Friday, May 9, 2014

The War on Snowden Continues as Does NSA Spying


Given the amount of coverage churned out by the sycophantic gravy trainers in the US state-corporate media about the latest Republican Benghazi spectacle, the 24/7 Putin bashing, missing flight MH-370 and assorted celebrity driven swill the biggest story of the last year has been buried int he bullshit. The story of course are the startling revelations of former government contractor turned NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden of the massive domestic surveillance and data-mining programs being conducted against tens of millions of law-abiding Americans. Outside of the random drive by denunciations of Snowden as a "traitor" by the criminal political class there has been an absence of the sort of breaking stories of unconstitutional malevolence by the American Stasi, most of them the work of the award winning journalist Glenn Greenwald. That is about to change as Mr. Greenwald's long awaited book on Snowden and the NSA entitled "No Place to Hide" is due to come out on Tuesday.
Therefore the uptick in smearing Snowden is a predictable response by the rogue state and its foreign partners in crime and I have no doubt that this weekend's Sunday morning bloviation circuit will be filled with the most vile freaks that the US political system has to offer with all of them peddling the usual unproven horseshit that Snowden is a Russian spy. The point man in the coming attack is former NSA commandant General Keith Alexander, the man with the Star Trek fetish and a seething contempt for the US Constitution.  The now retired Alexander, who has previously called for the control and censorship of the media (and these pigs call Putin an authoritarian?) surfaced in an extended interview for the Australian Financial Review to launch the line of attack that Mr. Snowden is being manipulated by Russian intelligence. It is never mentioned thought that Snowden only ended up in Russia because the freedom loving Obama administration revoked his passport and was closing in on the man for one of those now as American as apple pie extraordinary renditions. Snowden fled Hong Kong and was holed up in Moscow's airport transit area for weeks until the demonized Russian leader offered him temporary asylum.
Rather than attempt to pick through Alexander's hogwash myself I excerpt from the fine piece on the Australian interview done by Greenwald over at The Intercept entitled "Keith Alexander Unplugged: on Bush/Obama, 1.7 million stolen documents and other matters":
The just-retired long-time NSA chief, Gen. Keith Alexander, recently traveled to Australia to give a remarkably long and wide-ranging interview with an extremely sycophantic “interviewer” with The Australian Financial Review. The resulting 17,000-word transcript and accompanying article form a model of uncritical stenography journalism, but Alexander clearly chose to do this because he is angry, resentful, and feeling unfairly treated, and the result is a pile of quotes that are worth examining, only a few of which are noted below:
AFR: What were the key differences for you as director of NSA serving under presidents Bush and Obama? Did you have a preferred commander in chief?
Gen. Alexander: Obviously they come from different parties, they view things differently, but when it comes to the security of the nation and making those decisions about how to protect our nation, what we need to do to defend it, they are, ironically, very close to the same point. You would get almost the same decision from both of them on key questions about how to defend our nation from terrorists and other threats.
The almost-complete continuity between George W. Bush and Barack Obama on such matters has been explained by far too many senior officials in both parties, and has been amply documented in far too many venues, to make it newsworthy when it happens again. Still, the fact that one of the nation’s most powerful generals in history, who has no incentive to say it unless it were true, just comes right out and states that Bush and The Candidate of Change are “very close to the same point” and “you would get almost the same decision from both of them on key questions” is a fine commentary on a number of things, including how adept the 2008 Obama team was at the art of branding.
The fact that Obama, in 2008, specifically vowed to his followers angered over his campaign-season NSA reversal that he possessed “the firm intention — once I’m sworn in as president — to have my Attorney General conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future” only makes that point a bit more vivid.
This underlines a point that I have spent endless hours of frustration attempting to convince my liberal friends of in that Obama is simply a more refined extension of Bush and that in reality very little has actually changed - except for the worse - since the pope of hope was elected. The warrantless surveillance continues, the Wall Street gamblers and connected corporate parasites continue to feed at the taxpayer funded trough, our civil liberties continue to be diminished and the war machine keeps running. Then there is also Obama's escalation of the drone assassination programs, the precedent set for the extrajudicial killing of a US citizen and not even Bush would be so vile as to not speak out in condemnation of that atrocity that took place in Odessa last week where US backed neo-Nazi militias ambushed and slaughtered a yet to be determined number of anti-austerity protesters then set the trade union hall in which it took place on fire.
I look forward to the Tuesday release of the Greenwald book once again putting a spotlight on the cockroaches at the mammoth nest in Fort Meade and the scumbags in Washington who provide cover for this most un-American of agencies and its ongoing fascist conduct.