Jay Carney: Obama welcomes this debate about programs he tried desperately to keep secret

posted at 4:41 pm on June 10, 2013 by Allahpundit

My mistake. I thought Obama’s comments on Friday meant he was going to drop the insulting “let’s have a debate” deflection strategy he reverts to whenever he’s trying to duck criticism on a tough issue. Here’s ol’ reliable Jay Carney clinging to it amid hurricane-force political winds. The money quote:

“This is not the manner by which he had hoped to have the debate”

Oh? How and when did he hope to have it? Was he planning a big PRISM revelation speech for later this year? As I said in the last Snowden post, the maddening reality of trying to publicly debate the surveillance state is that secrecy condemns that debate to being ill-informed and stupid. We are, as Joshua Foust and Hayes Brown noted today, the proverbial blind men trying to have a debate about an elephant. Obama himself predicted a “majoritarian check” on massive government surveillance in 2001, but you can’t build a majority for your position when your opponent has all the information and you have next to none. Under normal circumstances, O can reveal as much or as little about PRISM as he chooses to favor his own arguments (as you’ve seen him do before with his advisors leaking favorable stuff about the “kill list” to the NYT). That’s the significance of Snowden’s doc dump — it equalizes the debate. A little.

After you’re done with Carney, enjoy this reminder from John Sexton that Obama’s a total fraud on this subject. Exit question: As I write this, a petition on the White House’s website calling on O to pardon Snowden has almost 25,000 signatures. Never mind the foolishness and futility of it; there’s no way Obama will bless massive disclosures of sensitive intelligence material by giving the guy who leaked them a get-out-of-jail-free. If he’s serious about welcoming the debate, though, shouldn’t he at least commute Snowden’s sentence for having started it? The intelligence community will bristle at leniency, but if Obama wants to do his Captain Transparency shtick, that’s the price he pays.


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Just hearing(on Jake Tappers show) on CNN that most of Congress voted on this continuing…and each congress person could have been informed but don’t bother to take the time to do so.

stingray9813 on June 10, 2013 at 4:44 PM

This is not the transparency we are looking for

clnurnberg on June 10, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Let’s not trust Tapper so much. He’s no better than the rest.

clnurnberg on June 10, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Art Carney’s illegitimate grandson will burn in hell for all of the lies he has told the American people.

VegasRick on June 10, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Let’s not trust Tapper so much. He’s no better than the rest.

clnurnberg on June 10, 2013 at 4:45 PM

I’m gonna trust his reporters who went and talked with congress people. They(Congress) are all lazy morons only concerned with perks and a pay check.

stingray9813 on June 10, 2013 at 4:47 PM

I thought Obama had this debate back when he was a twinkle in the Nobel committee’s eyes..
He told America that he would stop this if he was King..
Debate over..

Electrongod on June 10, 2013 at 4:47 PM

The intelligence community will bristle at leniency

If the leaks are true it sounds like a lot of people in the intelligence community are the ones who should be on trial for treason, not Snowden.

FloatingRock on June 10, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Channelling ShorterObama: “Yes, let’s debate these programs so I know who to target next.”

Steve Eggleston on June 10, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Just hearing(on Jake Tappers show) on CNN that most of Congress voted on this continuing…and each congress person could have been informed but don’t bother to take the time to do so.

stingray9813 on June 10, 2013 at 4:44 PM

That has been the meme all day.

It is the fault of the non-elites for not demanding more information on the Patriot Act programs prior to voting to continue its authorization. Forget that officials testified that the programs weren’t targeting Americans. Those other Congress critters were supposed to request a closed hearing so they could be informed about stuff they had just been lied to about.

Those who knew of the program and did nothing are attacking those who didn’t know of the program for lack of curiosity. They are upset that they are hanging out on a limb politically now that they have been found out.

Establishment politicians who were aware of the program know they are in trouble with the public so they are attempting to minimize blowback by sharing it with those who were not aware of what was actually going on.

weaselyone on June 10, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Obama In His Own Words: Civil Liberties, National Security & Snooping

A snippet from Obama’s 2005 speech on civil liberties…

If someone wants to know why their own government has decided to go on a fishing expedition through every personal record or private document – through library books they’ve read and phone calls they’ve made – this legislation gives people no rights to appeal the need for such a search in a court of law. No judge will hear their plea, no jury will hear their case. This is just plain wrong.

