New Snowden Release: U.S. and U.K. Spied on Allies During G-20

The Guardian disclosed more information from Edward Snowden today. The U.S. and U.K. spied on their allies at the G-20 summit in 2009, by intercepting telephone lines and email.

Foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts, according to documents seen by the Guardian. Some delegates were tricked into using internet cafes which had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their email traffic.

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    While I would be surprised if every host (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by caseyOR on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 10:40:42 PM EST
    country was not doing this kind of thing, bringing it out in the open will be upsetting to many.

    Now each country will have to act all innocent and hurt and angry about being spied on by the Brits and the U.S. And they probably are angry that the practice is now public knowledge because people may start asking their governments just what is being done by their government.

    Of course, not all nations have the reach and capability of the U.S. and its overlord the NSA.

    Hear, Hear... (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 08:56:29 AM EST
    now that what has long been assumed is being proven, maybe we can all cut the sh*t?  It's really no way to treat your friends, and it's expensive.  We need austerity for spooks, not mooks.

    This expected revelation reminds me (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by shoephone on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 12:27:24 AM EST
    of more than one episode of the British spy drama "Spooks" (known as "MI-5" over here). I agree with Casey: they all spy on each other, and now they get to feign horror over it.

    It is a funny coincidence, however, that the G-8 is about to meet...

    Just wondering (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by lentinel on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 08:37:59 AM EST
    how spying on your "allies" can be considered a national security issue....

    It is to laugh.

    Our government has become the mob.

    Maybe it all took the definitive step during the time of the Kennedy assassination.

    John Gotti said that there would come a time when we would wish that the mob as he and his associates ran it was still in place...
    That time is either here or fast approaching.

    I give you Jonathan Pollard.. (none / 0) (#57)
    by jondee on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 02:30:50 PM EST
    and who's been a closer ally to Israel than the U.S?

    Nations operate out of the same unsustainable, neo-Darwinian, paranoid, survival-of-the-fittest paradigm that's still promulgated in the schools of business and economics. The corporate paradigm: competition and "market share" over cooperation and information sharing..all the way.

    This might as might as well be the 18-effing-80s..


    Somehow I never knew that (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 07:42:40 PM EST
    "transparent" was synonymous with the word secret. I always viewed it more as an antonym.

    Obama: NSA secret data gathering "transparent"

    You must (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by lentinel on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 07:46:02 PM EST
    brush up on your Orwell.

    War is peace.

    Freedom is slavery.

    Transparency is opaque.


    More transparency by our government (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:43:10 AM EST
    Senate Intel Committee Blocks Former Staffer From Talking To Press About Oversight Process

    The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has taken the unusual step of actively blocking a former committee aide from talking to TPM about congressional oversight of the intelligence community. At issue isn't classified sources and methods of intelligence gathering but general information about how the committee functions -- and how it should function. The committee's refusal to allow former general counsel Vicki Divoll to disclose unclassified information to a reporter was the first and only time it has sought to block her from making public comments, based on her experience as one of its most senior aides, since she left Capitol Hill in 2003.
    The fact that the Committee is so sensitive about disclosing not only sensitive national security information, but also the nature by which elected officials are allowed to oversee the intelligence community, is a testament to the extreme levels of secrecy tied to the entire process. link

    I've never (none / 0) (#44)
    by Edger on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:48:44 PM EST
    had any problem at all seeing through him. Do others?

    Apparently, many others... (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by shoephone on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:03:56 PM EST
    "Go figyah!" as my mom would have said.

    Obama goes on tthe offensive, (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:53:46 AM EST
    chatting with Charlie Rose about the NSA programs:

    Video and transcript here.

    Here's my problem: I don't believe him, I don't believe Clapper, I don't believe Robert Mueller, I don't believe John Brennan.  I think there's been a lot of time devoted to confusing the public and using weasel words to shift the focus and create an appearance of nothing-to-see-here.

    I think this:

    I've stood up a privacy and civil liberties oversight board, made up of independent citizens including some fierce civil libertarians. I'll be meeting with them. And what I want to do is to set up and structure a national conversation, not only about these two programs, but also the general problem of data, big data sets, because this is not going to be restricted to government entities.

    is all about having the "national conversation" HE wants to have, which won't be the one we need to have, the one we're actually trying to have, in between all the noise being made by the media, most of the members of which are proving themselves to be good little government propagandists.  

