34 Comments on “Lazy Saturday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!

    • BB…what a deep set of links to go through. I found this one though in addition to the other Eichenwald post: 13 more unanswered questions for Edward Snowden – The Week

      • 4. It’s said that you took as many as 1.7 million documents from NSA files. You’ve hinted that that number is high and exaggerated. If, on the low end, you took only 100,000 separate documents from the NSA, can you affirm that each and every document was personally reviewed by you in advance to determine, at least in your mind, if, once disclosed, it would cause damage to legitimate American national security interests? What tests did you use? What does harm or damage in this context mean to you?

        5. Assuming that you absconded with several documents to use as collateral in case your life were endangered or the stories not published, can you affirm today that, say, 99 percent of the documents you took, if published with only the redaction of specific countries and targets, would not damage national security?

        6. By identifying the journalists to whom you gave the documents, aren’t you putting a lifetime target on them for priority collection by foreign intelligence services? If you were part of the People’s Liberation Army’s 2nd Directorate, wouldn’t you assign, say, 20 people whose full-time job it was to target Bart Gellman’s home, office, mobile, and cloud internet usage? Obviously, leaking the information to journalists implies that the journalists’ identities would become public. But why imply, or say, that they now have full possession of hundreds of thousands of classified documents?

  2. Fannie says:

    Luv these cartoons – only two wars! Just about done planting our veggies. Will have plenty to share. Will be teaching young mothers how to preserve and can veggies. So many things can be put in freezer. I’ve done this all my life, and had cupboards full of food. Jun 11, will be getting cherries………here we go, love cherry jam and jelly. Too sweet for me, but great to give out at holiday time with fresh breads.

    I am beside myself what they the GOP is doing to Michelle’s Food Program. She’s been the best with let’s move, and eating healthy, and the kids are learning and losing weight. This is not about government taking over the schools, this is about helping poor kids to step up and eat good foods that will help them with that spelling test, that math test, and overall good mood and behaviors at school and at home. The behavior of the GOP is unacceptable, and every body needs to do what the children have done, step up and tell them no to French fries!

  3. Fannie says:

    Hot off the press: Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey Idaho, has just been released today from Afghanistan after 5 years imprisonment. Pres. Obama exchanged him for 5 Gitmo prisoners. Thank you Pres. Obama. You might recall that he either walked away or was captured. He will be debriefed before coming home. Carole King (singer) had been planning or did do several concerts to raise funds, as she lives in nearby Hailey, Idaho.

    http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/05/31/3211763/us-solider-freed-from-captivity.html

  4. RalphB says:

    NYT: Doctor Shortage Is Cited in Delays at V.A. Hospitals

    Media is in terrible shape when you have to congratulate the Times for publishing a story which makes an obvious point about the VA problems.

    • Fannie says:

      They need to reduced doctor student loans so that more of them are attracted to the V.A. hospitals, and will work to reduce debt.

  5. RalphB says:

    BB, I watched the Snowden interview and came away with very distinct impressions. I’m looking forward to your appraisal of it.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I forgot to put up the analysis by the body language expert.

      BODY-LANGUAGE EXPERT: I Would Not Trust Anything Snowden Said To NBC

      Before Edward Snowden’s interview with NBC’s Brian Williams, body-language expert Dr. Nick Morgan considered Snowden a young guy who got a hold of a bunch of classified documents and was just telling his story about exposing intrusive American surveillance.

      “I came away [from the NBC interview] with a very different impression,” Morgan, a top U.S. communication theorist and best-selling author, told Business Insider. “As a body-language expert, I’d say this is a disingenuous performance, which surprised me.” ….

      A particularly telling moment came when Brian Williams asked Snowden, “What is your relationship with the host government?” Morgan, who didn’t previously know that Snowden’s Moscow lawyer is a Putin loyalist linked to the FSB, was struck by Snowden’s lack of eye contact and the slowing of his voice as he denied having any relationship with the Kremlin.

      “He was obviously lying,” Morgan said.

      • RalphB says:

        My impressions are a lot like that. He seemed more an actor playing a role than someone being interviewed to me. Maybe that’s the norm, but I don’t think so unless Snowden is particularly bad at it.

