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  1. Section 215: The White House’s Bullshit Talking Points
    Posted on June 6, 2013 by emptywheel

    Here’s what the White House has offered as talking points to defend collecting (DiFi has confirmed) all the call data from all Americans since 2006. Interspersed is my commentary.

    The article discusses what purports to be an order issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court under a provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that authorizes the production of business records. Orders of the FISA Court are classified.

    As they’ve done with drone strikes and, especially, WikiLeaks cables before, the Administration refuses to confirm that this is, in fact, what several members of Congress have made it clear it is: an authentic FISA Order that (as Dianne Feinstein revealed) is just the quarterly renewal of a program that goes back to the PATRIOT Act renewal in March 2006.

    In other words, with its “talking points,” the Administration is recommitting to keeping this program legally secret, even though it’s not secret.

    Everything that say after they set up that information asymmetry should be regarded with the knowledge that the White House refuses to permit you to check its claims.


  2. Alarming and Absolutely Unacceptable

    June 6, 2013

    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today criticized a secret domestic surveillance program that swept up millions of telephone records on calls by Americans who were not suspected of any wrongdoing.

    A court order demanding the records be turned over was obtained under a controversial interpretation of a provision in the so-called Patriot Act, which Sanders voted against when it was first enacted in 2001 and when it was reauthorized in 2006 and 2011.

    “As one of the few members of Congress who consistently voted against the Patriot Act, I expressed concern at the time of passage that it gave the government far too much power to spy on innocent United State citizens and provided for very little oversight or disclosure. Unfortunately, what I said turned out to be exactly true.

    “The United States should not be accumulating phone records on tens of millions of innocent Americans. That is not what democracy is about. That is not what freedom is about. Congress must address this issue and protect the constitutional rights of the American people,” Sanders added.

    “While we must aggressively pursue international terrorists and all of those who would do us harm, we must do it in a way that protects the Constitution and the civil liberties which make us proud to be Americans,” Sanders said.

    The Obama administration did not dispute a report, first published yesterday by the Guardian, that a classified court order required Verizon to turn over massive phone records to the National Security Agency.


  3. Obama, like every single one of his predecessors , is just a “puppet on a string of Tel Aviv” the whole system is rotten…..everyone is an employee of the all-mighty bankers.

    • Michael Krieger

      I approved this comment, but the one thing I do not allow here is any sort of bigoted commentary toward any group based on religion, race, sexuality, etc. Those are divide and conquer tactics, and you are playing right into the oligarch’s hands by using them. So if you want to go after bankers and the financial system or any other system here, go for it. Please go somewhere else if you are attacking groups of people in a bigoted manner.

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