    I guess he's running scared, as well he should be.  There was no interest in a "national conversation" when they were going after Thomas Drake and John Kiriakou and William Binney, so what's different?

    What, indeed.

    For anyone who has ever enter a telephone (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 02:58:40 PM EST
    number into the Reverse Phone Lookup function in the on-line white pages, this should be extremely obvious:

    One of the most bizarre defenses of the NSA program collecting Americans' phone metadata is the claim it is not so bad because they are not actively linking the phone numbers to individuals. It appears to be a talking point because I have now seen it made several times....
    Even if the NSA is collecting this metadata without account information, which I doubt, it is comically easy for anyone to link the vast majority of phone numbers to individual people or businesses. It does not even require access to special government or private databases. A basic Google or yellow pages search alone is normally sufficient.

    Probably the only reason the NSA might not automatically link phone numbers to individuals in the metadata is because they know anyone can quickly and easily do that with public data. This tiny technical distinction shouldn't comfort anyone. link

    And.... (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 04:17:04 PM EST
    ...if your goal is to catch criminals, at some point you have to link information to a name.  How else would you identify them ?  It doesn't make any sense not to retain that information.  Surely name can also provide a level of connection, like brothers or cousins.

    I think anyone who believes a secret government program that has the ability to record data, isn't, is pretty damn naive.

    They tapped the big four because they believe terrorists are exchanging terrorist plot messages using family plans on Tmobile ?  Seems to me they would be more likely to be on some no-name carrier with an phone that doesn't require identifying oneself.  Why collect data on providers, who for the most part, cater to law abiding citizens that provide identification.

    And lastly, if their original claim that the program has to be secretive to be effective is true, then it can no longer be effective and should be shut down.  More likely, they lied about, like they do with so much, claiming secrecy which allows them little oversight.  

    Politicians are the worse kind of oversight because no one wants to be labeled as weak on terrorism.  Their very livelihood is dependent on going with the flow, rights don't even enter the equation.  Obviously.


    It's just a higher tech version (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by jondee on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 04:39:00 PM EST
    of what's basically been going on since the Cold War..

    "We're at war", so be afraid, be very, very afraid..Loose lips sink ships..

    The tragic and pathetic part is that to a large extent it's true..

    As the man said, the danger in spending your time fighting monsters is that you become one yourself.


    Domestic surveillance-FDR did it (none / 0) (#42)
    by Politalkix on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 07:16:07 PM EST
    I realize that's all you've got (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by sj on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 03:11:54 AM EST
    but it still amounts to nothing. Less than nothing. Multiple wrongs do not make a right.

    Executive is supposed to enforce the law (none / 0) (#38)
    by vicndabx on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:16:30 AM EST
    Why not turn to CSPAN 3 and learn what the NSA & FBI are actually doing?

    Russ Tice on Boilingfrogspost.com (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by MsAnnaNOLA on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 09:56:23 AM EST


    They will be making the interview public soon, but everyone must listen to this interview. They are tapping everyone they can who is in power or soon will be. Those people are being specifically targeted. Judges, congress people, candidates for congress, high military officials. Please go listen to this as the post becomes public. They are lying that there has been no abuse. Have you been wondering why Congress can't even pass laws on things 70% of Americans agree on? I think we have found our answer folks. Blackmail must be going on.

    Russ also makes a great point about potential future leaders who are being tapped right now and no one knows it. So you are a young cocky guy or girl in college and say or do something stupid. Zoom forward 10 or 20 years. They run for office. Well guess what they have you and all your friends and relatives on tape talking about how stupid you are. Plus, they have everything you have done since then as well. They have tracked the location of your cell phone as you have visited your mistress or a brothel or a sex club. They also have this information on your whole family and friends. So if your kid did a computer crime like Aaron Schwartz and they could charge him with 35 years, well they could just selectively not prosecute in exchange for "favors", favorable votes, funding, looking the other way. You name it.

    Ah ...the fearsome "they" (none / 0) (#63)
    by christinep on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 09:15:21 PM EST
    In every century & in every culture, the cabalists talk of the fearsome they.  They & their conspiracies, uh!  Yoiks!

    Funny there is... (none / 0) (#3)
    by heidelja on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 03:00:04 AM EST
    ...never any mention that those governments "victimized" by the "spying" never used data encryption which prevents their messages from being quickly interpreted.

    Snowden is now starting (none / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 11:36:42 AM EST
    to reveal specific information that can harm the country.

    His motives are now starting to out.

    Thank (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 11:43:05 AM EST
    you Dick Cheney. I'm guessing you think he should be put in prison too.

    Harm the country how? (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 11:58:04 AM EST
    Are you talking about a "what we don't know won't hurt us" type of thing?  I think what we haven't known has hurt us quite a bit, and even gotten people killed.

    If our G20 buddies now know we have spied upon them, and that hurts us, then we shouldn't have spied on them in the first place.  No wonder we're despised, we're sneaky backstabbing bastards who can't be trusted to attend a summit in good faith.  Now maybe every country is the same, but that don't make it ok, and I thought we were supposed to better.  A beacon of truth and justice and all that other bullsh&t.


    He blames Obama (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 12:10:29 PM EST

    The man who admitted leaking classified documents about U.S. surveillance programs purportedly went online live on Monday to declare the truth would come out even if he is jailed or killed, and said President Barack Obama did not fulfill his promises and expanded several "abusive" national security initiatives.

    According to the Guardian newspaper, Edward Snowden answered questions in an online chat about why he revealed details of the National Security Agency's secret surveillance of U.S. citizens.

    Snowden said he did so because Obama campaigned for the presidency on a platform of ending abuses. But instead, he said Obama "closed the door on investigating systemic violations of law, deepened and expanded several abusive programs, and refused to spend the political capital to end the kind of human rights violations like we see in Guantanamo, where men still sit without charge."

    Snowden also wrote that he had to get out of the United States before the leaks were published by the Guardian and Washington Post to avoid being targeted by the government.

    Lucky (none / 0) (#12)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 12:26:58 PM EST
    That Obama is president..  Had he not been elected we would not know about any of this stuff.

    Who would have guessed he would be reason that the public got to find out tippity top government secrets?


    Funny how that worked out... (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 12:41:04 PM EST
    Mr. Transparent was so lacking in transparency he motivated a NSA contractor computer geek like Snowden to risk his freedom, if not his life, to disinfect via sunlight.  

    What dimension of chess is that exactly?  I'm impressed! ;)


    I thought he had previously said (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by nycstray on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 12:43:18 PM EST
    that he had thought about revealing this issue before, but waited because Obama was elected?

    Exactly (none / 0) (#13)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 12:34:15 PM EST
    For me, (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by lentinel on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 12:56:03 PM EST
    the simple truth is that "programs" such as this, and legislation like the patriot act, are the things that are harming the country.

    They are disfiguring the country.
    They are making it unrecognizable.


    Lentinel (1.00 / 3) (#43)
    by Politalkix on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:57:50 PM EST
    Without intending to be too sarcastic, I personally think that the President should appoint an FBI director like J. Edgar Hoover to reassure people like you that he is not "shredding the Constitution" every day. You see, J. Edgar Hoover was the Director of the FBI during the era of some favorite Presidents in this forum-FDR, Truman, JFK, LBJ. Domestic surveillance programs run by our intelligence services, in those decades, hounded people like Charlie Chaplin, Martin Luther King and many well known and not so well known names.
    Such an appointment may make you feel that the country is not getting "disfigured" or becoming "unrecognizable".

    I can't speak for lentinel, but I can tell you (5.00 / 4) (#47)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:05:59 PM EST
    that some of us don't decide whether something is right or wrong based on the party affiliation of the person or persons behind it, but by our own beliefs about what is right and what is wrong.

    I've read your comment multiple times, and I can't decide what your point is - that presidents have been supportive of domestic surveillance for decades, so we should just accept what's being done now?  That if a president we like does something it's okay?

    I guess you haven't figured out that it's the overreaching from the past that has set the precedents and paved the way for the overreaching of today - and as long as we keep finding reasons to go along with it, excuse it, justify it, it not only will continue, but 20, 30, 50, 100 years from now, someone will probably make the same kind of inane argument you're making here.

