Uber-leaker Edward Snowden deserves a presidential pardon for revealing the spying scandal.
IN A MAJOR development in the government spying scandal, it was revealed Wednesday that not just chancellors and prime ministers are targeted by the NSA.
Advancing the story based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden, The Washington Post reported that massive data streams are diverted off-shore from Google and Yahoo into government data warehouses.
That makes it personal. For you and me.
Hundreds of millions of people use one or both of the online giants for email. Even if you don’t, email you receive from or send to a Google or Yahoo address could end up in the government’s files.
Are we ready to say, Enough is Enough?
COALITION OF CONSERVATIVES, LIBERALS PUSHES FOR ACTION
The push by President Obama for comprehensive immigration reform got a boost on Tuesday when a large group descended on the Capitol to lobby Republicans on the issue.
Viewed in tactical terms, this could be seen as a stroke of genius by the president and his Democratic allies.
Only a cross-party coalition of almost all the Democrats and a few Republicans in the House of Representatives has any hope of accomplishing even modest reforms this year.
But in the process of moving forward, there is likely to be serious strain within the GOP. It could quite easily be a re-run of the acrimonious internecine warfare that erupted in the aftermath of the government shutdown.
TABLOID METHODS BESMIRCH ENTIRE PROFESSION
The worst excesses Rupert Murdoch’s global media empire were in the world spotlight again Monday when two of his most senior former editors in the U.K. went on trial at the Old Bailey.
Murdoch has left a permanent stain on journalism everywhere.
The reading public has every reason to believe his cronies and henchmen at his own companies and some reporters and editors at other mass media outlets share his philosophy and practice of the craft.
It is not true, of course, but the impression is left that it could be.
QUESTION OF COVER-UP ARISES IN EUROPEAN MEDIA
As media in the U.S. largely ignored it, the scandal over government spying on allies in Europe spiraled over the weekend in unexpected directions.
The White House was described as “in disarray” in its response to the reports.
The story seems to be taking a familiar route: what did the president know and when did he know it?
We would be wise to take a cue from our democratic friends and allies across the pond and bring pressure to bear on our own representatives to end the spying abroad and at home.
MIT PROFESSOR, NOTED AUTHOR EXPLAINS ONLINE ILLUSION
We are all more interconnected than ever, thanks to the world wide web and all the different ways we can connect to it.
But, paradoxically, the more connected we are, the less we are truly connected to each other – the way we always were and the way we were meant to be.
Get up. Go out. Breathe the fresh air.
Look at the person you are with.
Don’t be the one to miss out on life because you are too preoccupied with your online illusions.
REPORTER + BILLIONAIRE DEVOTED TO EXPOSING GOVERNMENT SECRETS
With his recent announcement that he was severing ties with The Guardian newspaper in the U.K., the journalist with inarguably the most impact on world affairs this year has struck out to create a brand new enterprise.
Now, with the deep pockets of internet billionaire Pierre Omidyar supporting his work, we can look forward to more high impact disclosures from Glenn Greenwald with anticipation.
It is an emergent brand of journalism that is likely to challenge established norms and improve the quality of public discussion it every level.
It is a most welcome development.
DECLINE OF AMERICAN INFLUENCE IN THE WORLD SPEEDS UP
The signs are everywhere that America’s foreign policy is in disarray. Allies are anxious; enemies are gleeful.
They all point to a surprising acceleration in the decline of U.S. influence everywhere, most particularly in the volatile Middle East.
Germany, France, Brazil and Mexico are disgusted with over-reach by American spy agencies. Israel and Saudi Arabia disagree on vital issues of Iran, Syria and Egypt.
Russia is harboring U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden, while China is threatening a de-Americanization of the world financial system.
Do we need any more evidence that American foreign policy is a shambles? That U.S. influence is on the decline – and dropping like a stone?
It is not too late. It should be made a top priority.
COMPLEXITY DEFIES ATTEMPTS TO START PEACE PROCESS
As the violence in Syria continues to spiral out of control, attempts to begin a process to end it are stumbling.
But the complexity cannot be an excuse to not try.
After the disastrous and costly nation-building misadventures of the Bush/Cheney years in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US electorate is weary of war.
But sitting on the sidelines while the Middle East implodes is not an option. The US is the only country with the resources and means to play a leading role in solving this seemingly intractable problem.
Unequivocally, it must do so.
EU FAR AHEAD IN PROTECTING PRIVATE DATA
The revelations about the extent of US government spying on individuals and officials throughout the world keep coming.
The latest embarrassment came Monday in the French newspaper Le Monde, where Glenn Greeenwald revealed massive monitoring of French citizens and government officials.
But the European Union is way ahead of America in recognizing the right to privacy – and doing something about protecting it.
Concerned Americans should take a cue from our European allies and begin to seriously discuss effective measures to put a cap on how, when and why the government can intercept the communications we hitherto thought were private.
NEW HEALTHCARE SYSTEM FLAWED BUT CAN BE FIXED
Now that attention has shifted from the disastrous government shutdown, the problems with the rollout part of the Affordable Care Act reforms are coming into full view.
In fact, the problems are a sign of Obamacare’s success, not its failure. The demand for health insurance has been so great it overwhelmed the system.
The next few weeks will be critical, but the “can-do” approach of the president on Monday is what is needed and what seems to be forthcoming. The problems will be fixed, and come January 1 millions more Americans will have affordable health insurance for the first time.
It is a welcome development.