June 7, 2013

"Thank You for Data-Mining: The NSA's 'metadata' surveillance is legal and necessary."

Say the editors of the Wall Street Journal.
Someone leaked a classified three-page order from the special court established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, to Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian newspaper, who is a committed anti-antiterror partisan....
I suspect it was someone who wanted to distract us from the IRS scandal (and other scandals) so that the scandal of the moment would be one that's about Bush. I supported Bush's war on terror and resisted the "committed anti-antiterror partisan[s]." It became very important to fight terrorism after 9/11, and one reason I decided to vote for Barack Obama in 2008 was that I thought it would be helpful for Democrats to be put in a position where they would need to endorse things Bush chose to do to protect us from terrorist attacks. This is what we are seeing now. It's also important not to violate constitutional rights, but questions of rights and national security need to be analyzed. Don't assume Glenn Greenwald has it right. He's an advocate for one side of a difficult argument.

Back to the WSJ:
The outrage this time seems to stem from the fact that the government is widely collecting call records, not merely those associated with a particular suspect or group. But this fear misunderstands how the program works. From what we know, the NSA runs algorithms over the call log database, searching for suspicious patterns over time.
Here's where the other Obama scandals come in. How do we know the government is dutifully concentrating on national security — fighting terrorists and not political enemies? That kind of mistrust matters, but it's not specific to the NSA program. It undermines everything government does. What would you like government to stop doing now that you can't trust it with anything?
If the NSA's version of a computer science department operates like the rest of FISA, the government is cautious to ensure that its searches are narrowly tailored and specific protocols are reviewed by FISA judges.
If... That's an important if, but that's not the focus of the criticism by people like Greenwald.
The real danger from this leak is the potential political overreaction....

245 comments:

1 – 200 of 245   Newer›   Newest»
MayBee said...

Surely that commencement speech Obama gave about shunning people who distrust government was timed knowing these scandals were about to come out.

sydney said...

You have it right. If the government feels free to use the IRS to go after political enemies, it will use the data mined from all of our internet and phone activities to do the same. Just before the 2012 election, I received one of those letters detailing my political contributions with my name and the names of my neighbors and their contributions. I know you covered it here at the time, but in retrospect, I have to think that those "researchers" (who also happened to be Democratic party activists got their targets from some of this data mining.

sykes.1 said...

We are living under a regime that is illegitimate, lawless, malign and violent. It is objectively evil. By regime I mean all elected and appointed public officials of both parties and all civil servants.

The trend is clear. If not us, our children will be living in a totalitarian police state. The regime has all the tools. It just has to work up to courage to do it.

You might also want to consider that we are well along to getting a hereditary, self-appointed ruling class. Almost all high ranking government officials and financiers graduated from some 10 to 15 private, elite universities. They married other graduates of the same schools, and their children either do or will go to the same schools.

The coming police state they will inherit and control will have shame democratic institutions. Think of the Roman "Republic," which survived in Constantinople until the Turks came, or the Soviet Union. Think nomenklatura.

You should also be aware of the trial run in the last general election in which the White House used the IRS to suppress people and organizations sympathetic to the Republicans. I doubt you care, but the possibilities of the existing tools have now been demonstrated, and they can be used against anyone, even disobedient socialists. The left has a long tradition of cannibalism (Trotsky), and that will continue.

MayBee said...

And yeah, this case is too much. They have too much information for "low level" employees to start using against us, after all, this is the admin who can't talk about Islamic extremists without also bringing up anti-tax groups.

PETER V. BELLA said...

When President Obama joined the Chicago Machine, under the tutelage of one of its most venal practitioners of political corruption, Emil Jones, the budding politician never absorbed the most important lesson about; corrupt governance. He never learned the number one rule, the Eleventh Commandment- Thou shalt not get caught. And to think many people in this country think President Obama is a pretty smart fella.

Ann Althouse said...

I think the key here is: Don't switch to the aspect of this problem that is re-attacking Bush. That's what Greenwald wants, and I think the Obama administration's strategy may be to lure his critics out onto that territory. From there, he will have a good defense.

Meanwhile, the other scandals fall out of focus.

sydney said...

You might also want to consider that we are well along to getting a hereditary, self-appointed ruling class. Almost all high ranking government officials and financiers graduated from some 10 to 15 private, elite universities. They married other graduates of the same schools, and their children either do or will go to the same schools.

This. I've been thinking recently how much our current political class resembles Tsarist Russia in the late 19th century. You could easily write a screenplay of Anna Karenina, for example, set in Washington among the elites and give them the same kinds of jobs as the characters in the novel. Except Vronsky would have to be a rising basketball star instead of a soldier.

Meade said...

"What would you like government to stop doing now that you can't trust it with anything?"

Shouldn't we narrow the search by asking: Since government can't be trusted, is there anything we would like the government to do?

Jay said...

o that the scandal of the moment would be one that's about Bush

Uh, except it isn't about Bush at all.

Bob Ellison said...

How about a 28th amendment that says the government can't do anything not written hereunder?

Jay said...

How do we know the government is dutifully concentrating on national security — fighting terrorists and not political enemies?

Because despite collecting all this data, the Boston bombing happened.

wyo sis said...

Using Sykes 1's definition of regime, which I like, it's amazing how little the regime seems to care about showing us their hand. Every new thing that's revealed has been going on in secret for many years and now that the structure is in place what difference does it make that the subjects are informed? Learn to love your chains.

Jay said...

But this fear misunderstands how the program works. From what we know,

That is actually so stupid it is funny.

I guess it doesn't occur to the WSJ editors that there is a bunch of information they do not know, and/or they are being lied to.

sydney said...

How do we know the government is dutifully concentrating on national security — fighting terrorists and not political enemies?

Because despite collecting all this data, the Boston bombing happened.


What if fighting terror isn't their priority under the current leaders? What if their current priority is to damage their political enemies and secure their power?

Mogget said...

If some analysis of my civil rights is needed, I should like to have it in public, over time, not in conjunction with some existential crisis and BEFORE the matter is fait accompli.

If that's okay with my government masters, of course.

rhhardin said...

I agree with the WSJ.

The IRS shows malevolent political intent, however; and a tool lying around will get used by Obama if he can get away with it.

Obama needs monitoring, is the lesson. Disbelief should be the default for him.

Maybe the media will step up.

David Hampton said...

Glenn Greenwald opened Pandora's Box by breaking the story. It is hard to believe that the best this administration could come up with for a deflection would be a story about NSA data mining American citizens as we watch the construction of the new NSA mega site in the wilds of Utah progress. I note for the record that the definition of the information mined does not address parameters of the meaning of "data" which the inquiring mind would include photos, e-mail, sites visited...the entire panoply of communication in all it's forms and functions. Do not underestimate that abilities and capabilities of the NSA. Additionally. do not underestimate the abilities of committed ideologues to "gerrymander" the elasticity of rules that govern the usage of NSA derived information. Susan Rice, National Security Advisor to the POTUS does not bode well for our privacy. If this administration had spent as much time and effort tracking the Boston Bombers as they do conservatives prior to election cycles we would have dodged the marathon bomb. Convince me we are not collateral damage on the progressive march to utopia.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

What would you like government to stop doing now that you can't trust it with anything?

now that.

Wow.

rhhardin said...

The Boston bombing is a media event, not serious damage.

Serious damage is a city disappearing.

Jay said...

What if fighting terror isn't their priority under the current leaders? What if their current priority is to damage their political enemies and secure their power?


Considering the Obama Administration declared an end to the GWOT, I'd say their priority is targeting their political enemies.

Oso Negro said...

First of all, let me include a heartfelt FUCK YOU to any government stooge reading this post!

With this salutation out of the way, I would like to ask if there is anyone who reads Althouse who sincerely doubts that such a vast information bank will be used for political purposes? Oh yes, they have internal safeguards! The operation is overseen by a judge! Really, anyone?

Tank said...

Why should we worry about our gov't collecting all of our data?

Con Man Zero?
Benghazi liar Clinton?
Benghazi liar Rice?
5th Amd Lerner?
Paid Liar Carney?
I don't recall Miller?

Hey, I trust these people to always do the right thing, don't you?

Once upon a time we had a great country. But it's their country now. Look at that list. It's THEIR country now.

If you become a problem, they'll crush you. And they have more and more tools to do it. Glad I'm old. Sorry for my kids. We've got a

DEAD COUNTRY WALKING.

Jay said...

I'm really not understanding how there is a relevant or sane critcism of Bush here.

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 the Patriot Act 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. So If you're looking to bash, or even bring up Bush, you're a silly partian hack.

bpm4532 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Cook said...

"I think the key here is: Don't switch to the aspect of this problem that is re-attacking Bush. That's what Greenwald wants, and I think the Obama administration's strategy may be to lure his critics out onto that territory. From there, he will have a good defense."

Good defense against what? That this is a continuation and expansion of Bush's crimes does not absolve Obama in the least. This demonstrates the continuation of abuse of power from one administration to the next if government violations of the law are not stopped once discovered. A state crime unprosecuted becomes formal state policy.

Bush was a criminal; Obama is a criminal. Greenwald does not focus on Bush's crimes to the exclusion of Obama's, or to excuse Obama. Greenwald critiques state crimes, no matter the actors.

Jay said...

Oh, and a Democratic Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act in July 2008, it included both immunity and a four-year extension of the government’s warrantless spying powers.

Aridog said...

Jay... what has occurred to WSJ editors is simple enough...they do NOT want the Rosen/Fox News treatment, which is highly likely if they don't kiss up. Common ownership makes it more probable. I am a WSJ subscriber and I have noticed a distinct leftward shift over that past 12 to 18 months.

Good grief, they even featured Gen McChrystal's peon to Americorps & civilian universal service expansion to military size ... precisely as Obama promised in 2008 & 9.

WSJ is now just another of the little directed newsy hobbits.

Bob Ellison said...

That's why I love you, Robert Cook. You're consistent.

damikesc said...

From what we know

Those four words seldom end up well in the Age of Obama.

That's what Greenwald wants, and I think the Obama administration's strategy may be to lure his critics out onto that territory. From there, he will have a good defense.

...except he sponsored legislation that would have made his current actions illegal.

phx said...

The IRS shows malevolent political intent, however; and a tool lying around will get used by Obama if he can get away with it.

I gather you think Obama was behind the IRS scandal then?

Larry J said...

Here's where the other Obama scandals come in. How do we know the government is dutifully concentrating on national security — fighting terrorists and not political enemies? That kind of mistrust matters, but it's not specific to the NSA program.

Remember how Homeland Security identified veterans and right-wing radicals (such as pro-life groups and those who believed in states rights) as their number one security threat? That happened on April 9, 2009. That's how Boston happened. They were looking at the wrong people.

Part of the reasons why 9/11/01 happened was a failure of imagination and failing to connect the dots. What with the political actions of the IRS and EPA (and no doubt other agencies) and massive surveillance of the US population, the government is going after its enemies, who happen to be us.

bpm4532 said...

The NSA leak does seem a bit convenient, but evidence that leaking to the US media doesn't guarantee they'll run with it ("How do you know they'll print it?" - All The President's Men)

I don't doubt the vast amount of data obtained by the federal government is very useful in it's pursuit of terrorists (hey, I do big data for a living), HOWEVER, the potential for this same data to be used for improper purposes is HUGE.

The need for this effort is a direct result of our feckless immigration and border control enforcement. We wouldn't have to search for so many "terrorists within" if we had been more careful about letting them come here in the first place.

What we should be REALLY concerned with is the administration and democrat attempts to declare opposition political groups as terrorists and conservatives in general as mentally ill. These rationalizations could be used by the current admin and partisans to unleash the full force of the NSA database against opponents and push for gun confiscation.

pm317 said...

How do we know the government is dutifully concentrating on national security — fighting terrorists and not political enemies?

THIS! With Obama this is the thing I am most concerned about. The pattern we can build using minimal data mining on Obama's past is that he digs up dirt on his opponents and saves it for his rainy day. The IRS scandal is all about that same pattern. I don't want governing to be reduced to that (also, think Patreaus).

Jay said...

Bringing up Bush (and I don't think this is what Greenwald is attempting to do) is nonsensical.

Note:

WASHINGTON—The National Security Agency's monitoring of Americans includes customer records from the three major phone networks as well as emails and Web searches, and the agency also has cataloged credit-card transactions, said people familiar with the agency's activities.
...
Everyone should just calm down and understand this isn't anything that is brand new,'' said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), who added that the phone-data program has "worked to prevent'' terrorist attacks.

Senate Intelligence Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) said the program is lawful and that it must be renewed by Congress every three months. She said the revelation about Verizon, reported by the London-based newspaper the Guardian, seemed to coincide with its latest renewal.


This is the Democrats baby.

Stop talking about Bush.

Pogo said...

"I thought it would be helpful for Democrats to be put in a position where they would need to..."

Whatever made you think the Democrats would accept responsibility for anything, ever?

Is there any evidence anywhere in the US of this occurring under Democratgovernance?

Were you unaware of the shitholes of Democrat-run Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Oakland, Philadelphia, and the entire fucked state of Calofornia?

Did they ever apologize for destroying those once great cities?
No.

Was there ever ever ever a Democrat mea culpa for their mistakes?
No.

Good God.
Every time I hit myself with a hammer, it hurts! Why?

Jer said...

What if this data mining uncovers patterns that reveal criminal activity, such as a drug ring? Will the FBI who must by law be the agency requesting the "wire tapping" ignore it since it does not involve national security? If they do use the information to go after the criminal enterprise, is that a violation of their rights? Will anyone even know that their rights were violated?

Or what if DHS under the Obama or other such ideological bent Administration, puts "right wing" Tea Party groups on some sort of "terrorist watch list" will their phone records find their way into some algorithm which allows special scrutiny? And once these phone records have been "targeted" for special monitoring will their contents be protected from abuse by political entities?

Nah, never happen. A climate of political abuse based on personal information obtained by Federal Agencies is simply paranoia....right?

Jay said...

I thought it would be helpful for Democrats to be put in a position where they would need to

That turned out swell, didn't it?

Pogo said...

phx said..."I gather you think Obama was behind the IRS scandal then?"

If only Dear Leader knew, these things would never have happened.

pm317 said...

One more thing, Obama and his minions are counting on WSJ and other righties to offer support and join in the chorus that Bush started it or did it too or worse yet, people proclaiming they voted for Obama exactly for this reason. It is a perfect situation that the right defends Obama, the left is muzzled and Greenwald ilk can go to hell because they feel disenchanted with their boyfriend and were duped into thinking Obama was anti-Bush. Another win-win for Obama.

MayBee said...

We knew the IRS was not targeting tea party groups because they told Congress they were not. So if the NSA says they aren't targeting regular people, I will believe them.

Jay said...

one reason I decided to vote for Barack Obama in 2008 was that I thought it would be helpful for Democrats to be put in a position where they would need to endorse things Bush chose to do to protect us from terrorist attack

The NASCAR and Tea Party dummies got it right and the "thinkers" who want to see Democrats have "helpful" outcomes, and the Juiceboxers or their fellow leftists got it wrong.

Mitchell the Bat said...

Student apathy is the problem.

Check out any college newspaper.

The Drill SGT said...

It's Scary as a political weapon, and could clearly be perfect to find leakers.

Let me describe the Bush era process, extrapolating from Vietnam era SIGINT techniques into AQ times. (For DOJ :) , I have never had access to prior or current NSA sources and methods)

aka Traffic Analysis

1. We capture Osama's cellphone and download his contact list.
2. that list goes onto an ongoing list of "bad numbers"
3. we collect the metadata on all the phone calls we can intercept world wide. Now there are not enough analysts in China to listen to 1 millionth of the conversations, but machines can. so
4. whenever a phone on the bad list makes a call, we roll the conversation to tape (well disk space), and the number called goes onto the Maybe list.
5 at this point, you are doing 2 things.
a. a computer is parsing every word on every call from bad list phones and kicks out to a linguist/analyst (aka Voice Intercept Operator) all calls with words from a bad word list (AQ, Bomb, AQ names, hijack, etc), and
b. you check the metadata for every call that the 'maybe' phones make looking for patterns
6 this analysis has three products.
a. actual intercept intel
b. tree diagrams that show the chain of command and the structure of covert cells, and
c. possible operational warnings of "something's going to happen, lets go roll up cells 1 and 3, it looks like they got an 'execute' order

Henry said...

The day after of D-Day, General Eisenhower ripped into Omar Bradley for not relaying information from the front.

Bradley protested "We radioed you every scrap of information we had".

"Only later did he learn that his hourly dispatches had piled up in Montgomery's radio room, where overwhelmed code clerks had fallen twelve hours behind in deciphering messages."

(The Guns at Last Light by Rick Atkinson)

What if gathering more information, without the filter of actual inculpatory evidence, actually makes finding terrorists more difficult?

The fact that digital information can be gathered doesn't mean it's useful. The fact that data-mining pulls up something, doesn't mean it pulls up the right thing.

We have surrounded ourselves in a fog of static and define success by discovering damp.

cubanbob said...

I think the key here is: Don't switch to the aspect of this problem that is re-attacking Bush. That's what Greenwald wants, and I think the Obama administration's strategy may be to lure his critics out onto that territory. From there, he will have a good defense."

That dog won't hunt. True Bush instituted it. But Obama fully implemented it. In the end all of these scandals will converge together. Obama is the boat anchor the democrats are tied to. If he goes down they go with him.

Nathan Alexander said...



I understand the protections built in to prevent the improper use of citizen information. They are much like the protections built into credit card payment systems for Presidential campaigns that prevent foreign payments. They are also similar to the strong Constitutional free speech protections that prevent the IRS from targeting people due to their political affiliations.

I understand that in the modern electronic age, you cannot provide a clear loophole for terrorists to exploit to target the US. So you must collect lots of information, some of it on US citizens that you will discard after determining it to not be of anti-terrorism value. Despite my snark in the above paragraph, there really are strong protections for citizens' privacy rights.

The reason for the snark, however, is that those who carry out the system must be committed to protecting those rights. There must be a motivation to do so.

