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Obama Doesn’t Apologize for Spying on World Leaders

by Mike Hoffman on January 17, 2014

Obama3President Obama laid out his new intelligence policy Friday at the Department of Justice where he defended the practices of the National Security Agency while also announcing the end of storing phone records of U.S. citizens.

What he didn’t do was apologize for U.S. intelligence agencies spying on foreign government leaders. The leaders of notable U.S. government allies to include Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff have criticized the U.S. when it was uncovered that U.S. intelligence agencies had collected intelligence on them and their governments.

Like much of the information recently discovered about NSA’s collection practices, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden released data that connected the U.S. to spying on the world leaders. Rousseff said before the U.N. General Assembly that this sort of surveillance was “a breach of international law.”

Obama said he has made clear to the intelligence community that “unless there is a compelling national security purpose — we will not monitor the communications of heads of state and government of our close friends and allies.”

That doesn’t mean the U.S. will not continue to collect information to gauge “the intentions of governments,” since that is something all governments do.

“We will not apologize simply because our services may be more effective. But heads of state and government with whom we work closely, and on whose cooperation we depend, should feel confident that we are treating them as real partners. The changes I’ve ordered do just that,” Obama said.

However, Obama did acknowledge the harm it has done to certain diplomatic relationships between the U.S. and some countries.

“I’ve instructed my national security team, as well as the intelligence community, to work with foreign counterparts to deepen our coordination and cooperation in ways that rebuild trust going forward,” Obama said.

The president went on to say that he would much rather just pick up the phone than tap the phone lines to foreign heads of state.

“And the leaders of our close friends and allies deserve to know that if I want to learn what they think about an issue, I will pick up the phone and call them, rather than turning to surveillance.”

 

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{ 77 comments… read them below or add one }

Rob January 17, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Feel is borderline invasion of privacy but allies should understand that this type of 'spying' can possibly expose corruption, criminals & even spies that are in foreign governments.

I am sure it is more used for then it's intended purpose but really, if the NSA can do it, most likely so can experienced cyberwarriors.

Curious what was really learned.

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Mat January 19, 2014 at 6:40 am

Let us know when they find first case of corruption,criminal or spy with NSA taps and meta data harvesting.
Just admit you live in a police state that is invasive way beyond what KGB or STASI ever dream't off .

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blight_ January 19, 2014 at 11:20 am

Stasi would be insanely jealous.

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PolicyWonk January 17, 2014 at 7:42 pm

What he didn’t do was apologize for U.S. intelligence agencies spying on foreign government leaders.
============================================
And why would he? Everyone spies on everyone, as has been going on since the beginning of time. If anyone was surprised that we've been spying on everyone of significance, or any foreign government, they've either been living in a dream world or simply haven't been paying attention.

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Nadnerbus January 18, 2014 at 12:01 am

Probably less the spying, and more the fact that it was aired out in public for all to see. It makes our allies look like chumps to the general public. Same reason people would be outraged if a giant Israeli spy program that tapped into our government's coms came out. They probably do a lot of that already, but making it public would be bad for everyone's egos.

If they can't keep the spying a secret, what about the information they collect on those heads of states? That has to make any politician nervous.

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UN14120 January 20, 2014 at 7:30 am

I'm still a little astonished this site is out there. Real thought, consideration and debate.

Since 2008, the 47% have taken over. Low grade information users regurgitating bunk that would make even the most ardent of tenants in hell or the most hardened grand duke in Kentucky shake their heads in wonder.

Of course he doesn't have anything to apologise for. The reasons the Countries 'spied on' didn't squeal bloody murder is, it is routine protocol in the world. It is the way everyone gathers additional information. One doesn't just get a travelers guide about an ally and trust they have 'actionable' intelligence to protect its people.

Then there are the simpletons like 'greg' below. Steeped in a hatred IT {i refuse to reference IT as a human being because we all know the source of 'its' venom, racism} A quaint notion nurtured for the overfed and under-educated primarily by the likes of fixed noise.

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Reginald Hubbert January 21, 2014 at 9:15 am

I concur fully with your comments on this issue.

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Chuang Shyue Chou January 17, 2014 at 9:23 pm

I don't think he should. Most nations are involve in some form of intelligence gathering, some more sophisticated than others. It is really nothing to apologise about.

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jamesb January 17, 2014 at 9:39 pm

The President also reminded us that online and other businesses do things like deposit 'cookies' in your computer to 'spy' on what YOU do………

Also he reminded us that those same 'other' countries that cried, when Snowden spilled the beans , help the NSA keep a wide net around the planet and gladly accept intel from our fishing….

The President is keeping his oath to protect his country even if it does make us a bit comfortable…..

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EW3 January 17, 2014 at 11:23 pm

Wish he felt the need to apologize to me, a US citizen, a veteran and no criminal history for collecting my phone records, email and Internet history without probable cause.
I don't think the ruling class appreciate the rights of US citizens anymore.
And for the NSA – John has a long mustache.

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wholewheatoast January 20, 2014 at 5:08 am
jamesb January 17, 2014 at 9:41 pm

make that Uncomfortable …Thank You…..

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oblatt2 January 17, 2014 at 11:42 pm

If Obama had held up a sign saying "All American Products now With Anthrax" it couldn't be more damaging to American IT industry.

Already deals are being lost because the product is American and cant be trusted and in the end it will cost us trillions.

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IronV January 21, 2014 at 12:35 pm

I look forward to you documenting that nonsense…

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Flash Norton January 18, 2014 at 1:53 am

Why should he apologize? After all, he’s the Messiah who only wants whats best for the world community.

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Chuang Shyue Chou January 21, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Without codebreaking, the US might not have won the Battle of Midway in 1942.

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Liv January 18, 2014 at 2:28 am

Why should he? How is it that the media thinks the US the only country that does this? It's funny how a blind eye gets turned about the fact that Snowden is in Russia, a country which would benefit the most from anything that makes the US look bad, and considering how consistent and streamlined these "revelations" are, most likely is manipulating the media, yet focuses on these stupid PowerPoints. It's literally to the point of reliance that anybody with access could go in, write "Key Highlight: Collection on US Congress", and boom there's a story about the collection on the US Congress.

It's kind of sad how grasping the media is to anything.

I am usually a reader, not a commentator, but for this, why is this on Defensetech? I want to see actually gripping articles of the defense world, I did for 8 years now. This has no place. If you don't like the NSA, save it for the Guardian, but please don't sully this site with your views. The title says it all.

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oblatt2 January 20, 2014 at 7:35 am

your fear makes America weak.

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Mehrdad January 18, 2014 at 3:40 am

now i see he learned something after 5 years of his presidency,NOT apologizing to the world in expense of securing our nation …

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oli January 18, 2014 at 7:17 am
fhfdg January 18, 2014 at 7:24 am
fhfdg January 18, 2014 at 7:24 am
greg January 18, 2014 at 12:19 pm

More lies from Obama and his stooges.

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UN14120 January 20, 2014 at 7:30 am

I'm still a little astonished this site is out there. Real thought, consideration and debate.

Since 2008, the 47% have taken over. Low grade information users regurgitating bunk that would make even the most ardent of tenants in hell or the most hardened grand duke in Kentucky shake their heads in wonder.

Of course he doesn't have anything to apologise for. The reasons the Countries 'spied on' didn't squeal bloody murder is, it is routine protocol in the world. It is the way everyone gathers additional information. One doesn't just get a travelers guide about an ally and trust they have 'actionable' intelligence to protect its people.

Then there are the simpletons like 'greg' below. Steeped in a hatred IT {i refuse to reference IT as a human being because we all know the source of 'its' venom, racism} A quaint notion nurtured for the overfed and under-educated primarily by the likes of fixed noise.

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Chuang Shyue Chou January 21, 2014 at 9:32 pm

The spying will continue whatever the administration.

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jac January 18, 2014 at 12:30 pm

If spying on your friends is ok, then could you please tell me why is it a crime to hack the government? one Rule for one rule for all. Whats good enough for our leaders should be the same for the people.

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wholewheatoast January 20, 2014 at 5:05 am
Thomas L. Nielsen January 20, 2014 at 7:01 am

"Because when you hack the government your intentions are to disrupt, steal information to sell etc." – and you know this how?

"the NSA has no malicious intent on there citizens" [sic] – and you know this how?

It could be argued, IMNSHO, that in a free and democratic society, the citizens have a greater right to spy on the government than vice versa.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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wholewheattoast January 20, 2014 at 4:13 pm
Thomas L. Nielsen January 21, 2014 at 2:19 am

"Another conspiracy theorist" – you mean me? If so, how was anything in my post indicative of a conspiracy theory? I merely asked you to provide evidence for your otherwise unsupported claims about other people's motives.

"One would also have to trust the People you elect to protect its citizen" – NO! Sorry for shouting, but seriously: NO! Someone, I don't recall who, once said that in a free and democratic society, distrust of authority is not the right, but the duty, of the citizen.

"….some people know things and dont need facts or pic to prove anything" – I'm not one of them. That you believe things based on no evidence doesn't mean that others have to as well.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

whoszat January 18, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Obama claiming that the mail of innocent American citizens isn't really seized because he hasn't yet gotten around to reading it is like a shoplifter running from Macy's with a coat, claiming it isn't really stolen until she wears it.

No. Sorry. The Constitution FORBIDS such activity. Seizure is to be individual, upon cause, for a specific suspected crime, for specific items, only with a warrant.

President Obama, like all federal officers swear to uphold the Constitution.
Apparently his oath was meaningless.

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blight_ January 19, 2014 at 11:24 am

This isn't unique to Obama. Even going back to the Watergate days and CONINTELPRO and the other fun stuff of the '70s.

We are better at harvesting data and looking at it later: the exact problem the UK has with its surveillance state. We're not going to use this data to "stop terrorism" because it's difficult to parse it in a timely fashion, and making the claim is just a phony attempt to hide violation of civil liberties behind ends-justifies-the-means.

More ominously, if we /could/ parse big data and act in a timely fashion…it is of questionable legality. SCOTUSes comprised of mixed Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr, Clinton, Bush Jr and Obama appointees have ruled at one point or another on privacy related cases and inevitably rule in favor of government, or make allowances based on reasonable checks and balances that the executive ensures are mortally incompetent. FISA is supposed to exercise oversight, and I wonder how in the loop on things they really are.

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UN14120 January 20, 2014 at 7:32 am

??? Stay in school.

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Hunter76 January 19, 2014 at 6:54 am

Anyone who thinks their internet and telcom secure is a fool. And the US is far, far from the only snooper.

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PolicyWonk January 19, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Destroying our American way of life? Perhaps you should take the time to educate yourself. According to the National Intelligence Estimates, the previous administration caused the worst string of national security disasters of any previous administration by a long shot. How one might ask?

- GWB gave Al Qaida a massive victory in what was supposed to be the Global War on Terror, by playing directly into Bin Laden's hands, unjustifiable invading an arab/Muslim nation (Iraq), garnering Al Qaida millions of new supporters, volunteers, and donors of cash. And caused our nation to go broke doing it.
- The previous administration also created policies that caused the transfer of 10's of thousands of hard-won dual-use technologies to communist China, along with 8+ million jobs, and the manufacturing techniques. This was in return for short-term profits for his party's donors, at the cost of the US strategic manufacturing base, and out national security.

If you do your homework and take a serious look at what the previous administration did during that time period, you'll find they caused more damage to the US in 8 short years than in 60 years of Cold War.

The actions of the previous administration sounded good on top: but the incompetent execution of the GWOT was a disaster for the US.

At least, if the opinions of all 16 US intelligence agencies carries any weight.

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Uncle Bill January 19, 2014 at 8:52 pm

I state my views and don't feel the need to insult any individuals on this site.

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wholewheatoast January 20, 2014 at 5:38 am
wholewheatoast January 20, 2014 at 5:40 am
UN14120 January 20, 2014 at 7:43 am

…. those 'views' are going to earn you some time in the cooler. I just forwarded your information.

You might be feeling uncomfortable now and imagine all you have to do is switch your computer off and let it blow over.

When you connected online, you 'leased' an IP address provided by your ISP which knows what OS you used to log on, where you logged on from and some other awesome information.

Free speech and all, you … let's just say it is a class 4 felony :-) Oh you will appreciate uncle sam now. So much freedom BUT, don't abuse it. :-) You are DONE!

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UN14120 January 20, 2014 at 7:51 am

Boo hoo, woe is me. I'm just stating my views – right?

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Peter Dow January 19, 2014 at 10:13 pm

I think the President is absolutely correct not to apologise.

Angela Merkel needs to kiss up to Susan Rice and Condoleezza Rice and stop trying to make out that she is the most powerful woman in the world.

Such a claim makes no sense whatsoever UNLESS the Germans are planning on developing a German nuclear weapons program and that's why we need to keep tabs on their telephone conversations and emails etc.

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Peter Dow January 19, 2014 at 10:45 pm

This is video I did back in 2007

"Forbes is wrong. Condi Rice is #1 most powerful woman!" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibc2UQ6-cvk

And you know Forbes was wrong ranking Merkel ahead of Condi Rice back then and he would be wrong ranking Merkel ahead of Susan Rice today.

Forbes was wrong and Kerkel is being a disrespectful to our most powerful woman in the world by failing to dismiss such chatter as the nonsense it is, admit she is nowhere nearly as powerful as fools like Forbes make out and apologise for any false airs and graces she is putting on.

Who won World Wars 1 & 2 anyway? I think it was us!

The CHEEK OF THAT MERKEL WOMAN!

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Peter Dow January 19, 2014 at 10:59 pm

In fact, Merkel wouldn't even BE Chancellor, there wouldn't even BE a united Germany if it wasn't for Condi convincing the Soviet Union to withdraw its troops from East Germany making a United Germany in NATO possible.

"Condoleezza Rice und deutsche Wiedervereinigung / and German reunification" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZtLJBwFwOE

The unbelievable GALL AND INGRATITUDE of that woman Merkel who owes everything she has to Condoleezza Rice.

Get down on your knees Angela Merkel and give thanks to your liberator Condoleezza Rice and the American people.

This is TOO much!

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Peter Dow January 19, 2014 at 11:13 pm

I liked Merkel a lot more when she used to look with loving eyes at Condi.

"Condi doesn't have a wooden heart" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFDfDEa0kJM

And you know, that's the way for a German Chancellor to respect a US National Security Advisor who has European interests in mind as well as American.

So there's just no excuse for all this back-chat and disrespect from Merkel. It's not polite. It's not appropriate.

Germans, know your place!

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Colonel Mustard January 20, 2014 at 12:45 am
Peter Dow January 20, 2014 at 12:54 am

Like I wrote

"Who won World Wars 1 & 2 anyway? I think it was us! "

"Us" as in ALL the Allied nations and in those I include my own nations, the British and Scots. Respect to us all was implied and you missed my clues, Colonel Mustard.

We all DID win the war. But the Germans didn't – they lost, twice.

Have I given you a CLUE yet Colonel Mustard?

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Colonel Mustard January 20, 2014 at 3:35 am

My mistake Peter, the obviousness of your ‘clues’ eluded me. Though I do think bringing the matter of both world wars into the discussion is somewhat misplaced as I miss the relevance to the story at hand. Also for your future reference the Scottish were and still are very much part of Britain along with the Welsh & English, at least for the time being.

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Peter Dow January 20, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Well who won and who lost the wars matters as to who runs the states and the state security services and therefore the reasons why the state is collecting information about people and what the state does with that information.

It makes a difference if the Gestapo want information to exterminate you, or the Stasi want information to persecute you or Susan Rice wants information to protect you.

So Susan Rice is not doing anything that Condoleezza Rice would not have done so we ought to be more relaxed that they have the best interests and freedoms of the American and European people in mind and they are only after terrorists or checking to see maybe which states have a secret nuclear weapons development operation going on. That kind of thing.

So we hadn't have won the world wars, it would have been different people in charge of the state so quit whining when it is really nice people, smart, compassionate, tough defenders of the people like Condoleezza Rice and Susan Rice in charge.

We won't be safe with no-one looking after us – if terrorist are able to make their plans in secret and surprise us with a suitcase nuclear weapon let off in a big city – so really the question is who do you want looking after us?

What's wrong with Susan Rice? She's lovely!

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Thomas L. Nielsen January 21, 2014 at 10:21 am

"It makes a difference if the Gestapo want information to exterminate you, or the Stasi want information to persecute you or Susan Rice wants information to protect you" – Oh, but both the Gestapo and the Stasi were there to protect people. Against the perfidious, big-nosed, baby-eating Jews and the imperialistic, working-class-exploiting, capitalist lackeys respectively.

"….so we ought to be more relaxed that they have the best interests and freedoms of the American and European people in mind" – As I said to "wholewheattoast" above: "In a free and democratic society, distrust of authority is not the right, but the duty, of the citizen".

"We won't be safe with no-one looking after us" – we won't be safe with someone constantly looking over our shoulders either.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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Peter Dow January 21, 2014 at 11:49 pm

Well the Nazis told lies. They NEVER protected ANYONE, not German workers, not babies. Well maybe the Nazis protected some capitalists for a while who got rich building armaments and extermination camps – for a while before the Allies bombed their factories to rubble and they lost their capital.

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Thomas L. Nielsen January 22, 2014 at 1:57 am

"Well the Nazis told lies." – something the US administration, and every other administration in the world, has never done, right?

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

Peter Dow January 21, 2014 at 11:49 pm

Hell the Nazis weren't even National Socialists – the betrayed the German nation to the utmost, executing innocent German nationals and they were the most anti-social, anti-society, anti-socialist gang of society destroyer imaginable.

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Peter Dow January 21, 2014 at 11:50 pm

How can, no, how DARE you compare the ultimate in evil with the ultimate in good, Condoleezza Rice and Susan Rice?

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wod retep January 22, 2014 at 1:20 am

I think Condi Rice is a war criminal, while Susan Rice is a rabid dog and wannabe war criminal. Both are a menace to civil society. They belong in jail.

Thomas L. Nielsen January 22, 2014 at 2:06 am

[*Sigh*] I didn't. Read what I actually wrote, not what you think I wrote.

You claimed that there is a difference between:
- The National Socialists and their henchmen gathering intelligence on the population in order to persecute them
and
- Other (unnamed) governments and agencies gathering intelligence on the population in order to protect them.

I merely pointed out that the Nazis assured the German population that they were acting for their (the population's) protection, and in their best interest.

The lesson I was trying to make, is that you should be very wary of trusting any government official who wants to take away or compromise your freedom "for your own good".

In short, the comparison you rant about exists only in your head.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

Peter Dow January 21, 2014 at 11:51 pm

I think if there was something not right with Susan Rice, Condi would say. I've followed Condoleezza Rice for many years and I have never known someone with such a truly divine character. What's not to love about Condi and Susan?

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Peter Dow January 21, 2014 at 11:54 pm

You can't have

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Peter Dow January 21, 2014 at 11:55 pm

NO-ONE

wholewheatoast January 20, 2014 at 4:59 am
wholewheatoast January 20, 2014 at 5:25 am
wholewheatoast January 20, 2014 at 5:26 am
UN14120 January 20, 2014 at 7:37 am

I'll just advise you now! What you just articulated is A CLASS FOUR FELONY! If you don't know exactly what, you shall in the next couple of days.

You will learn to keep a civil thought in your mind and not talk in public like you are talking to your peers or attending a town hall meeting put together by bachmann, santorum, limbargh, oreilly.

You are going to learn what it means when we say for GOD and Country!

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Uncle Bill January 20, 2014 at 10:40 am

I used to worry about assassination. Think about it. We'd have to lionize the pretender for the next three decades. Have to name every street Obama Boulevard. But now I don't care. I'm sick of this descent into a police state.

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Frank Kern March 23, 2014 at 5:30 pm

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Nadnerbus January 21, 2014 at 10:32 pm

There is thing called the amendment process, designed to do exactly that. The problem comes in where people don't want to be bothered with that whole thing, and just reinterpret that Constitution to mean what they want it to mean. If that kind of thinking is allowed to stand, there is nothing that can't be done in the name of the Constitution, and the rule of law is moot.

The rule of law is supposed to apply to everyone, even the politicians writing the law. That is one of the things the Constitution is all about.

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Peter Dow January 21, 2014 at 11:56 pm

looking

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Peter Dow January 21, 2014 at 11:56 pm

over us so you pick the people you trust the most to be in charge and President Bush made an inspired appointment of Condoleezza Rice and President Obama's pick of Susan Rice seems to be an excellent one as well.

Well as I said to someone when discussing this elsewhere –

"We are duty bound not to follow blindly but carefully to consider matters which seem "not right" on the face of it James. I very much respect you doing so. "

So I agree with your point – be inquisitive – spy on those who are spying on us – watch the watchers.

But be thorough too about the authority – don't be prejudiced and hate all authority because then you won't be supporting the best people to BECOME the authority.

Take a closer look. Make an informed judgement. See if their motives and actions are for the best.

Everyone is looked over their shoulder in life – partner, boss, traffic police, security cameras. The NSA is just looking out for the bigger issues – terrorism and WMD – that kind of thing.

So the fact that you are with
someone looking over a terrorists shoulder –

to check the terrorist is not having an affair with your partner or someone else's partner

to check the terrorist cannot skive off early from work because his boss will know –

to check the terrorist is not speeding

to check the terrorist is not breaking into you car or house, or someone else's car or house

- all of that looking over the terrorist shoulder, you are OK with

But if he has got a suitcase nuclear weapon he is planning to let off in New York City killing 100s of 1000s of people then OH NO, you MUSTN'T have someone looking over his shoulder about that?

That is double standards, alarmist, bizarre and ludicrous.

I don't know how you can take YOURSELF seriously. Never mind am I worried that anyone else will take you seriously!

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Peter Dow January 21, 2014 at 11:57 pm

How strange. This forum automatically deletes a comment with the word "w a t c h i n g" in it!

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Thomas L. Nielsen January 22, 2014 at 2:15 am

Did you even read anything I posted? Oh, and watch out for open fire with that great, big strawman you've built there.

Seriously, please point out where exactly I say that I am against using available intelligence sources to track, find and neutralize terrorists and anyone else who would harm innocent people? I'll wait.

What I have said, and what I stand behind, is that, terrorists or not, every single time the powers that be want to infringe on our freedoms, we must necessarily ask them to justify it, and make sure that the justification provided is in fact a justification. We must never just blindly trust someone who says "It's OK, it's for your own protection. We're just looking for terrorists/communists/radicals/Jews/etc".

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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Peter Dow January 22, 2014 at 9:13 pm

Well maybe governments like people tell the occasional white lie to avoid embarrassment, because the truth hurts. Your young child's pet dies and you tell your child that the pet has gone to heaven. It's a lie. Everyone knows that pets go to hell when they die! ;)

But Nazis were liars to their core.

"Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it." – Adolf Hitler

It's not the fact of that it is lie it is what the lie is, how horrific the truth is, how much danger you'd be in if you believed the lie.

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Peter Dow January 22, 2014 at 9:16 pm

The point is that I am very wary of trusting ANY government official.

I'm not trusting ANY government official

I'm trusting named individuals Condoleezza Rice who I know A LOT about and Susan Rice who I know enough about to also trust.

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Peter Dow January 22, 2014 at 9:25 pm

Whereas Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden you'd allow to go on killing Americans or no you wouldn't and instead you'd stop them with your plan to do so which is … what exactly?

Why exactly is that people like you who are so quick to condemn those like C & S Rice who defend our freedoms NEVER, EVER explain YOUR plan to stop the enemies of Americans from killing Americans?

I am sure you have a bad reason somewhere for keeping so quiet about defending Americans so let's read it.

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Peter Dow January 22, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Well gathering information to protect us from terrorism is all that is being done by the NSA.

How does that gathering of information infringe on our freedoms? It doesn't.

On the contrary it protects our freedoms!

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Thomas L. Nielsen January 23, 2014 at 10:27 am

"governments like people tell the occasional white lie to avoid embarrassment, because the truth hurts. Your young child's pet dies and you tell your child that the pet has gone to heaven"

Very bad analogy. Unless you seriously suggest that politicians running a country should see the citizens as children, who "can't handle the truth", and don't themselves know what's good for them?

"It's not the fact of that it is lie…." – Yes it is. If you can justify lying for a good reason you'll soon be justifying doing it for a bad reason.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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Thomas L. Nielsen January 23, 2014 at 10:28 am

“I'm trusting named individuals Condoleezza Rice who I know A LOT about and Susan Rice who I know enough about to also trust”

Good. Do you also trust their retinue of civil servants, who occasionally act in their name, and who provide the information on which they make decisions?

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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Thomas L. Nielsen January 23, 2014 at 10:29 am

“How does that gathering of information infringe on our freedoms? It doesn't.”

That depends entirely on the methods used to gather the information.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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Peter Dow January 23, 2014 at 11:28 pm

Well no, I wouldn't just assume that Condi or Susan were getting the right advice.

If I feel that Condi or Susan or their advisers might benefit from my viewpoint or alternative advice then I am happy to publish my point of view and take my chances with democracy that they might get to hear my views if they are read and thought by others to be of consequence and useful.

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