The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.
Showing posts with label Bush. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bush. Show all posts

Thursday, July 9, 2015

TPI Morning Gazette: Confederate Flag, SCOTUS, Pope Francis, Jeb Bush, Trump

  Non-Progressive News

Reports are going viral regarding George W. Bush charging $100,000 to speak to a group of wounded and disabled vets.
Posted by Occupy Democrats on Thursday, July 9, 2015
We should be so happy, Snopes reports Bush lowered hid fee from $250,000.  
The Flag
South Carolina State Rep. Jenny Horne: "I’m sorry. I have heard enough about heritage. I have a heritage. I am a lifelong South Carolinian. I am a descendant of Jefferson Davis, okay, but that does not matter…Remove this flag and do it today.”  Watch the complete South Carolina House debate here: 
Posted by C-SPAN on Thursday, July 9, 2015
BREAKING: South Carolina has permanently removed the Confederate flag from Capitol grounds.  Watch the full moment here:
Posted by msnbc on Friday, July 10, 2015

We at the TPI will not celebrate the lowering the Confederate Flag. The flag is a mere symbol and it took the racist slaying of nine innocent African-American prayer worshipers as impetus to remove the flag. 

SCOTUS...your generational stack highest court of the land. 

SCALIA AND GANG WANT MORE MERCURY IN THE AIR WE BREATHE — The Supreme Court on Monday ruled against an Environmental Protection Agency regulation limiting mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants, undermining the Obama administration's drive to cut pollution from electricity generators. Corporate butt-kisser, Justice Antonin Scalia agreed with Republicans that the EPA's attempts to limit carcinogens like mercury constitute a "war on coal." When your children ask you some day why you didn't do more to save our planet, show them a photo of Scalia and tell them he was a whore for the Money Lords and Oligarchs, preferring to do their bidding rather than save the people from the horrible pollutants that the EPA was tasked by Congress to remove from our air and water. Same for the other Gang of Five members of the SCOTUS. The link to the story is in my first comment.


All it takes is a solid shot of racism to ignite GOP voters.
THE BIGGEST THREAT TO THE GOP IS THE GOP While Trump's numbers increase, he has taken a big chuck of voters away from...
Posted by Point Counter Point on Thursday, July 2, 2015
While Trump's numbers increase, he has taken a big chuck of voters away from many Republicans that were leading in the polls. Marco Rubio who? Remember him? LOL he thought he was on his way to winning the republican ticket? LOL...rememeber Walker? LOL Walker who? The best thing that could have ever happened to Democrats is The Republican party. In comparison, Republicans consume 90% of all political news in the media. Democrats are not even campaigning. They haven't even started and Republicans just on their own have put themselves way behind Hillary Clinton. The more they talk the better Hillary's numbers look. At last count Hillary would beat Jeb by 10% and the rest by 15%.

Trump poll

FAA Doesn't like ugly!  
Current Trump-specific codes include DONALD, TRUMP and UFIRD.
Posted by Talking Points Memo on Thursday, July 9, 2015
Jeb  Bush works  to appeal to his major constituents: big business plutocrats industrialist. Americans need to work longer into life via more legislative change to allow more hours work per week (Without OT Pay). He also strongly feels the Social Security eligibility age should be raised to 68 or 70 years of age.  Do you think the Bush multi-millionaire cares one iota that actuarial tables show the African-American male lives few years beyond age 70. 

Such BS.
Posted by Daily Kos on Thursday, July 9, 2015


The former steelyard worker says "NO" to Jeb Bush's campaign ploy.  The Kochs and American Industrialist would love to rid the nation of Over-time pay; American workers must fightback with focused resistance. Do you recall before Eric Cantor espousing the elimination of over-time pay before he was his  unceremonious election  uprooting  from his comfy House Majority position. Cantor's Koch brothers supportive lie was eliminate over-time pay so that parents can spend more time with the family. Bush has thrown out the fake family mantra with his less than empathetic approach to US labor and the working people of the nation.  

