Bob Beckel: Let’s face it, this NSA snooping is getting awfully close to fascism

posted at 11:16 am on June 7, 2013 by Allahpundit

If you’ve lost Bob Beckel, you’ve lost .. one of Fox News’s six or seven liberals, some of whom are defending the NSA’s record-harvesting even now. Ah well. Worth watching anyway, partly because occasions for a second look at Beckel are rare and partly because of Dana Perino’s argument at the end about how Beckel would feel if the feds stopped data-mining and his son was killed in a terrorist attack. That’s the other evergreen defense of the surveillance state, complementing Lindsey Graham’s point yesterday that if you haven’t done anything wrong you should have nothing to worry about. If records-snooping saves lives, isn’t it worth it? Isn’t it absolutely true that if O canceled the PRISM program and then the country was attacked, he’d be bludgeoned politically by hawks for not having done everything he could to protect Americans? (Answer: Yes, it’s absolutely true.) Perino’s hypothetical reminds me of O’s and Biden’s “if it saves just one life” gun-control talking point from this past winter. More expansive background checks might save a few lives. An assault-weapons ban might save even more. A total ban on semiautomatics might save a lot. Why not do everything we can, even if it’s intrusive? You can slide a long way on that slope.

But I don’t mean to lecture. Perino will almost certainly win this argument among the public. I’d be very, very surprised if there was any sort of sharp, sustained backlash to the news this week about government snooping. The next round of polls will look bad for Obama, just because people know how they’re supposed to answer when a pollster asks if they’re “troubled” about the government having a record of virtually every electronic communication they’ve engaged in over the past five years. The public will disapprove, strongly, but no one’s getting voted out over this. In fact, the loathsome hacks at the New York Times couldn’t stand the thought of their editorial attack on O remaining as-is for even one day without watering it down to go easier on Bambi. Eventually he’ll give one of his stupid “let’s have a national debate” speeches to placate them and all the easily impressed soi-disant intellectuals will decide grudgingly to give him a pass — again — because they trust him to be a responsible actor, and that’ll be that. It’s a non-issue next year in November. You might slow the growth of the surveillance state but you won’t reverse it.

Via Mediaite.


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Here’s the thing… Do we want them to be able to find the bad guys or not?

Everyone has their limit for how much surveillance becomes too much, and this is not “too much” for me since it’s just “meta data” and there is still oversight.

bluegill on June 7, 2013 at 12:02 PM

First, it’s not just meta data. That was on the phone surveillance. The Internet surveillance includes content.

Second, I would prefer 100 bad guys to go free — even terrorists — rather than have one right of one single American infringed by the government. And that’s the principle our system is founded on too. Otherwise, what are we fighting to protect?

Shump on June 7, 2013 at 2:40 PM

I’d rather worry about bad guys than a tyrannical police state.

claudius on June 7, 2013 at 2:43 PM

I’d rather worry about bad guys than a tyrannical police state.

claudius on June 7, 2013 at 2:43 PM

the police state is the bad guys.

unseen on June 7, 2013 at 2:45 PM

No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.
-Sam Adams

unseen on June 7, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Perhaps the real bad guys are all the lazy slugs with no moral fiber or understanding that have come to occupy so much of our land.

claudius on June 7, 2013 at 2:53 PM

We are deep into 2013 with no serious ammo supplies in sight, but we’re neck deep in revelations of government scandal and abuse. Just a thought…

claudius on June 7, 2013 at 2:59 PM

I saw this whole exchange last night and was amazed/amused. Perino and Guilfoyle pulling out the emotional straw man argument. They all thought they’d won the argument. No ladies, you lost. Big time.

There is a gun show this weekend here in town. Time to buy more ammo. Just to let the feds know ahead of time. I’m sure they’ll have a few atf goons hiding out in the crowd.

oryguncon on June 7, 2013 at 3:02 PM

I’d rather worry about bad guys than a tyrannical police state.

claudius on June 7, 2013 at 2:43 PM

You are the bad guy now. Now get back to work serf. The IRS needs more star trek videos, paintings and dance lessons.

oryguncon on June 7, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Serf that I am I will go, but they’ll be no whistling.

claudius on June 7, 2013 at 3:09 PM

To this “old soldier,” the issue is whether or not we are at War. Lincoln during the War Between the States, Wilson during WWI and FDR during WWII abused the Constitution even more grossly. Arguably, and I agree these abbesses should be forgiven.

Bush declared a War on Terrorism. I have serious reservations about how Bush fought the War, particularly the Invasion of Iraq. But mistakes, even big mistakes are inherent in War. Been there. Done that.

Obama seems not to believe that a War on Terrorism even exists. What is his excuse?

Linh_My on June 7, 2013 at 3:22 PM

I’d rather worry about bad guys than a tyrannical police state.

claudius on June 7, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Wow, check your brain today.

Schadenfreude on June 7, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Obama seems not to believe that a War on Terrorism even exists. What is his excuse?

Linh_My on June 7, 2013 at 3:22 PM

The problem with your thinking is that we are now in a perpetual state of war against terror, right? Our 4th amendment rights are suspended not for a 5 or 6 year war but forever.
THe war on terror can not justify suspending the constitution for decades.

BoxHead1 on June 7, 2013 at 3:39 PM

suspended abused

BoxHead1 on June 7, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Clue Bob, welcome to the club, pally.

mickytx on June 7, 2013 at 6:41 PM

claudius on June 7, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Did you actually say that?

mickytx on June 7, 2013 at 6:43 PM

Obama seems not to believe that a War on Terrorism even exists. What is his excuse?

Linh_My on June 7, 2013 at 3:22 PM

The problem with your thinking is that we are now in a perpetual state of war against terror, right? Our 4th amendment rights are suspended not for a 5 or 6 year war but forever.
THe war on terror can not justify suspending the constitution for decades.

BoxHead1 on June 7, 2013 at 3:39 PM

The issue is that NO War ends until both sides agree that it has ended. If that requires that one side ceases to exist, War is a nasty business and that side must be destroyed or the War will last forever. Viet Nam fought a thousand year war against China for independence. Despite trying continuously to eliminate Viet Nam, China eventually quit it’s aggression(or at least suspended it until recently).

One side in this war is absolutely determined that no one can believe anything except for the most backward and corrupt version of Islam. The war will not end until they are dead.

Admittedly, our options are between bad and worse. Their are no good options. Been there. Done that.

19k30 ret

Linh_My on June 7, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Who cares about Obama at this point? He can’t be re-elected anyway. We need to pin this on Feinstein, the chairman of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and any other dems that are involved and/or supportive.

JackOfClubs on June 7, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Linh_My on June 7, 2013 at 6:46 PM

If you want to know, completely, what ‘the religion of peace’ will understand,
it is lots and lots of ‘splodey ordinance, ad infinitum

until they are all gone.

I denounce themselves as the ham might be a mere.

mickytx on June 7, 2013 at 7:00 PM

claudius on June 7, 2013 at 2:43 PM

The “bad guys”, as determined by Obama may include people like, say, the Tea Party or anyone with “patriot” on their site.

clnurnberg on June 7, 2013 at 7:05 PM

I’d rather worry about bad guys than a tyrannical police state.

claudius on June 7, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Wow, check your brain today.

Schadenfreude on June 7, 2013 at 3:31 PM

I’m not sure what the objection is to my comment. I would rather worry about bad guys (Jihadists, Drug Cartels, Criminals) than worry about my own government instituting a police state. Unfortunately I am more worried about my own government. Governments have more potential of harm than any other force on the globe.

claudius on June 7, 2013 at 7:31 PM

mickytx on June 7, 2013 at 7:00 PM

There are roughly one and a half billion followers of Islam in the world. Anyone who thinks that all of them must be eliminated is an evil monster. Anyone who thinks that they must be forced to follow another religion or be killed or imprisoned is almost as evil.

In reality their are(my guess) likely 50,000-100,000 Religious bigots and power mad individuals responsible for continuing the war on the other side. They are the problem, not Islam. Islam is an “Old Testament” religion who doubled down on “smiting” their enemies and also believes in predestination, not “free will.”

I do believe in a “New Testament” God. I also find Islam to be an unacceptable Religion for me to follow. But, I do not believe in penalizing people because they happen to follow a religion, Islam, that I believe misunderstands the word of God. That is between them and God.

Study the occupation of Japan and Germany. There are lessons to be learned.

Linh_My on June 7, 2013 at 7:31 PM

The “bad guys”, as determined by Obama may include people like, say, the Tea Party or anyone with “patriot” on their site.

clnurnberg on June 7, 2013 at 7:05 PM

I would guess that when the term “bad guys” is brought up the first thing that comes to your mind is not Obama’s and the Left’s straw men definition. I know that’s not what comes to my mind.

claudius on June 7, 2013 at 7:38 PM

And NO – by neocon I do not mean jooo. I far prefer Neocons to anti Israeli, pro islamic, pot smoking liberterian libertines.

