considering themselves American when they got big enough. How many COINTELPRO’s and Church Committee hearings do we need to realize that our country’s intelligence apparatus is out of control and under the aegis of men whose thought processes were the type that led to massacring Vietnamese, Afghani and Iraqi villages….to save them? Game try, delivered in measured tones, but in my opinion simply not credible.

  66. sotb I believe much of what you said as regards listening in to the actual conversations of US citizens or their e-mails. They use the massive tracking of numbers called to ID those whose conversations they DO want to listen to. Since they feel that they can not do that without a court order, they try to get around that by using surrogates such as you pointed out as the Aussies. Though plausible deniability is not a LEGAL defense when you contract a criminal act. That is only good for cover, not legal defenses and the NSA is still guilty of breaches of the law.

    I do think that we DO need the NSA since there are very real enemies who we do need to defend against. I cannot say the same for the CIA Directorate of Ops, nor for the massive illegalities of Hoover’s FBI. After WWI, the US Navy read virtually ALL telegrams that were transmitted overseas,even though that was totally illegal. It is too bad that there was not a Snowden in that office to let the light in. To the extent that the NSA has broken the law, as I think that in many cases they have, and Bush even admitted as much, there should be prosecutions, and those responsible held to account.

    The fundamental problem is how to balance the need for security from external threats with the Constitution and our liberties. That is a political problem and a legal one. Given the extremely poor record of such government agencies in even following the laws that exist, skepticism is MORE than justified. That you point out that people such as Clapper have a very fungible sense of truth and law gives no cause for confidence in either their sense of duty or patriotism. It reminds me of Gen Curtis LeMay on his own ordering USAF bombers to penetrate into the Soviet Union, and keeping it secret from even the Pentagon and the President. Such things cannot be allowed to happen, and those people such as Clapper need to spend some serious prison time. That will act as a deterrent to such people who think that they are above the law and are acting on a Napoleon complex. When they betray the law, they betray the USA and are just as much the traitors as they accuse Snowden of being.

    I am interested in how Al Qeda managed to avoid the electronic monitoring. The only thing I can think of might be the old time CW radio and key that is low tech. It is NO secret either since the bad guy obviously know about it, and I am sure that NSA has plugged that hole again.

  67. @Personanongrata – I never denied being a voluntary non-paid NSA apologist. Maybe I am trying to polish a turd. I just want to give General Alexander the benefit of the doubt. However, when my friend Mike Spindell tries to compare the NSA to J. Edgar Hoover and the black world of CIA Directorate of Ops (now called National Clandestine Services) I have to take pause.

    Yes Jose Rodriguez Dir of CIA DO with his best little schemers, John Brennan, and those two woman, I will not identify here, were the backbone of EIT (torture) and Drone Strikes under the Bush2 Admin. And yes they did destroy that video tape in direct defiance to a presidential order. But there malfeasance can not be put upon the NSA. NSA is really a very different animal from old FBI and present CIA. Maybe their NSA-CSS is a little rough though. The CIA is really not 100% bad either. There are arguably 2 factions there since 1947. The one Ollie North was with was the same mindset of Jim Clapper. He is DNI like CBS’s Miller was (but assistant DNI). Ollie never went to jail neither is Jim. And Ollie arguably INVENTED al Queda and UBL for George HW Bush!

    @Art – UBL used a simple POS PC computer running MS Windows. He opened Notepad.exe and typed up his coded commands in Arabic. Saved them to 3.5″ diskettes, labeled them, and had his runners deliver them to dead drops around Abbotabad. When the al Queda field agents picked them up they simply read the commands in coded Arabic and went to a Internet Cafe in Lahore or some other POS city in Pakistan and sent innocent looking EMAILS to cohorts worldwide with UBL’s nefarious instructions. Since they were using throwaway email addresses from say Yahoo, nobody noticed what was going on. But Yahoo decided to climb into bed with the IC and now that’s going to be a lot harder to do without noticing now.

    They also may have used that JPEG trick with porno photos with coded words embedded. They could attach them to the email. The NSA geeks have people a lot smarter than Snowden working on stuff you couldn’t imagine. So Snowden was a light-weight in their world. I mean the video I posted above showed a NSA geek that could solve Rubik’s Cube right in front of Miller’s face in about 3-seconds. I look at a Rubik’s Cube and want to use it for target practice with an MP5. :cool:

    Changing the subject: Did anyone notice the nevuses or moles on Snowden’s face and neck? I hope he is on Russian Healthcare Program as he may have a surprise awaiting him at the doctor’s office.

