Only hang around people who are positive and make you feel good.
Really, of course, it’s tumblr that’s over.
The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed “simply based on an analyst deciding that.”
If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. “I was rather startled,” said Nadler, an attorney who serves on the House Judiciary committee.
If this is true, then it was—help me out here, is there any way to characterize it more charitably than calling it a “lie”—okay, a lie, when President Obama said, “No one is listening to your telephone conversations.” So let’s hope Nadler got it wrong, because I don’t want to believe that what he’s saying is accurate, and I don’t want to believe that the President would so directly lie to the public about an issue of this significance.
Talking Points Memo has this follow-up:
We now have a statement from Rep. Nadler which seems to debunk the CNET piece which Idiscussed in the earlier post.
“I am pleased that the administration has reiterated that, as I have always believed, the NSA cannot listen to the content of Americans’ phone calls without a specific warrant.”
This is needless to say still a somewhat cryptic quote, leaving unclear who misunderstood who. But it seems to say definitively that the central claim in the CNET article is incorrect.
There is a similar statement from the DNI that ““The statement that a single analyst can eavesdrop on domestic communications without proper legal authorization is incorrect and was not briefed to Congress … .” This is a weird way to try to deny something. Does it mean that two analysts working together could eavesdrop without proper legal authorization? Does it mean an analyst could eavesdrop without proper authorization if his boss approves it? Why should anyone be able to eavedrop without proper authorization? I hope that the DNI’s statement was just poorly drafted, and not intentionally vague and misleading. But we don’t know, because the administration won’t have an actual debate about the facts, despite the President’s inistence that he welcomes such a debate.
I agree , it’s weird. We’re at the “Trust Nothing They Say” stage here.