On Obama’s Iraq Airstrikes

I was away on personal business and I did not have a chance to comment on what’s happening in Iraq.

Here’s the video of the announcement from President Obama: (via The White House)

Now, there are doubters. Via the Daily Beast:

Friday morning, with a humanitarian mission already underway, the United States began airstrikes on ISIS in northern Iraq. What had been the U.S. policy—to rely on local forces to contain ISIS while waiting for a new Iraqi government to reach a political solution—is finished. The new policy is still taking shape, but it may eventually lead to more involvement from the special operations troops who have been in Iraq for weeks.

President Obama said Thursday night he had authorized airstrikes to protect American personnel and the Yazidi minority group stranded by ISIS on top of Mt. Sinjar. A senior administration official later stressed to reporters that U.S. forces were not launching a “sustained campaign” against ISIS in Iraq.

But with the Kurds, America’s closest allies in the fight, recovering from heavy losses, some analysts and military veterans say that airstrikes alone may not be enough to turn the tide. A sustained—if small-scale—campaign may be the only way to achieve that.

…..and, of course, the neocon hawks:

President Obama’s limited strikes on ISIS in northern Iraq are “pinpricks” that are “meaningless” and “worse than nothing,” according to one of his fiercest foreign policy critics, Sen. John McCain.

By committing U.S. military forces to fight again in Iraq while explicitly limiting the mission to protection of American personnel and Iraqi minorities, Obama has failed to come up with a plan that has any hope of stopping the ISIS advances across Iraq and Syria, said McCain. It’s a position that puts him somewhat at odds with other Republicans, who are offering cautious support for the airstrikes in Iraq – and concern that the president doesn’t have a comprehensive strategy to combat the growing threat of ISIS..

McCain, a consistent advocate for the application of American military power around the world, has long pushed for greater U.S. involvement in Iraq. But these strikes Friday were not what McCain had in mind.

“This is a pinprick,” McCain told The Daily Beast in an interview Friday, about the two 500-pound smart bombs U.S. airplanes dropped on ISIS convoys Friday. The vehicles were approaching Erbil, the capital city of Iraqi Kurdistan, were many U.S. diplomatic and military personnel reside.

Now, honestly, I am going to give the President the benefit of the doubt and I am going to hope like heck, that the President knows just what the heck he is doing. As for what the President is doing and whether it will be enough or not — I have one thing to say about it — We will soon find out.

Because if it is not enough and we do kill some of those ISIS members; and it does not wipe them out and only strengthens them, we could very well find ourselves in another protracted battle in Iraq. I would hope that this would not be the case; but I have my doubts. I will say this: I highly doubt that President Obama will be as careless and reckless in his fighting this battle, as Bush was during the Iraq War that lasted for 8 years.

I just hope that I am right; for the sake of America.

Others: The American ConservativeHot AirBusiness Insiderhis vorpal swordWashington Post,National ReviewDemocracy in AmericaInformed CommentThe Moderate VoiceThe DishSaudi GazetteSpectatorVodkaPunditAssociated PressTalking Points Memo and McClatchy Washington Bureau (Via Memeorandum)

Brutal: Salon’s Thomas Frank Calls Obama Presidency, a “ineffective and gutless” failure

…and this guy is a left-winger too.

Via Salon:

Predicting the future course of American politics is a lively and flourishing vocation. Guessing how future generations will commemorate present-day political events, however, is not nearly as remunerative. In the interest of restoring some balance to this tragic situation, allow me to kick off the speculation about the Obama legacy. How will we assess it? How will the Barack Obama Presidential Library, a much-anticipated museum of the future, cast the great events of our time?

In approaching this subject, let us first address the historical situation of the Obama administration. The task of museums, like that of history generally, is to document periods of great change. The task facing the makers of the Obama museum, however, will be pretty much exactly the opposite: how to document a time when America should have changed but didn’t. Its project will be to explain an age when every aspect of societal breakdown was out in the open and the old platitudes could no longer paper it over—when the meritocracy was clearly corrupt, when the financial system had devolved into organized thievery, when everyone knew that the politicians were bought and the worst criminals went unprosecuted and the middle class was in a state of collapse and the newspaper pundits were like street performers miming “seriousness” for an audience that had lost its taste for mime and seriousness both. It was a time when every thinking person could see that the reigning ideology had failed, that an epoch had ended, that the shitty consensus ideas of the 1980s had finally caved in—and when an unlikely champion arose from the mean streets of Chicago to keep the whole thing propped up nevertheless.

The Obama team, as the president once announced to a delegation of investment bankers, was “the only thing between you and the pitchforks,” and in retrospect these words seem not only to have been a correct assessment of the situation at the moment but a credo for his entire term in office. For my money, they should be carved in stone over the entrance to his monument: Barack Obama as the one-man rescue squad for an economic order that had aroused the fury of the world. Better: Obama as the awesomely talented doctor who kept the corpse of a dead philosophy lumbering along despite it all.

I know that he is making the case that Obama was not progressive enough; still it is shocking to see the left turn on him in this way. He does have some good points though. Especially about the jobs part; Obama did not do nearly enough to create a climate for job creation. The article is an interesting read, check it out.

Others: Liberal ValuesWashington MonthlyBooman TribuneCANNONFIRE,Lawyers, Guns & MoneyNo More Mister Nice BlogPower Line and NewsBusters

Trader Joe’s drops plan to build store in Portland, Oregon because of black racism

No, this isn’t a joke.

This story comes via TopConservativeNews.com, who notes the following:

Notice that it is perfectly acceptable for black people to oppose the demographic change of their neighborhood. If the races had been reversed, the national media would be screaming “RACISM!”

Consider this statement from the Portland African American Leadership Forum. They “remain opposed to any development in N/NE Portland that does not primarily benefit the Black community.” This would be a national controversy if the races were reversed. They would be denounced as the Ku Klux Klan.

The story via AP:

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Trader Joe’s grocery-store chain has dropped a plan to open a new store in the heart of the city’s historically African-American neighborhood after activists said the development would price black residents out of the area.

 

The grocer, whose stores are found in urban neighborhoods across the nation, said Monday it wouldn’t press its plan, given community resistance, The Oregonian (http://bit.ly/1n7Jyqb ) reported.

“We open a limited number of stores each year, in communities across the country,” it said in a statement. “We run neighborhood stores, and our approach is simple: If a neighborhood does not want a Trader Joe’s, we understand, and we won’t open the store in question.”

The Portland Development Commission had offered a steep discount to the grocer on a parcel of nearly two acres that was appraised at up to $2.9 million: a purchase price of slightly more than $500,000. The lot is at Northeast Alberta Street and Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and has been vacant for years.

So, why did Trader Joe’s decide not to build there, well for two reasons:

Critics said the development would displace residents and perpetuate income inequality in one of the most rapidly gentrifying ZIP codes in the nation.

…and the biggest reason? This:

The Portland African American Leadership Forum said the development commission had in the past made promises about preventing projects from displacing community members but hadn’t fulfilled them.

It sent the city a letter saying it would “remain opposed to any development in N/NE Portland that does not primarily benefit the Black community.” It said the grocery-store development would “increase the desirability of the neighborhood,” for “non-oppressed populations.”

Mayor Charlie Hales and the urban renewal agency’s executive director, Patrick Quinton, signed a letter in January that described what they said was the commission’s contributions “to the destructive impact of gentrification and displacement on the African American community.

Translation:

We don’t want no honkeys in our neighborhood! If you ain’t black, we don’t want your business here!

Now, could you imagine, if a business, who was owned by a black man, wanted to open a store, say in like Troy, Michigan or Rochester Hills, Michigan; which are, for what it is worth, predominantly upper middle class/wealthy class, white neighborhoods and a group of white people starting complaining about it and starting saying that it would cause the neighborhood to go into decline? Man, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would be all over it!

There would huge protests and it would be all over the media. However, because this is a black thing, and the company is white owned; it is no big deal, nothing to see here, move along. :roll:

This is why I continue to run this blog; regardless of the fact that I make little or nothing on this blog at all, despite the fact that I make little or nothing on this blog, since Google Adsense dropped me. Because this sort of stuff is NOT reported by the national media; least of all by MSNBC and CNN. Fox News most likely will not touch it either, because of the taboo subject.

Furthermore, I believe that the Conservative right just will not touch this one; because they are afraid of being called racists. I do not have such issues. I simply do not care what blacks really think of me; least of all black liberals. Considering what happened to my cousin and myself; I think I’ve earned the right to point this stuff out.

By the way; these are Obama’s people and don’t you ever forget it. :mad:

 

Obama to announce overhaul to NSA program

This should be really interesting….:

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama will announce on Friday a major overhaul of a controversial National Security Agency program that collects vast amounts of basic telephone call data on foreigners and Americans, a senior Obama administration official said.

In an 11 a.m. (1600 GMT) speech at the Justice Department, Obama will say he is ordering a transition that will significantly change the handling of what is known as the telephone “metadata” program from the way the NSA currently handles it.

Obama’s move is aimed at restoring Americans’ confidence in U.S. intelligence practices and caps months of reviews by the White House in the wake of damaging disclosures about U.S. surveillance tactics from former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden

via Exclusive: Obama to announce overhaul to controversial NSA program | Reuters.

This is the part of President Obama’s job that I would not do, even if they offered me a million dollars a day to do it. Doing the balancing act between national security and privacy is not an easy task. On one hand, you have the people who want to protect America from terrorist attacks; on the other, you have those who want to keep the privacy of Americans safe.

The article goes on to say what Obama has in store. I highly recommend that you go read it. Because needless to say; this is going to make many people, on both sides of the argument, very unhappy.

 

More Black on White Crime: Greenville, Mississippi.

More black on white crime, and this time; it happened to a World War 2 veteran.

The Video:

The Story:

The king is dead.

Four teenagers are being charged with capital murder in the fatal mugging of 87-year-old Lawrence E. ‘Shine’ Thornton of Greenville, Mississippi.

‘Shine’ was a World War II veteran and a famous personality in the Delta region for his hot tamales. They were known as ‘Maria’s Famous Hot Tamales’, named after his wife Mary. He was crowned king of the 2012 Delta Hot Tamale Festival.

According to Greenville police, Thornton was killed after being accosted in his own driveway on Oct. 18. He was pushed down and his wallet stolen.

 He passed away from his injuries two days later at the University Of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

Assistant police chief Andrew Kaho tells the Delta Democrat Times Terrance Morgan and Edward Johnson, both 19; and Leslie Litt and Geblonski Murray, both 18, were arrested in connection with the incident. Each of the four is charged with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.

via 4 Teens Charged in Death of WWII Veteran, Hot Tamale King | CNS News.

Lawrence E. ‘Shine’ Thornton – 87 years old, WW2 Veteran.

The Murders: Terrance Morgan and Edward Johnson, both 19; and Leslie Litt and Geblonski Murray

It is indeed Obama’s world; I have to wonder, is this what Obama meant by, “get in their faces and rough them up a bit?” :mad:

(H/T to Top Conservative News)

Hmmmmm: NSA Director Alexander Admits He Lied about Phone Surveillance Stopping 54 Terror Plots

Looks like the Obama administration is continuing with the same stuff that the Bush administration did.

Quote:

The head of the National Security Agency (NSA) admitted before a congressional committee this week that he lied back in June when he claimed the agency’s phone surveillance program had thwarted 54 terrorist “plots or events.”

NSA Director Keith Alexander gave out the erroneous number while the Obama administration was defending its domestic spying operations exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden. He said surveillance data collected that led to 53 of those 54 plots had provided the initial tips to “unravel the threat stream.”

But Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Wednesday during a hearing on the continued oversight of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that the administration was pushing incomplete or inaccurate statements about the bulk collection of phone records from communications providers.

“For example, we’ve heard over and over again that 54 terrorist plots have been thwarted by the use of (this program),” Leahy said. “That’s plainly wrong,” adding: “These weren’t all plots and they weren’t all thwarted.”

Alexander admitted that only 13 of the 54 cases were connected to the United States. He also told the committee that only one or two suspected plots were identified as a result of bulk phone record collection.

via Controversies – NSA Director Alexander Admits He Lied about Phone Surveillance Stopping 54 Terror Plots – AllGov – News.

New lies for old. There is no difference anymore. Hence why I am not voting Republican come 2016, unless something changes drastically on that side of the fence; and I know darned well I am not voting for a Democrat, ever again. :mad:

Interesting article on President Obama

This is an interesting article on the President, and is basically what I already knew about him….

Quote:

As for Barack Obama he was the stranger with the vaguest and nebulas agendas ever.  He offered Hope and Change.  He also said he would fundamentally change America.  Since Obama was Black and viewed as a Liberal they wanted to and still do believe Obama was somehow one of them.   Obama has his own ideas and they are a lot of things but traditionally Liberal is just not one of them.

via CRIME, GUNS, AND VIDEOTAPE: Liberals Were Mistaken About Barack Obama, He’s Not One of Them.

The only thing I will add to the above is this; Barack Obama is not of Clinton stripe or even Truman or Roosevelt stripe. Obama is what is known as a neo-leftist. The only difference between a neoconservative and a neo-liberal is their differences on the opinion of scope and role of Government. Both are foreign policy hawks and both are okay with big Government, as long as they control it.

Obama and his people are neo-progressives. They are also, like the Clintons, internationalist Democrats and Wilsonian foreign policy devotees as well as devotees of the frankfurt school as well.

(H/T Lew Rockwell)

Video: This is why I do not trust Al-Jazeera TV

American version of it or not. I simply do not trust it and this here is why. This comes via Memri TV:

Some of you might say, “But, aren’t you a Buchananite type?” Yes, indeed I am. Which simply means that I am not a fan of Wilsonian Foreign Policy and that’s all it means. If Al-Jazeera TV is putting this sort of garbage on it’s Arab speaking network, it has zero business being in the United States of America. This is nothing more than Anti-Jewish propaganda and it furthers the blood libels that the terrorists thrive on and use to commit acts of carnage.

If our President were actually worth a tinkers damn, he would tell Al-Jazeera TV, “You either do something about that, or you can pack your little network up and go back to mecca, where you truly belong.” But, because we have a President who kowtows down to Arabs and their religion, instead of defending Jewish Americans, you have this network Al-Jazeera TV here to brainwash Americans into believe that 9/11 was somehow justified.

…and that, my friends, is a great American tragedy.

(H/T to Commentary Magazine)

No, Sorry, Dick (head) Cheney, I do NOT trust you or your idiotic successor in the White House!

Ol’ Dick (head) Cheney says that we ought to just trust the Government.

The Video: (Via Think Progress)

Okay here is the little small problem with trusting Dick Cheney and his boss George W. Bush, they lied, as in like 935 times in a row, during their Presidency and Vice Presidency.

Prove it, you say? Sure.

Via The Center for Public Integrity, which is as follows:

The Center for Public Integrity was founded in 1989 by Charles Lewis. We are one of the country’s oldest and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organizations. Our mission: To enhance democracy by revealing abuses of power, corruption and betrayal of trust by powerful public and private institutions, using the tools of investigative journalism.

Anyhow, here is why I don’t trust Neocons, nor do I trust Democratic Party liberals or Neo-leftists:

President Bush, for example, made 232 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and another 28 false statements about Iraq’s links to Al Qaeda. Secretary of State Powell had the second-highest total in the two-year period, with 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq’s links to Al Qaeda. Rumsfeld and Fleischer each made 109 false statements, followed by Wolfowitz (with 85), Rice (with 56), Cheney (with 48), and McClellan (with 14).

The massive database at the heart of this project juxtaposes what President Bush and these seven top officials were saying for public consumption against what was known, or should have been known, on a day-to-day basis. This fully searchable database includes the public statements, drawn from both primary sources (such as official transcripts) and secondary sources (chiefly major news organizations) over the two years beginning on September 11, 2001. It also interlaces relevant information from more than 25 government reports, books, articles, speeches, and interviews.

Consider, for example, these false public statements made in the run-up to war:

  • On August 26, 2002, in an address to the national convention of the Veteran of Foreign Wars, Cheney flatly declared: “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.” In fact, former CIA Director George Tenet later recalled, Cheney’s assertions went well beyond his agency’s assessments at the time. Another CIA official, referring to the same speech, told journalist Ron Suskind, “Our reaction was, ‘Where is he getting this stuff from?’ “
  • In the closing days of September 2002, with a congressional vote fast approaching on authorizing the use of military force in Iraq, Bush told the nation in his weekly radio address: “The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons, is rebuilding the facilities to make more and, according to the British government, could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given. . . . This regime is seeking a nuclear bomb, and with fissile material could build one within a year.” A few days later, similar findings were also included in a much-hurried National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction — an analysis that hadn’t been done in years, as the intelligence community had deemed it unnecessary and the White House hadn’t requested it.
  • In July 2002, Rumsfeld had a one-word answer for reporters who asked whether Iraq had relationships with Al Qaeda terrorists: “Sure.” In fact, an assessment issued that same month by the Defense Intelligence Agency (and confirmed weeks later by CIA Director Tenet) found an absence of “compelling evidence demonstrating direct cooperation between the government of Iraq and Al Qaeda.” What’s more, an earlier DIA assessment said that “the nature of the regime’s relationship with  Al Qaeda is unclear.”
  • On May 29, 2003, in an interview with Polish TV, President Bush declared: “We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories.” But as journalist Bob Woodward reported in State of Denial, days earlier a team of civilian experts dispatched to examine the two mobile labs found in Iraq had concluded in a field report that the labs were not for biological weapons. The team’s final report, completed the following month, concluded that the labs had probably been used to manufacture hydrogen for weather balloons.
  • On January 28, 2003, in his annual State of the Union address, Bush asserted: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production.” Two weeks earlier, an analyst with the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research sent an email to colleagues in the intelligence community laying out why he believed the uranium-purchase agreement “probably is a hoax.”
  • On February 5, 2003, in an address to the United Nations Security Council, Powell said: “What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence. I will cite some examples, and these are from human sources.” As it turned out, however, two of the main human sources to which Powell referred had provided false information. One was an Iraqi con artist, code-named “Curveball,” whom American intelligence officials were dubious about and in fact had never even spoken to. The other was an Al Qaeda detainee, Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, who had reportedly been sent to Eqypt by the CIA and tortured and who later recanted the information he had provided. Libi told the CIA in January 2004 that he had “decided he would fabricate any information interrogators wanted in order to gain better treatment and avoid being handed over to [a foreign government].”

The false statements dramatically increased in August 2002, with congressional consideration of a war resolution, then escalated through the mid-term elections and spiked even higher from January 2003 to the eve of the invasion.

It was during those critical weeks in early 2003 that the president delivered his State of the Union address and Powell delivered his memorable U.N. presentation. 

In addition to their patently false pronouncements, Bush and these seven top officials also made hundreds of other statements in the two years after 9/11 in which they implied that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or links to Al Qaeda. Other administration higher-ups, joined by Pentagon officials and Republican leaders in Congress, also routinely sounded false war alarms in the Washington echo chamber.

The cumulative effect of these false statements — amplified by thousands of news stories and broadcasts — was massive, with the media coverage creating an almost impenetrable din for several critical months in the run-up to war. Some journalists — indeed, even some entire news organizations — have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical. These mea culpas notwithstanding, much of the wall-to-wall media coverage provided additional, “independent” validation of the Bush administration’s false statements about Iraq.

The “ground truth” of the Iraq war itself eventually forced the president to backpedal, albeit grudgingly. In a 2004 appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, for example, Bush acknowledged that no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq. And on December 18, 2005, with his approval ratings on the decline, Bush told the nation in a Sunday-night address from the Oval Office: “It is true that Saddam Hussein had a history of pursuing and using weapons of mass destruction. It is true that he systematically concealed those programs, and blocked the work of U.N. weapons inspectors. It is true that many nations believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. But much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong. As your president, I am responsible for the decision to go into Iraq. Yet it was right to remove Saddam Hussein from power.”

Bush stopped short, however, of admitting error or poor judgment; instead, his administration repeatedly attributed the stark disparity between its prewar public statements and the actual “ground truth” regarding the threat posed by Iraq to poor intelligence from a Who’s Who of domestic agencies.

On the other hand, a growing number of critics, including a parade of former government officials, have publicly — and in some cases vociferously — accused the president and his inner circle of ignoring or distorting the available intelligence. In the end, these critics say, it was the calculated drumbeat of false information and public pronouncements that ultimately misled the American people and this nation’s allies on their way to war.

Bush and the top officials of his administration have so far largely avoided the harsh, sustained glare of formal scrutiny about their personal responsibility for the litany of repeated, false statements in the run-up to the war in Iraq. There has been no congressional investigation, for example, into what exactly was going on inside the Bush White House in that period. Congressional oversight has focused almost entirely on the quality of the U.S. government’s pre-war intelligence — not the judgment, public statements, or public accountability of its highest officials. And, of course, only four of the officials — Powell, Rice, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz — have testified before Congress about Iraq.

Short of such review, this project provides a heretofore unavailable framework for examining how the U.S. war in Iraq came to pass. Clearly, it calls into question the repeated assertions of Bush administration officials that they were the unwitting victims of bad intelligence.

Above all, the 935 false statements painstakingly presented here finally help to answer two all-too-familiar questions as they apply to Bush and his top advisers: What did they know, and when did they know it?

A video:

The real sick and sad part is this; the same people that are having a hissy fit on the right about this program existing under Obama, are the same ones who were perfectly fine with it existing under Bush. In other words, they trusted the program under Bush. like idiots. My question to that crowd is this; why do  you not trust Obama? Because he is black or because he is a Democratic Party liberal?

Anyone and I mean anyone, who puts their trust in this Government of ours, based upon partisanship is nothing more than a darned fool in my opinion. Both of these political parties are two sides of the same coin and that is corruption and big Government socialism. Both parties promote it, both parties contribute to it. Government hand outs are Government hand outs; whether it be in the forum of welfare or Government subsidies. It is big Government statist and it flies in the face of our Constitution and in the face of what this great Nation was founded upon.

Others: Prairie Weather

QOTD: Obama loses the NYT

WOW….just Wow… :shock:

Within hours of the disclosure that the federal authorities routinely collect data on phone calls Americans make, regardless of whether they have any bearing on a counterterrorism investigation, the Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every time President Obama has been caught overreaching in the use of his powers: Terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us to deal with them because we have internal mechanisms (that we are not going to tell you about) to make sure we do not violate your rights.

Those reassurances have never been persuasive — whether on secret warrants to scoop up a news agency’s phone records or secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism — especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability.

The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it. That is one reason we have long argued that the Patriot Act, enacted in the heat of fear after the 9/11 attacks by members of Congress who mostly had not even read it, was reckless in its assignment of unnecessary and overbroad surveillance powers.

Poop, meet fan.

Others: Alan Colmes’ LiberalandPoliticoBuzzFeedYahoo! NewsWashington PostHit & RunThe Monkey CageWashington WireThe World’s Greatest …The Daily CallerLaw Blog,VentureBeatBusiness InsiderMediaiteThe PJ TatlerWashington Free BeaconHot AirWeasel ZippersThe Huffington PostSalonComPostThe WeekGuardianNO QUARTER USA NETFirst ReadMashableAmerican SpectatorNew Republicmsnbc.comWashington MonthlyDaily Kos,The Atlantic WireFiredoglakeTechCrunchThe Maddow Blog and Library of Law & Liberty - Via Memeorandum

The US continues spying on phones under Obama

There are a ton of opinions on this subject and we’ll get to those in a moment.

But first the story:

The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.

The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an “ongoing, daily basis” to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.

The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.

The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.

Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.

via NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily | World news | The Guardian.

