President Obama couldn´t say it—he denied it repeatedly in fact—but Edward Snowden was very much the reason he felt compelled to stand before the national press on a sun-baked Friday August afternoon and attempt to explain why his administration would pursue reforms of its counterterrorism programs even though—and this is the tricky part—he wouldn´t concede that those programs are flawed in any way. That brings us back to Snowden, the whistleblower/patriot/traitor squirreled away somewhere in Russia after revealing key operational details of the National Security Agency's domestic
Comments: I believe that Snowden needs to be tried and convicted of releasing any of this classified information to the full extent of US law. HOWEVER, I make the distinction that that does NOT make what he has released false, but rather immeasurably damaging to our security and interests. NSA crossed a line to spy and collect metadata on US citizens with a FISA court ruling by 0bama. This does not make their actions "legal." If so, 0bama wouldn´t be claiming more future "oversight" of them.
I am in the camp that classifies Snowden as a whistle blower. To expose this he had to travel to a country hostile to the US, else he would have been quieted, thrown under the jail and the public would still be in the dark. I also think we still do not know the extent of the data collection and it´s use/abuse. I do know it was not used against domestic terrorism else the Boston mess would have been stopped.
If the NSA was simply going after criminals, nobody would be complaining. However, it and other government agencies have been observing and recording the activities of ordinary people who have not - and don´t intend to - commit crimes. It´s a blatant attempt to profile us.
TELEPHONE BILLS ~ call up your phone company some day and ask for a full copy of your monthly service charge record including system identification and duration times for all calls made or received.
I used to get those for ´certification for payment´ from dozens of phone systems and other communications common carriers ~ then they decided they could just send a digital copy on request.
There´s a tremendous amount of data generated for each and every call ~
The phone companies are required by law to generate and keep that information.
NSA rides on top of the ´spying´ done by your phone company ~ and you pay that company to do that.
If you don´t make calls and don´t sign up for phone service the records are never created and NSA won´t get that information.
I believe Snowden had no idea where the information really originated, nor how casual the security is that protects it from assorted goobers ~ else, he´d understood that long before NSA got it´s share to analyze every spy operation on the planet would have already tapped into it ~ to do their type of analysis!
He went to China imagining he could sell that stuff
The PRISM program was/is being used for political purposes by obama and his thugs---the only "jihadist" who have been stopped are the ones the FBI/CIA/Policing entities set up and caught due to STINGS. This info always trickles out days and weeks and months later. Private citizens on a flight stopped the failed underwear bomber on that Christmas flight------it certainly wasn´t Big Sis and her crew. They are all worthless.
Montevideo - Uruguay´s Senate is expected to pass a law on Tuesday making the small South American nation the world´s first to allow its citizens to grow, buy and smoke marijuana. The pioneering government-sponsored bill establishes state regulation of the cultivation, distribution and consumption of marijuana and is aimed at wresting the business from criminals. Cannabis consumers would be allowed to buy a maximum of 40 grams (1.4 ounces) each month from state-regulated pharmacies as long as they are over the age of 18 and registered on a government database that will monitor their monthly purchases.
The political temperature in the Arctic rose on Tuesday when Vladimir Putin vowed to step up Russia´s military presence in the region in response to a claim by Canada to the north pole. In typically trenchant style, Putin told his defence chiefs to concentrate on building up infrastructure and military units in the Arctic. He said the region was again key to Russia´s national and strategic interests, following a retreat in the post-Soviet period. His comments were a direct and rapid riposte to Canada, a rival Arctic power. John Baird, said his government had asked scientists to work on a submission to the UN arguing
The phone call came from a charming woman with a bright, engaging voice to the cell phone of a TIME Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer. She wanted to offer a deal on health insurance, but something was fishy. When Scherer asked point blank if she was a real person, or a computer-operated robot voice, she replied enthusiastically that she was real, with a charming laugh. But then she failed several other tests. When asked “What vegetable is found in tomato soup?” she said she did not understand the question. When asked multiple times what day of the week it was yesterday, she complained repeatedly of a bad connection.
