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Thread: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans

  1. #41
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    Default Re: Obama seizing Verizon phone records

    NYT: Obama Administration has lost credibility
    June 7, 2013 | Filed under Barack Obama,Constitutional Issues,New York Times | Posted by David Robertson

    The New York Times editorial board has published an editorial that is anything but favorable toward the Obama Administration.

    Here is how the editorial begins:

    Within hours of the disclosure that federal authorities routinely collect data on phone calls Americans make, regardless of whether they have any bearing on a counterterrorism investigation, the Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every time President Obama has been caught overreaching in the use of his powers: Terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us to deal with them because we have internal mechanisms (that we are not going to tell you about) to make sure we do not violate your rights.

    Those reassurances have never been persuasive — whether on secret warrants to scoop up a news agency’s phone records or secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism — especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability.

    The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue.

    Further down in the editorial, the NYT editorial board says this:

    This sort of tracking can reveal a lot of personal and intimate information about an individual. To casually permit this surveillance — with the American public having no idea that the executive branch is now exercising this power — fundamentally shifts power between the individual and the state, and it repudiates constitutional principles governing search, seizure and privacy.

    The defense of this practice offered by Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, who as chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee is supposed to be preventing this sort of overreaching, was absurd.

    When liberal Democrats lose the New York Times . . .
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    Default Re: Obama seizing Verizon phone records

    Bush haters are hatin' Obama now:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/0...ama-92388.html
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    Default Re: Obama seizing Verizon phone records

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign...ts_Act_of_2008

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_...eillance_Court

    Closed hearings and classified proceedings

    Because of the sensitive nature of its business, the FISC is a "secret court": its hearings are closed to the public, and, while records of the proceedings are kept, those records are also not available to the public. (Copies of those records with classified information redacted can and have been made public.) Due to the classified nature of its proceedings, only government attorneys are usually permitted to appear before the FISC. Due to the nature of the matters heard before it, FISC hearings may need to take place at any time of day or night, weekdays or weekends; thus, at least one judge must be "on call" at all times to hear evidence and decide whether or not to issue a warrant.
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    Default Re: Obama seizing Verizon phone records

    NO OVERSIGHT. I don't give a crap what they are saying. There is NONE. These are FEDERAL JUDGES beholden to whomever happens to be in office right now.
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    Default Re: Obama seizing Verizon phone records

    CBS/AP/ June 7, 2013, 3:30 AM
    U.S. intel chief blasts leaks on web, phone use tracking

    Play CBS News Video
    WASHINGTON Moving to tamp down a public uproar spurred by the disclosure of two secret surveillance programs, the nation's top intelligence official is declassifying key details about one of the programs while insisting the efforts to collect Americans' phone records and the U.S. internet use of foreign nationals overseas were legal, limited in scope and necessary to detect terrorist threats.
    Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, in an unusual late-night statement Thursday, denounced the leaks of highly classified documents that revealed the programs and warned that America's security will suffer. He called the disclosure of a program that targets foreigners' Internet use "reprehensible," and said the leak of another program that lets the government collect Americans' phone records would change enemies' behavior and make it harder to understand their intentions.
    "The unauthorized disclosure of a top secret U.S. court document threatens potentially long-lasting and irreversible harm to our ability to identify and respond to the many threats facing our nation," Clapper said of the phone-tracking program.
    It was revealed late Wednesday that the National Security Agency has been collecting the phone records of hundreds of millions of U.S. phone customers. The leaked document first reported by the British newspaper the Guardian gave the NSA authority to collect from all of Verizon's land and mobile customers, but intelligence experts said the program swept up the records of other phone companies too. The possibility of a third secret program letting the NSA tap into credit card transaction records emerged late Thursday in a report in The Wall Street Journal. The White House did not immediately respond to an inquiry about that program.


    At the same time, Clapper offered new information about the phone program and another one that collects the audio, video, email, photographic and Internet search usage of foreign nationals overseas who use any of the nine major Internet providers: AOL Inc., Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc., Skype, YouTube and Paltalk.
    In statements, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo said they only provide the government with user data required under the law. (Google runs YouTube and Microsoft owns Skype.) AOL and Paltalk didn't immediately respond to inquiries from The Associated Press.
    "I believe it is important for the American people to understand the limits of this targeted counterterrorism program and the principles that govern its use," Clapper said.
    Among the previously classified information about the phone records collection that Clapper revealed:
    -The program is conducted under authority granted by Congress and is authorized by the Foreign intelligence Surveillance Court which determines the legality of the program.
    -The government is prohibited from "indiscriminately sifting" through the data acquired. It can only be reviewed "when there is a reasonable suspicion, based on specific facts, that the particular basis for the query is associated with a foreign terrorist organization." He also said only counterterrorism personnel trained in the program may access the records.
    -The information acquired is overseen by the Justice Department and the FISA court. Only a very small fraction of the records are ever reviewed, he said.
    -The program is reviewed every 90 days.
    Play Video
    Miller on secret surveillance: "This is spying business"

    The Obama administration's defense of the two programs came as members of Congress were vowing to change a program they voted to authorize and exasperated civil liberties advocates were crying foul, questioning how President Barack Obama, a former constitutional scholar who sought privacy protections as a U.S. senator, could embrace policies aligned with President George W. Bush, whose approach to national security he had vowed to leave behind.
    "Senator Obama would not have supported this program under President Bush," Rep. RaDul M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., said Friday. "A secretive intelligence agency gathering millions of phone records and using them as it sees fit is the kind of excess many of us warned about after the Patriot Act became law."
    Clapper alleged that articles about the Internet program "contain numerous inaccuracies." He did not specify.
    Senior administration officials defended the programs as critical tools and said the intelligence they yield is among the most valuable data the U.S. collects. Clapper said the Internet program, known as PRISM, can't be used to intentionally target any Americans or anyone in the U.S, and that data accidentally collected about Americans is kept to a minimum.
    But leaders of Congress' intelligence panels dismissed the furor over what they said was standard three-month renewal to a program that's operated for seven years. Committee leaders also said the program recently helped thwart what would have been a significant domestic terrorist attack.
    CBS News senior correspondent John Miller described one such case, though it's unclear if it is the same referenced by lawmakers:
    "Najibullah Zazi is a classic example. ... So on September 6, 2009, around dawn, an e-mail comes from an IP address to another IP address. One of them is nothing we're paying attention to. The other is one that's been flagged as an al Qaeda mail drop that is rarely used. And so when that bell rings, they say, 'Hey, they hardly ever use this account, but it's associated with Rashid Rauf, who is al Qaeda's master bomb maker, behind the plot to blow up all the airplanes, 'Who's he talking to?' And when they find out the other IP address on the other end is connected to Aurora, Colo., outside Denver, the connection to Zazi, it takes them to the plot to blow up the New York subways, it's all prevented. That's how a program like this is supposed to work," Miller said.
    Play Video
    Why is the government tracking phone records?

