Teaser: The big NSA scandal is falling apart

Tomorrow 3

I don’t have time to put it all together on this Sunday evening, but I’m planning to publish  a delicious post tomorrow on how the bombshell about surveillance by the National Security Agency is imploding rather than exploding.

My fervent hope is that alarmists on the left and right alike will hate what I have to say.




  1. Reality is back

    I have a better idea. Instead of being spied on, lets focus the spying on that one group of people. Lets exclude that one group of people from entering the United States. Lets restore the 4th amendment to 9?% of the American people. The problem with spying on everybody is that the 9?% of people who aren’t that one group of people have their rights violated. Whichever political party embraces this will find momentum just as is happening in Europe right now.

  2. Neftali

    I do look forward to it, but I’m going to say right now that it’s not going away anytime soon. People don’t like being spied on. Period.

    Now, if you look into the details, the whole thing isn’t as bad as some make it out to be. there isn’t a NSA person listening to every conversation—that’s impossible. And I’m fairly confident even the government doesn’t have the storage capacity to recorad every single phone conversation. That would probably require several trillion terabytes of storage. And the government (allegedly) still needs to get additional warrants to listen to live conversations.

    But the technical specifics isn’t the point, it’s the idea of government watching everything we do. It simply makes folks uncomfortable.

    I think this will still be an issue going into next year’s midterms. Whichever candidates, be it from the left or right, will do well to be on the side of privacy as opposed to government trackability and surveillance of the bad guys.

  3. Robert

    Nicely put Neftali. It’s the principle that’s at debate. And as another poster implied, what are we supposed to do, just sit back and say OK, go for it? Are we supposed to believe power has never abused its authority in the past, we’ll be just fine?

    And besides that, who’s watching the people doing the watching? Am I supposed to believe that some highly paid honcho with oversight responsibilities isn’t going to think, who’s signing my check and looking at my performance for an even higher paying job in the private sector, and then look the other way? We already see that in the SEC and other oversight agencies. All people in those agencies are looking out for is their next gig in the private sector. A gig that will reward them for their looking the other way. Remember Bernie Madoff? Everybody knew something wasn’t right in his situation. Why should I trust any official in any oversight capacity. That’s how much damage has been done to the integrity of our supposed system of checks and balances. especially with this quest to privatize everything, including the oversight agencies.

    You made good points about the impossibilities of someone listening to every conversation, but as far the possibility of recording every conversation and the amount of capacity necessary, all’s I can say, we don’t know how much the technology available to government and not us, is capable of providing. But, I think we can guess that it’s more than is available to us now. Technological advancements are much more ahead in uses by the government that what is allowed to be available to us at the street and retail/commercial levels. You can bet the govt has advanced systems that we might see offered to us in a decade or so. And let’s not forget they have a whole big state of the art facility in Utah with its own power system, so they have big plans.

  4. Pat, there’s nothing you can write about the NSA’s cyber dragnet that will restore any semblance of trust in this administration, let alone government in general. No matter the technical ability to delve into electronic communications past and present, and no matter what “safeguards” are in place to prevent abuse, we can’t forget that the people at the helm have already violated our trust by abusing the power they hold by using the IRS to punish political enemies. And have demonstrated their propensity to lie whenever political expediency dictates. What will prevent, or what can prevent, this or future administrations, or so-called rogue agents therein, from illegally using this spying capability for similar abuses of power? Take your best shot Pat, at answering those questions.

  5. Robert

    Patrick, maybe you should watch this interview with the whistleblower before you make your plea.


    I hope he runs for office some day, after he deals with all the demonizing he will receive. What will it be, some old girlfriend saying he raped her? No, they’ve used that one already.

    It will be interesting to see what happens to him. This man isn’t evil.

    Obama’s been really real hard on the whistleblowers, real soft on the banksters. Who of these two groups did the most damage that all of us felt?

    I have a feeling lots of voters are watching how Obama reacts. He may just lose a good portion of the democratic base if he keeps erroring in favor of the military industrial complex and these kinds of abuses.

    This man could very easily become a hero. Especially amongst the younger voters.

  6. Robert

    Well, Patrick? Are you still waiting for the talking points from your handlers before you can begin writing your post? Where’s the delicious response that’s going to blow the lid of this falling apart, non-scandal at the NSA?

    The demonization of Snowden has begun, although its subtle right now. That’s how they start the take down of his credibility, refer to him as a kid, say there’s something creepy about him. That’s what I’ve heard them say about him so far. Make the guy out to be less than savory, then gradually build on it till he’s comparable to some of the worst people in history. That’s how they do it.

  7. Robert: This is the second time you’ve referred to my “handlers.” What the hell are you talking about? You can be pretty weird at times.

    I don’t have any handlers. Nobody tells me what to write.

    By the way, I published this “teaser” post at 5:39 p.m. on Sunday, promising that I would have something to say today (Monday) on the NSA scandal. And when that promise is not fulfilled by the crack of dawn, you suggest at 6:07 a.m. that I’m “still waiting for the talking points from [my] handlers.”

    Get a grip, dude. You’re waxing conspiratorial again, just as you did when this blog was missing from the RRStar roster of blogs.

  8. Robert

    Patrick, To respond to your post I have to set it up. I used to think Thom Hartmann was independent, a free thinker who would see through the party lines and speak truth to power. But then I saw a different side to him. He would talk about the talking points he would receive daily from the republican party. They established what would be discussed and from what vantage point on the am dial and all talk shows. All the republican hacks would be on the same subject for that day. Somehow I was supposed to believe that democrats don’t do the same thing. So, I automatically assume that all public personna’s in positions of influencing public opinion, get talking points in some form or another. Patrick, you carry the water for this administration too frequently, if not always, to not be influenced by something other than similar interest.

    I’ve become skeptical of all personalities claiming to represent the voice of a political party. Probably more so with democrats than republicans. Getting back to Thom Hartmann, one day several years ago, when he had a radio show that broadcast where I live, I noticed he was saying the same thing about the cause of an uprising in Afghanistan that the rest of the media was using. They were blaming some preacher in Florida’s action of burning the Koran as the excuse for the uprising in Afghanistan, as though only Afghan residents got that news and nobody else in the rest of the Muslim world did. What really caused the Afghan uprising was the murder of an innocent young boy by some American soldiers. It was cold blooded murder, they even mutilated the body and cut off his fingers as a souvenir. It was in a story the Rolling Stone had just released a few days prior, but the talking points for the dems were that it was the preacher who instigated the uprising, just like it was for the MSM. It was a total fabrication, much the same as the reason for the Benghazi uprising was intitially blamed on some anti-Muslim video produced by some Hollywood person. So, getting back to my weirdness, when I see someone toting the party line too much, I just have a problem believing they’re truly autonomous. By the way, Thom Hartmann also admitted he’d done work for the CIA and it wasn’t re-decorating the foyer of their headquarters is how I recall him saying it. So, I think the tentacles of influence, by the voices of authority, reaches even the people I’d like to believe were authentic. Signed, Weird Robert

  9. Robert: Your pointless blather doesn’t explain your ridiculous reference to my “handlers.”

    Moreover, your stated distrust “of all personalities claiming to represent the voice of a political party” should have nothing to do with me. I’ve never claimed to be the voice of anyone but myself.

    In the final analysis, Robert, I think you’re a paranoid conspiratorialist.

  10. Robert

    Paranoid about what? That I don’t trust many people who are in positions of influence? From that perspective, am I really that much different than many who post here? I suppose I should have taken my analogy using Thom H further, as there was more to that story. My point was he knew the truth. He knew the uprising was about the murder of that boy by something he admitted to me when I called into his show and got on the air and set him straight. He was just repeating the talking points like all the other liberal talk show host and people in the media, even though he knew there was more to the story than what he was playing along with. I think you do the same thing. You carry the water for this administration. In the political world, that called being a gatekeeper. You can call me all the names you want. I don’t think you’re a bad person, I just think you trust too much what the authorities say when nothing is that black and white. If you can’t make sense of what I just said, then put the bottle down!

  11. Robert, you think Pat is an operative of Obama and/or the Democratic Party? Simply a mouthpiece, controlled by hidden agents through their distribution of mandatory talking points?

    You subscribe to the very bizarre idea that public thought is controlled by some omnipotent Big Brother, whether it be the CIA, NSA, FBI, or evil poltical party agents?

    I think the dissemination and understanding of the news is much more chaotic, driven by human nature, grandiosity and ruthless competition. More scatalogical, less conspiratorial.

    There is no hidden power controlling our thoughts or behavior, bro. However, this Thom guy sure has you unstrung.

  12. Luke: Thanks for saying what I’ve been thinking about Robert.

    He hates it when I say so, but he shows all the signs of a paranoid personality.

  13. Robert

    Luke, I never meant to imply everything is a controlled message by the party leadership, although there are talking points that go out on the republican side, so it seems natural that there would be the same for the democrats although probably not as refined, the republicans are much better at messaging as I’ve said in the past. If you think when things like this NSA leak occur, that there isn’t a high level agenda to get ahead of it with a controlled message, then you’re naive. That controlled message theme is what got Obama in trouble with the whole Benghazi mess if you recall. They got it wrong and probably knew the real reason but couldn’t say for whatever reasons they were guided by.

    I do agree with you that much of the news is chaotic, driven by human nature, grandiosity and probably the biggest contendor, ruthless competition.

    As far as this statement, “There is no hidden power controlling our thoughts or behavior, bro. However, this Thom guy sure has you unstrung.” This was really unwarranted. I used Thom as an example and that’s all. Why would you think Im obssessed with it? It was an example that’s all. Now excuse me while I refashion my tin foil hat to fit your purposes.

    By the way, I don’t believe everything we see and hear on the news sites is as spontaneous as we are supposed to believe. I think it was proven that during the GWB years, many of the news reports were purely staged PR stunts, like infomercials presented as news. With Obama just being a continuation of his policies, why would things change?

  14. Robert

    Patrick, give me some examples of that paranoid personality? Can you do that for me?

  15. Robert

    Luke, maybe you can also give me some examples from my response to you where I paranoid?

  16. Robert

    If you’re going to call me names and demonize me because I obviously hit home with some of my observations, I’m going to defend myself.

    If I was the personality type you claim, I would think I would have some conspiracy / paranoid themed comments on the below noted recent events: For example….
    When Newtown happened, did I say it was some govt conspiracy? No
    When the Boston Bombings occured, did I say it was some govt conspiracy? No
    When Benghazi happened, did I say it was some govt conspiracy? No
    They were what they were…

    Now let’s see how you twist this into some contorted commentary to fit your position.

    I think I hit home with my comments about Patrick being a water bearer for this Democratic Party administration. Because you are. You very rarely ever disagree with their message. If my calling you on it is being paranoid and conspiritorialist, then so be it.

    Now go ahead, demonize me. I’ve said enough. Time to move on.

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