Sunday, June 30, 2013

President Gas Is Tap Dancing

A banker in a tired suit
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."

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.
New PRISM slides: more than 100,000 'active surveillance targets,' explicit mention of real-time monitoring
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.


mikey said...

I'm curious what you are recommending, Thunder.

The Executive is pushing all sorts of legal limits on surveillance and monitoring. But if the Congress won't change the laws and the judiciary is a rubber stamp, then you don't live under a system that has correctives. I keep saying that whatever this hybrid authoritarian/constitutional/dysfunctional system actually is, what it certainly is not is a classic liberal democracy.

The iconic systemic "checks & Balances" aren't functioning. So - are the Tea partiers right for all the wrong reasons? Is it time to take to the barricades and water the tree of liberty with the blood of REAL patriots?

Randal Graves said...

He's recommending getting blotto to the first six Sabbath records, couldn't be any more clear.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

"If you see something, say something."*

I don't think the teabags are right about anything. If they're objecting to the NSA now, it's only because the wrong-colored President is doing it. (Note: the Paulites are a small, if noisy, subset of the teabags.) They object to big government, and support big corporations, without noticing that the second owns the first.

You say "The Executive is pushing all sorts of legal limits on surveillance and monitoring". I say Bush and Cheney pushed a radical expansion of the national security state in the wake of their failure on 9-11-2001. Digby mentions William Binnie, who resigned from the NSA over this very thing late in 2001.

President Obama didn't promise to expand the Bush-Cheney spying regime. But he's a post on the topic by Juan Cole. I regard it as one of his many betrayals of the people who voted him into office. He's done as little as he could get away with for us (I did vote for him in 2008), and as much as he can for the plutocrats who own this country.

* So that's what I see, and what I'm saying. The ever-rightward policy moves made by 3rd Way Presidents like Clinton and Obama depend on the resigned obeisance of their voters. You could check the comments at TPM to see the hordes who opposed the USA PATRIOT Act and spying on civilians under Bush and Cheney, but are now sure that Greenwald and Snowden are traitors who should fry...because they love Obama more than any silly 4th Amendment. And lack the imagination to see what will happen in the future, even if Obama could be trusted with this power.

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

P.S. Also, what Randal said.

Substance McGravitas said...

That is a fine Furs album.