Learning To Love The Matrix: Feinstein Defends Warrantless Surveillance of All Citizens

225px-dianne_feinstein_official_senate_photoAs expected, in facing yet another attack on civil liberties by the Obama Administration, Democratic members are choosing personality over principle. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D., CA) has come out to assure the public that it is a good thing that the Administration is spying on them and encourage them to accept such surveillance as the new normal. In the meantime, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R, Ga), insists that the surveillance must be fine because “to my knowledge we have not had any citizen who has registered a complaint relative to the gathering of this information.” Of course, it has been secret and just last February the Administration succeeded in blocking an effort of dozens of citizens and groups challenging such surveillance programs before the Supreme Court.

Feinstein is notorious among civil libertarians as someone who knew of many of the abuses during the Bush Administration, including possible knowledge of the torture program and warrantless surveillance programs. However, the Administration is clearly putting the push on to get members in front of cameras to claim that that surveillance stopped a plot. It is an effort to get citizens to give up this core liberty. Of course, if you strip every civil liberty, you can claim additional plots. These members are responsible, again, for a failure to use oversight authority to protect civil liberties. They have clearly been given the message to try to change the story in the critical first 24-hours in classic Bush (now Obama) terms: yes we put everyone under surveillance but it paid off.  It is working.  Where the headlines began the day as “huge surveillance program,” media is now reporting the story as “surveillance program foiled terror plot.”  Once again the media is being played like a fiddle by our homegrown Neros.

Feinstein has continued her dubious record of leading the charge against liberty — a curious role for the Democratic senator from a state like California.

My favorite however is Chambliss who seems clueless that the Obama Administration has classified information needed to challenge these laws and no citizens had information to complain about . . . because Chambliss and his colleagues kept it from their constituents.

Then there is Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) fresh from his questioning whether bloggers have first amendment rights. Graham stated “I’m a Verizon customer. I don’t mind Verizon turning over records to the government if the government is going to make sure that they try to match up a known terrorist phone with somebody in the United States.” Most citizens would shudder at the thought of using either Feinstein or Graham as the barometer for civil liberties.

However, the spin is on. This is the ultimate test for Obama in seeing whether he can get citizens to give up not only the protection for the free press but their own privacy rights. This program is a critical step in the establishment of massive databanks on citizens. However, our members of Congress are lining up to embrace such a potential authoritarian tool.

Source: ‘Huff Post

110 thoughts on “Learning To Love The Matrix: Feinstein Defends Warrantless Surveillance of All Citizens

  1. Congress is supposed to defend our rights (didn’t they swear an oath to uphold the Constitution?), but they have abdicated.

    The Obama administration is a continuation of the Bush regime.

    The judiciary is complicit in this assault on the Bill of Rights.

    Where do we turn to protect our civil rights?

    What recourse do we have left?

  2. I think there is something in the water in Washington D.C. that separates people from the reality of their beliefs.

  3. the 2 parties are clueless.

    I wish I lived in Georgia or California just so I could vote against one of these scumbags.

  4. “Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R, Ga), insists that the surveillance must be fine because ‘to my knowledge we have not had any citizen who has registered a complaint relative to the gathering of this information.’

    This reminds me of the lady stand-up comedienne who deadpanned;

    “Men ask me if I’ve ever had any children, and I always reply: ‘None … that I know of.'”

  5. Diane and Saxby sittin in a tree..
    K I s s I n g
    For came love
    Then came marriage
    Then came Saxby with a baby carriage.

    Let me be the first to bark my displeasure Saxby.

  6. “I’m a Verizon customer. I don’t mind Verizon turning over records to the government if the government is going to make sure that they try to match up a known terrorist phone with somebody in the United States.”

    If they were doing that – surveilling a KNOWN terrorist’s number and looking into those that are in contact with him/her – fine. But they are explicitly NOT doing that. In this game, EVERYONE is a suspect, with good reason or not. Graham needs to go.

  7. We’re all criminals now. Sad, very sad.

    A while back Scalia was quoted as saying: the Constituion is dead. I guess he was right.

  8. So let the surveillance of Congress by the American public, who has more of a vested interest in their conduct, begin. Let slip the bugs of whores!

  9. They’re (Elites) letting us know that they are watching & listening for any sign or hint from an attempt, by we the people, to revolutionize or overthrow our precious government.

  10. junctionshamus:

    “Let slip the bugs of whores!”

    Shouldnt that read “lets slip the whores some bugs”?

    I am not sure I want crabs.

  11. I and I’m sure many of the followers of this blog have laughed and rolled our eyes when reading the paranoid rants of far right crazies.

    It’s getting harder and harder to laugh.

  12. This is the woman who has made a political career saying, “I was present when Harvey Milk was shot.”

  13. The real scandal here is the unconstitutional “terrorism” laws are being used for “non-terrorism” and “non-criminal” activities. There’s no there there! The U.S. Constitution is designed for both wartime and terrorism, without a Patriot Act, without a FISA Court or extrajudicial powers – that’s the scandal!

  14. Feinstein is about as corrupt as they come.

    She resigned as chair of the Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee (MILCON) in late 2005 under conflict of interest charges — conflicts that directed huge contracts to two of her husband’s (Richard C. Blum) companies, URS and Perini.

