Ooobie on Everything

at last

Even as our friends on the left laughed and celebrated and threw their hats in the air, convinced that Trump was headed for impeachment as a traitor who stole the election, convinced he was a madman for impugning the honor of Barack Hussein Obama, a few brave people within the US Civil Service snuck out of the range of fire to report to California Representative Nunes on how in fact Trump was surveilled, or as the President said “wire-tapped.” How sweet it is.

When Trump made his accusation (and wouldn’t you like to know who really tipped him off?), prima donna James Comey flew to the press in a snit of righteousness to say he had asked the DOJ to issue a flat denial of anybody authorizing “wire-tapping” against the then president-elect or even candidate. Of course that was a pure technicality, which is another way of saying “lie.” Then Comey, with that pugnacious jaw thrust out, tried to finish off Trump by announcing that he and his campaign were under investigation for treason, i.e. collusion with the Russians to steal Hillary’s coronation, and had been since mid-2016. But Comey was oh, so coy about the issue of felonious leakers currently lurking within the USG. Seems maybe the FBI gives a damn; and maybe not. His goal was pretty clear, a chance to get even for Trump’s outrageous use of “outreach” to out the FBI.

Now we know that some unstated number of Trump allies and maybe even Trump himself were under surveillance under the Obama regime. Hence the leaks the Dems were hoping the rest of us would buy as “smoking guns” and just cause to remove Trump and install Hillary. Boy, Comey always comes up smelling like horse excrement.

Needless to say, the Democrats and their cronies in the press gasp about Rep. Nunes rushing to tell the Prez that he had been right after all. “You favor the president!” screamed Schiff. What Nunes should have said was, “and how about you? aren’t you actively opposing the president? this brings some balance.” But Nunes didn’t care and he did right. If he hadn’t outed the lie into the public domain, it would have “disappeared” like all those who ran afoul of the CIA in Latin America in the 40s and 50s and 60s and 70s and 80s and no doubt 90s (then I retired from the State Department).

I’m happy to find that my own judgment was correct, that there had of course been surveillance call it what you will against Trump and his allies. How else would you have had leaks of conversations? It wasn’t  magic, was it? And finally someone did indeed have the courage to buck the trend and end the silence about the massive abuse of Executive Branch powers by the Obama administration.

(Note: I’m listening to that purveyor of lies, Adam Schiff, tell us that Obama partisan Sally Yates is willing, yea frothing at the mouth, to come forward and defame Trump. Okay. Maybe not “defame Trump” literally, but in reality, yes. It’s tough being on defense, Adam.)

So here is the bottom line: the CIA probably planted electronic trace that allegedly led back to Russia to back up the Brennan/Clapper lie it was Russia and NOT Seth Rich of DNC dissidence fame who passed the evidence of DNC corruption to Wikileaks. Take a look at Zero Hedge  on this subject.  At a minimum, they had the capability to do so. (See Wikileaks.) They padded this bit of electronic “evidence” with the kind of scurrilous rumor-mongering that Brit ex-spy Steele was selling. Then their pals in the intel community either turned a blind eye to the lie of collusion and a “false election” (I’d guess Adm. Rogers…) or colluded actively in the lie. This happened as a result of the politicization of the civil service, which is supposed to be a totally neutral body. If not, you’d have people leaking top secret information to deep-six the opposition. Imagine.

I was trying to write about all this for weeks, but I kept discarding my drafts. I felt there was something else coming that would clarify the situation. What Nunes has brought forth, thanks to that heroic “deep throat¨ has indeed clarified the situation. Now others are stepping up to reveal what was going on under Obama to sabotage the Trump Administration. We are in a perilous state of governance in which our decisions are being shaped by false information


Obama and Company: Dumb and Dumber

bozoObama says he is accused of a “lotta things” (so eloquent, such a big vocabulary!), but he doesn’t think he’s stupid enough to boast about an easy-to-use computer program that was a total bomb. He made this claim after having tried desperately to ignore mounting public furor over the disastrous consequences of his one-party healthcare legislation, and only when his fellow lefties cornered him with pleas to give them shelter. They were looking into the barrel of a gun called “election 2014” and they were desperate to have something that would hold off just retribution for their arrogance and folly until after the elections. At that point, I’m sure they told him, you can do anything you want to Americans. And Obama gracefully complied. “It’s on us,” he told America — we in the White House were the buffoons behind the healthcare debacle, not those guys in Congress who steamrolled the draft bill into law. They were operating on wrong information that I provided, but I’m not guilty either, because I didn’t know what I was talking about.

Has anybody combed the record to count how many times this empty-headed egotist has claimed “I didn’t  know a thing”? If we just confine ourselves to Benghazi, we find that the president was ignorant of virtually everything. Nobody told the president of the United States that the brand-new US outpost in Jihad-land had zero effective security on orders of his Secretary of State, Hillary “Blood on Her Hands” Clinton. Nobody told the president of the United States that the Americans forced to work in that hell-hole were begging for protection. Nobody told the president of the United States that the attack on that outpost was a deliberate terrorist strike against a totally vulnerable and irresistibly tempting objective. Nobody told the president of the US that the stupid video clip that pissed off the Moslems had nothing to do with the attack that left American officials and fighting  men dead. Had he known those things, we are to believe, he would never have rushed off to party in Las Vegas and pocket millions for his reelection campaign.

