In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Friday, April 19, 2024

Our government’s spying on us: Will it change? No way

The NSA: They are, therefore they spy on you.
The NSA: They are, therefore they spy on you.

The National Security Agency, clearly an Americanized of the old Russian KGB in its spying on citizens of the United States, is taking steps to crack down on leaks about its abuse of freedoms, the Constitution and the law.

But is the agency cutting back on spying on Americans?

Or course not.

And the agency that put the program into place without telling Congress said the secrecy was both intended and — in their cockeyed world of rationalization — necessary to make the program effective.

Telling the Congress what America’s intelligence apparatus was up to “would in fact have provided information to people who were seeking to avoid our surveillance,” claimed the general counsel to the White House Office of National Intelligence this week.

For obvious reasons, that is not setting well on Capitol Hill.

“Unless you realize you’ve got a problem, the phone records program is not going to be renewed,” says Congressman James Sensenbrenner, author of the legislation that the NSA claims gave it authority to start spying on Americans.

Sensenbrenner, of course, is a monumental hypocrite, since he sponsored the USA Patriot Act, the rights-robbing legislation that has allowed unprecedented invasion of the privacy of all Americans.

The act, passed by a shell-shocked Congress in the aftermath of 9/11, is an outright violation of basic American rights and was an insult to America.  Anyone involved with the legislation should be outlawed from so-called public service.

Congress now claims it will crack down on abuse by the intelligence community but it was Congress that passed the law that is now being used by the spies to snoop on Americans.

“You’ve already violated the law as far as I am concerned,” Congressman John Conyers, told the intelligence officials at a hearing on Capitol Hill this week.

Interesting comment, since the law violated was one that Congress should have never put into place anyway.

There’s a lot of blame to go around in this latest revelation that America is acting like the repressive governments that we have fought and defeated in previous wars.

To paraphrase Shakespeare and Pogo, “we have met the enemy and they are us.”

And are we really going to do anything about it?

Probably not.

(Edited and changed at 12:03 p.m. on 7/19/2013)

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30 thoughts on “Our government’s spying on us: Will it change? No way”

  1. While Doug is absolutely correct that US Government’s unconstitutional spying isn’t going to go away anytime soon, just as I predicted, some US Citizens are now starting to push back.

    Indeed, a small town in Colorado is now proposing to issue “Drone Hunting Licenses” encouraging its citizens to shoot at (with the intent of shooting down) any spy drone that they may see flying over their community. They are even offering their citizens a “bounty” for each drone they shoot from the sky.

    Of course, the FAA’s gormless bureaucrats are all in a tizzy, and are countering this proposal by stating how “dangerous” it could be to life and limb if a drone is shot from the skies and that “willfully destroying Government property” is a crime.

    As I noted, with some 250+ million firearms in private hands in the USA, it’s only a matter of time before one of these things IS shot from the skies over the USA…or worse yet…collides with a commercial airliner with hundreds of innocent persons on board.

    However, judging from the paranoid intensity of the FAA’s response to this proposal (from a piddling little town in Colorado, no less!) obviously now has the NSA, CIA, DIA (et al) spooks clearly worried.

    On the other hand, preventing such blatant government overreach is PRECISELY what our founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the 2nd Amendment into our Constitution.

  2. “They are recording these posts.” …extract from post

    It gladdens my heart that they are doing so Woody188. : )

    At least these ever-scheming ‘rats’ in high places know there are still citizens who will stand up to their engineered tyranny.

    I’m 68 years old and have served my country in an honorable fashion, but I will not, will not accept the jackboots of their oppression upon my neck.

    We should all be ashamed that earlier patriots such as Patrick Henry voiced that “they have only one life to give for their country” and all for the benefit of future generations of which they had no knowledge.

    No fear though! We have a friend of the people stalking this nation; I.E., financial Armageddon that’s going to pull the plug on these effete, smug parasites in high places that enjoy their percs and ever-bureaucrastic scheming at tax debtor expense.

    Granted we are all going to suffer, but the greatest satisfaction is that a host of government bureaucrats are going to end up on a ‘bread line’ or worse due to the fact there’s no ‘check in the mail’ or auto deposited into their accounts.

    Buddy can you spare a dime? will be our societal mantra.

    Out of the ashes will come rebirth of a new nation as the Phoenix…!

    Fie on the them all…!

    Carl Nemo **==

    • I’m 68 years old and have served my country in an honorable fashion, but I will not, will not accept the jackboots of their oppression upon my neck.


      As New Hampshire’s General John Stark said back during the Revolutionary War (and what we still have printed on our license plates)…“Live Free or Die”.

