It is almost as if the Obama administration is intent on making every possible PR (and of course governance, but it's really the Fed that is in charge of the US so that part is irrelevant) mistake, and then some more.
Recall that on Friday, to much fanfare, the president took credit for the revelations presented by Edward Snowden (because, you see, he would have publicly addressed all the top secret NSA issues regardless, ignoring for a minute that without Snowden all speculation about pervasive NSA domestic surveillance would still be dismissed as simply more conspiracy theory), and announced that he would conduct a review of the policies and espionage procedures in place at the NSA.
Also recall that in a Senate hearing this March, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Senator Ron Wyden that the NSA did not collect phone records of millions of Americans. This was just three months before the revelations of an NSA leaker made it clear that Clapper was not telling the truth. Pressed on his false testimony before Congress, Clapper apologized for giving an “erroneous” answer but claimed it was just because he "simply didn’t think of Section 215 of the Patriot Act." As Ron Paul said: "Wow."
We have no idea what Ron would exclaim at this latest reveleation from the government, although we have a few phrases in mind. Moments ago, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence reported the following:
DNI Clapper Announces Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies
At the direction of the President, I am establishing the Director of National Intelligence Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies to examine our global signals-intelligence collection and surveillance capability.
The Review Group will assess whether, in light of advancements in communications technologies, the United States employs its technical collection capabilities in a manner that optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while appropriately accounting for other policy considerations, such as the risk of unauthorized disclosure and our need to maintain the public trust.
The Review Group will brief its interim findings to the President within 60 days of its establishment, and provide a final report with recommendations no later than Dec. 15, 2013.
James R. Clapper
Director of National Intelligence
A question arises: how does one know they are living in an unmitigated disaster of a banana republic where not even an attempt at hiding the crime and corruption takes place? Well, we are not absolutely certain, but we have a distinct feeling that when the president appoints as his impartial "reviewer" of the ultra top secret NSA's policies and capabilities the one man who was caught and exposed and subsequently apologized for lying to Congress, that may be a pretty damn good sign.
Sadly, that is precisely what just happened.
And speaking of comedy and banana republics, here is the memo from the president:
Presidential Memorandum -- Reviewing Our Global Signals Intelligence Collection and Communications Technologies
SUBJECT: Reviewing Our Global Signals Intelligence Collection and Communications Technologies
The United States, like all nations, gathers intelligence in order to protect its national interests and to defend itself, its citizens, and its partners and allies from threats to our security. The United States cooperates closely with many countries on intelligence matters and these intelligence relationships have helped to ensure our common security.
Recent years have brought unprecedented and rapid advancements in communications technologies, particularly with respect to global telecommunications. These technological advances have brought with them both great opportunities and significant risks for our Intelligence Community: opportunity in the form of enhanced technical capabilities that can more precisely and readily identify threats to our security, and risks in the form of insider and cyber threats.
I believe it is important to take stock of how these technological advances alter the environment in which we conduct our intelligence mission. To this end, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I am directing you to establish a Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies (Review Group).
The Review Group will assess whether, in light of advancements in communications technologies, the United States employs its technical collection capabilities in a manner that optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while appropriately accounting for other policy considerations, such as the risk of unauthorized disclosure and our need to maintain the public trust. Within 60 days of its establishment, the Review Group will brief their interim findings to me through the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), and the Review Group will provide a final report and recommendations to me through the DNI no later than December 15, 2013.
You are hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.