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Total Commander (formerly Windows Commander) by Christian Ghisler (Switzerland) is probably the most well known GOFM. This is a true shareware without expiration date or limited functionality (un-registered version has a random choice button at the beginning of the session). It's one of the oldest GOFM implementations -- Windows Commander 1.0 was released in the autumn of 1993. TC is written in Delphi, so it is an interesting demonstration of the superiority of Pascal for this particular type of applications ;-). But that means that it's not portable. It's a pretty large program (over 100K lines of code).
Still some typical OFM functions are not implemented (directory history) or implemented in is a slightly different way (F2 key functionality is present as the start directory, Shift-F2 is used instead of F9-C-C for the directory comparison, etc). Still I often use it instead of FAR because it looks like its FTP client is better coded and more compatible with SecurID authentication on Solaris then FAR (FAR client cannot connect, while TC client can).
There is no built-in editor, but Notetab (also from Switzerland) or metapad (the latter can be configured to exit on Esc key) can be used.
There is limited key-mapping functionality but implementation is rather limited (key to key). You cannot link keys to menu functions to correct some of the most annoying irregularities that break OFM conventions (for example it would be nice to link F2 to start menu, F9-C-C to compare directories, etc). If you get used to the key conventions (and extensions of those conventions from the other OFM (like FAR) you still need to readapt (especially painful if you use both). No macrorecoder.
No support for Ctrl-O that can be used to view the command window.
There are a couple of useful extensions Ctrl-Enter displays properties of the file.
Total commander can arrange panels horizontally, not only vertically which is very convenient for FTP This arrangement is nice proxy for short panels in classic implementation but there is no possibility to view the command window or at lease results of script execution in the lower panel
File extension mapping is done via Windows associations and that is not very convenient. Typical for windows file
managers and very useful ability to sort panel columns by clicking the mouse: Mouse click on name, size and time headers
in the panel changes the sorting order to this attribute. Second mouse click on the same button reverses the sorting order.
In file selection Ctrl-Num- / Ctrl-Num+ are implemented for selecting and deselecting all files regarding the mask. There is a history for selections. Additional functions include:
NUM * Invert selection
NUM / Restore selection
CTRL+NUM + Select all
CTRL+NUM - Deselect all
Search function -- average (no RegEx support, but good emulation of NC5 functionality)
Viewer/Editor Total Commander has a reasonable built-in viewer (with quick view implemented and N (Next)
and P (Prev) operation that works on the selected files (broken in v. 5.51)). It can remember it position
and size and so can easily imitate the "quick view" behavior (which is more useful in with GUI then with the text version,
but you cannot invoke the editor from the viewer (F6 in FAR).
There is no built-in editor At the same time it has not built-in editor which means less integration with both panels and viewers
Directory hotlist (Ctrl-D) - Good
Quick search (Ctrl-Alt -letter) and quick CD -good
Active operations ZIP, ARJ, LZH, RAR, UC2, TAR, GZ, CAB, ACE archive handling + plugins - excellent:
Built-in FTP client -- excellent (a very good compatibility, proxy support, FXP (server to server) and HTTP proxy support, a remote change attributes (CHMOD) function, uploading files as lowercase, etc)
I would like to mention the following features:
The main complain is the absence of panelize command. That's a really unfortunate for GUI-based OFM. Rather weak search function (no RegEx support). Weak integration with the editor (no interaction between the lister and editor and editor and panel view like in FAR as there is only external editor).
Ctrl-U does not switch panels if one panel contains the tree view. Multiple file associations are supported in a limited way: via Win95 mechanism for associations.
A right click or Shift-F10 opens the context menu, which can be extended and in a very limited way supports multiple extensions.
Information window does not show the current file. Minor modification of this windows can increase its usability (I recommend to change the information window to the format similar to used in FAR: information about the group of selected files, if any; about the current file (with it's name) and information about the current directory.
One minor, but important for long-time OFM users point: compare directories in not considered a command. It is considered a marking operation. Semantically this is correct, but classical key sequence F9-C-C for comparing the directories does not work. A key remapping mechanism is badly needed.
Note: Windows Commander has been renamed to Total Commander.
Mar 06, 2015 | The Guardian
Hillary Clinton has been on the defensive this week over the revelation that she exclusively used a private email account while serving as secretary of state. The presumptive 2016 presidential candidate has tried to douse the flames, but key questions about the controversy remain unaddressed.
Where are the missing emails?
Two months ago, a team of Clinton people combed through a vast stack of her emails – from the period covering 2009 to 2013, when she served as America's top diplomat. Having reviewed the emails, they handed over 55,000 pages to the State Department.
... ... ..
That begs the question: how many pages did she not hand over? More importantly, what did they contain?
... ... ...
But we still don't know who those advisers were, and whether they had any training in the art of preserving official records.
So: who vetted the Clinton emails? Why should they be trusted to preserve something as precious to the nation as its historic records?
... ... ...
Why was email vetting even permitted?
The question of who vetted Clinton's emails before their transfer to the State Department raises another question: why was this allowed in the first place?
Since 2009, US government rules have been very clear on this subject. The National Archives and Records Administration stated categorically in that year – the first of Clinton's term as secretary – that "agencies that allow employees to send and receive official electronic mail messages using a system not operated by the agency must ensure that Federal records sent or received on such systems are preserved in the appropriate agency recordkeeping system."
Alas: why did senior State Department officials allow Clinton to override clear official rules? What role did Clinton herself play in circumventing the regulations?
Was the secret server secure?We now know that Team Clinton set up its own domain name, ClintonEmail.com, shortly before Hillary Clinton took up the job as secretary of state. It was linked to a "homebrew" server at her home in Chappaqua, New York.
Given that Clinton was dealing with highly sensitive diplomatic issues, and that President Obama has declared cybersecurity a top priority for the nation, one might have expected additional protection.
But simple tests conducted by experts suggest that the server's security shield was not particularly sophisticated – though neither was that of the State Department.
What was done to protect Clinton's private server from hacking attacks? Were any vulnerable loopholes cut off? Were state secrets at risk?
Republicans accuse Clinton of 'scheme to conceal' emails from public viewState Department officials do not expect 50,000 pages of email to be released for several months, as Clinton – a lone tweet aside – chooses to stay silent
Why did she do it?
Perhaps the most intriguing question that still hangs in the air – and one that the public may never have satisfactorily answered, much to the chagrin of Benghaziphiles – is the simplest: why would Hillary Clinton decide, in effect, to privatise her own official emails? Was it an innocent move made for the sake of convenience – one which Clinton supporters have emphasised was made by her predecessors and by leading Republican politicians?
Or: were the private emails a conscious manoeuvre? As watchdogs at the Sunlight Foundation put it: "There is shock at what Secretary Clinton did because the most likely explanation of her intent seems clear – she created a system designed to avoid accountability, potentially in violation of the law."
Hillary Clinton behaves very strangely on the background of Obama's statements about cybersecurity. We are used our authorities and special services are watching us through internet. FBI and other may read our e-mails, look through our accounts in social networks.
Actions of Hillary are too unpatriotic against the background of her applications for participation in presidential elections 2016. It is already known fact she was sponsored by foreign residents. It is crime.
Anyway she has something to conceal. I don't want Hillary to become our president. I know believe her as well as Obama. They have too many skeletons in the closet.
"Perhaps the most intriguing question that still hangs in the air" - "why would Hillary Clinton decide, in effect, to privatise her own official emails?"
That's also the easiest question to answer. And my five year old nephew figured it out: so people won't find out what was in the emails.
Theodore Svedberg -> osprey1957
It is not just the right that is alarmed over Hillary's actions but also many progressive Democrats. This is definitely not a manufactured scandal created by the Republicans but one created by Hillary herself. It reflects on her character and her belief she is above the rules that the rest of us must obey.
These are the basic questions I have. Should all elected and appointed govt officials have the right to privatize govt business, in effect removing it from the sunlight that democracy requires? I really don't understand why she would do something like this, why she thought conducting business using secure govt servers would be such a bad idea. Nor do I get how she got away with making govt records her personal property.
Additionally, wouldn't John Kerry have needed to review the communications of his predecessor? Typically when one starts a new job,reviewing the files of one's predecessor is the way you get up to speed.
Is anyone able to ask her these questions?
GrammaW -> macktan894
How soon we forget...bush (aka Karl Rove) used a private account for gov bus, and somehow 100s were 'lost'. Have they been found and turned over yet?
AistheWay -> macktan894
I agree with you about the gov't privatizing what should be public and transparent dealings. This issue is a major concern that requires immediate legislation. For example the outsourcing of prison "care". I have spoken to ex-inmates who have served time in these private correctional facilities and to my disgust found out that they (private prison company) basically denied inmates, of most if not all, of the rights mandated by federal/state statutes regarding prisoner treatment.
Under the guise of budget savings and tax cuts our politicians are once again attacking citizen's rights.
macktan894 -> AistheWay
Don't get me started on the criminal justice system. I'll just say here that what's going on in Ferguson is happening all over the country, mainly to poor people no matter the race. And it is disgusting. I suggest emergency donations to the ACLU since the govt clearly has no inclination to correct this injustice.
This is not analysis -- this is muck raking.
Was the secret server secure?
I'd say it was a far sight more secure than a government server. Frankly, I would not trust a government server. The more we know about cyber intrusions, the more I would argue government emails are at risk.
Besides -- the first thing Hillary detractors would do is look for quotes they could take out of context.
Besides -- given Snowden's revelations -- if we were tapping Merkel's phone, NSA probably has all of Hillary's emails. They may not want to divulge that fact but I will bet dollars to doughnuts that her emails are under government wraps right now.
terrible analysis -- is Guardian slipping? I don't see the Guardian in the same high regard as I did, say 12 month ago. Who left?
macktan894 -> SteveLight
It's not her decision to make. She may have some political fears about her job, but if her fears were that great, then she shouldn't have taken the job. She cannot privatize sensitive govt records. They aren't her property. If she's that fearful, she should just stay retired and not work for an open govt such as ours.
MaxBoson -> SteveLight
The muckrakers-the most famous of whom was Sinclair Lewis-were early twentieth-century American journalists who exposed corrupt politicians and robber-baron industrialists.
So If you want to call Ed Pilkington a muckracker, go ahead, it's a compliment I'm sure he will appreciate, even if he hasn't raked in any mud yet- the New York Times did that when it published the e-mail revelations. What the author has done is pose some very interesting questions, which, by your choice of the word "muckraking," you seem to think pose a danger to Hillary Clinton. I think they do, too.
Incredibly lazy reporting.
The server is not in Chappaqua. It is a service provided by Optimum, which offers both website and e-mail hosting. And, you can use any e-mail domain you like. http://www.ip-tracker.org/locator/ip-lookup.php?ip=184.108.40.206
Climb off the Edward Snowden Gravy Train, Guardian. Get back to doing real reporting.
macktan894 -> Corinne Marasco
Well, that's even worse. A Secretary of State shopping for a website and email hosting service to manage the govt.'s official records. Was this company certified by the govt as secure to handle the govt.'s sensitive official records?
chiefwiley -> macktan894
If people got personal, political, State Department, and Clinton charitable e-mails all from a single non-government account, that would deliver an interesting hidden message, too. It's all intermingled and interconnected with the Clintons.
Elton Johnson -> Corinne Marasco
"The server is not in Chappaqua."
I didn't realize they searched her home to determine this. Do you have a link to the story where they did?
Now it makes sense why Hillary continued to receive all those foreign contributions during her time as Secretary of State. She could make deals via e-mail and then destroy the evidence and nobody would know.
And her homebrew e-mail server was guarded by Secret Service agents using taxpayer dollars.
This story has larger implications other than severely harming her 2016 prospects. A home server is much more vulnerable to security attacks compared to one run by professionals with experience. As Sec. of State her emails would contain sensitive information. Her behavior places the U.S. at risk. Not a bright move on her part, but then again she failed the D.C. Bar exam so I guess it's not unexpected.
Those emails are not hers. They belong to all of us. Stop apologizing for her.
You couldn't be involved in this many blunders and scandals unless you were trying.
Regardless of how smart HRC may be, she is a magnet for scandals and blunders. If you are always having to explain why what you didn't isn't technically wrong, you're doing the wrong things. Stop expecting to get a pass every time, HRC.
en again she failed the D.C. Bar exam so I guess it's not unexpected.
Elton Johnson MillbrookNY
Her "intelligence" is a myth. She wants to be President yet she can't even come out and speak to the people on this matter?
She can't even manage her own mess, how can she be entrusted to manage the country?
JJHLH1 Elton Johnson
Hillary isn't very bright. Just look at all the gaffes she makes like saying they left the White House "dead broke".
She failed the D.C. Bar exam in 1973. Over 2/3 pass it. That's why she ended up in Arkansas.
I'll bet that Obama & Kerry where recipients of email from her account. Of course there is a cover story and cover up. Here it is in Black and White. (It is a felony)
Title 18 §641. Public money, property or records
Whoever embezzles, steals, purloins, or knowingly converts to his use or the use of another, or without authority, sells, conveys or disposes of any record, voucher, money, or thing of value of the United States or of any department or agency thereof, or any property made or being made under contract for the United States or any department or agency thereof; or
Whoever receives, conceals, or retains the same with intent to convert it to his use or gain, knowing it to have been embezzled, stolen, purloined or converted-
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; but if the value of such property in the aggregate, combining amounts from all the counts for which the defendant is convicted in a single case, does not exceed the sum of $1,000, he shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
The word "value" means face, par, or market value, or cost price, either wholesale or retail, whichever is greater.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 725; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(H), (L), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, §606(a), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3511; Pub. L. 108–275, §4, July 15, 2004, 118 Stat. 833.)
