Nothing to see here, move along….
How many times can Obama and his supporters, like Julian Epstein (see video clip below for Neil’s meltdown), claim that? Especially when even the most perfunctory review, that could even be accomplished by a crack slinging street corner crawling low IQ Obama supporter with a resulting comment of “Dude, that sh*t is all messed up!”, would prove they are lying in a big bald-faced way?
Here is the latest lie. The FISA court is happy with the nationwide, no worldwide, snooping of phone metadata and Internet traffic of innocent civilians in order to catch terrorists. Apparently, not so much. The only reason we don’t hear about it is the DOJ (that’s Holder’s DOJ) has been trying to squash the complaint. (And according to my French and German reading MENSA bright buddy the people in Germany, France and Britain are FREAKING LOSING THEIR MINDS!!!)
In the midst of revelations that the government has conducted extensive top-secret surveillance operations to collect domestic phone records and internet communications, the Justice Department was due to file a court motion Friday in its effort to keep secret an 86-page court opinion that determined that the government had violated the spirit of federal surveillance laws and engaged in unconstitutional spying.
This important case—all the more relevant in the wake of this week’s disclosures—was triggered after Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a member of the Senate intelligence committee, started crying foul in 2011 about US government snooping. As a member of the intelligence committee, he had learned about domestic surveillance activity affecting American citizens that he believed was improper. He and Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), another intelligence committee member, raised only vague warnings about this data collection, because they could not reveal the details of the classified program that concerned them. But in July 2012, Wyden was able to get the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to declassify two statements that he wanted to issue publicly. They were:
* On at least one occasion the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held that some collection carried out pursuant to the Section 702 minimization procedures used by the government was unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment.
* I believe that the government’s implementation of Section 702 of FISA [the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] has sometimes circumvented the spirit of the law, and on at least one occasion the FISA Court has reached this same conclusion.
For those who follow the secret and often complex world of high-tech government spying, this was an aha moment. The FISA court Wyden referred to oversees the surveillance programs run by the government, authorizing requests for various surveillance activities related to national security, and it does this behind a thick cloak of secrecy. Wyden’s statements led to an obvious conclusion: He had seen a secret FISA court opinion that ruled that one surveillance program was unconstitutional and violated the spirit of the law. But, yet again, Wyden could not publicly identify this program.
Enter the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a public interest group focused on digital rights. It quickly filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Justice Department for any written opinion or order of the FISA court that held government surveillance was improper or unconstitutional. The Justice Department did not respond, and EFF was forced to file a lawsuit a month later.
It took the Justice Department four months to reply. The government’s lawyers noted that they had located records responsive to the request, including a FISA court opinion. But the department was withholding the opinion because it was classified.
EFF pushed ahead with its lawsuit, and in a filing in April, the Justice Department acknowledged that the document in question was an 86-page opinion the FISA court had issued on October 3, 2011. …
This comes back to “who watches the watchers?” statement I made years ago. At some point the funnel of accountability narrows near the top and only a few people control the whole apparatus. As free citizens we can only hope and pray we were smart enough to elect people of moral clarity and with ethical boundaries who don’t seek power for their own agenda. Sometimes we don’t. And all of us pays for it. If the people who voted for Obama were the only ones being snooped on, I’d say serves you right. (and that goes for the GWB people too)
Unfortunately, their loyalty to him has costs all of us our privacy. Obama is correct in saying there is a balance between privacy and security. His problem is where his balance is found is way off the charts of liberty and freedom. The truth is in a free society sometimes bad guys get away and get away with acts. It is the risk we take to be free.
In Epstein’s rant that drove Neil crazy he makes the claim that the difference between GWB and Obama is Obama’s sweeping of innocent citizens data is approved by the FISA court. It is not. Either Epstein can’t read or he hopes when the game of musical chairs for power ends, he’ll be in one or sitting on the lap of someone who does.
He is what the communists call “a useful idiot.”
And here is a NSA whistleblower talking about the size of the sweep. It is twelve minutes worthy of your time.