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.” […]
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.”
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.