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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: U.S. | Police State and Prisons
Obama Defends the Indefensible
Obama Defends the Indefensible
by Stephen Lendman
On Friday, Obama addressed sweeping NSA mass surveillance. He defended the worst of police state lawlessness.
He believes privacy invasion intrusiveness should comfort us. He lied claiming it makes us safer. How does destroying civil liberties protect them?
How does violating core Bill of Rights protections do it? How does trashing all rule of law principles?
How does turning America into a police state? How do sweeping surveillance practices greater than anything before possible?
How does letting NSA operate as a power unto itself? It's an unrestrained lawbreaker. Imagine Obama calling "(t)he folks at the NSA...our neighbors."
Imagine saying "they're our friends and family." Imagine claiming "(o)ur intelligence community follows the law..."
Imagine saying NSA officials and staff are "patriots." One lie followed another throughout his address. They constitute a gross abuse of power. So do his lawless policies.
He never once mentioned his responsibility to respect international, constitutional and US statute laws. He never once admitted how egregiously he violates them.
He never once explained how his policies are heading America for full-blown tyranny. He never once acknowledged his war on humanity.
He fronts for monied interests that own him. His entire tenure fails the smell test.
He lied saying "US intelligence agencies (are) anchored in a system of checks and balances - with oversight from elected leaders, and protections for ordinary citizens."
He lied claiming mass surveillance "prevented multiple attacks and saved lives - not just here in the United States, but around the globe."
Fact check: NSA domestic and foreign spying discovered ZERO terrorist threats. It foiled ZERO terrorist attacks. Claiming otherwise is false! Doing so is a bald-faced lie!
Obama lied claiming federal courts and congressional oversight curbed "some of the worst excesses that emerged after 9/11..."
He lied saying he "maintained a healthy skepticism toward our surveillance programs after (he) became president."
He approved the worst of what's ongoing. He wants it continued. He wants it intensified. He wants nothing escaping NSA's spying eye.
He wants it able to monitor everyone, everywhere, all the time. He wants America's fake war on terror continued. It's a war on freedom. It reflects the worst of police state lawlessness.
He lied saying he ordered "increased oversight and auditing, including new structures aimed at compliance."
He lied saying he "sought to keep Congress continually updated on (NSA) activities." Many congressional members know little about the worst agency practices.
Obama lied claiming nothing he's seen "indicate(s) that our intelligence community has sought to violate the law or is cavalier about the civil liberties of (American) citizens."
He lied saying "the men and women of the intelligence community, including the NSA, consistently follow protocols designed to protect the privacy of ordinary people."
He lied claiming "(t)hey're not abusing authority in order to listen to your private phone calls or read your emails."
He lied saying "(w)hen mistakes are made...they correct" them.
He lied saying "our intelligence community follows the law."
He lied claiming terrorist threats "are not going away any time soon. They are going to continue to be a major problem."
Fact check: America's only terrorist threats are ones it invents for political and/or strategic reasons. No real ones exist.
Obama lied saying he ordered "specific changes" for the better. The worst of NSA and other US spy agencies continues. It does so unabated. It does it extrajudicially. It does it unrestrained.
Obama lied saying he "approved a new presidential directive for our signals intelligence activities both at home and abroad. (It) will strengthen executive branch oversight of our intelligence activities."
It will ensure "that our actions are regularly scrutinized by my senior national security staff." It assures that business as usual continues.
Obama lied claiming "reform programs and procedures" he ordered will "provide greater transparency to our surveillance activities, and fortify the safeguards that protect the privacy of US" citizens.
Fact check: His administration is the most secretive in US history. It's the least transparent.
Candidate Obama promised transparency, accountability and reform. President Obama waged war on whistleblowers, dissent, and journalists doing their job. He exceeded the worst of his predecessors.
Nothing suggests changed policy ahead. Everything indicates things going from bad to worse.
Obama lied saying he wants "Congress to authorize the establishment of a panel of advocates from outside government to provide an independent voice on significant cases before the (rubber-stamp) Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)."
Fact check: so-called executive branch and congressional independent oversight bodies are routinely stacked with Washington and corporate insiders. Expect no change in policy ahead.
Obama lied saying he "ask(ed) the Attorney General and DNI to institute reforms that place additional restrictions on government's ability to retain, search, and use criminal cases communications between Americans and foreign citizens..."
He lied saying "we can and should be more transparent in how government uses" National Security Letters (NSLs). They involve abusive police state intrusions.
