A betrayal of trust

Government mired in scandals is quickly losing credibility

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He may have broken a law in exposing the federal government’s spying on us. And whether he did the right thing is a matter of robust debate.

But whatever you think of National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, we seriously doubt he’s a traitor as some seem to think, such as House Speaker John Boehner. It occurs to us that the term “traitor” connotes an intent not just to betray but to do harm by it.

There’s no evidence that’s the case here. In fact, everything appears to point to an intent to help the country, by alerting the citizenry that we’re being spied on by our government. The aim, arguably, would be to restore the kind of liberty enshrined in both the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

That said, Edward Snowden really isn’t the issue. It’s us – and our relationship, as a supposedly self-governing people, to our elected government.

That relationship certainly appears to have changed drastically, horribly, in just the past few weeks, with the revelations of Department of Justice spying on journalists, IRS harassment of conservatives and now the NSA spying on millions of Americans’ phone and Internet records.

Maybe an administration that has shown itself to be duplicitous and untrustworthy creates whistleblowers of its own accord.

Frankly, at this point we wish there were more of them. Perhaps all government workers should be issued whistles.

Who’s doing the betraying here, anyway? Isn’t it this government that’s betraying our trust? Besides all the ongoing scandals – which include the Fast and Furious gun-running debacle and the Benghazi disaster, both of which got Americans killed – there’s the little matter of your federal government partying on your dollar as you scrape by to survive.

Remember “GSA Man” – the General Services Administration official who became the poster child for government waste with his unrepentant grin in a beverage-adorned Las Vegas tub at a lavish conference in 2010? A fresher scandal is now enveloping the IRS, which admits to having put on a $4.1 million conference in Anaheim, Calif. – which featured a now infamous and very amateurish video Star Trek spoof. Like GSA Man’s tub photo, the Star Trek video has instantly become an undying symbol of the in-your-face waste of your money by government bureaucrats.

You want to talk about a betrayal of trust? Let’s have that discussion!

This government is hardly in any position to lament someone else’s betrayal of trust.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has emerged as a beacon of civil liberties in this troubling time. We heartily support Sen. Paul’s effort to mobilize as many as 10 million Americans to protest the government’s spying on us. He plans a class-action lawsuit, as well as legislation enforcing our Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable and warrantless searches.

Paul calls the domestic spying “an astounding assault on the Constitution.” He’s right. And, noting that all that spying didn’t prevent the Boston Marathon bombing, he says burying national security officials in a billion calls a day, not to mention emails and Internet records, is “just bad police work.”

Moreover, while Paul says “this much power is too much power to give any government,” he reminds us that all that intelligence on us is currently in the hands of “a government that appears to target people based on their political beliefs. I don’t want my phone records being given to an administration that I can’t trust.”

Paul sounds very much like a former Senate colleague of his who, in the mid-2000s, bitterly decried domestic spying under President George W. Bush, saying his administration acted like “violating civil liberties is a way to enhance our security. It is not. There are no shortcuts to protecting America.”

That senator was Barack Obama – who, back then, warned against “undermining our Constitution and our freedom.”

Obama also once said:

• “We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.”

• “No more illegal wiretapping of American citizens.”

• “No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime.”

• “We need to find a way forward to make sure that we can stop terrorists while protecting the privacy and liberty of innocent Americans.”

Congratulations, Mr. President. After the Boston bombing and the NSA scandal, we can truthfully say you’ve done neither.

Comments (75) Add comment
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dahreese
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dahreese 06/13/13 - 03:11 pm
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The first 30 seconds tells it all
Unpublished

Donald Rumsfeld meets Saddam Hussein 1983 (full) - YouTube

As we all recall, Rumsfeld is a Republican and was a GWB man.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaP7ZrmkcuU‎Similar

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 06/13/13 - 03:15 pm
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Read the link.
Unpublished

Read the link.

Darby
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Darby 06/13/13 - 03:24 pm
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"I, a liberal, still believe that George W.

lied about "WMD's and Mission accomplished"."

.
Yes, even when presented facts to the contrary. God bless you liberals. You have the naive innocence of little children.

Bet you believe in the Tooth Fairy and the superiority of socialism too.

