Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart
* GLENN GREENWALD DEBATES PIERS MORGAN ON X-KEYSCORE – GREENWALD OWNS TOOBIN AGAIN
Last week on his CNN program Piers Morgan had just about finished a little speech on how you can’t have someone with a security clearance spewing classified information “on a whim” when James Risen, national security reporter for the New York Times, interrupted him: which document that’s come out don’t you want to talk about? Meaning: which of the things we’ve learned from Edward Snowden would you, as a journalist, prefer not to know? Which part of the surveillance story that’s come to light should have remained in darkness?
It was a good question. Piers Morgan did not have much of a reply.
When, on the same program, Jeffrey Toobin of the New Yorker said that public discussion about previously classified materials was “a good thing” but he still thought Edward Snowden was a criminal and shouldn’t have done what he did, Risen interrupted: “We wouldn’t be having this discussion if it wasn’t for him,” he said. “That’s the thing I don’t understand about the climate in Washington these days, is that people want to have debates on television and elsewhere, but then you want to throw the people who start the debates in jail.”
* AMERICA’S EMERGING POLICE STATE: A BRIEF HISTORY
By Justin Raimondo, InformationClearingHouse
As Congress and the American people grapple with the fallout from Edward Snowden’s stunning revelations – which continue to come in, thanks to Glenn Greenwald and the Guardian – we are hearing a kind of defense coming from the authoritarians in our midst: none of this is new, they argue, so what’s all the fuss about? In a sense, they are right: the “legal” and political outlines of an American police state have been emerging from the fulcrum of war and the turbulence of our domestic politics since World War II. The only difference now is the technology, which has developed far beyond the imagination of J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI’s first director, who widely deployed the earliest wiretapping capabilities of government snoops.
It began, at least in a systematic way, during the presidency of yet another “progressive” hero, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who spied on his political enemies on the right without the least bit of concern with the Fourth Amendment. His aim was to destroy and possibly jail those who opposed his policies at home and abroad. And although wiretapping was widely practiced, low tech often sufficed, as shown in the story of Rose Wilder Lane’s wartime encounter with the authorities.
It was the summer of 1943, and Lane – a fierce opponent of FDR’s New Deal and a vocal “isolationist” – was weeding the front lawn of her home in Danbury, Connecticut. Lane had recently repaired to what was a small farm as an act of resistance against the wartime controls imposed on the nation: she refused to get a ration card and grew all her own food. Utilizing the skills she had learned as an Okie girl, she canned and preserved the results of her labors in her well-stocked cellar, corresponding with other anti-New Dealers throughout the country. A writer who would later ghostwrite the “Little House on the Prairie” books for her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose’s articles in the proto-libertarian media of the time were jeremiads against the culture of dependency and State-worship that had displaced the old America she had loved. She was, in short, a fierce lady, one who did not suffer fools lightly, and when a state trooper pulled up in front of her house, she squinted at him with a look that must have been withering.
“Are you Mrs. C. G. Lang?” he asked.
No, she said. The trooper, less than half her age, looked puzzled: his young brow wrinkled. “Well then, did you send this postcard?” He took out a clipboard and read the contents of a postcard she had sent to Samuel Grafton, a pro-administration left-wing newspaper columnist, denouncing the recently-passed legislation establishing Social Security as infringing on the rights of Americans, as well as having “German origins.”
“Why yes,” she replied, I certainly did: “I oppose Social Security. I speak against it and I write against – and what is this, the Gestapo?”
“I don’t like your attitude,” replied the cop. “What you wrote is subversive.”
“You don’t like my attitude? Subversive?! Listen here, young man – !” and for a solid half hour she stood there berating him. “I pay you. I hired you. What business is it of yours whether I or any other American exercise his God-given right to have an opinion?” […]
* NSA LOOPHOLE ALLOWS WARRANTLESS SEARCH FOR US CITIZENS’ EMAILS AND PHONE CALLS
By James ball and Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian
Exclusive: Spy agency has secret backdoor permission to search databases for individual Americans’ communications
The National Security Agency has a secret backdoor into its vast databases under a legal authority enabling it to search for US citizens’ email and phone calls without a warrant, according to a top-secret document passed to the Guardian by Edward Snowden.
The previously undisclosed rule change allows NSA operatives to hunt for individual Americans’ communications using their name or other identifying information. Senator Ron Wyden told the Guardian that the law provides the NSA with a loophole potentially allowing “warrantless searches for the phone calls or emails of law-abiding Americans”.
