Here's where it says clearly what happened:
This is distinct, by the way, from a separate outage for maintenance: "The site ALSO went down for 'maintenance' following a Wired article that sought support for the campaign." (Emphasis added.)
Regardless of whether "the Administration" cut this petition short or not, what is the benefit of keeping the TSA around?
No, no, I don't mean because they're ineffective or violating our rights or anything like that (although those points are valid as well) -- my question is what is the political motivation for keeping the TSA intact?
Sure, you could argue that some conservatives (that hate everything Obama does anyway) would get more riled up about "helping the terrorists," but those people will never vote democrat anyway.
In fact, you could even argue that some die-hard conservatives would applaud Obama for ending the violation of citizens' rights.
If the government knows how ineffective the TSA is (and always has been), and how much most people dislike the organization, does it make sense to hold out on the TSA until it gets closer an election, then dissolve it? Is the TSA still active as an ace-up-the-sleeve of political clout?
If not, what is the political reason for keeping them around? I really can't figure it out.
(Please keep in mind the truth of such a claim has little bearing on the political calculus, and that we can't count on an arbitrary politician to correctly calibrate the likelihood of an airborne terrorist attack post 9/11.)
Your reply has nothing to do with what can be said by a political opponent.
The OP asked "what is the political motivation for keeping the TSA intact." I answered. If you want to rebut my political analysis, fine. This particular thread is not about the actual efficacy of the TSA.
[Originally used more jerkish language. Sorry.]
Or are you saying, politicians think there will be backlash and therefore stick to the status quo?
(THIS is a 30k+ karma HN reader? -Forehead slap.- )
This is why it's recommended to not post linkbait political articles like this. But it's Saturday and it happens. You shouldn't expect much intelligent discourse, because there are no facts, only speculation.
That said, I really wish you wouldn't take the thread wildly offtopic, I was just trying to answer the guy's question. And I honestly wonder if you read my second sentence.
>Your comment is also pure speculation
It's informed speculation, but is it so far out on a limb to say politicians are risk-averse and want to avoid being seen as soft on terrorists? Obama in particular is keen to dodge right-wing charges that he is weak on, actively likes (!), or IS (!!) a terrorist.
>are you saying, politicians think there will be backlash and therefore stick to the status quo?
I am saying politicians believe abolishing the TSA is risky, and possibly beneficial for their opponents. The risk is enough to outweigh the political benefits to them from such a move. That is why a critical mass stick to the status quo. It is very easy for a politician to understand why he wants to avoid being seen as soft on terrorism. It is harder for a politician to understand why he should stick his neck out on airport hassles. This is about odds and costs and benefits, not about people being certain in a binary way that something will or will not happen.
If enough politicians come to believe that favoring the abolition of the TSA could motivate voters to their side, they will favor that policy. In other words, I'm not saying the TSA is with us forever, I'm just trying to help explain why it's still with us.
You know what, that's a good point. I'm deleting the initial comment. It's not adding to the discussion at all.
No worries about the karma comment either. You're right that I should hold myself to a higher standard. Or start reading Reddit again.
I'll leave these around so nobody gets too confused.
That would be held up as proof to clearly indicate that the current measures do not go far enough. More tax$$ would be spent, more rights destroyed.
This is how classic terrorism expects to 'win' - By forcing reactionary measures that oppress the populace to the point they rise up and liberate themselves. It rarely works historically and certainly won't in the US.
Look this isn't Reddit where you can just make up any nonsense.
If you are going to make statements like this have some proof.
And no the screening doesn't have to be 100%. It never will be nor does anyone seriously think it will be.
It has nothing to do with security. The TSA hasn't caught a single terrorist or attempted terrorist during its entire tenure. Blaming the private screeners for 9-11 is a bit unfair because, if the TSA were operating under the same pre-9-11 rules, those guys would have made it on the plane as well.
The TSA is also Janet "Big Sis" Napolitano's most visible way of exerting her own need for power. She obsessed with her fiefdom and the perks it provides. Obama also wouldn't dare cross Napolitano as it's clear she'd be able to body slam him without a second thought.
