Obama Defends “Big Brother” Powers

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The NC commentariat has already done a deep dive into the IT and practical issues surrounding the NSA surveillance program leaks from Glenn Greenwald and the Guardian. This Real News Network interview with Paul Jay looks at the Administration’s initial response to those revelations. It’s a useful piece to circulate to friends and colleagues who might be unduly receptive to the “this is all done for your safety” claims. I suppose it’s useful to have Obama make it explicit he thinks that his interpretation of security needs comes before upholding the Constitution.

More at The Real News

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  1. Chris Engel

    I’m not sure if anyone is catching wind of this, but the Obama loyalists are making a MAJOR push against Greenwald’s work:




    Then I saw this tweet from a guy who is apparently really a big fan of protecting Obama:

    @karoli @green_footballs The chasm between the radical pro-left and the pragmatic, rational left is growing wider.— Bob Cesca (@bobcesca_go) June 9, 2013

    I really don’t know what to say to this. I trust Greenwald’s reporting. I trust that it wasn’t overblown and it’s already confirmed by numerous experts that what he’s got is a top-secret classified document/s. Obviously its contents are sensitive and what has been released to the public before this was not a complete story at all.

    I’m just more disappointed in just how far the loyalists will go to protect Obama. What has he given them that validates such blind support?

    As far as the content of Greenwald’s reporting he never over-sold the story and the “new information” about PRISM since his reporting has just been that there’s some mechanism where it’s collected but segregated.

    Anyway, it’s worth noting the political angle of this and how it shows the divide between principled individuals on the left and the Very Serious People on the center-right left.

    1. Jim Haygood

      I love Glenn Greenwald

      He is like fuckin’ Jesus to me

      Scoop of the century, Glenn: a mighty blow against the empire

    2. ohmyheck

      FWIW— there are more journalists than just Glen Greenwald reporting on this. LGF-Wingers are simply attempting to discredit the messenger. They will have to do alot better than smearing Greenwald, which, of course, they are incapable of doing, since their critical thinking skills were flushed down the toliet the day that Obama took the oath.

      1. Jagger

        Then they can link arms with Fox News. I just listened to John Bolton’s full support of Obama’s programs with no objection or outrage from the interviewer. He pointed out that this is simply Bush’s program expanded by OBama. I think Fox is conflicted. They support the spying but at the same time want to politically bash Obama. I have confidence they will figure some way to do it. Should be interesting to see if Fox audiences will actually support this massive spying program when they have such a visceral hatred of the government.

        1. ScottW

          The only way the “powers that be” will object to the spying is if a target is politically motivated, akin to the IRS issues. Party first, individuals dead last. The Repubs express outrage when some fake nonprofits are targeted and defend going after innocent civilians personal information. And the dems throw it off as “merely” a continuation of Bush’s surveillance schemes. Nothing new, move on.

          If the Verizon order really needed to be classified “Top Secret” (not disclosable until 2038), why is no one calling for the prosecution of Sen. Feinstein for quickly divulging this has been going on for 7 years. Assuming a 3 month FISA order renewal requirement, she disclosed 28 Top Secret orders have been made. Where is the threat to our National Security from her loose lips? Just another example of how National Security is only hurt by those who expose the criminals, but never from the criminals themselves.

        2. from Mexico

          Politics periodically gives us these delicious moments when the curtain gets pulled back, a la Toto, so we can see who is really in bed with who. One such moment was when the Republicans declined to run someone against Lieberman and instead threw their support behind him.

          Barak Obama, Diane Feinstein, John Bolton, Lindsey Graham, Saxby Chambliss, and Mike Rogers — allies in the war on democracy and visible government.

      2. Chris Engel

        I’m just amused that the VSPs look at themselves as “the rational, pragmatic left”, and call those who think draconian surveillance and NSA tactics need to be called out are “radical” and presumably IRRATIONAL lol. I just can’t seem to understand the political spectrum right now…

        I’ve only heard a couple times before about LGF and I don’t know the other guys who are defending PBO in the wake of this — but on Twitter I saw Greenwald addressing them and they were really going on about how the “radical left” is being like the teabaggers.

        it was just so pathetic how obvious they were being at deflecting criticism of the current administration.

        1. Massinissa

          You like any kind of privacy at all? YOURE A WADICAL WEFTIST. Or a teabagger. BECAUSE THEYRE TOTALLY THE SAME THING!


          Sigh, those Obamabots, good god, they have devolved into a personality cult. I dont have any other explanation. Is this what supporters of Mussolini acted like?

          1. ambrit

            Curious you should bring up Berlusconis predecessor.
            He started out as a supposed Leftist too. (Then there was that Austrian fellow. His mob called themselves National Socialists.)
            What’s in a name…

          2. jrs

            A state in which the people have no right to protest will be as WADICAL WEFTIST as one imagines (hardy har har, it will be profits above human life every single time (kinda like now) only even worse and with no ability to even protest it). A society without civil liberties will be one with little ability to protest. If the left DEPENDS on people’s movements, THEN the left depends on civil liberties. If the left depends on billionaires, eh well, uh how about that left, eh?

      3. nonclassical

        ..yes..the “professional left” aren’t blind belief follower tea baggers…much to bushbama’s chagrin…

    3. from Mexico

      Chris Engel says:

      I’m just more disappointed in just how far the loyalists will go to protect Obama. What has he given them that validates such blind support?

      One must take a closer look at the coalition of popular support that Obama operates from. It’s made up of almost every marginalized, lower-ranking group in the socio-cultural pecking order: Jews, LGBTs, Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, Asians, Women, etc. It’s identity politics gone wild.

      Jackrabit summed it up magnificnetly in a comment yesterday:

      The leaders of most major social sub-groups are focused on working with TPTB and with-in the confines of the status-quo.

      These ‘leaders’ rarely want to support anything that is controversial or deviates from the narrow interests of their group so as not to put their _mission_ at risk.
      The result is a set of special interests that competes for access and favor so as to achieve marginal benefits while acting in a larger sense as a support for the status-quo.

      Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/06/links-6813.html#foD12frAZIZjMoTC.99

      Of course, as Martin Luther King pointed out, this is not only a morally bankrupt political strategy, but an ineffecutal one as well, as he notes here:

      First, we are challenged to rise above the narrow confines of our individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. (“Facing the challenge of a new age”)

      And again here:

      Our position depends upon a lot more than political power, however. It depends upon our ability to marshal moral power as well. As soon as we lose the moral offensive, we are left with only our ten percent of the power of the nation. (Nonviolence, the only road to freedom”)

      In Part 5, the “The Soul of a Nation” episode of the PBS series God in America, we find a masterful portrayal of the watershed moment when King’s conscience triumphed over his quest for political power:

      Rev. RANDALL BALMER: What I find remarkable about Martin Luther King is that he was willing to cooperate with politicians, most significantly with Lyndon Johnson. And yet King was able to maintain his distance, his prophetic distance, from power and from the lures of power.

      NARRATOR: King put his relationship with Johnson at risk, directly confronting the president on Vietnam.

      Rev. MARTIN LUTHER KING, Jr.: -to oppose that abominable, evil, unjust war in Vietnam!

      RICHARD LISCHER: It’s one thing to be a popular prophet or an inside prophet, where you have instant access to the halls of power, you can have lunch or tea with Lyndon Baines Johnson whenever it’s convenient. But in his opposition to the war in Vietnam, he became an outside prophet, like Jeremiah throwing pebbles from the outside.

      Rev. MARTIN LUTHER KING, Jr.: And don’t let anybody make you think that God chose America as his divine messianic force to be a sort of policeman of the whole world. God has a way of standing before the nations with judgment, and seems that I can hear God saying to America, “You are too arrogant, and if you don’t change your ways, I will rise up and break the backbone of your power!”

      RICHARD LISCHER: He knowingly and willingly burnt his bridges to the source of power in the United States. And he did so because, as he said, “I am a minister of the gospel, and I must tell that truth.”


      1. from Mexico

        For a case study of the political philosophy Jackrabbit describes in action, in this instance in the LGBT sub-group, take a look at how the LGBT blue dog Democrats circle the wagons to protect Michelle Obama in the comments section of this post:


        Hannah Arendt, in The Origins of Totalitarianism, writes of these exception-[Jews, LGBTs, blacks, fill in the blank], court-[fill in the blank], or parvenu-[fill in the blank]:

        As long as defamed peoples and classes exist, parvenu- and pariah- qualities will be produced anew by each generation with incomparable monotony, in Jewish society and everywhere else…

        The “exception Jews” of wealth felt like exceptions from the common destiny of the Jewish people and were recognized by the governments as exceptionally useful.

          1. Massinissa

            Yeah, when you think about it, the patronage schemes from the late 1800s were almost feudal in nature. And it appears that in this way as well, we are going right back to the Gilded Age.

            Hello, large scale political patronage bereft of ideological principles! Good to see you again old buddy old pal!

      2. TK421

        Great post, From Mexico.

        And I think it’s amusing that LittleGreenFootballs is counted as an Obama loyalist. I thought that was a reactionary right-wing blog?

          1. Synopticist

            He sure is, but still….

            I don’t trust Greenwad. I’m very dubious about a guy who got his first break from the Koch brothers, supported the gulf war and Bush, defended fascists, before apparently having some Damascene conversion aged 40. That seems pretty late in life to totally alter your views to me.

            So before I’m convinced, I need this question answered.


          2. from Mexico

            Wilkerson also raised the possibility that Greenwald’s source might be the Republican faithful.

            But do you really believe that the Koch brothers would put partisanship above achieving their hallowed security-police state?

            I think tropes like partisanship and tribalism are for the fuckees, not for the fuckors.

            1. Lambert Strether

              The whole episode doesn’t have that “things go better with Koch” flavor; the right puppets don’t seem to be dancing. That said, there’s no reason to think that Greenwald or the Guardian’s informants (single or multiple) are left or progressive. Wilkerson himself (like Bruce Bartlett) is an exomple of that. Fits perfectly with Greenwald’s “Strange Bedfellows” moniker.

        1. Kevin

          I don’t follow him closely but there are a couple of interesting discussions in the Bloggingheads archives with the LGF writer and Conn from Heritage snarling at each other. I don’t know how his positions have evolved since then.

        2. jummy

          I think to the extent that many who accept Charles Johnson of @Green_Footballs as a progressive voice are aware of his history as a “former wingnut” they presume he was a middle-of-the-road kind of GOP moderate who recovered from a mild case of war fever. He was not. He was the exact model of every extreme and excess on the right he now condemns. LGF was at one time the subject of an FBI hate crimes investigation following death threats he incited against a Muslim civil rights organization. He. Literally created the blogging careers of Pamela Gellar, Robert Spenser and Fjordman

          1. jummy

            …whose names you only know really because of Johnson’s personal vendetta against them. Johnson was a “seektit muslim” Obama conspiracy theorist right up until innauguration day. He left the right and joined the left no sooner or later than that date. He is simply a vulgar authoritarian ready to don the vestments of whatever party is in power. If this is not easy to see, it’s because he’s taken measures to obfuacate and conceal his pre-2009 work, blocking the Wayback Machine from archiving his site, de-indexing his site’s pre-2009 content and wven going back to revise text and memory-hole old posts. He’s not a good guy.

      3. from Mexico

        Another similar theory is put forth by Andrew Lobaczewski, but it does not rely so much on class- or identity-politics, but the overall social body succumbing to a social disorder. He describes the advance of the social disease as follows:

        During stable times which are ostensibly happy, albeit dependent upon injustice to other individuals and nations, doctrinaire people believe they have found a simple solution to fix the world. Such a historical period is always characterized by an impoverished psychological world view, so that a schizoidally impoverished psychological world view does not stand out as odd during such times and is accepted as legal tender. These doctrinaire individuals characteristically manifest a certain contempt with regard to moralists then preaching the need to rediscover lost human values and to develop a richer, more appropriate psychological world view.

        Schizoid characters aim to impose their own conceptual world upon other people or social groups, using relatively controlled pathological egotism and the exceptional tenacity derived from their persistent nature. They are thus eventually able to overpower another individual’s personality, which causes the latter’s behavior to turn desperately illogical…

        The oversimplified pattern of ideas, devoid of psychological color and based on easily available data, tends to exert an intense attracting influence on individuals who are insufficiently critical, frequently frustrated as result of downward social adjustment, culturally neglected, or characterized by some psychological deficiencies of their own…

        The traditional interpretation of these great historical diseases has already taught historians to distinguish two phases. The first is represented by a period of spiritual crisis in a society, which historiography associates with exhausting of the ideational, moral, and religious values heretofore nourishing the society in question . Egoism among individuals and social groups increases, and the links of moral duty and social networks are felt to be loosening. Trifling matters thereupon dominate human minds to such an extent that there is no room left for thinking about public matters or a feeling of commitment to the future. An atrophy of the hierarchy of values within thinking of individuals and societies is an indication thereof… The country’s government is finally paralyzed, helpless in the face of problems which could be solved without great difficulty under other circumstances. Let us associate such periods of crisis with the familiar phase in social hysterization.

        The next phase has been marked by bloody tragedies, revolutions, wars, and the fall of empires.

        ANDREW M. LOBACZEWSKI, Political Ponerology

    4. ltr

      Glenn Greenwald and fellow writers and editors at the Guardian and the Guardian publisher have done us a remarkable service. This is what a free press means to democracy and Greenwald is a journalist I have the deepest admiration for. Yves Smith too for that matter.

      Thank you, Glenn, all the Guardian, Yves.

      1. Elliot

        Greenwald is an exemplary thinker, journalist, and patriot. I actually remember Watergate (the government printed transcripts were available, too; I’d like to see that nowdays…). We are in deep trouble in this country and desperately need voices, investigators, like Greenwald if we are to have any hope of salvaging democracy.

        The creepily lamprey-like political partisans are completely missing the point, I am ashamed.

  2. Gerard Pierce

    There are a few parts of this problem that are not considered and not discussed – and in a way even talking about them falls loosely into the category of conspiracy theory. Or you can look on it as a statement of what is — because that’s the way it has to be in today’s system.

    We’ve been spying on everyone ar least since 9-11 and possibly even earlier. Everyone includes our elected representatives. Given the level of mendacity and criminality among those representatives, by now we should be able to conclude that almost all of those representatives are owned by the guys with access to the wiretaps.

    In a similar fashon, Bush and Cheney filled the Justice Department and large sections of the Bureaucracy with “loyal Bushies”. Civil Service rules and the Hatch Act were supposed to create a civil service that was not ideological. That’s never been completely true, but at one time, the ideologues were more interested in active participation in poitics than they were in taking their ideology into a public service career.

    Many of these ideologues have built up their power over a number of years. You can’t influence them and you can’t fire them, and they have a lot more influence on people like Obama than the other way around.

    And you can’t effectively oppose them if you don’t even know who they are.

    1. digi_owl

      A problem in all system of government where the staff is not regularly rotated. Over time the bureaucrats become entrenched, and no matter who is at the top the real executive power resides in the faceless suits in between them and the common man on the street.

    2. charles sereno

      “Many of these ideologues have built up their power over a number of years. You can’t influence them and you can’t fire them, and they have a lot more influence on people like Obama than the other way around.” (Gerard Pierce)
      Do you seriously mean to say that Obama is inadvertantly being led around?

      1. Massinissa

        Well, if he means that Obama is a willing puppet, I agree with him. But if he is trying to say that Obama is a useful idiot, I disagree: Im pretty sure Obama knows what role he is playing. I think he even enjoys it.

      2. Gerard Pierce

        If you want to see how it works, you will have to go back and watch a few years episodes of “Yes Minister”. Then imagine a government works that way without the light-hearted good humour.

        1. Leviathan

          Great show, but you’re missing an essential difference between 1979s Britain and today’s US. Then the state owned the means of production, so those who controlled the apparatus of the state were very powerful. Now the means of production are co-owned by oligarchs and state actors (elected and un). The two groups intermarry and watch each others backs, switch roles every few years, and ward off all threats to power jointly. This had no parallel in the world of “Yes Minister.”

  3. Frank Shannon

    I haven’t written anything in a while, but I feel like I have to say something about the recent PRISM/NSA stories.

    META: I think this is an improvement over the previous 3 bullshit Obama scandals. Even if its not really a scandal or even news really, it is still a story that deserves some attention.

    I can’t remember all the back story that I’m aware of but I do remember a bit. I first became aware of the general shape of the thing somewhere around 2005 I think. There was a POOR MAN post about data that also talked about people in the Bush administration threatening to resign over the, then without any legal cover, program and people trying to get Ashcroft to sign off on it in his sickbed.

    In 2007 there was the washington post story about how the NSA had installed splitters in a trunk line (fiber optic) for sweeping up internet communications.

    Which lead to my insight that maybe the NSA doesn’t have a “back door” they just get copies of the latest proprietary software from facebook et al so that all that traffic they are sweeping up (ie all of it) makes more sense.

    1. mikkel

      Exactly, there aren’t too many places you’d need to put the splitters to pick up the vast majority of traffic — especially international.

      It seems like collective memory has been reduced to days (now that I’m an expat I see this seems to be a decidedly American trait) and while I shouldn’t be surprised any more, it’s still disheartening to see all the outright denials even though there have been numerous exposes on the NSA over the last 10 years.

      Whether it’s about the NSA analysis data centers, the WaPo’s series on the out of control security state, or the splitter story you reference, there isn’t exactly a dearth of public information that points to the story being true.

      This doesn’t even begin to count the numerous academic articles and presentations that strongly support the existence of the program when read between the lines. When researching advanced national language processing techniques I’ve often run into papers about how to do it on datasets as large as we’re talking about and they just happen to be out of Oak Ridge or Sandia, perhaps with help from MIT and Stanford; funding done on DoD and DoE grants. It doesn’t take much to figure out what the intent is.

      That said, I am extremely skeptical of the efficacy of the programs. There have been many mathematical proofs by intelligence experts that show the number of false positives will be >>> true threats, even with 100% accurate information. Thus, the only way it can be effective is when targeting a specific individual that has come across the radar due to other means. Since this situation means that they could get a court order anyway, the whole program reeks of being installed for less than legal reasons.

      Or it’s just another military industrial boondoggle to rip taxpayers off tens of billions of dollars.

  4. nobody

    Note this:

    “In Dulles UAL lounge listening to 4 US intel officials saying loudly leaker & reporter on #NSA stuff should be disappeared recorded a bit”


    Clemons says that:

    “Statement about ‘disappearing’ the journalist and leaker if he/she could be identified was offered as bravado, as disturbing joke”

    There’s a long train of tweets about this on his feed.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I deliberately did not put that in Links (I saw both the tweet and later saw HuffPo has written it up). I don’t want to dignify it by amplifying it.

      This is not how threats are made. Those guys are either lunkheads or it’s lame/bad PR.

      That stuff Clemons “overheard” was lame. There are various levels of real intimidation (I know people who’ve been on the receiving end and some who were able to hire people on the delivery end). Loud public bluster isn’t on the list, not even close.

      If anyone serious/legit was behind that, it shows how much contempt they have for the left. The tacit assumption would be we are all a bunch of amateurs and cowards and if they look at us cross eyed we’ll all go hide under rocks.

      1. nobody

        Sorry to have (unwittingly) imposed something on your blog that you would have preferred not to be here.

        For the sake of clarification, though, Clemons is quite clear that he doesn’t think this was an instance of real intimidation. He says: “the joke was weird one, disconcerting, more bravado than serious. but still disturbing.”

        FWIW, I encountered the tweet via Greenwald himself:


      2. Warren Celli

        This ‘disappearing’ threat may not resonate with you personally but I am sure it bobs the adams apple of many. This is EXACTLY how threats are made — over a full spectrum of cultural segments using all methodologies that match varying levels of cultural perception. Loud public bluster, and rumors of it, are an integral part of the mix. This is just more Xtrevilist bullying.

        The intent is to further the incrementally intentional divisiveness being instilled in the global population. Bully Xtrevilism, whose greatest strength resides in the use of the Noble Lie, the corporate structure, and global control of media, of course denies any wrong doing with its great big disproportionately loud and strident all media voice, while at the same time it works to manipulate in ALL spheres of influence. This security ‘leak’ also triggers and exploits the shame, guilt, and regrets in the many citizens with skeletons in their closets to intimidate, stifle and silence them. Poor souls, going to bed ruminating about all of those past sordid e-mails, cheating phone calls, clicking on all of those porno sites, etc., that their government now has copies of… sheesh, what a worry! I better be good, keep my mouth shut, and toe the system line! This is in effect a psychological after death judgment day, where all of one’s past idle words will be exposed and accounted for not after death but right now, brought into the present.

        This is also a very strong indication of subsumption into the Onotron and OTSD (Onotron Traumatic Stress Disorder) where; “Death is total loss of control — living death is partial loss, and greater loss, of control…”


        But it does not stop there, this security leak also builds blame game divisiveness for those still stuck in the two party charade, and of course more mistrust in government, fear mongering, anxiety, and many other psychological manipulations in the populace too numerous to mention. Yes, something for everyone at all levels of cultural perception!

        No need to worry though, you can now report these suspicious terrorist activities to any of the new iWATCH web sites that are presently being rolled out around the globe.


        Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

        1. JTFaraday

          Yeah, like I’m sure it makes people in the press think “Oh, if I talk about X, I’m going to get fired.”

          They don’t have to fire you on the spot for X infraction, so you can win a lawsuit or run to Gawker and expose them to generate your next career in the alternative press.

          They’ll just use X as the excuse to build a procedurally correct case against you, based on denigrating your abilities, your character, and your work ethic.

          In the process, you’ll learn your lesson. And that lesson can be as simple as “You s*ck.” And today “You s*ck” reads as “permanent unemployability.”

          Why? Because both the plutocratic and the presumably well intended critical press tells us so.

        2. Yves Smith Post author


          No, I know people who’ve been real targets (quite a few) which included high risk areas (Russia after the collapse, countries were drug lords were in place, one had former senior KGB people on staff and learned from them the gory permutations of how people got intimidated, kidnapped and killed) and former DA who went after the mob and later were in private practice working for mob family member, oh, and second hand through the latter, people connected with Marc Rich (who the US tried in the first case I know of of attempted extraordinary rendition, tried to kidnap him in Switzerland. The Swiss foiled that one).

          Let me repeat: you most assuredly DO NOT make dumbass threats loudly in public to third parties.

          I pinged one of my “knows how it’s done” experts and he confirmed my reading:

          You’re right that there’s no way that was a real spook or assassin or anyone in the NSA/CIA.

          I assume it was either a) Clemens trying to insinuate himself into the twitter conversation by playing on people’s dumb ideas about how this works, piggybacking on Glenn’s moment of glory; or b) he really heard a pair of macho golf jocks execs in first class lounge talking shit, one of whom wore a t-shirt like that. Assholes do talk that way – I remember being at a Daily Caller party in Washington DC in October 2010 and Eli Lake was telling everyone how much he supported a summary execution of Julian Assange – half of DC assholedom talked that talk for a month or so. I also remember being in a Dallas first class lounge when OJ’s verdict was read off, and the golf execs there were openly talking some pretty violent right-wing shit in the open.

          1. Warren Celli


            Yves said; “I pinged one of my “knows how it’s done” experts and he confirmed my reading:

            You’re right that there’s no way that was a real spook or assassin or anyone in the NSA/CIA.”

            Not even a surrogate or surrogates maybe? Gee whiz, I don’t know any “knows how it’s done” experts that could assure me of who is, or who is not, a bona fide NSA/CIA member or that they do not operate through surrogates and proxies. I will just have to trust you and your “knows how it’s done” expert?

            My humble apologies, but I still disagree with your observation, and that is why I presented a different viewpoint. My comment was a generalized comment on bullying threats, like the one your expert just now used used as an example of non NSA/CIA threats made by super bully ass wipe Eli Lake — do we really know who Eli works for? Is he serious/legit? All of that summary execution of Assange talk was/is extremely chilling of Free Speech. It is classic loud mouth bullying. Loud mouth Xtrevilist dumb ass threat bullying goes on all over the planet, even by ministers of state;


            Do you see any NSA/CIA connections in this instance?

            The Clemons incident did get some amplification and dignifying legs;


            The leaker is now known, Edward Snowden, 29, and they want to prosecute him. I think he is a hero! Should I be prosecuted?


            Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

        3. alex morfesis



          is correct

          having been on the winning and losing ends of battles, having decided to cave once or twice when peoples lives around me were being dismantled just to prove someone could, having bumped up against obama’s right hand gal when I was in chicago, I also know that when you leave a rat a space against the wall to run off, they will not try to tear through your face to escape, and will bearhug your idea as their own before you have a chance to take credit for it pubicly…

          there is no way that anyone who can do something would announce it…no one in the mob ever says they are in
          the mob and if you ever come across someone who says it
          they are “at best” some feeble little gofer in some low level mobsters “crew”…

          and if you ever have a formidable enemy who takes the
          time to threaten you like that, smile…it is a sign…
          they know they have lost…

          I will not “troll in” and take a position on any of this notion that assange is real or this “not so secret secret” is anything but some noise to take another story off the front pages of the news for a week or two…

          part of any attempt at democracy is the need to have participants willing to get a bloody nose or worse.

          bitchingincyberspace as someone described
          earlier can be cathartic in an abe lincoln,
          get it out of your system by writting it down, kinda way…

          but sophistic at best…

          you are either a willing bystander in life, an annoying
          pest, or someone to be bearhugged or buried…at a
          certain level, life is perpetual warfare…that the internet
          has shed light on this for you is nice but irrelevant.

          six…a total of six “whistle blowers” have been charged with the “espionage act”…today 100 people died in automobile accidents in the US, at least 25 preventable if we did not give away drivers licenses as if they were prizes in a cracker jack box and actually required people to be trained to avoid accidents…I am sure Fidel Castro killed off six people today that no one heard about or will ever hear about…six…this is not kristallnacht, which was buried in the news of the day because Ataturk had (conveniently for the nazi’s) died that same day…

          get a grip…if you did not notice…we had something called jim crow in this country, and not too long ago woman had almost no chance of getting a bank loan to start a business….not that it is easy today…bit its been much worse than what is being suggested here…

          if you did not notice…in LA, if the noisy bystanders had mustered enough energy to do a Beppe we would now have a third party or truly independant mayor in LA…opportunities for the red caps to breath free are always in front of us…if we turn off the fears and turn on the afterburners…

          to the victors go the history books…

          not too many people blame wilson or truman for the cracks in our democracy…

          good luck and be well(as bill beutel used to say)

          1. Warren Celli

            alex morfesis says; “get a grip…if you did not notice…we had something called jim crow in this country, and not too long ago woman had almost no chance of getting a bank loan to start a business….not that it is easy today…bit its been much worse than what is being suggested here…”

            Alex, when someone refers to Jim Crow in the past tense they seriously lose credibility with me. I can assure you from first hand experience that Jim Crow is alive and well!


            A woman’s access to usurious bank debt slavery as another example of societal progress also tends to make me discount one’s words as it too seriously glosses over the reality.


            The Xtrevilist gangster’s in control — the mob — brazenly, boldly, publicly, and quite loudly, announce their bullying intentions every day…


            Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

  5. JGordon

    I don’t know about you all, but I myself am particularly enamored with Glen’s strategy of revealing a leak, waiting a bit for the inevitable flood of lies to issue forth from the regime… and then subsequently revealing yet more leak information which precisely refutes the lies that the regime had just thought up and spread sometimes only hours before.

    Has anyone else noticed this pattern, or is it just me? It’s gotten to the point where it’s pretty predictable now, and we’re only a couple of days into this thing you know.

    By the way, I may be unduly pessimistic about how sheep-like the American people are. I have spoken with quite a few (formally I suppose) apolitical people are frankly aghast at what the Obama regime has been up to. Like one guy I know who totally has no temper and doesn’t give a crap about politics was almost screaming about the NSA spying on his phone conversations with his gf. I suppose it’s possible that the regime might get some kind of blow-back from their (now well-known) criminal activity after all. Who knows?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I hope you are right. I had dinner with someone who gave me the “we’re at war and this is justified because it catches bad guys.” I can’t recall where someone already pointed out the obvious: if all of this surveillance had stopped the next shoe/underwear/lunchbox/hidden soap bar bomber, it would be all over the news.

      1. LucyLulu

        Sen. Mike Rogers, Chair House Intelligence, when interviewed a couple days ago said that the surveillance had helped to thwart a terrorist attack on US soil. As in a single attack, and as in “helped to thwart” (implying not solely responsible).

        Ten years of massive surveillance and it MIGHT have prevented one attack. Can we trade it in for a jobs program and get our privacy back? We could save even more money and head off far more terroristic threats by reducing our military footprint and stop all this nonsense about chained CPI and raising the age of Medicare.

        1. Massinissa

          Replace it with a jobs program?

          I would just be happy if they just sequestered the surveillance program! These are government jobs I will NOT support: I dont give a damn if they get replaced with other jobs or not lulz.

          Im fine with austerity… For the imperial warmachine and surveillance state!

      2. Stephanie

        This perspective showed up in my FB feed today:

        “A lot of people are freaked out about the latest news on the NSA as if this stuff is something new. Go back and pull up news from 2006, 1999, and while you’re at it, pull up the story on the tape recorder hidden under Martin Luther King Jr’s bed in his hotel room. None of this is new, just a lot more high tech. Frankly, I’m not worried about the NSA being Big Brother. If you want to know who Big Brother really is, look at your neighbor or the guy across from you on the bus. That guy will listen in on your conversation, take your picture on his cell phone without you knowing it, and in mere minutes, your “private” conversations and image will be spread coast to coast on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Will the NSA tap your phones and find out that you cheat on your spouse? Maybe. Will they do anything with that information? Probably not.”

        1. Massinissa

          Gee, because political persecution during the red scare NEVER happened right?

          People are so naive.. Or maybe I just care because im a socialist, one of the types of people that was persecuted not only under McCarthy, but in regimes around the world, including Hitler. I suppose mainstream liberals dont have much to fear from the state in that regard, since most of them are pawns in the great game anyway.

        2. TK421

          “Will they do anything with that information? Probably not.”

          Right, they are just collecting information for the fun of it.

          And hey, MLK had no reason to worry about being spied upon, did he? Everything turned out alright for him!

          1. Massinissa

            We have house trolls?

            As far as I can tell, when nc gets trolled, its a different set each time.

          2. charles sereno

            Massinissa, if NC had access to a NSA algorithm to detect “suspect trolls,” Lambert could do a meta study on outhouse trolls (first responders) vs in-house trolls (repeat offenders) without, of course, actually reading their comments.

      3. M. Black

        This is perhaps the place to note Greenwald’s tweet from this morning, in reference to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s response to the revelations so far:

        “Clapper: leaks ‘literally gut-wrenching’ – ‘huge, grave damage’ – save some melodrama and rhetoric for coming stories. You’ll need it.”

      4. Propertius

        “we’re at war and this is justified because it catches bad guys.”

        My automatic reply to this line of “reasoning” has become:

        Of course we are. Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

      5. Oh puleeze

        “we’re at war and this is justified because it catches bad guys.”
        The guys who started the Iraq war? The liars loan mafia? Goldman Sachs? Citibank? The prison-industrial complex? The military industrial complex? Nuclear weapons? House of Saud / Big Oil / Petro Dollar?
        Which bad guy was he referring to?

      6. ian

        “I can’t recall where someone already pointed out the obvious: if all of this surveillance had stopped the next shoe/underwear/lunchbox/hidden soap bar bomber, it would be all over the news.”

        And yet, this is the claim that is made: that these techniques have thwarted terrorists – without, of course, naming any specifics.

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      While the spying scandal has “caught on” more than many other scandals over the last 10 years, it has not reached as far down as one would like. If this is the tipping point, it is not immediately apparent; there is certainly no Walter Cronkite to formally announce it.

      I like your observation about Greenwald’s revelation rhythm. He is also exceptionally meticulous (it’s justifiable to mention, like Yves, in that breath) and also like Yves this gives him considerable credibility. Along with the technique you mention and his frequent use of updates, and his apparent delight in making email exchanges and other back-end events totally transparent, it makes it particularly difficult to smear him and I suspect the government agencies in question are looking at him under a microscope trying to find any possible angle to do so.

      This is why when people mention being concerned about the possible “leaker”, I think it legitimate to express concern for Greenwald as well. He has entered new territory with this latest revelation and not simply by his own efforts. Part of it, as others here have pointed out in a different context – we have known about spying for some time, is simply by timing; sort of an extension of your point. Glen couldn’t have timed the original, Verizon, story better to get almost explosive attention, what with the recent IRS, Fox, and AP scandals. I suspect that while he was a strong irritant to the administration before, with this latest revelation and it’s impact – even if not the tipping point, Greenwald may well have graduated to the, We must do something about him list.

      He seems to be completely aware of this (“These endless investigations and prosecutions and threats are designed to bolster that fear-driven dynamic. But it isn’t working. It’s doing the opposite.”) which makes him a bonafide hero and a potential victim of Obama’s power-lust.

      1. Propertius

        He is also exceptionally meticulous

        He’s an attorney – in the best sense of the word. He knows how to build a case and construct an argument.

      2. JGordon

        Nevertheless Greenwald is engaging in compeltely legal and completely protected activity. Attempts to shut him down by the Obama regime will only make it look that much more corrupt and contemptible. And I see that as a good thing; Americans generally have way too much trust in their government for their own good (far more than most people in the world, though there are a few outlier states) and the Obama regime’s recent and “transparent” efforts to foster contempt for government in the hearts of Americans that will ultimately prove beneficial to society.

    3. Chris Engel

      Jeremy Scahill has made numerous references recently (at the Left Forum) about more leaks coming too. The whole crew of whistleblowers seems to really have momentum and almost restrained glee at what is to come in the larger narrative.

      1. Massinissa

        Its great that the whistleblowers understand that they need to release these in small batches, instead of all at once like Wikileaks does.

        Doing it over and over with small batches keeps these things in the news longer, letting the message sink in to people over a longer period of time. Its sort of genius.

  6. middle seaman

    The tapping problem is inherent to our societal and technological state. Obama may be the president from Wall Street, but it’s likely that most presidents would have chosen a similar route. After all, this comment is entered on a closely watched tablet. We allowed that to happen way back. Watching my computer is as undemocratic and as dangerous as Obama looking into my pants.

    Our privacy leaked away more than a decade ago while we consented by keeping our mouth shut. We don’t have enough money for Obama to care about.

    1. Jim Haygood

      If government can’t protect its own ‘TOP SECRET//SI//NOFORN’ data from leaking, why would anyone expect sensitive personal health and financial information provided under ACA to be secure?

      Obuggercare is going to be a hacker’s paradise.

  7. Bob

    When folks like Charles Johnson/@Green_Footballs complain about the real left being like the tea partiers, what he really reveals is his own political location with the insiders/villagers, although, in his case, he’s no more than a wannabe groupie. In that sense, the tea party is just as much outsider as the real left.

    What events like this highlight and expose is the real nature of American political society: insiders vs. the rest of us, and the beneficiaries of this relationship are desperate to hide that reality.

  8. timotheus

    The Jeremy Scahill film came out this weekend based on and titled the same as his book, “Dirty Wars”. Watching it along with the NSA revelations enables one to see the connections: they got our passive endorsement to expand the GWOT with no rules of any sort (Guantánamo, assassination, JSOC death squads, Abu Ghraib, just to name the most salient examples), and then we’re surprised when all these war powers bleed into domestic abuse? We shrug our shoulders at the destruction of habeas corpus, but think that the big guys will leave us alone? Why, because we have U.S. birth certificates? When the history of this period is written (if there are any historians left to do so, which I doubt), it will be full of head-shaking amazement that post Twin Towers, we collectively said, Do Anything, then were surprised to see that they went ahead and did.

  9. Stephanie

    The interviewee questions the intent of the leaker, and suggests that he/she might be politically motivated to embroil Obama in yet another scandal. I tend to think that Greenwald is so meticulous about intent and sources that this is unlikely. He’s even written about the motivations of the source(s), as being nobel and has called the actions of the source(s) heroic. When the leaker’s id emerges, we should all be very attentive to how the admin/and stenography journalists try to portray him or her.

    1. Massinissa

      Honestly? If this IS politically motivated, its still a good thing! Who gives a damn about the intent?!

      The motivations of the leak doesnt change that what Obama is doing is shitting upon the constitution! Glenn Greenwald can be paid by the Koch brothers for all it bloody matters! (Of course, hes certainly not)

    2. Propertius

      The “intent” of the leakers is immaterial to the facts behind the leaks. The leaks are either true or they are false (and at this point they’re pretty obviously true). The abuse is real, regardless of the motives of those who revealed it.

      That’s why ad hominem is considered a logical fallacy.

  10. Stephanie

    I find the whole idea of using algorithms to id ‘potential terrorists’ to be so unnerving. We all see what happens to people who rely on mathematical data too much, e.g. users of the spatial data in Google maps driving down stairs and what not. Relying on technology in this way makes us lazy, and causes us to believe things that aren’t really there. I haven’t really seen anything addressing that, in general, but wonder if we will.

    1. Stephanie

      Obviously, the way we see has real-world implications and changes reality. Just see how economics has been modeled and reduced into universalized rational and predictable behavior. Look at the mess that kind of thinking has created.

  11. MRW

    Yves, you sewed it up here:

    I suppose it’s useful to have Obama make it explicit he thinks that his interpretation of security needs comes before upholding the Constitution.

    Or this from Greenwald’s piece:

    Barack Obama said that that congressional oversight was the American peoples’ best guarantee that they were not being spied on. “These are the folks you all vote for as your representatives in Congress and they are being fully briefed on these programs,” he said.

    Like Congress and Obama’s understanding of how the economy works, and why we don’t don’t need to investigate the architects of the GFC. Just trust the bastards because we voted for them?

    1. Ms G

      ” … These are the folks you all vote for as your representatives in Congress.”


      “You all”

      “Your representatives”

      BHO’s paternalistic Slims Speak at its best.

        1. The Black Swan

          We aren’t stupid, greedy or sociopathic enough to run for political office. Our power is in our unpredictability.

          And remember, the apparatus of our enslavement is the tool of our liberation.

  12. Fred

    $100 the “leaker” was actually the PRC. I doubt it coming right before a meeting with Obama about cyberwarfare is a coincidence.

    1. Chris Engel

      The reputation boost the Chinese score by pointing out that the US has its own version of totalitarian surveillance does give one pause.

      But then again, we’re talking TOP SECRET classification, this isn’t child’s play. I’m unsure of how willing the Chinese would be, if they had access to such documents, to leak them.

      1. ScottW

        Greenwald stated the leaker of the Verizon order was a reader of his column. Knowing the way our crazy spy state works, all readers of his column are probably suspects of the leak. Before you laugh, remember hundreds of folks were interviewed trying to find the source of the AP story about the foiled terrorist plot. We are all suspects, as Feinstein so eerily stated in defending the spying operation.

        1. Chris Engel

          Yea. It’s also amazing that an NSA insider would have the gall to come out and leak TOP SECRET material in a political environment where there are others who have been prosecuted under the ESPIONAGE ACT for leaking less-sensitive material.

          Let’s hope this guy is safe and that successful leaks will encourage more insiders to come forward despite the treatment of others.

          1. Chris Engel

            Sorry, “gall” was not the word I was looking for, “courage” is what I meant. I had the Obama administration on the mind clearly :P

          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            I don’t want to dismiss Snowden’s efforts, I have sent an e-mail to the White House voicing my support for Snowden, but the martyrdom effect might be at play. Bradley Manning is being crucified by the Obama Administration for being a decent human being.

            On an abstract level, we are discussing right and wrong, but on a practical level, Manning did the right thing. As history has shown, people respond to that behavior and emulate it over time.

  13. Jackrabbit

    Another question is simply this: what reason do we have to trust them?

    The Obama Administration has lied, fudged, spun, misconstrued, and covered up the truth so many times that the only prudent stance at this point is deep skepticism.

    Hope and Change
    Most Transparent Administration Ever

    1. Jackrabbit

      So Obama will say something like: no one’s reading the emails of ordinary Americans.

      Well that is largely true but VERY disingenuous and misleading. No one really cares about the emails of ordinary Americans but there ARE people who care deeply about the communications of THOSE WHO WORK ON BEHALF OF ORDINARY AMERICANS: bloggers, activists, representatives, etc.

      1. Lambert Strether

        But heaven help you if the powers that be decide you’re not ordinary. Like, does being late on your tire payments make you not ordinary? For some, no doubt!

      2. jrs

        Haven’t those activists got the memo already: be more ordinary, pretend voting changes things, go shopping, don’t give a darn.

  14. Jim Haygood

    Ask yourself: with the U.S. security state having successfully co-opted over fifty companies — including leaders in communications, technology and finance — how much success do you reckon they’ve had in co-opting the media?

    As a test case, let’s sample a story in today’s Times-Titanic, headlined How the U.S. Uses Technology to Mine More Data More Quickly:

    ‘Nothing revealed in recent days suggests that N.S.A. eavesdroppers have violated the law by targeting ordinary Americans.’

    HA HA HA HA … you’re no ordinary American! Next:

    ‘In 2003, after the Total Information Awareness program was disclosed, a firestorm of protest forced the Bush administration to back off. But since then, the intelligence community’s data-mining operations have grown enormously.’

    … thus proving that there was no ‘back off.’ TIA simply shape-shifted into PRISM and carried right on. When you have a black budget of tens of billions, who would know?

    ‘The [spy agencies] tell you that somewhere there is an American who is going to be blown up,” said a former technology executive, and “the only thing that stands between that and him living is you.”’

    Read this one twice. Media-indoctrinated citizens are supposed to infer that it’s about saving lives. But spooks understand that it’s about the al-Awlakis, et al: help us, or the American-citizen terrorists don’t get snuffed on schedule. The only thing that stands between Obama’s drone strike and him living is you, comrade.


  15. Jackrabbit

    We are being told that the data is so vast that it is only useful when someone is the target of an investigation.

    We are being told that there are safeguards to law enforcement’s use of the data.

    But how can we ever know that the data isn’t being misused? Anyone with some access would gain a surreptitious business or political advantage.

    We’ve entered creepy B-movie territory: I [could] know what you did last summer.

  16. Ms G

    And here we are all hyper focused decoding tea leaves right and left over the surveillance system leaks — I wonder what major clusterf*** is being implemented that BHO doesn’t want anyone paying attention to!

    (I’m not minimizing the importance or interest of the news we have on our Big Brother gov.)

      1. Doug Terpstra

        Isn’t this enough? Alas, not even close. The majority of par-boiled frogs are still dozing in the hot tub, practically comatose—the snoozing dead. Obama’s one-percent investors chose well.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Interesting point! As they say, “Never waste a good scandal”, even if it is about yourself.

    2. kick in the jewels

      There is a strain of thought that this is our color revolution, a carefully choreographed purge of patsies that introduces some facile gestures toward control of the permanent state, thereby taking the heat off for a while. After all, this happens not while CIA brat Bush is in office, but under a made man, a nobody catapulted to prominence, disposable crash dummy Barack Obama.

      But just between us girls, this has the hallmarks of a global interdiction of US state crime. Treaty bodies and special rapporteurs have been preparing the ground. Foreign intelligence has blown the whistle on US government sponsorship of terror: notably, India regarding 26/11 and Russia regarding Boston’s lethal live-fire exercise. China is sitting on more bombshell revelations.

      All they have to do is undercut the US public’s residual trust in this government. That trust is so delusional, and so psychically painful, that when it gives, we’re going to put their heads on sticks. All of them. CIA, FBI, NSA, DIA, DHS, all their detailees at the local, state, and federal level – what the Chinese call the secret police. The Germans and Romanians and Poles tore theirs up the roots. The whole world knows it has to happen here, or else.

      1. Massinissa

        To be fair though, every warsaw pact revolution to democracy was nonviolent, except for Romania’s.

  17. from Mexico

    I have to agree with Larry Wilkerson.

    Blowback is not the biggest threat to the American people of neo-imperialism. Quite the contrary, the boomerang effect is. As Hannah Arendt put it in “On violence”:

    Henry Steele Commager is entirely right: “If we subvert world order and destroy world peace we must inevitably subvert and destroy our own political institutions first.” The much-feared boomerang effect of the “government of subject races” (Lord Cromer) on the home government during the imperialist era meant that rule by violence in faraway lands would end by affecting the government of England, that the last “subject race” would be the English themselves.

    1. Expat

      If there is a lesson to be learned from the deluge of largely theatrical but nonethless deadly nonsense from Washington of the past ten or so years, this is it. Our institutions were destroyed, our “immune system” as it were, and the pathogenic psychopathic .1% now hold sway. Although the US was a rare case before the “infection,” it is now like many states in the past that had a wicked government to throw off. Not a very nice legacy for future generations.

      And yet, doubtlessly, for most of DC these days, it’s “apres moi le deluge.”

  18. tongorad

    The middlebrow center/liberal class, the self-described “rational, pragmatic left” – who needs ’em? These Obama fanbois are just as demented as the tea party.

      1. Massinissa

        Sorry but I cant imagine obots being supportive of something like a negative income tax, or even Nixoncare. If anyone brought that kind of thing of they would probably accuse those people of being radicals. Because quite frankly nixon is FAR left of Obama.

        Bush Liberals might be a better term. I mean, they have pretty much condoned everything Bush did, seeing as how, Obama has done EVERYTHING Bush did.

        1. ex-PFC Chuck

          In other words, calling Obama and his Obots “Nixon Liberals” is an insult to Nixon.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          The Obots lack the self-awareness to care about policy except in the abstract when their team preference isn’t at risk. All they know is “Obama is good” and is their best player. If tomorrow Obama demanded single payer, blasted Big Pharma and Hospitals, and claimed its been his public position all along, the Obots would attack single-payer advocates as late to the game and demand they sing Obama’s praises. In many ways, they are the perfect followers for President “Father knows best.”

