Are wake-up calls tracked?

With a broad new spy scandal, even hard-left liberals now see the problem

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On May 25, we asked “our liberal friends to make common cause with conservatives in fighting the attacks on freedom coming from this presidential administration.”

That was before we learned the National Security Agency and FBI have been spying on millions of us.

Many progressives have been slow to see the problem, much less join the fight. Some liberals around the country argued it was a good thing to have the IRS targeting conservative groups for harassment. Some misguided young souls at the University of Colorado even signed a giant card thanking the IRS for doing it.

Ever so slowly, liberals are starting to come around, as they realize that it’s not just someone else’s ox being gored. When anyone’s freedom is attacked, we’re all at risk.

Now, however, there are plenty of gored oxes to go around.

Now that we know the Obama administration has been spying on millions of Americans’ phone records and Internet activities, even the ultraliberal New York Times editorial board has blasted the president.

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

Citing the alleged terrorist-watching excuse for the spying on innocent Americans, the Times notes that might be “a vital goal, but how is it served by collecting everyone’s call data? ... Essentially, the administration is saying that without any individual suspicion of wrongdoing, the government is allowed to know whom Americans are calling every time they make a phone call, for how long they talk and from where.”

And, we might add, all that spying on Americans didn’t manage to prevent the Boston bombing. While our government was snooping on us, the Russians were waving flags and sending up flares about the terrorists from Chechnya that ended up attacking the marathon.

Moreover, the domestic spying is an interesting contrast with the administration’s longtime posture that we’re not really engaged in a war on terror. Mr. Obama recently even suggested it was time to get America off its “perpetual wartime footing.” Spying on innocent Americans is a funny way to shift that footing.

Liberal icon Al Gore even came out against the spying, tweeting, “In digital era, privacy must be a priority. Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?”

“The defense of this practice offered by Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, who as chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee is supposed to be preventing this sort of overreaching, was absurd,” the Times wrote. The newspaper also noted that Mr. Obama himself once bitterly complained of such things under President Bush putting “forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide.”

Conservatives would also question trusting an administration that has already demonstrated an unparalleled zeal for using the tools of government to marginalize, if not destroy, political opponents.

As liberal consultant Julie Roginsky has written, “We have arrived at a defining moment for the progressive movement in this nation. ... Every progressive with even a shred of moral consistency should side with the New York Times against the White House.”

You would’ve thought Obama’s spying on journalists would’ve accomplished that. But better late than never.

Will the country stand united against this?

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carcraft
25050
Points
carcraft 06/10/13 - 05:01 am
7
3
A Civil Liberties nightmare

President Obama used a list and listed who would live and die by drone strikes, including American citizens, with out ONE court being involved in what is clearly a violation of several constitutional guarantees. One of Obama's targets was a 16 year old American citizen. Then we have Fast and Furious in which the Attorney General of the United States lied to congress, with held Subpoenaed data and finally got off the hook by President Obama exerting Executive Privilege. Holder right now is in contempt of Congress. We have the Attorney General of the United States lying to a Judge to get a court order to tap a reporters Phone lines and those of his Parents. We have this administration conducting broad surveillance of a news service phone lines. Then there is the IRS scandal in which President Obama's administration knew about this a year ago and yet some how President Obama was never informed. The Other great debacle was the Benghazi Episode in which the UN Ambassador went on all the news shows and told a lie to the American People. Now this was a lie concocted by three different agencies of the US Government and underwent 12 different revisions. Then President Obama went before the World and lied to the UN. At what point for liberals is enough enough? This is far beyond what Bush ever did so Please don't give me the Bush did it garbage. Now we have the NSA fiasco !

Riverman1
81436
Points
Riverman1 06/10/13 - 05:34 am
5
2
Dangerously Seductive

It's dangerously seductive to hit the pause button on civil liberties with excuses of law and order or national security.

