The assault on your privacy continues.
In fact, Obama turns it up to eleven
The Obama administration is moving to relax restrictions on how counterterrorism analysts may retrieve, store and search information about Americans gathered by government agencies for purposes other than national security threats.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Thursday signed new guidelines for the National Counterterrorism Center, which was created in 2004 to foster intelligence sharing and serve as a terrorism threat clearinghouse.
The guidelines will lengthen to five years — from 180 days — the amount of time the center can retain private information about Americans when there is no suspicion that they are tied to terrorism, intelligence officials said.
So they don't even have to pretend that you are engaged in any form of "terrorism" (a word capable of extremely loose definition). Uncle can store your every cyber-movement for five years
, even if your only "crime" was attending an OWS rally or visiting the wrong website.
Let's say that in 2017 you have become a public figure and you take a stand against whatever foolish war is in the offing at that time. The government need merely look into your cyber-file to see if there is any embarrassing data they can use to discredit you.
From the standpoint of sheer ruthless politics, the timing of this announcement baffles me. Obama -- who had alienated much of the progressive base by constantly compromising with the one-percenters and arrogantly ignoring his campaign pledges -- was winning back many of the disaffected. Then he pulls shit like this. Now
. Of all times.Why
now? If I were his adviser, I'd have told him...
...well, first and foremost, I would never have worked for his administration in any capacity. But hypothetically, if I were a different sort of person, a more Machiavellian sort of person, I would have told Obama not to stir up this shit-storm now
Why not wait until after November? I'm starting to suspect that these guys have an indication that something big is in the offing. Let us consider that possibility.
From a purely Machiavellian standpoint, Team Obama would be playing it smart if they could somehow maneuver the Republicans into public advocacy of more lenient "counter-terror" standards. Maybe they want
Romney to criticize these new guidelines. Then, if and when the Big Bad Thing happens, Obama would be in a position to say: "I am Mr. Tough and Romney is Mr. Softie."
Well, that speculative scenario might appeal to those who still think Obama capable of playing 11-dimensional chess. I never thought he was that
bright, and I'm not convinced by my own theory. I simply offer up the idea as the mental equivalent of a doggie chew toy.