    URS in 2000 held $108,726 in military construction contracts. After Feinstein started chairing MILCON in 2001 URS received $142 million in construction contracts, with more forthcoming. Perini held $7 million in military contracts in 2000 (after almost declaring bankruptcy in 1997) and by 2005 held $2.5 billion in military contracts.

    You can read about this in a Project Censored article here:

    http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/23-feinsteins-conflict-of-interest-in-iraq/

    Now, another of her husband’s companies, CBRE Group, stands to make millions for listing USPS properties in the rush to privatize the postal service.

    http://www.activistpost.com/2013/06/keeping-it-in-family-senator-feinsteins.html

    Feinstein has chaired the Senate Select Committee On Intelligence since 2009, and has sat on this committee since 1993. She knows where most of the bones are buried, and is obviously unperturbed with the direction of this country.

  15. Mike, that something is called power. Not only does it corrupt absolutely, it also tends to make reality appear as a choice, rather than …well, reality. The same principles (or lack thereof) that drive Ahmadijanan in Iran, Morsi in Egypt, Recep Erdogan in Turkey…are the ones that drive Obama and his cronies.
    The person who seeks higher office believes in his higher “powers”, leadership rights afforded by birth. legacy, capacity, means, or divinity. Once in power, those rights translate into duties to the people even against their will because one knows better than they do. Those duties to the people quickly are moved behind the duties to the office, and the office being oneself, one can no longer separate what one thinks is right from what the office thinks is right ,what is in one’s interest from what is in the office’s interest.
    This is fully “normal”, as it is wholly human. This dynamic is present in every group; it is just a bigger expression of it in this political realm.
    Generally, strong institutions are the only real means of countering these overreaches, but since our institutions are emasculating themselves severely, the second best option has to come to the forefront: activist populace. Every single one of us has to be a reporter, a whistleblower and an activist, otherwise this is just the beginning of what many great thinkers have foreseen ages ago, that we will go the way of Rome.

  16. These “representatives of the people” are avaricious, morally bankrupt lowlife sociopaths. Why do Americans keep voting for their current reps. in Congress? It’s stupid. Never vote for the same politico twice – NEVER. Think of what a shake up it would be!

  17. Bron – Riffing on Jam-Master Billy Shakespeare. Those are electronic bugs, so quit scratchin’! :D

  18. Gbk if that is true, she should be tried for corruption and hung til dead if convicted. I am totally serious

  19. We have to consider the source of these comments. It is maddening that some people actually believe what these criminals are saying. I wonder what would happen if a corporation took a stand against the governments demands? Would the contempt hearing be made public? Would the Judge finally put some corporate folks in jail?
    AP.
    Thanks for the Greenwald link.

  20. “They hate us for our Feedoms…”
    … And so Congress supports and defends legislating away those Freedoms

  21. The comment by gbk above is spot on. I did not know that stuff about Feinstein or however ya spull name. I just cant stand her on tv with that West Coast sanctimony and she is not good at itchinBay when its necessary. So, you have a complainer who is not a good one and a thief of public money on top of that. Ugly thing too.

  22. I found those remarks about hanging a woman offensive, too. The war on women is escalating again but it is taking a back seat right now.. Thanks, for calling out the new poster ;) out, raff.

  23. rafflaw,

    The transcript is available in the comments section of Glenn’s current post:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/nsa-phone-records-verizon-court-order

    =====

    NSA-Verizon Surveillance: Welcome to the United States of Total Information Awareness

    Posted on 06/06/2013 by Juan Cole

    http://www.juancole.com/2013/06/surveillance-information-awareness.html

    I believe I may have been targeted for inappropriate surveillance on political grounds, myself.

    I just hope I live long enough to see the USA PATRIOT Act, the most un-American and anti-patriotic piece of legislation since the Alien and Sedition Act, repealed or struck down. Until then, I don’t really accept that I am living in the United States of America. We are living, folks, in the United States of Total Information Awareness. -Juan Cole

  24. http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-intelligence-mining-data-from-nine-us-internet-companies-in-broad-secret-program/2013/06/06/3a0c0da8-cebf-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story.html?hpid=z1

    U.S. intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program

    By Barton Gellman and Laura Poitras, Thursday, June 6, 5:43 PM

    With Laura Poitras, board member of The Freedom of the Press Foundation co-reporting:

    Firsthand experience with these systems, and horror at their capabilities, is what drove a career intelligence officer to provide PowerPoint slides about PRISM and supporting materials to The Washington Post in order to expose what he believes to be a gross intrusion on privacy. “They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type,” the officer said.

    And what is the govt doing with PRISM?

    The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.

    The highly classified program, code-named PRISM, has not been disclosed publicly before. Its establishment in 2007 and six years of exponential growth took place beneath the surface of a roiling debate over the boundaries of surveillance and privacy. Even late last year, when critics of the foreign intelligence statute argued for changes, the only members of Congress who know about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues.

    An internal presentation on the Silicon Valley operation, intended for senior analysts in the NSA’s Signals Intelligence Directorate, described the new tool as the most prolific contributor to the President’s Daily Brief, which cited PRISM data in 1,477 articles last year. According to the briefing slides, obtained by The Washington Post, “NSA reporting increasingly relies on PRISM” as its leading source of raw material, accounting for nearly 1 in 7 intelligence reports.

  25. More to love–from G. Greenwald at the Guardian: “The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.

    The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows them to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.”

