Today’s dog and pony show: Obama to meet with civil liberties board for the first time

posted at 11:31 am on June 21, 2013 by Allahpundit

He cares deeply about privacy rights in an age of surveillance, which is why this board that’s kinda sorta existed since 2004 and which Obama himself has never once consulted will now be granted a formal audience with His Highness.

A new federal blue-ribbon commission to brainstorm privacy “recommendations” can’t be long in coming now.

“I’ve set up a privacy and civil liberties oversight board, made up of independent citizens including some fierce civil libertarians,” Obama told Charlie Rose in an interview that aired Monday. “I’ll be meeting with them. And what I want to do is to set up and structure a national conversation, not only about these two programs, but also the general problem of data, big data sets, because this is not going to be restricted to government entities.”

The board, however, was funded eight years ago, and has remained largely powerless since then.

The panel was first suggested in the 2004 report by the 9/11 Commission, and was first launched that year. In 2007, the group was granted independent powers, but both Presidents George W. Bush and Obama resisted nominating members for years.

The panel operated without offices or staff for years, and the fifth and final member — Chairman David Medine — was only confirmed last month, by a narrow 53-45 party line vote.

He ran as the candidate of Hopenchange vis-a-vis Bush’s aggressive counterterrorism, then dropped the whole shtick so quickly and completely that he hasn’t gotten around to setting up even a fig-leaf civil libertarian oversight board until the fifth year of his presidency. The bit about a “national conversation” in the excerpt is a nice touch, too. One of the key lessons of the Snowden revelations and their aftermath is that there won’t be any meaningful debate on this topic because, for reasons of national security, O won’t declassify the nuts and bolts of how these programs work. We can navel-gaze in broad terms about whether they go too far, but what good is that when you don’t really know what you’re talking about? The “national conversation” is really a congressional conversation behind closed doors, and with a few exceptions like Ron Wyden and Rand Paul, no legislator is going to endorse scaling back programs like PRISM. No one wants to be the guy after a major terror attack who urged the government to do less surveillance beforehand. Especially O, which is precisely why he swapped Hopenchange for the national-security state after getting elected.

While we’re on the subject, spend some time with two new stories that somehow didn’t inspire a presidential visit to the civil liberties board until now. One is the Guardian’s latest revelation from Snowden about what NSA analysts can and can’t do without a warrant. They have broad powers when it comes to obtaining a foreigner’s communications, and if in the course of sifting a foreigner’s communications they “inadvertently” acquire communications from an American that contains usable intel or evidence of criminal activity, they can retain that. That makes some sense — if you’ve got a homegrown jihadi communicating with a bad guy overseas, obviously you want to know what they’re saying — but no one knows for sure how broad the “usable” intel loophole goes and it’s unclear why a separate warrant shouldn’t be required to obtain and retain an American’s communuication. The second piece, which I find more interesting because it shows how deep Obama’s famous obsession with secrecy goes, is this McClatchy expose of the White House’s “Insider Threat Program.” They’ve authorized federal agencies — and not just intelligence/defense agencies either — to be aggressive in going after leakers, even if they’ve only leaked non-classified information, and to keep an eye on employees who seem like they might potentially leak. That’s virtuous in the sense of discouraging damaging national-security disclosures and dangerous in that it makes it harder for legit whistleblowers who want to reveal illegal activity. What happens when you have a government where everyone’s afraid to speak up? Exit quotation from a CIA agent who quit after, she claims, she was falsely accused of being a security risk: “The real danger is that you get a bland common denominator working in the government… You don’t get people who look at things in a different way and who are willing to stand up for things. What you get are people who toe the party line, and that’s really dangerous for national security.”


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After quietly reading aloud each member’s dossier from NSA/FBI/DoJ…Obama will merely ask, “Are we clear???”

And the civil liberties board will civilly board the Obama train, leaving liberty, discarded, back on the platform.

coldwarrior on June 21, 2013 at 11:35 AM

They’re not actually wearing brownshirts now, but they are the same.

d1carter on June 21, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Drudge is linking to a story about how the NSA tapped politicians, judges, generals, even BHO in 2004…
but if you did nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about.

d1carter on June 21, 2013 at 11:41 AM

This will just be like how he never met regularly, (or at all) with his “blue ribbon” panel of business executives to decide how to get the economy turned around.

Deano1952 on June 21, 2013 at 11:42 AM

What are the odds we get “….I have directed…….and report back to me” after this soiree`?

BobMbx on June 21, 2013 at 11:43 AM

if in the course of sifting a foreigner’s communications they “inadvertently” acquire communications from an American that contains usable intel or evidence of criminal activity, they can retain that.

Well, there it is. How much ‘inadvertent evidence’ will be used to prosecute Americans? Is it only criminal activity against the US, or any activity at all?

This is nothing but a big fishing expedition! When are they going to get back to doing real investigating.

Patriot Vet on June 21, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Today’s dog and pony show: Obama to meet with civil liberties board for the first time

“Obama has assured us he is not violating our civil liberties. That’s good enough for us.”

-Civil Liberties Board

portlandon on June 21, 2013 at 11:44 AM

to decide how to get the economy turned around.

Deano1952 on June 21, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Superfluous, anyway. Obama had already decided.

coldwarrior on June 21, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Hell, he doesn’t even meet with his cabinet…

d1carter on June 21, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Thankfully, the ACLU will be filing the cases. I hope Obama is dragged over the hot coals. I know, I know ………………… I’m a racist and now find solace that the ACLU does exist.

SC.Charlie on June 21, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Effective Presidents: Learn about the problems America & Americans face, then exercise assertive leadership to use the power of the government to address them.

Obummer: Look at the polling numbers and initiate “national conversations” about the topics he thinks his base will applaud him for.

KS Rex on June 21, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Effective Presidents: Learn about the problems America & Americans face, then exercise assertive leadership to use the power of the government to either directly address them or empower Americans to address them themselves.

Obummer: Look at the polling numbers and initiate “national conversations” about the topics he thinks his base will applaud him for.

KS Rex on June 21, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Excuse me, I fixed the first paragraph.

KS Rex on June 21, 2013 at 11:52 AM

“I’ve set up a privacy and civil liberties oversight board, made up of independent citizens including some fierce civil libertarians,”

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2013/06/civil-liberties-and-single-reactionary.html

joining with Roger Baldwin in singing the praises of “civil liberties” is the rough moral equivalent of joining with Alfred Rosenberg in a celebration of the Deutsche Volk.

Since this last epic battle between the Congress and the Executive, your country, not to mention its gloriously liberated “allies,” ie, captured satellite states, has been run (with spasmodic, unserious, temporary attempts at resistance, but not reversal) by its permanent civil service. This is what “democracy” means to you: government by permanent civil servants. As for your elected officials, you could dismiss them all tomorrow, and not elect more, and your experience of government would not change in the slightest.

ninjapirate on June 21, 2013 at 11:53 AM

Beer Summit!

trs on June 21, 2013 at 11:58 AM

How come you used a picture of Alfred E. Newman for this thread?

Old Country Boy on June 21, 2013 at 12:00 PM

“I’ll be meeting with them. And what I want to do is to set up and structure a national conversation, not only about these two programs, but also the general problem of data, big data sets, because this is not going to be restricted to government entities.”

Just read that, read the vapid harangue that this excuse for a POTUS tries to pass off as erudition and which only one of his brain-dead supporters would accept. “National conversation”, anyone reading that who isn’t a leftist troglodyte would instantly trigger their own bullshiite detector.

The Dog Eater and his grifting pantload of a mate have neither the ability or the energy to do anything of substance so we get this instead; useless, empty pap that will only impress like-minded fools.