And nobody told the president of the United States that the IRS was turning into an arm of the Democrat Marxist Party of America and persecuting that party’s political foes. Nobody told Obama that we were violating Mexican national sovereignty and basic precepts of human rights by providing heavy weapons to Mexican drug lords with the blessings of our own Justice Department. Nobody told Obama that the NSA was collecting zillions of bits of information on everybody in this country, reading our emails and tracking our shopping patterns. Nobody told Obama that the NSA was listening in on Germany’s head of state while she chatted with her husband on her mobile phone and probably while she was on the toilet. And nobody told Obama that his signature legislation was turning out to be a big stinking pile of dog doo-doo. We out here among the Great Un(brain)washed have reached the point where we don’t know who ought to be carrying the title of president. It obviously shouldn’t be Obama, because the guy has made it clear that somebody else is running the show, some wizard who has all the vital information Obama lacks. Somebody so unimpressed with all Obama’s power that he (or she) keeps everything — even major news — secret from him. On the other hand, perhaps his advisors just gave up trying to reach him on the golf course or on one of his endless vacations. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Obama turns off the Red Phone just so he can get a little peace and quiet.

dunceFrankly, and I mean this personally, I do think Obama is stupid enough to brag about the fantastic qualities of the worst-ever website since Al Gore invented the internet. This judgment is based on a few observable facts, such as his inability to speak a coherent sentence without having it written out for him to read, or his claim that there are 57 states in the US, or his reference to Mexico’s holiday Cinco de Mayo (the 5th of May) as the “Fifth of Fourth.” I bet Obama doesn’t even know how to spell the plural of “potato.” In fact, I think Obama and Dan Quayle are twins separated at birth.

When you’re just an empty suit fronting for other clandestine interests, it’s unfair for people to expect mental acuity. Obama just executes other people’s orders. He’s no different than he ever was, coasting along on his limited charisma without actually working. That’s his role, and it might strike him as just a tad unfair that Americans demand more. Thinking is left to his tiny little circle of Marxist ideologues, his handlers. Only in this case, his inner circle blundered badly and left the bumbling president to face the music. I’m pretty sure he was advised to tough out the swell of anger after the stunningly bad performance of the healthcare website. But this time it hasn’t worked. Instead of settling back into indifference and ignorance, the very people who yawned when told they have no right to privacy rose up in outrage because the Affordable Healthcare Act left them without affordable health care. For some reason, the cancer patients who have been unceremoniously shoved onto the conveyor belt to death that the enlightened British call “The Pathway” are looking for revenge. They have an overpowering urge to throw the bums out. At a minimum.

liarRonald Reagan also “didn’t remember” a lot of things toward the end of his Presidency, but I think we can reasonably conclude that the Alzheimer’s that eventually killed him was already at work. I don’t think the Big O has Alzheimer’s. I think he’s a liar and a man without a conscience. He is a tin-plated fraud. And his solution, proffered up when his fellow Dems cornered him with a figurative knife at his throat, was to try to buffalo America once again. Yes, indeed. You can keep that affordable health care policy I took away from you, he said, and you can have it until the next election is over. And I can do this all by myself, without reference to the Congress — or consultation with the affected health care providers — because I am omnipotent. And stupid. So please cool down and vote Democrat so we can finish carrying out our Marxist social experiment.

Somehow, I think, this was the watershed we have all been expecting. At last we can see clearly two things: this regime does not mean us well; and this Administration thinks the truth is infinitely elastic, or better said, despises the truth. There’s no telling how the GOP is going to respond, since they have managed to trip over their own feet at every turn, but the chance is there for the taking. America has grown sick of oppression and want their freedoms back. If the Republicans can’t make hay out of this, I’m pretty sure another party will.

 


Lies, Lies and More Lies

propaganda 3Just in case you haven’t noticed, we are in the midst of a major propaganda campaign. The fawning press and the hawkish press do not call it propaganda, of course. They call it a “major push” to convince our Congress to back the bombing of Syria, just a few bombing sorties that will let everybody in the world know they dare not thwart US demands on anything. We are told that not waging war on Syria will make us all look like fools and weaken American leadership. But we all know the truth, it’s staring us in the face. America’s leadership has already been fatally eroded by our predilection for the use of force against others and by our arrogance. And if we don’t bomb, the only people who will look like fools are the president and his stooges in the US government.

This is what propaganda looks like and feels like. It is pervasive; it is false; it is goal-oriented. No dissension is allowed. If our government needs popular support to do something that constitutes a flat-out violation of international law, the solution is to fill empty minds with images and lies and watch the people fall into line. Frankly, it is similar to the care and feeding of mushrooms (keep ’em in the dark and feed ’em shit). The sad thing is, it works to a frightening degree. Before the government unleashed its propaganda campaign, only 9 percent of Americans favored bombing Syria for any reason at all short of an attack on America. The latest polls show that the figure is now over forty percent.