The following post has not been edited, modified nor adjusted regarding language and the author's choice of linguistic construct.

EMILY's List's photo.

Lloyd Puchek shared EMILY's List's photo.

In regards to longer working hours, I have the definition of it .
I am one year younger than Jeb Bush, I am age 61. I retired from a steel mill here in Indiana after 41 years of service. Within the last 10 years of my work there and at the time of retirement, I was working 7 day work weeks through an entire calendar year and the only time I actually had off was during my 5 weeks vacation.  
During the weekends I worked most of the time I worked a 16 shift to start the week of my next shift. I worked afternoons and midnight's. I seen times where I worked back to back 16 hour shifts during the same work week. Try working a midnight to a day turn 16 hour shift . I did this on several occasions, I would drive home from the plant which was 23 miles one way, I would pull into my driveway and I couldn't remember how I even got there. My dad held down two jobs as I was growing up. I didn't see much of him. All those hours he worked took a real serious toll on his health.  
At age 72 he suffered a mild heart attack. He ended up with 30% heart damage. He ended up having a 6 by pass heart surgery. Eight years later he died in his basement when his heart stopped, he fell asleep in a chair in his basement as he was folding clean laundry. Everyone, this is what's known as longer working hours. I worked a total of 224 hours in one month. My statistics are backed up by my pay role statements from my bank through direct deposit. I would love for Jeb Bush to make this statement to me face to face. I will give him the same definition of longer working hours. Longer working hours with parents means alienation of their children. This type of alienation is not a far fetched fantasy, it's known as the clear fact of relationship between parents and their children. Does Jeb Bush really know what he is talking about? ABSOLUTELY NOT !
In closing..... The Carnival Barker


Friday, May 30, 2014

And, Cheney Rails To Fox New Viewers about Obama!

Since, I just published on Dick Cheney and including a quite from Richard Clarke, It might be appropriate to offer a bit more from the most credible Clarke.

Bush counterterrorism czar: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld all committed ‘war crimes’ (via Raw Story )
President George W. Bush’s former top counterterrorism official said this week that he is convinced that Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld all committed war crimes during the Iraq war. In an interview…


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi

Yes, you have seen those memes before, correct? Do they have any impact on your perception of the GOP and (some in) conservative America's dogmatic pursuit of an American tragedy: the September 11, 2012 attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The attack and its aftermath have become a literal "rebel yell" for the GOP, right-wing media and people who visit webpages and leave "troll poop."

The recent release of a White House email from White House staffer, Ben Rhodes, has provided a life-line for the GOP and their hopes to dissuade Hillary Clinton from seeking the democratic nomination in 2016.  The GOP has lost its $86 million dollar Boehner, Cantor, Tea Party, Koch brothers, campaign to repeal that Affordable Care Act. The so-called IRS scandal is not yielding election winning dynamics or impetus for the GOP. Leave it to the White House to blunder in releasing communication regarding efforts to manage Susan Rice's appearances on a serious of Sunday Morning news shows. A White House mistake, granted; a serious abuse of power cover-up, not at all.

"Benghazi" has the GOP as excited about the prospect of harming the Obama Administration and the leveling a mortal political wound to the former Secretary of State. A few days ago we also found some in the GOP have even less scruples than, we previously thought. The NRCC has offered a side of the GOP one can only compare to the well know fabled, "The Scorpion and the Frog."  The NRCC is using the Boehner Benghzai hearings for fundraising. 

If you are one who follows the GOP and its various surreptitious strategies for campaign solicitation and campaigns strategy, you may have run across this earlier in the week.

“You Can Become a Benghazi Watchdog Right Now.”

After you complete the form and hit submit, you are taken here.

Intriguing and as we think of the former Ambassador Stevens and three CIA employees, beyond shame even for the GOP.

When asked to comment on the NRCC fundraising off the spirits of people who gave their lives for the United States, Boehner effectively "took the fifth." Boehner not only evaded the question, he used the families of those lost in Benghazi as cloaking cover for his "lock-step," support the NRCC's crass recruiting efforts. Boehner is third in ascendancy to the US Presidency!

