Worse than a Republican; I get to call you a fawning sellout with even less principles than the Republican security soccer moms of 2004 that we all remember before. They really believed back then, and still do, that giving up their rights was worth a sense of (fake) security. And you know what? They were more principled than anyone who writes diaries excusing neoconservative policies from the Obama administration that were unacceptable to them when they came from the George W. Bush administration.
Period. End of story. Why? The RW soccer moms didn't pretend to be outraged about this stuff during the Bush years. They have consistently supported it. So since that is an undeniable fact, I have to ask some of you how it feels to have even less principles than Republican voters who excused and supported some of the worst war crimes in history? How does it feel to enable a Justice Department that has now de facto codified some of the worst war crimes and financial crimes in history? How does it feel now that it is now exposed that, like Republican voters, you need a BS war on terror to feel safe?
How does it feel to repeat the same BS that cretins from the right did in the 2004 election to support their chosen leader? You know that fear mongering bit about "having nothing to hide so then having nothing to worry about?" That came from the RNC, and now that garbage is being recycled by people "who consider themselves Democrats or progressives based mostly on their feelings and nothing more. This similar zeitgeist all started during the run up to the Iraq war after 9/11 when the Patriot Act was passed when almost no one read the Bill in Congress.
Unlike apparently many people who didn't really mean it, I was actually horrified by what went on during those years, and yet those same policies continue under President Obama. I'm also horrified that some of the same people who call themselves Democrats are not horrified anymore.
If one knows anything about civics, they know that a President isn't powerless regardless of whether some of you want to screech about blaming Congress exclusively(though I do in addition) now that Obama is President. There is something called a veto and Obama simply hasn't used it. He hasn't used it, because he likes the NSA and George W. Bush's war on terror policies. By defending these actions, you do too, by proxy.
Oh, and by all means, feel free in the comments to show how much you like them as well if you agree with President Obama consistently signing the Patriot Act's extensions into law.
The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 is an Act of the U.S. Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. The title of the act is a ten letter bacronym (USA PATRIOT) that stands for Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.
On Saturday, February 27, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law legislation that would temporarily extend for one year, three controversial provisions of the Patriot Act that had been set to expire:  
*Authorize court-approved roving wiretaps that permit surveillance on multiple phones. *Allow court-approved seizure of records and property in anti-terrorism operations.
*Permit surveillance against a so-called lone wolf, a non-U.S. citizen engaged in terrorism who may not be part of a recognized terrorist group.
On May 26, 2011, President Barack Obama used an Autopen to sign the PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act of 2011, a four-year extension of three key provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act while he was in France:roving wiretaps, searches of business records (the "library records provision"), and conducting surveillance of "lone wolves" — individuals suspected of terrorist-related activities not linked to terrorist groups. Republican leaders questioned if the use of the Autopen met the constitutional requirements for signing a bill into law.
And for people so upset about the direct connection in this diary of President Obama to former President George W. Bush's policies Obama is conducting, save it. Yes, save the time wasted in getting mad at the facts, and spend it doing something useful, like studying. Denying the truth won't help you grow out of this, especially when it comes to your now neoconservative hero's role in keeping the neoconservative NSA.
On September 18, 2008, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an Internet-privacy advocacy group, filed a new lawsuit against the NSA, President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Cheney's chief of staff David Addington, former Attorney General and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and other government agencies and individuals who ordered or participated in the warrantless surveillance. They sued on behalf of AT&T customers to seek redress for what the EFF alleges to be an illegal, unconstitutional, and ongoing dragnet surveillance of their communications and communications records. An earlier, ongoing suit by the EFF may be bogged down by the recent changes to FISA provisions, but these are not expected to impact this new case.
On January 23, 2009, the administration of President Barack Obama adopted the same position as his predecessor when it urged U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker to set aside a ruling in Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation et al. v. Obama, et al. The Obama administration also sided with the former administration in its legal defense of July, 2008 legislation that immunized the nation's telecommunications companies from lawsuits accusing them of complicity in the eavesdropping program, according to testimony by Attorney General Eric Holder.
Well isn't that heart warming. As soon as President Obama came into office, he made sure the only people protected were telecom corporations from lawsuits regarding the warrantless surveillance he is conducting now; it's the same way George W. Bush did it back then. Neither neoconservative Presidents care about your privacy or 4th amendment rights. Only the Electronic Frontier Foundation does, and now they have to fight two identical administrations when it comes to these abuses in court.
Maybe it's not important to people who feel the need to blindly trust their leaders in order to overcompensate for something or someone missing in their personal lives? Regardless, they should get over this for the good of the nation. After all, The 4th amendment is more important than anyone who makes this about them and "what they consider themselves to be" when we can look at their actions with our own eyes and see. A little self reflection, for them, could go a long way so that their fellow citizens can keep their 4th and 5th amendment protections, now eroded away.
That is, if what other people and their say on these matters, matter to them at all. I have my doubts. Why? Privacy matters even if you have nothing to hide. Life is personal and privacy is important to develop our minds and to grow as people.
If anyone doesn't respect that, they are selfish and simply do not give a damn about anyone but themselves. So therefore it's not harmless to become that proud horse waiting in line at the glue factory proudly holding up its logo not knowing what's to come. It's dumb.
By taking that role, it's not only damaging to one's self; it's collectively damaging to what this country stands for, from its inception, to what we were supposed to have learned from the 60s and 70s. We were supposed to have evolved as a country from the laws put in place because of the abuses of the Nixon administration during Vietnam and Watergate. The whistle blower in charge of releasing the Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg, like Edward Snowden today, will explain this in detail.
In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden's release of NSA material – and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago. Snowden's whistleblowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what has amounted to an "executive coup" against the US constitution.
The government claims it has a court warrant under Fisa – but that unconstitutionally sweeping warrant is from a secret court, shielded from effective oversight, almost totally deferential to executive requests. As Russell Tice, a former National Security Agency analyst, put it: "It is a kangaroo court with a rubber stamp."
For the president then to say that there is judicial oversight is nonsense – as is the alleged oversight function of the intelligence committees in Congress. Not for the first time – as with issues of torture, kidnapping, detention, assassination by drones and death squads –they have shown themselves to be thoroughly co-opted by the agencies they supposedly monitor. They are also black holes for information that the public needs to know.
"I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return."
Whether you like the comparison to the Stasi or not, it's apt. Also, you either did the heavy lifting and read your history(the Church Committee), and thus you now know that this does actually compare or you need to show some real intellectual curiosity. If you use the same arguments Bush's lawyers did and now find yourself closer to them through your devotion to Obama, it's time for you to show some intellectual honesty as well.
If you don't want to learn about history, properly, you don't need to be speaking about it at all. All we can do is ask you to please learn that the Obama/Bush national security state policies are mirroring a step to an authoritarian society. Congress tends to follow the executive on these matters as well or we wouldn't have let the Iraq war happen in the first place. It was a shock doctrine event the Bush administration used that the Obama administration wants to keep using, even though they boast of killing Bin laden, which of course, means nothing.
We would have our rights back so we could really declare victory if it really did. I understand some people may not be interested in anything that happened before 1980, but can you please NOT repeat the same nonsense we heard from people controlled by fear or their devotion to a neoconservative politician after 9/11? All of the lies that are used to abuse the Bill of Rights to prop up this war on terror do actually have a dangerous historical precedent. Daniel Ellsberg would know better than anyone in any politician's fan club. Please listen and think critically.
Also, how about having some respect for your elders? You know? Someone who really sacrificed after the Nixon administration targeted him and other activist groups? How about instead of mimicking the critics of Daniel Ellsberg in his day spouting off about "Edwards Snowden broke the law!" you show respect that he has risked his life and freedom to let us know the sorry state of America today? Besides, none of you are worried about the Obama administration breaking any laws, which they have already admitted regarding their warrantless surveillance.
And these were not unjust laws like the the kind Daniel Ellsberg and Edward Snowden apparently broke. Dick Cheney would be proud of this administration for violating the 4th amendment this way and continually lying about it. Again, feel free to express your appreciation for Dick Cheney in the comments if you have a problem with this statement. It proves my main thesis.
And speaking of those that are attacking Edward Snowden and agreeing with argument made by hawks of the Vietnam war against the Pentagon Papers, how do we really know the Obama administration's interpretation of section 702 of the FISA Act is not violating the law of the land which is the 4th amendment? The answer is they won't tell us or release the details so the SCOTUS could be able to rule on it. Therefore they must not be very confident that what they are doing is legal as it probably isn't after all.
Washington Post columnist Matt Miller (6/11/13) explained that "what Snowden exposed was not some rogue government-inside-the-government conspiracy. It's a program that’s legal, reviewed by Congress and subject to court oversight."
Or to put it another way, it's a program that's secret, that the nation's top spy lies to Congress about, and the Supreme Court refuses to review--because, being secret, no one can prove they're affected by it.
I imagine this puts some of the OFA School of Law pseudo "legal scholar" arguments that Bush lawyer John Yoo and David Addington used in jeopardy. Good. It's disgusting Republican garbage, and it smells. Throughout every desperate justification of Obama's George W. Bush like policies, we get another whiff of that putrid stench. It's enough to make me vomit. You should not be allowed to dump this on any site that claims to be Democratic. You should take that BS to back red state where it belongs and party like it's 2004.
Yes, it looks like the not so transparent Obama administration is afraid of what might come to the surface since some of what they are doing has been found to be unconstitutional by the same Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court they claim will bring checks and balances to all of this. After all, it did rule correctly on section 702 of FISA in that it violates the 4th amendment. However, I guess a Rovian administration that lies about checks and balances must do what they can to keep it secret. Kudos to the heroic efforts of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, anyway.
In a rare public filing in the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), the Justice Department today urged continued secrecy for a 2011 FISC opinion that found the National Security Agency's surveillance under the FISA Amendments Act to be unconstitutional. Significantly, the surveillance at issue was carried out under the same controversial legal authority that underlies the NSA’s recently-revealed PRISM program.
EFF filed a suit under the Freedom of Information Act in August 2012, seeking disclosure of the FISC ruling. Sens. Ron Wyden and Mark Udall revealed the existence of the opinion, which found that collection activities under FISA Section 702 "circumvented the spirit of the law” and violated the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures. But, at the time, the Senators were not permitted to discuss the details publicly.
You can get upset that I accurately describe how President Obama's policies exercised by his DOJ and Eric Holder are exactly like former Republican President George W. Bush's policies exercised by his DOJ and Alberto Gonzales policies if you want. However, I don't know why anyone should give a damn about your feelings. This is an assault on the Constitution.
If pointing this out upsets you more than the George W. Bush years continued by this so called Democratic President, this irrational reaction from your gut instead of your mind shows that you're a Republican defending Republican policies and in a Republican fashion. Certainly not I, and I'm being kind. Do you really think we care about your hurt fee fees more than the human damage this causes and will for generations? I certainly don't.
It never bothered me in 2004 when Republican authoritarian boot lickers got all huffy with me over their freedom fries and pseudo definition of patriotism, and it won't bother me now if pseudo Democrats get all huffy because I have called them out for the same thing. Maybe they should take all that energy spent thinking up pseudo creative cognitive dissonance exercises, and instead, practice exercises in critical thinking? While they are at it, why not write letters of apology for what you have done to the Democratic party, activists, activism, Arab Americans, Arabs, Muslims, and a 16 year old American citizen assassinated abroad like the many innocent civilians killed in drone strikes?
After all, I couldn't care less how offended you are that people who actually pay attention to these issues have called you out for who and what you are; fake "Democratic" hack-tivists who ultimately stand for nothing. That's right. It's now in the record. For instance, Bob Cesca - the second rate blogger who wrote this book back when George W. Bush was President - is a prime example of who I am talking about.
In post-9/11 America, authoritarians and politicians are happily leaning on the panic button for fun, profit, and the ongoing oppression of a frightened populace. This timely book examines that fear: where it came from, how it's promoted, and what can be done about it. Author Bob Cesca hits a bracingly wide range of targets — the right-wing noise machine, climate change deniers, creeping fascism from the Bush White House — before presenting a sober, sensible plan for fighting and overcoming this potentially irreversible trend.
Yes, he even has a chapter on the same NSA program he now defends like the hack he is now proven to be. When Bush does it, it's creeping fascism, but when Obama does it, it's awesome and Glenn Greenwald just can't fathom the awesomeness. Now he thinks his distinction without a difference on whether the NSA has direct access or indirect access to telecom companies' servers who have all our personal info, on who we dial and what sites we visit, matters. Listen to Joe Biden explain precisely why it matters before he rubber stamped these neoconservative policies like all the other pseudo "liberals" I am talking about. These betrayals and those cheering them on have rendered the term "liberal" meaningless.
As I said, they like to talk about who they were in a past life, whom they are related to, or what they consider terms in the political scientific lexicon to mean in order to justify their justification of the Republican policies they support under Obama. That, on top of a heap of childish emotional appeals, they feel, is some sort of inoculation from the policies they enable though their unconditional support of President Obama. Some add the caveat, "I have the same principles, BUT." But what? The end justifies the screams from Guantanamo to drone strikes in Pakistan or Yemen?
Is it that the end justifies the lack of means for people suffering from the sequester that came from the White House? What is it about dead children overseas from drones or the elderly that cannot answer the phone having their meals on wheels cut that is undeserving of this constant emotion and devotion you give to President Obama? That strange selfish behavior is just one of many ways we can see how insincere this emotional crutch of yours really is. After all, we can actually look at your despicable excuses and identify what you really believe compared to your stated political identity you hope enough people believe.
The problem for you is that, unlike the Obama administration, what you really believe is quite transparent. If you support Obama's Bush-like war on terror, you can either consider yourself a blind partisan hypocrite who stands for nothing or a Republican. That's it. You can't consider yourself a Democrat who was inspired by Howard Dean in 2003 or anti-war. Your excuses are just a bore.
If it bothered you before during the Bush administration, but you now make excuses for those same policies now and would inflict them on the nation under President Obama, you either stand for nothing or something truly despicable. It really doesn't matter if President Obama, to you, is what you stupidly consider a Democrat. It doesn't matter if you consider that your support of President Obama, no matter what he does, makes you some kind of an activist. You're not.
It's doesn't matter if you consider yourself on the left side of the political spectrum. You're not. The only thing we should consider about you, given your utter lack of consideration for anyone else outside your little bubble, is how meaningless your considerations really are.
And then your delusional Democratic dream is over. You wake up, look in the mirror, and then realize that you really are a Republican.