One Area the NSA And I Can Agree: Obama Is A Cowardly, If Shrewd, Politician

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The actual details of the NSA’s expansive surveillance programs are infuriating enough on their own. Civil libertarians and ordinary Americans are and should be angry at the NSA’s disrespect for the law, the Fourth Amendment, and privacy rights in general.

It’s interesting to juxtapose this anger and frustration felt throughout the population with the anger and frustration now being felt by the intelligence community. They are really angry. They hate having their secrets exposed. They hate increased scrutiny. They hate that the journalists to whom Edward Snowden leaked continue to publish details they want desperately to be kept secret.

But the intelligence community is angry for another reason, too. And while it pains me to say it…I think I agree with them

In addition to the lawlessness and tyranny of the NSA’s spying activities, it makes my blood boil that President Obama is trying to wiggle out of all responsibility for this. I never thought I’d share a contention with DNI James Clapper or Gen. Keith Alexander. But I share this one.

From the beginning of the Snowden disclosures, officials at the NSA have been unsatisfied with the extent of President Obama’s defense of these spying programs. They have felt they’ve been left out to dry as far as the public defense of these programs.

In the latest example, NSA is attracting nation-wide and world-wide criticism for its spying on allied countries and their leaders, namely Germany, France, Spain, Mexico, and others. The White House came out and said they didn’t even know this was going on. In this LA Times article, unnamed U.S. intelligence officials are calling bullshit.

The White House and State Department signed off on surveillance targeting phone conversations of friendly foreign leaders, current and former U.S. intelligence officials said Monday, pushing back against assertions that President Obama and his aides were unaware of the high-level eavesdropping.

Professional staff members at the National Security Agency and other U.S. intelligence agencies are angry, these officials say, believing the president has cast them adrift as he tries to distance himself from the disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden that have strained ties with close allies.

Not only is Obama vaguely denying full knowledge of the spying on allied foreign leaders and populations, but he is refusing to defend the validity of some of the more high-profile activities, like the tapping of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone. On that issue, the White House has said such surveillance will not continue, which implicitly repudiates its validity in the first place.

Obama isn’t the only one wiggling out of political culpability. Even some of the NSA’s most ardent supporters in Congress, like Senator Dianne Feinstein, are leaving the NSA out to dry. LA Times:

“With respect to NSA collection of intelligence on leaders of U.S. allies — including France, Spain, Mexico and Germany — let me state unequivocally: I am totally opposed,” said Sen.Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“Unless the United States is engaged in hostilities against a country or there is an emergency need for this type of surveillance, I do not believe the United States should be collecting phone calls or emails of friendly presidents and prime ministers,” she said in a statement.

Feinstein said the Intelligence Committee had not been told of “certain surveillance activities” for more than a decade, and she said she would initiate a major review of the NSA operation.

“We’re really screwed now,” one NSA official told The Cable. “You know things are bad when the few friends you’ve got disappear without a trace in the dead of night and leave no forwarding address.”

As much as I enjoy seeing the leadership at the NSA squirm, I’m offended that Obama isn’t catching more direct flack over this in the public mind. He is dodging scrutiny the same way he always has: ruthless politicking for the sake of his own stature and reputation.

Obama is even less trustworthy than the NSA, it seems.

31 thoughts on “One Area the NSA And I Can Agree: Obama Is A Cowardly, If Shrewd, Politician”

  1. This is exactly what Washington always does: They will support anyone doing anything, no matter what it is, from spying, to aggression, to genocide, to using chemical weapons against civilians. BUT, if it ever becomes a huge public embarrassment, they will leave their favored dictator (or agency, as in this case), and not care what happens to the former friend, or even condemn or try to capture or kill that former "friend", regardless of the cost, to civilians or anything else.

    This is why even people who support the US government should be careful before getting involved with it. They will use you to carry out the world's worst crimes, but then if it makes them look better, they will say they never liked you or supported you, and will even kill you if it serves their interests.

    Take Manuel Noriega, for example. The vast majority of his crimes were committed while he was working for the CIA. Then he stopped following US orders exactly right, and the US invaded Panama, killing the US per capita equivalent of 500,000 people, to capture him as a lesson to anyone thinking of defying the masters.

    There are just so many examples. Even Al Qaeda is an example. Saddam Hussein is an example. Muammar Gaddafi is an example. Hosni Mubarak is an example.

    There hundreds, maybe thousands of cases, big and small.

    1. Right you are. I'd tell anyone thinking of joining the military the same thing. They sucker and propagandize these ignorant kids with the blessing of their equally ignorant parents into signing up and fighting wars for Izra-hell, then look how the vets are treated when they come home (the ones who don't become cops, that is). There is no excuse for them not to know this in this day and age of the Internet and sites like AW.C.

  2. “You know things are bad when the few friends you’ve got disappear without a trace in the dead of night and leave no forwarding address."

    Hahahhaha! You know feel the feel dark-skinned people who are fighting for dignity get when the political winds turn all of a sudden and the US decides that the murdering psycho in a uniform is actually a "good friend" and will be supported for reasons of err… "freedom". And the Excel sheet of the underground movement is Cc: to him.

    Yeah. A pox on all your houses.

  3. Nothing is more cowardly than the Obama drone war that has killed innocent civilians 90% of the time. The day Obama took control he began to murder innocent people in poor countries around the world based on faulty intelligence because he could get away with it.

  4. Obama is no Coward but you are for trying to censure arguments that do not share you negative views of the President.

  5. Any leader who has the power to tap all your communications, arrest anybody, anytime, for as long as he chooses, without charging them, kills American citizens without having to justify it to any court or oversight, can attack any country without justification… is a Dictator and Tyrant.

  6. Obama is only part of the problem. One must also look to the Congressional leadership and those in the pocket of the national security complex and of AIPAC, the multinationals and international banks, and to the hidden leadership of the Deep State itself.

    As for the next "Great 'White' Hope", whether it is Hillary Clinton, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, or, down the line, other empty suits, depending on which side of the line your neocon stands on, they've all been corrupted and should be dumped. We need a new paradigm in our foreign policy- trust building, constructive engagement, diplomacy, cooperation, trade and cross-border investment We can't be using our military to destroy those people, or their cultures or social and political systems simply because they do not buy into our policies, or have resources we covet. The proposition should have an agreed upon and positive result for all parties who honestly engage and play by the rule of law.
    As for intelligence and surveillance, you can't throw out the baby with the bath water. You do need to have reliable information as to what the other side is doing, but there is a limit, and it that limit that must be examined.

  7. Any leader who has the power to tap all your communications, arrest anybody, anytime, for as long as he chooses, without charging them, kills American citizens without having to justify it to any court or oversight, can attack any country without justification…

  8. Let’s make one thing clear: these useless military exercises and demonstrations of force do absolutely nothing to alter the reality or Russia’s strategic calculations. They are essentially for domestic consumption, to satisfy political hardliners who are attacking the president for being too weak.

  9. Leta??s make one thing clear: these useless military exercises and demonstrations of force do absolutely nothing to alter the reality or Russiaa??s strategic calculations. They are essentially for domestic consumption, to satisfy political hardliners who are attacking the president for being too weak.

  10. a politician with the view and the right stance, those who also do not have to withstand tremendous pressure and really admire Obama

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