Former campaign manger and White House staffer, David Plouffe, tweeted. 
ACA working. Benghazi! Running a surplus. Benghazi! Unemp down to 6.3. Benghazi! Planet threatened. Benghazi! NFL Draft. Benghazi!
Plouffe's tweet sums-up the 2014 - 2016 GOP in a fish bowl. Boehner's choice to serve as chair of the GOP "Benghazi" Committee is South Carolina Republican Representative Trey Godwy, former prosecutor and tea party member of the House. As the congressman stood for an early morning interview with Joe Scarborough and crew, he released a Freudian Slip that sets the stage for the Boehner committee.

We have embed the end portion of the segment. Watch and listen as the imminent committee chair uses the word "trial."

If you are interested in the full interview, it is linked here.  Over the course of the week, Media matters has continues its closely monitoring of Fox News as the GOP "communications department" goes about is feeding derangement to its viewers.

Steve Benen of the Rachel Maddow Blog published a quick read piece regarding the NRCC and the GOP's Benghazi attacks fundraising.

As I contemplate becoming a $250.00 or a $500.00 "Benghazi Watchdog," I also wonder if the higher figure garners a heightened quality of "watchdog" equipment." As is often the case, we sprinkle a bit of validation with our pieces. If you really believe Gowdy will deliver fair and balanced hearing regarding Benghazi, check this out.

We have linked a few pieces. 


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Cenk Uygur Boils Over

US Embassy and Consulate (attacks)history since 1980.....

Benghazi continues to boil-over as a political issue and the pressure points are not all from the Right. If the GOP was grounded in any viable political base beyond providing protection for the nation's wealthy, Benghazi would be a non-issue.

Liberals Unite's via "The Bear" published a piece with video of "The Young Turks" Cenk Uygur boil-over at political malfeasance from the Right.

As you watch and listen to Uygur, think about the meme's posted above. And think about your vote for a party that has nothing viable towards moving the nation forward. They offer only Koch brothers approved policy accompanied by practices that ignore the poor and temporary down-trodden (the unemployed) and a party that without questions nurtures idioms that are anti-minority and anti-women's rights. 

Can we one day soon get to some real issues that improve life for the majority of Americans? The GOP is "chasing the dragon" And needs to put itself through rehab.

Liberal's Unite
Author: Liberals Unite or Samuel Wynn Warde

Cenk Uygur Totally Loses It On-Air About Benghazi, And You’ll Love It

The Young Turks got to talking a bit about Benghazi, and I’ve never seen a commentator just lay it out like this. It really does sum up what the Benghazi hearings are and have been: “It’s a f*cking political clown show…pack a bunch of clowns into a car, and roll that in.”
As he warms up in the rant, he really gets some zingers in:

“Get the f*ck out of here with Benghazi. It’s a tiny little f*cking thing, man.” A bit later, at about 4:29, “How about the nearly 3000 people who died under your f*cking watch? Why don’t we do goddamn hearings?” And at 5:00, “F*ck you. Move the f*ck on!”

And finally, he talks about the clown car show that this is. No, really.
Absolutely perfect. Watch:

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Liz Cheney On Fox News Sunday: CIA Torture Report Anyone?

"Stop ‘political’ investigation of torture....."

Fox News again Dick Cheney's daughter, Liz, another run for its viewers. As expected Cheney fulfilled her political and propaganda role in attacking developing attention to US torture during Bush/Cheneys "crusades in the Middle East." As Diane Feinstein's Senate Security Committee forwards an extensive report (four years investigation and compilations) to the White House. 

Let's take our quick Fox News at work  look, starting with facts related to US embassy and consulate attacks. The Raw Story piece then follows and we close with linkage to pieces related to Ambassador Steven's refusal of additional security at least twice in months prior to the attack.

Liz Cheney: Stop ‘political’ investigation of torture and focus more on Benghazi (via Raw Story )
Fox News contributor Liz Cheney on Sunday argued that a United States Senate report on Bush-era torture was “political” and that lawmakers should spend more time investigating President Barack Obama’s role in failing to prevent terrorist attacks…

In 2013 many sources reported Ambassador Stevens had, in fact, refused additional, a security at the US Embassy and Consulate. The reports are contested by the Gregory Hicks, a Stevens deputy and the GOP. 

Official: Amb. Stevens Refused Additional Security

benghazi debris 600x400
U.S. envoy Chris Stevens refused offers of more security before the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya in which he was killed, McClatchy Newspapers reported. 
Why Stevens turned down the offers was unclear, given embassy officials during an Aug. 15 meeting concluded they could not defend the consulate in Benghazi amid deteriorating conditions in the city, government officials told McClatchy in an article published Tuesday. 
In a cable, the embassy outlined the circumstances and said it would detail what it needed in a separate cable. 
"In light of the uncertain security environment, US Mission Benghazi will submit specific requests to US Embassy Tripoli for additional physical security upgrades and staffing needs by separate cover," said the cable, which was first reported by Fox News.
Rather than wait for the second cable, however, Army Gen. Carter Ham, then-commander of the U.S. Africa Command, called Stevens and asked if the embassy needed a special security team, the officials said. Stevens told Ham it did not, the government officials said. 
During a meeting several weeks later, Ham again asked Stevens if he wanted additional military security and again Stevens said no, the officials told McClatchy. 
"He didn't say why. He just turned it down," one official said, speaking anonymously. 
McClatchy said the offer of aid and Stevens' refusal were not revealed in either the State Department's Accountability Review Board investigation of the Benghazi events or during congressional hearings and reports issued into what happened Sept. 11, 2011, when the consulate was stormed and Stevens and three other diplomatic staffers were killed.
Read More linked above

Report: Officials say Stevens turned down extra Benghazi security

Share on facebook?hare on twitterShare on emailShare on google_plusone_shareMore Sharing Services20U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who died with three other Americans in last year’s attack in Benghazi, Libya, turned down offers of additional security from military personnel on two occasions, according to a report released late Tuesday from McClatchy newspapers.The report cites two anonymous government officials who said “the senior U.S. military official in the region” twice approached Stevens with the offer, and Stevens twice declined. The report does not say why Stevens would have declined the offer.T

According to the report, U.S. officials at in Libya met in mid-August, about three weeks before the attack, to discuss the “uncertain security environment.” The meeting provoked Army Gen. Carter Ham to approach Stevens on two occasions with the offer of a special security team from the U.S. military. 
“He didn’t say why. He just turned it down,” a Defense official told McClatchy.
The report comes as GOP lawmakers have renewed their probe into the administration’s handling of the attack, questioning whether more resources could have been deployed before and during the assault to protect American lives.  
The McClatchy report says some lawmakers may have been aware of Stevens’s decision. 
GOP lawmakers, though, expressed skepticism over the report.

Benghazi attack was preventable, Senate panel says

By KIMBERLY DOZIER AP Intelligence Writer7:44 A.M.JAN. 15, 2014

"The security situation in Benghazi is 'trending negatively' and ... this daily pattern of violence would be the new normal for the foreseeable future," the head State Department officer in Benghazi was quoted as saying weeks before the attack. While the nearby CIA annex upgraded its security, the temporary mission did not, the report said. 
It said Stevens acknowledged the need for more security yet also turned down available U.S. military resources. The report said the Defense Department had provided a Site Security Team in Tripoli, made up of 16 special operations personnel. But the State Department decided not to extend the team's mission in August 2012, one month before the attack. In the weeks that followed, Gen. Carter Ham, then the head of the military's Africa Command, twice asked Stevens to employ the team, and twice Stevens declined, the report said.
Stevens had tried to arrange a local Libyan security force to replace the Americans, but the report said the force was never formed because of bureaucratic delays. 
Still, the report faults the U.S. military for failing to anticipate it might be called on. It also says there was confusion within the Pentagon as to the location of the CIA annex — and says the regional U.S. commander must know where such facilities are in the future.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said the committee report "largely reaffirms" earlier findings and that the security recommendations are consistent with steps the State Department has already taken. 
Read more flinked above 

Any degree of fallacy and fanciful B/S to deflect from her unrepentant and criminal father! StumbleUpon

Saturday, June 22, 2013

MARIO PIPERNI: " Who Needs Immigrants....?"

