Cornyn to Obama: Shut down Snitch Central

posted at 10:11 am on August 6, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Jon Henke asked when the White House debuted its effort to collect information on political dissenters, “What, exactly, does the White House plan to do with this information?”  A day later, John Cornyn has started asking the same thing from the Senate floor.  Cornyn accused Barack Obama of acting in an unprecedented manner to stifle legitimate political dissent — and wondered aloud how long Obama would have remained silent had George Bush tried it:

“I am not aware of any precedent for a president asking American citizens to report their fellow citizens to the White House for pure political speech that is deemed “fishy” or otherwise inimical to the White House’s political interests,” John Cornyn of Texas wrote US President Barack Obama.

“As Congress debates health care reform and other critical policy matters, citizen engagement must not be chilled by fear of government monitoring the exercise of free speech rights,” he wrote. …

“I can only imagine the level of justifiable outrage had your predecessor asked Americans to forward emails critical of his policies to the White House,” Cornyn wrote, referring to former president George W. Bush.

“I suspect that you would have been leading the charge in condemning such a program — and I would have been at your side denouncing such heavy-handed government action,” he wrote.

As it happens, Bush didn’t — but he did try to launch a program to generate information on potential terrorist activity in the days after 9/11.  Bush started Operation TIPS, with a toll-free hotline, e-mail, and website access for people who wanted to pass information on suspicious activity to the FBI.  As The Anchoress recalls, the Left acted as though Bush had called forth the Ghost of Orwell himself and created Big Brother.  The Village Voice’s Nat Hentoff reported at the time on the reaction in Congress, from both Democrats and Republicans:

After strong protests around the country, including in the Voice, TIPS was reportedly scaled back somewhat; but, as Leahy said last month, “it was unclear whether these changes reflected actual changes in the Justice Department’s plans, or whether they were simply cosmetic differences designed to blunt opposition to the program.”

At no time did the Justice Department indicate how it planned to train this horde of amateur spies. Accordingly, as Leahy emphasized, “such a setup could have allowed unscrupulous participants to abuse their new status to place innocent neighbors under undue scrutiny.” Much worse yet, the names of these innocent suspects would be transferred by the Justice Department to FBI, CIA, and other government databases that are now permitted to exchange “intelligence” information under the Homeland Security Act.

Bear in mind that Operation TIPS intended to get data about potential crimes and acts of terrorism.  It differed not at all from a myriad of local hotline tip programs used by police around the country to solve or stop crimes.  Given the nature of the 9/11 attacks — conducted by infiltrators who lived in the US for months in preparation for their mass murders — the establishment of the same system for a counterterrorist effort seemed like a no-brainer.

Obama, on the other hand, has set up a snitch line not for crimes or terrorism, but for simple political dissent. Where is Pat Leahy now?  Shouldn’t he be demanding to know why Obama wants to put people under “undue scrutiny” merely for the horrible crime of disagreeing with the President?  For that matter, where is the Village Voice and Nat Hentoff?  So far, the Voice has shown little interest in this administration’s snooping by proxy.

Cornyn should not the the only Republican on the Senate floor demanding answers, and Obama shouldn’t be the only one asked for them.  Pat Leahy should be providing a few of them as well.

Update: But is it illegal?  Byron York says probably not:

Senate Judiciary Committee lawyers studying the proposal say that although there is no absolutely settled law on the matter, the White House plan is likely not covered by the Privacy Act, which prohibits government agencies from keeping any records “describing how any individual exercises rights guaranteed by the First Amendment unless expressly authorized by statute or by the individual about whom the record is maintained.”  Therefore, it appears the White House can legally keep records of the emails and other communications it receives in response to Phillips’ request.

Those lawyers also point out that the White House is not covered by the Freedom of Information Act, which means it would not have to release any information on the plan to members of the public who make a request.

In addition, the lawyers say the collected emails likely will be covered by the Presidential Records Act, which requires the White House to preserve and maintain its records for permanent storage in a government database.  Phillips’ request suggests that whatever information the White House receives on health-care reform “disinformation” will be used to further the goal of passing a national health-care makeover, which is, of course, one of the president’s main policy initiatives.  Such material, and whatever the White House does with it, would qualify as presidential records. Only after more than a decade would such records be publicly available.

