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Massive dragnet sweeps up communications metadata, and financial records, while targets have all of their communications recorded

In a scenario that sounds like the ramblings of a conspiracy theorist, former NSA analyst and now-whistleblower Russell Tice unveiled a massive NSA spying and wiretap program, which he claims vacuumed up an astonishing amount of communications and financial data on journalists and innocent Americans.

The program, which he claims is a remnant of the defunded 2003 “Total Information Awareness” initiative, swept up metadata (call length, envelope information, and so on) on nearly all forms of communications in the United States, as well as full communications logs for targets selected through analysis and other methods.

Tice, who previously helped shed light on the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping facilities at AT&T switching offices, said in a Wednesday interview with MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann that the NSA “had access to all Americans' communications -- faxes, phone calls, and their computer communications.”

“It didn't matter whether you were in Kansas, in the middle of the country, and you never made foreign communications at all. They monitored all communications.”

While working for the NSA, Tice says he was tasked with looking at U.S. news, reporting, and journalist organizations, specifically for the purpose of excluding them from NSA analysis. According to Tice, however, that order was just a cover story for something completely opposite. The news organizations he targeted were instead monitored by the NSA “24/7 and 365 days a year.”

“I started to investigate that. That's about the time when they came after me to fire me,” he said.

“This bait and switch idea, the ‘this is the discard pile, we’re not going to look at the media’ [where] it becomes apparent to you that the ‘discard’ pile is in fact the ‘save’ pile… how did that become apparent to you?” asked Olbermann.

“Well, as I was going for support for [a] particular organization, and it sort of was dropped to me that, you know, ‘this is done 24/7’,” replied Tice. “I would say, ‘I need collection at this time, at this point, for a window of time,’ and I would say, ‘will we have the capability at this particular point?’ in positioning assets.”

“I was ultimately told, ‘we don’t have to worry about that, because we’ve got it covered all the time.’ That’s when it clicked in my head that this was not being on a one-sy basis … this is something that’s happening all the time,” he said.

In a follow-up interview aired Thursday, Tice revealed that the communications data was then “married in” with financial records and credit card transactions.

“Throwing that information in too… your credit card records, where you spent your money … do you have any idea what this stuff was used for?” asked Olbermann.

“The obvious explanation would be, if you did have a potential terrorist, you'd want to know where they're spending money, whether they purchased an airline ticket, that sort of thing,” Tice replied.

Using criteria designed for catching terrorist-like activity – at one point, Tice speculated that if terrorists make short, 1- to 2- minute calls, then this might be a red flag applied to all such calls, such as “ordering pizza” – tens of thousands of innocent Americans were snagged into the system.

“This is garnered from algorithms that have been put together to try to just dream up scenarios that might be … associated with how a terrorist could operate,” said Tice on Thursday. “If someone just talked about the daily news and mentioned something about the Middle East, they could easily be brought to the forefront of having that little flag put by their name that says potential terrorist.”

Drawn up from anyone with a red flag, the combined communications and financial data could sit with a person for years, digitized and warehoused away. “Then all the sudden it marries up with something else 10 years from now, and they get put on a no-fly list [without having] a clue why,” explained Tice.

In most cases, spied-upon Americans didn’t do anything overtly suspicious to trigger surveillance.

Tice also elaborated on how the program was passed through Congressional oversight committees:

“The Agency would tailor some of their briefings to try to be deceptive for … someone who they really didn’t want to know exactly what was going on. There’d be a lot of bells and whistles in the briefing and, quite often, the meat of the briefing was deceptive.

“One of the things that could be done, was that you could take something that was part of the Department of Defense, make it part of the intelligence community, and put a caveat to that. [Then you could] make whatever the intelligence community is doing for support will ultimately be given a different caveat. When the defense committees on the hill come calling, you say ‘You can’t look at that because that’s an intelligence program,’ but when the intelligence program comes calling you say, ‘You can’t look at that because it’s a DoD program.’

“You’d basically have a little shell game that you’re playing back and forth.”

The NSA, when confronted with Tice’s allegations, replied it “considers the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens to be sacrosanct,” noting that it faces “immense challenges in protecting our nation,” but, “remains dedicated to performing its mission under the rule of law.”

Tice could not say whether the program was still in operation, as his access to all such information was shut off after being fired in 2005. Shortly after voicing his initial allegations, as well as serving as a source for the New York Times article that launched the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s warrantless wiretapping investigation, Tice was subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in what The Raw Story called “an apparent attempt at intimidation.”

Ars Technica notes that while communications metadata is exempt from fourth-amendment protections, a variety of U.S. laws protect this data by requiring a court order before it can be recorded.

This is not the first time the NSA has used underhanded tactics to track reporters. In April 2008, the U.S. government subpoenaed James Risen, co-author of the original New York Times article and a follow-up book called “State of War,” for phone records in order to track down his sources.

It is unclear how Tice’s allegations relate to AT&T’s infamous secure room 641A, which whistleblower Mark Klein alleged was used by the NSA to mirror all web traffic flowing through AT&T’s San Francisco switching center. Klein, who also appeared on Olbermann’s show, said he was ordered to install splitters on AT&T’s backbone that copied everything that passed through.

Klein’s allegations kicked off a massive investigation, as well as a series of lawsuits, from privacy groups such as the EFF and American Civil Liberties Unions.  While the Bush Administration successfully granted telecommunications companies amnesty for their assistance – essentially shutting down many of these lawsuits – a number of lawsuits born of these original complaints are working their way through U.S. courts today.

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Kieth Olberman? Please...
By Octoberblue on 1/24/2009 2:21:56 PM , Rating: 1
Well, no offense intended, but I'm sure this will offend anyway. You conspiracy theorists really should get a new hobby. It's laughable that I'm the one who is considered "gullible" for actually thinking the NSA was just trying to catch terrorists! You conspiracy people create a market that people like this guy exploit all the time. It's no different than the scams like "Make 50K A Month While Relaxing on the Beach!" or "Lose 50lbs While Eating Whatever You Want!" - Wherever there is a demand for something there will always be some unscrupulous person willing to lie to make money off it.

This kind of stuff is tailor-made for young, niave left-wingers to lap it up. And the media coverage on these kinds of stories is so transparently biased and manipulative it's note even funny. If the target of an accusation is a liberal, the headline will read something like, "Disgraced, Disgruntled Former Employee Levels Baseless Accusations", and the article will start out with something like, "When Mr. Smith was fired for incompetence, sources say he became irate and violent. It now appears that Mr. Smith has decided to channel that anger into baseless allegations agains innocent liberals, leading some to question his sanity." (Yes, exaggeration added for emphasis, but sadly not that far off.)

If the target is even remotely conservative, the headline over the same allegations will read, "Courageous Whislte-Blower Comes Forward to Reveal the Sinister Truth!", and the article will begin, "Mr. Smith was shocked when an innocent question about some suspicious activities landed him in the unemployment line." - or whatever. You get the gist. Coverage is not only biased, it's gotten to the point where it has devolved into intentionally agenda-driven propaganda. (Oops, pardon me. Don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist..)

And Kieth Olberman? Seriously. It's scary to think of what he's going to do with all that rage now that there's nobody in power to direct it against.

