Type to search

Cyber Warfare Beats The Other Kind

Memo Pad National News

Cyber Warfare Beats The Other Kind


One diverting aspect of The Guardian-inspired hullaballoo over NSA surveillance has been watching people bicker about it on Facebook. In the old Soviet Union, people walked in the woods or hid in the bathroom with the faucets running to whisper forbidden thoughts. Here in the USA, people post them online along with cute kitten videos and photos of Reuben sandwiches.

Recently, I advised my Facebook friend Theo Jordan how to conduct an intrigue without government spooks catching on. Have a third party buy a prepaid cell phone anonymously, use it no more than twice, and then hide it in the backseat of a New York taxi. The Feds will go nuts tracking it over five boroughs, while you get busy digging holes.

Theo, I should stipulate, is a dachshund with an active fantasy life. We’ve never actually met.

Meanwhile, some joker who hides behind the name of a character in a Henry James novel excoriates Democrats who haven’t joined the Edward Snowden-Glenn Greenwald Chicken Little Brigade. “Watching all the Obots turn into good Germans would be funny,” he writes “if it weren’t so horrifying.”

Achtung, “Lambert.” You and Theo can use fake identities on Facebook, but The Shadow knows. Privacy in the 18th century sense vanished with the Internet, and it’s never coming back. It’s childish to think otherwise.

Yesterday my wife dropped my binoculars, knocking them out of whack. Before I figured out how to fix them I priced a new pair on Amazon. This morning, Facebook sent me an advert for Chinese-made Bushnells costing far less than the originals. By tomorrow, they’ll be back to selling me patent medicines somehow involving pretty women with preposterously large breasts. They don’t know that I suffer from maladies their “weird secrets” purport to cure, but they definitely know my age and gender.

MasterCard recently shut me down because their computer algorithm correctly deduced that a guy who spends most of his money buying cattle feed in Arkansas probably wasn’t buying a huge HDTV in Mexico City. Amazon knows that I’ve read all the Henning Mankell “Kurt Wallender” novels and thinks I may have a thing for Scandinavian murder mysteries.

OK, enough. Here’s the thing: The good news is that the most dramatic “revelations” in the Snowden-Greenwald stories turn out upon further review to be somewhere between greatly exaggerated and entirely false.

Yes, NSA vacuums up telephone “metadata” and sifts it for suspicious patterns. USA Today revealed that in 2006. There was a big political fight about it, which the libertarian side lost. But no, they aren’t listening to your calls, and when the histrionic Mr. Snowden says he could have eavesdropped on anybody in the USA, he leaves out that doing so would have landed him in federal prison, where he probably belongs.

Gene Lyons

Gene Lyons is a political columnist and author. Lyons writes a column for the Arkansas Times that is nationally syndicated by United Media. He was previously a general editor at Newsweek as wells an associate editor at Texas Monthly where he won a National Magazine Award in 1980. He contributes to Salon.com and has written for such magazines as Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Review of Books, Entertainment Weekly, Washington Monthly, The Nation, Esquire, and Slate. A graduate of Rutgers University with a Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia, Lyons taught at the Universities of Massachusetts, Arkansas and Texas before becoming a full-time writer in 1976. A native of New Jersey, Lyons has lived in Arkansas with his wife Diane since 1972. The Lyons live on a cattle farm near Houston, Ark., with a half-dozen dogs, several cats, three horses, and a growing herd of Fleckvieh Simmental cows. Lyons has written several books including The Higher Illiteracy (University of Arkansas, 1988), Widow's Web (Simon & Schuster, 1993), Fools for Scandal (Franklin Square, 1996) as well as The Hunting Of The President: The 10 Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton, which he co-authored with National Memo Editor-in-Chief Joe Conason.

  • 1


  1. Fern Woodfork June 19, 2013

    This Little 47% Wannabe Is Just Trying His Best To Get His 15 Minutes Of Fame!! I Hope Losing His Country Was Worth It!!! Even His Father Told Him To Shut His Damn Mouth!!! Loose Lips Sinks Ships!!!

    1. labrown69 June 19, 2013

      I see Fern is in complete agreement with Dick Cheney

      1. Robert P. Robertson June 19, 2013

        Nobody in their right mind is in agreement with Cheney, labrat. Everybody is in agreement that Snowden overreached his hand in doing the work of the neo-Confederate Tea Bags to divert America’s attention from the real issues facing America: an obstructionist Republicunt/neo-Confederate Tea Bag agenda. All Dick Cheney showed in calling Snowden a traitor is “It takes one to know one.” Bush/Cheney robbed America of trillions of dollars and sold the America economy to China to make up for their treasonous robbery, remember?

        1. labrown69 June 19, 2013

          Besides I was not addressing someone in their “right mind”. I was addressing Fern.

          1. Robert P. Robertson June 19, 2013

            And I was addressing you, labrat. Apparently you’re out of your mind anytime you ask a dumb assed question like that. Is that why you look like the Brawny Paper Towel Man, because you’re an ass wipe? You can suck up any spill, like you can suck a peanut from a hot sauce bottle?

          2. Fern Woodfork June 20, 2013

            Thank You My Friend!!! 🙂 <3

          3. Fern Woodfork June 19, 2013

            Don’t Talk To Me BITCH Go Fuck Yourself!!!

          4. Fern Woodfork June 20, 2013

            FUCK YOU !!!!

          5. labrown69 June 20, 2013


          6. Fern Woodfork June 20, 2013


        2. labrown69 June 24, 2013


          Steal this Massachusetts Town’s Toughest New Foreclosure Prevention Ideas


          There are several things that are knowN with complete certainty in connection with the mortgage mess.

          We know that the banks found it necessary to forge, fabricate and alter legal documents illegally in order to create the illusion that foreclosure was proper. We know that the banks manipulated the published rates on which adjustable mortgages changed their payments.

          We know that the banks typically abandon any property that the bank has deemed to be undesirable (then why did they foreclose, when they had a perfectly good homeowner who was willing to pay something including the maintenance and insurance of the house?).

          And we can conclude that it is far more important to the banks that they be able to foreclose and have the deed issued then to actually take possession of the property for sale or rental.

          And so we know that the mortgage and foreclosure markets have been turned on their heads. Lynn, Massachusetts has adopted a series of regulations which appeared to be constitutional and which make it very difficult for
          the banks to turn neighborhoods that were thriving into blight. The actions of this city and others who are taking similar actions will continue to reveal the true nature of the mortgage encumbrances (the lanes were never perfected because the loan was nevermade by the party
          that is claiming to be secured) and the true nature of foreclosures (the cover-up to a Ponzi scheme and an illegal securities scam that does not and never did fall within the exemptions of the 1998 law claimed by the banks).

          The Bank Of International Settlements Warns The Monetary Kool-Aid Party Is Over


      2. Fern Woodfork June 20, 2013

        You Just Another Lying Tea Bagging Bitch Why Don’t You Get A Life And A JOB BITCH!!!

        1. labrown69 June 24, 2013

          Maybe you could provide a blow job? You obviously have the qualifications for that …. if you gargle first.

          1. Fern Woodfork June 24, 2013

            Ask Your Mother I Heard She Has Been Sucking Your Dick Ever Since You Were Born!!b And You As A Punk Ass Bitch Been Sucking Your Daddy Dick!!

      3. Fern Woodfork June 23, 2013

        You Know You Love To Tell Lies Chenney Said He Wasn’t A Traitor !! ASSHOLE LIAR!!

        1. labrown69 June 23, 2013

          Keep working on your reading comprehension Fern. That will distinguish your grasp from that of the plant which bears your name and possibly your IQ as well:

          Cheney defends NSA programs, says Snowden a ‘traitor,’ Obama ‘lacks credibility’

          Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/16/cheney-defends-us-surveillance-programs-says-snowden-traitor-obama-lacks/#ixzz2X5Ns3m6u

          1. Fern Woodfork June 23, 2013

            That’s Your Problem Water Turd You Watch Fox Fake News All They Do Is Make Shit Up As The Day Go On!! I See They Suck Out All Your Brain Cells!! LOL What Little You Had!! LOL You Need To Be Flushed!! LOL

          2. labrown69 June 23, 2013

            FACE IT FERN – YOU AND DICK CHENEY ARE ON THE SAME PAGE – HE IS EVIL … YOU ARE JUST PLAIN STUPID: If you think Fox is not a reliable source try these and numerous others:
            Try The Christian Science Monitor ->

            Dick Cheney: Edward Snowden a ‘traitor’ who likely spied for China (+video)
            OR the Washington Times->

            Snowden: Cheney calling me traitor is ‘highest honor’ for an American

            OR POLITICO?

            Snowden: Cheney calling me traitor is ‘highest honor’ for an American

            Read more: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/citizen-warrior/2013/jun/17/snowden-cheney-calling-traitor-highest-honor/#ixzz2X5fDen4S

            Follow us: @wtcommunities on Twitter

          3. Fern Woodfork June 24, 2013

            You Must Really Get A Life And How About Getting A Job!!! You Got Way Too Much Time On Your Hands!! Good Bye!!

    2. labrown69 June 19, 2013

      The only “loose lips” Fern has are wrapped around a big cock and that aint all that’s “loose” on her. Aint nothing been tight for a long while.

      Former Vice President Dick Cheney blasted Edward Snowden
      Sunday as a “traitor” and raised the specter that the leaker of
      top-secret information may even be a spy for the Chinese government.

      “I think it’s one of the worst occasions in my memory of somebody with
      access to classified information doing enormous damage to the national
      security interests of the United States,” Cheney said of Snowden on “Fox
      News Sunday.”

      Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/dick-cheney-blasts-nsa-leaker-edward-snowden-traitor-chinese-spy-article-1.1374229#ixzz2Wfryrxh9

      1. highpckts June 19, 2013

        Well I would definitely listen to Fox news for my facts! NOT! The worst incident you can remember? Then tell us how old you are because this stuff has been going on a long time!!

      2. Fern Woodfork June 19, 2013

        You Just An Ignorant Ass Punk You Need To Get A Life And Stop Selling Your Ass On The Phone Little Punk Ass Bitch!!! Get A Real JOB!! Selling Your Ass Is Not A Real Job!!!

        1. nana4gj June 20, 2013

          Fern, is this really necessary? You should have stopped while you were ahead.

          1. Fern Woodfork June 20, 2013

            Raise Your Kids nana4gi I’m A Grown Woman!! Don’t You Know How To Keep It Moving?? I’m Not Going To Let No Asshole Talk To Me Any Kind Of Way!!! I’m Giving That Asshole What He Has Been Giving Me!! Just Keep It Moving!! Don’t Read What I Write!!

      3. Sand_Cat June 20, 2013

        Unlikely anyone could do as much damage to the national security of the United States as George W Bush and Dick Cheney already have.

        1. labrown69 June 21, 2013

          I would say Obama has built upon the Bush and Cheney legacy nicely and virtually seamlessly. Trust me when I tell you that Obama is not making any friends in the Muslim world and at the same time empowering them in a way that even Bush and Cheney didn’t do … at least not on purpose. LMAO

  2. Germansmith June 19, 2013

    If we keep telling ourselves that is Ok for the government to have access to our private information often enough, we’ll eventually accept it…that is the basis of propaganda.
    If you buy stuff in the internet or even use a credit card we are sharing our purchasing habits with private companies which primary objective is to sell me stuff and make money. That is OK with me, because I have the ultimate control of what I buy or not.
    I am NOT comfortable with the government using the same information to know more about me…their objectives go beyond enticing me to buy something.
    Having lived under communists and fascist regimes makes me naturally mistrustful of government. I am pretty sure Castro’s original intent in Cuba was not to slave the population. I am sure originally, he had noble intents…but the road to hell is full of good intentions.
    As far as his comment of “cyber warfare beats the other kind hands down” shows Mr Lyons’ ignorance..”hands down” Is he aware all of our infrastructure controls are based on computers connected to the internet?

    1. Robert P. Robertson June 19, 2013

      You give yourself too much importance, bitter immigrant. Why would the NSA want to know anything about you? Would the NSA want to know how you wipe your nasty ass without washing your hands afterwards? Would the NSA want to know that you pick your nose in the supermarket line? Would the NSA want to know that you would fart at a dinner table? I mean, what is so important in your life here in America that the NSA would waste their time being concerned with? Unless you’re a sleeper sent to America from whatever country you immigrated from, and you’ve finally gotten that phone call that would awaken you to wreak havoc on dozens of innocent, unsuspecting Americans? That’s what the NSA is scanning for, bitter immigrants and terrorists who has slipped into the back door of America or who America has entrusted to allow them in, only to turn against America and murder innocent, inoffensive Americans. Unless you’re a terrorist, potential terrorist, aggressive white supremacist, or a crime boss planning and scheming on the phone, the internet, or the mail to deprive Americans of the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness guaranteed by the Constitution of America, what do you have to worry about, bitter immigrant?

      1. Germansmith June 19, 2013

        No Mr. Robertson, I do not have the same nasty habits that appears to be natural to you.

        You call me bitter, but you are the one uttering insults and blatantly showing your lack of class or decency just because I have a contrarian opinion that is share by the majority of Americans with an IQ higher than snail.
        You are irrelevant and you are a thug…have a good day sir

        1. Tom_D44 June 19, 2013

          Its hillarious. The left preaches about tolerance yet read what they write and the hatred that is so prevalent in their words. They preach about poor immigrants who have a right to come here, regardless of whether they are here illegally, and then they use the same word, immigrant, such animosity and disrespect – yet they point the ugly racism finger at the tea party. Unless you agree with them you are and always will be treated as an enemy – and the ends always justify the means. On a not as funny note, this is exactly how their leader works too. Quick lets hurry up and pass that new immigration bill so that we can read it and see what’s in it.

          1. Germansmith June 19, 2013

            I know..Is sad really
            There are actually some people here you can actually have a meaningful discussion with and their arguments may have some facts and logic.

            The problem with lots of people is that once they take a side they will stick with that decision no matter what evidence flies in their face and then their brain gets flustered and angry and start resorting to sophomoric insults. It happens with Nazi Germany, with Fascist Italy, within the Tea Party where many GOOD people took a side and got stuck there, and just because people like to call themselves “progressives” they are not immune with being dead wrong and trying to bully people into their point of view.

            Every political persuasion have their freikorps. The left is no different.

          2. Sand_Cat June 20, 2013

            Projection, projection.
            Not to say that I care for the obscenities thrown our German friend’s way. Calling someone names on an anonymous blog is not in any way comparable to trying to prevent them from voting, or attempting to criminalize what they say, or any of the other things the “Right” is engaged in currently. You merely seek to make the slightly-less right than you (not the “left” except in that sense) look the same as you in order to blunt their fact-based criticism of you.

      2. RobertCHastings June 19, 2013

        The “sleeper” thing is very telling. It reveals that you actually believe in the theory of sleepers, ala “The Manchurian Candidate”. Is it unlikely that there actually ARE sleepers? No at all. Is it likely that we actually ARE being monitored, especially since the framework is in place along with the technology? Yes, indeedy. If those who want to sell you something based upon your television viewing habits can actually gear the commercials you see to your revealed buying habits, why is it so difficult to accept that we ARE so close to a surveillance state?

        1. Robert P. Robertson June 19, 2013

          What do you think the 9-11 terrorists were? They didn’t just fly over like the Japanese did. They came in through the back door, Canada, and lived and worked in America, went to school in America to learn to fly airplanes, and walked around us every day. Very few of them knew one another or was aware that there were others like them in the country. When they received the call that it was time, they did what they were sent here to do. That wasn’t fiction. It was real. I had a lot of respect for your posts before this, Robert. But this one made it go down a notch.

          1. RobertCHastings June 20, 2013

            The people to whom you refer, the 9/11 attackers, were NOT sleepers. Their presence here was known, and their links to terrorist organizations were known long be fore 9/11occurred. That is history. The character in “The Manchurian Candidate” did not even know that he was a sleeper. Shortly after that movie, Charles Bronson came out with a similar, catching a guy whose key was “miles to go before I sleep”. These characters arose during the Red Scare years, when people in our government saw spies, moles, worms, etc. everywhere. While the concept was modernized with the Jason Bourne books, this concept of “the sleeper” has never been verified nor accepted by reasonable people. None of the 9/11 attackers were sleepers. FBI agents familiar with them in Florida alerted their superiors to several important facts about them months before 9/11. Condoleeza Rice’s infamous intelligence briefing to Bush, its title being basically that “terrorists were planning to use fully fueled airplanes as bombs on tall buildings” indicates their purpose and their targets were known ahead of 9/11. Sorry your knowledge (or lack thereof) of the circumstances surrounding 9/11 has “slipped a notch”, but what I have said is not my fabrication, but information available to anyone who wishes to research.

          2. Robert P. Robertson June 20, 2013

            I notice you watch a lot of movies. Is that how you cross fantasy into reality? All of the information we have of the 9-11 attacks are from hind-sight, after the fact. So, don’t tell me your b.s. about a “lack of knowledge thereof”. It disgraces the deaths of the thousands of people who lost their lives in that cowardly attack! But, let me ask you: do you understand what a “sleeper cell” is? Do you understand that these 19 terrorists came in groups of four a year apart from each other from the same terrorist organization, and that neither group knew the other until the moment they initiated their attacks? What about “clandestine cells”? Have you ever heard of those? The intelligence community had intel of an imminent terrorist attack, but they had no knowledge from who or where it would come. There was an attempt to blow up the WT towers before by an alQaeda jihadist, and there was the USS Cole incident, and another attack in the Phillipines. And, we must not forget the attack on the federal building in Okalahoma by that home-grown domestic white supremacist terrorist, can we. Was there intel on any of those? Egverything we know about them came after the fact, right?
            Bush/Cheney was informed that there would be an imminent attack within America, but they did nothing about it, did they? Why? They had no idea where it would come from or how! When it happened, what did Bush/Cheney do? They ran and hid themselves! Is that indicative of full and complete knowledge of what was going to happen? If the intelligence community had names and identities and were aware of those terrorists and why they were here, why were the terrorist using their real names and never bothered to disquise themselves? Why weren’t they arrested and detained? They walked around in plain sight and went to school learning to fly airplanes. even their flight instructors warned authorities of their students, but no one did nothing! Is that because “the government” wanted what happened to happen, that it was a massive scheme by Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice and the Bush family association with the wealthy binLaden family to orchestrate war in order to profiteer from it? Again, that would be disgracing the thousands of lives that were lost in that cowardly terrorist attack. It is how Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice set up to profiteer off of it.
            I am very much aware of what happened in 9-11, and my information comes from the same sources yours come from. Our difference is how we process and interpret it. Needless to say, I had very big respect for your posts before this. I now understand how low your respect for mine is. I would like to thank you for a head’s up. I hope we never cross paths on any issue again.

          3. Fern Woodfork June 20, 2013

            You Got That Right My Friend!! 🙂

          4. RobertCHastings June 21, 2013

            The use of movies(and other media) is a simple method to illustrate a point. If you do not understand that the 9/11 attackers were on the FBI’s radar well before the attack, regardless of all the evidence out there supporting my assertions, then your bias is obvious. Everything we know now about SOME of the terrorists you mention did, indeed, come after the fact. However, the first attack on the WTC was carried out by someone who was already known. You listen to Glenn Beck entirely too much.

          5. Robert P. Robertson June 21, 2013

            Thanks for the heads up. Everyone on NM now knows who you are and what you are. You and WhutHeSaid are sell outs, two yellow bellied, sniveling, lily livered cowards— turn coat bitches who has no idea of the country you live in or its functions. You are a perfect example of why Republicunt/neo-Confederate Tea Bags are so bold in their idiot assertions. It is sorry, beat down motherfuckers like you and Whut that gives them courage. . . mental illness is an evil, insidious disease. Seek help before its too late. It may be already too late.

          6. RobertCHastings June 21, 2013

            Such hate-filled rants clearly delineate which of us is the mentally ill one.

