"Legal" is not the same as "constitutional."

Yesterday, we learned that our government has been spying on cell phone records. And, last night we found out that the National Security Agency and the FBI are mining data on the servers of at least nine major technology companies. Under a top-secret program, known as PRISM, our government has been collecting audio, video, e-mail, and more from companies like Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Skype, and Apple.

Data analysts at Fort Meade claim that they designed search criteria that produce “at least 51 percent confidence in a target's 'foreignness.'” According to The Think Progress Blog, analysts have access to Facebook's “surveillance capabilities,” and they can monitor any combination of “audio, video, chat, and file transfer” conducted via Skype. Allegedly, Google also allows the monitoring of “Gmail, voice and video chat, photo libraries, and live surveillance of search terms.” The intelligence officer who leaked the information to The Washington Post said, “they quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type.”

Both Apple and Facebook have denied participation in the program, and Google has insisted they do not have a so-called “back door” that would give the government access to such information. James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, has called the disclosure of the internet surveillance program “reprehensible.” He also said that the document leak revealing the cell-phone monitoring program is a threat to our national security. Mr. Clapper claimed that neither of these programs may be “used to intentionally target any U.S. Citizen,” and insisted the programs are “entirely legal.”

Just because a secret FISA court declared these programs legal, does not mean they're constitutional. Americans are angry, and they are demanding our government put an end to the invasive process of spying on citizens.


Global's picture
Global 9 years 41 weeks ago

Why would you care? They probably only spy on tea party groups or patriot groups. As the old saying goes Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

MarcAtkins's picture
MarcAtkins 9 years 41 weeks ago

What is all of this talk about spying and constitutionality? No one has been spied upon, the numbers were collected. When you're trying to thwart terrorism, from whatever source, you need to move quickly. The government needs to have certain information at their disposal, not request it once they realize something is going to happen soon. And exactly who is going to be coming forward and accusing someone of being a terrorist? Are we to expect someone's family and friends to tip us off? Are we truly willing to live with such uncertainty? Look at Boston. The only reason the terrorists were focused on was because they panicked and committed other crimes. If they had been able to keep their cool, would we not have suspected them. We all love to hear about terrorist plots that were stopped before they got off the ground, but exactly what do we think the "chatter" is that the government is listening to that leads them to suspects? I can't mourn the loss of privacy when you have Americans plotting terror on our streets.

historywriter's picture
historywriter 9 years 41 weeks ago

A boat is safe in a harbor, but that's not where a boat belongs. What makes anyone think we can wrap ourselves up in a security blanket and stay there? Life is full of potential problems, accidents, even violence from strangers on our streets. Do you drive a car? Do you walk your streets? Do you take vacations? A week or so ago a bunch of school kids went fossil hunting in this area in a popular fossil hunting site. Suddenly, because of the rains, there was an avalanche, and 2 of the kids didn't make it out. Should we keep our kids inside all the time? Deny them field trips? SOMETHING MIGHT HAPPEN!

Yes, of course most of us are willing to live with uncertainty. We always have. And no matter who is spied upon and what anti-Constitutional measures are taken for our "safety," we will still have uncertainty. Do you know about the Joe McCarthy era? Some of the other witch hunts that took place in our country? Lives were ruined; sometimes people died. I do not ever want to see anything like that again.

If you're afraid, stay home in the dark, lock your doors, sit in the dark with your guns.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 41 weeks ago
Quote MarcAtkins:I can't mourn the loss of privacy when you have Americans plotting terror on our streets.

Then you must live on the moon; because, the country I live in was founded on the principle that all men shall be entitled to privacy--to be secure in their papers, homes and effects. Without this tradition this country no longer exists. What are you trying to protect? A totalitarian Fascist Regime?

Quote MarcAtkins:What is all of this talk about spying and constitutionality? No one has been spied upon, the numbers were collected. When you're trying to thwart terrorism, from whatever source, you need to move quickly.

How quickly do you think we need to move? For the past seven years the Government has been collecting data unconstitutionally from all of us--yet it didn't stop the Boston bombing, now did it? Yet, before this era of illegal spying, several days before 911, the President had intelligence on his desk that was obtained legally and Constitutionally that warned him well in advance about the impending attack. 911 only happened because of gross incompetence and/or intentional scheming; and, not because of insufficient surveillance. We are all perfectly safe with our Constitutional law. It is our leaders that we need to choose more wisely.

