READER COMMENTS ON
"VIDEO - NSA Uses Private Firms for Massive Unchecked Domestic Surveillance"
(27 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2006 @ 8:16 am PT...
Since there is no bipartisan oversight of these programs and because of the secrecy cloaking them there is no public awareness of whether those programs are helping us to ward off terrorist attacks or whether they're just going to be used to spy on political opponents.
If we knew there were no attacks stopped then we'd probably kill the programs. But, if the prez wants to use them to spy on political opponents then he'll never admit they don't work for their primary purpose, to stop terrorist attacks.
I can't imagine Bush not extolling and taking credit for these programs if they're succeeding. So, maybe they're not of any use, or maybe there just aren't any terrorist plots to stop these days.
I would rather Bush didn't have so many secret tools to use against political opponents, other private citizens or friendly ally countries around the globe.
Bush is dangerous and that hasn't really changed since 2001. He's got to be removed as soon as possible to prevent this nation's disintegration or transformation to a complete dictatorship. I keep hoping this can be done through completely legal means.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2006 @ 8:24 am PT...
Shrubby has no respect for the law, life, liberty, or humanity. The only thing he cares about is "winning"... and like MOST cheaters, he continues to win by cheating (breaking the law, rigging the game, etc. etc.). The funniest bit is, Repugs do the same things, but scream when their efforts go unrewarded (i.e. they lose some how).
Shrubby (and the rest of the neo-cons) is an example of the worst sort of human being.. the fringe of what the "political right" is all about.. and amusingly (not in a haha! kind of way), now that they see their own pettiness and ignorance edified in Shrubby, they are railing against it. Blind fools.. Blind ignorant fools.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
Jedi mage Joe
said on 2/27/2006 @ 8:54 am PT...
theres is no war on terror, there a war of terror perpetrated by the bush crime family on americans.bush is a dictitor pure and simple the nsa is a toy/tool for him. americans i guess eager mindless sheep to be slaves for tibarius ceasar bush. but ceasar was smarter at least. hail the burning bush, hail usurper.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2006 @ 8:54 am PT...
Big Brother is here.
As I said, if you think Bush is spying to protect us & not for personal gain & entertainment, you're not familiar with human nature.
Abslute power corrupts absolutely & all...
If he were spying for legitimate reasons, he could have gotten the official ok as required by law a few days after wire-tapping whoever needed it.
Bush/Cheney need to go--not that that would stop the fascism, but it would be the first salvo in the war against corporations vrs citizens, & a heads-up message from the citizens that we are on to them & not giving up.
That's the only thing corporations are afraid of--knowledgeable citizens organizing against them in huge mass.
We've got a long way to go until a huge mass of patriots gets on board. Right now, we just have a ragtag band who don't take action for the most part, but prefer only to whine here.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2006 @ 9:24 am PT...
Who are these CEOs & boards of directors & where do they live? What make of vehicle do they drive?
Who are their assistants & where do they live? Do they have families?
Where do they go to school? Where do they vacation, golf, eat?
Who are their servants? Unhappy servants can be useful for information.
In the Whitehouse press corps--it's a fact that bush put in an imposter press guy so he would have someone to call on that he knew would ask only softball questions.
Why not encourage certain of the press corps to ask some crude hardball questions--maybe some are thinking of getting out of the biz anyway since any reporter worth his salt could not stand being silenced from doing his job. That means only the greaseballs are left anyway.
Maybe one of the greaseballs would be willing to ask real questions & keep asking them with some encouragement. He probably would never be called on again--that's why the press corps is so lame now--they are afraid to ask real questions because they won't get called on again.
Look what the White House did to that Helen Something--she's been in the White House press corps for 40 years or so & she asked the hard questions--so bush put her in the very back & never calls on her. She's the unofficial "grand dame" of the freakin press corp! & that's what they did to her.
Press conferences are documented on videotape for all citizens to view.
One thing we could do is catch these corporate & government dirtbags that have sold us out, in public, & videotape it while the people question them & they answer. Like '60 minutes' does.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2006 @ 9:49 am PT...
