As we predicted, President Obama’s big policy speech on the National Security Agency was a big zero. As we expected, he was throwing bones everywhere. We wouldn’t want to have been in the audience, getting hit in the head with a rib bone can be painful.
Here’s an excellent summary of what he said.
At first we were sure we were watching Jimmy Kimmel.
Given the unique power of the state it is not enough for the government to say “trust us”…
THAT is a real mouthful coming from the guy who assured us – repeatedly – that we could keep our insurance plans and our doctors. And yes, we will be beating that horse at least until we’re dead, and if we can figure out a way, we’ll be doing it from the grave.
As the commentator points out, he’s told people what they want to hear but when you look at the details, much of it remains “trust us”. We would quibble; we believe all of it remains “trust us”.
We want to make one thing perfectly clear right now. We don’t like Barack Obama at all. We like Hillary Clinton even less. That said, there’s not a prospective Republican presidential candidate on the horizon that we don’t like more than either of those two, but when all is said and done we don’t trust ANY of them, either party, enough to give them permission to spy on us, and that is exactly what they are doing.
So far in this whole fiasco we have the President saying he didn’t know anything about any of this stuff because he was just too busy making sure the ObamaCare website was going to be just like buying a TV from Amazon.com to pay attention. Or maybe he was playing golf. But he didn’t have a freaking clue. And his loyal staff is defending that position.
According to the [New York]Times, “aides said Mr. Obama was surprised to learn after leaks by Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, just how far the surveillance had gone.” David Plouffe, Obama’s advisor, said, “Things seem to have grown at the NSA. I think it was disturbing to most people, and I think he found it disturbing.”
This is the President who was surprised to learn that his AG was running a gun-running operation arming the Mexican cartels, he was shocked to discover the IRS was imitating the Spanish Inquisition with his political opponents, and utterly flabbergasted – after meeting endlessly with his golf coach Kathleen Sebelius – that the ObamaCare website didn’t work.
The President is saying that he’s going to set up some commissions to do some stuff and make some recommendations. He wants more commissions to look at the long term storage of metadata.
Here are the problems with all that: Barack Obama. The National Security Agency. The United States Government.
Mr. President, we the people don’t trust any of you. Not one little teeny weenie little bit. At all.
So the NSA’s spying on Americans is going to cease “as it currently exists”. Heh. They are not changing anything. This doesn’t even count for fiddling at the margins.
The administration is going to continue to collect and parse the metadata – and whatever else they’re doing. The only question is where they’re going to store it. The phone companies don’t want to store it because they don’t want to incur the enormous cost of long term storage. They don’t want the security nightmare. And you can bet your last dime they’ll be sued out of existence over leaks or perceptions of leaks or their cooperation, at gun point, with the NSA and the Obama administration.
The President says they’re going to toughen the requirements to look through the metadata for individual information. Heck, they’re going to go back to the FISA court, whose inner workings are secret, and get a warrant. That would be the same court that has turned down less than 100 requests for warrants since 1979. Gee, that makes me feel safe.
And finally, there this little tidbit from a high ranking NSA official:
Last year, high-ranking NSA official Bill Binney said, “We are, like, that far from a turnkey totalitarian state.” Now, Binney says that the U.S. has already become a full-blown police state.
Binney told Washington’s Blog on Wednesday that:
“The main use of the collection from these [NSA spying] programs [is] for law enforcement.”
We only know about this metadata program because Edward Snowden blew the whistle on it. We don’t know what else the NSA is doing, and we’re sure that the President will insist HE doesn’t know either.
Let us reiterate Mr. President, we don’t trust you. At all. Stop the metadata program. There will be a risk to doing that, but it would appear – certainly to us – that the risk is at the margin, there’s not a single group you’ve broken up and not a single attack you’ll admit to having stopped.
We are willing to take the added risk because we value our liberty and our independence and you’re willing, and able, to take both.