An Inconvenient Truth: Members of Congress Go Silent Over Prior False Testimony On Surveillance

16-28The Republican and Democratic parties have achieved a bipartisan purpose in uniting against the public’s need to know about massive surveillance programs and the need to redefine privacy in a more surveillance friendly image. They have also united in attacking Snowden as a traitor and seeking his prosecution for telling the public about the program. In the midst of this full-court press to lull the public back into sleep over civil liberties, the members will face a slightly inconvenient problem: possible perjury. These members have repeatedly called for perjury and contempt prosecutions of officials who have given false or misleading testimony like Eric Holder. However, they have a little problem with Obama officials who seem to have given false or intentionally misleading testimony over the surveillance of citizens. The problem is that these members want the scandal (and the public) to go away. Many of them knew at the time that the public was being told untrue things in these hearings. It will only be embarrassing to now address the falsehoods fed to the public in their presence and with their knowledge. In other words, they were all lying to the public and, under our new relativistic world, a lie told by everyone is treated as the truth.


220px-James_R._Clapper_official_portraitConsider the testimony of James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, to the Senate in March. Clapper said unequivocally that the N.S.A. was not gathering data on millions of Americans. That is obviously false and Senators hearing the testimony knew that the public was being lied to.

How about this exchange?

Senator Wyden: “Does the N.S.A. collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”

Clapper: “No, sir. Not wittingly.”

However, it was done “wittingly” when you demand all of the calls for all citizens, right? Clapper will argue that he simply defines collecting data differently from the vast majority of humanity. However, courts regularly reject such subjective views of the truth. The point of the answer was to assure the public that they have nothing to worry about — the same message being given by members now that the truth has come out. Clapper’s testimony was for the public to hear and believe — even though Senators knew it to be untrue. Keep in mind that we have two surveillance programs now being reported — one collecting all call information and one involving email data.

Clapper has recently said that his testimony was “the least untrue” statement that he could make. Yet, of course that would still make it an untrue statement — which most people call a lie and lawyers call perjury. Indeed, when Roger Clemens was prosecuted for untrue statements before Congress, he was not told of the option to tell the least untrue statement on steroid use.

What is remarkable is that, while such hearings are presented as spontaneous, senators routinely send their questions in advance to officials. That is what Wyden did with Clapper so he knew this question was coming. Afterward, Wyden gave him a chance to correct his statement and he did not.

Gen. Keith B. Alexander, the N.S.A. director, has reportedly also given such false statements. N.S.A.’s general counsel, Rajesh De, called rumors of such spying merely “false myths” and that the suggestion that the “N.S.A. is spying on Americans at home and abroad with questionable or no legal basis.”

There is clearly an effort by Feinstein and others to ignore this testimony to avoid having to deal with their own culpability. The same was true with torture. Congressional members knew of the program while feigning outrage in public. They then worked with the White House to quash any hearings or investigations that would implicate their own involvement.

The result is that the Justice Department will continue to prosecute ordinary citizens for relatively small inconsistencies in testimony or statements to investigators. However, high-ranking officials in both branches will have a license to lie because it is not a lie when no one is willing to acknowledge the truth.

225px-LeninOur leaders have embraced that core view of Lenin that “A Lie told often enough becomes the truth.”

Source: NY Times

165 thoughts on “An Inconvenient Truth: Members of Congress Go Silent Over Prior False Testimony On Surveillance

  1. Wait a minute Mr. Turley, are you saying there’s a double standard and hypocrisy between our pols, who have become royalty, and we mere people. That’s in violation of the upcoming Blasphemy Laws

  2. Embrace….. For more lies to come…. I think it’s ironc that this single issue unites both parties…. Nixon is probably rolling in his grave giggling…. And the Reagan/Bush defense of I do not recall….. Hopefully is history….

  3. How do we not go back to sleep? How do we take back our power? How do we vote our dollars? How do we express our outrage in a way that rises above their lowness?

  4. Obama and some Members of Congress (well, most of the Members of Congress) seem to be taking the position that they are taking away our Constitutionally-guaranteed rights and lying about it FOR OUR OWN GOOD!

    If we give up on this struggle to retain our rights without a fight or even a whimper — as too many Americans seem willing to do (although not most here) — we are finished … kaput … dead in the water.

  5. Clapper Couldn’t Even Do Better Than “Least Untruthful” with a Day’s Notice

    Posted on June 11, 2013 by emptywheel

    http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/06/11/clapper-couldnt-even-do-better-than-least-untruthful-with-a-days-notice/

    Clapper Couldn’t Even Do Better Than “Least Untruthful” with a Day’s Notice
    Posted on June 11, 2013 by emptywheel

    As I noted yesterday, when Andrea Mitchell asked James Clapper about his lie to Ron Wyden earlier this year, Clapper offered a baloney answer, admitting both that he gave the “least untruthful” answer and that he had been “too cute by half.”

    “First– as I said, I have great respect for Senator Wyden. I thought, though in retrospect, I was asked– “When are you going to start– stop beating your wife” kind of question, which is meaning not– answerable necessarily by a simple yes or no. So I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful manner by saying no.

    [snip]

    And this has to do with of course somewhat of a semantic, perhaps some would say too– too cute by half. But it is– there are honest differences on the semantics of what– when someone says “collection” to me, that has a specific meaning, which may have a different meaning to him.” (Clapper)

    It was such a terrible response to Mitchell’s question, for ten whole minutes I wished Rahm Emanuel were back in the White House to rip Clapper to shreds for such a media fail.

    But what makes Clapper’s answer — and his retroactive explanations for it — far, far worse is that Ron Wyden gave him a day to figure out how to answer.

    One of the most important responsibilities a Senator has is oversight of the intelligence community. This job cannot be done responsibly if Senators aren’t getting straight answers to direct questions. When NSA Director Alexander failed to clarify previous public statements about domestic surveillance, it was necessary to put the question to the Director of National Intelligence. So that he would be prepared to answer, I sent the question to Director Clapper’s office a day in advance. (Wyden)

    And after Clapper lied to Wyden’s face, Wyden gave him a chance to amend it, which he did not take.

    After the hearing was over my staff and I gave his office a chance to amend his answer. Now public hearings are needed to address the recent disclosures and the American people have the right to expect straight answers from the intelligence leadership to the questions asked by their representatives. [my emphasis]

    Wyden is making it clear: this was a deliberate, knowing lie to Congress. And no one wants to talk about it.

    Which, as Wyden further notes, undermines any pretense that Congress exercise adequate oversight over the Executive Branch.

  6. These are the most clear cut amazing, and obvious violations of law.
    The PRISM’s defenders keep shouting that nothing illegal is going on, nothing to see here, move along.
    Like most high officials’ crimes and misdemeanors, the most egregious violations are the attempts at a coverup.

    But they want to character assassinate Snowden instead.
    It is a felony to lie to Congress. And here we have several explicit instances of it.
    They are in full CYA misdirect the public mode, and much of the media punditry is going along.
    I hope the public doesn’t get hypnotized by lying officials with the sheen of legitimacy, and agree with them, ‘these are not the droids you are looking for’.

  7. Clapper et al. have been sued by the ACLU.

    One interesting paragraph in the complaint points out that the NSA is a military spy organization:

    12. Defendant Charles T. Hagel is the Secretary of Defense. Secretary Hagel has ultimate authority over the Department of Defense, of which the NSA is a component.

    (ACLU vs. Clapper, Alexander, Hagel, Holder, and Mueller). Will the military become the police, or have they already?

  8. The government is made up of people WE put there. THEY WORK FOR US, but too many seem to think it’s the other way around. Not bothering to think things through just because they’re said by one side or the other is lazy and downright unpatriotic. — Our government can run like a well-oiled machine if WE deepen our knowledge and active involvement in the way it’s allowed to function. It’s time for us to GROW UP as a nation and stop believing things based on whether or not they “tickle our ears.” It’s reckless and immature to quickly cement our conclusions before we’ve been given connective facts. This latest bone we’ve been tossed is going to take a great deal of chewing to get to the marrow.

  9. One wonders how these people get into office… I mean other than the fact that no one bothers to show up to vote in midterms and when they do they vote against their own best interests… que sera sera I suppose.

  10. we are controlled by unelected government bureaucracrats who will stop at nothing to protect their turf and their jobs. Most are liberal/progressives.

  11. EFF explains how Clapper can lie to congress and not burst out laughing. You can read all about it here:

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/06/director-national-intelligences-word-games-explained-how-government-deceived

    Here is one interesting part:

    “Under Department of Defense regulations, information is considered to be “collected” only after it has been “received for use by an employee of a DoD intelligence component,” and “data acquired by electronic means is ‘collected’ only when it has been processed into intelligible form.”

    In other words, the NSA can intercept and store communications in its database, then have an algorithm search them for key words and analyze the metadata without ever considering the communications “collected.”

    Apparently words mean exactly what NSA says they mean.

  12. “All Cretans lie.” — Epimenides of Knossos (himself a Cretan)

    Truthful Cretan Liars

    I lied when I said that I spoke the truth,
    And I speak the truth when I say that I lied.
    I come from a land where they think it uncouth
    To utilize language that hasn’t yet died
    Because they prefer to sell War to their youth
    While shedding fake tears at the Peace they’ve decried.

    I tell you for sure that I mean what I say,
    And you must believe me ’cause you’ve got no way
    To know if from paths straight and narrow I’ll stray
    Whenever I want what you’ve got on your tray.

    I merely speak noises which I have observed
    Make people do just about any damn thing;
    While, still, for my own inner self I’ve reserved
    What I really mean by the sounds that I sing,
    Leaving up to my listeners what they have deserved
    For thinking they know why the words soothe or sting.

    My lies I support with true evidence scant;
    But since I regard you as one potted plant,
    I’m sure that you’ll swallow my self-serving rant
    Even though it consists of discredited cant

    I truthfully lie, and as falsely speak true
    While reason and ethics I ceaselessly flout.
    I’m Jabberwock captain of one hopeless crew
    Who followed me in where no one can get out.
    So breathe in the smoke that I’ve exhaled at you
    And lie down, saluting, the true lies I spout.

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2010

  13. “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.”

  14. As we now judge the Germans who elected Hitler and as citizens consented to and participated in the genocide and Holocaust, so too, folks in sixty years will judge America the Exceptional nation. This moment in time– the revelations of the police state and the public non reaction will be seen as grossly similar to the conduct of the German citizenry from 1933 onward.

    The Germans had the arson attack on their legislature which is known as the Reichstag Fire. Their fearless leader, President von Hindenburg issued on his own, without the consent of his Parliament, The Reichstag Fire Decree. That Decree revoked the German laws and constitutional tidbits which stood in the way of the Holocaust. In France, the Vichy government after the fall of the Frog amry in 1940 followed suit.

    What follows for America is something more akin to the Stalin law and order of East Germany after the war or the repression in the Soviet Union and satellite nations. I do not foresee that America will institute a Holocaust. But we are way down the slippery slope here on June the 12th 2013. All we have to speak up for human rights are old curmudgeons who apologize to no one for their sleep at the wheel term of office in the Senate like the 80 year old Feinstein, or the dumb as toast guy named Boner. The media gives us legal experts who, like Jeffrey Toobin, are experts in betraying their wives and fast and loose on behalf of the Koch Brothers in defaming guys like Snowden or Daniel Ellsberg.

    Sixty years from now historians will judge us harshly. America had everything going for it and gave it away to the Koch Brothers. Bye Bye Miss American Pie, I took my Chevy to the levee and the levee was dry. Good ol boys drinkin whisky and rye, singing this could be the day that they die, This could be the day that they die.

    Better dead than Red.

  15. Those song lyrics which BarkinDog recited at the end there (excepting the “Better dead than Red” statement) were the lyrics of a song by Don McClean. The Day The Music Died.

    Thirty years from now we will look back (if we are alive or reincarnated) and see June 11th as the day the music died. Why today? Because the impact of the Snowden revelations are now here for us to absorb and no one is taking to the streets and all the politicos are calling him a clown and a traitor.

    Bye bye Miss American pie…..

  16. The people in Turkey are in the streets today for less cause than we have here in America. Take your Chevy to the levee and push it in the water. You wont need it.

  17. Uh oh. You know it’s serious when BarkinDog is serious. And he’s right. We will all be judged harshly.

    Those of us who continue to speak out against the governmental abuse of power and illegal behaviors are not enough. We need to recruit more Americans to join us in this fight. And it’s a fight we cannot afford to lose.

  18. If Edward Snowden Is a Criminal, Why Aren’t the Rest of Us Criminals As Well?

    By John W. Whitehead
    June 11, 2013

    “We have been silent witnesses of evil deeds: we have been drenched by many storms; we have learnt the arts of equivocation and pretence; experience has made us suspicious of others and kept us from being truthful and open; intolerable conflicts have worn us down and even made us cynical. Are we still of any use? What we shall need is not geniuses, or cynics, or misanthropes, or clever tacticians, but plain, honest, straightforward men. Will our inward power of resistance be strong enough, and our honesty with ourselves remoreseless enough, for us to find our way back to simplicity and straightforwardness?” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1943

    In the wake of recent revelations about the National Security Agency’s (NSA) program of mass surveillance directed at all American citizens, Edward Snowden, the alleged leaker of the documents proving the government’s misdeeds, is being hailed as a hero by some, a traitor and criminal by others, while some simply don’t know what to think.

    Here’s what I think: Snowden and the countless others like him who are daring to stand up to the government machine are acting as the moral conscience for a nation that has lost its way.

    In our current governmental climate, where laws that run counter to the dictates of the Constitution are made in secret, passed without debate, and upheld by secret courts that operate behind closed doors, obeying one’s conscience can well render you a criminal. Or as George Orwell put it, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

    As I discuss in my new book, A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State (available now on Amazon.com), some of history’s most pivotal events came about because someone or some group chose to speak out against wrongdoing at great personal cost, even if it meant “breaking” the law. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a young German theologian with a brilliant future before him and a refuge in the United States, opted instead to take part in a plot to overthrow Hitler and his despotic regime, believing that “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” For his “crime” against the Fuhrer, Bonhoeffer was put to death at Flossenburg Concentration Camp.

    Examples of “lawbreakers” who follow their conscience in order to stand against tyranny abound in our own history, starting with the colonists who rose up in opposition to the British crown criminals. The engineers of the Underground Railroad and the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement were also considered criminals of their day. Remember, Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested upwards of twenty times, most often for violating Jim Crow laws which mandated racial segregation in public facilities.

    While technically violating the laws of their time, these individuals chose to speak and act against injustice, whether in the form of tyranny, slavery, or segregation. Instead of keeping their heads down and going with the flow, they raised their voices and sacrificed their security, comfort, and even their lives.

    This brings me back to Edward Snowden, who not only has provided a window into the inner workings of American government but is holding up a mirror to American society and reflecting back our inaction, our acceptance of corruption in high places, and our indifference about the steady erosions of our freedoms.

    While Snowden’s revelations about the NSA were dismaying, they were not surprising. Indeed, what I have found more disconcerting is the Left-Right response to Snowden’s revelations, namely, the willingness by those on both sides to join forces in maintaining the governmental status quo, at all costs.

    Talk about showing one’s true colors. When politicians with such disparate views as Senators Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Lindsey Graham (R-NC) both give a full-throated defense of the Obama administration’s undeniably egregious and invasive surveillance activities, it’s obvious that we are no longer dealing with questions of freedom, or surveillance, or terrorism, but rather the defense of government power at all costs.

    What this collusion reveals is that we currently live under a regime which has fully embraced the Nixonian mantra of “If the president does it, it’s not illegal.” The system of checks and balances which is supposed to protect Americans from government overreach like the NSA spying program is obviously not working.

    Even President Obama, the former constitutional law professor, understands this, albeit in a perverse, backwards sort of way. In a recent speech in San Jose, Obama declared: “If people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress, and don’t trust federal judges, to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution with due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.” However, when all branches of government are condoning clearly unconstitutional activities by the government against the citizenry, that’s a problem.

    Moreover, there is no room for trust in the relationship between the government and its citizens. Remember it was James Madison who warned that “All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.” Thomas Jefferson’s solution was simple: “bind them down from mischief with the chains of the Constitution.”

    As for the claim that the government is protecting us from further acts of terrorism by systematically violating our civil liberties, Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic effectively exorcised that particular demon when he pointed out that the likelihood of dying in a terrorist attack is astronomically low, lower than the chances of dying in a car wreck or being hit by lightning.

    Thus, the question we should be asking is not whether Edward Snowden is a criminal but why the rest of us aren’t criminals as well? What are you doing to push back against the excesses of government, to reclaim our freedoms, and to live up to the ideals embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution? What are you doing to stop the emerging American police state?

    https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/if_edward_snowden_is_a_criminal_why_arent_the_rest_of_us_criminals_as_well

  19. A must-read piece in The Guardian today:

    Snowden saw what I saw: surveillance criminally subverting the constitution

    So we refused to be part of the NSA’s dark blanket. That is why whistleblowers pay the price for being the backstop of democracy

    by Thomas Drake
    Wednesday 12 June 2013

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/12/snowden-surveillance-subverting-constitution

    Certainly, my life was shredded. Once they have determined that you are a “person of interest” and an “enemy of the state”, they want to destroy you, period.

    I am now reliving the last 12 years from what’s been disclosed in the past week. I feel a kinship with Snowden: he is essentially the equivalent of me. He saw the surveillance state from within and saw how far it’s gone. The government has a pathological incentive to collect more and more and more; they just can’t help themselves – they have an insatiable hoarding complex.

    Since the government unchained itself from the constitution after 9/11, it has been eating our democracy alive from the inside out. There’s no room in a democracy for this kind of secrecy: it’s anathema to our form of a constitutional republic, which was born out of the struggle to free ourselves from the abuse of such powers, which led to the American revolution.

    That is what’s at stake here: to an NSA with these unwarranted powers, we’re all potentially guilty; we’re all potential suspects until we prove otherwise. That is what happens when the government has all the data.

    The NSA is wiring the world; they want to own internet. I didn’t want to be part of the dark blanket that covers the world, and Edward Snowden didn’t either.

    We are seeing an unprecedented campaign against whistleblowers and truth-tellers: it’s now criminal to expose the crimes of the state. Under this relentless assault by the Obama administration, I am the only person who has held them off and preserved his freedom. All the other whistleblowers I know have served time in jail, are facing jail or are already incarcerated or in prison.

    That has been my burden. I’ve dedicated the rest of my life to defending life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. I didn’t want surveillance to take away my soul, and I don’t want anyone else to have to live it.

    For that, I paid a very high price. And Edward Snowden will, too. But I have my freedom, and what is the price for freedom? What future do we want to keep?

  20. Tweet:

    Thomas Drake @Thomas_Drake1

    Latest NSA revelations: ppl must get clear & present danger of authoritarian totalitarianism via the Leviathan NatSec state & surveillance

    11:14 AM – 9 Jun 2013

  21. For the same reason that it is political suicide to appear soft on crime, politicians are unable to appear to accept Snowden’s response as anything but treason. I find it especially dishonorable for a former Constitutional law professor, now POTUS, to condone these blatant abuses of our civil liberties, and for members of congress in one voice to accuse Snowden of treason

  22. No, Bron. You must say:

    “We Ayn Rand acolytes are controlled by unelected private corporations such as Booz Allen Hamilton and Halliburton — or, as a majority of reactionary Supreme Court justices call them, ‘people’.”

    As well, in order to load the term “progressive” with the unsavory connotations that “liberal” has for Republicans like yourself, you must first repeat the Republican party’s preferred Orwellian slur, “DEMLIB” at least four times in a sentence. Only then can you move on to repeating the (to a Republican) slur, “LIBPROG” four times in your next sentence. For example:

    “DEMLIB! DEMLIB! DEMLIB! DEMLIB!”
    “LIBPROG! LIBPROG! LIBPROG! LIBPROG!”

    I grew up, came of age, and earned my living in arch-conservative Orange County, California, surrounded by Ayn Rand reading Young (they never grow older mentally) Republicans. So I know how this crude Orwellian smearing (to them) or exalting (to me) semantic thing works.

    Look to your right. No, further to your right. No, further to your right. Now think “Mussolini,” “Franco,” “Hitler,” “Fascism.” Now can you recognize the crisis facing Italy [scratch that], Spain [scratch that], Germany [scratch that] Amerika?

    I thought not. But I did try to enlighten you.

  23. Phil Chanfrau,

    Good points. But as you no-doubt fully realize, both right-wing Property Party factions now consider it “treason” (against management) for an employee of a private firm to inform the American public — i.e., “the enemy” — of what their unelected corporate oligarchy has in store for them.

  24. “Public” (as in government) now means “privately owned and operated by unaccountable corporate cartels and monopolies.”

    “Private” (as in citizen) now means “publicly suspected of facecrime and ownlife.”

  25. what’s been exposed is the gathering of all internet traffic and phone metadata. What hasn’t yet been a recent headline is the collection of call content. It was has been done since 1991. Do you really think they stopped?

    from waynemadsenreport.com

    excerpt:
    A Defense Department insider has revealed to WMR that the National Security Agency’s development of an ability to mine data from digital telephone networks, including intelligence derived from phone calls, pages, and faxes, began in 1991. The name of the NSA project to analyze and store telecommunications of interest was code named NUTCRACKER.

    NUTCRACKER revolutionized NSA’s ability to conduct analysis of speech by developing sophisticated speech recognition algorithms that enabled the NSA to identify individuals based on voice recognition. Other algorithms and acoustic models enabled NSA to identify individuals based on phonetics, semantics, word and phrase context, vernacular speech, and dialect and foreign accent analysis.

  26. Here is the synopsis of the new lawsuit filed by the ACLU in New York.

    .

    The ACLU, a Verizon Customer, Says Government Data Collection Violates Its First and Fourth Amendment Rights

    June 11, 2013

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org

    NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Civil Liberties Union today filed a constitutional challenge to a surveillance program under which the National Security Agency vacuums up information about every phone call placed within, from, or to the United States. The lawsuit argues that the program violates the First Amendment rights of free speech and association as well as the right of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment. The complaint also charges that the dragnet program exceeds the authority that Congress provided through the Patriot Act.

    “This dragnet program is surely one of the largest surveillance efforts ever launched by a democratic government against its own citizens,” said Jameel Jaffer, ACLU deputy legal director. “It is the equivalent of requiring every American to file a daily report with the government of every location they visited, every person they talked to on the phone, the time of each call, and the length of every conversation. The program goes far beyond even the permissive limits set by the Patriot Act and represents a gross infringement of the freedom of association and the right to privacy.”

    The ACLU is a customer of Verizon Business Network Services, which was the recipient of a secret FISA Court order published by The Guardian last week. The order required the company to “turn over on ‘an ongoing daily basis’ phone call details” such as who calls are placed to and from, and when those calls are made. The lawsuit argues that the government’s blanket seizure of and ability to search the ACLU’s phone records compromises sensitive information about its work, undermining the organization’s ability to engage in legitimate communications with clients, journalists, advocacy partners, and others.

    “The crux of the government’s justification for the program is the chilling logic that it can collect everyone’s data now and ask questions later,” said Alex Abdo, a staff attorney for the ACLU’s National Security Project. “The Constitution does not permit the suspicionless surveillance of every person in the country.”

    The ACLU’s 2008 lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the FISA Amendments Act, which authorized the so-called “warrantless wiretapping program,” was dismissed 5–4 by the Supreme Court in February on the grounds that the plaintiffs could not prove that they had been monitored. ACLU attorneys working on today’s complaint said they do not expect the issue of standing to be a problem in this case because of the FISA Court order revealed last week.

    Yesterday, the ACLU and Yale Law School’s Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic filed a motion with the FISA Court, requesting that it to publish its opinions on the meaning, scope, and constitutionality of Patriot Act Section 215. The ACLU is also currently litigating a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, filed in October 2011, demanding that the Justice Department release information about the government’s use and interpretation of Section 215.

    “There needs to be a bright line on where intelligence gathering stops,” said NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman. “If we don’t say this is too far, when is too far?”

    Attorneys on the case are Jaffer and Abdo along with Brett Max Kaufman and Patrick Toomey of the ACLU, and Arthur N. Eisenberg and Christopher T. Dunn of the NYCLU.

    An interactive graphic examining the secret FISA Court order revealed last week is available here.

    Today’s complaint is at:
    aclu.org/national-security/aclu-v-clapper-complaint

  27. I will try again. Here is the synopsis from the ACLU blog regarding their lawsuit against Clapper, Holder et al.

    .

    The ACLU, a Verizon Customer, Says Government Data Collection Violates Its First and Fourth Amendment Rights

    June 11, 2013

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org

    NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Civil Liberties Union today filed a constitutional challenge to a surveillance program under which the National Security Agency vacuums up information about every phone call placed within, from, or to the United States. The lawsuit argues that the program violates the First Amendment rights of free speech and association as well as the right of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment. The complaint also charges that the dragnet program exceeds the authority that Congress provided through the Patriot Act.

    “This dragnet program is surely one of the largest surveillance efforts ever launched by a democratic government against its own citizens,” said Jameel Jaffer, ACLU deputy legal director. “It is the equivalent of requiring every American to file a daily report with the government of every location they visited, every person they talked to on the phone, the time of each call, and the length of every conversation. The program goes far beyond even the permissive limits set by the Patriot Act and represents a gross infringement of the freedom of association and the right to privacy.”

    The ACLU is a customer of Verizon Business Network Services, which was the recipient of a secret FISA Court order published by The Guardian last week. The order required the company to “turn over on ‘an ongoing daily basis’ phone call details” such as who calls are placed to and from, and when those calls are made. The lawsuit argues that the government’s blanket seizure of and ability to search the ACLU’s phone records compromises sensitive information about its work, undermining the organization’s ability to engage in legitimate communications with clients, journalists, advocacy partners, and others.

    “The crux of the government’s justification for the program is the chilling logic that it can collect everyone’s data now and ask questions later,” said Alex Abdo, a staff attorney for the ACLU’s National Security Project. “The Constitution does not permit the suspicionless surveillance of every person in the country.”

    The ACLU’s 2008 lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the FISA Amendments Act, which authorized the so-called “warrantless wiretapping program,” was dismissed 5–4 by the Supreme Court in February on the grounds that the plaintiffs could not prove that they had been monitored. ACLU attorneys working on today’s complaint said they do not expect the issue of standing to be a problem in this case because of the FISA Court order revealed last week.

    Yesterday, the ACLU and Yale Law School’s Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic filed a motion with the FISA Court, requesting that it to publish its opinions on the meaning, scope, and constitutionality of Patriot Act Section 215. The ACLU is also currently litigating a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, filed in October 2011, demanding that the Justice Department release information about the government’s use and interpretation of Section 215.

    “There needs to be a bright line on where intelligence gathering stops,” said NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman. “If we don’t say this is too far, when is too far?”

    Attorneys on the case are Jaffer and Abdo along with Brett Max Kaufman and Patrick Toomey of the ACLU, and Arthur N. Eisenberg and Christopher T. Dunn of the NYCLU.

    An interactive graphic examining the secret FISA Court order revealed last week is available here.

    Today’s complaint is at:
    aclu.org/national-security/aclu-v-clapper-complaint

  28. WordPress or the NSA is messing with my attempt to post. Testing: We are from France. No, Remulak.

  29. .

    The ACLU, a Verizon Customer, Says Government Data Collection Violates Its First and Fourth Amendment Rights

    June 11, 2013

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org

    NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Civil Liberties Union today filed a constitutional challenge to a surveillance program under which the National Security Agency vacuums up information about every phone call placed within, from, or to the United States. The lawsuit argues that the program violates the First Amendment rights of free speech and association as well as the right of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment. The complaint also charges that the dragnet program exceeds the authority that Congress provided through the Patriot Act.

    “This dragnet program is surely one of the largest surveillance efforts ever launched by a democratic government against its own citizens,” said Jameel Jaffer, ACLU deputy legal director. “It is the equivalent of requiring every American to file a daily report with the government of every location they visited, every person they talked to on the phone, the time of each call, and the length of every conversation. The program goes far beyond even the permissive limits set by the Patriot Act and represents a gross infringement of the freedom of association and the right to privacy.”

    The ACLU is a customer of Verizon Business Network Services, which was the recipient of a secret FISA Court order published by The Guardian last week. The order required the company to “turn over on ‘an ongoing daily basis’ phone call details” such as who calls are placed to and from, and when those calls are made. The lawsuit argues that the government’s blanket seizure of and ability to search the ACLU’s phone records compromises sensitive information about its work, undermining the organization’s ability to engage in legitimate communications with clients, journalists, advocacy partners, and others.

    “The crux of the government’s justification for the program is the chilling logic that it can collect everyone’s data now and ask questions later,” said Alex Abdo, a staff attorney for the ACLU’s National Security Project. “The Constitution does not permit the suspicionless surveillance of every person in the country.”

    The ACLU’s 2008 lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the FISA Amendments Act, which authorized the so-called “warrantless wiretapping program,” was dismissed 5–4 by the Supreme Court in February on the grounds that the plaintiffs could not prove that they had been monitored. ACLU attorneys working on today’s complaint said they do not expect the issue of standing to be a problem in this case because of the FISA Court order revealed last week.

    Yesterday, the ACLU and Yale Law School’s Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic filed a motion with the FISA Court, requesting that it to publish its opinions on the meaning, scope, and constitutionality of Patriot Act Section 215. The ACLU is also currently litigating a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, filed in October 2011, demanding that the Justice Department release information about the government’s use and interpretation of Section 215.

    “There needs to be a bright line on where intelligence gathering stops,” said NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman. “If we don’t say this is too far, when is too far?”

    Attorneys on the case are Jaffer and Abdo along with Brett Max Kaufman and Patrick Toomey of the ACLU, and Arthur N. Eisenberg and Christopher T. Dunn of the NYCLU.

    An interactive graphic examining the secret FISA Court order revealed last week is available here.

    Today’s complaint is at:
    aclu.org/national-security/aclu-v-clapper-complaint

  30. From the ACLU website:

    The ACLU, a Verizon Customer, Says Government Data Collection Violates Its First and Fourth Amendment Rights

    June 11, 2013

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org

    NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Civil Liberties Union today filed a constitutional challenge to a surveillance program under which the National Security Agency vacuums up information about every phone call placed within, from, or to the United States. The lawsuit argues that the program violates the First Amendment rights of free speech and association as well as the right of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment. The complaint also charges that the dragnet program exceeds the authority that Congress provided through the Patriot Act.

    “This dragnet program is surely one of the largest surveillance efforts ever launched by a democratic government against its own citizens,” said Jameel Jaffer, ACLU deputy legal director. “It is the equivalent of requiring every American to file a daily report with the government of every location they visited, every person they talked to on the phone, the time of each call, and the length of every conversation. The program goes far beyond even the permissive limits set by the Patriot Act and represents a gross infringement of the freedom of association and the right to privacy.”

    The ACLU is a customer of Verizon Business Network Services, which was the recipient of a secret FISA Court order published by The Guardian last week. The order required the company to “turn over on ‘an ongoing daily basis’ phone call details” such as who calls are placed to and from, and when those calls are made. The lawsuit argues that the government’s blanket seizure of and ability to search the ACLU’s phone records compromises sensitive information about its work, undermining the organization’s ability to engage in legitimate communications with clients, journalists, advocacy partners, and others.

    “The crux of the government’s justification for the program is the chilling logic that it can collect everyone’s data now and ask questions later,” said Alex Abdo, a staff attorney for the ACLU’s National Security Project. “The Constitution does not permit the suspicionless surveillance of every person in the country.”

    The ACLU’s 2008 lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the FISA Amendments Act, which authorized the so-called “warrantless wiretapping program,” was dismissed 5–4 by the Supreme Court in February on the grounds that the plaintiffs could not prove that they had been monitored. ACLU attorneys working on today’s complaint said they do not expect the issue of standing to be a problem in this case because of the FISA Court order revealed last week.

    Yesterday, the ACLU and Yale Law School’s Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic filed a motion with the FISA Court, requesting that it to publish its opinions on the meaning, scope, and constitutionality of Patriot Act Section 215. The ACLU is also currently litigating a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, filed in October 2011, demanding that the Justice Department release information about the government’s use and interpretation of Section 215.

    “There needs to be a bright line on where intelligence gathering stops,” said NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman. “If we don’t say this is too far, when is too far?”

    Attorneys on the case are Jaffer and Abdo along with Brett Max Kaufman and Patrick Toomey of the ACLU, and Arthur N. Eisenberg and Christopher T. Dunn of the NYCLU.

    An interactive graphic examining the secret FISA Court order revealed last week is available here.

    Today’s complaint is at:
    aclu.org/national-security/aclu-v-clapper-complaint

    -end of ACLU blog

  31. Germany slams US for ‘Stasi methods’ ahead of Obama visit

    Published time: June 12, 2013 11:07

    http://rt.com/news/germany-obama-nsa-stasi-spying-573/

    Germans are expressing outrage as details of a US internet spy program – revealed by a former CIA employee-turned-whistleblower – are prompting comparisons with that of former communist East Germany’s Ministry for State Security.

    Unfortunately for Obama’s upcoming trip to Berlin, it was revealed that Germany ranks as the most-spied-on EU country by the US, a map of secret surveillance activities by the National Security Agency (NSA) shows.

    German ministers are expressing their outrage over America’s sweeping intelligence-gathering leviathan, with one parliamentarian comparing US spying methods to that of the communist East Germany’s much-dreaded Ministry for State Security (Stasi).

    Washington is using “American-style Stasi methods,” said Markus Ferber, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Bavarian sister party and member of the European Parliament.

    “I thought this era had ended when the DDR fell,” he said, using the German acronym for the disposed German Democratic Republic.

    Clearly, enthusiasm for the American leader’s upcoming visit will be much more tempered than it was in 2008 when 200,000 people packed around the Victory Column in central Berlin to hear Obama speak of a world that would be dramatically different from that of his hawkish Republican predecessor, George W. Bush.

    Merkel will question Obama about the NSA program when he visits in Berlin on June 18, government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters on Monday. Some political analysts fear the issue will dampen a visit that was intended to commemorate US-German relations on the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech.

  32. Here is my ninth attempt to post this news release from the ACLU. Something is going on here with the NSA censoring my right to free speech.

    June 11, 2013
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org
    NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Civil Liberties Union today filed a constitutional challenge to a surveillance program under which the National Security Agency vacuums up information about every phone call placed within, from, or to the United States. The lawsuit argues that the program violates the First Amendment rights of free speech and association as well as the right of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment. The complaint also charges that the dragnet program exceeds the authority that Congress provided through the Patriot Act.
    “This dragnet program is surely one of the largest surveillance efforts ever launched by a democratic government against its own citizens,” said Jameel Jaffer, ACLU deputy legal director. “It is the equivalent of requiring every American to file a daily report with the government of every location they visited, every person they talked to on the phone, the time of each call, and the length of every conversation. The program goes far beyond even the permissive limits set by the Patriot Act and represents a gross infringement of the freedom of association and the right to privacy.”
    The ACLU is a customer of Verizon Business Network Services, which was the recipient of a secret FISA Court order published by The Guardian last week. The order required the company to “turn over on ‘an ongoing daily basis’ phone call details” such as who calls are placed to and from, and when those calls are made. The lawsuit argues that the government’s blanket seizure of and ability to search the ACLU’s phone records compromises sensitive information about its work, undermining the organization’s ability to engage in legitimate communications with clients, journalists, advocacy partners, and others.
    “The crux of the government’s justification for the program is the chilling logic that it can collect everyone’s data now and ask questions later,” said Alex Abdo, a staff attorney for the ACLU’s National Security Project. “The Constitution does not permit the suspicionless surveillance of every person in the country.”
    The ACLU’s 2008 lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the FISA Amendments Act, which authorized the so-called “warrantless wiretapping program,” was dismissed 5–4 by the Supreme Court in February on the grounds that the plaintiffs could not prove that they had been monitored. ACLU attorneys working on today’s complaint said they do not expect the issue of standing to be a problem in this case because of the FISA Court order revealed last week.
    Yesterday, the ACLU and Yale Law School’s Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic filed a motion with the FISA Court, requesting that it to publish its opinions on the meaning, scope, and constitutionality of Patriot Act Section 215. The ACLU is also currently litigating a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, filed in October 2011, demanding that the Justice Department release information about the government’s use and interpretation of Section 215.
    “There needs to be a bright line on where intelligence gathering stops,” said NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman. “If we don’t say this is too far, when is too far?”
    Attorneys on the case are Jaffer and Abdo along with Brett Max Kaufman and Patrick Toomey of the ACLU, and Arthur N. Eisenberg and Christopher T. Dunn of the NYCLU.
    An interactive graphic examining the secret FISA Court order revealed last week is available here.

  33. I tried ten times to post an excerpt from the ACLU blog here regarding their new lawsuit against Clapper for invading their privacy. Go to ACLU.org

  34. The NSA is censoring our attempts to post here.

    June 11, 2013
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org
    NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Civil Liberties Union today filed a constitutional challenge to a surveillance program under which the National Security Agency vacuums up information about every phone call placed within, from, or to the United States. The lawsuit argues that the program violates the First Amendment rights of free speech and association as well as the right of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment. The complaint also charges that the dragnet program exceeds the authority that Congress provided through the Patriot Act.
    “This dragnet program is surely one of the largest surveillance efforts ever launched by a democratic government against its own citizens,” said Jameel Jaffer, ACLU deputy legal director. “It is the equivalent of requiring every American to file a daily report with the government of every location they visited, every person they talked to on the phone, the time of each call, and the length of every conversation. The program goes far beyond even the permissive limits set by the Patriot Act and represents a gross infringement of the freedom of association and the right to privacy.”
    The ACLU is a customer of Verizon Business Network Services, which was the recipient of a secret FISA Court order published by The Guardian last week. The order required the company to “turn over on ‘an ongoing daily basis’ phone call details” such as who calls are placed to and from, and when those calls are made. The lawsuit argues that the government’s blanket seizure of and ability to search the ACLU’s phone records compromises sensitive information about its work, undermining the organization’s ability to engage in legitimate communications with clients, journalists, advocacy partners, and others.
    “The crux of the government’s justification for the program is the chilling logic that it can collect everyone’s data now and ask questions later,” said Alex Abdo, a staff attorney for the ACLU’s National Security Project. “The Constitution does not permit the suspicionless surveillance of every person in the country.”
    The ACLU’s 2008 lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the FISA Amendments Act, which authorized the so-called “warrantless wiretapping program,” was dismissed 5–4 by the Supreme Court in February on the grounds that the plaintiffs could not prove that they had been monitored. ACLU attorneys working on today’s complaint said they do not expect the issue of standing to be a problem in this case because of the FISA Court order revealed last week.
    Yesterday, the ACLU and Yale Law School’s Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic filed a motion with the FISA Court, requesting that it to publish its opinions on the meaning, scope, and constitutionality of Patriot Act Section 215. The ACLU is also currently litigating a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, filed in October 2011, demanding that the Justice Department release information about the government’s use and interpretation of Section 215.
    “There needs to be a bright line on where intelligence gathering stops,” said NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman. “If we don’t say this is too far, when is too far?”
    Attorneys on the case are Jaffer and Abdo along with Brett Max Kaufman and Patrick Toomey of the ACLU, and Arthur N. Eisenberg and Christopher T. Dunn of the NYCLU.
    An interactive graphic examining the secret FISA Court order revealed last week is available here.

  35. Here is the introductory section of the Complaint filed by the ACLU versus James R. Clapper and the other defendants in the privacy deprivation case.

    COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
    1. This lawsuit challenges the government’s dragnet acquisition of Plaintiffs’ telephone records under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, 50 U.S.C. § 1861.1 In response to information published by the media, the government has acknowledged that it is relying on Section 215 to collect “metadata” about every phone call made or received by residents of the United States. The practice is akin to snatching every American’s address book—with annotations detailing whom we spoke to, when we talked, for how long, and from where. It gives the government a comprehensive record of our associations and public movements, revealing a wealth of detail about our familial, political, professional, religious, and intimate associations.

    2. The government has confirmed the authenticity of an order issued six weeks ago by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (“FISC”) requiring Verizon Business Network Services Inc. (“VBNS”) to turn over, every day, metadata about the calls made by each of its
    subscribers over the three-month period ending on July 19, 2013. Government officials have indicated that the VBNS order is part of a program that has been in place for seven years and that
    collects records of all telephone communications of every customer of a major phone company, including Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint.

    3. Plaintiffs the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation are current VBNS subscribers whose communications have already been monitored by the government under the VBNS order and whose communications continue to be
    monitored under that order now. Plaintiffs the New York Civil Liberties Union and the New York Civil Liberties Union Foundation are former customers of VBNS whose contract of service recently expired but whose telephony metadata likely remains in government databases. The
    1 “The Patriot Act” is the common name for the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001, Pub. L. No. 107-56, 115 Stat. 272.
    2 government’s surveillance of their communications (hereinafter “Mass Call Tracking”) allows the government to learn sensitive and privileged information about their work and clients, and it is likely to have a chilling effect on whistleblowers and others who would otherwise contact
    Plaintiffs for legal assistance. This surveillance is not authorized by Section 215 and violates the First and Fourth Amendments. Plaintiffs bring this suit to obtain a declaration that the Mass Call Tracking is unlawful; to enjoin the government from continuing the Mass Call Tracking under the VBNS order or any successor thereto; and to require the government to purge from its databases all of the call records related to Plaintiffs’ communications collected pursuant to the Mass Call Track.

    end.

    Go to ACLU.org for the entire Complaint.

  36. The ACLU lawsuit gives me some hope. I do not know who the judge is that they were assigned. They need a good judge.

  37. Here’s something interesting

    http://breakingbrown.com/2013/06/dont-look-now-but-off-duty-cops-in-alabama-are-collecting-dna-swabs-at-roadblocks/

    Don’t Look Now, But Off Duty Cops in Alabama Are Collecting DNA Swabs at Roadblocks
    June 11, 2013 News, ybw 1

    Since Americans are already abuzz over the NSA’s collection of meta-data, now is as good a time as any to discuss how local law enforcement draws its direction cops at road blocksfrom the Feds. Meaning, if you give up privacy to the Feds, then you may be giving it up to local law enforcement as well, making the area of privacy an extremely slippery slope.

    For example, over the weekend two Alabama counties had cops out at roadblocks asking for voluntary samples of blood and sal!va. Drivers who agreed to provide samples, which will reportedly be used in research for a study being conducted by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, were compensated for their troubles.

    “They’ve got big signs up that says ‘paid volunteer survey’ and if they want to participate they pull over there and they ask them questions and if they are willing to give them a mouth swab they give them $10 and if they are willing to give them a blood sample they give them $50. And if they don’t do anything they drive off,” said Freddie Turrentine of the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department.

    According to Turrentine, there were five roadblocks from Friday afternoon through the early Sunday morning.

    But shouldn’t there have been a better way to implement a voluntary collection of fluid samples? What sort of study uses the cops to collect their study samples anyway? There is also a certain intimidation factor that goes along with being forcibly pulled over by cops requesting anything.

    A spokesman said this was the first time the police ever participated in a study of this kind.

  38. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/06/response-nsa-we-need-new-church-commission-and-we-need-it-now

    In Response to the NSA, We Need A New Church Committee and We Need It Now

    By Cindy Cohn and Trevor Timm

    “[The National Security Agency’s] capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.” —Senator Frank Church, 1975

    In short, we need a new Church Committee.

    In the mid-70s, in response to revelation that the government was engaging in systematic domestic surveillance on domestic targets—including anti-war activists, academics, and government critics like Martin Luther King Jr., John Lennon and Daniel Ellsberg—the distinguished Senator from Idaho, Frank Church, convened a Senate investigative committee that ultimately put a stop to large scale domestic spying for decades.

    The Church Committee report, which can be read in full here, led to the passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), setting up the secret FISA court that put strict procedures in place for conducting surveillance for intelligence activities. Most importantly, following a Supreme Court ruling in 1973, FISA required an individualized, probable cause warrant for national security spying, just as the Fourth Amendment requires.

    While there is much to criticize in the original FISA, it did rein in the government, and its system of checks and balances remained largely in place until shortly after September 11, 2001, when President George W. Bush first authorized a broad warrantless wiretapping program. The government decided to illegally bypass the FISA court and started warrantlessly wiretapping the communications, as well as collecting and data-mining the communications records of innocent Americans.

    When a portion of the NSA warrantless surveillance was revealed by the New York Times in 2005, there was widespread outrage among the American people. Unfortunately, Congress reacted in the opposite way as the Church Committee once did. Instead of fixing the problems, they institutionalized most of them and swept the rest under the rug.

    In 2008, Congress gutted the original balance of FISA with the FISA Amendments Act, which allowed the government to get court orders with less than probable cause that would target groups of people—instead of individuals, like the Constitution requires. The law also allowed the NSA to collect information on innocent Americans when they are talking to people outside the US who are targeted by the government.

    But it gets worse. EFF and others had long alleged that, despite the rhetoric surrounding the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act, the government was still vacuuming up the records of the purely domestic communications of millions of Americans. And yesterday, of course, with the Verizon order, we got solid proof.. And it appears that the reach of this vacuum goes much further, into the records of our Internet service providers as well.

    Now it’s not as if these efforts haven’t been challenged. EFF has been seeking judicial review of the dragnet surveillance, both wiretapping and records collection, since 2006, facing one procedural maneuver after another by the government. The ACLU brought a strong constitutional challenge to the FISA Amendments Act that was dismissed by the Supreme Court only two months ago for lack of “standing.” The court ruled in a contentious 5-4 decision that because the ACLU couldn’t prove for a “certainty” that their clients were being surveilled, they couldn’t challenge the law.

    Well, it turns out, the new revelations prove everything the ACLU was arguing, in addition to confirming all of the allegations in EFF’s warrantless wiretapping case, Jewel v. NSA.

    Of course, the evidence has been there all along. Even after the FISA Amendments Act passed, the New York Times reported in 2009 the NSA was still collecting purely domestic communications in a “significant and systematic” way after the original bill passed in 2008. And just last year, the government admitted, the secret FISA court has ruled “on at least one occasion” that the government’s surveillance under the law had violated the Fourth Amendment.

    That secret FISA court ruling is still classified, as are the OLC memos that supposedly give the government’s best case that all this purely domestic surveillance is legal. But one has to wonder, if the FISA court “routinely” authorizes the collection of all US call data, what kind of surveillance was the NSA conducting that they couldn’t approve?

    Shamefully, Congress has had a chance to add provisions to both the Patriot Act and FISA Amendments Act in the last two years. In 2011, the Obama administration opposed all transparency and accountability amendments to the Patriot Act when key provisions were renewed for another five years. Just six months ago in Decemebr 2012, the administration again opposed all oversight amendments, even those more moderate than the ones he voted for as Senator in 2008.

    So here’s your wake up call Congress, and an opportunity to be a hero. We need a Church Committee for a new era. It could be headed by Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, the two Senators who have been trying to warn the American people about the government dangerous interpretation of the Patriot Act for years. Udall said today, he “did everything short of leaking classified information” to stop it.

    But someone in Congress needs to step up and fill Frank Church’s shoes. They are big ones, but EFF stands willing to help. And so, we suspect, will millions of innocent Americans whose privacy has been violated and who are ready to have their constitutional rights back.

  39. The Question: Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans

    The Answer: There are cases where they could inadvertentlyperhaps… collect… but not… not wittingly.

    WAS CLAPPER LYING TO CONGRESS THEN OR IS SNOWDEN LYING ABOUT THE ACCESS TO ALL CONSUMER INFORMATIONS?

  40. I wish there was a way to embolden the most important words in the question… ANY, AT ALL. And Clappers response, COULD, PERHAPS, NOT WITTINGLY.

  41. I fail to see how a NSL issued to Verison asking for ANY and ALL DATA falls into the realm of Clappers, perhaps could but not wittingly world. As is the case with AT&T, YAHOO, Google, etc.

  42. Sorry, I must be dumb or something…
    … Since when do Americans fall under FOREIGN Intel Court?

    Why wont Congress just construct a DOMESTIC Intel COurt?
    … Must be something about warrant specific stuffs like person, affect, place, etc.

    Pesky Constitution…

  43. This clip is a perfect metaphor for how the American Public will deal with the latest news of our growing police state. Just substitute the word “Scratch” with “Illegal data mining”.

  44. Clapper, a highly educated man, has been loyal to his employers, members of the MIC. He has consistently lied as directed, on behalf of his employers. He has been grateful to them. And you people want to hang him for breaking the law by lying to Congress and subverting the Constitution? People here are seriously messed up!! Shut up and pass out the medal of freedom.

  45. “Gen. Keith B. Alexander, the N.S.A. director, has reportedly also given such false statements. N.S.A.’s general counsel, Rajesh De, called rumors of such spying merely “false myths” and that the suggestion that the “N.S.A. is spying on Americans at home and abroad with questionable or no legal basis.””

    What, exactly, is a “false myth”? is that an upside down and backward way of implying that the myth is true?

  46. michael murry:

    how about refuting what I said. I say most people in the federal government are liberal/progressives.

    We can debate how many of them have a totalitarian streak. Certainly many in this administration have that streak.

  47. michael murry:

    Obama and his group arent republicans, sorry. They are on the Marxist/Socialist side of things. Harry Truman, JFK and Sam Nunn are long gone. Too bad too. They were actually democrats, well maybe not Kennedy, the apple doesnt fall to far from the tree.

  48. sprite,

    “What, exactly, is a “false myth”? is that an upside down and backward way of implying that the myth is true?”

    (-: Someone needs to ask him those questions.

  49. “Snowden explained that he had sought refuge in Hong Kong because it “has a strong tradition of free speech” and “a long tradition of protesting in the streets.”

    Local activists plan to take to the streets on Saturday in support of Snowden. Groups including the Civil Human Rights Front and international human rights groups will march from Chater Gardens in Central to the US consulate on Garden Road, starting at 3pm.

    The march is being organised by In-media, a website supporting freelance journalists.

    “We call on Hong Kong to respect international legal standards and procedures relating to the protection of Snowden; we condemn the US government for violating our rights and privacy; and we call on the US not to prosecute Snowden,” the group said in a statement.”

    Interview with Snowden is linked at Greenwald’s twitter.

  50. “Rajesh De, called rumors of such spying merely “false myths””

    Clearly the only reasonable way to interpret this clumsy formulation is to read the double negative.

    It has been a while since I did this but doesn’t it work something like this:

    Myth = Not(True)
    false( Myth) = not (Myth) = Not(Not(True)) = True

    Obviously, the patriotic Mr. De was trying to warn us that rumors of spying were completely true and by implication a threat to our open democratic society.

    I suppose that means that Mr. De is a traitor for revealing information helpful to the enemy, which means giving the congress information necessary to protect the constitution, which makes him a true patriot and hero of the people.

    Unless nobody understood what Mr. De was trying to say, which means nobody accessed the information, which means Mr. De never said what we thought he said.

    I think that interpretation is the correct one but let me check my NSA glossary just to be sure.

    Excuse me but I think I am beginning to feel a little dizzy.

  51. “Excuse me but I think I am beginning to feel a little dizzy.” -bigfatmike

    That makes two of us.

    (Thanks for a smile in this midst of this lunacy.)

  52. Dizzy is right! That can happen when you have to use Tilt-A-Whirl reasoning. It is fun to think that Mr.De was sending a message that he hoped some might catch. He knew the wobble heads in DC would miss it. But then again, maybe he was just being redundant… . :(

  53. Bron,

    Obama is a DINO, certainly not a liberal nor a progressive. He sold himself as such, sure, but in action on most topics he’s proven to be a centrist Republican and on select topics like civil rights he’s a far right fascist. He’s also not a socialist. A socialist wouldn’t have propped up the health care insurance industry that has failed this country on almost every level as a private enterprise with the corporate welfare that is the ACA. That’s pure fascism. A socialist would have implemented universal health care insurance paid for by tax dollars with profit caps (even if it was privately administered).

    I don’t know why you bother with such transparent and ineffective propaganda tactics when there is plenty of real relevant criticism than can be brought to bear on Obama – from his administration’s refusal to prosecute Wall St. criminals to his aiding and abetting of treason by the previous administration after the fact to his perpetuation of the police state power grab in pursuit of a unitary executive.

    But you keep on making shit up – preferably about groups who find Objectivism inherently abhorrent – instead of focusing on the real issues.

    It looks good on you.

  54. “Our leaders have embraced that core view of Lenin that “A Lie told often enough becomes the truth.”

    Ah but Jonathan, they’re doing it just to save us and keep us safe from harm and anxiety. At least perhaps ten with the lowest awareness level believe that. The rest are to scared of the elite, or part of the elite themselves.

  55. The lawsuit filed by the ACLU is of great importance to those of us who think that we are tumbling down the slippery slope toward Stalinism in America. One of the unique aspects is that the ACLU itself is the plaintiff. The ACLU is a customer of Verizon and the government admits now that they are seizing Verizon records. “Metadata” and other such words are thrown out there by Jeffery Toobin and other spokesmen for the privacy invaders. If I call the New York ACLU from one block away on my cell phone, from a pay phone, from a home phone, the government takes note that I called them.

    We are all potential plaintiffs in such a lawsuit. We need lawsuits filed in the very best judicial districts. We don’t need one filed in the District of Columbia because if it gets to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals it will have a host of judges who keenly desire to get picked as Supreme Court Justices when the next vacancy opens up. New York is in the Second Circuit and that would not be the worst. If you have an opinion as to other Circuit Courts of Appeals which might act favorably to such a lawsuit please chimin in on the blog and let us know.

  56. “Ah but Jonathan, they’re doing it just to save us and keep us safe from harm and anxiety.”

    And to think I was under the impression they were lying to save themselves from prison and/or angry mobs with pitchforks.

    Who knew?

  57. Earlier today this WordPress device for the blog kept refusing to post my comments. Then later in the day it posted several of my attempts. I did not put them up there repeatedly on purpose. Maybe it was not WordPress. Perhaps the NSA is involved. I wouldn’t doubt it. They are the ones who invented our Dogalogue Machine which interprets dog growl and bark into English text. They also taught the dolphins how to spy and talk into a similar machine. They probably invented the Megadata devices which do not bother our Congressmen and women one bit. I guess when I am as old as Feinstein I wont give a rats arse about little things like privacy. Except, if I count my years in prior incarnations as a human, then I am much older than 80 years old. But, I am just a dog– what do I know.

  58. This is from Congressman Walter Jones’s website:

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) joined 19 of his colleagues in demanding answers from the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) regarding a leaked Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order which instructed a Verizon subsidiary to allow the NSA access to its telephone records. In a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller and NSA Director General Keith Alexander, the bipartisan coalition expressed concern that the two agencies exploited a statute in the USA PATRIOT Act that targets foreign intelligence information to collect a vast amount of data on potentially tens of millions of Americans. A recent MIT study has shown that individuals can be easily identified with the type of information collected – telephone numbers, time and duration of calls, and geolocation data.

    “The federal government has a troubling history of infringing on the civil liberties of Americans,” said Jones. “The existence of such a broad database of information associated with individual citizens is absolutely unacceptable. With this blatant misuse of power, our right to privacy has been further eroded.”

    Among other items, the letter requested details on the frequency, duration, and extent of the secret surveillance activities. Congressman Jones is a staunch defender of American constitutional rights and liberties. He has consistently voted against the reauthorization and extension of the USA PATRIOT Act.

  59. BarkinDog,

    That was me. I clicked the “not spam” icon for each so Akismet would learn that you’re OK. Then I didn’t feel like going through each one and approved them en masse.

  60. I note that Walter Jones’s district includes Oriental NC which is The Sailing Capital of North Carolina and also the town which expressly has no leash laws regarding dogs.

  61. Walter Jones is a member of the RepubliCon Party but he does not always vote with the Koch Brothers. It will be interesting to learn who the other 19 members of Congress joined in this “Demand”.

    You folks who live in California ought to be ashamed of yourselves for voting that senile old Feinstein into office. She thinks that “metadata” is something like Milnot. She says to the effect: Don’t worry, the government does not care what you think, just what you say.

    Meanwhile, Jeffrey the Cheater Toobin was on CNN again today ranting about the traitor Snowden. Remember folks when you are watching CNN : Watch Out For The Cheater, Make Way For the Two Hearted Clown. I may be making fun here but this issue is quite serious. When this is all over they may be calling me BittngDog.

  62. I would think congress would be interested in forcing the secret legal interpretation of the Patriot act by the Obama administration. I would also think congress might be interested in investigating someone who clearly lied to them.

    Then again…

  63. “And to think I was under the impression they were lying to save themselves from prison and/or angry mobs with pitchforks.
    Who knew?”

    Cynic!

  64. Gene H:

    he said he was a spread the wealth kind of guy, I take him at his word.

    Although he seems to be spreading the wealth to the unions, acorn, wall st. instead of the little guy.

  65. Also, Bron, actions speak louder than words.

    Cheney says he’s a hero when his actions were that of a traitor.

  66. Since we seem to have entered, at least partially, into a 1984 sort of world. Here is a statement from that book. “If you want to see the future of humanity, it is a boot stomping on a face forever.” Four years ago I wrote a 6000 word essay entitled orwells boot. Enter those two words into any search engine, and my article will be, after paid links, #1 on the list of out 1 to 2 million hits.

    You might find the 1/2 hour read to be informative. This link in the article
    http://xfoolnature.org/?p=10 is a two hour read and is the result of the positive response to orwells boot, and a fair amount of research and thought

    Criticism that consists of information (links) and logic that shows where I may have been in error is definitely welcome. Name calling will be ignored.

  67. Hmmmm, from Raw:

    “Michael Morell, the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, announced his resignation on Wednesday afternoon.

    “As much as I would selfishly like to keep Michael right where he is for as long as possible, he has decided to retire to spend more time with his family and to pursue other professional opportunities,” CIA Director John Brennan said in a statement.”

    He’s the guy that delivered the ‘Bin Laden determined to strike…’ memo to Bush, he’s been around during a lot of stuff and waist deep in it. Interesting timing. Maybe he doesn’t want to lie to a Congressional Committee. If he leaves immediately to visit Hong Kong or Iceland for a much needed vacation I’m gonna’ start thinking something suspicious is going on. :-)

    – See more at: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/06/12/cias-deputy-director-michael-morell-resigns/#sthash.5Txv3jq6.dpuf

  68. Bron,

    Why on earth would you take Obama at his word? Actions are all that anyone should ever consider for evaluating him. Obama is a capitalist from the Chicago School of Economics. He has worked to enrich the obscenely rich and he has thrown the poor under the bus. We are in the middle of a national emergency and everyone needs to quit worrying about ideology and pull our shit together to clearly understand what is happening.

    To put it in a dark humor–the citizens of the US are all under double secret probation by a consortium of govt. and business (usually referred to as fascism). But if you want to call it socialism, go ahead. As long as you will work to condemn this lawlessness with me, you and I can argue about the ideology later!

  69. Jill:

    from the chicago school of economics? a capitalist? OK if you say so.

    I honestly dont think many people really care. The few who post here do but I havent seen any real citizen outcry, people care more about American Idol and who is leading on Dancing with the Stars.

    Even some of my Objectivist “friends” yawn and say they are more worried about the IRS doings.

    I guess they figure all their info is out on Google and ole Eric the Brownshirt already sold to his boy Obama. So what is the big deal?

    I am actually surprised, I guess we really are at the end of the experiment.

    I guess all good things come to an end but without even a mild out cry?

    Maybe people are in shock and are waiting for a white night? It is really rather strange. What are the phone lines in DC doing? People arent really sending political email anymore, not for the last few days.

    Maybe the quiet is good? Anger rising?

    If you get some people together for a march on the capitol and the white house, I’ll bring my broom. I really am not interested in protesting though, I dont think it would do any good because I dont think people care.

  70. Bron,

    People actually do care and you can look up that info to see if it’s accurate. Even if no one else does, why can’t you? Why don’t you protest on your own. A libertarian doesn’t need to wait for other people to do something.

    I’ll try to link you to a poll about people who care. You can also check out the website, The world can’t wait.

    JIll

  71. Americans Disapprove of Government Surveillance Programs
    Americans split on whether leaker did the right or wrong thing
    by Frank Newport

    PRINCETON, NJ — More Americans disapprove (53%) than approve (37%) of the federal government agency program that as part of its efforts to investigate terrorism obtained records from U.S. telephone and Internet companies to “compile telephone call logs and Internet communications.”

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/163043/americans-disapprove-government-surveillance-programs.aspx

  72. TS Eliot from the “Hollow Men”

    This is the way the world ends,
    The World Ends, the world ends,
    Not with a bang,
    But a whimper.

    Substitute “world” with constitution and we see the shspe of things to come.

