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Greenwald: Obama’s NSA ‘reforms’ are little more than a PR attempt to mollify the public

Posted By admin On January 18, 2014 @ 1:24 pm In Featured Stories,Prison Planet,Tile | Comments Disabled

Glenn Greenwald
London Guardian [1]
January 18, 2013

In response to political scandal and public outrage, official Washington repeatedly uses the same well-worn tactic. It is the one that has been hauled out over decades in response to many of America’s most significant political scandals. Predictably, it is the same one that shaped President Obama’s much-heralded Friday speech [2] to announce his proposals for “reforming” the National Security Agency in the wake of seven months of intense worldwide controversy.

The crux of this tactic is that US political leaders pretend to validate and even channel public anger by acknowledging that there are “serious questions that have been raised”. They vow changes to fix the system and ensure these problems never happen again. And they then set out, with their actions, to do exactly the opposite: to make the system prettier and more politically palatable with empty, cosmetic “reforms” so as to placate public anger while leaving the system fundamentally unchanged, even more immune than before to serious challenge.

This scam has been so frequently used that it is now easily recognizable. In the mid-1970s, the Senate uncovered surveillance abuses that had been ongoing for decades, generating widespread public fury. In response, the US Congress enacted a new law (Fisa) which featured two primary “safeguards”: a requirement of judicial review for any domestic surveillance, and newly created committees to ensure legal compliance by the intelligence community.

But the new court was designed to ensure that all of the government’s requests were approved: it met in secret, only the government’s lawyers could attend, it was staffed with the most pro-government judges, and it was even housed in the executive branch. As planned, the court over the next 30 years virtually never said no to the government.

Full article here [1]


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URL to article: http://www.prisonplanet.com/greenwald-obamas-nsa-reforms-are-little-more-than-a-pr-attempt-to-mollify-the-public.html

URLs in this post:

[1] London Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/17/obama-nsa-reforms-bulk-surveillance-remains

[2] Friday speech: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/17/obama-speech-nsa-surveillance-reforms-full-text

[3] Glenn Greenwald: detaining my partner was a failed attempt at intimidation: http://www.prisonplanet.com/glenn-greenwald-detaining-my-partner-was-a-failed-attempt-at-intimidation.html

[4] Glenn Greenwald: Even Low Level NSA Analysts Can Spy On Phone Calls And Emails: http://www.prisonplanet.com/glenn-greenwald-even-low-level-nsa-analysts-can-spy-on-phone-calls-and-emails.html

[5] NSA surveillance: anger mounts in Congress at ‘spying on Americans’: http://www.prisonplanet.com/nsa-surveillance-anger-mounts-in-congress-at-spying-on-americans.html

[6] Lisbon Treaty: Czech court to consider reforms: http://www.prisonplanet.com/lisbon-treaty-czech-court-to-consider-reforms.html

[7] Glenn Greenwald To Testify Before Congress On NSA Surveillance: http://www.prisonplanet.com/glenn-greenwald-to-testify-before-congress-on-nsa-surveillance.html

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