Author Archives: Corporation

Richard Posner: “I’m compulsive.”

Glenn Greenwald and Guardian Editor, Janine Gibson On Reddit AMA

Glenn Greenwald and Janine Gibson of The Guardian

Attorney and journalist, Glenn Greenwald and Janine Gibson,  editor-in-chief of Guardian/US, just completed a 90 minute Ask Me Anything on Reddit. The entire freewheeling transcript is here and an executive summary is provided below.

Q: Are more groundbreaking leaks coming?
A: There are definitely huge new stories to come: many more. I’ve said that from the start every time I was asked and I think people see by now that it’s true. In fact, as Janine said the other day, the documents and newsworthy revelations are so massive that no one news organization can possibly process them all.

Q: With such a remote staff, how do you keep your work secret and safe from the very surveillance that you are exposing?
A: We use highly advanced means of encryption. Remember, the only ones whose op sec has proven horrible and who has lost control of huge numbers of documents is the NSA and GCHQ. We have lost control of nothing. All of the documents we have remain secure.

Q: The British claimed to have cracked the confiscated computer of your partner David Miranda. Is that true?
A: They outright lied when they said he was carrying a password that allowed access to the documents. Indeed, on the same day they told that lie (to a gullible media that mindlessly repeated it as fact, as usual), the filed a separate affidavit saying it was urgent for them to keep possession of what they took from David because what he was carrying was “heavily encrypted” and they were able to only “reconstruct” 75 documents. Obviously, if he had a password that enabled access to the documents, then they would have been able to access them. He did not, and thus they could not. A major reason why those in power always try to use surveillance is because surveillance = power. The more you know about someone, the more you can control and manipulate them in all sorts of ways. That is one reason a Surveillance State is so menacing to basic political liberties.

Q: Have the documents proven that the government has broken the law?
A: I think there already are things clearly showing the government broke the law, including (but not only) the Constitution, but there is much more to come on that score. In my view, the two most overlooked stories we’ve published are the one you reference (about the secret presidential directive signed by Obama to prepare for offensive cyber operations: essentially the militarization of the internet) and the document we recently published showing NSA gives unminimized communcations of US persons to Israel with very few binding safeguards.

Q: What is the goal of the NSA?
A: I think the public – not just in the US but worldwide – now has a basic idea of the objective of the NSA: to eliminate privacy worldwide, literally, by ensuring that every human electronic communication is subject to being collected, stored, analyzed and monitored by the NSA and its allies (UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia).

Google engineer, Joseph Bonneau, feels “conflicted” and “sad” as NSA award recipient: “I don’t condone the NSA’s surveillance.” By E. Pratt Whitney

Dr. Joseph Bonneau warns of the “inherent dangers” and “questionable utility” of “mass surveillance.”

Aristotle wrote that “the rule of law is better than the rule of any one individual.” But, in a surveillance state, law is arbitrary and capricious. The rules are pretend. The vote is diluted.

What does it mean to be a citizen in a surveillance state? Does it mean this? Or this? Or this? Your guess is as good as mine.

Which brings us to the dark irony of July 18th — the day after a former U.S. President confirmed “America has no functioning democracy — when Dr. Joseph Bonneau, a member of Google’s Data Protection Team, received the NSA’s award for the Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper of 2012. The title? “The Science Of Guessing.”

The very next day he wrote:

Like many in the community of cryptographers and security engineers, I’m sad that we haven’t better informed the public about the inherent dangers and questionable utility of mass surveillance. And like many American citizens I’m ashamed we’ve let our politicians sneak the country down this path….I don’t condone the NSA’s surveillance….I don’t think a free society is compatible with an organization like the NSA…Our focus must remain on winning the public debate around surveillance and developing privacy-enhancing technology.”

~Joseph Bonneau, Ph.D.

In a follow-up interview, Bonneau echoed NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden:

I’d rather have it abolished than persist in its current form. My feeling based on what I’ve read is that I don’t want to live in a country with an organization like the NSA is right now.

On Wednesday — at the behest of a motivated citizenry working on less than 24 hours notice, and notwithstanding the fact that “the 217 ‘No’ voters received twice as much campaign financing from the defense and intelligence industry as the 205 ‘yes’ voters’ – 94 Republicans and 111 Democrats voted to defund NSA’s phone collection program.

The following day in Aspen, Governor Chris Christie — the bombastic, diseased, former Federal prosecutor — tacitly extended Dr. Bonneau and other like-minded citizens an invitation to “come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans” of 9-11, who Christie — I’m “guessing” — keeps locked in a time capsule.

Two things require zero guesswork: (a) “the children” with two parents who lost their fathers on 9-11 were never “orphaned” in the usual sense and (b) the alleged “widows” hopefully are either happily remarried or actively dating, as opposed to cowering in a fetal position behind the Marines in conditioned response to twelve years of relentless psychological warfare and political deceit at the hands of Chris Christie and his hapless band of virtual co-conspirators in the Risk Management Industrial Complex.

With individuals like Joseph Bonneau and Edward Snowden giving clinics on “intelligent citizenship” who needs Chris Christie? Haven’t “the widows and the orphans” suffered enough?

Now back to you.

Roger Clemens Sues Congress For Costs Associated With Prosecution For Perjury | By E. Pratt Whitney

roger-clemens-james-clapperHOUSTON TX ~ In a tersely worded lawsuit filed this morning in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Roger “The Rocket” Clemens, cites the so-called “James Clapper Exception,” for the proposition that in 2005, then-Oversight Committee Chairman, Henry Waxman “omitted to inform me of ‘The Apology Option.’”

Clemens’ action comes at the worst possible time for a legislature already suffering from considerable anxiety now that Edward Snowden has demonstrated to would-be whistleblowers that shortly after exposing widespread, institutional corruption, they can reside — rent free — next to the Cinnabon at European airports.

Clemens’ lawyers note that while their client never took growth hormones, “he would have been a fool not to at least consider lying truthfully to Congress, by simply apologizing, thereby avoiding the specter of prison time and being branded a felon.”

Instead, the seven time Cy Young winner spent seven years and millions of dollars clearing his name in the wake of his voluntary 2005 testimony at a congressional hearing titled: “Restoring Faith in America’s Pastime.”

“It was 2012 before I was finally acquitted after two criminal trials!” Clemens fumed between bites of artificial turf.

Clemens’ lawyers — who have cleverly retained DNI James Clapper as an expert to “clue us in as to how shit really works” — have charged congressional members with 435 individual counts of  “Eat My Shorts.”

Asked for his reaction to the two time World Series champion’s latest pitch, current Oversight Committee Chairman, Congressman Darrell Issa, says you can’t compare the two cases.

James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, lied to Congress about the multi-billion dollar security and surveillance state’s unilateral and unconstitutional revocation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Roger Clemens is a retired baseball player. See what I’m saying?

With a squint heretofore reserved for major league hitters, the fired up 11 time all-star vowed: “By the time I’m through, Congress will be living at the airport!”


Supreme Court Nullifies Voting Rights Act: “White man had a good run. Now we are equal. No hard feelings.” By E. Pratt Whitney

WASHINGTON D.C. — Earlier today a majority of three Jews and six Catholics (three Yale and six Harvard) ruled that from where they sit — i.e. the bench of the Supreme Court — the United States’ 237 year old history of white supremacy is over.

One less thing.

The centerpiece of the high court’s tacit revocation of the 15th Amendment, is the at times rambling — some would say ‘bouyant’ — opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts:

No question dat when Congress past the VRA you niggers were disenfranchised. Today, dat White House be crawlin’ with all matta’ you mothafuckahs and we know dare’s been sum pornicatin’ goin’ on. Mays well call it the Black House. Dat very same nigga’ ‘pointed dat acidic Jew bitch, Kagen, and ‘dat Sonia Da’ Bronks Beaner.

‘Cordin’ly, as chief justice of dis hear ornerable court, I hearbye find and rool and do most definitely declare an end to the racial divides in the various states — lessed of corse y’all have facial hair or ware a funny hat or prey to an alternate dayahdee — in witch case the President, be he Democratik or Christian, will shoot Hellfire so far up yo’ skinny ass y’all wish to Allah yewd staid in y’alls cave playin’ yer pressher cooker. Ol” Spraky — dat’s a muthafuckin’ pressher cooker, right dare!

Nothing herein should be interpreted to mean — like we wrote three weeks ago — dat we won’t be still arbitrarily cheek-swabbin’  cold casin’ cold cockin’ and archivin’ all y’alls DNA for when y’all go off the rails down dat road a piece. As my soshyit Justice Scaila rote den and as I republish hearin by reference: ‘Make no mistake about it, as an entirely predictable consequence of today’s decision your DNA can be taken and entered into a national DNA data base if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason. Call it a high-tech lynching.’

Now dat’s only if y’all go of the rails and y’all know yo gonna’ ’cause dats how niggas are. Is what day do. Otherwise, y’all welcome to come on in. Water’s fine!

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a separate concurring opinion:

While it’s true that I may have famously invoked the term ‘high-tech lynching,’ at my confirmation hearing, at this writing there can be no question that our political culture has completely changed. Everywhere I go white people are nice to me and treat me with utmost respect and courtesy. As an example, the President has not killed a single black citizen with a combat drone. Yet, he killed a Muslim American from Colorado as he traveled peacefully through the desert in Yemen. The President’s decision to not first target the black man with a new enforcement tool is empirical evidence as to how far we have progressed as a society. Beyond that, I can not find a caucasian anywhere who has a negative word to say about ol’ Clarence.

President Obama was not immediately available for comment. As reported earlier today, the President and a group of canvassers from his 2012 Ohio campaign staff are is in Russia looking for Edward Snowden. See, Operation Propellarhat.

Citizen Snowden: The Last Remaining Defense To Unbridled Executive Authority In A Post ‘Amnesty’ Republic By E. Pratt Whitney

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. ~Steve Jobs

Edward Snowden is a start-up operation, who when he speaks, tracks the language of old technology: the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the affirmative defenses set forth in the U.S.-Hong Kong Extradition Treaty.

GLENN GREENWALD: Why did you choose Hong Kong?
EDWARD SNOWDEN: The US Government, just as they did with other whistleblowers, immediately and predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial.
TREATY ARTICLE 6(3)(c): Surrender must be denied if the person sought is likely to be denied a fair trial or punished on account of his political opinions.

On the merits, Snowden’s contention that “the consent of the governed is not consent if it is not informed,” is unassailable. That’s why you have former Federal prosecutor and CNN majoritarian, Jeffrey Toobin, in The New Yorker, unwittingly casting himself in the role of George “Rope-A-Dope” Foreman:

He is a grandiose narcissist who deserves to be in prison….These were legally authorized programs.

Toobin swings and hits nothing but air. Point Propellarhead.

Tom Brokaw, host of The Brokaw Files on The Military Channel (Aren’t they all military channels?)  assures David Letterman that Snowden, a former Senior Adviser to the CIA, is nothing more than a “high school dropout who is a military washout.”

Brokaw leveraged The Late Show to lay bare his techie-bonafides:

  • “To go, if you will, surfing.”
  • “We’re all using cell phones more and stuff that flies through the air.”

Brokaw left NBC in 2004. Wonder if he can find it with the remote? 

Shortly after The Guardian uploaded Snowden — so we could go, if you will, surfing — the President of the United States took pains to say:

We also have federal judges that we put in place who are not subject to political pressure.  They’ve got lifetime tenure as federal judges, and they’re empowered to look over our shoulder at the executive branch to make sure that these programs aren’t being abused.

Post “Amnesty” America: What Every Citizen Needs To Know

The law in the United States, unfortunately, is clear: when the executive and legislative branches conspire to violate the constitutional rights of all citizens equally, the judicial branch is automatically boxed out.

