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Sirota writes: "With the latest major revelation about National Security Agency surveillance, there's a huge taboo question that needs to be put out on the table: Has President Obama been deliberately lying about the NSA, or have his statements just been repeatedly 'wrong'?"

US President Barack Obama. (photo: Samrang Pring/Reuters)
US President Barack Obama. (photo: Samrang Pring/Reuters)


What if the President Lied to Us?

By David Sirota, Salon

20 August 13

 

So many of President Obama's statements about NSA have been wrong. But he's too smart not to understand the truth

ith the latest major revelation about National Security Agency surveillance, there's a huge taboo question that needs to be put out on the table: Has President Obama been deliberately lying about the NSA, or have his statements just been repeatedly "wrong"?

After Barton Gellman's blockbuster story today about the NSA breaking "privacy rules or overstepp(ing) its legal authority thousands of times each year," the Washington Post published an attendant commentary with a headline declaring the president was merely "wrong" in last week suggesting that the NSA wasn't "actually abusing" its legal authority. The implication is that when Obama made that comment - and then further insisted the surveillance programs "are not abused" - he may have been inaccurate, but he didn't necessarily deliberately lie because he may not have known he was not telling the truth.

This is not to single out the Post commentary because, of course, such a rhetorical dance is fairly standard for the official political discourse these days. Since at least the Iraq War if not before, the media and political class typically goes out of its way to avoid declaring a lie a lie. Simply put, from "we know where (the WMDs) are" to Obama's "actually abusing" declaration, seemingly deliberately inaccurate statements are rarely ever framed as outright lies. Even when such statements come from those with vested interests in hiding the truth, words and phrases like "misstated," "wrong," "least untruthful" and "misspoke" are trotted out.

These words and phrases now comprise a whole Washington vocabulary crafted specifically to avoid the L word. That's because once the L word comes out, it means the official in question is deliberately misleading the public - and that is rightly considered an abhorrent act in a democracy.

But just as it is utterly absurd to claim Director of National Intelligence James Clapper didn't lie before Congress (and some reporters thankfully admitted that truth in the open), it has now become almost silly to insinuate or assume that the president hasn't also been lying. Why? Because if that's true - if indeed he hasn't been deliberately lying - then it means he has been dangerously, irresponsibly and negligently ignorant of not only the government he runs, but also of the news breaking around him.

Think about three recent presidential declarations. A few weeks back, the president appeared on CBS to claim that the secret FISA court is "transparent." He then appeared on NBC to claim that "We don't have a domestic spying program." Then, as mentioned above, he held a press conference on Friday to suggest there was no evidence the NSA was "actually abusing" its power.

For these statements to just be inaccurate and not be deliberate, calculated lies it would mean that the president 1) made his declarative statement to CBS even though he didn't know the FISA court was secret (despite knowing all about the FISA court six years ago); 2) made his declarative statement to NBC but somehow didn't see any of the news coverage of the Snowden disclosures proving the existence of domestic spying and 3) made his sweeping "actually abusing" statement somehow not knowing that his own administration previously admitted the NSA had abused its power, and worse, made his statement without bothering to look at the NSA audit report that Gellman revealed today.

So sure, I guess it's possible Obama has merely been "wrong" but has not been lying. But the implications of that would be just as bad - albeit in a different way - as if he were deliberately lying. It would mean that he is making sweeping and wildly inaccurate statements without bothering to find out if they are actually true. Worse, for him merely to be wrong but not deliberately lying, it would mean that he didn't know the most basic facts about how his own administration runs. It would, in other words, mean he is so totally out of the loop on absolutely everything - even the public news cycle - that he has no idea what's going on.

I, of course, don't buy that at all. I don't buy that a constitutional lawyer and legal scholar didn't know that the FISA court is secret - aka the opposite of "transparent." I don't buy that he simply didn't see any of the news showing that spying is happening in the United States. And I don't buy that he didn't know that there is evidence - both public and inside his own administration - of the NSA "actually abusing" its power.

I don't buy any of that because, to say the least, it makes no sense. I just don't buy that he's so unaware of the world around him that he made such statements from a position of pure ignorance. On top of that, he has a motive. Yes, Obama has an obvious political interest in trying to hide as much of his administration's potentially illegal behavior as possible, which means he has an incentive to calculatedly lie. For all of these reasons, it seems safe to suggest that when it comes to the NSA situation, the president seems to be lying.

But hey, if Obama partisans and the Washington punditburo want to now forward the argument that the president has just been "wrong" or inaccurate or whatever other euphemism du jour avoids the L word, then fine: They should be asking why, by their own argument, the president is so completely unaware of what his government is doing. After all, if he's not lying, then something is still very, very wrong.

 

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+17 # indian weaver 2013-08-20 11:26
Obama is a liar because he is such a coward that he's unable to deal with truth. Or he's clinically delusional, along with dishonest. I'd say Obama is a self-proven sociopath, with no ethical or moral basis in his character. He looks and sounds pretty good, which is all it takes anymore to qualify for our president, to hell with integrity.
 
 
+21 # hillwright 2013-08-20 12:33
Gosh, that sounds like every President I've known about in my lifetime.(incl FDR). The kid who said "the Emperor has no clothes" is now in a nursing home and still nobody pays attention.
 
 
+37 # DLT888 2013-08-20 12:36
Yes, he sure is a liar because he lied about everything he promised people before he got elected - from the smallest thing to the largest thing. And, yes, I believe he fits the description of a sociopath (so do bush and cheney) -- however Obama has something they don't -- he has a way to smile and charm and fools good people into believing what he says. I do not believe he feels a thing for those he kills in far away lands. That's the description of a sociopath.
 
 
+7 # EternalTruth 2013-08-21 14:26
"And, yes, I believe he fits the description of a sociopath (so do bush and cheney) -- however Obama has something they don't -- he has a way to smile and charm and fools good people into believing what he says."

And even more importantly, he's a Democrat, so most of the folks who were in the streets protesting W's crimes are sitting at home trying to avoid helping to elect a Republican.
 
 
+3 # grandma lynn 2013-08-21 16:42
Any of us duped Democrats can become Independents and reduce the numbers our national and state organizations can claim as "members." Do they scare? Do they care?
 
 
0 # dquandle 2013-08-23 14:44
Sure as hell is! A psychopathic murderer, bent on acquiring and abusing power.
 
 
+1 # A_Har 2013-08-26 09:55
David Sirota is slow to get it as are all DEM partisans. Partisans of all stripes lose IQ points--they can't admit to what is right in front of their faces.

People who do not favor any politician or political party are not wedded to such a stance.
 
 
+33 # Barbara K 2013-08-20 11:31
I'm wondering why there was not all this concern when Bush was spilling blatant lies and torturing prisoners and set up Gitmo and secret prisons around the world, and set up the NSA in the first place? It has now come to a point that we don't know if anything written about the NSA is true.

..
 
 
+40 # michigan002 2013-08-20 12:09
There was. Where were you?
 
 
+12 # Billy Bob 2013-08-20 21:24
Yes, there was. But you have to admit that many of the people complaining now, were not complaining then. You also have to admit that, when the left complains, it's complaining about crimes; whereas, when the right complains, it's complaining about who's committing the crimes.
 
 
+6 # nice2blucky 2013-08-21 01:03
Let's not forget about those who were complaining then, but not now.

Hypocricy is rife from Democratic apologists.

And if not careful, these low character goofs will be touting Hillary for 2016. You know it.

...

If liberals and progressives want to win on issues, rather than simply in elections, cleaning out the D Party is the only way; not by vilifying Republicans. Their absurdity is self evident -- as is the strategic stupidity and maliable character of the partisan Democrat.
 
 
+8 # Billy Bob 2013-08-21 14:28
I agree it's time to clean out the Democratic Party. Liberals and progressives DO want to do that. The Democratic Party is no longer representative of either of those groups, so it has an agend of its own.

As a party, it believes that it cannot win elections by appealing to the left. It believes that it is now the party of the "center". There are several problems with this logic:

1. I believe the "center" is an imaginary thing that doesn't exist in reality.
2. The "center" keeps moving further to the right to compensate for the right-wing media.
3. If the Democratic Party "just wants to win" by appealing to the "center", then why did Obama pretend to be more left-wing than he really was when he ran for office in '08? The fact is, they must KNOW the true feelings of the country have moved further to the LEFT and are intentionally not listening.

~~~

The problem is that the ACTUAL left is too often filled with idealists without a shred of strategic thinking. Rather than cleaning out the Democratic Party by primarying blue-dog traitors, they'd rather continually lose "on principle" by backing candidates from other parties that have no chance in our current electoral process.

Many Democrats become defensive because they hate this naïvete, but making excuses for people like Obama, who clearly don't care, isn't a solution either.

~~~

This is a very serious strategic dilemma. I doubt it will get fixed.
 
 
+12 # 666 2013-08-21 18:23
billy, part of the dilemma is in the nature of "the left" which comprises many voices, tends toward tolerance of divergent opinions, etc. while "the right" tends toward authoritarianis m. it's only when the crimes of authoritarianis m become so great that it unites the divergent voices of "the left" that change can happen.. but they're trying awfully hard to manage that through the dog-and-pony show media, by destroying education, and creating a constant state of deprivation and fear--which is essentially state terrorism.
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2013-08-21 21:43
All good points.
 
 
+3 # DaveHOz 2013-08-22 16:15
Isn't it also a strategic dilemma that Democrats insist on running "centrists" (actually right-of-center ) like Joe Manchin or Loretta Sanchez in traditionally "red" areas where they assume a true progressive cannot possibly win? Of course it's a fallacy... Case in point, no one thinks Iowa is a bastion of lefty progressivism, yet uber-old-school -liberal Tom Harkin has been Iowa's senator for years.
 
 
+1 # Billy Bob 2013-08-22 20:36
I think they're afraid of the common wisdom from 1972. Our country has moved far to the left since 1972, but our politicians have gone the other way.
 
 
+1 # Capn Canard 2013-08-23 14:05
Money/Wealth and Power has doubled down on Fascist ideology and authoritarian methods, meanwhile Democrat Politicians have swallowed the stupid pill, a pill that makes them follow the path of Neo-Liberalism. I am especially disappointed people like Sen. Diane Feinstein, she is a NSA hoe. Get rid of her, she is worthless.
 
 
+1 # dquandle 2013-08-23 14:50
or running fascists like Hillary and Obama.
 
 
+5 # DaveHOz 2013-08-22 15:59
Quoting nice2blucky:

And if not careful, these low character goofs will be touting Hillary for 2016. You know it.


I see *that* happening already... "It's time for a woman!" they say. Yes, but not *that* woman!!
 
 
0 # dquandle 2013-08-23 14:46
Amen!
 
 
+3 # bingers 2013-08-24 02:12
For every example of Democratic hypocrisy there are at least 100 examples of Republican hypocrisy, maybe 1000. Which is why I am disappointed in Obama, but will not join in the lynch mob.

While the Dems are not as pure as the driven snow, the Republicans are as evil as Satan's darkest desire.

And, frankly anyone who doesn't understand that is dumber than the proverbial box of rocks.
 
 
+43 # grandma lynn 2013-08-20 12:17
It makes me wonder what new fraud or malignancy is underway while we are distracted by this one with NSA at the center.
 
 
+17 # Byronator 2013-08-20 23:18
It's the Trans Pacific Partnership.
 
 
+22 # tigerlille 2013-08-20 12:45
Good grief Barbara, are you still defending Obama? If so, that's a pretty weak defense.
 
 
+31 # Even 2013-08-20 12:58
There was plenty of concern. Bush and Obama have both lied repeatedly.
 
 
+25 # noitall 2013-08-20 14:14
Quoting Even:
There was plenty of concern. Bush and Obama have both lied repeatedly.

Don't give them all the credit. Clinton told whoppers and I don't mean those about Monica. Thanks to him we got NAFTA and we know the dividends paid to "not us". Obama's TPP lie will make us think that NAFTA was tolerable.
How do we drive this monster down life's highway if our co-pilots can tell us lies about what way to turn the wheel?
 
 
+14 # noitall 2013-08-20 14:10
Quoting Barbara K:
I'm wondering why there was not all this concern when Bush was spilling blatant lies and torturing prisoners and set up Gitmo and secret prisons around the world, and set up the NSA in the first place? It has now come to a point that we don't know if anything written about the NSA is true.

..

If we had a viable media, you would know that there WAS "concern" and loudly spoken, if one were to search as Americans must to have this information so critical to a democracy. In 2003, Bush et.al. made it legal for our "news" media to tell lies. Now if that isn't a flag, what is? Or didn't you hear about that?
 
 
-3 # MidwesTom 2013-08-20 21:41
Please explain "Bush made it legal for our news media to tell lies"
 
 
+1 # bingers 2013-08-24 02:17
Quoting MidwesTom:
Please explain "Bush made it legal for our news media to tell lies"


Actually it was Reagan with the ending of the fairness doctrine.
 
 
+3 # Barbara K 2013-08-22 09:20
noitall: That is so true. The media was so silent and hid a lot during the Bush years, our complaints were never published and all was hush hush. I even heard that he paid the media to say only nice things about him. That must be what happened.

..
 
 
0 # Rita Walpole Ague 2013-08-22 06:08
Brilliant comment, Barbara K. Soooo true.
 
 
0 # Barbara K 2013-08-22 09:17
ritaague: Thank you.
..
 
 
+33 # bob_vogelsang 2013-08-20 11:47
Excellent article. Great reasoning!
I have come to the same conclusion.
Now, what needs to be done?
 
 
+12 # noitall 2013-08-20 14:16
Quoting bobv5366:
Excellent article. Great reasoning!
I have come to the same conclusion.
Now, what needs to be done?

Its well past time to get out into the streets. THAT is the only voice the American People have left and they've prepared a well-armed 'gag' for us.
 
 
+26 # tedrey 2013-08-20 11:47
A magnificent exposure of the euphemisms used to avoid stating right out that the president a liar is at:
http://www.missioncreep.com/mw/bushlie.htm

Highly recommended. Of course, it's about Bush, but it's now become every bit as true about Obama.
 
 
+13 # reiverpacific 2013-08-20 12:50
Quoting tedrey:
A magnificent exposure of the euphemisms used to avoid stating right out that the president is at:
http://www.missioncreep.com/mw/bushlie.htm

Highly recommended. Of course, it's about Bush, but it's now become every bit as true about Obama.

Well, but Dimwits and his crowd of cowards and self-serving chicken-hawks set a new high bar for the olympic pole-vault when in came to lying.
Dimwits himself was an irreflective, incurious figurehead and strutting reincarnation of Italy's former clown "Il Duce", the first to give Fascism (The Corporate State) it's name and his incompetent greedy sidekicks and string-pullers deeply, coldly cynical about starting two wars on a lie and wrecking their own country's economy to stuff the bloated coffers of their corporate cronies, regardless of US, Iraqi and Afghani lives lost by the hundreds of thousands, even millions and wrecking the lives, livelihoods and homes of further millions to enrich their bankster speculating masters.
I'd hardly put Obama in THAT category (and I don't approve of his soft-pedaling to an intractable Congress and the targeted killings) but I think he agonizes much over many things and tries to see them from different angles and potential outcomes, unlike his tunnel-visioned , blinkered predecessors, the worst presidency in US history.
As "Izzy" Stone once wrote: All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out".
 
 
+6 # ghostperson 2013-08-21 00:40
Love the last line.
 
 
+3 # Regina 2013-08-21 10:53
Those of us old enough to remember I. F. ("Izzy") Stone miss his commentaries.
 
 
+1 # reiverpacific 2013-08-21 19:56
Quoting Regina:
Those of us old enough to remember I. F. ("Izzy") Stone miss his commentaries.

Absolutely right on!
As we say in Scotland "There wasnae mony o' him in a pund"!
 
 
+40 # fettenberg 2013-08-20 11:54
David Sirota, I hope you stay a 'free man' after having published this. I would so enjoy and appreciate the dismantling of the surveillance state....but we must change the configuration of our legislature. So, hello, Democrats,Repub licans-- wake up, wake up from your stupor or give up your venality - and sound the alarm! Things are really going to hell in a hurry in the uSA.
 
 
+17 # Artemis 2013-08-20 12:03
Be careful. ALL presidents have lied to us. That doesn't of course excuse it. But, I think this is a very important moment for us all, whether we are Americans or not, to examine how much our governments' advisors, secret services, elected representatives and ministries lie to their leaders. These lies ultimately have to be carried by our presidents and prime ministers - they cannot just stand up and say, I have been lied to. I mean, they could, but they don't.
For me, this is the main question, particularly around Obama, who is not Bush. Who tells him what we HAVE to do and WHY we have to do it? Who misinforms him? Who are these shadowy and I believe dangerous people in the background? Or is he playing along willingly? There are indications that he knows better and then he acts as if he doesn't. PM Cameron is a different matter. He is a true reactionary.
 
 
+3 # indian weaver 2013-08-20 15:26
Obama's behavior is defined as cowardice. That explains all of his Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes, just can't say no to his bosses.
 
 
-10 # JohnBoanerges 2013-08-20 18:58
Lottsa thumbs down for saying this, but ALL who place trust in earthly governments (as opposed to their inner sense of right and wrong - conscience) and rely upon handouts from 'the state' are cowards. Pay taxes?, you are a coward. Vote?, you are a coward. Take "benefits (social security medicare, etc)", coward. The revolution will (is) take(ing) place when individuals (newly forbidden status) step out of the matrix AND BE FREE. Please join me in posting and re-posting War by Edwin Starr and When I'm Gone by Phil Ochs. I'm a Quaker minister and I stand by these remarks
 
 
+17 # Billy Bob 2013-08-20 19:56
You left out a whole mess of stuff:

Call the police instead of killing the burglar yourself - COWARD.
Drive on roads - COWARD.
Send your kids to public school - COWARD.
Drink safe drinking water and eat safe food - COWARD.
Avoid nuclear meltdowns - COWARD.
Call the fire department when your house is burning - COWARD.
Ask for hurricane relief - COWARD.

I'm not a Quaker minister, but even I think we need to look out for one another and do onto others as we'd have them do onto us.
 
 
-2 # JohnBoanerges 2013-08-25 07:02
Call the police - COWARD
Make use of the roads stolen from society by statist monsters - NEUTRAL because of their now being public property. The state should not be given a pass for being the entity that robs Peter to pay Paul. Those who DO fall into that trap are COWARDS.
Use public schools -COWARDS
Give credit to the state for safe drinking water, safe food -IDIOT (think chlorine and fluoride and hundreds of unsafe ingredients - but ignored - in water AND food.
What nuclear meltdowns has the state avoided? We have the state to thank for NOT having thorium cycle reactors in the 1st place - think nuclear weapon material manufacture. But, oh, that would require looking somewhere the state wishes you to NOT look, behind the curtain.
The "hurricane relief"? Yes stealing from others is SUCH a "good thing", isn't it?
You are not a Quaker minister, no, but you are not a person that thinks outside the box, either. I give no credit to so-called ministers or churches that do not challenge authority - none. Opposition to tyranny is obedience to God, my only criteria for "judging" others (other than actually using the gray matter between ones ears).
 
 
0 # Billy Bob 2013-08-25 12:53
Do you own the roads you take to work? Could you afford to build them? If not, do you still take them to work every day?

SOCIALIST

What would YOU do as an individual to make your water safe to drink without regulations preventing toxic chemicals from heavy industry entering it? Do you personally own your own water supply (river, lake, etc.)? If not, should we let you die?

Does the nuclear industry do a good job of policing itself? THAT'S A GOOD ONE!!! TELL ME ANOTHER BEDTIME STORY!!!

If you think hurricane relief is "stealing", please tell that to the thousands of people homeless from hurricanes. YOU tell them to "fuck off and let their babies starve". Not me! Don't do it in MY name.

You're living in a fantasy world of self-delusion. Paying taxes isn't "tyranny". If you want to "challenge authority", try standing up to EXXON without any laws to help you!!!

Your post is laughable.
 
 
0 # Billy Bob 2013-08-25 13:36
What is it about right-wingers and the word "tyranny"? Any time someone you don't like wins an election: "TYRANNY".

I think this trend goes back to John Wilkes Booth.

Lincoln was a republican when the republican party was the liberal one. Conservatives didn't like him as president and had to do something about it.

Their excuse for his murder:

"TYRANNY"
 
 
+5 # Billy Bob 2013-08-20 19:57
I do eat oatmeal though - very wholesome - ESPECIALLY when it's been tested by the USDA as safe for human consumption.
 
 
+2 # grandma lynn 2013-08-21 16:49
Beware of Monsanto and its pal, the USDA.
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2013-08-21 18:32
What you're referring to is conservative corporations with undo influence on the government oversite that is supposed to be monitoring them.

In other words, you're blaming a government program for the fact that it's been corrupted by OTHER people who also hate it and have set out to destroy it from the inside.

Monsanto doesn't believe in the USDA either. That's why they've chosen to destroy it.

This is an argument against corruption and against Monsanto. It's not an argument against the USDA. It's an argument to strengthen it and get the foxes out of the hen house.
 
 
+4 # reiverpacific 2013-08-22 11:55
Quoting Billy Bob:
I do eat oatmeal though - very wholesome - ESPECIALLY when it's been tested by the USDA as safe for human consumption.

Actually the Quakers are one of the few loosely organized ministries who walk the peace talk. I worked in Mexico with them as the "American Friends Service Committee" for a few months while a student, living and working both physically and technically in a remote "Colonia" with no recognizable road and only a railway linking it to the outside world, and was most impressed
They never preached to us or the locals; all we were asked to do was meditate for an hour every morning (not to hard with the wide vistas over the countryside towards Popocatépetl and it's neighboring snow-capped volcano which name I forget).
All they suggested was that we not drink alcohol with the villagers -a suggestion I broke frequently but that's just me: they never rebuked me for this and in fact acknowledged the it was beneficial in a social context.
Would that all ministries walked the talk of peace with such commitment.
 
 
+2 # Billy Bob 2013-08-22 14:28
I agree. I've had similar experiences, which is why it's disheartening to read the words of a "Quaker minister" who obviously doesn't care about the fact that there are millions of needy people in our country, and the problem has not been fixed by several decades of "tough love", which is, let's face it, an excuse for doing nothing.
 
 
-3 # JohnBoanerges 2013-08-25 07:12
I have no objection to you, personally, helping others. When the government "does it", it is helping its friends,, mostly, and cloaking itself in false honor, all the while hurting far, far more than it "helps". If you refuse to see that, then "IDIOT" applies to you. Read the story about Davy Crockett opposing a pension for a Navy Admiral's widow (or was it relief for a fire in Georgetown, I forget). It's that "we" that is the lie, Billy Bob. Don't use convenient force to accomplish good. It won't happen because there is no good fruit from a poisoned tree, as much as you would like there to be. What is NOT "obvious" is that I spend most of my waking and working time and treasure ACTUALLY helping others. You??? Since you cannot know what I do, you just told a lie. Shame.
 
 
+12 # jwb110 2013-08-20 12:05
When Hillary Clinton misspoke about being under fire in the Balkans, the cat was out of the bag about new words for telling the same old lies.
You just can't fool all of the people all of the time.
 
 
+14 # mikeandnettie 2013-08-20 13:39
No, but you can fool enough of the people enough of the time.
 
 
+10 # fredboy 2013-08-20 12:15
Heaven forbid? Is it even POSSIBLE for a president to lie to the public! OMG!!!!!
 
 
+5 # reiverpacific 2013-08-20 12:31
One aspect of all this that might bring it into a different light - I'm just guessing here and giving the president, whom I still consider to be a decent man, if too far right of center for my particular socio-political stance.
The CIA has a huge "Black Budget" -apparently at least half the size of the already bloated "Defense" department's full military budget, that is not accountable to the President, only a few carefully chosen representatives (whose names I don't know and are probably hard to come by), for covert operations worldwide on behalf of it's corporate-milit ary paymasters.
Could it simply be that this is where the "National Spy Agency" gets it's funding and orders, without the knowledge of Obama?
I'm just speculating but would like to hear some other opinions (BALANCED and OBJECTIVE please, -no Obama-haters!) or even factually backed-up information on this possibility from other RSN users.
Just askin'.
 
 
+13 # Saberoff 2013-08-20 13:16
I am no Obama hater....

And I don't give a crap. If I were the president of the United States this shit would change.

Being in the "know" IS the business of the president.

Come on: he is not aware of the Innocents; is he not reading (this)? "Someone said a child was killed by my drone: what's that all about?"

BS! There is no excuse, especially for the law-making POTUS.
 
 
+21 # Small Family Farmer 2013-08-20 14:18
While I appreciate your passion I can only say this to you. As the power structure in this country currently is wired if you were president and you tried to change this "shit" you would be marginalized or you would be dead (See JFK and Carter as the two prime examples of this in some of our lifetimes)

Until the checks and balances are returned to our system and the money is taken out of the electoral process all we are going to get are more "Bushes and Clintons and Obamas, oh shit."
 
