Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 10, 2013/ 2 Tammuz, 5773

Modest Snooping?

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | SAN JOSE, Calif. — "Nobody's listening to your phone calls," President Obama proclaimed at a Friday event that was supposed to be about California's implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

But that morning, the New York Times had reported that surveillance programs begun under President George W. Bush had been clearly "embraced and even expanded under the Obama administration." The Guardian had reported that the federal government directed Verizon to provide phone logs on a daily basis, not only of calls between the United States and abroad, but also calls "wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls."

Accordingly, Times reporter Jackie Calmes asked the president if he could assure the American people that the government doesn't keep "some massive secret database of all their personal online information and activities."

"You can't have 100 percent security and also have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience," the president replied. "We're going to have to make some choices as a society."

In defense of the phone surveillance program, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, argued, "It's called protecting America." The program, wrote Slate's Will Saleton, "isn't Orwellian. It's limited, and it's controlled by checks and balances."

Most important: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers maintains that the program helped thwart a significant terrorist attack within the United States in the last few years.

Does that mean the government hasn't gone overboard? Obama suggested that the public can trust the government because the executive branch acts under the oversight of Congress and with the approval of federal judges.

Under that arrangement, however, the Department of Justice secretly subpoenaed phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors — the news of which no doubt chilled any would-be whistle-blowers left in Washington.

With a judge's approval, the FBI obtained a warrant to snoop on Fox News reporter James Rosen, after charging that Rosen was a "co-conspirator" in the leak of classified information concerning North Korea — a crime punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

Attorney General Eric Holder maintains that the FBI had to call Rosen a possible criminal in order to obtain a search warrant.

That's ridiculous. The government did not have to name Rosen as a probable co-conspirator. Also, if the search warrant application is true, the government not only knew the identity of the State Department consultant who leaked classified information on North Korea, but also had a strong case against him. According to the document, the consultant accessed the leaked report "at least three times" and his office phone made two calls to Rosen's phone at about the time the classified file was accessed.

"Anybody looking at this request would have seen this as an excessive act of surveillance," noted George Washington University law Professor Jonathan Turley. The government also searched Rosen's parents' phone records.

Holder told NBC's Pete Williams that he can fix what went wrong by reforming department guidelines — which makes the country's top lawman completely incompetent or the boldest of liars.

The president who assured Americans that the government is not listening to their phone calls left Holder in charge of the investigation into his own misdeeds.

In USA Today last month, Turley dubbed Holder as Obama's "sin eater" — a Beltway term for "high-ranking associates who shield presidents from responsibility for their actions."

Despite new revelations about Holder's excesses, Turley observed, "Obama hasn't asked him to resign. The clear import is that Holder's doing exactly what Obama wants him to do."

So do I trust the president when he says the government's metadata program represents "modest encroachments on privacy?" I trust him no more than I trust Eric Holder.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment JWR contributor Debra J. Saunders' column by clicking here.

Debra J. Saunders Archives

© 2013, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast