Realtive Reality

December 23, 2013

Escher-DetailBottomApparently, the clock moves much-faster on Saturday and Sunday than during the rest of the week, which is the only explanation for it being Monday again.
And it’s clear and cold up here on California’s north coast — we’re forecast for a pleasant week ahead, but it’s only Monday, so who knows.

A goodly problem here is weekend reality. It’s different.
Maybe that would explain Susan Rice pulling another whitewash last night:

What the NSA and our intelligence community does as a whole is designed to protect Americans and our allies. And they do a heck of a good job at it…There have been cases where they have inadvertently made false representations. And they themselves have discovered it and corrected it.

(Illustration: Bottom-center detail of MC Escher’s ‘Relativity‘ found here).

Rice was on CBS‘ “60 Minutes” — yes, that “60 Minutes — and in another fluff piece, Leslie Stahl fuzzed around with Rice, President Obama’s national security advisor, both at the White House and in her personal life. Bullshit as bullshit goes.
Maybe Rice was mainly referring to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who lied to Congress last March, and then had to walk it back via an apology letter — Clapper whitewashed his own admission:

Clapper’s letter does not acknowledge that he had earlier told Andrea Mitchell of NBC News that he provided Wyden with the “least most untruthful” answer he could publicly offer, likening the question “in retrospect” to a “stop beating your wife kind of question.”

All this in the face of more spying by the NSA on US allies, in this particular case, the greatest ally of all — Israel.
Yesterday, from Israeli YnetNews:

Following reports that the United States was monitoring Israeli senior ministers’ emails and phone calls, it was revealed that in June 2007, shortly after Ehud Barak was appointed defense minister, the Israeli defense establishment noted the US administration had rented an apartment on the same Tel Aviv street in which Barak was residing, right across from his high-rise apartment, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday.
Washington insisted there was no causal link between Barak’s appointment and the renting of the apartment, (which they insisted was for a Marine who was working in the American embassy’s security team) despite the fact that Israeli intelligence detected sizable amounts of electronic equipment delivered to the US-rented apartment.
Barak refuse to comment, but has spoken out on similar issues in the past, and has always said, since his appointment to the chief of the military intelligence directorate in 1983, that he was always taking into account the fact that he might be monitored.

Olmert, who was the prime minister during most of the time when the surveillance is known to have taken place, stressed that the email account that was being monitored was “public, and the chance that any security or intelligence damage was made is close to nothing.”
Sources with the Israeli defense nonetheless estimate that recent revelations might be the tip of the iceberg and though many of the monitored outlets seemed to pose no great risk, more sensitive surveillance incidents might be revealed.
Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz addressed the reports, saying “We do not monitor the president of the United States, the White House or the US Secretary of Defense. We need to reach a settlement with the United States.”
Steinitz said that Israel was aware that “everyone wants to monitor us,” stating that “it is illegitimate” to monitor senior Israeli officials, seeing as Israel has an intelligence alliance with the United States.
“Monitoring the prime minister and the defense minister is unacceptable,” he added.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said about the same thing in October: “I repeat that spying among friends is not at all acceptable against anyone, and that goes for every citizen in Germany.”
The NSA had listened to Merkel’s cellphone.
And just in the world of transparency and openness, Obama is still a two-faced liar.
From the New York Times on Saturday:

The Obama administration moved late Friday to prevent a federal judge in California from ruling on the constitutionality of warrantless surveillance programs authorized during the Bush administration, telling a court that recent disclosures about National Security Agency spying were not enough to undermine its claim that litigating the case would jeopardize state secrets.

But the government said that despite recent leaks by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor, that made public a fuller scope of the surveillance and data collection programs put in place after the Sept. 11 attacks, sensitive secrets remained at risk in any courtroom discussion of their details — like whether the plaintiffs were targets of intelligence collection or whether particular telecommunications providers like AT&T and Verizon had helped the agency.
“Disclosure of this still-classified information regarding the scope and operational details of N.S.A. intelligence activities implicated by plaintiffs’ allegations could be expected to cause extremely grave damage to the national security of the United States,” wrote the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr.

Yes, there’s that fuck-head Clapper again.

And Americans are kind of tired of this shit, as reflected in a Washington Post poll released this weekend:

Nearly seven in 10 Americans are concerned about how much personal information government agencies and private companies collect, the poll found.
But among parents 40 or older — the group most likely to have teenagers — 70 percent said they monitor the Web sites their children visit.
Many also review their kids’ texts, e-mails and social-media use.
A small number of Americans also report tracking the movements of their spouses or using video feeds to monitor elderly parents.

The Post poll found Americans almost equally bothered by government surveillance as they are by corporate snooping, with 69 percent concerned about tracking by Internet search and social-media companies and 66 percent worried about what the government does.
Overall, more-educated and affluent Americans were less likely to be concerned about surveillance.
Political conservatives tended to be more concerned about government surveillance.
The survey did not find significant differences in attitudes toward government surveillance across age groups. Forty-five percent of Americans younger than 30, more than any other age group, said they were “very concerned” about how sites such as Facebook and Twitter use their information.
“What privacy? On the Internet, there is almost no privacy,” said Austin McCuiston, 19, a food runner at Ford’s Fish Shack in Ashburn, near the epicenter of Loudoun’s 4.5 million square feet of data centers.
He is very cautious about what he posts on Facebook or other Internet services.
“People can take that stuff and really dig into your life.”

A huge, shitload of difference from watching your own kids, to having the government watch them, and you, too.
Reality comes in small bites, sometimes, and when your leaders leave reality, shit is about to hit the fan.

(Illustration out front found here).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.