Obama to propose ending NSA bulk collection of phone records: official

Comments (72)
seren37 wrote:

Too bad he can’t curb the Banksters, and has in fact told the via Holder that they can commit any crime and never, ever be prosecuted.

Mar 24, 2014 10:24pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
4825 wrote:

Is this an election year? Oh, I see now.

Mar 24, 2014 10:57pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
dd606 wrote:

This makes no sense. Those two things are one in the same. Oh well, no surprise. He probably thinks little elves bring him all the intel he gets.

Mar 24, 2014 11:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
NCMAN64 wrote:

At this stage, how can anyone believe anything that this White House says, period.

Mar 24, 2014 11:37pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jhdale wrote:

The proposed law does not set a maximum for how much data the phone companies can hold. E.g. AT&T has phone data back to 1987. This law won’t force them to hold more — it won’t have to.

The proposed law does not reform in any way the DEA’s system for accessing phone call metadata — a program which also does not involve warrants or any judicial review, only administrative subpoenas issued by the DEA themselves. Functionally, they do exactly the same thing as the NSA, but AT&T holds the data. Just like this program.

The proposed law does not bar the use of “parallel construction” to conceal the use of such programs from the courts (even further protecting them from judicial review). As the DEA has used to hide their program.

The proposed law does not bar the telecoms from selling the metadata to anyone who wants it, e.g. the data brokers who refused to testify to congress about where they get their data.

Addressing this one specific program is not a solution. It is window dressing.

Mar 24, 2014 11:45pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Torc wrote:

Let me interpret…..propose means it will never be done.

Mar 24, 2014 11:48pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Butch_from_PA wrote:

Great point seren37. You could fill 3 jails full with illegal bank and stock trading collusion and activity. A simple day of data mining could show the patterns.

We live in an open robbery system where we all know the crimes are happening and are powerless to stop it with our government owned by the banks. Hell – they even own and control the dollar and tell each other every major government fiscal move in advance. Just follow the stock patterns. What a corrupt dirty system and what bunch of leaches in Washington – too spineless or greedy to stop it.

As for the phone taps – good criminals, bankers and government officials all uses VOIP and VPN to communicate. Only Joe citizen uses the phone.

Mar 24, 2014 11:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
edgyinchina wrote:

This ‘story’ doesn’t make sense…
If the President has the authority to continue (renew) the program… ‘The Obama administration will renew the NSA’s telephone metadata program until Congress passes new authorizing legislation’… The why can’t he just END the program… ‘President Barack Obama plans to ask Congress to end the bulk collection and storage of phone records by the National Security Agency’ ????
This just does NOT make much sense…..

Mar 24, 2014 11:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BB123 wrote:

Last ditch effort to try to sway the 2014 midterms.

Mar 25, 2014 1:04am EDT  --  Report as abuse
BB123 wrote:

@edgyinchina, the reason is to let the democrats in congress show some kind of action before the election. They desperately need something to run on.

Mar 25, 2014 1:06am EDT  --  Report as abuse
UScitizentoo wrote:

> Obama proposes ending NSA bulk collection of phone records
Why that’s quite generous coming from the mouthpiece of the military industrial complex, purveyors of all things illegal, destroyers of the constitution, liars and perjurers and those who continue to subvert the rule of the law of the land.
Maybe sometime soon he’ll also include in his “proposal” all intercepted emails, all internet search metadata, all backdoor corporate espionage on domestic and international corporations, the face recognition cameras everywhere, phone hacking of citizens, pc computer hacking of citizens, control of video cameras on personal devices, you know, etc etc etc.
Believe nothing your government tells you because it’s all lies. If it’s a government then it’s in business for itself and the people that buy the politicians in it. It’s like that anywhere in the world. The world is run by lying narcissists herding the sheep around to make it look like progress while they make themselves and their friends rich. The only difference is the scale of the violence and scale of the genocide.

Mar 25, 2014 1:22am EDT  --  Report as abuse
OnAnIsland wrote:

Time for a reality check. NSA’s data has been collected by the firm Booz Allen Hamilton since the Clinton administration. This “service” was continued, by congress, shortly after their employee “Snowden” defected with masses of stolen classified data data. No action has been taken on either Booz’s theft of classified data or the security lapses that led up to this theft. Booz claims to sell this data to at least 34 different countries. Now what is the president going to do? Congress has already approved of the collection methods and vindicated the firm behind the security breach.

Mar 25, 2014 5:51am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Bakhtin wrote:

dd606 wrote:
“This makes no sense. Those two things are one in the same. Oh well, no surprise. He probably thinks little elves bring him all the intel he gets.”

No. They are not the same. Currently, phone metadata is considered to be public information since your phone company holds it so it is not ‘yours’, and it contains nothing that can identify you – only your phone.

Under the new regulation it will be treated as private information shared by you with only your carrier – as they do in the EU – and the government can obtain the metadata only by showing sufficient reason to look at specific records.

In no way is looking at a specific record after showing good reason the same as collecting them all as a matter of course.

Mar 25, 2014 6:19am EDT  --  Report as abuse
WildBillWB wrote:

I’m one of those Pennsylvanian Democrats that’s clinging to my guns. I’ll vote a straight ticket for the first time in my life. For the Republican party.

Mar 25, 2014 7:01am EDT  --  Report as abuse
DPlainview wrote:

Is this a “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor moment”?

Mar 25, 2014 8:05am EDT  --  Report as abuse
edgeco1 wrote:

What, did he forget his “Executive Order” pen in his other suit?

Mar 25, 2014 8:11am EDT  --  Report as abuse
ccharles wrote:

OH my God, he didnt just do that, lie with a straight face. That is one of his greatest qualitys. Does like a pro.

Mar 25, 2014 8:23am EDT  --  Report as abuse
ccharles wrote:

OH my God, he didnt just do that, lie with a straight face. That is one of his greatest qualitys. Does like a pro.

Mar 25, 2014 8:23am EDT  --  Report as abuse
OuterLimits wrote:

So they’ll only ask for it every other month now.

Mar 25, 2014 8:37am EDT  --  Report as abuse
timebandit wrote:

So good to hear President Selfie shucking and jiving yet again to undo, at least, one of his failures to the American people over the past 6 years.

Mar 25, 2014 8:50am EDT  --  Report as abuse
charizzardd wrote:

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t the NSA and executive level agency under the purview of the department of defense and intelligence director, both of which report to Obama. I understand the conflation with congressional security acts and executive regulatory authority (which would be derived from congressional acts, or ata least should be), but ultimately the entire program reports to the executive–Obama. Not sure why he needs to have congress change what is under his directive?

Mar 25, 2014 9:02am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JeffCharles wrote:

This tyrannical regime need to get warrants from probable cause with no compromise of our constitutional freedom to gain access to anything, our rights our there for our protection. If they don’t like it they should go to whatever other country of their choosing that is better suitable to their belief systems and bend over their citizens because they have no place here. Remember, it was U.S. citizens spied on the most, not terrorists. Also they are trying hard to severely cripple and eliminate the 2nd amendment to disarm our potential of militia forming to stop their unending greed for power over the people. Issuing guns to every citizen by the government with extensive training should be mandatory.

Mar 25, 2014 9:03am EDT  --  Report as abuse
D.Jo wrote:

No one in government can explain their way out of these controlling power violations. Only the self-exalted would try, fooling only themselves, the current problem. It parallels the rise of the KGB and has highlighted the recent Washington/people disconnect. We know where this leads.

Mar 25, 2014 9:27am EDT  --  Report as abuse

Not only do I not believe him (because he would’ve done it years ago if he intended to at all), I suspect he’s using this as an opportunity to make spying on our citizens even worse.

Mar 25, 2014 9:38am EDT  --  Report as abuse

Gee, he finally found out how much spying was going on, and finally decided to say something? Guys, I’ve seen this within the phone company I worked for, and it goes way way deeper than what they are telling you. Anyone with a phone should be concerned. You privacy is violated every day, and the Gov gets away with it.

Mar 25, 2014 10:50am EDT  --  Report as abuse

Gee, he finally found out how much spying was going on, and finally decided to say something? Guys, I’ve seen this within the phone company I worked for, and it goes way way deeper than what they are telling you. Anyone with a phone should be concerned. You privacy is violated every day, and the Gov gets away with it.

Mar 25, 2014 10:50am EDT  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

“Instead, the government would have to get permission from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to review data about the time and duration of telephone calls that it believes may be connected to terror attacks, according to the New York Times, which first reported the plan.”

Who is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court? Who are the members, who put them there, and how can we monitor them?

Mar 25, 2014 11:07am EDT  --  Report as abuse
pyromunkey wrote:

I’m so happy to read all of these comments; its nice to know that people are collectively against Obama’s sham of an administration.

Mar 25, 2014 11:12am EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

Must be a weekday. A lot of crying on here about Obama, as usual. Didn’t hear these same conservatives crying when Bush was pushing for expansion of warantless wiretaps and imprisonment without charges. “It protects our freedom.” Ahh, the good old days.

Mar 25, 2014 11:44am EDT  --  Report as abuse
HE3 wrote:

What constitutes “phone records” exactly? Does that include social media posts (since they travel via the phone lines in the end)?

If not, why stop with just phone records?

I think we need to watch this effort very closely to make sure we don’t just look like we getting back our privacy when in fact we are sealing the deal on it being lost forever.

Mar 25, 2014 11:46am EDT  --  Report as abuse
TrevorSamuel wrote:

Fail to see how the proposal(s) solve the problem, namely the invasion of privacy in the ‘stated’ purpose of defending the nation. Without prior court approval, then the process is still arbitrary and convenient to abuse.

Mar 25, 2014 11:55am EDT  --  Report as abuse
sjfella wrote:

Obama has been caught in so many lies why would anyone believe him now? Once public trust is lost it’s nearly impossible to regain.

Mar 25, 2014 11:57am EDT  --  Report as abuse

Never going to happen.

Why on earth would Congress want to do that? They are well aware of the fact that they can complain ’till they’re blue in the face, get a boost in polling numbers from their incessant complaining, not lift a finger to fix what they are complaining about, pin the blame entirely on the president, and their base who knows nothing of how the government works will eat it up.

Complaining about this problem rather than fixing it will give congress free publicity with zero blame. So naturally, not a damn thing will get done.

Mar 25, 2014 12:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

Conservatives complain: “The government should scale back its spying on citizens.”

Obama agrees: “The government should scale back its spying on citizens.”

Conservatives complain: “See, Obama never listens. He’s a divider! He hates America, he’s ruining my life. He is why I’m on this couch!”

Mar 25, 2014 12:19pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SaveRMiddle wrote:

The smooth talking deceiver has conveniently misplaced his pen, his telephone and that lost forever…..all credibility.

Mar 25, 2014 12:24pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SaveRMiddle wrote:

“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.”

Unless I’m too busy and can blame someone else.

Mar 25, 2014 12:28pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
gcf1965 wrote:

sjfella, technically it might not be a lie. Afterall, it says obama is “proposing” to do something, which does not mean anything will get done. He just has to do what he does best, talk; and “best” in no way implies good as he isnt even very good at talk.

Mar 25, 2014 12:35pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
thebard wrote:

Hmm. This sounds like the perfect time to issue an executive order. Of course, then he can’t blame it on congress for inaction.

Mar 25, 2014 12:37pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
gcf1965 wrote:

“Didn’t hear these same conservatives crying when Bush was pushing for expansion of warantless wiretaps…” Alkaline, you must not have been listening, conservatives were his loudest critics, so you have just shown your partisan nature of selective fact processing. You seem to forget that GW was NOT the conservative hero as the left wants him to be. Most conservatives were furious with much of what he did. His low approval ratings were not just because the left hated him but because the conservatives were frustrated with many of his policies and ideas.

Mar 25, 2014 12:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

It’s the ultimate bureaucratic boondoogle. None of the hundreds?, thousands? of employees of this decade old government supported surveillance industry ever have to prove to Congress or the voters that they did a damned thing all day. And they get to be “the eyes and ears of God”. They never have to declare the threat of terrorism is over and, with the help of the CIA, can always make sure there is a threat and even the definition of threat is open to question. Nixon was impeached for less.

Once government gets power it never gives it away.

