US Justice Dept files
criminal charges against Edward Snowden, leaker of secret
NSA surveillance story
Obama vs. Obama: Actor or
of continuing flip-flops by political acrobat; SaveTheFourthAmendment
video documents latest reversal - re. NSA's secret spying on American
HAIKU, Maui, June
2013 - Promising one thing and doing the opposite is a game as old as
"Any time you hear a politician scream, you know
someone has just told the truth," I wrote tongue-in-cheek in the early
1990s regarding the "Keating Five" and the S&L crisis.
But I cannot
think of many politicians who have done as many flip-flops on as many
major issues as our reigning president - Barrack Obama. The man is a
veritable political acrobat. Check
stunning video from which images came, produced by
SaveTheFourthAmendment people on Youtube, was forwarded to me by my
Thrive, the Movie friends. The short (2-min) film illustrates the
latest of many Obama flip-flops.
one has to do with secret NSA surveillance of American citizens, which
has been leaked to the media recently by one brave young man by the name
Edward Snowden. A former CIA agent and employee of Booz Allen, an NSA
contractor, Snowden had firsthand view of how the White House subverted
and circumvented the Constitution and abused our liberties in the name
of "war on terror."
the Candidate railed against just such tactics when George W. Bush was
the White House occupant. Now that he is the man running the show there,
Obama has done yet another complete turn-about-face.
more than a little ironic, and very synchronous, that I should receive
this information the same day Obama's Justice Dept filed criminal and
espionage charges against the man who revealed their illegal and
unconstitutional activities to the media (see
this Washington Post story, among others).
we know for sure that we live in a country in which the person who
reports a crime becomes a criminal. And the perpetrators
who broke the law in the first place with their illegal surveillance
methods, become the prosecutors.
country like that sort of brings back childhood memories of Hans
Christian Andersen's "The Emperor's New Clothes" fairy tale (left
image). Which is why on June 15, I invited all of my Facebook friends to
join me in this protest.
"Rights are like sweethearts. If we don't nurture them with our
love and protection, they will go away. So keep your eyes open
even when they sleep." (my own download based on a TiM reader
quote from 1995)
I wish to add to the above
petition statement that the people in our government and and
judicial system who invented and authorized "secret courts"
(an oxymoron in a public legal system) and carried out
widespread surveillance of the American people should be
prosecuted for violating our Constitutional Bill of Rights
want to know what the real tragedy in all this is? It is the
American Voter. And not just the American. The ostrich image on the left
was designed during the 2000 election campaigns in the U.S. and in
Serbia, where the communist strongman Slobodan Milosevic was still in
power. In America, people "elected" George W. Bush. In Serbia, they
"chose" Milosevic. And we know what followed...
Yet the writing was on
the Wall for all to see. In November 1996, the Washington Times
published my column "American
Demo-Farce." I pointed out that there is no difference between the
Republican and Democratic candidates - that they both work for the same
stable owners - the Wall Street financial elite. They are mere
actors whose job is to dupe and stupefy the American public.
I even published the
image on the right - depicting both Clinton and Dole as servants of
Islamic interests. And so was George W. Bush despite his "war on
Both were shown with
the stamps of approval by the New World Order (left). Here's what I said
no matter who the White House incumbents or challengers are, or what
color their uniforms, they take care of their sponsors at the expense of
the American people."
As if to underscore
the point of revolving doors in the American politics, John Kerry is now
in the Obama administration as Secretary of State. Continuing the job
that George W. Bush had started.
And then, when Obama
was first elected president in 2008, millions of Americans expected real
change, true reforms, from the first black American president. When I
said that was not to be expected and published the crudely designed
image on the right, calling him "Bushama," I even drew the wrath of some
of my closest friends and family. I said that Obama would merely carry
on the policies of his predecessors, including those of his presumed
"opponent," George W. Bush. Thus a scant difference between the two,
especially when it comes to foreign policy.
Even within the first
few months of his first presidency, Obama started to show his political
acrobatic acumen as a flip-flop artist. Here's an excerpt from some of
my comments written to a friend in May 2009:
See why I was skeptical when we debated
the Obama “reforms?” It didn’t take long Obama to step into Bush’s
shoes, did it?
WASHINGTON (AP) — Barack Obama was unequivocal during the campaign:
As president, he would recognize the nearly century-old massacre of
Armenians in Turkey as genocide. In breaking that promise Friday,
the president did the same diplomatic tiptoeing he criticized the
Bush administration for doing.