          7. Robert P. Robertson June 21, 2013

            It’s not rants, you dumb bastard. It’s information. Everyone on National Memo has seen that you and WhutHeSaid are two yellow dog sell outs. You’re a couple of sidewinding snakes that would bite and poison the nearest life you can sneak up on. You can’t be trust or relied on for anything but the poison you bring. You exposed yourselves for the two timing dogs you are, you funky dog-head scum.

          8. RobertCHastings June 22, 2013

            So all you can do is to continue to rant and spew hatred. That really contributes to the conversation. Why not try to understand what is being said in contradiction to your views ( I am not saying accept, just understand). If, for what ever reason, you feel our arguments are insufficient, at least show the courtesy of being reasonable about it.
            From the time of John Adams, our government has tried to stifle dissent. Which is just a little strange seeing that Adams was one of the chief dissenters in the actions that led up to our Revolution. His Alien and Sedition Acts suspended freedom of the press for a period. Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus put our Constitution in danger. The list would require a rather large book to deal with efficiently, for such activities have been engaged in by virtually every president since Adams, and many Americans have expressed dismay at such actions. In an open society such as ours, doesn’t it seem just a little obtuse to be hiding secrets so assiduously, and jumping all over the “whistle-blowers” even though there are laws in place that protect them?

          9. Robert P. Robertson June 22, 2013

            I can tell from your language that you are a neo-Confederate scum bag. Tell me why you hid behind that mask for so long? Why did you kiss ass and regurgitate the ideals on this post site, and befriended everyone, then choose this issue to show your true face? You’re not alone. Unless you are WhutHeSaid also, hiding behind another mask, only a psychopath or a traitor would do such things. And you ask me about Snowden? Bitch, you’re Snowden two times over. But guess what? Have you been paid for your masquerade? Will it change anything? Will it take you out of your big ol’ double-wide? Will it buy you a book of stayumps? Where is your diploma? Any certificates? No? . . You stupid bitch ass motherfucker, this is a social commentary site, where you express your views and opinions, trade ideas— where you could possibly learn something from somebody? You and WhutHeSaid come on here with your Charles Manson psychoses as if you can actually rule the world, talking about “Ouah Gubermunt”! “Ouah Con’tittu’chun!” You’ve watch one too many movies, idiot. You and WhutHeSaid has taken this shit too fucking far. It’s not good for the mentally challenged to get on sites such as this and begin to discuss hot button issues. It makes you too excited. Gets you agitated, don’t it? But, you’ve exposed yourselves, ass wipe. You blew your own cover, and everyone on the National Memo knows who you are. Your caretakers should check and see if you’re actually taking your medication and not spitting it into the toilet, boy.

          10. RobertCHastings June 24, 2013

            So, through all your convolutions, you disagree with me because I disagree with you on your sleeper thing. That is really a strange thing to pin a vendetta on. It took a while to trace it back to this exchange since I don’t keep a record of these conversations, but you really have some issues, and I am sure there is a pill for that.

    2. RobertCHastings June 19, 2013

      So it’s okay to eavesdrop on you if all I want to do is sell you something? How about some secrets about Chinese intelligence? What is the basic difference between what all the “cookies” and data-miners are doing on the Internet, and what NSA is doing? Not very much, really, is there?

      1. Germansmith June 19, 2013

        Sorry Robert, I thought I made it clear in my posting.
        I know about cookies, data mining, VSP and such and I am aware what private companies are collecting and why. And the Chinese can collect from me whatever they want..I have nothing of value to them and I do not live in China OR in Cuba because I do not accept my own government’s intrusion in my private live.
        The FBI gathered all such of data on MLK and other perceived communist threats the old fashion way, and it was wrong then and very highly criticized by ACLU and many other progressives and we all blamed Edgar (I forgot, who was President then?)
        Is it OK now because “private companies” also do it ?(but do not keep it secret…)
        And then, to make it even worst. a high school dropout working with a NSA contractor (I am assuming he had a security clearance) have the goods and spill the beans….Is this a way to run an spy operation?
        I do not know if I am more concerned about the spying or their incompetence
        If people like Manning and Snowden can cause such a mess in our highly secure SD and NSA operation, imagine what highly trained Chinese hackers or Anonymous can do to our “highly competent” spy networks.

        1. RobertCHastings June 20, 2013

          Daniel Ellsberg in the 1960’s released “The Pentagon Papers” for which he was vilified and pilloried, as is happening to both Manning and Snowden, as well as Julian Assange of Wikileaks.
          While all of these, and many others, have released what are surreptitiously “secret” documents, are they really secret, and has their release REALLY harmed our security? As Shakespeare proclaimed in “Taming of the Shrew”, “methinks the lady doth protest too much”.
          Since the release of “The Pentagon Papers” our government (and others) have found it necessary to create more and more security around “state secrets” the release of which has done no more than embarrass us because these documents have revealed our true opinions about those with whom our diplomats interact on the international stage. Do you really think that the British are upset because we referred to Margaret Thatcher as “The Iron Maiden”?
          Information gathering, by corporations, television networks, our nation’s security establishment, China’s security and intelligence establishment, etc. is ubiquitous. As you say, it is of no consequence to you WHAT China learns from your Internet transmissions, or what the US government learns about you. However, is it REALLY of no consequence?

  3. sigrid28 June 19, 2013

    Gene, Gene: Get a grip. Think of the text stream in which our drowning Lambert is paddling. I would assume his screen name has more to do with Miranda Lambert–or Adam Lambert–than a character from a Henry James novel, which he has probably never read.

    As for you and me, so well-versed in the eighteenth century and its communications, it would be wise to remember that proportionately this great period in American history probably had the same amount of espionage and secrecy going on beneath the surface–just very, very slowly, by our standards. There were expert prevaricators who were always up to speed, like Benjamin Franklin (especially during his colorful sojourn in France), and old sticks-in-the-mud, like John Adams, who practically insisted on finding out everything last but then put it all down in a slamming, extremely long memoir. As we look back upon them, we can easily tell those who were brash in defense of the new republic from those who sought to preserve it for posterity using means that were proven and methodical. They seem to have struck a balance that gave our country the best of both worlds. That’s what we have to do now.

    1. Gene Lyons June 19, 2013

      His full name is Lambert Strether.

      1. sigrid28 June 19, 2013

        Well, I just LOVE that. What an odd use for the narrator of “The Ambassadors”? Makes me want to go back and read IT rather than the boring posts of this commentator (with a rather good screen name). As a follower of detective serializations, I was fascinated to note while researching Henry James that “The Ambassadors” was itself originally published as a serial in The American Review (1903).

  4. labrown69 June 19, 2013

    US Troop Deaths in Afghan War Under Obama Now Twice That Under Bush (and this article is two years old) http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/4073:us-troop-deaths-in-afghan-war-under-obama-now-twice-that-under-bush

    This weekend marked a new milestone for the war in Afghanistan: the
    total number of US troops killed in the war has doubled since President
    Obama took office, according to icasualties.org and our US Troops in Afghanistan: Obama vs Bush web counter.
    That means that two-thirds of the total US troop deaths have occurred
    in the last two years and eight months, which accounts for roughly a
    third of the duration of the war to date.

    1728 US troops have died in Afghanistan since October 7, 2001, with
    1153 of those deaths having occurred since President Obama’s
    inauguration. 575 US troops died in Afghanistan during President Bush’s
    term in office.

    We’ve all heard the argument before: Bush ignored Afghanistan, Obama
    did what he promised by escalating the war, and since more troops means
    more deaths, we shouldn’t be surprised by the increased death rate.

    1. RobertCHastings June 19, 2013

      And during the majority of the Bush administration just how involved was the US military in Afghanistan? Had Bush kept his focus on Afghanistan rather than shifting almost immediately to Iraq (his real goal, anyway), we would have been out of there already and we would not be trying to sit down at the negotiating table with the Taliban. Obama has had to clean up two wars that Bush and his Gestapo never intended ending.

      1. labrown69 June 19, 2013

        Thanks for that tea leaf reading Robert but I’m afraid your crystal ball is broken and that is yet another vapid excuse. WHY IS NOBODY BEING PROSECUTED FOR LYING ON

        1. RobertCHastings June 20, 2013

          I apparently struck a nerve, as evidenced by all the caps. And what loan documents are you speaking about – the ones that precipitated the derivatives explosion that resulted in the 2007 financial collapse? I have no doubt that there is corruption within the current administration – it is the way this country has been operating for decades.
          If you are so concerned about the corruption aspect, I would recommend that you research the Glass-Steagall Act, and the Banking Act of 1933 to see why corruption is so rampant in our country toady. While these acts were repealed during a Democratic administration, the were repealed OVER the veto of the Democratic president.

          1. labrown69 June 20, 2013

            “Over the veto”?? Is this your attempt at comedy? Bill Clinton signed the repeal of Glass Steagall with great enthusiasm and one of it’s biggest boosters was Chuck Shumer who rallied huge bi-partisan support. When Brooksley Borne of the CFTC tried to warn the Clinton team about the systemic risk of derivatives she was driven out of DC on a rail by Greenspan, Ruben and all Slick Willie’s boys. To this day Bill Clinton has never admitted to his role or demonstrated the slightest contrition for being the man who brought Ronald Reagan’s nightmarish dreams to fruition including the total deregulation of the financial services industry AND NAFTA AND GATT. If you think otherwise I suggest you educate yourself starting here -> http://billmoyers.com/segment/john-reed-on-big-banks-power-and-influence/ As for “what documents” the Truth in Lending Act says that all parties to a transaction must be accurately stated on loan docs and that failure to do so carries the right of rescission and the right to sue for damages in excess of the loan amount. Banks did what is called “table funding” loans which means they were not actually the “lender” but falsely identified themselves as the lender while merely brokering a deal in which Wall Street investors who were also lied to had their money funneled directly into loans so that the bank never had a penny in the deal and no risk. This is precisely why they have no legal right to foreclose. In addition to never lending a penny, they sold the note and were paid in full for the loan they didn’t make but never applied that money to the principle of the loan or it would have gone to the investors on the other end who actually put up the money. You are a moron.

          2. RobertCHastings June 21, 2013

            Glass-Steagall for more than sixty years prevented the types of excesses that led to the 2007 Recession.

          3. labrown69 June 21, 2013

            And your claim that Clinton signed it “over a veto” is false. Clinton initiated the deregulation which had strong bi-partisan support.

          4. RobertCHastings June 21, 2013

            Yes, you are correct, as I have found through further research. I must thank you for at least being civil, unlike some others who disagree with me.

          5. labrown69 June 21, 2013

            Robert – I apologize for the many times I have not been civil in here but when I see people so enraptured by Obama’s personality or by party politics that they can not solve problems it makes me see red. There are a lot of such folks on this site because the authors who write for National Review are basically apologists who seem virtually incapable of criticism. What has taken place in bank fraud and the absurd settlements in which people who had their homes stolen illegally are now receiving $1400 checks while sleeping in their cars is unconscionable. There are many things about this administration that mark a new low in American politics and I voted for this scum bag twice and might even do it again given the same choices but I am pissed.

          6. RobertCHastings June 22, 2013

            I cannot honestly say that I disagree with you. Yes, I am fond of Obama, and, honestly, I believe that he is doing as well as he can under the circumstances. Independent projections for the economy for next year show us doing much better than we are now, with unemployment at 6.5% and annual growth at 3.5%, much better than we are seeing today.
            Seventy years ago, Congress enacted the Banking Act of 1933, which included Glass-Steagal. In 1999, MOST of the provisions of this legislation, originally enacted to prevent the excesses that produced the Great Depression, were repealed. 8 years after that legislative action, we saw the result, and Republicans are resisting ALL efforts to either re-enact Glass-Steagal, or put something similar in its place. It is just a matter of time until another 2007 occurs, wiping out whatever progress may have occurred under Obama. I am upset, as are millions of others, that NONE of the perpetrators of 2007 are in prison, or even being prosecuted. And Jeffrey Skilling, one of the chief executives of the Enron fiasco in 2004, has had his sentence cut in half.

          7. labrown69 June 22, 2013

            Robert – possibly the only vice I never had was gambling BUT if I was a betting man I would bet you dollars to doughnuts that this so called recovery is entirely false and manipulated. By the type of book keeping standards you and I must adhere to, every major US bank is insolvent. B of A alone has more “derivatives” (reads worthless gambling markers, over 50 TRILLION) on it’s books than all the money of all the countries in the world combined currently in circulation. They “call it asset” but it is debt in reality and when combined with the debt of all the other banks there is not enough money in the entire world to cover it … literally, not even close. We are talking about an approximately 800 TRILLION dollar market based on gambling. Furthermore there are still millions of people living in their homes who have not made a mortgage payment in years and are in limbo because the courts are catching up to the massive fraud faster than Holder and the administration can sweep it under the table with baloney settlements that give those who had their homes stolen $1400 in compensation as if that is a reasonable solution. The stock market is a sucker’s market that works like a “squeeze chute” which is the chute that gets narrower and narrower until cattle are single file onto box cars. The money that is flowing back into the market will be stolen again in the coming collapse because it is all based on falsehoods. While there is always some degree of “perception” involved in all markets, I believe we are way beyond that. There IS NO real recovery and it is only massive debt and our total denial about dealing with clearing “swaps” and other derivatives that is giving the appearance of recovery. I predict that within a year we will be back in the doldrums. As we speak the government is preparing to stop by mortgage bonds so housing will lead us back down the drain again.

