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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 24,979

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Some things are crimes.

Nader didn't commit any.

There was election fraud.

Then there was a judicial coup d'etat.


"Things would be easier if this was a dictatorship."

And we had a dictatorship, especially after the 9/11 event. Its accomplishments are no longer subject to question. The present elected administration has not overturned but consolidated and moved to legalize the essential elements of the "unitary executive" and the permanent state of war, sometimes under new branding. Pretense to rule of law or democracy has been abandoned wherever it is said to impinge on national security. We live under a permanent state of exception, emergency rule.

Blaming Nader is a form of denial for those who like their targets small, harmless, and historically distant. Twelve years ago, Nader ran a legal campaign. He didn't execute a coup d'etat. He didn't oversee the post-9/11 societal transformation. He didn't consolidate the achievements of the new authoritarian statism after the departure of Bush.

I get your point but...

No compromises on character assassination of the people who are doing the right thing.

This examplary behavior needs to be encouraged. We will need a thousand Greenwalds and Snowdens to help put an end to the NSA-CIA-Contractor rogue state, its patent illegality and its budget-swallowing, terror-mongering protection racket.

And the calumnies and attacks on Snowden and Greenwald aren't just about distracting from the reality of the vast surveillance apparatus within which we now live, which they have helped to expose, but also about punishing them as examples, to discourage the next thousand Snowdens.

So screw whatever the fuckers think who support facilitated the Iraq invasion (Gregory), gave the green light for "legal" torture (Yoo) and started aggressive wars killing hundreds of thousands (Cheney), and screw all the corporate media bootlickers and hopeless party hacks and flag-waving authoritarians who join the pile-on. Fuck them sideways, seriously. There is no point to awaken people who are only pretending to sleep, no particular need to persuade them. Keep getting the info out to everyone you can.

It says a lot about people which they choose to remember...

Is it

a) a third party candidate who ran a legal and clean campaign, and whose share of the vote made no difference whatsoever, given that even in Florida, more votes were cast for Gore than for Bush;


b) election fraud by the losing side to steal Florida, followed by a judicial coup d'etat to suspend constitutional process and thus give the presidency to the losing side.

Anyone who focuses on a) as a primary concern, or who distorts its significance, has made their decision to condemn a trivial non-conformity while ignoring historic criminality. I suspect denial has everything to do with it. Most people would rather blame their troubles irrationally on some powerless hippies than confront the reality of the Evil Empire in which they live.

#Snowden: Amnesty International Knows What Time It Is.

JUNE 24, 2013
USA must not hunt down whistleblower Edward Snowden

The US authorities must not prosecute anyone for disclosing information about the government’s human rights violations, Amnesty International said after Edward Snowden was charged under the Espionage Act.

The organization also believes that the National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower could be at risk of ill-treatment if extradited to the USA.

"No one should be charged under any law for disclosing information of human rights violations by the US government. Such disclosures are protected under the rights to information and freedom of expression," said Widney Brown, Senior Director of International Law and Policy at Amnesty International.

"It appears he is being charged by the US government primarily for revealing its and other governments’ unlawful actions that violate human rights.”



John Yoo in National Review: "Prosecute Snowden"

That would be the Bush regime's legal counsel at DOJ, who wrote the key then secret opinions justifying torture that served as the preemptive defense for the torture complex. The same one who should have been the first prosecuted after the Bush regime, but was instead provided with legal representation by the Obama DOJ.

Here's what this war criminal on the loose says about Snowden - urging also the prosecution of Greenwald, the Guardian, etc.

By the same logic of those who wish to distract us from the NSA practice of spying on EVERYONE without a warrant by pointing to China's position on #Snowden, those who defend the NSA and the administration are lining up with John Yoo and National Review.


Edward Snowden should go to jail, as quickly and for as long as possible. This is a leak case that should be difficult for even Eric Holder to bungle. Snowden has already confessed in public to the crime of leaking classified information. He has said in public how he did it, that he did it with intent, and that he knowingly harmed our national security. Holder will finally find a leaker that he can prosecute. But given the Holder Justice Department’s record on the other leak cases, who wants to take a bet that Snowden gets a generous plea bargain or even walks?

Snowden might be guilty of espionage, or even treason. If he is telling the truth that he leaked the existence of the PRISM program to inform the American public, then he should turn himself in. A trial would give him the opportunity to explain in public why he broke the law. If he is a spy — it is amazing that someone with such little education and background was given such extensive security clearance — he may well continue running abroad. It is telling that he immediately fled to Hong Kong; one wonders whether he will offer his services and knowledge to the Chinese security services next.

