18 January 2011

transferring back to the death star

[click image]

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They really said no? Who Knew?
Members of Switzerland’s parliament are demanding the ouster of US diplomats who are believed to be involved in illegal spying activities out of their Geneva embassy, a revelation which came out of a WikiLeaks cable from 2005.

The cable, released by Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, cited US embassy officials “checking out” a Middle Eastern-looking couple on the grounds that they were near the embassy and had the word “Islam” on a sign inside their car.

The Swiss Justice Ministry is investigating the program, and says there is evidence of the same sort of widespread surveillance out of the Geneva embassy as the US was found to be conducting in Norway and Denmark.

However while Norway eventually conceded that certain of its officials had secretly approved of the spying (while not telling the officials launching the investigation), Swiss officials say the US approached them on the possibility of launching such operations and was rebuffed at least twice. The evidence now is that they decided to go through with it anyhow.
Sorta like here, where we keep saying no to fascist stuff and they do it anyway.

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Coleen Rowley....

Damn right, Helen....

Nick Turse....

LEAVE CHILE RIGHT NOW....

COMPLETELY doesn't matter WHAT we say... ever....

Oh, fucking hell, I guess I can stop worrying about lifesaving pharmaceuticals drying up in the crash....

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The CIA is "out of control" and often refuses to cooperate with other parts of the national security community, even undermining their efforts, said former National Security Agency head William Odom, according to a recently released record of a 9/11 Commission interview.

"The CIA currently doesn't work for anyone. It thinks it works for the president, but it doesn't and it's out of control," says a report summarizing remarks made by Odom, a retired three-star general who served as director of the NSA from 1985 to 1988.

Odom, who also served on the National Security Council staff during the Carter administration, was known as an outspoken advocate for intelligence reform. He died in 2008.

William Odom, former director of the National Security Agency, was known as an outspoken advocate for intelligence reform.

The 2003 interview, among others conducted by the 9/11 Commission, was posted on the website Cryptome, which is often compared to the secret-spilling WikiLeaks website. The report was not a leak, however, but one of many records relating to the 9/11 Commission that have been released and made available on the National Archives website.

"Quite a few remain 'access restricted' for classification review," John Young, who runs Cryptome, told AOL News in an e-mail about the records, some of which he has reposted. "We expect to make an FOIA [Freedom of information Act] request for their release once we have a full listing of those restricted."

In the commission interview, Odom portrayed CIA officers as individualistic, saying they were interested in writing "exposes." He also accused the CIA of not sharing "humint," meaning intelligence collected through contact with people, and of trying to sabotage the Pentagon's own work in this area.

"The director of the CIA has as much reason to brief the president as the man on the moon," Odom told the staff of the commission investigating the failure to prevent the terror attacks.

Odom also believed that intelligence officials weren't held sufficiently accountable for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He said he believed that the heads of the NSA and the CIA should both have been fired by the president after 9/11 for "symbolic purposes."
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Ravingly-jealous old fuck is either poisoning the well or warning compatriots... which?

Something else to heap sleeping powder on the masses and come to naught....

Today's Keiser Report....

Austerity hits home....

Got food?

Whut, restoring their buddhas and installing satellite dishes?

Third millennium opium den....

Gorgeous toxic soup....

Stuxnet not so threatening... but nice try....

HAIL MEDVEDEV....

Hail Mary....

Yuh, "rambling" probably was more like "sputtering" over the psychedelia we call "policy" nowadays....

It's come to this....

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In the early months of Obama's presidency, the American Right did to him what they do to every Democratic politician: they accused him of being soft on defense (specifically "soft on Terror") and leaving the nation weak and vulnerable to attack. But that tactic quickly became untenable as everyone (other than his hardest-core followers) was forced to acknowledge that Obama was embracing and even expanding — rather than reversing — the core Bush/Cheney approach to Terrorism. As a result, leading right-wing figures began lavishing Obama with praise — and claiming vindication — based on Obama's switch from harsh critic of those policies (as a candidate) to their leading advocate (once in power).

As early as May, 2009, former Bush OLC lawyer Jack Goldsmith wrote in The New Republic that Obama was not only continuing Bush/Cheney Terrorism policies, but was strengthening them — both because he was causing them to be codified in law and, more important, converting those policies from right-wing dogma into harmonious bipartisan consensus. Obama's decision "to continue core Bush terrorism policies is like Nixon going to China,"Goldsmith wrote. Last October, former Bush NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden — one of the most ideological Bush officials, whose confirmation as CIA chief was opposed by then-Sen. Obama on the ground he had overseen the illegal NSA spying program — gushed with praise for Obama: "there's been a powerful continuity between the 43rd and the 44th president." James Jay Carafano, a homeland-security expert at the Heritage Foundation, told The New York Times' Peter Baker last January: "I don’t think it's even fair to call it Bush Lite. It's Bush. It's really, really hard to find a difference that's meaningful and not atmospheric."

Those are the nation's most extreme conservatives praising Obama's Terrorism policies. And now Dick Cheney himself — who once led the "soft on Terror" attacks — is sounding the same theme. In an interview last night with NBC News, Cheney praised Obama for continuing his and Bush's core approach to Terrorism:
He obviously has been through the fires of becoming President and having to make decisions and live with the consequences. And it's different than being a candidate. When he was candidate he was all for closing Gitmo. He was very critical of what we'd done on the counterterrorism area to protect America from further attack and so forth. . . .

I think he's — in terms of a lot of the terrorism policies — the early talk, for example, about prosecuting people in the CIA who've been carrying out our policies — all of that's fallen by the wayside. I think he's learned that what we did was far more appropriate than he ever gave us credit for while he was a candidate. So I think he's learned from experience.
Cheney was then specifically asked whether he stood by his early attacks on Obama's national security policies — "You said you believe President Obama has made America less safe. That he's actually raised the risk of attack. Do you still feel that way?" — and Cheney, not exactly known for changing his mind, essentially said that, thanks to Obama's continuity, he now does not:
Well, when I made that comment, I was concerned that the counterterrorism policies that we'd put in place after 9/11 that had kept the nation safe for over seven years were being sort of rapidly discarded. Or he was going to attempt to discard them. . . . As I say, I think he's found it necessary to be more sympathetic to the kinds of things we did.
It overstates the case to say there are no differences. There were some: Obama formally ended the "enhanced interrogation program" (the authorization for which had been withdrawn when he took office); banned CIA black sites (which were empty when he took office); and has not invoked the Article II lawbreaking theories of Bush's first term (Bush largely abandoned them as well in his second term as Congress began legalizing his programs). And there is a more conciliatory tone, and some greater technocratic efficiency, in some foreign policy pronouncements. But the crux of Bush/Cheney radicalism — the mindset and policies that caused much of the controversy — continues and has even been strengthened. Gen. Hayden put it best, as quoted by The Washington Times:
"You've got state secrets, targeted killings, indefinite detention, renditions, the opposition to extending the right of habeas corpus to prisoners at Bagram [in Afghanistan]," Mr. Hayden said, listing the continuities. "And although it is slightly different, Obama has been as aggressive as President Bush in defending prerogatives about who he has to inform in Congress for executive covert action."
And that list, impressive though it is, doesn't even include the due-process-free assassination hit lists of American citizens, the sweeping executive power and secrecy theories used to justify it, the multi-tiered, "state-always-wins" justice system the Obama DOJ concocted for detainees, the vastly more aggressive war on whistleblowers and press freedoms, or the new presidential immunity doctrines his DOJ has invented. Critically, this continuity extends beyond specific policies into the underlying sloganeering mentality in which they're based: we're in a Global War; the whole Earth is the Battlefield; the Terrorists want to kill us because they're intrinsically Evil (not in reaction to anything we do); we're justified in doing anything and everything to eradicate Them; the President's overarching obligation (contrary to his Constitutional oath) is to keep us Safe; this should all be kept secret from us; we can't be bothered with obsolete dogma like Due Process and Warrants, etc. etc.

Aside from the repressiveness of the policies themselves, there are three highly significant and enduring harms from Obama's behavior.

First, it creates the impression that Republicans were right all along in the Bush-era War on Terror debates and Democratic critics were wrong. The same theme is constantly sounded by conservatives who point out Obama's continuation of these policies: that he criticized those policies as a candidate out of ignorance and partisan advantage, but once he became President, he realized they were right as a result of accessing the relevant classified information and needing to keep the country safe from the Terrorist threat. Goldsmith, for instance, claimed Obama changed his mind about these matters "after absorbing the classified intelligence and considering the various options. GOP Sen. Susan Collins told the NYT's Baker that Obama "is finding that many of those policies were better-thought-out than they realized." Cheney boasted that Obama "obviously has been through the fires of becoming President and having to make decisions and live with the consequences." Predictably — and understandably — here's the headline Cheney's interview generated in The Hill this morning.

This has settled in as orthodoxy: one could criticize Bush/Cheney Terrorism policies only out of ignorance and/or being free of the solemn obligation to Keep America Safe.

Second, Obama has single-handedly eliminated virtually all mainstream debate over these War on Terror policies. At least during the Bush years, we had one party which steadfastly supported them but one party which claimed (albeit not very persuasively) to vehemently oppose them. At least there was a pretense of vigorous debate over their legality, morality, efficacy, and compatibility with our national values.

Those debates are no more. Even the hardest-core right-wing polemicists — Gen. Hayden, the Heritage Foundation, Dick Cheney — now praise Obama's actions in these areas. Opposition from national Democrats has faded away to almost complete nonexistence now that it's a Democratic President doing these things. What was once viewed as the signature of Bush/Cheney radicalism is now official, bipartisan Washington consensus: the policies equally of both parties and all Serious people. Thanks to Barack Obama, this architecture is firmly embedded in place and invulnerable to meaningful political challenge.