RE: Kieth Olberman? Please...
By LibertyFace on 1/24/2009 2:48:47 PM , Rating: 2
So what's the conspiracy theory here? That it was reported by mainstream media that over a million americans were on the terrorism watch list a few months ago?

RE: Kieth Olberman? Please...
By ChristopherO on 1/24/2009 3:07:14 PM , Rating: 1
I don't want to play Devil's advocate, but think about that. One million Americans. That's one in 300.

You don't think that one out of every 300 Americans might be potentially crazy enough to join a crazy cause against the country? As far as I can tell, 10% of the population are insane leftists, and another 10% are insane right-wingers. I'm pretty certain that mob-mentality could take root in at least 0.33% of the population.

And they didn't say they're actually listening to everything. They're looking for patterns.

If guy A, talks to guy B frequently, who talks to guy C a lot, who calls a satellite phone in remote parts of God-knows-where on a regular basis... You don't think it's good to know that guy A has the potential to be part of something, especially if A, B, C have absolutely no blood relationship?

The double-standard baffles me. You get that insane kid who shot up a school in Colorado in the 90s... Everyone afterward says, "We should have seen it coming!" Then, everyone actually starts watching who troubled-kids talk to, and then other crazy fools say, "You're violating their privacy rights! You have no right to know who they're friends with!"

We should just have a national vote:
a.) Check this box if you want total privacy, with the exception that more people might die since we can't monitor for potential trouble.
b.) Check this box if you're okay with the government *potentially* watching who you talk to, with the trade off that bad things are less likely to happen.

You need to remember something... *Every* single country in the world who is a routine victim of terror doesn't have our technology. If they did, perhaps they wouldn't have the problems they have.

RE: Kieth Olberman? Please...
By MisterChristopher on 1/25/2009 12:46:59 PM , Rating: 2
This is ridiculous. You are completely disregarding the fact that I personally do not want my information being recorded at any cost. I hate to sound uncaring or selfish, but I would rather that you and I face the risk of death than I give up my freedoms.

My constitutional right to privacy trumps your desire to watch me for "potential" problems.

Freedom should never be traded for security. Once it is, what is the point of living?

By William Gaatjes on 1/25/2009 6:42:42 PM , Rating: 2
Then you do not want to be protected by your army ? Or be protected by the police against criminals ?

There is no such thing as absolute freedom.
When people give up a tiny little bit of their freedom to increase the safety of their lives it is a good thing. It just works that way. However, i do have to state that some precautions used in the usa against terrorism are just insane. The NSA is not unique you know. Wire tapping and profiling happens everywhere in every technological advanced country. Most of the time it is a benefit. Sometimes when government employees( i am not meaning Russel Tice) go roque and abuse the gathered information for personal use it can be a bad thing. But seriously, a policeofficer or a soldier can go roque too. Does that mean the army is a bad thing or that the police is a bad thing ? I don't think so. Only relative freedom exists in civilized countries. Because that is what makes them civilized.

RE: Kieth Olberman? Please...
By Octoberblue on 1/24/2009 4:04:42 PM , Rating: 3
I apologize for making my remarks so cutting. I just get angry when I see people being misled by the very folks who are supposed to be responsible in their reporting. Of course I know that echelon exists. That's been common knowledge since the Clinton years. But somehow the Clinton administration was deemed trustworthy enough for it not to be an issue. (This is a reference to a post below.)

The NSA surveillance isn't the same issue. As for "conspiracy", I'm referring to the absurd notion that the evil Bush minions were targeting reporters and the implication that their insidious intent was to somehow punish or silence their enemies. The way this kind of accusation is reported makes all the difference in how it is perceived. And there's very little neutrality or verifiable evidence involved. Just the word of some guy that wants to eventually sell a lot of books.

The truth is that Bush is a decent guy and always has been. The left is simply blinded by an unreasonable and unjustified hatred of him. It's also a myth that Cheney was the puppet master. Yes, he was a player who tried to schmooze, cajole and otherwise pressure others into getting his way. Sometimes he was successful. Sometimes not. But at worst he was no more inclined toward, or effective at, this kind of behavior than Bill Clinton, and nowhere close to as powerful as LBJ.

My point is that yes, there are good guys and bad guys in the world. But at the same time, the real world just isn't populated with horrible demons on one side and perfect angels on the other. I wish Obama the best in his administration. I'm fairly certain that he is neither the Messiah nor the Antichrist. Hopefully our nation will recover and thrive again soon. Whether it's because of, or in spite of, the new President's policies, doesn't really matter to me.

RE: Kieth Olberman? Please...
By ekv on 1/24/2009 4:48:37 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, like Olberman is such a critically important figure and his reportage is watched by, well, gazillions of people, who hang on his every word because the future of Obama's administration just depends on ... um, well, on squashing the evil Bush administration [who isn't in power anymore ... but there needs to be a break from Bush policies, yeah, that's the ticket].

Argh! What nonsense.

To say that the NSA was targeting reporters doesn't make sense. Unless, they were targeting conservative reporters, since now over 90% of journalists / reporters are registered Democrats. Thinking about it though, it would be good if the NSA did target the New York Times since they have an extremely poor habit of telegraphing US intelligence to Middle East bad guys. Where is the New York Times getting their information? [Ok, it's probably that bubble-gum-for-brains Nancy Pelosi, but still].

Yeah, Bush is a decent guy. You could even say classy, in some repects. He definitely went the extra mile to protect the U.S. [and to kick some serious muslim-fascist buttinsky].

RE: Kieth Olberman? Please...
By bigbrent88 on 1/24/2009 5:53:26 PM , Rating: 2
since now over 90% of journalists / reporters are registered Democrats.

Source please, or edit to say "I believe many journalists are.." Everyone likes to throw fake numbers around today.

RE: Kieth Olberman? Please...
RE: Kieth Olberman? Please...
By HinderedHindsight on 1/24/2009 9:06:28 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing completely conclusive in any of those links. They all conveniently avoid mention or interview of Fox news- and the only real study in that group of links occurred prior to the creation of Fox News. But the one thing they all seem to have in common is that they completely leave out radio media outlets. And there seems to be little accounting for print media beyond newspapers (e.g. writers of books).

Further, just because someone votes for a Democratic candidate does not necessarily translate to a bias in their reporting. I'm not saying that it never happens, but nothing you've shown provides a complete view of ALL media or a substantive analysis of content- they deal in voting records and commentaries of offhanded comments. The Kuypers article is definitely not comprehensive scholarship, nor is it even recent- its most references seem to be over a decade old.

RE: Kieth Olberman? Please...
By Reclaimer77 on 1/25/2009 12:02:47 AM , Rating: 1
If you don't think the huge majority of all reporters and news persons are flaming liberals, then you don't watch the news, read papers, turn on your radio, or surf the internet.

RE: Kieth Olberman? Please...
By Reclaimer77 on 1/25/2009 12:15:00 AM , Rating: 1
Also liberal bias has been so rampant and common place, that people have acclimated themselves to accept it as the average normal viewpoint on far too many issues. It's gotten to the point now that people can't actually tell the difference because most people can't think for themselves.

