Of course I didn't discuss any of this much, because one doesn't want to come off as a paranoid kook, and besides, my life is just not that thrilling. But now we have evidence that indeed they have been keeping cell phone records for at least 7 years, as reported in the UK Guardian. The UK Telegraph had a piece that spoke about the effects of this bombshell at NSA Surveillance Scandal: Barack Obama's Credibility Under Scrutiny Like Never Before.
Liberals and Leftists keep coming up with the "Well, Bush did it too!" argument, as if two wrongs suddenly make a right. Under Bush, we were led to believe that only cell phone traffic that originated in America but went to a foreign destination known for terrorism, and vice versa were being monitored. Now we find out that for 7 years the NSA has been tracking all 100 million Verizon phone records, and there is good reason to suspect that the other phone carriers phone numbers have also been tracked as well. (Note to NSA agent assigned to read this blog: The phone conversation I received yesterday at around 2:00 pm from my wife's phone while driving through Statesville, NC concerned her just completed trip to the hair stylist, and how pleased she was with it. I have witnesses.) Then yesterday, we also learned of program called PRISM which captures our e-mails, and websites and stores these.
The amount of data the NSA can access includes email, video and voice chat, videos, photos, voice-over-IP (Skype, for example) chats, file transfers, social networking details, and more, the paper reported.So, if you have Vonage, your phone conversations are being stored. Nice, huh? How does that fit with the 4th Amendment? Another way Regime supporters try to minimize the shock and outrage people feel, and quite frankly the sense of betrayal, is to say "Well, we've known it was going on for years!" Really? So, the Left was given a memo that the rest of us did not get? Because what I remember is the following:
Just three months ago, Senator Ron Wyden, a Senate Intelligence Committee member who has campaigned against US government data-mining for years, asked James Clapper, the Director of National of National Intelligence a simple question: "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?" "No, sir", came Mr Clapper's reply – which, as we now know, was a flat-out lie. With 'oversight' like that, Mr Obama's credibility is now under scrutiny like never before.The NSA is not conducting targeted investigations, but is conducting a wide ranging dragnet in which every American citizen appears to be a potential terrorist, unless proven innocent, and then they want to keep you under surveillance just to be sure. At the moment, none of this vast data set has, to our knowledge been used for political purposes, but as we have seen with the IRS scandal, it could be used to punish political enemies of the regime. The Government has proved that it can not be trusted with our private data. Therefore, the Patriot Act must be repealed.
Update: Twice a day, even a broken clock gives the correct time. So it is with one of Fox News resident liberals and foils, Bob Beckel. In this video clip from The Five, Beckel rages against the Government collecting the phone records of average Americans who have done nothing wrong, and calls the NSA program "close to fascism." Why not call it what it is, Bob. Obama is leading this country into a Fascistic State. Still, when he's right, he's right.
Update 2: Townhall.com's Guy Benson has an interesting take on the NSA scandal here. He says he wants to believe the Government, but finds it hard to do because of the IRS scandal, and the lack of transparency of the regime. He also notes that he doesn't fully trust the Congress persons who were in the know. And why would he? Harry Reid and Diane Feinstein have been known on occasion to...well...step up to the edge of the cliff.
Update 3: Bruce Bialoski writing at Townhall.com on Sunday had this to say:
If you are not upset about this situation then you are clueless. There is a dangerous extension of government that no true American could possibly endorse or accept. Our government has no right to randomly rummage through our cell phone or email records. If you think that the government has that right then 1) you missed your American government class when they went over the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Here is a reminder of what it says: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Do you see where it says shall not be violated? That is not may or might – it is shall not be violated. 2) You deserve to live under a totalitarian government. Please just don’t drag us down with your paranoia.