Quote MarcAtkins:The government needs to have certain information at their disposal, not request it once they realize something is going to happen soon. And exactly who is going to be coming forward and accusing someone of being a terrorist? Are we to expect someone's family and friends to tip us off? Are we truly willing to live with such uncertainty? Look at Boston.

That's right! Take a good long look at Boston. With all the security measures in effect, the Boston bombing still happened. What does that say for your police state? Nothing. There is nothing that can protect us from lone nuts attempting to blow up their own country. Perhaps you might sleep better at night if you put your energy into taking away the motives for these highly egregious actions, reinstitute publicly funded mental institutions, and pull our military out of foreign countries. It's far better to prevent a problem from occurring than to treat the symptoms, don't you think? No! You prefer to treat the symptom by sacrificing the one tradition that makes this country superior to every other one. That is ridiculous. In doing so you do more damage to the USA than any terrorist ever dreamed of. Congratulations!

BTW Can you say "Sockpuppet?" Look up Ntrepid government contracts on google. I see Thom conveniently left that one out too.


2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 41 weeks ago

Pre 9/11 intelligence indicated an imminent bin Laden terrorist attack involving aircraft in the NYC and Washington, D.C. area. In fact there was a steady flow of info regarding this... all gained without the Patriot Act. The Cheney administration refused to act and we all know why. If we dropped the Patriot Act, I suspect our nation's current intelligence system would still be just as capable as this pre 9/11 performance.

The difference however......Obama's administration would act upon the intelligence.

akunard's picture
akunard 9 years 41 weeks ago

" Obama's administration would act upon the intelligence" and the proof is BENGHAZI!

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 41 weeks ago

This is perfect for this administration. It is a diversion from the real problems in the US like the economy. Only 175,000 jobs where created in June 5 years after the recession started I can't believe you put up with it. Just to put in perspective Canada created 94,000 but we have one tenth of your population so it's 940,000 to your 175,000.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 41 weeks ago

Kend ~ I couldn't agree more! However, I think your numbers need editing. From the grammar I assume your wife wrote this. From the numbers, I'm lost. My friend, I suggest you take the time to register your wife with her own identity so we know who we are responding to. Right now, I'm lost!!

Laura Enright's picture
Laura Enright 9 years 41 weeks ago

What I don't understand is where was this passion about being spied on when this stuff was implemented in 2005/06. I don't remember a huge uproar, especially from the GOP side and people who now call themselves members of the "tea party" when Congress passed the Patrio Act that was to serve as a linchpin in te war on terror. Sure, some people complained and what they said was ignored (probably cause it was considered too liberal).

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 41 weeks ago

They did act......more funding for embassy security was requested time and time again.....your teabagger party refused the requests in order to give the Kochs more tax breaks!

By the way your property taxes continue to go up as revenue gets choked off at the federal and state levels thanks to your teabagger support of tax breaks for billionaires. Meanwhile politicians like Christie and Cuomo are bragging about cutting spending while local mandates remain in place........nice job, taxed enough already dude! Can't get more regressive than that!

megalomaniac's picture
megalomaniac 9 years 41 weeks ago

The intelligence officer who leaked the information to The Washington Post said, “They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type.”

That is very cool. Moreover, very challenging, so of a program that is mirror to everything your word processor editor constructed is viewed by someone else remote you don’t know. Absolutely the coolest way to form an ultra-advanced transparency in data base intelligence. Consider millions of ideas will move quicker driving the slow obstruction way loony.

That is unintended reasoning is now connected very hard to legislation, or policy to either party, unless they are very careful to take action on laws or those laws expire. That is reasoning for a do nothing Congress. Hello, did you get that, doing nothing to run out the clock on existing legislation. Stock stuff you bet, IRS stuff oh yah. Just like that commercial about “shake and bake, and we helped too” Hello America did you get that the media helped. Run out the clock so current legislation runs out. Is that called statute of limitations? You law ant no good no more.

It’s so weird with those that authored the data algorithm find that they are really sucked into a vortex in revealing themselves. The best part they cannot back out of such algorithm until the energy in its context is exhausted. There is a serious debate using the term “entropy”. Entropy in energy is different than energy of data entropy. The term is commonly interchanged by Journalist or the intuitive notion as energy entropy or data entropy is suggested either way. The kicker is entropy is not the same in a data way. Energy described with entropy is different.

