Snowden, Meet Godwin: British Ambassador Says Leaks Would Have Helped Hitler

from the and-would-have-allowed-Cuba-to-fall-to-Castro...-oh,-wait dept

Where do you go when the assertions that Snowden's leaks will cause grave damage and irreparable harm to national security still fail to unite the world against the former NSA contractor? It appears you head to alternate realities where Snowden leaks documents during the early 1940s, thus dooming Britain to cowering at the feet of Hitler.

If Edward Snowden had been around during World War II, Adolf Hitler would have been able to score victories against the United Kingdom, according to the British ambassador to the U.S.

In remarks at The Ripon Society commemorating the U.S. and British alliance, Ambassador Peter Westmacott said leaks like Snowden's would have allowed the Nazis to overrun allied forces in the Battle of the Atlantic and gain the upper hand...

"[T]here are moments ... when it is absolutely essential that intelligence operations in defense of our national security remain secret," he added. "These things are important. It's not frivolous and it is not hiding things."

"It is actually necessary for our national security to ensure that our real secrets remain secret."
Westmacott's comments follow a long line of detractors, who have claimed Snowden's leaks have turned the US (and other Five Eyes partners) into terrorists' playgrounds, when not trawling through history in an attempt to compare leaks spread worldwide by journalists to the selling of sensitive documents to unfriendly nations. That's when they're not suggesting Snowden's residence in Russia will inevitably turn him into an alcoholic.

This sort of claim is another in a long line of NSA/GCHQ defenders deploying fear in hopes of regaining the supposed higher ground. But there's only so long these tactics can remain effective in a dearth of terrorist activity, and it appears to have passed that shelf date quite some time ago. You can only point to attacks you haven't prevented as evidence that you're needed for so long before the public starts granting you the same level of trustworthiness reserved for those who claim to know the exact date the world will end.

Westmacott also mixes his metaphors by using military operations to condemn the leaking of documents detailing lots of untargeted surveillance. His fears mirror those of the Defense Department, which seems to believe Snowden is holding onto thousands of military intelligence documents and has based its damage assessment on the theory that a) he actually has these and b) they will be (or have been) released.

The ambassador would do well to remember that not nearly as many citizens are sold on the "War of Terror" as they were on actions taken during World War II. There's something much less tangible about a threat that is constantly referred to but rarely cohesively materializes. It's become so much of an abstraction here in the US that the FBI has had to craft its own "terrorist plots" from scratch just so its Counterterrorism wing (the larger of the two -- the other being "Law Enforcement") has something to do.

Cleared of all its Godwin-trappings, Westmacott's ultimate point is hardly any better. His extended anecdote -- involving the cracking of German U-boat codes in 1940-41 -- bears little resemblance to what has actually been revealed by Snowden's leaks. Much of what's been uncovered deals with the domestic surveillance performed by many countries as well as a concerted effort to undermine secured communications of any sort. There has been nothing released to date that details intelligence efforts directed at military foes.

That the oft-alluded-to enemy ("terrorists") use the same communication tools as the rest of the public (phones, internet, etc.) has been used as leverage to allow multiple intelligence agencies to gather communications and data from everybody, supposedly in hopes of ferreting out the terrorists among us. But nothing here covers encrypted military communications, not even those of the US or our allies. Westmacott says some secrets must remain secret, and without a doubt, many still do. To try to pitch the leaked documents as somehow being the equivalent of "allowing" Nazi Germany to "win" is more than disingenuous, it's a distortion of what's actually been leaked.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2014 @ 7:51pm

    Citizen. Please insert head into ass.

    Uh... maybe he ought to be thankful that a man like Snowden was not necessary back in the 40's... because we didn't have the hellhole then like we do now. And even if he was, I doubt he would pick such a time to do such leaks. The amount of arguments being pulled out of asses is frightening these days.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2014 @ 7:52pm

    If Westmacott were around in the 1940s, Britain would have allied with Hitler.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2014 @ 8:01pm

    To Ambassador Peter Westmacott

    You know what they say about the first one to invoke Hitler. You lose, good day sir!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2014 @ 8:02pm

    His analogy fails on the fact that Hitler would not have benefited from leaks that Nazis were spying.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 27th, 2014 @ 8:13pm

    Everyone wave at the shark in the tank below us.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2014 @ 8:22pm

    Efficient use of Resources

    It is a lesson our power hungry, budget protecting, self proclaimed saviors have not learned yet. I bet they traced/listened to many calls, and followed many people in England during WWII, and I bet the majority of those turned out to be false, and when found to be false, they stopped following, or listening. They did not have the technology to listen to everything, or the people to follow everone.

