More Snowden Fallout: The Army Censors the Guardian. Ecuador Offers Human Rights Training to US Government
Inspired by E. F. Beall’s wonderful post about the NSA bugging European Union offices in Washington, I looked for more, and found two stories right off the bat at the World Socialist Web Site. By the Odd Gods, sometimes I just love those Trotskyites.
First up, there’s this little jewel about the United States Army barring access to the UK Guardian’s website from Army computers. According to the Monterey County Herald, employees at the US Army Garrison Presidio told them that access is being blocked. The Presidio is home to the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, which teaches military intelligence types foreign languages. It would seem the Army doesn’t want Edward Snowden to inspire any of its people to release information of yet more unconstitutional and criminal activities being conducted by the intelligence community.
Like they can’t go off-base and access it from say, the Monterey Public Library. Or read all about it by accessing sites on Army computers like–Fire Dog Lake! The Army’s response is heavy-handed, incompetent, stupid, and ineffective. It also illustrates the fear that is gripping our ruling classes in general and the Executive Branch in particular.
But wait! There’s more! As this WSWS article indicates, first, Obama goes to Africa and gets confronted by the Senegalese press corps in Dakar, where his blatant hypocrisy about spreading “democracy” and “open government” is exposed. Basically, the African reporters pointed out to him that he had no clothes.
It’s the second half of that article that gets really funny. First, Senator Menendez(D-Fascist, New Jersey) threatened to block $23 million worth of trade preferences to Ecuador if it grants Snowden political asylum. “Our government will not reward countries for bad behavior,” he sanctimoniously and hypocritically intoned. Ecuador’s response was swift, and hilarious.
First, President Rafael Correra announced, “Ecuador doesn’t accept pressure or threats from anyone and doesn’t barter its principles and sovereignty or submit to mercantile interests,” and renounced the trade pact. Then, its communications secretary, Fernando Alvarado, offered to pay Washington $23 million to “provide human rights training to combat torture, illegal executions and attacks on peoples’ privacy.”
What nice people those Ecuadorans are! Doing the best they can to help educate those ignorant savages running the American government. What a generous offer. The most gracious thing that President Obama, Senator Menendez, and let’s not forget Senator Feinstein, Speaker Boehner, and all the rest can do is to gratefully accept this obviously badly needed training in democratic open government and international etiquette. I’m sure the Ecuadoran government wouldn’t mind if the NSA and the Defense Language Institute participated by video conference.
Now I have to sign off and laugh some more.