Thursday, December 19, 2013

U.S. Global Source Of Poverty And War

America will never see peace or prosperity until it ceases to interfere in the affairs of other sovereign nations

PRESS TV
By Finian Cunningham
12/17/2013

The latest bilateral deal between House Republicans and Democrats on the US federal budget is a shocking reminder of the monstrous priorities for the American ruling class.


Poverty, hunger, sickness and homelessness for millions more ordinary Americans; while unbridled US militarism stalks the globe like a demented Leviathan, casting a shadow of war and destruction into every corner.

American-dominated capitalism is a global scourge of poverty and war. It is much less American dream and much more humankind’s nightmare.



The disclosure this week that Russia is to deploy Iskander ballistic missiles in the Baltic region, and the double think, inverted accusations ensuing from Washington that Moscow is destabilizing global security, is part of this monstrous American-induced global dysfunction – more on that later.

US Republicans and Democrats – two sides of the same oligarchic coin – congratulated themselves on the recent federal budget package, which amounts to nearly $1 trillion in US government spending for each of the next two years.


But of that annual $1 trillion, the money allocated for military spending amounts to some $633 billion. That is, nearly two-thirds – more than 63 percent – of the total US government’s budget is consumed by the means of war and killing.

To give this some perspective, the US spends ten times more on weapons and the means of destroying and killing other human beings than it does on educating its entire nation.

What kind of economy, or more to the point, society, is that? A cynic might say that’s just what the American ruling class wants.

 
Keep the majority uneducated and misinformed, while the military-industrial oligarchs and their political minions keep devouring the nation’s wealth.


This US war machine entails the maintenance of over 1,000 military bases around the world, patrolling of Chinese seas with nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers, expansion of missile systems across the Eurasian steppes encircling Russia, and the never-ending assassination drones that end up killing more civilians than “terrorists” in remote, barren countries.


Meanwhile, the budget “deal” signed off by Republicans and Democrats is gunning for massive cuts in US social security and public services. Some $100 billion in public spending cuts are locked in each year for the next decade. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon hailed the Pentagon’s lion’s share of the budget as “good value to taxpayers”.


As a result of this warped “good value”, over the following year millions of unemployed Americans will see their income support terminated as the new federal budget mandates $25 billion in cuts. Millions more Americans will go hungry as $4 billion in food stamps is axed. Millions of Americans will succumb to disease and illness as $30 billion is slashed from federal health care.

  
Already, official figures show that there are nearly 47 million Americans suffering from extreme poverty in the US. Some estimates put total US poverty at 150 million – nearly half the population – amplified by six years of economic depression since the US-bank-induced global financial crash of 2008. These same Wall Street banks, which are an integral part of the military-industrial cancer, receive $85 billion a month in bailout cash footed by the US taxpayer.


Of course, this ludicrous imbalance of US military spending as a share of the nation’s wealth is nothing new. Former US President Dwight Eisenhower warned of the spawning military-industrial complex almost half a century ago.

But what is revealing about today’s situation is that US military spending just keeps on growing regardless of rational or moral norms. It is estimated that between 1962 and presently, the annual American so-called defense budget has more than doubled.


William D Hartung at the US-based Center for International Policy reckons that the American military now consumes $100 billion per year more than the average during the Cold War years, when the US and the Soviet Union were bound up in a gargantuan arms race.




Note that this extra $100 billion figure arrogated by the Pentagon and its corporate nexus is equivalent to all the US cuts being sought in unemployment security, health care and elsewhere in public services.


The Cold War ended – or was supposed to have ended – over two decades ago. The subsequent so-called War on Terror, even if naively taken at face value, is a flea-sized contingency by comparison to the Cold War.

Yet today the American economy is more subsumed in growing and perpetuating the means of war than ever before. And this is while the human and social needs of ordinary Americans are crying out for relief more than ever.

That glaring contradiction is a symptom of the rotten heart of American capitalism.

What this hideous misallocation of national resources shows is that war and poverty are endemic to American capitalism. The system is sustained – but not sustainable – only by the massive and relentless subvention of tax dollars into obscene militarism.


That perverse priority is not only at the root of American’s social meltdown. It also drives the rest of the world into a similar destructive and dangerous dynamic towards nihilistic militarism.


The US spends more on its military than all other nations combined, including Russia and China. Yet deluded “American exceptionalism” labels everyone else a threat to world peace.


As the US expands its militarism globally and in particular towards Russia and China, it compels these countries to likewise allocate more and more of their budgets on weaponry and arms development instead of socially beneficial improvement. This negative repercussion for retarded international development cannot be overstated. As already noted, the American “dream” is in reality humankind’s nightmare.


China is estimated to have doubled its annual military spend to around $200 billion over the past decade, largely fuelled by Washington’s militaristic “Asian Pivot”; Japan is now increasing its military spending by five percent as a result of Chinese territorial claims, which in turn stem from Washington’s pivot into China’s backyard; while Russia is planning to ply some $700 billion into its weapons industry over the next decade.


Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Federal Assembly in Moscow last week, “Let no one have illusions that he can achieve military superiority over Russia. We will never allow it.”

And the US military-industrial complex must be rubbing its bloody hands with cynical glee at that announcement.


Putin was referring to the missile system that the US is planning to install in Eastern Europe along the borders of Russia, as well as the upgrade in America’s tactical nuclear weapons ordered by Nobel Peace-Prize President Barack Obama, despite his signing of the New START nuclear reduction treaty in 2010.


One can understand why the Russians and Chinese are perplexed.

The Cold War is long over; neither country presents a threat to the US; yet the US insists incorrigibly on offensive encroachment.

That scorpion-like instinct stems from the inherent destructive nature of US capitalism and its oligarchy that feeds off poverty, militarism and predatory imperialism. It is programmed in the DNA of the system.


The driver of Russia and China’s militarism – as Putin’s remarks indicate – is the imbalance of power and insecurity that the grotesquely militarized American economy engenders. The American capitalist economy is grotesquely militarized because that is the only way of propping up a system that inexorably makes the rich infinitely richer and the poor infinitely poorer.


Thus US capitalism’s crass wasting of wealth is not only at the root of the impoverishment of millions of Americans and the destruction of American society generally; the same obscene priority of American militarism is fuelling global insecurity, vast economic waste and ultimately driving the world continually towards war.


The only way to break this death spiral is for the American people to realize once and for all that their bankrupt economic system, known as capitalism, and the two-party political minions who shore it up on behalf of their corporate masters – all of that needs to be trashed and replaced – by a real democracy. US capitalism is not just the scourge of the world; it is the scourge of Americans too.



Let’s imagine a world where the American 10:1 military-to-education budget was reversed; a world where the capital and technological expertise of the Pentagon, corporations and banks was brought under democratic control to make socially useful goods.




Another world would indeed be possible. All that is lacking, so far, is the political will among the majority to make the necessary change. But that political will is coming by force of necessity – if this world is to survive.

FC/PR




 
Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Originally from Belfast, Ireland, he is now located in East Africa as a freelance journalist, where he is writing a book on Bahrain and the Arab Spring, based on eyewitness experience working in the Persian Gulf as an editor of a business magazine and subsequently as a freelance news correspondent. The author was deported from Bahrain in June 2011 because of his critical journalism in which he highlighted systematic human rights violations by regime forces. He is now a columnist on international politics for Press TV and the Strategic Culture Foundation. More articles by Finian Cunningham
 
 
 
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Don’t be Fooled By Mainstream Media Journalists, “Independent” Experts And The CIA

Also don't be taken in by CMM (Corporate Midstream Media); former Independent Media sellouts gone over to the dark side after succumbing to greed, cowardice and who's websites are packed with more corporate advertising/propaganda than stories

GLOBAL RESEARCH
12/17/2013

“Under CIA manipulation, direction and, usually, their payroll, were past and present presidents of Mexico, Colombia, Uruguay and Costa Rica, “our minister of labor”, “our vice-president”, “my police”, journalists, labor leaders, student leaders, diplomats, and many others. If the Agency wished to disseminate anti-communist propaganda, cause dissension in leftist ranks, or have Communist embassy personnel expelled, it need only prepare some phony documents, present them to the appropriate government ministers and journalists, and – presto! – instant scandal.” (William Blum, CIA Manipulation: The Painful Truths Told by Phil Agee, Anti-Empire Report 27 June 2013)


Independent media outlets are increasingly challenging the powers that be and, thanks to social media, the truth about what is really happening in our world can be shared at the click of a button.


Sadly, the imperial war machine continues to rear its violent head in exponential proportion under the guise of democracy and “War on Terrorism”.


This war machine is promoted by the mainstream media who cannot be trusted for many reasons.

It is a well documented fact that the CIA has used journalism as a cover for its agents and has planted stories in the media.



According to CIA documents, “more than 400 American journalists … in the past twenty‑five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency“, wrote Carl Bernstein in 1977.


In this episode of Alternative views, former CIA agent John Stockwell explains “how CIA ‘disinformation’ tactics manipulate public opinion by planting stories in the press and by financing and supporting right-wing newspapers“.

Planting stories in the media is a standard CIA technique:



A common Agency tactic was writing editorials and phony news stories to be knowingly published by Latin American media with no indication of the CIA authorship or CIA payment to the media. The propaganda value of such a “news” item might be multiplied by being picked up by other CIA stations in Latin America who would disseminate it through a CIA-owned news agency or a CIA-owned radio station. Some of these stories made their way back to the United States to be read or heard by unknowing North Americans. (Blum, op. cit.)

Moreover several journalists are members of the very influential foreign policy think tank Council on Foreign Relations, which has among its corporate members:

1. Major financial institutions such as:

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Citi

Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

JPMorgan Chase & Co

The Nasdaq OMX Group

2. All the companies part of what is known as Big Oil:

BP p.l.c.

Chevron Corporation

ConocoPhillips Company

Exxon Mobil Corporation

Shell Oil Company

TOTAL S.A.

3. Major defense and security contractors which largely rely on military sales (figures from SIPRI) and government subsidies, among others:

DynCorp International (70% of revenues from military sales in 2011)

Lockheed Martin Corporation (78% of revenues from military sales in 2011)

Northrop Grumman (81% of revenues from military sales in 2011)

Raytheon Company (90% of revenues from military sales in 2011)

Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. (99% of revenues from federal government)

In addition, mainstream media experts on foreign policy issues are often linked to the military-industrial complex and are very often presented as ”independent”.


During the public debate around the question of whether to attack Syria, Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser to George W. Bush, made a series of high-profile media appearances. Hadley argued strenuously for military intervention in appearances on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and Bloomberg TV, and authored a Washington Post op-ed headlined “To stop Iran, Obama must enforce red lines with Assad.”


In each case, Hadley’s audience was not informed that he serves as a director of Raytheon, the weapons manufacturer that makes the Tomahawk cruise missiles that were widely cited as a weapon of choice in a potential strike against Syria. Hadley earns $128,500 in annual cash compensation from the company and chairs its public affairs committee. He also owns 11,477 shares of Raytheon stock, which traded at all-time highs during the Syria debate ($77.65 on August 23, making Hadley’s share’s worth $891,189). Despite this financial stake, Hadley was presented to his audience as an experienced, independent national security expert. (Public Accountability, War or No War on Syria: Conflict of Interest of “Experts” who Commented in Favor of Military Intervention, October 15, 2013).



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The 9 Most Important Recommendations From Obama NSA Surveillance Panel

Way to little, way too late; Obama criminals destroy themselves in an insane play at "saving face"

MOTHER JONES
By Kevin Drum
12/18/2013

The report of the president's NSA review panel is out. It has a grand total of 46 recommendations. Here are the most interesting ones: 


1. Phone records should be stored privately, not by the government. If the NSA needs phone records, it should get a warrant for them. Like a subpoena, the warrant should be "reasonable in focus, scope, and breadth."

2. More broadly: "As a general rule and without senior policy review, the government should not be permitted to collect and store mass, undigested, non-public personal information about US persons for the purpose of enabling future queries and data-mining for foreign intelligence purposes."


3. The FBI should no longer be allowed to issue National Security Records on its own. NSLs should be issued only if a warrant is approved. Nondisclosure orders should be more restricted; should last no more than 180 days; and should not prevent the target of the NSL from challenging its legality in court.

4. Generally speaking, companies that are ordered to produce information should be allowed to "disclose on a periodic basis general information about the number of such orders they have received, the number they have complied with, the general categories of information they have produced, and the number of users whose information they have produced in each category."


Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff wasn't hip with being tapped
5. Surveillance of non-US persons "must be directed exclusively at protecting national security interests....[and] must not be directed at illicit or illegitimate ends, such as the theft of trade secrets or obtaining commercial gain for domestic industries.

6. If a US person is inadvertently surveilled, that information cannot be used as evidence in any court proceeding.
 


7. The NSA should be headed by a civilian. Leadership of the NSA should be separated from leadership of the military's Cyber Command.