Bishop on June 21, 2013 at 12:02 PM

How come you used a picture of Alfred E. Newman for this thread?

Old Country Boy on June 21, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Greater credibility?

slickwillie2001 on June 21, 2013 at 12:04 PM

“I’ve set up a privacy and civil liberties oversight board, made up of independent citizens including some fierce civil libertarians…”

Now how, exactly, did Dear Leader “set up” this board that was created in 2004? He wasn’t even in the Senate then.

av8tr on June 21, 2013 at 12:04 PM

I’ve set up a privacy and civil liberties oversight board, made up of independent citizens including some fierce civil libertarians,” Obama told Charlie Rose in an interview that aired Monday.

]

The panel was first suggested in the 2004 report by the 9/11 Commission, and was first launched that year. In 2007, the group was granted independent powers, but both Presidents George W. Bush and Obama resisted nominating members for years.

Obama set up a board before he was even in the Senate?

Bitter Clinger on June 21, 2013 at 12:07 PM

av8tr on June 21, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Bitter Clinger on June 21, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Beat me to it.

Bitter Clinger on June 21, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Apparently we misunderstood when he said the government would be the most transparent. It was us that would be viewed.

pat on June 21, 2013 at 12:08 PM

av8tr on June 21, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Obviously have an older copy of the official history…need to shred and discard it…immediately.

The new one, published in December 2012 states that “in the beginning there was Barack, his name be praised, and from Barack, all things sprang…where there was darkness only light…”

Includes this pseudo-civil liberties board.

Are they being paid or expensed on our dime? Only for going to meetings, or annual salaries?

coldwarrior on June 21, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Will Preezy Snuffysnoop discuss progress on The People’s Rights Amendment sponsored by Nancy Pelosi and 25 members of congress?

http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/20/amendment-could-strip-press-freedom-in-effort-to-curb-corporate-political-spending/

workingclass artist on June 21, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Obama set up a board before he was even in the Senate?

Bitter Clinger on June 21, 2013 at 12:07 PM

How do you think Hillary Clinton was named after Sir Edmund Hillary even though he became famous by climbing Everest 6 years after she was born?

Because both Killary and Dog Eater can bend time; gods are able do such things, you dumb bigot.

Bishop on June 21, 2013 at 12:16 PM

This guy bounces around like an atom in free space.

rplat on June 21, 2013 at 12:17 PM

…blah, blah Board…blah, blah Conversation…blah, blah Committee…blah,blah…words, mere words..

hillsoftx on June 21, 2013 at 12:17 PM

“Metadata records of search terms and webpage visits also can reveal a log of your thoughts by documenting what you’ve been reading and researching, Eckersley said.

“That’s certainly enough to know if you’re pregnant or not, what diseases you have, whether you’re looking for a new job, whether you’re trying to figure out if the NSA is watching you or not,” he said, referring to the National Security Agency. Such information provides “a deeply intimate window into a person’s psyche,” he added.

The more Americans rely on their smartphones and the Internet, the more metadata is generated

Metadata with GPS locations, for example, can trace a teenage girl to an abortion clinic or a patient to a psychiatrist’s office, said Karen Reilly, the development director for The Tor Project, a U.S.-based nonprofit that produces technology to provide online anonymity and circumvent censorship.

Metadata can even identify a likely gun owner, she said.

“Never mind background checks, if you bring your cellphone to the gun range you probably have a gun,” Reilly said.

“People don’t realize all the information that they’re giving out,” she said. “You can try to secure it – you can use some tech tools, you can try to be a black hole online – but if you try to live your life the way people are expecting it, it’s really difficult to control the amount of data that you’re leaking all over the place.”

A former senior official of the National Security Agency said the government’s massive collection of metadata allowed the agency to construct “maps” of an individual’s daily movements, social connections, travel habits and other personal information.

“This is blanket. There is no constraint. No probable cause. No reasonable suspicion,” said Thomas Drake, who worked unsuccessfully for years to report privacy violations and massive waste at the agency to his superiors and Congress….

