In 2008, the National Security Agency illicitly—if accidentally—intercepted a “large number” of phone calls from Washington, D.C. because an error confused Egypt’s country code—“20”—with, yes, “202.” That fact, one of many startling ones from Barton Gellman’s new blockbuster Washington Post story based on documents given to him by Edward Snowden, is so catchy and memorable that I almost worry about it. That is, I worry people will just think of that and fail to grasp that this was actually one of the more anodyne NSA abuses revealed by these newly disclosed top-secret documents,
011 - US exit code; dial first for international calls made from the USA or Canada 20 - Country Code for Egypt Phone Number (must not begin with 0): fixed - 8 to 9 digits including area code cell phones - 10 digits, first digit is 1 sample call from US to a landline in Cairo: 011 + 20 + 2 ???? ????[http://www.howtocallabroad.com/egypt/]
I seriously doubt any telephone software would accept the error described in the article.
Drip, drip, drip...like a stubborn tap with a broken washer ring, this story just won´t go away. I find the country code "error" amusing. If the Washington Post refused to publish Snowden´s claims, why so? Was the Post trying to protect the President?
A government that knows the private conversations, habits, finances and musings of its citizens has the power to sabotage and destroy all of its potential political opponents. But, of course, we can trust NSA, IRS, DOJ, HHS, the WH never to abuse such awesome power.
In his disproportionate praise of the six-month agreement with Iran, Barack Obama said: “For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program.” But if the program, now several decades old, had really been “halted” shortly after U.S. forces invaded neighboring Iraq, we would not be desperately pursuing agreements to stop it now, as about 10,000 centrifuges spin to enrich uranium. (snip) Iran’s nuclear program is alarming because Iran’s regime is opaque in its decision-making, frightening in its motives (measured by its rhetoric) and barbaric in its behavior.
IN 2011, the British historian Stephen Ellis published a paper concluding that Nelson Mandela had been a member of the South African Communist Party — indeed, a member of its governing Central Committee. Although Mandela’s African National Congress and the Communist Party were openly allied against apartheid, Mandela and the A.N.C. have always denied that the hero of South Africa’s liberation was himself a party member. But Ellis, drawing on testimony of former party members and newly available archives, made a convincing case that Mandela joined the party around 1960, several years before he was
According to our recently proposed treaty with the Iranian government, Iran keeps much of its nuclear program while agreeing to slow its path to weapons-grade enrichment. The Iranians also get crippling economic sanctions lifted. (snip) Because Iran is not a consensual society, our nuclear deal will last only as long as Iran finds it strategically useful. After their fiscal health is restored, expect the Iranians to abruptly reboot all their centrifuges and finish making a bomb. The theocracy will also use the present non-aggression arrangement with the United States to double down in Syria, energize Hezbollah, and strengthen Hamas.
Critics of the agreement with Iran concerning its nuclear program are right about most things but wrong about the most important things. They understand the agreement’s manifest and manifold defects and its probable futility. Crucial components of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure remain. (snip) The six-month agreement, with ongoing negotiations, makes it impossible for the United States to attack its negotiating partner. Hence the agreement constrains Israel, which lacks the military capacity to be certain of a success commensurate with the risks of attacking Iran. Therefore there is no alternative to a policy of containment of a nuclear Iran.
Before he paused to allow reporters to ask questions about the nuclear deal with Iran that he had just announced in Geneva, Secretary of State John Kerry seemed to anticipate one line of criticism about the accord -- that it effectively cedes to the Islamic regime the right to enrich uranium, despite half a dozen U.N. Security Council resolutions declaring the activity illegal. And he moved, preemptively, to address it. "In 2003, when the Iranians made an offer to the former administration with respect to their nuclear program, there were 164 centrifuges," (snip) today there are 19,000 centrifuges and growing."
In Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger, the eponymous Auric Goldfinger observes: Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times, it’s enemy action. That may be overly generous. A couple of weeks back, cancer patient Bill Elliot, in a defiant appearance on Fox News, discussed the cancelation of his insurance and what he intended to do about it. He’s now being audited. Insurance agent C Steven Tucker, who quaintly insists that the whimsies of the hyper-regulatory bureaucracy do not trump your legal rights, saw the interview and reached out to Mr Elliot to help him. And he’s now being audited.
