Half the food in the last year was thrown out. One billion people are hungry. The next food revolution is about what you’re not eating.
In this exclusive interview for the Boiling Frogs Post Eyeopener report, FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds discusses her recent article, “Turkish PM Erdogan: The Speedy Transformation of an Imperial Puppet.” We talk about Erdogan’s falling out with Fethullah Gülen and the CIA, and how serviceable puppets are discarded by their shadow government masters when they reach their “expiration date.”
More at Corbett Report
Continuing Coverage whether you like it or not………..
Gary North – January 22, 2014
The superclass is meeting at Davos this week. In the words of Archie the bartender at Duffy’s Tavern, it’s where the elite meet to eat.
They will be able to attend a wide range of seminars, in an attempt to see what’s coming next. They don’t know. The accelerating diversity of opinions is overwhelming the narrow focus of the elite. They have enormous wealth, but this wealth is directed mainly by customer demand. Public opinion can no longer be directed by a centralized elite.
So, they will skip most of the seminars. They will meet in private rooms and bars, as the locals met at Duffy’s Tavern so long ago. They will talk over how well things are going with QE3. They will ask each other: “What will happen when the day of monetary reckoning comes?”
The elite seek this, in the words of R. E. McMaster:
Next, build a team of kindred souls
Who share your heart’s desire
Working together, all with a stake
Fans the passion for your fire.
They can do this. They can fund their non-profit projects. But the tyranny of the urgent tyrannizes them. Their vast wealth is not based on passive management. It calls them to put their noses to the grindstone every day. They have only 24 hours a day. They have only threescore and ten years, plus maybe another ten (Psalm 90:10). David Rockefeller has beaten the odds, and a few others have. But time collects its toll.
Can their heirs keep the show running? This is their central concern. It is every establishment’s central concern.
The answer down through history is a resounding “no.”
Duffy’s Tavern closed. Cheers closed. They all close.
New elites will meet at new taverns. But control is drifting away. Moore’s law is steadily overcoming Michels’ iron law of oligarchy.
From 1977 until 1979, I worked for Howard Ruff on a part-time basis. I answered questions on his investment hotline. I spoke at his seminars.
Another speaker associated with Ruff was R. E. McMaster. His specialty was commodities, but he also wrote books on economics and military affairs.
I lost track of him a quarter century ago. Time marches on.
Recently, I found his site. He has posted some poems that he wrote over 15 years ago. They are here: http://www.remcmaster.com/poetry/#top.
Two of them caught my eye. One of them is titled, “Winning in Life.” It expresses my own view quite well.
You say you want to win in life
Accomplish all of which you’re capable
Then get up off your procrastinating duff
Take action, be responsible.Decide clearly and precisely
Exactly what you want to do
Then with persistent perseverance
Work hard to see it through.
Don’t be distracted by urgent stuff
Focus on what’s important
Make plans progress toward your goal
Then to creativity’s voice you shall harken.
Next, build a team of kindred souls
Who share your heart’s desire
Working together, all with a stake
Fans the passion for your fire.
It goes on, but this is the heart of the matter.
I don’t know how many people figure this out. The younger you are when you figure it out, the better. The sooner you start applying it in your life, the better. That is because of compound growth. The steady increase — positive feedback — adds up over time.
Then there is “Our Lives’ Four Seasons.” It is in four sections. Section four speaks to me.
The fourth season
Our final one
Is our harvest
When we reap what we have sown
When what has gone around comes around
When our lives are hopefully better, not bitter.
Our harvest years begin between 55 and 65
And last until we,
Like our forefathers before us,
Collapse back into the earth
Dust into dust
The linear progression of the cycle completed
Our legacy of memories and mementos remaining
And, God willing, the laying to rest of loving good seed.
If you are not yet in the fourth season, then you should adopt this exercise. Sit down in front of a computer screen, or get a piece of paper, and write down your goals for season four. Then apply the scenario of the first poem to your list.
McMaster and I are well into season four. I don’t know how well he has done in implementing the first poem, on winning, but I am still on schedule.
The opportunities offered by the Internet are greater than anything either of us could have foreseen in 1994, just two decades ago. The world is a different place. The balance of power is sifting away from centralized institutions, especially those involved in communication. The diversity of opinions is drowning out the official opinions of the world’s establishments.
Davos is not the wave of the future. It is the owl of Minerva, flying at dusk.
