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That is the prevailing argument among all those against the Iran deal that miraculously was agreed upon by the Iranian people and was accepted by American leadership.
Why are we removing sanctions to a Super-Bad country that doesn’t trust us? After all, everyone trusts America; We are a righteous country.
That is why our CIA along with the Brits overthrew Iran’s popularly elected president, Mossadegh in 1953. It would be like China sending a commando team into the White House and killing Hillary Clinton in 2016 and installing S. B. Woo. (Finally, a Delawarean become president.) We did it to Iran because we are a righteous country.
We then went on to support the violently repressive regime of the Pahlavi dynasty. Would be the equivalent of China imposing Idi Amin on us. We did it to Iran because we consider ourselves a righteous country.
After the Iranian revolution, the US supported the Iraqi regime of Sadaam Hussein in a disastrous war against Iran, going so far as to knowingly provide targeting information for the use of illegal chemical weapons by Iraq. That would be like China giving Mexico and Canada targeting information to bomb our major cities along our borders with anthrax. Of course we did it lovingly to them because as you know by now, we are a righteous country.
We also entered into a shooting war with the Iranian navy during the time leading up to the Gulf War. AND then we cheered (there is video) when we shot down a passenger airliner carrying 290 passengers, dropping all of them into the Persian Gulf? Of course. We did it out of love; you know it; because we are a righteous country.
Today our closest ally in the region is led by a right-wing neo-con (Benjamin Netanyahu) who keeps saying he sees no option but to bomb Iran…. he is our closet ally because we love him; we are a righteous country.
Israel has a couple of hundred nukes and has started several “preventive/pre-emptive wars” with first strikes against its neighbors in 1957, 1967 and 1982, not to mention targeted strikes on nuclear facilities in Iraq and Syria. We hold them as our closest ally because we love them; we are a righteous country….
Here at home, our right-wing is festooned with senior leaders who have both joked and threatened in all seriousness to bomb Iran. Again, in all seriousness, …we only threaten because we are a righteous country……
We also managed to prosecute a disastrous war with Iran’s neighbor to the west (Iraq) which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Our stated goal: regime change.. We were justified of course; we are a righteous countryand right makes might.
America is so good, one simply has to be the opposite, super-bad, to disagree with us.. If you don’t do what we say, you ARE the axis of evil. After all, America is a righteous country… There is no possible reason any nation could ever have to mistrust us…..
Yet despite this gigantic behemoth of mistrust existing between our two countries, the Obama administration was still able to hammer out a deal beneficial for both parties… That is far more of a miracle than the fact that some people out of an ancient Illuminati oath made with Netanyahu, are bent to undo it….
Truth is: we don’t need Israel; they’re nothing but trouble. Always have been; always will be. Longterm peace in the Middle East solely depends on a moderate and engaging Iran!
Silicon Valley’s role in US government surveillance has triggered public anxiety about the internet, but it turns out there is at least one tech company you can trust with your data.
Xmission, Utah’s first independent and oldest internet service provider, has spent the past 15 years resolutely shielding customers’ privacy from government snoops in a way that larger rivals appear to have not.
The Electronic Freedom Foundation called it a model for the industry….
And speaking of the EFF, yesterday a Federal judge allows the case Jewel Vrs NSA to go forward into a real court. There is nothing secret about the Constitution the judge said. Either this practice is legal or it isn’t. A court will decided.
Evidence in the case includes undisputed documents provided by former AT&T telecommunications technician Mark Klein showing AT&T has routed copies of Internet traffic to a secret room in San Francisco controlled by the NSA. The case is supported by declarations from three NSA whistleblowers along with a mountain of other evidence. The recent blockbuster revelations about the extent of the NSA spying on telecommunications and Internet activities also bolster EFF’s case.
It appears Edward Snowden tipped the balance. This has been held up 5 years because it supposedly was too secret for trial.
It is clearer now that the biggest benefactors for the NSA spying were commercial enterprises. The Obama administration went along with the Bush plan and accelerated it, primarily to give American companies a heads up, and keep jobs here. It worked too.
One can’t argue with success. But one can find how American businesses were co-opted to assist the NSA. From the Guardian, the following, allegedly from Snowden himself.
• Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal;
• The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail;
• The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide;
• Microsoft also worked with the FBI’s Data Intercept Unit to “understand” potential issues with a feature in Outlook.com that allows users to create email aliases;
• In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA boasted that a new capability had tripled the amount of Skype video calls being collected through Prism;
• Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a “team sport”.
it is revealing that the beneficiaries of the Patriot Act and probably one of the reasons it has been intact long after terrorism faded offshore, are the exact same who are suing each other left and right, using the anti-piracy laws as their barrage. It appears that laws are not for people anymore; they are for corporations. It is corporations who want the US to fund listening posts for every American word and sentence.
The only way to fix that, is to divide the corporations Teddy-Roosevelt-style, thereby giving We, the People a little more clout. …
In today’s New York Times some of the big questions get answered.. Who is looking at all that data? It’s not the government as we were led to believe…
“I’m very concerned that we have government contractors doing what are essentially governmental jobs,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said last week.
“Maybe we should bring some of that more in-house,” the House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, mused.
It’s a little late for that. Seventy percent of America’s intelligence budget now flows to private contractors. Going by this year’s estimated budget of about $80 billion, that makes private intelligence a $56 billion-a-year industry.
For decades, the N.S.A. relied on its own computer scientists, cryptographers and mathematicians to tap, decode and analyze communications .. Then came Al Gore’s internet. The NSA could not keep up. In 2000, James R. Clapper Jr., now the director of national intelligence, decided to shift away from its in-house development strategy and outsource on a huge scale.
It does. Here’s why. First, it is dangerous to have half a million people — the number of private contractors holding top-secret security clearances — peering into the lives of their fellow citizens. Contractors aren’t part of the chain of command at the N.S.A. or other agencies and aren’t subject to Congressional oversight. Officially, their only loyalty is to their company and its shareholders.
With billions of dollars of government money sloshing around, and with contractors providing advice on how to spend it, conflicts of interest and corruption are inevitable…
Third, we’ve allowed contractors to conduct our most secret and sensitive operations with virtually no oversight. This is true not only at the N.S.A. Contractors now work alongside the C.I.A. in covert operations (two of the Americans killed in Benghazi were C.I.A. contractors; we still don’t know who their employer was). Contractors were involved in secret and highly sensitive operations that by law are reserved for government operatives.
Whereas you privacy was originally thought between you and the government which was scary in itself… now we understand it was between you, your government and 500,000 private citizens just trying to make a buck anyway they can… Checked your bank balances lately?
(We told you to vote NO for the Patriot Act and its subsequent renewals… What were you all thinking?)
- In case you are waking up, you won’t get this story until noon.
Breaking News: The Daily Mail is reporting from inside sources that General Petreaus and the Ambassador Stevens were not informed that parts of the CIA had one day before, attacked the very same group of Libyan insurgents who returned the next day to attack at Benghazi. Furthermore, the Petreaus scandal was orchestrated by a rogue element of the CIA itself(7th floor) who were the ones behind the pushing of the FBI into investigating General Petreaus bedside manners.. (remember that fishiness of how the rogue FBI agent kept pushing his superiors? It makes sense now.)
Now get this. The same John Brennan who just testified to become the next CIA director, was who ordered the clandestine attacks the night before and who did not brief Petreaus, or the official side of the CIA, that they had done so.
So not only are Republicans completely wrong on Benghazi, they are now laughingstocks for every single word they said about it….
- We did know about the security threat.
- We did do something about it.
- We didn’t tell Obama, Clinton, Panetta, or Petreaus.
- All were in the dark, not to propagate deceit, but because they had no idea….
Every Republican needs to apologize to every Democrat starting now by getting down on their knees, and bowing their head to the ground in supplication… :)(Dick Morris can lick our toes).
One always fails if they bluster against competent people when all they have is their own hot air. That’s why good Democrats always win over bad Republicans.
I’m really sick today.. You see, when I was growing up, I was a history buff. I read childhood biographies of famous people, usually with the book behind the textbook while the teachers droned on and on, but once as a tyke, who upon seeing the obligatory National Park Film in the Williamsburg Visitors Center, after Patrick Henry sat down, I swore, I would always fight to protect the Constitution…. At that moment, even little as I was, I think I understood that I was temporary… But the Constitution like God, needed to be around forever…
With childish enthusiasm I imagined myself at times on the bridges of Lexington and Concord, roaming the swamps of South Carolina, and firing my muskets at King’s Mountain, and most importantly, crossing that line in the dirt on December 31, 1776 when no one else wanted to, to enlist till the end of the war.. . When it made the real difference, I said, I would step up at my own peril..
