T Nation

Obama's Thought Police


Does this bother anybody else or is it just me:


"There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we canâ??t keep track of all of them here at the White House, weâ??re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov."

I mean this is literally the kind of shit the Soviet Union used to pull.

The obama administration is not throwing folks into the gulag yet, but the spirit is the same. Report dissenters so they can be shut up...That ain't America.


Have to disagree. Sounds like nothing more than an attempt to compile a FAQ by collecting "misinformation." Collect the claim being made, produce a counter response. Obama is horrible, but this isn't anything I'm concered about.


LOL. Thought police huh?

Ever think that they want a feeling for what's out there so they know how to counter it?

And to mention gulags in the same sentence as this is a disrespect to the people who really suffered under oppression.


I just reported your account. let us know if "the men come and take you away."


No, obama inhis very short history has many times tried to gag his opponents, from day one.

I know very well about what gulags and Siberian prisons were used for....People who expressed dissent and were reported.


I appreciate that...case in point all joking aside, there is a reason I dispel very little personal info on the internet...You won't find me on myspace, that's for sure.


Save for the fact that the "disinformation" in which he speaks has turned out to be accurate in many (not all) cases.

He is the first president to stage his town hall meetings, questions and all, and call reporters the night before a press conference to tell them whether or not they will be allowed to ask questions. This history of question planting and his absolute inability to handle criticism of any kind leads me to think this is not innocent.

Imagine if Bush did this? People would have absolutely tore him a new asshole.


Uh- he did. Remember the planted questions from the guy who mysteriously ended up in the press briefing room?

Remember how Bush and Cheney carefully selected who got to attend their events?

Didn't the Bush White House sponsor websites and phone numbers in case we saw suspicious (hmmm fishy) characters around water towers, airports, bridges and tunnels.

Sounds like the same tactics to me.



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Yes. Isn't it curious how many fair-weather civil libertarians we have in this country?

Had Bush or Bush surrogate uttered the same words and set up a website where you can snitch on those spreading "disinformation" about Bush administration policies, left-wingers would be calling for impeachment for "shredding the Constitution".

Now, The One does it, and suddenly...silence.

I don't stay awake at night worrying about this particular policy - but the hypocrisy is deafening.


I totally agree with you.



This thread is hilarious.


Commander Hope'n'Change sez: "Shut up and take it"


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Smart but 100% wrong isn't smart in my book, Harvard or not.


White House Move to Collect 'Fishy' Info May Be Illegal, Critics Say




I just got an e-mail that said I could make my penis bigger, sounds fishy to me. I think I'll report it.


I'm not sure this has evil intent. That said I'm still likely too naive to believe we've gone that far down the rabbit hole. However, it seems to me that the better way to do this would have been to simply gather what the opponents were saying WITHOUT isolating them. Did you really need to get the names of the individuals to get the critique? While I'm not sure there is evil intent behind this, I could see those with evil intent taking advantage of the situation if for nothing else than to use this as precedent for future efforts to gather start making lists of political opponents.



Correct, even if there is no mal intent, this sets dagerous precedents for the future...Neighbors telling on neighbors who spread "misinformation". This is exactely the kind of thing the Soviets did, and I find that scary. This may not be that level, but it's not far; it's to damn close.

Seriously, the obama administration can't read what is being written? They have to be forwarded the source and the "misinformation" to the governement? They can read what everybody else says, and hell if they really curious, they have a dandy spy network that can get them all kinds of info. I just don't see how the whitehouse is so far outside the beltway that they don't know whats being said and who said it. Either they have an extremely poor information network, or they are looking for tattletales. I need to look at the law and see if this sort of request by the whitehouse is even legal.


I don't think this is something to worry about.

Note that I'm very paranoid about civlib stuff and suppression of dissent. I have some family history with authoritarian regimes so it means a lot to me. And I am watching Obama closely because I think he's often tempted to step over the line. (Habeas corpus, anyone? Or, what about the army of volunteers -- nice folks, but still -- promoting the President's agenda across the country? I talked to some of them and asked what they did, and it was all, "We support the President and tell people about his policies" and they had no idea that there was a propagandistic aspect to that.)

But back to this. They're not asking for the names of opponents of health reform. They're asking to see rumors -- stuff published on websites or chain e-mails, stuff that is either public or soon to become public. The administration has had problems with terrifying rumors gaining traction (and yes, a lot of them are false. "Obama is foreign-born." "Obama is a Muslim." "The health care plan includes euthanasia of the elderly.") So now they want to nip them in the bud before they take on a life of their own. I'd be worried if they were taking the names of dissenters, but they're just asking for links.

Why can't they do that themselves? Well, they'd have to pay some college grad who'd probably surf the web at work. Why do that when regular citizens will do it for free? It's called crowdsourcing and it works.

(And by the way, Pat, I sincerely hope you never have trouble with the government. I don't think it's likely, but if I'm wrong, I think you have people here who will try to help. Sometimes I worry that the day will come in my lifetime when dissent will be dangerous in America.)