When can FBI use National Security letters to go after reporters? Sorry, that's classified

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2014/09/03/when-can-fbi-use-national-secu.html

In a new government report on National Security Letters, the FBI redacted the rules for using them on reporters.

Obama is the greatest political disappointment of my lifetime. This is not the America I want to live in and I can not tolerate attacks against free speech.


Greater than Bush? Really? How soon we forget.

But I agree, I want to be proud of my country again. Obama has cleaned up some, but not all, of the mess he was gifted. I don’t know if he could have done better - I’m not presidential material, and I’m not privy to the secret stuff. There’s still a lot of work to be done, and a lot of people who want to prevent it.

1 Like

What I think laser was saying isn’t that Obama is the most terrible, but going from a Nobel Peace prize to NSL’ing reporters repeatedly without press oversight on the criteria makes it relatively the biggest disappointment.

Or that is how I understood it.


I think what @lasermike026 was trying to say is that Obama is a disappointment because he didn’t live up to his potential. George W. Bush did pretty much what you would have expected.



Greater than Bush? Really? How soon we forget.

I wouldn’t say I was “disappointed” in Bush. I think he performed exactly to my expectations.


Sometimes I wish I could just blow up all the power structures, if I thought that it would actually help. But of course it doesn’t, and I have no idea what to replace them with except more bombs.


He could have maybe not done most of the stuff listed here.


1 Like

Everyone should go listen to or read Greenwald’s book on the Snowden revelations: No Place to Hide. It’s a depressing, incriminating exposé of what a shocking disappointment Obama has been. It also gives an unassailable account of how Snowden is an incredible badass of this highest degree who is potentially smarter than all of the NSA apparatus and to whom we owe an impossible-to-pay debt for his entirely selfless actions. We know how bad Obama really is because of Snowden.

I remember on the day of Obama’s election I was so blown away that you guys had actually voted in a black guy who supposedly had a sense of ethics over a frumpy, angry white guy (read: classic president material) that upon hearing that he won, I wished at least a few passers-by ‘happy obama day’. OMFG I shudder with embarrassment thinking back to that moment.


Compared to Bush’s years that is an unblemished record, basically.

I think a more objective assessment of a politician is how many of his promises he has kept. By that measure, he’s doing OK.

Sure, when you set the bar very, very, very low (George W. Bush), most non-sociopaths with IQ’s higher than 75 would be doing “OK.”

But the issue I was addressing was if there was anything he could have done better. Considering all the innocent people who have had their lives destroyed by Obama’s policies, I think he could have done much, much better.

Regarding the “Obameter,” I would imagine if you’re one of the unprecedented number of whistle-blowers he’s prosecuted, or if you’re one of the medicinal marijuana growers following your state’s laws who are in prison, or if you’re an unimportant peasant in Yemen or Afghanistan or Pakistan or Somalia who’s either been blown to bloody pieces by a drone or had a young son or daughter blown to bloody pieces by a drone, you might be unimpressed by the fact that he’s only broken 22% of his promises.

Actually, I’d be thoroughly unimpressed if anyone I knew or worked with broke 22% of all the promises they made. But this is politics, so I understand we’re not dealing with actual, real-life notions of ethics or morality.


We in the the USA are being blind sided by false patriotism. We have been told a great lie so many times we are starting to believe it. But the lie has never been true. It has never been: “My Country, Right or Wrong.”

This lie is a prescription for unrestrained tyranny. Our nation was forged in a battle against this meme. We must not continue to fall to it. Government derives it power from the consent of the governed. When Government claims unrestricted, unsupervised power, we must never consent.

From the beginning, it has always been: “My Country, if it is Wrong, I will make it Right.” This is the essence of our constitutional government. If we are to continue as Americans, we must be engaged. We can’t depend on Government to fix itself. It is the nature of all governments including our own to cherish it’s mistakes.

Unrestricted NSL’s are one of the great government mistakes of our generation. They are a gaping wound in the body politic. If we do not deal with these wounds, we will lose our Nation.

I’m with you on most of that… Like you alluded to in your last paragraph, I think that the realities of being captain of the most powerful country in the world comes with having to make some compromises. His lofty bullshit is what got him into office and then his rubber-stamping, or enhancement of bush-era abuses of power made our sense of betrayal even more bitter. History will paint him very badly for his treatment of whistleblowers.

I think the situation in Pakistan particularly, in terms of numbers of civilians killed compared to combatants, was inexcusable. It obviously sucks royal ass for the children who died as a result of any of these strikes because they didn’t have any say in the matter.

Shut up. Seriously: can it. You attribute to one man the woes of a nation. It’s not Obama. It’s the owners. It’s the people who own everything. So stuff it in your eye about Obama already.

1 Like

The quote began as a toast offered by Stephen Decatur that has been taken beyond recognition by serial misquoting:

Our country: In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right, and always successful, right or wrong.

Oh. I assumed the replacement would be robot monkeys. I would have voted for that.


Oh, yeah, he’s “Greater”, but only if you mean it in certain ways:

Greater at prosecuting whistleblowers/journalists
Greater at cracking down on marijuana arrests and prosecutions
Greater at committing to “military actions” that extend far beyond Congressional approval
Greater at killing American citizens abroad without any form of judicial process
Greater at enlarging and defending the scope of domestic spying
Greater at issuing denials of FOIA requests
Greater at driving huge increases of Americans renouncing citizenship
And so on.

But you know, BOOOSH and all. Bush II was a clown and an idiot. But the power abuses being committed by this administration are setting disturbing precedents that aren’t going to be any more forgivable when another party is in control.

You forgot to mention the long form birth certificate.

It’s okay. I’m sure Hillary Clinton will make it all better.