Metadata “is more useful than (the) content” of a telephone call, email or Internet search, Drake said in an interview. “It gets you a map over time. I get to map movements, connections, communities of interest. It’s also a tracking mechanism.”

The NSA “can easily associate” a phone number with an identity, he added. “All location information comes from a (cellular) tower. There are tower records. They are doing this every single day. It’s basically a data tap on metadata, and I can build a profile (of an individual) instantly.”

The agency has programs that also can mine the metadata of emails and other electronic information, Drake said.

With advances in data storage, he continued, the NSA is able to maintain massive amounts of metadata for as long as it wants. “This stuff is trivial to store,” he said.

Drake added that U.S. telecommunications companies are prohibited from publicly disclosing arrangements with the NSA and are protected under the Patriot Act from lawsuits. “They literally have the protection of the U.S. government from any, any lawsuit. The United States is literally turning into a surveillance state,” he said. “This is the new normal.”

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/06/20/194505/government-could-use-metadata.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/06/20/194505/government-could-use-metadata.html#storylink=cpy

workingclass artist on June 21, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Obama set up a board before he was even in the Senate?

Bitter Clinger on June 21, 2013 at 12:07 PM

There must be a rift in the space-time continuum. Whoever borrowed the Tachyon generator needs to return it ASAP.

BobMbx on June 21, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Obama set up a board before he was even in the Senate?

Bitter Clinger on June 21, 2013 at 12:07 PM

How do you think Hillary Clinton was named after Sir Edmund Hillary even though he became famous by climbing Everest 6 years after she was born?

Because both Killary and Dog Eater can bend time; gods are able do such things, you dumb bigot.

Bishop on June 21, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Yeah.

Also Obamiwan is accomplished at Jedi Mind Tricks…

workingclass artist on June 21, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Because both Killary and Dog Eater can bend time; gods are able do such things, you dumb bigot.

Bishop on June 21, 2013 at 12:16 PM

It’s all just a ____ and pony show. We all know the dog ain’t around.

VegasRick on June 21, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Obama set up a board before he was even in the Senate?

Bitter Clinger on June 21, 2013 at 12:07 PM

There must be a rift in the space-time continuum. Whoever borrowed the Tachyon generator needs to return it ASAP.

BobMbx on June 21, 2013 at 12:20 PM

See when Al Gore invented the Interwebs he embedded that timewarping capability into the interwebs and that’s why…Wait! Zombies

workingclass artist on June 21, 2013 at 12:25 PM

After quietly reading aloud each member’s dossier from NSA/FBI/DoJ…Obama will merely ask, “Are we clear???”

And the civil liberties board will civilly board the Obama train, leaving liberty, discarded, back on the platform.

coldwarrior on June 21, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Nailed it in one.

rbj on June 21, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Why is Obama looking at call logs for every underage girl in America?

faraway on June 21, 2013 at 12:29 PM

“Good Afternoon folks and thanks for coming. After you’re seated I would like to direct your attention to the folders placed on the table before you…You’ll notice when you open these that you name appears at the top of the first page. Scanning the table of contents you’ll see that these are carefully prepared dossiers on you and your families as well as your associates…” – Obama

workingclass artist on June 21, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Civil Liberties — now defined as taking liberties with civilians and their lives.

ProfShadow on June 21, 2013 at 12:32 PM

I I I I

cmsinaz on June 21, 2013 at 12:35 PM

“The preznit promised that we would never get sent to the camps if we just went along and gave him cover, so we members of the board have come to the conclusion that there are no civil rights concerns in regards to the administration’s policies.”

Bishop on June 21, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Civil Liberties — now defined as taking liberties with civilians and their lives.

