Is counting in his head
He's standing in your overcoat
He's lying on your bed
President Gas is tap dancing
For the banker he's a thief
He isn't very honest
But he's obvious at least
Critics scoff at Obama's professed desire for a debate.
"When he says he wants to have a debate on this issue, he passed on every opportunity to have a debate about it," said Jennifer Hoelzer, a former aide to Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who has been a top critic of the secret programs. "You had to wait until someone illegally disclosed it? That seems disingenuous."New PRISM slides: more than 100,000 'active surveillance targets,' explicit mention of real-time monitoring
Jameel Jaffer, a top official at the American Civil Liberties Union, said a genuine debate was difficult as long as so much information still remains secret.
"The president said he welcomes a debate and we welcome one too, but it's very hard to have one when so much information is classified," he said. "Information that's been released through unofficial channels in recent weeks makes clear that what was being withheld should never have been classified in the first place."
On the other side of the spectrum, Marc A. Thiessen, a former aide to Bush and defender of his counterterrorism policies who wrote a book subtitled "How Barack Obama is Inviting the Next Attack," has spent the last couple weeks defending Obama for authorizing the secret programs.
Notably, the new slides appear to confirm whistleblower Edward Snowden's claims that PRISM allows the NSA and FBI to perform real-time surveillance of email and instant messaging, though it's still not clear which specific internet service providers allow such surveillance. (As originally reported, PRISM providers include Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, YouTube, Skype, AOL, and Apple.)
In notes accompanying the new slides, the Post claims that "depending on the provider, the NSA may receive live notifications when a target logs on or sends an email, text, or voice chat as it happens."
Cross-posted at Whiskey Fire. Mouse over pics for captions, and click them for larger versions.