Citizen Action Monitor

Obama blasted as “one of the obstacles to NSA reform, not a vehicle for it”

“Obama likes to parade around as some sort of King Solomon figure,” says Glenn Greenwald

No 1034 Posted by fw, April 18, 2014

“…has there been a bigger con man in the White House than Barack Obama? So declared Ralph Nader in a June 14, 2013 interview on Democracy Now. Nader was criticizing Obama for his failure to do nothing in his years in the White House to push for an increase to the minimum wage.

That was then. This is now. Different speaker. Different subject. Similar condemnation of a president who does so little to push for needed reform.

In an April 14, 2014 interview on Democracy Now, celebrated journalist Glenn Greenwald took his best shot at Obama. And well-deserved it was. Here’s Greenwald at his best —

President Obama likes to parade around as some sort of, you know, King Solomon figure in between the excesses of the NSA and those who are raising concerns about it, and trying to balance it and come up with some reasonable centrist approach. I mean, that’s generally his political brand. The reality is, is that he’s presided over this out-of-control system for five years and has never expressed a single inclination to rein it in in any way. So the fact that he’s continuing it for as long as he can, I think, is the opposite of surprising. I mean, he is an advocate of this system over which he presided for so many years. I mean, I think he’s one of the obstacles to reform, not a vehicle for it.

I would like to see the debate be about not whether the U.S. should be collecting metadata under a specific provision of the PATRIOT Act, 215, but the broader question of whether or not we want to empower the government to monitor and surveil people who are suspected of absolutely no wrongdoing whatsoever, essentially to engage in mass surveillance. Is that really a proper function of the state? And even beyond just domestically, why should one government, in particular, turn the Internet from what it was intended to be, and its greatest promise, which is a tool of freedom and human exploration and liberation, into the most oppressive tool of human control and surveillance ever known in history?

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To watch the interview with Greenwald and access the full transcript, click on this linked title: “We Won’t Succumb to Threats”: Journalists Return to U.S. for First Time Since Revealing NSA Spying, Democracy Now, April 14, 2014.

MY COMMENT

Obama has been exposed as duplicitous by two eminent Americans. Which raises the question – Can Obama really be trusted to reject construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline? A project that will ramp up production of dirty tar sands oil. Resulting in a significant increase of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. More deaths. More ecological devastation.

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