After the Verizon N.S.A. leak hit the airwaves, President Obama gave one of his most troubling public comments yet, addressing the government overreach into our private lives and personal data.
These are President Obama's remarks made on June 7th, 2013, along with some context to point out the misrepresentations uttered by our President:
"But I think it's important to recognize that you can't have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience." ' President Obama
Well you can never have 100% safety, that is a misrepresentation in itself, plus I am not concerned at all with terrorists. The .000000587% chance I have of being killed or injured by a terrorist is so remote, it literally never crosses my mind, and not worth losing even 1% of my natural rights to privacy over.
"But that's also why we set up congressional oversight. These are the folks you all vote for as your representatives in Congress, and they're being fully briefed on these programs. And if, in fact, there was -- there were abuses taking place, presumably those members of Congress could raise those issues very aggressively. They're empowered to do so." ' President Obama
This was the jaw dropper. This is a tremendous misrepresentation because congress members on those congressional oversight committees are silenced by the strict rules placed around classified information they are discussing within those committees. Meaning they cannot tell us, legally, what they know and why they object in detail or else they can be convicted of a serious federal crime.
In fact, the two dissenting Senators cannot even share some of the classified information they have received with their fellow Senators, none the less the press or American citizens
Two members who sit on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence have made attempts to warn us about these programs, Senator Udall from Colorado was quoted in the press saying, "The intelligence community can target individuals who have no connection to terrorist organizations'They can collect business records on law-abiding Americans."
Senator Udall gave these remarks back in May of 2011.
Senator Udall also admitted, "I acted in every possible way short of leaking classified information'I'm not going to do that'I only wish the administration had been the first to tell the American people about this program."
Senator Wyden of Oregon also stated to the press that , "It's against the Senate rules to get into the details (of the blanket wiretap programs)".
So either Senator Udall and Senator Wyden are misrepresenting the truth when they tell us they can't tell us the details of the program and their grievances with it, or President Obama is misrepresenting the truth when he stated, "Congress could raise those issues very aggressively. They're empowered to do so."
"When it comes to telephone calls, nobody is listening to your telephone calls." President Obama
I can't prove this is a misrepresentation, but the Washington Post reported an unnamed intelligence officer stated, "They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type." We also learned that the NSA program entitled Prism, has been collecting data from servers that includes videos, audio files, emails, photographs, and documents. So to think they are not actually reviewing the content is highly unbelievable to me.
"This program, by the way, is fully overseen not just by Congress, but by the FISA Court -- a court specially put together to evaluate classified programs to make sure that the executive branch, or government generally, is not abusing them, and that it's being carried out consistent with the Constitution and rule of law." President Obama
Besides the fact that self-regulation, especially in government, does not work, nor ever has, our President is relying on the FISA Court (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) to regulate domestic spying, this seems disingenuous at best. The FISA court is composed of U.S. District Court judges selected by the Chief Justice of the United States, offering no non-government oversight. Plus everything FISA does is shielded from the public, nor does the FISA court release any public annual reports to Congress, nor has it ever been audited.
Even Senator Obama, back in December of 2007, had his office issue the following statement, that threatened to filibuster the FISA act, "Senator Obama unequivocally opposes giving retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies and has cosponsored Senator Dodd's efforts to remove that provision from the FISA bill. Granting such immunity undermines the constitutional protections Americans trust the Congress to protect."
"'balance between the need to keep the American people safe and our concerns about privacy. Because there are some tradeoffs involved. " President Obama
This was another jaw dropper. But even Senator Obama would disagree with President Obama about this, he stated as much in August of 2007, "[The Bush] administration puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide. I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our constitution and our freedom."
It is okay if President Obama chooses to forfeit his personal rights to privacy, but no one including the President, nor any State or government has the power to decide that for me or the rest of us. I do not voluntarily forfeit any of my natural rights to privacy for this false perception of 100% security.
"And if people can't trust not only the executive branch but also don't trust Congress and don't trust federal judges to make sure that we're abiding by the Constitution, due process and rule of law, then we're going to have some problems here." - President Obama
Well Mr President, we have a problem here. Ever since the 1980s, when I first began to understand governance and our systems of government, all I have ever come to see or learn from that point on is that government, both state and federal, have violated public trust more times than I care to remember.