Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Shivetya, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    #1
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/04/06/obama/index.html

    Well the Obama Administration has finally acted on the FISA abuse issues raised last year under the Bush Administration, the one where Congress kept the telecoms immune to prosecution but left the door open to go after some Bush people. Well the EFF sued and many have been waiting to see what Obama's group would do, well they made it worse.

    In other words, beyond even the outrageously broad "state secrets" privilege invented by the Bush administration and now embraced fully by the Obama administration, the Obama DOJ has now invented a brand new claim of government immunity, one which literally asserts that the U.S. Government is free to intercept all of your communications (calls, emails and the like) and -- even if what they're doing is blatantly illegal and they know it's illegal -- you are barred from suing them unless they "willfully disclose" to the public what they have learned.


    So in other words, not only did they claim demand the lawsuit be tossed but they granted themselves even more authority and immunity than Bush and Co.
     
  2. XnavxeMiyyep macrumors 65816

    XnavxeMiyyep

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    #2
    This is completely unacceptable behavior.

    It always annoys me when people complain about the petty things regarding Obama ("Secret Muslim"/"Didn't produce twenty forms of his birth certificate"), and the serious problems get ignored.
     
  3. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #3
    This is completely wrong. Start e-mailing the WH folks.
     
  4. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #4
    Am I the only one who finds this neither surprising nor sinister?
     
  5. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    I'm sadly not surprised but I do think its a little sinister.
     
  6. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #6
    You're the only one.
     
  7. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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  8. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #8
    Yeah, this sucks. Greenwald deserves a big hand for his work in this area. The Obama administration needs to be put on notice that they will not be given a free pass on this issue just because they aren't George W. Bush.

    And Greenwald is hardly some right-wing nutter. This criticism is coming from the left. It's funny how conservatives assume we'll act like they do, and reflexively defend anyone of the same ideology.
     
  9. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #9
    Well, I don't know what conservatives did for eight years, but I'm crafting a letter to the WH and my Congress critter Maverick.

    The Obama administration is wrong on this.
     
  10. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #10
    The same is happening in Britain, and I think it is rather sickening. Still, at least I have stopped being surprised by these things.
     
  11. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Scary wrong.

    I'm guessing that the media suddenly "discovers" Greenwald and is generally receptive to his criticism this time around...
     
  12. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #12

    Welcome to the world of technology. Obama is slowly becoming a wolf in sheep's clothing to me.
     
  13. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #13
    Looks like it huh? I thought we could take a break after Jan. 20th. Guess not.

    Thankfully I recently re-upped my ACLU membership; I might have gone complacent otherwise.

    I think so.

    I find it incredibly sinister, especially because it attempts to make the government superordinate above the law, which is a violation of the most basic premise of American Law.

    The day we stop being surprised and outraged, is the day justice has lost.
     
  14. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #14
    Absolutely indefensible. I guess the new status quo was too tempting to undermine.
     
  15. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #15
    Well, I am clearly failing to make some obvious connection here, but it seems to me that some sources of information might well be too sensitive to risk their scrutiny or exposure.
     
  16. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #16
    "Trust your government. They know best." is not in the vocabulary of freedom.
     
  17. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #17
    That doesn't mean we provide immunity to the government when it violates its citizens' privacy rights and refuses to prosecute affiliates who aid and abet this behavior.

    This isn't so much about what information the government retains (although that too is a suspect claim in many instances) so much as it is a question of how much intrusive power the government can employ.

    It seems that like Bush, Obama is ready to toss out the 4th, 9th, and 10th Amendments.
     
  18. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #18
    said the officer without a search warrant.
     
  19. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #19
    I am actually quite surprised, as the connection is indeed so obvious I would not have expected you to miss it.

    Some sources of information are indeed sufficiently sensitive that they cannot reasonably be subject to ordinary standards of public transparency. That isn't remotely the issue. The issue is that the people should not be required to rely on the essential good faith behind a unilateral and unaccountable decision that is even itself held to be too sensitive for public scrutiny. There is no such thing as a situation where that is permitted that it is not also abused.

    No one is demanding that genuinely sensitive national security information be automatically published on the front page of the New York Times. What we require is a system in place and a strict standard that must be met in order to support the legitimacy of appeals to "national security." The fox cannot be in charge of the henhouse, no matter how sophisticated and well-spoken the fox.

    Allegations of certain occupants of the office notwithstanding, our President is meant to be accountable for the exercise of his powers, if not to the people directly, then to a credible representative of their interests.
     
  20. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #20
    What are some issues of national security that are genuinely too sensitive to be disclosed?
     
  21. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

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    #21
    Its the issue of accountability that is most worrying.

    Governments always spy on their populace, they do it legally and illegally, and when caught being illegal the populace has the recourse of law to bring them to book.

    If I'm reading this right the US government has just allowed itself to break the law with no possibility of investigation or censure.

    It's not surprising at all, every government would do it if they thought they could get away with it. As to sinister, that depends on your view of how benign the administration is.

    The UK is moving along these lines, but has not as yet granted itself immunity from the rule of law, even if it can now see who you're talking to if not what you're talking about.
     
  22. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #22
    I'm positive they have that technology anyway.
     
  23. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

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    #23
    Of course they do, but they currently have to apply for a court order in order to use it as evidence, and the latest directive only applies to voice comms over the internet, not to cellular or landline comms.

    The police would still have to prove they couldn't gather vital evidence in any other way in order to get permission to tap a phone line or intercept cellular comms.

    Scale is still your best friend, even if you're being naughty, they have to know where and who you are in order to use the data. No-one is going to get pinged for surfing porn at work.
     
  24. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #24
    Genuinely warrant-worthy surveillance of illegal activity becomes pretty useless if you alert the target he is being monitored. Advertising the precise details of Presidential security arrangements at a public appearance would invite disaster. Military operational security is legitimately sensitive information.

    The principle must be formed under the presumption of a corrupt administration, hypothetical or otherwise. To do otherwise is like choosing to wear a seat belt on the basis of deciding whether you expect to be in an accident today. In the long run, the habit of doing it right every time automatically is far safer than trying to have good enough judgment to decide when it is necessary.

    Never mind the fact that what corrupts an administration in the first place is giving them unchecked power.

    Unless they happen to be married to the Home Secretary and billing it to the taxpayer, of course. There's always something to be said for drawing attention to yourself via rank stupidity.
     
  25. Cursor macrumors 6502

    Cursor

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    #25
    On a broader note: with all of the news in the past 100 days, I'm not finding a huge difference between the republican agenda and the White house agenda. Both are willing to stay in Iraq and up the ante in Afghanistan, both are pouring trillions of printed dollars (of our money) into bad investments, both are willing to spy on ordinary citizens and hide behind "state secrets". The one major difference is Stem Cell research, but that isn't enough of a difference to me.

    Now is the time to start researching third party candidates. We need actual CHANGE, not just rhetoric with the same old results!
     

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