  73. The lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, NY Chapter, in the federal district court in New York is a nice simple logical Complaint. There is a federal statute which says that any American can go to court and ask a judge to hold a federal agency accountable to the law. In this case the plaintiff is asking a federal judge to tell some federal agencies and their big shot directors that they must follow federal statutes and the constitution when it comes to their MegaDate program. The statute which the lawsuit relies upon is straight and narrow. A federal judge is obligated to declare a practice that violates a federal statute or a constitutional protection to be illegal. Here the statute which the various agencies purport to rely upon when they gather up your private information limits their ability to only spy on foreigners. And, the United States Constitution prohibits the spying upon American citizens— your right to privacy and freedom from search and seizure is protected by the first and Fourth Amendments. The ACLU succinctly pleads this. I would add that the Ninth Amendment protects our privacy as well. But hey, BarkinDog is not suing yet.

    Here is the text of the stature upon which the ACLU relies in their Complaint in the case of ACLU v. Clapper et al. :

    To the extent necessary to decision and when presented, the reviewing court shall decide all relevant questions of law, interpret constitutional and statutory provisions, and determine the meaning or applicability of the terms of an agency action. The reviewing court shall—

    (1) compel agency action unlawfully withheld or unreasonably delayed; and

    (2) hold unlawful and set aside agency action, findings, and conclusions found to be—
    (A) arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law;

    (B) contrary to constitutional right, power, privilege, or immunity;

    (C) in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations, or short of statutory right;

    (D) without observance of procedure required by law;

    (E) unsupported by substantial evidence in a case subject to sections 556 and 557 of this title or otherwise reviewed on the record of an agency hearing provided by statute; or

    (F) unwarranted by the facts to the extent that the facts are subject to trial de novo by the reviewing court.

    In making the foregoing determinations, the court shall review the whole record or those parts of it cited by a party, and due account shall be taken of the rule of prejudicial error.

  74. http://thehill.com/video/house/305047-dem-rep-lawmakers-learned-significantly-more-about-surveillance-programs-in-nsa-briefing (with video)

    NSA revelations only ‘the tip of the iceberg,’ says Dem lawmaker
    By Daniel Strauss – 06/12/13 12:51 PM ET

    The federal surveillance programs revealed in media reports are just “the tip of the iceberg,” a House Democrat said Wednesday.

    Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) said lawmakers learned “significantly more” about the spy programs at the National Security Agency (NSA) during a briefing on Tuesday with counterterrorism officials.

    “What we learned in there,” Sanchez said, “is significantly more than what is out in the media today.”

    Lawmakers are barred from revealing the classified information they receive in intelligence briefings, and Sanchez was careful not to specify what members might have learned about the NSA’s work.

    “I can’t speak to what we learned in there, and I don’t know if there are other leaks, if there’s more information somewhere, if somebody else is going to step up, but I will tell you that I believe it’s the tip of the iceberg,” she said.

    Sanchez’s remarks on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” came a day after House lawmakers were briefed by national security officials on clandestine data collection programs.

    The briefing was meant to convince lawmakers that the surveillance programs are legal and necessary in fighting counterterrorism — an argument President Obama and other administration officials have made.

    Lawmakers demanded the briefings after revelations last week about the NSA’s collection of phone records and Internet data, and Sanchez said lawmakers were “astounded” by what they heard.

    “I think it’s just broader than most people even realize, and I think that’s, in one way, what astounded most of us, too,” Sanchez said of the briefing.

  75. Stop Watching Us.
    https://optin.stopwatching.us/

    The revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance apparatus, if true, represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights. We demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA’s spying programs.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    We write to express our concern about recent reports published in the Guardian and the Washington Post, and acknowledged by the Obama Administration, which reveal secret spying by the National Security Agency (NSA) on phone records and Internet activity of people in the United States.

    The Washington Post and the Guardian recently published reports based on information provided by an intelligence contractor showing how the NSA and the FBI are gaining broad access to data collected by nine of the leading U.S. Internet companies and sharing this information with foreign governments. As reported, the U.S. government is extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time. As a result, the contents of communications of people both abroad and in the U.S. can be swept in without any suspicion of crime or association with a terrorist organization.

    Leaked reports also published by the Guardian and confirmed by the Administration reveal that the NSA is also abusing a controversial section of the PATRIOT Act to collect the call records of millions of Verizon customers. The data collected by the NSA includes every call made, the time of the call, the duration of the call, and other “identifying information” for millions of Verizon customers, including entirely domestic calls, regardless of whether those customers have ever been suspected of a crime. The Wall Street Journal has reported that other major carriers, including AT&T and Sprint, are subject to similar secret orders.

    This type of blanket data collection by the government strikes at bedrock American values of freedom and privacy. This dragnet surveillance violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which protect citizens’ right to speak and associate anonymously, guard against unreasonable searches and seizures, and protect their right to privacy.

    We are calling on Congress to take immediate action to halt this surveillance and provide a full public accounting of the NSA’s and the FBI’s data collection programs. We call on Congress to immediately and publicly:

    Enact reform this Congress to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, the state secrets privilege, and the FISA Amendments Act to make clear that blanket surveillance of the Internet activity and phone records of any person residing in the U.S. is prohibited by law and that violations can be reviewed in adversarial proceedings before a public court;
    Create a special committee to investigate, report, and reveal to the public the extent of this domestic spying. This committee should create specific recommendations for legal and regulatory reform to end unconstitutional surveillance;
    Hold accountable those public officials who are found to be responsible for this unconstitutional surveillance.
    Thank you for your attention to this matter.

    Sincerely,

    Add your name here https://optin.stopwatching.us/

  76. Cameron: “Well said Johnathan and keep it up. I’m sure you are on a serious Government watch list by now.”
    —————

    LOL, a picture of james Clapper AND Lenin in the same posting- oh yea, he’s on a list. The Professor is twitched.

  77. Max-1,

    Your comment was in the spam filter. I suspect the doubled link triggered it. If you have a comment go missing, just say so and if one of the GB’s notices, we’ll check the spam filter (it has been misbehaving lately). No NSA required. However, sometimes WP just plain eats a comment too. Not often, but it has been known to happen.

  78. Good article AP. “Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) said lawmakers learned “significantly more” about the spy programs at the National Security Agency (NSA) during a briefing on Tuesday with counterterrorism officials. ….

    Lawmakers are barred from revealing the classified information they receive in intelligence briefings, and Sanchez was careful not to specify what members might have learned about the NSA’s work.”
    ——————

    My tax dollars, my info, and they can’t tell me?

    The trouble with being in that kind of bubble is that there isn’t anyone that you can talk to that would just roll their eyes an and tell you, “‘Retta, that is so much BS, you go back and ask them this, this, and this.”

  79. The Federal District Court of the Southern District of New York is being asked to hold that the collection of Metadata and information on United States citizens, and on the entity suing, i.e. the ACLU of NY, is in violation of the federal statute passed by Congress which only applies to foreigners and is in violation of the Constitution, to-wit, the First and Fourth Amendments. The summary of this claim found in the Complaint are effectively stated as follows:

    “To the extent necessary to decision and when presented, the reviewing court shall decide all relevant questions of law, interpret constitutional and statutory provisions, and determine the meaning or applicability of the terms of an agency action. The reviewing court shall—

    (1) compel agency action unlawfully withheld or unreasonably delayed; and

    (2) hold unlawful and set aside agency action, findings, and conclusions found to be—
    (A) arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law;

    (B) contrary to constitutional right, power, privilege, or immunity;

    (C) in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations, or short of statutory right;
    ….”
    end

    So, this Federal District Court Judge is being asked to hold that the huge programs implemented by your government are not in accordance with law, are contrary to your constitutional rights, powers, privileges or immunities and are in excess of any statutory right. It will be interesting to see how a Federal District Judge can rule in favor of the government on this matter. One wonders if Eric Holder is not in chambers with the Judge as we speak, “speaking off the record”.

    If anyone knows the name of the judge assigned to the case and if you know anything about the background of the judge, please advise the bloggers here.

    Countdown to the end of America as we knew it. Hope for the best with this lawsuit and others.

  80. Gene H.
    Thanks. Correct. The link was in it twice. Duh!
    p.s. the NSA aside is my satire about the whole thing.

  81. Jill:

    I guess I just thought people wanted liberty, for whatever reason they dont. I think most people are timid souls, or at least I do now, who want security and certainty. So what if the government wire taps every electronic communication device I own? They are keeping me safe say the timid souls.

    I guess I now know how Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, the German people just didnt give a sh*t. I have spent many hours wondering why and it comes down to something that simple, they cared more for their security than they did about their liberty.

    If Mitt Romney were in the Whitehouse right now and this came to light, the left would be whipping us into a frenzy and Mitt would probably be on his way to the congress to tender his resignation, as well he should.

    And if the IRS had been screwing around with the ACLU or moveon.org? They would be calling for the resignation of the top people and prison terms.

    In a just world, he and most of his administration would be in prison awaiting trial for violating their Constitutional oath.

    We need to kick his a$$ down Pennsylvania Ave so he can deliver his resignation to congress. On the way back he should stop at the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial and beg forgiveness for what he and his administration have done to the ideal that was America.

    He should probably also go the National Archives and read the original Declaration and Constitution, apparently those arent taught at Harvard Law School.

  82. What’s funny is that everyone thinks PRISM is a new idea. They have been doing this for DECADES via contractors like AT&T and AMDOCS (i.e. Israelis). They also have been using ECHELON in foreign countries to get around the laws against domestic intelligence thing. Even the FBI has it’s CARNIVOIRE vacuum cleaner. Has everyone forgotten a few years back the NSA having an AT&T employee in San Francisco to plug in one of these intelligence vacuum cleaners into their man fiber trunk (Google: Room 641A)?

    I smell a RED Herring in this Snowdon fella’. I’m pretty sure it’s a honeypot-esque mission for PRC/MSS consumption. I’ll bet Snowden’s in Beijing right now feeding Geng Huichang a load of…(bleep). How in the world can this so-called spook violate his NDA and get away with it? He’s only 29. He doesn’t even rate a pimple on someone’s (more spookish) hiny!

    So he went through Camp Peary and the Sherman Kent School. Then went to Fort Meade, got disgruntled and decided to just drop-kick his NDA into the toilet and his butt straight into a SuperMax with Robert Hanssen with a life sentence in SOLITARY? Or failing that having John O. Brennan order a sanction to have Academi quietly drop into PRC to silence the prick (ala Raymond Allen Davis recently)?

  83. Bron,

    Most people, meaning more than half, think this is wrong. Thanks for adding your voice to others! Don’t give up yet. The administration is pouring out propaganda and it both is and isn’t working. More revelations are coming. It ain’t over yet!

    Congress can read the classified intelligence from the floor of their chambers. Yes they will lose their job and lots worse, but they can’t be prosecuted for doing this and they need to do it.

  84. Another federal lawsuit, this one a class action, was filed in the District of Columbia.

    It points out that the NSA is a military outfit at paragraph 13.

    The ACLU lawsuit filed in the federal court in NY points out that the NSA is a military outfit at paragraph 12.

    That all Americans are spied on by the military can’t be good.

    How about them cowboys heroes.

  85. All you Don’t Tread on Me (Moonies) et al need to stop yer’ b’ing & moaning about Mr. Obama and his dirty little secret (i.e. Prism etc.). He’s not sanctioning this thing to look up YOUR skirt. He is thinking like Michael Coreleone in the God Father: “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

    By spying on EVERYONE, including our so-called friends (i.e. AMDOCS parent country), he can get a bead on what’s REALLY happening out there. Trust me Al-Kaka does NOT use cellphones, Internet, etc when they KNOW the USA spooks are watching (i.e. “chatter”). Even encryption is pointless with the script-kiddies in Fort Mead and Utah running several acres of super-computers to break it.

    Didn’t we learn from the raid on Abbotabad by CIA/ST-6 that UBL was using old floppy disks and text editor to type operational commands? His runners would upload them at Internet cafe’s but most of them where printed on paper and palmed to others or left at dead drops.

    So this so called “surveillance program” is aimed at OTHERS who don’t have any common sense NOT to use this high-technology while Big Brother is watching. That’s usually the high-tech conspirators/traitors that think Obama is listening to little Al-Kakas in caves in SW ASIA or here in CONUS. No… he wants to listen to the REAL enemies of the state like sayanims, katsas, and other so-called “friends” who would dance under bridges while we burn (i.e. http://tinyurl.com/qcpn76t). Or pay terrorists surviving families with their oil-dollars while we protect them at their embassy walking hand in hand down the street (i.e. http://tinyurl.com/pjz2pw7)

  86. If someone could download that new Complaint filed in DC mentioned by Dredd above, it would be good. I opened that tab on the page 3 thing but it would not open. The District of Columbia is a questionable forum to be bringing this suit because you have all of those judges on the DC Court of Appeals who want to be nominated by the defendant Obama (in this suit) to the Supreme Court. Who is the judge assigned to the case? I will go on Pacer and try to find the documents. We are not going to get any help from the lame, the old, the contented Koch Brother retainees in Congress. The lawsuits may be our best hope. Boycott Verizon.

  87. Here are the first few pages of the Complaint filed two days ago in the Federal Court for the District of Columbia by Larry Klayman:

    CLASS ACTION AMENDED COMPLAINT
    Plaintiff, Larry Klayman, a former U.S. Department of Justice prosecutor, and Plaintiffs Charles and Mary Ann Strange (collectively “Plaintiffs”) bring this action on their own behalf and on behalf of a class of persons defined below. Plaintiffs hereby sue Barack Hussein Obama, Eric Holder, Keith B. Alexander, Lowell McAdam, Roger Vinson, Verizon Communications, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”), and the National Security Agency (“NSA”), (collectively “Defendants”), in their personal and official capacities, for violating Plaintiffs’ constitutional
    rights, Plaintiffs’ reasonable expectation of privacy, free speech and association, right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures, and due process rights, as well as certain common law claims, for directly and proximately causing Plaintiffs mental and physical pain and suffering
    3
    and harm as a result of the below pled illegal and criminal acts. Plaintiffs and members of the class pled below allege as follows:

    INTRODUCTION

    1. This is an action for violations of the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. This is also an action for violations of privacy, including intrusion upon seclusion, freedom of expression and association, due process, and other illegal acts. Plaintiffs bring this action on behalf of themselves and all other similarly situated consumers,
    users, and U.S. citizens who are customers and users of Defendant Verizon Communications (“Verizon”).

    2. This case challenges the legality of Defendants’ participation and conduct in a secret and illegal government scheme to intercept and analyze vast quantities of domestic telephonic communications. Specifically, on June 5, 2013, The Guardian posted a classified order from
    the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court directing Verizon to turn over, “on an ongoing daily basis,” the following tangible things: “All call detail records or “telephony metadata” created by Verizon for communications (i) between the United States and abroad;
    or (ii) wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.”

    3. This would give the NSA over one hundred millions phone records on a daily basis. The information would also include a list of all the people that Verizon customers call and who called them; how long they spoke; and perhaps, where they were on a given day. Further, there is nothing in the order requiring the government to destroy the records after a certain
    amount of time nor is there any provisions limiting who can see and hear the data.

    4. The order, issued and signed by Judge Roger Vinson, violates the U.S. Constitution and also federal laws, including, but not limited to, the outrageous breach of privacy, freedom of speech, freedom of association, and the due process rights of American citizens.

    5. This surveillance program was authorized and ordered by the President and primarily undertaken by the NSA and the other Defendants, intercepting and analyzing the communication of hundreds of millions of Americans. Prior to this disclosure and revelation, Plaintiffs and class members had no reasonable opportunity to discover the existence of the surveillance program or the violation of the laws alleged herein.

    6. Defendant Verizon maintains domestic telecommunications facilities over which hundreds of millions of Americans’ telephone communications pass every day. They also manage some of the largest databases in the world containing records of most or all communications made through their myriad telecommunications services and operations.

    7. Defendant Verizon has opened its key telecommunication databases to direct access by the NSA and/or other government agencies, intercepting and disclosing to the government the contents of its customers as well as detailed communication records over one hundred million of its customers, including Plaintiffs and class members. On information and belief,
    Defendant Verizon continues to assist the government in its secret surveillance of over one
    hundred million of ordinary Americans citizens just on a daily basis.
    8. Plaintiffs and members of the class are suing for declaratory relief, damages, and injunctive
    relief to stop this illegal conduct and hold Defendants, individually and collectively,
    responsible for their illegal collaboration in the surveillance program, which has violated the
    law and damaged the fundamental freedoms of American citizens.

  88. The Klayman Complaint alleges First Amendment, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment violations. The ACLU suit omitted the Fifth Amend allegation. I would add the Ninth Amendment for privacy as well and the 14th Amendment for the liberty interests etc. even though many of the defendants are federal actors. Note too: they sue for monetary damages in this suit and not just for declaratory and injunctive relief as was the relief sought in the ACLU case in NY. If you Google: Klayman v. Obama you can find the entire Complaint.

    This Klayman case is also a class action suit.

    The manner in which these cases are brought, framed and litigated matters a great deal to the future of liberty in America and the world. This is bigger than the Pentagon Papers case by far. It is bigger than Dred Scott and like Dred Scott may trigger rebellion.

    Review your Second Amendment rights and opportunities. Get a guide dog who can aim if you have partial blindness.

    Google the website for NC Congressman Walter Jones and look at his letter sent to Obama and others. I tried to publish part of it here on the blog last night.

    Civil libertarians will find some strange bedfellows on this privacy invasion scandal and some of our friends have already gone snake on us. Included in the snake in the grass list are: old lady Feinstein, Al Frankin, Boehner (he was already a toad), and of course the legal advisor who betrays his wife Toobin.

    Snowden is not a clown and neither was Daniel Ellsberg.

  89. NSA surveillance as told through classic children’s books

    As news of the NSA’s secret surveillance programs spread this weekend, Twitter did what it does best: mockery. User Darth asked followers to contribute titles for #NSAKidsBooks, which were then turned into beautifully hilarious works of art. Darth has kindly allowed us to share them

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/gallery/2013/jun/09/nsa-kids-books-twitter-pictures

    The Listening Tree and others…

  90. Blouise,

    I’m still chuckling…

    ===

    fbi-director-mueller-senate-nsa-live

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/13/fbi-director-mueller-senate-nsa-live

    Lies, lies and more lies? (The truth is so damned “inconvenient”…)

    26m ago

    Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah says the Supreme Court has found in the Jones case that it’s unconstitutional to stick a GPS on a vehicle to track a potential suspect. Geolocation of non-suspects has been found to be unconstitutional, he says.

    SO on this phone metadata the government is collecting: does that metadata include geolocation?

    I hadn’t thought of that, Mueller says. I have to check.

    Chaffetz says he should have been prepared for the question because the reps submitted the questions ahead of time.

    “Is there a database of geolocation information that is warehoused by our federal government?” Chaffetz asks.

    “Not that I’m aware of,” Mueller says.

    Mueller apologizes for not prepping for the question. He says he’ll get back to him within the week.

  91. itchinBayDog1, June 13, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    “Rand Paul, son of Ayn Rand, may be in our camp.”

    guess what, the Aynish are all in “your” camp.

    We Aynish like our profit but we like our liberty even more. Profit means nothing without freedom.

  92. OT:

    New CIA Deputy Director hosted ‘Erotica Nights’ at bookstore

    Published time: June 13, 2013 17:03

    http://rt.com/usa/cia-deputy-director-erotica-haines-654/

    The CIA’s new deputy director has an unusual resume: President Barack Obama on Wednesday nominated a woman who previously hosted “Erotica Nights” at a Baltimore bookstore, during which she would light candles and read erotic prose to her guests.

    Avril Danica Haines, deputy assistant to the president and deputy counsel for national security affairs, will soon begin her work as the first female deputy CIA director, replacing Michael Morell. While working in the White House, Haines approved many of the CIA’s covert actions.

    But after she was nominated to become the CIA’s new deputy director, surprising details about her previous employment emerged. About 20 years ago, Haines dropped out of graduate school at Johns Hopkins University and opened an erotic bookstore, which she called Adrian’s Book Café, The Daily Beast reports.

    The Baltimore bookstore regularly featured “Erotica Nights”, during which Haines would light candles, serve dinner and feature readings of erotic prose. The events cost $17 for singles and $30 for couples.

    In an interview with the Baltimore Sun, Haines said she was initially worried that only “dirty old men” would show up to the readings and that her friends accused her of “just wanting a mass orgy in your bookstore.” She defended her work, claiming that erotica can improve relationships.

    “Erotica has become more prevalent because people are trying to have sex without having sex,” Haines, who was in her 20’s during the interview, told the Sun. “Others are trying to find new fantasies to make their monogamous relationships more satisfying. What the erotic offers is spontaneity, twists and turns. And it affects everyone.”

    The Sun reporter attended an event at the bookstore, during which Haines read an explicit passage from a racy book titled “The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty”, which vividly detailed a sexual encounter during which a character lost her virginity.

    Haines’ bookstore did not exclusively sell erotic novels; she stocked titles of many genres, but the erotic readings garnered the most attention.

    Although a history of erotic readings may not be as sensational as former CIA director David Petraeus’ affair with his biographer, Haines’ past is now sparking significant media attention. Howard Barstop, a former neighbor of Haines, was surprised to hear about the woman’s erotic nights, but spoke highly of her, the Daily Beast reports.

    CIA Director John O. Brennan told the Washington Post that Haines “knows more about covert action than anyone in the US government outside of the CIA”. The 43-year-old White House lawyer will be the first female in CIA history to serve as deputy director. But while her missions may be covert, her past employment has become an open book.

  93. OT (sort of)…

    This could prove interesting:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/13/cia-lawsuit-stalling-war-crimes-inquiry

    Undercover CIA agent sues agency over stalled probe of alleged war crimes

    Undercover officer accused of war crimes by the CIA says agency halted an investigation that could have exonerated him

    by Spencer Ackerman in Washington

    Thursday 13 June 2013 14.05 ED

    “Following a specific overseas assignment/activity, John Doe was wrongfully accused of participating in, committing and/or possessing information about war crimes,” the lawsuit reads. “Other CIA employees were also accused.”

    “In connection with internal investigations of John Doe, CIA employees, either with or without authority, initiated physical and electronic surveillance of him, some of which were unlawful,” the lawsuit alleges.

    “The surveillance included harassment tactics undertaken by local law enforcement who were cooperating with the CIA. Other tactics involved corruption of electronic devices such as computers and cellphones. The Federal Bureau of Investigation opened an investigation into CIA’s activities involving John Doe.”

    It adds: “A criminal inquiry was also opened and investigated by the Department of Justice. Without ever interviewing John Doe the matter was closed and prosecution was declined in or around 2011 – 2012,” the lawsuit charges.

    All the lawsuit says about John Doe’s identity is that he is a “former member of the US armed forces and currently serves as a covert paramilitary officer” for the CIA. From 2002-2011 John Doe repeatedly deployed overseas for missions including “offensive operations against individuals designated or viewed as enemies of the United States”.

    John Doe wants the court to compel the CIA inspector general to complete the stalled investigation, which Doe alleges has stalled his career. The inspector general’s office, Doe alleges, is “purposefully refusing to administratively close its investigation in order to discredit or otherwise cause harm to [Doe’s] career”.

  94. In response to one of the anonymous commenters, Lindsey Graham is from SC, not NC. Unfortunately the difference between those states is shrinking. Further, although I’m sure it was a joke, Rand Paul is not the son of Ayn Rand (although she is his namesake)

  95. In response to one of the anonymous commenters, Lindsey Graham is from SC, not NC. Unfortunately the difference between those states is shrinking. -no

    no,

    (-: John Rutherford wrote the piece and I didn’t catch it. I’m surprised that he got it wrong, but as you rightly say… “the difference is shrinking.”

  96. Lindsey Graham: “Raise your right hand and lie after me.”
    Clapper: “I, Chief Clapper, do solemnly swear, itShay, the Constitution, amnDay the American people, and artFay on the Congress.” “So help me Dog.” [he had a guide dog with him]

  97. ap,

    Great link. Bamford is a long time and very astute observer of the intelligence community. He’s also been a vocal critic of their role in the Bush and Obama administrations. I’ve been a fan of his since a friend in the intelligence community suggested that I read “The Puzzle Palace” almost 30 years ago.

  98. Whitney Harris was one of the American prosecutors at the Nuremberg Trials after WWII. He lived in Saint Louis, MO in the years of the 70’s until his death in 2010 at age 97. He advised young lawyers how to try a civil rights case. Here is a snippet from Wikipedia on Whitney and his role in the formation of the International Criminal Court in 1998. The U.S. is not a member. Hopefully it will be a defendant.

    Mr. Harris was a lawyer and Navy officer when the chief prosecutor at the trials, Robert H. Jackson, an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, recruited him as an assistant in 1945. The Office of Strategic Services, precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency, had dispatched Mr. Harris to Europe in the last years of World War II to gather evidence of Nazi atrocities.

    For the 1945-46 tribunal, 24 Nazi officials were indicted; 21 were tried, one in absentia; 18 were convicted; and 3 were acquitted. On the night of Oct. 15-16, 1946, 10 of the convicted were hanged, with Mr. Harris there representing the prosecution. During the trials, he had assisted in the cross-examination of Hermann Goering, Hitler’s designated successor. Goering avoided execution by ingesting cyanide just before the hangings.

    Forty-nine years after the last Nuremberg trial, Mr. Harris and two colleagues, Henry T. King Jr. and Benjamin Ferencz, joined forces to help shape the creation of the International Criminal Court. When delegates from 131 nations met in Rome to establish the court in 1998, their original draft placed war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide under its jurisdiction. The three prosecutors traveled to Rome and lobbied the delegates to broaden the definition of war crimes to include wars of aggression, as opposed to those fought in self-defense or authorized by the United Nations.

    “They used their moral authority; they were persistent, and ultimately the delegates included a reference to the crime of war of aggression in the court’s statute,” said Michael P. Scharf, the director of the International Law Center at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

    The I.C.C. is the first permanent international criminal court in history.

    Whitney Robson Harris was born in Seattle on Aug. 12, 1912, one of two children of Olin and Lily Georgine Harris. After graduating from the University of Washington in 1933, he received his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley. In 1954-55 he was executive director of the American Bar Association.

    Mr. Harris’s first wife, the former Jane Freund, died in 1999. Besides his wife, the former Anna Barwick, he is survived by a son, Eugene; three stepsons, Charles Foster Jr., Christopher Galakatos and Greg Galakatos; a stepdaughter, Theresa Galakatos; four grandchildren; and nine stepgrandchildren.

    In 1948, Mr. Harris returned to the United States to teach law at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. While there he began condensing the voluminous records of Nazi atrocities he had helped recover, including Himmler’s files containing reports of the Gestapo’s systematic mass slaughters.

    His book, “Tyranny on Trial: The Evidence at Nuremberg” (1954), was described by The Times as “the first complete historical and legal analysis of the Nuremburg trial” and “a book of enduring importance.”

    On the 60th anniversary of the international tribunal in 2005, Mr. Harris returned to Nuremburg and walked into Courtroom 600 in the Palace of Justice, the site of the trials. Before an audience of lawyers, judges, scholars and officials, he spoke of the significance of the 1998 treaty in Rome creating the International Criminal Court.

    “Although of the great powers only the United States, China and Russia remain non-signatories,” he said, “Germany, the nation whose despotic leadership brought on the Second World War, was the 23rd nation to ratify.”

    He added, “No more significant approval of the principles of the Nuremberg trial and, indeed, of the principles of law and justice essential to peace on planet Earth, could ever have been made.”

    — end

    BarkinDog here again. We need to study the Nuremberg Trials and the cases made against Kaltenbrunner and later against the defendants in The Judges Trial.

  99. Gene,

    Bamford will be on Democracy Now, tomorrow. (I’m a longtime fan, as well.) It’s hard to believe that “Puzzle Palace” was written some 30 years ago…

    =======

    We’re in one not-so-fine mess…

    http://www.democracynow.org/2013/6/13/chris_pyle_whistleblower_on_cia_domestic

    “As NSA director General Keith Alexander blasts the leaks that exposed widespread surveillance of Americans, we’re joined by Chris Pyle, a former military instructor who exposed the CIA and Army’s monitoring of millions of Americans in the 1970s. Pyle discovered the Army and CIA were spying on millions of Americans engaged in lawful political activity while he was in the Army working as an instructor. His revelations prompted Senate hearings, including Senator Frank Church’s Select Committee on Intelligence, ultimately leading to a series of laws aimed at curbing government abuses. Now teaching constitutional law and civil liberties at Mount Holyoke College, Pyle says the NSA is known for attacking its critics instead of addressing the problems they expose.”

  100. Goerring told a story during his incarceration at Nuremberg that it was he who set the Reichstag Fire. He said that there was an underground tunnel between an office and the Reichstag and that he set the fire and ran back to safety through the tunnel. They convinced President von Hindenburg that it was the Communists who set the fire. The President issued The Reichstag Fire Decree which, like the Patriot Act in 2011, set aside the protections of the German laws or Constitution. They rounded up the Communists, then the Gypsies and Jews. The war came, the Holocaust. These are the 1933 Parallels. Coming to a theatre near you.

  101. When Clapper was interviewed on TV last night it made me think of Curley in the Three Stooges. “Hotsie, Totsie, I smell a Nazi!”

  102. What happened to my comment with quotes from Wikipedia on NY Times v. Sullivan and New York Times v. United States? Is WordPress part of NSA?

  103. I will try again.

    New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964),[1] was a United States Supreme Court case that established the actual malice standard, which has to be met before press reports about public officials or public figures can be considered to be defamation and libel;[2] and hence allowed free reporting of the civil rights campaigns in the southern United States. It is one of the key decisions supporting the freedom of the press. The actual malice standard requires that the plaintiff in a defamation or libel case prove that the publisher of the statement in question knew that the statement was false or acted in reckless disregard of its truth or falsity. Because of the extremely high burden of proof on the plaintiff, and the difficulty in proving essentially what is inside a person’s head, such cases—when they involve public figures—rarely prevail.
    Before this decision, there were nearly US $300 million in libel actions outstanding against news organizations from the Southern states, and it had caused many publications to exercise great caution when reporting on civil rights, for fear that they might be held accountable for libel. After The New York Times prevailed in this case, news organizations were free to report the widespread disorder and civil rights infringements. The Times maintained that the case against it was brought to intimidate news organizations and prevent them from reporting illegal actions of public employees in the South as they attempted to continue to support segregation

    New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971), was a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court on the First Amendment. The ruling made it possible for the New York Times and Washington Post newspapers to publish the then-classified Pentagon Papers without risk of government censorship or punishment.
    President Richard Nixon had claimed executive authority to force the Times to suspend publication of classified information in its possession. The question before the court was whether the constitutional freedom of the press, guaranteed by the First Amendment, was subordinate to a claimed need of the executive branch of government to maintain the secrecy of information. The Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment did protect the right of the New York Times to print the materials.

    -end of Wikipedia

    I put these two synopsis of the two cases here to point out two relevant cases, each brought by the Times of yesteryear. Where are they today?

  104. I tried again to publish the synopsis of two Supreme Ct cases. WordPress is shutting me down. Or is it NSA? Huh? arf, bark, growl. Yep, its them.

  105. Soon us bloggers here will have to employ a bulletin board in Hong Kong to discuss these issues. I would rather be in Iceland.

  106. Lets see this works. Clapper is a great citizen. The NSA is doing its job to gather Megadata. Without Megadata we can not keep Saudis off of planes at Login Airport or their box cutters. America is great.

  107. All I see while scrolling through these rants are challanges of our constitutional rights. Do ya think the founders knew about sattelites, cell phones, computers etc? Do you think they did not spy on people? Of course they did. Just differently. Did they see a third world intent on taking on the greatest nation ever? Transparency is a neccessary way of keeping the public informed, but, there are some things and programs, especially in the intelligence monitoring community that if oversight is needed, then do so in private. Idiots like traitor Snowden, who swore an oath to not reveal his activities, broke the law. I am not worried one second on what information may have been gathered about me. I held a Top Secret clearance for 25 yrs and saw nothing that threatened american citizens not involved in evil activities. We live in a new world people. A world with elements hell bent on destroying the USA, and they are using this technology to do so. I have faith and confidence in the USA? Those of you who do not, find an island in the south pacific and create your libritarian cocoon.

  108. SGT Kelly,

    Good for you…. And some things need surveillance … But the congressional folks and the president also took oaths to uphold the construction of the constitution…..

    With your statement it is clear that you would follow an illegal and unlawful order of a superior and subject yourself to criminal prosecution…. I suppose ole Ollie has a different view on these things now than you do… He sir was prosecuted and held out to dry by the chain of command….

    Would you still follow an illegal or unlawful order? If so you’re no better than the criminal ordering the same….

  109. “Those of you who do not, find an island in the south pacific and create your libritarian cocoon.”

    Thank you for your service. But since you are the one who wants to throw away what some of us, and our fathers before us fought and died to protect, perhaps you should be the one to find an island. You are, after all, the one who wants to change what has worked well for well over two hundred years.

    Actually I hope you will stay to engage in thoughtful discussion.

    Certainly we live in a very different world. And there are grave threats around us.

    The difficult question is what choices preserve as much as possible of our traditional constitutional protection and still give us the best chance to overcome our adversaries.

    I am no pacifist. But I have serous questions regarding new policies like agency warrants which seem to add little to our ability detect terrorists and yet do great harm to our constitution. Even if you argue for the agency warrants, the FBI’s IG itself has acknowledged wide spread abuse of this legal tool despite its great power. What could possibly explain the misuse of the agency warrants except that great power tends to call forth even greater action.

    There are many other examples we could draw from the Patriot act, the implementation and practice of the FISA courts, and NSA practice which some would argue goes far beyond legislation or the knowledge of congress.

    The question is not should we have the tools to defend ourselves. The question is are these tools necessary for our defense or do these tools add little to our capability while posing a great threat to our privacy, and political security.

    These tools are clearly the foundation and the infrastructure of the police state. I don’t fear Obama’s administration or even Bush. But what prevents the next president or the one after that from turning this great security apparatus on the citizens of this nation?

  110. The ACLU suit in the Southern District of New York cites the First and Fourth Amendments. They would be wise to amend and include the Fifth Amendment and the Ninth Amendment. Here is the Fifth Amendment:

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.[1]

    end

    The deprivation of life, liberty or property without due process of law is relevant here, as is the private property taken for public use.

    The plaintiffs in the Klayman case filed in the District of Columbia cited the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments.

    It will be interesting to see what the defendants file in response. I would like to be there if they take the depositions of some of these defendants and ask them about their lies to Congress.

  111. Mike Kelley,

    You might find the link below helpful in reassessing your, “[w]e live in a new world people,” comment. No, it’s not about COINTELPRO — which I’m sure you’re aware of with your twenty-five years of top-secret clearance — and how it wiped out those free-speech SDS commies.

    The linked article, in a humorous way, uses simple matrix analysis on the social connections of historical figures in New England before the Revolutionary War. The results are surprising given the paucity of data.

    At the end of the linked article there is a link to a more detailed and serious analysis if you feel inspired to see both sides of the “new world” you allude to.

    http://kieranhealy.org/blog/archives/2013/06/09/using-metadata-to-find-paul-revere/

  112. I am just a solo ranter on this blog with no experience in life and am willing to look up to someone with staff sgt credentials and what not and my gosh those terrorists are bad. So I will quit ranting about the liars on Capital Hill and go play Ma Jong with the retired folks and let the experts decide our fate.

  113. Yeah, none of us dogs here on the blog know nuthin bout birthin babies and aint been in no military or had experience in national security whether as dogs or as humans in a prior life.

  114. […] President Barack Obama said that he wanted to “reset” relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and bring the countries closer together. He appears to have succeeded. Yesterday, Putin defended Obama in creating a warrantless surveillance system that is much like Russia’s. In the meantime, a leading Chinese dissent in the United States has said that the program reminds him not of Russia but the police state in China. It appears that Obama can finally claim to have broken down the differences between the United States and both Russia and China in his new America. All we had to do is change our whole notion of privacy (as well as other legal concepts like perjury). […]

  115. The Bush administration created the Patriot act. Obama campaigned against the Patriot act and then renewed and expanded it. The American people are now treated like the enemy and the elitist running the country are united in continuing this program that stifles free speech.

  116. Cam,

    Shhhhh…. The George W. Obama supporters/defenders will lynch you….. The truth does not matter…. He’s a democrat and you’re racist because you said something against him…. Tsk, tsk…. You’ll learn….

    Now, if you want to blast Bush for the same thing…. They will be behind you 10000%…,,,

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