Total Pageviews

Friday, June 7, 2013

Another Day…Another Fake Scandal

132143 600 Beating a Dead Horse cartoons

If you are a conservative Republican, and you are just now hearing about the government's ability to collect your telephone calls, email and  Internet activity; call yourself uninformed.  If you're a fire-breathing   liberal who is disappointed with President Obama for continuing  the use of data mining procedures that were really started  way back in 1978; then you’ve had your head in the sand for five years. If you’re a tin- foil libertarian like Rand Paul  and think that these procedures violate the 4th Amendment, then you have to make a case of what constitutes" unreasonable search and seizure” in today’s world.

It's a good thing that I take my blood pressure pills first thing in the morning before I turn on “Morning Joe.” I don't know if  people like Joe Scarborough and Bill O’Reilly are really that dumb or they are just playing a role to increase their ratings.  I remember when all the talking heads of Fox News wanted to charge the New York Times with treason for publishing the first stories about the  Bush Administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program called NSA.  This morning Joe Scarborough stood with the New York Times because they wrote that President Obama lost all is credibility on this issue.  Joe tried to make a case that legislators had no idea all this was in the Patriot Act, and that's where stupidity comes in for O’Reilly and Scarborough. Bill O’Reilly tried to say that the Obama Administration would use this information to go after conservatives, as if if a respected judge would sign off on that.

The Patriot Act allows the government to monitor library books that are checked out;purchases and much more but congressman fear losing an election if they vote against the Patriot Act.  Joe Scarborough is trying to redeem himself because he supported the Iraq war and torture.  Today, he's trying to say that Obama is to the right of George W. Bush but as someone on the panel said" Obama didn’t invade a country nor did he torture anyone.” One important difference between Bush and Obama is transparency. President Bush had to be dragged from his illegal acts to something more reasonable.

I certainly knew that the telecoms were cooperating with the government, and I also know that the telecoms wanted and received immunity for doing so. I can’t remember if I blogged about it, but I remember reading where the government was asking Apple to leave a backdoor open for the government to tie into their software.

For all of those who say that you don't mind that the government has access to all your communication; I don't believe that. We all lock our doors at night ,use passwords and some of us refuse to use Facebook. I also know that some people don’t mind what the police or government is able to obtain because their life is an open book.

There is another side to this issue, and I'm sure the president has considered it.  If we were to get attacked again the president's detractors would point to this program and say, “ you had the ability to keep us safe by using this electronic surveillance, but you chose not to; shameful you should be impeached.”  Some people are calling for a national debate, but that’s like closing the gates after the cows got out. I don’t see the government getting rid of these programs, but perhaps they can leave all those phone numbers on the carrier’s servers until they get the proper warrants to access them. In the meantime, we will be hearing Rand Paul and others baying at the moon but what have they’ve got to lose since they will never be president.

We finally got a dose of reality but it took six IRS hearings  to get there. A congressman explained the intent of the original law to the  new appointed IRS Commissioner that got to the heart of the matter. The congressman explained and the commissioner agreed that  Congress makes law and the IRS writes the regulations but they must match the law. The congressman said “ remove the word “primarily” and leave  in“exclusively” from the regs to make it comply with the original law.” This took the Republicans by surprise because now the applications that were approved will have to be rescinded if the commissioner acts.

This issue is about trust. President Bush and Dick Cheney took our civil liberties to a different level in the name of security, and we allowed it. We didn’t hold our legislators feet to the fire because fewer taxes and smaller government were the primary goals. We then elected President Obama, who said he would rein in the Bush policies, but we remained silent when he doubled the troops in Afghanistan and now some are shocked because he is using the same intrusive tactics as the previous administration. Truth is, if Rand Paul (Lord help us) were elected president, he would be continuing this program because of the consequences of  completely canceling this program. After the Boston bombing, many on the right were going after the FBI for not digging into the suspect’s life before the bombing. The FBI was following the law. Some were even angry about the city of Boston being locked down by the police. I have no doubt that this issue will make its way into a campaign against Obamacare.

Important to note that the government is not listening to your phone calls, and the Internet surveillance applies to foreign sources, but we have to remember ,the government can get a warrant (without your permission) to wiretap your phone, so we are already threading an acceptable thin line anyway.


Mike said...

I wonder why the pundits aren't asking questions about the recent leaker.

I would ask..Why now?

The leaker gave the Guardian a Power Point presentation of very classified material.

1. Is it a disgruntled employee who's tired of the secret spying on American citizens?
2. Is it a patriot who thinks we keep to recapture our morals and restore our civil liberties?
3. Is it political?
4. Is it the media retaliating?

I'm sure there is more to come but I've run out who and why.

Legion said...

Besides being part of the Patriot Act, this is nothing new at all.

"Menwith Hill Station was opened by the British War Office in 1954 and leased to the United States.

In 1966 the National Security Agency took on responsibility for the U.S. operation of the site, expanding the capabilities to monitor international leased line communications transiting through Britain.

In 3 November 1999 the BBC reported that they had confirmation from the Australian Government of the existence of a powerful "global spying network" codenamed Echelon, that can eavesdrop on every single phone call, fax or e-mail, anywhere on the planet" with Britain and the United States as the chief protagonists. They confirmed that Menwith Hill was "linked directly to the headquarters of the US National Security Agency (NSA) at Fort Mead in Maryland."[13]"

Mike said...

Thanks for the good info.

Echelon was not well known but I remeber it being mentioned after NYT published the NSA secret warrantless wiretapping.

I remember a 2006 Frontline Special about an ATT warehouse where the govt. installed a splitter to make a copy of all incoming calls.

This leak was about a signed warrant.

Edward Snowden will be arrested if he ever comes back to the states;govt has no choice.

People give Amazon,Google,Facebook,etc...their digital footprint everyday.