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Greenwald: NSA Analysts Have Access to ‘Powerful and Invasive’ Search Tools

Wasn’t it great that Glenn deflected George’s questions about Snowden and Russia in favor of keeping the NSA revelations themselves as the story, not the messenger?  It looks as though he wasn’t just a-woofin’ when he’d promised us that there were more explosive revelations to come. The hearings that he referenced were two: one called by Rep. Alan Grayson for Wednesday July 31 ‘to hear from critics’ of the NSA program, and on the same day on the Senate side, ‘that will feature Gen Alexander and possibly his deputy, Chris Inglis, as well as senior officials from the Department of Justice and FBI.’

Greenwald has indicated that he will testify by video link.  He recently gave a link to the law that clearly shows it was illegal for Clapper to have lied to Congress.

In related news from The New Yorker:

“Mr. Snowden will not be tortured,” Attorney General Eric Holder wrote in a letter sent to Russia’s Minister of Justice on Wednesday. He added, as if saying so were adequate—as if it had, in recent years, been enough—“Torture is unlawful in the United States.” The letter, which the Department of Justice gave to the Times, is part of what appear to be discussions between the Obama Administration and the Putin government about where Edward Snowden, the N.S.A. leaker, might go next. He has been living in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport for some weeks now. Holder said that it wasn’t true that, with his passport revoked, Snowden couldn’t go anywhere without asylum: the government would gladly give him “a limited validity passport good for direct return to the United States”—and nowhere else. When he got here, Holder said, he wouldn’t be killed:

“First, the United States would not seek the death penalty for Mr. Snowden should he return to the United States. The charges he faces do not carry that possibility, and the United States would not seek the death penalty even if Mr. Snowden were charged with additional, death penalty-eligible crimes.”

Yeah, what a relief, Eric.  Not even Amy Davidson was buyin’ that crapitude…

Glenn speaks about the major change in attitudes over NSA surveillance and privacy issues here (including a new Pew Research poll conducted over the weekend).

I’ll be in and out (more Out than In, I reckon; miles to go before I sleep), but please do imagine out what all these ‘low level’ security folks might be doing, and be able to do with these powerful tools.

Constitutional governments and aristocracies are commonly overthrown owing to some deviation from justice…the rich, if the Constitution gives them power, are apt to be insolent and avaricious… In all well-attempered governments there is nothing which should be more jealously maintained than the spirit of obedience to law, more especially in small matters; for transgression creeps in unperceived and at last ruins the state, just as the constant recurrence of small expenses in time eats up a fortune.”

~ Aristotle

(cross-posted at


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