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Snowden denied clemency.

04 Nov

And “espionage” is a French word, which proves the French spy on everyone, too.

From the Free Online Dictionary:
es·pi·o·nage  (sp–näzh, -nj) n.
The act or practice of spying or of using spies to obtain secret information, as about another government or a business competitor.  [French espionnage, from espionner, to spy, from Old French espion, spy, from Old Italian spione, of Germanic origin; see spek- in Indo-European roots.]

The White House and leading lawmakers have rejected Edward Snowden’s plea for clemency and said he should return to the United States to face trial….

Dan Pfeiffer, an Obama administration adviser, said on Sunday the NSA whistleblower’s request was not under consideration and that he should face criminal charges for leaking classified information. Dianne Feinstein and Mike Rogers, respectively the heads of the Senate and House intelligence committees, maintained the same tough line and accused Snowden of damaging US interests.

The former NSA employee this week appealed for clemency and an opportunity to address members of Congress about US surveillance. […]

Feinstein, a Democratic senator from California, remained implacable. “He’s done this enormous disservice to our country. I think the answer is ‘no clemency’,” she told CBS’s Face the Nation.

The former NSA contractor could have blown the whistle on excesses by contacting the House and Senate intelligence committees, Feinstein said. “We would certainly have seen him … and looked at that information. That didn’t happen.” […]

The House intelligence committee chairman [Mike Rogers] said pressure to rein in surveillance risked repeating previous curbs which had disastrous consequences.

“We did this in the 1930s and … that led to a whole bunch of misunderstandings that led to World War II that killed millions and millions of people. We did the same darn thing that led up to the [9/11] Osama bin Laden effort.”

Rogers scorned European protestations over US spying as theatrical, saying US allies did plenty spying themselves: “I think there’s going to be some best actor awards coming out of the White House this year, and best supporting actor awards coming out of the European Union.”

He added: “Espionage is a French word, after all.” […]

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/11/03/white-house-rejects-snowden-clemency-request/

So Congress would have listened to Snowden with polite attention had he come to them before (oh, really?  anyone buying this shit?), but now, not so much.  Now they would like to put him in solitary confinement next to Chelsea (Bradley) Manning.  No soup for you, Snowden.  Interesting how the exact same information that might have been considered useful and interesting a scant few months ago is now considered treasonous.

I was intrigued by Mike Rogers’ (head of the House Intelligence [sic] Committee) comments regarding WWII and bin Laden and so looked up the full transcript for yesterday’s “Face the Nation”, which I had not viewed when it aired.

From transcript of  3 Nov., 2013 “Face the Nation”; Mike Rogers talking to Bob Schieffer:

ROGERS: “[…] And here’s the problem, Bob. We did this in the 1930s. We turned it off. In 1929, secretary of State at that time, where they were collecting information to protect America said, you know, we shouldn’t do this. This is unseemly. They turned it off. Well, that led to a whole bunch of misunderstanding that led to World War II, that killed millions and millions of people. We did the same darned thing leading up to the Osama bin Laden effort, where we didn’t want to talk to each other, we didn’t coordinate intelligence activities, we didn’t want to get certain things. And it led to 9/11, that took the lives of 3,000 Americans. […]”

I think Rogers has missed out on a few years of reporting about the whole 9/11, bin Laden scenario.  Without getting into any deeper questions about bin Laden’s known ties to our CIA (Snowden himself, ironically or not, also worked for the CIA) or the serious and obvious canards in the official Congressional 9/11 report, Rogers must be aware that it came out very shortly after 9/11 that then-President Bush had, in fact, been given reliable intelligence about the plot and had shrugged it off.  He refused to act on it – the problem was not that the US spy apparatus had been “turned off”.  God only knows what Rogers means by the WWII reference.

Later in the show, Schieffer talks to David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for the NYT:

“SCHIEFFER: And back to the David, what happens now on this NSA, as these revelations continue to come out?

“SANGER: Well, there are two reviews that are under way. One is internal to the White House. The White House has said very little about it. Then there’s an external one of five former members of the intel community, some legal scholars who are supposed to report by the middle of December and say that report will be quite public. But I think what you’re discovering right now is that the White House is standing firm on the domestic collection of this bulk data about all the phone calls we all make. I think, in the foreign arena, the Angela Merkel kind of interceptions, you’re going to see far more oversight.