“So the White House, whether by design or accident, has requested information from the public that will become ‘records’ under the Presidential Records Act, yet would be impermissible for any government to otherwise collect under the Privacy Act,” writes one Judiciary Committee source.  “Where were the lawyers in all of this?  What is their legal basis for authorizing the collection of these records?”

Perhaps Congress needs to pass an Enemies List Law, since that’s exactly what this is.  Note that only Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee seem concerned by this — even though Leahy chairs that committee.


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Who is going to load the trains?

daesleeper on August 6, 2009 at 11:11 AM

The ACORN Sturmabteilung.

coldwarrior on August 6, 2009 at 11:55 AM

As a good right-thinking citizen I took great pleasure this morning in reporting the president and his democratic cronies to .gov headquarters for disseminating some real smelly fishy misinformation about health care. Doh! I must be on the list now. Oh well, F*!k them.

Gang-of-One on August 6, 2009 at 11:56 AM

This is the McArthyism of the 21st century.

redfoxbluestate on August 6, 2009 at 11:53 AM

No. Not at all. This is well beyond McCarthyism…it is Facsism writ large.

coldwarrior on August 6, 2009 at 11:56 AM

But is it illegal? Byron York says probably not:

5 U.S.C. § 552a, United States agencies, including the Executive Office of the President shall, “maintain no record describing how any individual exercises rights guaranteed by the First Amendment unless expressly authorized by statute or by the individual about whom the record is maintained or unless pertinent to and within the scope of an authorized law enforcement activity.”

According to the above it appears to be illegal.

chemman on August 6, 2009 at 12:02 PM

Yet again, I find myself having difficulty discerning the actions of this administration from something that would show up on The People’s Cube.

TheUnrepentantGeek on August 6, 2009 at 12:07 PM

Barak M. Nixon

bluelightbrigade on August 6, 2009 at 12:08 PM

Trivia Question:

Which western hemisphere leader has asked his citizens to report political opponents and dissenting voices directly to that nation’s capitol building?
A)Hugo Chavez
B)Barak Hussein Obama
C)Both

Goodeye_Closed on August 6, 2009 at 11:32 AM

You should post that as a poll!

scalleywag on August 6, 2009 at 12:09 PM

poll

scalleywag on August 6, 2009 at 12:10 PM

(We’re armed with our walkers and dangerous.)

Loxodonta on August 6, 2009 at 10:57 AM

I have images of the convoy to the senior protest rally on the National Mall. 20 miles of vehicles all with the left turn blinker on. :-0

Seriously, one of the things that was interesting this morning are all the AARP eligible posters who said that this is the first time they are protesting.

highhopes on August 6, 2009 at 11:41 AM

At the tax-day protest, I stood with two very sweet bubbies who were outraged at porkulus. They said they had never done anything like protest, but just couldn’t stand by and let their country be spent away.

I hope to see them at the Kratovil protest on 8/11.

Laura in Maryland on August 6, 2009 at 12:10 PM

You know how easy it would be to send a bunch of email to flag@whitehouse.gov to shut down the mail server, which according to my sources is now unix and linux based. Not that I am trying to organize something, but you know, civil disobedience is the purest form of freedom

ConservativePartyNow on August 6, 2009 at 12:11 PM

I am proud to be an enemy of the Obama administration.

At no time will I ever support a Socialist,marxist agenda.

I hope my name is in bold capital letters on their enemies list.

When their pathetic list is done, I will be in the company of millions and millions of great Americans I am sure.

Baxter Greene on August 6, 2009 at 12:12 PM

You know how easy it would be to send a bunch of email to flag@whitehouse.gov to shut down the mail server, which according to my sources is now unix and linux based. Not that I am trying to organize something, but you know, civil disobedience is the purest form of freedom

ConservativePartyNow on August 6, 2009 at 12:11 PM

Not a bad idea, just copy them on EVERY email you send, make sure everyone else is BCC.

Send an email to you Mom, cc flag.
Send an email to your Congressman, cc flag.
Send an email to your Senator, cc flag.

barnone on August 6, 2009 at 12:14 PM

To paraphrase Stacy McCain:
.
If they were interested in an honest exchange of ideas, they wouldn’t be the Left, now would they?