Only 4% of people recently polled have no opinion on whether the TSA is doing a good job or not.
Another recent poll shows that less than 4% of statistics are based on real data.
Edit: Found it here: http://www.gallup.com/poll/156491/Americans-Views-TSA-Positi...
Each sample includes a minimum quota of 400 cell phone respondents and 600 landline respondents per 1,000 national adults.
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted July 9-12, 2012, with a random sample of 1,014 adults.
Landlines huh? Sounds like old conservative people.
"Samples are WEIGHTED by gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, adults in the household, and phone status (cell phone only/landline only/both, cell phone mostly, and having an unlisted landline number)."
What does smoking or drinking have to do with this poll?
It could also be a political barometer to our collective response to an increasing police state.
Consider also the reasons it was created (the real reasons) and the context in which it was created
The question is in what form it is and what its role is.
(i) As annoying as the TSA is, it is strictly speaking probably Constitutional; what they are doing falls under the "administrative search" category of "reasonable" under the 4th Amendment: (a) applied uniformly to all passengers, (b) tailored to specific administrative needs (ie, keeping explosives and weapons off planes), and (c) in some defensible way limited or minimal. They are pushing it with the body scanners, but who knows. El Al relies heavily on profiling; profiled searches are by definition not administrative, since they're done on suspicion.
(ii) The TSA recruits people with advertisements on pizza boxes. El Al security personnel are trained (ie expensive) enough to do sophisticated subtextual behavior analysis while questioning people at length 1-on-1.
Generally, security in a big operation is harder than security in a small operation. It's not at all clear that El Al's methods would work when applied to a system the size of the US.
Perhaps the government has some sort of investment in Pepsi Co. and that's why you're not allowed to liquids on the plane anymore.
Second, some other guys replied already that this petition expired prematurely and this is the purpose behind all the fuzz. As of me going bit conspiratorish way, keep in mind that we are talking about DHS here. Those are the people in government that are beyond and sort of control, regardless if it comes from "we the people", President of the USA, or Congress itself. I could imagine all it takes one phonecall from DHS for WhiteHouse petitions website to have a "down for maintenance" issue. They do not answer to anyone or anything. Just a reminder, as you know they ran Fast and Furious where at least one Board Patrol Agent died as a direct results of their actions. At the end, Eric Holder was indeed held in contempt of Congress, but who cares? He won't face any responsibility just like DOD said they are not interested in pursuing this matter. This should be a perfect example to put in a dictionary under the term "mob". Imagine situation where you witnessed someone killing your family member you call the cops and the oppressor turned out to be police commissioner's brother, and their answer is "we are not interested in pursuing this matter".
So if DHS is capable of pulling stuns like the one with Holder, you really think they will let "we the people" to petition against them without ability to stop the show anytime they want to?
edit: good read: http://townhall.com/columnists/edfeulner/2012/08/10/the_furo...
edit: actually Brian's birthday would be today... http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2012/08/11/remembe...
What happened to "guns don't kill people, people kill people"? Are you saying that ATF shot the Border Patrol Agent?
Oh. I see. The mistake was that some Mexicans got guns. Obviously, without the ATF there is no way that Mexicans would be able to get guns. Right.
But under that logic, failing to enact gun control makes the US government responsible for almost everyone killed with a gun in the US, since the relative lack of gun control both directly and indirectly results in more guns in hands, and therefore more guns in use, and therefore more people being shot. (For the record: I am against gun control, I just think your logic sucks)
You ARE allowed to petition, but that isn't the same thing as whatever your complaint is about whitehouse.gov ... petitions vastly pre-existed whitehouse.gov.
You seem to have forgotten the good old days when Reagan set up the Enterprise (an unaccountable shadow government with its own funding sources) and sold arms to our enemies, violating a US arms embargo, in order to fund a dirty war in Central America (another action violating US law).
What great democracy that was!