    The NSA must collect the phone data in broad swaths, Clapper said, because collecting it narrowly would make it harder to identify terrorism-related communications.
    The data collected by the PRISM program is now a driving force in President Obama's daily intelligence briefing, his window into the world of ongoing and emerging threats, reports CBS News White House correspondent Major Garrett.
    The legal basis grew out of the Patriot Act, passed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Only a handful of lawmakers knew of PRISM and all were sworn to secrecy. But revelations of the program this week raised alarms from both parties on Capitol Hill.
    "I'm angry, and I was the one that wrote the law. And I think that the Justice Department and the NSA have abused this by going to far," said Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., who helped craft the Patriot Act.
    "When law-abiding Americans make phone calls, who they call, when they call and where they call from is private information," said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. "As a result of the disclosures that came to light today, now we're going to have a real debate in the Congress and the country and that's long overdue."
    Officials from Clapper's office, the Justice Department, NSA and FBI briefed 27 senators for some two hours late Thursday at a hurriedly convened session prompted by severe criticism and uncertainty about the program.
    "The National Security Agency's seizure and surveillance of virtually all of Verizon's phone customers is an astounding assault on the Constitution," said Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. "After revelations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted political dissidents and the Department of Justice seized reporters' phone records, it would appear that this administration has now sunk to a new low."
    Play Video
    NSA tracked phone records of millions of Americans

    Paul said he will introduce legislation ensuring that the Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures apply to government search of phone records.
    The surveillance powers are granted under the post-9/11 Patriot Act, which was renewed in 2006 and again in 2011. Republicans who usually don't miss a chance to criticize the administration offered full support.
    "I'm a Verizon customer. I could care less if they're looking at my phone records. ... If you're not getting a call from a terrorist organization, you got nothing to worry about," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
    The disclosures come at a particularly inopportune time for Obama. His administration already faces questions over the Internal Revenue Service's improper targeting of conservative groups, the seizure of journalists' phone records in an investigation into who leaked information to the media, and the handling of the terrorist attack in Libya that left four Americans dead.
    At a minimum, it's all a distraction as the president tries to tackle big issues like immigration reform and taxes. And it could serve to erode trust in Obama as he tries to advance his second-term agenda and cement his presidential legacy.
    The Verizon order, granted by the secret FISA court on April 25 and good until July 19, requires information on the phone numbers of both parties on a call, as well as call time and duration, and unique identifiers, The Guardian reported.
    It does not authorize snooping into the content of phone calls. But with millions of phone records in hand, the NSA's computers can analyze them for patterns, spot unusual behavior and identify "communities of interest" — networks of people in contact with targets or suspicious phone numbers overseas.
    Once the government has zeroed in on numbers that it believes are tied to terrorism or foreign governments, it can go back to the court with a wiretap request. That allows the government to monitor the calls in real time, record them and store them indefinitely.
    House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said that once the data has been collected, officials still must follow "a court-approved method and a series of checks and balances to even make the query on a particular number."
    The steps are shrouded in government secrecy, which some lawmakers say should change.
    "The American public can't be kept in the dark about the basic architecture of the programs designed to protect them," said Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.
    Verizon Executive Vice President and General Counsel Randy Milch, in a blog post, said the company can't comment on any such court order. He said Verizon take steps to protect customers' privacy, but must comply with court orders. Verizon listed 121 million customers in its first-quarter earnings report this April.
    The NSA is sensitive to perceptions that it might be spying on Americans. It distributes a brochure that pledges the agency "is unwavering in its respect for U.S. laws and Americans' civil liberties — and its commitment to accountability."
    Emerging from the briefing, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Intelligence committee, said the government must gather intelligence to prevent plots and keep Americans alive. "That's the goal. If we can do it another way, we're looking to do it another way. We'd like to."
    She said Congress is always open to changes, "but that doesn't mean there will be any."
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    Default Re: Obama seizing Verizon phone records

    Changing the name of the thread slightly guys.

    This is not just about Verzion any more.
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    Default Re: Obama seizing Verizon phone records

    Obama Preps Army of Straw Men, False Choices to Defend NSA Surveillance

    Scott Shackford|
    President Barack Obama wants to you know that you can trust the government not to break the rules it has made for itself for surveillance, even though they had refused to tell you what those rules are, refused to say that the surveillance was even going on, and have been going hard against anybody leaking any information about the administration.


    Here’s what he said this morning in California, courtesy of the New York Times:
    President Obama on Friday offered a robust defense of the government surveillance programs revealed this week, and sought to reassure the public that his administration has not become a Big Brother with eyes and ears throughout the world of online communications.


    “Nobody is listening to your telephone calls,” Mr. Obama said, delivering a 14-minute answer to two questions about the surveillance programs during a four-day trip to the West Coast at an event that was initially supposed to be devoted to the health care law. “That’s not what this program is about.”
    Two immediate thoughts: Nobody said that the program was about listening to telephone calls, so good work setting that first straw man aflame. Second, why should anybody believe you? Bring on the next logical fallacy:

    “You can’t have 100 percent security and then also have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience,” Mr. Obama said, repeatedly stressing that the lawmakers from both parties and federal judges were aware of the efforts. “You know, we’re going to have to make some choices as a society.”
    Who out there has asked for 100 percent security and 100 percent privacy? A false choice embedded inside another straw man.
    One final quote from the president from the full transcript:
    That’s not to suggest that, you know, you just say, trust me, we’re doing the right thing, we know who the bad guys are. And the reason that’s not how it works is because we’ve got congressional oversight and judicial oversight. And if people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress and don’t trust federal judges to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution, due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.
    Mr. President, I think it’s safe to say: You have some problems here.
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Here's what I posted an hour ago:

    Obfuscation, Hidden Agendas and Lies

    The lies, they burn….


    First of all let us get this CLEAR. No one said anything about “listening in” to our telephone calls. We are talking about the NSA capturing every phone record (the metadata that tells one whom you have called, for how long, what numbers you dialed or dialed in to you, and even what clicks you do on web sites and searches you make on search engines). Not listening in.


    As a long time System Operator for various BBSes, Admin for web sites and forums and as a military communicator, I can tell you without a doubt that I don’t need to “listen in” to know much about a person. I can collect data from files that shows where you’ve connected, what you’ve looked at on web sites, links from your computer show your searches and interests. Don’t we ALL understand Google and other providers collect that for targeting you with Ads already? Yes, we do grasp this.


    What can the government do with that data? Figure out your interests and who you are in contact with.


    Why is it a problem? If you’re a terrorist, all the better. Great, let them find out all they can about you. Buy what if you’re some old guy with a lot of grand kids, never broken the law in your life, travel to foreign countries occasionally for a vacation, and are outspoken against “Big Government”.


