White House on surveillance: Hey, let’s have a “debate”

posted at 10:31 am on June 7, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Funny, most voters thought we had that debate in 2007 and 2008, when Barack Obama railed at the Bush administration’s policies of surveillance and warrantless wiretapping. Five years later, we not only find out that Obama didn’t end those policies, but he amplified them — especially in content surveillance through the “exponential” expansion of PRISM.  Suddenly, now that he’s been exposed as no different and probably worse than the man he replaced on surveillance, the President wants to have a “debate” again, but Josh Gerstein points out both the hypocrisy and the lack of any hope of credibility from the White House:

The Obama administration has a familiar refrain on the surveillance of Americans’ telephone records: the president and his team are eager to have the debate.

Eager, that is, only after others have brought the tactics to light and the administration has spent years employing them.

On Guantanamo and drone strikes, as well as his administration’s aggressive use of leak investigations into the telephone records and e-mails of journalists, President Barack Obama and his aides often seem to cast him as a detached analyst or law professor watching policies carried out, rather than the one actually directing or responsible for them.

Gerstein points out the obvious about the timing:

Only after the leak Wednesday of a four-page “top secret” court order indicating that millions of Americans’ phone calls were tracked on a daily basis did officials begin to confirm the program’s details.

But Obama could have chosen at any time to disclose the data-sifting program, or even its rough outlines. That fact leaves critics unimpressed with his latest round of let’s-talk-it-over.

It reminds one of Eric Holder’s “creeping sense of remorse” over having approved the warrant on James Rosen naming him a co-conspirator in espionage.  That “creeping sense of remorse” had the same triggering event as Obama’s sudden desire to have a “debate” on surveillance: getting caught. Both offerings of repentance, by the way, didn’t come from the men involved but nameless aides, too.

The debate is coming whether Obama wants it or not.  Also at Politico, the President may find himself with fewer allies this time around, too:

In the last few weeks, some of the loudest anti-Bush voices — including Democratic Reps. Henry Waxman and Ed Markey and Sens. Mark Udall and Ron Wyden – have been demanding answers from the White House on civil liberties, privacy and regulations, some of the same questions that defined Bush’s second term. …

As Obama grapples with a slew of second-term scandals about the scope of government power — from the Justice Department snooping on reporters to the IRS hassling tea partiers — it’s a bad time to be short on friends.

“The president said that I must return to my authentic self. And I think the president needs to go back and read his own speeches,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings, implying Obama could use a refresher course on some of his own 2008 campaign rhetoric — when he spoke openly about not becoming part of the conventional politics of Washington.

Others likened him to Bush, directly.

“I’m very concerned that this is basically a continuation of the policies of the Bush administration and the abuses of the Patriot Act. I’d like to see better out of this administration,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat who noted he’s long been game to question Obama’s priorities.

Bloomberg News’ editorial board isn’t likening Obama to George W. Bush.  They’re calling him “Orwellian,” and that was before they knew about PRISM:

On May 23, President Barack Obama gave a major speech on terrorism that was intended to signal the end of an era. In his remarks at the National Defense University, Obama said the terrorist threat against the U.S. had “shifted and evolved” since the Sept. 11 attacks. It was time, he said, to ask “hard questions” about how the U.S. should adapt to new realities.

Curiously, we now learn that just one month before his speech, the Obama administration responded to new realities with the same old habits. On April 25, administration officials sought court permission under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to begin collecting telephone records of millions of U.S. customers of Verizon Business Network Services, a Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) subsidiary. A compliant national security court — there appears to have been no other type since Sept. 11 — authorized the collection, allowing it to continue until July 19. The order isn’t scheduled to be declassified until 2038. …

If Obama wants on one hand to move the U.S. beyond an era of overreaction, and on the other to secure legitimacy for national security investigations, the government is going to have to trust its citizens a little more. We need to know what the grounds are for these continuing surveillance requests and how they could be so sweeping as to encompass millions of Verizon customers nationwide.

Here’s another question Bloomberg’s editors would like to debate:

Are we living in a police state? We’d like to know.

Obama does have one editorial board on his side — the New York Times, which watered down its previously scathing editorial on the phone-records trawl without acknowledging the edit:

The New York Times editorial board has quietly changed the language in the most widely cited line from Thursday’s scathing editorial about the Obama administration’s surveillance of U.S. citizens.

The line — “The administration has now lost all credibility” — was changed Thursday night to read, “The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue.” No correction or explanatory note was appended.

“The change was for clarity’s sake,” Andrew Rosenthal, the Times editorial page editor, told POLITICO on Friday morning. “It was clear from the context of the editorial that the issue of credibility related to this subject and the final edit of the piece strengthened that point.”

Weakness is strength! That has a familiar sound to it, no?

