Posts Tagged ‘NSA’

Trouble at 1600: Flynn’s Gone, But the “Deep State Spies” Remain. Who is “Organizing” Them?

February 15, 2017

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One’s concern with the ethics of means and ends varies inversely with one’s personal interest in the issue. – Saul Alinsky, “Rules For Radicals”, 1971

Damon Linker, writing for TheWeek.com, reports that…

The United States is much better off without Michael Flynn serving as national security adviser. But no one should be cheering the way he was brought down. The whole episode is evidence of the precipitous and ongoing collapse of America’s democratic institutions — not a sign of their resiliency. Flynn’s ouster was a soft coup (or political assassination) engineered by anonymous intelligence community bureaucrats. The results might be salutary, but this isn’t the way a liberal democracy is supposed to function.

Unelected intelligence analysts work for the president, not the other way around. Far too many Trump critics appear not to care that these intelligence agents leaked highly sensitive information to the press — mostly because Trump critics are pleased with the result. “Finally,” they say, “someone took a stand to expose collusion between the Russians and a senior aide to the president!” It is indeed important that someone took such a stand. But it matters greatly who that someone is and how they take their stand. Members of the unelected, unaccountable intelligence community are not the right someone, especially when they target a senior aide to the president by leaking anonymously to newspapers the content of classified phone intercepts, where the unverified, unsubstantiated information can inflict politically fatal damage almost instantaneously.

 Donald J. Trump  ✔ @realDonaldTrump

“The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N.Korea etc?”

President Trump was roundly mocked among liberals for that tweet. But he is, in many ways, correct. These leaks are an enormous problem. And in a less polarized context, they would be recognized immediately for what they clearly are: an effort to manipulate public opinion for the sake of achieving a desired political outcome. It’s weaponized spin.

This doesn’t mean the outcome was wrong. I have no interest in defending Flynn, who appears to be an atrocious manager prone to favoring absurd conspiracy theories over more traditional forms of intelligence. He is just about the last person who should be giving the president advice about foreign policy. And for all I know, Flynn did exactly what the anonymous intelligence community leakers allege — promised the Russian ambassador during the transition that the incoming Trump administration would back off on sanctions proposed by the outgoing Obama administration.

But no matter what Flynn did, it is simply not the role of the deep state to target a man working in one of the political branches of the government by dishing to reporters about information it has gathered clandestinely. It is the role of elected members of Congress to conduct public investigations of alleged wrongdoing by public officials.

What if Congress won’t act? What if both the Senate and the House of Representatives are held by the same party as the president and members of both chambers are reluctant to cross a newly elected head of the executive branch who enjoys overwhelming approval of his party’s voters? In such a situation — our situation — shouldn’t we hope the deep state will rise up to act responsibly to take down a member of the administration who may have broken the law?

The answer is an unequivocal no.

In a liberal democracy, how things happen is often as important as what happens. Procedures matter. So do rules and public accountability. The chaotic, dysfunctional Trump White House is placing the entire system under enormous strain. That’s bad. But the answer isn’t to counter it with equally irregular acts of sabotage — or with a disinformation campaign waged by nameless civil servants toiling away in the surveillance state.

As Eli Lake of Bloomberg News put it in an important article following Flynn’s resignation,

“Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do. [Bloomberg]”

Those cheering the deep state torpedoing of Flynn are saying, in effect, that a police state is perfectly fine so long as it helps to bring down Trump.

It is the role of Congress to investigate the president and those who work for him. If Congress resists doing its duty, out of a mixture of self-interest and cowardice, the American people have no choice but to try and hold the government’s feet to the fire, demanding action with phone calls, protests, and, ultimately, votes. That is a democratic response to the failure of democracy.

Sitting back and letting shadowy, unaccountable agents of espionage do the job for us simply isn’t an acceptable alternative.

Down that path lies the end of democracy in America.

So, Boys and Girls…here’s the Million Dollar Question: What weasel put these Professional Bureaucrats, who had been in their positions in the previous Administration, up to betraying the 45th President of the United States of America with no regard as to our National Security?

I’ve got three words for ya: PETULANT PRESIDENT PANTYWAIST.

And, that’s not all that the Former Community Organizer and Ex-President of the United States of America is doing to ruin Trump’s Presidency and the country that he was previously sworn to protect right along with it.

In an article published last Saturday in The New York Post, titled, “How Obama is scheming to sabotage Trump’s Presidency”, author Paul Sperry wrote that

When former President Barack Obama said he was “heartened” by anti-Trump protests, he was sending a message of approval to his troops. Troops? Yes, Obama has an army of agitators — numbering more than 30,000 — who will fight his Republican successor at every turn of his historic presidency. And Obama will command them from a bunker less than two miles from the White House.

In what’s shaping up to be a highly unusual post-presidency, Obama isn’t just staying behind in Washington. He’s working behind the scenes to set up what will effectively be a shadow government to not only protect his threatened legacy, but to sabotage the incoming administration and its popular “America First” agenda.

He’s doing it through a network of leftist nonprofits led by Organizing for Action. Normally you’d expect an organization set up to support a politician and his agenda to close up shop after that candidate leaves office, but not Obama’s OFA. Rather, it’s gearing up for battle, with a growing war chest and more than 250 offices across the country.

Since Donald Trump’s election, this little-known but well-funded protesting arm has beefed up staff and ramped up recruitment of young liberal activists, declaring on its website, “We’re not backing down.” Determined to salvage Obama’s legacy, it’s drawing battle lines on immigration, ObamaCare, race relations and climate change.