 
+6 # indian weaver 2013-08-20 15:28
Until the checks and balances are returned to our system and the money is taken out of the electoral process all we are going to get are more "Bushes and Clintons and Obamas, oh shit." HA HA. TALK ABOUT WISHFUL THINKING. THE DREAM IS OVER, THE NIGHTMARE IS HERE.
 
 
0 # bingers 2013-08-24 02:27
Yes, if we adopt your off balanced way of thinking. We've been through this same scenario before during the gilded age when the conservatives came near to destroying the country, but we started rebounding with the Roosevelts and now, after decades of strength and booming economy caused by liberalization, the conservatives with lies and election fraud got back in charge and now we have the new gilded age. This too shall pass, but it doesn't happen overnight.
 
 
+3 # Saberoff 2013-08-20 17:12
Already marginalized and figure I'll be dead sometime but I think the folks you refer to (and many others) believed there was something worth fighting for.

Do you really think "we" will never have to take such action?

I say again: give me the seal; and see what happens.

(By the way, what needs changing is a stinky business; is it not my friend?)
 
 
+16 # Vardoz 2013-08-20 12:31
Of course he lied. " We the People" More BS- expand the middle class- more BS- now we're getting the TPP- corporate rule with total immunity to our nations laws- leave Medicare and Social Security alone- more crap- we only listen to over seas calls -BS We don't listen to content but a teen who said something stupid while playing a video game is facing jail time- and his lawyers raced to the court house to challenge the judge in NY who said that Americans have a right to due process. Obama is their boy and he is just too inexperienced to work the system like an LBJ did- He's a failure for the people and we were too naïve - blinded by his charm.
 
 
+8 # hkatzman 2013-08-20 12:42
WHAT IF ???

What if there were a very powerful constituency that relied upon these secrets remaining so?

To what lengths may they go to protect these secrets?

Is overt power (the presidency) at risk from this covert power?

I remember when the President, contrary to international human rights law developed since WWII and Nuremberg, pardoned the CIA "torturers" because they were only "following orders."

Twenty-first century paranoia. Bring back simple conspiracies like the JFK assassination.
 
 
+1 # Anarchist 23 2013-08-23 12:31
hkatzman: Simple conspiracy? The assassination of JFK was planned very carefully and was full of doubles, inter-locking cells, C.I.A. infiltrations and moles in every corner of the government.It allowed these 'people' to bring this nation and the world with all its people to their collective knees. NAFTA destroyed Mexico, CAFTA is destroying Central America (along with our various covert military interventions: Zedillo and Hondorus recently) and the SPP and the coming TPP will dissolve 'National Sovereignty.'
As to what lengths these 'people' will go, murder is only the beginning. Their motto is 'The Greatest Evil For The Greatest Number' and mass starvation, unemployment, homelessness, illness, and Concentration Camps are all on the agenda. The answer to all your questions is 'Yes'
 
 
+10 # Anarchist 23 2013-08-20 12:42
Our President lying to us? I'm shocked, shocked!
 
 
-13 # MidwesTom 2013-08-20 12:43
They should be asking why, by their own argument, the president is so completely unaware of what his government is doing.

This President is enjoying his $50 million dollar vacations to worry about the country. Remember, his voice, not his experience or achievements got him the job.
 
 
-8 # Malcolm 2013-08-20 15:15
FWIW I clicked a thumbs up. But it was recorded as two negatives. I hate it when this happens!
 
 
+4 # indian weaver 2013-08-20 16:26
That happens because these comments can be / are indexed for adding up and publishing here in cohorts, over time and not instantly. Three (3) negatives were brewing in the index when you clicked a "thumbs up" and then the field was indexed (published). The difference in that case would have been you seeing 2 negatives instead of your one positive. It happens to all of us commenting here.
 
 
-8 # Malcolm 2013-08-21 10:00
I wish that were true, because it makes sense, intuitively. But I've often noticed this happening, and when it does it ALWAYS slants to the left.
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2013-08-21 14:32
It just so happens that most of the voters represent the left. What do you expect?

You're suggesting that RSN is rigging "the game".

1. If you think that little of RSN, why do you keep coming back for more punishment?

2. WHO CARES? Why are you placing so much emphasis on how people vote? Voice your opinion. Maybe you'll change some minds. Nobody is immune to negatives. Otherwise, that would mean we all agree on everything and none of us is willing to go against the tide.
 
 
+1 # Billy Bob 2013-08-20 19:58
I just gave you one thumbs down, but it registered as 2 thumbs down. I guess I should have refreshed the screen before voting if I wanted to be more accurate. Oh well!
 
 
+2 # Barbara K 2013-08-22 09:26
Billy Bob: Sometimes when we give a thumbs up or down and the number is higher, it is because someone else just did the same thing at the same time; not a mistake on anyone's part.
 
 
+1 # Billy Bob 2013-08-22 11:19
I know. I was just being sarcastic. I don't know why some people have a hard time understanding that. If the web site kept an up-to-date count of all the votes it would be required to constantly refresh automatically, or it would involve other programs (Java maybe?) that could perform that function, but would slow down how quickly the page loads, etc.

In other words, just to please people who don't understand that, the entire web site would become much more annoying for everyone.
 
 
-3 # Malcolm 2013-08-22 13:10
I doubt i canconvince you of this, but you should be able to figure it out for yourself.

Unless YOUR browser operates very differently than MY browser, no "REFRESH" is necessary to see my vote recorded. It shows up virtually instantaneously.

When other people vote, I won't see it unless I refresh the site. Thus, anyone arguing that my vote is somehow overridden by other folks voting "simultaneously " doesn't computer.

To whom it may concern, I don't come here for "punishment". What a riot!

I love it that there are so many diverse opinions shared here. BTW, I'm generally considered to be a tree-hugging lefty. That doesn't mean I should ignore vote rigging here,does it?
 
 
+1 # Billy Bob 2013-08-22 14:33
You're not convincing me because you're not understanding. When you vote, the only thing that refreshes is the spot where you voted. Nothing else will be refreshed. If ALL of the votes needed to be up-to-date at all times, the entire site would need to be refreshed.

If you want to know where the tally stands, refresh your screen immediately before voting. Even then, it's still possible that someone else is voting at the same time and doesn't agree with you - strange, but true.

If you have any real evidence to "vote-rigging" that doesn't involve your misunderstandin g of how the internet works (on MANY sites - not just here), I'd be interested in hearing it.

Otherwise, as a "tree-hugging lefty" I wonder why you're complaining about the "vote-rigging always shifting to the left", without any actual evidence - especially, since that's where your own sympathies lie.
 
 
-3 # Malcolm 2013-08-22 16:22
It's this old fashioned concept called "integrity".

I don't approve of dishonesty REGARDLESS of a person's political bent.

And I DO have actual evidence, which unfortunately is hard to demonstrate. All I can do is suggest you keep track of these changes on your own.

FWIW, one friend of mine seriously doubted my analysis, but when she did her own monitoring, she reached the same conclusion.

This doesn't happen all the time, but when it does, it's quite obvious, if you pay attention, and have even the most basic understanding of statistics.
 
 
+1 # Billy Bob 2013-08-22 20:39
What is the "evidence"? How can you possibly even have "evidence" of this? Do you run RSN's server? Are you a moderator? This is literally IMPOSSIBLE for you to test.

Do you understand that?
 
 
-4 # Malcolm 2013-08-23 14:38
That's hilarious, Billy Bob.

YOU can't figure it out, therefore NOBODY can!

Congratulations on your size 44 D ego. :)
 
 
0 # Billy Bob 2013-08-23 20:24
I'm still waiting for your "evidence"...
 
 
0 # Billy Bob 2013-08-23 21:43
I don't control RSN's server. I'm not one of RSN's moderators, therefore I CAN NOT prove your point.

Are you a moderator?

Are you the system administrator of their server?

If you're not, YOU prove it either.

----------

By the way, I never said "I can't figure it out". It's pretty easy to "figure out". Apparently, you're having difficulty grasping it, however.

...Not my fault.
 
 
-1 # Malcolm 2013-08-22 16:25
One other point. Unlike some people on this site, being a leftist doesn't tie me into any close-minded memes. Always make my decisions based on the best evidence I can find.
 
 
+1 # Billy Bob 2013-08-22 20:41
I'm open to evidence. If you can present some, please do. Just saying that it's getting irritating that your ideas are voted down when you think they shouldn't be doesn't cut it.

Not realizing that several people can vote between the time you open the page and when you finally get around to voting, is also not "evidence".
 
 
-3 # Malcolm 2013-08-23 14:43
First you say it's impossible. Then you ask for evidence. Fine:

I've gone through and clicked thumbs up and thumbs down on a whole slew of posts. I recorded how the results compared to what i clicked. In other words, I may have clicked a thumbs up, and seen the count go up by two or three-or even more-in the plus direction. I've seen the opposite happen as well.

I've done this only on posts which were very clearly "biased" left or right.

EVery single time there was a discrepancy between what i clicked and what was shown (one or two seconds after i clicked, btw) the discrepancy favored the left slanted post.

Comprende?

Matter of fact, I tried to explain this at two times in the not so recent past, and my post was not posted. At all.

Go figure.
 
 
+1 # Billy Bob 2013-08-23 20:25
No. You DON'T "comprende".

Do you have ANY concept of the fact that we're trying to get through your head, THAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE VOTING AT THE SAME TIME?

Do you think you're the only one who votes?

...Talk about size 44-D egos!
 
 
-2 # Malcolm 2013-08-24 16:43
You seem to be getting a bit upset, and it's unfortunate. Look, it appears that you're saying that others' votes can come in m/l simultaneously with mine. But they don't. I have NEVER seen a plus or minus "rating" change unless it was me voting. Never. Does your browser show that happening? In other words, can you sit there looking at the screen, and suddenly the votes change, without you either voting or refreshing the whole page?
 
 
0 # Billy Bob 2013-08-24 19:28
You don't seem to understand how web sites work. I don't have time to explain it to you in a greater amount of detail. I took a class in web design. I don't think you need to do that much to get this. It's a pretty simple concept. The entire web site would need to refresh constantly for you to get what you want. It would be torturous to deal with as a user. When you vote, the little part, involved in YOUR vote refreshes, FOR YOU. The vote tally was being adjusted constantly the entire time, but unless you refreshed your screan just before voting, you'd never know what that tally is.

Then again, if you'd just stop ranting long enough to listen to other people who have been trying to explain this for YEARS, you'd understand this by now.

Step 1: REFRESH YOUR SCREEN.

Step 2: IMMEDIATELY VOTE.

Step 3: REPORT BACK TO ME WITH THE RESULTS.

Comprende?
 
 
-1 # Billy Bob 2013-08-24 19:31
By the way, I just gave you a thumbs down for this comment. Guess what? It recorded it as "1 thumbs down"...

INTERESTING, HUH?

By the way, I'm not upset at all. I am curious why you think it's me who's "upset", when it's you who started insulting my "ego".

Did the "left-leaning bastards" at RSN insert your insults without consulting you first?
 
 
0 # Billy Bob 2013-08-23 21:39
Here, I'll help you out.

Step 1. Refresh your screen.

Step 2. Immediately after refreshing, give my comment a negative (It's been over 2 days since this article was uploaded. Not many people are reading it still. If you want to be even safer, wait another day or so.)

Step 3. Check the result. After giving me my negative, does it suddenly appear as 5 positives?

If you want your experiment to be more effective, wait TWO more days. That should be sufficient. Almost no one will still care about this article by then.

Comprende?

Dig?

Insert any other '70s cop show hip slang you feel comfortable with.

If your experiment proves anything, it should prove it 4 or 5 days after the article was uploaded.

Get back to me when you feel you've "proven" something.
 
 
0 # Billy Bob 2013-08-24 14:19
I think it's safe to perform the experiment now. Ready?
 
 
+1 # Malcolm 2013-08-24 16:45
sorry, Billy Bob, I (tried to) explain to you how MY brower works, and asked how yours does. I don't know how long it will take for my explanation to get "approved", if it does.
 
 
0 # Billy Bob 2013-08-24 19:22
Did you try the experiment? How did it turn out? Here. I'll try it and give you thumbs up. If it records that as 12 thumbs down, we'll know there's something fishy...
 
 
-1 # Malcolm 2013-08-25 18:26
Sorry again, bb. Your experiment's basic design is flawed. Perhaps you missed my post that said this "phenomenon" only happens OCCASSIONALLY.

¿Intiendes?
 
 
0 # Billy Bob 2013-08-25 19:11
AHH! I SEE!!!

So you can't duplicate it. There's no repeatability to your theory and it just amounts to the fact that, once in a while, you don't understand why other people's vote overpower yours.

NOW I get it.
 
 
-1 # Billy Bob 2013-08-24 19:23
Nope. It recorded it as 1 thumbs up. So far, no evidence of your theory. Why don't you try it by giving me my thumbs down?
 
 
-2 # Malcolm 2013-08-25 10:21
I notice you didn't respond to my evidence. I guess maybe you finally understand it?

Hope so.
 
 
-1 # Billy Bob 2013-08-25 12:46
I notice that you still haven't presented any evidence. Why are you unwilling to perform the experiment?

I guess maybe you're finally revealing your true colors.

By the way, I just gave you 1 thumbs down. Guess what? It registered as "1 thumbs down".

That's 3 times I've presented evidence of the vote count being fair and honest, to your ZERO evidence to the contrary.
 
 
0 # Billy Bob 2013-08-25 19:12
Apparently you tried the experiment? I got "-1". Was it from you? Did you try to give me a thumbs up but it recorded a thumbs down?
 
 
-1 # Malcolm 2013-08-25 22:25
You're apparently either too egotistical, or too stupid to waste my my time. AMF.
 
 
0 # Billy Bob 2013-08-26 11:52
You spent a lot more time commenting than it would have taken to perform the experiment. Did you vote on my comments? How'd that turn out?
 
 
-4 # indian weaver 2013-08-20 15:31
I'm trying to figure out why MidwesTom is getting these negative responses. I must be missing something so let me know you who understand the blog to which I refer. It's true Obama is an empty suit and never accomplished anything of note, and won't. He doesn't have enough courage to do something on his own.
 
 
+1 # reiverpacific 2013-08-21 11:25
Quoting MidwesTom:
They should be asking why, by their own argument, the president is so completely unaware of what his government is doing.

This President is enjoying his $50 million dollar vacations to worry about the country. Remember, his voice, not his experience or achievements got him the job.

$50,000,000 Vacations??
Again, backup please.
Dimwits took more vacations during his reign of terror and error, than ant president in history, which probably made his string-pullers and handlers happy to have him out of the way, the better to push ahead with their disastrous scheming!
 
 
-8 # MidwesTom 2013-08-20 12:45
Many members of the party have figured out that they have to turn on Obama if they want to retain their seats in 2014.
 
 
+9 # noitall 2013-08-20 14:21
Quoting MidwesTom:
Many members of the party have figured out that they have to turn on Obama if they want to retain their seats in 2014.

You can count the incumbents worthy of "retaining their seats" on one hand, and I'm being generous. The media has obviously selected Hillary as "our" candidate for next president. That will be "change" that we are familiar with.
 
 
+5 # indian weaver 2013-08-20 16:32
Seems to me the other way around, which explains Pelosi's hypocrisy, for one. I could list those hypocrites who once denounced invasion of privacy, for example, but now support Obama's world class worldwide expansion and deepening of it with the revelations by Snowden. Talking out of both sides of your mouth is the name of that deception. I suppose it depends on the politician to decide who to call an ally in a fascist regime, mostly so they avoid assassination, forget merely losing the election.
 
 
-3 # reiverpacific 2013-08-21 11:27
Quoting indian weaver:
Seems to me the other way around, which explains Pelosi's hypocrisy, for one. I could list those hypocrites who once denounced invasion of privacy, for example, but now support Obama's world class worldwide expansion and deepening of it with the revelations by Snowden. Talking out of both sides of your mouth is the name of that deception. I suppose it depends on the politician to decide who to call an ally in a fascist regime, mostly so they avoid assassination, forget merely losing the election.

Boy, you must be a whole lotta fun to be around. Talk about a consistent grouch.
What d'you do for a hobby; chew nails??
 
 
+7 # Billy Bob 2013-08-20 20:00
That's the problem with gerrymandering. The republican party is getting fewer votes than the Democratic Party in the House, but it doesn't matter. It has the system rigged so it will remain in control forever.
 
 
-1 # btraven 2013-08-20 12:45
Truman said " the buck stops here" (that is at the president's desk). He is never wrong but frequently lies.We can be right about that.
 
