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WikiLeaks: NSA Recording All Telephone Calls In Afghanistan 241

On Monday, The Intercept reported that the NSA is recording the content of every cell phone call in the Bahamas. At the time of publication, The Intercept said there was another country in which the NSA was doing this, but declined to name it because of "specific, credible concerns that doing so could lead to increased violence." Now, reader Advocatus Diaboli points out that WikiLeaks has spilled the beans: the country being fully monitored by the NSA is Afghanistan. Julian Assange wrote, "Such censorship strips a nation of its right to self-determination on a matter which affects its whole population. An ongoing crime of mass espionage is being committed against the victim state and its population. By denying an entire population the knowledge of its own victimization, this act of censorship denies each individual in that country the opportunity to seek an effective remedy, whether in international courts, or elsewhere. Pre-notification to the perpetrating authorities also permits the erasure of evidence which could be used in a successful criminal prosecution, civil claim, or other investigations. ... We do not believe it is the place of media to 'aid and abet' a state in escaping detection and prosecution for a serious crime against a population. Consequently WikiLeaks cannot be complicit in the censorship of victim state X. The country in question is Afghanistan."
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WikiLeaks: NSA Recording All Telephone Calls In Afghanistan

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  • by sandbagger ( 654585 ) on Friday May 23, 2014 @08:53AM (#47073487)

    After all, we were at war there. I am wondering as we get to what is being promised as the biggest story of the Snowden documents, what the final scoop will be.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 23, 2014 @08:56AM (#47073505)

    I think the final scoop will be that the USG did 9/11.

  • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Friday May 23, 2014 @08:58AM (#47073517)

    The only democracy that the U.S. ever intended to bring to Afghanistan and Iraq was of the "You can choose pro-U.S. candidate number 1, or pro-U.S. candidate number 2" variety.

  • by stewsters ( 1406737 ) on Friday May 23, 2014 @09:30AM (#47073729)
    I do not mean to imply that they didn't deserve it, or that I would not have done the same.

    I was just pointing out that we as Americans like to consider ourselves morally superior to our counterparts, but in reality we engage in a lot of the same practices.

    Sometimes it is cheaper to blow up a school than send in people to determine if there are terrorists there.
    Sometimes it is cheaper to have the CIA poison someone who has a different opinion than it is to debate them.
    Sometimes it is cheaper to have a motorcyclist throw explosives on the outside of a nuclear scientist's car than it is to try to get the country to stop its program.
    Sometimes it is cheaper to execute a cleric rather than have trials to determine guilt.

    We are not much different than the people that attack us based on our ideas, we just have a lot more money than they do. It is too easy to dehumanize others and not care about collateral damage when we fight our wars.
  • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Friday May 23, 2014 @09:54AM (#47073901)

    That's the problem with real democracy. The U.S. has always sold democracy as some cure-all that will somehow turn every backwards country into the U.S. in the 1950's. But *real* democracy doesn't do anything of the sort. And lots of electorates, left to their own devices, will immediately vote in some popular dictator or religious zealot. So to stop this, the U.S. has resorted to advancing a kind of pretend democracy--the kind of "democracy" where the U.S. picks all the candidates and the people choose which carbon copy to vote for. Sadly, the U.S. political system itself has become a similar dog-and-pony show.

  • Snowden and everybody but wikileaks saw fit to redact this for security reasons. This news isn't SNOWDEN betraying jack shit.

    Well, Snowden betrayed it to Wikileaks.

    On balance, I think the benefit of Snowden's actions far outweigh any damage done. Given that it likely wasn't practical for him to vet all the information, and that there was an overwhelming need to disclose the NSA's betrayal of its own people, I think he did the right thing and still consider him a hero. Nevertheless, I do agree that some of the NSA's foreign activities are legitimate and didn't need to be disclosed.

  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Friday May 23, 2014 @09:57AM (#47073931)

    What the NSA is doing to foreigners IS harming Americans. It's destroying our reputation, destroying our business contracts, and alienating the entire world. How would you feel if China or Russia developed some new technology that allowed them to listen to all of your phone calls and then they went about doing just that?

    Just because something doesn't implicitly violate the constitution doesn't mean it's right and just. How many foreigners are you willing to sacrifice for your own safety? How many dictators are we going to install? People are we going to torture? Freedoms are we going to crush? The whole of the nightmare in the middle east right now is the fault of the united states. Every dictator in recent memory was a product of the CIA/NSA's attempts to secure the low price of oil. All the misery you see there now was to make it cheaper for you to get to work in the morning, not to protect you from "terrorists". We're murdering hundreds of thousands of people, men, women and children, all in some insane game of simcity, trying to fix the mess we created. At some point we need to just back away and let these people live their lives. WE are the problem. Not them. If some of their crazies manage to knock down a few of our buildings well... we deserve it.

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury