Obama's Cream Puff Plan to Reform US Surveillance Program
8/11/2013 12:01:00 AM
On Friday, president Obama announced a plan to reform NSA surveillance
Don't expect much of anything to come out of it. It's a dog and pony
show designed to make people feel better as opposed to any solid
measures as to how much data government collects on everyone.
Here are excerpts from the above article with my comments interspersed.
: President Obama told a packed room of journalists at
the White House Friday afternoon that he will work to reform Section
215 of the Patriot Act - the provision which currently allows the
federal government’s intelligence agencies to collect domestic phone
The President also said that he will work to increase oversight with
regards to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court - the secretive
judicial body that authorizes the government to collect data on
communications coming in and out of the United States.
Obama said the reform will be accompanied with the roll-out of a new
website which will provide Americans and people around the world the
ability to learn more about the surveillance programs.
: "The US will “make public as much information about these programs as possible.”
: Expect to discover that the only thing "possible" is a
bunch of government propaganda designed to purposely mislead the public
about the extent of government data gathering activities.
: Obama said he is forming an outside advisory panel
to review the surveillance programs, assigning a privacy officer at the
National Security Agency and creating an independent attorney to
challenge the government’s spy policies in court.
: The NSA advisory panel will have as much say as an advisory panel of ants at an anteater convention.
: "No, I don’t think Mr. Snowden was a patriot,” Obama said.
“I called for a thorough review of our surveillance operations before
Mr. Snowden made these leaks. My preference, and I think the American
people’s preference, would have been for a lawful, orderly examination
of these laws. A thoughtful, fact-based debate that would then lead us
to a better place."
: Snowden is a hero.
: "So the fact is that Mr. Snowden has been charged with
three felonies,” added Obama. “If in fact he believes that what he did
was right, then like every American citizen he can come here, appear
before a court with a lawyer and make his case. If the concern was that
somehow this was the only way to get this information out to the public,
I signed an executive order well before Mr. Snowden leaked this
information that provided whistleblower protection to the intelligence
community for the first time. So there were other avenues available for
someone whose conscious was stirred."
: There were no other avenues that would have done anything
about the blatantly illegal data gathering other than making everything
: "If you are outside of the intelligence community, if you
are the ordinary person, and you start seeing a bunch of headlines
saying, ‘US, Big Brother looking down on you, collecting telephone
records, etc.,’ well, understandably people would be concerned. I would
be too if I wasn’t inside the government. It's not enough for me to have
confidence in these programs. The American people have to have
confidence in them as well."
: Obama has confidence in something blatantly illegal, and he has the gall to insist you should have equal confidence.
: "The question is: How do I make the American people more comfortable?”
: The answer is: Stop the spying on US citizens and stop the spying on our allies as well.
: "I am comfortable that the program is currently not being abused"
: Even if one foolishly believes spying on US citizens is
constitutional, Snowden proved without a doubt the program was
repeatedly and purposely abused. And that makes the president is a
Mike "Mish" Shedlock