Rex Reed of The New Yorker says that this speech should now be regarded as ‘hilarious… perhaps the greatest comic masterpiece since A Night at the Opera…’

Resist We Much on June 10, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Obama was probably waiting to start the debate until after he learned about it from the press.

FloatingRock on June 10, 2013 at 4:52 PM

“This is not the manner by which he had hoped to have the debate”

There is no “debate Azzwipe. You and the Collection of Kooks
you are a part of give Americans the middle Finger every day
of the week.

This is Nixon X 10(all the bad), and Clinton X 20 (all the bad)

All rolled into one big Festering Sore on the United
States of America.

Debate Over.

ToddPA on June 10, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Channelling ShorterObama: “Yes, let’s debate these programs so I know who to target whose ass I need to kick next.”

Steve Eggleston on June 10, 2013 at 4:49 PM

FIFY :-)

Resist We Much on June 10, 2013 at 4:53 PM

We are, as Joshua Foust and Hayes Brown noted today, the proverbial blind men trying to have a debate about an elephant.

I’ll take a stab at it. It’s fricken heavy and gigantic and in no way do I want it stepping on me. Debate over.

can_con on June 10, 2013 at 4:53 PM

That’s the significance of Snowden’s doc dump — it equalizes the debate. A little.

That powerpoint presentation aside, this is more about the process and the fact that our government is spying on us than a doc dump.

I am really trying to separate the leaker from what was leaked. I don’t know Snowden’s motives and leave it to others to figure out what needs to be done legally. Less uncertain is the snooping on Americans.

We need to have an informed debate but what we also needs is what the military calls a stand-down. In other words, instead of the NSA continuing to collect data on Americans (illegally IMO) they need to immediately cease all operations until there is clear rulings on the legality, necessity, and constitionality of Americans spying on Americans. That could be done fairly quickly if the administration decides to cooperate instead of playing their usual delay tactics.

Happy Nomad on June 10, 2013 at 4:53 PM

He welcomes the debate, and he will invite to the debate whom he things are best to debate with…Holder would be one invite, Carney another, and Cutter certainly, and of course Pelosi…

right2bright on June 10, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Just hearing(on Jake Tappers show) on CNN that most of Congress voted on this continuing…and each congress person could have been informed but don’t bother to take the time to do so.

stingray9813 on June 10, 2013 at 4:44 PM

There’s no doubt that many in Congress knew about this all along. Of course – the Lindsey Grahams will all support it.

Obama is a problem – but he is far from the ONLY problem. Our entire government is corrupt – there’s only a handful of GOP on the hill that we can trust – and the Ayatollah’s continually attack them as “whacko birds”.

HondaV65 on June 10, 2013 at 4:54 PM

“Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” – Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)

“No Sir” – Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper

weaselyone on June 10, 2013 at 4:54 PM

This is how Professor Historical Preezy tries to con his fans…

Translation: “Now Ya’ll know I wasn’t spyin on ya…But we can have a chat about it if you want to…”

Kinda reminds me of BillyJeff feelin’ your pain…

Sensunbrenner the author of the Patriot Act was on Hannity Radio and says this is a clear violation of the 215 clause and the intent of the law. He also said both Bush & Obama knew it when they gave immunity to the servers for breaking their contracts with users.

He said this started to happen right after he left the judiciary committee…and democrats took over the oversight.

Maybe democrats saw a handy tool to use.

In any event there is no excuse for these secretive King George style General Warrants.

workingclass artist on June 10, 2013 at 4:55 PM

That’s right…. Let’s blame Congress… It’s their fault….. Nothing could ever be obamas fault…. Move along, nothing to see here…

sandee on June 10, 2013 at 4:56 PM

And he will debate it. Just as soon as he gets done chooming.

vityas on June 10, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Establishment politicians who were aware of the program know they are in trouble with the public so they are attempting to minimize blowback by sharing it with those who were not aware of what was actually going on.

weaselyone on June 10, 2013 at 4:51 PM

The concerted effort involved in “nothing to see here, Bush did it too, Congress all knew, etc… is nothing more than trying minimize political damage by blameshifting. You don’t want to be the most senior guy with a secret and, in this case, that somebody is a certain rat-eared despot.

