The gov't is spying on all Americans because the Liberal left has insisted that there will be no targetted surveillance based on reliogion or national origin or any o fthe other discriminators that might allow the search to be narrowed and focused.
I read a quote (I think from deToqueville) that said Americans value equality so much that they might prefer to be equal in slavery rather than stratified in freedom. paraphrased.
It truly is a sad time in America; this is not the America I learned about growing up and while many on the left and right are equally outraged by this flagrant abuse of power we so far have done nothing to stop it.
In fact many on the right feel to a point this type of data collection is necessary to keep us safe and many on the left are so awash in their love for the Demigod Obama that he and his administration can do no wrong. And where does this leave all of us? Living in an Orwellian America!
In maters of first impressions, perception and intuition I believe Obama has had and has an anti American agenda. I do not doubt this one bit. To myself what seems the most bewildering is that millions of Americans are signing over there right to privacy to online social networks. The ramifications is in my opinion that of biblical proportions. The wave of blind support for this agenda is nothing short of sheep to slaughter. It turns my doubting spirit to the prophetic teachings that so haunt me.
the logistics of every single person in the usa being spied on via their facebook, phone calls, text msgs, twitter etc boggles my mind- how can they possibly do that? it can't be effective- are those nsa folks gonna be perusing every facebook page and you tube channel looking for self radicalized muslim bomb makers? how many piano playing kitty and harlem shake videos, amanda bynes psycho tweets and justin beber in his underwear pictures can they suffer through before they kill themselves?
Super computers can build profiles from an IP address at crazy staggering rates. Its the fact that doors are opening to the possibility. You could be right or you may be caught in the wave?
Ironside, your dislike of the current administration is showing and skewing your grasp of facts intolerably.
From AP, 6/15/2013: "The NSA is prohibited from spying on Americans or anyone inside the United States. That's the FBI's job and it requires a warrant.
Despite that prohibition, shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush secretly authorized the NSA to plug into the fiber optic cables that enter and leave the United States, knowing it would give the government unprecedented, warrantless access to Americans' private conversations."
You might also try http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/...
NSA monitoring of the air waves and other communication venues has been on-going for many years. Were you so incensed in 2002? Or was it OK since Bush was president?
Charlie, the "Liberal left" has nothing to do with this topic. NSA has no idea who or what they are going to find. The whole idea is that the persons to be targeted are unknown so exactly how are they to be "profiled"?
I, too, disagree with the amount of data mining and the methods. But I'm not shallow enough to lay it at the feet of one person or one political philosophy.
Bryant: You are correct that NSA was created to spy on America's enemies outside the U.S.. Bush used the Patriot Act to allowed NSA to intercept phone calls originated outside of the U.S. and if any of them came to the U.S. , those phone calls required a warrant to listen in on. Obama has gone far beyond this. What he is allowing the NSA to do is gather information on all Americans with no foreign connection to trigger suspicion ( Probable cause ) requiring a warrant to listen in on. It is totally unconstitutional and does nothing to fight Terrorists. So please explain why he is doing it?
So, Ironside, how would you establish a foreign connection? Not all calls would necessarily originate outside of the US - nor would calls originating inside the US necessarily be destined for foreign destinations (think about all the 911 hijackers inside the US).
And, do a little more research on what Bush allowed under the Patriot Act. You might find actions by the CIA, NSA and FBI were not limited to foreign - domestic communications.
Bryant: Every terrorist has had an Islamic connection. Might be worth our while to keep an eye on Muslims and leave Americans alone. This is not the first time in American history we have had to deal with the issue of the enemy living among us. WWI we had to deal with German, Austrian, Turkish, immigrants and other allies of the Germans. Same thing during WWII. We use the FBI domestically to investigate tips from Americans. You still have not explained what the President is using the NSA to do, spy on our enemies or spy on the American People?
Ironside, do you not think there are many Muslim Americans? Do you question their loyalty based upon their religion? OR, are they not real Americans? And, "the enemy living among us."! Really!
So that's why German-Americans were persecuted, beaten and harassed during WWI. They were the enemy. And all this time I thought they came to America for a better life - just as your predeccesors did.
And the information used to justify Japanese internment camps - camps I might add which held American citizens (62% of all internees) of Japanese descent - was fabricated and racially based. Promulgated mainly by General John Dewitt and Colonel Karl Bendetsen. Even children of Japanese descent were removed from their adopted Caucasian parents and interned.
And I have one question - if we need to focus on Muslims and leave non-Muslim Americans alone (I presume you include American Muslims in your focus) - how does NSA tell the difference? You asked, "spy on our enemies or spy on the American People?" but your comment indicates that you accept the concept of spying on the American people (the enemy among us).
You can't have it both ways.
It's good to see some passion about this issue but I think now it is probably more effective to find common ground and have a levelheaded debate rather than try to pick partisan fights.
This program was started under Bush by neoconservatives and continued by Obama, who has recently appointed a former Bush man the head of the FBI. To me this indicates the fundamentally flawed conventional wisdom of elite politicians rather than problems with one party or ideology. Politicians in both parties truly believe spying on everybody is justified in the name of security. Luckily, in my opinion, there are libertarians and civil liberties advocates on both sides of the political aisle who think such spying is a violation of the 4th Amendment and has the potential to be abused (if it hasn't been already -- we don't know).
So, Ironside, I fundamentally agree with you that this is government overreach and that it is wrong and probably unconstitutional, but when you start talking socialist, fascist, communist language that appears to me to be crazy talk, you turn me away even though I want to make the country more free in the same way you do. We do not know what Bush did or what Obama did, but in my mind the spying was too much under Bush, it has probably grown since then because Obama did not change policies, and now it is way too big and intrusive. But what I've got in my mind is just a guess, and unless you are privy to superior sources of information, then all you have is a guess too.
I'm typing this because I think there is a bigger picture here connected to a burgeoning rights-based mode of democratic governance not too old in world history that could be seriously undermined by state surveillance. In other countries leaders use this surveillance ability to target their citizens and retain power, sometimes by violent means. Because I believe there is nothing inevitable about maintaining democracy, and because I believe freedom in one place affects the imagination and eventual manifestation of freedom in another place, I think it is important that we set aside partisanship on this one and stop assuming bad things about one another so we can reform this thing.
People come to appreciate the beauty and power of the Bill of Rights in many ways, and preserving it requires many ways of thinking. Hopefully I can fit into your imagination of freedom. There's definitely a place for you in mine.
Bryant: If you are a devout follower of Islam, you believe in Jhad. Jhad requires that you convert the non believer, enslave the non believer, or kill the non believer. Jhadists are always at war with non believers.
You can not be a Jhadists and an American. Americans are non believers (infidels). Muslims like many Christians only do lip service to their religion, these Muslims are not a threat and are the vast majority of Muslims living in the U.S.. The others are Jehadists and are a potential threat, just as the Boston bombers were.
We must stay vilgilant against the Jhadists living amoung us. We must get help from the non Jhadists Muslims leaving here who see and hear what is going on in their mosques and comunities, to stop future terrorist plots. The 911 highjackers were living amoung us.
As for the Japanese internment camps, as un American as they were, they did serve a purpose in protecting Japanese Americans from the hundreds of death threats from other Americans who lost family members at the hands of the Japanese agression in the Pacific. FDR needed to protect them far more than he needed to keep an eye on them for being disloyal Americans. Japan attacked the U.S., Germany did not attack the U.S..
As for German Americans being harassed and beaten here during WWI, some were, but like Muslims today most Germans came here to get away from tryanny and become loyal Americans. Some remained loyal to Germany once it was at war with the U.S..
