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August 09, 2009

Obama Not Flinching On Snitch Central

When I first heard that the White House was encouraging people to snitch on their neighbors, I assumed this was something cooked up by a low-level staffer in the communications office trying to justify his job. The Obama Administration has been plagued by staffers and advisers who speak in his name only to have him or Rahm Emanuel come along and correct their "inartful" statements later. (Some examples from the last year.)

Generally, it has been a failure of leadership. The Obama folks are running around without supervision and when they don't have a minder looking over their shoulder their Far Left impulses tend to show. Hence, Snitch Central.

Or so I was assuming. But consider the Scare Force One fiasco. It should never have happened and was quickly disavowed as soon as people protested. A low-level staffer gets blamed and the whole thing is quickly forgotten--by the White House, at least.

But that hasn't happened this time. We're on Day 6 of this Orwellian experiment and the White House hasn't backed off, despite the furor from just about everyone. Rather, Robert Gibbs protests that it's a perfectly reasonable tool to counter "misinformation" about Obamacare. Notably, the White House has issued no list of misinformation or corrections to misinformation since it started collecting data on discussions of the President's healthcare plan.

I thought it would have been easy for the Obama people to do what they've always done after a misstep: blame and fire a low-level peon, apologize that people were upset, and pretend they're the smartest, most squeaky-clean Administration ever to occupy the White House. But that hasn't happened and I'm starting to think that the Obamastasi idea wasn't cooked up by a nobody from the communications office.

So, I want to know:

(1) Whose idea was it to have people snitch on their neighbors?
(2) How do I find out if Obama has my name on the "fishy, bears watching" list?
(3) If I'm on it, can I get off the list?
(4) Is Obama going to give the list to the DNC or to his union goons?
(5) Is the list going to end up in the National Archives? (Presidential records laws prohibit the destruction of White House documents, including emails and databases.)
(6) Is the list eventually going to end up available to the public?
(7) Is the list against the law? See 5 USC 552a(e)(7), 552(f)(1) & (2), which prohibit (with certain exceptions not relevant) the White House or any other agency from collecting information describing how any person exercises rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Threshold Question from Libtards: "But is the White House collecting names or just the 'fishy' healthcare statements? Gibbs said no one is collecting names."

The answer is that the White House is required by law to collect and keep both names and content if that is what it receives from snitches. If, for example, someone were to send this post to the snitch email addy, they would very likely include my name when they cut 'n' paste the post. The White House will thus have received an email naming me as spreading misinformation. The White House is required by law to not delete that email. It will become part of Obama's papers that are handed over to the National Archives when he leaves office.

There's no mechanism to strip the names or other personal information out of snitch emails before they hit the White House's servers (and such a mechanism would likely be illegal, anyway). So, yes, the White House is collecting and by law must keep our names as well as any "fishy" statements we may make.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 12:05 PM

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