Category Archives: warrantless wiretapping

Dems sell out the Constitution again..

The friggin’ ratbastards have agreed to provide immunity to the Telco’s and institute sweeping changes as to how our government can spy upon us. They are calling it..cough..choke..a compromise. From the WSJ via The Carpetbagger Report:

After more than a year of partisan acrimony over government surveillance powers, Democratic and Republican leaders have agreed to a bipartisan deal that would be the most sweeping rewrite of spy powers in three decades. The House is likely to vote on the measure Friday, House aides said. […]

The new agreement broadens the authority to spy on people in the U.S. and provides conditional legal immunity to companies that helped the government eavesdrop after the 2001 terrorist attacks, according to congressional aides in both parties.

The deal, if adopted, would bring the spy activities of a controversial National Security Agency surveillance program permanently under the law. That would allow the government, in certain circumstances, to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens without a specific warrant. It would also expand government spy powers to monitor communications between the U.S. and overseas to collect intelligence on topics beyond terrorism.

As Steve notes, Glen Greenwald’s pov on this is spot on. The fucking Blue Dogs were the ones championing this bullshittery to enable our government a free rein on spying without a warrant and providing the fucking Telco’s with retroactive immunity. They played the fear factor card just like the Rethugs do..and evidently it has worked..even Obama has jumped on this fucking bandwagon. From Greenwald:

So all the Attorney General has to do is recite those magic words — the President requested this eavesdropping and did it in order to save us from the Terrorists — and the minute he utters those words, the courts are required to dismiss the lawsuits against the telecoms, no matter how illegal their behavior was.

That’s the “compromise” Steny Hoyer negotiated and which he is now — according to very credible reports — pressuring every member of the Democratic caucus to support. It’s full-scale, unconditional amnesty with no inquiry into whether anyone broke the law. In the U.S. now, thanks to the Democratic Congress, we’ll have a new law based on the premise that the President has the power to order private actors to break the law, and when he issues such an order, the private actors will be protected from liability of any kind on the ground that the Leader told them to do it — the very theory that the Nuremberg Trial rejected.(emphasis Greenwalds)

With Democrats such as these in office..who is really our enemy? Seriously folks..who? The Rethugs only need to enlist the help of the fucking Blue Dogs and gets done.

What the NSA has access to about you and me..without a FISA warrant

Surely it won’t be a surprise to most folks that follow what is going on, it wasn’t to me. The TPM muckraker has a WSJ piece up this morning that they explain well enough that it opened my eyes pretty wide before I even had a cuppa coffee. Just the opening salvo from the WSJ piece:

Five years ago, Congress killed an experimental Pentagon antiterrorism program meant to vacuum up electronic data about people in the U.S. to search for suspicious patterns. Opponents called it too broad an intrusion on Americans’ privacy, even after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

But the data-sifting effort didn’t disappear. The National Security Agency, once confined to foreign surveillance, has been building essentially the same system.

The central role the NSA has come to occupy in domestic intelligence gathering has never been publicly disclosed. But an inquiry reveals that its efforts have evolved to reach more broadly into data about people’s communications, travel and finances in the U.S. than the domestic surveillance programs brought to light since the 2001 terrorist attacks.

See, silly me, I thought those assholes needed at least a friggin FISA warrant for all that information. Here is what Paul Kiel surmised over at TPM:

Gorman describes the NSA’s effort (elements of which have been reported before) as basically a resurrection of the Pentagon’s Total Information Awareness program, which of course was de-funded by Congress once the details became public. This time around, of course, the details have remained secret. Although the budget for the NSA’s driftnet is classified, Gorman cites one official as estimating it at $1 billion.

Ah yes..the TIA program. I remember hearing Gonzo talk about that when he was being grilled by the folks in the Congressional hearing many moons ago. The ability to know all things about all Americans..and so cheaply too! Only a billion? Hell, with the war costing millions a day..what’s another billion?

The following Democrats must be voted out of office..

They apparently find siding with the Rethugs an enjoyable and fulfilling event:
Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Evan Bayh (D-IA), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ken Salazar (D-CO), Tom Carper (D-DE), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Jim Webb (D-VA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Kent Conrad (D-ND), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).

They all voted, in essence, to give the Telco’s immunity. Here is the final vote tally courtesy of TPM muckraker. The Senate voted on the Dodd/Feingold amendment, which would have stripped retroactive immunity from the surveillance bill just now. The final tally was 31-67.

67 elected representatives think the Telco’s should not be held accountable for breaking the law and spying on Americans. Disgusting beyond all measure.

Worthless bastards all.

Obama voted and I am happy to say he did not vote with the worthless scum listed above. This is enough to get my vote most likely in the general long as Hillary doesn’t get the ‘fix’ in.

If you weren’t paranoid before..this should do it.

Oh yeah..this will do it..from RawStory:

National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell is drawing up plans for cyberspace spying that would make the current debate on warrantless wiretaps look like a “walk in the park,” according to an interview published in the New Yorker’s print edition today. Read the PDF here.

Debate on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act “will be a walk in the park compared to this,” McConnell said. “this is going to be a goat rope on the Hill. My prediction is that we’re going to screw around with this until something horrendous happens.”

Read all our emails? As if they haven’t done that already.

McConnell is developing a Cyber-Security Policy, still in the draft stage, which will closely police Internet activity.

“Ed Giorgio, who is working with McConnell on the plan, said that would mean giving the government the autority to examine the content of any e-mail, file transfer or Web search,” author Lawrence Wright pens.

“Google has records that could help in a cyber-investigation, he said,” Wright adds. “Giorgio warned me, ‘We have a saying in this business: ‘Privacy and security are a zero-sum game.'”

I am speechless, seriously and utterly speechless. Congress better step up to the plate on this bullshit. The infrastructure to tap into Americans’ email and web search history may already be in place.-May be? Fuck it IS in place boys and girls, its called Room 641A. AT&T has the capabilities NOW, just ask Mark Klein.

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Former head of FISA court criticizes BushCo on wiretapping of Americans.

WaPo has a good read up today. The honorable judge Royce C. Lambeth had said this to say about Bush’s wiretapping of American’s program, speaking at the American Library Association’s annual convention:

“We have to understand you can fight the war [on terrorism] and lose everything if you have no civil liberties left when you get through fighting the war,”We still have to preserve our civil liberties. Judges are the kinds of people you want to entrust that kind of judgment to more than the executive.”

Isn’t this a no-brainer my dear reader? Evidently not if the former presiding judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court had to say it out loud and in front a gathering of people.

Go check it out. BushCo taking power that isn’t their’s..and people know it. People who matter know it and they are speaking out about it.

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