Nick Gillespie wants in on the debate, too.  He deconstructs the emerging apologias for the Obama Surveillance State, which should be read in full, but here’s an excellent point on the difference between voluntary disclosures in private transactions and involuntary disclosures forced by the government:

Second, blur the distinction between voluntary disclosures of your information and government surveillance. Also at Slate (hmm…the same outfit whose staff voted overwhelmingly for Obama), Amy Webb says chill because “You’re sharing your private data with corporations and governments all the time.” What’s the fuss, she argues, “By definition, you’re surrendering your privacy by using your phone.” Really? There’s no meaningful distinction to be drawn between, I don’t know, checking in on Four Square (if anyone still does that) or making a phone call and the government routinely collecting millions of phone records? Especially under the pretense that this is done to keep tabs on foreign agents and non-citizens who may be looking to blow us up? The F in FISA stands for foreign, not domestic. Facebook, Twitter, the NSA – it’s all the same, isn’t it? They all have equal power to declare you an enemy combatant and throw you in prison, after all. (For a primer on some very basic distinctions between data gathering between public and private sources, read Reason’s classic 2004 cover story, “Database Nation: The upside of ‘zero privacy,’” by Declan McCullagh.)

Yes, let’s have this debate … and keep in mind the credibility of Barack Obama, James Clapper, Eric Holder, and everyone else likely to weigh in on it from the Obama administration while having it.

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Comment pages: 1 2

How can there be a debate when the administration has proven themselves to be capable of just making sh!+ up as they go along?

lynncgb on June 7, 2013 at 11:26 AM

“There is a massive apparatus within the United States government that with complete secrecy has been building this enormous structure that has only one goal,” Greenwald said on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live” on Thursday.

And that is to destroy privacy and anonymity not just in the United States but around the world.”

Thereby to eliminate individualism and promote the transformation to a collectivist/socialist world order.

It’s ideologically driven.

petefrt on June 7, 2013 at 11:14 AM

petefrt on June 7, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Leakapooloooza!

Love that and I’m stealing it.

About the leaks coming fast and furious:

Remember the Drudge editor, Joseph Curl, tweeting last week that something really big was about to drop?

Wonder if PRISM is it?

wyntre on June 7, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Anyone know the answer to that?

wyntre on June 7, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Technology that predates the full implementation of the Patriot Act…tinkered/upgraded by techs you trust?

A company in South Africa is getting ready to launch an app that disrupts the surveillance…but informs the server your using the app?

Don’t know if it’s true…but I spotted it in an online techie thread.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 11:28 AM

If, as Obama proclaimed in his speech two weeks ago, we have Al Qaeda on the run and the War on Terror is over, why is there a need to spy on millions of Americans?

fogw on June 7, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Because we’re the real enemy.

PatriotGal2257 on June 7, 2013 at 11:29 AM

workingclass,

So are you saying the 2007 OS might be safe?

(Sorry, I’m a bit of a tech neanderthal).

wyntre on June 7, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Wish America would have gone with Romney and his binders of women….instead of Obama and his supercomputers of every man, woman and child on the planet.

HumpBot Salvation on June 7, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Did the NSA listen in on Romney Campaign phone calls? Did they share that info with White House? No? Prove it.

patch on June 7, 2013 at 11:31 AM

About the leaks source – some have opined it might be Petraeus or someone in the military.

I wouldn’t be surprised.

The POS has PO’d a lot of those people.

wyntre on June 7, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Should I he be concerned?

mjbrooks3 on June 7, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Freudian slip? Just kidding. I don’t think he should be concerned so much as aware. The Breitbart strategy is to be upfront about one’s past and peccadillos. In any case, it leads me to my new strategy of challenge to leftists (and I cross paths with many). What I’ve been doing lately is challenging them on their identification as “liberals.” Not terribly new, I suppose, but I make a very specific case about why the aveage “liberal” has forfeited his right to call himself that. In short, if one continues to support Obama at this point with what is known, he cannot call himself a liberal. It’s just an irrefutable dissonance and truth. He can call himself whatever else he chooses, and I can challenge him on that too perhaps, but he’s not a liberal. The argumentative point is, to expose the abuse and duplicity of words and identities and the true nature of leftism.

I’ve had some success lately. “Liberals” descend into bile or run away even sooner than they used to. Which of course further confirms the misidentification. The key is to be insistent and specific.

If a liberal is going to condemn or censor a political opponent for porn use (absent any hypocrisy involved by the user), then he cannot justly call himself a liberal.

rrpjr on June 7, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Corporations, except for Google and Facebook, don’t routinely use your information to destroy you and those you know, like the IRS, and EPA does.

GardenGnome on June 7, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Technology that predates the full implementation of the Patriot Act…tinkered/upgraded by techs you trust?

A company in South Africa is getting ready to launch an app that disrupts the surveillance…but informs the server your using the app?

Don’t know if it’s true…but I spotted it in an online techie thread.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 11:28 AM

I’m thinking along the same lines. Our future may lie in applications and services for email, voice-con, surfing, etc, that are outside the reach of the tyrannical US government, in other countries.

There’s a huge business opportunity there for some enterprising capitalists.

slickwillie2001 on June 7, 2013 at 11:33 AM

In Obama World, debate means Presidential sermon followed by a week-long Mass Media chanting of “Move on…”

ROCnPhilly on June 7, 2013 at 11:36 AM

jimver on June 7, 2013 at 11:15 AM

This thug will start using the Military and LEO’s as his backdrop to try and scare us. Wait and see.

VegasRick on June 7, 2013 at 11:18 AM

I really am curious, I mean he never goes by himself out there (and Jarret’s skirts aren’t that vast) when he’s got tough stuff to sell. And what particular prominent military or LEO would offer their cover and hold his train this time? I mean the Pentagon top brass have no credibility anyways, he threw Petraeus and McChrystal under the bus, who’s left? So unless he produces a James Bond-like figure over night, he might as well postpone this important ‘debate’ on the benefits of the police state for ithe sheeple/citizenry.

jimver on June 7, 2013 at 11:38 AM

“Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.” were all major contributors to the Obama campaign. Very few of their staff supported Romney.

Did the NSA listen in on Romney Campaign phone calls? Did the NSA monitor the Romney Campaign’s use of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple.

Did they share that info with White House?

No?

Prove it.

We may have the first stolen Presidential Election in US History.

May God Save the Republic.

patch on June 7, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Obama could have done a better job of re-framing his phone-spying program.

whatcat on June 7, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Five years later, we not only find out that Obama didn’t end those policies, but he amplified them —

Kind of like how the 2006 Democrats promised “no more deficit spending” and then amplified deficits to unprecidented levels.

Keep in mind that the last budget passed by a Republican House, Republican Senate, and Republican President was passed in 2006 for FY 2007 and featured a deficit of less than $161 Billion.

When Democrats took majority control, they roughly tripled the deficit in their first year (FY 2008), roughly tripled the deficit AGAIN in their second year (FY 2009), and haven’t passed a real budget since 2009. The Democrat majorities, who promised “no more deficit spending”, have been running deficits over $1 Trillion (over $1,000 Billion) for the last five fiscal years (FY 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013).

And again, the last budget passed by a Republican House, Republican Senate, and Republican President featured a deficit of less than $161 Billion.

ITguy on June 7, 2013 at 11:44 AM

workingclass,

So are you saying the 2007 OS might be safe?

(Sorry, I’m a bit of a tech neanderthal).

wyntre on June 7, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Maybe.

I’d have a chat with a trusted techie.

I use a Mac dated 2002.

It’s got some problems…and I’m limited on upgrades.

After I finish this job coming up in CO…I’m taking it into a pal for a serious overhaul.

Maybe have one IP for political activity…and one IP for social?

They are doing everything they can to limit free speech, anonymity (Why most of us use an identifying moniker)…Because Blogging is a threat.

Most folks interact on social media now…which is a fail because folks on social media are hampered in their free associations and speech because they are linked to their ID’s…so they follow the prevalent hive mind.

Social Media like FB and Google+ encourages self censorship in political and philosophical discourse.

It’s all kinda weird.

It’s all Upfront Fascist now…But I think we can stop it if we unify around the constitution.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 11:45 AM

We originally entrusted the Executive Branch with an unprecedented level of power in order to keep us safe from terrorists. Only a few pointed out that “those who give up a little freedom in pursuit of safety deserve neither freedom nor safety”. Now, many (like myself) understand what they meant. The Executive Branch has misused the un-Constitutional power entrusted to them, and now that power should be removed.

It is time to contact our Congressmen about REPEALING the PATRIOT ACT

dominigan on June 7, 2013 at 11:46 AM

I mentioned to my liberal, Obama-supporting brother the other day that there is a simple solution to the ever-growing problems facing the U.S. and the world itself. And that is “Get rid of the universal quest for power and severely punish the corrupt in society, and everything else will take care of itself.” Of course, both of those goals would be impossible to attain, and therefore, the crap will go on until the end of mankind…just like it has occurred since the beginning. That is just the reality of life and we should all accept it with a grain of salt. In fact, we should all have a little fun from time to time with what takes place in the political realm as we live out our short time on this planet.

I am going to make some suggestions that will surely stir the pot at the NSA as well as other agencies within the U.S. government. Let’s have some real fun and laughs by spicing up our phone conversations as well as our email writings. This can easily be done with friends and family members as well as total strangers. And we would all fall under the protection of the 1st Amendment.

Going forward (or as the liberals at MSNBC might say “leaning forward”), I am going to start inserting certain words in my emails and my phone conversations. I will be both creative and careful in my methods, so as not to run afoul of any existing laws, but I am sure I will catch the attention of a few snoopers. You see, this is how a Saul Alinsky would confront a situation like what is occurring at the NSA and the IRS. Encourage enough people to throw a wrench in the works to cause some confusion within the offending agencies.

Imagine the fun you could have while writing your cre-8-tive emails. Just be careful about your method, because someone far off in Maryland might be snooping.

metroryder on June 7, 2013 at 11:46 AM

“Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.” were all major contributors to the Obama campaign. Very few of their staff supported Romney.”

patch.

Good point.

wyntre on June 7, 2013 at 11:47 AM

I’m thinking along the same lines. Our future may lie in applications and services for email, voice-con, surfing, etc, that are outside the reach of the tyrannical US government, in other countries.

There’s a huge business opportunity there for some enterprising capitalists.

slickwillie2001 on June 7, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Indeed…but they’d better have a hefty legal fund?

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 11:47 AM

What else? I know I missed a few…

BigFrank on June 7, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Black Panthers
Pigford
Sebelius (DHHS) soliciting contributions for private organizations
DHS releasing illegal immigrants “due to sequestration”

weaselyone on June 7, 2013 at 11:48 AM

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Thanks.

wyntre on June 7, 2013 at 11:50 AM

I’ve been thinking lately that the GOP should just declare Obama king and be done with the sham of representing an opposing party or the Constitution. Given their incredibly droll and disporportionately passive responses, their near-total lack of outrage (as if they’re afraid of it or something), their complete absence of mobilizing partisan energy (unlike democrats under Bush) in the face of this now obviously dedicated and unheard-of sequence of assaults against our essential American existence is astounding.

With a few exceptions (Trey Gowdy and some others), the GOP response to what is going on is surreally inert. Where is Boehner? Why not daily urgent press conferences? People don’t have to foam at the mouth to address the nation in morally serious and appropriately grave terms. Is it that the worse Obama gets the more they feel obligated to uphold some “civility,” as if to compensate for Obama? This would make sense, since they basically live in terror of the media. I mean, Issa called Jay Carney a “paid liar” and was quickly scolded by the national GOP poobahs. Paul Ryan rolls his eyes at Jim McDermott’s obscene slurs and inverted morality at the recent hearings. Really, Paul? That’s all you can muster?

rrpjr on June 7, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Hey, let’s have a “debate”

Too late, @ssh0ole. The feds should have done that BEFORE they gathered the info and put the programs in place, instead of seeking “secret” court orders and now asking forgiveness, not permission. That’s what THUGS do. And THUGS can’t be trusted.

No justifications, no excuses, no stalling, no bullshat.

Shut. It. Down.

Now.

Saltyron on June 7, 2013 at 11:59 AM

verbaluce on June 7, 2013 at 10:40 AM

I’d like to have this debate with you personally – when’s good for you?

Midas on June 7, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Imagine the fun you could have while writing your cre-8-tive emails. Just be careful about your method, because someone far off in Maryland might be snooping.

metroryder on June 7, 2013 at 11:46 AM

So what it is exactly fun about drawing attention to yourself and inviting scrutiny from nefarious agencies like NSA or IRS? I see it more as an exercise in masochism. Not my thing really.

jimver on June 7, 2013 at 12:00 PM

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Thanks.

wyntre on June 7, 2013 at 11:50 AM

The good news is that old tech can still be had and modified…for pretty cheap.

Credit cards can be used carefully.

Online banking is till a choice…as are the right to use hard currency for purchases.

What’s important is Free Speech…and Free Association.

All conservatives are counter culture now…and targets for coercion.

All Traditionally Religious members are counter cultural now…and targets for coercion…especially Catholics & Baptists (Two largest groups)

All Gun Owners and Activists are counter cultural and targets for coercion.

Anyone who is counter to the objectives of the Statist Apparatchik has a target on their back until we clean this mess up…

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Yes, by all means let’s have a “debate” with the totalitarian creep who publicly scolds private citizens like the Koch Brothers and donors to Romney’s campaign (who coincidentally get audited by his IRS), who attacks Fox News, screams at reporters, scolds the Supreme Court, promotes his incompetent, lying cronies, and tells gullible students not to listen to all this tyranny talk (just to name a few examples of his disdain for “debate”). That middle finger you’ve given the American people? Backatcha, Barry.

Buy Danish on June 7, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Bloomberg News’ editorial board isn’t likening Obama to George W. Bush. They’re calling him “Orwellian,” and that was before they knew about PRISM:

But after they used their terminals to spy on their customers. The faux outrage will continue until the lefties manage to distract the public with something shiny. Maybe a war in Syria, maybe another natural disaster on the east coast (natural disasters in Oklahoma or explosions in Texas don’t really count).

Fenris on June 7, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Imagine the fun you could have while writing your cre-8-tive emails. Just be careful about your method, because someone far off in Maryland might be snooping.

metroryder on June 7, 2013 at 11:46 AM

So what it is exactly fun about drawing attention to yourself and inviting scrutiny from nefarious agencies like NSA or IRS? I see it more as an exercise in masochism. Not my thing really.

jimver on June 7, 2013 at 12:00 PM

If 100,000,000 Americans start inserting the NSA’s target search-words into otherwise innocuous emails, texts, twitters and HA posts, it makes their system worthless. That’s the point.

slickwillie2001 on June 7, 2013 at 12:05 PM

verbaluce on June 7, 2013 at 10:40 AM

I’d like to have this debate with you personally – when’s good for you?

Midas on June 7, 2013 at 12:00 PM

That little obama rooster sucker is pathetic isn’t he? Everything obama does wrong…is the republicans fault. Verbaldouche is such a pathetic, little lickspittle clown it’s hilarious.

HumpBot Salvation on June 7, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Amy Webb says chill because “You’re sharing your private data with corporations and governments all the time.”

The big difference is those corporations do not have law enforcement arms that can arrest people, they don’t have tax enforcers who can make my life a pain, they don’t have EPA agents ready to pounce on me if I am not green enough, but most important of all those corporations don’t use my information to pursue political vendettas like the government can and will do.

Are people this dumb not to see the difference?

