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U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the sequester after a meeting with congressional leaders at the White House in Washington March 1, 2013. Obama pressed the U.S. Congress on Friday to avoid a government shutdown when federal spending authority runs
President Obama forcefully defended his administration's surveillance programs Friday, insisting there was both congressional and judicial oversight of the programs, and, well, trust him.
"The programs are secret in the sense that they are classified. They are not secret, in that every member of Congress has been briefed," he said during a speech in San Jose, Calif. "These are programs that have been authored by large bipartisan majorities repeatedly since 2006."

"Your duly elected representatives have consistently been informed," he said.

Sen. Jeff Merkley provided a strong rebuttal. First of all, Merkley said, "I had no idea about it," referring to the PRISM program. He also said that "There are several parts to this that the president glossed over."
The administration hasn't listened at all. We've asked for the rulings of the FISA court [...] about how it interprets the laws that Congress passed to declassified so that we can have a conversation with the American people  about that. For example, the question is how is scooping up your cell phone data, which tracks where you are, my cell phone data, related to an investigation? That's the plain language of the law: "related to an investigation." Anyone would hear that and think that's a certain hurdle that has to met, that there is a crime or a potential crime or a potential national security threat that justifies scooping up your information and my information. Clearly the administration has not followed what an ordinary person would be the standard of the law here and has not been willing to release the opinion of the FISA Court about how they're interpreting that language despite repeated requests from Congress to do so. [...]

Sen. Ron Wyden adds his own rebuttal to Obama's assertion that Congress had been fully briefed with this tweet:

In March, DNI Clapper specifically told me #NSA does not wittingly collect any type of data on millions of Americans
@RonWyden via TweetDeck

Clearly, there are members of Congress who are not at all in agreement with the idea that they've been fully briefed on these matters. Wyden, who was basically lied to by the director of National Intelligence, is among them.

Obama also stated that the programs have judicial overview in the secret FISA Court, insisting that this secret court "specially put together to evaluate classified programs to make sure that the executive branch, or government generally, is not abusing them, and that it's being carried out consistent with the Constitution and rule of law." Former Wyden aide Jennifer Hoelzer has essential background on how this secret court operates and protects the executive branch from scrutiny. All of its decisions, as Merkely pointed out Friday, are classified as are the reasoning and legal arguments for making them. The court is essentially a rubber stamp for the administration, and a secret one.

President Obama is going to have to come up with a better defense than this to answer the concerns of many in Congress, not to mention the people.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 11:34 AM PDT.

Also republished by Koscadia, PDX Metro, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

    •  That's what the Patriot Act, and (30+ / 0-)

      all that other legal mumbo jumbo were for. To make retroactively 'legal' all the illegal shit the government was doing to keep us all safer.
      Like re-writing the military code of conduct, ignoring international laws about torture, spying on Americans just because they can, renditions, drones, extra-judicial Presidentially ordered murder, and one could go on and on, but why bother?

      We've come to that point in the road where we now have NO FUCKING EXCUSE.... can't say we didn't know, can't say it's 'their guy, not ours', can't say 'oh, it's just wacka-doodle conspiracy theory chemtrail' shit.

      Next step pays for all. What do we do about this, if it isn't already way too late?

      Information is power. But; like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. Aaron Swartz ~1986-2013~

      by Lisa Lockwood on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:50:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Note: PRISM is a cover story. (12+ / 0-)

      Obama/National Surveillance Police State need to lump the surveillance in with all surveillance around the globe.  Why?  Because they have probably had some success with finding emails from foreigners.

      It also serves as a distraction.

      The real issue here is a Constitutional one.  We now know that the US Government under two different Presidents has been engaged in the warrantless searching of Americans private information in violation of the 4th Amendment.

      That is the real issue.  Combined with the document that Glenn Greenwald has published, that is also the issue that will enable the ACLU and others to get this to the Supreme Court, because clearly millions of Americans now have standing to challenge the Constitutionality of this law as applied and put into practice.

      The question is whether Sotomayor, Kagan, Ginsberg, Scalia and Kennedy will team up to stop the insanity.

      Send your old shoes to the new George W. Bush library.

      by maxschell on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:54:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  actually not true (0+ / 0-)

        In order for the government to look at what those phone calls contain, they must obtain a warrant, when they see a pattern or a number is on a watch list.

        Every terrorist arrested in the U.S under Obama there has been a warrant and they have been tried d in civilan courts.

        These laws have been changed since Bush was in office.

        Glenn Greenwald and pushing the same old tired conspiracies theories since 2008 on his blog. He can never carry on a good argument and gets over board defensive if anyone disagree with him.  I bet he is loving all the attention from his conspiracy buddies on both the far left and  far right.

        The  article  today on Greenwald  n the New York Times, written by real journalists, was right on.

        •  Nonsense. It IS true. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MPociask, stevemb, aliasalias, Truedelphi

          They are searching individual property in order to obtain who Americans are calling, how long they are calling for, where they are calling from, and other information.  

          If you have followed recent Supreme Court jurisprudence regarding GPS cases, you would realize that this is clearly unconstitutional.

          Love how you are now attacking Greenwald -- talk about desperate.  When in doubt, use the ad hominems...sure, that will work.

          Send your old shoes to the new George W. Bush library.

          by maxschell on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 04:16:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Of course they are recording conversations. (0+ / 0-)

            This is the biggest scandal in my lifetime -- probably the biggest scandal ever.

            Let's see.  

            Going back years, the whistleblowers are about 10 for 10 on truthfulness, and the government is about 0 for 10.  It doesn't count when you lie first, then recant when proof that you're lying comes out.  That's why Greenwald is doling the documents out slowly.  Let the Government lie and lie about each revelation, and reveal the Government's overwhelming duplicity.

            All of the whistleblowers have said that the government is absolutely capturing and storing the contents of communications, whether that be emails, phone conversations, chats, texts, etc.  All without a warrant.

            They have also said that NSA workers are capturing intimate conversations and comparing notes to see who has captured the hottest conversations.  Just for their jollies.

            The workers' nonchalance is proof enough of the complete lack of oversight -- and repeated willful violations.

            The Government MUST lie about capturing content because that is a CLEAR violation of the Constitution -- a criminal one.  One the public can easily understand.

            As more documents come out, we'll see just how vast the data is.  It's already mind-blowing.

            Who believes this data has not already been used to identify and persecute political adversaries?


  •  Fascinating read about the filmmaker who helped (20+ / 0-)

    break the NSA story.

    as everyone in the tech world knows, the issue is not what today’s technology can do but what roadmap is being laid for the future as databases swell and computational power grows. Where this roadmap is taking us was tipped in Binney and Poitras’s presentation at the Whitney:

    [Binney's] vision of the U.S. five or ten years from now, when computational power will expand to the degree that our government will be able to scoop up vast amounts of data — emails, credit card purchases, phone calls — and then map them onto our social graphs to prosecute Minority Report-style future crimes, is a terrifying one.

    "It strikes me as gruesome and comical that in our culture we have an expectation that a man can always solve his problems" - Kurt Vonnegut

    by jazzence on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 11:42:57 AM PDT

    •  Oh no! It was all over social media! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Real Change

      Clapper & Obama are saying the same thing: They don't collect the data in your emails and messages unless they get a court order to do so.

      They are collecting metadata: time, location, duration, etc.

      You can hate that if you like. I happen to think it is important info for the NSA to have because they are tasked with fighting terrorism BEFORE it happens.

      •  Clapper LIED to Wyden. (9+ / 0-)

        That is why Clapper is out there today clarifying his testimony. Pretend it away,nuance it away,do whatever makes you feel good. You are in large(can't say good) company.

        "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

        by tardis10 on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 02:01:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with Obama here. (0+ / 0-)

        His primary job is to PROTECT the country..."by all means necessary". We are fighting terrorism (domestic and international) and it is real... not a video game.

        I don't want to be F***up by a Nazi, KKK or AlQaida because they use the "freedom" loophole in our constitution. We have to stop them BEFORE they act. Not after. Ask someone who lost a limb how he feels everyday!

        I am ready to give up some privacy for better security. I always wonder, why are people so nervous if they don't have anything to hide!

        •  you're far more likely (9+ / 0-)

          to be killed in a car accident than by a terrorist.
          You're more likely to be hit by lightning, too.

          (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

          by PJEvans on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 02:22:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You want to know what frightens me (15+ / 0-)

          far more than Nazis, the KKK and al Qaeda terrorists?


          You scare the freaking shit out of me.

          Your abject ignorance and acquiescence is a far greater threat to me and mine than any goddamned terrorist. For the love of God, I sincerely hope yours is a minority view.

          WTFWJD? LOTE? I sincerely doubt that.

          by WisePiper on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 02:31:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think it is. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WisePiper, PhilJD, Agathena

            But I hope I am wrong.

            "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

            by tardis10 on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 02:34:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Customer Service in India knows who you called (0+ / 0-)

            yesterday or last month. Where is your outrage?

            Have you called ATT or Verizon to complain?
            Do you trust Indian more than your own government?

            •  From a comment I posted upthread... (6+ / 0-)
              You're challenging an establishment policy or candidate. Your prospects for success are good - you're going to rock some freaking boat here.

              You get a visitor. Wants to show you a little something. See here? And this here?

              What's the fiancee going to think about those twice weekly trips to the Starlite Motel a couple years ago, huh? What about those months of daytime calls to this number here when your friend's spouse was at work?

              Never cheated, huh? Well, that great job you just landed? Still in probationary period, right? Wouldn't your boss be fascinated by that daily meeting downtown? That's where NARCANON meets, isn't it?

              Who is more likely to use those skeletons in your closet to intimidate you? Blackmail you? An agent from your repressive government looking to contain a threat to the status quo? Or the customer service rep in India.

              We can't put the technological genie back in the bottle. The data exists.

              BUT, we can, through our collective outrage and pressure, make it an impeachable and/or criminal offense for any elected or appointed government official, or any LEO, to access that privately held data, absent a court order related to a specific investigation and based upon transparent and publicly known standards.

              WTFWJD? LOTE? I sincerely doubt that.

              by WisePiper on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 03:48:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wish there was outrage about job discrimination (0+ / 0-)

                violence, poverty... than who is a PRISM target, imaginary or not. Most people are decent and have nothing to hide.

                 We have to reform the justice system to make it really "just" so that we can sue anyone who leaks and use your private information for harrassement. Suprisingly, nobody is talking about that reform. Why?

              •  It should be criminal even to purport to have (0+ / 0-)

                access to the data.  Karl Rove probably cultivated the impression he had dirt on everybody.  Here are the details, as the bolded part of this email I sent to my Congressman and Senators:
                A story in today's New York Times said, "Mr. Obama suggested that Congressional debate behind closed doors should offer the public some confidence that the surveillance is not being abused."


                Secret surveillance WILL be abused, even if it's an open secret that it is going on.  Recall that LBJ listened to the FBI's tapes of Martin Luther King and his mistress, just for bedtime entertainment.  When it's an open secret the possibility of abuse is probably greater.  Karl Rove once was overheard by a reporter yelling into the phone, "F--- him! Use everything we have on him! F--- him like he's never been f---ed before!"  The reporter heard this through an open door to Rove's office, waiting to be brought in to speak to Rove. When he came in, Rove was all smiles and cordial. Rove probably wanted to be overheard, to cultivate a reputation for having dirt on everybody and being almost eager to use it. That would have made it easy for Rove to strongarm and blackmail people, even if he had NO dirt on them.

                There ought to be a law against abuse of secret information as LBJ did, and 'extortion of the public in general' by purporting to have secret information and threatening to abuse it, as Rove did.  Karl Rove should be in jail, not Bradley Manning.

                I don't want Karl Rove reading my email, or pretending he's read it.  You'd probably feel the same about Rahm Emmanuel reading yours.

                We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

                by david78209 on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 07:18:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  George W Bush could not have said it better. (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias, quill, RFK Lives, PhilJD, cslewis
        •  You are wrong (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          maxschell, aliasalias, katiec, Catesby

          His prime job is to protect the Constitution.  You know, the language that's in the actual oath that he swore to.  That, itself, is in the Constitution.  

        •  You Have Nothing To Hide? O RLY? (0+ / 0-)

          Yeah, I'm visualizing your first-grade teacher calling the roll: ...John Brown... Joe Caldwell... Real Change... Bill Clark....

          On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

          by stevemb on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 05:53:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Uh, no. The President takes an oath of office. (0+ / 0-)

          His primary job, according to the Constitution ( Article Two, Section One, Clause Eight), is to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

          Spying on every single resident in the country is a clear violation of that oath.  There is not a "national security exception" to the Constitution.

          For the love of Pete!

          Freedom is not a "loophole;" it's the very reason our country exists, and the Constitution is there to protect those freedoms, which the Government -- over time -- has eroded nearly to vanishing.

          A free people will be somewhat less "safe" from other citizens and even external threats.  It's part of the price of freedom.

          However, FAR more people (about 200 million plus) have died at the hands of their governments than have ever died at the hands of terrorists -- or other external or internal threats.

          Each of the tyrannical governments (China, Russia, Germany, Turkey, Cuba, Iraq, etc.) has promised illusory "better security" to come into power.

          It never, ever ends well for the people, as the governments inevitably turn their extraordinary powers on the very people they are supposed to protect.

          We are no different.  Our government, at this point, is no different.  Government is made up of power-hungry men and women.  Always has been.

          Do you really believe that a government with nearly unlimited power will refrain from using it against the people?  Do you REALLY believe that?

          It's already happening here.  Targeting conservatives with the IRS.  Spying on reporters and threatening them with prosecution for doing their jobs.  Hell, spying on EVERYONE, ALL THE TIME.

          Our government pinkie-swears, "Gosh, we promise never to actually LOOK at the data, even though we've built ACRES of buildings to house servers to store it.  Gee whiz, you can trust us.  We really, really mean it."  

          That is NO reassurance at all.  Who, exactly is going to make sure of that?  The rubber-stamp court that has NEVER rejected one of the "warrants?"  

          Couple all the spying with the "legal" ability to capture and hold citizens with no chance for a trial (through the NDAA), to kill citizens with no chance to defend themselves (Patriot Act), and what, pray tell, is the difference between our country -- right now -- and any tyranny you can identify throughout history?

          Seriously, what is the difference?  The government has all the power -- and more -- that any tyrant has held throughout history.

          Obama won't be President forever.  Likely as not, someone you neither like nor trust will be in office the next go-round.  That person will inherit ALL the powers of Obama -- and will add to those powers.

          If we keep headed in this direction, at some point, our President will have enough power simply to take over.

          It has happened over and over throughout history, and there is no reason to believe it could not happen here.

      •  and the Easter Bunny (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tardis10, Jazzenterprises

        and Santa Claus are real.
        They have the ability to match the metadata to the collected calls.

        (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

        by PJEvans on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 02:20:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Just metada. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tardis10, MPociask, david78209

        It's only metadata.

        You're challenging an establishment policy or candidate. Your prospects for success are good - you're going to rock some freaking boat here.

        You get a visitor. Wants to show you a little something. See here? And this here?

        What's the fiancee going to think about those twice weekly trips to the Starlite Motel a couple years ago, huh? What about those months of daytime calls to this number here when your friend's spouse was at work?

        Never cheated, huh? Well, that great job you just landed? Still in probationary period, right? Wouldn't your boss be fascinated by that daily meeting downtown? That's where NARCANON meets, isn't it?


        Well, mk3872, glad to hear you have absolutely no skeletons in your closet. Aren't you special?

        You're right. It's just metadata. If you've never done anything in your past of which you're ashamed, you have no need to worry about  blackmail and intimidation.

        WTFWJD? LOTE? I sincerely doubt that.

        by WisePiper on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 02:22:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's not that Obama needs better responses. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The American people need to have some real leaders.

      Our infra structure, like the bridge in the state of Washington,  is falling down around us on account of so much federal money being spent on surveillance and on wars. (including the nefarious drone programs.)

      As far as terrorists: I am much more worried about what I will be eating, and my grand kids will be eating, ten years down the road, since Monsanto has used the power Obama delivered to them to turn this country's farms into industrialized product sources, for a company whose product is less nutritious and increasingly contaminated with mold, fungal stuff like vomitoxins. How safe are we if we destroy our food source?

      Offer your heart some Joy every day of your life, and spread it along to others.

      by Truedelphi on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 12:27:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's amazing how many Kossacks don't give a shit (70+ / 0-)

    about these revelations, or excuse them with some version of "This snooping is nothing new."

    If the surveillance state finds defenders even on "liberal" DKos, how far are we really from the effective end of the American Republic?

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 11:49:54 AM PDT

  •  Query. (11+ / 0-)

    From the President's remarks, allegedly (because we've already learned it's a-okay to lie in the service of national security) the spooks aren't listening to the phone calls, but if they find a call that sparks their interest and take the time to get a hand-picked court to say go for it, they can listen to a call that sparked their interest hours earlier?  I'm pretty weak on the details of this digitizamational stuff but how do they do that if the calls aren't recorded?

    And then...

    Now, with respect to the Internet and e-mails, this does not apply to U.S. citizens and it does not apply to people living in the United States.
    Since when are Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and AOL subscribers not American citizens or residents?
    •  You think Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dance you monster

      AOL only practice in the USA? You think if someone in Germany types in they get a block telling them it's only available to Americans? Well, maybe in China. But that's because their own government blocks them.

      Serious question.

      I'd like to start a new meme: "No means no" is a misnomer. It should be "Only 'Yes' means yes." Just because someone doesn't say "No" doesn't mean they've given consent. If she didn't say "Yes", there is no consent.

      by second gen on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:14:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know some operate abroad,... (8+ / 0-)

        ...but does anyone genuinely believe the Americans are excluded from this information-gathering?  And if on the Internet no one knows you're a dog, how exactly does the NSA ensure none of those dogs is American?  I was intrigued that the President made this explicit statement; I just think he needs to be more forthcoming on how exactly this miracle of discretion is achieved.

        •  No. No more than I believe that the NSA (0+ / 0-)

          is the only organization that's been spying on us. Just look at your "cookies" file. Or the "permissions" on your Android or iPhone.

          I'd like to start a new meme: "No means no" is a misnomer. It should be "Only 'Yes' means yes." Just because someone doesn't say "No" doesn't mean they've given consent. If she didn't say "Yes", there is no consent.

          by second gen on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:33:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Corporations use that data to try to sell us (5+ / 0-)

            crappy stuff we don't need.