Under President Bush, I was fully convinced that President Bush was doing it only to catch terrorists. There was no indication before, during, or after, that any citizenry info was retained or used inappropriately.

But President Obama shows no commitment to fighting terrorism. He changed the name of the War on Terror to Overseas Contingency Operations. His administration changed the focus from Islamic terrorism to home-grown, so-called "right wing" terrorism, and started calling terrorist acts "man-caused disasters".
President Obama also has shown little concern for international issues, in comparison to an obvious intense focus on domestic political issues. He has never stopped being in campaign mode. He has never stopped demonizing conservatives merely for holding our views. His supporters have incessantly labelled any opposition to his agenda as "racist".
The EPA charges fees to conservative groups that it waives for liberals. The IRS targets conservative groups, and pressures at least one to stop protesting Planned Parenthood. In response to Benghazi, the DoJ leaked personal information about a filmmaker, who was jailed on an unrelated pretext in order to scapegoat and punish him for exercising free speech in order to cover for Administration mistakes.
In the 2012 campaign, the Obama administration used data-mining techniques on its supporters to maximize the effectiveness of campaigning and funds, and then won in extremely narrow margins in battleground states where all sorts of voting shenanigans occurred (democrat poll workers voting multiple times in Ohio, campaign managers demonstrating knowledge of how to effectively vote fraudulently in others' names in Virginia, conservative poll watchers illegally thrown out of polling locations in Pennsylvania, Democratic campaign manager forced to resign for vote fraud in Florida, and more).
So I have no confidence that this information was properly handled. I have every fear, with evidence to match, that the Obama administration deliberately sought this information for improper purposes, in order to continue to target conservatives and force them out of the public debate, in order to expand Democrat party power and fundamentally transform the nation (finally, a campaign promise he actually didn't break!) into a social justice utopia (meaning: totalitarian police state).

Aridog said...

Oso Negro said...

With this salutation out of the way, I would like to ask if there is anyone who reads Althouse who sincerely doubts that such a vast information bank will be used for political purposes? ... Really, anyone?

I would love to say, yes I believe...BUT, as a former "Fed" I must say the information will absolutely be used for political purposes. There are no content & context filters in place precisely for that reason.

As a former user of a "dot-mil" address, before retirement no so long ago, I know, with certainty, that every word I said or was said to me over that medium is cached, including content. I am still in touch with former colleagues now and then, on a consultant basis, at dot-mil site and everything I say is cached. If I proof read something I have to go in to the properties and remove any edit attributions, by changing the attributed name to my contact's name, even in Adobe Acrobat Pro, AutoCAD, and all of MS Office programs.

I had to fire a young subordinate for what he was saying, via dot-mil email, to his estranged wife about her fucking a Commanding General...which she was doing. Said General was put out to pasture, one rank lower, after a brief leave at the Walter Reed funny farm. Everything was cached...just as it was for the revelation of General Petraeus' interludes.

This habit of gathering up mega amounts of information has been going on for a long, long, time. The shear size of data gathered makes delineation and sorting of it nearly impossible...the government is good at gathering, not so good at filtering, sorting and other database compatibility for queries. In short, they miss a lot. Hello Boston.

bagoh20 said...

Just because it makes sense to have people armed to protect you does not mean that any armed person is a benefit.

The idea that we should give our collective weaponry (political power) to people who are either untested or whom's values are not in line with the protection of our civil rights is downright brainless. I continue to maintain that the reasoning used to give that power to Barack Obama was just an excuse to avoid being the gal that voted against the first black President, who also happened to be in the friendly persona of a law academic. Once that need was accepted, the justification followed.

bagoh20 said...

It's not the data mining that's the problem, it's what it's used for. Guns don't kill - people do.

Mark O said...

To suggest that "political overreaction" is the real danger is rich beyond imagination.

Government power is always dangerous. The Bill of Rights is a social contract about how much danger and criminality we are prepared to accept in return for essential freedom.

In "wartime" exceptional measures may be temporarily necessary. Things are markedly different from 2001. Does this program actually work? How can we know? What can we know about what is collected and how it is used.

Overreach? That's just not serious.

Illuninati said...

Althouse wrote:
"It became very important to fight terrorism after 9/11, and one reason I decided to vote for Barack Obama in 2008 was that I thought it would be helpful for Democrats to be put in a position where they would need to endorse things Bush chose to do to protect us from terrorist attacks. This is what we are seeing now."

Lets see now. The Democrats demagogued about national defense and for political gain refuse to cooperate with Bush in common sense ideas so you give them the entire government hoping they will suddenly turn responsible? That is a big gamble.

Did it work? Yes, if you ignore the hundreds of dead Americans in Afghanistan as we pull out and turn the country back to the country to the Taliban. In the Middle East Obama did indeed double down on Bush's democracy project. He went much further by rejecting almost every ally we had and instead embracing the Muslim brotherhood.

The real question is, have the Democrats learned anything from the recent past? The answer is yes but not the lesson you were trying to teach them. Instead, they have learned that if they act against our national self interest for their own political gain they will be rewarded with more power.

Althouse said:
"Here's where the other Obama scandals come in. How do we know the government is dutifully concentrating on national security — fighting terrorists and not political enemies? That kind of mistrust matters, but it's not specific to the NSA program. It undermines everything government does."

Very well stated. The answer is obvious. Of course Obama's administration is using the information they are gathering for political purposes. If they are rewarded with the House and Senate at the next election, Obama will have fundamentally transformed the country just like he promised. His party will have discovered that they will pay no price for massive civil rights violations using the IRS etc. just as they have paid no price for politicizing national defense.

jacksonjay said...


Jay sez:

I'm really not understanding how there is a relevant or sane critcism of Bush here.

Keywords there are relevant and sane!

But Bush,... seem to be the magic words with Democrats, lefties and the media! Even though Saint Barry was the anti-Bush, every misstep now is addressed with "Bush did it too!"

Re-visit crazy Maxine and her recent comments on the "data base" that Obama created!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPctbujbux4

Jay said...

Althouse said:
"Here's where the other Obama scandals come in. How do we know the government is dutifully concentrating on national security — fighting terrorists and not political enemies? That kind of mistrust matters, but it's not specific to the NSA program. It undermines everything government does."


The men who founded America knew this would happen if we gave government vast powers.

People like you Ann, continue to support giving the government vast powers.

You're a lot late to the party.

bagoh20 said...

Information technology has gotten ahead of us. This info will always be available to use later to derail a political campaign or intimidate and blackmail. If it exist, we all know there is someone who wants to use it for bad purposes. I would have no problem with it being collected if it just wasn't in the hands of human beings, especially elected political animals.

I can imagine a system that could make it safe, but we clearly don't have that now, and it would be a miraculous invention with no prior art.

Nathan Alexander said...

@phx,
I gather you think Obama was behind the IRS scandal then?

I gather you think the IRS actions weren't what Obama wanted? You think high-level White House advisers would act in this manner (not stopping it, not telling President Obama, and deliberately concealing the information until after the re-election) without authorization from the President?

What kind of Presidency does that indicate?
What kind of sense of responsibility does that imply President Obama has/lacks?

Remember what President Obama's solution is to every problem?

He gives a speech.

Now, why would he think giving a speech would make a difference, unless he expects people to act on his speeches? And the IRS, EPA, DoJ, HHS, et al, did.

Please explain, in detail, how establishing a White House administration that deliberately conceals information of wrongdoing from the President, reflects any better on President Obama than if he gave a direct order.

Jay said...

It undermines everything government does

Sure it does.

And let me say, thanks to the left growing government in areas in neither belongs and would never be capable, the public no longer trusts the government in areas it actually should function - police, military, diplomacy, etc.

bagoh20 said...

"I thought it would be helpful for Democrats to be put in a position where they would need to endorse things Bush chose to do to protect us from terrorist attacks. This is what we are seeing now."

Yes, what we are seeing now is how bad an idea that was, even though it was entirely predicted and ignored.

Just apologize. You're acting like a man who refuses to accept that he's lost, and instead of admitting it and asking for directions, keeps driving the wrong way hoping a sign will pop up justifying his mistake. You're just getting more lost.

Inga said...



"This habit of gathering up mega amounts of information has been going on for a long, long, time. The shear size of data gathered makes delineation and sorting of it nearly impossible...the government is good at gathering, not so good at filtering, sorting and other database compatibility for queries. In short, they miss a lot. Hello Boston. "

------------------------------

There you have it, says it all. Going on for a long long time. Why did Bush deserve trust anymore than Obama? Anyone who believes Bush was only fighting terror is deluding themselves. So basically what Nathan Alexander and others here think....... It was OK when Bush did it, but not Obama. Same old bullshit.

PS, don't tie Bush to this! It's only a distraction, oh my lord.

phx said...

Okay so Nathan Alexander doesn't believe Obama knew about the IRS scandal but is culpable because he didn't know about the IRS scandal.

Others indicate they believe Obama actually knew and I guess gave the green light on IRS scandal.

Just getting my garden varieties straight. After all the how of Obama's responsibility is no small thing is it?

Jay said...

