Civil Liberties

The New York Times on Obama and the NSA: "The administration has now lost all credibility."


From the paper's editorial board

Within hours of the disclosure that the federal authorities routinely collect data on phone calls Americans make, regardless of whether they have any bearing on a counterterrorism investigation, the Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every time President Obama has been caught overreaching in the use of his powers: Terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us to deal with them because we have internal mechanisms (that we are not going to tell you about) to make sure we do not violate your rights.

Those reassurances have never been persuasive — whether on secret warrants to scoop up a news agency's phone records or secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism — especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability. The administration has now lost all credibility. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it.

It ends with a call for repealing the Patriot Act. 

NEXT: Senators Say NSA Phone Monitoring Has Been Going on for Years, IRS Official Apologizes for Lavish Conference and Star Trek Spoof, Gitmo To Get More Guards: P.M. Links

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  1. When you've lost the NYT...

    1. Yeah, pretty much.

      1. They'll get them back. Just wait until the Times remembers that the alternative is Republicans.

        1. Notice, there isn't an election for another year and a half and Obama will never run for office again.

          What a joke. It is not like this is anything knew. Yet somehow, the NYT didn't see it as a big deal before Obama was safely re-elected.

          A bunch of fucking whores trying to get their dignity back.

          1. "The New Yorks [sic] Times has now lost all credibility."

            1. Maybe it was a fake paper that ran the editorial. Surely the actual New York Times would favor anything Obama does.

          2. Yet somehow, the NYT didn't see it as a big deal before Obama was safely re-elected.

            My thoughts exactly.

          3. ^This.

    2. Up until now I have had no confidence that any of the scandals would stick to Obama. Now I have to reassess my opinion.

    3. SN, I called it as over when they lost Rolling Stone.

    4. Spying on millions of American citizens -- no problem.

      Spying on a few dozen AP reporters -- dumb idea.

  2. "Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it."

    I have a hard time remembering when the NYT ever opposed handing this asshole power; now they're griping about it?
    Is there a Pulitzer for hypocrisy?

    1. It might not be hypocrisy. It could be an actual change of heart, brought on by finally realizing the consequences of stuff like this.

      But it's probably hypocrisy.

      1. "It might not be hypocrisy. It could be an actual change of heart, brought on by finally realizing the consequences of stuff like this."

        Could be. I could also have the winning lotto numbers. Maybe.

        1. *Digs around on messy desktop looking for those damn lottery tickets*

      2. It could be plain-vanilla stupidity or, maybe, a cultish trance induced by a mantra of "Hope and Change".

      3. The make up sex is going to be legendary

  3. Fox News has clearly infiltrated the NYT editprial board.

  4. that is goddamn refreshing.

    1. Time to run the Chicago crooks out of DC.

  5. Holy shit. This is the most stunning turn of events yet.

    1. Yeah it really is.

    2. Somewhere a pig got its wings.

  6. Well lookit that...

    Maybe targeting the AP really was enough to get the legacy media to turn against the current administration.

  7. "I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of liberals suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something wonderful has happened."

  8. That is one reason we have long argued that the Patriot Act, enacted in the heat of fear after the 9/11 attacks by members of Congress who mostly had not even read it...

    Where were you guys during the Obamacare fight? Oh yeah...

    1. Glad to see that I am not the only one under attack by the server squirrels.

      1. I swear I only clicked once.

  9. That is one reason we have long argued that the Patriot Act, enacted in the heat of fear after the 9/11 attacks by members of Congress who mostly had not even read it...

    Where were you guys during the Obamacare fight? Oh yeah...

  10. It is now time to break out the term "embattled".

    1. +1 culture of corruption

      1. credibility gap?

  11. Oh, Shrikeplug! Why not weigh in on this thread, no?


    2. Sho nuff, dipshit's over on the PM Links thread claiming he was never fooled by Obozo, but he's still better than Bush.
      I presume that relates to the number of letters in the last name.

  12. This must be so hard for the NYT. Realizing your boyfriend is an abuser and doesn't really love you and just might never stop beating you, even if you threaten to leave and take the kids.

