I know you all accuse me of trolling whenever I post anything about issues that I know the majority of you disagree with me about (this sentence sucks and I am too lazy to fix it, but you know what I am saying, so piss off), but I swear to the FSM I really don’t do it as often as you accuse me. My post earlier about Miranda/Greenwald was no attempt to troll you all, it was pretty straight forward and clear what I think. Likewise, there are a lot of other front-pagers here and commenters who think I am just dead wrong about this issue. I’m ok with that.
Having said all that, I will once again bring up my allegiance and full fealty to the big floaty semolina laden Allah in the sky, and swear to you that I am not trying to blow up the blog, but I want you to read what Sully said about Greenwald and his partner’s detention:
Readers know I have been grappling for a while with the vexing question of the balance between the surveillance state and the threat of Jihadist terrorism. When the NSA leaks burst onto the scene, I was skeptical of many of the large claims made by civil libertarians and queasily sympathetic to a program that relied on meta-data alone, as long as it was transparent, had Congressional buy-in, did not accidentally expose innocent civilians to grotesque privacy loss, and was watched by a strong FISA court.
Since then, I’ve watched the debate closely and almost all the checks I supported have been proven illusory. The spying is vastly more extensive than anyone fully comprehended before; the FISA court has been revealed as toothless and crippled; and many civilians have had their privacy accidentally violated over 3000 times. The president, in defending the indefensible, has damaged himself and his core reputation for honesty and candor. These cumulative revelations have exposed this program as, at a minimum, dangerous to core liberties and vulnerable to rank abuse. I’ve found myself moving further and further to Glenn’s position.***
More to the point, although David was released, his entire digital library was confiscated – including his laptop and phone. So any journalist passing through London’s Heathrow has now been warned: do not take any documents with you. Britain is now a police state when it comes to journalists, just like Russia is.
In this respect, I can say this to David Cameron. Thank you for clearing the air on these matters of surveillance. You have now demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that these anti-terror provisions are capable of rank abuse. Unless some other facts emerge, there is really no difference in kind between you and Vladimir Putin. You have used police powers granted for anti-terrorism and deployed them to target and intimidate journalists deemed enemies of the state.
You have proven that these laws can be hideously abused. Which means they must be repealed. You have broken the trust that enables any such legislation to survive in a democracy. By so doing, you have attacked British democracy itself. What on earth do you have to say for yourself? And were you, in any way, encouraged by the US administration to do such a thing
Who the fuck needs to spend billions on the Large Hadron Collider or the Superconducting Super Collider when I write posts like this? But seriously, what is going on is not right, not normal, and not permissible. Even if it is legal and even if Glenn Greenwald is the biggest flaming asshole to ever walk the earth, with an ego that makes Rush Limbaugh’s look like he suffers from self-loathing.
I wish there was a perfect vessel who could distribute this information. Maybe imaginary unimpeachable Jesus will come back (although this time, unlike the alleged first time around, he better be white or no one will pay attention) and disperse the information and rid us all of these egomaniacal Brazilian living America hating douchebag civil libertarians, but then again, I know my Douglas Adams…
*** Update ***
Shit. I just read the last paragraph and it was trolly. Sorry. Damnit.
What is privacy in an age of instant communication? It can’t be done, and thus we all must consider new rules.
Also, are you drunk, John Cole?
THIS. Times ten thousand.
At least ten thousand.
Speaking of Supercolliders and such, it IS kind of a miracle that those two phrases could coexist in the same post without blowing up the universe.
Aug 19 – 1:52 am
What is privacy in an age of instant communication? It can’t be done, and thus we all must consider new rules.
Rule #1. Slow down.
Take your time. Get off the twitter where you feel the need to respond instantly to any drivel. Consider your responses and how others might see nuance in them that you missed.
Slow down. And breathe.
Bob In Portland
A little off-topic, but did anyone see this:
The prophet Nostradumbass
The only thing I will say about this whole thing is this:
The British government don’t need American direction or encouragement do do this kind of crap. They are experts at this sort of thing. When I was younger, they would routinely drag people coming off flights from the US who were transferring to a flight to Belfast for a similar sort of treatment. Hell, I got questioned once when going to Belfast because I had a fucking shortwave radio in my bag.
Did they stop and frisk him?
I like the word trolly. Heh!
@Redshirt: No. Fucking coffee.
BTW- just asking me that pisses me off. Were there that many typo’s and grammatical errors in my posts tonight? Am I really that bad of a writer sober and drunk.
@Anne Laurie: Exactly. The history of the UKs anti-terrorism legislation shows longstanding abuse, and this is no different.
@John Cole: Ignore the folks who’d rather troll than respond to the substance of your post.
The prophet Nostradumbass
@John Cole: Decaf? I really can’t drink leaded coffee at night.
How many times has Mr. Cole announced he’s done for good with Sullivan and not going to read or excerpt him anymore?
Is there a Dishoholics Anonymous support group?
That said, where was Sully’s outrage about the exact same confiscation of laptops and devices that has been ongoing (and reported about) at American airports and customs checks for a decade now?
Sully is wrong on this point. The problem isn’t that FISA is toothless; it’s that it’s opaque. No one knows exactly how it makes its decisions or how those decisions then get carried out.
Glenn has a position?
@The prophet Nostradumbass: I can. In fact I’m sort of sipping on one. But considering where I live that shouldn’t be a surprise.
Pompous Sullivan to Prime Minister Cameron…
No need to wait for the government to offer their side of what happened. No need to consider amending security procedures. No need to consider amending the law. No, the “law must be repealed”.
Repeal a law which has been there for 13 years because Greenwald’s partner was detained! What a fucking self-important blinkered Manichean drama queen.
A straight line (no pun intended) if ever I’ve seen one.
The prophet Nostradumbass
@Yatsuno: Well, when I worked nights I could. Seattle is the one place where I remember being able to stand on a street and see two different Starbucks from the one spot.
While there are both a Starbucks and a Peets within a half a mile of my house, it has nothing on Seattle.
There is way too much blaming the messenger. The message consistently sucks, and sorry – by association – so does Obama. Hell, I remember the DFH’s saying that the R’s should be worried about GWB’s surviellance abuses, as there is no history of expanded executive privelage being given back by the next admin. Once again, the DFH’s were right!
Exactly. Outrage in the past would have impugned his conservative credentials. Now that the wind is blowing in a different direction, and someone he knows has been personally affected, Sullivan has suddenly got religion.
The man is just as much a pompous fraud as Limbaugh. Worse actually, since Limbaugh at least sticks to his sick core principles. Sullivan has core principles of convenience.
The prophet Nostradumbass
@Mandalay: When the Brits were doing this to the Irish, he was probably applauding the whole thing.
I would just like to say that the Flying Spaghetti Monster was funny 100,000 internet years ago, but please. At this point I’m practically rooting for the pirates, or even Chef Boy-ar-dee.
I don’t quite think its to the level of putin’s Russia. If you’re not actually subjected to drone strikes and mystery bombs or aren’t hunger striking in Guantanamo or haven’t had US troops in your country for a decade, it’s more like a security state apparatus run by those guys who were ordered to make sure Steve Guttenberg and friends quit the police academy.
Um, I guess I really shouldn’t go here, but that would be “typos”; no apostrophe for a non-possessive plural. Is this what Twitter does to a man?
How surprising that Sully takes note of a situation that has been ongoing (and widely deplored) for years and years, only when it affects someone like him.
No, really, what a plot twist.
John, you and Glenn Greenwald should restrict any highminded activity to raising stray dogs…that would be seem to be activity worthy of the profile of the normal subversive mentality-not to abide by what could be better, since you both have that. Frankly, I don’t understand the vitrol on this site (you excluded) about Greenwald and his confederates, full stop. Does everyone left of center want to read just puffed up versions of government press reports; even Obama pours through the New York Times daily. Obama promised us he would be transformative, the furtherest thing from a Bush adminstration, that was the standard he wanted to be judged on?..did he fuflill it? did he even attempt it?
Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again)
Don’t let ’em get ya down. At some point you’ll mention that you’ve got x years of sobriety under your belt and someone will try to throw that back in your face. A chuckle and a little acknowledgment in your head that fuckin’ A, you feel better, if even just a little bit, will get you through the day. You aren’t going to win ’em all over. To thine own self…
And with that written, I don’t see the slippery slope. I see a demagogue warning of a slippery slope because he tried to job the subsystem in order to shut down the larger system, and he got busted doing so. I don’t care that it’s a statist system, because an anarcho-syndicalist or anarcho-communist system will also find itself employing the security subsystem at some point, too, in order to protect the guild or commune from malevolent entities inside or outside. And its fucking assumed that everyone in an anarcho-individualist system is employing the subsystem- see your boy’s defense of Matthew Hale and the methods he employed.
@The prophet Nostradumbass:
I was briefly detained and questioned at the Holyhead ferry site in 1984 after the IRA almost blew up Maggie Thatcher in her loo. But they weren’t dicks about it and I was let go quickly. I think they lost interest once they knew I was an American, despite my suspiciously Harpish looks.
@Steve Crickmore: Uhh…what?
It seems that to rouse Sully’s outrage, an outrageous thing done by a Tory government must first happen to him or some friend of his. As for Greenwald, I think his role in all this may have been as much about self-promotion as it was about a desire to reveal bad practices and wrongdoing by the US government.
