Outrage over National Security Administration surveillance measures of American citizens actually comes as a welcome relief for President Obama, argued radio host Aaron Klein on Sunday.
The reason, Klein posited on New York City’s WABC Radio, is that the fury will actually distract America from other scandals – namely the Benghazi massacre and the IRS tea-party targeting – that hold much more power to do the White House harm.
“Yet now this NSA scandal is going to dominate the headlines for a long time, as opposed to the other scandals that have the potential to bring down members of the Obama administration, maybe even the president himself,” Klein told WND in an interview after the show. “It’s classic distraction by overload.”
“The White House happens to gain in a major way from all of this,” Klein said on New York’s WABC Radio.
“At the end of the day, the Obama administration has several major scandals that are brewing,” Klein explained. “However, the difference between this and all the other scandals is this: It’s that unlike Benghazi – I mean, most Americans don’t even know what Benghazi is; it’s 5,000 miles away, what do they care? – they care about this. This is going to dominate. This is going to distract.”
And unlike Benghazi and “IRS-gate,” Klein said, the NSA scandal “can’t touch Obama.”
“You’ve got the Benghazi scandal, Benghazi-gate, that can absolutely, I believe, if all of the information when it comes to Benghazi is released, can bring down members of the Obama administration,” Klein told his audience. “We’ve got the IRS scandal that can touch upon [Obama] in a major way now that we have information that members of the IRS were meeting with the White House. Unquestionably this goes up to the White House.
“However, this [NSA] scandal,” Klein continued, “cannot touch Obama. Obama is absolutely going to walk away form this squeaky clean.
“Why is this different?” he asked. “First of all, it traces back to the Bush administration. That’s first. So Obama can’t necessarily be blamed; the template was put in through Bush. Second, Congress actually voted for this. Don’t forget that it was Congress that voted for [the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] in 2008, and they allowed this. In fact, they actually granted immunity to the phone companies if they give the information over.”
“The NSA issue goes far beyond Obama,” Klein told WND. “It was OK’d by judges and politicians on both sides of the political aisle. Both Democrat and Republican senators were briefed on the NSA spying tactics. It can’t be argued that Obama bears the brunt of responsibility.”
On Benghazi, however, Klein told WND, “Obama was caught lying to the American public, and who knows what else we don’t know?
“What we do know is that we are arming jihadists, including al-Qaida groups, throughout the Middle East and North Africa,” he said. “Then we have the IRS caught with over 100 meetings in the White House while at the same time practically taunting Obama’s political opponents and violating their rights.”
Audio of Klein discussing the advantageous timing of the NSA scandal on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” can be heard below:
Last week, the Washington Post reported it obtained a top-secret document on the PRISM government program in which the NSA and FBI are "tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets."
In response to the Post's disclosure of the PRISM program, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the newspaper that "information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable foreign intelligence information we collect and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats. … The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans."
Clapper claimed there were numerous inaccuracies in reports about PRISM by the Post and the London Guardian newspaper, but he did not specify any.
The Guardian, which also obtained a top-secret document, reported the NSA was granted direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other U.S. Internet giants under the PRISM program, allowing to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats.
The existence of the PRISM program is the second disclosure in recent days that evidences massive NSA snooping on U.S. civilians.
The Guardian broke the story exposing the NSA's collection of the telephone records of millions of U.S. Verizon customers.
A secret court order obtained by the Guardian requires Verizon on an "ongoing, daily basis" to give the NSA information related to every phone calls in its systems, both domestically and international calls.