published Saturday, June 8th, 2013

PRISM

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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That should be Obama's face in there.

June 8, 2013 at 1:51 a.m.

Or Eric Holder.

June 8, 2013 at 1:52 a.m.

My gosh is Obama a hypocrite. What a fraud.

June 8, 2013 at 1:53 a.m.

Obama BIG BROTHA

June 8, 2013 at 1:58 a.m.
Jt6gR3hM said...

JAY LENO: “See, when I was growing up, we were always afraid of Big Brother watching us. And now with Obama, we actually have a brother watching us.”

June 8, 2013 at 2:01 a.m.
Reardon said...

Kaiser Sose is Big Brother?!?

June 8, 2013 at 6:11 a.m.
anniebelle said...

I remember when the Patriot Act (that allowed this type of surveillance) was put into place by the Bush/Cheney Cabal. It has been reinstated by our Congress several times since 2001. All I heard from the right then was this collective whine: "if you don't have anything to hide, why would you object?" Well, now that we have a black president, you've got your panties all in a wad over EVERTHING this president has done to try to heal this broken country. I guess you'll just have to get over it.

June 8, 2013 at 6:14 a.m.
jesse said...

The mind set in the aftermath of 9/11 may have been a little diff than now!

June 8, 2013 at 6:35 a.m.
anniebelle said...

It's still post-9/11. We had a terrible reminder of what can be done just recently in Boston.

June 8, 2013 at 6:37 a.m.
conservative said...

Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope for His lovingkindness, To deliver their soul from death And to keep them alive in famine. Psalm 33:18-19

June 8, 2013 at 6:40 a.m.
patriot1 said...

Annie says.....BUSH/CHENEY!!!

Letters B-u-s-h on liberal keypads must be really be worn by now. We're well into the fifth year of this president and he still doesn't have his agenda in place.....it's still the former's fault.

June 8, 2013 at 7:27 a.m.
inquiringmind said...

We can certainly hang the continuation of these programs on President Obama, but these programs started under Bush the younger, and our government has wanted the power to know what you say and think for many years. Earlier versions existed under Carter, Reagan and Bush the Elder. We have J. Edgar Hoover, for example, who spied to use the information as power to put a public face on it. You have every elected representative(sic) and senator who voted for these programs to thank. If the snoops share your politics it is ok, but wait until the tables turn.

No one wants to acknowledge that security is an illusion, because to ensure security requires complete loss of liberty. The government must know everything that is said, thought or done to ensure stability. Then the threat to personal security comes from the government that does not want you saying or thinking something. So which form of insecurity do you want?

Let your vote do the talking.

June 8, 2013 at 7:28 a.m.
conservative said...

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Watching the evil and the good. Proverbs 15:3

June 8, 2013 at 7:38 a.m.
PlainTruth said...

anniebell: A champ of a Dem....race, race, race..

The deterioration of a government begins almost always by the decay of its principles. -Ernie Worrell.

June 8, 2013 at 7:45 a.m.
DJHBRAINERD said...

Bush did not run for the office of President on a platform of Hope and Change then continue and or expand most of the policies he said he would undue from his predecessor. Major difference. But then I have never seen much of a difference in the two from the start. Obama is a closet Republican. Too bad your partisan blinders keep you from seeing that there is no real difference in the two. (Annabelle)

June 8, 2013 at 8:07 a.m.
DJHBRAINERD said...

In my opinion there is a real danger to PRISM. It will become a political weapon to be used by the party in power to stifle opposition. Think about it this way. We already have people who are hired to dig up dirt on the competition. They go snooping around and find embarrassing moments from the past to use in the campaign. We also know we have leaks in all areas of government. So what is to stop a lower/mid level agent from doing a favor for a higher up. Hell the incumbent could yell national security and probably get a secret court to do it for him. And by "it" I mean deliver every single web hit, google search, email (of not just the person running for office but of their family/friends) and throw in some sound bite news coverage with a little guilt by association and you have destroyed your opposition. Headline news: challenger drops out after porn filled past surfaces....story at 11...... Of course that could never happen here. We have safeguards in place.

June 8, 2013 at 8:39 a.m.
EaTn said...

In 2001 Democrat Senator Russ Feingold was the only one who had both enough common sense and political fortitude to vote against the Bush Patriot Act which gave government unlimited powers against citizens. That one Bush law will haunt every future presidents and citizens because the citizens will forever put security above personal liberties.

June 8, 2013 at 8:56 a.m.
alprova said...

DJHBrainerd wrote: "Obama is a closet Republican."

Who knew that? I'm no sure that you're going to find very much agreement with that assessment.

June 8, 2013 at 9:12 a.m.
prairie_dog said...

Okay, so far, the Obama administration has been responsible for IRS targeting of political opponents, retaliation against non-supportive news media, and now spying on every cell phone in the United States.

They told a bunch of people a bunch of lies to get elected, and now they're being caught by their own bad actions.

So, how do you tell the difference between an Obama supporter and a Romney supporter? The Romney supporter is living in his car. The Obama supporter is living in public housing.

June 8, 2013 at 9:18 a.m.
alprova said...

People can blame the President if they choose, but I have always held the belief that there are those in Washington who do as they please, answer to no one, and will forever remain untouched when stuff like this leaks out.

Anyone who believes that one man has his finger on the pulse of this nation at all times, and has the power to keep people in line every second, is quite delusional.

The American people want to be secure but they whine like little puppies when occasionally they find out the level of espionage involved that it takes to keep this nation secure.

And as someone pointed out, we all live in a post 9/11 world and people still want to kill any one of us, if they have the opportunity to do so.

Do I like the thought that the medtadata of my phone calls, e-mails, and web searches may be being monitored? No, but I do recognize that the Government is duty bound to prevent another 9/11, and I am very willing to give up a little privacy that will be quite boring, if they read or hear what I am up to any given day, than to endure another attack on innocent people in this nation ever again.

Intelligence does not simply fall from the sky. Those charged with gathering intelligence work very hard to dig for it. I'm all for allowing them to have the tools they need to sort out any individual who is up to no good, even if they lock on me for the time necessary to exclude me from any suspicion.

In this day and age of technology, criminals are going to find themselves having a tougher time plying their chosen careers on their victims and getting away with it.

Who in their right mind objects to that?

June 8, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.
jesse said...

Actually i have always been of the opinion that "Dubya"knew nothing about the invasion of Iraq till they hung Sadam!

It was Clinton that did it!

June 8, 2013 at 9:36 a.m.
PlainTruth said...

Alpo: Is there nothing you won't say in order to protect this president. Good Lord, Albert.

June 8, 2013 at 9:38 a.m.
DJHBRAINERD said...

Alpo..... he's as close to what used to be a republican that has come along in a while. He promotes republican ideas such as romneycare continues with excessive military spending while expanding the fight to many more places while continuing many of W's policies such as Drones, Gitmo, tax cuts for the rich ect.... Maybe I should have said that the republicans are actually big government big spending democrats but only when they are in the white house. When they are in the lower house it is a different tune. Deficits seem to matter. The only tune that is the same is the executive branch and it's ever increasing power over the other two branches. The main difference in the R and the D is which lobbying group gets the government perks after the election. The rest to me is just a divide and concur strategy as old as the art of war.

June 8, 2013 at 9:39 a.m.
alprova said...

Prairie Dog wrote: "Okay, so far, the Obama administration has been responsible for IRS targeting of political opponents, retaliation against non-supportive news media, and now spying on every cell phone in the United States."

I love how every scandal out there has "Obama" on it. Every President gets blamed for what goes on in Washington, even when they have nothing to do with it.

None of these "scandals" that has some of you up in arms, will ever touch the White House, mark my word. They rarely ever do.

"They told a bunch of people a bunch of lies to get elected, and now they're being caught by their own bad actions."

