Streetwise Professor

June 11, 2013

Fools Rushing In, or, the Strangest of Bedfellows

Filed under: Military,Politics — The Professor @ 3:49 pm

The NSA story has dominated the news in the past couple of days.  The initial allegations were indeed explosive, and I was outraged, but upon further review, and considering the source, and who’s pushing the story, there is little that is truly news.  Indeed, it’s quite possible that this is anti-news: that is, that the claims are fundamentally wrong. Moreover, the political response has created the strangest of bedfellows, and reveals the fundamental cluelessness of far too much of the right.

The gravamen of the allegation is that the government is collecting vast amounts of information, including metadata from at least one phone company (Verizon), and pretty much every electronic communication that goes over the Internet.  The insinuation of the leaker, Edward Snowden, as pushed by the reporters who wrote the story, notably Glenn Greenwald, is that the government is routinely accessing this information, or can do so at will.  The response from the administration, and throughout most of the Congress, is to draw a distinction between what information was collected, and how the information is used.  Despite the initial mischaracterization by DNI Clapper, it  seems that it is widely acknowledged that yes, the NSA does collect this vast amount of information, but access to that data for any investigative purpose requires a warrant approved by a court, the FISA court for intelligence purposes, for instance.  This access is supposed to be limited to foreign targets, though here the “51 percent confidence” standard means that the government no more than guarantees coin flip odds that this is true.

There are obviously major civil liberties concerns here about the misuse of this data.  It cannot be misused if it isn’t collected in the first place, and the absolutist, no risk of civil liberties violation view that the government should not collect this data is predicated on that view.  If you believe that it is possible to design safeguards that permit use of this data for legitimate national security purposes (and note, under there is no legal way to use this data for domestic law enforcement purposes), the collection may be worrisome, but the issue becomes whether the safeguards in place strike the right balance.

Based on what I know now, I believe that a thoroughgoing re-evaluation of the process, and possible change in the law, is warranted.  The old expression is that the power to tax is the power to destroy: in the information age, information gives the power to destroy.  We need to be constantly vigilant to ensure that this power is securely fenced in, monitored, and controlled, and subject to popular oversight through the democratic process.

All that said, there are more than enough reasons to be highly skeptical about those who are pushing this story, and the ultimate source.  There is a serious danger that people with an agenda hostile to the US down to their last fiber will stampede us into an overreaction that will lead to an entirely unhealthy balance between privacy and national security.  And sadly, many who are taking up their call claim to be patriotic Americans.

The reporters, namely Greenwald and Poitras, are highly hostile to the US.  Indeed, it would not be overstating things to say that they are virulently anti-American: Greenwald believes the US is evil.  Greenwald does not believe there is such a thing as Islamic terrorism; to the contrary, he believes that the US is waging an aggressive war against Islam, and that the very word “terrorism” is racist.   Poitras is also  a “who is the real terrorist?” type. These people have an agenda.  An anti-American agenda that aligns quite nicely with the interests of Islamists.  Moreover, Jake Appelbaum, he of the perv protecting Tor, is lurking around this thing.

As for Snowden himself, despite all the fawning coverage, it is pretty clear that he is an exaggerator, not to say fabulist.  He is grandiose, bordering on the narcissistic: hell, he might even have crossed that border, with amnesty.  Many of the details he provided to Greenwald and Poitras are highly implausible.  A 23 year old IT geek under CIA diplomatic cover in Geneva?  Really?  Despite the well-known principles of compartmentalization and access to information on a need to know basis, this guy had a hunting license to access virtually any highly sensitive information held by the NSA?  Again-Really?  Experts are calling BS: note well the description in the article of the extensive monitoring anyone like Snowden would have been subjected to.

His timeline also raises questions.  He claims he received the Rosetta Stone Powerpoint while working at Booze Allen Hamilton, where he started to work in February.  But he contacted Poitras in January.

