End of the Age News
By Anthony Vandagriff
Obama’s Syria Policy needs work
First up, do you believe President Obama’s policy regarding Syria needs work? You may not but Secretary of State John Kerry does. At least that’s what he told 15 members of a bipartisan congressional delegation.
Two prominent Republican senators have reported John Kerry told them and 13 others that the President’s administration is in need of a new, more assertive Syria policy that Al-Qaeda affiliated groups in Syria pose a direct terrorist threat to the US homeland.
Continuing on, they reported Kerry saying that Russia is arming the regime of Syrian President ashar Assad and is generally subverting chances for a peaceful settlement; that Assad is violating his promise to expeditiously part with his massive stores of chemical weapons.
And that, in Kerry’s view, it may be time to consider more dramatic arming of moderate Syrian rebel faction. Apparently John Kerry is not only consumed about achieving peace in Israel between the Jews and the Palestinians. We will see what becomes of the US Syrian policy in the days ahead.
O’Reilly vs. Obama
Prior to the most viewed program of the year, the Superbowl, President Barack Obama duked it out with Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly. This was the sixth time President Obama interviewed preceding the big game and this was the second time specifically with Bill O’Reilly.
Going into the interview, people knew this was going to go round and round as certain issues such as Bengazi, the IRS scandal over right wing nonprofits, and the Obamacare website were to be discussed. President Obama simply threw everything back in the face of O’Reilly.
When asked about the corruption in the IRS regarding rightwing nonprofits, the president said, “These kinds of things keep on surfacing in part because you and your TV station will promote them. When questioned about the issues with the health care website the president made it clear he was not going to focus on the past.
Later he made a witty remark, “I try to focus not on the fumbles but on the next play. Finally when questioned on the subject of Bengazi, O’Reilly said, “Your detractors believe that you did not tell the world it was a terror attack because your campaign didn’t want that out…That’s what they believe.”
President Barack Obama followed this statement up with, “And they believe it because folks like you tell them that.” Whether or not President Obama was running from these questions or simply showing all of these concerns were false, strictly because O’Reilly makes assumption is for each individual to determine.
Tech Giants reveal truth about NSA
Last on the list, the NSA and their data snooping. The powerhouse giants of media have for the first time released new data about the US information requests made under the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act, which is considered controversial by some.
This newly released information reveals that tens of thousands of user accounts were affected in 2013 alone. These were accounts associated with Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and Microsoft. These tech titans received FISA requests which involved user accounts.
In the first 6 months of 2013 Google received requests involving 9,000 – 10,000 user accounts, Yahoo for 30,000 – 31,000, Facebook for 5,000 – 6,000, and Microsoft for 15,000 – 16,000. Keven Bankston, the Policy Director of New America’s Open Technology Institute had this to say.
What these reports reveal is far less than what we need for adequate accountability from the government.
Lumping all of the different types of surveillance orders together into one number, the adding obscurity on top of obscurity by requiring that number to be reported in ranges of one thousand, is not enough to educate the American public or reassure the international community that the NSA is using its surveillance authorities responsibly.
That’s all we have time for today and as always it’s been a pleasure.