My Question

Ellen Nakashima of the Washington Post reported on Wednesday (August 21) that the NSA unlawfully gathered tens of thousands of emails and other electronic communications between Americans as part of a now discontinued collection program. This information comes to our attention as a result of a 2011 “secret” court opinion.

james clapperAs an aside, I wonder why so much secrecy is needed in a free society. I’m sure the problem is that I don’t understand something important.

In any case, intelligence officials declassified the 86-page opinion, which explains why the Chief Judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) ruled the collection as unconstitutional. In a nutshell, it is because the government provided fraudulent information to the court.

As an aside, this does appear to be an on-going problem with this government. Eric Holder filed a fraudulent affidavit with the federal courts, too.

NSA diverted large volumes of international data passing through fiber-optic cables within the United States into a repository where the material could be temporarily stored pending formal evaluation. Domestic electronic communications were “caught up” in this collection effort. The general counsel for NSA stated that this illegal collection wasn’t intentional. It falls under the heading,  “shit happens.”

As an aside, since James Clapper already used those very same words in testimony before congress, this would seem to increase the possibility that this latest admission results from people running around trying to cover their own asses.

I offer kudos to the Electronic Frontier Foundation for their efforts on behalf of the American people in filing this lawsuit.

Cartoon Judge 002Unfortunately, the bad news isn’t over. According to a separate report by Washington Post writer Carol Leonnig (August 15), the leader of the secret court whose job it is to provide critical oversight to the government’s vast spying network has said that it does not have the ability to keep tabs on all the spying that’s going on.

In a statement issued by Reggie Walton, the Chief Judge of the 11-judge court, “FISC is forced to rely upon the accuracy of information that is provided to the court. The FISC does not have the capacity to investigate issues of noncompliance, and in that respect the FISC is in the same position as any other court when it comes to enforcing [government] compliance with its orders.”

As an aside, what this means is that the FISC shares the limitations of all other federal courts: it does not have the power of enforcement. Since the government knows this, I’m assuming that it’s party time in the NSA, at Cyber Command, and at Central Security Service. Party! Party! Party!

Somehow, though, I get the feeling that our once Constitutional Republic is just about done for.

Oh, okay … so here’s my question: Where in the hell is the United States Congress?

_______________

Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for federal marshals

to take Hillary Clinton into custody for her criminal

negligence in the Benghazi debacle.

USMC Bulldog 001

19 comments

  1. I am with you. Where is the GOP. Frick and frack – McCain and Graham our two wackos are the only ones to be seen.

    1. I have often thought that we could replace Congress with a Cray Supercomputer. Much cheaper, and we could unplug it.

  2. Where in the hell is the United States Congress?

    As a commenter at my web site stated: “They have turned into sniveling slugs.”

    There is a dearth of statesmen. Instead, we have self-serving politicians who don’t give a damn about THE PEOPLE.

    In my view, we have lost our republic. It is in its dying gasps now. :(

    1. Madam, I suggest you have given sniveling slugs a horrible and much undeserved rap. Politicians are bottom feeders, though. I’m not even sure there is any such thing as a good politician.

  3. As I have been saying since 1990+ and having written a story article for my R W F -on the rhino (now RINO) infiltration of the Elephant (R) table-I saw this coming-
    There is no difference between the parties–

    Carol-CS
    RR = Recovering Republican or – a Republican No More (RNM)

    1. I do see a difference between the parties. The Democrats are communist progressives who seek to destroy our heritage and traditions, and establish in their place, a new Soviet styled society, while making as many personal (financial) gains as possible before they are arrested. The Republicans are a group of nitwits who collectively have their heads up their ass seeking as many personal (financial) gains as possible before they are arrested. Note: neither of these two groups are essential to a free Republic.

  4. “In my view, we have lost our republic. It is in its dying gasps now.”

    AOW, Sadly, I must agree with you. America’s preoccupation with sports and mindless entertainment, while remaining oblivious to the direction in which we are headed, portends a ‘fast track’ to the end from whence you speak!

    1. What? Are you suggesting that Miley Cyrus’ contribution to American dance is mindless entertainment? Why … sputter, sputter, sputter … how dare you? Don’t you realize she supports Barack Obama?

  5. Where, indeed, is Congress? When did becoming a Congressman/woman become a life-time career? Do they even know how little power they now have? They are all very “busy” and rushing around, attending all sorts of events, sitting in on cmte (or sub-cmte) meetings (sometimes) and all. Maybe, the deal is to just bring home (back to their district) the pork, and that is it. If they do that, they they can eat at nifty eateries and get lots of (faux) praise from those seeking more pork. How ’bout this…..why should Congress only be for two terms? As it now is, they are literally in the campaign mode ALL the time. Term limits would be good. And, like those above, including Mustang….I fear our Country is failing and I don’t see serious efforts by those who are elected to stop it.

    1. Whenever someone mentions any member of congress, I think about all those poor little lab rats who gave their all for mankind. We could have saved the rats, and used members of congress, instead.

  6. You asked the question, “Where in the hell is the United States Congress?” Does it really matter?

  7. I had trouble sleeping the other night, so I got up from bed and turned on the television. I flipped through a few channels and finally stopped on Greg Gutfeld’s program, “Red Eye.” It is a mostly inane program but if you turn the sound way down, the babes are usually worth looking at. One of the guests was this fellow who appears on Fox News as one of their “analysts.” He is a former CIA officer who now dresses butch. He was commenting on something leftist Matt Damon said about NSA spying. I think he quoted Ben Franklin, “He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.”

    So the CIA officer, no doubt one who took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States had nothing but contempt for the Fourth Amendment and proceeded to deride Damon because obviously, Damon doesn’t know what in the hell he’s talking about when it comes to matters of national security. I’m willing to concede that point. The question is, does the CIA officer know anything about the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights?

    1. I often think we have already given up so many of our inalienable rights that it almost doesn’t matter. Americans don’t care about their rights … they only care about being cool on Face Book, spending a fortune to attend disgusting concerts, and making clever albeit profane tweets. Really Robert, you need to get with the program.

  8. Peut-être que c’est une bonne chose que les tribunaux fédéraux n’ont pas le pouvoir d’exécution. Bientôt, le nombre de locaux, d’état et la police fédérale seront plus nombreux que la population américaine.

    1. I think in America today, the only thing that really matters is that we open ourselves up to federal intrusion. This is why I’ve decided to send my bowel movements to the National Security Agency … so that they know as much about me as is humanly possible. I’m sure they’ll share that analysis with local gendarmes.

  9. “Where is the United States Congress?”

    The US Congress is nothing but a group of thugs looking our for their own arses. As a matter of fact, they are threatening to shut down due to “Harry and his ilk!” So, we ask, who is running the US, not Obama, not our Congress or Sentate….

    NO ONE!

    1. GASP! Do you mean it is possible that Hollywood or the Greater Akron House Painter’s Union is in charge? Well, no matter. I should think you’d want to give Congress a chance, though. I mean, what if you were a member of congress. Wouldn’t you want a second, third, or fourth chance?

  10. “What? Are you suggesting that Miley Cyrus’ contribution to American dance is mindless entertainment? ”

    Well, that sure qualifies but “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo” “takes the cake” and as far as I’m concerned about Basket Ball, it serves only to take a bunch of “Gang Bangers” off of the street for a few hours!

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