Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – Some interesting stuff is coming out in relation to our spyfare empire, our spyfare state. At first it was denied. When Glenn Greenwald and someone else at The Guardian start writing that the latest documents Edward Snowden has showered upon the press, that the United States was spying and monitoring the cell phones of world leaders, the biggest name being talked about and acknowledge is Angela Merkel. At first the Obama administration denies it. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Some interesting stuff is coming out in relation to our spyfare empire, our spyfare state. At first it was denied. When Glenn Greenwald and someone else at The Guardian start writing that the latest documents Edward Snowden has showered upon the press, that the United States was spying and monitoring the cell phones of world leaders, the biggest name being talked about and acknowledge is Angela Merkel. At first the Obama administration denies it.
You have to think of this in the context that if the president doesn’t know, which is now the line [mocking] “I didn’t know. I want you to hear me, I didn’t know. I had no idea.” If the president didn’t know and Congress claims they didn’t know, then who knew? Who’s minding the candy store? The outrage that the world is expressing, that they can’t believe their ally is monitoring their own leaders’ phone calls and spying in their country, that’s outrageous enough. Why do we call them allies? What is outrageous, to me anyway, is the fact that there are people in the government that claim to not have known about what was going on. Then when they’re confronted with it, they say this is something the NSA is doing.
The way I understand government, the way it’s supposed to work is that we have a legislative branch that is supposed to pass laws and an executive branch that’s supposed to execute laws. If the legislature did not instruct the NSA and tell them: Part of your job is to gather this intelligence. If the president did not say: Okay, the legislative branch has ordered that you are to do this. I am the president and I’m supposed to execute it, so I’m going to make sure you do this and execute the law. If both branches claim they have no knowledge of what was going on, someone needs to ask the question: Then who is making the decisions? The guys that write at ZeroHedge.com were joking about this on Friday. It seems any midlevel janitor at the NSA building can order spying on anyone on planet Earth. I don’t think that’s very far of a stretch, do you? Here’s the headline at Fox News: “Obama knew of NSA spying on Merkel and approved it, report says.” As I said, first the president denies it. Then we have reports that he knew about it.
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President Barack Obama knew of the organization’s spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel – and approved of the efforts, a National Security Agency official has reportedly told a German newspaper.
The Economic Times writes the “high-ranking” NSA official spoke to Bild am Sonntag on the condition of anonymity, saying the president, “not only did not stop the operation, but he also ordered it to continue.” [Mike: What were they going to get out of or learn from spying on or tapping the phone of Angela Merkel?]
The Economic Times also reports the official told Bild am Sonntag that Obama did not trust Merkel, wanted to know everything about her, and thus ordered the NSA to prepare a dossier on the politician.
The account could mean difficulties for the White House, given another report claiming Obama told Merkel during a telephone conversation last Wednesday he was not aware of the NSA’s spying.
The Economic Times cited Frankfuter Allgemeine Zeitung in writing that when Merkel called Obama last week to alternately complain – and get an explanation – about the NSA surveillance, the president assured her he wasn’t aware of the campaign regarding her, and would have halted it, had he known.
According to the New York Times, Susan E. Rice, the president’s national security adviser, insisted that Obama did not know about the monitoring of Merkel’s phone, during a call last week with Christoph Heusgen, Rice’s German counterpart. [Mike: We have every senior ranking member of the Obama administration now lying to those people that are supposed to be our “allies.”]
The unnamed NSA official’s allegations delve deeper into a Saturday report, published by the German magazine Der Spiegel, claiming the U.S. spy agency has monitored Merkel’s phone since 2002 [Mike: That means Obama’s Republican predecessor, President Bush, participated in this subterfuge as well.] or even before she rose to her country’s chief executive position and was only an opposition leader.
The revelations follow earlier reports of the NSA monitoring phone calls made by French and German citizens, an account prompting both nations’ foreign ministries to summon the respective American ambassadors to each country for an explanation. Much – if not all – of the reporting on the alleged spying scandal stems from documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward J. Snowden.
Mike: We have the continued benefit of these documents that Edward Snowden continues to funnel to journalists. I have another story today from Mish Shedlock. What’s really disturbing about this is there are people in the NSA that are saying what the problem is is not that they’re spying, not that no one knows what the chain of command is, the problem is that it’s being reported and we need to do something to stop the reporting. In other words, we need the 2013 version of the Adams administration’s sedition law, which would prevent anyone from saying anything bad about the government. I suppose that would include the NSA.
According to the Associated Press, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich was quoted Sunday as telling newspaper Bild am Sonntag he wants “complete information on all accusations” and that “if the Americans intercepted cellphones in Germany, they broke German law on German soil.”
Mike: That’s a pretty heady accusation. If they broke German law on German soil, wouldn’t it make sense then that if they did this in Brazil, if they did this in Spain, that we’ve probably broken laws in all those countries that we’re supposed to be allies with in our alleged pursuit of — remember, they only do this to “protect the American people.” We only do this because we’ve got this global war against terrorists. How’s that explanation working with the allies that are being spied upon?
The Der Spiegel report also alleges the German leader’s mobile phone number had been part of a special surveillance list used by the NSA as last as this past June. Der Spiegel writes the nature of the alleged monitoring isn’t clear, or whether Merkel’s conversations were recorded or her contacts scrutinized.
