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Greenwald writes: "What we have reported thus far is merely 'the tip of the iceberg' of what the NSA is doing in spying on Americans and the world."

(illustration: unknown)
(illustration: unknown)



Just the Tip of the Iceberg

By Glenn Greenwald, Guardian UK

15 June 13

 

Addressing many of the issues arising from last week's NSA stories

haven't been able to write this week here because I've been participating in the debate over the fallout from last week's NSA stories, and because we are very busy working on and writing the next series of stories that will begin appearing very shortly. I did, though, want to note a few points, and particularly highlight what Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez said after Congress on Wednesday was given a classified briefing by NSA officials on the agency's previously secret surveillance activities:

"What we learned in there is significantly more than what is out in the media today. . . . I can't speak to what we learned in there, and I don't know if there are other leaks, if there's more information somewhere, if somebody else is going to step up, but I will tell you that I believe it's the tip of the iceberg . . . . I think it's just broader than most people even realize, and I think that's, in one way, what astounded most of us, too."

The Congresswoman is absolutely right: what we have reported thus far is merely "the tip of the iceberg" of what the NSA is doing in spying on Americans and the world. She's also right that when it comes to NSA spying, "there is significantly more than what is out in the media today", and that's exactly what we're working to rectify.

But just consider what she's saying: as a member of Congress, she had no idea how invasive and vast the NSA's surveillance activities are. Sen. Jon Tester, who is a member of the Homeland Security Committee, said the same thing, telling MSNBC about the disclosures that "I don't see how that compromises the security of this country whatsoever" and adding: "quite frankly, it helps people like me become aware of a situation that I wasn't aware of before because I don't sit on that Intelligence Committee."

How can anyone think that it's remotely healthy in a democracy to have the NSA building a massive spying apparatus about which even members of Congress, including Senators on the Homeland Security Committee, are totally ignorant and find "astounding" when they learn of them? How can anyone claim with a straight face that there is robust oversight when even members of the Senate Intelligence Committee are so constrained in their ability to act that they are reduced to issuing vague, impotent warnings to the public about what they call radical "secret law" enabling domestic spying that would "stun" Americans to learn about it, but are barred to disclose what it is they're so alarmed by? Put another way, how can anyone contest the value and justifiability of the stories that we were able to publish as a result of Edward Snowden's whistleblowing: stories that informed the American public - including even the US Congress - about these incredibly consequential programs? What kind of person would think that it would be preferable to remain in the dark - totally ignorant - about them?

I have a column in the Guardian's newspaper edition tomorrow examining the fallout from these stories. That will be posted here and I won't repeat that now. I will, though, note the following brief items:

(1) Much of US politics, and most of the pundit reaction to the NSA stories, are summarized by this one single visual from Pew:

The most vocal media critics of our NSA reporting, and the most vehement defenders of NSA surveillance, have been, by far, Democratic (especially Obama-loyal) pundits. As I've written many times, one of the most significant aspects of the Obama legacy has been the transformation of Democrats from pretend-opponents of the Bush War on Terror and National Security State into their biggest proponents: exactly what the CIA presciently and excitedly predicted in 2008 would happen with Obama's election.

Some Democrats have tried to distinguish 2006 from 2013 by claiming that the former involved illegal spying while the latter does not. But the claim that current NSA spying is legal is dubious in the extreme: the Obama DOJ has repeatedly thwarted efforts by the ACLU, EFF and others to obtain judicial rulings on their legality and constitutionality by invoking procedural claims of secrecy, immunity and standing. If Democrats are so sure these spying programs are legal, why has the Obama DOJ been so eager to block courts from adjudicating that question?

More to the point, Democratic critiques of Bush's spying were about more than just legality. I know that because I actively participated in the campaign to amplify those critiques. Indeed, by 2006, most of Bush's spying programs - definitely his bulk collection of phone records - were already being conducted under the supervision and with the blessing of the FISA court. Moreover, leading members of Congress - including Nancy Pelosi - were repeatedly briefed on all aspects of Bush's NSA spying program. So the distinctions Democrats are seeking to draw are mostly illusory.

To see how that this is so, just listen to then-Senator Joe Biden in 2006 attack the NSA for collecting phone records: he does criticize the program for lacking FISA court supervision (which wasn't actually true), but also claims to be alarmed by just how invasive and privacy-destroying that sort of bulk record collection is. He says he "doesn't think" that the program passes the Fourth Amendment test: how can Bush's bulk record collection program be unconstitutional while Obama's program is constitutional? But Biden also rejected Bush's defense (exactly the argument Obama is making now) - that "we're not listening to the phone calls, we're just looking for patterns" - by saying this:

I don't have to listen to your phone calls to know what you're doing. If I know every single phone call you made, I'm able to determine every single person you talked to. I can get a pattern about your life that is very, very intrusive. . . . If it's true that 200 million Americans' phone calls were monitored - in terms of not listening to what they said, but to whom they spoke and who spoke to them - I don't know, the Congress should investigative this."

Is collecting everyone's phone records not "very intrusive" when Democrats are doing it? Just listen to that short segment to see how every defense Obama defenders are making now were the ones Bush defenders made back then. Again, leading members of Congress and the FISA court were both briefed on and participants in the Bush telephone record collection program as well, yet Joe Biden and most Democrats found those programs very alarming and "very intrusive" back then.

(2) Notwithstanding the partisan-driven Democratic support for these programs, and notwithstanding the sustained demonization campaign aimed at Edward Snowden from official Washington, polling data, though mixed, has thus far been surprisingly encouraging.

A Time Magazine poll found that 54% of Americans believe Snowden did "a good thing", while only 30% disagreed. That approval rating is higher than the one enjoyed by both Congress and President Obama. While a majority think he should be nonetheless prosecuted, a plurality of young Americans, who overwhelmingly view Snowden favorably, do not even want to see him charged. Reuters found that more Americans see Snowden as a "patriot" than a "traitor". A Gallup poll this week found that more Americans disapprove (53%) than approve (37%) of the two NSA spying programs revealed last week by the Guardian.

(3) Thomas Drake, an NSA whistleblower who was unsuccessfully prosecuted by the Obama DOJ, writes in the Guardian that as a long-time NSA official, he saw all of the same things at the NSA that Edward Snowden is now warning Americans about. Drake calls Snowden's acts "an amazingly brave and courageous act of civil disobedience." William Binney, the mathematician who resigned after a 30-year career as a senior NSA official in protest of post-9/11 domestic surveillance, said on Democracy Now this week that Snowden's claims about the NSA are absolutely true.

Meanwhile, Daniel Ellsberg, writing in the Guardian, wrote that "there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden's release of NSA material – and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago." He added: "Snowden did what he did because he recognized the NSA's surveillance programs for what they are: dangerous, unconstitutional activity."

Listen to actual experts and patriots - people who have spent their careers inside the NSA and/or who risked their liberty for the good of the country - and the truth of Snowden's claims and the justifiability of his acts become manifest.

(4) As we were about to begin publishing these NSA stories, a veteran journalist friend warned me that the tactic used by Democratic partisans would be to cling to and then endlessly harp on any alleged inaccuracy in any one of the stories we publish as a means of distracting attention away from the revelations and discrediting the entire project. That proved quite prescient, as that is exactly what they are attempting to do.

Thus far we have revealed four independent programs: the bulk collection of telephone records, the Prism program, Obama's implementation of an aggressive foreign and domestic cyber-operations policy, and false claims by NSA officials to Congress. Every one of those articles was vetted by multiple Guardian editors and journalists - not just me. Democratic partisans have raised questions about only one of the stories - the only one that happened to be also published by the Washington Post (and presumably vetted by multiple Post editors and journalists) - in order to claim that an alleged inaccuracy in it means our journalism in general is discredited.

They are wrong. Our story was not inaccurate. The Washington Post revised parts of its article, but its reporter, Bart Gellman, stands by its core claims ("From their workstations anywhere in the world, government employees cleared for Prism access may 'task' the system and receive results from an Internet company without further interaction with the company's staff").

The Guardian has not revised any of our articles and, to my knowledge, has no intention to do so. That's because we did not claim that the NSA document alleging direct collection from the servers was true; we reported - accurately - that the NSA document claims that the program allows direct collection from the companies' servers. Before publishing, we went to the internet companies named in the documents and asked about these claims. When they denied it, we purposely presented the story as one of a major discrepancy between what the NSA document claims and what the internet companies claim, as the headline itself makes indisputably clear:

The NSA document says exactly what we reported. Just read it and judge for yourself (Prism is "collection directly from the servers of these US service providers"). It's endearingly naive how some people seem to think that because government officials or corporate executives issue carefully crafted denials, this resolves the matter. Read the ACLU's tech expert, Chris Soghoian, explain why the tech companies' denials are far less significant and far more semantic than many are claiming.