ALSO READ: The Supreme Court Case That Handed America Over to the Bankers
WASHINGTON — Worse than Richard Nixon. An unprecedented abuse of powers. The most un-American president in the nation’s history.
President Tricky Dick Nixon (Fascist)
Nat Hentoff does not think much of President Obama.
And now, the famous journalist says it is time to begin looking into impeachment.
Hentoff sees the biggest problem as Obama’s penchant to rule by executive order when he can’t convince Congress to do things his way.
The issue jumped back into the headlines last week when, just before his first Cabinet meeting of 2014, Obama said, “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone … and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions.”
“Apparently he doesn’t give one damn about the separation of powers,” Hentoff told WND. “Never before in our history has a president done these things.”
And just to make sure everyone knew how extremely serious he regarded the situation, the journalist added, “This is the worst state, I think, the country has ever been in.”
Recognized as one of the foremost authorities on the Bill of Rights and the Supreme Court, Hentoff was a columnist and staff writer with The Village Voice for 51 years, from 1957 until 2008, when his columns began appearing in WND.
Hentoff left the Voice after he looked into the abortion industry, was shocked by what he found and had a falling-out with colleagues.
The First Amendment expert still hews left on many issues, railing against former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, the prison at Guantanamo Bay and the National Defense Authorization Act.
But he hasn’t liked Obama from the start.
“Within a few months after he was elected, I wrote a column saying he was going to be the most destructive, dangerous president we’ve ever had,” he said.
Hentoff said people he’d known for years told him to stop being so negative and to give Obama a chance.
“Well, we’ve given him a chance. I understated the case a little.”
In other words, Hentoff thinks Obama is the most dangerous and destructive president ever.
And, that’s why the veteran journalist thinks it’s time to begin looking into impeachment.
Get the bumper sticker that tells everyone to Impeach Obama!
“He has no right to do these executive orders,” Hentoff insisted, his voice reaching a crescendo of indignation.
He says Obama gets away with it only because there is no outrage in Congress, no coverage by the media and no knowledge by the public.
“He’s in a position now where he figures he’s going to do whatever he wants to do.”
In fact, Hentoff said, Obama doesn’t even pretend to care about the separation of powers between the executive branch and Congress anymore, because “He’s the boss and hardly anybody cares enough” to stop him.
The most well-known examples of Obama changing or issuing laws with the stroke of a pen by issuing executive orders include:
- Delaying the employer mandate in Obamacare
- Changing the types of plans available under Obamacare
- Ensuring abortions would be covered under Obamacare
- Enacting key provisions of the failed Dream Act to halt deportations of illegal immigrants
- Enacting stricter gun-control measures
- Sealing presidential records
- Creating an economic council
- Creating a domestic policy council
As WND previously reported, even the the far left-leaning FactCheck wrote, “It’s true that President Obama is increasingly using his executive powers in the face of staunch Republican opposition in Congress. He’s changed federal policies on immigration and welfare and appointed officials without congressional approval.”
“I would say that never before in our history had a president done these things,” Hentoff mused.
He noted that while Nixon merely claimed that winning an election gave him the right to do what he wanted, Obama is actually doing whatever he pleases.
The journalist said he doesn’t think any other president has acted so lawlessly as a matter of habit.
“So, if this isn’t a reason for at least the start of an independent investigation that would lead to impeachment, what is?”
Hentoff is baffled that Obama should escape such scrutiny when former President Bill Clinton faced impeachment just for being “a lousy liar.”
A big part of the problem, the journalist believes, is what he calls the utter ignorance of a huge portion of the population, which is not outraged at losing its basic right to be self-governing.
And Obama “doesn’t give a damn, because he can get away with whatever he wants.”
That’s why Hentoff called this the worst state the country has ever been in, “Even worse than Woodrow Wilson’s regime, when people could be arrested for speaking German.”
Compounding the problem he says, is the digital age, which has allowed the president to engage in unprecedented domestic spying with the apparatus of the National Security Agency.
WND asked if Obama really posed such a threat, considering he was a professor of constitutional law.
“People forget, he taught a course that he was not fully qualified to teach. But nobody seemed to care,” Hentoff observed.
He also pointed out that Obama was the only editor of the Harvard Law Review to never publish an article, something that went virtually unnoticed when voters considered his qualifications.
“See, that was a case of affirmative-action and people feeling, ‘Hey we ought to do something important, symbolically, and here’s a black guy, and he’s articulate, so we’re gonna do this.’”