William Eaton on June 7, 2013 at 12:07 PM

With a few exceptions (Trey Gowdy and some others), the GOP response to what is going on is surreally inert. Where is Boehner? Why not daily urgent press conferences? People don’t have to foam at the mouth to address the nation in morally serious and appropriately grave terms. Is it that the worse Obama gets the more they feel obligated to uphold some “civility,” as if to compensate for Obama? This would make sense, since they basically live in terror of the media. I mean, Issa called Jay Carney a “paid liar” and was quickly scolded by the national GOP poobahs. Paul Ryan rolls his eyes at Jim McDermott’s obscene slurs and inverted morality at the recent hearings. Really, Paul? That’s all you can muster?

rrpjr on June 7, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Boehner is skatin on thin ice…and he knows it.

The huddle is about approval…to consolidate…to stem panic and appease public anger…

Times like these are revealing.

When politicians routinely justify shredding the constitution they gotta go.


When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him. – Jonathan Swift

We have some good people in congress…and we know who they are through the confederacy of dunces aligned against them.

We can pay attention.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Fenris on June 7, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Bloomberg is caught in their own trading private information scandal

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Amy Webb says chill because “You’re sharing your private data with corporations and governments all the time.”

The big difference is those corporations do not have law enforcement arms that can arrest people, they don’t have tax enforcers who can make my life a pain, they don’t have EPA agents ready to pounce on me if I am not green enough, but most important of all those corporations don’t use my information to pursue political vendettas like the government can and will do.

Are people this dumb not to see the difference?

William Eaton on June 7, 2013 at 12:07 PM

I’d say that they are vulnerable to manipulation…and they have been conditioned to that state by a variety of means endemic in the culture.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Perhaps you weren’t a member of the Bush/Cheney apology choir during the time they were actually (not hypothetically)subverting the constitution.
 
verbaluce on March 7, 2013 at 5:54 PM

rogerb on June 7, 2013 at 12:17 PM

The War on Terror is over.

The terrorists won.

The USA is a police state, with perfect transparency.

That’s what Obama meant, fool.

Schadenfreude on June 7, 2013 at 12:20 PM

If 100,000,000 Americans start inserting the NSA’s target search-words into otherwise innocuous emails, texts, twitters and HA posts, it makes their system worthless. That’s the point.

slickwillie2001 on June 7, 2013 at 12:05 PM

You’d be lucky if you get 100,000 people interested in doing this….100,000,000 is an outlandish figure…besides you have to get them off their couches and off their fave Kardashian shows, or get them to learn proper English (am thinking the Hispanics :) , so, getting to 100,000,000 million is s an uphill battle :)…

jimver on June 7, 2013 at 12:21 PM

If you give up your privacy and freedom for security you have neither.

Putin’s people are more free.

Obama is not legitimate in his 2nd term.

He won like Putin and Chavez.

This thug lies better than Goebbels.

Schadenfreude on June 7, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Obama’s on TV now having the debate with himself.

Short version: We’re not doing what they’re saying we’re doing, and besides, it’s worth it. But we’re happy to have that debate. And, shut up.

Curtiss on June 7, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Spot on curtiss

cmsinaz on June 7, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Perhaps you weren’t a member of the Bush/Cheney apology choir during the time they were actually (not hypothetically)subverting the constitution.

verbaluce on March 7, 2013 at 5:54 PM

You god-damened azzholes, two wrongs don’t ever make a right.

YOU are never liberal or progressive, none of you.

The last few days have proven that beyond any shred of doubt.

Everything I said in the last few years has come to be true.

Charlatanic thugs rule the land.

Obama is with the muzzies. That’s why the war is over. They won.

Yesterday they threw parties. Their victory is very sweet.

If the people of the USA don’t throw most all politicians out, they deserve to live in the police state they have brought.

Not one leftist, not one here, has said anything other than the parot-brainless “Bush did it too, neener, neener, neener”. You are such stupid people. May the bad ones chop your heads off, first.

This fool talks about “we have judicial and congressional oversight”.

I have news for you – they all scrooom you as much as Obama. Hell, they enable this goon, for which they are more guilty.

Really “i will leave this office at some point” the little shit just said. Meh, idiot. NO one trusts anyone, nor should.

Schadenfreude on June 7, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Short version: We’re not doing what they’re saying we’re doing, and besides, it’s worth it. But we’re happy to have that debate. And, shut up.

Curtiss on June 7, 2013 at 12:22 PM

…and “trust us, but if you don’t, see congress”. Hah, ha, ha, AmeriKa!!!

You are an official police state now!!!

Obama completed the process, with Transparency. That’s what he meant. He’s just implemented what he said he would.

Schadenfreude on June 7, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Basically blamed Congress just now

cmsinaz on June 7, 2013 at 12:29 PM

The entire Congress is derelict of its duties.

Feinstein is a traitor to the land.

Obama is the perfect capo – fools of the world, enjoy your tyranny. YOU were yelling orgasmically about him. YOU got him!!!

Obama pounded Bush and then surpassed him many times over.

Obama redeemed all that was bad about Bush. And the puerile idiot never credited Bush, still blames him and congress.

Goebbels has married the entire city is grave is in. He can’t take all the joy of this.

Schadenfreude on June 7, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Obama 10 minutes ago:

“If people don’t trust the Congress or the Executive branch or the Judicial system to maintain the rule of law and the Constitution, then we’re going to have some problems.”

Well, yeah. That would be the problems we’re having right now.