We are not getting the truth about any of what happened in Syria other than that a lot of people died. Instead Washington is rolling out the doctored evidence for our viewing pleasure. But instead of real proof we get such hogwash as “we know for a fact” or “we have all the evidence we need” or “we did our own tests.” We hear that the mass of evidence, the damning details, must be withheld or risk endangering our sources. All we can have are the bits and pieces those holding the information deem sufficient to calm our doubts. And our government tries to befuddle the public by exclaiming that nobody could possibly fake the results of the sarin attack that has been so thoroughly documented in video and photos. But then, who claimed the attack was a mock-up? Exactly nobody. It is a red herring. Our overlords want us to focus on the left hand, which is empty rather than the right hand, which is performing the trickery. Our government doesn’t want us to focus on the only question of importance, who perpetrated the attack. Or maybe for our Government, that is not an important question at all.

propaganda 5Personally, I don’t question the fact that chemical weapons were used in Syria. That seems to be a fact, and it isn’t the first time cw was used. But I’d be willing to bet that our info on who used the cw comes from that the men leading the opposition to Assad, the men McCain ludicrously calls freedom fighters and our own CIA is training and arming. That makes such claims highly suspect. We cannot afford to forget that the basic question in all crimes is, who benefits? Is it Bashar al-Assad, who knew that the US wanted him to use cw so they would have the excuse they were looking for to bomb Syria? Or is it the “freedom fighters” who know their chances of defeating Assad on their own are about zero. They need the US air force and its explosive ordnance.

Our government tells us over and over that the opposition has no access to chemical weapons, but that is another lie and misdirection. There is public and published information that Turkish police in May 2013 arrested a group of Syrian militants (anti-Assad) who had a five-pound canister of sarin gas and were planning to use it (supposedly in Turkey, but that doesn’t make any sense since Turkey is also an enemy of Assad). Here is what one report said:

Turkish security forces found a 2kg cylinder with sarin gas after searching the homes of Syrian militants from the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Nusra Front who were previously detained, Turkish media reports. The gas was reportedly going to be used in a bomb.

The sarin gas was found in the homes of suspected Syrian Islamists detained in the southern provinces of Adana and Mersia following a search by Turkish police on Wednesday, reports say. The gas was allegedly going to be used to carry out an attack in the southern Turkish city of Adana.

If that’s not enough to convince you that our government is lying about opposition access to cw, you might want to consider that Carla del Ponte, a former war crimes prosecutor, publicly stated in May 2013 that the UN commission of inquiry looking into cw use in Syria had very strong (but not incontrovertible) evidence that at least one sarin gas attack was carried out by Assad’s opponents.

In Iraq, we didn’t wait for Saddam Hussein to use a weapon of mass destruction before going in and laying waste to Iraq in the search for those weapons. That turned out to be a big mistake, as it led to the inescapable and increasingly loud question of “where are the weapons of mass destruction?” The people who rule our lives have learned from their mistakes and improved their propaganda and the visuals. This time somebody got the bright idea of using the cw in a big and public way against civilians prior to bombing Syria, thus providing the pretext for war and silencing skeptics. The only trick was to make it appear that it was Assad who ordered the attack. This was done in part, according to one informed source, by twisting intercepted communications to point to the desired culprit.

propaganda 4Listening to the two asses braying on tv last night (that would be McCain and Graham) I see that merely dropping bombs as a lesson for the hated Assad isn’t enough to slake their thirst for aggression. In blunt terms, the two men told us we need to beef up one of the two parties bringing death and destruction to Syria, give them powerful weapons, be their air force, be their logisticians, and really go all out to destroy the country. Only then can we install “our guys” so America can re-shape Syria into a shining example of democracy. If we aren’t ready to go all-out against Assad, they say, don’t bother bombing at all. Well, I don’t know about you, but not bombing at all sounds to me like the best suggestion McCain and Graham ever had.

If you think the fall-out from the US invasion of Iraq was bad, you haven’t seen anything yet. We took on Hussein when his country was remarkably stable and we were still overwhelmed. In the end we left in defeat, handing over the country to Iran’s influence. In Libya, we removed Qaddafi from power and installed our pals, and then we had Benghazi. That country is in a shambles. Now we want to take on another much larger and much better armed country already embroiled in civil war, one with powerful backers and with foreign groups up to their necks in the dirty fighting. Our elected leaders want us to believe against all previous evidence that America will come out of this in fine shape, with no adverse effects to our country’s true interests. It seems the war-mongers have been convinced by their own propaganda.

I’d laugh if it wasn’t so tragic. I don’t know how our Senate will vote on this effort to start a war. I hope they have enough sense of self-preservation that they vote against it. But if they do give Obama what he wants, this is one voter who will sit out the 2014 elections and let the chips fall where they may. If your representatives don’t represent you — why bother voting?

 


The Whistleblower and the Emperor

I am fascinated by the disastrous turn of affairs around the world and the disturbing face of One World Government that we are beginning to see take shape. The immediate cause of my consternation is the matter of Edward Snowden, whom I will forever think of as The Whistleblower because that is who and what he is. He blew the whistle on a scary, massive intelligence collection operation that had global reach and did reach as deep as possible into the lives of all of us world citizens. I don’t even care what the end was for the those carrying out the espionage, all I care is that it is a huge open invitation to grave abuses of everybody’s fundamental rights. I assume it is or will be used in bad ways. Snowden let us in on the big secret: you have no privacy rights, period. And the apologists can claim that our Congress, inept and ineffective, knew about the program, but that doesn’t mean any of the rest of us knew what was going on. In a country whose youths don’t even know who the Vice President is, the realities of an omniscient power-sucking monstrosity of espionage could hardly be expected to register at all. It took an Edward Snowden to rip the cover off the totalitarian machine growing within our country and that makes him a whistleblower and a hero.

