WH on NSA snooping: You can totally trust us

posted at 8:01 am on June 6, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The White House admitted this morning that the Guardian story last night was accurate — the NSA has been collecting metadata on Verizon’s phone calls for the last couple of months.  Thanks to a secret court order, the phone records and location of calls by over 121 million customers now rest within the vaults of the NSA.  And according to the Associated Press’ White House source, that’s no problem, because we can totally trust them to only do nice things with them, and not be evil and rotten like the previous administration who did pretty much the same thing:

 The White House on Thursday defended the National Security Agency’s need to collect telephone records of U.S. citizens, calling such information “a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats.”

While defending the practice, a senior Obama administration official did not confirm a newspaper report that the NSA has been collecting the telephone records of millions of U.S. customers of Verizon under a top secret court order. …

Under the terms of the order, the phone numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as are location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered, The Guardian said.

The administration official said, “On its face, the order reprinted in the article does not allow the government to listen in on anyone’s telephone calls.”

The AP explains the difference:

The broad, unlimited nature of the records being handed over to the NSA is unusual. FISA court orders typically direct the production of records pertaining to a specific named target suspected of being an agent of a terrorist group or foreign state, or a finite set of individually named targets. NSA warrantless wiretapping during the George W. Bush administration after the 9/11 attacks was very controversial.

They’re conflating a couple of things.  First, the Bush administration did conduct massive data-mining of phone providers in the same way being done here, but the warrantless wiretapping was much more narrow.  That surveillance was conducted on specific phone numbers discovered by intelligence operations that were in use by suspected terrorists, and on calls in which at least one end was in a foreign country.  It was still controversial as the other end of the call was often inside the US and arguably comprised the forbidden practice of intel services spying domestically (the FBI has jurisdiction but has to proceed in criminal court with warrants), and eventually the Bush administration was forced to seek FISA warrants for it. But those were and are two different kinds of operations.

Hypocrisy is an unfortunately ubiquitous condition in politics, but in the case of NSA seizing Verizon’s phone records, it’s particularly widespread.  Some of the people expressing outrage for the Obama administration’s efforts at data mining had a different attitude toward it when Bush was in office.  Conversely, we’ll see some people defending Obama who considered Bush evil incarnate for the same thing.

Either way, we’re left with the situation of having the federal government seizing private records without any meaningful civil due process that engages the citizens affected, whether that includes actual wiretaps or just cataloguing our calls and movements.  Perhaps this will move this issue out of the partisan sphere and into a common ground in which we can all work to define exactly how far we’re willing to go in trading privacy for security.  In order to get there, we’d all better recognize the hypocrisy that has abounded on this issue for far too long, and start thinking about higher principles than party affiliation when it comes to national security and constitutional protections.

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The AP reports the court order for this was granted on April 25.

Now what happened just before that date that could be related to terrorism and possible phone calls from east coast areas to locations outside of the USA? Something about a couple of “knock-off” “lone wolf” jihadis in Boston IIRC.

farsighted on June 6, 2013 at 10:07 AM

A caveat: Many court orders only last for a certain period of time and must be renewed periodically. This order lasts for 90 days, which is one of the more commonly-ordered time periods (10 & 30 day orders are also quite common).

IMHO, it would be a mistake to assume that this is the first order. The 25 April 2013 order may have just been a perfunctory renewal of a previous order. IOW, this could have been going on for years with orders being issued every 90 days.

Resist We Much on June 6, 2013 at 10:16 AM

The AP reports the court order for this was granted on April 25.

Now what happened just before that date that could be related to terrorism and possible phone calls from east coast areas to locations outside of the USA? Something about a couple of “knock-off” “lone wolf” jihadis in Boston IIRC.

farsighted on June 6, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Maybe…

or

Tandem with this which has been in the works for a while…story dated 4/28/2013

“A government task force is preparing legislation that would pressure companies such as Face­book and Google to enable law enforcement officials to intercept online communications as they occur, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with the effort.

Driven by FBI concerns that it is unable to tap the Internet communications of terrorists and other criminals, the task force’s proposal would penalize companies that failed to heed wiretap orders — court authorizations for the government to intercept suspects’ communications.

