Love him, hate him, or like me, somewhere in between, we all know the name Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower. We all know he's provided rather damning claims/evidence of the NSA's "data" collection, including spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel – monitoring her personal cell phone.

There are others, other whistleblowers, and they recently testified before a German parliamentary committee.

Two national security whistleblowers, Thomas Drake and William Binney were brought before the German committee to shed light on surveillance and eavesdropping of not only Chancellor Merkel but other leading German and EU politicians.

RT (Russia Today) reported that Binney told the committee that the NSA had abandoned nearly all rule of law principles. He added that it has a "totalitarian mentality" and wants "total information control."

He called the NSA the "greatest threat" to America since the Civil War.

Binney said the NSA's "XKeyScore" program is a "collection and analysis tool" that can and is being used to gather data on "nearly everything a user does on the Internet," and added that "once data is collected the NSA doesn't throw anything away," which is why they need that expansive facility in Bluffdale, Utah.

I guess Lois Lerner won't find employment at the NSA anytime soon.

One commenter on the RT site wrote that "It's a great way to find a needle in a haystack – add more hay."

Drake testified that the United States government practice of monitoring everyone is "the ultimate form of control."

So why testify in Germany? Two reasons. Although there was a U.S. congressional delegation present, the two men have never been asked to testify in the United States. Curious, isn't it?

Second, is that the BND, the German NSA, is in on it. Binney asked: "Have they [BND] become an NSA worm?" Apparently so.

RT reports that, "The BND apparently played a key role in working with the NSA's Special Source Operations to tap a fiber-optic cable. The two agencies then conspired together to cover up evidence that personnel had been involved in such spying activity."

"It is in principle possible to monitor the entire population – not only abroad, but also in the USA," Binney said. "This is contrary to the Constitution. After September 11, everything has changed," Binney said. "The NSA had used the attacks as a justification to launch a gigantic mass surveillance."

So we find that the NSA spying campaign didn't just start with Obama. Once again, George Bush is to Obama, what Hoover was to FDR. The "progressive Republican" cracks open Pandora's box, and the next up – the statist Democrat, let's the evil out.

I was, as were many other conservatives, for George W. Bush's surveillance law, The Patriot Act, before I was against it. It didn't take long to wake up. Why did we think the government would not abuse the power that we granted them?

As far as power goes, the government's job is evidently to obtain it, retain it and abuse it.

Will we ever learn not to trust government, no matter who "we think" is in charge?

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