The Inuit people are alleged to have dozens of words for snow. While the abuse of the English language continues unchecked in government, journalists covering national security issues need dozens of words to describe the different forms of absurd. Claiming the tail is wagging the dog when you might be viewing a pack of gray wolves against an overcast sky is a fitting metaphor.

In an August 15 Rolling Stone interview, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) made what appeared to be an inadvertent disclosure of some of the contents a classified intelligence committee document. Buried at the back of the article was a question about the role of contractors. The question was open ended and seemed refer to wiretapping of the American public. But Wyden decided to talk about torture. “One that is going to be part of an upcoming debate, I hope, which is something Senator Udall and I and others are pushing, is to declassify that report on torture.

In what might be it's last gasp of investigative national security reporting before the finalizing of Jeff Bezos' CIA sponsored buyout, the Washington Post released an NSA internal audit from 2012 detailing thousands of violations of the FISA and other laws and regulations governing surveillance of Americans. Despite revealing literally thousands of instances of unauthorized collection that violated the law, the report whitewashed at least one seemingly deliberate violation.

Darrell Issa he could turn the tempest of the IRS's extra scrutiny of Tea-Party group's non-profit application into a Teapot Dome. On August 5, Issa, who is chair of the House Oversight Committee, widened his stalled investigation of the IRS to include contracts between revenue agency and the Federal Elections Commission. On August 7, Reuters broke the story that the NSA had been sharing personnel and resources with the DEA and IRS. Issa's aggressive grandstanding and hearings has yet to lead to the issuance of subpoenas into NSA-IRS wiretapping and data mining.

On August 9, President Obama gave a major policy speech on NSA spying programs. The compliant White House press corps promptly dumped a barrel of ink on the flesh of fallen trees to lovingly describe his statements as a major change in direction for the administration on privacy and civil liberties. It is not clear if the government-approved beltway faithful had been provided with the same transcript as the Free Press.

“In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.”
George Orwell "Politics and the English Language," 1946

The anonymous browser TOR is the most popular end user security tool in the world. Using this browser allows people to surf the internet anonymously. The service is used worldwide to avoid secret police surveillance by dissidents living under repressive regimes in places like Syria, Turkey and the United States. It is also used by hackers and others to conceal their identities. According to Wired Magazine's security blog “Threat Level,” the service was compromised by a hack Sunday night.

Like all schoolchildren in America, Congress is now on summer recess. Predictably, while unsupervised, they have taken to playground shoving and taunting in earnest. A troika of ardent NSA defenders took to the airwaves Sunday to claim that they were fully informed. Meanwhile a member of the small but growing wing of Congress with the reading comprehension skills to digest the Constitution took to social media to dispute them.

Having agreed to Putin's conditions of not making additional revelations, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden packed his bag and moved to an undisclosed location somewhere in Russia after having been granted temporary asylum. The revelations continued anyway as the Guardian released another top secret document detailing another NSA spying program called XKEYSCORE.

The Guardian yesterday released another revelation from the trove of top secret documents leaked by whistle-blower Edward Snowden. Not to be outdone by Google and other tech titans’ participation in the illegal NSA wiretapping program codenamed PRISM, Microsoft was revealed to have actually built software to be more compliant with NSA and FBI eavesdropping.


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