  13. See, he said he wanted to get the Patriot Act Repealed !

  14. NYT criticizes BHO on civil rights issues.

    *Looks out the window to see if Four Horsemen approaching*

    Did anyone hear a trumpet?

    1. No trumpets, just no danger of him ever losing another election. Rest assured in 2016, the Times will be there to explain how the new Dem overlord is going to be different and how somehow that Obama guy got a little out of hand.

  15. They say this now. But so what? They didn't say shit when it mattered. You know like before Obama was re-elected. The Times are a bunch of fucking whores who sold out every singe ounce of virtue they had to get this asshole elected. And now that the deed is done they want to come back and pretend like they are really concerned about this.

    These people are scum. This editorial is an insult and a spit in the face to anyone who actually objected to Obama when it mattered. Wake up Libertarians, this is the NYT telling you how stupid they think you are.

    1. John, this is where you should focus on the principles. Like you said, who cares if they're doing the right thing for the wrong reasons?

      1. But they are not "right" really. It is not like they would ever want Obama to see any consequences for this or they won't shill for the next Democrat just as hard even though they know he will do the same thing.

        And even if they are "right", a meaningless gesture after you have helped do the damage is nothing but an insult. It is just them trying to pretend they never helped this happen. Fuck them.

        1. It's not meaningless. An editorial from the official NYT board is huge, and will severely derail the rest of his agenda. You don't get everything you want just because you're elected president. They just smashed his bully pulpit.

          1. No they didn't. They will be back tomorrow shilling for anything he wants. It is totally meaningless.

            1. I see both points but the cynic in me must agree with John. Rest assured, if the NYT has to choose between Obama the Terrible or the most benevolent non-Democrat who has ever lived, who do you really think they will side with?

            2. We will see, one way or the other.

              1. It's positioning, nothing more.

                As far as the bully pulpit goes, who cares? When has Obama ever moved the needle? He has his worshipers, and then there's everybody else. The same split existed 5 years ago too.

        2. Hmmm ... is it just a coincidence that the scandals went mainstream just after Hilary resigned?

          NYT understands that the Administration is corrupt and borderline tyrannical, and the economy will continue to totter in a jobless faux recovery. It's probably a good strategy to dump Obama.

      2. And lastly, them being "right" doesn't make them any less craven scum bags worthy of scorn and derision.

        1. That, I disagree with. Being right does make them less worthy of derision. You might be right, that they are just the first rats off the ship. But I try to make it my policy to never offer negative reinforcement for behaviour that I want more of.

    2. Did the NYT really have any virtue left to whore out?

      It's really a shameless cum rag at this point.

      1. Yup. Maybe I will be in a better mood to laugh at this later. But right now it just infuriates me. And it is also just the liberals trying to pin all of this on Obama and save some credibility on these issues they clearly don't deserve.

        1. It'll be interesting to see whether or not they'll actually change their attitudes towards the presidency.

          Saying that "the administration has now lost all credibility" and then actually translating that into refusing to be a party shill are two entirely different things.

    3. I will always and forever think of the NYT as the paper that tried to hide what a monster Stalin was. I am a little stunned that they are saying this now. I can only think of one reason they might be doing this: because of what happened to the AP and Fox they realize it is only a matter of time before Shitweasel targets them. (If he hasnt already )

      Pushing a pinko agenda is just fine as long as you yourself are not subject to it.

  16. I don't recall the Times ever calling for the repeal of the Patriot Act back in 2009 when the Dems could have done it. I heard a lot of talk about how they had to "do the right thing" and "it was better to be a great one term president than a bad two term one". But somehow they never got around to advocating that some of the courage be used to repeal the Patriot Act. Now that the shit has hit the fan and Obama can't run for re-election, they are so concerned about this. And trust is so important. So important they never bothered to report or say a fucking word about Obama's scandals when it mattered.

    The Times and their ilk always manage to make me sick. Even when they are right, they are still scumbags.

    1. While I carry no particular brief for the Times... Christ almighty, John, who lit the fuse on your tampon this morning?

      1. TNT stick tampon?! YOWCH.

  17. Go check out the front page of HuffPo.

    1. Oh my stars and garters.

    2. Sweet

    3. Outstanding.

      Where *will* it all end?

    4. No link? What, are you some kind of Nazi or something?

        1. Shouldn't they be giving H&R a h/t?

          1. Everybody should be giving Rand Paul a hat tip. And Andrew Napolitano. And Thomas Drake.

            They were way in front on this, but were written off as lunatic fringe.

            Funny thing is that only the lunatic fringe seems to know what is actually going on.

        2. Stalin?

    5. Yeah, I saw that earlier. That was awesome.

    6. yikes. well that's mildly refreshing as transient as it might be

    7. Holy shit.

    8. The photo still gives me the creeps.

    9. All that means is HufPo thinks Obama isn't socialist enough.

    10. Obviously racist.

    11. *sucks in breath*

      Holy....uh...I just dont even know what I awake? Sober? Brain locking up, unable to process....

  18. The NYT *and* HuffPo.

    Sounds like more off-the-record meetings might be in order.

  19. It's just a partisan attack by the NYT apparently:

    Jim S.Silicon Valley
    This headline trumpets "Obama's Dragnet," yet the NSA program is a carry-over from Bush and has been known for about 8 years. It is not a "dragnet" beause government must provide a specific investigation and cannot perform data mining. Rather, it simply keeps the database available for fast searches if such a justification is approved. Plus, all 3 branches bought off. The actual objection is based on distrust of government, not on actions by the government.

    So, this article reads as a partisan attack, despite any softening or disclaimers in the small print. This and most press coverage in the last month stinks of scandal mongering, accumulating every small or large beaurocratic mistake, every unfounded acusation or "merely asking questions" by the right of White House blame into a growing snowball. "Investigation" and "seeking facts" swirl the drain as rational public discourse finds fewer advocates.

    1. The actual objection is based on distrust of government, not on actions by the government.

      I think I broke something reading that.

      1. O! care will give that its own code, don't you worry.

      2. "The actual objection is based on distrust of government, not on actions by the government."

        Yeah, if the government kills random people, it's not that it does that, it's that I don't trust them.
        That's it!

        1. And if it targets and kills specific people, it is not the government that does that, either. It's that you don't trust the government. If you trusted them, that wouldn't happen either, because you wouldn't know about it.

          There's hope for you, Sevo. You know that you really love Big Brother.

    2. Jim S. Silicon Valley, you have your head so far up your ass that you can see the plaque on the back of your own teeth.

  20. This could play very well if the Libertarian Party says the right things in the right places. What and where, I haven't the slightest idea.

    1. So you're saying you're not sure what they should say?

      1. Well i know what I'd say. But trying to convince people to join up who are going through some sort of mental breakdown, cognitive dissonance or whatever, might not like hearing "SEE?? I've been yelling this for years! where were you?"
        Diplomacy is a hard thing. It's so R v D its almost impossible to have a rational argument with someone.

    2. I suggest... concern trolling!

    3. The LP has been saying the right things for 30 plus years. No one has been listening.

  21. Oh noes!

    The Koch brothers have gotten to the New York Times editorial board, too?!

    1. Well, the LAT turned 'em down, so the did what they could.

  22. More mindcrap from the HuffPo commenters:

    "Glenn Greenwald is anti-semitic. He also has hated the Obama administration for quite some time. He is a self-loathing person. If you think it was OK to leak that document, I am sorry for you. "

    Boy they're desperate to defend the Nobel Prize laureate.

    1. Reading through the comments can't be good for me. It's like the machine. If I dig any deeper, it'll just go up to 50.

  23. From the HuffPo comments:

    1129 Fans
    20 minutes ago ( 5:20 PM)
    The "Bush did it" excuse is not going to work for liberals this time.....after 5 years, give it up. The problem here is not government power. It is the government officials we've elected to wield it. "

    1. Getting them to admit that government power is the problem is probably too much to hope for. An admission that Dear Leader is a fuckface is probably the best we can hope for over there--at least for now.


      Don't worry Huffpo. I'm sure that if we just elect some genius politician who promises us things like Hope and Change, the next guy won't abuse this power.

      I'm sure of it.

    3. There was that first sentence and then he lost it.

      I guess some criticism is better than what I'd expect from the HuffPo crowd, but there's still that "We just need the right people this time!" mentality.

    4. He has the hole in his brain where power and wielding it meet. Give a government power, they WILL wield it, and as often as possible.

      If only the people who founded the country would have thought of such things.


  25. Somebody should try NPR for the trifecta.

    1. It's on the front page, but nowhere near as pronounced. The comments are slightly more interesting, but the common themes are there.

      1. Didn't take long to find the predominant meme:
        "Justices usually have some opinions which conform to those of their nominator; however, they usually act in good judgement independently of their nominators."
        TOP MEN!

      2. lightningbolt
        2425 Fans
        43 minutes ago ( 5:17 PM)
        That is correct, but conservatives are falsely claiming that liberals support Obama blindly like conservatives supported Bush blindly. Liberals need to make sure this conservative lie does not go unchallenged.

        1. Bush ended up with a 20 something percent approval rating. Obama's is still 45%. Unless Obama's approval rating drops as low as Bush's did, it's pretty clear who's more blindly supportive.

        2. You're right, I hadn't looked far enough.
          alas, I had hoped one in the three would have some semblance of conversation.

    2. They are helpful enough to warn us to "watch for critics to say this is another example of government overreach and invasion of privacy."

    3. NPR sez:

      Spy Agency's Collection Of Phone Records Reopens Controversy

      A court has allowed the National Security Agency to collect data on millions of Americans' calls.


      So, watch for critics to say this is another example of government overreach and invasion of privacy.

      Not....quite as compelling.

      1. Well, that's what I get for taking the time to look up the blockquote tag.

  26. Go fuck yourself New York Times; you're WAY too late to this party. You lost all your credibility about ten to fifteen years ago.

  27. From WaPo:

    The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person's movements and contacts over time.

    The highly classified program, code-named PRISM, has not been disclosed publicly before. Its establishment in 2007 and six years of exponential growth took place beneath the surface of a roiling debate over the boundaries of surveillance and privacy. Even late last year, when critics of the foreign intelligence statute argued for changes, the only members of Congress who know about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues.

    Um...pretty sure their oaths of office actually bound them to reveal these programs or otherwise do everything in their power to end them as unconstitutional. But what do I know.

    1. Oats of what now?

      /elected official

    2. It's for our own good. Don't you want to be safe?!

    3. "Its establishment in 2007 and six years of exponential growth"

      If it has really had six years of exponential growth, then this is almost entirely an Obama program even though it proceeds from a Bush initiative.

      Assuming that the exponent is significantly larger than unity, it seems like the program is orders of magnitude larger than in the Bush era. At some point, a difference in magnitude becomes a difference in kind.

      And, yeah, their oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution trumps everything else.

  28. "I solemnly swear (affirm) to uphold and defend the constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

    1. (except where doing so would interfere with my personal agenda, income, standing, or perceived chances of re-election chances)
      ((or for any other reason))

  29. Looks like the NYT needs a little more corporate welfare.

    Phones ringing...

    Obama Admin: Hello, WTF do you piss ants think you're doing over there? We saw what you wrote today, we see everything, and that includes you. You do know who butters your muffin, right, you remember that?

    NYT: Well, we need more butter.

    Obama Admin: !#@@@!!!&$*#@, where's Krugman?

    NYT: He's having totally geh sex with Ezra Klein right now, and...

    Obama Admin: Damn, smartass, we know that, he's always having gay sex with Klein, I mean where is he, can you put him on?

    NYT: Well, he's sort of on Klein right now....

    Obama: All right, enough already, now listen up, the check will be in the mail tomorrow morning. I expect a full apology and at least 3 glowing articles tomorrow, pronto, about how wonderful Obama is, and how it's all the fault of Bush.

    NYT: Of course, massah.

    1. I'm having a hard time understanding why the admninistration approved the publishing of this editorial in the first place. Which, just goes to show how devious their plan really is.

      1. Of course. I see exactly what you are saying. The media and the feds are so much in the spotlight, that they have to feign some sort of outrage. It's Chicago politics, at the highest level. I'm not the first to say that, not even close.

  30. About damned time!

    Still, I know they didn't truly "come to their senses." So what's their angle, really?

  31. Massive street protests. It's time.

  32. Why has the press gotten so racist all of a sudden? I'm so disappointed in my country.

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