  19. km4

    We Misunderstood Barack: He only wanted the Domestic Surveillance to be Made Legal, not to End It bit.ly/15WB4f8 by Juan Cole

    Apparently Obama only meant that he would pass laws and issue presidential decrees that allowed the government to violate civil liberties, so that the vast domestic surveillance was legal, in contrast to its illicit character under Bush. It isn’t the surveillance that he was promising to curtail.

    That’s what I take away from his defense of the surveillance on Friday. He also was being dishonest in saying that no one is listening to our phone calls. He wasn’t accused of listening to our phone calls. He was accused of monitoring who we call, without a warrant, which is private information as he well knows. When you deny the charge that hasn’t been made and ignore the one that was, you are in Donald Rumsfeld territory. It is a sad thing to see this happen to Barry.

  20. from Mexico

    For a case study of the political philosophy Jackrabbit describes in action, in this instance in the LGBT sub-group, take a look at how the LGBT blue dog Democrats circle the wagons to protect Michelle Obama in the comments section of this post:


    Hannah Arendt, in The Origins of Totalitarianism, writes of these exception-[Jews, LGBTs, blacks, fill in the blank], court-[fill in the blank], or parvenu-[fill in the blank]:

    As long as defamed peoples and classes exist, parvenu- and pariah- qualities will be produced anew by each generation with incomparable monotony, in Jewish society and everywhere else…

    The “exception Jews” of wealth felt like exceptions from the common destiny of the Jewish people and were recognozed by the governments as exceptionally useful.

  21. optimader

    An interesting aspect of PRISM , what is the current standard of what constitutes Double Dog Dare Top Secret?

    1.) Does exposing PRISM put any “patriot” or paid foreign agents in danger?
    mmmm maybe no, not so much

    2.) Does exposing PRISM reveal “proprietary methods/apparatus” that compromise this Countries security/espionage apparatus?
    mmmm , well no, in fact if nothing else, so far PRISM is shaping up to reveal the NSA actually sucks Corporate hind-tit, and is virtually dependent on its private sector Application/Tech Partners facilities- physical an intellectual.

    Does exposing PRISM explode the program and lead directly to the necessity of winding it up and closing shop?
    MMMM, no haven’t read there is ANY intention to wind this up. If anything the BHO Admin posture is trivialize criticism, push back and double down.

    So if it does not compromise any human assets;
    expose proprietary methods ( nothing new here, application of reasonably well described technology, in fact probably less sophisticated that what’s in the Google, Facebook, etal “toolkits”);
    or inhibit the ongoing performance of the Program..

    Then why should it be secret??

  22. Bill Frank

    We are great at describing all that is wrong but weak when it comes to moving the discussion to, “WHAT IS NECESSARY TO STOP THESE ABUSES?” Lots of bitching, no action. Does anyone think that anything other than massive protest will produce real change? Does anyone care or are we content with just bitching in cyberspace?

    1. Massinissa


      Theres been no change in this kind of mess for 30 years. There are no plans, because we are totally screwed.

      You want plans, you may want to make some, but I doubt they would work anyway.

      I hate to be the pessimist here, but you do realize we dont live in either a democracy or a republic any more?

      Protests wont work, voting wont work, armed revolution probably wouldnt work (And if anyone tried it, it would be the tea baggers anyway. God knows that would only exacerbate the situation!), what other options are there? The elites have all the political power, and the people no longer have any.

      1. RanDomino

        Political power is based on economic power. Therefore let’s start more community-owned projects that serve economic needs like food, housing, medical care, disaster response, education, public art, etc. Build that economy and undermine the capitalist economy. Build resilience when sending the system of domination into a death spiral. Every tomato or carrot planted is a blow against the machine.

          1. RanDomino

            John Robb is brilliant and knows what he’s talking about, so when he shifted from 4GW research to resilient communities, it was a moment of “what does he know that we don’t know?” (except that we did know, because he told us).

        1. Jim Haygood

          Avoid credit and debit cards. Use cash.

          The old reason was to screw banksters out of a commission. The new reason is to throw sand in the eyes of Obama’s Stasi agents, who monitor all e-transactions.

          Two birds, one stone …

    2. optimader

      “Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious….Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible.”

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      Encrypt your communications. Assange recommended this a while ago.

      The problem in the past was that if you encrypted what you were up to, it would be like waving a red flag to the NSA: “Hey there, I’m doing stuff I don’t want you to see, nah nah nah!” You were advertising that you were a Person of Interest and demanding to be surveilled by other means.

      Now if a not all that large % of the population starts encrypting (particularly if you can get persons of NO interest to do it, like retirees and kids under the age of 10), the NSA is overwhelmed with the demands of trying to surveil the encrypters.

      Remember, this “all we want is the geolocation and the patterns” is tripe. Once they’ve decided someone is on their radar, it’s two nanoseconds for the FISA Star Chamber to rubber stamp the court order to get at the content of communications.

    4. jrs

      To have protesting in the streets you’d need real political movements in this country and we don’t have much now (though what little real protest we do have can be encouraged).

      So the other suggestions are decent for now – get the hell out of the corporatist system as much as you can (the big corporations AND the security state – they are all in bed) – as much as you can may just be buying your food from the farmers market and encryption and otherwise being 100% ordinary – fine then do that if it’s all you can do given your current life circumstances. Also spread knowledge.

      Yea protests in the streets would be nice but from what movement could it possibly spring? It’s more likely to spring from the tea party or the libertarians than the left at this point! And I have no problem with anyone joining an issues related march if it did. There’s no labor movement. There’s few left movements that aren’t seriously divided over cultural issues and half infiltrated with Obamabots.

      1. Bill Frank

        I am fully onboard with every suggested action listed above and practice some myself. Do what you can. Despite these positive steps to combat the corrupted ruling elite, I fear that the time grows short. The powerful few have consolidated their control over our economics, politics, education, legal system, communication, food, police, foreign policy, etc., etc. And, guess what? They want nothing less than total control, period. The only response that “may” stop this madness is massive objection issued directly by the people. I’m not getting a real sense of satisfaction by watching my vegetables grow although they do taste great. I hope to continue enjoying them before some event, random or otherwise, produces a major meltdown. Soon, drones will fill our airspace. When the drones are fully deployed, it may be too late. When does control become absolute? Perhaps sooner than you think. It’s time to say no, loudly and clearly, now.

  23. Yancey Ward

    Such pervasive surveillance can be turned on itself in the most hilarious of ways. Were I a terrorist, I could amuse myself endlessly by making the various security apparatchiks jump through any hoop I wanted them to.

      1. Yancey Ward

        Buy two or more disposable cell phones, for example, and leave messages to yourself about terrorist activities you are planning, and watch the hilarity ensue.

        1. TK421

          That assumes the public has even a sliver of a view into the workings of these programs. But we aren’t allowed to know what is being done for us, with our tax dollars.

  24. Zane Zodrow

    So, you do realize that this week’s NSA news means thousands of government employees have access to every login and password you use online, right? Hope you don’t do anything important online, like banking, shopping, 401k, insurance, healthcare, or anything like that. Not to worry, I’m sure all of the Feds involved are completely trustworthy with no mental problems or bad thoughts or drug / gambling habits.

    1. optimader

      An interesting ,unlikely and powerful unintended consequence would be if retail America (global) started unwinding the use of the internet for commerce.
      Some serious squealing about the sanctity of “privacy” would ensue.

  25. M. Black

    The entire mindset of the secret government now in control of our country is perfectly captured in Greenwald’s latest story on the irony-free data-compiling program “Boundless Informant,” which ends with this irony-rich quote from NSA spokeswoman Judith Emmel:

    “The continued publication of these allegations about highly classified issues, and other information taken out of context, makes it impossible to conduct a reasonable discussion on the merits of these programs.”

    The question, of course, is WHOSE discussion? Clearly, the “merits” of these programs are not even fit for citizens’ ears.

  26. Paul Tioxon

    FISA, an actual reform arising for US Senate Church Commission, is just an earlier chapter to what is happening today. Reincarnation or transmigration, the only difference in the political oppression and over reach of our secret government societies is the state of the art instrumentation that is placed firmly under their control in their secret service. Like the peaceful atom and its power to cheap to meter, its is at its point of origin, a weapon of the military, a part of the arsenal of global hegemony.

    Project Shamrock

    One important program brought to light by the Committee was Project Shamrock — domestic surveilliance that was subsequently prohibited by FISA. Shamrock was a NSA surveillance program stretching from 1947 to the mid-70’s that involved the copying of telegrams sent by American citizens to international organizations. L. Britt Snider, former CIA Inspector General and council on the Church Committee, describes the project he was tasked to investigate:

    Every day, a courier went up to New York on the train and returned to Fort Meade with large reels of magnetic tape, which were copies of the international telegrams sent from New York the preceding day using the facilities of three telegraph companies. The tapes would then be electronically processed for items of foreign intelligence interest, typically telegrams sent by foreign establishments in the United States or telegrams that appeared to be encrypted.

    Shamrock actually predated the NSA, which was created by President Truman in 1952, and began as a continuation of censorship efforts conducted by the the Army Security Agency during WWII. As Fritz Schwarz explains to Bill Moyers, the program began with benign intentions, yet, “if you have secrecy and lack of oversight, you’re going to get abuse.” By the time the hearings began, many estimate the NSA was analyzing 150,000 messages a month.

