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The real issues involving PRISM, the Obama administration's record on civil liberties, drone strikes, etc. are worth talking about,
Quote from: CBWx2 on June 18, 2013, 08:43:33 PMThe real issues involving PRISM, the Obama administration's record on civil liberties, drone strikes, etc. are worth talking about,In before deletion.
Quote from: Durango 95 on June 19, 2013, 11:37:13 AMQuote from: CBWx2 on June 18, 2013, 08:43:33 PMThe real issues involving PRISM, the Obama administration's record on civil liberties, drone strikes, etc. are worth talking about,In before deletion.“It looks like Greenwald and company simply misunderstood an NSA slide [see image at the top of this post for the slide] because they don’t have the technical background to know that ‘servers’ is a generic word and doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing as ‘the main servers on which a company’s customer-facing services run.’ The ‘servers’ mentioned in the slide are just lockboxes used for secure data transfer. They have nothing to do with the process of deciding which requests to comply with—they’re just means of securely and efficiently delivering information once a company has decided to do so.”In other words, this slide describes how to move data from once place to another without it getting intercepted in transit: “What the hell are the companies supposed to do?” Fogel jokes. “Put the data on a CD-ROM and mail it to Fort Meade?”The implications of this interpretation, if correct, completely shift the grounds for the discussion of how the NSA’s PRISM program works—“the difference,” as Mark Jaquith of WordPress writes, “between a bombshell and a yawn of a story.”Greenwald has not yet made a public evaluation of whether or not he agrees that he made that mistake. He owes it to us to do so, with as much speed as practicably possible. It’s not too much to say that the fate of his broader NSA project might hinge on doing so effectively—because the powers that be will find it very easy to seize on this one error to discredit his every NSA revelation, even the ones he nailed dead to rights. (“It’s not like there aren’t legitimate things to complain about here,” as Fogel notes.)http://www.thenation.com/blog/174783/glenn-greenwalds-epic-botch#axzz2WcMxx63aI first took issue with Glenn's interpretation of Obama's state policy goals as "like Bush" back in a February 22, 2009 post, which I recapped a bit here yesterday. It is an extremely long and detailed post that covers a range of issues but here I want to focus on the claim, inaccurate in my view, that the Obama policy is a continuation of the Bush policy. As I stated in my February 2009 post, this strikes me as a case of amnesia as to what the Bush policy was and what the Bush legal claims were.The Bush Administration argued that the courts had no say in the matter. The Court rejected the Bush Administration argument in Hamdi. Afterwards, the Bush Administrations created Combatant Status Review Trials. In Hamdan, the Supreme Court found them to be inadequate constitutionally.The Boumediene Court found that the Bush Administration scheme did not meet these requirements. The Obama Administration detention regime does meet the bare minimum constitutional requirements. Obama is not "like Bush" on this point.However, the bar MUST be higher. In the rush to shout "like Bush," the true flaws in the Obama Executive Order are being overlooked. In this sense, Glenn is not only wrong, in some ways, more importantly, he is being an ineffective activist.http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/03/08/954007/-Glenn-Greenwald-And-Peter-King-Are-Wrong-About-Obama-s-New-Combatant-Status-Review-PolicyThere are so many examples of Greenwald's false equivalencies and flat out, factually devoid interpretations of the issues. He is a good investigative journalist, but should stop there. Here's the funny thing, just as Durango and his cronies knee-jerkingly attacked me for being an Obama defending partisan for posting those articles, Glenn Greenwald himself and his other cronies knee-jerkingly attacked the writer of the article published in "The Nation" that brought to light Greenwald's inaccuracies regarding the PRISM allegations and accused him of the same thing. The following is an exert from his response. There has been no more an accurate summation of Greenwald and his mindless lemming followers (like Durango) than this:I’m never entirely sure that whatever I write is correct or clear or useful or profound or not, so a lot of stuff others consider straight-up trolling I often welcome as contributions to what I’m trying to accomplish. Which, after all, is a collective, not personal, project—for if I’m not reaching people and persuading people, I’m not doing anything at all. It’s good to know when people are not being reached or persuaded. So I listen and