Aridog said...
Jay... what has occurred to WSJ editors is simple enough...they do NOT want the Rosen/Fox News treatment, which is highly likely if they don't kiss up


Totally agree.

And since Verizon is big in the federal government contracting space, I'm hard pressed to see how they have any choice in the NSA matter.

Jay said...

Why did Bush deserve trust anymore than Obama?

Hysterical ignorance.

Jay said...

Anyone who believes Bush was only fighting terror is deluding themselves.

Proof?

Jay said...

phx said...
Okay so Nathan Alexander doesn't believe Obama knew about the IRS scandal but is culpable because he didn't know about the IRS scandal.


You are so fucking dumb it is embarrassing.

Steve Koch said...

"What would you like government to stop doing now that you can't trust it with anything?"

Looks like Althouse is starting to get the risk to our liberty that a powerful fed gov poses. Good for her, better late than never.

People are inherently corrupt, power corrupts, the great the power, the greater the corruption. It is incredibly difficult to devise a governmental system that preserves citizens' liberty and is not corrupt. Throughout history, governments have usually oppressed their citizens. Our founders were wise men who understood that governments are inherently tyrannical. To preserve our liberty, they invented our sublime constitution. We've strayed far from the constitution and consequently we are progressing rapidly toward a dictatorship.

Our best shot at preserving our liberty is restoring constitutional government. This means restoring federalism, doing as little as possible at the federal level, removal of activist judges and reversal of activist judicial decrees, the legislative branch thoroughly reviewing the executive branch, and near total transparency in gov operations. It is all about balance of power via constitutionally defined checks and balances. The constitution tells how to preserve our liberty, we just have to be humble and wise enough to transcend our petty partisan issues and focus on restoring constitutional government.


As difficult as it is to keep our government from becoming an oppressive dictatorship, that is still orders of magnitude easier than recovering our liberty once we lose it.

rhhardin said...

Say the NSA program hasn't been subverted into political skullduggery, then it's a nice distraction from the IRS program which is.

bagoh20 said...

I agree we should throw Bush out of office along with his Obama puppet. Who voted for the damned puppet anyway?

Kelly said...

When I supported the patriot act I had no idea they were going to cast such a wide net. I thought they would suspect someone of terrorism and monitor their phone calls after gaining approval from the FISA court. Not half the country for no other reason than to go on a fishing expedition.

We know now how Petraeus was probably caught having an affair, don't we? We also know the kind of dirt this administration must have on all their political enemies. No wonder so many are so quiet.

For me, at least, the question has been answered as to how Obama was reelected.

bagoh20 said...

I have to admit I had no idea how dangerous Bush was. He seems to control the levers of government perpetually from a bicycle in Texas. That's good use of technology. When we saw Obama in his mom jeans riding that bike like a girl, we should have known he was just a Bush puppet. Puppets never really look like real people.

C Stanley said...

If the NSA's version of a computer science department operates like the rest of FISA, the government is cautious to ensure that its searches are narrowly tailored and specific protocols are reviewed by FISA judges.

We already know that the administration went judge shopping to get a warrant on Rosen (third time was the charm, apparently) so I think we can dispense with the pretense that protocols are being followed by cautious judges.

Aridog said...

Dear Inga ... conflate much?

There you have it, says it all. Going on for a long long time. Why did Bush deserve trust ....

A "long long time" goes back much further than Bush, but you just have to tag it to Bush. My direct and first hand experience dates back to Clinton in what we might call the modern era....at least where my experience was global versus provincial or parochial.

It is NOT who does it that makes it right or wrong. You seem to have trouble with that concept.

C Stanley said...

Bagoh, I think the bicycle is a rd herring. Clearly Busg is using encrypted messages in his paintings.

Cedarford said...

Pogo said...
"I thought it would be helpful for Democrats to be put in a position where they would need to..."

Whatever made you think the Democrats would accept responsibility for anything, ever?

Is there any evidence anywhere in the US of this occurring under Democratgovernance?

Were you unaware of the shitholes of Democrat-run Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Oakland, Philadelphia, and the entire fucked state of Calofornia?

Did they ever apologize for destroying those once great cities?
No.

=====================
To be fair, it isn't so much about Democrats as it is about race. It's about blacks turning what they politically control into shitholes.

To the extent elements of 3rd, 4th Gen Hispanic groups adopt black cultural values, they turn those places into parasitic, filthy, crime-ridden shitholes as well.

On the other hand, where you have long-time Democrat cities without a critical concentration of blacks or hispanics with underclass black values acquired...you have some fairly nice places like Seattle, Madison, Portland, Honolulu, Boston.(except for the black areas, of course)

Go abroad and the same pattern is seen - Port au Prince, Lagos, Nassau, the 3rd world suburbs of Paris vs. liberal cities without the blacks. Or in conservative or post communist cities and nations not saddled with black majorities. Beijing works, Riyadh works, Mogodishu does not, nor Nairobi.

Perhaps it is racist, but it is all too obvious to ignore. And most of the damage to those cities happened after civil rights acts and welfare and open immigration were available.
But it is not a phenomenon the Democrat Party of the United States is responsible for, save as enablers.

Aridog said...

Bagoh20 at 8:51 AM for the win!!

Nathan Alexander said...

You know you are landing solid hits when both phx and Inga have to mis-state your point to stay in the conversation.

Hey, phx, it has been proven that at least two top White House aides knew about the IRS scandal in 2010.

By what logic would they not tell Obama about it?

So it isn't that I think Obama didn't know. I'm building the case, using reason and logic (which you claim to appreciate), that either Obama knew (which is bad), or he deliberately set up a system where he could claim plausible deniability (he knew, but not the details).

Only an incompetent or corrupt staff would NOT inform their boss of wrongdoings of this level.

Only an incompetent or corrupt leader would surround himself with such a pervasive incompetent or corrupt staff.

One can't prove whether someone knows something or not. I can't prove you understood what I wrote. I can't even prove you read it. What I can prove is that you didn't address the central point. Your response that mentions my name proves you noticed my post...but still doesn't prove you read or understood it.

What we can determine is: would a good leader with reasonable policies and even just mediocre staff know about the IRS scandal in 2010.

Yes. Without a doubt.

So it isn't whether Obama knew or not.

The question is: uf he didn't know, why the hell not? Is there any circumstance in which not knowing makes him any less responsible? Is there any plausible reason the President would not know about extensive wrongdoing in the IRS that was reported to multiple individuals on the President's advisory staff, especially when two of the top IRS leaders visited the White House more than 100 times each?

phx, you claim to appreciate and use reason.

Use it in this case. Show your work. Stop being such a partisan shill.

bagoh20 said...

Are there any violations of constitutional rights that have been done by past Presidents that this one has left out. I don't think so, and we aren't even really at war. But since they have all been done before, a lot of people are saying it's cool because this administration is just bringing it all together in a beautiful montage. I am impressed with the breadth and variety included in the work in five short years. Ambitious yet complete.

Jay said...

Inga said...
There you have it, says it all. Going on for a long long time.


How would you know?

Nathan Alexander said...

@phx,
I repeat:
Please explain, in detail, how establishing a White House administration that deliberately conceals information of wrongdoing from the President, reflects any better on President Obama than if he gave a direct order.

What are you afraid of?

Give reason a try.

Jay said...

Inga said...

There you have it, says it all. Going on for a long long time. Why did Bush deserve trust anymore than Obama? Anyone who believes Bush was only fighting terror is deluding themselves. So basically what Nathan Alexander and others here think....... It was OK when Bush did it, but not Obama


This is pretty weak and pathetic, even by your standards.

Note: what the Bush NSA did is not what the Obama NSA is doing.

Your dumbass responses are silly and predictable.

Inga said...

No Aridog, I've accepted that concept, seems Nathan Alexander is the one expressing placing trust in his government of choice, not I. I'm all for getting rid of the Patriot Act and other methods of a country spying on its citizens.

Senator Feingold, a Democrat was also.

Inga said...

And dumbass Jay, of course.

Illuninati said...

Inga said:
"There you have it, says it all. Going on for a long long time. Why did Bush deserve trust anymore than Obama?"

Because Bush is a decent person with a moral core. Obama is a leftist ideologue.

cubanbob said...

A fish rots from the head. Look at the people Obama surrounds himself with. Two more years of this and we will be wishing for a man like Richard Nixon again. At least Nixon had enough of a conscious he couldn't lie without sweating. I wonder who in the government today is the new J. Edgar Hoover who knows all of the dirty secrets.

Nathan Alexander said...

Clearly, I was correct in my assumption that it was pointless to ask Inga to use reason.

She's glommed onto a complete misinterpretation of what I said, and experience has shown she is impervious to facts or logic once that happens.

Inga said...

Aridog said....

"Oso Negro said...

With this salutation out of the way, I would like to ask if there is anyone who reads Althouse who sincerely doubts that such a vast information bank will be used for political purposes? ... Really, anyone?"
-----------------------------
"I would love to say, yes I believe...BUT, as a former "Fed" I must say the information will absolutely be used for political purposes. There are no content & context filters in place precisely for that reason.

