03/31/2014 gun control:
Certainly it frequently appears that disarming the US police and US military might be an effective approach to gun control. Too many lives are lost needlessly everyday at the receiving end of weapons manned by these highly-trained anti-social brotherhoods.
03/30/2014 Oregon Senator Wyden:
At least Senator Wyden sees that we have no credible "intelligence" leadership. James Clapper and Keith Alexander have shown no compunction in lying to Congress and the American people, or in side-stepping Constitutional values in secret, yet still want to blame any future American downsides on Edward Snowden rather than DoD belligerence and blowback from ill-advised policies. Finger pointing and defending revenue streams is what they seem to do best. Alexander reportedly has his 'office' designed like TV the starship Enterprise bridge and his parking space labeled "007". This is a grown man who perhaps would make a good military platoon leader but who arguably has no business projecting sophomoric imagery to a nation in need of mature leadership.
At least Keith Alexander is retiring. Alexander cannot be believed any more than James Clapper. He has denied spying on Jimmy Carter's emails but he also publicly proclaimed 54 terrorist plots thwarted by mass communications data collections and that eventually proved to be an outright lie. The nation cannot believe its intelligence chiefs or mainstream media, so where does one go for useful information? I think Mr. Carter wise to use snail mail.
03/26/2014 cultural pride:
Earlier today BBC's top US headlines were:
- US Secret Service agent assigned and preparing to protect POTUS in the Netherlands found drunk.
- US mayor of Charlotte, NC, arrested by FBI on corruption charges.
- The governor of the US state of Michigan says the state will not honor same-sex marriages.
- Chicago runaway train driver asleep at the wheel.
03/24/2014 Ft. Meade e-mail filters:
It is no surprise that Jimmy Carter thinks the NSA is monitoring his email. Mr. Carter certainly has a better feel for the intelligence gang's mindset than do most Americans. He has said in the past that Edward Snowden's "bringing of it [secrecy] to the public notice has probably been, in the long term, beneficial." Most reasonable people would agree with Mr. Carter's July statement as well: "America does not at the moment have a functioning democracy". See the above link for details of all this.
03/23/2014 All routers lead to Ft. Meade:
Certainly the world should know which countries are targeted by the NSA for 100% phone call collection. The NSA lacks oversight and accountability and is considered a rogue agency by reasonable earthlings everywhere. What gives the US the right to do as it pleases everywhere on earth with impunity? Until US intelligence is properly curtailed, chastised, and punished the agencies will continue to ignore domestic and international law and do as they please thanks to those enormous revenue streams provided by bamboozled taxpayers.
03/14/2014 Senator Rubio on NSA:
I could not disagree more with Senator Rubio on the effectiveness and oversight of the NSA and the Intelligence communities. First and foremost those agencies chase revenue streams with gusto and too much success. The military has an enormous presence in Florida and Senator Rubio knows how his re-election resources are best replenished. What is truly sad to me is that we have almost zero independent thinkers in Congress who can get at the truth of things, act on principle, and legislate policies and revenue streams with the citizenry's interest truly at heart.
In the past day or two Senator Feinstein has been called hypocritcal, disingenuous, and a few other things best not repeated. The same senator who said anyone criticizing the NSA should be considered a traitor is now claiming foul with CIA spying on her hallowed turf. No one has yet called her crafty, still the possibility exists that all this is diverting attentions away from DoD—which harbors NSA—and putting the spot light slap dap in the middle of the civilian CIA, which Chalmers Johnson referred to as POTUS' de facto "private army" more than once. Hmmm, why would she do that?
03/11/2014 DC turf war:
Senator Feinstein has been the head cheerleader for NSA's and DoD's continuing abuses of constitutional protections and for spying on American citizens at will. Exactly what her interest is in hassling the CIA for spying on members of Congress is not known to me—except that it suddenly got personal. Perhaps all this has to do with DC turf wars and with who gets what funding and special treatments and who gets crucified in public. Senator Diane Feinstein and Representative Mike Rogers, her partner in what is arguably crime, certainly do not appear to be consistent champions of constitutional principle.
