Hillary Clinton

Does Hillary Clinton Oppose NSA Spying? Nobody Knows (Except Maybe the NSA)


Secretary of Defense / Flickr

National Journal raises an interesting question about the presumed candidacy of Hillary Clinton: Where does she fall on NSA spying and the mass surveillance state?

Several of Clinton's potential Republican opponents in the presidential election—like Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz—have articulated clear anti-NSA positions, notes NJ. But Clinton, who has been out of office for years, hasn't had to take a vote or make a public statement on the issue in quite some time:

According to NJ:

More than a year after Edward Snowden's leaks, the former secretary of State has yet to offer a meaningful assessment of the National Security Agency's mass-surveillance programs. She's had plenty of chances, but in interviews, speeches, and even her new book, Clinton has repeatedly ducked the issue with vagaries and clichés.

The possible 2016 candidate rarely discusses NSA spying unprompted. And when she does, her remarks are often couched in opaque platitudes about the need to balance privacy and national security concerns.

Clinton has occasionally given lip service to NSA reform, though she stopped short of endorsing any actual changes. She has also insisted that Edward Snowden's actions were "outrageous" and emboldened terrorists. Rand Paul, on the other hand, maintains that Snowden's crime pales in comparison with the crimes committed by the state in the name of security. Paul has filed a class action lawsuit against the NSA for violating the civil liberties of all Americans.

Assuming Clinton both seeks and wins the Democratic nomination—something virtually assured at this point—and assuming Paul becomes her chief opponent, the American people may finally be treated to a robust debate between a dedicated opponent of the surveillance state and… someone who has studiously dodged the question at every opportunity.

Given Clinton's hawkish national security views, it would be reasonable to expect that she wouldn't champion NSA reform with the same enthusiasm as Paul, if at all. Despite their party labels, the leading Democrat in the race is likely to the right of the leading Republican on civil liberties issues.

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  1. Given Clinton’s hawkish national security views, it would be reasonable to expect that she wouldn’t champion NSA reform with the same enthusiasm as Paul, if at all.

    She’s an authoritarian. If anything she’d demand more spying. For the children.

  2. Why ask questions to which you already know the answer?

    1. Does anyone know the answer before she sees the focus group results?

      1. If you’re for if, she’s for it. If not, she isn’t.

  3. Woman who has been repeatedly cheated on by her husband probably isn’t going to come out too strongly against NSA spying.

  4. Does it matter? This worn-out joke isn’t even going to get nominated.

    1. Who will the Dems nominate, if not her? Biden? Warren?

      1. I have seen quite a few “We want Warren” postings by the lefties on Facebook.

        1. Me too. Some of them are breathtakingly stupid.

          1. I would say all of them are breathtakingly stupid.

          2. I want Warren… Zevon.

            1. Vote Zevon: His Hair Is Perfect

              1. And he’s dead, so he can’t do too much harm.

            2. I want Warren Haynes.

            3. “Send Lawyers, Guns, and Money” = best headline ever for a fundraising email

    2. She’ll lead for about a month’s worth of public appearances, after which all the Team Blue fadders will remember that she’s insufferable. That she attracts any attention at all from the D special interest brigade is an indication of how tone-deaf major boosters are.

      As a great man once said, you can’t polish a turd, even with a billion-dollar budget.

      1. I believe Mythbusters proved you can polish a turd.

  5. She’s an establishment politician with authoritarian tendencies. It’s not hard to infer what she thinks about NSA surveillance (hint: she ain’t against it).

  6. You have to elect her to find out what she opposes.

    1. I can’t wait to find out.

      1. I’ll guess – my freedom.

  7. Of course she supports spying – anything that increases power is a good thing, at least in her eyes.

  8. Hillary is against spying, but taking confidential records of Republicans into her living quarters in order to see if her husband will hire them is not only OK but prudent.

  9. Assuming Clinton both seeks and wins the Democratic nomination?something virtually assured at this point

    I seem to have heard this before…

    1. She’s good at the coronation, bad at actually campaigning.

  10. As a clueless Team Blue partisan, I’m pretty sure she’s against NSA surveillance of Americans. Just like she’s probably against the New War in Iraq, Drone-bombing anyone who looks at America sideways, and indefinite detention of people who have never been accused of a crime. She’s also probably in favor of gay marriage and pot legalization, and always has been.

    But hey, if it turns out that she’s an authoritarian psycho, I’ll go ahead and vote for her anyway because again: clueless Team Blue partisan.

    1. And because any Republican nominee will be a DANGEROUS EXTREMIST!!11!!!!

      1. Surely, comrades, surely there is no one among you who wants to see Jones come back?

    2. Are you talking about Clinton’s position on these issues or Obama? It sounds like you’re describing Obama. You’re being sarcastic about Obama, ain’t ya?

    3. As a clueless Team Blue partisan, I’m

      I wouldn’t call you clueless, Hugh.

  11. The ultra-orthodox establishment type cannot imagine a government without limitless power and the NSA is the ultimate symbol of this pathology so if Hillary came out against NSA spying her face would be lying just as fervently as any of her miserable potential predecessors.

    The NSA is a gift to the freedom-mocking authoritarians who pack the halls of government, big media, and high-level commerce.