Homeland security? Start by looking inside Government where a the real criminals hide.
The biggest threat to our Republic is the very people who swore to serve it.
NSubramanian 12h ago
"Why was email vetting even permitted?"
Yes. In the context of Obama's desire for Net security, this is a crucial question and it deserves an honest reply.
However, where Hillary Clinton goes, the question seems to follow: "Was the vetting permitted? "Was the vetter authorised to vet?", destined never to be answered.
During her 2008 campaign for nomination, Hillary Clinton claimed greater fitness to be Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces because as the First Lady, she had fielded those dreaded 3 ' O Clock calls on the Red Phone which always meant nothing but trouble, apparently to vet them for seriousness before passing on the call to the President.
Neither Hillary nor her team chose to answer the logical question which an incredulous America asked "Who had authorised the First Lady to answer calls which came on the Red Phone?"
Husband Bill chose wisely to stay out of it.
She and her minions are obviously trying to hide how easy it was for she and her sisters (Rice, Power and Albright) to lie their way to an unprovoked war against Libya simply by baiting really dumb men always eager to have their military go destroy stuff and kill people. That war was initiated with nothing but a UN resolution specifying only an intent "to protect innocent life" from something that "might" happen, but was in fact intended from the very beginning to effect violent "regime change" by US military force (along with the usual British and French co-conspirators) under a phony "NATO" cover.
These women were able to circumvent the US Constitution and the US Congress based on an "emergency human rights" excuse that was entirely bogus. They did it solely to get a free ride on the naïve "Arab Spring" bandwagon and give Ms Clinton a "foreign policy accomplishment" for her planned 2016 presidential campaign. The only way to get the resolution passed by the UN Security Council - solely to establish a "humanitarian no-fly-zone" - was for those women and their minions to boldly lie to the American people, to the UN Security Council, to the Russians and to the Chinese, and then misuse the American people's military for their own self-serving domestic political agenda.
As soon as the resolution was passed, France and the UK, along with the US, went on the direct attack against Libyan forces trying to maintain some semblance of order in their own country, and killed far more people than those Libyan forces "might" have. It was indeed "clever" to attack a country only AFTER it had given up its weapons of mass destruction and was essentially defenseless against the far superior forces of "NATO" – which sent a powerful message to both Iran and North Korea about what happens AFTER you give up your nukes, what happens AFTER you play by all the rules demanded by the Americans.
And a whole range of "macho" men, even eager to send their military forth to destroy stuff and kill any suspicious people in sight, stupidly took the bait and joined the bandwagon like the predictable fools they are. All the "Four Sisters" had to do was toss some red meat over the kennel fence. And just behold the death and destruction they wrought with their bombs and the totally lawless playground for fanatical crazies they created right at Europe's underbelly. With zero adult consideration to "what comes next", it was all entirely predictable, thoroughly shameful, and completely self-defeating emotional nonsense by people trying to operate far beyond their competence levels.
How can a guy like Vladimir Putin witness the ignominious death of Gadhafi in a sewer pipe and NOT wonder if he and his own country are next? How can he not consider that it was a "defensive" anachronism still called "NATO" that relentlessly attacked another sovereign country for eight months – the same "NATO" ever eager to push its arrogantly offensive nose right up to the Kremlin gate? Why would he sit and wait for it to come, especially after being so shamefully lied to by those American women? The main thing that a single super-power status does for the women who own it is obviate the need for them to think.
There probably won't be a lot of people interested in pouring over THOSE embarrassing e-mails. Far too much potential for EVERYONE to get egg all over their own faces, the same people who for generations have reveled in righteous indignation over the unprovoked bombing of Pearl Harbor. It all makes me ashamed to be a professional American soldier.
Theodore Svedberg AmericanGrunt
Very good set of reasons why Hillary should never be President.
In 2007 as a Senator she thought differently - Hillary Clinton Bashes Bush Officials for Secret Email Accounts
Maybe she's also been secretly trying to start another war for arms profiteering, oil grabbing and Empire like the Bush Officials did...
harryboy -> WeThePeople
Or maybe shes just a hypocrite
WeThePeople -> harryboy
Your right, she is a hypocrite… but at least she's not responsible for a few hundred thousand dead humans and 5 million refugees not to mention the countless maimed and many tortured like the Bush Officials. Yet.
Some time ago, a friend of mine was hit by a bus in New York, one of almost 5,000 pedestrians killed in traffic every year. I also lost a nephew to gun violence — one of more than 11,000 Americans slain by firearms in this country. And I fell out of a tree that I was trying to prune in my backyard. I was O.K. But the guy next to me in the trauma ward was paralyzed from his fall. He was taking down his Christmas lights.
So it goes. Life is full of risk. Every day brings a minor calculation with the possibility of mortality: cross the street on red, get on a plane, jog in the heat.
It was encouraging, then, to watch the congressional debate this week over the Patriot Act, and realize that we are learning how to be afraid. At least, we're starting to put the infinitesimal risk of being killed by a terrorist in perspective.
Though a majority of Americans are still worried about an imminent terrorist attack in this country, the number of people who think such an assault will happen in their home area has dropped to the lowest figure in the post-9/11 period — 16 percent.
This is a good start. But the fear-industrial complex continues to dominate national priorities. Over the last 14 years, the enormous apparatus that has been built up to combat terrorism — huge structural changes in American society, and a lock-hold on the federal budget — has grown only more outsize and out of proportion to the actual threat.
You've heard it before, but it bears repeating: You are much more likely to be struck dead by lightning, choke on a chicken bone or drown in the bathtub than be killed by a terrorist. Any number of well-known diseases — cancer, diabetes, the flu — take the lives of far, far more people. Yet, by one estimate, the United States spends $500 million per victim of terrorism, and a piddling $10,000 per cancer death.
Since the 9/11 attacks, taxpayers have squandered about $1.6 trillion in the so-called global war on terror — which doesn't include money for the feckless Department of Homeland Security.
Most of us are going to live to the actuarial average of 78, and never experience terrorism as anything other than the energy drink that keeps Wolf Blitzer going in the absence of real news. (This week, he was breathless over an apparent hoax, while "Breaking News: Airline threats not credible" flashed on the screen, contradicting his reason for doing the story.)
Consider the various threats to life. The sun, for starters. The incidence of melanoma, the most lethal form of skin cancer, has doubled in the last 30 years. More than 9,000 Americans now die every year from this common cancer. I also lost a friend — 30 years old, father of two — to malignant melanoma.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death, just behind heart disease. Together, they kill more than a million people in this country, followed by respiratory diseases, accidents and strokes. Then comes Alzheimer's, which kills 84,000 Americans a year. And yet, total federal research money on Alzheimer's through the National Institutes of Health was $562 million last year.
To put that in perspective, we spent almost 20 times that amount — somewhere around $10 billion — on the National Security Agency, the electronic snoops who monitor everyday phone records. For the rough equivalent of funding a breakthrough in Alzheimer's, the government has not prevented a single terrorist attack, according to a 2014 report on the telephone-gathering colossus at the N.S.A.
People who text and drive are certainly a lethal threat. Every day, nine Americans are killed and 1,153 are injured by distracted drivers, though not all of them are checking their smartphones. If Wolf Blitzer spent a week on each of those victims, the rush of politicians calling for reform would be a stampede.
Food is a mortal menace. Every year, one in six Americans gets sick, and 3,000 die from food-borne illness. Your burger is a bigger threat than radical Islam.
You can blame the media, particularly cable news, for misplaced fear and budgets. CNN is the worst. Politicians do whatever they can to get cable time, and complaining about the paltry amount of money given to Parkinson's disease ($139 million a year) will not get you in the "Situation Room."
Some politicians are all fear, all the time. The Cheneys, father Dick and daughter Liz, are deeply, darkly, desperately afraid, and think we should be, too. Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the latest why-not-me candidates for president, seems to live in a hyperbaric chamber of imaginary nightmares. He famously said we needed to send troops to Syria — now! — "before we all get killed back here at home."
Don't get me wrong: Radical Islam is a serious threat, a poison on the globe. Hats off to the police in Boston for tracking the latest religiously infected potential killer. But we should put the threat in perspective: This is not World War II. Our entire democracy does not teeter on the outcome.
So what should you be afraid of? Are you sitting down? Get up — you shouldn't be. Sitting for more than three hours a day can shave life expectancy by two years, through increased risk of heart disease or Type 2 diabetes. "A lot of doctors think sitting is the new cancer," said Tim Cook, the Apple C.E.O.
It was an overstatement, and he probably meant to compare sitting to smoking, not cancer. But still, the War on Sitting would be welcome, if for no other reason than to give some legitimate fears a chance.
Obviously it is all about the money. The terrorists are the perfect enemy. Infinitely better than the former Soviet Union. Unlike the Soviets, the terrorists pose no real threat; they can't really hurt us; but they can never be defeated. It makes me sick.
Even the threat of the Soviets was over blown, all the better to divert trillions of dollars to the military industrial complex.
FEAR is one of the oldest selling points for tyranny (which, to be clear, is usually voted into office, at least initially). First comes "Be afraid," followed by, "We will protect you" with expanded police powers, from NSA to your local pistol-packin' PD.
False claims of enemies, from within or without, are a particular hallmark of the right (but not exclusively). When fears are fed, coaxed, and encouraged until they grow up into paranoia, extremism is a common result of irrationality. Remember "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice?"
Examples abound: Texans who insist everyone has the right -- and, by implication, would all be safer if they exercised the right -- to carry pistols in holsters on their hips while on college campuses, on freeways, in bars, in Walmarts and in church ... did I hear nursery schools on the list? To quote one leading Texas politician repeatedly elected to high state office: "There are three things I advise everyone to do: 1. pack a pistol; 2. Take it out of its holster upon provocation; and 3., well, I can't remember the third thing just now ... but I advise everyone to do it."
craig geary, redlands, fl
To hear Dick Cheney, Lindsay Graham and Oops Perry pimp perpetual war is a bad joke. Their qualifications?
Cheney is a Viet Nam draft dodging coward.
Graham, the warrior lawyer, able to kill platoons of ISIS with a single writ, will or divorce petition.
Perry, a literal guy cheerleader, exactly like Reagan, Boy George, Willard Mitty, who hid out in ROTC to expressly avoid Viet Nam, to dodge going to war, exactly like Reagan, Boy George and Willard Mitty.
The leading cheerleaders for perpetual war. Not one of whom has been in a war. But lusting to play tough guys by sending other people's children to suffer and die at something they are too cowardly to do themselves.
Despicable human beings.
Thank you Mr. Egan!!! Ten years ago, no one would have dared to write this column. The fact that you can write this tells me that the post 911 hysteria has started to pass.
Yesterday, Lyndsey Graham asserted that ISIS is a major threat to America. That is an absurd statement designed to exploit the fears of the nation. ISIS has about 31 thousand troops ( consider that Syria has about 300,000 troops ). It only survives in failed states like Iraq, Syria and Libya. Despite it's shocking brutality, ISIS has a very limited ability to launch attacks in America.
Yet, we will spend Billions of dollars in response to the hysteria. Politicians manipulate public fear for their own advantage. Thank you for sticking a pin in the fear balloon.
Mary Scott, is a trusted commenter NY 14 hours ago
The "fear-industrial complex" fuels increased spending on our military-industrial complex, which now claims a whopping 50% of ALL discretionary spending. Keeping Americans in a constant state of fear is also an effective way of diverting their attention from our crumbling infrastructure, income inequality and every other problem that affects the lives of millions of Americans every year.
Many pundits are predicting the 2016 presidential election will be more about foreign policy than anything else. Expect to be terrorized by the politicians and the MSM in the weeks and months ahead. Fear wins elections and keeps the press/media flush with cash.
Socrates, Verona, N.J. 12 hours ago
Fear, paranoia, propaganda and moneyed 'speech' is the entire Republican electoral strategy.
Without those precious ingredients to disrupt the neurotransmissions of its Republican voter base, no one except the Kochs, Donald Trump, Sheldon Adelson and a few white supremacists would vote Republican.
The only thing the Republican Party fears is a lack of fear in the American voter.... and the elimination of money as 'speech'.
I was in middle school (~50 yrs ago), fond of parroting my father's conservative view of Vietnam (bomb them out of existence) and mocking the timid left when I read an essay pointing out that it was the right that was fearful (or exploited fear) - communism, militant blacks, liberal ideas ... - and the left that was essentially unworried about those threats (they had others, of course). That was an epiphany for me. Evolution has given us the ability to be fearful, but it overdid it - we can be too easily manipulated by our fears, and people, businesses, and governments do so to advantage themselves. If someone tells you to be afraid, you must ask how they themselves benefit.
ctflyfisher, Danbury, CT
As a psychotherapist, I couldn't agree with you more. There are some things to fear in our world, but terrorism is among the minor threats. We have much more to fear from how technology is the tail wagging the dog, and not something we decide. We have a rapidly disappearing middle class, an unpredictable path to succeed in being financially independent, an infrastructure that is crumbling all around us, a Congress that is insulated from the American people, and a political process that is about buying votes not democracy.