            The Federal government can--potentially--use the data to put us in prison or disappear us.

            Those are not the same things.

            When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

            by PhilJD on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:40:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So, no one has ever been put in prison (0+ / 0-)

              or charged with downloading something that belonged to a corporation? Huh. Good to know.

              I'd like to start a new meme: "No means no" is a misnomer. It should be "Only 'Yes' means yes." Just because someone doesn't say "No" doesn't mean they've given consent. If she didn't say "Yes", there is no consent.

              by second gen on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 02:30:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  OMG. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PhilJD, Aunt Martha

              You're actually committing keystrokes to this nonsense?  You actually have to spell out the difference between Arista protecting Whitney Houston's songs from illegal downloads and Share sites and programs that anticipate the buying habits of customers who shop on THEIR sites so that when you go to your email Williams Sonoma has sent you a recommendation on All Clad cookware as opposed to the government thinking that you might be a drug dealer because they traced your cell phone to a certain location at a certain time in South Central LA and saw that you made 4 calls to people, 2 of whom have previous drug arrests and all you did was take a walk to buy some ice cream?

              This really has to spelled out in bold-faced caps for a 4 year old to understand?

    •  The answers I think we're supposed to infer are: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dance you monster

      1) They can't.  Only content of any subsequent calls.

      2) Data for US persons gets filtered out.

      Mind you, I don't buy either of those answers.  There's no particular reason I can think of that they wouldn't explicitly say that if it were so.

      “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

      by jrooth on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:45:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Prism has a foreign intelligence fig leaf (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dance you monster, aliasalias

      They collect the data right here in the U.S. But they pretend, in words, that the old NSA foreign-intelligence gathering restriction is still in effect.

      The Verizon letter had no foreign-intelligence fig leaf at all.

      It's why I find the Verizon letter to be surprising and shocking.

      But Prism to be long known, except in details.

      The Verizon letter isn't even pretending.

    •  They can't, but... (0+ / 0-)

      ... if they have strong evidence that a particular number has received calls from someone who is setting of alarms then they can go to the court to get a warrant to listen on future calls to that number in case the person of interest calls again.

      The metadata makes it easier to identify who they should be listening to. That is all.

      If anything, the volume of the data actually makes it easier to avoid false positives. The more data you have the less likely an innocent person is to be subject to a wiretap warrant.

      (I work in data analysis doing much of the kind of thing being discussed here so I'm not just speaking out of my ass on this subject.)

  •  No, the President didn't answer all of the possibl (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    criticisms, but he did address the more vocal ones, the ones implicit in arguments that this violates the law, or constitutes "spying" or "surveillance."  The critics of the program have the obligation to  articulate much better why there's a privacy interest in the data.  Merkely's right that the location data rises to a greater level, and there's in some respects an associational privacy interest among otherwise unpopular political groups, but the interest in the fact of a phone call needs to be very, very clearly distinguished from what's said.  (This isn't even as invasive as the gmail ad algorithm, though.)  That's been missing from the debate, which doesn't work for an area of the law that is basically a balance of interests.  It's not effectively balanced by deferring to the aesthetic preferences of the stickiest wheels.

    The administration's larger response should address what steps are taken to keep otherwise sensitive information private (like the call to some sort of AA hotline or a phone sex line), so that means fuller disclosure of limits on how long that data are kept, what firewalls exist to keep the numbers and names separate, if any; and what standards are out there to determine whether there's a further cause for inquiry.  If this was disclosed to the intel communities, that fact should be said.  I'd also be interested in hearing from people who could talk about what information could be realistically obtained from this stuff.  If it's effective, or if it's pointless, that would go along way to addressing how to balance these questions.

    I do agree that the FISA oversight is very weak, and it's not particularly encouraging that the judge approving the collection was Roger Vinson, who wrote the dumbest antiobamacare opinion, though he hates Obama so checks and balances.  Still, there is a statute in question and some court approval, so it's categorically different from the Bush program.  (Or, at the very least, those who objected to the Bush program for different reasons needn't be on the same side, even though anyone who defends anything Obama does is automatically a hypocrite to some people.)  The lack of transparency cuts both ways, though.  It leaves unanswered the questions I raised above, which creates a vacuum for speculation.  At the same time, not knowing data are being collected is less invasive than the possibility that it "might" be.  

    Ultimately, though, statements like Al Gore's that the program is "obscenely outrageous" are claims about Gore, not the program.  I don't need the oversharing about his feelings without information about the program -- which the administration hasn't done that well either, but that's its own problem.  Nor the arguments that try to unify this to prior narratives about corporatism or whatever.  Sadly, the centrifugal pressure to covert anything to a pitched battle between falsely opposed notions of "liberty" versus "security" will crowd out dispassionate analysis.  This will only result in the more powerful side winning, which means no reform at all, not even the technocratic ones I hint at.   Moral indignation, however,  is personal, and I'd just as soon have my privacy respected.  If the only two people in the world commenting were Oregon's senators, Obama wouldn't have to be so annoyed, but we all know that that's not the case.  

    Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

    by Loge on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 11:57:17 AM PDT

    •  The President glossed over a lot (8+ / 0-)

      Not just criticisms, but also Merkley's concrete example: "For example, the question is how is scooping up your cell phone data, which tracks where you are, my cell phone data, related to an investigation? That's the plain language of the law: 'related to an investigation'."

      The language of the law cited by Merkley is that this drift-net approach to data gather is supposed to be "related to an investigation." This looks a lot more like a fishing expedition than an investigation. And I didn't buy the "national security" dodge 12 years ago; I'm not buying it today. All this terrific pile of information didn't do jack-squat in stopping the Boston Marathon bombing (for example).

      •  I think there are two answers to that (0+ / 0-)

        first, "related to" is broad.  Second, that's a question for the Fisa court judge for approving it.  But before you get to Merkley's specific, you have to address what is legitimately wide spread false information about what the program does and what are the basic sources of possible legal authorization (and limits).

        I don't know that you can single out one example of a terrorist attack and say that the program doesn't work.  That's a question of what goes into the data mining.  If, as the President said, nobody knows it's Merkley, it's a lot better.  The vastness is, in a way, protective of privacy -- these are too many calls for there to be any individual connection, and to get more personal information, it appears as though there's a second warrant needed.  This isn't a description of the Prism program, but there are conflicting accounts so far as to how that works.  

        There will be false positives of people flagged, I'm sure, like some pizza joint some accused terrorist calls, and there'd not otherwise be any data collection of that pizza joint without the program, but I think Obama's right that the program isn't inherently evil, and he felt he could change his mind about with a few technical fixes. The larger issue it seems is that the FISA court doesn't function like a real court; and I can see how the intelligence committees couldn't institutionalize fixes without revealing what it is they were fixing, but this is more like a balancing of particulars than a debate about the fundamental nature of government.

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:23:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The problem is the false terrorist connections (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          maryabein, PJEvans, aliasalias

          If your city has hosted a political convention or other major international event you know how bat shit crazy they go over any possible disruption of the event.  In the Twin Cities the word was they were looking for "anarchists" who somehow never materialized.  I think it was just a scare tactic to get the locals on board with the craziness.  Get on your Gestapo gear!  The anarchists are coming!!  But they were also infiltrating garden variety peace groups.  So who says this system is confined to looking for REAL terrorists?  It's just as likely to be obsessively fixated on some peaceful social justice church group (as they targeted Catholic peace activists in Des Moines, a real hotbed of terrorism for sure) and if you call them because you belong to the same Church or some other social group they'll be having you on their list.  

          •  This is what I mean (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            clubbing guy

            is this supposed to be a description of the actual program, as revealed, or a general conflation of anything done at any level of government for the last 15 years?  What is this "infiltrated?"  Who is "they?"  You're not debating this program at all, just using it as a jumping off point for unrelated objections. Which is fine, I suppose, but spare the moral indignation about something you're not even adequately describing.

            You describe a function of conscious activity, and it's also a much more direct violation of privacy, in obtaining communications.  If Obama has to spend his time describing what the program isn't, it's hard to suggest he's exclusively at fault for not shifting the debate to what it is -- even leaving aside interests in confidentiality (which promote security and privacy, both, but threaten to make each less effective).  When the government ham-fistedly sits in on Des Moines peace activist meetings, it wants people to know they're being watched (and was probably the doing of Bush US Attorney Matt Whitaker, candidate for Senate or it's people who just want free casseroles).  That actually suppresses unfavorable groups in ways that collecting data with zero repercussions does not.  It's not like it's hard to get regular warrants, anyway, for much more sensitive info.

            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

            by Loge on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:57:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  It's 11-Dimensional Rope-a-Dope (0+ / 0-)

        Just wait and see.


    •  Some good points. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Loge, KJG52, tardis10

      Although the neocon/neolibs out of the University of Chicago would argue otherwise, "liberty" and "security" do NOT exist in a zero sum relationship.

      You are correct that we need to break that binary, and totally inaccurate, relationship.  It is a fundamental aspect of the "war on terrah" mentality.

      I think we have to do this through reasoned argument and persuasion as you suggest, but I don't think we should discount the emotional piece here.  Invasion of privacy by the government is real, and extremely important to many Americans given our Constitution and founding principles.