But, there is a big difference this time:

Under the Bush administration, officials in security agencies had disclosed to reporters the large-scale collection of call records data by the NSA, but this is the first time significant and top-secret documents have revealed the continuation of the practice on a massive scale under President Obama.

The unlimited nature of the records being handed over to the NSA is extremely unusual. Fisa court orders typically direct the production of records pertaining to a specific named target who is suspected of being an agent of a terrorist group or foreign state, or a finite set of individually named targets.

Which sounds about right for the Democrats, because they are perfectly fine with Government of a massive scale.

Now there are two very important opinions on this subject that I want you to see. They are same political slant; however, the opinions are very different. Please go check out Michelle Malkin’s take and Ed Morrissey’s take on this subject. While I agree on Michelle Malkin’s assessment, I really do not agree with her narrative at all. If you are smart and read her a good deal, you will know what I am talking about.

Now there is one thing that Ed Morrissey wrote that I, as an Independent, and someone who believes that the war on terror is a very real thing and that we should at least try to keep America safe, without trampling on our constitutional rights. I believe this to be very true and  very profound statement coming from someone like Mr. Morrissey:

Hypocrisy is an unfortunately ubiquitous condition in politics, but in the case of NSA seizing Verizon’s phone records, it’s particularly widespread.  Some of the people expressing outrage for the Obama administration’s efforts at data mining had a different attitude toward it when Bush was in office.  Conversely, we’ll see some people defending Obama who considered Bush evil incarnate for the same thing.

Either way, we’re left with the situation of having the federal government seizing private records without any meaningful civil due process that engages the citizens affected, whether that includes actual wiretaps or just cataloguing our calls and movements.  Perhaps this will move this issue out of the partisan sphere and into a common ground in which we can all work to define exactly how far we’re willing to go in trading privacy for security.  In order to get there, we’d all better recognize the hypocrisy that has abounded on this issue for far too long, and start thinking about higher principles than party affiliation when it comes to national security and constitutional protections.

Now that last part that I underlined, is something I wholeheartedly agree with. When the story broke about Bush and Co. came about the wiretaps, I remember Keith Olbermann doing a special comment on it and I admired him for standing up. Now, where’s Keith? Where are the liberals who thought that this was much too intrusive? Where are they now? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

My hat tip goes to Glenn Greenwald for putting principles over partisanship and getting this story to the masses. Glenn has been about the only liberal who has stood up and pointed out that Obama Administration has continued the policies of the George W. Bush Administration and in some cases; like this one here — has expanded them to an alarming degree. Yes, this is overreach and it is alarming and I do hope the Congress does something about it.

Others: HullabalooYahoo! NewsWashington WireWashington MonthlyNew York Times,ThinkProgressPoliticoFiredoglakeBuzzFeedCNNForbesJoshua FoustThe World’s Greatest …msnbc.comThe Atlantic WireJustOneMinuteAmerican SpectatorDemocracy in America,WorldViewsTIMEBusiness InsiderExaminerThe FixNews DeskAssociated PressNew RepublicDaily KosThe Maddow BlogMashableWake up AmericaWonkblogThe Huffington PostTaylor MarshThe Volokh ConspiracyMediaiteElectronic Frontier FoundationLibrary of Law & LibertyMoon of AlabamaThe Daily CallerTechCrunchWall Street JournalEngadgetBetsy’s PagePatterico’s PontificationsAllThingsDOutside the BeltwayPost PoliticsInformed Comment,Nice DebReal Clear PoliticsWiredThe Gateway PunditThe WeekIllinois Review,AMERICAblogPirate’s CoveCANNONFIREVentureBeatNo More Mister Nice BlogFirst Read,Prairie WeatherThe PJ TatlerTelegraphThe Hinterland GazetteAlan Colmes’ LiberalandWeasel ZippersJammie Wearing FoolsGigaOMCorrenteThe Spectacle BlogGawkerBoing BoingThe Raw StoryShakesvilleSecrecy NewsThe VergeConservatives4Palinsusiemadrak.comSense of EventsTaegan Goddard’s …Le·gal In·sur·rec· tionThe BLTemptywheel and Overlawyered  Via Memeorandum 

UPDATED – It’s official: The Obama Administration is in deep trouble and I am done defending them

My friends, I was very, very wrong and for that, I am terribly sorry. :(

I said that I believed that the entire Benghazi, Libya debacle was over-hyped by the Republicans; and I still believe that, to a point.

