The NSA Goes On Declassification Spree Ahead Of Obama Reform Chris Davies Slash Gear January 19, 2014
US National Intelligence director James Clapper has thrown open the books on hundreds of previously classified documents detailing national and international surveillance, as President Obama's scheme to reform the NSA goes into operation. The new batch of declassified files brings the total number of released documents to around 2,300 pages, DNI Clapper wrote, including orders from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), documents the NSA and others have previously submitted to Congress, and data about the legality of the ways in which the NSA collects telephone metadata and other programs currently operating. That metadata has become one of the hot-button issues in surveillance, as Americans - and those outside of the US - become increasingly aware of programs that gather huge quantities of call records. Although several high-profile officials have insisted that the US takes a measured approach to both collection and analysis, leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden have painted a different picture, where collection and access are near-ubiquitous. That, Obama said on Friday, needs to change. The President has given intelligence officials until the end of March to propose new ways to manage the database that stores the collected records. That could potentially include entrusting it to a third-party, though security experts have warned that such a move could introduce even more challenges. Speaking in direct response to President Obama's assertions that the NSA and other intelligence agencies needed to rethink how they operated, Clapper described the stance as both measured and thoughtful. "His reforms are focused on striking the right balance between making sure we have the tools necessary to conduct intelligence," the national intelligence chief wrote, "and ensuring that we are being as transparent as possible and abiding by protocols that protect the civil liberties and privacy of all Americans."
Rand Paul Uses NSA Suit To Boost Campaign KATIE GLUECK Politico January 19, 2014
Rand Paul’s move to sue the National Security Agency is his latest expression of outrage about government overreach and invasion of privacy. It’s also an unusual play by the likely presidential candidate to advance his political ambitions. Largely unnoticed in Paul’s effort is this: the names and email addresses of anyone who registers support for his class-action suit against the NSA goes straight into the Kentucky Republican senator’s political database, which he could leverage into a campaign. It’s one of the most high-profile attempts yet by a potential 2016 White House candidate to link a specific policy debate to unabashed campaign politics, and strategists say it’s a smart way to bulk up his campaign list and energize his base. Legal success or failure aside, Paul supporters view the effort as a chance for him to drive the conversation on a hot-button issue while honing his brand as a smallgovernment champion and making overtures to young voters, a group he’s betting cares deeply about protecting privacy. Some observers, however, call the move more political than anything else — a somewhat gimmicky gambit on a serious subject with questionable chances of effecting legal change. Paul, who’s up for reelection to the Senate in 2016 but is widely thought to be weighing a presidential bid, announced earlier this month that he is pursuing the lawsuit following revelations of extensive NSA data-gathering, including of phone records and other information. Signing up to support the court action takes place on Paul’s campaign website — RandPaul2016.com — as well as on his nongovernmental Facebook page and at RandPAC.com, though joining the petition doesn’t automatically make one a party to an eventual suit. “We think what the government is doing now is overreach,” Paul told POLITICO in an interview
Thursday, referring to the NSA’s mass collection of data. “We don’t think we can allow the president, who’s allowed this overreach, to be the one to police [it] himself.” On Friday, he issued a statement dismissing President Barack Obama’s new NSA reform proposals as “the same unconstitutional program with a new configuration” and pledged to press on with the lawsuit as well as an act he’s pushing in Congress. Paul’s advisers say that mounting the class-action petition through official Senate channels would be difficult, which is why they are utilizing campaign sites, and they stress that the lawsuit is not being paid for with taxpayer dollars. A senior Paul adviser acknowledged, however, that people who sign on to the effort also will be added to the campaign’s lists for use down the road. “This could have been done through some other named website,” the adviser said. “We did it straight up. Go to RandPaul2016.com or RandPAC.com to sign up. They know who they’re giving their name to. It’s a couple hundred thousand people who obviously care about this issue, care about Rand taking action on this issue. [We’re] sure there are other things they’ll care about.” (As of earlier this week, the adviser put the signature count at more than 300,000.) One missive from Paul that’s featured prominently on the campaign sites reads: “I’m OUTRAGED — and I’m going to do everything I can to END this madness.” It concludes with a call for “a generous donation … to stop Big Brother.” The donations go to the Paul campaign, though the senior adviser wasn’t able to provide fundraising numbers directly resulting from the class-action efforts. Benjamin Wittes, a legal expert on national security issues at the Brookings Institution, said that from what he knows about the lawsuit so far, “it will accomplish absolutely nothing” because the general argument “essentially duplicates litigation” already underway in the courts. He noted that could change depending on what argument Paul’s team advances or whether it joins with other pending litigation, but said that for now, the lawsuit appears to be more “a way of expressing substantial political discontent.” “It’s a way of…forcing the administration to talk about things,” Wittes said. “There’s a lot of value — I don’t say this pejoratively — from a PR point of view in having the litigation. If (they filed) early in the process, it could be the leading edge of the mechanism by which this gets decided. But I think it’s going to be more the former than the latter.” On a tactical level, veteran digital campaign strategists said Paul’s approach is savvy and forwardlooking, and they noted that it differs from that of several of his potential opponents, who have tended to shepherd supporters through PACs or generic campaign sites that make no mention of the next contest or aren’t yet fully functioning. For instance, ChristieforNJ.com, New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s 2013 campaign website, is defunct for now. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has a PAC called “Reclaim America,” a title that doesn’t mention the senator, or the next contest. TedCruz.org allows visitors to sign up to “stand with Ted,” but doesn’t suggest when the Texas Republican senator will need their support. On the Democratic side, online efforts are gearing up around Hillary Clinton: her 2008 presidential campaign’s email list is being rented to the super PAC Ready for Hillary, which is urging a presidential run from the former secretary of state. By directly linking his name to an issue, Paul is tapping into what could prove a particularly passionate group of supporters. He’s far from the first candidate to campaign and fundraise off a particular policy issue — Republicans take that approach to Obamacare all the time; some Democrats did the same to the war in Iraq or the so-called “war on women” — but by launching a lawsuit coupled with an aggressive media campaign, Paul is upping the ante. “Branding matters with these things,” said Zac Moffatt, who directed digital strategy for Republican
Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential bid. “If he says ‘Rand Paul 2016,’ he’s finding people who are choosing to sign up for Rand Paul.” GOP digital strategist Patrick Ruffini said that, of course, other candidates will ramp up their efforts as 2016 nears. Referencing moves by Paul and of Clinton’s supporters, he added that they are “doing what they need to do to put themselves in a position to start in a strong place on Day 1.” “On the day you announce, you want to have a base of people…You’re going to see people getting more and more aggressive about it,” Ruffini said. Paul has mounted other fundraising initiatives tied to policy positions on the websites — auditing the Federal Reserve, for example, or Obamacare — but he has pushed this effort in a particularly highprofile way, plugging it during cable news interviews, on social media sites and on the closely watched Sunday shows. The suit, Paul told POLITICO, will argue that “the NSA program contravenes the Fourth Amendment,” which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures. “We think the Fourth Amendment doesn’t allow a single warrant to apply to hundreds of millions of people,” Paul said. “We think the Fourth Amendment is pretty clear — a warrant should be specific to the person, the place, the items. We feel very strongly, and I think there’s some indication, that the Supreme Court will expand the breadth of the Fourth Amendment to apply to some of these records [gathered by the NSA].” The project has been in the making awhile, Paul aides say: he first started a petition protesting NSA tactics several months ago. But when a D.C. judge ruled in December that certain data-collection practices could be unconstitutional, that kicked things up a notch, leading to the announcement of the class-action suit and subsequent prominent advertising of the case. To pursue his arguments in court, Paul is enlisting the aid of some well-known conservative lawyers, including former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who could file a complaint by the end of the month. Court venues in Kentucky, the Washington, D.C. area or an eastern Virginia district are among those under consideration. Cuccinelli, a tea party favorite who lost a race for Virginia governor last fall, said he was asked to join in December by Doug Stafford, Paul’s former chief of staff who is now executive director of RandPAC, and is focused full-time on Paul’s political apparatus. Cuccinelli said the lawyers are still working on wording the complaint. He added that he hoped the case would be underway in time to affect the reauthorization of elements of the Patriot Act, which Congress will consider in 2015. “I would say there are two end goals: One is to shine a light on this abuse on the policy side so that reauthorization [of elements of the NSA program] doesn’t happen in 2015, or is dramatically scaled back,” Cuccinelli said. “And two, it is to set the legal precedent that the government doesn’t have the right to come in and gather up all of the citizens’ and non-citizens’ personal information, frankly … That’s the legal goal, to rein in the government from this sort of behavior.” Paul has said in several interviews that Republicans can make inroads with younger voters by emphasizing privacy rights. Obama won a whopping 60 percent of the youth vote in 2012, but Paul preaches that the GOP can recover in part by tackling privacy issues. The gist of his argument: complex tax code debates, for example, may not move the youth vote dial, but young people have a personal stake in the security of their cell phone. “Certainly, there’s no secret about it, he believes this issue would resonate with younger people,” the adviser said, adding, “He’s not looking for issues, not saying, ‘Hey, I need to appeal to young people. What should I do?’ It’s the other way around. These are his natural issues, the reasons he wants to be
here, the things he wants to talk about. But one of the selling points he’s going to make to other people in his party and elsewhere, is this is an issue young people care about.” At the same time, the case also puts Paul to the left of Obama on a national security issue, which may not do him favors with the establishment wing of his own party, whose support he will need if he runs for president. Many Republicans have defended the NSA, arguing the agency needs to have the proper tools to prevent terrorist attacks. Obama, in announcing his proposals to reform surveillance policies, which include restrictions on the collection and storing of telephone metadata, also defended the country’s intelligence apparatus. The president said the men and women working within it have “extraordinarily difficult” jobs. ”We cannot unilaterally disarm our intelligence agencies,” Obama said. Paul’s advisers say he will likely step up his public promotion of the lawsuit as a filing date draws closer. The Kentuckian made the initial announcement in a Fox News interview, directing viewers to his Facebook and PAC pages. On Facebook, he has several links to his campaign site sign-up page. “It’s really smart to identify people who share this point of view,” said Moffatt, the Romney campaign alum. “If you’re going to be a politician and take a stand, you should know who stands with you.”
Video: History Of The NSA Spy Grid Infowars.com January 19, 2014
Ever wondered how the National Security Agency emerged as the forefront of tyranny? Look no further than this video: A GIF Guide to the NSA (We Will Resist TSA & NSA Tyranny Infowars.com Contest) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8D_o7Eo_yI All the entries for the “We Will Resist TSA & NSA Tyranny” 10K Film Contest contest are in. Showcased videos are selected for general interest and their selection does not imply that they are
finalists or have met all the contest requirements. Keep checking out Infowars.com for more contest videos! All of the views expressed in the films are not necessarily endorsed by Infowars.
Obama: One If By Land, Two If By Sea, Three If By Metadata Jon Rappoport Infowars.com January 19, 2014
In his Friday speech, Obama ignored the essence of the FISA Court, the secret body that’s rubber-stamped warrants to do surveillance for the past 35 years. Most of these requests for warrants come from NSA and the FBI, and only government attorneys may appear before the Court, none of whose decisions are made public. Therefore, the Court is a de facto piece of the Executive Branch, and as such its existence violates the separation of powers principle of the Constitution. One of Snowden’s documents revealed that FISA had approved a blanket warrant requiring Verizon to make available, to NSA, records of all daily phone calls in its system. No, President Obama said nothing about this. Instead, he led off his speech on the NSA and national security with these words: “At the dawn of our Republic, a small, secret surveillance committee, born out of the Sons of Liberty, was established in Boston. And the group’s members included Paul Revere. At night, they would patrol the streets, reporting back any signs that the British were preparing raids against America’s early patriots.” Paul Revere as a metaphor for NSA spying. Yes, it’s not widely known that Paul was a Peeping Tom. He had a mental disorder. He was compulsively sneaking into houses of the colonists in Boston and watching them read by candlelight.
Paul also hung around local meat markets swatting flies and eavesdropping on conversations. He loitered in saloons, stood outside churches on Sundays to pick up juicy bits of gossip, steamed open letters, and quizzed blacksmiths on what their customers were jabbering about. He stole recipes for Thanksgiving dinner from Indians. If only he’d had 30,000 employees working for him, he could have blanketed the 13 colonies. The NSA is spying on 300 million innocent Americans. There is that difference between it and the midnight ride of Paul Revere. Just a small point. Who’s writing the President’s speeches? Is he trying to make the coronated leader of the free world look as ridiculous as possible? And is Obama even reading the words before he steps to the podium? “Hey, Cody, this piece about Paul Revere? I know we don’t teach history anymore in this country, but you took it way too far. It doesn’t even make sense. Oh, what the hell, who’ll notice it?” This weekend, you’ll see pundits on the news talk shows debating whether the President proposed significant enough changes in NSA spying methods. Did he go far enough? On the other side: can American still protect itself against terror attacks? This is the puppet presentation, framing the conversation in the wrong terms and then taking off from there to see who’s more right. It’s like mounting a discussion on whether $700 trillion or $800 trillion should be the debt ceiling of the US government. Here’s a reasonable takeaway from Obama’s speech: politicians lie, and they don’t learn how the moment they’re elected to office for the first time, because that doesn’t give them a long enough leadin to be good at it. They ARE liars. They know how to do it, from way back. They’re practiced. Gaining political office is just another opportunity to ply their trade. It’s a step up. Instead of merely lying as the owner of an oil company or a baseball team, or as a lawyer in an office, or as a community organizer on the street, they can now do it on a larger stage. Many of them feel they’re born to politics. And that’s why. They lie, and they lie about lying, and what they lie about when, for example, they move into the Oval Office is much more important. “I thought I was telling whoppers back in Chicago (Little Rock, Whittier, Crawford), but this is really something. Now I’m not just saying black is white, I’m saying it’s glowingly, blindingly white.” The news talk show I’d like to see this weekend would pose the following question: how would you compare, say, a king claiming God has given him a divine right to rule vs. President Obama saying we have nothing to worry about in this, the Surveillance State? It’s important to know the ultimate rationalization politicians give themselves when they’re lying about everything all the time. It is: “The people, the public are animals, biological machines, and they roam the countryside, and they’re very, very dangerous, and they must be controlled. They’re operating on faulty programming, and the only solution is giving them new and better programming. Meanwhile, we have to lie to them, to keep them reasonably pacified.” Welcome to Democracy. First, for about five minutes, as the ink was drying on the freshly signed Constitution, there was a Republic. Then, men began asking, “How can I twist this thing and lie all the time?” Democracy was the consequence. In order to make Democracy stick, we have the Surveillance State, and presidents who give it cover. This post originally appeared at www.nomorefakenews.com
Cher: Obama Let Us Down Elisha Krauss Truth Revolt January 18, 2014 Cher apparently lost her trust in the federal government on Thursday.
The cause of the star’s angst with government is unknown but Twitchy speculates it might have to do with a tweet about fracking:
Editor’s note: Cher has not backed off her statement,
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