Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Can Obama Be Trusted?
Polls, private companies, and prisms are good words to describe the present state of government trust.  The greatest impact of the current scandals is how much they have made us distrust our own government.
I shall begin with two sets of poll results;
One,  most recent polls on Obamacare,

Obama and Democrats' Health Care Plan

4/20 - 6/9
Against/Oppose +12.5
6/8 - 6/9
1000 LV
Against/Oppose +14
5/30 - 6/2
1000 A
Against/Oppose +12
5/17 - 5/18
923 A
Against/Oppose +11
4/20 - 4/22
1009 RV
Against/Oppose +13

Two,  "The Interent and phone surveillance scandals hitting the news have catalyzed a growing schism between the American public and the U.S. govenrment. According to a new Rasmussen poll, only 30% of Americans trust the U.S. government to use the Consitution as a gudie for sureviellance issues, while 52% if respondentsd do not

"When asked whether they believed Barack Obama when he said the government was not listening to their phone calls, 68% of those polled said that it was at least somewhat likely that Obama was not telling the truth. Even a majority of Democrats, 58%, believe that the Obama Administration is listening to private conversations, and only 49% of them trust the government’s efforts to stay within legal boundaries."

"In another poll by Rasmussen, only 26% of voters approve of the government’s secret surveillance; 59% are against it. Almost half of voters, 46%, believe that they have been spied on by the government. “

Growing Distrust
These polls indicate growing  distrust among American over President Obama and his policies.   The present skepticism  over Benghazi,  investigations into journalists' activities,  stumbles over Obamacare  implementation,   IRS targeting and auditing of conservatives, and  metadata surveillance of hundreds of millions of Americans’ phone, email records, and commercial  website transactions add to the paranoia.

The dawning realities that nine private Silicon Valley companies –  Yahoo, Google, Intel, AOL, Facebook, Apple. Paytalk. Twitter, and Microsoft – collaborated with the government as requested by the Foreign Intelligent Act (FISA) adds to the distrust.

 The extent of this collaboration is revealed in a remarkable article in the June 8 New York Times,“Tech Companies Concede to the Surveillance Program.”  The distrust of government is not so much that  these private companies collaborated.  The FISA court dictated  that they should, but that the extent, scope, and scale of th4 surveillance  was kept secret for so long.   The New York Times , a generally reliable Obama ally,  is up in arms against the surveillance program as an egregious invasion of personal privacy,  whereas the Wall Street Journal,  generally an Obama critic,   says the program is justified on the basis of national security.   At the center of the controversy are Edward Snowden, the 29 year old leaker who spilled the beans about the extent of the surveillance program, and the nature of the PRISM program, which Wikipedia defines as follows:

PRISM is a clandestine national security electronic surveillance program operated by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) since 2007 PRISM is a government codename for a data collection effort known officially as US-984XN.

“Documents leaked by Edward Snowden in June 2013 describe the PRISM program as enabling in-depth surveillance on live communications and stored information. It provides for the targeting of any customers of participating corporations who live outside the United States, or American citizens whose communications include web content of people outside the United States. Data which the NSA is able to obtain with the PRISM program includes email, video and voice chat, videos, photos, voice over IP conversations, file transfers, login notifications and social networking details.

“According to the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, PRISM cannot be used to intentionally target any Americans or anyone in the United States. Clapper said a special court, Congress, and the executive branch oversee the program and extensive procedures ensure the acquisition, retention, and dissemination of data accidentally collected about Americans is kept to a minimum. Clapper issued a statement and "fact sheet"] to correct what he characterized as "significant misimpressions" in articles by The Washington Post and Guardian newspapers Former intelligence officials told the Associated Press that sometimes intelligence agencies must destroy material on U.S. citizens they should not have seen, passed to them inappropriately by the NSA.”

What Americans yearn for is for President Obama “to come clean”  and to compromise on the issues now bedeviling him and bewildering the public. 

What did he know about Benghazi? Where was he when it occurred, and who did he talk to about it on that dreadful night?  Did he give the orders for the military to “stand down” on a rescue effort? 

What compromises is he willing to make on Obamacare?  What did the head of IRS make 157 visits to the White House?  To talk about targeting conservatives? To prepare the IRS about its role in implementing Obamacare?
Why was the National Surveillance Agency program kept secret for so long?   What was the role of Eric Schmidt, then CEO of Google and a well-known Obama supporter, in the IRS and surveillance programs?  

 We will probably never know the President’s involvement in any of these things, but the American public would like some answers. 

Tweet:  Public mistrust over Obamacare,  Benghazi, the IRS targeting of conservatives, and the massive surveillance of American citizens is growing.









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