Under the agreement reached in Geneva over the weekend, Iran is permitted to keep one-half of the uranium it has enriched to the 20% level, and is required to dilute the remaining one-half to 5% U-235. It is allowed to continue enriching uranium, but agrees not to take that process beyond 5% U-235 during the next six months. No doubt many people who hear about those terms will be reassured, thinking that 5% enrichment, and even 20%, represents only a small percentage of the total effort (snip) for a nuclear bomb. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
It isn’t surprising that the US and the other five powers signed a deal with Iran on Saturday. Over the past few weeks, US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry made it clear that they were committed to signing a deal with Iran as quickly as possible. (snip) Iran will achieve nuclear capability while enriching itself through the deal because the deal gives Iran sanctions relief without requiring Iran to make any irreversible concessions. Indeed, Iran just received the international community’s permission to continue to enrich uranium, keep all its nuclear installations open and build new centrifuges.
Negotiations for an “interim” arrangement over Iran’s nuclear weapons program finally succeeded this past weekend, as Security Council foreign ministers (plus Germany) flew to Geneva to meet their Iranian counterpart. After raising expectations of a deal by first convening on November 8-10, it would have been beyond humiliating to gather again without result. So agreement was struck despite solemn incantations earlier that “no deal is better than a bad deal.” (snip) This is abject surrender by the United States.
As we go to press, the Obama administration seems to be hurtling towards a bad deal with Iran. The administration will claim the agreement freezes and indeed sets back the Iranian nuclear program. But even the New York Times acknowledges that “only some elements are frozen, and rollbacks in the initial agreement are relatively minor” and can be easily reversed. Furthermore, the “deal” would mean the United States would retreat from its previous clear red line—one embodied in repeated U.N. Security Council resolutions—of requiring that Iran stop enrichment.
On November 22, 1963, two other notable men died, and got relegated to the foot of page 37 — the British authors C. S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley. Lewis endures because of the Narnia books (and films), but there’s a lot more in the back of his wardrobe. In his book The Abolition of Man, he writes of “men without chests” — the chest being “the indispensable liaison” between the head and the gut, between “cerebral man” and “visceral man.” In the chest beat what Lewis calls “the trained emotions.” Without them there is no honor or virtue, but only
I’m not going to insult your intelligence by pretending there’s a right and a wrong side in the just-concluded battle over the filibuster. At this point, arguments about the justice of the filibuster are entirely instrumental: To know what someone is going to write, you need only know which party they supported in the last election. Let us just note that this has been a long time coming, and at this point it was probably inevitable from one side or another; the grievances are long and deep, and both sides have joyously fed the wild tide of ill will
The question all week long was this: Who are you going to believe, an illegal alien or the president of the United States of America? Obviously, if it’s a president who once went by an alias, Barry Soetoro, you go with Uncle Omar, 100 percent, no questions asked. And so it was that the White House finally admitted to another, uh, misstatement — despite previous denials, Barack/Barry did sleep on his beloved Uncle Omar’s couch in Cambridge when he first moved here to attend Harvard Law School (speaking of which, we’re still waiting to see the president’s grades and his LSAT scores). But the
How do you get your arms around the catastrophe known as Obamacare? Is it even possible? At this point, I’m not sure it is. The list of individual disasters which threaten to ruin one-sixth of the U.S. economy and what has been, up until now, the best healthcare system in the world is exhaustive, and exhausting. The examples I will identify here barely scratch the surface. First but by no means foremost, we have the supposedly new and improved HealthCare.gov. Except it’s not, even the visible part. Stories still abound of people still failing to get in or to get through the enrollment
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced a new five-year strategic plan to improve safety for elderly drivers and passengers. Although they are statistically among the safest on the road, the number of older drivers is increasing dramatically — and with it, that group´s numbers of injuries and deaths. Since 2003, the population of older adults, defined as age 65 and older, has increased by 20% and the number of licensed older drivers increased by 21% to 35 million in 2012, according to NHTSA. Last year, NHTSA reported that 5,560 people older than 65 died and 214,000 were injured
