June 8, 2013

"PRISM Stopped Najibullah Zazi From Blowing Up Backpacks in the Subway."

New York Magazine reports:
But amid all the uproar yesterday and today, a report from CBS's John Miller — formerly of the FBI and a fairly plugged-in guy — went largely unnoticed.
"If you look at the Najibullah Zazi case, you have a classic example there. So on September 6, 2009, around dawn, an e-mail comes from an IP address to another IP address. One of them is nothing we're paying attention to. The other is one that has been flagged as an al Qaeda mail drop that is rarely used."

"And so when that bell rings, they say, 'Hey, they hardly ever use this account, but it's associated with Rashid Rauf, who is al Qaeda's master bomb maker, behind the plot to blow up all the airplanes, 'Who's he talking to?' And when they find out the other IP address on the other end resolves to Aurora, Colo., outside Denver, it connects them to Zazi, it takes them to the plot to blow up the New York subways, it's all prevented. That's how a program like this is supposed to work."...
Do you want that or not?

ADDED: Here's an article that questions whether PRISM is what caught Zazi. (Via Instapundit.) I'd seen that kind of questioning before I put up this post, but the New York Magazine piece says:
For what it's worth, the Telegraph has previously reported that Scotland Yard intercepted the e-mail, however, the U.K. reportedly also has access to PRISM.
Of course, opponents of PRISM have reason to want to deny that it's working to fight terrorism, even as its defenders are going to want to claim that it is. I'm not a proponent or an opponent at this point. I don't know enough, and — like Obama the President as opposed to Obama the Candidate/Senator — I believe it to be a complicated balance.

201 comments:

1 – 200 of 201   Newer›   Newest»
AprilApple said...

All of this now is to remind us not to pay attention to the IRS scandal.

rhhardin said...

A program to prevent a subway car from blowing up is too intrusive.

A program to stop a nuclear takeout of a city is not.

The network size to aim for detecting is probably somewhere over 50 people.

Unknown said...

I think that is OK, but you can't ignore the rank hypocrisy of condemning that when it was done republicans.

betamax3000 said...

Althouse Dice Clay Robot says:

The Fourth Amendment: Blow Me.

SteveR said...

Now that the war on terror is over, we don't need this right? Or maybe it really isn't over and the President was just playing politics. So lets have a debate.

Inga said...

So now rightists changed their minds, it's a good thing, huh? How quickly the worm turns...... Makes a person dizzy.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

How is this Prism? I understand Prism is sucking up all the internet traffic it can and then analyzing the data to see patterns.

This is just typical law enforcement stuff. They have and email account associated with terrorists that they are monitoring. They see an email come and they investigate. I don't think anyone has problems with that.

The problem is them sucking up everything they can, emails, credit card statements, facebook etc.

MadisonMan said...

That's a good question.

Here's another one: Do you like liberty and freedom?

pm317 said...

Do you want that or not?

That is a simplistic question. Yes, we want that and more. I was listening to Susan Landau (a comp sci prof specialist in security) on the radio yesterday and she echoed my thoughts. It is all about transparency -- tell us what you are collecting (and not necessarily how you analyze it) and how you will dispose of the data of the 99+% that are harmless once you find that less than 1% that might lead you to whatever terrorist you are looking for. It is the secrecy that is unwarranted and objectionable in a democracy. There should not be secret laws or laws secretly enforced. Let Facebook say we may share your data with the government and see how many people participate in their social network fantasy.

T J Sawyer said...

So is PRISM sort of an "error correction" algorithm to make up for other government actions like this item from Zazi's Wikipedia entry?

"...In 1999, he and the family left Pakistan and immigrated to New York City in the United States."

bagoh20 said...

"The other is one that has been flagged as an al Qaeda mail drop that is rarely used."


That's what makes it different - prior suspicion. There are not 100 million Al Qaeda living in the U.S..

traditionalguy said...

When the British Monarchy woke up and decide to assert power to take over the silly New World Colonies, they started a war with the French Monarchy, sent troops here, and then refused to leave when the war was over. Instead they acted as conquerors of everything and started to tax the Colonists into a familiar serfdom under an aristocratic system of unchecked power. That also required confiscation of the militia weapons and ammo from the colonists.

The Bill of Rights that King Obama says are outdated were created to defeat that British Monarchy's tactics, especially the one's that were used in Boston.

The parallels are exact.

SteveR said...

Inga: Your assumption about the "rights" love of the Patriot Act is incorrect.

Jay said...

Inga said...
So now rightists changed their minds, it's a good thing, huh?


"Changed their minds" on what, exactly?

RC3 said...

How is PRISM monitoring a known bad guy's email accounts the same thing as PRISM trawling through every single American's email accounts?

I want the first, and not the second. It ain't that complicated.

Writ Small said...

Republicans have been out of power too long and reflexively attack Obama when he deserves it (Benghazi, IRS, fast & furious) and when he doesn't (continuation of Constitutionally valid, congressional approved, Bush-era terrorist surveillance programs).

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

For what it's worth, the Telegraph has previously reported that Scotland Yard intercepted the e-mail.

I'm calling Bullshit on this story. This is not a Prism program success. This arrest came from a different program. Now they are just spinning.

Jay said...

Do you want that or not?

Well forgive me for being skeptical that the best way to track down 'agents of foreign powers' hell bent on terrorism is to import tens of millions of records of phone and Internet traffic of 200+ million Americans.

Curious George said...

Smart:

Bill, Republic of Texas said...
How is this Prism? I understand Prism is sucking up all the internet traffic it can and then analyzing the data to see patterns.

This is just typical law enforcement stuff. They have and email account associated with terrorists that they are monitoring. They see an email come and they investigate. I don't think anyone has problems with that.

The problem is them sucking up everything they can, emails, credit card statements, facebook etc.

Dumb as a stump:

Inga said...
So now rightists changed their minds, it's a good thing, huh? How quickly the worm turns...... Makes a person dizzy.

AprilApple said...

Folks- you can trust Holder and Obama.
And remember, the Patriot Act was bad under Bush, but now, it's A-OK under Obama. The leftists have spoken. *whiplash*

Doc Holliday's Hat said...

Where was PRISM when a man with radical ties visits and a crazy youtube page visits a country known for creating terrorists (and from where he ostensibly sought asylum) after he was initially investigated, and subsequently received alerts from two separate governments that he had been radicalized. PRISM worked great there. And with Major Nadal, and with the Times Square attempted bomber.

These seem to indicate that instead of mining for metadata and continuing to follow someone who has not indicated any step back from radicalization might have been a good idea.

I don't like the NSA deal. But, i do like the timing of this. The Feds have just shown they can't be trusted through the IRS and possibly the EPA(well, they did it before with Benghazi and Fast and Furious, but those were ignored, mostly), so now we get confirmation that they are spying on all of us. It almost certainly is "just collecting metadata," right now. But...when will the line begin to get blurred, because it will and now the whole country realizes that when it might not have otherwise.

Oxbay said...

I want it. Obama or Bush or Whoever.

Kohath said...

You don't have to snoop on everyone to watch a known "al Qaeda mail drop that is rarely used".

Regardless, in light of the IRS (et al.) scandal, this NSA system needs to be shut down. They've proven they are evil and they can't be trusted with power.

That probably means more successful terrorist attacks on the US. It's too bad. We should have chosen more trustworthy leaders.

jacksonjay said...


What makes me dizzy is the "that was then, this is now" ethic. Snooping, deficits, Gitmo, rendition, Black Sites, golf ....

betamax3000 said...

Tin Foil will Not Protect You. There Are Things You Have Done That Have Been Observed and Will Never Be Forgotten: it has All Been Recorded and Indexed and Analyzed. Your Casual Errors have been Cataloged: Tiny Digital Spiders Crawl Over Your Skin. Your Passwords are Laughable.

AprilApple said...

Officials: NSA mistakenly intercepted emails, phone calls of innocent Americans

You can trust your government. You can trust the "We need 50 million of your tax dollars to party" IRS(D).



Jay said...

The FBI interviewed the Boston bombers twice.

That worked out swell, didn't it?

Paco Wové said...

"the Patriot Act was bad under Bush, but now, it's A-OK under Obama."

As long as you don't argue the reverse is true, well, ok.

bagoh20 said...