    And it will be just as wrong then as it is now.


    Apparently, the point is this: (5.00 / 4) (#49)
    by shoephone on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 11:36:27 PM EST
    Because liberals revere FDR for the New Deal,  somehow that means liberals are forever linked to everything FDR did -- including keeping Hoover at the helm of the FBI. And then there was Truman and his buck-stops-here slogan, which all liberals loved, so they're forever tied to Truman, even though he kept Hoover at the FBI. And then there's that crazy LBJ, who pushed Medicare and the civil rights bill through, and  so liberals are forever tied to him -- even though he ginned up one of the biggest military debacles of all time, and ya know, the liberals are too stupid to remember that ('cause they're just a bunch of f*cking r*tards).

    Oh, and no one should dare complain about Obama trashing our civil liberties because... Hoover. Or something like that. We're all supposed to ignore the fact the Hoover, despite all his nutty, paranoid, fascist tactics, was actually supported by Congress for about fifty years, until the day he died...

    Kind of wacky logic, I know. But there ya have it.


    My points are very simple (2.33 / 3) (#48)
    by Politalkix on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 11:28:38 PM EST
    (1) The "over reaching" of today has not been proven yet.
    (2) The situation regarding civil liberties and domestic surveillance is a lot better now than it was in the past.
    (3) In my opinion, many posters in this blog have created a bubble universe for themselves which is not really based on facts; it is very similar to what tea partiers have done for themselves. They have a very sanitized view of history and a very paranoid vision of the present. For eg: a tea partier fervently believes that the President has exponentially increased the deficit whereas he has actually reduced it. Similarly, there are a lot of posters here who have convinced themselves that the President is indiscriminately killing Americans with drones, increased our military engagements and the civil liberties of Americans are in worse shape than it has ever been when nothing is further from the truth. Like tea partiers they will casually and heatedly level charges that the President is shredding the constitution. Facts however indicate that the President has ended the war in Iraq, is on his way to ending another war in Afghanistan (I read today that even the Taliban seems to be willing to enter negotiations in Qatar with American encouragement), has been able to neutralize efforts by Netanyahu and his American supporters to draw America into a war with Iran (things hopefully will get better now with election of the new President in Iran), has still managed to keep us out of war in Syria (the President is getting criticized even by Bill Clinton in this regard). There has been endless criticism of the President about the AfPak war. However BHO specifically mentioned during his first campaign that he would increase our engagement there so that we could responsibly pull out (to put things in proper perspective, even Howard Dean, who campaigned in 2004 as the candidate from the Democratic wing of the Democratic party said that he would increase his engagement in AfPak if he became President). On issues regarding civil liberties and non-discrimination of people, we are in better shape than we have ever been.
    Nobody has said that everything is perfect and things should not be improved; however it really becomes very difficult to even have a conversation with people who are so vehemently suspicious of the President regarding every action he takes.

    Let's go through your points (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by shoephone on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 11:45:47 PM EST
    1. Not proven yet at all -- especially considering that, in 2011, the FISA slapped down the Obama administration for illegally spying on Americans, but we citizens are not allowed to know how or why, because the 86-page decision is being held hostage from public view by Obama.

    2. That is a purely subjective opinion,not borne out by fats, And, by the way, what does "in the past" mean? Sounds rather vague...

    3. The liberals-are-just-like-tea-partiers! trope doesn't further discussion. It just lays there like a dried out, used up insult.

    Your first two points generated a (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by Anne on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 06:46:45 AM EST
    "wow - really?" from me, and your third point seemed a little too superficial to take seriously.

    You and I aren't going to agree on this, but I do want to make a couple of points myself.

    First, the whole point of executive power is that each president accrues his own on top of that which his predecessor established, and Obama is no exception.  The efforts to demonize and punish anyone who has tried to blow the whistle on government actions, and the current mad scramble to assemble lots of men in uniforms to try to scare us into accepting the impermissible loss of privacy should tell you something - but I'm sure the "something" it tells you is not the same "something" it tells me.