Bodhisattva
5868
Points
Bodhisattva 06/10/13 - 05:51 am
3
6
Augusta Chronicle Editorial 1/7/2006

"The hard left's claim that Bush's wiretapping is on the scale of another Watergate is nonsense. This isn't President Nixon's GOP "plumbers" raiding Democratic headquarters to steal campaign plans. Nor is it Big Brother eavesdropping on Americans communicating with other Americans.

It is the National Security Agency trying to protect Americans from another 9-11 attack, or worse, by wiretapping U.S. citizens in cahoots with overseas terrorists. Do we really want to strip the government of that authority?"

Bodhisattva
5868
Points
Bodhisattva 06/10/13 - 06:11 am
4
10
Since it's been common

Since it's been common knowledge the NSA has been spying on us since 2002, the Chronicle is a little slow on the uptake. As the editorial above shows, they said they knew about it in 2006 and just ignored (or a scarily common practice on this editorial page, lied about) the extent of the wiretaps. Even worse, they were all for it and any that might be against it were inferred to be in cahoots with the terrorists. Bipolar? Just can't make up your mind? Wishy washy? Paid political hacks? Obviously the latter.

carcraft
25050
Points
carcraft 06/10/13 - 07:16 am
8
2
Bodhisattva, I have mixed

Bodhisattva, I have mixed feelings about this. Conservatives were targeted by the IRS. Palin's governors email account was hacked and the emails were made public. Joe the plumbers personnel information was leaked to the press and he was savaged by it. It appears information from Mitt Romney's IRS records were unlawfully released. Now I have nothing to hide but people who use to live where I lived were not grey credit worthy. I have had numerous exchanges with collection services and child support agencies over past occupants trying to get mail and phone calls stopped. Now it would be very easy to slime me with innuendo if this data were made public in the wrong context!

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/10/13 - 07:33 am
6
3
"It is the National Security
Unpublished

"It is the National Security Agency trying to protect Americans from another 9-11 attack, or worse, by wiretapping U.S. citizens in cahoots with overseas terrorists. Do we really want to strip the government of that authority?"

Really? So you are saying that every single Verizon customer is in cahoots with overseas terrorists? Care to comment on this Bod, or will you just hit and run as usual?

ymnbde
9504
Points
ymnbde 06/10/13 - 07:38 am
5
3
as Glinda said to Dorothy

"are you a good witch, or a bad witch?"
Hillary and the FBI files, O and the IRS... they can't help themselves
they're just bad
liberals simply can't be trusted with our personal information
which is really sad, cause connecting telephone calls helps deter terrorism
thanks a lot, O
W just didn't lead like that

carcraft
25050
Points
carcraft 06/10/13 - 07:42 am
3
1
Humble Angela, it is my

Humble Angela, it is my understanding (I could be wrong) but it works as data mining. Calls from certain areas and calls with certain words or word sequences are looked at. The data is then looked at. The initial work is done by computers.

Rhetor
982
Points
Rhetor 06/10/13 - 07:42 am
3
5
yes, but

I certainly agree with the editorial. However, when Bush started these invasive programs in the wake of 9/11, the ACES defended them on this page. Your argument was that law-abiding citizens have nothing to worry about. You're a bit late joining the libertarian cause here, don't you think? What goes around comes around! If conservatives, of all people, have forgotten this basic principle, what are we coming to?

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/10/13 - 07:44 am
7
2
I understand how it works,
Unpublished

I understand how it works, but the monitoring of every single customer is a violation of the 4th amendment, unless you have a reasonable suspicion of the people you are monitoring. There is no way you can tell if "certain words" are being used unless you are monitoring EVERY word, be it by computer or by human makes no difference.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/10/13 - 07:47 am
6
3
When Bush stated the program
Unpublished

When Bush stated the program it wasn't EVERY customer that was monitored, it was only those making calls to countries that were under suspicion. The dragnet wasn't so all inclusive. "what comes around goes around" is a great way to rationalize this abhorrent behavior by pointing to someone else's behavior. It was wrong then and it is still wrong now....but now, it has been amplified many fold.

