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Total number of comments: 1790 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:39)

Bill Bodden

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  • Greenwald Partner falsely detained as Terrorist: How to Create a Dictatorship
    • A very succinct and accurate assessment, Edger. Well done. The only way to improve on it is to ignore the troll completely.

    • "What will it take to get the attention of a sleepy, fat, lazy, public?"

      This is really the first step for creating a dictatorship. Encourage the masses to become consumers instead of citizens and, Pied Piper-like, distract them from the real, sordid world of governance in the hands of plutocrats and their handmaidens in the Republican and Democratic oligarchies.

  • It's not about Democracy: Top Ten Reasons Washington is Reluctant to cut off Egypt Aid
    • John: Let me pile on to your nonsense:

      Re the NYT: In addition to its long-time pro-right-wing Israel position, the NYT was part of the propaganda network serving the Bush/Cheney administration to spread their lies to get the United States to engage in an illegal and immoral war against Iraq.

      Re the Palestinians: Consider this article about Richard Falk, who served as a United Nations Special Rapporteur on "the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967" and who has spoken strongly against the abusive treatment of Palestinians by Israel's right wing: "Over the past three decades, Israel has veered away from its founding commitments to justice and built an apartheid-like state that abuses the indigenous Palestinians. That troubling course has been shielded by personal attacks on anyone, like UN official Richard Falk, who notes the facts, says Lawrence Davidson." - link to consortiumnews.com

    • The NYT has such a bias for Israel's right wing it has been discredited for many years on the topic of Israel and Palestine.

      "Whatever your political bias, even you must admit that has been a huge benefit for everyone in the region."

      Tell that to the Palestinians who have been evicted from their land that is now occupied by settlers. Tell that to the Palestinians who have had their olive trees and other properties destroyed. Tell that to the Palestinians whose water is being cut off. Tell that to the people who were assaulted on the Gaza flotillas.

      Consider this: "Being honest about the dominant Zionist narrative: Mayor of Upper Nazareth espouses the logic of exclusion that defines the current Israeli political and social landscape." By Neve Gordon - link to aljazeera.com

    • "6. The Israelis asked the US not to suspend the aid.

      Should that perhaps be "6. AIPAC told the US not to suspend the aid"?

    • "5. The aid was given as a bribe to the Egyptian elite to make nice with Israel. Given the chaos in Sinai, and Egypt’s instability, Congress is more worried about that issue than at any time in 40 years.

      "6. The Israelis asked the US not to suspend the aid."

      No surprise there.

  • Egypt's Transition Has Failed: New Age of Military Dictatorship in Wake of Massacre
    • Of course, all of the above occurred before our own leader spoke from Martha's Vineyard. Because of the faith Arabs around the world, like his Democratic Party loyalists, have placed in his words, we can look forward to both sides in Egypt confessing the errors of their ways and discussing how they can all live together happily every after.

      Now about that bridge I mentioned before. Any takers?

  • How Much Blood Money does the US Pay to Families of Innocent Drone Victims? It's Classified (Currier)
    • It is surprising that the United States government would pay "blood money" for victims of drone attacks. This could set a precedent for reparations to Iraq that would shatter the American economy.

  • Israeli Gov't mocks 'Peace Talks' with announcement of 1200 New Squatter homes in Occupied Palestine
    • Joe: If a doctor observed you for some period of time and made some diagnosis you didn't like, would you take it as personal criticism? Or would you consider he might know what he is talking about and it might be a good idea to be open-minded and give his opinion some respect?

    • "The Israeli government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced Sunday that it would take bids on nearly 1200 new housing units on Palestinian territory occupied by Israel."

      More evidence the current "peace talks" are a charade.

  • Obama's Reassurances about Domestic Surveillance are not Reassuring
    • "And one wonders if any of those analysts and effectives, simply to keep their jobs and feed their families, or in some warped or transfigured notion of loyalty, participated in putting lipstick on the various Pigs, including many episodes like Pigs, Bay Of."

      Several years ago I attended a talk given by the father of an Iraq war dissident, who is now probably enjoying a return to anonymity so I won't reveal his name. The father was asked if any of his son's colleagues shared his views. The father replied that some had told his son they agreed with him but they didn't dare join him in his dissent because "they had mortgages to pay."

      There seems to be an immutable law that says that in any organization of considerable size where there is a lure of power and wealth you will find the best and worst of people with most people somewhere in between.

    • "Again, back in the real world, the brig commander responsible for Manning’s treatment was removed from command and disciplined."

      That's odd. Obama said the treatment meted to Bradley Manning was "appropriate." He didn't say "appropriate" for what, but a consensus presumes it was intended to get a confession to frame Julian Assange even though it didn't work.

    • This might be a good time to consider the Peter Principle about people rising to their level of incompetence.

    • "Mr. Obama in his public discourse absolutely refuses to acknowledge those abuses."