Happy Nomad on June 10, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Is this the real reason I haven’t seen any of the Verizon “Can you hear me now?” commercials recently?

weaselyone on June 10, 2013 at 4:58 PM

‘Toons of the Day: The Big Brother Bomb

M2RB selection courtesy of ‘The Egg.’ :-)

Resist We Much on June 10, 2013 at 4:58 PM

I don’t much trust any politician these days. Among them there are no heroes at this time. It is disheartening and downright scary to realize that the government, of the people, by the people and for the people has all but perished from the earth.

clnurnberg on June 10, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Obama’s Legacy…

President Sicko into Deathkill Drone videos and Citizens Private Phone and Internet Communications.

workingclass artist on June 10, 2013 at 4:59 PM

At this point would anyone ever trust Obama, Carney, Axelrod, Plouffe, Rice, Cutter or any of the other surrogates the WH would trot out to explain this away?

Tater Salad on June 10, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Maybe democrats saw a handy tool to use.

workingclass artist on June 10, 2013 at 4:55 PM

For election purposes.

antipc on June 10, 2013 at 5:00 PM

On a 10 Scale, can Carney’s credibility be measured at any point on the ‘plus’ side?

Seriously.

(Can I give a shout out to the tireless earpieces at the NSA? You guys are awesome! Keep up the good work! Please assume a sarc tag on any of my apparent criticism of The State. Thank you.)

BigAlSouth on June 10, 2013 at 5:00 PM

After you’re done with Carney, enjoy this reminder from John Sexton that Obama’s a total fraud on this subject.

That is my view of things as well. That is why I am not condemning Snowden because our President has been doing the same stupid stuff. In fact Obama endangered more lives with his “leaks” and “promoting fake causes for the Benghazi debacle” like the Muhammad video that no one knew about in the Islamic world until Obama told everyone about it and that caused Muslims to riot in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan. So basically Obama would rather endanger American soldiers lives in order to protect his precious election than tell the truth about Benghazi. What about Obama ratting out the Pakistani doctor who helped us get Osama just so that he could promote himself in another speech.

If Snowden goes to prison then Obama should be his cellmate.

William Eaton on June 10, 2013 at 5:01 PM

“Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” – Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)

“No Sir” – Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper

weaselyone on June 10, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Hey, collecting metadata on a billion phone calls a day is nothing but a modest program.

I still want to know the source of the OFA database. I’m convinced it isn’t derived by groups like Lesbians for Obama fat fingering in information (as was claimed when this super awesome detailed database was introduced). Unless, of course, Clapper is a lesbian for Obama.

Happy Nomad on June 10, 2013 at 5:02 PM

I’ve come to the point where I’d rather take my chances with some Islamist kook than the Obama administration.

Tater Salad on June 10, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Maxine Waters Knew….

Key West Reader on June 10, 2013 at 5:02 PM

OT…I guess this is where some of that ammo from the Great American Ammo shortage went…

“The U.S. government has given the embattled Afghan National Army (ANA) more than $1 billion in taxpayer-funded ammunition, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction’s (SIGAR) latest oversight report…”

http://freebeacon.com/a-billion-bucks-in-bullets/

workingclass artist on June 10, 2013 at 5:04 PM

At this point would anyone ever trust Obama, Carney, Axelrod, Plouffe, Rice, Cutter or any of the other surrogates the WH would trot out to explain this away?

Tater Salad on June 10, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Biden’s dumbness might allow him to slip up and tell us the truth.

Anybody seen Joe?

fogw on June 10, 2013 at 5:04 PM

I’ve come to the point where I’d rather take my chances with some Islamist kook than the Obama administration.

Tater Salad on June 10, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Funny…I always thought Obama was an Islamist Kook…

workingclass artist on June 10, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Maybe democrats saw a handy tool to use.

workingclass artist on June 10, 2013 at 4:55 PM

For election purposes.

antipc on June 10, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Aaaand Obamacare…

workingclass artist on June 10, 2013 at 5:06 PM

If Snowden goes to prison then Obama should be his cellmate.

William Eaton on June 10, 2013 at 5:01 PM

I’d hold off fitting a halo on Snowden. Something about the story and motives still not adding up. What, for example if he isn’t a super-smart techie but a necessary agent on the ground for China to hack in to the NSA computers?

Happy Nomad on June 10, 2013 at 5:07 PM

If Snowden is aligned with Killary…she & Bill got Preezy good.

Got him right where his millennial base is…

Yep!

workingclass artist on June 10, 2013 at 5:08 PM

I’ve come to the point where I’d rather take my chances with some Islamist kook than the Obama administration.

Tater Salad on June 10, 2013 at 5:02 PM

You mean some other Islamist kook, right?

Happy Nomad on June 10, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Yes, I’m sure he “welcomes” it in the sense that it will allow him to refine and enlarge his growing enemies list…

cynccook on June 10, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Anybody seen Joe?

fogw on June 10, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Joe’s been up in Nome lobbing for the gay Aleutian vote.

antipc on June 10, 2013 at 5:10 PM

The concerted effort involved in “nothing to see here, Bush did it too, Congress all knew, etc… is nothing more than trying minimize political damage by blameshifting. You don’t want to be the most senior guy with a secret and, in this case, that somebody is a certain rat-eared despot.

Happy Nomad on June 10, 2013 at 4:57 PM

The problem is John McCain and his girlfriend will scream:

“we knew it too….we knew it too…and Obama is protecting us in Battlefield America…dam you wacko birds…Now move along, support the freedom fighters in Syria and we need more Mexicans to pick Tomatoes on my farm and serve my beloved “southern bell” lemonade on her plantation in South Carolina”.

William Eaton on June 10, 2013 at 5:11 PM

FIFY :-)

Resist We Much on June 10, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Nice FIFY, but given mom jeans is more conducive for drone flying than ass-kicking, I’ll stick with “target”.

Steve Eggleston on June 10, 2013 at 5:11 PM

“This is not the manner by which he had hoped to have the debate” – Jay Carney, 2013

Rand Paul was ready in 2011, maybe we should have had the debate then?

“I’ve been working for two long days filibustering the Patriot Act in hopes that we can have a constitutional debate over certain provisions of it and we can try to reform it to take away some of the encroachments on our freedoms,”

weaselyone on June 10, 2013 at 5:15 PM

It the President were a Republican right now the press would be writing about Saint Snowden.

tommyboy on June 10, 2013 at 5:16 PM

I’d hold off fitting a halo on Snowden. Something about the story and motives still not adding up. What, for example if he isn’t a super-smart techie but a necessary agent on the ground for China to hack in to the NSA computers?

Happy Nomad on June 10, 2013 at 5:07 PM

And how does that change anything I said about Obama?

What for example if Obama is a inept law grad from Harvard who sold us out for National Socialism in America?

My point is has Snowden so far done anything worse than Obama has to the U.S.?

William Eaton on June 10, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Does the Supreme Court have the ultimate authority to step in and say “whoaaaNelly” if both the executive and legislative branches have run amok? RWM? Anyone?

can_con on June 10, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Just hearing(on Jake Tappers show) on CNN that most of Congress voted on this continuing…and each congress person could have been informed but don’t bother to take the time to do so.

stingray9813 on June 10, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Really? They could have informed themselves any time? How?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/seanlawson/2013/06/06/did-intelligence-officials-lie-to-congress-about-nsa-domestic-spying/

Requesting the information directly from the NSA?

In July 2011, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Mark Udall (D-CO) sent a letter to the NSA asking for answers about its collection of data on American citizens. The NSA’s response read, in part,

You asked whether communications of Americans have been collected… Section 702 of the FAA [FISA Amendments Act] explicitly prohibits the intentional targeting of persons reasonably believed to be located in the United States or United States persons located abroad. The Intelligence Community has put in place a variety of procedures, which have been approved by the FISA Court as required by law, to ensure that only persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States are targeted and to prevent the intentional acquisition of any communications as to which the sender and all intended recipients are known to be located in the United States. Guidelines are also required by law to ensure compliance with other limitations on FAA collection, including the requirement that a U.S. person may not be intentionally targeted under section 702.

No, that clearly results in getting lied to; not “briefed”.

Or perhaps getting the Director of National Intelligence under Oath before the Senate Intelligence Subcommittee and asking him?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QwiUVUJmGjs

On March 12, at a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Wyden asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Clapper responded: “No, sir.” When Wyden followed up by asking, “It does not?” Clapper said: “Not wittingly. There are cases where they could, inadvertently perhaps, collect—but not wittingly.”

Nope, that simply results in more lies… darn again.

What is the process to get properly briefed on what they’re really doing and NOT lied to? Did Tapper clarify that?

Is a super-secret special handshake required to get the real briefing and not a pack of self-serving lies?

gekkobear on June 10, 2013 at 5:18 PM

We can debate the thing once we have a trustworthy president. This is an administration that very openly labels normal Americans as the terrorists after going to bat for al qaeda when Bush was targeting just them. I seem to remember they had a problem with searching just phone call records to discover whom known al qaeda terrorists were chatting with. I think the argument was: “Hey, you run down a list with all the citizens phone numbers until you find the terrorist’s phone number so you are therefore “searching” innocent Americans!”.

I’m pretty sure they were worried about their liberal buddies being on those lists. Like Democrat activist/journalist Lindauer or whatever her name was.

Buddahpundit on June 10, 2013 at 5:19 PM

immigration is on track to pass the Senate soon. Redstate is trying to drum up some support to avoid a total collapse of the R party…that if Schumer can get his Rs on board…we could be looking at a cloture vote in the 70 plus range…which will put a lot of pressure on the House.

But, like i’ve said before…the Rs obviously have no fundamental principles (except getting money from big business and staying in office to get a sweet pension)…so barry will sign a sweet deal for the future of the D party.

r keller on June 10, 2013 at 5:19 PM

I’d hold off fitting a halo on Snowden. Something about the story and motives still not adding up. What, for example if he isn’t a super-smart techie but a necessary agent on the ground for China to hack in to the NSA computers?

Happy Nomad on June 10, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Agreed. I could personally care less about Snowden. The issue isn’t why did he do it or how did he do it, the issue is that he had access to the systems. This means that others do as well. This means that accumulating this much data can and will eventually fall into the wrong hands and be misused.

To me it does not matter if the government needs a court order to go in and read specific emails. The fact that they are collecting them is a “seizure” even without a “search”.

weaselyone on June 10, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Anybody seen Joe?

fogw on June 10, 2013 at 5:04 PM

He’s probably cowering under a table somewhere with chump threads and nonpartisan.

Del Dolemonte on June 10, 2013 at 5:20 PM

David Burge @iowahawkblog

Does the NSA have access to Obama’s college transcripts?
5:46 PM – 9 Jun 2013

http://twitchy.com/2013/06/10/slam-iowahawk-blasts-obama-nsa-asks-key-and-hilarious-question/

davidk on June 10, 2013 at 5:22 PM

My point is has Snowden so far done anything worse than Obama has to the U.S.?

William Eaton on June 10, 2013 at 5:16 PM

No but the rat-eared one of the two has the veneer of legitimacy thanks to greedy stupid people. And absent a smoking gun you are not going to tie anything back to the White House and there is no smoking gun. Talk Radio (Rush I think) points out that you won’t find one document linking Hitler to the extermination of millions of Jews. What is out there that directly implicates the rat-eared despot to any of the scandals done in his name by willing co-conspirators?

We have a crisis of trust in this nation and it is getting worse every day. If the rat-eared one topples it will be for that and not any direct proof of a crime.

Happy Nomad on June 10, 2013 at 5:22 PM

I thought we did have a debate about it in 2008 when Obama staunchly opposed spying on Americans?

jawkneemusic on June 10, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Does this mean we are going back to fighting wars the old fashioned way?

You know, where we keep our troops alive, we keep everything at home halcyon and pristine, and demonize the enemy to get the US population to approve of the Armageddon we have to unleash?

IlikedAUH2O on June 10, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Well apparently 56% of Americans are ok with this program according to a poll just reference on POTUS xm radio. Didn’t catch the pollster. 41% strongly disagree.

Sad.

can_con on June 10, 2013 at 5:26 PM

davidk on June 10, 2013 at 5:22 PM

Heh! LOL. You can’t have something that never existed. Seriously, ever hear anybody of his classmates talk about how brilliant he was in Torts 309 or History of Constitutional Law?

Happy Nomad on June 10, 2013 at 5:26 PM

I’d hold off fitting a halo on Snowden. Something about the story and motives still not adding up. What, for example if he isn’t a super-smart techie but a necessary agent on the ground for China to hack in to the NSA computers?

Happy Nomad on June 10, 2013 at 5:07 PM

David Burge @iowahawkblog

Believe it or not, it is possible to be disgusted by domestic spying AND think Snowden’s story stinks to high heaven.

davidk on June 10, 2013 at 5:27 PM

I thought we did have a debate about it in 2008 when Obama staunchly opposed spying on Americans?

jawkneemusic on June 10, 2013 at 5:23 PM

He’s evolved on the issue of warrantless searches since then.

Happy Nomad on June 10, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Rep. Hank Johnson: Does the NSA intercept Americans’ cell phone conversations?

NSA Director Keith Alexander: No.

Google searches?

No.

Text messages?

No.

Amazon.com orders?

No.

Bank records?

No.

What judicial consent is required for NSA to intercept communications and information involving American citizens?

Within the United States, that would be the FBI lead. If it were a foreign actor in the United States, the FBI would still have to lead. It could work that with NSA or other intelligence agencies as authorized. But to conduct that kind of collection in the United States it would have to go through a court order, and the court would have to authorize it. We’re not authorized to do it, nor do we do it.

The Director also said on several occasions during this hearing that the NSA didn’t even have the ability to collect such data.

A few months later, Alexander spoke at the Aspen Institute conference and addressed a question about a statement from ex-NSA official William Binney, who had said that the NSA is assembling a dossier on every American. “Is there any truth to that, and why do stories like this persist that you’re spying on all of us?”

Alexander flatly denies the question’s premise. “To think we’re collecting on every U.S. person… that would be against the law,” he says, and goes on to list every agency that oversees the NSA in every branch of government. “The fact is we’re a foreign intelligence agency.”

On that last line, pay close attention to the Establishment, including spokesliars for the Administration. FISA stands for the ‘FOREIGN Intelligence Surveillance Act.’ On several occasions already, they’ve changed the name to the ‘FEDERAL Intelligence Surveillance Act.’

‘Don’t worry, folks. What we are doing is totally legal and is all part of the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act that has been in place since 1978. You are getting all wee-wee’d up about something that has been in effect for most of your lives.’

- Surveillance State Supporter

Resist We Much on June 10, 2013 at 5:30 PM

National Socialism

Um, doesn’t that mean nazi?

flicker on June 10, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Will Antonin @Will_Antonin

If you really want to hide from Obama, you should just hang with Chechen extremists in Boston.

davidk on June 10, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Nice FIFY, but given mom jeans is more conducive for drone flying than ass-kicking, I’ll stick with “target”.

Steve Eggleston on June 10, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Just using his own words. :-)

Resist We Much on June 10, 2013 at 5:34 PM

To me it does not matter if the government needs a court order to go in and read specific emails. The fact that they are collecting them is a “seizure” even without a “search”.

weaselyone on June 10, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Agree completely. The scope of the collection is what bothers me. This isn’t analyzing data to follow leads. NSA essentially has a continuous data dump that they hold onto in case they need to go back and try to make a case. I’m willing to bet they didn’t even bother looking into the Tsarnaev brothers phone/internet activity when Russia was warning the FBI and CIA.

Happy Nomad on June 10, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Can’t we just have a beer summit and move on?

Jocundus on June 10, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Just hearing(on Jake Tappers show) on CNN that most of Congress voted on this continuing…and each congress person could have been informed but don’t bother to take the time to do so.

stingray9813 on June 10, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Did Congress know details of the depth and breadth of this intrusion on Americans and flouting of the Fourth Amendment? I would guess that they were treated like mushrooms, kept in the dark and full of sh*t.

onlineanalyst on June 10, 2013 at 5:37 PM

So, if Obama has been sexting Beyonce, can the NSA get to that?

[Yes, that's a joke; unless he really is, I mean.]

IndieDogg on June 10, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Well apparently 56% of Americans are ok with this program according to a poll just reference on POTUS xm radio. Didn’t catch the pollster. 41% strongly disagree.

Sad.

can_con on June 10, 2013 at 5:26 PM

How many of the 56% are Verizon customers?

weaselyone on June 10, 2013 at 5:40 PM

I’m willing to bet they didn’t even bother looking into the Tsarnaev brothers phone/internet activity when Russia was warning the FBI and CIA.

