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  1. #1
    Terminator's Avatar
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    Secret Service: "Mr. President-elect, you'll have to surrender your Blackberry." Obama: "Nope"

    Despite legal and security hurdles, president-elect Barack Obama says he has a plan to retain his beloved Blackberry once he moves into the White House next week. Interviewed by CNN Friday, Obama said the smartphone was among the tools that he would use to stay in touch with real Americans and avoid becoming trapped inside the presidential "bubble."
    "I think we're going to be able to hang on to one of these. My working assumption, and this is not new, is that anything I write on an email could end up being on CNN," he said.
    "So I make sure to think before I press 'send'," he said of his Blackberry, which was an ever-present fixture on his belt or in his hand on the campaign trail.
    Obama did not divulge just how he will overcome legal constraints, given the requirement of the post-Watergate Presidential Records Act of 1978 to keep a record of every White House communication.
    Nor did he say how he would persuade his Secret Service protectors that the Blackberry does not pose a security risk, for instance if it is hacked over the air.
    But Obama, who succeeds the unpopular George W. Bush on Tuesday, said the phone was a valuable part of a wider strategy to escape the White House fishbowl.
    "It's just one tool among a number of tools that I'm trying to use, to break out of the bubble, to make sure that people can still reach me," he said.
    "If I'm doing something stupid, somebody in Chicago can send me an email and say, 'What are you doing?'
    "I want to be able to have voices, other than the people who are immediately working for me, be able to reach out and send me a message about what's happening in America."
    The mobile device dilemma may have inadvertently been solved on Friday, as Obama's Blackberry tumbled from his belt as he got out of his limousine and onto his plane in Washington.
    A Secret Service agent hurried to pick up the pieces, gathering the Blackberry and battery off the frigid tarmac.

  2. #2
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    I would suspect that Obama's still the boss and can carry anything he wants. The Secret Service works for him, not the other way around. I can see their concerns and they make sense, but if he's willing to take the risk.......
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

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    Yes, Mr. Obama, I'm sure other nations' intelligence services will enjoy keeping tabs on you and reading your unsecured data, messages, and conversations. Last I check the Secret Service is there to protect you. EVEN FROM YOURSELF.

    "If I'm doing something stupid, somebody in Chicago can send me an email and say, 'What are you doing?'

    I wonder who it is pulling those strings?

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

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    "If I'm doing something stupid, somebody in Chicago can send me an email and say, 'What are you doing?'
    ... like Tony Rezko.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Retdetsgt View Post
    I would suspect that Obama's still the boss and can carry anything he wants. The Secret Service works for him, not the other way around. I can see their concerns and they make sense, but if he's willing to take the risk.......
    I thought the issue was more about the Presidential Records Act anyway. All correspondence has to be retained as an "official document" to avoid anything like the Watergate Tapes happening.
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    Hope it bites him in the ass personally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terminator View Post
    "I want to be able to have voices, other than the people who are immediately working for me, be able to reach out and send me a message about what's happening in America."

    Well, I would like to be one of those voices, and to do that I'll need your number.


    What a jackass. Some internet wizard somewhere will get hacked into that shit.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDawg View Post
    I thought the issue was more about the Presidential Records Act anyway. All correspondence has to be retained as an "official document" to avoid anything like the Watergate Tapes happening.
    Yep, I think it is. But I don't think it's the Secret Service's venue to worry about it. It might make for an interesting court case......
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

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    The Secret Service is a law enforcement agency, and they do not "work for" the President.

    If the rules dicate he needs to give up his phone, then he needs to give up his phone.

    *Any* issue which affects the security of the POTUS is their venue, by statute.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    The Secret Service is a law enforcement agency, and they do not "work for" the President.

    If the rules dicate he needs to give up his phone, then he needs to give up his phone.

    *Any* issue which affects the security of the POTUS is their venue, by statute.
    The president is the head of the executive branch, which all LE is under. So they do work for him. And it's not rules, it's law he has to obey. Since this really hasn't come up before, it will probably have to be decided by the courts.
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Retdetsgt View Post
    The president is the head of the executive branch, which all LE is under. So they do work for him. And it's not rules, it's law he has to obey. Since this really hasn't come up before, it will probably have to be decided by the courts.
    So you worked for your Mayor, eh? Or did you in fact work for a Chief of Police, who reported to the Mayor.

    There is a difference, and it isn't a quibble.

    This *has* come up before, and the previous President obeyed. In fact, he wrote a last few emails before he took office.

    That this President would have to, or that you would suggest such an issue be decided in the courts is a collosal waste of taxpayer money and time.

    The Secret Service, if needbe, can take the phone.

    Obama didn't sign up here to do whatever the hell he pleases - he was hired by the people of the United States of America to uphold and defend the Constitution and laws of the land.
    I'm your huckleberry...

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  12. #12
    Retdetsgt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    So you worked for your Mayor, eh? Or did you in fact work for a Chief of Police, who reported to the Mayor.
    And the chief had to obey the mayor. The mayor could direct the police via the chief. It's merely a chain of command you're talking about. When I was in the Army, I worked for my company commander. Are you saying I wasn't answerable to the battalion commander? If I wasn't, it would have been a big surprise to a lot of people. If my battalion commander gave me an order and I refused, even if it contradicted my CC, I'd be up for a court martial in a heart beat. Same if a general contradicted both of them.

    And I agree, it's not a quibble. Even if it has come up before, did someone order the Prez to give it up or did he do it on his own? I know of no precedent set yet.

    If there is a law the POTUS can't carry a blackberry, he can't. If there is no law, he can. If the POTUS wants to go to Afghanistan, the Secret Service has no authority to tell him he can't, their job is provide the security. He can take their advice, but he's still in charge, as he should be as long as his actions are lawful.
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

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  13. #13
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    Any word if they picked a dog yet? The labradoodle was ahead last I heard.

    But seriously. Sure, he could use it to do something stupid. By that argument presidents should be banned from having cigars. Or pretzels, to be bi-partisan.

    Is the concern that he's going to use it to sneak covert messages? Whispering in Rahm's ear is easier than typing an email with thumbs and leaves less of a record than a call. If hackers get in (or more likely Verizon employees) and find any emails which aren't documented it would his detractors who benefit the most. I'm sure some bright person over at the NSA could quickly disable the GPS if there's a concern about it being used to track his very public movements.

    I guess I'm not seeing the problem, or rather I'm seeing the problem as this being yet another minor distraction which is taking attention away from large policy debates. For example, when the Rick Warren discussion lost momentum a gay Bishop was introduced to take his place. Who the distraction angers isn't important so long as it draws the public's attention. My question isn't whether he should or shouldn't have a smartphone, rather, what's going to take the blackberry's place as distraction? And do we have a First Dog yet?

  14. #14
    Retdetsgt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd View Post
    I guess I'm not seeing the problem, or rather I'm seeing the problem as this being yet another minor distraction which is taking attention away from large policy debates.
    That's the way I look at. Republicans got upset at Clinton and pushed things in his personal life and ignored the fact he allowed the sale of satellite and missile technology to China. Looks like they'll make the same mistakes again the way it's going with Obama.

    Like Clinton, Obama may be a lot of things, but stupid isn't one. I seriously doubt he'll communicate sensitive information on the damn blackberry. Why get wound up on that when he's about to take our national debt into oblivion and release a few hundred terrorists?
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Retdetsgt View Post
    That's the way I look at. Republicans got upset at Clinton and pushed things in his personal life and ignored the fact he allowed the sale of satellite and missile technology to China. Looks like they'll make the same mistakes again the way it's going with Obama.

    Like Clinton, Obama may be a lot of things, but stupid isn't one. I seriously doubt he'll communicate sensitive information on the damn blackberry. Why get wound up on that when he's about to take our national debt into oblivion and release a few hundred terrorists?
    I must spred some reputation around.

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    Sensitive information being hacked was the least of my concern - and probably the least of the Secret Service.

    You'd have to do a bit more research to find out their opinion, but I have my sneaking suspicions.

    Shrug.
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    If he wants to keep a phone... let him, if he wants to drink a beer... let him, who really cares.

    If he keeps confidential info off the damn thing there should not be a problem

    Lets focus on whats going on with America and what plans are going to be put in place to get things turned around. But no, we are talking about the President and his hope to continue to carry a cell phone
    Somebody Please, what the hell is that smell?

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    Lets all submit a FOI request to the White House for his Blackberry records. If the media can, so can we. Drive them crazy; or have HIS SS agents at your front door.

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    Five-0's Avatar
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    No offense to the earlier posts, but I can walk and chew gum at the same time. I can follow policy decisions and other issues involving the POTUS. I can even do that while keeping an eye on my local crooks/politicians.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Five-0 View Post
    No offense to the earlier posts, but I can walk and chew gum at the same time. I can follow policy decisions and other issues involving the POTUS. I can even do that while keeping an eye on my local crooks/politicians.
    Apologists for liberal politicians will always tell you that any attempt to critique something they are doing or not doing is "sidetracking" or "ignoring the important things."

    We saw it with Clinton, and we will see it with Obama.

    Nothing to see here, move along - let the man live a normal life.
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