The two political branches of government can violate citizens’ constitutional rights en masse — they can do it all day long — and there’s not a damn thing you or anyone else can do about it in the courts, because your claimed injury not only has to be “individualized” — i.e. distinguishable from the masses — but it can’t be “speculative.”

It is not enough to point to the combat drone hovering overhead. You have to survive the missile strike before you can complain.

Amnesty International v. James Clapper
was decided by the Supreme Court last year on October 29th. Pursuant to the First and Fourth Amendments, the plaintiffs — lawyers and journalists — alleged that they could not do their job, which required them to communicate in confidence with individuals outside the United States, and that accordingly, they were harmed by the secret interception of at least some of their private, foreign digital conversations. For the dissenting Justice Breyer it was an easy call:

We need only assume that the Government is doing its job (to find out about, and combat, terrorism) in order to conclude that there is a high probability that the Government will intercept at least some elec­tronic communication to which at least some of the plaintiffs are parties. The majority is wrong when it describes the harm threatened plaintiffs as ‘speculative.’

Mind you, these were perfect plaintiffs. One affiant, a lawyer who represented Khalid Sheik Mohammed, testified that prior to 2008 he had between 10,000 and 20,000 communications intercepted.  Yet, a majority ruled that when We The People wrote and ratified the Constitution, we did not authorize the courts to consider injuries like those alleged in “Amnesty.”

Speculative. No standing. Not before the court. Dismissed.

“Amnesty” Incubated Ed Snowden

For DOJ lawyers, secrecy was the lynchpin to victory in “Amnesty” — not because the generic exposure of NSA’s data aggregation processes would harm so-called “U.S. interests” — but because the secret status of all things NSA, allows government defense lawyers to scream “speculation” whenever a citizen makes the lifestyle choice to bring a lawsuit.

Ed Snowden understands this completely. Thanks to him, we know that the plaintiffs in “Amnesty” engaged in zero speculation. Hence, the unglued league of Payroll Patriots.

Russell Tice, a retired NSA analyst-turned-whistleblower tells The Guardian:

I figured it would probably be about 2015 before the NSA had the computer capacity to collect all digital communications word for word. But I think I’m wrong. I think they have it right now.

President Obama’s Feigned Magnanimity

When the President says judges have been “put in place…to look over the shoulder of the executive branch” he means just that. They can look. But, they can’t touch. It is feigning magnanimity to welcome — in the summer of 2013 — the debate of a legal question the Supreme Court resolved against the citizenry in the fall of 2012. Some democracy.

Obama is the master. Jonathan Turley stands in awe of the President’s twisted talent:

It is no easy task — particularly to convince a free people — to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself.

The First Amendment Provides

When litigation is not an option, the First Amendment offers the guarantee of publication. One can always contact the press as a tactic for peacefully rallying citizens to get up in the face of their entrenched representatives. Of that there can be no question.

Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of the press.

If Snowden provides purloined documents to his girlfriend, he places her at risk of being charged as a co-conspirator. But, when Snowden blows the whistle to The Guardian, the First Amendment functions as an absolute shield to persons associated with the publication of any resulting stories. A contrary political structure — to quote, New York Times v. United States – “would make a shambles of the First Amendment.”

“New York Times” mentions the First Amendment fifty times, and would not exist in American jurisprudence but for your fellow citizen, Daniel Ellsberg’s willingness to risk life in prison on behalf of your Bill of Rights.

And yet, earlier this week — at a time when any opportunity for litigation has already been foreclosed — a Washington Post columnist actually seethed that any opportunity for publication should also be foreclosed, and that The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald should join Snowden in the next cell.

We don’t know where Ed Snowden is, but we know where he’s coming from:

  • The Fourth Amendment enjoins the government from the warrantless seizure of citizens’ digital assets.
  • The President of the United States was never meant to be vested with so much unchecked authority.
  • The Declaration of Independence characterizes the value of representation in the legislature as “inestimable.”

Snowden challenges you — his fellow citizens — to insist on such representation. Former Supreme Court Justice and Nuremberg lead prosecutor, Robert Jackson — who like Snowden, did not attend college — writes:

The very purpose of the Bill of Rights is to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts.

At no time did Snowden swear loyalty to the Republic. He took a citizen’s oath to defend the bylaws that created it, and unlike his weak-kneed critics in the Risk Management Industrial Complex, he has remained true to his word.

We know exactly where Harvard educated attorney Jeffrey Toobin is, too: on CNN humping unchallengable “legally authorized programs” in between ads for boner pills.

International Business Times: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Does Not Object To Release of 2011 Court Opinion Confirming NSA’s Illegal Surveillance

Lawrence Lessig (1998): “Our Constitution is no Politburo.” Edward Snowden (2013): “The consent of the governed is not consent if it is not informed.” By E. Pratt Whitney

Earlier today, former Booz Allen analyst Edward Snowden fingered his former Booz Allen colleague, now Director of National Intelligence and known perjurer James Clapper, as his inspiration for exposing criminality.

Seeing someone in the position of James Clapper – the Director of National Intelligence – baldly lying to the public without repercussion is the evidence of a subverted democracy.

Meanwhile, former law professor turned President of the United States, Barack Obama agreed with Charlie Rose that he “has no problem with what the NSA has been doing.”

Current Harvard Law Professor, Lawrence Lessig, would apparently agree with Snowden, as evidenced from his [Lessig's] 1998 Congressional testimony, the transcript of which is posted below.

Interviewed last week by Bill Moyers, Lessig – recognized by many as the James Madison of our time – said of Snowden:

He came out publicly, he explains his reasons, doesn’t seem to be benefiting financially from this. He’s going to suffer enormous personal costs for doing what he did. Those are the things that traditionally have marked somebody as the right kind of civil disobedient. And let’s be clear. The penalties which he faces for what he has done are extraordinary. Today these guys face life imprisonment, maybe the death penalty. So when somebody comes forward and explains him or herself in a very clear way about what’s motivating it’s hard not to be moved by that.

TRANSCRIPT – Larry Lessig, Congressional Testimony, May 21, 1998 :

The Russian people learned to live with this invasion. They learned to put up with the insecurities that technology brought. If they had something private to say, they would go for a walk in a public park. If they didn’t want a call traced, they would make it from a public phone. They learned to live with this intrusion by adjusting their life to it. They found privacy in public spaces, since private spaces had been invaded by a technology. And who could blame them? They lived in a totalitarian regime. The State was unchallengeable.

The last 20 years have seen an extraordinary explosion in technologies for invading people’s privacy and for a market that feeds on the product of these technologies.

We are told that our E-mail can be collected and searched by our company or university, and so op-eds advise us not to put private matters into E-mail. Our credit card records become the source for direct marketers, and rather than object, we simply buy with more cash. We have responded to this increasing invasion as the Soviets responded to theirs. Bovine, we have accepted the reduction in private space. Passive, we have adjusted our life to these new intrusions. Accepting, we have been told that this is the way we have to live in this newly digitized age. Now I find this quite bizarre. For while this increasing Sovietization of our personal and private life occurs, we live in no Soviet State. While passivity dominates, there is no reason we couldn’t do things differently. We accept these invasions and these restrictions on our freedom, though there is no Soviet army to enforce them on us.

We accept them, these reductions in the space of our privacy, even though we are the architects of the technologies that give effect to this reduction in privacy. And worse than accept them, sometimes we are told we have no choice but to accept them.

Technologies of monitoring and searching erode our privacy, and yet some will argue that the Constitution restricts Congress’ power to respond. Technologies make it possible from a half-a-mile away to peer into one’s home and watch what goes on there, or eavesdroppers to listen to the conversations in our bedroom, but we are told that the free speech clause of the First Amendment bars Congress from doing anything in response.