Today, I feel as George Washington must have, perched upon his horse on the New Jersey banks of the Hudson, watching the British inhabit New York and knowing there was nothing he or anyone else could do about it… Overmatched, the cause of freedom had taken a body slam.
Perhaps it is more like going back 2000 some years though. And being full of great optimism and hope for a burgeoning empire, a group of city states destined to prosper and rise, one whose morals would be impeccable, and suddenly without warning, ones best friend pulls out a knife and shoves it into your flesh and others pull out theirs, opening wounds where they can.
The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution states that …. oh damn, here it is in it’s entirety.
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Granted there have been times, particularly at war, when protecting Americans meant going against the grain of this… If someone is about to shoot you, I mean, it certainly would help if you know about it first…..
The problem with too much accumulation of information, is that once you have it, it can be used. Assurances along the lines of “I’ll never do that”… always down the line get replace with platitudes of…. ” I did it because I could…” or… ” I needed to.”
So having every thing you’ve ever done electronically in a file instantly accessed by simply typing in your name, can be a bit disconcerting… It’s a catch 22. If you have not a single demerit because you lead such a bland life, you get castigated for being a wallflower and uninteresting. On the other hand, if you take risks to live life fully, you get castigated for the errors you made… Either way, those with the power will use it to castigate you for something…. And though disguised as their trying to put you in your place, it is really their effective attempt to prove to others they wield power…
Today’s Senate voted overwhelmingly to continue the FISA Admendments Act. Like ACTA or CISPA or any other internet freedom restricting acts, had opposition been organized, it may have demanded another outcome. But today’s bill arose out of nowhere, and leadership demanded it pass, and pass it did….
Numb today, I understand the implications. It is like we chose to keep Japanese interned in concentration camps after the war was over. It is that bad.. If we are doing it for the Japanese, eventually someone argues, why not anyone else? And really, how else can one answer such an argument except to expand the offense to a greater scale?
I didn’t find about the attempted coup until waking up 3 am today. I did see outrage that Zuckerman’s picture was Twittered off a private feed! The silence over government taking our freedom, and the outrage over the release of privacy, is a stunning comparison. It begs the question: what is wrong with all of us? Shouldn’t the outrage be the other way around?
For the first time that I can find, we as a nation, have chosen to continue a war-powers act, on into peace-time. 9/11 is gone. Bin Laden is dead. We’ve preditor’d out Al Qaieda’s 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, in command. We are out of Iraq. We will soon be out of Afghanistan. We are not in a war for our nation’s survival. So why does the government need access into every American’s email, facebook account, twitter, photo’s? Why does the FBI need to show up at your facebook friends home, with a letter stating that you are under surveillance and then asking questions of their relationship with you, then forcing their silence by telling them that they can be prosecuted themselves if they even reveal to you that they’d had contact with government officials? Gee, did you ever had a friend get weird on you suddenly, like for no reason?
Should our government be allowed to do that?
According to the text of the Fourth Amendment listed above…. Absolutely Not.
And it was over before the child in me could even get his powder cartridge out of his gunnysack…
The House of Representatives passed CISPA late last night. It passed 248 – 168. Delaware’s John Carney voted for it…
Most of you know it is bad, but don’t know why…
CISPA is a bill to create better collusion between giant businesses and government. The idea came about that if China staged an attack, on banks, water towers, and the Pentagon, with the sharing of information, we would be aware it was a large scale attack in real time, and not, after each department had reported they were down.
The main force behind the bill is that it protects private companies from being sued for turning over information that was so private, it could not have been turned over under previous laws, such as the National Security Act of 1947. It also removes the protections inside the Wiretap Act and Electronic Communications Privacy Act, that helped keep our private matters private.
The fear is that without lawsuits, there will be no protection with how ones privacy issues get flung around.
Companies like Facebook, Amazon, Google and Netflix (many of which are supporting CISPA) are facing dozens of privacy-related lawsuits — CISPA might be a way to sidestep some of these.
Furthermore, the government could utilize CISPA to remove all civil liberties.
So we have all these negatives, with no positives.
The bill, as most actions passed by Congress these days, falls short in what it is supposed to do…
Obviously if we have less threats and less vulnerabilities, we have a safer Internet. So far the system has worked where if a worm appears, a patch is created to patch that hole. The vulnerabilities continue to exist, but once a patch is created, their effectivness is over.
