Wednesday, December 18, 2013

He has more product









We're going to start with the illegal spying.  Remember Amy Heckerling's Fast Times At Ridgemont High?

  • Ppl viciously attacking for not fulfilling impossible journalistic standards need to kick back their egos & reassess priorities.

  • Abby Martin should have more important things to do then try to act like a Spirit Bunny at Ridgemont High.

    Vicious attacks are Glenn Greenwald's specialty, he's made a career out of them as a blogger and at Salon long before he ever moved onto the Guardian and restyled himself as a reporter.  I haven't seen any recent vicious attacks on Greenwald.  I've seen him launch them, however, such as the ones he launched on a whistle-blower.

    As Stan pointed out last night, Sibel Edmonds is a whistle-blower, she's under a government gag order -- even now with President Precious in the White House.  Idiots smearing Sibel to defend Greenwald better grasp that he's not a whistle-blower.

    He's a journalist.  A tawdry one -- as so many are.  But he's a journalist that's becoming a joke.

    Questions about his new venture -- even critical questions -- are not attacks.  Abby Martin shames herself and she's not the only one.

    Reporters don't need circle-jerks.  In fact, circle-jerks destroy them.  Glenn's entered his post-Johnny Guitar Joan Crawford period and now plays to the circle-jerk.

    In doing so, he trivializes not just himself but also the subject.  Abby Martin should find some concern over that -- if she can't find any over the way Glenn's set up the Ed-Snowden-good-but-Bradley-Manning-irresponsible nonsense.

    Glenn Greenwald went on Anderson Cooper 360 last night for a segment on yesterday's verdict and also appearing on the segment was Jeffrey Toobin.

    It resulted in the Circle Jerk taking to Twitter.

  • Another epic Glenn Greenwald vs. Jeffrey Toobin on Snowden and federal judge hitting NSA.

  • For those who missed it -- we covered it in yesterday's snapshot -- Federal District Court Judge Richard J. Leon found that the illegal spying in Barack's administration "most likely violates the Constitution" (Charlie Savage, New York Times). You really don't get that in the Circle Jerk Tweets.

    What you get is Dan and Greg kissing Glenn's balls.  Hopefully, they all enjoyed it.  Because it didn't help anyone else.

    I think Jeffrey Toobin's a moron and I've said much worse than that here.  But the segment wasn't about Toobin and it sure shouldn't have been about Glenn Greenwald.

    There is a huge section of the American people who have no opinion on the illegal spying.  They will form one.  Sadly, it will probably be to dismiss concerns.

    That's because idiots like Dan and Greg can't cover issues because they're too busy nuzzling Glenn's crotch in public.

    These wild pack attacks that Abby Martin and others engage in?

    They're not going to win over people either.

    They're going to make people suspicious.

    And they should be.  Huge money just entered the narrative and when is money not a detail in a narrative?  Didn't everyone freak over the thought that the Koch brothers might purchase the Los Angeles Times?  Glenn Greenwald's new enterprise is being bankrolled by a questionable source.  Pretending otherwise doesn't make it go away.

    As a journalist, Abby Martin shouldn't be condemning people for raising issues.

    Instead of dealing with the issues, Greg, Abby and Dan are turning this into a personal club.  That's exactly what will drive people away from opposing illegal spying.

    You need to make it about the issues, not your love for Glenn.

    Glenn needs to stop whining about everything.  He's supposedly a reporter now.  There's a different standard for them.  The standard isn't Best Bitch on TV.  When he goes on TV, he needs to calm down and address issues.  Or he needs to stop pretending he's a reporter.

    He's far too caught up in his own celebrity and far too busy playing out Joan Crawford-like drama which, of course, means nothing makes him happy.  Back in June, I said he needed to learn to enjoy the moment.

    He still hasn't learned to.  Since then, he's put on at least 15 pounds, his bags under his eyes have bags, he looks 10 years older (never a good thing when you're significant other is many, many years younger), and everything has him in a snit fit.