    I am not aware of any backlash from the British people for the counter intelligence efforts that took place in England during WWII. There is now, and due a great deal to the technology that lets them listen to everyone, so they do.

    It is extremely inefficient. If they actually had some intelligence (not disparaging their mental acuity, yet) about some plot or another, and used that to get the damn warrant, and then only listened to 'them', and only followed 6 or 3 or 1 degree of separation if there was an actual reason to, and stopped when leads are dead instead of making shit up, to protect the children (AKA budget, power achieved, 5 year plan to get more power) we would not be complaining now, and they would not need so many resources. They might even be able to find the right haystack to search for their fictitious needles.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2014 @ 8:31pm

    what an absolute upper crust plum! i can imagine him in a war situation, looking for the best job furthest from the fighting!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Brian Dell, Jun 27th, 2014 @ 8:45pm

    so unless the US is actually at war it's anything goes?

    "There has been nothing released to date that details intelligence efforts directed at military foes."

    Snowden leaked details of US operations in China while he was in Hong Kong. Even Greenwald thought that was too much. Greenwald said he nonethless understood that Snowden had "a need to ingratiate himself to the people of Hong Kong and China."

    My Q is, if he had to "ingratiate himself" to the Chinese, why wouldn't he have to ingratiate himself to the Russians?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2014 @ 8:49pm

    Re: so unless the US is actually at war it's anything goes?

    Simple, he never intended to stay in Russia. It was a transit point, for him, a connection to the next flight. The State Department pulled his passport, and he could no longer go anywhere.

    He went to Hong Kong under very different circumstances.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2014 @ 8:51pm

    A lot of arguments seem to stem from the viewpoint that we're the good guys.
    We're not the good guys. We're the bad guys that are after even badder guys.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    AC, Jun 27th, 2014 @ 9:02pm

    He got it wrong

    What he meant to say was Hitler would have loved to have had the spying potential that the NSA has now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2014 @ 9:36pm

    This asshole has to make up stuff that never happened to try and make it sound important. I laugh every time I hear of these extreme make believe events that try to influence everyone that spying is good for you.

    The problem here is Snowden never really had access to the meaty stuff, else they would have been going absolutely bat shit insane. He had access to training manual level junk. Hardly end of the world, no agents dead on the streets, no imminent threat of NYC falling into the crust of the earth type events.

    The real thing wrong here, is that they are all breaking their own laws in an effort to catch everything. There are no real life events being trotted out before the public to demonstrate the need of such levels of spying. There is no string of events showing a line of successes resulting from the gathering of this data and thereby justifying it's necessity. It doesn't exist or it would long ago been used to show how well these spying outfits are and how effective they've been. All you hear are the chirping of crickets and rassle dazzle voices with nothing behind it showing any value whatever. Yet these same governments that are screaming about overspending are not batting an eyeball at billions being spent. Like over the years that just might add up to real money.

    What I've learned so far is they haven't anything to really justify the breaking of laws to do all this. Nada. This is why they have to resort to these sorts of make believe because it sounds more interesting than the real life fact they haven't accomplished much of anything for all the money down the drain.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    bshock, Jun 27th, 2014 @ 9:44pm

    You know what else would've helped Hitler?

    Computers. Computers would've helped Hitler win WWII. If Nazi Germany had possessed advanced computing devices and an Internet-like connectivity, it would almost certainly have had a decisive advantage over the Allies.

    Therefore, computers and the Internet are evil.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Jun 27th, 2014 @ 9:46pm

    Insults to idiots

    Calling this idiot an idiot is an insult to idiots. Godwin is Ambassador to the US from GB? He should be more properly a trash collector in his town of residence, although that would be disparaging to the trash collectors of his town...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2014 @ 10:32pm

    If Hitler were not a pussy he would have used the zyklon against his enemies. Instead he got his cities firebombed.
    Good thing the good guys won so we can listen to these bullshits

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2014 @ 10:54pm

    how would revealing the capabilities the way snowden did help hitler? he possessed a spying apparatus that would make most leos creme their pants. he would have already known everything about it or at least worked under the assumption of those capabilities.
    these politicians seem to be moving more and more towards a bubble of isolation that separates them from being able to come to rational decisions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2014 @ 11:23pm

    Re: Comment 12

    "...they haven't accomplished much of anything for all the money down the drain."

