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View Diary: Out of Control NSA Spied on U.N., E.U. (214 comments)

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  •  not really (4+ / 0-)

    there are literally thousands of agencies and entities in the federal government. It would be beyond unrealistic to expect that "competency" means that a President knows in detail what they all do in real time.

    I strongly suspect that Obama had a general level of understanding of what the NSA does, but the details of it I have no idea if he knew exactly what was going on as it happens.

    I obviously believe that now he understands, and he's decided that he's going to accept/adopt some of it, and that's fair game for criticism, but the idea that every last wiretap and decision made was pre-vetted by Obama is unrealistic because that's not how bureaucracy has ever worked...particularly one of the largest ones in human history.

    •  a multi-billion dollar agency, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OldDragon, CenPhx, david78209

      whose reports appeared regularly in the President's "daily briefings", and it never occurred to him to ask "where is this intelligence coming from?".

      I find that hard to believe . . .

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 09:40:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  so you think (0+ / 0-)

        1. that's the same as knowing as it happens?

        2. if not 1, you think that he should be requested at briefings that probably containing many different crisis issues in-depth detail on the exact nature of how intelligence was gathered?

        That's unrealistic.

    •  Presidents exercise their power indirectly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deward Hastings

      through choices of subordinates, setting of budgets and priorities and establishment of culture, questions they ask and questions they don't.

      I didn't suggest he knew every last detail of every wiretap as that is irrelevant to whether the NSA was acting in accord with his wishes.

    •  I think you make a very good point (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greengemini, Lawrence

      Many years ago, I learned a concept new to me at the time ..
      We be here before you, we be here after you
      Sadly, very much practiced.

      •  I've been in charge of as much as a dozen people (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        it was impossible to know what they were doing all of the time, and to know all of the right questions to ask to uncover every single problem before it was a problem.

        and I was briefed weekly  or even daily too.

        The orders of magnitude difference between me and the President is about a gazillion.

        Granted he's a bit smarter than me, but I think expecting what some folks are expecting is insane.

        Criticize his actions after he clearly knows all you want, but you should have known all of this before hand is just crazy IMO.

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