    People are allowed to question Glenn who, last time I checked, wasn't born in manger or to a virgin.   When he makes it all about his own drama, he's begging for questions.  When he's writing a book -- and has yet to release all the documents on illegal spying -- people are going to ask questions -- such as what did you save for the book?  People have a right to ask questions about funding -- it's not for nothing that "follow the money" is a journalism adage.

    While Abby, Dan and Greg may want to belong to a Glenn Greenwald fan club, most Americans don't.  Most American don't want to belong any fan club.  And when you're dealing with a complex issue like the illegal spying and you give people an 'out' by turning into a fan club for a reporter, many will gladly grab your out and bail on the issues.  So if Abby, Dan and Greg actually give a damn about getting the world out on the illegal spying, then they need to focus on that.

    You'd think the Center for Constitutional Rights would pay attention to the issue but they don't.  They're such little whores for Barack, doing secret meetings with him, Vincent Warren playing footsie with Barack, so they have nothing to say.  A federal judge declares the activities unconstitutional and CCR is issuing yet another press release on stop and frisk and saying nothing on illegal spying.

    On the illegal spying, Ian Traynor and Paul Lewis (Guardian) report:

    In an angry exchange with Barack Obama, Angela Merkel has compared the snooping practices of the US with those of the Stasi, the ubiquitous and all-powerful secret police of the communist dictatorship in East Germany, where she grew up.
    The German chancellor also told the US president that America's National Security Agency cannot be trusted because of the volume of material it had allowed to leak to the whistleblower Edward Snowden, according to the New York Times.
    Livid after learning from Der Spiegel magazine that the Americans were listening in to her personal mobile phone, Merkel confronted Obama with the accusation: "This is like the Stasi."

    On the illegal spying of Americans, District Judge Richard J. Leon wrote in his ruling,  "No court has ever recognized a special need sufficient to justify continuous, daily searches of virtually every American citizen without any particularized suspicion. The Government urges me to be the first non-FISC judge to sanction such a dragnet."  Of the ruling, John Burton (World Socialist Web Site) reports:

    The case, Klayman v. Obama, was brought by two conservative activists, Larry Klayman, who founded the libertarian Freedom Watch organization, and Charles Strange, whose son was a Navy Seal killed while on a mission in Afghanistan. Their suit is based on the same revelations by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden as those underlying American Civil Liberties Union v. Clapper, which was argued in a New York federal court last month. (See “Obama administration defends NSA against civil liberties lawsuit”).
    Leon was appointed by President George W. Bush to the United States District Court, generally viewed as the most influential trial court in the US since it hears many disputes regarding the legality of official US government actions. Coincidentally, Leon was nominated the day before the September 11, 2001 attacks that are still being used more than a decade later as the pretext for the dismantling of democratic rights in the name of the “war on terrorism.
    In his 68-page ruling, Judge Leon, employing unusually blunt—and in places openly contemptuous—language, slammed the profoundly anti-democratic arguments of the Obama administration lawyers. His ruling--that the NSA telephone metadata program defies a cornerstone of the Bill of Rights—stands as an indictment of the anti-democratic and authoritarian consensus within the political establishment and the corporate-controlled media, and between both the Democratic and Republican parties, all of which have overwhelmingly supported the establishment of such police state spying programs and joined in witch-hunting Snowden.

    Judge Leon’s decision follows on the heels of media reports that an advisory panel set up by Obama, ostensibly to “reform” the NSA, will recommend keeping its mass surveillance programs in place, with the addition of a few cosmetic “checks” designed to blunt popular opposition.

    At Forbes yesterday, Jennifer Granick noted:

    In the wake of today’s tremendously important ruling by the District Court for the District of Columbia that bulk collection of telephone metadata violates the Fourth Amendment, it is more important than ever that Congress end this misuse of section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act. However, Deputy Attorney General James Cole testified earlier this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the NSA might continue its bulk collection of nearly all domestic phone call records, even if the USA FREEDOM ACT passes into law. That must have come as a real surprise to committee chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and the dozens of USA FREEDOM Act’s bipartisan co-sponsors, all of whom agree that the core purpose of the bill is to end NSA dragnet collection of Americans’ communication data.