Even his biographical details are dubious.  Greenwald hypes his enlistment in a Special Forces training program, and claims that he had to leave before completing it due to two broken legs.  The Army confirms that Snowden did enlist in the 18X program, which provides a path to SF school without prior military service.  This enlistment option involves a 17 week program at the outset that combines Basic with Advanced Infantry Training; after completion of those programs, the enlistee goes to Special Forces training-where the washout rate is high, meaning that even many of those who get past Basic plus AIT never become Green Berets.  But Snowden didn’t complete even the first part of the program.  The Army says he did not complete “any training”, meaning he might not have even made it out of Basic (though since Basic and AIT are combined int he 18X program, it’s possible the Army means that he washed out during AIT).  He also received an administrative discharge-sometimes this can be routine, and characterized as Honorable, but often not.  Did Greenwald ask to see Snowden’s DD-214 (i.e., his discharge papers)?

The alleged broken legs may have-may have-occurred in parachute training.  (Why no certainty? Why no proof?)  But note that 18X recruits don’t go through Airborne training until after completing AIT.  Er. Glenn?

A lot rides on this guy’s credibility, and given the prominence Greenwald gives to Snowden’s military background, it would seem imperative to verify the basic facts of his service career, including the terms on which he left it.  Isn’t a guy willing to reveal national secrets willing to do the Full Monty on his personal background?

The high likelihood that Snowden is a grandiose serial exaggerator should make people very reluctant to take what he says at anything close to face value.  (He reminds me of the rogue traders at UBS and SocGen.) Every aspect of his account should be scrutinized skeptically and carefully, especially given the weightiness of the charges and the gravity of the information he purports to have revealed.  Moreover, one should be very alive to the inherent problems of letting someone-anyone-take the law into his own hands, as Snowden has done.  And particularly in the way he has done it.  He provided zero evidence that he attempted to find some other way to make proper authorities aware of his concerns.  Indeed, since it is unclear that anything he alleges is actually illegal, rather than just an affront to his conscience, it is hard to consider him a whistleblower in the true sense of the word.

Moreover, Snowden has provided little real evidence, beyond a rather cheesey Powerpoint of unknown provenance.  He claims to have a lot more.  Claims. Given the likely constraints on access to some of this information, if he does have it, he probably would have have to have hacked it.

And look who Snowden went to to air his grievances.

Now to the politics. Snowden and Greenwald have been lionized by certain loud elements of the right, notably Glenn Beck-but there are many others too-just check out Twitter if you have your doubts about that.  Yes, the same Glenn Beck who said Obama should resign for covering up the involvement of a Saudi student in the Boston bombing (or something).  The same Glenn Beck who thinks that Obama is basically a front man for the Muslim Brotherhood.  The same Beck who has gone off on Bradley Manning-who is one of Greenwald’s heroes.  The same Greenwald who savaged Margaret Thatcher on the occasion of her death.  Furthermore, Beck had another NSA whistleblower-William Binney-on his show the other day, and paid Binney fawning attention.  Um, does he know about Binney’s associations with Occupy? Talk about strange bedfellows. (Full disclosure: I did not listen to Beck voluntarily. It was the result of a spillover from my mother’s headphones:-P)

Uhm, do y’all know how to use Google? (And BTW, Google et al have all your data: NSA either gets it from there, or on its way there-more likely the latter.  The data is Google’s: they just let the NSA use it for far more limited purposes than Google does. Yes, they don’t have the coercive power of the state, but the Power to Abuse Information Is the Power to Destroy or Manipulate is there even if the information is in private hands too: or haven’t you noticed that Larry Page is funding a For Democrats Only political consulting/data mining operation?)

I definitely agree that the government is vastly too large and intrusive, and this is evidently part of the motive for Beck et al to embrace Snowden-and hence Greenwald and all his fellow travelers.  But methinks that Beck et al really see this as another cudgel to take up against Obama.  As much as I dislike and disagree with Obama, I groan every time I see one of these campaigns, all of which have not just failed miserably, but have actually strengthened Obama by making it possible for him to discredit his most vocal critics as loons.  Word up: the mushy middle may have its doubts about Obama, but they have no doubts about you, especially when you go on fact-free diatribes.  And believe me, going all in with Greenwald and Snowden is likely to be a totally fact-free diet.

It’s not like this hasn’t happened before.  I was going to compare Beck et al to Charlie Brown and the football, but then I remembered that at least Charlie Brown hesitated and agonized before talking off towards the ball.  Beck et al, not so much.