    When Snider submitted his report to chief counsel Schwarz, he initially recommended leaving out the names of the three telegram companies since they could be subject to litigation and that “the companies had cooperated purely out of patriotic motives.” Schwarz decided to leave the names in the report, even after repeated pressing by the Ford Administration that such disclosure would damage national security. ”


    The National Security Act and all of its apparatus has a head start on most of us, since it will 66 years old in 2013. It will be a century old traditional institution of America in many of our lifetimes. If we don’t smash it into a trillion pieces and compost it back into ashes.

  27. Benjamin Figgins

    I’m disappointed that so much focus is being placed on the strict legality of all this. Just as with torture in the Bush era the moral dimension has been completely discarded. Whether any or all of this is within the letter of the law (or at least a court somewhere declares it to be) is it, fundementally, right?

  28. JeremyGrimm

    (This is a second try at this comment. If it’s become redundant, please delete it — I couldn’t tell whether the first try got through or not.) The current spying revelations are of little surprise (though they provide valuable details and supporting evidence) I have to echo Timothy Gawne’s comment from this Friday morning Timothy Gawne says: June 7, 2013 at 8:33 am
    “With respect, this is a distraction.”
    I don’t know that I agree with his further assertion that this was a cover for immigration negotiations. But what is the “left hand” doing while so much attention is focused on this spying issue? I don’t know and it is definitely worrisome.

    As for the spying itself, I take issue with the so-called Godwin’s law. Calling a thing ‘Nazi’ or ‘fascist’ and then drawing conclusions from that label rather than from the evidence seems like it fits under some form of ad hominem attack. [I’m sure some fallacies expert will provide the correct term for this kind of fallacy if ad hominem isn’t.] No Godwin’s law is needed to call arguments of this sort fallacious. Further it becomes all too simple to invoke Godwin’s law to make an ad hominem attack on all arguments that invoke the words ‘Nazi’ or ‘fascist’. The German Nazi government under Hitler is one among several of the most recent, best known and most studied examples of a totalitarian state. While there is excellent reason to rule out fallacies from argument I see no good reason to reject out of hand any argument that happens to use Nazi Germany as an example or point of comparison.

    I recall a commentary from a documentary I watched on Nazi Germany (sorry I don’t recall the name) that described the operations of the Gestapo in a town of roughly 250,000 people. The records of the only Gestapo office in this town, which were captured intact, had been the subject of a recent study. From what I recall, the Gestapo office in that town had some 30 or 40 officers. Most of the information used to make arrests came from the reports of neighbor upon neighbor. This documentary suggested that much of the Nazi terror machine probably relied on similar means. By way of comparison, the Stasi secret police had considerably more technical support for their operations, and both the Gestapo and Stasi were, I believe, fairly effective tools for maintaining a totalitarian state.

    Compare the tools that the NSA is assembling with the tools available to Nazi Germany and to the GDR government that followed it in East Germany. Now consider the harm that NSA’s tools could support in the wrong hands. Consider the new forms of weaponry and intelligence gathering being deployed around our country. Consider the buildup and militarization of our local police departments. Reflect on the large numbers of veterans returning from our many foreign wars damaged and mentally traumatized by things that they saw and did in those wars, and consider that some proportion of those veterans may not have been traumatized at all, but enjoyed what they did. I suspect these latter veterans, trained in the brutality of our wars are being recruited for today’s equivalent of the 1930s Pinkertons.

    The capabilities of the Nazi state pale when compared to the capabilities our government has assembled to “protect us” from terrorists.

    1. Warren Celli

      “The capabilities of the Nazi state pale when compared to the capabilities our government has assembled to “protect us” from terrorists.’

      You are correct, the compared capabilities do pale, but it is not ‘our’ government. The nation states, and all of their institutions, are now co-opted “Us” and “Them” constructs owned and controlled by the Xtrevilists. Xtrevilism is in many ways the old overt fascism now in a new and vastly improved covert form and it is working brilliantly. These aberrant sociopaths like Reagan, Clinton, Bush, Obama, et alia, are the most deceptive of scum. NSA’s tools are already in the wrong hands.

      Your comment is right on though in pointing out that many of the old repressive methodologies are presently at play. Their goal is not to “protect us”, it is ‘full spectrum dominance’. See my link above to the despicable brown shirt iWATCH program now being rolled out in Scamerica. It would be better called iSNITCH as it is exactly like the Gestapo neighbor on neighbor snitching program you describe. It could also be called iDEFLECT, because when you are busy watching your neighbor you then take your eyes off the crooked cops who provide the muscle for implementing the Xtrevilists corrupt ‘rule of law’, and beating down any dissent. Shun crooked cops!

      Foreign and domestic have no real meaning for the Xtrevilists other than to aid in implementing their divisive kill off ploys. They operate in a ruler and ruled frame of mind. This whole episode is another incremental notch in normalizing their intentionally created chaos and herd thinning effort.


      Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

    2. tongorad

      The documentary series you’re referring to is The Nazis: A Warning from History (BBC, 1997). An excellent documentary series, BTW.

      The detail you refer to, about how the Gestapo relied on neighbors ratting out neighbors was so vividly depicted in that film, as the filmmakers interview/confronted a woman who had informed on a neighbor.

  29. barrisj

    An excellent summary depicting the evolution of ultra-hitech spying and surveillance is presented here at the ProPublica website:

    Mass Surveillance in America: A Timeline of Loosening Laws and Practices
    On Wednesday, the Guardian published a secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over data for all the calls made on its network on an “ongoing, daily basis.” Other revelations about surveillance of phone and digital communications have followed.

    That the National Security Agency has engaged in such activity isn’t entirely new: Since 9/11, we’ve learned about large-scale surveillance by the spy agency from a patchwork of official statements, classified documents, and anonymously sourced news stories.

    After a post-Watergate Senate investigation documented abuses of government surveillance, Congress passes the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, to regulate how the government can monitor suspected spies or terrorists in the U.S. The law establishes a secret court that issues warrants for electronic surveillance or physical searches of a “foreign power” or “agents of a foreign power” (broadly defined in the law). The government doesn’t have to demonstrate probable cause of a crime, just that the “purpose of the surveillance is to obtain foreign intelligence information.”


    Always it starts with “foreign intelligence-gathering”…nothing to do with domestic communications, trust us; however, once the tools are in place, the charter broadened, oversight virtually nil, budgets swell and remain secret, there is no stopping the Surveillance State. NSA has grown like Topsy, a Leviathan agency without any accountability, truly now embracing the Orwellian “Total Information Awareness” meme that has characterised life in America since 2001. In fact, the objective has indeed been “100% security”, despite what Dr Drone said the other day, and this “security” can only be achieved using unconstitutional means and quasi-totalitarian state apparatus.

  30. Hugh

    I posted this quote a few days ago over at Corrente. It is my favorite when discussions like these come up and comes from the conservative Establishmentarian Andrew Bacevich. From 2008:

    BILL MOYERS: Do you expect either John McCain or Barack Obama to rein in the “imperial presidency?”

    ANDREW BACEVICH: No. I mean, people run for the presidency in order to become imperial presidents. The people who are advising these candidates, the people who aspire to be the next national security advisor, the next secretary of defense, these are people who yearn to exercise those kind of great powers.


    1. from Mexico

      @ Hugh

      You said something in a similar vein the other day:

      I came late to this. Hannah Arendt in Origins of Totalitarianism wrote about how the totalitarian apparatus was layered so that outwardly it could project a reassuring sense of normalcy to the normal non-totalitarian world. This strikes me what Obama is doing in telling us not to make too much of all his spying programs.

      The world at large, on the other side, usually gets its first glimpse of a totalitarian movement through its front organizations. The sympathizers, who are to all appearances still innocuous fellow-citizens in a nontotalitarian society, can hardly be called single-minded fanatics; through them, the movements make their fantastic lies more generally acceptable, can spread their propaganda in milder, more respectable forms, until the whole atmosphere is poisoned with totalitarian elements which are hardly recognizable as such but appear to be normal political reactions or opinions. The fellow-traveler organizations surround the totalitarian movements with a mist of normality and respectability that fools the membership about the true character of the outside world as much as it does the outside world about the true character of the movement

      Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/06/links-6713.html#21CSXiEbHyvgovdb.99

      I’d throw into the pot under “similar things to think about” the following:

      There are other needs and pressure felt by the pathocrats, especially from outside. The pathological face must be hidden from the world somehow, since recognition of the deviant rulership by world opinion would be a catastrophe…

      Any psychologist studying this phenomenon will be reminded of the dissimulative state or phase of a patient attempting to play the role of a normal person, hiding his pathological reality although he continues to be sick or abnormal. Let us therefore use the term “the dissimulative phase of pathocracy” for the state of affairs wherein a pathocratic system ever more skillfully plays the role of a normal sociopolitical system with “different” doctrinal institutions…

      [T]he active structure of government rests in the hands of psychopathic individuals, and essential psychopathy plays a starring role, especially during the dissimulative phase. However, individuals with obvious pathological traits must be removed from certain areas of activity; namely, political posts with international exposure, where such personalities could betray the pathological contents of the phenomenon… Therefore, the persons selected for such positions are chosen because they have thought-processes more similar to the world of normal people; in general, they are sufficiently connected to the pathological system to provide a guarantee of loyalty… Another factor to be noted is the great personal advantages accorded to such demi-normal individuals by the pathocracy….