CISPA takes a different approach. If the current system is defensive, the CISPA takes the offensive approach. The CISPA acts like our CIA, looking through every file, trying to find out as much as it can, and thereby have the patch in advance of the problem…
CISPA allows a knucklehead like me, who thinks he knows everything, to say, you know, Dave Burris has been quiet for a while. He must be up to something. And just on that flimsy pretext alone, everything of Dave’s is captured, stored, and analyzed. In todays corrupt society, all it takes is a dollar of the correct dimension, and Dave’s secrets are now the property of someone else. Dave gets mad, sues, and finds he can’t. Because of CISPA.
Just to be fair, let’s say Jason and Deldem, are both writing less. Both has said incendary things about Republicans… Suddenly, dirt, long buried, long fogotten is getting flung around. Whisper campaigns start and pretty soon, Jason and Deldem are feeling like pariahs. They have no idea why. When they find out, turns out it was over a typo. They didn’t say what they where secretly blamed. They try to sue, and sorry, can’t… it’s CISPA.
The current insurance commissioner has bad feelings about Mitch Crane. She tells the large insurers and they pull pictures out of Mitch’s file from college. Those get published and Mitch spends all his time defending his actions, he never gets to say what a crook the current insurance commissioner is…
Furthermore, as EFF point out, CISPA doesn’t help us average Americans. If a potential threat is discovered, it’s defense, is only good as long as the enemy, doesn’t know we know how to defeat it. Therefore, a patch is made, but, it must be kept secret. Just like when we cracked the code of Hitler, a lot of security went into keeping that fact secret so the code would continue…
What CISPA does, is if it finds a potential threat, it creates a patch and gives it to only a very select few. The rest of us are hung out in the wind, our computers crash, and only those, who have the secret, are up and running.
I’m sure as I’m explaining these implications, you can begin to see why the Obama Administration says it will veto this.
It shifts more power away from us to the corporate and privileged class.
In a nutshell, the principal of this bill is this: China and Russia have been protecting their cyber security for years. The communist establishment moved seamlessly into controlling the Internet of the private sector. We just started. This bill makes us more like China and Russia….
The gut felt antagonism against this bill, …. is that WE don’t want to live like Chinese of Russians….
We’re Americans… This bill will change that….
Contact John Carney here. Let him know that he needs to update himself on cyber-security and not take what he gets told for granted…. He made a mistake. A big one. If you are a Republican reading this, here is your issue. You got him.
If this bill passes, nothing of your’s, mine, or his life, is private anymore.
Comparisons to Vietnam may come up.
But Afghanistan is not Vietnam. There is no giant wall of communism that will progress if we walk.
We have to remember our mission.
Our mission was not to defeat the Taliban. Our mission may have appeared that way for a while, when the Taliban and Al Qaida were in cahoots together…. but the Taliban, kooky as they are, are Afghanistan’s equivalent to our conservative wing over here… There is no reason they and moderates cannot work together….. In retrospect, their views and those of Santorum, mimic each other perfectly.
No, our mission was to protect the Afghans…. and remove Al Qaida. The second half was accomplished last May.
So then, what is the biggest problem in Afghanistan?
It is: that a majority of its citizens don’t want us to be there…
Now if we were occupiers, that would be their tough luck. Just like the Russians, we’d throw down the gauntlet and say… “chase us out then.” and at some future point, we’d eventually leave…
So since we will leave anyway, and they don’t want us there anymore, pulling out is a win-win situation. We have a time-table to pull out and we might as well stick with it considering that all the expense, the lives laid down, the infrastructure built… are not appreciated…
Just like in Vietnam….
So expect the Republicans to capitalize on the impending collapse of Afghanistan, and say they would have stayed and fought it out.
…. Just like in Vietnam…
So, recognize that President Obama is taking the right path. If Afghans wanted to live together in peace, they could have figured it out by now… If they want to fight for the hell of it, putting American troops between the two antagonists… will make no difference in the outcome….
It is what it is….
I’m not the only one comparing Egypt with Iran (79).. Both were populist revolts against dictators, both were lifting off oppressive regimes.
As the people poured into Tehran, Carter did not give them support. We were too tied to the Shah. Thereby when he left, there was a period where the population looked around, saying “what do we do now?”
