Monday, June 10, 2013
Wrong Questions….Wrong Answers
The Sunday talks wanted to know what this would do to Obama’s poll numbers and to the confidence in government. The partisans of the right brought in the IRS scandals just to keep the fire of distrust and hatred going. I will discuss the vanishing IRS scandal later in the blog.
I really want to know how a person who was released by the Army while still in basic training because of the injuries he sustained, got into the CIA. How was Edward Snowden, a three-month contract employee with a GED able to analyze secret documents for NSA? Three-month employment is about the right amount of time it takes to make a good cup of coffee and make copies of unclassified material. I don’t know why Edward Snowden wanted to work for NSA when he hated the intrusions by our government on peoples lives since at least 2008 .He was so upset at our government that he voted for Ron Paul. How ironic,Mr. Snowden is upset at our government so he moves to Hong Kong.
The person at Booz Allan (contract firm for NSA) who does the hiring should be fired. In fact, Booz Allan should be thoroughly investigated. You would have thought after Bradley Manning, the government wouldn’t let low-level employees have access to classified material. Silly me,why should I be surprised? The more we investigate the armed services for sexual misconduct;the more they appear to be surprised it’s happening.
The more I learn about PRISM and the NSA phone number gathering, the more I’m convinced that both sides are lying. If NSA is storing 3 billion phone numbers a day for future use(maybe); then what they are doing is no different than what the private sector telecoms are doing.I don’t think the government is getting their money’s worth because they can only cite two terrorist’s plots that were averted, using this program. The terrorist who plan to do us harm, know they are being monitored, so it’s highly unlikely that they will be caught using this needle-in-the-haystack method. What we don't know how well the software is in tracking behavior patterns of the owners of the phone numbers that we choose to legally track. I think it’s more of a futuristic program with enormous possibilities.
The people opposing the methods being used by NSA have an uphill battle because they cannot prove that the government is doing anything illegal because, as the chart indicates, the FISA court has approved of their actions except for one in 1999. That's not to say that the government is innocent because I still remember when the FBI director, the Atty. Gen and others threaten to quit over what they said was the overreaching of the then NSA surveillance program. The Bush administration made changes to the program to something those officials could sign off on. Rand Paul said he is starting a class action suit against the government but I suspect that is just one more of his boisterous threats that never see the light of day. Rand Paul is a legend in his own mind.
I no longer feel sorry for those politicians who say they had no idea of what was going on. If a three year contract employee for Booz Allan knew, then it wasn’t that difficult. That brings me back to the time when only six senators went to view Iraq’s WMD contradicting evidence.
Fox News,as they normally do,turned the NSA story into the Benghazi/FBI scandal. Chris Wallace tried to get Michael Hayden to say something negative about President Obama but he was blind sided a couple of times by Hayden.
Transcript of yesterday’s Fox News Sunday:
WALLACE: Let me ask you about Obama and I promise, Senator Johnson, I'm going to bring you back in after this final question. Back in 2006, Senator Obama voted against your nomination to be CIA director because of your involvement in government programs,
From what you know and I understand you've been on the outside, how much has he changed? He expanded, restricted these government surveillance programs that he inherited.
HAYDEN: In terms of surveillance?
HAYDEN: Expanded in volume, changed the legal grounding for them a little bit, put it more under congressional authorization rather than the president's Article II powers and added a bit more oversight.
But in terms of what NSA is doing, there is incredible continuity between the two presidents.
On Benghazi talking points:
WALLACE: General Hayden, I want on to ask you about another aspect of the Benghazi attack because you would have a first hand from your experience and that's the talking point and the whole process involving the talking points.
HAYDEN: Oh, the most unusual, Chris, is that CIA was writing the talking points.
Look, on a good Sunday morning on the talk shows, you get policy talk. On most Sunday mornings you get political talk. Neither of those are intelligence talk. So, why is the intelligence organization writing when the page is blank?
The way this should happen, Chris, is it's a policy guise. Right now, what it is they want to reveal to the American people and they send it up river for the CIA -- not to be flip here -- to check the spelling and the facts.
Look, al Qaeda, terrorist, extremist -- those are all words that we use to accurately describe what happened there. But each one of them is freighted with political cargo. Why do you put the intelligence organization in the role of deciding which of those words to use?
The other bombshell was delivered about the IRS so-called scandal.
“The top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is calling attention to evidence that seemingly contradicts the claims from congressional Republicans that the IRS targeting of conservative groups originated in Washington, D.C.
In a letter to committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., highlights the testimony of an IRS manager in Cincinnati who oversaw the screening process for tax-exempt groups. In his testimony, the IRS manager, who identifies himself as a "conservative Republican," told committee staff members that he had no reason to believe the White House was involved in the targeting scandal, and that he did not believe the targeting was motivated by a political bias against conservatives.”
I don’t expect the scandals to go away because the GOP will try to feed the propaganda to their constituents because the economy is improving leaving them with no other alternative.