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Obama: Making Americans Trust Surveillance Is Sort of Like Washing Dishes

Claims he was all about NSA reforms pre-Snowden; congressman accuses president of capitulation. RESET: Obama calls Putin "bored kid in the back of the classroom."

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

August 9, 2013 - 1:39 pm
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Acting like he was fostering a robust debate on surveillance before NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s leaks about PRISM, President Obama announced a four-point plan to make Americans “more comfortable” with the idea of data collection.

In fact, he compared this new trust-building initiative to dishwashing.

“If I tell Michelle that I did the dishes — now, granted, in the White House I don’t do the dishes that much,” Obama said at a press conference Friday afternoon in an otherwise deserted Washington. “But back in the day — and she’s a little skeptical. Well, I’d like her to trust me, but maybe I need to bring her back and show her the dishes. And not just have her take my word for it.”

“And so, you know, the program is — I am comfortable that the program currently is not being abused,” he continued.

“I am comfortable that if the American people examined exactly what was taking place, how it was being used, what the safeguards were, that they would say, you know what, these folks are following the law and doing what they say they’re doing.”

Obama opened the hourlong press conference by lamenting that “rather than an orderly and lawful process to debate these issues and come up with appropriate reforms, repeated leaks of classified information have initiated the debate in a very passionate, but not always fully informed way.”

“Now, keep in mind that as a senator I expressed a healthy skepticism about these programs,” he said. “And as president, I’ve taken steps to make sure that they have strong oversight by all three branches of government and clear safeguards to prevent abuse and protect the rights of the American people.”

The president said he’d asked the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board “to review where our counterterrorism efforts and our values come into tension,” and “directed my national security team to be more transparent and to pursue reforms of our laws and practices.”

He announced “four specific streps, not all-inclusive” to “move the debate forward.”

Those include working with Congress to weigh reforms to Section 215 of the Patriot Act and working with Congress “to improve the public’s confidence in the oversight conducted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.”

“So specifically we can take steps to make sure civil liberties, concerns, have an independent voice, in appropriate cases, by ensuring the government’s position is challenged by an adversary,” he said.

The third step includes more declassifications, including “the legal rationale for the government’s collection activities under Section 215″ and the NSA’s establishment of a full-time “civil liberties and privacy officer.”

“The intelligence community is creating a website that will serve as a hub for further transparency,” Obama declared. “This will give Americans and the world the ability to learn more about what our intelligence community does and what it doesn’t do, how it carries out its mission and why it does so.”

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All Comments   (25)
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In so many words: Liar.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is what's REALLY HAPPENING: call it "tightening of the noose!"
2012 Elections Obama used all sources of IT for "data mining" purposes,including NSA's.
2014 Elections Obama needs all sources of IT used in 2012 elections' "data mining," available and operational.
2016 Elections coupled with voter fraud, registratons, and deceased voters as well as National Popular Vote Movement (now underway) united with "new data mining" will ensure democratic wins in Presidency, Senate and Congress. Pray. Amen. We the Elite People of culture of corruption In all of Washington DC will use their 1)greed,2)ever expanding power, and 3)out-and-out corruption to guarantee their continued hold on all reins of everything America. Summing all this up, We The "Little" People have an:1)Executive, 2)Legislative and 3)Justicial branch of American government operating in collusion AGAINST everything that made this country great (in secret at that). Join a Tea Party.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Dear Readers!

Comment on our chameleon Obama as much as you want; but only do it with the spirit that you're amusing yourselves with a chimera and only wasting your time which could be applied to more worthwhile things. He's a living emptiness that is at the same time dangerous.

He's one dangerous "unmitigated disaster", in the words of Former Vice President Cheney, and I wholeheartedly agree.

But, aim instead to concentrate on "enduring the unendurable", as our Japanese enemy said at the close of the Pacific War, and plan for our next presidential election.

Energetic folks should start a campaign now to raise the voting age to the mid- or late twenties for presidential elections, along with a stringent literacy test in English. English?.... it should go without saying, but alas, it is necessary now to emphasize English......gasp!...what a novel thought?, eh?

In a very real sense we've brought the likes of this Obama on ourselves with our "reaching out" and grasping every single voter, regardless of their thinking capacity in choosing a National Leader.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The palpable disdain Obama (and crew) feels for Americans is beyond dispute. It is as if the only requirement is a pat on the head, and the citizenry will step back into line Well, some know better.

In fact, NSAgate (not unlike IRSgate) becomes very personal, in as much as people understand that it IS affecting their very life and liberty. Therefore, the 'unwashed' masses will hardly be mollified - http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/08/02/the-nsa-caught-dead-to-rights-commentary-by-adina-kutnicki/

There is only so much a citizenry will tolerate, or at least one would hope.

Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
re:
" [this NSA revelation].......becomes very personal, in as much as people understand that it IS affecting their very life and liberty."

How so? Explain without the drama.

Consider that we're [at least now in America] saddled with the new mentality of an emerging "netizen" populace who gleefully have, or had, depending on maturity, published "pics" of their genitals over the wide open Internet, and then...start to wail and howl that their "privates" have been exposed.

Isn't that a bit rich?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think (just as with the First Amendment) a distinction is drawn between private citizens vs the government. The First Amendment prohibits *government* from abrogating or abridging a citizen's freedom of expression through the passage of laws (laws which would restrict his Free Speech). If an employee bad mouths his employer and is fired, he can't claim his Freedom of expression was violated. An individual is also free to post revealing pics of himself/herself, and later express regrets. But that is a far cry from the arm of *govt* (NSA) invading a person's privacy (reading email, etc), under some weak, nebulous authorization.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I feel his words making sense....what's this warm fuzzy feeling....the rich get richer and the poor get poorer...so sleepy...trust me...he sounds trustworthy...why are children riding purple unicorns?...is this a nighmare?...am I asleep?...can't wake up...can't wake up from this nightmare... ... ... .
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What a bizarre analogy for Obama to use -- Michelle checking on Obama to see if he had really washed the dishes or not? As if NSA surveillance is as benign as dish washing..."we're just keeping tabs on folks. See what you're up to -- say was that dishwasher water temperature set too high? Endangering the environment, eh?" This hardly furthers Obozo's "need to know" through NSA. And then there are the proposed "expert panels" (our new "managed" democracy, sans privacy -- as detailed in "The Front Man")
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If my dad told my mom he had washed the dishes, her only reply would be "Have you dried them? Did you put them away?" If he said it, he did it. Neither she nor his children would have had the least doubt that the dishes were spotless if my dad said he washed the dishes. I find it rather bizarre that Michelle would have to go see to believe—does Barack lie to her on a regular basis so that she has to demand evidence?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Indeed. But, I guess with an Obama, Michelle requires something more than a verbal Obama claim (since I suppose he's so prone to lying). Another bizarre twist -- Obama uses "surveillance" to demonstrate his "innocence" (yes, he had, in fact, washed the dishes). But this isn't how NSA surveillance is used to catch terrorists -- You don't keep tabs on someone (collect email, tap phones, etc) so you can exonerate them. (Obama strikes me as someone with severe problems, worse than Nixon in the paranoia dept.)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
He often goes personal like that. Everything revolves around him and his, ya see ?

Abortion ? wouldn't want my daughters to be "punished with a baby".

Trayvon, he coulda been me 35 years ago.

And so on
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Note also the number of times Obama places himself in the role of the falsely accused "victim" (and the auditor sighs, "poor Obama!") -- yet, if you follow what Obama, himself, does, he is routinely pointing fingers at others and accusing them of all sorts of nefarious acts.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
He makes all these just-plain-folks references for the benefit of his base, people who are only interested in the mundane and who aren't capable of understanding anything unless it relates personally to their own lives - people just like him.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That, too. Extraordinarily naive thought processes.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
damn repeated leaks, wouldn't need a discussion if it weren't for them, cuz the GP would be totally uninformed. In fact they wouldn't even know it existed!!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
" the GP"

aka "ordinary folks" per the emperor-in-chief.

Yes, the clandestine NSA practices would be unknown, therefore, not a problem.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Same for the website, how many websites has he promised that would be open and transparent and either don't exist or or open but useless to know how the money is being spent.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ok. I will believe him if I see the dishes, otherwise I will wait and see.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have never seen him near a dish, much less wash anything. So yes, Mr. President, I accept your crazy statement. In other words, I Disbelieve You.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"We’re forming a high-level group of outside experts to review our entire intelligence and communications technologies."

The NSA will be given a new high-ranking official charged with protecting civil liberties, while there may be some kind of attempt to place a similar civil-liberties advocate before the FISA court, which overwhelmingly approves government applications for surveillance operations.

More committees ! More bureaucrats ! Yea !

http://www.nationaljournal.com/whitehouse/somewhere-in-russia-edward-snowden-is-smiling-20130809



1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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