Nor do these denials make any sense. If all the tech companies are doing under Prism is providing what they've always provided to the NSA, but simply doing it by a different technological means, then why would a new program be necessary at all? How can NSA officials claim that a program that does nothing more than change the means for how this data is delivered is vital in stopping terrorist threats? Why does the NSA document hail the program as one that enables new forms of collection? Why would it be "top secret" if all this was were just some new way of transmitting court-ordered data? How is Prism any different in any meaningful way from how the relationship between the companies and the NSA has always functioned?

As a follow-up to our article, the New York Times reported on extensive secret negotiations between Silicon Valley executives and NSA officials over government access to the companies' data. It's precisely because these arrangements are secret and murky yet incredibly significant that we published our story about these conflicting claims. They ought to be resolved in public, not in secret. The public should know exactly what access the NSA is trying to obtain to the data of these companies, and should know exactly what access these companies are providing. Self-serving, unchecked, lawyer-vetted denials by these companies don't remotely resolve these questions.

In a Nation post yesterday, Rick Perlstein falsely accuses me of not having addressed the questions about the Prism story. I've done at least half-a-dozen television shows in the last week where I was asked about exactly those questions and answered fully with exactly what I've written here (see this appearance with Chris Hayes as just the latest example); the fact that Perlstein couldn't be bothered to use Google doesn't entitle him to falsely claim I haven't addressed these questions. I have done so repeatedly, and do so here again.

I know that many Democrats want to cling to the belief that, in Perlstein's words, "the powers that be will find it very easy to seize on this one error to discredit [my] NSA revelation, even the ones he nailed dead to rights". Perlstein cleverly writes that "such distraction campaigns are how power does its dirtiest work" as he promotes exactly that campaign.

But that won't happen. The documents and revelations are too powerful. The story isn't me, or Edward Snowden, or the eagerness of Democratic partisans to defend the NSA as a means of defending President Obama, and try as they might, Democrats won't succeed in making the story be any of those things. The story is the worldwide surveillance apparatus the NSA is constructing in the dark and the way that has grown under Obama, and that's where my focus is going to remain.

(5) NYU Journalism professor Jay Rosen examines complaints that my having strong, candidly acknowledged opinions on surveillance policies somehow means that the journalism I do on those issues is suspect. It is very worth reading what he has to say on this topic as it gets to the heart about several core myths about what journalism is.

(6) Last week, prior to the revelation of our source's identity, I wrote that "ever since the Nixon administration broke into the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychoanalyst's office, the tactic of the US government has been to attack and demonize whistleblowers as a means of distracting attention from their own exposed wrongdoing and destroying the credibility of the messenger so that everyone tunes out the message" and "that attempt will undoubtedly be made here."

The predictable personality assaults on Snowden have begun in full force from official Washington and their media spokespeople. They are only going to intensify. There is nobody who political officials and their supine media class hate more than those who meaningfully dissent from their institutional orthodoxies and shine light on what they do. The hatred for such individuals is boundless.

There are two great columns on this dynamic. This one by Reuters' Jack Shafer explores how elite Washington reveres powerful leakers that glorify political officials, but only hate marginalized and powerless leakers who discredit Washington and its institutions. And perhaps the best column yet on Snowden comes this morning from the Daily Beast's Kirsten Powers: just please take the time to read it all, as it really conveys the political and psychological rot that is driving the attacks on him and on his very carefully vetted disclosures.

UPDATE

The New York Times reports today that Yahoo went to court in order to vehemently resist the NSA's directive that they join the Prism program, and joined only when the court compelled it to do so. The company specifically "argued that the order violated its users' Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures."

If, as NSA (and Silicon Valley) defenders claim, Prism is nothing more than a harmless little drop-box mechanism for delivering to the government what these companies were already providing, why would Yahoo possibly be in court so vigorously resisting it and arguing that it violates their users' Fourth Amendment rights? Similarly, how could it possibly be said - as US government officials have - that Prism has been instrumental in stopping terrorist plots if it did not enhance the NSA's collection capabilities? The denials from the internet companies make little sense when compared to what we know about the program. At the very least, there is ample reason to demand more disclosure and transparency about exactly what this is and what data-access arrangements they have agreed to.

UPDATE II

My column that is appearing in the Guardian newspaper, on the fallout from the NSA stories, is now posted here.

UPDATE III

Underscoring all of these points, please take two minutes to watch this amazing video, courtesy of EFF, in which the 2006 version of Joe Biden aggressively debates the 2013 version of Barack Obama on whether the US government should be engaged in the bulk collection of American's phone records:

 

 

That's the kind of debate we need more of.

 

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-99 # katela 2013-06-15 08:52
No one is more Progressive than I, but I look at Glenn Greenwald and I see "Agenda."
 