It's no wonder Fox News gets accused of being some kind of blatant right wing organization. If I bought the crap on MSNBC and CNN, and then switched to Fox, I would be pretty shocked too probably.

By MisterChristopher on 1/25/2009 1:02:58 PM , Rating: 2
I would say from the perspective of an avid reader, radio listener, and television watcher that our media is overall pretty balanced. Segments of media are certainly biased. More TV tends to be liberal. More radio tends to be conservative. News papers seem to be more liberal, and books seem to be split.

The internet is by far the most unbiased source since you can look at the entire range of perspectives from far left to far right. Also, there are different versions of the different sides.

Overall, things seem to be pretty balanced. Evidence of that can be found in the fact that our country is fairly evenly divided between liberals and conservatives. Therefor it logically follows that media would be designed to cater to those population segments in proportions representative of how large the segment actually is. Its simple economics.

People who say media is biased are correct, but not seeing the whole picture.

RE: Kieth Olberman? Please...
By ekv on 1/25/2009 2:29:37 AM , Rating: 2
Is there ever anything "completely conclusive"?

You conveniently mention Fox news when no other entries did. Why, except to be inflammatory. You mention "radio media outlets", but fail to condemn the Democratic controlled congress and the Democratic controlled administration which wants to bring back the Fairness Doctrine so to stifle "conservative" talk radio. You weren't even born when the Fairness Doctrine was repealed.

You say "just because someone votes for a Democratic candidate does not necessarily translate to a bias in their reporting" but that's just what it says in the Kuypers article. What were you thinking? It almost sounds like you want somebody to do research for your term paper. You should know better.

RE: Kieth Olberman? Please...
By MadMan007 on 1/24/2009 7:21:31 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't read the word 'Bush,' explicit or implicit, anywhere in the article. Naturally if these programs were pushed or especially started during his administration with his knowledge and consent then his administration is responsible. More likely it's a combination of at least implicit consent form the administration and the continuation of programs that had taken on a bureaucratic life of their own. If he was really decent guy he'd uphold his oath to defend the constitution not render it asunder. And it's not just lefties who have issues with Bush & Co.

RE: Kieth Olberman? Please...
By Octoberblue on 1/24/2009 9:30:39 PM , Rating: 2
The end of your statement reveals the hipocrasy of the beginning. Of course the Olberman interview was about trying to destroy Bush. He is one of many fellow travelers who believe such unfounded nonsense as Bush trying to render the constitution asunder. I don't agree with all of the decisions Bush made. But I also realize it's easy to say that when you're not the one having to make the decisions. And the NSA story is such paranoid nonsense. Of course the wiretapping was "warrantless". The point of a warrant is to try and prosecute someone. The purpose of NSA surveillance is to prevent a terrorist act.

The NSA couldn't care less who's calling 900 numbers or making arrangements to pick up a bag of weed. They know that nothing they gather would ever be admissible in court. It's not about court. It's about prevention, not prosecution, and certainly not persecution. And the guy who compared terrorists to Jews in Nazi Germany. That's just incredible. Hitler was a terrorist. It is the terrorist leaders who are like Hitler. Bush is nothing like either of them. His efforts to defend the constitution were focused primarily on providing for the common defense, and perhaps he was too singular in that focus. But he never violated the Constitution, let alone render it asunder. Gathering intelligence on enemy activities has always been part of the job of the Commander-in-Chief. Whether this intelligence happens to be gathered on U.S. soil or not has never historically mattered. Most recently, Bill Clinton used echelon for this purpose.

But lets at least be clear about what is and is not a violation of your rights. If someone gathers information about you and attempts to use it against you in a court of law, that is a violation of your rights. Or if they attempt to use it against you to smear your reputation, that's a violation of your rights. That has never once happened under the Bush administration.

But having a computer scan the phone systems looking for words like "Jihad", and word patterns that imply hostility, and then not even paying attention to THAT unless your activity matches dozens of other terrorist-like activities. And then, finally, after all that, taking a closer look to see if you really are plotting to blow something up, and ignoring you if you're not... This is not a violation of your rights. It is a responsible and perfectly legal attempt to provide for the common defense.

RE: Kieth Olberman? Please...
By mindless1 on 1/25/2009 1:02:13 AM , Rating: 2
You don't seem to understand. The majority have an expectation of privacy, not just whether information is used against them or not.

The majority do not think "it's ok if my privacy is violated so long as I'm not prosecuted for something, it's ok if they have a reason that Octoberblue agrees with". The sentiments of the majority are why warrants exist, that oversight, authorization should be required regardless of whether the reason for the surveillance is terrorist activity or some other potential threat.

Let's be clear, your acceptance of the reason why they're violating our rights, does not inherently change that we quite specifically deem it unacceptable without a warrant. "We the people"

RE: Kieth Olberman? Please...
By Octoberblue on 1/25/2009 1:57:26 PM , Rating: 2
This is not a violation of your rights. It is not illegal. If it was, Bush would have been impeached instead of just railed against and howled at. Do you really think that with the Democrats controlling both houses of Congress for the past few years, as much as their leadership hates George W. Bush, that they would not have jumped at the chance to impeach him if it were possible?

It wasn't possible because it wasn't illegal. Which is why they went the route they did, trying to make everyone paranoid about it and attempting to get the courts to prevent it. These are the types of issues that are argued over frequently in our country. It's part of the process of our form of government. And it was not spelled out anywhere that the President could not do this for foreign intelligence purposes. Every administration has done similar things for that purpose. It's not a matter of whether Octoberblue happens to agree with it. It's part of Presidential authority. If it bothers you then you try to change it.

RE: Kieth Olberman? Please...
By kyleb2112 on 1/24/2009 9:11:26 PM , Rating: 2
Bush could have planted WMD to find in Iraq rather than taking a crippling political blow. He could've used "domestic spying" to take down political opponents, but that has never even been accused. Liberal groups could've been repeatedly targeted for IRS audits the way conservative groups were under Clinton. If Bush was one tenth as Evil as the left portrays him, he could have orchestrated himself into national hero by now, rather than leaving the office as the whipping boy and trusting history to judge him. I've got problems with a lot of Bush's policies, but if the new guy has half of his integrity, we'll be lucky.

RE: Kieth Olberman? Please...
By Davelo on 1/25/2009 12:44:27 AM , Rating: 1
I can tell you took the blue pill.

So whos ready
By raghavny80 on 1/24/2009 2:37:05 PM , Rating: 5
for the second american revolution and restoring freedom and liberty

RE: So whos ready
By soloman02 on 1/24/2009 3:01:54 PM , Rating: 5
As soon as I purchase a 6.8mm AR, I'll be ready.

RE: So whos ready
By jlips6 on 1/24/2009 7:55:07 PM , Rating: 5
I would, but I'm busy reaping the benefits of our current society by wasting my time reading all these posts about revolutions that won't really happen.

RE: So whos ready
By Omega215D on 1/25/2009 5:52:46 AM , Rating: 5
American Idol will keep them happy.

Go back to bed America, your government is in control again. Here, watch this, shut up. Here's American Gladiators. Here's 56 channels of it. You have the right to do as we tell you.

RE: So whos ready
By William Gaatjes on 1/25/2009 6:17:51 PM , Rating: 2
I think the reason why these shows are so popular is the fight or flight response. You cannot fight it, so you might as well flee and hide watching these kind of shows.

RE: So whos ready
By MikeO on 1/26/2009 3:41:19 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I'm pretty sure quoting Bill Hicks earns you an automatic red flag :P

RE: So whos ready
By majBUZZ on 1/27/2009 4:09:48 PM , Rating: 2
aaahh Bill hicks
I miss him still.

you forgot his best line ,

"You are free to do as we tell you!"

RIP Bill

RE: So whos ready
By Shining Arcanine on 1/26/2009 12:12:43 AM , Rating: 5
Too late. The NSA knows that you said that and they will be coming for you. :P

RE: So whos ready
By austinag on 1/26/2009 3:34:48 PM , Rating: 2
Why would they come for you, when they can just not save you during the nuclear war of 2012?

On a completely unrelated note: Isn't the NSA wonderful? I love them. :)

RE: So whos ready
By majBUZZ on 1/26/2009 7:50:20 PM , Rating: 2
This bit from Wired today 1/26/09 sums it up.

I just hope in the long run that ... at some point that the American people wake up and that this stuff is dealt with. Right now ... do you know the adage about the frog in the water? That's what we're dealing with here. The American people are the frog in the tepid water, and the temperature is slowly being turned up. And we're about to become frog soup, and the American people don't know what's happening.

Aristotle said that the biggest danger to democracy is not insurgency, it's apathy. And I think that's what we're seeing right now. To a large extent it's politicians doing CYA and doing everything they can to make sure that people don't know what's going on. But to another extent, it's the populace who is more concerned about Janet Jackson's breast jumping out of her dress at the Super Bowl as opposed to what's really important in this world. Who cares about Britney Spears having her baby on her lap or all that nonsense that you see on TV?

I've done my constitutional duty. I've done what I had to do. That's all I'll say. Let the chips fall where they may. I'm out of the game. I've fallen on my sword.

RE: So whos ready
By HarleyDude on 1/30/2009 11:18:36 AM , Rating: 2
No need to revolt. The war has worked as planned. Even with a record loss in the 4th quarter, record profits were secured by our oil companies. Party!

A round of shots of crude for all the good people! Chase it down with semi-frozen mugs of global warmed ice cap brew and NSA tainted silicon chips dipped in a muddied constitutional salsa.

We are in dire straits. We must continue to exercise our right for open records and an open government to defend every tidbit of privacy afforded us. Like taxes, losing a little here and a little there is not normally noticed by the average citizen until we have nothing left but a bewildered look on our faces and an empty upturned hand.

Disgruntled Employee
By Reclaimer77 on 1/24/2009 12:45:01 PM , Rating: 2
Whistleblower ?

I find it hard to believe anyone didn't know the NSA ,of all people, were doing this. It was made public knowledge. We knew the federal government had this capability since CLINTON got Eschelon up and running.

“It didn't matter whether you were in Kansas, in the middle of the country, and you never made foreign communications at all. They monitored all communications.”

If we didn't monitor ALL communications, and only targeted people from the middle east, we would have political correctness groups like the ACLU screaming bloody murder about "racial profiling." Just like we have old white grandmothers being frisked at the airport. When's the last time an old white lady blew up a plane ?

I'm sorry this guy got fired because he didn't toe the line, but this happens every day in government. And it's hardly 'whistleblower' level stuff he's revealing.

RE: Disgruntled Employee
By Hyraxxx on 1/24/2009 3:55:43 PM , Rating: 2
That's a good point about racial profiling. People make it out to be a bad thing. When it is perfectly legitimate in certain situations. Since the program could not target a certain group of people, they target everyone.

It's fair. I am scared though, not because of the survelience, but because of the enforcement of survielance. Once you get crazy extremest groups suing for the information. To protect against, robbers making phone calls, rapes, any crime involving children, animals, murder. Then that's when the shit hits the fan. It's the destructive power of the extremists groups perverting the system.

RE: Disgruntled Employee
By Aloonatic on 1/25/2009 9:00:14 AM , Rating: 3
Clinton set this up?

Next thing you'll be telling me is that Clinton overturned a law created after the great depression ( & to stop normal banks offering investment and commercial banking service as that was seen as one of the reasons why the original great depression (not the one that we are headed into now) happened and has been sighted as one of the reason for the current recession.

I thought that only evil Republicans did this sort of thing?

RE: Disgruntled Employee
By darklight0tr on 1/26/2009 9:38:54 AM , Rating: 3
Claiming that Clinton is solely responsible is misleading. Using the very links you posted it shows that 98% of Republicans in both the House and Senate voted for the bill, so both parties share the blame. Clinton's share is signing the bill into law in the first place.

RE: Disgruntled Employee
By mal1 on 1/27/2009 10:19:31 AM , Rating: 2
When are people going to realize that the whole left/right paradigm is set up as a mechanism to divide and conquer? As long as people are pointing fingers at the other party no significant changes will be made from a grassroots level and the politicians will continue to accomplish the bidding of their corporate sponsors.

RE: Disgruntled Employee
By Moishe on 1/26/2009 10:19:40 AM , Rating: 4
Being a generally conservative libertarian... I would rather have an occasional bombing than a loss of freedom.

The idea of "protecting us from crazies" is a good idea, but not at the cost of freedom. We can fight back against terrorists but fighting back against an insidious hidden government program that is kept alive only through deception and lies is close to impossible.

There is a fine line between where we are and a police state. It all hinges on the government respecting individual right to privacy. We are not yet a police state but each time the government is allowed to trample freedom in the name of the people we get just a little closer.

Like piracy, terrorism is going to be ever present. Instead of trying to stop the unstoppable we should be putting up reasonable safeguards and go about our lives with our privacy and freedom intact.

RE: Disgruntled Employee
By Reclaimer77 on 1/26/2009 7:21:55 PM , Rating: 2
Being a generally conservative libertarian... I would rather have an occasional bombing than a loss of freedom.

That's why you Libertarians are a bunch of wackos that will never take the White House. You fail to see freedom and rights mean nothing without safety. And telling me you would rather have bombings does nothing to change my mind about you.

A country that can't defend it's own borders isn't sovereign.

What freedom's have you lost by the way ?

Instead of trying to stop the unstoppable we should be putting up reasonable safeguards and go about our lives with our privacy and freedom intact.

I'm curious. If wiretapping isn't "reasonable", then what exactly is ? Maybe after 9/11 we should have just thrown every middle eastern in "camps" like we did in WWII with the Japanese ?

RE: Disgruntled Employee
By Wulfgang on 1/26/2009 10:15:52 PM , Rating: 2
That's why you Libertarians are a bunch of wackos that will never take the White House. You fail to see freedom and rights mean nothing without safety.

Singlehandedly turning Patrick Henry's famous maxim "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" on its head...

RE: Disgruntled Employee
By mal1 on 1/27/2009 10:31:29 AM , Rating: 2
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

If you won't draw the line at tapping phone calls and monitoring internet usage, where do you draw it? Cameras, microphones and tracking devices in your car? In your house? Under your skin? Technology might not be too far off from monitoring your thoughts.

There can be no tolerance to the invasion of privacy without opening the floodgates of tyranny.