    To the contrary much has been accomplished for all that money - the governments of the Western World have established the infrastructure, methods and techniques to enable the control of their populations. Anyone, or anything, that threatens to disrupt or destabilize that control is considered a terrorist threat. Our governments truly are afraid - of us.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2014 @ 11:26pm

    And what if Snowden were a German?

    It could have helped Hitler or it could have ended him much much sooner.
    What they always forget is that if some important German person had just leaked information about the deathcamps, gassing, military plans and general misconducts, then the governments of the world might have been faster in responding, which would have saved many lives.
    It always depends on the viewpoint and right now you are actually starting to look like the bad guys in our viewpoint, slowly catching up to a certain German leader.
    Yes I just compared them to Hitlers government... but he started it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    dude_wtf_dude, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 12:31am

    So this is what lickspittle means

    I´ve been polishing my english and was looking for some kind of explanation of the term. Poor dude; having to do that for a living has to take a pretty heavy toll on him

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 1:18am

    The same logic was used as justification to ban "from export" any software that used encryption stronger than 40 bits.

    I suppose if the Nazis had been using SSL instead of Enigma, they might have been eager to learn that the code was not secure.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 2:08am

    "It is actually necessary for our national security to ensure that our real secrets remain secret."

    Agreed. And it is actually necessary for any democracy to ensure that the only secrets the government keeps are those that are really vital to national security. And it is actually necessary for any democracy to ensure that the definition and limits of the term 'national security' are defined as narrowly and clearly as possible. And it is actually necessary for any democracy that the government refrain from lying about national security (or anything else).

    If we were capable of managing that, we wouldn't need Snowden to resurrect Hitler in some bizarre ritual or whatever he's being accused of now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jun 28th, 2014 @ 3:05am

    Re: so unless the US is actually at war it's anything goes?

    "My Q is, if he had to "ingratiate himself" to the Chinese, why wouldn't he have to ingratiate himself to the Russians?"

    If you're going to criticise part of the story, at least familiarise yourself with the rest of it first.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden#Flight_from_the_United_States

    Snowden left the US to go to Hong Kong, claiming intent to stay there until forced to leave. While there, US authorities tried to get Hong Kong authorities to detain him on their behalf. They refused, and Snowden managed to go to Russia, intending to travel on to his intended asylum destination of Iceland. But, the US authorities revoked his passport, leaving him stranded in Russia.

    In other words, he ingratiated himself to his potential captors and potential asylum hosts, but didn't feel the need to do the same to an intended pit stop. Is this really hard to understand?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Padpaw (profile), Jun 28th, 2014 @ 3:10am

    I would have thought the current fascists running the british government would have done more to help Nazism than snowden ever would.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    David, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 3:32am

    If a Snowden had been around in 1940

    leaking the secret operations of a fascist empire that had left its constitution in the dust, declared itself to be in a semi-perpetual state of national emergency and considered itself a superior race entrusted with governing the whole world according to the ideas of its government acting without consideration of its own laws and human rights...

    It might have helped ending World War II sooner.

    What Westmacott does not understand is that "good" and "bad" are not distinguished by flag colors but deeds.

    Political systems thrive on predictability of cause and effect. For example, capitalism works best by turning human greed into a reliably exploitable, scalable, mostly unmitigated and generally available resource. The advertising industry keeps it running.

    Fascism works best by turning human cowardice into a reliably exploitable, scalable, mostly unmitigated and generally available resource. The propaganda industry keeps it running. Terrorism is currently the most effective motivator.

    Snowdens are disruptive. Money and fearmongering do not work reliably on them. They have to be eradicated and vilified.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    Felix Atagong (profile), Jun 28th, 2014 @ 4:08am

    Re: You know what else would've helped Hitler?

    And who would've sold these computers to Hitler? Probably IBM.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Jeff Burdges, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 4:23am

    WWII

    We employed secrecy to great effect during WWII, but largely that's because the cause of not being conquered was just. In particular, anyone with a functioning moral conscience like Snowden, Ellsberg, Kiriakou, Mannings, etc. overlooked shit like idiot commanders wasting soldiers lives, war crimes, etc. because the cause weighed heavily enough.

