Latest Example of Obama Lying About Spying

Yuk yuk yuck. ||| On Tuesday, President Barack Obama told Jay Leno that "There is no spying on Americans," and “We don't have a domestic spying program." This morning, New York Times national security reporter Charlie Savage gave the latest example of just how brazenly the president is lying: 

The National Security Agency is searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans' e-mail and text communications into and out of the country, hunting for people who mention information about foreigners under surveillance, according to intelligence officials.

The N.S.A. is not just intercepting the communications of Americans who are in direct contact with foreigners targeted overseas, a practice that government officials have openly acknowledged. It is also casting a far wider net for people who cite information linked to those foreigners, like a little used e-mail address, according to a senior intelligence official.

While it has long been known that the agency conducts extensive computer searches of data it vacuums up overseas, that it is systematically searching — without warrants — through the contents of Americans' communications that cross the border reveals more about the scale of its secret operations.

Whole thing here.

Especially when you're wrong. ||| Ah, remember those fall 2012 days when the liberal commentariat was assuring us that a vote for Obama was a vote for truth?

As is the custom, we are learning about this latest intrusion into what used to be protected by the Fourth Amendment not because the Obama administration is voluntarily kick-starting some "debate," but because "a senior intelligence official" leaked inside information to a motivated investigative reporter. In fact (and also as is the custom), we don't know for sure the Constitution-bending legal theory the government is using: 

There has been no public disclosure of any ruling by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court explaining its legal analysis of the 2008 FISA law and the Fourth Amendment as allowing "about the target" searches of Americans' cross-border communications.

The president's smug lies, like National Intelligence Director James Clapper's bald-faced untruthing in front of Congress, suggest a National Security culture accustomed to doing and saying anything without fear of adverse consequences. It's a reminder that the entire legal edifice of nat-sec secrecy was built on an ass-covering lie.

The Fourth Amendment was written by leaders of a country much more vulnerable to attack and intrigue than ours, yet the Founders understood that the purpose of establishing co-equal branches of government was to limit the ability of any one branch to accumulate (and therefore abuse) unchecked power. When the executive branch effectively bars the public from knowing that it can be spied on, from knowing whether it is being spied on, and from even knowing what legal theory the feds are using in the conduct of their spying, then co-equal government is a dead letter. The legislative branch cannot be responsive to public opinion when the public is prevented from having one.

So no wonder the president is willing to get called out for lying rather than actively advance the truth about our national security state. The more Americans slowly begin to realize the extent of their unfreedom, the more they rebel against it. As the press thinker Jay Rosen recently put it, "Can there even be an informed public and consent-of-the-governed for decisions about electronic surveillance, or have we put those principles aside so that the state can have its freedom to maneuver?" The answer, for the last 12 years, has been the latter. May that continue to change.

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  • Auric Demonocles||

    I'm sure Politifact will get right on this, once they finish their articles on why Republicans are the biggest liars ever for describing Benghazi as a 'scandal'.

  • Ted S.||

    BOOOOOSH did it first!!!!11!!1

  • CampingInYourPark||

    The misdirection campaign was always about the CIA annex and the gun-running operation. The administration feared an Iran-Contra-like scandal so close to the election. Many Republicans fell for the bait because they support arming the Islamic rebels in Syria.

    First time I've read someone stating that the CIA was involved in gun-running in Benghazi like it was a known fact. Is it a given now?

    http://www.newsmax.com/Newswid...../id/519270

  • Ted S.||

    To be fair, you're quoting Newsmax.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    The article is written by Rand Paul

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    At the bottom of the article:

    Sen. Rand Paul is the junior Republican senator from Kentucky. He submitted this op-ed for publication on an exclusive basis to Newsmax Media.
  • Ted S.||

    Ah. Most of the time I see the "Newsmax headlines" ad here, the headlines seem to be almost tabloid-fodder.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    The Constitution is not a suicide pact - the Social Contract is a suicide pact.

  • sarcasmic||

    yep

  • JW||

    [enable old school mode]

    QFMFT

    [/old school mode]

  • Gibsmedat||

    Didn't you get the memo? We're fucking slaves from the time the Doc slaps our ass.

  • MJGreen||

    Hah, that's a good one.

  • WTF||

    In fact (and also as is the custom), we don't know for sure the Constitution-bending legal theory the government is using

    Oh, of course we do, it's obviously the "fuck you, that's why" legal theory.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    They just deemed it a tax.

  • Ted S.||

    You'd have a lot less to post if you only posted when Obama told the truth.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    One article a year is a little light for a journalist.

  • Ted S.||

    reason writers aren't here to write articles for H&R; they're here pimp their latest books.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    Are any of the books worth a look?

  • Ted S.||

    I wouldn't know. Has anybody bought any of them?

  • Zeb||

    Declaration of Independents was OK. I wouldn't rush out and buy it. I thought Sullum's book Saying Yes was quite good. A very different and refreshing perspective on how and why people use drugs than you usually see.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Leno should have put Obama under oath.

  • some guy||

    So when exactly are impeachment proceedings going to start? Not against the President, of course, because he hasn't said anything under oath (though he has repeatedly broken his oath. I'm talking about all the liars in his administration who did lie under oath to Congress. They're going to be impeached, right?

  • CE||

    How about an indictment of Obama at least, for initiating military action against Libya and then ignoring the War Powers law that required him to notify Congress in a timely fashion?

  • LynchPin1477||

    Let's see how far down the front page of CNN we have to go to find this...

    "This man cost the Navy a submarine"
    "5 things to start your 'New Day'"
    "Are these your Powerball numbers?"
    "Powerball's luckiest numbers are... [video]"
    "Flowerpot Munchkin from 'Oz' dies"
    "'Wizard of Oz' behind the scence [video]"
    "Photos: 85 people we've list in '13" (Lady Liberty not included)
    "Tiger fakes out autograph seekers"
    "From sexting with Weiner...to porn [video]" (The video link is misleading)
    "Amanda Seyfied 'not against porn' [video]"
    "He's wiping his face with...what? [video]"
    ...

    Finally, under the "Politics" section: "What Obama told Leno"

    But wait! Although the article discusses whether Obama and McCain had a "bromance", it mentions nothing about NSA spying.

    So even when the truth does come out, no one pays attention. Why do they even bother lying in the first place?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Surprised there wasn't something about Trayvon Martin in there.

    Still, at least now we can thank God that [celebrity] is for/against [cause] -- I don't know how I would have gone on without CNN alerting me to this vital fact.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Is porn a cause now?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    No...not the flowerpot Munchkin!

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Not just a lie, a lazy lie.

    I remember when politicians used to lie to us with conviction and aplomb. You're barely even trying to make it seem like you give a shit, Mr President.

    Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one trying to make this abusive relationship work.

  • JW||

    When the executive branch effectively bars the public from knowing that it can be spied on, from knowing whether it is being spied on, and from even knowing what legal theory the feds are using in the conduct of their spying, then co-equal government is a dead letter.

    That letter has been sitting in the Topeka post office dead letter bin since 1962.

  • AlexInCT||

    LOOK OVER THERE! SQUIRREL!

    Up is down, black is white, right is wrong, and lies are the truth with these scumbags. How far have we fallen, and how much lower can we go?

  • Reverendcaptain||

    It's during times like this that I remember way back in 2008: http://reason.com/archives/200.....-your-vote

    Thanks a lot guys. You really showed those Republicans.

  • Ronny Paulino||

    Oh please. Obama is a disaster but McCain/Palin would've been worse. Also, most of those naming Obama were not really supporting the guy as much as repudiating 8 years of Republican catastrophe. Not really sure what point you're trying to make.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I would like to see if the same logic is going to fly in 2016. Eight years of Democratic governance means the Democrats need to be punished......right?

  • AlexInCT||

    Well no, we need to elect the right democrats. Just like communism never failed, because the right people were not in charge of it.

  • Killazontherun||

    The worst employment and growth rates since Roosevelt, setting up a dismal business environment for generations to come at the mercy of a system of mandarins empowered by Obamacare and other means of lawless regulatory expansion, so no, Obama is the worst president in terms of domestic policy in the nation's history.

  • Ronny Paulino||

    I wasn't just referring to domestic policy. Way to move the goalposts.