In the real world, whistleblowers are allegedly a protected category of people whose revelation of crimes outweighs any malfeasance involved in acquiring and revealing such information. We all know that in fact whistleblowers, some of them, are destroyed by those whose crimes they expose. Not everybody is Karen Silkwood. But there is a widely held view that the person who risks everything to reveal what is or should be a criminal enterprise deserves protection from retaliation. Not surprisingly, Obama’s coterie of thugs has been relentless in chasing down whistleblowers and leakers and even boast of it. They only liked whistleblowers when they weren’t in power. Nowadays nobody can expose highly secret information, whether about legal or quasi-legal or flat out criminal activity, and get away with it.

Edward Snowden is Karen Silkwood on a global scale. He didn’t just alert Americans to their government’s pervasive espionage, he alerted people all around the world. Now Snowden is on the run and most governments are dusting off their American lackey caps. The bottom line is that these usually-pontificating nations, the kind who give peace prizes to men for literally no reason at all, are turning their backs on their humanitarian mantra and a legitimate asylum seeker because he would be inconvenient politically. Snowden remains imprisoned at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow, a victim of a world governed by the mediocre and the blind. I’ve said it before, but I’ll repeat it: there are no more heroes. There are only shabby bureaucrats doing their duty.

What is most worrisome is this slithery silent falling into place of the world’s governments behind the will of the American Emperor. I see one man, trapped, as the US builds a prison around him country by country. I suppose I should be impressed by the power of threats and demands, but instead I am repelled. This is what the One World Government looks like. There is no escape; there is no haven. There is always one real ruler, like Germany in the EU, and that country calls the shots. For the moment it is the US on top. Who knows who will be calling the shots tomorrow?

global espionageI’m sure the European governments are as afraid of Snowden’s disclosures as our own is. Their goal is to get their hands on him and shut him up. I can only assume that this because they, too, are guilty of massive invasion of privacy and disclosure of their violations would create a political firestorm. If governments’ responses to a plea for asylum are predictably limp and without principle, that is not the case with the astounding and profound silence from the usual chorus of harpies and NGOS who decry every violation of every right, real or imagined. Where is their voice of protest, the demonstrations? Snowden is a case made in heaven for rallying the self-righteous and yet they hang back. It’s in a critical situation like this that we see the end result of allowing governments to provide major and in some cases all funding to NGOs, as is the case in Europe and Canada. The reliance on government converts them from fictional independent organizations into functional Government Organizations. Their silence about Snowden is complicity.

NATO sells itself as the guarantor of freedom, but the latest development in the Snowden case, the forced landing of the Bolivian president’s aircraft for a search for Snowden, should serve as a lesson to us all in the evils of massed power and authority. Air closures are a major weapon against dissenters to the common trans-atlantic interest as seen from a handful of world capitals. We saw the tactic during the war against Serbia in 1999 when Russia was barred from over-flight of aspiring NATO countries in Eastern Europe, thus preventing Russia from aiding Serbia while NATO bombed.

By the way and for what it’s worth, I think that a rumor was deliberately spread by Moscow that Snowden was going home with Bolivian President Evo Morales in order to create an international stink when the countries collaborating with the US did something to impede the flight. The uproar will complicate a subsequent effort or efforts to bring down planes suspected of carrying The Whistleblower, especially with another Latin American leftwing president on board. It would increase the odds that Snowden reaches an asylum country.

moralesI can’t help but wonder what would have happened if the pilot had ignored the edicts closing the airspace over France and Portugal– would the jets have been scrambled to bring the plane down? Would somebody have fired a missile the way the Russians did to Korean Airlines passenger flight 007 that refused to leave Russian airspace back in 1978? I guess Morales didn’t want to take a chance. But the Bolivian is furious at the indignity of being chased down like a common criminal. This will play well for a long time in Bolivia and elsewhere in Latin America. Another foreign policy coup for the American Emperor.


Putin Punts

putinsnowdenThings are beginning to shake out here, but I couldn’t even guess how it all ends. Putin has rather clumsily gotten Edward Snowden off his hands by first offering him asylum and then stating a condition that he knew would be utterly unacceptable to Snowden. If Snowden were to agree never to say another word about what got him where he is, he would immediately lose all his growing icon status. He would be saying, “I’m sorry I revealed the global tentacles of US espionage strangling the rights of ordinary people.” He would be saying “I am a criminal.” He would never do it.

computer snoops 1Now you get some flavor of how the KGB worked. They could be brutal, but they were never stupid. On the other hand, I don’t think Putin earned any glory at home with this ploy. First off, his comments made it seem as if he was protecting American secrets and possibly crimes, something not calculated to go over big with a Russian audience. For Putin, it was a particularly weasly statement reeking of insincerity. Even more important, people suspect the real reason he doesn’t want Snowden in Russia isn’t so much out of fear of US reaction. It’s because he doesn’t want to have a super-snoop pounding away on a computer somewhere in his domain. Russian human rights advocates have been urging Putin to grant asylum and I would guess it was for the same reason that Putin doesn’t want to do it.

Now Snowden has predictably “withdrawn” his asylum request with Russia and is apparently throwing out a lifeline to all our heroic Socialist states, the ones run by the lunatic fringe (Venezuela) and those smug with their own self-satisfaction —  and that means you Norway, and you Sweden, and you Denmark. So far, no request to North Korea.

