As it has been said by some, "Wish in one hand and spit in the other; then, see which one fills up the fastest." This saying has come true with every Obama administration scandal where the American public request answers but get nothing but a handful of spit. Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), stated "the intelligence community is still not being truthful about its snooping activities and how they may be picking up communications from Americans, and vowed to hold hearings when Congress returns from summer vacation," according to the Washington Times.
Leahy said, "The American people rely on the intelligence community to provide forthright and complete information so that Congress and the courts can properly conduct oversight. I remain concerned that we are still not getting straightforward answers from the NSA."
Seriously? Really? It took this long for Sen. Leahy to figure out the NSA was not giving straightforward answers or forthcoming with the complete truth. Many Americans figured that out with the first revelations of NSA spying and the denials that circulated afterward. Many Americans feared this type of abuse with the rushed enactment of the PATRIOT Act under then President George Bush in 2001. Sen. Leahy will now be spitting in one hand while wishing in the other for answers from the NSA. Maybe, Sen. Leahy just needs a good, strong crowbar.
The Washington Times reports:
His comments came after The Washington Post reported that the National Security Agency broke privacy rules or overstepped their legal authority thousands of times each year by collecting information on Americans or other protected foreign nationals in the U.S.
Most of the collections were unintended, according to the report.
The latest report comes as President Obama is fighting to save the snooping programs. Many members of Congress say the intelligence community needs to be reined in, and a vote last month in the House nearly shut down the NSA's phone-records collection program.
Top intelligence and Justice Department officials testified to Mr. Leahy's committee that there have been a small number of violations in the phone-records collection program, but they said none of them were purposeful and they were detected by checks built into the system.
Even House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, called the NSA's violation of privacy rules thousands of times "extremely disturbing."
In a related story, The Washington Times reports:
The California Democrat was responding to twin reports in The Washington Post that described an internal audit from the NSA. The documents were leaked by former analyst Edward Snowden, who sought refuge from prosecution in Russia.
According to the reports, the NSA mistakenly intercepted emails or phone calls from both Americans and foreign targets after Congress granted broader powers to the agency in 2008.
"Current laws governing NSA's collection activities contain safeguards to ensure the protection of privacy and civil liberties including provisions that require incidents of non-compliance be reported to Congress and the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] court," Mrs. Pelosi said. "Congress must conduct rigorous oversight to ensure that all incidents of non-compliance are reported to the oversight committees and the FISA court in a timely and comprehensive manner, and that appropriate steps are taken to ensure violations are not repeated."
As it has been stated before, Edward Snowden is the gift that keeps on giving. Dubbed a traitor by Washington and a whistleblower by many average Americans, Snowden's leaks about the vast US snooping programs have produced enormous backlash around the world.
Obama has indicated he is open to reforms to the programs, "including an adversarial process that would put the government through its paces when it requests powers from the secretive surveillance court.
"Me thinks they doth protest too much." How many in Congress went before the lame stream enemedia cameras and reporters telling Americans not to worry about NSA spying operations as they had complete, comprehensive oversight? Do you remember who they were? How many times did the "hollow man, empty suit" grace himself before the cameras to lie and tell the American public "No one is listening to your phone calls," and this is not a big issue since it's just collection of data? Even better is the statement that it's the same program that operated under Bush.
Some members of Congress are "posturing" as advocates of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution by saying NSA is out of compliance with the rules and it needs to provide straightforward answers to Congress. Obama is "open to reform." The eruption of laughter would be appropriate at this point since these people actually believe the American public believe what they are saying.
The American public is expected to believe that Congress did not know NSA violations would occur after expanding their powers in 2008. The American public is also expected to believe these violations were unintentional. Basically, Congress has allowed government agencies to run amok, has gotten caught, and uses the Sergeant Schultz excuse "I know nothing." Again, the American public is supposed to believe that everyone in Congress responsible for oversight did not know what was going on; they heard about these violations at the same time as regular Joe Blow – when it made the news. The sad truth is that a lot of Americans will believe it.
Congress should know the old saying of "give an inch, take a mile" as they are huge violators. Are we to believe that no one in government knew about this? Are we to swallow and choke on continued lies that our Congress has no idea what is even going on with any government agency? And, if it is the truth Congress didn't know about any of it, what in the hell is Congress doing in Washington if not their jobs? Are we to continue to suffer indignant, disdainful, contemptuous responses by government agencies who should be working for the American people? I think not. But, Obama has given his seal of approval to wage cyberspace spying war against the American people in order to control the masses through fear.
The initiation of this program under Bush violated the Fourth Amendment then; it violates the Fourth Amendment now. Regardless of the current sitting president or members of Congress, a violation is a violation and a usurping of power is the same no matter who commits the act. Where any of these programs are concerned, there is no "reform" according to Washington terms; there is only removal of this evil, corrupt mechanism according to the truest definition of the word, reform, in order to comply with the law of the land, the US Constitution. There should be no compromise.