Like George W. Bush before him, Obama did not want to alienate vital
ally Turkey by declaring the slaughter of an estimated 1.5 million
Armenians to be genocide — especially with Turkey and Armenia now
Instead, he said he had not changed his view from the campaign, even
as he declined to state it, and added: "My interest remains the
achievement of a full, frank and just acknowledgment of the facts."
By JOHN SCHWARTZ SAN FRANCISCO - In a closely watched case involving
rendition and torture, a lawyer for the Obama administration
apparently surprised a panel of federal appeals judges Monday by
pressing ahead with an argument for preserving state ...
Justice maintains Bush position in torture
suit - Seattle Times
everything that Obama has done in the last five years has been eminently
predictable. So the answer to the question "Obama vs. Obama: Actor or
President?" is - BOTH.
all of his recent predecessors, Obama is merely a puppet of the New
World Order "elite." Like an actor, he does what he is told. But unlike
a good actor, he sometimes does allow his personal feelings to show
through. Such as during the June 7 press conference on the NSA
surveillance when he became visible nervous and uncomfortable having to
take a position opposite to that of Obama the Candidate.
the license plate this writer used to have in the 1990s and early 2000s.
It says it all. I thought.
during a Sep 2001 road trip through the Yellowstone National Park,
another motorist asked me, "are you a short save radio buff?"
I repeated stunned by the question. I have never even seen a ham radio
close up. "What made you think that?"
car license plate," the man said. "Looks like the calling letters of a
ham radio operator." :-)
the top prize for lack of awareness of what NWO is has to go to a limo
driver who took me to the Phoenix airport in the early 2000s.
you against wrestling?" he asked, looking at the car parked in my
mean, I am looking at your license plate. And I figure it stands for "NO
TO NATIONAL WRESTLING ORGANIZATION." :-)
to that ostrich image...
is why I feel I still need to write these kinds of editorials even if I
feel that I have nothing really new to say that I have not already said
a number of times in the last two decades. To coax the ostrich into
lifting his head out of the sand. And when he does... watch out. It will
Brazil Rocks times 10!
in the days when I used to give radio interviews about my
geopolitical columns, I was asked who I
would vote for.
"Anybody but a Republican or a Democrat," I would answer.
what if those were the only two choices?" the stunned interviewer would
press the point.
that case, I would vote for a write-in candidate."
who would that be?"
is Fred Bassett?"
my Basset Hound."
he always does what I tell him. Basset Hounds are very smart and
Bob Altzar Djurdjevic is
a writer, musician, video maker, thrice-ordained Inca-shaman and
business consultant based in Maui, Hawaii (altzar.org,
yinyangbob.com). He is also a
former war correspondent and geopolitical commentator whose
have been published by major media in the U.S. and around the world.
Here's now also the
SaveTheFourthAmendment video with my captions
added to it:
TRANSCRIPT OF THE
(8-01-07): Separation of powers works. Our Constitution works. We will
again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the
whims of stubborn rulers, and that Justice is not arbitrary.
acts as if violating the civil liberties is a way to enhance our
security. It is not! There are no shortcuts to protecting America.
(6-07-13): But my assessment, and my team's assessment, uh… , was that
they help us prevent terrorist attacks.
(8-01-07): This administration also puts forward a false choice between
the liberties we cherish and the security we provide.
(6-07-13): You can't have 100% security, and also then have 100%
privacy. And zero inconvenience uh… [mumbles, stutters] We're going to
have to make some choices as a society.
(8-01-07): I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies
with the tools they need to take out the terrorists without undermining
our Constitution and our freedom.
That means no more
illegal wiretapping of American citizens. No more national security
letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more
tracking citizens who do no more than protest a misguided war. No more
ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is now who we are. That
is not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists.
(6-07-13): And… uh… what I can say that in evaluating these programs,
they make a difference in our capacity to anticipate and prevent
possible terrorist activity.
In the abstract, you
can complain about Big Brother and how this is …uh… a potential …uh… …
you know… …us… you know… program run amok, but when you actually look at
the details, then I think we've struck the right balance.
confronts US over German magazine reports America spies on European
HAIKU, Maui, June
2013 - Remember Watergate? The Nixon-era debacle was supposed to have
taught us a valuable lesson - that no one is above the law, not even the
Well, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, goes
an old saw. Enter Bushama (Bush + Obama). America's last two presidents
have brought new shame on this country's image - both internally and
globally. Turns out Washington has been using the "terrorism"
smokescreen to spy on its friends and allies.
With "friends" like that, who needs enemies, right? Check out the latest
news reports out of Germany (below). Germans are particularly sensitive
about government monitoring, having lived through the Stasi secret
police in the former communist East Germany and with lingering memories
of the Gestapo of
Hitler's Nazi regime.
Meanwhile, this news story underscores why the mighty Washington "elite"
are running scared of the 30-year old NSA spying whistleblower, Edward
Snowden. While Obama was galavanting around South Africa yesterday, the
Veep Biden got into the act and called the Equator president to pressure
him to deny Snowden safe haven in this South American country.
This article also underscores how scared
Washington has become of additional leaks about their transgressions -
unless they get their hands on Snowden. The Obama administration seems
willing even to break the age-old tradition of diplomatic immunity.
Which shows just how paranoid and shortsighted they are. For, what if
this were Air Force One, and the US president was detained and treated
this way by another country?
Maui, July 8, 2013 -DO WE STILL REMEMBER WHO SPOKE THESE WORDS?
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of
unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the
military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of
misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties
or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an
alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the
huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful
methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."
What the NSA is doing with its ubiquitous and unrestrained surveillance,
and what our government is doing to shut down the man who spoke up about
it, is precisely the kind of government-corporate collusion President
Eisenhower warned against 52 years ago in his farewell speech to the
"I don't want to live in a world where everything that I say,
everything I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity or
love or friendship is recorded," he (Snowden) said. "And that's not
something I'm willing to support, it's not something I'm willing to
build and it's not something I'm willing to live under."
He also insisted he had continued with his job while waiting for
political leaders to rein in what he described as "government excesses".
But, he said, "as I've watched I've seen that's not occuring, and in
fact we're compounding the excesses of prior governments and making it
worse and more invasive. And no one is really standing to stop it."
Snowden explained why he thought that story and the other subsequent
leaks about the NSA and its partnership with the corporate sector had to
be made public.
"They are getting everyone's calls, everyone's call records and
everyone's internet traffic as well."
In reference to one surveillance system – Boundless Informant – that he
said allowed the NSA to track data it was accumulating, he said: "The
NSA lied about the existence of this tool to Congress and to specific
congressmen in response to previous inquiries about their surveillance
"CLOAK & DAGGER SUPREME COURT" CREATED
TO OPERATE IN SECRET
As if that weren't
enough, the day before (July 6), the NEW YORK TIMES also published this
disturbing story about HOW all this spying and abuse of our
constitutional rights has been made possible by the Bush and Obama
administrations. They have created a new secret "Cloak and Dagger"
Supreme Court in the United States, thus circumventing and undermining
237 years of the body of law that has been created in our country.
In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A.
"The 11-member Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the
FISA court, was once mostly focused on approving case-by-case
wiretapping orders. But since major changes in legislation and greater
judicial oversight of intelligence operations were instituted six years
ago, it has quietly become almost a parallel Supreme Court..."
But unlike the Supreme Court, which operates in full view of the public,
this "Cloak and Dagger Supreme Court" seems to operate in secret and
OUTSIDE the law. Check out this quote from the NYT story:
"Unlike the Supreme Court, the FISA court hears from only one side in
the case — the government — and its findings are almost never made
public. A Court of Review is empaneled to hear appeals, but that is
known to have happened only a handful of times in the court’s history,
and no case has ever been taken to the Supreme Court. In fact, it is not
clear in all circumstances whether Internet and phone companies that are
turning over the reams of data even have the right to appear before the
"A single judge signs most surveillance orders, which totaled nearly
1,800 last year. None of the requests from the intelligence agencies was
denied, according to the court."
“The first thing you need to do to have the moral standing to ask for
the extradition of this youth (Edward) Snowden, whose only act is to
reveal the crimes that you committed, is to turn over Luis Posada
Carriles, who you are protecting,” Venezuela's president Nicolas Maduro
said earlier this month addressing the US government.
Venezuela had demanded the extradition of Luis Posada Carriles, a former
C.I.A. operative accused here of masterminding the bombing of a Cuban
airliner that killed 73 people in the 1970s. He escaped from a
Venezuelan prison in the 1980s and went to live in the United States.
In the case of Ecuador, another Latin American country in which Snowden
is seeking asylum, two brothers, William and Roberto Isaias, ran a bank
at the center of a huge Ecuadorean financial scandal in the 1990s. They
were convicted in absentia of financial wrongdoing in an Ecuadorean
court. They now live in the United States, but repeated requests for
extradition have been unsuccessful.," the New York Times also said.
So our government is harboring convicted foreign criminals while trying
to gag an American citizen from disclosing the truth about Washington's
own violations of our rights and freedoms.
Perhaps the only good thing to come out of all this wrangling and
arm-twisting Washington is engaging in with Latin American countries is
the disclosure of Washington's own dirty laundry. And that's just two
examples in two countries. Can you imagine how big a dirty laundry pile
it would be if all such double-dealings were made public?