ProfShadow on June 21, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Miniluv courtesy of the Ministry of Truth.

workingclass artist on June 21, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Since this last epic battle between the Congress and the Executive, your country, not to mention its gloriously liberated “allies,” ie, captured satellite states, has been run (with spasmodic, unserious, temporary attempts at resistance, but not reversal) by its permanent civil service. This is what “democracy” means to you: government by permanent civil servants. As for your elected officials, you could dismiss them all tomorrow, and not elect more, and your experience of government would not change in the slightest.

ninjapirate on June 21, 2013 at 11:53 AM

Yep. The shadow government. That’s part of what makes this an out of control government. The official, elected players at the top don’t mean as much as we’d like to think.

a capella on June 21, 2013 at 12:57 PM

The speech Obama should have held in Berlin

“Meine Damen und Herren, I am so sorry. I received your Nobel and then I became “Bushhitler” on steroids. I also redeemed Di*k Nixon. I made Di*k Cheney smell like a peacenick. I became the biggest Di*k on Earth. I betrayed all which is liberal and became your Hitler”

Schadenfreude on June 21, 2013 at 1:13 PM

The biggest scandal and best kept secret is that obama is illegitimate in his 2nd term. He won like Putin and Chavez.

A media in his azz know this and cover up,due to NSA dossiers.

Schadenfreude on June 21, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Now how, exactly, did Dear Leader “set up” this board that was created in 2004? He wasn’t even in the Senate then.

av8tr on June 21, 2013 at 12:04 PM

The same way he tried to take credit for having created the FISA courts.
Obama replied: “It is transparent, that’s why we set up the FISA court.”

Hmmm… he set-up the FISA court. Yeh, I don’t think so chump.

Hill60 on June 21, 2013 at 1:52 PM

“The real danger is that you get a bland common denominator working in the government… You don’t get people who look at things in a different way and who are willing to stand up for things. What you get are people who toe the party line, and that’s really dangerous for national security.”

A citizenry that toes the party line is Obama’s goal.

Groupthink.

Obama-think.

Use it first to control the government bureaucracy. Then use the entire bureaucratic machinery of government as a weapon to punish citizens guilty of wrong-thinking. The people will be conditioned to believe and to obey. Any who stubbornly cling to Bibles and guns will be disarmed, marginalized, and ultimately shunned.

He’s not going to get all the way there, but it’s patently clear that is where he is trying mightily to go, the cul-de-sac of the damned at the end of Alinsky Avenue populated by the snoops, the snithches, and the mindless masses. It’s a ’60s radical’s paradise wet dream that would have left Orwell speechless.

novaculus on June 21, 2013 at 1:57 PM

It’s obvious that American Jews bribed the Turkish politicians to give Gezi Park to real estate developers. Turkish politicians are helpless before bribe money, and can’t be blamed.

thuja on June 21, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Sorry! I posted to the wrong thread!

thuja on June 21, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Minutes of the meeting;

The One; Comes in, says, “I know where you live, where your kids go to school, and what your relatives do for a living. Are we clear?”

Board; “Yes, sir.”

The One; “Good. Now don’t make me come here again.”

Walks out.

clear ether

eon

eon on June 21, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Today’s dog and pony show: Obama to meet with civil liberties board for the first time

BEER SUMMIT!!!

Can’t wait.


I don’t, uh, really know, uh, all that much about it, but, uh, it seems the, uh, NSA, uh, acted stupidly.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 21, 2013 at 5:07 PM

The biggest scandal and best kept secret is that obama is illegitimate in his 2nd term. He won like Putin and Chavez.

A media in his azz know this and cover up,due to NSA dossiers.

Schadenfreude on June 21, 2013 at 1:20 PM

None dare call it conspiracy.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 21, 2013 at 5:08 PM

I expect the Civil Liberties Board will have to hand over their phones as they enter the meeting room.

Oh, no. Not another “national conversation”! That means “I know we have a bad policy but we want to do it anyway”.

Can we have a national conversation about turning the spooks, crooks and kooks out of power?

virgo on June 22, 2013 at 3:49 PM