      Unfortunately, so too do most most American "citizens."

  • Where is our Amsterdam? Lavabits, Snowden & Wikileaks Censorship recall age of Absolutism
    • "Russ Feingold was the only US senator to oppose this abomination."

      And he was dumped by the voters of Wisconsin. So what does that say about them?

    • I recall being told many years ago that a member of an organized crime syndicate, it may have been Meyer Lansky, said that if you are going to engage in crime, study the law. Update: If you are going to shred the Constitution, study the Constitution.

    • "When the (un)PATRIOT Act was first passed, ..."

      Russ Feingold was the only US senator to oppose this abomination. (link to archipelago.org) Since then, many senators and representatives have been re-elected to their or higher office. Joe Biden was elected vice president and Hillary Clinton is again being promoted to become the first female president. So, what does that say about the American people?

  • Shameless: American Sanctions hit Ordinary Iranians' Access to Medicine
    • The senate, supposedly the world's greatest deliberative body, voted unanimously to increase sanctions on Iran. Presumably, this was in obeisance to the dictat of the Israeli lobby. This should be great cause for concern when the lobby gets otherwise admirable senators such as Merkley, Warren and Sanders to sell out for something they surely don't really believe in.

    • And a few years from now if "60 Minutes" interviews Hillary Clinton or John Kerry about the deaths of thousands of Iranian children attributable to the sanctions they will inevitably borrow from Madeline Albright and say, "It was worth it."

  • Top Reasons John McCain and Lindsey Graham have no Credibility for Egypt Talks
    • "Perhaps the President feels he is going to need their support on other issues, and is massaging their egos?"

      Those are monumental egos that will take an enormous amount of massaging beyond the capacity of mere mortals.

    • Top evidence this nation is run by some unelected oligarchy and our democracy is on its last legs: Obama sends McCain and Graham as his emissaries to Egypt.

  • Putin as America's Frenemy: The Snowden Paradox
    • The other part of the authoritarian problem is what Bob Altemeyer refers to as the authoritarian follower. They are a vital componenent to an authoritarian's success. At one time Hitler was considered a crackpot ranting and raving in Vienna, but when he achieved a position of authority and acquired a legion of followers that is when he becamse a problem.

      Same thing with the Bush administration getting us into the war on Iraq. They were the authoritarians, but they wouldn't have gone anywhere without their followers, including the authoritarians in the armed forces who switched to the roles of followers, then back again to authoritarian mode to order their troops into that illegal and immoral war.

    • "The US is far from the authoritarianism of Putin’s Russia."

      Nevertheless, authoritarians have had and still have an enormous impact on the American way of life. It was people of authoritarian dispositions who maintained slavery and then segregation. It is authoritarians who have maintained versions of slavery and segregation ever since. Think corporate Amerika and Wall Street. It was people of authoritarian dispositions who caused and supported the illegal and immoral war on Iraq and who built on their power with the surveillance systems exposed by Edward Snowden. It takes an authoritarian disposition to shred the Constitution and proceed to assassinate American citizens overseas without their right to due process.

      Bob Altemeyer of the University of Manitoba has written one of the best studies on authoritarians. It is free at link to home.cc.umanitoba.ca.

      Perhaps, we are not so far from the authoritarianism of Putin’s Russia. We appear to be not quite as crude as the Russians, but there isn't much difference for the victims.

    • "Russia isn’t pursuing Russia’s interests but rather Putin’s interests."

      The Obama administration and Congress aren’t pursuing America’s interests but rather their own interests and those of the corporations on whose behalf they serve.

    • "Angry politicians called on President Obama to cancel talks in Moscow with Putin scheduled in September."

      Among the "angry politicians" were the same people who approved the Operation Cast Lead massacre in Gaza.

      "A Realist would say, if you want a friend, buy a dog! Clearly Putin knows this."

      Perhaps, the old saw about "the enemy (Putin) of my enemy (Obama administration and much of Congress) is my friend" is at play here.

    • "Russia refuses to help the US impose a financial blockade on Iran."

      From a civilized and sane perspective that is a very good thing. Consider:

      "Tough-guy-ism is still a powerful ideology in the U.S. Congress, where House members just voted to ratchet up sanctions on Iran even as its new leadership is eager to reach an accommodation with the West on its nuclear program. This behavior raises questions in Iran about America’s real goal, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar." link to consortiumnews.com

      "Rouhani’s inauguration and the West’s strategic suicide: The West is miscalculating Rouhani and fail to understand the system that governs Iranian politics and policy-making. By Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett" - link to aljazeera.com

      and other commentary by Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett

  • Top Ten Ways Bradley Manning Changed the World
    • And, in accordance with my point about admitting error, I thank you for correcting my careless use of "Universal" instead of "Uniform" in the UCMJ.

      I will take the liberty of presuming in the unlikely event of your ever committing an error that you will admit it.

    • Presumably, Manning changed the opinions of many people, trolls excluded, in the world from the sugar-coated versions they were taught about how governments work to something more realistic.

    • It's interesting, Bill, that you felt a need to defend trolls.

      "I gather you define a troll as someone with whom you disagree."

      You gathered wrong, Bill. I occasionally disagree with some point or other made by my friends and they occasionally disagree with a point that I make, but I never consider them trolls, nor do I believe they consider me a troll. The difference between us and trolls is that when we see we are in error, we admit to it unlike trolls who are locked into whatever position or ideology they support.

    • One thing Bradley Manning didn't change: No matter how egregiously our government behaves it will still have its legions of supporting talking heads on television, pundits in the fawning corporate media, and trolls on dissenting blogs.

    • "I will grant Manning this: He has the courage of his convictions and has been willing to take the consequences of his actions. In doing so, he has shown a degree of courage and a certain integrity that are totally lacking in Edward Snowden."

      Snowden had enough sense to learn from Manning's experiences with the tender mercies showered on him by US Marines while in solitary confinement at Quantico Marine base in violation of his Constitutional rights and the Universal Code of Military Justice. Not being a masochist, Snowden decided getting out of Dodge was the wisest thing to do and avoid a civilian version of what Manning went through.

    • Perhaps we should thank commander-in-chief Obama and Judge Lind's boss, Gen. Buchanan for telling her to find Manning not guilty on 'aiding the enemy."

      Roots Action has a petition for the Nobel Peace Prize Committee to award the next prize to Bradley Manning - link to act.rootsaction.org

    • And the Obama administration with the US Army and Marine Corps in we-are-only-obeying-orders-mode treat Bradley Manning as a criminal. And for the most part the American people don't care. Given that last point, maybe Manning and Snowden were fools to have sacrificed their lives on behalf of an ungrateful nation. Time will tell.

  • Why US Media will focus on Pope's 'Gay' Remarks but Ignore those on the Poor, Amazon Environment
  • Thousands of Germans Protest Obama/ Merkel STASI-like Spying on Them
    • As for an emergency landing in Vienna because Morales's plane was low on fuel, this report - link to presstv.com - indicates the plane was scheduled to refuel in Portugal.

      As for Germany, there is something here that is reminiscent of the dog that didn't bark in the Sherlock Holmes story.

    • Would you like to take a guess as to why Morales' plane turned back to Vienna when it was near the German border instead of going on to Munich?

    • Watch the flight path of Bolivian Air Force One link to zerohedge.com. It flew past Vienna then backtracked to its airport. It clearly could have made it to Munich and Zurich from its turnaround point. Why did it not go there? Why did it not enter German airspace? How can we explain Germany's role in this squalid affair?

    • Bolivia called in diplomatic representatives from Spain, Portugal and France, but that doesn't let Germany off the hook. Der Spiegel reported "Several European countries had allegedly denied the Bolivian aircraft overflight rights after rumors began flying that National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden was on board." link to spiegel.de.

      France and Spain claim they would have allowed overflight rights. If so why did Morales' plane not cross German air space?

      That line about running low on fuel has to be regarded with skepticism. Munich was closer to the flight path than Vienna according to Aeroflot's route map, so why did it not go there. Distance-wise from Moscow there wouldn't have been much difference.

    • "German Chancellor Angela Merkel (center-right) has been worried that the surveillance scandal will hurt her in the upcoming elections."

      The election will give us a truer portrait of Germany and the Germans. After Merkel clicking her heels and saying "Jawohl, mein Fuehrer" to Obama when he told her to deny Evo Morales his right to overfly Germany, it will be a serious sign about the status of German democracy and independence if she is reelected.

    • "...but given the depth of feeling in Germany against anything that smacks of totalitarianism,..."

      If only a few thousand Germans saw fit to take to the streets that "depth of feeling" appears to be more shallow than deep.

      Unfortunately, it appears authoritarians and authoritarian followers are still determining how that nation is run.

  • Pentagon: Americans must give up Liberties to fight "enemies" but we won't say who they are (Currier)
    • The old but true adage about power corrupting and absolute power corrupting absolutely is probably at play here. We have a bunch of power seekers in the military-industrial-security complex who have attained enormous power but who are incapable of saying, "That's enough" so they become more aggressive pursuing more power and becoming more corrupt. Too much is never enough. They already own the White House and most of Congress, and it will be the United States tomorrow and the world the day after that.

    • I'm reminded of a Western movie I saw some decades ago. A town was threatened by some bad guys so the good citizens hired a career gunfighter to defend them. He eventually became the town's dictator. Now we have our own group of gunslingers who are taking away our liberties to protect them. Kind of like our military in Vietnam destroying villages to save them.