  26. Glenn Greenwald ‏@ggreenwald 20m

    Way past time that the Surveillance State sees the sun. Sun is really good for you. Enjoy it. Absorb the rays.
    Expand
    Glenn Greenwald Glenn Greenwald ‏@ggreenwald 23m

    The dam has broke – let the water and sunshine flow
    Expand
    Glenn Greenwald Glenn Greenwald ‏@ggreenwald 23m

    OUR STORY: NSA has direct access to tech giants’ systems for user data, secret files reveal … http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/us-tech-giants-nsa-data

  27. Po,

    Yes. Well said. In support of your point, consider that:

    “… folly is a child of power. We all know, from unending repetitions of Lord Acton’s dictum, that power corrupts. We are less aware that it breeds folly; that power to command frequently causes failure to think; that the responsibility of power often fades as its exercise augments.

    [Deluded rulers have often] staked the life of the nation and lives of the people on a gamble that, in the long run, as many of them were aware, was almost sure to be lost. The impulse came from the compelling lure of dominion, from pretensions of grandeur, from greed.” — Barbara Tuchman, The March of Folly

    The US government — and especially President Obama — has become drunk on “the power to command” and simply enraged that any among the citizens of the nation should even think to question their assertions of absolute authority over us. They have long since forgotten, if they ever believed, that they work for us and not the other way around. All that they say and their every action has nothing to do with anything but power. No amount of money can buy the thrill of stomping on the lives and hopes of millions. Venality plays a part in human affairs, yes, but it cannot hold a candle to vindictive viciousness and sheer sadism as a motivator of official human conduct. Look what happened to the short-lived Occupy Movement: about as pathetic a “threat” to power as any I have seen in my lifetime. As George Orwell — again the master diagnostician — put it:

    The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me? — 1984

    We have to face up to this. “In an age of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” But, of course, the corporate counter-revolutionaries now in power know all this and have prepared the strategies and tactics necessary to smash any challenge to their rule. After all, they will simply say in their defense:

    “Don’t you know we’re at ‘war’?”

    And what can any “patriotic,” “red-blooded,” “freedom loving,” “troop supporting,” “mom and apple pie cherishing” American say in response to that? Game over — as long as the Permanent War Paradigm allows the rulers to rule without reason.

  28. The feds are snooping on everyone but it’s all good because it’s for our protection. It is too bad that we can’t confirm any of that since we aren’t allow to know anything due to “National Security”.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes, whos is watching the watchers…

  29. I knew I should have taken the blue pill.

    But if I had, I wouldn’t be able to say it yet again: there is no substantive difference between either major political party when it comes to being fascist tools.

    Vote out anyone who isn’t for repealing the Patriot Act, dismantling DHS and putting the NSA and CIA on a leash.

  30. No sooner does some “enemy” “attack us for our freedoms” than our own government proceeds to attack our freedoms, too. That sounds to me like our government has more in common with our enemies than it does with us.

  31. And don’t don’t vote for anyone that is not pro gay marriage or wrong on all the other social issues.

  32. When the voting public is offered a choice between Fascist and Corporatist, they really have no choice. I refuse to vote for either corporate sponsored party since they are near identical on so many issues of civil liberties, or lack thereof. You can either vote for the Halliburton sponsored or the Chase sponsored candidate, both of whom are not sponsoring the citizen. We all have to wake up or keep sleepwalking to a real Oceania.

  33. In 2012, Feinstein claimed the record for the most popular votes in any U.S. Senate election in history, having received 7.75 million votes. wiki She isn’t going anywhere. She is in until 2018.

  34. Nate Silver ‏@fivethirtyeight 3m

    Come to think of it, domestic spying is about the only thing that Obama and (most) Republicans in Congress agree upon.

  35. I cannot get this comment past WordPress on the other topic on the First Amendment.

    This synopsis is from the Illinois First Amendment Center:

    The 5 First Amendment Freedoms
    Speech
    The First Amendment says that people have the right to speak freely without government interference.
    Press
    The First Amendment gives the press the right to publish news, information and opinions without government interference. This also means people have the right to publish their own newspapers, newsletters, magazines, etc.
    Religion
    The First Amendment prohibits government from establishing a religion and protects each person’s right to practice (or not practice) any faith without government interference.
    Petition
    The First Amendment says that people have the right to appeal to government in favor of or against policies that affect them or that they feel strongly about. This freedom includes the right to gather signatures in support of a cause and to lobby legislative bodies for or against legislation.
    Assembly
    The First Amendment says that people have the right to gather in public to march, protest, demonstrate, carry signs and otherwise express their views in a nonviolent way. It also means people can join and associate with groups and organizations without interference.
    ©Illinois First Amendment Center – All rights reserved.

  36. This synopsis is from the Illinois First Amendment Center:

    The 5 First Amendment Freedoms
    Speech
    The First Amendment says that people have the right to speak freely without government interference.
    Press
    The First Amendment gives the press the right to publish news, information and opinions without government interference. This also means people have the right to publish their own newspapers, newsletters, magazines, etc.
    Religion
    The First Amendment prohibits government from establishing a religion and protects each person’s right to practice (or not practice) any faith without government interference.
    Petition
    The First Amendment says that people have the right to appeal to government in favor of or against policies that affect them or that they feel strongly about. This freedom includes the right to gather signatures in support of a cause and to lobby legislative bodies for or against legislation.
    Assembly
    The First Amendment says that people have the right to gather in public to march, protest, demonstrate, carry signs and otherwise express their views in a nonviolent way. It also means people can join and associate with groups and organizations without interference.