Meanwhile, the Obama administration has acquired an unlikely ally in the
Snowden affair - the Russian president Vladimir Putin. This former KGB
agent is well versed in uses and abuses of state power over the people.
As the US government is engaging in an unprecedented global full court
press trying to contain the damage of the full truth about its
activities from leaking out, Putin appears sympathetic.
Imagine that - the Russian president wants Snowden to "stop leaking US
secrets." What's the world coming to? Brezhnev and Khrushchev must be
turning in their graves.
But Putin's stance is not so surprising. He is also a part of the New
World Order. Except that his role is to wear a black hat occasionally
and play the role of an adversary so as to create an appearance of
global competition. But action speaks louder than words. And Putin's
comments about Snowden in late June showed it.
"I'd prefer not to deal with this issue at all—it's like shearing a
pig—too much squeaking, too little wool," Putin said during a news
conference in Turku, Finland, on June 25, as quoted by the Wall Street
Journal. Putin announced Snowden was free to transit out of Russia,
adding "the sooner he chooses his final destination, the better it will
be for us and for him."
You know what they say - "birds of a feather flock together." Maybe the
Russian president is worried that helping Snowden may encourage more "Snowdenism"
in his own country? Unlike the US, Russia is hardly a nation with long
tradition of free speech. If whistle-blowing were to become a popular
sport there, who knows how big a pile of Russky dirty laundry may
So Snowden has become
a hot potato. Because he has told the truth. As did the Pussy Riot
women. And they are both being persecuted for it. Putin and "Pussy Riot"
are like "Bushama" and Snowden. Freedom of speech and individual rights
are the victims in both countries.
Which reminds me of an
old truism: "Whenever you hear a politician scream, you know somebody
has just told the truth." :-)
FAMOUS QUOTES RE. TRUTH
Here's more on that topic from great thinkers in human history...
“Truth never damages a cause that is just.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that
we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only
unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American
― Theodore Roosevelt
"It takes great courage to back truth unacceptable to our times. There's
a punishment for it, and it's usually crucifixion.”
― John Steinbeck, East of Eden
“In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence,
one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot.”
― Czesław Miłosz
“Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is
absolutely essential to it.”
― Howard Zinn
"One word of truth outweighs the world.”
― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
PUSSY RIOT SYNOPSIS (from Wikipedia)
On February 21, 2012, five members of the group staged a performance on
the soleas of Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Their actions
were stopped by church security officials. By evening, they had turned
it into a music video entitled "Punk Prayer - Mother of God, Chase Putin
Away!". The women said their protest was directed at the Orthodox Church
leader's support for Putin during his election campaign.
On March 3, 2012, two of the group members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and
Maria Alyokhina, were arrested and charged with hooliganism. A third
member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was arrested on March 16. Denied bail,
they were held in custody until their trial began in late July. On
August 17, 2012, the three members were convicted of hooliganism
motivated by religious hatred, and each was sentenced to two years
imprisonment. Two other members of the group, who escaped arrest after
February's protest, reportedly left Russia fearing prosecution.[citation
needed] On October 10, following an appeal, Samutsevich was freed on
probation, her sentence suspended. The sentences of the other two women
were upheld. In late October 2012, Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were
separated and sent to prison.
The trial and sentence attracted considerable criticism, particularly in
the West. The case was adopted by human rights groups including Amnesty
International, which designated the women prisoners of conscience, and
by a wide range of musicians including Madonna, Sting, and Yoko Ono.
Public opinion in Russia was generally less sympathetic towards the
women. Putin stated that the band had "undermined the moral foundations"
of the nation and "got what they asked for". Prime Minister Dmitry
Medvedev said he did not think the three members of Pussy Riot should
have been sent to jail, but stressed that the release of the remaining
two imprisoned members was a matter for the courts.
HAIKU, July 24, 2013 - After heavy lobbying by the Obama White House and
other "establishment" Washington figures, the US House of
Representatives squashed this evening the Amash Amendment which sought
to halt the government's (NSA) spying on American citizens. The vote was
close 217-205 and cut right across the party lines as our
Representatives voted their conscience or pocketbooks, take your pick.
Here's what the sponsor of the Bill, Justin Amash, said in his Tweet
prior to the vote:
You will find a complete list of the new congressional Hall of Shame
inductees in the image below.
These are the 217 US
Representatives who voted for continued NSA spying on American citizens.
In other words, they voted against your and my right to freedom and
privacy. Both are constitutionally guaranteed, yet have been trampled
upon by successive White House and Capitol Hill occupants who serve New
World Order and Big Money rather than their constituents.
Take a good look at this list and try to find YOUR representative(s).
And then let them have a piece of your mind if you're so inclined. I
have highlighted the Hawaii and Arizona representatives - my two home
I am also attaching a link to the FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 412
(Republicans in roman; Democrats in italic; Independents underlined)
H R 2397 RECORDED VOTE 24-Jul-2013 6:51 PM
AUTHOR(S): Amash of Michigan Amendment No. 100
QUESTION: On Agreeing to the Amendment
Political Pole Shift, Cold War Role Reversal: Now Freedom-loving Americans Must
Seek Refuge in Russia
MOSCOW, Aug 1 - Defying the United States, Russia granted Edward Snowden
a one-year asylum on Thursday. This allowed NSA spying whistleblower to
walk free out of the Moscow airport where he has been holed up for five
Russia's decision infuriated the U.S. administration, which said it was
"extremely disappointed" and warned that the decision could derail an
upcoming summit between President Barack Obama and Russian President
The asylum offer places a significant new strain on already-corroded
relations with Washington amid differences over Syria, U.S. criticism of
Russia's human rights record and other disputes. But Russia appears to
have reckoned that ending Snowden's airport limbo was worth intensifying
the political standoff. The decision gives Russia a chance to depict
itself as a defender of human
rights, pointing a finger to deflect criticism of its own poor record
and tough crackdown on dissent.
Now Freedom-loving Americans Must
Seek Refuge in Russia
Putin's Russia No Haven of Freedom: Granting Snowden
Asylum - Act of Political Opportunism
EDITORIAL COMMENT (Aug 1, 2013):
Who would have thought... What happened today is tantamount to a
political pole shift. It is a complete Cold War role reversal. Freedom-loving Americans
now have to seek refuge in Russia or other foreign
countries that are not under the US thumb.
Ronald Reagan would be probably turning in his grave if he had a chance
to see what his Cold War victory has led to. Washington is now the
capital of the new Evil Empire. And whistleblower Americans are being
persecuted when they speak out against the government that violates our
Constitution. Just like the Soviet citizens were during the communist
era in Russia.
What's going to be next? American "Gulags?" Forced labor camps in
Alaska? We already have Guantanamo. It's still in operation more
years after Candidate Obama promised to dismantle it. Which is another
indication what team he is playing for. Not for the American people
As a candidate, Obama vowed so many times that he would shutter the
prison he called a recruitment tool for terrorists that he himself even
noted how often he's promised to do so, in an interview with Steve Kroft
shortly after he was elected. In that interview in November 2008, Kroft
asked Obama if he planned to "take early action" to shut down
Guantanamo. Obama replied, "Yes."
"I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will
follow through on that,"he
that not closing Guantanamo would reduce the US credibility when dealing
with human rights abuses elsewhere in the world.
Of particular interest in this Washington Post video report is the
segment in which the Obama Administration officials conceded in a Senate
hearing that only one terrorist threat had been allegedly thwarted by
NSA surveillance not dozens as the Administration had previously
In other words, they lied to the American people. Again. So how can a
government like that still be in office if this is really a democratic
* * *
Putin's Russia No Haven of Freedom: Granting Snowden
Asylum - Act of Political Opportunism
Not that Putin's Russia is any great shakes when it comes to freedom of
speech (see our
July 8 Pussy Riot editorial comment). They have granted Snowden the
asylum because at this point this is politically advantageous for Putin
on the domestic front. This is how today's
Bloomberg News report put it:
"It gives Putin a chance to rally support
at home and deflect attention from his own human-rights record,
Pavlovsky, a former Kremlin
adviser who heads the Effective Policy Foundation in Moscow.
“Domestically, he got what he can,”
Pavlovsky said by phone yesterday. “His main propaganda message
domestically will be that things are similar everywhere: the CIA
and the FBI violate human rights just like everybody else.”
Putin, who used Russia’s oil-powered wealth
accumulation to build support for his 13-year rule, is facing an
economy that threatens to slide into recession. Over the past
two years, he also stared down the biggest opposition rallies
since he came to power and has been the target of criticism for
cracking down on protest leaders.
Opposition organizer Alexey Navalny last
month received a five-year prison sentence, which he is
appealing while he campaigns for Moscow’s mayoral elections next
month. Economist Sergei Guriev and former chess champion Garry
Kasparov, critics fearing
prosecution, fled Russia this year.
Three members of all-female punk group
Pussy Riot were convicted last August after a protest targeting
Putin. One was later freed on appeal.