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1 Charles Johnson  Sat, Aug 10, 2013 11:33:24am

I agree with President Obama, and strongly disagree with Ezra Klein.

2 I Earned My Sodomy Merit Badge!  Sat, Aug 10, 2013 2:25:03pm
“Obama is really mad at Edward Snowden for forcing us patriots to have this critically important conversation.”

Basically, implying Obama is not a “patriot”.

3 Authoritarian F*ckpuddles  Sat, Aug 10, 2013 4:38:53pm

re: #1 Charles Johnson

I agree with President Obama, and strongly disagree with Ezra Klein.

This part is rather hard to deny:

There’s simply no doubt that his leaks led to more open debate and more democratic process than would’ve existed otherwise.

Checking the expansion of power of the executive branch that the patriot act incurred is something that needed to be done. It’s unfortunate that this has been dropped into Obama’s lap - as though the PA were his idea in the first place - and it’s nauseating to see all those wingnut champions of the PA jumping on the bandwagon just to be able to criticise Obama. This is really all about the PA and it’s legacy.

Governments tend not to spontaneously roll back such powers
once they have been secured - for one thing it can be politically dangerous. For example had Obama made such a move and a deadly terrorist incident occurred afterwards his enemies would have called him weak, irresponsible, naive etc. And it might well have stuck. I think the political fear of scenarios like that makes it very unlikely for whoever is in power to voluntarily initiate any ‘anti-patriot act’ moves.

That’s why I believe that reform of overreaching and/or overly secretive surveillance is only likely to happen when there is enough public pressure for it, and that seems to be what’s happened here. My read is therefore not so much that the Obama administration has been ‘forced’ as that it has in a sense been granted permission by the public outcry resulting from Snowdons leaks. In other words, I think (and certainly hope) Obama always wanted to initiate reform but was politically unable to seriously broach the subject until now.

4 Authoritarian F*ckpuddles  Sat, Aug 10, 2013 4:45:09pm

re: #2 Raw Satanic Sewage Recipes

Basically, implying Obama is not a “patriot”.

No it isn’t. The comment assumes that Obama is including himself among ‘us patriots’. It’s really a comment on the awkwardness of Obama’s position here - on the one hand he is apparently happy to be discussing this (with other likeminded patriots) - but the fact is he wouldn’t be discussing it if it weren’t for that pesky kid.

I certainly wouldn’t want to rag on Obama for this - I think his response today has been a very positive one and it’s simply not realistic to expect him to do anything apart from condemn Snowden given the particulars of this case.

I suspect he may nevertheless be privately happy that he has been presented with the opportunity to improve transparency, introduce reforms and set proper limits.

5 Dark_Falcon  Sat, Aug 10, 2013 7:37:23pm

re: #4 Authoritarian F*ckpuddles

Believe me, Jimmah, he’s not happy about this. It’s true he’s proposing changes in the law, both as damage control and to reform it in his view (I’m not going to take a position on his proposed changes in this post). But that is Pres. Obama “embracing the suck”, which is US-military slang for making the best out of a bad situation. This is a bad situation for him though, make no mistake.

But I do agree with President Obama that Edward Snowden is not a patriot. He had legitimate avenues he could have taken with his concerns. What he actually did was to act out of ego and paranoia, two elements that combine to form butthurt, as a scotsman once told me. ;)

6 I Earned My Sodomy Merit Badge!  Sat, Aug 10, 2013 9:55:33pm

re: #4 Authoritarian F*ckpuddles

I actually meant to use a ? after that. But yes, that makes better sense.
However, I am still not convinced that more transparency or constraints were needed on the surveillance program.

7 subterraneanhomesickalien  Sat, Aug 10, 2013 10:10:08pm

Yep this is about the right time over the course of the usual two term Democratic presidency when progressives and liberals decide to fuck themselves over for the next several election cycles based on some form of inane principle that will be overshadowed by the sledgehammer taken to the social agenda that had been enacted up until that point by said Democratic president by whatever Republican supply side mongering economic aristocrat that takes his place after the eight years are up when said progressives decide they really aren’t enthusiastic about their candidate and say to themselves “well there really isn’t any difference between the two parties anyway”.

Yep going according to schedule.

8 Jayleia  Sun, Aug 11, 2013 7:12:41am

re: #4 Authoritarian F*ckpuddles

I’d say it’d be easy to read that either way. A 140 character limit plays merry hell with any concept of nuance.

But I’d disagree that we’ve had an open debate, since the True Libelrals and the True Conservatives are derping in perfect unison on this subject, and the media happily plays into some of the fun little conspiracy theories on the power of the NSA. They’re powerful, probably TOO powerful…but, as Varek has been pointing out, even the largest tapping operation I could conceive of, is a fly fart in comparison to the Internet.

9 I Earned My Sodomy Merit Badge!  Sun, Aug 11, 2013 10:36:49am

re: #7 subterraneanhomesickalien

You said exactly what I have been thinking, but unable to write in such a concise way. Thank you!

10 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut  Mon, Aug 12, 2013 2:30:06am

re: #4 Authoritarian F*ckpuddles

My biggest problem is that the revelations has shown that he was already reforming things. A lot of the problem in Greenwald’s reporting has been completely fucking up the timeline. Many of the things he’s reporting about were George Bush era abuses that were stopped under Obama, who already ordered the NSA to create an accountability office, who ended some of the programs, etc.

I don’t think a national conversation about this is actually useful when the national context has been absolutely poisoned by terrible reporting on the subject. I think that this shows why hype and hysterica are obstacles to real change: Greenwald has built up this idea of the NSA and Obama working in collusion to do these things, and that if he’d just stop everything would be alright.

The real problem is the state of the 4th amendment, which can only be rolled back through judicial decisions. Legislative patches are first of all nearly impossible in today’s political climate, and second of all just represent a very temporary solution, as does the executive changing the way it wields the power.

Privacy freedoms, especially where 3rd party doctrine is included, needs to be strengthened by the courts. We really need Obama to be able to get one more justice onto the bench, and then we actually have a fighting chance.


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