RE: Disgruntled Employee
By Steve Guilliot on 1/27/2009 5:41:33 PM , Rating: 2
Complete lunacy, with absolutely zero historical perspective.

I'm sorry, but I don't take the loss of privacy lightly. You ask what freedom's we have lost, but I say FU. To control you, they have to know ABOUT you. Just ask Hoover:

I think the second paragraph says it all. This is not hypothetical. Nevermind that they were targetting the press specifically...

RE: Disgruntled Employee
By sunjava04 on 1/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: Disgruntled Employee
By calyth on 1/26/2009 4:28:43 PM , Rating: 2
Well, the whole monitoring thing goes way back, long before Clinton.
Western Union used to ship copies of all telegraphs back in eitehr WWI or WW2 (I don't remember), and that was indiscriminate, and may not have a warrant.

This is what intelligence agencies do, they get information to the best of their abilities. If you don't want them to do certain things, regulate them. This is what happens when the boss (in this case, Bush), tell them to loosen it up. They have to vacuum up everything to get to all the stuff that they want, and because of that, they'll vacuum stuff that they shouldn't be looking. Bush merely told them, oh look into the stuff that NSA has no real mandate to look into anyways.

Domestic wiretapping falls under FBI afaik.

By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 1/27/2009 8:24:20 AM , Rating: 2
The real issue is that NSA was collecting metedata, not actual data, for the most part. They are profiling normal communications patterns in the US signal systems so that they can catch anomolous behavior in the system as an early warning to possible terrorist activity. Simple enough. I think this is the origin of the vague warnings of "an uptick in chatter."

However, consider that that uptick can be from people discussing an upcoming event, or discussing the latest terrorist warnings, so at some point it becomes Schrödinger's cat. By observing it, we change it. Now that the cat is out of the bag (or box), the system is no longer reliable. At least this bozo gets his 15 minutes and a small check for his "concern."

By chick0n on 1/25/2009 10:28:03 AM , Rating: 5
Its just funny that it seems to be ok for most americans to let our government to wiretap/monitor our information BUT if a government like China monitor their citizen's data, it turns into some sort of evil and they shall be punish under god's wrath or something.

So much for double standard.

yea yea, kiss my ass about freedom. I dont see any differences between the two.

By Octoberblue on 1/25/2009 1:25:12 PM , Rating: 1
If the information is used to drag you out of bed in the middle of the night, shoot you in the head, and dump your body in a trench for daring to criticize the state, then you might have a point. But if it's used to try and prevent someone from flying a large plane through your office window on a beautiful Tuesday morning then well, you might be all wet.

Like I said, nobody at NSA has ever seen, nor do they care, about your "information". Unless you're planning to bomb something the computers don't pick up on you at all. That's the truth, that's the reality, it always has been.

BTW, if you want to take freedom so lightly then maybe you should think about the fact that if you were Chinese, living in China, and posted this same type of message in criticism of their government, you probably would have already been arrested by now. Punk.

By chick0n on 1/25/09, Rating: 0
By Octoberblue on 1/25/09, Rating: -1
By William Gaatjes on 1/25/2009 6:14:56 PM , Rating: 3
It is wise to take a step back and watch news from other countries as well. This way you can compare the native news with foreign news. If you already did not do this, you would be surprised. I have to warn you, it can leave you dissapointed and you may loose your trust in your native news stations. But on the other hand you will feel more relieved too.

By Shining Arcanine on 1/26/2009 12:14:19 AM , Rating: 2
Just mention Planned Parenthood and all notion of rights, freedom and liberty go to the wayside.

By chick0n on 1/26/09, Rating: -1
By derwin on 1/26/2009 7:34:19 AM , Rating: 3
Our media is under control? Stop dropping acid. Our media is retarded, perhaps, but it is not under control.

Wanna talk about human rights ? Guantanamo bay anyone? sooooo much human rights. yea yea they're terrorist? my ass, like they're not human? suck it bitxh.

Terrorist your ass?
Do you really believe we just rounded up a bunch of civilians, put signs around their neck reading "terrorist" and dragged them half way across the world?
Yes - innocent untill proven guilty. Even them! They are awaiting trial. Many are currently in the middle if their trials. Sorry its not perfect, but it is what we got, and if you want to pay some extra money to the government to fix it, by all means, I don't think they would turn you down.

Jewish controlled media


Antisemetic much?

some REAL facts

I will give you the benefit of the doubt. Please present to me, with proper citation, some "real facts."

By TheSpaniard on 1/26/2009 8:36:16 AM , Rating: 3
the problem with quantanamo is they were not innocent until proven guilty...

torture and such BEFORE even given a trial... military tribunals are NOT due process.

but that is neither here nor there-I doubt the NSA really foiled any attempts at anything other than tax evasion with this program

By JS on 1/26/2009 8:45:28 AM , Rating: 5
Many of the detainees have quietly been released, since they in fact were innocent to the charge of being terrorists. I think several of them were more or less innocent civilians, fingered by rival tribesmen for cash rewards.

But they still were locked up and many of them treated horribly for several years, without access to lawyers or due process.

Guantanamo is a shame for a country that proclaims itself to be the beacon of freedom, democracy and justice in the world.

By mal1 on 1/27/2009 10:49:54 AM , Rating: 2
The media is most definitely controlled, but not by Jews (btw, most people in positions of power realize that religion is a great way to control and manipulate the masses and generally do not practice the doctrines they claim to subscribe to). The media and the majority of politicians are controlled by a few multinational corporations whose only agendas are profit and control. If you don't think the media (and yourself through the media) are being controlled then they've succeeded marvelously.

Who really controls the media? Take a look:

By derwin on 1/29/2009 1:20:04 PM , Rating: 2
Do you know who owns those companys? Share holders.

By Ammohunt on 1/26/2009 3:55:56 PM , Rating: 2
Since a huge portion of data trasmitted on the internet to including most email is not encrypted.. whats the differnce between the NSA capturing this info vs any 3rd part marketing firm? I just don't subscribe to the conspiracy in ever corner theory.

By wired00 on 1/28/2009 10:16:32 PM , Rating: 2
Its because thats what the US govt WANTS news sites and papers to report... they're happy when people are reading how bad china... or russia or korea or this or anyone else is... lets them carry on doing their thing.

By Yawgm0th on 1/24/2009 12:53:49 PM , Rating: 4
While Congress successfully granted telecommunications companies amnesty for their assistance


Now I am among the first to criticize Bush. I really am. But let's give blame where blame is due. The outrageous FISA amendment, like any other legislation, was the responsibility of Congress.

RE: Correction
By LibertyFace on 1/24/2009 2:34:43 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely, and our "Great Leader", or "The One" or "the Messiah" voted for the FISA 2008 bill.

RE: Correction
By Hyraxxx on 1/24/2009 3:57:35 PM , Rating: 1
shhh. that's irrevelant. you should know that.

RE: Correction
By ekv on 1/24/2009 4:19:22 PM , Rating: 2
or, "that's just not true". "What I actually said was" ... "it's Bush's fault." Yada Yada.


