Tag Archives: NSA

To Russia with Love?

So our boy Snowden finds himself enjoying airport accommodations whilst awaiting his chariot ride to South America (Ecuador?). Putin gets the last laugh by refusing to extradite and China drug it’s feet long enough for Ed to make a clean getaway.

Wikileaks is apparently providing logistical support (and acting as de facto mouthpiece).

What has Snowden given to foreign governments? Anything? If so, my support for him ends right now.

If not, I’m still in his corner. Despite the diplomatic egg on Obama’s face that this situation has created, until proven otherwise (as much as that is possible in this case) I’m going to support this guy.

What he did was illegal for sure…but from where I sit, it was done for the right reasons. In this day and age of Infotainment, media ownership and a profound lack of critical reporting, if Snowden does NOT do this…the debate remains under covers.  Exactly where the NSA wants it. And believe me folks, this is a debate that is sorely lacking in our post 9/11 world.

This administration has been coy at BEST with regard to the level our government intrudes on our privacy.  Our Director of National Intelligence flat-out lied about it.  Hmmm, I’m not feeling a whole lot of trust towards these guys at present.

President Obama has told us that it’s necessary and saves lives. Maybe so but how about you set up an independent commission and grant them full access into PRISM and God knows what other Black Op programs you guys are running. That would go a long way into gaining my trust back.

Too many good people are willing to look the other way in the face of a government official telling them it’s for their own good and that their children will sleep safer at night.

I’m sorry, but I call bullshit.

It’s time for accountability.  You clowns have lost your “trust” card and you need to get Snowden back in the US, acknowledge the moral rightness of his actions (if they are proven so; if he’s a spy, then prosecute or render until you’re blue in the face) and grant him a pardon.

Fix the damn issue and quit shooting the messenger.

You are beginning to look and sound like a bunch of amateur fascists…

PS:  The castration of the Voting Rights Act by SCOTUS adds another level of distaste in my mouth. If this was a Republican administration, I’d be screaming. That I voted for you makes it incumbent upon me to scream even louder.  Yes, I know SCOTUS is another branch of government, but c’mon guys.  You have created a PR nightmare. Somebody up there has got to have the common sense to keep this mess from spiraling out of control…and into the hands of the Republicans.


Throw Us a Rope Mr. President

Whether Edward Snowden turns out to be the modern day version of Daniel Ellsberg, or simply an opportunistic, overachieving ITT Tech grad (as some pundits suggest), this much is clear:  Mr. President, you’ve a crisis of confidence on your hands.

Until recently, I was your biggest fan.  You won me over during your first campaign (okay, even before) and I’ve steadfastly remained in your corner until, well, until your drones and your sham FISA court, and your Gitmo (remember Gitmo sir, that place that you promised to close by now?) and your inability to express the razor-sharp reasoning that leads your administration to continue to operate outside the Constitution. OK, your Justice Deparment will argue that your policies are within the letter of the law but let’s get real…even if that’s true (and I don’t believe it is), you’re a big boy and we both know perception is reality, PARTICULARLY in the political arena.

So here’s the deal Mr. President: your actions have forced me into a segment of society I’d rather not invite over for dinner…the right wing conspiracy theorist. The Tea Partiers. The NRA fascist. The Fox News contingent. Yecch. I don’t like it here and I want to go home.

I want to go back to the audacity of hope that you promised us. The moral commitment that we came to expect from you. If it remains, it is well hidden. What we SEE is a President generally willing to compromise with the right (in a spirit of cooperation that has long since left the station) and a President that is willing to forgo the message of hope that you instilled in all of us.

Do the right thing Mr. President. Be clear with us why these draconian measures are necessary. Tell us exactly why the balance has swung so far into the infringement of our civil liberties. If you can’t do that, then make it stop…NOW.

I can’t be your only supporter that has become disenfranchised with the military-industrial complex that you oversee…and perpetuate. You’re throwing us to the wolves (Fox-es) Mr. President and your legacy is being critically injured through your actions and inaction.

Throw us a rope…


‘I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things’

(via guardian.co.uk)

(via guardian.co.uk)

So says Edward Snowden, the former NSA analyst who has come forward as the source of recent NSA “leaks” involving the government’s role in gathering intelligence information.

Some personal perspective: I spent several years as a firefighter, ultimately reaching the rank of Captain. We, by necessity, work very closely with law enforcement. Both agencies are public, para-military organizations. I witnessed first-hand abuses by law enforcement, both physical and constitutional. On one occasion, I saw a deputy take a homeless teen behind a building and “talk to him”…the teen returned ruffled and bruised. It was clear what the “talking to” involved. I don’t have a monopoly on witnessing this kind of “stretching the rules” but I mention it to gain some insight on the matter at hand. The police departments that I worked with were willing to break the law to advance what they collectively saw as a greater good. In many, if not most cases, I agreed with their actions at the time. It’s called “group-think” and it’s very east to succumb to in this line of work.

Now let’s up the stakes by, say, infinity…you are the United States Government and you are mandated with protecting your citizens from an increasingly sophisticated enemy, Jihadists from non nation-states that do not follow the conventional rules of warfare.

After 911, I think it’s safe to say that I and many others felt that “all bets were off” in the immediacy surrounding the horrible attack. But with time comes perspective and a return to sanity, and a return to a “normal” state of non knee-jerk responsiveness that has apparently continued unabated in the security apparatchiks of this country.

I discussed John Kiriakou recently here and my outrage at his imprisonment for essentially calling out his government for not playing by its own rules.

Now Edward Snowden. He contends that the level of governmental intrusion is far greater than we have been led to believe, and based upon my personal experiences, I believe him. We are only being exposed to the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our governments anti-terror programs. Journalist Jeremy Scahill’s new film and book “Dirty Wars” promises to shine further light on these dark recesses of our national obsession with “security”.

Is all this justified?  Is it okay to wiretap and spy on your own citizens and God knows what else will be revealed? Maybe it is…maybe these actions, taken clearly outside the letter and intent of our Bill of Rights are vital to our collective safety. But here’s the deal…in order for us, you know, the citizens of the country that employ you, to make an informed decision, we need transparency. We need to be brought into the loop just enough to know if what you guys are doing is both necessary and just. And right now, with an absolute lack of transparency, we simply have President Obama “assuring” us that it’s not invasive and it’s in our best interest.

Mr. President, I’ve voted for you twice. I admired your background as a Constitutional Law Professor. You are lying to us and you have lost my support. Until you can convince me that these draconian measures are CRITICAL to our well-being, you are simply another corporate talking head. Another minion of the military-industrial complex furthering our descent into fascism.

I have no illusions that this blog will not be “flagged” in some third-party corporate “metadatabase”…and that’s a shame. My father fought and nearly died in two wars to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. I served over 20 years protecting the public in the emergency services field and I am not about to roll over on the principles of this country.

I want answers.

I want transparency.

And I want more people like Edward Snowden to come forward and do the right thing…


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