Obama and NSA

So Obama says that it’s time to end the War on Terror yet keeps expanding the NSA powers in the same breath?

Have you noticed how he always uses this neat little trick: says something that will melt every Liberal heart in matter of seconds and while everybody adores him for his brave words and swoons over his beautiful speeches, he does something that shows his actual intentions to be the exact opposite of the declared ones?

And here is what I really dig. When Bush Jr. did exactly what Obama is doing but to a lesser extent and defended this course of action publicly and openly, everybody hated him. We are not as quick to hate Obama, though, because he always says what we want to hear. So what does this mean? Do we hate Bush for. . . being honest? Politicians can do whatever they want as long as they are smart enough to put a pretty spin on their actions?

Just think about it. “Let’s start the War on Terror!” means expanded powers for the NSA. “Let’s stop the War on Terror!” means even more expanded powers for the NSA. The only real, tangible difference between the two is that the latter offers more powers to the NSA.  Still, some idiots are celebrating the end of the War on Terror. Only last night I saw an article in The Nation where a journalist was taking this declaration on Obama’s part seriously.

20 thoughts on “Obama and NSA

  1. So saw this one coming. When he was first running for office, and it wasn’t clear who the front runners were in the Democratic primary, he had some very strong words about these sort of surveillance issues. Since he was constitutional scholar, I had high hopes for his promises. As soon as he became a front runner for the party, he totally changed his tune. Being “practical” in this manner was also totally in line with his tenure at the Harvard Law Review (said his past colleagues in some interviews I watched), and I knew from then on out he was not going to be nearly as disruptive to status quo as he claimed to be.

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    1. Did you see those groups of lemmings on Twitter who are creating “Why care about the NSA if you have nothing to hide?” memes? How can one explain to them that caring about their rights makes sense even if at this specific moment they experience no direct discomfort from the rights being violated?

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  2. Clarissa suggests,

    When Bush Jr. did exactly what Obama is doing but to a lesser extent and defended this course of action publicly and openly, everybody hated him. We are not as quick to hate Obama, though, because he always says what we want to hear. So what does this mean? Do we hate Bush for. . . being honest? Politicians can do whatever they want as long as they are smart enough to put a pretty spin on their actions?

    Those strike me as good questions to which the answers should be obvious. Auden’s poem about the death of W.B. Yeats initially included these verses:

    Time that is intolerant
    Of the brave and the innocent,
    And indifferent in a week
    To a beautiful physique,

    Worships language and forgives
    Everyone by whom it lives;
    Pardons cowardice, conceit,
    Lays its honours at their feet.

    Later deleted from his poem, those verses remain no less true now than when Auden wrote them.

    President Obama does “live” by using words in ways that please his admirers. Often they make little if any sense, and have little if any substance, should one take to trouble to analyze them. Most usually don’t and only a usually few do. However, upsets over apparently abusive governmental snooping recently struck some of the more astute observers, including the ACLU.

    Stop Watching Us., which includes Internet groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mozilla, reddit, and the American Civil Liberties Union, has created a website for Americans to sign a petition expressing concern and calling for a special congressional committee to investigate the National Security Agency’s and Federal Bureau of Investigation’s phone and online data collection programs. The group has the backing of the conservative group Freedom Works and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

    Perhaps there may be at least a glimmer of hope out there in the generally deep and impenetrable swamp of good sounding words.

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    1. “Perhaps there may be at least a glimmer of hope out there in the generally deep and impenetrable swamp of good sounding words.”

      – There are so many people who believe the NSA’s actions are perfectly fine that I find it hard to preserve that glimmer of hope. 😦

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    1. “The American people can now have a debate about whether or not they consent to that level of surveillance in order to prevent terrorist attacks, a debate that we were previously denied by the government’s unwillingness to disclose even the broad outlines of what the NSA was doing.”

      – Yay! A debate! Why have any rights when you can have a debate instead!

      “Here’s the basic point. In the online world, essentially everything we do is always being archived and searched by the companies that provide us access. There was a time when we might have asked whether those companies should be barred from using that behavioural information for commercial purposes, but that ship sailed long ago. The question we’re asking now is whether the government should be allowed to gain access to those private search archives for national security purposes. The government isn’t spying on us; Google is spying on us, and the government is asking Google for certain results.”

      – What an idiot, seriously. Is it news to him that there is this pesky piece of paper called “the Constitution”? And that this pesky piece of paper regulates the relationships between the government and the citizens? And that this relationship is different from that between regular citizens, whether they choose to work in commerce or not?

      Stupid lemming.

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      1. “A debate! Why have any rights when you can have a debate instead!”

        At least we have a debate…if someone is so naïve to the point of not knowing that fact before.

        “Here’s the basic point. In the online world, essentially everything we do is always being archived and searched by the companies that provide us access. There was a time when we might have asked whether those companies should be barred from using that behavioural information for commercial purposes, but that ship sailed long ago. The question we’re asking now is whether the government should be allowed to gain access to those private search archives for national security purposes. The government isn’t spying on us; Google is spying on us, and the government is asking Google for certain results.”

        This paragraph is a raving lunacy.

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  3. Of course he is ending the war on terror After all, it isn’t smart to have a war on two fronts. He just to spread ever more peace, this time not to other countries but to America ! Isn’t that wonderful ?
    I am sure everyone will be happy. Maybe he’ll even make some more happy camps ? Where everyone could enjoy a hearty meal, many talks and exercises !
    Happiness is mandatory. Being non-happy is treason and a sign of a serious mental illness.
    USA is a wonderful, modern example of salami tactics. Step by step your government is dismantling every restraint, all the checks and balances that are supposed to protect the citizenry. Patriot Act, expanding NSA, CIA and other agencies given power strangely similar to infamous troikas.
    Of course, somebody can argue that all these powers are used to fight the bad guys. Remember this: from the Bolscheviks Old Guard many, many people admitted to being spies, enemies of the People etc. Once you give up certain freedoms you won’t see them anymore, because government will fight to the last man for the power it obtained.
    Wow, that was longer than I planned it to be 🙂

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    1. There are shockingly few bad guys who have been caught as a result of all these invasions of privacy. I’m not really sure there have been any. Yet everybody seems so content to be “protected” from I’m-not-sure-what-exactly by all these measures.

      Terrorists! Big, scary terrorists are coming for all of us right now!

      One has got to be all kinds of stupid to keep buying this line.

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  4. No, that some will be prepared when the governments potentially decide to take another approach. If you study history on any level you know it wouldn’t be the first time power corrupts.

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      1. To be honest, in a confrontation with an oppressive state the gun can help the citizen with only one thing: dying with some dignity,or at least not in the torture chamber.

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