He is many things but "consistent" is what comes to mind when I read him'
Glenn L. Carle, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer who was a top counterterrorism official during the administration of President George W. Bush, said the White House at least twice asked intelligence officials to gather sensitive information on Juan Cole, a University of Michigan professor who writes an influential blog that criticized the war.Still speaking truth and ruffling feathers'
In an interview, Mr. Carle said his supervisor at the National Intelligence Council told him in 2005 that White House officials wanted “to get” Professor Cole, and made clear that he wanted Mr. Carle to collect information about him, an effort Mr. Carle rebuffed. Months later, Mr. Carle said, he confronted a C.I.A. official after learning of another attempt to collect information about Professor Cole. Mr. Carle said he contended at the time that such actions would have been unlawful.
Mike McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia and now at Stanford University embarrassed himself by answering the question of whether Snowden harmed anyone by saying that he hurt German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s feelings when she found out her personal cell phone was tapped. Really, Mr. McFaul? I think we were asking whether any NOCs got their identity revealed by Snowden as Bush-Cheney outed Valerie Plame, or whether any U.S. military personnel were endangered. Snowden didn’t hurt Angela’s feelings. The U.S. government did.
Not only was this massive domestic spying operation going on with impunity, but it was carefully hidden from the American public, with brutal and unconstitutional methods. Poor Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Or) got a whiff of some of it, but was forestalled by the [un-] Patriot Act from revealing it, even on the Senate floor. When sitting senators are being muzzled from discussing a massive U.S. government program with the public, that is no longer a democracy. Who do they think is paying for their national security state? And when Wyden asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper whether the NSA was spying on Americans, Clapper told a bald-faced lie. No, he said. He lied under oath. Clinton was impeached for a white lie over oral sex. Clapper lied to cover up a gargantuan violation of the constitution, but nothing has happened to him.
We can debate till the cows come home about whether Snowden had any other choice but to make his reveal, or had any other avenue to do something about these violations. Given that Barack Obama was briefed into them and let it go on, the likely answer is no. For all we know, the intelligence agencies blackmailed him into acquiescence. We know they spy on the other branches of government for their own purposes. And if it went to the Tea Party Supreme Court, we have reason to suspect that Mssrs. Scalia and Roberts would be perfectly happy to assign a policeman to every bedroom in the U.S.
But now that Snowden’s revelations are there, the American state faces a profound crisis. It can either return to constitutional values, or it can continue on its path to American Stalinism. That so many Americans seem completely undisturbed by what was done makes me think it is too late for democracy.
Never compromise your beliefs for others.