A porn performer who tested positive for HIV in Los Angeles is asking for privacy as the industry tries to determine the scope of the problem. "The performer deserves privacy and dignity at this difficult time, and we ask that our colleagues and the media respect the performer’s wishes for privacy unless he or she wishes to speak," the Free Speech Coalition, a porn industry trade group, said in a statement. The Free Speech Coalition said it was working to identify anyone who had sex with the infected performer. “We take the health of our performers very seriously and felt
In China on Thursday, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. spoke plainly about the role of a free press in a democratic society. “Innovation thrives where people breathe freely, speak freely, are able to challenge orthodoxy, where newspapers can report the truth without fear of consequences,” he said in an address to American businesspeople living and working there. He was speaking against the backdrop of China’s restrictive policies on reporting by foreign news organizations; the Chinese government has so far declined to renew the visas of nearly two dozen reporters from The New York Times and Bloomberg News as a consequence
Jerusalem - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided not to attend a memorial service for Nelson Mandela this week because it is too expensive to travel to South Africa, Israeli media reported on Sunday. Netanyahu had notified the South African authorities that he would fly in but cancelled his plans at the last minute due to the costs involved -- around 7.0 million shekels ($2 million) for his transport and security alone, pubic radio and the Haaretz daily reported. "The decision was made in light of the high transportation costs resulting from the short notice of the trip and the security required for the prime minister
New Orleans - Things traditionally get started a little late down here, an inclination that runs from mealtimes to political races. But with nearly a year to go before the 2014 election, it is already open season on Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana. (Snip) As Democrats look across the rest of the South, the outlook does not get much better. Ms. Landrieu, along with Senators Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Kay Hagan of North Carolina, is pretty much all that is left of Southern Democrats in the Senate. All three are up for re-election next year. And the outcome of their races could determine whether the Southern Democrat,
Even as five regulatory agencies prepared to vote Tuesday on a regulation that seeks to rein in risk-taking on Wall Street — an effort known as the Volcker Rule — lawyers and lobbyists were gearing up for another round of attacks against it. (Snip) The groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are hinting that they could use litigation to either undercut or clarify the rule, which is intended to bar banks from trading for their own gain and limit their ability to invest in hedge funds. The rule, a cornerstone of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act and a barometer for the overall strength of the regulatory overhaul, is aimed at
Afghan President Hamid Karzai agreed on a cooperation pact with Iran, despite continuing to resist signing a security agreement with the U.S., Reuters reported. Karzai made the deal with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran Sunday. (Snip) Rouhani said Sunday his country opposes the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan and the region, saying their presence generates tension, the official IRNA news agency reported. IRNA quoted Rouhani as telling Karzai: "We believe that all foreign forces should leave the region and that the security of Afghanistan should be handed over to people of the country."
US Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated on Sunday that Israel will be safer the day the recently-reached deal on Iran´s nuclear issue is implemented. Kerry, addressing the Brookings Institution´s annual Saban Forum, recognized Israel´s concern over Tehran´s disputed nuclear ambitions, saying the possibility of a weaponized nuclear Iran stood as an existential threat to Israel. "We will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. Period. Not now, not ever," he said.
Los Angeles - The California health exchange says it´s been giving the names of tens of thousands of consumers to insurance agents without their permission or knowledge in an effort to hit deadlines for coverage. (Snip) Officials with Covered California, the exchange set up in response to the federal health law, said they began providing names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses if available this week in a pilot program. They said they thought it would help people meet a Dec. 23 deadline to have health insurance in place by Jan. 1. The state doesn´t know exactly how many people
The “feminist nightmare” is recurring. Unbowed by Politico labeling her with this epithet a couple of weeks ago, Michelle Obama continues to do what her critics regard as frightening behaviors. Last week, she assaulted independent women by showing off the White House Christmas decorations. “Our goal is for every room and every tree to tell a story,” she explained to an audience of military families in the East Room, where her two-tone gray dress matched the silver ornaments on the trees. She spoke of Christmas trees made from stacks of books (“they’re very cool!”) and described the “first dog display”
New York — The anchor who might beat Bill O’Reilly gets her eyelash extensions applied one at a time, with tweezers and dabs of glue, about 90 minutes before showtime, right after a motorized gun sprays foundation over her face, neck, shoulders, collarbone and sternum, wiping out a galaxy of light freckles that spreads across her — Let me stop you right there. Photos of the day Uruguay legalizes marijuana, Kiev police pull back from protesters, aging U.S. prison population and more. Tuesday´s Photos of the day Would you write this way about a man? About O’Reilly himself? At least that’s what Megyn Kelly might ask at
In August 2013 I became very sick with what I thought was a cold. After a few days I lost vision in my left eye and I checked into the hospital. I soon found out that what I thought was a summer cold was actually Strep bacteria poisoning my blood stream. The bacteria blinded my left eye, ate a hole through my heart, caused five strokes on both sides of my brain and forced the removal of my prosthetic left knee. Dr. Lee was the surgeon assigned to perform open heart surgery. What was originally scheduled to last four hours ended