      Send your old shoes to the new George W. Bush library.

      by maxschell on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:05:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know what my alma mater has to do with it (0+ / 0-)

        when the warrantless wiretap program was in effect under Bush, the good guys were all U of C -- Comey, Ashcroft, later Jack Goldsmith.  Of course, some of the villains in the US Attorney scandal were, too, like Sampson.  Win some lose some.  Amy Klobuchar is our top alumna nowadays, I tihnk.

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:25:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'd love for their to be a debate about... (0+ / 0-) that data should be used and how it should be protected. But to often in these cases the argument devolves to one of "they shouldn't have any of it!" or "they should have all of it!"

      It's not the volume of the data that matters, it's what's done with it and how potential abuses are minimized. That's what we should be debating.

  •  Obama gives the FISA COURT props... (25+ / 0-)

    a SECRET COURT that we don't know anything about, we don't know the content of conversation in this secret court, we know nothing, but are just to blindly trust all of this.  Sorry, I don't.  And Obama said "nobody's listening to your phone calls", at this point I just don't believe it.  Not with all this information coming out and probably more at warp speed, the notion to just believe that statement is not good enough for me.  Obama campaigned on getting rid of this program, goes to make a speech last week about national security and that we are moving in the direction to get rid of this, but has expanded this program moreso than GWB did.  Sorry, if they are collecting millions of Americans information, of course, they can listen to phone calls, record them and transcribe the contents.

    •  What a waste of time recording and listening (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to YOUR calls would be! Do you really think they ahve the time and manpower for that?

      conspiracy theories are not allowed here :)

      •  how can YOU say that regarding icebergslim's calls (0+ / 0-)

         Do you know the contents of those calls? I don't think so, besides that it is THAT person's privacy (and all of ours) that is supposed to be protected under the Constitution (aka 'quaint document') that is the issue AND just for your info it isn't 'manpower' it's called 'computer power' (google Stellar Wind Utah).

        never mind here...

        without the ants the rainforest dies

        by aliasalias on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 03:34:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  a person has to listen at some point, it can't all (0+ / 0-)

          be done on a computer, unless you are communicating with known terrorists, you are not being spied on, I suppose one rogue person or a glitch could catch an innocent American but it is not a wholesale listening to all americans calls, not physically possible, after a computer flags a keyword, a person still has to read or listen to know if in context, it means anything

          there might be a time when an evil leader would use this info with ill intent, but right now, not happening and the president is saying we all need to discuss this together as a society how we want to handle the balance of safety and intrusion...sensible, not worth getting upset over now.

  •  President Obama made two commitments, but (13+ / 0-)
    You know, when I came into this office, I made two commitments that are more than any commitment I make: number one, to keep the American people safe; and number two, to uphold the Constitution. And that includes what I consider to be a constitutional right to privacy and an observance of civil liberties.
    But he kept only one of the two of them.  Why did he put "keep the American people safe" first, ahead of the Constitution?  This is wrongheaded and anti-constitutional.

    An illusion can never be destroyed directly... SK.

    by Thomas Twinnings on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:04:48 PM PDT

    •  How exactly (8+ / 0-)

      does implementing a GWOT where we lose all civil and human rights and live in a security state keep us safe?  We drone bomb the holy hell out of any human the Spooks declare is a terrorist or an aider and abettor or a radicalized extremist who might turn into a terrist who's gonna kill your family. This does not keep us safe. What keeps people safe is the Law, the Great Writ and the constitution. What a bogus sick excuse to unleash the freaking Spooks and destroy our human and civil rights. Dag these fuckers are worse then the Staci. They no longer have to hate us for our freedom's cause we got rid of them in order to be safe from some asshole lunatic with a bomb in his underwear. How cowardly to give up our basic human and civil rights all because of 'terrist's who are gonna kill yer family'.  

      Where's my habaeus corpus?  

  •  Whats a little (20+ / 0-)

    "Modest encroachment" on our privacy these days....apparently that is the focus group weasel wording the president called the spying program.

    I figured and we had many hints that this was happening it's not really new info in that sense..but to see our political corporate ruling class elites scramble in their justification and or denials of it is just sickening.

    I mean this all from the new era of openness and transparency president. Not surprised but still disgusted.

    Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. We are the 99%-OWS.

    by emal on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:07:45 PM PDT

  •  Obama is starting to scare me. (23+ / 0-)

    Who the hell did we help elect?  With each new revelation, lie, promise not kept or denied, he seems more and more like Bush or, even worse, Cheney, except with a sharp lawyer's brain and a salesman's charm.  But that charm, like the promises, is gone once the sale has been made and he's elected.  I think his intelligence, combined with dishonesty and so much secrecy, makes him potentially very dangerous.  I hope he is a better man than he now appears to be, but I can't find much reason to think so. Like so many here, I made excuses for him over and over, but now I look back and think I was a fool to trust him.

    •  What scares me more (14+ / 0-)

      Is that we're likely to be stampeded into voting for HRC and she's going to be further right than Obama on national security.

      •  The Type of Democrat Who Would Stop The (10+ / 0-)

        surveillance would never win a primary. The Dem base simply wants a candidate who can win, policies don't actually matter as long as Team Blue wins the presidency.

        "The problem with posting quotes off the Internet is you never know if they're genuine."--Gen. George Washington at the Battle of Gettysburg, February 30, 1908

        by Aspe4 on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:36:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A lot of the Dem base (5+ / 0-)

          is not only willing to give the president/candidate a pass on fourth amendment and other civil rights issues, but actually agrees with the stated authoritarian positions, and, I would say, those people do so because they are insufficiently aware of the reasons for those liberties and rights in the first place, and are part of the ruling class or identify too closely with them.

        •  a Dem president is all that stands between us (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          clubbing guy

          and the teabaggers doing the country what they are doing in states they control, so Yes, I will vote for any DEM that can win, yes I will

          •  A Familiar Excuse (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Catesby, Aspe4
            "Comrades!" he cried. "You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples. Do you know what would happen if we pigs failed in our duty? Jones would come back! Yes, Jones would come back! Surely, comrades," cried Squealer almost pleadingly, skipping from side to side and whisking his tail, "surely there is no one among you who wants to see Jones come back?"
             -- George Orwell, Animal Farm

            On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

            by stevemb on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 12:23:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Given how much money it takes... (7+ / 0-) run for office, we'll only ever be presented with choices for whom we can vote that have already found approval of the plutocrats who actually run the country. Our government has in many ways become the circuses in "bread and circuses"; the rest of the circuses can be found in the gazillion pawn and towing "reality" shows on tv.

      •  This isn't right or left. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Government intrusion into Citizen's affairs is the province of autharitarian governments, whether they are ostensibly left (communist) or ostensibly right (fascists).

        Between the extremes, I know that conservatives find such intrusiveness to be disgusting, and I'm pretty sure our liberal/progressive brethren are right there with us.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:01:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It won't matter (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        apimomfan2, stevemb

        This will seal the deal for a Republican sweep in 2014.

        I hate all this phone stuff and Internet spying. Hated it under Bush. Hate it now.

        But under Bush, even if the right wing hated it, they would never throw him under the bus.

        Obama needs to be criticized about this- the whole NSA operation needs to be examined.

        If this crap is going to go on, I would rather have a Democrat in the White House and in charge of Congress.

        We'd probably have more of a chance to get this crap stopped.

        But if the right wing picks up the meme- can you trust Obama? The answer from us?

        Whatever- it will be used to allow the totally bat crazy people to run the government.

        And when that happens- as they want- we really will be in trouble.

    •  2nd term (8+ / 0-)

       Well, we did keep hearing how things would be different in his 2nd term didn't we? After all just wait until the pressure of a reelection is off, then you'll see, all the things he wanted to do, but couldn't.   And we all thought that meant be more progressive...

      "To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." T. Roosevelt

      by Lowgun on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:24:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, please. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We helped elect an intelligent, diligent, thoughtful, cautious moderate with close ties to mega-corporations and the national security state.

      My then-82-year-old father told me, during the Clinton/Obama primary, that he was afraid that people really believed the hype about Obama, and that they'd be terribly disappointed. 'Nobody's naive enough to actually believe political sloganeering,' I told him. Always bet on the old guy.'

      Obama's pro-FISA vote didn't exactly get glossed over. We should rally against him, when he's on the wrong side of issues, which happens with some regularity, but he's exactly who he always seemed to be. I'd vote for him again in an instant, despite the fact that he's coddled war criminals and furthered the goals of the surveillance state.

      "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

      by GussieFN on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:35:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How can one rally against... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        without being accused of one negative thing or another by people that would seem to prefer something wrong than to be disloyal to OFA or agree with anything said by eviledoers on the other side?

        •  One can't. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tardis10, NancyK

          Idiots will do what idiots do. But being accused of one negative thing or another doesn't much matter. Stopping the dangerous overreach matters.

          I just don't see how 'OMG! Obama is scaryawful!' really helps. Though on this issue it's perfectly true. As Kevin Drum says, 'This isn't the fourth term of the George Bush presidency, as so many people like to put it, but more like the 16th term of the Eisenhower presidency.'

          Making this about Obama is unhelpful. He's precisely as shitty, on this issue, as his predecessors: extremely. So let's take that as a given, forget about Obama-the-guy, who isn't really relevant here (because he's just like all the other presidents in that he'll do exactly what he can get away with) and try to figure how to react.