@The prophet Nostradumbass:
The British were doing plenty of this police-state shit right here in Malaya in the 1940s, when the Emergency got rolling, and it wasn’t new then either. That was when they introduced the internal security laws that the Barisan Nasional government has used against its rivals ever since.
@Joey Maloney: This. His conservatism is not hidden at all in this latest attempt to latch on to the outrage du jour.
Were you influenced by the U.S. Admin? GTFOH Does he not know his own country. Have mercy!
Some of us think the whole almost-national health care and a few other accomplishments are a big deal. Apparently not turning the US into Sweden is a big failure on his part.
Hint: Even Sweden isn’t the Sweden of your dreams. And “transformative” means different things to normal people than it means to wackaloons. Calm down and realize that there never will be a messiah, okay, chuckles?
And never use “furtherest” again.
Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again)
Hey! The BJ chapter of the Make A Wish Foundation got you your TBogg unit, and you can’t even acknowledge it?
@Steve Crickmore: Yes he did and does attempt to. Damn this cliche, but this is not a dictatorship. To not fully appreciate and aknowledge all the forces at work and sausage making ugliness at work here is disingenuous.
@Mart: Yeah, it is so ridiculously obvious that once given any power, the executive branch is loathe to give it up. Regardless of good intent, concerns, both legit and political (i.e.garbage) will keep pretty much any admin. from giving up those powers, which is why it is so pernicious. Only the Congress or the Supremes can stop the constant march towards over reaching executive power. The entire concept of Cheney’s Unitary Executive is the great threat to our democracy, mainly because of it’s tendency of self-perpetuation. It is the political equivalent of the Mil Industrial Complex, and the addition of a profit center in the form of the corporate intel/ security component will make the paradigm even harder to break.
I quit screaming about this long ago, because it; like drone strikes, has become an inevitable evolution. It’s the new normal, and unfortunately there is little if any meaningful outrage. My guess is like our current economic situation, nothing changes, we just keep lurching towards perdition until there is finally a major crash, and burn of our society. And what rises from those ashes could be something good, or something even uglier.
Blogs we monitor and mock as needed – except when it suits a conversation. Sullivan cares about self (and sometimes his partner) – as does Greenwald . That about covers it.
I guess if push comes to shove, in the long history of governments vs. documentary filmmakers who are making unflattering films, I might as well side with the documentary filmmakers. If governments don’t want unflattering films made, they should do fewer unflattering things.
You had me at “Sully”. As in, the guy who has been consistently, magnificently, ridiculously wrong on every fucking thing for the past 15 years. (Okay, that’s only as long as I’ve been aware of him. He’s probably been wrong far beyond that.)
Seriously, Cole, the fascist Acorn Youth are not about to invade your living room and force-feed you arugula.
No one is truly free if Griftwald’s partner isn’t able to mule stolen national security information across international borders.
White people problems: always ridiculous.
@Cacti: Griftwald!! Fantastic!
@The prophet Nostradumbass: Try the album cover of Lewis Black’s ‘The End of The Universe”.
ETA: I believe it was taken in Houston.
Sums all this shit up.
@Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): I’ve been making noise all over the place including in the damn thread. What, you want me to dress in drag and do the hula?
Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again)
Aww, shit, I slid right by it.
I hope this helps you pull it out, man. I’ve never heard of a case of hemorrhoids with a 25% survival rate before.
The most persecuted and suffering peeps since christ, dontchaknow
I once worked for an elderly man. When I met him he was semi-retired, and it was just a little bitty part-time office helper job. By the end of it, I was trying to hold his whole world together and mine too, as he died, bit by bit, under hospice care. His children had died young, many years ago. Some of his extended family attacked me, apparently unaware that since his money was in a trust, they couldn’t get at it. The really horrible part was watching him go so slowly, until nothing was left but the will to live. I never want to go through anything like that again.
But he was white, so I guess it was only ridiculous. Thanks for clearing that up for me.
@MoeLarryAndJesus: I know the Affordable HeathCare program is given as his one big achievement.. We will see?..credit to him, but on a host of other measures… I think Obama is the one being disingenous when he says he welcomes this debate, and he was going to do something about the growing national surveilance state even before Assange, Manning, and now Snowden exposed so many unethical practices- the Wikileaks featured heavy and detailed US spying by the State Department, Manning many American war crimes and Snowden a contracted-out leviathan, with practically no realistic safeguards. Obama declared there were no reported abuses of the NSA, un huh and Obama said he was personally assured by the Pentagon command that Manning was not being mistreated in prison, that was good enough for him, but not the miltary judge. Who is and was being ‘disingineous’ and who has lost his ‘healthy skepticism of not fully believing what’s in everyone’s best interest to believe?
Yes, it’s annoying to think that when the UK or US government comes down hard on a person with influential friends that they get more publicity, but let’s use the publicity to try to fix the system for everybody.
Think of Aaron Swartz, who did some trespassing and unauthorized downloading and was charged not with that but with multiple federal felonies. Inevitably this kind of prosecutorial overreaction to unrepentant suspects happens to a lot of obscure people too so his example and his influential friends can be helpful to reform the system for everyone.
Another example is the pacifist protesters who also did some trespassing along with property damage and were charged not with that but with multiple federal felonies, convicted, and jailed before sentencing since fence cutting and spray painting are “crimes of violence”. More prosecutorial overreaction to unrepentant suspects that made the news because of the absurdity of calling a pacifist nun a terrorist.
We should be using these well-publicized cases along with Miranda’s well-publicized case to push for reform for everyone’s benefit.
And since 2004, the NYPD has stopped and frisked 3.7 million black and hispanic Americans for a mere 29,700 seizures of drugs or weapons. In other words almost 125 innocent people were harassed for every law breaker caught.
Now which of the above issues has been sucking up all of the oxygen around the civil liberties dudebros?
Christ was the alpha white guy. Religious art tells me so.
Whatever floats yer boat.
But kane hula is quite respectable (another).
This whole brouhaha neatly illustrates the yawning gap between what most people think the law is (or, perhaps, what people think the law should be), and what it is.
Unless Greenie’s partner somehow had diplomatic immunity, It certainly looks like what was done was entirely lawful
You can choose to not like it if you wish, but you’re in effect arguing to change a principle of law around which there has been a solid international consensus for as long as there have been nation-states with fixed borders.
I dunno, when you approve 22,985 out of 22,990 requests, that sounds pretty toothless. The phrase “rubber stamp” comes to mind.
Make no mistake; it’s also opaque. But with such a record of approval, I’d have to think it was toothless.
Dudebros everywhere are outraged that Obama ordered the UK to violate the first amendment rights of a Brazilian national to pass through unimpeded through Heathrow.
@Cacti: I do not think most people understand what that kind of violation of their person (one of the most private aspect of themselves) is like. They generally have the luxury of not worrying about it.
I don’t like any civil liberties violations. I can walk and chew gum at the same time. I was outraged at the abuse of power the Bush admin codified and made damn near irresversible. I never liked it and though was never under the illusion that there things have long been underway. Blame that on having a different ‘colored’ view of history if you will. Do I think a lot of this latest outrage against the machine coincides with a weakness some perceive in the Executive because of who sits at the head of it? Damn straight I do.
Hell, if he could undo what the machine has flexed for over half a century he’d be scary to me.
Stop and frisk, think about that shit for a minute. You can’t go down the street without getting your ass tapped for no god damn reason.
Precisely what “reform” are you arguing for here?
You know, people loved Greenwald when he was beating up Bush over civil liberties (and a whole bunch of other shit. The Bush admin was a major fuck up all over the place). Now that he’s beating up Obama over the same shit, suddenly he’s a grifter and an egoist. Fucking hypocrites.
My problem with the FISA court is that American style courts need two sides to work, to the extent that they do at all. FISA ain’t got that.
The human right to mule contraband through international airports?
@Arclite: Didn’t love him then. How you “beat up” makes a difference.
Villago Delenda Est
Said history of abuse extends back for centuries. Some of the provisions of the US Constitution are directly related to those abuses as experienced in the 13 colonies.
Yep, he was really tough on Dubya. A mere 6-years or so into his administration.
Being that these are requests for a search warrant, how does this compare to a search warrant in other situations? A quick look at Google indicates that search warrants are almost always granted. So this might mean less than it would a first glance.
Also, fuck all you fuckers for (AGAIN) attacking the messenger (Greenwald, Sully) instead of being outraged at the British government for the shit they pulled, no doubt at the behest of the Americans. Given that the NSA paid British spy agency GCHQ $150M to access their intel and influence their intel gathering, it’s no wonder that the Brits are America’s fucking lapdogs. Looking at the list of allies that the USA spied on, the Brits are conspicuously absent, because of course you don’t need to be spied on if you’re whoring out your intel the Yanks for cold hard cash.
Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again)
When someone from your local prosecutor’s office goes in to file for a search warrant on the site of a suspected chop shop, who acts as the adversary?
Detaining a mule, potentially in possession of purloined national security information?
My God. The horror.
@BethanyAnne: Not for a search warrant, just the prosecutor and the judge.
Those data are meaningless without context. One might usefully ask how that “shooting percentage” compares to the percentage of search warrant applications granted in ordinary criminal matters in the District Courts. If there is a significant disparity, then one might ask why that disparity exists.
Without data and context, you’re just flailing. You can say “rubber stamp,” with all it’s pejorative connotations, and I can say ” no, there are standards, those standards are known by NSA, and the agency stays within them.” And neither of us can prove that the other is wrong.
@Cacti: Fuck your sarcasm douchebag. Greenwald started blogging in 2005, the first year of Bush’s re-election. He wrote three books thereafter about Bush’s and the GOP’s abuse of power. The Bush/Cheney abuses of power were what spurred him into blogging. That Obama has continued many of those abuses is what keeps him blogging about stuff almost no one else talks about. It’s no mistake that Snowden used Greenwald, the guy has an uncompromising attitude about liberty. If anyone would take Snowden’s whistleblowing cache seriously, it would be Glenn.
I’ll ask again, is there anyone who works for/with GG on his pet causes that doesn’t end up twisting in the wind, while Glenn stays high and dry?
@burnspbesq: Well said.
Oh, so it only took him a full term of Bush to figure out he was a disaster. Wow, how praiseworthy.
Not so. When Greenie was beating up on Bush, Marty Lederman was also blogging regularly at Balkinization, beating up on Bush, and the comparison was highly instructive (and highly unflattering to Greenie). The best that could be said of Greenie from 2005-08 was that his heart was (mostly) in the right place. His ineptitude was on display for the world to see.
Today the ineptitude remains, but it’s no longer clear that his heart is in the right place.
Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again)
And if you throw in all the aid we sent their way during WWII and look at the Bletchley Park info they shared, you can bump that cumulative total up even higher.
And in this day of national budget deficits in the trillions of dollars, $150 million makes me think of this.
In other bad news for the dudebros, Wikileaks’ mask and motives continue to slip, after endorsing the white nationalist Australia First Party in the New South Wales senate race.
After catching hell from the Greens, they have since blamed it on an “administrative error”.
Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again)
Overheard at a dive bar in Reykjavik :
“Alright, who’s gonna be the person who tells Julian he doesn’t get to make political endorsements any longer?”
@John Cole: The other front pagers don’t just think you’re “dead wrong” – that’s the fucking problem so many of us have with them. And you. They lie, distort, straw man, and smear on their way to disagreeing with you, and with everyone else that crosses their path. And they have contingents of followers here to turn your threads to shit. It sucks a dead dog’s sack that we have to put with *that* here from FPers at Balloon Juice.
How serious are we supposed to take *you* when you go off about Cesca or Johnson specifically because they lie, distort, straw man, and smear – when the other FPers are not only doing the same – but *linking to them*?
You’re not trolling your readers. But if you were – you wouldn’t have to do much differnt, y’know?
@Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):
At this point, it’s hard to say who has descended deeper into self-parody, Julian Assange or Cornel West.
Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again)
If they’d only had one more season, maybe 30 Rock could have had Assange on, and they could have had Tracy refer to him as Ass Man (West was on and Tracy got to call him Kwest Love).
The “shit” that the UK authorities “pulled” is the routine, plain-vanilla exercise of one of the core powers that every sovereign nation possesses, the plenary power to exclude people and things from entering their territory, for any reason or for no reason.
@Arclite: Fuck cacti – but he actually responded to you by saying “Well why did it take him so long, huh???
After you told him that Greenwald did not start blogging until 2005. Fuck, these fucks.
So have you ever written about this topic without referencing Greenwald? (Mistermix has, at least). I don’t care about him or his partner, or their particular travails with the national security state (of another country). There is a quasi-religious view out there if that if you don’t care about Greenwald or if you don’t buy into sensationalist rhetoric, you must be a peon of the fascist state. It’s insulting and condescending and trolly, and that’s why your posts on this subject generate so much backlash.
Adding Sully to the mix doesn’t help.
Cole and Sully are absolutely right. In reading the comments to the post yesterday I am amazed at the number of authoritarian assholes who must read this site.
See, I don’t think that’s responsive. Just because a nation has a plenary power, doesn’t mean it can’t be abused in some way. Not saying it was here–last I read, there was good cause to stop Greenwald’s partner–but it can be.
So it looks like all the apologists for the panopticon have got their talking points, dudebros, white people problems, mule, it’s been happening forever, shoot the messenger, punch the hippies.
Sad and utterly pathetic. For some reason, just going out on a limb here, a cradle to grave surveillance state strikes me as dangerous… maybe I should just learn to trust the people in charge and clap louder.
Darn that Greenwald! If only we could stop talking about him so we could talk about the the digital panopticon and the state security apparatus that seems to have wildly metastasized beyond all need or merit. Oh well, guess not… I hear he has granite countertops. Clap. Clap. Clap.
Seriously, the US gov’t is raping your fourth amendment rights, raping our allies, and raping our best companies, and all you guys can do is stand around and talk about what assholes Sully and Greenwald are. Do the entire fucking lot of you work for the NSA’s co-int propaganda division?
Fuck you, you smug prick. Cole was still a Republican in 2005. What are you even doing on this blog in that case?
If you know anything about Greenwald, he was not a partisan to start with. The abuses of Bush/Cheney radicalized him. Most of that shit didn’t even start coming out until 2004-05. Bush’s approval rating was still over 50% in 2005. So unlike Kos or Digby, who were partisans and started blogging in 2002, it took time for him to realize what was happening, just like it took Cole time to realize what was happening. Just like it took a lot of us to realize what was happening. Where are your posts from 2002 Cacti?
Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again)
Wow, that’s a lot of rape. Have you got rape on the brain, or can’t you come up with anything just as OTT? How about genocide- they’re coming after ALL of our rights? That one’s on me.
Seriously, though…This is why you can’t be taken seriously. You think there’s some fraud happening? Call it fraud. You think there’s some stalking going on? Call it stalking. Extortion is extortion. None of them are rape. And the fact that you can’t even give the common name for the crimes you suspect the government of committing tells me that you don’t know jack shit about what is and what isn’t a crime. You don’t know why it’s wrong, exactly, but it doesn’t pass your smell test. You could use your logic to burn a witch.
@Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): At least you responded to my substance instead of talking about Greenwald/Sully. Oh, no wait, you didn’t respond to my substance, instead you decided to shoot the fucking messenger again and complain about the format of the message.
Was I being hyperbolic? Yes, but only slightly:
The NSA is violating our 4th amendment rights.
The NSA is violating our allies by spying on them.
The NSA is violating our best companies by forcing them to hand over all of their data and break the expectation of trust their customers have.
Is it literal rape? No. Is it figurative rape? Yes. Rape is a type of violation, so while it is over the top, it is perfectly suitable to describe what is happening in these situations. Sorry if you don’t like the phrasing, but with all the douchebags focusing on Greenwald/Sully, I needed something strong to bring the conversation back to what truly matters.
You’re quoting Sully? Jeebus.
Anyway, it’s unfortunate that it’s taken a total circus caravan of clown cars to bring this issue to the top of American consciousness, but yeah, it’s a problem. It’s been a problem for generations now.
The technology for invasion of privacy has advanced by leaps and bounds, and all the howling people now were apparently not paying attention. The technology for privacy protection exists, and yet nobody uses it except a few holdout cypherpunks and some people in the underworld. Consumer awareness has been zero so corporations have trammeled on our privacy with zero repercussions. Laws could have and should have been and still should be passed to protect privacy but haven’t. And the military-industrial complex and its appetite for power has been growing like crazy for generations all along…. and nobody has noticed until now? Really?
I dunno man. Yeah it’s a problem. Yes we damn welll better elect a sane Congress next year that’ll pass laws to deal with it. No, I’m neither surpised, shocked nor outraged that it got to this. And no, I’m not optimistic for any kind of resolution: all I’m seeing is yet another patented American Moral Panic ™.
Can this country do anything other than pee down its own pant leg?
I mean, in my lifetime, it’s been, just off the top of my head: OMGZZ WELFARE CHEATS!! OMGZZZ HEAVY METAL MUSIC!! OMGZZ JAPANESE CORPORATIONS!! OMGZZ MUSLIMS!!! OMGZZZ NEW WORLD ORDER!! OMGZZ BLACK HELICOPTERS!!! OMGZZ MUSLIMS AGAIN!!! OMGZZZ CLINTON’S PENIS!! OMGZZ TERROR!!! OMGZZZ NSA!!
So now there’s a new boogeyman for everyone to be scared of: now it’s the NSA. We just run terrified from one panic to another.
Glenn’s position is the same as always, that Glenn is fabulous, and much smarter than you are, though Glenn remains incapable of making that point in 10000 words or less.
Snark aside, I agree with Cole and just about everyone else here. Democracies shouldn’t do this kind of shit to journalists or anyone else without probable cause of a crime.
Gay white glibertarian bug chasing pundit tribalism is apparently the “in” thing.
What kind of journalist DOESN’T encrypt, archive, and torrent their work?
Are they? From all I’ve seen, they appear to be doing this within the confines of the law.
Of course we spy, all countries spy on each other. The US-UK relationship is probably an exception
LMAO, the only problem the companies have is they have to give the data to the NSA as opposed to selling it.
“But seriously, what is going on is not right, not normal, and not permissible.”
True, so Congress must fix it. Hopefully, both Dems and Repubs can get together and repeal/amend the Patriot Act to avoid such problems with NSA’s surveillance in the future. (Of course, I’m referring to NSA’s activities, and not the UK’s surveillance apparatus).
He’s Orly Taitz without a dental degree, real estate license or charm.
Did you catch Uncle Cornel’s fascinating pirouette minimizing Trayvon Martin and going to the martyrdom of Saints Manning, Assange and Snowden?
Funnier than shit.
