The Differences Between Obama And Bush On NSA Surveillance, According To Virtual Obama

from the watch-this dept

It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve seen Xtranormal videos, but someone who shall remain nameless has put together a rather hysterical video of President Obama explaining why massive NSA surveillance under his watch is different than when it was done by President George W. Bush. As you may recall, President Obama criticized these programs while he was “Candidate Obama,” but has now expanded them massively. This video explains why — and is likely to make you laugh:

Below are some of my favorite lines… which is actually nearly a full transcript, because as I was picking out “favorite” lines, most of the video fell into that category.

It was concerning when the Bush administration was secretly collecting your information. Heck, I had concerns back then myself. But, everyone knows that George W. Bush was not a good President. Whereas, I am a good President. See the difference? So, while you could not trust George W. Bush to secretly collect your data, you can trust me. I’m a trustworthy guy.

Another important difference between my administration and the Bush administration is that when the Bush administration secretly spied on you, the Bush administration could not point to a single judge willing to say their program was legal. We, on the other hand, can point to such a judge. I’m not going to tell you who this judge is, or why he or she thinks our program is legal. If I did that, it would, obviously be harder for me to convince you that the program is legal. Instead, I’m just going to tell you that we secretly found one judge who was willingly to secretly say that it was legal for us to collect all of your data….

The Bush administration could not tell you that it had informed Congress. Whereas my administration took steps to ensure that if you ever found out about our secret surveillance program, we could tell you that we informed Congress. To be clear, when I say ‘we informed Congress,’ I am not saying that we did out best to ensure that Congress had enough information to have an informed debate on this vital national security issue. What I am saying is that we informed Congress enough for me to stand here and tell you that ‘we informed Congress.’ What Congress actually knew is not important….

If Congress did not want us to secretly interpret the law, then Congress should not have passed a law for us to secretly interpret….

If you, the American people, did not want me to secretly collect your data, then you should not have elected me President. Yes, I know many of you were probably unaware that I wanted to secretly collect your data, especially since I said I would not secretly collect your data. But, I choose to believe that you elected me to be your President, because you believe that if someone has to secretly collect your data, that someone should be me. And, as we all know, my secret interpretations of your support are more important than the reasons you actually supported me.

Finally, while I do not believe there is any reason to debate this issue, I will tell you that I welcome a debate on this issue. In fact, I’m so grateful that Edward Snowden started this debate that I have decided to stop at nothing to ensure he spends the rest of his life in a federal prison.

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Comments on “The Differences Between Obama And Bush On NSA Surveillance, According To Virtual Obama”

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Wally (profile) says:

As for Snowden, my aunt…in US Army Intel… has informed me that in order to get the [debatably] classified documents he procured required unauthorized access that went beyond his level of security clearance and that’s why we’re going after him. Had nothing to do with whistle blowing, just the unauthorized access he had to gain to get it.

She even admits that outside of gaining unauthorized access, Snowden may have done the right thing by sparking the debate about all the NSA spying.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Two (and a half) things:

  1. If it did indeed require security clearance above and beyond what he actually had, the fact that he still managed it, with apparently no-one the wiser until documents started getting posted, speaks volumes of how ‘secure’ the system was, none of it good.
  2. Given that all the information that has been leaked would never have been able to be leaked without the ‘unauthorized access’ he’s being accused of, that seems like a perfect example of why strong whistelblower laws need to be in place, because if all it takes to prevent the public from learning about potential or actual wrongdoing on the part of the government is just classifying it, then the government has no effective checks on it’s power, it can just classify illegal/embarrassing information and that would be the end of it.

    2.5 . If your relative thinks the US is freaking out this much simply due to someone overstepping their security clearance, rather than the information that has been leaked making them look all sorts of bad, I’d hate to see how much more insane their overreaction would be dealing with a group or person who was accused of a serious crime, like say managing funds for terrorist groups(oh, that’s right, nothing whatsoever. Must be nice to run a bank big enough to be immune to the law).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Your Aunt is not telling the full story..

ANY information you have access to that IS NOT DIRECTLY REQUIRED BY YOU, FOR YOU TO PERFORM YOUR JOB, is information you are NOT ALLOWED TO VIEW.

It’s called “NEED TO KNOW”, you might have the highest level of security clearance, but if you don’t “need to know” that information, you are not cleared to see it.

For example the crypto operators have the same clearance as the crypto maintainers, but the crypto operators are not allowed to view or see the maintenance manuals or circuit diagrams or the insides of the equipment they operate.

If we are working on some secret gear and a secret message comes across we might be able to see it and read it, but if we are see reading it we would get in trouble.. It’s just basic common sense. If you don’t “NEED TO KNOW” it, you don’t normally get to see it.

So the maintainer can be given a secret signal (message) if in the course of his duties there is something he ‘needs to know’ such as a printing problem that needs to be fixed.

You trusted, you have been issued the clearance, there are not people watching you all the time, and if you choose to break the rules (and law) you can like anyone else can.

Snowden is fully aware of this simple concept, he understand that in the course of his duties he has access to a great deal of information that would come under “need to know”.

He broke that rule, the same rule that everyone else is under (with a clearance).

This makes him a criminal and a spy. It’s just that simple.

Votre (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:


Criticize the government for anything, you break the law in North Korea…Hide someone so they won’t be sent to a death camp, you just broke the law in Nazi Germany…Propose setting off the American colonies as an independent nation, you broke the law in Philadelphia back in 1776…

Some people break the rules. And that makes them criminals. Because “the law” says so. QED. What could be more simple.

However, I think “simplistic” might be a more accurate way to characterize that argument..

Anonymous Coward says:

This passes for "TD Reporting " ??

So sad, the “Editor in Chief” must be hanging his head in shame.

It’s even the weekend, Mick the nick has dragged out all the ‘big hitters’, NSA, Snowden, Prenda.

It’s a shame no one really cares anymore, when you have to create posts using an “Obama Doll” you know you have jumped the shark.

Anonymous Coward says:

Obama authorizes “meta-data” collection.
Obama administration sells the data to advertisers.
(Facebook spends billions trying to collect the same level of data for targetted advertising)
Obama’s presidential term ends
Obama takes a highly paid job with the same advertisers.

Does anyone NOT suspect that the data collection has nothing to do with terrorism and everything to do with private business targetting consumers???

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