          "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

          by GussieFN on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:57:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Idiots do what idiots do? (0+ / 0-)

            Pointing out wrong is not saying Obama is scaryawful.

            It IS about Obama, however, because he said he would do differently, as he has done on other issues. That is in addition to the phenomenon raised concerning the abuse of technology.

            •  Um, you're replying to a thread (0+ / 0-)

              that starts with 'Obama is starting to scare me.' So people are saying he's scary--here and elsewhere.

              But your question was, 'how do we rally against him without people calling us meanies?' The answer is still, we don't. They will call us meanies.

              And of course he said he'd do differently. What's he going to say? 'I will heavily invest in the national security state, send flying death machine to kill children, and keep secrets from the American people while tracking their information on a scale never before seen?'

              That's what a moderate, cautious president currently in the 16th term of the Eisenhower presidency does.

              "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

              by GussieFN on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:18:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Meanies? It goes much further than that... (0+ / 0-)

                when it comes to dissent in the ranks. The episode with Bob Woodward immediately comes to mind.

                There is matter for concern because it now appears more clear that Obama is not above using the government for political reasons in a nontransparent way.

                I have less problem with the needs of national security.

        •  People can disagree with your disagreement... (0+ / 0-)

          ...with Obama because they honestly disagree with your opinion. Loyalty to Obama is not a necessary component.

      •  Oh, please. That is so far from the truth it is (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        apimomfan2, Dem Beans, jbsoul, aliasalias


        Obama sold himself as a Progressive...during both campaigns. And he convinced the world that he would clean up the mess the Republicans made...but instead, he has taken the same policies and made them much worse.

        Tell me anyone, anywhere in the world who would have believed that Obama would appoint an administration with such close ties to the criminals who created this mess...

        And as far as the "intelligent, diligent, thoughtful, cautious moderate"...when are you guys going to finally admit that Obama conned millions of people into contributing to his campaign, many who didn't have money to give. He promised a lot of hope and change that no one could have believed would translate into the worst income disparity between the rich and poor our nation has ever known. And at the same time he was conning people, he was already making backroom deals with Goldman Sachs to appoint Geithner and Summers to his administration.

        •  Well, first, there's only one (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tardis10, NancyK

          of me. I'm not sure which 'guys' you think I am.

          Second, of course he promised a lot of hope and change. He's a politician.

          Third, half of dKos was talking about strategies to push Obama to do the right thing before he even took office. I remember the phrase 'pre-disappointed' being thrown around. Perhaps many people did buy what he was selling, but certainly at least here on dKos, that was be no means a foregone conclusion.

          Many, many bloggers said, at the time, this is a deeply centrist guy. Pretty sure Digby was on that, and certainly was. (Krugman, too?)

          Hell, Obama posted one diary here, and was roundly criticized for being a civility-tropic bipartisan-blinded centrist, and he took offense and we were right.

          His 2007 FISA vote to grants immunity to telecom companies involved with warrantless wiretapping, his invitation of McClurkin and Warren, hell, Rahm Emanuel was his first chief of staff! He took a serious look at Evan Bayh as his running mate. His most famous speech was the 'there's no red states and blue states, there's just the United States' bullshit centrist dreck.

          Did I think he'd be quite this complicit? No. But am I shocked? No. He's an ally on some issues and an obstacle on others. We need to figure how to go around  him, that's all.

          "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

          by GussieFN on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:13:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The Blue light Special (0+ / 0-)

      Bush was the Red light Special, Obama now is the Blue light
      Special....same "special" different light...he's so poor at  using his power to speak to the people about what is right that he's likely too scared, not bright enough, or just counting the days until he can get back to laze about on the beach and get those 100K speaking gigs going...say it ain't so Mr. President, Say it ain't so!

      "It's only a movie"--1960's era PR Man for B-grade Hollywood flicks

      by williamjustin on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:15:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The need to make important people happy (6+ / 0-)

    Perhaps timid leaders sometimes have a desire, a compulsion even, to make important people happy. To be loved by them, if you will. People they consider important.

    Thus, such a leader might offer to trash the national wage-earners' pension program to please the Billionaires Club. And might throw out Constitution-mandated Civil Liberties protections to please the super-powerful NSA/MIC Inc.

    Those other people, the 99 percent, are outside his radar, which is a very rarified radar indeed. So they can suffer and he never notices, or cares.

    Yes, maybe it is something like that.

    On the other hand, in the case of NSA, reports from insiders that incompetence is the main problem there seem believable too.

    That same problem that led the FBI to leave terrorists untouched even after they were handed to us on a silver platter by a foreign government. Not keeping an eye on them, but ... uh ... interviewing them and forgetting about them.

    "He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want." Proverbs 22:16

    by catfoodnation on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:08:57 PM PDT

  •  Using the Congress/Senate as cover. Hmmm. (8+ / 0-)

    Your representatives know about it and say it's ok. They represent you.

    I think we better tell The President and our representatives that would be a "no sale". And

    Yeah we are tired, and beat, and working too hard to get through daily life, but we had better do something like let them hear us roar, NO!

    Thanks, mini rant over.

    Science is hell bent on consensus. Dr. Michael Crichton said “Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing to do with consensus... which is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right,”

    by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:19:21 PM PDT

  •  I would like to hear (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    about the additional safeguards the President says he put in place.

    The law was in place, so I'm wondering what he could have done to do away with the practice, if he'd wanted to.

    If he understood there to be safeguards and he understood there to be full disclosure to Congress, there is some mitigation there.

    Probably he gets a briefing of a zillion things, including this.  He's told that it's legal, it's been renewed with approval of several judges over the years, and that Congress knows all about it.

    According to him, despite this he still took the steps to add additional safeguards.  I'd like to see what they are.

    Because then I see a President who feels he struck a balance - although we pretty much all disagree and wish he'd put a total stop to what he inherited.

    Someone needs to show they are harmed by this so the case can go to the SC.  Right now there is no plaintiff.

    Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

    by delphine on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:24:08 PM PDT

    •  people have sued over this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias, shaharazade

      and because they can't show precisely how they were harmed, the courts tell them they have no standing and toss the cases.

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 02:31:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

        So until we can show someone was harmed, we can't get this into court.

        Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

        by delphine on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 03:15:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  a classic catch 22 (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Which this administration including the DoJ, the Spooks, the NSA and our congress worked hard to implement via the courts and supper dupper secret laws that we're not even allowed to know about.  No wonder they did not want to look backward and refused to prosecute the lawless Bushies abuses of power. They not only passed new law that's not constitutional,they used old law to create new.  Just cause some pol says this is legal doesn't mean it is. A Tool to keep us safe my ass.

          Wheres my Habeas Corpus?

          I am Bradly Manning

          Here's a great video from Goodwill Hunting about the NSA (hat tip to Digby)


  •  Just Book 'em Dano (0+ / 0-)

    The elite CAN be cuffed!

    "It's only a movie"--1960's era PR Man for B-grade Hollywood flicks

    by williamjustin on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:24:39 PM PDT

  •  When there is a statist orientation... (2+ / 0-)

    then the potential for abuse such as this will increase, until the state becomes the ultimate, rather than the Constitution and the People.


  •  ...but not with crappy websites (0+ / 0-)

    "It's only a movie"--1960's era PR Man for B-grade Hollywood flicks

    by williamjustin on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:26:38 PM PDT

  •  This Needs to be a 2014 Mid-term Election Issue (7+ / 0-)

    so they public can have a clear choice between congressman who support spying and those who don't. Of course, this issue seems bi-partisan so the voters may not have a real choice.

    "The problem with posting quotes off the Internet is you never know if they're genuine."--Gen. George Washington at the Battle of Gettysburg, February 30, 1908

    by Aspe4 on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:29:24 PM PDT

  •  Obama is such a shameless liar (10+ / 2-)

    It's like drinking water to him, something you do because you do it.

    No shame AT ALL. Just words without meaning.

    HR this comment at your own peril. There is nothing I said that's untrue here.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:32:07 PM PDT

    •  Hah, you took the unintentional bait (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Reported as always. Maybe you really need to think about starting your own blog, with stickers and flags and theme music and all.

      Fake progressives.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:42:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  BTW, thanks for admitting this was bait (0+ / 0-)

        It makes the inflammatory/trolling point much easier to demonstrate.

        If we cannot make our communities safer with the Congress we have now, we will use every means available to make sure we have a different Congress. – Gabrielle Giffords

        by tytalus on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:00:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It wasn't intended as such (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          It was intended as a truthful statement of, well, truth. But you sure went for it anyway, which says a lot more about you than me.

          Also, when the truth can be considered an insult, one has really gone around the bend, morally. Nice going there. So you prefer that I lie or STFU?

          Why are you even here?

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:02:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is possible to speak truth about behavior (0+ / 0-)

            without insulting a person directly. This shouldn't be news to you, but for whatever reason, apparently it is.

            If we cannot make our communities safer with the Congress we have now, we will use every means available to make sure we have a different Congress. – Gabrielle Giffords

            by tytalus on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:10:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  How is calling a liar a liar an insult? (0+ / 0-)

              Libel and defamation of character laws are quite clear that a lie must have been told to qualify for either accusation. A truthful statement, no matter how harmful or hurtful, cannot be either. Not can an insult.

