Obama’s Fault

blackpresidentsfault

It was previously revealed that the NSA may have gathered intelligence on the phone numbers of 35 world leaders in 2006, but a new report says that it actually began in 2002.

As you’re probably aware, President Obama was just a state senator in 2002.

(Reuters) – The United States may have bugged Angela Merkel’s phone for more than 10 years, according to a news report on Saturday that also said President Barack Obama told the German leader he would have stopped it happening had he known about it. [...]

Der Spiegel said Merkel’s mobile telephone had been listed by the NSA’s Special Collection Service (SCS) since 2002 – marked as “GE Chancellor Merkel” – and was still on the list weeks before Obama visited Berlin in June.

The Wall Street Journal, famous Obama-loyalist bastion that it is, reported yesterday that President Obama was not aware of the program. Not that he should have been given that the program began not long after 9/11.

According to the paper, the White House first learned of the operations during an internal administration review over the summer. After their revelation, the White House ordered the NSA to halt some monitoring programs, including the one tracking Merkel. Other surveillance efforts are still winding down.

The president was unaware of the program, and when it was revealed to him this summer he halted the program.

Are we done here?

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  • trgahan

    “Are we done here?”

    You really think the people who insinuate President Obama spends his evenings picking enemy combatants to drone strike for fun will stop at this evidence? Clearly you haven’t see the link bait at HuffPost this morning…

  • Churchlady320

    One of the missing links is the failure of Congress to validate the president’s appointees in a timely manner, to impose on him – as on other presidents – the demand that the U.S. employ private contractors rather than government officials, and the persistence in key places of Bush appointees.

    The failure of systems that are not honest with the commander in chief is scary. It’s a total insult to the system of advice and consent and to our national security that there are people who do precisely what they want, fail to tell this administration what they’re doing. The CIA resists accountability as an historic fact, and now it’s down to the FCC and other agencies that are rudderless, running without the president’s appointed leaders.

    This is NOT a sloppy issues from the Executive branch. It is the deliberate work of the GOP who are using easy measures such as holds on appointments to put this administration in the worst possible position and keep Bush people in power at the agency and departmental levels.

    • Badgerite

      Exactly right. I could have told the public in 2008, making things work better is not what these people are about. And that is not what they will do once in power.

  • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

    They’re going to beat that horse as long as humanly possible. Unfortunately.

    • Draxiar

      Yes they are. Mostly because they’re to flacid to beat themselves *snicker*

    • nathkatun7

      Yep! The so called U.S. mainstream media love this kind of sensationalism. Especially if the sensationalism is aimed at discrediting President Obama. David Gregory of NBC is on record saying that the mainstream media dislike President Obama.

  • Nefercat

    “The president was unaware of the program, and when it was revealed to him this summer he halted the program.
    Are we done here?”
    —————————-
    Aw, so innocent. So reasonable.
    Are we done here? That depends. Is the President still black?

    • Rollo Tamasi

      Exactly.

    • Zen Diesel

      Benghaziii, is up next….Miss Graham is catching the vapors on the fainting couch again.

      • feloniousgrammar

        If Obama were innocent, then he wouldn’t need an investigation, would he? Of course, the survivors haven’t testified to a committee (writ bad comedy) so they’re being silenced by Obama, what else could it mean?

        These people are just unbelievable. It’s a wonder any of them are married— they’re impossible.

  • Rollo Tamasi

    From the Wapo this morning:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/10/28/right-sizing-the-security-state/

    It turns out the NSA wasn’t just spyingon Angela Merkel. It was apparently spying on Angela Merkel andat least 34 other heads of state! Over the weekend the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag quoted an NSA official saying that President Obama had been briefed on at least the Merkel operation, though the story was quickly denied.

    No mention of the year 2002 in the entire article. And this is from the “liberal” Plum Line blog.

    • feloniousgrammar

      It appears that these “journalists” aren’t reading what they’re reacting to.

    • Badgerite

      Woodward and company can only seem to breath if they perceive there to be a scandal going on. The ‘scandal’ as far as I am concerned was ‘Bush, At War’.
      What a gem.

    • villemar

      I don’t know what you mean by “2002.” Everybody knows the timeline from Jan. 2001 to Jan 2009 vanished off the space-time continuum.

  • Richard_thunderbay

    But Bob, Obama is a baby killer who is worse than Bush. Progressives should vote third party or stay at home in 2014 to punish Democrats who are in league with the great Satan. This will surely force the party to veer away from the center and lead to a liberal paradise, never mind the disaster that was the 2010 midterms.

    • Badgerite

      And a disaster that keeps on giving.

  • js hooper

    There are people that believe a teenage white girl from Kansas gave birth to a child in a hut in Kenya. When it comes to Obama people will say/believe anything. Something like 29% of Republicans in Louisiana blame Pres.Obama for Katrina. Obama is the black scapegoat for all of the world’s problems.

    What I didn’t expect was how much of the Professional Left would actively engage in negrophobic politics.

    • Nefercat

      Yes, but the Professional Left add an extra-scrumptious layer of condescension to theirs. I am so sick to death of the country’s first African-American President being accused of being naive, or not realizing that the republicans were never going to work with him, etc. Silly man! He still doesn’t realize that the republicans won’t work with him! He should be following the instructions of the Pampered Left on how a black man in America should behave in order to accomplish his goals. Otherwise he will never amount to anything. Oh, wait…

      The right: The President is a cunning commie-fascist-dictator-thug usurper and is also an incompetent not too bright man-child that is in over his head.

      The left:The President is a malevolent corporatist, plotting, spying, and droning away and is also a naive, spineless twit who caves to the republicans all the time because he had no idea they would be mean to him.

      • nathkatun7

        Trying to make sense of the logic invoked by those who are severely inflicted with the Obsessive Obama Derangement Syndrome (OODS), both on the right and the left, is likely to drive a normal person insane. How, in the world, can President Obama be both a communist, socialist, Nazi, Muslim, dictator (according to the righties), and at the same time be an evil imperialist murderer and a naive, corporatist tool of Wall Street Bankers (according to the lefties)? These two Obama hating groups need to get together and get their stories straight. For many of us who are not fools, or true believers, we see though their propaganda BS! The only thing that the insane superficial left and the insane right wingers have in common is that they both hate President Obama.
        Luckily, they’ve been fortunate to have the mainstream media, aiding and abetting, and cheering the insanity of both sides of Obama haters. If it weren’t for the media validation of both sides of Obama haters, they would be irrelevant.

        • drspittle

          Amen.

    • villemar

      But but but why hasn’t Obama used his Magic Negro powers to create the lollipop and unicorn utopia that I hallucinated that he personally promised me in 2008? I watched The Legend of Bagger Vance and he was supposed to come out of the mist, help me with my golf game, and then vanish back into the mist never to be seen again.

  • feloniousgrammar

    OOH, OOH— new martyrs hacking for freedom

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/hacker-arrested-for-allegedly-infiltrating-u-s-government-systems

    Failed whistleblowers are the new hero, I bet. He was only trying to “investigate” on behalf of all freedom loving persons who cry, Help, help, I’m being oppressed! I’m being oppressed! Individuals should be more powerful than an entire government agency, because all government employees are nefarious villains who don’t have real jobs to do. How invigorating it must be to be the hero in your own David and Goliath fantasy. How droll it would be if the government employees were a heterogeneous mix of mostly normal people who have a duty to do their boring jobs to the best of their ability for the purpose for which that legitimate agency exists.

    Poor little Davids— it wouldn’t be much of a crusade if it didn’t make things up.

  • JMAshby

    Ahem… “are we done here?” was rhetorical

    • Nefercat

      The best rhetorical questions are the ones that actually do elicit a response.

  • D_C_Wilson

    Here’s the big question no one seems to be asking: Why were we spying on our allies in the first place? What terrorist plots did the NSA think they’d uncover listening to the German Chancellor’s phone conversations? Or were they just doing it because they could?

    • Clancy

      I believe your last question was rhetorical, but likely the most accurate. Of course that is why we were spying on them. You don’t just build a trillion dollar secret military/espionage complex and not use it. One of the primary problems we have in government (and, here is where I think most of us on the left can find common ground with the libertarians) is the complete lack of real oversight there is on “secret” programs. I, for one, have no problems with government secrets or spying, but I do wish I had confidence that there were adequate controls, privacy protections, and true oversight.

  • drspittle

    I recall articles that reported US was spying on UN officials to determine their support for invasion of Iraq, so that must have been late 2002 to 2003. That was public knowledge. I should check the googles to see if i can find one of those articles. I wonder if leaders of other countries were included. By the way, I don’t recall any outrage by the mainstream media when that was reported.

  • CygnusX1isaHole

    Assuming the reporting by The Wall Street Journal is correct we have additional evidence (on top of the mountains of existing evidence) that the NSA is a rogue agency in need of layers of heavy oversight and tightened regulation.

    Professor Juan Cole sums it up nicely:

    All of these revelations are being treated as bureaucratic infighting by the inside-the-Beltway courtier press.

    It doesn’t seem to occur to anyone to ask what the implications are that an occult intelligence bureaucracy funded at $52 billion a year by your and my tax dollars keeps our elected leaders in the dark about its activities.

    Among the founding principles of the United States was “no taxation without representation.” But the NSA appears to be a secret kingdom that appropriates our money with no oversight or accountability. We didn’t elect it, and if it doesn’t let our chosen representatives know what it is up to, than it is taxing us without giving us any representation. It is a tyrant. It is an ominous homunculus within the body politic

    Secrecy is anathema to a democratic republic. If we ever had one, it is long gone. The only real question left is what the unelected fourth branch of government, created inadvertently by Harry Truman, is really up to. (…)

    Full article can be read at:
    http://www.juancole.com/2013/10/americas-branch-government.html

    • feloniousgrammar

      The government is required to provide for the common defense— that includes intelligence gathering. Secrecy itself is not anathema to a democratic republic. By that logic we’ve never stood a chance of being one. We have actually become increasingly democratic over the years having secrets all the while. Sometimes we’ve gone overboard, no doubt, and I do want to live to see a lot more declassified from the Cold War; but we do have a National Security Archive that works toward publishing declassified information.

      Before getting all wrapped up in “principles” and plumbing the thesaurus for words to describe their outrage, people need to know what they’re talking about and to be to open to the kind of realism that allows for some secrecy and oversight. At this point, all those who are nailing themselves to a cross over Snowald’s “revelations” might as well be saying that once the NSA is forbidden from gathering any information from sources in the U.S. then the best thing for international terrorists to do would be to live here and make all their plans openly over the phone. How naive does a person have to be to think this country needs and could benefit from radical transparency from every government agency?

      Hey Emo-kids, the world is not your playground to order according to how you think it should operate, and “representation” does not mean that the government should do whatever you want it to. If emotarians spent more time outside of the circle jerk that is them and any crank that will agree with one of their emo-ideas then they’d realize that they aren’t anywhere close to being a majority.

      • CygnusX1isaHole

        The government provides for the common defense only according to the will of “We the People”. Without the authority granted from “We the People” the government has zero power to engage in anything. Period.

        Does the following sound like the will of the people is being exercised:

        The chair of the Senate intelligence committee, who has been a loyal defender of the National Security Agency, dramatically broke ranks on Monday, saying she was “totally opposed” to the US spying on allies and demanding a total review of all surveillance programs.

        California Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein strongly criticized the NSA’s monitoring of the calls of friendly world leaders such as German chancellor Angela Merkel.

        Feinstein, who has steadfastly defended the NSA’s mass surveillance programs, added that both Barack Obama and members of her committee, which is supposed to received classified briefings, had been kept in the dark about operations to target foreign leaders.

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/28/nsa-surveillance-dianne-feinstein-opposed-allies

        The President of the United States and the chair of the Senate Intelligence committee both claim to have been kept in the dark by the NSA. The will of the people, via their representatives, is being subverted. The NSA has no authority to operate in secret as an independent rogue agency. To even suggest such a notion is outrageous.

        • eljefejeff

          I’m happy to have a discussion about the role of the NSA, so let’s have it now. I want to know your opinion. If, and it’s a big if, a nuke or dirty bomb goes off in the near future, killing thousands or more people, and someone comes out later and says “well we were onto to suspects but we had to desist because the President Obama caved to public pressure and ordered us to stop” will you be okay with that? Would you be okay if it was a relative of yours who ended up dying? Or would you look back and say “I guess it’s worth it to lose a little privacy in order to protect lives.” And please no Ben Franklin quotes. He made a good point but it’s a little irrelevant today.

          I honestly don’t know what the right answer is. I personally don’t care if anyone reads my emails because I have nothing to hide, but I can understand some people being uncomfortable by it. I seriously haven’t heard the anti-NSA crowd announce that they’re willing to risk a major disaster to protect their email(when everything else they do is available online to amateur hackers anyway)

    • nathkatun7

      “But the NSA appears to be a secret kingdom that appropriates our money with no oversight or accountability. We didn’t elect it, and if it doesn’t let our chosen representatives know what it is up to, than it is taxing us without giving us any representation”

      This is total NONSENSE! The people we elected chose to allow our intelligence agencies to operate that way. For you to suggest otherwise shows either your naivety, or your deliberate effort to fool people by demonizing the NSA. There is absolutely no excuse why Congress, which appropriates money to fund the NSA and all all other Intelligence agencies, has not monitored what the NSA is doing. If you are unhappy with what the NSA does then your anger should be directed at your representative for failing to represent you.

      I know you linked to the article by Professor Juan Cole. Personally I am so disgusted with these highly learned professors who don’t make an effort to inform people like you about govt. 101! If they did, they would have educated you about the fact that it’s Congress, and not the NSA, that appropriates money that NSA spends. It’s also Congress that has the oversight responsibility over such agencies as the NSA. So, for you to invoke the mantra of “No Taxation Without Representation” with respect to NSA reveals your total ignorance of how the U.S. government functions. Unless, of course, you think that people who work for the NSA should run for election.

      In that case, we should also elect people who work for the FBI, the CIA, the IRS, the Boarder Patrol, the Army, the Navy, the Marines, the Air Force, the Coast Guards, the State Department, the Park Rangers, the FDA, the FEC, the CMA, the SSA, the FCC, the ATF, etc., etc.!

      • CygnusX1isaHole

        This is total NONSENSE! The people we elected chose to allow our intelligence agencies to operate that way.

        ————–

        The people we elected were kept in the dark.

        From The Guardian (today):

        The chair of the Senate intelligence committee, who has been a loyal defender of the National Security Agency, dramatically broke ranks on Monday, saying she was “totally opposed” to the US spying on allies and demanding a total review of all surveillance programs.

        California Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein strongly criticized the NSA’s monitoring of the calls of friendly world leaders such as German chancellor Angela Merkel.

        Feinstein, who has steadfastly defended the NSA’s mass surveillance programs, added that both Barack Obama and members of her committee, which is supposed to received classified briefings, had been kept in the dark about operations to target foreign leaders.

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/28/nsa-surveillance-dianne-feinstein-opposed-allies

        • CygnusX1isaHole

          If you are unhappy with what the NSA does then your anger should be directed at your representative for failing to represent you.

          ————

          What if my elected representative has tried repeatedly to get crucial information on the NSA but has been denied?

          From Congressman Alan Grayson:

          I’ve requested classified information, and further meetings with NSA officials. The House Intelligence Committee has refused to provide either. Supporters of the NSA’s vast ubiquitous domestic spying operation assure the public that members of Congress can be briefed on these activities whenever they want. Senator Saxby Chambliss says all a member of Congress needs to do is ask for information, and he’ll get it. Well I did ask, and the House Intelligence Committee said “no”, repeatedly. And virtually every other member not on the Intelligence Committee gets the same treatment.

          http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article36654.htm

          • nathkatun7

            “The House Intelligence Committee has refused to provide either.”

            OK! So the House intelligence Committee is now being run and controlled by the NSA? Is it not possible that the House intelligence Committee is bound by the rules enacted by Congress. May be the House intelligence Committee knows that Alan Grayson is only interested in hype and propaganda rather than looking out for the Security interests of the United Sates. In any case, why blame NSA and not members of Congress who sit on the House intelligence Committee? I repeat, you hyperbole, about NSA being responsible for what you allege is your taxation without representation, is silly. If your Congress man is unhappy about lacking access to NSA, he should fight to get rid of the House Intelligence Committee so that every member of Congress would readily have access to intelligence.

            Obviously you know that such a bill would go no where, and not because of NSA or President Obama, but because of the way Congress operates. Never forget that your elected member of Congress is 1 out of 535 members of Congress. Unless he/she can convince the majority (and sometimes the super majority as required by the Constitution, statutes, or Congressional rules) he/she is unlikely to prevail. The fact that the member of Congress you voted for ends up in a minority does not mean that you are not being represented.

            You are represented by Rep., Alan Grayson! All Rep. Grayson needs to do is convince the majority of the 435 members of the House of Representatives) to change House rules and allow every member of Congress to get access to classified information. The NSA is not the one preventing your representative to access classified information. Rather, it’s the rules of the House of Representatives that limit which member of Congress can access sensitive classified information. For you to claim otherwise is either naivety or blatant deception just to find an excuse to attack NSA and President Obama.

            By the way, there is another simpler solution! Your Congressman, Alan Grayson, should campaign within the Democratic caucus to be a member of the House Intelligence Committee. That way, he would certainly be guaranteed to have access to classified information.

      • feloniousgrammar

        Multiply my upvote by infinity.