          8. RobertCHastings June 22, 2013

            The stock market is not something you and I have (or can afford) much “stock” in. This is a rich man’s game. All too much is made of our investments in 401-k’s and mutual funds. When the crash hit in 2007, I lost about 35% of my 401-k, as did most of the others at the place where I worked, regardless of the choices they made, what segments they invested in, whatever, we all lost from 30% to 40%. Subsequent to the crash, I retired, and my 401-k was transferred to an IRA, with roughly the same investments and the same ratios. While the Dow is and the S&P and Nasdaq are all back to where they were BEFORE 2007, my investment portfolio has not recovered, nor has that of many folks I know of. Where has the money all gone, if the stock market is back to where it was, and my portfolio has not changed that much? I love to watch the fossil fuel commercials where the gal says that EVERYONE who has a 401-k, etc, is invested in fossil fuel. Sure we are, we just don’t get the return on investment some more privileged folks do.
            I find it discomforting to be told that $300B is available for folks who are underwater on their mortgages, or are delinquent, and less than 10% of this money has been received for modifying mortgage loans in – what, 4 years? B of A and the other big lenders are STILL doing the same crap they were doing 6 years ago, making it impossible for folks under the burden of their bad loans to get out from under them. The derivatives that precipitated the collapse in 2007 are still on the books, and the conditions that brought about the development of such instruments are still in place. We are setting ourselves up for another collapse, another bailout, and another transfer of wealth from the middle class to the wealthy.

          9. labrown69 June 22, 2013

            Yep, and we are reading articles by B of A employees who are offering sworn affidavits that they were ordered to lie and do anything else necessary to avoid modifying loans because the goal was foreclosing on the house and yet Holder refuses to lift a finger. The wheels of justice turn slowly but not THAT slowly and these weasels have had almost 6 years. Holder is a disgrace. It is silly to say he should be fired because as a former attorney for these same criminal conspiracies we call banks, he never should have been appointed during the worst financial crisis in the history of the world in the first place.

          10. RobertCHastings June 23, 2013

            I am not aware of his background, so I cannot speak to that issue. However, the current administration does seem to be rather slow in reacting to public pressure to hold those responsible accountable.

          11. labrown69 June 23, 2013

            Only if ya think almost 6 years is enough time to bring a handful of indictments against those who were proven to have committed forgery and perjury on the air on 60 Minutes. LMAO Before becoming part of the Obama conspiracy, Eric Holder was an attorney at the Washington DC white shoe law firm of Covington and Burling who represented most of the major US banks.

          12. RobertCHastings June 23, 2013

            Enron’s CEO (Jeffrey Skilling) was prosecuted and jailed within two years of Enron’s collapse. Unfortunately he has just had his sentence drastically reduced. Once his value as a political contributor ended, he was prosecuted. Once the value of BofA and others is reduced, I am sure they, too, will be prosecuted. Once those campaign contributions stop pouring in, friends are no longer friends.

          13. labrown69 June 23, 2013

            There is a statute of limitations on this type of crime and we are still being lied to by the fascist Obama administration who has turned democracy on it’s head. The crimes are still taking place and vast sums of money are still being extracted from the American economy while this budding Chavez wannabe turns the USA into Cuba.

          14. labrown69 June 23, 2013

            Robert – you might find this interesting if you believe this stuff is getting resolved and that this administration is not complicit. This goes hand in hand with the suppression of journalists by Holder, the persecution of whistle blowers and the legal support of criminal behavior by banks.


            Occupy Leader Bratton Held on $250,000 Bail

            Posted on June 23, 2013 by Neil Garfield

            In my judgment, based upon the scant facts and documents
            supplied to me this far, there is no doubt that Bratton DID own the property and probably still does if the law is applied properly.

            I know of cases where probable cause was found for Murder and the bail was set less than that. The calls and emails keep coming in and I can’t say that I have a total picture of what was really going on here. But, based upon what I have the current story is this:

            Bratton is one of the leaders in the Occupy movement. It may be true that the Occupy movement has been put on a watch list or even the terrorist list which might account for the high bail. I have not been able to confirm that. But it seems that some inference of that sort was used in getting bail set at a quarter of a million dollars. If so, the government is confusing (intentionally or otherwise) the Occupy movement which is a political movement within the system allowed and encouraged by the U.S. Government — with the sovereign citizen movement for which Ihave taken a lot of heat.

          15. RobertCHastings June 23, 2013

            The Occupy Movement rattled a lot of folks cages, and made some others take a second look at some long-held beliefs. After reading “The Democracy Project” by David Graeber, and doing a little checking, and thinking back on the student movements during the sixties, one must begin to look at the government’s protestations with a grain of salt. We all know that the FBI kept extensive dossiers on thousands of individuals and groups under the leadership of J. Edgar Hoover and, government protestations to the contrary, we should have a reasonable assumption that such secret gathering is continuing. Whistle blowers on such activities over the past 50 years have had a lot of pressure put on them to be quiet and, if they can’t be quiet, the usual response of our government is to either discredit them, or to threaten them. Real spies who actually divulge secrets harmful to national military security MUST be prosecuted; however, have Manning and Snowden and Julian Assange actually given away the crown jewels of our security? The Occupy Movement was not as loosely knit an organization as they want folks to believe, for their goal was not to bring down the government with loose talk, but to get the government to admit at least some of what is going on with regard to the corruption of our political system by wealth and power.

          16. labrown69 June 23, 2013

            Which is why I support them 100% – even though the fascist government and the cops who are a de facto private domestic army for the fascist regimes try and paint them as communists and anarchists and every other derogatory smear they can think of when in fact what they really are for the most is people who remember when we had pre-1999 “rules of the road” that made capitalism work. That is not part of Obama’s agenda.

          17. RobertCHastings June 23, 2013

            I think an important point the Occupy Movement is trying to make is that what they are supporting is not pre-1999 rules, but pre-Reagan rules. Greed has been something that has driven this country for generations, but it has not equated wealth with power in such way before Reagan. One man = one vote no longer exists, it is more an equation of money and influence = power and control.

          18. labrown69 June 23, 2013

            Robert – “greed” itself dates back to the dawn of time but the “pre-1999 rules” ARE the pre-Reagan rules. Reagan began trying to deregulate with a trickle and then Bill Clinton enabled the dam to burst. Reagan and HW Bush all tried their best to pass NAFTA and GATT and to to pass a bill like the Gram-Leach-Bliely Act which was the “dam bursting” on deregulating the financial services industry but Clinton was able to do it all. For some reason, many Democrats are on cruise control and seem to think they don’t need to learn what is really going on and that as long as a Democrat is in the Oval Ofiice they don’t need to think, thus when Reagan proposes deregulation they go nuts but when Clinton not only proposes it but enacts it they love it. When Bush invades barbaric countries and kills lots of brown skinned people and passes invasive spying laws in violation of the 4th Amendment people go nuts. When Obama does it they love it. Obama is like some sort of spiritual Svengali to these people. This is a guy who received the Nobel Peace Prize for doing absolutely nothing.

          19. RobertCHastings June 24, 2013

            There are two sides to that coin. Clinton proposed two important ideas that just freaked out Republicans, specifically the privatization of Social Security and a bill that was essentially the Patriot Act. As you may remember, BOTH of these proposals met with stringent Republican opposition. However, under Bush the Patriot Act was enacted, and one of their chief legislative pushes was for the privatization of Social Security which, by 2007, would have destroyed the retirement hopes of millions of Americans. Today, we are fighting over the repeal of the Patriot Act, and most reasonable people have seen the folly in privatizing Social Security (although, perhaps not the need for Social Security in the first place).
            Since your opposition to Obama appears to be a personal thing, I will not even touch on that.

    2. Sand_Cat June 20, 2013

      You claimed elsewhere Obama killed more people than Bush. There may be more folds in your rectum – where your head obviously is – than the number of people Bush killed, but Obama’s got a long, long way to go to catch up.

      1. labrown69 June 21, 2013

        Twice as many Americans died in Obama’s first 4 years as in 8 of Bush regardless of your sycophantic babbling. Bush gave tax cuts to the rich but was never the crony to bankers that Obama is. Noam Chomsky calls him a terrorist.

        The president has packed his economic team
        with Wall Street insiders intent on turning the bailout into an all-out
        giveaway. Barack Obama ran for president as a man of the people,
        standing up to Wall Street as the global economy melted down
        in that fateful fall of 2008. He pushed a tax plan to soak the rich,
        ripped NAFTA for hurting the middle class and tore into John McCain for
        supporting a bankruptcy bill that sided with wealthy bankers “at the
        expense of hardworking Americans.” Obama may not have run to the left of
        Samuel Gompers or Cesar Chavez, but it’s not like you saw him on the
        campaign trail flanked by bankers from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. What
        inspired supporters who pushed him to his historic win was the sense
        that a genuine outsider was finally breaking into an exclusive club,
        that walls were being torn down, that things were, for lack of a better
        or more specific term, changing.

        Then he got elected.

        What’s taken place in the year since Obama won the presidency has turned
        out to be one of the most dramatic political about-faces in our
        history. Elected in the midst of a crushing economic crisis brought on
        by a decade of orgiastic deregulation and unchecked greed, Obama had a
        clear mandate to rein in Wall Street and remake the entire structure of
        the American economy. What he did instead was ship even his most
        marginally progressive campaign advisers off to various bureaucratic
        Siberias, while packing the key economic positions in his White House
        with the very people who caused the crisis in the first place. This new
        team of bubble-fattened ex-bankers and laissez-faire intellectuals then
        proceeded to sell us all out, instituting a massive, trickle-up bailout
        and systematically gutting regulatory reform from the inside.

        1. Sand_Cat June 21, 2013

          Yeah, go ahead and peddle that outright lie. Everyone here now knows you’re a liar on the order of the Mittwit and W, but then it was pretty obvious to start with.

          1. labrown69 June 21, 2013


            You live in a fool’s paradise and behold Obama like an Elvis fan. He can do no wrong. It is an easily documented fact that twice as many Americans died in Afghanistan in Obama’s first 4 year term as in 8 years of Bush. HERE IS IT FROM TRUTHOUT, NOT SOME RIGHT WING SITE AND IT IS FROM 2011 at which time the American death toll had already surpassed Bush’s.
            Don’t let little things like facts distract you from your idolatry.


            This weekend marked a new milestone for the war in Afghanistan: the
            total number of US troops killed in the war has doubled since President
            Obama took office, according to icasualties.org and our US Troops in Afghanistan: Obama vs Bush web counter.
            That means that two-thirds of the total US troop deaths have occurred
            in the last two years and eight months, which accounts for roughly a
            third of the duration of the war to date.

            1728 US troops have died in Afghanistan since October 7, 2001, with
            1153 of those deaths having occurred since President Obama’s
            inauguration. 575 US troops died in Afghanistan during President Bush’s
            term in office.

  5. idamag June 19, 2013

    The real problem here is privatizing everything. I was appalled to find out that even national security is privatized.

    1. Robert P. Robertson June 19, 2013

      You’re right, idamag. It surprised me too hearing that the NSA hired military industrial complex contractors to handle sensitive and classified international intelligence. Look what happened, even making them swear under the oath of national security, that they would not divulge any information they would read or handle. this has to be a wake up call for the NSA too.

      1. Fern Woodfork June 19, 2013

        I Agree With Both Of You My Friends!! Yes NSA Needs To Get Their Shit Together But This Is Old News Do The Patriot Act Ring Any Bells?? I Have Nothing To Hide And If This Keep Us Safe I Don’t Care!!! I Know Not To Tell My Real Business That I Don’t Want No One To Hear On The Damn Phone Or Nothing Else!!! LOL

        1. labrown69 June 24, 2013

          Obama has gone beyond the Patriot Act but you love it because you are a sycophant.

          1. Fern Woodfork June 24, 2013

            Fuck You Cock Sucking Bitch!!!

    2. Sand_Cat June 20, 2013

      The genie is out of the bottle, and we’re all helpless to do anything about it, according to our author. This particular genie (privatization of national security) is out thanks to – you guessed it – GWB and Cheney.

    3. RobertCHastings June 23, 2013

      That should have been apparent when it became known that security in Iraq for US diplomats was farmed out to a private organization while Bush and Cheney were in the White House.

    4. labrown69 June 23, 2013

      NO, that is NOT “the real problem”. The REAL PROBLEM is your administration is as bad or worse than Bush’s and you are so enraptured by this cult of personality that you can’t see it.

  6. Allan Richardson June 19, 2013

    Cyber warfare is better than the other kind EXCEPT when it leads to death or destruction in the “offline” world, and with more and more equipment being controlled by computers with internet access, that is more likely than you may think. The one acknowledged US cyber attack destroyed equipment in Iran’s nuclear labs; an attack on us from somewhere else could do much more than steal money from our citizens.

    A major corporation is running “feel good corporate reputation” ads touting their jet engines, locomotives, and hospital equipment with “smart” internet connections. It should be obvious that any tampering with a jet engine could cause a jetliner to crash; with a locomotive could cause the release of cars enroute which could cause another train to derail; and hospital equipment could cause fatal radiation overdoses, incorrect lab results, prescription alteration, etc.

    It doesn’t even have to be a terrorist attack. Suppose J. P. Gotrocks (a fictional character) needs a heart transplant, but is way down on the list because of his past drug abuse habit (say he inherited his fortune). He could pay a hacker to search medical records for a tissue compatible donor, send that unwitting person a notice to check into a hospital for an urgently needed test (say for blood clots), and once in the hospital, mess up the anesthesia to put the patient into a brain-dead coma, AFTER falsifying the victim’s driver’s license if necessary to make him/her an organ donor. Presto, problem solved for Gotrocks, life over for the victim.

    We need the highest level of security and ISOLATION from the internet to protect us from these threats. At least without having everything connected, Gotrocks would have to hire several PEOPLE to carry out his scheme, which might discourage him, or at least leave a trail of evidence and witnesses.

    1. RobertCHastings June 19, 2013

      Sounds like you dredged up an old VHS copy of “Coma”.

      1. Allan Richardson June 19, 2013

        I saw both versions, the old one in a theater and the new one on TV. While an ongoing criminal enterprise to “create” brain-dead donors may be far-fetched, it is not unreasonable for a wealthy but unhealthy person with no moral compass to hire geniuses similarly unencumbered to do a one-off project of this kind; and when the rich-and-sick community to which that person belongs hears about it, there may be more orders.

        There has also been some concern about built-in passwords in hard wired equipment being too easy to guess if the IT installers do not take care to create and maintain corporate passwords (like the old Linksys routers). So the hacker may not even need to be a genius.

        1. RobertCHastings June 20, 2013

          I’m amazed you even caught the reference. You must have been part of the cult. Your J. P. Gotrocks character is not fictional, by the way. There is a black market in illegally harvested organs, for which the donors (or their families) are SOMETIMES paid, and for which individuals who are wealthy enough and don’t want to stand in line with the rest of those needing transplants can readily subvert the system. There are a few Third World countries that are renowned transplant sites, and it is very lucrative.

  7. irishtap June 19, 2013

    Mr. Snowden was hired by U.S. intelligence due to a high degree of computer sophistication – the guy is a freak’n genius. This twenty-nine year old speaks like a Rhodes Scholar, he’s extremely articulate and even more humble. None of you are qualified to argue against him. I’m surrounded by Stockholm syndrome idiot’s, afraid to stand with a young man and patriot, whom had a hell uv a good thing going as far as pay – benefits and proximity to great weather; and gave it ALL up – to warn you ignorant cowards. I doubt not one of you would have the moral conscience to do the same. This article is nothing but spin to calm you and spark you to blame the person standing up for all of us.

    1. RobertCHastings June 22, 2013

      Then go to the ACLU website and sign their petition asking President Obama to treat him fairly.

      1. irishtap June 23, 2013

        Already did…

  8. miles tackett June 19, 2013

    I’m tired of Nat Memo’s non stop playing down of this issue since it broke.

    by the comments i’m reading here i see we really have become a complacent sad citizenry that has generally bought into the “Oh please Government protect us from the big bad terrorists, even if it means giving up our constitutionally protected rights”. “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety…” In his wisdom Ben Franklin warned of it & we are becoming a living example of it. The likelihood of being hurt or killed in a terrorist attack in this country vs. a car accident? how many terrorist plots foiled by the NSA/Homeland security using the current PRISM surveillance program which greatly invades our privacy or at least gives the NSA the right to scan us?

    anyone think about the fact that it’s also an expose of how the outsourcing of government surveillance contracts has become corrupted. Private data mining companies like Booz Allen Hamilton are milking the government surveillance tit & will only keep growing and giving data to support the need for more & more surveillance.

    What did Edward Snowden give up in the name of laying out for the United States citizens what exactly we have let our congress agree to on our behalf? Blindness is all i see here people. To imagine that he sacrificed what he clearly has just for some fame & possible financial gain in the near future is as far fetched as any over the top conspiracy theories. What actual harm has done to our security by highlighting what we should have been up in arms about years ago when they first started shredding our rights with the patriot act.

    Bradley Manning is a traitor as well isn’t he?

  9. John Pigg June 19, 2013

    I disagree with a great deal of this article.

    The US should only be in the business of investigating/collecting intelligence when it has probable cause or a reasonable suspicion. Mass collection of data is does not hold to merit.

    The “War on Terror” has gone on long enough. I am sure that there are some who will defend the usage of torture or mass data collection. But I would argue that shortcuts are never the way to win a race. HUMINT is one of the best ways to beat terror cells, the US should invest far more in people infiltrating and understanding their opponents than systematically gathering information on all of its citizens.

    1. Sand_Cat June 20, 2013

      Thank you!

      1. John Pigg June 21, 2013

        I could very easily see myself voting Democrat if they put someone up that thinks as you do.

  10. Allan Richardson June 19, 2013

    Speaking of cyber warfare: if YOU were CHINA, what would you do with this sudden unexpected “gift” of computers full of classified data? Snowden seemed to get this information MUCH too easily! He may THINK he is betraying our government to China in order to publicize our faults, but he may ACTUALLY be betraying China. A useful stooge. When they find out, I hope for his sake that he can convince THEM he was only a useful stooge, not a conscious US agent; China has punishments much worse than Gitmo.

    And China: please censor and ignore this posting. It is, to my knowledge, completely untrue speculation.

  11. constancespinney June 20, 2013

    What this boy wants is a million or more book deal. He contributes NOTHING to this nations’s security. I worked in jobs where secrecy was important. It never occurred to me or any of the others working there, to try to get attention for it. But, we were raised to be honorable. There is NO honor in what this jerk has done. He had a good paying job, and still he could not be satisfied. Why did he immediately leave his “beloved” country? Because he knows full well he’s a traitor for what he did. He’s a child. Get rid of him, and do not ever offer him his job back. He deserves nothing but contempt.

  12. nana4gj June 20, 2013

    The best kind of warfare is the kind that intercepts attacks of war. The kind in which we all must play a role and if that includes some of these NSA activities, so be it. It grows more and more uncomfortable to hear so many who sit at home and opine while the volunteers go and actually put their lives on the line to defend us. National security is everyone’s job.

    I find it pitiable and disgusting that a 29 year old “kid”, who has quit every job because those for whom he has worked never managed to measure up to his principles and lofty expectations, had so few principles and such low expectations of himself that his only contribution to his country, so far, has been to betray the oath he took to keep information pertaining to his job classified and then runs off to China or parts unknown so as not to stand behind his self-perceived principled action. He is the worst kind of spy and the one who has betrayed us the most.

    At the end of the day, this matter, as with most matters where ethics are concerned, not to mention legality, the question is do the ends justify the means? If NSA activities can prevent acts of war against people and nations, the means, which have caused no one any inconvenience or intrusion, are justified, in my opinion. It’s what I accept as my role in protecting my country. On the other hand, if the end result of an action interrupts, exposes, and negates activities that protect national security, the means cannot be justified.

    There is nothing “principled” about this traitor. Whether or not he can be legally charged with actual treason, he has betrayed me. He has betrayed all of those who serve in the defense and security interests of my country across the world and at home. He isn’t even fully grown up or mature yet, and he has wrought so much harm. Any country who grants him asylum should expect the same from him sooner or later.

  13. labrown69 June 23, 2013

    Snowden is an American hero and you are all sheep!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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