And it’s even worse here, because in the search of short-term political gain they are vouching for the credibility of someone who hates them, and who is categorically and furiously opposed to most everything the US right believes in.  Beck may hate Obama, but Greenwald hates the US.  There’s a difference. And Greenwald would hate it all the more, if that’s possible, if Beck’s guy was elected president.  Moreover, not only would the advancement of Greenwald’s agenda empower Islamists, other beneficiaries would include countries like China and Iran: is that really what those on the right who have taken the bit in their teeth on this issue really want?  And once you’ve bedded down with Greenwald, don’t think for a moment that the world won’t be reminded of that the next time you attack him, or any cause he is associated with.  It’s like political VD.  It’s just one night, but the gift keeps on giving.

So on the substance, the magnitude of the surveillance state is disturbing, but not really surprising.  It needs a thorough review-as does the corporatist symbiosis between the big tech companies and the government, which is far more likely to involve an intrusion on the privacy of American citizens. The Augean Stable that is the IRS also needs a thorough cleaning.  Obamacare is another impending privacy disaster, especially given that Obamacare and the IRS are joined at the hip.  All of these programs are far more likely to result in a true invasion of your privacy than what the NSA is doing, and have nothing to do whatsoever with protecting national security.  The trade-offs are hard to evaluate on security issues.  On the IRS or Obamacare-not so much.

Crucially, moreover, the specifics of the Snowden revelations are dubious, and the specifics matter if you want to make a reasoned judgment about the trade-offs involved.  He is a very flawed and uncredible accuser who seems prone to wild exaggeration-both of his own importance, and of the programs he is allegedly unveiling.  Most worrisome, his message is being broadcast by those with a well-known antipathy to the US, especially on matters related to terrorism and national security.  So I’d step back, and wait for a more sober appraisal of the Snowden story, before drawing any new conclusions from it.  Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, and sadly, too much of the American right, and most notably its loudest voices, fit that bill all too well.

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  1. The American people must be informed by the government that personal emails, phone calls and the like are bring subjected to survellience. The power of the government comes from the people and the people cannot give consent unless they are made aware.

    As for the FISA court, it bothers me greatly. The number of requests presented to the court since its inception was something like 1,789 requests. One of those was withdrawn by the government. Of the remaining 1,788 requests, 1,788 were approved. Its a rubber stamp court. Our government has established an infrastructure to spy routinely on every American with the sole restriction being approval of a Kangaroo court. I do not believe our founding fathers intended either the government to give itself powers of complete survellience of the people or for the government to persecute anyone who dares tell the American people the powers the government has given itself. The powersa of the government must be known by the people.

    As for whether the government can be trusted with the powers it has given itself or with the information gained from spying in Americans, give me a break. The same administration that allowed the use of the IRS to attack political adversaries cannot be trusted not to use other functions of the Executive branch in a similar manner. Neither members of Congress nor of any branch of government can be exempted from total survellience based on their official capacities. If average Americans are deemed to be probable enemies of the state, members of Congress and government officials must be treated with the same suspicions. Either we are or are not probable enemies of the state. If we aren’t then the government has no need and no right to subject us to survellience.

    As for Snowden, the guy has to have personal interests outside the expressed desire to be acting as a patriot. I’m glad to made this public, but he has an agenda that will eventually come to light. He isn’t a person to be trusted.

    Finally, no member of Congress

    Comment by Charles — June 11, 2013 @ 4:14 pm

  2. Do you people rationalizing this realize the potential for violence a government that collects everything on its citizens while public ally demonizing whole swathes of the population and persecuting them through official channels create?
    Do you think the Legislatures of tea party friendly states like Wyoming might not pass laws affixing that NSA employees warrant less gathering of state citizens data are felonies? What do you think will happen when the same lawmakers and governors who just nullified Obama’s gun grab before it starts direct state troopers to arrest NSA employees on probable cause of felony wiretapping? No that thought hadn’t even crossed your mind.

    Can you give me one hard piece of evidence rather than attacking the leakers that this NSA ‘metadata’ HAS NOT been shared with the Obama Administration? And given that AG Holderden said right after the Boston bombing that the President suspected anti tax protesters, can you have any doubt as to whom thus Adminstration has directed the NSA to spy on in this country? And would you stop pretending that only Glenn Beck on the Right is praising Snowden or taking these charges seriously? How about Savage, Sen. Paul, Sens. Wyden and Udall, Sen Mike Lee et al. If you think you can discredit them with the strange bedfellows argument, you best reconsider.

    Better to hold your peace and say you genuinely don’t know rather than rush to attack the messengers before the next leaker proves that NSA data has already used the public ally admitted captured Verizon data to blackmail citizens or even members of Congress and you lok like an Obama apologist jackass desperate to save the legitimacy of this regime.

    Comment by Ivan Denisovich — June 11, 2013 @ 6:13 pm

  3. So you’re weighing the opinions of a nameless, faceless “expert” in that linked article about supposed controls, who can’t explain how Snowden gained access to the FISA doc, more heavily than the guy who actually gained access to the doc? Based on a bunch of ad hominem attacks on the reporters breaking the story?

    Sure, let the dust settle, but your rationalization for doing so is silly.

    Comment by CF — June 11, 2013 @ 6:56 pm

  4. @Ivan, I suspect the language barrier is preventing you from articulating a cogent argument. Or, possibly vodka.

    Comment by Charles — June 11, 2013 @ 7:38 pm

  5. 231 + Glenn Beck – 232 + 1 = Divisive Moron

    Comment by chachacha — June 11, 2013 @ 8:25 pm

  6. Not language barrier, IPhone typos. But perhaps you can understand this Russian quote, which has become very popular with American Patriots.

    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

    Read Americans Never Turn in Your Guns by Stanislav Mishin.

    Comment by Ivan Denisovich — June 11, 2013 @ 8:54 pm

  7. There’s no need to ‘win’ the argument here. The host of this site will soon look ludicrous when more NSA leakers not linked to Greenwald or any of his other bête noir s come out with the goods proving that the NSA data has been used to blackmail Petreus, or Roberts, or hell just take your pick. Presumably the crazed leftists or ‘nihilist’ Rightists list will soon expand exponentially. The all that will be left to whine about will be that Code Pink showed up among the 100,000 Tea Partyers on the Mall for 4th Anendment on this 4th of July. Oh and yes, don’t forget even if Washington fails to do anything about this, the states can pass laws and issue felony warrants for the arrest of NSA minions on wiretapping charges. How about that? Will Ovana send the special forces to get an arrested BSA man from the Idaho State Police lockup? Feeling froggy DC fascists?

    Comment by Ivan Denisovich — June 11, 2013 @ 9:59 pm

  8. @Ivan. A lot of wild ass guesses. And asking me for evidence that something hasn’t happened. Uh-huh. For my next trick . . .

    I am deeply skeptical of this administration and do not rule out these things a priori. But I also like to see evidence, and if this conduct is as rife as you suggest, it should be easy to find, no? All I said is (a) rely on evidence, and (b) Snowden’s “evidence” is unreliable, for many reasons, not least of which is his association with Greenwald.

    And by the way, I’ll bet I have more guns than you.

    @chachacha So you’re saying zero plus Glenn Beck = Divisive Moron? I missed that class. Could you explain?

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — June 11, 2013 @ 10:11 pm


    Forget speculation here are the facts that even Claper who lied through his teeth has not disputed:

    Here’s the actual text of the Verizon order whereby FISA granted a ‘warrant’ for all numbers dialed and texts sent for all customers for three months. Beyond the wildest dreams of any British colonial governor in the early 1770s issuing a general warrant for redcoats to go house to house looking for The original tea Partyers – that Is, what created the whole purpose and intent of the plain English of the 4th Amendment, as well as the 2nd! That is a ‘warrant’ that might as well be the post Reichstag fire enabling act as its written so broadly as to capture all non voice data for every (Verizon, Sprint etc) customer is treasonous enough. Even you cannot pretend otherwise without taking a dump on the 4th Amendment.

    And if you think A ) this is what the whole Congress signed up for as opposed to a far narrower, genuinely FISA compliant program B ) this broad of a program is Constitutional under any sane, non blackmailed SCOTUS then you really are certifiable. Or shouldn’t count on keeping all those guns for long unless Texas acts to defend our Constitutional rights when the Feds have become too cowardly or corrupt to do so.

