The NSA didn't catch the Boston Marathon bombers--even though they were known by the Russians to be dangerous.
The NSA didn't catch "the underwear bomber"--even though his dad told US officials that his son was crazy and dangerous.
Is there any evidence that US intelligence wasn't surprised by Russia's invasion of Ukraine?
I'm not sure what our spy agencies are doing, but whatever it is they don't seem to be doing the best job at it.
Take a look at the world. We're a hair-trigger away from a war in Europe--or a bloodless invasion, if the Ukrainians just surrender. The Russians test-fired an ICBM today (but notified us in advance, in accordance with START requirements). Karzai in Afghanistan is ready to share power with the Taliban. Bloodshed continues unabated in Syria; how's that chemical arms deal with them going, anyway? Is it any better than our "line in the sand"? Let's not forget our embassy in Benghazi. Might the Chinese be planning something, especially given today's saber-rattling over those rocks they claim over Japan? Why are we talking about shrinking our military to a size it hasn't seen since pre-WWII? Our navy is down to half the number of ships we sought under Reagan's "600 ship navy", and the world's oceans aren't any smaller.
What is our government doing? Where is our vaunted intelligence apparatus? Where is our so-called smart diplomacy? How's that "reset button" with the Russians working out?
This is what the world looks like without US leadership. US leadership doesn't mean everything comes up roses, but it does mean that we can and will respond when necessary. Why would any nation, friend or foe, take us seriously, given the fecklessness of this president? What is the president's plan from here on out, just to lob a drone wherever trouble rears its head? When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail--and that's how the president is reacting. This is why he's incompetent, this is why he's in over his head, this is why he was never ready for this job, and this is how we pay the price for electing him.
No one takes the US seriously. And if you're OK with that, if you think the US is the world's bad guy, I guess that's OK, but these are the consequences. If you're OK with those consequences, then we'll definitely disagree with each other as to their value.
So if our government isn't catching even the low-hanging fruit of bad guys, and it isn't predicting invasions of countries by nuke-owning G-8 countries in Europe, and it isn't committed to winning wars abroad, what is it doing? Who are our spy agencies spying on? Us. Add to that a politicized IRS, empowered to take your money, belongings, and freedom, and you have a powerful way to grab and keep domestic power.
When you have a president who repeatedly flouts laws--including laws that he signed and that bear his name--we are on the verge of a lawless regime that's differentiated from any other banana republic only by our size and possession of nukes.
Even the right-twice-a-day ACLU and I agree about the impact of our domestic spying and its abuse of citizens.
How much more abuse can the republic take before it breaks?