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View Diary: Abbreviated pundit roundup: NSA oversight, torture reports, and more (90 comments)

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  •  I'm really surprised (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DocGonzo, joe from Lowell, paulacvdw

    that the NSA panel's report was not a giant splash here.  I mean announced on the front page, dissected in diaries . . .

    ::crickets::

    Except to say that it vindicates Snowden.

    I, for one, never said that Snowden shouldn't have leaked, but only that he made some mistakes.  Feel free to look in my comment history.

    But there were those folks who insisted this panel was bogus, just CYA, will result in weak recommendations.  My take on it was "wait and see what they come up with" and then to finally just shut up in the wake of negativity and bile.

    The panel releases its findings and recommendations.

    The response isn't to discuss the actual findings; in fact, many comments seem to indicate a total lack of understanding of the recommendations.  They're weak, blah blah.  Or, if only they said "X", when in fact they do.

    Other comments only want to point out the parts of the report reiterating how bad it is, the litany of abuses, but again, nothing about the recommendations or that the panel, appointed by the President, had actually done a real review.

    Still others are just "Well, the President probably won't follow the recommendations anyway."

    How about the NSA abuses are egregious.  Our judiciary is on the case.  The President appointed a panel of experts who took a serious look at the issue and made substantive recommendations.  I.e., despite his thoughts that 'no one is listening to your phone calls!" he put in place the mechanism to get to the bottom of it all.  And delivered ahead of schedule.

    Even if he chooses not to follow the recommendations, he laid it all out there by choosing people who would actually expose what was going on.  The recommendations are out there.  A self-serving President wouldn't do that, you know, would appoint a 9/11 commission that dragged its feet forever.

    Anyway bottom line is that all of the vitriole about how Obama doesn't care or is actively escorting us to a totalitarian state, is a liar, or fucking liar, or fucking incompetent liar, a betrayer who will cover for the NSA, is belied by the mere fact that he appointed a panel of experts who actually did their job.

    Richard Clarke, people.  He's the one who apologized to the nation over the failures leading to 9/11.  A mensch.  You don't choose him for a panel you intend to whitewash anything.

    Why is everyone so quiet about this side of it after months of spew about evil, lying NSA-protecting Obama and the "totalitarians" here at Dkos who chose not to utterly condemn him?

    •  Blue Ribbon Panels (0+ / 0-)

      Obama, like every executive, has a history of appointing panels to defuse controversy, but not actually changing anything. He also has a history of presiding over the egregious NSA abuses and defending them when they were exposed.

      I can't speak for anyone else, but I expect there would be more reaction if Obama had actually done something along the lines this panel recommends. I am waiting to see what he does.

      Yes I give him credit for appointing the panel, especially Clarke. But until he does something to change the egregious NSA (and the egregious Pentagon that owns it) that credit is limited to that for raising expectations, not delivering. We can't expect delivery immediately, but soon enough expectations - delivery = disappointment.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 06:58:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sometimes he ignores them, like Simpson-Bowles. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DocGonzo

        Other times, he actually uses these advisory panels in important ways, such as the Medicare Advisory Panel in the ACA.

        We'll see which way this one goes, but there's one thing that gives me hope: when a Blue Ribbon Panel is just there for show, the President points to it and talks about every ten seconds. He hasn't really been doing that about the NSA commission.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 07:50:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You do know (0+ / 0-)

        that the recommendations are about 48 hours old right?

        We don't know what the response will be.  Yet "we" are still in hate-mode.

        He didn't defend the abuses.  He said "they're not listening to your phone calls" and you know what?  They're not.

        He said "we have to find a way to balance our safety with our right to privacy" - although many here feel the NSA is a waste of taxpayer dollars at best and a totalitarian nightmare at worst, that spying should never be done, Obama is not likely to conclude and/or announce to the world that we won't be watching anyone.

        And in any event, he appointed an independent panel so that no one had to trust what he said on it.  He put himself on the line, in essence putting the truth before protecting either the NSA or his own statements.

        He wasn't likely to institute anything like the recommendations without an independent panel to take an intensive look at the NSA and make recommendations.

        If he had, someone would have said "sure, but we don't actually know what needed to be fixed!!  How do we know anything changed!!  We need a blue ribbon panel to investigate!!"

        In the meantime, the panel did find that Obama put an end to an internet data surveillance program in 2011 as a result of "interagency review".  This was not as a result of public outcry.  Why doubt he is taking these new recommendations seriously?

        •  Why Doubt? (0+ / 0-)

          I doubt he's taking them seriously because he's been president for 5 years in the wake of Bush and he has until now protected the abuses this panel is recommending be changed or possibly eliminated. I doubt because he campaigned on "unequivocal" opposition to FISA telco amnesty, until the day he won the primaries when he voted for FISA telco amnesty. Etc. He's given plenty of reason to doubt.

          But, as I said, "We can't expect delivery immediately, but soon enough expectations - delivery = disappointment." My doubts are well founded. Your faith is so strong that you're ignoring where I said it's too early to tell, but isn't nearly as based in past performance.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 08:34:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  My faith isn't (0+ / 0-)

            "strong".  I'm 'wait and see' as you are.  I just have a more positive view of things.

            My faith would be strong if Obama killed Keystone.

            So far I don't have much faith he will do that.

            I think there is a clearer picture here and therefore more chance that at least some of the measures will be adopted.

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