  37. This synopsis is from the Illinois First Amendment Center:

    The 5 First Amendment Freedoms

    Speech
    The First Amendment says that people have the right to speak freely without government interference.
    Press
    The First Amendment gives the press the right to publish news, information and opinions without government interference. This also means people have the right to publish their own newspapers, newsletters, magazines, etc.
    Religion
    The First Amendment prohibits government from establishing a religion and protects each person’s right to practice (or not practice) any faith without government interference.
    Petition
    The First Amendment says that people have the right to appeal to government in favor of or against policies that affect them or that they feel strongly about. This freedom includes the right to gather signatures in support of a cause and to lobby legislative bodies for or against legislation.
    Assembly
    The First Amendment says that people have the right to gather in public to march, protest, demonstrate, carry signs and otherwise express their views in a nonviolent way. It also means people can join and associate with groups and organizations without interference.

  38. Google the Illinois First Amendment Center and read the Five Principles of the First Amendment. I cant get the thing past word presto here.

  39. BD,
    I found your comments in the spam filter. As soon as I check and make sure no forbidden words, will rescue them for you. Just glancing at them, I don’t see what might have triggered the spam filter.

  40. From the AP, Harry Reid

    And Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada played down the significance of the revelation.

    “Everyone should just calm down and understand that this isn’t anything that’s brand new,” he said. “This is a program that’s been in effect for seven years, as I recall. It’s a program that has worked to prevent not all terrorism but certainly the vast, vast majority. Now is the program perfect? Of course not.”

  41. “The great irony is we’re the only ones not spying on the American people,” the Reuters news agency quoted him as saying. -Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the NSA, two weeks ago

    ‘No Such Agency’ spies on the communications of the world

    By Anne Gearan, Updated: Thursday, June 6, 5:35 PM

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/no-such-agency-spies-on-the-communications-of-the-world/2013/06/06/5bcd46a6-ceb9-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story.html

    Gen. Keith B. Alexander took over as head of the NSA in 2005. More recently, he also became head of U.S. Cyber Command, which develops new types of warfare.

    At the end of Alexander’s first year at the NSA, the New York Times disclosed that the George W. Bush administration had authorized the agency to run a vast, warrantless domestic spying program. The extensive surveillance has continued under the Obama administration, although officials contend it operates within the parameters of the Patriot Act.

    Two weeks ago at a conference in Washington, Alexander argued that the NSA has its hands full keeping tabs on potential terrorists and does not have the bandwidth to read the 420 billion e-mails generated by Americans daily. Some foreign governments are trying to do just that, he said.

    “The great irony is we’re the only ones not spying on the American people,” the Reuters news agency quoted him as saying.

  42. BD,
    I see all three comments are identical, so only rescued one. After reading it carefully, it looks like the repetitive beginning each sentence with the exact same phrase and no paragraph spacing is a lot like the formatting spammers use. Suspect that was the trigger to trip the spam filter algorithm.

  43. Fear of losing the body makes people paranoid wanting to watch everyone in an attempt to protect themselves. Perfect love will not do that. Perfect love will not say my army is bigger than your army or my police force that has more force than yours keeps me safe.

  44. Welcome to The Democratic People’s Republic of Oceania, Incorporated

    “One consequence of the pursuit of an expansive power imaginary is the blurring of the lines separating reality from fancy and truth telling from self-deception and lying. In its imaginary, power is not so much justified as sanctified, excused by the lofty ends it proclaims, ends which commonly are antithetical to the power legitimated by the constitutional imaginary. … Thus, instead of imperial domination as the antithesis of democracy or of imposed government as the opposite of self-government, we have a fantasy of benevolence, of opposites harmonized through the largesse of a superpower.” — Sheldon Wolin, Democracy, Inc., Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism

    ,

    Who better, then, to violate the constitution than a “constitutional scholar”? Who better to wage endless “war” for its own sake than a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize? Who better to eviscerate the last vestiges of FDR’s New Deal, than a leader of FDR’s own party? Who better to bring about “change” than a hapless spokesman for the discredited

    corporate status quo? How can these obvious and glaring contradictions — and one could easily cite more examples — pass unnoticed and unopposed by a citizenry which claims to love freedom, democracy, and peace but who reliably acts in just such a way as to achieve servitude, despotism, and war? How can a superpower “harmonize” through “largesse” these oxymoronic opposites? Well, for one thing:

    This peculiar linking-together of opposites — knowledge with ignorance, cynicism with fanaticism — is one of the chief distinguishing marks of Oceanic society. The official ideology abounds with contradictions even when there is no practical reason for them. Thus, the Party rejects and vilifies every principle for which the Socialist movement originally stood, and it chooses to do this in the name of Socialism. It preaches a contempt for the working class unexampled for centuries past, and it dresses its members in a uniform which was at one time peculiar to manual workers and was adopted for that reason. It systematically undermines the solidarity of the family, and it calls its leader by a name which is a direct appeal to the sentiment of family loyalty. Even the names of the four Ministries by which we are governed exhibit a sort of impudence in their deliberate reversal of the facts. The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from ordinary hypocrisy; they are deliberate exercises in doublethink. For it is only by reconciling contradictions that power can be retained indefinitely. In no other way could the ancient cycle be broken. If human equality is to be forever averted — if the High, as we have called them, are to keep their places permanently — then the prevailing mental condition must be controlled insanity.” — 1984

    President Barack Obama — and to a less spectacular degree, Senator Feinstein — virtually personifies controlled insanity. And I have no doubt that the ruling corporate oligarchy chose him and her for precisely that reason.

