Obama administration is worse than Bush on civil rights abuses


Obama’s speech suggests no real change to the NSA’s spying policies:

Obama aims to prevent whistleblowers from spying inside NSA:

“I think it’s embarrassing” Julian Assange responds to Obama’s NSA reforms speech:

President Barack Obama’s highly anticipated intelligence recommendations left many key details unresolved, most notably who might take over as keeper of the vast trove of U.S. phone records.
Final decisions on that and other major questions were left to the Justice Department and to intelligence agencies that oppose changing surveillance operations, and to a Congress that is divided about the future of the programs.

Phone records will continue to reside with the government. But the NSA will need to get approval from the secretive Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Court each time it wants to access the data, a more cumbersome process than currently required. Exceptions will be made in the event of a national security emergency, officials said.

Responding to outrage overseas, Obama pledged on Friday to curb spying on friendly allied leaders and to extend some privacy protections to foreign citizens. The proposals appeared to ease some anger in Germany, which had been particularly incensed by revelations that the NSA had monitored the communications of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“The reforms I’m proposing today should give the American people greater confidence that their rights are being protected, even as our intelligence and law enforcement agencies maintain the tools they need to keep us safe,” he said during a speech at the Justice Department.

Privacy advocates, who have pushed for ending the phone record collections altogether, criticized the president’s restrictions as insufficient. The intelligence community appeared publicly content with his plans.

The most glaring omission in Obama’s announcement was any recommendation on where Americans’ phone records should be kept if they are no longer housed by the government. A presidential review board recommended moving the data to the phone providers or a third party, but both options present obstacles. The phone companies strongly oppose the expense and potential liability of holding the data, and no credible third party option has emerged. Administration officials also raised the possibility of replacing the bulk phone collection program with new surveillance methods that would negate the need to store the data long-term.

Privacy advocates said they were troubled that Obama’s proposals did not go further.

“He seems to endorse amending bulk data collection but not ending it,” said Anthony Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The president cast the changes as a pre-emptive attempt to curb possible government abuse as new technologies give intelligence agencies the ability to round up more information more quickly.

Obama is worse than Bush on civil liberties abuses:

President Barack Obama has had five years to prevent and reverse Constitutional abuses but has deliberately chosen otherwise. By renewing the Patriot Act, he not only went back on yet another campaign promise but also has taken the level of governmental abuse tonew lows with each passing year in office. So much for the President’s understanding that the Constitution was designed to be a limitation document and not some social-utopian permission slip.

This sort of response is on par for an administration that makes a habit of apologizing rather than asking for permission. Obama is even worse on civil liberties abuses than George W. Bush. As hard as that is to believe, this was not the conclusion of some right-wing rag but instead a conclusion of the left’s beloved American Civil Liberties Union

Please read that again and let it sink in. Obama is worse than Bush, and the cited report is more than two years old.

The National Press Club recently had James Bamford, the world’s leading expert on the NSA, speak on how everyone is a target and how off-the-rails our government has gone under the guise of “preventing terrorism.” After his shocking speech I specifically asked him, “Is the current administration worse than the previous?” To this he replied, “Obama is worse than Bush, especially when you consider the war on whistleblowers.” He went on to add that the left is complacent in this in part because it is their guy in office. They would be reacting much “more aggressively” against these violations if it were not for their party loyalty. The silence is deafening, just like the results of his drone program.

Back in the 1970s, the Church commission took broad steps to try to limit political power and return the individual to his proper place as master over his government. Frank Church went on to give a specific warning to the American public. Given the recent revelations, it should send a chill down any constitutionally minded patriot’s spine. In 1975 he said:

The National Security Agency’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide. If a dictator ever took over, the N.S.A. could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back.

James Bamford explained that the existing situation has grown so bad since the Church warning that we have what amounts to a “turn-key tyranny” system in place. With just minimal effort, the government could institute a takeover and crush all dissent through its existing powers. This is what the left fails to understand in the ongoing 2nd Amendment debate. It is not the ability to hunt but the ability to have a final check against a rogue government (no matter how small the chance) that drives the emotional elements in this narrative. Leftists have a blinding faith in government, as long as they’re the ones in charge, which prevents them from understanding what a disarmed public truly means.

No matter who you would have voted for in the last two presidential election cycles, the only ones who addressed the rising police state were the Libertarians and the Green Party. Dissenters within the establishment’s own parties were labeled as “outside the mainstream” for asking fundamental questions about the expanding surveillance of the American public. The establishment in both parties is, in its very nature, authoritarian. Is it any wonder they were never included in the presidential debates, which, by the way, are not run by an independent and objective organization, but instead are made up of Republican and Democratic Party insiders?

Governments never give back power by their very nature. Ask yourself how many laws they have repealed versus how many are created each year. The President’s promises of reform are all talk.Preventing terrorism has been the bogeyman for every major abuse of civil liberties since the fall of Communism. Billions in bloated programs, thousands of employees, and the loss of liberty are the fruits of a runaway government.

Senator Leahy on NSA spying: We need to stop govt. from controlling American people:

Senator Patrick Leahy says the American people are at risk of being controlled by their government due to the expansive surveillance powers of the National Security Agency.

“The concern everybody has is allowing our government to have such a reach into your private life, my private life, and everybody else’s, that we are, we have the government controlling us instead of us controlling the government.”

“I just think that there should be oversight,” Leahy said. “Think back in the history of this county, in J. Edgar Hoover’s day and all — if he had had the power when he was spying on protesters and those against the Vietnam War and Martin Luther King — if he had had the power that’s in here, think what might have happened. We Americans believe in our safety. We also believe in our ability to be private.”
“You still have to have some checks and balances before you have a government that can run amok,” Leahy said.

Click on the link below to watch the video:

Image Source: https://www.aclu.org/national-security/where-does-president-stand-nsa-reform



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