Ironside, jihad refers also to the internal struggle of Muslims against temptation and efforts to remain true to the spirit of Islam. Jihad does not require conversion, or enslavement, or death of non-believers. Sephardic Jews were accorded freedom of religion under Muslim rule and only given the choice of conversion, exile or death, after the "Christians" ejected the Moors from Spain. So who were the "jihadists"?
And, we "protected" the Japanese by imprisoning them? Confiscating their property? Their farms? Protecting them was never a consideration in the decision to implement internment camps. It was blatantly racist and illegal - American citizens were imprisoned without due process, or appeal, or even a charge being made.
God save me from such protection.
Again: Thomas Jefferson fought our nation's first war with the Barbary Pirates 1801-1815. It was our longest war to date. He wrote the following at the conclusion of that war. "... that it was founded on the laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who shall not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Muslim who shall be slain in battle was sure to go Paradise." The Koran commands Muslims to wage war against all non belivers until the entire world is under the control of Allah's will. Nothing has change!
We did not imprison the Japanese Americans. We put them in camps away from the general population, again for their safty. Unlike a German American who could not be identified by how they looked, could remain safe among the general population. Japanese Americans could be identified in the general public. The facts of their interment was to protect them, and FDR did the right thing despite Liberals who want to rewrite history.
Ironside, I suggest you read your history more closely. Never did the safety of Americans of Japanese descent enter into the discussion - except as a cover story for the internees to be fed. And take a look at Ansel Adams photographs of the camps. A prison need not have iron bars to be a prison.
And I have read the Quran. And nowhere does it require Muslims to wage war against non-believers.
I pulled out my copy of the Koran given to me by Muhammad A. Al-Akkas, when I was the G-5 Civil Affairs Officer for the 24th Infantry (Mech) Division during Desert Storm. Muhammad A. Al-Akkas was the spiritual advisor to the King of Saudi Arabia. In my Koran it says “ O Prophet! Rouse the Believers to the fight. The Koran orders, and promises that twenty Muslims, patient and persevering. Would vanquish two hundred unbelievers; if a hundred, they will vanquish two thousand. Allah further orders that the faithful to fight the unbelievers, and be firm with them. And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. The end of the fight is possible only when there prevail justice and faith in Allah” 2-193 from the Koran.
I can site several more quotes from the Koran that calls the believers in Islam to war against the unbelievers.
You can stick your head in the sand like most Liberals and try and wish this latest scourge in the world doesn’t exist, but it does. We and all of Western Countries are at war with these Judaists whether we like it or not.
After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor destroying our Pacific Fleet, the fear was that they would invade the West Coast of the United States. There was real panic among Americans living there. General Dewitt had no time nor resources to deal with the 110,000 Japanese Americans to determine who was loyal and who was not loyal. The fear among the people manifested itself in racism, death threats, and a call for the government to remove them. It is easy to look back and condemn what they did having to deal with the events of that time. As ugly as it seems to us today, a rational evaluation of all that they faced, it was the best solution. The Reagan Administration provided 1.6 Billion dollars in compensation for their ordeal. Life is not perfect.
Some of terrorism that originates in the Islamic world results from a loathing of western culture and of some of the values implicit in contemporary expressions of western culture. A large part of our problem derives from the fact that we have made little effort to understand those who would be our enemies , an inevitable consequence of a foreign policy shaped by domestic politics and crafted by dilettantes who have found refuge in think tanks that seem to generate precious little thought. Our unqualified support for Israel does not help either.
We would be far better off if we could learn to tread lightly. The drone wars in Pakistan and Yemen create ten terrorists for every terrorist we kill.After each campaign in the war on terror ,we can expect a flood of refugees just as we experienced a flood of Vietnamese refugees and a host of social problems at the end of our participation in the war in Vietnam. And sad to say some of these refugees will be potential terrorists.
Perpetual war has gained nothing. Why repeat the same mistakes over and over again? It would make more sense to protect our own borders.