Government Spying: Why You Can’t ‘Just Trust Us’

imagesOkay you Wheelhouse mopes, Marcy, Jim and I are all in San Jose at Netroots. Not sure the jail in this here town is big enough to hold us all. Marcy already put up two posts earlier today, but posting may be a bit spotty, we shall see. I have an important one that will probably go up tomorrow morning on the Aaron Swartz case.

At any rate, to give some extra fodder here, and because Ms. Wheeler is terminally lame at noticing our own blog when she writes articles elsewhere, I am hereby placing you on notice that she has a great article that went up late yesterday at The Nation titled:

Government Spying: Why You Can’t ‘Just Trust Us’

Go read it, you will be glad you did! Other than that, use this as an open thread for Trash Talk (GO SPURS!), and anything and everything else you want to yammer about.

33 replies
  1. scribe says:

    Enjoy, BMAz and EW. It’s cool, sunny and quite pleasant where I am, too.

    Now I understand why I have not gotten a single rise out of EW over the unfolding Aaron Hernandez debacle. She been writing for some highfalutin’ magazine again. Well, her Patsies are in deep shit.

    For those not following it, we have not yet gotten to the white Bronco stage. But, today, “questions are being asked” why Hernandez’ cell phone was smashed to smithereens (before being handed over to cops by his attorneys), his home security system similarly smashed to bits (bits are slightly bigger than smithereens, but it’s more substantial hardware, I guess), and a cleaning crew called to his house a couple days ago. The police showed up at his front door with a search warrant yesterday. (Hearing “we have a warrant” is Never a Good Way to start the morning.)

    The dead body of a semi-pro football player who was dating Hernandez’ daughter’s aunt having been found leaking what would have been vital fluids from bullet hole(s) in an industrial park the prior day. Also the day Gronk The Fragile had back surgery.

    This, after police repeatedly stated he “is not a suspect”, activating this week’s grant of power from the Salinas abortion which allows them to question people “not (yet) a suspect” and remain able to seek an adverse inference when the people they question keep silent. Of course, Hernandez had a big police bullseye drawn on him the minute the body was found and identified, particularly when it came out his car was involved somehow.

    Would that he had been following EW. He would have known that Carmen Ortiz’ office would be sussing out all the metadata involving his phone and probably going back and listening to all the traffic run through it, all stored courtesy of the NSA and whatever provider he has. And, knowing that, he would have known that smashing the phone would be of little value.

    But none of those intercepts would have given the answer to this: with all appearances indicating Hernandez’ career is rapidly circling the drain that runs to prison and Gronk being the most fragile, friable 6’7″ TE since anyone you can name, Amendola an unknown quantity, Edelman – who? – and Welker playing catch with Peyton, who will Bieber pass to this year?

    Baby Jesus rises from his crib….

  2. Peterr says:

    Not sure the jail in this here town is big enough to hold us all.

    Neither are the bars.

    But they’ll be happy to hold as many of you as can squeeze in for a beverage or four.

  3. bmaz says:

    @CTuttle: Fucking Bear almost crushed my delicate ass when he hugged me! All good here on the western front. We are currently sitting with Col. Morris Davis in an Islamaphobia panel.

  4. CTuttle says:

    @bmaz: Ooh, sounds like a great panel, any chance you could provide a linky later…?

    Scribe, why do I foresee another epic Gisele meltdown; ‘He can’t catch the f*cking ball too’…? Especially, since we all know Juicebox can’t throw it…

  5. klynn says:

    My youngest asked, “Hey Mommy, if the government is listening to us and spying on Americans, what would happen if the citizens declared an ISPY holiday and all made calls to friends and family on the same day at the same time working trigger words into their conversations? Would that make people crazy?” His sister followed with, “There should also be a buy falafel and couscous day. Everyone goes and buys some.”

    Even the kids “get” it.

  6. scribe says:

    @Peterr: No. (I got fed up with the popup ads over at FDL and stopped going there. Did the same thing at HuffPo a couple years ago.)

    Rather, I am growing more and more convinced that somewhere, somehow, Cheatin’ Bill got his hands on a time machine, or maybe a machine that lets him see the future, and went after Baby Jesus knowing that this week’s events would happen (and knowing that his actions could not change the future – I guess that’s called a “no paradox” view of time travel/future prediction).