The authority, approved in 2011, appears to contrast with repeated assurances from Barack Obama and senior intelligence officials to both Congress and the American public that the privacy of US citizens is protected from the NSA’s dragnet surveillance programs.
The intelligence data is being gathered under Section 702 of the of the Fisa Amendments Act (FAA), which gives the NSA authority to target without warrant the communications of foreign targets, who must be non-US citizens and outside the US at the point of collection. […]
* NSA WIRETAPPING PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
Trevor Moore (Whitest Kids U’ Know) tells us what we can do about the NSA wiretapping our phones.
* TYRANNY RULES
By Monty Pelerin, MontyPelerin’sWorld
Tyranny was a word that was used frequently during the founding period of this country. Its usage is rampant once again.
The word tyranny is thrown around rather carelessly, especially when politicians invoke it. When Bush was president, it was a popular Democrat word. With Obama in office, it is used as frequently, but now by Republicans and rarely by Democrats. Tyranny and accusations of it are serious. Sadly, politicians use it whenever they disagree with the policies of the opposing party.
True tyranny is serious and should not be used as a tool to smear political opponents. It is a specific condition, one which the Founders found serious enough to initiate a revolt against England.
Now it is used more as political invective than in its true meaning. Sadly, the politicians who bandy the word about for advantage are unaware of true tyranny or that they are guilty of committing it.
Distorting words or misunderstanding them, however, does not alter the consequences of the acts. It is important to understand the true meaning of the word itself.
What Is Tyranny?
The Free Dictionary provides the following definitions of tyranny:
1. arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority.
2. the government or rule of a tyrant.
3. a state ruled by a tyrant.
4. oppressive or unjust government.
5. undue severity or harshness.
6. a tyrannical act. […]
* THE CHASE AND BANK OF AMERICA INVESTIGATIONS: REAL ACTION, OR MORE OF THE SAME?
By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone
A lot of interesting things happening on the white-collar enforcement front. Evil hedge fund SAC Capital and its villainous ruler Stevie Cohen were run through the gauntlet, Goldman Sachs patsy Fabulous Fab took a beating in civil court (I love the detail that emerged, that Goldman executives now call him “the poor kid“), and now, apparently, a pair of high-profile investigations have been launched against Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase for subprime mortgage fraud. The latter investigations seem to be designed to answer criticisms that nobody is going after the real doers of evil systemic crimes.
The Chase case apparently involves a criminal investigation, which is indeed interesting. The company admitted as much yesterday, saying federal investigators out West have “preliminarily concluded” that Chase brazenly violated securities laws when it sold subprime mortgage-backed instruments in 2005-2007.
But I’m skeptical it will turn into a real criminal investigation. All of the stories that broke in the last day or two noted the same detail, that Chase has beefed up its estimates for litigation/settlement costs:
As the investigations drag on, the bank is racking up significant legal costs. To help cushion against potentially hefty payouts to the authorities, JPMorgan recorded a $678 million expense for additional litigation reserves in the second quarter, up from $323 million in the same period a year ago, according to the filing on Wednesday.
The bank also estimated it could incur up to $6.8 billion in losses beyond its reserves, nearly $1 billion more than the first quarter of the year. […]
* OFFICIAL: TEPCO PLAN COULD CAUSE FUKUSHIMA REACTOR BUILDING TO “TOPPLE”
Source: Washington’s Blog
Japan’s Nuclear Accident Response Director Warns that Tepco’s Actions Might Cause Reactor BuIldings to Collapse
The vice governor of Fukushima Prefecture has asked the government to take the lead in handling the matter and stop the leakage. Masao Uchibori told an official from the Nuclear Regulation Authority that some of Tepco’s measures have increased the risk of further leaks.
The Wall Street Journal’s Michael Arnold says:
Obviously this is a massive public health issue … if it gets into the ocean obviously this could be spread throughout the Pacific, could also get into the food supply.
But there is another – stunning – threat.
Specifically, BBC points out:
Engineers are now facing a new emergency. The Fukushima plant sits smack in the middle of an underground aquifer. Deep beneath the ground, the site is rapidly being overwhelmed by water.
What happens when you pour hundreds of thousands of tons of water (400 metric tons each day times 2.5 years times 365 days in a year equals 365,000 metric tons of water) onto soil which sits above a massive aquifer? […]