Published: Monday, July 8 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
If the NSA's collection of meta-data is so useful in preventing terrorism,
how did National Intelligence Director James Clapper forget the existence of the
program back in March? When asked at that time by Senator Ron Wyden if the NSA
was collecting any sort of data on millions of Americans, Clapper said
"no", or at least "not wittingly". He now says that testimony
was "clearly erroneous". His reason for not mentioning the program back
then? "I simply didn't think of [that section] of the Patriot
Act".That seems to leave two possibilities. Either James
Clapper lied to Congress to keep the program secret, or he doesn't really
have a handle on who the government spies on or when. Neither is too
encouraging for a man we call Director of National Intelligence.
No government has the right to rise up against the people who give it power and
then to use that usurped power to destroy the liberties of the people.In America, the people are in charge. In America, the people set the rules.
In America the government works for the people.The ineptness of the
government is unbelievable. The government was warned by Russia about the
Boston Bombers, yet the government did nothing. The government has violated the
rights of 330,000,000 citizens to "stop" twenty incidents. Which
incidents? Who was involved? What was stopped? Show us the convictions.This government has become the seat of lies and deception. It is
anything but the kind of government that the people instituted.Mr.
Bennett makes me ashamed of elected officials. He swore an oath to protect the
Constitution and he is advocating the opposite. He is advocating the
abandonment of the 4th Amendment for political expediency. The
government cannot "spy" on us unless a judge has signed a warrant after
that judge has been shown probable cause that a crime has been committed. Does
Bennett believe that 330 million people are guilty of a crime?
Mr. Bennett is clueless when it comes to understanding the Constitution and the
Bill of Rights. Apparently he didn't bother to read them, before he swore
to honor and defend them, when he was sworn in as a Senator. Each time he
offers his opinion, on just about any political topic, I am so pleased that he
was unseated and a true constitutionalist (Sen. Mike Lee) is representing Utah
in his place.
I have mixed feelings about the surveillance and intelligence-gathering
activities of our federal government. There is a fine line between legitimately
protecting our national security interests and using Orwellian "Big
Brother" tactics to keep the citizenry "in line". The best way to
prevent crossing that line is to demand accountability, but
intelligence-gathering activities, by their nature, do not lend themselves to
effective ways of ensuring accountability, because disclosing the scope and
details of intelligence-gathering activities to "watchdog" individuals
or groups in Congress (our elected representatives), or to anyone else outside
of the Intelligence Community, significantly increases the risk of compromising
said intelligence-gathering activities. Making intelligence-gathering
activities effective and accountable seem to be mutually-exclusive goals, at
least to some extent.That said, Robert Bennett makes an excellent
point as he alludes to the fact that most U.S. citizens are woefully ignorant of
the frequency, scope, and nature of the threats to U.S. national security.
Benjamin Franklin was a wise man, but his famous quote, “they who can give
up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither
liberty nor safety” is simplistic, given today’s complex global
I've been fighting this for 12 years.Guys on the far-right
Republican side [i.e., Mike Richards and ilk] have called me un-patriotic and
un-American.The hypocrite isn't Sen. Bob Bennett - he's
still advocating it.The real hypocrites are the one changing their tune
now that the OTHER guy does it too.
re:MikeRichards According to an account provided to the Associated Press
by US officials, Russia’s internal intelligence service conveyed a message
about Tsarnaev to the FBI on March 4, 2011. The Russians said that Tsarnaev was
a follower of radical Islam and had changed drastically during the past year.
They asked whether American intelligence had any further information on him.The FBI then opened an inquiry into Tsarnaev’s activities. Because
of this, his name was added to a Department of Homeland Security watch list used
to screen people at airports and other border checkpoints: the Treasury
Enforcement Communications System, or TECS.FBI agents found nothing
on Tsarnaev in their existing files. They investigated whether he had visited
online sites promoting radical Islam. Eventually they interviewed Tsarnaev and
his family members. They found nothing connecting him to terrorism and asked
Russia for more detail. When none was forthcoming the FBI closed the review in
June 2011, according to the AP account.
