Clown Award: Sens. Chris Murphy and Diane Feinstein
The previous bit leads us right into our other regular feature, the Clown Award, given for meritorious stupidity, where we have a tie. Two very deserving winners, both related to the spying.
The first big red nose goes to Sen. Chris Murphy, who has reacted to news about anger among European governments over NSA spying on their people and their leaders, up to and including at least one prime minister, by saying he's going to go to Europe to dish out some "tough love" and "make it clear" to Europeans that they need to "stay on board with us" because "it's really important for US national security interests."
In another words, "Hey, Europeans: Shut up." So says the clown Chris Murphy.
Our second big red nose goes to the NSA's enabler-in-chief in the Congress, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
This past week, she rejected the idea of clemency for Edward Snowden, claiming that if he had been a true whistleblower, he could have reported things to her committee privately.
Leave aside the fact that it's not up to Dianne Feinstein to define who is and who isn't a whistleblower - especially when the definition of the term refers to someone who "informs on another or makes public disclosure of corruption or wrongdoing," not someone who gives the secrets to the secrets-keepers.
Instead, just consider that when the leaks started to be revealed, Feinstein was out there claiming to all and sundry that she already knew all this stuff, that everyone should just not bother their pretty little heads because it was all under control and her committee was thoroughly briefed and kept informed and did strict oversight - so just what was it that Snowden was supposed to tell them if she already knew about it? Was he supposed to know in advance what the Committee did and didn't know?
Because it turns out that the Committee didn't know it all, or at least that's what Feinstein is claiming now about the spying on leaders of US allies. She has found out that the White House was keeping things from her and that the Director of National Intelligence and the Director of the NSA were lying to her Committee, which she knows only because of Edward Snowden - and her response was to repeat her charge that he is a traitor.
Now, that is a clown.