The Presidentís Shell Game
Step right up folks! President Obama is at it again playing a fast and easy shell game with the NSA and our privacy rights.
Watch his hands as he deftly moves the pieces around on the table, moving our metadata from government storage to a seemingly innocuous third party. But we know the game is the same no matter where the pieces lie. This move is just more of the same old crony game.
If the past is indeed prologue, we need to look no further than a couple of the president’s past deals—the ill-fated deal with the green energy company Solyndra and the debacle that is the Obamacare website—to see how the president handles our money and our private information.
Each deal was given access to loads and loads of taxpayer money—and in the case of Obamacare, access to our most private medical and financial information—and who did the president entrust with our money and our private information? Was it some innocuous bipartisan third party? No, of course not.
President Obama entrusted his crony pals with all that taxpayer money and private information. What happened next? Was the earth saved by Solyndra’s green energy? Were millions of Americans able to logon to a completely secure healthcare site? No and no way. Solyndra quickly went bankrupt without producing a single volt of green energy, while the no-bid contract to build the Obamacare website was given to a company that just happened to be owned by an Obama family friend and political donor. Was our most private medical and financial information safe in the crony friend’s hands? Not even close. According to the Washington Post, the company provided bare bones security for all that sensitive information for a mere $319 million! So tell me, why will this metadata storage deal be any different?
What’s to stop Obama from giving yet another no-bid contract to yet another of his crony pals? History has taught us the hard way not to believe the slick talk of President Obama—remember “You like your plan? You can keep your plan”?—but like any good carnie, he says all the right things to distract and misguide the players’ attention from what is going on right in front of our eyes. After all, why should we fear metadata collection by an all-powerful government or third party when, “the folks at the NSA and other intelligence agencies are our neighbors and friends”?
The president slickly tells us his proposed NSA reforms "should give the American people greater confidence that their rights are being protected, even as our intelligence and law-enforcement agencies maintain the tools they need to keep us safe." At the same time, he and his administration cannot point to a single incident that was disrupted or halted completely due to the collection of metadata.
So, why do we still need metadata collection and why on earth should we believe President Obama this time? Watch the hands, folks, watch the hands or we’ll all end up with empty pockets where our money and our privacy rights used to be.