As a former user of a "dot-mil" address, before retirement no so long ago, I know, with certainty, that every word I said or was said to me over that medium is cached, including content. I am still in touch with former colleagues now and then, on a consultant basis, at dot-mil site and everything I say is cached. If I proof read something I have to go in to the properties and remove any edit attributions, by changing the attributed name to my contact's name, even in Adobe Acrobat Pro, AutoCAD, and all of MS Office programs.

I had to fire a young subordinate for what he was saying, via dot-mil email, to his estranged wife about her fucking a Commanding General...which she was doing. Said General was put out to pasture, one rank lower, after a brief leave at the Walter Reed funny farm. Everything was cached...just as it was for the revelation of General Petraeus' interludes.

This habit of gathering up mega amounts of information has been going on for a long, long, time. The shear size of data gathered makes delineation and sorting of it nearly impossible...the government is good at gathering, not so good at filtering, sorting and other database compatibility for queries. In short, they miss a lot. Hello Boston. "

6/7/13, 8:22 AM
-------------------------------

Reposted in its entirety for Jay, Aridog said it, that's who, did you not read his comment?

bagoh20 said...

The more appropriate question is if you didn't trust Bush with this power, why do you trust Obama with it now. Asking the reverse question is useless. If we stop the puppet now, the puppeteer will be powerless and probably just be riding a bike.

Jay said...

Reposted in its entirety for Jay, Aridog said it, that's who, did you not read his comment?

Hysterical.

Can you point out the part about the NSA tracking call information in that post?

Can you point out the part about the NSA saving information on Web searches in that post?

I can't wait to read all about it!

Idiot.

Calypso Facto said...

Say the NSA program hasn't been subverted into political skullduggery

Somewhere out there is an NSA alert precipitated by the phone/email traffic pattern of a Tea Party group (probably aided by word recognition when someone at the fringe threw out a "blood of patriots" quote). I guarantee it.

Finding that investigation file (even if it was eventually correctly labeled as a non-threat) would be devastating to the appearance of non-partisanship.

Inga said...

Inga said:
"There you have it, says it all. Going on for a long long time. Why did Bush deserve trust anymore than Obama?"
-------------------
"Because Bush is a decent person with a moral core. Obama is a leftist ideologue."

6/7/13, 9:03 AM

There you have it. "My choice of President is different and better than yours. "

FOOL. That makes YOU an ideologue.

Jay said...

Inga doesn't understand that the military (and all government agencies) saving their own emails is not the same as the NSA saving record data from phone and Internet companies.

That's funny.

Jay said...

There you have it. "My choice of President is different and better than yours.

Right dumbshit, because it isn't as if the Obama Administration has lied regarding:

Fast & Furious
Benghazi
the IRS scandal
The NSA's activities

You're really, really fucking stupid.

DADvocate said...

Secret surveillance approved by a secret court and we're supposed to trust all is OK. Franz Kafka, where are you?

Jay said...

Inga said...

FOOL. That makes YOU an ideologue.



By the way, you not being able to see that you saying "Bush did it too" which is a lie, and then posting that drivel is comedy gold.

bagoh20 said...

The Right has be correct about nearly every warning about this President, and the Lefts reassurances or dismissal proven naive. You would think that the lefties here would start noticing like some of their slow but honest friends in the Press have.

Jay said...

Nathan Alexander said...

What are you afraid of?


phx will either:

A) Need time to think about this

B) Ignore it

C) respond with a silly Non sequitur.

MayBee said...

There's just no reason for all of this to be secret. The government should be clear about their policy and let the American people debate it and vote accordingly.

Aridog said...

Inga said...

No Aridog, I've accepted that concept...

Sure you have. That is why you mentioned Bush specifically, right?

Jay said...

Even the ACLU understands what Inga does not:

“In many ways it’s even more troubling than [Bush era] warrantless wiretapping, in part because the program is purely domestic,” says Alex Abdo, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project.”But this is also an indiscriminate dragnet. Say what you will about warrantless wiretapping, at least it was targeted at agents of Al Qaeda. This includes every customer of Verizon Business Services.”

Hilarity.

Anyone saying "Bush did it too" is a silly, ignorant hack or lying.

cubanbob said...

No Aridog, I've accepted that concept, seems Nathan Alexander is the one expressing placing trust in his government of choice, not I. I'm all for getting rid of the Patriot Act and other methods of a country spying on its citizens. "

Inga you are missing the point. This spying business goes back to the Clinton Administration. I suppose the father of all of this is the FBI program code-named Carnivore. That said the issue here is the abuse of power and on that the democrats are always worse than republicans. Not because republicans are inantely more moral than democrats but because republicans aren't in the business of transforming government and society and thus needing the tools and powers to do so.

phx said...

Hey, phx, it has been proven that at least two top White House aides knew about the IRS scandal in 2010.

2010? Wait. Which top staffers knew this?

Jay said...

Inga is an exemplary "low information voter"

A bunch of disparate facts become entirely confusing for Inga.

Hilarity.

garage mahal said...

Jay DEEPLY cares about the data collection. Why, he's been fighting this fight for years. Really, he has!

Inga said...

Nope Nathan, I understand the point of your entire sermon ......" Believe in my God, yours is a fake". You haven't grasped the message that the power of government should not be used to further your own parties agenda to the detriment of the rest of America. The party in power has a responsibily to govern us all..... Responsibly and equally.

bagoh20 said...

"There you have it. "My choice of President is different and better than yours. "

FOOL. That makes YOU an ideologue."
?

Well, it could actually be true you know.

Assuming that every President is equal is not exactly bright, but I know it's a liberal mantra that we are all equal, except when they want to punish or idolize someone, which is pretty much all the time.

This is the left's fatal flaw. All people are weak. We all rarely pass up easy power or advantage over others. It's natural for our species. The founders understood this. We simply can't trust each other with some things. Human's keep needing to learn this over and over at great expense.

phx said...

phx will either:

A) Need time to think about this

B) Ignore it

C) respond with a silly Non sequitur.


It's my fanboi.

elkh1 said...

...but hasn't Obama declared Bush's War on Terror was over?

No war, no snooping.

Bet the Boston bombing brothers did not use Verizon.

Btw, Poindexter's data mining operation was never approved by Congress and Bush was pilloried by Democrat's propaganda machine for over reaching. But Obama could trick the court for whatever warrants he wants to snoop on whomever he likes.

Unfortunately, all that snooping and data mining failed when NSA spelled a known terrorist's name wrong. How stupid are they? How stupid do they think we are?

Jay said...

phx said...

It's my fanboi.


Notice your continued intellectual cowardice.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...
Jay DEEPLY cares about the data collection.


You voted for this, twice, stupid shit.

Aridog said...

Inga ... nice try with that Aridog / Oso Negro re-posting.

Pity you didn't understand a word I wrote.

Jay is dead right that military practices do not justify NSA doing the same, or more, with everyone.

No where did I say it did....I merely cited an example of how the record caching can be used for other than originally intended purposes....e.g., security.

Nathan Alexander said...

Inga,
Please demonstrate where I said "believe in my God, yours is a fake."

If not, I guess you are lying.

Again.

garage mahal said...

You voted for this, twice, stupid shit.

So did you.

Jay said...

Notice phx didn't answer the question posed.

Gee, I wonder why that is?

phx said...

Notice your continued intellectual cowardice.

No. I didn't. But anytime you are up for an intellectual debate instead of this fanboi faggotry of yours, let me know.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...


So did you.


Uh, no I didn't.

Go take your silly "Bush did it" lies somewhere else, stupid fuck.

Nathan Alexander said...

phx will either:

A) Need time to think about this

B) Ignore it

C) respond with a silly Non sequitur.

It's my fanboi.


Ah, you went with a combination of "B" and "C".
Good choice.

Jay said...

phx said...

No. I didn't. But anytime you are up for an intellectual debate instead of this fanboi faggotry of yours,


Hysterical.

You're like totally capable of making reasoned arguments.

You are.

And you're super-duper at critical thinking too!

phx said...

Well let's compare critical thinking skills, Jay.

Jay said...

Me: 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. So If you're looking to bash, or even bring up Bush, you're a silly partian hack.

Garage: Bush did it too!

Comedy gold.

Big Mike said...

I question whether there's any such thing as a "suspicious pattern." But what the call logs can tell us via a technique called link analysis is who is connected to whom and how strongly. If I regularly telephone or exchange Emails with a number of tea party activists, then the administration could (would!) conclude from that fact that I am sympathetic with the Tea Party. If I regularly speak with liberals and the only Tea Party people I exchange phone calls with are immediate neighbors, the conclusion could be reached that I am sympathetic with the aims of the administration.

Since the administration in general and folks like Valerie Jarrett, Janet Napolitano, Eric Holder, and Barack Obama in particular regard the Tea Party as a form of terrorist organization, no doubt the administration feels perfectly justified in searching out Tea Party sympathizers.

Jay said...

phx said...
Well let's compare critical thinking skills, Jay.


Considering I can predict your responses, and this is because you're, well, dumb, let's not.

garage mahal said...

Go take your silly "Bush did it" lies somewhere else, stupid fuck.

Hahahaha. You don't give a fuck about data collection, nor do you want to end it, you just want to whine and make a big deal out of it.

Troll along, hack.

