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Old 07-01-2013, 11:21 PM   #196
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Originally Posted by anitram View Post
It really is very interesting.

Though I wonder how this will change the more and more we learn about Snowden.
Well - I really don't know that much about Snowden. And I'm afraid that the info we receive on him will be more smear campaign material than the truth. I've been waiting for the teen porn on his computer accusation...

If this man is legit, I think he should go to jail for breaking the law - but he should take comfort in knowing that he did the right thing by exposing the truth.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:22 PM   #197
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And I think I speak for many of us in saying we're glad you came back.
Thank you.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:29 PM   #198
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No, you probably haven't missed any, but thanks. And I think I speak for many of us in saying we're glad you came back.
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:20 AM   #199
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Memphis used to work for BAH. He thinks Snowden should be put in jail.
I agree with Memphis

Rafael Correa: we helped Snowden by mistake | World news | guardian.co.uk


Snowden's world is getting smaller, he deserves to rot in jail.
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:35 AM   #200
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Countries where NSA leaker Edward Snowden has applied for asylum

Published July 02, 2013
Associated Press

National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has applied to the following countries for asylum, according to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks:

— Austria

— Bolivia

— Brazil

— China

— Cuba

— Ecuador

— Finland

— France

— Germany

— Iceland

— India

— Italy

— Ireland

— Netherlands

— Nicaragua

— Norway

— Poland

— Russia

— Spain

— Switzerland

— Venezuela

___

Source: WikiLeaks

this is weird
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:57 AM   #201
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this is weird
It doesn't seem weird to me, but desperate. He gambled with making public the information and he seems to be losing. So he's now trying to find a safe haven and probably hadn't thought everything through yet.
But yeah, some countries on that list seem like an odd choice, considering his reasoning for making classified information public. I mean, China, Cuba, Russia and Venezuela aren't exactly beacons of democracy and transparent societies.

BTW, his request won't succeed in the Netherlands as you have to be in the Netherlands in person to apply for asylum. And I just read that Poland has indicated to deny his request.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:30 AM   #202
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He chose China, Russia, and the like because they're perceived as being not aligned with the United States. He probably chose the Western European countries because of the current anger there towards US spying on Europe. Realistically, I highly doubt that Western Europe will accept him, and I doubt that Russia and China will really care enough to accept him and cause a major row with Washington. That leaves places like Venezuela.
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Old 07-04-2013, 03:21 PM   #203
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this is pretty much an act of war - imagine if it was Air Force One grounded like that? all hell would let loose lol

eta: VERY controversial article, but thought i'd throw it out there

Forcing down Evo Morales's plane was an act of air piracy | John Pilger | Comment is free | The Guardian


Denying the Bolivian president air space was a metaphor for the gangsterism that now rules the world

John Pilger
The Guardian, Thursday 4 July 2013 19.00 BST


President Morales arrives back in La Paz, Bolivia. ‘Imagine the response from Paris if the French president's plane was forced down in Latin America.’ Photograph: Zuma/Rex Features
Imagine the aircraft of the president of France being forced down in Latin America on "suspicion" that it was carrying a political refugee to safety – and not just any refugee but someone who has provided the people of the world with proof of criminal activity on an epic scale.

Imagine the response from Paris, let alone the "international community", as the governments of the west call themselves. To a chorus of baying indignation from Whitehall to Washington, Brussels to Madrid, heroic special forces would be dispatched to rescue their leader and, as sport, smash up the source of such flagrant international gangsterism. Editorials would cheer them on, perhaps reminding readers that this kind of piracy was exhibited by the German Reich in the 1930s.

The forcing down of Bolivian President Evo Morales's plane – denied airspace by France, Spain and Portugal, followed by his 14-hour confinement while Austrian officials demanded to "inspect" his aircraft for the "fugitive" Edward Snowden – was an act of air piracy and state terrorism. It was a metaphor for the gangsterism that now rules the world and the cowardice and hypocrisy of bystanders who dare not speak its name.

In Moscow, Morales had been asked about Snowden – who remains trapped in the city's airport. "If there were a request [for political asylum]," he said, "of course, we would be willing to debate and consider the idea." That was clearly enough provocation for the Godfather. "We have been in touch with a range of countries that had a chance of having Snowden land or travel through their country," said a US state department official.

The French – having squealed about Washington spying on their every move, as revealed by Snowden – were first off the mark, followed by the Portuguese. The Spanish then did their bit by enforcing a flight ban of their airspace, giving the Godfather's Viennese hirelings enough time to find out if Snowden was indeed invoking article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: "Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution."

Those paid to keep the record straight have played their part with a cat-and-mouse media game that reinforces the Godfather's lie that this heroic young man is running from a system of justice, rather than preordained, vindictive incarceration that amounts to torture – ask Bradley Manning and the living ghosts in Guantánamo.