Obama is intimately involved in OFA operations and even tweets from the group’s account. In fact, he gave marching orders to OFA foot soldiers following Trump’s upset victory.

“It is fine for everybody to feel stressed, sad, discouraged,” he said in a conference call from the White House. “But get over it.” He demanded they “move forward to protect what we’ve accomplished.”

Far from sulking, OFA activists helped organize anti-Trump marches across US cities, some of which turned into riots. After Trump issued a temporary ban on immigration from seven terror-prone Muslim nations, the demonstrators jammed airports, chanting: “No ban, no wall, sanctuary for all!”

Run by old Obama aides and campaign workers, federal tax records show “nonpartisan” OFA marshals 32,525 volunteers nationwide. Registered as a 501(c)(4), it doesn’t have to disclose its donors, but they’ve been generous. OFA has raised more than $40 million in contributions and grants since evolving from Obama’s campaign organization Obama for America in 2013.

OFA, in IRS filings, says it trains young activists to develop “organizing skills.” Armed with Obama’s 2012 campaign database, OFA plans to get out the vote for Democratic candidates it’s grooming to win back Congress and erect a wall of resistance to Trump at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

It will be aided in that effort by the Obama Foundation, run by Obama’s former political director, and the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, launched last month by Obama pal Eric Holder to end what he and Obama call GOP “gerrymandering” of congressional districts.

Obama will be overseeing it all from a shadow White House located within two miles of Trump. It features a mansion, which he’s fortifying with construction of a tall brick perimeter, and a nearby taxpayer-funded office with his own chief of staff and press secretary. Michelle Obama will also open an office there, along with the Obama Foundation.

The 55-year-old Obama is not content to go quietly into the night like other ex-presidents.

Critical to the fight is rebuilding the ravaged Democratic Party. Obama hopes to install his former civil rights chief Tom Perez at the helm of the Democratic National Committee.

Perez is running for the vacant DNC chairmanship, vowing, “It’s time to organize and fight . . . We must stand up to protect President Obama’s accomplishments,” while also promising, “We’re going to build the strongest grassroots organizing force this country has ever seen.”

The 55-year-old Obama is not content to go quietly into the night like other ex-presidents.

“You’re going to see me early next year,” he told his OFA troops after the election, “and we’re going to be in a position where we can start cooking up all kinds of great stuff.”

Added the ex-president: “Point is, I’m still fired up and ready to go.”

At the beginning of this post is a quote from Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”, a favorite of the 60s counter culture, which was also on the reading list of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, and his First Secretary of State and Failed 2016 Democratic Party Presidential Candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton.  Let’s look at rule #8 – rule #13:

8. Keep the pressure on with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.

9. The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.

10. The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.

11. If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside.

12. The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.

13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

It’s very apparent from what is happening during Trump’s Presidency that somebody’s read Alinsky’s book.

In American Politics, as far as anybody can remember, that is still alive and kicking, you have had those of a political ideology who were Pro-American and Gung Ho about all the things that this country stands for. And, on the other side, you had those of a political ideology who criticized everything that America stood for, and still stands for, to this day.

From those who believed that Communism would be great for America back in the 1950s, to those in the 1960’s, who wanted to “tune in, turn on, and drop out”, and spit on our returning Servicemen, to those of the 1970s who were naive pacifists like their President, Jimmy Carter, to those in the 1980s, who were part of the “Me Generation”, to those whom we call “Progressives” (a misnomer) or “Modern Liberals” in our present generation, Including President Barack Hussein Obama and all of his minions, there has always been a minority segment of American Society, who despise everything that this land, which was given us by the Almighty and was fought for and died for by those before us, stands for, while they reap all the benefits of America the Beautiful.

As I have written, during Obama’s two terms as President, America suffered under a “Tyranny of the Minority”.

Obama owes everything that he is to the benevolence and largess of America and her people.

In his tenure as President, he proved that he was president of some of the people, not all of the people.

And, those of us, whom his failed political ideology did not appeal to, had enough of his failed leadership and decided not to go “quietly into that good night” by voting for Donald J. Trump,  instead of Obama’s chosen successor, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

So now, it is apparent that Ex-President Obama and his Mentor and Benefactor George Soros are going to try to make average Americans submit to their political ideology of “forced Socialism through Fascism” by sabotaging the Presidency of Donald J. Trump “by any means necessary”.

As I have written before, George Soros needs to be deported…NOW!

As far as the “clean and articulate” Ex-President is concerned…

Can an Ex-President be tried for TREASON?

Until He Comes,

KJ

 

 

Obama Spys on Israel (and Congress) While Iran Tests Rockets

December 30, 2015

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The Wall Street Journal reports that

President Barack Obama announced two years ago he would curtail eavesdropping on friendly heads of state after the world learned the reach of long-secret U.S. surveillance programs.

But behind the scenes, the White House decided to keep certain allies under close watch, current and former U.S. officials said. Topping the list was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The U.S., pursuing a nuclear arms agreement with Iran at the time, captured communications between Mr. Netanyahu and his aides that inflamed mistrust between the two countries and planted a political minefield at home when Mr. Netanyahu later took his campaign against the deal to Capitol Hill.

The National Security Agency’s targeting of Israeli leaders and officials also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups. That raised fears—an “Oh-s— moment,” one senior U.S. official said—that the executive branch would be accused of spying on Congress.

