Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > Further degradation of our civil rights

Further degradation of our civil rights
Thread Tools
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: 46 & 2
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 27, 2013, 11:25 PM
 
This is some shocking stuff, warrantless wiretaps against citizens submitted as evidence in an active case, by the Justice Dept.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/27/us...-evidence.html

The Justice Department for the first time has notified a criminal defendant that evidence being used against him came from a warrantless wiretap, a move that is expected to set up a Supreme Court test of whether such eavesdropping is constitutional.
There's little doubt the guy they're monitoring is a "bad guy":

Prosecutors filed such a notice late Friday in the case of Jamshid Muhtorov, who was charged in Colorado in January 2012 with providing material support to the Islamic Jihad Union, a designated terrorist organization based in Uzbekistan.
The precedence this sets, however, should chill the blood of any US citizen, or anyone even visiting the country. You're being monitored and recorded without a warrant, it will be used against you, and there's not a damned thing you can do about it.

Parallel Construction, building cases, one shady step at a time.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Administrator
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: California
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 28, 2013, 03:27 AM
 
I noticed they made the first warrantless admission in a case where the defendant will draw little sympathy.
     
Administrator
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 28, 2013, 06:58 AM
 
I think it interesting that the Justice Department itself seems to be driving the revelation that not only the warrantless information was being used, but that defendants hadn't been notified of such use in the past (the Solicitor General had told SCOTUS defendants were being told).

I think it's pretty obvious that the warrantless taps in such cases were done through foreign intelligence gathering-related operations, not domestic-related investigations, but with the kind of issue that this particular defendant is being charged with, the overlap is to be expected. The real ethical question here isn't "should we tolerate intelligence gathering to protect the US" with the possibility of violating domestic rights, but "why didn't Justice behave the way the Solicitor General said it did the whole time? That would have mitigated the potential for rights violations very well

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Professional Poster
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Maryland
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 28, 2013, 11:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
...such cases were done through foreign intelligence gathering-related operations, not domestic-related investigations,..
My understanding is that the difference between the two is superficial, and that there isn't any oversight as to what constitutes foreign vs domestic.

I don't really believe the NSA when they say they aren't targeting Americans in America. Before Snowden, they were saying they weren't doing this at all so why should we believe them now? They don't have an issue spying on the offices of our Allies' leaders, why would they give a hoot about whether they are spying on domestic Americans?

I don't have a problem with the going after the bad guys. I do have a problem when they so seriously undermine the ideals they are "trying to protect" (the public trust) in the first place. What's the point? It literally boils down to suspending due process to protect due process, and no one in this country should stand for it.

At the very least, the secret courts need to be dismantled and applications to a publicly accessible oversight court be made public after no more then 45 days (approved or rejected). Validity of evidence gathered must be able to be challenged by an independent judge with jurisdiction over the charges being filed. Evidence gathered that is not used in criminal proceeding should be made public (not the evidence itself, just the existence of it's gathering) no more then 45 days after being gathered unless charges are filed in that time frame, and a separate order to keep the evidence sealed is made. Abolish NSLs altogether as legally-binding documents.

I can tell you that if I were to get an NSL, I would go public with it overnight and publish it completely unredacted. If they want to throw me in jail for believing in America and adhering to its ideals, so be it. I would not comply with any requests made by a secret court or by secret police (NSA). Both are unconstitutional by their very nature. NSLs are blatant violations of not only the first amendment, but also due process by which you may answer your accuser in a court with a jury of your peers.
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Oct 28, 2013, 01:09 PM
 
This reads as if it was almost an accident.

The spooks told their solicitor to tell the SCOTUS, subjects of warrantless wiretaps would get told of it during trial. The SCOTUS thought that was enough of a check and balance.

The spooks then proceed to tell no one.

That would have continued if the solicitor hadn't caught wind of it.
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Oct 28, 2013, 02:46 PM
 
And of course it's impossible to tell, but the solicitor had good reason to blow this open just to cover his own ass. Whether it's also considered justice is open to question.
     
Administrator
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 29, 2013, 09:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
At the very least, the secret courts need to be dismantled and applications to a publicly accessible oversight court be made public after no more then 45 days (approved or rejected). Validity of evidence gathered must be able to be challenged by an independent judge with jurisdiction over the charges being filed. Evidence gathered that is not used in criminal proceeding should be made public (not the evidence itself, just the existence of it's gathering) no more then 45 days after being gathered unless charges are filed in that time frame, and a separate order to keep the evidence sealed is made. Abolish NSLs altogether as legally-binding documents.

I can tell you that if I were to get an NSL, I would go public with it overnight and publish it completely unredacted. If they want to throw me in jail for believing in America and adhering to its ideals, so be it. I would not comply with any requests made by a secret court or by secret police (NSA). Both are unconstitutional by their very nature. NSLs are blatant violations of not only the first amendment, but also due process by which you may answer your accuser in a court with a jury of your peers.
Unfortunately, with a totally accessible process, this surveillance ability would be worthless, and we would no longer have ANY way to monitor how the numerous bad guys out there are planning or acting. The "secret" court isn't entirely secret, it's just essentially hidden, along with most of its documentation and written decisions, but it has substantial (though still non-public) oversight. I should point out that the FISA court is supposed to review all surveillance requests and decide if they are seeking foreign or domestic data.

But here's the rub: the line between "foreign" and "domestic" when it comes to electronic communication is very vague. Do you count where a connection originates? Where it terminates? Who places the call or who receives it? And how can you tell if a call is going to a US citizen or someone from another country? The big deal the NSA was supposed to be gathering phone records for was to determine what numbers were in play; with that, they can identify who "owns" a number and thus decide "foreign" or "domestic." As the head of the NSA said "in order to find a needle in a haystack, you first need a haystack." As I've pointed out in the past, since the beginning of the telephone as an everyday device, telephone employees have had the ability to listen in on EVERY US phone call, essentially at will. Nobody's been outraged about that - though the various phone companies don't publicize this fact. I don't worry about NSA noting that I call my wife 3 or 4 times a day, that I get a call from my vet now and then, and so on. I haven't figured out how my privacy has been injured by having this essentially accounting data in the Ginormous Pile of Phone Records, particularly since I know the phone company folks have been able to look at the same data (without ANY oversight) forever.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Professional Poster
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Maryland
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 31, 2013, 09:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Unfortunately, with a totally accessible process, this surveillance ability would be worthless, and we would no longer have ANY way to monitor how the numerous bad guys out there are planning or acting. The "secret" court isn't entirely secret, it's just essentially hidden, along with most of its documentation and written decisions, but it has substantial (though still non-public) oversight.
Non public oversight is not oversight at all. The government answers to us, at least they're supposed to. How do we make informed decisions about who we're putting in control of these incredibly powerful systems if we don't even know they exist?

I should point out that the FISA court is supposed to review all surveillance requests and decide if they are seeking foreign or domestic data.
And can anyone aside from the creators and operators of this program tell me whether this is actually happening? Who is representing me in this court? Last I checked we had the right to face our accusers in court and examine the evidence against us. Are you okay with forfeiting this basic tenet of due process? Because that's what it will take to keep these programs secret.

But here's the rub: the line between "foreign" and "domestic" when it comes to electronic communication is very vague.
And it's being exploited to almost the point of absurdity. You don't suppose the awfully convenient status quo on the vagueness is intentional?
Do you count where a connection originates? Where it terminates? Who places the call or who receives it? And how can you tell if a call is going to a US citizen or someone from another country? The big deal the NSA was supposed to be gathering phone records for was to determine what numbers were in play; with that, they can identify who "owns" a number and thus decide "foreign" or "domestic." As the head of the NSA said "in order to find a needle in a haystack, you first need a haystack."
As I've pointed out in the past, since the beginning of the telephone as an everyday device, telephone employees have had the ability to listen in on EVERY US phone call, essentially at will. Nobody's been outraged about that - though the various phone companies don't publicize this fact.
That's no excuse to suspend due process. Just cause we can, we should?

Is setting fire to the haystack an acceptable price to pay to find the needle? The terrorists win when they erode our way of life and they're getting some pretty damn good help of it from our friends in washington.

I don't worry about NSA noting that I call my wife 3 or 4 times a day, that I get a call from my vet now and then, and so on.
That's great. I do. And it's my right to do so.
I haven't figured out how my privacy has been injured by having this essentially accounting data in the Ginormous Pile of Phone Records, particularly since I know the phone company folks have been able to look at the same data (without ANY oversight) forever.
It doesn't matter what the effect of your rights being violated is, once you're content with it being violated you lose it for good. If you don't think we need the 4th amendment, that's all fine and good. But before you make that decision you might want to brush up on humanity as a whole because the past 200 years for the USA has been the exception, not the norm and millions of our people have died to preserve it. These programs piss all over their memory by invalidating the very ideals they died for.

Sources:
Civilization - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Constitution
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Oct 31, 2013, 09:21 PM
 
That phone company accessing phone records and the government accessing phone records are not even remotely equivalent.

One has the authority and means to throw you in jail. The other has the authority and means to bill you.

Okay... I guess they both have the authority and means to bill you, but you know what I mean.
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Oct 31, 2013, 09:28 PM
 
To put it another way, the abuse potential of the government vastly outweighs the abuse potential of the phone company, hence the lack of outrage over one versus the other.

As well as some confusion as to why someone would want to equate the two.
     
Professional Poster
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Maryland
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 31, 2013, 11:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
To put it another way, the abuse potential of the government vastly outweighs the abuse potential of the phone company, hence the lack of outrage over one versus the other.

As well as some confusion as to why someone would want to equate the two.
Well said.
     
Shaddim  (op)
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: 46 & 2
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 2, 2013, 04:38 PM
 
Oh Siri...

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Nov 2, 2013, 06:04 PM
 
Thank god the time is blurred.
     
Shaddim  (op)
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: 46 & 2
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 2, 2013, 06:08 PM
 
I know, never can be too sure.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Administrator
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 2, 2013, 09:32 PM
 
Maybe I'm dense, or maybe I just lack imagination. We've discussed this before and I still don't understand the point about abuse potential. What, specifically, would be the kinds of abuse that some government "eavesdropper" could perpetrate - without it being so public that it would completely destroy the whole point of using covert surveillance on one's own citizens.

We may not "trust" the IRS, but we tolerate their function for many reasons. One seems to be that they treat everyone with the same level of poor "customer service" while requiring us all to follow insanely bizarre rules for filing our taxes. (That the rules come from the suits in the Capitol Building doesn't seem to change most people's ideas about it.) How is the IRS knowing when we make $15 in tips on Wednesday but $75 on Thursday substantially worse than the NSA knowing we called Pizza Hut twice last week, but this week we spent 3 hours talking to Ms. Cleo about our futures? If they're watching everyone's call records/emails/etc. uniformly, how is that different?

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Shaddim  (op)
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: 46 & 2
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 2, 2013, 10:43 PM
 
There's nothing you've ever said to anyone that you wouldn't want a stranger to hear?
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Administrator
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 3, 2013, 03:25 PM
 
Not over the phone. I keep my pillow talk, secrets and anarchistic rants to private, controlled environments and don't assume that just because a space "feels" private that it really is. I'm way more paranoid about maintaining the privacy of my private matters (even if it's just a naughty suggestion to my wife) than it seems other people are.

My background in communication system maintenance is solidly built on the precept that anything I might overhear (or otherwise learn) while working on a connection is none of my business. An FCC license holder is required to maintain the confidentiality of whatever he or she hears in the course of working on someone else's hardware, and my initial Secret clearance in the Air Force was because I was repairing radios and might overhear operational information. Whatever I've heard while doing radio work I have ALWAYS completely ignored; frankly I was always too busy figuring out what the customer/user had done to the radio to mess it up, but that's beside the point.

The flip side of that is that if what I want to express is "private" enough for me to be concerned about it, I'll express it privately, and in person. A little double entendre here and there may slip out when I chat with my wife, but beyond that, my private plans to take over the world random thoughts stay physically private. (I'll point out that I've been married for almost 34 years to the same woman and have never even pondered cheating, so maybe my life has been a bit more boring than everybody else's...)

