Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Last Call For Fool Fights

In the battle between IRA sympathizer GOP Rep. Peter King of New York and factually challenged egomanic Glenn Greenwald, I'm rooting for that meteor made out of fiery ebola bees.  Greg Sargent:

A number of commentators have already suggested that Edwards Snowden should be prosecuted for leaking explosive details about the NSA programs. But today, for the first time, a member of Congress called for prosecution of Glenn Greenwald over his role in disclosing these details as a journalist, when GOP Rep. Pete King called for legal action to be taken against him:
“Greenwald, not only did he disclose this information, he has said he has names of CIA agents and assets around the world and they’re threatening to disclose that. The last time that was done we saw the murder of a station chief in Greece. No right is absolute. And even the press has certain restrictions. I think it should be very targeted, very selective, and certainly a very rare exception, but in this case, when you have someone who has disclosed secrets like this and threatens to release more, then to me, yes, there has to be, there should be legal action taken against him. This is a very unusual case with life and death implications for Americans.”

Nope, still rooting for the bee-teor.

On Twitter today Greenwald flatly denied that he is threatening to disclose the “names of CIA agents and assets around the world,” as King put it And in a phone interview with me today, he went significantly further in defending himself, arguing that his intentions — and those of his source — are being completely misrepresented.

“We did not want to just go and arbitrarily disclose things for the sake of harming the United States,” he said. “He wanted to trigger a debate and inform people. Given that he has access to incredible amounts of top secret information, if his intent at all were to harm the U.S., he could have disclosed enormous amounts of info that would have endangered all kinds of people. That’s the opposite of his intentions, and his actions prove that.”

Nope, still rooting for the bees.

Pete can suck it.  Snowden would have gone to the press regardless.  He proved that.  Nothing special about Greenwald other than his Koch Brothers connections.  You're picking on the wrong guy.

And Greenwald can suck it, too.  Next time you're defending the intentions of somebody with top secret info, make sure the guy isn't giving interviews about US hacking means and methods to Chinese newspapers, douchebag.

Both of them deserve to lose.

Before He Gets To Zee Germans

Apparently this whole PRISM mess isn't endearing President Obama to one of the countries where he would normally be extremely welcome:  Germany.  And Zee Germans, well, they're a little miffed.

German outrage over a U.S. Internet spying program has broken out ahead of a visit by Barack Obama, with ministers demanding the president provide a full explanation when he lands in Berlin next week and one official likening the tactics to those of the East German Stasi.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman has said she will raise the issue with Obama in talks next Wednesday, potentially casting a cloud over a visit that was designed to celebrate U.S.-German ties on the 50th anniversary John F. Kennedy's famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech.

Government surveillance is an extremely sensitive topic in Germany, where memories of the dreaded Stasi secret police and its extensive network of informants are still fresh in the minds of many citizens.

That's probably not cool, but frankly the Germans lived these tactics in the bad old days of the Iron Curtain not more than 30 years ago.  And the Stasi really were monitoring the hell out of their own citizens.

In a guest editorial for Spiegel Online on Tuesday, Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said reports that the United States could access and track virtually all forms of Internet communication were "deeply disconcerting" and potentially dangerous.

"The more a society monitors, controls and observes its citizens, the less free it is," she said.

"The suspicion of excessive surveillance of communication is so alarming that it cannot be ignored. For that reason, openness and clarification by the U.S. administration itself is paramount at this point. All facts must be put on the table."

Markus Ferber, a member of Merkel's Bavarian sister party who sits in the European Parliament, went further, accusing Washington of using "American-style Stasi methods".

This is the real fallout and harm from PRISM:  our allies now know we've been watching their mail and a lot of other things.  "Trust but verify" basically turned into "verify".  No wonder they're mad at us.

If the wingers wanted their "Obama Apology Tour", well it looks like it'll start in Germany.

More Splitting The Difference

The stories designed to sour the Obama Coalition on the President seem to be continuing at a breakneck pace.  Now apparently Al Gore is going after Barack Obama on climate change.

Add Al Gore to the chorus of environmentalists who say it’s time for President Barack Obama to get serious about climate change.

The former vice president used a Google+ plus video chat Tuesday to tell supporters that Obama needs to go beyond his “great words” on the topic, and to lament that the president has yet to assemble a team to spearhead his second-term climate agenda.

Gore echoed the complaints of other green activists who say Obama isn’t moving fast enough — and who are pleading with him not to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.

“I hope that he’ll get moving on to follow up on the wonderful pledges he made in his inaugural speech earlier this year and then soon after in his State of the Union,” Gore said. “Great words. We need great actions now.”

Sigh.  The strictest EPA regulations on coal isn't enough, but a moot point compared to the energy industry's lobbying of Congress and states over fracking.  Yes, the President has a long way to go on climate change, but look who he's trying to deal with:  Republicans who refuse to even admit it exists.  The problem isn't President Obama's will here, it's GOP politicians in the pocket of Big Energy.

Surely Al remembers that, right?


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