Americans pissed it down the drain, twice over.
In Obama-land: What happened to freedom?
Big Brother can mine your thoughts as you are typing them.
WASHINGTON, DC. Ask Americans to describe the series of Washington scandals imploding in and around the Obama White House and the word pictures conjure something out of old Eastern Bloc dictatorships, not the Land of the Free.
Journalists’ emails and phone calls are secretly monitored and tapped by the US Justice Department – with the approval of Attorney General Eric Holder. A respected reporter is tagged a “co-conspirator” in a leak investigation for doing his job. Does the nation’s top attorney sworn to defend the Constitution step down in disgrace over revelations of unconstitutional overreach? “You can take it from me,” top Obama aide Valerie Jarrett said this week, “he will be in his position for quite a while.”
Conservative groups are harassed and penalized by the federal tax-collection agency, the Internal Revenue Service, which increasingly behaves like a political goon of the Obama White House. According to sworn testimonies before Congress, the impetus for this targeting comes from Washington headquarters, not from “rogue” operators in regional offices. White House visitor logs show that two senior IRS officials have visited the Obama White House 165 times and 157 times respectively. Why? One of these officials is in charge of the IRS office that is gearing up to oversee and enforce “Obamacare.” What’s going on? Will the president appoint a special prosecutor to uncover the facts and restore trust in government? The President sees no need, says a variety of White House spokesmen.
Then we learn that federal security agencies, including both the National Security Agency (NSA) and the FBI, are plugging into the central servers of nine top U.S. Internet companies, from Google to AOL to Apple. From these sources, the NSA is “extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs, according to a top-secret document,” the Washington Postreported in an account published nearly simultaneously with one in the the (UK) Guardian.
These two reports were the world’s first inklings of the so-called Prism program, secretly initiated under President George W. Bush and continued under President Barack Obama as a means of pre-empting terrorist attacks, Big-Brother-style. The program uses a data-mining tool called Boundless Informant. According to The Guardian, “Boundless Informant documents show the agency collecting almost 3 billion pieces of intelligence from US computer networks over a 30-day period ending in March 2013.” The Washington Post’s source is an intelligence officer committed to expose, the Post reported, what he believes to be a gross intrusion on privacy. “They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type,” the officer told the newspaper.
But the Prism program is not to be confused with the top-secret court order issued in April to compel the phone company Verizon to turn over to the National Security Agency, NSA, telephone records of tens of millions of US customers. These records do not include call content.
Ho, hum, business as usual, commented the two top senators on the Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee, Republican and Democrat. They have acquiesced to the executive branch’s massive data hauls as a tactic to fight “terrorism.” Far be it that these elected officials with oversight responsibilities require the federal branch to rescind government-wide orders that have expunged all study of Islamic jihad at US security agencies and in the military.
The president, meanwhile, characterizes his secret program’s intrusions into American lives as positively circumspect. “Nobody is listening to your phone calls,” President Obama said in a statement knocking the “hype” about the NSA surveillance program and defending what he called “modest encroachments on privacy.”