Hentoff mentioned that former U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, the man Time Magazine once called “the most doctrinaire and committed civil libertarian ever to sit on the court,” once personally lectured him that “Affirmative-action on a racial basis is a total violation of the 14th Amendment, no doubt about it.”
And, referring to Obama’s presidency, the journalist said, “That’s what that kind of affirmative-action did for us.”
He told WND that he firmly believed the president does not care about due process, the separation of powers, the concept of a self-governing republic or many other basic American ideals.
And that’s why, he said, “What Obama is doing now is about as un-American as you can get.”
Hentoff wanted to make sure no one thought he was engaging in hyperbole.
He said it was literally true that Obama is “the most un-American president we’ve ever had.”
And just to make sure everybody heard him, he added, “I hope the FBI got all of that.”
Hentoff is just the latest public figure to be added to the growing list of those mentioning the possible impeachment of President Obama.
WND has been keeping track, and that list now includes:
Reps. Steve King, R-Iowa; Blake Farenthold, R-Texas; Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas; Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas; Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.; Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.; Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich.; Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.; Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah; Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.; Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.; Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas; Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., and Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla.
Read more at WND
The worst fears of all free speech proponents are upon us. The Verizon suit against the Federal Communications Commission, appellate decision sets the stage for a Supreme Court review. The Wall Street Journal portrays the ruling in financial terms: “A federal court has tossed out the FCC’s “open internet” rules, and now internet service providers are free to charge companies like Google and Netflix higher fees to deliver content faster.”In essence, this is the corporate spin that the decision is about the future cost for being connected.
“The ruling was a blow to the Obama administration, which has pushed the idea of “net neutrality.” And it sharpened the struggle by the nation’s big entertainment and telecommunications companies to shape the regulation of broadband, now a vital pipeline for tens of millions of Americans to view video and other media.
For consumers, the ruling could usher in an era of tiered Internet service, in which they get some content at full speed while other websites appear slower because their owners chose not to pay up.
“It takes the Internet into completely uncharted territory,” said Tim Wu, a Columbia University law professor who coined the term net neutrality.”
What the Journal is not telling you is that this “uncharted territory” is easy to project. If ISP’s will be able to charge varied rates or decide to vary internet speed, it is a very short step towards selectively discriminate against sites based upon content. Do not get lulled into thinking that constitutional protective political speech is guaranteed.
Once again, the world according to the communication giants paint a very different interpretation as the article, Verizon called hypocritical for equating net neutrality to censorship illustrates.
“Verizon’s argument that network neutrality regulations violated the firm’s First Amendment rights. In Verizon’s view, slowing or blocking packets on a broadband network is little different from a newspaper editor choosing which articles to publish, and should enjoy the same constitutional protection.”
The response from advocates of the Net Neutrality standard, that is about to vanish, sums up correctly.
“The First Amendment does not apply, however, when Verizon is merely transmitting the content of third parties. Moreover, these groups point out, Verizon itself has disclaimed responsibility for its users’ content when it was convenient to do so, making its free speech arguments ring hollow.”
Prepare for the worst. The video, Prepare To Be Robbed. Net Neutrality Is Dead!, which includes frank language and expletives, provides details that place the use of internet access into question coming out of this appellate decision.Analyze the implications logically. It is one thing to charge a for profit service like Netflix a higher fee to transverse the electronic bandwidth of a communication network. Selling a membership to an end user is the source of their cash flow. However, most activist political sites usually provide internet users free access to their particular viewpoint and source links.
Your internet service provider controls the pipeline that feeds your devices and data connection. No matter which company you pay for this service, you are dependent upon this union. A free WiFi link may well become a memory. Beaming a satellite signal, mostly is an alternative, when DSL, cable or other broadband is not available.
No matter what method is used to surf the net, this decision clearly implies that internet access is now a privilege, at the effective discretion, if not mercy; of a provider that allow an account for service.
Next, consider the implication that search engines will use this decision to re-work their algorithms lowering their spider bots selection of sites that challenge the “PC” culture. Restrictive categorization used for years by Google, Yahoo and Bing can use this decision as cover to purge dissenting sites even more from their result rankings.
It is common knowledge that YouTube censors and targets certain uploads. One particular subject that experiences technical glitches is Fukushima. The video You Tube Censoring Truther Channels explains the drill. Add to the frustration are the ads, especially the ones with no skip option and imagine future requirements for uploading approval. What is next, a paid subscription to use and upload to the service?
- READ THE REST at: http://www.batr.org/totalitariancollectivism/012014.html#sthash.nNINziSh.dpuf
Obama calls pot laws ‘important to society’
One for the good guys! Credit to Obama for realizing that THIS is not a bad legacy to have. The Pot Prez! (And idiot “conservatives” are very afraid!) Our time has come! Now Mr Obama…. Call off your dogs!
President Obama said in an interview published Sunday he does not believe marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol and that it was “important” that the legalization of the drug in some states to “go forward” because it would “As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol,” Obama said in an interview with The New Yorker. (then he banned Alcohol lol)
Pressed on whether marijuana was less dangerous than alcohol, Obama noted that it’s “not something I encourage, and I’ve told my daughters I think it’s a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy.”
But, Obama said, he did see pot as less dangerous “in terms of its impact on the individual consumer.”
Obama said he was particularly concerned by disproportionate arrests of and sentences for minorities possessing the drug.
“Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do,” he said. “And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties.”
The president said he believed it was unfair that the government was “locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail time when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the same thing.”
That’s why, Obama said, he was generally supportive of experiments in Washington and Colorado to legalize the drug.
“It’s important for it to go forward because it’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished.”
Last September, Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department would work with the states to implement the law, even though federal law continues to prohibit possession or use of the drug.
A Department of Justice memo said that the federal government would still prosecute those who distribute the drug to minors, buy from criminal enterprises, move marijuana to states where it is illegal, or drive drugged.
Legal pot went on sale for the first time at the beginning of the month in Colorado, raking in millions of dollars in early sales.
Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/195896-obama-important-for-state-pot-laws-to-move-forward#ixzz2qsgUzVcc
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In a paroxysm of patriotic musing, I reflected that Washington is an insular, incestuous, inward-looking city, chiefly interested in itself, so politically inbred as to be in danger of hemophilia, out of touch with reality, having remarkably little understanding of or interest in the rest of the country or the world. Isn’t this wonderful?
Inbreeding? By comparison with the Yankee Capital, West Virginians are on the outer limits of hybrid vigor. We had Bush I, a mediocrity but no worse (depending on who you talk to) , and later Bush II, in whom mediocrity would have been a welcome astonishment. We had Clinton the First, who was at least intelligent, then we almost had Clinton II, who instead became Secretary of State, for which her only qualification was having been First Basilisk. Hillary lost the nomination to Barack Obama, whose only qualification was being black and reading a teleprompter well. Next we are likely to get Hillary anyway, and before that we almost had Kerry, whose only qualification was having married a pickle heiress. He is now Secretary of State for no discernible reason.
So it goes in the national sandbox: dynasty, nepotism, simony, and a small, self-absorbed ruling class of no particular merit awarding itself crucial jobs to keep itself in power. How long will that work? I have read that the Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist [sic] Party consists of eight engineers and an economist. We are ruled by a mob of provincial lawyers. Engineers make products. Lawyers make laws. Hmmmm.
“How does the rest of the country know what its government is doing? It doesn’t. It can’t.”
The problem, sez me, or at any rate one problem, is that democracy doesn’t scale well. When the proprietor of a hardware store in Farmville or Barstow or East Bronchitis or wherever gets elected mayor, he may inadvertently do a good job since he actually knows his town and the people in it. But then he runs for national office and gets to be, say, a Congressman or, God help us, he moves into the Great Double-Wide on Pennsylvania Avenue. (It occasionally happens: We don’t always get rich twerps with private jets and twelve toes being in bed with each other.)
We then have a negligible attorney who will stay in Congress forever and who has never been in the military presiding over an aggressive, nuclear-armed military that couldn’t win a bar fight against an octogenarian in a wheelchair. He is a mere over-promoted ward heeler, he and hundreds like him in the legislature, but he makes industrial policy. He has—they have—perhaps never even been in a foreign country other than Arkansas and speak no language but English, but they make foreign policy for…you see.
So how does the rest of the country know what its government is doing? It doesn’t. It can’t. The media constitute an almost impermeable shield between Washington and the outer reality festering beyond the Beltway. You’ve heard of synchronized swimming? Try synchronized thinking. It should be an Olympic sport, as everything else seems to be. America would dominate.
