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No Such Agency: Yes We Scan

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  • No Such Agency: Yes We Scan

    Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.

    1984 was written as a warning, but someone mistook it for an instruction manual.

    So we know that US Spies from some Alphabet Agency have always been spying. No surprise there.
    Over the years, they have gotten a) pretty good and b) pretty paranoid.

    Now that average US or German or French citizsens have all their data collected was to be expected.
    Brazilian, Mexican President, Italian and French Goverment, German Chancellor Merkel, offices of the United Nationas and European Union are all bugged, tapped in some way or another by some US Intelligence Service. Still no surprise.
    Listening and watching is what spies do. To protect the people. From terrorists. Criminals. All good.
    I say if you can pin any evidence to someone to be linked to crimes etc - go for it. With a whole CF of Fed's.
    Spying on diplomats, politicans, neighbours. Seems fair.
    Eavesdropping on Cardinals - well ... you better start having some good reasons.
    But as was just revealed by the Italian Newspapers, the National Security Agency was eavesdropping on Cardinal Jorge Marion Bergoglio, amongst others.

    You know who ol' Jorge is? He's the Pope. Head of the Catholic Church.

    Now someone please give me a plausible reason or explanation why No Such Agency/Christians in Action (LOL) have to listen in on phone calls of clergy.

    I am pretty sure the only place safer from Jihadists outside of Langley or Fort Meade is the Vatican itself ...

    Eavesdropping on the Vatican Bank I would understand: RICO.

    But the Pope? WTF? Excuse my french: WTH ?!

    A whole lot of trade negotiations and all are about to go down the drain due to the NSA.

    US companies/providers are losing overseas businesss as europeans scramble to replace google/apple/aol etc with non-american products.
    And reactions to the "Propaganda" Video ... really?

    Obama said he would make things more transparent right?

    He kept his word: everybody is more transparent now ...
    Last edited by berliner; 10-30-2013, 09:49 PM.

  • #2
    It was supposed to remain the 'elephant in the room'. Everyone knew all this stuff was going on but we just weren't supposed to discuss it openly in polite society. The Pope? Who cares? Might as well get him along with everyone else. What Snowden did was make everyone have to admit what we all knew was going on anyway. Anyone who has a cell phone or access to email or the internet and who presumes to maintain some modicum of privacy is engaging in a pleasant illusion. Like 'security'. It is and always has been, an illusion. A nice one. One of Snowden's biggest transgressions is that he destroyed illusions.


    • #3
      The Vatican doesn't seem too concerned on it's part, but I'm sure Obama will claim he didn't know about it, just like he doesn't know about ANYTHING going on in his administration.



      • #4
        Funny thing is: the public debate on Snowden has been going on for months and as you said most people with half a brain have known/expected this for years; turns out a lot what the conspiracy theorists and nutters where going on about is actually true. In a camping store I just saw a special wallet lined with aluminum to keep RFID passports safe from unwanted scanning.

        In Europe the politicans where trying to appease the people the last coouple of months, trying to play it down and calm everybody down.
        Until it hit Hollande and Merkel. Then they got upset and their knickers in a twist.
        But I think as heads of States they are Fair Game.
        The French are known to spy in the US, the German BND is a tad bit naive. And more incompetent than they would want the public to know.

        I just think with the Pope a new, totally different line is crossed.
        The Vatican had already suspected it was going on.
        I just dont get it.
        How could the Pope make it onto a terror suspect list?


        • Sentinel947
          Sentinel947 commented
          Editing a comment
          Seems pretty easy to justify. The conclave to elect the pope is the selection of one of the most influential (Not powerful) men on Earth. He's the spiritual leader of over an estimate 1 billion people. (Disclaimer) I'm a Catholic American.

          I doubt the NSA thinks Pope Francis or the Cardinals are terrorists supporters, it's more of spying for the sake of useful information. I think it's wrong, but I've got a very large bias considering well... I'm Catholic.

      • #5
        If you really think that the US is alone in this, you are very naive. Everyone spies on everyone else. Everyone. Doesn't matter if they are allies or not. The Vatican is not excepted, their files would make J. Edgar blush. I'm sure all these world leaders would be far less indignant if they had their own Snowden throw out their secrets.


        • #6
          For security reasons, I can see spying on foreign concerns or possible threats. But once they start spying on their own people, they move the debate into the Godwin Law arena. No government should be so paranoid of it's own citizens it feels it needs to spy on them. The only reason for such action would be if they were not serving the people they are supposed to be taking care of and instead taken on a more tyrannical posture of running the government. It's happened before, it'll happen again. Either the government serves the people, or they'll replace it with one that will.



