Jeffrey Toobin exposed as being the hack he is

Glenn Greenwald does the honors. It is interesting how whenever Greenwald brings up the issue of why people like Toobin never call for jailing in cases of high-level sources leaking to high-level journalists (like Bob Woodward), Toobin dodges it by saying that is a different discussion without explaining how it is different. He really sank to new lows in this interview, which is quite a feat since he was pretty low in my estimation even before this. [Read more…]

The new NSA math: How 54 became “at most 1”

The Senate Judiciary Committee questioned senior officials of the NSA, FBI, and the Department of Justice at the hearings today. As one would expect, the senators scolded their agencies for lying to them but did not refer them for prosecution, which means that it was just grandstanding. Some senators also promised to introduce legislation forcing more transparency and revamping the rubber-stamp FISA court but we will have to see if that too is just grandstanding. [Read more…]

The ‘most transparent administration ever’ strikes again

According to ProPublica:

Soon after taking office, President Obama pledged to open a new inquiry into the deaths of perhaps thousands of Taliban prisoners of war at the hands of U.S.-allied Afghan fighters in late 2001.

Last month, the White House told ProPublica it was still “looking into” the apparent massacre.

Now it says it has concluded its investigation – but won’t make it public. [Read more…]

The latest NSA revelation: XKeyscore

As promised, today’s Guardian has a front page story by Glenn Greenwald about yet another NSA program, this one called XKeyscore, an NSA tool that collects “nearly everything a user does on the internet”.

A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The purpose of XKeyscore is to allow analysts to search the metadata as well as the content of emails and other internet activity, such as browser history, even when there is no known email account (a “selector” in NSA parlance) associated with the individual being targeted.

[Read more…]

Obama sabotages Congressional hearings on the NSA

Today starting at 9:30 am there was to have been an interesting informal Congressional hearing convened by Congressman Alan Grayson (D-Florida) in which critics of the NSA program, including reporter Glenn Greenwald and the ACLU, were to testify. But practically at the last minute, the hearings had to be canceled because president Obama suddenly expressed an interest in having a chat with the Democrats in the House of Representatives at that same time. What an unfortunate coincidence! [Read more…]

The Washington cesspool

Jon Oliver of The Daily Show interviews Mark Leibovich on his new book This Town about the total corruption of Washington. I have not read the book and likely wont but it apparently just confirms with names and stories what most careful observers have long realized: that people in government and the media and the lobbying industry exist solely to serve each other and make money, and all the so-called partisan animosity is just a show put on for the rubes. [Read more…]