June 10, 2013

"If the NSA leak is a bid by Obama to gain sympathy, it's working."

Says Meade, just now. (Note to Althouse blog outsiders: Meade is my husband. He doesn't blog. He's a commenter. Sometimes he comments in the comments here, sometimes over at Isthmus, and sometimes not on the Internet at all, but on what we call the Neighborhoodnet, at least in the summer, when the windows are open and voices carry.)

We've been speculating about Obama's possible complicity in leaking the NSA story. To participate in this conspiracy theorizing — come on, you know you want to — you need to come up with reasons why Obama and his people would see a benefit to his political interests in releasing this story. We know that in the post-Benghazi period, the administration has dropped scandals on top of scandals. The IRS scandal was dumped on top of Benghazi, distractingly.

But letting out a national security secret? That's something that should never have come out, as opposed to something that was going to come out eventually (where the decision would be when — not whether — to let it out).

But the NSA program is also different in that — unlike Benghazi, IRS, etc. — it wasn't a screwup. It was quite intentional, and it's something they can and will defend. We're not going to hear the usual statements about doing a thorough investigation into how something like that could have happened and the need, going forward, to insure that it never happens again. It's an opportunity to talk about competence. This scandal/"scandal" requires us to focus on the most serious duty of government — national security — and a program that is carefully planned and implemented and (apparently) completely legal.

Now, libertarians and lefties are enraged, and we've been hearing a lot from them in the last few days. Consider whether this is just what Obama wants. Get Rand Paul over there with Glenn Greenwald and his crowd. Let them blow off steam. Meanwhile, the moderates, including many moderate conservatives, are gravitating toward Obama. The left and right extreme are peeling off together, going to their happy place where the fear of foreign terrorists goes numb when Our Own Government threatens Our Liberty.

But the vast middle is coalescing... around Obama... just as planned.

Discuss!

139 comments:

madAsHell said...

The audacity of incompetence.

Mark O said...

JFK. It was the mob, from the sewer, with the candlestick.

The NSA disclosure crosses political lines. The fact that it is "legal" makes it worse.

betamax3000 said...

Barbie Gets Up the Duff Dream Palace of Fecund Ecstasy Robot says:

I Have No Time to Concern Myself With Such Things: I Am Preoccupied with the Alien Being Spying on Me From Within My Own Body.

Colonel Angus said...

But the vast middle is coalescing... around Obama... just as planned

So the vast middle is ok with government survelience of the citizenry?

Well ok then.

BarrySanders20 said...

Still hoping for competence from Barry? I doubt he or his minions had anything to do with this. If any coalescence is happening it is purely coincidental.
But it's hard to see how this helps Barry. It is contrary to everything his credulous supporters purport to hold dear. Other than the power to the state of course.

So sympathy for the devil? No way.

Strelnikov said...

Nothing in his background or behavior would indicate he's that smart. Quite the contrary. It sounds like you're engaging in the same type of self-contradictory thinking the Left did when Bush was in office. (i.e., "He's a complete idiot! AND and evil genius!")

Phil 3:14 said...

Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

Jourtegrity said...

The fact that it came from the Guardian is all you need to know. Leaking leakers and the leaks that they get others to leak for their benefit. An Obama trick going back to the "kill list" (wow what a great commander-in-chief!)

Matthew Sablan said...

That matters. Did the president learn about this from the news like the rest of us?

Astro said...

But the vast middle is coalescing... around Obama... just as planned.

I've not seen any evidence of that except from the usual Obama sycophants.

SteveR said...

The majority aren't paying attention, they aren't on one side or in the middle. They don't know FISA or NSA or PRISM. Sit in your car in a shopping center parking lot and watch. They aren't taking sides or picking winners in Washington.

Scott M said...

I don't think this administration, which by all markers looks to actually be as incompetent as they appear, are capable of pulling off something like this on purpose.

RecChief said...

what is the evidence that the moderates are coalescing around Obama in sympathy. I see your assertion, but what is there in support of this?

rhhardin said...

It won't work if it confuses women.

Some other narrative that doesn't confuse women will take over again.

The MSM will go with that.

Ambrose said...

It is all a distraction to allow immigration amnesty to sneak through.

elkh1 said...

But letting out a national security secret?

Stuxnet, that "gutsy"...

Meade said...

betamax3000 said...
"Barbie Gets Up the Duff Dream Palace of Fecund Ecstasy Robot says:

I Have No Time to Concern Myself With Such Things: I Am Preoccupied with the Alien Being Spying on Me From Within My Own Body."

We have met the enemy and they are our alien spawn.

Jay said...

But the vast middle is coalescing... around Obama.

Right.

I guess because your husband made an off hand comment to you, this is true.

Or something.

ricpic said...

Moderate conservatives are flocking to Obama?

Why should we discuss whatever cockamamie fiction pops into your head?

edutcher said...

You guys need to lay off the apricot brandy.

I'm sure the vast middle of the US of A just loves the idea of some government snoop going through who bought what through the Althouse Portal (and what they bought elsewhere), not to mention all those phone calls and emails,

Reminiscent of what the Riddler said, "For if knowledge is power, then a GOD AM *I*!".

EDH said...

My first thought was the NSA leak was Obama scandal "squid ink".

But the IRS targeting scandal impugns the motives of the administration on a practical implementation level.

Even if the program is necessary for national security, can the administration be trusted to carry it out?

Will Cate said...

"moderates, including many moderate conservatives, are gravitating toward Obama"

I don't think this is actually happening.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I do not believe that the IRS business (I mean the "targeting" of conservative groups, organizations with scary stuff like "teaching the Constitution" in their mission statements, &c., not the fantastically expensive "hey, let's do some Star Trek skits!" junkets) was a "screwup" at all. The more you look at the thing, the more deliberate it appears.

AllenS said...

No. Obama isn't capable of accomplishing anything on his own. If you meant people in the administration, maybe, but I doubt it. Obama doesn't like to be bothered. Someone might ask him a question, and like always, he won't have a fucking clue.

John Vaci said...

Obama is not a "vast middle" kind of a guy, rather, he slices and dices and speaks to the outcast straw people that he creates. Most of his problems result from his "auto-pilot" style of non-management. If you're working for Obama all you get is a compass direction...that's it. In this particular case the the NSA compass vector is; "no embarrassing foreign policy debacles." How you get there is your problem and if you want a promotion JUST GET US THERE. Absent leadership guidance, the end justifies the means and the moral compass is not needed along the journey. This style of leadership is not by accident, it is designed to keep the leaders hands clean...and sometimes backfires.

ricpic said...

A more interesting topic for discussion would be: when someone on your neighborhoodnet leans out her window and wails that she's short a cup of sugar how does Meadhouse respond? Magnanimously? Or do you slam your windows shut and dance around the house singing "We've got sugar and you don't, nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah"...?

Tibore said...

"Get Rand Paul over there with Glenn Greenwald and his crowd. Let them blow off steam. Meanwhile, the moderates, including many moderate conservatives, are gravitating toward Obama."

Folks, I think some of us here are misreading the bolded part. I don't take that as Althouse saying this is happening. I believe (correct me if I'm wrong, professor), she's saying that if there's a conspiracy to obsfucate via scandal news then the goal would be to get moderates to rally around Obama.

In short, she's not making an assertion, she's stating the logical conclusion of a conditional statement.

Anyway, to respond in that vein: If there was such a conspiracy (disclaimer: I do not believe that in the slightest), then that would be a hideous misreading of the US citizenry. It would take someone seriously isolated from just life in general to misread a populace that badly.

Clyde said...

"But the vast middle is coalescing... around Obama..."

Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?!

I've been paying attention, and it makes my support for Obama and his henchmen drop from zero into negative numbers.

Robert Cook said...

The idea that Obama wanted the NSA snooping leaked or that he was in any way complicit in it is ludicrous on its face, as is the idea that this will garner "sympathy" for Obama. The revelation of this snooping just reconfirms he is just as lawless and heedless of his proper role as have been most of his predecessors in office.

dreams said...

Whatever, our descent continues or if you prefer, our transformation continues.

khesanh0802 said...

@Steve R has it right. This is too esoteric to get traction except at the fringes.

On the other hand the IRS trail is beginning to lead to Washington and we ALL hate the IRS.

tola'at sfarim said...

It gives him time to prep a speech where he can enlighten us with his lincolnesque prose. Maybe discuss how due to how our constitution was shredded back in the dark bush days, he has to walk it back and its a fine line etc etc etc. The press will fall over itself in praise and nothing will have changed

Mogget said...

LOL, ricpic. Your question is easily answered, however. It's Madison , WI, and no will admit to using that devilish chemical of the oppressor elites. Weed, on the other hand...

lemondog said...

Sympathy? Not likely given all the other administration 'indiscretions.'

betamax3000 said...

Re: ""But the vast middle is coalescing... around Obama...""

I thought the Vast Middle had Coalesced around Governor Christie.

Tank said...

The vast middle, as always, is not paying attention to this and could care less.

Reason 734 why voting is overrated. Ask 100 people about this as they go into the voting booth next year, and 99 will say ... wha????

The number of people paying attention, and who think this is no big deal, is pretty scary. Frogs about to boil.

Beaver7216 said...

The NSA action is made much worse because of the IRS scandals. In Ann's recent survey about attitudes about the Bush wiretaps and Obama wiretaps I think that wiretapping is one thing but when there seems to be clear misuse of data by bureaucrats, leaks for political and personal gain, etc., and lack of any punishment for data misuse then the chilling possibilities of the NSA wiretaps became more obvious.

Tank said...

As noted at the Corner today:

“We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.”

He meant it. And when he says "enemies," he's not talking about terrorists. And if he'll use the IRS, why not your telephone/internet records?

Is this complicated?

Meade said...

Excellent reading by Tibore. As usual.

edutcher said...

betamax3000 said...

Re: ""But the vast middle is coalescing... around Obama...""

I thought the Vast Middle had Coalesced around Governor Christie.


Governor Christie IS a Vast Middle.

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

Sometimes he comments in the comments here, sometimes over at Isthmus, and sometimes not on the Internet at all, but on what we call the Neighborhoodnet, at least in the summer, when the windows are open and voices carry.)

So this is the "vast middle" of the Neighborhoodnet, in one of the nicer neighborhoods in Madison WI.

Just a tad to the Left of Pulaski TN.

Nonapod said...

I don't believe there's any "coalescing" around Obama going here. Echoing what others have sort of pointed out already, the vast middle (at this point) doesn't really care too much. Or at least I don't think these revelations have had a noticeable effect on their perceptions of Obama yet. This is mostly because they either don't fully understand what PRISM is and/or don't really believe that it could possibly ever have any serious negative impact on their day-to-day existence. All nonsense this is just sort of noise to them

Simon said...

I reject as tendentious the characterization of those on the right who object as "extreme," just as I reject the characterization of hose on the right who support it as "big government."

I am not a "big government" anything—I am in favor of small government confined to its traditional sphere of activities, and specifically a small federal government confined to its traditional and constitution sphere of activities. There is nothing about my attitude that could be described as favoring "big government," and that doesn't change simply because I would have the government be robust in carrying out its legitimate functions. And make no mistake, national defense is perhaps the very core of both traditional governmental functions generally and the federal government's mission specifically. The conservative always places tradition ahead of a priori commitment to some theoretical goal; the right to judge tradition against an idea (even one as noble-sounding as "liberty") is the distinctive claim of Liberalism, not conservatism. I would argue that there are virtually no big government conservatives, and the big government liberals are largely sitting this fight out, for reasons of their own. The split today is between conservatives and neurotic, paranoid opponents of the use of any governmental power, comprising the Glenn Beck-type libertarians (who, ironically, believe themselves to be conservatives, but who would have been unrecognizable as such forty years ago) and the Glen Greenwald-type civil liberties loonies.

I don't think that my brother Edutcher is a loony or an extremist. I think he's a libertarian (or at very least, like many these days, he's a conservative who has been unconsciously captured by libertarianism). And so I reject and quite resent the insinuation that he is an extremist and I a moderate.

JAL said...

But the vast middle is coalescing... around Obama... just as planned

Who? Who vast middle?

I am ok with surveillance, but the degree and the PRISM thingey on every resident?

I don't think so.

sydney said...

If the vast middle is gravitating to him, then they aren't paying attention. Which is probably true, because this isn't getting much play in the newspapers out here in flyover country (the vast middle.) I don't watch television news. How is it being portrayed there?

C Stanley said...

Follow the money. Who s paying for Snowden to stay in a plush Hong Kong hotel?

Misinforminimalism said...

"It's an opportunity to talk about competence."

So the argument is "sure, we're spying on you, but we're really good at it"? Great plan.

Or do you mean competence in the sense that they've been successful in mining useful information from the billions of data points they've extracted from Americans? And yet they didn't appreciate that on 9/11 an attack on a US diplomatic facility might be terrorism-related, or that the Tsarnaev brothers might've been something other than fine upstanding members of Cambridge society.

C Stanley said...

To clarify, I think the conspiracy theory posited in ths post is ludicrous. But someone must be financially backing the leaker, as he doesn't seem to have the means to be self sufficient.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Segesta said...

The vast middle of America is looking for a job.

Tank said...

Simon says:

The split today is between conservatives and neurotic, paranoid opponents of the use of any governmental power.

No. And calling us neurotic and paranoid really doesn't add any weight to the argument. There is good rational reason to be concerned about any central gov't spying on, and gathering information about, it's own citizens, who have done nothing wrong, and to be worried about what they might do with such information.

If you needed confirmation, see the current IRS scandal. But, really, who needs that. To a hammer, everything looks like a nail. You give people power over other people, they will use and misuse it. If you haven't noticed this in your life, you have not been looking (or maybe looking away). This is the nature of gov't.

Some of us are not willing to trade all of our privacy and freedom for security. And yes, liberty and freedom are pretty good words.

dreams said...

I think I would like him better if he had been a money grubber pursuing his wealth in the private sector rather than becoming wealthy while he transforms/destroys our country.

"Mr. Matthews asked. “I mean he’s raised, his whole life has been crystal clear and clean as a whistle and transparent. We know his whole life through all the great excellent education he’s had. The good pro-bono work he’s done through his life. He’s never been a money grubber. He’s never done anything wrong in his life, legally ethically, whatever."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/6/msnbcs-chris-matthews-obamas-never-done-anything-w/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS

Big Mike said...

I disagree that the "vast middle" is coalescing around Obama. I hope my instincts are right.

Strelnikov said...

"The split today is between conservatives and neurotic, paranoid opponents of the use of any governmental power."

"It's not paranoia when they are really after you." - Dr. Johnny Fever

Dust Bunny Queen said...

But the vast middle is coalescing... around Obama... just as planned

I don't think this is the case. If you look at Reddit you can see a definite sea change of opinion against the administration.

You know Reddit....founded by Aaron Swartz who was hounded by our fabulously fair justice system over releasing information.....and committed suicide.

For those of you who don't know what Reddit is....people post things and then the rest of the community votes up or down. Postings that reach the "first page" are approved or highly approved. It is a big deal to be on the first page and you get "karma points" for popular or favored posts. I believe that the community generally trends to a younger demographic, but there are many many people who participate.

Previously, the community has been ANTI anything conservative, religious or Republican. Those post were always on the front page. You should have seen the amounts of ANTI Romney articles that were upvoted. HOWEVER, since this NSA thing, the community is in an uproar against Obama, against the NSA, against this invasion of privacy and big brother type monitoring and FOR the whistle blowers. The top posts are all about this topic.....that and cute kittens.

It is a pretty dramatic change. The young and connected people ARE paying attention to this and they are not happy. Just wait until they see what Obamacare is going to do to them.

AprilApple said...

The IRS scandal is huge. Not just the targeting of Jews and conservatives and tea party tax payers - but the lavish 50 million tax payer funded parties.

We are going to truth the corrupt IRS(D) with our health care? Really?

Strelnikov said...

"I thought the Vast Middle had Coalesced around Governor Christie."

Thread winner.

Meade said...

ricpic said...
A more interesting topic for discussion would be: when someone on your neighborhoodnet leans out her window and wails that she's short a cup of sugar how does Meadhouse respond? Magnanimously? Or do you slam your windows shut and dance around the house singing "We've got sugar and you don't, nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah"...?

Heh. Actually, Meadhouse has no sugar to give. Instead, I'd lean out my window and wail back: "Copies of Gary Taubes' Why We Get Fat are on the front porch. Help yourselves!"

Nonapod said...

DBQ - I wouldn't exactly characterize the regular posters on Reddit as the "vast middle". They represent a subsection of a mostly younger, middle class, liberal, web and social media savy demographic.

Simon said...

khesanh0802 said...
"This is too esoteric to get traction except at the fringes. On the other hand the IRS trail is beginning to lead to Washington and we ALL hate the IRS."

I agree. The IRS thing is a real scandal, and if these revelations have any long-term effect, they will be of a "deep background" character, helping to frame a narrative about the administration

edutcher said...

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

Father of, "You're not paranoid and they are out to get you".

dbp said...

1. I'm not sure this NSA story helps the administration, but it might.

2. I doubt Obama is smart enough to have a) thought of leaking this for political gain, or b) could have engineered a safe way to do it.

3. If the president did arrange this leak, that would be a huge scandal and possibly an impeachable offense.

MadisonMan said...

"I thought the Vast Middle had Coalesced around Governor Christie."

A thread winner, I agree, but a little too easy.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Nanopod

Yes... I did say that if you read my post.

viator said...

Good thinking. These days you have to think like a Byzantine or resident of Versailles.

Simon said...

Strelnikov said...
"[Simon said that the] split today is between conservatives and neurotic, paranoid opponents of the use of any governmental power. 'It's not paranoia when they are really after you.' - Dr. Johnny Fever"

And that is why, if you're Al Queda, you're not being paranoid. If you're a libertarian, you are. The government is not after the libertarians. To be sure, the IRS thing is a real scandal; I'm not dismissing it. Unlike "fast and furious," benghazi, and all the other trivial faux-scandals that we've cooked up to hurl at the administration, the IRS is a real scandal. But only in America, I must say, could we say that the instrument of government oppression is delaying an organization's exemption from reasonable and normal taxation! Soviet Russia it ain't.

edutcher said...

Simon said...

This is too esoteric to get traction except at the fringes. On the other hand the IRS trail is beginning to lead to Washington and we ALL hate the IRS.

I agree. The IRS thing is a real scandal, and if these revelations have any long-term effect, they will be of a "deep background" character, helping to frame a narrative about the administration


You really think that, that people don't mind the idea of somebody going through communications containing their most intimate feelings, loves, hates, anything they buy.

It's too esoteric (khe, I'm not jumping on you, just disagreeing) for people to get worked up about?

Consider the possibilities.

How many ways can you spell "blackmail"?

C Stanley said...

I would think that public of knowledge of this will hurt him with the younger generation, who are very dependent on social networking and all of the other forms of communication that are affected. It's true that they've already perhaps been numbed to privacy issues since they let a lot hang out there, but having a natonal debate about what the govt could do with all of that data could definitely open their eyes. A real opening for Rand Paul, if he's able to capitalize on it.

JohnJ said...

“…you need to come up with reasons why Obama and his people would see a benefit to his political interests in releasing this (NSA) story.”

Simply put, they believe Obama ultimately can win the security debate. It might take some phony public displays of his supposed agonizing over the proper balance of national security and individual freedom, but I think they know that a majority will accept fairly severe intrusions on privacy in return for a presumed higher level of security. How else do you explain Obama’s almost jaunty invitation to take up the debate?

Now, contrast the NSA story with the IRS scandal, which virtually everyone sees as a politicized agency of the Federal Government turning on its citizens. IRS can be devastating to the Administration precisely because it appears so consistent with Obama’s hyper-partisan governing style.