  • Congress betrays vow to Uphold Constitution, abrogates 4th Amendment; Snowden is Better
    • "Snowden is just as guilty of revealing classified information, and thereby violating the terms of his clearance and employment, as he would have been had he been a direct-hire US Government employee."

      “If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble,… “the law is a ass—a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience—by experience.” Charles Dickens in Oliver Twist

    • Normal Solomon has an article at CounterPunch that provides a link to the House vote so you can see there isn't much difference between many of the Democrats and the proto-fascists on the right: "Obama’s willing executioners of the Fourth Amendment:” Limitless surveillance - link to counterpunch.org

  • "Whoever Speaks of 1967 borders speaks of Auschwitz": Israel Cabinet not Serious about talks on a Palestinian State
    • What should be obvious by now for independent observers and to cynical US politicians beholden to the Israel lobby is that the Likud and other right-wing parties in Israel have no interest whatsoever in peace talks until "peace talks" is synonymous with surrender and exile.

    • “Here we go again, another round of Mideast peace talk kabuki.”

      Perhaps "kabuki" should be changed to Greek tragedy or a Keystone Kops script:

      Israeli-Palestinian peace talks’ resumption put in doubt by both sides: Hostility within Israel's government towards preliminary talks forged by US secretary of state matched by Palestinian rebuttals by Harriet Sherwood - link to guardian.co.uk

    • "Whoever speaks of the 1967 borders speaks of Auschwitz."

      What does that say about the person who made that statement and those who agree with him?

      And what does it say about the United States that people of that ilk are jerking it around and causing people around the world to hold it in contempt? And what does it say about our president and vice president that they will allow themselves and their offices to be insulted by such people? And what does it say about our Congress that all but very few elected officials kowtow to such people?

      There are three senators for whom I have a lot of respect, and I can't believe they really approve of Israeli policies. Nevertheless, they toe the line.

    • "What’s the theory here? How is refusing to even enter into negotiations supposed to be good for the Palestinians?"

      They would save a lot of money on travel expenses going to pointless talks. On the other hand, maybe they enjoy the illusion that they are significant players in historic peace talks. That's kind of ironic when you realize they will have to get permission from Israel's right wing to leave their bantustan to get to the Tel Aviv airport.

      As for Kerry, he is showing the same level of competence he displayed when he ran for president. The result for him as secretary of state will be similar.

    • Eric Margolis nailed it: "Here we go again, another round of Mideast peace talk kabuki."

      In a long line of aggressors with a mission to transfer all Palestinians out of Palestine, Netanyahu is not about to make a U-turn, nor is the Israeli Lobby, especially when they are so close to accomplishing their century-old plan. That will be the ultimate trophy for them to add alongside the White House and Congress that they acquired a long time ago to make the Zionist dream possible.

  • Protests and the Trayvon Martin Foundation: "Trayvon is Down but we're Rising Up"
    • "I don’t think you can say that the post-Rodney King efforts “went nowhere.” Compare the Darryl Gates LAPD to that of today. Look at the community policing movement."

      In the grand scheme of the racist block in America, steps taken toward better behavior were just band-aids when major surgery was called for. Whatever improvements were made in Los Angeles apparently didn't make it up the coast to the BART police in Oakland or across to New York where blacks are continually frisked by the NYPD because they are black and walking or driving in public spaces.

      I didn't see any signs at the Trayvon Martin rally in Los Angeles thanking the LAPD for their enlightenment and telling the rest of America to follow the LA model.

    • After the Rodney King and many other KKK-like events and talk about bringing change that went nowhere, let's hope this new foundation honoring Trayvon will be the one that clicks. But don't hold your breath. Too many people are making lots of money selling guns and like things just the way they are.

      With regard to the trial and all the comments from the talking heads on television, I find it mind-boggling that no one seems to have focused on the last few seconds of Trayvon's life from the time Zimmerman got his gun in his hand to the time he pulled the trigger.

      Giving Zimmerman the benefit of lots of doubt, let's assume he genuinely felt his life was in danger. With his gun in hand, he had a number of options to stop Trayvon's alleged aggression. Zimmerman had at least three non-lethal options: (1) Point his gun at Trayvon's face; (2) Shoot Trayvon around his hip; and (3) Shoot Trayvon in the leg. Instead, Zimmerman chose the most likely fatal option to shoot Trayvon in the area of his heart.

      That looks like murder to me, but obviously the Mickey Mouse state thinks otherwise.

  • Detroit's Bankruptcy and America's Future: Robots, Race, Globalization and the 1%
    • At the heart of it all is the human condition and a lust for power among the more aggressive among us followed by the inevitable corrupting influence of power. There needs to be a counterbalancing force exerted by the citizenry, but again the people have failed to rise above being consumers mesmerized by our national pied pipers to become responsible citizens. Detroit today, America tomorrow.

  • UK's Channel 4 Schools US Media on How to cover NSA, Snowden
    • This note just came over the transom to my office: "Davy Gregory just told MSNBC he will no longer deliver their softball questions to guests who are power players in the Washington Establishment. He is going to grill them to get the real skinny."

      Oops! Here's another note. "Davy just got fired."

      Hold on. Here's another. "Chick Todd, Ed Schlitz, Melissa Rick-Perry, Motormouth Matthews, Sharp Alton, and Duke Russert are lined up at the president's door applying for Davy's job."

  • Snowden: I acted because Domestic Spying actually worsened under Obama
    • "One question, if government spying was so all pervasive how is it that these agencies were not aware, even after they did background checks on him, that Edward Snowden had been in contact with Glen (sic) Greenwald, well before being hired by Booz Allen Hamilton."

      Your timeline is screwed up along with the rest of your fiction. Snowden worked at BZH long before he contacted Glenn Greenwald. It was after he discovered the excesses of surveillance that Snowden contacted Glenn Greenwald as one of the few people he could trust.

      You are badly in need of a good history of the Vietnam war when, for instance, you write that Johnson was at the Paris peace talks.

    • "Muzzling a sitting senator about an issue of clear public concern surely is unconstitutional."

      Sen. Dick Durbin in a senate speech revealed (after the Iraq war was underway) that the senators on the intelligence committee knew from what they were told in closed hearings that the Bush Administration was lying to get the nation in a war on Iraq. The committee members used their oaths to secrecy to justify their silence in public and so the nation went to war with all its crimes against humanity.

      Now the current members of the intelligence (?) committee under the leadership of Dianne Feinstein are mute at our democracy's 11th hour.

      Where are the profiles in courage when the nation needs them?

  • Has NSA Spying Killed US "Cloud" services, Email in Europe, Brazil?
    • That Europeans will assert their independence is a nice sentiment but, as the hijacking of President Morales' official plane showed, the big players will follow the money. It's a good bet that if they had been ordered to by Washington, all other NATO nations would have joined Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal in this violation of international law. Britain is not the only American poodle in Western Europe.

      As Paul Craig Roberts said, "Lawlessness is the new normal." - link to paulcraigroberts.org

  • Evo Morales of Bolivia joins in Offering Leaker Snowden Asylum
    • " Morales implied that the Europeans disrespected him because he is an indigenous Bolivian, and said they sought to humiliate his country after 500 years of looting it. They cannot, he said, because its people have gained a sense of sovereignty and dignity."

      Readers of this blog may have wrongly assumed that the book I recommended - Eduardo Galeano's "Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent" - is an anti-American screed. The appalling abuse of Latin Americans was not limited to United States corporations. Western European capitalists were just as, if not more, guilty. And the pillage continues.

      Man's inhumanity to Man is universal and not limited to the US.

  • Venezuela's Maduro: Unlike US Asylees, Snowden didn't Blow anything Up, just said 'This is not Right'
    • My point was not to smear de Soto, but to encourage skepticism instead of taking your promotion of him at face value.

    • This is from a Slate article about Hernando: "At last year's annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, Bill Clinton, the event's unofficial king, publicly declared that de Soto was "probably the world's most important living economist.""

      Beware of anyone praised by our former snake-oil-salesman-in chief who signed in the disastrous act that repealed Glass-Steagall and paved the way for the banking disaster that unfolded in 2008. The full article is at link to slate.com

    • For more on this topic read Eduardo Galeano's "Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent"

    • "... in order, he said, to protect him from “imperial North American persecution"

      Who is going to protect Maduro and Venzuela from “imperial North American persecution"?

  • How Unreasonable Searches of Private Documents Caused the American Revolution
    • How about a memorial for all the "collateral damage" caused by agencies of out Department of War?

    • Perhaps the sheep analogy is not right. I suspect if a mother sheep saw someone kill her lamb she would, if she could, attack the killer. On the other hand, the mothers, fathers, grandparens, spouses, siblings and children of soldiers who died for the lies told and promoted by our government and corporate media have acquiesced to this crime and let the guilty get away with it. How many have helped to re-elect the politicians that got the nation into the Iraq war that took the lives of their loved ones and, in some cases, are spoiling to get our military into more wars - Iran, for instance?

    • "Most Americans have become little more than bleating sheep,..."

      Nothing new there. William J. Lederer wrote a book that was published in 1961. Its title? "A Nation of Sheep."

  • Snowden Fall-out: European Denial of Overflight to Bolivian President Angers South America
    • Biden was probably assigned by the oligarchs in the Democratic (?) Party to mentor Obama. Don't forget, Biden promoted the bankruptcy law so that banks could charge usurious rates, and he was one of the Democrats' leading cheerleaders for the war on Iraq.

