Quote of the Day: Broad and Rife Edition

 James-R-Clapper-testimony

“In this country, the government can’t just monitor your constitutionally
protected activities—like gun ownership—just because it wants to. The justification that, ‘if you’re not doing anything wrong, you don’t have to worry about it,’ turns us into a police state very quickly.” – Brian Phillips in Senators Ask if NSA Collected Gun Data [at freebeacon.com]

comments

  1. avatar Totenglocke says:

    Of course the NSA did. And of course, the NSA will lie to Congress again.

    1. avatar SD3 says:

      If the NSA lies to a wholly-corrupt entity like congress, is it really a lie?

      It’s like pissing into an open sewer: no harm done.

    2. avatar psmcd says:

      We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.– William Casey, CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)

    3. avatar pk in AZ says:

      Back in March, James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, LIED, under oath, to Congress, and to all of us….

      Now he sends a letter, “misunderstanding”, and everything is forgiven?

      Had it been any of ordinary people, we would be facing perjury charges!

    4. avatar William says:

      The NSA has BRAGGED of storing every email, phone call and text message for YEARS. There is scarcely and kind of knowledge and more public than the NSA’s own boastings.

      If any of you missed it, then you put an blindfold over your eyes and shooters’ ear protection over your ears, so as not to know it.

  2. avatar Matt Richardson says:

    and yet…

  3. avatar Skyler says:

    Not all secrets are illegal. Trade secrets are not illegal. Inventions before patenting are not illegal. Affairs are not illegal. Political strategies are not illegal. But once someone, anyone, knows your secrets, they are no longer secret.

    Your business, your patents, your family, and your opposition to oppressive government can all be destroyed by low level flunkies, not unlike how Snowden has destroyed our government’s credibility.

    Imagine some sysadmin blackmailing you about an email to an old flame. Or telling your business competition about your new marketing strategy. Or simply knowing things that are none of their business.

    The old “if you didn’t do anything wrong then you have nothing to fear” is a terrible argument because it doesn’t recognize that we have the right to keep secrets.

    1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      What do you think happened to Gen. Petraeus?

      1. avatar Jim says:

        And Spitzer. Then you have to consider what happened to the D.C. Madam and Michael Hastings. The mask will be coming off in the next few years, and they will dispense with the pretenses entirely.

        1. avatar William says:

          Gen. McChrystal… who presided over the admitted media hoax “Saving Private Jessica Lynch”? She was treated extremely well, but the Iraqis left her in the hospital alone because of advancing U.S. Troops. It was a Hollywood production, literally. She was alone and unguarded in the hospital. THERE WAS NO RESISTANCE. Lynch has said all this publicly.

          McChrystal also, in all likelihood, took orders to kill Pat Tillman from Cheney and/or Rumsfeld, and assigned the task to trusted minions.

          McChrystal is a VERY DIRTY BIRD.

      2. avatar neiowa says:

        That’s what I’m thinking also.

        Consider the many very high level military officer this administration has run out of town. A couple I knew personnally to be very competent and honorable. Both marks to satan to this bunch of pissants.

        How about the number of Congressmen that have suddenly lost their conservative foundation?

        Perhaps this NSA is being used to seek and destroy AMERICANS. Nah couldn’t be the Chicago thugs wouldn’t do that.

        Which adminstration is the least competent? The most radical ? Obuma or Morsi??

        1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          Surely no administration would dare use a government institution to target political opposition (sic, see IRS).

    2. avatar psmcd says:

      Snowden has not destroyed our government’s credibility. He’s only one in a long line of those revealing the long extant lack of credibility.

    3. avatar KCK says:

      Please examine the difference between
      Private and Secret.
      NSA wants to keep it a secret that they have violated our privacy.

      No one else needs to know what is private but not all secrets should be kept.
      Like
      “Don’t tell your mommie about this, it will be our little secret”

  4. avatar NamVet says:

    To trust the govt. is the same as believing that Dracula is not a blood-sucker. I have told people for years about the drug trafficking conducted by the CIA during VietNam. I was called everything from liar to traitor. Now these same people are willing to acknowledge it, only because they saw some report on tv.

    My daughter has some dealings with the NSA due to her job. She has told me that she is sick and tired of all the spook shite.

  5. avatar Jim R says:

    The real problem with the thought “You’re not a criminal, why are you worried?” is that eventually, with thinking like that, EVERYONE is made a criminal of something.

    And that’s where we are now. Everyone in this country is a lawbreaker. Most of us just haven’t been caught yet.

    1. avatar ragnar_d says:

      More and more, life seems to be imitating art. A passage in Atlas Shrugged where Floyd Ferris is lecturing Hank Rearden comes to mind quite frequently these days:
      “Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against – then you’ll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We’re after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it. There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now, that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

      1. avatar Gtfoxy says:

        As such we are instructwd to live by the law of the heart, not mans law, as Christians.

        “For whom has been sanctified by the Law?

        This statement is in reference to Gods Laws, as such, what does mans own Laws hope to accomolish except the corruptability of man.

        1. avatar KCK says:

          I wasn’t up there with Moses, so let’s just say, it might be a bunch of CS (Calf Sh*t), and I can’t go with the direct line to god thing. Seems like they always go off to their own little telephone booth where no one else gets to hear the conversation, very suspicious, so I will stick with Mans Laws, if well REASONED! 10 from “God” or the 10 from Men.
          God only got a couple that are usefull. Men, 10 for 10.
          OK OK that quartering troops things has gone a little cold.

  6. avatar Dave's not here says:

    Kafka anyone?

  7. avatar ThomasR says:

    Life imitating art; “1984”, “Atlas Shrugged”, “A Clock Work Orange”, all happening now. All that is left is “Soylent Green.”

    1. avatar Loyd says:

      Anyone who disagrees needs to reread the first chapter of 1984, when Winston returns to his apartment to the entertainment screen with the watchful eye (computers with webcams) feeding citizens what the are supposed to hear while making sure they listen.

    2. avatar John says:

      Don’t forget Brave New World.

  8. avatar karlb says:

    Democracies or representational governments cannot exist when secrets are kept, for the citizens must have knowledge of what is being done in their names; otherwise, there is no way to chose who can best represent their interests and who can limit the powers of those who would usurp the will and rights of the electorate. Secret courts are not legitimate checks to the desires of the executive branch, for even if the court would block its wants, that judge could be dismissed and replaced with a more aquiescing judge. No one would know, and the executive branch could still claim legitimacy since it “followed the laws,” secret though they may be.

    Best and Brightest, we need to consider who we elect to congress, for those two bodies must blunt the assault on our freedoms. We need people like Russ Feingold and Ron Paul who truly understand the dangers of the powers that have been ceded to the President. While there have been secret courts for decades, it is only with the explosion of technology that it has been possible for all citizens to be targets of inquiry. We must have brave, strong, determined representatives who can and will challenge power. As one of America’s greatest voices of freedom, Fredrick Douglas, said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” We need to demand this to end. We must agree that acts of terror are not reason enough to cower and give up our freedoms. We must agree that in the balancing act between freedom and safety, we must always weigh freedom as the more precious possession. This is not a left/right Obama/Bush dichotomy; this is an argument over what America means, whether our experiment in democracy continues on or simply enters into the dustbin of dead ideas.

    1. avatar NCG says:

      Yep. And said fancy like.

  9. avatar KCK says:

    Congress members seem to have forgotten that they are not the permission givers to those that would violate the Constitution if the reasons are “good enough”.
    “But we have prevented terrorist attacks”. Sounds like the B. Franklin security, freedom exchange.
    I would rather be blown up in an Islamic Jihad attack and have my fellow Americans know that that threat exist that we can then fight, rather than have two hidden threats at the same time:My government and the Islamists. As the quote states “it turns into a police state very quickly” and I prefer to have neither, the Muslim Brotherhood nor Big Brother.

  10. avatar Ralph says:

    Terrorists don’t scare me. Maybe they should, but they don’t. “My” government cares me. Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.

    1. avatar Aharon says:

      Same here. Far more Americans have been harmed and killed by immoral, self-serving, corrupt, illegal, and incompetent USG decisions, policies, and programs than terrorists from overseas.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        Well said on all accounts – and I’m a government employee. Just keep it a secret that I agree with you, ok?

    2. avatar William says:

      Remember “they hate our freedoms!”? Ironically, it’s been our own government all along that hates our freedoms!

  11. avatar Aharon says:

    Under the Clintons there were many mysterious strangely-coincidental deaths.
    Under the Obomites there is the raping of the world’s privacy.

    1. avatar Bret says:

      Actually most of these privacy raping policy’s were put in place during the Clinton years. Bush legalized it with the patriot act, then Obama just went hog wild with it.

  12. avatar Ardent says:

    During Shay’s Rebellion a hastily formed militia traveled to the courthouses where the bankruptcies of their neighbors were to be heard and closed those houses. Though they were eventually routed by federal troops and forced to disband, the congress took note of their numbers, determination and finally their cause. In time laws were enacted that protected the people from predatory lending practices.

    Using Daniel Shay’s example, in order to redress these grievances we have only to ride to the nearest FISA court. . . if you could just point it out on the map there. . . Yes? What? Well, now that is a problem.

    Perhaps if enough of us mill about aimlessly we’ll be spotted by a drone and they can bring the fight to us instead.

  13. avatar NCG says:

    It’s good that Obama is president, because now a lot of right-wingers suddenly give a shit about the out of control National Security State (the one Ike warned us about), which Obama has embraced at every turn, just as Bush and Cheney did before him, as has every administration of either party going back to FDR, if not further (note Obama’s Espionage Act http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Espionage_Act_of_1917#World_War_I rampage against whistleblowers. ) The Espionage Act was first used to crack down on anti-war Leftists (Eugene Debs, etc.) during WWI. Free your minds from the lie of the “two party system”.

  14. avatar Marcus Aurelius says:

    Since they have nothing to find, they won’t mind not looking. Right?

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