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: planning a comeback !
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 3, 2013, 05:40 PM
 
Talking about degradation, one particular worrying trend is “civil forfeiture”.
An absolute nightmare for those involved, and few avenues to legally fight back. This is banana republic style par excellence.

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Guilty Until Proven Innocent; Grabbing Hand of the Law

-t
     
Shaddim  (op)
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: 46 & 2
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 3, 2013, 07:33 PM
 
Why should I fear the gov't so much that I need to keep conversations at a whisper? That's some facist stuff, there. They're our servants, not the other way around.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Administrator
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 3, 2013, 09:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Why should I fear the gov't so much that I need to keep conversations at a whisper? That's some facist stuff, there. They're our servants, not the other way around.
Precisely. I don't share stuff in public that I don't want to share with the public, but I'm not afraid of just about anything I say being heard by just about anyone. I like a bit of privacy when I chat with my banker, my doctor, etc., but that's not the same as wanting to "hide" my conversations.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Nov 3, 2013, 09:25 PM
 
@Glenn

The way you use the information without blowing the program open is through a tried and true method known as lying.

The NSA is giving your phone records to the DEA. And the DEA is covering it up.
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: München, Deutschland
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 10, 2013, 04:35 PM
 
* * * * *

But the case of Laura Poitras, an Oscar-and Emmy-nominated filmmaker and intrepid journalist, is perhaps the most extreme. In 2004 and 2005, Poitras spent many months in Iraq filming a documentary that, as The New York Times put it in its review, “exposed the emotional toll of occupation on Iraqis and American soldiers alike.” The film, “My Country, My Country,” focused on a Sunni physician and 2005 candidate for the Iraqi Congress as he did things like protest the imprisonment of a 9-year-old boy by the U.S. military. At the time Poitras made this film, Iraqi Sunnis formed the core of the anti-American insurgency and she spent substantial time filming and reporting on the epicenter of that resistance. Poitras’ film was released in 2006 and nominated for the 2007 Academy Award for Best Documentary.

In 2010, she produced and directed “The Oath,” which chronicled the lives of two Yemenis caught up in America’s War on Terror: Salim Hamdan, the accused driver of Osama bin Laden whose years-long imprisonment at Guantanamo led to the 2006 Supreme Court case, bearing his name, that declared military commissions to be a violation of domestic and international law; and Hamdan’s brother-in-law, a former bin Laden bodyguard. The film provides incredible insight into the mindset of these two Yemenis. The NYT feature on “The Oath” stated that, along with “My Country, My Country,” Poitras has produced ”two of the most searching documentaries of the post-9/11 era, on-the-ground chronicles that are sensitive to both the political and the human consequences of American foreign policy.” At the 2010 Sundance film festival, “The Oath” won the award for Best Cinematography.

Poitras’ intent all along with these two documentaries was to produce a trilogy of War on Terror films, and she is currently at work on the third installment. As Poitras described it to me, this next film will examine the way in which The War on Terror has been imported onto U.S. soil, with a focus on the U.S. Government’s increasing powers of domestic surveillance, its expanding covert domestic NSA activities (including construction of a massive new NSA facility in Bluffdale, Utah), its attacks on whistleblowers, and the movement to foster government transparency and to safeguard Internet anonymity. In sum, Poitras produces some of the best, bravest and most important filmmaking and journalism of the past decade, often exposing truths that are adverse to U.S. government policy, concerning the most sensitive and consequential matters (a 2004 film she produced for PBS on gentrification of an Ohio town won the Peabody Award and was nominated for an Emmy).

But Poitras’ work has been hampered, and continues to be hampered, by the constant harassment, invasive searches, and intimidation tactics to which she is routinely subjected whenever she re-enters her own country. Since the 2006 release of “My Country, My Country,” Poitras has left and re-entered the U.S. roughly 40 times. Virtually every time during that six-year-period that she has returned to the U.S., her plane has been met by DHS agents who stand at the airplane door or tarmac and inspect the passports of every de-planing passenger until they find her (on the handful of occasions where they did not meet her at the plane, agents were called when she arrived at immigration). Each time, they detain her, and then interrogate her at length about where she went and with whom she met or spoke. They have exhibited a particular interest in finding out for whom she works.