Mark30339 on August 6, 2009 at 12:26 PM

You know how easy it would be to send a bunch of email to flag@whitehouse.gov to shut down the mail server, which according to my sources is now unix and linux based. Not that I am trying to organize something, but you know, civil disobedience is the purest form of freedom

ConservativePartyNow on August 6, 2009 at 12:11 PM

I thought this would happen awhile ago!
The blogosphere is slow on the draw!

grapeknutz on August 6, 2009 at 12:27 PM

I am calling the White House every day to “report” today I reported:

1. Article in WSJ about the 11th year budget deficit.
2. Art Laffer for writing about the Health Care Wedge.
3. That someone is saying that pediatricians are ripping tonsils out of kids for money. I told the operator that I have been visiting pediatricians for about 26 years and have never had them reccomend that my children have their tonsils out!

I’m going to do this every day! BTW it took me forever to get through!!!

kringeesmom on August 6, 2009 at 12:39 PM

He wants to be a dicktater so bad, I bet BO wets his pants thinking about it.

la.rt.wngr on August 6, 2009 at 12:39 PM

I turned myself in yesterday. I just had to do it. I’ve been having all of these thoughts lately…anti-health care reform thoughts. I know I’m crazy not to just go along with whatever the President and Nancy Pelosi say I should think about this topic, but I can’t help myself. So I sent a tip to the hotline and admitted to my thought crime. I’ll glady go to whichever gulag they assign me to. Perhaps I’ll be lucky enough to be assigned to ‘political re-education’ at one of the nicer camps.

DrW on August 6, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Whoa! Rush is on and basically calling Liberals Nazis. Now it is on like Donkey Kong.

Pelayo on August 6, 2009 at 12:39 PM

RedState.com, Facebook, Twitter and many other sites are slow and FaceBook seems to denying some access. Many on the right are posting links about the protests on their FB pages and you get a ‘Can’t open this page” message.

Facebook is now a complete waste of time – if they loose 1/2 of their people then all they will have left are the leftys.

It seems like Obama and his electronic henchmen are in an all out war to stop the message from spreading. If you have videos…post them on YouTube but post them anywhere you can. YouTube might start blocking them.

I wish HotAir had a video service…..

izoneguy on August 6, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Someone should make a Rightbook for us maligned and persecuted non-fascists/non-marxists.

Pelayo on August 6, 2009 at 12:43 PM

la.rt.wngr on August 6, 2009 at 12:39 PM

M.O. keeps him in adult pampers so he won’t embarrass himself.

chemman on August 6, 2009 at 12:46 PM

I always believed this couldnot happen in America. Of course I think it will be stopped by any means necessary. The Dems will be out in 2010 and he will be out 2012. If he does not leave, there will be a revolution.

jeffn21 on August 6, 2009 at 12:46 PM

1) This program is innocuous. It’s really not that big of a deal. There is no reason to think that the WH is trying to criminalize dissent.

2) That said, if the roles were reversed and the Bush WH had been asking for tips on misinformation/disinformation on their policies, a lot of people on the left would get pretty creeped out by that. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander; the WH communications team erred here.

3) I think they should have asked for the “fishy” stuff to be sent to them anonymously. That is, with the identity of the person/group who originated the “fishy” message removed. No names should be involved, just the “facts” in dispute.

Basically, the WH should have made it clear that they’re attacking misinformation, not trying to collect identities of misinformers. It’s a fine distinction, but a vital one.

The WH goal is clearly to sharpen their message to combat the nonsense that is out there. They should have made it clear that they want to stamp out the lies, not stamp out the liars.

orange on August 6, 2009 at 12:47 PM

RedState.com, Facebook, Twitter and many other sites are slow and FaceBook seems to denying some access. Many on the right are posting links about the protests on their FB pages and you get a ‘Can’t open this page” message.

Facebook is now a complete waste of time – if they loose 1/2 of their people then all they will have left are the leftys.

It seems like Obama and his electronic henchmen are in an all out war to stop the message from spreading. If you have videos…post them on YouTube but post them anywhere you can. YouTube might start blocking them.

I wish HotAir had a video service…..

izoneguy on August 6, 2009 at 12:42 PM

I noticed that about facebook this morning and wondered what was up. Anyone know the reason?

txmomof6 on August 6, 2009 at 12:49 PM

RedState.com, Facebook, Twitter and many other sites are slow and FaceBook seems to denying some access. Many on the right are posting links about the protests on their FB pages and you get a ‘Can’t open this page” message.