 
+58 # Walter J Smith 2013-06-15 10:30
Okay, you have made the assertion that you "see agenda" when you "look at Glenn Greenwald."

Are you a paid Obama or anti-truth-tell ing propagandist, or can you reveal the details of what you claim to see?

Or, what is your agenda?
 
 
+51 # babaregi 2013-06-15 10:35
Katela
What does "Progressive" mean to you?
What, exactly, is this "Agenda" you see and what have you got to back up your observation.

Progress comes from confronting the truth and acting on it appropriately, not casting unwarranted doubts on those that reveal the facts of the matter.
 
 
+54 # larrypayne 2013-06-15 10:48
I see an agenda as well. That agenda is to keep readers accurately informed.

Corporate mainstream media has an agenda to criminalize whistleblowers. MSM, if they were doing their duty, would be the ones blowing the whistle on the spying but instead, they support their bank accounts by supporting the spies.
 
 
+31 # freelyb 2013-06-15 11:45
Funny, "Agenda" is what I see when I read your post, and many, many folks are more progressive than you, thank God.
 
 
+24 # stanhode 2013-06-15 13:47
"No one is more Progressive than I..."

Doubtful
 
 
-16 # tabonsell 2013-06-15 14:30
Greenwald may be caught up in some mass hysteria about this NSA "scandal."

To get a better understanding about the differences between 2006 (Gorge W. Bush) and 2013 (Barack Obama) try reading Joe Conason at:

http://www.nationalmemo.com/on-civil-liberties-comparing-obama-with-bush-is-easy-and-mostly-wrong/

That writer is every bit as honest and reliable as people think Greenwald is.
 
 
+34 # sanantone 2013-06-15 15:10
Greenwald is NOT the issue. Snowden is NOT the issue. Keep your eye on the ball.
 
 
-7 # tabonsell 2013-06-15 15:17
For the skeptics below:

The "agenda" just may be that this Snowden character first contacted Greenwald early this year to make him the first to leak to. Greenwald then would have a "scoop" on which to base this article. Also Greenwald, normally a highly reliable and trustworthy former constitutional lawyer had only Snowden's input.

Running with the scoop is an agenda.
 
 
+2 # jcdav 2013-06-16 07:18
So, what is the agenda?
 
 
+4 # kalpal 2013-06-16 10:47
You are as progressive as the sun rising in the west every morning. You are a right wing shill and a liar.
 
 
0 # dandevries 2013-06-17 16:02
Quoting katela:
No one is more Progressive than I, but I look at Glenn Greenwald and I see "Agenda."


I think there may be one or two others "more Progressive" than katela
 
 
0 # brux 2013-06-18 15:09
That's not really saying much ... what "Agenda"?
 
 
+28 # angry 2013-06-15 08:58
Hey guys, privatized corporations can give campaign bribes and government entities cannot, so until we address the political greed it is what it is. Political corruption at the top. And the "privates" are not held to the same standards.

ONLY public funding of campaigns will fix it, and ONLY a near-100% turnover in 2014 will get us there. (Though even as a center-right republican I would hate to see the R's get power. They have turned wacko.)

I've signed on at http://www.wolf-pac.com

--
Jack Lohman
jelohman@gmail.com
http://MoneyedPoliticians.net
http://ReclaimOurVoice.wordpress.com
http://SinglePayer.info

>>> "America will always do the right thing, but only after everything else fails." Winston Churchill
 
 
+7 # Walter J Smith 2013-06-15 10:32
Only taxing the wealthy will permit funding campaigns. The wealthy write the legislation.

Political Catch 22.

Next fantasy?
 
 
+7 # angry 2013-06-15 12:52
It's not just a problem with the 1%. The system is broken (in a good way for the politicians) and they DO NOT want it fixed. And they have to pass the laws. EXCEPT that we can do an end-around with an Amendment similar to Move to Amend, but expanded to also include public funding of campaigns. See http://www.wolf-pac.com above. We need your help.
 
 
+4 # angry 2013-06-15 12:55
And incidentally, Walter, funding of the campaigns would be done by the DECREASED spending and pork, and we taxpayers would save money in the process.
 
 
+46 # xflowers 2013-06-15 09:07
This should not be a partisan issue. I'm a Democrat but an American first. I absolutely won't support this kind of invasive, unchecked surveillance because it is wrong and dangerous to everything I hold dear. I don't care who is president. History speaks to the nature of men if given too much power. It's why our constitution was designed as it was, including the insertion of the Fourth amendment We are corruptible, if not the first man or woman, the ten more to follow.
 