      Carl, I’m pushing 63, and I too, served my country honorably in the USA’s military.

      But, back then, we had a real enemy called the Soviet Union to defeat, not some trumped-up, amorphous idea called “terrorism” perpetrated predominantly by Bedouins living in tents in faraway lands who pose absolutely no strategic threat to anyone.

      Back when I first became a USAF Officer, I took a solemn oath to “…preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies…foreign and domestic.”

      On that day, many, many years ago, I never DREAMED we’d be dealing with a “domestic” enemy tearing our Constitution to shreds…let alone having it all being directed by an elected President sitting in the White House!

  3. Consider what would have happened if the Gestapo, the secret police of Nazi Germany, Hitler’s appalling tool of oppression and destruction, had the resources of the NSA.

    If Hitler had the same resources as the USA, he probably would have had a drone assassination program, extraordinary rendition, torture prisons, and secret dossiers on nearly everyone, just like Obama.

    I wouldn’t rule out a secret “Final Solution” in the USA either. Obama’s cabinet is chock full of eugenicists. They have secret laws and secret interpretations of laws. They’ve twisted FISA into the equivalent of a secret Supreme Court which is making secret rulings against our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    They are recording these posts.

  4. To support Mr. Thompson’s thesis that it’s business as usual with these now out of control surveillance functions; there’s a current article on Yahoo that the ‘secret’ FISA Court has reauthorized the soon to expire mandate for the collection of metadata from Verizon and other carriers.

    The Obama administration along with the bureaucrats running these programs no longer feel threatened by our toothless Congress, now just a ‘sovietski era styled’, handclapping politburo staging high theater, do nothing hearings to placate their constituents. Meanwhile it’s business as usual…!

    This nation and it’s once free people are in clear and present danger of being taken out as deer in the headlights of an oncoming semi, by our now out of control, surveillance state, rogue government. : |

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Carl, when we start electing people of value, we can hope for integrity. I don’t understand why you blame Doug for the garbage in our government.

      • Ms. Price,

        “Carl, when we start electing people of value, we can hope for integrity. I don’t understand why you blame Doug for the garbage in our government.” …extract from reply

        Where on earth do you come with these non sequitur replies to my posts. My post was to “support” Doug’s thesis concerning the government’s continued spying on us.

        You then come up with me beating Doug up for “the garbage in our government”.

        I’m beginning to wonder if you are banging on all cylinders?

        If this were just occasional then I’d overlook this post, but lately your posts are all over the map, raving about religion in government and other such stuff that has nothing to do with the focus of any given article.

        I realize you are now 80+ and no doubt I should just be a gentleman and ignore such comments, but the last thing I want is you blaming me for hassling Mr. Thompson which I am not concerning elected officials etc.

        Possibly you should read articles out loud to yourself and concentrate on the content before making any additional replies to such. Just an idea. : )

        Carl Nemo **==

  5. Our resident scholar is back. Your words are always welcomed. The key word is “hypocrisy” which comes when a Democracy becomes an Empire. It is never a surprise when one resds the history of all great governments who make the decision to control their people.

    • Thanks, Sandy, but I am no scholar.

      As a Jew, I am sensitive to how people make comparisons to Hitler, the Nazis, and the Holocaust.

      While it is true that the Gestapo had an effective spying network to locate the Jews, their most effective method for rounding up them was their own self-identifcation and tendency to live in ghettos. Of course those that tried to hide were often turned in by their neighbors.

      The comparison could have been described by Doug without demonstrating Godwin’s Law: internet adage that is derived from one of the earliest bits of Usenet wisdoms, which goes “if you mention Adolf Hitler or Nazis within a discussion thread, you’ve automatically ended whatever discussion you were taking part in.”

      In fact the NSA, a spy agency, invasive as it is into our lives, is nothing like the Gestapo. Not that Doug is alone in comparing the so called tactics used by government agencies and entities like large banks to the Gestapo. Just Google “Gestapo tactics” and you’ll see how few entries refer to the real Gestapo, and how few describe anything remotely like what the Gestapo really did.

      • I sent you an email because I had some personal questions like how is the Westie?

        You are as close to being a scholar as anyone online. I have a picture of you here somewhere where you are up to your arse in cranberries. Only a real scholar would pose in cranberries.

        I understand your reaction to Hitler. One night in Santa Monica, I sat next to Werner Von Braun at a dinner party. Somehow when he kissed the palm of my hand, all the horrors of his past faded. I was too embarrassed to tell anyone of my reaction. I was with my husband and never said a word. I never met anyone who brought on such a physical reaction.

        I’m too old now to hope…..

        • I didn’t get the email.

