Quiet with a deep, and low overcast this early Tuesday on California’s north coast — a situation which blocked us from the famous “blood moon” episode, seen just about everywhere else this morning.
The total lunar eclipse supposedly painted the moon a coppery red, and everybody rejoiced — so says a Tweeter from Missouri: “It’s so cool how the universe works.”
And what’s not cool — how dysfunctional is modern America.
(Illustration found here).
President Obama turned out to be a closet asshole — despite 2008 and all his bullshit about transparency, the people and whatnot. He’s a two-faced, political animal, like all of them.
And way-classic case in point is all those lettered agencies doing exactly what they want without any oversight, or control — the NSA, the CIA, and our most-beloved FBI, all workers in nefarious schemes while keeping their employers — us! — in the deep dark.
Last Friday, Marcy Wheeler pointed out the FBI got their panties in a bind, and walked out of a Senate hearing — Chuck Grassley explained:
In response, an FBI legislative affairs official told my staff that a briefing might be the best way to answer my questions.
It was scheduled for last week.
Staff for both Chairman Leahy and I attended, and the FBI brought the head of their Insider Threat Program.
Yet the FBI didn’t bring the Insider Threat training materials as we had requested.
However, the head of the Insider Threat Program told the staff that there was no need to worry about whistleblower communications.
He said whistleblowers had to register in order to be protected, and the Insider Threat Program would know to just avoid those people.
Now I have never heard of whistleblowers being required to “register” in order to be protected.
The idea of such a requirement should be pretty alarming to all Americans.
Sometimes confidentiality is the best protection a whistleblower has.
Unfortunately, neither my staff nor Chairman Leahy’s staff was able to learn more, because only about ten minutes into the briefing, the FBI abruptly walked out.
FBI officials simply refused to discuss any whistleblower implications in its Insider Threat Program and left the room.
These are clearly not the actions of an agency that is genuinely open to whistleblowers or whistleblower protection.
These assholes are way-too-full of their own shit — all their eyeballs have got to be brown. And this so-described “Insider Threat Program” is what?
How about this: In an initiative aimed at rooting out future leakers and other security violators, President Barack Obama has ordered federal employees to report suspicious actions of their colleagues based on behavioral profiling techniques that are not scientifically proven to work, according to experts and government documents.
A snitch operation worthy of Soviet Russia, or where ever.
More insights from TechDirt:
And yes, it’s equally troubling that the FBI insists that as long as someone “registers” as a whistleblower, the FBI will suddenly, magically agree to stop investigating them as a “threat.”
We already know that’s almost certainly bullshit.
The stories of Thomas Drake and John Kiriakou are both clear examples of whistleblowers, who then had the DOJ search through basically everything they’d ever done to try to concoct some sort of Espionage Act case against them.
In both cases, the eventual charges were totally ridiculous and unrelated to the whistleblowing they had done, but clearly the only reason they had been investigated was because of their status as whistleblowers.
Drake was charged with having a classified document, which was just a meeting agenda and was both improperly classified and then declassified soon after.
Kiriakou was charged with revealing the name of a CIA operative to a reporter, where the person in question was already widely known to journalists as working for the CIA.
The US of A has gone blow-back bad. Of course, maybe even worse is the never-never word used by mainstream US media — torture.
Also last Friday, McClatchy revealed some leaked portions of the infamous CIA torture report prepared by the US Senate — and the agency way-of-course, wants this shit keep locked up and out of sight of America.
Some ugly bits:
The report also found that the spy agency failed to keep an accurate account of the number of individuals it held, and that it issued erroneous claims about how many it detained and subjected to the controversial interrogation methods.
The CIA has said that about 30 detainees underwent the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques.
The CIA’s claim “is BS,” said a former U.S. official familiar with evidence underpinning the report, who asked not to be identified because the matter is still classified.
“They are trying to minimize the damage. They are trying to say it was a very targeted program, but that’s not the case.”
The findings are among the report’s 20 main conclusions.
Taken together, they paint a picture of an intelligence agency that seemed intent on evading or misleading nearly all of its oversight mechanisms throughout the program, which was launched under the Bush administration after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and ran until 2006.
The techniques included waterboarding, which produces a sensation of drowning, stress positions, sleep deprivation for up to 11 days at a time, confinement in a cramped box, slaps and slamming detainees into walls.
The CIA held detainees in secret “black site” prisons overseas and abducted others who it turned over to foreign governments for interrogation.
The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel found that the methods wouldn’t breach the law because those applying them didn’t have the specific intent of inflicting severe pain or suffering.
The Senate report, however, concluded that the Justice Department’s legal analyses were based on flawed information provided by the CIA, which prevented a proper evaluation of the program’s legality.
“The CIA repeatedly provided inaccurate information to the Department of Justice, impeding a proper legal analysis of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program,” the report found.
Americans be afraid, be really, really afraid. The word “torture” would torture Americans’ sensibilities if used by the mass media — don’t call a chicken, a chicken, pleze…
And on top of all that — today is the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. How could the fabled GWOT fail so badly?