8. "Congress should create the position of Public Interest Advocate to represent the interests of privacy and civil liberties before the FISC." In addition, more FISC decisions should be declassified.


Keith Alexander headed for prison with White House masters
9. The government should commit itself to stop trying to undermine public encryption standards.

These are useful recommendations, especially 1, 2, 3, 6, and 8. Recommendation 7 is already a dead letter, since President Obama has said he plans to keep dual-hatted leadership for the NSA and Cyber Command.

 



How much of this will survive the president and Congress? I'd like to say I'm optimistic, but I'm not, really. These recommendations are useful but modest, and I suspect that Congress will whittle them down even more. Stay tuned.




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Former Top NSA Official : “We Are Now In A Police State”

The Obama police state will fall just as others have throughout history; Binney now trying to save own ass by squealing on former masters

GLOBAL RESEARCH
12/18/2013

32-year NSA Veteran Who Created Mass Surveillance System Says Government Use of Data Gathered Through Spying “Is a Totalitarian Process” 
 
 
American traitor, coward Bill Binney
Bill Binney is the high-level NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information. A 32-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency, Binney was the senior technical director within the agency and managed thousands of NSA employees.

Binney has been interviewed by virtually all of the mainstream media, including CBS, ABC, CNN, New York Times, USA Today, Fox News, PBS and many others.

 
Last year, Binney held his thumb and forefinger close together, and said:

"We are, like, that far from a turnkey totalitarian state." 
 
 
But today, Binney told Washington’s Blog that the U.S. has already become a police state.

By way of background, the government is spying on virtually everything we do.

All of the information gained by the NSA through spying is then shared with federal, state and local agencies, and they are using that information to prosecute petty crimes such as drugs and taxes. The agencies are instructed to intentionally “launder” the information gained through spying, i.e. to pretend that they got the information in a more legitimate way … and to hide that from defense attorneys and judges
 
 
 
 

This is a bigger deal than you may realize, as legal experts say that there are so many federal and state laws in the United States, that no one can keep track of them all … and everyone violates laws every day without even knowing it
 
 
Coward U.S. traitor pigs have no idea what's in store for them
The NSA also ships Americans’ most confidential, sensitive information to foreign countries like Israel(and here), the UK and other countries … so they can “unmask” the information and give it back to the NSA … or use it for their own purposes.

Binney told us today:

"The main use of the collection from these [NSA spying] programs [is] for law enforcement." [See the 2 slides below].

These slides give the policy of the DOJ/FBI/DEA etc. on how to use the NSA data. In fact, they instruct that none of the NSA data is referred to in courts – cause it has been acquired without a warrant.
 
 
So, they have to do a “Parallel Construction” and not tell the courts or prosecution or defense the original data used to arrest people. This I call: a “planned programed perjury policy” directed by US law enforcement.

And, as the last line on one slide says, this also applies to “Foreign Counterparts.”

 
This is a total corruption of the justice system not only in our country but around the world. The source of the info is at the bottom of each slide. This is a totalitarian process – means we are now in a police state."
 
Here are the two slides which Binney pointed us to:
 
 
 


(Source: Reuters via RT)

We asked Binney a follow-up question: 
 
 
You say “this also applies to ‘Foreign Counterparts.’” Does that mean that foreign agencies can also “launder” the info gained from NSA spying? Or that data gained through foreign agencies’ spying can be “laundered” and used by U.S. agencies?

Binney responded:

"For countries like the five eyes (US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand) and probably some others it probably works both ways. But for others that have relationships with FBI or DEA etc., they probably are given the data to used to arrest people but are not told the source or given copies of the data."

(See this for background on the five eyes.)

View past discussions between Washington’s Blog and Binney here, here, here and here.






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NSA Goal Is Elimination Of Individual Privacy Worldwide - Greenwald To EU

Should Americans fail to exterminate the CIA/NSA scum the rest of the free world will do the job for them - as they did with Hitler and the Nazis

STRATEGIC CULTURE FOUNDATION
12/18/2013

The NSA’s ultimate goal is to destroy individual privacy worldwide, working with its UK sidekick GCHQ, journalist Glenn Greenwald warned an EU inquiry, adding that they were far ahead of their rivals in their “ability to destroy privacy.” 
 