White House officials believed the intercepted information could be valuable to counter Mr. Netanyahu’s campaign. They also recognized that asking for it was politically risky. So, wary of a paper trail stemming from a request, the White House let the NSA decide what to share and what to withhold, officials said. “We didn’t say, ‘Do it,’ ” a senior U.S. official said. “We didn’t say, ‘Don’t do it.’ ”

Stepped-up NSA eavesdropping revealed to the White House how Mr. Netanyahu and his advisers had leaked details of the U.S.-Iran negotiations—learned through Israeli spying operations—to undermine the talks; coordinated talking points with Jewish-American groups against the deal; and asked undecided lawmakers what it would take to win their votes, according to current and former officials familiar with the intercepts.

Before former NSA contractor Edward Snowden exposed much of the agency’s spying operations in 2013, there was little worry in the administration about the monitoring of friendly heads of state because it was such a closely held secret. After the revelations and a White House review, Mr. Obama announced in a January 2014 speech he would curb such eavesdropping.

In closed-door debate, the Obama administration weighed which allied leaders belonged on a so-called protected list, shielding them from NSA snooping. French President François Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other North Atlantic Treaty Organization leaders made the list, but the administration permitted the NSA to target the leaders’ top advisers, current and former U.S. officials said. Other allies were excluded from the protected list, including Recep Tayyip Erdogan, president of NATO ally Turkey, which allowed the NSA to spy on their communications at the discretion of top officials.

Privately, Mr. Obama maintained the monitoring of Mr. Netanyahu on the grounds that it served a “compelling national security purpose,” according to current and former U.S. officials. Mr. Obama mentioned the exception in his speech but kept secret the leaders it would apply to.

Israeli, German and French government officials declined to comment on NSA activities. Turkish officials didn’t respond to requests Tuesday for comment. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the NSA declined to comment on communications provided to the White House.

This account, stretching over two terms of the Obama administration, is based on interviews with more than two dozen current and former U.S. intelligence and administration officials and reveals for the first time the extent of American spying on the Israeli prime minister.

,,,The NSA has leeway to collect and disseminate intercepted communications involving U.S. lawmakers if, for example, foreign ambassadors send messages to their foreign ministries that recount their private meetings or phone calls with members of Congress, current and former officials said.

“Either way, we got the same information,” a former official said, citing detailed reports prepared by the Israelis after exchanges with lawmakers.

During Israel’s lobbying campaign in the months before the deal cleared Congress in September, the NSA removed the names of lawmakers from intelligence reports and weeded out personal information. The agency kept out “trash talk,” officials said, such as personal attacks on the executive branch.

Administration and intelligence officials said the White House didn’t ask the NSA to identify any lawmakers during this period.

“From what I can tell, we haven’t had a problem with how incidental collection has been handled concerning lawmakers,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat and the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He declined to comment on any specific communications between lawmakers and Israel.The NSA reports allowed administration officials to peer inside Israeli efforts to turn Congress against the deal. Mr. Dermer was described as coaching unnamed U.S. organizations—which officials could tell from the context were Jewish-American groups—on lines of argument to use with lawmakers, and Israeli officials were reported pressing lawmakers to oppose the deal.

“These allegations are total nonsense,” said a spokesman for the Embassy of Israel in Washington.

A U.S. intelligence official familiar with the intercepts said Israel’s pitch to undecided lawmakers often included such questions as: “How can we get your vote? What’s it going to take?”

NSA intelligence reports helped the White House figure out which Israeli government officials had leaked information from confidential U.S. briefings. When confronted by the U.S., Israel denied passing on the briefing materials.

The agency’s goal was “to give us an accurate illustrative picture of what [the Israelis] were doing,” a senior U.S. official said.

Just before Mr. Netanyahu’s address to Congress in March, the NSA swept up Israeli messages that raised alarms at the White House: Mr. Netanyahu’s office wanted details from Israeli intelligence officials about the latest U.S. positions in the Iran talks, U.S. officials said.

A day before the speech, Secretary of State John Kerry made an unusual disclosure. Speaking to reporters in Switzerland, Mr. Kerry said he was concerned Mr. Netanyahu would divulge “selective details of the ongoing negotiations.”

The State Department said Mr. Kerry was responding to Israeli media reports that Mr. Netanyahu wanted to use his speech to make sure U.S. lawmakers knew the terms of the Iran deal.

Intelligence officials said the media reports allowed the U.S. to put Mr. Netanyahu on notice without revealing they already knew his thinking. The prime minister mentioned no secrets during his speech to Congress.

In the final months of the campaign, NSA intercepts yielded few surprises. Officials said the information reaffirmed what they heard directly from lawmakers and Israeli officials opposed to Mr. Netanyahu’s campaign —that the prime minister was focused on building opposition among Democratic lawmakers.The NSA intercepts, however, revealed one surprise. Mr. Netanyahu and some of his allies voiced confidence they could win enough votes.

While the President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama (mm mmm mmmm) and his Secretary of State John (I served in Vietnam) Kerry continue to celebrate their “wonderful, magnificent deal” with the Rogue Radical Islamic Nation of Iran, there a four American citizens, including a Forgotten American Man of Faith, being held in the squalor of Iranian Jails.

United States President Barack Hussein Obama has proven himself to be more concerned about America’s Enemies than our Allies…and, more concerned about reaching out to Muslim Radicals than demanding the release of Christian American Pastor Saeed Abedina, who has been held captive by Iran since the summer of 2012, and his fellow prisoners.

Obama, Kerry, and the rest of his Liberal Dhimmi Cabal has shown where their loyalties unequivocally lie, with their braggadocio over this Chamberlain-esque “deal” that is destined to not only blow up in their faces, but also “where alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears” and in the heart of the Holy Land, itself.

It is a “deal” which Iran has no intention of keeping.