          • #7
            Everybody spies and anyone looks bad when they get caught. The Vatican has, historically, been a major diplomatic player at times as a conduit for information so I can see that.This a good read:


            • #8
              The truth about the public complaints and faux anger from most other leaders is simply a fascade to mollify their own populace who, like our own, wears blinders and are naive to the extreme to the realities of how the world works when international governments are involved. As far as spying on your own people, the same old adage applies; "You have nothing to fear, but fear itself", unless of course you are doing things you would prefer others not know about, or that threaten the greater security of the country. For the most part, few of us really have much to be concerned about with the mundane lives we lead, other than some group other than the government getting access to something that allows them to intrude directly on us. Those individuals more likely will get that info from sources other than the government, as there are data miners far more culpable than NSA or such.

              I will now go back to my boring existence and try to worry about things that really make a difference or I may actually be able to control directly.


              • #9
                Freedom means free from some Big Brother nanny state that feels it is their job to be your parent throughout your life because you are too stupid or incapable to doing it yourself. Sorry, MYOB should be the mantra of every good government when it comes to preserving the freedom of it's citizens. There's no justification that says a government can take away a citizens free rights without due process and spying is not due process in anyone's book.



                • #10
                  Originally posted by skeptic View Post
                  ...As far as spying on your own people, the same old adage applies; "You have nothing to fear, but fear itself", unless of course you are doing things you would prefer others not know about, or that threaten the greater security of the country
                  This is exactly the attitude that tyrants and despots count on in order to control the populace.


                  • skeptic
                    skeptic commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Sorry, I am very aware of history and some of the nightmares from its past; and frankly, I just do not see anywhere near the parallels that would cause such paranoia in this country. While I would like to throw most of the government rep's out, and recognize occasional issues we should worry about, I just do not understand how some can be so scared of things that really are not scarey. But, I also see the benefits outweighing the negative with traffic cams at some bad intersections, and I would welcome cameras in school classrooms, having been in them for years. Of course I enjoy the program "Person of Interest" too.

                    Not going to look over my should if no real reason to; just worry about my own actions and how they relate to those around me. JMO of course.

                • #11
                  Interesing comments. I curious, how you all feel about the IRS being used to target certian groups and individuals that don't agree with the politics of power? You know what I mean.


                  • duckfoot
                    duckfoot commented
                    Editing a comment
                    That was not Nixonian at all. The IRS was going after both sides, not just one. Like KDD said, there is nothing wrong with IRS using it's powers. Abusing is another matter, which was not the case here.

                  • jblake47
                    jblake47 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    It is interesting to conclude that there were two-sides here. If they were totally impartial the issue would never have come up. They knew there were two-sides and acted in a questionable manner.


                  • Eagledad
                    Eagledad commented
                    Editing a comment
                    You guys are so funny. Google "resignation of acting IRS commissioner".

                • #12
                  Uh oh! This is timely.


                  • dcsimmons
                    dcsimmons commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Libby deserved to be punished for outing Plame, probably Chaney too. That's exactly the kind of outrage people should have over the IRS crap and Ms. Lerner as well.

                  • jblake47
                    jblake47 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yep, there's always someone else out there to point your finger at hoping to take the spotlight off your favorite.

                    Like my pappy used to say, "You had to be crooked in order to be a politician." What he didn't say was that some are better at it than others.


                  • JoeBob
                    JoeBob commented
                    Editing a comment
                    dcssimmons: Libby did NOT out Plame.

                    "No evidence has ever come to light that Mr. Libby disclosed Plame's CIA status to Mr. Novak, or anyone else."

                    Go after Richard Armitage (never punished)
                    "Mr. Armitage have has confirmed that he was the initial and primary source for the columnist, Robert D. Novak, whose column of July 14, 2003, identified Valerie Wilson as a Central Intelligence Agency officer. "

                    Try to keep it factual. please?

                • #13
                  IMHO after 9/11 and the Patriot Act it was just taken too far.
                  Interesting is how americans and europeans view data & privacy issues differently.
                  NSA = Nanny State America (I just thought of that ROFL)


                  • #14
                    Everything our Founding Fathers created was good for freedom for all people, they put in the US Constitution. It made America different than any other country in the world. Small federal government, states and local governments of the people, doing the heavy lifting. The US became a leading world leader. Now that that document has been discarded, we're pretty much just like everyone else and the freedoms we once felt necessary are rather quickly eroding. The New World Order Government dream has now replaced the American dream. How much clout has the UN been gaining in recent years? They are on the verge of being able to tell everyone in the world what they can and can't do. Recourse for dissent rests in the World Court. It doesn't take a political scientist to see what's happening.

