Just Askin': If Snowden and Manning and Assange have crippled “the American intelligence community”, how did they manage to collect the intelligence that led to the current Be Afraid moment?
Topkapi: In a reverse coup, Turkish PM Erdogan has managed to sentence the Army's former chief of staff and 18 other military officers to life in prison for a hypothetical plan to disrupt Erdogan's Islamification of Atatürk's Republic. In a clever pre-emptive strike soon after coming to power, Erdogan has managed to short-circuit the Army's traditional role as protector of the democracy.
Role Model: Not only is Former Congressman Barney Frank gay and married to his long-time partner, he's a pot-smoking atheist. A trifecta.
Clarification: Just to make it perfectly clear, the National Security Agency collects and saves every word in every domestic communication – all digital communications, internet visits and credit card swipes (and all the foreign ones they can get their hands on, which is most of them). Why did you think they need that humongous facility in the Utah desert?
Boo Hoo: Various investigative and police agencies at the state and national level are complaining that NSA doesn't give them
Heads I win, Tails I Get To Keep The Money: Duke Power, having collected nearly over a billion dollars to build a nuclear power plant, has decided not to build the plant and keep the money. And somehow this is legal.
Freedom of Speech, GOP Variant: The chair of the RNC has told NBC and CBS that if they show any movie protratying former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a positive manner, their networks will not be permitted to broadcast any of the Republican primary debates or the subsequent convention. Fine with me. They don't want the coverage, let them remember not having had any.
Asked And Answered: Is NSA secretly feeding illegally obtained information to police agencies? Define 'secretly'. Okay then, sure, why do you ask?
Second Time 'Round: The US continues to keep 67 non-Afghan prisoners in the infamous Bagram prision – despite going through a charade of turning the place over to the locals. The US military acknowledges that it has no plan to close the facility, which holds individuals captured in other countries and transported to the prison. US officials claim that the "best solution" is to maintain US oversight of the prison for decades,. Y'know, like Guantanamo.
If, Then: The State Department claims that the information Bradley Manning released had “a chilling effect: on its ability to engage in normal diplomatic deception. Yeah, the truth's like that.
Improvement: The Southern Baptists say that prohibiting Christian ministers from delivering prayers to start official town meetings would reduce everyone to being Unitarian. While that would be an improvement - and in my experience pretty much do away with the prayer thing – the obvious way to ensure that there is no Christian spin to the invocation would be to do away with the invocation.
On The Record: On July 30, 1778, the Continental Congress created the first whistleblower protection law, stating “that it is the duty of all persons in the service of the United States to give the earliest information to Congress or other proper authority of any misconduct, frauds, or misdemeanors committed by any officers or persons in the service of these states.” If Bradley Manning was "in the service of the United States" and if the citizens of the country are the ultimate "authority" (democracy's basic conceit), then PFC Manning should be promoted, granted a suitably high award for outstanding service, and given a parade.
The Parting Shot: