Why Obama’s Dubious Promise To End NSA Surveillance Is Meaningless
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DESCRIPTIONPresident has broken virtually every promise hes ever made Barack Obama will call for an end to the NSAs warrantless collection of telephone metadata of Americans during a speech today, but his words will be completely meaningless given that the president has broken virtually every promise hes ever made. A senior White House administration official told the agency that Obama will on Friday call for an end to the National Security Agencys collection of phone data from millions of US citizens in a highly-anticipated speech at the Justice Department, reports RT.
Why Obamas Dubious Promise To End NSA Surveillance Is MeaninglessPaul Joseph WatsonInfowars.comJanuary 17, 2014
President has broken virtually every promise hes ever made Barack Obama will call for an end to the NSAs warrantless collection of telephone metadata of Americans during a speech today, but his words will be completely meaningless given that the president has broken virtually every promise hes ever made. A senior White House administration official told the agency that Obama will on Friday call for an end to the National Security Agencys collection of phone data from millions of US citizens in a highly-anticipated speech at the Justice Department, reports RT.According to the report, the NSAs framework will remain largely unchanged and Obama will propose only modest changes to its activity, meaning that the vast majority of blanket NSA warrantless spying, which according to whistleblower William Binney includes analyzing conversations in real time, will continue unchallenged.However, even Obamas limited gesture to end NSA collection of metadata must be taken with a huge pinch of salt. Just take a look at five major promises Obama has made (we could list dozens) that have proven to be nothing but hot air.- We will revisit the Patriot Act and overturn unconstitutional executive decisions issued during the past eight years.Obama not only approved the extension of expiring Patriot Act provisions back in 2011 but subsequently signed off on the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA. He also recently vowed topursue his increasingly unpopular political agenda using executive orders.- If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care
plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.This infamous Obamacare promise turned out to be complete baloney. In October, White House spokesman Jay Carney was forced to admit that many Americans would not be able to keep their doctorunder Obamacare, with experts putting the figure at anything up to 80 per cent who would see their existing plans canceled.- We will close the detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, the location of so many of the worst constitutional abuses in recent years.Obama not only failed to close Guantanamo Bay, two years after coming to office he expanded its use.- My administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government.Far from encouraging openness in government, Obama has overseen a war on transparency and whistleblowers which is unparalleled in U.S. history. Obama has presided over an administration that has been nothing but intolerant of dissent at every level, deliberately targeting prominent critics of his policies and his prosecution of national security issues tactics that have created a chilling effect by intimidating other whistleblowers and dissenters from publicly airing their concerns.- The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.Obama soon changed his tune on this when it came to the attack on Libya. After receiving criticism for launching air strikes without Congressional approval, Obama arrogantly responded, I dont even have to get to the Constitutional question.These are just a handful of the innumerable promises that Obama has broken. To believe he has any interest in ending warrantless NSA surveillance is woefully naive and merely another act to create the perception of transparency when his administration has in fact pursued the exact opposite at every turn.
Americas Spies Want Edward Snowden DeadBenny JohnsonBuzzFeedJanuary 17, 2014
I would love to put a bullet in his head, one Pentagon official told BuzzFeed. The NSA leaker is enemy No. 1 among those inside the intelligence world. Edward Snowden has made some dangerous enemies. As the American intelligence community struggles to contain the public damage done by the former National Security Agency contractors revelations of mass domestic spying, intelligence operators have continued to seethe in very personal terms against the 30-year-old whistle-blower.In a world where I would not be restricted from killing an American, I personally would go and kill him myself, a current NSA analyst told BuzzFeed. A lot of people share this sentiment. I would love to put a bullet in his head, one Pentagon official, a former special forces officer, said bluntly. I do not take pleasure in taking another human beings life, having to do it in uniform, but he issingle-handedly the greatest traitor in American history. That violent hostility lies just beneath the surface of the domestic debate over NSA spying is still ongoing. Some members of Congress have hailed Snowden as a whistle-blower, the New York Times has called for clemency, and pundits regularly defend his actions on Sunday talk shows. In intelligence community circles, Snowden is considered a nothing short of a traitor in wartime.His name is cursed every day over here, a defense contractor told BuzzFeed, speaking from an overseas intelligence collections base. Most everyone I talk to says he needs to be tried and hung, forget the trial and just hang him.One Army intelligence officer even offered BuzzFeed a chillingly detailed fantasy.I think if we had the chance, we would end it very quickly, he said. Just casually walking on the streets of Moscow, coming back from buying his groceries. Going back to his flat and he is casually
poked by a passerby. He thinks nothing of it at the time starts to feel a little woozy and thinks its a parasite from the local water. He goes home very innocently and next thing you know he dies in the shower.There is no indication that the United States has sought to take vengeance on Snowden, who is living inan undisclosed location in Russia without visible security measures, according to a recent Washington Post interview. And the intelligence operators who spoke to BuzzFeed on the condition of anonymity did not say they expected anyone to act on their desire for revenge. But their mood is widespread, people who regularly work with the intelligence community said.These guys are emoting how pissed they are, Peter Singer, a cyber-security expert at the Brookings Institute. Do you think people at the NSA would put a statue of him out front?The degree to which Snowdens revelations have damaged intelligence operations are also being debated. Shawn Turner, a spokesman for the director of national intelligence, recently called the leaks unnecessarily and extremely damaging to the United States and the intelligence communitys national security efforts, and the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Dutch Ruppersberger said terrorists have been changing their methods because of the leaks. Snowdens defenders dismiss those concerns as overblown, and the government has not pointed to specific incidents to bear out the claims.On the ground, intelligence workers certainly say the damage has been done. The NSA officer complained that his sources had become useless. The Army intelligence officer said the revelations had increased his blindness.I do my work in a combat zone so now I have to see the effects of a Snowden in a combat zone. It willnot be pretty, he said.And while government officials have a long record of overstating the damage from leaks, some specificconsequences seem logical.By [Snowden] showing who our collections partners were, the terrorists have dropped those carriers and email addresses, the DOD official said. We cant find them because he released that data. Their electronic signature is gone.
Obama Furthers Military-Industrial Complex On The Anniversary Of Eisenhowers WarningMike MasnickTechDirtJanuary 17, 2014
from the sad dept Fifty three years ago today, President Dwight Eisenhower gave his famous speech warning of the military-industrial complex. Its quite a speech, and well worth reading, listening to or watching. But, the famous lines are the ones that still rings true today:
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential forthe disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
The White House claims that its a mere coincidence that President Obama has chosen the anniversary of that speech to give his speech, outlining what are expected to be merely cosmetic reforms to the NSAs surveillance efforts, still convinced that even if the programs are incredibly broad and powerful, that its okay since he wont abuse them.The folks over at EFF have put together scorecard of NSA reforms that the President should announce. You can play along at home and check off which ones the president actually supports, but I wouldnt rush to sharpen your pencils. Youre not going to see too many checked boxes on this chart.
Eisenhower noted that a true leader is focused on thegoals of a free society, understanding technologicalchange, and the influence of corporate interests, butkeeping focused on the larger goal of protectingfreedom:
It is the task of statesmanship to mold, tobalance, and to integrate these and otherforces, new and old, within the principles ofour democratic system ever aiming towardthe supreme goals of our free society.
The current president would do well to reread and tothink about Eisenhow