@John Cole I’ve avoided this topic on this blog and on a leftie Facebook salon I was invited to because it pains me to read Teabonics flowing from the mouths of people who, generally, share my worldview. Of course the NSA violates civil liberties. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Same as it always shall be. Until we elect President Feingold.
What the fuck are you babbling about? Do you wear a sandwich board on the street talking about this?
Guys, the cold war is over, and the winners were the CIA and the KGB. Actually, all things considered, they have been pretty charitable and magnanimous in their victory. That they even make a pretense of following the law shows there is some hope yet.
As for Greenwald’s partner, sucks to be him. He did not get arrested, and should have known that the only way he was not going to get this sort of treatment was if the NSA and the UK equivalent were highly confident they had hacked into everything of his already. Maybe they had, and they wanted to check how thorough they had been, maybe this was just done for style points. But intimidation? Please. I hope he was smart enough to back up his shit.
People bitching about Burns and Cacti ought to read again what they said. This was a legal, normal, and routine exercise of state security power. If you want to exercise civil disobedience against a security state in a time of recurring terrorism you are going to have some unpleasant encounters with airport security, at the very least. I should hope you would, or those guys are not trying hard enough.
Nothing says the FISC can’t be both toothless and opaque. I’ve certainly seen and heard numerous people from across the political spectrum opine that the court is toothless. It’s opacity is obvious.
Wow. This has been brought up several times. Is it that hard to understand that these are two heads of the same beast, they are intimately connected and both must be fought. This type of “ends justifies the means” governmental overreach is a cancer and it is metastasizing.
We can and we must work to fight each of these.
Race get injected into this conversation quite a bit. I am not sure why since race is not part of the genesis of the NSA story (even given that David Miranda is a person of color). It seems that the introduction of race here, just like its use at other times by wingnuts, is an attempt to change the focus of an uncomfortable conversation.
I should have found a away to add in the above passage, it’s not just the the introduction of race, but also the name calling and other ad hominems which are being used. This conversation is very necessary. As the security/surveillance/big data state continues to be ratcheted up, it’s ill fallout will cover all races and all emotional preferences.
And as always, the worst effects will be felt by those whom are already marginalized.
Something can be “lawful” and still be abusive. That seems so obvious it shouldn’t be necessary to say it.
It will be interesting to see if this comes up in question time comes up in Parliament. The BBC had not posted a story on this last night but did this morning, and at least Labor has come to life enough for the shadow Home Secretary to raise a question that this was an “interesting” use of power given to the police under the “terrorism” statutes. I know that some people don’t want to admit an administration made up of “our team” has done wrong, but really, one of the difference between “our team” and theirs is our loyalty is conditional on good governance and proper action.
I have found Steven Randy Waldman’s essays on “Interfluidity” pretty perceptive on this subject. He quite rightly puts the issue here as not a trade-off between “security” and “privacy,” but one of “good governance” and the potential for “blackmail.”
“…But as we are talking about all this, let’s remember what we are talking about. We are not talking about a tradeoff between “security” and “privacy”. That framing is a distraction. Our current path is to pay for (alleged) security by acquiescence to increasingly corrupt and corruptible governance. We ought to ask ourselves whether a very secure, very corrupt state is better than the alternatives, whether security for corruption is a tradeoff we are willing to make.”But as we are talking about all this, let’s remember what we are talking about. We are not talking about a tradeoff between “security” and “privacy”. That framing is a distraction. Our current path is to pay for (alleged) security by acquiescence to increasingly corrupt and corruptible governance. We ought to ask ourselves whether a very secure, very corrupt state is better than the alternatives, whether security for corruption is a tradeoff we are willing to make.” http://www.interfluidity.com/v2/4435.html
And I disagree. It seems well within the parameters of expected conduct by governments to detain someone who they suspected had a high probability of carrying stolen classified materials, which, as I understand it from the stories reported, he was.
Just because the documents touch on a security state gone too far doesn’t grant the people involved automatic immunity, free puppies, and a guarantee of no hassles ever from the police.
EVERY power can be abused in some way.
Of course. That’s why I don’t think saying the state has a valid power is a sufficient response to complaints about abuse of that power.
I’m somewhere between ambivalent and neutral on Greenwald, but your line of reasoning here seems a bit silly. The point made was that Greenwald didn’t start blogging until 2005, and you seem to think he should have started blogging earlier simply because George Bush was president and a major disaster. It’s as though you’re arguing that Greenwald delayed blogging for some nefarious reason. Maybe he should have started blogging in 1995. Or 1998. But he started when he started and when he started he was critical of Bush. Was Greenwald supposed to stop blogging when Obama was president and wait until his second term before being critical — to be fair to Bush?
Gin & Tonic
Anyone who travels internationally these days carrying *any kind* of documents, in any format, other than the paperback they bought at the airport, is a moron. There is no fucking need, technically, so why bother?
No, that’s not right, but unfortunately you have to adjust to the world we live in. Put the docs on Wuala and pick them up when you get where you’re going, or put them in a FedEx box.
See, now that is some bullshit right there. There’s nothing inherent in what you call “instant communication” or the technology used that requires us to give up privacy. In fact, in absence of powerful governments and corporate snooping, the technology could allow us to be MORE private if we chose.
You may recall a case some years ago, when a guy who came up with a simple way for people to encrypt their online communications was hassled by the government and threatened with jail. His name was Phil Zimmerman, and he was using the same technology to provide us with greater privacy. He went on to found Silent Circle, which is a secure, encrypted method of communications on the Internet. Unfortunately, like Lavabit, he’s been forced to commit corporate seppuku under threats by the government.
Nossir. We do not need to “consider new rules” (by which you mean, “let the government upskirt our lives”) just because we now have “instant communication”. By the way, we’ve had “instant communication” for decades. It didn’t just happen yesterday or January 2009.
And progressive homophobic authoritarian is a meme on the rise. Apparently.
@Baud: Moral Suasion.
All law and the resulting US Code is very complicated and even (purposefully?) nebulous. Same at the state level.
So we depend on things like prosecutorial discretion and hope that such choices are used in a fair and just way. When silliness, unfairness, or abuse become evident, we can always attempt influence with our vote, but election are spaced out over time and we have heard that justice delayed is justice denied
We can also use moral suasion. We can connect together and use what information we have and pressure our political leadership to do more to include our ideas into the the calculus of how to shape this type of governmental (and private sector) behavior.
Up thread it was said:
Of course I agree, since I typed it.
So if it turns out that this guy’s Sacred Journalist Laptop was carrying stolen classified documents, will it even get a mention? They’ve pretty much admitted his sole purpose for traveling was to ferry information to and from Lord Snowden. That’s not “innocent” by any definition.
So now you’re going to lecture Cornel West on how to advocate for civil rights?
Man, this shit is getting deep, now.
@Barentw: Per Charlie Savage at the NYTimes:
So this was an attempt to intimidate Miranda? Really? I am surprised he has not been detained. He would be smart to stay in Brazil for the next few years.
It’s never a good idea to side with that hysterical man, Andrew Sullivan.
@PopeRatzo: Somebody ought to lecture West on a few things, civil rights among them, if he is ought there defending creeps like Assange and Snowden, and fools like Manning. I like some of the ideals they hold but some of their ideals are seriously twisted. And for someone who claims to speak for the African American community, West is remarkably unaware of the fascist streak running through Assange and Snowden’s thinking.
So, yeah, West is not above criticism for his cluelessness.
1) Greenwald’s partner is NOT a journalist
2) He was transporting stolen documents related to national security
3) Greenwald clearly believes he should be able to break the law and escape the consequences
4) Greenwald’s revelations are neither new nor honestly presented. Calling Greenwald a journalist is ludicrously inappropriate.
You want to defend this latest hot mess of exhibitionist Greenwaldian hypocrisy and dishonesty, go right ahead. Just don’t expect anyone with any commonsense to take you seriously.
Soooo …. the guy carrying stolen Top Secret gov’t property on a layover should just be ignored ??
No they didn’t. They specifically said they didn’t have any government pressure put on them, or any government communication at all, before they shut down. So either Zimmerman told his investors that even though they hadn’t heard a word from the government they were going to shut down a promising service because they were too scared of getting a warrant, or the product wasn’t paying off and now is an opportune time to close up shop.
Ted & Hellen
Cole quit explaining yourself to the dominant cohort of Botsplainers here.
I think they are swarm the comments in nearly every thread, but I don’t think their lame Botulist thinking is the majority stance around here anymore.
These kinds of posts sound Sockholm Syndrome-ish.
Meh. I predicted ages ago that after closeted glibertarian guys on wingnut think tanks and in wingnut congressional campaigns released the Kraken on gay marriage in 2004, and their out pundit brothers didn’t collect hides that guys like Sullivan had no core beyond self and were as cravenly selfish as any other white guy.
Imagine my surprise (snort) at glibertarian males and their allies when they spun from giving no particular thanks on DADT and the change in administration attitudes on DOMA to going into the squealing paranoid fears of middle and upper middle class white guys instead of issues of economic fairness, poverty, education, racial equality, the environment or gender equality.
Odie Hugh Manatee
Sullivan who? I quit caring what that pompous ass has to think long ago. That you are influenced by him doesn’t impact my thoughts one bit. Sullivan is a fool who lives with his silver foot in his mouth.
The Bell Curve. Enough said.
Spying bad and it needs closer scrutiny and safeguards? Agreed. Laws broken? None that I am aware of so far, just lots of conspiracy theories floating around. The sideshow with Snowjob and his Brazilian publicist? Fuck that chickenshit and his feather fluffer.
