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Senators Ron Wyden, Dianne Feinstein, and Pat Roberts in an Intelligence Committee meeting.

There's new news on the NSA's bulk data collection front. First, which will come as no surprise, the government has confirmed that it swept up huge amounts of data from emails, in the U.S., without any court approval. For several years. Under the order of then-President George W. Bush. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court finally approved that collection in 2004, probably in the wake of the big confrontation when then-Deputy Attorney General James Comey refused to reauthorize some aspect of the warrantless surveillance program.

The confirmation of this program is included in a 2007 court filing made public Monday by the Justice Department, though documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed the program, which was hinted at when the cell phone warrantless surveillance story broke in 2005. And they wonder why we don't trust them.

The second story will do little to help the nation's diplomatic efforts abroad in the midst of the Ukraine and Syria crises. The Washington Post's Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani report that the NSA has built a surveillance system that can record 100 percent of a country's telephone calls, store those recordings, and go back to them to listen as long as a month after they were recorded. The country in question is not named in the report.

A senior manager for the program compares it to a time machine — one that can replay the voices from any call without requiring that a person be identified in advance for surveillance.

The voice interception program, called MYSTIC, began in 2009. Its RETRO tool, short for “retrospective retrieval,” and related projects reached full capacity against the first target nation in 2011. Planning documents two years later anticipated similar operations elsewhere. […]

Some of the documents provided by Snowden suggest that high-volume eavesdropping may soon be extended to other countries, if it has not been already. The RETRO tool was built three years ago as a “unique one-off capability,” but last year’s secret intelligence budget named five more countries for which the MYSTIC program provides “comprehensive metadata access and content,” with a sixth expected to be in place by last October.

But that's all happening overseas, right? So Americans don't need to be concerned, right? Well ... "Present and former U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to provide context for a classified program, acknowledged that large numbers of conversations involving Americans would be gathered from the country where RETRO operates." Those calls are not filtered out, but are part of that amorphous "incidental" acquisition that the NSA says is okay because the real targets are foreign.

Again, they wonder why we don't trust them? Maybe Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), having found her committee at the wrong end of some illegal surveillance by the CIA, will now see the value in having some real oversight hearings of the NSA as well as the CIA.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (48+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:30:08 PM PDT

  •  It seems that most citizens take it for granted (5+ / 0-)

    that 100% of emails and phone calls are stored and searched.   Even those who believe that data can and will be misused, have little will to fight it.  It seems that that train has left the station, the horse is out of the barn, and Pandora can't get the troubles back in the box.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:48:08 PM PDT

    •  NRA-like movement for the 4th Amendment (10+ / 0-)

      could make it political suicide for an elected official to favor universal surveillance.

      The right built a movement defending the 2nd Amendment that makes the killing of small children not reason enough to control guns.

      Hellraisers could protect the 4th Amendment before it withers and dies. Only a small percentage of people use guns. Everyone uses phones.

    •  Disagree. I don't think anywhere near (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dclawyer06, Jim P

      most citizens think that. Especially regarding phone calls. This includes phone calls to therapists, doctors, children.

      Disagree, and not a great attitude toward a significant problem. http://thehill.com/...

      Also: that country might be (I think is likely) an ally. A country that sends people to die on battlefields with Americans. Like UK, Germany... That so many Dems spit on this notion re spying like this really bugs.

    •  I have plenty of fight left in me (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Indiana Bob, benamery21, Cadillac64

      I hate that. I hate it so much that words sometimes fail me. I am a law abiding tax paying citizen. There is no call for this. And the fact that they share this shit with their corporate cronies (see journalist issue with BP way back when) just really fucking chaps my hide.

      Don't mistake my biding my time for having given up. I also blame the big Internet Companies for this too. Those naive fuckers have their part to answer for as well.

      Some of the spew from these IT Wonder-kids is absolute proof that we have failed miserably in primary and secondary education, to inform our children what citizenship is, and how to preserve it.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:08:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Law-abiding citizen" (0+ / 0-)

        And the way this is SUPPOSED to work, they should be presuming that of everyone for whom they don't have probable cause, including folks with priors, funny last names, darker shades of tan, subversive literature, union connections, party cards, off-brand religious associations, etc.

        Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

        by benamery21 on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:22:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well I am fucked then. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          benamery21, Cadillac64

          Non-Christian
          Subversive Feminist
          Funny Last Name
          Out Spoken
          Activist

          But still--I am a law abiding Tax Paying Citizen.

          I have broken No Laws. I pay my taxes.
          And I vote often and regularly.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:30:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Burn her, burn her" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cadillac64, GreenMother

            Yes.  My point is that none of those classes constitute probable cause, and in fact, even the NON-law-abiding have a constitutional right not to be surveilled absent probable cause obtained without illegal search and seizure.  The meme about "law-abiding citizens" is designed to marginalize those who have run afoul of the authorities previously, whether via asinine law, overzealous jackboots, or past foibles or frailties.  It's a short step to the 'if you haven't done anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about' nonsense.

            Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

            by benamery21 on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:55:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have lived that lie before (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              benamery21
              It's a short step to the 'if you haven't done anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about' nonsense.
              This is code for: If you haven't pissed off the wrong person or institution, then we might not take your birthday away.

              "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

              by GreenMother on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 05:28:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Civics education has gone the way of (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenMother, lgmcp

        art, music (except band for football games), shop, home economics and stenography in public education.  It's unaffordable in today's prioritization of funding levels, and I personally think it was too threatening to many politicians.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:56:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Damn right about that. After what I have witnessed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lgmcp

          in public schools, our administrators and teachers seem woefully ignorant of basic civics and Am Govt 101 as well.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 05:32:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Feature it as a top story for a week, instead of (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BentLiberal, Cadillac64, lgmcp

      say Kim Kardasian's ass or whatever they push, and see the difference. Where's people going to rally around? The Congress? The President? Who is saying: this matters? And if they are saying it; how often and loudly is it amplified in the Press?

      Look, growing joblessness has been a concern for ten years now. Do you see the people demanding more Jobs? Well, they do, but again there's no focal point provided by our lunatic political/media class. So it's the same as if they aren't, as far as public impressions go.

      Don't think just because people are functionally divorced from each other in 21st Century propagandized America that there's no commonly held feelings among them.


      Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says Political Conventional Wisdoom.

      by Jim P on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:17:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Emails/Docs searched (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rnotrtoornotrtoo, Tortmaster

      If you're on Gmail, your emails are routinely scanned for keywords so Google can target link-bait you with sponsored content.

      But the massive violations of our privacy by corporations never seem to concern the Greenwald/Snowden crowd.  I guess when the government does it it's ZOMG ORWELL but when Microsoft, Google, or Apple do it, it's the joy of iPhones, or something.

      •  More of this sick apologist crap (4+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        stevemb, benamery21, BentLiberal, Peace Missile
        Hidden by:
        Tortmaster

        Your take on this has been widely discredited many times already. Google can't no knock crash my door at 2AM with armed, badge-carrying officials of the State. I also consent to Google, etc. under its Terms of Use. Care to pint me to that disclosure from the feds?

        Damn I wish there were an ignore button so I could filter out boot lickers of the State.

        I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

        by pajoly on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:31:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's significant overlap (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stevemb

          between folks who appreciate the significance of the 4th Amendment, and folks who'd like to regulate some privacy in the private sphere as well.

          WinSmith, on the other hand, seems mostly interested in acting as an agent of MiniTrue.  This seems pretty conscious behavior, given the username.

          Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

          by benamery21 on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:41:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The significance of the 4th Amendment (0+ / 0-)

            If you truly bought the letter of the 4th Amendment, then every time you check the "ok" box on that long user agreement before you sign in to Twitter, Google, Apple, Gmail, iChat, Instagram, or any of the other private services, you'd know that you surrender your privacy rights at the door of technological access.

            It was precisely my point that the 4th Amendment needs to be extended not only in the government, but also in all private companies planting hidden cookies on your computer every time you read an article.

            But I'm a fascist apologist or something because I don't kiss Snowden's ass and thank him for gifting us mere mortals with his supreme generosity, or something.

        •  Or in the case of WinSmith (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pajoly

          just a button to say "Please don't show the same old content-free comments he's repeating"

          Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
          Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

          by BentLiberal on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:21:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  BINGO! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        davidincleveland, Lost and Found

        On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

        by stevemb on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:54:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes, how dare I point out a privacy issue (0+ / 0-)

          Involving private companies.

          Time to fire up the Snowden Apologist Sarcasm Gang (tm)!  

          No need to respond to points!  All who differ from the hive mind are to be mocked, ridiculed, and cast out from the herd!

          Wish I had a Bingo card for that one.  It would be HILARIOUS!

      •  Such condescending inanity in your comment (0+ / 0-)

        Shorter WinSmith:

        nothing to see here  -  (deny the problem)

        the Greenwald/Snowden crowd  (ad hom)

        when Microsoft, Google, or Apple do it, it's the joy of iPhone - Straw man

        Congrats WinSmith you hit the trifecta of failed commenting.

        Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
        Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

        by BentLiberal on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:19:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is true... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WinSmith

        So, Verizon et al store our records. The NSA wants access to their records. Why no outrage over Verizon's record storage? Why no outrage over data mining Internet browsing? The EU takes a tougher stand against private collections than we do here. Oooo the big bad government wants to do selective searches on bulk data, but its fine for private entities to do wholesale searches on that same data. Where's that outrage?

    •  Well you're certainly doing your part (0+ / 0-)

      to tell people how useless it is to oppose this.

      Thanks?

      Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
      Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

      by BentLiberal on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:15:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "We'd like all your facts, ma'am" (5+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:53:02 PM PDT

  •  Yeah I remember Bush saying... (14+ / 0-)

    he doesn't do email, they read that.  Interesting how our site was in an uproar over the possibility that Bush/Cheney were doing it but it's met with much 'meh' today for some reason.

    If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in.

    by kharma on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:55:10 PM PDT

    •  I think it's the "boiling a frog" scenario (5+ / 0-)

      as much or more than it is thinking a D administration will use such powers appropriately.   We just kind of get used to things, even really bad things.

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 01:04:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have the same experience with people that you (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lgmcp, Thomas Twinnings, kharma

        mentioned. "Yea, umm, tell me something I don't know."

        And then I do and then their eyes glaze over.

        We're not a nation of sheep, we're a nation of cows.

        moo

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 02:26:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not entirely (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cadillac64

        There are commenters here actively working to discredit any opposition to government spying and data collection against citizens.

        Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
        Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

        by BentLiberal on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:23:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You seem to confuse pessimism about good outcomes (0+ / 0-)

          with an active desire for bad outcomes.   Pollyanna-ism should not be mandatory.

          "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

          by lgmcp on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 06:42:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's a very generalized statement (0+ / 0-)

            ... and not accurate to what I was speaking of.

            There are plenty of commenters of they type I'm talking about. They are not "pessimistic."  They are defending in full all of the government spy and data collection programs.

            They come out in all the NSA diaries.

            Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
            Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

            by BentLiberal on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 11:52:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Sounds like the wrong kind of progress (0+ / 0-)

      Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
      Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

      by BentLiberal on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:22:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for making this Front Page news, McJoan. (14+ / 0-)

    This new report seems to punch some big holes in NSA denials.

    Looks like bobswern has a diary up on this, too.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

  •  It's just co-incidental hoovering. nt (3+ / 0-)

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 02:25:09 PM PDT

  •  Warrantless Wiretapping. What a joke (0+ / 0-)

    Nothing was on wires back then, it was already fiberoptic.

    You didn't "tap" into one singular line. Your vacuumed multiple signals.

    And it's only gotten worse and worse and worse.

    "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

    by GreenMother on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:05:37 PM PDT

  •  The usual question for Snowden/Greenwald (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rnotrtoornotrtoo

    I've been asking it for months and I'll ask it again.

    Are warrants required before any documents involving U.S. citizens are accessed?

    If yes, but the implication is that the system can still be abused...

    Are there any examples of U.S. officials accessing any of this data without getting warrants first?

    I hate to pee on the Snowden Hype machine, but these are pretty basic questions.  Until there's evidence of warantless access to data produced by American citizens by government officials, then this continues to be a whole lotta exposure to the realities of global spying in the digital age, and a whole lotta hype/misdirection/innuendo about actual government crimes.

    •  Are congressional investigators American? nt (4+ / 0-)

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:43:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Try READING THE DIARY Before Commenting! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cadillac64, JVolvo, salamanderanagram
      "Present and former U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to provide context for a classified program, acknowledged that large numbers of conversations involving Americans would be gathered from the country where RETRO operates."
      (Is there some way to make blink tags work here? I really think blink tags are the bare minimum to dissuade WinSmith from pretending that the above statement does not exist.)

      On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

      by stevemb on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:57:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Useless (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        benamery21, JVolvo

        He's not interested in content.

        Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
        Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

        by BentLiberal on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:46:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You totally missed the point (0+ / 0-)

        The fact large numbers of Americans IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES would be gathered was precisely why the program was problematic.  

        It was the entire reason there was internal debate at the NSA over it.  It also shows you the importance of Constitutional protections in the debate even in internal documents.

        But since the country was never named (nor any Americans), it's all innuendo and bullshit.

    •  I don't think you need a warrant to wiretap (0+ / 0-)

      US citizens outside of the US.

      For example, if the CIA sneaks a wiretap into a Mexican drug lord's car in Mexico do you think they suddenly have to go get a warrant to listen to it if the drug lord starts using a driver with a US passport?

    •  WinSmith you should just get numbers (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      benamery21, stevemb, JVolvo, Dallasdoc

      for your comments

      Hold up a "1" for misdirection

      Hold up a "2" for "nothing to see here'

      Hold up a "3" for ad hom  (better make this your favorite number since it's your favorite "refutation")

      And hold up a '4" when you want to say that anyone that opposes the classified spying and data collection programs should supply evidence of it. I would actually get a chuckle out of how much you pull that one, if it weren't a serious matter.

      Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
      Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

      by BentLiberal on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:27:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  your response is worthless (0+ / 0-)

        .

      •  WinSmith you should just get numbers (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dallasdoc

        or your comments

        Hold up a "1" for misdirection

        Hold up a "2" for "nothing to see here'

        Hold up a "3" for ad hom  (better make this your favorite number since it's your favorite "refutation")

        And hold up a "4" when you want to say that anyone that opposes the classified spying and data collection programs should supply evidence of it. I would actually get a chuckle out of how much you pull that one, if it weren't a serious matter.

        "5"  Bullying

        Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
        Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

        by BentLiberal on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 04:32:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  geographical ethics (0+ / 0-)

    "But that's all happening overseas, right?"

    i am tired of the argument that "it's different" because its AMERICANS.

    drones are a cost effective way of generating enough new terrorists that calls to cut military spending will fail.

    by just want to comment on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:29:01 PM PDT

  •  I've been assured it's only something white people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidincleveland

    are privileged to be concerned about.

    Because the three-letter-acronyms have never been deployed against people of color.

    Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

    by The Dead Man on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:35:35 PM PDT

  •  Anyone STILL believing that our .... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidincleveland

    government isn't illegally spying on its citizens???


    I travel back in time to get a running start on the future.

    by glb3 on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:40:25 PM PDT

  •  What Was Congress Thinking? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidincleveland, Cadillac64

    No, I don't mean, "What were they thinking when they passed FISA or the so-called Patriot Act?!" I mean, "What did they put in all their phone calls and e-mail messages when they were supposed to be monitoring our spies?" "What did the oversight committee say to other people on the phone?" That's what I mean by "what were they thinking?"

