Archives for posts with tag: NSA

First off: this writer considers both men (if tried and convicted, of course) to be stinking scum buckets who violated the terms of their employment and many other laws as well. Having said that, Manning seems a more genuine, if misguided, character than Snowden. Here’s why:

Number A: Bradley Manning stole a load of sensitive and secret documents and handed them off to others to publish. After committing said theft, he stayed on the job until the cops came to arrest him. He has since followed the legal process and from all reports considers himself to be a whistleblower who acted with patriotic intent. And if he has to go to prison, he’ll go to prison, because he believes in what he did and why he did it.

Letter 2: Edward Snowden stole a load of sensitive and secret documents and ran away after working with a publicist to make this as big a deal as possible. He went to a territory controlled by a nation with a much more intrusive domestic security apparat than America’s to tell us all how bad America is. He then fled to another nation with a hideously intrusive domestic security apparat on his way to another such country. While doing so, he has carefully leaked selected material at such times as to cause damage to his birth country. He has been inconsistent in his story and is going to great lengths to avoid stating under oath what he did and why. Much about the man is shady, to say the least.

Your friendly neighborhood blogger doesn’t find either of them to be particurlarly admirable, but Manning at least acts like a man who believes in his cause.

Snowden just acts like a crook.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Remember the 90’s? That was when a Dem got elected President, and the Repubs spent years manufacturing “scandals” so as to stop him from getting his agenda accomplished. Bulls*** allegation after bulls*** allegation, and finally one stuck to the wall: a stain on a gullible young lady’s dress, put there by our horndog Prexy Bubba. Finally, after years of effort, the “Republicans” had a scandal with which to distract the public and derail the administration’s efforts and policies. Oh, and to use to take the White House in 2000. Dirty politics, but effective. Even today, “Lewinsky” is a punch line.

Now we have another Democrat at 1600, and the Repubs have been working from the same playbook for his entire term. BS “scandal” after BS “scandal” has been thrown at Obama, and none has stuck. Not until Ron Paul supporter Edward Snowden decided to derail the administration. And he (or whoever he really works for) has upped the game considerably. Not just a stain or an “is” leaked at random moments: no, these releases of national security information are being timed to lead the media and the more gullible members of the public around by the nose:
* The initial “revelation” happened just after another attempted scandal was fizzling out,
* The “revelation” about spying on China came out right before Obama met with China’s leader,
*The “revelation” about spying on Russia came out right before Obama met with Russia’s leader, and then
*Right on cue, the son of the man Snowden supported in 2012 denounced Obama over the NSA “scandal”.

A well-coordinated and effective but of dirty politics, you’ll agree. And it will continue, because it seems to be working. Note that this writer is neither excusing Clinton’s pre-adolescent behavior with Ms. Lewinsky, nor is he standing up for the appalling breaches of privacy that the Bushies and their Patriot Act handed down to the present regime.

But, Gentle Reader, he IS saying that the “revelations” and “scandals” are part of a pattern of behavior that we have seen from the “Republican” party for many years now. Far too many of We The People are forgetting this, and allowing ourselves to be jerked around on the strings of various puppeteers, who are not doing this for the good of the country: no, they are doing this to stop Obama from getting anything done, so the Elephants can kick the Donkeys out of power once again. And it’s working, because far too many of us aren’t paying attention.

And if this disgraceful campaign of character assassination succeeds, you’ll have this latter-day Lewinsky to thank (or blame). Yes, the new and improved edition of a young naïf who hit their knees in order to “service” someone in a position of power. A punchline-in-waiting is he, aided and abetted by our national failure to pay attention when we are being manipulated.

The only question left is what sort of “stain” will be left on Mr. Snowden, and whether he can ever wash it away.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

There’s a first time for everything – two LSOS’s in a single week, but this warrants an award of its own: less than half of the Senate showed up for a briefing on the big bad surveillance scandal that they have been screeching about.

You see, the briefing, which the Senate has been loudly demanding, was held on Thursday afternoon, and we certainly can’t expect our Senators to work an entire 3-day week, now can we? Nope, most of them were at the airport or already on planes (that somehow escaped the budget cuts and cutbacks of Sequestration). So they STILL don’t know about the surveillance scandal that seemed to be so important a couple of days ago:

Only 47 of 100 senators attended the 2:30 briefing, leaving dozens of chairs in the secure meeting room empty as Clapper, Alexander and other senior officials told lawmakers about classified programs to monitor millions of telephone calls and broad swaths of Internet activity. The room on the lower level of the Capitol Visitor Center is large enough to fit the entire Senate membership, according to a Senate aide.

It’s one of two things: either the Senators who blew off the briefing don’t really give a monkey’s about the “scandal”, or they already knew about it. Either way, those who skipped the meeting are Lying Sacks of S***. It’ll take a truckload of Crowns O’ Polished Turds to decorate the domes of all these poltroons, but they have earned them.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Just one example of many: Sean Hannity during the Bush administration excoriating the Dems for opposing the creation of an Orwellian surveillance state, and the same boyo during the Obama administration excoriating the Dems for creating the aforementioned surveillance state. A nice little video of this flat-headed flannelmouth ranting on both sides of the issue. And did you see ABC or CBS “news” calling him out for his Janus impression? Neither did anyone else, because they never did.

In addition to out-and-out partisan hacks like Hannity, we have the merely lazy hacks who do nothing but pass along the lies of our “representatives”. No fact-checking, nonono, none of that old0fashioned stuff.