My guess is that we’ll see a great deal of phony hand-wringing over NSA, which might even lead to a few minor tweaks of the Patriot Act. Meanwhile, the Obama Team is closely watching the clock on the IRS scandal hoping that NSA and several more celebrity events may get them home free.

traditionalguy said...

It is all the Progressive's version of border security...the border they are building to keep us inside and silent.

Jay said...

Unlike "fast and furious," benghazi, and all the other trivial faux-scandals that we've cooked up

Anyone who thinks the Administration lying about the reason an Ambassador was killed in order to win an election is a "faux scandal" is not to be taken seriously.

Saint Croix said...

The NSA disclosure crosses political lines

That's true, but to my mind the big divide is between

people paying attention

and

low information voters

People paying attention (on the right) distrusted Obama from the beginning. People paying attention (on the left) distrust Obama now.

Obama's only support comes from people who aren't paying attention. That was critical in 2012, but isn't important at all now. And Obama has no coattails.

Christy said...

Am I the only one, deep down in the bottom of my soul, convinced that Obama doesn't give a damn about protecting the America we love?

Now I must confront the fact that he has gone to such extremes to keep us safe. Does this not move me closer to him?

Maybe it would if I trusted him to use this power for Good, but I do not. Recent revelations have only confirmed the character flaw revealed by his first successful run for office. Remember he went after the sealed divorce records of his opponent. (Funny enough, said opponent's ex's character on the canceled Body of Proof was running for office this season.)

Anyhow, the IRS situation is enough to remove the benefit of doubt. I wouldn't be surprised to learn he listened in on those he deemed terrorists. You know, TEA Partiers, gun owners .... OK, maybe that's a bit much, but his political opponents? Wouldn't be surprised.

viator said...

Two fresh ones today:

1) Insider-trading probe of Medicare announcement reveals hundreds of HHS employees had secret info

2) State Department covered up misconduct, interfered with IG probes

I'm not sure this is helping the O'Democrats

Kathy Hutchins said...

"The vast middle of America is looking for a job."

I hear there's an opening at Booz Allen.

Robert Cook said...

"...someone must be financially backing the leaker, as he doesn't seem to have the means to be self sufficient."

Given Snowden's reported $200,000.00 salary, I'd say he probably can cover his hotel bill.

Simon said...

edutcher said...
"You really think that, that people don't mind the idea of somebody going through communications containing their most intimate feelings, loves, hates, anything they buy. It's too esoteric (khe, I'm not jumping on you, just disagreeing) for people to get worked up about? Consider the possibilities. How many ways can you spell 'blackmail'?"

I just don't think that people will care. We'll see polls in a few days, and my bet is that the vast majority approves of the program because they (rightly) approve of the program's end and (wrongly) don't think that it affects them personally. (Every sunday before service, in every church in America, there is an announcement "please turn off your cell phones," and every sunday during service, in every church in America, there is some asshole who heard that announcement to say "everybody except Holli, please turn off your cell phones." We have an amazing incapacity to translate general instructions to personal directives.) And even among those who do understand that, yes, To be sure, there are some people who believe that the government is out to get them, but I think that most people, presented with the idea that the government could blackmail them, just find that idea laughable. What the hell would the government blackmail me for?! They may be wrong. I'll stipulate for sake of argument that the government is actually a malignant force hellbent on enslaving the population. But the vast majority of the population thinks that that's paranoid nonsense, and it's their beliefs, not the facts, that will form the basis of their reaction to the program.

pm317 said...

I have already said in one of the many threads that this was a win win for Obama.

pm317 said...

I have already said in one of the many threads that this was a win win for Obama.

Simon said...

Christy said...
"Am I the only one, deep down in the bottom of my soul, convinced that Obama doesn't give a damn about protecting the America we love?"

Obama wants to fundamentally change America. He's told us so. In this regard, he doesn't give a damn about the America we love—or at most, he wants it to be a better version of itself. (Try dating a girl and telling her that she's a fixer-upper, and you just want her to be the best possible version of herself—see what happens. Wear a cup.) But he certainly doesn't want America to be attacked by terrorists! He wants a more modern version of America, a more socialized version of it; how can you modernize the city of Baltimore if terrorists have reduced it to a smoking hole in the ground? How can you socialize the city of New York when terrorists have unleashed a biological contaminant that has left it unfit for any human purpose besides being turned into a giant supermax? Obama has no love for America as we know it, but that doesn't mean that he wants to see it attacked by its enemies.

edutcher said...

Simon said...

You really think that, that people don't mind the idea of somebody going through communications containing their most intimate feelings, loves, hates, anything they buy. It's too esoteric (khe, I'm not jumping on you, just disagreeing) for people to get worked up about? Consider the possibilities. How many ways can you spell 'blackmail'?

I just don't think that people will care. We'll see polls in a few days, and my bet is that the vast majority approves of the program because they (rightly) approve of the program's end and (wrongly) don't think that it affects them personally.


I have to disagree.

At best, 1/4 of the American people thought enough of Choom to vote for him. The rest clearly don't love him - and probably don't trust him.

And we know the polls have been given their orders.

JohnJ said...

…you need to come up with reasons why Obama and his people would see a benefit to his political interests in releasing this (NSA) story.

Simply put, they believe Obama ultimately can win the security debate.


Not with this kind of incompetence.

Again, you have all this data and you couldn't stop the Baaston bombing?

Bruce Hayden said...

Not sure why it would get Obama sympathy. Its his government that is doing it, and he nominated or appointed the people overseeing it. But, then, the issue is the low information voters, who obviously don't think things through, or they wouldn't have reelected him (or, indeed, have elected him in the first place). Still, I am bothered a bit by the asssumption that our freedome was bargained away for some subway station in NYC, and that we somehow agree with thata bargain.

Still, there is a decent chance that the NSA stuff is over blown. They are vacuuming up evertyhing that they can think of and get their hands on, but maybe, according to the former CIA director with my last name, all that information is not data mined until the intelligence community has a specific foreign intelligence query, and it is done under strict FISA minimization rules and subject to FISC oversight and warrants. He made a pretty good argument why it would be in our national self-interest in security to archive such so that it would be available for the data mining, if needed.

Of course, there are strict policies and laws that supposedly prevent release of IRS data, and, ultimatelly, they were apparently breached for political purposes.

If the Administration thought that they could distract the American public from the IRS (and Benghazi) scandals with the NSA data archiving, then I think that they may have made a strategic error. The problem is that the conservatives are likely more worried about the IRS and Benghazi scandals than the NSA one, because the other two reinforce their fears of Obama and his Administration and supporters. My prediction right now is that despite the Dems trying to redeploy Obama's successful GOTV operation (coincidentaillly involving a lot of data mining), that the Republicans are going to pick up seats in the House, maybe retake the Senate, and probably take some state legislaters in the 2014 election, and that a good part of that is the reenergization of the Tea Party Movement. They now have even more proof that the immense power given the federal government is dangerous, and that the Dems, when entrusted with that power will use it mercilessly against their political opponents. And, those who got disheartened about their lack of effect will see that that is partly, at least, as a result of this misuse of the government against them.

