Obama snoops part 2: infiltrate, target, harass churches
“On Thursday the Examiner provided an exclusive report indicating that the Obama administration had implemented a covert program beginning in 2009 that was intended to spy on conservative, evangelical Christian churches.
That program involved infiltration — sending in government operatives to join churches for the purpose of data collection. The government snoops would keep their eyes and ears open for criticism of the Obama administration, talk of Tea Party participation, conversations about gun ownership, and a number of other issues.
But a special report issued today by Fox News indicates that the program went far beyond infiltration and snooping. The IRS was used to harass Christian churches if they were identified as places where large numbers of anti-Obama citizens congregated for worship.
The Obama administration, according to the report, considered any public criticism of administration policies to be political in nature and should therefore impact whether or not these congregations were allowed to gain or keep their tax exempt status.
But pastors have long maintained that there are a myriad of areas where political and moral/spiritual issues overlap, and thus, the pastors feel obligated as the guardians of spiritual truth to speak out concerning these issues.”
“Suspended and arrested after refusing to change his NRA shirt. Today, 14-year-old Jared Marcum appeared before a judge and was officially charged with obstructing an officer.
A $500 fine and up to a year in jail, that’s the penalty that Jared could face, now that a judge has allowed the prosecution to move forward with it’s obstructing an officer charge against him.
“Me, I’m more of a fighter and so is Jared and eventually we’re going to get through this,” Jared’s father Allen Lardieri said. “I don’t think it should have ever gotten this far.”
The Logan County Police Department initially claimed that the at-the-time 8th grade Logan Middle School student was arrested for disturbing the education process, obstructing an officer and Lardieri says that officers even went as far as threatening to charge Jared with making terroristic threats.
“In my view of the facts, Jared didn’t do anything wrong,” Ben White, Jared’s attorney said. “I think officer Adkins could have done something differently.”
Prosecuting attorney Michael White refused to respond to any questions, as did Logan Police.
We obtained official court documents from both sides of this case. On one hand, the arresting officer from the Logan City Police Department, James Adkins, claims that when Jared refused to stop talking, that hindered his ability to do his job, hence, the obstruction charge. On the other side, Ben White points out that nowhere in the arresting officer’s petition, does it mention Jared ever making any threats or acting in a violent manner.
“Every aspect of this is just totally wrong,” Lardieri said. “He has no background of anything criminal, up until now and it just seems like nobody wants to admit they’re wrong.”"
“The Secret Service had a thick FBI file- filled with screenshots of hundreds of posts. Said Tom, “I flat out told them ‘I have NEVER threatened Obama’s life! Yes, I despise him as you can plainly see, but I have that right!’ They actually ADMITTED and agreed with me that I hadn’t threatened Obama.”
They had run a background check and discovered that Tom legally owned two guns- and they asked to see them. Tom showed them his firearms. They asked, “Are they loaded?” Tom replied in the affirmative. “What good are guns if they aren’t loaded?”
So why harass Tom? “The Secret Service officers claimed that “they were concerned that since I have a large Twitter following, and the things I said could be acted upon by some nut case out there! What the hell? They turned my life upside down for THAT?”
Tom didn’t refuse the search because they just would have gone and gotten a warrant. “They would have proceeded to tear my house apart. No thanks. I have nothing to hide. They left empty-handed and my house is still intact.”
When they left Tom’s house, one Secret Service Agent ‘advised’- “Keep in mind, if you step over the line, we’ll come back for your guns.”
After the “visit” to Tom, the Secret Service also visited Tom’s 22 year old daughter- terrifying her and making her fear for her father’s safety. She asked them what they were going to do with the information about her Dad. They said they were going to “turn it over to Eric Holder- he has the last word on what to do, if anything.” “
“Give them an inch and they will take a mile. That is how power-hungry tyrants interpret any law.
The PATRIOT Act and the FISA court led to the blanket wiretapping of every American citizen and a PRISM lens into all Internet activity for the NSA.
Now we are supposed to trust this Peeping Tom government by giving them more authority for “cybersecurity” with the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA)?
As George W. Bush once eloquently said with his patented deer-in-the-headlights conviction “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me, you can’t get fooled again, see.”
Oh, I bet the American people will get fooled again. But it’s not their fault. When authority figures tell bald-faced lies to the public, most people instinctively want to believe them because the majority of people are honest and perceive others to be honest.
Obama won the presidency promising to overturn Bush’s draconian destruction of civil liberties in the name of fighting terror. The majority of Americans took Obama at his word and gave him the benefit of the doubt. Until now.”
Via Activist Post
“Analysts at the National Security Agency can now secretly access real-time user data provided by as many as 50 American companies, ranging from credit rating agencies to internet service providers, two government officials familiar with the arrangements said.