Rather than antagonizing companies whose cooperation they need, federal officials typically back off when a company is resistant, industry and former officials said. But law enforcement officials say the cloak drawn on suspects’ online activities — what the FBI calls the “going dark” problem — means that critical evidence can be missed…

“The importance to us is pretty clear,” Andrew Weissmann, the FBI’s general counsel, said last month at an American Bar Association discussion on legal challenges posed by new technologies. “We don’t have the ability to go to court and say, ‘We need a court order to effectuate the intercept.’ Other countries have that. Most people assume that’s what you’re getting when you go to a court.”

There is currently no way to wiretap some of these communications methods easily, and companies effectively have been able to avoid complying with court orders. While the companies argue that they have no means to facilitate the wiretap, the government, in turn, has no desire to enter into what could be a drawn-out contempt proceeding.

Under the draft proposal, a court could levy a series of escalating fines, starting at tens of thousands of dollars, on firms that fail to comply with wiretap orders, according to persons who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. A company that does not comply with an order within a certain period would face an automatic judicial inquiry, which could lead to fines. After 90 days, fines that remain unpaid would double daily.

Instead of setting rules that dictate how the wiretap capability must be built, the proposal would let companies develop the solutions as long as those solutions yielded the needed data. That flexibility was seen as inevitable by those crafting the proposal, given the range of technology companies that might receive wiretap orders. Smaller companies would be exempt from the fines.

The proposal, however, is likely to encounter resistance, said industry officials and privacy advocates.

“This proposal is a non-starter that would drive innovators overseas and cost American jobs,” said Greg Nojeim, a senior counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology, which focuses on issues of privacy and security. “They might as well call it the Cyber Insecurity and Anti-Employment Act.”

The Obama administration has not yet signed off on the proposal. Justice Department, FBI and White House officials declined to comment. Still, Weissmann said at the ABA discussion that the issue is the bureau’s top legislative priority this year, but he declined to provide details about the proposal…”

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-04-28/world/38885216_1_wiretap-proposal-companies

workingclass artist on June 6, 2013 at 10:17 AM

This is sounding worse than it did initially – Katherine Herridge on Fox said it is more intrusive than actually listening to conversations.

Holy crap.

tru2tx on June 6, 2013 at 10:20 AM

“The importance to us is pretty clear,” Andrew Weissmann, the FBI’s general counsel, said last month at an American Bar Association discussion on legal challenges posed by new technologies. “We don’t have the ability to go to court and say, ‘We need a court order to effectuate the intercept.’ Other countries have that. Most people assume that’s what you’re getting when you go to a court.”

Circumventing the Constitution cause who needs that rusty flawed document written by dead white imperialists anyhow…

workingclass artist on June 6, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Toward a More Perfect Tyranny (Belmont Club)

Tyranny is no longer imaginary, it does not exist in A FEW paranoid ‘extremists” minds……

Sir Napsalot on June 6, 2013 at 10:21 AM

This is sounding worse than it did initially – Katherine Herridge on Fox said it is more intrusive than actually listening to conversations.

Holy crap.

tru2tx on June 6, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Indeed!

Given the mobil apps and network sharing…Yep!

workingclass artist on June 6, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Tyranny is no longer imaginary, it does not exist in A FEW paranoid ‘extremists” minds……

Sir Napsalot on June 6, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Hmmmmmm……what was it that King Hussein said at that Ohio State graduation about not listening to people who speak of tyranny?

Next up: firing squads.

tru2tx on June 6, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Alexander, NSA, was just shown on video under testimony before Congress in the past declaring the NSA is not, does not, collect communication records on American citizens…does not spy on American citizens….

DOH!

easyt65 on June 6, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Google “Spencer Ackerman” or “EFF” and Hot Air.

There is only one user here at Hot Air who was all over this story as it built up. I provided links directly to Ackerman’s Danger Room and the EFF over several months.

Next time I speak. Please ignore me again so that I can catch you making a fool of yourself when you repeat my very premise. Loser.

So many of you rejected what I was saying just you don’t like me. Now you’re all up in arms. You’re so phony. You’ve been given marching orders so now you can speak up.

