"As a precaution we have evacuated Toontown."
enter an excerpt from the Remarks by the President, May 23, 2013 @ the National Defense University:
The Justice Department’s investigation of national security leaks offers a recent example of the challenges involved in striking the right balance between our security and our open society. As Commander-in-Chief, I believe we must keep information secret that protects our operations and our people in the field. To do so, we must enforce consequences for those who break the law and breach their commitment to protect classified information. But a free press is also essential for our democracy. That’s who we are. And I’m troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable.
Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs. Our focus must be on those who break the law. And that’s why I’ve called on Congress to pass a media shield law to guard against government overreach. And I’ve raised these issues with the Attorney General, who shares my concerns. So he has agreed to review existing Department of Justice guidelines governing investigations that involve reporters, and he’ll convene a group of media organizations to hear their concerns as part of that review. And I’ve directed the Attorney General to report back to me by July 12th.
good to know, right? (somebody mark the calendar)
Flash forward two weeks, taking us to a June 7th mad, mad world update from Reuters:
"President Barack Obama's administration is likely to open a criminal investigation into the leaking of highly classified documents that revealed the secret surveillance of Americans' telephone and email traffic, U.S. officials said on Friday."
enter another view -- something featured on Mother Jones of all places [normally a place little old G never wanders... at least not without my concealed weapon, my sense of humor] -- but surprisingly, what I discovered not only put my senses on high alert, but at ease, too; quickly putting my own bias' in check, if not to rest, my first inclination wanted to keep reading, dig in for the long haul, a cosmic trip to the moon and back. A piece alerting us to some kind of alternative universe, a secret sweet spot set aside to protect civil servants in high places who "break the law" caught my eye. [Virgin Galactic's got nothing on this, but you wouldn't know that, now would you, Beiber...]
Following up with some deep background after a couple of Democratic Senators met up with some kind of secret garden wall, clearly unable to get a jump over on their own, David Corn writes,
For those who follow the secret and often complex world of high-tech government spying, this was an aha moment. The FISA court Wyden referred to oversees the surveillance programs run by the government, authorizing requests for various surveillance activities related to national security, and it does this behind a thick cloak of secrecy. Wyden's statements led to an obvious conclusion: He had seen a secret FISA court opinion that ruled that one surveillance program was unconstitutional and violated the spirit of the law. But, yet again, Wyden could not publicly identify this program.
Enter the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a public interest group focused on digital rights. It quickly filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Justice Department for any written opinion or order of the FISA court that held government surveillance was improper or unconstitutional. The Justice Department did not respond, and EFF was forced to file a lawsuit a month later...
On its website, EFF observes, "Granted, it's likely that some of the information contained within FISC opinions should be kept secret; but, when the government hides court opinions describing unconstitutional government action, America's national security is harmed: not by disclosure of our intelligence capabilities, but through the erosion of our commitment to the rule of law."
...There's no telling if the 86-page FISA court opinion EFF seeks is directly related to either of these two programs, but EFF's pursuit of this document shows just how difficult it is—perhaps impossible—for the public to pry from the government information about domestic surveillance gone wrong.
there's no telling...Corn duly notes.
and yet, so telling it is.
All of this just doesn't sit quite right with us, does it?
It's uncomfortable; it's like, what did they know, and when did they know it? How much did they hear, what did they see, and at what point is domestic surveillance taking it a high speed link, a bridge, too far?
enter an excerpt from a recent hearing:
At a hearing of the Senate intelligence committee In March this year, Democratic senator Ron Wyden asked James Clapper, the director of national intelligence: "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"
"No sir," replied Clapper
Liar, liar, pants on fire; how about you stand in front of your webcam so we all can see?
And again, from President "Nobody is listening to your telephone calls" Obama:
But a free press is also essential for our democracy. That’s who we are. And I’m troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable. Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs. Our focus must be on those who break the law.[journalists, no -- well, some journalists anyway -- but whistleblowers, yes]
Our focus must be on those who break the law, he says.