Congress, our Constitution is no Politburo. The free speech clause does not render us hostage to the invasions of new technologies. It does not disable you, as representatives of the people, from responding to these changes through laws that aim to re-create the privacy that technology has removed. Indeed, other values, themselves as essential to our democracy as free speech, should push you to take steps to protect the privacy and dignity that changing technologies may take away.

Washington Post Columnist Marc Thiessen’s Frivolous Claim: “Greenwald’s crime is violating 18 USC § 798″ By E. Pratt Whitney

As the video below demonstrates, Marc Thiessen’s column in today’s Washington Post — advancing a legal theory for how the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald (and even his own paper) could face Federal prosecution for daring to speak of NSA’s data mining operation — is not the first time he has publicly embarrassed himself.

It is neither outrageous nor incorrect for Peter King to state that they are criminal acts.

Needless to say, Thiessen – a former member of the Bush Administration and other anti-civil liberties groups – has not yet called for the prosecution of the Director of National Intelligence and known perjurer, James Clapper.

To demonstrate how extreme and fringe and antithetical Thiessen’s views are when compared to First Amendment Doctrine, I used my own software to conduct a national search of the six millionish Federal and state judicial opinions. The following query…

“18 USC § 798″ and “first amendment” and journalist

…retrieves one — and only one — criminal case: United States v. Rosen, 445 F.Supp.2d 602 (E.D. Va. 2006). The defendants in that litigation are lobbyists; not journalists. The defendants in that litigation are accused of transmitting information to persons within government who were not entitled to receive it.

In stark contrast, the First Amendment authorizes Greenwald to receive, write and report on the information Snowden disclosed. Moreover, when we wrote the First Amendment, we expressly reserved the right to receive such information when we stated:

Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of the press.

On Monday, March 4, 1793, President Washington expressly characterized such statements as “injunctions.”

Previous to the execution of any official act of the President the Constitution requires an oath of office. This oath I am now about to take, and in your presence: That if it shall be found during my administration of the Government I have in any instance violated willingly or knowingly the injunctions thereof, I may (besides incurring constitutional punishment) be subject to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn ceremony.

Citizens — be they your so-called “representative” or your fellow journalist — who tacitly call for the revocation of the First Amendment, while simultaneously ignoring bald acts of official criminality, are worse than disingenuous: they are violently unserious.

Former NSA Senior Counsel, Lawfare’s Joel Brenner Sees Snowden As A Coward By E. Pratt Whitney

Lawfare is an anti-civil liberties publication funded by Brookings. Regular contributors to this virtual organization are invariably well-educated, well-spoken, and well-oiled “national security experts” who get off on institutional authority, indefinite detention, and presidents arbitrarily shooting missiles up the ass of their fellow citizens and innocent, unknown foreign nationals who sport facial hair and wear funny hats.

Regular contributors to Lawfare excel at using political language to rationalize, sanitize, institutionalize, legalize, and normalize the unconstitutional; all for the benefit of their incestuous corporate funders in the Risk Management Industrial Complex.

Example? The Fifth Amendment states:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial.

The guys at Lawfare — who love tanks so much they think in one — read the foregoing simple command as provided by we the people and an awkward pause lingers until somebody farts something like:

If the accused enjoys the right to a public trial, what if we never accuse the poor bastard?

Then someone goes:

Then we could just kill him. Put that up on the board.

Next thing you know the Attorney General of the United States shows up at Chicago’s Northwestern University School of Law, as Eric Holder did in 2012:

Due process and judicial process are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.

No accusation. No judicial process. No lawyer. No trial. The only thing you’re due is a missile. Isn’t that clever?

All of which brings me to regular Lawfare contributor, Joel Brenner, who obtained his Juris Disingenuous at the once respected, Harvard Law, and, at various times since, has been affiliated with NSA, FBI, CIA and the rest of the alphabet. Brenner throws down herein:

Unless the disobedient citizen takes the legal consequences of his unlawful action – he’s nothing but a criminal or a rebel….You tell me, dear reader, how young Mr. Snowden measures up to Socrates, Thoreau, Ghandi, and King.

So, you have to be Jesus now to challenge the surveillance state?

We’ll get to Thoreau, right after we pause for this message from recent history — yesterday in fact — two quotes — one by the twice elected President and former editor of the Harvard Law Review, and the other from a 29 year old, former high school dropout with a G.E.D.

Can you guess who said what?

“I don’t have any problem with what the NSA has been doing.”
“The consent of the governed is not consent if it is not informed.”
The first is Obama in agreement with codependent journalist, Charlie Rose. The second is Edward Snowden live-chatting with independent journalist Glenn Greenwald and the world. Which of these two speakers do you suppose recently reviewed the Declaration of Independence?
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
Snowden knows he may eventually be branded a felon.  His objective is to bring some deserving others down with him; people like the Director of National Intelligence turned perjurer, James Clapper; the individual who more than any other inspired Snowden to come forward. Last week, a third Harvard lawyer — Larry Lessig — had this to say about Snowden in an interview with Bill Moyers:
He came out publicly, he explains his reasons, doesn’t seem to be benefiting financially from this. He’s going to suffer enormous personal costs for doing what he did. Those are the things that traditionally have marked somebody as the right kind of civil disobedient. And let’s be clear. The penalties which he faces for what he has done are extraordinary. Today these guys face life imprisonment, maybe the death penalty. So when somebody comes forward and explains him or herself in a very clear way about what’s motivating it’s hard not to be moved by that.
The Joel Brenners of the world look around Washington D.C. and think they see the establishment. But in the United States, as Edward Snowden knows, the people are the establishment. Snowden writes in his chat:
Journalists should ask a specific question: since these programs began operation shortly after September 11th, how many terrorist attacks were prevented SOLELY by information derived from this suspicionless surveillance that could not be gained via any other source? Then ask how many individual communications were ingested to achieve that, and ask yourself if it was worth it. Bathtub falls and police officers kill more Americans than terrorism, yet we’ve been asked to sacrifice our most sacred rights for fear of falling victim to it.
Snowden is asking you to think, even if you don’t have a tank. One wonders whether, as a spy, Snowden was hiding in plain view at Barnard College in May 2012, when President Obama told graduates:

It’s up to you to hold the system accountable and sometimes upend it entirely.

So magnificently meritorious are the ideals that define Snowden’s understanding of what it means to be a citizen of the United States — ideals that have been under assault for more than a decade by the Democratic and Republican National Committees and their multi-national corporate masters — the best Joel Brenner can do is feebly attempt to distinguish Edward Snowden from the great Dr. Martin Luther King.

Is Snowden a traitor like Dick Cheney says, or is he a citizen who falls just short of being Martin Luther King?

I’m so confused!

Putting off for another day the question of whether Brenner also intended to imply that what Dr. King suffered at the hands of James Earl Ray were “legal consequences,” it is possible — perhaps even likely — that Snowden’s victimless actions may be proven to run afoul of some Federal law. It is precisely for that reason, that Thoreau — who wrote: “Any fool can make a rule and any fool will mind it” — would give up his bottom bunk to have Snowden as his cellmate.

As for the fascists represented by Joel Brenner, without so much as raising a fist, Edward Snowden has already made you his bitch.

Better Than Perjury: How James Clapper Punk’d Ron Wyden, Ed Snowden And The Global Commentariat By E. Pratt Whitney

When not otherwise engaged in the wholesale revocation of the Fourth Amendment, Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, can be seen playing "Mike The Cleaner" on TV's "Breaking Bad."

When not otherwise engaged in the wholesale revocation of the Fourth Amendment, Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, can be seen playing “Mike The Fixer” on TV’s “Breaking Bad.”

Who doesn’t love a good joke?

On March 12, Senator Ron Wyden asked former Booz Allen executive turned Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper a simple question and, under oath, Clapper replied with a simple answer.

WYDEN: Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?

A Congressman bit. A Senator bit. We all bit. Myself included.

