Wednesday’s early unveiling of the ballyhooed NSA review panel report was pretty much another attempt to put a positive spin on a now careening national disaster over unconstitutional data collection/spying programs by the American Stasi. It’s been a tough week for Obama’s electronic goon squad, their 60 Minutes infomercial has been widely mocked and Monday’s ruling by Federal Judge Richard Leon that the phone metadata collection program (alone) was "Orwellian" and "likely unconstitutional". The jig is up for General Keith Alexander and his mountain of gross violations of the civil liberties and privacy rights of millions of Americans and nothing is going to stop the coming wave of pushback. There will be no escape, especially when the really good stuff is eventually revealed and the realization finally hits home that all of these programs are not about stopping 'terrorism’ at all. Hell the definitions in the post-9/11 Homeland have become so corrupted that anyone and everyone is now a suspected ‘terrorist’. Been to an airport in the last several years? It is unsurprising that according to a recent Gallup poll that more Americans now find that the greatest threat to them is their own government rather than whatever foreign bogeyman happens to be conjured up as the official rationale for increasing loss of freedom and never-ending wars.
The panel itself was an obvious whitewash of the problems given its composition and the inclusion of government go-to guys like Richard Clarke and Cass Sunstein and at the time of formation which was well before the cascade of damaging stories on the NSA abuses was suspected to be more of a lipstick on a pig type of exercise to just keep the sheep from becoming too restive. The official report of The Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies logs in at a tad over 300 pages the report “Liberty and Security in a Changing World” at first review appears to offer some meaningful suggestions for ‘reforms’ including stopping the NSA from engaging in such practices as the collecting and storing of bulk telephone metadata (which would be held by private telecommunications instead) and halting the NSA's manic pursuit at the breaking of all encryption putting a serious dent in internet commerce.
That the report was released early is a clear sign that Barry and the boys are feeling the heat, especially after that great no-bullshit bitch session with Silicon valley executives at the White House the other day where it was made very clear to El Presidente that his NSA Stasi is bad for business. It was a desperation move to calm the growing furor in the aftermath of the last several days. Now that the cat is out of the bag it is totally up to Obama and his administration on whether to actually implement some of the 40 “recommendations” and it is going to also be incumbent on a U.S. Congress that has proven time and again that it views the American people as at the very least a nuisance and with some of the more fascist members as an enemy. So for the time being at least the government gets to punt the ball and find as many ways to undermine even the tepid reforms proposed by the panel.
Obama is to take the report with him to Hawaii on his taxpayer funded Christmas vacation and ponder the contents making an announcement when he returns. Put more accurately a few weeks is an eternity to Americans, most of whom have short attention spans and that is when it isn’t Christmas week. In other words don’t expect any serious changes because the panel did not make really serious recommendations to begin with. The only change that truly would matter would be the complete de-funding of the NSA pending a thorough audit, General Keith Alexander should be suspended immediately - without pay pending judicial review and then busted down to buck private and mustered out of the military. Let him go and live in one of the nation’s tent cities - after he has done his time in the stockade of course. The the trials could then begin in earnest, not only for NSA and DNI officials past and present but also the scum in congress who have allowed this abomination to continue and expand without any sort of oversight or accountability to the law. What I wouldn't give to see DiFi's fat ass in an orange jumpsuit stuffed into one of those chicken coop cages at Gitmo.
The state-corporate media is in fine form today though, any substantive discussion on the NSA has been pretty much relegated to the memory hole as Americans are being fed stories of critical national importance such as some bigoted backwoods asshole on “Duck Dynasty” spouting off and an unclaimed multi-million dollar lottery ticket - move along, nothing to see here. That is of course the job of the ‘mainstream’ media, to lie, distract and cover the asses of the criminals in high places with their ongoing pillaging of the treasury to fund their outlandish schemes. The media provides the necessary cover, like that absurd 60 Minutes hagiography the other night that provided General Alexander with a national forum from which to obfuscate and lie his ass off during an interview with a man with a huge conflict of interest. The entire two-segment barrage of bullshit was so ridiculous it bordered on a parody but never more so when the nefarious Chinese “BIOS Plot” was brought up. The gist of which being that China was to roll out a devastating bit of malware disguised as firmware updates that was to destroy or in geek terms “brick” every computer in America. Like it is as if the Chinese government would not be commiting national suicide by bringing down the entire U.S. economy but the tale ignores the sad reality that we are in hock out of our asses to China thanks to a rogue government that spends and borrows like a pack of drunken sailors.
I more than half-expect to see NSA Stasi Commandant Alexander call a press conference sometime today to come out and blame the massive data theft of 40 million Target customer’s debit and credit card information for the two weeks following the Thanksgiving/Black Friday festival of greed on the yellow menace in Beijing. The man should be in seclusion following his week of shame and the belated pillorying of his rogue agency but ever the opportunist he will be prepared to pounce on any opportunity to dance a dervish of spin and distract from the wanton criminality of his army of snoops and voyeurs.
Somewhere In Russia Edward Snowden has just got to be laughing his ass off and justifiably so given the despicably rotten treatment that he has received from U.S. government thugs, their media lickspittles and of course from Barack Obama himself. All for telling the truth about the criminal activities at NSA HQ. If he reads the satirical Borowitz Report he may even be inclined to use this idea - "Snowden Offers to Fix Healthcare.gov" - to deliver a good running drop kick in the balls to Barry. The conniving bastard sure as hell deserves one.