    • When French and German leaders ignore or are forced to ignore the opinions of their people, this may be evidence that the diagnosis of declining American power is premature. There is also the probability of European plutocrats willingly collaborating with their American counterparts and telling their political puppets what to do. Why are we spending so much money on our Department of War when economic pressure in foreign affairs seems to be more efficient and effective?

  • Snowden: US now using deprivation of Citizenship as a Weapon
    • "What in the world do you expect the U.S. government to do, ignore the law?"

      Perhaps, people in the government should set an example when it comes to obeying the law. Bradley Manning was denied his constitutional right to a prompt and fair trial. Instead, he was incarcerated for nearly three years before his trial got under way, and during part of his time at Quantico he was subjected to abusive treatment that violated his constitutional rights and got the attention of Amnesty International and the UN repporteur on torture. And, President Obama said that Manning's treatment was appropriate. Manning and John Kiriakou exposed crimes. They wound up in the slammer while the criminals they exposed are free. Guantanamo! How much worse can abuse of the law and denial of habeas corpus get than that? Execution of American citizens without trial and innocent people in Yemen and Pakistan Knowledgeable people have made the case that bankers on Wall Street broke laws right and left to create a national crisis, but none of the big players have even been threatened with prosecution.

      I doubt many people now expect the government to obey the law if it doesn't suit the people with power.

    • Bill Gates was a college dropout.

    • "There is certainly nothing in Sweden that he fears."

      Assange, understanbly, fears that Sweden's attempts to get him on Swedish soil will prove to the first step in his rendition to the United States.

    • Pretty good statement for a high-school dropout.

  • Furious European Parliament Members Warn US Spying could Derail Free Trade Agreement
    • If it is true that the Europeans are really offended it will be remarkable if they have sufficient independence to act accordingly.

    • France 24 is reporting the party leaders across the political spectrum and proposing that France give Snowden political asylum.

      I haven't had a chance to check this out, but I'm sure the NYT and WaPo have this on their front pages.

  • Top Ten Ways the Beltway Press will treat Gen. Cartwright differently from Snowden
    • Are you implying Snowden collaborated with China and Russia? What evidence do you have of that? Or, did you just overhear some government official whispering in David Gregory's ear?

    • Meanwhile over in Congress senators suspect General Clapper of the CIA of lying to the Senate. Will he follow the path to a trial as was the case with Roger Clemens who was accused of lying to a House committee? No one is above the law? That just applies to citizens lacking the protections of the White House and Congress. There is a long history of generals and admirals lying with impunity to Congress so Gen. Cartwright will probably be able to relax and enjoy his 4th of July barbecue.

    • I don't understand all this cynicism. Our president said clearly and unequivocally a few weeks ago that no one is above the law, and if we can't believe our president whom else can we believe.

  • Top Ten Ways US TV News are Screwing us Again on NSA Surveillance Story (Iraq Redux)
    • One of the primary themes used to attack Edward Snowden is that about his breaking the law. We would do well to consider at this point Mr. Bumble's comment on the law in "Oliver Twist" by Charles Dickens: "If the law supposes that," said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, "the law is a ass - a idiot". Ref: link to phrases.org.uk

    • "I have no idea whether or not Snowden willingly sold or gave classified secrets loaded on his hard drives and thumb drives to the Chinese and Russians."

      As Glenn Greenwald said on "Meet the (Fawning Corporate) Press" Snowden could have sold his information but didn't. Given your previous comments and this, that is something you would prefer not to believe.

      "You can be sure, however, that he was in a form of “custody” while in Hong Kong and Moscow, and that Chinese, and particularly Russian, intelligence officers down-loaded everything on his hard drives and thumb drives."

      This is another piece of BS and a dumb idea you would like to smear Snowden with and probably believe, but a more likely scenario is that whatever hardware Snowden had he and others working with him made sure that it was in a secure place. That would have excluded on his person in foreign places such as HK, China and Russia.

    • The story of a one-percent-them and a 99-percent-us is a simplistic myth. The one percent is fairly valid, but the other 99 percent is composed of other divisions among which there is a sizable portion (courtiers and enablers) who aid and abet the one percent. Then there is another larger group that is apathetic and essentially going along with the one-percenters and their enablers. We could define the millions living in poverty as another group. They are unhappy with the situation but don't have a clue about what to do. Finally, there is a small group of activists trying to make changes for the better, but for the most part they are voices in the wilderness with occasional calls that get some national attention but not enough to waken the parade of sleepwalkers.

    • The surprising moments of the Sunday shows was that "Meet the Press" and CNN let Glenn Greenwald get anywhere near their shows. He slipped a great one in on David Gregory in response to one of Gregory's snide remarks when Greenwald said something along the lines of "I don't know what government officials are whispering in your ear."

    • Has there been anyone in the White House press corps of the stature, integrity and intelligence of Helen Thomas since she was maneuvered out to leave behind a pool of note takers and purveyors of propaganda?