The people involved in what some of you consider "wrongdoing" are more likely to not be elected at all.

"So, how do you tell the difference between an Obama supporter and a Romney supporter? The Romney supporter is living in his car. The Obama supporter is living in public housing."

Oh, now that was deep. It's hard for you to believe that there are actually people out here who understand who and what has led to many of the problems that this country is enduring these days, and who is attempting to do something about them, and that sure isn't the Republicans at the moment.

They are obsessed with everything Obama. I guess you are too.

June 8, 2013 at 9:41 a.m.
EaTn said...

A second term president cares less about public opinion and more about what history will prove.

June 8, 2013 at 9:42 a.m.
conservative said...

Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord. Jeremiah 23:24

June 8, 2013 at 9:42 a.m.
DJHBRAINERD said...

hey jessee can I get in on that skins game? I got the city pass. been mostly at brainerd but I get to brown every couple weeks. what time do you get done mowing im free during the week....

June 8, 2013 at 9:47 a.m.

You lefties are almost as good at pretending that Obama hasn't been POTUS since 2008 as Obama is at pretending that he hasn't been POTUS since 2008. By always being in campaign mode Obama gives the impression that he's not responsible for anything. Unbelievable how you're still bitching about Bush. You're ridiculous. The federal government is so completely out of control on so many levels that only a fool would deny it. It doesn't matter what party your in, as they currently stand there's not much difference between them.

June 8, 2013 at 10:12 a.m.
limric said...

He he, I partially agree with Zableedofisterix’s 1:51 a.m post, ” That should be Obama's face” I think a more apropos depiction would be the composite: George W. Obama.


The Constitution couldn’t be any clearer.

The Fourth Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Beginning with the Texas Mafia and the horrible Patriot Act, accelerated with the present administration (especially in light of Obama’s & Dianne Feinstein’s statements as of late) the very people that took an oath to uphold the Constitution seem to think the Bill of Rights is just a list of suggestions to be loosely followed and interpreted as they see fit; and actually appear to be actively trying to subvert it! To that effect, the federal government has created (and defends) a police state with few parallels in history; Better and more invasive than anything that the KGB, the Stasi, the Gestapo or the SS ever had. A related movie came out about 7 or so years ago called ‘Other People's Lives’. In it, the STASI was a political entity - In the USA today, its business. And I posit, there can be no doubt, Corporations and the Government are in a symbiotic (destructive) relationship, from the Federal to local level.

Can anyone contradict the fact that thousands of people are aware of this spying on the US public? And all but one remains silent! Is what follows an accurate representation of conversations in the break room at the NSA? ”What the public doesn’t realize is that our domestic operations are necessary because the world is scary and there are some really really dangerous people who live among us that don’t play by the rules and don’t care about civil liberties and think that the rights guaranteed by the Constitution are meaningless and who will not rest until they see democracy destroyed. And if it weren’t the same people that signed our paychecks we might actually have to say something about them.” WTF

Whoever gave this information to Glenn Greenwald deserves the Medal of Freedom and a ticker tape parade down Fifth or Sixth Ave (Avenue of the Americas) in the NYC. But in today’s Orwellian America, Eric Holder will probably push for a lengthy incarceration.

Interestingly enough, during the Bush admin, Mark Klein (the AT&T whistle blower) was never prosecuted. Nor did he face possible ‘aiding and abetting’ charges. With today’s team of vindictive swine, things are getting much creepier.

Sorry Mr. Obama, Congress, Senators – as the NYT said recently, you have lost ALL credibility!

Cont.

June 8, 2013 at 11:11 a.m.
limric said...

Cont. from above.

Think I’m overreacting? Maybe; but I’ve written before about this very thing only to be ridiculed as being unnecessarily melodramatic. It’ll be interesting to read and listen to the apologists.

P.S. Umm Zableedofisterix. Obama was sworn in Tuesday, January 20, 2009. NOT 2008!!

June 8, 2013 at 11:11 a.m.
rick1 said...

Al wrote "I love how every scandal out there has "Obama" on it. Every President gets blamed for what goes on in Washington, even when they have nothing to do with it."

I love how you and others keep telling us how intelligent Obama is, but when Obama is asked about anything he knows nothing.

Al, since you said "Every President gets blamed for what goes on in Washington, even when they have nothing to do with it." Then they should not take credit for the positive things they were not directly involved in either, like Obama taking out Bin Laden. If that's the case then G.W. Bush pulled Hussein out of the hole he was hiding in, Truman dropped the Atom Bomb, Nixon walked on the moon and Reagan flew the space shuttle.

June 8, 2013 at 11:16 a.m.
rick1 said...

"It turns out, in the past few years, the only phone the Government WASN'T monitoring belonged to Chris Stevens." Dustinstockton.com

June 8, 2013 at 11:28 a.m.
DJHBRAINERD said...

On a subtle note.... the leaker was smart enough to leak it to a foreign newspaper. No way to bury the story here and maybe he was worried that DOJ was following around the domestic reporters .... pure conjecture on my part but it does seem ironic.

June 8, 2013 at 11:32 a.m.
DJHBRAINERD said...

Nice post limric.... Feinstein and McConnell on the same side saying nothing to see here move along. republicans defending the president?....I need a scorecard to keep up with who is on what side of this thing. Strange bedfellows indeed. But as with my earlier post I believe it will morph into a political weapon used by incumbents to stifle competition. The birth of the thought police. .....How silly does Rand Paul's filibuster concerning the assassination of US citizens on US soil seem now....13 hrs to get a clarification that the patriot act does not allow it (unless a secret court says it does).....I mean if we just call them terrorists ( like some on here call the TEA party) then everything goes!

June 8, 2013 at 11:45 a.m.
MickeyRat said...

PlainTruth,

Worth a look huh. NOT

Same old douchebaggery from the intellectual cow patty you have so famously succeeded proving over & over you are...like an unraveling cable knit sweater you keep knitting and knitting and knitting.

My bad, I should have known.

June 8, 2013 at 11:45 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

The cartoon shows Mr Bennett can actually put out something with a different look than his usual--perhaps not better, but at least different--and can actually sort of hint that maybe liberals can do something wrong. Will wonders never cease!

Maybe he'll go farther and take some art lessons from his wife, who does some very nice still lifes--look 'em up on Facebook--and maybe he'll consider that liberalism (big-government-ism of both old parties) has bad problems built into it, including: (1) It gives some men power over others' lives, as the cartoon hints, and this to a needless extent. Letting some live by the sweat of others' brow is slavery. Making some jump through arbitrary hoops, and forcing some to follow orders instead of using their own heads, are at least akin to slavery. All this invites corrupt and power-hungry people to go into government instead of making them earn a living. (2) Liberalism does dumb things such as forcing healthy people to pay sick people to be sick. That's what O'Romneycare is; that's what its 'three pillars' listed by Paul Krugman yesterday amount to. (3) Liberalism claims to make people more equal; but enforcing this puts non-equal power in the hands of the Equalizer, thus making inequality worse instead of better. It's easier to get a bit more more money than a bit more power. Aristocracy is therefore worse than plutocracy, and egalitarianism contradicts itself, so abandon it. There are plenty of artificial differences that can be struck down, as the artificial differences between black and white people were struck down; but when affirmative action requires half the NBA's players to be white (or female), enforcing this artificial version of sameness means not everyone has the same power. (4) And in other cases, even when liberalism perceives a real problem, its efforts at solution make the problem worse instead of better, subsidizing the problem instead of letting people do what they can to shrink it. (5) Liberalism has promised more than it can afford to deliver; it's running low on other peoples' money. Deficits are unpatriotic, said Senator Obama--so deficits are a problem his golf games haven't hidden from him. (6) Liberalism is unconstitutional; it claims powers not granted to the D.C. government. It's a breach of contract. The contract can be amended if need be. (7) Liberalism is unBiblical; Jesus solved problems Himself, not by crucifying the taxpayers, and He sets the standard. When FDR and LBJ die for my sins, I'll believe they love me; when they rise up alive on the 3rd day, I'll worship them. Until then, Jesus is good enough.

June 8, 2013 at 12:03 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Clay Bennett notes: "Big Brother"

Yikes!. . . I sure hope these foreign terrorists never call a wrong number.

Indeed, the flaky way our U.S. Congress has set up this whole “Patriot Act” thing some poor innocent citizen on the other end of the line could very easily wake up a few days later and suddenly find himself or herself being shackled, tortured, and swooshed off to some secret prison that doesn't exist. . . never to be seen or heard from again.

And all because the telephone rang, he or she picked it up, and said ”Hello."

June 8, 2013 at 12:09 p.m.
PlainTruth said...

M-Rat: Where's your sense of humor?

June 8, 2013 at 12:09 p.m.
limric said...

Good points DJHBRAINERD,

Here’s all you need to know to realize how frighteningly reminiscent this is of any totalitarian regime.

From the Transcript: Dianne Feinstein, Saxby Chambliss explaining/defending NSA phone records program.

Feinstein feigns ignorance whether not other wireless carriers are involved (they are). Either she is (A) lying or (B) totally incompetent in her role as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Answer: A

Question: ”To be clear: This isn’t just Verizon, this is records generally with large phone records, right?

Feinstein: ”I can’t specifically answer that, maybe David Graniss(staff director of Senate Intelligence Committee). Graniss, do you know?”

David Graniss: ”We can’t answer that question.”

Feinstein:We cannot answer that. Fortunately, I don’t know.

Chambliss opens his fat mouth and lets the cat out of the bag. The NSA is not just storing the data so that it can be used in future investigations. Metadata for certain phone numbers is flagged in real time.

Question: ”But they’re sort of logging this data so they can hold it if they need it later, as opposed to knowing that they need it and getting it.”

Feinstein:Well, you can’t know that you need it at the time. You have to go to it and see if there is the link that you’re looking for.”

Chambliss:The information that they’re really looking for is on the other end of the call. It’s, Are they in contact, is somebody in contact with somebody that we know to be a known terrorist? And that’s why it’s metadata only and it’s what we call minimized. All these numbers are basically ferreted out by computer, but if there’s a number that matches a terrorist number that has been dialed by a U.S. number or dialed from a terrorist to a U.S. number, then that may be flagged. And they may or may not seek a court order to go further on that particular instance. But that’s the only time that this information is ever used in any kind of substantive way.”

Feinstein:That is our understanding I’m glad you said that, thank you. That is our understanding.”

JESUS CHRIST!!

Read and BARF - Or get your pitchfork from the barn: view-source:http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/06/06/transcript-dianne-feinstein-saxby-chambliss-explain-defend-nsa-phone-records-program/

God, I detest these people!!

June 8, 2013 at 12:28 p.m.
Jt6gR3hM said...

In the midst of revelations that the government has conducted extensive top-secret surveillance operations to collect domestic phone records and internet communications, the Justice Department was due to file a court motion Friday in its effort to keep secret an 86-page court opinion that determined that the government had violated the spirit of federal surveillance laws and engaged in unconstitutional spying.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/06/justice-department-electronic-frontier-foundation-fisa-court-opinion

June 8, 2013 at 12:43 p.m.
Jt6gR3hM said...

anniebelle said...

I remember when the Patriot Act (that allowed this type of surveillance) was put into place by the Bush/Cheney Cabal. It has been reinstated by our Congress several times since 2001.


And placed on steroids by Obama


All I heard from the right then was this collective whine: "if you don't have anything to hide, why would you object?"


You mean like alprova the registered Republican?


Well, now that we have a black president,


Since these scandals started popping up on a daily basis I’m starting to hear from a certain segment of the population that maybe he’s not black enough.


you've got your panties all in a wad over EVERTHING this president has done to try to heal this broken country. I guess you'll just have to get over it.


I don’t know about the healing but he sure seems to be bring us all together in common disapproval.

June 8, 2013 at 12:59 p.m.
Jt6gR3hM said...

It’s not just Big Brother but Big Government.

By Jonathan Turley

The growing dominance of the federal government over the states has obscured more fundamental changes within the federal government itself: It is not just bigger, it is dangerously off kilter. Our carefully constructed system of checks and balances is being negated by the rise of a fourth branch, an administrative state of sprawling departments and agencies that govern with increasing autonomy and decreasing transparency.

This exponential growth has led to increasing power and independence for agencies. The shift of authority has been staggering. The fourth branch now has a larger practical impact on the lives of citizens than all the other branches combined.

The rise of the fourth branch has been at the expense of Congress’s lawmaking authority. In fact, the vast majority of “laws” governing the United States are not passed by Congress but are issued as regulations, crafted largely by thousands of unnamed, unreachable bureaucrats. One study found that in 2007, Congress enacted 138 public laws, while federal agencies finalized 2,926 rules, including 61 major regulations.

Of course, agencies owe their creation and underlying legal authority to Congress, and Congress holds the purse strings. But Capitol Hill’s relatively small staff is incapable of exerting oversight on more than a small percentage of agency actions. And the threat of cutting funds is a blunt instrument to control a massive administrative state — like running a locomotive with an on/off switch.

The autonomy was magnified when the Supreme Court ruled in 1984 that agencies are entitled to heavy deference in their interpretations of laws. The court went even further this past week, ruling that agencies should get the same heavy deference in determining their own jurisdictions — a power that was previously believed to rest with Congress.

The judiciary, too, has seen its authority diminished by the rise of the fourth branch. Under Article III of the Constitution, citizens facing charges and fines are entitled to due process in our court system. As the number of federal regulations increased, however, Congress decided to relieve the judiciary of most regulatory cases and create administrative courts tied to individual agencies. The result is that a citizen is 10 times more likely to be tried by an agency than by an actual court. In a given year, federal judges conduct roughly 95,000 adjudicatory proceedings, including trials, while federal agencies complete more than 939,000.

These agency proceedings are often mockeries of due process, with one-sided presumptions and procedural rules favoring the agency. And agencies increasingly seem to chafe at being denied their judicial authority.

June 8, 2013 at 1:23 p.m.
limric said...

GOOD GOD Jt6,

I had to read that article twice before the marble in my head (that sounds like the one in a spray paint can) stopped rattling around and I’ve come to this conclusion: The DOJ is attempting to combine George Orwell, Abbot & Costello and Alice in Wonderland as some sort of 'Calvin & Hobbs' excuse machinations and expecting us to believe it’s legal! Holy Sh!t!!

From that same link (Mother Jones) I pulled the best comments of the day.

The funniest:

” I just saw the President speaking about how much damage these leaks do to his administration. The next story was regarding the President's plan to address the Chinese hacking.”

”Would it be crazy to think the Chinese might have released the information they obtained via hacking to the Guardian to blunt the President's ability to push them too hard?"

"Now that I put that out there, I will put my tinfoil hat back on and wait in the basement for mom to finish dinner.”

And the truest:

”It is Ironic that the most glaring inconsistency with the historical record of the Democratic party is the overwhelming evidence that they simply do not believe in Democracy!”

June 8, 2013 at 1:28 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

EaTn said: “In 2001 Democrat Senator Russ Feingold was the only one who had both enough common sense and political fortitude to vote against the Bush Patriot Act which gave government unlimited powers against citizens. That one Bush law will haunt every future presidents and citizens…”

Yes, I remember this. I’ve always liked Senator Russ Feingold. Like you say Feingold has a lot of common sense and political fortitude, which I believe is a rare quality in a politician these days. Unfortunately, some Tea Party candidate - who claimed that sunspots caused climate change - defeated him. As I recall, the guy who defeated Feingold was also a big supporter of the Patriot Act and voted YES on extending the Patriot Act’s roving wiretaps in 2011.