    Leahy's office issued the following yesterday:

    December 16, 2013

    [Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released the following comment Monday after a D.C. District Court judge issued a preliminary injunction ruling regarding the National Security Agency’s phone surveillance program. Leahy introduced in November the USA FREEDOM Act, a bipartisan bill that would end the bulk collection of phone records under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.] 
    “Americans deserve an open and transparent debate about the constitutionality, efficacy, and appropriateness of the government’s dragnet collection programs.  I welcome today’s district court ruling regarding the collection of phone metadata, particularly because the litigants were afforded the opportunity to participate in an adversarial process.  The Senate Judiciary Committee has held three full committee hearings and a subcommittee hearing on these issues in recent months, and it is clear to me that even more oversight is needed in the future. Our continued work on the USA FREEDOM Act that I introduced will also offer further opportunities for oversight, and for action.”

    # # # # #

    Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the illegal spying (we covered it here).  In that hearing, Committee Chair Patrick Leahy observed, "The American people have been told that all of their phone records are relevant to counterterrorism investigations. Now they are told that all Internet metadata is also relevant; and apparently fair game for the NSA to collect. In any country, in any country, this legal interpretation is extraordinary,  it goes beyond extraordinary in the United States."  And on Monday, a federal court judge agreed.   Sunday, the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle explained:

    Significant reforms to this country's spy operations are now on President Obama's desk. They test his commitment to privacy rights. Regrettably, the initial response is not encouraging. The White House already has rejected a call to put the National Security Agency under civilian command.

    The suggestions come from a panel Obama named last summer in the wake of revelations by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. The leaked papers showed widespread collection of data from phone calls, eavesdropping on foreign leaders and monitoring of online links - all in the name of chasing down terrorist threats.
    By asking for the study, Obama offered the hope that he was open to a genuine overhaul. But he's the same commander in chief who has endorsed wider use of drones, delayed closing the Guantanamo Bay jail where terrorism suspects are held indefinitely, and presided over a huge buildup in security work shown in the Snowden leaks. 

    While the editorial board can connect the illegal spying to the White House, others lack the ability to do so.  For example, Scott Whitlock, of the right-wing NewsBusters, surveys the initial network TV coverage of the judge's ruling and finds that NBC Nightly News' Brian Williams and Pete Williams managed to 'address' the issue without ever mentioning the White House or Barack.  That's beyond shameful.  Whitlock doesn't point it out so I will, the judge's ruling?  It was in the case of Klayman et al., v. Obama et al.  How do you report on a ruling without including the name of the party being sued?

    Senator Bernie Sanders' office issued the following today:

    After a federal judge on Tuesday issued a scathing ruling against the National Security Agency, Sen. Bernie Sanders said Congress must stop the “out-of-control” agency from spying on innocent Americans and end the bulk collection of Americans' telephone, email and Internet records. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon said the way the NSA swept up millions of phone records “almost certainly” violated the Constitution's ban on unreasonable searches. Moreover, the judge added, the program probably isn't effective in fighting terrorism.

    “The NSA today is out of control and we need strong legislation to rein them in. In a free society, the government does not collect data on tens of millions of people, 99.999 percent of them having nothing to do with terrorism,” Bernie said. “We must be vigilant in protecting the American people from terrorism, but we can do that without taking away the constitutional and privacy rights which make us a free nation.”

    As a member of the House, Bernie in 2001 voted against the so-called USA Patriot Act. As a senator, he voted against renewing the law in 2006 and 2007. Earlier this year, he introduced the Restore Our Privacy Act, legislation to put strict limits on the intelligence agencies.
    Video Watch an interview on MSNBC

    Read Read more about Bernie's Restore Our Privacy bill

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