Why you can not take them seriously

Where’s the anger from the perpetually mad leftists these days? Man, did the left howl about the Patriot Act when that was passed. Evil Boosh-Hitler and his fascist government tactics violating the rights of terrorists! Never mind that fascism is a disease of the left, and Bush while a big government lover, never rose to the level of the left and their desire to have government control all aspects of the rube’s lives, or that terrorists really are dangerous and deadly. Team Obama decides to ratchet up the scary government in what seriously amounts to a near fascist move, and we get nothing….

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. intelligence community will now be able to store information about Americans with no ties to terrorism for up to five years under new Obama administration guidelines.

Until now, the National Counterterrorism Center had to immediately destroy information about Americans that was already stored in other government databases when there were no clear ties to terrorism.

Giving the NCTC expanded record-retention authority had been called for by members of Congress who said the intelligence community did not connect strands of intelligence held by multiple agencies leading up to the failed bombing attempt on a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas 2009.

“Following the failed terrorist attack in December 2009, representatives of the counterterrorism community concluded it is vital for NCTC to be provided with a variety of datasets from various agencies that contain terrorism information,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a statement late Thursday. “The ability to search against these datasets for up to five years on a continuing basis as these updated guidelines permit will enable NCTC to accomplish its mission more practically and effectively.”

The new rules replace guidelines issued in 2008 and have privacy advocates concerned about the potential for data-mining information on innocent Americans.

Look, while not comfortable with it, I think some aspects of the Patriot Act where necessary because the terrorists need to be dealt with, but my support was always predicated on the premise that someone was really paying attention and the first time government abused these powers, there would be hell to pay. After all, it was obvious that the LSM so desperately wanted to help their partners in crime in the democrat party nail Bush, that even the appearance of impropriety would result in massive coverage implying the most negative possible scenario, and that would keep these powers somewhat in check.

Fast forward a few years, and not only is the Patriot Act still around, but now the LSM doesn’t quite care that much about improprieties. And when the left decides to do some seriously scary things like this, and there is no way you make the case that collecting information on citizens using the weak argument that a database you can mine might help you catch a terrorist, it results in nary a peep. Oh, privacy advocates are worried. Shit, this is the time to scream about fascist moves by government people.

“It is a vast expansion of the government’s surveillance authority,” Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said of the five-year retention period.

The government put in strong safeguards at the NCTC for the data that would be collected on U.S. citizens for intelligence purposes, Rotenberg said. These new guidelines undercut the Federal Privacy Act, he said.

“The fact that this data can be retained for five years on U.S. citizens for whom there’s no evidence of criminal conduct is very disturbing,” Rotenberg said.

“Total Information Awareness appears to be reconstructing itself,” Rotenberg said, referring to the Defense Department’s post-9/11 data-mining research program that was killed in 2003 because of privacy concerns.

The Washington Post first reported the new rules Thursday.

Tracking suspected or know terrorists and keeping data on them is one thing. If carefully scrutinized to prevent abuse, and abuse is punished, I can live with that. It’s an unfortunate consequence of the horrible times we live in and our inability or lack of desire to really do what would break the terrorist’s will to keep doing these sort of things. But collecting information on people – and we are unclear if the intent is to collect information on everyone or just certain people, but I am inclined to assume that once they can do a few, they will just do all people – is a whole other sort of game. It is frightening. Even if it is just for 5 years.

Tyrannical government starts with 2 things: the first is the attempt to disarm the populous, and the second is the collection of information about the people so you know who will give you grief and needs to be dealt with. Fast & Furious anyone? And now this. And yet, no anger from the LSM or the left. After all, Obama will just use it to sick Media Matters on conservatives or to see whom to hit up for donations in these idiot’s minds, and all that stuff is awesome.

Look, I am not saying that the right doesn’t do dumb things, but shit, and yeah, this is a hypothetical where I reverse the order of the political party holding the WH when things happen, if I was insanely angry at Obama for Passing the Patriot Act, and he was followed by Bush whom did something like this that takes it to a whole new level of scary, I would be howling at Bush too. My guy or not. Not gonna happen on the left though, because the anger was never over any fear of government abuse of power, but simply because the guy in the WH had the wrong letter next to his name.

The Obama administration said the new rules come with strong safeguards for privacy and civil liberties as well. Before the NCTC may obtain data held by another government agency, there is a high-level review to assure that the data “is likely to contain significant terrorism information,” Alexander Joel, the civil liberties protection officer at national intelligence directorate, said in a news release Thursday.

Yeah, sure. Because there isn’t any history at all of government, once it has access to a gimmick to bypass the proper process, has never abused it. The argument that we should collect data on everyone and that they will only look at it when they suspect something suddenly, with all kinds of precautions to prevent abuse, might appease some, but if you didn’t like the previous ability to collect information on suspects and actual terrorists, this expansion of power should leave you even more scared and angry. And I am not getting any of that from the usual suspects, when to me now the power and the ability to abuse definitely have crossed a threshold of tolerability.

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  1. Kimpost

    Am I left? I was against the Patriot Act when it was signed, and I’m against it now. For the same reasons. I’m against this expansion as well, again for the same reasons.

    Unfortunately the Big Brother society is supported by the mainstream of your two dominating parties. And by most political movements in Europe. It’s “safety first.” and “if you don’t do anything wrong, you don’t have anything to hide”. I’m not sure how to fight it either. The sheep seem to be mostly fine with it.

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  2. mrblume

    he was followed by Bush whom did something like this that takes it to a whole new level of scary, I would be howling at Bush too.

