The Instigator
Darnoc
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Blade-of-Truth
Con (against)
Winning
30 Points

Should Obama be impeached for denying the NSA/not revealing their data collections to the people?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
Blade-of-Truth
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/8/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 610 times Debate No: 56236
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (6)

 

Darnoc

Pro

I say yes, thinking back to the watergate scandal with Nixon and how he denied it occured and how the government wouldnt do anything like that to the people, it parallels Obama. Nixon wasnt impeached but was put on trial, I feel the same should be done for obama, but no one seems to care because it prevents "terrorism," but as I recall this domestic program didnt prevent the boston bombing, so hats off to the US government and their prevention abilities. They violated our rights and it was headed by obama, he should be put on trial.
Blade-of-Truth

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for starting this thought-provoking debate.

I am Con meaning that I do not believe Obama should be impeached for denying the NSA/not revealing their data collections to the people.

Arguments

I. The purpose of the NSA and the activities it takes part in necessitates secrecy and a lack of transparency.


The National Security Agency (NSA) is a U.S. intelligence agency responsible for global monitoring, collection, decoding, translation and analysis of information and data for foreign intelligence and counter-intelligence purposes [1] - a discipline known as Signals intelligence. [2] NSA is also charged with protection of U.S. government communications and information systems against penetration and network warfare.The agency is authorized to accomplish its mission through clandestine means among which are bugging electronic systems and allegedly engaging in sabotage through subversive software.

Originating as a unit to decipher coded communications in WWII, it was officially formed as the NSA by Harry S. Truman in 1952. Since then, it has become one of the largest of U.S. Intelligence organizations in terms of personnel and budget, [3]operating as part of the Department of Defense and simultaneously reporting to the Director of National Intelligence.

The importance of understanding the history of this agency cannot be stressed enough. In this world, cyberterrorism is a real threat. [4] When the FBI Director, Robert Mueller, says that it is the next biggest threat to face our world, we cannot let such statements or realities be shuffled past us as if they lack importance! In later rounds, I will expand on specific cases where hackers and terrorist cell groups have modernized communication methods that include computer and electronic mechanisms. Without modernized defense organizations such as the NSA or the lack of transparency such organizations have, modern terrorists and hackers will have the upper hand in any aggressive actions they might take against the innocent civilians or vital infrastructure they aim to cause harm and damage towards. As I said, I will expand greatly on this in later rounds.

[1] http://www.nsa.gov...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://www.washingtonpost.com...
[4] http://www.darkreading.com...?

II. The Duty of the President entails supporting such agencies.

The President is both the head of state and head of government of the United States of America, and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. [5] In regards to the latter role, a short description in which his powers extend to the NSA can be found in a brilliant article published by How stuff works. I will provide the excerpt and source link below:

"The military isn't the only tool of the president's war power. Intelligence and covert agencies like the CIA, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Central Security Service can all provide the president with surreptitious, non military options in dealing with threats abroad." [6]

As we can clearly see, the NSA is but one tool found within the Presidents war chest. In particular, the tool that focuses on the modern warfare conducted by computer hacking and modernized communication methods. When we consider that the President is the Chief Commander with not just this agency, but several others, all whom share the same general purpose of protecting the nation at the President's will, it becomes clear that the President supporting such an agency is part of his sworn oath as Commander-in-Chief to the United States of America.

Now, when considering that support for the NSA has actually risen in the past several years in regards to Democratic and Independent support which can be seen here: [7]


It is evident that the support of the agency is not just being done by President Obama alone. The data presented in both the image above and the link ([7]) which is the article in which the image originates from shows that the majority of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents are actually in support of the actions carried out by the NSA. To vilify President Obama as a sole supporter of the agency is not only a farce but also a complete misrepresentation of the actual situation as it is occurring in real-life.

[5] http://www.whitehouse.gov...
[6] http://people.howstuffworks.com...
[7] http://www.msnbc.com...

** I will gladly present more arguments in later rounds if the situation demands, as I already plan on expanding more on the previous argument regardless ** For now, let's move on towards....

Rebuttals

I. Nixon/Watergate scandal = Obama/NSA? Lol, No.

My opponent has made the bold claim that the Nixon Watergate scandal is parallel to Obama's actions with the NSA activities. This is an incredibly uneducated claim. The reason why is because 5 men breaking into the National Democratic Committee to spy on campaign funding and tactics is not even close to the efforts being conducted by the NSA in terms of end-goal or methods. [8] Nixon was found covering up for the actions of the group involved not only to congress but to the American people. In terms of the NSA situation, congress is on-board. There is no trial needed at this point and my opponent has yet to bring any evidence of Presidential wrong-doings in this regard. As with all trial cases, evidence is needed if my opponent wishes to uphold his BOP, which at this point - hasn't been done on his part.

Regardless of the quibbles that occur between the executive and legislative branch, this isn't a situation where campaign funds and political warfare is occurring in secret with a presidential cover-up. What is occurring is the introduction into the public sphere the true influence and power that the organization, known as the NSA, has. Two completely different issues. Furthermore, as shown in my previous argument, we can see that with majority support in all parties, ([7]) the Democratic/Republican warfare that occurred in the Watergate scandal isn't necessarily the same situation as is now when all three major parties support the organization.

[8] http://www.corporatenarc.com...

II. NSA didn't stop Boston Bombing

Actually, the blame has been put onto the FBI. [9] According to the article in which the blame is placed:

Acting on a 2011 tip from Russian intelligence, the FBI investigated Tsarnaev before last year's bombing, but closed the inquiry after the bureau found no links to terrorism.

The FBI had him on their radar, but then dropped the ball. Instead of pursuing this potential terrorist, they ended their investigation into him and one year later, bam, the Boston Bombing occurs at the hands of the very guy that they let off the hook.

If you wish to place the blame on the NSA, please present counter-evidence that it is the NSA's fault and not the FBI's.

[9] http://articles.latimes.com...

III. They violated our rights.

My opponent has failed to present any evidence for this claim.

If the organization is, in fact, violating our rights - then we must amend those violations immediately! If it is proven beyond a doubt that they have violated our rights and THEN the President fails to fix the issue, then and only then should the President be put up for trial. Until he absolutely fails in his duty to do so, he should remain as acting President as no violations of his duty have yet to be proven beyond a doubt.

Conclusion

I have presented my arguments & rebuttals while also showing how my opponent has failed, so far, in upholding his BOP. I thank both the audience & my opponent, and return the floor to him.
Debate Round No. 1
Darnoc

Pro

I would like to address some of the rebuttals my opponent has made (all of which were very well informed), one being titled "Nixon/Watergate scandal = Obama/NSA? Lol, No." The reason being is because in fact Obama did take part in activities like Nixon, in one case the NSA, which is under control by Obama, actually bugged the EU representation computer network, so we could listen in on their discussions in these rooms, and read emails and documents on these bugged networks. What a PARALLEL isn't it with Nixon! But with all the discussions on what Obama is actually doing with these programs, be it preventing terrorism or actually just spying, these issues may get brushed under the rug. Something interesting to look at when it comes to approval ratings as well, considering you posted some, I may as well give more information on them (listed below in the sources) this shows a little different tale when it comes to NSA approval. I would say in this chart, the NSA seems a little less approved of. Now in my opinion, if there is nothing wrong with what the NSA is doing, why would they need top secret court orders to look into Verizon phone records, which are collected in bulk and indiscriminately. We as Americans shouldn't be lied to about these spying activities and need Snowden to come in and help us out in learning what Obama and the NSA is actually doing. Obama was questioned and asked if Snowden was a patriot or not, his response, a definitive NO. In the video I found it funny Obama actually said the American people would rather DEBATE about these spying reforms and policies, when would these debates have taken place?! "Oh yeah, I was just about to allow debating on our spying technology, but Snowden beat us to it, darn." That is basically in a nutshell what Obama is saying, and I highly think these claims are FALSE and LIES. They would have remained secretive until Snowden came along. One final point- my opponent stated the FBI is being blamed for the failure to stop the Boston bombings, and really dropping the ball on the whole situation, but as I remember, the NSA was supposed to be the one to stop these things, by collecting our phone records and spying on the American people. If my data is to be collected for the purpose to stop terrorism, the terrorism better be stopped by these agencies! If they fail to do so, stop collecting these bulk data packages, and stop infringing on our rights.

If any sources aren't listed, let me know and Ill repost them in the next round, thanks.
Sources--
1) http://www.spiegel.de.... --Spying on EU rooms
2)http://www.slate.com...
--Approval chart
3)http://www.theguardian.com... secret court order to allow NSA to collect bulk data phone records
4)https://www.youtube.com... saying Snowden is not a patriot
Blade-of-Truth

Con

I want to thank my opponent for his response. I will address his rebuttals first.

I. Nixon/Watergate scandal is not parallel to Obama/NSA.

My opponent is still insisting that the two situations are parallel to one another. The only real similarity, in honesty, is just the fact that both involved spying on others. The differences are still vast though:

1 - Nixon was covering up for a group of men that were spying on the other political parties.
Whereas Obama is supporting a federal agency which conducts spying on both an international and domestic scale for the interest of national security. This isn't a specific quest to spy just on the other American political rivals, it's much more grand in scale. NSA has nothing to do with rival party campaign funding and tactics spying unless you can provide verifiable evidence which says otherwise.

2 - Nixon lied to Congress, and stepped down after realizing that a trial was inevitable.
Obama and Congress are both aware of the NSA programs. Just because congressmen/women don't publicly acknowledge the actions of the agency doesn't mean that they are completely in the black about this like they were when Nixon/Watergate went down. Unless you can prove that Obama has literally lied about everything he's told to the Congress regarding the NSA, this point you keep raising is defeated.

3 - The ONLY parallel that can be found is the spying aspect and the lying to the American public about it. But again, the end goal of the spying is completely different from that of the Nixon/Watergate scandal and the lying is in the interest of national security. Only a fool actually thinks it is wise for the military to release their current actions to the world - especially when they are meant to be clandestine in nature. Some things, if exposed to the public, may hurt military strategy if the enemy happens to catch the broadcast. This is evident in itself and I will gladly expand more on this in the next round if my opponent still wishes to carry on this defeated point.