Historians seem to agree that the rise of fascism in Europe might have been averted had the liberal or left political class understood the true nature of its enemy. The parallels today are very different, but the Damocles sword over Snowden, like the casual abduction of Bolivia's president, ought to stir us into recognising the true nature of the enemy.

Snowden's revelations are not merely about privacy, or civil liberty, or even mass spying. They are about the unmentionable: that the democratic facades of the US now barely conceal a systematic gangsterism historically identified with, if not necessarily the same as, fascism. On Tuesday, a US drone killed 16 people in North Waziristan, "where many of the world's most dangerous militants live", said the few paragraphs I read. That by far the world's most dangerous militants had hurled the drones was not a consideration. President Obama personally sends them every Tuesday.

In his acceptance of the 2005 Nobel prize in literature, Harold Pinter referred to "a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed". He asked why "the systematic brutality, the widespread atrocities" of the Soviet Union were well known in the west while America's crimes were "superficially recorded, let alone documented, let alone acknowledged". The most enduring silence of the modern era covered the extinction and dispossession of countless human beings by a rampant US and its agents. "But you wouldn't know it," said Pinter. "It never happened. Even while it was happening it never happened."

This hidden history – not really hidden, of course, but excluded from the consciousness of societies drilled in American myths and priorities – has never been more vulnerable to exposure. Snowden's whistleblowing, like that of Manning and Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, threatens to break the silence Pinter described. In revealing a vast Orwellian police state apparatus servicing history's greatest war-making machine, they illuminate the true extremism of the 21st century. Unprecedented, Germany's Der Spiegel has described the Obama administration as "soft totalitarianism". If the penny is falling, we might all look closer to home.

www.johnpilger.com
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Old 07-04-2013, 04:52 PM   #204
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We'll just get Mike Tyson to fade them into Bolivian.
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:32 PM   #205
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Love John Pilger, don't expect anyone else here to like him, though.
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:38 PM   #206
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Love John Pilger, don't expect anyone else here to like him, though.


He's someone who actually is far Left, as opposed to people on here who think Obama is far left.

That said, I don't have much time for Stalin apologia. The article is so non specific and melodramatic it's hard to even know what he's talking about.
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:44 PM   #207
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He is an actual Marxist, and I'm fairly sure he does not actually like Stalin.

His documentaries are worth a look, but again, probably not something that liberals would get behind.
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:53 PM   #208
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I'm inclined to distrust any view of a real-life situation that sounds suspiciously like a movie, complete with evil malevolent government forces and noble lone heroes defying the Empire.
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:18 AM   #209
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the IRS "scandal" -- along with all the other "scandals" -- continue to evaporate:

Quote:
I.R.S. Scrutiny Went Beyond the Political
By JONATHAN WEISMAN

WASHINGTON — In 2010, a tiny Palestinian-rights group called Minnesota Break the Bonds applied to the Internal Revenue Service for tax-exempt status. Two years and a lot of prodding later, the I.R.S. sent the group’s leaders a series of questions and requests almost identical to the ones it was sending to Tea Party groups at the time.

What are “the qualifications and experience” of Break the Bonds instructors? Does the group “present a sufficiently full and fair explanation of the relevant facts” about the West Bank and Gaza? Provide copies of pamphlets, brochures or other literature distributed at group events? Reveal all fees collected and “any voluntary contributions” made at group functions? Provide a template of petitions, postcards and any other material used to influence legislation, and a detailed accounting of the time and money spent to influence state legislators?

The controversy that erupted in May has focused on an ideological question: Were conservative groups singled out for special treatment based on their politics, or did the I.R.S. equally target liberal groups? But a closer look at the I.R.S. operation suggests that the problem was less about ideology and more about how a process instructing reviewers to “be on the lookout” for selected terms was applied to any group that mentioned certain words in its application.

Organizations approached by The New York Times based on specific “lookout list” warnings, like advocates for people in “occupied territories” and “open source software developers,” told similar stories of long waits, intrusive inquiries and bureaucratic hassles that pointed to no particular bias but rather to a process that became too rigid and too broad. The lists often did point to legitimate issues: partisan political campaign organizations seeking tax-exempt status, or commercial businesses hoping to cloak themselves as nonprofit groups. But even I.R.S. officials say lookout list warnings were often pursued in a ham-handed or overly rigid way.


Last month, the acting I.R.S. commissioner, Daniel I. Werfel, formally ordered an end to such lists after discovering that they were still in use after the controversy flared up.

Sylvia Schwarz, a co-director of the Break the Bonds group, shrugged at the treatment meted out by the I.R.S. She was used to rough scrutiny in a country that tilts against the Palestinians, she said. But the same questions, asked of conservative organizations, led to the dismissals of top I.R.S. officials, prompting criminal and Congressional investigations, scarring the reputation of the nation’s tax collection agency and eliciting charges that the White House had used the agency to pursue its political opponents.