Rob Porter, PA 13 hours ago
"The fear-industrial complex." Thank you for putting a label on the conservatives' favorite tool.
For decades it was the "commies" we had to fear and overfund an endless war against. Remember how that morphed immediately into the "war on drugs" in the mid-80s when it became clear that the "commies" were even worse at running a country than Republicans? Lots of money funneled into that war. Lots of fear generated. Now the drums beat out their anxious rumble against "terrorism" despite its killing fewer Americans than falling down stairs (1200/yr).
And I have complete certainty that the Republicans will have a new fear ready to unleash when this one wears out its welcome. I don't know what it will be, but I do know it will keep the money flowing and the herd clumped in a fearful bunch, voting to keep the snarling sheepdogs circling, chasing away phantoms.
AT, media, pa
Scared people are easy to manipulate.
You can point to the "other" as the cause of whatever they're afraid of, thereby dividing what should be allies and encouraging people to vote against their economic interests in order to vote for what they feel is "protecting their way of life".You can come up with highly intrusive and military type programs to "keep people safe" so that those people thank you for taking away their civil liberties. You can pump up ratings with "breaking news" about something, anything that could possibly imperil the public so you can increase your ad rates. You can provide personal protection services and sell survivalist food packages and gold to those who ready themselves for the coming collapse of society- people who will buy $1000 worth of dehydrated soup to keep in their basement but will complain bitterly about having to pay $100 a month to have health insurance.
Sadly, since so much of the fear merchants' power and money depend on the American public being afraid all the time, there's no incentive to tell people the truth or to educate them as to how to find the truth themselves.
June 4, 2015 | NYTimes.com
MOSCOW — TWO years ago today, three journalists and I worked nervously in a Hong Kong hotel room, waiting to see how the world would react to the revelation that the National Security Agency had been making records of nearly every phone call in the United States. In the days that followed, those journalists and others published documents revealing that democratic governments had been monitoring the private activities of ordinary citizens who had done nothing wrong.
Within days, the United States government responded by bringing charges against me under World War I-era espionage laws. The journalists were advised by lawyers that they risked arrest or subpoena if they returned to the United States. Politicians raced to condemn our efforts as un-American, even treasonous.
Privately, there were moments when I worried that we might have put our privileged lives at risk for nothing — that the public would react with indifference, or practiced cynicism, to the revelations.
Never have I been so grateful to have been so wrong.
Two years on, the difference is profound. In a single month, the N.S.A.'s invasive call-tracking program was declared unlawful by the courts and disowned by Congress. After a White House-appointed oversight board investigation found that this program had not stopped a single terrorist attack, even the president who once defended its propriety and criticized its disclosure has now ordered it terminated.
This is the power of an informed public.
Ending the mass surveillance of private phone calls under the Patriot Act is a historic victory for the rights of every citizen, but it is only the latest product of a change in global awareness. Since 2013, institutions across Europe have ruled similar laws and operations illegal and imposed new restrictions on future activities. The United Nations declared mass surveillance an unambiguous violation of human rights. In Latin America, the efforts of citizens in Brazil led to the Marco Civil, an Internet Bill of Rights. Recognizing the critical role of informed citizens in correcting the excesses of government, the Council of Europe called for new laws to protect whistle-blowers.
Beyond the frontiers of law, progress has come even more quickly. Technologists have worked tirelessly to re-engineer the security of the devices that surround us, along with the language of the Internet itself. Secret flaws in critical infrastructure that had been exploited by governments to facilitate mass surveillance have been detected and corrected. Basic technical safeguards such as encryption — once considered esoteric and unnecessary — are now enabled by default in the products of pioneering companies like Apple, ensuring that even if your phone is stolen, your private life remains private. Such structural technological changes can ensure access to basic privacies beyond borders, insulating ordinary citizens from the arbitrary passage of anti-privacy laws, such as those now descending upon Russia.
Though we have come a long way, the right to privacy — the foundation of the freedoms enshrined in the United States Bill of Rights — remains under threat. Some of the world's most popular online services have been enlisted as partners in the N.S.A.'s mass surveillance programs, and technology companies are being pressured by governments around the world to work against their customers rather than for them. Billions of cellphone location records are still being intercepted without regard for the guilt or innocence of those affected. We have learned that our government intentionally weakens the fundamental security of the Internet with "back doors" that transform private lives into open books. Metadata revealing the personal associations and interests of ordinary Internet users is still being intercepted and monitored on a scale unprecedented in history: As you read this online, the United States government makes a note.
Spymasters in Australia, Canada and France have exploited recent tragedies to seek intrusive new powers despite evidence such programs would not have prevented attacks. Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain recently mused, "Do we want to allow a means of communication between people which we cannot read?" He soon found his answer, proclaiming that "for too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: As long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone."
At the turning of the millennium, few imagined that citizens of developed democracies would soon be required to defend the concept of an open society against their own leaders.
Yet the balance of power is beginning to shift. We are witnessing the emergence of a post-terror generation, one that rejects a worldview defined by a singular tragedy. For the first time since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, we see the outline of a politics that turns away from reaction and fear in favor of resilience and reason. With each court victory, with every change in the law, we demonstrate facts are more convincing than fear. As a society, we rediscover that the value of a right is not in what it hides, but in what it protects.
Edward J. Snowden, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer and National Security Agency contractor, is a director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation.
Dan Whittet, New England
A democracy cannot abandon it's responsibility to consider the rights and freedom of it's citizens as the highest purpose of law. When an agency assumes to protect with secrets and monitor the very people it has been paid and entrusted, to protect, the contract with the public is broken. Mass surveillance is a tool of the totalitarian state and does not belong in a free society, it's effectiveness is not the issue.
Greg Day, New Zealand
Privacy is something that is often ignored, treated as a right but without having true value. The true value is only appreciated when it has gone.
The surveillance society has not gone away, indeed, it will only progress as technology becomes more adapt at tracking us, detecting the softest of footprints, both in the real world and online. However, at least we're talking about it now.
I'm not sure how the US views you Edward, but I at least consider you have done a service to humanity. Thank you.
MCS, New York 18 hours ago
Mr. Snowden, you've been called a man without a country. But you're more accurately a man without a generation. Your generation who voluntarily live their lives tapping senseless bits of information about their self inflated lives onto apps for the world to own. All this while people go to war, people suffer, innocent people are killed, fundamental human dignities are abused. Yet, hardly a blip of a response at all from this anti-activist generation. It is the generation of people in their 40's and 50's that are demanding change.
The Facebook generation aren't socially nor politically active. They're self absorbed group of anti-intellects in a race to the bottom. In fact, I find it hypocritical that anyone from that generation should be outraged over government intrusion when a mass of them are positively hooked on social media, posting every excruciatingly boring detail of their lives, details that seem to know no boundaries.
We have a growing problem on our hand, a divide not only between haves and have nots, but secular and religious societies respectively. The admirable beliefs you stand by, beliefs that changed the course of your life, don't offer an answer to what to do about a multiplying population of angry extremists raised in countries that guarantee no freedoms at all for its citizens. They will exploit our demands for privacy to cause great harm one day. A balance in your theories, not extreme suspicion of government is what's needed here.
Anne Hills, Portland, Maine 14 hours ago
I'd argue that Snowden's best quote is: "Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say."
I feel that the NRA has perhaps been the most effective organization in history at convincing their members that a "slippery slope" is to be feared above all things, and that the loss of even the smallest gun rights for the most worthwhile of reasons, is in fact unacceptable.
We need their kind of effectiveness in spreading understanding to all Americans who don't get it yet - that there is in fact a dangerous slippery slope when fundamental freedoms are truly lost. Your right to private letters, private conversations is not about hiding criminal acts, it's about preventing people in positions of authority from being able to manipulate you or the person you would elect or the person you have already elected. An all-knowing government has historically been oppressive. Why oh why do people fail to see that it could happen to us? It's the "it happens to others but not me" mentality.
Thank you so very much Mr. Snowden. Unless President Obama is being threatened by the NSA not to, let's hope that he will pardon Mr. Snowden. I can't think of anyone in American history more deserving due to service to his countrymen.
Arthur Layton, Mattapoisett, MA 18 hours ago
The idea that we can live private lives is absurd. If you use a cell phone, someone knows where you are (or have been) and records who you called. If you use a credit card, there is a permanent record of the date, time and location of your purchase. And video cameras are everywhere, from bank lobbies to grocery store, gas stations and office buildings.
If you want privacy today, stop using your cell phone. Pay cash for your purchases, "unregister" to vote and don't renew your driver's license.
May 07, 2015 | NYTimes.com
There is a lot to praise in the powerful ruling issued by a three-judge federal appeals panel in New York on Thursday, which held that the government's vast, continuing and, until recently, secret sweep of Americans' phone records is illegal.
But perhaps the most important message the unanimous decision sends is a simple one: Congress could not have intended to approve a program whose true scope almost no one outside the National Security Agency fully comprehended — that is, until Edward Snowden leaked its details to the world.
In the nearly two years since those revelations shocked America and started a heated debate on the proper balance of privacy and national security, the N.S.A., which conducts the data sweeps, has defended its actions by contending that Congress knew exactly what it was doing when it reauthorized the Patriot Act in 2010 and 2011, after the collection program had begun.
At issue before the appeals panel was Section 215 of the act, which permits the government to collect information that is "relevant" to terrorism investigations. But the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, at the urging of the N.S.A., has interpreted "relevant" so broadly that it gives the government essentially unlimited power to collect all phone and other types of data.
In fighting this lawsuit, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union immediately after the Snowden leaks, the government argued that Congress was apparently fine with this alarmingly broad interpretation.
The problem, as Judge Gerard Lynch of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals rightly pointed out in his 97-page opinion, is that "it is a far stretch to say that Congress was aware" of what the intelligence court was doing. To the contrary, Judge Lynch wrote, "knowledge of the program was intentionally kept to a minimum, both within Congress and among the public," and there was "no opportunity for broad discussion" about whether the court's interpretation was correct. Allowing the government to define "relevant" so loosely, he said, "would be an unprecedented contraction of the privacy expectations of all Americans."
It is particularly galling that the government cannot even point to evidence that any terrorist attack has been thwarted by the collection of all this data. But even if it could, the panel said, "we would expect such a momentous decision to be preceded by substantial debate, and expressed in unmistakable language."
For too long that debate did not happen, nor could it, since the intelligence court operated in near-total secrecy. Now, thanks to Mr. Snowden (who still lives in exile in Russia), the debate is well underway, and not a moment too soon, since Congress is debating reauthorization of Section 215, which is scheduled to expire on June 1.
Bipartisan bills in both houses would amend the law to cut back on domestic phone-data sweeps, but they do not address bulk collection of overseas calls, which could include information about Americans, and they do not establish an advocate to represent the public's interest before the intelligence court.
Without such an advocate, Judge Robert Sack wrote in a concurring opinion, the court "may be subject to the understandable suspicion that, hearing only from the government, it is likely to be strongly inclined to rule for the government."
Unfortunately, even modest reforms face resistance from top Republicans, including the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, who on Thursday called for the law to be renewed without change. In doing so, they ignored a ruling that is the most important rebuke yet of the government's abuses under that law.
ScottW, is a trusted commenter Chapel Hill, NC 1 hour ago
We must never forget the government lied to us about spying on Americans before Snowden blew the whistle. Director of Intel James Clapper admitted he lied to the People when he testified under oath the NSA was not collecting data from American's calls. When he lied, Congress knew it, the President knew it and Clapper knew it.
Snowden exposed the lie and the government immediately indicted him while Obama expressed support for Clapper who lied to the public.
Why should we ever trust what the government tells us about surveillance programs? Why is James Clapper still receiving a taxpayer's check after lying to us? Why doesn't Pres. Obama get it -- you don't lie and get away with it?
Oh yah, Pres. Obama knew he was lying when he testified and was hoping he could get away with it.
Thank you Mr. Snowden for exposing the lies perpetrated on the public. In a just World, Clapper would be indicted and you would be welcomed home as a Patriot. But as you know first hand, we don't live in a just world.
Thank you Mr. Snowden for exposing the liars for who they are.
RC, is a trusted commenter MN 2 hours ago
Good editorial; the unconstitutional surveillance of all domestic communications, not just phone records, should now be addressed.
Holding the politicians who authorize and support unconstitutional surveillance accountable might help to end the massive wasting of taxpayer dollars on these inefficient activities, which diverts funds from more productive programs that would benefit the security of our country.
Apr 06, 2015 | Izvestia
... ... ..
The term "fascism" was initially defined as a local phenomenon - the regime of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. Later, the term changed its meaning and has become synonymous with Nazism (national socialism) of the Third Reich. During 1950-1990-Western political science began to call fascism any repressive regime and introduced the term "totalitarianism". This was done in order to combine Nazism and communism, those two social phenomenon were ideologically polar and has had a different social base despite using similar cruel methods.--[ I do not see much difference in enslavement via Gulag with ensavement via decration of undermench -- NNB] In one case, the the driving force was large industrialists and the middle class, in another - mostly the urban poor and part of intelligencia, especially Jewish intelligencia.
The theory of binary totalitarianism has no serious scientific status. The term "fascism" has now been returned to its historical meaning. It is a synonym of racism and all of its varieties - crops-racism (the idea of cultural superiority), the social racism (the idea of social inequality as the nature of this division of people into masters and slaves), etc.