 
-8 # MidwesTom 2013-08-20 12:46
Rumors out of Washington suggest that there is a MAJOR financial shakeup coming before the end of the year. It will not be pretty for Americans.
 
 
+6 # Malcolm 2013-08-20 15:18
Rumors have it.
They say.
Everybody knows.
Experts tell us.

BUZZWORDS.

Can you substantiate thee ALLEGED rumors, Sir?
 
 
+1 # Billy Bob 2013-08-20 20:02
I'm not worried. There was a rumor 2 years ago that the "rapture" would happen. I think it did. After that, what more could you expect.

Besides, I heard the oceans will boil BEFORE the financial thing.

So, I wouldn't sweat it too much.
 
 
0 # asbpab1966 2013-08-20 12:55
This whole mess was started by the Bush-Cheney-Rum sfeld-Rove-Ashc roft junta. President Obama is afraid to dismantle it for fear that the Repugs would call him "soft on terrorism." So he closes his eyes and pretends not to see.
 
 
+6 # Malcolm 2013-08-20 15:20
How many people do you know who would order the extrajudicial murderer of human beings because they were worried about what someone would CALL THEM??!!!
 
 
+2 # ghostperson 2013-08-21 00:44
They have called him everything but a monkey's uncle at this point why should he give a shit what they call him. "Soft on terror?" Exhibit A: Osama bin Ladin

They hate him, won't ever work with him, refuse to run the government because he is there. What's left to lose? It's already lost.
 
 
0 # Billy Bob 2013-08-24 19:32
It should be changed to "soft on error", as in, "unwilling to perpetuate the same bullshit". Just a thought.
 
 
+11 # phrixus 2013-08-20 13:02
Ok. If he lied he was dishonest. If he was wrong he was either misinformed or just stupid. I don't think he's stupid. I think he's corrupt.
 
 
+16 # Citizen Mike 2013-08-20 13:09
WHAT IF the President does not control the NSA but it's the other way around,the NSA controls him?

That sure would explain the gap between his rhetoric and his performance.
 
 
+7 # amye 2013-08-20 13:19
Amen Brother! I was wondering why the word LIE is not being used at all anywhere in the press or politics or the government!! Now the question is when are they going to start using it!!
 
 
+4 # Inspired Citizen 2013-08-20 13:26
Conservatives have an easier time detecting Obama's lies, just as we had an easier time detecting Bush's lies than they did.

Yes, Obama lies about national security matters. Obama lied about Anwar al-Awlaki, an American, whom Obama had murdered without due process.

http://www.sharethisurlaboutglennbeck.com/2013/05/president-obamas-speech-on-drones-and.html
 
 
+7 # Saberoff 2013-08-20 17:19
And al-Awlaki's son, too. See Jeremy Scahill's docu (movie): Dirty Wars.
 
 
+2 # Inspired Citizen 2013-08-21 08:04
The claim is that Abdulrahman's death was an accident, that they were targeting someone else who wasn't even in the cafe we bombed. Most likely, they are lying about that too.
 
 
+3 # Vern Radul 2013-08-20 13:31
No "if" about it. It's his job. And he likes his job.
 
 
-11 # Caliban 2013-08-20 13:58
It is more than simple-minded for David Sirota to say that there are only two kinds of statements about complex issues: complete truths and absolute lies.

For instance, based on the evidence presented, I do not see that the NSA programs have been "abused" in any significant way in the sense that any US citizens have actually been harmed by any messages that were collected against agency procedures. In addition, collection errors are not abuses, they are simply errors and should be corrected as much as is possible with such complex technology. Furthermore, in the few occasions where true misuses of agency authority occurred, the FISA court and other internal watchdogs put an end to them.

So, the President was not lying at any time; nor was he ignorant. He has used a common sense definition of the word "abuse" to describe very complex government actions that by there very nature should NOT be made public.

Likewise, the FISA court activities are indeed "secret" to the public, but from what I can read they are "transparent" to those with the authority to know. Who is lying here--the President or the reporter who is calling him a liar?

Sirota and the rest have easy jobs here--spread the revelations of a spy, call the President a liar, and act like heros while doing it. The President works for his pay--keeping the government working, trying to pass minimum wage acts, protecting voting rights and the country itself. It's time to get real about what is more valuable.
 
 
+8 # Billy Bob 2013-08-20 14:59
We've gone over this again and again.

Is Obama an evil genius?

Or a nice idiot?

Those are the only choices. And yes, bush was an evil idiot.
 
 
-4 # vgirl1 2013-08-21 19:02
The idiot is you! I resent your accusation, and your question. I find your comments childish, said with naiveté, and just plain ignorant. It is so easy for you and so many who comment all over this site to be this negatively critical when one has no responsibility, has the opportunity to Monday morning quarterback, need not worry about his fellow citizen's safety, and is ignorant of so many key and perhaps profound facts that go into so many decisions for which you will never be privy. Just saying...
 
 
0 # Billy Bob 2013-08-22 20:43
So you're suggesting that he's not an idiot?

Is he, in any way, responsible for his actions or inactions?
 
 
+9 # frederico 2013-08-20 15:41
Obama is a lying war criminal, and should be in prison, instead of Bradley Manning.
 
 
+4 # Malcolm 2013-08-20 16:17
It seems so bloody OBVIOUS!
 
 
+8 # giraffee2012 2013-08-20 16:05
During and since the Reagan era (and probably long before then) - it was "rumored" that this country is "ruled" by a group of big $$. Yes, before Citizens United!

The reason the rich have been able to get "tax breaks" into law is a small example.

Thus, the rhetoric of every elected official comprise sound bites and what actually happens is ALWAYS something different.

The do-nothing Congress has allowed more secrecy/corrupt ion to manifest as we (from the news we get) have no idea what is developing in the law (etc)

In short, President Obama is NOT king - and our entire government is a bunch of liars or crooks or both - except a small number.
 
 
+2 # jky1291 2013-08-21 15:18
Weigh the statements against the actions, follow the money, and determine who benefits and at whose expense?
 
 
0 # rockieball 2013-08-20 16:30
What the President lied to the people!!! No Never. I recall Reagan saying that he did not lie to the American people when he was caught in a blatant lie. But he was upset because the press and people believed the MISS INFORMATION he publicly told on order to confuse the enemy (whom ever they might have been).
 
 
+2 # Bonz 2013-08-20 16:41
Saberoff 2013-08-20 11:16
"I am no Obama hater....
And I don't give a crap. If I were the president of the United States this shit would change."

Saberoff...BS!! If YOU were President? How many people do you think actually know the daily intricasies of that job? Very Few, and I don't think YOU are one of them, or could act any differently under the unique circumstances of that job. Obviously no one knows until they are in it.
Rail all you want, and run for President, if you dare, but I seriously doubt that You could do any better!
 
 
+1 # jcdav 2013-08-20 21:25
Perhaps he would at least TRY..The effort would be refreshing...CH ANGE WE SEE IS CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN (Hummm.perhaps the same might hold true for FISA court too?)
 
 
+4 # Saberoff 2013-08-21 14:40
Hey Bonz,

I have no chance of being president. But if I did I would do what we all know is OBVIOUS!

"the daily intricacies.." my ass! The daily intricacies appear to be murder, injustice, indoctrination, intimidation, propaganda, lying, and yes, being the world's real terrorists.

Alright, it's me puffing up my chest and I'll say I'm sorry for the hubris but I am old and tired of my country's government becoming a police state, borderline fascist (corporatist) government, and yes, we've been lied to by all of those pesky presidents, but that doesn't make it OK.

We could talk for hours about the parallels of letting some off the hook while others (Manning) pay, but I don't care who you are when you cheat and steal and kill and.... And I don't care who advises you and who the bad guys are: I'll figure that out for myself thanks.

We need to start acting like we live on just one planet, and we are all neighbors.

I'd also like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to respond (again). But sorry, I must say, this is a rather stupid post, and I, perhaps like you, do not think you know a damn thing about me and whether or not I would "do any better."
 
 
+2 # geraldom 2013-08-21 16:24
I’m sorry, Bonz, but you need to stop coming up with justifications and excuses as to why Obama is a weak and ineffective pres based on the promises that he'd made as candidate Obama, promises that got him elected pres. This only enables Obama to continue to act as a helpless victim against a so-called Repub tyranny.

1st of all, Obama wasn’t forced to pick the advisers he did. For someone who promised us "change that we can believe in," he hired the very worst people to run his foreign and national security policies, almost all ex-Bush people, and he hired the very people who caused the financial crisis. It doesn’t sound to me that Obama really wanted much change from that of the Bush admin.

As much as I intensely dislike Bush, I have to state with extreme reluctance that I have a lot more respect for Bush than I do for Obama and not because I supported any of Bush’s policies. Unlike Obama, Bush wasn’t going to compromise one bit in getting his nefarious agenda passed. He acted like a Bull. He did what he had to do, even against members of his own party to get his way. He bullied, pressured and coerced Repub members of Congress to support his agenda and threatened the Senate Dems with the nuclear option if they got in his way. Bush truly meant to nullify the filibuster and he would've done so unlike the Dem wimp who calls himself Harry Reid.

I’m sorry, but Obama’s problem is that he’s either a very weak leader, that or he’s truly a DINO.
 
 
-2 # Malcolm 2013-08-22 13:13
So, bobs, are you implicitly APPROVING of obombya's extrajudicial murderer? Is it fine with you that his admin is spying on you? All because others-at least in your opinion-"couldn 't do any better?

Really?
 
 
+4 # geraldom 2013-08-20 17:47
The president had to have lied to the American people since he keeps on insisting that the NSA is not spying on American citizens even after irrefutable evidence has been made public to the contrary.

If I were president and Edward Snowden had released his revelations about U.S. government spying by the NSA on American citizens and I was sincere about upholding the tenets of our Constitution, I would have immediately made a sincere effort, being the president, to confirm what Snowden had brought to light and I would not have held Snowden to account. I would have held anyone in the NSA including the higher level echelon responsible for oversight, people who were tasked with making sure that no one underneath them were violating the privacy rights of U.S. citizens, to account.
 
 
+2 # jcdav 2013-08-20 21:28
Well, that would be the HONEST, TRANSPARENT course of action (might just get you killed- think JFK) the one the Obama that RAN for office chatted up...NOT the Obama that IS the Pres...
 
 
+4 # geraldom 2013-08-21 09:15
Quoting jcdav:
Well, that would be the HONEST, TRANSPARENT course of action (might just get you killed- think JFK) the one the Obama that RAN for office chatted up...NOT the Obama that IS the Pres...


Based upon your analysis, we should just lay down and die, let them run over us. Don't do anything that can effectively and immediately stop the illegal wars of U.S. aggression against other countries for U.S. world empire because you might get assassinated. Don't do anything that can effectively and immediately stop the illegal spying on U.S. citizens because you might get assassinated.

I'd like to say that JFK was an idiot for riding in an open-air car that day in Texas, but I can't do that because that scenario never happened before JFK was killed. A lesson learned, although, if I had been JFK and I had good secret service protection, I should've been advised to protect myself in Texas because of all of the enemies that I had made as a result of all of my controversial decisions, although he may have been forewarned but refused to abide by the good advice.

In Nov of this year, it will be 50 years since JFK was assassinated and many lessons have been learned along the way. As president, I would make absolutely certain that anyone who has been hired to protect me, as in the secret service, is someone that I can have absolute trust in.

If you going to be afraid of doing the right thing as president for fear of assassination, then don't run.
 
 
-4 # nancyhallatr 2013-08-22 17:10
Obama is probably a hell of lot more honest than JFK and more effective, too. Who do you think gave the green light to Vietnam, not to mention the Bay of Pigs fiasco? Do you think JFK consulted the American people before he signed on to the invasion of Cuba and overthrow of the Castro government? And then there was the parade of women, including at least one who was also banging a mobster. I don't think we'll ever know, for sure, what killed JFK but I think it's a safe bet that it wasn't his honesty.
 
 
+2 # Anarchist 23 2013-08-23 12:42
Read some history. when JFK was killed he was conbeginning to pull out of Viet Nam, was making peaceful back-channel overtures to Castro, was hoping to go to Moscow and expand contact with soviets and was committed to destroying the CIA which had planned the Cuban invasion under Eisenhower. Fletcher Prouty, a CIA liaison in the Pentagon also says JFK had OK'd the early morning bombing of Castro's T3's on the runways but somebody -McGeorge Bundy?-counterm anded the order. The evidence is out there and there are plenty of books to explain it for you. If either Kennedy had lived, we would be in a different world perhaps. Instead we get this Nightmare of Fascism and Biosphere Destruction.
 
 
-2 # Malcolm 2013-08-23 15:02
Re "Obama is probably a hell of lot more honest than JFK and more effective, too."

How nice! Let's see; Obombya has murdered how many innocent civilians in his drone powered war against humanity, but he's "more effective" than JFK.

I don't give a rat's ass about JFK-we're discussing obombya, and we're discussing our personal freedoms, the Bill of Rights, extrajudial killing, and Obomya's lying about all of it.

You wanna talk about JFK, do it on a different url, ok?
 
 
-1 # bingers 2013-08-24 02:39
Obombya? Will you be starting in the second grade this year, Malcolm in the piddle? ;o)
 
 
0 # Malcolm 2013-08-24 16:52
There once was a Prof named obomber
A known constitutional scholar
But when push came to shove
He took off the gloves
As well as all pretext of honor.
 
 
-1 # bingers 2013-08-24 02:37
Actually, it was Eisenhower.
 
 
+4 # ghostperson 2013-08-21 00:17
Depends upon how you define "is," remember that one?

"I didn't have sex with that woman," because men don't consider being the "doee" as sex.

Because there were warrants he and his advisers want to claim that it is not spying, despite the FISA court signing any leaf that blows through the window.

I no longer even think in terms of truth or lies only that every claim a politician makes I take with a grain of salt because Americans aren't even on anyone's agenda. All I hear is drivel.

When I hear politicians claiming to speak for the American people or saying that the American people want "X," my instinctive thought is that these jackases wouldn't know what the American people wanted if we kicked them in the nuts to get their attention.

We have been erased. We are a pocket book to be used and abused at the will of Corporate America.
 
 
+4 # Saberoff 2013-08-21 14:51
Hey Ghostperson,

Other day I heard someone say: "The only persons in government that ever listens to us is the NSA!"

Or something like that. Humorous (not necessarily funny).
 
 
+2 # ghostperson 2013-08-21 22:45
Thank you Saberoff. I find it true as well as humorous and funny. Most gallows humor is.
 
 
-5 # cordleycoit 2013-08-20 17:56
Lying comes naturally to politicians and Obama has been using up his excuses like a husky with a torn apart house. He lied about his schooling, he lied about his past and he will lie about destroying the rights of his subjects. He will hold power until it is ripped from his hands."Mighty mouths tell mighty lies."
 
 
+2 # JohnBoanerges 2013-08-20 18:00
I. F. Stone wrote a great book called All Governments Lie but who is paying attention to dead Jewish writers. Oh, yeah, me. AN-y-way, check this out: http://www.dailypaul.com/296096/obama-supporters-will-go-hysterical-over-this-well-sourced-list-of-252-examples-of-his-lying-lawbreaking-corruption-crony
 
 
-2 # JohnBoanerges 2013-08-20 19:22
I have observes RSN for a year or so. In this short time (I'm 70) I have watched the articles posted here change from the type saying Rah Rah For Democracy to Juan Cole's article yesterday accurately forecasting the end times (in the way I look at things). Greg Greenwald "sees" the problems if he doesn't identify the source (placing trust in lying thieves of liberty - control freaks. Control freaks. We all can see the evil in sexual deviates like rapists (not sexual but power), pedophiles, etc., but the invisible and truly horrible deviates are the control freaks who inhabit the legislatures and the cop shops and the benches. Those who "Can't even run their own lives (but are determined), [ I'll be damned if you'll] (to) run mine" get their jollies from wrecking lives (credit to GREAT songwriter Jonathon Edwards). Deviates deviates and horrible monsters. Don't honor them. Don't allow them to subsist at your expense. STOP paying taxes and STOP voting. Stop begging for permission to travel YOUR public roads. STOP paying "fines" for transgressing the 'Motor Vehicle Code' (you are traveling in an automobile NOT a motor vehicle, a legal distinction). Stand up as human animals from the former status of slave. Break free of the matrix and be FREE.
 
 
+2 # treadlightly 2013-08-20 19:35
There is apparently a new definition of transparent in Washington these days.
Things are transparent in the sense that they now decide what they think we need to know.
Only if it supports their fascist agenda.
 
 
+5 # Moefwn 2013-08-21 07:55
Most of the people I know tend to assume that all Presidents lie to us from time to time - some more often than others. The only thing that makes it different with Obama is that so many people actually trusted him in the beginning. Our government stopped being anything like transparent at least 50 years ago, if not before. Obama was elected largely because he promised to change that, and now - whether he's weak, deluded, and/or understands things he didn't before - he seems to have gone over to the other side. I really don't understand why this discussion keeps coming up, unless it's a red herring. Let's not lose track of the bigger picture. Citizens are systematically being cut out of any influence on the government, have less and less chance of becoming prosperous if not born into a wealthy and powerful family, and personal freedoms (including the right to privacy, the right to publicly express unpopular opinions, etc.) are being eroded at an unprecedented rate. With all that happening, one more wealthy, privileged elected official seems to have gone over to the dark side - where's the surprise?
 
 
0 # James Marcus 2013-08-21 16:02
What if Obama Lied...?. At this point, I hope the question is purely rhetorical.
He is The Ultimate Liar; premeditated and deliberate; With masterful command of the Issues, multiple Promissory Resolutions, and eloquent communications. Such Talk!
No Walk. Completely ignored, in Policy
The Paramount Pied-Piper.....
 
 
-4 # vgirl1 2013-08-21 18:45
The fact there is a faction that finds it necessary and appropriate to even ask this question says one has already made up ones' mind and the answer is you assume him guilty! It is the kind of innuendo accusation which once started is impossible to defend ones' self against. Sort of like the jump on the band wagon SCANDAL mantra started by the T's, never proven, but remains floating out there because no matter how disproven the pall has already been cast! McCarthyism in this form has raised it's ugly head from the right and the left for self serving agendas. The media joins the bandwagon and the hydra grows and grows and grows even without proof, driving our country further over the brink of crumbling from within. Khrushchev may prove not to have been so far off when he said we would kill ourselves from within. However, I see our citizenry doing it more to ourselves than the government doing it to us.
 
 
-1 # Malcolm 2013-08-23 15:04
And what planet did you say you spend most of your time on?
 
 
-3 # nancyhallatr 2013-08-21 20:10
Given that Obama hate seems to be the default position in this forum, I imagine this will earn me a bunch of thumbs down...however, there was an article in today's NY Times reporting that the NSA has been caught lying to FISA in the past and they're still doing it. So if the NSA is lying to the court that's supposed to be overseeing their activities, what are the odds that they were lying to Obama as well? http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/22/us/2011-ruling-found-an-nsa-program-unconstitutional.html?hp
 
 
-2 # Billy Bob 2013-08-21 21:55
Don't confuse the raw-nerve disapointment of people commenting with an unthinking hatred, like displayed by the right.

I don't "hate" Obama. But, I do hate that he duped so many by manipulating their wishes to reform our government just to get elected, and then continue largely on the same path.

BUSH WAS INFINITELY WORSE.

I voted for Obama in '12 knowing all he was up to, because the other option was even worse. Many aren't capable of accepting that truth. But, that still doesn't let him off the hook for being so duplicitous.

If the President was as naïve as you paint him out to be, I don't know how he ever won that reputation for "playing multi-dimension al chess", when it came to politics.

He simply CAN'T be a genius and an idiot at the same time.

If he had no idea what the NSA was up to, he'd be an idiot.
 
 
-4 # nancyhallatr 2013-08-22 13:09
I'm not suggesting that Obama is naive. I'm suggesting that the NSA is a rogue agency, operating according to its own rules. I'm suggesting that while the U.S. does not have a domestic spying program, what we do have is an agency that has engaged in spying without legal authority.

FISA court was established to ensure that NSA and the FBI are operating within the law when they're engaged in surveillance. One of the things they can't do without a warrant is to monitor communications that involve a U.S. citizen. If the NSA is circumventing FISA court, which seems to be the case, then they're operating illegally and they're operating on their own.

It's the court, not the President, that determines whether the NSA is acting lawfully. Executive oversight is the responsibility of the DoD...Leon Panetta for the period in question. Presidents can't be omniscient. That's why they have cabinets populated with agency heads, like Panetta and now Chuck Hagel, who are supposed to keep them informed.

On Obama hate...what I see here is indistinguishab le from right wing Obama hate on many levels. It betrays a fundamental ignorance about government that's both sad and discouraging.
 
 
-2 # Billy Bob 2013-08-22 20:53
I've been acused of being a shill for Obama (by a few commenters on this very thread - in the past), AND I'm accused by people like you of "hating" him and having a right-wing agenda.

Is it that complicated?

Maybe both sides are right.

Maybe it really IS impossible to actually make campaign promises you plan to KEEP.

Maybe it really is impossible to tell the difference between Obama and the looney far right-wing.

I don't know anymore. I thought I was thinking strategically. I thought it was impossible for Obama to be SO UNBELIEVABLY far off from his campaign promises unless he was an idiot or a liar.

Maybe you're right. Maybe he really just wants to do the things he promised, but didn't realize he wouldn't actually be able to once he entered office, but I'm an idiot for not actually realizing that the president doesn't have the power to act on his promises, even though Obama is a 11th dimensional strategic genius.

Maybe other commenters are ALSO right. Maybe the only solution is to vote for the Green Party and join the 1% of elite voters who refuse to vote for the lesser of 2 evils, in the hopes that the entire nation will be destroyed so they can say, "I told you so".

Maybe you're ALL right, and there really is no center or compromise between the two irreconcilable views.

Maybe Shroedinger's equation about quantum mechanics can explain all of this.

Otherwise, I'm beginning to think the left really ENJOYS not getting what it wants.
 
 
0 # sophiacat1 2013-08-24 01:13
I really think it is much more simple and awful than anyone wants to believe. We've heard of the custom of the outgoing president leaving a letter for the incoming president. I believe it reads something like this: "Say what they tell you to say, do what they tell you to do. Don't let on to anyone what is really going on-- or VERY BAD THINGS will start happening to your family."

Good guy, bad guy, genius, idiot, liar, ideologue, sell-out, coward, sociopath, etc? These are your questions, but that above is your answer.

We have all seen lately that big money has the last word in everything. If it's not the way big money wants it, it's not going to happen. The defense industry invents drones, we start killing people with drones. In a time of record profits and scads of cash, taxes are not raised, services are cut. The climate is going to hell, science is overpowered by religious nonsense, to the ongoing benefit of big oil.

Maybe George W. Bush was not the monster we took him to be. Maybe his ex-CIA father told him the truth after they got him, a useful idiot, elected.

"Just stand up there and act like you're the President-- we'll take care of the rest. And keep your mouth shut, or else."
 
 
-1 # Billy Bob 2013-08-24 14:25
Your theory is as believable as anyone else's, at this point.
 
 
+1 # Malcolm 2013-08-24 16:40
perhaps there's a connection between all these guys and Skull and Bones?
 
 
-1 # Billy Bob 2013-08-25 16:24
I just gave you 1 thumbs up here. It recorded my vote as "1 thumbs up". Conspiracy?

You wrote a good comment, and I agree with it. Therefore, I gave you a thumbs up and it was recorded as one. Can this be a "coincidence"? You decide. I've made my mind up. I believe there's a direct link between my vote and the "vote tally".

Call me a "nut", or a "conspiracy theorist", but I believe that RSN is in on this little "coincidence" with the person you know as "Billy Bob". I believe that they allow a "+1" after Billy Bob votes something up, and a "-1" after he votes something down. This is happening so often that I can make no conclusion, but that they're in on this conspiracy to tally the vote accurately.

I assumed, that every time I voted "+1", it would record as, either nothing, or as (like you've suggested) "-29". But, unfortunately, it appears that they are completely complicit in this conspiracy to record my vote objectively.

May God have mercy on us all ! ! !
 
 
0 # bingers 2013-08-24 02:44
Well, I'm allergic to cats, so mine is neither alive or dead, but since all probabilities exist, the distribution of possible outcomes is beyond me, and I'm thinking, Shroedinger as well.
 
 
-1 # Billy Bob 2013-08-24 14:23
I think you got it figured out, at least as well as anyone else I know.
 
 
0 # Capn Canard 2013-08-23 14:25
All presidents lie, it is a job requirement. The only way to reduce and end lying is to end the Federal Reserve's privatized banking system. Replace with a centralized national public bank.
 
 
0 # USA2012??? 2013-08-27 07:16
Excuse me: WTF? What do you mean what if the President lied, and why only Obama? If you haven't noticed, for the say past six decades, the President lying comes with the job: Get Real USA!!!
 

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