President Obama, last night on Charlie Rose....
"What I can say unequivocally is that if you are a U.S. person, the NSA cannot listen to your telephone calls, and the NSA cannot target your emails … and have not," Obama said, according to a transcript provided by PBS.
Nothing in that statement is true. Obama uses the word "cannot", I think, in a legal sense.....as in, 'the NSA doesn't have blanket authority'. But technologically, there is no doubt that the NSA has the capability of listening to the phone calls of Americans....and as you will see shortly, does target everyone's phone calls and e-mails.
Obama's answer to Charlie Rose sounded a lot like a similar response from the previous president....
"This is a — I repeat to you, even though you hear words, “domestic spying,” these are not phone calls within the United States. It’s a phone call of an al Qaeda, known al Qaeda suspect, making a phone call into the United States. I’m mindful of your civil liberties."
That quote is from George W. Bush.....and that quote was also a lie.
[Former Navy Arab linguist David Murfee] Faulk says he and others in his section of the NSA facility at Fort Gordon routinely shared salacious or tantalizing phone calls that had been intercepted, alerting office mates to certain time codes of “cuts” that were available on each operator’s computer.
“Hey, check this out,” Faulk says he would be told, “there’s good phone sex or there’s some pillow talk, pull up this call, it’s really funny, go check it out. It would be some colonel making pillow talk and we would say, ‘Wow, this was crazy’,” Faulk told ABC News. [...]
“We knew they were working for these aid organizations,” [former Army Reserves Arab linguist Adrienne] Kinne told ABC News. “They were identified in our systems as ‘belongs to the International Red Cross’ and all these other organizations. And yet, instead of blocking these phone numbers we continued to collect on them,” she told ABC News.
Americans were told by Commander Guy George that the NSA was only listening in on al-Qaeda calls. I knew back then that that was not true.....and the ABC News piece verified the untruth of Bush's statement.
Back to Obama's statement from last night,....I once again give you a segment of an interview done on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront" the first week of May this year.....
Burnett interviewed Tim Clemente, a former FBI counterterrorism agent, about whether the FBI would be able to discover the contents of past telephone conversations between the two (Boston bomber and his wife). Clemente quite clearly insisted that they could:
BURNETT: Tim, is there any way, obviously, there is a voice mail they can try to get the phone companies to give that up at this point. It's not a voice mail. It's just a conversation. There's no way they actually can find out what happened, right, unless she tells them?
CLEMENTE: "No, there is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It's not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of her. We certainly can find that out.
BURNETT: "So they can actually get that? People are saying, look, that is incredible.
CLEMENTE: "No, welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not."
Clemente said that the U.S. Surveillance State is vacuuming up not just "metadata" (duration of call, phone numbers called, phone numbers of received calls, etc)......but recording the calls themselves.....calls between Americans, inside America.
Welcome to post 9-11 America.
Question for discussion. Is recording and storing the content of (not listening in on) every call made by every person in the U.S.....every day....a violation of the 4th amendment protection against unreasonable government search and seizure?
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