RE: Correction
By jlips6 on 1/24/2009 8:01:40 PM , Rating: 1
I thought it was "That one", not "The One"

RE: Correction
By Omega215D on 1/25/2009 5:51:01 AM , Rating: 3
Wait... Bush is actually Neo?!?! Are you going to tell me next that Congress is a bunch of Smiths as well? =P

Oh and: Adam Freeland - We Want Your Soul

Give it a listen.

RE: Correction
By del on 1/28/2009 11:32:57 AM , Rating: 2

If this is the song I am thinking about, it would be good if it actually had some good musical quality to it (and wasn't corny). I don't care if it gets remixed by Raiden.

RE: Correction
By del on 1/28/2009 11:51:07 AM , Rating: 2
I hope (for his sake) that this cat is making a bad reference to Barack Obama and that he's not actually talking about the Messiah like that... 9_9

By yacoub on 1/24/2009 6:00:44 PM , Rating: 2
This could explain how they've been able to keep us safe the past seven years from another terrorist attack on our home turf.

RE: well
By jlips6 on 1/24/2009 7:47:59 PM , Rating: 2
you mean besides all those school shootings, right?
Oh wait, those don't count because they aren't the kind of terror that comes from the middle east.

RE: well
By nukunukoo on 1/25/2009 11:23:16 PM , Rating: 2
I see, so I guess if we didn't "indirectly" kill thousands of "terrorists" and innocent civilians and troops, and if we didn't put a bad name on our nation, and if we didn't make Halliburton one of the most profitable company in the world and if we didn't spend billions every week... And if we didn't mess up our nation's financial health by having so many mistaken priorities indirectly stemming from the war... then there would have been several planes crashing on our cities by now?

You are soooo educated...NOT!

Read the news and see the views both ways...

RE: well
By wordsworm on 1/29/2009 11:58:17 AM , Rating: 2
This could explain how they've been able to keep us safe the past seven years from another terrorist attack on our home turf.

That is great. I'm glad that there was only one terrorist attack while Bush was in power. It's amazing that Clinton managed to go his two terms without having to resort to spying on his own citizens in order to do it.

Watergate comes to mind when it comes to Republican spying on people. I can't help but wonder if they were after Democrat communications. In any case, I'm sure Obama will bring sanity back to the US. Surely he couldn't do worse than Bush. The US can't be that unfortunate.

Big surprise?
By therealnickdanger on 1/24/2009 12:23:35 PM , Rating: 2
I guess I've always just assumed this was true. Probably will never change either. Meh...

RE: Big surprise?
By FITCamaro on 1/24/09, Rating: 0
RE: Big surprise?
By LibertyFace on 1/24/2009 2:27:50 PM , Rating: 2
I highly doubt there are guys listening in to these conversations when they have voice recognition technology that can translate voice into text readily available. In this case all you would need are algorithms like the one described on olbermann to recognize frequency of key phrases.

Unfortunately it's resulted in literally over a million americans listed as potential terroist. Google "information awareness office" It is Orwellian.

While you're at it, try googling "AR 210-35", "John Warner Defense Authorization Act", and "REX84" "Section 802 Patriot Act" I can go on and on.

I don't know why so many people doubted project Echelon.

The reason why people didn't believe in echelon I think the same reason why people don't want to believe that ABC just reported on JAN 17 that yes guantanamo bay is closing but more of those are planned to open up here in the US. We were just too afraid to admit 10 years ago when it came out under echelon that warrant less domestic surveillance or face recognition cameras on intersections were on its way.

And then when we do finally realize that okay, maybe LA times was right when they said obama toasted to PLO Rashid Khalidi, or the Newyorker saying Dick Cheney toyed with the idea of painting US PT boats in Iranian colors and attacking our own ships to blame Iran, or how armytimes reported that 20,000 US troops are going to be DEPLOYED for the first time to assist homeland security in civil unrest, or the hundreds of other articles that SHOULD have made it onto the front of page of mainstream news but didn't, because they were busy talking about anna nicole smith for nearly 2 months straight.

When we finally admit it's true, we say, "well I'm not a terrorist, what do I have to hide?" Just like the germans saying "well I'm not jew.. I'm not communist.. what do I have to hide?"

The problem is we are now guilty until proven innocent. That is how the new system works.

RE: Big surprise?
By ekv on 1/24/09, Rating: -1
RE: Big surprise?
By Moishe on 1/26/2009 10:37:25 AM , Rating: 2
You'd be wrong. Closing Gitmo is a PR stunt and the administration admitted that they don't yet know what the replacement for the prison will be. Closing so they look good but there HAS to be a prison. They'll just move the prison and avoid the bad press that goes along with the name.

Sorry, but it's the same old crap from another bunch of lying politicians.

RE: Big surprise?
By ekv on 1/30/2009 12:19:37 AM , Rating: 2
I was a bit over-exuberant and hasty in my previous post. I realize Obama wants to close Gitmo on the false assumption that non-citizens ought to be treated to a fair trial before U.S. courts and judges. What I was trying to point out was that Obama would not open up another prison here in the U.S.

I would agree there has to be a prison, however, that is a rational thought. It does not necessarily follow that Obama will open another prison. Granted, there will have to be some PR stunt to mollify the families of 9/11 victims....

New Traffic Lights.
By teckytech9 on 1/24/2009 4:06:29 PM , Rating: 2
Lets upgrade our transportation infrastructure spending. But first, "Don't fix that pothole." New traffic lights are here equipped with CCTV cameras and face recognition. You can smile, say cheese, or just give them the birdie.

Drives to NEW intersection, 3-4 NEW CCTV cams installed high atop traffic lights, and sees NEW sign, "NO TURN ON RED." Idles for 60-80 secs with no cars in sight, then honks horn in disgust. Drives to next intersection and the process repeats.

RE: New Traffic Lights.
By yacoub on 1/24/2009 6:03:00 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that's so true. CCTVs are on every new intersection pole (and have been added to old ones). Meanwhile bridges are in disrepair or uninspected and road surfaces are poorly maintained in many areas.

So i guess the cameras must be so they can watch us and laugh at us as our cars bump their way through a poorly-maintained intersection. Clearly keeping us safe! ;)

RE: New Traffic Lights.
By MisterChristopher on 1/25/2009 12:24:48 PM , Rating: 3
I have a solution to these cameras. It requires a very slight and acceptable level of civil disobedience. It would be very simple to "hunt" these cameras late at night with a rifle and and some camo gear. It would also benefit humanity. Don't get caught though.

By iFX on 1/24/2009 12:14:29 PM , Rating: 2
I guess now we know for sure.

RE: Echelon...
By Runiteshark on 1/24/2009 1:13:10 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know why so many people doubted project Echelon.

RE: Echelon...
By MisterChristopher on 1/25/2009 12:21:50 PM , Rating: 2
I am having trouble following your link. Could you repost a working address?

Tax dollars hard at work ......
By Soulkeeper on 1/24/2009 6:35:13 PM , Rating: 3
1 in 13 americans are government employee's
over 22million
this is more than manufacturering and construction workers combined.
(washington post)

your tax payer dollars pay these high salary employee's to sit around and spy on you.

stop voting for big government socialists like bush and obama, and we might have a chance at keeping some of our liberties.

By Alexstarfire on 1/25/2009 5:11:47 AM , Rating: 3
1 in 13 might work for the government, including both my parents, but that doesn't mean that they all work for the NSA/CIA/FBI/whatever. This would include people that work in CDC, all public schools, civic engineers, etc., etc. Considering that working for the government covers far more jobs than what is found in manufacturing and construction I'm really not surprised that they employ more people than both of those industries combined.

Anyways, I think that the government does have far too many employees. Just think of the government of our forefathers as DOS and this government as Vista. Tiny when it started, but now it's all bloated with worthless stuff and annoys the crap out of you in the name of security. I'd rather go back a couple versions of our government thank you very much.

Why did he work there in the first place?
By JosefTor on 1/24/2009 6:11:36 PM , Rating: 1
I have always known and hoped that the NSA had all rights to do anything. They are the "mystery" organization to me who should have rights to do the governments dirty work like killing anyone anytime. This guy whistle blew not on killing though... on simple information gathering? I don't care if the government monitors everything I do. I am not a terrorist and have nothing to hide. Plus, if the government needs me dead to promote the greater good then so be it even if I did nothing wrong. Besides the NSA and other government's secret organizations though, I respect human rights.

By LibertyFace on 1/24/2009 7:35:17 PM , Rating: 2
Satire! I love it!

By stilltrying on 1/25/2009 2:27:23 AM , Rating: 2
blah, blah, blah foool

Ah, America the Land of the Free...
By halcyon on 1/25/2009 10:45:06 AM , Rating: 2
Now, tell me...

Which country has become in the second half of 20th and early 21st century:

1) Surveillance state
2) State in perpetual war with anybody (conveniently labeled as 'terrorist')
3) Imperially over-stretched all over the world
4) Fighting several internationally illegal wars over natural resources or strategic pipeline / air-base locations
5) In constant violation of UN declaration of human rights, Geneva conventions, international law - you name it
6) Labels every other country 'against us' if they are not 'with us'
7) Has 'God' on their side (i.e. just holy war doctrine)
8) Targets their own citizens for surveillance, has stripped them of habeas corpus and routinely renders people abroad for torture

This vaguely reminds me of another station with big imperial ambitions from the days gone by...

By Shining Arcanine on 1/26/2009 12:19:12 AM , Rating: 2
Your usage of the term "illegal" is wrong, as there is no law that nations abide by. All they have are treaties and those are useless. Remember the man who brought peace to our time:

A poem by Jedediah Plowak
By plowak on 1/25/2009 1:05:34 PM , Rating: 2
When the righteous take to the streets
with thar muskets in thar hands
thar'll be no more stink'n liberals
playing folly with our lands.

Then our school'll be fer educate'n,
our churches fer save'n souls,
our courts fer serve'n justice
and our borders say'n "closed".

So, come on Jonny, come on James
fetch yer powder, patch and ball
thar's some wrong'n to start right'n
in this Great Land fer one and all.

RE: A poem by Jedediah Plowak
By JS on 1/26/2009 9:01:08 AM , Rating: 2
Plowak? That sounds foreign, which to me equals suspicious. Guess you snuck in before the borders were say'n "closed".

By descendency on 1/25/2009 6:42:37 PM , Rating: 2
I love to see how many people get worked up about the government listening in on "private" information.

They don't care that you are screwing your secretary, or that grandma is coming to visit.

In reality, privacy is an over-rated right. What, you are afraid they will find out you like to eat beef and play softball?

I just don't understand why so many are so interested in protecting privacy when people are directly interested in killing you.

Oh, and for the idiots quoting the Constitution, you might want to actually read the it before you quote it.

Article 1, Section 8, paragraph 18:
The Congress shall have Power - To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

RE: *yawn*
By Fritzr on 1/29/2009 10:27:38 PM , Rating: 2
For those who are interested, here is the United States National Archives transcription of the US Constitution.

Of interest are:
The president's Oath of Office
The 4th Amendment
The 10th Amendment

The President is required by his Oath to uphold the Constitution.
Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

The 4th Amendment states that a search requires a warrant.
Amendment IV

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.

Wiretaps and electronic communication intercepts have been ruled to be included under this amendment.

The Presidential Executive Order authorizing wiretaps without a warrant violated the 4th Amendment. The Congress could have, if they had so desired, passed a bill impeaching the President for violation of the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution.

The NSA operating as a Department of the United States Government is also governed by the terms of the United States Constitution and it's Amendments. Intercepting private communications without a warrant, even with the permission of Congress is a violation of US law.

There was discussion on the subject of impeachment and the publicly advertised consensus was that there was not enough time prior to the end of Mr. Bush's term in office

On the powers of the Federal Government
In addition to Article 1 Section 8, Para 18, there is the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

In the text of the Constitution the authors clearly distinguish between the Congress and the State Governments.

By bubba551 on 1/24/2009 1:26:59 PM , Rating: 3
A legitimate whistleblower would have vanished before he blew.

By RoberTx on 1/25/2009 10:54:58 AM , Rating: 3
I find Russel Tice's story rather suspicious. Maybe some of what he is saying is true, but I doubt if all of it is. He talks as if he had access to every single aspect of the NSA's business. I don't think any security agency, private or government, would allow any one employee that breadth of access unless he was the top dog. Besides what he described seems more like something private industry does when it sifts for consumer data.

He may be telling the whole truth but I'm not convinced. The mainstream media does not have a good reputation for unbiased honesty in reporting.

Be suspect
By HostileEffect on 1/24/2009 6:41:11 PM , Rating: 2
Suspicious of that which flourishes in the shadow but withers in the light of day.

I watch that show too much...

By ablecluster on 1/26/2009 8:53:01 PM , Rating: 2
Wow dude I think you hit the nail on the head!

Better off moving to China
By rahimiiii on 1/27/2009 12:15:08 AM , Rating: 2
At least they're honest about their "security" and snooping and stuff and even then there's ways to circumvent it. Then China is getting better and better with the human right while America is getting worse...

Don't bother getting the AR's... because it's only a matter of time before they're illegal and you'd be a criminal just for having them.

Shouldn't this title be
By GreyHobbyHorse on 1/27/2009 11:41:44 AM , Rating: 2
Obama's NSA? Since he can make it all going away by just proposing to Congress to change it all. And doesn't the Democrat party run Congress? So votes surly aren't the problem this time.

Of course, the other part of the deal is the next big terror hit is also Obama's.

So what is the deal here, is the library card protected or not.

NSA Listening.....
By desertrat200 on 1/27/2009 11:50:09 AM , Rating: 2
Someone is listening to what I have to say!

No need to revolt.
By HarleyDude on 1/30/2009 11:29:39 AM , Rating: 2
No need to revolt. The war has worked as planned. Even with a record loss in the 4th quarter, record profits were secured by our oil companies. Party!

A round of shots of crude for all the good people! Chase it down with semi-frozen mugs of global warmed ice cap brew and NSA tainted silicon chips dipped in a muddied constitutional salsa.

We are in dire straits. We must continue to exercise our right for open records and an open government to defend every tidbit of privacy afforded us. Like taxes, losing a little here and a little there is not normally noticed by the average citizen until we have nothing left but a bewildered look on our faces and an empty upturned hand.

Made so much easier...
By rabbitslayer21 on 1/24/2009 12:37:47 PM , Rating: 1
...with our new machine. We call it TRANSLTR.