"...this account, but it's associated with Rashid Rauf, who is al Qaeda's master bomb maker,..."

I not only want them watching his email, I want someone from the CIA posing as his proctologist, but that does not require reading my private chats on pandaporn.com.

betamax3000 said...

Your Choice of Toothpaste Has been Noted.

Lem said...

Do you want that or not?

Sounds like Somebody doesn’t like the bad reviews... or something.

I tell you what, I 'll take it to go... right now I’m full... what with the IRS, Justice reporter’s snooping, Benghazi and Fast and Furious, a guy can only eat so much in one sitting... back off Althouse ;)

William said...

I support the program. There's much to fear from Democrat activists, but, with only a few exceptions, they're not in the business of blowing Americans up......There's hypocrisy on both sides of this issue, but that of the Democrats is a several orders of magnitude larger. Remember when the Democrats said that Bill Clinton's imbroglio was just about sex and that you just didn't get how bad Clarence Thomas's behavior was. That kind of hypocrisy.

Phunctor said...

No, I want us to retain our liberty, take our losses, and treat them like the Barbary Pirates.

eddie willers said...

I'm OK if the search parameters are something like "Mohamed & Jihad".

I worry that they might decide to collect "Bubba & Tea Party" as well.

Scrutineer said...

SteveR - So is PRISM sort of an "error correction" algorithm to make up for other government actions like this item from Zazi's Wikipedia entry? "...In 1999, he and the family left Pakistan and immigrated to New York City in the United States."

An Orwellian surveillance state is a small price to pay for immigrant diversity.

DEEBEE said...

Wonder if this was water larding whether this would have such a neat story. BTW who the heck leaked it. Wiretap all FOx journos

Lem said...

Do you want that or not?

I dont want anything that was on that picture menu you showed us yesterday, NO.

What else you got ;)

Scrutineer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AJ Lynch said...

I loved the TV show "24" and I assumed all the stuff they did with data etc was what we did in real life. But like Mark Steyn wrote, we have lax immigration laws and rules that let these hateful lunatics immigrate here.

Thankfully, the Americans running Prism etc are mostly logical, skeptical, careful conservatives like most of us here.

Unfortunately,the people running immigration are pussy dopey libruls like Obama and Garage and Ritmo.

El Pollo Raylan said...

The IRS could still be monitoring the Tea Party with 2014 in mind and we'd never know it until it's too late.

bagoh20 said...

My objection is that I now see that the original Bush policy (which I supported), and now the Obama policy is all part of a linear progression that is getting more intrusive and less careful very quickly. The eventuality of that is clear to me: Plenty of damaging, embarrassing, blackmail-enabling, and controlling information in the hands of thousands of partisan bureaucrats. As in the Soviet Union, regular citizens will need to resort to secret private conversations in homes, and alleys if they want to get reliable privacy.

It seems paranoid, but look how fast the bar is being lowered, and once the data is collected it's in those unknown, unaccountable hands forever, and the hands of future partisans that may only be children right now, but children that were taught to sing Obama worship songs in grade school.

Just extrapolate the timeline we are on, and you'll see that we won't have a Fourth Amendment protected nation very long.

madAsHell said...

The next successful terrorist attack will be used to justify another "modest encroachment" of privacy.

It's for the children.

jacksonjay said...


eddie sed:
I worry that they might decide to collect "Bubba & Tea Party" as well

"... if you can't trust the government, then we gotta problem"

pm317 said...

I'm OK if the search parameters are something like "Mohamed & Jihad".

I worry that they might decide to collect "Bubba & Tea Party" as well.


Yep, that is what should worry more people and exactly because of the lack of trust in Obama.

Leit Bart said...

Doesn't sound like this was at all PRISM-related.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/bensmith/public-documents-contradict-claim-email-spying-foiled-terror

Dante said...

Do you want that or not?

Who could say "No" to that. Of course it's good they stopped a bombing. The question, though, is what are the consequences?

I don't know how, but I could imagine people really wanting to get at the data for good reasons. Given all the leaks, the IRS abuses, a president who lies to the American people all the while being is clueless about what his organizations are doing, what will this look like twenty years from now?

How many film makers are they going to throw in jail. How much free speech are they going to stifle. Etc., as edutcher cleverly pointed out the other day by encoding CIA with see eye ay.

I simply do not trust the government. No one should.

bagoh20 said...

Nearly every terrible eventuality of government overreach and abuse, like with the IRS scandal, is nothing but a long series of baby steps that some people along the way warned against and which others said, it's not really that bad, we are already doing nearly the same thing. Eventually it's not at all the same thing.

jacksonjay said...


Scrutineer sed:

An Orwellian surveillance state is a small price to pay for immigrant diversity.

One of them thar Generals said that the little shoot-em up down there at Fort Hood was a small price to pay for "diversity" in the Army! I am beginning to think this diversity bullshit is gonna get us all killed!

Diogenes of Sinope said...

No, I do not support trading our freedom for a bit more security. Ultimately, terrorists will kill US Citizens, we cannot stop all attacks.



Glen Reynolds, " this sort of overreaction is exactly what terrorists want. Make no mistake. They hate us not because of what we do but for what we are: rich, free, and happy. To the extent that we give away our freedom in the vain hope that its sacrifice will purchase us a little security, we are playing into their hands. And, as Benjamin Franklin famously predicted, in making that sacrifice we will in fact wind up with neither freedom nor security."

pm317 said...

Plenty of damaging, embarrassing, blackmail-enabling, and controlling information in the hands of thousands of partisan bureaucrats.

This is what should worry more people. You know Christie turned very quickly and the turn about came just before his big convention appearance and his speech was all about me, me, and incoherent and then came Sandy and bromance with Obama. So what did they do to him?

Dante said...

As in the Soviet Union, regular citizens will need to resort to secret private conversations in homes, and alleys if they want to get reliable privacy.

Or, as a friend of mine pointed, out, in the mob, who puts the finger on a guy with a gesture, or look. One wonders if a lot of that goes on @ Obama's level too, so that "he didn't know," "he read it when you read it," etc.

betamax3000 said...

Falco Robot says:

Don't turn around,
look, look,
the Kommissar is out and about
He'll keep his eye on you
and you know why.
Your zest for life will kill you
Alles klar, Herr Kommissar?

pm317 said...

Well forgive me for being skeptical that the best way to track down 'agents of foreign powers' hell bent on terrorism is to import tens of millions of records of phone and Internet traffic of 200+ million Americans.

They are experts at looking for a needle in a haystack, hoping more hay turns to needles.

Dennis said...

Where did I read this in the interwebs?: Public peace, Secret war.

That's the strategy. That explains the down-playing of all the recent terror attacks, Ft. Hood, Boston and others. Don't give Al Queda the satisfaction of inflicting terror, it's not terror if the victim is nonchalant about it. Deny them terror, deny them victory.

So, Al Queada has to do is something undeniable.

Have we already played down the 9-11 attack along these lines?

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Leit Bart said...
Doesn't sound like this was at all PRISM-related.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/bensmith/public-documents-contradict-claim-email-spying-foiled-terror

6/8/13, 11:24 AM


From the article:

The details of terror investigations are not always laid out this clearly in public; but they appear to belie the notion, advanced by anonymous government officials Friday, that sweeping access to millions of email accounts played an important roil in foiling the subway attack. Instead, this is the sort investigation made possible by ordinary warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; authorities appear simply to have been monitoring the Pakistani email account that had been linked to terrorists earlier that year.

This was, in fact, reported at the time. That November, British authorities were bragging to the Telegraph about their role in arresting Zazi:


The plan, which reportedly would have been the biggest attack on America since 9/11, was uncovered after Scotland Yard intercepted an email….The alleged plot was unmasked after an email address that was being monitored as part of [the 2009 U.K. case] was suddenly reactivated.


So the best defense they have for this program is a lie.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

And England didn't get access to Prism until June 2010.

Jay said...


So the best defense they have for this program is a lie.


Well of course.

After all, the Supreme Court just told us that the police need a DNA swab upon your arrest in order to identify you.

Dante said...

I understand Prism is sucking up all the internet traffic it can and then analyzing the data to see patterns.