BoxHead1 on June 7, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Then why don’t you use the term ‘conservative’ instead of the accusatory ‘Neocon’? I am not trying to start an argument but I see that and automatically see anti-Semite.

As for the latter part of your post…AMEN ! I have no time for “Liberal-tarian” squishes !

cableguy615 on June 7, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Governments have more potential of harm than any other force on the globe.

claudius on June 7, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Especially when they’re doing it “for you own good”. Now lay back, close your eyes and think of England.

Squiggy on June 7, 2013 at 8:18 PM

Can we ask one more time, how stupid do they think we are. They are data mining to form more persuasive speeches, talking points and campaign ads. It’s always about winning the next election. The fbi couldn’t catch the boys in Boston after having them handed over on a silver platter by our best buds.

Kissmygrits on June 7, 2013 at 9:13 PM

Here’s the thing… Do we want them to be able to find the bad guys or not?

Everyone has their limit for how much surveillance becomes too much, and this is not “too much” for me since it’s just “meta data” and there is still oversight.

bluegill on June 7, 2013 at 12:02 PM

The problem, Dear Blue, is that *Prism* hoovered up CONTENT of emails. It swept in credit card transactions and on-line banking transactions; as well as phone call (land & cell) content.

And the CEOs and prsidents of the companies involved have disputed the NSA claim of legality vis a vis warrants and company co-operation. The companies have said that they received NO warrants – or even notification that this was to be done.

In other words: NSA SIMPLY HACKED INTO THE COMPANIES’ SERVERS TO GET WHAT THEY WANTED.
How about THAT for “oversight“?

Time to grow up, Sweetmeat; and face the fact that your “safety” has nothing at all to do with what the current regime wants to do TO you.

Solaratov on June 7, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Perhaps the real bad guys are all the lazy slugs with no moral fiber or understanding that have come to occupy so much of our land.

claudius on June 7, 2013 at 2:53 PM

I don’t think so. they are victims more than anything IMO. the real bad guys are the people that pushed the policies and morals that turned good people into lazy slugs.

unseen on June 7, 2013 at 10:03 PM

Obama seems not to believe that a War on Terrorism even exists. What is his excuse?

Linh_My on June 7, 2013 at 3:22 PM

I believe you are onto something

Obama keeps the Afghan war out of political speech, but soldiers are still expected to patrol, and thus get blown up I am not certain why they are still patrolling. He does not use the war for patriotic speech

Someone suggested it was to exhaust the military stockpiles, while cutting back on military budget.

Periodic drone triumphs make it look like Obama is doing something.

Obama blocks profiling terrorists. He has removed honest anti terrorism training from FBI and Military training books.

Obama does support the deconstruction of the older muslim States, into Brotherhood States. Google specialists helped train some instigators of the Arab spring. Some of that success could have come of data mining

The Russian intelligence about the Boston bombers was ignored. So what is the purpose of the data mining?

IMHO some of the weakness in the GOP Congress comes from data mining against various corrupt GOP members.

Obama has access to the mined data, under the guise of security. The anti Tea Party efforts were kid stuff and paid off big time, so we know he has no problem using data to power .

entagor on June 7, 2013 at 10:26 PM

I’d rather worry about bad guys than a tyrannical police state.

claudius on June 7, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Wow, check your brain today.

Schadenfreude on June 7, 2013 at 3:31 PM

I believe that he was saying that he’d rather not have to worry about the government; and be able to concentrate on the bad guys.

Unfortunately…………

Solaratov on June 7, 2013 at 10:52 PM

Ein Weld. Ein Ordnung. SIEG HEIL!

bluegill on June 7, 2013 at 12:02 PM

S. D. on June 8, 2013 at 12:38 AM

………Lets raise the odds by profiling, Lets raise the odds by finding some reported 20,000 muslims here on “student visa” who are not attending any classes…….theres your meta data needed.

sbark on June 8, 2013 at 7:33 AM

Examining the metadata is a really powerful way to detect terror cells and terrorist relationships.

It is really powerful for some people to detect Tea Party sympathizers, likely conservative or libertarial campaign contributors, and other “rightist” elements.

The second consideration nullifies completely the first. The second is the way to the police state. The first consideration is not nearly weighty enough to override the second.

Before Obama’s 2nd term I probably could have swallowed the first presuming the men and women in the government would not wander off reservation as far as they have. Now I won’t.

This is not pushing us back onto the playbook William L. Shirer described in “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” only with modern tools.