Re posted from Mario Piperni Dot Com

Who Needs Immigrants When You Can Breed Your Own Voters

Bryan Fischer - Dick-of-the-Day  :

Sad day for liberals. The jig is up.

As much as liberals wanted to conceal the real reason they felt so strongly about immigration reform, they simply weren’t smart enough to outfox the likes of Bryan ‘Sherlock‘ Fischer of the American Family Association. Fischer revealed to his listeners the true motive behind liberals’ attempt at comprehensive immigration reform.

Conservatives are just outbreeding liberals and that’s a huge problem for liberals…because there’s just going to be more conservatives…10, 20 years down the road, they’re just going to be outnumbered. And that’s why they are so dedicated to amnesty.

We are breeding our own voters. We are conceiving our own voters. They’ve got to import them. They’re not producing them so they’ve got to import them. So, that’s why they’re so enamored with illegal aliens and amnesty for them is they’ve got to find some way to get these people on the voter rolls to just maintain numerical parity with conservatives.

Great point! Conceiving is always preferable to importing and as always another astute analysis by a conservative.

I need to ask again: why do conservatives get all the smart ones? Palin, Beck, Gohmert, Bachmann, Bush, Perry, Cain – the list goes on and on and on…

Follow MarioPiperniDotCom on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Monday, June 10, 2013

ProPublica Offers NSA Monitoring Timeline; PEW Survey Majority Approve Monitoring

Pew Research June 10, 2013

A few days ago ProPublica published a timeline of the US "Mass Surveillance" Program.  The timeline is critical for two reason. 

First, a reminder that much of the flack from people like Ron Paul, the entirety of Fox News and other conservative opportunistic vultures have to be countered by facts regarding genesis of the program.  As to the alleged, "It has been invigorated under Obama", well so has efforts to attack the US. Factually the program paid off big in 2011 as a bomb plot was thwarted as the bomber enter the New York Metro Ara. His arrest and eventual conviction are directly attributable to the NSA's monitoring (Probably the PRISM Program).   We have posted links to articles showing AT & T and NSA cooperation in phone system monitoring in San Francisco in 2006.

The second reason for posting the timeline is far more basic. We want to join ProPublica in providing a fact based chronology of what has developed onto the PRISM Program.  Multiple source for such information provides opportunity for educated people.  You will not find a comparable Timeline on CNN and Fox News.  In fact, I have not seen such a comprehensive timeline on MSNBC.

Mass Surveillance in America: A Timeline of Loosening Laws and Practices

On Wednesday, the Guardian published a secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over data for all the calls made on its network on an “ongoing, daily basis.” Other revelations about surveillance of phone and digital communications have followed.
That the National Security Agency has engaged in such activity isn’t entirely new: Since 9/11, we've learned about large-scale surveillance by the spy agency from a patchwork of official statements, classified documents, and anonymously sourced news stories.

Surveillance court created

Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho) led the investigation.

After a post-Watergate Senate investigation documented abuses of government surveillance, Congress passes the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, to regulate how the government can monitor suspected spies or terrorists in the U.S. The law establishes a secret court that issues warrants for electronic surveillance or physical searches of a “foreign power” or “agents of a foreign power” (broadly defined in the law). The government doesn’t have to demonstrate probable cause of a crime, just that the “purpose of the surveillance is to obtain foreign intelligence information.”
The court’s sessions and opinions are classified. The only information we have is a yearly report to the Senate documenting the number of “applications” made by the government. Since 1978, the court has approved thousands of applications – and rejected just 11.