Several of the companies have provided records continuously since 2006, while others have given the agency sporadic access, these officials said. These officials disclosed the number of participating companies in order to provide context for a series of disclosures about the NSA’s domestic collection policies. The officials, contacted independently, repeatedly said that “domestic collection” does not mean that the target is based in the U.S. or is a U.S. citizen; rather, it refers only to the origin of the data.
The Wall Street Journal reported today that U.S. credit card companies had also provided customer information. The officials would not disclose the names of the companies because, they said, doing so would provide U.S. enemies with a list of companies to avoid. They declined to confirm the list of participants in an internet monitoring program revealed by the Washington Post and the Guardian, but both confirmed that the program existed.”
Via The Week
“On June 5, London’s Guardian reported part of it. “NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily,” it headlined.
On June 6, a follow-up article headlined “NSA taps in to systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and others, secret files reveal.”
The Washington Post followed with its own report. It said the NSA and FBI “are tapping directly into the central servers of nine US Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to trace a person’s movements and contacts over time.”
Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Paltalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple, and other online companies willingly cooperate with lawless government spying.
Doing so, in part, reflects old news. Institutional spying on Americans is longstanding. Previous articles discussed it. More on the Guardian articles below.”
Via Activist Post
“Obama: Don’t Worry, Folks, I Expanded Anything Bush Did, But They’re Just “Modest Encroachments”
Listen carefully to above at around ~08 where Obama admits he expanded on anything Bush had done, but calls it “modest encroachment” on privacy.
Modest encroachments. That makes me feel so much better,”
Via Weasel Zippers
Clapper acknowledged the risks inherent in publicly discussing details about the phone records program but said he wanted to correct the “misleading impression” created by the article that disclosed its existence. “I believe it is important for the American people to understand the limits of this targeted counterterrorism program and the principles that govern its use.”
The NSA collects the phone data in broad swaths, Clapper said, because collecting it a narrow fashion would make it harder to identify terrorism-related communications. He said the information collected lets the government, over time, make connections about terrorist activities. He said the program doesn’t let the U.S. listen to people’s calls, but only includes information like call length and telephone numbers dialed.
The court also prohibits the government from indiscriminately rummaging through the phone data, which he said can only be queried when there are specific facts to back up a reasonable suspicion of an association with a foreign terrorist group.
“Convenience is utterly immaterial.
The 4th Amendment protects from seizure without a warrant describing particularly what is being seized and the probable cause upon which the seizure is taking place.
It is immaterial whether or not the seized data is then sifted through, that is, searched, with or without said authorization of the court.
The seizure en-masse of data pertaining to the actions of persons not suspected of terrorism or other lawful reasons for the government to acquire and use said data is flatly unlawful as it violates The Constitution, irrespective of what pretense Mr. Douchenozzle Clapper may wish to try to arrogate to himself.
Likewise, the seizure of data from internet portals and providers, irrespective of how it is done, is unlawful if it takes place in the United States and is not supported by legal process permitted under the 4th Amendment.
Whether the data is at the time or subsequently searched is again immaterial.”
Via Market Ticker
“Even more, just within the last few weeks we’ve seen the Justice Department confiscating news reporter phone records… the IRS caught bullying political opposition groups… and now this.
It should be as plain as day at this point. Yet some people still have a hard time understanding that they’re living under an oppressive, destructive, unaccountable government.
Most other cultures get it. If you go to Argentina, Vietnam, Italy, or China, people there have absolutely no trust or confidence in their governments.
It’s something that’s ‘almost’ uniquely American – a lifetime of steady, bombastic propaganda that inculcates a deep belief that our system is the ‘best’.
And, even in the face of such overwhelming evidence, it’s still hard for people to break from this programming and acknowledge that their government is just as corrupt as Mexico’s… albeit slightly more sophisticated.
The politicians running the nation are sociopathic criminals, plain and simple. If you or I were to tap people’s phones or hack their Facebook accounts, or use our authority to bully opposition groups, we would be tossed in the slammer in no time… and branded by the media as moral delinquents.”
Via Zero Hedge
“Every single day, the U.S. government gathers and stores more than a billion phone calls, emails, text messages, photographs and Internet searches. Just about every form of electronic communication that you can possibly imagine is being harvested. In fact, it has been reported that NSA personnel gather 2.1 million gigabytes of data every hour. This is being done even though it is a blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution. Sadly, most Americans do not even know what the Fourth Amendment actually says. For those that do not know, the Fourth Amendment says the following: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Unfortunately, our leaders have totally abandoned the Constitution. They seem to believe that they have the right to look through our electronic communications any time they want and that we should not complain about it. As you will see below, workers at the NSA have even eavesdropped on very intimate conversations between soldiers serving in Iraq and their female loved ones back home. What kind of sick person would do such a thing? Sadly, the truth is that we have allowed ourselves to become a “Big Brother society”, and we are an utter disgrace to the millions of brave men and women who have died to defend our freedoms.”