Bruce Hayden said...

Maybe I should be a bit more clear. I think that we are talking two overlapping groups of voters here. On the one hand, you have the vast middle, maybe represented by any polls that may show Obama recovering a bit, and on the other hand, you have the Tea Party members and conservatives, whom, I would suggest think that Benghazi and the IRS showed how bad Obama, the Dems, and the huge federal government that they run are, and the NSA stuff just makes this worse. I don't see the NSA stuff decreasing their intensity, but maybe the interest of those who might not vote anyway.

Howard said...

1) What the NSA reveal does is make Obama look more like Bush. It's much easier for a democrat to govern like a conservative than it is for a republican. I know it's not fair, but there it is: we live in the bull$hit universe, not the magic fairy universe. Net benefit to Obama

2) It puts the IRS and news investigation issues to the back burner, so a net benefit to Obama

3) Now that it is in the open, it will be "modified" (so they will say) in increase civil liberty protections (uh huh). This will be a benefit to Obama.

4) The democrat gun grabbing fiasco is also now forgotten, so the senate advantage gained there is slipping, which benefits Obama.

The question is was the reveal a "limited hangout"? Maybe yes, maybe no. Hopefully Bob Woodward is on the case.

Scott M said...

Governor Christie IS a Vast Middle.

"Go away, or I'll call the brute squad."

"I'm on the brute squad."

"You are the brute squad."

Methadras said...

It's just another one of his smokescreens to try and get ahead of a story. Sebelius, HHS, Urklecare implementation is the real menace here. Nothing will be done at the IRS, nothing will be done on Benghazi, nothing will be done on NSA. Those will go on. His core legacy is Urklecare and he will be damned if he lets that get touched.

edutcher said...

Howard said...

1) What the NSA reveal does is make Obama look more like Bush. It's much easier for a democrat to govern like a conservative than it is for a republican. I know it's not fair, but there it is: we live in the bull$hit universe, not the magic fairy universe. Net benefit to Obama

Like Hell.

Just as with the drones and A-stan and a lot of other things, Choom went way beyond what Dubya did and this is the biggest and worst example.

As for all the other scandals, now we know how the Choom Gang knew exactly whom to target. So this is where the scandal trail starts.

Data, intimidation, vote fraud.

Colonel Angus said...

Am I the only one who thinks it odd that a 29 year old computer geek was making $200,000 a year?

Colonel Angus said...

Not sure why it would get Obama sympathy.

I don't either. Even if one thinks Snowden is a traitor, I don't see how that translates to sympathy for Obama. If anything it reinforces the view that his administration has no control over its agencies.

edutcher said...

Colonel Angus said...

Am I the only one who thinks it odd that a 29 year old computer geek was making $200,000 a year?

Depends on what he was doing.

I was pulling down 60,000 as a programmer.

If he was dealing with classified material, it's possible.

A lot of people see computer types as the modern-day Bartleby The Scrivener (including a good many in management), but we've become indispensable and the people who forget that usually end up paying a heavy price for it.

Darcy said...

I have no idea what the vast middle is thinking. Do they think? I know that I think I'd like to give them a what fer.

geoffb said...

Perhaps what he really wants is twofold.

First to create a situation where he will be "forced" to gut the intelligence agencies. Forced by the US. Congress and we the people who will "Make him do it" and so his fingerprints will not be on this move. On the contrary all his political enemies will have their hands on the action.

Then when the inevitable neo-9/11 happens he will be in the perfect, "See I told you so" position to gut the Constitution and institute a far ranging surveillance State.

It would be a hands off, leading from behind way of operating which always works out so well for everyone else.

jr565 said...

I'm not coalescing around Obama because he was such a prat about taking the lefty/libertarian position on the NSA program, but then when becoming president actually expanded the program to be even more fascistic than Bush ever dreamed. (That would be the libertarian characterization, not mine).
If he had just said" you know, back when I was a candidate I spoke out against the NSA (and drones, and military tribunals, you get the idea), but now that I'm president I realize how vital this tool actually is, I have to admit that I was wrong. (And by extension, Bush was right)" then I would coalesce around Obama on this one issue. But he didnt so I won't.

jr565 said...

I'm not coalescing around Obama because he was such a prat about taking the lefty/libertarian position on the NSA program, but then when becoming president actually expanded the program to be even more fascistic than Bush ever dreamed. (That would be the libertarian characterization, not mine).
If he had just said" you know, back when I was a candidate I spoke out against the NSA (and drones, and military tribunals, you get the idea), but now that I'm president I realize how vital this tool actually is, I have to admit that I was wrong. (And by extension, Bush was right)" then I would coalesce around Obama on this one issue. But he didnt so I won't.

Howard said...

Edutcher:

Good point regarding Prism as being an intell source for political enemies. However, it's difficult to reach down into the bureaucracy where the rubber meets the road and make requests for specific targets... without blowback.

I give it a 20% chance of being possible.

Your point about escalation of A-stan and drones makes mine. Obama can get away with it because he is a soft, squishy libtard. It's the flip-side of Nixon going to China.

The correct pivot on Prism will blow-back onto Bush and the tea party while making Lindsey Graham and John McCain look statesmanlike.

This is a huge opportunity for Obama and the democrats if they play the awesome cards that just "fell" into their laps.

edutcher said...

Howard said...

Your point about escalation of A-stan and drones makes mine. Obama can get away with it because he is a soft, squishy libtard. It's the flip-side of Nixon going to China.

No, he's been picking up more and more flak for it. From both sides.

Nice try.

The correct pivot on Prism will blow-back onto Bush and the tea party while making Lindsey Graham and John McCain look statesmanlike.

Suure it will.

The real enemy is all those white guys.

Tom said...

Okay, Althouse, I'll bite and suggest ideas on why Obama would allow the release of the NSA programs. Following this line of thought, should we also assume he allowed the release of the Drone Kill List program. It may be some or all of these reasons:

1) The leaks show he's purposely taking terrorism seriously and that a libertarian approach would make us more week. After the Boston Bombing, the gov't must show it's doing something to prevent terrorism. Since these terrorists are hard to find, we need every record we can get our hands on, including yours, to keep the peace.

2) Because this is a purposeful program, it shows the difference between the programs Congress has Authorized and the President has ordered and a situation like the IRS targeting of liberty groups or the DOJ seizing records of journalist. (I.e., where the president is involved, things work. When the president isn't involved, rights are likely to be trampled -- so the president is the protector of our rights). Warped, I know, but this is targeted to low-information voters.

3) The administration didn't leak this but it's getting better at the response and this is a different response than to the IRS scandal. So further leaks present opportunities to improve.

4) The administration knows that at some point, Republicans and, especially libertarian minded Republicans are likely to overreach on one of these scandals -- and if they over reach on one, they'll be presumed to over reach on all of them.

5) National Security v. Privacy is an issue that divides Republicans far more than Democrats. The major arguments will be between John McCain and Rand Paul. Every Republican thinks the IRS scandal is bad. Not every Republican thinks domestic spying on US citizens is bad. So let them fight over that and, in all likelihood, one of them will say something stupid.

8) If Obama puts a stop to these program, he can be the president that slayed the Bush Surveillance State. "It was hard and we had to fight the Defense Industry Complete -- but we did it -- we ended the Bush domestic spy programs -- you know, for the children!"

9) We wanted to let the Chinese and Russians know that we know everything about them too – and start a digital arms race.

10) And finally, my last reason. This sounds an awful lot like the last James Bond Movie, Skyfall, and that Javier Bardem character was bat shit crazy. So we can make Snowden = Javier Bardem = Bat Shit Crazy. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Howard said...

Ed:

Time will tell how this plays out. At least it draws your attention from bashing gays and enabling rapists. So it might be a net-benefit to your marginalized sliver of humanity by making "you people" appear less nutty.

Aridog said...

Dumping this NSA blather, perfectly legal currently, as another Squirrel would be brilliant if Obama did it. Personally, I don't think he's all that smart. Maybe his handlers.

Why are we taking what Snowden says as gospel? Because the government doesn't deny it, or even seems to affirm it? Really? Now why would a government, or a security agency, do that instead of just stonewall?

edutcher said...

Howard said...

Time will tell how this plays out. At least it draws your attention from bashing gays and enabling rapists. So it might be a net-benefit to your marginalized sliver of humanity by making "you people" appear less nutty.

Why does Howard not surprise me in the least?

Tibore said...

"Colonel Angus said...
Am I the only one who thinks it odd that a 29 year old computer geek was making $200,000 a year?"


It definitely saddens me, because I'm a 43 year old computer geek and I'm not breaking 6 figures :( . Heck, the only ones that are in my organization either have the letters "VP" or "C-something-something" as titles.

But to answer your question: Odd, yes, but not so unusual as to doubt it. While it's true that most business and industry has started seeing developers as fungible commodities, there are still segments that have such rare or steep requirements that good coders can command steep salaries and get them. I can only guess that contractor companies for the NSA would be in one of those segments.

Tibore said...

Oh, and: Thanks Meade. :)

Colonel Angus said...

Thanks Tibore. $200k per year certainly seems like an executive level wage.

Tim said...

"But the vast middle is coalescing... around Obama... just as planned."

Citation, please.

Jay said...

Howard said...

Time will tell how this plays out. At least it draws your attention from bashing gays and enabling rapists


That is so fucking dumb it is hilarious.

Tom said...

On the 200,000 per year, it's $75,000 to program and $125,000 to keep your mouth shut.

Seriously, jobs with Booz Allen or KBR pay extremely well. In 2004, I explored a position with KBR to go to either Iraq or Afganastan and the annual salary was $250,000 and up, with 2 months off per year. Contracting positions with the government can be extremely lucrative.

mariner said...

Meade,
Heh. Actually, Meadhouse has no sugar to give. Instead, I'd lean out my window and wail back: "Copies of Gary Taubes' Why We Get Fat are on the front porch. Help yourselves!"

Strelnikov was the thread winner for less than a minute.

Well played, sir!

mariner said...

Christy,
I wouldn't be surprised to learn he listened in on those he deemed terrorists. You know, TEA Partiers, gun owners .... OK, maybe that's a bit much, but his political opponents? Wouldn't be surprised.

You're kidding right?

The Obama Administration, the Democrat Party and the Left in general often refers to TEA Partiers and gun owners as terrorists.

Tom said...

Another thing just occurred to me. The administration states that sections of the Patriot Act and other laws authorize the wide-spread collection of metadata by the NSA. And that there is a requirement of a warrant issued by the FISA court to view any content that is US based. Okay, I don't like that but at least the structure of Due Process is there... kinda.

BUT, Rand Paul's entire filibuster revolved around the killing of American Citizens (not directly engaged in combat) on US soil by a drone and focused specifically on the lack of Due Process rights.

Since the authorization for military force that created the war on terror does not formally state the theater of war, this administration has argued that that US soil can be considered part of the theater of war. And if that is the case, then why would phone and email intercepts be require any due process rights?

If someone is involved in a crime, certainly there needs to be Due Process. But we've stated that Terrorism is an act of war and that Terrorist are enemy combatants. The threshold for killing or capturing a enemy-combatant is far lower than the threshold for apprehending a criminal suspect. So, can the administration claim that yes, due process rights are in place to protect US citizens from un-warranted intrusions into phone, email, and internet records in cases where the intent is to use those records to prosecute a criminal suspect. But, if there is no intention of prosecution - as would be the case with a enemy combatant, then the it doesn't matter if due process is followed, the case is never making it into a court.

This goes back to the original sin after 9/11 -- the authorization of use of military force with no defined theater of war or sun setting of the authorization.

Ray Onnant said...

Biggest winners in all this? Bradley Manning and Assange

Pastafarian said...

This was exactly my point on another thread earlier this morning.

Obama was in deep shit on the real scandal: His intentional and illegal weaponizing of the IRS, EPA, and OSHA against his political opponents, comparatively helpless ordinary citizens.

But then this NSA leak shit came out, and so instead we're focused not on an actual crime, but on a policy dispute. And conveniently enough, the almost-universally despised policy has both Democrat and Republican fingerprints all over it.

By the time they resolve this NSA thing, low-information voters won't remember the IRS scandal, or they'll fall for the left's next tactic, conflating the two, claiming that "Booosh did it toooo."

You are all being played.

Rabel said...

Whatever else they have, both the Washington Post and the Guardian have 41 Powerpoint slides out of which each chose to release only 4 in the interests of national security.

So if Obama was involved in the leak, then he chose to release to the press information which even Glenn Greenwald considered too dangerous to print.

A quote from the Post:

"The Post sought the views of government officials about the potential harm to national security prior to publication and decided to reproduce only four of the 41 slides."

JAL said...

@ C. Stanley Follow the money. Who s paying for Snowden to stay in a plush Hong Kong hotel?

Did anyone answer this above?

The guy was pulling down $200,000 a year and doesn't look like he has a wife. Or even a dog. Bet he saved some money.

Just a girlfriend in Hawaii?

JAL said...

At 29 years old.

Baron Zemo said...