On Monday, Ed Snowden fingered Clapper as a man who inspired him to step out from under his propeller hat for the benefit of his fellow citizens and the Bill of Rights.

 Seeing someone in the position of James Clapper – the Director of National Intelligence – baldly lying to the public without repercussion is the evidence of a subverted democracy.

Glenn Greenwald uploaded Edward Snowden on June 11; the same day Senator Ron Wyden uploaded this:

One of the most important responsibilities a Senator has is oversight of the intelligence community.  This job cannot be done responsibly if Senators aren’t getting straight answers to direct questions. When NSA Director Alexander failed to clarify previous public statements about domestic surveillance, it was necessary to put the question to the Director of National Intelligence.  So that he would be prepared to answer, I sent the question to Director Clapper’s office a day in advance.  After the hearing was over my staff and I gave his office a chance to amend his answer.  Now public hearings are needed to address the recent disclosures and the American people have the right to expect straight answers from the intelligence leadership to the questions asked by their representatives.

No way Clapper flunks a take home test. So why “No, Sir?”

On June 8, shortly after The Guardian published the formerly top-secret Verizon court order, James Clapper summoned codependant journalist, Andrea Mitchell, down to Tyson’s Corner for an interview.

I responded in what I thought was the most truthful or least most untruthful manner.

Sure seemed like the money quote. On the other hand, you’ve got world-class deviants like former White House Press Secretary, Ari Fleischer, out there offering, “world-class media management for today’s high-profile world.” The Fleischer’s of the world get paid a lot of money to throw people off the trail with dog whistles like “least most truthful manner.”

A second pass at the record coupled with some deep research reveals the true money quote:

MITCHELL: Can you explain what you meant when you said there was not data collection on millions of Americans?
CLAPPER: To me collection of U.S. Persons data would mean taking the books off the shelf, opening it up and reading it.
MITCHELL: You did not mean archiving the telephone numbers?
CLAPPER: No. When someone says ‘collection’ to me, that has a specific meaning, which may have a different meaning to him (Senator Wyden).

That “specific meaning” can be found in the 1982 Department of Defense Procedures Governing The Activities Of DOD Intelligence Components That Affect United States Persons — Explanation Of Undefined Terms, § C2.2.1, p.6 — get a load:

Collection. Information shall be considered as ‘collected’ only when it has been received for use by an employee of a DoD intelligence component in the course of his official duties….Data acquired by electronic means is ‘collected’ only when it has been processed into intelligible form.

Wyden asks…

Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?

…when he should have asked:

Does the NSA aggregate any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?

Intercept? Archive? Chronicle? Analyze? Boolean search? Vacuum? Ingest? Inhale? Tap? Suck up? Absolutely. Collect? “No, Sir.”

All this time we thought Clapper was using plain language, when in fact he was communicating in the least most untruthful manner not inconsistent with a 31 year old “explanation of an undefined term.”

Who needs perjury when you’ve got good ol’ § C2.2.1? Remember the landlines on Seinfeld? 1982 was seven years before that.

Taking stock of his years with the New York Times, Chris Hedges writes:

When you allow an institution to provide you with your identity and sense of self-worth you become an obsequious pawn, no matter how much talent you possess. You live in perpetual fear of what those in authority think of you and might do to you.

Dianne Feinstein proves Hedges’ theory to George Snuffleupagus:

There is no more direct or honest person than Jim Clapper.

“Direct or honest”? Which is it, Dianne?

Clapper. Wyden. Mitchell. Feinstein. Ed Snowden — wanted for exposing a program he thought was top-secret, but that the President insists is transparent — is the only one not institutionalized. Not yet.

CHARLIE ROSE: Should this be transparent in some way?
BARACK OBAMA: It is transparent

Jonathan Turley stands in awe:

It is no easy task — particularly to convince a free people — to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself.

Ralph Nadar is more to the point:

Has there ever been a bigger con man in the White House?

The con man is right — “it is transparent” — but only because Ed Snowden cared enough to let us in on the joke.