Not to go all tinfoil hat, but do you think the administration learned anything from the Iranian twitter uprising?

txmomof6 on August 6, 2009 at 12:51 PM

JOhn Corny: why look here, someone lost a pair of ‘nads. Wonder what you do with these things?

Me: demand copies of all email sent to flag@whitehouse.gov, demand the names of all WH personnel involved, demand copies of all files relating to flag@whitehouse.gov. If they don’t comply, start talking impeachment.

james23 on August 6, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Mary Katharine Ham is getting props on Rush. :)

Dire Straits on August 6, 2009 at 1:13 PM

The Bush administration in the later years added a link to the WH website known as “Setting the Record Straight” that provided additional links to speeches, policy, legislation, etc. to address the mis/disinformation that was being disseminated by opponents and did not require nor need private citizens to snitch to build their responses. Obama doesn’t need that either, they already know full well what the protesters issues are. The reason for this type of strategy is the only transparency I’ve seen from this administration thus far.

Texas Gal on August 6, 2009 at 1:17 PM

Basically, the WH should have made it clear that they’re attacking misinformation, not trying to collect identities of misinformers. It’s a fine distinction, but a vital one.

The WH goal is clearly to sharpen their message to combat the nonsense that is out there. They should have made it clear that they want to stamp out the lies, not stamp out the liars.

orange on August 6, 2009 at 12:47 PM

In a pig’s ass. The only misinformation put out originates with Bozo and his fascist thugs.

dogsoldier on August 6, 2009 at 1:18 PM

1) This program is innocuous. It’s really not that big of a deal. There is no reason to think that the WH is trying to criminalize dissent.

2) That said, if the roles were reversed and the Bush WH had been asking for tips on misinformation/disinformation on their policies, a lot of people on the left would get pretty creeped out by that. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander; the WH communications team erred here.

3) I think they should have asked for the “fishy” stuff to be sent to them anonymously. That is, with the identity of the person/group who originated the “fishy” message removed. No names should be involved, just the “facts” in dispute.

Basically, the WH should have made it clear that they’re attacking misinformation, not trying to collect identities of misinformers. It’s a fine distinction, but a vital one.

The WH goal is clearly to sharpen their message to combat the nonsense that is out there. They should have made it clear that they want to stamp out the lies, not stamp out the liars.

orange on August 6, 2009 at 12:47 PM

I’ll bet they said some of the same things about Watergate and the Nixon White House.

rplat on August 6, 2009 at 1:19 PM

5 U.S.C. § 552a, United States agencies, including the Executive Office of the President shall, “maintain no record describing how any individual exercises rights guaranteed by the First Amendment unless expressly authorized by statute or by the individual about whom the record is maintained or unless pertinent to and within the scope of an authorized law enforcement activity.”

According to the above it appears to be illegal.

chemman on August 6, 2009 at 12:02 PM

Anyone looked into whether the provision is enforceable through a private right of action, styled say,”Spartacus 1 through N vs. Barack Hussein Obama,….”

Barnestormer on August 6, 2009 at 1:20 PM

Both the KGB and the Gestapo asked for people to report their neighbors for supporting the “wrong” ideas. I’m telling you Obama read 1984 as an instruction manual, not as a warning.

Buford on August 6, 2009 at 1:20 PM

Impeach Obama!!!

capejasmine on August 6, 2009 at 1:30 PM

Ok…I have to talk to someone about this encounter…seriously…my heart is just pounding and I kind of want to cry or scream. Anyone here that can listen?

Mommypundit on August 6, 2009 at 10:22 AM

There there, now, take a deep breath. That’s it..

OlbysMessiah is here to help.

Not only will I listen, but I’ll recor….uh, scratch that. Just speak into the Healthcare logo on my lapel, and tell us what those Meanies over at HotAir are saying about my HellCare program that has you so upset….

Sweet_Thang on August 6, 2009 at 1:31 PM

The intimidators’ seem blithely confident of their security, and such confidence seems to arise from the circumstance that the Americans are actually so mild-mannered and lawful.

Kralizec on August 6, 2009 at 1:33 PM

For starters, I turned in:

William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson

and

This program is innocuous.
orange on August 6, 2009 at 12:47 PM

As Nazi Pelosi said not that long ago:

“It’s time to drain the swamp.”

I say, pull the plug on these socialist bastards!!!

