As of this moment, Obama is making the case that the US government is not eavesdropping on phone calls. Specifically, he said “nobody is listening to your phone calls – they are just looking at phone numbers and duration of calls” and concluded that the NSA was only engaged in “modest encroachments.” It was unclear if that clarification was meant to put to rest fears that Big Brother has made personal a thing of the past. He further went on to add that the telephone surveillance program is fully vetted by Congress and supervised by the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA). In other words: Obama is making the case that the NSA’s Big Brother supervision is perfectly legal and not only that, there are checks and balances and neither the telephonic snooping nor the internet supervision is anything to be concerned about. There is one problem: Obama is lying.
Back in April 2009, three months into the Obama regime, none other than the NSA admitted it has overstepped its legal boundaries. As the NYT reported: “The National Security Agency intercepted private e-mail messages and phone calls of Americans in recent months on a scale that went beyond the broad legal limits established by Congress last year, government officials said in recent interviews. “
Several intelligence officials, as well as lawyers briefed about the matter, said the N.S.A. had been engaged in “overcollection” of domestic communications of Americans. They described the practice as significant and systemic, although one official said it was believed to have been unintentional.
The Justice Department, in response to inquiries from The New York Times, acknowledged Wednesday night that there had been problems with the N.S.A. surveillance operation, but said they had been resolved.
As part of a periodic review of the agency’s activities, the department “detected issues that raised concerns,” it said. Justice Department officials then “took comprehensive steps to correct the situation and bring the program into compliance” with the law and court orders, the statement said. It added that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. went to the national security court to seek a renewal of the surveillance program only after new safeguards were put in place.
The same Eric Holder who is currently being investigated for perjury before congress. As for “compliance” 4 years later it seems nothing has changed.
As for Obama’s clear conscience:
The legal and operational problems surrounding the N.S.A.’s surveillance activities have come under scrutiny from the Obama administration, Congressional intelligence committees and a secret national security court, said the intelligence officials, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because N.S.A. activities are classified. Classified government briefings have been held in recent weeks in response to a brewing controversy that some officials worry could damage the credibility of legitimate intelligence-gathering efforts.
Well thank god the most transparent administration held classified briefings to discuss the biggest government espionage program ever conceived. One may have gotten ideas otherwise…
Finally, on Obama’s pinky swear that it is only foreigners’ emails and iMessages that are being intercepted, turns out he is lying here too:
In recent weeks, the eavesdropping agency notified members of the Congressional intelligence committees that it had encountered operational and legal problems in complying with the new wiretapping law, Congressional officials said.
Officials would not discuss details of the overcollection problem because it involves classified intelligence-gathering techniques. But the issue appears focused in part on technical problems in the N.S.A.’s ability at times to distinguish between communications inside the United States and those overseas as it uses its access to American telecommunications companies’ fiber-optic lines and its own spy satellites to intercept millions of calls and e-mail messages.
And so on.
In short: what difference does it make – it is only the stripping of the most fundamental rights of US citizens! And how else can you build a totalitarian government if you don’t give up some freedoms – good heavens, one can’t ask the poor president to provide 100% security without experiencing some “inconvenience” and handing over a little . Or a lot.
In the end, let’s not forget what really matters: the NSA spying program is from the government, and it is here to help you.
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Finally, here is Matt Damon explaining why he wouldn’t work for the NSA: