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Glenn Greenwald surgically dismantles the Obama administration's reassurances that the recently-revealed National Security Agency (NSA) programs are subjected to rigorous oversight from the surveillance court:

Top secret documents obtained by the Guardian illustrate what the Fisa court actually does – and does not do – when purporting to engage in "oversight" over the NSA's domestic spying. That process lacks many of the safeguards that Obama, the House GOP, and various media defenders of the NSA are trying to lead the public to believe exist.
I discussed the FISA Court on Breaking the Set with Abby Martin:

Since whistleblower Edward Snowden first disclosed that the NSA is conducting routine, ongoing, widespread domestic surveillance on millions of innocent Americans, something my NSA whistleblower clients Thomas Drake, Bill Binney, and J. Kirk Wiebe have warned about for years, the Obama administration (and its' pundit apologists) have been scrambling to explain how the NSA's blanket domestic surveillance is authorized by laws intended to collect foreign intelligence.

Watch Fran Townsend squirm on CNN's The Situation Room as Wolf Blitzer explains the breaking news that the NSA does vacuum up content as well as metadata.

Greenwald's article reveals that despite assurances from the government, many NSA analysts have access to Americans' electronic data without first getting court approval based upon individualized suspicion.

The decisions about who has their emails and telephone calls intercepted by the NSA is made by the NSA itself, not by the Fisa court, except where the NSA itself concludes the person is a US citizen and/or the communication is exclusively domestic. But even in such cases, the NSA often ends up intercepting those communications of Americans without individualized warrants, and all of this is left to the discretion of the NSA analysts with no real judicial oversight.

. . .

In sum, the NSA is vacuuming up enormous amounts of communications involving ordinary Americans and people around the world who are guilty of nothing. There are some legal constraints governing their power to examine the content of those communications, but there are no technical limits on the ability either of the agency or its analysts to do so. The fact that there is so little external oversight is what makes this sweeping, suspicion-less surveillance system so dangerous. It's also what makes the assurances from government officials and their media allies so dubious.

Greenwald's article is a must-read next chapter in the debate sparked by whistleblower Snowden's disclosures. If the government wants the American public to trust them, the government should provide more than just discredited assurances.

Originally posted to Jesselyn Radack on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 05:37 AM PDT.

Also republished by Whistleblowers Round Table.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (137+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Pissed Off Liberal, dance you monster, LaFeminista, DRo, xxdr zombiexx, toby esterhase, renzo capetti, crystal eyes, ScienceMom, OutcastsAndCastoffs, AliceNYC, ctsteve, TheGeneral, maryabein, k9disc, lunachickie, NonnyO, greenbastard, Demeter Rising, Rithmck, triv33, Deep Harm, cosmic debris, ask, Crider, Medium Head Boy, smiley7, katiec, Lady Libertine, gulfgal98, truong son traveler, Victor Ward, 420 forever, Heart of the Rockies, JohnWKelly, No Exit, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, polecat, JDWolverton, hubcap, 4kedtongue, Rizzo, Ray Pensador, muddy boots, lostinamerica, ek hornbeck, Shockwave, run around, jrooth, SteveLCo, Joieau, Kentucky Kid, Gooserock, bobswern, petulans, CharlesInCharge, Preston S, Damnit Janet, JVolvo, gypsytoo, allenjo, Sun Tzu, albrt, gerrilea, paradox, MrJayTee, clarknyc, David Futurama, StateofEuphoria, ffour, CIndyCasella, evergreen2, also mom of 5, radarlady, vigilant meerkat, Lost Left Coaster, Norm in Chicago, Keone Michaels, CroneWit, ZhenRen, enhydra lutris, gooderservice, joanneleon, CitizenOfEarth, MKinTN, KenBee, Liberal Thinking, rlochow, artisan, T100R, Yellow Canary, sceptical observer, Mr Robert, LEP, Kombema, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, prfb, jbob, Shotput8, midwesterner, Indiana Bob, temptxan, radical simplicity, TheMomCat, LucyandByron, Horsefeathers, happymisanthropy, zerone, opinionated, allergywoman, DeadHead, rhutcheson, PhilJD, RageKage, psychodrew, markthshark, Dianna, Lefty Coaster, Arrow, paz3, Willa Rogers, Williston Barrett, SixSixSix, Executive Odor, JesseCW, tegrat, Involuntary Exile, freelunch, expatjourno, praenomen, Book of Hearts, blueoasis, soros, StrayCat, Fire bad tree pretty, kbman, MNGlasnant

    My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

    by Jesselyn Radack on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 05:37:10 AM PDT

  •  But, but the generals that run the program say (51+ / 0-)

    they are making sure they give it the proper oversight....their own.

    Gosh and its all legal

    Whoopee I feel better already

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 05:46:12 AM PDT

  •  So, I was not a bad American to disbelive (51+ / 0-)

    what the NSA director and the esteemed former Vice President assured us of in the last 3 days?

    How could I have known?

    This government will lie to you until the bitter fucking end about this stuff.

    No rational person 'should' be tempted to trust these 'people'.

    Violations of your rights do not help you, they don't make you any safer at all (The Boston Marathon Bombing is a fabulous example of why I can say that) and Eliot Spitzer's outing

    The case began as a financial investigation by Internal Revenue Service agents, but was referred to the public corruption unit of the U.S. Attorney's office, authorities said. It was not clear from the authorities whether Spitzer was a target of the investigation from the start, or whether agents came his across his name by chance.

    Prosecutors compiled statements from a confidential source and an undercover officer and examined more than 5,000 telephone calls and text messages and more than 6,000 e-mails, as well as bank, travel and hotel records.

    It's not that people cared about him having prositutues, its that he was really cranking down on corruption in banking services and you know how banking services feel about 'the law'.

    Poof: busted electronically.

    One POINT of all this NSA shit is to be able to do such a thing to anybody if and when needed. That's why we say this shit is rooted in politics and not in any of their maudlin expressions of want to 'protect Americans" and :"Save lives'. Horse shit.

    It's about the ability to really oppress people in huge numbers.

    Cheerlead that.

  •  But don't y'all wanna be kept SAFE from (17+ / 0-)

    the enemy? What a bunch of bullshit!!! This is the most disgusting program ever devised in the name of "protecting" the people. Don't trust these pricks! Any of them!

  •  They call it Hoovering for two reasons (20+ / 0-)

    1) the vacuum cleaner
    2) the director who abused security information

    Rubber stamp security safeguards are in the tradition of  J. Edgar Hoover.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 06:08:31 AM PDT

  •  Shocked!!! I'm Shocked!!!! (14+ / 0-)

    Why, how could a top-secret court hand out form-letter rubber-stamp responses to vague descriptions of how agents operate that made no references to the details of any investigation?  

    I mean, Obama totally said the secret FISA court no one knew about was transparent!  Surely Obama now is fuming with outrage at this breach of the President's will to protect our Constitutional rights...

    And the NSA totally doesn't read emails or listen to calls.  Oh, Ok, sometimes, but only after getting the form-letter rubber-stamp from the top-secret FISA court again.  Oh, Ok, whenever it feels like it without even bothering with the FISA court rubber-stamp.

    I feel so much better now!  

    I can't wait until Obama tells me again about some future time when he thinks it might be a good time to hold a debate somewhere between some unknown people about the balance between privacy and security.

    I mean, it's not like he's a national leader and defender of the Constitution who might be expected to have a position in that debate.  Or fight like hell to have make that position the law of the land.  

    No, he's best served by standing apart from the discussion and abstractly calling on other people to debate it.  

    That ought to do it!

  •  anonevent: No meaningful checks on what I (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerrilea

    order, Burger King basically a rubber stamp.

    It must be awesome being such a great pundit that you just have to stick his name at the beginning of something to make it authoritative.

    Considering this court is very narrow in its scope and what is brought to it is very narrow in its scope, it probably doesn't see too many cases like "We want to collect Martha Jones's phone logs because she returns home with a different set of clothes than when she left.

    I'm curious what the approval rate is for the FBI.

    "But the problem with any ideology is that it gives the answer before you look at the evidence." - President Clinton

    by anonevent on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 06:28:37 AM PDT

  •  Here's something key from Greenwald's article: (27+ / 0-)
    The decision to begin listening to someone's phone calls or read their emails is made exclusively by NSA analysts and their "line supervisors". There is no outside scrutiny, and certainly no Fisa court involvement.
    In other words, whatever some twit at the NSA thinks he or she needs to do is the extent of the Fourth Amendment.

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 06:33:22 AM PDT

    •  Gotta wonder how extensive the audit trails are (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Peril, Joieau, gerrilea

      in these DBs and whether they could someday be used to incriminate NSA officials. Doubt it, but technically, it's probably possible. And if these trails were built right, there is no way to delete them without deleting the entire table or db, or revealing yourself. But they've probably thought that through, too.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 06:50:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Snowden said: (4+ / 0-)
        More detail on how direct NSA's accesses are is coming, but in general, the reality is this: if an NSA, FBI, CIA, DIA, etc analyst has access to query raw SIGINT databases, they can enter and get results for anything they want. Phone number, email, user id, cell phone handset id (IMEI), and so on - it's all the same. The restrictions against this are policy based, not technically based, and can change at any time. Additionally, audits are cursory, incomplete, and easily fooled by fake justifications. For at least GCHQ, the number of audited queries is only 5% of those performed.
        ~ my emphasis

        "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

        by smiley7 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 10:26:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So long as requests are recorded (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          smiley7, gerrilea

          there's always the possibility of an ex post facto review. Which I understand happens quite often, at least twice a century.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 11:33:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "at least twice a century", don't you think we (0+ / 0-)

            scale that back a bit?  You know, deficits and all.

            How many children are going without a decent lunch because of this wanton waste?

            ;)

            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

            by gerrilea on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 02:05:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  And whose decision should it be? (0+ / 0-)

      Where should the outside scrutiny come from?  Greenwald?

      •  Are you kidding? (14+ / 0-)

        This program has been described as using a warrant to create an entire library, and then seeking another warrant to check out a book.  Now we discover that the second warrant -- the one we thought was required to peek at specific data -- is considered unnecessary.

        And you want to invoke Greenwald's name in order to muddy that fact?

        I don't understand how you can make such an intellectually disingenuous argument.

        •  I asked you a simple (0+ / 0-)

          question that you still have not answered.   Since Greenwald seems to be the only person anyone trusts around here, it seemed a perfectly reasonable question.

          Now again, where should this outside scrutiny come from where the whiners wont complain "that person is part of the machine"?

          •  Warrants based on particular probable cause (8+ / 0-)

            Here's how it's supposed to work.  The police are investigating a crime.  If they have probable cause that I'm connected with that crime, that already occurred, then they have probable cause to go get a warrant and search my phone records.

            Everything that the NSA does without a warrant based on particular evidence, directed against a suspected individual, is unconstitutional under the 4th Amendment.

            There should not be a secret FISA court.  Everything the NSA does to American citizens should be based on warrants issued out in the open in regular courts, based on probable cause.

            The NSA isn't even pretending it needs probable cause anymore.  They're just searching through everyone's papers, looking for whatever dirt they can find.

            •  If you have evidence (0+ / 0-)

              if illegal activity by the administration, I certainly would love to see it.  That there shouldn't be a fisa court (which, let's remember the prior administration didn't even bother with) is a whole other issue.  You're saying there should be oversight but don't seem to want to answer who should be doing that.  If you have ANY evidence they're "searching through EVERYONE's papers looking for dirt", it's time to serve it up.

              I'm trying to separate the wheat from the chaff.  I would love to live in a world where none of this was necessary but until you're sitting on the supreme court and can make that determination, you calling it unconstitutional doesn't mean jack shit.

              •  How can I have evidence from a secret court? (9+ / 0-)

                That's the #1 issue.  All the FISA court rulings are secret, we aren't allowed to see the evidence.  So if they approved searches without probable cause, we won't know unless a whistleblower steps forward.

                #2, I did answer who should have oversight.  It should be regular, non secret courts where everything is out in the open.  Every judge's rulling should be public the moment it's issued.  Every search warrant issued shall be upon probable cause, and immediately made public.

                #3, There has been some evidence released, that Greenwald and others have covered, that the NSA and contractors are going through phone/text/email CONTENT.  They have massive non-probable cause warrants, and I don't trust them not to target political dissidents, among others.

                #4, Of course they can't search EVERYONE.  But they can search ANYONE they want to.  And based on all the info released so far, they don't need to have any probable cause or a specific warrant against an individual to do it.

                Under the interpretations the FISA court is using, the 4th Amendment doesn't exist.  Deal with it.

              •  eliminate the oversight (0+ / 0-)

                And eliminate the program.

        •  Misdirection and distraction are all the tribal (5+ / 0-)

          defenders have left.

          Oh, and this:

          B-b-but the mid-terms are only X months away!!11

          The GOP says you have to have an ID to vote, but $ Millionaire donors should remain anonymous?

          by JVolvo on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:56:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A simple question you don't (0+ / 0-)

            seem to want a answer is misdirection?  Heaven forbid not everyone lay down and worship at the feet of Greenwald.

            •  It's not a simple question. (5+ / 0-)

              It's a simplistic question. When this administration leaves office, who do YOU want overseeing these programs?  Will you trust the next Republican administration? The next Dick Cheney?  The next Republucan senator to head the Senate Intelligence Committee?

              These programs were widely criticized by Democrats when they were instituted under a Republican regime.  And now that they are even broader in scope than any of us imagined, Demicrats seem perfectly ok with them and simply accept without question the reassurances of government officials.

              I'd bet real money that attitudes will change when there's a new administration in power.

              •  Ah - finally a question (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KenBee

                that makes sense.  I want a separate oversight - overseen by congress ultimately (or nothing would get done about it) but independent.  Perhaps an independent  agency consisting of retired judges (people who don't have to worry about getting elected).

                As I remember it, Democrats complained that the data mining issue was a problem because the bush administration either ignored or was (at the time) not legally bound to use a FISA court to get a warrant.  The Democrats made that happen.  So no, this is not the same program that was started by the bush administration - it was reined in so that warrants were necessary.  If you don't think that's enough, we can discuss that but to say it's the same program is dishonest.

            •  Fixed that for ya! (4+ / 0-)
              Heaven forbid not everyone lay down and worship at the feet of Greenwald current President.

              The GOP says you have to have an ID to vote, but $ Millionaire donors should remain anonymous?

              by JVolvo on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 10:35:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

                Asking who should be overseeing a program is worshiping the President?  Seriously?  You guys/gals need a new gig.

                •  Irony? Hello? Sauce, goose, gander? Sigh... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  4kedtongue, gerrilea

                  The GOP says you have to have an ID to vote, but $ Millionaire donors should remain anonymous?

                  by JVolvo on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 12:10:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Do I really need to (0+ / 0-)

                    posts links to diaries that were full out lionizing of Greenwald and Snowden?  Really?  It would be tedious and a waste of my time but if you want to make that moronic comparison, I'm game.

                    •  And this: (0+ / 0-)
                      And whose decision should it be?
                      Where should the outside scrutiny come from?  Greenwald?
                      wasn't a tedious and loaded question which, I'd like to remind you, was treated with far more respect by those who responded to it than it deservd.

                      Please do not write about 'moronic camparisons' when the entire thread started with a dumb-ass swipe at Glenn Greenwald as someone the whiners would accept as a suitable arbiter of NSA oversight.  No one should have even given your IDIOTIC question and obvious bait the time of day.

                      Did you even read Greenwald's piece?  The programs as constituted today are almost identical to the illegal eavesdropping of the post-9/11 Bush NSA.  The only difference is that Congress made what Bush did legal in 2008, BUT every politician involved in that vote and involved in oversight PRETENDS that the program has MORE oversight and MORE judicial safeguards against abuse.  The programs are the same, how they are 'legally' implemented is what has changed.  What was once controversially illegal, is now, POOF!, legal.  Pretty neat fucking trick.

                      •  What Bush did was illegal (0+ / 0-)

                        What Pres Obama did was not.  That you need a warrant to do the data mining is not pretend anything.  It's really that simple.  And do remember to compare us to the nazis while you're at it.

                        You want to think greenwald is a hero, knock yourself out.  I'll take a swipe at him any time I wish to.  He's a libertarian clown just like the Pauls.  

                        •  The constitutionality of how... (0+ / 0-)

                          ...the NSA goes about collecting data is very much in question, and the current administration stymies any attempt to have the law challenged in court.  The legality of the warrants issued and approved by the FISA Court wrt the Fourth Amendment are very much at issue.  Nothing about the programs themselves have changed since the Bush regime.  The fact that the current regime seeks warrants which are rubber stamped by a court and monitored by constitutional geniuses like Dianne Feinstein does not make the programs LEGAL.

                          There has only been one disingenuous debater in this thread who is continuously erecting boilerplate stawman arguments that NO ONE in this thread has used.

                          Ad hominem attacks on Glenn Greenwald and intimating that I have engaged in Nazi comparisons when I have never -- even outside of this thread -- invoked such an image, demonstrates your complete inability to engage honestly in this thread.  You erect straw men and then knock them down, all the while pretending it was I who made such an argument.  Done with you.

        •  ' using a warrant to create an entire library' (5+ / 0-)

          Very good illustraion!  Thanks!

          And your point is very well-made.

          Andhow had would it be for an NSA higher-up (abvoe the analyist   level) to tell an underling -- 'go grab this info for me, and it's just between us.'  And if things go south, the higher-up can point to the analyst and say, 'he did it!  There's no record of a formal request for this.  Rogue analyst!'

      •  If you want another option, (9+ / 0-)

        you need to reform the surveillance state. Right now, a leak to an adversarial journalist is the only way for the NSA's activity to get outside scrutiny.

        Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
        Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
        Code Monkey like you!

        Formerly known as Jyrinx.

        by Code Monkey on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:45:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The government's idea of accountability (16+ / 0-)

    is illustrated in the wording of the law that established the position of Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer for the Director of National Intelligence.  

    The title of that position suggests that the position holder has the power to ensure the intelligence programs duly protect privacy and civil liberties. But, the position holder is hamstrung from the beginning from serving as much more than a rubber stamp.

    The relevant law is The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA) Pub. L. 108-458 (12/17/04) (236 pp. PDF).  The Justice Department website provides this description (Note: emphasis added).

    IRTPA requires there to be a Civil Liberties Protection Officer within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). 50 U.S.C. § 403-3d.

    The Civil Liberties Protections Officer reports directly to the DNI and is responsible for:
    ensuring that privacy and civil liberties protections are incorporated into the ODNI’s policies and procedures,
    overseeing ODNI compliance with all laws, regulations, executive orders, and constitutional requirements concerning privacy and civil liberties,
    reviewing, assessing, and investigating any alleged abuses of privacy and civil liberties,
    ensuring that the use of technologies do not erode privacy protections related to the use, collection and disclosure of personal information,
    ensuring that personal information is handled in accordance with the fair information practices, as set out in the Privacy Act, and
    conducting privacy impact assessments. 50 U.S.C. § 403-3d(b).
    The Civil Liberties Protection Officer is not an Inspector General as defined at the Inspector General Act of 1978 (USC §5a) and cannot compel agencies to disclose information and is not required to issue reports to Congress.  The current CLPO is Alexander Joel, who was appointed in December, 2005.
    From that, one might presume that the Inspector General has the authority to "compel agencies to disclose information" even if the Civil Liberties Protection Officer cannot; so, accountability is assured. But, there's a hitch.

    The Inspector General of NSA is appointed by the President can be removed only by the President and is "under the general supervision of the Director of National Intelligence."

    The Director of National Intelligence may prohibit the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community from initiating, carrying out, or completing any investigation, inspection, audit, or review if the Director determines that such prohibition is necessary to protect vital national security interests of the United States.
    Thus oversight of intelligence programs occurs only if those running the programs desire it. But, it's when oversight is not desired that it is most needed.  Say hello to our old friend, Catch 22.
    •  Postscript (8+ / 0-)

      There has been no mention, to my knowledge, of these details in the MSM, despite administration claims of adequate oversight. Please remember that you read this at Daily Kos, and donate a dollar or two, if you can, to keeping the site running. Thanks!