Curtiss on June 7, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Basically blamed Congress just now

cmsinaz on June 7, 2013 at 12:29 PM

They deserve it, in full. They enable this Fool of the World.

He can never complete a sentence. It’s painful to listen.

Schadenfreude on June 7, 2013 at 12:31 PM

I welcome debate but refuses to meet with congressman who have issues

Busted

cmsinaz on June 7, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Schadenfreude….. he avoided any accountability

cmsinaz on June 7, 2013 at 12:33 PM

To me it feels like we’re only a short step away from having people start disappearing in the middle of the night – for the good of the country of course. These are scary times.

TarheelBen on June 7, 2013 at 12:33 PM

We have had our debate and decided:

FU.

Shaughnessy on June 7, 2013 at 12:34 PM

“Having a debate” means calling everyone who disagrees with Obama a racist.

29Victor on June 7, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Obama’s little speech didn’t have any new information nor did it convince anyone of anything except that it was full of lies.

Curtiss on June 7, 2013 at 12:36 PM

“If people don’t trust the Congress or the Executive branch or the Judicial system to maintain the rule of law and the Constitution, then we’re going to have some problems.”

Completely consistent with this guy’s MO, always ratcheting upwards. See what he’s doing? He creates the circumstance of distrust. He knows full well that it now exists, so he discusses it openly in detached terms but actionable terms, setting the stage for the subsequent INCREASE in the pressures of the State to ensure trust and public welfare. It’s self-fulfilling, or self-perpetuating. Obama is actually building the argument for an increased police state through his own police state. This man is the most sinister figure in our history. It isn’t even possible to draw an anaogy to anybody else; Obama is a categorical anomaly of American political evil.

rrpjr on June 7, 2013 at 12:39 PM

If you give up your privacy and freedom for security you have neither.

Putin’s people are more free.

Obama is not legitimate in his 2nd term.

He won like Putin and Chavez.

This thug lies better than Goebbels.

Schadenfreude on June 7, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Gary Kasparov disagrees…But he went to Switzerland & not here…so you have a point.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Susan Rice is reading Glen Greenwald’s every key stroke and listening to every cell phone call right now.

Curtiss on June 7, 2013 at 12:42 PM

“If people don’t trust the Congress or the Executive branch or the Judicial system to maintain the rule of law and the Constitution, then we’re going to have some problems.”

Completely consistent with this guy’s MO, always ratcheting upwards. See what he’s doing? He creates the circumstance of distrust. He knows full well that it now exists, so he discusses it openly in detached terms but actionable terms, setting the stage for the subsequent INCREASE in the pressures of the State to ensure trust and public welfare. It’s self-fulfilling, or self-perpetuating. Obama is actually building the argument for an increased police state through his own police state. This man is the most sinister figure in our history. It isn’t even possible to draw an anaogy to anybody else; Obama is a categorical anomaly of American political evil.

rrpjr on June 7, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Yeah…That sounds like an Occupy Dogwhistle to me…

It’s gonna be another fun summer

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 12:42 PM

“The attack in Benghazi was a result of YouTube video.”

Seven Percent Solution on June 7, 2013 at 12:42 PM

the final edit of the piece

I’m not sure which journalism school the NYT editors attended (though I’m fairly certain it was covered in ivy and honors), but the final edit of an editorial is done before publication.

Editing later is called, more appropriately, “walking back” or “covering your ass.” Technically, in this case, it’s re-covering the ass you mistakenly uncovered.

IndieDogg on June 7, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Gary Kasparov disagrees…But he went to Switzerland & not here…so you have a point.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 12:40 PM

It’s not a compliment to even get close to Putin. Still Pravda and RT have more credibility, not much more, but more than the US media.

———–
This admin only regrets having been caught. The only time you hear anything, even your right to know, from this gov’t is when someone leaks info.

I’m certain they’ll now investigate who leaked the big internet info to Mr. Greenwald (the only leftie with a conscience).

These are thugs bigger than Putin’s. I don’t care how many ex. anyone provides. It’s nothing to be proud of.

Obama only won like Putin and Chavez did, and is about as legitimate in his 2nd term.

Thugs of the world, rejoice. You won the war.

The USA has zero moral credibility left in the world, ZERO!!!

Schadenfreude on June 7, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Schadenfreude….. he avoided any accountability

cmsinaz on June 7, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Snow is white.

Schadenfreude on June 7, 2013 at 12:45 PM

“If people don’t trust the Congress or the Executive branch or the Judicial system to maintain the rule of law and the Constitution, then we’re going to have some problems.”

They don’t, they shouldn’t, and they should prosecute you, you tyrannical fool of the world.

A bigger charlatan the world never had, and never will have.

In 2016 both parties may run against this thug.

Schadenfreude on June 7, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Capital punishment, or life with hard labor. Let’s have that debate.

The Rogue Tomato on June 7, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Imagine the fun you could have while writing your cre-8-tive emails. Just be careful about your method, because someone far off in Maryland might be snooping.

metroryder on June 7, 2013 at 11:46 AM

So what it is exactly fun about drawing attention to yourself and inviting scrutiny from nefarious agencies like NSA or IRS? I see it more as an exercise in masochism. Not my thing really.

jimver on June 7, 2013 at 12:00 PM

I guess I should have been more clear. I was directing my comments to those that have noting to hide and have no fear to confront those who are bent on destroying our freedoms. I am not afraid to draw attention to myself while having a little fun doing it. I have nothing to hide

metroryder on June 7, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Touche schadenfreude

cmsinaz on June 7, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Someone on Rush mentioned the fact that even with all of this data collection, the feds could not stop the Boston bombers…..