"Days after President François Hollande sternly told the United States
to stop spying on its allies, the newspaper Le Monde disclosed on Thursday that
France has its own large program of data collection, which sweeps up nearly all
the data transmissions, including telephone calls, e-mails and social media
activity, that come in and out of France."(NY Times)I tend
to agree with SG in SLC. Very mixed feelings. How to balance security and
privacy. How to prevent/deter govt. overreach and corruption. Whose going to
oversee the overseers? re:MikeRichardsWhat do you think of
the large data collecting facility to open in UT?
@Mike RichardsSouth Jordan, UtahMr. Bennett makes me ashamed
of elected officials. He swore an oath to protect the Constitution and he is
advocating the opposite.======= So then, Why did
YOU vote for him every election for 18 solid years? [1992-2010]
@LDS LiberalCould it have anything to do with the fact that Mr.
Bennett was an R?(Rimshot...)
It's easy to imagine why Bush said anyone in his position would do what he
did because every administration seems to follow the same policy with respect to
foreign affairs, so it becomes sort of "conventional wisdom". Too many have implicit faith in our leaders and are overawed by the authority
of the oval office, and fail to scrutinize what these people do.When
it comes to basic human rights as defined in the US Constitution or the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights--which the US does not fully
endorse--there are no shades of gray.
There are many who ignore that we have a Constitution. There are even some who
believe that a political platform can permit innocents to be destroyed. Hatch wanted money from the federal government to come to Utah. Bennett
supported federal money being used for non-authorized "duties". Some,
who live out-of-state, ignore the waste and the corruption within their own
states and the wealth that they've accumulated by letting people in other
countries work for them at below-minimum wages.The corruption is not
just the government, but it extends to the people who live off the government by
taking money for government supported "jobs". It extends to people who
live off the near slave-wages that their companies pay for work in other
countries. It extends to politicians who think that their duty is to "bring
home the bacon", whether that "bacon" is authorized by the
Constitution or not.Finger-pointers who tell us that money is more
important than lives when we vote have their priorities totally reversed. Employees and business owners who live off the government have their
priorities reversed.Bob Bennett has his priorities reversed.
@LDS LiberalSo far, yours is the most liked comment in this thread.
Good for you for standing up for so long against government encroachment of
civil liberties. But perhaps we would be more successful in curtailing these
programs if those of us opposing them on the right and the left could join
together instead of constantly sniping at one another and trying to score
political points. I think the positive reception of your comment shows me two
things. Firstly, a lot of people appreciate that you have opposed the Patriot
Act and similar measures for a long time. Secondly, most of the people who
comment here still seem to thing that endlessly repeating "Bush did it
first" will somehow improve our civil liberty situation.
I couldn't disagree more strongly with Senator Bennett on these issues but
I am very grateful that he no longer holds Federal office. In the last decade
we have overturned nearly every needed protection on Federal agencies that was
put in place in the 1970s. Why were those reforms enacted in the 1970s?
Because after Watergate and the Pentagon Papers and McNamara admitting that the
DOD regularly lied to transient elected officials, Congress finally grew a spine
and demanded truth from the FBI, NSA, and the CIA -- and what they found was
shocking. Numerous entrenched bureacrats and mid-level operators of "black
ops" were spying on all Americans and abusing those they didn't like --
various minorities, peace groups, religions, etc. The FBI was found to be using
"poison pill" fabricated letters to try to cause divorces in groups they
felt threatened their views. The CIA was operating in 60 more countries than
divulged to Congress and implicated in assassinations they'd regularly
denied any part of. Etc., etc. Back then Federal departments were gaining such
unregulated power by threatening "communism". Now it's the same
arguments but the word "terrorism" is used instead.
And he wonders why he was voted out..
So the government constantly spying on all its' citizens is really the
government looking for the welfare of all its' citizens? Then why does it
always legislate and cater to the benefit of the 1% to the detriment of the
rest? Our government is now as tyrannical as any that has existed, both in
seeking greater power and in abusing that power. When the wicked reign the
people mourn, and I for one and mourning.
You know how I know something is bad. When a hardcore liberal like myself agrees
100% with Mike Richards......
The NSA is also key to implementing a police state in America. As a former NSA
official recently said, the U.S. has create a "turn-key" police state
with all of this infrastructure. All that is needed now is for someone to turn
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