NSA Listening – Computer Converts Words to Searchable Data

Editor’s Note – If the Tsarnaev brothers could not be stopped despite Russian warnings and an FBI probe, and then Nadir Soofi and Elton Simpson could not be stopped in their attempt despite the probe and sentencing of Simpson, what good is all this NSA data collection?

With ISIS claiming responsibility for the attack in Texas, what is next? Is the NSA ever going to produce any positive results? Once again, is all this security with the price of less liberty and privacy?

Now we learn that NSA computers are converting our words they pick up into searchable text. Will that matter, and do you feel safer? Do you feel more threatened by the NSA than ISIS. If not for careful planning by Pam Geller’s team, and hiring a large number of Garland police, the tragic ending could have been horrendous – no thanks to the NSA or FBI.

The Computers are Listening – How the NSA Converts Words into Searchable Text

From The Intercept

Most people realize that emails and other digital communications they once considered private can now become part of their permanent record. But even as they increasingly use apps that understand what they say, most people don’t realize that the words they speak are not so private anymore, either.Big-Brother-NSA-Snooping

Top-secret documents from the archive of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden show the National Security Agency can now automatically recognize the content within phone calls by creating rough transcripts and phonetic representations that can be easily searched and stored.

The documents show NSA analysts celebrating the development of what they called “Google for Voice” nearly a decade ago.

Though perfect transcription of natural conversation apparently remains the Intelligence Community’s “holy grail,” the Snowden documents describe extensive use of keyword searching as well as computer programs designed to analyze and “extract” the content of voice conversations, and even use sophisticated algorithms to flag conversations of interest.

The documents include vivid examples of the use of speech recognition in war zones like Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in Latin America. But they leave unclear exactly how widely the spy agency uses this ability, particularly in programs that pick up considerable amounts of conversations that include people who live in or are citizens of the United States.

Spying on international telephone calls has always been a staple of NSA surveillance, but the requirement that an actual person do the listening meant it was effectively limited to a tiny percentage of the total traffic. By leveraging advances in automated speech recognition, the NSA has entered the era of bulk listening.

National Security Agency (NSA) in Fort Meade, Maryland (AFP Photo)
National Security Agency (NSA) in Fort Meade, Maryland (AFP Photo)

And this has happened with no apparent public oversight, hearings or legislative action. Congress hasn’t shown signs of even knowing that it’s going on.

The USA Freedom Act — the surveillance reform bill that Congress is currently debating — doesn’t address the topic at all. The bill would end an NSA program that does not collect voice content: the government’s bulk collection of domestic calling data, showing who called who and for how long.

Even if becomes law, the bill would leave in place a multitude of mechanisms exposed by Snowden that scoop up vast amounts of innocent people’s text and voice communications in the U.S. and across the globe.

Civil liberty experts contacted by The Intercept said the NSA’s speech-to-text capabilities are a disturbing example of the privacy invasions that are becoming possible as our analog world transitions to a digital one.

“I think people don’t understand that the economics of surveillance have totally changed,” Jennifer Granick, civil liberties director at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, told The Intercept.

“Once you have this capability, then the question is: How will it be deployed? Can you temporarily cache all American phone calls, transcribe all the phone calls, and do text searching of the content of the calls?” she said. “It may not be what they are doing right now, but they’ll be able to do it.”

And, she asked: “How would we ever know if they change the policy?”

Indeed, NSA officials have been secretive about their ability to convert speech to text, and how widely they use it, leaving open any number of possibilities.

That secrecy is the key, Granick said. “We don’t have any idea how many innocent people are being affected, or how many of those innocent people are also Americans.”

I Can Search Against It

NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, who was trained as a voice processing crypto-linguist and worked at the agency until 2008, told The Intercept that he saw a huge push after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks to turn the massive amounts of voice communications being collected into something more useful.

Human listening was clearly not going to be the solution. “There weren’t enough ears,” he said.

The transcripts that emerged from the new systems weren’t perfect, he said. “But even if it’s not 100 percent, I can still get a lot more information. It’s far more accessible. I can search against it.”

Converting speech to text makes it easier for the NSA to see what it has collected and stored, according to Drake. “The breakthrough was being able to do it on a vast scale,” he said.