Two months of investigation by Congress and the I.R.S. has produced new documents that have clouded much of the controversy’s narrative. In the more complicated picture now emerging, many organizations other than conservative groups were singled out: “progressive” organizations, medical marijuana purveyors, organizations formed to carry out President Obama’s health care law, and open source software developers who create software tools for computer code writers and distribute them free of charge.

“As soon as you say the words ‘open source,’ like other organizations that use ‘Tea Party’ or ‘Occupy,’ it gets you red-flagged,” said Luis Villa, a lawyer and a member of the board of directors of the Open Source Initiative. The I.R.S. feared that such groups were really moneymaking enterprises.

According to the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, the I.R.S. received 199,689 applications for tax-exempt status between 2010 and 2012. In 2012 alone, the agency received 73,319, of which about 22,000 were not approved in the initial review process. The inspector general looked at 296 applications flagged as potentially being from political groups. That means most of the applications pulled aside for further scrutiny in those years had nothing to do with politics, conservative or liberal, just as most of the red flags thrown up by the I.R.S.’s lookout lists were not overtly political.

Chi Eta Phi Sorority, a mainly African-American nurses’ society that advertises its mission as “social change,” applied for 501(c)(3) charitable status on June 24, 2011, days before the I.R.S. tightened its scrutiny of tax exemption applications. The organization fell under a “group rulings” flag in one of the lookout lists. Two years and 73 questions later, Chi Eta Phi is still waiting for the I.R.S.’s Cincinnati office, which handles the tax exemption applications, to respond.

Among the requests for more information: Describe in detail any legislative activities, with percentage of time and money devoted. Explain the following programs: sisterhood/brotherhood, networking, collaboration with other organizations, loving and caring, and commitment and service.

As for “occupied territory” advocacy groups like Ms. Schwarz’s, an I.R.S. “be on the lookout” list warned screeners that “applications may be inflammatory, advocate a one-sided point of view, and promotional materials may signify propaganda.”

Some Congressional Democrats say the new details show that the initial reaction to the I.R.S. findings was skewed.

“We replaced the leadership of the I.R.S. over this. We have subpoenas out. We are deposing employees. And we have damaged the president,” said Representative Gerald E. Connolly, Democrat of Virginia and a member of the House committee that initiated the I.R.S. inquiry. “It turns out this has been a gross distortion of reality.”

Even with the narrative muddied, most Republicans see no reason to back off. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last week voted along party lines that an I.R.S. official, Lois Lerner, had waived her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination by offering a brief statement as she invoked the amendment when she appeared before the committee in May. The vote paves the way for the committee to bring Ms. Lerner back for more questioning.

Republican investigators say conservative groups singled out by the I.R.S. have received far rougher treatment than liberal groups.

Yet some Republicans have tempered their statements on the controversy.

“We haven’t proved political motivation,” said Representative Charles Boustany Jr., a Louisiana Republican who, as the chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, is leading one inquiry.

Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri, said that in retrospect, suggestions that Mr. Obama had orchestrated an I.R.S. attack on his political enemies were unwarranted.

“Presidents have always been very careful about maintaining the appearance of keeping hands off the I.R.S.,” he said. “I don’t have any reason to believe there wasn’t targeting of conservatives, but it might well have been a lot more than that as well.”

Groups that produce and disseminate open source software — which is distributed at no cost to anyone for further software development — may have had it the roughest. A recent I.R.S. “be on the lookout” list warned screeners that such software groups “are usually the for-profit business or for-profit support technicians of the software.”

“If you see a case, elevate it to your manager,” the list orders.

That entreaty has proved to be the kiss of death, said Mr. Villa, of the Open Source Initiative. One group seeking a tax exemption was making software as a tool for political dissent abroad — with the blessing of the United States government. Another was making software, free, for struggling musicians seeking to distribute their work on the Internet. They were both rejected, unlike most of the political groups, which have secured their tax exemptions.

“None of the groups have been able to find the magic words to get over the hurdle,” Mr. Villa said.

Jesse von Doom, whose group CASH Music seeks to help musicians on the Internet, applied for 501(c)(3) status in February 2009. Finally, in June 2012, his application was rejected in a 13-page letter signed by Ms. Lerner, the I.R.S.’s director of tax-exempt organizations, who has been put on administrative leave.

Democrats are now aiming their anger at J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, whose audit in May helped make the controversy public. That audit focused on the targeting of groups that had “Tea Party,” “patriot” or “9/12” in their names.

Democrats say that they examined the 298 applications reviewed by the inspector general, and that some of them were from liberal groups. But Mr. George’s audit did not mention them.

Mr. George’s staff said he reviewed all the applications that the I.R.S. identified as potentially involving political groups, not just those from Tea Party groups. But the inspector concluded that only conservative groups got the extra scrutiny.

“When you serve in this capacity, you have to make determinations that, on occasions, upset people,” Mr. George said in a statement. “This obviously is one of those occasions.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/05/us...gewanted=print
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:33 PM   #210
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When is a coup not a coup? The WH refuses to say.

The law, passed during the Clinton administration, seems fairly clear.
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