    Agendas my friends determine if your Grandpa Data is going to be used against you later. Obama is a Progressive. He has the ability to put out Executive Orders to direct how heads of Agencies (including the NSA) operate and they must operate within his guidelines under penalty of firing or worse.


    Normal Americans are being placed under a scrutiny that is well beyond the pale and tyranny in and of itself. This isn’t about listening to my phone calls telling my wife “I love you honey” or when I’m speaking to friends about going to the gun range, or how many bullets I “don’t have this week”. It’s simply wrong, it’s against the 4th Amendment and probable cause to wit:
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
    This is against the 9th Amendment:
    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
    This is against the 1st Amendment:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    I’m quite certain that any so-called checks and balances are no longer valid. People defending this kind of nonsense are completely clueless, ignorant and uneducated in the facts of American History, the Constitution, and Founder’s Principles.


    Obama is supposed to the President of the United States, not apologist for Muslims and Islam, nor is he supposed to have enemies lists, direct the IRS to go after conservatives and Tea Party (and let me be blunt, the LIES in this administration from the IRS are nothing more than covering for the President and his co-President Valerie Jarret); these people are criminals in my opinion. While I’m not a lawyer I certainly know my history, and I know what is right and wrong.


    This Administration is WRONG, there is evil in there and among us, and those who are defending him are complicit.


    Obama said, and did whatever it took to get elected. He has flat out LIED over and over and over to the American people, about surveillance, about Obama Care, about Benghazi, about the IRS – and all of those in connection with these issues have lied to protect him as well.


    This is Big Government, Fascism, and verging on the border of Totalitarianism. Obama has even issued “decrees” of late, making him sound more like a King than a President.


    Where is Congress in all of this? Why hasn’t the House gone after him? Why is there not a Special Prosecutor involved in the IRS fiasco? Why hasn’t the House started impeachment proceedings? They went after Clinton for lying about Monica…. They went after Nixon for a breaking and entering which wasn’t even done by himself.


    Congress is also remiss; no, Congress is NEGLIGENT.


    While there might be a “law” in place for “surveillance” and it might be “legal” it is NOT limited if they are collecting the records of pretty much everyone in America.
    Lies, hidden truths (Obfuscation) and agendas drive this Administration. It is time to stop taking the word of anyone in leadership positions in this country. Question everything. Be suspicious of all they say. Nothing they tell you is true, and if it is true, it’s not what you’re talking about in the first place.




    Obama Calls Surveillance Programs Legal and Limited

    By CHARLIE SAVAGE, EDWARD WYATT, PETER BAKER and MICHAEL D. SHEAR

    Published: June 7, 2013

    WASHINGTON — President Obama on Friday offered a robust defense of the government surveillance programs revealed this week, and sought to reassure the public that his administration has not become a Big Brother with eyes and ears throughout the world of online communications.


    “Nobody is listening to your telephone calls,” Mr. Obama said, delivering a 14-minute answer to two questions about the surveillance programs during a four-day trip to the West Coast at an event that was initially supposed to be devoted to the health care law. “That’s not what this program is about.”


    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/08/us...pagewanted=all
    June 7, 2013 Posted by RickD | Big Government, Clandestine Communications, FBI, Government Overreach, Justice Department, NSA, The Throes of Tyranny | Congress, obama, Patriots, Progressive Tyranny, Resistance, Second Amendment, Unconstitutional | Leave a Comment
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    Default Re: Obama seizing Verizon phone records

    And this... so I'm not alone in pointing out the strawman arguments.

    NSA snoops, IRS dupes, Holder Loops and Obama Poops

    After thirty seven years of working in, around and for the government I’ve decided that this is NOT what I signed up for.

    We have Eric Holder lying to the public and Congress.


    We have the National Security Agency spying on not just bad guys, but all of our emails, pictures, calls, or whatever other data you put out there. That’s great perhaps they will read THIS message.


    We have the IRS preventing, in a most political manner, Conservative groups from getting their tax exempt status to PREVENT them from fighting the powers that be.
    We have Obama. Need I say more?

    Americans, it is time to STOP this intrusion into our privacy, it’s time to stop Obama from becoming a third world dictator, it’s time to stop the IRS and the Justice Department from over reaching, over arching and from being the “police arm” of the United States Government.


    Now I know that there is one and only one job our government is SUPPOSED to be doing, and that is protecting this country from outside enemies and they AREN’T EVEN DOING THAT right. The military has been cut drastically (which China, Russia have grown, Iran is producing nuclear weapons, DPRK is producing nukes and the Muslim world is coddled). Our injured and wounded are treated like crap when they come back from “Fighting for Freedom”. That’s another joke.


    They aren’t fighting for OUR freedoms any more, they are fighting (without their knowledge) for the Freedom of Big Government to continue it’s oppression of the people of the United States of the America. WE THE PEOPLE.


    We are the people who OWN this country. The Government doesn’t “own” anything.


    Get ON the phone with your Congress people and tell them to STOP THIS CRAP NOW or the American people will stop it.


    This is NOT a police state, we do not live in 1960s Soviet Union – this is the United States of America.


    To all you so-called Liberals out there; don’t sit on your asses any longer and whine about “Republicans” and “Tea Party”. We’re all the same. This is NOT a “Progressive” country (and Progressive is a Code Word for Communist) so get off your asses and get into this and STOP IT.


    You Liberals seems to think your precious Freedom of Speech is protected while my Right to keep and bear arms is not. We’ve said over and over without the Second, you don’t get to keep the First. Are you starting to GRASP this yet? If you’re not, shut up, don’t vote, and don’t talk; go sit in your living room and watch television so you can be further brain washed.


    If We the People ALLOW this to go any further you can kiss your precious Bill of Rights good bye completely.


    Now, in case you really just don’t get this, let me explain something.


    Pulling phone and data records (by the NSA) for basically EVERYONE in America is wrong on many, many levels. In the USA you are INNOCENT until proved Guilt.
    Thus if they THINK you are guilty, great they can look at your stuff to prove your guilt.


    They CAN NOT under any circumstances look at everyone’s records and dig through them until they FIND something that MIGHT be a pointer to guild. This is the Thought Police on a scale you can’t imagine.

    Essentially what is happening here with the Justice Department (with the phone records) and the NSA (with all the other stuff) is that they are digging through every record looking for ANYTHING that might be “bad” (What ever their idea of “bad” is – and keep this part in mind). When they find something “bad” they connect some links, look at other records and make a “tree” of who is connected to whom, where they live, who they are, how much they make, what they look at on the Internet, who they call, what they buy and where they go for vacation.


    There are those who would say “I’m not doing anything wrong, why should *I* care?” – and in truth in a perfect world with a perfect government and perfect people this would be right. But it’s blatantly obvious to anyone who hasn’t been living in a cave in the lower Himalayas that OUR government is less than perfect.


    If on the other hand you’re like me, and millions of others and like “guns” and are a “conservative” and believe in smaller government, certain principles and just want to be left alone we become “targets” for an oppressive government looking at everything we do; and while what we do isn’t wrong, it could be considered “bad” by this particular Administration and obviously HAS been considered so. Look at all the groups shut down by the IRS because they were doing nothing more than what the Liberal groups were doing…. but were CONSERVATIVE, or TEA PARTY, or for LIBERTY, or SMALLER GOVERNMENT.


    If 100% of the people out there are completely outraged over all of this, then the small percentage NOT outraged must be part of the problem.


    It’s time for them to go. It’s time for Congressmen and women, President, Justice Department officials, IRS officials and anyone else who seems to think they “Control America” to get OUT of Office and be put in prison.


    I’m calling for the arrest of all of those people. There are still a few good men and women in Congress and in the Government. They need to stand up, be heard and shut down the corruption and oppression in America.


    This is NOT Russia. This is NOT China. Big Government is BAD, VERY VERY BAD. This has to stop.


    June 7, 2013 Posted by RickD | Second Amendment, The Throes of Tyranny, Trans-Asian Axis, Survival, Government Overreach, Big Government, FBI, Justice Department | Second Amendment, Politics, Unconstitutional, Preparedness, Self Reliance, SHTF, Survival, Survival Skills, IRS, transasian axis, FBI, Justice Department, NSA, Patriot Act, Government Overreach, Big Government, Throes of Tyranny | 3 Comments
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    Default Re: Obama seizing Verizon phone records

    Obama Dismisses ‘Hype’ Over NSA Reports: ‘Nobody Is Listening To Your Telephone Calls’


    President Barack Obama responded Friday to reports that the National Security Agency is collecting millions of phone records and tapping into data from leading tech companies, pushing back against what he described as "hype."


    Obama said that the revelations in the reports should not have come as a surprise to members of Congress.


    "Now the programs that have been discussed over the last couple of days in the press are secret in the sense that they're classified but they're not secret in the sense that, when it comes to telephone calls, every member of Congress has been briefed on this program," Obama said during a press briefing in San Jose, Calif. "With respect to all these programs, the relevant intelligence committees are fully briefed on these programs."


    The President then insisted that the government is not eavesdropping on anyone's phone calls.


    "When it comes to telephone calls, nobody is listening to your telephone calls. That's not what this program's about," Obama said. "As was indicated, what the intelligence community is doing is looking at phone numbers and durations of calls. They are not looking at peoples' names and they're not looking at content. But by sifting through this so-called metadata, they may identify potential leads with respect to folks who may engage in terrorism."


    He added: "If the intelligence community then actually wants to listen to a phone call, they have to go back to a federal judge just like they would in a criminal investigation. So I want to be very clear: some of the hype that we've hearing over the last day or so, nobody's listening to the content of peoples' phone calls."


    Obama also reassured Americans that a sweeping new program named PRISM revealed by the Washington Post and the Guardian yesterday that allows the government to sift through phone logs and Internet data is subject to Congressional oversight and is in the interest of national security.


    "This does not apply to U.S. citizens, and this does not apply to people living in the United States," Obama said in California.


    "I came in with healthy skepticism about these programs," he added. "I can say that evaluating these programs they make a difference to anticipate and prevent possible terrorist activity."
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    Default Re: Obama seizing Verizon phone records

    Read Obama's Entire Speech Defending NSA Spying

    Mike Riggs|


    White House Flickr FeedPres. Obama defended the NSA's request for Verizon customer data earlier this afternoon. As Scott Shackford noted earlier, the president used straw men and false choices to do so. Now you can read Obama's remarks in full, thanks to the Federal News Service.


    See anything noteworthy or in need of further harping on? Feel free to tell us in the comments.
    I’m going to take one question. And then remember, people are going to have opportunity to — I’ll also answer questions when I’m with the Chinese president today. So I don’t want the whole day to just be a bleeding press conference. But I’m going to take Jackie Calmes’s question.


    Q: Mr. President, could you please react to the reports of secret government surveillance of phones and Internet? And can you also assure Americans that the government — your government doesn’t have some massive secret database of all their personal online information and activity?


    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Yeah. You know, when I came into this office, I made two commitments that are more than any commitment I make: number one, to keep the American people safe; and number two, to uphold the Constitution. And that includes what I consider to be a constitutional right to privacy and an observance of civil liberties.


    Now, the programs that have been discussed over the last couple days in the press are secret in the sense that they’re classified, but they’re not secret in the sense that when it comes to telephone calls, every member of Congress has been briefed on this program.


    With respect to all these programs, the relevant intelligence committees are fully briefed on these programs. These are programs that have been authorized by broad, bipartisan majorities repeatedly since 2006. And so I think at the outset, it’s important to understand that your duly elected representatives have been consistently informed on exactly what we’re doing.


    Now, let — let me take the two issues separately. When it comes to telephone calls, nobody is listening to your telephone calls. That’s not what this program’s about. As was indicated, what the intelligence community is doing is looking at phone numbers and durations of calls. They are not looking at people’s names, and they’re not looking at content. But by sifting through this so-called metadata, they may identify potential leads with respect to folks who might engage in terrorism. If these folks — if the intelligence community then actually wants to listen to a phone call, they’ve got to go back to a federal judge, just like they would in a criminal investigation. So I want to be very clear. Some of the hype that we’ve been hearing over the last day or so — nobody’s listening to the content of people’s phone calls.


    This program, by the way, is fully overseen not just by Congress but by the FISA Court, a court specially put together to evaluate classified programs to make sure that the executive branch, or government generally, is not abusing them and that they’re — it’s being out consistent with the Constitution and rule of law.
    And so not only does that court authorize the initial gathering of data, but I want to repeat, if anybody in government wanted to go further than just that top-line data and wanted to, for example, listen to Jackie Calmes’s phone call, they’d have to go back to a federal judge and — and — and indicate why, in fact, they were doing further — further probing.


    Now, with respect to the Internet and emails, this does not apply to U.S. citizens, and it does not apply to people living in the United States. And again, in this instance, not only is Congress fully apprised of it, but what is also true is that the FISA Court has to authorize it.


    So in summary, what you’ve got is two programs that were originally authorized by Congress, have been repeatedly authorized by Congress. Bipartisan majorities have approved (on them ?). Congress is continually briefed on how these are conducted. There are a whole range of safeguards involved. And federal judges are overseeing the entire program throughout. And we’re also setting up — we’ve also set up an audit process when I came into office to make sure that we’re, after the fact, making absolutely certain that all the safeguards are being properly observed.


    Now, having said all that, you’ll remember when I made that speech a couple of weeks ago about the need for us to shift out of a perpetual war mindset. I specifically said that one of the things that we’re going to have to discuss and debate is how were we striking this balance between the need to keep the American people safe and our concerns about privacy, because there are some trade-offs involved.


    And I welcome this debate. And I think it’s healthy for our democracy. I think it’s a sign of maturity, because probably five years ago, six years ago, we might not have been having this debate. And I think it’s interesting that there are some folks on the left, but also some folks on the right who are now worried about it who weren’t very worried about it when it was a Republican president. I think that’s good that we’re having this discussion.


    But I think it’s important for everybody to understand, and I think the American people understand, that there are some trade-offs involved. You know, I came in with a health skepticism about these programs. My team evaluated them. We scrubbed them thoroughly. We actually expanded some of the oversight, increased some of the safeguards. But my assessment and my team’s assessment was that they help us prevent terrorist attacks. And the modest encroachments on privacy that are involved in getting phone numbers or duration without a name attached and not looking at content — that on, you know, net, it was worth us doing.


    That’s — some other folks may have a different assessment of that. But I think it’s important to recognize that you can’t have a hundred percent security and also then have a hundred percent privacy and zero inconvenience. You know, we’re going to have to make some choices as a society.


    And — (audio break) — I can say is, is that in evaluating these programs, they make a difference — (audio break) — to anticipate and prevent possible terrorist activity. And the fact that they’re under very strict supervision by all three branches of government and that they do not involve listening to people’s phone calls, do not involve reading the emails of U.S. citizens or U.S. residents, absent further action by a federal court, that is entirely consistent with what we would do, for example, in a criminal investigation.


    I think, on balance, we — you know, we have established a process and a procedure that the American people should feel comfortable about. But again, this — these programs are subject to congressional oversight and congressional reauthorization and congressional debate. And if there are members of Congress who feel differently, then they should speak up.


    And we’re happy to have that debate. OK.


    Q: Sir –


    PRESIDENT OBAMA: All right. Then we’ll have — we’ll have a chance to talk further during the course of the next couple days.
    Thank you, guys. Thank –


    Q: Do you welcome the leak, sir? Do you welcome the leak if you welcome the debate?


    PRESIDENT OBAMA: I don’t — I don’t welcome leaks, because there’s a reason why these programs are classified. You know, I think — I think that there is a suggestion that somehow any classified program is a quote-unquote “secret” program, which means it’s somehow suspicious. But the fact of the matter is, in our modern history there are a whole range of programs that have been classified because, when it comes to, for example, fighting terror, our goal is to stop folks from doing us harm, and if every step that we’re taking to try to prevent a terrorist act is on the front page of the newspapers or on television, then presumably the people who are trying to do us harm are going to be able to get around our preventive measures. That’s why these things are classified.


    But that’s also why we’ve set up congressional oversight. These are the folks you all vote for as your representative in Congress, and they’re being fully briefed on these programs.


    And if in fact there was — there were abuses taking place, presumably, those members of Congress could raise those issues very aggressively. They’re empowered to do so.


    We also have federal judges that we put in place who are not subject to political pressure.


    They’ve got lifetime tenure as federal judges, and they’re empowered to look over our shoulder at the executive branch to make sure that these programs aren’t being abused.


    So — so we have a system in which some information is classified, and we have a system of checks and balances to make sure that it’s not abused. And if, in fact, this information ends up just being dumped out willy-nilly without regard to risks to the program, risks to the people involved, in some cases on other leaks, risks to personnel in very dangerous situations, then it’s very hard for us to be as effective in — in protecting the American people.


    That’s not to suggest that, you know, you just say, trust me, we’re doing the right thing, we know who the bad guys are. And the reason that’s not how it works is because we’ve got congressional oversight and judicial oversight. And if people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress and don’t trust federal judges to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution, due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.


    But my observation is, is that the people who are involved in America’s national security, they take this work very seriously. They cherish our Constitution. The last thing they’d be doing is taking programs like this to listen to somebody’s phone calls.


    And by the way, with respect to my concerns about privacy issues, I will leave this office at some point, sometime in the last — next 3 1/2 years, and after that, I will be a private citizen. And I suspect that, you know, on — on a list of people who might be targeted, you know, so that somebody could read their emails or — or listen to their phone calls, I’d probably be pretty high on that list. So it’s not as if I don’t have a personal interest in making sure my privacy is protected.


    But I know that the people who are involved in these programs — they operate like professionals. And these things are very narrowly circumscribed. They’re very focused. And in the abstract, you can complain about Big Brother and how this is a potential, you know — you know, program run amok. But when you actually look at the details, then I think we’ve struck the right balance.


    All right? Thank you very much, guys. That’s it — I — (cross talk) — thank you. (Cross talk.)
    Libertatem Prius!





  12. #52
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    Default Re: Obama seizing Verizon phone records

    That’s not to suggest that, you know, you just say, trust me, we’re doing the right thing, we know who the bad guys are. And the reason that’s not how it works is because we’ve got congressional oversight and judicial oversight. And if people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress and don’t trust federal judges to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution, due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.
    Sure, we should JUST TRUST the Government?
    Libertatem Prius!





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    Default Re: Obama seizing Verizon phone records

    I wish this:



    Kason Reed/Reuters
    President Obama with George W. Bush in Dallas in April. Mr. Obama came to office promising to end what he had characterized as the excesses of his predecessor's security powers.

    Would have broken out into a fist fight, so the USSS could have shot each other's teams... lol
    Libertatem Prius!





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    Default Re: Obama seizing Verizon phone records

    Microsoft says not part of broad government online monitoring









    SEATTLE, June 6 | Fri Jun 7, 2013 6:09am IST




    (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp said on Thursday it provides customer data to the U.S. government only when it receives a legally binding order and only on specific accounts, after the Washington Post reported U.S. security agencies had access to its central servers.


    The Post reported on Thursday the U.S. National Security Agency and the FBI were "tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies" - including Microsoft - through a highly classified program known as PRISM, extracting audio, video, photographs, emails, documents and connection logs.


    Microsoft made no mention of the PRISM program in a statement released after the Post report, and denied it was part of any voluntary data collection mechanism.


    "We provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis," Microsoft said in the emailed statement.


    "In addition we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers. If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don't participate in it."


    (RD: Sure they didn't do anything..... read the part in red, because this is NOT connected at all to collecting data from knowing - or witting - people, rather, I found out today there are devices that CAN be placed on fiber optic lines to grab ALL the data going through the line at the gigabit range of data. In other words, Clapper and his "unwitting" data collection remarks means that the ISPs do NOT KNOW jack about this going on, therefore Microsoft couldn't have given them anything based on a subpoena because they didn't ASK for it)
    Libertatem Prius!





  15. #55
    Super Moderator and PHILanthropist Extraordinaire Phil Fiord's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Actually, the way I read the various statements, voluntary is the key word used. I think the program is compulsory so carefully saying no voluntary partnership is a half truth designed to work a PR whitewash. I am not suggesting companies willingly hand over data, but the sniffers are part of a compulsory mandate of allow this or you are not going to like what we do to you type of matter.

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    Super Moderator Malsua's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    No, they are not listening to our calls.

    They are watching who we are talking to. It's just as illegal you fucking asshole.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    'FALSE': Congress Denies Obama Claim 'Every Member' Briefed on Surveillance



    by Ben Shapiro 7 Jun 2013, 5:20 PM PDT

    On Friday morning, President Barack Obama defended his administration’s massive telephone records surveillance programs by explaining that “every member of Congress has been briefed on this program.”

    There’s only one problem: both Republican and Democrat Congresspeople say that isn’t true. On Friday afternoon, the press office for Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), one of the authors of the Patriot Act, tweeted, “Obama’s claim that ‘every Member of Congress’ was briefed is FALSE.”

    It wasn’t just Sensenbrenner. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said that only certain members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees had been told about the program, and he only knew about it because he received “special permission” to be briefed after hearing about it through the grapevine. “I knew about the program,” he said on MSNBC, “because I specifically sought it out. It’s not something that’s briefed outside the Intelligence Committee.” Merkley added that the administration had ignored the law. “Clearly the administration has not followed what an ordinary person would consider to be the standard of the law here,” he said.

    Merkely summed up: “when the president says all members of Congress were briefed … well, I think a very small number of Senators in Congress had full details on these programs.”

    Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said he only knew about the program after asking for a briefing under “classified circumstances.” The “average member,” he said, had no access to this information. “They don’t receive this kind of briefing.”

    Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK) said they had not been briefed on the phone surveillance program, either. “Not quite!” Rep. Billy Long (R-LA) tweeted after hearing about Obama’s claim.

    Obama’s claim was not a slip of the tongue. On Friday, Obama’s White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, “In December of 2009 and in February of 2011, the Department of Justice and the intelligence community provided a document to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees to be made available to all members of the House and Senate, describing the classified uses of Section 215 in detail.”


    Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Governm...ngress-briefed


    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.
    We won’t have to fight you."
    We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands."




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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Obama: If People 'Can't Trust' Government, 'We're Going to Have Some Problems Here'



    by Ben Shapiro 7 Jun 2013 1863 post a comment

    During his speech in San Jose, California on Friday, President Obama took one question from the press on national security monitoring of Americans. Without any sense of irony whatsoever in the aftermath of the IRS’ targeting of conservatives, the administration’s stonewalling on Benghazi, the Department of Justice’s targeting of reporters, the Department of Health and Human Services’ leveraging of private organizations for Obamacare public relations cash, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s secret email addresses, Obama unloaded this line:

    If people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress, and don’t trust federal judges, to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution with due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.

    Of course, that trust has been eroded by the least transparent administration in American history. But Obama added, “You can shout Big Brother or program run amok, but if you actually look at the details, I think we’ve struck the right balance.”



    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.
    We won’t have to fight you."
    We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands."




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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Gee, ya think? How about stop the spying on Americans? That's a good first step, then we can move on to your other impeachable offenses.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    America in the Midst of a Coup d'Etat

    June 07, 2013

    RUSH: Late yesterday afternoon I was sitting in the library at home, and I was just swamped. It seemed like every 90 seconds somebody needed something, or somebody had a question or somebody had a comment, requiring my response. It was during the period of time that I generally devote to reading my tech blogs, you know, where I abandon all of this and get away from it and start spending time on, quote, unquote, my hobby.

    But it was one of those days. I'm sure you have them. They may happen every day, but if I had been watching a TV show I would have hit the pause button every minute to deal with something. It would have taken me two hours yesterday to watch a 40 minute program. So in the midst of all of this, I hear about Prism. Not the NSA sweep of telephone records. In fact, let me start before I heard about Prism. Even before I heard about Prism, I am hearing from the intelligentsia in Washington that there's nothing to be really concerned about here with what we had learned, the NSA demanding and getting every phone record from Verizon. And, by the way, we now know T-Mobile and AT&T have been added to it.

    But the intelligent people were saying, "Nothing to see here. The reaction is way overblown." Those of us who think there's something worrisome here are overreacting and we're too oriented in politics. And the mature thinkers that weighed in and sound reason and levelheadedness assured us that there was nothing to fear here because this was just metadata, and in fact this is something we should all be thankful that the government is able to do.



    I have to tell you when I'm listening to all the smart people tell me this, my mind is about to explode, and I'm saying, "Do these people not realize what we just learned in the last three weeks?" We got the IRS starting in 2010 taking action to suppress the political involvement and ultimately votes of Tea Party people and conservative Republicans. This regime, this government, on the orders of the highest level. In fact, that investigation is ongoing. We have Fast and Furious. We have Obamacare. The evidence of the totalitarian nature or the authoritarian nature of this administration is on display undeniably every day and yet in the midst of this, "Well, don't go off half cocked on this, Rush. Be very levelheaded. Nothing really to see," as though there's no context here.

    It made me once again understand, folks, what you and I are up against here. There are just way too many people -- and I'm talking about on our side -- who do not want to admit what we face, who do not want to engage or admit or whatever what we really face here. It matters. This kind of stuff matters because of who the people doing it happen to be. It's one thing if Colonel Sanders would be collecting all this data, but it's not Colonel Sanders. It's Barack Obama and everybody that works for him, and we know who they are and we know what their goals are. We know what their intentions are.

    Folks, here's the thing, I guess, that gets me. I mentioned Herbert Meyer. We interviewed him for the Limbaugh Letter a few short months ago. Herbert Meyer was in the national security apparatus during the Reagan administration. He was a good friend of Ronald Reagan, and was instrumental in establishing Reagan administration policies that brought down the Soviet Union. The big news to him that's really noteworthy, we talked about it, is that he thinks that the world's coming out of poverty. And it is a big story, The Economist in London had a big story on it recently. We mentioned it to you, and it's a great testament to capitalism.

    It's not socialism, it's not welfare, it's not compassion and it's not the redistribution of wealth. It's not high taxes that are bringing people out of poverty. It's capitalism, and none other than a leftist publication in London had to admit it. Well, Herb Meyer was the first to sound this notice some months ago. I also mentioned he wrote a piece that currently is in the American Thinker earlier this week, and it had the potential to be controversial because he used Adolf Hitler and Nazism in it, and it was his way of explaining, he made a point in the piece that nowhere, you know, people looking for a smoking gun to nail Obama on all these scandals, Herb says, "Ain't gonna be one."