  45. How the hell can any self respecting democrat defend this….. She may be or was popular…. But her days are numbered….. I will donate to anyone running against her…..

    I thought Eugene McCarthy was dead…. I thought his ideals got shut down…. What’s the difference between labeling someone communist and or a terrorist…. Oh yeah… One was to destroy a viable third party….. But aren’t we living in a state of communism to a certain extent….. Think about it….

    Jill, you hit he nail on the head….

  46. And where do we go from here, if not revolution? I’m 75 years of age, I’d rather die fighting than die in chains. (Oh, yes, I can still fight.)

  47. It is really creepy to see how open these losers are with their propaganda. They expect people to buy it I am worried that too many people will do so.

    I have watched this nation’s people turn on each other. The govt. has proof that they can whip up the people against each other so they can go about their business destroying this earth and its people’s. We must stop turning on each other.

    If you want to have a chance against this govt. when someone tells you the truth, don’t hate or attack that person for speaking the truth. Don’t automatically assume the person from your party is your “friend” while the person from the other party is your “enemy”. Listen to what is being said and understand what is actually happening. In the truth you will be able to make common cause. It’s not much of a chance, but it’s something. At least you will have lived a good life instead of the life of a hating, toady to power.

  48. http://piersmorgan.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/06/glenn-greenwald-on-the-nsa-and-prism-its-well-past-time-that-we-have-a-debate-about-whether-thats-the-kind-of-country-and-world-in-which-we-want-to-live/?hpt=pm_mid

    “Glenn Greenwald on the NSA and PRISM: “It’s well past time that we have a debate about whether that’s the kind of country and world in which we want to live”

    On the heels of Thursday’s news that revealed government agencies have been using a secret program to collect various types of data from some of the largest digital companies – including Google, Apple, and Facebook – so as to monitor Americans communications, “Piers Morgan Live” invited Glenn Greenwald to offer his perspective.

    One of the reporters credited for delivering the scoop, the columnist for “The Guardian” shared specifics of a program that we now know to be called “PRISM”:

    “There is a massive apparatus within the United States government that with complete secrecy has been building this enormous structure that has only one goal,” he told Piers Morgan. “And that is to destroy privacy and anonymity not just in the United States but around the world.”

    Visibly impassioned, and notably distressed by what he’s uncovered, Greenwald called for action, insisting something must be done to address the movements of the National Security Agency:

    “It’s well past time that we have a debate about whether that’s the kind of country and world in which we want to live,” he declared. “We haven’t had that debate because it’s all done in secrecy and the Obama administration has been very aggressive about bullying and threatening anybody who thinks about exposing it or writing about it or even doing journalism about it. It’s well past time that that come to an end.””

  49. Just tried to post a comment. I’ll try posting it in pieces.

    Glenn Greenwald on Piers Morgan

    “There is a massive apparatus within the United States government that with complete secrecy has been building this enormous structure that has only one goal,” he told Piers Morgan. “And that is to destroy privacy and anonymity not just in the United States but around the world.”

    Visibly impassioned, and notably distressed by what he’s uncovered, Greenwald called for action, insisting something must be done to address the movements of the National Security Agency:

    “It’s well past time that we have a debate about whether that’s the kind of country and world in which we want to live,” he declared. “We haven’t had that debate because it’s all done in secrecy and the Obama administration has been very aggressive about bullying and threatening anybody who thinks about exposing it or writing about it or even doing journalism about it. It’s well past time that that come to an end.”

  50. ******http://piersmorgan.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/06/glenn-greenwald-on-the-nsa-and-prism-its-well-past-time-that-we-have-a-debate-about-whether-thats-the-kind-of-country-and-world-in-which-we-want-to-live/?hpt=pm_mid****** Having trouble posting this link. Remove trailing asterisks.

  51. “”There is a massive apparatus within the United States government that with complete secrecy has been building this enormous structure that has only one goal,” he told Piers Morgan. “And that is to destroy privacy and anonymity not just in the United States but around the world.”

    Visibly impassioned, and notably distressed by what he’s uncovered, Greenwald called for action, insisting something must be done to address the movements of the National Security Agency:

    “It’s well past time that we have a debate about whether that’s the kind of country and world in which we want to live,” he declared. “We haven’t had that debate because it’s all done in secrecy and the Obama administration has been very aggressive about bullying and threatening anybody who thinks about exposing it or writing about it or even doing journalism about it. It’s well past time that that come to an end.”” -Glenn Greenwald on Piers Morgan

  52. Trying to post the link to Glenn Greenwald on Piers Morgan.

    “There is a massive apparatus within the United States government that with complete secrecy has been building this enormous structure that has only one goal,” he told Piers Morgan. “And that is to destroy privacy and anonymity not just in the United States but around the world.”