The NSA leak case will reveal if the Obama administration really means what it said about its foolish and unconstitutional pursuit of the AP and Fox News in other leak cases. Recall that the Obama Justice Department claimed that Fox News reporter James Rosen was a co-conspirator in the alleged leak of classified intelligence. If the Justice Department truly believed what it told the courts when seeking a wiretap on Rosen, then it should indict the reporters and editors for the Washington Post and the Guardian newspapers who published information on PRISM. They clearly “conspired” with Snowden to publish classified information, information that was much more harmful to the national security than in the Rosen case (on North Korea’s predictable response to sanctions). Personally, I think that the Post is protected by the First Amendment, but Holder’s Justice Department clearly doesn’t think so.

So either the Justice Department will indict not just Snowden, but also the Post and Guardian reporters, or it will have been shown to have been untruthful to the courts in the Rosen case (which I think has become clear), in yet another demonstration of this president’s incompetence in managing the core functions of the executive branch or his willful abuse of its executive authorities.

If it's not Stalinism, then what is it?

Stalinism. McCarthyism. Mirror images in so many ways, they served to reinforce each other through their hostility. Blind nationalisms, fundamentalisms, extremisms and fanaticisms of different kinds may serve different psychological needs, interests or political philosophies - even "centrism" can qualify. But they exhibit a consistency of attitude: Demands for absolute conformity to a pre-set line. Expectation of absolute loyalty to some leader or abstract principle. Fawning over remote idols. Stubborn defense of their perceived territory and patented issues. Placement of loyalty before reason. Hateful and irrational global labels of contempt for those perceived as disagreeing with them: e.g., these are fools, crazies, racists, right-wingers, Nazis; the more meaningless, the better. Contempt for reason. Monotony. Talking points. Repetition. Repetition. Sophistry. Rewrites of history, rewrites of reality. Luckily those who seem to show it in defense of the present US government's personnel and policies (many of which are consistent with unfortunate USG policies stretching back decades) have little in the way of enforcement power in this particular venue. They may flood, but they don't pull very much (something you'd think they'd notice, and adapt for greater effectiveness). They may bully, but they don't get to censor very much.

So this is not Stalinism, because it is the opium of a powerless sect. But the attitude is there.

Point made, I'll spare you the next 10 paragraphs.

On what planet is it Republicans driving this?

It's not scandal. It is the apparatus of tyranny.

And this apparatus has been built over many decades, as presidents came and went, before it finally went turbo under the Bush regime.

I dispute that Republicans consider it a scandal. There might be a handful on the Rand Paul end who think it is. Most of them are with Cheney. They fully approve of the lucrative business for well-connected military-industrial-intel contractors. Republicans are all for plundering tax money for the national security state. They fully approve of total surveillance and total policing. They can't wait to get their hands back on it, without any limits or the pretend limits the government is purporting are in place. The only thing most of them think is scandalous is that the administration is pretending there are limits on this beast. They want no limits on the beast.

And just because it's "legal" doesn't mean it's not self-evidently unconstitutional.

I have said nothing about the glass, DNC Guy.

Go take your glass point to whoever said that.

1. Thank you for your permission to me to "may... be disappointed with the President." Actually, I'm not. I happen to know what the corporatist state produces, and don't expect mere elections to change the main outlines of corporatism (though it matters for a few other significant reasons). That takes mass movements.

2. That "Barrier of Protection for OUR President" (love the totalitarian rhetoric, do you really think it works?) happens to be standing exactly where the western side of the Berlin Wall stood until 1989. Don't imagine the symbolism is lost on ANYONE in Germany. And this wall, erm, sorry, barrier is there to assure NO PROTESTS in Berlin during the visit of the American CEO -- who has dispensed with rhetoric of change and is working hard to become interchangeable with the entire sorry crew starting with his admitted role-model, Reagan.

3. And you can go find a bunch of pictures! Seated, standing, whatever - I even overestimated the crowd initially. It's invitation only for 4000-5000 exemplars of the connected German establishment. Something they didn't do with Clinton, by the way. He could still speak to an open crowd, and he was president. But times change. And it speaks volumes about Berlin's attitude to the visit of the American CEO, because if they'd not done it this way, there would have been protests, not the jubilation as when the hope of not-Bush visited in 2008.

But I'll have to remember that - "It's not a wall, it's a Barrier of Protection for OUR President!" L-O-Fucking-L. Thanks again.

Some social psychology studies find...

That people are influenced into repeating an opinion they hear often.

However, the number of times they hear it is more important than the number of people actually saying it. A vocal minority can work almost as well as a majority in influencing the opinions of a large segment of the population.

This is why constant repetition of the exact same pre-chewed talking points, no matter how stupid, has become a central aspect of modern, "scientific" public relations. This form of saturation brainwashing is considered to work well enough that companies invest billions to do it on TV every year. (Would you like to save 15% on your car insurance?)

The right wing understands this extremely well. As do sophists in general, whether they are opportunists or just committed team players.
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