    Except you wouldn’t, and we’ll find out soon enough: When the next Republication president will not reverse those rules, there will be no blog post from you. A quote by Hayek fits here:

    In general, it can probably be said that the conservative does not object to coercion or arbitrary power so long as it is used for what he regards as the right purposes. He believes that if government is in the hands of decent men, it ought not to be too much restricted by rigid rules. Since he is essentially opportunist and lacks principles, his main hope must be that the wise and the good will rule – not merely by example, as we all must wish, but by authority given to them and enforced by them. Like the socialist, he is less concerned with the problem of how the powers of government should be limited than with that of who wields them; and, like the socialist, he regards himself as entitled to force the value he holds on other people.

    The next Republication can be trusted to only use his powers against the true terrorists, Barack Hussein Obama cannot. That’s it in a nutshell.

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  3. AlexInCT *

    Am I left? I was against the Patriot Act when it was signed, and I’m against it now.

    Are you a member of the democrat political machine or the democrat controlled media, Kimpost? What about a democrat activist type that’s constantly protesting and seeking face time with the rubes that get their news from comedians? That’s the “Them” I am primarily talking about.

    Most regular people, incensed by the Patriot Act would not have a reason to be against this new policy, simply because they would not have heard about it. Then again, many of the ones that where really angry about the Patriot Act that I know, for the wrong reasons, seem totally lukewarm, if not outright defensive about these policies, now that their guy is doing real fascist shit, so I will grant you that.

    But you are definitely in the minority.

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  4. AlexInCT *

    Except you wouldn’t,

    Mind read much? Or are you able to see the future?

    and we’ll find out soon enough: When the next Republication president will not reverse those rules, there will be no blog post from you. A quote by Hayek fits here:

    Ah, so the reasoning here is that if I do not post something about anything, then I automatically approve of it? That’s some logic.

    Let me spare you the need to wait. If we get a republican for president and the opportunity to pull this horrible law presents itself, and they do nothing about it, consider this my angry disapproval of that decision. Heck, if there is a republican for president and they don’t bring this law up to be scrapped consider this my angry disapproval of that too. This law is not just horrible: it is far more than is justified or needed.

    BTW, there were/are plenty of things I disagreed with Bush about, and I was quite vocal about them. I didn’t feel obligated to post every single one of them. I get quite angry when I am made to defend Bush, because I feel he wasn’t a great president, but he sure as hell got a few things right. I have also defended Obama when I have agreed with his policies. That those policies happen to be awesome fodder to piss off some liberals, was just a bonus.

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  5. mrblume

    Let me spare you the need to wait. If we get a republican for president and the opportunity to pull this horrible law presents itself, and they do nothing about it, consider this my angry disapproval of that decision

    But that’s not good enough. While there are plenty of Democrats who, as we can see now, are clearly hypocrites about these civil liberties / national security / foreign policy issues, many will, if asked, say the same thing: They don’t agree with what Obama is doing. Except suddenly it no longer seems that important to be angry about it. Suddenly there are other things that they care about more. Suddenly an appeal to authority, to think that maybe the president knows what he is doing, is a lot more appealing.

    In fact, you say the same thing in your post. If not, the so-called LSM could defend itself with the same argument: We already complained 4 years ago, consider that our silent disapproval.

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  6. AlexInCT *

    But that’s not good enough. While there are plenty of Democrats who, as we can see now, are clearly hypocrites about these civil liberties / national security / foreign policy issues, many will, if asked, say the same thing: They don’t agree with what Obama is doing. Except suddenly it no longer seems that important to be angry about it.

    The time to be angry is precisely WHEN it goes life. This is new policy. If democrats say they are against it but can’t do anything about it they are full of shit. They are lying as usual. Congress can block this, and they will get every republican to go along, easily, if they really wanted to stop it. If I had the power to stop this I would. In fact, I already wrote both my congressmen and told them this was a serious breach of any branch of government’s power and needed to be stopped.

    Suddenly there are other things that they care about more. Suddenly an appeal to authority, to think that maybe the president knows what he is doing, is a lot more appealing.

    In fact, you say the same thing in your post. If not, the so-called LSM could defend itself with the same argument: We already complained 4 years ago, consider that our silent disapproval.

    So you are trying to accuse me of lying like demcocrats do? Because I was pretty specific that I do not like it now and will not like it if a republican is in power. Post then or not. I got it.

    Except, they would be lying. So I got what you are saying loud & clear.

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  7. Mississippi Yankee

    GODDAMMIT it pains me to agree with mrblume. His comment and Hayek quote drive home a point that Hal made several months ago (and Lee made just after 911) about politicians never relinquishing a power that has been handed down to them from their vanquished opponent. Hal and Lee were quite contrary to the thought of giving BOOsh too much authority with the Patriot Act because it can and would be abuse by the next person ‘at bat’.

    Noticeably I’ve become very critical and wary of our political system and consequently two cliches spring to mind:

    Men may have noble reasons to come to politics but they stay for the power.

    In American politics there are two parties; and we sorely need a second party.
    (and no, the Tea Party is a movement not a political party)

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  8. Poosh

    The big hole here is that the CIA has always been more blue than red. So it just doesn’t hold water, seeing as no matter what president or party is in power, the Democrats are the ones who hold the CIA. So whenever the Republicans grant more powers to the CIA, and so forth, they are trusting largely Democrat hands to do the job. From what I’ve read anyway. I don’t know about the other organisations, but I might assume they are of a similar make up to the CIA, no?

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  9. Kimpost

    Yes, but calling them Democrats? How about cops? Police are government workers, so they could be called Democrats. However they also tend to favour being Hard-On-Crime (TM), which would make them Republican. Then again they also tend to like gun control laws, which again makes them Democrats…

    Isn’t this kind of silly? :)

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