    Second, if the "better shape" of the state of non-discrimination of people is a reference to gay rights, I think you are leaving out the part where the concerted, focused and relentless efforts of the gay and civil/human rights communities/supporters are the reason things are in better shape - I see no indication that without that effort, Obama - the man who didn't support same-sex marriage until these efforts forced him to "evolve" - would ever have been part of these changes.

    Third, I don't have any idea how you make the claim that the state of domestic surveillance is better than it was in the past.  There are newer, bigger, more comprehensive data collection programs than ever before, and the oversight is looking more and more like the rubber-stamp kind.  In my opinion, oversight cannot be effective if even the people supposed to be doing it don't have all the information.

    Fourth, I don't think people have protested the fact that the drone killing of Americans is indiscriminate - which would imply that they'd be okay with discriminate drone killing - I think their objection is to the fact that it is very discriminate and wholly without due process.  Do I really have to say that the lack of due process is not exactly a sign of a commitment to constitutional and civil rights?  Maybe I do.

    Fifth, the noises being made about Syria are not encouraging to me and I feel we are just being prepared for eventual US involvement.  What
    I'm hearing out of Afghanistan isn't brightening my day, either, and I have no idea what to make of our working with/trying to eradicate relationship with the Taliban.

    Finally, I don't trust Obama because he's given me no reason to trust him; for every instance you can give me where he did what he said he would do, I can probably find ten where he said one thing and did just the opposite.  


    Anne (3.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Politalkix on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:51:23 PM EST
    There is no point in debating with you because it is clear to me that you have a closed mind when it comes to the current President.
    Let me just touch on the subject of non-discrimination of people since you wrote some lines about it. You seem to be getting a heart burn to give the President any credit for pushing legislation to advance the right of gays and lesbians towards achieving equality. You never get tired of writing long posts about the President's "lack of leadership" on any subject. What can you say then if I point out that even the most relentless efforts by liberal congressmen, activists, african americans and even his wife Eleanor could not push FDR to support anti-lynching legislation. link ? Was that an exhibition of leadership on FDR's part or a display of a nation in "better shape" on issues of civil liberties and non-discrimination?
    Even with a Democratic super majority in Congress and huge support of the people, FDR let J. Edgar Hoover run wild (Hoover's powers increased manifold during the FDR administration), increased domestic surveillance and refused to support anti-lynching legislation. People of various political and ethnic backgrounds were hounded by the FBI and Japanese-Americans were subjected to internment, etc. Yet, in your mind you seem to believe that our country is in worse shape now than it was before on issues relating to civil liberties and non-discrimination.
    IMO, you have some blind spots in your mind that you are not aware of that really needs fixing to have a reasonable debate.
    Despite all the horrible things that I mentioned which occurred during FDR's presidency, I still think of FDR as one of the best Presidents of our country because I do not let personal emotions color my judgement.

    J. Edgar Hoover (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by lentinel on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 05:59:16 AM EST
    didn't have much respect for anything or anybody but himself imo.
    He had little if any regard or even awareness of the Constitution.

    He used his office to intimidate and sometimes blackmail people whose politics (or personal lives) he wished to exploit or condemn.

    There wasn't a single president who didn't fear him, except maybe JKF and we know what happened to him.

    But I don't see the relevance of Hoover's ugly tenure to the issue of the similarly abhorrent practices of today.

    Hoover disfigured the country.
    He was a nightmare.

    Similarly, the actions of the NSA, the patriot act and similar laws disfigure the country and the constitution.

    Do any of the politicians in power today resemble, say, Frankin who warned us that if we give up liberty in the quest of some security, we will deserve neither?

    Todays' Obama tells us that we have to have some "inconvenience" (warrantless tapping of our conversations) in order to be protected from terrorists. Hardly and echo of Franklin. Obama is an unrecognizable descendant of those who founded this country. So were, to greater and lesser extents, all of the Presidents you mentioned.

    We have drifted from being the land of the free and the home of the brave into a state of being the land of the monitored and the home of the frightened.


    You Should Probably Replace... (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 10:52:01 AM EST
    ...the word sarcastic with stoooopid.

    And I love ho you associate Hoover with one party, you forgot Ike and Nixon, but I am sure that was not a mistake.

    Why this infatuation with FDR, he's been out of office for nearly 70 years.  You are the only person who keeps inferring that somehow Obama is justified because FDR did it.  It's beyond ridiculous.  No one is condoning FDR, but I will say, the capabilities in 1940 to spying on citizens was in antiquity when compared to 2013.  IOW, the comparison is ridiculous, it's paper files to interconnected databases with near unlimited space.

    For someone who despises liberals and democrats so much you sure like to defend Obama's actions in this matter.  It's remarkable how you slur the party in one breathe then defend it's policies in another.


    Here are some answers (1.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Politalkix on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 09:24:26 PM EST
    for you, Scott....
    (1) Why did I not mention Ike or Nixon?
    Ans) Ofcourse, I did not forget them! I would have mentioned them if I was debating Jim or Slado or any Republican or if I thought that these 2 Presidents had a high favorability rating among the people I was engaging with. I did not associate one party with Hoover, all I did was drive a giant truck through the argument that the country was in better shape on issues of non-discrimination and civil liberties in an earlier era.
    (2) Why this infatuation with FDR?
    Ans) I am surprised that you are asking this question because the only constant theme when it comes to politics in Talk Left is the lament that BHO sucks or is a coward or has no spine and should have learnt what leadership means at FDR's feet. I could only make the points regarding issues relating to civil liberties and non-discrimination that I made using examples of Presidents that people in this forum admire. If I was posting in Red State, I would have used the example of Reagan, Nixon and Ike.
    (3) Foreign and domestic intelligence services during FDR's presidency used the best available technology of its time for surveillance purposes. The same is being done now. It seems your argument has moved from legal, "constitutional" and moral grounds to "but there has been such an improvement in surveillance technology" from FDR's time to now. In my mind, you have already lost the argument you were making.
    (4) Only some one with a fertile imagination can say that I "despise" liberals and democrats! I do not even "despise" tea partiers. I just happen to think that they have closed their minds to the reality around them so much so that they are at risk of becoming antiquated. I do not want the same thing happening to democrats or liberals.

    FDR, Hoover, FDR, Hoover.... (4.20 / 5) (#45)
    by shoephone on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:02:41 PM EST
    Nice diversions.

    please specify what harm (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by kmblue on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 02:34:27 PM EST
    beyond red faces in the U.S. of A.

    Duck & Cover? (none / 0) (#8)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 11:44:02 AM EST
    I have an acquaintance who (none / 0) (#11)
    by Repack Rider on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 12:12:52 PM EST
    has asked me not to relate any of the ROFL stories about her embarrassing public behavior.  I told her that if she does not want embarrassing but true stories told about her, she shouldn't do embarrassing stuff in public.

    I guess this is why you are an (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 03:52:17 PM EST
    "acquaintance" and not a "friend."  

    Isn't there a difference (none / 0) (#19)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 03:41:08 PM EST
    between relating a funny anecdote about a friend to a few other friends over drinks, and publishing the same story on the internet?

    Friendly spying? (none / 0) (#17)
    by hefty lefty on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 01:19:51 PM EST
    This has been going on since Herbert Yardley's time and nobody in the know should be surprised.

    I don't (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by lentinel on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 07:48:50 PM EST
    think anybody's surprised - least of all any of our "allies".

    But that's not gonna stop them from trying to put a guy in jail for life for revealing that which is no surprise to anyone.


    I was fortunate enough... (none / 0) (#25)
    by unitron on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 09:58:42 PM EST
    ...to come upon a paperback copy of The American Black Chamber a couple 3 decades ago.

    Very interesting stuff, although I fear old Herb was more oriented toward "whatever it takes" (especially if it's something especially clever, and therefore more fun) than adhering to whatever laws placed restraints on the scope of his efforts.


    I'm getting a little fuzzy... (none / 0) (#26)
    by unitron on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 10:06:47 PM EST
    ...on just what his motives/principles are.

    From the NY Times (none / 0) (#27)
    by Politalkix on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 05:41:43 AM EST
    Meh (none / 0) (#28)
    by Yman on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 05:51:15 AM EST
    The sole portion of that editorial piece merely gave their own interpretation of a single sentence Snowden made with the latest information released:

    "Congress hasn't declared war on the countries," he wrote. "The majority of them are our allies, but without asking for public permission, N.S.A. is running network operations against them that affect millions of innocent people."