And I think that’s, sort of, what you were hearing when you heard Senator Feinstein today issue those complaints. I don’t know how widespread her view is.  But my guess is it’s going to be increasingly difficult to justify doing this kind of surveillance on allies who you need as partners in not only intelligence collection but making sure that our cybersystems are safe.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3460_162-57610589/face-the-nation-transcripts-november-3-2013-feinstein-rogers-hayden/

There is no intention of curtailing the massive collection of all of our communications.  In fact, Feinstein and Rogers, both mentioned above, are jointly working on a bill – soon to be introduced to Congress – which will “explicitly legalize mass surveillance”.  – http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/judiciary-vs-intelligence/

But that is the point, really.  There will be no “debate” amongst the public, the politicians, and the governmental spy agencies – and the NSA is merely one of the dozens of agencies keeping close tabs on our movements and utterances, don’t forget – the point is that now you know for sure what you may have simply suspected before.  If you are aware of this whole NSA data-collection thing, and a surprising number of Americans are blithely ignorant of it, you will be more careful in what you write or say in public.  This serves to keep the dissidents in line and to effectively shut up the more timid who might otherwise be tempted to object.  And when they distort your emails or phone calls to charge you with “suspicious activities”, you can’t say you didn’t know they were collecting your private data.  You’re being warned: you are being watched as closely as any other “terrorist”.  They want you to know that.  It is a simple, but very efficient, method of intimidation.

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14 Comments

Posted by on November 4, 2013 in civil rights, Congress, security state

 

14 responses to “Snowden denied clemency.

  1. Kitt

    November 8, 2013 at 10:25 am

    “anyone buying this shit?” The difference between Pre and post Snowden should be, “No, absolutely no one is buying this shit.” Unfortunately, not only are way too many people happily and determinedly buying it, but the fact that the horrid Feinstein and the demonstrably dishonest and horrid Rogers have the audacity to even say it – after all that has been revealed – says an awful lot. I’d like to see a “Panel” of, say, Thomas Drake,Jesselyn Radack, Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, William Binney, maybe Jeremy Scahill and some others get together all at once in as high a profile venue as is possible in order to trash that lie to its roots.

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  2. teri

    November 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    I’d love to see that panel, too, Kitt. Never gonna happen – we are around the bend.

    Hey, speaking of the odious Feinstein, check out this article I just read about what her husband does for a living and what he is doing to the US Post Office:

    http://www.alternet.org/economy/post-office-and-privatization?akid=11121.201112.mPZx60&rd=1&src=newsletter921198&t=10

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  3. Kitt

    November 8, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Yes, I’ve been aware of Richard Blum and Dianne Feinstein theft of the Post Office. That article covers it well.
    Occucards has a PO card out:
    http://www.occucards.com/the-post-office/

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  4. Titonwan

    November 11, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Hi, sweet heart. I’ve been very busy in my own life but I read you whenever the chance arrives. My chest is big with pride that you still continue holding a fire brand against the self imposed ignorance of the masses. Glenn would prolly say you are ‘adequate’ (which means more than most think). I love you honey chile and best wishes in your path of life.

    I’ve built another bike and continue to fight ignorance on a much lower level, but one at a time, I’m convincing the rough to be the compassionate monkey we can all be. (I hope, or I’m gonna smack something- likely hominid).
    Always, your biggest fan.

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    • Teri

      November 12, 2013 at 7:24 am

      Titonwan! My main man! I have so missed you on the interwebs.

      Glad to hear you are doing okay and keeping on keeping on. Good on the new bike… any photos to share?

      I have had a recent health thingie going on, hence my infrequent postings for some months, but as I recover, I hope to get back into more regular writing.

      Last year I dedicated a post to you, brah. Don’t know if you saw it:
      http://teri.nicedriving.org/2012/05/the-un-report-on-native-peoples-in-the-us/

      It’s so good to hear from you. Come and sit a spell when you can. And keep your own campfire going bright and strong.

      Love, Teri

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  5. Titonwan

    November 11, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Hi, Kitt. Hope all is as well as can be expected (kee!). I think that good people will coalesce. Get yer helmet on, just in case!

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  6. Kitt

    November 13, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Hi Titonwan: Think about you often. Even about what a great comically fantastic adversary you were for one of theee most boring and obnoxious posters to ever put finger to keyboard.

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  7. bloodypitchfork

    November 13, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    quote”I’d love to see that panel, too, Kitt. Never gonna happen – we are around the bend.”unquote

    Maybe they can ask Greenwalds new buddy to sanction it. Hell, maybe Omidyar can HOST it. You know..kind of a opening salvo for the new brand. Shit..they could even let PAYPAL take donations. right? Just like for Wikileaks…..oops…wait..my bad. ummm, well ..hey, wait, Greenwald is gonna work for Omidyar..and Omidyar’s PAYPAL cut the link to Wikileaks..and..ummmm..oh oh.

    http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/

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  8. teri

    November 14, 2013 at 5:54 am

    Pitchfork,

    I know we are supposed to be all giddy about GG joining up with the Grand Omidyar, but I am not so certain having one of the elitist of the wealthy elite running the show is going to turn out the way everyone seems to expect. Might be financially beneficial for Greenwald, though. Someone said it would be like Matt Taibbi having Jamie Dimon back his journalism and I agree with that sentiment. (For some reason, I keep thinking of Bill fucking Gates and his Monsanto “feed the hungry” ruse. Or his climate manipulation or his interfering in the public education system. Spare me from any more gazillionaires doing us any more “favors”.)

    In the meantime, what of all the thousands of other documents that Snowden gave to GG et al? Do we have to wait for Greenwald’s book to come out next spring before we see them? Pay 29.95 to discover in what other ways our privacy is being invaded? Not to mention that by then, Congress will have already passed their new Feinstein “The NSA is Like Unto God” bill and the public will be that much more inured to these erosions of our civil liberties, like frogs boiling in a pot, as they say. Pfffft.

    – Teri

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  9. Kitt

    November 14, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Actually, as it turns out, Glenn was is on a panel tonight, which happens to be similar to the one that I suggested. As far as I can tell, Omidyar didn’t have anything to do with it, which is how I suspect most all of Glenn’s articles and appearances will be in the future, same as they have been in the past.

    http://fordhamnotes.blogspot.com/2013/11/fordham-panel-to-scrutinize-government.html?m=1

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  10. Titonwan

    November 24, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    C’mon, baby doll. You and me know Glenn- he’s gonna laugh at people tryin’ to corrupt his ass. He’s still is a hero, in my book. I understand your sentiment, but I don’t ‘see’ it. Love, Robin.

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  11. Teri

    November 25, 2013 at 9:47 am

    I think that Glenn has shown himself to be most bold in being willing to go up against the establishment with the Snowden leaks. And he is a fine writer. That being said, I do question a couple of things.

    I am concerned over the Omidyar backing of the New News Corp, or whatever they are going to call it. The Omidyar Group has some business ties to Booz-Allen and has been involved in some horrible micro-financing deals in the less well-developed countries; deals which left many of the recipients of the “loans” so hopelessly caught in a debt trap that they committed suicide. (The lenders refused to rewrite the loans or lower the interest rates so that the people could afford repayment, and relentlessly pursued them for payment. It is more a payday lending scam than a “help people work their way out of poverty” idea.) Capitalism at its deadly best.

    See, for instance, this: https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/extraordinary-pierre-omidyar/

    Perhaps Omidyar won’t have much influence over the whole project and will truly let the journalists do as they want. My not liking Omidyar’s various business adventures and being a bit suspicious that the enterprise might be only another money-making scheme for one of the already super-wealthy doesn’t mean I don’t like Glenn or Jeremy Scahill or any of the rest, for heaven’s sake. It just means I am somewhat skeptical of Omidyar’s motives and business relationships.

    As for Glenn’s new book deal – he has a book coming out in March which will reveal “new and astonishing” details heretofore not given in the public domain – I am not sure that that’s what Snowden himself intended when he decided to bring the documents public.

    Snowden has said:

    According to Snowden, his “sole motive” for leaking the documents was “to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.” (this is from Glenn’s article in which he introduced Snowden as “the NSA leaker”, when Snowden decided to reveal his identity.)

    And:
    “[…] These are not decisions that should be made for the people but only by the people after full informed and fearless debate. Yet public debate is not possible without public knowledge and in my country the cost for one in my position of returning public knowledge to public hands has been persecution and exile. […]”
    -from Snowden’s statement to the EU parliamentary committee on NSA revelations.

    And:

    ” […] I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: “Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.”

    “Accordingly, I did what I believed right and began a campaign to correct this wrongdoing. I did not seek to enrich myself. I did not seek to sell US secrets. I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety. Instead, I took what I knew to the public, so what affects all of us can be discussed by all of us in the light of day, and I asked the world for justice. […]”
    http://wikileaks.org/Statement-by-Edward-Snowden-to.html

    It doesn’t sound like Snowden meant for the documents to be withheld or to be used for personal gain. I’m sure GG’s book will be good; I worry that by holding onto the information until next spring, the public’s attention will have wandered off, Congress will have had time to pass some new legislation protecting the NSA and other such agencies, and the media won’t be much inclined to revisit the topic.

    The revelations have slowed to a trickle, with only one or two newspapers covering any new stuff, and there are supposedly tens of thousands of Snowden’s documents, which are still being held aside by someone.

    This is only my opinion, but I think the whole shebang belongs in the public domain and that GG should not be saving some of them to make profit on a book sale. Let him write a book or movie script on how he and Snowden happened to hook up, or Snowden’s race around the world seeking asylum or something, but don’t hold up the actual documents for another 5 or 6 months and then only available to those who can afford the cost of the book. I just don’t think it’s right, or what Snowden intended when he gave up his home and family to bring all this out.

    I neither hate nor worship Glenn. There are just a few little issues about the latest developments that nag at me a bit, Robin.

    And, dang, if Omidyar puts a paywall up in front of the new site, I won’t be able to read any of the articles. I really like the line-up they have on board so far, but I got no wherewithall to pay for reading the news.

    Love, Teri

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  12. bloodypitchfork

    November 27, 2013 at 8:49 am

    quote “I really like the line-up they have on board so far, but I got no wherewithall to pay for reading the news.”unquote

    Don’t worry teri. Omidyar has a micro-loan for ya. 🙂

    Like

     
    • Teri

      November 27, 2013 at 9:29 am

      I bet he does, Pitch. Did you see the article on those loans? It is to retch.

      Like

       

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