Usually researchers try to distill the signs of fascism. For example, the Italian philosopher Umberto Eco counted 14. But this approach only blurs the subject. The myth of superiority is a key symptom. The rest is optional. Additional definitions are generated by the desire to "attach" to fascism more than that.
For example, "nationalism". Normal people are proud of their nation and its culture, but do not seek to destroy other peoples. This is the difference between nationalism and Nazism.
Or "traditionalism". If fascism were based in the traditions of the peoples, then some nations would have dwelt for centuries in the fascist state of fever. Tradition is the enemy of the "voice of blood", and there is no logic of exclusion of other people in traditions, while fascism lives this logic . Not coincidentally, he is associated with the Protestant line in Christianity and its idea of "chosen for salvation". Apart from the idea of exclusiveness, fascism is born with the spirit of renewal, the destruction of the weak and "unnecessary" for the sake of winning power, novelty and rationality. I repeat: tradition is the main enemy of fascism.
The idea of a strong state accompanies fascism, but does not define it. The Olympics of 1936, "Olympia" by Leni Riefenstahl are symbols of a strong statehood. But Hitler's fascism was not defined by the Olympics, but by the Nuremberg racial laws, summary execution of Slavs, Jews and Gypsies, the plans of the colonization of the Eastern territories.
Yes, the war of 1941-1945 was the war between two authoritarian States, but only from the German side it was an ethnic war. There were no intentions to carry out the genocide of "inferior Aryans" in minds of Soviet soldiers or Joseph Stalin.
In Europe in recent decades, it was fashionable to talk about fascism as "a reaction to Bolshevism". Indeed, the growing influence of leftist ideas in Europe in the first half of the twentieth century caused activation of right-wing forces. But the roots of fascism are more ancient then Marxist and Bolshevik. Fascism arose as a justification for colonial expansion. Hitler didn't invent anything new. He just moved to the center of Europe bloody colonialist methods of the British, the French, the Spaniards, and made the destruction of people fast and technically perfect: gas chambers, mass graves. In a way fascism is application of colonial methods to the part of population of the country, internal colonization so to speak.
The regime of the 1930-ies in Germany is the legitimate child of the European liberal capitalism. But this conclusion is seriously injures European sense of identity. That's why this statement is a strict taboo in the West --[not really, the hypothesis of intrinsic connection of fascism with European (colonial) culture are pretty common --NNB]. But the truth eventually comes out. Authors from European left now more frequently touch this connection and try to develop this hypothesis.
Today we are witnessing a return to archaization of neoliberal society and slide of neoliberalism into "new barbarism." Hence the reasoning of the European politicians about Ukraine as an "Outpost of civilization". However, the assertion that Russia "does not meet democratic standards", those days unlikely will deceive anyone. Euphemisms is a product of distortion of the language, not political reality. This phrase marks Russia as a "defective" state, inhabited by "inferior" people - "watniks", "colorado bugs". Neo-fascist model within the framework of liberalism is often built by shifting the boundaries of tolerance. To some people tolerance applies, to other - no. The protection of the rights of one group in this case means the destruction of the rights of another.
Political myth about the deep opposition between liberalism and Nazism have always refuted by independent historians. Today this myth is completely discredited.
There are obvious interplay and close relationship between the two ideas - fascist and liberal - obviously. They both go back to the idea of natural selection, transferred to human society. In other words, the strongest must survive at the expense of the weakest. this doctrine is often called "Social Darwinism". Indeed, the principle of "preservation of the fittest races", transposed into social sciences, resulted in the adoption of the Nuremberg laws designed to protect the "purity of race and blood" - the "law of the citizen of the Reich" and "Law on the protection of German blood and German honor."
The return of fascism is a symptom of a certain historical tendencies. To such radical measures economic elites resort only for the postponement of the final world crisis. But in the end it is fascism that might again bring Western societies to the wedge of collapse.
October 27, 2014 | Crooked Timber
I've an article in the new issue of The National Interest looking at various liberal critiques of Snowden and Greenwald, and finding them wanting. CT readers will have seen some of the arguments in earlier form; I think that they're stronger when they are joined together (and certainly they should be better written; it's nice to have the time to write a proper essay). I don't imagine that the various people whom I take on will be happy, but they shouldn't be; they're guilty of some quite wretched writing and thinking. More than anything else, like Corey I'm dismayed at the current low quality of mainstream liberal thinking. A politician wishes for her adversaries to be stupid, that they will make blunders. An intellectual wishes for her adversaries to be brilliant, that they will find the holes in her own arguments and oblige her to remedy them. I aspire towards the latter, not the former, but I'm not getting my wish.Over the last fifteen months, the columns and op-ed pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post have bulged with the compressed flatulence of commentators intent on dismissing warnings about encroachments on civil liberties. Indeed, in recent months soi-disant liberal intellectuals such as Sean Wilentz, George Packer and Michael Kinsley have employed the Edward Snowden affair to mount a fresh series of attacks. They claim that Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and those associated with them neither respect democracy nor understand political responsibility.These claims rest on willful misreading, quote clipping and the systematic evasion of crucial questions. Yet their problems go deeper than sloppy practice and shoddy logic.
Rich Puchalsky 10.27.14 at 11:03 pm
"Yet this does not disconcert much of the liberal media elite. Many writers who used to focus on bashing Bush for his transgressions now direct their energies against those who are sounding alarms about the pervasiveness of the national-security state."
It's not just the elite. I can't wait for the Lawyers, Guns, and Money get-out-the-vote drive. We'll have to see whether the slogan is "Vote, Stupid Purity Trolls" or "The Lesser Evil Commands". Maybe just two-tone signs labeling their target voters "Dope" and "Deranged".
Dr. Hilarius 10.27.14 at 11:44 pm
An excellent analysis and summation.
Any defense of the national security state requires the proponent to show, at a minimum, that the present apparatus is competent at its task. Having lived through Vietnam, the Gulf Wars, Iraq and Afghanistan (not to mention many smaller governmental adventures) I see no evidence of competence. Instead, it's repetitive failures of analysis and imagination no matter how much raw intelligence is gathered.
Nor is there any evidence that existing oversight mechanisms function as intended. Recent revelations about the CIA spying on the Senate should be enough to dispel the idea that leakers have no role to play.
Kinsley is particularly loathsome. His position is little more than "your betters know best" and that the state's critics are guttersnipes needing to be kicked to the curb. Kinsley doesn't need a coherent position, his goal is to be a spokesman for the better sorts, nothing more.
Collin Street 10.27.14 at 11:53 pm
Any defense of the national security state requires the proponent to show, at a minimum, that the present apparatus is competent at its task
Dunning-Kruger, innit. There are actually pretty good reasons to believe that strategic intelligence-gathering is pretty much pointless (because your strategic limitations and abilities by-definition permeate your society and are thus clearly visible through open sources), so you'd expect in that case that the only people who'd support secret strategic intelligence-gathering would be people who don't have a fucking clue.
[specifically, I suspect that secret strategic intelligence gathering is particularly attractive to people who lack the ability to discern people's motivations and ability through normal face-to-face channels and the like…
… which is to say people with empathy problems. Which is something that crops up in other contexts and may help explain certain political tendencies intelligence agencies tend to share.]
Thornton Hall 10.28.14 at 12:03 am
This sentence is false and a willful distortion mixing legality and politics to elide the basic fact that the Justice Department has not prosecuted anyone who did not break the law:
The continued efforts of U.S. prosecutors to redefine the politics of leaking so as to indict journalists as well as their sources suggest that Greenwald had every right to be worried and angry.
Meanwhile, ever since Mark Felt blew the whistle on a psychopath and the result was the deification of Bob Woodward, the American elite has been utterly confused about the role of journalism in a democracy.
That your essay mixes Professor Wilentz with the father of #Slatepitch, and an archetypical "even the liberal New Republic…" journalist as if they all had the same job description is part and parcel of this ongoing inability to separate the job of selling newspapers from the job of public intellectual.
Glenn Greenwald is a "journalist" crank who is simply not in a category that overlaps with Daniel Ellsberg. Snowden is in the same category as Ellsberg, and Packer is right to note that he does not compare particularly well. But then Packer's analysis failed to explain why Snowden needed the judgment and gravitas of Ellsburg. And it was a side point in any case, because Packer's actual thesis was the sublimely stupid point that only "objective" journalism can be trusted to do leaks right.
The other unfortunate confusion I see in the essay is the mixing of domestic and foreign policy. There is not a single thing about the New Deal that informs opinion about Edward Snowden. Nothing. What does regulating poultry production have to do with killing Iraqis? What does the Civilian Conservation Core have to do with drone strikes in Pakistan? The Four Freedom speech was a pivot from domestic to foreign policy given in 1941. Freedom from Want was the New Deal. Freedom of Speech was about the looming conflict with fascism, not domestic policy.
Both confusions–the failure to recognize journalists as pawns selling newspapers and the failure to understand that foreign policy and liberalism do not have to be linked–result when the blind spots of the press and the academy overlap. In areas where journalists and the academy provide checks and balances to each other they tend to do well. Edward Snowden represents the apex of the overlap between academic and journalistic obsessions, and so no one is there to say: "Hey, the top freedom concerns of journalists and professors are not synonymous with freedom writ large or with liberalism.
Daniel Nexon 10.28.14 at 12:48 am
Liked the piece, even though we probably come down differently on some of the merits.
I wonder if the explanation isn't simpler. A number of what you term "national security liberals" have served in government and held clearances. Many of them — and here I include myself — took seriously that obligation. And so there's a certain degree of innate discomfort with the whole business of leaks, let alone those that don't seem narrowly tailored. Wikileaks was not. Snowden's leaks included par-for-the-course foreign-intelligence gathering (and this sets aside his escape to Hong Kong and subsequent decision to accept asylum from the Russia Federation).
I recognize that there's a larger argument that you've made about how the trans-nationalization of intelligence gathering — centered on the US — changes the moral equation for some of these considerations. I don't want to debate that claim here. The point is that you can be a civil-liberties liberal, believe that some of the disclosures have served the public interest, and still feel deeply discomforted with the cast of characters.
Rich Puchalsky 10.28.14 at 1:07 am
"still feel deeply discomforted with the cast of characters"
We need better leakers — leakers who honor their promises not to reveal inside information. Leakers who don't leak.
Not like that unsavory character, Daniel Ellsberg, who I hear had to see a psychiatrist.
Barry 10.28.14 at 1:09 am
" Indeed, in recent months soi-disant liberal intellectuals such as Sean Wilentz, George Packer and Michael Kinsley …"
Kinsley is a hack who occasionally coins a good term. At 'Even the Liberal' New Republic, he was a biddable wh*re for a vile man, Peretz. At Slate, he took the same attitude, preferring snark to truth, and built it into the foundations.
Packer is not an intellectual, either. He's a cheerleader for war who has just enough give-a-sh*t to right a book explaining the problems, long after it was clear to others that things had failed.
I don't know much about Sean Wilentz, except that he's a long time 'cultural editor' at 'Even the Liberal' New Republic under Peretz, which is a strike against him. Heck, it's two strikes.
BTW, after Watergate, the press did know its role in democracy – the elites are really against it. IIRC, Whatshername the owner of the WaPo actually praised 'responsible journalism' not too long afterwards.
Sev 10.28.14 at 1:58 am
#4 From a different era, the NYT story on use of Nazis by US spy agencies:
"In Connecticut, the C.I.A. used an ex-Nazi guard to study Soviet-bloc postage stamps for hidden meanings."
A certain skepticism, at least, than and now, seem fully justified.
Matt 10.28.14 at 2:48 am
I don't think that even the most transparent, democratic, public decision making process among American citizens can legitimately decide that German or Indian citizens cannot have privacy. If in Bizarro World that makes me illiberal, then I will be illiberal.
Losing the capability to conduct mass electronic surveillance is akin to losing the capability to make nerve gas or weaponized anthrax spores. It's a good thing no matter who loses the capability, or how loudly hawks cry about the looming Atrocity Gap with rival powers. It would be a better world if Russia and China also suffered massive, embarrassing leaks about their surveillance systems akin to the Snowden leaks. But a world where there's only embarrassing leaks about the USA and allies is better than a world with no leaks at all. Better yet, the same technical and legal adaptations that can make spying by the USA more difficult will also make Americans safer against spying efforts originating from China and Russia. It's upsides all the way down.
John Quiggin 10.28.14 at 2:57 am
""I can see C as justified but not decamping to Hong Kong and Russia.""
Again, given the fact that the "right" people are immune from prosecution for any crimes they commit in the course of politics (other than sexual indiscretations and individual, as opposed to corporate, financial wrongdoing) this seems like a pretty hypocritical distinction. Those involved in torture, from the actual waterboarders up to Bush and Cheney, don't have to think about fleeing the US – indeed, the only (small) risk they face is in travelling to a jurisdiction where the rule of law applies to them.
For the wrong people on the other hand, there are no reliable legal protections at all. On recent precedent they could be declared "enemy combatants", held incommunicado, tortured and, at least arguably, executed by military courts. This would require a reversal of stated policy by the Obama Administration, but that's a pretty weak barrier.
bad Jim 10.28.14 at 4:31 am
It's far from clear that the massive expansion of surveillance has actually been of any use. The West hasn't faced any strategic threats since the end of the Cold War, and even the Soviet threat was almost certainly less than we feared. Someone once remarked of the intelligence-gathering efforts of that era, "It's difficult to discover the intentions of a state which doesn't know its own intentions."