This is the only article your humble correspondent could locate that actually dared to ask questions( like, say, “why do Teapublicans oppose criminal background checks for gun buyers as ‘intrusive’ but support the Patriot Act and other domestic surveillance initiatives?”) and didn’t simply repeat the B.S. that got handed down by the two-faced crooks and liars in DC. An excerpt;

“This bill is a clear overreach that will predominantly punish and harass our neighbors, friends, and family,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who voted against proceeding to debate the issue of gun control.

But on Tuesday, the Kentucky Republican defended the controversial NSA surveillance programs that sweep up data on phone calls and Internet activities, essentially making the case that the efforts are justified and legal.

Seen that on Fox, CNN, or another such “news” outlet? Yeah, we haven’t either. Such is life in the infotainment age. And let’s not forget the hysterical, hype-ridden “coverage” at the outset of this “scandal” that was ever-so-quietly “corrected” as the days went on. It’s getting to the point where we can trust our “news” media even less than we do Congress.

And if you’re less trustworthy than those partisan motherf***ers, you can’t be trusted at all.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Let’s start by saying that the Patriot Act (along with all of its bastard children) needs repealed ASAP, and the infrastructure that supports its aims needs trundled off to the scrap heap immediately afterwards. The notion that we are guilty until proven innocent is so diametrically opposed to everything America stands for is what makes all of these post-911 laws so dangerous.

But beyond the fact that the government is treating each and every one of us as if we are criminals and/or terrorists that they haven’t caught yet is the bigger problem: the secrecy with which these operations are carried out. “Trust us”, say the NSA, Congress, President et.al. “This is for your own protection”, they say. “We’d never abuse our authority”, they say. “We can’t show you how it works, what we do, why we do it or to whom we are doing it”, they say. “It has to be secret”, they say.

The problem with secrecy is the same problem we have with most human inventions: a little might perhaps enhance our safety, but too much can hurt us, weaken our nation, and perhaps lead to its dissolution. This whole domestic surveillance mess is made even messier by the fact that the government hid even the broad brush strokes of what they were (and still are) doing. And such information that does leak out seems to indicate that our government is acting in ways that would make Hoover blush.

This makes it very hard indeed to trust them: not only do they suspect each and every one of us of being potential Bin Ladens, but they themselves aren’t acting like honest, upstanding citizens whom we would be inclined to trust. (Remember Nixon and his “trust me” schtick, and how that turned out?)

On top of that, the degree of secrecy being employed here makes it possible for glory-hound “journalists”, “experts”, and “representatives” to make outlandish claims (e.g. Snowden, Greenwald, Issa) because we cannot verify anything they are saying. By acting thus they sow even MORE distrust among our society. The secrecy is making it impossible to trust our government, our institutions, the businesses with whom we deal, or even each other.

Secrecy kills trust. And without trust, we cannot be united. So if we can’t trust the government, we might as well just pull the plug on our country, because it can’t be a truly “United States of America”: there is no unity without trust.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Mr. Blunt and Cranky cannot believe how stupid and gullible his fellow Americans have gotten to be. Really, he should go into used car sales or something, because the lot of you have evidently lost your critical faculties of late. Let us review:

Act One: Benghazi. It was spun by the “news” media and certain politicos as a breathtaking scandal that could doom Obama’s chances of re-election, and lots of hysterical stories were written and accusations were leveled. As time passed, we learned that a lot of the initial stories were false, wrong, or at the very least inaccurate. In the end, it turned out that the cries of “Wolf” were hysterical, manipulative crap. The truth of the matter is, people had f***ed up, heads rolled and changes had to be made, but the Prexy had nothing to do with it. The media retracted very little of what they had said, and the politicos retracted nothing. So lots of stupid people STILL think there is a Benghazi scandal, even though the wolf-criers have been proven to be liars.

Act Two: the latest IRS dustup. It too was spun by the “news” media and certain politicos as a breathtaking scandal that could doom Obama’s chances of accomplishing anything in his second term, and lots of hysterical stories were written and accusations were leveled. As time passed, we learned that a lot of the initial stories were false, wrong, or at the very least inaccurate. In the end, it turned out that the cries of “Wolf” were hysterical, manipulative crap. The truth of the matter is, people had f***ed up, heads rolled and changes had to be made, but the Prexy had nothing to do with it. The media retracted very little of what they had said, and the politicos retracted nothing. So lots of stupid people STILL think there is an IRS scandal, even though the wolf-criers have been proven to be liars.

Act Three: The NSA Scandal. Just like before, it is being spun as the scandal of the century, hysterical bulls*** is plentiful,and people want to throw our President our of office. Never mind that the quote Journalism end quote is a load of sloppy garbage and just as in our two previous examples,falls apart like a cheap nose wipe in the rain when subjected to scrutiny.

And what are Americans doing? Do they say “Gee whiz, they cried “Wolf” before, maybe we better wait and see what the facts are”? Oh, don’t be silly. No, just like puppets on strings they are jumping up and down, getting outraged, freaking out, and acting as if this scandal du jour is somehow different than all the other times the boys in the media and Congress have cried “Wolf” in the past. Wake the f***ing f*** up, peeps: just like before, we’ll find out that people f***ed up, and heads will roll and changes will be made. But none of this means that Obama is some sort of evil Lupine creature. No matter how many times the wolf criers may call him one.

So, why for the love of GOD, do so many of you keep believing those little f***ers when they cry wolf? Really, people, you should have learned by now to wait for proof before believing the lying wolf criers.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky