Why Obama's Dubious Promise to End NSA Surveillance Is Meaningless
Barack Obama will call for an end to the NSA's warrantless collection of telephone metadata of Americans during a speech today, but his words will be completely meaningless given that the president has broken virtually every promise he's ever made.
"A senior White House administration official told the agency that Obama will on Friday call for an end to the National Security Agency’s collection of phone data from millions of US citizens “in a highly-anticipated speech” at the Justice Department," reports RT.
According to the report, the NSA's framework will remain largely unchanged and Obama will propose only "modest" changes to its activity, meaning that the vast majority of blanket NSA warrantless spying, which according to whistleblower William Binney includes analyzing conversations in real time, will continue unchallenged.
However, even Obama's limited gesture to end NSA collection of metadata must be taken with a huge pinch of salt. Just take a look at five major promises Obama has made (we could list dozens) that have proven to be nothing but hot air.
- “We will revisit the Patriot Act and overturn unconstitutional executive decisions issued during the past eight years.”
Obama not only approved the extension of expiring Patriot Act provisions back in 2011 but subsequently signed off on the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA. He also recently vowed to pursue his increasingly unpopular political agenda using executive orders.
- “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”
This infamous Obamacare promise turned out to be complete baloney. In October, White House spokesman Jay Carney was forced to admit that many Americans would not be able to keep their doctor under Obamacare, with experts putting the figure at anything up to 80 per cent who would see their existing plans canceled.
- “We will close the detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, the location of so many of the worst constitutional abuses in recent years.”
Obama not only failed to close Guantanamo Bay, two years after coming to office he expanded its use.
- “My administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government.”
Far from encouraging openness in government, Obama has overseen a war on transparency and whistleblowers which is unparalleled in U.S. history. Obama has presided over an administration that has been nothing but intolerant of dissent at every level, deliberately targeting prominent critics of his policies and his prosecution of national security issues – tactics that have created a chilling effect by intimidating other whistleblowers and dissenters from publicly airing their concerns.
- “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”
Obama soon changed his tune on this when it came to the attack on Libya. After receiving criticism for launching air strikes without Congressional approval, Obama arrogantly responded, “I don’t even have to get to the Constitutional question.”
These are just a handful of the innumerable promises that Obama has broken. To believe he has any interest in ending warrantless NSA surveillance is woefully naive and merely another act to create the perception of transparency when his administration has in fact pursued the exact opposite at every turn.