SCOAMF-in-Chief: ‘Al Qaeda is Decimated’

From the National Review.

 

In his first press conference in four months, Obama assured reporters that al-Qaeda terrorists “are less likely to be able to carry out spectacular homeland attacks like 9/11.” The president’s statement comes in the midst of concerns about the group’s resurgence, which earlier this week prompted the closure of American embassies throughout the Middle East. Non-essential personnel were evacuated earlier today from the American consulate in Lahore, Pakistan. 

The president also reiterated that while “core al-Qaeda is on its heels, has been decimated,” it has “metastasized” into regional groups that threaten the United States on a smaller scale than the original terror organization.

 

But the new plot and the flurry of drone strikes have revived discussion about whether al-Qaeda has been “decimated”, as Obama administration officials have repeatedly claimed. They come after more than a decade of targeted killings, aggressive surveillance and an intense focus by the US on the threat from terrorism.

“The administration’s argument that al-Qaeda is close to defeat does not appear to be consistent with the security measures that they have taken this week,” said Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies, a Washington think-tank.

 

The state department said that some of the shuttered embassies and consulates could remain closed beyond this weekend, depending on the advice it receives from intelligence officials.

……The state department has also issued a global travel alert for Americans for the month of August – the sort of broad advisory that has reminded many of the color-coded security warnings of the George W Bush era. Staff at the US embassy in the Yemeni capital were evacuated by the military, a move that was sharply criticized by authorities there for providing propaganda benefits to terrorists.

 

Al Qaeda may be ‘decimated’ in Obama’s little mind, but he has no problem expanding surveillance on ordinary Americans:

The Obama administration on Friday asserted a bold and broad power to collect the phone records of millions of Americans in order to search for a nugget of information that might thwart a terrorist attack.

In a 22-page “white paper,” the Justice Department for the first time detailed its legal rationale for a massive National Security Agency data collection program that it claimed is both constitutional and subject to federal oversight.

The report, which echoes assertions the administration has made to Congress, said the law and subsequent court decisions bestow broad power on the government to seek telephone records “relevant” to investigations of suspected terrorism.

“Relevance,” the paper stated, is “a broad standard that permits discovery of large volumes of data in circumstances where doing so is necessary to identify much smaller amounts of information within that data that directly bears on the matter being investigated.”

The release of the white paper appeared to do little to allay the concerns of critics in Congress and the civil liberties community who say the surveillance program violates Americans’ right to privacy. Last month, the House narrowly defeated a proposal to terminate it. The closeness of the vote, 217 to 205, was surprising but gave fresh momentum to lawmakers who have been trying to rein in the collection effort.

 

And he holds secret meetings with the communications and computer companies that collaborated with the NSA’s violation of the 4th Amendment:

Obama hosted Apple CEO Tim Cook, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, Google computer scientist Vint Cerf and other tech executives and civil liberties leaders on Thursday for a closed-door meeting about government surveillance.

The session, which Obama attended himself, followed a similar gathering earlier this week between top administration officials, tech-industry lobbyists and leading privacy hawks, the sources said. Those earlier, off-the-record discussions centered on the controversy surrounding the NSA as well as commercial privacy issues such as online tracking of consumers.

The White House has declined to provide any details about its new outreach since the beginning of the week. A spokesman didn’t comment Thursday about the high-level meeting with the president — and the companies and groups invited also kept quiet when contacted…

Transparency.

 

Related posts:

http://sfcmac.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/nsas-brilliant-idea-well-use-machines-to-replace-people-and-avoid-pesky-leaks/

http://sfcmac.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/the-nsa-house-intelligence-committee-hearing-softballs-and-beer/

http://sfcmac.wordpress.com/2013/06/08/nsa-mistakenly-intercepted-private-email-and-phone-calls-of-innocent-americans/

 

1 thought on “SCOAMF-in-Chief: ‘Al Qaeda is Decimated’”

  1. Pingback: Don’t tell anyone, but CNN says al Qaeda’s secret code cracked | akula51 dot net

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