"Right now, we just have a ragtag band who don't take action for the most part, but prefer only to whine here"
Have you not been paying attention? When the election system has been hijacked and election officials tell people asking questions to "shut up, these votes aren't being counted by you" and people like Lemme (from the Clint Curtis roundabouts) end up dead when they seemingly have info that "goes to the top" and politicians continue to disregard the people for corporations despite their constiuents screaming at them, what can "a ragtag band" do? not much.. The other BIG problem you address in your next post..
The balless MSM.. They REFUSE to make sure "news" is out there, they cover missing rich white girls, pedophiles, white women who run from the alter and claim to be kidnapped to avoid a marriage (that revered more than freedom thing the right is using to destroy the rights of Americans), etc. The American public at large is asleep at the wheel. Corporate America has been spending BILLIONS AND BILLIONS on professionals learning the best ways to get us into hyper-consumer mode. They get us deep in debt, then get laws tweaked so we lose it all if they outsource our job or someone in the family gets ill. People are not only asleep at the wheel, they understand they are in the middle of a nightmare, and refuse to wake up.. mostly because the alternative at this point means likely giving up some of their endorphin inducing consumerism for a time.. not being wasteful, not being decadant for the sake of doing so..
What's even more amusing is, the tools corporations use to "costumize your shopping expierence" is now being mined by the government so they know "what you do". The Credit Cards that enslave people to historically record levels of debt are all tracked in databases (and stolen on occasion) along with EVERY ITEM that was purchased with that number and who owns that number. Every time you use a CC, you give the government and corporate world an itemized list of "who you are". That is used to "present other things you might like to get deeper in debt for". Or, in the case of the government, to gague what you're thinking about (books read, items baught, miles driven, etc).
The only way we can have a chance at peaceful resolution is to get these crooked machines out, but they are being protected by crooked people. Once those machines are out, dispose of the false dichotomy of our "2 party system".. that's a failed concept and needs to be replaced with an entirely new idea.. INDIVIDUALS who represent THEIR CONSTITUENTS
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2006 @ 9:59 am PT...
Has anyone here ever sent in an FOIA request to find out if they were being spied upon?
If so, would you mind sharing a bit about your experience, specifically how you got started, and if you met with any stonewalling, how you got around it?
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2006 @ 10:24 am PT...
I do not think Bush and Cheney could do this without the rubber stamp republican congress.
There are no oversight committees that are headed by democrats or independents:
Senate Standing Committee; Chair, (R=repub; D=dem); (Member Count)
Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry; (Chambliss, R); (11 R, 09 D)
Appropriations; (Cochran, R); (15 R, 13 D)
Armed Services; (Warner, R); (13 R, 11 D)
Banking, Housing,and Urban Affairs; (Shelby, R); (11 R, 09 D)
Budget; (Gregg, R); (12 R, 10 D)
Commerce, Science,and Transportation; (Stevens, R); (12 R, 10 D)
Energy and Natural Resources; (Domenici, R); (12 R, 10 D)
Environment and Public Works; (Inhofe, R); (10 R, 08 D)
Finance; (Grassley, R); (11 R, 09 D)
Foreign Relations; (Lugar, R); (10 R, 08 D)
Health, Education,Labor, and Pensions; (Enzi, R); (11 R, 09 D)
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; (Collins, R); (09 R, 07 D)
Judiciary; (Specter, R); (10 R, 08 D)
Rules and Administration; (Lott, R); (10 R, 08 D)
Small Business and Entrepreneurship; (Snowe, R); (10 R, 08 D)
Veterans Affairs; (Craig, R); (08 R, 06 D)
HOUSE Committee; Chair (R=repub, D=dem, I=ind); (Membership Count)
Agriculture; Goodlatte (R); (23 R, 20 D)
Appropriations; Lewis (R); (37 R, 29 D)
Armed Services; Hunter (R); (34 R, 28 D)
Budget; Nussle (R); (22 R, 17 D)
Education & Workforce; McKeon (R); (27 R, 22 D)
Energy and Commerce; Barton (R); (32 R, 26 D)
Financial Services; Oxley (R); (35 R, 31 D, 1 I)
Government Reform; Davis (R); (21 R, 17 D, 1 I)
Homeland Security; Cox (R); (26 R, 23 D)
House Administration; Ney (R); (06 R, 03 D)
Intelligence; Hoekstra (R); (11 R, 09 D)
International Relations; Hyde (R); (26 R, 23 D)
Judiciary; Sensenbrenner (R); (22 R, 16 D)
Resources; Pombo (R); (25 R, 21 D)
Rules; Dreier (R); (08 R, 04 D)
Science; Boehlert (R); (24 R, 20 D)
Small Business; Manzuillo (R); (18 R, 15 D)
Standards of Official Conduct; Hastings (R); (05 R, 05 D)
Transportation and Infrastructure; Young (R); (41 R, 34 D)
Veterans' Affairs; Buyer (R); (13 R, 12 D)
Ways and Means; Thomas (R); (23 R, 17 D)
Republicans have each Department (Defense, HUD, Homeland Security, State, DOJ, etc. etc), and they have the NSA.
And republicans have the White House.
Who ya gonna call if you want to speak with Big Brother?
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2006 @ 10:58 am PT...
If only this extensive data mining capability could be turned against the bad guy elites in the White House, Congress, and the Pentagon and their lobbyists and cronies in the private sector. We could uncover the whole damn criminal conspiracy which the these guys are involved in - a nearly continuous one that has been going on covertly for decades involving the same cast of characters and their family members and friends.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2006 @ 11:09 am PT...
Dredd, that list is getting kind of old.. you manage to put it into every post.
And we all know this Admin is being "rubber stamped", but often with little or no gruff from Dems. Remeber when Reid shut down Congress? funny, they aren't doing it anymore.. only that once.. Seems they have the ability to annoy the shit out of the Repugs that might listen, but instead just sit by and do nothing. Not to mention, some Dems are being investigated for their criminal activities as well.
We are seeing a distinct difference in "party mentality" from Repugs versus what we see with Dems, but that's exactly why the Pugs keep ramming one autrocity after another down our throats. They get into lock-step and ignore the "right thing to do" and simply "vote party line" to save face. Good little fascists, they are.
But, in a grander sense, the SYSTEM is broke. Mostly because we have a perceived "2 party system".. Seems to me, when I was reading the Constitution, it never mentioned "2 party" anywhere.. it mentioned "majority rule".. which has no inclination of party. This party crap is just another tool to be used by "the powers that be" (and has fingers in both sides) to keep us distracted and confused. You can't have a "clean divisive line" if you don't have "2 sides".
This Admin isn't being "prosecuted" because of the Pugs not wanting to stir the pot (mostly trying to vie for some political clout for the upcoming mid terms), but they are kind of pissed about it to. Like this ports thing. Sure, pugs (leadership) are bad people.. but they still try to look innocent at voting time. Unfortunately, most Americans are too stupid to remember past 3 or 4 months ago. Battered wife syndrom, it seems. Let them beat you, then when they are smiling at you in public saying how much they love you, you smile back a genuine smile.. but mostly because you're glad you aren't getting your teeth knocked out at that moment.
No one is defending the Pugs here. And no one is really "blaming the Dems [in office]".. MOST of the complaints I see from people about the Dems is their lack of unity, their lack of direction, their lack of comitment to the "left-ish ideals" (when Dems talk about giving up rights for Homosexuals because it's 'too political', they have failed as a party). No one says "higher debt is the Dems fault", or "the raping of Alaska's wilds are the Dems fault", or "Billions to the oil companies are the Dems fault".. we're saying "the party is broke and needs a good fixing", but they don't WANT a good fixing, they want to maintain their power. They feel that by being "moderate" they can suck up "just enough votes" to get a majority back, but their lack of conviction is costing them a LOT of votes (in that people aren't bothering to vote at all).
