Big Brother Was Watching...A Lot

Empty Hands

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The previously known warrantless wiretapping authorized by the Bush Administration was revealed today to be much more extensive and widespread than known. However, the nature of the extended activities remain secret. Fun quotes:

'"The report says too few relevant officials knew of the size and depth of the program, let alone signed off on it. They particularly criticize John Yoo, a deputy assistant attorney general who wrote legal memos undergirding the policy. His boss, Attorney General John Ashcroft, was not aware until March 2004 of the exact nature of the intelligence operations beyond wiretapping that he had been approving for the previous two and a half years, the report says.

Most of the intelligence leads generated under what was known as the "President's Surveillance Program" did not have any connection to terrorism, the report said. But FBI agents told the authors that the "mere possibility of the leads producing useful information made investigating the leads worthwhile."'

So, we have a secret, unaccountable program that only a handful of officials even knew existed. This program engaged in massive surveillance, with no effort to contain that surveillance to relevant subjects. The primary officials responsible refuse to be questioned, and we the public still don't know exactly what has occurred, beyond the warrantless wiretapping already known.

This is pretty ****ed up. How much we find out and whether the programs are continued will be a major test of Obama's character and leadership. We are watching Mr. President. Please get the FBI out of our lives.
 

Ken Morgan

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Come on guys

Always assume that your emails, phone calls, text messages and every other electronic media is being record somewhere and depending on what you say, it may come back and bite you in the ***.

Its been going on for years, its nothing new, the security agencies will do whatever they feel they have to, to protect us, to Hell with what the politicians say.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echelon_(signals_intelligence)
 

elder999

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It isn't like they were wiretapping MLK Jr
Oh, wait, it is like that. Oh, it was the sainted JFK and his canonized brother Bobby...

Or the cross-dressing, self-loathing, power-mad, meglamaniacal J. Edgar Hoover. From your article:

Just four days later Attorney General Kennedy received notice from the FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover, that Levison, identified as "a member of the Communist Party, USA, ... is allegedly a close advisor to the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr."

Within weeks Kennedy had authorized the wiretapping of Levison's office; the FBI added a bug on its own authority. Neither source produced any evidence either of nefarious contacts or of a manipulative attitude toward King, but at the end of April, Levison found himself subpoenaed to appear before the segregationist James O. Eastland's Senate Internal Security Subcommittee

several months later, in March of 1963, when Jack Childs provided the FBI with ironclad evidence that Levison had explicitly severed whatever remaining ties he, Roy, and several old friends had still had with the CPUSA, the FBI conveyed that crucial news to absolutely no one outside the Bureau, not even the Attorney General

And from this one:

Hoover's contempt for King's private behavior is clear in the memos he kept in his personal files. His scrawl across the bottom of positive news stories about King's success dripped with loathing.

On a story about King receiving the St. Francis peace medal from the Catholic Church, he wrote "this is disgusting." On the story "King, Pope to Talk on Race," he scribbled "astounding." On a story about King's meeting with the pope, "I am amazed that the Pope gave an audience to such a degenerate." On a story about King being the heavy favorite to win the Nobel Prize, he wrote "King could well qualify for the 'top alley cat' prize!"

When King learned he would be the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, the FBI decided to take its harassment of King one step further, sending him an insulting and threatening note anonymously. A draft was found in the FBI files years later. In it the FBI wrote, "You are a colossal fraud and an evil, vicious one at that." The letter went on to say, "The American public ... will know you for what you are -- an evil, abnormal beast," and "Satan could not do more."
The letter's threat was ominous, if not specific: "King you are done." Some have theorized the intent of the letter was to drive King to commit suicide in order to avoid personal embarrassment. "King, there is only one thing left for you to do," the letter concluded. "You know what it is ... You better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation."
 

elder999

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Yeah, because the president has no power over the FBI.


J. Edgar Hoover was appointed the first director of the FBI in 1935, when the old Bureau of Investigation, which he'd been director of since 1924, became the FBI. He remained in that office for 37 years. He was Director of the FBI from FDR to Nixon. By the time Kennedy was in office, no, Don, the president had no real power over J. Edgar Hoover, and J. Edgar Hoover was "the FBI." Presidents had come and gone, but Hoover endured...

I find that if one is going to cite historical precedents for current malfeasances, it often pays to get the details of those prior occurences, which did not, after all, take place in a vacuum. The fact is that long after the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover were aware that the people in King's cirlce that they were concerned about were no longer connected to the Communist party-the ostensible reason for the surveillance on MLK-they did not inform either of the Kennedys. As Attorney General, Bobby was nominally Hoover's boss, and that particular power struggle is another story, but he wasn't informed. By all indications, the surveillance continued because of King's affairs with white women, which made Hoover absolutely applesauce.
Again, from the article I cited above:

. After the speech, an FBI memo called King the "most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country."

The bureau convened a meeting of department heads to "explore how best to carry on our investigation [of King] to produce the desired results without embarrassment to the Bureau," which included "a complete analysis of the avenues of approach aimed at neutralizing King as an effective Negro leader."

And, from Wikipedia:

The FBI inherited a pre-World War II joint project with the British to eavesdrop on Soviet spies in the UK and the United States. Hoover kept the intercepts — America's greatest counterintelligence secret — in a locked safe in his office, choosing not to inform Truman, Attorney General Douglas McGraith, or two Secretaries of State — Dean Acheson and General George Marshall — while they held office. He informed the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the Venona Project in 1952.

You can read about the Venona Project, here, on "Conservapedia, the Trustworthy Encyclopedia" and wade through the data on the NSA website.
 
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crushing

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This is pretty ****ed up. How much we find out and whether the programs are continued will be a major test of Obama's character and leadership. We are watching Mr. President. Please get the FBI out of our lives.

Yeah, good luck with that! The expectation of many conservatives when Bush was elected in 2000 was that the huge expansion in wiretapping under the previous administration and the various abuses by the FBI and 'big government' would be brought under control and eliminated. Well, we see how well that went. Bush pretty much vindicated Clinton and his policies by embracing, extending, and expanding them.

How do you boil a live frog?
 

Bill Mattocks

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Bush pretty much vindicated Clinton and his policies by embracing, extending, and expanding them.

Which is pretty much exactly what the Obama administration is now doing - more embracing, more extending, more expanding.

With every new presidential administration, we get expanded powers granted to the president alone, and fewer for congress. All for our own good, of course.

Little by little, we are becoming an Elective Dictatorship. This is not unique; we are following the trend established by the UK, as more and more power is assumed by the PM and less and less by the Parliament.

Imagine that - electing the person who will rule us by fiat. We must like Kings and Queens after all.

And this is not an indictment of either party. The contribution to presidential power has been made by both.
 
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