[image-1]Mark this day on your calendar. I don’t care how you do it. With a pencil or a pen or the rainbow blood of a unicorn. Just do it. Right now.
Today is an important day in history, one that will have a profound affect on our great nation’s future. Today is the day that Lindsey Graham realized that Vladimir Putin is dick.
Forget the times that Putin installed a puppet president. Forget the times Vlad the Barrel-Chested Badass poisoned an anti-Russian candidate in a neighboring country. Forget the times that Pootie Poot jailed journalists and opposition leaders. None of that matters to Sen. Ham Biscuits. Nope.
See, Linds is upset because the Russian leader granted asylum to Edward Snowden, our own little flashdrive Benedict Arnold, and the South Carolina senator is all angried up about it. The Associated Press reports:
… U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. and one of Snowden’s fiercest critics, blasted Russia for agreeing to harbor him.
“If these reports are accurate, Americans in Washington should consider this a game changer in our relationship with Russia,” Graham said in a statement. “Mr. Snowden has been charged with serious crimes and has put American lives at risk at home and abroad.”
Graham said the Russian government’s decision “could not be more provocative and is a sign of Vladimir Putin’s clear lack of respect for President Obama.” He called for Congress and Obama “to make it clear to the Russian government that this provocative step in granting Snowden asylum will be met with a firm response.”
A firm response? Hmm. Exactly what are you suggesting Lindsey? Are we talking about a thorough tongue lashing, a swift paddling, a savage spell in time-out? Honestly speaking, those options are more likely to elicit a mea culpa from Putin than anything that Graham probably has in mind — like say, a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics, a ban on the importation of vodka, or a full-scale ICMB dick wagging dance-off on the global-thermonuclear dance floor. Umph, umph, umph, kaboom.
Of course, that’s not the most asinine response we’ve heard regarding the NSA’s massive domestic spying program. For that we turn to the Wall Street Journal’s Holman W. Jenkins Jr. According to Jenkins, the only real problem with the NSA’s metadata collection is it’s being used by the wrong guys. He believes it should be in the hands of cops and, um, we’re guessing, traffic engineers.
The biggest problem, then, with metadata surveillance may simply be that the wrong agencies are in charge of it. One particular reason why this matters is that the potential of metadata surveillance might actually be quite large but is being squandered by secret agencies whose narrow interest is only looking for terrorists.
Highway serial killers are enough of a problem that the FBI formed a task force devoted to them, its Highway Serial Killers Initiatives. Instead of finding a suspect and trying to tie him to bodies, could metadata help us quickly find suspects based on the locations of bodies?
Could metadata be used to alert us to the troubled recluse who suddenly starts buying guns and ammunition? Could it be used to raise the cost of organized crime, such as drug smuggling or product counterfeiting or identity theft, which obviously requires elements of organization, which means lots of electronic “transactions”? …
Bringing metadata out of the black box would open up new worlds of possibility—from anticipating traffic jams to locating missing persons after a disaster. It would also create an opportunity to make big data more consistent with the constitutional prohibition of unwarranted search and seizure. In the first instance, with the computer withholding identifying details of the individuals involved, any red flag could be examined by a law-enforcement officer to see, based on accumulated experience, whether the indication is of interest.
Call me crazy, but I just don’t think this is a good idea.
Note: As for the NSA PRISM program, this a heckuva lot worse than the government is willing to admit or that most mainstream media outlets are willing to suggest — hint: Uncle Sam ain’t just collecting metadata. Wired magazine first began covering this issue last year and they’ve been all over the federal government’s increasing militarization of the internet and plans to begin collecting and storing even more online domestic data, including email and web searches.