Mike: Remember, there was a report last week that the NSA was intercepting your and my emails and filtering out or downloading and keeping and storing email lists. If you have a group list that you send things to, they’re storing the group lists. That would include chat room lists, it was revealed. We have a spy agency that is spying on the entire known universe now. It is acknowledging that it has spied on the entire known universe now. We now have people in Congress, James Sensenbrenner, for example, who was the co-author of the Patriot Act now saying the Patriot Act needs to be rolled back. We’ve been talking about this for years, about the need to repeal the Patriot Act, about the evisceration of civil liberties that the act has attended. The guy that’s the co-author of the Patriot Act, Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, has had it. This is a post by Jonathan Coppage at American Conservative Magazine, amconmag.com.
In the aftermath of the attacks of 9/11, Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) authored the Patriot Act in order to expand the government’s surveillance powers in an effort to protect against the threat of terrorism in the 21st century. Twelve years later, he is preparing a new bill, the USA Freedom Act, to reign those surveillance powers back in.
National Journal is reporting that Sensenbrenner plans to introduce the new legislation next week with around 60 co-sponsors, including several who had voted against the attempt by Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and John Conyers (D-Mich.) to defund parts of the NSA’s activities earlier this spring. “‘Six members who voted no and two who didn’t vote on the Amash amendment are original cosponsors of the USA Freedom Act,’ Sensenbrenner spokesman Ben Miller told National Journal. ‘Had they voted for the amendment, it would have passed 213 to 211.’”
In a previous discussion about the bill, Sensenbrenner told the Washington Post‘s “The Fix” blog:
I can say that if Congress knew what the NSA had in mind in the future immediately after 9/11, the Patriot Act never would have passed, and I never would have supported it. We have to have a balance of security and civil liberties. What the NSA has done, with the concurrence of both the Bush and Obama administrations, is completely forgotten about the guarantees of civil liberties that those of us who helped write the Patriot Act in 2001 and the reauthorization in 2005 and 2006 had written the law to prevent from happening.
In that same conversation, Sensenbrenner described the outlines of the bill:
Andrea Peterson: What is the USA Freedom Act?
Sensenbrenner: It does several things. First of all, it stops the collection of metadata by the NSA and has some restrictions on section 215 of the Patriot Act . . .
Mike: Let me ask you people a question. Does anyone believe, if Congress were to order the NSA to stop collecting metadata and stop monitoring and spying on people’s phone calls and chat rooms and email sand every other hell forsaken thing they’re doing, how would you know the order had been carried out? According to the Obama administration, they don’t even know what the NSA is doing today. How can you expect you’re going to have any guarantee whatsoever of being able to monitor what these guys are doing?
People love to have conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories are part of our dialogue. They have been part of our dialogue for hundreds of years. People think conspiracy theories and conspiracies are a modern invention; they’re not. They’ve been around forever. I could get into some of the ones that are old. Just for the sake of argument, let’s just say there are some that go all the way back to the Revolutionary War, 1776. Most of the theories are wild and hysterical and seek to animate people and motivate them — like the TV show The X-Files, “the truth is out there.”
We have a situation here and we have events that are occurring that are now public that amount to — this is how fantastical this is — what would have been a conspiracy theory. No one would have believed this. This is the point that I’m making here. That’s how out of whack this is. No one would have believed that the federal government of the United States not only was capable of doing this, but that it would actually do it with the sanction of members of Congress and the presidency. You would not have believed this. You would have gone: Oh, come on, man, that’s just the stress talking. That’s another one of those nutty conspiracy theories. Now that it’s happening right here, and as I said, it’s very public. There doesn’t seem to be any official denial of it any longer. It’s not conspiracy now. Here’s the question: What are we to do about this?
Ask yourself another question. For those that fancy themselves the monitors and chroniclers of all these other assorted conspiracies that involve central bankers and what have you, why isn’t there more outrage and more discussion and more demands for answers and for accountability when you have an actual conspiracy that has actual facts behind it? For all we know, it’s still happening as I speak. It’s still going on today. Where’s the headline? Where’s the outrage? Where’s the discussion? Where are the members of Congress? Here’s a good question: Where’s the filibuster? Outside of James Sensenbrenner, who is taking action on this?
Isn’t it kind of funny, even though it’s no laughing matter, that the things that we have been and others have been talking about and warning about for years, and we were told [mocking] “That’s not gonna happen. We have all these protections built into these laws. It can never work like that. You and your Libertarian buddies always worrying about this stuff, our government only mean us the best. It only seeks to help us. It only wants to protect you. They have the highest regard and esteem for civil liberties.” Now that we’ve learned that is not the case and that is not what is happening, and that the government is not operating in the fashion or mode that it’s supposed to operate in, it seems to me that you have an issue here that if one party were to seize it, if the Republicans had any sense whatsoever, if they would leave their bellicosity at the door, they would be the ones out there screaming about this and they would make it their issue. This is a winning issue. People don’t like to be spied on. The polls say many people will answer the question and say: Well, if you don’t have anything to hide, what are you worried about?
As we have discussed many, many times here on this show, that’s an improper way to look at it. When they’re cataloging this stuff, it can be used against you in the future, or used to build a case against you for something else in the future. The danger of government having this information and having this access is because they can act upon these laws, they can deprive you of your life, your liberty, your property without any care or concern for the cost prosecuting you, harassing you, tormenting you. You will have to pay a lawyer or lawyers to protect yourself if you were to be charged using any of this illicitly-gathered intelligence. They would be able to move Heaven and Earth to make you try to atone for it. That’s why it’s dangerous. That’s why there’s the Fourth Amendment. That’s why those men that protested the formation of the government under the Constitution without amendments, like Patrick Henry and George Mason and others, they warned us about this. They told us this was going to happen. I just think it’s the natural order of things. Now it’s gotten so far out of control and it’s so large that we seem incapable of being able to do anything about it. Maybe that’s an even bigger outrage.
End Mike Church Show Transcript