And about that "government accountability" --
- it was precisely this government that let America down when this administration ignored concerns from the Ambassador of Libya, questioning their own security, needing support, for months leading up to the attack (the attack planned by Islamic Extremists for the anniversary of September 11th). OR, was it simply the fluid and fully reckless situation on the ground -- having masterminded a trade of prisoners, or a gun deal gone bad, that turned Benghazi into the magnificent melee of bureaucrats up against jihadists in it's final hours? The secret's safe with Ambassador Christopher Stevens, now in his final resting place.
- it was precisely this government that let America down when this administration ignored concerns by everyday Americans, having been prejudicially targeted by the IRS, as well as the EPA, because of their beliefs, religion, the content of the prayers, conservative ideals, dating back the last four years. The secret's safe in some government cubicle, somewhere high up and in a place where breaking the law meets excuses meets promotion for someone like Sarah Hall Ingram
- it was precisely this government that let America down when this administration ignored concerns -- deep throated Russian warnings, actually -- of the brothers Tsarnaev that led to the Boston Bombing....hello? Can you hear me now? Could it have been any more clear? Record of Verizon text messages, phone calls to Chechnya, have got nothing on this; we were told in no uncertain terms, "Этот парень беда" (this guy is trouble)... [Oh and you can sue Bing translator if that is entirely wrong.] The secret's safe with the secret agency first notified; the same agency to be monitored more closely from here to eternity from here on out, and you can file a motion on that.
- it was precisely this government that let Americans down when this administration ignored concerns, warning signs from here to Yemen, on the Army infiltrated Radicalized, Islamic terrorist/psychiatrist -- "Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people, told a judge on Tuesday that he believed he was defending the lives of the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan from American military personnel when he went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood here in November 2009." The same freak who gets to serve on behalf of his own sorry defense now. The secret's safe to say, this will be a courtroom circus -- justice will never be served for the American lives lost on the day domestic terrorism, cultivated within our very own Army, was allowed to go unchecked, unbalanced under the fallacy of policy favoring tolerance over common sense, Political Correctness gone wrong.
But let's get back to mixed messages, leading from behind, and talking out of both sides of the mouth:
Today, Osama bin Laden is dead, and so are most of his top lieutenants. There have been no large-scale attacks on the United States, and our homeland is more secure. Fewer of our troops are in harm’s way, and over the next 19 months they will continue to come home. Our alliances are strong, and so is our standing in the world. In sum, we are safer because of our efforts.
This is what the president wants us to hear; but this is what the president wants us to fear, so much so, that it fully warrants the government to continue doing what it is doing -- for our own good, you know:
Now, make no mistake, our nation is still threatened by terrorists. From Benghazi to Boston, we have been tragically reminded of that truth. But we have to recognize that the threat has shifted and evolved from the one that came to our shores on 9/11. With a decade of experience now to draw from, this is the moment to ask ourselves hard questions -- about the nature of today’s threats and how we should confront them...Today, a person can consume hateful propaganda, commit themselves to a violent agenda, and learn how to kill without leaving their home. To address this threat, two years ago my administration did a comprehensive review and engaged with law enforcement....Thwarting homegrown plots presents particular challenges in part because of our proud commitment to civil liberties for all who call America home. That’s why, in the years to come, we will have to keep working hard to strike the appropriate balance between our need for security and preserving those freedoms that make us who we are. That means reviewing the authorities of law enforcement, so we can intercept new types of communication, but also build in privacy protections to prevent abuse."...but also build in privacy protections to prevent abuse?" really?
enter news from the other side -- the 29 year old guy described as a mediocre student/computer geek turned whistleblower -- Edward Snowden:
A: "The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife's phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.
"I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things … I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under."
enter another random excerpt from the president's remarks @ the National Defense University just for kicks:
....And finally, we face a real threat from radicalized individuals here in the United States. Whether it’s a shooter at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, a plane flying into a building in Texas, or the extremists who killed 168 people at the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, America has confronted many forms of violent extremism in our history. Deranged or alienated individuals -- often U.S. citizens or legal residents -- can do enormous damage, particularly when inspired by larger notions of violent jihad. And that pull towards extremism appears to have led to the shooting at Fort Hood and the bombing of the Boston Marathon.
So our president starts off citing:
1) An ex-Army, white supremacist from 2012
2) followed by the white, Bush-Hater, neo-communist flying into a government IRS office, 2010
3) followed by the white supremacists blowing up children in Oklahoma, dating back to 1983.
Of the "many forms" this president chooses to highlight, notice how the white, neo-Nazi linked crazy dudes come first. "Deranged or alienated individuals -- often U.S. citizens or legal residents -- can do enormous damage, particularly when inspired by larger notions of violent jihad" and this is what it looks like. Oh my -- might as well throw in your go-to derogatory mischaracterization of choice, "teabaggers," while you're at it....and maybe even Christian, too, right Mr. President?
But there it is in black and white. Fine examples laid out by the president.
Then, consciously choosing to soften his approach, the president is forced to include:
"And that pull towards extremism appears to have led to the shooting at Fort Hood and the bombing of the Boston Marathon."
The prelude of an horrific act becomes "that pull" (as if by some kind of natural progression). While he claims it to be "towards extremism" but doesn't actually say so; while it "appears to have led to the shooting at Fort Hood and the bombing of the Boston Marathon," but we can't really be for certain.
The intelligence just hasn't given us enough information to say for a fact -- or maybe it's just "workplace violence" gone seriously awry, or maybe it's simply the fault of the American way of life altogether. Oh you know how it is, the challenges are just far too great for the poor immigrant, and family, to overcome sometimes. Oh what difference does it make, anyway -- he's decidedly tying up the uncomfortably loose ends as if in a bow and sending the package FedEx, if not also in code, back to the Arab world, with apologies.
The Remarks by the President are worthy of every American having a go at reading every single word. It's like this great maze, or labyrinth, taking us to parts known and unknown. As the administration grapples at keeping a fine balance between keeping the peace with the Muslim world, he sends America, under the guise of diplomacy, six feet under already.
The president makes a game of it, meandering through age-old topics of policy and expectations, like hopscotch, skipping across the words he needs to put in place to sound authentic, intelligent, and trustworthy, on one foot, but then allowing the other foot drop and settle upon a notion so obtuse it makes sense to us, the masses, and we follow along mindlessly.
In sweeping tones of tolerance and appeasement, the president takes us into a new era -- one that audaciously, tyrannically, allows for Americans to be questioned, watched, tracked, with high-tech surveillance and all, totally unafraid of how it looks, or how it feels, for the true blue American citizen -- while real terrorism goes on everyday within our borders, through cover organizations yet to be unveiled to the American people, and even within his administration. Or see here. Or read here. Or become totally aghast here.
All the while saying, oh, you can't see that, that's classified; it's on a need to know basis, and well, for you all, you all don't need to know that (flashing that million dollar smile of his). Oh, and you, over there, you can't do that, or we will call you a co-conspirator (putting the boot to the neck). Oh and nobody is listening to your phone calls (rolling his eyes back). And the rule of law is the rule of law -- we'll be coming to get you Snowden (extending that presidential thumb from the podium).
enter somebody new and totally out of the blue --
According to Rep. Maxine Waters (CA) who told Roland Martin, as told by Rush Limbaugh -- way back in February she said this:
"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." Rushbo carries the transcript with full EIB Network, Excellence in Broadcasting, commentary, here.
Highly classified? my sweet tush.
To the full extent of PRISM's operation -- some might question; but needless to say, lots of people knew about this; lots of people -- even Maxine Waters -- knew the president was community organizing a database supplying "everything on every individual in ways that it's never been done before."
So, from my perspective -- even Waters leaked the massive government overreach (badump ba); and it was months ago. But since nobody takes her very seriously, we let it slide right on by as if it was silly database dribble.
My latest goal -- to give those covering surveillance a field day every waking day; what with imagining them watching every key stroke, and link, and comment, and opinion all through the day...it makes me just giddy. oh we are gonna have some fun now, eh kids?
Make it a Good Day, G