Super Duper Double Secret Bullshit

secret_agent


From the Director of National Intelligence:

DNI Statement on Recent Unauthorized Disclosures of Classified Information

The highest priority of the Intelligence Community is to work within the constraints of law to collect, analyze and understand information related to potential threats to our national security.

The unauthorized disclosure of a top secret U.S. court document threatens potentially long-lasting and irreversible harm to our ability to identify and respond to the many threats facing our nation.

The article omits key information regarding how a classified intelligence collection program is used to prevent terrorist attacks and the numerous safeguards that protect privacy and civil liberties.

I believe it is important for the American people to understand the limits of this targeted counterterrorism program and the principles that govern its use. In order to provide a more thorough understanding of the program, I have directed that certain information related to the “business records” provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act be declassified and immediately released to the public.

The following important facts explain the purpose and limitations of the program:

The judicial order that was disclosed in the press is used to support a sensitive intelligence collection operation, on which members of Congress have been fully and repeatedly briefed. The classified program has been authorized by all three branches of the Government.

Although this program has been properly classified, the leak of one order, without any context, has created a misleading impression of how it operates. Accordingly, we have determined to declassify certain limited information about this program.

The program does not allow the Government to listen in on anyone’s phone calls. The information acquired does not include the content of any communications or the identity of any subscriber. The only type of information acquired under the Court’s order is telephony metadata, such as telephone numbers dialed and length of calls.

The collection is broad in scope because more narrow collection would limit our ability to screen for and identify terrorism-related communications. Acquiring this information allows us to make connections related to terrorist activities over time. The FISA Court specifically approved this method of collection as lawful, subject to stringent restrictions.

The information acquired has been part of an overall strategy to protect the nation from terrorist threats to the United States, as it may assist counterterrorism personnel to discover whether known or suspected terrorists have been in contact with other persons who may be engaged in terrorist activities.

There is a robust legal regime in place governing all activities conducted pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which ensures that those activities comply with the Constitution and laws and appropriately protect privacy and civil liberties. The program at issue here is conducted under authority granted by Congress and is authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). By statute, the Court is empowered to determine the legality of the program.

By order of the FISC, the Government is prohibited from indiscriminately sifting through the telephony metadata acquired under the program. All information that is acquired under this program is subject to strict, court-imposed restrictions on review and handling. The court only allows the data to be queried when there is a reasonable suspicion, based on specific facts, that the particular basis for the query is associated with a foreign terrorist organization. Only specially cleared counterterrorism personnel specifically trained in the Court-approved procedures may even access the records.

All information that is acquired under this order is subject to strict restrictions on handling and is overseen by the Department of Justice and the FISA Court. Only a very small fraction of the records are ever reviewed because the vast majority of the data is not responsive to any terrorism-related query.

The Court reviews the program approximately every 90 days. DOJ conducts rigorous oversight of the handling of the data received to ensure the applicable restrictions are followed. In addition, DOJ and ODNI regularly review the program implementation to ensure it continues to comply with the law.

The Patriot Act was signed into law in October 2001 and included authority to compel production of business records and other tangible things relevant to an authorized national security investigation with the approval of the FISC. This provision has subsequently been reauthorized over the course of two Administrations – in 2006 and in 2011. It has been an important investigative tool that has been used over the course of two Administrations, with the authorization and oversight of the FISC and the Congress.

Discussing programs like this publicly will have an impact on the behavior of our adversaries and make it more difficult for us to understand their intentions. Surveillance programs like this one are consistently subject to safeguards that are designed to strike the appropriate balance between national security interests and civil liberties and privacy concerns. I believe it is important to address the misleading impression left by the article and to reassure the American people that the Intelligence Community is committed to respecting the civil liberties and privacy of all American citizens.

James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence


But wait! There’s more:

DNI Statement on Activities Authorized Under Section 702 of FISA


Both statements come down to the same basic thing: “We’re not doing anything wrong but you’ll have to trust us because if we told you what we’re doing the terrorists will win”.

Bullshit.

When we went to war with Japan and Germany there was a lot of war time secrecy. Yesterday was the 69th anniversary of the start of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Europe. The Germans knew we were coming. That was no secret. England had been turned into a giant staging area filled with men and equipment. What they didn’t know was when and where the invasion would begin.

The terrorists know we’re looking for them. When Osama bin Laden was on the run he went to a lot of trouble to keep us from tracking him down. It took years of effort and more than a little luck to find him. We didn’t do it by looking through domestic phone records.