    Then again, maybe it is TBogg’s prayers being answered. All I really know is that the minute Game 7 of the NBA is over, Skip Bayless will be back at providing the impetus to the game of “Die of Alcohol Poisoning”, wherein the only rule is “every time Skip Bayless says ‘Tebow’, take a drink”.

  7. scribe says:

    @CTuttle: Shrieking supermodels make great entertainment. (It’s right up there with a Joan Collins/Linda Evans catfight in shoulder pads.) I look forward to seeing it on YouTube.

  8. Jessica says:

    Klynn, that’s hysterical! I will consider it a job well done if my kid comes up with something contrarian like that. Awesome.

  9. P J Evans says:

    Ravioli from La Villa. It’s at Lincoln and Brace in Willow Glen.
    Tel : (408) 295-7851
    Fax: (408) 295-3363

    They do catering, but you can also order a couple of boxes of ravioli and a quart of sauce. (People come from miles away. Have for decades. One guy was coming down from Oregon for three or four dozen boxes at a time.)

  10. Peterr says:

    @scribe: You don’t suppose Bill hacked into the NSA, listened to Ortiz, the FBI, and the local police, and saw this all coming down the pike . . .

  11. Garrett says:

    Truly wild stuff in the U.S./Taliban talks.

    Leak upon leak about the NSA.

    May we all live, someday, in uninteresting times.

  12. thatvisionthing says:

    I second CTuttle’s request for NN panel link. I’m getting nowhere on Netroots Nation website.

  13. seedeevee says:

    San Jose! My hometown . . . .

    Any of you going to go visit the Jeppesen Office on Santa Clara Street – just for old-times sake?

    I can’t afford the entrance fee to NN, but I’d gladly buy you guys a beer. Vietnamese soup, too, if you like!

    Thanks for all the work you do to keep me informed . . . .

  14. scribe says:

    @Peterr: Turns out, Hernandez does, in fact, drive a white SUV. Not a Ford product, but still a white SUV. Bouncing around the dial this morning, I see on CNN that one of the Boston TV stations was following his and the SUV’s every move from its traffic helicopter.

    You can’t really have a low-speed chase in Boston – no freeways like LA and it’s all twists and turns on a city laid out in the 17th Century.

    And, then, Hernandez stopped in a gas station to fill up, whereupon he was ambushed by news crews from what seemed like every station in New England, asking him the same questions the police are doubtless asking him under their special Salinas powers, intending to use his silence against him, of course.

    Hernandez went to the Patsies’ training facility, only to find Cheatin’ Bill had beaten him to the punch and banned him from the facility, so then he went into Boston to meet with his lawyers.

  15. scribe says:

    Came across the wires this morning that Hernandez will get “we have a warrant for your arrest” as his wakeup call this morning. Obstruction of justice (smashing the phone, home security system and having the cleaners in).

    I’m sure they’ll get around to the dead guy after they put him under questioning for a day or three.

  16. scribe says:

    @Peterr: Ehh. Cheatin’ Bill deems criminal charges to be Bad For The Team and therefore something to be banned.

    Let’s see how long it is until King Roger the Clown weighs in with an extrajudicial and dictatorial exercise of his suspension power. He needs the spotlight so I’m guessing sooner rather than later.

  17. Peterr says:

    @scribe: No, on this one, King Roger wants the spotlight to be somewhere — anywhere — else but on him.

    So far, he’s been blessed by the distraction of the NBA Finals going seven games, plus the absolutely stunning first four games of the Stanley Cup finals — which also involve Boston.

    Roger has to be hoping that whatever Big Shoe drops next happens about the same time they drop another puck for the Black Hawks and Bruins. Either that, or it happens on a day that the Dow Jones Industrials drops about 450 points. Something, anything, to distract the attention of the media from the NFL.

    He does not want a split screen shot on cable showing him on one side and a perp walk on the other.

  18. Dredd says:


    That link was well worth reading as you said.

    It mentioned COINTELPRO but did not mention ECHELON unless I missed it.

    I think we may have a new phenomenon: the fog of spying … which is a spin-off of the fog of war.

  19. greengiant says:

    Interesting that Gen. Alexander on ABC this week twice made the claim that no government employee had abused US citizens privacy for the last 5 years. Left unsaid was any such violations by the half million private contractors with top secret clearances.
    Besides the drum beat that Snowden is not a whistleblower but America’s #1 fugitive, the media is now questioning whether Greenwald broke any laws.

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