She has had her laptop, camera and cellphone seized, and not returned for weeks, with the contents presumably copied. On several occasions, her reporter’s notebooks were seized and their contents copied, even as she objected that doing so would invade her journalist-source relationship. Her credit cards and receipts have been copied on numerous occasions. In many instances, DHS agents also detain and interrogate her in the foreign airport before her return, on one trip telling her that she would be barred from boarding her flight back home, only to let her board at the last minute. When she arrived at JFK Airport on Thanksgiving weekend of 2010, she was told by one DHS agent — after she asserted her privileges as a journalist to refuse to answer questions about the individuals with whom she met on her trip — that he “finds it very suspicious that you’re not willing to help your country by answering our questions.” They sometimes keep her detained for three to four hours (all while telling her that she will be released more quickly if she answers all their questions and consents to full searches).

Poitras is now forced to take extreme steps — ones that hamper her ability to do her work — to ensure that she can engage in her journalism and produce her films without the U.S. Government intruding into everything she is doing. She now avoids traveling with any electronic devices. She uses alternative methods to deliver the most sensitive parts of her work — raw film and interview notes — to secure locations. She spends substantial time and resources protecting her computers with encryption and password defenses. Especially when she is in the U.S., she avoids talking on the phone about her work, particularly to sources. And she simply will not edit her films at her home out of fear — obviously well-grounded — that government agents will attempt to search and seize the raw footage.

That’s the climate of fear created by the U.S. Government for an incredibly accomplished journalist and filmmaker who has never been accused, let alone convicted, of any wrongdoing whatsoever. Indeed, documents obtained from a FOIA request show that DHS has repeatedly concluded that nothing incriminating was found from its border searches and interrogations of Poitras. Nonetheless, these abuses not only continue, but escalate, after six years of constant harassment.

* * * * *

Poitras has been somewhat reluctant to speak publicly about the treatment to which she is subjected for fear that doing so would further impede her ability to do her work (the NYT feature on “The Oath” included some discussion of it). But the latest episode, among the most aggressive yet, has caused her to want to vociferously object.

On Thursday night, Poitras arrived at Newark International Airport from Britain. Prior to issuing her a boarding pass in London, the ticket agent called a Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agent (Yost) who questioned her about whom she met and what she did. Upon arriving in Newark, DHS/CBP agents, as always, met her plane, detained her, and took her to an interrogation room. Each time this has happened in the past, Poitras has taken notes during the entire process: in order to chronicle what is being done to her, document the journalistic privileges she asserts and her express lack of consent, obtain the names of the agents involved, and just generally to cling to some level of agency.

This time, however, she was told by multiple CBP agents that she was prohibited from taking notes on the ground that her pen could be used as a weapon. After she advised them that she was a journalist and that her lawyer had advised her to keep notes of her interrogations, one of them, CBP agent Wassum, threatened to handcuff her if she did not immediately stop taking notes. A CBP Deputy Chief (Lopez) also told her she was barred from taking notes, and then accused her of “refusing to cooperate with an investigation” if she continued to refuse to answer their questions (he later clarified that there was no “investigation” per se, but only a “questioning”). Requests for comment from the CBP were not returned as of the time of publication.

Just consider the cumulative effect of this six years of harrassment and invasion. Poitras told me that it is “very traumatizing to come home to your own country and have to go through this every time,”and described the detentions, interrogations and threats as “infuriating,” “horrible” and “intimidating.” She told me that she now “hates to travel” and avoids international travel unless it is absolutely necessary for her work. And as she pointed out, she is generally more protected than most people subjected to similar treatment by virtue of the fact that she is a known journalist with both knowledge of her rights and the ability to publicize what is done to her. Most others are far less able to resist these sorts of abuses. But even for someone in Poitras’ position, this continuous unchecked government invasion is chilling in both senses of the word: it’s intimidating in its own right, and deters journalists and others from challenging government conduct.