I can't imagine Prism is anything but a pilot project. How are you going to shovel the vast quantities of data to secret CIA data centers (won't be secret for long) without involvement by large numbers of people from many organizations. No way could you keep it secret.

Heh. Maybe that's why they let it out of the bag.

LarryK said...

Call me racist, but I have no problem with the NSA focusing its surveillance on the likes of Najibullah Zazi - our govt. does have an obligation to protect its citizens from violence. But fulfilling that obligation with the least possible disturbance to individual liberties means identifying and keeping tabs on potentially troublesome characters, not assuming that everyone is a potential terrorist and monitoring the entire population's calls, e-mails and texts. That's like using a bazooka to swat a few flies.

etbass said...

The problem is that our government has demonstrated that it is untrusrworthy and incompetent and malicious. Who knows, they might put me on a watch list just for stating this opinion.

stlcdr said...

So, what if the emails and phone calls are discussing taking the government, removing the FBI leaders and/or replacing the chief justices? What if the key word 'target' is used? A group or individuals which is intent on shutting down Washington?

Should such commentary be 'investigated'? And by whom?

There is a big - very big- difference between discussion and talk, and actions, even if those actions are legitimate part of the workings of government.

lemondog said...

Oh dear, is AL Gore hiding something?!

Not just Zuckerberg outrageous but OBSCENELY outrageous!!!

Al Gore calls Obama administration’s collection of phone records ‘obscenely outrageous’

Jay said...

Writ Small said...
(continuation of Constitutionally valid, congressional approved, Bush-era terrorist surveillance programs).


This is ridiculously dishonest.

Obama begged Congress to re-authorize the Patriot Act and Harry Reid was bashing Rand Paul for slowing down said re-authorization and Harry Reid said the Patriot Act is a "critical tool in the war on terrorism"

This is an Obama program focusing on domestic calls and data which is orders of magnitude larger than anything Bush did. The Bush program, from what we know, focused on calls outside the country. What the Bush NSA did is not what the Obama NSA is doing.

Ipso Fatso said...

How long before the liberal darlings at NSA start dropping the internet goodies they find on Mr. Conservative Private Citizen to their fellow liberal darlings in the media? Or has that already happened? Oh, I forgot , we have to trust Obama not to misuse this information kinda like he didn't misuse the IRS material to help get re-elected. Now I get it!!! Can't wait for Obamacare to gather up all of our health related data. Gee our liberal darlings in the media and elsewhere won't misuse that will they?

Darrell said...

Once again--no one on the Right ever challenged the information being used correctly like in stopping a terror attack. That's why we supported similar programs under Bush. Obama has shown that he and his minions are more than willing to use the information from such programs for political purposes--to threaten his enemies with ruin in order to get them to shut up. Got it?

Dennis said...

There are two aspects to this war: there is no front, the battlefield is everywhere, and it will last generations.

The public won't stomach it, and this is what the enemy is counting on.

Therefore the secret war.

Alternatives, anyone?

Moose said...

I recently stopped Martians from invading the earth, but I can't tell you why or how or when, or what.

Now, can be part of the NSA?

james conrad said...

NY magazine reports?

Right, and who takes their word for anything? Besides, didn't the prez just declare the "war on terror" over? if so, why in the hell does the NSA need to do all that?

PaulV said...

Ben Smith of Buzz Feed calls bull shit on this claim. Public documents reveal old fashion police work deserves credit.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/bensmith/public-documents-contradict-claim-email-spying-foiled-terror

Hagar said...

The IRS apparently has shared at least some of the "tea party" donor lists with other agencies, such as the EPA and NLRB, which then went out on well publicized raids or filed frivolous lawsuits and otherwise harassed the larger donors in order to scare off political donations to the opposing party.

Now think about what they can do with these programs. Do we - any of us - really want a one-party government - like the "Solid South" of yore?

lemondog said...

Government secrecy nothing new but do we have a Daniel Patrick Moynihan to stand against it?

Secrecy: The American Experience

From Publishers Weekly
In his decades of governmental service, New York Senator Moynihan has championed the principles of liberal democracy, in its original sense. His intellectual rigor and wry demeanor are both amply evident in this signal work on the state of American democracy. His skepticism of the secrecy bureaucracy began in the '70s, when he was ambassador to India, and reached a high point when CIA director William Casey lied to him about the Iran-Contra affair. He became the chairman of the 1995-1996 Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy and there continued his investigation into the scope and repercussions of governmental secrecy with further research and privileged access to major players within the FBI, CIA and executive office. Starting with Wilson's Espionage Act of 1917, institutionalized secrecy expanded, culminating in the McCarthy era and the continued disastrous miscalculations of Soviet strength right up to the moment of the U.S.S.R.'s collapse. Moynihan argues that secrecy, while necessary in a very few cases, is both counter to democracy and antithetical to well-informed choices, since what is not known cannot be debated or debunked. The inherent propensity of the bureaucracy to enlarge its powers has resulted in exponential increases in what is "classified," and national decisions are dictated by an unaccountable few. While details of momentous cases, such as the Verona project's successful break of Soviet code, with the concomitant implication of Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs, and the Iran-Contra affair, are on public record, it is Moynihan's skill as a social scientist that integrates them into a succinct historical analysis of the American culture of secrecy.

james conrad said...

NY magazine reports?

Right, and who takes their word for anything? Besides, didn't the prez just declare the "war on terror" over? if so, why in the hell does the NSA need to do all that?

Jay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay said...

@ Dennis - we need to get in this to win this, and this NSA bullshit is a half measure in response to political correctness, because we refuse to profile.

Specifically I would suggest:

1. Get out of importing Saudi Oil. Way, way too much of the financing for "global jihad" comes from SA money. The US needs to massively invest in developing and refining our own fossil fuels. If these leftist dipshits are opposed to new refineries or nuclear plants, then we need to point out they are endangering America's national security. If SA no longer has the money to bribe their population from going full Whabi-nutzo-jihad, that is their problem.

2. We need to give up on the idea of "nation building" and re-prioritize our efforts on brutally attacking the enemy wherever they are. And I'm suggesting kidnappings, torture, assassinations and any other means necessary to get rid of these people and show their followers and potential followers how a life of terrorism ends up for you. I don't give a fuck about America's "image in the world" nor do I give a flying fuck about what some Madison, WI disphit lefty who has never been off CONUS has to say either.

I'd start there...

Molly said...

I think we ought to make a horrible stink about spying, but not such a stink that Presidents will fear that they will removed from office for it. So Presidents would be "allowed", but strongly discouraged; this relies on our trusting the President's judgment about when spying is justified.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Yes, it's definitely better to track everything on everyone than to profile 1% of the population.

Molly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freder Frederson said...

And remember, the Patriot Act was bad under Bush, but now, it's A-OK under Obama. The leftists have spoken. *whiplash*

Who are these "leftists" you speak of? I sure can't think of any.

glenn said...

AprilApple got it right. And first. The rest of us can go elsewhere and spread the word.

wyo sis said...

Tracking data of people living in the US to find terrorists who are in the US illegally or who got in by false pretenses wouldn't be anywhere near as necessary if we had the systems in place to keep them out and we tracked them where they live.
We lack the resolve to deal with terrorists where they live so we all have to give up our freedoms.

rhhardin said...

It's the fault of women.

Women love Boston bombings. They'll watch and watch, eyeballs for advertisers. The entertainment for them is unending with every little tragedy, especially very young tragedy.

So every little terrorist action becomes the topic of the month, and women wonder why the government didn't do more to stop it, and who to blame.

Politicians have to respond because women unfortunately vote.

So they run a program designed to detect 2-person plots, which naturally involves spying on everybody.

Maybe if people would ignore women, starting with the news media; and the feminist agenda put into the program something to the effect that women have to grow up if they want to be taken seriously as adults and stop watching exploitive shit on the news and maybe satisfy that womanly instinct by actually helping out in your own neighborhood instead, ... I've lost my train of thought.

Oh yes, maybe better choices would be made about what threat to watch out for, namely one that matters.

A nuclear attack on cities.

That's a group of size probably 50 or over, which is the financial footprint to watch out for.

Belmont Club gamed out the situation of repeatable nuclear attacks. As I recall

1. If the US retaliates, who to retaliate against? It's non-state actors. The US population will demand something, so some Muslim city gets nuked.