    Comment by Ivan Denisovich — June 11, 2013 @ 11:12 pm

  10. And unlike Senator Feinstein, I don’t define treason as simply breaking an UnConstitutional la that James Madison said in the Federalist Papers is already null and void. The states are under no obligation to wait years for SCOTUS to adjudicate Snowdens case should this regime allow him to live. Treason consists in waging war against the US and since the Oath of enlistment includes ‘defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic’ anyone who sets out to deliberately abrogate the Constitution and subvert it, even from within the government, commits treason. I pray that we are not entering Stauffenberg territory when those who will be denounced as traitors today will be remembered as patriots tomorrow. And that your child like faith that checks and balances and investigative reporting can stand up against death threats and comprehensive surveillance paired with the obvious public intent to use it (IRS, dirt on Obama’s opponents magically coming out from the start of Soetoro’s career) will not be in vain.

    Comment by Ivan Denisovich — June 11, 2013 @ 11:30 pm

  11. The IRS debacle highlights the potential for profound abuse of the evolving information-gathering technology that surely will have to be addressed in the very near future. So, I think you’re spot-on, Prof, when you say, “The old expression is that the power to tax is the power to destroy: in the information age, information gives the power to destroy. We need to be constantly vigilant to ensure that this power is securely fenced in, monitored, and controlled, and subject to popular oversight through the democratic process.”

    It is no small step to turn the algorithms being developed by the NSA and other really smart folks to the IRS records and databases, then connecting them to other sources the government can manufacture or purchase (e.g., your purchasing habits) to expose every element of your life. And the lives of folks you’re connected to. Network theory and all that predictive modeling is powerful stuff. Not everyone deploying it is a Marcus Aurelius or one of those high-minded philosophers. Put something like that in to the hands of a Richard Milhous Nixon (or Barack Hussein Obama II?) and you’ve got the beginnings of a police state the Sovs could never even have imagined.

    Feels like we’re evolving towards actually living inside some dystopian sci-fi novel, huh? What then?

    Comment by markets.aurelius — June 12, 2013 @ 6:25 am

  12. @markets. I agree completely re IRS. I actually think that is a far greater danger to liberty and privacy. There are far fewer safeguards hedging in the IRS, and indeed, its scope of authority is expanding under Obamacare, as frightening as that is.

    The algos are definitely portable. Data mining is a generic thing, really. Code + processing power + data. All of those are out there. The issue is determining what data is fair game for code+processing power. That issue has been wrestled with, imperfectly, in a national security context, but not sufficiently with regards to the IRS.

    Put differently, the combination of the power to tax and access to information and the ability to sift it in fine detail is truly frightening. IOW, we need a TISA Court-Tax Intelligence Security Act Court, and one that is not a rubber stamp (per @charles’s comment).

    A couple of article on point here.

    The first is from Richard Epstein, who has unimpeachable libertarian/classical liberal credentials, and actually knows the law.

    The second is a further drip, drip, drip of information that calls into question Greenwald’s and Snowden’s credibility. I anticipate further drips, and perhaps a deluge.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — June 12, 2013 @ 9:55 am


    Here is one anti-Obama critic over Benghazi and the DHS arms buildup who is prepared to file a sworn affidavit saying NSA DATA CTR showed up on his caller ID after speaking with one of his DOMESTIC sources.

    Drip. drip. Keep pretending they don’t work for Barry.

    Comment by Ivan Denisovich — June 12, 2013 @ 11:46 am

  14. Markers, on top of the context regarding the IRS and EPA and DOJ all being used to punish political opponents, don’t forget about the massive DHS ammo buying spree. And for those who naively insist that since the huge purchases have been ongoing since 2009 that they’re about ‘saving taxpayers money by buying in bulk’ I invite you to watch the exchange between Rep. Jason Chafferz (R-UT) and a bumbling DHS spokesperson who admits all DHS agencies fired a whopping a 100 rounds in anger last year and used 10 million in training (at Artesia, NM) while purchasing at least 290 million with contracts up to 400 million over 5 years (origin of ‘buying billions’ ‘condpiracy theory’).

    Either DHS is engaged in back door gun control, the US government is preparing for civil unrest, or Barry & minions just want to spend billions on ammo and MRAPs just to #%* with our heads and make us all listen to admittedly unstable individuals like Glenn Beck. My personal theory is door #1. Context matters and the notion that Barry’s minions cannot bend the NSA to the same malign will that has weapon ized the DHS and IRS is childishly naive.

    Comment by Ivan Denisovich — June 12, 2013 @ 12:06 pm

  15. SWp, Snowden is guilty until proven innocent…? that is your thrust, but you do not provide facts to prove your case. Let time and justice judge Snowden, but from a larger perspective, a whistle-blower (whether saint or fraudster by motivation) sheds light on the activities of the NSA. Only goodness can come from more transparency.