The health director who approved the release of President Obama’s birth certificate has died in a plane crash, Hawaiian officials said Thursday. Loretta Fuddy died after the Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft she was travelling on went down shortly after leaving Kalaupapa Airport at around 3:15 p.m. local time (10:15 a.m. ET) on Wednesday. The other eight people on board were rescued, Richard Schuman, president of Makani Kai Air, told NBC News early Thursday, adding that that there was no indication as to why the plane had crashed. Fuddy hit the headlines two years ago when she approved a waiver request allowing Obama to
Fox News host Megyn Kelly has made herself the center of a racial controversy by declaring that Jesus Christ and Santa Claus are white. On Wednesday night, Kelly was responding to an article by Slate writer Aisha Harris, who wrote an article entitled “ Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore .” The popular news host told viewers of “The Kelly File,” her hit FNC program, “When I saw this headline, I kinda laughed and I said, ‘Oh, this is ridiculous. Yet another person claiming it´s racist to have a white Santa.’ And by the way, for all you kids
Views of the tea party are at all-time lows in a new poll, as primary challenges to establishment Republicans continue to heat up Washington. Just 30 percent of Americans view the tea party favorably in a new Gallup poll released Wednesday, the movement’s lowest point since Gallup began polling about it during its rise in 2010. Also in a first, a majority of Americans had an unfavorable view of the tea party, at 51 percent. Similar numbers of respondents described themselves as proponents or opponents of the tea party: Twenty-two percent identified themselves as tea party supporters, while 24 percent said they
WASHINGTON – It’s not exactly a ringing endorsement of the budget deal.“Embrace the suck,” House minority leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi told fellow Democrats Thursday morning, a source told Politico.“We need to get this off the table so we can go forward,” she added. It’s a way of telling her colleagues the budget deal negotiated with Republicans is the best they can get. Democrats are fuming that the bipartisan budget deal doesn’t extend unemployment benefits for more than a million Americans. One of Pelosi’s top lieutenants, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said Thursday it
Columnist Charles Krauthammer attacked new Obamacare rules unveiled by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a late Thursday conference call, saying the Obama administration is “approach[ing] banana republic lawlessness” by issuing the decrees. Krauthammer spoke with Fox News’ Bret Baier on a panel with Juan Williams and Judge Andrew Napolitano, as the three reacted to Sebelius’ new directives for insurance companies. “This is exactly a reaction to a deep understanding among Democrats that [Obamacare] is a train wreck,” he said. “And it’s a panic reaction. As the judge said, this is utterly lawless. This now approaches banana republic lawlessness.
THE Internet has been abuzz over the spectacle of President Obama and the prime ministers of Britain and Denmark snapping a photo of themselves — a “selfie,” to use the mot du jour — with a smartphone at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in South Africa on Tuesday. Leaving aside whether it was appropriate, the moment captured the democratization of image making that is a hallmark of our gadget-filled, technologically rich era. Manifestly undemocratic, in contrast, is the way Mr. Obama’s administration — in hypocritical defiance of the principles of openness and transparency he campaigned on — has systematically tried
If you go down on the ice today you´re sure of a big surprise - a rare glimpse of 20 polar bears gorging on a bloody midnight feast. These photographs show a rare cluster of males, females and cubs all dining out on the remains of a whale carcass. They spent a night and a day stripping every last morsel from the mammoth sea creature. Usually Polar bears are solitary and would never tolerate being so close to each other. But with food in plentiful supply and bellies dragging on the floor they seem too lethargic to fight.Wildlife photographer Michal
The Sexiest Man Alive is being enlisted to spice up Obamacare. Pop singer Adam Levine, who won the designation from People magazine last month, is among the celebrities who’ll be promoting enrollment in online health insurance exchanges as part of a social media campaign kicking off tomorrow. With enrollment totals behind administration projections after the botched start-up of the federal exchange, 17 state exchanges joined by an advocacy group are drawing on Obama administration allies in entertainment and sports to promote sign-ups, using social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Reprising a tactic President Barack Obama successfully employed in his 2012 re-election, organizers
A South African government minister has said that "a mistake happened" in the hiring of a sign language interpreter accused of gesticulating nonsense during the Nelson Mandela memorial service. Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu said that officials have tried to track down the company that provided Thamsanqa Jantjie but that the owners "have vanished into thin air". Earlier on Thursday Jantjie claimed he is qualified but was hallucinating and hearing voices and said he is receiving treatment for schizophrenia. Millions of TV viewers saw Jantjie interpreting speeches by Barack Obama and other global leaders at the FNB stadium in Johannesburg. His gestures baffled and angered deaf
Mike Huckabee today ended his daily radio show heard on 200 stations across the nation, the first obvious sign that he is considering another presidential bid in what is shaping up to be a jammed 2016 GOP primary. He has hosted the “Mike Huckabee Show” on Cumulus Media since April 2012, but said that it takes up to nine hours a day to prepare. “As for the new endeavors, at this time, it would best for me to say, ?Stay tuned!´" he wrote on his Facebook page. Supporters won´t have to wait long. On Friday, he is participating in a “Pastors and