|People's Exhibit #1, against the idea the US government has any serious intention of protecting the civil liberties of American citizens, is this guy—Alexander W. Joel—who you may be surprised to learn has had the job in the DNI's office of protecting your civil liberties and privacy since 2005! That is basically during the time in which any such concern was operationally tossed out the window by NSA. Mr. Joel is a person who really needs to be fired—immediately! But that list is long on NSA matters, starting with Barack Obama, and of course the DNI himself, lying James Clapper.|
And one thing that means is Barack Obama directly lied to the American people when he said their privacy was being protected by government oversight tools, mainly the FISA court.
Amidst new releases of Snowden documents, showing that thousands of violations of the law are taking place every year at NSA, meaning thousands of “incidents” are occurring where the Fourth Amendment rights of US citizens are being violated, the head of the FISA court (the FISC), charged with overseeing the legality of NSA operations, says the secret court does not have the ability to do its job:
“The FISC does not have the capacity to investigate issues of noncompliance, and in that respect the FISC is in the same position as any other court when it comes to enforcing [government] compliance with its orders.”
That statement, from FISC Chief Judge Reggie B. Walton, was made to the Washington Post, in reaction to the new information revealed by WaPo’s release of new Snowden documents, showing an NSA that is either hopelessly inept or lackadaisical about obeying the law when it comes to protecting the privacy of US citizens.
And, with the “rules” allowing for endless exceptions for NSA analysts to simply ignore privacy concerns—for example, serious “incidents” are marked as never having been reported to the FISC—President Obama’s assurances since the beginning of the Snowden revelations that there is already a proper “balance” between privacy and spying in the USA boil down to Obama admitting privacy is actually not a concern to the government in calculating that balance.
Many times even allegedly liberal news sources, such as the New York Times, have concluded that Barack Obama’s credibility has taken a severe beating—at one point the Times said in fact Obama has “no” credibility at all. While editors later amended that to read “on [issues of surveillance]”, the correct conclusion would rather seem to be that the American people simply cannot trust their president to tell them the truth—about anything.
On the other hand, no other branch of the US government has stepped up to act as the actual watchdog in this process of checks and balances. The only thing resembling such a process, are the hopelessly demented House Republicans, most of whom are actually supporters of Obama on making a better, more repressive, police state. At this point, the “balance” seems to be the government and those in it, supporting any means to keep the American people in tow to a dream of citizenship that assumes citizens are stupid, ignorant saps.
We may already be beyond the point where any notion of a democratic process operating in the USA has any meaningful basis. Now, the only hope for the People, short of revolution, is to try to nudge the bureaucratic dictatorship in charge of the USA to perform its treasonous acts more humanely than say, the junta in Egypt.
“Ironic” hardly begins to describe that outlandish condition of the falling American republic.