I say that they knew about the Boston bombers and let it happen. That way they can keep saying they need more surveillance. The real reason the feds want the data and more surveillance is to keep tabs on the internal threats. I guess the NSA is reading this now.

redguy on June 7, 2013 at 12:59 PM

If 100,000,000 Americans start inserting the NSA’s target search-words into otherwise innocuous emails, texts, twitters and HA posts, it makes their system worthless. That’s the point.

slickwillie2001 on June 7, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Thank you slickwillie, you made the point that I failed to make in my original post. It’s not a criminal activity that I am aware of. It’s just an exercise in fun. We can call this activity “Cre-8 to B-r8″.

metroryder on June 7, 2013 at 1:03 PM

‘Fascism will return to the United States not as right wing ideology but almost as a quasi-leftist ideology.’

- Irving Louis Horowitz, radical left-wing sociologist, The Decomposition of Sociology, 1929 – 2012) was a radical, left-wing sociologist, Fulbright lecturer, author of more than 25 books and articles, and a Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University

Irving Louis Horowitz and Liberal Fascism: The Elitists’ Vision of the World

There’s nothing ‘quasi-leftist’ about it.

Resist We Much on June 7, 2013 at 1:04 PM

A debate on ‘surveillance’?

Suuuurrreee… lets start with the IRS collection of reams of illegal info from small groups wishing to exercise their rights to speech, association and talking to government.

Or how about the ‘surveillance’ of the CIA in Benghazi? What was up with that? Why weren’t the clues recognized and our people bug out like, say, the Red Cross and UK did? Seems some people ignored a lot of timely ‘surveillance’ there.

Then there is the DoJ and its ‘surveillance’ of reporters on bogus charges trying to stop ‘leakers’ who just happen to be ‘whistleblowers’, while those giving out leaks that make Obama look good are not hounded down to the ground. What’s up with that?

Geeze, I haven’t even gotten to the wiretapping and credit card transactions yet and already there is a lot of ‘surveillance’ to talk about. More than willing to have this conversation, Mr. President.

You first, since you want to talk so much. And do you mind getting sworn in before Congress for this little ‘conversation’ so it can be on the record and not pushed out by your little lunchbox crowd from the Sorosites? On the record, Mr. President, before the American people, without a teleprompter and right there before Congress. I’m more than willing to go up against you and I’m only half-awake most of the day and have problems gathering my mental faculties at any given point in the day. That’s why I’m letting you go first… and, heck, I’ll even let you have the same resource I will bring with me: the US Constitution.

Fair, no?

ajacksonian on June 7, 2013 at 1:05 PM

ajacksonian on June 7, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Sound good to me, my friend. Let’s make it happen.

kingsjester on June 7, 2013 at 1:08 PM

But after they used their terminals to spy on their customers. The faux outrage will continue until the lefties manage to distract the public with something shiny. Maybe a war in Syria, maybe another natural disaster on the east coast (natural disasters in Oklahoma or explosions in Texas don’t really count).

Fenris on June 7, 2013 at 12:04 PM

You’re all falling for it again. This IS the distraction.

He had approval for this entire thing. His only crime here is hypocrisy. Meanwhile he gets to use this to remove the real scandals from the headlines permanently.

And, as a bonus, he gets to use this to get rid of the entire patriot act, which leftists hated all along because they knew they’d be the ones caught when it was properly implemented.

Say what you want about the patriot act, but many here are admitting they liked it under Bush, and there was reason to at the time. Now, the tools created by that act won’t be available to later admins (and there were a few good ones) because you’re all now jumping on the very bandwagon obama has been on for years. He’s using your own rules against you. And you’re falling for it. Again.

runawayyyy on June 7, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Thank you slickwillie, you made the point that I failed to make in my original post. It’s not a criminal activity that I am aware of. It’s just an exercise in fun. We can call this activity “Cre-8 to B-r8″.

metroryder on June 7, 2013 at 1:03 PM

…..their machines might even go in overdrive and implode under the pressure of sieving through so many creative txts, emails, phone conversations, tweets :) especially that by now most of the common peeps probably have the NSA softwares/machines’ algorithms all figured out :)

jimver on June 7, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Obama does have one editorial board on his side — the New York Times, which watered down its previously scathing editorial on the phone-records trawl without acknowledging the edit:

So, the “Newspaper of Record” is now changing its text without any note of that change?

How, exactly, does that comport with “Newspaper of Record”?

JohnGalt23 on June 7, 2013 at 1:23 PM

“Oh what tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive”.

rplat on June 7, 2013 at 1:24 PM

A debate on ‘surveillance’?

ajacksonian on June 7, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Thanks for putting that S Word in quotes. Just encountered a post on Free Republic that is fascinating-in 2013, the Democrat Media is using that word to describe what O’bama is doing.

But back in 2006, the NY Times and the Washington ComPost both described Bush’s doing it as spying.

