Matt Welch Criticizes the NSA and Administration Lying on The O'Reilly Factor


On Friday, April August 16, I appeared on Fox News's The O'Reilly Factor with guest host Laura Ingraham to argue with Democratic strategist Julian Epstein about whether the latest NSA revelations amounted to a significant infringement on American civil liberties:

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  1. When that apologist for the Obama Administration started blaming “clerical errors”, I actually LOL’d.

    1. Yeah. Really good stuff there.

      It’s like when I create a report and the query returns the firstname, lastname, and phone number of people.

      And then, by AUTOMAGICAL! It all of the sudden starts displaying all of their personal medical records! WHOOAAA! Look at this, how the hell did that happen? Looks like we gots us some of them clerical errors! Damn squirrels!

      Just how stupid does this administration think people are?

      1. Well, if you have to ask the question…

      2. Very, very stupid?

      3. I think it’s a standard excuse in a bureaucracy.

        If the boss can’t take the blame himself, and he can’t tel the truth, what do you do?

        You blame your subordinates!

        2,700 “clerical errors”, can you believe it?! I tell ya’, the kids comin’ out of college these days? They just can’t type.

        1. “Got some more clerical errors for ya, Boss.”

          “Well, then, shred them as soon as I’m through with them. But make copies.”

          “Yeah, Boss.”

        2. “2,700 “clerical errors”, can you believe it?! I tell ya’, the kids comin’ out of college these days? They just can’t type.”

          Those wild and crazy rogues in Cincinnati?! Why, they make up all sorts of stuff and well, we just sorta let ’em.
          Ignore that stuff.

      4. Brain dead?

    2. The thousands of failures to comply with procedures are not the problem.

      The problem is the hundreds of millions (or billions) of records that the NSA routinely collects that are subject to abuse.

      Better procedures won’t address that problem.

    3. The thousands of failures to comply with procedures are not the problem.

      The problem is the hundreds of millions (or billions) of records that the NSA routinely collects that are subject to abuse.

      Better procedures won’t address that problem.

      1. I think that Rand Paul said something very similar just recently.

        And I have to agree. You cannot give the government this kind of power and expect them to not abuse it.

        There is no limit to the scope and size of any of these seemingly unaccountable bureaucracies, and they are all just expanding and expanding and gobbling up huge amounts of tax payer dollars and also becoming more parasitical and abusive, expanding far beyond the boundaries of their original purpose.

        Liberals whining because sequester caused Kindergarten teachers to be laid off and post offices to close, and they pretend like none of these huge and enormously expensive programs even exist.

        Something has to give here, we can’t keep this up.

        1. The “clerical errors” story is a diversion. Not at all surprised that the Pauls understand this.

          Congress will investigate and recommend new procedures to prevent similar clerical errors, and move on to more serious issues involving steriod use in MLB and rodeo clowns who mock the President. Meanwhile, the NSA continues to expand its secret surveillance capabilities.

          1. Of course it’s a diversion!

            That’s the point.

            They’re saying that the abuses are because of “clerical errors” when they’re doing what they’re blaming on mistakes on purpose…

            2,700 clerical errors? I’m supposed to believe that, Really?! That’s a talking point–not a reasonable explanation for misconduct.

            1. When the Klan ran certain counties in Mississippi, and the country was asked why despite there being thousands of blacks in the county, not one of them was registered to vote–and none of them had been for decades–I’m sure the county clerk’s first answer was “clerical errors”.

        2. …”You cannot give the government this kind of power and expect them to not abuse it.”…

          I didn’t see the credit to him, but why should that even be in doubt?
          I got Civics ‘way back when, and it didn’t take a lot of skepticism to see that the Constitution was specifically designed to limit the power of the government based on exactly that truth: Government will, everywhere and always, abuse whatever power is granted to it by the population.
          Brain-deads might deny this, but no one who has read anything of history can.

    4. my classmate’s step-sister makes $65/hour on the internet. She has been laid off for 10 months but last month her pay was $19462 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more here…. http://WWW.CNN13.COM

  2. The Welch drone is now nearing the launch pad…

  3. That Democratic spokesman is spinning furiously, but he’ll never spin straw into gold. If anything, he spins gold into straw, lol


  4. Nothing can get me to watch Bill O’Reilly.

    1. Except Bill O’Reilly wasn’t on this time.

      He was on vacation.

    2. O’Reilly is an insufferable prick.

      But this is Laura Ingraham, so it’s ok to watch.

      1. I’m not sure if I believe you. This might be a trap.

        And Borderlands keeps telling me I am not connected to the Steam servers, and therefore cannot redeem SHiFT Codes, except I am connected. Maybe that’s a trap too?

        1. All of your Steam servers is belong to us.


          1. They’re collecting metadata on my Siren.

        2. If you are just playing single player you can use Steam’s off-line mode without a hassle. Just completed Torchlight 2 last night. Not a bad Diablo 2 clone at all. You get a pet that follows you. You can load him up with loot and have him go back to town to sell it. Also give him gold to buy supplies to bring back. How awesome is that?

          1. I played Torchlight 1. It was OK and then it started to get super repetitive. I got it while waiting for Diablo III to come out, and then Diablo III sucked monkey balls.

            1. There’s a lot more variety in terms of environments and whatnot the second time around. It’s one of the better games in that genre, for whatever that is worth.

              1. Well that’s relatively good news. If I ever stop playing Borderlands I’ll need something new.

            2. I played Diablo Two for years after that game came out. I think I played Diablo III once and have never opened the game again.

              1. I think you guys are right on point about Diablo 2 and 3. Talk about I has a sad…

            3. I like Borderlands 2, but I can’t love it. I’m just sick of killing the same guys over again.

              I also liked the idea of CIV5, but the thought of moving one square taking 50 years? COME ON

              1. What are you talkin’ about one square taking 50 years?

          2. Did you play Torchlight 1? I liked it but will wait and read more reviews about 2 before buying it.

          3. I think i would rather play cube world.

        3. never buying a game on steam again.

          Why isn’t it just a web page instead of a full application no one will ever know.

          Why do i have to log in to play single player? know one will ever know.

          Why does it keep randomly crashing? Know one will ever know.

          I just use it to browse and when i find a good game i look it up with Google and buy it and download it direct.

          1. because you’re cooler than us?

            1. Steam probably single handedly saved PC games and has fostered a nice indy game platform.

              Also the deals it gives people are great.

              Still i don’t like it so i won’t use it because of the things i don’t like about it.

              Also WTF?!?!

              It is the PC gamers who are always holier then thou…with the build your own PC and 1080 talk and throwing spit balls at console players every chance they get.

              1. The problem is that there’s hardly any escape from console games. Even the games you can play on PC look and feel like they’re made for console…

                Do Not Want.

              2. Also…

                Seems to me that, I guess it’s maybe that console players skew younger? But the games they’re developing these days don’t seem to hold interest like they used to, and sometimes they’re really simple.

                Show me an indie game made for the PC that hits it big? And I’ll show you a sequel made for consoles that screws it up.

                Example 1:

                That floating idiot and potato battery supercomputer was to Portal 2? as Jar Jar Binks was to Star Wars.

                1. Show me an indie game made for the PC that hits it big? And I’ll show you a sequel made for consoles that screws it up.


                2. I’ve not heard that comparison, but it is spot on. Where the analogy fails: Portal 2 is a good time despite the Joke-Ball ™ and psycho-spud. Ep1 had enough grating issues beyond Jar-Jar to make it cringe-worthy.

      2. She is less insufferable than O’Reilly, I’ll give you that.

  5. After their first night on Fox Sports Live, Canadian treasures Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole read the feedback from their American television debut.

  6. Whaaa?? Wait, let me rewind this here tape recording machine again…

    No one is alleging that the NSA is spying on the personal communications of ordinary Americans? WTF? Where the fuck have you been, asshole? That’s exactly what the fuck is being alleged!

    1. Now it’s “everyday” Americans.

      Later they’ll say that no-one alleges that “ordinary Americans” have been “harmed in any way.”

      Still later they’ll deny that “everyday Americans” were subject to “any major inconvenience.”

      And finally they’ll bring forward some Bush administration officials to say that they totally support their successor’s actions.

      1. Sure, we’re reading every email of every American. But we would never use that in anyway that’s not acceptable to Americans.

        Ok, sure we send a lot of those emails to the IRS and other bureaus, but it’s totally harmless and doesn’t violate any laws!

        1. I love how the bullshit changes every time Greenwald drops some docs. Just giving them the rope to hang themselves…

          1. I suspect it is dribbling out in order to catch them in their own lies.

      2. That rings frighteningly true EvH.

        “The BOOOOSH crypt was opened and the ghastly John Yoo was woken to praise the state. Mortals trembled in the bleak absence of his ethics and the political classes cackled like a murder of crows on a deserted country road.”

        You can be our R. L. Stine from now on.

        1. Your story definitely gave me goosebumps.

      3. …”Now it’s “everyday” Americans.”…

        Which definition is decided by, well, not “everyday” Americans.

  7. Shouldn’t that be Friday, August 16?

    1. Wow. Thanks.

  8. Geez, that starting clip of Obama, he sounds like a fucking idiot.

    1. Seems, madam, yea, it is!


      1. Like Antonio said, my Jew money-lender made 1,568 pounds and 1 heart working at home.

        Find out more at http://www.VeniceMoneylending.org

        1. Jooosssss!!!! Zionist pigs!!!

          1. paging Underzog to the white courtesy phone

            1. Don’t forget to check your privelege…

  9. If only FOX would be so critical of a Republican administration.

    Nice job Matt.

  10. Out of all the ass clowns on Fox, I have always liked Laura Ingraham more than any of them. I don’t know why. She’s not a Libertarian, but I somehow find myself wishing that she would be, because I think she would be a really good one.

  11. Exactly what is this moron talking about?

    Clerical errors like the employee was given an area code of 02 when it was supposed to be 202?

    And that’s how I mistakenly get from metadata to detailed information?

    Is this the dumbest government in the history of civilization? Do these jackasses actually know that there are millions of people out here in society that work with data every day? And you send this guy.. who the fuck is this guy? He sounds like Obama.

    1. Yeah, it really says something that supposedly protected information is just one typing mistake away.

      Access control at places like Facebook is taken so seriously that it’s basically impossible to accidentally get users’ private data. And they’d fire you immediately for any unauthorized access.

      So my assumption is that the NSA is being at best incredibly negligent with their access protection, at worst these accidents are deliberate, and reporting them as “clerical errors” is to throw the oversight team off the tracks.

    2. Not stupid, just completely corrupt and mendacious. Yes, out of all the places they could randomly sweep up a bunch of domestic communications via typo, they happened to screw up and get D.C.

      “Oops, I have somehow accidentally acquired embarrassing/incriminating evidence regarding several of our fine Congresspersons on the oversight committee. Goodness, I better take this file over to them to explain our mistake and apologize. Maybe we’ll all be able to find common ground, like our shared desire for certain details of our behavior to remain private and out of public discussion, lest the entirely defensible reality of the situation be twisted and distorted by our political enemies to our detriment.”

  12. Hey, it was all clerical error, committed by low-level employees at the NSA’s Cincinnati office.

    1. And at this point what difference does it make?

      We have to spy on it, to see what’s in it.

  13. anyone think the NSA will ever get hacked?

    1. If it ever does, then the terrorists might win, so we’ll have to declare martial law, for the children.

      1. If the feds declare martial law, but sack the armed forces and use the paramilitary alphabet soup agencies, is it paramartial law?