 
+51 # wantrealdemocracy 2013-06-15 09:12
Why are Democrats so eager to defend Obama? All that we worried would happen if Obama did not get elected has happened. How long can loyal Democrates continue to defend and support Obama when his actions do not live up to his campaign promises? Yes, he may be the lesser evil, but is that good enough? We must find and support better candidates for federal office than we have now. The current membership of Congress has at most six decent people who do really represent their constituents. If you were in the place of your Representative, would you vote as that 'Representative ' does? I don't think so. We the people have the wisdom but not the fortitude to stand up and demand that our voice is heeded in our government. Loyal Democrats are not acting wisely in my opinion. Our national values and our Constitution are more important than having a President who is not acting in the interests of the majority of our citizens. We don't want these endless wars. We don't want to keep giving the crooks on Wall St our tax funds and we do not want austerity of sequester to gut our domestic programs.
 
 
+18 # Walter J Smith 2013-06-15 10:36
RE: "...why would Yahoo possibly be in court so vigorously resisting it and arguing that it violates their users' Fourth Amendment rights?"

Not only should Democrats be alarmed by Obama's disrobing, but all of us.

Even Yahoo can smell the stench in this political wind.

Keep in mind, though, that one-third of the democrats still don't smell a thing.
 
 
0 # brux 2013-06-18 15:12
More likely Yahoo sees a way to positive brand itself and recover some of the subscribers and users it has lost over the years.
 
 
+6 # Rita Walpole Ague 2013-06-15 10:41
"Why are Democrats so eager to defend Obama?" The answer we have learned, here in the nation's super fusion center Colorado Springs, ain't pretty.

Conned we have been. Democratic political headquarters, at local, state, federal levels, have been infiltrated and taken over by various govt. operatives and their cronies, who are anything but people servers.

Want an example? In 2008, at the El Paso County Dem. convention, elected delegates and alternates were needlessly kept out in the bitter cold for hours, by an NSA agent (then head of the local ACLU), who guarded the entrance door. Upon having taken inside one delegate, a man in his eighties whose lips were turning blue, I came out a side door to pick up a sign I'd left outside, was begged for help by another delegate, a woman who was having a panic attack from the cold and crowd surrounding her. As I took her arm and headed toward the entrance door, I heard the NSA agent telling, in an intimidating manner, an elected delegate and his wife that they were not allowed in. The delegate raged at the agent, saying he was an elected delegate and the woman he was with an elected alternate, and they had standing out in the freezing cold. Suddenly, I was seen and, as before, allowed to enter (the agent knew me).

Then came the election of a platform comm., which was, within days, killed off by the party head.

Time we Dems. wake up!
 
 
+7 # dascher 2013-06-15 13:43
I would have hoped that the loyal dems and progressives would have learned their lesson from the loyal dems and progressives who wouldn't walk away from LBJ as he pressed on in Vietnam because they were afraid of what the GOP would do.

Obama and his friends are NOT progressive and they are leading the dems to disaster, just as LBJ did. We may have passed the point of no return already.
 
 
+1 # Capn Canard 2013-06-16 07:46
dascher, I wouldn't get to worried about the Dems/Progressiv es. Those in the presidency tend to do what is best for the biggest monetary powers no matter what their party affiliation. The Dems will screw it up just like the Repubs have screwed it up. The parties are just pawns in the bigger game of economic dominance. Perhaps we need not be fooled into believing that we have real control over our government!
 
 
-32 # Imagine Peace 2013-06-15 10:17
Maybe the "tip of the iceberg", but no one speaking right now, knows the "REAL" story, not even Greenwald. He's a reporter and his job relies on readership..... .. so stories like these are the tip of his glory......

While so many are living on their FEARS.......... which those FEARS come from and takes on what we just don't know to be true at this point in time........... ....

I guess people who are afraid, and in a panic state of mind.... I choose not to live in PANIC or in FEAR.
 
 
+20 # tonenotvolume 2013-06-15 11:28
Sorry, Peace, but your ostrich stance will soon become a victim of the oncoming survellience semi. ...I choose not to live in ignorance or in a state of false security.
 
 
-6 # freelyb 2013-06-15 11:47
This kind of thinking is what makes the left look naive.
 
 
+7 # The Voice of Reason 2013-06-15 12:01
I wonder if the NSA is hiring. Seems like the only way to avoid being spied on is to be a spyer. And if you don't get the job, I guess that's because of what they have on you already.
 
 
+6 # Scott Galindez 2013-06-15 13:14
Greenwald knows more of the story than us...He has documents he hasn't reported on yet...some that he won't because they would damaging to National Security.
 