Nathan Alexander said...

Okay, phx, since you claim you want an intellectual debate, I repeat:

Please explain, in detail, how establishing a White House administration that deliberately conceals information of wrongdoing from the President, reflects any better on President Obama than if he gave a direct order.

bagoh20 said...

" The party in power has a responsibily to govern us all..... Responsibly and equally."

They do, of course, but that's like saying I should be able to leave my car unlocked and not lose anything. It's just foolish.

We have laws and locks because of this. The Party in power has to be forced to respect the laws and locks, not just be trusted. We are responsible to make sure we are governed fairly, not the politicians, whoever they are.

Do your job. Hold them responsible. Don't just say it. That's like putting a sticky note on your unlocked car that says "Locked - do not steal", and then telling yourself you acted responsibly.

phx said...

Well let's compare critical thinking skills, Jay.

Considering I can predict your responses, and this is because you're, well, dumb, let's not.


Intellectual cowardice indeed.

Nathan Alexander said...

@phx,
Go ahead and take it as a hypothetical.

I want your answer on record before we move to repeating for Low Information readers which top White House aides knew, and when.

Jay said...

phx said...
Well let's compare critical thinking skills, Jay.


Uh, ok!

phx said...

I think that's kind of sweet. Jay's hanging on to my post from a month ago. He's reposting it!

These guys'll be suckin my dick in no time.

6/6/13, 9:13 PM


No go get a waffle and run along troll.

cubanbob said...

Garage welcome back. How was the bender?

Phx, Inga et all after claming for years how horrible Bush was why are you still carrying water for Obama when it is crystal clear Obama is far worse?

Jay said...

garage mahal said...
Hahahaha. You don't give a fuck about data collection, nor do you want to end it,


I'm not the one here "criticizing" Obama by dishonestly saying "Bush did it too" stupid shit.

Inga said...

Nope Aridog, i understood exactly what you said, I REPEAT,

"Nope Nathan, I understand the point of your entire sermon ......" Believe in my God, yours is a fake". You haven't grasped the message that the power of government should not be used to further your own parties agenda to the detriment of the rest of America. The party in power has a responsibily to govern us all..... Responsibly and equally."

6/7/13, 9:20 AM
------------------------------
It seems that you are trying hard to keep me in a box of your own making. I understand full well that Clinton and probably even Bush senior before him were doing it also, doesn't make it any different or more right, does it?

Nathan Alexander said...

@phx,
I notice you prefer to accuse Jay of intellectual cowardice rather than showing intellectual courage of answering my question.

Clever.

Jay said...

phx said...


Intellectual cowardice indeed.


Hysterical.

Why don't you show off your super critical thinking skills by answering Nathan's question?

Really, it will like totally blow us all away!

Jay said...

The author of "These guys'll be suckin my dick in no time." is like super intellectual with mad critical thinkin' skillz!!!!!

phx said...

Please explain, in detail, how establishing a White House administration that deliberately conceals information of wrongdoing from the President, reflects any better on President Obama than if he gave a direct order.

I never argued that. I wanted to know where you, or anyone else who held Obama responsible for the IRS crisis were on that.

So you're backing away from your assertion that it's been proven two WH aides knew about what the IRS was doing in 2010? I don't know, I was asking but now it sounds like you meant "hypothetically".

Big Mike said...

The Bush program, from what we know, focused on calls outside the country.

Perfectly true. Once in the country the perpetrators of 9/11 repeatedly telephoned houses known to be involved in terrorism. As the laws stood prior to the Patriot Act the NSA was forbidden to intercept them since they originated in the US. And Democrats went bananas, at least until Obama took power and used them to attack Republicans.

phx said...

The author of "These guys'll be suckin my dick in no time." is like super intellectual with mad critical thinkin' skillz!!!!!

Put up or shut up Jay. Otherwise go troll someone else, you intellectual warrior.

Jay said...

phx said...

I never argued that.


Nobody said you "argued" that you big critical thinker.

You were asked a question.

Now answer it you fucking coward.

cubanbob said...

I think that's kind of sweet. Jay's hanging on to my post from a month ago. He's reposting it!"

Jay he might have a point if:
A: you lean that way.
B: he has a dick big enough to suck. So far there is no evidence to support A or B.

Jay said...

phx said...

Put up or shut up Jay.


Hilarious.

I think it is funny that you actually believe nobody can realize you're doing this because you won't answer the question posed.

You too, are an exemplary low information voter.

phx said...

Why don't you show off your super critical thinking skills by answering Nathan's question?

Seriously @Jay, Nathan and I have this. Take your pussy trolling somewhere else.

Jay said...

As the laws stood prior to the Patriot Act the NSA was forbidden to intercept them since they originated in the US. And Democrats went bananas

No, no, no Big Mike, you don't understand.

Bush did it too!!! And if you don't accept that (silly) assertion by inga and garagie, you're like a tea party wingnutz!!!!

Big Mike said...

The party in power has a responsibily [sic] to govern us all..... Responsibly and equally.

The Democrats of the 21st century regard this notion as quaint, Inga. If you can't grasp that I don't know what you can grasp.

phx said...

I think it is funny that you actually believe nobody can realize you're doing this because you won't answer the question posed.

You're the one running, puss puss.

Jay said...

phx said...

Seriously @Jay, Nathan and I have this


Right.

You've only been asked 3 times, and not yet responded.

You silly pedophile you.

garage mahal said...

I'm not the one here "criticizing" Obama by dishonestly saying "Bush did it too" stupid shit.

It's wasn't just Bush, it was Congress. It's now Obama, and Congress.

I'm for repealing all this horseshit. Patriot, NDAA, AUMF, even FISA.

Are you, or do you just want to whine about it on blogs?

Cedarford said...

bagoh20 said...
It's not the data mining that's the problem, it's what it's used for. Guns don't kill - people do.

===============
Asshole libertarians want the latest weapons and intel technology in people's hands, but not the evil gummints.

Conservatives want that in people's hands, with limits...but everything technologically available for their Hero cops and Hero private 1st class fobbits in the military.

Liberals distrust intel and weapons in people's hands - save the "right sort of people" - wealthy Democrat donors, bodyguards for Hollywood celebs.But want all the "Heroes" in government want - and their list of Heroes of Government is far more expansive than the conservatives beloved hero cops and hero soldiers, which should only get it begrudgingly.

I detest the libertarian "slipperly slope" argument though. About banning any new useful things because they might be abused by somebody in government some day.

An argument they do not apply to Freedom Lovers!!! - having .50 cal Barretts or 200 round ammo drums. Or extensive computer databases in the hands of Freedom loving!! - private companies.

Which is that anything new that government uses to stop crime and terrorism is bad because it "might" lead one day to jack-booted storm troopers braging into houses taking fingerprints, dna swabs, and mounting CCTVs in peoples living rooms and bedroom.

Me, I sort of like the idea that we are taking "Liberty Destroying!" DNA swabs of felons and putting them on file and also looking at the DNA of past unsolved crimes. Or that we have an extensive, computerized fingerprint database. I don't hate the evil gummint having CSI forensics technology. Or that we are able to use phone records - if not to stop every terrorist attack - to at least in the aftermath of an attack or arrests made in the planning stage - dig into all known associates of the bad guys. To cast the net wide.

phx said...

@Jay but anytime you feel you can stand your ground using your intellect with me, let me know.

Big Mike said...

@Jay, read my comment at 9:28. I only telephone liberals, not Tea Party members.

elkh1 said...

They must find a way not to misspell a known terrorist's name though. And to data-mine disposable cell phones.

They try to control guns from law abiding citizens, but can't do a thing about the guns used by criminals. They run surveillance of law abiding citizens, but can't do a thing about a known terrorist using disposable cell phones.

Jay said...


phx said...
Well let's compare critical thinking skills, Jay.


Uh, ok!

phx said...

Thanks for checking into it a little deeper. I count on people with credibility doing the work - I confess to being a little lazy and usually not all that interested. But it's good to hear.
5/10/13, 6:02 PM

Jay said...

phx said...
@Jay but anytime you feel you can stand your ground using your intellect with me,


Comedy gold.

phx said...

You silly pedophile you.

@Jay. Three times I challenged you to debate me. Three times you declined. Now you call me a pedophile.

GTFOH with your pure faggotry fanboi worship.

Go back to the little leagues.

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

I'm not interested in you.

edutcher said...

The issue here is less the data mining than it's a data collection effort of unprecedented scale. As Hotair notes, In other words, they’re not collecting all the data — but they’re surveilling all of it... They can look into anything transmitted or stored on or through the servers, and pick and choose what they keep.

Inga said...

There you have it, says it all. Going on for a long long time. Why did Bush deserve trust anymore than Obama? Anyone who believes Bush was only fighting terror is deluding themselves. So basically what Nathan Alexander and others here think....... It was OK when Bush did it, but not Obama. Same old bullshit.

As always, the She Devil of the SS wants to play the "Bush's fault" card.