          Your mentioning your reaction to the strangely meeting the NAZI rocket scientist we snagged at the end of the war led me to get some more information about his past. This, from Al Jazeera, is rather interesting:
          Wernher von Braun: History’s most controversial figure?

          I knew he was crucial to the Nazi rocket program, but didn’t know much of what is in this article.

          (I’m not really a scholar, but thanks. I do like to educate and provide references where appropriate. Mostly, though, I am curious and like to share what I discover.)

  6. “Interesting comment, since the law violated was one that Congress should have never put into place anyway.”


    And where was (and is) the Judiciary in all this? Isn’t that the branch of government that is supposed to PROTECT our constitutional rights from an over-reaching Congress?

    You’re right, Chief, ALL of these protective processes were “short-sheeted” LONG ago.

    Right now, about 15% of the US GDP is based on war-making (including all of this NSA, CIA, DIA snooping that’s going on). Back when we had a REAL enemy to worry about (i.e the Soviet Union and before that, Germany and Japan) it was far easier to justify such expenditures.

    However, once the Soviet Union went the way of the dinosaur, rather than dismantle this ever-more-pervasive “security” apparatus, the Military-Industrial-Complex (aided and abetted by their friends in the US Congress) just continued to grow.

    The problem is that, once the Soviet Union bit the dust, the United States was left with no real “enemy”. So one had to be (quickly) manufactured in order to continue feeding this self-perpetuating “empire”.

    Unfortunately, this 1.2 Million person-strong “secirity” empire has grown so pervasive that even Congress and the Judiciary can’t effectively control it.

    So now, we’re spending HUNDREDS of billions of dollars of money (most of which we don’t have) every year “protecting” the United States of American from little more than an idea.

    Terrorism has been around since the dawn of man. But it’s always been nothing more than an irritant.

    It’s certainly not a real “enemy” that in any way justifies the tens of Trilions of dollars of tax money that’s gone down the proverbial “rat-hole” since 9/11.

    Indeed, former President Dwight D. Eisenhower probably said it best when he noted that, “We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security”.

    And that’s PRECISELY what’s now happening…in both the fiscal AND the Constitutional freedom sense of the word.

    • Godwin’s Law alert:

      Comparing the NSA to an “Americanized Gestapo” is hyperbole, at least it is unless we understand that by “Americanized” we mean sanitized, respectable, and without the Nazi death squads and “Final Solution”.

      Consider what would have happened if the Gestapo, the secret police of Nazi Germany, Hitler’s appalling tool of oppression and destruction, had the resources of the NSA.

      • Hi Hal, how have you been?

        Doug’s continued comparison that America is no different then Nazi Germany has been a touchy point when it comes to my point of view. In this rant of his – – I stated that he needed to re-read the history of the Third Reich and that I get annoyed by how easily some folks compare America with a statement that we are no different then Nazi Germany was. I directed my Jewish friends to that thread of Doug’s and they all thought he was way off base and had no clue. I see in this current rant of his he is continuing that same misconception.

        I hope to see you post here more often and willing to tolerate my outbursts of antagonism. 🙂

        • Bill, you are welcome to email me and I’ll update you on my life (I appreciate your asking) – I am easy enough to find –


          Thank you for alerting me to Doug’s column of June 10th. I read it and the comments.

          Doug thinks that his drawing a comparison between our government’s use of massive surveillance and the Holocaust is valid. I don’t think reading a history of the Third Reich will sway him.

          My view is nuanced and I do try to avoid hyperbole when I express it. I think unfettered surveillance imperils our civil rights and liberties. It must be stopped and given proper oversight before it is too late. It has the potential to do great harm to the freedoms we hold so dear, however in the worst case it would be far difference than the atrocities committed by Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao.

          He says “I have many Jewish friends and two who work for this publication and they found nothing wrong with my comparison.” I would like to hear from them as I find this difficult to fathom.

          I do think that columns like these two have an unintended consequence. They fuel the flames of those who believe in the so-call “end of days”, the New World Order, and the clinical paranoia stoked in susceptible people by views expressed by the likes of Alex Jones -whom Doug would have banned from posting on CHB because of his views about 911.

          I do wish Doug had put the following, from his answer to you in the “The Gestapo is alive and well in the American government” column because it is a better explication and less offensive explication of his comparison.

          As long as American rights are in peril this nation, given the intrusive rights of modern technology, is much more dangerous than Nazi Germany. I said the same thing when George W. Bush was President and the increases in abuses of the Constitution under Obama convinces me that the situation is worse, not better, today.

          . Addendum

          Wayne Dolick points out a concern I have had, based in part on my experience as a reserve police officer who saw how a few officers ran records checks for reasons similar to what Wayne describes here:

          WMR has learned from a knowlegable National Security Agency (NSA) source that agency employees are using various NSA data mining and surveillance systems, including PRISM meta-data and phone call transcripts, to snoop on their wives and ex-spouses. In addition, some NSA employees have offered to sell such information to individuals outside of NSA who want the goods on their wives and ex-spouses.
          In one case, NSA surveillance data was used to track down the contact information and location data for an NSA official’s daughter. A Maryland court-issued restraining order prevented the NSA official from having any contact with his daughter.
          The trafficking in NSA surveillance data for personal use and gain is known to NSA officials but they have made no move to curtail the abuses, according to our sources. In fact, wives and ex-spouses who have complained to NSA about problems resulting from the release of their personal data have been met with harassment from NSA’s internal security force, known as the “Q Group.” In one case, the husband of an ex-wife of an NSA official experienced credit problems after his personal data was obtained by the NSA official who used it to create credit problems for the harassment target.

          • It’s interesting that you two were having so much self-congratulatory exposition on this that neither one of you noticed the column had been edited and, among the several edits and corrections, the word that sparked this great debate had been removed. 😉

            • I am glad you changed this to a comparison with the old KGB. I think it is accurate. I think it makes your column stronger. Your comparison also has some irony since Putin was a lieutenant colonel in the KGB before he entered politics in Russia.

              I expect that the new KGB and its related Russian intelligence agencies are racing to catch up with the NSA as far the advances in electronic snooping. It also wouldn’t surprise me if China’s Ministry of State Security (the MSS) has already surpassed the NSA in its effectiveness if not its scope.

              As for missing your changes while engaged in self-congrtulatory exposition, all I can say is MY BAD.

              • I forgot to mention your adding Pogo at the end, a much needed addition, especially since you aren’t even paraphrasing the quote You are merely substituting “they are” for “he is”. Note: your typo in spelling Pogo.

                Walt Kelly first used the quote “We Have Met The Enemy and He Is Us” on a poster for Earth Day in 1970. The poster is shown above. In 1971, he did a two panel version with Pogo and Porky in a trash filled swamp. This is the only example I know of with a balloon, indicating Pogo responding to Porky with “YEP, SON, WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US.” In 1972, it was the title of a book, Pogo: We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us. OGPI had the version shown to the right produced for the Waycross, Georgia Pogofest in 1998 as a brass plate on a wooden plaque.

                Check this out noting what he wrote way back in 1951.

                • The misspelling was a typo, something that happens to those who us who have had to come back from traumatic brain injury, which I suffered last November. That injury also accounts for the fact that I have no memory of the exchange with Bill Cravener on the same topic in a previous column. Even after going back and reading that exchange, I have no memory of it, with is not unusual, I am told, with TBI.

                  I suppose I could just go away, as some have suggested, or I could use the writing as much-needed therapy to try and combat the memory loss, balance problems, speech impairment and other issues that come with such injury. That is what the neurologists recommend but it does appear to me at times that some here take great delight in using my condition to illustrate shortcomings. Or maybe I’m just being too sensitive to things, another side effect of TBI. I honestly don’t know.

                  Good to see you Hal. I hope you stick around.

                    • I appreciate that. To be honest, I had to go back and review your previous writing for us and our exchanges in email to help refresh my memory, which is somewhere between 50 and 75 percent of where it should be. Your past writings were worth reading. Since returning, I am told, my opinions on issues have been all over the place and I often need help on details. It is not easy but, after more than nine months, I hope and think progress is being made. Time, I suppose, will tell.

                    • We are going far afield from the original topic here.

                      Indeed, and of course you are correct Hal so I’ll shut the frack-up after this. But Doug has brought up his bike accident and the problems it has caused him many times since it happened. Like I said I’ve been there and done that. Perhaps that is why I lack sympathy.

                      One other point about wearing helmets and brain injuries before I drop it. Here in PA if you are over 20 years of age you are not required to wear a helmet. Now I’m not one to ride in groups and feel riding a motorcycle is a one on one experience. Last Wednesday I went to the local bike night here in Hermitage which Quaker Steak and Lube hosts each week. It blew my mind that half or more of the many riders there only wore a do-rag and a leather vest. Don’t think motorcycles are dangerous? There were 210 motorcyclists killed and 3,919 injured in motorcycle accidents in 2012. In most of those deaths and injuries the riders did not wear a helmet.

