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General Category => Off Topic Stuff => Topic started by: part deux on May 14, 2014, 12:00:32 PM

Title: NSA on PBS
Post by: part deux on May 14, 2014, 12:00:32 PM
Found this write up on another forum... Looks interesting

Just watched Part 1 of 2 of a very detailed PBS documentary on the NSA spying scandal.

I found it detailed and informative, and so far, equally critical of Bush and Obama (being right of center, I wasn't expecting fair treatment from the Peoples Broadcast System- however, I thought Part 1 was very well done and fair.  Perhaps it is because I am completely against the warrantless wiretapping and believe it is unquestionably unconstitutional, and beyond that, simply wrong).

Part 2 of 2 airs today, May 14th.

Some bullet points-

There were a number of very high level executives in DOJ and NSA who were very concerned and tried to raise their sincere, and reasonable concerns, to their colleagues and superiors, and in return, received threats, dismissive rebuffs, and were eventually spied upon and harassed.

So the next time you hear some politician or pundit say "we have established channels for whistleblowers", please refer them to this PBS documentary, and asked them how things worked out for those whistleblowers.

By the way, the New York Times comes up looking very bad, and essentially made a cowardly decision not to run the NSA story for over a year after bowing to Bush admin pressure.  And the third rail of the press is supposed to protect the average citizen?

Several whistleblowers had FBI agents with guns show up at their homes, who proceeded to ransack their houses.

Consequences for many whistleblowers- 10's of thousands of dollar of legal fees, divorce, unemployment (Thomas Drake ended up working at an Apple store), loneliness, wrecked lives.  By the way, all the charges of espionage against Drake were dropped and he pled to a misdemeanor improper use of a government computer- something probably everything government worker could be charged with.

So until there is a national, congress-led effort to expose and punish those who harassed and ruined these whistleblowers' lives, up to and including the AG and President(s), if warranted, then please spare me the "proper channels" talk.

Amazing twisting, contorting of law and "authority" for Bush admin during the FISA programs to keep going on warrantless wiretapping.  There were numerous objections raised, heroically IMO, by high level lawyers, putting their careers on the line.  The handful of proponents- General Hayden, Cheney, overcame these objections and got Bush to do an end run around the AG's refusal to renew the program.

A real black mark on Bush's legacy.

Makes me very concerned about how the constitution and the law are supposed to protect citizens.

Part 1 ended with Obama promising to do the right thing and have complete transparency, and then, after election and taking the reigns of power, proceeding to reauthorize and expand the NSA program.  Same old dishonesty, worse than Bush since he ran on a highly emphatic campaign platform of ending limitless spying on Americans, and claimed to be such a constitutional scholar. 

This whole episode could not more clearly demonstrate why we simply don't give government and fallible politicians the power to do things that the U.S. Constitution says that government should not do- invade our privacy, take away our guns, provide our healthcare, provide our retirement, tell us what we can and cannot speak about.

Edward Snoden is introduced at the end of Part 1.  Watch Part 2 today.

Enjoy your Wednesday,