NBC News reports that

The U.S. aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman came about 1,500 yards from an Iranian rocket in the Strait of Hormuz last week, two U.S. military officials told NBC News on Tuesday.As the Truman was transiting the strait, which connects the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf, Iranian Revolutionary Guards conducted a live-fire exercise right near the U.S. carrier Saturday, officials said.

A U.S. military official said an Iranian navy fast and short attack craft began conducting a live-fire exercise at the same time the carrier was nearing the end of the strait, firing off several unguided rockets. A French frigate, the U.S. destroyer USS Buckley and other commercial traffic were also in the area.

Obama’s concern is not with our allies nor the safety of the citizens of the United States.

Obama, as he always has been, is concerned with himself and leaving a marvelous legacy as president.

Giving Iran the means to “kill the infidels” will definitely cement Obama’s Legacy…if there is anyone left to remember it.

Iran has always been, since the ouster of the Shah, a rogue nation. They are a threat to every nation who stands in the way of their crazed Political Ideology, disguised as a “religion”.

Either due to naiveté or simple over-estimation of their own intelligence, on the part of Obama and his Administration, as regards their “superior intellect”, to quote Fred Thompson, as Admiral Josh Painter, in the great movie “The Hunt for Red October”…

This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we’ll be lucky to live through it.

Obama has screwed both God’s Chosen People and the nation which he is sworn to protect…for the sake of his own ego’s contentment.

Until He Comes,

KJ

NSA Wiretapping Ruled Unconstitutional. Congressional “Caine Mutiny” Hearing to Follow?

December 17, 2013

obamabigbroRemember all of Obama’s Domestic Scandals, beside Obamacare? Well, regarding the one involving the NSA, it is possible that, to paraphrase Obama’s Former Pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright,

Obama’s chickennns…are coming home…to roost!

Yesterday, wsj.com reported that…

President Barack Obama, facing growing pressure from Silicon Valley, will meet Tuesday with executives from Google Inc. Facebook Inc. and other technology and telecommunications giants to discuss their concerns about America’s surveillance operations.

According to the White House, Mr. Obama will also meet with the executives to talk about progress with the troubled online federal marketplace, HealthCare.gov, and ways the government and technology industry can partner to boost economic growth.

The meeting comes a week after a group of technology companies jointly penned a letter to lash out at the Obama administration for collecting information on Americans. The companies said they wanted to see greater oversight of the government’s surveillance operations and limits on the government’s authority to compel companies to disclose data about their customers.

The letter followed a wave of disclosures about U.S. spying operations by Edward Snowden, a former government contractor now in Russia. The president will also talk about the national security concerns prompted by the leaks and their effect on the economy.

The administration has been reviewing U.S. spying operations and considering steps to protect the privacy and civil liberties of Americans. Last week, a presidential task force submitted to the White House more than 40 recommendations to overhaul the National Security Agency. Mr. Obama’s chief spokesman, Jay Carney, said the White House was reviewing the report and would make public the full report in January.

This news comes on the heels of a ruling by a Federal Court Judge that telephone surveillance of Americans that has been conducted ad infinitum by the NSA, violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution…

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon found that the program appears to violate the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. He also said the Justice Department had failed to demonstrate that collecting the information had helped to head off terrorist attacks.

Acting on a lawsuit brought by conservative legal activist Larry Klayman, Leon issued a preliminary injunction barring the NSA from collecting so-called metadata pertaining to the Verizon accounts of Klayman and one of his clients. However, the judge stayed the order to allow for an appeal.

“I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying it and analyzing it without judicial approval,” wrote Leon, an appointee of President George W. Bush.

The preliminary injunction Leon granted Monday does not require him to make a definitive ruling on the constitutional questions in the case, but does take account of which side he believes is more likely to prevail.

Leon’s 68-page opinion is the first significant legal setback for the NSA’s surveillance program since it was disclosed in June in news stories based on leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. For seven years, the metadata program has been approved repeatedly by numerous judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and found constitutional by at least one judge sitting in a criminal case.

The very fact that the  National Security Agency (NSA) even existed, was not revealed for more than two decades after its establishment in 1952.

Of all the US intelligence services, it is has,for a long time, been the best hidden, and has prided itself on having the fewest leaks – at least until Edward Snowden came along.

When Harry Truman set up the NSA, its mission was to monitor communications abroad. However, what politicians and civil rights organizations have know, since the Senate unveiled it in 1975, is to what extent its ferocious appetite for data has encompassed American citizens.

As technology has evolved, so has the NSA’s capacity to intercept Americans’ communications. Satellites intercept calls and emails in the ether and beam the information back to earthbound receiving stations. One estimate suggests that each of these bases hoovers up roughly one billion emails, phone calls and other forms of correspondence every day, and the agency has up to 20 bases.

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution reads as follows…

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The actions of the NSA, are, of course, nothing new. as far back as Prohibition, government authorities have tapped American’s phones, if they felt that they were involved in “suspicious activities. However, those incidences of “wiretapping” were always done under the Rule of Law, with those doing the tapping have a warrant from a judge in their hand.

What we are dealing with here is nothing less than a usurpation of power, am old Soviet Union-style spying on one’s own countrymen, by an out-of-control NSA, whose petulant, didactic Commander-in-Chief, in his zeal to wield the power of the Oval Office, has pushed our Constitutional Republic in the direction of a Socialist Police State.

Through his use of such Government Agencies such as the NSA and the IRS to intimidate and harass his political opponents, President Barack Hussein Obama has exhibited a fearful paranoia that makes President Richard Milhous Nxon’s Watergate Scandal appear as inconsequential as a deck chair on the Titanic, and Obama as unstable a leader as Captain Queeg, so brilliantly played by the late, great Humphrey Bogart in “The Caine Mutiny”.

If Obama is ever brought before Congress to testify on his scandals, his prevarication and eventual meltdown will make Captain Queeg’s unraveling pale in comparison.

Until He Comes,

KJ

 

The Obama Administration Wants YOUR Internet Passwords.

July 26, 2013

obamabigbroYesterday, I  wrote a post about the Prevaricator-in-Chief’s first of a series of speeches on the horrible economy he has delivered to us. In the speech, he assured Americans that all the scandals hanging over his head were “phoney”.

He lied…again…additionally, here comes another one…and it’s a doozy. First though, a little warm-up pitch…

During a U.S. House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Rep. Michele Bachmann defended the government’s recently disclosed surveillance programs and called the man who revealed them a traitor.

The director of the National Security Agency, Army Gen. Keith Alexander, testified that the programs – which collect U.S. phone records and track the use of U.S.-based Internet servers by foreigners with possible links to terrorism – are critical to national security.

Bachmann agreed and blasted the actions of Edward Snowden, a former government contractor, who leaked information on the programs to news agencies. Snowden had worked for a year in an information technology job at the NSA office in Hawaii.

“It seems to be that the problem here is that an individual who worked within the system … broke laws and chose to declassify highly sensitive classified information,” Bachmann said.

“It seems to me that’s where our focus should be on how there could be a betrayal of trust and how a traitor could do something like this to the American people. It seems to me that’s where our focus must be and how we can prevent something like that from ever happening again.”

Through her votes to extend the Patriot Act in 2011 and the Foreign Service Intelligence Act in 2012, Bachmann has voted to preserve the government’s power to collect private data, presumably to prevent terrorist attacks. She asked Alexander if Snowden’s disclosures put the United States at risk and aided the country’s enemies.

Alexander answered in the affirmative, saying the leaks caused “irreversible and significant damage to this nation.”

Now…here comes the fastball…right down “Broadway”…

The U.S. government has demanded that major Internet companies divulge users’ stored passwords, according to two industry sources familiar with these orders, which represent an escalation in surveillance techniques that has not previously been disclosed.

If the government is able to determine a person’s password, which is typically stored in encrypted form, the credential could be used to log in to an account to peruse confidential correspondence or even impersonate the user. Obtaining it also would aid in deciphering encrypted devices in situations where passwords are reused.

“I’ve certainly seen them ask for passwords,” said one Internet industry source who spoke on condition of anonymity. “We push back.”

A second person who has worked at a large Silicon Valley company confirmed that it received legal requests from the federal government for stored passwords. Companies “really heavily scrutinize” these requests, the person said. “There’s a lot of ‘over my dead body.'”

Some of the government orders demand not only a user’s password but also the encryption algorithm and the so-called salt, according to a person familiar with the requests. A salt is a random string of letters or numbers used to make it more difficult to reverse the encryption process and determine the original password. Other orders demand the secret question codes often associated with user accounts.

We should have known what Obama was going to throw at us, based on his past “pitching starts”…

Back in January of 2011, pcmag.com reported the following…

The Obama administration is planning to place authority for developing an Internet ID for Americans in the Commerce Department.

The news came at an event at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, where U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke spoke.

Details on the plans are essentially nonexistent, but Locke and others said a lot about what the IDs would not be: “We are not talking about a national ID card,” Locke said. It also won’t be government controlled. The goal is “…enhancing online security and privacy and reducing and perhaps even eliminating the need to memorize a dozen passwords, through creation and use of more trusted digital identities.”

White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt, who also spoke at the event, said that the ID, which they refer to as “trusted identities,” would not become mandatory. Anonymity and pseudonymity will remain possible on the Internet. There will be no central database and private industry will take the lead in implementation.

A vague outline for the program was released in June entitled the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC). That document was as vague as this week’s event; trusted identities will do good things and avoid doing bad things.

It’s not surprising that details are scarce. Designing an identity that is robust, affordable, secure, easy to use, and all the other things you’d want it to be, is not easy. In fact, many of the design goals operate at cross purposes with the others. Don’t be surprised if this program takes a long time to come to a deliverable, or if the deliverable is irrelevant by the time it’s here.

After some “pre-season games” during his first term, Obama and the rest of his team have decided to go full Marxist, and wear their Mao Uniforms with pride.

Because, God knows, it’s dangerous for us Americans to express our thoughts and feelings to other Americans on the Internet. I mean, something awful might happen…like …umm…Freedom of Speech, or something. And, when American Freedom is in the way, it is very difficult for our “benevolent despot” to follow through with his plans to “radically change” America into a Socialist Paradise.

As an incurable Internet Surfer, who hangs out on Conservative Websites and Facebook Pages, and follows Conservatives on Twitter, I can testify to the fact that millions of Americans have found a commonality in their thoughts about, ideas concerning, and wishes for, the future of this great nation.

It is wonderfully reassuring to know that good, old-fashioned American Patriotism…love of God and Country, is not passe, as Obama and all his minions would want us to believe.

And, that is why this Administration is moving so rapidly to suppress it.

 American Individualism and Exceptionalism stands between the Obama Administration and their Socialist Utopia.

And, Patriotic Americans scare the mess of these weasels. So, stay strong Americans.

Stay vigilant. Stay FREE.

Until He Comes.

KJ

Obama. the Patriot Act, and “Chicago Politics”: A Story of “Evolving”

June 13, 2013

obamascandalsWhen did the United States of America turn into the old Soviet Union? Americans are asking that question, in shock over the realization that the Obama Administration , through the NSA, has been spying on average American citizens, even though President Barack Obama insists that they are not spying on every American citizen.

Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, who introduced the PATRIOT Act on the House floor in 2001, has declared that lawmakers’ and the executive branch’s excuses about recent revelations of NSA activity are “a bunch of bunk.”

In an interview on Laura Ingraham’s radio show Wednesday morning, the Republican congressman from Wisconsin reiterated his concerns that the administration and the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court have gone far beyond what the PATRIOT Act intended. Specifically, he said that Section 215 of the act “was originally drafted to prevent data mining” on the scale that’s occurred.

Sensenbrenner, the current chairman on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations, suggested that the secret nature of the FISA court has prevented appropriate congressional oversight over the NSA’s activities.

Several years ago, Obama felt differently about this subject.

On December 15, 2005, Senator Barack Hussein Obama (D-IL) gave the following Senate Floor Speech on the subject of the Patriot Act:

Four years ago, following the most devastating attack in our history, this body passed the USA PATRIOT Act in order to give our nation’s law enforcement the tools they need to track down terrorists who plot and lurk within our own borders and all over the world – terrorists who, right now, are looking to exploit weaknesses in our laws and our security to carry out even deadlier attacks than we saw on September 11th.

We all agree that we needed legislation to make it harder for suspected terrorists to go undetected in this country. And we all agree we needed to make it harder for them to organize and strategize and get flight licenses and sneak across our borders. Americans everywhere wanted that.

But soon after the PATRIOT Act passed, a few years before I ever arrived in the Senate, I began hearing concerns from people of every background and political leaning that this law – the very purpose of which was to protect us – was also threatening to violate our rights and freedoms as Americans. That it didn’t just provide law enforcement the powers it needed to keep us safe, but powers it didn’t need to invade our privacy without cause or suspicion.

In Washington, this issue has tended degenerate into an “either-or” type debate. Either we protect our people from terror or we protect our most cherished principles. But that is a false choice. It asks too little of us and assumes too little about America.

That’s why as it’s come time to reauthorize this law, we’ve been working in a bipartisan way to do both – to show the American people that we can track down terrorists without trampling on our civil liberties. To show the American people that the federal government will only issue warrants and execute searches because it needs to, not because it can. What we have been trying to achieve, under the leadership of a bipartisan group of Senators, is some accountability in this process – to get answers and see evidence where there is suspicion.

Uh huh. 

That was then. This is now.

Fast forward to 2013…

RawStory.com reports that

The FBI’s use of a controversial Patriot Act provision to demand business records has skyrocketed more than 1,000 percent under President Barack Obama versus his Republican predecessor George W. Bush, according to a report by NBC News.

The so-called business records provision of the Patriot Act, titled Section 215, is the justification used for the NSA’s massive PRISM intercept program that sucks up nearly all domestic communications and stores them for future reference. A single Section 215 order was behind last week’s revelation that Verizon is cooperating with the NSA and handing over millions of phone call records daily.

Altogether, the FBI approached the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) court to approve business records requests 212 times in 2012, reporter Michael Isikoff learned. He notes that figure also represents a 1,000 percent increase from the number of requests filed just four years earlier by members of the Bush administration.

Companies that receive demands for business records under Section 215 of the Patriot Act are also subject to a secret gag order, forbidding them from even disclosing that records were divulged. Isikof noted that FBI Director Robert Muller told Congress in 2011 the bureau began relying more heavily on Section 215 requests in 2010, when certain telecommunications firms started refusing to honor the bureau’s National Security Letters (NSLs), another provision of the Patriot Act that carries a gag order similar to Section 215.

Wow. I was going to quote the old saying, “Total power corrupts totally.” however, Obama was a master at “Chicago Politics” before he became president. Here’s a cute little story from my bio of Obama, “The Great Disconnect: The Whole, Ugly Truth about Barack Hussein Obama”:

n 2004, Illinois State Senator Barack Hussein Obama (mm mmm mmmm) decided to run for The United States Senate.

In order to have a successful Senatorial campaign, Scooter  had to secure tremendous financial backing and be the recipient of astute political mentoring.  No problem.

It is now very well-known that George Soros, evil genius, major Democratic Party donor and anti-Israel crusader, has been a generous contributor to Barack Obama. However, not too many people know that a loophole in McCain-Feingold allowed Soros and his family members to be extremely generous in their support of Obama’s 2004 Senatorial campaign.

Obama had to run against Blair Hull in the primary and then Jack Ryan in the general (both multi-millionaires). Obama received huge donations from individuals, to so-called “millionaires exception.”  Usually,  individuals are limited to giving $2300 to candidates in federal elections, but if the candidates are running against millionaires, these limits do not apply and candidates are allowed to receive up to $12,000 from a single individual. Soros and his family gave Barack Obama $60,000. This does not count the money that Soros was funneled to so-called 527 groups (Moveon.org, for example) that have also been politically active; nor does it include money that Soros raised from tapping a network of friends, business associates, and employees.

Besides garnering unlimited campaign funds, as the campaigns entered their closing rounds, the news ”happened to be” leaked to media outlets that both Hull and Ryan had “personal scandals” in their past. The timely release of this news wiped out both of their campaigns, leading to an easy victory for Obama in the primary and then in the general election.

The New York Times Magazine revealed that David Axelrod, Obama’s chief political and media adviser, may well have been behind the leak of the story that doomed the Hull candidacy as the primary reached its home stretch.  I’m shocked.

As he has shown over the years, Axelrod was right at home operating in this gray area, part idealist, part hired muscle. One can not bring up Axelrod’s name  in certain circles in Chicago without the matter of the Blair Hull divorce papers coming up. Approaching the 2004 Senate primary, it was clear that it was a two-man race: the millionaire liberal, Hull, leading in the polls, and Obama, who was the figurehead of an impressive grass-roots campaign. One month before the vote, The Chicago Tribune “just happened” to reveal, at the end of a long profile of Hull, that during a divorce proceeding, Hull’s second wife filed for an order of protection. This revelation proceeded to erupt into a full-fledged scandal.  This scandal destroyed Hull’s campaign and handed Obama an easy primary victory.

The Tribune reporter who wrote the story later admitted in print that the Obama camp had “worked aggressively behind the scenes” to push the story. However, a lot of folks in Chicago believe that Axelrod leaked the initial story. They will tell you that before signing on with Obama, Axelrod interviewed with Hull. They also point out that Obama’s TV ad campaign just happened to start at almost the same time. Axelrod swears up and down that “we had nothing to do with it” and that the campaign’s television ad schedule was in the works for a long time.

Axlerod’s explanation?

An aura grows up around you, and people assume everything emanates from you.

Obama has a history of Machiavellian political machinations, doing whatever it took at the time, to achieve the goal of his “laser-like focus”.

Just like Obama’s Promises, all of his Political Ideological Stances come with expiration dates.

If you do not believe that he knew about each and every one of the current scandals, which are threatening to topple his Regime, and have brought his second term to a standstill, and they all had, at least, Obama’s tacit approval, then you’ve been oblivious since January 21, 2009.

…or…you believe that MSNBC is an unbiased cable news channel.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Snowden…Traitor or Hero?

June 11, 2013

edwardsnowdenEdward Snowden is the name of a high school dropout who has set the civilized world on its collective ear. Snowden, 29, was a contract employee with the NSA, who decided to turn “whistleblower” on an excessive invasion of Americans’ Fourth Amendment Rights by surveillance experts of their own country, by giving classified documents to the Press.

Snowden said he turned over the documents to The Washington Post and the Guardian in order to expose the NSA’s vast surveillance of phone and Internet data.

The former technical assistant at the CIA, who had been working at the NSA as an employee of contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, said he became disenchanted with Obama for continuing the surveillance policies of George W. Bush, Obama’s predecessor.

“I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things … I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded,” Snowden told the Guardian, which published the video interview with him, dated June 6, on its website.

In Washington, several members of Congress and intelligence officials showed little sympathy for Snowden’s argument. The U.S. Justice Department already is in the initial stages of a criminal investigation.

“Anyone responsible for leaking classified information should be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” said Republican Mike Rogers, chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee.

So, is Edward Snowden an American Traitor…or a Hero?

The case for Snowden being a Traitor is quite simple: He leaked classified material to the American Press.

The problem is….that’s too simple an explanation.

By leaking the classified material, he exposed an egregious limiting of Americans’ Freedom by our own government, utilizing a system that was meant to assist in the prevention of Terrorist Acts against our country, not spy on innocent citizens, or to be used as a political tool.

Quite frankly, I have always considered Ron Paul a crazy old man, who, while making some good points about the economy, was a Father Conklin wannabe isolationist concerning America’s Foreign Policy.

His most ardent followers, the Paulnuts, were always pictured in my mind’s eye, as being around 25 years old, living in their Mom’s Basement, spouting conspiracy theories to anyone on the internet who would listen, reminiscent of the character “Warlock” from the movie “Live Free or Die Hard”.

Little did I realize, at the time, that those paranoid nutjobs weren’t so far out in left field, after all.

And, the thing is, surveillance is a lucrative business, in which a whole lot of non-government employees have high-level access to our nation’s secrets.

A 2010 Washington Post report found “close to 30 percent of the workforce in the intelligence agencies is contractors.”

Some 5 million people hold a government security clearance, according to a 2012 report by the Director of National Intelligence. About 1.4 million people have top-secret clearance, and half of those are the employees of private businesses.

Some 480,000 contractors held top-secret credentials as of last year, and 2,000 companies supply contractors to the intelligence agencies.

Among the largest of those companies is Booz Allen Hamilton, a privately owned consulting company located in Virginia.

The company has deep roots and many connections to the intelligence community.

The current director of national intelligence James Clapper is a former Booz Allen executive. The company’s current vice chairman Mike McConnell, was the DNI in the George W Bush administration.

According to the Washington Post, as of 2010, the company contracted more than 23,000 people to the government to do intelligence work at 23 agencies in 15 areas of expertise including technological intelligence, intelligence analysis, and counter intelligence.

The company is estimated to be worth $5 billion annually.

Edward Snowden, a former Booz Allen employee himself, may not be the last “whistleblower” to come forward.

So, the question remains…Traitor or Hero?

Does the urge to let American citizens know that their everyday lives are no longer solely their own business, trump loyalty to your job and any confidentiality agreement you may have signed while on that job?

Rush Limbaugh remarked on his radio program yesterday, that…

…This country is being run by people who do not appreciate the way it was founded. They do not appreciate the Constitution as written, and they are in the process of implementing and behaving as they wish the Constitution existed. They wish a Constitution existed which invests in government all power. They want all power. And they’re in the process of behaving as though they have it.

Nobody’s really pushing back to stop it. And that’s what all of these data mining scandals really focus on. We’re looking now at this Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old young man who has gone public with the PRISM program. And the real danger here — and look, John Bolton is out. Snerdley’s livid at this guy. A lot of people are. John Bolton is out saying, “This guy is a traitor and he needs to be charged and tried as a traitor.” And there are some people that think that if we’d have dealt with Bradley Manning when he gave up all those documents to Julian Assange, that this wouldn’t have happened.