They deserve what they get, full stop. As the saying goes, they’ve made their bed…
Ask Manning about that, he finally got it.
He needs a better boyfriend, one that isn’t like the lesbian in Orange is the New Black.
@mk3872:If he was in possession of encrypted stolen classified documents, why wasn’t he arrested?
@Odie Hugh Manatee:
There should be a support group in the future “Victims of the Advice of Orly Greenwald and Glenn Taitz”.
@Barentw: No. To some people in this thread, ANYTHING Assange, Greenwald, and their allies do is de facto well done and must not be questioned. SATSQ.
Sadly, there is no known vaccine for glibertarianism.
Howard Beale IV
There’s only one reason why Miranda got hauled in: so they could copy the encrypted data, break it and see exactly what was purloined to (1) know what still hasn’t been released yet in order to do pre-emptive damage control. with (2) creating a manifest of the documents so the spooks can compare that list against access control logs on their systems to know when the data was accessed-and if there was no log, find out which systems in their document management system have this gaping hole and plug it up before another Snowden comes along.
This was a gift for the NSA, and a stupid move on the part of Greenwald/Snowden/Portis.
Gin & Tonic
@xenos: Mr. Miranda was in Berlin to deliver documents related to Mr. Greenwald’s investigation into government surveillance to Ms. Poitras
I don’t get it. It’s 2013. Why do you have to fly a human being from Rio to Berlin to deliver documents? Unless, of course, it is your intention to create an incident.
There needs to be a public service ad and Sarah McLachlan song with a Sally Struthers voiceover.
@Emma: and vice versa
@Gin & Tonic:
Snowwaldandavictimhoodcollective apparently couldn’t manage the tech savvy to use FTP, never mind understanding what direct access means.
“I could stop, couldn’t I? I could kick the habit. I could be a viable human being. I don’t need another hit of those pure white male privilege crystals… do I? I mean, it’s not like I’m an addict or anything…”*looks sadly, helplessly at the camera*
DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS A GLIBERTARIAN OR SUSPECTS THEY MIGHT BE BECOMING ONE? Call 1-800-GOTMINE for more information.
@Gin & Tonic: Does FTP still work?
I share Sullivan’s evolution of concern about the NSA programs. I haven’t gone as far down that road as he has (I think most “abuses” are just fuck-ups).
But comparing Britain to Russia is just fucking stupid and the sort of rhetorical fallacy and overreach that loses me every time.
The Russians kill journalists. The British inconvenienced someone’s travel plans and confiscated some stuff (that will eventually be returned). To rate those as equivalent is ridiculous.
I gotta give Sully this: at least he can calculate out the difference between the UK and the USA. Which appears to be much more than a lot of other commenters in the last 12 hours are capable of.
Sullivan should consider how, for example, Russia and the UK treat gay people. I think he might find the comparison quite enlightening.
@Mike Adamson: Maybe some of us have real questions about privacy in the electronic age. Maybe some of us have real questions about the opacity of the FISA court. Maybe some of us have had (for a very long time) questions about the Patriot Act. You can look through comments (ed. in other threads) to read mine, if you want.
I just won’t fall down and worship a self-promoting egomaniac for “exposing” stuff I knew about five years ago.
And as far as Sullivan is concerned, I hated him when hating him wasn’t cool. The Bell Curve strikes a bell?
“Next thing I knew, a police officer who was busy tasing some black guy for something politely suggested that I might want to stand back to avoid the pepper spray fumes that they’d dosed him with. I don’t know what the black guy did, but it must’ve been bad because they were beating him, too.”
Dammit, I’m going to send you a damn email if you start doing this emo shit.
Stop worrying about people getting offended and leaving the blog.. I’m sure you get emails. You didn’t get here being John “I won’t hurt your fee-fees” Cole.
I once accused you of mellowing/selling out to stay popular. I’m not sure if it was my drinking or yours. Ask your therapist.
Not bug: feature!
That’s what gets me most about the Greenwald carnie barkers – they insist on pretending that this stuff is new when it simply isn’t. They also ignore the profoundly dishonest presentation of it and Greenwald’s long record of equally dishonest exhibitionist egomania. Apparently they are eager to be in the “can be fooled all of the time” demographic,which is pretty funny, when you consider their claims to be the only people who “know the truth”. It’s like watching the X-Files with a pair of clowns subbing in for Mulder and Scully.
I’m really trying to focus on the information and not the gloss. Unfortunately how the info is presented and used can impact the actual info.
Why would that matter? I thought he was detained under the terrorism laws, not the “thou shalt not embarrass governments” laws. Yeah, sure, if they find planning documents for a terrorist attack then that would be big news.
But if you were saying that detaining folks and searching their stuff is justified so long as _something_ can be pinned on them down the road, then I’d have to disagree.
What ever gave you that idea? At least as reported a multiplicity of times in high-profile and/or widely reported past similar confiscations, the items are never returned, nor are there requirements to do so.
So we should now expect a 40 page encyclical “Fidelis erat mulus…” from Pope Glenn denouncing the UK for stealing his info-drug mule’s stash?
I agree, but unfortunately, this
reeks of “But those laws are for the wogs!”
By way of contrast, I will point out that this country faces active right-wing Christian terrorism, and the government can barely get away with even talking about it.
No, this is exactly right. If Greenwald were writing this information about the Bush administration, commenters here would be up in arms about the violations revealed and suspicious that the program is or would become more dangerous than we already knew.
But if anybody else besides Greenwald were revealing this info about Obama, I suspect that most of the comments here would still be ad hominem attacks on the messenger.
If Greenwald were revealing this info about anyone but Obama, I suspect that most of the sudden influx of previously silent commenters wouldn’t have bothered to open their pouty little glibertarian mouths.
Want to play another round of easy glibertarian poutrage?
Now we are using the war on drugs as an exemplar of good government? What could possibly go wrong?
The Moar You Know
Oh, this thread. Somebody just needs to get it over with and nail Greenwald up on a cross and then we can pretend he’s the second coming of Jesus.
We can make it real biblical-like and nail Snowden and Assange up on each side of him.
Then all you fanbois will have the Libertarian Jesus you’re all so obviously pining for.
No, joe, we are using the idea of the drug mule as a metaphor for Greenwald’s treatment of his luckless partner. There is a difference.
@The Moar You Know:
But it’s so hard to get the right, pure white wood to make the cross!
Well, yes. Except it is you (not the original) that injected “Jihadist.” I’m sure that you can use your super powers to read the minds of the writer, or you can look them in the eye and know their heart like Bush did with Putin.
But the passage as originally written applies equally to Christian “Jihadist” Unitarian, Quaker or Pasta-based terrorism.
You appear to have a number of Grunwald type ideologues commenting here…
@NickT: Ah, so just unintended metaphorical consequences.
@NickT: Last night I hacked into the NSA Utah data center and looked up GG’s Netflix cue — turns out they had watched Midnight Express a couple of weeks ago.
The FSM cult has a militant wing now?
yeah, I imagine if it was any other schmo detained over a reasonable suspicion of carrying purloined top secret documents, most everyone, including Cole, would shrug their shoulders.
but the name ‘Greenwald’ gets attached to the story and it’s pants-shitting all around. Greenwald is like an X-Man, and his super power is giving people histrionic personality disorder.
Well, that pretty settles the question of his sources, don’t it?
Yes, the Marinaraist tentacle of the faith. Splitters!
I’d see it as a case of insufficient hermeneutic generosity.
He was not detained “over a reasonable suspicion of carrying purloined top secret documents.”
He was detained under the anti-terrorism laws, which require … you know … reasonable suspicion of terrorism.
@Shalimar: what seems to have escaped you is that there was probable cause of a crime, Snowden’s illegal download and sharing of US Intelligence with two foreign powers which he himself has admitted to and Greenwald’s public statements that he also has copies of these documents and as such, when his partner comes bopping across international borders they think that the Brits are just going to say “oh yes, right, nothing to see here?”
You can feel that what the NSA is doing with its data collection is abuse and actually ask for some of their capabilities and protocols and procedures be made more transparent, curtailed, overseen (and hey, that is happening in the Senate with Wyden and Udall) but I have zero idea on why these guys should be treated as paragons of virtue and honesty considering their actual actions, fuck who they are, what did they do? Ellsberg, turned himself in, had the papers published, other examples of civil disobedience concerned taking their causes public and allowing the law (and the world itself) examine what they felt was unjust and martyred themselves to prove the power of their personal convictions.
@smintheus: That was an awesome takedown of those two hypothetical arguments you just made up.
Hi John, This is a change of subject but I’m afraid you won’t read it if I post on the right thread.
My corgie/Jack Russel mix started crying and biting me just suddenly out of the blue. He walked with his head to one side, moving very carefully. He couldn’t get up on the couch or do stairs or be touched. I thought he was a goner, but it was just arthritis pain and remedil cured it. he lived pain free for another three years and died of congestive heart failure–old age really.
Remedit. Saved my dog’s life.
Glenn has given his reason for why he didn’t start earlier:
Nefarious? Probably not. Questionable judgment? Definitely. Unwillingness to give a Democratic POTUS the same 5-year grace period he gave the GOPers? Absolutely.
J R in WV
Now, that’s interesting. Care to name names and post links?
‘Cause I’m interested in learning about white supremacy in order to pour acid on it!
Could you please give us a rundown of your expertise on British law, and why the statute used for Mr. Miranda was misapplied in his individual case.
Otherwise, I’d be apt to think you’re just talking out your ass.
you act as if anti-terrorism laws aren’t broad enough to cover this sort of stuff.
@Cacti: LOL!! “OMG…you mean I can’t be my hubby’s information mule with classified information? And you are out of airplane nuts? I am soooooo upset!! Oppression!!! Do I have time for the Guardian to book me on another plane?”
Geee, ya think??!! What do you imagine the operative subtext of the whole body of “anti-terrorism” laws and regulations this country has enacted post-9/11 IS? I mean, The Authorities make the appropriate noises to the contrary every so often for form’s sake, but most American “anti-terrorism” efforts are basically a writ-large version of the NYPD’s infamous “stop-and-frisk” programs – racial profiling at all.
I recall several weeks ago, there was a (mercifully brief) flap by the usual GOP suspects trying to blame the Administration for “blowing it” for their failure to “stop” the Boston Marathon bombing, i.e. by failing to arrest Tamerlan Tsarnaev and/or his brother based on a tip from Russian Intelligence sources (“wrong” nationality, “wrong” religion, “wrong” friends). As if Russian tips are always 100% accurate…
Actually, he was detained under the powers granted by the Terrorism Act 2000.
Schedule 7 –
– gives powers to detain, question and search which are not subject to any test like ‘reasonable suspicion’.
The detention, while being a blatant abuse of power (which will probably lead to a select committee investigation in the HoC), was ostensibly ‘legal’.
Actually, it applies to Roman Catholic terrorism, aka terrorism by the Irish Republican Army, which was the genesis of these laws.
You can complain that the British government overreacted to IRA bombings by passing this law in 2000, but you can’t say they passed it based on an imaginary threat.
So … he was wrong to give Bush a 5 year free ride, but we are all bent that he isn’t giving Obama a 5 year free ride?
Look. GG has and does say some crazy shit. He was wrong leading up to the invasion of Iraq, and he, along with all the other drum beaters, deserve some blame for the outcome.
But to go from there to: “It is only fair to give Obama the same pass that we gave Bush” is nonsensical. The pass that this country gave Bush was disastrous. Why would we want to repeat that outcome with t he current president.
Heh. I’m sure he won’t make that mistake again….!
Not unless their political party starts with R, anyway.
GG is a disgruntled GOPer.
@NickT: Thanks for demonstrating my point.
ding-ding-ding! Give that man a cigar! This is _exactly_ what the outrage is about. Overly broad “anti terrorism” powers can be used to justify … let’s see … bring down the 4 … carry the 6 … ANYTHING.
But I was not Glen Greenwald’s partner, so I said nothing.
@Cacti: typing out of my ass, actually.
@Botsplainer: And close ups of watery eyed white guys anxiously clutching their laptops…”Please….don’t let them take away his paranoia. You can believe him….there are black helicopters circling his house…the gift of your credulity can last a lifetime”
The Moar You Know
@Cacti: Posting the truth about Greenwald is trolly.
@joes527: @Cacti: OK. I was glib. I’m not an expert on UK law. I’m just going by Amnesty International‘s analysis
Yeah I know. “Amnesty International.” … bunch of glibertaian freaks.
You know something? I would love if this fervent passion was all over Stop & Frisk. If the vehement rage was about mandatory ultrasounds. If there were a million blog comments on voting rights restrictions, emergency managers and the suspension of democracy-real, practical police state tactics. Instead, it’s white guy terror of possible surveillance. As they sit in relative silence about everyone else having real surveillance. Part of the problem is it’s a real cult of personality where if you have any critical views on GG or Snowden or Manning, quite a few are very real because of the sheer amount of data they didn’t just release, but handed over to people we’re not truly friends with. The other part of the problem is that they’re telling you their suppositions and fantasies of what it all means and people are accepting that. There’s no credit given to Obama talking about this in March of this year, asking for a restriction in these very same powers. Instead there’s derision-because it’s been much easier to listen to every fucking pundit under the sun, than the actual man. I’m glad I missed whatever this weekends blogfight was about. And it’s nice that Sully has discovered the words “police state”, but England has been this level of restrictive for a while and it’s not a fucking police state. Christ on a cracker. Accent on cracker. I’m really glad your Brony fandom should stay secret, either start posting about the Leahy amendment for transparency and greater oversight on the NSA or shut up.
It would be kind of nice if Miranda and Greenwald’s defenders would at least mention that Greenwald admitted that Miranda was in possession of stolen top-secret documents and that he wasn’t just stopped for shits and giggles.
But I guess Greenwald and his associates are allowed to be in possession of stolen property and transport it across national borders because shut up, that’s why.
@ruemara: If only stop and frisk had a troll of GG’s skill level, then it would be a thing of the… well, actually, it wouldn’t be any different than it is today, except that everyone would be both misinformed and frothing at the mouth about it.
@Cacti: @Jay C: @Cacti: the UK government watch-dog is already doing that. From the Guardian, ” Terrorism law watchdog calls for explanation of Miranda detention’ “The independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, David Anderson, has already warned of the importance of using schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act appropriately and proportionately. The purpose of schedule 7 is to determine whether or not someone is involved in or associated with terror activity.
“The Home Office and police need to explain rapidly how they can justify using that purpose under the terrorism legislation to detain David Miranda for nine hours. This has caused considerable consternation and swift answers are needed”.
“The police and security agencies rightly work hard to protect national security and prevent terrorism. But public confidence in security powers depends on them being used proportionately within the law, and also on having independent checks and balances in place to prevent misuse.”
Too bad Obama, regardless of his affiliation and many of you so-called progressives, don’t seem to appreciate that admonition.
“Miranda said he was questioned by six agents on his “entire life” while held at Heathrow. (might as well been JFK). Arriving at Rio de Janeiro airport on Monday, Miranda said: “I remained in a room. There were six different agents coming and going. They asked questions about my entire life, about everything. They took my computer, video game, mobile phone, my memory card. Everything.”
what law do you think should apply to carrying stolen classified documents through the UK? or do you expect the country to let that sort of shit slide?
the point that anti-terrorism statutes are overly broad is a good one, but freaking out over a mule ferrying stolen classified documents being detained at the airport is moronic.
but then the stop couldn’t be characterized as merely ‘vindictive’.
GG’s outrage Wurlitzer doesn’t run on truth, you know.
@Arclite: @jank_w: Nice one :-)
Do they? There is no particular reason that powers granted to the government be used in alignment with the title of a given statute. If you know better, pls throw in a cite for our benefit.
If only stop and frisk had as many supporters on this blog as the federal security state does, then maybe the discussions here would be longer.
The reason that we spend more time talking about Glen fucking Greenwald than we do about the anonymous victims of stop and frisk is that there just aren’t many folks around here cheering on the NYPD for doing their job against the [insert character attack here] darkies.
Threads full of: “Dude, I totally agree with your righteous position!” have limited staying power, regardless of the topic.
Open a thread to attack the character of anyone who disagrees with the NYPD on stop and frisk, and see if you don’t get a …. response.
@ruemara: @Mnemosyne: i wish I could hit a “like” button for you two.
And then there is this:
GG stories are like an aged bottle of wine. When you first uncork the bottle, you need to let it breath a bit; that’s when you able to experience the true depth flavor.
Villago Delenda Est
This, this, THIS.
next thing you’ll be telling me that the people’s democratic republic of korea isn’t a democratic republic.
Villago Delenda Est
National SOCIALIST German Worker’s Party.
See, it’s right there IN THE NAME!
Nazis = leftists!
@joes527: The issue is not hard to understand, if you’re willing to do so that is. The UK government has been abusing its anti-terrorism laws for years to intimidate people for a whole host of illegitimate reasons.
Seven or eight years ago I began blogging about the case of Bisher al-Rawi, an Iraqi emigre businessman and long-time resident of Britain who ended up being kidnapped with British complicity, tortured in Bagram, and then dumped in Gitmo for years. His ‘crime’ was that initially he’d agreed to help the Brits locate and talk to a radical muslim cleric in the UK…which he did successfully. Then he got sick of feeling he was being used, and refused subsequent requests that he become an informant on his muslim community.
So when he and some partners were embarking on a trip to Africa to buy a food factory, they were detained for the maximum allowable period at Heathrow and accused of all kinds of wild charges related to terrorism. His personal electronics were seized. But it was a charade. The agents made it clear that they wanted him to be an informant for MI5 again, and threatened him and his partners (who had nothing to do with anything) if he continued to refuse.
He refused. So they let them fly to Africa, where MI5 had them immediately arrested and detained in secret for weeks, where the abuse began. He continued to refuse. So MI5 let the others go and shipped Bisher off to Bagram, where he was tortured for months. Still refusing to bend to their will, they shipped him to Gitmo. The ‘charges’ against him kept changing, but they were always a joke and his British interrogators in each place always made it clear that they’d let him go if only he’d agree to become an informant again.
That’s how it works with British anti-terrorism law. It is treated as carte blanche to abuse anybody for almost any pretext.
After years wasting away in Gitmo, al-Rawi was released to Britain without charge, which also never charged him with anything.
@joes527: I’m puzzled by your political construction that says in essence, that a wrong is only worth discussing if someone is defending that wrong.
@joes527: Well that was borked. The link was supposed to go here.
Actually, I just read his words at the beginning of the quote:
@Arthur: the Greenwald wine – that vague odor of mendacity…with notes of dung.