                  • . . .but it does appear to me at times that some here take great delight in using my condition to illustrate shortcomings. Or maybe I’m just being too sensitive to things,

                    Doug, if you are referring to something I said I apologize but don’t expect any pity from me about your bike accident. I have been riding motorcycles for 50 years and I’ve slammed my head against the pavement more times then I care to say. I’ve gotten into near fist fights with morons over their lack of proper protection when riding something as dangerous as a motorcycle yet they never learn until they experience a crash. A cheap helmet will not protect your brain and an open face helmet is all but worthless when it comes to protecting the insides of your skull. Hey, at least you’re alive. Live and learn buddy, live and learn. 😉

                    • We are going far afield from the original topic here. Perhaps some of these personal comments are more appropriate in email. I will just say (and won’t be bothered if Doug deletes this) that I don’t see anything in what Doug has written that suggests he is looking for pity.

                      Even if he was, I’d fully understand as that would be well within the bounds of human reaction to such a life altering accident.

                      He is simply explaining the sequelae of TBS. Maybe he will write a memoir of his experience after he’s fully recovered. I think a mainstream publish might be interested. I would like that.

                    • Bill, i lost my temper with my original reply to you and I apologize for that. My granddaddy once told me that if I wanted sympathy, I should look in the dictionary between s–t and syphilis. If you think I was looking for sympathy or pity then you neither understand me or my motivation. As Hal, who has known me for a long time, correctly pointed out, I was simply explaining the way things are at this point in my life. And let me correct another incorrect impression that I felt you gave in your response: That I was not wearing proper protective gear or a good helmet. It was my use of good leathers and a helmet with a face mask that helped save my life. Sadly, like many with traumatic brain damage, it took me a while to realize the extent of my injuries or the amount of time needed for recovery.

                  • . . .some here take great delight in using my condition to illustrate shortcomings.

                    I see you deleted my post Doug. Come on I thought you better then that. What happened, did I touch a nerve? 🙂

                    • So now I am deleting posts? Jesus. Oh, I see that you found the post you thought I deleted. It was there all along. Good Lord man. Are you that determined to find something to bitch about? 😉

      • “…we mean sanitized, respectable, and without the Nazi death squads and “Final Solution”.” …extract from reply

        Not necessarily Hal. Rest assured if our nation faces sovereign default and there’s no longer a check in the mail or auto-deposit, with rioting and blood running in the streets that the ‘security state’ will kick into high gear implementing roundups of basically a disenfranchised people at the hands of knaves in high places.

        Why did the Department of Homeland Security authorize the purchase 1.6 Billion rounds, that’s with a large ‘B’ of ‘hollow point’ ammunition? They claimed it was for agency target practice. Seemingly we are to be their ‘targets’ as their NWO, globalist construct faces a meltdown.

        Our military is currently rationing rounds to our soldiers in the field due to sequestration, but these gormless bureaucrats, evidently with dark plans for “We the People” are surely armed and potentially dangerous. Worse yet they are using our tax dollars to purchase both weapons and ammunition to harm the very citizens that give them their employment. Talk about out of control or what? Yikes…!

        What’s interesting is hollow point ammunition is not kosher concerning the rules of war under the Geneva Convention, but seemingly are ok for euthanizing a desperate civilian population under certain circumstances…no?

        I simply do not trust our government in these end times, staffed with schemers in high places.

        Their attitude…”we’ve got ours (deluxe percs and pay)…screw you”, meaning “WE the People”.

        Life will be good to great in their bunkers supplied with a ten year supply of food and other percs that I darest not enumerate while modern ‘death squads’ march about rounding citizens or implementing summary on the spot executions. Believe it…!

        Never forget what happened to Japanesse Americans post the bombing of Pearl Harbor many years later to be analyzed as a national disgrace along with less than honorable reparations. It’s a stain on our national conscience, if we even have one at this point in history?

        Carl Nemo **==

  7. Tisk, tisk, Doug, the “we have met the enemy and they are us” isn’t yours. You should give credit to Walt Kelly, who was influenced by Shakespeare, for the famous line. Of course Shakespeare’s work often demonstrates how we are often our own worst enemies.

    Here’s what says:

    Cultural Dictionary:

    We have met the enemy, and they are us definition

    Evil or upsetting forces exist within, not without.

    Note : This is a twist on Oliver Hazard Perry’s words after a naval battle: “ We have met the enemy, and they are ours.” The updated version was first used in the comic strip “Pogo,” by Walt Kelly, in the 1960s and referred to the turmoil caused by the Vietnam War.

    Perry’s definition of “ours” meant that he had defeated the British fleet.

    The following longer quote is noteworthy:

    “Resolve then, that on this very ground, with small flags waving and tinny blasts on tiny trumpets, we shall meet the enemy, and not only may he be ours, he may be us,” by Walt Kelly, “The Pogo Papers” (1953)

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