A house without sugar is a house without love.

Baron Zemo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

If we have pre-emptily made up out minds that we are not impeaching Obama despite all the scandals, missteps and half steps.

Whether Obama gains or loses sympathy is irrelevant to me.

I'm as if in another place altogether... a place beyond Obama.

Drago said...

Rabel: "The Post sought the views of government officials about the potential harm to national security prior to publication and decided to reproduce only four of the 41 slides."

If only the NYT was as "considerate" of our national security needs when they published the details of our legal tracking of terrorist money.

But then, you know, Bush is evil, etc.

Chip S. said...

Another of those familiar Meadehouse "it's so bad it's good" theories is struck down by reality :

Just 26% of Likely U.S. Voters favor the government’s secret collecting of these phone records for national security purposes regardless of whether there is any suspicion of wrongdoing.

59% opposed. 15% undecided.

Brew Master said...

The left and right extreme are peeling off together, going to their happy place where the fear of foreign terrorists goes numb when Our Own Government threatens Our Liberty.

But the vast middle is coalescing... around Obama... just as planned.


In the realm of the conspiracy theory that this was done on purpose by the Obama admin, it would be plausible if it were not done at the same time the IRS scandal was in flower.

The timing of the two however is a major disaster for government trust in general, not just political parties.

You have a full on abuse of power by the IRS (regardless of where the buck stops), as well as other agencies. Bureaucracies using the power to target unfavorable political groups is really really really bad (regardless of the politics of the group). The American public already hates the IRS, hates paying taxes (even Obama minimizes his tax burden as much as the law allows).

Now couple this fact that a hated branch of the government has ADMITTED to abusing it's power, with the revelations that the NSA is collecting data on all Americans via phone calls, emails, text messages, facebook, etc, etc, etc; now you have a full blown crises of trust.

There is just no way to spin this as good news for big government fans. It is bad all the way down.

To those of us that advocate small government, this is a 'what took you so long' moment. All of this is blatantly obvious that it happens, will happen. All power will eventually be abused. It's very simple, it has held true throughout all of the history of humanity.

And it is only going to get worse. The IRS, who admited the abuse of power, is now going to be put in charge of who pays what and how much for healthcare.

You think that is going to go over well?

Really?

Aaron Tyree said...

I would offer that Obamas public statements are damage control. Edward Snowden, who's character is about to be assassinated, is most likely the one responsible for releasing the truth about what the NSA has been doing.
This is the tip of the iceberg, and Im not even a conspiracy theorist.

Stephen A. Meigs said...

I think it is far-fetched that the center will rally around Obama. On the contrary, my feeling is that Obama's disrespect for privacy will severely damage the popularity of Obama supporters. Those who clamor tend to be the same as those who don't care about privacy, or they wouldn't be clamoring. The masses of people who are least vocal in putting forth their arguments are the very people who will be most repelled by all this. It's a testament to the stupidity of politicians, who simplistically tend to gauge political opinion by what they or their polls see and talk with, that they won't realize that the people they and their polls have never considered do uniquely believe in the importance of privacy. I predict that come voting time, these hordes will in great determined and inspired masses exit from their semi-caves or other places of hiding and vote for the candidates that most believe in privacy.

Terrye said...

This might be true. When I hear Hannity talking about Greenwald as if they were friends, I know anything is possible.

Terrye said...

This might be true. When I hear Hannity talking about Greenwald as if they were friends, I know anything is possible.

Terrye said...

This might be true. When I hear Hannity talking about Greenwald as if they were friends, I know anything is possible.

Roux said...

If Obama is looking for sympathy.... he can find it in the dictionary between "shit" and "syphilis".

Terrye said...

This might be true. When I hear Hannity talking about Greenwald as if they were friends, I know anything is possible.

Astro said...

It's a new type of sentence: the declarative conditional. Let's all have fun diagramming it.

Pastafarian said...

Chip S at 2:30: Many of those opposed to this policy are liberals, leftists, Democrats. How many of those do you suppose will vote for someone other than the Democrats in the next election because of this NSA thing?

It's an unpopular policy. Obama would rather that be on the front pages, than his high crimes and misdemeanors. He'll faux-grudgingly reverse this policy, and the IRS scandal will be yesterday's news.

khesanh0802 said...

@edutcher

The NSA business is going to go away. Do you think people who use Facebook and Twitter worry, first, about their privacy? They should.

Hell, I have been bitching at Meade for trolling the data from Amazon. No one else seems to care.

The House is going to continue to beat the IRS drum once this NSA thing settles down. It will not be pretty.

Titus said...

There are many 20 something programmers making 200k.

Many of them without any college education.

200k isn't a huge amount in a fabulous American city. Sure, it's big bucks in Mobile but not huge money on the coasts.

This guy only had a GED.

But if he was making 200k Booz Allen was charging the government around 400k for him. Multiple that by how many "IT Specialist" contractors are working for the federal government.

cf said...

Meade's notion of a sympathetic reaction to the Orwellenic NSA story has gnawed at me all day. No doubt the battalions of ready shock troops are reflexively bent in that position already.

But the smoke is getting thicker inside the fortress all of a sudden. They are coughing too much, so they have to take turns stepping out for some air.

Maybe we need to be picking them off one-by-one like they were encouraged to do to us in 2008, Get In Their Faces. While they are still disoriented  and in desperate need for a fresh take, collar them, but try not to argue. instead, lead them with Cheerful-Kindness into the high breeze and tell them what you know when you can with gentleness. Look them in the eye. Their amygdula will shiver in terror that the cardboard cutout teabagger Enemy fascist nazi cow of their conditioning is appearing before them as an old crazy hippie lady, holding them hostage in the parking lot. Like when my Husband was cornered by a good, big black gentleman obeying Obama's directive in the blockbuster video store and holding fourth for almost an hour ( corp. went bust 2010, Obama Recovery summer year 2).

Really, we CAN all do better. Maybe they need this excuse of fresh air just enough to stop & think anew.

What else we got going the next few years? Carpe diem.

Lydia said...

Chip S. said...
Another of those familiar Meadehouse "it's so bad it's good" theories is struck down by reality:

Just 26% of Likely U.S. Voters favor the government’s secret collecting of these phone records for national security purposes regardless of whether there is any suspicion of wrongdoing.

59% opposed. 15% undecided.

_______________________

Different poll, different results:

Overall, 56 percent of Americans consider the NSA accessing telephone call records of millions of Americans through secret court orders “acceptable,” while 41 percent call the practice “unacceptable.” In 2006, when news broke of the NSA’s monitoring of telephone and e-mail communications without court approval, there was a closer divide on the practice — 51 percent to 47 percent.

David R. Graham said...

"Discuss!"

