Shorter Question Everything
• Snowden: Professed NSA leaker Edward Snowden has applied for political asylum in Russia, but President Vladimir Putin says he can stay only if he stops “damaging our American partners.” Only hours later, Snowden released a statement railing against the U.S. government. Putin told reporters that Russia won’t hand Snowden over to U.S. authorities, but he said there would be strings attached if he wants to remain in Moscow. “If he likes to stay here, there is one condition: He should cease his work aimed at damaging our American partners. No matter how strange it will sound from me,” Putin told reporters, adding that Snowden isn’t working for Russian intelligence. He said he doubted Snowden would curtail his activities and suggested that the former National Security Agency contractor should figure out which country he wants to wind up in and “move there.”
• And there we have it – The Glenn Greenwald-Fox News Convergence. A revealing convergence of agendas.
• Snivel Disobedience: On Snowden – When you decide to knowingly break the law AND take it on the lam to foreign governments, carrying several hard drives’ worth of classified information as bargaining chips to obtain asylum, you’re not being civilly disobedient. You’re being an outlaw, and USING your criminal gains to obtain the most favorable treatment you can get. This isn’t principled. This isn’t “civil disobedience.” This isn’t being a “whistleblower.” It’s being a crook. Or being a spy. Let’s call it “snivel disobedience.” Either way, the only allegiance that Edward Snowden has, seemingly, is to himself. And, while I AM concerned and have BEEN concerned for a long time about America’s burgeoning spookocracy, Snowden isn’t the cure for it: he’s the symptom. He’s the fellow who hacks into your bank account and empties it, hacks into your email and finds blackmail material and uses your identity for his own personal ends. If you’ve got the balls to break an unjust law (which I have been known to do) at least have the balls to take the consequences — which you knew going in.
• Snowden: NSA leaker Edward Snowden withdrew a request for political asylum in Russia after President Vladimir Putin said he should stop “harming our American partners,” a government spokesman said on Tuesday.
• Rafael Correa not considering Snowden asylum: helping him was a ‘mistake’. Ecuador’s president reveals travel pass was granted ‘without authorisation’ and says whistleblower is now Russia’s problem.
• Snowden’s diplomatic leaks may hurt whistleblower status: On Monday’s Now with Alex Wagner, guest host Joy Reid and the panel discussed Edward Snowden’s latest leak to German magazine Der Speiegel. The leak revealed that the U.S. had spied on its European allies, including bugging the E.U. diplomatic mission in Washington and tapping into its computer network in 2010.
• Intelligence: President Barack Obama met the latest allegations of U.S. spying with a shrug. “Every intelligence service, not just ours, but every European intelligence service…wherever there’s an intelligence service, here’s one thing that they’re going to be doing: They’re going to be trying to understand the world better,” Obama said. Intelligence gathering on allied nations, he suggested, is not just morally permissible but common practice. “That’s just how intelligence services operate.” Former CIA official Paul Pillar. – “Anyone who believes that the gathering of foreign intelligence, including on the diplomacy of foreign countries, is confined by some bright line between allies and non-allies is naive,” Pillar, who now teaches security studies at Georgetown University, told MSNBC. “And if we think that those who proclaim themselves to be allies for us are not spying on us, that is naive.”
• NSA: The US director of national intelligence, James Clapper, has attempted to head off criticism that he lied to Congress over the extent of government surveillance on American citizens, with a letter to senators in which he apologised for giving “erroneous” information.
• Egypt: On Monday, the military responded to a wave of increasingly violent anti-government protests by threatening to impose its own unspecified “road map” if the government and opposition forces did not resolve the political crisis in 48 hours. An adviser to Mr. Morsi said, “We understand it as a military coup.”
• Egypt: Egypt’s presidency on Tuesday rejected an army ultimatum threatening to intervene if Islamist President Mohamed Morsi did not meet the demands of the people, raising the stakes in the country’s political crisis. In a statement issued overnight, the presidency insisted it would continue on its own path towards national reconciliation. The army declaration had not been cleared by the presidency and could cause confusion, it said. The presidency also denounced any declaration that would “deepen division” and “threaten the social peace”. Morsi was consulting “with all national forces to secure the path of democratic change and the protection of the popular will”, it added.
Stupid things rightwingers say
• Goofy Gohmertmakes a common mistake of rightwing christian extremists – he believes that if christians aren’t free to curtail the rights of anyone else, that they’re somehow being oppressed: Guest-hosting the Family Research Council’s Washington Watch last week, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said that he doubted President Obama’s Christian faith and American heritage. After making a bizarre argument about the incompatibility of marriage equality and evolution, Gohmert claimed that Obama is merely a “proclaimed Christian” and contended that the president has “gone to war with Christianity.” “The gloves have come off, there really is a war by this administration against not just the Catholic Church but the Christian Church,” he said. Gohmert charged that under Obama “you can’t practice what you believe about birth control, about abortion, this administration will tell you what religious practices you can participate in and what you can’t.” He also suggested the government may begin collecting personal information such as medical and phone records and emails of Christians to use against them.
• Representative Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) and 28 other House Republicans have introduced a constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage nationwide.
• Rob Ford scandal prompts court fight over drug, gun warrants. Media argue ‘public interest’ to know if Ford associated with alleged gang members. A group of Canadian news organizations is asking a judge to unseal police search warrants that they believe could shed light on whether Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has a connection to alleged members of a criminal organization. Police in Toronto and Windsor arrested 43 people in mid-June in what investigators dubbed “Project Traveller.” “First of all we have an absolute right to this material, subject to the Crown raising good reasons why not,” said Peter Jacobsen, a lawyer hired by CBC News, the Globe and Mail, Sun Media and a number of other news outlets. “This is of great public interest as it may relate to allegations that the Mayor of Toronto has been associated with members of a criminal organization and was videotaped by them using crack cocaine,” states a formal court application filed by media groups which asks a judge to unseal police “informations” filed by investigators to obtain search warrants for the June raids.