    Now, we can find out!

  •  smoking gun (0+ / 0-)

    Here's the proof Republicans hoped no one would ever really make an issue. All of this NSA garbage that everyone so easily vilifies Snowden for exposing, of course is the product of Bush/Cheney paranoia and process. Thank goodness Mr. Obama was smart enough to just let it play out, not seeking war crimes investigations early on for Bush and Cheney that simply would have died a partisan-fight death. Now the issue can be pursued independently because even his administration is on the line for the policy going forward insuring Republican attention. It is a far different thing to be accused of continuing an illegal policy that has for years been treated as necessary, than it is to try as a neophyte to undo it. Sometimes patience is a serious virtue.

    •  GASP!!! Oh! How brilliantly clever! Sheer genius!! (0+ / 0-)
      Thank goodness Mr. Obama was smart enough to just let it play out, not seeking war crimes investigations early on for Bush and Cheney that simply would have died a partisan-fight death.
      But this is waaay beyond 11 dimensional chess, more like.. No, too unique for description. So our wonderful, self-sacrificing Democratic administration deliberately committed the crime of refusing to prosecute war crimes which it knew had been committed, because
      Now the issue can be pursued independently because even his administration is on the line for the policy going forward insuring Republican attention. It is a far different thing to be accused of continuing an illegal policy that has for years been treated as necessary, than it is to try as a neophyte to undo it.
      That's just so awesome I'm totally totally verklempt. [pauses, blows nose] I'm going to visit this admin's place of incarceration as soon as they confess to their self-sacrificing drive for true justice. I'll stand outside the razor wire perimeter, weeping, wailing and beating my breast until I'm 72. Oh, wait.. I already am 72. And no garment rending, I'm afraid; I'm too poor for that.

      Enough fossil fuel remains on Earth to warm it 6 degrees C by 2100 AD if it is all used. A +6 C planet will only sustain half a billion humans. Human population will rise to 9 billion by 2050. Any questions?

      by davidincleveland on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:19:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't think Feinstein is as bothered by (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cadillac64

    any surveillance of her committee by the CIA as she is about the agency's yanking documents from the committee's computers that they had earlier made available and which the committee was actively utilizing in their investigation.  

    Or maybe she's just pissed that everything the CIA has done, and continues to do, negates her prior judgment that anything the CIA does to "keep the country safe" is justified.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:47:39 PM PDT

  •  OMG! I heard the NSA is spying on FOREIGN gov'ts! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rnotrtoornotrtoo, Rich in PA

    When did this start? I blame Obummer.  He started the CIA, NSA, FBI, CSI, and NCIS.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:51:33 PM PDT

  •  thank you for keeping us up to date on the abuses (4+ / 0-)

    Of our 4th Amendtment rights. Obviously the problem goes well beyond the collection of data to the question of what is done with it. Watergate was inteded to provide political advantage to the Nixon re election  campaign. If you know what your political opponent is planning to do, what they are going to say, where they are concentrating their efforts, you have an unfair advantage, even without the types of dirty tricks we have seen time and time again.

    Private citizens and businesses are also at risk if inside information is funneled to a competitor. Given what Murdoch did with News of the World and now the wholesale use of private drones, the larger question might be how to prevent the government and other entities from having these capabilities.

  •  I trust them (0+ / 0-)

    not to tell us the truth about how they are spying on the American people.

  •  I want to know what the foreign country is! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp

    I'm guessing it's Panama, but I wish it were Texas.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 05:00:18 AM PDT

  •  The NSA IS breaking the law! (0+ / 0-)

    Contrary to the brainless pap spewed by Wall Street Whore Feinstein, the NSA is in violation of federal law when it acts in this manner.
    It's called the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 (18 USC §1835), which makes it a crime to use military personnel or equipment for law enforcement activities outside of military property.
    LGEN Alexander and his last three predecessors should be court-martialed for their crimes.

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