And despite a shitload of other news happening, the NSA escapade also somehow peeks its nefarious face out from behind a fog-wall of chatter. Whistleblower Ed Snowden (why not ‘Ed,’ now instead of ‘Edward‘ after all this time)Â created the best retort to all the treason-bashing: “Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American, and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him … the better off we all are.”
(Illustration found here).
The horror of this whole shit-storm is Ed wasn’t the first guy to pucker-up and blow — three former whistleblowers sat downÂ with USAToday to discuss the Snowden case and their own experiences in trying to reveal government wrongdoing. Thomas Drake, William Binney and J. Kirk Wiebe tried for years to point out serious problems within the NSA, and they did it via regulations.
Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project:
“Not only did they go through multiple and all the proper internal channels and they failed, but more than that, it was turned against them. … The inspector general was the one who gave their names to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution under the Espionage Act.
And they were all targets of a federal criminal investigation, and Tom ended up being prosecuted â€” and it was for blowing the whistle.”
And Wiebe concludes: “We failed, yes.”
There’s video and a transcript at the link — well worth the time to just see how it’s done properly, but without result. Despite Snowden’s reasons, William Binney said Ed has shifted to treason:
But now he is starting to talk about things like the government hacking into China and all this kind of thing.
He is going a little bit too far.
I don’t think he had access to that program.
But somebody talked to him about it, and so he said, from what I have read, anyway, he said that somebody, a reliable source, told him that the U.S. government is hacking into all these countries.
But that’s not a public service, and now he is going a little beyond public service.
So he is transitioning from whistle-blower to a traitor.
The US has been screaming for a long while China has been hacking into American shit, but to come back with we’re doing it, too, and being labeled a traitor is bit much. The Dick would appreciate it, though.
A further examination of this self-same subject can be found at Emptywheel, which checks into all the tangled shit that has been going on with the NSA for years — before George Jr., even.
An excerpt from one court record:
Within eleven (11) days of the onset of the Bush administration, and at least seven (7) months prior to the attacks of September 11, 2001, defendant ATT began development of a center for monitoring long distance calls and internet transmissions and other digital information for the exclusive use of the NSA.
The center was put into development by ATT following a proposal by the NSA for the construction and development of a network operations center identical to ATTâ€™s own network operations center located in Bedminster, New Jersey for the exclusive use of the NSA.
Such a data center would also enable the NSA to tap into any call placed on the ATT network and to monitor the contents of all digital information transmitted over the ATT network.
One major future problem with all this — President Obama might just be a closet asshole.
Conor FriedersdorfÂ at The Atlantic says Obama and The Dick are a lot alike.
For all their substantial differences, Dick Cheney and Barack Obama share one leadership trait: they trust their own judgment so thoroughly, and value it so highly, that they recklessly undermine all institutional and prudential restraints on their ability to exercise it whenever they see fit.
Indeed, like Kobe Bryant at the end of a playoff game, they both harbor a barely suppressed, supremely arrogant belief that behaving in this way is their responsibility, or even their burden.
Obama also retorted against that image,Â telling Charlie Rose yesterday: “Some people say, ‘Well, you know, Obama was this raving liberal before. Now he’s, you know, Dick Cheney.'” Obama told PBS’ Charlie Rose. “Dick Cheney sometimes says, ‘Yeah, you know? He took it all lock, stock, and barrel.’ My concern has always been not that we shouldn’t do intelligence gathering to prevent terrorism, but rather are we setting up a system of checks and balances?”
Bull — cough, cough — shit!
Cute can be provocative: â€œIf you want me just whistle. You know how to whistle don’t you? Just put your lips together and blow.â€