              I just said something true in a way that upset you. That's not HRable.

              "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

              by kovie on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:16:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Further reinforcing that you're not serious... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                What point is there to jumping from insult to libel and defamation? Oh, because the meaning of an insult clearly shows what you did.

                Speak to or treat with disrespect or scornful abuse.
                A disrespectful or scornfully abusive remark or action.
                Note how there is no truth component that absolves an insult from being one. That differentiates it from libel and defamation, concepts which do rely on a statement being false.
                A published false statement that is damaging to a person's reputation; a written defamation.
                Defame (someone) by publishing a libel.
                Web definitions
                a false accusation of an offense or a malicious misrepresentation of someone's words or actions.
                You were HR'ed for insults, not libel.

                If we cannot make our communities safer with the Congress we have now, we will use every means available to make sure we have a different Congress. – Gabrielle Giffords

                by tytalus on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:34:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  But I didn't lie (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  I told the LITERAL truth: Obama lied.

                  And you can't insult or disrespect someone by saying something truthful about them no matter how negative or humiliating.

                  What cognitive world do you live in?


                  "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                  by kovie on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 03:48:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Again (0+ / 0-)

                    Doesn't have to be false to be an insult. I posted the definitions just to be clear to any passersby. Fairly obvious you're more interested in weaseling out of any perceived wrongdoing now.

                    And, also to be clear, that

                    I told the LITERAL truth: Obama lied.
                    is actually not what you said:
                    Obama is such a shameless liar
                    And it shows you're still unwilling to acknowledge the difference between attacking behavior and attacking a person. After all that, your bashing my thinking skills just makes me smile. Your failure is evident.

                    Have a good evening.

                    If we cannot make our communities safer with the Congress we have now, we will use every means available to make sure we have a different Congress. – Gabrielle Giffords

                    by tytalus on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 04:13:46 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  "Insulting" someone outside this site (0+ / 0-)

                      except in the most egregious manner is neither HRable nor insulting, when it's based on the truth. So now you're reduced to claiming that my use of the word "shameless" was what was so awful? That itself is shameless.

                      This was not like calling an overweight person fat. And I bet you've never HRed anyone who's called Rush Limbaugh fat here. And you have the nerve to hide behind this "I don't have the time to HR every comment" silliness.

                      This is all about your standing up for Obama. Admit that, at least.

                      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                      by kovie on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 04:25:49 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Insults of all types are HRable (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Libbylalala, SaintC

      and so I have. If that imperils my presence here, then so be it; I would be better off gone in that case.

      If we cannot make our communities safer with the Congress we have now, we will use every means available to make sure we have a different Congress. – Gabrielle Giffords

      by tytalus on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:43:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So I take it that you HRed every time (6+ / 0-)

        someone insulted Bush or Cheney, or else by your own admission you're a dishonest hypocrite. And don't insult my intelligence by telling me that he's a community member--or worse, because he's a Dem.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:45:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ah, more insults I see (0+ / 0-)

          now you want to call me a hypocrite, eh? They are HR'able -- I am not obliged to HR them all, nor could I. The folks uprating you are violating the site rules. As for insulting your intelligence, that's yet to be determined. MB's comment on insults linked in the FAQ does not limit the rule to community members. I reread it before HR'ing you.

          To repeat what I have often said, the key is that insults of all types are HRable. It doesn't mean that they HAVE to be HRed. Totally voluntary. Somebody who insults someone else and gets HRed for it shouldn't expect any relief form me. But users are warned when they UPRATE insults - because this encourages insulters to repeat their behavior.

          If we cannot make our communities safer with the Congress we have now, we will use every means available to make sure we have a different Congress. – Gabrielle Giffords

          by tytalus on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:51:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The right not to be insulted... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PhilJD, apimomfan2, shaharazade

        seems to mean more than the right to expression itself.

        This is the world to which we are approaching.

      •  I'm pretty sure (6+ / 0-)

        That when the FAQ and MB say insults of all types are HR'able, it means that directly insulting someone in a response to a comment or diary authored by them is against the rules.

        Insulting the president or other elected officials by calling them liars is probably not as long as it is not in direct response to a comment or diary authored by them. At least, I hope not.

        Hell, look at kos' last post if you want to see insulting language directed at elected officials.

        In short—insulting another DKos member is what is HR'able.

        But if I'm wrong, please show me where this was resolved to mean no insulting language about anyone at all.

        •  That should read: (0+ / 0-)

          In short—directly insulting another DKos member is what is HR'able.

          •  The few times Obama has posted here (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            (no doubt through an intermediary), I've certainly not insulted him, which would have been HRable. I also believe that indirectly insulting a current and active member, in a comment about them, is HRable, if it's over the top, vile, clearly dishonest or otherwise disruptive. This "insult" of mine (and how can something be an insult if it's grounded in fact that is of a non-private nature?) clearly met neither of these standards.

            I think that some people should either remove their HRs or lose their ratings privileges for a while, absent clarification on this issue by admins in their favor.

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:07:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I'll leave that to the admins (0+ / 0-)

          whom kovie was so eager to sic on me. If they want to encourage this sort of behavior, and would rather cast me out, they'd be doing me a favor.

          If we cannot make our communities safer with the Congress we have now, we will use every means available to make sure we have a different Congress. – Gabrielle Giffords

          by tytalus on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:02:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Uprated because Obama (8+ / 0-)

      has consistently skirted the truth often enough.  

  •  BigData now, BigData tomorrow, BigData forever /nt (4+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:34:37 PM PDT

  •  I'm glad to see my (13+ / 0-)

    Oregon senators are on this, and I will continue to push them to keep the pressure  on Obama, but what I really want is to repeal the bogus bill that started this the whole mess.

    Severely Socialist

    by ichibon on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:36:39 PM PDT

  •  Again... (5+ / 0-)

    Obama's first term rejection to flat out reject the path Bush took the country has come back to haunt him...and all of us.

  •  Shooting incident at Santa Monica College (0+ / 0-)

    News is still coming in and unconfirmed, but a shooter shot into a bus injuring some people and then went into the library and shot what some witnesses called a clip off.  Reports are that the shooter is down.  This happened about noon Pacific Time.  Advise is to shelter in place until it is certain the site is secured.

    This is across town from the Presidential event in Santa Monica today.

  •  Obama gives the game away (15+ / 0-)
    But I think it's important to recognize that you can't have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience.
    Scared shitless Americans demand 100% security... and he's giving it to them.

    We have ceased being the home of the brave. And so, we are not the land of the free.

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:44:00 PM PDT

  •  So who is going to push for reform first? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevemb, Mr Robert

    Because whoever does is going to reap some major political rewards after the backlash from this outrageous, excessive program.

    Let's hope it's Wyden, Udall and/or Merkley.  Because, realistically, the other alternative is Rand Paul.

    And, if the Paulite Republicans make substantive things happen on this before significant Democrats do, it will permanently change the future course of this country, not least because their leader is more interested in becoming president than any of the progressives on the Democratic side of the aisle, and has a more realistic shot at getting his party's nomination.

    Schumer, Feinstein, Durbin, Reid and other Democratic leaders: are you paying attention?

  •  But of course, Mr. President (5+ / 0-)

    We only had to be concerned during the Bush/Cheney administration.  This is the Obama/Biden administration.  Makes all the difference in the world.  

    On a serious note, does Obama actually believe his own bullshit?  

  •  Our very first CIA (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    protectspice, apimomfan2, aliasalias

    Democratic President.

    Ever since that little scam - Spring 2009 -wherein Michelle diverted the press' attention to her lovely organic garden, while her hubbie appointed top Monsanto people to the key positions in FDA and Department of Ag, I have had my suspicions.

    Offer your heart some Joy every day of your life, and spread it along to others.

    by Truedelphi on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:51:27 PM PDT

  •  I Am Not Sure That Phone Numbers With No (0+ / 0-)

    names or addresses is private data.  My phone number is in the phone book with my name and addresss.  Were there social security numbers, or credit card numbers or anything else with the phone numbers???

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:53:30 PM PDT

  •  Here's a thought! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert

    Congress can quit rubber-stamp approving these ridiculous proposals every damned time the Executive sends them to the Hill.  President Obama might not abuse this authority, but any 'pub who has even a remote shot at being elected President sure as hell would.

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little. " --Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jg6544 on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:54:00 PM PDT

  •  Back around 1970 I applied to and was accepted (0+ / 0-)

    by NSA as a translator.  I didn't have and couldn't borrow enough money travel to DC in my 65 Bug with its bad carburetor, nor money to house myself once I got there until I got a pay check

    At that time NSA was monitoring most of Europe's and USSR papers, magazines, phone calls, and radio broadcasts for trigger words.

    Within a decade the US had a base I believe in Alaska that monitored all the microwave transmissions in the world.  They were mostly concerned about Russian subs, but they caught everything and filtered it for trigger words etc.

    So there is really nothing unexpected about what is being revealed now.  Of course governments around the world that can afford the technology are monitoring everything they can and there really is no way to stop that with technology as it is today.  Satellites can see and hear anything and everything they are programmed to sensitive to.

  •  Clap ON Clap off (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:56:07 PM PDT

  •  just a shout out to adoptive state OR sens (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    they smoke.

    what lincoln said

    by rasfrome on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:56:23 PM PDT

  •  First I voted for hope, and change, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maxschell, apimomfan2, Dem Beans

    then I voted for the less insulting lies. Someday soon, I'd like to vote for a progressive liberal.

    elect Elizabeth Warren to the presidency, 2016

    by Wood Gas on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:57:47 PM PDT

  •  As I understand it, FISA court is a rubber stamp (6+ / 0-)

    bench.  It was set up to be a rubber stamp court.

    This is not a robust review of the claims the government is making. On the contrary, it is designed not to be a robust review of those claims.

    Which brings us to Congress, that other branch the White House touts. It is utterly and embarrassingly true that they have repeatedly bought off on this, even if James Sensenbrenner, among others, is suckering journalists claiming that he didn’t. Indeed, oversight committees shot down efforts to limit Section 215 orders to people who actually had a tie to a suspected terrorist or foreign spy in 2006, 2009, and 2011. Such language was shot down each time. So, too, were efforts in 2011 and 2012 to reveal what was really going on in Section 215 collection; oversight committees shot that down too.

    “The road to success is always under construction” --Lily Tomlin

    by CarolinNJ on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 12:58:37 PM PDT

  •  So, The Only President We've Got can't use his exe (5+ / 0-)

    cutive powers to do stuff like close Gitmo, punish if not halt sexual abuse in the military, maybe institute a jobs program via Fedgames and stuff like that, on account of "Congress won't go along." But if it comes to spying on the whole Body Politic under the claim of State Security, using money Congress is supposed to authorize (I presume,) he can just do as he damn pleases.

    How many instances of duplicity and concupiscence and Imperial arrogance get to be enough to say that maybe the guy, as figurehead for an increasingly steroidal Executive, has maybe started to be getting to be a little uncomfortably close to possibly looking like maybe he is smelling a little like the dudes who ruled Rome back in the day, and presided over the running another empire off the cliff?

    Granted, he is only one person... who hires and appoints and advances other persons with the stroke of a left-handed pen, persons who are named Clapper and Petraeus and "Timmy" and Rahm and Holder and lots of others. And he has lots of other semi-visible, mostly opaque "people" to help him advance the interests of just exactly who and what, again?

    Obama Orders U.S. To Draw Up Overseas Target List For Cyber-Attacks

    Barack Obama has ordered his senior national security and intelligence officials to draw up a list of potential overseas targets for US cyber-attacks, a top secret presidential directive obtained by the Guardian reveals.

    The 18-page Presidential Policy Directive 20, issued in October last year but never published, states that what it calls Offensive Cyber Effects Operations (OCEO) “can offer unique and unconventional capabilities to advance US national objectives around the world [care to define what that means?] with little or no warning to the adversary or target and with potential effects ranging from subtle to severely damaging”.

    It says the government will “identify potential targets of national importance where OCEO can offer a favorable balance of effectiveness and risk as compared with other instruments of national power”.

    Here's the directive itself:

    By the way, how's that income-disparity thing going? And progress (cough) on the Trans-Pacific Partnership thingie going? Any luck fudging the employment numbers to make us feel sort of good about "the economy," that only exists because of the increasingly desperate labors of people who actually work for a living (even for ever declining wages, with ever declining assets, with ever less hope that "old age" will start at maybe 80 when they simply can no longer stand up to flip the burgers, salt the fries, or grimace at the declining number of fellow mopes who can even afford to be "Walmart shoppers" any more?)

    Look out for that "Congressional obstruction," now... Effing BS.

    "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

    by jm214 on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:00:39 PM PDT

  •  This Has Been Going On Since 2001.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, randallt

    It's reauthorized by CONGRESS every 3 months.  What did people think was going on?

    Verizon & AT&T as innocent as a new baby who was just surprised by the wind blowing?  Not a chance, folks!

  •  Only Real leverage Will Collar This BEAST (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    written above:

    The administration's larger response should address what steps are taken to keep otherwise sensitive information private (like the call to some sort of AA hotline or a phone sex line), so that means fuller disclosure of limits on how long that data are kept, what firewalls exist to keep the numbers and names separate, if any; and what standards are out there to determine whether there's a further cause for inquiry.  If this was disclosed to the intel communities, that fact should be said.
    Plainly put, the elite MUST be tracked by the public.

    "It's only a movie"--1960's era PR Man for B-grade Hollywood flicks

    by williamjustin on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:01:30 PM PDT

  •  Many here are pushing this into the CT Red Zone (0+ / 0-)

    I thought Kos did not allow conspiracy theories?
    Well, it seems many here are imaging all kinds of abuses there is no evidence for, like gun nuts who think background checks mean we are coming for their guns

  •  All I can say is : Wow (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maxschell, Mr Robert

    Sen Wyden for president. Just what we need. More qualified people representing us.

  •  How to fix this? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maxschell, MikeCA

    There are many questions about what we're doing with all this data.

    I'd like these programs completely shut down but barring that, I'd like to see that all this surveillance data be used only for capturing so-called "Terrorists."  That is, someone plotting or acting on plans to kill, injure or maim multiple people in the name of a foreign government or religious extremism. If don't want to see this data used to capture pot smokers and kids skipping school.

    On the other hand, what if the information the NSA has could be used to capture a murderer who has otherwise eluded justice? How about capturing purveyors of child porn? Bribery? Graft? Rape?

    In some of the latest crimes, the Steubenville Rapists for example, I wonder if the NSA could have fingered the culprits? I wonder if the NSA knew what Blagojevich was up to before anyone else?

    Even without the actual phone call recordings, I can see where knowing the people Blagojevich was talking to would indicate what he was up to. With location data we'd know many of the people who were with the Steubenville victim at the time of the crimes.

    Would this be acceptable use of this data?  It's easy to dismiss this question with an "absolutely not, the criminals were caught with normal everyday police work" but what if both crimes had gone unsolved and the information to solve them was sitting right there in the NSA's databases?

    [Terrorists] are a dime a dozen, they are all over the world and for every one we lock up there will be three to take his place. --Digby

    by rabel on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:11:55 PM PDT

  •  call me kokoo but as a brown eyed red blooded (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    wide eyed progressive liberal, I really don't have much of a problem with this, IF it means a safer country. I  just don't.

    •  Well then (6+ / 0-)

      If it's a "safer country" you want, then surely you're ok with the government having full access to the contents of all phone calls (as if they don't already), not to mention emails and text messages and everything else. Surely that will make us even safer. Not to mention that crime hurts more Americans than terrorism, so why don't we justify it as preventing and/or solving plain old crimes as well?

      Eli Stephens
      Left I on the News
      "Stand Up, Fight Back!"

      by elishastephens on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:27:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A rubber stamp Judicial review process and... (5+ / 0-)

    "oversight" by lawmakers who...(are) bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues regarding these secret spy programs, offer no effective way to protect Constitutional liberties.

    With basically no checks or balances over intelligence agencies they have...

    ...become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work....

    ..."I'm not aware of any agency with the authority, responsibility or a process in place to coordinate all these interagency and commercial activities," he said in an interview. "The complexity of this system defies description.."

    ...and the programs, number of employees (govt. & private contractors) and the number of buildings just keep getting bigger and bigger--not to mention
    corporate contractors who profit enormously each time the government expands its "cyber-security" activities.

  •  This is maddening (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dem Beans, Mr Robert, shaharazade

    Our dems are supporting this crap and acting as if nothing to see here move along. I think it is time to vote every frickin' body out if they don't agree to make some serious changes to  laws starting with repeal of AUMF and the so called Patriot Act. Can't we just get a spine here folks that  is our OWN?

    American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

    by glitterscale on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:16:19 PM PDT

  •  I just called my Republican Congressman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to thank him for taking a strong stand against FISA reauthorization and CISPA.

    Tom McClintock on FISA Reauthorization

    Tom is apparently one of only five Republican Congressmen who give a shit about the Bill of Rights given their votes on FISA. Of course, he's still an asshole when it comes to social issues that are important to me.

    I'll think very carefully about who I'll vote for in 2014 and no Democrat should take my vote for granted just because I'm a registered Democrat.

    The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

    by Mr Robert on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:17:28 PM PDT

  •  "Congress knew" defense is b.s. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Wyden didn't read carefully. Obama only used the word "fully" to describe the briefing of intel ctte members (and even there he was undoubtedly lying). All members of Congress were just "briefed," and only about telephone metadata (per Obama, for what his words are worth).

    More on my blog here about why this Congressional briefing was utterly meaningless.

    Eli Stephens
    Left I on the News
    "Stand Up, Fight Back!"

    by elishastephens on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:23:28 PM PDT

  •  Kudos to FOX's Shep Smith (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Russycle, Dem Beans, stevemb

    Yesterday when the story broke, Smith gave the lead-in, and then said, "Stand by for righteous indignation" (meaning his own). Today he had the former deputy director of the NSA on, who undoubtedly thought he was coming on friendly FOX. Boy was he mistaken, as he got a grilling he never would have gotten from Wolf Blitzer or most other news show anchors.

    Eli Stephens
    Left I on the News
    "Stand Up, Fight Back!"

    by elishastephens on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:25:22 PM PDT

  •  I love my Senators (0+ / 0-)

    I wonder what it would be like to have 59 other Senators similar to ours.............

