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Forum Post: What Obama Really Meant Was (edited) by chris hedges

Posted 6 years ago on Jan. 26, 2014, 9:30 a.m. EST by flip (7101)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

to be frank, the only reason I am talking to you today about spying is because Edward Snowden has, through his leaked documents, illustrated that everything I and others in government have promised to do or told you about domestic and international surveillance is a lie.

Today I am announcing a series of cosmetic reforms that my administration intends to adopt administratively or will seek to codify through Congress.

First, I have approved a new presidential directive for our signals intelligence activities both at home and abroad that sounds impressive but means nothing.

Second, we will institute a few bureaucratic programs and procedures to give you the illusion of greater transparency while we continue to sweep up and store your personal information, including your telephone metadata.

Third, I propose more amorphous and undefined protections for government activities conducted under Section 702.

Fourth, the FBI’s national security letters will not be touched. But we could and should be more transparent in how government uses this authority. We really should. But we won’t. To make you feel better, however, I have directed the attorney general to amend how we use national security letters so that this secrecy will not be indefinite, so that it will terminate within a fixed—though unspecified—time unless the government demonstrates a need for further secrecy. That need might last forever.

This brings me to the program that has generated the most controversy these past few months—the bulk collection of telephone records under Section 215. Why is this necessary? It is necessary because in a totalitarian state the secret police must gather information not to solve crimes but, as Hannah Arendt pointed out, “to be on hand when the government decides to arrest a certain category of the population.” We need all of your emails, phone conversations, Web searches and geographical movements for “evidence” should we decide to seize you. And my apologies to Sen. Bernie Sanders, but we can’t make exemptions for members of Congress, especially when they come from Vermont. If you think you are innocent, or that you have nothing to hide, you do not understand what is happening. Justice, like truth, is no longer relevant. Ask Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange or Edward Snowden, along with whistle-blowers like Thomas Drake, where justice and truth got them. One of the main tasks of any security service is blackmail, a tactic the FBI used to try to get Martin Luther King to commit suicide. So if you have any dirt we want to know about it.

I will propose turning over the storage of all your data to a third party, perhaps a private corporation. This will offer you no protection, but it should provide a good government contract to one of my major campaign donors.

The cosmetic reforms I’m proposing today will, I hope, give the American people greater confidence that their rights are being protected, even as our intelligence and law enforcement agencies, along with our courts, continue to eviscerate those rights. I recognize that there are additional issues that require further debate, such as your constitutional right to halt the wholesale capturing and storing of your personal information and correspondence and evidence of your geographical movements. But don’t expect me to help. I sold out long ago.

The bottom line is that people around the world, regardless of their nationality, can be assured that the United States follows everything they do or say. It does not matter if they are ordinary people or foreign leaders. I am not going to apologize for monitoring the communications of friends and allies. We know what we are doing. We know why this is important. The effects of declining incomes for working men and women, the massive debt peonage that keeps people trapped, the slashing of government assistance programs, the chronic, long-term unemployment, and the effects of climate change will eventually trigger volatile unrest. We are ready. The likelihood of totalitarianism no longer comes from fascism or communism. It comes from corporations. Corporations, for which I work, fear those who think and write and speak out and form relationships freely. Individual freedom impedes their profits. And the surveillance system I am protecting today is designed to keep these corporations in power.

Our democracy is a fiction. We seek to maintain this fiction to keep you passive. Should you wake up, we will not shy away from draconian measures. I believe we can meet high expectations. Together, let us chart a way forward that secures your complete subjugation, the iron rule of our corporations and our power elite—at least until we make the planet wholly uninhabitable—while we continue to snuff out the liberties that once made our nation worth fighting for.

Thank you. May God bless you. May God bless Corporate America.



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[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8258) from Phoenix, AZ 6 years ago

hasn't chris shoot off all his toes by now?

[-] 1 points by RadicalsUnite (94) 6 years ago

you forgot to add freedom fries

[-] -1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

thanks for that - I am getting old and forgetful!

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 6 years ago

I live in a set of crowded apartments

privacy is something rich people have

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

Our world is imploding into a crowded hot flat to join you. It may be more enjoyable if we have more love, love, love - all we need is love - before the world reaches the critical density.

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 6 years ago

I need a place to live so must pay

I need food so must pay

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

Develop situational awareness such as knowing when a restaurant often puts out its excess food to its dumpster and plan an intercept mission. Learn botany and pick up free plant food from the surroundings but wash it well to be clear of chemical residues. There are mushrooms in shady woody places, dandelions in sunny places, berries on bushes, fish in the streams, and birds. Dandelions are easily grown in bright sunlight. Use bigger leaves instead of toilet paper but make sure they are composted instead of flushed to clog the toilet.


[-] -2 points by go4broke (120) 6 years ago

I read this in Truthdig a while back and couldn't help laughing, but the pain and misery that Obama has caused throughout the World in pursing the neoliberal agenda, as most of us know is not funny.

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

pursing the neoliberal agenda, as most of us know is not funny.


Is that what bummer is doing? Pursuing ( I think you meant ) the new young recent revived (?) liberal agenda?

BTW - what is the neoliberal agenda?

I mean - you cant be meaning:

Neoliberalism was an economic philosophy that emerged among European liberal scholars in the 1930s attempting to trace a so-called ‘Third’ or ‘Middle Way’ between the conflicting philosophies of classical liberalism and collectivist central planning.[5] The impetus for this development arose from a desire to avoid repeating the economic failures of the early 1930s which conventional wisdom of the time tended to blame on unfettered capitalism. In the decades that followed, neoliberal theory tended to be at variance with the more laissez-faire doctrine of classical liberalism and promoted instead a market economy under the guidance and rules of a strong state, a model which came to be known as the social market economy. From : Neoliberalism From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Can you?

[-] -1 points by go4broke (120) 6 years ago

For me, today(!!), and just off the top of my head, neoliberalism is where politicians act in complicity with banking and business interests, in pushing their deleterious agenda on the people, and it is the first step toward fascism.

Now here's an excerpt for you!..from the link in my above comment which was entitled;

The Rise of Chicago's 99% Against Rahm Emanuel, Mayor 1%

"Will Rahm Emanuel's efforts to establish a privatized neoliberal outpost in Chicago succeed? Not if the ongoing uprising brushfires turn from kindling wood into a contemporary Chicago fire of political resistance. Kari Lydersen, author of Mayor 1%, tells Truthout, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is representative of the neoliberal wing of the Democratic party, and he is getting significant pushback in his efforts to expand privatization and limit protests."...emphasis is mine and the words are Mark Karlin's - Truthout

And once again let's not forget that Emanuel was Obama's right-hand man before becoming Mayor of Chicago. And how 'bout Illinois' former corrupt Democratic Governor Blagojevich?!

Edit; My point, both parties stiink!