Third, Obama's embrace of these policies has completely rehabilitated the reputations and standing of the Bush officials responsible for them. Yesterday, J. Gerald Herbert — a long-time DOJ official — told The Raw Story that Obama's refusal to investigate or prosecute Bush era crimes is both a violation of DOJ's duties and sets a "dangerous precedent" by vesting lawbreaking elites with immunity. The active protection of torturers and other high-level lawbreakers both signals that they did nothing seriously wrong and, independently, ensures that such conduct will be repeated in the future.

But Obama's impact in this area extends far beyond that. Dick Cheney is not only free of ignominy, but can run around claiming vindication from Obama's actions because he's right. The American Right constantly said during the Bush years that any President who knew what Bush knew and was faced with the duty of keeping the country safe would do the same thing. Obama has provided the best possible evidence imaginable to prove those claims true.

Conservatives would love to bash Obama for being weak on Terrorism so that, in the event of another attack, they can blame him (and Cheney, in last night's interview, left open that possibility by suggesting Obama may suffer from unknown failures). If it were at all possible, they'd be out accusing him of abandoning critical programs that Keep us Safe; that's what they do best. But they cannot with a straight face claim that Obama has abandoned their core approach, so they do the only thing they can do: acknowledge that he has continued and strengthened it and point out that it proves they were right — and he was wrong — all along. If Obama has indeed changed his mind over the last two years as a result of all the Secret Scary Things he's seen as President, then I genuinely believe that he and the Democratic Party owe a heartfelt, public apology to Bush, Cheney and the GOP for all the harsh insults they spewed about them for years based on policies that they are now themselves aggressively continuing.

Obama has won the War on Terror debate — for the American Right. And as Dick Cheney's interview last night demonstrates, they're every bit as appreciative as they should be.

Glenn Greenwald

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About sums it up, eh?

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DEPRESSING ENOUGH?

I mean—and I should strive to be clearer always—does all this help blank out the urge to do something? And do you realize that you are relying on it? It's NOT merely that they're doing it to you. You are relying on it. Do you see how this is so?

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love, 99
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4 comments:

  1. DEPRESSING ENOUGH?

    I wonder how many are wasting time on all this stuff each day?

    I have to say, your post looks a lot like my live bookmarklets and such. I guess what I am saying is it seems I have spent all day reading the same thing you have, and now I arrive here, and everything I did all day is in one post (Nearly), I got a few other places I haunt, and you have a few haunts I don't haunt normally, but all in all pretty fucking close to what I got.

    Now I wonder, could I be more productive if I just waited until you were finished, then visit here and not have to go through all the drama on a daily basis. It's really turning into a global flame war out there.

    Every day I have to say some stupid fucking shit about some new stupid shit the government, the media, or some other fuckwad does. I'm tired of it. On the one hand I don't see enough people aware, or who give a fuck, and so I try to nudge em each day. On the other hand, I don't want to be an ostrich, but I also am sick of the daily fucking drama. I could be so much more productive in my arts, if this fucking daily fascist crap would just stop. Arrest all these bastards and bitches, before they put the human race's lights out with their greed-tarded-ness and be done with it.

    I want to record some music. I want to do a lot of shit, I no longer have time for. I used to spend time with plants, animals, nature. Now I sleep less than 4 hours a day, with red eyes, and justified anger about all the non-stop shit.

    It's 24/7 psychological bullshit dirty tricks and corruption with no hope in sight.

    And in the last seven years, even free speech is being stifled, I can't even use my fucking photoshop plugin with the crosshair without worrying about it being taken out of context and being raided by some un-accountable fucking secretive agency.

    In the past 10 years my productivity has gone to shit. It's a thousand cuts to my life's work, eroded across the zillion fucking web sites which are anonymous and sometimes named, and I'll never be able to take credit for any of it since it's like dust in a dust storm.

    I can't even think what should be done about the Gulf Of Mexico. I can only Imagine living there and having the threat of chemicals shorting my life and nobody to sue.

    This fucking shit needs to stop.

    ~p

    ReplyDelete
  2. Epitaph... naw, Phil, my point in posting it all was to show EXACTLY what you are complaining about here. They're doing it on purpose, and most of us now NEED them to keep it up so we can stay too mentally wiped to DO ANYTHING.

    So, rip yerseff away from it. Just pick a couple news aggregators and skim and then go back to your creative work. STAY AWAY FROM GROUPTHINK PROGRESSIVES AND WINGNUTS. Just don't even fry on the election crap until such time as there will be a difference between whoever steals the election and the one who won it. Mox nix until that day. Let go of the anger and helplessness every time they arise... NOT to just be lame, but in order to be able to SEE and THINK and know what to do when you can DO something.

    Bed. I'm way past my bedtime, but have been listening to Michael in the next post above. You should too. It helps. It's some of the most helpful stuff available. That's why I keep posting it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. and Buy Silver!

    US Mint Reports January Silver Sales Hit 26 Year High

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  4. I think we need to start listening to Tsarion when we are not going to be in a lucid state, but when we are drinking coffee, smoking tobacco, and wide awake.

    Anyway, clearly, I have to change some things in my own life now.

    ReplyDelete

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