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Thu Jan 9, 2014, 01:58 AM

Former NSA whistleblowers plead for chance to brief Obama on agency abuses

Source: RT

A group of former National Security Agency insiders who went on to become whistleblowers have written a letter to President Barack Obama, requesting a meeting with him to offer “a fuller picture” of the spy agency’s systemic problems.

The group of four intelligence specialists - William Binney, Thomas Drake, Edward Loomis and Kirk Wiebe - who worked at the NSA for “a total of 144 years, most of them at senior levels” stressed in the letter the need for Obama to address what they’ve seen as abuses that violated Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights and that have made proper, effective intelligence gathering more difficult.

“What we tell you in this Memorandum is merely the tip of the iceberg,”
the group, calling themselves the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), wrote. “We are ready – if you are – for an honest conversation. That NSA’s bulk collection is more hindrance than help in preventing terrorist attacks should be clear by now despite the false claims and dissembling.”

The group criticized the NSA for its vast data collection policies, which they say bars the agency from effectively tracking actual terror plots in advance, such as the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013...

The letter ridicules current and former intelligence community leaders like Director of National Intelligence James Clapper - for lying to Congress - and current NSA director Keith Alexander and its former chief Michael Hayden for purposely distorting the efficiency and vitality of the agency’s surveillance programs...



Read more: http://rt.com/usa/nsa-obama-whistleblowers-letter-337/

67 replies, 3198 views

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Reply Former NSA whistleblowers plead for chance to brief Obama on agency abuses (Original post)
Indi Guy Jan 2014 OP
AllyCat Jan 2014 #1
agent46 Jan 2014 #2
Demeter Jan 2014 #5
truthisfreedom Jan 2014 #8
Indi Guy Jan 2014 #10
mother earth Jan 2014 #11
840high Jan 2014 #52
agent46 Jan 2014 #13
UpInArms Jan 2014 #20
Titonwan Jan 2014 #22
tblue Jan 2014 #26
Titonwan Jan 2014 #32
woo me with science Jan 2014 #62
pangaia Jan 2014 #63
Indi Guy Jan 2014 #64
bvar22 Jan 2014 #66
sendero Jan 2014 #48
bvar22 Jan 2014 #65
ReRe Jan 2014 #3
JoeyT Jan 2014 #4
Psephos Jan 2014 #6
90-percent Jan 2014 #7
mother earth Jan 2014 #12
Indi Guy Jan 2014 #14
90-percent Jan 2014 #19
Titonwan Jan 2014 #23
BelgianMadCow Jan 2014 #31
randome Jan 2014 #17
King_Klonopin Jan 2014 #9
davidthegnome Jan 2014 #16
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2014 #21
ronnie624 Jan 2014 #24
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2014 #25
Indi Guy Jan 2014 #28
Titonwan Jan 2014 #33
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2014 #34
Titonwan Jan 2014 #38
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2014 #40
Indi Guy Jan 2014 #49
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2014 #50
Indi Guy Jan 2014 #51
ronnie624 Jan 2014 #45
neverforget Jan 2014 #41
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2014 #43
neverforget Jan 2014 #44
bvar22 Jan 2014 #67
King_Klonopin Jan 2014 #46
mitty14u2 Jan 2014 #15
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2014 #18
Indi Guy Jan 2014 #29
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2014 #30
Titonwan Jan 2014 #35
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2014 #37
Titonwan Jan 2014 #39
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2014 #42
tblue Jan 2014 #27
Titonwan Jan 2014 #36
randome Jan 2014 #47
Ash_F Jan 2014 #53
Indi Guy Jan 2014 #58
godevil10 Jan 2014 #54
christx30 Jan 2014 #55
riderinthestorm Jan 2014 #56
christx30 Jan 2014 #57
wildbilln864 Jan 2014 #59
polynomial Jan 2014 #60
Indi Guy Jan 2014 #61

Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 02:01 AM

1. Hindrance! Not making us safer but a HINDRANCE to actual work that protects people

and uncovers real threats.

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 02:07 AM

2. I doubt Obama

I doubt Obama is in any position to make a difference on this issue. I'm no longer even convinced he's interested in making a difference. He's repeatedly demonstrated he's a status quo kind of guy.

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Response to agent46 (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 02:59 AM

5. Obama's Offficial Stance on Whistleblowing

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Response to Demeter (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 04:25 AM

8. I remember a time when DU was filled with joy

That Obama was a breakthrough President. I'm ashamed of both of you.

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Response to truthisfreedom (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 08:07 AM

10. Respect not only needs to be earned...

...but must be maintained by good faith actions.

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Response to Indi Guy (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 09:17 AM

11. Absolutely! Actions speak loudly. nt

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Response to Indi Guy (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 11, 2014, 10:36 PM

52. Yes.

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Response to truthisfreedom (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 09:23 AM

13. Don't be ashamed.

Last edited Thu Jan 9, 2014, 10:12 AM - Edit history (2)

It's natural, considering how most people here believed the campaign hype.

You don't have to be ashamed for me though. I grew up in a different era. It's easier for me to spot a pitch perfect media creation in the 21st century. I grew up in the entertainment industry and understand the science of marketing image.

What I saw and mentioned repeatedly on here, was a well financed junior senator who came out of nowhere with little experience in Washington. He was a masterful public speaker who hit all the right populist notes, drawing adoring crowds worldwide. Also - sorry to have to mention this but in this age of massive media bullshit and "branding," it was obvious - he was the perfect racial blend of black and white to inspire a movement to bring in an historic "First Black President - but not too black."

My observation at the time: be careful, this man is probably a political puppet. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think so.

Obama was being aggressively marketed to the Left the way Bush had been marketed to the Right. Bush, with his obviously coached and badly delivered dumb hick, boot wearing, brush clearing, bomb the evil-doers into the stone age and let the Red White and Blue Christian God sort 'em out Cowboy character. People bought that too.

Sorry, but we don't know our public figures the way most people think we do. Knowing that, I'm loyal to progressive principles not political rock stars.

The other part of what I saw and also repeatedly posted, was that the Bush administration had orchestrated and launched a criminally corrupt new government and police apparatus that was fascist/corporatist in nature. They needed eight years to stack courts and populate state and federal agencies and governments with loyal ideologues - which they did. By the time Obama got in, this country had become an entrenched proto-fascist police state.

People who thought Obama was going to turn the ship around with bright progressive rhetoric and a firm hand were obviously not aware of many facts. And if they were, they weren't connecting the dots.

So, you really don't need to be ashamed for me. I've never participated in DU because I think it's some kind cheering section for our team. Sorry. The real world is more complicated than ESPN.

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Response to agent46 (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 10:33 AM

20. thoughtfully and nicely articulated

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Response to agent46 (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 12:18 PM

22. "First Black President - but not too black."

Ha ha! Dead on the money, your post is. I couldn't do it better if I tried. We done agent46!

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Response to agent46 (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 03:14 PM

26. You just wrote a book

Or, rather, all that an entire book need contain.

It's like there's a town flooded because its dam is riddled with thousands of small holes, plus a couple holes that are a bit bigger though only waist-high. An heroic-type figure arrives and says he's there to save the town. He plugs a small hole, or two, or ten, or even a hundred, depending how you define the word "plug." He does not touch the larger holes, even though some people believe the holes are within his reach. His heroics don't stop the flood. Not even close. The town continues to flood and the people all drown. So is our hero a hero? Depends on how you define that word, I guess.

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Response to agent46 (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 08:53 PM

32. You have my utmost respect.

"So, you really don't need to be ashamed for me. I've never participated in DU because I think it's some kind cheering section for our team. Sorry. The real world is more complicated than ESPN."
And I too am repulsed by such nativism and brand loyalty. You are rapidly becoming someone to read and understand, my wo/man. Cheers.

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Response to agent46 (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 05:24 PM

62. Now that's a great post.

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Response to agent46 (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 06:38 PM

63. Great post.

May I ask,..why did 'they' choose Obama over Hillary Clinton?

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Response to pangaia (Reply #63)

Tue Jan 14, 2014, 03:10 AM

64. If I understand the "they" you speak of...

...my guess is that the PTB may have made the calculus thet the public might be more inclined to reelect the male Obama after he backtracked on campaign promises. A woman who defaulted might have looked weaker; and whether not she would have been overtly targeted in this sexist way -- the perception would likely have made her reelection doubtful.

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Response to agent46 (Reply #13)

Tue Jan 14, 2014, 12:59 PM

66. Some of the more perceptive "watchers" were suggesting that at the 2004 Democratic Party Convention.

They were asking this question:
How did a State Senator without any record of achievements land such a sought after speaking position?... National Prime Time TV Coverage in front of a cheering crowd?

Most Democratic Party celebrities in the National Establishment, especially those with Presidential aspirations, would KILL for THAT kind of publicity.



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Response to truthisfreedom (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 10, 2014, 07:27 AM

48. It's just that ..

... his deeds aren't even a whispy shadow of his words. He will go down in history as someone elected at a pivotal moment who could have effected real change, but he didn't. Sorry if the truth hurts.

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Response to sendero (Reply #48)

Tue Jan 14, 2014, 12:51 PM

65. Sad... but true.

Obama's Army for “CHANGE”, Jan. 21, 2009

.....................Oh, What could have been.

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 02:48 AM

3. Great

Now let's hope he actually reads it. The audacity of hope and all....

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 02:53 AM

4. And the next time someone brings up the bullshit "Official channels"

talking point about whistle blowers, remember that this is what happens to people that are naive enough to think whistle blowing through official channels actually works.

You're reduced to begging the people in authority to listen to you, and you're only given a shot at that because whistle blowers that didn't go through the system created an opportunity for you to do it. Oh and your career is still ruined.

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 03:13 AM

6. All excellent points. n/t

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 03:23 AM

7. Here is an excellent point from the article

“The sadder reality, Mr. President, is that NSA itself had enough information to prevent 9/11, but chose to sit on it rather than share it with the FBI or CIA. We know; we were there. We were witness to the many bureaucratic indignities that made NSA at least as culpable for pre-9/11 failures as are other U.S. intelligence agencies.”

Gee, the NSA had enough evidence to prevent 9-11, but chose not to!

-90% Jimmy

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Response to 90-percent (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 09:18 AM

12. Speaks volumes with that point alone. nt

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Response to 90-percent (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 09:29 AM

14. Interesting ain't it? Given that...

...NSA MEDIA STRATEGY: When All Else Fails, Mention 9/11


There are 26 pages of talking points. We pulled some of the highlights:
    “I much prefer to be here today explaining these programs, than explaining another 9/11 event that were were not able to prevent.”

    “NSA and its partners must make sure we connect the dots so that the nation is never attacked again like it was on 9/11."

    “NSA employees are acutely aware of the importance of the 4th amendment. We are ourselves, private citizens.”

    “Public discussion of NSA’s tradecraft, or the tools that support its operations, provide insights that terrorists can and do use to hide their activities. This would be detrimental to national security.”

    “Those who wish to do us harm now know how we counter their actions; this had done irreversible harm to our nation’s security.”

    “From my perspective this is not a political debate, this is a national security issue.”

    “These programs have helped prevent over 50 terrorist events since 9/11, while also carefully protecting civil liberties and privacy of our citizens.”

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Response to Indi Guy (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 10:31 AM

19. Yeah - ironic, isn't it?

It's almost like somebody within the NSA or controlling the NSA was trying to create a New Pearl Harbor or something?

I involuntarily gave up at least three Constitutional Rights since 9-11 and all I got was this overblown national security industrial complex!

-90% Jimmy

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Response to 90-percent (Reply #19)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 12:21 PM

23. Yep

PNAC was even stupid enough to publish that in their manifesto. I know what time it is.

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Response to Titonwan (Reply #23)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 06:39 PM

31. The belgian press seems to know what time it is, as well.

after the rather shocking docu on GPS and the surveillance state, which might have had the title: Warning! Big Brother!
today we got a &,5 hour docu on the 1989 Central Park Five and the unspeakably ugly racism and framing that was going on.
So today was: Big Brother looks kinda mean. In between we got a hard-hitting docu on planned obsolecence.

Hmm are they trying to tell us something?

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Response to 90-percent (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 10:19 AM

17. And what does that have to do with Obama?

This is 2014, not 2001.

Treat your body like a machine. Your mind like a castle.

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 04:42 AM

9. Questions I would have:

Whom is being spied upon and for what reason (if any)? Is there a political motive or is it just a
right-wing, police-state, wet dream fantasy come true ?

On whose behalf are they abusing their spying privileges? The CIA ? FBI ? Glenn Beck ? The Koch Brothers ?
Or are they doing this just for the fun of it?

Who benefits from this abuse and who/what suffers (besides the 4th amendment) ?

Who is in charge of oversight ? Have they been doing their job ? Where is the DOJ in all this ?

When will the Patriot Act be reviewed and repealed ? That POS law is responsible for all this by providing
the justification and the protection from the public eye.

Doesn't this violate the oath of office to "uphold the Constitution" by any elected official ?

Do they keep records of my internet porn browser history (Oh no) ?

This is what happens when a country forfeits all its rights to have a free, democratic society.

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Response to King_Klonopin (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 10:18 AM

16. Good questions

I'd like to know the answers, too.

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Response to King_Klonopin (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 10:51 AM

21. Here, let me pose my answers ...

Whom is being spied upon and for what reason (if any)? Is there a political motive or is it just a
right-wing, police-state, wet dream fantasy come true ?

Response: If data mining is "spied upon", then everyone that communicates electronically. Political motive/RW, PS, wet dream fantasy? Probably neither, more like National security, however poorly administered and/or executed. ...

On whose behalf are they abusing their spying privileges? The CIA ? FBI ? Glenn Beck ? The Koch Brothers ?
Or are they doing this just for the fun of it?

Response: The US people, regardless of how poorly administered and/or executed.

Who benefits from this abuse and who/what suffers (besides the 4th amendment) ?

Response: Benefits ... the US people as attacks are prevented. Suffers ... the people that are aware it's happening and have something to hide, whether it be lawful or unlawful conduct.

Who is in charge of oversight ? Have they been doing their job ? Where is the DOJ in all this ?

Response: Oversight = Congress. Doing their job ... Probably, but we'll never know. DoJ ... No laws have been broken.

When will the Patriot Act be reviewed and repealed ? That POS law is responsible for all this by providing
the justification and the protection from the public eye.

Response: Reviewed ... underway, repealed ... Probably never.

Doesn't this violate the oath of office to "uphold the Constitution" by any elected official ?

Response: No ... No law has been broken and the SCOTUS ruled it constitutional ... regardless of what non-SCOTUS commentators have opined and that answers the constitutional/unconstitutional question.

Do they keep records of my internet porn browser history (Oh no) ?

Response: Probably not ... unless your porn browsing intersects with someone suspected of terrorist activity.

This is what happens when a country forfeits all its rights to have a free, democratic society.

Response: Hard to say ... despite the histrionics, it hasn't happened yet (to my knowledge).

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #21)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 02:06 PM

24. An honest examination of US foreign policy,

would be a far more effective way of reducing the threat posed by terrorism, which doesn't really threaten human society, anyway. We need to invest the resources squandered on the GWOT, into mitigating the damage done to our biosphere by burning hydrocarbons as a source of energy, which is the real threat.

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Response to ronnie624 (Reply #24)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 02:50 PM

25. I agree ...

Somewhat. We do need a honest examination of US Foreign Policy to include questioning some of our basic assumptions as to what is driving folks to be willing to blow themselves up to strike a blow against America.

But until that is done, there still remains folks out there that are willing to blow themselves up to strike a blow against America ... and as such, there remains a need to dedicate resources to prevent it.

And while the environment is A real threat, it is not THE ONLY real threat.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #25)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 04:25 PM

28. The pendulum has swung radically out of view of our Constitutionally guaranteed rights and Freedoms.

There is no balance being struck between our lawful rights and "national security." What kind of government eviscerates the rights of its people in order to keep them safe?

Is history not replete with examples of what really bad things happen after people lose their voices and live under threat of the all-seeing eye of unbridled surveillance?

Bah! The question of balance in our land has already been answered by the arrogant and disdainful actions of agencies like the NSA (they're just the tip of the iceberg). Do a little surfing & find out what the other alphabets are up to -- CIA, DEA, FBI etc. -- and how they're sharing raw data.


Pay particularly close attention to the DEA and its "Hemisphere Project":

Drug Agents Use Vast Phone Trove, Eclipsing N.S.A.’s

For at least six years, law enforcement officials working on a counternarcotics program have had routine access, using subpoenas, to an enormous AT&T database that contains the records of decades of Americans’ phone calls — parallel to but covering a far longer time than the National Security Agency’s hotly disputed collection of phone call logs.

The Hemisphere Project, a partnership between federal and local drug officials and AT&T that has not previously been reported, involves an extremely close association between the government and the telecommunications giant.

The government pays AT&T to place its employees in drug-fighting units around the country. Those employees sit alongside Drug Enforcement Administration agents and local detectives and supply them with the phone data from as far back as 1987.

The project comes to light at a time of vigorous public debate over the proper limits on government surveillance and on the relationship between government agencies and communications companies. It offers the most significant look to date at the use of such large-scale data for law enforcement, rather than for national security...
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/02/us/drug-agents-use-vast-phone-trove-eclipsing-nsas.html


Official DEA pdf synopsis, and logo of "Hemisphere Project":

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/09/02/us/hemisphere-project.html?_r=0


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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #25)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 09:06 PM

33. Thanks loyal statist man

How much you get paid for such drivel? Or better yet, do you really believe what the msm tells you how to think? I've been reading you, for awhile, and I don't like what I see.

If I had my ass droned every god damned day, I'd get an attitude right quick, too. Yeah, we DID start the fuckin' fire (h/t Billy Joel).

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Response to Titonwan (Reply #33)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 09:10 PM

34. Please place me on ignore ...

and this is your final warning.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #34)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 09:19 PM

38. Oh, believe me when I say

I have strenuously tried, but you beg rebuttal. I ain't one for yakkin', if you've seen my aggregate number of posts, but sometimes I can't help but reply. I got yer final warning...

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Response to Titonwan (Reply #38)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 09:28 PM

40. Good. n/t

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #40)

Sat Jan 11, 2014, 08:54 PM

49. I have a few comments & questions in post #28...

...that I'd like to get your take on.

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Response to Indi Guy (Reply #49)

Sat Jan 11, 2014, 09:40 PM

50. I'm on my mobile device ...

So it's difficult to post. But I think we fundamentally disagree with respect to whether there's a balance between our rights and national security. I believe there is, and has been, a balance that continues to evolve in a reasonable direction.

I'll flesh out my thoughts when I get back in town.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #50)

Sat Jan 11, 2014, 09:47 PM

51. Fair enough.

I'll be looking forward to your full response.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #25)

Fri Jan 10, 2014, 12:52 AM

45. The problem

Last edited Fri Jan 10, 2014, 01:33 PM - Edit history (1)

with promoting any aspect of the GWOT, is that when placed in the context of much bigger, more threatening issues, like the degradation of the biosphere and the dire need to develop sustainable sources of energy, as well as the dismantling of our democracy, it simply does not pass the smell test. Assessing the risk factors makes it completely illogical. The only question that needs to be asked, is: does the return in security, justify the investment of energy, resources and the loss of civil liberties? The answer is obviously, 'no'. Our government invests far less in the development of alternative energy sources, and the threat posed by the destruction of our environment as a result of burning hydrocarbons, is far greater than terrorism, by many factors. Quite clearly, the GWOT is bogus.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #21)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 09:31 PM

41. Yesterday's Eugene Robinson's column summed it up for me

In every example of thwarted attacks cited by NSA apologists, analysts searched the data for previously identified individuals or phone numbers. So why on earth does the agency need to store my phone records, and yours, when it can quickly obtain a court order instructing the phone companies to turn over information about communications involving known or suspected terrorists?

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/01/07/defining_the_nsas_role_121143.html

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Response to neverforget (Reply #41)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 09:36 PM

43. Maybe I missed the point; but ...

how did the NSA obtain and identify the previously identified individuals or phone numbers?

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #43)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 09:56 PM

44. Domestic terrorists need to be identified by the FBI and then that information can be

shared with the CIA and NSA to find the global connections. Or the NSA or CIA identify a suspected terrorist in the US and they turn that information over to the FBI.

As it stands now, the NSA collects information on everyone in the US without regard to innocence. I have nothing to hide but it's none the governments business what I am doing unless they have reason to believe that I, as an individual, am a suspect.

But Lawrence Wright, author of "The Looming Tower," a highly acclaimed book about the 9/11 attacks, argues in The New Yorker that Pauley's reasoning is flawed. Mihdhar was already on the CIA's roster of al-Qaeda suspects. The CIA knew that he had a U.S. visa and that his friend and traveling companion, another hijacker named Nawaf al-Hamzi, was in the United States.

The problem was that the CIA didn't pass along this information to the FBI, which conducts domestic terrorism investigations. An existing -- and entirely appropriate -- court order allowed the FBI to conduct basically whatever kind of surveillance it wanted on known or suspected al-Qaeda members. But the bureau wasn't told that Mihdhar was in the country.

This story illustrates what I think is the big problem with the NSA's vacuum-cleaner method of gathering intelligence. Assembling massive amounts of data may create the illusion of total awareness, but it doesn't tell you who the terrorists are or what they might be up to.


http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/01/07/defining_the_nsas_role_121143.html

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Response to neverforget (Reply #41)

Tue Jan 14, 2014, 01:23 PM

67. I'm with Joe!

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #21)

Fri Jan 10, 2014, 06:43 AM

46. Until you know exactly what they've got, anything you or I think is speculation.

My questions are those which I would pose, if there ever was a real investigation and
I could ask some of the questions.

The "for my own good and for my own protection" excuse, I suspect, is a load of crap,
That is boiler-plate, right-wing justification. Mr Snowden alludes that it is more than
that, as well.

The DOJ and Congress can investigate, and should, provided there's probable cause.
Unless, of course, they benefit from all this domestic spying (conflict of interest?)

Until the Patriot Act is repealed, as well as Citizens united, and the rigged system is
un-rigged (electronic voting, gerimandering, voter supression, lack of campaign
finance reform, useless media and news outlets) we already have lost our right to have
a democratic society. That's not histrionics, it's blatant to anyone with eyes and ears.

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 09:33 AM

15. No Warrant, No Problem: How the Government Can Get Your Digital Data



Update, Jan. 8, 2014: This post has been updated. It was originally published on Dec. 4, 2012.

The government isn't allowed to wiretap American citizens without a warrant from a judge. But there are plenty of legal ways for law enforcement, from the local sheriff to the FBI to the Internal Revenue Service, to snoop on the digital trails you create every day. Authorities can often obtain your emails and texts by going to Google or AT&T with a simple subpoena that doesn’t require showing probable cause of a crime. And recent revelations about classified National Security Agency surveillance programs show that the government is regularly sweeping up data on Americans’ telephone calls and has the capability to access emails, files, online chats and other data — all under secret oversight by a special federal court.

The breadth of and justification for the surveillance are the subjects of ongoing debate in Washington. President Obama and others have defended the programs as necessary to identify terrorists and stop attacks before they happen, but privacy advocates and several U.S. lawmakers have questioned them.
Here's a look at what the government can get from you and the legal framework behind its power:

http://www.propublica.org/special/no-warrant-no-problem-how-the-government-can-still-get-your-digital-data

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 10:31 AM

18. I suspect that ...

President Obama will meet with this group (though probably quietly), since it has been his style to hear from all (credible) sources on an issue before acting.

But that said ... they probably would have/have had a better shot to meet had they sought a back channel meeting (though I do not know they did not) ... Optics and appearances.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #18)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 04:34 PM

29. Logic dictates that...

...whistle-blowers don't blow their whistles in a vacuum. Who would hear them?

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Response to Indi Guy (Reply #29)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 05:58 PM

30. It's my understanding ...

This group has/had already "blew the whistle" ... they are seeking further audience to tell more about stuff that doesn't fall under WB.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #30)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 09:12 PM

35. Zat you, John Miller?

You sound just like that lackey on CBS who gently shoves a knife in your gullet as he politely lies to your ass. I cannot believe the lengths some sycophants go to defend this crap. I can't let this bs stand.

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Response to Titonwan (Reply #35)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 09:17 PM

37. Please place me on ignore ...

you have two responses to my posts (406 in total) and per you, I am a paid statist troll, john Miller (whoever the hell that is) and a sycophant.

