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back to article I want NSA chief's head on a plate for Merkelgate, storms Senator McCain

John McCain, the US senator who lost to Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential elections, wants General Keith Alexander, head of the NSA and US Cyber Command, to resign over revelations that US spies bugged the telephone of Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel. In a strongly worded interview with Der Spiegel McCain blamed "the head …

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Anonymous Coward

How on Earth did McCain choose Palin?

A Republican moderate who would probably have made as good a President as Obama - and he chose (or had inflicted on him) Palin.

Mind boggles.

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Re: How on Earth did McCain choose Palin?

He did for the same reason why he didn't get elected. He is bat shit crazy and far too impulsive when he shouldn't be.

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Re: How on Earth did McCain choose Palin?

He was forced by the demographics of the republican party to move right of where he really is, and even then his handlers were worried that some far right voters would stay home so they brought in someone they could relate to. For an added bonus she was a woman, so they hoped to grab the disillusioned Hillary supporters. They were foolish for thinking anyone who supported Hillary would think Palin is an acceptable substitute.

I would have voted for the real McCain in a heartbeat, and I suspect that's true for a lot of people who don't really identify with either party, so surely it cost him more votes than it gained. I think the far right people would have voted against Obama anyway, so worries about losing votes were probably groundless unless they were worried about someone making a third party run to his right.

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Re: How on Earth did McCain choose Palin?

> I think the far right people would have voted against Obama anyway

John was delusional enough to think he could just use Karl Rove's playbook and get all the religious crazies to mail in ballots so he could just cruise to victory (problem was John didn't speak Born Again unlike W so they didn't bother voting). McCain and his handlers knew they were done by the middle of September though when Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy.

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Re: How on Earth did McCain choose Palin?

"He did for the same reason why he didn't get elected. He is bat shit crazy and far too impulsive when he shouldn't be."

Yes, has insane ideas like senators and congressmen should work for the voters, not big corp cheque books

That the US should not use torture, introduced a law on that very point

His crazy ideas on reforming US political funding, is the reason the republican party machine spent more effort keeping him off the ticket in previous elections, than they did on trying to keep the democrats out of office.

He could only be considered crazy, as being the last sane US politician.

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Re: How on Earth did McCain choose Palin?

John McCain's big goal over the years has been to reform political funding, something that would have been impossible with a VP from the usual bought and paid for stooges found in most US political offices. (for example senators willing to try and kick off a trade war with the EU, because their banana growing funders had lost a crop to bad weather, and wanted protection from caribean imports)

That left a really thin field to choose a VP from, Palin was probably the least worst choice, unless he wanted to ditch any possibility of reforming political funding if he won the vote.

It should be noted that as the losing candidate, he did actually manage to get more votes (60m), than several previous presidents (for example junior Bush had 50m in 2000)

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Re: How on Earth did McCain choose Palin?

I won't deny McCain as a Senator (as opposed to POTUS) is not so bad. He still a crazy war hawk but yes he does often buck the system especially when it comes to standing up to big pork on the defense projects. And yes on torture and campaign finance reform he is on the right side of history. The problem has always been with John is his crazy leads to a lot of inconsistency between issues and even from year to year on the same issue. About the year 2000 I might have voted for him but after seeing what a flip flopper (no I didn't like Kerry much for that either, forgot Mittens Romney) and warmonger he has become no way now.

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Happy

Re: How on Earth did McCain choose Palin?

"A Republican moderate who would probably have made as good a President as Obama - and he chose (or had inflicted on him) Palin."

Wanted a "Trophy" VP*?

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Re: How on Earth did McCain choose Palin?

Obama picked Biden as his VP. So McCain figured that he needed to pick a total idiot, too.

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Re: How on Earth did McCain choose Palin?

It's sad to see how McCain went from being a quite moderate republican to going further and further right just to nab the nomination. I'm also surprised at his tactics of moving further to the right once he got the nomination, since in effect all he had to do to gain the votes of the rabid right was point to his left and say "If you don't vote for me, that's who's getting elected". I'm sure he didn't need to point out himself that his opponent was brown and had 'Hussein' as a middle name, the right-wing talk shows did all this dirty work for him anyway.

What especially saddens me about McCain is how he switched positions to back the torture regime of Bush II, just to cover his party's back, when this is a guy who himself was tortured in Vietnam. He of all people knew that the point of torture wasn't to get information. The point of torture is torture.

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Re: How on Earth did McCain choose Palin?

Obama is the more effective evil so The Ruling Party decided to fix the election?

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Palin an acceptable substitute for Clinton.

> They were foolish for thinking anyone who supported Hillary would think Palin is an acceptable substitute.

You've obviously never followed Hillbuzz.org.

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Happy

Re: How on Earth did McCain choose Palin?..idiot VP's

"Obama picked Biden as his VP. So McCain figured that he needed to pick a total idiot, too."

It is possible that the Secret Service are advising canidates about potential VP's, remember that even an insane person would not have shot Bush senior when president, as they would have got Dan as the president.

Having a VP that nobody would want as the preseident seems like a good life insurance policy if you are the president.

