Obama: “Unfortunately” Dying In Car Crash More Likely Than Dying In Terrorist Attack

President_Barack_ObamaWith four kids and a new puppy, I do not get to watch much television. This morning therefore I was probably one of the last to read this odd comment from President Barack Obama on Jay Leno last night:
“The odds of dying in a terrorist attack are a lot lower than they are of dying in a car accident, unfortunately.” It was clearly a slip of the tongue but for civil libertarians it was a signature moment since our burgeoning security state seems to be working desperately to keep fear alive. For many who have criticized the rise of the security state, it sounded like an authoritarian Freudian slip. The comment is particularly interesting in light of a recent poll showing Americans afraid more of their own government’s attack on privacy than terrorist attacks.

Despite new reports of additional massive warrantless surveillance programs, Obama continued the campaign of denial by his Administration and allies in Congress. He insisted “We don’t have a domestic spying program.” That is clearly untrue given the public acknowledgment of these programs but it does not seem to matter. As usual, Obama seems to be drawing a distinction between collecting such data on every citizen and actually using that surveillance. They only use the information in these massive databanks when they want to. It also does not seem to matter that the only serious questions on this issue for the president appear to be coming from a comedian.

On Snowden, Obama stated “We don’t know exactly what he did, except what he said on the Internet and it’s important for me not to judge.”

That is also likely to strike civil libertarians as a bit odd since this is the president that claims the right to kill any American citizen without a charge, let alone conviction, based on his own authority. He vaporized Anwar al-Aulaqi on this basis. His teenage son was killed later.

Of course this is just comedy . . . the show that is.

57 thoughts on “Obama: “Unfortunately” Dying In Car Crash More Likely Than Dying In Terrorist Attack”

  1. I also voted for him twice and was one of his footsoldiers, going door to door, etc.
    He has done good but it is being very overshadowed by this NSA continuation and worsening, as well as the lies about the depth and breadth of the program(s)
    I don’t know if we were fooled by him and this is who he always was or like a lot of people who go into law school wanting to do good but come out sharks and lacking in integrity and morals (sry I know a lot of you are lawyers and do have decency and morality but sadly all but one of the many lawyers with whom I have spoken. taken my cases have been bums so that is the analogy that immediately comes to mind). Did the position change the man. Or was this who he always was? Too sad to contemplate.

  2. leejcaroll
    1, August 8, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Lee, I voted for Obama twice. I hoped for transparency, I hoped for strong regulations on Wall st, I hoped for an energizing of the middle class.
    I hoped for: Bush Cheney Rumsfeld, etc. war crimes to be confronted.
    ……………. For the revolving door Lobbyist-Appointee-Congressperson-Wallst insider, be slammed shut.
    …………….. For a sane Energy policy to be pursued.
    ……………. A recognition of the welfare given to Mega Corporations.
    …………….. Campaign Finance reform.
    ……………. ETC. ETC. ETC.

    I believed (hoped) Obama was strong enough, supported enough, and Integrity filled enough to lead this country in the direction I feel we need to go. His actions, appointments, “rolling overs” has increased my disillusionment in government. Multiply by ten, my disappointment with the Dems in Congress. Our Congress has done nothing but…. invite CorporateWallstMilitaryIndustrialComplex into the back rooms of power and presented them with the biggest “Rollover party’ “Mutual Back Scratching frenzy” Quid pro quo atmosphere in the history of human civilization.
    Lee, I love hyperbole, ” In the history of human civilization” is NOT hyperbole. The facts bear me out. The money transfer from the bottom to the top is unprecedented.
    Reagan greased the hinges, Since then every President has widened the door, eased the access, and welcomed the wolves. The 99% are blinded by the bought corporate media massage. Woe is us in the US.
    Obamas quote I linked below is the last straw of my hope for him being anything but a true Corporatist in Corporatist clothes.
    It is the 99% that are blind. Gov.Inc can say anything to appease the masses, then can do anything to succor the 1%.


    “There is no spying on Americans. We don’t have a domestic spying program. What we do have are some mechanisms where we can track a phone number or an email address that we know is connected to some sort of terrorist threat,” Obama told Leno.

    “That statement is just unbelievable and it reeks of this Orwellian newspeak,” Timm told Shihab-Eldin. “When he talks to Jay Leno later in the clip, he says we can’t listen to your phone calls or read your emails, and now we know with this New York Times story that is plainly not true. It is unfortunate that we have to parse through government statements a dozen times before we actually figure out what they are meaning to say. With all these questions that they get they are obfuscating and deflecting and deceiving the American public.”

  3. The one thing that bothers me is that too much of this is being laid at Obama’s feet as if he started these policies. Bush seems to get a free pass for themost part despite coming out a few months back and saying “Prism was my program”
    I am not happy with what Mr. Obama has done but he does not deserve all the scorn. I have to ask did Professor Turley or others, including the republican party, go after Mr. Bush for these policies? (Maybe the professor did, I hope so)

  4. John Lewis “clarifies” his remarks about Snowden:



    Told that many in Washington believe Snowden is a criminal, Lewis said Snowden was appealing to a “higher law.”

    “Some people say criminality or treason or whatever,” Lewis said. “He could say he was acting because he was appealing to a higher law. Many of us have some real, real, problems with how the government has been spying on people.”

    Later on Wednesday, Lewis walked back his comments, saying the Guardian interview was “misleading.”

    “News reports about my interview with The Guardian are misleading, and they do not reflect my complete opinion. Let me be clear. I do not agree with what Mr. Snowden did. He has damaged American international relations and compromised our national security. He leaked classified information and may have jeopardized human lives. That must be condemned,” Lewis said in a statement.

    Lewis said he never praised Snowden or compared him to Gandhi or other civil rights leaders.

    “In fact, The Guardian itself agreed to retract the word ‘praise’ from its headline,” Lewis said.

    “I cannot say and I did not say that what Mr. Snowden did is right. Others will be the judge of that,” he continued.

    ( Yesterday’s piece: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/07/john-lewis-civil-rights-edward-snowden )

  5. We are soon to be 12 years removed from 9/11 2001.
    Bush Cheney Rumsfeld began our “American autumn” They initiated policies, established laws, and planted virulent weeds of ethereal surveillance, that has grown so large it overcasts and shades our constitutional freedoms.
    “American Autumn” The season of clouded transparency, growing darkness, cold harsh rhetoric, the fruits of summer harvested from the tree of liberty.
    The CorporateWallstMilitaryIndustrial Complex silos are filled for the upcoming winter. Media sprites whispering seductive platitudes, all is well, trust Obama, this is for your protection. Rejoice Sheeples, at least we still have some wool. …. At least till the snows come. ….. Naww they wouldn’t take that…would they?

  6. Dear Folks, I put on my “extra heavy duty” aluminum foil hat, held up two uncoiled coat hangars AND grabbed an uninsulated hot water pipe in my bathroom. This is what I found out.
    Unfortunately,…… after Obama said that they cut the live feed, but I discovered what really happened immediately after, Here it is unedited.

    “Unfortunately we have video tape” Obama turns and smiles at the audience. the studio darkens and a big screen tv shows….. Obama in the oval office peering under his desk “No no terrorists deaths under here today”…. (audience laughs)
    It seems Obama is not only continuing Cheneys scorched earth policy, He is using George Bushes joke writers too!!!

    “MADNESS MADNESS”….. / bridge over the river kwai

  7. It would be quite interesting to compare the primitive, “low throughput” telephone eavesdropping in the USSR as described in the beginning of “The Gulag Archipelago” by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, to the current massive eavesdropping / high throughput NSA style. Is Guantanamo the nascent seed of a Gulag?

  8. These ports are not located in the Gulf either. Same interview

    If we don’t deepen our ports all along the Gulf — places like Charleston, South Carolina, or Savannah, Georgia, or Jacksonville, Florida — if we don’t do that, those ships are going to go someplace else. And we’ll lose jobs. Businesses won’t locate here.

  9. I agree he is just kidding, he can die in a car accident not even in Terrorist Attack.
    I was expecting big change when he joined but no…………He can’t do much expected.

  10. @ SlingTrebuchet 1, August 7, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Watching him perform, it’s hard to credit that he held the positions that he did.

    These folks do not ascend to their lofty perches based upon their intelligence or competency rather they are selected for their willingness to unquestioningly act when ordered to do so and like the “good” American Mr. Hastings is he was only following orders.

  11. Rafflaw: “He is a lifelong spook”

    Watching him perform, it’s hard to credit that he held the positions that he did.
    He sounds like some of the wingnuts that I’ve seen posting “stuff”.

  12. I recall during the debates someone tweeting that Mr. Obama was saying Um,s ahs, or one of those speech hesitancy syllables.
    He did not need the teleprompter and listen to him, that is his normal speech pattern.

  13. ap,
    Anything Michael Hayden says is suspect to me. He is a lifelong spook and the constitution has never gotten in his way.

  14. nick,
    anyone who speaks off the cuff is going to have those moments. If you listen to Kennedy’s off the cuff remarks, he had some of the same pauses. Clinton is an exception. Just a remarkable public speaker.

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