Establishment politicians from both major political parties are rushing to defend the NSA and condemn whistleblower Edward Snowden. They are attempting to portray Edward Snowden as a “traitor” and the spooks over at the NSA that are snooping on all of us as “heroes”. In fact, many of the exact same politicians that once railed against government spying during the Bush years are now staunchly defending it now that Obama is in the White House. But it isn’t just Democrats that are acting shamefully. Large numbers of Republican politicians that love to give speeches about “freedom” and “liberty” are attempting to eviscerate the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The government is not supposed to invade our privacy and investigate us unless there is probable cause to do so. Apparently many of our politicians misunderstood when they read the novel 1984 by George Orwell. It wasn’t supposed to be an instruction manual. We should be thanking Edward Snowden for exposing the deep corruption that is eating away at our own government like cancer.
Now the American people need to pick up the ball and start demanding answers, because without a doubt we are going to see establishment politicians from both major political parties try to shut this scandal down. Establishment Democrats and establishment Republicans both love the Big Brother surveillance grid that the U.S. government has constructed, and they are both making it abundantly clear that they will defend the NSA to the very end. The following are 22 nauseating quotes from hypocritical establishment politicians that show exactly how they feel about the NSA spying scandal…
#1 Barack Obama: “I think it’s important to understand that you can’t have 100 percent security and then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience. We’re going to have to make some choices as a society.”
#2 Barack Obama in 2007: “This Administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we demand… That means no more illegal wire-tapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are. And it is not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists… We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers, and that justice is not arbitrary.”
#3 Speaker Of The House John Boehner on what he thinks about NSA leaker Edward Snowden: “He’s a traitor.”
#4 U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham: “I hope we follow Mr. Snowden to the ends of the Earth to bring him to justice.”
#5 U.S. Senator Al Franken: “I can assure you, this is not about spying on the American people.”
#6 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: “For senators to complain that they didn’t know this was happening, we had many, many meetings that have been both classified and unclassified that members have been invited to.”
#7 U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell: “Given the scope of these programs, it’s understandable that many would be concerned about issues related to privacy. But what’s difficult to understand is the motivation of somebody who intentionally would seek to warn the nation’s enemies of lawful programs created to protect the American people. And I hope that he is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
#8 U.S. Representative Peter King on why
he believes that reporters should be prosecuted for revealing NSA secrets: “There is an obligation both moral, but also legal, I believe, against a reporter disclosing something which would so severely compromise national security.”
#9 Director of National Intelligence James Clapper making a joke during an awards ceremony last Friday night: “Some of you expressed surprise that I showed up—so many emails to read!”
#10 Director Of National Intelligence James Clapper about why he lied about NSA spying in front of Congress: “I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful manner.”
#11 National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden: “The president has full faith in director Clapper and his leadership of the intelligence community”
#12 White House press secretary Jay Carney: “…Clapper has been straight and direct in the answers that he’s given, and has actively engaged in an effort to provide more information about the programs that have been revealed through the leak of classified information”
#13 Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee: “There is no more direct or honest person than Jim Clapper.”
#14 Gus Hunt, the chief technology officer at the CIA: “We fundamentally try to collect everything and hang onto it forever.”
#15 Barack Obama: “Nobody is listening to your telephone calls.”
#16 Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency: “We do not see a tradeoff between security and liberty.”
#17 An exchange between NSA director Keith Alexander and U.S. Representative Hank Johnson in March 2012…
JOHNSON: Does the NSA routinely intercept American citizens’ emails?
JOHNSON: Does the NSA intercept Americans’ cell phone conversations?
JOHNSON: Google searches?
JOHNSON: Text messages?
JOHNSON: Amazon.com orders?
JOHNSON: Bank records?
#18 Deputy White House press secretary Dana Perino: “The intelligence activities undertaken by the United States government are lawful, necessary and required to protect Americans from terrorist attacks”
#19 U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss: “This is nothing new. It has proved meritorious because we have gathered significant information on bad guys and only on bad guys over the years.”
#20 Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton on NSA leaker Edward Snowden: “Let me ask, who died and made him king? Who gave him the authority to endanger 300 million Americans? That’s not the way it works, and if he thinks he can get away with that, he’s got another think coming.”
#21 Senior spokesman for the NSA Don Weber: “Given the nature of the work we do, it would be irresponsible to comment on actual or alleged operational issues; therefore, we have no information to provide”
#22 The White House website: “My administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration.”
Right now, the NSA is building a data collection center out in Utah that is so massive that it is hard to describe with words. It is going to cost 40 million dollars a year just to provide the energy needed to run it. According to a 2012 Wired article entitled “The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)“, this data center will contain “the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches” in addition to “parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases” and anything else that the NSA decides to collect…
Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.
The goal is to know as much about everyone on the planet as possible.
And the NSA does not keep this information to itself. As an article in USA Today recently reported, the NSA shares the data that it collects with other government agencies “as a matter of practice”…
As a matter of practice, the NSA regularly shares its information — known as “product” in intelligence circles — with other intelligence groups.
So when the NSA collects information about you, there is a very good chance that the FBI, the CIA, the Department of Homeland Security and the IRS will have access to it as well.
But the U.S. government is not the only one collecting data on American citizens.
Guess who else has been collecting massive amounts of data on the American people?
According to those that have seen it, the “Obama database” is unlike anything that any politician has ever put together before. According to CNSNews.com, U.S. Representative Maxine Waters says that this database “will have information about everything on every individual”…
“The president has put in place an organization that contains a kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life,” she added. “That’s going to be very, very powerful.”
Martin asked if Waters if she was referring to “Organizing for America.”
“That’s right, that’s right,” Waters said. “And that database will have information about everything on every individual in ways that it’s never been done before.”
Waters said the database would also serve future Democratic candidates seeking the presidency.
We are being told to “trust” Barack Obama and the massive government surveillance grid that is being constructed all around us, but there has been example after example of government power being grossly abused in recent years.
A lot of Americans say that they do not care if the government is watching them because they do not have anything to hide, but is there anyone out there that would really not mind the government watching them and listening to them 24 hours a day?
For example, it has been documented that NSA workers eavesdropped on conversations between U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq and their loved ones back home. Some of these conversations involved very intimate talk between husbands and wives. The following is from a 2008 ABC News story…
Faulk says he and others in his section of the NSA facility at Fort Gordon routinely shared salacious or tantalizing phone calls that had been intercepted, alerting office mates to certain time codes of “cuts” that were available on each operator’s computer.
“Hey, check this out,” Faulk says he would be told, “there’s good phone sex or there’s some pillow talk, pull up this call, it’s really funny, go check it out. It would be some colonel making pillow talk and we would say, ‘Wow, this was crazy’,” Faulk told ABC News.
Faulk said he joined in to listen, and talk about it during breaks in Back Hall’s “smoke pit,” but ended up feeling badly about his actions.
Is this really what we want the future of America to look like?
Do we really want the government to watch us and listen to us during our most intimate moments?
Feel free to express what you think about this NSA spying scandal by posting a comment below…
This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.