August 25, 2013

Abbott and Costello meet the Keystone Kops: Have Badge Will Chase

Let me see if I get this straight: Edward Snowden is a horrible person for stealing intelligence and releasing it to the general public. Check.
But let's stop and look at the NSA, shall we?

The NSA has dealt with the spying scandal with the classic techniques of government manipulation of the public: Deny for as long as possible, then make few gradual small admissions, so when the big abuses come out the press views the story as stale and is unconcerned about the new scale of abuse coming out.

1. First, deny everything. Say it is impossible to access individual Americans’ email as they are typing.

2. Use the difference between statute (laws passed by Congress) and Ronald Reagan’s 1981 Executive Order (which responded to earlier intel abuses and forbids spying on Americans) to deny that any “laws” have been broken. (An Executive Order has the force of law but isn’t exactly a law.). Notorious authoritarians like Mike Rogers (R-MI), head of the House Intelligence Committee, have used this ploy. Rogers wouldn’t know a civil liberty if he tripped over it.

3. admit the capability but insist there are strict controls absolutely preventing abuse.

4. Insist that the FISA court and the House and Senate intelligence committees have full oversight.

5. Admit that the NSA repeatedly lied to the FISA court.

6. Admit a few tens of thousands of in-country US emails were collected before the FISA judges found out and stopped it.

7. Admit you haven’t actually been telling Congress about the abuses

8. Admit that you’ve been sharing info on Americans gained through warrantless surveillance with the Drug Enforcement Agency and local law enforcement, who then lied about how they came by the evidence

Let's face it, our national security is in the hands of the Keystone Kops.

ABC's "This Week" — Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.; former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young. ABC News Chief National Correspondent Byron Pitts. Roundtable: ABC News’ George Will and Cokie Roberts, Democratic strategist and ABC News contributor Donna Brazile, and Washington Post Chief Correspondent Dan Balz.

CBS' "Face the Nation" — Former Secretary of State Colin Powell; Lewis; Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and Senator Jack Reed, D-R.I. Panel: NAACP President Ben Jealous, Children's Defense Fund President and Founder Marian Wright Edelman, and Taylor Branch, author of The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement.

NBC's "Meet the Press" — Lewis; Booker; Martin Luther King III; Rep. John Lewis (D-GA); Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D); Republican Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana; Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho; business executive and author, Sheryl WuDunn; President and Founder of the National Action Network, MSNBC’s Rev. Al Sharpton; New York Times Columnist David Brooks; and presidential historian and author of “Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream,” Doris Kearns Goodwin.

MSNBC's "UP with Steve Kornacki" - Bob Herbert, Demos; Rick Perlstein,; Walter Fields, Fmr. Political director NJ-NAACP, Exec Editor; Ana Marie Cox, The Guardian; Joy Williams, political strategist & founder, LJW Community Strategies; Jamelle Bouie, Daily Beast.

MSNBC's "Melissa Harris-Perry" - President of AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees); Myrlie Evers, Widow of Slain Civil Rights Leader Medgar Evers; Clayola Brown, President of the A. Philip Randolph Institute; Judge Billy Murphy, Criminal Defense Attorney / Former Circuit Court Judge for the city of Baltimore; Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; Martin Luther King III, Eldest Son of Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr.; Judith Browne Dianis, Co-Director of the Advancement Project; Scot Ross, Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now; Ron Davis, Father of Jordan Davis; John Phillips, Davis Family Attorney; Shanna Smith, President of the National Fair Housing Alliance; Wade Henderson, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Right; Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's Mother; Benjamin Crump, Martin Family Attorney; Asean Johnson, 9-year-old student at Marcus Garvey School / Protested his school being closed.

MSNBC's "Disrupt with Karen Finney" - Jelani Cobb, Assoc. Professor of African-American Studies, University of Connecticut; Martin Luther King III, Eldest son of Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; Phillip Agnew, Executive Director, Dream Defenders; Lee Saunders, President, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); Mark Glaze, Director, Mayors Against Illegal Guns; Neera Tanden, President, Center for American Progress; Mark Tapscott, Washington Examiner; Molly Ball, The Atlantic.

CNN's "State of the Union" — Lewis; Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Former Democratic Presidential Candidate Howard Dean and Former Republican Senator Jim DeMint. Panel: CNN Political Commentator Cornell Belcher, New York Times columnist and CNN Political Commentator Ross Douthat, Chairman of Good360 Carly Fiorina, and President & CEO, of The Center for American Progress Neera Tanden.

CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS - Sara Blakely; Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley of the Brookings Institution, Leigh Gallagher, an assistant managing editor at Fortune and author of The End of the Suburbs, and Joel Kotkin, a distinguished fellow in urban futures at Chapman University and author of The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050.

CNN's "Reliable Sources" - Guest host: Erik Deggans. CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather, along with Senior External Affairs Director of Free Press, Joseph Torres and Founding Member of the National Association of Black Journalists, Paul Delaney. Brian Beutler, political writer for Salon and New York Times Columnist Charles Blow. David Zurawik, television and media critic for The Baltimore Sun and Mohammed el Nawawy, author and professor at Queens University of Charlotte. Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute. Wil Haygood, columnist for The Washington Post.

"Fox News Sunday" — Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.; Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y.; Gov. Mary Fallin, R-Okla, Stephens County, Oklahoma District Attorney Jason Hicks. Scott Brown, Former Republican Senator from Massachusetts; Kirsten Powers, Daily Beast Columnist; David Webb, Radio talk show host; Juan Williams.

So what's catching your eye this morning?

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