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COMMUNITY PUNDITS

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ChasG 11:59 PM on 07/30/2013
It would be helpful to include facts in this discussion.  There are two NSA programs which are continuously being conflated into one by sloppy reporting and conspiracy wonks trying to stir up and muddy the waters of this discussion.

The Section 215 programs for the collection of metadata involve telephone billing records, and could sweep up tens of millions of American  Read More...
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Midlife45
10:21 AM on 07/31/2013
Can you imagine some of "them" taking home peoples conversations and listening to them over and over. Obsessed with hurting people they don't like? I think the Pope needs to refer to "them" as needing forgiveness and many years of repentance before they are giving anymore jurisdiction over others lives..
10:18 AM on 07/31/2013
Unless you are a suspect, the federal government has no right to capture your phone records, emails and texts. Basically they are treating everyone as a suspect. Isn't that what totalitarian countries do?
10:36 AM on 07/31/2013
Any way you put it, Welcome to the United States of East Germany
10:59 AM on 07/31/2013
Appreciate your reply. You are right. Unlike us, Germany actually demonstrated against the NSA illegality this past week. They did what we should be doing.
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checknn
10:42 AM on 07/31/2013
billc, in answer to your last sentence: yep! Noticing any changes "lately", like oh, say, 2001?
11:09 AM on 07/31/2013
Appreciate your reply, but don't understand the reference to noticing any changes lately.
Are you responding to a previously made post?
If by 2001 you are referring to Bush and the Patriot Act, it was widely supported
Senate - 99 to 1
House 357 - 66.
Unfortunately the Libertarians were crying about lost liberties and myself along
with many others should have listened closer.
Wasn't it Ben Franklin who said something to the effect, that any society that gives up some of its freedoms for security, has neither freedom nor security.
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jjtm562
10:15 AM on 07/31/2013
Here's what we know" While the U.S. Congress basks in the warmth of a 15% approval rating seemingly oblivious to everything around them except the reality of a president many of them detest, the Arab world is coming apart at the seams, Iran has pulled all the stops in its race to enter the nuclear and intercontinental missle club, North Korea is beating the drums of war, our economy teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, our cities and infrastructure are crumbling, our media is obsessed with titillating sex scandals, and in the background we hear the faint sound of a teletype. Could it be but a coke bottle caught in the fluttering window shade of a deserted town tapping out a meaningless signal to a dying world.
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checknn
10:43 AM on 07/31/2013
jjtm, I thought it was 11%. Have they accomplished something that made their approval skyrocket to 15%?
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Anybodyseenthepopos
אני כלום בלעדיהם
10:06 AM on 07/31/2013
Strangely, back in 2002 - when hysteria over the 9/11 attacks (and thus acquiescence to government power) was at its peak - the Pentagon's attempt to implement what it called the "Total Information Awareness" program (TIA) sparked so much public controversy that it had to be official scrapped. But it has been incrementally re-instituted - without the creepy (though honest) name and all-seeing-eye logo - with little controversy or even notice.

Back in 2010, worldwide controversy erupted when the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates banned the use of Blackberries because some communications were inaccessible to government intelligence agencies, and that could not be tolerated. The Obama administration condemned this move on the ground that it threatened core freedoms, only to turn around six weeks later and demand that all forms of digital communications allow the U.S. government backdoor access to intercept them.
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Midlife45
10:05 AM on 07/31/2013
AOL, please help protect people when they give an opinion. Be an advocate to protect their privacy of identity when needed. People kill for the perception of looking right. Then they go to church acting like they are innocent. That is what wicked does. The perceived losers in the gutters have no power.
10:04 AM on 07/31/2013
They will never give up what we don't know about.
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realflatt1
Without Privacy there is no true Freedom
11:12 AM on 07/31/2013
Extremely sage comment, Frank. That is exactly what not only would happen, but is happening as we speak. They will never be satisfied until they have total control over what they think is their nation and World.

Only problem is these kind of totalitarian states fall rather quickly throughout history as simply not be right nor viable.

That is our future unless "we the people" stand up and put a stop to this insane approach by our military and government, NOW. IMO .f & f.
02:07 PM on 07/31/2013
Thanks for the fav,

It's human nature unfortunately. Secrets and power go hand in glove. If you have ever read about Rome, this is nothing new. What is new is technology being used against the masses. I really don't think this is going to end any time soon.

Thanks again,

Frank
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Anybodyseenthepopos
אני כלום בלעדיהם
09:57 AM on 07/31/2013
On Wednesday night, Burnett interviewed Tim Clemente, a former FBI counterterrorism agent, about whether the FBI would be able to discover the contents of past telephone conversations between the two. He quite clearly insisted that they could:

BURNETT: Tim, is there any way, obviously, there is a voice mail they can try to get the phone companies to give that up at this point. It's not a voice mail. It's just a conversation. There's no way they actually can find out what happened, right, unless she tells them?

CLEMENTE: "No, there is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It's not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of her. We certainly can find that out.

BURNETT: "So they can actually get that? People are saying, look, that is incredible.

CLEMENTE: "No, welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not."
http://www.businessinsider.com/greenwald-are-all-telephone-calls-recorded-and-accessible-to-the-us-government-2013-5
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checknn
10:49 AM on 07/31/2013
Anybody, ah, The Patriot Act and all its children. I have friends who can't believe any of this is real; they don't believe any of the technologies for spying, killing, silencing, exist. I for one am now a believer that no matter how far-fetched something might seem, if it can be thought of, someone can make it so. Our founders said "the price of liberty is eternal vigilance". I will never be convinced that they weren't warning us of the threat from within. No one can bring down our country unless we let them.
11:36 AM on 07/31/2013
That is why I always ask people. How is voting the lesser of 2 evils working out? We still get stuck with evil...
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Anybodyseenthepopos
אני כלום בלעדיהם
01:21 PM on 07/31/2013
Great Post checknn!
09:56 AM on 07/31/2013
according to our Pres. - all phoney scandals
12:19 PM on 07/31/2013
Take that with a grain of salt. Afterall, it's coming from a phony pres.
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h3trt33
Reading Comprehension is a lost art
09:48 AM on 07/31/2013
. One need only look back to the early days of the civil rights movement or those days when protesting the Vietnam conflict was popular in the 60s & 70s. Individuals from both of them were many times singled out, files were kept by the FBI of their activities, and they were listed on the government watch list. And done even though the 1st Amendment allows the peaceful actions they were engaged in. What the government did back then was wrong, and what is being done today is wrong. The question I bring from that is - who is our government trying to protect, itself or us? The fact that government is conducting surveillance on all Americans is evidence it is protecting itself from everyone and it has nothing to do with protecting us from terrorists.
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Midlife45
10:09 AM on 07/31/2013
Don't Ask, Don't Tell, was good one for social steering and identity theft. They never booted those that asked or the ones who started a rainbow rampage on poor young people. Files were created, added to and tracked for believability you can bet
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elogco
Boricua from the Buckeye State
09:46 AM on 07/31/2013
Taking to the Senate floor, Sens. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) called on the White House to act on its own to rein in the programs." The scenario that often occurs in Washington as follows: 'Ah support the war on drugs. Ah wrote the stiff prison sentences for those that use and traffic in ilegal drugs, mah fellow 'Mericans. We won't coddle evil-doers.' (Then, it just so happens the good Senator's son is busted at the Senior prom for heroin and crack possession.) The good Senator to the Judge: "He's a good boy. Jus' made a mistake. Have mercy on 'im, ur Honor. And by the way, did y'all say y'all needed a road constructed to haul all that gas and oil from y'alls gas wells?" ...So now they're bitching about a draconian law that invades our privacy? The same 'Ah was fer it 'till ah was agin it...' syndrome. Ain't that the way it works?
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checknn
10:52 AM on 07/31/2013
elogco, I'm impressed that you knew the contraction for "you all"! I sort of wonder if this program has been used to keep some of our "leaders" in line.
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elogco
Boricua from the Buckeye State
12:12 PM on 07/31/2013
Well, after moving to Texas from Ohio, y'all cain't hep but pic'up the local lingo hoss.
09:42 AM on 07/31/2013
The problem with American politics today? We only have men to choose from. But, all we have to do is to find a man who doesn't lie, cheat, steal, who doesn't crave power, who has no greed or selfishness, who will always put the needs of other Americans before his own, who doesn't covet money, and who is willing to follow the laws of the Constitution of the United States, and has no personal agenda. Good luck with any of that!
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elogco
Boricua from the Buckeye State
09:48 AM on 07/31/2013
Wonderful post. U hit the nail on the head.
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h3trt33
Reading Comprehension is a lost art
10:03 AM on 07/31/2013
Those who could meet your requirements (and they're dandy ones) wouldn't go into that Washington cesspool for any amount of money.
09:40 AM on 07/31/2013
It's gotta be serious if you get Democrats and Republicans both saying it must stop.
Plus, Democrats attacking a sitting Democrat President.
It's much worse than we know.
Snoden maybe a real hero for alerting the US Public about this disgraceful and illegal 4th Amendment law breaking.
09:37 AM on 07/31/2013
Seems that Wyden and Udall are the only politicians on our side anymore
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CeePeeDee
"Morning in America" began the end of our era.
09:32 AM on 07/31/2013
While claiming that these programs disrupted 54 terrorist plots, I have seen nowhere verifiable evidence that even the 4 the administration cited are true. Where's the bacon?
The reformers in Congress are making absolutely minimal demands of the administration, and not asking enough to bring these rogue programs into accountability.
09:29 AM on 07/31/2013
and at the end of the day, nothing will happen.

the government will keep spying on it's own citizens.
the government will continue to 'frame' any and all regulations or legislation in one of three ways, those being...health/safety, the environment, and for the simple minded, fairness.
the government will continue to find ways to give money to the 'politically connected'
the government will create more make believe money to find it's make believe programs.

it's all just business as usual in dc, the district of corruption.