The following are some of my quick thoughts on Barack Obama's Press Conference of August 9, 2013: (Note: Video clears after 10 seconds; Full Press Conference)
Whistleblowers: After I had written the following, the question was somewhat addressed by a reporter: If all of this needs to be done, if Obama was finally forced to address these things in public (and he was), then let Bradley Manning out, stop dogging Julian Assange, and don't pursue Edward Snowden.
How can the American people have a "fact-based" debate without the facts? Edward Snowden, through Glenn Greenwald, is providing vastly more current facts than the Obama administration ever even considered supplying.
How could anyone in his right mind trust Obama's whistleblower protection order when Obama completely ignored the war crimes exposed by Bradley Manning? Bradley did not receive a fair trial because any trial would have been unfair.
The NSA is sucking in the information. They do have information on everyone. Much of it has been saved. Any of that may be searched afterwards. There have not been internal firewalls that are only able to be breached upon a warrant issued by an open court.
If the "warrants" Obama refers to are general warrants, what good are they constitutionally? If a person is investigated because a friend of a friend happened to communicate with someone outside the country, what good is that constitutionally?
If Obama is right, then why do former NSA analyst and whistleblower Russ Tice's current sources within the NSA say to him that the US does what Obama claims it doesn't: collect it all, store it all, etc.? Why also is his administration blocking FOIA requests by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which requests, if properly answered, would show one way or the other whether Obama actually knows what he's talking about and really whether or not he's flat-out lying.
Non-NSA issue but important, as were others: Larry Summers has been slapped around by the Press for no reason? What part of de-regulation, etc., does Obama not comprehend or care about? Larry Summers is mistake prone, too mistake prone to let him head the Fed, period.
What about James Clapper's lie to Congress? Obama did nothing.
What about the expectation of privacy that nearly all Americans had, and that all should have been able to have, concerning their phone and other records? That data is scanned for patterns.
Obama talks about that there aren't abuses. The Constitution guarantees against unreasonable searches, and whether or not anything is done to harm a party by virtue of an unconstitutional search is irrelevant. The mere act of general searching, searching without reasonable suspicion, without probable cause, without naming the specific things to be looked for, etc., is itself an illegal abuse of power. Why doesn't Barack Obama know that? Why does he even imagine for a second that the rest of us should be fine with his administration, various governmental agencies, nosing around in our private lives?
Part (not all) of why there is terrorism is because governments make life coarser. Invasiveness of government is coarsening.
I am offended for Glenn Greenwald by Obama's statements about how Glenn has been going about releasing the information. It takes time to go over, to digest, to comprehend, and to discuss with editors, etc., and to write about such information. I see nothing wrong whatsoever with the way he has been doing it.
Obama's statement about future technology that could block the government is mind boggling. The NSA is about breaking such codes. The service Edward Snowden used to communicate with Glenn Greenwald has just shut down its encrypted email service precisely on account of the NSA possibly hacking its way in.
People who would look at what the NSA is doing and find it lawful would be people who do not understand the Constitution and its guarantee that we be secure in our personal effects, correspondence, etc. Look, the government can't open a paper envelope at the post office or anywhere in the country, for crying out loud, without a proper warrant. Where do they get off looking at a friend of a friend's emails just because the one of them communicated with someone, including another American, outside the country? It's incredible.I am absolutely confident that Barack Obama has committed high crimes while in office, not the least of which includes war crimes via his drone strikes, and should be impeached and remove for same.
Let me also say that if his staff and he think that his Press Conference went a long way in reducing the scrutiny that his administration and he will be coming under, they are very sadly mistaken. He has testified against himself with his statements.
I ask NSA workers who know the real truth to brave it and to blow the whistle within and then blow it extremely hard outside when Obama's whistleblower protection measures utterly fail. You will be in a position where they cannot touch you if you handle it correctly. You will not have to leave the country. You will not be kept from making a decent living either. Simply make sure you have the proof that Obama has been telling falsehoods about the NSA to the American people. If the NSA gives you a hard time within, go directly to Obama with it. If he won't hear you and handle it all correctly and openly with you to your reasonable satisfaction, demote and/or terminating others, etc., take it public, by all means.
If you think you have to be "Deep Throat" for awhile, then be that.
UPDATE: I ran into this after I published my post:
Spencer Ackerman of The Guardian has correctly pointed out that real Civil Libertarians have the same view I've expressed above.