Oct. 2001

Patriot Act passed

President George W. Bush signs the Patriot Act.
In the wake of 9/11, Congress passes the sweeping USA Patriot Act. One provision, section 215, allows the FBI to ask the FISA court to compel the sharing of books, business documents, tax records, library check-out lists – actually, “any tangible thing” – as part of a foreign intelligence or international terrorism investigation. The required material can include purely domestic records.

Oct. 2003

‘Vacuum-cleaner surveillance’ of the Internet

Mark Klein
AT&T technician Mark Klein discovers what he believes to be newly installed NSA data-mining equipment in a “secret room” at a company facility in San Francisco. Klein, who several years later goes public with his story to support a lawsuit against the company, believes the equipment enables “vacuum-cleaner surveillance of all the data crossing the Internet – whether that be peoples' e-mail, web surfing or any other data.”

March 2004

Ashcroft hospital showdown

Attorney General John Ashcroft
In what would become one of the most famous moments of the Bush Administration, presidential aides Andrew Card and Alberto Gonzalesshow up at the hospital bed of John Ashcroft. Their purpose? To convince the seriously ill attorney general to sign off on the extension of a secret domestic spying program. Ashcroft refuses, believing the warrantless program to be illegal.
The hospital showdown was first reported by the New York Times, but two years later Newsweek provided more detail, describing a program that sounds similar to the onethe Guardian revealed this week. The NSA, Newsweek reported citing anonymous sources, collected without court approval vast quantities of phone and email metadata "with cooperation from some of the country’s largest telecommunications companies" from "tens of millions of average Americans." The magazine says the program itself began in September 2001 and was shut down in March 2004 after the hospital incident. But Newsweek also raises the possibility that Bush may have found new justification to continue some of the activity.

Dec. 2005

Warrantless wiretapping revealed

Michael Hayden, director of the NSA when the warrantless wiretapping began
The Times, over the objections of the Bush Administration, reveals that since 2002 the government “monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants.” The program involves actually listening in on phone calls and reading emails without seeking permission from the FISA Court.

Jan. 2006

Bush defends wiretapping

President Bush speaks at Kansas State University.
President Bush defends what he calls the “terrorist surveillance program” in a speech in Kansas. He says the program only looks at calls in which one end of the communication is overseas.

March 2006

Patriot Act renewed

The Senate and House pass legislation to renew the USA Patriot Act with broad bipartisan support and President Bush signs it into law. It includes a few new protections for records required to be produced under the controversial section 215.

May 2006

Mass collection of call data revealed

USA Today reports that the NSA has been collecting data since 2001 on phone records of “tens of millions of Americans” through three major phone companies, Verizon, AT&T, and BellSouth (though the companies level of involvement is later disputed.) The data collected does not include content of calls but rather data like phone numbers for analyzing communication patterns.
As with the wiretapping program revealed by the Times, the NSA data collection occurs without warrants, according to USA Today. Unlike the wiretapping program, the NSA data collection was not limited to international communications.


Court authorizes collection of call data

The mass data collection reported by the Guardian this week apparently was first authorized by the FISA court in 2006, though exactly when is not clear. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, said Thursday, “As far as I know, this is the exact three-month renewal of what has been in place for the past seven years.” Similarly, the Washington Post quoted an anonymous “expert in this aspect of the law” who said the document published by the Guardian appears to be a “routine renewal” of an order first issued in 2006.
It’s not clear whether these orders represent court approval of the previously warrantless data collection that USA Today described.
Jan. 2007

Bush admin says surveillance now operating with court approval

Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announces that the FISA court has allowed the government to target international communications that start or end in the U.S., as long as one person is “a member or agent of al Qaeda or an associated terrorist organization.” Gonzalez says the government is ending the “terrorist surveillance program,” and bringing such cases under FISA approval.

Aug. 2007

Congress expands surveillance powers

The FISA court reportedly changes its stance and puts more limits on the Bush administration’s surveillance (the details of the court’s move are still not known.) In response, Congress quickly passes, and President Bush signs, a stopgap law, the Protect America Act.
In many cases, the government can now get blanket surveillance warrants without naming specific individuals as targets. To do that, the government needs to show that they’re not intentionally targeting people in the U.S., even if domestic communications are swept up in the process.

Sept. 2007

Prism begins

The FBI and the NSA get access to user data from Microsoft under a top-secret program known as Prism, according to an NSA PowerPoint briefing published by the Washington Post and the Guardian this week. In subsequent years, the government reportedly gets data from eight other companies including Apple and Google. “The extent and nature of the data collected from each company varies,” according to the Guardian.

July 2008

Congress renews broader surveillance powers

Congress follows up the Protect America Act with another law, the FISA Amendments Act, extending the government’s expanded spying powers for another four years. The law now approaches the kind of warrantless wiretapping that occurred earlier in Bush administration. Senator Obama votes for the act.
The act also gives immunity to telecom companies for their participation in warrantless wiretapping.

April 2009

NSA ‘overcollects

The New York Times reports that for several months, the NSA had gotten ahold of domestic communications it wasn’t supposed to. The Times says it was likely the result of “technical problems in the NSA’s ability” to distinguish between domestic and overseas communications. The Justice Department says the problems have been resolved.

Feb. 2010

Controversial Patriot Act provision extended

President Obama
President Obama signs a temporary one-year extension of elements of the Patriot Act that were set to expire -- including Section 215, which grants the government broad powers to seize records.

May 2011

Patriot Act renewed, again

The House and Senate pass legislation to extend the overall Patriot Act. President Obama, who is in Europe as the law is set to expire, directs the bill to be signed with an “autopen” machine in his stead. It’s the first time in history a U.S. president has done so.

March 2012

Senators warn cryptically of overreach

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)
In a letter to the attorney general, Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Mark Udall, D-Colo., write, “We believe most Americans would be stunned to learn the details” of how the government has interpreted Section 215 of the Patriot Act. Because the program is classified, the senators offer no further details.

July 2012

Court finds unconstitutional surveillance

According to a declassified statement by Wyden, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held on at least one occasion that information collection carried out by the government was unconstitutional. But the details of that episode, including when it happened, have never been revealed.

Dec. 2012

Broad powers again extended

President Obama
Congress extends the FISA Amendments Act another five years, and Obama signs it into law. Sens. Wyden and Jeff Merkley, both Oregon Democrats, offer amendments requiring more disclosure about the law’s impact. The proposals fail.

April 2013

Verizon order issued

As the Guardian revealed this week, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Judge Roger Vinson issues a secret court order directing Verizon Business Network Services to turn over “metadata” -- including the time, duration and location of phone calls, though not what was said on the calls -- to the NSA for all calls over the next three months. Verizon is ordered to deliver the records “on an ongoing daily basis.” The Wall Street Journal reports this week that AT&T and Sprint have similar arrangements.
The Verizon order cites Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows the FBI to request a court order that requires a business to turn over “any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items)” relevant to an international spying or terrorism investigation. In 2012, the government asked for 212 such orders, and the court approved them all.

June 2013

Congress and White House respond

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper
Following the publication of the Guardian’s story about the Verizon order, Sens. Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., the chair and vice of the Senate intelligence committee, hold a news conference to dismiss criticism of the order. “This is nothing particularly new,” Chambliss says. “This has been going on for seven years under the auspices of the FISA authority, and every member of the United States Senate has been advised of this.”
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper acknowledges the collection of phone metadata but says the information acquired is “subject to strict restrictions on handling” and that “only a very small fraction of the records are ever reviewed.” Clapper also issues a statement saying that the collection under the Prism program was justified under the FISA Amendments of 2008, and that it is not “intentionally targeting” any American or person in the U.S.

Statements from the tech companies reportedly taking part in the Prism program variously disavow knowledge of the program and merely state in broad terms they follow the law.
For more on surveillance, check out our roundup of investigative reporting on the issue and our rundown of how the government can get your digital data without a warrant.

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