We seem to have been surprised by recent developments in the Middle East and by Russian actions in Crimea and Ukraine; more to the point, it's not necessarily clear how we can or should respond. It may be that the massive apparatus in place is unable to acquire the information we desire. It's not clear that better information would actually be useful.
dsquared 10.28.14 at 4:53 am
I always thought it would be instructive to compare the views of the "national security liberals" with a test case. What, for example, do they have to say about the other North American government which operates a grisly system of unregulated political prisons in the island of Cuba, but tries to portray itself as progressive because of its (admittedly excellent) record of providing healthcare to the poor?
William Timberman 10.28.14 at 5:34 am
I think one point could be made a little more explicitly. Beginning in the late Thirties, without a great deal of serious concern for the possible consequences, the machinery of the social welfare state in the U.S., such as it was, was gradually repurposed to serve the national security state, and from 1947 or so to the present, the pace of that repurposing has rarely slackened. One can argue about how much of it was attributable to intent, and how much to circumstance, how much or how little bad faith it took to complete the conversion, but there's little doubt that it's now largely over and done with, and that the consequences are there to see for anyone who cares to look.
George Packer may think that the national security state is a perfectly admirable creation, but if so, I'd question whether or not he's really a liberal. By any definition of liberalism I'm aware of, it's odd liberal indeed who doesn't think Edward Snowden ought to be trusted with sensitive information, but doesn't at all mind leaving it in the custody of Keith Alexander.
maidhc 10.28.14 at 8:03 am
The CIA produced the Pentagon Papers under orders from LBJ. They produced a document blaming everything on the stupid politicians while the CIA was always right. Unfortunately no one could read it because it was secret. Hence it was leaked to the New York Times.
Woodward and Bernstein had intelligence backgrounds. The Washington Post was known to have close CIA ties. Everyone involved in Watergate was tied to the CIA and the Bay of Pigs. Nixon was taken down from the right.
If you look at those Cold War days, almost everything that was considered to be highly secret, the world would have been better off if it had been public knowledge. Major policy decisions on both sides were based on false information provided by intelligence services.
That is not to say that things that happened back in those days are unimportant now. The career of Stepan Bandera, for example, is tied in very closely with today's headlines.
J Thomas 10.28.14 at 8:43 am
#12 Watson Ladd
I can easily imagine bribing Putin's butler to be an easy and effective way to get good information on both of those, and I can imagine that doing so openly would be catastrophic.
Whyever would you expect Putin's butler to know either of those?
But I find this plausible — Putin's butler goes to the secret police and tells them he's had an offer. They say "OK, take the money and tell them this:" and they give him a cover story to tell the spies.
Continuing the story, a top general's batman does the same thing, but the secret police do not coordinate well enough and he gets a different cover story.
Another top general's mistress does it and gets a third cover story to tell. The stories do not add up at all.
So then somebody in the CIA looks at all the conflicting data, and MAKES UP a story which makes sense, concentrating on estimates of capabilities, and estimates about what choices are likely based on internal politics etc.
The report reaches various people in the military with a need-to-know, who discount it and who make their mostly-mundane decisions about preparation on the basis of path-of-least-resistance. The report may even reach the President, who also discounts it.
Furthermore, plenty of information that isn't strategic in nature can be very useful. Knowing that in event of war, your fighter planes can outmatch theirs, is useful.
How would you find that out, except by testing it for real with their real pilots with real training, etc? Base it on the performance claims by US manufacturers versus the potential enemy's manufacturing claims?
So is knowing that they are planning to invade a country, or are actively collaborating with terrorist organizations.
The USA makes plans to invade other countries *all the time*. Often we publicly threaten to invade them for a year or more ahead of time, while we slowly build up supply dumps in nearby areas. It usually isn't hard to tell whether a nation is ready to invade some particular other nation. The hard part is predicting whether or when they actually do it. Chances are, they don't know themselves and nobody in the world can accurately predict that until shortly before it happens.
The USA and Israel actively cooperate with terrorist organizations *all the time*. It doesn't mean that much. Except we can use it for propaganda. "Our enemies actively collaborate with terrorist organizations! Our secret intelligence organizations have proof, but we can't show it to you because that would compromise our sources. Trust us."
Very little of this is likely to be reported openly, particularly from dictatorships.
Or from the USA. Or from anybody, really. We all like our surprises.
J Thomas 10.28.14 at 8:57 am
#19 Daniel Nexon
As I suggested above, albeit perhaps opaquely, it is perfectly possible to say "I can see C as potentially justified, but not D… G" and to say "I can see C as justified but not decamping to Hong Kong and Russia."* These strike me as categorically distinct arguments from "Snowden, Greenwald, and Assange aren't the 'right sort of people," even if those advancing that claim invoke some of the same warrants.
I don't understand this sort of claim. Normally, US citizens have basicly no information about what our expensive secret-creating organizations do. The basic argument is "Trust us. We're doing good, but it would be catastrophic if you knew.".
Now we have a more-or-less-random samples from Snowden and Manning. So my questions about their personal character center around two themes:
1. Did they release false data, created by the US government to make cover stories to hide the real stuff that the US government does not want us to know?
2. Did they release false data, created by some foreign government and intended to discredit the US government?
3. Are there important discrepancies between them, that might indicate that at least one of them was doctored?
Apart from those, why are we talking about Snowden or Manning or Greenwald, instead of what we've found out about our government?
Barry 10.28.14 at 12:04 pm
Tony Lynch 10.28.14 at 4:30 am
"The persoanl animosity towards GG from, presumably, people with no personal relationship to GG, is weird. Whence this incessant personalism – not only from Kinsley et. al., but from those who claim more genuine liberal and left convictions? Why does it seem important to approach things by venting this personal animosity?"
Here are my thoughts:
1). Most of these elite journalists are leakers of classified information, and guilty of serious felonies. However, they are lapdogs of the establishment, and comparable more to Pravda than a free press. They don't like unauthorized leaks.
2). All three liberals mentioned eat a lot of right-wing sh*t, for actual liberals. Again, they are lapdogs, who occasionally criticize, but in a limited fashion. Heck, Kinsley played Buchanon's poodle on TV show. They therefore don't like people who actually oppose the establishment, moreso because it shows them up as the frauds that they are.
lvlld 10.28.14 at 1:17 pm
MacNamara (politician) ordered his staff (Office of the Secretary of Defense) to carry out the study (they got some material from the CIA and State), out of a concern that the whole thing might be a huge mistake on the part of US policymakers – politicians and otherwise – from World World 2 on down. That was July, 1967. He resigned a few months later, the report was completed in late 1968.
Dan Ellsberg (Rand, ex-OSD) was involved in producing it, and was dismayed by the scale of the official deceptions and thought that yes, this was probably material in the public interest. He leaked it to the Times and the Post, the latter of which's decision to publish on June 18, 1971 was not made in consultation with its city beat reporters, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward.
Thornton Hall 10.28.14 at 2:15 pm
So the following points are uncontroverted:
- Glenn Greenwald is a clown, but this fact has nothing to do with anything.
- Edward Snowden is a bit dim on how the world works, and this has had consequences good bad and otherwise.
- When white elites are forced to consider the criminal justice system they are shocked, shocked to find that prosecutors are arbitrary and vindictive assholes.
- Our vocabulary of politics is hopelessly confused to the point where a political science professor will assert that a fellow professor's support for the New Deal is in conflict with his position on the NSA.
- Elites insist on confusing the motives and morality of leakers with the motives and morality of journalists.
J Thomas 10.28.14 at 2:16 pm
#13 Andrew F
He claimed that the CIA might hire Chinese gangsters to murder him, or journalists associated with him, among other things. So to say that he has a "teenager's conspiratorial view of the world" is not to speak without some justification.
This minor point deserves some thought.
Do you have more access to CIA secrets than Snowden did?
If not, why do you believe that your understanding of what the CIA might do is better informed than his was?
Layman 10.28.14 at 2:23 pm
"I think it is perfectly fair to judge Snowden based on the totality of his actions. Isn't that how we're supposed to judge people? "
Why judge him at all, in the context of discussing his revelations and what they mean for civil liberties? It's perfectly clear that some people choose to judge Snowden in order to dismiss those revelations. Isn't that the point of the OP? Do you agree that your personal distaste for Snowden is irrelevant to the larger question? And that people who seek to distract from that larger question by focusing on Snowden's character are engaged in hackery?
Bruce Wilder 10.28.14 at 3:51 pmRich Puchalsky 10.28.14 at 3:57 pm
Dan Nexon @ 47
The apparatus of surveillance and the system of classification are both parts of a vast system of secrecy — aspects of the architecture of the secret state, the deep state.
I've had a security clearance, and so have some personal acquaintance with the system of classification and what is classified, why it is classified and so on, as well as experience with the effect classification has on people, their behavior and administration. I see people sometimes elaborate the claim that, of course the state must have the capacity to keep some information confidential, which is undoubtedly true, but sidesteps the central issue, which is, what does the system of classification do? what does the secrecy of the deep state do? What is the function of the system of classification?
From my personal acquaintance, I do not think it can be said that its function is to keep secrets. Real secrets are rarely classified. Information is classified so that it can be communicated, and in the present system operated by the U.S. military and intelligence establishment, broadcast. I suppose, without knowing as an historic fact, that the system of classification originated during WWII as a means to distribute information on a need-to-know basis, but that's not what goes on now. The compartmentalization that the term, classification, implies, is largely absent. That Manning or Snowden could obtain and release the sheer volume of documents that they did — not the particular content of any of them — is the first and capital revelation concerning what the system is, and is not. The system is not keeping confidential information confidential, nor is it keeping secrets; it is broadcasting information.
The very idea that a system that broadcasts information in a way that allows someone at the level of a Manning or Snowden to accumulate vast numbers of documents has kept any secrets from the secret services of China or Russia is, on its face, absurd. The system revealed by the simple fact of the nature of Snowden's and Manning's breaches is not capable of keeping secrets. Snowden was a contractor at a peripheral location, Manning a soldier of very low rank.This comment thread is just as disgusting as the comment threads elsewhere, so I'll direct people to what I think is one of the best articles on all this: Bruce Sterling's.William Timberman 10.28.14 at 4:00 pmBruce Wilder @ 72
Fox News for apparatchiks. Brilliant, especially since not even Keith Alexander in his specially-equipped war room had any idea how many apparatchiks there were, nor where they were, nor what they were up to when his panopticon was looking the other way.
Bruce Wilder 10.28.14 at 4:02 pm
Rich Puchalsky : If only the government could tell us the real story! Then we'd know that they aren't lying.
The system of classification is a system of censorship. It creates a system of privileged access to information that permits highly-placed officials to strategically leak information as a means to manipulate the political system.
It doesn't keep secrets from the enemies of democracy abroad; it creates enemies of democracy at home, placing them in the highest reaches of government.
J Thomas 10.28.14 at 4:14 pm
"I think it is perfectly fair to judge Snowden based on the totality of his actions. Isn't that how we're supposed to judge people? "
Why judge him at all, in the context of discussing his revelations and what they mean for civil liberties?
Judging Snowden is a very serious matter for everybody who has a security clearance.
If you have a clearance, then you have to consider whether or not you ought to do the same thing. On the one hand you swore an oath not to. You would be breaking your word. And you can expect to be punished severely.
On the other hand, there are the things you know about, that have destroyed American democracy. Do you have an obligation to the public? But then, you probably know that it's already too late and nothing can be done.
What should you do? In that context, deciding just how wrong Snowden was, is vitally important.
It's perfectly clear that some people choose to judge Snowden in order to dismiss those revelations.
Well sure, of course. If it's their job to patch things up, they have to use whatever handle is available.
But apart from the hacks, every single honest person who has a security clearance has to somehow find a way to justify that he has not done what Snowden did. If Snowden did it incompetently, he might have an obligation to do it better. Or maybe his obligation instead is to the power structure and not to the people.
Likely by now there is better technology in place to catch people who try to reveal secrets. We can't know how many people have tried to reveal secrets since Snowden, who have failed and disappeared.
Layman 10.28.14 at 4:15 pm
Bruce Wilder @ 72
Bravo! This view of classification as a mechanism for broadcasting information is exactly right, and a revelation, at least to me.
www.zerohedge.comMar 28, 2015 | Zero Hedge
If, as one claims, one is innocent of i) using a personal email account to send out confidential information and/or to take advantage of one's political position to abuse opponents and ii) deleting said confidential emails against government regulations, what would one do when faced with a government subpoena demand? If one is the IRS' Lois Lerner, one would claim, against subsequently revealed facts, that a hardware error led to a permanent loss of all demanded emails, even though by email protocol definition, said emails are always stored on at least one off-site server. Or, if one is Hillary Clinton, one would just format the entire server.
This, according to the Hill, is precisely what Hillary Clinton has done as the recent clintonemail.com scandal continues to grow bigger and impair ever more the already frail credibility and decision-making skills of the former first lady and democratic presidential hopeful. According to the head of the House Select Committee on Benghazi says former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has erased all information from the personal email server she used while serving as the nation's top diplomat.
"We learned today, from her attorney, Secretary Clinton unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server," Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said in a statement Friday.
What difference does it make if she deleted all her emails?
Apparently a lot.