Happy Nomad on June 10, 2013 at 5:34 PM

They can’t seem to figure out if you’re planning on blowing things up in America, however they can figure out if you think Obama is a socialist and want to organize voters against him.

Tater Salad on June 10, 2013 at 5:42 PM

All King Barry has had since Day One is schtick!

GarandFan on June 10, 2013 at 5:42 PM

So, if Obama has been sexting Beyonce Reggie, can the NSA get to that?

[Yes, that's a joke; unless he really is, I mean.]

IndieDogg on June 10, 2013 at 5:37 PM

FIFY.

weaselyone on June 10, 2013 at 5:44 PM

There’s no doubt that many in Congress knew about this all along. Of course – the Lindsey Grahams will all support it.

Obama is a problem – but he is far from the ONLY problem. Our entire government is corrupt – there’s only a handful of GOP on the hill that we can trust – and the Ayatollah’s continually attack them as “whacko birds”.

HondaV65 on June 10, 2013 at 4:54 PM

But you voted for ‘a problem’, jackass, so suck it up.

slickwillie2001 on June 10, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Almost forgot, the Clinton’s did have a China connection through some monks for backdoor donations in ’96.

Kissmygrits on June 10, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Anybody seen Joe?

fogw on June 10, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Good question…

d1carter on June 10, 2013 at 5:55 PM

There’s no doubt that many in Congress knew about this all along. Of course – the Lindsey Grahams will all support it.

Obama is a problem – but he is far from the ONLY problem. Our entire government is corrupt – there’s only a handful of GOP on the hill that we can trust – and the Ayatollah’s continually attack them as “whacko birds”.

HondaV65 on June 10, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Hi Obama Voter! Having fun? Hope so – you voted for it.

Glad you’re believing what the cut rate Baghdad Bob is saying.

Oh wait! Of course you’d believe it – you voted for it!

Nevermind. :)

kim roy on June 10, 2013 at 5:59 PM

John Kerry was for it before he was against it.
Obama is just for it and against it.
He’s “Both ways Barry”.

OxyCon on June 10, 2013 at 6:02 PM

This guy Snowden is using “wiretap” to describe accessing someone’s personal email? Sounds kind of strange to me. Hack into (Ok), packet sniffing (OK), install a rootkit (ok), intercept (ok). I have never heard the term wiretap associated with emails before. Anyone else think it sounds legit?

can_con on June 10, 2013 at 6:08 PM

can_con on June 10, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Posted on wrong thread.

can_con on June 10, 2013 at 6:12 PM

This is such a silly argument about the collection of Call Data Records (CDRs).

Call data records are what is generated by the service provider when a call is made and used for billing purposes. They are not the property of the user, but the property of the service provider. As an example, if I call from a pay phone, a CDR is generated. I do not own that CDR and it is not private. heck the company does not even know the individual who placed the call, but they do have a CDR of the number called. It is a historical bit of data that has no expectation of privacy. When a terrorist phone number is captured or collected, it is then compared to the vast number of historical CDRs. In other words, computers sort all the numbers called by the terrorist phone, and more importantly, all numbers that called that phone. The only way to call chain that phone is to have ALL of the historical CDRs from all service providers. If more information is deemed necessary because a possible terrorist has been identified, a FISA warrant has to be issued to collect on that selector. If a US phone would have called a selector on collection overseas, like Anwar Alawki’s phone in Yemen, this type of call chaining can identify terrorist here in the states. Without all of the historical data records, it is impossible to go backwards. Without this capability, we never could have gotten the phone that was used to call Osama’s curriours family in Kuwait and ultimately get UBL.

mouell on June 10, 2013 at 6:13 PM

As an addendum – ditto goes for email. Don’t want to leave an electronic record? Do what UBL did, write letters and use couriers. Whatever electronic device you use – it WILL leave a record. A record owned by the company that generated it – not by the user who created it.

mouell on June 10, 2013 at 6:17 PM

How much money did the Democrats was shovel into the hands of “freelancing” NSA workers to get information (data, phone calls, emails) that hindered Republican candidates and helped the Democrats during the 2012 election?

“…the Democrats have a bigger advantage over the GOP than either party has ever had in the modern campaign era.”

albill on June 10, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Get transcripts if Carney’s “briefing”. Replace “President Obama” with “The Wizard” or “Der Fuhrer”. They read funnier but more accurately that way.

crosspatch on June 10, 2013 at 6:27 PM

I have never heard the term wiretap associated with emails before. Anyone else think it sounds legit?
can_con on June 10, 2013 at 6:08 PM

I think he’s using the term colloquially as synonymous with any communication that is intercepted surreptitiously.

tommyboy on June 10, 2013 at 6:32 PM

When I entered into arrangements with American Express, Google, and AT&T, I took a calculated risk with my privacy. I took that risk with American Express, not with the federal government; with Google, not with President Obama; and with AT&T, not the national-security services. Are we to presume now that all private agreements implicitly involve the state? And if so, where is the limiting principle? If I am to expect that private information I keep on a server run by a private company will be routinely accessed by the government without my knowledge, then why would I not also expect that private belongings I keep in a storage unit run by a private company will be routinely accessed without my knowledge? At what point did it become assumed in free countries that relationships between free citizens and free businesses were not sacrosanct? And if privacy is not expected, what explains the furious denials of participation from the likes of Google?

This distinction between privacy in the concrete and in the virtual worlds is silly in principle and even sillier in practice. As Justice Potter Stewart, writing in Katz v United States, explained in 1967:

The Fourth Amendment protects people, not places. What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection. But what he seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected.

That Constitution, I might remind naysayers, is still in force, and it is not dependent for its authority on the nature of the government over which it reigns. Those who voted for Barack Obama because they liked his civil-libertarian stump speech must be the most disappointed of all. But the great lesson of the last decade is that our vast bureaucracy makes it almost impossible to check abuses of liberty, and that such abuses have become the norm.

“Who are you?” Juliet asks from the balcony in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. “Why do you hide in the darkness and listen to my private thoughts?” Romeo replies, wary of her reaction: “I don’t know how to tell you who I am by telling you a name.” Many Americans tend to tailor their reactions to news of privacy abuses according to the names of those responsible — the hypocrisy from both sides in the last week has been astonishing — and yet spying is now a bipartisan game, for Leviathan makes no genuine distinctions. Montague or Capulet, Republican or Democrat, the surveillance state is now a constant, apparently beyond even Congress’s control. Who cares in whose name it violates you?

The Fourth Amendment exists now for precisely the same reason that it existed in 1791: to ensure that, in the absence of extremely compelling situations, Americans are not subject to casual government scrutiny. Its authors understood that knowledge is power, and that, as there is no justification for the state to have too much power over you, there is also no justification for the state to have too much knowledge about you. If you don’t believe that metadata can afford its voyeurs too much information, then consider this study, conducted by MIT and Belgium’s Université Catholique de Louvain, and written up in National Journal last week:

After analyzing 1.5 million cellphone users over the course of 15 months, the researchers found they could uniquely identify 95 percent of cellphone users based on just four data points — that is, just four instances of where they were and what hour of the day it was just four times in one year. With just two data points, they could identify more than half of the users. And the researchers suggested that the study may underestimate how easy it is.

Moreover, the relegation of the spying to supposedly harmless “metadata” is misleading. As my colleague Dan Foster points out:

Unlike the ordinary collection of phone records for law-enforcement purposes, the metadata the government is collecting from Verizon can easily be used to track the movements of users; it includes information on the cell-phone towers calls are routed through.

After 1914, wrote A. J. P. Taylor, finishing his thought:

The mass of the people became, for the first time, active citizens. Their lives were shaped by orders from above; they were required to serve the state instead of pursuing exclusively their own affairs. . . . The state established a hold over its citizens which, though relaxed in peacetime, was never to be removed and which the Second World War was again to increase. The history of the English state and of the English people merged for the first time.

It is precisely this confluence that Americans must resist. The policeman and the postmaster of Taylor’s report knew intuitively that their role was to capture only that which needed capturing. Our policemen may now fly and our postmasters may communicate in binary, but that principle remains as important as ever. Are we really to concede that we must lose our right to it when we pick up the phone?

Resist We Much on June 10, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Isn’t Snoopy trademarked?

seven on June 11, 2013 at 12:08 PM