An independent federal review board has said that the National Security Agency’s phone data collection program is illegal and should be immediately shut down.
Of course it’s illegal and should be immediately shut down. It violates the 1st and 4th Amendments on a brazen and outrageous basis and not only should it be shut down but everyone involved in it should be remanded to federal prison.
The report also rejected claims that the program was necessary to cover up a gap in intelligence arising from a failure to detect Al Qaeda members in the United States prior to the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. U.S. officials had claimed that the phone data collection program would have made clear that terrorist Khalid al-Mihdhar was calling a safehouse in Yemen from a San Diego address.
“The failure to identify Mihdhar’s presence in the United States stemmed primarily from a lack of information sharing among federal agencies, not of a lack of surveillance capabilities,” the report said. “This was a failure to connect the dots, not a failure to connect enough dots.”
Oh it’s worse than that. The FBI knew that there were people buying simulator time with cash, because the owner of one of the simulators called them and reported it. He also reported that they were paying a lot of money to learn how to fly heavy commercial aircraft but didn’t care about being able to land them.
Can someone please explain to this rather-ordinary guy who has been in a few of those flying beercans exactly what legitimate purpose you would have for learning to fly an aircraft if you have no interest in being able to safely set foot back on the ground after doing so?
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
You can claim hindsight is 20:20 but in point of fact masturbation is what our so-called government agencies do when it comes to these matters. Then, to bolster their own egos and sense of importance, they “infiltrate” people with loud mouths and deficient minds, giving them the means to turn word into alleged action that would never otherwise happen because the person spewing their hatred lacks the mental acuity and personal drive necessary to acquire the materials on their own, and then arrests them.
Now sure, the guy who is muttering about hating ‘merica and wanting to blow us all to Hell, and when given the opportunity takes what he thinks are bomb components, assembles them and tries to blow up a Christmas tree lighting ceremony ought to go to jail.
However, the fact remains that I’ve yet to see one of these instances since 9/11 where the person who is eventually arrested had the necessary means and motivation to turn his hatred into action absent the provocation and provision of same by the government.
The fact is that there is not one terrorist act that has been aborted inside the United States as a consequence of bulk surveillance of call records inside the US. Not one instance has been identified where a plot was foiled that would not have been uncovered and stopped but for that program. The NSA has been repeatedly challenged to show just one such bust, and has been unable to.
Don’t take my word for it. The board found this — specifically:
“We have not identified a single instance involving a threat to the United States in which the telephone records program made a concrete difference in the outcome of a counterterrorism investigation,” said the report, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post. “Moreover, we are aware of no instance in which the program directly contributed to the discovery of a previously unknown terrorist plot or the disruption of a terrorist attack.”
There you go.
In addition what we do know is that the government has, on multiple occasions, unlawfully used this program in other ways. It has detected drug smuggling, for example, and passed that information to the DEA and FBI. When they subsequently make application for a warrant, however, they lie about how they learned about the drug dealer, which is a stand-alone felony committed by the government, and but for that illegal act it appears they may have never discovered the person at all.
Yes, the drug dealing is a crime (whether it should be is a different discussion.) However, the felonies committed by government are never prosecuted. If the government expects me, as an ordinary citizen, and you, as an ordinary citizen, to remain law-abiding citizens then they must abide the same law and be equally punished when they do not.
The Constitution is not a list of suggestions.
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