    SOTB

  68. @Art – I agree “plausible denaibilty” is not a legal defense. It was never supposed to be. When the CIA came up with that phrase they meant that PD means you NEVER get caught red-handed so you don’t have to face the music. It’s like saying: “Hey did you do that?” and they say “Who me? No it was that retarded contractor I hired. He did it without my authorization!”

    Remember that minister’s wife that got shot down in a CIA plane over Peru? Guess who got blamed for ordering that FUBAR mess? Yup… a CIA contractor. They use PD like a Ninja. They don’t have to worry about Congressional Hearings with PD as “they never do nutin’ “. These guys remind of this cartoon character on The Simpsons “Johnny TightLips”:

  69. @Mike Spindell – Patrice Lumumba was murdered by a “bunch of people”. Albeit, with CIA assistance and arguably POTUS Eisenhower’s sanction. There’s a great movie about it and another by Robert DeNiro’s, THE GOOD SHEPHERD delves into it too. But if you look it up there’s an example of a CIA Case Officer (a NOC and Station Chief named Larry Devlin) who grew a conscious over killing Patrice a lot earlier with some poison toothpaste invented by Dr. Sydney Gottlieb (CIA Technical Services now called DS&T). He threw the sh*t into the Congo River at Brazzaville where it lies on the bottom this day. Patrice made too many enemies and they did not want Communism to take over Zaire (aka DR Congo).

    Also Mosadegh and Guatemala (mentioned in DeNiro’s movie) where private “wet dreams” by Allen Dulles and friends (George HW Bush – who claims it wasn’t him but another George Bush)… It was a get rich scheme using the new CIA. Even the Castro thing was their idea. That “bad” CIA faction wanted to keep the MOB in action in Cuba but Castro ruined it for them. Also little is known about the natural gold found in Cuba by the Americans (using geosats) and Fidel & Raoul still haven’t found it yet. Maybe that’s why we won’t give up Gitmo to Raoul? I still don’t know how we even got Gitmo from Fidel :-(

    SOTB

  70. Woolsey was director of an agency that assassinated their Commander in Chief on November 22, 1963.

    Meanwhile, the civilized world has abolished the death penalty.

  71. NSA Surveillance Is about Power, Not “Safety”

    An open letter to the people of Brazil
    by Edward Snowden

    The following letter was published today in the Brazilian newspaper A Folha in Portuguese and this original text was provided via the Facebook page of Glenn Greenwald’s husband David Miranda:

    Six months ago, I stepped out from the shadows of the United States Government’s National Security Agency to stand in front of a journalist’s camera. I shared with the world evidence proving some governments are building a world-wide surveillance system to secretly track how we live, who we talk to, and what we say. I went in front of that camera with open eyes, knowing that the decision would cost me family and my home, and would risk my life. I was motivated by a belief that the citizens of the world deserve to understand the system in which they live.

    My greatest fear was that no one would listen to my warning. Never have I been so glad to have been so wrong. The reaction in certain countries has been particularly inspiring to me, and Brazil is certainly one of those.

    At the NSA, I witnessed with growing alarm the surveillance of whole populations without any suspicion of wrongdoing, and it threatens to become the greatest human rights challenge of our time. The NSA and other spying agencies tell us that for our own “safety”—for Dilma’s “safety,” for Petrobras’ “safety”—they have revoked our right to privacy and broken into our lives. And they did it without asking the public in any country, even their own.

    Today, if you carry a cell phone in Sao Paolo, the NSA can and does keep track of your location: they do this 5 billion times a day to people around the world. When someone in Florianopolis visits a website, the NSA keeps a record of when it happened and what you did there. If a mother in Porto Alegre calls her son to wish him luck on his university exam, NSA can keep that call log for five years or more. They even keep track of who is having an affair or looking at pornography, in case they need to damage their target’s reputation.

    American Senators tell us that Brazil should not worry, because this is not “surveillance,” it’s “data collection.” They say it is done to keep you safe. They’re wrong. There is a huge difference between legal programs, legitimate spying, legitimate law enforcement — where individuals are targeted based on a reasonable, individualized suspicion — and these programs of dragnet mass surveillance that put entire populations under an all-seeing eye and save copies forever. These programs were never about terrorism: they’re about economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation. They’re about power.

    Many Brazilian senators agree, and have asked for my assistance with their investigations of suspected crimes against Brazilian citizens. I have expressed my willingness to assist wherever appropriate and lawful, but unfortunately the United States government has worked very hard to limit my ability to do so — going so far as to force down the Presidential Plane of Evo Morales to prevent me from traveling to Latin America! Until a country grants permanent political asylum, the US government will continue to interfere with my ability to speak.

    “These programs were never about terrorism: they’re about economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation. They’re about power.”

    Six months ago, I revealed that the NSA wanted to listen to the whole world. Now, the whole world is listening back, and speaking out, too. And the NSA doesn’t like what it’s hearing. The culture of indiscriminate worldwide surveillance, exposed to public debates and real investigations on every continent, is collapsing. Only three weeks ago, Brazil led the United Nations Human Rights Committee to recognize for the first time in history that privacy does not stop where the digital network starts, and that the mass surveillance of innocents is a violation of human rights.

    The tide has turned, and we can finally see a future where we can enjoy security without sacrificing our privacy. Our rights cannot be limited by a secret organization, and American officials should never decide the freedoms of Brazilian citizens. Even the defenders of mass surveillance, those who may not be persuaded that our surveillance technologies have dangerously outpaced democratic controls, now agree that in democracies, surveillance of the public must be debated by the public.

    My act of conscience began with a statement: “I don’t want to live in a world where everything that I say, everything I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity or love or friendship is recorded. That’s not something I’m willing to support, it’s not something I’m willing to build, and it’s not something I’m willing to live under.”

    Days later, I was told my government had made me stateless and wanted to imprison me. The price for my speech was my passport, but I would pay it again: I will not be the one to ignore criminality for the sake of political comfort. I would rather be without a state than without a voice.

    If Brazil hears only one thing from me, let it be this: when all of us band together against injustices and in defense of privacy and basic human rights, we can defend ourselves from even the most powerful systems.

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/12/17-1

    “These programs were never about terrorism: they’re about economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation. They’re about power.” -Edward Snowden

    And this is the man that some would hang.

  72. Mark 1, December 21, 2013 at 3:18 am

    Woolsey was director of an agency that assassinated their Commander in Chief on November 22, 1963.

    Meanwhile, the civilized world has abolished the death penalty.

    According to Oliver Barr McClellan, admitted JFK conspirator, he says that VPOTUS LBJ was the mastermind. He said that Jackie KNEW it was LBJ and said so on AF1 during the swearing in ceremony. The shooters were a mix of snipers from varied backgrounds, none of which was Oswald.

    Some where Cubans, Corsicans, Italian hit-men, and 3 alleged hobos one of which fired the fatal grassy knoll shot. There is proof that George HW Bush stood at the foyer of the Book Depository. He claims he was never there. George was an active CIA operative at that time, which he denies today.

    So to respond to you that CIA did it? The answer is yes and no. A faction of the CIA which ran it’s operation from New Haven CT at a famous university, may have “planned” and assisted with logistics. But many enemies of JFK were behind it. The main one his own Vice President.

    JFK made an enemy of the “faction” by his comment that he was going to “…break them up and scatter them into the wind”. He pissed off the mob by his actions in Cuba, his brother’s meddling with Organized Crime, and reneging on his promise to “scratching the mob’s back” for helping him win Illinois. Oil men just despised him for various reasons. He pissed off Castro for obvious reasons. He pissed off “good” CIA men because of the Bay of Pigs fiasco which the still today blame on him despite new revelations by DCI Tenet that he didn’t.

    The hit was supposed to take place at Miami but it went sideways. J. Edgar Hoover was in on it as he knew it was going to happen from his many illegal surveillances and inside tips, but did NOTHING to stop it. USSS was getting drunk the night before but they might not have been in on it.

    So it’s difficult to just say “the CIA did it” when it was much more complex than that.

    @AP – Very well worded manifesto by Mr. Snowden. Oddly a bit too eloquent for his intellectual acumen I think. The whole “boo-hoo” for Brazil reminds me of Christopher Boyce’s manifesto re: how CIA was abusing Australia.

    General Alexander never said he wasn’t doing Total Information Awareness on foreign countries. He just said he wasn’t doing it to his fellow citizens. How does Mr. Snowden get to speak for our IC’s mission statements? They do what they do for a reason. We don’t get to second guess them.