2. There's no actual controlling Islamic authority, so nothing will stop repeated attacks. The US could go 1 for 1 against it, with large US casualties and enormous Muslim casualties.

3. Or, more likely, the US will game it out and see that you might as well wipe out every Muslim city right away, and save at least the US casualty part.

So, his conclusion, the success of the war on terror is Islam's last chance to save itself, in the era of modern weapons.

geokstr said...

Any bets that there were a couple "low level" "rogue" but totally "neutral" federal PRISM employees, only trying to manage their workload more effectively, and absolutely unbeknownst to their dedicated "non-partisan" higher-ups, somehow got hold of all those lists of donors the IRS demanded from conservative groups who applied for 501 status? Then, these names somehow accidentally got included with the list of all those other dangerous terrorists as defined by DHS, like Tea Partiers, recently discharged vets, NRA members. and other known conservatives, in a search to look for "patterns"?

This president, like all statists, politicizes everything, and will use anything he can to destroy his enemies - laws, constitution, ethics, morals be dammed.

Tim said...

From Iowahawk:

"Govt has to scrape all your phone calls and emails because govt forgot to enforce immigration law on 20 expired visas in 2001."

Yep.

Government fucks up, American people pay the price; Democrat voters say, "More, please."

Quaestor said...

traditionalguy wrote:
When the British Monarchy woke up and decide to assert power to take over the silly New World Colonies, they started a war with the French Monarchy, sent troops here, and then refused to leave when the war was over...

I wouldn't give tradionalguy a passing grade on that little essay in world history.

I'm very conflicted about this PRISM thing. Our world is a sad and dangerous place, especially given the fact that Pakistan, ostensibly an ally but with deep and multi-faceted connections with non-state actors like al Qaeda, has a stockpile of nuclear weapons, and Iran, an avowed enemy, is seeking WMDs, not to mention North Korea... we need something like PRISM to detect threats before they materialize as actual attacks because our society could be fatally disrupted by just one successful terrorist operation that involves a nuke.

On the other hand given their totalitarian propensities I believe the Left is untrustworthy with power, especially this kind of intrusive power to observe our daily lives.

I hate to admit this given my ideologic devotion to small government, we need an NSA that is as completely independent of political manipulation as is humanly possible to devise, perhaps a long term directorship, say 12 years, and appointed not by the president but by the judicial branch, in other words the Supreme Court. Under our constitution the Court is a passive power without initiative, maybe that should change so it can root out corrupt practices in the executive branch proactively.

I'm at a loss... Another thing that's got to change is Congress. Republican or Democrat, it's populated with lazy-ass career builders with no motivation to aggressively use their oversight powers. Term limits might go a long way toward rectifying this. Congress should also re-assert its power over the executive branch by reining in the regulatory agencies, most of the really egregious assaults on our liberty come from unaccountable bureaucrats.

Inga said...

Wyo Sis, just how many countries do we need to involve ourselves in to get all the terrorits where they live? What if they live here?

Tim said...

"That's what makes it different - prior suspicion. There are not 100 million Al Qaeda living in the U.S."

No, there aren't.

But as the IRS/James Rosen/AP phone records scandals go to show, there are about half that many Republicans, Conservatives and Tea Partiers.

Which, under Obama and the Democrats, really is the point, isn't it?

El Pollo Raylan said...

Wyo Sis, just how many countries do we need to involve ourselves in to get all the terrorits where they live? What if they live here?

I ask again: why was the Russian intel on the heart throb brothers ignored? Cedarford says we needed massive spying to catch them but I disagree.

openidname said...

I have zero problem with them bugging an Al Qaeda maildrop.

Just:

1. Get a warrant.

2. Don't bug 20 billion other IP addresses.

Writ Small said...

John Yoo at National Review on constitutionality of the surveillance program.

Tim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chip Ahoy said...

Worst example ever. "F" for Dan Amira.

Where is data mining in the example?

Tim said...

Inga said...

"Wyo Sis, just how many countries do we need to involve ourselves in to get all the terrorits where they live? What if they live here?"

That's the wrong question.

Jay said...

Freder Frederson said...

Who are these "leftists" you speak of? I sure can't think of any.


You pretending there is any big outcry from the left on this is hysterical.

Note:
When news broke in 2006 that the National Security Agency had been collecting phone-call metadata, Senate Democrats called for President Bush’s censure or perhaps impeachment, New York Times and Washington Post editorial writers attacked Bush as a violator of the Constitution, academic leaders such as Yale law-school dean Harold Koh called it “quite shocking” and without judicial approval, and Senator Patrick Leahy had a hearing where he yelled “are you telling me that tens of millions of Americans are involved with al-Qaeda?”

Don't worry, pretending is what dummies like you do.

MayBee said...

I want to hear more about how they read Petraeus's private emails.

This case sounds like something that could be done with old fashioned warrants, because they had a specific target and communication with that target. Like an old fashioned wire tap. They got a warrant to tap a phone, listened in on that phone, followed up on the suspicious people they heard. Email shouldn't be any different. No vast data sucking required.

edutcher said...

Gee, I can remember when the Gray Lady screamed bloody murder about FISA.

Of course, we had a real President then.

Inga said...

So now rightists changed their minds, it's a good thing, huh? How quickly the worm turns...... Makes a person dizzy

Last I looked, "rightists" don't run Black Rock's editorial board.

But I do like being called a "rightist", as in, a fighter for people's rights.

Sounds so much better.

And, of course, the opposite of a "rightist" is what?

Keep it up, O She Devil of the SS, you're the best Lefty we've got.

Wyo Sis, just how many countries do we need to involve ourselves in to get all the terrorits where they live?

How many have large, nasty Moslem populations?

pm317 said...

Plenty of damaging, embarrassing, blackmail-enabling, and controlling information in the hands of thousands of partisan bureaucrats.

This is what should worry more people. You know Christie turned very quickly and the turn about came just before his big convention appearance and his speech was all about me, me, and incoherent and then came Sandy and bromance with Obama. So what did they do to him?


A little visit from Solly an' da boys with some damaging photos from his last visit to AC.

Freder Frederson said...

Who are these "leftists" you speak of? I sure can't think of any.

May I suggest the nearest mirror?

Rabel said...

Bullshit.

Colonel Angus said...

So now rightists changed their minds, it's a good thing, huh? How quickly the worm turns...... Makes a person dizzy.

Indeed. I think its great that liberals have rediscovered patriotism and are taking Islamic terrorism seriously.

Browndog said...

I can't believe this is even up for discussion.

edutcher said...

For every Zazi, how many Stevenses?

Baron Zemo said...

I don't believe that this happened as they said it did.

It is pure spin and pure lies.

Colonel Angus said...

Wyo Sis, just how many countries do we need to involve ourselves in to get all the terrorits where they live? What if they live here?

Here is an idea. Since Obama evidently has no respect for the Constitution, why not just deport Muslims and ban the rest from entry.

That should cover 98% of the terrorist threat right there.

Browndog said...

A this point, prudence dictates that nothing the federal government says is true. Nothing.

If they issue a statement telling you it's Wednesday, check your calendar.

How many lies did Obama utter just yesterday?

khesanh0802 said...

I am not so sure that "righties" are driving the complaining here. Look at the NYT apoplexy. One more chink in the left's defense of the amateur in the white house. These things are going to continue to add up. I think Obama is going to have a hard time defending these policies because he has never made - therefore had to defend - a decision before.

bpm4532 said...

What was the immigration status of these individuals? This is a key question.

Other related questions:
1. Were these individuals citizens?
2. If they were not citizens and here legally, we have a problem in our immigration system.
3. If they were not citizens and here illegally, we have a problem in our immigration and border control.

bpm4532 said...

There is likely a whole lot more to this data collection matter than is currently known. What we've seen leaked is a mere drip from the faucet.

Obama wants us to trust him and his government, but what has he done to merit that trust?

Browndog said...

And England didn't get access to Prism until June 2010.

And Obama didn't find out about PRISM until he saw it on the news.

Baron Zemo said...

If this was true they did a great disservice by revealing their methods to the terrorists.

But it is not true. They are lying.

Obama is Nixon.

Lies. Coverups. Scandals.

Enemy lists.Secret wars. Wiretapping. Use of the IRS against political enemies.