Sweet_Thang on August 6, 2009 at 1:47 PM

William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson

O/T I heard the jury came back with a guilty verdict on him.

txmomof6 on August 6, 2009 at 1:49 PM

Barak M. Nixon

bluelightbrigade on August 6, 2009 at 12:08 PM

Tarnishing Nixon’s name by associating him with a fascist…

Upstater85 on August 6, 2009 at 1:53 PM

O/T I heard the jury came back with a guilty verdict on him.

txmomof6 on August 6, 2009 at 1:49 PM

He’s saying he’ll appeal…

…he’s just waiting for some of his assets to be unfrozen.

Upstater85 on August 6, 2009 at 1:54 PM

I have reached some kind of saturation point in my observation of this administration and it’s unethical behavior. Hoodlums and criminals are now in charge. How did we get here?

jeanie on August 6, 2009 at 1:55 PM

National Guard ad for internment/resettlement jobs.

Gotta put those snitches somewhere!

Akzed on August 6, 2009 at 2:06 PM

The intimidators’ seem blithely confident of their security, and such confidence seems to arise from the circumstance that the Americans are actually so mild-mannered and lawful.
Kralizec on August 6, 2009

Bingo!

But do you think the National Guard would enforce any kind of crackdown on dissent that Obama may order as a result of Americans choosing NOT to be so lawful?

We have the upper hand, we just choose to sit on them. Of course it’s too early to talk about an insurrection as all of this may be defeated ultimately with barry leaving the Whitehouse after one term.

Goodeye_Closed on August 6, 2009 at 2:08 PM

William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson
O/T I heard the jury came back with a guilty verdict on him.

txmomof6 on August 6, 2009 at 1:49 PM

Has Hot Air reported this story and I just missed it?

I’ve seen a few o/t comments here and there, but where’s the opportunity to roast this unabashed liberal thug thizzle?

Sweet_Thang on August 6, 2009 at 2:11 PM

Sweet_Thang on August 6, 2009 at 2:11 PM

Here is a link, http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2009/08/william_jefferson_verdict_guil.html

txmomof6 on August 6, 2009 at 2:19 PM

Well.

Clearly every voter in Illinois who objects to the Democrap-Mob-run kleptocracy needs to email the snitch-flag site with tips about the crooks operating in their district.

I will be tipping the snitch site about the lies and disinformation emanating from Jesse Jackson’s, Dick Durbin’s, and Roland Pooh Bear’s offices, as well as the pervasive presence of corruption at every level of government in the district, county, and state.

I urge you all to send notice of every single instance of Democrap lies, deception, and corruption to this website. Surely that’s what they are looking for in the White House?

Jaibones on August 6, 2009 at 2:20 PM

I’ve seen a few o/t comments here and there, but where’s the opportunity to roast this unabashed liberal thug thizzle?

Sweet_Thang on August 6, 2009 at 2:11 PM

We’ve already crowned the Freezer Czar, or the Bribery Czar…tax evader has already been taken.

right2bright on August 6, 2009 at 2:20 PM

This program is innocuous.

orange on August 6, 2009 at 12:47 PM

You are noxious.

Jaibones on August 6, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Guys and Gals- make sure to mention to all your liberal/Democrat friends that in a few years time a Republican President will be free to compile a secret database of opponents to his policies.

Now that Obama’s set a precedent and none of them are complaining about people’s rights being infringed.

If they’re silent now, evidently they are not opposed to the principle.

Jay Mac on August 6, 2009 at 2:36 PM

Sweet_Thang on August 6, 2009 at 2:11 PM

Here is a link, http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2009/08/william_jefferson_verdict_guil.html

txmomof6 on August 6, 2009 at 2:19 PM

Thanx busy txmomof6! Hot Air must have decided this news was irrelevant.

Has me wondering though, was the $400,000 Jefferson swiped earmarked for those Katrina trailer repairs? And they’re STILL blaming Bo-o-o-o-o-o-sh? Now THAT’S crafty!!

Sweet_Thang on August 6, 2009 at 2:42 PM

I spent about an hour yesterday using this email address to register at every porno and warez website I could find.

That my friend, is the funniest thing I read ALL day, and LOL! You are a creative patriot – and you’ll be instrumental to the success of the resistance.

NumberTwo on August 6, 2009 at 2:53 PM

I dub this program “Code Fink.”

I want my T-shirt ASAP! In brown, of course.

Maquis on August 6, 2009 at 3:11 PM

I don’t think anyone’s actually sitting there reading these emails. Just a publicity stunt.