@chopper: Are they really stolen documents or just copies of embarassing overly classified orders to pry open citizen or non citizen emails and act upon probably, with the same heavy handedness and arbitrariness that pólice normally display? Who is doing the real ‘stealing’ or purloining?. This is the elephant in the room, that would be interesting to debate, that the American bill of rights tried to redress. Most of you now feel the government agencies on the pretext of terrorism can be used to justify practically whatever it wants….These were the same arguments that were used in the Bush years .
Okay, forget Greenwald. Let’s address the issues.
This entire series of leaks have been wild misrepresentations or flat-out lies designed to make you think there’s a problem – because, after all, if they release something new every week it looks like a pattern.
What have we found out? The NSA can get a search warrant from a court and start tracking the metadata of people outside the US. They have computer systems to do this. The FISA court approves warrants at about the same rate any court approves warrants – almost all of them. When any law enforcement agency – including the FBI, CIA, NSA, DEA, and IRS – runs into information that a crime has been committed, they send what amounts to an anonymous tip to the appropriate other agency to begin investigating. The NSA audits its computer systems rigorously, and have found roughly 4000 times that operators made errors like inputting the wrong search term. Roughly one third of those were times the computer program turned up American information while examining foreign information, and that information was removed. A man already known to be illegally carrying state secrets, including UK state secrets, was stopped by the UK in an airport, held for nine hours, and the equipment he was carrying those secrets on was confiscated.
Maybe these revelations make you freak out. They make me yawn.
Things that we did NOT find out, but the articles pretended were true: The NSA has a database of all American internet activity. The NSA can and does read emails routinely without a warrant. The NSA has broken the law to spy on Americans 4000 times. A journalist was stopped and harassed in London because he embarrassed the US. The NSA gives evidence to the IRS and DEA, and they fabricate false explanations for that evidence.
No evidence has been given that any of those things are true. They were not revealed by any of the leaks. If you think they were, you have fallen for a hoax, a list of scare stories inflated out of bland evidence.
There is no ‘there’ there.
@different-church-lady: Not at all. What I’m saying is that issues where there is disagreement are more interesting to discuss than issues where everyone agrees. Disagreement will naturally draw more discussion than agreement.
I didn’t say anything about worthiness.
I keep seeing a lot of questioning from some quarters of the use of the UK Terrorism Act in this case. Here’s the definition of terrorism in the Act:
In terms of falling within subsection (2), they might rely on subsection (2)(e) (is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system), at a stretch calling on (2)(c) and/or (2)(d).
In terms of subsection (1), they might rely on (1)(b) (the use or threat is designed to influence the government) and or (1)(c) (the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause).
Don’t like it? Join the club. It’s been a controversial law for many reasons since Labour enacted it. But it’s the law.
@joes527: Point taken. Which brings to mind the question: wanna be part of the problem or the solution?
(And I’m not letting my own self off that hook.)
@Mnemosyne: In the other thread you were eventually forced to admit that there was no specific mention of Miranda carrying secret documents:
But now you are back to stating that as an unqualified fact, less than a day later. So tell me, is this early onset Alzheimer’s you are suffering from, or are you just a shill?
But let’s accept that your fact-free accusation is true. It amazes me that you think that merely possessing classified documents is in some way a crime. It is not, unless you have been sworn into the national security state, which frankly doesn’t even apply to most Americans, let alone Brazilians. Unless our government somehow managed to have everyone in Brazil swear fealty to the US under the auspices of the National Security Act in their sleep, there is no conceivable way that a Brazilian citizen carrying US documents through a UK terminal could be an illegal act.
But the law isn’t much the point now, is it? Our international intelligence apparatus (and I am including those aspects of the European/Australian security apparatus that have been absorbed into the US system without the permission of their citizens) has decided that the law simply doesn’t apply to them, and they can do whatever they want, including murdering people, surveilling everyone all of the time, blackmailing world leaders, running drugs, and acting like global dictators that can apply their ‘laws’ (which aren’t really laws, as laws are definitively universal, and they have exempted themselves from all law) to the citizens of other countries arbitrarily and without recourse.
We need to wake up and see the shape of power in this situation. If we do not do so soon, then we will be ruled by an international intelligence apparatus with no accountability, and no moral compass, even as our powerless ‘governments’ continue to decline into the role of being a taxation apparatus to support this international intelligence super-cartel.
But yes, Julian Assange voicing support for one of the few US politicians that appears to be (from the outside) even remotely concerned about this development is the real outrage. *eye roll*
the docs weren’t snowden’s, and he took them without permission. he handed them over to GG who has no security clearance. ergo, these documents are ‘stolen’.
don’t matter if you think they shouldn’t be classified. they’re still classified.
so yeah, they’re stolen classified documents.
@different-church-lady: To what problem do you refer?
I see no problem with a particular blog expending the bulk of it’s energy not on the most important issues of the day, but on the most tricky ones for its particular readership.
The “problem” is that there doesn’t seem to be a higher level (call it journalism) where the prominence of discussion is based on wide rather than narrow interest.
How do I (or you) fix _that_ problem?
The Charlie Savage piece in the times, which has Griftwald admitting that he was using his lover as a mule to smuggle stolen classified documents to Brazil, has been cited in this thread twice already. So deal with it.
Aside from all the other issues, having a loved one do your smuggling for you is a really shitty thing to do. But we knew what Griftwald was like a long time ago, no?
@joes527: I refer to the signal-to-noise ratio.
@Karmus: Thank you thank you thank you. Those gratuitous apostrophes drive me nuts.
@Karmus: Thank you thank you thank you. Those gratuitous apostrophes drive me nuts.
VIs a vis wikileaks, when the Department of State in 2009, orders its staff, signed on by Hillary Clinton to steal encryption codes, credit card numbers of foreigners entering its embassies or un officials, the real theft is wikileaks releasing this information, just as the real crime in terms of likely jail time, is not the torture and death of civilians by US soldiers; it is then ‘time to turn the page’ as Obama said, but not the reporting or the releasing of reports of those deaths by Bradley Manning, this is what the Obama adminstration thinks is the important crime, and who is the most culpable.
@YAFB: British civil libertarians have been complaining for years, apparently, that Section 7 of that law authorizes detention and questioning _without_ suspicion of terrorist involvement. Specifically without it. Which is why it’s a bullshit leap to say that the UK government was treating Miranda as a terrorist, or some such thing. Anyone being detained and questioned at an airport, on a suspicion or a whim, is being held subject to Section 7 of the Terrorism Act. As far as I can tell.
Yeah, I’ve read the AI statement. And this part:
Seems to be at odds with this part:
He was unlawfully detained under a law.
Then there’s this part.
Agreed. Has anyone suggested that Mr. Miranda was detained at random? He was on a transcontinental mule trip, paid for by the Guardian.
That’s awfully conclusory, considering the information he was sent to mule has previously included information on British intelligence gathering activities.
AI has their purpose, and it’s a useful one at that. But their statement in this case is long on hyperbole and short on facts.
@FlipYrWhig: Look up the 2000 Terrorism Act on Wikipedia. It’s got a neat roundup of the ridiculous ways it’s been applied and abused (my favorite being the poor guy who got actually arrested for taking snapshots of his daughter in a shopping mall; others are a lot less darkly humorous).
My problem is that saying this action against Miranda can’t fall under the Terrorism Act is misleading and totally misses the point.
It’s not that the law was misapplied, or used in any way other than how it was envisaged in this case. It’s that it’s a bad law per se, and this is a particularly muddy case on which to challenge it, given what’s been published about Miranda allegedly serving as a mule for Greenwald and Poitras. So it may not get challenged effectively if it’s just written off as officials over-stretching their powers
Add to this that simply traveling with encrypted data is a dirty great flashing red light for our authorities, and it’s even muddier.
All the coverage in the UK I’ve heard and seen at the moment is ignoring the allegations of Miranda serving as a mule. I don’t know whether they (AI, the MPs etc.bloviating about it, the media) will catch up with that, but since BBC Radio 4 News just interviewed Assange about it for some inexplicable reason (who relied on the argument that it was “a violation of the law,” at which point my irony glands exploded), I don’t hold out much hope.
@xenos: That piece refers to documents relating to this story, which could be anything that might help produce the journalism and documentaries relating to this story. It does not in any way say that he was carrying classified documents (i.e. the Snowden file). Which is what you (Or was it Mnemosyne? So hard to keep you straight when you write in the same fashion, with the same pat talking points.) was forced to admit yesterday, actually. Also, you ignored the majority of my message, in regard to the fact that Brazilians are not actually, or even conceivably, under any obligation to uphold the US National Security Act.
@Li: You know, it’s good that you edited this out of your comment:
I’ve seen so many allegations of paid shillery recently just because people disagree with a certain position that I’m beginning to feel like I need an agent.
@YAFB: The organized gang-attacking of anyone who upholds the position shared by a majority of the American people (that this spying op is a crock of cr^p), using consistent talking points and tactics, would naturally lead people to the conclusion that shillery is going on. In the case of that comment, I had to change it because I realized that I was replying to ‘Xenos’ rather than ‘Mnemosyne’ after the fact. Can you blame me, when their writing style, attacks and talking points are so similar as to be indistinguishable?
And if you aren’t getting paid for carrying water for the international security state, you really do need an agent. I hear there is lots of money in manipulating public opinion! Ask around, you seem well suited for the work.
@YAFB: Just remember, the real money isn’t in the contract, it’s in the endorsement deals.