Note who is embarrassed, humiliated by these "scandals." Mil, not civ. NSA is mil. CIA is civ. IRS is civ but self-reported the strong-arm on political enemies. That is, a deliberate "scandal" by regime and adherents.

Benghazi was a scandal on mil, not allowed to protect their own or a civ, who was "unfortunate" incidental damage.

Only "scandal" at CIA recently was at a mil guy. There was a civ sent up for leaking, but that was no "scandal" by LSM accounts.

LSM was called to White House following IRS "scandal" to receive the official line - treat these as scandals - which they've been putting out since, to include WaPo and Guardian in re NSA.

There's a pattern. 1980s Columbia paper hot against mil. How many CDR changes in AFG since 2009? Most in "disgrace" of some form.

What about Benghazi merits all this cover by "scandals," to suck air and brains from a lethal story? No declaration of war nor even Congressional approval. Off the books warfare. No wonder AQ+ can recruit easily. Which "religion" rep was chosen to "pray" at USA reception of the Benghazi bodies? How many national security breaches has the regime done even proudly announcing the fact? How many NYT and WaPo?

There are people who love to poke their thumb in the eye of anyone they can. Those so disposed especially relish eyeing mil, because mil tends to be loyal to their oaths and duties. Makes them desirable targets for embarrassment, humiliation by individuals of low, unrefined sensibilities.

The "middle" doesn't matter. They're dumbsquats. Only the top and the bottom matter. In every 1000 maybe 3 control the rest. "1%" is not far off. But look who's using that for propaganda against ... whom?

This is why the US Constitution aims to protect against tyranny of a minority. Majorities do not tyrannize. Only minorities do that, by deceiving majorities. They know that they do and put themselves over as majority in consequence. Cunning does work for a spell.

What this regime says it is doing is not what it is doing. Its rhetoric is propaganda, deception to keep it in power while it punishes the evil, savage United States imperialist, colonialist, up tight white devils even while extorting their support. Real fear mongers. World class fear mongers. IRS. Stockholm Syndrome. One is compelled to marvel at their efficiency at the work. "Coup."

Medved, with Bolton, on the other hand, wants to punish the leaker. He and John live inside the national security state bubble. Rush does not.

Concur, middle being around Chris Christie is thread winner.

OK, discussed.

Leit Bart said...

After reading this particular excerpt from Snowden's interview, I don't know whether to put on my tinfoil hat or crumple it up, or just plain crumble:
_________________________________

"Because even if you're not doing anything wrong you're being watched and recorded. And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude to where it's getting to the point where you don't have to have done anything wrong.

You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody even by a wrong call. And then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you've ever made, every friend you've ever discussed something with. And attack you on that basis to sort to derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer."
___________________________

http://www.policymic.com/articles/47355/edward-snowden-interview-transcript-full-text-read-the-guardian-s-entire-interview-with-the-man-who-leaked-prism

Might I dissuade you from running for public office if that weird rash -- the rash your son emailed his doctor about -- would be leaked? The 8-ball app on my smartphone says "it is decidedly so."

Show me a man free of blemish or vice and I'll show you a man who has no internet device.

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/06/your_iphone_works_for_the_secret_police.html

Dante said...

I still do not know what "Prism" is. The idea the government is monitoring every video, email, etc., sounds ridiculous to me.

So I would say the following. Very few people know what Prism actually is. I would bet it is the ability to ask for information on specific users. The idea that the government could even, at will, program corporate servers to provide the information seems highly unlikely to me.

More likely, it is a mechanism to pass information the NSA is legally entitled to by a court.

So, if everyone has this huge built up expectation of what Prism is, and it turns out to be something well within the confines of fourth amendment, people are going to think they over-reacted. And that will cast doubt on the intent and scope of the other scandals as well.

That's what I think is going on.

And that's on account of Technically the idea of monitoring even meta data, like they do with the phone company, or the kind of meta-data that Google evaluates, would be a massive task. It would also have people screaming.

When we were discussing the fifth amendment, I read up on it, and was surprised to find one reason for it was on account of Puritans in "complex" situations who had not broken the law being compelled to reveal information that could be used against them, even confused by overzealous "prosecutors" into connecting dots that weren't connected.

And if you don't think it can happen today, let's not forget the Duke Lacrosse players. Let's consider the what might be happening to Zimmerman, in which the guy has to spend exorbitant $, because the state has huge pockets. Or even what happened in Waco TX. The US government ruined lives, possibly killed innocent children, when they could easily have apprehended Koresh without a siege. They used it as an excuse, and I for one do not trust the results of the subsequent prosecutions. And what Federal agent was arrested for that calamity?

And let's not forget that other cult in TX, Yearning for Zion, where children were taken from their parents despite that there was no probable cause, nor probable danger. Check this out:

In May, 38 parents petitioned the Third Court of Appeals in Austin for a writ of mandamus to overturn the removal of 126 of the children. The court ruled that the state had not presented sufficient evidence of immediate danger to remove the children. CPS then requested that the Texas Supreme Court overturn the Appeals Court ruling. The Texas Supreme Court declined to do so, advising the trial court to order the return of the children, but to issue orders to prevent abuse of them. On June 2, the media published photos and video of parents and children returning to the ranch, and Willie Jessop announced the FLDS church would not sanction underage marriage.[5] The total cost of the raid and the ensuing litigation was reported to be upwards of $14 million.

Who can fight those deep pockets?

And the DCPS went to the TX supreme court, because they felt righteous. The difference is millions of taxpayer dollars to stick it to the largely defenseless.

I don't know whether the people at the DCPS were evil, or that Janet Reno is evil, but what I do know is that once the government wheels start moving, it's hard to stop them. Individuals can easily get ground up in the machinery, even if they have done nothing wrong.

Like the innocent children that died at Waco.

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viator said...

Pollutico agrees with Meade

"It’s a reprieve for Obama, who was taking hits in the press, from Democrats and even some Republicans for running a program they cried is too reminiscent of the George W. Bush era– a new storyline that takes the focus off Obama, even briefly.

“There are 50 new storylines, all of which lead away from Obama,” said Paul Begala, the former Bill Clinton strategist who has seen his share of political firestorms.

Snowden may even draw some of the fire away from the Obama administration’s other scandals — especially the IRS targeting of conservative groups.

“No one is more happy about this latest event than the IRS,” said former George W. Bush White House spokesman Tony Fratto. “I joked last night that they’re holding an Edward Snowden appreciation day.”

Pollutico

Unknown said...

I can't really imagine that Obama would want any of the people voting for him to listen to something coming from the libertarians and think "this makes sense!" Where as the libertarians are certainly not going to listen to the liberals and think "yes, more government is the answer."
Ultimately, the argument that the government will not limit itself to it's original intentions when taking a new power will become increasing prevalent.. as evidence bears it out.