                    Survival of the Fittest (Social-Darwinism) is the catch phrase of every tyrant. Every tyrant looking for world dominance has done so with Militarism, Imperialism, and enslavement or extermination of the "unfit". Individual freedoms have no place in the New World Order, only the "Fittest".

                    If individual freedoms are to be preserved, I'm hoping we don't have to repeat the process that got them originally.

                    Those that don't learn from history are destined to relive it.



                    • packsaddle
                      packsaddle commented
                      Editing a comment
                      "Everything our Founding Fathers created was good for freedom for all people, they put in the US Constitution." I'd like to see you make that claim at a meeting of the NAACP sometime.

                      "....the catch phrase of every tyrant." I just love these absolute statements. Prior to Darwin, there were no tyrants I guess.

                      Heh, heh, and then there's George Bush's "New World Order" speech: : "Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective—a new world order—can emerge"


                  • #15
                    The Founding Fathers knew full well the hypocrisy of the document at the time, but sold out to the southern states insisting on slavery or they wouldn't have backed the revolution. I believe it was Jefferson who said something about having a wolf by the ears in reference to the problem.

                    Prior to Darwin? Heck, he stole every one eles's ideas for his book. Wallace came up with the idea and coined it survival of the fittest to explain why the superior species were able to progress and not be "set back" by the inferiors. The concepts of evolution go way back to the Greek and Roman times in some form or another. Most of the ideas that philosophically formulated about evolution appeared in the time period between 500 BC and BC. Darwin took/stole credit for a lot of other people's philosophies. Aristotle, Plato and Socrates all philosophized on the subject.

                    `We are united in the belief that Iraq's aggression must not be tolerated. No peaceful international order is possible if larger states can devour their smaller neighbors.'' - One can't express anti-Darwinism any better than that. Quote taken from the Bush speech you are referring to.

                    "Saddam Hussein is literally trying to wipe a country off the face of the Earth." Tyrannical Darwinism once more cited.

                    "We stand today at a unique and extraordinary moment. The crisis in the Persian Gulf, as grave as it is, also offers a rare opportunity to move toward an historic period of cooperation. Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective -- a new world order -- can emerge: a new era -- freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice, and more secure in the quest for peace. An era in which the nations of the world, East and West, North and South, can prosper and live in harmony. A hundred generations have searched for this elusive path to peace, while a thousand wars raged across the span of human endeavor. Today that new world is struggling to be born, a world quite different from the one we've known. A world where the rule of law supplants the rule of the jungle. A world in which nations recognize the shared responsibility for freedom and justice. A world where the strong respect the rights of the weak. This is the vision that I shared with President Gorbachev in Helsinki. He and other leaders from Europe, the Gulf, and around the world understand that how we manage this crisis today could shape the future for generations to come."

                    One one puts the comment back into the context it was taken out of, one can see it is very anti-Darwinian.

                    Karl Marx was the one who wrote in Das Kapital about how to "speed up" evolution through revolution and anarchy. (Class-Darwinism)

                    Hitler, simply put it into practice with his whole premise of how superior the Aryan Nation was above all others. (Racial-Darwinism)

                    The new world order Bush is referring to is not the one you are suggesting. Instead it's based on the Judeao/Christian dynamics of world peace through cooperation and welfare for all, not the imperialism and conquest of one's weaker neighbors.

                    The principles promoted by Darwin are also the same ones promoted by Rome as it, too, tried to rule the world by militaristic imperialism. Greeks with Aristotle, Plato and Socrates also had the same ideals. Just doesn't work, "The meek shall inherit the world", and it's interesting, the meek are still around in spite of the destructive philosophy of survival of the fittest.



                    • Moggie
                      Moggie commented
                      Editing a comment
                      It is my understanding that the phrase "survival of the fittest" was coined by Herbert Spencer after reading Origin of Species. What Darwin was working towards was natural selection, he did use the phrase but for symbolism rather than in its literal sense; rather than the "nature, red in tooth and claw" as you seem to be suggesting and I don't think that was Darwins intention.
                      As always happy to be corrected


                    • packsaddle
                      packsaddle commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Quite right, Moggie. I don't know where Stosh gets this stuff sometimes...Wallace wrote nothing of the sort. But thanks, you beat me to it. You have to understand that much of what Stosh presents is from some alternate universe.

                      As for the issue of slavery, the 'three-fifths' compromise came AFTER the revolution. Oops, sorry, I keep forgetting....alternate universe.