And it is all protected with secrecy even from Congress and some of it’s murkier activity might even be opaque to the President and any court. And the money that can be made through connections and overview of the economy, means members of Congress are captive to their own ambitions. The NSA can see itself, if it doesn’t already, as the watchdog of anything it deems a “threat to the Nation”. The more complex the political activities and outside income activities of Congressmen become, the more there is something they can be threatened with, because there are most likely all sorts of ways their activities overlap.

It’s a nice job if you can get it and you can get it by spying on members of Congress or anyone else that stands in your way.

Try to prove otherwise? J. Edgar Hoover made a career of this and had the dirt on everyone in Washington. He died in the job as director of the FBI. He invented it and died in it.

The NSA is the heart and head of what Lewis Mumford would have called “Tyranopolis” or the last phase of a civilization before it dies.

Mar 25, 2014 12:43pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
gcf1965 wrote:

Alkaline, can you point out a post here that is complaining about this issue being a way obama is being devisive? The complaint related to this issue seems to be that it is a little late and now conveniently becomes priority during this election cycle. And also the complaint is that because of his past record, few believe he will really put much effort into action behind his words.

Mar 25, 2014 12:54pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
VultureTX wrote:

Remember since NSA is under command as CinC, Obama could have ended this in Jan 2009. Instead he renewed these programs, time and again. So when he says it now, yeah polictics and elections.

/don’t complain about conservatives when you can’t even argue the facts. Unless you actually agree with the NSA’s actions.

Mar 25, 2014 1:29pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
HeatherGirl wrote:

Did he? The way I heard it he is not ending the collection of the data, he just wants the phone company to store the data and not the NSA……..

So his plan is to simple take something the people blame the government for doing and now make it so the people can blame the phone company for doing it……..

Yeah, the will solve the problem.

Mar 25, 2014 1:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

gcf1965 wrote:
“Didn’t hear these same conservatives crying when Bush was pushing for expansion of warantless wiretaps…” Alkaline, you must not have been listening, conservatives were his loudest critics”

AHHAHAHAHAHHAHA!!!! Never before have I seen a statement so utterly devoid of reality as that. Conservatives criticizing Bush??? Give me a break!!! Do you think it’s a coincidence that Bush ended his presidency with ~30% approval rating, and the then- newly formed Tea Party stated with ~30% support? Fat chance – that’s all the same people, the die-hard extreme fundamentalist radical right wing theocrats. And you’re all hypocrites, the lot of ya.

Has the right wing propaganda machine brainwashed you so effectively that you’ve completely forgotten your own history? That was barely 10 years ago!!! Did you think we’d forget?

Republicans move to make Patriot Act permanent (2011):
http://www.infowars.com/republicans-move-to-make-patriot-act-permanent/

Republicans seek to make Patriot Act provisions permanent (2003):
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2003/04/patr-a15.html

44 of 52 Republicans from Tea Party Caucus vote to renew Patriot Act:
http://www.examiner.com/article/44-tea-party-caucus-members-voted-to-renew-patriot-act

Mitch McConnell defends renewing the Patriot Act (2011):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kD6uLy2oq6Y

House GOP defends Patriot Act Powers (2004):
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A37480-2004Jul8.html

80% of Republicans, 54% of Independants, 43% of Democrats support extending Patriot Act (2005):
http://abcnews.go.com/US/PollVault/story?id=833703

And last but not least – Bush’s approval rating from Republicans NEVER fell below 60%:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/107128/bush-approval-rating-down-60-among-republicans.aspx

So again, I say to you: HYPOCRITE

Mar 25, 2014 2:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
pyradius wrote:

gcf1965,

Most of the comments are simple brainless Obama-bashes not worthy of response. As for your ‘concern’, it is _never_ too late to try and make reforms. Indeed, if you have learned nothing about Obama during his time in office, he moves slowly and cautiously especially when it comes to national security. It must truly drive conservatives into a frothing rage because they can’t actually attack him for being weak on national security, so they simply lash out in any way that they can.

Mar 25, 2014 2:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

Great idea. But too little, too late, Obama. Do you really think that now we’re going to suddenly forget 5 years of continual anti-civil-rights, anti-human-rights activities including but not limited to: (a) 5 years of unmitigated, illegal NSA spying including you going on Jay Leno and lying about it, claiming that they were NOT spying on us, (b) Incessant gun grabs, (c) incessant free speech suppression with AP-gate, Rosen-Gate, IRS-gate, and the rest, (d) drone-bombing of more babies before 9am than Bush ever did all day, (e)illegal war in Libya, (f) killing of American citizens without so much as charge or trial with drone bombs, including a 16 year old boy just because he was family of an islamic jihadist preacher, and (f) 5 years of continuing the Afghan war despite promise to end it immediately upon taking office, and pushing for staying there 10 more years in direct contravention of the will of both the American and Afghani people? No sir, way too little, way too late. And that’s BEFORE the train wreck that is the ACA and the horrid economy. The bloodbath, it is a-comin’ – and it cain’t be stopped.

Mar 25, 2014 2:29pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
RMax304823 wrote:

“Obama has been caught in so many lies why would anyone believe him now? Once public trust is lost it’s nearly impossible to regain.”

How can anyone with his wits about him make a statement like that? All it tells us is that the poster hates Obama, probably no matter what he says or does.

As for public trust being impossible to regain, once lost, it’s manifestly untrue, since Bush was reelected in 2004. And we should note that Snowden only exposed the “details” of a program that was begun in 2003, when the New York Times broke the story.

The near-paranoid arguments that Obama is in collusion with banks on this issue would be funny if it weren’t so delusional. It’s Obama’s opposition in Congress that doesn’t want banks’ activities interfered with, not the president. Otherwise Elizabeth Warren would have headed the Consumer Finance Protection Agency. As it is, he didn’t even bother to nominate her, knowing she’d never get through the House of Representatives.

Hatred is one of the more base human emotions. Mindless hatred is positively dangerous.

Mar 25, 2014 2:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
RMax304823 wrote:

“Obama has been caught in so many lies why would anyone believe him now? Once public trust is lost it’s nearly impossible to regain.”

How can anyone with his wits about him make a statement like that? All it tells us is that the poster hates Obama, probably no matter what he says or does.

As for public trust being impossible to regain, once lost, it’s manifestly untrue, since Bush was reelected in 2004. And we should note that Snowden only exposed the “details” of a program that was begun in 2003, when the New York Times broke the story.

The near-paranoid arguments that Obama is in collusion with banks on this issue would be funny if it weren’t so delusional. It’s Obama’s opposition in Congress that doesn’t want banks’ activities interfered with, not the president. Otherwise Elizabeth Warren would have headed the Consumer Finance Protection Agency. As it is, he didn’t even bother to nominate her, knowing she’d never get through the House of Representatives.

Hatred is one of the more base human emotions. Mindless hatred is positively dangerous.

Mar 25, 2014 2:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
machobunny wrote:

“Instead, the government would have to get permission…to review data about the time and duration of telephone calls that it believes may be connected to terror attacks…”

Please help me out. I must have failed to read this correctly but, *How do they plan to review data unless they have previously (i.e., before getting permission) recorded the data?*

Mar 25, 2014 2:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Overcast451 wrote:

And why would anyone believe him?

They have been lying about this from day one. So this is nothing more than more lies.

Mar 25, 2014 3:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
actnow wrote:

Mass collection would still be going on had the wistle not been blown. President Obama is only makeing change because he was forced to….not out of good will to the American people. Wonder what else is being done that hasn’t come out of the closet?

Mar 25, 2014 3:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

gcf1965 recalls: “You seem to forget that GW was NOT the conservative hero as the left wants him to be. Most conservatives were furious with much of what he did.”

Yes, so furious they re-elected him when he ran against an ACTUAL war veteran. “You call Kerry a veteran? His men thought he was a jerk!” Awwww, poor babies. A lieutenant who was a jerk in a war. Remember the swift boaters and what you bought into, gcf. Bushies were cowards.

Mar 25, 2014 3:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
riposte wrote:

More crap, from a crap president..

Mar 25, 2014 3:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
bullfrog84 wrote:

I would imagine it will go something like how he planned to close GITMO…

Mar 25, 2014 4:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
bullfrog84 wrote:

I would imagine it will go something like how he planned to close GITMO…

Mar 25, 2014 4:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

@AlkalineState

“Must be a weekday. A lot of crying on here about Obama, as usual. Didn’t hear these same conservatives crying when Bush was pushing for expansion of warantless wiretaps and imprisonment without charges. “It protects our freedom.” Ahh, the good old days.”

Yeah it is almost as hypocritical as all of the lefties that did a 180 on their positions as soon as Obama decided to extended the Patriot Act and further increase the power of the President and military over disidents they decide are dangers without having any due process, here on American soil. At least Rachel Maddow called Obama out on it. Many on the left are just blind sheep following their leader, just like those on the right.

Mar 25, 2014 5:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
GCGriswold wrote:

It is my understanding that the administration now depends on tea leaves and crystal balls to gather their Intel data, no surprise, since everything they do is screwed-up!.

Mar 25, 2014 5:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
gordo53 wrote:

Understand that breaking the law is something our intelligence agencies have been doing for decades. The collection of phone and internet data will NEVER end as long as there is an NSA, CIA, etc. Contrary to popular belief, the President does not control US intelligence agencies. More likely, he does whatever they recommend. The last president to defy the CIA was John Kennedy. Wasn’t a good plan then, wouldn’t be now.

Mar 25, 2014 5:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

@NewWorld, I would agree Obama should move a lot faster on rolling back Patriot Act over-reach. The hypocrisy is more like 65% republican, 35% democrat. I don’t know ANY democrats with an “I heart wiretaps” bumper sticker, with or without Obama as President. During the Bush years here in Idaho, I saw 8 of them. That’s my limited data set on the matter :)

Mar 25, 2014 6:01pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
rpt7777 wrote:

Head lines should read:
Snowden revelations give Black Man has red face and loner nose.

Mar 25, 2014 7:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
xyz2055 wrote:

I get a kick out of all the comments here…most of you look like you flunked out of Government 101. Read the 1st sentence again. Obama will ask “CONGRESS” to stop the data collection. However, Reuters confuses the issue in the next paragraph when it says that IF approved the Obama Administration would stop collecting the data. Congress is responsible for oversight of the NSA..not the Obama Administration. The NSA reports to a Congressional Oversight Committee, not Barack Obama.

Mar 25, 2014 9:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JohnStarkMD wrote:

“The Obama administration will renew the NSA’s telephone metadata program until Congress passes new authorizing legislation.”

The title of this article misses this tidbit…..Quite the opposite of what our hero is supposed to be asking for.

More of the same from the same people.

Mar 26, 2014 1:51am EDT  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

@AlkalineState

I am in upstate South Carolina, the hearth of conservative GOP land. It may just be the people I associate with, but there are more and more people adapting Libertarian policies. The Tea Party still outnumbers every one else. I think we are starting to see major cracks in the GOP. The religious Tea Party types, and the socially liberal Libertarian types. I don’t see the GOP as we know it surviving 2 more decades.

Mar 26, 2014 11:17am EDT  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

@xyz2055

I am not clear on this, but can’t the executive branch issue direct orders to the NSA, CIA, or FBI at will? Doesn’t the Attorney General have some power over at least the FBI? I know these agencies are still subject to Congressional Oversight, but that does not mean that the Executive Branch does not have full authority over them. Congress does not direct the day to day activities of any of the security agencies, no more than it directs the activities of the Pentagon. I am not sure what part of Government 101 you are talking about.

Mar 26, 2014 11:23am EDT  --  Report as abuse
xyz2055 wrote:

TheNewWorld..The NSA is actually part of the Department of Defense…but “The NSA’s surveillance activities are governed by the U.S. Constitution and overseen by members of Congress, specifically members of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence. It must also make requests through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.” The Obama Administration has zero authority over the NSA. Now the President can make requests of the NSA, but any request must go through Congress…which is why in my original post I said “re-read the 1st sentence of the article”. Obama is asking Congress to stop the data collecting. Do you think he would ask them to do that if he had the power to stop it himself? The NSA has to report ALL of their activities to Congress. As far as blaming Obama on this matter..the most you can hold him accountable for is signing off on (approving) the Congressional Bill to continue the “Patriot Act” which is the basis for the surveillance. That’s the Government 101 I’m talking about.

Mar 26, 2014 3:24pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

@xyz2055- “That’s the Government 101 I’m talking about”.

No it’s not. I never read the Patriot Act except as news summaries, either and was always thinking that the NSA was a part of the presidential police powers like the FBI. And I’ve always thought the CIA was also under the direction of the President. He gets a daily briefing from them.

Doesn’t the president have to approve of higher echelon military appointments like generalships? But that may be ancient history? I’ve never been sure how they were appointed.

So in other words the military, that is under the theoretical command of the President’s office has the right to spy on any Americans they deem a threat? Congress may approve the military budget but they don’t actually direct their operations and not even the president has much direct control over what they do? Congress handed police powers to the military directly? Not even the ACLU made that point very clearly.

What’s the difference between that situation and a police state e.g. Brazil in the 60s and 70s. Are you sure or are you surmising on the basis of the article’s wording?

I’m too tired to try to check this out right now.

Mar 26, 2014 7:29pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

@xyz2055 – I just checked, and the Patriot Act authorizes the President to “fight terrorism”. The Department of Defense is under the presidents police powers and war making powers too. The original Bush Patriot Act was established by executive order following 911, according to the link below. Congress later went along with it and made it a formal part of the USA code.

All these intelligence agencies really work for the President. But he is bound by the law as Congress wrote it, and probably because Congress thought Bush was grabbing too much power.

The Wiki article actually claims that the NSA was already in existence months before 911.

-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSA_warrantless_surveillance_(2001%E2%80%9307)

Mar 26, 2014 7:59pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
xyz2055 wrote:

paintcan..you lose all credibility when you use wikipedia as a source. Well know to be the most inaccurate source of information out there. Here’s a good example. You said The Wiki article actually claims that the NSA was already in existence months before 911.”. The NSA was established on November 4, 1952. The NSA and their activities report to the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence. Not the President. I know it doesn’t fit your rant to blame Obama for everything. But it is true. Otherwise, explain why (in the first sentence of this article) Obama is asking Congress to stop the gathering of the phone data authorized by the Patriot Act.

Mar 26, 2014 9:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
xyz2055 wrote:

paintcan..here’s a more credible source for you. Bush did not create the Patriot Act by executive order, It was legislation that was written and passed by Congress. President Bush signed it into law.

http://www.justice.gov/archive/ll/highlights.htm

Mar 26, 2014 9:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

@xyz2055- I never even mention Obama in any “rants”. I can’t think of any times in over 2200 of these creative writing exercises when I even talk about him. Others are more obsessed with him than I am. Wikipedia seems pretty reliable on most subjects I’ve researched for historical information. I don’t have a set of encyclopedias. It’s sites that spring up out of nowhere that are even more dubious.

But thanks for the link. The only thing you’ve convinced my of is the NSA is even more a threat to civil liberties than I realized. I have less trust in Congress than I do the presidency.

So we have a country where the FBI and CIA work for the president and can spy. And the congress has its own spy network. That just leaves the Supreme Court without snoots of its own?

No wonder there was no real coordination between the different agencies as was suggested years ago. They shouldn’t share information or they would, literally, be crossing wire(taps).

Mar 26, 2014 10:38pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
xyz2055 wrote:

paintcan….I actually think the the phone monitoring program is a good idea. The NSA isn’t capturing content. They are simply tracking what phone numbers called other phone numbers. I would think that would be a useful tool if an individual or group of individuals were uncovered that were planning something bad. You could then see who they were talking to. Problem is..I don’t give the NSA much credit for being effective in that endeavor and thus far I don’t think we’ve seen any live examples where the data has actually been useful. In the end it just looks like another wasteful government program.

Politicians in particular are famous for altering the substance of wikipedia articles to spread disinformation. They have tighten their controls. But I would look to other sources when ever possible.

You are right! Very little construction communication between the various intelligence agencies. The one thing that Bush did direct by Executive Order was the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. Most worthless and expensive entity in government..IMHO!

Mar 26, 2014 10:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
xyz2055 wrote:

paintcan…actually the FISA courts (where the NSA has to get authorization for various activities) is controlled by the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice of the SupremeCourt (currently Roberts) appoints whomever he wants to this court..uncontested! Don’t you think that’s a little scary?

Mar 26, 2014 11:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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