We need a special prosecutor and a Watergate committee.

Where did you go Sam Ervin and Leon Jaworski ..... a nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

JAL said...

Nidal Hasan -- al-Awlaki?

(The handwriting wasn't just in the emails, guys, it was on his business card.)

"In 2001, he [al-Awlaki - former imam for three of the 9/11 terrorists] presided at the funeral of the father of Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist who later e-mailed him extensively in 2008–09 before the Fort Hood shootings."

Thanks guys.

Browndog said...

As I stated, I do not understand how this is even a subject for debate.

Now, it appears to have morphed into a partisan political debate.

Squirrel!

Nice work.

JAL said...

How many lies did Obama utter just yesterday?

Did he open mouth?

edutcher said...

Browndog said...

A this point, prudence dictates that nothing the federal government says is true. Nothing.

As they used to say in the Soviet Union, "There is no news in Truth (Pravda) and there is no truth in News (Izvestia)".

Revenant said...

Do you want that or not?

That is, forgive me, a stupid question to ask. Of course we want terrorist attacks stopped.

The relevant question is "are you willing to sacrifice all privacy to the US government, and endure the inevitable abuse of that information BY the government, in order to stop some, but not all, terrorist attacks". And the answer to that question is "no".

Aridog said...

The fog thickens as the list grows...

1-Prism **
2-Verizon
3-Associated Press
4-Benghazi
5-Green Energy grants to friends
6-Fast & Furious
7-Fox News & James Rosen
8-IRS- tea parties
9-IRS - audits of conservatives
10-Pigford
11-Sebelius soliciations of insurers
12-Turning off credit card edits to accept foreign campaign donors
13-Philadephia NBP Party poll watchers.

** I take Rabel's posted link as likely true, and thus the *explanation* bullshit.

This list grows and the ones highlighted, where direct actions or inactions by the administration resulted in US deaths, are sinking from sight fast.

Which is the intent of this flurry of scandal dumps...the most recent being "Prism", which may be real, but hyped with its childish Power-Point Screens and cutesy "logo"...designed to impress the proles and no more valid than the myraid MACV-SOG "logo" patches from long ago.

Browndog said...

Aridog said...

To your point-

Overlooked, is the data collection and storage of every credit card transaction in America--revealed yesterday.

Aridog said...

Browndog said...

Squirrel!

Exactly.

Aridog said...

Browndog ....dang! Now I gotta renumber the list again with "credit card scanning" at the top?

Aridog said...

Full disclosure: Due credit - that "list" of scandals originally by @ AJ Lynch on June 3rd.

Skyler said...

No. I do not want that. We need to kill the enemy in their countries and stop robbing our freedoms here. We are searched like common criminals at airports and our wives snd daughters are viewed naked by electronic scanners. Now we learn our personal affairs are known by low level government employees.

I say, stop all this snooping and ogling and attack the enemy where they live instead.

Ambrose said...

Expect more leaks like this to justify the programs.

Leland said...

So, in September of 2009; the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act managed to stop a bomber. But now we have what the Obama Administration calls the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act.

How did the new FISA do in Boston? Benghazi?

It's scope changed, and it is no longer performing its mission. End it. It's definitely not liberty, and it's not even security. So discussing those things are irrelevant. It doesn't work, so end it. Done pointing fingers. End it.

elkh1 said...

But it didn't stop the Boston bombers blowing up theirs.

Crap shots, shits happen.

Aridog said...

Skyler said...

No. I do not want that. We need to kill the enemy in their countries and stop robbing our freedoms here.

Until you said that I didn't make the connection...but the McChrystal Rules of Non-Engagement have in fact come home to us right there in the USA.

What is next? Maybe some old fashioned *Strategic Hamlets* for recalcitrant US population re-arrangement? Hell, General No-Burger-King's new million man Americorps could set them up and run schools there.

Illuninati said...

Althouse asked:

"Do you want that or not?"

Of course I want the government to monitor terrorists. I don't want them monitoring me or other average citizens which they apparently have done.

Drago said...

Inga: "So now rightists changed their minds, it's a good thing, huh? How quickly the worm turns...... Makes a person dizzy."

LOL

At a moment in time when it has been made manifestly obvious how astonishingly hypocritical (even with their inflated hypocrisy baseline) the left has been on National Security issues, Inga decides that specific moment is when it is appropriate to point out fictional right wing hypocrisy.

LOL

You know, like how "concerned" the left gets regarding "potential meanness" and/or "unpleasantness to muslims right after muslims actually murder some non-muslims.


Drago said...

Leland: "So, in September of 2009; the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act managed to stop a bomber. But now we have what the Obama Administration calls the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act."

I'll bet all those reports out of Janet Napolitano's "shop" starting very early in the Obama admin which spent inordinate amount of ink telling us about the threat of "anti-government" (low taxes, less government intrusion advocates) and downplaying if not outright ignoring the Islamic extremist threat is beginning to come much more into focus now, isn't it?

They have been planning all of this stuff from day 1.

How do we know?

Because it all began so close to day 1.

Duh.

oneredquilt said...

Is Althouse really asking:

"Do you want to shelter in place or not?"

El Pollo Raylan said...

Inga said: So now rightists changed their minds, it's a good thing, huh? How quickly the worm turns...... Makes a person dizzy.

Inga's goal seems to be to convince everyone that Bush was evil and what Obama is doing is no different. I would like her to note that Bush didn't target political enemies, just sworn enemies. I'll keep saying and writing that every time I see her writing her anti-Bush screed.

wyo sis said...

Inga said...
Wyo Sis, just how many countries do we need to involve ourselves in to get all the terrorits where they live? What if they live here?

6/8/13, 12:22 PM

We are already involved with every other country. We live in a small world. I'd rather terrorists in other countries were stopped before they come here. We lack the will to get the job done.
A powerful country should be able to convince other nations to police themselves. Muslim terrorists see us as weak and we behave as if we are weak. Obama's state department is seeing to it that we become weak players and they are making us weaker every day.

El Pollo Raylan said...

@Inga: If the Dems are monitoring and harassing the political opposition, how exactly are we to know that or not? Trust? After the IRS revelation and the subsequent utter lack of contrition at the top, what else are we to think?

Aridog said...

Has anyone yet actually explained just what 25+ State Department people were doing in Benghazi?

Was it perhaps trying to recover weapons the State Department had provided Al Qaeda rebels in Libya?

Oh, look ....PRISM!

chrisnavin.com said...

Imagine a bunch of high school dropouts, with limited skills, working with a series of incomprehensible rules, rude, impatient, inefficient and wasteful.

That'll protect us.

Smilin' Jack said...

Do you want that or not?

Fortunately, under Obama, you don't have to worry your pretty little head about questions like that. Obama will decide what you want, and you won't even know.

TomHynes said...

I would be willing to lose 10,000 Americans per year to terrorism to preserve my freedom.

We lose 30,000 or so to car accidents and 30,000 or so to firearm deaths. We have lost over a million Americans in various wars defending freedom and ending slavery. 10,000 a year is no much in that context.

Call me when it gets more than 10,000.

edutcher said...

Aridog said...

The fog thickens as the list grows...

1-Prism **
2-Verizon
3-Associated Press
4-Benghazi
5-Green Energy grants to friends
6-Fast & Furious
7-Fox News & James Rosen
8-IRS- tea parties
9-IRS - audits of conservatives
10-Pigford
11-Sebelius soliciations of insurers
12-Turning off credit card edits to accept foreign campaign donors
13-Philadephia NBP Party poll watchers.

** I take Rabel's posted link as likely true, and thus the *explanation* bullshit.


14-EPA

Has anyone yet actually explained just what 25+ State Department people were doing in Benghazi?

Three little words

See Eye Ay.

Ambrose said...

Expect more leaks like this to justify the programs.

And even more to show up the abuse.

IIRC, one of our vets thought something like this would happen.

I'm inclined to put forth a name or two, but I don't want to get anybody in trouble.

RiverRat said...

P.T. Barnum supposedly said, "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time." Who, however, said, "You can fool too many of the people too much of the time"?

Other, more reputable, sources attribute this is Abraham Lincoln:

It is commonly attributed to Abraham Lincoln, but there appears to be no hard evidence that he actually said it. It has also been attributed to P. T. Barnum (of the world famous Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus), poet John Lydgate and Mark Twain.
There is also a variant (sometimes claimed to be the original form):

"You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time."

