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Monday, July 08, 2013

EPIC news!

This is interesting. A privacy group called The Electronic Privacy Information Center wants to bring suit against the NSA over, basically, the stuff that figured in the Snowden revelations.
EPIC argued that it couldn't go the traditional route through the court system because the lower courts have no authority over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which monitors the NSA programs.

A handful of other law suits were filed in the aftermath of the NSA revelations, but EPIC’s Executive Director Marc Rotenberg told The New York Times, which first reported the move, that his group’s petition would be the first to challenge the FISA court’s ability to approve NSA requests to collect phone record data under the Patriot Act.

In their petition, EPIC argues the secret intelligence court “exceeded its statutory jurisdiction when it ordered production of millions of domestic telephone records that cannot plausibly be relevant to an authorized investigation.”
When was the last time the Supreme Court heard a case that did not work its way up through the lower courts? The Supremes may reject the case on that basis alone. Yet no lower court would have jurisdiction. Catch 22!

Julian Zelizer outlines the great dichotomy of our times: The Dems (at least some of them) have become the Repubs on national security matters...
The loss of a Democratic opposition to the framework of counterterrorism policy has been one of the most notable aspects of Obama's term in office. Although Obama ran in 2008 as a candidate who would change the way the government conducted its business and restore a better balance with civil liberties, it has not turned out that way. Obama has barely dismantled any of the Bush programs, and sometimes even expanded their reach in the use of drone strikes and the targeting of American citizens. He has also undertaken an aggressive posture toward those who criticize his program.

Equally notable has been how silent many liberals, who once railed against Bush for similar activities, have become in recent years. Whenever Obama has encountered conservative pushback for minor efforts to change national security operations, there has been little pressure from liberals for him to move in a different direction.
I cannot really agree. Better to say not enough pressure.

Think of it this way: When Dubya was president, how much from-the-right criticism did he receive -- on any issue? Even on sites like Daily Kos, there has been much criticism of Obama on issues like drones, Gitmo and NSA eavesdropping. I'm fairly proud of liberal orneriness. But we still aren't ornery enough, and we need more inside-the-beltway representatives who are willing to represent the ornery faction.

The whole "Snowden is a CIA plot against Obama" meme is driven to some degree by liberal refusal to see Obama's failings plainly. Maybe I'm wrong, but I honestly don't believe that Snowden is being "run" by anyone, because I don't believe that the leaders of the intelligence community would ever want to have a national discussion about how that community does business.
But what if the best way to squelch a serious discussion of intel practices is to have a phony, controlled, entirely predictable and suicide-vest-equipped discussion. One thing we learned in the 9/11 Truth movement--beware of those who seem too good to be true, because they are.
I'm concerned about the likelihood that with all this wholesale eavesdropping, the government will be able to claim that there is no longer any reasonable expectation of privacy in our telephonic and email communications. This becomes a circular argument, by which the government can argue that wiretapping is okay because they're already doing it.
I've seen hardly any orneriness from Democrats since 2008 - some, and lately more from Dr Cornel Wes; Bernie Sanders is always reliably on our side, maybe Alan Grayson too. The rest of 'em: they'll be ornery on minority interests such as gay marriage - enough to keep the loyalty and illusion going.

As John Cohen's post that is on several sites just now (How Do You Know When President Obama is Lying? MSNBC Won’t Tell You ) points out, MSNBC and its talking heads has a lot to answer for too. They are loathe to criticise Obama. They'll be as ornery as hell towards Republicans on any front, but there it ends. I stopped watching MSNBC regularly, after Olbermann left. I occasionally pop in to see if anything's changed. It hasn't.
The time for liberals to apply "pressure" would have been last year. It's too late now - Obama is a lame duck and insulated from any pressure from those who are not in a position to provide him with an opulent retirement.
joe refers to "liberal" ornierness. "conservative" ornierness. both are incapable of dismantling the Police State Empire.
i include Buchananite conservatives, if you need anti war anti Patriot Act examples.

what is needed is an entirely outside the two party system
ideology, that fuses at least temporarily anti-Empire right and anti-Empire left.
Having read thi : ->

There is a parallel
"Government" arising out of the blue.
Name it "Private USA"
It's more powerfull than the President.

The Praetorians taking over.

All I see from this liberal administration is more war and more surveillance. It never ends. And the way they lie would make Nixon blush.
Maybe I'm just not looking enough in the right places, but I see/hear very little push back from democrats, those in office or those in my lovely progressive city. If you don't start a sentence or news story with the words "gay, abortion or unions", they can't hear you. I'm still waiting for that next march against war, or heck I'll even take a march against surveillance.
My reality is becoming very shaky, I might even start entertaining the reptile theory from David Icke or the actor theory from Dallas's Goldbug!
It's really shameful and cowardly what liberals have become. I don't recognize them anymore.

Here's one to watch though. Feingold. Just joined the Obama war machine as special envoy to Africa. My newly found conspiratorial mind asks why. Perhaps they need the last face of peace in the democratic party to lead the way. He is trusted in Africa. Who better to pave the way for war and the stealing of resources. Sorry, I can no longer believe this government would go anywhere to do anything good. It seems that our government has become nothing more than a corporation.
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