The key question is when said server formatting took place. This appears to have taken place after the first production request had come in, which means that Clinton may well be guilty of destruction of evidence. He said while it's "not clear precisely when Secretary Clinton decided to permanently delete all emails from her server, it appears she made the decision after October 28, 2014, when the Department of State for the first time asked the Secretary to return her public record to the Department."
What's worse, the evidence destroyed officially is US government property, since it was all created when Clinton was an employee of Uncle Sam.
Last week, Gowdy sent a letter to Clinton's attorney asking that the email server be turned over to a third party in the hopes that an investigation could recover about 30,000 emails that her team deleted before turning the rest over to the State Department.
Gowdy said "it is clear Congress will need to speak with the former Secretary about her email arrangement and the decision to permanently delete those emails."
"Not only was the Secretary the sole arbiter of what was a public record, she also summarily decided to delete all emails from her server, ensuring no one could check behind her analysis in the public interest," Gowdy said.
Those intent on defending the former Secretary of State, such as the panel's top Democrat, Elijah Cummings may have their work cut out for them but that doesn't stop them from trying: Cummings said the letter the select committee received from Clinton's attorney detailing what happened the server proves she has nothing to hide.
"This confirms what we all knew - that Secretary Clinton already produced her official records to the State Department, that she did not keep her personal emails, and that the Select Committee has already obtained her emails relating to the attacks in Benghazi," he said in a statement.
"It is time for the Committee to stop this political charade and instead make these documents public and schedule Secretary Clinton's public testimony now."
Clinton has maintained that the messages were personal in nature, but Gowdy and other Republicans have raised questions over whether she might have deleted messages that could damage her expected White House run in the process.
"I have absolute confidence that everything that could be in any way connected to work is now in the possession of the State Department," Clinton said during a press conference in New York earlier this month.
Sadly, there is nothing but her word to go by at this moment: a word whose credibility has now been fatally compromised by her recent actions.
She said she had culled through more than 60,000 emails from her time at State and determined that roughly 30,000 of them were public records that should have been maintained.
Gowdy said given Clinton's "unprecedented email arrangement with herself and her decision nearly two years after she left office to permanently delete" information, his panel would work with House leadership as it "considers next steps."
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Gowdy and other members of the Benghazi panel in the past have hinted that the full House could issues a subpoena for Clinton's server.
The Hill concludes by treating the population to the next upcoming kangaroo court: House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) has suggested his panel could hold hearings over Clinton's use of private email, emphasizing his panel's jurisdiction over violations of the Federal Records Act.
Will anything change as a result? Of course not, because the real decision-maker has already hedged its bets. Recall Blankfein has already indicated that despite his strong preference for a democrat president, one which would perpetuate the Fed's policies, "he would be fine with either a Bush or Clinton presidency." Which in a country controlled and dominated by lobby interests, and which happens to be the "best democracy that money can buy" is all that matters.
All you need to know about this toxic duo right there.
March 28, 2015 | State of the Nation
Emails disclosed by a hacker show a close family friend was funneling intelligence about the crisis in Libya directly to the Secretary of State's private account starting before the Benghazi attack.
This story was co-published with Gawker.
Update, March 27, 6:48 p.m.: This story has been updated to include responses from the FBI and the State Department.
Starting weeks before Islamic militants attacked the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, longtime Clinton family confidante Sidney Blumenthal supplied intelligence to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gathered by a secret network that included a former CIA clandestine service officer, according to hacked emails from Blumenthal's account.
The emails, which were posted on the internet in 2013, also show that Blumenthal and another close Clinton associate discussed contracting with a retired Army special operations commander to put operatives on the ground near the Libya-Tunisia border while Libya's civil war raged in 2011.
Blumenthal's emails to Clinton, which were directed to her private email account, include at least a dozen detailed reports on events on the deteriorating political and security climate in Libya as well as events in other nations. They came to light after a hacker broke into Blumenthal's account and have taken on new significance in light of the disclosure that she conducted State Department and personal business exclusively over an email server that she controlled and kept secret from State Department officials and which only recently was discovered by congressional investigators.
The contents of that account are now being sought by a congressional inquiry into the Benghazi attacks. Clinton has handed over more than 30,000 pages of her emails to the State Department, after unilaterally deciding which ones involved government business; the State Department has so far handed almost 900 pages of those over to the committee. A Clinton spokesman told Gawker and ProPublica (which are collaborating on this story) that she has turned over all the emails Blumenthal sent to Clinton.
The dispatches from Blumenthal to Clinton's private email address were posted online after Blumenthal's account was hacked in 2013 by Romanian hacker Marcel-Lehel Lazar, who went by the name Guccifer. Lazar also broke into accounts belonging to George W. Bush's sister, Colin Powell, and others. He's now serving a seven-year sentence in his home country and was charged in a U.S. indictment last year.
The contents of the memos, which have recently become the subject of speculation in the right-wing media, raise new questions about how Clinton used her private email account and whether she tapped into an undisclosed back channel for information on Libya's crisis and other foreign policy matters.
Blumenthal, a New Yorker staff writer in the 1990s, became a top aide to President Bill Clinton and worked closely with Hillary Clinton during the fallout from the Whitewater investigation into the Clinton family. She tried to hire him when she joined President Obama's cabinet in 2009, but White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel reportedly nixed the idea on the grounds Blumenthal was a divisive figure whose attacks on Obama during the Democratic primary had poisoned his relationship with the new administration.
It's unclear who tasked Blumenthal, known for his fierce loyalty to the Clintons, with preparing detailed intelligence briefs. It's also not known who was paying him, or where the operation got its money. The memos were marked "confidential" and relied in many cases on "sensitive" sources in the Libyan opposition and Western intelligence and security services. Other reports focused on Egypt, Germany, and Turkey.
Indeed, though they were sent under Blumenthal's name, the reports appear to have been gathered and prepared by Tyler Drumheller, a former chief of the CIA's clandestine service in Europe who left the agency in 2005. Since then, he has established a consulting firm called Tyler Drumheller, LLC. He has also been affiliated with a firm called DMC Worldwide, which he co-founded with Washington, D.C., attorney Danny Murray and former general counsel to the U.S. Capitol Police John Caulfield. DMC Worldwide's now-defunct website describes it at as offering "innovative security and intelligence solutions to global risks in a changing world."
In one exchange in March 2013, Blumenthal emailed Drumheller, "Thanks. Can you send Libya report." Drumheller replied, "Here it is, pls do not share it with Cody. I don't want moin speculating on sources. It is on the Maghreb and Libya." Cody is Cody Shearer, a longtime Clinton family operative-his brother was an ambassador under Bill Clinton and his now-deceased sister is married to Clinton State Department official Strobe Talbott-who was in close contact with Blumenthal. While it's not entirely clear from the documents, "Moin" may refer to the nickname of Mohamed Mansour El Kikhia, a member of the Kikhia family, a prominent Libyan clan with ties to the Libyan National Transition Council. (An email address in Blumenthal's address book, which was also leaked, was associated with his Facebook page.)
There's no indication in Blumenthal's emails whether Clinton read or replied to them before she left State on February 1, 2013, but he was clearly part of a select group with knowledge of the private clintonemail.com address, which was unknown to the public until
Gawker published it this year. They do suggest that she interacted with Blumenthal using the account after she stepped down. "H: got your message a few days ago," reads the subject line of one email from Blumenthal to Clinton on February 8, 2013; "H: fyi, will continue to send relevant intel," reads another.
The memos cover a wide array of subjects in extreme detail, from German Prime Minister Angela Merkel's conversations with her finance minister about French president Francois Hollande–marked "THIS INFORMATION COMES FROM AN EXTREMELY SENSITIVE SOURCE"-to the composition of the newly elected South Korean president's transition team. At least 10 of the memos deal in whole or in part with internal Libyan politics and the government's fight against militants, including the status of the Libyan oil industry and the prospects for Western companies to participate.
One memo was sent on August 23, 2012, less than three weeks before Islamic militants stormed the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi. It cites "an extremely sensitive source" who highlighted a string of bombings and kidnappings of foreign diplomats and aid workers in Tripoli, Benghazi and Misrata, suggesting they were the work of people loyal to late Libyan Prime Minister Muammar Gaddafi.
While the memo doesn't rise to the level of a warning about the safety of U.S. diplomats, it portrays a deteriorating security climate. Clinton noted a few days after the Benghazi attack, which left four dead and 10 people injured, that U.S. intelligence officials didn't have advance knowledge of the threat.
On September 12, 2012, the day after the Benghazi attack, Blumenthal sent a memo that cited a "sensitive source" saying that the interim Libyan president, Mohammed Yussef el Magariaf, was told by a senior security officer that the assault was inspired by an anti-Muslim video made in the U.S., as well as by allegations from Magariaf's political opponents that he had CIA ties.
Blumenthal followed up the next day with an email titled "Re: More Magariaf private reax." It said Libyan security officials believed an Islamist radical group called the Ansa al Sharia brigade had prepared the attack a month in advance and "took advantage of the cover" provided by the demonstrations against the video.
An October 25, 2012 memo says that Magariaf and the Libyan army chief of staff agree that the "situation in the country is becoming increasingly dangerous and unmanageable" and "far worse" than Western leaders realize.
Blumenthal's email warnings, of course, followed a year of Libyan hawkishness on the part of Clinton. In February of 2011, she told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that "it is time for Gaddafi to go." The next month, after having described Russian reluctance over military intervention as "despicable," Clinton met with rebel leaders in Paris and drummed up support for a no-fly zone while in Cairo. On March 17, 2011, the UN Security Council voted to back Libyan rebels against Gaddafi.
It's this buildup, which Clinton still proudly recalled in her 2014 memoir, that Blumenthal appears to join in on 2011. In addition to the intel memos, his emails also disclose that he and his associates worked to help the Libyan opposition, and even plotted to insert operatives on the ground using a private contractor.
A May 14, 2011 email exchange between Blumenthal and Shearer shows that they were negotiating with Drumheller to contract with someone referred to as "Grange" and "the general" to place send four operatives on a week-long mission to Tunis, Tunisia, and "to the border and back." Tunisia borders Libya and Algeria.
"Sid, you are doing great work on this," Drumheller wrote to Blumenthal. "It is going to be around $60,000, coverting r/t business class airfare to Tunis, travel in country to the border and back, and other expenses for 7–10 days for 4 guys."
After Blumenthal forwarded that note to Shearer, he wrote back questioning the cost of the operation. "Sid, do you think the general has to send four guys. He told us three guys yesterday, a translator and two other guys. I understand the difficulty of the mission and realize that K will be repaid but I am going to need an itemized budget for these guys."
"The general" and "Grange" appear to refer to David L. Grange, a major general in the Army who ran a secret Pentagon special operations unit before retiring in 1999. Grange subsequently founded Osprey Global Solutions, a consulting firm and government contractor that offers logistics, intelligence, security training, armament sales, and other services. The Osprey Foundation, which is a nonprofit arm of Osprey Global Solutions, is listed as one of the State Department's "global partners" in a 2014 report from the Office of Global Partnerships.'
Among the documents in the cache released by Lazar is an August 24, 2011, memorandum of understanding between Osprey Global Solutions and the Libyan National Transition Council-the entity that took control in the wake of Qadaffi's execution-agreeing that Osprey will contract with the NTC to "assist in the resumption of access to its assets and operations in country" and train Libyan forces in intelligence, weaponry, and "rule-of-land warfare." The document refers to meetings held in Amman, Jordan between representatives of Osprey and a Mohammad Kikhia, who represented the National Transition Council.
Five months later, according to a document in the leak, Grange wrote on Osprey Global letterhead to Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro, introducing Osprey as a contractor eager to provide humanitarian and other assistance in Libya. "We are keen to support the people of Libya under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Finance and the Libyan Stock Exchange," Grange wrote. Shapiro is a longtime Clinton loyalist; he served on her Senate staff as foreign policy advisor.
Another document in the cache, titled "Letter_for_Moin," is an appeal from Drumheller to then-Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan offering the services of Tyler Drumheller LLC, "to develop a program that will provide discreet confidential information allowing the appropriate entities in Libya to address any regional and international challenges."
The "K" who was, according to Shearer's email, to be "repaid" for his role in the Tunisia operation appears to be someone named Khalifa al Sherif, who sent Blumenthal several emails containing up-to-the-minute information on the civil war in Libya, and appears to have been cited as a source in several of the reports.
Contacted by ProPublica and Gawker, Drumheller's attorney and business partner Danny Murray confirmed that Drumheller "worked" with Blumenthal and was aware of the hacked emails, but declined to comment further.
Shearer said only that "the FBI is involved and told me not to talk. There is a massive investigation of the hack and all the resulting information." The FBI declined to comment.
Blumenthal, Grange, and Kikhia all did not respond to repeated attempts to reach them. Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Clinton had no comment on Blumenthal's activities with Drumheller.
Whatever Blumenthal, Shearer, Drumheller, and Grange were up to in 2011, 2012, and 2013 on Clinton's behalf, it appears that she could have used the help: According to State Department personnel directories, in 2011 and 2012-the height of the Libya crisis-State didn't have a Libyan desk officer, and the entire Near Eastern Magreb Bureau, which which covers Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Libya, had just two staffers. Today, State has three Libyan desk officers and 11 people in the Near Eastern Magreb Bureau. A State Department official wouldn't say how many officers were on the desk in 2011, but said there was always "at least one" officer and "sometimes many more, working on Libya."