Dump the 2 party system. Put it back to "majority vote", not "majority party". Then your list becomes moot and people stop blaming the victim, as you put it.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2006 @ 11:15 am PT...
I think Savantster's got it right about consumer datamining and the Big Brother society. What else would we expect? They have the technology; they have the databases; they have a thousand ways of triangulation; they've sold out our system of government for target marketing - marketed incessantly to "consumers" (not "citizens"). And when corporations become one with government we have the classic Big Brother. Isn't that easy to see?
It's been all over the business literature for years, marketing and datamining as a holy grail of greed. This goes far beyond the minimal differences between Republicans and centrist Democrats. It's a primary trend of our society. Americans continue to think of government as one thing and their life as consumers as another and this silly misconception has been a huge mistake and we're reaping the consequences.
Yes, the system is broken and it's name is CORPORATIONS.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2006 @ 12:07 pm PT...
Why not direct attention where attention is do. So many comment's about MSM on so many different subject's and how they are failing at their job's. Re- a balless MSM is an apt discription and more so biologically in our current media. It seem's the majority of new's caster's that are available to me on in order of best to worst are PBS, UPN, CBS, ABC, last and worst is NBC. Katie Couric coment's to Matt Lourer soon after 911, " Are we realy to liberal in the media? " It was At this point Katie Couric and NBC basically went AWOL when America needed them most. When Bush was trying to make the case for the need to spy on American's in order to catch terrorest Katie Couric said " maybe American's are ready to give up some of their right's to privacy". I heard a similar comment from Elizabath Vargus on ABC. When I heard that comment from Katie Couric the first thing that came to mind was a picture of Arlington Cemetary and all who died in order to protect those right's. No wonder NBC is last in rating's. Let's start a name dropping campaign.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2006 @ 12:29 pm PT...
Here is something disturbing.. As we have a problem with "Big Brother", he's saying "don't look at what I'm doing... find the whistle-blower! he's aiding terrorists!".. nevermind that to anyone with 1/2 a wit they see the terrorism angle for what it is.. a distraction and means for Shrubby and the neo-cons to hijack the country.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2006 @ 12:35 pm PT...
Charlene --- You ask some very good questions in #5. The power elite is covered by many layers of protection and obfuscation. Do we, as citizens, have multimillion dollar PR organizations working for us? Do we have the corporate MSM as a gofer? Do we have managers and a corporate structure to spread and absorb the blame? (Much of this was discussed many years ago in a book called, appropriately, "The Power Elite", by C. Wright Mills. Amazing that many of the trends he saw have now reached such monstrous and bizarre proportions.)
IMO, we have to think seriously about boycotts. I don't mean a "non-shopping day", I mean serious sustained national boycotts. This was a big interest of mine after the 2004 elections. In fact, I was discussing it with a number of people by email prior to the election, but they strangely disappeared into the ether shortly after Bush and the Congress were elected. Maybe they thought - and maybe they were right - that Cesar Chavez, Gandhian kind of boycotts were not feasible considering the robot-like nature of many American consumers.
But nobody said it would be easy. I continue to believe that if boycotts could be sustained, they would be one of the most effective means of breaking down the false front hiding the ugly corporate beast.
It would also involve developing networks to sustain those involved in the boycott, bringing a vital sense of unity to the movement.
Another point. One of Brad's headers says "Unafraid". That is so important. If we are on the list of "enemies", let's be proud of it. (It was quite a distinction to be on Nixon's "enemies list".) We should make a structure and network of millions of unafraid citizens who can't be intimidated.
BTW, most of my time is spent on trying to develop an impeachment movement (similar to that done throughout the U.S with the USA"PATRIOT" Act resolutions), on "PATRIOT" Act education, and on election issues. Brad Blog is an anchor I like to visit a few times a day. It's home for me on the internet. Probably there a lot of people here like that.
Truth Seer - good idea. Let's not let them get away with it.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2006 @ 2:08 pm PT...
One reason boycotts may be effective is because so much is interwoven and entangled in the corporate world. Many birds with one stone, so to speak.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2006 @ 2:33 pm PT...
The problem with boycotts is that "most people" can't afford NOT to shop at Wal-Mart... but, that was the plan anyway.
Go ahead.. make up a list of corps that are intimately in bed with our government.. then say "boycott these".. no more gasoline in your cars, first off.. Most mortgages are probably owned by the top dogs in finance.. woops.. sell your house? refinance to a small dog that will just sell it off right away anyway? Don't buy any GM or Ford? but they own several foriegn companies now..
No.. I think we're in way too deep to try "boycotts" now. Now what I think we need to do is get REASONABLE people in office.. people that understand that pandering to Corporate America is killing America and understand that we need to put a tight noose on this problem, and now.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2006 @ 3:44 pm PT...
Hey it's Choicepoint!
They helped El Presidente Bush win Florida.
Funny that they're involved in this. What are the odds?? Small world huh?
So it's OK to screw the country as long as your a big corporation? What fun!!!!!
Boycotting sounds like a good idea. It would in a way support the businesses that aren't Bush allies. Nowadays, it seems like it's the only language spoken. Money that is.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2006 @ 3:48 pm PT...
There is one thing that everyone is forgetting about the PA. There is a peice in it that allows wiretapping/searches of anyone that could be involved or are terrorist. It allows Sneak and Peek. according to the PA you can Tap or search someones private home and get a warrant 72 hours after looking. The PA was written after 911 with terrorist in mind.
There is one issue that the PA does not cover and no law or any disclosure to anyone. IF our government did a "Sneak and Peak" and found nothing, what do they do with that information and what prevents them from using it later for something else? I really think the adminstration could use this loophole in the whole issue. They techncially according to the PA are not breaking the law because there are no provisions to protect the person while a "sneak and Peek" is being done. There is nothing that says if the government does not find anything in this type of action that you are to be notified that your property or phone has been tapped if in fact there is nothing found.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2006 @ 3:48 pm PT...
Savantster --- Certainly try to get good people in. I don't think we are going to do it, however. Of course, I would be grateful to be wrong. I don't think the core problem is well enough understood, and the most we will get is people trying to make compromises. That's what we've been doing for decades and the problem just keeps getting worse -and it has reached an intolerable limit.
I'm working on IRV and other things to reform politics, but it's going to take years to reform the political process. In California, for example, even if IRV were allowed in all districts, it will be years before every district decides to go that way; and besides money for influence is still there.
When I speak of boycotts, I'm talking about a serious commitment and something that will disrupt society and be tough on everybody. If we can't get beyond the "disruption of corporate society" hurdle, I'm not sure we will get out of this mess. Boycotts, in serious form, are not a pre-political reform act. They are what you do when you have run out of options within the system. If you or anyone can convince me that there are still options that will work, I will always be happy to listen.
I will certainly work to change Congress, to get money out of politics, and so on. But the true face of corporatism must be revealed. We can no longer pretend we are working with any kind of rational entity. We have to hit them where it hurts - seriously.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2006 @ 4:21 pm PT...
We could all stay home from work on one particular day & march in the streets against the corporations instead to let everyone know! Or--just stay home from work, period, on the same day nationally & call in sick.
We could do it every month until it hurts their bottome line.
You've heard the line---How can they throw a war if no one will come?
Well, how can they run an economy if we won't WORK.
We could all refuse to buy from one particular place on the same day, nationally. They'd feel that.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2006 @ 4:53 pm PT...
# 18 - Yes, Ruth. The "PATRIOT" Act, passed overwhelmingly by Congress, is what made our nation into a creepy police state, not the illegal spying revealed more recently. In fact, it is an intrusive police state run wild, and they can do just about anything they want. It is really that bad.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 2/28/2006 @ 6:11 am PT...
The truth hurts doesn't it? The cold reality. It hurts to overcome ignorance with the really true reality of how congress works. You have it very wrong.
No impeachment ... why ... ?????
Impeachment starts in committees of congress, and nowhere else. The republicans chair each committee. The chair decides what is to be done. Read my post showing this, linking to congress websites, and deny it all you want. I know why you are doing it.
The lack of impeachment is the republican fault, not the democrats. You are very unjust to blame the victims. Will you also blame the American people for the crimes of this republican government?
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 2/28/2006 @ 8:25 am PT...
The people need to unite---both Rep & Dem--& work together to jerk control of government away from the group of a few CEOs from huge conglomerates that run this country to suit themselves.
Focusing on who is to blame & getting mad at them is not productive unless it helps us figure how to break their control on our government.
I suppose everyone knows by now that those mysterious, rolling electrical blackouts that occurred in California a few years back were actually CAUSED by the electrical companies themselves so they could increase prices?
The companies were taken to court, I believe by a citizen's advocate group (because the government itself will never look into it unless pushed), & they got a fine when they proved it. The fine was way less than the profit they made from pulling the stunt, plus they STILL got a NEW government contract, even AFTER being found guilty! The citizen advocacy group fought that too--but lost.
No jail--no tar & feathering.
Well, a lot of the electrical company's e-mails & memos between executives were part of the evidence & THEY would make your blood boil. These guys were laughing their butts off at us & how easy it is to rip the public off--& they mentioned Cheney by name--it's sweet, like having their own employee or 'homeboy' in the White House making law just for them they said, "like a wet-dream"..
They tell us that after putting all the great minds of government to work on the energy problem---they came up with changing daylight savings time to fix it, for godsakes.
What brilliant & carefully thought out solution are the smart people we put into office going to come up with next?
It boggles the mind, neighbors!
Maybe they'll tell us to wear a sweater in the winter next to save energy in our homes.
We should have made that bald dough ball wad up his energy bill & eat it.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 2/28/2006 @ 8:27 am PT...
Was the image of corporate logos supposed to indicate the companies that are working with BushCo? Interesting, if so...a competitor is on there, and I am afraid that my company leans that way, as well. May be time to upset the applecart...
I have long thought that one way to combat the collusion behind election fraud, might be to bring an antitrust class-action, which at the least would require the Feds and various election-tampering firms would have to reveal years of email and other correspondence.
Here is a good site with a forum on election fraud, and I see this TIA datamining as being very closely related...take one down, take 'em both down!!
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 3/1/2006 @ 4:00 am PT...
As far as boycotts go, rolling boycotts would work by hitting each company a month at a crack, could you imagine how that would fuck up their books ?
It would take one hell of a campaign, though
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 3/1/2006 @ 7:42 pm PT...
The rolling boycotts sounds pretty good. I hope we can figure out a way to make it (or something similar) happen - big time (the only way it would work). We need to put some honest fear of the people into the corporate boardrooms. One successful campaign would have a much wider effect in the corporate world than simply upsetting the books of those companies being boycotted.
Things can snowball - with logos, ads, pieces - presence all over the internet and elsewhere. It could be quite exciting. Trouble is there doesn't seem to be the will for a campaign at the moment.
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 3/1/2006 @ 9:20 pm PT...
No conspiracy theory here. I have one question though.
If all of this was true, what privately held business which holds these capabilities would offer them up to any "Capitalist" government? Allow me to answer, none!
Are you kidding me. Do you think, in this country that would sink Homeland Security for a Port "Deal", would give up a money making technology like this.
No. The Bush family would own it, and your readers would know about the ownership.
What a muck racking racket. I know technology available for the market right now, and even 1000 times the current power is nothing that they are explaining to your audience.
"They can map the pimples on you butt".
What a "read our book" tour this is. James Risens' book is nothing you couldn't find on the BLOG'o'sphere if you Googled a few minutes. And who is his partner in profit?
Don't be mis-directed by this BS.
Plus look at your host. Tim is a joke.
Regards, Bill (Major Geek)