Does anyone have an address for the International Security State? I’d like to apply for a job there — I hear they pay well and have a good benefits package.
@Li: My, my. You’re a pathetic piece of work with your unfounded allegations, aren’t you?
Is this how you intend to try to propagate your views to the unconvinced whom it’ll be necessary to get on board if you want to see change rather than just whining about things online?
It seems to be all the rage among those who don’t want to wait for facts to emerge, then attack others for being a little more patient and measured and nuanced.
Good luck with that.
Now, care to address what I said about the actual British law you’re so ignorant about, or do you just want to keep flaunting your ignorance?
Do you want to be my agent?
@YAFB: Tempting, but I’m pretty busy handling A-Rod’s farewell tour.
@YAFB: I have no intent of convincing you, because you are either fully convinced, or you are being paid to say these things. If it is the former, then you are unlikely to have your mind changed by any evidence, “epistemic closure” and all. If it is the latter, then I am truly wasting my breath (keystrokes?).
Also, I had no idea that your reference to the UK anti-terror statutes, well before I commented on this thread, was in reference to moi! I feel privileged, but if you want me to specifically answer any of your claims before I even comment on a thread, feel free to send me an email or something, or at least mention my nom-de-plume. So, I’ll just answer with your words:
So, how can I join this club? Oh, and by the way, just because something is legal in one country doesn’t make it copacetic with international law, and persecuting journalists and their lovers/assistants is still quite frowned upon under a variety of international agreements.
Time to write your international congressman.
@different-church-lady: Well, as long as we have a seamlessly interwoven international security state, then we really ought to have international congressmen. Our taxes are going to support this cabal, and the US congress/UK Parliament/Australian Parliament/German Bundestag clearly has no idea what is going on, or how to reign it in.
No taxation without representation! An international congress for an international security state, or bust!
LOL. You must be so effective on the doorstep! Keep on keeping on, dude. I’ll use you as a reference when shopping my services to MI6, agent or no.
And get over yourself. My quote from the actual law wasn’t just aimed at you, but you might do well to refer to it as a factual base. I referred to you as you seem to be some sort of lawyer, on the basis of this:
This is a pretty choice quote and makes me wonder if you’re Orly Taitz in drag.
Guess what? If you’re a furriner in or passing through the UK and in possession, or suspected of being in possession, of classified UK materials, you’re not immune from the law. In fact, as a furriner, it may go worse for you. Think about it for a minute and you may understand why such immunity as you imagine to exist would not make sense in practical terms.
I’m pleasantly surprised to hear that this same stricture doesn’t apply in America. I’d like a citation for that so I can bookmark it in case I ever feel inclined to get involved in that sort of thing (again).
As it is, the authorities, as has been pointed out, didn’t even need suspicion in order to hold Miranda quite legally. It may suck, but that’s the crappy law.
But to pretend that there aren’t grounds for official suspicion about what Miranda might be carrying in this case is disingenuous and helps no one. So they may well argue they held him and are scrutinizing his electronic gadgetry in order to establish what he was carrying.
At which point it’s likely this will all fade away, in the UK beyond the bounds of the Guardian at least, and we’re back where we started.
@Li: I really fucking hate that my tax dollars go towards repairing the Autobahn.
@different-church-lady: I would much my tax dollars go towards repairing the Autobahn then for them to go towards repairing the Stasi.
Hmm, one of my comments is lost in moderation. What term did I use?
Hmm. Wasn’t John Cole still a fire-breathing Republican at that time. People don’t all change at the some rate — some never do. Sadly, I’m old enough to remember when Democrats were wrestling with their support of LBJ. I was amazed that people couldn’t see through Bush in 2000. If ever there was someone without an ounce of substance, it was GWB.
We give people endless (deserved) grief for being demonstrably wrong and never admitting it, so the fact that Greenwald took time to change his opinion (about something as obvious to others as the unfitness of Bush for office and his delusional decision-making concerning Iraq), and later was willing to publicly admit he was wrong, seems to me to count more in his favor, than against. I’m afraid that much of the opposition here to Greenwald seems to me to arise out of BJ commenter’s unshakable loyalty to Obama, rather than from an objective assessment of GG’s arguments. Will those people look back 8 or 10 years from now and be willing to admit they were wrong to continue to support Obama, despite his horrendous record in this area? Glenn Greewald is hardly alone in criticizing the Obama administration about FISA and the FISC. I suspect a lot of the messenger-shooting is simply a way to divert attention away from the president’s dismal record.
PS I know lots of Democrats who were very enthusiastic about Obama in 2008, and though they think the PPACA is a great step, are now appalled by his record regarding human rights, the war on drugs, and government secrecy. I don’t count myself among those people, because, after some of his early decisions and his choice for VP, I was no longer very enthusiastic. My enthusiasm and energy were channeled into making sure no Republican was elected president.
Obama, or any president, can be criticized — fairly, I think — if his administration’s record doesn’t match his rhetoric and on these issues it clearly doesn’t. (Criticism from Republicans can safely be ignored — they’re lunatics and it’s all naked partisanship.)
A+ for you
@TriassicSands: Very well said.
Shut the fuck up, Cole. This is all a great big nothingburger. The government is only collecting data to catch terrorists and would never in a million years abuse the powers its been granted. Also, Greenwald is an asshole and so his partner deserved what happened to him. Also, you’re a racist because you’re not talking about stop-and-frisk.
Can I get my Obot t-shirt now? And it’s okay–I already know they only come in brown.
@TriassicSands: If Glenn Greenwald spins a line of bullshit, and said line of bullshit gets treated seriously here, then I’m going to spend time pointing out how his line of bullshit is a line of bullshit. Just because a person is concerned about surveillance or civil liberties doesn’t mean he has to be a patsy for Glenn Greenwald’s rhetoric again, and again, and again. That’s Greenwald’s act. He’s a willfully inflammatory bullshit artist who also has concerns about civil liberties, and, you know, you don’t have to accept the whole package all together, it’s really fine to pick and choose. Pat Buchanan was right about the Iraq War, but that doesn’t mean every screed from Pat Buchanan since then deserves to be uncritically repeated.
@FlipYrWhig: Confirmation bias and the halo effect work both ways, you know. In this case, given the repeated lies the US leadership has been caught in by subsequent rounds of document releases, the vague kabuki warnings by the few people on the Intelligence Committee that seem to take their oath to the American people seriously, and the clearly mendacious ‘explanations’ and ‘internal investigations’ that the culprits have offered up, there is clearly something seriously awry here. Don’t let your low opinion of Greenwald (or inflated opinion of Obama) throw you off the course of truth.
Irony is lying on the ground, clutching at her gut, her face a mask of pain. We should all hope it is merely appendicitis.
@NR: I gotta give you credit: at least you didn’t attempt to “add” anything serious to the debate this time out.
OK, gotta give you style points on that one.
Exactly. The whole friggin’ point of rights and protections is that you get them even if you’re a jerk. Whether or not you’re a jerk doesn’t matter. How difficult is that to understand?
What, are there actually people here who support Obama having turned into Richard Nixon?
The Obots are paid by OFA, everyone knows that, right?
Could it be because that’s all these assholes have?
There’s a cohort here at BJ that should just be ashamed of themselves – the same folks who polluted the old ABL posts with screams of “Firebagger!” But these shits have no shame, so nevermind…
“Pat Buchanan was right about the Iraq war.” Straw man alert! Your post contained nothing but invective. The kind of shit we’re used to getting from FOX News to divert from an issue. This has nothing to do with Pat Buchanan. If you want to defend this detention and what happened to Greenwald’s partner, be my guest. But you’re playing games here. Your expertise in discussing “bullshit” is apparent for any sane person to see.
This is embarrassing. Really. Even for you!
Proper response to this phony straw man bullshit – fuck you.
“There’s no credit given to Obama talking about this in March of this year, asking for a restriction in these very same powers. ”
Details on that please. How this brouhaha would have been averted because Obama was all over it.
Frankly, I don’t really give a fuck about the NSA revelations – I’ve taken this level of surveillance for granted – but the phony discourse and defensiveness when Obama spouts total bullshit, as he has serially in the wake of the Guardian docs (“I welcome this discussion”)- or embarrasses himself by questioning Snowden on the level of “patriotism” – is instructive of just how lame – intellectually and morally incompetent – some of these asshole at BJ are. I’ve supported Obama on most of the stuff that a lot of leftists have criticized him for – up to and including killing AQ assholes with drones, even give the damage to civilians. My biggest beef with him has been over the little shit Geithner, who has had his nose in the Wall St. Rectum since Day One and who left homeowners hanging out on a limb while rescuing banks with no “collateral damage.” But Obama looks lame as hell in the wake of this Snowden brouhaha. His inability to be forthright has been embarrassing at best. He seems to have been totally captured by the office – as he himself predicted back in 2007. I guess what’s weird is that he has been such an attractive figure and clearly has such integrity on a personal level that any of us would be surprised that he does what the POTUS always does, even in best cases. (At least he hasn’t done some of the worst of what St. FDR did in the course of the New Deal and the war in terms of compromises with overt racists and rounding up Americans.)
@Odie Hugh Manatee:
You’re a fucking asshole – on one of your good days. That was a bullshit post – like you give a fuck about this shit, but fuck anyone who actually did anything about it. I don’t give a fuck, but the discourse here is puke-worthy in the level of straw men, phony invective and flaming hypocrisy.