June 8, 2013 at 1:39 p.m.
DJHBRAINERD said...

Limric: to paraphrase Feinstein....We are never going to use this information but we have to keep it so we can look at it to see if we will ever need to use it. Doublethink? What's the over/under on how soon a breaking story will show this saved us from a terrorist and we should all be thankful?

June 8, 2013 at 1:46 p.m.
PlainTruth said...

No worries. Right, Albert?

June 8, 2013 at 2:16 p.m.
Jt6gR3hM said...

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/06/verizon-nsa-metadata-surveillance-problem.html

Dianne Feinstein assured the public earlier today that the government’s secret snooping into the phone records of Americans was perfectly fine, because the information it obtained was only “meta,” meaning it excluded the actual content of the phone conversations, providing merely records of who called whom when and from where. In addition the “names of subscribers” were not included automatically in the metadata (though the numbers, surely, could be used to identify them).

She said she understands privacy and noted that eleven special federal judges, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which meets in secret, had authorized the vast intelligence collection. So how bad could it be?

The answer, according to the mathematician and former Sun Microsystems engineer Susan Landau, is that it’s worse than many might think.

“The public doesn’t understand, it’s much more intrusive than content.” She explained that the government can learn immense amounts of proprietary information by studying “who you call, and who they call. If you can track that, you know exactly what is happening—you don’t need the content.”

When the F.B.I. obtains such records from news agencies, the Attorney General is required to sign off on each invasion of privacy. When the N.S.A. sweeps up millions of records a minute, it’s unclear if any such brakes are applied.

Metadata, Landau noted, can also reveal sensitive political information, showing, for instance, if opposition leaders are meeting, who is involved, where they gather, and for how long. Such data can reveal, too, who is romantically involved with whom, by tracking the locations of cell phones at night.

But with each technological breakthrough comes a break-in to realms previously thought private. “It’s really valuable for law enforcement, but we have to update the wiretap laws,” Landau said.

It was exactly these concerns that motivated the mathematician William Binney to retire rather than keep working for an agency he suspected had begun to violate Americans’ fundamental privacy rights. After 9/11, Binney told me General Michael Hayden, who was then director of the N.S.A., “reassured everyone that the N.S.A. didn’t put out dragnets, and that was true. It had no need—it was getting every fish in the sea.”

Binney, who considered himself a conservative, feared that the N.S.A.’s data-mining program was so extensive that it could help “create an Orwellian state.”

As he told me at the time, wiretap surveillance requires trained human operators, but data mining is an automated process, which means that the entire country can be watched. Conceivably, the government could “monitor the Tea Party, or reporters, whatever group or organization you want to target,” he said. “It’s exactly what the Founding Fathers never wanted.”

June 8, 2013 at 2:19 p.m.
PlainTruth said...

Don't worry. The govt. will manage your healthcare perfectly.

June 8, 2013 at 2:26 p.m.
conservative said...

And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give accountHebrews 4:13

June 8, 2013 at 2:42 p.m.
Jt6gR3hM said...

mountainlaurel said...

Indeed, the flaky way our U.S. Congress has set up this whole “Patriot Act” thing some poor innocent citizen on the other end of the line could very easily wake up a few days later and suddenly find himself or herself being shackled, tortured, and swooshed off to some secret prison that doesn't exist. . . never to be seen or heard from again.


Let’s say that Congress acted in a vacuum to create and re-authorized the Patriot Act.

Exactly what part of the legislative branch provided the executive actions, of the acts many DHS generated directives, that you daydreamed in the later part of you statement?

June 8, 2013 at 3:01 p.m.
limric said...

DJHBRAINERD wants to know. ”What's the over/under on how soon a breaking story will show this saved us from a terrorist and we should all be thankful?” It’s a damn good question – But. It’s a suckers bet DJ.

To wit:

Representative Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), in an attempt to defend his approval and justify (I’d say hide is a better descriptor) the dragnet collection on all Americans for years, claimed last Thursday that the dragnet prevented a terrorist attack.

Quote: “Within the last few years, this program was used to stop a terrorist attack in the United States. We know that. It’s important. It fills in a little seam that we have,” Rogers told reporters Thursday. ”And it’s used to make sure that there is not an international nexus to any terrorism event if there may be one ongoing. So in that regard, it is a very valuable thing,”

When pressed for more details he said (and I’m not making this up), “We’re working on trying to get this declassified in a way that we can provide more information. We’re not there yet. But it was a significant case that happened within the last few years.”

Well Rep. Rogers, did it prevent terrorism at Ft. Hood? Umm nope. Did it prevent terrorism in Boston? Umm nope.

I’m calling BULLSH!T!!
Mr. Rogers, your speaking does nothing more than remind me of ‘Ace Ventura - Pet Detective’ bent over talking out his…you know what. Plleezze.

As for 'Colt 40 Feinstein'! She is one of, if not THE most, unpleasant ‘do as I say, not as I do’ authoritarian hypocrites in the country. You supporters of her stance on the 2nd amendment outta take note – her thoughts come from the same love of the police state as her stance on the 1st and 4th.

It’s something you need to think hard about.

June 8, 2013 at 3:20 p.m.
jesse said...

Anybody noticed there seems to be a scarcity of die hard Obama supporters on here this afternoon! Did they all get the heck outta Dodge or is it just my imagination!!

June 8, 2013 at 3:52 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Don't forget. This stuff was started under Bush and many Republicans are defending it. The federal government has gotten too big, powerful and arrogant. For liberties sake, we need to vote out every big government progressive on both sidez of the isle. Alexander, Corker and Fleischmann all voted for the Patriot Act every chance they had.

June 8, 2013 at 3:53 p.m.
Jt6gR3hM said...

The Obama administration’s DOJ is officially opening a criminal probe into the NSA leaks. I wonder what reporter will be threatened with criminal sanctions this time? They already have all of the phone records, of every journalist, so it shouldn’t take long. I would say this could be the end of whistle-blowing to reporters but isn’t that what the all powerful government wants anyway?

June 8, 2013 at 4:03 p.m.
limric said...

Here Here BRP.

Here you go JT6, Today’s Government Information Brochure:

http://www.gocomics.com/tomthedancingbug

YOUR Government, Working for YOU!

Oh, I couldn't forget this gem:

http://www.oldamericancentury.org/galleries/promos/safer_america1.jpg

:-D

June 8, 2013 at 4:04 p.m.
Jt6gR3hM said...

jesse said...

Anybody noticed there seems to be a scarcity of die hard Obama supporters on here this afternoon! Did they all get the heck outta Dodge or is it just my imagination!!


They couldn't get anybody to come out from under the bed and volunteer to stand the duty watch for their side.

Wouldn't you do the same if your side's glorious leader was proving himself to be just another inept power hungry politician that wants to cover his/her butt to remain in power.

June 8, 2013 at 4:09 p.m.
Jt6gR3hM said...

limric some here have joined the "Inner Hive" so be very careful what you reveal.

+++Transmitted in the clear ... Zenith coding N.A.+++

June 8, 2013 at 4:17 p.m.
rick1 said...

BPR, you are spot and President James Garfield said it best about it being our responsibility to determine the type of government we are going to have representing us.

Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave and pure it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature.

If the next centennial does not find us a great nation... it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces." James A. Garfield, 1880

June 8, 2013 at 4:19 p.m.
DJHBRAINERD said...

I'm impressed....I thought they would at least wait 48hrs before they brought out the old "we know this works and it has worked it is a high value tool in the fight against terrorism but we just can't tell you how or when or why because of cough cough national security cough cough but trust us this works we have a secret court that is looking out for your privacy I just wish I could say more but its classified. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/08/nsa-phone-program_n_3408264.html?ref=topbar seems like the Brits had took the lead on this one....... At that time, British intelligence officials knew the Yahoo address was associated with an al-Qaida leader in Pakistan. That's because, according to British government documents released in 2010, officials had discovered it on the computer of a terror suspect there months earlier. I guess Mr Rogers was wise to stop before he misspoke.

June 8, 2013 at 4:22 p.m.
Jt6gR3hM said...

"Verizon's Share Everything Plan Explained"--headline, DigitalTrends.com, July 10, 2012

June 8, 2013 at 4:30 p.m.
DJHBRAINERD said...

jesse they are prob at riverbend giving out "it's Bush's fault bumper stickers'

June 8, 2013 at 4:30 p.m.
Pokerface said...

I wonder how the tone of comments would turn if we had a major terrorist attack along the same lines as 9/11. I'm not crazy about the intrusions on my privacy, but if it can stop an attack, how can you logically argue against it?

June 8, 2013 at 4:34 p.m.
Jt6gR3hM said...

Pokerface said...

I wonder how the tone of comments would turn if we had a major terrorist attack along the same lines as 9/11. I'm not crazy about the intrusions on my privacy, but if it can stop an attack, how can you logically argue against it?


Declaring martial law and requiring permission for all activities exterior to your assigned billet would work even better... Don’t you think so?

Is it really necessary to put everyone under the spotlight when the danger is placed in perspective to our continued loss of personal freedoms?

June 8, 2013 at 5:02 p.m.
DJHBRAINERD said...

Pokerface... It doesn't matter about "my " privacy. I'm a pretty boring person. But come election time how many Oct surprises due you think an incumbent could mill out of 5 zetebites of information. It would be easy to release just enough to smear an ideological opponent. Say porn viewing, google searches of taboo subjects, naughty emails or where was your cell phone last night. You fill in the blank. Just say it's for national security and go fish. Twenty years from now we will have entire lives that can be examined by a curious representative of our government. We will become a one party state because groupthink will be the norm and the powers that be will have an advantage in every election. I know we have safeguards and it could never happen here but.....Are you sure you want it even if you think it's for your own good? Could a secret court decide that people advocating for smaller government are a threat to national security? Are you sure it is even meant for the terrorists?

June 8, 2013 at 5:11 p.m.
limric said...

Ok, I’ll play devil’s advocate. Sort of.

If the weight of the federal govt. continues vigorously defending these spy programs, initiated by the way by both the Republicans & Democrats, Obama will be painted as a Dictator. If he tries to reign in the spy programs (which is now impossible short of some sort of popular revolt), Republicans will immediately claim he’s soft on terror; which by the way, they have done before. Example: Pokerface’s but if it can stop an attack ala 9/11, how can you logically argue against it?*”

Kinda puts Obama between a rock and a hard place; and those railing against it (like me) as, umm - soft on terror - doesn’t it?

Of course this all plays right into the hands of the complicit and now salivating ultra-right wing elite. Which has in the past, and will in the future, obstruct and say anything (true or not) to discredit Obama (or anything that even hints at a derivation of unfettered/regulated capitalism) in an effort bring about their true agenda; the transformation of the United States of America into a corporate copy of China. :-O

June 8, 2013 at 5:12 p.m.
PlainTruth said...

So, Lim: How many people you know want the US to be a corporate copy of China? Just curious.

June 8, 2013 at 5:23 p.m.
DJHBRAINERD said...

Plaintruth.... I think they are too busy watching dancing with the stars to think about it. nice post limric remember the reaction a couple weeks ago when we floated the idea that the patriot act had serves it's purpose. Exactly the reaction you described.

June 8, 2013 at 5:39 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Alprova says: “They are obsessed with everything Obama.”

Yes, I agree, Alprova. In the case of this "Big Brother" issue, it's clear that many in Congress simply don’t want to take responsibility for their own legislation. Clearly, it's like President Obama has said in that Congress could choose to take the steps needed to undo what they’ve done in some their legislation . . . like the Protect America Act:

“On Sept. 11, 2007, the National Security Agency signed up Microsoft as its first partner for PRISM, a massive domestic surveillance program whose existence was reported by the Washington Post today.

That’s barely a month after Congress passed, and President George W. Bush signed, the Protect America Act.

The Bush Administration portrayed the PAA as a technical fix designed to close a gap in America’s surveillance capabilities that had been opened by a then-recent ruling of the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).

It proved to be much more than that. . .

In reality, the PAA represented a sweeping change to American surveillance law. Before conducting surveillance, the PAA only required executive branch officials to “certify” that there were “reasonable procedures” in place for ensuring that surveillance “concerns” persons located outside the United States and that the foreign intelligence is a “significant purpose” of the program. . . And there was no requirement for judicial review of individual surveillance targets within a “certified” program.

Civil liberties groups warned that the PAA’s vague requirements and lack of oversight would give the government a green light to seek indiscriminate access to the private communications of Americans. They predicted that the government would claim that they needed unfettered access to domestic communications to be sure they had gotten all relevant information about suspected terrorists

It now appears that this is exactly what the government did. Today’s report suggests that the moment the PAA was the law of the land, the NSA started using it to obtain unfettered access to the servers of the nation’s leading online services. . ."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/06/how-congress-unknowingly-legalized-prism-in-2007/?tid=rssfeed

June 8, 2013 at 5:47 p.m.
patriot1 said...

While it's true the patriot act was passed and signed into law during GWB's term.....but Obama is enforcing and expanding on parts he chooses. He and his "just us" dept has been selective in the past as to what laws he enforces....why not now?

June 8, 2013 at 6:16 p.m.
Pokerface said...

All we can do is make sure the safeguards are in place. I know that many of you laugh at that, but there will always be people hellbent on killing Americans. Luckily most of these people are not criminal masterminds, as far as the abuses of political power, it goes both ways. And I agree that the party in control def has the upper hand. With the constant changing of technology, there should be more safeguards put in place to try and bring a balance, in my opinion this is one of the most important and complicated issues of our time. There is no one single answer.

June 8, 2013 at 6:36 p.m.
PlainTruth said...

Laurel: And some are obsessed with defending everything Obama.

June 8, 2013 at 7:15 p.m.
Jt6gR3hM said...

mountainlaurel said...

Alprova says: “They are obsessed with everything Obama.”

Yes, I agree, Alprova. In the case of this "Big Brother" issue, it's clear that many in Congress simply don’t want to take responsibility for their own legislation. Clearly, it's like President Obama has said in that Congress could choose to take the steps needed to undo what they’ve done in some their legislation . . . like the Protect America Act.


On the other hand could the two of you be obsessed with providing cover for Obama?

Yes ... Yes ... Yes ... It started during the Bush administration and we know because you continually strike a pose with finger pointing in that direction anytime someone mentions anything in the slightest bit negative about our black president (you left that out of this post but annabelle covered for you).

However even though the Democrats had solid control of both houses, when PAA was passed, Bush did sign it into law. Obama came into office in 2009 and he had 2 years of total executive and legislative control. Not to fault him though, as even though he meant well, he was just too busy to deal with this subject and he only signed extensions to these type bills because the Republicans would talk mean to him if he didn’t.

In addition to the above the Homeland Security Administration, which is part of the Obama administration, was and is completely powerless in how detailed they can apply the “Patriot Act” laws.

Right?

By the way have you noticed than when we are discussing failures that occur during the Obama administration it is always Congress’ fault. However the reverse is always true when discussing the Bush administration? Strange that it works out that way every time ... don’t you feel that is true?

June 8, 2013 at 7:36 p.m.
Jt6gR3hM said...

N.Y.T. Editorial:

The Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every time President Obama has been caught overreaching in the use of his powers: Terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us to deal with them because we have internal mechanisms (that we are not going to tell you about) to make sure we do not violate your rights.

Those reassurances have never been persuasive especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability. The administration has now lost all credibility (on this issue - These three words didn’t appear in the original so who called and complained?). Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it. (How does this sentence agree with the first now that it has been changed)

Based on an article in The Guardian we now know that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency used the Patriot Act to obtain a secret warrant to compel Verizon’s business services division to turn over data on every single call that went through its system.

Articles in The Washington Post and The Guardian described a process by which the N.S.A. is also able to capture Internet communications directly from the servers of nine leading American companies. The articles raised questions about whether the N.S.A. separated foreign communications from domestic ones.

Essentially, the administration is saying that without any individual suspicion of wrongdoing, the government is allowed to know whom Americans are calling every time they make a phone call, for how long they talk and from where.

This sort of tracking can reveal a lot of personal and intimate information about an individual. To casually permit this surveillance fundamentally shifts power between the individual and the state, and it repudiates constitutional principles governing search, seizure and privacy.

The senior administration official quoted in The Times said the executive branch internally reviews surveillance programs to ensure that they “comply with the Constitution and laws of the United States and appropriately protect privacy and civil liberties.”

That’s no longer good enough. Mr. Obama clearly had no intention of revealing this eavesdropping, just as he would not have acknowledged the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen, had it not been reported in the press. Even then, it took him more than a year and a half to acknowledge the killing, and he is still keeping secret the protocol by which he makes such decisions.

It is the very sort of thing against which Mr. Obama once railed, when he said in 2007 that the surveillance policy of the George W. Bush administration “puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide.”

June 8, 2013 at 7:41 p.m.
limric said...

Plain ToothieTruth asked me, ”How many people you know want the US to be a corporate copy of China? Just curious.”

None. I’m not rich enough (a share holder in the FED perhaps?) to qualify. However, basic observations clearly point to it. I’m not going to research it for you. Do something for yourself for a change!

You, as are all ‘Dancing with the Stars’ fans, preoccupied with minutia; caught up in the propaganda of diversion and either can’t, or don’t want, to see the forest for the trees.
I have said it over and over and over. You (we all) have been ‘Souled out’! *

*Spelling (souled) is perfectly applicable.

June 8, 2013 at 7:59 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Pokerface said... "I wonder how the tone of comments would turn if we had a major terrorist attack along the same lines as 9/11."

I wonder how many terrorist attacks we would have had if we had not made throwing our military might around in the Middle East a part of normal affairs. Wake Up! The government is "protecting" us from the consequences of their own actions.

June 8, 2013 at 8:04 p.m.
alprova said...

Jon Ross reincarnated wrote: "You lefties are almost as good at pretending that Obama hasn't been POTUS since 2008 as Obama is at pretending that he hasn't been POTUS since 2008."

President Obama took office January 20, 2009.

"By always being in campaign mode Obama gives the impression that he's not responsible for anything."

What makes you think he's in "campaign mode?" He'll never run for public office again.

"Unbelievable how you're still bitching about Bush. You're ridiculous."

GWB left a lasting legacy that still affects many Americans today.

"The federal government is so completely out of control on so many levels that only a fool would deny it. It doesn't matter what party your in, as they currently stand there's not much difference between them."

That all depends on what you are referring to. I trust the Democrats to do their level best to look out for the middle and lower income classes. God knows the Republicans don't.

June 8, 2013 at 8:05 p.m.
PlainTruth said...

Lim: not getting the DWTS's deal. Why the angst?

June 8, 2013 at 8:13 p.m.
alprova said...

rick1 wrote: "Al, since you said "Every President gets blamed for what goes on in Washington, even when they have nothing to do with it." Then they should not take credit for the positive things they were not directly involved in either, like Obama taking out Bin Laden."

I definitely agree. But, as you know, every President has tooted their own horn when something positive rears its head and deny all responsibility when its not so good.

"If that's the case then G.W. Bush pulled Hussein out of the hole he was hiding in, Truman dropped the Atom Bomb, Nixon walked on the moon and Reagan flew the space shuttle."

Point taken. I've never liked the descriptive "Presidential Administration" to describe the "guilty" party for every single negative thing that comes out.

And you're 100% right. A humble man would never take credit for what the military has done. Barack Obama is not a humble man.

So that criticism is spot on.

June 8, 2013 at 8:15 p.m.
Pokerface said...

No need for me to wake up BRP, I'm fully aware of our presence in the Middle East dating back for decades, my point is that as civilians sitting around arguing about the same $&@: on here, we kinda forget that all it takes is one successful strike on the homeland to throw all these arguments out the window.

June 8, 2013 at 8:31 p.m.
alprova said...

PT wrote: "No worries. Right, Albert?"

Sir, my name is not Albert. The letters A and L stand for the first letters in my first and middle name.

AL is something I recognize. When you type Albert, I think you're referring to someone else.

Now...to answer your question.

I am not bothered in the least by the Government collecting metadata on my phone calls, and I state that as a long-time Verizon customer.

I also realize that I hold a minority opinion on the matter.

What does amaze me is that people are shocked and are acting as if all this is new. I was aware that it was being done when GWB was President. I remember the "scandal" that emerged when it was revealed as part of the Patriot Act.

People do indeed have short memories.

June 8, 2013 at 8:31 p.m.
PlainTruth said...

Thanks for the clarification, A.L.

June 8, 2013 at 8:44 p.m.
alprova said...

Limric wrote: "Well Rep. Rogers, did it prevent terrorism at Ft. Hood? Umm nope. Did it prevent terrorism in Boston? Umm nope."

Both are examples of singular individuals with no binding ties to any organized group of terrorists, number one, and number two, the FBI has not been able to trace any communications that would have thrown up red flags.

The only suspicious thing that any of those three people did, was for the dead brother to make a trip to Russia just before he made those two bombs.

Do you know how simple it is to thwart any efforts to pin a phone call to someone? Pre-paid cellular phones are widely available and public phones are still around in some areas.

But, criminals are sometimes stupid enough to use a communication venue that can be traced back to themselves. And metadata collected which resulted in warrants being issued to monitor calls and computer use, has been used to thwart planned acts of terrorism, even in this country.

June 8, 2013 at 8:45 p.m.
alprova said...

Pokerface wrote: "I wonder how the tone of comments would turn if we had a major terrorist attack along the same lines as 9/11."

Precisely. America was no more unified in modern times than we were on September 12, 2001. But, that was 12 years ago. How soon some of us forget.

I don't care what our intelligence community is up to, so long as we do not have to face such an act of terrorism ever again. The threat is still out there. There are people who want to kill as many Americans as they can.

I am under no illusion that the United States Government can protect us all, but I sleep better at night knowing that there are people doing their level best to head off another 9/11.

"I'm not crazy about the intrusions on my privacy, but if it can stop an attack, how can you logically argue against it?"

That's where I am in all of this too.

June 8, 2013 at 9 p.m.
alprova said...

JT wrote: "Declaring martial law and requiring permission for all activities exterior to your assigned billet would work even better... Don’t you think so?"

Who's proposing anything of the sort? You love asking the most ridiculous questions.

"Is it really necessary to put everyone under the spotlight when the danger is placed in perspective to our continued loss of personal freedoms?"

How is your freedom threatened if they collect metadata about the phone calls you place?

I know I don't place phone calls to terrorists.

Do you?

June 8, 2013 at 9:03 p.m.
alprova said...

DJHBrainer wrote: "It would be easy to release just enough to smear an ideological opponent. Say porn viewing, google searches of taboo subjects, naughty emails or where was your cell phone last night."

How would such information be made available to a political opponent? Have you read of one instance of a politician being charged with looking at porn, submitting naughty private e-mails, or making improper Google searches?

Every time a politician has been exposed for improper electronic communications, such as was the case with Anthony Weiner, the direct recipient exposed them. It was never found through metadata collecting, which does not collect the content of any communication.

One must understand exactly what is collected in a metadata database, before they start making guess as to what can and cannot be done with it.

I collect metadata on those who visit my business website. The most that I can do with it is to sometimes identify the area code of the visitor, the ISP name and unique identifying address, if one is issued by the ISP. I cannot use any of the information to look up the name of the computer user.

If I attempt to trace the user, the most I get is the name of their ISP. And an ISP can be very misleading. The user may be local, but the name and the address of their ISP may be in California. Only the ISP can pinpoint the user.

Only law enforcement, with a signed warrant, can obtain information to the user of a computer, at the unique identifying address, at a specific date and time.

Some ISP's assign a unique identifying address on a permanent basis, and some assign a unique address with every session, when a user connects with the Internet.

The most I can do with a unique identifying address is to block it from accessing my website, if for some reason, I desired to do so.

I, as the website owner, have no right to user information. The public certainly does not. So, understanding that, I don't see your "fears" becoming a reality, unless a politician does something illegal and is arrested and/or prosecuted for it.

And in that case, there would be a public record that one could dig up to use against an opponent.

June 8, 2013 at 9:29 p.m.
alprova said...

Patriot1 wrote: "While it's true the patriot act was passed and signed into law during GWB's term.....but Obama is enforcing and expanding on parts he chooses."

Can you point to an ounce of proof that President Obama is behind any of the increased intelligence gathering that has occurred?

"He and his "just us" dept has been selective in the past as to what laws he enforces....why not now?"

Examples?

June 8, 2013 at 9:34 p.m.
alprova said...

PT wrote: "Laurel: And some are obsessed with defending everything Obama."

If people would stick to the facts, rather than to express assumptions, rumors, and speculation all the time, it would not be necessary to defend the man all the time.

Obama haters blame the man for everything. Mind you there is rarely any evidence to prove their accusations, and I laugh at the mere thought that a man who was virtually unknown until 2004 has amassed all this power to seize control of all things Government.

I know people who are firmly convinced that by 2016, Obama will crown himself King of the United States.

Some of the rumors floating out there are beyond ludicrous.

June 8, 2013 at 9:39 p.m.
alprova said...

BRP wrote: "I wonder how many terrorist attacks we would have had if we had not made throwing our military might around in the Middle East a part of normal affairs. Wake Up! The government is "protecting" us from the consequences of their own actions."

This is one issue where we are in full agreement.

June 8, 2013 at 9:41 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Jt6gR3hM said: “By the way have you noticed than when we are discussing failures that occur during the Obama administration it is always Congress’ fault. However the reverse is always true when discussing the Bush administration?”

What I’ve noticed is that you make stuff up a lot, especially when you are trying to avoid discussing the real issue at hand. I’ve never been a fan of former Vice President Dick Cheney’s grandiose theories on presidential powers, and I’m not likely to change just because Barack Obama is President instead of George W. Bush.

The facts are that it’s the U.S. Congress that proposes legislation and establishes laws – not the President. It’s also true that the U.S. Congress could take the steps needed to straighten out some of the problems associated with this surveillance legislation. But they have not done so. The truth is that several proposals have been introduced in Congress during the past few years that would have helped to reduce the potential for some of the issues that we’re now facing and Congress voted all of those proposals down.

Personally, I don’t think you give a hoot about resolving the actual issues at hand, JT. Indeed, if you were interested, you would be talking about the need for the U.S. Congress to address some of the troublesome issues that have been uncovered. No, I think your sole interest in this matter is simply to complain about President Obama. . . Once again.

June 8, 2013 at 10:01 p.m.
limric said...

Nice try with your June 8, 2013 at 8:45 post Alprova. But yours, as with Rep. Mike Rogers defense of the dragnet collection, combined with your disingenuous assertion regarding individuals with no ‘obvious’ ties to any organization, is a contrived excuse for overreach. And thus, you’ve outed yourself as an apologist for illegitimate (felonious?) behavior.

I’m again calling Bullsh!t!

And to add insult to injury, your response to JT’s rhetorical, ”Declaring martial law and requiring permission for all activities exterior to your assigned billet would work even better... Don’t you think so?" with - ”Who's proposing anything of the sort? You love asking the most ridiculous questions.”* - is either/or insultingly patronizing or obtuse in the extreme. To give you the benefit of the doubt, I consider the former as motive.

I don’t know if you can see it or not, but we have entered a very dangerous period for American democracy. While defacto democracy has been weakening over the last 60 or so years as the ‘enemy Industrial/governmental/corporate complex’ has merged and grown, I have never seen such a determined, effective and secret challenge to our constitution, our laws and their application by those sworn to protect these freedoms and rights. Refer to my post from at 11:11 a.m reciting the 4th Amendment.

Whether it is wars of choice (empire) - indefinite imprisonment without charge, Bush’s suspension of habeas corpus, government sponsored assassinations, or government access to every form of communication without probable cause and in a manner that prevents any (however plausible) judicial review- or overt corporate invasion of privacy in every facet of American life; it is clear to me that the foundation of our house is being laid into by bureaucrats wielding jackhammers.

Isn’t the bedrock of our country based on the fact that no institution, no matter how benevolent or trusted, has the ‘legal’ power to abridge freedom, make or break laws of its choosing or operate in secret - when doing so threatens the public interest and/or violates the Constitution? Yet isn’t this is exactly what’s happening at all levels of government, military and corporate power?

Cont.

June 8, 2013 at 10:16 p.m.
limric said...

Cont from above.

Do I solely blame ‘Obama’ for the gross mutation of a country ‘Of the People’ to one of plutocratic dominance? Of course not. But there is a price for this. I posit that we, and the three branches of government, are too cowardly and fearful to limit governmental intrusions and the ‘enemy industrial complex’ has sold us a feeling of faux security - and we have yet to see the final bill.

To that extent, the Federal Govt. has used (and expanded) external threats, essentially created a diversion to turn inward, has falsely creating an external fear while themselves becoming a much larger (hidden) internal threat to our basic freedom, rights and ultimately our collective existence. Unchecked power be it the right or left is always catastrophic in consequence. ALWAYS!!

This is not just about the abridgement of press freedoms, or wiretapping a few dissidents. This about survival, our existence; and in every sense, the core of why this nation was originally created.

June 8, 2013 at 10:19 p.m.
hambone said...

Never have so many freaked out over so little of an issue!!!

June 8, 2013 at 10:48 p.m.
Jt6gR3hM said...

My goodness alprova you needed "to go" very badly didn't you?

June 8, 2013 at 11:22 p.m.
alprova said...

Limric wrote: "Nice try with your June 8, 2013 at 8:45 post Alprova. But yours, as with Rep. Mike Rogers defense of the dragnet collection, combined with your disingenuous assertion regarding individuals with no ‘obvious’ ties to any organization, is a contrived excuse for overreach. And thus, you’ve outed yourself as an apologist for illegitimate (felonious?) behavior."

Either I am right or I am wrong. Are you aware of any report of either Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev or Tamerlan Tsarnaev having any ties to any known group of terrorists?

If you are outraged now, where were you when this kind of "overreach" was instituted by the Patriot Act in 2001?

The list of evidence allowed to be collected was expanded from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.

"And to add insult to injury, your response to JT’s rhetorical, ”Declaring martial law and requiring permission for all activities exterior to your assigned billet would work even better... Don’t you think so?" with - ”Who's proposing anything of the sort? You love asking the most ridiculous questions.”* - is either/or insultingly patronizing or obtuse in the extreme. To give you the benefit of the doubt, I consider the former as motive."