      The army similarly needs people endowed with perspicacity and essential qualifications, especially in the area of modern weapons and warfare. At crucial moments, healthy common sense can override the results of pathocratic drill. In such a state of affairs, many people are forced to adapt, accepting the ruling system as a status quo, but also criticizing it. They fulfill their duties amid doubts and conflicts of conscience, always searching for a more sensible way out which they discuss within trusted circles. In effect, they are always hanging in a limbo between pathocracy and the world of normal people. ..

      The following questions thus suggest themselves: what happens if the network of understanding among psychopaths achieves power in leadership positions with international exposure? This can happen, especially during the later phases of the phenomenon. Goaded by their character, such deviant people thirst for just that even though it ultimately conflicts with their own life interest, and so they are removed by the less pathological, more logical wing of the ruling apparatus. Such deviants do not understand that a catastrophe would otherwise ensue. Germs are not aware that they will be burned alive or buried deep in the ground along with the human body whose death they are causing.

      If the many managerial positions are assumed by individuals deprived of sufficient abilities to feel and understand the majority of other people, and who also exhibit deficiencies in technical imagination and practical skills – (faculties indispensible for governing economic and political matters) – this then results in an exceptionally serious crisis in all areas… Such a state of affairs cannot last long.

      — ANDREW M. LOBACZEWSKI, Political Ponerology

  31. Oh puleeze

    There it is, in the news, a pissed off defense contractor’s scorn and fury:

    “The current of director of national intelligence (DNI), James Clapper, who issued a stinging attack on the intelligence leaks this weekend, is a former Booz Allen executive.”

      1. Jackson Bane

        Amazing, how did this otherwise bright young man consider Iraq without question? Exciting cloak and dagger from the Guardian.

  32. mrtmbrnmn

    Either the owners of Plantation USA really scared the shit out of Obamouse when they showed him the Zapruder film after the 2008 election, or the guy is a born sociopath and needed no convincing/encouragement to take the dark path he has been on all along…

    Either way, we are/have been screwed…

    What is to be done???

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I’ve decided the simplest way to describe Obama is that he is a fascist and like most fascists he is not as talented as he thinks or his followers think he is. Like many fascists, he yearns for symbolism of his native people. In this case, its the U.S., so the symbolism will be cloaked in democratic jargon but with no particular meaning (a classic Obama speech description).

      I need to start paying attention to his language again, but I think his language suggests he sees himself as a wise father of this nation. His “eat your peas” remark may seem folksy, but I think its revealing about his view of himself. Obama’s constant iteration that his most sacred duty is to keep Americans safe, may not just be rhetoric. I think he believes his nonsense, and I don’t think he is a particularly deep thinker.

      Like most fascists, he is impressed by people in the proper uniform and with the correct titles.

    1. Ray Duray

      Re: “This is an attempt to weaken Obama and force him to go into Syria and Iran.”


      I’ve been reading Glenn Greenwald’s blog and Guardian columns for at least four or five years now. It would be an astonishment to me if he were in a plot being hatched by the White House.

      I tend to think that what we have here is a genuine crisis point for the Obama Administration. I view this as a breakthrough that could quite possibly unite the Tea Party to Occupiers in a new heightened level at revulsion at the Stazi/Stalin direction an arrogant imperialist president is headed in.

      Recall that in 1972 there was news of the Watergate break-in prior to the landslide re-election of Nixon. Slowly, painfully it took another full two years to force his resignation.

      I’d love to see Obama further humiliated and forced to resign. It would do us all a world of good to flush the White House Watercloset.

      1. John

        Be careful what you wish for.

        This isn’t going to be stopped by Obama being forced out.

        President Rand sound good to you?

        I have no love for Obama and his Republican policies.

        I have less love for the crazy Right and their Republican policies.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Force Obama into Syria? In case you haven’t noticed, Dear Leader may not be as uncouth as McCain, but Obama hasn’t been an advocate of avoiding conflict. Negotiations come with the threat of violence. That’s not what would be considered negotiating in good faith.

  33. Brooklin Bridge

    Greenwald has announced the name of the leaker of the Prism scandal and interviewed him in Hong Kong.


    It’s an exceptional interview. “Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.”, tells his story with quiet dignity about what made him decide to make this information public. He quietly claims, for instance, that we are now in an existential struggle for our democracy, plain and simple.

    When you think of what may happen to him, Manning style, this is like watching Greek Tragedy unfold. I pray his sacrifice and Glen’s efforts, makes a difference in finally getting people to wake up before it’s too late. It’s got to.

    1. Ray Duray

      Re: ” this is like watching Greek Tragedy unfold. I pray his sacrifice and Glen’s efforts, makes a difference in finally getting people to wake up before it’s too late. It’s got to.”

      OTOH, it ain’t necessarily so.

      What would have to happen for things to turn around would be for a large, well organized citizens/populist party to arise.

      Keep in mind the imperialist national security/police state elites have captured and control the two viable political parties in this nation. There are no third parties on the horizon who challenge this duopoly.

      There are no real champions for free speech and civil liberties in the mainstream media. There’s scant hope that a social media rebellion will amount to anything.

      As far as I can tell, looking at this on a strategic “order of battle” basis, the evil empire has full control of all the assets that matter. As Dick Durbin said of bankers and Congress, “they own the joint”. The military shows no sign of mutiny. The Executive, Legislative and Judical branches are all fully owned and captured by the corporate/fascist elites who own this country and are rapidly consolidating there power and control as demonstrated by the fact that the U.S. is the most unequal nation on the planet today.

      I hold our hope we can turn around the montrosity that has been created in Washington, but I want to also be a realist about what our chances are. And I’d say odd are against the Glenn Greenwalds, the Bradley Mannings and the Edward Snowdens of this world. They face the most vicious enemy imaginable, one that has hardly been touched by this new controversy so far.

      Here’s my gauge for when things are turning around. When we get signifant players like Sen.Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Mitch McConnell to reverse themselves and join us, I’ll have some hope we can turn things around. Before that, we’re just like activist Michael Ruppert, a mere voice in the wilderness.

      That said, I have to admit we’re having a good day.

      From Matt Drudge on the Right: http://www.drudgereport.com/

      To Daily Kos and FireDogLake on the Left:



      1. Brooklin Bridge

        I agree with you. The general complacency of people to what is going on simply kills me. Although what we are experiencing now is very different in context and background than what happened in Germany in the 30’s, it has that same surreal quality that it had to many Germans then. How can this shit be happening? Where are the adults? Why is everybody comatose?

        But when you think of the sacrifice Snowden is making, you can’t help but hope/prey/something damn it, that it doesn’t simply go down the same black hole everything else does. The same goes for Manning, though that is a lost cause.

        But no, you are probably right. Even with Greenwald’s superlative timing and Snowden’s quiet attractiveness, I doubt this will tip the balance. But it may really nudge things in that direction. And anyway, I hope so. Obama can’t kill hope outright.

        BTW, Feinstin is hopeless. It would be easier to convince Josef Goebbels of the superiority of the Jewish race than to convince Feinstin that this shit is wrong. She loves totalitariansim more than most people love sex.

  34. Seal

    Feinstein would be one of the first to gun down people demonstrating in the streets – in the name of security

  35. Ray Duray

    While this thread convolutes into some degree of madness, I think it would be good to put the day’s zeitgeist into perspective.

    The tenth episode of the third season of “Game of Thrones” was on HBO tonight. Well over 5 million will have viewed this episode on HBO in total.

    Currently Pirate Bay is hosting 28,000 seeders and 88,000 leechers who are defying the will of the national security state and will watch as well.

    What are the bean-counters finding on NC at the moment? 300 people reading the blog? That would be an encouraging number. :)

    Dear Messrs. Greenwald & Snowden,

    Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame. Most of the world would rather think about the Kaleesi’s next move with the dragons back to Westeros.

    Sincerely, etc.

    Winston Churchill summed up our present moment quite well:

    “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.”

  36. kimsarah

    I apologize if this has already been raised, but since much of the NSA’s work is contracted out, who are the private companies collecting all this data, who owns them, etc. Does this lead to Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon or the Koch Sisters? Is there a money trail to be connected?

    1. Ray Duray


      It seems to me that unless your are trolling, that you’d be a far better commenter here if you were to do your own independent research of the various questions you ask via Internet search engines. Much of what you ask for is easily available.

      As far as which corporate racketeers are grotesquely enriching themselves at the federal trough, I do know that Jamie Dimom makes more money off food stamps than any other person in America.

      When it comes to NSA contractors, the trail tends to lead toward accountancy firms like Booz, Allen.

      Lockheed also has a big cyber presence as a federal MIC contractor not only in weapons but in sleuthing services.

      General Atomic, SAIC and Raytheon also come to mind as having divisions that cater to the spooks set’s sleuthing shibboleths.

      You could do a search on the term “beltway bandits” and you’d hoover up 80% of the NSA’s contractor force without batting an eye.

      Good luck.

  37. Macdec35

    Obama is neither a liberal or a conservative or any other thing. He is whatever he thinks he is thought to be by whoever he is addressing. He is whatever he needs to be at any given instance.

    1. Ray Duray


      I think you are being far too wishy-washy about Obama. Sure, his rhetoric (lies) are whatever he considered appopriate to pander to the crowd he is addressing.

      But rhetoric (lying) isn’t how you measure a politician. You measure him on his record.

      On that basis, Obama is far to the Right of Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon or George H.W. Bush. The Republicans, eh? :)


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