NYT:

Bush Defends Spy Program and Denies Misleading Public

President Bush continued on Sunday to defend both the legality and the necessity of the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping program, and he denied that he misled the public last year when he insisted that any government wiretap required a court order.

Link.

WaPo:

Bush Authorized Domestic Spying

President Bush signed a secret order in 2002 authorizing the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in the United States, despite previous legal prohibitions against such domestic spying, sources with knowledge of the program said last night.

The super-secretive NSA, which has generally been barred from domestic spying except in narrow circumstances involving foreign nationals, has monitored the e-mail, telephone calls and other communications of hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of people under the program, the New York Times disclosed last night.

Link.

Goebbels would be proud.

Del Dolemonte on June 7, 2013 at 1:34 PM

With a few exceptions (Trey Gowdy and some others), the GOP response to what is going on is surreally inert. Where is Boehner? Why not daily urgent press conferences?

Do you think the GOP wants to take on the *real* power in this country? Come on now.

libfreeordie on June 7, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Tyranny is the intersection of the extreme left and right.

Schadenfreude on June 7, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Do you think the GOP wants to take on the *real* power in this country? Come on now.

libfreeordie on June 7, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Clueless as usual.

The only thing that makes leftists like you tolerable is the knowledge that you’ll go up against the wall first, and you’ll be so surprised to be there.

runawayyyy on June 7, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Goebbels would be proud.

Del Dolemonte on June 7, 2013 at 1:34 PM

maybe the MSM evolved on the meaning and connotations of the word ‘spy’ since:)…semanthics is tricky, it takes time to get it right :)…

jimver on June 7, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Clueless as usual.

What is clueless about the idea that the GOP has no interest in opposing the NSA?

libfreeordie on June 7, 2013 at 1:56 PM

With a few exceptions (Trey Gowdy and some others), the GOP response to what is going on is surreally inert. Where is Boehner? Why not daily urgent press conferences?

rrpjr on June 7, 2013 at 11:56 AM

My brother, I agree with your observation. However, I must note that this latest revelation is one of many current “scandals” that are designed to derail any substantive attempts for the Republicans to offer an alternative to the Obama/Clinton agendas of the present and the future. One can be sure the liberals and progressives are working behind the scenes to develop a strong strategy and platform for the 2014 mid-terms and the 2016 presidential election.

The scandals are tempting “meat” to chew on, but the media, liberals, progressives and illegals don’t care about the injustices and screwing that was and is being imposed upon the conservatives. I want to know now what alternatives to Obama’s agenda is going to be offered in the 2014 mid-terms and I think the rest of the voting public wants the same. I want to know what alternatives are going to be on the conservative agenda in 2016, what plans are in place to dismantle Obama’s destructive policies, and how are the conservatives going to bring back the America I remember and loved.

Yes, the investigations into these scandals need to go forward, but in a very orderly, constructive fashion by the people on the investigative committees. In the meanwhile, the Republican leadership better start coming forward with the alternative road map to salvage our country, or I am finished with the Republicans for good. I will join with the Democrats and follow the old adage, “If you can’t lick ‘em, join ,em!”

metroryder on June 7, 2013 at 2:14 PM

metroryder on June 7, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Great point. I’d like to think we can do both — offer withering critique of the scandals within the context of what we propose to do.

rrpjr on June 7, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Shouldn’t the ‘honest’ one have had this debate with the people bef. the election?

Schadenfreude on June 7, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Screw you and your debates, jackass. You debated during your elections.

Now, its time to defend the Constitution or be tried for treason.

TX-96 on June 7, 2013 at 3:58 PM

How can there be a debate when the administration has proven themselves to be capable of just making sh!+ up as they go along?

lynncgb on June 7, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Indeed.

AesopFan on June 7, 2013 at 4:02 PM

With a few exceptions (Trey Gowdy and some others), the GOP response to what is going on is surreally inert. Where is Boehner? Why not daily urgent press conferences?

As I’ve said many times, the GOP doesn’t want to stop it, they just want the master keyring.

jangle12 on June 8, 2013 at 11:45 AM

The frat-house on Pennsylvania Avenue always does this when they have run to the end of their available excuses. The “national debate/ conversation” meme is the same as Obama’s “beer-summit”. He’s wrong but can’t admit it. He wants the other side not to make a big deal of his error.

Well, Americans have a choice. Are we going to be nice boys and girls and “debate” this, or are we going to take this universal and illegal search to its necessary legal conclusion?

virgo on June 8, 2013 at 12:12 PM

White House on surveillance: Hey, let’s have a “debate”

Candy Crowley can moderate.

What? No takers?

Left Coast Right Mind on June 8, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Let’s have a trial…yeah, I like that better!

rgranger on June 9, 2013 at 12:07 AM

Clueless as usual.

The only thing that makes leftists like you tolerable is the knowledge that you’ll go up against the wall first, and you’ll be so surprised to be there.

runawayyyy on June 7, 2013 at 1:42 PM

First of all, is it not incredibly obvious by now that the GOP only objects to their opponents having such powers?

Secondly, you are an idiot beyond measure if you think lickspittles like brainfree will be FIRST against the wall. That’ll be you and me, bucko, and maybe our families too.

MelonCollie on June 9, 2013 at 12:58 PM

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