You’re a coward and a unoriginal sap.

Capitalist Hog on June 6, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Just like FBI can kill that guy in Florida, because “we say he’s a bad guy, trust us”?

Sir Napsalot on June 6, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Next up: firing squads.

tru2tx on June 6, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Kill squads. Or worse.

dogsoldier on June 6, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Resist We Much on June 6, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Maybe. Maybe not. Hard to say. Hopefully we will find out.

AP reports the order granted April 25 is good through July 19.

If this was going on before April 25 the Feds should have a record of The Tsarnaev Brothers call records from past months and years, or at least the ones easily traced to them.

But even if it wasn’t, the phone companies are legally required to archive several years worth of call records. I forget how many, 5 years maybe. It would be interesting to find out if the Feds have subpoenaed archived call records as well as capturing them in real time since at least April 25.

Then again, it may have nothing to do with the “lone wolf” jihad brothers. But the timing is interesting.

farsighted on June 6, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Flake sounded so squishy on msdnc about this

Cripe

Yeah it started under bush but it was targeted not a broad net…. geez does the ha crew need to give these guys talking points

cmsinaz on June 6, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Msdnc talking point…..bush started this!!!!!

cmsinaz on June 6, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Lets face it… Verizon can’t be the only company. They’re probably all doing it.

Drudge has a link up that the FBI is demanding a backdoor to all software. I guess that means they want to the right to snoop into your computer at will.

So what is the point of all of this? What is the point of electing Representatives and Senators and a President? What’s the point of our constitution and courts? Why even have a constitution? Are we even America any more?

For that matter? Why did we fight against Fascism during WWII? Today is D-Day. And yet.. looking at what our nation is doing now.. listening to our so called elected leaders and looking at where we are headed.. is it not towards Fascism?

If they can get away with listening and monitoring all our movements and words anytime they feel like it.. without probable cause we are committing crimes… then how much further is it to just visit us in the middle of the night? To stop by our homes whenever they feel like it and search our closets. Order us out onto our lawns face down on the ground? Interrogate us until we confess to the lies they make up?

Hey look.. some in congress would defend it.. “If you’ve done nothing wrong you’ve got nothing to worry about.” Isn’t that what Lindsey Graham just said about the government spying on our phone conversations?

Oh.. they would never go that far? Seriously? Who would stop them? Congress? Would they have more hearings?

Forget about gay marriage and taxes and a few of the other important issues out there for a moment… right now the most important issues are what kind of government are we going to have? Are we a free people or not? do we have freedom of speech or not? Do people have a right to express opposition to the political ideas of our elected officials? Do we have the right to self government?

These are the questions of the day. None of the others matter right now.. as important as they are because if we lose our freedom of speech and our freedom to govern ourselves and our right to be secure in our own homes then we will lose all the other issues as well!

JellyToast on June 6, 2013 at 10:40 AM

I’ve got a question for our legal minds (staring at you RWM and others).

The court order was signed off by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA).

The NSA is collecting all the metadata from Verizon customers within the United States.

Can you see the question?

Does the FISA court even have jurisdiction?

Inquiring minds and all.

D-fusit on June 6, 2013 at 10:41 AM

farsighted on June 6, 2013 at 10:31 AM

It appears to be a ‘rubber stamp’ order, according to the WaPo, NatJour, etc, meaning that it was just a continuation of a previous order.

Resist We Much on June 6, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Does the FISA court even have jurisdiction?

Inquiring minds and all.

D-fusit on June 6, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Good question. I need to look into it.

Resist We Much on June 6, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Drudge has a great headline and pix to this. Hoo-ha!

tru2tx on June 6, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Using the Boston bombing as excuse is not going to cut it. This admin ignored, IGNORED, leads repeatedly. Before the event.

Afterwards, instead of following those leads belatedly with specifics/targets, the admin cast the widest net possible to obtain phone records. All in the name of national security.

Just like the martial law during the hunt down of the brothers in Boston-Watertwon area.

Some said it was a rehearsal, it looks to be less and less of a tinfoil hat rant.

Sir Napsalot on June 6, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Good question. I need to look into it.

Resist We Much on June 6, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Thanks Sophie, you da best.

D-fusit on June 6, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Can’t wait to hear the next lib defend abortion with the “constitutional right to privacy” argument.

JellyToast on June 6, 2013 at 10:55 AM

And remember this one important fact—President Obama only knows anything about these transgressions by reading about it in the newspapers, and NEVER communicates with his cabinet or his advisers.

All is well………..

No worries, right?

Rovin on June 6, 2013 at 8:18 AM

This always make me chuckle. A POTUS that never knows what’s going on & only gets his news from media sources.

I never supported the PAtriot Act. It is UnConstitutional. It is a horrible thing. I don’t care if it was Reagan who was pushing it, it STILL is a bad thing.

I see someone here said they liked it when Bush was doing it, but they don’t like it now.
This attitude is why we are all less free. Good intentions, the road, & Hell.
It is exactly why I lean more Libertarian than anything else. Well really, I am just a Constitutionalist.
You can’t pick out the parts you like & do away with the parts you don’t.
You want to be a Progressive nannyist a-hole? Do it at the local level. Put the $hit up for a vote & let your neighbors decide.
The Federal Govt has done so much it is specifically not allowed to do & we have people who are supposed to be conservatives crying for more.
Disgusting.
Bcs this is the $hit it leads to. Every damned time.

Badger40 on June 6, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Just like the martial law during the hunt down of the brothers in Boston-Watertwon area.

Some said it was a rehearsal, it looks to be less and less of a tinfoil hat rant.

Sir Napsalot on June 6, 2013 at 10:54 AM

That was one of the most pathetic outrageous things I’ve seen in a long time.
That $hit would never happen where I live. PErhaps in the city. Seems cowards & morons tend to gravitate there. Although I realize rural areas don’t have a monopoly on common sense.
And I live by some stupid as well.
I’m just glad i live where a lot of this crap only affects me marginally so far, if at all.

Badger40 on June 6, 2013 at 11:00 AM

THE MAJORITY OF REPUBLICAN MEN IN CONGRESS ARE NOTHING LESS THAN F—–S! THERE’S NOTHING LEFT TO SAY ANYMORE, AND I AM REALLY FED UP WITH MAKING JOKES ABOUT IT ON SITES LIKE THIS WHILE THEY SIT UP THERE AND DO NOTHING. I WISH PANCREATIC CANCER ON ALL OF THEM AND I HOPE ALL OF THEIR LOVED ONES SUFFER. I SIMPLY CANNOT TAKE MUCH MORE OF THIS. WHERE THE F-CK IS BOEHNER? DRUNK AGAIN? ON THE GOLF COURSE AGAIN? LICKING BARRY’S A-HOLE AGAIN? THE HEAT FROM A GAZILLION SUNS DOES NOT ADEQUETLY MEASURE MY HATRED FOR ALL OF THEM.

GhoulAid on June 6, 2013 at 11:02 AM

JellyToast on June 6, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Gay marriage, taxes, gun control, all seem to be those shiny objects we always fear that while attention is on them, we aren’t watching what the other hand is doing.

Now we are slowly finding out and it just gives me a cold sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

tru2tx on June 6, 2013 at 11:03 AM

You just got back from two tours in Iraq, so you call your sister in Mexico.

Her boyfriend Abu uses her phone to call his father in Yemen. His father’s phone in Yemen is known to send and receive calls from suspected Al Qaeda members in five countries.

While you’re in San Diego next weekend, Abu’s dad calls and asks to talk to him.

Just hope they don’t catch you calling the head of a Right to Life group too or the jig is up for you, mister.

Akzed on June 6, 2013 at 11:12 AM

It appears to be a ‘rubber stamp’ order, according to the WaPo, NatJour, etc, meaning that it was just a continuation of a previous order.

Resist We Much on June 6, 2013 at 10:49 AM

I just saw that. Fournier’s article linked in Ed’s post about DoJ investigation of leak…

3. This appears to be a “rubber stamp,” order, reissued every few months since 2001. As is the case with all government programs, the systematic snooping into your telephone records is unlikely to ever expire without public outcry.

Looks like President HopeyChangey, who was appalled and outraged over this program and practice when Chimpy BusHilter and Darth Cheney did it, hasn’t changed a thing.

farsighted on June 6, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Does the FISA court even have jurisdiction?

Inquiring minds and all.

D-fusit on June 6, 2013 at 10:41 AM

FISA grants the authority, the fake warrant. The “couurt” never rejects application requests to gather data.

Obama cannot blame Bush for this since he is doing pretty much the same thing without the facade of a “court hearing.”

FISA – **** it, stupid Americans.

That’s what they think of you.

Capitalist Hog on June 6, 2013 at 11:16 AM

GhoulAid on June 6, 2013 at 11:02 AM

So, what about the Dims in Congress? Does everyone just give them a pass because, well, know and fully expect them to be intolerable D-Bags and already know they’re going to do everything they can to GUT the Constitution?

I’m right there with you on the despicable Repubes in Congress. They should be strung up the same as the Dims. But we need to make sure we call out the TRUE evil that is behind all of this, PROGRESSIVISM.

Meople on June 6, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Citizens need the right to dispute warrants, especially those involving multiple LEO agencies. As it stands, FISA can issue warrants that you would not know about until you’re sitting in jail or popped by a drone.

Capitalist Hog on June 6, 2013 at 11:21 AM

I call BS on the “national security” excuse.

The feds ignore people like the Boston Bomber Brothers and Maj. Hasan, who are actually planning to kill and talking about it. But now if they find unusual phone numbers they’re going to swoop in and…do what exactly?

PattyJ on June 6, 2013 at 11:22 AM

We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.”

–Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Why We Can’t Wait, 1963

PatriotRider on June 6, 2013 at 11:24 AM

But we need to make sure we call out the TRUE evil that is behind all of this, PROGRESSIVISM.

Meople on June 6, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Your entire comment contradicts itself.

You try to sound reasonable. But then you reveal your compulsion to certify yourself as hardcore conservative. Idiot.

Power, that’s what this is about.
Lazy Americans gave it up because they didn’t want another 9/11. (Nobody wanted to be accused of having a “pre 9/11″ mindset.) Congress sucked it up because GOVERNEMT lives on the blood of Americans…that’s it’s power source.

Congress will never loosen its grip once acquired. Congress is partisan in chambers but united on issues of congressional powers and pay raises.

Capitalist Hog on June 6, 2013 at 11:27 AM

If there was nothing sinister behind this, they would have pulled the records of JUST the people they’re investigating and their contacts.

The fact that they’re pulling ALL the records, for EVERY customer, means they are investigating EVERYONE, that they suspect EVERYONE to be a threat.

And Verizon is only the first one we KNOW about. If they got the records from Verizon, you can bet your A$$ they did the same with AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and every other one they could coerce into doing it.

Meople on June 6, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Like I can trust my health insurance premiums will go down? Like I can trust that guns wouldn’t be sold to those who will take them across the Mexican/US border? Like I can trust our embassies will be safe?

I think not. I don’t trust anything the WH says or does.

sadatoni on June 6, 2013 at 11:28 AM

–Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Why We Can’t Wait, 1963

PatriotRider on June 6, 2013 at 11:24 AM

**** yeah!

How apropos.

Capitalist Hog on June 6, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Your entire comment contradicts itself.

You try to sound reasonable. But then you reveal your compulsion to certify yourself as hardcore conservative. Idiot.

Power, that’s what this is about. Lazy Americans gave it up because they didn’t want another 9/11. (Nobody wanted to be accused of having a “pre 9/11″ mindset.) Congress sucked it up because GOVERNEMT lives on the blood of Americans…that’s it’s power source.

Congress will never loosen its grip once acquired. Congress is partisan in chambers but united on issues of congressional powers and pay raises.

Capitalist Hog on June 6, 2013 at 11:27 AM

I AM A HARDCORE CONSERVATIVE. Dipsh!t. I have never made ANY posts here that conceal or obfuscate that fact in any way. And I’m ALSO VERY reasonable. The Dims in Congress are just as much to blame, if not more so, than the Repubes.

And Congress will never stop doing this until America stops electing Dimocrat and Repube-ican PROGRESSIVES.

What, you think progressivism isn’t what’s driving this entire right-stomping, Constitution-shredding effort? Because if you don’t, you’re blind.

Meople on June 6, 2013 at 11:36 AM

What, you think progressivism isn’t what’s driving this entire right-stomping, Constitution-shredding effort? Because if you don’t, you’re blind.

Ever take a road trip? There’s more than one driver. That’s all I’m saying. Partisanship prevents you from accepting that I guess.

Great retort. I mean that. Rock on.

Capitalist Hog on June 6, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Did like it when Bush did it, don’t like it now. The only difference now for me is that I never believed Bush had the desire to target his fellow Americans as enemies because they refused to agree with him.

Obama, yeah, we’ve seen nothing but 6 straight years of him dividing this country by pitting one American against another.

He’ll use whatever means he can to destroy anyone that is not in lockstep with his worldview.

ButterflyDragon on June 6, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Bush kept the scope narrow though. We can argue about whether or not we were comfortable with the Bush administration’s use of such information gathering, but I never believed a warrant was required for phone calls reaching beyond our borders.

NotCoach on June 6, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Ever take a road trip? There’s more than one driver. That’s all I’m saying. Partisanship prevents you from accepting that I guess.

Great retort. I mean that. Rock on.

Capitalist Hog on June 6, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Yes, and there are progressives in both the Dimocrat and Republican ranks. You think RINO’s like Grahamnesty and McCain aren’t Republican progressives?

And yes, you bet your ass I’m partisan. Anyone who claims they’re NOT partisan, in today’s world is either blissfully and completely uninformed or LYING.

Meople on June 6, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Feinstein just snapped…totally went insane….by declaring that she believes in Holder’s integrity, in his honor, in his ability to lead, & said she thought he was a good Attorney General…

Yeah, BESIDES the FACT that he helped acquire the pardon of mega-tax evader Mark Rich…

…besides the FACT that he helped acquire a pardon for members of the terrorist group FALN (who did not even want a pardon) & did so by HIDING DOCUMENTS during the process…

…beside the FACT that he attempted to acquire pardons/leniency for 2 Weathermen Underground terrorists (Buddies of Obama’s Weatherman Underground Buddy, Bill Ayers) who were caught transporting 740 lbs of explosives they were going to use to blow up the White House…

…besides the FACT that Holder stepped in to drop criminal charges on New Black Panthers who brandished weapons & threatened/intimidated voters back in 2008…

…besides the FACT Holder refused to detain/arrest/charge/jail illegal immigrants for committing any criminal charges LESS than a felon – as per Obama’s orders…

…besides the FACT that Holder perpetrated 3 (THREE) Felony Counts of PERJURY before Congress during the ‘Fast & Furious’ scandal…

…besides the FACT that the only reason Holder is not in jail for those Perjury charges is because the DOJ refused to charge their boss with the crimes – leaving Congress with no other option but to CENSURE Holder thus making him the only AG in US history to be Censured…

…besides the FACT Holder recently perpetrated ANOTHER Felony Count of Perjury before Congress by initially declaring under oath that he knew NOTHING about the wire-tapping of the AP or any other news media when it was HE who authrized it to begin with…

…yeah besides ALL OF THAT, Holder has impecable integrity, honor, honesty, and is an awesome Attorney General!

easyt65 on June 6, 2013 at 11:57 AM

US media fail to break EVEN ONE of the major Obama scandals…

….The same media that has bending over backward to protect Obama from all of these scandals turns out to have been betrayed & snooped on by Obama….awesome.

easyt65 on June 6, 2013 at 12:03 PM

After 90 days, fines that remain unpaid would double daily.

workingclass artist on June 6, 2013 at 10:17 AM

That’s brilliant. We can just put the companies out of business and then the terrorists can’t communicate. /s

chemman on June 6, 2013 at 12:13 PM

This type of sweeping, wholesale data gathering is actually in violation of the relevant Patriot Act sections and is a fundamental violation of the Fourth Amendment.

The government cannot, not matter what the reasoning, arbitrarily and without specific probable cause gather private information on citizens in such a haphazard, sweeping fashion. In that action, they have declared that a large section of our population is suspect, simply because they own a phone. They have used as a “compelling concern” the guise of impending terrorist actions. Nothing could be more disingenuous.

Clearly this administration has crossed a line in which zealousness and political motives have trumped both wise leadership and Constitutional limits.

Whether it is the IRS, Press Spying or cover-ups in Benghazi this administration has clearly shown it works against the American people and does not have their best interests at heart, nor deserve their trust.

It is a sad day for both our democracy and future when such actions are acceptable. They are not and clearly it’s about time the despots in Washington were removed.

Marcus Traianus on June 6, 2013 at 12:24 PM

I don’t understand why Obama hasn’t closed down the NSA.

I heard him say many times Al-Qaeda is on the run and what’s his name is dead, so why not end all this spy stuff??

fred5678 on June 6, 2013 at 12:29 PM

fred5678 on June 6, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Because Conservativesd still outnumber Liberals in America.

kingsjester on June 6, 2013 at 12:39 PM

“The only logical conclussion now is that the Obama administration has not only seized all Verizon customer phone records but ALL customer records from EVER phone company.”

easyt65 on June 6, 2013 at 1:11 PM

I don’t understand why Obama hasn’t closed down the NSA.

I heard him say many times Al-Qaeda is on the run and what’s his name is dead, so why not end all this spy stuff??

fred5678 on June 6, 2013 at 12:29 PM

The NSA wasn’t created to combat Al-Qaeda.

segasagez on June 6, 2013 at 1:12 PM

–Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Why We Can’t Wait, 1963

PatriotRider on June 6, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Please. You would’ve been calling King a communist with the rest of white America in the sixties, but conveniently use him now I guess. *BARF*

The NSA wasn’t created to combat Al-Qaeda.

segasagez on June 6, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Now we’re getting somewhere. I wondered when conservatives would start to connect the dots between Obama’s violations in civil liberties and the legacies of the Cold War and the notion of permanent crisis. This is not a new moment in American politics. And its no less strident than McCarthyism. The entire Bush years, you had Fox and conservative talk radio beating the drum of “imminent attack” of the importance of “pre-emptive strikes” because we could be hit at “any moment.” Do you think you can spend a decade making those arguments and their influence on the political culture just end when power changes hands. Sorry boo, that’s not how it works. If you want to oppose Obama on this, its time to start opposing perma-war. Its time to sto opposing the very rhetoric of “War on Terror,” its time to interrogate the intellectual underpinnings of this notion that “irrational” foreign actors require unconstitutional state actions.

Because now liberals are using it, Toure and Bill Maher being horrible examples (though thankfully, they allow progressives on their shows who beat them down, something Rush would never do with Paul-esque libertarians in the Bush years). Its time for to start defying a *culture* of war, are you ready or do you just hate Obama?

libfreeordie on June 6, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Apples and oranges

Schadenfreude on June 6, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Explosion under Obama…a leftie with a still functioning brain…

Schadenfreude on June 6, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Did the NSA listen in on Romney Campaign phone calls? Did they share that info with White House? No? Prove it.

patch on June 6, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Frankly, I would trust NSA with my personal information more than I would trust the Dept. of Justice. If I am doing nothing wrong, chances are good NSA isn’t going to go on a fishing expedition to see if I was contacting political opponents of the Democrats. Justice under Holder? I wouldn’t put anything past them.

crosspatch on June 6, 2013 at 2:50 PM

*BARF*

libfreeordie on June 6, 2013 at 1:52 PM

It would be nice if you stopped doing that around here.

NotCoach on June 6, 2013 at 4:11 PM

One day after the Guardian unearthed evidence that the National Security Agency had secretly obtained the phone records of millions of Verizon customers, the Washington Post reports that the NSA and FBI have been “tapping directly” into the servers of nine of the largest American Internet companies through a secret program code-named PRISM.

According to the report, PRISM was established in 2007 and “the only members of Congress who know about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues,” and were thus unable to publicly voice opposition. Through the program, the government has allegedly been able to extract audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs — all of which can enable one to track a person over a long period of time.

Yawn.

Capitalist Hog on June 6, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Tell that to Gen. David Petraeus!

Pole-Cat on June 9, 2013 at 12:33 AM

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