Come on people now, spy on your brother…

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Bruce Tanis thumbnail imageNSA surveillance does little to prevent terrorism
by Bruce Tanis

In speaking with the few Obama supporters who still either have the balls or are stupid enough to admit it, I keep getting the same answer like a rehearsed broken record when I mention the NSA and IRS bullying by the Obama administration: you didn’t seem to mind it under Bush.

Nice try, Obamunists.

A: Bush wasn’t recording and storing my phone calls, emails and social media posts and

B: Yes, I damn well would have minded if he was.

First of all, Obama has expanded the Patriot Act dramatically, to the point where it is not the Patriot Act of George Bush anymore and goes far beyond the Act’s authors’ intent. The author himself, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., who wrote the 2001 law, was among a host of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who raised alarm over the practice. “This is a big deal, a really big deal,” Sensenbrenner told Fox News, adding that such a broad seizure of data was “never the intent” nor part of the scope of the law he wrote. He floated the possibility of amending the Patriot Act before its 2015 expiration to stop this. In a separate statement, he called the program “excessive and un-American.”

He even shot a letter to Eric Holder telling him how he thought the Justice Department and Administration were breaking the original law. “How could the phone records of so many innocent Americans be relevant to an authorized investigation?” he asked in the letter.

It’s clearly now the new, much more nasty and intrusive, “spy on innocent American citizens without a warrant” Anti-Patriot Big Brother Act. They should rename it.

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NSA Network Operations Center, Ft. Meade, MD

Secondly, Bush actually USED the Patriot Act to track down and catch terrorists, not to record our phone call and emails. In fact, it was information gleaned by waterboarding several al Qaeda operatives during the Bush Administration that led to the tracking of a messenger working for Osama bin Laden and living in his compound, which led to locating bin Laden. All that work was done by the Bush Administration, mostly the CIA, before Obama even took office.

Obama, through his Justice Department, actually went to court and sued in a secret court session for a massive expansion of Patriot Act powers, including warrantless seizure and storage of ALL our phone and electronic media files. After he was granted these expanded powers (from a judge he appointed) to snoop on all of us, he built a massive data storage center in Utah to collect and store all our phone conversations and emails and even social media posts. These are powers and capacities that never existed under Bush and were never sought by Bush or his administration and never spelled out in the original Patriot Act.

And now, it turns out that the NSA doesn’t play much of a role at all in any of this counter-terrorism, and they haven’t used these expanded powers to capture any terrorists, only to capture our calls and our emails and those of our trusted allies, earning their mistrust. This, after Obama, caught with his hand in the wiretap cookie jar by whistle-blower John Snowden, repeatedly claimed that the reason for the expanded NSA privileges was to counter and prevent terrorism. That hasn’t happened. Terrorism, if anything, has expanded. We have had several embassy attacks, including Benghazi, one ambassador killed, and several attacks here on US soil, including the Fort Hood Massacre and the Boston Marathon Bombing. Al Qaeda is more powerful than ever and cuts a broad swath of power and influence all across the Middle East, thanks, in large part, to Obama’s tacit support. He even nearly got away with backing the Muslim Brotherhood (founders of al Qaeda) and was intending on wiping out the Assad regime in Syria, which would have guaranteed an al Qaeda cakewalk in Syria, just as he wiped out Qaddafi in Libya, making way for Ansar al Sharia, the Libyan-based al Qaeda affiliate. All in the name of “keeping America safe.”

All this makes it abundantly clear that, as Benjamin Franklin stated long ago (echoing Aristotle):

“They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

Now it’s our own president and our government taking our liberty and compromising our safety. To be clear, we didn’t give up anything. It was taken from us by force and deceit. Bush never did this and never intended this. Stop blaming it on Bush. This is all Obama.