    John Perkins was a NSA “Economic Hitman”. He now also lives in exile in South America. He too feels that the NSA does try to control the economic status of foreign countries. I believe they have a good reason for it. It’s above my pay grade to question or check General Alexander’s hand on that. The CIA got the bad rep for that now it’s on NSA.

    I still question Snowden’s motives. I’d sure like to know how Perkins feels about this. I’m disappointed in my hero Daniel Ellsberg as I thought he’s smell a rat but he doesn’t. I also would like to hear what Chomsky feels about him too. But I’m afraid he too has been duped by someone “handling” Snowden.

    AP the thing that’s really stickin’ in my craw is that here’s this HS & Com College dropout who fakes his way into NSA under their very watchful radar. They give him some NSA IT administrators global password and he goes to town doing his Julian Assange wannabe’ activity. No one was watching him or key logging his work. The guys in NSA Information Security where just asleep in the Ops Center while all these documents where being downloaded to his flash drive or portable hard drive. The “reality alarm” is ringing off the hook here! Something about Snowden is just too goofy! Even a half-azz CIA case officer would see through this obvious gambit.

  73. AP, thanks, Snowden should receive the Medal of Freedom, as should Asange and Manning. If we lived in a moral country they would too.

    From Wikipedia:
    “The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with the comparable Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress—the highest civilian award of the United States. It recognizes those individuals who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors”.[3] The award is not limited to U.S. citizens and, while it is a civilian award, it can also be awarded to military personnel and worn on the uniform.”

  74. @LottaKatz – Lessee’ 16 people got this award from President Obama recently. Namely President Clinton, Opray Winnfrey, etc. Now Snowden’s claim to fame was to sign a non-disclosure agreement under penalty of jail and promptly violates it. According to Ledget (NSA guy prosecuting the Snowden case), Snowden NEVER consulted with any one on his misgivings and feelings toward the NSA. There have been many NSA whistle-blowers before him John Perkins, Wayne Madsen, Russel Tice, but none of them did so careless actions that Snowden did.

    Ledget says Snowden is “sitting” on millions of pages of illegally downloaded papers that could seriously damage our national security if they fall into the wrong hands (i.e. Putin?). And in your Wikipedia posting it says: “It recognizes those individuals who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States…” Hmmmm…

    Then when you really peel away all of the hype you actually see that innocent American citizens where never the target of NSA telephone audio surveillance, foreigners were. Metadata collection on Americans is the only GOTCHA but that was obtained CONSTITUTIONALLY as the true owners of the metadata gave it up freely never requiring a search warrant.

    Of course Alexander may have over-reached on this but what choice did he have if the commercial stewards of the metadata (i.e. Verizon, AT&T, etc.) would have lost it or otherwise made it useless to the intelligence community. Alexander needed a central repository for it and his NSA UTAH DATA CENTER was the best candidate. Of course Mr. Obama is going to re-think this now due to the incessant privacy-nut cry.

    I personally don’t see any future Medals for Snowden… Unless you mean “metal” like handcuffs or iron bars?

    ,

  75. @Philo Beddow – I’m somewhat familiar with most of the peccadilloes of CIA executive staff from “shoplifting” to burning documents about illegal chemically enhanced behavioral modification programs practiced on innocent American citizens. However, no one has yet come forward to pointing out what Woolsey did. So he made a very rude statement about a guy who betrayed his government and evidently made him look bad as he was the VP of Snowden’s company, Booz Allen. Now why would you want to effectively “castrate” Jim?

    Here’s the guy in action protecting his country that you want to castrate (and for what?):

  76. SOTB, when I read “the security or national interests of the United States” I think first of the Constitution, the first ten amendments thereto and a couple of others actually, and the citizens that document serves. The moral center of our nation, the center we have, and continue to, send our nations children to bleed for.

    If Google collects and sells my information I opt out of Google membership. Likewise if any other site collects and sells my information I weigh the benefit I accrue from their use against my lack of privacy and make decisions thereon. The Constitution does not protect me from their intrusion. I don’t misunderstand the nature of the Bill of Rights to include some Jesus-driven bigot’s ‘right’ to be on a reality TV show or my employer’s right to tell me to ‘zip-it’ while on the job.