 
+11 # dascher 2013-06-15 13:48
Don't panic. Just keep your eyes open and make contingency plans. There is enough clear evidence of the Obama administrations crimes against the bill of rights --- not to mention war crimes - that it takes some serious powers of denial to continue to have 'hope' that Obama's really a good guy that we have to support because he's better than the alternative.
 
 
+8 # Anarchist 23 2013-06-15 10:21
As the new National Motto becomes 'The Greatest Evil For The Greatest Number' the Amerikkkan Sheeple seem to have adopted 'What, Me Worry?' as their motto. No point in talking to people; they just say 'Oh you are too negative! If you keep thinking about all those bad things, they will happen.' Hey kids-lets just paint our rooms pink and think 'Elves and Unicorns' The country I was born in perished a long time ago. And like in the nursery rhyme 'All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty together again.' Election laws on corporate money are too little and too late; we do not live in a democracy; we live in an Oligarchy. Get used to it or at least see it for what it really is.
 
 
0 # Milarepa 2013-06-15 10:21
Obama - what an optimist! Nobody can make sense of what he says but he steadfastly believes he's right. And of course he is. Once he's read what he said and gets his attorneys working on it.
You gotta love the guy!
 
 
+8 # Walter J Smith 2013-06-15 10:28
The best news there is the indication that one third of the democrats accross the land are waking up to just how treasonous the Democratic Party's leadership really is.

Green Party, anyone? Libertarian Party, anyone? Justice Party, anyone?

All you have to lose are your illusions.
 
 
0 # stanhode 2013-06-15 13:59
Will the Justice Party continue?

How about PSL (PSLweb.org)?
 
 
+7 # Lennie 2013-06-15 10:47
Are President Obama's "strings" being pulled by unseen and possibly not very nice forces? Like a marionette? Just a thought. I hope not. I voted for him both times, but that doesn't mean I have to like everything he does and says. So much of what he says just seems to be so un-Obama like, if you know what I mean. Just another pol? Say anything to get the votes, then. . . A lot of our idealism is starting to crack.
 
 
+1 # freelyb 2013-06-15 11:48
Quite possible, but it doesn't change much.
 
 
+24 # Vern Radul 2013-06-15 10:51
Goebbels and the Nazis were amateurs compared to the US Government today. They didn't have Goebbels and the Nazis to learn from and build on.

Goebbels and the Nazis would have stood in awe - in awe! - of people smearing Snowden rather than pouring into the streets around the White House, the capital, the NSA, the pentagon and Langley by the tens of millions.

Goebbels and the Nazis would have stood in awe - open mouthed slack jawed awe - seeing 310 million Americans acting like they are outnumbered by a few thousand wall streeters, media moguls, insurance company and weapons manufacturer execs and other assorted 'plutocrats', 100 senators, 435 congresspeople, and maybe a couple of hundred in the US Administration.
 
 
+15 # maddave 2013-06-15 11:17
Given:
Citizens' United;
Our filibuster-crip pled Senate;
Our Corporate-Ameri ca-Controlled House & Senate;
Wall Street's confirmed position of "Above the Law";
The entire national debt that will eventually destroy the dollar;
Homeland Security & the Patriot Act;
Rampant, roughshod disregard for Constitutional rights;
The emergence of state & local police as storm troopers;
The Presidents' (plural possessive) progressively assuming total power;
The destruction of our middle class & their jobs;
The conversion of American workers into consumable, easily & economically replaced commodities;
An exponentially increasing poverty-level-population;
An out-of-control concentration of wealth in the pockets of the top few percent of our population;
The largest per-capita prison population in the world;
A failed justice & court system;
An education system that only the elite can afford . . . ;

Given all this and more, how can any open-eyed citizen with a "greater-than room-temperatur e-IQ" expect this Great Experiment to last, at most, another decade, if that?

When the dollar declines & is devalued;
When enough people get genuinely hungry and hopeless . . .

Look out!
 
 
+1 # womyn 2013-06-16 08:33
Brilliantly detailed.

I could add a few more like:

Illegal unnecessary preemptive never-ending-fo r-corporate-pro fit-only- wars paid for with borrowed money from China, etc., which provides ongoing never-ending financial profit$$$ for the war machine corporations, plus the captured resources of the countries invaded by the US.

Gov't sponsored Chem-Trails (not contrails, look it up!) poisoning us.

