From Sunday, that's Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Your Server, Barack." And apparently, Barack thinks the country ordered a round of "never-ending excuses." Jason Ditz (Antiwar.com) points out what Barack's served up this week:
On Wednesday, President Obama insisted there was no NSA spying on Americans, just hours after the government was forced to release documents showing broad, systematic spying on Americans had been going on for years. Today, President Obama insisted that all the violations were “inadvertent and accidental” and, well you can probably see where this is headed.
Continuing the strategy of lying at the worst possible time, Obama’s claims were immediately followed by a report from the NSA Inspector General, which showed that there were several instances of “willful violations” in which the NSA deliberately broke rules so they could spy on Americans.
President Obama’s latest flat out lie came during a CNN interview in which he insisted he was determined to “do a better job” convincing Americans that the NSA programs are being carried out legally and aren’t being abused.
As Ann explained, Wednesday's NSA release was "limited hangout" intended to trick and deceive people into believing transparency was taking place. Justin Raimondo (Antiwar.com) observed yesterday:
The recently released secret FISA court opinion is supposed to promote the idea that the administration elected on a promise of "transparency" is now making good on that pledge. There’s just one problem: a good 20 percent of the 83-page document is redacted, including some key paragraphs. It is to a large extent unreadable. But what else are we to expect from this Bizarro World administration – the most secretive in our history – where black is the new "transparency"?
Yet that’s just the beginning of the White House’s weirdly inverted response to the public outcry against its massive domestic surveillance program. At his press conference promising to "reform" the spying machinery, President Obama announced a "review board" to be appointed that would supposedly reassure his critics there really is no domestic spying program: the goal, as he put it, would be to strike a "balance" between civil liberties and the safety of all Americans. A week or so later he made some appointments to this panel: former Counter-Terrorism Czar Richard Clarke, former special assistant for economic policy Peter Swire, former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morrell – and Cass Sunstein, a very close friend and confidant of the President. Sunstein formerly headed up the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: now a Harvard law professor, he has made something of a name for himself as an outspoken advocate of government spying.
In 2010, Glenn Greenwald (then at Salon) explained:
In 2008, while at Harvard Law School, Sunstein co-wrote a truly pernicious paper proposing that the U.S. Government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-”independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites — as well as other activist groups — which advocate views that Sunstein deems “false conspiracy theories” about the Government. This would be designed to increase citizens’ faith in government officials and undermine the credibility of conspiracists. The paper’s abstract can be read, and the full paper downloaded, here.
Sunstein advocates that the Government’s stealth infiltration should be accomplished by sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups.” He also proposes that the Government make secret payments to so-called “independent” credible voices to bolster the Government’s messaging (on the ground that those who don’t believe government sources will be more inclined to listen to those who appear independent while secretly acting on behalf of the Government). This program would target those advocating false “conspiracy theories,” which they define to mean: “an attempt to explain an event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role.” Sunstein’s 2008 paper was flagged by this blogger, and then amplified in an excellent report by Raw Story‘s Daniel Tencer.
You can see the awful Cass try to lie and deny that he remembers writing the paper in this WeAreChange.org video. (He's married to the equally awful War Hawk Samantha Power. You sort of wish that in mating one would bite the others head off.) Marcy Wheeler (Firedoglake) notes Cass and also raises the issue of Richard Clarke. I would actually argue Clarke is as offensive as a choice for the committee.
"Your government failed you"? That is what he's famous for, telling the 9-11 Commission and the American people -- after the fact -- that they were failed. After the worst domestic attack on US soil this century, Clarke comes along to declare a failure took place?
This is someone to be trusted with oversight?
And when he again wants to save his own ass after he's stayed silent, we'll he'll tell Congress, "You were failed again!"
He couldn't be counted in real time to do oversight and to sound alarms when they were needed, he only came forward much, much later and this is someone to now trust in an oversight role?
Not at all.
His silence in the lead up to 9-11 makes him unfit to serve on an oversight committee.
How dangerous are governments becoming? The Guardian is teaming with the New York Times to cover UK spying. This is similar to when US papers had to band together to cover the Pentagon Papers. Kevin Gosztola (Firedoglake) offers a note of caution regarding the pairing:
Furthermore, The Guardian should be wary of the Times and how it has handled sensitive documents in the past. When the Times reported on the cables, disclosed by the soldier who now goes by the name Chelsea Manning, they warned the White House on what they would be publishing:
If the Times intends to warn the White House on what documents it plans to cover on the relationship between GCHQ and the NSA, that might be of concern to The Guardian, especially since it could diminish the impact and give the UK government the chance to get a heads-up from the US government on what they will have to be prepared to address or deflect.Because of the range of the material and the very nature of diplomacy, the embassy cables were bound to be more explosive than the War Logs. Dean Baquet, our Washington bureau chief, gave the White House an early warning on Nov. 19. The following Tuesday, two days before Thanksgiving, Baquet and two colleagues were invited to a windowless room at the State Department, where they encountered an unsmiling crowd. Representatives from the White House, the State Department, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the C.I.A., the Defense Intelligence Agency, the FBI and the Pentagon gathered around a conference table. Others, who never identified themselves, lined the walls. A solitary note-taker tapped away on a computer.
Corruption, as the White House demonstrates today, never goes out of fashion. Sadly, public gullibility also seems to eternally be in style allowing for governments to trick the people they are supposed to serve.
It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)
The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4488.
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i hate the war