    •  Ultimately, this can only be decided by the courts (4+ / 0-)

      Neither congress nor the president will voluntarily end these programs. Only if the courts find them to be unconstitutional--which they clearly are--can they be shut down. And even then, the courts have no enforcement power. I think we're in this for good, and there's not a damn thing anyone can do about it.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 06:52:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Privacy" itself is misleading. We're talking (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gerrilea, CroneWit, lunachickie, mikidee

      about freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.  Privacy implies a sort of prudishness that isn't shared by other people -- which is certainly NOT the constitutional standard.

      Put another way -- a pole dancer has just as much right to object to a search of her person or her residence as does anyone else.

      You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

      by Cartoon Peril on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:13:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When the NSA officially denies (10+ / 0-)

    what it's so obviously doing, then that's good enough for me, especially after a bunch of people tell me on a blog that this proves that they're not doing what they're obviously doing, or that even if they're doing it, it's for our own good.

    What, you want us all to DIE?!?

    /snark

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 06:46:52 AM PDT

  •  he's right. The LAST time the NSA was trusted with (15+ / 0-)

    a communications surveillance program, it also had all sorts of wonderful-sounding legal restraints and Congressional oversight in place.  So it broke the law anyway, lied to its "overseers" about it, spied on domestic dissident groups which was explicitly forbidden by law, sucked up every scrap of communications content it had the physical ability nto get (including phone taps and snail mail intercepts), then passed the info on to the FBI who used it in THEIR illegal Cointelpro program to disrupt and neutralize (their words) domestic antiwar and civil rights groups.

    The whole sordid story was spelled out by the US Senate Church Committee Report in Volume 5 of its findings, titled "The NSA and Fourth Amendment Rights". (It's available online--go read it NOW.)

    So for all those who argue that the NSA would never ever do anything illegal or exceed its legal restraints, I can only point out that THEY. ALREADY. DID., and then they lied to their "oversight" about it.

    I remain open to any evidence that the NSA will not do again what it, uh, already has done before.

  •  Is the process of invoking the Whistleblower (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, gerrilea

    ...Protection Act underway for Snowden or does that require the initiation of a prosecution? I'm curious at what point one becomes officially deemed a whistleblower.

    •  I *think* Whistleblower Protection Act' (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kck, lunachickie, gerrilea

      only comes into play when an employee goes through official channels of reporting, like Thomas Drake did.  But you should check Jesselyn Radack's diaies here for that.

      I seem to recollect that JR   spoke directly to this question in the USA Today video she posted a couple of days ago.  You can look her up using Search, or you can go to her diary that's up right now and ask her.

  •  Simply, Directly..., (7+ / 0-)

    ... NO "secret" interpretation of plain words:

    Amendment IV
    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.
    In the lists of heroes and villains from a historical perspective, the last four presidents will someday be placed in the villain column for massive abuses of power.  They have violated their oath of office, abused their enumerated constitutional powers, invented powers they should never have, lied about their illegal, unconstitutional, dishonorable, unethical, immoral actions - very often "justifying" their abuses by lying and saying they're protecting us while doing so much harm not only to people inside our own country, but outside our country as well.

    This will not end well.

    The one big disadvantage of old age is that I won't live to see the outcome of these massive spying abuses.  I'm genuinely curious as to how far this pendulum of "secret domestic spying for our own good while collateral damage means we're spying on the rest of the world, too" will go before there is a massive push-back of ordinary citizens who just want to live an ordinary life of honesty and simplicity in private while still being hooked up to the world wide web so they can communicate with others who have like-minded interests.

    Someday "the masses" will have to realize they have more to fear from drunk and inattentive drivers, or even bad weather events, than they do from common criminals who are not invisible ginormous boogeymen hiding under their beds after all (which our "leaders" are giving more fear power to via calling them "ter'rists" than is warranted), and that governmental fear-mongering is brainwashing on an absolutely world-wide scale.

    [I plan to live to age 100 with my mental faculties intact; that's only 33 years from now, and I think this whole illegal and unconstitutional domestic spying thing will not be resolved by then.]

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:15:00 AM PDT

    •  Shall we dive into the 2nd and see what it plainly (0+ / 0-)

      says about militias?

      The Constitution says what the SCOTUS says it does.  On any given day.  Time to impeach Scalia and Thomas.

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      —Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:18:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CroneWit

      it's very well and good to call out bold text, but you left out the key language in the Amendment that is the source of confusion: "unreasonable." As long as the security apparatus says actions taken in defense of the national interest are "reasonable" there will be doubt as to whether the guarantees of the Fourth Amendment are even operable.

      The government knows a lot about us already. My license plate points to my identity, but nobody knows it's my car until they look it up, and they don't do that until my car's presence stands out for some reason. I believe this is the paradigm people are using to relate to government possession of abstract data pertaining to their personal information. That paradigm may not be correct. But it's the biggest obstacle IMHO against a general fear and loathing of Big Surveillance taking hold, as many here wish would take place.

      •  If it were "in defense of the nation" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gerrilea

        ... I might waffle..., provided there was a reasonable reason to believe specific persons living at specific location(s) had something to do with criminal activity and that info could be listed in a legal search warrant, all according to the specifics listed in the Fourth Amendment.

        The hoovering of virtually all of our electronic communications is NOT "in defense of the nation."

        The vast majority of the citizens of this nation lead ordinary lives and are NOT criminals.  There is NO reason to gather the data of completely innocent people and store it anywhere for an unlimited amount of time.  Period.

        I have more to fear from stepping outside my residence to get into a car and face potential drunk or inattentive drivers than I do from any common criminals.

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 12:16:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  We have this funky combination of people (3+ / 0-)

    trying to follow the rules and "do the right thing" mixed with people who clearly couldn't give a flying f*ck about the rules.

    Not to mention that the rules themselves are pretty screwed up.

    I point squarely at the Patriot Act as the source of these sins.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:17:11 AM PDT

  •  Well, it's nice to see Glenn walk it back. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jdsnebraska, reginahny, Quicklund

    Sure, there's judicial oversight, but it's "not meaningful".

    Sure, there's congressional oversight, but it's "not meaningful".

    It's there but not "real".

    Now at last we're at the point were someone can tell us what is "real" oversight and what is "meaningful" checks rather than try to outdo each other in screaming illegality and whistleblowing.

    Anyone have an idea of what a "meaningful" judicial oversight is?  Bueller?

    "We're now in one of those periods when the reality of intense pressure on the middle class diverges from long-held assumptions of how the American bargain should work" --James Fallows

    by Inland on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:31:01 AM PDT

    •  He hasn't walked anything back... (13+ / 0-)

      ...he has always maintained that the FISA court is a rubber-stamp for the surveillance program and that congressional oversight is a sham / impotent since there is no mechanism for congress people with reservations about what the intelligence community is engaged in to voice those concerns or make the public aware.  He has been consistent in his criticisms and concerns...and now he has documentation to back up those claims.

      And if you think Dianne Feinstein taking to Fox News to defend these programs or the Director of the NSA testifying about the efficacy of these programs by cherry picking operations to declassify in order to buttress his self-serving claims constitutes  meaningful oversight in light of what has been revealed, I don't know what to say to you.

      •  He says he has documentation to back claims, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Quicklund

        and if we see them, we can see why Glenn concludes that the oversight isn't meaningful.  Right now, we're just taking his word for it and "meaningful" is just the sort of weasel word you wouldn't accept from someone who is a member of congress sworn to uphold the constitution.

        And if you think Dianne Feinstein taking to Fox News to defend these programs or the Director of the NSA testifying about the efficacy of these programs by cherry picking operations to declassify in order to buttress his self-serving claims constitutes  meaningful oversight in light of what has been revealed,
        Well, duh, no, going on the news isn't oversight.  The oversight occurs off the news and in closed briefings.  

        I suspect that when you say "oversight", you mean your personal oversight out in public.  Who knows?  I sure don't.  That's my point.

        "We're now in one of those periods when the reality of intense pressure on the middle class diverges from long-held assumptions of how the American bargain should work" --James Fallows

        by Inland on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:53:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So backwards. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gerrilea

          We're taking government officials' words that oversight is being maintained.  Wyden and Udall sit on those committees, but they are hamstrung from voicing their concerns or even sharing what they know with their staffs in order to test the constitutionality of the patriot act provisions which ostensibly makes this all legal.  Obviously, as Loretta Sanchez -- not exactly a flaming liberal Democrat -- recently said after being grudgingly briefed about the programs:  what we know is minuscule compared to what's actually taking place in secret.

          So that's what Greenwald means when he says the FISA Court is a rubber stamp joke and Dianne Feinstein being briefed but forbidden to discuss what she knows BEYOND claiming that she has no problem with it, hardly constitutes rigorous congressional oversight.

          He has walked nothing back.  And it's not about Greenwald anyway.

    •  Okay, so having the lock on my front door (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lunachickie, 4kedtongue

      is useless if I leave the windows open?

      Or is it that the lock was bought and never installed?

      Or is it that the lock is only a figment of my imagination?

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:33:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here - (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gerrilea, 4kedtongue

      try the September 2012 REPORT ON THE  FISA AMENDMENTS ACT OF 2008 by The Constitution Project.

      It's a great (pre-Snowden/Greenwald) discussion with some decent recommendations for fixes.

      Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

      by mikidee on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 11:06:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Some contradictions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund
    There are some legal constraints governing their power to examine the content of those communications, but there are no technical limits on the ability either of the agency or its analysts to do so.
    I don't understand the distinction, and so it seems contradictory. There are legal constraints but there aren't technical limits? If by technical limits he is referring to technology, there are assuredly limits to the amount of data that can be collected and stored, let alone subjected to analysis. It just seems odd that on one hand he's claiming NSA agents have carte blanche to root around in our Netflix queues while at the same time admitting that they are in fact limited by law as to what they may or may not do.
    The fact that there is so little external oversight is what makes this sweeping, suspicion-less surveillance system so dangerous.
    And here the definition of "surveillance system" seems fungible. Listening to phone calls, watching videos, reading emails, hacking laptops - these strike me as surveillance activities. Maintaining databases of metadata that private companies already have in their possession seems to fall into a much grayer area. I only wish this hew and cry had gone up when Congress extended FISA last December for another 5-year stint. I think people are correct to be wary about rubber-stamp courts and a warrant process that functions with insufficient oversight or discretion By the same token, nothing about the facts as we know them suggest to me that the US Constitution is under any greater peril than any other time in our history. The times they are a-changing, and the incorporation of computer data is a big part of that. The US political system has been fighting for decades to prevent technological modernization from endangering the status quo. It's no surprise to find the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing when immediate needs require advanced technological understanding that few in the political culture have ever bothered to obtain.
  •  Greenwald again? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund

    For a group that keeps fighting nuances and alternative information that's coming to light with the assertion that "it's not about the personalities" there sure are a lot of diaries that start with "Greenwald sez". Aside from Greenwald and Snowden, who else sez? Or is it only "not about the personalities" when it matches the diarists agenda?

    We need a better national conversation about the Patriot Act and NSA, FISA, AUMF etc. How is "Greenwald sez" moving this forward? Let's say you believe he started the conversation (which I don't) -- what is the next part of the discussion? Endless diaries about what Greenwald sez? Or perhaps being open to continuing dialog among all parties -- those who are "OH NOES -- SPIES" as well as those who are "eh, who cares?" and everything in between?

    Does the diarist and Greenwald envision a world in which the US is the only country which does not do espionage? Between this and the "no drones" meme what exactly does the diarist and Greenwald propose? Haven't we gone past "Greenwald sez" and toward a dialog that doesn't paint anyone who disagrees as an Obamabot? Or should we see what Greenwald sez?

    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -- Einstein

    by reginahny on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:39:43 AM PDT

    •  Wow. nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gerrilea, burlydee

      “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

      by 420 forever on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:41:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow. nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gerrilea

        "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -- Einstein

        by reginahny on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:05:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  These diaries may just be attracting (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lunachickie, burlydee, gerrilea

          a more sophisticated kind of troll.

          Writing from/for a higher literacy level that the common-or-garden variety, asking questions that have already been answered (and/or links provided) in several well-sourced and widely-read substantive diaries written since this last weekend, heaping scorn upon the reporter who has been and will continue to be the source of the leaked documents, while heaping scorn on those who read, quote, or source that reporter, suggesting that they are pathetic fanboys.

          Hmmm.  Same conceptual content as the common-or-garden trolls, with higher-literacy-level presentation.  I'll have to watch for that pattern.

          •  I have no earthly idea... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Quicklund

            what you are talking about. Are you calling me a sophisticated troll? Widely read on this site makes an opinion substantive? Widely sourced when all the sources are Greenwald? I haven't heaped scorn on any reporter, the only reporter supposedly referenced in all these substantive well-sourced diaries is Greenwald. Unless you are calling the diarist a reporter, in which case I beg to differ. The diarist is transcribing in this case. She may have a more robust history but I don't have to read every freakin' thing anyone has ever written to have an opinion. Have you read every Greenwald column including his support for the Iraq war and Bush?

            But do keep an eye out for my inventive new form of trolling, wouldn't want to get called a common or garden version.

