Yesterday's other hearing...

While Fox so-called News kept the focus on yesterday's congressional hearing on Healthcare.gov, there was another round of question-and-answer that is a much bigger cause for concern. NSA director, General Keith Alexander, and James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence were called before the House Intelligence Committee to answer questions about government spying. Both men defended the National Security Agency's practice of spying on world leaders, and denied claims of gathering intelligence on Europeans.

General Alexander said that information collected on French and Spanish citizens was not “information we collected,” it was handed over by intelligence services in those countries. Mr. Clapper argued that spying on world leaders – even our allies – was “a fundamental given,” because those countries spied on our nation too. And, both men said that intelligence collected was “invaluable” because it provides American leaders with an idea of how those countries will act towards the United States.

Essentially, their entire defense amounted to “the ends justify the means.” The only apology was from Mr. Clapper, who said, “to be sure, on occasion we made mistakes.” We must put an end to our government spying within the United States without a warrant, and our national security agencies should be more transparent with out allies about U.S. surveillance in their countries.

Comments

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 4 weeks ago
#1

Our government spying on us is not just a recent thing. And governments spying on other governments...even friendly governments is not a recent thing. They have been doing it for many years. It is only the depth and scope due to their technological ability that has avalanched our privacy.

Just do a search on UKUSA and Echelon and Room 641.

SHFabian's picture
SHFabian 9 years 4 weeks ago
#2

Sounds like a continuation of the Bush administration.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 4 weeks ago
#3
Quote Palindromedary:Our government spying on us is not just a recent thing. And governments spying on other governments...even friendly governments is not a recent thing. They have been doing it for many years. It is only the depth and scope due to their technological ability that has avalanched our privacy.

Just do a search on UKUSA and Echelon and Room 641.

Palindromedary ~ So you're saying that since WWII our Constitutional rights have been circumvented by international communication by foreign intelligence agencies and shared with our Government. We have helped foreign Governments do the same thing to nullify the rights of their citizens. The Patriot Act just made it possible for us to do it ourselves; and, Snowden's revelations only announced what had been going on for some time.

Too bad that our Governments had to keep all this secret for so long. Selling us their over glorified line of Bull $h*t that we are so special because of our freedoms and rights. That is what we fight to defend and protect. "Freedom isn't free." Really? Freedom isn't real, either. No wonder the sheep are so outraged. They've been buying that line with gold for a generation. They have been giving blood and swallowing Bull $h*t. Now the day of Reckoning is at had. Let see how far the Bull $h*t goes to defend the actions and excuses of the intelligence community. I think trust in this government--even from the most low brow citizens amongst us--is at its end. Hopefully the same is true of all the other members of UKUSA as well.

"Freedom" has been paid for; and, it is time we insist on having what we already own.

bobbler's picture
bobbler 9 years 4 weeks ago
#4

I agree, obama is pretty much a continuation of the bush admin (more so, than what a real democrat should be). You wouldn't know it from the way republicans complain of course.

But I am conflicted on the grain of truth in the conservatives argument; spying has always been ongoing, and the nature of syying is simply changing with technology..

My big concern, as snoden put it, the motivations of people behind the spying, and lack of transparency to the voting public. We are either a free democracy of the people, or we are not. Snoden, manning, and assange are heros for risking their freedom, to try to save America's soul, before fascism becomes irreversible. Meanwhile conservatives want to talk about anything but the real issue here.

We certainly need a greater degree of transparency.. Such secrecy brought us war, when chenny lied, then BAM, half million dead bodies (incl Muslims).. No doubt, even if some American operatives were put in danger, this is a far more important issue.

Knowledge is power, and anytime power is concentrated, death, disparity and war soon follow, because history clearly shows individuals in charge trend to crazy.. Whether power makes them crazy, or chat crazy people might be driven to seek positions of power, is the only questionable part.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 4 weeks ago
#5

Tonight on Democracy Now, it was mentioned that Secretary of State Kerry has denied Snowden access to a passport. Ain't that special. Old John Kerry, the former peace activist! (Gag me.) And Snowden hasn't even been convicted, let alone charged, with any crime!

Snowden, Assange and Manning stood up for their principles, at tremendous personal sacrifice. Makes 'em all heroes, doesn't it? Yet they are treated as criminals while the real criminals skate free. Meanwhile President O-bomb-a slaughters thousands of innocent civilians with drones, and he gets a Nobel Peace Prize. Baby Bush was also a war criminal, wasn't he? I think I recall hearing something about Bush also having been a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. I don't reckon I'll be taking that mark of distinction too seriously again... ever.

I'm in a really bad mood this evening. Maybe it's time for bed... - Aliceinwonderland

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 4 weeks ago
#6
Quote Aliceinwonderland:Snowden, Assange and Manning stood up for their principles, at tremendous personal sacrifice. Makes 'em all heroes, doesn't it? Yet they are treated as criminals while the real criminals skate free. Meanwhile President O-bomb-a slaughters thousands of innocent civilians with drones, and he gets a Nobel Peace Prize. Baby Bush was also a war criminal, wasn't he? I think I recall hearing something about Bush also having been a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. I don't reckon I'll be taking that mark of distinction too seriously again... ever.

Aliceinwonderland ~ The Nobel Peace Prize is turning itself into The Nobel Joke Booby Prize. Oh, well! Obviously relevancy isn't one of their guiding principles. History will surely bare that out. History is a cruel mistress. By the way, have you heard that Baby Bush and his friends were found guilty in an internationally recognized tribunal for war crimes?

http://www.globalresearch.ca/bush-adminstration-convicted-of-war-crimes-and-crimes-against-humanity/5336860

That's right, it's not publicized or anything but the fact of the matter is that the man is a convict and prisoner of his own country. There'a comin' ta git him! And, there's no place to hide.

Thought that might cheer you up. Nobel Peace Prize? I think history will be the judge on the actions of us all. I feel sorry for everyone else who earned and deserved that once prestigious designation. Oh, well! What are you going to do?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 4 weeks ago
#7

Apropos to #7 ~ The link, posted above, to the video interview with Dr. Francis Boyle about the Baby Bush war crimes tribunal concluded that if the current Administration gets it's way unimpeded the entire country will eventually resemble the martial law that was recently declared in Boston, Massachusetts. Here are some photos of what Dr. Boyle was talking about:

https://www.google.com/search?q=martial+law+in+boston&rlz=1C1GGGE_enUS445&espv=210&es_sm=122&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=RchyUq-lIMS5igKw4IDYAQ&ved=0CD8QsAQ&biw=1600&bih=785

That's enough to make Adolf Hitler blush.

Rodger97321's picture
Rodger97321 8 years 43 weeks ago
#8

Back to the original points mentioned by Thom in the second paragraph that I am for some reason unable to quote with the built-in tool:

With the recent disclosure out of the NSA files, doesn't this make two occasions that James Clapper is on public record of having lied to Congress?

Although those cases are probably small potatoes compared to his admission of wanton negligence in the release of all those NSA documents (and now he's even claiming that his negligence has damaged U.S. security) how is it that he is still allowed to be in charge of what we are told is important information that we have spent oodles on?

It's like the way the P.R. firms and Media got us to actually reward Bush/Cheney for letting 9-11 happen instead of taking them to task for putting so much of their attention on putting tax cuts through and disemboweling environmental regulations and just generally being too busy working on money-for-friends-and-selves than paying attention to the intelligence warnings.

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