NSA Speech – Kick the can, change a number, Podesta to Counsel

Editor’s Note – The NSA speech was today! The big reveal, long awaited from the President on his plans for the future of the NSA. He had 17 days in Hawaii to mull it over, and today, we heard what he is going to do – “kick the ball down the road”! But wait, he did make an assignment to handle it though last Friday – you guessed it, political hack extraordinaire, John Podesta.

The newly appointed…errr, named “Counselor” to the President, John Podesta, the man named to head up many of Obama’s political ambitions and long time counselor to his previous boss, Bill Clinton as well, was chosen to head the NSA review. Here is a reminder/primer on Podesta:

President Barack Obama speaks about college education, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. The event which is to promote opportunities for students to attend and finish college and university, was attended by college and university presidents and leaders from nonprofits, foundations, governments and businesses. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
President Barack Obama speaks about college education, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. The event which is to promote opportunities for students to attend and finish college and university, was attended by college and university presidents and leaders from nonprofits, foundations, governments and businesses. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

President Barack Obama on 10th December named John Podesta as counselor to the president.  Podesta has reportedly agreed to help the President in his time of troubles for a year.  The White House announced that Podesta would advise the President on a range of issues, but specifically mentioned climate and energy.

Podesta was a co-chair of the Obama-Biden transition team in 2009 and has been an unofficial but highly influential outside adviser to the Obama Administration for the past five years.  In 2003, he founded and became president of the Center for American Progress, the leftist think tank and advocacy organization that provided much of the ammunition to oppose the policies of the George W. Bush Administration.

Yes, you heard that correctly, a “political counselor,” his transition head and fromer Clinton advisor on politics, is going to counsel the President on what he should do to handle the massive issue with the NSA; the deepest issue over your liberty and privacy EVER. So now, our security apparatus is in the hands of a political “operative.” Here is the report:

President Barack Obama announced Friday that John Podesta, his new “counselor” and the political operative responsible for creating the institutional left in Washington, will be the appointed “to lead a comprehensive review of big data and privacy” in the aftermath of revelations about the National Security Agency’s electronic spying programs. When he joined the White House last month, Podesta’s focus was said to be “climate change.”

So the man named to handle “Climate Change” issues is qualified for the “NSA” issues as well? He is going to “counsel” the president on what the changes to the NSA should be; yes, we are shaking our heads as well. Do you see a new campaign of whistle stops, or a cogent look at such a primal and basic issue regarding our liberty?

The Breitbart report goes on to say:

The president’s speech contained little news. It was a classic Obama set-piece, designed to demonstrate that he understands both sides of a complex argument, while delegating responsibility to third parties and taking steps that reinforce the interests and goals of the hard left. In this instance, Obama left final decisions about where to store NSA data to Congress, while making sure that Podesta is in charge of the consultative process as a whole.

Of course, it’s another case of “meet the new boss, same as the old boss” and politicize everything! We all know that is the case in light of the former Secretary of Defense Gate’s new book, “Duty” where it was exposed in stark clarity that in the Obama Administration, politics trumps policy.

Of course, the right had its opinions on today’s “dog and pony show,” but here is something from a Democrat as well (From UT Documents):

U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12), a former member of the Intelligence Committee who has introduced legislation that would repeal the PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act, released the following statement on the President’s remarks today about reforming the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs:
“The President’s speech offered far less than meets the eye.
“His proposals continue to allow surveillance of Americans without requiring a Fourth Amendment determination of probable cause.  They continue to regard Americans as suspects first and citizens second.  They continue to allow the government to build backdoors into computer software and hardware.  They fail to strengthen protections for whistleblowers who uncover abusive spying.
“The President spoke about navigating ‘the balance between security and liberty.’  But this is a faulty and false choice.  As Barack Obama himself urged in his first inaugural address, we must ‘reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.’
“The Fourth Amendment and other civil liberty protections do not exist to impede police or intelligence agencies.  To the contrary, they exist to hold to hold government agents to a high standard – to ensure that they act on the basis of evidence, rather than wasting time and resources on wild goose chases.
“Even the modest improvements announced today are subject to reversal at a stroke of the President’s pen.  A standard of ‘trust my good intentions’ isn’t good enough.  Congress should reject these practices and repeal the laws that made the NSA’s abuses possible.”

Hmmm, national security versus total loss of liberty, privacy and human rights…God help the Republic! He did however worry about what foreign nations would think, especially over industrial spying, read what he is doing regarding Brazil. Meanwhile all your texts belong to the NSA, despite the President telling us it was only meta data. Also, read more on signals intelligence issues here.

NewBossOldBossNSA

It’s up to you to decide, but let’s make sure we see all the angles before we decide. We hope we were able to point out a couple here, and also in the story below. Yes, it is from RT.com, but often, a viewpoint from overseas helps us focus and see through the fog:

Obama announces NSA programs overhaul

By RT.com

President Barack Obama announced as expected on Friday a major overhaul to some of the National Security Agency’s most disputed surveillance operations seven months after they was first exposed, reining in the metadata collection program among others.

Effective immediately, the president said, NSA officials must obtain court permission in order to access the government’s archive of telephone metadata — a trove of intelligence that has been regularly collected by the government through a program that its proponents say is a legally sound and crucial counterterrorism tool justified under Section 215 of the United States Patriot Act.

Evidence of that program was exposed last June through classified documents disclosed to the media by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and spurred an immediate and ongoing international discussion that cumulated with the president’s endorsement of reform during a Friday morning speech inside the Justice Department building in downtown Washington, DC.

“I believe we need a new approach,” Mr. Obama said. “I am therefore ordering a transition that will end the Section 215 bulk metadata collection program as it currently exists, and establishes a mechanism that preserves the capabilities we need without the government holding this bulk metadata.”

Exactly who will be in charge of holding onto the phone records pertaining to millions of Americans has yet to be decided, however, and Mr. Obama says he’s tasked United States Attorney General Eric Holder, the intelligence community and Congress with finding a solution.

Among the first of top-secret documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden since June is evidence that revealed the US government has regularly compelled the nation’s telecommunication companies for so-called metadata, in turn receiving on routine basis the primitive details about each and every phone call dialed. But while Mr. Obama and his administration has largely defended the program up to and during Friday’s speech, critics have condemned that program and others like it exposed by Mr. Snowden and have accused the government of violating the civil liberties and rights to privacy of not just Americans, but millions around the globe.

The president said during his address that he wouldn’t “dwell on Mr. Snowden’s actions or his motivations,” citing the ongoing investigation into the leaks, but insisted that when individuals who oppose government policy take it upon themselves to publically disclose classified information as the former contractor did, then the US government “will not be able to keep our people safe or conduct foreign policy.” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, an ally of Snowden, told CNN that the leaker will respond to the new NSA reforms next week.

Other documents disclosed by Mr. Snowden since June have revealed NSA programs that target the communications of foreign persons, including average citizens and allied leaders alike. As expected, Obama announced his intent to reform some of those operations during Friday’s address as well.

Revelations that the NSA had tapped the personal phones of foreign leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel caused outrage around the world last year, but on Friday’s speech Mr. Obama said that the US is the “world’s only superpower” and must continue to conduct operations allies are not able to accomplish on their own.

“We will not apologize simply because our services may be more effective,” the president said, “but heads of state and governments with whom we work closely . . . should feel confident that we are treating them as real partners.”

The US government “will continue to gather information about the intentions” of foreign governments, the president said. On the contrary, though, he also promised the NSA “will not monitor the communications of heads of state” atop the ranks of allied partners unless there are compelling national security purposes at stake. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) will be subjected to new reform as well, he said, allowing the government to intercept the communications of overseas targets with important information without putting as many Americans and foreign persons incidentally targeted under the looking glass.

More of the president’s new plans involve activity at home, however, including reformations meant to address concerns with how the government collects an array of intelligence gathering operations that may at times turn up the details pertaining to US persons.

Some of the issues touched upon by Mr. Obama during Friday’s address are included in a presidential policy directive published earlier that morning:

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In announcing changes to metadata program carried out through Sec. 215, Mr. Obama said, “I believe critics are right to point out that without proper safeguards, this type of program could be used to yield more information about our private lives and open the door to more intrusive bulk collection programs in the future.” His administration will begin immediately working towards transferring possession of those records away from the NSA, the president added, while at the same time significantly cutting down the number of persons whose information is collected.

“Effective immediately,” he added, “we will only pursue phone calls that are two steps removed from a number associated with a terrorist association.” Until now the US government has given itself the authority to investigate the conduct of people separated by three steps, or “hops,” from a targeted number. Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union claimed that a person with 40 contacts in their mobile phone address book could be connected to roughly 2.5 million others using the “three hops” rule.

Last month, a five-person review group handpicked by Pres. Obama after the dawn of the Snowden leaks released their findings with regards to how they believe the federal government should reform the NSA’s programs. Although the president heeded only a fraction of those, according to promises made during Friday’s address, he did also endorse significant changes to other surveillance programs that have struck a chord among civil libertarians.

National Security Letters, or NSLs, for instance, can be sent by federal agents to private businesses in order to compel them to provide specific information about certain customers without that targeted person ever being told they are under investigation. “We can and should be more transparent as to how the government uses this authority,” the president said from the DoJ headquarters, and in an effort to do as much he has directed Attorney General Holder to amend how NSLs are currently used.

Mr. Obama also announced that he’s asked Congress to establish a panel of advocate from outside of government to provide an independent voice before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISC, which authorizes in secret wiretaps and similar spy operations under what critics call little-to-no oversight.

NDRP E.O. and the push to hold info on Americans longer, why now?

Editor’s Note – Like everyone else, SUA was peppered with questions regarding the Executive Order Obama released last Friday on the White House Web Site (see it here: Executive Order 12919) that amended the National Defense Resources Preparedness (NDRP) of the Defense Production Act of 1950.

Most thought immediately that Obama was preparing us for Martial Law, and in light of events over the past few years and his track record, all are watching with a leery eye.

The "Executive Order Pen", oft used, oft questioned - B. H. Obama

The following article gives us a good primer on what it is, and what it could mean. The writer does “don the tin-foil hat” as he calls it to draw some conclusions, and we could add many more, but you be the judge, especially concerning the timing.

But keep in mind that the DoJ is trying to extend the time information on Americans can be held, with the Attorney General being the arbiter over the process.

We at SUA have been calling for Eric Holder to resign or be arrested for his doings, so in totality, everything this administration does raises questions and doubts, especially concerning our civil rights. Read the whole story about keeping the intelligence files longer here, and this is the snippet that concerns us most:

Currently, the center must promptly destroy any information about U.S. citizens or residents unless a connection to terrorism is evident.

The new guidelines, which may be approved in coming days, have been in the works for more than a year, said officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussions.

The guidelines are likely to prompt concern from privacy advocates. Senior Justice Department officials said Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who must approve the guidelines, will ensure that privacy protections are adequate. Also, keep in mind the NDAA language recently passed about holding Americans.

Worried yet?

The Executive Order Controversy

By Joe Herring

American Thinker

On Friday, 3/16/2012, President Obama issued an executive order called “National Defense Resources Preparedness” (NDRP), posting it on the White House’s official website.

Almost immediately, the blogosphere exploded with the news.  Citizens began calling their TV stations, radio stations, and newspapers, demanding coverage.  At the time of this writing, the furor has yet to abate.

The NDRP traces its origin to the Defense Production Act (DPA) of 1950, which attempted to establish a framework for placing the nation on a “war footing” as quickly and in as efficient a manner as possible should events warrant.  In an age of highly industrialized warfare, the basic building blocks of military success are composed of mundane elements such as supply chains, resource availability, parts, access to raw materials, and skilled labor.

Over the years, the DPA has seen many revisions, and the executive orders issued to implement those revisions presupposed an imminent threat of war.  In 1994, then-President Clinton issued Executive Order 12919, which expanded the provisions of the DPA rather dramatically, declaring its applicability to peacetime.

The need for the DPA is legitimate.  A great deal of our energy infrastructure, utilities, and financial system are in fact entirely private enterprises, not public/government entities.  Getting the government running again in the event of a catastrophic attack is one thing, but not providing the same reconstitution effort for the privately owned elements of the nation’s infrastructure would still leave us without electric power generation, food distribution, etc.

In the event of cataclysmic war or a natural disaster of similar scope, we could not afford to wait on the private sector to recover at an ordinary pace with purely private funds.  Under such circumstances, the need would be urgent and the resources few.

The issue is how to balance the necessity of granting sufficient power to the only entity large enough to do the job — government — while still maintaining the private ownership and control of the means of production and the economy as a whole.

The Executive order issued by Obama on 3/16 is largely a restatement of the 1994 Clinton order with a few functional changes.  It moves the authority for implementing the provisions of the DPA from the director of FEMA to the Department of Homeland Security, which did not exist at the time of Clinton’s presidency.  There have been pedestrian additions of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, to the purview of the secretary of energy (as well as a curiously specific redefinition of bottled water as a “food resource” rather than a water resource), but nothing is particularly out of step with the order Obama’s EO supersedes.

So what is the problem?  Well, considering that the authority of the DPA has never been meaningfully exercised, and that the pre-emption of authority claimed by the Clinton-era EO 12919 has been similarly dormant, why would the Obama administration choose this particular time to update an obscure and unused authority?  It is this question many believe must be asked and answered, and sooner rather than later.

In an attempt to provide that answer, allow me to don an appropriately stylish tinfoil hat before I present a plausible scenario.

1) In early March 2012, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told the Senate Armed Services Committee that it is the position of this administration that international organizations such as NATO or the United Nations have at least as much, if not more authority to deploy U.S. troops, with or without congressional notice or permission.

2) A week later, the NAACP petitioned the U.N. Human Rights Council to involve themselves in our election process — specifically our November presidential election, in order to monitor the vote for instances of voter suppression.  It is the fantasy of the NAACP that laws requiring presentation of a photo ID to cast a ballot are in actuality thinly veiled efforts to keep the poor, elderly, and non-white populations from voting, presumably for Obama.

3) Attorney General Eric Holder has spent his tenure creating a hair-trigger system of race-conscious prosecutions, most notably in reference to cases involving voter fraud.  His previous employee, J. Christian Adams, has built a second career from simply exposing the injustice of Holder’s Department of Justice.

4) Most recently, Holder struck another blow against the concept of verifiable voting by forestalling Texas’s proposed Voter ID law, saying it “goes against the arc of history.”  Aside from the attorney general basing his decisions on perceived “historical arcs” rather than clear and established law, the end result is the same: the creation of an air of uncertainty surrounding the upcoming election.

Now (as I adjust my tinfoil hat to a jauntier angle), let me tie these points together.

By employing repetitive reporting of “uncertainty about the reliability of the presidential election tally” by the major media, compounded by expressions of the same uncertainty by administration officials, the left could install that narrative amongst the segments of the population that  pay little or no attention to the day-to-day practice of politics.

Could the NAACP then, with support from the Department of Justice and the administration, make the case to the U.N. that the election was in fact tainted, and subsequently persuade the member nations of the U.N. to declare the election invalid?  It is possible, and such a declaration is certain to bring chaos to the streets of every major city in our country, as well as a great deal of smaller ones.  To restore order, the president might need to deploy troops.  Should the Congress resist the move, the administration might simply appeal to the U.N., which could request/order the deployment of troops by a willing and complicit Secretary Panetta.

And of course, President Obama would simply continue in office, for the sake of stability, until this could all be sorted out.

Perhaps it now makes sense for the administration to have updated an unused executive order, preparing their legal argument and framework for the imposition of peacetime martial law.  Liberty, once lost, is seldom regained.

Yes, it is far-fetched, but it is also distressingly possible.  The sad fact in America today is that we have a president so disdainful of our foundational law and freedoms as to make the far-fetched seem queasily reasonable.

The timing of this executive order is jarring, even if the specific changes to the order are not.  The power it conveys is staggering and cannot be safely entrusted to a single branch of government, much less to a single man.  The Congress needs to reassert control over the exercise and implementation of the Defense Production Act before it can be utilized by a power-hungry cabal of leftists eager to fundamentally transform America.  There is a door no one has locked, and our home is not secure.  Close the door, lock it, and throw away that key.

The author writes from Omaha, NE and welcomes visitors to his website at www.readmorejoe.com

Our Message on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11

By Denise Simon, Paul Vallely, and Scott Winchell

It began on a beautiful crisp day in September and ten years hence, our mettle as a nation was put to a test and a call to action. America, armed with her heritage, seeking truth and justice, sounded the battle cry. Americans were united that day, as was have seen many times in her history, but perhaps more so than ever before.

Since that day, the moral standard passed on from the historical founding of America, enduring two hundred and thirty five years, requiring us to stand firm through a river of tears to further divide good from evil. Ten years later, our resolve has been tested many times in the political sphere and between ourselves, yet we sojourn on, to preserve our American Exceptionalism, a beacon to liberty for all.

That day, two buildings standing as a symbol to America’s constant quest for promise and prosperity, fittingly named World Trade, dropped from the grace of the noble skyline in New York, at the command of a hostile and devious foe. Resistant to a retreat, global commerce and economic vibrancy carried on.

More darkness was sustained through fire and smoke as moments later this same enemy struck yet another blow to America, to her military leadership, collapsing only one side of a fortified structure, as four sides stayed steady and strong.  The flanks of steel and concrete held its foundation, thus a tribute to the might, the power, and the courage of our armed forces, the mightiest ever known to man.

The decisive and final calamity on that Tuesday took place in a remote field in Pennsylvania, where embers smoldered, giving rise to a spirit of what burns in the belly of the American citizen, an unyielding will, complete with the courage to be triumphant at the other end. Typical Americans, the passengers aboard Flight 93, knowing what had taken place earlier, chose to fight instead of submitting, to prevent another, possibly larger, catastrophe as they hurtled toward our capital.

2,976 friends were taken from us that day, but angels armed with bravery and the purpose of brotherhood was in our midst. An immediate force emerged to rescue all those with shattered emotions, the broken souls, the injured, and the grieving, many paying the ultimate price in service to fellow man. That angelic force is defined as those fire-fighters, police officers, medical personnel, co-workers, tourists, shoppers, government employees, soldiers, pilots, mothers, fathers, friends, strangers, and clergy.

It is now a decade since that defining tragedy, a crossroads was realized in short order, and America resolved to guard and defend our open and free society, our open streets, and our global pathways to fight against any decay of our freedoms in America.

Our enemy has many names, many loyalties, such that it requires more than five hundred pages for identification, designation, and classification. While the enemy of freedom seems limitless in numbers, a caliphate, which is in complete opposition to natural and human rights, so cherished and protected in our country, will be extinguished from our shores.

This enemy has judged America by the geo-political actions of our government as many believe yet, America belongs to the generous, sensitive, and courageous citizens that desire the same for all humanity. It was never about our actions, but rather, their 1,400 year old desire to eradicate all but the Shariya submissive.

The other great attack on America by the Japanese; Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who devised the sneak attack on December 7, 1941 leading to a protracted war, was quoted (though never proved) by saying “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” The following day, Admiral Yamamoto was noted to be depressed for his ill-fated decision.  America did awaken and did engage in a superior military response so our flag would continue to fly majestically in all corners of our homeland and stand as that beacon of liberty and freedom.

Realizing success, we then went back to work, still inspired with the promise and imagination and destiny as called upon us to achieve by a Higher Power.  The United States, once again was faced with a new, unknown enemy on September 11, 2001. We went to war, to answer for the USS Cole, the Khobar Towers, and the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, to list but a few. Many bombings had occurred worldwide, including the first attack on those same towers in 1993 before September 11, 2001 and since that wretched Tuesday, they have committed over 17,700 other tragedies worldwide including many attempts here again.

America was soon to inculcate the methods of war by this enemy. We have pursued the intelligence, the technology, and the weapons to vanquish the threats of this enemy and their doctrine from our way of life including that of our friends worldwide.

Our way of life has certainly changed inside America, but we are better for it in many ways. Citizens are more diligent, dedicated, and completely faithful to our Sovereignty.  We have a beauty in this land. Our people, our towns, our farms, our shores, our mountains, our architecture, our churches, our factories, our offices, and our history all demonstrate our culture and aspirations to be greater tomorrow than we were yesterday.  We recognize strife and grief, we understand setbacks and threats, and we give of ourselves to others like no other nation.  Our spirit in this land runs deep, so that we never stop pushing forward with creativity, imagination, energy, and focus.

America has the resources, skills, resolve, and military to meet this enemy abroad and at home as we continue to fight this ancient battle, newly reborn that day. We are up to the challenge with an unbending will to defeat cunning and hostility, by a borderless nation and ideology.  Our armed forces are sustained by a grateful allegiance of Americans that are by the Grace of God and privilege, resolute to eliminate all threats to our homeland. The United States will conquer the evildoers, as failure is not an option.

Two hundred and ten years ago, our Marines fought pirates on the shores of Tripoli and at sea, and we are there again today. Our forces are in more than ninety countries defending America and her freedoms and those of our friends. We don’t quit, we don’t rest, and we don’t retreat.

Not a day passes over the earth where men and women of no note, do great deeds, speak great words, and suffer noble sorrows. Such was the day on September 11, 2001 and on the same day with each passing year. We remember, we reflect, we love more, and we fight on. Ashes were left behind and from ashes America always rises and Freedom Endures. We shall never forget, we shall never submit!

Silence, the sound of Liberty dying

By Suzanne Sharer

How can it be possible that the United States of America, the most powerful and benevolent nation in the world, comes to a moment in time where 77% of its citizenry think that their country is heading in the wrong direction? This is a staggering percentage and yet those are the numbers that a recentABC/Washington Post poll published as of September 6th. Now, in my mind, this begs a question; how in the world did we get to the point where over three quarters of Americans are saying that something is seriously wrong with the course that has been set forth by our leaders? If truth be told, most Americans are not feeling very optimistic that this will change anytime soon, if at all!

For too many years, Americans have been busy minding their own business. They have been living their lives and raising their families investing only blind faith in the belief that our elected leaders would always work with our country’s best interest at heart. Most thinking that our political system was failure proof. Sadly, we were just too busy to be bothered with our duty as citizens to stay vigilant.

People who study America’s enemies know that the communist regimes throughout the world have boasted for decades that America would eventually fall without a single shot fired. The fall would come from within as an agenda was silently being allowed to play out; subverting our way of life little by little as people failed to pay attention until one day we wake up to an America we don’t recognize any more. That day is now as 77% of our citizens are finally admitting something is very wrong! It is shameful that all the warnings were not heeded sooner. Mountains of proof were presented to the American people, showing openly who Obama is and who these people are that are support him. We have handed America over to people that hate us, the USA, and everything that makes her stand above all others! Is it any wonder we are going in the wrong direction?

One of the most troubling trends that helped get us here today is that even the people who have seen what is happening, have chosen not to speak out. This is because they have been conditioned to remain silent for fear of being labeled a conspiracy theorist, racist, or intolerant.

But wait! Since when is it wrong or anti-American to speak out? Don’t we tout freedom of speech in America? Well, apparently in today’s America, it is not ok, and having an opposing point of view is something to keep silent about. This is becoming accepted through one of the more heinous atrocities ever to creep into the political and social fabric of our country, political correctness.

Never has there been anything more offensive to free speech than the indoctrination of this subversive manipulation of our rights to speak and think freely. Even being Pro-American is considered in bad taste. Obama and his handlers have made this an art form, effectively silencing the American people. They knew that they could push this agenda easily, because this was after-all, the election of our first Black President.

While this pervasive indoctrination has been working quite well, but thankfully, it has also served to open the eyes of the many previously blind to such machinations, and just how damaging this technique has wrought harm upon us all.

It is a misconception that our elected officials are not doing any harm, because their words are so charming, but I beg to differ. Our leaders have been very busy. They have been quietly, yet steadily, eroding our rights and Constitution by replacing the rule of law through regulations, Executive Orders, and Judicial diktat, all, right under our noses.

Our Presidents over the years have signed thousands of such documents that side step Congress. In fact, there are so many instances that we barely blink an eye when we hear of one more. Why though, are they totally ignored in most cases? I realize they are always signed without fanfare of announcement but we need to be more vigilant! One such egregious movement in this vein is perhaps the biggest example.

We are letting one of the most dangerous of decrees; the Soros sponsoredAgenda 21 to remain in the shadows. This is something that every citizen needs to be made aware of as its main goal is to change the very core of our country (as in heading in the wrong direction!)

Back in 1992 President George H.W. Bush along with 177 world leaders agreed to support a UN backed global plan for “Sustainable Development”. Then in 1995, President Clinton signed Executive order (EO) #12858 creating a Presidential Council on Sustainable Development. In effect, this inserted the UN plan into America’s political system without the need for any evaluation or discussion by Congress, let alone the American people. Sadly few know of this agenda, one that plans to impose Social Justice or Socialism on us, and the rest of the world. It seems for many people it is still just too hard to believe this could happen. It is hidden away in the silence of secrecy, yet, it is not a secret!

As of August 21st 2011 President Obama has signed ninety four Executive orders. He has signed more of these proclamations in his 2 ½ years in office than any other President has within the same time frame. Including EO 13575 which set up the “Rural Council” a huge victory for Agenda 21 yet barely anybody took notice. No wonder it emboldened him to sign an order for a backdoor amnesty plan. Obama’s direction is now clear; if he cannot get it through Congress (the people), he will pass it by decree. We the People seem to have lost our voices. I would say more than 77% are correct to think this ‘ship of state’ is heading in the wrong direction!

Suzanne Sharer is the new Associate Editor at Stand Up America.