            "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -- Einstein

            by reginahny on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 10:13:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, sorry, not responding to you (6+ / 0-)

              or calling you anything.  Sorry.  The idea had been rolling around in my mind because of some other comments by other commenters, and your comment just made all those thoughts come together, and I just grabbed the closest 'reply' button.  Thoughtless of me.  Sorry.

              But now I have your questions to answer.

              1. Several widely-read, substantive diaries on this site recently have answered the questions raised by the NSA disclosures.  Many of those diaries don't even mentions Greenwald, and many of those diaries provide quotes/links from other reliable sources, sometines from public-sphere government documents.  The comments to those diaries also contain additional links to non-Greenwald sources.

              2. Greenwald will continue to be a major source as this story continues to develop because (1) he's the guy who has access to the NSA documents and (2) The Guardian has committed itself to being the 'publisher of recond' (my term, and my concept , just invented now to communicate with you).  The Guardian's 'NSA Files' contain extensive coverage of the NSA disclosures and include (gasp) sources other than Greenwald, such as reporting on international reaction to the discovery of the NSA's programs.  (The story on international response to learning that the participants in the september 2009 G20 conference had had their phones cracked, and that during the conference their conversations were being transmitted in near-real time to a roomful of analysts who could watch the participant's movements in near-real time on a 3x5 meter video screen is, imo. quite important.)

              3. Your statement --

              the only reporter supposedly referenced in all these substantive well-sourced diaries is Greenwald.

              is incorrect.  Sources have included Wired.com, ForeighPolicy.com, various government documents (laws, etc), various news sites of international regard (Der Sepigel comes to mind) the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF), the Foundation of American Scientists (FSA.org) and many other non-Greenwald sources, too many for me to remember.  Diarists have included marktheshark, Pluto, koNko, Deep Harm, Ms. Radack (who, if you read a few of her diaries, does not always quote/cite Greenwald and has a long history of posting diaries about Whistleblower protection (and failures thereof, and who is quite expert in these issues, having been the attorney for several high-profile whistle blowers punished for their actions, like Thomas Drake).

              I'm going to consider the remainder of your comment as the result of your having taken umbrage because you thought I was calling you a sophisticated troll.  My bad.

              PS: I apologize for the absence of links in this comment.  I just plain don't have time now to go dig them up, and my first comment points out that these diaries are recent and easy to find.

    •  Wait, what? (6+ / 0-)

      What exactly do you want? That we quit citing Greenwald? Not our fault he's one of the few journalists working so diligently on exposing this crap.

      If you would like to see more viewpoints offered on DKos, please feel free to write your own diary. Meanwhile, those who agree with Greenwald will write our own. Conversation achieved!

      Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
      Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
      Code Monkey like you!

      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

      by Code Monkey on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:51:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A journalist who rushes to publish... (0+ / 0-)

        ...without fact-checking or the most basic research (perhaps with a tech-savvvy partner) about IT terms / issues should not be the only one cited IMO. Where are these other journalists?

        Over and over you and others have told me to write my own diary. Yeah, no. I don't have to write a diary to have an opinion. If DKos is a Greenwald site, I'm more than happy to leave as so many have. OOOOOPs, don't see that Greenwald has ever deigned to write a diary here --- oh noes.

        "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -- Einstein

        by reginahny on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 09:40:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  He's the only one saying it in a clear and (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gulfgal98, lunachickie

      concise way.

      His words are worth repeating a million times over until everyone understands this just as well as he does.

       As for this:

      Does the diarist and Greenwald envision a world in which the US is the only country which does not do espionage? Between this and the "no drones" meme what exactly does the diarist and Greenwald propose?
      I can't speak for either of them, but Jesselyn's proposal, I would assume is to have our government follow the rules of conduct we gave it, ie the Constitution.

      But that's my take since I've read almost all of her diaries here.  Might I suggest you do the same?

      As for you muddying the waters about espionage, are the American people the enemy in your mind?

      Is a 16 yr old boy the enemy?

      Is an American whom speaks truth to power, the enemy?

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:53:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have read all the diaries... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Quicklund

        ...and other sources (oh my!). We are following the Constitution as it pertains to the rule of law in this case; unless you can show a non-Greenwald/Snowden violation of the 4th. (Sorry, I don't trust those idealogues any more than you trust me). A conversation about how to change the law, as I said, is a good one. An endless barrage of "Greenwald sez" is not.

        And, please stop co-opting "speaking truth to power" for your transparently one-sided missives. You know that expressions' history and your co-opting it speaks to your unexamined  privilege.

        "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -- Einstein

        by reginahny on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 09:36:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How do you have a coversation if it is all secret? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gerrilea

          The reason mostly Greenwald has been writing this is that the whistle-blower went to him with the documents.  But not just him, also the Washington Post (I believe).

          And based on these revalations, brought to us courtesy of the Guardian and the WaPo and Snowden, has already forced the government to admit some of these programs to the point that we actually CAN discuss them.

          The problem is secret law, secret courts, secret programs, and no oversight.

          Furthermore, now that American's can prove their data is being collected, they can actually get standing to have a court decide whether this program violates the 4th Amendment.  

          We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

          by RageKage on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 12:37:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  "As it pertains to the rule of the law"??? (0+ / 0-)

          The highest rule of law is the constitution.

          You're assertions are empty.  First the American people need to be re-educated on the difference between what is lawful and legal.  

          Lawful = constitutional, Legal =  the government says so.

          Greenwald is doing exactly that.  We can't have a conversation until everyone's on the same page and understands the meanings of the words.  We must agree first on what the problem is and why it shouldn't have ever happened.

          Then we can move forward.

          As for this:

          You know that expressions' history and your co-opting it speaks to your unexamined  privilege.
          I have no privileges. As an American I'm born with unalienable rights. Privileges are for subjects. Rights, btw, that I have fully examined and on rare occasions have actually exercised!  

          Expand you're universe into what this really mean:

          Hamilton warned my fellow New Yorkers' on your games:

          But a minute detail of particular rights is certainly far less applicable to a Constitution like that under consideration, which is merely intended to regulate the general political interests of the nation, than to a constitution which has the regulation of every species of personal and private concerns.

          -cut-

          I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?

          Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the Constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority which was not given,

          This is where we find ourselves, 200 years later:

          "...a constitution which has the regulation of every species of personal and private concerns..."

          And

          "Men disposed to usurp... with a semblance of reason"

          For all practical purposes, the government now claims powers WE never gave it, implied or otherwise.  Powers that are being used to manipulate history, facts AND the law.

          I've co-opted nothing.  You just claimed that killing Americans without charges, judge or jury is "legal".

          And data sweeping of all our information is as well.

          NOTE that I presented two separate links to organizations other than "Greenwald sez" that are still attempting to work within our broken system to get these unconstitutional actions stopped.