At this point, I’m waiting to see if even one of the NATO countries has the guts to defy the US and say, come to us. All of them have embassies in Moscow and it is not a problem for the Russian government to transfer him to any point within Russian territory and from there to another country. These NATO governments have no apparent problem signing on for bombing campaigns against people for highly dubious “humanitarian” causes, so I wonder if even one of them will abide by its obligations as an asylum-granting country and open its doors to a someone who can easily be described as a political dissident. So far a number of countries, including Switzerland with its humanitarian cachet, have said he has to get to their actual soil before asking for asylum. I’m sure the fact that he has no valid passport is also a technical problem if they want it to be. My point is that asylum can be extended without reference to what kind of travel document the applicant carries and regardless of all other technicalities. That these so-called problems are being discussed is an indication that the governments in question deem this to be a case where a nation’s human rights obligations can be ignored in pursuit of self-interest. Self-interest in this case amounts to the same things Putin was concerned about: not getting the US permanently out of joint and not having a snoop on their hands.

computer crimesI hope one of the European countries does step forward to take in Snowden because I’m getting this creepy idea that all these world socialist governments are closing ranks behind Big Brother to silence him. Maybe all of these governments are also poking into the private lives of individuals both at home and abroad, and maybe they care a lot less about their citizens’ fundamental rights than they do about sending a warning that nobody can reveal official crimes and get away with it. How scary is that? The implications are profound. Once upon a time what you did, the alleged crime, was weighed against your reasons for acting and the public benefit from what you revealed. Now it doesn’t seem to matter what crimes you reveal or what your motives were. Your crime of speaking out is far greater than any crime the State commits. Political crimes have been added to common crimes as the basis for denial of asylum. So tell me, oh great humanitarians: what the hell can you get amnesty for? I’ll give you one guess: running away from a right-wing government, of which there are fewer and fewer, or maybe fleeing a NATO bombing campaign.

maduroThere is one very obvious possibility for Putin to put an end to the Snowden Affair without losing too much more face. He can give him as a gift to the soon-to-arrive Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro. Since Maduro is coming in at Sheremetyevo, it would be a convenient moment to smuggle Snowden onto the presidential flight for the return trip to Caracas. I think it would be a sure bet the US wouldn’t scramble the jets for the 29-year old hacker when he is enjoying the company of a Latin American president. Maduro has yet to catch fire with the poor and the ignorant who voted him into office despite his catchy campaign slogan, “I am Chavez.”  He would get a little boost from shafting the US so publicly, especially after Rafael Correa of Ecuador — his competitor for Dictator of the Year in Latin America — lost his nerve. On the other hand, it is rumored that the Venezuelan has been mulling over a sort of rapprochement with the USG, for what reasons we do not know. Probably because he hasn’t caught fire with his voting base.

One thing is for sure, the longer this situation drags on the worse it looks for both Snowden and for the high repute of the world’s leading nations. I’m waiting for all those thousands of State-funded NGOs around the world to join their voices to the call to grant Snowden asylum. It’s a moment like this when you can really judge the conviction behind stated beliefs — or not.

 


No Heroes Anywhere

assangeWell, well, life is full of surprises. The fire-breathing anti-capitalist populist demagogue Rafael Correa of Ecuador, who doesn’t take orders from the US, seems to have lost his cojones. If I am not mistaken, he has reconsidered giving asylum to Snowden. You know the jig is up when they start citing technicalities, like “he isn’t in our country so he can’t ask for asylum.” I seem to recall countless cases of people walking into US embassies and demanding asylum, and some of them got it. All Moscow would have to do is get Snowden to the Ecuadorian Embassy, which is legally Ecuadorian territory. He asks for asylum and voilà, he’s an asylee. He could leave on any flight to Quito and there is only a middling chance that Obama would scramble the jets once they get on our side of the world.

assange2Apparently everybody is having some indigestion flowing from their take-that decisions. For Correa, granting Julian Assange asylum in his country’s Embassy in London has turned into a headache or perhaps even an ulcer. Ecuador can’t smuggle Assange out of London, the Brits would stop it. So our Wikileaks hero or villain is stuck there in some stuffy building for all eternity, highly limited in the mischief he can get up to and no doubt bored out of his mind. Sounds like my version of hell for both the asylee and the diplomats. (The US had a similar case in Moscow in the 80s when a large family of Pentecostals took refuge at the Embassy. They were there for years.) The Ecuadorian Embassy’s confidential communications have been leaking like water through a sieve and they suggest growing tensions with the Embassy’s tenant. Assange claims it’s an official disinformation campaign and the Ecuardorian diplomats privately accuse Assange of being the leak, which bit of information comes from leaked communications. (Oh, yes, there is that aspect of making spies welcome; you can never trust them.)

In Moscow, they have a different knotty issue. Having happily allowed Snowden to enjoy the benefits of the Sheremyetevo transit lounge while sharing his information with them, they would now like him to go. Anywhere. I bet the Russians have conveyed that unambiguously to Edward Snowden. But now it looks like a game of musical chairs and Putin is the last man standing. And if Correa can afford to turn tail at US threats, Putin cannot. The Russian public likes Edward Snowden, they look on him as a heroic young figure who risked everything to warn the world of US treachery. (I’d bet that is an image also widely shared among European youth.) Putin has swaggered and figuratively boxed our president’s ears. If nobody will take Snowden off his hands (and I wonder if China sent Snowden to Russia without asking Moscow?), then Russia must consider his asylum request, if made. That’s a big if. It sounds as though Snowden is weighing the benefits of allowing the dictatorial USG to handcuff him and try him for treason, thereby making him a global icon and ensuring the issue of US spying never goes to bed. If he decides against that route, he will probably be able to stay where he is, only as an official asylee. The WSJ reports that a number of Russian media and political types are now speaking out in favor of asylum for Snowden and this is seen as a way for the Kremlin to judge reactions. I might be proven wrong yet again, but I can’t see Moscow turning Snowden over to the US if they can’t offload him.

pigletPutin joked that the entire affair was like shearing a piglet: too much squeal, too little wool. As a former KGB agent, he might have been expressing his view of the new intelligence Snowden brought with him — not much they didn’t already know. Or he might have been trying to console the USG that it’s not such a big deal after all, when in fact it is a big deal. We will only know if Snowden comes home or our techno-geeks manage to trace his footsteps through the cyber-world.

But it doesn’t really matter anymore. Snowden was the agent, but it was what he revealed that must concern us. The pervasive electronic invasion of our lives is not okay, and if the system is good in the hands of good men, it can be evil in the hands of the wicked. I don’t have a lot of faith left in our government’s good will. And as far as I can see, there aren’t any heroes anymore.


Bits and Pieces

ICE

ICE employees responsible for our alleged border are not happy with the immigration legislation that has snaked its way out of the Senate and is now slithering toward the House. They say the proposed law will make their jobs impossible and who would know better than they? I tend to think, like Rand Paul, that the legislation is DOA when it hits Boehner’s desk. On the other hand, there’s no telling these days. Everybody seems to be shaking in their boots at the thought of crossing a bunch of illiterate illegals. The 10-foot tall Hispanic is reminiscent of the giant they had in the USSR military, or so we thought. In reality, the latest bunch of South Americans is smaller than ever and not the frightening thing the GOP has imagined. What we have to start doing is actually competing for Latino votes, with ideas packaged in fun, the way the Dems do it. Sending out kids who look like they’re recruiting for the Mormon Church isn’t going to do the job. There must be plenty of Latinos, young and ambitious, who would be interested in running for a local office and know what will attract youth. What’s the problem? We don’t have to give away our country to keep our country from becoming a one-party state. We just have to act like a two-party state or we’re going to end up a three-party state. At least. Welcome to political chaos brought to you via democracy.

Another subject: Trayvon Martin. The 6-foot plus “little boy” or “Obama’s kid” that the press wanted to portray sounds like a trashy-mouthed lout, not to mention a racial profiler. Maybe if he hadn’t had that ugly toad on the other end of the phone he wouldn’t have decided to show off by accosting the overweight and edgy Mr. Zimmerman. But when I heard the girl say that she and Trayvon had been on the phone all morning, the thought floated across my mind, “what did these two talk about for several hours running?”  I don’t know about Trayvon’s mental acuity beyond the fact that he wasn’t Rhodes Scholar material, but his friend seems to be borderline retarded. Ms. Gen-teel perhaps is of Haitian origin, just judging by last name and poor grip on English. She was barely intelligible throughout her testimony except when she was sassing the DA.

And as for the DA — grounds for mistrial, right there. I found my toes curling in embarrassment when he was meandering his way, often unsuccessfully, through the intricacies of the case. I knew he couldn’t be a top-flight lawyer when he failed to recast Zimmerman as a Latino, not some German that he doesn’t even look like. Fat is okay, a little longer hair, maybe he could use a Spanish word or two and say things like pendejo or madre mia. The defense could raise how little Jorge used to want so much to be an American and so on. If race is going to be a major issue, let’s make it a bi-racial issue and make it harder for our political foes to score points. And back to Ms. Gen-teel. I was wincing at the young woman’s efforts to think. She probably was high as a kite on something, but mostly I think she was just utterly stupid and ignorant. Too stupid even to lie convincingly. If I were Jorge, I’d already be working on a mistrial. I think a real lawyer might have been able to do something coherent with the characters in this play. How painful to watch!

putoEdward Snowden continues his new life of misery on the run from justice, washing up in one of Moscow’s airports, probably Sheremetevo, the international hub. The US has dropped the ugly American tone and has fallen back on cold wounded dignity as a theme. But the whole affair at least gave Obama the chance to sum up all his smallness of mind and spirit when he was asked if he had, by any chance, picked up the phone to call dear pal Vlad and ask for a helping hand. Obama visibly bristled, as only he does with such style, and replied that no, he did not, and he did not because why should he have to?

Such tact, such statesmanship, such logic. He presented himself as an angry kid whose only response to his mother’s nagging is “I shouldn’t have to!” That’s a really stupid thing to say, because maybe, if he actually wants Snowden back, a phone call would be all the healing balm needed. Nah. I think it has gone beyond mere miffiness between the two men, something was said by Obama to Putin to put Putin’s nose out of joint but good. That was evident after their private talk. Maybe Mr. P, whose own Czar-like stature should appeal to The Prez, got a hefty dose of Obama’s arrogance? Then, like manna from heaven, Snowden showed up in Moscow. Who could resist, in all honesty, the chance to stick it to Barack Obama? In response to Russia’s refusal to play ball, or, as some might see it, kowtow to Washington’s orders, the USG is taking its usual limp-wrist actions, winding up the litany of Russian human rights abuses to beleaguer Putin with. The gloves are off. There is nothing that makes Obama angrier than somebody not taking him seriously or giving him sufficient adulation. It’s pretty much the same with Putin.

The other worrisome comment Obama made was his declaration that he wasn’t going to “scramble the jets for a 29-year old hacker.”  This raises the alarming suspicion that somebody, probably the increasingly senseless John McCain, actually proposed scrambling the jets or some such other hare-brained scheme. I have heard a few lunatics proposing to re-launch the Cold War. I swear, the US is really acting very unprettily these days. Given what the USG was up to, I’d keep a lower profile on the effort to get Snowden back. In fact if they had acted diplomatically instead of making a big show out of it all, perhaps Snowden would not have become an issue at all.

As for Snowden, he’ll probably end up in Ecuador. Latin America is no shirk when it comes to giving the US the finger, most countries there having done so at one time or another, and Ecuador’s president is going for the Most Revolutionary pageant this year. If the gringos want to pull a stunt to kidnap him, which they have the capacity to do in South America, it will give Correa fuel to keep the nationalist fires going for years.

sodomFinally on the Supreme Court rulings. Who cares what happens in California? It’s already a one-party state mired in corruption of every kind. The fight is on for real in the individual states where the issue is undecided, and I’m satisfied that the Court affirmed this as an area where the states rule. If they can stand by that position in future challenges, then we’ll be as good as we can get until we have our own country.

 

 


Reduced to a Snarling Kind of Plea

russia usI’m hearing a lot of commentators from both sides of America who are very angry that China and Russia are thumbing their noses at us over Edward Snowden. Leaving aside for the moment all the sneering invective from the Obama regime about the anti-democratic regimes in those countries, the bottom line seems to be that somehow the US has been so good to both of them for, like, forever and now they owe us. John Kerry and Jay Carney want us to recall in particular that the US has bent over backwards to extradite people back to Russia. Over and over.

Okay, so tell me this: did the US actually have some interest in spending millions of dollars fighting the extradition of what were, frankly, common criminals and swindlers? Did we want these felons in the US forever? I think we will all agree that the answer is no and no. That suggests, then, that the US was pursuing simple self-interest in cooperating with Russia on extradition, which we quite naturally portray as beneficence. Everybody does.

solzIf you’re still doubtful, consider this: if the person the Russians had been trying to extradite from America had been someone we considered a political dissident in danger from his government, someone like the late Alexander Solzhenitsyn, we would have refused the Russian request. Extradition does not apply to asylees. Nothing would make us budge.

Of course, the USG doesn’t consider Edward Snowden to be an errant philosopher, but a vile back-stabber and heinous criminal. But in this case what the US thinks of him is irrelevant. The host country, currently Russia, once China, later, who knows, North Korea? determines what he is. If they see him as having exposed massive global spying by the USG, deem such activity to be in violation of internationally accepted principles or law, and feel Snowden could not receive a fair trial in the US, they will endorse his action with asylee status. That’s the whole story.

Then there’s the back story. You and I know perfectly well that Russia and China both aspire to the same pervasive level of global spying that the US has attained, but their sins are hidden from view, potential whistle-blowers no doubt having been run down in the street or just disappeared. This gives them the theoretical high ground and they are milking it for all its worth. The world is finally getting their own back against us, and there is little to do except take it as long as this clique of morons in Washington is in power.

Is it because we know our prez is a blowhard that he is lately so unconvincing? Didn’t you cringe just a tiny bit when you heard our officials trying to give orders to other countries? Didn’t you find yourself adding after one of these vague threats of retaliation, “And what are you going to do about it?” In diplomacy we learn that you can say some pretty stiff things without resorting to open bullying. The White House and the Congress, not to mention the NSA, apparently missed that lesson. They didn’t use any finesse or tact, which is the norm when you want what in essence amounts to a favor, but they are still just huffing and puffing. Unfortunately for Obama he can’t use a drone in either of the two offending states, and thus our nations are at loggerheads. Diplomacy, it seems, is dead in Washington.

us in laAnd another thing: ultimatums aside, have you noticed how we talk to other countries as if they’re vassals? This is the way “gringo” diplomats have historically talked to Latin Americans, who are a chatty, friendly bunch under normal circumstances but bristle when dictated to and then get even in sly and sullen ways. US diplomatic snottiness is responsible for fully half of our problems there and the way we’re verbally shoving Russia and China isn’t doing much good, either. Did anybody really think that snarling at Vladimir Putin would frighten him into compliance? He’s belligerent by nature and nothing gets him going more than a weak opponent. In fact, it’s not just Putin, it’s pretty much all Russians. They hate a sniveler. Give them a smart, ruthless, self-interested and relentless opponent any day, but don’t offend them by sending out your B or even C team. Kiss of death. Now Putin is strutting for his Russian audience and they are enjoying the show.

lemonadeThere is a lot of speculation that China and/or Russia were in from the beginning and coordinated this very public humiliation. You don’t need to look for a conspiracy in any of this. Sometimes life gives you lemons (and who knows that better than the Russians and the Chinese?) and sometimes life gives you lemonade. Edward Snowden fell into the hands of our rivals and he brought with him invaluable information. They’re not letting him go until they have gotten every bit of useful intelligence out of him, and I would be willing to bet today that whoever ends up with him will never extradite him to the US.

In the meantime, we watch this unfolding sitcom with a mixture of “you deserve” it for our government and a deep concern for our country. We have been slapped down by people we have considered our inferiors and it stings. Now we are reduced to that snarling whimper we sometimes hear from cornered dogs.