 
Glenn Greenwald
Greenwald, the former Guardian journalist renowned for publishing Edward Snowden’s leaks, criticized EU governments’ muted response to the revelations about the NSA’s mass espionage. Most governments reacted with “apathy and indifference” to reports that ordinary citizens were being spied upon, Greenwald said, pointing out that EU politicians only took action when they discovered that they themselves were being targeted.

 
 
 
 
“I think western governments have inculcated people to accept that privacy does not really have much value,” said Greenwald, adding it was “to get populations accustomed to violations of their privacy.”

Greenwald testified before the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties and Home Affairs via a video link, contributing to an inquiry into the NSA’s surveillance on EU citizens. 
 
 
“The NSA doesn’t need a specific reason to collect anybody’s communications,” said the journalist, reminding the panel that the agency’s ultimate goal was to “eliminate individual privacy worldwide.”

The collection of metadata is one of the “supreme priorities” for the NSA , said Greenwald, adding that the practice was more invasive than snooping on the content of electronic communications. 
 
Metadata refers to the time, date, duration and location of calls, allowing the NSA to effectively follow targets. 
 
 
To demonstrate the fact that metadata is far more useful to security agencies than content, Greenwald gave the example of a woman deciding to have an abortion. If you listen in on the woman’s call you will get a very constricting interpretation of events, said Greenwald, a “generic-sounding” clinic name and an appointment time. With metadata, however, agencies can construct a much more detailed picture because it gives them access to phone numbers that in turn could be used to identify the clinic.

 
“If you’re someone who values privacy, it would almost be preferable at this point to have the NSA listening in on your phone calls and reading your emails than it is to have them collect all of your metadata over the course of many years and then analyze it in secret with virtually no restraint.”

‘Diplomatic manipulation and the accumulation of power’


Contradicting Washington’s claims that it does not engage in "economic espionage," Greenwald said the NSA and the GCHQ's activities were aimed towards “diplomatic manipulation and accumulation of power.”
 
 
“What a lot of this spying is about has nothing to do with terrorism and national security. That is the pretext. It is about diplomatic manipulation and economic advantage.”

 
 
 
The NSA also follows people who express “radical ideas,” Greenwald said. The spy agency collects data on their “visits to pornographic sites” and their “sexual chats online with people who they’re not married to” in order to later discredit them, Greenwald said.

Greenwald rejected accusations from the American government that Snowden and his associates have put the fight against terrorism in jeopardy by releasing classified data. He said that the only thing that has been harmed is the “perception of honesty and credibility” of the governments engaged in spying. 
 
 
 

He also made the point that terrorists are fully aware their electronic communications are tracked and for that reason do not use e-mail or the internet.

The inquiry was set up to discuss ratcheting up the security of the internet and telephone networks in the European Union. 
 
 
NSA propagandist John Schindler
Whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the massive scale of the American spy agency’s espionage program in Europe earlier this year. He disseminated classified files to international media that showed the NSA had monitored a number of high-profile political figures, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Furthermore, it was revealed that the organization gathers metadata on millions of telephone calls across the European Union.

Snowden is also expected to testify before the Civil Liberties Committee in January as part of the inquiry.




This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.



Ex-CIA Director : Snowden Should Be "Hanged" If Convicted For Treason; CIA Traitor Woolsey Calls For Death Of American Patriot Edward Snowden

Woolsey, all CIA murdering traitor scumbags past and present will be tried and executed for their crimes - hanging is too good for them and they should be publicly executed by burning at the stake; they will never be safe anywhere in the world

FOX NEWS
By Lucas Tomlinson
12/17/2013

WASHINGTON – 
 
Former CIA Director James Woolsey had harsh words Tuesday for anyone thinking about giving Edward Snowden amnesty, and argued the NSA leaker should be “hanged” if he’s ever tried and convicted of treason. 
 
 
CIA coward, mass murderer, traitor James Woolsey
Woolsey, along with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Hugh Shelton, spoke Tuesday in Washington in an interview with Fox News.

“I think giving him amnesty is idiotic,” Woolsey said. “He should be prosecuted for treason. If convicted by a jury of his peers, he should be hanged by his neck until he is dead."

 
Shelton called the prospect of giving Snowden amnesty a “grave error.”

The reaction comes after an official with the NSA task force assessing the leaks floated the idea of allowing Snowden safe passage back to the United States in exchange for a promise to end further leaking. 
 
 


Snowden said on Tuesday that he is willing to divulge information gathered by the NSA to Brazilian authorities in exchange for asylum. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff postponed a state visit to the United States in response to NSA spying on Brazilians. 
 
 
American traitor Alexander will be tried, executed with his masters
White House spokesman Jay Carney did not indicate any change in the administration’s stance calling for Snowden to turn himself in to face charges. “It remains our view that Mr. Snowden is accused of leaking classified information and that he faces felony charges here in the United States,” Carney said on Tuesday.

 
 
Rick Ledgett, a senior NSA official investigating the damage done by Snowden's leaks, disagrees with the White House and NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander and would like to at least open a dialogue with Snowden to prevent further classified information from being divulged. 
 
 
Traitor, coward Clapper headed for execution
A series of articles published by the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald on documents leaked by Snowden have brought the NSA’s practice of collecting mobile phone records and monitoring Internet use by millions around the world under scrutiny. The NSA has consistently defended its practices as legal.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, a George W. Bush appointee, said in a preliminary ruling, "I cannot imagine a more 'indiscriminate' and 'arbitrary invasion' than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval.”




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Anthony D. Romero ACLU : Edward Snowden Is a Patriot

Edward Snowden has literally given up his life as he knew it for Americans and America, and we all owe a debt of gratitude to this true Patriot

HUFFINGTON POST
By Anthony D. Romero
12/17/2013

Edward Snowden is a patriot.


American Patriot Edward Snowden
As a whistleblower of illegal government activity that was sanctioned and kept secret by the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government for years, he undertook great personal risk for the public good. And he has single-handedly reignited a global debate about the extent and nature of government surveillance and our most fundamental rights as individuals.

Monday's court ruling declaring the NSA surveillance program unconstitutional highlights the irony of the government's prosecution of Snowden. For more than 12 years, the ACLU has raised concerns about the massive changes occurring in our democracy: the rubber stamping of expansive surveillance powers by the judiciary, the clandestine nature of programs that invade the rights and lives of millions of Americans with virtually no oversight, and the quiet acquiescence of a public that believed that individuals had nothing to fear if they had done nothing wrong.


ENEMY OF FREEDOM:  Lying, mass-murderer George W. Bush
That was true until Snowden awakened the American people -- and others across the globe - from complacent lethargy. For his actions, Snowden should be applauded, not vilified. He should be granted full immunity from prosecution. And he should be allowed to resume his life in the United States as a proud American citizen.



Let's unpack the arguments that are surely rifling through many Americans' minds as to why Edward Snowden should not be granted immunity and allowed to return home.
First, many thoughtful observers note that Snowden has revealed important facts about an otherwise clandestine program, but wonder why he took it upon himself to bring his evidence to journalists rather than to Congress or the executive branch. The simple answer is that Snowden was too smart to expect real results from the "official" channels. Since September 11, 2001, Congress and the courts have failed miserably at providing constitutional oversight. 


Traitor, coward, Obama propagandist scumbag Jay Carney
 When The New York Times finally found the courage to expose the earlier NSA spying program in 2005, Congress responded by legitimizing and extending this illegal program through the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. The courts proved little more vigorous in their willingness to serve as a meaningful check on such surveillance programs. Two different lawsuits brought by the ACLU -- one in Detroit and one in New York that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court -- were dismissed because it was impossible to prove that our clients were in fact targeted by these secret government surveillance programs. Absent such proof, which the government was never going to provide, no American would be in a position to challenge the government surveillance programs.


Obama:  White House traitor smoking too much crack
As Justice Sotomayor asked Solicitor General Don Verilli in our Clapper litigation: "General, is there anybody who has standing?" In disclosing these documents Snowden took the patriotic route, knowing that nothing short of public release would get the attention of the American people, our government and our allies. He didn't turn to the normal, government channels to raise his concerns of illegal government activity because he knew that others had used those channels and failed. 


Fortunately, both the courts and Congress seem to have renewed vigor in looking into the constitutionality of NSA surveillance - but such vigor is a direct result of Snowden's revelations. 

The second argument against immunity goes something like this: "He was employed by the government. He knew he was breaking the law. He should have stayed home and faced the music if he was truly well-intentioned." If Snowden had stayed in Hawaii after his first revelations became public, the government would have arrested him that very day.


Boner, Congress traitors going to prison with master Obama
The laws that are being used against Snowden do not distinguish between patriotic whistleblowers and foreign agents. It would be a true miscarriage of justice if the government succeeded in imprisoning for life a person who revealed unconstitutional government conduct. Snowden would surely have been subjected to "special administrative measures" and would have been prevented from working with the journalists or engaging the broader public debate. Snowden knew that he couldn't stay in the U.S. and ignite the public debate that he felt was missing -- so he forsook his homeland to further American democracy.


A third argument -- often read in The Wall Street Journal editorial pages -- questions the authenticity of his motivations by the countries in which he received refuge. If Snowden were such a true believer in democracy, he would never have traveled to China or Russia. That argument fails to recognize the massive power of the American government to lean on other governments to repossess one of its most wanted. Recall the full court press that the American government made through the efforts of President Obama and Secretary Kerry to ensure that Snowden had no other door except one to an American federal prison. Even those countries that have voiced outrage at the NSA surveillance of their leaders and citizens -- Germany, Brazil, Mexico -- have failed to offer political asylum to the man who uncovered it.

Their hypocrisy and capitulation to American diplomatic strong-arming left Snowden with little recourse but to receive help from governments that may have their own agendas in housing someone wanted by the United States.



Edward Snowden is a great American and a true patriot. My colleagues and I at the ACLU are proud to be his legal advisors. We are committed to assisting him on legal issues he may confront.

Thank goodness for patriots like him, who are willing to endure personal sacrifice to defend truths that we hold self-evident, but which too many Americans take for granted.




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ANDREW KREIG: EXPERTS REJECT FIRE AS CAUSE FOR 9/11 WTC COLLAPSES

The real truth on 9/11 slowly continues to bleed out

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Technical experts are mounting major challenges to official U.S. government accounts of how three World Trade Center skyscrapers collapsed in near-freefall after the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago.

Many researchers are focusing especially on the little-known collapse of

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The Geopolitics Of The United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

The Empire and the inevitable fall of the Obama criminal regime

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STRATFOR Editor’s Note: This installment on the United States, presented in two parts, is the 16th in a series of STRATFOR monographs on the geopolitics of countries influential in world affairs.

Like nearly all of the peoples of North and South America, most Americans are not originally from the territory that became the United States.

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Geopolitics Of The United States Part 2: American Identity And The Threats of Tomorrow

A look back at 2011 predictions for the future in order to put events of today into perspective

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We have already discussed in the first part of this analysis how the American geography dooms whoever controls the territory to being a global power, but there are a number of other outcomes that shape what that power will be like. The first and most critical is the impact of that geography on the American mindset.

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By Robert S. Finnegan

This e-mail outlines and confirms the acts of espionage against Indonesia and Indonesians by Akiko Makino and the others involved both in Kobe University and in AI Lab at University of Airlangga, Surabaya; Bahasa Indonesia original follows English translation...

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UPDATED 01/07/2015 : New Analysis Challenges Tamiflu Efficacy; Hong Kong Corona Virus Outbreak

UPDATED 01/07/2015 : FOX NEWS CORPORATE PHARMA SHILL MEGAN KELLY AND FOX NEWS QUACK DOCTOR NOW PUSHING TAMIFLU FOR PREGNANT WOMEN AND CHILDREN;

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THE 5TH ESTATE UNEQUIVOCALLY WARNS THE PUBLIC NOT TO TAKE OR GIVE THIS PROVEN DANGEROUS, INEFFECTIVE DRUG TO ANYONE

Obama criminals now resulting to biowarfare in quest to destroy Chinese and ASEAN economy; "novel virus substrain" points directly to a Kawaoka / Fouchier / Ernala-Ginting Kobe lab virus weaponized and genetically altered to specifically target and infect the Asian population: Ribavirin...

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The 5th Estate has just purchased a library on H5N1 "Novel" virus pandemics, there are dozens of PDF and Exel documents we feel will assist you in saving lives following intentional releases of the H5N1 and now MERS viruses; we will begin by printing those that appear to be extremely relevant here: H5N1 Kobe-Kawaoka-Ernala series continues soon with more "Smoking Gun" e-mails from Teridah Ernala to The 5th Estate . . .

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By Robert S. Finnegan

On October 12, 2002 the Indonesian island of Bali experienced a terrorist attack that rocked the world. It was unquestionably well-coordinated and executed, the largest in the country's history.

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