allhans
23471
Points
allhans 06/10/13 - 08:34 am
5
2
No ONE has claimed that it

No ONE has claimed that it began with Obama. The problem is that it was expanded and the rules changed. And then, Congress didn't bother to read the new regulations, they took for granted that it was the same with no changes...they assumed TOO much.

justthefacts
21099
Points
justthefacts 06/10/13 - 08:48 am
7
3
Liberals are funny

Can you imagine if a Republican was in office now. It would be a feeding frenzy by the looney left. And here they are rationalizing it. More proof that Obama is liar.
Back in 2008, Obama said "Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of my presidency" and that whistleblowing should be looked on as "acts of courage and patriotism... [that] should be encouraged rather than stifled."

Jon Lester
2275
Points
Jon Lester 06/10/13 - 08:49 am
7
0
The joint news conference held by DiFi and Zaxby should be

all the evidence you need that the United States federal government has been ruled by a fascist duopoly for decades, gladly enabled and nourished by the for-profit mass media, which help perpetuate the ridiculous team sports mentality of Red and Blue.

I encourage each of you to get behind the anti-establishment movement or third party of your choice, whether it's TEA Party Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, Constitutionalists, Socialists, Communists or (my favorite) The Rent is Too Damn High (and you know it is, for a myriad of reasons). If more of us resist the mindset that only two choices matter, and vote our consciences anyway, the more the old guard's grip on power will be diluted.

carcraft
25050
Points
carcraft 06/10/13 - 09:09 am
3
3
Jon Lester, I would tend to

Jon Lester, I would tend to disagree. The Press was on Bush like a fat boy on fried chicken during the fourth of July picnic. Obama not so much. The press yawned at fast and furious, hardly cares about the drone program, went along with the administration on Benghazi, and has barely cover the IRS, let alone the Rosen and AP wire taps etc. Every time Bush sneezed it was reported. Every pimple, hiccup, time away from the White House was presented as Bush being out of touch. The Obama's, lavish vacations and parties, golf all the time, and the press yawns. During the attack on Benghazi Obama was fund raising and partying in Las Vegas. The other issue is that not ONE of the current scandals was uncovered by Journo-list lame stream media. Is our country being manipulated by foreign governments. It is interesting that both Russia and China are filling a vacuum in the mid east and stabilizing the government of Syria. Are we going to be so tied up in these scandals that we miss the big picture? I understand that the leaker of the NSA information is going to live in China!

justthefacts
21099
Points
justthefacts 06/10/13 - 09:25 am
4
2
Jon Lester

A cry in the wilderness. It will take one heck of a leader.

Bizkit
30318
Points
Bizkit 06/10/13 - 09:54 am
4
2
We have already seen the

We have already seen the justice department and IRS abuse their power so why in the world would any fool believe that the same if not worse will occur with the data mining and using it for political purposes.

rmwhitley
5538
Points
rmwhitley 06/10/13 - 10:02 am
0
0
I believe
Unpublished

it's time for libbies to have an enema and get a colonoscopy to clear their heads.

Rhetor
982
Points
Rhetor 06/10/13 - 10:07 am
2
1
Wow!

This flip-flopping is a common occurrence in politics, is it not? This NSA program was a Bush program that Obama continued. It was, I agree, wrong then and wrong now. Although I am glad that conservatives are (finally) seeing that major attacks on our liberty are too high a price to pay for security, I fear that their libertarian ideals will vanish once Obama is out of office. The Johnny-come lately personal freedom advocates are correct, of course, but will they be resilient? I hope so, but... I fear that their outrage is merely a convenient way to attack Obama, and worry that there is no depth to the conservative's make-believe furor over this program. If you supported the massive assaults on personal freedom of the Patriot Act, you have, in my opinion, no basis to be angry now.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/10/13 - 10:20 am
5
2
The difference.... I don't
Unpublished

The difference.... I don't recall the program under Bush including EVERY SINGLE customer that Verizon has....just those that had communication with foreign countries that were under suspicion. The 4th amendment prohibits UNREASONABLE search and seizure. Equating the two programs is much like when liberals try to equate immigration with illegal immigration, or abortion with the death penalty. That dog just won't hunt.

justthefacts
21099
Points
justthefacts 06/10/13 - 10:33 am
4
2
Rhetor

So, as a Democrat, how do you feel about Obama claiming all this would stop under his administration? Can you bring yourself to actually condemn his administration? Don't you feel betrayed?

grouse
1635
Points
grouse 06/10/13 - 10:35 am
0
0
Liberals don't like it, but
Unpublished

Liberals don't like it, but remember who started this? Bush/Cheney.

dichotomy
31688
Points
dichotomy 06/10/13 - 11:46 am
2
2
I think we have ALL known for

I think we have ALL known for a long time that this was going on, but the Snowden incident is rubbing it in our face. The difference is that, under the Obama administration, we know that a lot of personal information and records have been "leaked". And we know that the power of the IRS, the EPA, and other government regulatory agencies have been unleashed to crucify certain groups and individuals. The bottom line is that I trusted the Bush administration to collect data and ONLY use it to investigate suspected terrorists. Given the revelations of the IRS targeting of political enemies, I do NOT trust the Obama administration and his appointees to run agencies that collect personal data and then use the powers of government to punish the opposition.

Any time you give the government to much power SOMEONE will come along and use it against you. We are there. Maybe we should never have let it go this far......maybe we should be more careful about who we elect. Apparently the terrorists are not the only threat to our way of life.

carcraft
25050
Points
carcraft 06/10/13 - 12:03 pm
2
2
There is a liberal knee jerk reaction

The left is n full defense mode for Obama. Anytime anything comes up out pops "well Bush did it". Please explain to me when Bush allowed guns to smuggled into Mexico with out the knowledge of the Mexican government. Please Explain to me when Bush OR Nixon wiretapped a reporter's phone under false pretenses. Please explain to me when the IRS targeted hundreds (yes over 500) groups with over 80 IRS employees being involved. Please explain to me when Bush collected data on EVERY American using a cell phone. Please explain to me when Bush targeted for death American citizens with out one court or warrant being issued.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/10/13 - 12:06 pm
3
2
Carcraft. I hope you aren't
Unpublished

Carcraft. I hope you aren't holding your breath for an answer.

carcraft
25050
Points
carcraft 06/10/13 - 12:13 pm
4
2
Humble Angela

I do hope the liberals are holding their breath while waiting for Obama to explain all this...:) We now have another scandal, appears that State Department employees engaged in various perversions and criminal activates in foreign countries and it was covered up. Seems some of the folks in Hillary Clintons security detail were involved. Of course when you have some one with no executive experience, no executive skills and an ego the size of Texas this is what happens! Of course we have to realize this all started under Bush or Nixon...:)

Bizkit
30318
Points
Bizkit 06/10/13 - 12:32 pm
3
2
I'd expect the Cuban, or

I'd expect the Cuban, or Iranian, or Russian, or Chinese govts to spy on their citizens as they do, BUT NOT IN THE US. Sad the sheeple just seem to accept this all under the guise of protectionism.

ymnbde
9504
Points
ymnbde 06/10/13 - 12:41 pm
3
2
it's trust in W vs trust in O

and W showed that he wanted to win, or at least diminish, the war on terror
and the programs would have stopped
O seems to want to continue, and even placate the terrorists, both nations and individuals
and the snooping programs will go on forever
just like he doesn't seem to care that kids aren't being educated
and that keeps them voting democrat...
trust matters...
O, and his little o's, just don't have any
the IRS scandal is going to cause innocent Americans to die
because we've lost trust in the government and that will stop these surveillance programs
and they do, in fact, work

nofanofobama
6801
Points
nofanofobama 06/10/13 - 01:03 pm
3
2
does any one else see the

does any one else see the irony that the whistle blower may seek asylum in china...not to many years ago the US was accepting people who were tying to flee tyranny from an all intruding govt..we come along way baby...

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