    Visibly impassioned, and notably distressed by what he’s uncovered, Greenwald called for action, insisting something must be done to address the movements of the National Security Agency:

    “It’s well past time that we have a debate about whether that’s the kind of country and world in which we want to live,” he declared. “We haven’t had that debate because it’s all done in secrecy and the Obama administration has been very aggressive about bullying and threatening anybody who thinks about exposing it or writing about it or even doing journalism about it. It’s well past time that that come to an end.” -GG

  53. Bravo Jill.
    This has been my stance as well. Partisan politics is a plague upon us.
    As for how to vote in coming elections, I have only one rule. The Bill of Rights. 1 through 10. Completely and utterly. At this point, everything else is absolutely irrelevant to me until that standard is met. I care not what party the person is from as long as they support the Bill of Rights without fail.

    Social issues have been a wedge that has only served to help the corrupt retain office. As a Liberal I have social issues I care for but in the end scheme of things, I shall not vote for anyone ever again, who does not fully support ALL of the Bill of Rights. Social issues be damned. Lobbyists be damned, in either direction.

    I will not vote for anyone who supports the 1st but condemns the 2nd.
    I will not vote for anyone who supports the 2nd but condemns the 1st.

    Social issues are for the easily fooled, of which I was one part of I am ashamed to say.

    In my humble opinion, we as a nation are at a crossroads of which is of great importance as to the future of this country. We can either defend Liberty with all our will and might. Or we can leave it to be ravaged by the fascist of both parties. I vote that we fight for it and save this great nation.

    On that note, I believe the best course of action is an economic Revolution.

    Spending strikes, W2 Tax Exempt status, protests, marches and so forth.

    We must bring the government in its entirety, back under the control of the people. We have far too many defense agencies. Cut some and control the rest.

  54. Published on Jun 6, 2013
    http://www.democracynow.org – A leaked court order has revealed the Obama administration is conducting a massive domestic surveillance program by collecting telephone records of millions of Verizon customers. The Guardian newspaper published a classified order issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court directing Verizon’s Business Network Services to give the National Security Agency electronic data, including all calling records on an “ongoing, daily basis.” The order covers each phone number dialed by all customers, along with location and routing data, and with the duration and frequency of the calls, but not the contents of the communications. We’re joined by Shayana Kadidal, senior managing attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, and two former National Security Agency employees turned whistleblowers: Thomas Drake and William Binney. In 2010, the Obama administration charged Drake with violating The Espionage Act after he was accused of leaking classified information to the press about waste and mismanagement at the agency. The charges were later dropped. “Where has the mainstream media been? These are routine orders, nothing new,” Drake says. “What’s new is we’re seeing an actual order and people are somehow surprised by it. The fact remains that this program has been in place for quite some time it was actually started shortly after 9/11. The PATRIOT Act was the enabling mechanism that allowed the United States government in secret to acquire subscriber records from any company.” Binney, who worked at nearly 40 years at the NSA and resigned shortly after the 9/11 attacks, says: “NSA has been doing all this stuff all along and it’s been all the companies not just one. And I basically looked at that and said if Verizon got one, so did everybody else. Which means that, they’re just continuing the collection of this kind of information of all U.S. citizens.”

  55. AP: (great Link) “The great irony is we’re the only ones not spying on the American people,” the Reuters news agency quoted him as saying. -Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the NSA, two weeks ago …. Alexander argued that the NSA has its hands full keeping tabs on potential terrorists and does not have the bandwidth to read the 420 billion e-mails generated by Americans daily.”
    ——–
    Such liars.

    The NSA data story is the one that is most worrying and I hope these two stories don’t get confused in people’s minds. It’s all part of the whole though: all of the data collected is eventually going to be funneled into these gigantic hoppers to be sifted in a comprehensive fashion- Total Information Awareness as a program doesn’t work optimally unless every agency funnels it’s information to one big database or shares access to and with it. The NSA wants all electronic data right down to the corner deli’s daily receipts. At some point they’re going to start doing whatever they want with all that data, that’s the way it always works with capacity, one finds ways to use it.

    This from the linked article regarding initial capacity ($40mil in electricity costs initially):

    “According to a 2012 Wired story about the project, the data center is designed to collect emails, cell-phone calls, the personal and legal data trails of individuals, as well as financial information, stock trades and other official communications. It will also contain code-breaking computers and staff.

    The Wired story notes the data center will devote about 100,000 square feet to servers alone–25,000 sq. ft. in each of four separate server rooms. Wired estimates the center will pull an average of 65 megawatts of power to keep all that hardware running, but that expansions may raise the center’s power use as high as 200 megawatts within a couple of years, as adjunct buildings are completed and come on line. That’s a lot of electricity to tax.”

    http://www.networkcomputing.com/next-generation-data-center/commentary/servers/nsa-caught-unawares-by-data-center-tax/240155566

    Artists rendering of facility:
    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/56356242-90/nsa-utah-herbert-center.html.csp

  56. Remember when…
    … A bus ride cost $.25 across town
    … Minimum wage put food on the table
    … And spying on Americans was un-American

  57. Shorter Di-Fi:
    “Well, you see. Undermining the Constitution is how we ‘support and defend’ it.”

    The current oath was enacted in 1884:
    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

    She’s defending the usurpation of our Bill of Rights… And CHOOSING to ignore her Oath to the People.

  58. I would like to hear her explanation as to HOW defending a free press is ALWAYS about unlimited spying on their sources, or how collecting ALL personal e-mail (an affect) doesn’t require a warrant as to the specific user, date and time sent… Or how gaining ATTORNEY/CLIENT electronic data is always about not bridging the privileges set fourth for ALL defendants. How about doctors and their online patient’s history, confidentiality and PRIVACY?

  59. that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion

    NATIONAL SECURITY!!!!!!!!!! (evasion of choice)

  60. Published on Dec 3, 2012
    INTERVIEW with NSA WHISTLEBLOWER: Confirm EVERYONE in US is under VIRTUAL SURVEILLANCE

    National Security Agency whistleblower William Binney explains how the secretive agency run its pervasive domestic spying apparatus in a new piece by Laura Poitras in The New York Times.
    Binney—one of the best mathematicians and code breakers in NSA history—worked for the Defense Department’s foreign signals intelligence agency for 32 years before resigning in late 2001 because he “could not stay after the NSA began purposefully violating the Constitution.”

    In a short video called “The Program,” Binney explains how the agency took part of one of the programs he built and started using it to spy on virtually every U.S. citizen without warrants under the code-name Stellar Wind.

    Binney details how the top-secret surveillance program, the scope of which has never been made public, can track electronic activities—phone calls, emails, banking and travel records, social media—and map them to collect “all the attributes that any individual has” in every type of activity and build a profile based on that data.

    “So that now I can pull your entire life together from all those domains and map it out and show your entire life over time,” Binney says.

    The 8-minute video, adapted from an ongoing project by Poitras that is to be released in 2013, has footage of the construction of the NSA’s $2 billion data storage facility in Bluffdale, Utah, which Binney says “has the capacity to store 100 years worth of the world’s electronic communications.”

    The purpose of the program, according to Binney, is “to be able to monitor what people are doing” and who they are doing it with.

    “The danger here is that we fall into a totalitarian state,” Binney says. “This is something the KGB, the Stasi or the Gestapo would have loved to have had.”

    Poitras, who has been detained and questioned more than 40 times at U.S. airports, has been working on a trilogy of films about post-9/11 America.

  61. Glenn Greenwald Details ‘Menacing’ Reach Of NSA’s Invasion Of Google, Facebook, Apple Servers

    Published on Jun 6, 2013
    6/6/13 – Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story of the NSA’s data grab that has roiled the media in the past twenty-four hours, spoke to MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell Thursday night about the extreme reaction his story has produced. O’Donnell asked Greenwald about the possibility of leak investigations, which Dianne Feinstein has intimated would include Greenwald.

    “Let them go and investigate,” Greenwald said. “There’s this document called the Constitution. One of the things that it guarantees is the right of a free press, which means that as a citizen and journalist, I have the absolute Constitutional right to go and report on what it is that my government is doing in the dark, and inform my fellow citizens about that action.”

    “There is this massive surveillance state that the United States government has built up,” Greenwald continued, “that has extraordinary implications for how we live as human beings on the earth and as Americans in our country, and we have the right to know what it is that that government and that agency is doing. I intend to continue to shine light on that, and Dianne Feinstein can beat her chest all she wants and call for investigations and none of that is going to stop and none of it is going to change.”

    O’Donnell played Greenwald a clip of Lindsey Graham speaking in Senate chambers about how he didn’t mind that the government had his phone data, even if his number showed up on a terrorist’s phone.

    “I think it’s notable that one of the most right wing members of the United States Congress is stepping up to be the most vocal defender of what the Obama administration is doing and what the Bush administration did before that,” Greenwald said. “That’s a very right wing mentality. The idea is that the government should simply know everything that citizens in a free society are doing, regardless of whether there’s evidence that we have committed any crimes.”

    “The idea that, if you have nothing to hide, then there’s no reason you should care?” Greenwald continued. “People know instinctively that’s false. They put passwords on their e-mails, they put locks on their bedroom doors. There’s all kinds of value we have in having privacy as individuals that is destroyed when we allow the government to monitor and store everything that we’re doing. But, of course, the Lindsey Grahams of the world are thrilled with that, because that’s the mentality in which this is all rooted.”

    Greenwald also spoke on PRISM, a government program that accesses the content of Americans’ internet activities, knowledge of which compounded Greenwald’s scoop from yesterday.

    “This is a program in which the NSA takes its hands and sticks them directly into the servers of all of these internet giants,” Greenwald said, “Facebook, Google, Skype, Apple, Youtube, that people around the world use to have communications, and lets the NSA grab whatever it is they want—either stored e-mails or real-time communication—with nobody looking over their shoulder, nobody watching what they’re doing. Any analyst in the NSA sitting at a keyboard can at any moment go into the system and listen to whatever he wants, read whatever he wants, and then store it. It is extremely menacing, and there are no checks. This is how the world communicates, and the NSA is monitoring it at all times.”

  62. A. Y.,
    Which McCarthy were you referencing? There’s Joseph McCarthy, who pursued ersatz Communists in the 1950s, and Eugene McCarthy, who challenged incumbent Lyndon Johnson at the Democratic primary in 1968.

  63. Published on Jun 6, 2013
    Sen. Bernie Sanders Thursday criticized a secret domestic surveillance program that swept up millions of telephone records on calls by Americans who were not suspected of any wrongdoing.