    2. Would like to an NSA vs Anonymous pay-per-view.
      My money’s on anonymous after what they did to the computer security CEO…epic.

  14. DC passes a law to push Uber (and cars with good fuel economy) out: http://www.nbcwashington.com/n…..89241.html

    1. “Visitors without smartphones could not use a street hail to obtain service and residents who do not use or cannot afford smartphones ? including those in under-served areas of the city and the elderly ? would be left with nothing.”

      Yeah, I’m going to need to see some evidence backing up such a crazy fucking claim. Where do you find these assholes

      1. But Mr Ford…think of the carriage makers and the blacksmiths.

        1. Don’t you remember, we had candlestick makers dying in the streets!

          /reactionary government luddite

    2. sooo, they might take business away from the cab companies (competition) which will likely RAISE market prices?? Must have missed that little nugget in my econ classes.

  15. Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger said that a month ago, after the newspaper had published several stories based on Snowden’s material, a British official advised him: “You’ve had your fun…”

    Over the weekend, they made it clear that the party’s over.

    1. Apparently, this Rusbridger character, along with Snowden and Greenwald, and all libertarians, hates the children and wants the terrorists to win.

      Anyone who doesn’t ask the government to ‘please, tread on me’, and is not willing to give up all those silly freedoms, is obviously with the a terrorist.

    2. The only thing I really hate about the whole Greenwald/Snowden story is that I have developed some positive feelings toward the British Socialist Workers’ Daily Grauniad.

      1. I feel the same way … but on this they’re on the side of angels. It’s kind of like the Ron Paul and Barnie Frank siding to decriminalize pot. Or Kucinich on the war.

  16. So, apparently 2700 occurrences = not wittingly.

    Occams Razor: are they that inept, or lying?

    1. In this case, both. They are that inept and now they’re trying to hide under a lie.

    2. Neither. It’s a diversion.

      NSA pulls hundreds of millions of records, and makes a couple of thousand mistakes.

      The problem isn’t the mistakes. The problem is the fact that they’re pulling hundreds of millions of records (or billions and billions, more likely.)

      1. Damn. It’s hard not to feel pessimistic. How can I possibly oppose such a large and powerful organization? I’m like an insect to them and will be crushed.

  17. Owen Hatherley, contributor for the Socialist Worker and Socialist Review, says capitalists are manipulating our language to get what they want!

    The results proved that over the last 200 years there has been an ever-increasing use of particularly acquisitive words: “get”, “unique”, “individual”, “self”, “choose”; while over the same period “give” and “obliged” decreased. The pattern was only broken briefly in the relatively egalitarian years between the 40s and 70s. For the researchers, this shows the results of the English-speaking countries moving from “a predominantly rural, low-tech society to a predominantly urban, hi-tech society”.

    You see, being an individual, having a strong sense of self, being unique, and making choices are all bad things.

    I also like that those words have become more common over a period of time in which human welfare has drastically improved in ways never before seen, and apparently that’s bad and we should go back to subsistence farming.

    1. I wonder if it’s also because obliged sounds stuffy and most people say obligated now unless they’re being a smartass and saying “much obliged ma’am, I’d love a cool glass of lemonade”

      1. Wait, that’s being a smartass? I thought it was just common courtesy.

        1. That’s fair. I suppose it’s legitimate regionalism. For everyone outside of that region (Texas?) you’re being cute when saying it.

    2. “being unique”

      So does this mean the pendulum has swung the other way, away from “kids are special snowflakes”?

      1. No, kids are all special. Therefore, they are all the same. Thus, we superficially indulge those who use words like “unique” or “special” while simultaneously stripping the words of their crimethink connotations.

        1. Doubleplus good?

  18. Dude seems to know what the gig is over ther. Wow.


  19. Tuttle, Buttle… what’s the problem here?

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