Too bad it doesn't fly. Again, HotAir notes, "It started under Bush, but as the Post makes clear, has grown 'exponentially' since then". PRISM is "described the new tool as the most prolific contributor to the President’s Daily Brief, which cited PRISM data in 1,477 articles last year. According to the briefing slides, obtained by The Washington Post, 'NSA reporting increasingly relies on PRISM' as its leading source of raw material, accounting for nearly 1 in 7 intelligence reports".

So this one belongs to Choom, once again.

Inga said...

"It's wasn't just Bush, it was Congress. It's now Obama, and Congress.

I'm for repealing all this horseshit. Patriot, NDAA, AUMF, even FISA.

Are you, or do you just want to whine about it on blogs?"

6/7/13, 9:38 AM

Presicely. Repeal them all.
Yes they just want to whine and cry and ...... "Because Obama did it!"...... "but I really like it when MY party of choice does it."

bagoh20 said...

"I detest the libertarian "slipperly slope" argument though. About banning any new useful things because they might be abused by somebody in government some day."

Good - so to libertarians. You are a libertarian "hero" now.

Jay said...

phx said...

@Jay. Three times I challenged you to debate me. Three times you declined


I have not "declined"

I have said "ok" twice and I'm using your own comments to show you're a fucking dumbass.

Big Mike said...

@garage, @phx, @Inga, there are two differences between George W. Bush and the Patriot Act under Bush versus what the Obama administration has done now.

(1) Under Bush the Patriot Act swept up calls where either the sender or receiver was outside the United States. This sweep picks up all calls, period. Note that even before the Patriot Act federal law enforcement had the right to examine call logs for specific individuals who were under investigation (e.g., as the Tsarnaev brothers should have been under investigation).

(2) No one. Let me repeat, NO ONE, has ever alleged that George W. Bush or Karl Rove or John McCain or anyone in the previous administration ever set out to use the levers of law enforcement to attack Democrats. Evidence that the IRS scandal goes well up the chain of command suggests that we cannot expect likewise from this administration.

phx said...

I have not "declined"

You accepted the challenge for an intellectual debate and immediately called me a pedophile. You lose.

Little league for intellects like you fanboi.

Let me know when you want to start over.

Nathan Alexander said...

@Inga,
So you can't find me saying, "Believe in my God, yours is a fake", huh?

My point is that a tool is a tool. It is how it used that makes a difference.

Artificially conflating disparate examples is a staple of the left, so I understand why you are doing it here: anything to avoid accountability.

But there is a specific difference in using a tool against non-citizens to stop terrorism, and expanding the capabilities of that tool against US citizens for domestic political gain.

What I wrote provides the evidence and reason behind that argument.

President Bush was engaged in a War on Terror, and used electronic tools to target non-citizen terrorists.

President Obama said the War on Terror ended. So if there is no War, why did he need to extend and expand the electronic tools?

President Obama claimed, without evidence, that there was a threat from home-grown, so-called Right Wing terrorists.

President Obama has not fired or punished anyone in his administration for breaking rules and violating the Constitution in order to weaken his political enemies.

There is no evidence or indication that any previous Presidents since Carter have violated the strong protections against gathering and exploiting US citizen information.

(I say Carter, because he is the President who put a stop to the excessive info-gathering activities started under JFK and expanded under LBJ)

There is undeniable information that the Obama administration broke laws, violated principles, and betrayed the Constitution for the political gain of President Obama.

That's the difference. Crystal clear.

I'm extremely interested to see what your justifications and contortions are to avoid facing up to this reality.

grichens said...

"It became very important to fight terrorism after 9/11, and one reason I decided to vote for Barack Obama in 2008 was that I thought it would be helpful for Democrats to be put in a position where they would need to endorse things Bush chose to do to protect us from terrorist attacks."

I don't recall you saying anything like that before.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cubanbob said...

I'm not the one here "criticizing" Obama by dishonestly saying "Bush did it too" stupid shit.

It's wasn't just Bush, it was Congress. It's now Obama, and Congress.

I'm for repealing all this horseshit. Patriot, NDAA, AUMF, even FISA.

Are you, or do you just want to whine about it on blogs?"

Terminal lucidity.

Hope and Change baby! Now Lean Forward honey.

As said elsewhere this Administration is starting to look like Red Dawn as written and directed by a young Woody Allen.

JAL said...

Apologies if this is repetitious (not time to read 175+ comments right now).

The metadata (patterns of numbers calling numbers at certain times) is not as big a concern for me (assuming they are not recording the actual calls without a warrant. Though listening to the former NSA guy on Beck this morning, it seems they do, in which case this is a huge deal).

It's the stuff started after Bush (go find the time line) that captures video, emails, audio et. al. without a warrant which is extremely troubling. The PRISM program -- if you look at the timeline -- really ramped up under Obama. All his lefty tech billionaire buddies jumped right in.

And since Islamic terrorism cannot even be named by this administration as a concern (note the bizarre stuff the military does in its training sessions) I am really thinking this needs to be ripped wide open.

It's Obama's tool to use when he wants. That is illegal and violates everything America was created for.

And the softening up of the narrative continues. His speech after the Boston bombing referred MORE to domestic (and NOT meaning domestic Islamists) threats than dealing with the fact that a significant, identifiable population in the world today hates us because we are not Muslim and do not honor their god.

Check out the surveillance time line and you get a definite picture that this fits with Obama's Hunger Games routine.

garage mahal said...


Hope and Change baby! Now Lean Forward honey.


Right. So what, exactly, do you want to do about it?

Geoff Matthews said...

I find data mining fascinating. It allows you to find methods for answers that you weren't aware of.

I imagine what they'll be doing is taking known terrorist's phone numbers and finding connections to track down other potential terrorists, but then taking this model and predicting who these other terrorists are. This may allow them to track down cells that aren't connected to each other.

But someone could also use it to find dirt on political enemies. Affairs, drug use, gambling, etc would be fairly easy to uncover with this technology as well, and we have vices that we don't want to share with the world.

Jay said...

The NDAA is an awful piece of legislation. It should have never passed.

I don't know what value is in repealing the AUMF since Obama will still use drones on US citizens and is pulling US troops out of Afghanistan next year anyway.

Repealing FISA would arguable make things worse since it was setup to differentiate between foreign and domestic surveillance. FISA should be amended to eliminate this domestic data gathering. It should be amended to enact protections that go beyond the Constitution’s. Congress has chosen not to do this, Congress has not required the executive branch to prove that it has a legitimate law-enforcement or national-security reason for these records for example, which is a mistake.

I'll also note Ann's post yesterday on Rand Paul and the 4th Amendment is a comical belcowning on her part. She doesn't seem to understand what the law is in this area, nor does she seem to understand there are no 4th Amendment protections.

Jay said...

phx said...
You accepted the challenge for an intellectual debate


You have no capability for "intellectual debate" as noted in your responses to Nathan's question.

You're an intellectual coward, a dumbass troll, and a fan of kiddie porn.

Go fuck yourself with your little dick.

phx said...

What we delete are bad faith comments, comments that we believe have the ulterior motive of destroying the conversation and driving people away from this forum.

Whose comments does that fit?

phx said...

You're an intellectual coward, a dumbass troll, and a fan of kiddie porn.

I would say as you've proved in this thread that the first two fit you, the "fan of kiddie porn" is probably also you.

edutcher said...

The timeline of how it metastasized is the issue here, as well as what that data may have been used to do.

Apparently, it's grown substantially in the last year or so.

A quote from the WaPo story, "Its history, in which President Obama presided over 'exponential growth' in a program that candidate Obama criticized, shows how fundamentally surveillance law and practice have shifted away from individual suspicion in favor of systematic, mass collection techniques."

So "Bush did (or started) it" again doesn't fly.

I also have to disagree with Ann that this leak is a purposeful distraction. It points up the ruthlessness of the Choom Gang and the danger to every American.

Illuninati said...

Inga said:
"There you have it. "My choice of President is different and better than yours. "

FOOL. That makes YOU an ideologue."

Are you saying that if I recognize the signs of narcissism in someone else that makes me a narcissist? If I say that Mao was a sociopath, does that make me a sociopath? If you have voted for a left wing ideologue that does not make me a fool, that is your problem. Tu quoque arguments are invalid.

My point stands. Some people are good and moral some are evil or amoral. Obama is an amoral ideologue bush is a moral person.

garage mahal said...

Well said @ 9:58

phx said...

It would fit perfectly with the image I have of you in the basement.

Cedarford said...

bagoh20 said...
"I detest the libertarian "slipperly slope" argument though. About banning any new useful things because they might be abused by somebody in government some day."

Good - so to libertarians. You are a libertarian "hero" now.

===============
Good, Bagoh20 - pass your sentiments along to libertarian assholes like Rand Paul - who seems to have real problems with all that technology.

Not to mention the use of drones to whack dangerous Islamoids with US citizenship in places where Rand Pauls "due process rights" cannot be enforced through his cherished "warrants issued, arrests made, so the US citizen terrorist can have his Rights protected in a Courtroom".

And Rand Paul is not the only libertarian whackadoodle.

MayBee said...

What makes terrorism so special this must be used to protect us from it, or that it would only be used for terrorists?

I'm sure the 1950-1970s FBI would have loved to get all of our records so they could find all the Reds. The 1920-1940s FBI could have saved us from the bootleggers and the mob.

