Edward Snowden

US Senate IP Caught Defacing Edward Snowden's Wikipedia Entry

Usually the only wiki we associate with Edward Snowden is WikiLeaks. However, in a hilarious turn of events, an IP address linked to the United States Senate was caught defacing Edward Snowden's Wikipedia article last evening. The "less than neutral" edit was to change the lead sentence from this:



Where is Edward Waldo Snowden? w/ BONUS Forced Landing of Bolivia President's Jet by US Allies.

*** Reprinted with permission from Pluto. Thank you.

At some point in time, Edward Snowden presumably passed into the Transit Zone of Sheremetyevo Airport, which serves connecting passengers traveling via Moscow to onward destinations. It also serves passengers departing from Moscow who have already passed through security checks.

Just like any other international airport terminal.

The Sheremetyevo Transit and Departure Zone is essentially a long corridor. On one side are the boarding gates. The other side is lined with duty free shops, boutiques, souvenir stores, lounges, and restaurants.

Exiting the Transit Zone would either require boarding a plane or passing through border control. Both exits require a valid passport or other documentation.

The Transit Zone also has dozens of plain doors, most labeled “authorized personnel only.” A person could be whisked through these doors and removed from the area through back doors or corridors.

Just like any other international airport terminal.

Could Edward Snowden still be in the Transit Zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport?



US & NSA Accused of Criminal Privacy Violations in Dozens of Nations - Snowden Blowback

*** Reprinted with permission from Pluto. Thank you.

Do you remember this story from last September?

It wasn't a big story in the US, but the rest of the world took a keen and somewhat alarmed interest in it. It's the beginning point -- the first clue -- that something was very much amiss in America:

WASHINGTON, Sept 4, (AFP): A hacker group has claimed to have obtained personal data from 12 million Apple iPhone and iPad users by breaching an FBI computer, raising concerns about government tracking.

The group called AntiSec, linked to the hacking collective known as Anonymous, posted one million Apple user identifiers on Monday purported to be part of a larger group of 12 million obtained from an FBI laptop.

Contacted by AFP, FBI spokeswoman Jenny Shearer said: “We’re not commenting.”

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


It seems AntiSec had stumbled upon a tiny piece of the vast NSA "global" spying dragnet that was collecting private data profiles on ordinary citizens-- not only in the US, but throughout the world.

Ten months later, halfway around the world, Edward Snowden was monitoring the systems that were collecting this illegally accessed very private citizen data. And the data was not just from ordinary Americans and Chinese, but from all our friends and allies -- Germany, Australia, Canada, Scandinavia, Latin and South America, and many others.



Historian Rick Perlstein Uses the Nation to Whine About My Tweet

I have to admit, I was surprised to be notified that Historian Rick Perlstein of Nixonland fame, devoted an entire column in the Nation to two tweets replying to him; one from myself and one from another commentator on twitter. It's also surprising, because I have been a fan of some of what Perlstein has written in the past, and I have cited him before. However, after this, I and certainly a lot of other people surprised at this lack of professionalism from an established writer, won't do it again.

After all, one doesn't normally read columns by established historians devoting entire pieces to complaints about tweets they received or people on twitter. Especially, one tweet that was merely a question about a widely cited article at CNET. I certainly don't know why Rick Perlstein was so offended by that to devote an entire piece in the Nation to mine and one other tweet he received. I have to wonder if he realizes how unprofessional he looks by doing so. The excellent responses to Perlstein's shoddy piece in the comments section certainly speak to that.

On Glenn Greenwald and His Fans

Read another tweet:

“NSA admits listening to U.S. phone calls without warrants cnet.co/1agOFCy via @CNET What say you, @RickPerlstein ?”

I think we can detect here an accusatory tone, especially given the way the tweeter, “therealpriceman,” fawns over Glenn Greenwald generally. (Though you can never be sure on the Internet, and besides, why do people pursue political arguments on Twitter anyway? I’ll never understand how, for instance, “When u talk gun violence lk in mirror PA here we cling to guns-apologz to PRES O”—another tweet directed my way, apparently somehow meant to respond to this—could possibly contribute anything useful to our common political life.) I detect in this message: even the NSA says you’re wrong about Glenn Greenwald, so when are you going to apologize? And if I’m reading right, that’s some really smelly stupidity. Because the whole point of my original post was that there was plenty Greenwald had “nailed dead to rights” in his reporting. What I had in mind when I wrote that (I should have specified this, I think) was the stuff on Verizon turning over metadata to the NSA. And yet what therealpriceman links to is an article suggesting something that Greenwald has not (yet?) claimed, and which still remains controversial and undetermined: that the NSA has acknowledged that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls, a claim sourced to Representative Jerrold Nadler, which Nadler based on a classified briefing he and other Congressmen received, but which it has since been established Nadler probably just misunderstood.


And given that perspective, I would love to know why Glenn Greenwald thinks the establishment cannot do to him, a relative flyspeck in the grand scheme of things, what they did to Dan Rather, a towering giant of Washington reporting going back to Watergate. Which is: consign him to the outer darkness, where the only people who care about what he has to say are the likes of my good friends @therealpriceman and @runtodaylight.

He starts out by assuring the audience that he has thick skin, but then goes on to prove just how thin it really is. By whining for 13 paragraphs or so about criticism, criticism from a couple of tweets he received days ago, it really doesn't show the maturity he was initially hoping to espouse. So since I apparently hurt his fee fees so bad, in 140 characters or less, I'll go ahead and put his suppositions to the test.



How Whistleblowing Differs From Traditional Civil Disobedience

I have nowhere seen a claim by anyone, most pertinently not by Snowden, that US laws against revealing classified information are “unjust laws”. Snowden is making no attempt to reveal the violence of the system institutionalized through these laws. In contrast to a disenfranchised group seeking ways to draw attention to the injustice they suffer, Snowden occupied a privileged position in which he had access to information not available to the general public. Snowden’s apparent care in what to reveal and what not to reveal constitute concrete demonstration of his respect for the general need for these laws. If he is who he claims, then Snowden balanced two legal, perhaps even moral, imperatives—the one to obey every law to the letter and the other to judiciously break one law (with minimal violation of its proper purpose) in order to reveal likely unconstitutional activity, activity much more threatening to the rule of law and to democracy than would result from his carefully chosen revelations.

When those engaging in civil disobedience break long-standing, unjust laws, they expect to face a penalty for their behavior. This is not because they are masochistic or eager to martyr themselves; rather, it is because they understand that they are engaging in a campaign to raise general awareness, and that such campaigns necessarily take time. Until the culture changes, and the laws change, they are best served to entertain no illusions about the probable response of the authorities. For ultimate success, they count on public reaction to the authoritarianism and violence they expose to be, at the very least, more sympathetic than, “Well, they broke the law and now they must do their time.”



When You Support George W. Bush's Policies, like Obama, I Get to Call You a Republican

Worse than a Republican; I get to call you a fawning sellout with even less principles than the Republican security soccer moms of 2004 that we all remember before. They really believed back then, and still do, that giving up their rights was worth a sense of (fake) security. And you know what? They were more principled than anyone who writes diaries excusing neoconservative policies from the Obama administration that were unacceptable to them when they came from the George W. Bush administration.

Period. End of story. Why? The RW soccer moms didn't pretend to be outraged about this stuff during the Bush years. They have consistently supported it. So since that is an undeniable fact, I have to ask some of you how it feels to have even less principles than Republican voters who excused and supported some of the worst war crimes in history? How does it feel to enable a Justice Department that has now de facto codified some of the worst war crimes and financial crimes in history? How does it feel now that it is now exposed that, like Republican voters, you need a BS war on terror to feel safe?

How does it feel to repeat the same BS that cretins from the right did in the 2004 election to support their chosen leader? You know that fear mongering bit about "having nothing to hide so then having nothing to worry about?" That came from the RNC, and now that garbage is being recycled by people "who consider themselves Democrats or progressives based mostly on their feelings and nothing more. This similar zeitgeist all started during the run up to the Iraq war after 9/11 when the Patriot Act was passed when almost no one read the Bill in Congress.

Unlike apparently many people who didn't really mean it, I was actually horrified by what went on during those years, and yet those same policies continue under President Obama. I'm also horrified that some of the same people who call themselves Democrats are not horrified anymore.




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