I don't know, and frankly don't care, why you assume I have forgotten about Reagan stunt. I hope you haven't forgotten that Constitution says that all men should be capable of being armed equally as the Government itself. Clearly we are not there anymore, but I hope we will never be in a situation where the only legal way of standing against burglar's .357 is with a plastic knife...
Slacktivism at its finest
The implication is that the government was so terrified of having to answer for the TSA's shenanigans that they deleted the petition. I suspect the real answer is much more mundane.
An online petition is meaningless to the government if they want to ignore it. We also forget that a petition is more like a very strong request or a demand but no one is obligated fulfill what the petition requests. So even if this petition got a million signatures all it means is that we presumably let whoever is in charge of watching these petitions know that x number of people feel this way.
One last major point I want to make is that the government is far more inept than people give it credit for. It's funny how people see the government as either completely incompetent or as some all powerful entity that can exert power over anything and do anything. For example, we have people that believe the USPS is totally broken and the US government is too incompetent to fix it's own postal system. Then, by the same token we have others that believe 9/11 was a massive conspiracy that was masterfully executed. In both cases the problem comes down to the government being run by fallible humans who make mistakes.
Very very last thing to think about: to some, the TSA petition was incredibly important and it's being taken down has been, in their minds, morphed into some kind of conspiracy to keep the people down. Now I ask you what about the other petitions on the site? To some people the TSA petition isn't important but some other random petition is. There are lots of petitions that are just as important to people that do make their signature goal. The point is, people will do gold medal worthy mental gymnastics to explain what they either don't understand or to justify something to themselves.
Not everything is a conspiracy. Coincidence is real.
But many conspiracy theories are just silly...
JERRY: Just give me some idea of what you think it could be.
GEORGE: I don't know if you're ready for it.
GEORGE: I believe that I am about to become the target of a systematic process of intimidation and manipulation, the likes of which you have never -
JERRY: Hold it, hold it! You're right, I'm not ready for this.
The Epic site doesn't explain this well, but the petition was actually on the White House website, where the White House promises to respond, and has responded, to any petition that gets 25,000 signatures. This one probably just expired before meeting the requirements: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/require-transporta...
I've actually signed a previous TSA petition, and gotten a letter from the white house brushing it off (available here: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/abolish-tsa-and-us...). Same with the legalization of marijuana petition I signed, and the support same-sex marriage one I signed (later they changed their position on this one), and the... I forget now which other ones I signed, but they have all gotten eventual responses from the white house that are basically polite brush-offs.
Given that, it seems unlikely there was some nefarious hidden agenda behind this TSA one being taken down.
Besides, the TSA was something dreamed up and put in place by the Republicans. It wouldn't be smart to go out and make a stink over a Democratic president ignoring a petition having anything to do with changing anyone about the TSA when Republicans would love to double down and try to convince people that the TSA is keeping the US terrorist-free. In fact, I'd argue that the Republicans would actually love for Obama to do something rational about the TSA so they can call him weak on security. It doesn't make sense for this to be a defense against Republicaj criticism.
It most likely really was just a blooper.
All that is happening is that people are pretending to give an air of legitimacy to a process that has none.
Seriously, if this petition didn't get 25K signatures in an hour, White House has absolutely no reason to be so afraid as to try and hide it. There's no revolution brewing. And calling your representative and letting him know you'd base your next vote on this issue is more effective (provided that enough people actually do it) than any of the internet petitions anyway.
As in, this might be neither malice nor incompetence: this could very well just be an implementation detail of the expiration system and how it displays the deadline, causing some people to be confused.
> 10,477 signatures required by August 9th to require President Obama to respond.
> If 25,000 people sign the petition before August 9, 2012, the White House will respond.
If it's "11:59 PM August 8th", then it would probably be reasonable to hold it open until around noon on the 9th, to take into account places in the Pacific (Hawaii, UTC-10; American Samoa, UTC-11, etc)
EDIT: The petition site says, "SIGNATURES NEEDED BY AUGUST 17, 2012 TO REACH GOAL OF 25,000" for a current petition. So it is ambiguous. But I doubt any malfeasance. As the parent poster says, it is likely just a function of the website design.
Yes: it might be nice to say "expires at exactly 16:25:43.642109 UTC on Aug 9 2012", but for most use cases "expires on 8/9/2012" is considered fine. With this interpretation, even if the website said "August 9th", you can still argue that it was being fair and even correct, albeit confusing and bothersome in a way that will certainly have caused some people to think there was more time when there wasn't.
as opposed to: expire it 30 days from the start of the day that its created
the former seems simpler to me and more likely
We can debate policy all day long, but there's really no way anyone can argue that Obama's administration is the most transparent in history. Even Obama himself is obscured. Every presidential candidate has released college transcripts -- except Obama. There are all sorts of questions about his past that remain unanswered, yet he claims to be transparent?
We knew George Bush's elementary school grades, the cars he owned and drugs he did -- yet with Obama there are so many questions that he refuses to address both in his personal history and current White House administration.
Subjectively, it feels much worse - because the administration ran on a platform of transparency and openness, which they failed to deliver on:
The Bush policies that were most detrimental to the long-term health of the US have been embraced and championed by Obama. Namely, the suspension of habeus corpus. Obama and Bush both abduct people they don't like and ship them to prisons in war zones and strip them of all their civil liberties.
Obama, in section 1012 of NDAA 2012, signed into law the right of the US military to detain US citizens indefinitely, without trial.
Of course there are lawsuits and challenges to NDAA 2012, and states have signed their own legislation into place that says, "no, really, the constitution and bill of rights mean something still".
But that stuff isn't stopping the US from abducting and imprisoning its own citizens.
I didn't say anything about the transparency, because I got worked up. Oh, well.
At least W didn't try to pretend he was something he wasn't.
At 1.3Million, sure, it's possible, but I don't personally think there are enough right-wing revisionist history Japanese-Americans to have generated this much response.
Anyway, the facts support my assumption directly from the petititon. The vast majority of Japanese names on the petition do not list their location, while a handful directly report they are from Japan: Taizo H - Tokyo, Kuniko N - Fukuoka.
More importantly, the site is utterly impotent. It's not like voting or campaign donations by foreign nationals, so I'm not sure why it matters. If some Japanese wingnuts want to embarrass themselves on the site, more power to them.
The petition couldn't get 25 THOUSAND signatures, although I think it was up for at least a month (I tried to sign at one point before the Wired article but it was also down)
In a country of 300 MILLION.
Do you really think this was some sort of conspiracy to silence the masses? Do you really think this was going anywhere?
Go to Change.org & or the White House site again and start a new one if you want. And actually SIGN it this time.
That said, please stop pretending the petitions mean a darn thing. We don't even have popular vote in this country. Representatives love to insulate themselves behind that.
Spend some time in the TSA queue at any US airport, and see if you hear anything but "Baaaaa" from your neighbors in line. That's why the petition didn't reach the required threshold. Occam's Razor in action.
Petitions are extremely important, whether they are effective or not (I wish mass media would cite more results from petitions than words' games that White House plays in their official press conferences) they still are a vehicle for "we the people" to voice our opinion!
Any ideas what was expected time for such a petition? Lets hope the stir this move caused will push a similar petition that hopeful won't be "down for maintenance" this time.
Suppose you hit the deadline with almost but not quite enough signatures. Now, if all those signatures are disorganized -- just random individuals who happened to sign -- that's the end of the game. But if many of those signatures are a coordinated action by organized groups of people, then there is less problem re-introducing the petition, starting off with a lot of votes right of the bat, and then closing the gap before the next deadline.
Relevant to this discussion is the petition to take the petitions seriously. The response is essentially that successful petitions bring the topic to discussion at the White House. This might not seem like much, and it isn't "much", but it's something. In the same way big donors do not (usually) buy policy directly, but rather the ear of the administration, these petitions give a small voice in the proces of governance. It's better than nothing and discrediting it because of unreasonable expectations is not helping anything.
If this was an actual attempt at censorship it seems very heavy handed and obvious. This seems like it could be legitimate technical issues.