Weeks ago, President Barack Obama said he wanted to have a conversation with the American people about how he has continued and expanded George W. Bush’s programs to gather huge amounts of information on the American people by having the military spies at the National Security Agency seize and search their telephone records on a daily basis. Obama didn’t follow up, though. He never had that conversation. He just clammed up and refused to talk.
Last night, however, on the heels of revelations that the NSA is allowing the DEA and other government agencies to search through its massive databases of information seized in secret from Americans’ most private moments, Barack Obama finally decided to talk.
To show how serious he is about having a conversation about the proliferation of unconstitutional spy programs under his direction, President Barack Obama decided to appear last night on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Obama finally talked about the spying scandal – to a comedian.
“There is no spying on Americans,” Obama told Leno. “What we do have is some mechanisms that can track a phone number or an email address that is connected to a terrorist attack.”
The facts that Jay Leno did not confront Barack Obama with in follow-up questions:
- Obama directed the military to seize and search telephone records of millions of Americans on a daily basis for years – and none of those Americans have ever been “connected to a terrorist attack.”
- For years, Obama blocked oversight of government espionage conducted under the FISA Amendments Act.
- Under Obama’s orders, the federal government PRISM Internet spying program tapped directly into the servers of Internet companies such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Yahoo, and seized customers’ data there at will for years. When this spying on Americans was revealed, President Obama told Americans that he had stopped the PRISM spying program a few years ago. What Barack Obama did not tell Americans is that he continued with another, similar Internet spying program, XKeyscore, which searches and seizes not just metadata, but the entire content of emails, social media posts, and other Internet communications.
- Barack Obama has allowed the military agents at the NSA to search through the information it seizes through its electronic dragnet at will, without a search warrant.
- Under Barack Obama, the U.S. Postal Service has been keeping records of who sends letters to who.
- The FBI has been flying unarmed drone aircraft over the United States to keep watch on Americans on the ground.
- Under Barack Obama, the federal government has been seizing Americans’ Internet account passwords.
- License plates are being scanned in locations across the USA and added to national databases that track Americans’ movements.
- All of this spying against the American people has been unconstitutional, conducted without any search warrant as required by the Fourth Amendment
There is no spying on Americans?!?