* * * * *

U.S. filmmaker repeatedly detained at border - Salon.com
Aut Caesar aut nihil.
     
Professional Poster
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Maryland
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 10, 2013, 06:45 PM
 
We have got to stamp these clandestine programs out.

What is the point of preserving a nation if you're sacrificing what made it great? They answer to the population. They spy on us with OUR MONEY, without our consent and at the very least in direct contrast to the intent and spirit of the 4th amendment.
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: planning a comeback !
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 10, 2013, 07:57 PM
 
Unf$@&ingbelievable.

We definitely have crossed the border to a police state.

This kind of treatment would make a Nazi proud.

-t
     
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: midwest
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 11, 2013, 07:36 AM
 
Lest we forget that one of many indictments against the IRS and EPA is that they not only targeted conservative organizations, but shared operational information they had collected from the registrations to their political foes. I can imagine some juicy conversations picked up between Republicans that should be taken out of context and somehow leaked just weeks before an election. Fast and Furious, the indictments around the IRS and EPA, AP wiretapping and targeting of Fox News journalist and parents, Benghazi and related obfuscation, the legislative process around passage and implementation of the ACA, and more acts of folly too numerous to detail here... I have zero trust in these institutions and the degree of slop and mismanagement coming from them makes it more apparent than ever that we have a problem overseeing our oversight authorities. They're too expansive, too intrusive, too complicated, less transparent than at any time in US history (unless obvious BS is a litmus), and officially -- out of control.

The jig is up... or it should be. Now on to our busy lives while we give them our health care.
ebuddy
     
Professional Poster
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Just west of DC.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 11, 2013, 09:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
We have got to stamp these clandestine programs out.

What is the point of preserving a nation if you're sacrificing what made it great? They answer to the population. They spy on us with OUR MONEY, without our consent and at the very least in direct contrast to the intent and spirit of the 4th amendment.
I must disagree. We DO need to know what is REALLY happening, between our enemies, and between our enemies and our 'friends' to remain safe. The scale of some of these clandestine operations may be a little troubling, but look at our enemies. They are seeing if they can hack our power grids, banks, military ops, and high tech businesses. We really can't be caught with our pants down.

I am REALLY DISAPPOINTED that our expensive NSA spying operation (peeping while you're sleeping) AND the tip offs from our 'not so friends', the Russians we still didn't stop the Boston Bombers. The failures seem to be related to political operatives in all our Gov't agencies.

I am a Gov't contractor, and work with top end folks at an agency, and I have other work buddies who do likewise at their assigned agencies. We have all noticed the interference by Obama appointees to the detriment of these agencies.
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: München, Deutschland
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2013, 07:52 AM
 
Aut Caesar aut nihil.
     
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: midwest
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2013, 07:56 AM
 
That was both humorous and unfortunate. When you think about it. The trick for the left here is to just not think about it until it affects them. And then it's okay to complain about it... but not a moment sooner.
ebuddy
     
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Mar 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2013, 10:34 AM
 
You know, you just can't help yourself, can you?

I suppose you do not remember the vicious debates regarding expansion of "Homeland Security" powers following 9/11? Ahhhhh, pleasant memories of the resident "right" de facto answer of "well why is this even an issue, unless you're doing something wrong?"?

Good times. But hey...keep up your eternal spin job.
     
Shaddim  (op)
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: 46 & 2
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2013, 11:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Shortcut View Post
You know, you just can't help yourself, can you?

I suppose you do not remember the vicious debates regarding expansion of "Homeland Security" powers following 9/11? Ahhhhh, pleasant memories of the resident "right" de facto answer of "well why is this even an issue, unless you're doing something wrong?"?

Good times. But hey...keep up your eternal spin job.
I'm still waiting for the "immediate" repeals that Obama promised, too bad about the expansions and extensions that he proposed instead. Where are those Left-wing protests, now? Where's that Executive Order to close GITMO? Must have gotten lost in the mail, I guess.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2013, 01:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Shortcut View Post
You know, you just can't help yourself, can you?

I suppose you do not remember the vicious debates regarding expansion of "Homeland Security" powers following 9/11? Ahhhhh, pleasant memories of the resident "right" de facto answer of "well why is this even an issue, unless you're doing something wrong?"?

Good times. But hey...keep up your eternal spin job.
Whoa... hold the phone.

Yeah, I remember those vicious arguments...

Which is why it was a little weird to have almost 30 Democrat senators, including Obama, vote to expand FISA in 2008.
( Last edited by subego; Nov 13, 2013 at 02:24 PM. )
     
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Mar 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2013, 02:26 PM
 
I completely agree.

I guess that means it is not a right or left issue, no? In this case it is somewhat a little larger. So why the attempt to make this a trick of the left or the right, as need be?
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2013, 02:52 PM
 
Unless I misunderstand here, the "trick" is to complain about something only when the other guy does it.

There's been a notable dearth of right-wing politicians making hay out of this.

As much as the Republicans torque me off, they're being consistent.
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2013, 03:19 PM
 
I should also add how much do you think the Republicans want to tee-off on this?

The answer is desperately.

Their party is dying, they need any bump they can get, but they're still restraining themselves.
     
Games Meister
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Eternity
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2013, 03:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I should also add how much do you think the Republicans want to tee-off on this?

The answer is desperately.

Their party is dying, they need any bump they can get, but they're still restraining themselves.
Why?
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2013, 03:43 PM
 
They support the surveillance state. Have for awhile now.

Or do I misunderstand the question?
     
Games Meister
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Eternity
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2013, 03:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
They support the surveillance state. Have for awhile now.

Or do I misunderstand the question?
No, I misunderstood the "desperately wanting to tee-off on this" as being because they hate it. So you're saying they're restraining themselves because of hypocrisy? Doesn't strike me as politically likely.
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2013, 03:57 PM
 
No. They're stuck in a situation where they like the policy, but it's an opposition policy, so they want to slag it as a means to slag the opposition.

Faced with this, and presumably after much behind-the-scenes debate, they came to a rough consensus it's better to maintain the policy than capitalize on the opportunity to slag.

If they slag, they might kill the policy. They like the policy enough not to want to risk that.
     
Games Meister
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Eternity
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2013, 04:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
No. They're stuck in a situation where they like the policy, but it's an opposition policy, so they want to slag it as a means to slag the opposition.

Faced with this, and presumably after much behind-the-scenes debate, they came to a rough consensus it's better to maintain the policy than capitalize on the opportunity to slag.

If they slag, they might kill the policy. They like the policy enough not to want to risk that.
...and for further irony points, the American public doesn't much care for this policy either.
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2013, 04:35 PM
 
And to bring up the objective meaning of left vs. right, isn't using the government for institutionalized spying on its citizens, I don't know... kinda ****ing communist?
     
Games Meister
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Eternity
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2013, 04:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
And to bring up the objective meaning of left vs. right, isn't using the government for institutionalized spying on its citizens, I don't know... kinda ****ing communist?
I consider it more authoritarian.
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2013, 04:40 PM
 
To put it less provocatively, if the axis is big government versus small government, where does institutionalized government spying fall on that axis?
     
Games Meister
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Eternity
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2013, 04:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
To put it less provocatively, if the axis is big government versus small government, where does institutionalized government spying fall on that axis?
That's far from less provocative. You're insinuating any increase in government is communism.
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2013, 04:50 PM
 
Less provocative was intended to mean less hyperbolic.
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2013, 05:08 PM
 
You bring up an interesting factor though. The origin point is important.

A lot of people, if you take their politics in aggregate, come out as centrist. The thing is, I don't think things can ever really start out as centrist. There is no "centrist" political philosophy. Political philosophies are all extreme to the point of being fringe. You come out as a centrist because you're diluting one of the extremes.

The primary origin point of the small government philosophies is skepticism of the government. The Republicans' silent support of these extreme policies, even in the face of the vast opportunity to make political hay, indicates to me we're talking about a philosophical origin on the opposite side of skepticism. They're behaving like it's what government is for.

Now that's what strikes me as communist.
     
Shaddim  (op)
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: 46 & 2
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2013, 08:20 PM
 
I know a few old hippies, and when I asked them about Obama doubling-down on Bush's draconian policies, they simply looked at me with confusion and despair. They're completely lost and confused, with no idea what to do.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: planning a comeback !
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2013, 08:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
I know a few old hippies, and when I asked them about Obama doubling-down on Bush's draconian policies, they simply looked at me with confusion and despair. They're completely lost and confused, with no idea what to do.
It's amazing. It took them six f$&@ing years just to get confused ?

Are they still high on the stuff from back then ?

-t
     
Shaddim  (op)
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: 46 & 2
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 13, 2013, 08:29 PM
 
I don't believe any of them have compared political parties since McGovern ran for president.

"Back then"? They're high from the stuff they smoked this evening.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: midwest
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 14, 2013, 07:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Shortcut View Post
You know, you just can't help yourself, can you?

I suppose you do not remember the vicious debates regarding expansion of "Homeland Security" powers following 9/11?

Ahhhhh, pleasant memories of the resident "right" de facto answer of "well why is this even an issue, unless you're doing something wrong?"?
I do remember. I remember bringing up that the Patriot Act was the brainchild of Joe Lieberman and Homeland Security powers bridged important gaps between the FBI and CIA that were identified by the 9/11 Commission. I remember supporting that. I remember citing my support for a limited program, as had been in use since FISA legislation passed under Jimmy Carter and that this type of collection was nothing new. I even remember believing if you had no suspected ties to hostile elements outside the US that these programs would likely not be interested in your conversations with Aunt Milly. I thought these were measured responses to the single largest attack against the US since Pearl Harbor.

What I did not know is that we'd be subjected to what is essentially a sweeping collection of data from all or anyone that could be held and referred back to indefinitely without regard for either end of the conversation and whether or not the source of suspicious communications were foreign or domestic. I had expressed opposition to such unfettered access to communications as far back as 2006 at least and I did not know we'd be tapping US journalists and their families or using a tax management arm of the government to distribute information on conservative groups to political detractors. When Bush was challenged on his antics, he openly admitted and defended it, the matter went to Congress, and they approved his activity. Now, the dreamy Snowden is running about the place revealing some pretty damning evidence against the actions of this President and we've not heard a single word of it from this Administration, let alone bringing any of this before Congress.

Good times. But hey...keep up your eternal spin job.
Good times indeed. You used to have to file orders for such surveillance and the AG would report to congress every 6 months with a portfolio of orders. Now, we've got an AG openly lying under oath to the American people and to Federal Judges and a White House filing Executive Privilege around operations it claims it knew nothing about while leaving us with absolutely no recourse other than fruitless subpoenas for blacked-out documents. We're at a whole new level of egregious here my friend, but yeah... my spin job is reprehensible.

Little did we know what "change" was going to be or what "Yes we Can!" really meant. I only hope the next President doesn't abuse the Drone program like this President has abused FISA.
ebuddy
     
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Mar 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 14, 2013, 08:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Unless I misunderstand here, the "trick" is to complain about something only when the other guy does it.

There's been a notable dearth of right-wing politicians making hay out of this.

As much as the Republicans torque me off, they're being consistent.
Perhaps wrongly, I was interpreting "the right/left" to mean all-encompassing - e.g. those who lean right-wing politically, such as those around here. Not Republicans/Democrats per se.

I do not personally know any left-leaning persons (in particular on this board) who are happy with how Obama has accelerated the state erosion of personal privacy. In fact that seems to be the issue that has made ardent and casual supporters most disillusioned with Obama's governance.

In fact I have yet to see any left-leaners supporting him on this particular issue. Interestingly enough BadKosh seems to be the only one publicly doing so...he just wants it to have non-Dem oversight.

The real issue in this instance is that, whether ostensibly for the purposes of "enemy surveillance" or no, government agencies have been given increasingly expanded powers to spy on citizens if they wish. And just as it has been predicted for years, turns out they can come up with a lot of excuses for doing so.

It's not really a right or left issue. It's an issue of expansion of powers, and Democrat and Republican parties are equally at fault.
     
 
Thread Tools
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:35 PM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2015 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2