strive to respect my friendly and unfriendly interlocutors both, as best I can, for they are my lifeblood. What else can I do?Glenn Greenwald, I’ve been learning, is different. Here’s what he said out of the box about my argument that he may have made a mistake in his claim about how PRISM works: that it turns “the eagerness of Democratic partisans to defend the NSA as a means of defending President Obama.” I’m one of the propagandists referred to in his piece’s title. Not correct. Not clear. Not profound. But most of all and most importantly, not useful. Let me say a bit as to why.For one thing, I couldn’t care less about defending Barack Obama. I think he sucks at most parts of his job as I understand it—tactically, strategically, ideologically, rhetorically, intellectually, ethically—but I’m not going to get caught in a pissing match establishing my bona fides on the subject. Should I link to this (www.thenation.com/blog/174183/penny-pritzkers-commerce-part-one) so that I’ll maybe “win” the argument? I’d rather not. Too late, because I just did—the temptation of intellectuals to make this “about us” is too great. We’re human. We have egos. (“If you’re reduced to implying that Rick Fking Perlstein is overly solicitous of this administration, it’s time to lose all the fanboys and come back to the pack a little”: Thanks, Charlie Pierce!) But I wish we didn’t, because ultimately, it’s not about us. Our power to unmake a president, or bear him aloft with the sheer power of our prose if that’s what we prefer, is nugatory anyway. All we can do it try to tell the truth as we understand it, without fear or favor.I feel incredibly fortunate to be have been allowed to do so without trimming my sails or looking over my shoulder, which is a good thing, because I have no idea how I’d survive if I had to change how I wrote to please a patron. My writing brain, for good or ill, just isn’t built that way. Some readers will look at my work and say that isn’t possible, pointing to all the ways I fall short of some abstract standard of anti-institutional purity. It’s an unfortunate logical fallacy on the left: that you can weigh a writer’s “radicalism” on some sort of scale, and from that arrive at a surefire calculation as to whether his or her heart is for sale (“How much did Big Data pay u to play Judas?”). Some simply can’t believe that “liberals”—even centrists!—might arrive at their positions through independent thought.Now, am I “Democratic partisan”? Maybe a little bit, sometimes. In the final analysis, yes, Rick Perlstein prefers a strong Democratic Party to a weak one. That said, I think I understand more clearly than most the corporate corrosions that make it such a pathetic vehicle for those who aspire to justice. Unfortunately, given the rules of the American political game, people who try to participate by self-righteously refusing to identify with one or the other of the two parties are like people who say they love to play baseball but refuse to join a team. The name of this game—a loooooong game—is ideological civil war for the soul of each party. And one you can’t win if you don’t play. I don’t write that because I’m a partisan, or because I prefer a two-party system. I write that because I think it’s true.But that’s all a digression. And one that has nothing to do with whether Greenwald is wrong or right about PRISM (he’s wrong, by the way) and why that matters. Ultimately, in a debate like this, the best thing a politically engaged intellectual can do is write in a way that does not short-circuit thought. And my, oh, my, does Greenwald’s style of political discourse short-circuit thought—with a fierceness. You see it in the way both his supporters and his critics (even The Nation has turned against him! The national security state has been vindicated) respond to his work.Read another tweet:“NSA admits listening to U.S. phone calls without warrants cnet.co/1agOFCy via @CNET What say you, @RickPerlstein ?”I think we can detect here an accusatory tone, especially given the way the tweeter, “therealpriceman,” fawns over Glenn Greenwald generally. (Though you can never be sure on the Internet, and besides, why do people pursue political arguments on Twitter anyway? I’ll never understand how, for instance, “When u talk gun violence lk in mirror PA here we cling to guns-apologz to PRES O”—another tweet directed my way, apparently somehow meant to respond to this—could possibly contribute anything useful to our common political life.) I detect in this message: even the NSA says you’re wrong about Glenn Greenwald, so when are you going to apologize? And if I’m reading right, that’s some really smelly stupidity. Because the whole point of my original post was that there was plenty Greenwald had “nailed dead to rights” in his reporting. What I had in mind when I wrote that (I should have specified this, I think) was the stuff on Verizon turning over metadata to the NSA. And yet what therealpriceman links to is an article suggesting something that Greenwald has not (yet?) claimed, and which still remains controversial and undetermined: that the NSA has acknowledged that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls, a claim sourced to Representative Jerrold Nadler, which Nadler based on a classified briefing he and other congressmen received, but which it has since been established Nadler probably just misunderstood.The bottom line is that there’s an attitude out there that anything bad anyone says about the NSA must be a priori true, and that anything bad anyone says about the NSA must have already been said by Glenn Greenwald, and that anyone who questions Greenwald about anything must be questioning Greenwald about everything, and thus thinks the NSA (and its boss Barack Obama) is swell.And where might someone get that idea? By thinking like Greenwald, actually.As I noted on Friday, Greenwald writes in “On PRISM, Partisanship, and Propaganda,” “Rick Perlstein falsely accuses me of not having addressed the questions about the PRISM story”; but I didn’t accuse him of not having addressed “the questions” but instead a single question—whether Internet companies give the National Security Agency “direct access” to all their data as opposed to carefully controlled access to a very limited amount of data—a question he still did not address, including in the interview he linked to in order to claim he had addressed it “at least half-a-dozen” times.He also wrote this: “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.”He’s right, and he’s wrong. So far Greenwald has been lucky, and because he has been lucky, everyone who cares about fixing our puke-worthy system of “oversight” of the American state’s out-of-control spy regime has been lucky too. Yes, clowns like Peter King and irrelevant throwbacks like **CENSORED** Cheney cry treason and call for death squads or tumbrels or whatever. But the bottom line is that for whatever reason (reasons I think will only become clear in the light of later history), the American establishment seems ready to think about this story—ready to give a hard look at what our surveillance state has become. The evidence is there in thoughtful and detailed reporting and analysis on how PRISM might actually work, for instance in this Associated Press piece (which is far more usefully critical than the typical piece on the Bush administration’s lies about Iraq’s claimed weapons of mass destruction in 2003, which the American establishment was not ready to think about), and this analysis by technologist Ashkan Soltani—both of which sort through the available evidence far better than Glenn Greenwald does, but also would not exist without what Greenwald and Edward Snowden courageously did, however flawed Greenwald and Snowden might be as messengers. Life can be complicated that way.But about the the flaws of those messengers: what I wrote, about how established power deals with revelations it’s not ready to confront, is not that clever at all. It’s just a banal observation. Greenwald seems to believe that preserving his credibility to keep on doing this work is not something he needs to actively worry about—the “documents and revelations are too powerful.” Bull**CENSORED**. I wish I had the certainty of Glenn Greenwald—about lots of things. But I don’t—constitutionally so. What I do have, a bit, is some historical perspective. And given that perspective, I would love to know why Glenn Greenwald thinks the establishment cannot do to him, a relative flyspeck in the grand scheme of things, what they did to Dan Rather, a towering giant of Washington reporting going back to Watergate. Which is: consign him to the outer darkness, where the only people who care about what he has to say are the likes of my good friends @therealpriceman and @runtodaylight.If that’s good enough for Glenn, well, then, fine. Me, I’d rather not see him discredit himself. And that’s what’s happening. It’s happening even among those who want to be his supporters. As one of them wrote on Facebook, “Here’s the thing: I suspect Perlstein, Charles Pierce, Dave Niewert and I—to mention the commenters here I’ve actually met—could have a spirited exchange about these issues, maybe even change each others’ minds somewhat. That can’t happen with Greenwald, whom I’ve never met, because the FIRST thing he does out of the box is accuse anybody who disagrees with him of bad faith. That not only makes him a poor advocate, it weakens one’s trust in his reporting.”He’s losing friends. Soon, his friends, and his luck, may run out.http://www.thenation.com/blog/174860/glenn-greenwald-and-his-fans#ixzz2WiPWsaqH
Of all the liberal & progressive websites that I've looked at and (more importantly) the progressives I have spoken with, you are only one of very few that's even attempting to rationalize this.
Chomsky: Obama is ‘dedicated to increasing terrorism’In a wide-ranging interview with GRITtv host Laura Flanders, MIT professor and author Noam Chomsky plainly stated that President Barack Obama’s administration is “dedicated to increasing terrorism” all around the world.In his view, the NSA spying scandal clearly illustrates how subservient to corporate and state power the American media has become. “There would be headlines saying this is a bad joke” if the press wanted to be truly independent, Chomsky told Flanders.“The Obama administration is dedicated to increasing terrorism,” he went on. “In fact, it’s doing it all over the world. Obama, first of all, is running the biggest terrorist operation that exists, maybe in history. The drone assassination campaigns, which are just part of it… All of these operations, they are terror operations.”Chomsky continued: “People have a reaction, they don’t say, ‘Fine, I don’t care if my cousin was murdered.’ And they become what we call terrorists. This is completely understood from the highest level, that as you carry out these operations you’re generating terrorism.”“Sometimes it’s almost surreal,” he lamented, recalling the congressional testimony of a man from Yemen who claimed a single drone strike turned his whole village against the U.S. — something the extremist Muslims in his region had failed to do.“People hate the country that’s just terrorizing them, that’s not a surprise,” Chomsky added. “Just consider the way we react to acts of terror. That’s the way other people react to acts of terror.” He went on to say the Obama administration risked a nuclear war to kill al-Qaeda financier Osama bin Laden by sending special forces troops into a sovereign nation.He concluded that the ongoing polio vaccination campaign in Pakistan was ultimately discredited by the Central Intelligence Agency, which used fake vaccinations to get access to the bin Laden compound. Chomsky said that operation gave weight to the fear many Pakistanis have of letting strangers inject their children with an unknown substance — even though that substance could be used to finally eradicate polio from one of its last havens on the planet.“By now the charges are credible, that these rich white guys are just trying to gather intelligence and undermine you, and maybe send more drones to attack you,” he said. “It was so severe that the U.N. had to pull out its vaccination team… [One] epidemiologist… estimated that it may lead to 100,000 polio cases in Pakistan.”---------------So there you go, CBW, first, Plame then Chomsky. No doubt you share some cross over political stripe with at least one of them. Apparently they can see what's going on. You however seem to be fighting a partisan battle that few of your similar minded colleagues want anything to do with. Makes me wonder; are you fighting for the mere sake of fighting, completely out of step w/ most others or just have your head so far up the ass of some corporate tribe, at the expense of personal liberty, that your unwilling to see the forest for the trees.
You have to be a real jackazz to even remotely defend this. This is the one that people will remember. The myriad of bare-faced lies and bewildering nonsense from the past six years has fractured the perception of government with the American people. The comments from Sanchez are powerful. This clearly cements the fact that the 21st century has been nothing but a power grab and to think that this rabbit hole has a bottom is ludicrous. The jiffy-pop tyranny has not been elusive. People have just been sleepwalking. I just hope that in say 2030, the people laugh at how gullible we were. Common sense will triumph over servitude.
Quote from: Bayfisher on June 20, 2013, 01:09:23 AMYou have to be a real jackazz to even remotely defend this. This is the one that people will remember. The myriad of bare-faced lies and bewildering nonsense from the past six years has fractured the perception of government with the American people. The comments from Sanchez are powerful. This clearly cements the fact that the 21st century has been nothing but a power grab and to think that this rabbit hole has a bottom is ludicrous. The jiffy-pop tyranny has not been elusive. People have just been sleepwalking. I just hope that in say 2030, the people laugh at how gullible we were. Common sense will triumph over servitude. He just wants you to know that he doesn't think the story is true, but even if you believe it's true, it doesn't matter anyway because Bush did it too.
Sounds real noble, but I fear you vastly overestimate the average voter. Many of them can be bought for as little as a disposable phone. Figure out how you can bribe one section of voters with money appropriated from a smaller section of voters and the madness can continue unabated. That's the problem with democracy, the people allowed to vote end up with the government they deserve.