However, Alexander McClure attributes the quote to Lincoln in his 1901 book Lincoln's Own Yarns and Stories. McClure (1828-1909) was a personal friend of Lincoln and was appointed Asst. Adjutant General by Lincoln. He also worked on Lincolns 1860 election. I could find no credible source attributing the quote to Barnum.

It would make more sense in our multi-culti political environment to change one word:

"You can offend some of the people all of the time, you can offend all of the people some of the time, but you can't offend all of the people all of the time."

Now why, if Lincoln said this, would the "please" change to "offend", unless non-conformity with a progressive political agenda is what's found offensive? Maybe, anyone who listens to a "progressive" is, as Barnum said...a "fool"?

Illuninati said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Illuninati said...

Inga said:
"Wyo Sis, just how many countries do we need to involve ourselves in to get all the terrorits where they live? What if they live here?"

They do live here in ever expanding numbers. After 9-11 rather than shutting them out like sensible people we opened our borders and allowed the radical Muslims to flood in. Mao said that "the people are the sea in which revolutionaries swim"; in the same way devout Muslims are the sea in which jihadis swim. Thanks to PC thinking, we now have a sizeable pool for our own homegrown jihadis.

Terry said...

TomHynes-
You are making a false equivalence.
It's sloppy to group firearm deaths together in a single sum (suicide + murder + accident), and car accidents (virtually all unintended) with deaths to terrorism.
Terrorism is designed to make the U.S. change its policies to please the terrorists, for God's sake.

Cedarford said...

TomHynes said...
I would be willing to lose 10,000 Americans per year to terrorism to preserve my freedom.

We lose 30,000 or so to car accidents and 30,000 or so to firearm deaths. We have lost over a million Americans in various wars defending freedom and ending slavery. 10,000 a year is no much in that context.

Call me when it gets more than 10,000.

==================
That is the sort of libertarian extremism that Americans reject. No way will Americans put up with the equivalent (10,000 a year) of 5 9/11 events, 6 Pearl Harbor equivalents,...or 500 Ft Hood slaughters by jihadis.

We are willing to make compromises - it isn't all or nothing.
When we become too rigid or ideological or bound to a Constitution as Sacred Parchment..we are little better than Koran worshipping rigid minded Arabs.

The Civil War was a godawful waste, driven by deep flaws in what people in the pre-Civil War era thought were absolute rights driven by the Sacred Parchment to have the Freedom!! to own human property as enumerated in the Sacred Parchment --and a system that could not fix the Constitutional flaws.
Only America and Haiti had mass bloodshed over slavery. Other places with better correction mechanisms peacefully ended slavery by 1880.

Certain hysterical libertarian zealot assholes would like to eliminate the 90-year old FBI fingerprint database as a prelude to jack booted storm troopers inevitably folowing the slippery slope to fingerprinting school kids and paw printing innocent little puppies at gunpoint.

Forbes said...

The New York magazine article is a distortion of CBS's John Miller's report. It attempts to equate PRISM--broad-based data collection--with an individual or individual account targeted for surveillance. More lapdog media.

edutcher said...

Cedarford said...

That is the sort of libertarian extremism that Americans reject. No way will Americans put up with the equivalent (10,000 a year) of 5 9/11 events, 6 Pearl Harbor equivalents,...or 500 Ft Hood slaughters by jihadis.

We may get it anyway, thanks to the incompetence of our ruling class.

We are willing to make compromises - it isn't all or nothing.
When we become too rigid or ideological or bound to a Constitution as Sacred Parchment..we are little better than Koran worshipping rigid minded Arabs.


No, that Sacred Parchment has worked pretty well for almost 2 1/2 centuries when treated with a little respect and some understanding of it principles and the reasons they came about.

Cedar's use of the word "compromise" reminds me of an old line from Louis L'Amour, "Whenever somebody's asked me to be reasonable, he's always ended up wanting me to throw away my principles".

The Civil War was a godawful waste, driven by deep flaws in what people in the pre-Civil War era thought were absolute rights driven by the Sacred Parchment to have the Freedom!! to own human property as enumerated in the Sacred Parchment --and a system that could not fix the Constitutional flaws.
Only America and Haiti had mass bloodshed over slavery. Other places with better correction mechanisms peacefully ended slavery by 1880.


Really????

Nothing in the Sacred Parchment (God, you are a moron) says anything about a right to keep slaves. If memory serves it only mentions them once.

And William Wiberforce wasn't influenced one iota by the bloody slave revolts in Jamaica and elsewhere.

Planters in Brazil weren't so afraid of the slaves they worked to death inside a year that every wall inside their houses that didn't have a window had a mirror so they could see them coming?

France and Belgium just conveniently outlawed slavery in the 1860s after the world saw what we were willing to do to end it (although the Frawgs and the Spanish Nederlanders treated people in their colonies far worse than we ever treated slaves and into the 20th century)?

It must be nice living inside your head with Heinrich Himmler and Woodrow Wilson.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Instapundit already says this story is wrong. Althouse needs to post an update.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Certain hysterical libertarian zealot assholes would like to eliminate the 90-year old FBI fingerprint database as a prelude to jack booted storm troopers* inevitably folowing the slippery slope to fingerprinting school kids and paw printing innocent little puppies at gunpoint.

================
*"jack booted storm troopers" gets a George Orwell dying metaphors award.

Certain pseudo-intellectual commenters deliberately voted for Obama in 2008 with eyes wide shut, scoffed and ridiculed the Tea Party and Tea Party sympathizers, leveled vicious sullivanistic attacks at Sarah Palin, fought the notion from the get go that Benghazi was anything more than a reaction to a video.

This commenter is distinguishable from rank Obamites exactly how? His occasional use of language like "Black Messiah"?

Michael K said...

The New York magazine story is bogus. The e-mails were checked after a tip from the British. It wasn't PRISM.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Exactly what's it gonna take to pry the coral lips of the NYT off of the President?

heyboom said...

@Inga

To expand on the comment of wyosis, I say we do a better job of vetting these people before they come into the country. And absolutely do not let anyone from known hotspots to come in under any circumstances. If we're letting them in on only a cursory background check then it is already too late to do anything about it.

Baron Zemo said...

You this is a lie to make Obama look good.

We need a Watergate congressional committee and a special prosecutor to look into this, the IRS, the reading of emails, the retention of phone and credit card records.

edutcher said...

El Pollo Raylan said...

Exactly what's it gonna take to pry the coral lips of the NYT off of the President?

Pinch being hauled off by the Thought Police for finally realizing anybody else could do a better job.

PS Good catch, Jason and Michael.

El Pollo Raylan said...

@edutcher: the collusion is just starting to look so bad...it may have gone from shared ideology to paid prostitution.

Terry said...

Edutcher wrote:
We may get it anyway, thanks to the incompetence of our ruling class.
Our ruling class is competent at implementing the measures it wants implemented.
The measures we, the ruled, want implemented -- secure borders, for example -- not at all.

Robert Cook said...

John Miller, purportedly a journalist, has interrupted his journalistic career more than once to assume positions in governments local (NYC and LA) and federal (worked for FBI in Washington). He's also related by marriage to honchos with Goldman-Sachs.

In other words: he's a deeply embedded part of the power structure.

Of course he will prostitute his so-called rep as a journalist to serve as apologist for the massive digital dragnet that is PRISM.

Miller can suck it.

cubanbob said...

Republicans have been out of power too long and reflexively attack Obama when he deserves it (Benghazi, IRS, fast & furious) and when he doesn't (continuation of Constitutionally valid, congressional approved, Bush-era terrorist surveillance programs)."

The difference between a drug and a poison is the dosage.
Given the fact that republicans get the extreme scrutiny I prefer the repuican doctors to be in charge.

Darcy said...

How do you KNOW what Obama believes?

Aridog said...

Jason (the commenter) said...

Instapundit already says this story is wrong.

Others taking notice now, too...

@ Rabel called it bullshit at 12:50 PM today.

edutcher said...

Terry said...

We may get it anyway, thanks to the incompetence of our ruling class.

Our ruling class is competent at implementing the measures it wants implemented.

The measures we, the ruled, want implemented -- secure borders, for example -- not at all.


ObamaTax says differently.

The fact we have a whole lot of revelations coming out (and I think they're a long way from done) say otherwise.

Multi-culti says otherwise.

That nasty old law of unintended consequences keeps laying them by the heels.

If things worked the way they wanted, we'd have already rammed through a Constitutional Amendment making Choom President for Life.

cubanbob said...

Overlooked in this latest PRISM scandal is the effect it will have on US info technology exports. Why would any foreigner trust a US company now?

Inga your comment makes no sense. Are you saying since Bush committed evil acts that makes it OK for Obama to do the same on a much larger scale? If so then your principals are rather flexible. Your daughter served in the Armed Forces. She took an oath to defend The Scraded Parchment from enemies foreign or domestic. Are you in agreement with Cedaford that the parchment that he also swore to defend is of no more utility than toilet paper?

In the end all of this data collecting is eroding our liberties while providing nothing to compensate. All the data means nothing if not acted on and you can count on the government to screw up in the end. Remember we had the data before Pearl Harbor. Before Korea. Before The Tet Offensive. Before the recent Boston attack. We could have eliminated Bin Laden in the late 90's. to be fair the republicans also have screwed up. Bush 1 had info and gave the wrong message to Saddam Hussein and thus leading to his invasion of Kuwait. If we have to spy on everyone in the country that means we really don't have a clue on whom to look out for. With great power comes great responsibility and its obvious to those who don't willfully blind themselves that this Administration has a cavalier attitude to its responsibilities to use these powers with extreme care and fealty to the Constitution.

Chip S. said...

Of course, opponents of PRISM have reason to want to deny that it's working to fight terrorism, even as its defenders are going to want to claim that it is.

I haven't read a single anti-PRISM comment in this thread that says it "doesn't work" against terrorism. But I've read lots of thoughtful comments pointing out that it ought to be compared to other tactics in terms of both effectiveness and potential for abuse.

The death penalty would "work" to deter speeding, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea.

If PRISM hasn't been essential in thwarting a single terrorist plot in all the time it's been in operation, then it clearly should be shut down. Immediately.

Big Mike said...

The question is whether the PRISM sweep-up of Internet records and the Verizon sweep-up of phone records are needed in the scale in which they were made.

There is also a question as to whether the massive quantities of data thus collected is being filtered, harvested, and illegally shared with Democrat campaign organizations or otherwise abused for political purposes. At this point Feinstein, Saxby Chambliss, and anyone working in the Obama administration have the standing to be believed.

Big Mike said...

At this point neither Feinstein, Saxby Chambliss, nor anyone working in the Obama administration have the standing to be believed.

I really should use "preview" more.

edutcher said...

I trust very few in Congress, either.

Even though Choomie prefers to keep them at arm's length, an old pro like Panetta may well have gotten sing-off from some high in the food chain.

Inga said...

Cubanob, your question to me makes no sense. My daughter continues to serve in the military and no I do not agree with Cedarford's take on the Constituion.

edutcher said...

If she has a daughter, said daughter is obligated to serve until her hitch is up, regardless of what Mommy says.

The She Devil of the SS is once again blowing smoke (among other things). This is the old Lefty maneuver of trying to make some phony equivalence between what someone else on the other side supposedly did to excuse what they in fact did (Willie loved to invoke this).

El Pollo Raylan said...

@edutcher: the collusion is just starting to look so bad...it may have gone from shared ideology to paid prostitution.

Probably always was. there's no such thing as a poor, white Liberal.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

Edbutcher, my daughter is a adult, is liberal and has served in the Navy for 11 years now and plans to continue to serve until she decides to retire. How MANY times have I told you this now? Ann is right, you get everything wrong, do you do this willfully or is this a talent of yours?



El Pollo Raylan said...

One more iteration should do it, Inga--to get the "an adult" correct.

Are you flustered or something?

Browndog said...

Inga has a daughter?

please, please, please, let what remains of this thread be about Inga...and her daughter..

Michael K said...

The father of the Santa Monica mass murderer:

His father, Samir Zawahri, 55, brought his family to the neighborhood of small homes and apartment buildings tucked up against Interstate 10 in the mid-1990s, according to property records.

Oh Oh. Is this another jihadi ?

We'll never be told as this is the People's Republic of Santa Monica.

Too bad PRISM didn't pick him up.

Saint Croix said...

Obama apologizes to Bush!

Not really, but this is amusing.

MadisonMan said...

Can I point out that there is no evidence that a lack of PRISM would have led to a successful bombing?

edutcher said...

Inga said...

Edbutcher, my daughter is a adult, is liberal and has served in the Navy for 11 years now and plans to continue to serve until she decides to retire. How MANY times have I told you this now?

Actually, the last time we heard the story, she was a Marine and couldn't wait to get out.

As for Liberal, there hasn't been one of those for 40 years.

Ann is right, you get everything wrong, do you do this willfully or is this a talent of yours?

Maybe I'm just good at noticing when things can be construed in more than one way.

edutcher said...

PS Are you trying to tell us she's a corpseman?

How can you stick up for Choom?

Henry said...

Of course, opponents of PRISM have reason to want to deny that it's working to fight terrorism, even as its defenders are going to want to claim that it is.

If you start with the knowledge of the IP address of an Al Qaeda mail drop, do you really need to suck up every digital transaction?

How about, "Hey judge, we have the IP address of an Al Qaeda mail drop. Can we have a warrant?"

Kelly said...

I've noticed no one is mentioning the EPA releasing the personal info on ranchers and farmers to radical environmental groups. Not once, but twice. The first time they promised not to do it again, than four months later they did it again.

I'm suppose to trust the Obama administration why exactly?? This is worse than I ever imagined it could be. I only wish it was politics as usual.

Inga said...

"An adult", yep Edutcher gets me "flustrated".

edutcher said...

And Little Zero may be losing on the front that really counts Leno: We wanted a President that listens to all Americans, now we have one.

Kelly said...

I've noticed no one is mentioning the EPA releasing the personal info on ranchers and farmers to radical environmental groups. Not once, but twice. The first time they promised not to do it again, than four months later they did it again.

I'm suppose to trust the Obama administration why exactly?? This is worse than I ever imagined it could be. I only wish it was politics as usual.


I linked to it in response to Ari's scandalabra recap, but I'm only too happy to help another "rightist"

Here you go.

edutcher said...

PS You and some phony folksy are our own little NSA, noting down everything we say, aren't you?

El Pollo Raylan said...

Kelly said: I've noticed no one is mentioning the EPA releasing the personal info on ranchers and farmers to radical environmental groups. Not once, but twice. The first time they promised not to do it again, than four months later they did it again.

Those environmental groups are wealthy and presumably donated lots of money to the reelection. They expect something in return. Whoredom. Prostitution.

In other news, the San Onofre nuclear plant is being closed permanently. A neighbor worked their as security guard. The hippies are cheering the news, while the unions representing the workers and families are trying to cope and wondering who really represents their interests.

Kelly said...

Thanks edutcher for the link. The only place I ever hear anything about it is on the local farm report.

Chip S. said...

A day later and the cops still can't find the Santa Monica killer's parents, who are believed to be "out of the country".

So, not only did PRISM not prevent this shooting, or the Boston bombing--it also can't find the fuckin' parents of a spree killer.

Shut. It Down.

Now.

Mark said...

Is "Probable Cause" such a hard concept?

edutcher said...

Kelly said...

Thanks edutcher for the link. The only place I ever hear anything about it is on the local farm report.

No problem.

It's out there and people are aware of it, so it will get its turn.

Mark said...

It's simple. You want to spy on American citizens, you convince a judge that a specific citizen needs to be monitored because there are good reasons to believe that citizen may be breaking specific laws.

Hell, I'm good with giving a judge lists of people who are in contact with a single person who can reasonably be suspected of breaking specific laws OR who is part of an entity at war with the US.

What I'm not good with is building a huge pool of data not tied to anything, that collects everything it can, just because some bureaucrat might want to go fishing in the data pool.

Michael K said...

"A day later and the cops still can't find the Santa Monica killer's parents, who are believed to be "out of the country"."

The father and brother were reported killed. The house was set on fire. I guess he didn't plan to come back.