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 41 weeks ago

no my wife didn't write it. I am having a lot of fun teasing her about your comments though. Where are my numbers wrong? 330 million there and 33 million here. We created 94,000 jobs last month that's 940,000 US. I have a place in the Rockies up here I go tweeks weekends but the wifi sucks so it is hit and miss. I have to say I miss the beatings you guys give me. They keep me humble.

Did you see "frack nation" ? Who do you believe anymore.

BMetcalfe's picture
BMetcalfe 9 years 41 weeks ago

I fully realize that to stop all terrorism, some people need to have their information monitored.

What I object to is the NSA's insatiable false belief that they need to store ALL of our posts, all of our written and verbal communications - even photos - so that one day in the future, when the new servers are up and running in the Utah metadata storing faciity, they can go back to things our young people are currently posting everywhere, just because the NSA CAN... What I say, personally, doesn't jeopardize me. I know better than to say stupid or dangerous things on the internet. Apparently our teens and young adults who have grown up in the information age, have no idea how much they are jeopardizing their future jobs, relationships, healthcare, etc. I don't think the ramblings of an unevolved teenager or a hot-headed young adult should be stored and "pulled out at random" when someone from the NSA sees something with the words "bomb" and a plethora of others on their list, are used in mostly innocent & immature statements, long before they become savvy adults.

Jussmartenuf's picture
Jussmartenuf 9 years 41 weeks ago

Why should i believe what Think Progress has to say over what the National Security Council has to say? Facebook, Google and Apple all say it is not true they allow monitoring of their sites.

All this talk about invasion of citizen privacy is Faux news stuff. Don't you remember the Boston bombers were U.S. citizens? The Yemini creep was a U.S. citizen. There are traitors in our midst as witnessed by these events. The non invasive monitor of honest peoples phone records, which every phone company has. The records held by every credit agency, every bank etc are an invasion of privacy but i hear no whining about that.

Time to get a life and off the Right wing band wagon. After all this was all started during the Bush/Cheney lying fiascos.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 41 weeks ago

akunard: Truth matters, so just in case you don't believe me, here are some facts........."House Democrats issued a memo stating that since 2010, House Republicans have consistently voted to reduce the embassy security funding requested by President Obama by half a billion dollars. This was done despite security concerns and the need for updated or additional construction of security walls for some embassies and consulates such as the one in Benghazi.".......Greta McClain article.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz a Tea Party favorite has admitted that he voted to cut embassy funding.

historywriter's picture
historywriter 9 years 41 weeks ago

Nothing I remember from "1984" is as chilling as the ability of the government to, on a 24-hour basis, watch and listen to its citizens. There was no place to hide from its cameras and no way to be able to speak without someone listening.

Do you remember the part of the Patriot Act, I believe it was, where the government had (has) the right to see what library books you take out and the librarians cannot, under penalty of law, tell you that?

Do you think you know what might trigger a government agent's interest in what you write on the internet? Or what books you may take out? the internet already provides all the information they need on what books you buy. Do you remember the McCarthy era and the lives that were ruined and some lost because of this insane man's obsession with xxx number of Communists in the government and in the movie industry and elsewhere? Do you know what basis he used to identify these "Communists"? If you don't know, you should look it up.

You should read up on the Espionage Act which was passed "to cover a broader range of offenses, notably speech and the expression of opinion that cast the government or the war effort in a negative light or interfered with the sale of government bonds. It forbade the use of "disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language" about the United States government, its flag, or its armed forces or that caused others to view the American government or its institutions with contempt. Those convicted under the act generally received sentences of imprisonment for 5 to 20 years.The act also allowed the Postmaster General to refuse to deliver mail that met those same standards." You think you meet any criteria--whatever that might be--for being safe from investigation about that or anything?

I don't know if the Espionage Act is still in force, but it doesn't need to be. Now we have spying on everyone on a 24-hour basis that is infinitely more effective thanks to a variety of technological "advances."

My mother probably would have been safe; she could never quite figure out the internet, and never said anything on consequence on the phone.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 41 weeks ago
Quote BMetcalfe:What I say, personally, doesn't jeopardize me. I know better than to say stupid or dangerous things on the internet. Apparently our teens and young adults who have grown up in the information age, have no idea how much they are jeopardizing their future jobs, relationships, healthcare, etc.

Isn't that precisely the point in question. All this collection of data is reminiscent of J. Edgar Hoover, the former head of the FBI, who did exactly the same thing and used that information to blackmail anyone--including Presidents of the United States--into doing anything he wanted. Everyone should listen to what BMetcalfe is saying--just because this poses no threat to ourselves doesn't mean it won't come back to bite our children in the future. Imagine a J. Edgar Hoover today in the digital information age. That's blackmail on steroids! Imagine a future where our grandchildren are participating on a blog such as this and are afraid to say anything that isn't positive about the government. I heard one story on a recent documentary on the History channel that once a newspaper reporter did a story critical of J Edgar Hoover. The next day all the competitor newspapers received in the mail high resolution photos of that reporters wife engaging in sex in a car with someone else. It is believed that was to send a message to the other papers not to repeat that mistake in the future. Now imagine the power if that same message could have been sent out with a simple email. There is a good reason that the founding fathers wrote privacy into our Constitution. They understood the vital importance of privacy to the security of the nation.

Quote Laura Enright:What I don't understand is where was this passion about being spied on when this stuff was implemented in 2005/06.

The media downplayed the passion, but it was there. It is still there as is evident by this topic. Don't you remember that in 2008 we elected the first black man in history to the office of the President of the USA? Is it no coincidence that this same black man had the background of a Constitutional scholar. Do you think a black man with a PHD in economics would have won? I think not. I think it was his background in Constitutional law and the fact that this country was experiencing a Constitutional crisis and cried out to the best qualified person to fix it. I think people were more concerned about the fate of the Constitution than their own economic plights. That is how much passion the people of this country have about the Constitution. It makes them color blind.

Quote Jussmartenuf:All this talk about invasion of citizen privacy is Faux news stuff.

That's the most compelling argument I've heard yet. Apparently you are more than Jussmartenuf, Jussmartenuf. The media has been smothering this story now for 7 years. Now they are jumping on it like its breaking news. Obviously, they have ulterior motives in acknowledging this Constitutional travesty. Perhaps to simply spearhead an attack on Obama to prevent him from talking about his current agenda. Fine! They couldn't have picked a better smoke screen. This topic is far more urgent than any matter that the President has in his agenda anyway. It is the precise time that this topic needs to be addressed as well; for, only with this President do we the people stand a chance at getting this bogus unconstitutional legislation removed. After all, that is why we elected this man in the first place isn't it? Faux news stuff, indeed! Let us also pray it is a huge Faux news error in strategy as well.

On this Credo website you will find a petition you can sign to pressure President Obama into providing full justification for his spy program. It doesn't solve our problem; but, it is an excellent start:


DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 41 weeks ago

Kend ~ I understand your numbers now. You're talking percentages. Right!

"Frack Nation" No, I didn't get that chance yet; but, I will look for it the first chance I get. I did read the reviews, for what they were worth. Split right down the middle. Nothing useful! However, let me tell you that I don't really care about whether or not fracking hurts the environment or anything else. I'm against fracking because I'm against fossil fuels in general. This source of energy is obsolete. It always has been. It is not sustainable. Thank God for that. If it was sustainable we would all eventually suffocate. Fossil fuels power engines that also use oxygen and release CO2. The oxygen comes out of the air and the CO2 replaces it. At no time in this energy cycle is CO2 removed from the air and replaced by oxygen. So you see, even if the fuel source were sustainable, the cycle of gases in the environment is not. I'm not against fracking because of the immediate impact it has on the environment, I'm against fracking because of the long term impact it has on the environment. Also, I like to breath oxygen.

Growing fuel energy through biomass that balances the gas cycle during the growing stage is what I support. Using solar, wind, geothermal, or hydro energy I also support. Anything else is obsolete, and unsustainable suicide. Sorry, buddy!

This link might help explain my vision for the future of the energy industry:


DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 41 weeks ago
Quote historywriter:I don't know if the Espionage Act is still in force, but it doesn't need to be. Now we have spying on everyone on a 24-hour basis that is infinitely more effective thanks to a variety of technological "advances."

My mother probably would have been safe; she could never quite figure out the internet, and never said anything on consequence on the phone.

Yes, my friend, the Espionage Act is still in force. It has been changed several times since originally enacted in 1917, but it is still being enforced. Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning are the latest victims charged with violating the act. The Sedition Act of 1918 which was a set of amendments to the Espionage Act meant to expand its meaning to include restrictions of freedom of speech was repealed in 1921; but, unfortunately, the Espionage Act remains. It along with the Patriot Act, and the 'War on Drugs', should all be repealed as unconstitutional.