They let FBI officials obtain personal information about anyone. At issue only is claiming what's wanted relates to alleged terrorism or espionage investigations. No proof is required.
Innocent people are affected. Virtually anything in public or private records can be obtained. Gag orders prevent targeted individuals or groups from revealing what's demanded. Doing so violates their constitutional rights.
Obama lied about ongoing sweeping mass surveillance. "This program does not involve the content of phone calls, or the names of people making calls," he claimed.
He lied about Patriot Act Section 215. He approved its use. It oversteps and then some. It violates core constitutional rights.
It's language is vague and deceptive. It's used to allow unrestrained metadata-mining. It permits the worst of police state intrusions. It authorizes government access to "any tangible item."
Included are financial records and transactions, education and medical records, phone conversations, emails, other Internet use, and whatever else Washington wants to monitor.
NSA and other intelligence agency powers are sweeping. They're greatly enhanced. They're used extrajudicially. Anyone can be targeted for any reason or none at all.
Section 215 is unconstitutional. It permits warrantless searches without probable cause.
It violates First Amendment rights. It does so by mandating secrecy. It prohibits targeted subjects from telling others what's happening to them.
It lets FBI operatives investigate anyone based on what they say, write, or do with regard to groups they belong to or associate with.
It violates Fourth and Fifth Amendment protections by not telling targeted subjects their privacy was compromised. It subverts fundamental freedoms for contrived, exaggerated, or nonexistent security reasons.
Obama wants these practices continued. He claims nothing indicates abuse of power. He "believes it is important that the capability that this program is designed to meet is preserved."
He lied saying "proper safeguards" will prevent abuses. He'll "establish a mechanism that preserves the capabilities we need without the government holding this bulk metadata."
In other words, he'll order changes assuring no change. They'll amount to new wine in old bottles. Business as usual will continue.
Obama lied saying "reforms (he) propos(ed) 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."
Fact check: Domestic and most overseas NSA spying has nothing to do with national security. It has nothing to do with uncovering or preventing terrorist threats.
It undermines public safety. It makes everyone far less secure. It assures some of the worst of police state lawlessness.
Obama lied about overseas spying. He lied saying his so-called "presidential directive" assures "that (America) only uses signals intelligence for legitimate national security purposes."
He lied claiming "intelligence (isn't) to provide a competitive advantage to US companies or US commercial sectors."
He lied saying it's only "to meet specific security requirements" counterintelligence, counterterrorism, counter-proliferation, cybersecurity, force protection for our troops and allies, and combating transnational crime..."
He lied saying he "t(ook) the unprecedented step of extending certain protections that we have for the American people to people overseas."
He lied claiming entirely new guidelines will be instituted. He lied saying they'll impose unprecedented restrictions.
He lied saying America "is not spying on ordinary people who don't threaten our national security, and that we take their privacy concerns into account in our policies and procedures."
He lied saying "(t)his applies to foreign leaders as well."
He lied saying he "made clear to the intelligence community than unless there is a compelling national security purpose, we will not monitor the communications of heads of state and governments of our close friends and allies."
He lied saying he "instructed (his) national security team, as well as the intelligence community, to work with foreign counterparts to deepen our coordination and cooperation in ways that rebuild trust going forward."
He proved his ill intentions, adding:
"Now let me be clear: Our intelligence agencies will continue to gather information about the intentions of governments (worldwide)."
"We will not apologize" for doing it. Allied heads of state should be comforted knowing "that we are treating them as real partners."
Obama will appoint new White House and State Department officials. They'll oversee so-called "changes" he ordered.
Make no mistake. The worst of business as usual will continue. IF Stone once said: "All governments lie and nothing they say should be believed."
Obama elevated the art of lying to an unprecedented level. He failed the Pinocchio test. He exceeded the worst of Richard Nixon. He outdid George Bush.
He's more despot than democrat. He matched Star Trek. He went where no US leader went before. He made a mockery of changes to believe in.
Things were deplorable when he took office. His policies made them far worse. His promises are made to be broken. His word isn't his bond.
He's a serial liar. He's an unapologetic law breaker. He's a disgraceful moral coward.
A previous article said impeaching him is a national imperative. He belongs in prison, not high office.
Note: Gallup's latest daily job approval rating has Obama at 39%. Maybe he'll sink much lower ahead.
Americans are woefully out-of-touch. They react slowly. They're beginning to catch on.
Growing numbers know how egregiously Obama betrayed them. It's long past time they took to the streets en masse to show it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen [at] sbcglobal.net.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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