    • The vast majority of Americans buy the constant pablum emitted from the Fawning Corporate Media. Polls around the time of fear-mongering for the Iraq war showed about 70 percent of the people bought into the propaganda. Other than those who saw the Iraq war as a way to make s putrid buck, the rest can be charged to gullibility.

  • Why Correa might give Snowden Asylum: All the Horrible things the US has done to Ecuador
    • Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent by Eduardo Galleano was the book Hugo Chavez gave to the new President Obama when they first met. It is a horrendous history of abuse of the people of Ecuador and the rest of Latin America by the United States and European nations operating unregulated, thus abusive, capitalist systems. If Obama read the book, highly unlikely, it obviously didn't dissuade him from his plan to cooperate with our nation's plutocrats.

  • Top Ten American Steps toward a Police State
    • It looks like our national media (Fawning Corporate Media as Ray McGovern would say) did its part this morning by clearly being in sympathy with the witch hunt against Ed Snowden. Meet the Press and Face the Nation were well stacked with anti-Snowden types. CNN was particularly despicable calling on Michael O'Hanlon and James Woolsey, two of the most disreputable supporters of the Iraq War, to add their wooden nickel's worth. Presumably, Georgie Stephanopoulous and Fox were as bad or worse.

      Then there was Chuck Schumer talking about "our ally, Russia." Nations don't line up missile "defense" systems at an ally's door.

    • I would compliment you on your article, Dr. Cole, but I don't want more demerits added to my NSA, CIA, FBI, DOD and other spying files.

  • So When will Dick Cheney be charged with Espionage? His Crime was the Same as Snowden's
    • A few days ago, Senator Dan Coates (R-IN) accused Snowden of violating his oath and breaking the law. According to Senator Robert Byrd's speech before the vote to authorize Bush to go to war (October 2002) the senators would be violating their oaths to uphold the Constitution if they voted for this authorization. Somewhere around 70 percent of Congress did just that. As for breaking the law, Bush and Cheney did just that when they started getting data from Verizon and AT&T, but Congress made that retroactively legal instead of charging them, Verizon and AT&T with breaking the law.

      Indeed:

      War is peace.
      Freedom is slavery.
      Ignorance is strength.

      Welcome to our brave new world

  • Why Cheney is the Traitor, and Why we Can't Believe Obama on Safeguards (The Ultimate Clip of Gov't Lies)
    • "If he’s naive then you’re being intentionally ignorant. I surely don’t agree with his politics and what went down in Iraq but you can’t deny that was intelligent."

      I'm not sure what this means. Peter is charged with being naive, but judging by the link you offered you switched to talking about G W Bush being intelligent. Are you saying that Bush's invasion of Iraq was intelligent? Do you have the slightest clue of the horrors inflicted on that nation since shock and awe and the horrors that will endure for decades - civil strife, birth defects from depleted uranium, limbs lost to unexploded cluster bombs, etc.?

    • "On Monday evening, Barack Obama came on Charlie Rose and insisted that the NSA would never misuse the telephone records it collects on all Americans because it would be illegal and that there are safeguards against that sort of thing."

      It is understandable why Obama would say this. He was selling (to put it charitably) this program. But it would call for enormous naivety to believe there are enough safeguards to prevent someone inevitably abusing this trove of information. The fact that Edward Snowden revealed so much about this NSA program makes it obvious anyone with access to the database can use it for his or her purposes - for good or for ill.

    • "Sad to say, it was not long into his first term that I began to believe that Obama was looking me in the eyes and lying to me."

      If you and others enamored of candidate Obama had been paying more attention, you would have been more skeptical of anything he said before he was elected. He once spoke compassionately of the Palestinians, but after the Reverend Wright got enormous flack over that an other issues, Obama dumped him and the Palestinians and headed for an AIPAC conference where he told the Israeli lobby all they wanted to hear, including giving Israel's right-wing government $30 billion in arms. Then there was his promotion of nuclear energy and "clean coal" indicating he was Big Energy's guy. If those didn't cause people to be skeptical some of his votes as Senator Obama should have done the trick - like instantly supporting the bank bailout that in its original form was an open checkbook for Wall Street.

  • Obama Isolated at G8 on Arms for Syrian Rebels
    • No matter what decisions are made by the people with real and consequential power there will inevitably be little, if any, concern for the innocent and powerless people who will suffer the consequences.

  • Obama should Resist the Clintons & Europe on Syria
    • To the contrary, it is the right wing and the neocons who have been jackbooting the United States into many parts of the world where they can expand the American empire. It wasn't the left that pushed for the war on Iraq. It was the Bush administration and the neocons who were aided and abetted by the warmongers - McCain, Graham, Lieberman, Biden, Hillary - in Congress. (Lieberman, Biden and Hillary may have been registered as Democrats, but they are as much of the right wing as McCain and Graham.) Who went along with the overthrow of the democratically-elected President Zelaya in Honduras? It wasn't left wingers, but empire builders including Obama and Hillary. And, who are now pushing for US involvement in Syria. McCain's recent visit to Syria wasn't to buy carpets for one of his wife's homes.

