NSA, Terrorists, and Some Math

*Updated below*

Keep in mind when you review the following infographic that even a good portion of the 207 “attempted terrorist attacks” are undoubtedly of the variety which are wholly concocted, incited, funded, and controlled by government provocateurs and informants: stings. In other words, many of these purported “attempted terrorist attacks” were no such thing at all and, pervertedly, would never have occurred absent the government’s extreme efforts at catalyzing them.

Even granting the benefit of doubt with respect to the “attempted terrorist attacks” figure, though, the statistics which follow demonstrate clearly that there is absolutely no justification for the NSA’s tyrannical, Orwellian, all-encompassing surveillance apparatus, and apologists rely on nothing more than complete, unsubstantiated, unmitigated bullshit in attempting to defend it.

(Click image to view full size)


UPDATE: For additional relevant context, including what amounts to a concession by DNI James Clapper on precisely the points made above, see here.

Was Obama Also “Too Cute by Half” When He Said “Nobody’s Listening to Your Telephone Calls”?

When DNI James Clapper was asked if the NSA was collecting millions of Americans’ information, he answered “no.” In retrospect, he described his answer as a “least untruth” and “too cute by half.” His answer, he explained to NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, was rooted in a legal definition of the word ‘collected.’ Imagining the information swept up in the surveillance dragnet as a library full of books, he explained:

“To me,” he said, “collection of U.S. persons’ data would mean taking the book off the shelf and opening it up and reading it.”

So in Clapper’s legalese, stealing the books and putting them in the library isn’t ‘collecting’ them; ‘collection’ only occurs when a book in that library is subsequently taken off the shelf and read. As absurd as this sounds to the rest of us, the administration came to Clapper’s defense:

The White House on Tuesday came to the defense of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, after a senator blasted the intelligence official for failing to give “straight answers” on the government surveillance of Americans.

President Obama “certainly believes that Director Clapper has been straight and direct in the answers he’s given” Congress, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday, adding that Clapper has been “aggressive in providing as much information as possible to the American people, to the press.”

Now, to me, this is where it gets extremely interesting. Flash back to Obama saying this:

“Nobody is listening to your telephone calls.”

Using Clapper’s analogy, it is critical to note that Obama did not say the content of our phone calls is not being swept up and stored in their library; just that nobody is pulling it off the shelf.

This is reinforced by the words of whistleblower William Binney, who has said that the content of our phone calls is indeed being intercepted and stored. And I wholeheartedly expect that in revelations to come there will be proof of Binney’s claims.

Is it any wonder, then, that the administration came to Clapper’s defense? What other choice did they have?

Because when that happens, Obama, too, will have to lean on precisely the same “least untruth, “too cute by half” defense for his statement.

Update: I wonder if his claim that nobody’s listening is reassuring for soldiers stationed overseas and their families.

(Edited for clarity 3:08pm)

Trending on Twitter: #NSALoveSongs

Looks like people are “tuned in” to the current scandals unfolding. Enjoy:


Facebook Updates Post Privacy Options

And why not? Not like it’s Top Secret anymore.


Reason: Innocent people should not be punished in pursuit of the guilty

Reason has a worthwhile article up entitled “The Real Problem With the NSA’s Indiscriminate Spying.” I would encourage you to read the entire thing, but I wanted to highlight a portion of it (emphasis mine):

In dissenting from a recent Supreme Court decision allowing police to take DNA swabs from felony arrestees, Justice Antonin Scalia noted some relevant history. “At the time of the Founding, Americans despised the British use of so-called ‘general warrants’ — warrants not grounded upon a sworn oath of a specific infraction by a particular individual, and thus not limited in scope and application.” The Fourth Amendment was intended to prevent such warrants.

The logic of Scalia’s conclusion applies as well here: “Solving unsolved crimes is a noble objective, but it occupies a lower place in the American pantheon of noble objectives than the protection of our people from suspicionless law-enforcement searches.”

Even experts who normally side with the government in anti-terrorism measures were taken aback by this voluminous dragnet. Brookings Institution scholar Benjamin Wittes noted that the law is supposed to allow the government to get only “foreign intelligence information” that is “relevant to an authorized investigation.”

How, he wondered, is it “possible to regard metadata about all calls to and from a Domino’s Pizza in Peoria, Ill., or all calls over a three-month period between two small businesses in Juneau, Alaska, as ‘relevant’ to an investigation to protect against terrorism”?

The obvious answer is that everything and everyone are relevant to everything, because anything could yield some clue that could conceivably solve some crime. But that view is the same one that justified those general warrants from King George III.

This called to mind, for me, the following relevant clip, which offers a perfect parable of the point:

Glenn Greenwald on Morning Joe

Starting at around 2:45. And try not to let the sheer stupidity of the blonde cause your head to explode around 9:45 mark.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Was NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden a Ron Paul Supporter?

Evidence to that effect can be found in a contribution receipt report filed by the Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign Committee Inc., which shows a $250 contribution received from an Edward Snowden who also has a Hawaii address.

If this is indeed the same Edward Snowden who is behind the leaks reported by The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald over the course of the last few days, it would give some additional insight into, and context around, what motivated him to come forward.

Ron Paul supporters, of course, are known for their principled opposition to the encroachment on civil liberties by an ever-expanding government. Few could possibly be in a better position to intimately understand just how far extreme this encroachment has become than Edward Snowden; and still fewer in a better position to actually do something about it.

Here are snapshots from the contribution receipt report:



See the original full page on the FEC website by clicking here.


Update: OpenSecrets.org reflects the contribution as well:


(via commenter Jon at DailyPaul.com)


Update II: Here’s an additional contribution of $250 to RP2012 from an Edward Snowden in Maryland whose employer is listed as Dell, which is reportedly a former employer of the Edward Snowden who leaked the Top Secret documents. The Maryland address is close to Fort Meade, where he reportedly was stationed for a period of time with the NSA. Note that the election cycle-to-date field indicates 449.99, which I’m told likely means he made a prior contribution of less than $200 which I understand is not required to be reported with the FEC. Thus, his total donations to RP2012 appear from these documents to have been at least $699.99.

addl contribution

Update III: More evidence by way of Buzzfeed.


Glenn Greenwald: NSA Whistleblower Revealed

Simply amazing:

The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.

The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” he said.

Snowden will go down in history as one of America’s most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. He is responsible for handing over material from one of the world’s most secretive organisations – the NSA.

Read the entire thing, and watch the accompanying video.

Gave me chills.


Immediately after posting the story, Greenwald tweeted:

Let’s hope so. I get the sense Obama, on the other hand, will have a different take on the matter.

Update: Just found the youtube version of the video, so I’m able to embed it now:

Glenn Greenwald on “This Week” With George Stephanopoulos: Expect more revelations

Glenn Greenwald was on “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos this morning. From the transcript:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, should we be expecting more revelations from you?

GREENWALD: You should.