by Yvette Carnell
In an anything but hard hitting interview, President Obama sat down with late night comedian Jay Leno who, to his credit, brought up the NSA’s domestic spying program. In a curious admission, President Obama said that he doesn’t define the NSA spy program, which collects metadata on unknown numbers of Americans, as a spy program.
When asked about the spy program, President Obama said, “We don’t have a domestic spying program.”
Obama then continued, making a meaningless distinction: “What we do have are some mechanisms where we can track a phone number or an e-mail address that we know is connected to some sort of terrorist threat.”
Really? And I’m guesing we should all trust that that’s true, since there is no Congressional oversight.
What the NSA is doing–collecting metadata such as unique locations and phone numbers–amounts to spying, regardless of how Mr. Obama chooses to define it.
Whistleblower William Binney previously discussed why collecting metadata is so dangerous for the American people:
“When you take all those records of who’s communicating with who, you can build social networks and communities for everyone in the world,” mathematician and NSA whistle-blower William Binney — “one of the best analysts in history,” who left the agency in 2001 amid privacy concerns — told Daily Intelligencer. “And when you marry it up with the content,” which he is convinced the NSA is collecting as well, “you have leverage against everybody in the country.”
They’re spying on us and if Obama wants to defend it, then shame on him. But he should at the very least acknowledge what’s happening.