Reached for comment, a State Department public affairs official who would only speak on background declined to address questions about Blumenthal's relationship to Clinton, whether she was aware of the intelligence network, and who if anyone was paying Blumenthal. Asked about the Tunisia-Libya mission, the official replied, "There was a trip with the secretary in October of 2011, but there was also a congressional delegation in April, 2011. There were media reports about both of these at the time." Neither trip involved travelling via Tunis.
Mar 21, 2015 | The GuardianThe National Security Agency want to be able to hack more people, vacuum up even more of your internet records and have the keys to tech companies' encryption – and, after 18 months of embarrassing inaction from Congress on surveillance reform, the NSA is now lobbying it for more powers, not less.
NSA director Mike Rogers testified in front of a Senate committee this week, lamenting that the poor ol' NSA just doesn't have the "cyber-offensive" capabilities (read: the ability to hack people) it needs to adequately defend the US. How cyber-attacking countries will help cyber-defense is anybody's guess, but the idea that the NSA is somehow hamstrung is absurd.
The NSA runs sophisticated hacking operations all over the world. A Washington Post report showed that the NSA carried out 231 "offensive" operations in 2011 - and that number has surely grown since then. That report also revealed that the NSA runs a $652m project that has infected tens of thousands of computers with malware.
And that was four years ago - it's likely increased significantly. A leaked presidential directive issued in 2012 called for an expanded list of hacking targets all over the world. The NSA spends ten of millions of dollars per year to procure "'software vulnerabilities' from private malware vendors" – i.e., holes in software that will make their hacking much easier. The NSA has even created a system, according to Edward Snowden, that can automatically hack computers overseas that attempt to hack systems in the US.
Moving further in this direction, Rogers has also called for another new law that would force tech companies to install backdoors into all their encryption. The move has provoked condemnation and scorn from the entire security community - including a very public upbraiding by Yahoo's top security executive - as it would be a disaster for the very cybersecurity that the director says is a top priority.
And then there is the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (Cisa) the downright awful "cybersecurity" bill passed by the Senate Intelligence Committee last week in complete secrecy that is little more than an excuse to conduct more surveillance. The bill will do little to stop cyberattacks, but it will do a lot to give the NSA even more power to collect Americans' communications from tech companies without any legal process whatsoever. The bill's text was finally released a couple days ago, and, as EFF points out, tucked in the bill were the powers to do the exact type of "offensive" attacks for which Rogers is pining.
While the NSA tries to throw every conceivable expansion of power against the wall hoping that something sticks, the clock continues to tick on Section 215 of the Patriot Act – the law which the spy agency secretly used to collect every American's phone records. Congress has to re-authorize by vote in June or it will expire, and as Steve Vladick wrote on Just Security this week, there seems to be no high-level negotiations going on between the administration and Congress over reforms to the NSA in the lead-up to the deadline. Perhaps, as usual, the NSA now thinks it can emerge from yet another controversy over its extraordinary powers and still end up receiving more?
Chad Castellano -> Kevin OConnor 21 Mar 2015 13:58
Actually it doesn't matter if it is an American phone or computer. The NSA actually has no laws stopping them from doing this to foreign companies. The tens of thousands of computers they hacked in this article are computers outside US jurisdiction. And they have put hardline taps on companies overseas. So right now the only computers or phones with any legal protections are the ones in the U.S. The rest of the world is a legal target for the NSA. Always have been.
What we need is to disband the NSA and replace it with a 100% transparent agency not made up of megalomaniacs.
Kevin OConnor 21 Mar 2015 13:46
After reading this article , you need to ask yourself...
Anybody want to buy an American computer ?
How about an American phone ?
Hmm...I see an economic problem here ...
Mike5000 21 Mar 2015 13:34
The West has transitioned from democracies and republics to criminal empires run by spook gangs.
With total information comes total blackmail capability. Lawmakers and judges are puppets.
Fictional 007 was licensed to kill. Real spook gangs get away with murder, kidnapping, torture, blackmail, commercial espionage, narcotics, and arms trafficking.
ondelette -> zelazny 21 Mar 2015 12:29
Do tell. And when did stopping teenagers from joining ISIS become a problem of analyzing vacuumed foreign intelligence data? Do you really want the government to be the party making decisions for teenagers and sorting them out into ones who should be changed and ones who are safe the way they are? Based on surveillance?
The purpose of the government isn't to act as in loco parentis in place of idiots who don't know what to do with a child once it's not a cute baby anymore.
thankgodimanatheist -> zelazny 21 Mar 2015 11:41
You are assuming that the real powers in the world want to stop Daesh (ISIS) and other groups like that.
What if it is all a drama (a bizarre disgusting TV reality show) to keep us (the 99.9999999%) scared (terrorized) so we allow them to spend more money on arms (including more money for the NSA) and forget about real issues such as the fact that in the USA the net worth of the 6 children of Sam Walton is more than that of 50% of us (while our real incomes goes down every day - for the 95% of us) and in the world 80 people's net worth is more than that of 50% of the world population.
Be afraid, don't think, be very afraid...
That's their mantra!
Gary Paudler 21 Mar 2015 11:18
Not that surprising, when was the last time the Department of Defense did something that wasn't entirely offensive on some other country's soil?
mikedow -> Delaware 21 Mar 2015 11:15
You can left-click on that pop-up and nuke it if you have Adblocker. I had fun with Rusbridger's Coal Divestment Promo, by blasting it.
Eric Moller 21 Mar 2015 11:02
Why discuss anything .. The GOP has already shown a willingness to hand the NSA illegal powers under the table so to speak .. and even if the deadline for section 215 of the ( Benedict Arnold Act) expires it's not a problem ..
One thing Obama and Congress can agree on is the Continuation of our Tax dollars being spent on our Government spying on us .. The People .. They seem to be in lock step on that illegality .. Kinda like the Hitler High step ..
Quadspect -> zelazny 21 Mar 2015 11:00
Theoretically, NSA, in all its cyber-omniscience, watched arms smuggling by various governments into countries with factions that wanted to kill each other, watched the increasing justifiable fury at being droned and bombed and politically and economically interfered with that caused formation of terrorist groups --- Hardly an institution bent on protecting the 99 percent. NSA is up to Something Else Other Than National Security.
zelazny 21 Mar 2015 09:58
The NSA has learned that despite its ability to vacuum up massive amounts of data, it lacks the intelligence to sort it out and analyze it. Garbage in, garbage out.
Take for example the inability of the GCHQ or the NSA to stop teenagers, including teen age girls, from attempting, and actually succeeding, in joining ISIS and other groups.
They may have everyone's information, but they can't sort out the "good" guys from the "bad" guys.
So instead, they will do what the USA always has done -- attack the innocent to make sure they pose no threat, even if they never would pose a threat.
robtal 21 Mar 2015 09:40
Let the NSA do all the hacking they want if your so out of it you put sensitive stuff anywhere on a computor your loss.
Eccles -> whatdidyouexpect 21 Mar 2015 09:25
Using the standard US definition of terrorism they have had them for some decades. Using them, for example, to program missile targets, control drones, communicate, and hack fellow UN diplomats.
And your point is?
Mar 08, 2015 | The Guardian
captainjohnsmith 2015-03-07 18:06:55
Questions, questions. Doesn't the FBI, NSA, or some part of Homeland Security vet what government agencies are doing with their computer security? Wouldn't that have turned up Hillary's private scheme? And how could Obama not know about this, unless he never exchanged e-mail with Hillary, which seems unlikely.
kgb999again -> BeckyP
Hillary Clinton was not serving as a politician. She was serving as a high official in a non-elected office of the U.S. Government. She is required by law to maintain accessible records within the government of every meeting and communication she conducted - for both accountability and historic legacy reasons.
If she wanted to behave as a politician, she shouldn't have accepted the role of Secretary of State.
The basic question is still: why would she do such a thing? Why would she insist that all her email and that of her principal staff be handled by this private server?
And I guess I would also wonder how this could go undetected and unscrutinized for so long? Why would not anyone receiving email from the Clinton people wonder why they were getting email from an account that was non government in its address?
I also wonder why Kerry would not question the absence of Clinton's correspondence when he took office? Doesn't he, as the successor, have to establish a historical record? Wouldn't her communications be part of that process?
I recall when Obama won the nomination in 2008, he had a meeting with Clinton re her appt to sec of state. He was surprised when she turned up with a "contract" that listed items she needed him to agree to if she were to join his administration. Was this server business in that contract?
Why do I have these questions but reporters do not?
thegradycole -> macktan894
Why does anybody do it? Jeb Bush used a personal server while he was governor of Florida and then handed over 275,000 emails, of course just like Clinton he didn't release those that he determined were of a personal nature. Kerry is the first SOS to use the official .gov server.
The main focus of the controversy comes because she could have deleted any emails she wanted to. But I always thought that nothing could really be deleted. If they have the server don't they have everything?
This whole thing better be more than the usual it-looks-bad-but-we-can't-find-anything. It gets to the point where the appearance of impropriety becomes a conspiracy, they add "gate" to it and it has a life of its own. If there's something there let's see it. Scott Walker and Chris Christie have similar problems as their emails are part of criminal investigations.
Funny, we're back to paper as the only secure way to communicate anything (as in Roman Polanski's The Ghost).
BradBenson -> chiefwiley 8 Mar 2015 06:48
Well yes, in theory. In actual practice Freedom of Information Requests were always treated with disdain by the agencies. Since I left Government in 1999, it has gotten much worse.
You are absolutely correct that she should not be mixing official and private business or the servers, which carry them. All of her official correspondence should have been retained in a Government Server.
Despite the fact that digital record keeping continues to advance, the record keeping requirements go back to the early 50's and there is simply no reason that she should now be in possession of these records instead of either the State Department or the National Archives.
FloodZilla 8 Mar 2015 06:43
The fact that she has criminally violated at least a dozen US Federal laws has nothing to do with the fact that she is lower than pond scum. God help us if she gets elected to POTUS!
Anne Vincent 8 Mar 2015 03:19
If she was too insecure to utilize the US Government's own computer system, then she is too insecure to reside in the White House or to work as a US Government official. She needs to "move on".
Her dishonesty and corruption already have been well documented for many decades, and she has proven that despite all her "image makeovers", she is the same untrustworthy person we always knew she was.
David Egan 7 Mar 2015 22:34
Mayer added that speculation that Clinton had created a "homebrew" internet system was "plainly inaccurate", at least when talking about the current configuration of the service.
Newsflash!!! Hillary had no business, legal or otherwise, to create her own network!!
This way she has total control over the e-mails that she wants to make public.... GET IT.....??
David Egan -> anthonylaino 7 Mar 2015 22:28
I agree!!! The elitist one percent have made billions and knowingly sent tens of thousands of people to their deaths, just for a buck (ok, well, lots of bucks) and to further their jack boot on the throat of the average citizen from any country...
Financial Bondage For Everyone!!!!
Zooni_Bubba 7 Mar 2015 20:58
Maybe Clinton had security and maybe she didn't. It is not her decision to create her own web accounts to avoid public scrutiny. This is exactly what is wrong with Washington. No accountability or transparency. When someone under investigation gets to decide what to supply, they not the authorities control the evidence.
Stephen_Sean 7 Mar 2015 20:25
Bottom line if official State Department business was being routed through a personal email system she needs to go down for it. I work a mundane middle class job as a data analyst and my employer would be furious and fire me instantly if I routed work related emails and attachments through my personal email so why should Hillary get off the hook?
Dems better start looking for an alternative. Hillary isn't the one you want answering the phone at 3am.
Trixr -> Miles Long 7 Mar 2015 19:54
From a technical point of view, saying it's a 'high security' system is cobblers. Anti malware is the LEAST you can do for email security in a corporate system. Having a domain registered in one location and traffic coming from another means absolutely nothing in these days of shared hosting and dynamically-provisioned server farms. No-one puts their personal details on a WHOIS these days. I don't, and I just have a dinky little personal domain.
The fact that the email traffic isn't encrypted makes this strictly amateur hour.
The fact that the email isn't immediately controlled and discoverable by the govt is appalling enough. The fact it's apparently secured using small business standards just makes it worse.
And this 'expert' is an idiot, or not giving the full story.
John Hemphill -> imipak 7 Mar 2015 19:12
Just curious if know by chance, how did the State Department do in their last couple ot FISMA audits ?
Was there any footnotes or exceptions noted concerning use of a private email server ? If not, then we should get our money back from auditing contractor. If they didn't discover and report it as an exception, then they should be barred from federal contracting for gross incompetence or complicity in this deception.
ElmerFuddJr -> MakeBeerNotWar 7 Mar 2015 18:37
"Dick Cheney in a pantsuit" is gonna live forever, or at least as long as she remains in the public arena.!.
MakeBeerNotWar -> ElmerFuddJr 7 Mar 2015 18:48
- yes but one risks the label of misogynist by her many followers. Cheney is a true psychopath tho and Clinton could reach being one thus why the Dems who really care about our country need to find an alternate candidate so HRC will not be given the chance to start another idiotic fraud war that benefits Wall $t, I$rael and the MIC.
What a bunch of liberal spin by ABC. I've run mail servers for 20 years. Scanning for viruses etc is trivial and every email provider does it. Not having encryption (google smtps), which is easily determined if the mail server is still running, is a very bad sign.
macktan894 -> GuardianIsBiased127
Agree. Saying that her system scanned for viruses and was therefore "secure" is a laugh. My computer scans for viruses, too, as do most computers. We all know that does not equate with topnotch security. I also use an Apple. Still, the NSA or any other cyberterrorist can easily hijack my computer if that's the goal.
"internap" is not a good company by any measure -- my company has been a client for years.
If Clinton is using Internap right now, that should be the subject of ridicule, not praise.
Look, let's be clear. People lost their jobs when Hillary was in charge over there for doing the EXACT SAME THING.
Where's the email that has Hillary wanting these poor people being brought back to work. Hillary has in the past spoken of the danger of using a private domain.
This is once again the rules don't apply to Clintons. And I'm going to tell Ya all something: the investigators will be going to gmail, or yahoo, or whoever, and making 100% sure they get it all. I truly do not care for this woman. I find her to be a shifty giant egoed elitist. However, I'm not ready to yell guilty. Decency and fair play require that I see the pudding before I declare the truth. But, she damn well knew the rules, so why hide the emails? It won't be a mystery lover, that's for sure. She didn't want them seen, there's gotta be a reason for that.
The ruling elite plays by their own rules.
Kelly Kearns -> Miles Long
Actually, the rules were there before.
12 FAM 544.2 Automated Information System (AIS)
Processing and Transmission
November 4, 2005 above.
Kelly Kearns -> imipak
"12 FAM 544.3 Electronic Transmission Via the Internet
a. It is the Department's general policy that normal day-to-day operations be conducted on an authorized AIS, which has the proper level of security control to provide nonrepudiation, authentication and encryption, to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the resident information. The Department's authorized telework solution(s) are designed in a manner that meet these requirements and are not considered end points outside of the Department's management control. "
On Monday night, the New York Times dropped a bomb: As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton didn't use her government email address. She didn't even have one. Her entire correspondence-from notes to staff to talks with diplomats-was done by private email. "Her aides," notes the Times, "took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act."
According to one former official for the National Archives, Jason Baron, this was an extraordinary act of rule breaking.
"It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario-short of nuclear winter-where an agency would be justified in allowing its Cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business," he said.
It didn't take much to see the danger. Transparency aside, if Clinton was working with an unencrypted email address, she may have put a whole host of official communications at risk of foreign surveillance. And politically, it seems to stand as one more example of Clinton's secrecy and furtiveness. It's why, at the Washington Post, Chris Cillizza declared, "This is a bad story for her and her presidential campaign because it reinforces many things people already don't like about the Clintons."
... ... ...
In the Wall Street Journal, we learn the answer is in Clinton's favor. When she began as secretary of state in 2009, email wasn't a part of federal recordkeeping rules. Later that year, this changed when the National Archives and Records Administration issued regulations "allowing employees to do official business on nonofficial email accounts," as long as they preserved records in "the appropriate agency recordkeeping system."
The next round of guidance came in September 2013, well after Clinton had left the State Department. In those rules, writes the Journal, the National Archives "said federal employees generally shouldn't use personal email accounts to conduct official business, except in limited situations, such as during emergencies when an official may not be able to access an official account." And to that point, Secretary of State John Kerry, confirmed that year, is the first secretary to conduct all of his work over official email.
... ... ...
Look at this story again. Clinton didn't just use a private email account because it was convenient, she specifically registered a new email domain-clintonemail.com-a week before her confirmation hearings. Rules or not, odds are good she wanted to avoid as much transparency as possible, hence her slow move to comply with guidance from five years ago. As one conservative analyst said on Twitter (in somewhat uncharitable terms), "[Clinton] simply valued total and complete control over her image and information with such paranoid fervor that the law was [a] secondary issue."
cranky old man
I'm in the National Guard, and there are certain emails I would only send using an official email account. Anything dealing with classified information, troop movements, security, or soldiers' personal information, for instance. And I am only a platoon sergeant.
Jul 21, 2011 | PCWorld
Using plug-ins and external utilities, Total Commander can work with any number of additional archive formats, such as the excellent 7-Zip format.
Total Commander's old-school dual-pane interface hides tremendous power: Each pane can house multiple tabs, and Total Commander can use background processes for time-consuming operations so that copying large files never makes the application unresponsive. It even has a setting for making a "ding" sound when a lengthy background operation completes, so you'd know it's done. If you're viewing a folder that has very long filenames, a single keystrokes switches to horizontal mode, where the panes are placed on top of each other (rather than side-by-side), affording twice as much space for each filename.
You can use Total Commander for accessing remote file systems, as well: It can access shares across your local network, and also features a built-in FTP client. The FTP client is seamlessly integrated within the interface, so that working with remote servers feels just like you're working on your own computer, with the same familiar interface and keyboard shortcuts.
Finally, Total Commander can save its settings and preferences in an INI file. This means that you can take your carefully constructed configuration with you wherever you go.
To me, Total Commander is absolutely indispensible. It is one of the defining applications for my Windows experience. If you've ever felt the need for a powerful file manager, this is it.
Total Commander is very configurable, and you should take advantage of this. Go through the entire Configuration dialog, and set it up the way you like it. If you don't understand what an option does, consult the manual. This may take you 15 minutes, but the program will work the way you want it afterwards. Some suggestions follow.General
- Since Commander's strength is in its keyboard usability, the toolbar will probably be of little use. Keep the function key buttons until you learn them and no longer need to look at the buttons to see what each one does.
- Disable the icons (Commander calls them symbols) unless you really need them. If you really like icons, Only standard symbols is a good choice, since you won't be slowed down by the process of retrieving the icons from each file.
- Use a fixed-width font for the File list font and Main window font settings. Some good choices are Courier New and Lucida Console.
- Enable the Use inverted cursor option under the Color settings. This will make it easier to see what file is currently selected.
Think of the directories you use often, and add them to the directory menu. Do so by pressing Ctrl+D (or double-clicking on the path bar) and then choosing Configure. To make the directory menu more efficient, add shortcuts to the menus by including the ampersand (&) character before the shortcut letter. You'll add more directories later as you use it.
For example, to make the shortcut letter "E", you would make the title of the item "Drive &E", instead of "Drive E". This will make the item in the list and in the menu appear as "Drive E" (the letter E is underlined), which means that you can just press E to activate it. It's a good idea to try to map the left-hand keys first, since you will be pressing the D in Ctrl+D (which drops down the directory menu) with the left hand. "Ctrl+D,E" is a lot quicker to press than "Ctrl+D,I", since you have to press I with the right hand (or risk injuring your fingers).
- If the Target path attribute is present when you're switching to a new directory, the inactive pane will be set to that directory.
- If you're using Total Commander 6.0 or later, you can open a new tab by holding down the Ctrl key while opening a new tab. If you're opening the menu with Ctrl+D, just keep holding Ctrl while you select the directory.
Total Commander's Start menu can be very useful for performing complex operations on selected files. For example, you can configure one-keypress virus scanning by adding an item to the Start menu and setting up a shortcut for it. The dialog that appears when you go to Start | Change Start Menu provides sufficient information to do this. Just substitute the values it specifies for where the filename would normally be.
The Total Commander button bar is also fully customizable. You can alter it in many different ways:
- Right-click on an individual button to alter or delete it.
- Drag a file or directory onto the button bar to instantly a new button.
- Use the Change button bar dialog to edit the toolbar directly.
- You may have several different button bars that are nested within each other. (Clicking a button on the button bar replaces the currently displayed button bar.) To achieve this, use the Add Subbar button in the Change button bar dialog.
When using Total Commander, always remember that the keyboard is quicker than the mouse. At first, you may need to have the function key buttons in view to remember what each key does. Later on, however, you may realize that you don't need them, and hide them to save screen space.
When moving around the directories, use the arrow keys. You can move left and right as well as up and down. To switch to the "Brief" view, press Ctrl+F1. You may also use the Home/End/PageUp/PageDown navigation keys. The selection of files is done by either holding down shift while moving around, or pressing the spacebar when a cursor is over the file you want to select. When using the spacebar method on directories, the space they occupy will be shown in the status bar. You may also select large groups of files with the right mouse button.
Total Commander also supports browser-like back/forward navigation. The same shortcut keys - Alt+Left for back and Alt+Right for forward - apply here. You can also use the mouse with the toolbar buttons. Backspace will take you one directory level up.
Be sure to make use of the internal zip packer and unpacker. Press Alt+F5 to pack a group of files, and Alt+F9 to unpack them. You may also navigate inside of archives, including nested archives. Just select one and press Enter like always. This also works for other archives, such as RAR, ACE, CAB, and the self-extracting versions of these (Press Ctrl+PageDown to navigate inside of a self-extracting archive.)
If you need to do something via the menus, try to remember the shortcut key next time. If the menu item doesn't have a shortcut key, you can map one to your liking. Go to the Configuration dialog, and open the Misc tab. On the bottom, you'll see the Redefine hotkeys area. If you don't, you're probably using an older version - the feature was introduced in version 4.02. Remapping the keys may seem a bit awkward at first. You must first choose the key combination by checking the Control, Alt, and/or Shift buttons and choosing the key that goes with them from the selection box. Then, select the command you wish to map the key to. Finally, click the checkbox button to make the key binding take effect.
Selecting files is very easy. Just right-click a file to select it. Right-click again to deselect. You can also drag the right mouse button to select groups of files. Selection with the keyboard is very versatile. Here's a short list of shortcuts you should be familiar with (I only listed the most useful ones):
Keystroke Function Spacebar Select or deselect the file at the cursor. +/- (number pad) Select/deselect files using a mask you specify. Ctrl +/- Select/deselect all files. Alt +/- Select/deselect all files with the same extension. * Reverse selection.
Synchronizing Files Through FTP
If you're a webmaster and have FTP access to your web server, updating your web page should be very simple. You can use Total Commander to easily synchronize the files on your computer with your web server. Just connect to the FTP server in one pane, and open the directory with the local copy of your files in the other pane. Now, press Shift+F2 to compare the two directories. All the files that are newer than the ones in the opposing directory are selected. If the file doesn't exist at all in the other pane, it is also selected. Now, go to the pane with the local files, and press F5 to copy all of the files that are not up to date. (March 31, 2000)
Moving Files with Rename
When renaming files, even when you press Shift+F6 or click the file twice, WinCmd uses the same algorithm as the REN command in DOS. This means that you can use the rename command to move files. For example, to move a file called file.ext one directory up, you can rename it to "..\file.ext". You can also specify a full path. For example, to move the same file to D:\, rename it to "D:\filename.ext". The idea is carried over to FTP - you can do the same thing. (May 09, 2000)
Using the Parallel Port Link
If you need to quickly move files from one computer to another, Total Commander is the ideal way, especially if the computers don't have network cards. Simply connect them with 8-bit crossed parallel cable and use Total Commander to move the files between them. This is supported under Total Commander 4.50 and newer, and the help file has detailed instructions. (July 07, 2000)
Defining Colors for Different File Types
You can make file browsing a lot easier by using the Define colors by file type option. This is very useful if you often work with a particular kind of file. To use this feature, go to the Options dialog (Configuration | Options) and then switch to the Color tab. Click the Define colors by file type button; You'll have to check the checkbox next to it if it isn't already checked. Besides defining colors by a file's name, you can also define colors by the file's attributes, size, or other options. For example, you could define the colors so that files larger than a certain size are easily visible, or so that executable files are a different color. It's a good idea to make directories a different color, especially if you aren't using symbols (icons) so that they stand out in a directory listing. The possibilities are endless! (July 07, 2000)
Using the Multi-Rename Tool
Learn how to use the Multi-Rename Tool, a new feature in Total Commander 4.50. It can be very useful if you need to rename a large amount of files using the same rule. Select all the files you want to rename, and then press Ctrl+M. If you need help, press F1 for detailed documentation. (July 07, 2000)
Note: As of version 6.0, the default shortcut for the Multi-Rename tool has changed to Ctrl+M. With versions prior to 6.0, use Ctrl+T.
Copying a File's Name
To quickly copy a file's name, press Shift+F6 and then Ctrl+C or Shift+Ins to copy its name. Press Escape to cancel the rename process. (January 06, 2000)
Using the Vertical Layout
Starting with version 4.52, Total Commander includes an option to view the file panes vertically, instead of side-by-side horizontally. This is very useful when you need to look at a lot of files in the Full view. To use this feature, go to Show | Vertical Arrangement, or press Alt,W,V. Choose the menu again to turn it off. (January 22, 2000)
Displaying All Files in a Directory Tree
Total Commander 4.52 also includes a great command to view all files in a subdirectory. This is useful in many different situations, such as renaming a group of files that are distributed among a tree of directories. To use this feature, just press Ctrl+B. If you don't have version 4.52, you can duplicate this feature with the following steps:
- Open the Find Files dialog by pressing Alt+F7.
- Leave the Search for field blank, and press the Start search button (or just press Enter).
- Press Feed to listbox (Alt+L).
This feature can also be used in conjunction with the Multi-Rename Tool. Be careful when using it, though, as it can take a very long time to list all of the files in a big tree, such as the root directory of a drive.(January 23, 2000)Final Words
Like any powerful tool, Total Commander won't work the way you want it right away. Until you use it a little and learn how it works, it may even seem a bit uncomfortable. But don't be discouraged, as the payoff is too great to ignore. You'll do all your file management a lot faster. An experienced person using Total Commander may seem like a magician to observers.
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