          I guess your insulting meme couldn't handle those facts so you deflected and obfuscated to hide from it.

          Thanks for playing.

          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

          by gerrilea on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 12:46:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  To me, it IS all about the Constitution (7+ / 0-)

        If we need to shred our Constitution in order to combat terrorism, perhaps it is time for us to take a good hard look in the mirror and ask ourselves why we "need" to give up so much on these anti-terrorism programs?  

        The so called war on terrorism is not even that successful except at perhaps creating more terrorists. Heck it could not even thwart the Boston Marathon bombers who were rank amateurs.  However, the war on terrorism has been very successful at feeding the security/MIC corporate sector to the tune of an estimated $56 billion a year, money that could have been better spent on feeding people instead of spying on them.  

        "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

        by gulfgal98 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 09:51:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quicklund

          wholeheartedly. I don't think we should shred our Constitution in the name of "terrorism" and appreciate the small (perhaps tiny) steps this administration has made in terms of no warrentless wiretapping, etc. If I genuinely thought the the money wasted on the "war on terrorism" or the "war on drugs" would actually be repurposed to feed the 1 in 4 children who experience hunger in the US -- I'd be all about Greenwald, Snowden, who-ever-the-heck. But this isn't about that, is it? What's the end game? No spying and savings go to citizens? or a discussion about surveillance that leads to a more effective Congress to change the Patriot Act in 2014? Or another Greenwald sez diary?

          "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -- Einstein

          by reginahny on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 10:05:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You agree wholeheartedly but won't do anything (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gerrilea

            to stop the abuses, instead you choose just to mock and distract.  The end game is reaching a critical mass of support to force Congress and the President too be truly transparent and providing meaningful independent oversight.  We won't ever get there though as long as people like you who "wholeheartedly agree" are too busy concern trolling b/c... really I have no idea what your point is.

  •  Even if Gen. Alexander is telling the truth and... (15+ / 0-)

    ...50 "terrorist" acts have been prevented in the last 7 years,  given the $75 billion/year budget of the "intelligence" apparatus under his control, that comes to about $10 billion per "terrorist" act thwarted.

    Give me 1/10 and I'll stop many more "terrorist" acts using traditional intelligence tactics and strategies.

    What a waste of money.

    Unless of course the purpose of this infrastructure is something else.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:45:31 AM PDT

  •  Jesselyn, first off, a big thank you AND second (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lunachickie

    "You look mahavelous!"

    Love the hair AND the dress!

    -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

    by gerrilea on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:16:10 AM PDT

  •  Two things stand out (14+ / 0-)

    I tried to transcribe portions of Drake and Binney's comments that I found as being important, and paraphrased some parts not shown in blockquotes.

    The essence of Drake's comment came in response to a question by interviewer Abby Martin who first noted that the NSA failed in both the Boston Marathon bombing and the underwear bomber cases.  She then asked if the program is not serving its stated purpose, then what is its purpose?

    Drake: it serves a very, very large contractor base.  It is one of the elephants in the room.  Staggering amounts of money are being made off the fear mongering since 9/11.  You now have an entire industrialized scale mechanism, which a number contractors are feeding off of it.   And, and it's a lot of money.
    Then in this interview with Wolf Blitzer, William Binney had this to say in response to a question about the massive data collection on American citizens.
    Binney:  They never had to do that.  They never had to collect data on all US citizens to get the bad guys. ...  
    He further stated that people looking at the normal data should be able to determine if there were terrorist threats without needing to collect or look at data on all US citizens.  If they could not do it without violating the privacy of US citizens, then they were incompetent.

    Together with Drake's comment above, it once again shows that this huge data gathering, which is in direct conflict with the 4th Amendment, is unnecessary and is not about thwarting terrorism.  It is about power and money.

    Another eye opening diary.  This is about our Constitutional rights why we must fight to protect them.  Thank you, Jessalyn Radack. Tipped and recommended.

    "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

    by gulfgal98 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:19:13 AM PDT

  •  Concern troll is concerned. (0+ / 0-)

    Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

    by Dracowyrm on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:57:10 AM PDT

  •  still no evidence of Snowden as a whistle blower (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    reginahny, Quicklund

    I am still waiting on evidence showing he exposed actually illegal activity and not merely acts that some disagree with.

    For that matter while Greenwald has a point per say he per normal is missing the forest while staring at a tree. Yes the rejection rate is low that does not mean it is a rubber stamp inherently though. The fact is the number of requests is actually fairly low which would actually suggest using logic that the requests are anything but indiscriminate and as such the rejection rate is low precisely because the process is so choosy.

    In the time that I have been given,
    I am what I am

    by duhban on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 09:10:57 AM PDT

  •  Iceland and other countries (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund

    discussing Snowden asylum. That might happen.

    What won't happen is them giving him asylum AND a job in IT.

    It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

    by Fishgrease on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 09:39:11 AM PDT

  •  Sounds more like the DOJ Gets its ducks in a row (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund

    before ever going to a FISC.

    Sorta like prosecutors never taking a case to court unless they're pretty damned sure they are going to win.

  •  Yes, we can comfortably say it's Fascism now (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbob, gerrilea

    This is what Fascist Govts do. They attempt to control society by intrusive methods.

    And when they talk about this being just the tip of the iceberg, I will be my ant farm that we will find out they are using PRISM for many purposes beyond Terrorism.

    No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle.

    by CitizenOfEarth on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 09:55:46 AM PDT

    •  What the everlovin' frack? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnnetteK

      It's fascism now? 1. Learn the meaning of fascism. 2. Learn the purpose of this site.

      What the hell is happening to DKos? It's fascism now? Is this supporting more, better, any kind of Democrat? Kos, what the F? Are you on summer vacation? Are the lunatics in charge of the asylum? Do you figure you'll step in before 2014? 2016? What. the. ever. loving. frack?

      "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -- Einstein

      by reginahny on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 10:46:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  take your own advice (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gerrilea, CitizenOfEarth, lunachickie

        #1

      •  What he said was: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jbob, gerrilea, CitizenOfEarth
        This is what Fascist Govts do. They attempt to control society by intrusive methods.
        See: Duck, walk, talk, etc....
        The only official definition of Fascism comes from Benito Mussolini, the founder of fascism, in which he outlines three principles of a fascist philosophy.

        1."Everything in the state". The Government is supreme and the country is all-encompasing, and all within it must conform to the ruling body (often a dictator)

        2."Nothing outside the state". The country must grow and the implied goal of any fascist nation is to rule the world, and have every human submit to the government.

        3."Nothing against the state". Any type of questioning the government is not to be tolerated. If you do not see things our way, you are wrong.  If you do not agree with the government, you cannot be allowed to live and taint the minds of the rest of the good citizens....