    Today, our military and police are run wholly by either power hungry psychopaths or useless petty do-nothing dip-shits. Well, there is nothing useful for our police and military to do, so they simply try to increase their personal power even when that means doing atrocious shit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Rich Kulawiec, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 5:14am

    "[T]here are moments ... when it is absolutely essential that intelligence operations in defense of our national security remain secret," he added. "These things are important. It's not frivolous and it is not hiding things."

    Yes. There are. But the key word in that statement is "moments": transitory moments where very small, very limited, very specific pieces of information need to be kept temporarily secret because they provide operational details of ongoing or imminent military actions, e.g,. "we're going to attack at these coordinates at this time on this day next week".

    I don't think any reasonable person has too much of a problem with that, provided, of course, once the events-of-the-moment have passed, that total disclosure is made.

    The problem...or rather, the problems are...that this limited-scope limited-duration idea of secrets has expanded to become "everything, all the time, forever" and that is simply unacceptable in any form of government other than a totalitarian dictatorship.

    If the price of "winning the war" against a fascist empire is to turn one's own nation into a fascist empire, can one actually claim to have "won"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 6:37am

    Re: You know what else would've helped Hitler?

    Actually the Germans were the first in the Programable Digital computer game. Hitler had functioning computers, but connectivity was a it beyond the technology of the day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 7:02am

    I one day look forward to seeing:

    "'GCHQ spying would have prevented the extinction of the dinosaurs' Theresa May said in a statement earlier today."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 7:53am

    Re: so unless the US is actually at war it's anything goes?

    "so unless the US is actually at war it's anything goes"


    and the corollary:

    Anything goes as long as we are at "war".

    So there you have the rational for endless war, with the added benefit of endless dividends.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    Whatever (profile), Jun 28th, 2014 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re: so unless the US is actually at war it's anything goes?

    Apparently he didn't do a good job with the people in his intended destination, as they could have issued him a displomatic passport and he could have left Russia for his new host country. The story sort of falls apart because his intended host country wasn't that interested in him after all.

    The Russians didn't even seem to want him, but any chance to piss off the Americans is worth exploiting.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    David Cortright (profile), Jun 28th, 2014 @ 8:12am

    Our politicians are meta-terrorists

    As I read this article, I realize now what is going on. The government agencies and politicians are in this sick symbiotic relationship with the terrorists. They use the abstract fear of "terrorists will terrorize you all! Booga booga!" and use that as justification for all of the freedoms they take away from us.

    But to me, these people are scarier than terrorists. At a statistical level, I am much more likely to have my 4th amendment being violated, get harassed at the airport, or get labeled a trouble-maker and put on some "watch list" for my rabble-rousing ideas than I am to be directly (or even indirectly) harmed by a terrorist.

    And so the terrorists have won, because they have recruited the most powerful leaders in the world to terrorize their own citizens on their behalf. It's not exactly the same kind of terrorism, mind you. But it is much more pervasive and insidious. And the amount of time, money, resources, and attention we've wasted on it makes the impacts of actual terrorist events like 9/11 look like a rounding error.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 9:30am

    British Ambassador = Fail

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 9:43am

    Ambassador Peter Westmacott: the human equivilant of crap

    OMG, he is absolutely right... and the US has given over 6 billion dollars in military aide to Germany. Had it done this during world war 2, the other ailed countries would have never succeeded.

    Ambassador Peter Westmacott, a worthless piece of crap who is bad for democracy, and seems very unhappy he couldn't have lived in the German police state that Hitler or Stalin had envisioned.

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140228/15025026393/you-know-who-else-collected-metadata-stasi.sh tml

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Sven Slootweg, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 9:46am

    Ah, do we never learn...

    The reason the nazi's were so effective in their persecution in the Netherlands, was that the Dutch government(s) meticulously recorded and kept track of everything. I'm sure Westmacott will be conveniently omitting that, even *if* Snowden would've been helpful to Hitler, so would the databases that the NSA and GCHQ keep.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 9:50am

    Somewhere in Britain, a village is missing its idiot.

    Wow, I thought only American idiots were THIS idiotic! Thanks, Britain.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 9:55am

    Ambassador Peter Westmacot : secret nazi sympathizer, and Hitler supporter by his own arguments

    By his very own arguments Ambassador Peter Westmacott is a self admitted Hitler supporter. HE fully seems to support the British governments' trading with Germany, in fact Germany is their second largest trading partner. Had the British done this in the 1940's when Hitler was in power, it would have caused grave damage and irreparable harm to the ailed war effort.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    David, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 10:10am

    Re:

    We're the bad guys that are after even badder guys.