Gov't sponsored HAARP (look it up, too)

FEMA Camps, over 800 in US; but NONE of these "supposed" FEMA Camps were used during emergencies, i.e. Katrina.
The largest FEMA Camp is in Alaska which can house
2 million people in a state that only has 750,000 population.
Hello? Could this be US' Sibera-like camps? Look this up, too.

United States of Monsanto! GMOs, pesticides approved by Monsanto's Supreme Court while ethical science continually prove the dangerous effects of these unnatural abnormal fake-food products which cause Autism, Cancer, etc., etc.
Look up: Genetic Roulette (documentary)

Yes, look out! Get your bags packed and your hat ready because you are in for a dangerous ride ahead!!!
 
 
+1 # Helen Marshall 2013-06-16 10:29
Not to forget the coming disasters as the climate change we do nothing to stop really takes hold.
 
 
+10 # jwb110 2013-06-15 11:24
I wonder how many of the 1% are checked by NSA?
I wonder if any of the members of Congress, on either side of the aisle, think about them being monitored. The NSA is the new Watergate because they are breaking and entering the lives of the American people. No one is safe and no one, even the high and mighty, can't be sure what shifting definition constitutes a terrorist or a target.
In the name of liberty, the enemies of Democracy have created a Golem and the Golem will be their own demise.
 
 
+11 # TheLion 2013-06-15 12:05
I am an immigrant and not afraid to say it. Back in the fifties when I came here with my parents this was a GOOD Country, helping the world, opportunity for all willing to work. Then in the 80s things changed for the worse. I can only conclude that having joined the ranks of those that condone torture, start undeclared wars, like Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany, and now has turned into a police state this Country is EVIL.
 
 
+23 # Roger Kotila 2013-06-15 12:17
My supreme compliments to Glenn Greenwald who is a rising star in what I call "world public interest journalism" His reports on Snowden's revelations not only serve the (American) public interest, but that of the whole world -- who have learned that they, too, could be under secret surveillance.

Greenwald's Guardian UK is one of the few media outlets in the world whose reports don't smell of nationalism, corporatism, capitalism, militarism, or Psy Ops propaganda-ism. The Guardian is serious about standing with "we, the people" in an honest and objective manner.

The angry attempts from the Obama Administration, NSA, & Pentagon to intimidate reporters and whistle-blowers reminds me of an old saying: "Rats don't like the light."

We need more Greenwalds, and more Guardians. Glenn Greenwald illustrates world public interest journalism at its best. -Roger Kotila, editor, Earth Federation News & Views.
 
 
+7 # Vardoz 2013-06-15 13:00
Progressive means a fair and just society that pays into the system but also makes sure those who are less advanaged have the help they need to improve their lives. Progressive means that we have equal laws that apply to everyone inorder to protect our society, Progressive means we live within the laws of our constitution and that we make sure we take into consideration the health, safety and welfare of our economy and people and our environment on which we all depend.
 
 
+7 # cordleycoit 2013-06-15 14:40
When did the Republic die? It's death throes were there in the late forties and by the time of McCarthy it was sorely wounded. Nixon tried to finish it off and failed. It ended with Bush 41 when the executive and the CIA merged into a info swapping drug dealer. Hoover and Palmer did more damage than we give them credit for. Long lasting corruption solidified the rot of the forties and fifties. I personally remember being denounced as a communist at age eleven by a Scoutmaster. The super patriots became the fodder of the-iceberg like corporate police state of today.
 
 
+2 # CHECKMATE 2013-06-15 15:34
What is the quality that distinguishes good police surveillance from bad spying.

Is a police cruiser parked next to the interstate hi-way spying? after all he is measuring the velocity of all the cars not just the speeders. He can call in your plate number for any reason and find out who you are and if you have any outstanding warrants. Maybe it's happened to you already and you just don't know it. At a past "Taste- of- Chicago" I noticed there were more than the usual number of police in the crowd. There had been a shooting the day before.
I got into a conversation with a policeman while we were in line to get some food. I asked him what they were looking for and he said mostly pick-pockets but young men wearing gang colors were very intersting. He said he just kept his eyes and ears open. Was he spying or was he doing what we pay him to do?
 
 
+3 # dickbd 2013-06-15 15:35
I think we have to take into account that tribalism is part of our DNA. For that very reason, we have to fight to orient ourselves to reality.

Walter Lippmann commented when Nixon went to China that the strategy is to get conservatives to do liberal things--but it works the other way around, too!

I'm a Democrat, and I like Obama, but in many ways he has been a conservative's dream. He can sound so much better than Bush and then turn around and do much worse things. And he has been at his very worst at cracking down on whistle blowers. With a government obsessed with secrecy, where else are we going to get information other than from whistle blowers?

They are essential, and I think Manning, Assuange, and Snowden have been selfless and brave.
 
 
-5 # CHECKMATE 2013-06-15 15:53
Are American secrets just news items waiting to happen, Or are they stolen documents. Is it a crime to receive and hold stolen documents. Is a reporter who receives stolen document a party to the crime if the transaction is conditional on his promise to publish the material. When does journalism become Espionage? What about the legality of profiting from the use of stolen goods? When is whistle blowing that involves state secrets legitimate and protected for example the Pentagon Papers?
 
 
+5 # dbriz 2013-06-15 19:10
What fun! A game of questions.

My turn:

Why do our representatives swear to uphold and defend the Constitution rather th

Do you support the Constitution or the state?

Is the state the source of our freedoms?

Do you understand the term "jury nullificatio?

Do you understand why the "Good German Defense" failed at Nuremberg?
 
 
-9 # CHECKMATE 2013-06-15 23:33
[quote name="dbriz"]Wh at fun! A game of questions.

My turn:

Why do our representatives swear to uphold and defend the Constitution rather th What?!!!!!

Do you support the Constitution or the state? The Constitution is a worthless piece of paper with out the state that it creates.

Is the state the source of our freedoms. Yesss!!!!

Do you understand the term "jury nullificatio? Where are you going with this question?

Do you understand why the "Good German Defense" failed at Nuremberg? Yes and obeying the law and not creating a crime is not Illegal
 
 
+6 # dbriz 2013-06-16 08:48
Thanks for the answers.

You have made yourself quite clear. May the "force" be with you, until they're not!
 
 
-5 # CHECKMATE 2013-06-16 10:46
Quoting dbriz:
Thanks for the answers.

You have made yourself quite clear. May the "force" be with you, until they're not!


Thanks for the wish!
 
 
+11 # RevOleson 2013-06-15 16:18
Agenda? Agenda????? Duh....I mean..as they say in Maine...."That' s a no brainah." We ALL have an agenda...Mine is to make suppah...Mr. Greenwald's is to seek the truth...
 
 
-13 # BostonPundit 2013-06-15 19:19
C'mon Greenwald, get a grip!

I know you are trying to make a name for yourself with this sort of outlandish extrapolation.

The Federal government has a total of 2.8 - 2.9 million civilian employees (i.e., excluding military).

Every day, there are billions or email messages and billions of telephone calls.

If you were suggesting that the federal government has the manpower, resources, and inclination to "read" all those emails and "listen" to all those conversations, that is delusional.

Even if every single federal employee were involved in working for the NSA to "read" emails, and listen to phone conversations, there isn't enough time.
 
 
+4 # jcdav 2013-06-16 07:29
Well, it would take minimal manpower if one had a computer screening the data looking for keywords. Think this is possible?
 
 
-6 # BostonPundit 2013-06-16 14:16
OK, so what keywords in your emails are you worried about?

Maybe "and" - heck they could search for that and cut the total number of emails needing to be read way down.

Paranoia is a wonderful thing, no?
 
 
+1 # RobertMStahl 2013-06-17 05:55
Remember the phone call [sic] made from the airplane in Pennsylvania on 9/11, obviously faked? Around the courthouse in Birmingham, AL they started digging up the streets to put in fiber optics an hour or two before the first tower was hit. Whatever the machinery involved, it involves the maintenance of ignorance. A couple of days before the Iraq war I just gave up verbally and put all my eggs into a piece of art in front of the IMAX theater, an obelisk of solid, liquid, and gas that indicated to me the human race was on the right track, evolutionary in step with time. I spoke to an art friend over the phone from my office about it. The next day the piece was hit by a car, oddly, since it was so far off the road. They never began to fix it until months later when I stepped in and asked if they had insurance. This was in 2003. Today, the gas, which is steam, never runs, or runs almost never. Instead, an insidious design has been caught in a photo with the replacing of the steam with fire.

The artificial intelligence they are covering up is so basic and inexpensive and serves the commonwealth so steadfastly if used properly, you would be astonished, vis a vis parallel processing, like stopping the subways from crashing in Tokyo. It works while it fully occupies its niche. Furthermore, it cannot be divorced from the niche and work somewhere else. IT grows, and it learns, truly. This IS a sick operation by our tax dollars. Where is Indira Singh?
 
 
+3 # fredboy 2013-06-17 16:01
The survey results are disgraceful, reflecting what I've long suspected: all put party before liberty, freedom, and Constitutional protections. Disgraceful.
 

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