05/22/2014 perjury is moral turpitude:
Maybe Congress will eventually get it. And what about Keith Alexander? He's the same individual who lied to Congress and the American people with manufactured claims of specific success in thwarting terrorism with mass surveillance.
05/19/2014 US diplomacy:
Certainly it appears that these moot charges of Chinese spying ultimately are intended to build public support for that new CISPA thrust in the Senate. Congress appears foolishly determined to have the US essentially dictate worldwide policy for Internet use. Nowadays the US blames China, Russia, or Iran for most everything even accusing the Chinese of secret alterations to Internet hardware, alledgedly a long-time NSA practice. How many crimes likely are committed when NSA secretly intercepts and opens commercial parcels enroute to communications carriers and alters package contents to facilitate spying? Probably none in today's America because the spooks operate unfettered and without oversight and with impunity for all offenses, even offenses of moral turpitude at the highest levels.
There's no end to the sins of ineffectively overseen government agencies, especially those which operate in secret. Now there are new allegations that James Clapper's office operates with questionable propriety.***link replaced 12/22/2014 (original breitbart.com link taken down) another link removed 06/23/2015 (right180.com apparently taken down) NO SUITABLE REPLACEMENT LINKS ARE FOUND - DON'T MESS WITH DNI .
05/12/2014 moral turpitude:
Keith Alexander is about to "earn" more money than he ever dreamed possible although the liar should be indicted for misleading the American people and ignoring the Constitution. By the time organizations of political means finish lining his arguably traitorous contractor pockets, he'll be running extremely well-heeled with the likes of Dick Cheney and Halliburton. Nevertheless he's the same individual who lied to Congress and the American people with manufactured claims of specific success in thwarting terrorism with mass surveillance—blatant lies intended to advance official agendas. Interestingly, large-scale moral turpitude of this kind does not disqualify anyone from dealing with big government, big business, or the big banking and financial firms. In fact it is expected. Go figure.
05/08/2014 no country for oldies:
In these cases militarized rules of engagement ensure official absolution irrespective of all episode-specific facts. Here's what made national news yesterday and similarly about 6 months ago. Societal militarization incrementally abrogates national mental health and obscures humanitarian values.
05/07/2014 Congressman Miller on CISPA:
Last year's House efforts regarding CISPA. CISPA is at risk for substantive change in the Senate and
as passed by the House did not pass the Senate last year*. It was too oppressive according to influential critics with clout enough
to stall it for a year.**
*link added 5/19
**last sentence added 5/8.
05/06/2014 US human rights:
These days perhaps only Americans are misled about America's human rights track record. Roughly a year ago Ecuador's government for example offered financial aid to the US "for human rights training" and to prevent attacks on peoples privacy and to prevent torture and extrajudicial executions. Yesterday without raising too many eyebrows North Korea's state run news agency claimed that the U.S. is the "world's worst human rights abuser", and that's not all red herring.Today a 25-year-old female faces a possible 7 years in prison for elbowing a policeman during the 2012 Occupy unrest in Zuccotti Park. The policeman suffered such trauma he apparently cannot remember which eye was blackened. The entire episode is trivial on scale however its zealous prosecution through conviction is not. Aaron Schwartz's family perhaps said it best in January 2013 when they described Aaron's death as "the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach". In any case it seems to be getting worse, not better.
05/05/2014 Clapper directive:
When you put contemporary military leaders in charge of anything but battlefields you're asking for trouble. Singlemindedness and tunnel vision help attain battlefield objectives nevertheless characteristically trivialize reflection and good taste. America's founding fathers exhibited substantial capacities for both reflection and good taste and we must not allow highly trained military officers to destroy what those more farsighted and enlightened gentlemen intended. Fire and indict James Clapper and indict Keith Alexander and restore constitutional protections.
05/04/2014 Freedom Act:
HERE'S the latest on Congressional inaction regarding the Leahy-Sensenbrenner FREEDOM ACT and mention of Dianne Feinstein's counter-efforts to further empower officialdom at additional expense to American freedom. Seven more months of unfettered NSA abuse have passed and Congress STILL can't decide whether to approve more oppression or relieve it. Lobbyists cause serious contention. The real eighty billion issues are annually assured dollars in surveillance-spook budgets, not likely or easily withdrawn or re-directed irrespective of costs to Magna Charta principle. Curiously that's three times the amount needed to extend long-term unemployment benefits to many Americans competing for non-existent jobs.
