On August 9, President Obama gave a major policy speech on NSA spying programs. The compliant White House press corps promptly dumped a barrel of ink on the flesh of fallen trees to lovingly describe his statements as a major change in direction for the administration on privacy and civil liberties. It is not clear if the government-approved beltway faithful had been provided with the same transcript as the Free Press. While the housebroken howlers heralded vague promises made by the war criminal in chief, legally literate citizens saw the announcement for what it was, a delaying obfuscation and a whitewash. The first implementation of these announced solutions came today.

President Obama's speech was 1319 words long. The Constitution was mentioned only twice. In the first instance the president was explaining the FISA Court to us little people. The second instance was a blandly patriotic assurance given during his closing remarks “So this is how we're going to resolve our differences in the United States, through vigorous public debate, guided by our Constitution, with reverence for our history as a nation of laws and with respect for the facts.” Actually parsing that sentence exposes the buffet of lies the President served throughout the other 1282 words he uttered before fielding softball questions.

A review of the Constitution by the Free Press legal staff found no references in it to being a guidance document. It appears to be very specific document that sets itself up as the supreme law of the land. We did a thorough search and also found no instances of the phrases “policy recommendations” or “operational guidelines.”

The President's harkening to “respect for facts” stands at odds with his disproven denials that “nobody is listening to your phone calls.” It has been over a month since a New York Times editorial had the momentary courage to state the President had “lost all credibility on this issue.”

The President's key points revolved around restoring public confidence, which appears to mean acquiescence in the tortured lexicon of the national security state, in the policies of wholesale spying on the entire world. Before joining Congress on vacation he proposed four points to help people be more comfortable and obedient in post-constitutional America.

Obama began his proposals by saying “First, I will work with Congress to pursue appropriate reforms to Section 215 of the Patriot Act, the program that collects telephone records.” The president continued “So after having a dialogue with members of Congress and civil libertarians, I believe that there are steps we can take to give the American people additional confidence that there are additional safeguards against abuse.” This dialogue appears to have consisted solely of pulling selected congressional Democrats aside, derailing a transparency hearing in the process, to pretend to do some active listening.

What Obama avoided completely was any mention of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act which is the other major allegedly legal underpinning of the massive system of global spying. There was also no mention of declassification of the secret legal memos that changes to the Patriot Act and FISA later regularized and systematized.

For his second point, Obama floated the idea of a privacy advocate being allowed to appear before the FISA court in order to “make sure civil liberties concerns have an independent voice, in appropriate cases.” No mention of was given of who these privacy advocates would be, who would appoint them, what security clearance they would have, what qualifications they would need, or who would have the power to determine when their presence in court would be “appropriate.”

In his third point, the President promised greater transparency by declassifying some of the classified legal rational that has been derived from Section 215 of the Patriot Act and given to the FISA court in secret without counter argument as its marching orders. Section 215 of the Patriot Act is the business records clause, and one that has started to cost the tech titans of Silicon Valley money in overseas sales, as foreign consumers are growing increasing wary of backdoors built into American made products either by government command or in the spirit of volunteerism.

Obama also announced a new internet propaganda imitative to help us understand the metallurgical composition of our cybernetic chains “And finally, the intelligence community is creating a website that will serve as a hub for further transparency. And this will give Americans and the world the ability to learn more about what our intelligence community does and what it doesn't do, how it carries out its mission and why it does so.” Considering that questions raised earlier about Obama's truthfulness by even the mainstream media, coupled with General Clapper's outright lying to Congress without so much as whimper from those legislators that profit from America's secret wars, the NSA making a new website to explain it to us in comforting terms is laughable and absurd.

Although the President had few words in his speech, he saved his biggest lies for last: “Fourth, we're forming a high level group of outside experts to review our entire intelligence and communications technologies.” He later continued “So I'm tasking this independent group to step back and review our capabilities, particularly our surveillance technologies, and they'll consider how we can maintain the trust of the people, how we can make sure that there absolutely is no abuse in terms of how these surveillance technologies are used, ask how surveillance impacts our foreign policy, particularly in an age when more and more information is becoming public.”

This last initiative was put to lie today. This “independent group” was transformed by presidential order into a creature whole controlled by the NSA. General Clapper will appoint its members. The panel will report to General Clapper. General Clapper will report the panel's findings to the President twice, once 60 days after being empaneled and once on December 15.

The actual charge of the panel reads as follows: “The Review Group will assess whether, in light of advancements in communications technologies, the United States employs its technical collection capabilities in a manner that optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while appropriately accounting for other policy considerations, such as the risk of unauthorized disclosure and our need to maintain the public trust.”

This panel is to place its emphasis on optimizing collection for national security. The maintenance of the public trust a secondary policy consideration to preventing another Edward Snowden or Bradley Manning. Thus, leaks of the truth that undermine the public trust must be accounted for by policy, and dealt with.

This sensitivity to the maintenance of a rapidly eroding public trust is what is driving these at best cosmetic changes. Already some Congress people are worried enough to act against their party's leadership. The reality of these supposed changes seem set to turn out the same as Obama's promises on Guantanamo Bay. Five years ago he promised to close that in 100 days. Five years from now will we have more transparency, more privacy, or more human rights?