By the way, your mother sounds like mine. My mother used to always say, "If you don't have anything good to say about someone, don't say anything at all." Sound advice when talking about family and friends. However, I think that concerning social issues and the Government, the worst thing you can possibly say is not to 'say anything at all.'

bendigger0 9 years 41 weeks ago

Thom... i think you should begin the call for a General Strike. A 3-day work stoppage to protest our runaway 'government'.

ckrob's picture
ckrob 9 years 41 weeks ago

It has been alleged that Twitter is not among the listed "contributors" to the NSA. Is that because it said no? A few no's to the congress and the security state by American citizens might have a real salutary effect. (See Klein's piece on Common Dreams this week)

historywriter's picture
historywriter 9 years 41 weeks ago

WHY would you believe any government agency these days?

historywriter's picture
historywriter 9 years 41 weeks ago

You don't really know if you know better than to say stupid or dangerous things on the internet. You have no idea what someone might decide to look for. We're not talking about future jobs or relationships: we're talking about your freedom to say what you want on anything without your voice being stopped or your life or livelihood put in danger. Human brains aren't fully developed until people are in their 20s. I don't think that's what this is looking at.

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 41 weeks ago

I noticed your President was in China I wonder if President Xi Jinping was asking Obama for spying advise. LOL

i am sure as a normal everyday citizen you nothing to worry about. Besides does anyone believe that what you do with your phone or computer is confidential. I sure don't.

kiliastrom's picture
kiliastrom 9 years 41 weeks ago

The collection of piles of information has been going on for a long time. Nothing really has changed because the government and the companies who collect the data have asserted their right to do so and have never been challenged. Is this data mining necessary? Is it even a good thing? What would happen if we DIDN'T collect all this data? AND, most important of all, WHY do we collect all this data? ..... I cannot even come close to answering any of those questions. But do we ever hear a dialogue about it that makes sense or brings light to the topic or leads to some kind of resolution? I'm clear on that one. The answer is NO! .... My opinion is that our global war on terror has given birth to so many new "necessities" that are so very expensive and that are making so many people rich- ER, that I suspect that the biggest reason for any of this is: it's just another way to get the tax money flowing into the hands of people who make the gadgets and do the jobs that collect the data. Later, when we start to see how they are going to USE the data AGAINST US, then THAT will probably be making some folks rich-ER, too.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 41 weeks ago
Quote historywriter:Human brains aren't fully developed until people are in their 20s.

Well I can think of arguments on both sides of that barrier. Personally I believe my brain was capable of reasoning fully at the age of 5. That's just me. On the other hand, I've met people 65 years of age whose brains are quite infantile. I believe it depends on the person.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 9 years 41 weeks ago

DAM - I have tried to stay away from Hartmann's blog and not comment on the stupid remarks made by you and others who have a neurotic compulsion to voice your ideas, even when they show you will make comments on subjects that show your lack of understanding in the present world we now live in. The world you have this need to reference to no longer exists and to try to make reference to the era of our fore-fathers in most part is ludicrous when applied to our need of privacy. Who is going to monitor that element out there that declared war on America if our Government doesn't? I have tried not to comment on your statements because you truly bring out the very worst in me, and I do not wish to be arrested for making threats that I may or may not carry out. You my friend have used this blog as a soap box to make your comments into monologues that have very little relevance to the subject at hand. After reading your comments on this subject, it takes all my strength not to state the level of loathing I have for you and your statements. Let's just say if we both entered a bar, only one of us would leave and that is the level of distain I have towards you and your statements. It is like listening to someone who has the deep needed desire to be heard, yet has nothing of value to say. You’re afraid to state your name or show your face, yet attack others for not coming forth with more information on which they may be. You sir are a coward of the highest ranking and hide behind a mask of unimaginable stupidity.

Those of you who do not want the Government checking on social media sites or on phone calls will be the first to cry out the government has failed to protect us when the first nuke or biological weapon goes off on American soil. You cry out that a foul is being committed against our rights without mentioning any other recourse the Government could employ to keep us safe. Instead of crying like children, why don't use except the fact we no longer live in the age of our ancestors and we as a nation face a multitude of threats from a very varied source of enemies from Red China to Al Qaida and one form of protection may not apply to all threats. As stated in a comment earlier on this subject, the Terrorists who killed and maimed Americans in Boston were only apprehended because of their own stupidity and lack of sophistication. And you can be reassured the next attack, and there will be more to come, will not lack the sophistication these home grown Terrorists were without. Instead of telling us how evil our Government is and cannot be trusted, please illustrate how you would prevent the next attack we will face. I am afraid the cowards who use this blog page to demonstrate how our big bad government is spying on us have no inclination of what may have been stopped by the so called domestic spying that our Government feels is necessary to protect us. People like DeAnnMarc and that Canadian Kend can do nothing more than illustrate how the government spies on us, without even mentioning a way to combat modern day terrorism we face today. To me they are simpletons who cry out in the night against those who are attempting to keep us safe from attack, while gloating in their attempt to show how brilliant they are. Again I repeat my sentiments, they are cowards who are neurotic to the point they have a need to comment on something they can only condemn without giving any logical solution to the threats we face as a nation today.

Another commenter states that the only reason we are trying to implement these measures is for monetary gain. DDAAAHH! Of course someone will make a profit if they can supply the goods and technology needed to help prevent the next attack in the war we find ourselves in. These morons seem to think if we hide our heads underground the bad guys will all go away or if we act in a different manner politically, and we all know it is all our (America's) fault, those who wish to harm us in all manners will simply go away. Do you idiots not understand those who would do us harm could care less about how we handle ourselves as a nation, it is a holy war to some and to others they wish to simply have the upper hand in the military strategy as in the case with Red China and their constant attempts to steal our military and commercial secrets. Will you cowards please wake up and realize this is the 21st. Century and not 1776! Yes we need to keep a watch on what the Government is doing and we need to keep an ever diligent eye on those who would do us harm for whatever gain they may have in mind! One of my biggest fears is that more people will fall for your phony wolf cries that our Government is trying to harm the American Public through the attempts to know what we are doing. Anyone who uses the Internet or uses cell phones can be spied on by almost anyone with the technological know-how, so if you’re afraid of your privacy being violated, start using the pen and paper method and send all your information to others via certified mail and wait the time it takes to arrive. Or you can face up to the fact the internet and cell phones do not afford anyone privacy in this era we now live in! K.W.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 9 years 41 weeks ago

Your arrogance fits your type of personality. You were able to reason at age 5 and yes that is believable since your present capabilities are that of a 6 yr. old. Not only does your mind lack the ability to understand the nature of todays world and the necessity to monitor information for our protection, you also are a coward of the highest magnitude and quality. I certainly did not want you to misunderstand my statements or have you misconstrue my words for you benefit. K.W.

Global's picture
Global 9 years 41 weeks ago

Wow DAnne, I think it is time to put down the "blunt" and get the license plate of that truck that just ran you over. I think KW thinks you smell like a fish.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 41 weeks ago

Global and Ken Ware ~ Can you say the word "SockPuppet." As far as I am concerned, that is all you are. Please direct your comments to my hand. Thank YOU!

BTW Can you say "Sockpuppet?" Look up Ntrepid government contracts on google. I see Thom conveniently left that one out too.


Vegasman56 9 years 41 weeks ago


I came across this gentleman the other night here in Las Vegas on channel 3 news. I believe that you might find Dr. James Lenhart interesting to interview him either on the big picture or your radio show.

The information below I got from his website.

Dr. Lenhart is a practicing physician, teacher and writer – now leverages his career in healthcare to promote health as a human necessity, health as a human right. With medical degrees from the University of New Mexico and Brown University, Dr. Lenhart's commitment to lifelong learning recently culminated in a Masters degree in Public Health from the University of Liverpool in England

To contact Dr. Jim or for further information, email him at drjim@drjimshealthline.com or like him on Facebook a I on his Facebook page.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 41 weeks ago
A breaking story on The Ticket: Yahoo News, says that Daniel Ellsberg, who 40 years ago leaked the Pentagon Papers to the public disclosing the secret history about the Vietnam War, has come out to publicly praise the recent NSA leak by Edward Snowden:

Quote The Ticket: Yahoo News by Dylan Stableford who:Daniel Ellsberg, whose leak of the so-called Pentagon Papers to The New York Times in 1971 exposed the secret history of the war in Vietnam, thinks Edward Snowden's leak of the National Security Agency's surveillance programs was more important than his.