Other people are sympathetic because this guy admitted he had all kinds of high hopes for Obama to stop this stuff, and Obama’s only exacerbated it and made it worse, which is one of the reasons he’s stated that he’s come forward. The real danger to me, though, is not one or two rogue employees at the IRS or the NSA or the CIA. The real danger is having a rogue administration. And we do, I think. This is the primary challenge that we face.

…I  don’t want to nitpick here, but he really didn’t whistle blow.  He should have —  technically — it’s complicated, but he — he’s actually didn’t engage in whistleblowing.  Now, the LA Times is saying that Edward Snowden is gone from his Hong Kong hotel, whereabouts unknown.  How anybody knows that, I don’t know.  I mean, how do you know he’s gone if you don’t know where he is?

But look at what we’re talking about here.  You just agreed, “Oh, the likelihood, yeah, he’s dead, somebody’s gonna kill him.”  We’re talking about our country?  Are we talking about our government?  Listen to this.  Listen.  How acceptable it is.  That’s right.  We can kill American, all we gotta do is find this guy with a drone, and “poof,” as Lanny Davis says, “poof,” he’s gone.  If we got a drone anywhere near where the dude is, Obama’s got his finger on the trigger, they keep telling us that.  I’ll bet you if they find this guy, we’ll know where Obama is every second of the day as they’re tracking him.  Be totally unlike Benghazi.

So…it’s complicated.  

I love my country. I hate this Administration. 

Snowden is being bankrolled by somebody, there’s no doubt about that. But, self serving or not, if he had not come forward, we would not know how badly Obama has expanded the surveillance on American citizens begun by passage of the Patriot Act. 

On the other hand, he has leaked our country’s secrets, causing a national conversation on the wisdom of allowing our government leaders to limit our freedom “to ensure our safety”.

And, that’s a national conservation this country must have.

A Traitor? He’s not Bradley Manning, that’s for sure.  A Hero? Possibly. This story is far from over.

And, our National Conversation is just beginning.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Operation PRISM: We Are All Now “Enemies of the State”

June 7, 2013

obamabigbroMy Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.

Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing. Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use. Executive departments and agencies should harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public feedback to identify information of greatest use to the public.

President Barack Hussein Obama, “Transparency and Open Government”, 1/21/2009, whitehouse.gov

He lied.

Yesterday, Americans found out that their Federal Government, under the leadership of Barack Hussein Obama, utilizing the resources of the NSA, under the excuse of “National Security”, has been spying on literally all Americans, recording our cell phone conversations, along with keeping a record of our internet browsing, e-mails, and posts.

Regarding the monitoring of our phone calls, The New York Times reports…

The Obama administration is secretly carrying out a domestic surveillance program under which it is collecting business communications records involving Americans under a hotly debated section of the Patriot Act, according to a highly classified court order disclosed on Wednesday night.

The order, signed by Judge Roger Vinson of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in April, directs a Verizon Communications subsidiary, Verizon Business Network Services, to turn over “on an ongoing daily basis” to the National Security Agency all call logs “between the United States and abroad” or “wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.”

The order does not apply to the content of the communications.

Verizon Business Network Services is one of the nation’s largest telecommunications and Internet providers for corporations. It is not clear whether similar orders have gone to other parts of Verizon, like its residential or cellphone services, or to other telecommunications carriers. The order prohibits its recipient from discussing its existence, and representatives of both Verizon and AT&T declined to comment Wednesday evening.

The Guardian,  a newspaper/website in the UK, reported on the phone call monitoring Wednesday night.

Yesterday, they reported that the NSA has been monitoring 15 of the biggest Internet Servers, including Apple, Google, and Facebook.

The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.

The Guardian has verified the authenticity of the document, a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation – classified as top secret with no distribution to foreign allies – which was apparently used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the program. The document claims “collection directly from the servers” of major US service providers.

One of Obama’s biggest sycophants in the Main Stream Media, The New York Times, now says that Obama’s record of accountability and transparency leaves a lot to be desired:

The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it.

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The shear magnitude of what we learned yesterday is overwhelming. The Government of the United States of America, the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, has turned into a  New Politboro, so adept at spying on the New Proletariat, which its lousy economic policies has created, that it puts the old Soviet Union to shame.

Just think about it. Every phone call between you and your spouse, your kids, your parents, and the rest of your family, friends, business associates, and SPAM callers, are digitally recorded and kept in U.S. Government Archives, where they can be listened to by Government Agents.

Then, there’s the matter of the Monitoring of Internet Usage. Every time you get on Facebook or Twitter, or, even go to The Drudge Report to see what’s going on in the world, the Feds are making a record of your cyber-travels.

And, Lord help all of us Bloggers.

Thinking about the sheer number of recorded communications is mind-blowing.

Positively Orwellian, isn’t it?

Where will this blatant dismantling of the 4th Amendment lead us?

Will we all be led to “FEMA Camps” where we will have to watch a copy of the DVD of “Obama’s Speeches” over and over again, like the one he gave to the Queen of England when she visited the White House?

Will the “Men in Black” show up on our door step to take us away for writing blogs critical of Obama and his fellow Marxist/Alinskyites?

Speaking of them, I thought that those guys with the black suits and sunglasses on, outside my home, were just Mormons on a mission.

Obama has “radically changed” America, alright. He’s systematically taking our freedoms away.

Until He Comes,

KJ