I was absolutely being patronizing, and for good reason. No one has proposed anything she mentioned and communications data mining used to discover who might be in contact with known terrorists is not likely to degenerate into anything other than the prevention of another 9/11 or worse.

I'm amazed that you, one of the most sensible people who hangs around in here, would even believe otherwise.

I understand that we may not agree on this issue, but why would you take on a conspiratorial slant when none is in evidence?

"I don’t know if you can see it or not, but we have entered a very dangerous period for American democracy. While defacto democracy has been weakening over the last 60 or so years as the ‘enemy Industrial/governmental/corporate complex’ has merged and grown, I have never seen such a determined, effective and secret challenge to our constitution, our laws and their application by those sworn to protect these freedoms and rights."

And do you know what I see? I see a world of danger that the writers of the Constitution could never in a million years imagine. When the worst injury one could suffer came from a cannon ball or a musket, protecting our populace was uncomplicated, on an even keel, and injury or death was easy to avoid.

That is no longer the case. An entire city can be wiped out with the detonation of one nuclear weapon.

(continued)

June 8, 2013 at 11:38 p.m.
alprova said...

Continued)

"Refer to my post from at 11:11 a.m reciting the 4th Amendment."

Some of you people are going to have to make a choice. Do you care more about your privacy or your lives? Because without accurate intelligence, this nation is in extreme danger. We all are in jeopardy of a repeat terrorist attack.

I don't think for one second that metadata collected will ever be used to deprive anyone of their freedom, that is unless they are involved in anything illegal.

Why do you believe it will?

"Whether it is wars of choice (empire) - indefinite imprisonment without charge, Bush’s suspension of habeas corpus, government sponsored assassinations, or government access to every form of communication without probable cause and in a manner that prevents any (however plausible) judicial review- or overt corporate invasion of privacy in every facet of American life; it is clear to me that the foundation of our house is being laid into by bureaucrats wielding jackhammers."

I'll agree that everyone, no matter who and what they do, is entitled to benefit from our system of justice, but I don't believe that Americans are being targeted by these metadata collections for anything other than for suspected ties to terrorism.

"Isn’t the bedrock of our country based on the fact that no institution, no matter how benevolent or trusted, has the ‘legal’ power to abridge freedom, make or break laws of its choosing or operate in secret - when doing so threatens the public interest and/or violates the Constitution?"

There has never been any secret surrounding the collection of metadata. It was written into the Patriot Act and every American has had ample opportunity to read it since October 26, 2001. The relevant section is # 215.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-107publ56/pdf/PLAW-107publ56.pdf

"Yet isn’t this is exactly what’s happening at all levels of government, military and corporate power?"

Do they operate under the radar? Of course. Do they have good reason for doing so? Of course again.

June 8, 2013 at 11:38 p.m.
alprova said...

Limric wrote: "Do I solely blame ‘Obama’ for the gross mutation of a country ‘Of the People’ to one of plutocratic dominance? Of course not. But there is a price for this. I posit that we, and the three branches of government, are too cowardly and fearful to limit governmental intrusions and the ‘enemy industrial complex’ has sold us a feeling of faux security - and we have yet to see the final bill."

But Sir, they are limiting governmental intrusions.

Section 215:

"The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or a designee of the Director (whose rank shall be no lower than Assistant Special Agent in Charge) may make an application for an order requiring the production of any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items) for an investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution."

"To that extent, the Federal Govt. has used (and expanded) external threats, essentially created a diversion to turn inward, has falsely creating an external fear while themselves becoming a much larger (hidden) internal threat to our basic freedom, rights and ultimately our collective existence."

Falsely creating an external fear? Are you willing to bet your life on that? You believe that no one out there would kill you in a heartbeat if you were in the right place at the right time, given half the chance?

"Unchecked power be it the right or left is always catastrophic in consequence. ALWAYS!!"

These are not unchecked powers. Go read section 215. There is a precise and systematic process that must be met, before collection of data is allowed, and there is a precise and protected use of that data which must be followed.

Congress is currently feigning complete ignorance and you seem to be all to willing to overlook the fact that Congress has had oversight authority of these activities and has reviewed The Patriot Act every two years, since the law was written in 2001.

"This is not just about the abridgement of press freedoms, or wiretapping a few dissidents. This about survival, our existence; and in every sense, the core of why this nation was originally created."

I'm sorry, but I believe you are making a mountain out a molehill.

June 8, 2013 at 11:53 p.m.
alprova said...

JT wrote: "My goodness alprova you needed "to go" very badly didn't you?"

What's this...yet another ridiculous, vague, and nonsensical question?

June 8, 2013 at 11:59 p.m.
alprova said...

Hambone wrote: "Never have so many freaked out over so little of an issue!!!"

I have been simply amazed by this one. If this is what continues to come down the pike by the Republican establishment, I predict that not one Republican will win election or reelection in November 2014.

This is the McCarthy era revived, and we all know what happened to him.

June 9, 2013 at 12:06 a.m.
limric said...

Oh dear,

”Either I am right or I am wrong. Are you aware of any report of either Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev or Tamerlan Tsarnaev having any ties to any known group of terrorists?”

Irrelevant.

”If you are outraged now, where were you when this kind of "overreach" was instituted by the Patriot Act in 2001?”

Outraged - and protested it vociferously.

”The list of evidence allowed to be collected was expanded from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.”

To be used in conjunction with a warrant. Where were you (Touché Mon Ami) when the Texas Mafia threw that out the window?

”I'm amazed that you, one of the most sensible people who hangs around in here, would even believe otherwise.”

I gave you the benefit of the doubt, I considered (as stated) the former (patronizing) as motive.

”Some of you people are going to have to make a choice.”

I choose adhering to the fourth amendment. It has served us well for over 200 years and I don’t fancy letting Chicken Little’s shouting we must all be afraid all the time about angry people wanting some payback for destruction meted out in your name.

And in that vein, who and what is protecting the homeland: The US Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. The CIA, NSA, Military Intelligence, Dept.of Homeland Security, FBI, DOJ, state and our increasingly militarized local police (did I miss any)

Yet it is of the utmost importance for national security that the Federal Govt. has the ability to monitor all domestic communications in real time?

This is so ‘little of an issue’?

June 9, 2013 at 12:40 a.m.
limric said...

”I don't think for one second that metadata collected will ever be used to deprive anyone of their freedom, that is unless they are involved in anything illegal. Why do you believe it will”?

Metadata can be as benign or as invasive as the systems designers intend it to be. Considering that I write metadata all the time (once a month) I speak with an above average level of expertise.
You are taking it on faith that the data capture, and the design of the metadata system is benign. But the systems themselves are (or were) considered secret. So how can you know? I heard something about transparency once - can't remember when though. Check your state/county/cities web sites. Property assessor for example; the metadata for all of their geographic, hydrologic, tax data etc. should be available. You’ll find that it is more comprehensive than you think.

”But Sir, they are limiting governmental intrusions.”

Now they are, of course. Because Section 215 was ignored and the true depth and breadth of the data capture was leaked.

” There is a precise and systematic process that must be met, before collection of data is allowed, and there is a precise and protected use of that data which must be followed.”

You mean like the IRS probes and the DOJ snooping on the AP? So, there’s a precise and systematic process that must be met. Until there isn’t!

” Congress is currently feigning complete ignorance and you seem to be all to willing to overlook the fact that Congress has had oversight authority of these activities and has reviewed.”

Oh no I’m not. As Bugs Bunny used to say, “He don’t know me bewy well. Do he.”

” I'm sorry, but I believe you are making a mountain out a molehill.”

Eh maybe. But I’ll take my ‘making a mountain out a molehill’ over ‘give em an inch and they’ll take a mile’ any day.

I putting my tinfoil hat back on and going to bed in the basement now. Nighty night :-)

June 9, 2013 at 12:47 a.m.
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