About This Blog
That's what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) thinks about revelations that the government is spying on nearly all Americans. His exact words were "Right now I think everyone should just calm down and understand that this isn't anything that is brand new, it's been going on for some seven years..."
What a relief, eh ? I'm having a problem seeing how the knowledge that the government has been spying on us for years is supposed to be calming. It's having just the opposite effect on me.
You know things are getting bad when even the New York Times (aka, A Liberal Democrat's Best Friend), says President Obama has "lost all credibility". I'm glad the Times is finally catching on to what I've known for years, that Obama is a hack politician, a master prevaricator who says one thing while doing another. I want you to consider a couple Obama utterances. The first one comes from Sen. Obama the 2008 presidential campaigner:
"I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining the Constitution and our freedom. That means no more illegal wiretapping ... [spying] on citizens ... tracking citizens who do nothing but protest... No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. ... The law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers ... justice is not arbitrary. [Bush] acts like violating civil liberties is the way to enhance our security... The first thing I will do, when I am president, is call in my attorney general and ... review every executive order issued by George Bush to determine which of those have undermined civil liberties, which are unconstitutional, and I will reverse them with a stroke of a pen."
This sounds all lofty and righteous, but has Obama upheld these goals as President ? Nope. This is the President who re-authorized the Bush Patriot Act when it's sunset provisions were about to kick in. This is the President whose NSA collects the cell phone records of hundreds of millions of Americans. This is the President whose IRS improperly targeted political opponents. This is the President whose Justice Department spied on the phone records of journalists, and accused one journalist of being a co-conspirator in crime for doing his job. This is the President whose BATF ran guns to Mexican drug cartels. This is the President who has used drones to assassinate American citizens. This is the President whose NSA, under a secret program called PRISM, spies on your internet data. Here are some details of PRISM, from WaPo:
The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post...PRISM was launched from the ashes of President George W. Bush’s secret program of warrantless domestic surveillance in 2007, after news media disclosures, lawsuits and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court forced the president to look for new authority.
Congress obliged with the Protect America Act in 2007 and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which immunized private companies that cooperated voluntarily with U.S. intelligence collection.
Aministration officials say this program is a critical anti-terrorism tool, but Houston, we have a problem:
Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), who had classified knowledge of the program as members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, were unable to speak of it when they warned in a Dec. 27, 2012, floor debate that the FISA Amendments Act had what both of them called a “back-door search loophole” for the content of innocent Americans who were swept up in a search for someone else.
“As it is written, there is nothing to prohibit the intelligence community from searching through a pile of communications, which may have been incidentally or accidentally been collected without a warrant, to deliberately search for the phone calls or e-mails of specific Americans,” Udall said.
How many Americans have had their internet data scooped up and collected by the government ? The government won't say. It's classified, you see.
Despite campaigner Obama's 2008 pretense to stop government overrerach into civil liberties, all he has done is expand it. He expanded the drone program. He expanded the NSA spy programs. He assassinates American terrorist suspects (waterboarding is tame by comparison). He signed ObamaCare into law, forcing us all into HIS idea of health care rather than our own. I could provide numerous other examples of Obama government expansion, but suffice it to say he is a constant advocate for a larger and more intrusive government.
We have also learned that previous administration claims that the IRS targeting of conservative groups were the actions of a few local rogue IRS employees, are falling apart. Local IRS agents say their actions were directed by Washington:
...two agents in the IRS's Cincinnati office say they believe their work was being closely monitored by higher-ups in Washington. One agent, Elizabeth Hofacre, complained to investigators that she was being micromanaged by Washington when she processed applications for tax-exempt status by tea party groups, according to a transcript of her interview with investigators.
Her interview suggests a long trail of emails that could support her claim.
"It was demeaning," Hofacre said. "One of the criteria is to work independently and do research and make decisions based on your experience and education, whereas on this case, I had no autonomy at all through the process."
Gary Muthert, an IRS agent there, said his local supervisor told him in March 2010 to check the applications for tax-exempt status to see how many were from groups with "tea party" in their names. The supervisor's name was blacked out in the transcript.
"He told me that Washington, D.C., wanted some cases," Muthert said of his supervisor.
Hofacre, who also works in the Cincinnati office, told investigators she was in charge of processing applications from tea party groups — once they were selected by other agents — from April 2010 to October 2010. Hofacre said her supervisor in Cincinnati, whose name was blacked out in the transcript, told her to handle the applications.
But, she said, an IRS lawyer in Washington, Carter Hull, micromanaged her work and ultimately delayed the processing of applications by tea party groups.
Oops. I can hardly wait to hear what spin White House Press Secretary Jay Carney comes up with for these revelations.
All this leads me to the second Obama quote, which he said in front of Ohio State University graduates a couple weeks ago:
"You've grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that's at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices".
Sure Barry, whatever you say. We Americans should reject those crazy voices warning us of tyranny...even though our civil rights are disappearing right in front of our eyes, the government engages in political discrimination against it's enemies, and the government is taking over another 1/5th of the economy. That's the ticket.