Breaking today, very big news that not only has the National Security Agency (NSA) been listening to the phone calls of Americans, they are doing so WITHOUT a warrant, and when they do so, they’ve broken NO laws because a warrant IS NOT NEEDED – exactly the opposite of what we’ve been told. Over the last week we’ve been assured by many members of Congress that the simple little phone number (yours and mine), secreted away in their billion dollar facility, has no “content,” meaning the phone number just sits somewhere, stored away, until given a reason to ask a Judge for a warrant to listen-in. We were led to believe the issuing of a warrant, ‘warrants’ their spying, but NO WARRANT IS NECESSARY – emails, texts and instant messages included. Don’t you wonder what the FISA judges were thinking this week, after we were told they had to approve a warrant for spying – and knowing it was all a lie?
UPDATE JUNE 16, 2013, 10:38 pm CDT: Ah well, Rep. Nadler believes he heard it wrong in that super-secret Capitol Hill meeting. The NSA is certainly not listening to your phone calls or reading your emails, etc. Source: The Hill
“I am pleased that the administration has reiterated that, as I have always believed, the NSA cannot listen to the content of Americans’ phone calls without a specific warrant,” Nadler said in a statement to several news outlets.
The Atlantic Wire believes they have the mess sussed out and they have printed an exchange between Nadler and FBI Director Robert Mueller. Apparently Nadler drew his conclusion that NSA can listen to phone records without a warrant, and without breaking a law from a conversation with Mueller during the super-secret Capitol Hill briefing. The conversation revealed by The Atlantic Wire comes after the super-secret meeting. Nadler clearly believes he heard what is revealed in my original story below.
Nadler clearly believes Mueller’s two stories are in conflict. Mueller said he will check it out and get back to the Congressman. If you DID NOT say a warrant is not needed, wouldn’t you know it? Would you have to check your notes? I’d love to hear from others (brave souls, please speak out) in the meeting. Some exited the meeting saying they were shocked at what they heard. Nadler’s first version was, indeed, shocking because so many in Congress have claimed extreme measures are needed to intrude on our privacy in this way. Nadler’s version shocking, but not surprising – we’ve been speculating about it for years. The Atlantic Wire is relying on the second exchange with Mueller and has the video, but does not have access to the super-secret meeting transcript.
An update in the above linked article clarifies that the Government cannot “target” the phone calls of “Americans anywhere in the world.” Right.
According to this report, the information was revealed in a “secret Capitol Hill” briefing.
The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed “simply based on an analyst deciding that.”
If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. “I was rather startled,” said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee…
Because the same legal standards that apply to phone calls also apply to e-mail messages, text messages, and instant messages, Nadler’s disclosure indicates the NSA analysts could also access the contents of Internet communications without going before a court and seeking approval.
I’ve been on vacation and having fun with visiting family for the last few weeks and haven’t been online as much as usual, so admit that I may not be as familiar with all the conversation about what Edward Snowden revealed – that NSA has grabbed and stored, daily, the communications of 3 Billion Americans. My conclusions may not be as informed as that of others who have had more time to think about it, but today’s news adds a new dimension.
As I’ve pondered the question of: is Snowden a whistleblower or a traitor, I’ve not been able to get past “whistleblower,” even though he skipped to Hong Kong. I can’t buy into the idea that, at this point, he has revealed anything that puts America in jeopardy. I see nothing helpful our enemies can glean from knowing that the massive data is being stored, unless the Utah data center is now a target. If they couldn’t have imagined it possible, as we didn’t imagine it possible and certainly not lawful, they have no vision or understanding of the power of the U.S., just as you and I have not fully understood the lengths this administration is willing to go to, to render our right to privacy irrelevant.
Just this minute, I see former Vice-President Dick Cheney on television saying Snowden is a “traitor,” and George W. Bush is defending the Obama administration. How many times have we heard it, mainly from establishment Washington, D.C.? On the Republican side, it’s a caution to cover their own butts. I want the “select” Congressional members identified who received full briefings in the past – before last week’s briefing. If we assume the “full” briefing included today’s news, and they’ve known about it for many months and kept quiet about it. We must deal with this Government. Some of our elected are the traitors, not Snowden, unless he outs more that does pose a danger.
If all al-Qaeda knows is that the ability is there to trace, listen to and read a phone call, email, text or instant message, it can’t change much. They know this is the goal and has been for a decade. They have to communicate in some way, and there are only a few options. Perhaps the danger is that now they will resort to “runners,” as did bin Laden and that takes them completely underground, but “runners” are not an efficient method of planning jihad. Really. What do they do now that changes anything?
We hear that Snowden revealed more than we’ve been told, and perhaps the journalist he squawked to will reveal something traitorous. At this point, the traitors are in Congress and the administration, at the highest levels.
Proof at Proof Positive, a smart guy and a measured thinker, thought through the spying before today’s news was revealed. I don’t know if the latest revelation changes anything, but his article, The NSA and the Fruit of the Poisonous Tree makes some excellent points, bouncing off of the first World Trade Center bombing. Here’s a snippet, and I hope you will read it all:
The NSA has been keeping records on…everybody it seems….Defendants of the administration and the status quo, tell us that it’s only “metadata”, that no one is actually listening to our calls, so it’s no big deal!
But, is it? A big deal, I mean? One proponent tried to compare the metadata to…the Dewey Decimal System. They go into your library, but don’t read any of the books. They just copy down the Dewey Decimal information from the spines of the books. And they tell us that all they’re only looking for “patterns”. See? Harmless? One question: who gave you permission to go into my library?
I wasn’t opposed to the first Patriot Act but have become increasingly wary and alarmed, even without knowing how far this administration has officially taken the shredding of our privacy – today’s news being the stunner that is close to unbelievable until you understand that we are ruled by a Marxist on track to set the country up for submission. The roiling question: who in Congress has known warrants are not required? Surely those persons are on the Intelligence Committees. See Senate members here, House members here and here. Yet today, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, insists there is no listening, there is no recording, and says if there is, it is illegal. The second roiling question: Did Nadler make it all up?