In Washington, journalism is founded on diversity. This is a good thing, the dangers of a homogeneous press corps being obvious. Thus in the newsroom of the Washington Post, for example, you find white reporters who all think the same things as the black reporters, who all think the same things as the Jewish, Asian, gay, lesbian, Hispanic, and undecided reporters. Diversity is their strength.
In fact, all across America you see journalistic diversity. We have a wide diversity of newspapers, television stations, and radio outlets all owned by the same few corporations, which all have the same interests. Diversity is their strength, too.
The principal characteristic of the media is that they don’t cover much of anything. They do cover themselves (which doesn’t contradict the foregoing statement). If some bubble-headed babble-blonde—I think there is one called Katie Couric—moves from one indistinguishable network to another, we hear about it for weeks. I once saw on television someone called Peers—or maybe it was Piers—Morgan, who displayed the incisive intelligence of a platypus. His ratings were said to be falling; maybe there is hope for the US public after all. Anyway, for some reason this was news—that, and how Bill O’Reilly and several helmet-haired Republican women at Fox News are doing. The media is the story.
Reporters cover each other like spandex pants, but—I’m serious, think about this—they barely glance at most of the government. When did you last see coverage of HUD? The Bureau of Indian Affairs? The Department of Transportation? FAA? EPA? We get the occasional press release from these, but little else. No one knows what lurks in the bureaucratic shadows, but I promise it costs a lot.
Actually there is very little coverage of things that get a lot of coverage: the White House, DoD, and State Department. At the White House everything is tightly stage-managed, and a reporter who asks awkward questions never gets called on again. At the Five-Sided Wind Tunnel, which I knew well in my days as an inmate of the press corps, A Story would occur. Maybe a weapon didn’t work or was said not to work. So every reporter in Washington would frantically write about whatever it was.
Instead of lots of stories, it was one story lots of times. We see the same pattern with Obamacare, an abortion that contains all other abortions. It sounds like set theory. Hundreds, nay, thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of reporters write that it is hard to sign up. Wouldn’t one have been enough? How about some intelligent analysis from a software weenie who designs large programs?
What pours from Washington through the Electronic Wonderland of DC is a Bizarro World of things that don’t exist and aren’t as they are shown. For example, presidents don’t exist. What you see in Rose Garden photo ops is a virtual-reality amalgam crafted by five pollsters, three speechwriters, several calculating backroom political strategists, an ad agency, a make-up artist, and a gestures coach. The actual president is incidental. In fact, he is viewed as an impediment by his handlers, who think that the less known about him, the better. Note that the first thing they do is hide his scholastic record and SATs.
If you want something resembling an accurate picture of the government and its misbehavior, you can piece it together from the Guardian, Rolling Stone, Drudge, the Unz Review, and AntiWar.com. If you want actual government, it’s hopeless. But Washington’s antics are at least interesting—you know, like watching the fingers fall off a leprosy patient.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell open to the idea of players using medical marijuana in states where the drug is legal
- Medical marijuana is a banned substance in the NFL, even for players in states where it is legal
- Many argue marijuana could better treat pain for NFL players than prescription narcotics
- Former NFL player suspects half of all current players currently use marijuana
NFL players could soon be allowed to use marijuana to treat pain if they are in states where the drug has been legalized for either medical or recreational use, the league’s commissioner said last week.Currently, marijuana is on a list of banned substances prohibited under the NFL’s substance abuse program.
However, the marijuana recently has been legalized for medical and recreational use in a number of states, including Colorado, Washington and Arizona. But because the drug is on the league’s list of banned substances, players living in those states could face consequences from the NFL even if they are using the drug legally.
‘I don’t know what’s going to develop as far as the next opportunity for medicine to evolve and to help either deal with pain or help deal with injuries but we will continue to support the evolution of medicine,’ NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in an interview with the Associated Press on January 7.
Marijuana has been approved in several states to treat varying ailments, including chronic pain. Given the addictive qualities of other pain medications NFL players often are given to treat the pain caused by injuries sustained on the field, there is a growing number of people advocating the use of marijuana, which doesn’t have the same addictive qualities.
‘I would just think that the use of marijuana for pain management, it would be a far better outcome to me than it would be for the abuse of heavy narcotics like pills of [Vicodin] or Percocet or whatever the pill of choice is for pain in the NFL,’ 7-time Pro-Bowler and Super Bowl champion Lomas Brown said on the Morning Show after Goodell made his comments about being open to allowing players to use marijuana.
Half: Former Pro Bowler Lomas Brown says he suspects that as many as 50 percent of NFL players currently use marijuana
Due to the physical demands of playing in the NFL, players often suffer painful injuries and are forced to treat the pain with narcotic prescription drugs, on which they can become dependent.
In 2006, then-Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens overdosed on Hydrocodone.
One player who could benefit tremendously from the NFL allowing marijuana to be used to treat pain is Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin, whose chronic migraine headaches have sidelined him at several points throughout his career. Marijuana, experts say, is highly effective in treating the pain caused by migraine headaches.
Brown adds that he suspects several NFL players currently use marijuana.
Pain: Much of Percy Harvin’s career has been plagued by migraine headaches, which could be treated by medical marijuana
‘The NFL, they have to protect their logo, they have to protect their image, but I say at least 50 percent of the players smoke,’ Brown says.
For now, however, marijuana is still a banned substance in the NFL. And despite Goodell’s comments, the league doesn’t appear to be willing to change that any time soon.
‘The use of medical marijuana is not permitted and the medical advisers to our joint substance abuse program with the Players Association do not believe it should be permitted,’ a league official said in an emailed statement to the website Fusion.net.
That is correct… And we were among the first ones asking questions. We have learned not to trust Global Establishment Narratives in general… And it should be noted that #1) Snowden actually verifies our crazy “Theories” of 10 years back, and #2) We always kinda liked Mr Greenwald, and admired his ability to question his own kind (alleged “progressives”).
Unfortunately – In the times we live in…. We cannot afford to give anyone the benefit of the doubt! We are not so ready to get “Snow’d in”
The stolen FBI documents in 1971 revealed that J Edgar Hoover wanted to implant PARANOIA in the Anti War / Pro Liberty protestors he hated so much. He wanted the Protestors to “believe” that “There was an FBI Agent around every corner”. Could that be why Snowden has become a global mega star, even while other whistle blowers are ignored. jailed, or murdered?
The article Below is written by a REAL Whistle Blower, whom was abjectly IGNORED by the Mass Media… Kevin Ryan. The attacks by Greenwald and BTW, Scahill are generated towards him and all of us.
~ Thanks for keeping open minds, Jack Blood
The story of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has dominated the mainstream news for the last seven months. During that time, questions about Snowden and his disclosures have framed the national discussion about domestic surveillance. Those disclosures have not resulted in any changes to U.S. domestic surveillance practices to date. Instead, the U.S. Justice Department has re-certified the programs in question as Americans discuss media talking points like—Is Snowden a traitor or a hero? A growing number of people are looking behind that media-generated framework, however, and are beginning to wonder if the right questions are even being asked.
What we know about Edward Snowden is that he was a Special Forces recruit in the U.S. Army, an NSA employee, an NSA contractor for at least two different companies, and a CIA employee under cover. All of this occurred in a span of only a few years and he was able to command six-figure salaries despite having no education beyond a high school equivalency certification. Of the many positions he held in a period of approximately six years, the most long-lived appears to have been his work with the CIA where this 20-something spy was, in his own words, a “senior advisor.”
When asked about his background and motivations, Snowden said, “I’m just another guy.” He went on to say that his leaking of NSA secrets was what we needed to know, implying that it was all we needed to know, about NSA spying. “This is the truth… This is what’s happening,” he said. The remainder of the story has been presented in stories like those by The New York Times, which paint Snowden in an increasingly favorable light. The Times, which was called a mouthpiece for the Obama Administration by Glenn Greenwald, the reporter chosen by Snowden to reveal his story, has come out calling for clemency for Snowden.
However, the questions about the evolving Snowden story have grown rapidly and continue to present challenges to citizens who are alert to the prevalence of corporate media propaganda. How many stolen documents are there and who has access to them? Why have only a tiny fraction of the documents been released seven months after they were first disclosed by Snowden? Why has Glenn Greenwald made a deal with the owner of Paypal Corporation—the company whose former executives now produce the technologies used for domestic spying?
Emotions and Responses
The biggest hurdle to understanding the Snowden story has been the emotional reaction to asking questions about it. Those who have dared to question the story have been met with ridicule and misplaced condemnation.
Author Naomi Wolf asked some straightforward questions about Snowden’s slick introduction in comparison to other whistleblower stories. Her questions elicited derision from pundits, some even suggesting that if Wolf didn’t buy into Snowden then she must be an NSA operative.
Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds’ questions were met with ad hominem attacks from Greenwald. Writing that Edmonds was “too stupid and/or crazy to know,“ Greenwald summarily excused the founder of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition from further dialogue on the issue.
My recent article resulted in mild hysteria from a few who believe that no aspect of the Snowden story should ever be questioned, regardless of how that story evolves in the mainstream media. One such reaction resulted in a hit piece based on the false premise that I was calling Snowden a liar. The author called for a public apology until he realized that it was his own error that required an apology (cue crickets).
Thankfully, Greenwald has offered a few answers at his blog. Unfortunately, the emotional nature of those responses raises more questions. What’s more, the growing rancor and distrust regarding this story is resulting in citizens losing sight of the actual NSA crimes being committed and our decreasing ability to stop or prosecute them.
Greenwald’s answers appeared at his blog in two installments, one in December and another in January. In those posts he goes on at length about the fact that reporters work for money. Although Edmonds has made the point that whistleblowing should not be a profit-making venture for anyone, in general no one denies that reporters work for money. And if Greenwald gets fabulously rich from all of it, that doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is that Greenwald still hasn’t answered some of the more important questions. For example, has he made any kind of deal with government or corporate representatives with regard to this story or the release of material from Snowden? What are his views on the coincidence that several of Pierre Omidyar’s former Paypal colleagues are strong supporters of NSA spying and are the people developing the technologies for that spying?
Another unanswered question is a simple one. How many documents are there? Estimates have ranged from thousands to nearly two million. Only Greenwald and Laura Poitras have the entire cache, according to Greenwald. But portions of the stolen documents have been distributed to many mainstream news organizations and “tens of thousands of these documents are in the possession of The New York Times, The Guardian, ProPublica, and The Washington Post.” A subset of more than 50,000 of them, focused specifically on the GCHQ (the British version of the NSA), were shared by The Guardian with The Times and ProPublica. Therefore we’re talking about a very large, but still very uncertain, number of documents. Since Greenwald has reported that Snowden “read and very carefully processed every document that he gave us,” curious citizens might wonder how that was possible.
That being said, Greenwald has offered answers to a few of the questions and we can discuss them.
Why are the documents being released so slowly? Greenwald provided the following answers in his blog posts.
- Releasing the documents all at once would “violently breach … our agreement with our source.”
- “Large media institutions, even the ones with the best journalistic intentions, have all sorts of constraints – financial, legal, cultural – that produce fear and timidity, and that has sometimes slowed down or diluted our ability to publish the way we wanted to.”
- There exist “very real legal risks for everyone involved in this process, beginning with Snowden, who already faces 30 years in prison and is currently protected only by 9 more months of temporary asylum in Russia. Everyone involved in the publication of these materials has already undertaken substantial legal risk.”
- “These documents are complex. Sometimes they take a good deal of reporting to fill in some of the gaps.”
- The documents might contain the names of people who are surfing for pornography or are suspected of being terrorists, or they might contain “raw chats” or other specific internet activity, and these things might threaten the reputations or lives of those people. The documents might also help teach (less ethical?) states how to spy on their own citizens.
The first of these answers is the strongest. The public does not have access to the agreement and the implication is that future whistleblowers might be dissuaded from coming forward if they thought that they could not trust the people to whom they reveal information.
The second answer points more to the problem than the answer. Large media institutions are often vehicles for propaganda (remember the aluminum tubes) and that is why these kinds of questions arise in the first place.
The third answer is understandable but weak. Nobody should expect whistleblowing to be safe.
The last two answers are not believable considering what we know about answers Greenwald has given to other questions, and the distribution of the documents. For example, Greenwald knows enough about all the documents that he can definitely say that Paypal and its past and present executives are not implicated. And someone knew enough about the documents that they could be distributed to different major media corporations, presumably without carelessness, so these documents are not total unknowns. Can Greenwald tell us how the documents were categorized or sorted before distribution to the media outlets and how that was done to avoid the risks he emphasizes on his blog now?
Ultimately, the answer to why the documents have not been released boils down to that it is part of the agreement with Edward Snowden. Will Greenwald release his agreement with Snowden to verify that? Does the agreement apply to all the media outlets to which documents have been distributed? Who decided that these establishment mouthpiece media outlets were suddenly so honorable and would not report the information haphazardly or for the benefit of the powers that control them?
Greenwald’s December response indicated that he felt the questions about why the documents were not being released right away were good questions. He wrote, “I respect that critique” and even stated that he would ask the same questions. As an attorney, Greenwald might have wondered if withholding documents about ongoing crimes is a crime in itself.
Now, however, Greenwald labels those who question why the documents are being held back as “conspiracy theorists.” In Greenwald’s response, he rants about “people who cook up conspiracy theories” and how “deranged those theories are.” These comments reflect the position of Greenwald’s new media partner Jeremy Scahill with regard to questions about the official account for the 9/11 attacks. Scahill has publicly said that he believes questions about 9/11 are “insulting to the people who died on 9/11.” Scahill claims to be educated on such questions but apparently still doesn’t know that it was the 9/11 victims’ families who initiated such questioning and who continue to lead the search for answers.
The irony is that Greenwald was, just prior to becoming the mouthpiece of our New York Times-supported whistleblower hero, a major conspiracy theorist with regard to terrorism. In fact, Greenwald has espoused some of the most interesting conspiracy theories regarding U.S. government involvement in the manufacture of false terrorism.
In a series of articles at Salon, Greenwald went into great detail on the FBI’s ongoing efforts to manufacture terrorism. In one case, he wrote that the FBI “created a plot [and] it then persuaded/manipulated/entrapped [a hapless loner] to join, essentially turning him into a Terrorist; and then patted itself on the back once it arrested him for having thwarted a ‘Terrorist plot’ which, from start to finish, was entirely the FBI’s own concoction.”
If that’s not a conspiracy theory, I don’t know what is.
Greenwald went on to write that, “Time and again, the FBI concocts a Terrorist attack, infiltrates Muslim communities in order to find recruits, persuades them to perpetrate the attack, supplies them with the money, weapons and know-how they need to carry it out—only to heroically jump in at the last moment, arrest the would-be perpetrators whom the FBI converted, and save a grateful nation from the plot manufactured by the FBI.”
According to Greenwald this vast FBI plot is intended “to justify this Endless War on civil liberties (and Terror).” At the time, in 2010 and 2011, Greenwald was astounded by the lack of skepticism about the completely uncritical reporting on terrorist stories that were used to justify the War on Terror. Today he is astounded by the growing skepticism about the completely uncritical reporting on the Snowden story. Apparently the difference, and his newfound reliance on the Conspiracy Theorists™ slur, has to do with him being a central character in this story.
Overall, the government’s handling of questions about domestic surveillance has been very similar to its handling of questions about 9/11. It’s all about The Terrorists and things that would never be allowed in other circumstances, like lying to Congress and withholding documents, are perfectly OK. The Anglo-American establishment media control the flow of information and questions are not allowed. Those daring to question are met with ridicule. Heroes and demons are offered up to focus the story on personalities instead of facts. What’s different here?
Read more HERE
No Matter what the CONSENSUS is from ‘We the people’…. or no matter what equivocates common sense…. The Tea O Cons and establishment republicans will disregard it all. Is this what you have to say to get selected these days? Forget it!
Via THE RAW STORY
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on Friday criticized President Barack Obama for not arresting people in Colorado who violated federal law by using marijuana.
“A whole lot of folks now are talking about legalizing pot. The brownies you had this morning, provided by the state of Colorado,” he jokingly said during his keynote speech at Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Policy Orientation.
“And you can make arguments on that issue,” Cruz continued. “You can make reasonable arguments on that issue. The president earlier this past year announced the Department of Justice is going to stop prosecuting certain drug crimes. Didn’t change the law.”
Voters in Colorado and Washington state voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in 2013, but federal law still prohibits the use of the drug. The Department of Justice announced in August of 2013 that it would not target for arrest adults who used marijuana in compliance with state laws.
Cruz said the Obama administration should continue imprisoning people for using marijuana until federal law is changed.
“You can go to Congress, you can get a conversation, you could get Democrats and Republicans who would say, ‘We ought to change our drug policy in some way,’ and you could have a real conversation, you could have hearings, you could look at the problem, you could discuss commonsense changes that maybe should happen or shouldn’t happen. This president didn’t do that. He just said, ‘The laws say one thing’ — and mind you these are criminal laws, these are laws that say if you do ‘X, Y, and Z’ you will go to prison. The president announced, ‘No, you won’t.’”
Watch video below.
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