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lol

I've got something for McCain to kiss....

While we're on the subject of sell-outs.....

Snowden is the least of our concerns.

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THANKS

Just wanted to say THANKS again to Ed Snowden for doing a great job in opening the world's eyes to more of what goes on in secret.

Damage or not, I'm amongst those who believe firmly that it is worth it.

SO THANKS FROM ME.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: THANKS

I agree, and in all honesty I can't see how what he did was wrong, the US was doing worse...

I think Germany should be trying to extradite the head of the NSA for hacking & illegal wire tap charges...

I really hope they do start legal proceedings... And if GCHQ have been doing similar things, then yes they need to be prosecuted as well, not the guy on the floor following orders, but the person who authorised the illegal actions!

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Re: THANKS

but the person who authorised the illegal actions!

That would be the foreign secretary with his blanket warrants authorising this sort of thing.

Personally I'm not holding my breath though: Cameron has appalling judgement when it comes to choosing who he surrounds himself with. First it was Coulson, now he has Ian Livingston as an unelected trade minister.

This is the same Livingston that had a hand in BT's activities when they were trialling Phorm, and violating the privacy of hundreds of thousands of their own customers in the process.

But then that's par for the course I guess: violate the privacy of a few hundred and get taken to court. Do the same to the entire country and get given a position in government...

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you kids get off my lawn John yelled

Somebody must have forgotten to give old man McCain his daily meds. McCain is proof that if you torture and brain wash a POW long and hard enough you can make anybody not only crazy but all for war in every case no matter what as well. John's just mad the NSA didn't come up with more dirt to justify bombing Syria.

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'How dare those damned democrats used legislation "we* introduced to spy on people! That's *OUR* job!!!!' whines failed republican presidential wannabe...

One guess as to how the likes of McCain voted on the PATRIOT act, FISAA and other nastiness that in many respects forms the legal foundations for much of the invasive practices that we're currently seeing.

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low blow

You leave a true Patriot like John alone. Who cares if he was such a privileged f__k up that he finished last in his military school class and ended being a crappy pilot who got shot down? Who cares if his grandfather due to incompetence was as responsible as anyone for the worse naval defeat the US had in WW2 (Battle of Savo Island)? That man is royalty and Keating 5 scandal aside we should worship the ground he walks on.

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Re: low blow

And for the history buffs out there John would not even be with us today due to a aircraft carrier top deck fire in 1967 (I think) if not for a number of Navy firefighters giving their lives to fight that fire (carrier came within a sliver of sinking). He was sitting in fighter on deck when everything went up and munitions off the planes started going off.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Vimes you are right

So many of our freedoms are being eroded by the bills McCain helped pass. The Campaign finance reform bills are really just attacks on free speech. Look up the various campaign finance reform bills and the penalties you face if your free speech might be found supporting a candidate.

Look up the Swift boat vets. Not for what they were saying but for all of the hoops and legal expenses they had to go through just to exercise their right to free speech. All because of the campaign finance reform act that McCain helped pass.

Some of the earlier posters commented how Obama and McCain are similar. They are right. Neither believes in the Bill of Rights

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Re: @ Vimes you are right

Wow you are really defending the Swift boat "patriots" huh? I guess if outright lies and political smears are what pass for free speech these days you have a point. After all corporations are people too my friend so they should get more influence and free speech than the dumb peons that actually pay taxes due to not having tax shelters.

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Re: @ Vimes you are right

"Bill of Rights"? Aren't they still trying to find the Duck that lost it years ago?

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Because they could.

McCain: " He said he thought the NSA had bugged the German chancellor's phone for at least a decade because it could, and in the wake of the September 11 attacks in 2001 the agency had determined that all potential sources of information should be tapped."

Personally I would be surprised if there ever was a time since the war when the Chancellor's Office was not bugged.

Lets face it, after WWII no one was going to trust a recent enemy, then the cold war was on and germany was smack bang in the middle of the most probable area of contention, followed by the reunion of the two Germanies. Reuniting with one of the most reviled parts of the old Eastern bloc would definitely warrant a bit of eavesdropping and after that it would be because they could and who knows what kind of Liberal pinkos are hiding in Europe anyway? Then of course we had 9/11 which made everything okay to do in the name of 'National Security'

Although a reasonable guy in many ways and a genuine war hero, I don't think I would describe someone who insists the Iraq war should be fought to a successful conclusion to be a moderate.

He is however right about having the heads of the bosses of the NSA on a plate, the trouble is that will never get the real fomenters of that particular piece of US skullduggery.

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Re: Because they could.

What makes you think this is exclusively political? The US has never been afraid of supporting US commercial interests by fair means or foul. I find it implausible that commercially advantageous information would just be filtered out, that they were really only looking for the claimed communist/terrorist/crime info.

It just wouldn't be the American way.

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Re: Because they could.

Financial stability and competitive economic advantage are considered cornerstones of our national security and have had the same resource allocation priority as military defense since the early 19th century.

As you say, the US has no problem doing flat out nasty stuff to gain those advantages. From installing lunatic dictators and teaching them how to torture their citizens to maintain low prices for agricultural exports for us and our allies to underwriting forced labor operations so we can have cheap bananas, our leaders don't need politics to engage in awful behavior.

What's really crappy about it all is that a few articles over people are rushing to defend cockroaches but would rend many clothes and pull many beards if the price of their shitty milk chocolate goes up in price because companies weren't allowed to deforest vast swaths of land and displace villagers to plant more palm trees or coffee bushes. People have such odd priorities.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Because they could.

would rend many clothes and pull many beards

Don, this The Register not the Bible. Normal English will suffice.

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Happy

Re: Because they could.

Yeah, but how many times does the opportunity present itself to say stuff like that?

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"companies weren't allowed to deforest vast swaths of land"

I would just like to say that I initially misread "deforest" as "defrost".

That is all.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Because they could.

"Don, this The Register not the Bible. Normal English will suffice"

Have you written to Will Self yet to demand that he writes in language the average 12 year old can understand?

Slightly OT, back in the 70s there was a (rather unusual for the time) magazine called Bike, which despite its title contained what was frequently some rather good writing. A teacher of remedial English wrote to them and complained that his pupils wanted to read it, but it was too hard for them.

The correct answer, of course, was "if you want to read Bike you'll have to work harder at your lessons".

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Meh

The problem I have with McCain is that he seems to simply jump on any bandwagon he spots!

If the American public (say 60-80%) were to come out in support of sending a blue cheese to the moon, I feel pretty sure I know who'd be giving interviews to The Gorgonzola Herald about the wonders of cheese on the moon.

I have no doubt that the man is pretty clever, I just think he has given up on politics, and now simply tries whatever he can think of to remain somewhat relevant.

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There's already cheese on the moon. Sending more would not be appropriate in these times of austerity.

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Coat

Coals to Newcastle?

"Lord" Timothy Dexter, historic leading light of Newburyport, Massachusetts, made his great fortune by (on a drunken bet) sending a shipload of coal to Newcastle. Fortunately (sic) it arrived during a coal strike.

Cheese to the moon? Maybe, just maybe...

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Anonymous Coward

From the NSA files ..

Phone Rings:

MERKEL: Ya bitte,

OBAMA: Hi Angela, it's Barak.

MERKEL: Borek ?

OBAMA: No, that's a small meat filled pastry. I'm the President.

MERKEL: Ach, sorry.

OBAMA: Yeah, look .. about sorry. I hear McCain has done it again.

MERKEL: McCain ? Like frozen pizza ? What is it with you Americans and food ? Kennedy is doughnut, you are small pastry, senator is frozen pizza. So difficult.

OBAMA: Fuck, this is going from swimming pools to sausages.

MERKEL: bitte ?

OBAMA: Bad to Worst.

MERKEL: Enough !

OBAMA: geez, another Sour Kraut. ... hello ? Angela ?? ... hello ???

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: From the NSA files ..

best post in ages

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Well, they're right about the flying pigs.

I'd bet good money at least the Chinese and probably the Russians have every document Snowden's got.

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Re: Well, they're right about the flying pigs.

Seeing as he hasn't got any, that would not be especially difficult.

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Re: Well, they're right about the flying pigs.

You mean apart from the ones on the four laptops and various thumbdrives he brought to China?

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Big Brother

Re: Well, they're right about the flying pigs.

Yes they probably had every document Snowden's got.

But they probably had them before Snowden did.

Probably the only people in the dark on this are the US voters being monitored by Uncle Sam's eldest nephew

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Re: Well, they're right about the flying pigs.

The Russians and Chinese probably have all documents because they found many less-principled administrators who chose to sell to the highest bidder instead of going public.

Let's face it, the NSA messed it up badly. Snowden is just bringing the bad news.

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Re: Well, they're right about the flying pigs.

> But they probably had them before Snowden did.

Oh almost certainly. It's hard to see any other reason why China kicked him over to Russia instead of thoroughly debriefing him (like the Russians do now).

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Re: Well, they're right about the flying pigs. @Vociferous

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/18/edward-snowden-no-leaked-nsa-documents-russia

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Re: Well, they're right about the flying pigs. @Vociferous

Hahahaha yeah, so only China has all his material then. If that was true, which it clearly isn't.

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Faux outrage

I wonder what the nice people at the Bundesnachrichtendienst (German foreign intelligence and security service) get up to all day. I don't imagine their time is occupied solely in playing Scrabble. Nor do I think the British Embassy in Berlin send all their messages in clear because they know our German allies are far too polite to open another gentleman's mail.

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Re: Faux outrage

Faux outrage

But of course not! How is your wife?

/smiley

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Faux outrage

The BND are vasalls and would never dare to touch the Imperator.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Faux outrage

If they DO play Scrabble then "Bundesnachrichtendienst" on a double word score would be a winner!

Yes I know, proper names and all..

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Anonymous Coward

It should be Snowden's head

Snowden's the one who has endangered the lives of many by divulging appropriate security measures that all countries use. McCain is just shilling for votes like all politicians. If you look up the definition of politician in the dictionary you'll find then top be a: POS

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