II. Charts with conflicting information.

Here is the problem with your statistics vs. mine. Mine reflects the bipartisanship view within Congress on the matter. Yours shows the public opinion of non-public office holding citizens from a heavily liberal biased website. The fact that Congress still supports the actions of the NSA, by majority, is in no way countered by your statistics as they reflect a completely different test group. Also, the less obvious point was that there is no majority which supports putting Obama up for trial. As long as he has the support of Congress (heck, even if he didn't!) there would still need to be a majority vote to put Obama on trial. This hasn't happened yet and won't considering the support I've shown in my previous round.

III. If they are doing-no-wrong, then why do they need secret court orders?

The moment such information is released - the terrorists would stop using that telecommunications service to communicate between one another (ex - Verizon or AT&T). By keeping it a secret, the NSA was able to monitor the service without alerting the terrorists. It was actually a brilliant move made by our Nation's counter-terrorist agencies if you only take a moment to step back and look at it from a strategist perspective. It has nothing to do with wanting to lie to the American people, it has to do with not wanting to alert potential terrorists so that they would continue using the service and basically feed the agency all the information they needed without even knowing it.

NOW that the information is out in the public though - any potential terrorists with half a brain are now never going to use those telecommunication services again. The public demanding to know all of this actually killed a really good tactic for catching terrorists via phone services. If you simply take a step back from assuming the worst about the government agencies, you will see that perhaps it isn't always in our national interest to expose every covert action that these anti-terrorist agencies are attempting to do as it actually harms our strategic advantage.

IV. FBI vs. NSA in Boston Bombing - who's at fault?

I've already shared an article which essentially proves my point about the FBI being the one's at fault for ending the investigation a year too early on one of the Boston bombers. All one needs to do is read the article I shared in the previous round to see this. Now, you raise the point that it's the NSA who is at fault for not doing there job, regardless of the evidence I have already provided which says otherwise. The NSA, who monitors call logs and key terms which raise red flags if spoken numerously or in certain patterns, saw such a pattern in the Boston bombers communications. They then handed the file over to the FBI since it was an American citizen in question. This is how it works. Once the FBI opened an investigation, they (for some unknown reason) decided that he was not a person of real interest thus dropping the investigation on him one year before the bombing actually took place. The FBI was also monitoring the mother's communications before the event as well. Here is an article from the guardian, a site that my opponent himself has shared as a source in his previous round, which expands further on the fact that the FBI dropped the ball on this one, not the NSA. [1]

[1] http://www.theguardian.com...

In conclusion,

I have presented rebuttals to each claim made by my opponent. While I was going to present further arguments, I noticed that my opponent has failed to rebut any of my own arguments in Round 1. At this point, my opponent has failed at upholding his BOP and has given to valid reasoning as to why Obama should be put to trial. Furthermore, until he defeats the points I have raised, such efforts are impossible to accomplish. He responded only to my own rebuttals found in Round 1. My opponent has failed to provide any valid evidence which proves our rights our being violated, and even if he manages to do so in the last round, will also have to somehow prove that such violations are reason to impeach Obama rather than create stricter regulations and standards/guidelines for such agencies.

I now return the floor, once again, over to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 2
Darnoc

Pro

Darnoc forfeited this round.
Blade-of-Truth

Con

Unfortunately, my opponent has forfeited Round 3.

I extend all arguments and rebuttals that remain standing unchallenged, and patiently await a response from my opponent.
Debate Round No. 3
Darnoc

Pro

Darnoc forfeited this round.
Blade-of-Truth

Con

My opponent has forfeited round 4.

I extend all arguments that remain standing unchallenged and would like to thank my opponent once again for starting this thought-provoking debate.

I look forward to any and all challenges from my opponent in the future.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
DarnocBlade-of-TruthTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro clearly loses this debate. Arguments presented by Con were not rebutted and Pro also fails to recognize the difference between Watergate and the NSA scandals. This is a major flaw in the argument and rightfully gets slammed by Con. Pro then also forfeited the debate and so effectively concedes all points. As such I am awarding argument and conduct to Con. Regarding sources, I am awarding these points to Con as well for the reason that Pro was citing sources with not giving background as to why they were cited, i.e. read this is not a good enough argument.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
DarnocBlade-of-TruthTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
DarnocBlade-of-TruthTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by Ajab 2 years ago
Ajab
DarnocBlade-of-TruthTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
DarnocBlade-of-TruthTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Con is winning this on every conceivable level. Due to the forfeits and the relative lack of sources by Pro, I'm awarding conduct and sources to Con. As for arguments, Pro made a lot of unwarranted assertions that Con successfully refuted. The sole points Pro is still winning are that lying occurred and that the American people dislike it. However, neither is a basis for impeachment hearings, and by themselves they do nothing in this debate. Hence, I vote Con.
Vote Placed by ESocialBookworm 2 years ago
ESocialBookworm
DarnocBlade-of-TruthTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF