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Guardian has a live blog today: http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

Snowden’s plane leaves Moscow, NSA leaker not seen aboard

Ex-CIA contractor, Edward Snowden, has not been seen aboard the plane to Havana on which he would reportedly be traveling, reports RT’s correspondent on the flight. The plane has already departed from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.

From the Guardian liveblog:

Edward Snowden’s whereabouts are currently unknown after he failed to get on an Aeroflot flight the Russian airline said he was booked on from Moscow to Havana. It has been assumed that he was heading via Cuba for Ecuador; Quito’s foreign minister Ricardo Patiño Aroca ‏said yesterday the country had received an asylum application from him. But amid farcical scenes the plane full of journalists – and presumably representatives of various governments – took off for Cuba without him. One reporter tweeted a plaintive picture of Snowden’s empty chair.
Will Bunch, at Attytood.
The one question a journalist should never ask

Indeed, I feel like the last week has really put the very essence of what journalism is under the microscope. On one hand, so many of us are deeply mourning the sudden loss of Michael Hastings, the journalist -- and I mean that in very sense of the word -- who worked for Buzzfeed and previously for Rolling Stone and who died in a one-car accident at the age of 33. Hastings was completely fearless -- not just because he reported from Iraq and Afghanistan but because of the unrelentingly tough questions he asked and the stories that resulted, including one that took down a top general. Hastings cared 0 percent about losing access to, or offending, the powerful and 100 percent about the truth.

Contrast that with David Gregory and his ilk of overpaid, overfed Beltway big-shots. They live in a bubble where access to the powerful isn't everything, it's the only thing. They regularly dine with and socialize with the folks that they "cover," went to the same elite universities with their sources and now send their kids to the same exclusive private schools. It's a good life...and no one wants to rock the boat. This is not a blanket condemnation -- it is actually possible to do real journalism in Washington, D.C., and some do. But the comforting-the-comfortable kind like Gregory rule the day. They are court couriers, relaying whispered information and placing an abiding trust in the all-powerful whisperers. There really needs to be a word in the English language that describes what they do. I know it is not "journalism."

Atrios, yesterday.
While I Was Sleeping

Apparently we are at war with Russia, China, Venezuela, and Ecuador and not a single journalist David Gregory knows in Washington has ever published classified information.

FISC Will Not Object To Release of 2011 Court Opinion That Confirmed NSA’s Illegal Surveillance

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISC, ruled Wednesday that it has no objection to the release of a 2011 opinion of the court, which found that some of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs under the FISA Amendments Act, were unconstitutional.

A 2011 FISC court ruling had concluded that some of the NSA’s surveillance programs had violated sections of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, a law aimed at protecting American citizens from surveillance programs targeted at foreigners.

The nation’s most secretive court, as it has been called in the media, said that the 86-page classified opinion can be made public if a district court orders it.

Bombshell: Fmr. Intelligence Agent Accuses NSA, Obama Of Lying, Alleges Broader Spying Programs

On Friday, MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin interviewed former U.S. Air Force intelligence Agent Russell Tice about the revelations surrounding the National Security Agency’s monitoring of Americans’ digital and electronic communications. Tice accused a variety of administration officials, including President Barack Obama, of disseminating outright falsehoods in their efforts to explain those programs. He added that those programs are far broader than any government official has said up to this point.
[...]
“NSA, today, is collecting everything – including content – of every digital communication in this country, both computer and phone, and that information is being stored indefinitely,” Tice said. “And that’s something that they’re lying about.”

Rising Seas: A City-by-City Forecast
The Atlantic coast between North Carolina and Massachusetts is at high risk. Where does your city stand?

Depending on geology, vulnerability, ocean currents and political leadership, some regions will be hit harder than others. Researchers recently discovered that the Atlantic coast between North Carolina and Massachusetts is a particular hot spot, with the sea rising three to four times faster than the global average. Among the U.S. cities most at risk: [...]



Action



Stop Watching Us.

The revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance apparatus, if true, represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights. We demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA's spying programs.



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