"In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden's release of NSA material, and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago," Ellsberg wrote in an op-ed published by the Guardian on Monday. "Snowden's whistleblowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what has amounted to an 'executive coup' against the U.S. constitution."

The article then continues:

Quote The Ticket: Yahoo News by Dylan Stableford who:Ellsberg added on CNN Sunday night that “it can’t be overestimated to this democracy. It gives us a chance, I think, from drawing back from the total surveillance state that we could say we’re in process of becoming, I’m afraid we have become. That’s what he’s revealed.”

On Friday, President Barack Obama defended the programs that predated his administration, saying Americans must tolerate "modest encroachments on privacy" in the name of security, Congress had been fully briefed, and that his White House "actually expanded some of the oversight, increased some of the safeguards."

In response to President Obamas defense of NSA spying Ellsberg says:

Quote The Ticket: Yahoo News by Dylan Stableford who:For the president then to say that there is judicial oversight is nonsense—as is the alleged oversight function of the intelligence committees in Congress. Not for the first time—as with issues of torture, kidnapping, detention, assassination by drones and death squads—they have shown themselves to be thoroughly co-opted by the agencies they supposedly monitor. They are also black holes for information that the public needs to know.

The fact that congressional leaders were "briefed" on this and went along with it, without any open debate, hearings, staff analysis, or any real chance for effective dissent, only shows how broken the system of checks and balances is in this country.

The article then goes on to describe the history between the Ellsberg case and the current state of affairs:

Quote The Ticket: Yahoo News by Dylan Stableford who:It's not the first time Ellberg has butted heads with Obama.

In 2011, Ellsberg was among a group of noted whistle-blowers that penned an open letter asking that a "transparency award" given to Obama earlier that year be rescinded. They called the Obama administration's record on secrecy and surveillance "a disgrace."

In 1971, Ellsberg became the first person to be prosecuted under the 1917 Espionage Act for releasing classified information to the public. The case was later dismissed when it was revealed during trial that the government had engaged in illegal wiretapping to gather evidence against him.

The Pentagon Papers were formally declassified in 2011.

Last week, Ellsberg told The Washington Post that the U.S. government would have gone after him the same way they've gone after Bradley Manning, the former U.S. soldier who is currently on trial accused of providing thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks.

"I'm sure that President Obama would have sought a life sentence in my case," Ellsberg said.


In a related article, Snowden states

Quote The Ticket: Yahoo News by Dylan Stableford who:Snowden, a Hawaii resident who was interviewed by the U.K. newspaper in his hotel room in Hong Kong where he is hiding, said he has no regrets about going public—even if he never sees his family again.

"I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things," Snowden said. "I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under. ... I can't in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building."

The article goes on to state,

Quote The Ticket: Yahoo News by Dylan Stableford who:Snowden said he decided to leave his family, girlfriend and a comfortable, $200,000-a-year salary behind, and flew to Hong Kong on May 20. He said he chose China because "they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent."

The newspaper said it revealed Snowden's identity at his request, but that he is concerned it will become a distraction. "I don't want public attention because I don't want the story to be about me," Snowden said. "I want it to be about what the U.S. government is doing."

Snowden says this about President Obama,

Quote The Ticket: Yahoo News by Dylan Stableford who:Snowden said he thought about disclosing the program sooner but was hopeful the election of President Barack Obama would change things. But "[Obama] continued with the policies of his predecessor," Snowden said.

Senator Rand Paul has vowed to fight the NSA spying program:

Quote The Ticket: Yahoo News by Dylan Stableford who:On "Fox News Sunday," Sen. Rand Paul said he would seek a Supreme Court challenge to the surveillance program.

"I’m going to be asking all the Internet providers and all of the phone companies: Ask your customers to join me in a class-action lawsuit," Paul said. "If we get 10 million Americans saying we don’t want our phone records looked at, then maybe someone will wake up and something will change in Washington."

Finally, there is a way we can help Edward Snowden avoid legal tangles for his efforts to defend our Constitution,

Quote The Ticket: Yahoo News by Dylan Stableford who:Meanwhile, a petition urging the Obama administration to pardon Snowden was posted to the White House website on Sunday afternoon.

"Edward Snowden is a national hero and should be immediately issued a full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs," the petition read.

By Sunday night, the Twitter hashtag "#IStandWithEdwardSnowden" was trending in the United States.


LeMoyne's picture
LeMoyne 9 years 41 weeks ago

For a fact there is nothing new here, the same was going on in '75. Although back then the phone records were delivered by courier instead of over IP. Laws were passed (original FISA) and post facto warrants were born and ALWAYS approved.

There are a couple of crucial points to make.

1) The Fourth Amendment's standard of "probable cause supported by oath or affirmation" was streamlined to "reasonable suspicion" by Bush and now the standard appears to be "we must have everything because we can win any game of Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon (potential eco-terrorist)" - Allow this to apply to emails, cloud storage and phone records and eventually books, businesses, kids and guns will follow. The right wing nuts smell this but can't quite state it clearly. Their precious 2d Amendment rights will get swallowed in a trice once the 4th is gutted. Which it has been.

2) Anyone else notice that it's private corporate contractors carrying out this policy? The NSA couldn't possibly hire enough people to handle their rapid expansion so now we have the delicious irony that the 'most transparent admin ever' pretends to be progressive and lets itself be called socialist even though it has secretly granted corporations the power to harvest, collect and sift all manner of information about ALL the people (including their emails) while vigorously prosecuting (in the media and the courts) anyone who dares expose a corporation's emails to the public. Corporate email privacy is defended by the gov't while the gov't pays corporations millions in no-bid secret contracts to gather and analyze the emails of human people. Ummm ... there is much, much more that could be said about the reamifications of the privatization of the security apparatus but simply put, fascism is as fascism does.

If the American people deserve their Constitution and their former freedoms there will be a lot of turnover in Congress next year - after all Congress has been briefed on PRISM, nu? Otherwise, ho hum, business as usual - until we get another 'true believer' as President - then as Snowden says, it will be time for "turnkey tyranny". No help from the courts (already been rubber stamped) - damning evidence is secret (no defense possible) - guilt by indirect association (can reach anywhere)... I predict they will get efficient and just contract out the sham trials to a court where the judge is a robo-signer paid by an unnamed contractor. Or maybe they will get lazy and just skip all that legal mumbo-jumbo - if the gov't says you're a threat then you're a threat and threats will be met with lethal force. Oh wait... they are already doing every bit of this except for the privatized courts, ain't they?

Yeah, turnover in Congress or it's all over soon ... Remember the old saw "I'd tell ya, but then I'd have to kill ya"? Never was funny except in rare cases of irony or sarcasm. Pre 911 that became old, but it elegantly describes secret gov't programs defended by willing private death squads. Neoliberalism is coming home to roost as fascism with a friendly face. Lose the kindly front man and then ...

mathboy's picture
mathboy 9 years 41 weeks ago

One more thing that we must demand our government not privatize, along with the military, Social Security, roads, currency, elections, and education.

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 9 years 41 weeks ago

Well said, Thom... Just because it may be legal does NOT make it constitutional. In the words of Justice Marshall, " A law repugnant to the constitution is void"...or at least it is until you dumb down society enough to get away with it, apparently. I maintain that our federal public servants, who swore an oath to uphold the constitution are potentially committing treason when passing laws that are blatantly unconstitutional and specifically designed to subvert the constitution and our civil liberties. They have an obligation to speak out against such abuses. This may sound strong, but I think that what is going on with the revolving doors between D.C & private for-profit spy, prison, war/security & financial industries is nothing short of "legalized" extortion. These industries, especially the banks, are using the framework of our government to suck all of our tax dollars out of our commons & infrastructure and into their pockets and saying "pay up (taxes) or else". I have no affiliation what-so-ever with wartaxboycott.org, but I'm beginning to think it may be one of the only acts of civil disobedience many of us have left that could possibly make a difference. If they not only deprive our schools of needed tax dollars, but go after them to close them, if they will not only let our infrastructure crumble, but also refuse to spend our taxes on even the inspections needed to keep people from being hurt/killed in bridge collapses, if they refuse to provide enough tax dollars to the OSHA sufficient to prevent an entire town from being leveled by a fertilizer plant explosion, if they spend trillions on unnecessary wars paying private military twice as much as public military...need I say more? If I had a job, my federal taxes would go to a non-profit social/environmental justice organization.

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 9 years 41 weeks ago

Great post! I personally think any POTUS doesn't have much power at all anymore at this point. The real question is, if most of us are in jail, who’ll pay for the ceo of CCA’s grotesquely huge compensation?

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