At a joint appearance yesterday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to BBC, "Mr Obama acknowledged he was 'pained' that Mr Snowden's disclosures had strained the US-German relationship". Nonetheless the relationship would be in much better shape if Mr. Obama were pained over ineffective NSA oversight, NSA overreach, NSA (DoD) purview over citizens worlwide, and abrogation of Magna Charta [constitutional] principles—especially if he took corrective actions expected of the leader of the free world. Revelations of truth to moral conscience did not cause this schism, unpalatable government actions and ostensibly indifferent leadership did.
DoD was no Svengali to President Truman as we saw when he recalled "Mr. Prima Donna, Brass-Hat, Five-Star MacArthur" from Korea without wide counsel.
05/02/2014 CISPA revival:
Here's the latest on CISPA revival. It is time to relook at Senator Rand Paul's year-old comments. Senator Diane Feinstein arguably is a failed overseer of intelligence activities, an enemy of Magna Charta principle, and devoid of capacity to comprehend the destuctive nature of her recommendations to a nation already in the throes of isolation yet without democratic recourse. No matter how it's touted, you can bet your bottom tax dollar the fuss is about power and money, absent substantive benefit to the citizenry and ultimately the taxpayer will lose.
Drafter claims in part say removal of companies' liabilities for providing information to government is so the government doesn't have to 'demand' anything. Presumably then spooks can say "if you cooperate there is no liability to you, but if you don't cooperate we'll simply immediately close whatever tax loopholes you might enjoy and subsequently have you audited forever right after we place you on the currently most fashionable terrorism watch list...". Any company still not complying could be invaded and occupied making that diplomacy identical to international policies.
Magna Charta priciples are far more important to this nation than continued militarization. They should be restored, not further abrogated.
05/01/2014 Senator Nelson on consumer privacy:
It appears to me that this answer from Senator Bill Nelson of Florida is pretty much meaningless in today's world. In fact consumer privacy agencies could be disbanded altogether until civilian control is re-established in America. NSA has no intention of reforming and Congress continues funding apparently illegal activities of all intelligence agencies. Why does America need a new law that "requires the government to obtain search warrants to access electronic communications stored by a third party"? Because the perfectly good laws we had are pre-empted by ill-advised anti-terrorist legislation. Why does government think mandating browser features to browser makers can have significant impact? Browsers makers respond quickly to user need. Today's legislators are puppets with big-money strings, devoid of long term views and without educated interests in public welfare.
The word on the street is that Diane Feinstein's attempt to resurrect CISPA during this congressional session is imminent. That's the bill that would give government* even more powers to gather personal information and would disallow American citizens' abilities to bring legal proceedings against companies which provide now confidential information to government entities. Further it allows any gathered information to be used for a variety of purposes and is not limited to "fighting terrorism". It also gives undue purview of the Internet to government. Big companies apparently are now on board because it absolves them of any wrongdoing no matter what they supply to government for whatever purpose. Rule of law is traditionally important and is crucial to Constitutional protections nevertheless becomes moot when government changes the law almost daily to suit tyrannical purposes. Already the Bill of Rights, habeas corpus, posse comitatus, the castle doctrine, due process, and much more are nullified thanks to Congress' accomodating the whims of "intelligence" communities with ill-advised anti-terrorism legislation.
Bill Nelson can rant all he wants about consumer privacy and his magnificent efforts on the Senate Commerce and Intelligence Committees, but such efforts are completely in vain until the Senate Intelligence Committee functions other than psychotically and Congress begins to protect and restore Magna Charta principles.
*corrected 5/2 - reference to 'NSA' changed to 'government' - new CISPA gives carte blanch to DHS not NSA.
04/29/2014 slime assault:
James Clapper's taxpayer-funded tour of US educational institutions is definitely is not in the best interests of average American taxpayers. Here is a letter to the Defuniak Springs Herald-Breeze editor and which was published in the 4/24 edition: "Despite lying to Congress with impunity, James Clapper still sometimes speaks to students of educational institutions. At UGA, Athens, GA, last week he expressed concern that bright young people rightfully, objectively disagree with him. According to the Athens Banner-Herald Clapper said in part: 'The idea that young people see Edward Snowden as a hero really bothers me'. Clapper's disenchantment unequivocally is due to exhaustive military training suppressing capacities to comprehend that Magna Charta principles [constitutional principles] are of far more lasting value and import to both America and the human race than his favorite intelligence gathering methodologies. Always oppose allowing military 'leaders' to have any purview whatsoever over civilian matters. 'Tunnel visioned' is an operative phrase."