Even the Mainstream Liberal Press Slams Obama On Spying

George Washington's picture

Presidential candidate Obama said in 2007:

[The Bush] administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we demand.


I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom.


That means no more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are. And it is not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists.

He frequently repeated his “no warrantless wiretapping” pledge thereafter.

In light of the revelation that the Obama administration has been spying on our phone calls Americans (the government has tapped every call in America, and is spying on everything we do online), media on both the left and the right are now admitting that Obama and Bush are indistinguishable. This includes, by way of example, Politico, National Journal, and Huffington Post:

Another widespread comparison is East Germany. For example, the Washington Post notes:

“Here we are, under the Obama administration, doing it sort of like the Bush administration on steroids,” [NSA expert James Bamford] said in an interview with the Associated Press. “This order here is about as broad as it can possibly get, when it comes to focusing on personal communications. There’s no warrant, there’s no suspicion, there’s no probable cause … it sounds like something from East Germany.”

The Daily Beast writes:

Fifteen years ago, all of us would have laughed at the notion that the government would assert the right to know about every phone call made by ordinary American citizens suspected of no crime—that’s something that East Germany would do, not the American government. How have we gotten so comfortable with the panopticon state in little more than a decade?

And the Atlantic notes:

TSA’s surveillance of our communications is most likely much, much bigger than [metadata]. Technology has made it possible for the American government to spy on citizens to an extent East Germany could only dream of.

(The Atlantic is correct.)

The New York Times Editorial Board says that Obama has lost all credibility (and slams defenders of the Big Brother spying program):

The Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every time President Obama has been caught overreaching in the use of his powers: Terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us to deal with them because we have internal mechanisms (that we are not going to tell you about) to make sure we do not violate your rights.


Those reassurances have never been persuasive — whether on secret warrants to scoop up a news agency’s phone records or secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism — especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability. The administration has now lost all credibility. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it. That is one reason we have long argued that the Patriot Act, enacted in the heat of fear after the 9/11 attacks by members of Congress who mostly had not even read it, was reckless in its assignment of unnecessary and overbroad surveillance powers.




A senior administration official quoted in The Times offered the lame observation that the information does not include the name of any caller, as though there would be the slightest difficulty in matching numbers to names.




Essentially, the administration is saying that without any individual suspicion of wrongdoing, the government is allowed to know who Americans are calling every time they make a phone call, for how long they talk and from where.


This sort of tracking can reveal a lot of personal and intimate information about an individual. To casually permit this surveillance — with the American public having no idea that the executive branch is now exercising this power — fundamentally shifts power between the individual and the state, and repudiates constitutional principles governing search, seizure and privacy.


The defense of this practice offered by Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, who as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee is supposed to be preventing this sort of overreaching, was absurd. She said today that the authorities need this information in case someone might become a terrorist in the future. Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, the vice chairman of the committee, said the surveillance has “proved meritorious, because we have gathered significant information on bad guys and only on bad guys over the years.”


But what assurance do we have of that, especially since Ms. Feinstein went on to say that she actually did not know how the data being collected was used?


The senior administration official quoted in The Times said the executive branch internally reviews surveillance programs to ensure that they “comply with the Constitution and laws of the United States and appropriately protect privacy and civil liberties.”


That’s no longer good enough. Mr. Obama clearly had no intention of revealing this eavesdropping, just as he would not have acknowledged the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen, had it not been reported in the press. Even then, it took him more than a year and a half to acknowledge the killing, and he is still keeping secret the protocol by which he makes such decisions.




Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin, who introduced the Patriot Act in 2001, said that the National Security Agency overstepped its bounds by obtaining a secret order to collect phone log records from millions of Americans.


“As the author of the Patriot Act, I am extremely troubled by the F.B.I.’s interpretation of this legislation,” he said in a statement. “While I believe the Patriot Act appropriately balanced national security concerns and civil rights, I have always worried about potential abuses.” He added: “Seizing phone records of millions of innocent people is excessive and un-American.” [Sensenbrenner also asked: "How could the phone records of so many innocent Americans be relevant to an authorized investigation?"]


Stunning use of the act shows, once again, why it needs to be sharply curtailed if not repealed.

Howard Fineman slams Obama and invokes the Founding Fathers:

The Verizon story is yet more evidence that America is reaching a crisis point in the more than decade-long trend of expanding federal power to reach into the private lives of Americans. At the same time, the government inevitably is becoming more opaque, and more focused on leaks, in the name of protecting the investigations that it instigates in the name of national security.

The time has come for a deep, serious national debate on the balance between freedom and security.




