Jerry Holbert cartoon via Townhall
Glenn Greenwald, a columnist on civil liberties and US national security issues for the Guardian, spoke with Piers Morgan last night on the top secret PRISM program that has direct access to servers of firms including Google, Facebook and Apple.
Greenwald told Piers Morgan the Obama administration “has been very aggressive about bullying and threatening anybody” who thinks about exposing the program.
“When it comes to telephone calls, every member of Congress has been briefed on this program,” Obama said. “With respect to all these programs, the relevant intelligence committees are fully briefed on these programs.”
According to Merkley, he wasn’t briefed on anything. If I understand him correctly, he’s claiming that he knew in vague terms that NSA was sweeping up lots of data but (a) he discovered the breadth of the phone-records data-mining only because he sought out details on that and (b) he had no idea whatsoever about PRISM. (He’s not a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, though.) Why is PRISM, which seems to be far more intrusive than the phone-records program, being hidden from rank-and-file congressmen if the telephone data-mining isn’t? And why wasn’t Merkley briefed even on the phone-records harvesting? It’s hard to sell a “trust your government” argument when senators with civil-liberties concerns are being kept in the dark. Obama lied, NSA spied?
Baby I’m sorry I got so mad at you. Words were said, and they can’t be taken back, but they can be softened.
As you probably know by now, the New York Times decided they had indeed overplayed their hand, and decided to refund most of Obama’s credibility by stealth-editing their harsh judgment into “The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue.”Apparently they still think he’s entirely credible when he says things like, “If you like your health-care plan, you can keep your plan.”
I think you and John are right about the pantomime nature of all this – I call it “Fifty Shades of Grey Lady” – but it’s somewhat significant that Obama’s loyal lapdogs feel the need to stage this little snit at all.
I’m not sure it’s significant at all. Christopher Hitchens noted that after 9/11, terrorist-apologists would say things like, “Of course what happened on 9/11 was bad, but we can’t get all emotional about this.”
John Hayward, The Conversation: Obama demands your trust, dissidents:
Barack Obama has become a cartoon caricature of himself. Every time he opens his mouth, he sounds more creepy and totalitarian. Hillary Clinton famously said “it takes a village to raise a child.” Obama checked us all into The Village from “The Prisoner.” We’re surrounded by penny-farthing bicycles and statues with cameras for eyes.
How does the Maximum Leader decide to address all this? By holding another lie-filled press conference to tout his disastrous health care plan, and planting a question with a friendly reporter who used the only “question” allowed at the event to let him read a prepared statement about the NSA controversy – kind of like the way Lois Lerner kicked off the IRS scandal. (For bonus fun, he kicked the whole production off by dissolving into a stammering mess because his prepared remarks weren’t handy, and he didn’t have a teleprompter.)
The first thing he does with the NSA story is drag out a straw man, telling that oh-so-helpful reporter that nobody was listening to her phone calls. No one ever suggested that. The phone data mining concerns the date, time, and location of calls, not the content of the conversations. It’s not comforting that a President under fire for obfuscation and deception immediately pulled out a talking point as phony as the Great Benghazi Video Protest.
Me, The Conversation: Obama: If We Can’t Trust Government, We’re Going To Have Some Problems:
So Obama tells us in the wake of Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS, EPA, AP/James Rosen and now NSA scandals, if we can’t trust our government – we’re going to have some problems.
I have a question. If the NSA is spying on every single American “to keep us safe”, why have they done such a shabby job of it?
After the Patriot Act was put into place following 9/11, there were no more successful terrorist attacks on American soil. Not until Obama came into office.
Obama’s “warped and distorted” interpretation of the Patriot Act has expanded it – leading to the indiscriminate collection of everyone’s phone records and online activity.
Yet if the information gathering is designed to find patterns of phone calls and suspicious online behavior in order to prevent terrorist attacks, why did Obama’s NSA fail to prevent so many terrorist attacks on American soil?
WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Two Internal Revenue Service agents working in the agency’s Cincinnati office say higher-ups in Washington directed the targeting of conservative political groups when they applied for tax-exempt status, a contention that directly contradicts claims made by the agency since the scandal erupted last month.
A veteran member of the U.S. Army Band said he is facing retribution and punishment from the military for having anti-Obama bumper stickers on his car, reading books written by conservative authors like Mark Levin and David Limbaugh, and serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at his promotion party.
Master Sgt. Nathan Sommers, a 25-year Army veteran and conservative Christian based at Fort Myer in Washington, believes his outspoken opposition to gay marriage prompted higher-ups to take a closer look at his beliefs. The recipient of an Army Commendation Medal and a soloist at the funeral of former First Lady Betty Ford, Sommers said his core beliefs are enough to mark a soldier for persecution in today’s military.
“It seems like with the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – that the Christians have been the ones who’ve had to go underground and in the closet – for fear of retaliation and reprisals,” Sommers told Fox News. “Christians feel like they can’t be forthright with their faith. They have to hide.”
Ret. Navy Commander John Bennett Wells is representing the master sergeant. He said there is no doubt in his mind that the U.S. military is discriminating against Christians – and specifically his client.
“There’s no question about it,“ Wells told Fox News. “Because he is religious, because he feels that homosexual conduct is wrong for religious reasons, he is basically being persecuted.”
Jeff Sessions: Gang Of Eight Bill Offers Immediate Amnesty While Weakening Future Immigration Enforcement:
“If you have amnesty, if you have illegality of millions of people, what are we going to do to ensure it doesn’t happen in the future?… The standards of current law with regard to what ought to be done—requirements in current federal law—are being weakened, some of them eviscerated by this bill.”