Word to the wise ... don't call me out. Disagree with a thoughtful post; but don't call me names.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #37)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 09:27 PM

39. I'll call you out any time I please.

Yeah, only 409 posts (now). I'm not one to talk a lot until I have something to say. And yes, I believe you're either naive or paid as such. There is no defense of this situation we all find ourselves in. If you can't see it (or get paid to deny it) it is a problem.
I didn't join this joint yesterday.

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Response to Titonwan (Reply #39)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 09:31 PM

42. So in your kindergarten class ...

calling someone names counts as "something to say"?

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Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 03:16 PM

27. They have to "plead"?

That's what's sad.

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Response to tblue (Reply #27)

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 09:14 PM

36. You have that right.

It's almost what a serf might have to endure... oh fuck, wait.

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Response to tblue (Reply #27)

Fri Jan 10, 2014, 07:22 AM

47. You need to separate what an author chooses for a headline from reality.

Besides, it's RT. Russian propaganda.

I'm always right. When I'm wrong I admit it.
So then I'm right about being wrong.

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Response to randome (Reply #47)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 04:20 AM

53. Read the letter here. Yes it is a pleading

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #53)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 05:01 PM

58. Wow! I just finished reading the entire letter/memo to the president.

It is a scathing and thorough rebuke & repudiation of virtually everything the NSA has said to defend itself against criticism, or otherwise put itself in a favorable light.

Ordinarily I would try to synopsize the memo & boil it down to its most important points; but all the info it reveals is essential to the understanding of exactly how deplorably inept and corrupt the agency has become.

  • Those who want to know the unvarnished truth about the NSA must read this.

  • Those who want to want to counter the NSA apologists must read this.

  • Those who want to defend the NSA must read this so you'll know the truth you are up against.

    http://consortiumnews.com/2014/01/07/nsa-insiders-reveal-what-went-wrong/
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    Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

    Sun Jan 12, 2014, 11:13 AM

    54. I read once

     

    that "The Claim of National Security is often the cry of an opperssor."

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    Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

    Sun Jan 12, 2014, 11:55 AM

    55. If the President won't listen to you

    go over his head. Disclose everything to the American people. How can you go through the proper channels if the proper channels cover their ears and sing 'La la la!'?

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    Response to christx30 (Reply #55)

    Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:33 PM

    56. Well that's what Snowden did and you can see the results

    The American people ARE listening, and (now) so is Obama.

    But Snowden's passport is revoked and he'll be hunted forever.



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    Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #56)

    Sun Jan 12, 2014, 02:29 PM

    57. But things are actually happening.

    Nothing would be happening if Snowden was begging Obama to do something about it. And the American people shouldn't have to beg not to be spied upon. It should be part of not being in a Stasi controlled regime.

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    Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

    Mon Jan 13, 2014, 02:07 AM

    59. kick! n/t

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    Response to Indi Guy (Original post)

    Mon Jan 13, 2014, 05:58 AM

    60. The mainstream media

    The mainstream media does not trend the way we do. It is like a breath of fresh air to read a post from agent46 “Don’t be ashamed” was excellent with a depth in those characteristics that reveal the senses, empathy, basic observations in human community interaction.

    The responsibility in human nature needs explanations that goes beyond a one line thought. Many including myself are writing to improve that to display a penetrating thought to move and change the obvious corruption in our system.

    Reading and writing trying to ferret out the truth is not easy because a lot influence in those too big to types are here surrounding the comments. Many still want the President Obama fail, however, my critical picture of the president once in a while is there to help understand that change. President Obama stands behind the podium to proclaim change yet we all see he needs to change too. Agent46 said it very well.

    Our comments also improves the way to think and over time now shows me how cruel mainstream media is coupled with the current political theater that has driven America into a culture of fear, terror, guns, murder, corporate corruption, banking, and political liars never before recorded in history.

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    Response to polynomial (Reply #60)

    Mon Jan 13, 2014, 05:14 PM

    61. The MSM are now an arm of the multinational corporate agenda (as is the NSA),...

    ...and bear little resemblance (as does the NSA) to the watchdogs that they used to be.

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