    • "MLK tried to use these tactics against Jim Crow, but they yielded nothing."

      The non-violence approach of the civil rights movement exposed the repugnant behavior of the racists and gained MLK and his compatriots sufficient sympathy that provided force to push the government into passing and enforcing civil rights laws.

    • Suggested correction to the headline: Obama should resist the Clintons on anything.

    • Obama would lie? That's hard to believe. If he did lie, we are fortunate here in our system of government with its checks and balances, and our sterling, honorable and courageous senators and representatives would not let him get away with it. While I have your attention, I have a good deal on a bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan if you're interested.

    • "You have conveniently forgotten one of the more salient legal maxims of democracy: “Injustice anywhere threatens justice everywhere.” "

      Unfortunately, there is an abundance of injustice here in the United States much of which is threatening justice everywhere.

  • Top Ten Michele Bachmann Goofs on the Middle East
    • According to Huffington Post and other sources Ed Rendell and Frances Townsend, talking heads for MSNBC and CNN, respectively, were taking baksheesh (big time) from the MEK to improve their image. Was MB doing the same thing for free?

    • Anyone making outrageous statements comparable to the worst of Michelle Bachmann's should have his or her career at least suspended until some remedial action was taken.

    • Not only do I agree with this, but I would also ask about the millions of other voters who support the many yo-yos in Congress. And, what about the people in Congress who voted for the disastrous war in Iraq and who keep getting reelected?

  • Should Memorial Day include Commemoration of Thoreau?
    • "No reputable historian claims there was any serious talk of a truce in mid-1917. Neither the British nor the French nor the Belgians were contemplating a truce, which would have left Germany occupying parts of France and Belgium, a condition they would have considered unacceptable."

      The reference to the truce came from "In Flanders Fields" by Leon Wolff. This is from Wikipedia: "The research by Leon Wolff is quite extensive and exhaustive, given the year 1958, only 40 years after World War I whereupon he obviously tries to give a complete and nonpartisan account of the Flanders Campaign."

      "Everyone did not lose except the Americans. Certainly, the French and Belgians considered themselves winners, having withstood and defeated German aggression against their territory."

      When the British, French, Belgians and Germans lost millions of men from one generation and cost their treasuries incomprehensible sums of money, and France and Belgium suffered enormous destruction it is stretching the word to claim victory for them. They may have been able to dictate the terms of the armistice, but that victory was more Pyrrhic than anything else.

      "It is sometimes forgotten that World War I, although initiated in large part by Germany"

      E. D. Morel made a strong case that a lot of guilt for causing WWI can be laid before diplomats from Paris and London. I believe Adam Hochschild's latest book "To End All Wars" is based on Morel's work and his life.

    • "The Americans provided an edge to the Allies that ended the war sooner."

      According to a historian I read the American entry into WWI might have extended the war. Apparently there was talk of a truce in mid-1917, but the British declined because they had an understanding that the US would join in and give them and the French the edge they needed to defeat the Germans. Had the US remained out of the conflict the European leaders might have declared a truce. Instead, everyone lost in the war except the United States.

      Smedley Butler expressed his opinion that the US got into the war to protect the money that Wall Street banks had loaned to Britain and France.

    • One of the problems I have with commentaries on Memorial Day and Veterans Day is that so many people make categorical statements, mostly ascribing virtue to everyone in the military. It appears to be an immutable law that says that in any very large organization or community of people, such as the military and major religions, you will find the best and worst of people with most people somewhere in between. Another immutable law is that wars bring out the best and worst in people.

      Then there are the comments about military personnel sacrificing their lives for our freedom or some other alleged virtue. Some do die believing so, but most of the people who have died in our wars were sacrificed by others who started the wars or led the troops into them. There was a story I came across while reading about one of the two World Wars (I believe No. 1) in which a general was supposed to have said that he would give 30,000 men for some hill. Someone within hearing of that remark reputedly said discreetly, "Generous bastard, isn't he?"

      With reference to WWI, the American, British, French and German generals knew at dawn on November 11, 1918 that an armistice was to be signed in a few hours at 11:00 am. The Germans mostly quit waiting for the end of hostilities. Our side decided to continue fighting until the last minute forcing the Germans to pick up their weapons and fight back. General Jack Pershing and Brig. Gen. MacArthur wanted to keep on fighting and to carry the war into Germany despite by that time around four million people had already lost their lives. And Blackjack Pershing was given a hero's welcome with a parade down New York's Broadway when the US Army returned home.

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