         

        "Often" does not mean the same thing as "always".  And to not "live" does not always infer that one has "physically expired" (ie."died". )  

        So take a good long look at number three with those things in mind, if you can possibly muster up the wherewithal to comprehend the words therein.

        "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

        by lunachickie on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 11:19:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The German courts didn't always do what Hitler (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PhilJD, gerrilea, lunachickie

          wanted, only most of the time.

          The Reichstag Fire Trial ended in Dec. 1933 with the acquittal of all but one of the defendants:

          In his verdict, Judge Bürger was careful to underline his belief that there had in fact been a Communist conspiracy to burn down the Reichstag, but declared, with the exception of Van der Lubbe, there was insufficient evidence to connect the accused to the fire or the alleged conspiracy. Only Van der Lubbe was found guilty and sentenced to death. The rest were acquitted and were expelled to the Soviet Union, where they received a heroic welcome. The one exception was Torgler, who was taken into "protective custody" by the police until 1935. After being released, he assumed a pseudonym and moved away from Berlin.

          Hitler was furious with the outcome of this trial. He decreed that henceforth treason—among many other offenses—would only be tried by a newly established People's Court (Volksgerichtshof). The People's Court later became associated with the number of death sentences it handed down, including those following the 1944 attempt to assassinate Hitler which were presided over by then Judge-President Roland Freisler.

          Hitler's last speech to the Reichstag (in the last meeting of the Reichstag, in 1942) was the result of his fury over a judicial verdict that he did not like:
          The Großdeutsche Reichstag convened for the last time in the Kroll Opera House on April 26, 1942. It unanimously passed a decree proclaiming Hitler "Supreme Judge of the German People," officially allowing him to override the judiciary and administration in all matters. Any last remnants of the privileges of the members were removed and the Führer became de jure the only and final decision-maker with the power of life and death over every German citizen,

          The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

          by lysias on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 12:29:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the lecture (0+ / 0-)

        We'll have to agree to disagree.

        No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle.

        by CitizenOfEarth on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 04:22:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What could possibly go wrong (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerrilea

    when the judges are selected by the Chief Justices of the Supreme Court?

    When the court was founded, it was composed of seven federal district judges appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States, each serving a seven-year term, with one judge being appointed each year. In 2001, the USA PATRIOT Act expanded the court from seven to eleven judges, and required that at least three of the judges of the court be from within twenty miles (32 km) of the District of Columbia. No judge may be appointed to this court more than once, and no judge may be appointed to both the Court of Review and the FISA court.


    "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
    TheStarsHollowGazette.com

    by TheMomCat on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 11:48:51 AM PDT

  •  On a positive note... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerrilea

    It's good to see the "two" parties both defending the NSA.

    Lets see... if the Republicans defend the NSA / government illegal spying.. and the Democrats* defend the NSA / government spying...

    Well clearly, it's the Republicans' fault!

    I suppose, at the end of the day, the best we can hope for is that our government is run by pro-corporate, pro-1%, pro-Security State, pro-war Democrats instead of pro-war, pro-1%, pro-Security State Republicans.

    Thank God we have a choice of which party to support!

    * Notwithstanding token Democratic Party "opposition" or "concern" over the NSA.  Such "concern" will be allowed to be a token only and go nowhere beyond "hearings".

    The excuses for Obama's behavior have long since passed the point of predictability neccessary to qualify as an absurd production of Kabuki Theater.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 11:51:31 AM PDT

  •  If the FISA court isn't just a rubber stamp, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerrilea

    can/will the Administration cite where it has DENIED any of their requests?

    Until they do, I remain skeptical.

  •  The FISA court needs some type of top secret (0+ / 0-)

    public defender to argue against the government position and also to argue for declassifying material when it no longer makes sense to keep it classified.

    And get rid of the contractors.  The government can do all this without paying a profit and overhead markup to idiots like Booz and Co.

  •  This is a democracy. The "check" is called (0+ / 0-)

    an election.

    We get to choose who we trust to conduct secret operations, as it's always been.

    People can choose accordingly.

    We didn't broadcast the raid on Bin Laden, it was secret for a reason. That's what these agencies do.

    Americans may want want want what they want want want, and cry and whine like petulant children, that's what we're good at. And that evidently now goes for top secret data on top secret intelligence operations.

    But that doesn't mean they're fit to get everything they want or that they can be trusted with it.

    •  Soo, in your mind, the American people deserve (2+ / 0-)

      to be spied on because they are the enemy, like Bin Laden.

      Got it.

      When I renounce my citizenship, THEN the FISA court has privy over my communications.  Until such time, the Constitution is still in full effect.

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 02:33:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Americans deserve to be spied on (0+ / 0-)

        because they can't be trusted with the weapons they demand they have the right to own, or the ones they can assemble from various legally purchased parts. And they've proven they can't be. It's no longer a hypothesis, we've tested it for decades and we know the answer.

        Yes. Potential terrorists (ie enemies) are potential terrorists. I for one don't care if they're Islamic, Christian, crazy, white supremacists, Americans, foreigners, or etc.

        Kids who get killed don't care.

        Your reading of the Constitution won't protect you from the NSA, thank god.

        Fortunately it seems society evolves to the dangers it faces, and the dangers we face these days are largely of our citizens' own making. We can't blame our politicians for America's gun laws. Too many Kossacks support that craziness to pretend we can.

        •  You have some real issues here that do not (2+ / 0-)

          comport with this sites stated goals.

          Are you sure you're in the right place or are you just here to sow dissent and hatred?

          I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt, for the moment, since you've only been here 2 days.

          A cursory review of your posting to date makes me suspect your just a troll and I'm alerting the admins.

          Have fun.

          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

          by gerrilea on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 03:25:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Did anyone watch the hearing the other day? (0+ / 0-)

    It was pretty surreal to watch Keith Alexander and co describe the surveillance program. A person listening to their testimony would walk away with the impression that we are talking about a very limited program that only collects phone metadata and is subject to rigorous checks.

    Michelle Bachman of all people asked point blank if there was mass collection of video, email and text message content and this was flatly denied.

    It's very difficult to square this with what people like Drake and Binney have said. Or with reports in the media - the AP story, for instance - that clearly state the U.S. monitors all internet traffic.

  •  A figleaf created by a Justice™ Department... (0+ / 0-)

    ...employee does not trump the plain meaning of the Constitution. Not on torture, not on habeas corpus and not on spying.

    No matter how much Bush and Obama and their die-hard supporters claim that it does.

    And if something isn't Constitutional, it isn't legal, either.

    Not hard to figure this out.

    Obama is the Chickenshit-in-Chief for failing to stand up to Republicans on all their phony scandals, from the "beer summit," to Van Jones, "death panels," Shirley Sherrod, contraception, Benghazi, and the IRS.

    by expatjourno on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 03:37:16 PM PDT

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