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Sat Aug 10, 2013, 07:16 AM

NYT to Obama: A Weak Agenda on Spying Reform

A Weak Agenda on Spying Reform
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
Published: August 9, 2013 76 Comments

President Obama, who seems to think the American people simply need some reassurance that their privacy rights are intact, proposed a series of measures on Friday that only tinker around the edges of the nation’s abusive surveillance programs.

-edit-

Fundamentally, Mr. Obama does not seem to understand that the nation needs to hear more than soothing words about the government’s spying enterprise. He suggested that if ordinary people trusted the government not to abuse their privacy, they wouldn’t mind the vast collection of phone and e-mail data.

Bizarrely, he compared the need for transparency to showing his wife that he had done the dishes, rather than just telling her he had done so. Out-of-control surveillance is a bit more serious than kitchen chores. It is the existence of these programs that is the problem, not whether they are modestly transparent. As long as the N.S.A. believes it has the right to collect records of every phone call — and the administration released a white paper Friday that explained, unconvincingly, why it is perfectly legal — then none of the promises to stay within the law will mean a thing.

If all Mr. Obama is inclined to do is tweak these programs, then Congress will have to step in to curb these abuses, a path many lawmakers of both parties are already pursuing. There are bills pending that would stop the bulk collection of communications data, restricting it to those under suspicion of terrorism. Other measures would require the surveillance court to make public far more of its work. If the president is truly concerned about public anxiety, he can vocally support legislation to make meaningful changes, rather than urging people to trust him that the dishes are clean.

www.nytimes.com/2013/08/10/opinion/a-weak-agenda-on-spying-reform.html?smid=tw-share


And this comment from reader Karen Garcia sums it up:


That kitchen analogy not only fell flat, it reeked of the desperation of a demagogue who feels his control slipping away. The president essentially compared the Surveillance State to a henpecked husband (himself.) And we, the victims of government overreach, are the hysterical overbearing Lucy Ricardos with our silly concerns and demands for proof of his divine benevolence.

We won't be invited to the show or get a seat at the table, but he'll put up a webpage, maybe have another Google+ Hangout, invite a bunch of Villagers to meet behind closed doors, order a few more drone strikes, croon out a few more love songs, and proclaim that all is well in Happy Land, all the while reminding God to bless America.

This must be what Hannah Arendt meant by the banality of evil.

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Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply NYT to Obama: A Weak Agenda on Spying Reform (Original post)
chimpymustgo Aug 2013 OP
xchrom Aug 2013 #1
kelliekat44 Aug 2013 #2
dixiegrrrrl Aug 2013 #3
cantbeserious Aug 2013 #4
forestpath Aug 2013 #5
ProSense Aug 2013 #6
LineNew Reply ^
Wilms Aug 2013 #7


Response to chimpymustgo (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 07:45 AM

2. But a 100% more agenda than under the Bush administration. nt

 

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Response to chimpymustgo (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 08:55 AM

3. Gee, even the NY Times gets it....

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Response to chimpymustgo (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 09:32 AM

4. Weak - Polite Word For Pathetic

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Response to chimpymustgo (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 10:06 AM

5. Obama isn't just weak when it comes to civil rights - he seems to have

 

contempt for them and for anyone who believes in them.

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Response to chimpymustgo (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 10:19 AM

6. Better analysis:

EFF analysis of NSA announcements: Devil's in the details.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023439446

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