  •  Replace Feinstein with Merkley (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert

    Obama basically said the program is legal and Congress
    is overseaing it.  Why not Merkley?
    I'm tired of DiFi anyways.

  •  We SHOULD be mining this metadata (0+ / 0-)

    I agree with the creator of The Wire on this one ... This is data the gov't SHOULD be mining for patterns of terrorism:

    If you all hated surveillance simply because you hated W, then shame on you.

  •  It's too late - I don't trust this President (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PJEvans, Dem Beans, Mr Robert, jbsoul, stevemb

    the one I voted for twice, donated money toward his campaigns, defended so strongly in many forums.

    Strangely, this is the straw that broke my camel's back.

    I do not trust President Obama.  And I no longer have faith in him.  It's such a shame.  All that potential to do good.  And he treats the hopes, dreams and trust of the people who voted for him (and those that didn't) like it was nothing.

  •  Just out of curiosity ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... For those here who think the NSA should NOT collect data about calls & emails ...

    How do you expect them to stop terrorism BEFORE it happens, then?


    •  Let's ask Sweden (8+ / 0-)

      or Canada or Cuba or Luxembourg or dozens of others countries which don't have a problem with terrorism. Maybe we should STOP POKING THE HORNET'S NEST and GET OUR TROOPS OUT OF OTHER PEOPLE'S COUNTRIES and STOP OVERTHROWING THEIR GOVERNMENTS or PROPPING UP THEIR GOVERNMENTS. Or are you one of those people is going to go to their grave thinking "they hate us for our freedom"?

      And if you REALLY want to "stop terrorism before it happens," why should we limit these programs (allegedly) to foreigners? Don't you want to stop Tim McVeigh as well? How about the Columbine killers and their slew of emulators? Maybe you don't want to call them "terrorists," but shouldn't we stop THEM before they kill, too? Surely we need to listen to EVERYONE'S phone calls and read EVERYONE's emails and text messages, don't we?

      Eli Stephens
      Left I on the News
      "Stand Up, Fight Back!"

      by elishastephens on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:53:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here are 2 of a thousand stories (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, aliasalias, shaharazade

      “Of course this has made me hate the Americans. We are angry and want revenge. They’ve destroyed our lives. My parents, my wife my children – we all see America our worst enemy now,” Bahadar said.

       “Whenever my 3-year-old daughter hears the plane she runs inside and won’t sleep that night. The children here have been traumatized by the drones. The sound of a door banging shut is enough to terrify them,” Behram said.

      Eli Stephens
      Left I on the News
      "Stand Up, Fight Back!"

      by elishastephens on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:56:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hate to say it but: Impeach (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jazzenterprises, stevemb

    I don't care if he is our guy, and yes Bush did it too, but we can't continue to let crap like this happen.  If the teabaggers and Benghazi!-loons really are scared of our evil gubmint, let's get a special prosecutor to look into PRISM and FISA.  Of course, Bush will come out looking as bad as Obama, and we can't have that, so I won't hold my breath.

    I don't know what's been trickling down, but it hasn't been pleasant---N. Pelosi

    by Russycle on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 01:38:10 PM PDT

  •  How will the next GOP President expand this spying (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    program against Americans?

    Because you know (s)he will ..

  •  Anonymous hacked NSA and may disrupt it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    episty, shaharazade, aliasalias

    "Oh, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Lee is going to do..... Go back to your command, and try to think what are we going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do." Grant

    by shigeru on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 02:43:13 PM PDT

  •  All Merkley had to do was ask Intel Committee (0+ / 0-)
  •  Judicial "oversight" (0+ / 0-)

    Obama talks about FISA court's "judicial oversight." What's the name of the judge on that court, Magoo?

    Eli Stephens
    Left I on the News
    "Stand Up, Fight Back!"

    by elishastephens on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 03:10:20 PM PDT

  •  part of the defense... (0+ / 0-)

    Part of the president's defense is that this program was enacted by folks that "we" elected.  

    But "we" is not the entire populace; as seen in the last election, more votes were cast for Democratic candidates than for Republican candidates to represent us in the House, but somehow "we" is not the majority; it is an off-kilter group skewed by gerrymandering.  

    And many Republicans that were elected have engaged in unanticipated ways, moving in lock-step instead of thinking independently or representing their constituents.  

    The Republican voters who would not consider voting for a Democrat -- and the Democratic voters who would not consider voting for a Republican -- were forced to choose less-than-ideal, less-than-trustworthy candidates selected by the party.  

    Because of the part that money plays in modern elections, there is no way for unknown, unbought-and-paid-for, average citizens to represent the populace; instead there are only pre-approved choices.  

    The president must come up with a new defense; the  candidates who were elected do not have the voters' interests, cares or intentions in mind.  

  •  so the generation who puts all ther private life (0+ / 0-)

    on Facebook and Youtube; and texts, tweets and talks non-stop & obnoxiously in public on their cell phones is worried about privacy?

  •  It is important to listen to exactly what Obama (0+ / 0-)


    I have transcribed Obama’s comments from Friday 6/7/2013 after repeated listening on cspan.

    Quoting Obama from today, 6/72013:  “when it comes to telephone calls, nobody is listening to your telephone calls…

    “What the intelligence community is doing is looking at phone numbers, and durations of calls, they are not looking at people’s names, and they are not looking at content,  but by sifting through this so called meta data they may identify potential leads with respect to folks who might engage in terrorism if the intelligence community then wants to actually listen to a phone call they have to go back to a Federal judge, just like they would in a criminal investigation, so I I I want to be very clear (bs on hype of last few days) nobody is listening to the content of phone calls,….

    “… if anybody in government wanted to go beyond that top line data and listen to Jackie Colm’s  phone call they would have to go back to a Federal judge…and, and, and indicate why they were doing further probing.”

    It is very important to listen very carefully to what he said.  He said if they wanted to go back and listen to the class they had to go to a Federal judge.  The only way to go back and listen to a phone call is IF IT IS ALREADY RECORDED.  This is what they are doing.  They be only initially looking at “meta data” but they are recording a lot more.  Could they record every call?  Seems impossible to me, but they are recording some so they can go back and listen if they get a secret court to issue a secret ruling that they can.  Consider the deliberate use of “further probing” in the second quote above.  Not further investigation, but “probing.”  Probing into what they already have.  I think a lot of the hesitation in Obama’s remarks was the result of realizing that he was going too far and hoping that people would hear what they wanted to hear, that a secret warrant from a secret court was necessary to BEGIN recording your calls, when it is only to listen to what they already have.  

  •  I have standing (0+ / 0-)

    I am a Verizon subscriber.  I got my first cell phone 6 months ago.  I am 55 years old.  My ex-wife and my children have had cell phones for years.  But, I never wanted one.  I didn’t like the feeling of anyone getting ahold of me at anytime. Finally, my daughter convinced me, and I got an I phone 5.  All things considered, having one has been a net plus.  Until yesterday.

    The confiscation of my cell phone records by the President of the United States is a violation of my rights as a citizen.  I claim that this is a violation of my rights according to the 4th amendment.

    The President has claimed that he has the right to my cell phone records because my cell phone records are part of an ongoing investigation regarding potential terrorists.

    I, and the Constitution, disagree.  


    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.

    I claim that is is unreasonable for The President to search my cell phone records, as part of a terrorist investigation.  I am not a terrorist, I don’t know any terrorists, I would never plan to do anything bad at all to anybody.  

    Therefore, I demand to see the “probable cause” that compelled the President to confiscate my cell phone records.

  •  Thanks for the link to Jennifer Hoelzer's article: (0+ / 0-)

    "What You Should Know About the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)"  

    But I don't understand the connection between

    --collecting data on all of our domestic phone calls


    --foreign intelligence surveillance.

    The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

    by DSPS owl on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 05:25:00 PM PDT

  •  I just got an email (5+ / 0-)

    from my Rep., Earl Blumenauer.  I'll paste it in its entirety because he raises another important issue (I'll put in bold) -- how this data collection may be making the country less secure.  

    Recent reports documenting the collection of Verizon customer telephone records by the National Security Administration are disturbing, but certainly not surprising. Programs like this have been a concern since they were authorized in the Patriot Act in 2001. This is one of the reasons I have voted against that legislation every time it has come to the floor for reauthorization.

    While the White House has explained that the order does not allow the government to listen in to anyone’s conversations, and asserted the program has been valuable in protecting the nation from terrorist threats, I remain dubious about its effectiveness. As of last October, 4.92 million federal employees and contractors had access to secret information, which is larger than the entire population of Los Angeles. I am concerned that the amount of information being reviewed by the intelligence community and number of people involved may actually be making us less safe.

    I urge Congress to use this controversy, and the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2013 which will soon head to the floor for debate, as an opportunity to reevaluate methods of domestic surveillance, the growing size of the intelligence bureaucracy, and reiterate the importance of maintaining the privacy and civil liberties of American citizens.

    Earl Blumenauer
    Member of Congress

    Thank you, Joan, for this post.  

    You can order Pootie Pads here. Pooties love them!

    by Sara R on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 05:43:42 PM PDT

  •  I smell a bipartisan piece of legislation coming (0+ / 0-)

    1) From the Republicans, who would like nothing better that to take Obama down a couple of notches;
    2) From the Democrats, who rightly think that this is a serious overstepping of power.

    If both sides are serious, it might even be a veto-proof majority.

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