GOP intel chair: Phone-record collection helped the feds stop a terrorist attack in the last few years

posted at 4:01 pm on June 6, 2013 by Allahpundit

Does this mean Obama’s going to defend the NSA’s policy rather than give one of his “I’m righteously outraged by my own policies” speeches? Because I kind of enjoy when he does his Hamlet shtick for the O-bot peanut gallery to remind them that he cares about civil liberties deep down as much as they do.

He’s at least going to give us a let-me-be-clear presser at which he refers to the security/liberty conundrum as a “false choice,” right?

Between Graham’s cri de coeur on behalf of records-snooping this morning and now this breadcrumb from Mike Rogers, O’s got bipartisan cover to go to the mat on behalf of his agency:

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) says that the National Security Agency program tracking Verizon telephone records helped thwart “a significant case” of terrorism in the United States “within the last few years.”

“Within the last few years, this program was used to stop a terrorist attack in the United States. We know that. It’s important. It fills in a little seam that we have,” Rogers told reporters Thursday. ”And it’s used to make sure that there is not an international nexus to any terrorism event if there may be one ongoing. So in that regard, it is a very valuable thing,” Rogers said.

When pressed later for more details, Rogers said the committee is “working on trying to get this declassified in a way that we can provide more information. We’re not there yet. But it was a significant case that happened within the last few years.”

The White House is also reportedly scrambling to declassify details about the NSA program, no doubt with an eye to highlighting its successes and not its excesses. And so the race is on: Will details about the thwarted terror attack be officially declassified before Obama’s inner circle leaks them to the Times to make him look good, the way they have with so many other national-security stories? Whichever way it shakes out, expect no DOJ investigation.

Needless to say, as a matter of political damage control, this is exactly the right way to handle the Guardian’s big NSA/Verizon scoop. Joshua Foust’s grumpy but entertaining post last night after the news broke is, I suspect, correct: Most Americans don’t care much about data-mining under normal circumstances. According to a National Journal poll released this afternoon, fully 85 percent think it’s “likely” that their communications history is already available to government and business. It’s not that they’re happy about their info being accessible (well, Lindsey Graham is), it’s that they’ve apparently accepted it as a fact of post-9/11 life. The scope of the mining in the Verizon order and the bipartisan outcry over it might make them care more, especially if they feel that the cost of data-mining to privacy vastly outweighs the benefits. Enter Rogers and Feinstein to insist that no, the benefits are quite high after all. It’s actually saving lives. What they mean by that, we’ll have to wait and see. Stand by for details as the inevitable leak/declassification of the secret thwarted terror attack happens.

While we wait, via Mediaite, here’s Patriot Act author Jim Sensenbrenner shocked that the law he wrote is enabling record-harvesting on this scale. Little late for that now, no?


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Obama’s Police State

Schadenfreude on June 6, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Becoming more convinced than ever that Ms Lindsey is just as much a threat to freedom as her hero in the WH.

cynccook on June 6, 2013 at 4:06 PM

working on trying to get this declassified in a way that we can provide more information

1. Summer blockbuster

2. 17 Agents die in chopper shootdown

You mean, like that?

faraway on June 6, 2013 at 4:07 PM

The phone records issue isn’t a real scandal. Benghazi, IRS, and the FBI affidavit making accusations about James Rosen all are, but monitoring communications doesn’t rise to that level. And if it stopped another 9/11 (which perhaps he’ll come up with evidence of), then that sounds like a good program.

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 4:07 PM

I’m sure Jeffrey Rosen’s parents will be thrilled to hear that!

/S

viking01 on June 6, 2013 at 4:07 PM

I feel so much better now…

d1carter on June 6, 2013 at 4:07 PM

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) says that the National Security Agency program tracking Verizon telephone records helped thwart “a significant case” of terrorism in the United States “within the last few years.”

Boston? Ah, just kidding…

joejm65 on June 6, 2013 at 4:07 PM

James…. Jeffrey, whichever…

viking01 on June 6, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Really, yet the Ruskie’s call you on the same phone giving you immediate warning on the Boston bomber kids and you guys did NOTHING?

Am I even the same species as other humans any more? When did going through life being full of sh1t become the norm for world population?

ClassicCon on June 6, 2013 at 4:08 PM

So the Boston Bombers weren’t using phones…?

d1carter on June 6, 2013 at 4:09 PM

The problem is even if you’re cool with the government monitoring your phone records, there’s the hypocrisy of Obama and virtually the entire American left freaking out during the Bush Presidency over the wiretapping of phone calls. Or is this another instance where the left is fine with it because “they trust Obama over Bush with this kind of power”.

Doughboy on June 6, 2013 at 4:09 PM

working on trying to get this declassified in a way that we can provide more information

1. Summer blockbuster

2. 17 Agents die in chopper shootdown

You mean, like that?

faraway on June 6, 2013 at 4:07 PM

KAPOW!

Brilliant post.

ToddPA on June 6, 2013 at 4:09 PM

the National Security Agency program tracking Verizon telephone records helped thwart “a significant case”

The question isn’t whether it was helpful in any situation, but whether it put investigators in contact with the suspect to begin with. If not, then the same results could have been had by simply getting a warrant for the communications of the suspect, rather than observing everyone and everything.

Dead Hand Control on June 6, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Spot on with the leak that will make dear leader look awesome

cmsinaz on June 6, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Panetta leaks details of the Bin Laden mission in time to make it into a movie flattering to Obama, but that helps land a freedom loving Pakistani doctor in the hoosegow, but they can’t give us any details of a thwarted attack that only costs us our civil liberties. Right!!

Deano1952 on June 6, 2013 at 4:11 PM

how do you thwart attacks by looking at phone calls? They didnt listen in, they didnt have names assocated…they juts looked at numbers and figured out who to arrest and that there was a threat ….

we need to kkeep these guys in power as long as we can…they are magical

cmarceron on June 6, 2013 at 4:11 PM

If the Verizon-NSA scandal stood all by itself, that would be one thing. But it doesn’t. It falls within a fast-emerging pattern of snooping, overreaching data collection and lawless intimidation, which makes it much more creepy.

petefrt on June 6, 2013 at 4:12 PM

“Within the last few years, this program was used to stop a terrorist attack in the United States. We know that. It’s important. It fills in a little seam that we have,” Rogers told reporters Thursday.

If we could just get the cameras in every room, the implanted GPS tracking chips with audio receivers, and the barcode tattoos for everyone we could stop even more attacks.

Wouldn’t that be great? We’ve still got some “seams” left to fill.

gekkobear on June 6, 2013 at 4:13 PM

So what? It is not enough to trample our rights and steal our liberty.

With All Due Respect, Andy McCarthy…

Resist We Much on June 6, 2013 at 4:13 PM

working on trying to get this declassified in a way that we can provide more information

1. Summer blockbuster

2. 17 Agents die in chopper shootdown

You mean, like that?

faraway on June 6, 2013 at 4:07 PM

I’m certain scriptwriters are working on that for the WH now…It’ll be an ABC mini-series…tie it into the upcoming Killary bio-pic

workingclass artist on June 6, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Leftists are never liberal or progressive, never.

Schadenfreude on June 6, 2013 at 4:14 PM

GOP intel chair: Phone-record collection helped the feds stop a terrorist attack in the last few years

GOP rushing to bail Obama out, again.

Doomberg on June 6, 2013 at 4:14 PM

White House calls #NSA phone record program a ‘critical tool,’ says no calls monitored

How would the White House know ?
Have they already read next week’s newspapers ?

burrata on June 6, 2013 at 4:15 PM

The problem is even if you’re cool with the government monitoring your phone records, there’s the hypocrisy of Obama and virtually the entire American left freaking out during the Bush Presidency over the wiretapping of phone calls. Or is this another instance where the left is fine with it because “they trust Obama over Bush with this kind of power”.

Doughboy on June 6, 2013 at 4:09 PM

This.

Complaining about a “right to privacy” is a bad route to take, but demanding that Obama pick a set of principles and stick with them isn’t.

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 4:15 PM

GOP rushing to bail Obama out, again.

Doomberg on June 6, 2013 at 4:14 PM

I know, right? It’s almost enough to make a cynical, suspicious person believe that the DOJ has incriminating phone records or something to make them fall in line. Maybe even recordings and video.

cynccook on June 6, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Those who give up their freedom for security will have neither, or similar. Too lazy to look up.

Schadenfreude on June 6, 2013 at 4:17 PM

1. Terrorist like the Boston bombers, shoe bomber, underwear bomber, Times Square bomber, etc. all were never caught prior to their crimes.

2. American lose more privacy and rights.

So this is horsesh*t.

tetriskid on June 6, 2013 at 4:17 PM

So the Boston Bombers weren’t using phones…?

d1carter on June 6, 2013 at 4:09 PM

They used Obamaphones, those are exempt !

burrata on June 6, 2013 at 4:19 PM

1. Terrorist like the Boston bombers, shoe bomber, underwear bomber, Times Square bomber, etc. all were never caught prior to their crimes.

2. American lose more privacy and rights.

So this is horsesh*t.

tetriskid on June 6, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Yet other people have been caught prior to committing crimes, like Najibullah Zazi for instance. Regardless, the threat is real and the government should respond to it.

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 4:21 PM

GOP rushing to bail Obama out, again.

Doomberg on June 6, 2013 at 4:14 PM

I know, right? It’s almost enough to make a cynical, suspicious person believe that the DOJ has incriminating phone records or something to make them fall in line. Maybe even recordings and video.

cynccook on June 6, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Sometimes I wonder if the DNC has a photo of Boehner with a bottle in one hand and a cub scout in the other.

viking01 on June 6, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Some Americans are smarter than others:

”Those who give up their liberty for more security neither deserve liberty nor security.”

-Ben Franklin

BierManVA on June 6, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Schadenfreude on June 6, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Something for you. ; )

Bmore on June 6, 2013 at 4:21 PM

thwarted terror attack

Sure.

VorDaj on June 6, 2013 at 4:21 PM

heh, all phones are now Obamaphones!

faraway on June 6, 2013 at 4:21 PM

How about Obama just resign as say it thwarted a terror attack.

VorDaj on June 6, 2013 at 4:22 PM

tracking Verizon telephone records helped thwart “a significant case” of terrorism in the United States “within the last few years.”

It was a bunch of patriotic Americans who were going to have a discussion on the Constitution.

rbj on June 6, 2013 at 4:23 PM

One terrorist attack and how many conservative groups thwarted from organizing? These intrusions will be just like Planned Parenthood – one mammogram for every 1000 abortions. Instead it will be one Muslim terrorist plot for every 1000 conservative Americans spied on.

iamsaved on June 6, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Recovery (of everyone’s data) Summer number 5? 6? 10?

T.S.S. on June 6, 2013 at 4:25 PM

How about Obama just resign as say it thwarted a terror attack.

VorDaj on June 6, 2013 at 4:22 PM

If it saved one life…!!!

Resist We Much on June 6, 2013 at 4:26 PM

the National Security Agency program tracking Verizon telephone records helped thwart “a significant case”

Yeah sure, and Hussein and Holder do not run guns for drug mafia and jihadies…..

burrata on June 6, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Yet other people have been caught prior to committing crimes, like Najibullah Zazi for instance. Regardless, the threat is real and the government should respond to it.

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Does that make every single American a terror suspect like Andrew McCarthy & Lindsey Graham seem to think?

Why can’t we profile instead of going after every American?

tetriskid on June 6, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Sometimes I wonder if the DNC has a photo of Boehner with a bottle in one hand and a cub scout in the other.

viking01 on June 6, 2013 at 4:21 PM

And it staggers the imagination to wonder what they could have on Senator Lindsey….

cynccook on June 6, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Grassroots conservatives and registered Republicans have been moving slowly away from support of the Patriot Act for years. I do not think that a majority of conservatives are solidly against this because we can beat up Obama with it.

Many of us who supported the war on terror are tired of wars like Afghanistan, do not want to enter Syria (with may be an exception of special ops secured chemical weapons), and we are tired of nation building with peoples that will ultimately hate us anyway.

I don’t care that they do not know the content of our calls (at least we think?); the government does not need to know who you call, in what pattern, and for how long. Furthermore, the clueless establishment Rs do not know that being on the right side of this debate is the key to winning the WH. It will not matter if Hillary runs or not. The Democrats will be toast if Republicans stand up for liberty.

mwbri on June 6, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Mike Rogers is my Congressman. He joined John McCain, Miss Lindsey and company in condemning Michele Bachmann and others who wanted to ensure that Muslims, especially those with Muslim Brotherhood ties, but he has no problem with this. Am I the only one who sees an inconsistency?

bw222 on June 6, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Alert: Ice flakes spotted on surface of Hell.

President Obama’s Dragnet: All Credibility is Lost – NYTimes Editorial Board

petefrt on June 6, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Pigs are pigs … and I don’t give a f&@k if they have an “R” or a “D” by their names.

With a very few exceptions, all of them seek to lord over us – their only dispute is which Party will do the lording.

F&@k them all.

OhEssYouCowboys on June 6, 2013 at 4:29 PM

How about Obama just resign and say it thwarted a terror attack.

VorDaj on June 6, 2013 at 4:22 PM

If it saved one life…!!!

Resist We Much on June 6, 2013 at 4:26 PM

It would certainly save a lot of heartburn.

VorDaj on June 6, 2013 at 4:30 PM

The phone records issue isn’t a real scandal. Benghazi, IRS, and the FBI affidavit making accusations about James Rosen all are, but monitoring communications doesn’t rise to that level. And if it stopped another 9/11 (which perhaps he’ll come up with evidence of), then that sounds like a good program.

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Maybe not exactly a scandal, but I don’t think I can go with the idea that the fax that it was used to save lives can be allowed to conclude that it’s a good program, a compelling as that may sound on first glance.

Basically almost every government power could be used, at some point some time, to save a life; that’s the nature of power. So the “it saved lives” argument is a recipe, in the long-run, for absolute government power.

RINO in Name Only on June 6, 2013 at 4:30 PM

Does that make every single American a terror suspect like Andrew McCarthy & Lindsey Graham seem to think?

Why can’t we profile instead of going after every American?

tetriskid on June 6, 2013 at 4:27 PM

I’m all for profiling as an efficiency tactic. My one reservation is that al Qaeda will always be on the lookout for someone who beats the established profile (e.g. police profiles of the DC snipers from years ago were originally supposed to be 1, not 2, men, and it was supposed to be a white guy rather than 2 black guys per the profile).

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 4:31 PM

The phone records issue isn’t a real scandal. Benghazi, IRS, and the FBI affidavit making accusations about James Rosen all are, but monitoring communications doesn’t rise to that level. And if it stopped another 9/11 (which perhaps he’ll come up with evidence of), then that sounds like a good program.

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Maybe not exactly a scandal, but I don’t think I can go with the idea that the fact that it was used to save lives can be allowed to conclude that it’s a good program, a compelling as that may sound at first.

Basically almost every government power could be used, at some point some time, to save a life; that’s the nature of power. So the “it saved lives” argument is a recipe, in the long-run, for absolute government power.

RINO in Name Only on June 6, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Mike Rogers is my Congressman. He joined John McCain, Miss Lindsey and company in condemning Michele Bachmann and others who wanted to ensure that Muslims, especially those with Muslim Brotherhood ties, but he has no problem with this. Am I the only one who sees an inconsistency?

bw222 on June 6, 2013 at 4:29 PM

And don’t forget, Marco Wormio joined in on the pile on.

VorDaj on June 6, 2013 at 4:32 PM

“Within the last few years, this program was used to stop a terrorist attack in the United States. We know that. It’s important. It fills in a little seam that we have,” Rogers told reporters Thursday.

If we could just get the cameras in every room, the implanted GPS tracking chips with audio receivers, and the barcode tattoos for everyone we could stop even more attacks.

Wouldn’t that be great? We’ve still got some “seams” left to fill.

gekkobear on June 6, 2013 at 4:13 PM

I just wanted to give gekkobear’s post a bump.

It is dead-on.

F&@k ‘em all.

The future of America is tyranny, oppression and the police state – because that’s the future that the People will allow.

OhEssYouCowboys on June 6, 2013 at 4:33 PM

And it staggers the imagination to wonder what they could have on Senator Lindsey….

cynccook on June 6, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Two cub scouts?

viking01 on June 6, 2013 at 4:33 PM

Sometimes I wonder if the DNC has a photo of Boehner with a bottle in one hand and a cub scout in the other.

viking01 on June 6, 2013 at 4:21 PM

I’ve suspected for awhile they had something on Boehner.

McCain and Graham have made their careers on being Democrat moles so I think it’s less likely with them.

Doomberg on June 6, 2013 at 4:33 PM

1. Terrorist like the Boston bombers, shoe bomber, underwear bomber, Times Square bomber, etc. all were never caught prior to their crimes.

2. American lose more privacy and rights.

So this is horsesh*t.

tetriskid on June 6, 2013 at 4:17 PM

True but don’t you remember when they thwarted that HUGE terrorist plot in…….ummmm…..uhhhhh…..where was it again?…..ummm….yea, me niether. This is bu!!shit.

VegasRick on June 6, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Becoming more convinced than ever that Ms Lindsey is just as much a threat to freedom as her hero in the WH.

cynccook on June 6, 2013 at 4:06 PM

I’ve been convinced of it. Him and McCain are not only a threat to our civil liberties but our national security.

jawkneemusic on June 6, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Maybe not exactly a scandal, but I don’t think I can go with the idea that the fax that it was used to save lives can be allowed to conclude that it’s a good program, a compelling as that may sound on first glance.

Basically almost every government power could be used, at some point some time, to save a life; that’s the nature of power. So the “it saved lives” argument is a recipe, in the long-run, for absolute government power.

RINO in Name Only on June 6, 2013 at 4:30 PM

I think we need to know more details before we can actually know. If, as some other commenters have replied, they were referring to something like Boston, then the idea that it prevented anything is ludicrous. If, on the other hand, we have something prevented like the plot to flood lower Manhattan by bombing tunnels, then we’d have something far more substantive to assess it.

When it comes to justifying government power though, I’d love to hear Harry Reid say how funding the Cowboy Poetry Slam saves American lives. =P

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 4:35 PM

So the Boston Bombers weren’t using phones…?

d1carter on June 6, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Yeah, but the NSA agents or machine/text decoder/automatic translator weren’t fluent in or set for Russian :) hence, they bungled it :)

jimver on June 6, 2013 at 4:35 PM

And if it stopped another 9/11 (which perhaps he’ll come up with evidence of), then that sounds like a good program.

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 4:07 PM

The Nazi medical experiments produced a lot of science that is still used today, but that doesn’t mean that the Nazi State was a good thing.

Resist We Much on June 6, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Does that make every single American a terror suspect like Andrew McCarthy & Lindsey Graham seem to think?

Why can’t we profile instead of going after every American?

tetriskid on June 6, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Andrew McCarthy is a former federal prosecutor. Apparently he sees all Americans as prosecution possibilities. Like that old line about if your only tool is a hammer, you see everything as a nail.

VorDaj on June 6, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Wait wait
……………

….Obama wants to record phone data for a war on terrorists that does not exist?

LIARS!

IMPEACHMENT
JAIL

TX-96 on June 6, 2013 at 4:37 PM

How about a program along these lines limited to Muslims who aren’t U.S. citizens and who are making calls overseas?

BuckeyeSam on June 6, 2013 at 4:37 PM

The Nazi medical experiments produced a lot of science that is still used today, but that doesn’t mean that the Nazi State was a good thing.

Resist We Much on June 6, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Well, if taking phone records somehow results in wrongful imprisonment, murder, or using people’s hides as lampshades, I might be a bit more receptive to the analogy.

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 4:37 PM

I’ve suspected for awhile they had something on Boehner.

McCain and Graham have made their careers on being Democrat moles so I think it’s less likely with them.

Doomberg on June 6, 2013 at 4:33 PM

I’d also want to know what they’ve got on Orrin Hatch.

How quickly that guy can do a 180-degree turn on some votes would make championship ice skaters jealous.

…. not to mention JustUs Benedict Roberts who probably has Charles Hughes rolling in his grave.

viking01 on June 6, 2013 at 4:38 PM

I got a robo-email from one of my illustrious Senators on the Farm Bill. Here’s my response:

I don’t care about the Farm Bill, but I do care that as a Verizon customer, the government is snooping on me. I do care that the IRS is targeting Americans, that 4 Americans were killed in Benghazi and our military was prevented from helping them, that Obamacare is an abject disaster, that the HHS Secretary is raising money from private sources (which was what got the Iran Contra scandal going). Let’s hear about those issues.

When will I hear Sen. Stabenow’s condemnation of any of the above issues?

8 weight on June 6, 2013 at 4:38 PM

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Why stop at phone records, SP? You also support a national gun registry and, probably, a national DNA database, too.

I have to say this for ya: “For a Virgil Goode voter, your so-called ‘principles’ are, to say the least, interesting.”

Resist We Much on June 6, 2013 at 4:41 PM

yeah, like i’m gonna believe some declassified info from the feds

burserker on June 6, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Why stop at phone records, SP? You also support a national gun registry and, probably, a national DNA database, too.

I have to say this for ya: “For a Virgil Goode voter, your so-called ‘principles’ are, to say the least, interesting.”

Resist We Much on June 6, 2013 at 4:41 PM

What can I say? I’m an interesting fellow. =P

I voted for Virgil Goode due to the Constitution Party’s social conservatism and economic populism. In certain areas they’re still too libertarian and federalist for my tastes, but they were far closer politically to myself than either Obama or Romney, and they haven’t yet shown problems of betraying their word (possibly because they’re earnest, or possibly because they haven’t had a chance to).

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 4:45 PM

I remember during Bush years, whenver there used to be a news report about a terrorist attack being thwarted, that crazy Olby used to go on a rant about how that report was timed to take the heat off the slayer of civil liberties–Bush !
I hope someone at Bozell’s place digs up those hilarious clips, as also the clips of other marxists yapping about civil rights and privacy of islamic terrorists during the Bush Years.

burrata on June 6, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Bunch of damn liars .
You know if we stopped any terrorist attack
o would still be crowing about it .

Lucano on June 6, 2013 at 4:54 PM

“The administration has now lost all credibility. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it.”

Who said that?

The editorial board of the New York Times.

I’m not sure that the sun isn’t going to set in the east tonight.

natasha333 on June 6, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Any techy familiar with telephone switching and Call Detail Records can surmise how powerful a tool this can be in tracking and busting up a terror cell before they strike.

Also, if you want to, say, focus the power of this on to a couple of those pesky Tea Party groups.

All depends on the honor of those low level, rogue agents.

bloviator on June 6, 2013 at 5:00 PM

I guess since the NSA program only deals with terrorists and potential terrorists, there must be millions of potential terrorists in the U.S.

hawksruleva on June 6, 2013 at 5:02 PM

tracking Verizon telephone records helped thwart “a significant case” of terrorism in the United States “within the last few years.”

Yea, right. DHS uses the same logic to confiscate shampoo and feel up granny and humiliate parapalegics in the airport. There just MIGHT be a granny with a pipe bomb in her underwear, you never know. The problem with these policies is that once they’re in effect, they never go away, kind of like tollways that are only used until the highway is paid off.

scalleywag on June 6, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Well, if taking phone records somehow results in wrongful imprisonment, murder, or using people’s hides as lampshades, I might be a bit more receptive to the analogy.

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 4:37 PM

So, after someone is in jail or dead, you’ll be willing to admit that there might have been some overreach? How magnanimous of you.

Why worry about being in prisoned, though? After all, the government can protect your more in a jail cell than if you’re wandering about, wherever you want. I mean, you want to keep Americans safe above all else, right?

hawksruleva on June 6, 2013 at 5:07 PM

“Within the last few years, this program was used to stop a terrorist attack in the United States. We know that. It’s important.”

Rogers is full of shiite.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 6, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Again. We are relying on government to be benevolent, as a matter of blind faith. Has that ever worked out well for anyone in the history of mankind? If there is a need to change the statute or constitution to allow for critical action to be taken, make the changes. Don’t just assume tyrannical authority to do whatever you want. Disgusting. Most disgusting are these GOP clowns.

besser tot als rot on June 6, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Why stop at phone records, SP? You also support a national gun registry and, probably, a national DNA database, too.

I have to say this for ya: “For a Virgil Goode voter, your so-called ‘principles’ are, to say the least, interesting.”

Resist We Much on June 6, 2013 at 4:41 PM

SP wants tyranny. He just wants it to be a “social conservative” – as he defines it – tyranny.

besser tot als rot on June 6, 2013 at 5:15 PM

tracking Verizon telephone records helped thwart “a significant case” of terrorism in the United States “within the last few years.”

Yea, right. DHS uses the same logic to confiscate shampoo and feel up granny and humiliate parapalegics in the airport. There just MIGHT be a granny with a pipe bomb in her underwear, you never know. The problem with these policies is that once they’re in effect, they never go away, kind of like tollways that are only used until the highway is paid off.

scalleywag on June 6, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Let’s also take the wholesale confiscation of the Verizon records and put together the IRS mission to subvert the rights of conservatives.

I don’t care WHAT “significant case” was thwarted with this information, we can’t TRUST this administration with keeping these records.

It’s not beyond the realm of this group to consider the political use of this information, tying numbers with names of people within the Tea Party groups that the IRS has been pursuing. This information could then be potentially handed over to newspapers and activist groups to hound individuals.

Not possible? This bunch has already done it in other forms. Why not with this?

itsspideyman on June 6, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Hey NSA- 17:05 was a wrong number. Please don’t include it in my profile.

Seriously, If the system is so damned good at preventing terrorism why did the Boston Marathon end in death and dismemberment? The living terrorist was still texting till he was taken down? You couldn’t have checked them out all those months the Russians were telling the FBI and CIA that something was going to happen.

It’s only because of Obama that what might have been a case of domestic terrorism turned out to only be a couple lone wolves (who apparently traveled in a pack). /

Happy Nomad on June 6, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Hahaha, oh god, this is rich. Everyone’s getting a quick lesson on the real differences between the parties. I weep for the nation.

libfreeordie on June 6, 2013 at 5:19 PM

So, after someone is in jail or dead, you’ll be willing to admit that there might have been some overreach? How magnanimous of you.

Why worry about being in prisoned, though? After all, the government can protect your more in a jail cell than if you’re wandering about, wherever you want. I mean, you want to keep Americans safe above all else, right?

hawksruleva on June 6, 2013 at 5:07 PM

If someone ends up in jail who doesn’t belong there, or ends up dead, yes, that would definitely be evidence of overreach and grounds for criminal prosecution of government officials.

As for imprisonment, yes, I want to keep Americans safe and alive. And in some cases, we arrange for protective custody. But if we’re going to deny people en masse the ability to freely move about, it is preferable to deny that ability to the guilty, who would use it to cause harm, than the innocent who would not. The best reason for doing otherwise would be to keep the innocent out of the line of fire while hunting the guilty (see: Boston).

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Or is this another instance where the left is fine with it because “they trust Obama over Bush with this kind of power”.

Doughboy on June 6, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Why sure, cause they know Obama will only use the phone data to monitor his enemies: The Tea Party, NOM, Right to Life, Conservatives, Republicans. You know, the enemies of the State.

BigAlSouth on June 6, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Don’t most criminals use burner phones anyways? Why would terrorists be signing a ridiculous contract with Verizon when they could go to the corner Bodega and buy an untrackable phone and not have their name assosciated with it?

Seems to me that this does more to target lawful citizens than it does to catch terrorists. Kind of like putting more restrictions on lawful gun owners. This is nonsense.

Of course it is easier to catch the bad guys if you trample on everyone’s rights. It would be easier to catch terrorists/criminals if the FBI were allowed to do door-to-door searches without a warrant too, but I don’t see anyone asking for that…yet.

If the Federal government is doing this with the major cell phone companies, there is little doubt in my mind that they are doing this with major internet service providers as well.

The logic they have used to justify this program have far reaching implications beyond just the simple use of a cell phone.

Are Visa and Mastercard giving purchase histories to the Feds?
Are ISP’s giving internet traffic and history to the Feds?
Are landline phone companies giving call information to the Feds?
Is the Postal Service tracking what mail you are sending and receiving?

The list goes on and on if the cell phone tracking is justifiable behavior.

weaselyone on June 6, 2013 at 5:22 PM

SP wants tyranny. He just wants it to be a “social conservative” – as he defines it – tyranny.

besser tot als rot on June 6, 2013 at 5:15 PM

If by “tyranny” you mean I want rigorous law enforcement and the proportional administration of justice, then I proudly admit to it. Rather than rescind government powers which can be used for good, I think it is appropriate to pass other laws which regulate how those powers are to be used, and when violated, to prosecute said officials. That way you maximize the good and minimize the bad.

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 5:22 PM

I weep for the nation.

libfreeordie on June 6, 2013 at 5:19 PM

You’re still weeping for the fall of your beloved USSR? No surprise. You lefties were real;ly hit hard by that.

Don’t worry, your ineligible, retarded Sukarno knock-off has brought even worse here.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 6, 2013 at 5:23 PM

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) says that the National Security Agency program tracking Verizon telephone records helped thwart “a significant case” of terrorism in the United States “within the last few years.”

I tend to give Mike Rogers and Pete Hoekstra some benefit of the doubt when they make these comments- given their position as Chair of the House Intelligence Committee.

But Mr. Rogers needs to let us know if “within the last few years” means under the rat-eared tyrant or under GWB. It’s important to know because we don’t know just how long data mining has been going on nor do we know how effective it has been.

Secondly, we need to know how the data has been used. The same methods and software that can target potential terrorist activity also could be used by the administration to figure out just who the RNC, a journalist, or a pro-life group is talking to. I don’t trust this administration enough to believe that they are protecting the information when there is political gain to be made out of spying on Americans.

Finally the scope of this practice needs to be justified by the NSA and the administration.

Only after all of the above are accomplished, should we figure out about where the leak came from (it was a top secret NOFORN document) and why it was the British press that printed it even with their laws. I guess the NYT or WaPo was more intent on covering up the scandal that this has become.

Happy Nomad on June 6, 2013 at 5:26 PM

If “rogue employees” at the IRS can release confidential donor information on a non-profit why can’t “rogue NSA” employees do the same with phone records?

weaselyone on June 6, 2013 at 5:29 PM

If by “tyranny” you mean I want rigorous law enforcement and the proportional administration of justice, then I proudly admit to it. Rather than rescind government powers which can be used for good, I think it is appropriate to pass other laws which regulate how those powers are to be used, and when violated, to prosecute said officials. That way you maximize the good and minimize the bad.

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 5:22 PM

Nope. Not what I mean. You want big government to have ultimate power over everyone. And I guess you’re just hoping that you get the right kind of tyrant. One who will impose your beliefs on everyone else. Good luck with that.

Rather than rescind government powers which can be used for good, I think it is appropriate to pass other laws which regulate how those powers are to be used, and when violated, to prosecute said officials. That way you maximize the good and minimize the bad.

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 5:22 PM

Hah! That’s what the founders tried to do with the constitution and bill of rights. But that is wholly ignored. By the government and by you. You are operating from a starting position that the government has absolute and total power (tyranny) and you’re hoping to limit that power so that the government and the people in government use that power for benevolence? Not for their own nefarious purposes? HAHAHAHA. Are you high?

besser tot als rot on June 6, 2013 at 5:31 PM

If “rogue employees” at the IRS can release confidential donor information on a non-profit why can’t “rogue NSA” employees do the same with phone records?

weaselyone on June 6, 2013 at 5:29 PM

My first HA post today talked about a crisis of trust in government. The growing list of scandals makes it harder and harder to escape consequences. Any one of these scandals would be “survivable” but taken in sum total……. we’ve got a rogue government trying to steal our civil rights and destroy this nation.

Happy Nomad on June 6, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Obama is spying so that he knows which knife fight to bring a gun to. So that he can get in their faces. Punish his enemies, and reward his friends. Punch back twice as hard. Keep a boot to their throat. Oh, and tyranny from government can’t happen here.

Cousin Pookie: Can you hear me yet? LOL. You’re free to move about the country.

ndanielson on June 6, 2013 at 5:33 PM

The phone records issue isn’t a real scandal. Benghazi, IRS, and the FBI affidavit making accusations about James Rosen all are, but monitoring communications doesn’t rise to that level. And if it stopped another 9/11 (which perhaps he’ll come up with evidence of), then that sounds like a good program.

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 4:07 PM

I notice you left the AP phone records scandal out of this. Are you OK with DoJ monitoring the activities of reporters? Because it’s a pretty good bet that some of these Verizon phone logs belonged to reporters, and maybe to whistleblowers, too.

hawksruleva on June 6, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Hah! That’s what the founders tried to do with the constitution and bill of rights. But that is wholly ignored. By the government and by you. You are operating from a starting position that the government has absolute and total power (tyranny) and you’re hoping to limit that power so that the government and the people in government use that power for benevolence? Not for their own nefarious purposes? HAHAHAHA. Are you high?

besser tot als rot on June 6, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Many dictators start from the thought that they can make society better. Communism was supposed to create a utopian society.

hawksruleva on June 6, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Obama famously has used a Blackberry smart phone while in office. I wonder if his cell phone is covered under this surveillance?

How many people in the administration are subject to this program?

weaselyone on June 6, 2013 at 5:50 PM

I notice you left the AP phone records scandal out of this. Are you OK with DoJ monitoring the activities of reporters? Because it’s a pretty good bet that some of these Verizon phone logs belonged to reporters, and maybe to whistleblowers, too.

hawksruleva on June 6, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Dude. He’s okay with it all. He just wishes that the government would also force people to live their lives according to his beliefs (which, I will grant, I generally think people should live by, but don’t find it my place to force people or have the government force people to make the right choices).

besser tot als rot on June 6, 2013 at 5:53 PM

I think it is appropriate to pass other laws which regulate how those powers are to be used, and when violated, to prosecute said officials. That way you maximize the good and minimize the bad.

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 5:22 PM

Like this?

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

weaselyone on June 6, 2013 at 5:56 PM

Like this?

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

weaselyone on June 6, 2013 at 5:56 PM

Bingo. Which isn’t violated by obtaining phone records. To be illegal per the 4th, it must be unreasonable, involve both search and seizure, and the search must involve a place, which a phone record is not. The 4th is meant to protect against warrant-less raids of people’s private residences, not against the gathering of records.

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 6:02 PM

I notice you left the AP phone records scandal out of this. Are you OK with DoJ monitoring the activities of reporters? Because it’s a pretty good bet that some of these Verizon phone logs belonged to reporters, and maybe to whistleblowers, too.

hawksruleva on June 6, 2013 at 5:37 PM

I don’t mind the DOJ’s monitoring of the AP, no. What I do mind is the FBI affidavit where they deliberately pulled accusations out of their rears about James Rosen being an aider, abettor, or co-conspirator in helping North Korea who represented a flight risk. There was absolutely nothing to support that, and the FBI deserves to be nailed on perjury for that.

Stoic Patriot on June 6, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Hahaha, oh god, this is rich. Everyone’s getting a quick lesson on the real differences between the parties. I weep for the nation.

libfreeordie on June 6, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Laughing while weeping?

itsspideyman on June 6, 2013 at 6:18 PM

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