    A court order demanding the records be turned over was obtained under a controversial interpretation of a provision in the so-called Patriot Act, which Sanders voted against when it was first enacted in 2001 and when it was reauthorized in 2006 and 2011.

  64. Obama and repubs agree on this program because it’s part of a corporate agenda to know what everyone is doing at all times; what we’re watching, buying, and planning; it’s less to do with terrrorsm than with the Occupy movement. In fact, I think the corptocracy doesn’t see any difference between the two.

  65. None of this is new. Glenn Greenwald’s, “With Liberty and Justice for Some,” spelled it out a few years ago. Now he updated the information and made it more public, for those who did not read his frightening book.

    Barry Eisler, in his 2011 novel, “Deception,” fictionalizes so many real events that the only fiction in the book is the characters he created.

    How do we wake up enough of the citizenry to put us back on track to protect our constitutional rights?

    How do we wake up enough voters in California to recognize Feinstein for the traitor to her oath that she is?

  66. https://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/06/07

    Published on Friday, June 7, 2013 by Common Dreams

    The Bill of Rights Exists: An Open Letter to Dianne Feinstein
    by Norman Solomon

    Dear Senator Feinstein:

    On Thursday, when you responded to news about massive ongoing surveillance of phone records of people in the United States, you slipped past the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. As the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, you seem to be in the habit of treating the Bill of Rights as merely advisory.Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) acknowledge that the top secret court order for telephone records of millions of U.S. customers of Verizon is a three-month renewal of an ongoing practice.

    The Constitution doesn’t get any better than this: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    The greatness of the Fourth Amendment explains why so many Americans took it to heart in civics class, and why so many of us treasure it today. But along with other high-ranking members of Congress and the president of the United States, you have continued to chip away at this sacred bedrock of civil liberties.

    As The Guardian reported the night before your sudden news conference, the leaked secret court order “shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of U.S. citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk—regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.”

    One of the most chilling parts of that just-revealed Surveillance Court order can be found at the bottom of the first page, where it says “Declassify on: 12 April 2038.”

    Apparently you thought—or at least hoped—that we, the people of the United States, wouldn’t find out for 25 years. And the fact that we learned about this extreme violation of our rights in 2013 instead of 2038 seems to bother you a lot.

    Rather than call for protection of the Fourth Amendment, you want authorities to catch and punish whoever leaked this secret order. You seem to fear that people can actually discover what their own government is doing to them with vast surveillance.

    Meanwhile, the Executive Branch is being run by kindred spirits, as hostile to the First Amendment as to the Fourth. On Thursday night, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper issued a statement saying the “unauthorized disclosure of a top secret U.S. court document threatens potentially long-lasting and irreversible harm to our ability to identify and respond to the many threats facing our nation.”

    That statement from Clapper is utter and complete hogwash. Whoever leaked the four-page Surveillance Court document to Glenn Greenwald at The Guardian deserves a medal and an honorary parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in the Nation’s Capital. The only “threats” assisted by disclosure of that document are the possibilities of meaningful public discourse and informed consent of the governed.

    Let’s be candid about the most clear and present danger to our country’s democratic values. The poisonous danger is spewing from arrogance of power in the highest places. The antidotes depend on transparency of sunlight that only whistleblowers, a free press and an engaged citizenry can bring.

    As Greenwald tweeted after your news conference: “The reason there are leakers is precisely because the govt is filled with people like Dianne Feinstein who do horrendous things in secret.” And, he pointed out, “The real story isn’t just the spying itself: it’s that we have this massive, ubiquitous Surveillance State, operating in total secrecy.”

    Obviously, you like it that way, and so do most other members of the Senate and House. And so does the president. You’re all playing abhorrent roles, maintaining a destructive siege of precious civil liberties. While building a surveillance state, you are patting citizens on the head and telling them not to worry.

    Perhaps you should have a conversation with Al Gore and ask about his statement: “Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?” Actually, many millions of Americans understand that the blanket surveillance is obscenely outrageous.

    As a constituent, I would like to offer an invitation. A short drive from your mansion overlooking San Francisco Bay, hundreds of us will be meeting June 11 at a public forum on “Disappearing Civil Liberties in the United States.” (You’d be welcome to my time on the panel.) One of the speakers, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, could explain to you how the assaults on civil liberties and the wars you keep supporting go hand in hand, undermining the Constitution and causing untold misery.

    Senator Feinstein, your energetic contempt for the Bill of Rights is serving a bipartisan power structure that threatens to crush our democratic possibilities.

    A huge number of people in California and around the country will oppose your efforts for the surveillance state at every turn.

    Sincerely,

    Norman Solomon

  67. Stop sending me e mails. I have tried to unsubscribe. get me out of this mess.

    ________________________________

  68. Inexcusable! Feinstein and Bush two peas in the same despotic pod. Don’t trash the Bill of Rights for a hand full of Billionaire business men’s Imperialistic ambitions !!! Vote out these nogoodniks and charge them with treason and crimes against humanity!!! Liberal Democracy NOW!

  69. o and i say to feinstien !!! i know u do not like muslims and took part in this ugly thing that u did to my innocent dear angel of a brother !!! by the way so u know that allah we deal with all those and u and any other fienstien!!! u will be in hell and u will call it ur home for ever !!! o and i want u to leave public service because u r not serving the public !!!! leave stein leave !!!

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