Crazy ? Or jihadi ?

Not long after arriving on Yorkshire Avenue, the couple went through a difficult divorce and split custody of their two boys, said Thomas O'Rourke, a neighbor.

"It was not an easy breakup," O'Rourke said. "It was a bitter divorce."

When the sons got older, one went to live with his mother while the other stayed with the father.

"The father was a very nice gentleman," O'Rourke said. "But the boys just kind of kept to themselves. Didn't really socialize with any of the neighbors."

SWAT team officers searched the mother's Los Angeles apartment Friday night and officers interviewed neighbors about the son who lived with her, said Beverly Meadows who lives in the adjoining unit.

Public records show that Meadows' neighbor is Randa Abdou, 54, the ex-wife of Zawahri and former co-owner of the house where the first shooting took place.

The mother was out of the country visiting relatives and wasn't expected home for another week, Meadows said. It wasn't clear if the son who lived with Abdou was a victim or the suspected gunman.

The gunman was enrolled at Santa Monica College in 2010, Seabrooks said.

After neighbors watched in shock as he shot at his father's house and it went up in flames, he opened fire on a woman driving by, wounding her, and then carjacked another woman.


From Huff Po

Cedarford said...

Mark said...
It's simple. You want to spy on American citizens, you convince a judge that a specific citizen needs to be monitored because there are good reasons to believe that citizen may be breaking specific laws.

Hell, I'm good with giving a judge lists of people who are in contact with a single person who can reasonably be suspected of breaking specific laws OR who is part of an entity at war with the US.

================
1. Your attitude is that the people we are presently at war with can be handled in a courtroom setting by lawyers in robes that only fill out criminal justice warrants on probable due cause that a crime has been committed or you know is about to be committed under some smoking gun of conspiracy evidence.

2. Others take the attitude that we shouldn't look unless we are 100% sure that the system is a 100% sure security barrier that will prevent all enemy attacks. Way most security barriers and recon of the enemy works is not 100% foolproof. If you photo enemy formations there is always a strong chance you'll miss some or some assholes tell you you can't strike because they parked the anti-air missiles in a village square or that the military lawyers want a judge to CYA. And the lawyer dressed as a judge won't play....

3. Too many Lefties and libertarians place a mystical reverence on some lawyer doing a well-paid gig as a judge, and any scrap of paper that can be signed by judge-shopping. They tend to worship judges as all-wise. And worship former judges as best to decide how things go if they step down for more money or more power in other appointment. Be it Judge Chertoff, Judge William Webster, Judge Janine Pirro, Judge Napolitano, Judge Eric Holder.

Mark said...

Cederford, the idea is the Executive has to document something that is presented to the Judiciary, that in theory could be reviewed/subpoenaed by the Legislative.

I'm not saying you're wrong that the system described can be gamed, but at least the effort has to be made to game it, and there are potential consequences if the game goes pear-shaped.

Letting the Executive do what it damn well wants would give us a system where an Administration could use the IRS to squelch dissent.

Oh, wait...

cubanbob said...

Cubanob, your question to me makes no sense. My daughter continues to serve in the military and no I do not agree with Cedarford's take on the Constituion."

Inga I deeply respect, admire and appreciate your daughter's service to the nation. Her service predicated on her oath to the Constitution is crucial in the preservation of my rights under the Constitution. Your reply makes no sense to me either. If you believe Bush broke his oath of office in his Administration's surveillance policies and measures then Obama's continuation of same is equally bad if not worse. Yet you seem to support him on this. Situational ethics are no ethics at all. I'm not here to dump on you. On the contrary. It's just strange that given the fact that the President is your daughter's Commander-In-Chief if you believe that her former CIC was violating his oath of office how do you justify her current CIC doing exactly the same but on an even larger scale? Indeed if you believe that this president has the right, indeed the obligation to ignore the Constitution, in other words the ends justifying the means then how are you different from Cedaford who despite his oath as a veteran believes The Sacred Parchment really means nothing at all?

Michael said...

It's not so much that we don't like PRISM as that we don't trust Obama and all his merry men and women. The IRS scandal has shown that Progressive bureaucrats will use any power they have to advance their agenda and disadvantage their opponents, regardless of "truth" or "justice" or Constitutional "rights" or other such bourgeois anachronisms.

Mark said...

And for what it's worth, spying on everyone is probably a stupid strategy anyway. Honestly, it seems like a way for the Agencies involved to maximize on budgetary requests while minimizing on Human Resource accountability.

"Hey, the computers didn't catch the Boston Bombers, how could mere humans have done better?"

So by throwing Due Process to the wind, we get a system that would seem to be designed for political abuse that also does at best nothing to make us more protected, and may well make us less so.

(BTW, wouldn't you love to know if Boston's brothers in pressure cookers were Verizon customers?)

Mark said...

So, what's the query language syntax for "what is in your contact networks' prayers?"

cubanbob said...

As I mentioned before we don't know for a fact that the surveillance was limited to Verizon and the other companies listed so far. The safe assumption that all carriers are complying along with all the major email providers and social media companies. It would make no sense for the government to use some but not all. If our intelligence and counter-intelligence agencies need to spy on all of us then then they really don't have a clue on who they need to look for. And as the Boston bombing proves even when they have the data they failed to use it.

Mark said...

Cubanbob, I agree that probably all US carriers were given the Verizon treatment; my jab about the Boston Bombers' cell phone plans was directed to those who won't tolerate any questions about our glorious leaders and their policies.

Mark said...

When it comes to the Obama Administration and anything that could negatively affect public opinion about it, the rule is:

"Don't look in the box!"

Blue@9 said...

Nothing in the foiled plot story tells me that the NSA needs to hoover up everyone's private Facebook chats.

They had an IP address. Ok, put a flag on anything that routs there.

Achilles said...

Obama justs needs to keep promising to pay for Inga's woman parts with other peoples money and she will find a way to justify anything Obama does. It is a fascist policy that buys her vote, so why would she object to fascist policies that harm people that don't want to be forced to pay for her goodies?

Supporters of this administration are not good people anymore. We all know too much about who they are and what they are doing. Support for them now is the same as declaring yourself a supporter of fascism.

And there are liberals in the armed forces. I knew some. They were generally profile whores, and one was an officer that threw a bunch of people under the bus and eventually "decided to get out."

FedkaTheConvict said...

Browndog commented at 8:10 p.m.

Inga has a daughter?

please, please, please, let what remains of this thread be about Inga...and her daughter..


About a month ago there was a sudden influx of sockpuppets and trolls in the comments threads here. I don't recall who did it but someone cleverly searched the ID numbers associated with the trolls' names (do a mouseover of a name) and in most instances they were connected directly to Inga. That was a classic example of using publicly available metadata to identify an individual. Hopefully someone can dig up the thread where this all went down.

That metadata revealed her full name, address, personal photos, and all the places she commented on the internet including German ancestry websites and several support groups for parents of Navy medical personnel.

So its amusing to me that instead of being suitably chastened by the experience she has no problem with a government searching metadata on all its citizens. You can bet that the government has significant more sophisticated data mining tools to search metadata and pinpoint individuals than what is available through a Google search.

FedkaTheConvict said...

Also, remember last summer when Althouse was traveling in northern Wisconsin and she didn't want anyone to know her location. But she was uploading photos to her Flickr feed and she didn't realize her camera is capturing her GPS location and writing it to the EXIF metadata of each photo. Every photo revealed her exact coordinates and it is a trivial exercise to plot those coordinates on a Google or Yahoo map.

To this date I don't think Althouse understands how people were able to determine that she was traveling and where exactly she was yet she posits the question "Do we want that or not?"

Rusty said...

Browndog said...
Inga has a daughter?

please, please, please, let what remains of this thread be about Inga...and her daughter..


Please let it not.
There's enough witless drivel here without making it into "The Inga And Whatever Other Witless Proggs Support Her Show."

AllenS said...

When programs like PRISM are used, and you don't specifically profile individuals, people running it only have one other option, and that would be to spy on everyone. That's the problem.

Inga said...

If one had nothing to hide, as in terrorism activities, one should not be paranoid. On the other hand, I am in favor of repealing the a Patriot Act, which BTW, I've said here several times.

In other words, I'm as hypocritical as the majority of the conservatives here. Go figure.

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