President Barack Obama’s Facebook page on Saturday posted a message honoring the dead from Pearl Harbor—accompanied by a picture of Obama descending the stairs next to the Pearl Harbor Memorial. The picture barely fits the name of the Arizona Memorial so it can frame Obama in the foreground. The post´s statement reads: Today, with solemn pride and reverence, let us remember those who fought and died at Pearl Harbor, acknowledge everyone who carried their legacy forward, and reaffirm our commitment to upholding the ideals for which they served. President Obama The Obama Administration´s current shipbuilding plan shrinks the size of
Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack. In the months before the attack,
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the hapless, goalpost-shifting so-called "architect" of Obamacare, told Fox News´ Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that President Barack Obama´s promise "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor" was absolutely true--with one important caveat: if you like your doctor, "you can pay for it." Wallace grilled Dr. Emanuel, challenging his false claims that California´s enrollment was keeping pace with the percentage of the young population necessary to keep the system afloat, and pointing out that the president´s promise on doctors would collapse once people lost their insurance or their
A veteran Washington adviser who has worked for four Presidents on both sides of the political aisle said that the stunning Government Accountability Report report that found President Barack Obama has not had a one-on-one meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius since the passage of Obamacare over three years ago is an indictment of the entire White House operation and shows that the Obama administration has bordered on "malfeasance." "I have no doubt the White House is right, that Secretary Sebelius was in several group meetings with the president about health care," Gergen caveated, "but the whole
Just how much do many Hollywood liberals hate conservatives? In an interview with Playboy, Ben Affleck said, "When I watch a guy [on film] I know is a big Republican, part of me thinks, I probably wouldn’t like this person if I met him": PLAYBOY: You developed a political profile campaigning for presidential candidates Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama. How did that come about? AFFLECK: I grew up in a house with a mother who was a teacher and a Freedom Rider—very left-wing Democrats living in a heterogeneous working-class neighborhood. I picked up a lot of those values there, and I
The U.S. isn´t called "America the Beautiful" for nothing. Each year, millions of tourists come from home and abroad to see the country´s majestic landscape and iconic sites, from the Grand Canyon to the Statue of Liberty. But there are also cool, quirky attractions, like Vermont´s Ben & Jerry´s Factory and Tennessee´s Graceland, the former home of Rock and Roll King Elvis Presley. From California to New York and everywhere in between, the country is chock-full of incredible attractions that keep luring in visitors. Here are the best tourist attractions in every state.
Although the jobless rate in November fell to its lowest level since he took office, President Obama called on Republican lawmakers Saturday to spend tens of billions on unemployment benefits that are set to expire this month. “It shouldn’t be a partisan issue,” Mr. Obama said in his weekly address. But he said the “economic lifeline” is in jeopardy. “All because Republicans in this Congress — which is on track to be the most unproductive in history — have so far refused to extend it” Mr. Obama said. If Congress doesn’t act before lawmakers leave on their holiday break, about
Many people could die as extreme weather becomes common. There will be more freak winds like the October storm, which killed four people. Heatwaves will be lethal and the sea level will rise, leaving coastal towns at risk of being swamped by storm surges. Sir Brian Heap, president of the European Academies Science Advisory Council, said he felt “obliged” to issue the warning after a new study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It comes on the back of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, which has killed more than 5,000 people. Sir Brian said: “Given the tragic events this
Call me Grinch, call me Scrooge. Call me Lord Voldemort of the Yuletide. None could be worse than sending me a holiday card with glossy photographs of your lovely, smiling family. My wife, Emily, and I place your cards like trophies on our shelves, continuing an old-school practice that began about 175 years ago as a way of maintaining relationships as families and friends moved far and wide. Today’s cards may appear more personalized — with photos of spouses, kids and pets, and distribution lists much smaller than a sprawling collection of Facebook friends. But when I flip over the photo