    So apparently he believes that the United States shouldn't engage in spying except for countries with which it is at war. Of course, we're not at war with any countries right now, only with Al Qaeda and its allies, so that would mean shutting down all non-terror spying activities.

    the more time goes on (none / 0) (#31)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 06:25:29 AM EST
    the more he seems to be another "hate america firster".... a semi liberalish/libertarianish dilettante with delusions of his own importance. At first I thought he was doing a good thing letting people know what the government was doing. Know I am not so sure this isn't just all about him. He seems to be holding on to information for his own advantage like some sort of blackmail scheme. ps... I hate the phrase "hate america first" but sadly it has proved useful when talking about a group of people so naive they believe almost everywhere on earth is more noble.

    Did you read the Q & A at the Guardian? (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 07:46:01 AM EST
    If not, it's here.

    Also, consider this, from Rayne at emptywheel:

    The truth is this:

    •  Others before Snowden tried to go through so-called chain of command or proper channels to complain about the National Security Agency's domestic spying, or to refuse the NSA's efforts to co-opt them or their business. These efforts did not work.

    •  They were obstructed, harassed, or punished for their efforts. It did not matter whether they were insiders or outsiders, whistleblowers or plaintiffs, the results were the same for:

    •  William Binney,
    •  Thomas Drake,
    •  Mark Klein,
    •  Thomas Tamm,
    •  Russell Tice,
    •  and J. Kirk Wiebe,
    •  as well as Joseph Nacchio.

    •  The effort to spy on Americans, violating their privacy and taking their communications content, has been underway since before the Bush administration. (Yes, you read that right: BEFORE the Bush administration.)

    •  Three presidents have either failed to stop it or encouraged it (Yes, including Bill Clinton with regard to ECHELON).

    •  The program has been growing in physical size for more than a decade.

    If you have time, read the excerpt she provides from the Amended Complaint in the Groundbreaker lawsuit...and if you have more time, read the complaint itself.

    Finally, I don't think someone who hates America says that this country is worth dying for, which Snowden says in the Q & A.

    I don't get the feeling that he thinks this is all about him, other than that he hopes what he is doing - taking the whistleblower efforts of those before him, and improving on them such that the focus can be more on what the whistle's being blown on than about silencing that whistle - will have more success in that regard.


    NOW (none / 0) (#33)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 06:37:43 AM EST
    Now I am not so sure......jeesh

    "The useful idiot" (none / 0) (#29)
    by Politalkix on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 05:53:11 AM EST
    A silly, misleading headline (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Yman on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 06:16:11 AM EST
    Not to mention an incorrect use of the phrase "useful idiot".  The author is using the phrase to illustrate (in his opinion) that Snowden's latest statement gave ammunition to his enemies, as opposed to what the phrase really means - people who are used cynically by the leaders of a cause they do not understand.

    both uses (none / 0) (#32)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 06:36:31 AM EST
    are correct, and actually very similar if you think about it.

    Giving your detractors ammunition ... (none / 0) (#35)
    by Yman on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:33:06 AM EST
    ... to be used against you is not a correct use of the phrase.  In the proper use of the phrase, one case you're talking about someone who is unwittingly being duped into helping a cause they do not understand, usually helping a malignant cause that they naively believe is a good cause.  

    I don't know if Snowden was right or not to do what he did, but that's not how the author of the article is using the phrase, and there is no evidence that it applies to Snowden.


    Obama speaking at Brandenburg gate (none / 0) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:11:42 AM EST
    Berlin not showing up to see him this time like they did when he was candidate Obama, the spying issues are suspected to be the reason why.

    No 20,000? (none / 0) (#56)
    by jbindc on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 11:07:30 AM EST
    Or even the 200,000, as claimed by the campaign?

    Germans also do not like it (none / 0) (#61)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 01:52:21 PM EST
    when he tells them not to impose austerity in Europe.

    Wow (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 03:44:14 PM EST
    Obama is acting like he all of a sudden became the reincarnation of FDR..  guess he learned from his mistakes in the US. Pretty amazing, considering his lack of spending here. Oh, he did spend on the banks, but somehow I do not think that is what he is advising Merkel to do.