So they have this tool, but we need this debate about whether they should use it.
Would we give them the ability if they required us to turn in our own phone records each month?

What if instead of tapping into internet servers and phone company records, they sent around an auditor each month and we had to recite our activities? Would we let them pass that law? I think not. But what if that would keep us safe?

Nathan Alexander said...


I never argued that. I wanted to know where you, or anyone else who held Obama responsible for the IRS crisis were on that.

So you're backing away from your assertion that it's been proven two WH aides knew about what the IRS was doing in 2010? I don't know, I was asking but now it sounds like you meant "hypothetically".


Nope. I explained exactly what I meant. First we establish your view of the hypothetical.

You claim to like reason and prefer arguments.

Go ahead.

Jay said...

I love the fact that the little pedo thinks he's capable of "intellectual debate" after refusing to answer direct questions.

again, there are a lot of weird and stupid people on the Internet and lefty dimwit phx is one of them.

edutcher said...

I also think the WaPo (as well as the Gray Lady) is trying to cover its own ass by acting as if it's been investigating the Choom Gang all along.

They've been complicit in this crowd's abuses all along and, now that all Hell is about to break loose, the rats are leaving what is about to become the Japanese fleet at Surigao Strait.

Jay said...

Congress could make it more difficult for the government to get this information – or even outright prohibit metadata storage and analysis.

They have chosen not to do so.

Yet Ann Althouse thinks Rand Paul is some big kookie dummy for talking about the 4th Amendment related to FISA.

Ann Althouse has no fucking clue about the law in this area.

Lady Liberty 1885 said...

Yes, this was leaked at a good time knowing that it had ties to Bush, but also consider who Obama just promoted to NSA:
Susan Rice.

How dare we question a woman of color in a position of power that had nothing to do with this leak?

cf said...

A bit off the main flow, nevertheless my comment here is part of the swollen river concerning our Lawless administration.

Take a look at this USGovt designed Logo.

Some designer made that Prism image for our National Security Agency who is implementing "prism" on our behalf. Doesn't it look like TV stage design for cheesy sci-fi series? Haha. Wonder who created it and for how much.

But then that makes me blink: Maybe the employment numbers are half bogus, because they cannot report the Gold Rush of clerk jobs/ graphic design/ IT / etc in the teeming, underground Bunker speak-easys of our secret police of the state (a non-descript office basement near you?). I am underemployed, but very capable. Is there some catacombs where I get to sign up?

(Or perhaps I need not bother because my Catechism is not Obaman? )

Aridog said...

Nathan Alexander ... Inga will conflate data collection with abusive use. She says she understood what I wrote, about data collection, but does not.

You said ...

There is no evidence or indication that any previous Presidents since Carter have violated the strong protections against gathering and exploiting US citizen information.

She will not understand that. It requires rational separation of the tool(s) from the application of it. She still didn't get the message when I said government is good at collecting and not so good at sorting and filtering....that's a *bug*, but this administration has made it a *feature*. No need to filter, just look at anyone and anything they wish.

I give up on this conversation...I can't hear the mumbling from those with heads buried in the sand.

Cedarford said...

A prime example of a libertarian whackadoodle is Jay, right here on this thread.

I think most Americans have no problem killing a US citizen in the enemy camp in war. But Jay is a libertarian asshole, so he does.
We killed thousands of Nazis that were born in the US and went to the True Fatherland during the Depression. What is the problem in war, of killing enemy regardless of who they are. Was Lincoln's problem that he went to war against the Confederacy, vs. trying other methods to protect those precious US citizen rights of those in insurrection?

And Jay thinking we should end all domestic phone record database means to find out who people like Mohammed Atta and the Tsarnaev Brothers were calling or emailing within the USA? Asshole libertarian at work.

The Drill SGT said...

What Big Mike said.

Aridog, the caching of DoD emails isn't the same as this NSA operation. It is established law that an employer has some access to all employee emails from employer machines and accts.

WRT the alternate scenarios.

This is NSA, and despite my earlier disclaimer, I have a bit of general understanding. NSA is a military operation, run by military officers who are willing to die for that clause in their oaths about "support and defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic". A big program has lots of people involved. You likely could keep a perversion of the PRISM secret for a while if it was also targeting leakers of DoD secrets. Many officers might judge that appropriate regardless of the ACLU and the NYT view.

NSA is not the IRS run by the NTEU union. Try to run intercepts on Tea Party and there would be a revolt at Ft Meade...

phx said...

I love the fact that the little pedo

@Jay: Several times I've challenged you to debate using reason and critical thinking. It can just be a discussion. I'll answer your questions, and you answer my questions using reason. You won't go there.

Instead this is the second thread where you've responded to my arguments by calling me a pedophile - several times. You haven't responded when I've asked you why you say that.

Why aren't you disgraced in front of all these people at Althouse? I wonder what they think. Do you?

Why are you even still here?

Nonapod said...

None of these revelations surprise me in the slightest. The only thing that interests me is what will happen next. What will people's reactions to all this be?

Given the events of the last few months, with example after example of egregious government overreach and abuse of power, I can only hope that the general public wakes up to realities of big, intrusive government. My fervent hope is that the low info people begin to realize the dangers inherent in having such power concentrated in a single political elite class. I hope people realize that it's best to keep power as diffuse as possible. I hope people tire of all the corruption and abuse and something actually gets done to turn back the creeping growth of this beast.

Jay said...


And Jay thinking we should end all domestic phone record database


Your inability to understand the difference between foreign and domestic speaks volumes.

Jay said...

Cedarford said...

I think most Americans have no problem killing a US citizen in the enemy camp in war. But Jay is a libertarian asshole, so he does.


Where did I say that, stupid shit?

Jay said...

Cedarford said...

And Jay thinking we should end all domestic phone record database means to find out who people like Mohammed Atta and the Tsarnaev Brothers were calling or emailing within the USA


Since you have a demonstrated inability to understand how these programs work, and what the difference between "foreign surveillance" and all domestic phone call meta data is, you should probably shut up now.

You have no fucking clue what you're talking about.

Thanks.

cubanbob said...

garage mahal said...

Hope and Change baby! Now Lean Forward honey.

Right. So what, exactly, do you want to do about it?

6/7/13, 9:57 AM

Now that it has become crystal clear that giving the government this much power is too dangerous the time has come to curtail and narrow the scope of it's powers. Jay has made some interesting points in what to curb. I would start with position that both the left and the right should hammer out what powers neither one would want the other to have.

Cedaford is something else. A Vet who swore to defend the Constitution from enemies both foreign and domestic but thinks the Constitution is nothing more than toilet paper.





Jay said...

phx said...
@Jay: Several times I've challenged you to debate using reason and critical thinking.


Pedophile:

You were asked a direct question 4 times.

You refused to answer.

Go look at kiddie porn.

Thanks.

Jay said...

Only a stupid, jew hating gay fuck like Cederford would bring up the Tsarnaev Brothers, who successfully bombed American citizens and shut down a major US city as an exemplar of why we need to save tens of millions of phone records and Web searches.

Idiot.

Jay said...

I like it when demented gay fucks like Cedarford take to the Internet to attack things people never said.

It says a lot about homosexuality vis-a-vis mental acuity.

Aridog said...

Drill SGT ... I am very aware that caching DOD emails is different from what NSA does. My example was simply that data collected for security purposes can used for other purposes...in a relatively simple manner.

But I will say you have more confidence in the officers at Fort Meade than I do, if above the rank of 05. That bias, however, is one of my faults I suspect.

Cedarford said...

Jay said...
Cedarford said...

I think most Americans have no problem killing a US citizen in the enemy camp in war. But Jay is a libertarian asshole, so he does.

Jay - Where did I say that, stupid shit?


Right here, you duplicitous asshole...


Jay "I don't know what value is in repealing the AUMF since Obama will still use drones on US citizens."

bagoh20 said...

Maybe we should try to have a non-intellectual debate. This place is full of "intellectuals", and I think that might be the problem.

phx said...

Well if YOU won't GTFOH, then it's my responsibility to GTFOH.

elkh1 said...

"I suspect it was someone who wanted to distract us from the IRS scandal (and other scandals) so that the scandal of the moment would be one that's about Bush."

Yesterday HuffPo called him Bushbama, Fournier called the WH Bush-Obama WH knowing Bush never did what Obama did: sic the IRS on political enemies, fooled the court to issue warrants to track journalists' phone calls, covered up a screw up by scapegoating a private citizen.

Today they told us Bush did the NSA things when Bush only data-mined those calls that have foreign connections, Obama data-mined domestic calls.

Tomorrow, it is Bush's fault. Obama saves us from Bush's over reach.

Just love Obie's MSM propaganda machine and those transparent jounolistas.

Jay said...

Right here, you duplicitous asshole...

Hilarious.

Keep going, you demented gay fuck.

Jay said...

Cedarford said...
I think most Americans have no problem killing a US citizen in the enemy camp in war


Idiot:

Yemen is not an "enemy camp of war"

Further, I passed no judgement on the course of action. I was responding with a statement of fact to an assertion that we should repeal the AUMF.

You can shut the fuck up now.

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