Still, it definitely rubs me the wrong way.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 6, 2009 at 3:25 PM

Obama, on the other hand, has set up a snitch line not for crimes or terrorism, but for simple political dissent.

Are you suggesting thoughtcrime is not a real crime?

I’m sorry, but my religious patriotic Obamaniacal duty requires me to snitch on you.

War is Peace
Freedoms is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength
Barack Obama is Watching You

malclave on August 6, 2009 at 3:25 PM

I sent an email to Obama’s snitch squad. I told them that there was someone spreading falsehoods and propaganda about Obama’s Health Care Plan. That someone lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

76United on August 6, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Well, yesterday I forwarded a lie and obfuscation filled email about the health care bill to them.

One I received from my most lefty Senator.

Since his email repeated the same lies that 0bama keeps telling about it, I don’t know if they will give me a shiny red star for being a good snitch, or put me up near the top of their enemies list for tweaking their noses.

If I have time, I’ll do some more monkeywrenching.

LegendHasIt on August 6, 2009 at 4:20 PM

Does anyone remember how angry the left got when the Bush Administration wanted to track the checking out of certain library books? Where is the liberal left that was up in arms over that invasion of privacy? I guess it is okay for the government to track someone if they exercise their First Amendment to disagree with liberal ideology, but it is not okay for the government to track someone if they check out books that could potentially lead to another terrorist attack…

Conservative in NOVA on August 6, 2009 at 4:47 PM

Why not do exactly what they want… and report the fishy statements from those who support ObamaCare?

Surely we must identify who this “Senator” Obama was who sounded to be such a major proponent of single-payer health… something that President Obama has always been clear that he does not support.

dahat on August 6, 2009 at 4:59 PM

“He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16-17

Of course, if you are found to be a subversive, you don’t get your mark… or your government healthcare.

VastRightWingConspirator on August 6, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Here is a link, http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2009/08/william_jefferson_verdict_guil.html

txmomof6 on August 6, 2009 at 2:19 PM

Thanx busy txmomof6! Hot Air must have decided this news was irrelevant.

Sweet_Thang on August 6, 2009 at 2:42 PM

It was covered in the headlines. http://hotair.com/headlines/?p=47975

You can scroll through older headlines by clicking “all headlines” then use the arrows (>>) and browse older blog entries in the Vault.

RushBaby on August 6, 2009 at 5:55 PM

The reason for this type of strategy is the only transparency I’ve seen from this administration thus far.

Texas Gal on August 6, 2009 at 1:17 PM

Exactly. The only transparency Obama honors is the open view into our privacy.

maverick muse on August 6, 2009 at 6:01 PM

Mr. Obama, Tear Down This Webpost!

Trochilus on August 6, 2009 at 5:01 PM

Recall Obama’s Berlin speech, to take down all walls. You have no rights; unalienable rights are dead along with the Constitution. That’s been Obama’s shovel ready project all along.

maverick muse on August 6, 2009 at 6:04 PM

Now, now! We must support President HoneckerObama and the Stasi. It’s the East GermanAmerican Way!

ClydeS on August 6, 2009 at 6:18 PM

(We’re armed with our walkers and dangerous.)

Loxodonta on August 6, 2009 at 10:57 AM

I have images of the convoy to the senior protest rally on the National Mall. 20 miles of vehicles all with the left turn blinker on. :-0

highhopes on August 6, 2009 at 11:41 AM

At the tax-day protest, I stood with two very sweet bubbies who were outraged at porkulus…

I hope to see them at the Kratovil protest on 8/11.

Laura in Maryland on August 6, 2009 at 12:10 PM

Hey! All you young guns with your blinkers flashing right!

We sweet bubbies get all the hot conserva-babes.

So let that be a lesson to you.

Loxodonta on August 6, 2009 at 6:37 PM

Didn’t Congress pass a law in the wake of Operation CHAOS regarding the collection of info on ‘dissidents’?

Paul_in_NJ on August 6, 2009 at 8:31 PM

Next town hall I attend I will wear a shirt with my full name printed on it, front and back. I wish everyone else would do the same.