Khomeini, was in France. He quickly packed and moved back to Iran, and the mullahs, who were the only structure left in that nation, by default, became the government. One that was quite hostile to the US; and considering we supported their oppressor, one would expect they should be…
But for a moment, there was hopefullness. Perhaps here was a new American revolution, where a government was ruled by its citizens, and not … vice versa. There was jubilation, hope, and joy.
Then Khomeini set up shop, and the mullahs—and a roving army of “spiritual enforcers” known as the Revolutionary Guards—ended up substituting one autocratic regime for another. In doing so, they dashed the hopes of millions of middle class Iranians who thought the revolution would bring more freedom, not less.
Women lost the social gains they had made under the Shah, and were forced to wear head coverings and full-body cloaks called chadors. Opponents were imprisoned and tortured as ruthlessly as under the Shah. A parliamentary democracy existed mostly on paper, with true authority residing with the mullahs. With the Shah in exile, Khomeini identified the U.S. as “the Great Satan” and an “enemy of Islam.”
We seemed to be on the same track in Egypt. The Obama administration was proceeding too cautiously, voicing support for Mubarak to finish his term. That made Egyptians view us suspiciously. Was the United States unwilling to see just how hated Mubarak really was? Could they not gauge the hatred which average Egyptians felt towards this man?
Obama was pulling a Carter… Fortunately for the world, instead of a Walter Mondale, he has a Joe Biden (he’s from Delaware, you know) who steps up and speaks from the heart, as would Jackson, Lincoln, Cleveland, Truman, other leaders also cut from the common cloth…
“He stressed that the Egyptian government is responsible for ensuring that peaceful demonstrations don’t lead to violence and intimidation and for allowing journalists and human rights advocates to conduct their important work, including immediately releasing those who have been detained,
Joe Biden is needed in Egypt. The Obama team is too blind. Their backing Suleiman will backfire. He is known as “The CIA’s Man in Cairo.” for his his ardent anti-Islamism, his willingness to talk and act tough on Iran –
Mubarak knew that Suleiman would command an instant lobby of supporters at Langley and among ‘Iran nexters’ in Washington – not to mention among other authoritarian mukhabarat-dependent regimes in the region. Suleiman is a favourite of Israel too; he held the Israel dossier and directed Egypt’s efforts to crush Hamas by demolishing the tunnels that have functioned as a smuggling conduit for both weapons and foodstuffs into Gaza.
Obviously this is not what the Egyptians, those sleeping out in the cold to protest another day, crowds who stop rioting to bow their heads, ex-patriots who are abandoning their European jobs to fight for their homeland against tyranny and oppression, want…
No! America needs to be like France was to us during our similar Revolution. “What do you need?” “I have it if you can deliver?” ” can put our fleet off Yorktown for a week, can you be there?
Only then, if we support the people, … it won’t matter who becomes the ruler. Whoever it is, will be beholden to the people, a people who will love the United States of America.. … Instead of the Great Satan, we become the Great Angel…..
We can do this: and Delaware’s own Joe Biden has taken the lead. His words rippled through Tahrir square like wildfire……
On the other hand the person to whom Obama seems to be willing to throw his support, figured predominantly as Egypt’s torturer-in-chief, during the days of rendition by the US of terror suspects to extract information. At least one person extraordinarily rendered by the CIA to Egypt — Egyptian-born Australian citizen Mamdouh Habib — was reportedly tortured by Suleiman himself.
Equally embarrassing for the Obama administration, is Suleiman’s involvement in the famous torture evidence erroneously proving a link between Saddam and Al Qaeda. It was later refuted. His whereabouts were, in fact, a secret for years, until April 2009 when Human Rights Watch researchers investigating the treatment of Libyan prisoners encountered him in the courtyard of a prison. Two weeks later, on May 10, al-Libi was dead, and the Gaddafi regime claimed it was a suicide.
According to Evan Kohlmann, who enjoys favored status among US officials as an ‘al-Qaeda expert’, citing a classified source: ‘Al-Libi’s death coincided with the first visit by Egypt’s spymaster Omar Suleiman to Tripoli.
Are we putting in another Shah? Another spymaster who will torture and use fear to exert control? We’re doomed if we do…
Better to let the middle class do whatever it is they want, elect whoever it is they want…. Forget the ruler… support the people…
Joe Biden knows this….