Darby
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Darby 06/13/13 - 03:29 pm
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"Let's just say that I won this one"

Sorry, no one in his right mind could do that...

nofanofobama
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nofanofobama 06/13/13 - 03:49 pm
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when you at war***you

when you at war***you sometimes have strange bedfellows**USA GREAT BRITIAN AND THE SOVIET UNION during ww2...after the war and even b/4 the war was over the relationship was strained and finally snapped..remember saddam was at war in late 80"s with IRAN. then one of our mortal enemies beause of the hostages and the take over of our embassy during the 2nd worst president in modern history...

dahreese
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dahreese 06/13/13 - 03:57 pm
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@Michael Ryan
Unpublished

"EEL seems to insinuate we're hypocrites on domestic spying. Here's what we said about it under Bush:"

You may have "said it under Bush", but only indirectly.

The target of your comment was Robert Mueller, and you then, and now 'conveniently' overlook - "Director Mueller, along with Acting Attorney General James B. Comey, offered to resign from office in March 2004 if the White House overruled a Department of Justice finding that domestic wiretapping without a court warrant was unconstitutional."

If the AC editorial section wants to present itself as "independent"and "unbiased" it should present an 'independent" editorial that equally excoriates GWB for allowing the domestic spying program to begin as well as Obama for allowing it to continue.

KSL
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KSL 06/13/13 - 04:02 pm
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You do know what an editorial

You do know what an editorial is?

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 06/13/13 - 04:06 pm
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Thanks you Mike Ryan

I appreciate your posting a link to ACES April 2, 2007 piece, and having just read it, I would now alter my brief posting of this morning. But only slightly. The 2007 piece deals with national security letters, which as you noted this morning, were specifically condemned by Senator Obama. In 2007, ACES actually supported the use of such intelligence gathering tools under the Patriot Act, but issued a "slap on the wrist" to the FBI, simply admonishing it to "cross every T and dot every I" in using them.
There is not a hint of the Bush administration's FBI domestic surveillance
shortcomings as "an astounding assault on the Constitution," and in fact there is no mention whatsoever of George Bush! There really is no comparison between the rather gentle rebuke of the 2007 piece and this morning's across-the board attacks on President Obama and his administration. Apples and oranges.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 06/13/13 - 04:09 pm
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Ok. When presented with
Unpublished

Ok. When presented with facts, you simply ignore them. Good tactic.

grouse
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grouse 06/13/13 - 04:12 pm
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0
effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 06/13/13 - 04:34 pm
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Humble

You talking to me?

carcraft
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carcraft 06/13/13 - 04:38 pm
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The hypocrisy is deafening,

The hypocrisy is deafening, yes especially when you compare President Obama's pre presidential with Obama 's post presidential statements.

carcraft
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carcraft 06/13/13 - 04:47 pm
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The only way those defending

The only way those defending Obama have in their pursuit of defending the indefensible is to attack Bush and Bush's policies. The only problem with this strategy is that Obama PROMISED he would be different than Bush. This creates the problem of now defending what appears to now be Bush's 3rd and 4 th terms!

KSL
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KSL 06/13/13 - 04:49 pm
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Indeed, car

Why does he get a pass?

dahreese
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dahreese 06/13/13 - 04:53 pm
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"You do know what an
Unpublished

"You do know what an editorial is?"

Yes, I 'can' read the difference between an independent editorial and an editorial that is nothing but a piece of biased propaganda.

And apparently, I'm not the only one (effete elitist liberal 06/13/13 - 04:06 pm): "There really is no comparison between the rather gentle rebuke of the 2007 piece and this morning's across-the board attacks on President Obama and his administration. Apples and oranges."

If the AC editorial section wants to present itself as "independent"and "unbiased" it should present an 'independent" editorial that equally excoriates GWB for allowing the domestic spying program to begin as well as Obama for allowing it to continue.

And given your question, "...do know what an editorial is?", unless you need to be made to 'feel good' everyday of your already determined viewpoints, what is the use of reading an editorial that you already know is going to be biased?

KSL
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KSL 06/13/13 - 04:58 pm
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The utter corruption of the

The utter corruption of the Obama administration, with new revelations coming out daiily, and you libs still defend him.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 06/13/13 - 05:19 pm
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Speaking of apples and
Unpublished

Speaking of apples and oranges, some seem to not be able to see the difference between monitoring the calls of people calling foreign countries that are hostile to the US, and monitoring every single call that every single citizen makes, and collecting all of their emails.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 06/13/13 - 05:22 pm
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"If the AC editorial section
Unpublished

"If the AC editorial section wants to present itself as "independent"and "unbiased" it should present an 'independent" editorial that equally excoriates GWB for allowing the domestic spying program to begin as well as Obama for allowing it to continue."

Dahreese, maybe you should follow your own advice and for one time in your life, condemn Obama for taking a policy that Bush started and increasing it 1000's of times over. But I doubt you will.

faithson
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faithson 06/13/13 - 05:36 pm
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quickly losing credibility

come on now, since when has this administration had 'any' credibility with most of you'all. Pleeeaaassseee, tell me when this editorial board ever gave this administration or the democratic party any considerations other than to demonize them as would a pastor his fallen flock. I am always amazed at the attitude of those who really seem to think we on the other side are a bunch of idiots with no moral compass. Living pretty much out in the open about my political proclivities has always brought scorn, scorn by many whom I have found to be predjudiced, not intellectual. Of course we should follow the 'money' and see where courts, grand juries, special prosecutors and appointed committee's take us, but so much of what is going on right now is partisianship, downright in your face, 'we know and you are'... I especially love the way so many feel our enterprise is falling apart and don't realize that along with some of what they have to say, THEY are also a element of the diminishment.

faithson
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faithson 06/13/13 - 05:44 pm
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increasing it 1000's of times over

now that embelishment calls for some fact checking... certainly the capacity with improvement of computer technology has lead us into this '1984', it is congress and the courts where overview must be implemented. I think the NSA chief who lied ('no we don't spy on the American people') to the committee would have done so under ANY administration he was working for.

Darby
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Darby 06/13/13 - 05:50 pm
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I am so glad I blocked Dahreese...

Responding to his posts is like cessation of the practice of banging your head against a wall.

It feels SO good to have finally stopped.

KSL
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KSL 06/13/13 - 05:56 pm
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faithson

How can you know he would have lied under any administration?

faithson
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faithson 06/13/13 - 06:30 pm
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KSL

because it was his JOB... to cover the NSA's arshe, no matter the ethics involved. I really don't get how so many think things are really different now than they ever were... we just have faux news now, as in 'celelbrity news', from ALL sides.

faithson
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faithson 06/13/13 - 06:47 pm
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yea, I agree

CommonDreams.org
This scandal is not just about Edward Snowden. It is about secret government in general, the militarization of intelligence, the privatization of governmental functions, and the role of secret campaign contributions to prevent adequate oversight of the executive branch and its pet companies.

carcraft
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carcraft 06/13/13 - 06:52 pm
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The defense of Obama comes

The defense of Obama comes down to "any one would lie". Please explain to me when Bush sent the US ambassador to the UN to FIVE different news program to lie. When caught lying she gets promoted! Now is this the level of ethical comportment Obama promised as he read those fancy speeches off the Telepromter ?

carcraft
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carcraft 06/13/13 - 07:02 pm
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Obama the lost

In Dec of 2012 Obama drew "a red line in the sand" for the Syrian President and warned him against using Chemical weapons. Well now the Obama administration has declared he used Chemical weapons ( even though it was know in March of this year). Obama doesn't have a response! Are you kidding me? This guy is a complete clown. Syria crossed the red line and has been found guilty and Obama sites there like a dolt with no response. When Obama drew his red line he should have called up the Joint Chiefs and said "hay what can we do to this the president of Syria in this situation" The Chief of staff look at the situation and come up with options. When Obama declares the weapons were used he should have had his response in hand chosen from those options. Obama has had 6 months to work on this! Oh wait there is golf, a big White House party to host and maybe a vacation or two...can't rush it, this is what Bush would have done! The White House new motto "WWBHD" What Would Bush have done..

carcraft
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carcraft 06/13/13 - 07:15 pm
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These folks don't lie, they

These folks don't lie, they have a language parsed to avoid the truth.

KSL
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KSL 06/13/13 - 07:29 pm
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So now we are to accept lying

So now we are to accept lying under oath because that is just what "they do."

Holder gets a pass?

I know, both Clintons lowered the bar on being truthful. And they did other horrible things they got away with.

Darby
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Darby 06/13/13 - 08:41 pm
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"It is about secret government in general,

.
In the 1960's and 1970's we called it the "Shadow" government. We've come so far.

dahreese
4717
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dahreese 06/14/13 - 09:14 am
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"Dahreese, maybe you should
Unpublished

"Dahreese, maybe you should follow your own advice and for one time in your life, condemn Obama for taking a policy that Bush started and increasing it 1000's of times over. But I doubt you will."

On, me, oh my - another case of the anosognosic's dilemma.

It's right there in the paragraph - clear as day.

"If the AC editorial section wants to present itself as "independent"and "unbiased" it should present an 'independent" editorial that equally excoriates GWB for allowing the domestic spying program to begin as well as Obama for allowing it to continue."

But you probably still have your doubt.

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