…. because these classified super spy charts are so awesome … I would even join the debate to shut down the NSA because of their PPT graphics. I guess we can be proud that Hobo or Comic Sans wasn't used.
Loc: Alexandria, VA
The Republican majority of both houses of the 109th Congress gave Bush the power of the Patriot Act to conduct data mining under the FISA court, and immunity to all of the telecommunications companies that he had previously abused his power to avoid FISA Court Warrants. [etc., etc.]
Yes. All the Republican's fault. Thank goodness the Democrats repealed all that authority once they took control of Congress. Oh ... wait ... Also: Reauthorized in 2011. Those darn Republicans =P
With the support of both parties, the government has actually been exercising the lawful powers Congress has given it -- that's not the scandal. The scandal is that it's lawful in the first place, which only now through these recent revelations are people awakening to. Of course the right nutwings are going to use this to blame Obama. But most of the concern I've seen isn't with the president, but that the government has such powers legally --big revelation to them, but that's a good thing.
To sweep this away by saying "well, it's been going on for years and is legal" doesn't mean it's not something people should be paying attention to. And just because it's Obama carrying on the policies of Bush doesn't make it okay or even innocuous. Is it unfair that it's under Obama's watch that people are upset? Perhaps. But that's part of the job and Barry is more than capable of wearing the big-boy pants and dealing with that.
Both right- and left-wing hacks are going to try to take advantage of these revelations, but the silver lining is that hopefully this now sticks a little bit more in the public eye and something can be done to remedy the excesses ...
1. Congress voted to legalize expansive surveillance powers in 2001 (The USA PATRIOT ACT), 2008 (retroactive immunity for warrantless NSA wiretaps in the FISA Amendments Act), and in 2012 (renewing the FISA Amendments Act).
Congress declined to force administration transparency/honesty on secret interpretations of the law in 2001 (USA PATRIOT ACT), 2008 (NSA immunity), 2011 (the Wyden amendment to the NDAA, which would have required interpretations not be secret) & 2012 (the similar Markley amendment to the NDAA). Those last two actually got voted down, which means Congress voted to enable secret government legal interpretation.
3. The outrage of this "scandal" over the government’s ridiculously broad surveillance powers needs to be directed at CONGRESS, which keeps approving them while voting they stay secret.
Edward Snowden worked for the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton for 3 months, ending May 30. Glenn Greenwall has said he started working with this informant in February.
Sounds to me more like espionage than journalism.
What also is incredibly scary is the realization that thousands of private defense contractor firms control the flow of information, and how seemingly easy it was to let an operative with dubious intentions gain security clearance and access to all of it.
Will somebody in the media please ask the outraged Congressmen and their political pundits who authorized these defense contracts, who reviewed them, who voted to fund them. Did they appropriate HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS (I would est at least since 2001) of dollars to firms for NSA Patriot Act-required data mining, establishing surveillance networks and data storage without knowing what they were spending on?
It's all opportunism on steroids. For the right, it one more "scandal" that despite originating under the Cheney badministration, is now an "Obama thing". For the left and the right, it's a lever Congress thinks it can use to get it's approval ratiung back above 10%.
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