Obama lies, downplays impact of government spying on Americans

Obama: "We are, therefore we spy."

Obama: “We are, therefore we spy.”

President Barack Obama, lying outright in an televised interview on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) Monday,  claimed the U.S. is spying only on foreign citizens.

In an interview with Charlie Rose, Obama said “if you’re a U.S. person, then NSA is not listening to your phone calls and it’s not targeting your emails” but records show the NSA is, in fact, monitoring phone calls and emails of millions of Americans around the clock.

Obama qualified his claim by saying Americans are not targeted “unless it’s getting an individualized court order,” an interesting qualification since such orders are sealed not available for public scrutiny or investigation.

But the NSA did not need court orders to record phone calls of any and all customers of wireless phone giants like Verizon or to collect millions of emails sent through Google.

Obama tired to dismiss the situation as no big deal.

“There are two programs that were revealed by Mr. Snowden — allegedly since there’s a criminal investigation taking place — and they caused all the ruckus,” Obama said.  He was referred to Edward Snowden, the contract worker for NSA to revealed the spying activity to the Guardian newspaper in London.

Obama did admit the potential for abuse by the government through the mass collection of data on Americans.

“All of that is true — except for the fact that for the government, under the program right now, to do that, it would be illegal.  We would not be allowed to do that,” Obama said.

Which may have been the biggest lie of all — a suggestion that the federal government would not break the law even though Uncle Sam is caught breaking the law daily.

“The government bypasses restrictions of the law daily,” surveillance expert David Argus told Capitol Hill Blue.  “America’s intelligence operation depends on an ability to subvert the law.”

Obama also claimed government spying is “transparent.”

In fact, it is not.  The court that supposedly monitors the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act issues its ruling in secret.

“America has become a government which monitors the activities of its citizens 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” says Argus.  “We used to declare war against countries which do that.  Now we are one.”

 

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