 


David and Goliath

snowdenI never thought I would approve of somebody stealing secrets from the USG. I had nothing but contempt for the traitors who scorned our security and carried vital classified information to sworn enemies of our country. And they did it out of hatred for America. The little Manning twerp with his inflamed acne, sexual confusion and marginal intelligence is an example of the kind of vermin I particularly despise, people who do us incalculable damage for the sake of their fifteen minutes of fame.

But that was in the Golden Age of America, when our government was headed by people who respected the Constitution and fundamental individual rights and if there were violations of those rights, it wasn’t an official policy but a crime. It was a time when you might not like an administration’s policies, but the most you wanted to do was vote the bums out, not start a revolution. It was a time when the government thought spying was for foreign enemies rather than for the ordinary Joe talking to his pals on the phone or sending emails about his wife’s operation. It was a time when the IRS, that maleficent organization, was more interested in sucking every penny out of the average American’s pocket than in preventing someone from participating in the country’s political life. It was a time when, if a high official lied blatantly before Congress and the country, they suffered for it and were shamed.

Oh, yes, those were the days, but they be gone, my friends. Today our government is too absorbed in silencing and shutting down its domestic political opponents to have a lot of interest left for our foreign foes, and the sad shape we’re in on the foreign policy and security front testifies to that fact. How can the FBI be expected to follow up on a tip hand-delivered to them from another government about the terrorist inclinations of one of America’s all too numerous asylees when it is all tied up plotting political retribution against our own citizens? Those guys can’t do everything, you know. And the priority for this illegal government — because that is what it has morphed into — is not our domestic security. Hey, a leg or two lost, maybe a little kid blown to smithereens — small potatoes when you consider all the other things our Guardians of the State have to worry about. They hardly have a minute’s rest as they carry out surveillance on nefarious reporters trying to find out what role our highest officials played in leaving Americans to fight alone against a murderous mob in Benghazi, or digging out supposedly private medical records of people trying to get a tax exemption for their organization. The new Enemies of the People are Americans who want to expose the mutation of our government into a monstrosity that combines the very best ideas of both Hitler and Stalin. The danger of being unmasked for who they are is the issue that most absorbs the energies of our elected and unelected officials.

tyrannyAmericans have already lost many of their rights. Apparently freedom of association is out the window; some organizers like the illiterate and felonious ACORN folks, are deemed to be  worthy of approval and US taxpayer money. Other Americans, who lack a proper appreciation of Marxist ideology — people who support the Tea Party or Americans for Prosperity — need to be taught a lesson. Roll out the IRS, the FBI, and the NSA, please. Launch the drones. Certainly freedom of speech has been jettisoned, and if you don’t believe it, try hurling an insult at some protected species of human who is calling you names. How about the Second Amendment? Do you feel safe from USG retaliation if you have a gun, or are you sitting there, with the gun pointed at the door, waiting for an FBI raid?

Constitutional freedoms have suffered erosion over a long period as the State has inched its way farther and farther beyond its limited authorities. The drip has now become a deluge that threatens to swallow our liberty altogether. These days, every time I talk on the phone I have an overwhelming urge to sign off with a very rude greeting to NSA and Big Brother (that would be the sham citizen in the White House and his evil band of elves).

All of this brings me to the most visible victim of the police state, Edward Snowden. Yes, he swore himself to secrecy when he took his job, and in normal circumstances his violation of that oath would be beyond the pale. But how can an honest American go to the job everyday, knowing that his organization and the government in Washington are silently, criminally, insidiously, burrowing their way into all of our most private lives and communications? How can he keep silent knowing that the power ministries (as we sneeringly call the Russian law enforcement bodies) respect no Constitutional limits?

For the first time in my life, I hail the secrets-stealer. Snowden is heading into a life of misery, a permanent exile who will never see home again, but the rest of us have been given the vitally important knowledge that our government has become a criminal entity. If you think the USG is brutal when it comes to getting even with somebody guilty of nothing more than believing in small government, you can imagine the fire-spitting fury it is in over Snowden, who removed the patriotic camouflage from a spying program that was aimed at everybody in the United States — every damned one of us. Even that slob Michael Moore.

So I can only feel contempt when I hear the pundits screeching about the terrible Edward Snowden. I feel particular contempt listening to the NSA’s Gen. Alexander, who owes FBI ex-chief Robert Mueller a beer for lying on his behalf. I confess, the General’s somber assessment that the damage Snowden did was irremediable left me cold and unconvinced. Watching his sneaky, lying face all I could think is that the traitor isn’t Edward Snowden — it’s Gen. Alexander and all the others just like him drawing a USG salary. And as for irremediable — back in the 1950’s two of the NSA’s cryptographers pranced off into the Red Sunset of Moscow carrying all our secret codes. Somehow we survived. The hysteria our officials are ginning up is intended to deflect attention from the crimes being committed. I don’t think Snowden is bringing the US to its knees, but I fervently wish the information he gave us would bring our government to its knees.

david and goliathDavid and Goliath. In Amerika, there is only one Goliath and it is the State broken free of its restraints. The rest of us, including Edward Snowden, are the Davids. What are we going to do with the information Snowden gave us at the cost of his own freedom? Is there anything short of mass rebellion that can stop this remaking of America? If we let this pass without making it the greatest rallying cause in over 200 years, then we will have squandered the sacrifice of Edward Snowden.Because living in a place like Cuba or China is not freedom. It’s only a different kind of prison.

God bless Edward Snowden.