    The Constitution is about the government’s relationship with the citizen and the greatest virtue of that document is those parts that set forth what the government can’t doe to citizens without jumping through hoops to insure that the relationship doesn’t become abusive.

    The employer or Google can’t access my emails or phone calls and noting that I sent a $10.00 donation to a knitting circle that knits skull-caps for newborns and have sent such as humanitarian aid to Gaza and put me on a no-fly list. My Space may make me infamous for some dickish thing I did and posted about but they can’t audit my taxes for a badly framed joke in an email that contained key words. Depending on how loosely written an otherwise do-nothing Congress’ newly minted law is it won’t have Reddit sifting through 5 years of my electronic/telephone conversations to see what I’ve been up to and making a retroactive case that has the FBI question me or search my home under a secret administration letter.

    That commercial sources actively act as handmaidens to an ever expanding security state doesn’t mitigate anything. They are quislings and collaborators. That they gave it up with faint, if any, dispute doesn’t lessen the crimes of the principles.

    To collect the data generated by your citizens just in case you might need or want to search it later and/to target current and future opponents or dissenters is in my imperfect understanding a violation of the Bill of Rights. It distorts the citizens relationship with free speech rights and guts the provisions of due process and warrant-less searches. I can only suggest that you read about what NSA has been collecting and what it plans to collect. “Meta-data” is the wool they’re pulling over your eyes. If you plan on gardening this next year and doing some canning I suggest that if you need a new pressure canner you don’t search or buy on line, that you pay cash at a big box store and try to avoid the security cameras in the store and parking lot. It’s just that simple to call attention to yourself.

    In other words, once you have eaten the heart out of a country, and our Bill of Rights is just that, what’s left? Why should any citizen die for a patch of land where good jobs are scarce and you have to second-guess the virtue of every electronic transaction you make or word you utter? Sounds like East Germany to me.

    https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying/how-it-works

  77. http://mondoweiss.net/2013/07/chomsky-says-snowden-should-be-honored-for-telling-americans-what-the-government-was-doing.html

    Noam Chomsky, speaking this weekend at the Geneva Press Club this past July:

    My own opinion is that Snowden should be honored. He was doing what every citizen ought to do, telling. [Applause] He was telling Americans what the government was doing. That’s what’s supposed to happen.

    Governments as I mentioned before always plead security no matter what’s going on. The reflexive defense is security. But anyone who’s looked at– first of all, you take a look at what he exposed. At least anything that’s been published, it’s not any kind of threat to security, with one exception, the security of the government from its own population. And in fact if you look at anyone who’s spent any time poring through declassified records– I have, I’m sure many of you have– you find that overwhelmingly the security is the security of the state from its own population and that’s why things have to be kept secret.

    There are some cases where there’s authentic security concerns. But they’re pretty limited.

    The plea of the US government in this case for the surveillance and so on, is that it’s security against terror. But at the very same moment the US policy is designed in a way to increase terror. The US itself is carrying out the most awesome international terrorist campaign, ever, I suppose– the drones and special forces campaign. That’s a major terrorist campaign, all over the world, and it’s also generating terrorists. You can read that and hear that from the highest sources, General McChrystal and scholars and all, so on.

    Of course the drone campaign is creating potential terrorists, and you can easily understand why. I mean, if you were walking through the streets of Geneva and you don’t know whether five minutes from now there’s going to be an explosion across the street that’s run a couple thousand of miles away and it will blow away some people and who ever else happens to be around– you’re terrorized. And you don’t like it. And you may decide to react. That’s happening all over the regions that are subjected to the Obama terror campaign.

    So you can’t seriously on the one hand be not only carrying out massive terror but even generating potential terrorists against yourself and claim that we have to have massive surveillance to protect ourselves against terror. That’s a joke. It should be headlines.

    Then comes the interesting question of extradition. The US has just announced again that they’re going to punish anybody who refuses to extradite Snowden.

    At the same time the US is one of the leaers in refusing extradition. Bolivia is an interesting case. The US has imposed pressure at least… to try to block the Bolivian plane because they want Snowden extradited. For years Bolivia has been trying to extradite from the United States the former president who’s already indicted in Bolivia for all sorts of crimes. The US refuses to extradite him.

