“The fault was two rogue agents in the Cincinnati office …”
“The only calls monitored are those coming from overseas; no one is listening to your phone calls …”
As a child, when my parents read me bedtime stories my brain would work overtime in the logic-department, forever asking, “If that actually did happen, then how…?” The usual parent-tactic to end the discussion was to either change the subject or close the book with a “Good night, Maureen”, leaving me with questions hanging in my head.
Here we are, almost ten months after the assault on the Benghazi compound and we still have no idea where Obama was that night after being informed the attack was on going. We still do not know what he did for hours or why he never made even a simple phone call to find out what was happening. As far as we know, Obama made no inquiry as to the whereabouts of his personal representative, Ambassador Stevens, who was reported missing. The question has been hanging over my head from the moment I heard that the president, the commander-in-chief, had done nothing by way of ordering military defense for sovereign U.S. soil when it was under attack. Sadly, I don’t see it being resolved any time soon.
Meanwhile, another head-scratching “fairy tale” is the IRS, an agency run amok from the targeting of particular citizens and activist groups based solely on their political bent to wild-and-free spending of the taxpayers’ dollars on lavish parties, ridiculous in-house videos for “training” purposes and other assorted ridiculous and invalid expenditures (not to mention out-and-out fraud). IRS Agency credit cards were reportedly used to purchase everything from pornography to kazoos. When the scandal of the IRS first broke with the release of the Inspector General’s report earlier last month, it concluded the targeting of TEA party and other conservative groups, individuals was done by “two rogue agents in the Cincinnati office.” Once again, the logic portion of my brain was confused. It seemed highly unlikely to me that a couple of people in Cincinnati, Ohio would be able to write and post letters from California, Florida, Washington D.C., especially when the name “Lois Lerner” was signed to several. We’re still at the beginning of this unholy mess and who knows how much more corruption will be discovered under the next overturned rock.
The third Obama Fairy Tale is the one in which the NSA claims they did not spy on American citizens. Perish the thought! Why only last week, the director of the NSA, Keith Alexander, was in front of the House Government Oversight Committee to confirm this and explain to the Representatives for the benefit of their constituents that the only tracking the NSA does is with telephone numbers, records, not even the names those numbers belong to. They claim monitor when a call initiates from overseas, but that they carefully scrutinize and check where the call is originating from and “connect the dots”, as Alexander and the other panelists repeated over and over.
But gee, somehow those protestations did not jive with the information I have been reading in the press of late. The fact that a week before this open hearing, the same NSA confirmed they do listen to domestic calls, and that they do not feel they need court authorization to do so. I was reminded of an ABC Nightline report in 2008 in which they detailed how NSA operators were monitoring phone calls back home from our soldiers fighting in Iraq. They would listen especially to the “pillow talk” calls, violating the private moments of a husband and wife separated by duty in a most egregious manner, even going so far as alerting others when a particularly “good” sex call was in progress. What a nice thing to have done to men and women who put their lives on the line for our nation, eh?
And still, Alexander insists that the phone numbers are simply kept and documented. When Rep. Michelle Bachmann asked him more specific questions, he denied that the NSA listened to calls, kept recordings or transcripts of them, email transmissions, recording Facebook information, etc. So then why, my logic inquires, is there need for the giant NSA facility in Utah, built entirely for storing information?
I have been asking these questions, just as I did as a child when things didn’t make sense to me. But I refuse to simply pull up the covers and go to sleep, even though these fairy tales have turned into nightmares and I realize they are not necessarily going to end “happily ever after.”