Technology has changed dramatically since the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution. The government can quite literally watch every move we make, hear everything we say and read anything we enter into cyberspace. They have devices that can let them see us walking around inside our homes.

We either have to give up on the concept of privacy or we need stringent rules to prevent the government from abusing it’s power. I vote for the latter.

But we cannot control government if we are not even allowed to know what it is doing. Secret laws and programs are incompatible with a free society. In recent years our presidents have asserted that they can kill or imprison us without trial or due process based on secret evidence.

And we’re supposed to trust them.

Yesterday I realized that my political views began to change much earlier than I thought with the passage of the Patriot Act and Homeland Security Act. They were followed by revelations that we maintained secret prisons and tortured people.

That was when I began to fear government, but at first I only feared the Bush administration. Then Obama made me realize that there is no leader that can be trusted with that kind of power.


“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” – Lord Acton


About Myiq2xu

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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100 Responses to Super Duper Double Secret Bullshit

  1. driguana says:

    i spy…for the fbi

  2. As was mentioned yesterday (I forget by whom) when Bush came up with “Homeland” as a moniker for his new Department of Constitutional Infringement, the word “Homeland” made me immediately think of “The Fatherland” of WWII Germany. I am sure I was not the only American who felt this.

    I am now, more than ever, seeing the “Fatherland” of a Fascist State in action.

    Despite Clapper’s comments, and despite the same “Obama Troll Comments” – almost verbatim to each others in different articles on this subject – it is impossible to believe that an Administration who started by cheating their way into office and who has used the IRS and God knows how many other agencies to ATTACK their political enemies, would be so restrained and respecting of the laws of this nation to not abuse this program for their own political – and quite possibly personal ends.

    Think of the lawyers who have cases pending the government doesn’t want to lose. Think of the major corporations who are discussing trade secrets and the potential for insider trading. The conversations (or the ‘metadata’) churning between Romney and Trump, or Hillary and Bill, or Glenn Beck and whomever. Think of thew advantage a guy like Obama and folks like Jarret would have in their next endeavors. After all – if a little intimidation by the IRS can dissemble the Tea Party before an election – what can the J. Edgar Hoover-on-steroids writ large snooping do to your political or personal nemeses?

    I am sure I am not the only one thinking this either. And despite the claims of the DNI that it’s only phone numbers and durations of call, points of origin, etc., it has also been written that if it if found that a “person of interest” needed further scrutiny, the FISA Courts would then issue a warrant for that individual and it would THEN be that conversations “could be archived” for evidence.

    What’s to prevent Obama, Bush, the next guy or gal or whoever from “taking a little listen” now to gain an upper hand or to do a dirty deed?

    The Obama Administration, like the Administration before them, has proven themselves to be above the law and untrustworthy in governing. We already know they are proven liars and cheaters.

    And although I personally believe GW was pushed and prodded by Cheney and Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz & others to do extra-constitutional acts, he, as President, shoulders that responsibility.

    Americans should be in the streets. And it should be bi-partisan outrage – at the Administration and at the Congress – because, as I read this morning “Labels hardly matter on an issue of this magnitude.”

    • wmcb says:

      There are likely members of congress, judges, CEO’s etc in that dragnet of info. What’s to stop them from looking to see what numbers their number is calling, and hey, lookee it’s Sugar’s Sensual Massage and Escort!!

      They don’t have to use the legal apparatus to “target” people for crimes to make this dangerous. A judicious leak, or the threat of one, could be a powerful tool to apply some pressure.

    • catarina says:

      Now now, don’t say “fascist.” That will get you banned.

      Wait, never mind. This isn’t The Confluence!

      😈

      To all my old pals who were just horrified that I wouldn’t support Obama (because I was a ‘good liberal’ so how could I not?!) Suck it, just suck it.

  3. Lulu says:

    Liars lying, bullshitters bullshitting and fuck-ups fucking up. When you run everything you touch like a criminal gang you will get push back. And eventually it will start sticking. The truth is that Obama and his band of bully dumb-asses has made countless enemies. From lower level IRS employees to national security honchos to the media who still have two functioning brain cells who are outing the people he placed specifically to spy on and terrorize all of us he is losing control. Obama has been a nasty strong man insulated by a cult. He is at present a weakening dangerous man who can only retaliate. ANYONE who agrees with and rationalizes the police state of Obama is not fit for public service.

    • myiq2xu says:

      ANYONE who agrees with and rationalizes the police state of Obama is not fit for public service deserves the dictatorship they get.

      FTFY

  4. “ANYONE who agrees with and rationalizes the police state of Obama is not fit for public service.”

    THIS!!!!!

  5. DeniseVB says:

    Cillizza: Matt Drudge was right. Goes great with the first cuppa this morning.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/06/06/matt-drudge-was-right/

    • myiq2xu says:

      What, no mention of Andrew Breitbart? That was basically his dream too.

      • DeniseVB says:

        From wiki:

        In 1995 Breitbart saw the Drudge Report and was so impressed that he emailed Matt Drudge. Breitbart said, “I thought what he was doing was by far the coolest thing on the Internet. And I still do.”[7] Breitbart described himself as “Matt Drudge’s bitch”[13] and selected and posted links to other news wire sources. Later Matt Drudge introduced him to Arianna Huffington (when she was still a Republican)[9] and Breitbart subsequently assisted her in creating The Huffington Post.

        Not many people know he helped create Huffpo too.

      • Karma says:

        There was an interesting article ‘Krassner vs Breitbart’ in Playboy. Breitbart wins the debate.

        http://www.playboy.com/playground/view/krassner-vs-breitbart

        Sorry if the site offends anyone – it really is a good article.

  6. wmcb says:

    Like you, I find myself becoming more libertarian in many areas. I just don’t trust anyone, from either party, with too much power.

    Greenwald has another piece out. It’s good.

    The way things are supposed to work is that we’re supposed to know virtually everything about what they do: that’s why they’re called public servants. They’re supposed to know virtually nothing about what we do: that’s why we’re called private individuals.

    This dynamic – the hallmark of a healthy and free society – has been radically reversed. Now, they know everything about what we do, and are constantly building systems to know more. Meanwhile, we know less and less about what they do, as they build walls of secrecy behind which they function. That’s the imbalance that needs to come to an end. No democracy can be healthy and functional if the most consequential acts of those who wield political power are completely unknown to those to whom they are supposed to be accountable.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/07/whistleblowers-and-leak-investigations

  7. myiq2xu says:

    We are supposed to believe that the government secretly gathers all this information but only uses in strictly controlled ways. Just like we were supposed to believe the IRS didn’t target the Tea Party.

    • taw46 says:

      From the statement: “All information that is acquired under this order is subject to strict restrictions on handling and is overseen by the Department of Justice…..”

      All you need to know.

  8. wmcb says:

    We’re all just hysterical paranoids, you guys. Nothing to see here, move along.

  9. myiq2xu says:
  10. myiq2xu says:
  11. wmcb says:

    What’s frustrating at times is the refusal (sometimes from both sides) to ponder the fact that any accumulated power used to target groups you hate can be used to target groups you support.

    I like saying things like this to Progs who try to justify: “It’s hard for me to believe that you are all in favor of future president Santorum’s administration using the IRS to harass and shut down Planned Parenthood, ThinkProgress, and the NAACP, and audit gay businesses. Wow. Just wow.”

    And I push it, while they sputter that’s not what they said. Yes, yes that IS what you said – and you need to realize that.

  12. yttik says:

    Several people have pointed out that FISA is now often being called the “Federal” Intelligence Surveillance Act. That’s completely wrong, it is the “Foreign” Intelligence Surveillance Act. There’s a huge difference between the words, “federal” and “foreign.”

    We’re seeing this mistake everywhere:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/06/06/press-gaggle-deputy-principal-press-secretary-josh-earnest-and-secretary

  13. myiq2xu says:
  14. votermom says:

    LOL. My hubby is so stoic. He was chaperoning a field trip yesterday so didn’t get any news.
    His reaction to NSA PRISM etc today: “That’s been going on for a long time. Like (the movie) Enemy of The Sate”

    • fif says:

      That’s my father’s response to every revelation: they all do that.

      ie: so Obama is not doing anything ‘wrong.’ ???

      • votermom says:

        I think hubby is cynical of all pols – totally does not believe there are any honest ones. So in that sense he is not outraged. It’s like expecting good behavior from cockroaches.
        I wonder how many others feel that way.

        • wmcb says:

          That describes my husband.

        • DeniseVB says:

          My husband fears there will never be a Republican president as long as the Dems get away with giving away the free stuff and pays to be a slacker. Romney was right about the 47%, and it will go higher if Obama’s amnesty program goes through with 8 million more Dem voters. He blames the Repubs just as much for rolling over for all this sh*t. He also thinks this is how Obama will take back his super majority in Congress in 2014 and for the first time in his 71 years, thinking about moving to another country 😉

        • Constance says:

          I feel that way too.

    • votermom says:

      Btw my kid came back from that field trip (to a museum) with a souvenir from the gift shop. Guess what it was?
      A prism.
      I kid you not.
      *insert twilight zone music*

  15. votermom says:

  16. wmcb says:

    Down the memory hole. Whuh?? No, I never said that!

    https://twitter.com/FormerDeminTX

  17. votermom says:

  18. Lulu says:

    What is safe from spying? CB radios? USPS because there is too much junk mail to screen it all? Smoke signals? Coded messages delivered via florists? I’m starting to feel like the French Resistance in WWII. LOL. Where is my baguette and bicycle?

    • fif says:

      Seriously – we must all be a on list somewhere from this blog alone. (I didn’t say that.)

      • catarina says:

        Yup, and along with Crayfisher they know I read Drudge and Gateway Pundit every day..

        • taw46 says:

          Haha. If it were only those three for me. I have a wide range of blogs I read every day. More than a few to get me on a “watched” list!!!!

      • Constance says:

        If they are spying on me they must be pretty bored.

        • Lulu says:

          Oh the software does it. You can bore software as much as you want. This is to separate out the dissenters. The IRS crap was to hassle the dissenters until they went away or they could get around to auditing all of them. Incremental oppression is what I think is their schtick.

        • Internal Exile says:

          I’m not worried for my own sake, since I suspect I’m too small-time and undangerous for any human beings in the Thought Police to pay attention to me. Only Colossus/Landru/HAL 9000/Skynet notices me.

      • HELENK says:

        they must go nuts if they spy on me. I go to many different sites every day.
        But since I am a nice person and do not want them to be bored, I will now go to sites like

        where to find hot young guys and how to train them.

        live lessons on sexual positions

        does your german shepard really love you

  19. wmcb says:

    Bahahahaha! Big Brother is watchin’ you, y’all.

  20. fif says:

    NY Times obviously got a screaming phone call from Valerie Jarrett & caved:

    New York Times quietly changes published editorial to make it less damning of Obama

    The New York Times edited its damning editorial condemning the Obama administration for collecting phone call data from Americans to make it less stinging shortly after the editorial was published online Thursday afternoon.

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/06/06/new-york-times-quietly-changes-published-editorial-to-make-it-less-damning-of-obama/#ixzz2VXTxOMlY

    • DeniseVB says:

      I read the original last night and thought Yay, the NYT is turning. I was wrong, but the edit is going to make more news than the actual original content, because they were right in the first place.

      • Lulu says:

        I can’t remember where I read it, but the Secret Service calls her Hairy Legged Bat. I’m sure that is not her official codename but maybe HLB is.

  21. votermom says:

  22. cynic says:

    A commenter on Althouse’s blog states:

    “Remember how Homeland Security identified veterans and right-wing radicals (such as pro-life groups and those who believed in states rights) as their number one security threat? That happened on April 9, 2009.”

    Since we are now ‘the enemy’, they have given themselves the permission to track us.

  23. Constance says:

    I got a demand letter from the IRS yesterday saying I have unpaid 2012 tax of around $400. and If I don’t pay immediately they will start charging interest. Which is really odd since I pay an accountant to do my taxes, the same competent guy for the last 10 years and he’s never made a mistake before.

    • Lulu says:

      Take it to the CPA immediately. They will protest it for you.

    • nerdle says:

      Tell them you spent the $400 on a conference.

    • SHV says:

      “I got a demand letter from the IRS yesterday ”
      ******
      I got one 6 months ago saying that I owed $256,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest. It was nonsense but it took three month to get them off of my back.

      The US govt is much worse for my well being than any “terrist”.

      • Lulu says:

        This is why I have a CPA with several personality disorders. When we get letters saying she made a mistake she goes insane on their ass. She learned her trade at the auditing department of an oil company. AKA as Jekyll & Hyde CPA and Ammo.

    • DandyTiger says:

      I got one of those too. I paid it to get them off my back, but will get the accountant to see what’s what.

    • piper says:

      I also got a letter from the IRS claiming I owed them $57.00 for failure to pay estimated taxes on time.

    • votermom says:

      Wow. So many on here getting IRS letters.

      • Constance says:

        I do feel kind of targeted. I’m not a Republican but I’m not a Democrat either and I strongly dislike having a misogynist President and don’t consider his dark skin color a qualification for the job of President that trumps all other qualifications. The tax code is so complex I have no idea if I owe it or not but I’ve always tried to be honest and I think my accountant is honest. Anyway I see what he has to say about it.

  24. wmcb says:

    • Lulu says:

      Then they will have to ban wood and corn cobs too. No forests for the Sierra Club or fields of gasoline additives.

  25. DandyTiger says:

    President duckface is talking about obamacare and now the intelligence stuff. He’s saying they don’t listen in, only collect metadata. Lots of hype and silliness. Overseen by Congress. What he doesn’t say is metadata includes location data. They track your movements (while cell phone on) 24/7.

    • DandyTiger says:

      Ha, he did it. He said it was all Boooosh’s fault. And congresses.

      • Anthony says:

        Interesting to me was the same people who skewered Dubbya for signing the Patriot Act are now defending Obama for expanding its reach.

        Lapdog MIka and ValJar BFF on Morning Joe said “Well, he campaigned against warrantless wiretaps when he was running for office, but then when he took office, he understood the necessity”… Nice try, but its all bullshit.

        Neighborhood Obots here in NYC are alternating between blaming Bush and defending Obama “for reasons of National Security”.

        Me? I railed against it when Bush signed it, and I think it sucks even more now, since its been expanded.

        We might as well be living in Venezuela…

    • myiq2xu says:

      You know he’s in trouble if he’s giving a speech.

    • votermom says:

      President duckface

      That’s President lameduckface to you, buster

  26. HELENK says:

    well the disclosure of the government spying on its own citizens must have hit a nerve. backtrack is on TV babbling and bumbling. the way he is stuttering he must not have his teleprompter

    • Constance says:

      At work I listen to NPR because that is what’s on, the people I work with feel it is the least controversial radio show available. I noticed that many of the liberal people on the show stutter and stammer and I couldn’t figure out what the deal was because the few conservatives they have on don’t do it. Then it finally dawned on me that it is a liberal affectation and they are copying Obama. Creepy as well as annoying.

  27. foxyladi14 says:

    Freaky Friday. 😦

  28. myiq2xu says:

    Gotta go shopping. Hopefully there will be a video up of Obama’s latest lies when I get back. I’ll make a new post when I get the video.

  29. taw46 says:

    Interesting comment he made, sometime in the next 3 1/2 yrs I will be gone.

    • myiq2xu says:

      He’s just teasing. He doesn’t plan to leave, ever.

      • Lulu says:

        I like the qualifier “sometime”. It may not be January 2017 huh. Maybe it is time to move on down the road. When things get hot look for another job is a hard habit to break.

  30. myiq2xu says:
  31. HELENK says:

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/06/06/Report-Seized-Phone-Records-May-Be-Stored-at-NSA-Data-Center-in-Utah

    Seized phone records may be stored at NSA dat center in Utah.

    there really is a WAREHOUSE 13

  32. votermom says:

    I admit feeling a bit schadenfreudey reading gizmodo
    http://gizmodo.com/president-obamas-prism-response-wont-make-you-feel-on-511912648

    check out the comments btoo

  33. votermom says:

    So now THIS is obviousky just nutty tin foil hattery… no way it could come true … right?

    “It means that there will be censorship under the color of authority of anyone in the U.S. who is attempting to expose what’s going on in our name. It’s about controlling any damning information from reaching epidemic proportions. It’s damage control to the extreme. It’s about the upcoming censorship of the internet in the name of national security. The plans are already in place. These latest reports about ‘spying eyes’ have turned this administration and others connected to it into something very, very dangerous. They feel cornered and threatened, and I’m hearing about some plans they have to shut down the flow of information that is implicating them of wrongdoing. Time is short,” he stated.

    “How are they going to do this? How is it even possible” I asked.

    “First, they intend to use the Justice Department to silence journalists like in the Rosen case, but they won’t stop there. They will use a host of national security policies, laws, letters, whatever to take out the bigger threats,” he stated.

    Next, they will use some sort of excuse, an external threat, and I believe it will be a combination of the economic collapse and a Mid-East war that will begin in Syria to throttle the information that is accessible on the Internet. And you know what? People will believe it!”

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