        The roving eyes. hand gestures, hiding behind his hands when answering are all things which tell me he lied his ass off during that interview.

  6. RalphB says:

    Raw Story: Police unaware Santa Barbara shooter had firearms before killings: report

    Authorities did not know that Elliot Rodger, whose shooting rampage left six dead and more than a dozen injured in a California college town, owned firearms despite three interactions with the police within the year, the Los Angeles Times reported.

    Rodger had legally purchased three firearms leading up to the shooting spree, a fact that authorities could have discovered by searching law enforcement databases, the Times reported on Friday.

    “The issue of weapons did not come up,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Kelly Hoover told the Times. “We had no information that he had weapons or reason to believe he had weapons.”

    The news comes a day after the sheriff’s office revealed new details about a welfare check the police conducted on the night of April 30 on Roger outside his apartment, following a concerned call from a county mental health worker.

    That night, just weeks before the killings in Isla Vista, California, a half dozen officers responded to the call and asked Rodger about disturbing videos he had posted online. Police described Rodger as shy, timid and polite, and following the 10 minute meeting, did not consider him a threat to himself or others.

    “They did not view the videos or conduct a weapons check on Rodger,” a statement from the sheriff’s office said. …

    The complete incompetence and laziness of the Sheriff’s deputies is just gobsmacking!

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Historian and counterintelligence expert John Schindler: When did Snowden go over to the Russians?

    What can be dismissed out of hand is the notion that, while staying in Hong Kong a year ago, Ed met with Russian spies – sorry, “diplomats” – at their consulate there and, all of a sudden, decided to hop a flight to Moscow. Espionage simply does not work that way, folks. We can only guess at what was on Ed’s mind, but those who know the Russian “special services” understand that such a scenario is so implausible that it can be ruled out altogether. The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) simply does not allow American intelligence personnel they’ve just met to jump on a flight to Mother Russia. That never happens.

    Why not, you ask? In real life, unlike in spy movies, the risks are too great. Deciding to work with a possible defector, particularly one from your main adversary, is a big step in and of itself, since both sides play sneaky operational games….

    Letting Edward Snowden move to Moscow was a major decision for the Kremlin, one with huge political ramifications. We can be certain that such a decision was not made by a mid-grade SVR officer in Hong Kong, neither was such a choice made quickly by the Russians, particularly under a president who understands counterintelligence very well. The reality is that Edward Snowden’s relationship with Russian intelligence, whatever it exactly is, predated his arrival in Moscow on June 23, 2013, probably by a considerable margin. It did not begin in Hong Kong, but before, possibly long before. It cannot be ruled out that the SVR (or possibly GRU, Russian military intelligence, which is a formidable espionage service its own) initially dealt with Ed in a false-flag operation, masking their true identity for a time, but experts who are acquainted with Russia’s “special services” understand that the Official Narrative, that Ed just up and moved to Moscow, cannot be true.

  8. RalphB says:

    Obama Welcomes Release Of Captured Soldier: ‘He Was Never Forgotten’

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is welcoming the release of the lone U.S. solider held in Afghanistan, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

    During an appearance Saturday in the Rose Garden, Obama says that while Bergdahl was gone, “he was never forgotten.” The president was joined at the White House by the soldier’s parents, Bob and Joni Bergdahl.

    Bergdahl was turned over by the Taliban earlier Saturday in exchange for the release of five Afghan detainees who were held at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    Obama says the U.S., quote, “does not ever leave our men and women in uniform behind.”

    Bergdahl’s father thanked all those who took part in his son’s recovery, saying it was difficult to put his feelings into words.

    President Obama gets the captured soldier back,,,

    • RalphB says:

      And Republicans manage to complain about it. Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon of California and Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma are real asshats!

      ABC: GOP Lawmakers: Prisoner Exchange Violated Law

      Two Republican lawmakers on Saturday accused President Barack Obama of breaking the law by approving the release of five Afghan detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for a U.S. soldier believed held by Islamist insurgents for five years.

      The White House agreed that actions were taken in spite of legal requirements and cited “unique and exigent circumstances” as justification. …

      • bostonboomer says:

        Sigh . . .

        • RalphB says:

          Prepare for the Republican outrage at releasing super dangerous, Jack Bauer like, Al Qaeda terrorist to kill the American public. What a crock of bullshit is coming.

        • RalphB says:

          Daily Beast: Here are the Taliban Terrorists Obama Released to Free POW Bowe Bergdahl

          In exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Berghdahl, the U.S. has released five senior Taliban commanders from the Guantanamo Bay prison. They are considered some of the worst of the worst.

          Many in Congress will still be opposed to the swap, but lawmakers gave up their right to stop it. A small change in the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which passed last December, now makes it only a requirement that the Defense Secretary notify Congress when releasing Guantanamo prisoners. Before the change, Congressional sign off on any Guantanamo releases would have been needed. …

          As night follows day, here’ round one from former moonie Eli Lake and douche Josh Rogin. Screw the Congress, every one of them, they gave up their rights.

          As an aside, it appears those Jihadi groups must have no soldiers, they’re all commanders.

      • RalphB says:

        Personally I think we should have released all the prisoners to any country which would take them and then closed Gitmo. May as well give the GOP something to complain about.

      • Fannie says:

        Inhofe has condemned everything Pres. Obama has ever done to better this country. I hate him – he went to Uganda and convinced them to put the death penalty in place for gays. He even voted against the GI Bill. I wish he would get his ass over here to Idaho and tell his folks back home how he feels. Crock of schitt for sure.

  9. Tonight late on TCM Born Yesterday. Love that movie, it is my favorite William Holden flick.

  10. RalphB says:

    Fareed Zakaria in the Washington Post

    Obama’s leadership is right for today


    Obama is battling a knee-jerk sentiment in Washington in which the only kind of international leadership that means anything is the use of military force. “Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail,” he said in his speech Wednesday at West Point. A similar sentiment was expressed in the farewell address of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a strong leader who refused to intervene in the Suez crisis, the French collapse in Vietnam, two Taiwan Strait confrontations and the Hungarian uprising of 1956. At the time, many critics blasted the president for his passivity and wished that he would be more interventionist. A Democratic Advisory Council committee headed by Acheson called Eisenhower’s foreign policy “weak, vacillating, and tardy.” But Eisenhower kept his powder dry, confident that force was not the only way to show strength. “I’ll tell you what leadership is,” he told his speechwriter. “It’s persuasion — and conciliation — and education — and patience . It’s long, slow, tough work. That’s the only kind of leadership I know — or believe in — or will practice.”

    Maybe that’s the Obama Doctrine.

  11. janicen says:

    Sorry I missed this post yesterday. Great one, bb. I love that you are getting to spend time with your mom for her birthday. The best gift for both of you. You reminded me that I used to fill up with premium gas whenever I was taking a long car trip because I noticed that I had to stop to fill up less when I did.

    Really interesting Snowden stuff too. I can’t force myself to watch the interview. I had to leave the room the other week when my husband insisted on watching a Greenwald interview. I just can’t stand either one of the self aggrandizing narcissists.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks. I’m going to watch the interview, but I’m still procrastinating. I have to build up the energy to tolerate the nausea and disgust.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks, Dak. I read most of that piece and skimmed the rest. I guess my problem with all this is that I don’t think Greenwald’s work really deserves a serious review. He has published hundreds of errors and exaggerations that have been pointed out but never corrected. His identification with his source is unprofessional and so is his angry and bitter “tone.” At least Kinsley noted that there was nothing particularly new in the book.

      As Commonweal points out the NYT had already published a quite detailed and favorable review of the book. It isn’t at all unusual for the Book Review to publish snarky, “controversial” reviews. I thought it was quite appropriate, and so did many many other people who have followed the story closely.

      Meanwhile, none of the “serious” people have even addressed Greenwald’s sellout to Omidyar! I’m sick and tired of the media’s kid glove treatment of Snowden and Greenwald. I find it fascinating that Commonweal didn’t address George Packer’s much more comprehensive review of the book, in which he scathingly criticized Greenwald.