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Obama Ends Satellite Imagery For LEOs

From the Wall Street Journal:

White House to Abandon Spy-Satellite Program


JUNE 23, 2009

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration plans to kill a controversial Bush administration spy satellite program at the Department of Homeland Security, according to officials familiar with the decision.

The program came under fire from its inception two years ago. Democratic lawmakers said it would lead to domestic spying.

The program would have provided federal, state and local officials with extensive access to spy-satellite imagery — but no eavesdropping capabilities— to assist with emergency response and other domestic-security needs, such as identifying where ports or border areas are vulnerable to terrorism.

It would have expanded an Interior Department satellite program, which will continue to be used to assist in natural disasters and for other limited security purposes such as photographing sporting events

The plans to shutter the office signal Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s decision to refocus the department’s intelligence on ensuring that state and local officials get the threat information they need, the official said. She also wants to make the department the central point in the government for receiving and analyzing terrorism tips from around the country, the official added

Once she assumed her post, Ms. Napolitano ordered a review of the program and concluded the program wasn’t worth pursuing, the homeland official said…

Rep. Jane Harman (D., Calif.), who oversees the House Homeland Security subcommittee on intelligence, said she was alarmed when she recently saw that the Obama administration requested money for the program in a classified 2010 budget proposal. She introduced two bills that would terminate the program.

"It’s a good decision," Ms. Harman said in an interview. "This will remove a distraction and let the intelligence function at [the department] truly serve the community that needs it, which is local law enforcement."

Supporters of the program lamented what they said was the loss of an important new terrorism-fighting tool for natural disasters and terrorist attacks, as well as border security.

"After numerous congressional briefings on the importance of the NAO and its solid legal footing, politics beat out good government," said Andrew Levy, who was deputy general counsel at the department in the Bush administration.

The ‘Gorelick Wall’ between intelligence and law enforcement agencies is going back up, brick by brick, as fast as possible.

You see, having satellites take overhead pictures will lead to domestic spying and violate our Fourth Amendment right.

It might even help us stop the flood of illegal aliens across our southern border.

Meanwhile, having NASA satellites and ‘smart meters’ tracking our carbon emissions and energy usage is perfectly all right. It is, in fact, a wonderful thing.

After all. What is the greater threat to our nation?

Terrorism or global warming?

Let’s remember this courageous stand by Mr. Obama and Misses Napolitano and Harman after the next large scale domestic terrorist attack.

The plans to shutter the office signal Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s decision to refocus the department’s intelligence on ensuring that state and local officials get the threat information they need, the official said.

Mr. Orwell himself could not have put it better.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

31 Responses to “Obama Ends Satellite Imagery For LEOs”

  1. BillK says:

    Someday this will be brought up by a commission examining why the next attack happened in retrospect.

    From the Los Angeles Times:

    Homeland Security said to kill spy satellite plan

    The Bush administration plan to use satellites for domestic surveillance is reportedly axed after state and local officials say they have higher priorities.

    By Josh Meyer

    Washington — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has decided to kill a controversial Bush administration program to use U.S. spy satellites to collect domestic intelligence for counter-terrorism, law enforcement and security, a senior Homeland Security official said Monday evening.

    The National Applications Office program was established in 2007 to provide up-to-the-minute electronic intelligence to local and state law enforcement. But it has been delayed due to concerns by privacy and civil liberties advocates — and by some lawmakers — that it would intrude on Americans’ lives.

    The senior Homeland Security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the program is classified, said Napolitano had decided to nix it after consulting with state and local law enforcement officials and learning that they had far more pressing priorities than using satellites to collect information and eavesdrop on people


    Well at least when a major American city is a radioactive cinder or an engineered biological toxin is sweeping America, we can look back and say that civil rights were protected and that “other priorities” took precedence.

  2. Liberals Demise says:

    SCREW IT!!


  3. proreason says:

    Who can look at these actions and not conclude that this cabal is deliberately weakening this country to prepare it for a takeover or to prepare it for self-destruction?

    Hatred for America must sear this man’s brain every second of every day.

  4. Reality Bytes says:

    Just how long is the line of short yellow school buses in front of the white house when the Obama cabinet is meeting?

    • jobeth says:

      Since I agree we need the short busses for the DC bunch…

      There’s been talk about different states succeding from the union. I have a better idea!

      Lets all get together and vote DC out of Union (I mean it’s not even a state!) and set up another capitol! A sane, conservative one.

      One fell swoop we get rid of ’em all!

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      jobeth….politely…it’s secede and secession.

      I make this correction in nicest way.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Down here in the South we calls it……..SEEDING!!

    • jobeth says:

      Ok Rusty…Point well taken
      Sugar…you will stay busy trying to keep MY spelling in order! LOL..

      Come on, go easy on the old gal! ;-D I’m harmless and mean well.

      LD…I think would add seething … :-)

  5. Chinnubie says:

    Why should we worry about verifying our borders against possible attack, Mr. Obama has given his speech in Cairo, and all of the terrorists have decided to put their bombs down and join together, holding hands, singing coom-by-ya.

    Why would anybody be so immature to think the government would invade others privacy, depriving them of their 4th amendment rights as they are swiftly running across our loosely guarded border carrying god knows what.

  6. Reality Bytes says:

    Takes all the fun out of sunbathing naked with “Obama! Kiss My Ass! appropriately placed.

  7. jobeth says:

    Hi gang!

    You are invited to our newly planted garden! We are growing pretty red tomatos and bright green lettuce.

    We are joining all “the volunteers” and we are going to sell all our nice veggies so we can buy that silver platter for O’balmy to serve up our country to our enemies!

    Boy does this makes me feel soooo warm and fuzzy inside!

  8. pdsand says:

    “”It’s a good decision,” Ms. Harman said in an interview. “This will remove a distraction and let the intelligence function at [the department] truly serve the community that needs it, which is local law enforcement.””

    Since apparently it’s Ms. Harman and her ilk that have been harping about this program since it’s beginning, apparently she is the distraction. If she is truly interested in helping the homeland security department do its job, she should remove herself.

  9. catie says:

    Anything we can do to help out those who want to do us harm. That should be the motto of the Dear Leader’s administration.

  10. pdsand says:

    “The Obama administration plans to kill a controversial Bush administration spy satellite program at the Department of Homeland Security, according to officials familiar with the decision.”

    “Rep. Jane Harman (D., Calif.), who oversees the House Homeland Security subcommittee on intelligence, said she was alarmed when she recently saw that the Obama administration requested money for the program in a classified 2010 budget proposal. She introduced two bills that would terminate the program.”

    Since apparently Obama funded the program in 2009, and requested money for it in 2010, it is not a Bush, but an Obama administration spy satellite program.

    And it’s at least refreshing to see that Democrats still don’t care about “classified” national security programs even when it’s run by a Democrat President.

    • Right of the People says:


      You just quoted an oxymoron, “Rep. Jane Harman (D., Calif.), who oversees the House Homeland Security subcommittee on intelligence” you used intelligence and D., Calif. in the same sentence.

  11. Celina says:


    I don’t see a sarcasm tag.


  12. gipper says:


    Your mother is calling from downstairs. She wants you to take out the trash. And don’t forget to sort the recycling!

  13. sheehanjihad says:

    (S)toned….you must reach out to someone and soon….this isnt the suicide prevention hot line,(good thing, in your case) you have to try real real hard again to realize that it’s hard to be a living tootsie roll pop with ears…..your idol is prove of that, and you are proof of why he is in office. Global Warming has had a detrimental effect on what’s left of your brain. Run along now…the short bus is waiting!

    (God help us….this is the future?)

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      SJ, this is the typical unfiltered crapola coming from the angry liberals. My first guess is that stoned is black. I could be wrong but it’s not hard to see why I think that.

      Overhearing conversations about the election, blacks say (paraphrasing) that “it’s about time we got us a brutha in there” and if the question as to whether he would do a good job or not comes up, the answer is “Don’t matta, he be makin dem rules and people be straightenin’ UP” when I heard that I wasn’t sure what it meant exactly and I didn’t bother to ax.

      As usual, the conservatives don’t particularly care what race or sex the president is, provided they uphold the Constitution. Right now, we have a president who’s skewed view of the universe is damaging the nation. But again, the blacks who are largely angry, don’t care. Like a formerly beautiful neighborhood, our nation is going to become the equivalent of urban blight in the name of “fairness” quotas and “justice” as he sees it.

      I’ve tried to have this conversation with blacks and no matter how I say it, they come back with accusing me of racism. But it’s not racism that the facts are what they are. I have no more desire to have white criminals where I live than Vietnamese, Russian, Italian or black. Although Italians have a philosophy of “don’t s**t where you eat” so the trouble stays out of the neighborhood.

      Unfortunately, obama wants to break the nation’s kneecaps with a shovel. That way, “he’ll show us” and “think twice before dissing the blacks”. However, his cause is imagined and his anger is self-generated. He is no more a savior of the black “cause” than he is of “peace on Earth”.

      His sophomoric attitude toward just about everything is blinding to me and to many others as well…but to point that out, even to my liberal co-workers automatically labels me as a racist. I don’t get the connection because, I couldn’t care less what color he is. And I read something recently that was put together by genealogists that point out he far less black than even he realizes.

      Be that as it may.

      I just think it’s bad to have an angry man as president.

  14. Gila Monster says:

    i tink i well pass toneds mesage 2 my buddie Bush. he wil laff at it a lot dont ya tink? i do.

  15. Rusty Shackleford says:


    I have a few things here.

    1) Why do you love obama? Do you know him personally, or is it an “Elvis/Beatles” kind of love?

    2) I would like specifics on how he’s “doing damn good as far as i can see”

    3) You have very poor English writing skills, did you learn in the public school system?

    4) Most of what you said are non sequiturs but I am assuming that you blame the current unemployment situation on former president Bush. Is that correct? If so, on what do you base that premise?

    5) Also much of your small post appears rather emotional. What are you upset about? Maybe you should ask your conservative friends what makes them angry and maybe you’ll understand.

    In your response, I fully expect to read that you think I’m a racist war monger who should die.

    However, this president you love so much has in a very short time made the national debt into an astronomical figure, with the help of congress. Has not the least bit of respect for the military, you know that entity that allows the United States to be a free nation that also allows idiots like obama to be president. He has violated the Constitution by taking over the banking industry and two of the big three US automakers. If you know someone who had their own store and was running it badly, do you think it’s RIGHT to have the government step in and take it over? Because that’s what has happened.

    Obama also couldn’t care less about a little place called Haiti where slavery continues to this day. Yup, blacks enslaving other blacks. Look it up. Where are sharpton, jackson and holder on this issue? Haiti is just 680 miles from Miami. Yet the US champions of racial equality ignore it. Have you ever wondered why? They also couldn’t care less about the tribal warfare and genocide that occurs on the African continent. Have you ever wondered why about that?

    Have you ever listened to obama’s words without tapping into your emotional center and realized that he has said so many things which contradict that which he has already said concerning abortion, states’ rights, gun control, and confronting terrorism?

    Think with your head, not your heart toned and if you can do that, you might understand where this nation is headed.

    But, you won’t get past the first few sentences of my post without getting furiously angry so, it’s a moot point, isn’t it? You love obama…he’s your idol, your savior, your one and only.

    Well good for you. We’ll see how that works out for you while you wait for him to give you a job.

    Best of luck.

  16. Liberals Demise says:

    Kids think that they can invade ADULT SWIM time!!

  17. jrmcdonald says:

    You see this stuff folks?This is why you need to log-off your computer when doing volunteer work at the methadone clinic…

  18. Colonel1961 says:

    We have plenty of imaging capability (broad-spectra) across the United States (CONUS, et al.). We have plenty of eavesdropping capability, as well (e.g., Fort Huachuca). No material impact from the cancellation of this program.

    • Steve says:

      “No material impact from the cancellation of this program.”

      It’s not that we are losing any imaging capacity.

      It is that the images will not be shared with law enforcement agencies on any level.

    • Colonel1961 says:

      Steve: I understand the objectives, but was trying to (apparently haphazardly) communicate that this is not a reduction in capability. Yes, agree that it will be an issue with data sharing…

  19. canary says:

    This man done border control, since Clinton, said it’s been a nightmare since Obama took over. He said, everything has to be okayed. They can’t do their job anymore. And he’s really concerned for our country under Obama. He said no bodies stopping the Cuban’s from coming in, and such timing when he befriends Castro. Maybe in Obama’s mind, he knows he has something in common with all these dictators, and that he can learn from them.

