One of the three in the title doesn’t belong there:
I watched, incredulously, as all three contenders in Saturday night’s Democratic presidential debate — Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley — refused to say the slaughter was the work of “Muslim” extremists.
Clinton blamed “jihadis.” But despite prodding, she would not speak of the Islamic elephant in the room.
Sanders stood by his earlier claim that climate change, not creatures in suicide vests, presents the biggest threat to this planet because it makes poor people into terrorists by interfering with their crops or something.
At that point, I switched to the Syfy channel to get a bigger dose of reality.
And probably got much more of a dose of reality than the Democratic debate.
Imagine claiming “climate change” was the “biggest threat to the planet” when terrorists are blowing up people in France. Or the simple fact that the climate really hasn’t shown any change in over a decade.
Who are “jihadis” and what religion do they represent, Ms. Clinton?
And who’s two memes, “ISIS is the jayvee” and “other civilized countries don’t have this sort of problem (referring to mass killings), were utterly destroyed? Not to mention watching the French president show what leadership means by hitting ISIS immediately, repeatedly and hard?
Oh, that would be our Commander-in-Chief, the semi-retired and totally disconnected Barack Obama.
Meanwhile, the importation of 10,000 Syrian refugees will continue as planned.
Yup, Syfy would seem to deal in reality much more than our President and the Democrats.
We’re working really hard in the media to avoid discussing the elephant that Mohammad Abdulazeez rode going to his Chattanooga Islamic terrorist attack. Official government sources are working nearly as hard.
“It” let’s talk like ‘it’ wasn’t killing 5 men while we’re worrying about whether or not he was ‘radicalized’ or depressed or a wannabe member of ISIS.
There’s no evidence he was inspired by ISIS you see.
I’d like to suggest there was no evidence that Major Nidal Hasan was inspired by ISIS either if that’s a helpful guidepost to those who are trying to figure out what we can do to prevent people from killing when they think they will gain entry to paradise for killing.
Just because young Mohammad didn’t write “Dear Diary, today, inspired by the glory of ISIS and all they do in the name of Allah, I’m going to go and kill some American servicemen” doesn’t mean the cause isn’t pretty obvious.
He was a lone gunman according to the President, who avoided the word ‘Terrorism’ like he avoids making useful decisions.
The kid did mention ‘becoming a martyr’ didn’t he? And what exactly does that mean to some people who practice the religion of peace?
Short and sweet.
To the best of my knowledge there’s only one world-wide religion that rewards you for dying while killing others. Only one major religion where “becoming a martyr” is a matter of choice. Only one where you get rewards for killing unbelievers.
And based on the xplodidopes who blow themselves up in mosques, even killing ‘believers’ can get you a reward even if the only difference between you is believing the prophet rose at 6:00 AM every morning while they insist emphatically he didn’t rise until 6:10.
In Christianity, you kill yourself, and others, and you are NOT going to get the first class treatment when you get to Heaven’s gates. You are most certainly not going to get it if you slaughter innocents first and manage to get yourself killed in the ensuing battle with the forces of goodness and niceness.
Only Islam rewards you with paradise for killing others before your number comes up in the fight, even if you’re the one who started it.
But we need to know young Mohammad was doing drugs and alcohol. What we know is it makes him a lousy practitioner of Islam. What we can guess is it could be a factor in why he needed the martyr bonus package to buy his way to paradise.
He was ‘in debt’ – sure, after you drop somewhere on the order of (easily) $3000+ to buy an AK74, an AR-15 and a Saiga 12 semi-auto assault shotgun, plus the ammo to feed them, and spend time, and money, at a range practicing with them, yeah, you’ve gone a lot deeper in debt then when you couldn’t make that $380 monthly car payment. Now oddly enough, he didn’t have that additional debt, until after he’d returned from a trip to the Middle East. I’m sure there’s nothing unusual about that though. I came back from Fredericksburg Texas a couple weeks ago, and when I got back to Dallas I went out and bought Heffeweizen and German sausages, so maybe it’s a coming back from the Middle East thing to go out and buy weapons and ammo.
Finally, the day Mohammad decided he was ready to ‘commit suicide’, he set out to shoot, and kill, not just any unbelievers, no, he went off to shoot and kill members of the armed forces of the United States of America. He seems to have had a particular bone to pick with the Marines but obviously he’d shoot American sailors too. I suspect Army, Air Force or Coast Guard personnel who crossed his path would have made their way onto his kill list.
Now let’s pack up all those bits of information as we ponder why he did ‘it’.-
A follower of Islam, looking to achieve martyrdom, takes a trip to the Middle East for several months, comes back and buys several semi-automatic weapons of man killing caliber, buys ammo for them, practices with them and then attacks the recruiting offices of the United States military. In the process he dies, thus achieving his goal of martyrdom. Before his ‘suicide’ is complete he kills 5 American military personnel, largely unarmed (because he’s a brave warrior seeking paradise), until finally someone puts enough jacketed lead into his nasty little body to put him down like the diseased animal he was.
Should we CARE what motivated him? Isn’t it all about the outcome for progressive America?
I don’t care if he was depressed, taking pills, in debt, confused or having a bad beard day. He wasn’t a good boy, he killed other people for nothing more than being Americans, in uniform.
And he did it, specifically, because his religion taught him that dying while killing infidels would get him into heaven.
It’s NOT any more complicated than that.
Is it radicalized? is it terrorism? (yes, and yes).
Who cares, if it’s not, it’s still Islam.
Now go figure out how knowing it’s Islam will prevent the next follower of Mohammed who’s ‘depressed and in debt’ from attempting to do little shoe kissing pork eating Mohammad Abdulazeez one (or more) better.
We see the end-state of what this administration deems a “success”:
Secret files held by Yemeni security forces that contain details of American intelligence operations in the country have been looted by Iran-backed militia leaders, exposing names of confidential informants and plans for U.S.-backed counter-terrorism strikes, U.S. officials say.
U.S. intelligence officials believe additional files were handed directly to Iranian advisors by Yemeni officials who have sided with the Houthi militias that seized control of Sana, the capital, in September, which led the U.S.-backed president to flee to Aden.
For American intelligence networks in Yemen, the damage has been severe. Until recently, U.S. forces deployed in Yemen had worked closely with President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi’s government to track and kill Al Qaeda operatives, and President Obama had hailed Yemen last fall as a model for counter-terrorism operations elsewhere.
Let’s see … SOF forced out of the country, President of Yemen on the run and both sides (Houti and AQ) romping all over the place. Oh, and the security breech which is likely to cost a lot of lives.
But the identities of local agents were considered compromised after Houthi leaders in Sana took over the offices of Yemen’s National Security Bureau, which had worked closely with the CIA and other intelligence agencies, according to two U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive operations.
Yemeni intelligence officers still loyal to Hadi’s besieged government burned some secret files, one official said. But they couldn’t destroy all of them before the Houthi fighters, whose leaders have received some weapons and training from Iran, moved in.
The loss of the intelligence networks, in addition to the escalating conflict, contributed to the Obama administration’s decision to halt drone strikes in Yemen for two months, to vacate the U.S. Embassy in Sana last month and to evacuate U.S. special operations and intelligence teams from a Yemeni air base over the weekend.
“Success”. Just breath it in.
Reminds you of the “success” in Libya, doesn’t it?
A few items caught my eye yesterday:
Immigration is seriously worried about the Chinese coming to the US to have kids to get them the American Citizenship prize. Called Birth Tourism, apparently it’s bad and wrong and the US government wants to stop it. Seems these people buy plane tickets, rent hotels, have their kids and go back to China, where after some number of decades their child might return to the US for, among other things, the education. I’m not sure how I feel about all that, but I do observe they are playing by the stupid rules we’ve established that being a foreign national and having a kid in the US makes the kid a citizen and entitles their parents to come along for the ride. And they seem to be doing it through perfectly legitimate, even trackable means too.
The Chinese may be getting screwed on this deal. California being California there’s no guarantee that 17 years of so from now they won’t pass a law saying Californians are obligated to educate everyone in China anyway, because that’s how they seem to roll out there on the high powered left coast.
It’s an interesting insight that so many Chinese would like to be Americans isn’t it? Well, at least in the current currency of American citizenship which the Obama Administration is working so diligently to debase these days.
Imagine, some of them are defrauding the hospitals! Well! Thank heavens everyone else who staggers across the borders illegally and avails themselves of our services makes sure they settle all their hospital bills right?
and these Chinese people, they lie!
“These people were told to lie, how to lie, so that their motives for coming to the U.S. wouldn’t be questioned,” Claude Arnold, a special agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told the Associated Press.
this must be as opposed to not even bothering to have to lie and just crossing the Rio Grande or the desert someplace between San Diego and El Centro where you get scooped up and processed at a “detention facility” before you are flown or bused by the government to the city of your choice in the US.
What makes me go hmmmmm is the curious fact that our government, nay, our very President, has encouraged tens of thousands of Mexican and Central Americans to sneak into the country, and is intent on making all of them citizens right now, well, certainly trying to get the job done by the 2016 election, when of course they won’t vote for Republican candidates. There’s no point in beating around the Obama here and pretending that’s not the plan going forward. I’m trying to figure out why the usual host of Raul Gravilja’s and Luis Gutierrez’s aren’t out there doing their best to protect these Asian-American citizens in the making!
I guess it’s not all illegals, I’m sorry, undocumented (though technically, they ARE documented aren’t they) immigrants that Raul and Luis and Barack are fighting for.
I don’t know who the Asians pissed off, maybe they didn’t properly celebrate Thanksgiving in 2014.
While I’m thinking on it, stray thought as it were, with respect to McQ’s post the other day on Nanny State, I wonder if CPS in various locales are investigating all those families that let their kids wander into the country without their parents during 2014.
Is it worse to let your kid wander half a mile from school to the house, or across the Rio Grande from Mexico to Texas? Duh, school to the house, hands down.
Another bit of news was..
It turns out according to the prosecution in the Boston Marathon bombing that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was an Islamic holy warrior.
Federal prosecutor William Weinreb took charge of presenting the first profile of Tsarnaev to the jury, stating that the accused had “had murder in his heart” and had wanted to kill Americans.
“He believed that he was a soldier in a holy war against Americans,” Weinreb said. “He also believed that by winning that victory, he had taken a step toward reaching paradise.”
Tsarnaev also thought that the U.S. government was the enemy of the Muslim people,” Weireb added.
Or, he thought he was a holy warrior, for Islam.
See, that’s just silly, the jury should disregard that allegation from the getgo, because it’s just not possible according to the White House and State Department and numerous other executive agencies. There had to be something else that motivated him, like anger about marathons or something. After all, in the closing of the trial of Major Nidal Hasan, the Army prosecutor said it wasn’t about religion, it’s wrong and un-supportive to tie his actions to religion. So why would the Federal prosecutor in Boston start out by explaining the perp thought he was a holy warrior fighting for Islam against Americans? That just doesn’t make sense. There’s no tie to Islam here!
If those ‘committing the crime’ delusionaly think it’s for Islam, it doesn’t matter what they think. If we decide that’s not why they’re doing it then that’s not why they did it. That’s been made pretty clear in the Fort Hood massacre, the case where the solider was decapitated in England, the beheading in Oklahoma, the Charlie Hebdo massacre, or the coffee shop attack in Sydney, or the one in Copenhagen. And that whole ISIS isn’t Islam thing too. The Crusades!
I’m not sure what the Federal prosecutor is trying to say, or prove here. I hope someone from the West Wing gives him a call and tells him to knock that crap off. I could better understand if it were being done by a prosecutor working for the whackjob rightwing citizens of the city of Boston, those redneck morons, but a Federal prosecutor?
If he’s not careful and keeps making these links to Islam then there could be a mistrial or it might fuel people’s intolerance. They might start getting irritated and commit hate-crimes like drawing cartoons of the prophet or saying there’s a link between Islam and radical terrorism (as opposed to just plain old conventional terrorism).
Almost last and not least, not to tell the Supreme Court justices how to do their jobs and all, but does it matter more how much damage is done to the country when an unconstitutional law is allowed to stand or how much economic damage is done if it is determined to be against the Constitution?
So these discussions yesterday about Obamacare death spirals and all, do I misunderstand the principle such that the Supreme Court determinations should be based on the damage done if we find something isn’t Constitutional and we can and must excuse bad law if it’s going to cause economic hardship above some arbitrarily determined point?
Oh well, clearly if it’s going to economic hardship we should just let the law stand as currently interpreted by his Highness, because well, it would hurt to undo the thing now. Besides His Majesty can probably fix it with an executive extension or rescission or action or something to get around whatever silly argument is being made that the legislation as written and intended, shouldn’t be taken verbatim in THAT particular portion. All the other things the legislation said should be taken at absolute face value until the King changes what he wants them to mean, but the wording in the part about State exchanges should be considered fungible because it might hurt to undo it.
I wanted to mention the Republican’s brave stand in refusing funding for the 14% of DHS that isn’t mandatorily funded but that is probably just to much hmmmmmm for one day right?
I’ve said for 6+ years that the man in the White House was not a leader. He’s never been a leader. And this weekend he again demonstrated to the world that leadership is not something of which he has even an inkling of understanding. This weekend, at a gathering of 3 million in the French capital, 40 leaders of various countries stood with those people and symbolically said “no” to terrorism, intimidation and murder and “yes” to free speech. They demonstrated leadership. They demonstrated political courage. They did what leaders do.
And where was our President? Or Vice President? At home with nothing on their schedules … that’s where. Showing up in Europe and doing what leadership demands was apparently something they couldn’t figure out.
Leadership takes, no, requires courage. This weekend we saw a display of diplomatic and political cowardice (and I don’t buy the “threat was too great” – apparently it was acceptable to the Israeli PM).
Oh, we’ll see them scramble now to try to turn this around and to their advantage, but it is clear to those of us who’ve actually been leaders that we lack one in the White House. It’s a pitiful but representative example of why this man should never have been elected to the Illinois Senate much less to the presidency of the United States.
He voted “present” as a state senator and this weekend he voted “present” as the President of the United States.
Probably not, but you’ll notice “tolerance” in quotes. Tolerance, today, seems to mean that no one has a right to “judge” another culture or religion or ethnic group based on their actions or by their “prejudices” – you know, “white privilege” and all that. That we should all understand that each of these are “equally good”, just “different”.
Thus what happened in France today is just a “different” way of reacting to certain “stimulus”. We must “understand” what motivates these sorts of actions and …
Well, you can fill in the blank. Isn’t that the natural end to that sort of “tolerance?” Putting up with it?
The question is, have we seen enough of this sort of slaughter that we can bring ourselves, as civilizations, to say “that’s bad and NOT to be tolerated” and that all those who are a part of this should be exterminated from the face of the earth? Hmmm?
Well, you’d think so – or at least you’d think there’d be some sort of an attitude change in general. I’ll be interested to see how the French react. The same country that let “youths” burn 10,000 cars a few years ago over the same sort of nonsense. Props to the French for this time calling it what it is – terrorism. Islamist terrorism. At least they’re not trying to put the “workplace violence” tag that the political cowards here in the US draped on the Ft. Hood massacre by an Islamic extremist.
Meanwhile, even with the scope of the tragedy, there are those who would excuse the killers.
Via Hot Air, here is the Financial Times take on the situation:
Two years ago it published a 65-page strip cartoon book portraying the Prophet’s life. And this week it gave special coverage to Soumission (“Submission”), a new novel by Michel Houellebecq, the idiosyncratic author, which depicts France in the grip of an Islamic regime led by a Muslim president.
In other words, Charlie Hebdo has a long record of mocking, baiting and needling French Muslims. If the magazine stops just short of outright insults, it is nevertheless not the most convincing champion of the principle of freedom of speech. France is the land of Voltaire, but too often editorial foolishness has prevailed at Charlie Hebdo.
This is not in the slightest to condone the murderers, who must be caught and punished, or to suggest that freedom of expression should not extend to satirical portrayals of religion. It is merely to say that some common sense would be useful at publications such as Charlie Hebdo, and Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten, which purport to strike a blow for freedom when they provoke Muslims, but are actually just being stupid.
The other day I pointed out how feminists use the same tactics as the KKK. This, on the other hand, hits me as the same thing as those who excuse rape by saying, “you know, if you hadn’t have worn that, you probably wouldn’t have been raped”.
Always entertaining to catch this type of a critic in the usual pretzel logic that, in another form, they’re sure to condemn.
Freedom ain’t free – and it is messy and dangerous. More importantly, you have to fight for it. And the first step in doing so is being intolerant of anyone who would limit it or take it away – and that includes the murderer’s fellow travelers as well.
I’ve watched in horrified wonder these last few weeks as a man way over his head tries to act like he knows what he’s doing. But he’s not fooling anyone. Not even his most rabid supporters. The great, shrinking American President – Barack Obama.
Here are a couple of quotes he’s made which typify his vacuousness – something at which he is quite adept:
We know that if we are joined by the international community, we can continue to shrink ISIL’s sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its financing, its military capabilities to the point where it is a manageable problem.
A manageable problem. Yeah, that’s kind of open to any definition you want to hang on it, isn’t it? It’s business school talk. What defines a “manageable problem” when talking about religious fanatics killing American citizens (as well as middle easterners by the thousands) to taunt the US president? Are we there if they only behead one American journalist next year? If they only crucify half the number they did this year, are we “managing” the “problem”? Oh, and by the way, what ever happened to R2P? Only applicable to Libya? And boy, did we “manage” that “problem” well. Our embassy is now a jihadi swim club.
[W]hat we’ve got to do is make sure that we are organizing the Arab world, the Middle East, the Muslim world, along with the international community to isolate this cancer.
Organize the Middle East? I’d laugh out loud if what was going on wasn’t so dangerous. This guy couldn’t organize a one man parade. He couldn’t lead a horse to water after a 10 mile run in the desert. And coherence, as in a coherent policy? Forget about that. Ed Morrissey nails it:
The failure demonstrated by Obama and his administration over the last several weeks and months as the ISIS threat grew and metastasized is, at its core, a leadership crisis. Forget being the leader of the free world; this President can’t even lead his own team within one coherent message and strategy. As ABC’s State Department reporter Ali Weinberg remarked yesterday, this was the message just from one single day: “We’re going to destroy ISIS. Or manage them. Or shrink their sphere of influence. Or follow them to the gates of hell.”
With that failure to generate a united and coherent approach to ISIS among his own team, how could anyone expect the President to lead the world against this new terrorist army and the threat it poses to the region and the world?
They can’t, and he won’t. Oh the “world” may do something, but it won’t be because of any leadership from Obama, et. al. It will be because they’re awake to the threat that is ISIS and finally develop the intestinal fortitude to act. And the US? Like Libya, we’ll “lead from behind”.
What in the world could possibly go wrong with that?
Michael Bloomberg on what you’re going to have to put up with because, you know, freedom comes in second to safety:
In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday the country’s interpretation of the Constitution will “have to change” to allow for greater security to stave off future attacks.
“The people who are worried about privacy have a legitimate worry,” Mr. Bloomberg said during a press conference in Midtown. “But we live in a complex word where you’re going to have to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days, if you will. And our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution, I think, have to change.”
Yeah … no. What you’re seeing there is just a different way of saying what potential tyrants (authoritarians) have said for centuries. A shorter version is what Bloomberg said before seen in the title. That’s what he really means. This? This is just him saying the same thing but trying to dress it up so it sounds semi-acceptable and reasonable. It is neither. What has to change is we need to stand up and say “no” finally.
Because, as you know, the Constitution has remained a consistent obstacle to the authoritarians who would rule over us:
“Look, we live in a very dangerous world. We know there are people who want to take away our freedoms. New Yorkers probably know that as much if not more than anybody else after the terrible tragedy of 9/11,” he said.
“We have to understand that in the world going forward, we’re going to have more cameras and that kind of stuff. That’s good in some sense, but it’s different from what we are used to,” he said.
Or, welcome to the surveillance state. You may surrender your privacy rights over there.
Face it – the terrorists have won.
PS: Oh, btw, we made The New Yorker yesterday. Ironic, no?
Obviously my heart and condolences go out to those who were killed and injured in the cowardly bombings in Boston yesterday, and, as with everyone, I stand with the people of Boston. However, that all said, I have to tell you that when I heard what had happened yesterday, I had a sinking feeling that hasn’t dissipated yet.
I know, as usual, we’re going to over react. Well, perhaps not “us” as in you and I, but our betters in positions of elective power will. It is as sure a bet as the sun rising in the east.
Prepare yourself for more restrictions on you liberty and freedom. That’s a given. The only answer government has, in reality, is to clamp down even further on our ability to interact freely without it monitoring those interactions. How else, it will tell us, can it work toward ensuring another Boston doesn’t happen?
And, of course, this will manifest itself in the form of even more laws and restrictions all in the name of safety and security. Prepare for more justifications to intrude on your privacy. More laws that will restrict you from purchasing certain items. More scrutiny when you travel. In sum, less freedom and more government.
I’d love to believe that won’t happen. But it will. It’s not even in doubt. Just as we have seen government over-reaction in the aftermath of Newtown, CT, you can count on the same thing happening when the carnage is so much more.
Part of that will be driven by the usual media overload, the result of the 24 hour news cycle combined with “if it bleeds it leads” and the partisan talking heads who simply don’t know when to shut up. Chris Matthews, among many others, is an example of that ilk. And, of course, it will all boil down to opposing political agendas with the freedom and liberty lobby taking the usual beating.
We’ll also see a substantial portion of the population laud these new restrictions and laws, still not understanding who it is that pays no attention to (or figures out ways to circumvent) them. Instead the law abiding will live with the loss of liberty, while the terrorists and criminals will ignore the government’s “solution”.
We’re a nation without the ability to put events like this in context (thanks in part to the saturation coverage by the media and the alarmism by politicians). We’re a nation that has run scared for years.
It’s time to suck it up and stand up. These things are going to happen. None of us like that or find it acceptable. But what should be equally unacceptable and unliked is the continuous bleeding away of our liberties.
Free nations should understand that with that freedom comes risk. And, as we have seen, no matter how many laws and restrictions we put in place, these things still happen. I’m not saying we should be vigilant and take precautions. I’m saying we shouldn’t over-react like we constantly do.
Boston is a terrible tragedy. We don’t need to compound it by taking away more of the freedoms we have apparently taken for granted in the past.
It is coming to the point that it is obvious that the terrorists have won. Why? Because they have provided government the excuse to intrude more and more into our lives and government is more than willing to use it. If this doesn’t bother you, you’re not paying attention:
Top U.S. intelligence officials gathered in the White House Situation Room in March to debate a controversial proposal. Counterterrorism officials wanted to create a government dragnet, sweeping up millions of records about U.S. citizens—even people suspected of no crime.
Not everyone was on board. “This is a sea change in the way that the government interacts with the general public,” Mary Ellen Callahan, chief privacy officer of the Department of Homeland Security, argued in the meeting, according to people familiar with the discussions.
A week later, the attorney general signed the changes into effect.
Of course the Attorney General signed the changes into effect. He’s as big a criminal as the rest of them.
What does this do? Well here, take a look:
The rules now allow the little-known National Counterterrorism Center to examine the government files of U.S. citizens for possible criminal behavior, even if there is no reason to suspect them. That is a departure from past practice, which barred the agency from storing information about ordinary Americans unless a person was a terror suspect or related to an investigation.
Now, NCTC can copy entire government databases—flight records, casino-employee lists, the names of Americans hosting foreign-exchange students and many others. The agency has new authority to keep data about innocent U.S. citizens for up to five years, and to analyze it for suspicious patterns of behavior. Previously, both were prohibited.
Your activities are now presumed to be “suspicious”, one assumes, just by existing and doing the things you’ve always done. Host a foreign exchange student? Go under surveillance. Fly anywhere the government arbitrarily decides is tied into terrorists (or not) it is surveillance for you (can the “no-fly” list be far behind?). Work in a casino, go onto a surveillance list.
And all of this by unaccountable bureaucrats who have unilaterally decided that your 4th Amendment rights mean zip. In fact, they claim that the 4th doesn’t apply here.
Congress specifically sought to prevent government agents from rifling through government files indiscriminately when it passed the Federal Privacy Act in 1974. The act prohibits government agencies from sharing data with each other for purposes that aren’t “compatible” with the reason the data were originally collected.
But the Federal Privacy Act allows agencies to exempt themselves from many requirements by placing notices in the Federal Register, the government’s daily publication of proposed rules. In practice, these privacy-act notices are rarely contested by government watchdogs or members of the public. “All you have to do is publish a notice in the Federal Register and you can do whatever you want,” says Robert Gellman, a privacy consultant who advises agencies on how to comply with the Privacy Act.
As a result, the National Counterterrorism Center program’s opponents within the administration—led by Ms. Callahan of Homeland Security—couldn’t argue that the program would violate the law. Instead, they were left to question whether the rules were good policy.
Under the new rules issued in March, the National Counterterrorism Center, known as NCTC, can obtain almost any database the government collects that it says is “reasonably believed” to contain “terrorism information.” The list could potentially include almost any government database, from financial forms submitted by people seeking federally backed mortgages to the health records of people who sought treatment at Veterans Administration hospitals.
So they just exempted themselves without any outcry, without any accountability, without any review. They just published they were “exempt” from following the law of the land or worrying about 4th Amendment rights.
Here’s the absolutely hilarious “promise” made by these criminals:
Counterterrorism officials say they will be circumspect with the data. “The guidelines provide rigorous oversight to protect the information that we have, for authorized and narrow purposes,” said Alexander Joel, Civil Liberties Protection Officer for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the parent agency for the National Counterterrorism Center.
What a load of crap. If you believe that you’ll believe anything government says. Human nature says they’ll push this to whatever limit they can manage until someone calls their hand.
And, as if that’s all not bad enough:
The changes also allow databases of U.S. civilian information to be given to foreign governments for analysis of their own. In effect, U.S. and foreign governments would be using the information to look for clues that people might commit future crimes.
So now our government is free to provide foreign governments with information about you, whether you like it or not.
This isn’t a new idea – here’s a little flashback from a time when people actually raised hell about stuff like this:
“If terrorist organizations are going to plan and execute attacks against the United States, their people must engage in transactions and they will leave signatures,” the program’s promoter, Admiral John Poindexter, said at the time. “We must be able to pick this signal out of the noise.”
Adm. Poindexter’s plans drew fire from across the political spectrum over the privacy implications of sorting through every single document available about U.S. citizens. Conservative columnist William Safire called the plan a “supersnoop’s dream.” Liberal columnist Molly Ivins suggested it could be akin to fascism. Congress eventually defunded the program.
Do you remember this? Do you remember how much hell was raised about this idea? However now, yeah, not such a big deal:
The National Counterterrorism Center’s ideas faced no similar public resistance. For one thing, the debate happened behind closed doors. In addition, unlike the Pentagon, the NCTC was created in 2004 specifically to use data to connect the dots in the fight against terrorism.
What a surprise.
I’m sorry, I see no reason for an unaccountable Matthew Olsen or his NCTC to know anything about me or have the ability to put a file together about me, keep that information for five years and, on his decision and his decision only, provide the information on me to foreign governments at his whim.
I remember the time the left went bonkers about the “Privacy Act”. Here’s something real to go bonkers on and what sound do we hear from the left (and the right, for that matter)?