    Comment by scott — June 12, 2013 @ 1:18 pm

  16. I saw on this blogger’s Twitter feed that a libertarian Patriot blocked him. Too bad, she should have schooled him instead. It’s not like just saying ‘Occupy’ and Binney magically debunks everything Binney said that Snowden has confirmed. And fanatic atheists like Charles Johnson or Democratic Underground aren’t exactly reliable sources either. So LGF says merely talking to foreign media now = treason? Does that mean that if Johnson says confiscate all out guns patriots get to arrest him and put him on trial for sedition?

    Oh and sir, it ain’t just the Brits or the Russkies discussing this. You may want to check out Reuters and Der Spiegel where Merkel’s allies are comparing the NSA to the Stasi.

    You’re doing damage control on a leaky battleship that’s going down, and I for one cant figure out what would motivate a regular classical liberal academic to defend the NSA that collected all of his data (assuming that this program would be limited to Verizon customers seems ridiculously naive, what would be the point if all major cellular carriers weren’t included). Perhaps Cointelpro had been revived and their tossing cash at gov friendly academics again.

    Comment by Ivan Denisovich — June 12, 2013 @ 2:02 pm

  17. Given the fact that China has hacked almost all of our systems including putting junk parts into the F22 supply chain maybe LGF should be more pissed at the NSA for building the blackmail doomsday machine the Russians and Chinese could easily use to push around a DC notorious for deviancy. It ain’t as if the ChiComs didn’t know we were listening to their SIGINT. And you can be damn sure Putin knows what Brennans boys were really up to at Benghazi and why the search for the perps is approximating OJ’s hunt for the real killers.

    Looking forward to seeing some actual evidence contra Binney, not just ‘he’s an Occupy giy, waaaa’. End if thread for me.

    Comment by Ivan Denisovich — June 12, 2013 @ 2:19 pm

  18. Funny you mention China, @Ivan, because (a) Snowden in China (and yes, HK is China), and (b) Snowden has given sensitive information to a Chinese newspaper.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — June 12, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

  19. I’m done with this thread. You have ignored every single valid point people besides myself have made both here and on Twitter. You havent debunked Binney who has been interviewed by hundreds of other outlets and sites besides the hated Greenwald. These other people are accusing anyone questioning this program of being traitors or wanting to join Tim McVeigh. Now THAT’s unhinged.

    You can’t show that the metadata you don’t deny NSA collects would be remotely useful without identities attached to it. And you cannot prove that Congress was fully briefed on this as opposed to other, vastly narrower programs. You keep referencing one Constitutional law prof arguing that this can be reconciled with the 4th Amendment whose Chicago Tribune article is behind a paywall.

    Every time you are asked to present hard as opposed facelessly sourced evidence you pretend I’m asking you to prove a negative. Again RINO fools like you are why Washington cannot stop this and why eventually the states will take matters into their own hands when SCOTUS refuses to defend our Constitutional rights. There will be arrests of lawless federal minions, Obama in his third term will order the ‘insurrectionist’ state lawmakers and officials rounded up, and then the shooting starts. Don’t think Texas will escape it only this time the Johhny Rebs will be defending the Constitution while the Feds will be burying it.

    Again, if this isn’t stopped the states have the duty to ARREST NSA personnel for violating state wiretapping laws unless they can show a real warrant or probable cause as opposed to one billion phone call covering POS ‘warrant’ that might as well be a blank check for a quadrilion dollars.

    Oh and when you say it’s legal A) since the full scope has been hidden from Congress, that’s a dubious proposition B ) your failure to rebut the broadness of this metadata trawling violating the 4th duly is noted. But even if SCOTUS in US vs Snowden says its Constitutional, I would still say they’re full of crap and urge the states to resist. Because SCOTUS was wrong in Korematsu, Dred Scott, Virginia forcible sterilization rulings, etc. everything Adolph did was legal under the Enabling Acts too. Ditto for Stalin. Remember the Solzhenitysn quote above. Those who serve an ev system should not expect Anericans to be rounded up as easily as the citizens of Leningrad during the purges.

    Comment by Ivan Denisovich — June 12, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

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