Bishop on August 6, 2009 at 10:26 AM

How about everyone wear a T-shirt that says:

I am Spartacus!

fred5678 on August 6, 2009 at 8:36 PM

Pay bums outside the library to go inside and report people on the computers there. Obtain accurate descriptions of local congressional staffers and have the bums report them as engaging in agitation against the regime…I mean administration. Make sure you are wearing non-descript/not-your-own clothing, sunglasses, gloves, hats, and etc. just for verisimilitude. Preferably pay in legal booze so that memories are confused.

If you can afford some costuming and a few 40 ounce bottles of malt beverage, you can participate in wrecking this very, very stupid program.

Patrick_Lasswell on August 6, 2009 at 8:56 PM

What ever happened to that “stop snitchin” campaign?

Red Cloud on August 6, 2009 at 10:13 AM

Doesn’t apply to not tattling on upstanding white people doing legal activities, apparently. Just to the odd black who opposes his/her peers behaving like modern-day Huns.

Unfortunately, this idea of a national snitch hotline is a disaster that Bush started, albeit with very good intentions and directed at the right group of people. Informing on bloodthirsty ragheads =/= turning in perfectly good citizens practicing their God-given rights…but that’s what it’s being twisted to.

Dark-Star on August 6, 2009 at 8:56 PM

I’d give him credit for his initiative but on this occasion I’m taking full responsibility for his actions. Nope. This has my letter to him written all over it.

You don’t have to thank me.

rihar on August 6, 2009 at 9:09 PM

This Obama intimidation ploy is just another variant of ’1984′where young rats are given commendation medals for betraying their parents.

MaiDee on August 7, 2009 at 12:20 AM

Henke got a response from the WH that the misinformation would be used to post facts.

However, it’s a fairly unsatisfying answer. What worked in the campaign isn’t going to work now that he’s president.

AnninCA on August 7, 2009 at 9:59 AM

The Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, specifically provides, at sec. 5 USC 552a:

Ҥ 552a. Records maintained on individuals

(a) Definitions.— For purposes of this section—

(1) the term “agency” means agency as defined in section 552(e) ** of this title;

(2) the term “individual” means a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence;

(3) the term “maintain” includes maintain, collect, use, or disseminate;

(4) the term “record” means any item, collection, or grouping of information about an individual that is maintained by an agency, including, but not limited to, his education, financial transactions, medical history, and criminal or employment history and that contains his name, or the identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the individual, such as a finger or voice print or a photograph;

(5) the term “system of records” means a group of any records under the control of any agency from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the individual;
. . . .” (my emphasis)

Regarding agency requirements, subsection (7), below, is the kicker that makes what they are doing so highly questionable:

“(e) Agency Requirements.— Each agency that maintains a system of rec­ords shall—
. . .
(7) maintain no record describing how any individual exercises rights guaranteed by the First Amendment unless expressly authorized by statute or by the individual about whom the record is maintained or unless pertinent to and within the scope of an authorized law enforcement activity;
. . . .

Under the Privacy Act, “Agency” means [as reallocated from sec. 552(e) to sec. 552(f)] ** the following:

(f) For purposes of this section, the term –

(1) “agency” as defined in section 551(1) of this title

includes any executive department, military department,

Government corporation, Government controlled corporation, or

other establishment in the executive branch of the Government

(including the Executive Office of the President), or any

independent regulatory agency.” (my emphasis)

Hence, it appears that because the records being sent to them pursuant to this mass solicitation by political operatives within the White House, and that they are sufficiently specific to individuals, including having e-mail addresses, often including the sender’s full name therein, traceable computer identifiers such as dates and times, and especially IP addresses, and a host of other personally identifying information, frequently including automatic signature lines that are within e-mail messages, that these are “records” within the meaning of the Act.

Who believes for one second that they are not looking for patterns by individuals?

So this is quite arguably a violation of the federal Privacy Act of 1974, found at 5 USC 552a, as amended.

** Footnote: There was a tricky legislative reallocation [ 552(e) to (552(f) ] at one point that makes it necessary to look at the official version — the “Office of the Law Revision Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives version — where it states in the footnotes, that:

“REFERENCES IN TEXT

Section 552(e) of this title, referred to in subsec. (a)(1), was redesignated section 552(f) of this title by section 1802(b) of Pub. L. 99-570.”

Trochilus on August 7, 2009 at 7:54 PM

Bill to Cornyn: Stop giving GOP $$$ to Obama’s pet RINO, Charlie “Tan from a can” Crist

bill30097 on August 7, 2009 at 10:21 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3