{^_^}

herself on June 8, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Terrorism is a lesser threat to our nation than tyranny. Heck, unchecked immigration and visa’s to muslims are a bigger threat than external terrorism. Obama lets them in, then spies on all of us, focusing on political enemies.

Spartacus on June 8, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Good for Bob Beckel. His statement will bring out other decent people who made a mistake and voted for fascism.

As for “bad-guys” … this isn’t a very technical or legal term is it?

Lynsey and Claudius may not think they are bad-guys today, but they might be tomorrow.

Pretty soon all cars will have data recorders that show where they went, how fast they went, and how long they stayed there. Of course, they would not record who was in the car or what they said to each other – just meta data.

This is 1984. Face it.

virgo on June 8, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Bob Beckel: Let’s face it, this NSA snooping is getting awfully close to fascism…and it’s all Bush’s fault!

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 8, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Real fascists don’t need to snoop — they just pick up people at random, fabricate “evidence”, and then kill them. They don’t have to find subversives, they just have to make people afraid to be subversive.

Count to 10 on June 8, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Who cares about Obama at this point? He can’t be re-elected anyway. We need to pin this on Feinstein, the chairman of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and any other dems that are involved and/or supportive.
JackOfClubs on June 7, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Look, Feinstein is my Senator and she’s an elitist S.F. Lib all the way. But she’s not the enemy on this one. The people on the Hill most responsible for urging NSA limits are Libertarians and Dems. Feinstein tried to get some wing clipping passed. This is some interesting background.

Ron Wyden -Dem Senator Oregon
Mark Udall – Dem Senator Colorado
Jeff Merkley – Dem Senator Oregon
(Most outspoken and active Senators against PRISM)

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/nsa-snooping-gets-mixed-hill-reviews-92381.html

http://mobile.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/05/29/ron_wyden_doj_may_have_to_release_fisa_related_documents_demonstrating_excessive.html

Nana on June 8, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Perino is a Bushie. Of course she likes government surveillance.

rdbrewer on June 8, 2013 at 6:14 PM

UGH. I can’t read anymore garbage like this:

Here’s the thing… Do we want them to be able to find the bad guys or not?
Everyone has their limit for how much surveillance becomes too much, and this is not “too much” for me since it’s just “meta data” and there is still oversight.
bluegill on June 7, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Really? Well I’ll tell you it’s too damned much for me.
I LIKE the 4th Amendment. And even if you are not bothered by the fact the Federal Govt feels free to violate it constantly, I am not ok with this.
You sniveling coward. The Constitution & Bill of Rights are not up for interpretation & debate. They are static concepts.
Your lack of concern is not only pathetic & disgusting, it is traitorous.

Badger40 on June 8, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Badger40 on June 8, 2013 at 6:33 PM

…9…10…DING! Yer OUT! >-<o

rottenrobbie on June 8, 2013 at 10:28 PM

This comment thread is ludicrous. If you were going to replace “surveillance of everyone to save even one life” in this argument, with “taking away all guns to save even one life,” you people would be frothing at the mouth.

No matter the issue, EVERYTHING STARTS WITH FREEDOM. Freedom is the baseline. Any law or bureaucratic law that is put into place necessarily impinges on freedom in some manner. There is certainly a cost-benefit discussion for every instance as to whether this measure is worth the corresponding loss of freedom.

In this case, you’d have to be insane to think that it’s worth your loss of personal freedom by way of the government literally being able to watch you type your emails as you type them for the mildly increased ability to find possible terrorists. And this is before we find out what this program costs. There’s no way the expense of whatever this is is worth the result.

Bottom line, it should always be HARDER for the government to impinge on ANYBODY’s freedom, whether they are a good guy or a bad guy. It should NEVER be easier.

aic4ever on June 9, 2013 at 8:33 AM

19k30 ret

Linh_My on June 7, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Thank you.

Dunedainn on June 9, 2013 at 10:51 AM

You might slow the growth of the surveillance state but you won’t reverse it.

Wow AP. The return of Eeyore.

You pessimistic, gloomy, depressed, anhedonic, old grey stuffed donkey you.

Welcome back.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on June 9, 2013 at 11:30 AM

It should NEVER be easier.

aic4ever on June 9, 2013 at 8:33 AM
I agree. This Republic was founded based on the rights of the INDIVIDUAL.
It is not a communist/socialist construct which violates the rights of the individual for the ‘common’ good.
Americans are not collectivists.
Perhaps some of you here are.
So if that is true, GTFO & go to Venezuela.

Badger40 on June 9, 2013 at 4:53 PM

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