    I was trying to find some campaign remarks prior to election, since after he was elected he started all this low our mistle defense. In his 2006 he says Reagan’s Star Wars was a failure, when during Desert Storm we were using missle defense system, and Clinton built it up more. The Bush administration’s the USS Lake Erie demonstrated our anti-missile capability with an SM-3 missile which destroyed a wayward satellite more than 100 miles high. Last year, our ground-based midcourse defense system killed a dummy missile over the Pacific using an interceptor stationed in Alaska.

    Obama also claims that Bush did not try and get other countries to help us fight Bin Laden, that Bush wanted to the U.S. to take over the world. Bush did try, and how much help has Obama gotten? Ya know, he complained that the police didn’t do anything to make Chicago safe so blacks would kill each other, then he complained when they put up blue lights. He’s a hypocrite. Obama truly thinks he’s the only one with a brain in the World. His brain makes him think he is God like, and only he can save the world.

    Hitler did not act alone. So prehaps the “many” Obama refers to in believing Chavez or Islam ruling is the way to go, are actually democrats.

  20. wardmama4 says:

    Darn it all – I miss all the good stuff – toned sounded so, so Obamabot like.

    Yes, it does appear that the Gorelick wall is going back up – and with today’s vote on Harold ‘WorldOpinionfirst’ Koh – we will start shredding the Constitution and our sovereignty at an even faster pace.

    What’s next – gun confiscation?

    Oh yeah, I forget that is so crazy, right-wing extremist of me to even think that The One ™ would want something like that to ever happen in America.

    Let us not forget that one Gov. who refused the Generational Theft Act money is fighting a series of frivolous lawsuits and that another who went hiking – is being portrayed as a nutcase.

    That an IG who went after a misuse of funds (taxpayers money) was fired for being ‘disoriented’ (while the Obama hacks were busy shredding the transcripts of the court case – so there will be no evidence ever against The One’s ™ peep in CA)

    and now the whistleblowers (note how Dems only love whistleblowers when they are pointing out the fleck in Repub eyes) of ACORN are being sued for going public.

    Chicago Thug politics on a National level – what a joy to behold.

    Git even and git over – is going to be the new American motto.

    God Help America

    • jobeth says:

      “Darn it all – I miss all the good stuff – toned sounded so, so Obamabot like”

      Me too! I kept looking for this ‘toned’ and thought I was going nutty…LOL (Ok, ok… so I’m am already nutty…)
      See what happens when you actually try to live your life away from S&L? .

  21. neocon mom says:

    Once again, concerns for liberty ONLY for those who wish to do us harm.

    Meanwhile, Americans are encouraged to sort their trash and forced to subsidize laughably inefficient “green” technology (here in Gainesville, FL utility customers are subsidizing those stupid and wealthy enough to put solar panels on their rooftops). Then there’s “cash for clunkers” which I don’t think will go over well once most Americans see the new family golf-carts coming out of Government Motors (you can pry my dead fingers from the wheel of my clunker.) Then of course there are these “smart grid” monitors, now who thinks that’s a good idea? Suddenly a holographic image of Jimmy Carter wearing a cardigan will beam forth and scold you for having the thermostat turned up too high.But seriously, isn’t the way Obama tries to sell this idea frightening enough? A government monitoring device in every home, doesn’t sound like China or NoKo’s state run radio, does it?

  22. Barbie says:

    And yet Fox is obsessively focusing on Mark Sanford’s excuses for his latest whereabouts…

    I read Napolitano decided to kill the program after state and local law enforcment officials told her access to secret overhead imagery was not a priority for them. Oh really?

    If that’s the case, Napolitano needs to tell the public which state and local enforcement officials expressed disinterest in this. Did she speak to them personally? Or garner this info from a questionnaire? I think she’s lying. She needs to be held accountable for this decision. I wrote to Rep. Peter King, who is on the homeland security committee, to express my concern. Not that it matters. Napolitano will do whatever she wants, without fear of any consequences.

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