Noted with boredom: the smoking gun on the wiretapping scandal
Posted by Charles II on June 6, 2013
Not that we shouldn’t be shocked and angry.
So, DemocracyNow covered the story in 2005, and I quoted them here:
The NSA, on the other hand, does it wholesale, where they take entire streams of communications coming down from satellites, which can contain millions of communications… So that’s emails, faxes, telephone calls, cellular calls and so forth….Now, they’ve admitted it’s the wiretapping and investigation of people within the United States, domestic calls to domestic calls.
And today, Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian:
The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.
The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.
Jessalyn Radack, a director at the Government Accountability Project, has a pretty good summary of the whistleblowers who have been trying to protect Americans from this wildly illegal and unconstitutional program.
Among Washington Democrats, there have been two who have responded with concern: Mark Udall and Ron Wyden. Obama thinks he’s made mass wiretapping legal because he gets rubberstamp warrants. But surely, to qualify as a warrant, a judicial determination has to be more specific than everybody. And the usual clods, like Dianne Feinstein, are defending this massive intrusion into our lives by saying, all they are collecting is the “metadata”: who contacts who, when, by what means, and what public documents they look at. But of course, someone incompetent or of ill intent can use that metadata to do great harm to the innocent.
Scorecard: 280 million Americans wiretapped. According to Republican Mike Rogers, exactly one terrorist attack prevented. How many innocent people suffered bad consequences, and what were those consequences? Is the NSA warehousing the content of the calls even if they don’t initially listen in (answer: almost certainly yes)? And what is the potential for abuse if another Richard Nixon gains power?
Those are the questions that ought to be asked.
Anyway, not to take anything away from Glenn Greenwald or the brave people who leaked this. It’s just that the American people seem to be deaf to issues like this. It’s they, not I, who have noted these depredations against the Constitution with boredom.
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