    In fact it’s happening right in Europe. Italy has been trying to extradite 22 CIA agents who were involved and in fact indicted for participating in a kidnaping in Milan. They kidnaped somebody, sent him off I think to Egypt to be tortured. And agreed later he was innnocent…

    Extradite the people involved, the US of course refuses. And there’s case after case like this… There are a lot of cases where the U.S. just refuses…

    In fact one of the most striking cases is Latin America, again, not just Bolivia. One of the world’s leading terrorists is Luis Posada, who was involved in blowing up a Cubana airliner which killed 73 people and lots of other terrorist acts. He’s sitting happily in… Miami, and his colleague Rolando Bosch also a major terrorist… is happily there… Cuba and Venezuela are trying to extradite them. But you know. Fat chance.

    So for the U.S. to be calling for others to extradite Snowden is let’s say a little ironic. Again, these ought to be headlines.

    End of Chomsky’s remarks

  78. lottakatz, Keen insights, per usual. Thanks.

    “Snowden should receive the Medal of Freedom, as should Asange and Manning. If we lived in a moral country they would too.” -lottakatz

    Agreed. Someday, I predict.

    “Sounds like East Germany to me.” -lottakatz, again

    Yep. (We’ve become more like East Germany than many yet realize.)

  79. AP, thanks for the Chomsky piece. Yeah, if we want to get all uppity about extradition send Cheney et al to Spain then get back to me, LOL

    If I had a functioning fireplace I’d be doing exactly the same thing :-)

  80. So I guess it all boils down to this:

    Is General Alexander lying through his “thin anemic lips” (a rude Bamford-ism) or is he telling the truth to CBS’ Mr. Miller here at?:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nsa-speaks-out-on-snowden-spying/

    If you are not a natural polygraph like Dr. Phil, then get yourself a VSA (voice stress analyzer) on the Internet. Most are freely available as Freeware or Shareware. Or order the Israeli device call TRUSTER. Not very expensive and quite accurate.

    Alexander says he is NOT listening to Americans phone calls or Internet traffic, deliberately. He says if his intelligence analyst do by accident they are instructed to abort immediately. If he must do so to an American in CONNUS (Continental USA) he must get a warrant from a federal magistrate before proceeding. And then he turns it over to FBI for follow-up (not CIA – thank God!).

    However, he admits he is in a gray area over meta-data thing. It is legal as it is NOT illegally searched & seized by his hackers (and yes he has those too). Is it ethical or moral for him to retain that data perpetually? Maybe not but that’s the $64,000 question isn’t it. Someone will need to decide which it is. Mr. Obama has that unpleasant task now in his review process.

    GW Bush started this mess for all the wrong reasons. Then things got a bit scarier since 9/11, as Mr. Woolsey is trying to point out in the video above. But according to SecDef William Cohen (Clinton Admin) there are eco-terrorist out there with gadgets of mass destruction you’ve NEVER heard of and arguably they have been using them but the MSM doesn’t know how they work so they report natural disasters conventionally (i.e. tornadoes in the winter is normal?)

    But it’s not all about terrorism though. There are other bad guys more scarier then terrorists that have OTHER nefarious plans for USA which have nothing to do with terror but equally as destructive to our comfortable way of life. Why do you think the Bush’s and Sun Y. Moon are buying up MILLIONS of acres of land in Paraguay (SA)? Something BIG is up and the NSA is trying to get to the bottom of it. But they are going to have to “break a few eggs to make this omelet”.

    I would say the CIA is assisting NSA but who knows they may be behind it too. I trust the DoJ and the FBI but not the CIA, in the least. It’s unfortunate that Mr. Obama is required to trust them (like trusting a Fox to watch over your chickens). I agree that the DRONES are becoming ostensibly unnecessary now. But who keeps pushing it? DCI John O. Brennan the alleged concept inventor of the program when he worked for Jose Rodriguez in the GWB admin. What DCI Porter Goss was doing to prevent this stuff is anybodies guess. Most likely nothing.

    They call me:
    SOTB :-)

    So don’t get me wrong I get all of your pain. But I think it’s a necessary evil. Keeping meta-data is Alexander’s only possible peccadillo here. Not all this other stuff you guys keep alleging. Run him through a VSA and find out if he’s lying…

    http://x13-vsa-voice-lie-detector.softpedia.com/

    SOTB

  81. @AP – Trust me AP, The Cold War Period is my forte. And USA today is NOTHING like East Germany. There’s a reason why Mr. Putin claims to like Mr. Obama’s NSA spy program. Because it takes the focus off of what he was doing in East Germany when he was in KGB manipulating the Stasi. Putin is STILL trying to manipulate US by using his SVR goons to spy on US. Why do you think he’s helping Snowden. Like Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN) said in the “Hunt for the Red October” – “The Russians don’t take a dump, son, without a plan!”

  82. “The Cold War Period is my forte. And USA today is NOTHING like East Germany.” -sonofthunderboanerges

    Well, then, you’re not seeing the whole picture. Time will tell.

    —-

    Yeah, if we want to get all uppity about extradition send Cheney et al to Spain then get back to me, LOL -lottakatz

    Yep. (I’d love to host that send-off party. (-: )

  83. @AP – OK I guess I don’t see the “whole picture” but that’s not usually the case with me. However, I’m trying to see your POV but comparing what Obama and his spooks are doing to what the Stasi/KGB was doing was like comparing apples to oranges. They were having neighbor spy on neighbor, planting listening devices everywhere, arresting people on the flimsiest of charges, imprisoning arguably innocent people, some people were summarily executed, etc.

    Somehow I think you and the many that are thinking like you are exaggerating the circumstances. I say General Alexander was NOT lying about not listening to your phone calls and I gave you the tools to prove it to yourself. I said he is spying HEAVILY on foreigners, and why not? They spy on us and if it’s in the US national security interest, why not?

    Alexander can’t share with you, Judge Leon, or the American public his success stories because they are CLASSIFIED TOP SECRET. If you could see them you could know the benefits of the NSA spy program.

    Of course I am NOT speaking for the CIA. And I would not say one word in defense of them if you wanted to vilify them, I encourage it. JFK, Senator Church, and Congressman Leo Ryan (all deceased now) were right about at least 50% of the CIA (the bad part Bush and his Yale buddies are in charge of). Rolling them into another agency like DIA, NSA, or some evolution of that may be the right thing to do now. They were NEVER supposed to be a paramilitary intelligence gathering entity. Truman wanted them to be a simple intelligence clearing house.

    Obama is allowing them to run wild because of his past dealings with them before he was a Senator. He is letting quasi-sociopaths, like John O. Brennan (an ex-Bush man) to run the show. John is giving him BAD advice. The Predator Drone program is now immoral and pretty much obsolete in it’s present form. They need to rethink it so at least the collateral damages (or CD) are minimized. It’s just a quick & dirty lazy method of dealing with a very sticky subject. I still believe a USN Seal Team on the ground could do the job of a drone more efficiently and without needless CD.

  84. An old opinion piece by Ellsberg that’s worth revisiting, given my view of what’s transpiring in the U.S.:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/daniel-ellsberg-nsa-leaker-snowden-made-the-right-call/2013/07/07/0b46d96c-e5b7-11e2-aef3-339619eab080_story.html

    Snowden made the right call when he fled the U.S.

    By Daniel Ellsberg, Published: July 7

    Excerpt:

    Many people compare Edward Snowden to me unfavorably for leaving the country and seeking asylum, rather than facing trial as I did. I don’t agree. The country I stayed in was a different America, a long time ago.

    It was, in effect, a global expansion of the Stasi, the Ministry for State Security in the Stalinist “German Democratic Republic,” whose goal was “to know everything.” But the cellphones, fiber-optic cables, personal computers and Internet traffic the NSA accesses did not exist in the Stasi’s heyday.

    As Snowden told the Guardian, “This country is worth dying for.” And, if necessary, going to prison for — for life.

    But Snowden’s contribution to the noble cause of restoring the First, Fourth and Fifth amendments to the Constitution is in his documents. It depends in no way on his reputation or estimates of his character or motives — still less, on his presence in a courtroom arguing the current charges, or his living the rest of his life in prison. Nothing worthwhile would be served, in my opinion, by Snowden voluntarily surrendering to U.S. authorities given the current state of the law.

  85. It is very risky for Woolsey, and Bolton to be talking about hanging people from the neck until dead. From my observations of the US reaction to Snowden’s revelations, there are about at least 290 million US citizens who are NOT pleased at all about these things. The only folks who might come to their defense are mostly in the area within the Beltway, and Congress critters are NOT noted for their personal or political courage, So if the heat gets hotter, those folks will toss them to the mob of US citizens who may well be showing up on their doorsteps with a soaped rope, not for Snowden, but for them.

    If I find out the time and place, I will be joining in the pitchfork mob of outraged villagers.

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