Osama bin Laden’s attack on Sept. 11, 2001, set off a new chapter in the age-old argument between liberty and security, a debate in which Ben Franklin warned that those who would sacrifice the former for the latter will end up with neither.

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Dr. Sandi's picture

Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin, who introduced the Patriot Act in 2001, said that the National Security Agency overstepped its bounds by obtaining a secret order to collect phone log records from millions of Americans.

 “As the author of the Patriot Act, I am extremely troubled by the F.B.I.’s interpretation of this legislation,” he said in a statement.

Yeah right. Shitbrane Sensenbrenner wrote the PATRIOT Act the way I wrote the bible.


spooz's picture

Huffpo on

Justice Department Fights Release Of Secret Court Opinion On Law That Underpins PRISM Program

comments section shows that liberals are on the same page as conservatives on this.  Only chance I see to avoid the police state is for them to find common ground on this important issue in a third party candidate.


One World Mafia's picture

Next time anyone downloads any Windows software take a look at their privacy policy which now states you agree to having Microsoft knowingly and deliberately violate your privacy.

BullyBearish's picture

When the elite cannot become the elite (to gain power) without Money, and they will do anything for power/money...is it really a surprise that those with BIG MONEY can get done anything they want?  It has been the same for 2,000 years.

lakecity55's picture

As the dhs machine-gunned the msm reporters, they could be heard shouting

"long live obama! obama did not order this!"

Widowmaker's picture

"Security" = stimulus.

Cunt Napolitano enstilled the systematic revulsion by government of the people's innocense, and now nigger-Rice to the rescue to assure rights of individuals in the USA never see daylight again.

Privacy monetized, search and seizure monetized, too.  

Dr. Sandi's picture

Jesus Christ. Do you fellate your father with that mouth?

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

'american' reporters aren't happy 'reporting' to their roadside supervisors!

citizen espionagism blobbing up the mattering to 'biggest' revelations!

Lumberjack's picture

This shit was happening in the energy (and other) sectors back in the middle to late 90's. Ain't technology grand and that goes both ways.

robnume's picture

Who gives a fuck what the lamestream media think about anything? These puppets deserve everything that's coming to them. This country is EXACTLY like the East German STASI! Blobama, Scrotus and CONgress are all CENTRAL PLANNERS!!! This is a FUCKING POLICE STATE!! Get used to it.

g'kar's picture

I'm just not feeling the same hate filled 24 hour bile MSM flooded the airwaves with under Bush. Code Pink went silent. MSM is not slamming Obama. Wrist slap maybe. Fullspeed ahead with the United Staazi's of Americai!

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

code pink has been dragged out and arrested several times protesting Obama.

blindman's picture

bad news.
the democrats promote boy children adepts
at cons and lying while the republicans
promote vicious dumbfucers , both paid and bought
for by the systemic, industrial, corporate
monopoly machine of fraud and fiat mind control.
moneyless money that flows from the tip of the
disappearing ink fountain of bullshit we are so
enamored of and controlled by
The World Is a Battlefield: Jeremy Scahill on "Dirty Wars" and Obama’s Expanding Drone Attacks
06 June 2013
Ralph Nader On the Fed's Gamble, Failed Two Party System, Corporate Power

Motorhead's picture

I mean, c'mon, wouldn't NSA, FBI, etc., just get bored?  I mean, just how many Twitter posts of Rachel Maddow's numerous aliases can they take?

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

there's an AI sifting system. It can't adapt and sift properly without getting a lot of input.

Once it's better at adapting to constant changes to be avoided, or constant stupidity from various sources, it will bring to the foreground what is the most likely to be actionable intelligence for security / goons.

The rest I'm sure is passed on for the right price to others willing to pay. Various trending patterns will be visible.

Dr. Sandi's picture

I keep hoping the NSA software zeroes in on my ZH posts and throws a rod trying to make sense of it all.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture


Southpark : Barbara Streisand

is like

Zerohegdge : Maria Bartorimo

Hannibal's picture

Shit, I can't believe the Nixon years were the good ol' days!

Dr. Sandi's picture

Nixon had enough honor to resign for his criminality. Nobody since Nixon has that kind of honor.

And that's a pretty pathetic thing to say about the bowl floaters who have followed.

WTFUD's picture

OballsUp has been found out BIGTIME there is Zero difference between him and NetanNutFuck. Impeach this two cent lying Nazi puppet tool.

notadouche's picture

And replace him with another card board cutout of the same ilk.  That is the problem facing America, the reality that all of the politicians at the "elite" level are one and the same just with different PR machines.

Quantum Nucleonics's picture

What's the difference between the NSA's program and that of Communist China?  Answer: The NSA has not (yet?) clicked the "filter" button.

lakecity55's picture

What's the difference between Communist China and the USA?

China has more gold.

TrustWho's picture

Do you think they have the name, address, phone number, consealed carry permit number and much much more on every ZHer? 

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

I'm sure they have an IP address-list and list of preferred TOR end-points for each such user too. And if anyone put photos on their new smart-phones, all those photos to go with the profile so they know all your associates, family & possibly your own recent pictures.

Dr. Sandi's picture

I wonder how many pictures of my hams pressed against the scanner glass have made it to Fatherland Security.

medium giraffe's picture

Depends on the ZH'er.  Up to you to decide how much to give them.

WarPony's picture

Nothing new here. Ma Bell was always cooperative, then there was Echelon. To fight back, always use the key-word list in every mssg to overload the review techs.

Assassination, ICBM, MILITIA, Bombing, soft-targets, operation red velvet cake, etc., etc.

InTheLandOfTheBlind's picture

reminds me of pink ribbons and lepperchaun gold

notadouche's picture

Look at the NY Times etc... trying to regain credibility it lost so long ago.  Only now that Obama is without reelection possiblilites do they finally open their editorial eyes and mouths about things they've known about for years.  For whatever reason the Patriot Act was a horrible idea under Bush (rightly so) but the Times, etc...somehow forgot it's existence for over 5 years until, I suppose the APgate came to light and they realized it affected them and not just the average citizen.  Now we get a sense of their shock and indignation and actually see that Obama is not the perfect president they made him out to be and is a man of great contradiction and intellectual dishonesty.  I suppose we have to shrug it off and say "better late than never" as that's about all we have left.  The national media centers are complicit in this administrations misdeeds due to their "say nothing" attitude for the last 5 years.  Certain media outlets will always have their "core" followers but they are also finding out that their core group doesn't give them the operating profits they desire and I believe it's too late for a paper like the NY Times to ever be considered the "paper of record" anymore by anyone other than themselves.  

I'm more shocked that the Times etc...actually took a stand in the open.  God forbid they would lose their precious access simply by reporting the truth though investigation as opposed to just taking the administration's word for it.

robobbob's picture

try again

NYT promptly edited the opinion piece to read ".....lost all credibility....on this issue"

for a brief moment they forgot they are nothing but a toothless lap dog, but quickly backtracked

notadouche's picture

They probably didn't forget but got a call on the "RED PHONE" and told to edit it accordingly as it did not meet government standards.

DeadFred's picture

"I had no knowledge of this, I learned about it from the news at the same time all of you did".

Has he had that press conference yet? Hope I don't miss it!

Dr. Sandi's picture

BO doesn't know a lot of this shit until he reads it from the teleprompter during a press conference. That's the ultimate in plausible deniability.

alien-IQ's picture

"I wouldn't call it fascism exactly, but [an American] political system nominally controlled by an irresponsible, dumbed down electorate who are manipulated by dishonest, cynical, controlled mass media that dispense the propaganda of a corrupt political establishment can hardly be described as democracy either."
Edward Zehr

"Our government will soon become what it is already a long way toward becoming, an elective dictatorship."
Senator J. William Fulbright

"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine."
William Blum

Tombstone's picture

Just wait until the IRS is unleashed through Obummercare.  He will stand tall and say...No, we are not looking at anyone's medical records....

noob's picture

and / meanwhile...
the FAGGOT in chief advocates mental health (figure that shit out)

Hongcha's picture

There is one thing separating the U.S. from turning into a komplete police state; or should I say, 300,000,000 things ... I surprised myself, how happy I was the day that reptillian witch feinstein admitted her heartfelt reaching-out gun ban had been jammed up and snapped off.  Makes my heart warm to contemplate it, even now.  And now I realize why I feel this way and even moreso what they are trying so desparately to accomplish.


MeelionDollerBogus's picture

They have nerve gas, tear gas & tanks.

Do you have those things? No? Oh noes.

Lost Word's picture

It will have to be Unsymetrical warfare.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

it will & it's worth it but having drones, nerve gas, thermal signature & facial recognition algorithms and massive tracking records on where people will be AND an easy aerial view of off-grid food supplies AND an easy record of ON-grid food supplies and control of supply-lines, this can get very ugly very fast.

DeadFred's picture

Greased and buried in seal PVC tubes next to a cast iron sewer line they are fairly safe from confiscation. Don't expect the symbionts to quit trying. /s on the symbiont part, not for the rest.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

easy as pie to find with modern metal-detectors.

Best have it where you can reach it quick, or buried where you'll escape TO and hope no one gets there first & thinks to use a metal detector.