We have tons of NSA stories to talk about. Tons! Apparently, the polls are supportive of Snowden
Roughly one in three Americans say the former security contractor who leaked details of top-secret U.S. surveillance activity is a patriot and should not be prosecuted, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday.
Some 23 percent of those surveyed said former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is a traitor while 31 percent said he is a patriot. Another 46 percent said they did not know.
has similar numbers, but...
But an almost identical number of Americans — 53 percent — still said he should be prosecuted for the leak, compared to 28% who said he should not. Americans aged 18 to 34 break from older generations in showing far more support for Snowden’s actions. Just 41 percent of that cohort say he should face charges, while 43 percent say he should not. Just 19 percent of that age group say the leak was a “bad thing.”
What fascinates me is the conservative/liberal breakdown of this story. You can tell that the rightwingers didn't see Snowden coming: Originally they embraced the Greenwald/WaPo revelations, because they fit into the larger "Obama scandals" meta-narrative. But now there has been a reversal, with liberals wanting investigations into NSA overreach and conservatives wanting Snowden in a noose. It took a while for the politics to shake out that way, but...here we are.
And yet -- looky here! Kooky old Glenn Beck and the Ron Paulies like
Snowden. (Beck has promised some grand, earth-shaking revelation within the next ten days. Forgive my cynicism, but I doubt his abilities as a prophet.) In other words, leaders of the ultra-Libertarian wing of the conservative movement are actually allowing their actions to be governed by conscience, not by Roger Ailes or the RNC's line of the day.
We're learning that the NSA's apparatus -- which would be extraordinarily helpful to anyone hoping to put and keep a tyranny in place -- has been woefully inadequate to the task of combating terror
, the ostensible rationale for all of these electronic intrusions.
Marcy Wheeler is doing her usual great work -- see here
. The last link goes to an important revelation: According to DiFi (speaking about the Patriot Act's notorious Section 215, which provides the legal justification for all of this stuff)...
The Section 215 Business Records provision was created in 2001 in the PATRIOT for tangible things: hotel records, credit card statements, etcetera. Things that are not phone or email communications. The FBI uses that authority as part of its terrorism investigations. The NSA only uses Section 215 for phone call records — not for Google searches or other things. Under Section 215, NSA collects phone records pursuant to a court record. It can only look at that data after a showing that there is a reasonable, articulable suspicion that a specific individual is involved in terrorism, actually related to al Qaeda or Iran. At that point, the database can be searched....
I didn't know that "articulable" is a word. (Is there a synonym for "articulable"? If there is, I can't articulate it.) More importantly...
What's all this shit about Iran?
I know that the neo-cons, with whom Feinstein is far too chummy, would like us to go to war with Iran, but the fact is that we are at peace with that country. Since the hostage crisis of 1980, the worst thing Iran has done to this country was buy arms from Ronald Reagan. True, Iran has tossed money at Hamas and Hezbollah, but I was under the impression that Israel's problems are not our
So if you have any linkage to Iran, DiFi wants you to be electronically naked to the NSA.
Well, there's much more to say, but no time to say it. I'm off to Utrecht -- the art supply store, not the city. After all, a house is not a home without a tube of Prussian Blue oil paint lurking around somewhere. But I'll be back soon. Never Say Adieu