However, there are many things that have come up since then, which I simply cannot defend.

They are:

  1. The IRS targeting Jewish groups.  - I mean, honestly, what the hell were the IRS and Obama’s people thinking when they let this one happen?
  2. IRS targeting Conservative groups in Washington and Elsewhere. — Did they not know that this would be exposed?
  3. DOJ going after the AP - This is borderline Watergate, so says a watergate player. — Again, what the hell were these people thinking?

My friends, the “Giving the benefit of the doubt” of the President and his Administration by this writer and blogger are over. There is no doubt in my mind that the Obama administration; much like the Administration of George W. Bush, became consumed with a lust for power and abused and exploited the office of President of the United States and the instruments of Governmental office for political purposes.

I leave you with two videos:

Update: Better clip via The American Spectator:

The Democrats have screwed themselves out of ever winning an election; for like oh, maybe the next 2 major election cycles. This is the sad part, Obama and his Administration promised Americans that he would be a clean break from the policies and practices of President George W. Bush and his Administration and sadly, it turns out that Obama and his Administration are just as bad; if not even worse.   As I wrote before, it is sad ending to a Presidency that offered so much to give; but ended up delivering little or nothing at all, in the realm of change.

It is going to be a long, hot, nasty, political summer for America, Americans, Black Liberal Americans and for Washington D.C.. I just hope that cool heads prevail. But, I really do fear the worst in yet to come.

Blogger Round Up #1: (viaYahoo! NewsJustOneMinuteMichelle MalkinNew York TimesSunlight Foundation BlogBBCWall Street JournalRight Turnwaysandmeans.house.govHot AirThe WeekThe Daily CallerThe HillDaily KosFirst ReadThe Maddow BlogPostPartisanThe FixWhite House DossierThe Other McCainBetsy’s PageDa Tech Guy On DaRadio BlogScared Monkeys,msnbc.comObsidian WingsWeasel ZippersJammie Wearing FoolsTwitchyNational Review,The Lonely ConservativePower LineConservatives4Palin and CBS DC

Blogger Round Up #2: (viaYahoo! NewsWashington MonthlyBuzzFeedThe WeekAssociated PressHit & Run,News DeskFox NewsOpen Channelmsnbc.comemptywheelGuardianWorldViewsPatterico’s PontificationsThe Huffington PostNo More Mister Nice BlogUSA TodayThe HillWeekly StandardPoynterThe Daily CallerThe Volokh ConspiracyErik WempleThinkProgressRight Wing NewsTaylor MarshScared MonkeysAddicting Infoamericanthinker.comCNN,CANNONFIREThe BLTPJ MediaNO QUARTER USA NETThe Moderate VoiceThe Hinterland GazetteNationalJournal.comHot AirWashington Free BeaconWashington ExaminerWired,PoliticoWeasel ZippersGawkerTHE DEFINITIVE SOURCEHullabalooEd DriscollThe Verge,The Gateway PunditSPJ NewsThe PJ TatlerNational ReviewNational Republican …Philly.com,Mother JonesLe·gal In·sur·rec· tionSister ToldjahOutside the BeltwayWonketteTalkLeft andLawfaremore at Mediagazer »

Update #1: Franklin Graham says they were targeted. Those rat bastards have no shame at all. :mad:

 Update #2:  Obama Admin’s IRS targeted reporter who gave hard interview.

Update #3: I am just going to say this and get it off my chest:

IMPEACH THE FUCKER AND GET IT OVER WITH!

Roundup #3: The Gateway PunditSister ToldjahWeasel ZippersWashington Free BeaconRule of LawBuzzFeedViralReadJammie Wearing Fools,The PJ TatlerVodkaPundit and Hot Air