    Nope. The bad guys that are after everybody under the pretense that this somehow is supposed to help against purportedly badder guys.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Joe Sterling, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 10:16am

    It is hard to believe

    the Brits or the US would have the cycles during WWII to illegally spy on their own citizens. I seriously doubt the need for a Snowden existed at that time.

    WWII 'Axis' powers were well defined enemies. Today's 'terrorist' is a relative term used to leverage fear for 'carte blanche' governmental purposes....as we now know is being used for good, bad and evil. So, his statement is blurring the truth by not comparing 'apples to apples'.

    It isn't hard to believe when one child is 'caught with their hand in the parent's cookie jar' to make irrational statements to focus blame on the child who informed the parent.

    Invoking Hitler.....only backs the case of who the worse child really is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: so unless the US is actually at war it's anything goes?

    Or maybe it's that most of the people in Russia are white and most of the people in China are not? I dunno...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 1:29pm

    Proper leak allegory

    Would have been the WWII version of Snowden releasing docs on japanese-american interment camps in California. Or maybe on the Ford/IBM/et al sales to Germany and other Axis powers. Certainly things with arguable global significance, but truly about domestic related materials.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Proper leak allegory

    Damn you auto correct. Internment, not interment. Although I'm sure plenty of the latter occurred in those camps as well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 4:54pm

    Astounding... it doesn't seem to dawn upon this fool that today's equivalent of the National SOCIALIST Party is, in fact, the U.S. fascism of Fuehrer Obama and his minions!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 6:44pm

    Re:

    I'm sure all the prior Führers that occupied the White House would agree. Do you think Führer Von McCain and Führeress Von Palin would be doing any better?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 7:28pm

    Re:

    nerve gas was 'officially' invented in 1919 by the germams, there is at least one source claiming it was available in late 1918. if anyone used gas on the battlefield, or in bomming of cities everyone would have used gas, as for the hi tech code breaking stuff the british burned and smashed the documents and equipment at betchley park, So this power could not be used against britian, a rather folorn hope as it turns out.

    Source Churchill second world war history

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 8:51pm

    We are secretly violating Human Rights.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    Arioch (profile), Jun 29th, 2014 @ 2:25am

    Perhaps a "Snowden" would have been a good thing in WWII exposing the nazi supporters such as William Randolph Hearst, Joseph Kennedy (JFK's father), Charles Lindbergh, John Rockefeller, Andrew Mellon (head of Alcoa, banker, and Secretary of Treasury), DuPont, General Motors, Standard Oil (now Exxon), Ford, ITT, Allen Dulles (later head of the CIA), Prescott Bush, National City Bank, General Electric, Bayer Co., General Aniline Works, Agfa Ansco, and Winthrop Chemical Company, to name but a few

    Getting public opinion against these could quite likely have shortened the war and saved millions of lives

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    David, Jun 29th, 2014 @ 6:50am

    Re:


    The Rowlatt Acts, also known as the Black Acts, vested the viceroy's government with extraordinary powers to quell sedition by silencing the press, detaining political activists without trial, and arresting any suspected individuals without a warrant. No sooner had the acts come into force in March 1919--despite opposition by Indian members on the Imperial Legislative Council--than a nationwide cessation of work (hartal ) was called by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948). Others took up his call, marking the beginning of widespread--although not nationwide--popular discontent. The agitation unleashed by the acts culminated on April 13, 1919, in Amritsar, Punjab. The British military commander, Brigadier Reginald E.H. Dyer, ordered his soldiers to fire at point-blank range into an unarmed and unsuspecting crowd of some 10,000 men, women, and children. They had assembled at Jallianwala Bagh, a walled garden, to celebrate a Hindu festival without prior knowledge of the imposition of martial law. A total of 1,650 rounds were fired, killing 379 persons and wounding 1,137 in the episode, which dispelled wartime hopes and goodwill in a frenzy of postwar reaction.

    Does "silencing the press, detaining political activists without trial, and arresting any suspected individuals without a warrant." ring any bell?

    Too bad mainland UK does not have any Gandhi around.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Gauze, Jun 29th, 2014 @ 6:56am

    If it was 1940s there wouldn't be an internet to spy with.