    1. Oh, so now you’re sober.

      1. Well, yes, dear.

  12. What Hillary will do is entirely dependent on what she thinks she has to do to get elected, and if elected to get re-elected. If she thinks it will help her chances, she will come out strongly against NSA spying. If she thinks she can get away with it she will use the NSA to commit election fraud. If she thinks it will clinch the election she will fornicate with a horse on the floor of the senate.

    The woman has the morals of a shark, the ethics of a spider, and the natural ear for public opinion of a toadstool. Fortunately that last may help keep her out of the white house.

    1. …and the natural ear for public opinion of a toadstool. Fortunately that last may help keep her out of the white house.

      What the fuck positive rainbow of kitten purrs did you wake up on this morning? Like most establishment pols she’d easily roll into the White House even visibly shitting on piles of public opinion since blacks and hairy feminists share a deep affection for limitless government of the progressive stripe.

      In my view, Hillary will lose because she simply bores her base and many of them will sit home too lazy to vote.

      1. You have a point; those constituencies do exhibit an appalling fondness for raving nitwits, of which Shrillery is certainly one.

        Horrid thought; if nominated, Shrillary’s best chance would be to run as a grieving widow. If I were Bill, I think I would be looking for a nice, safe bunker.

  13. Assuming Clinton both seeks and wins the Democratic nomination?something virtually assured at this point

    They were saying the same thing in 2006. It didn’t work out that way. I am not convinced she is going to win. The Democratic Left hates her and hates the Clintons. And the Democratic Left pretty much controls the party. I really don’t understand how she is going to win given that.

    She doesn’t have the base of support Bill had. Bill was a governor and part of the old Democratic Leadership Council. He represented the centrist wing of the party and was able to win over the Left by pointing to 12 years of Republican rule as evidence they had to go to the center to win. There is no DLC anymore. And the Left is full retard and doesn’t think it needs to compromise with anyone. So I don’t see how Hillary does what Bill did. Why would the left vote for someone they don’t trust when they are convinced they will win with someone they do?

    1. I think you are probably right. I seem to see a lot of enthusiasm among the left for Warren, not much for Clinton.

      1. Both parties’ nomination process are so dirty and set up to reward whoever has the most connections and organization, she might win the nomination anyway, though its not assured. Even if she does win the nomination, I don’t see her winning the general election.

        The Republicans hate her guts. So they would be motivated to show up and vote. The Dems in contrast as you say don’t really like her. The “its a woman’s turn” isn’t going to sell like “lets elect a black man President” did.

        The only way I can see her winning is selling herself as being a competent known commodity to get things to settle down after the Obama years. Maybe she can do that. But I don’t see how. She just doesn’t have any record or history to show that and she is going to go full bat shit crazy to win the nomination.

  14. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if 2016 is Clinton and Paul you’re going to see where the true loyalties lie. You’ll see a lot of the neocon GOP voting for Hillary and a lot of ACLU Dems voting for Paul, but Clinton will get far more GOP votes than Paul will get Dem votes.

    1. I doubt that. Rand is not is father. He will finesse the issue a lot more. Beyond that, the “neocon GOP” consists of five journalists in Washington and some defense contractors and maybe Karl Rove. Actual voters who fit that description? Very few. The GOP voters are national defense conservatives. They want to vote for a President they feel will defend the country and (gasp) loves the country. What did Ron Paul in was not neocons, it was his constantly leaving people with the impression that he thought the US was to blame for all of the world’s problesm. That shit flies with Democrats but not with Republicans. And Rand won’t do that. Rand, I think, is smart enough to just say “why the hell is it our problem if these people want to kill one another?” That will work just fine.

      And I seriously doubt any ACLU liberals will vote for Paul. Ultimately, they care more about power and socialism more than they care about civil rights. I would like to think they would vote for Paul. But I honestly don’t see it happening.

  15. the American people may finally be treated to a robust debate between a dedicated opponent of the surveillance state and… someone who has studiously dodged the question at every opportunity.

    And the American people would ignore *that* debate, just like they do all the others.

    1. Oh, Rich. Don’t you know that you need to vote for the person that makes you feel the best?

  16. Hillary’s not a shoo-in. Nobody is, really. Back in 2006-2007, it was going to be Giuliani (yack) and Clinton, and McCain was sunk. Look what happened. Mitt Romney eventually got the nomination for the last presidential election, but look at the long-fought struggles that took place.

    Democrats have shown they will go for somebody else over Hillary. It can easily happen again. The important thing, though, is that there will most likely not be much of a difference. People thought Obama was going to change the tide on civil liberties after all. That’s what’s truly disgusting.

  17. I can easily list what Hillary is for and what she is not for. Everything else doesn’t matter to her.

    She is for Hillary being President.

    She is against Hillary not being President.

  18. I seriously doubt Hillary will win the nomination or, if she wins that, the presidency. She just doesn’t have anything resembling a likable personality or charisma. The last person to win without those attributes was the first Bush… And he benefited from Reagan’s coattails in 1988 before falling on his face in 1992.

    Of course, Obama may be wildly popular in 2016 so it doesn’t matter who the Dems nominate but I doubt that.

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