Loyal Readers™ may recall our earlier post wherein we noted that Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper, lied in testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee by denying that the NSA conducted massive surveillance of American citizens on U.S. soil:
SEN. RON WYDEN: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”
JAMES R. CLAPPER: “No, sir.”
Clapper now has company: FBI director Robert Mueller.
The Palace’s congresscritter, Rep. Jerrrold Nadler, sits on the House Judiciary Committee. During a hearing before the committee on Thursday, an interesting exchange occurred:
[FBI director Robert] Mueller initially sought to downplay concerns about NSA surveillance by claiming that, to listen to a phone call, the government would need to seek “a special, a particularized order from the FISA court directed at that particular phone of that particular individual.”
Is information about that procedure “classified in any way?” Nadler asked.
“I don’t think so,” Mueller replied.
“Then I can say the following,” Nadler said. “We heard precisely the opposite at the briefing the other day. We heard precisely that you could get the specific information from that telephone simply based on an analyst deciding that…In other words, what you just said is incorrect. So there’s a conflict.“
I suppose that “what you just said is incorrect, so there’s a conflict” is one way of putting it. Another way of putting it might be: “You, sir, are a fucking liar. And as you damn well know, as the fucking director of the fucking FBI, perjury is a federal crime punishable by fines and up to five years in prison. Guards, please detain this man under charges for contempt of Congress.” We all know how seriously the Unites States Congress takes perjury!
Even the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-epraved), admitted earlier in the week that NSA analysts have the ability to access the “content of a call.”
After lying about the NSA programs — and attacking leaker Edward Snowden as treasonous, traitorous and a threat to our national security — the Palace would like to remind Ms. Feinstein, Messrs. Mueller and Clapper, and all public servants, that upon taking office, they took an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. It seems they need a little refresher course on what that document actually says, particularly the Fourth Amendment thereto:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
It turns out that thousands of analysts can listen to any phone conversation in real time without warrants or court orders, and a significant number (if not all) phone conversations are recorded so analysts and law enforcement can listen to them later. (Snowden said that from his laptop in Hawaii, he could “wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president.”) The same authorization applies to emails, text messages, and presumably every other form of communication. In other words: anything and everything, without warrants.
But hey, why worry about it? Just keep voting for one of the two pre-approved (and dramatically different!) political parties, and don’t pose any meaningful challenge to the status quo, and you have absolutely nothing to worry about. After all, what could possibly go wrong?