    Ambassador Peter Westmacott has a major Hitler fetish.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    David, Jun 29th, 2014 @ 7:01am

    Re:

    If the price of "winning the war" against a fascist empire is to turn one's own nation into a fascist empire, can one actually claim to have "won"?

    Sure, as long as it never actually was about "liberty vs fascism" but rather "us vs them".

    If you cheer your football team on, you are not cheering for "Rooney vs Lahm" but "UK vs Germany", uh wait, "England vs Germany" (actually interesting that the UK does not compete as one nation). "Liberty" and "Fascism" are just team players here. Once you impatriate one, it doesn't matter which country he has been born in. The important thing is the colors of the tricot, not the color of his skin or heart.

    And to be fair: Fascism nowadays converses perfectly well in the Queen's English and is a welcome guest in highest circles of society.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    David Cortright (profile), Jun 29th, 2014 @ 11:46am

    Our own government are meta-terrorists

    As I read this article, I realize now what is going on. The government agencies and politicians are in this sick symbiotic relationship with the terrorists. They use the abstract fear of "terrorists will terrorize you all! Booga booga!" and use that as justification for all of the freedoms they take away from us.

    But to me, these "meta-terrorists" are scarier than terrorists. At a statistical level, I am much more likely to have my 4th amendment being violated, get harassed at the airport, or get labeled a trouble-maker and put on some "watch list" for my rabble-rousing ideas than I am to be directly (or even indirectly) harmed by a terrorist.

    And so the terrorists have won, because they have recruited the most powerful leaders in the world to terrorize their own citizens on their behalf. It's not exactly the same kind of terrorism, mind you. But it is much more pervasive and insidious. And the amount of time, money, resources, and attention we've wasted on it makes the impacts of actual terrorist events like 9/11 look like a rounding error.

    I wish our leaders would learn about processing events but then letting them go. Tit for tat in iterated prisoners' dilemma tells us that we're better off not holding a grudge. If someone wrongs you, let them know and yes even punish them, but then forgive and move on. If you continue to cling to the hurt and live your life as if you expect it again, first it tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, and second you are making a choice to hang onto the negativity.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2014 @ 3:20pm

    So now according to this dim witted idiot , any citizen of a 5 eyes country is considered a Nazi , because ultimately Snowden released these documents for the citizens of the US .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    David, Jun 29th, 2014 @ 10:54pm

    Re: Our own government are meta-terrorists

    Capitalism works better if you nurture greed with advertising. Fascism works better if you nurture cowardice with fearmongering.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jun 30th, 2014 @ 1:12am

    Re: Re: Re: so unless the US is actually at war it's anything goes?

    "Apparently he didn't do a good job with the people in his intended destination, as they could have issued him a displomatic passport and he could have left Russia for his new host country"

    If you bothered to read the full story (I know, facts are something you're scared of), Iceland specifically have a rule that says that refugee status can only be applied for within Iceland, which is why he couldn't get asylum from Hong Kong. If they wouldn't consider his application from outside of Iceland in the first place, why would they break their own rules to give his that status from Russia? Snowden chose Iceland, they had no particular prior relationship with him, and would not have one unless he applied for asylum within the country. They had no reason to intervene unless they wanted to make a specific point, and it appears they didn't have one to make and thus remained neutral.

    "The story sort of falls apart because"

    ...because the facts of the matter don't fit your preferred narrative so you make shit up again. I know, it's you, so who's surprised...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jun 30th, 2014 @ 5:36am

    The UK Govt is doing exactly what the 3rd Reich did with Stasi like operations and he dares citing Hitler. Really.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Anon, Jun 30th, 2014 @ 7:41am

    Well, in that case, we'd better make sure he never gets access to the TARDIS.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 30th, 2014 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re:

    "actually interesting that the UK does not compete as one nation"

    Not really, since the UK is not one nation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2014 @ 10:20am

    He knows what he is talking about.

    Years of experience: Munich, Phoney war, Yalta.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    icon
    Seegras (profile), Jul 1st, 2014 @ 4:07am

    Re:

    The Stasi ("Staatssicherheit") was in eastern Germany after the war.

    In the 3rd Reich, it was actually the Gestapo, the "Geheime Staats-Polizei" (Secret State Police) which did what the NSA and the GCHQ do nowadays.

    But they don't actually do everything the Gestapo did by themselves, they need help by the FBI and the CIA for things like warrantless detention and torture).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Advertisement
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Techdirt Reading List
Advertisement
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Support Techdirt - Get Great Stuff!

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.