    He said whether you believe it or not, there is not one document linking Adolf Hitler to the holocaust. Adolf Hitler never put it on paper what he intended to do. There is no smoking gun. And yet what happened? We know that the Nazis engaged in the Holocaust. Herb Meyer's point was that the people Hitler hired didn't have to be told. They didn't have to be given instructions. All they had to do was listen to what Hitler was saying. All they had to do was listen to what his objectives were. And he said the same thing's happening here with this administration. He went to great pains to say: I'm not calling this administration a bunch of Nazis. I'm just using this as an illustration. I know people will get my point if I use something this notorious, the Nazi regime.

    It's a point that I've made here about the IRS. They say, "Well, you can't link it in to Obama." You don't need to link Obama to it. He hired these people. Lois Lerner and everybody at the IRS who's doing this is doing everything they can to please Obama. There's not gonna be a smoking gun, but you don't need a smoking gun to know where this administration's doing what it's doing.

    Obama puts people in positions that mirror him. Eric Holder, you name it, they're doing Obama's bidding. Everybody. Susan Rice and Samantha Power, they are Obama, and there's a context for what's happening. Herbert Meyer, if I may quote him again, asserted that essentially what's taking place in the United States right now is a coup, not a violent coup, and not a million artistic coup, but nevertheless a takeover of a government, and it's being done by the Obama administration.



    He referred to it as a coup. I don't know if he used the word "peaceful," but clearly there's a coup d'etat going. You know it and I know it. This is what animates us. This is why the Tea Party exists. This country was founded on certain concepts, principles, beliefs -- and they're under assault. Chief among them under assault is the right to privacy, and that's what all this is about. So in the midst of this coup d'etat... I happen to like that formulation.

    In seeking ways to persuade, for example, the low-information voters of what's going on, this happens. These are the people continuing to prop Obama up with high approval numbers. The Limbaugh Theorem. How do we reach 'em? How do we tell them? How do we explain what's going on when they have, perhaps, almost an idolatrous relationship with the president? Well, maybe you tell 'em there's a coup going on.

    There are people attempting to take over this country and to make it something that it wasn't founded as; turn it into something that it wasn't intended to be. That is happening. You know it and I know it. It's peaceful, nonviolent. The military isn't involved. But nevertheless it's a coup. So in the context of that and the realization that's happening, in the midst of learning that the National Security Agency is literally "Hoovering," vacuuming every telephone record they can, what do we hear?

    "Nothing to see here, Rush. Calm down! Slow down, Rush. This is nothing to get concerned about. There's nothing illegal here. The Fourth Amendment's not being violated or breached. This is nothing whatsoever to get concerned about." How can I...? (sigh) I don't know how people can look at this in context and say that. The people doing this are what make it a big deal. Their motives and their intentions and their clear assault on the whole notion of privacy make it interesting.

    I'm sorry for the long detour there, but in the midst of being told that I need to be more levelheaded -- and not just me, but all of us who are a little bit concerned here about this Verizon story. We are all being told, "Back off, back off. Nothing to see here. We're not really, really concerned." It was in the midst of that that I heard about Prism. That was a Washington Post story that posted on their website around five or six o'clock yesterday afternoon.

    The basic tenet of this story is that somebody in the intelligence community -- NSA, somewhere -- is so concerned over what he's seeing take place that he went to the Washington Post and took with him a little PowerPoint slide presentation and gave it to the Post and their reporters, and they wrote a story up and put it on their website. The story is that practically every major tech group and company in this country is participating with the government in allowing the government access to their servers.



    E-mails, texts, phone calls, photographs. Virtually any communication that's taking place via the Apple servers, the Microsoft servers, the Google servers, the NSA is able to look at in real time. This is the story now. The guy that went to the Washington Post said, "It was so scary. They can watch us as we type." The Washington Post published some of the PowerPoint slides. I'm reading this after being told that the Verizon thing is no big deal. "It's nothing to get concerned about.

    "Nothing to see here. Don't get too worried about that. Don't go off half cocked!" Here comes the Prism story, and then shortly after the Prism story hits, all of these tech firms start denying it. Apple says, "I never heard of Prism. We don't know what this is about. We never let anybody have access to our servers without a warrant, without a court order. We never!" Google said the same thing. Microsoft said the same thing. Facebook said the same thing.

    They're all out there denying it. So I thought, "Did the Washington Post get set up?" I'm asking myself, "Did they get set up by somebody walking in and telling them something that wasn't true?" But then I saw that Prism reported someplace else by this Glenn Greenwald guy at the UK Guardian. So there were two sources for the Prism story, but the tech firms involved continue to deny it. "Nope, it's not happening." Now we've got audio sound bites.

    These guys from the tech firms like Greenwald and some of these others, are blaming Bush for all of this, still. Today! Still today, all of this is the fault of Bush. Bush is the guy that got this ball rolling. So there must be something to it if the left is circling the wagons around Obama and trying to make all of us think that all of this is the fault of George W. Bush. I just gotta tell you something, folks. Richard Nixon never even dreamed of this kind of stuff, and yet most people in this country think that Nixon did 10 times as bad as what's happening now.
    The fact is, Nixon never dreamed of this.

    Whatever he wanted to cook up, he never even came up with this. So there is clearly -- somewhere, somehow, in some form or another -- a coup taking place, and there is an assault on privacy, and there are assaults on people because of their politics and their ideology. It is taking place; it's undeniable. Yet many of the people we would hope would be pushing back against this and doing their best to join us and warning everybody say, "Nothing to see here! Don't get all crazy about this. We must be level headed."

    RUSH: So Obama's in California. Why? Fundraising. He's also got a meeting with the Chinese communist premier, but it's fundraising. That's why they go to California. Anyway, he got out there to speak. There was no prompter, and he didn't have any notes, and he just stood there. He didn't know what to do. Honestly, folks. Forty-eight seconds or something. Nothing happened. He finally shouted, "People!" and somebody on his staff brought him his notes. He was clueless.

    Now, a lot of people yesterday who were saying, "Rush, Rush, don't get all upset about this. There's nothing to see here in this NSA business and Verizon. Nothing's going on." Look, one of the accusations was that people are just getting upset because it was Obama and just trusting Obama, and it's not reasonable enough to get concerned about this. My point is, speaking about you and me, we're not all stupid out here.

    We're not all stupid about this and this is not simply because we don't trust Obama. I don't want my government doing this. I do not want my government preoccupied with paying this close attention to what every citizen is doing every minute of the day. This government's already too big, it's too damn powerful, and it's too unforgiving -- and this doesn't have anything to do with competent intelligence gathering. Throwing wide nets like this is BS. It's assuming way too much to think that this is not a big deal. Left-wing overreaction, my backside.



    BREAK TRANSCRIPT

    RUSH: There was a time when the United States government earned the trust of its people. There was a time when most people believed that the United States government was protecting them. There was a time when most people believed that the United States government was spying on the bad guys, that the United States government was in fact earning the trust of the people. But this current data collection, scanning, whatever you want to call it, unfortunately has to be judged in context: the IRS leaks, the now unquestionable, undeniable, admitted-to-it IRS tactic of suppressing the vote of Tea Party conservatives, denying them their First Amendment rights.

    The regime and its tricks with the Associated Press and Fox reporter James Rosen, the Benghazi cover-ups, the Fast and Furious operation, suing the state of Arizona for simply endorsing essentially federal immigration law. You can't just try to be the smartest guy in the room and say, "Well, we must be levelheaded about this and understand that this is just metadata." We cannot take the motives and intelligence guided by experience watching this administration over the last four-and-a-half, five years, and what their express purpose is.
    I
    was reminded this morning, we had a sound bite of Maxine Waters back on February 3rd of this year. She was on a TV show, some network, TV One. It was a show hosted by Roland Martin, who used to be, may still be, a personality at CNN. He was interviewing Maxine Waters, and every time she speaks, you know, we have a good laugh about it because clearly she's insane. And we nevertheless will play the sound bites. Her natural existence is such that she gives away the game. She will give away what the administration's all about. She will give away the fact that they want to nationalize all these companies. And she did it again on this Washington Watch with Roland Martin show back on February 3rd of 2013. He said to her, "The reality is like anything else: You'd better get what you can while he's there, because, look, come 2016, that's it."

    WATERS: Well, you know, I don't know, and I think some people are missing something here. The president has put in place an organization that contains the kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life. That's going to be very, very powerful. That database will have information about everything on every individual in ways that it's never been done before.

    RUSH: See, she gives it up. Now, I remember playing that sound bite, and we made a big deal about it at the website, Rush 24/7, and we thought, "Well, it's just Maxine being Maxine." But in this case now going back, looking at it in hindsight, what in the world was she talking about? At the time we thought she was talking about all of his high-tech campaign advancements. But maybe she wasn't.

    I'll tell you, the New York Times yesterday, this was kind of funny, too, the New York Times decided it was time to get really mad. They wrote an editorial really ripping into Obama over this. They called it: President Obama's Dragnet. The editors at the New York Times were hopping mad, or at least they're pretending to be. And they really got carried away. They had to change their original editorial. They reissued it. The original editorial said: "The administration has now lost all credibility." They changed that in their second issuance to: "The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue." But the point is they were right the first time. I don't know, maybe they don't want shock their readers with so much truth. But they went so far as to say at the New York Times, "Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it."

    Now, keep in mind this was written by people who are the loudest proponents of the expansion of government. These are people who don't believe the government can possibly get too big. It's not possible for it to get too big. It's not possible for the government to get too powerful. It's not possible. And yet they are worried at the New York Times about what is happening to it under the guidance of the presidency and Mr. Obama. What everybody knows and nobody wants to really come to grips with is that we are in the midst of a coup taking place.

    Now, I know what's gonna happen. The people on the other side of the glass: "Will you dial that coup talk back?" That's all the headlines are gonna be. I don't care. In fact, it's almost on par with: "I hope he fails." How does that sound now, by the way: "I hope he fails"? I'm constantly looking for ways here to persuade people of what I passionately believe, and I'm not in it to lie to anybody. There's nothing to be gained by lying to you about what I really think. There's nothing to be gained here by lying about facts. There's nothing to be gained here by gaining ground under false pretense.

    So if the Constitution exists as it is, the country was founded as it was, and an administration comes along and doesn't like that and is doing everything it can to overturn that Constitution without a convention, doing everything it can to change direction of this country, and what's the word, transform it, what's wrong with calling this a coup? "Mr. Limbaugh, a coup is when rebels join forces with the military and start launching military attacks and shooting people." No, no, no. Not always. And that's my point.

    When I was a kid, my dad kept saying, "Son, if things don't change, the Soviets are gonna take over this country without firing a shot." What he was talking about was a coup. Anyway, folks, there's a lot here to be concerned about. And you know it as well as I do. I get a little perplexed when people that I think see the world as I do and are, in my opinion, on my side, want to come along for reasons I can't fathom to excuse things that need not be excused. Now, Obama went out there today, he's in Palm Springs, and he addressed this NSA story. He defended the spy programs as legitimate because Congress has been consistently informed about 'em. He didn't get mad, but he sort of complained about all the hype over the phone data gathering, because it's approved by the FISA court. It's approved by the Congress.

    He said (paraphrasing), "Nobody's listening to your phone calls. They're looking at megadata," he meant metadata, "and tracking terrorists. Nobody's listening to content. Modest encroachments on privacy are worth doing. We're gonna have to make some choices as a society. You can't have 100% security and have 100% privacy." This is what he said today out in Palm Springs. This is the guy, don't forget, who got elected convincing people that this kind of stuff was never gonna happen anywhere. This is the guy who got elected mischaracterizing the kind of intelligence gathering that was ongoing with the Bush administration.

    This is the guy who got elected president by telling us that what is happening now was never going to happen when he was president. This is a guy who got elected telling us in 2007, 2008 that what's going on now was going on then. Bush was doing this, identical stuff, that's what they're trying to tell us, even now. He got elected warning us that what's happening now was happening in 2007, 2008, and promising us, this was not gonna happen. And everything that was happening in 2007 has only grown. There's only more of it. It's more sweeping than it's ever been.

    BREAK TRANSCRIPT

    RUSH: Have we already forgotten what this regime has done to the donors to the Mitt Romney campaign, all of the IRS harassment and audits and attention paid them by the EPA, if necessary? This is clearly an administration that wants to identify its enemies and then take action against them somehow, to intimidate them or what have you. You can't take that context out. The Wall Street Journal has a story here about PRISM. You know, PRISM is a code name, too.

    So when these companies like Microsoft and Google and Apple say, "Oh, well, we never heard of it." Well, they may not have heard of it. It may be called something else, and they say, "Well, we don't let anybody have access for our servers without court orders." Well, maybe there have been court orders. If there is a program like this going on, a part of it would have to be that the companies involved would have to be able to deny it. They could not talk about it.

    Put it this way: They were sworn to secrecy. They could not broadcast their involvement in it because it's taking place under the guise of national security. Do you realize what a vacuum cleaner that is? I mean, they can Hoover up everything they want under the guise of national security. Anyway, the Wall Street Journal: "US Collects Vast Data Trove -- NSA monitoring includes three phone companies as well as online activity," and then there's this:

    "The National Security Agency's monitoring of Americans includes customer records from the three major phone networks as well as emails and Web searches, and the agency also has cataloged credit-card transactions, said people familiar with the agency's activities." Now, would anybody who thought maybe the phone company sweep wasn't any big deal, maybe want to say that cataloging credit card transactions might be news?

    I'm just asking.

    END TRANSCRIPT


    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.
    We won’t have to fight you."
    We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands."




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