I have a question
By FPP on 1/24/09, Rating: -1
RE: I have a question
By goku on 1/24/2009 3:16:17 PM , Rating: 5
Well then shit why can't I wire tap people or siphon off data from their communications? Why should the government have more rights than any normal citizen? Same with corporations? Why should organizations be able to have the same rights AND MORE as a individual yet not be subjected to the same punishments and consequences as an individual?

I don't trust corporations and the government and neither should you.

RE: I have a question
By yuhong on 1/24/2009 10:40:55 PM , Rating: 2
Why should the government have more rights than any normal citizen? Same with corporations? Why should organizations be able to have the same rights AND MORE as a individual yet not be subjected to the same punishments and consequences as an individual?

Yep, have you heard of corporate personhood?

RE: I have a question
By Chocobollz on 1/25/09, Rating: -1
RE: I have a question
By Omega215D on 1/25/2009 5:48:09 AM , Rating: 5
You should trust them to an extent but keep an eye out just in case. People in power can and will abuse their power. Even with the separation of powers, it seems more like cronyism is getting the best of that.

RE: I have a question
By William Gaatjes on 1/25/2009 5:40:57 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed. Having power can corrupt people. Having absolute power will corrupt people for sure.

RE: I have a question
By BansheeX on 1/24/2009 4:59:59 PM , Rating: 5
I'm not an huge expert on the constitution, but I do know that it's a privilege system. Powers are granted by the people to the Federal government. If the power is not explicitly granted, it is implicitly prohibited. The constitution can be amended to add or take away powers, it is intentionally difficult and requires state majority. It's simple and comprehensive, but is selectively enforced these days. For some reason, implicit prohibitions seem to confuse judges, or allow rulings and interpretations that confuse the public into thinking it's allowed. There's a ton of stuff the federal government does that has not been granted to it.

RE: I have a question
By Lexda on 1/24/2009 5:07:20 PM , Rating: 3
Banshee's got it right. The Constitution was originally designed to tell the federal government what it *could* do. If you want an exact quote of the 10th Amendment...

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Now, the gov't gets around that quite easily most of the time, thanks to the Elastic Clause in the Constitution (saying that Congress is able to do whatever it needs to enforce the Constitution, namely, the safety of the State), but that doesn't make it right. Honestly, the vast majority of the things the gov't does (on both sides, from banning gay marriage to all the handout programs) are Constitutionally illegal; those are up to the states, not the fed gov't.

Think about the logistics here. It would be absolutely impossible to include everything in one document that the federal government couldn't do. Therefore, the Founders, in their wisdom (more and more I'm realizing how awesome they were), decided to enumerate only specific powers to the federal government; all other powers were automatically assumed to be in the states' hands.

RE: I have a question
By Tuor on 1/24/2009 11:55:09 PM , Rating: 2
And don't forget the Ninth Amendment:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

RE: I have a question
By theendofallsongs on 1/25/2009 11:01:18 AM , Rating: 2
don't forget the Ninth Amendment
Too late. People already have.

RE: I have a question
By abzillah on 1/25/2009 12:01:41 PM , Rating: 2
Welcome to the United States of China

Terrorists target everyone too
By Beenthere on 1/24/09, Rating: -1
RE: Terrorists target everyone too
By LibertyFace on 1/24/2009 5:18:19 PM , Rating: 5
Hitler and hermann goring had the reichstag parliament building set ablaze then blamed it on terrorist. He used this excuse to consolidate dictatorial executive power and went after communists and labor union members all in the name of fighting terrorism. Thats like saying "well hey, I'm not jewish, what do I have to hide?"

Let's not forget our favorite quote from benjamin franklin "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Don't forget, your security and safety can never be guaranteed.

By descendency on 1/25/2009 6:49:01 PM , Rating: 2
It's so great to quote a senile woman abusing French lover.

Benjamin Franklin, the greatest American to spend most of his life in Europe.

You can not have liberty without safety. Your national sovereignty gives you liberty (this is a right understood by the people who fought britian for independence, fought against the spanish and british who caused problems in the colonies, fought brothers to retain it, and so on). When terrorist attack the US, they wish to destroy it. So, when they cause another catastrophe, free free to enjoy watching the destruction of your basic liberties.

Without basic safety, you can NOT have liberty. This is something even a crazed Abraham Maslow understood.

By William Gaatjes on 1/25/2009 6:58:10 PM , Rating: 2
What does your example has to do with the NSA ?
You are comparing a charismatic maniac with a government department. Your example even does not compare more with pearl harbour although there are more parallels in my opinion. And as i read our favorite quote, it just says : "Take care for eachother as a whole entity". And that means you have to keep an eye out for eachother. Not to give absolute power to a few persons as has happend back in the days in Germany, coming back to your history lesson.

RE: Terrorists target everyone too
By blowfish on 1/25/2009 10:29:55 AM , Rating: 1
Oh, do you mean like the recent mass killing of innocent civilians in Gaza? (or were all those school children also terrorists?)

I suppose you feel happy paying at least ten times more for airport screening, even though the screeners perform about a third as well as their predecessors and have the worst absenteeism rate of any government employees.

In seven years, they haven't even figured out that people need some more room to put their shoes, belts jackets etc back on.

But of course we don't see herds of elephants roaming our streets - so that proves the multi-billion dollar elephant powder program has worked and kept us safe for the last seven years. Why should it matter that they have taken away habeus corpus? After all, that's only been a right since the signing of the Magna Carta.

RE: Terrorists target everyone too
By abzillah on 1/25/2009 12:11:37 PM , Rating: 3
Yes those children were terrorist. Israel has right to defend itself.

RE: Terrorists target everyone too
By Squads on 1/25/2009 8:40:03 PM , Rating: 3
That reminds me of a Simpsons episode from back in it's heyday:

Homer: Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol must be working like a charm!
Lisa: That’s specious reasoning, Dad.
Homer: Why thank you, honey.
Lisa: By your logic, I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.
Homer: Hmm. How does it work?
Lisa: It doesn’t work; it’s just a stupid rock!
Homer: Uh-huh.
Lisa: But I don’t see any tigers around, do you?
Homer: Hmm... Lisa, I want to buy your rock.

For anyone claiming the "lack of terrorist attacks" over the past 7 years is attributable to government action/intervention, I am selling a great batch of anti-al-qaeda rocks.

People now have become so accustomed to being being safeguarded and protected that they seem to thrive on fear. Thus we have identity protection, flood insurance, ADT security systems, and the list goes on and on. Give me a beer and some Joe Walsh, enough with the bureaucratic b.s.

RE: Terrorists target everyone too
By fspikec on 1/31/2009 3:37:08 PM , Rating: 2
For anyone claiming the "lack of terrorist attacks" over the past 7 years is attributable to government action/intervention, I am selling a great batch of anti-al-qaeda rocks.

So let me get this straight. You are saying that the government played no role in preventing any and all terrorists attack attempts (in the US) in the past 7 years?

So I'm guessing the terrorists just decided to take a vacation and/or got over the hatred for the USA. Or maybe Chuck Norris got involved. Maybe they all gave up Islam and and adopted Scientology.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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