  • Reverendcaptain||

    You think developments in the Middle East would be worse? Our relationship with Russia, China and the rest of the world would be worse? The economy would be worse? Would McCain have solved the Guantanamo issue by simply killing everybody instead?

    McCain/Palin COULDN'T have been worse. This is just about as bad as it could be. Obama has been a disaster on an epic level.

  • Reverendcaptain||

    Plus, if McCain was in office, he'd be kept in check by a critical media. Obama has had free reign as everybody trips over themselves to fawn over the guy.

  • Ronny Paulino||

    McCain would've started at least one more full-fledged war. Obama's foreign policy is sh*te, but at least he's not nuking Tehran.

  • ||

    Except you have no way of actually knowing this.

    And Iran is so 2009. If McCain went anywhere it would have been Syria. Duh.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Sounds like the same nonsense Johnson used against Goldwater. And look, we got the Great New Society Deal from both! Yay!!

  • CE||

    Hey, you can't expect them to waste their votes.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Bruce Bartlett? Why did they ask that fucktard's opinion about anything? He's a fiscal conservative by self-proclamation only. Lessee, we still love a progressive income tax and we gotta have the welfare state. But didn't Reagan and I do a great job back in the day?

    As for the rest of Reason, how ironic that they protested against Bush by voting for... Bush.

  • Sevo||

    ..."suggest a National Security culture accustomed to doing and saying anything without fear of adverse consequences."...

    Certainly true, but what about Obozo's royal pronouncements on when and where a law is to be enforced?

  • Loki||

    Barack Obama told Jay Leno that "There is no spying on Americans," and “We don't have a domestic spying program."

    Holy fucking shit. This assclown sincerely believes that he can say anything, no matter how demonstrably false, and we'll be stupid enough to buy his bullshit. Un-fucking-believable.

  • Killazontherun||

    There is at least one fusion center in every state where the CIA, FBI, NSA and local law enforcement gather their resources and each is ran by its own domestic intelligence chief (imagine 50+ Ollie Norths doing their own goddamned thing). We know from public documents that at least one of these centers, the Houston based one, that they developed contingency plans to assassinate members of the Occupy movement if a riot broke out.

    http://whowhatwhy.com/2013/06/.....necessary/

    Does anyone really doubt that these guys fully capable of wet works have not engaged in domestic assassination and not just made plans to do so? Investigative journalist should be scared shitless. If you have a story on this evil regime in the works, drive a seventies model car, don't walk your dog in isolated areas, and don't order food anywhere where you can't see the kitchen and you don't know the cooks personally.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    "This assclown sincerely believes that he can say anything, no matter how demonstrably false, and we'll be stupid enough to buy his bullshit."

    When the powerful elements of media look the other way, when a large chunk of the population simply doesn't give a shit, when the opposition is incompetent - then yes, he CAN say anything.

  • Aresen||

    Latest Example of Obama Lying About Spying

    Oh, come on. That was at least 12 hours ago. I'm sure he's lied about it since then.

    "Obama Lied, Liberty Died"

  • ||

    I'm practically giddy with delight at the continuing contortions of my lefty Facebook friends, as they just keep trying to justify domestic spying, only to be forced to backpedal like crazy when their fearless leader explains that none of that has gone on on his watch. I was acting in self defense, your honor, and anyway it wasn't me.

    And the ongoing chorus of "I'm not worried because I've got nothing to hide" is sounding worse by the day. Because even if my objection was based on personal fear rather than on principle, well, I have a son in the Marines, in counterintelligence, in Afghanistan, and a daughter whose boyfriend is of Pakistani descent (he grew up in Dubai), with immediate family members still living in Pakistan, so, yeah, maybe I have nothing personally to hide, but I'm pretty sure the NSA wants to check, just in case.

  • Dave Krueger||

    The President and the NSA keep insisting that they only collect communications data when one end of the link is outside the U.S. When is someone going to challenge these assholes to explain how my communicating with someone outside the U.S. voids my 4th Amendment rights?

  • CE||

    If you're talking to someone outside of America, obviously you're not an American when they spy on you.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    But you don't understand. It's OK now because Obama personally anguishes over every intercept. He cares. He really does.

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