03/07/2014 civil law and military accountability:
Reasonable people are up in arms about military sex offenses and specifically about military personnel lack of accountablity under civilian jurisdictions. Since the traditional role of military forces is war, a separate and unique code of justice is necessary under many conditions. However, typically before the US creates a military installation on foreign turf, legal immunity to local laws is acquired in some fashion so that service men and women are assured of being tried only under US jurisdictions (typically the UCMJ) if they are accused in foreign lands. This gives additional impetus to the military illusion of being above civilian law, which of course is exactly what they are in combat zones. Back in the 1960s, rape was an enormous PR problem between the US and Japan because of US transgressions on peaceful Okinawa. Now military rape is in the American limelight reportedly still without due process for victims—the UCMJ has its lesser brand of due process (or at least it did before civilian due process was significantly abrogated by anti-terrorism legislation). In any case, if you have failed to pick up on Keith Alexander's and James Clapper's implicit beliefs that what they do is more important than longevity of Constitutional principles then maybe you can pick up on the horny general's apparent beliefs that he can treat anyone under his command as he sees fit without significant legal ramifications—after all, he served FIVE combat tours they say, as if that's a license to screw at will. Hmmmm, well then, let's not forget I served SIX. Ha ha, but the unpallatable truth is that serving militarily for any reason during needless warfare is shameful.
03/06/2014 Who can you believe?
The way that James Clapper and Keith Alexander have been bemoaning the Snowden leaks and belittling journalists indicates their realization that the general public is not happy with tyrannical monitoring and that intelligence budgets possibly will face future cuts.
Keith Alexander is trained not to tolerate dissent and disagreement and he has no capacity to recognize constitutional protections to be of utmost national security interests. Here is what he said earlier this month according to UPI: "'Journalists have no standing with national security issues,' said Alexander. 'They don't know how to weigh the fact of what they're giving out and saying, is it in the nation's interest to divulge this. My personal opinion: These leaks have caused grave, significant, and irreversible damage to our nation and to our allies. It will take us years to recover.'" Arrogance and ignorance it seems to me—not to mention a touch of paranoia.
According to The Guardian in January of this year "James Clapper called on 'Snowden and his accomplices' to return the documents the former National Security Agency contractor took, in order to minimize what he called the 'profound damage that his disclosures have caused and continued to cause'". The article goes on to say "Backed by the leaders of several intelligence agencies ... Clapper claimed Snowden's disclosures had left the intelligence community less able to detect terrorist activity [thanks to journalistic efforts]". Possibly even more arrogance and ignorance it seems to me.
On the other hand according to the nation's top military officer General Martin Dempsey in BBC today (3/6): "It will take the US two years and possibly billions of dollars to overcome the harm done by Edward Snowden's intelligence leaks". General Dempsey seems fairly confident in that time frame and believes most of what was taken has to do with military capabilities. Of course billions of dollars are insignificant in today's intelligence games. It is purely coincidental that two year congressional funding is typical of military needs.
So who do you believe? In government games like these, underpinned with enormous revenue streams, I vote exclusively for the independent journalists.
03/05/2014 Why are these people still employed?
Here's a direct quote from Salon October 2013: "In so many words, NSA director Keith Alexander admitted Wednesday that the Obama administration [Keith Alexander complicit] had issued misleading information about terror plots and their foiling to bolster support for the government's vast surveillance apparatus."
Here's one from the Daily Kos: "Well, it turns out, based upon testimony by NSA Director/General Keith Alexander in front of Patrick Leahy's (D-VT) Senate Judiciary Committee, yesterday, of those '54 thwarted terror attacks' claimed by the NSA to justify their Orwellian surveillance of virtually the entire planet, 53 of them were—for all intents and purposes—either a total fabrication or a very gross exaggeration. Only one "attack" was actually thwarted, and it was the $8,000 donation to al Shabaab by that poor jerk driving the cab in San Diego: Basaaly Moalin." 03/04/2014 - Intelligence:
They say Keith Alexander will be retiring soon but not soon enough for many of us.
He is well-trained in a way that given free reign
will "collect it all" forever.
The military needs enlightened civilian oversight of which there is none today.
Diane Feinstein and Mike Rogers for example look
like NSA pimps, not overseers**.
Primary beneficiaries of intelligence revenue streams are primary contributors
to their re-election coffers.
It's a sweet deal with no accountability to taxpayers because of secrecy.
Likely the nation truly would be no less safe if NSA were shutdown tomorrow—perhaps more safe without that formidable
belittler of the Constitution hanging around.
Definitely there would be noticable reduction of national overhead.
[From Eli Lake of The Daily Beast: "(Between 2002
and 2010 the annual intelligence community budget doubled from around $40 billion to $80 billion.)"]
**Like so many others, this government-critical link has disappeared from Internet:
The dead link was not removed here until 12/11/2015