Defenders of these programs argue that they're "flushing out" potential terrorists, but many of us worry about where this crosses the line into entrapment and a sort of "pre-crime" rather than stopping any actual crime.
This feels very "Minority Report" to me. Except this is real life, not the movies.
Don't you see, they do employ geniuses. And one of them decided that if they keep paper files it is much more difficult to prevent people from gaining access to the information they legally request.
And even if it's not true, and they don't actually keep all this stuff in paper files, how do we really know? They can say it all they want, and it gives them an excuse. Pretty good way to keep people from getting information when they can't just say "disclosing our contractor information is a grave risk to national security".
Ok, so maybe it isn't genius level stuff, but clearly the people trying to withhold all the NSA data aren't completely stupid either.
When will people just learn that they don't have a right to not be offended?
You don't have that right. No one has given it to you, and it certainly isn't inherent to life or society.
If something offends you, you can leave or walk away, you can go to a different website even, you can change the channel on the television. But I don't see that you have the right to prohibit me from viewing something you don't agree with.
The fact that President Obama hasn't yet fired Alexander in particular is fairly incredible, given this latest revelation.
I'm not sure why this is all that incredible. Obama doesn't hold anyone accountable for anything, unless he is blaming Bush and the Republicans for his latest screw-up. He believes he can just campaign his way through every problem, and that is easier than admitting he made a bad decision to keep incompetent people on the job.
Besides, if he fired someone, the government would get smaller and he doesn't want that either.
So yeah, not that incredible. Par for the course really.
I live in the DC area, and use the Metro system here to get around. In the mornings, for those who don't know, there is a free newspaper called The Examiner. There have been a couple of occasions where I have read stories in that paper describing how the FBI/Local Police had stopped an attack at a Metro station. In those instances the authorities had found out about someone planning a bombing, and had sent in undercover agents to help them. Later, the terrorist was arrested and charged once there was enough evidence against that person.
Now, we already know that various agencies have been fed information from other agencies and used that data to basically fabricate a reason to investigate people, leading to arrest, in order to hide how that data was actually discovered.
So I have to wonder, of those two stories I recall reading about, if they are part of that "54 Terrorists stopped" number the NSA keeps telling us about. If this is the case, how many of those attacks were basically encouraged by our own government in order to help the NSA have their so-called success. They have tried again and again to sell us on the need for their activities, I just can't put it past them to do something like this.
I don't disagree that warrants present problems for police and the police state, and they don't like them.
But, I also have to wonder how much has to do with the courts as well? Many courts seem to be backed up with cases, and judges love to clear their dockets. So adding warrants to a judges docket has the potential, I would think, to back things up even more. That means more waiting for everyone. Hard to say how much this factors in, but it is my $0.02 worth.
I work for the federal government. Honestly, this doesn't shock me at all. Having found myself in the unfortunate situation of facing "investigatory meetings" for allegations of wrongdoing at work, I learned very quickly that "off-campus" means nothing to these people. There are even apparently MSPB cases on the matter. So when the government steps in and says if you want our money that you really need, then you have to do things our way...well, the schools don't really have much choice.
How bad can it get? Put it this way, they barred me from talking to people who are not even employees of the government. And even though I won a court case against my accuser for the same allegations, it wasn't enough to stop my agency from first trying to fire me and ultimately suspending me for the same charges.
This is what we have to deal with from our government, and frankly I don't expect this is going to change anytime soon. Expect many more of these kinds of stories.
Well, I like the way you are going. However, I think the better course would be to just flat deny internet access to any portion of their government. This includes cellular services as well. Let them get their information from U.S. media. I'm sure the Obama administration has done an adequate job of filtering out media content for Cameron's tastes.
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