consultants are sandburs

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Some, perhaps many, may dislike Larry Klayman. But nobody else is making a mega-court-case attempt to put NSA-Bush-Obama spying on Americans to a test. The press may already have moved on.

Klayman, on video, the Eximiner website, here.

Wikipedia, this link.
The ACLU is going after the morality and legality issues, as is Klayman, but nobody else is aiming to park a bonanza recovery in the driveway, in the home, besides Klayman. At least nobody is being publicly assertive about any such action, besides Klayman.

My big problem with it, first, I hope he wins and parks that fortune away, since losing would not quell stuff as much as a big verdict grabbing headlines nationwide, were one to be attained.

Second big problem, the guy is NOT yet suing members of the House and Senate intelligence committees. With much of Klayman's pleading being "on information and belief" a hope is somebody informs him and makes him believe he can kick the plea for relief up over a hundred billion, and put in every one of those NSA spy-on-you-me-and-up-and-down-the-quiet-street-we-live-on enablers and fellow travelers in Congress.

Saying it is a giant conspiracy, and suggesting political aid and abetting among DC politicians and political figures, without naming, suing, and serving complicit Congressional staff and legislators on the two intelligence committees seems like giving a rock concert while only scheduling the opening act to show up. Like only scheduling Bradlee Dean, and not his entire band.

Larry, can you hear me now? Can you hear me now?

Larry, sue that nest of Patriot Actors/Authors too, please.

Make it less rhetoric, more defendants on the complaint.

Shifting from Klayman rhetoric, to that of the New York Times editorial staff:

The government can easily collect phone records (including the actual content of those calls) on “known or suspected terrorists” without logging every call made. In fact, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was expanded in 2008 for that very purpose.

Essentially, the administration is saying that without any individual suspicion of wrongdoing, the government is allowed to know whom Americans are calling every time they make a phone call, for how long they talk and from where.

This sort of tracking can reveal a lot of personal and intimate information about an individual. To casually permit this surveillance — with the American public having no idea that the executive branch is now exercising this power — fundamentally shifts power between the individual and the state, and it repudiates constitutional principles governing search, seizure and privacy.

The defense of this practice offered by Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, who as chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee is supposed to be preventing this sort of overreaching, was absurd. She said on Thursday that the authorities need this information in case someone might become a terrorist in the future. Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, the vice chairman of the committee, said the surveillance has “proved meritorious, because we have gathered significant information on bad guys and only on bad guys over the years.”

But what assurance do we have of that, especially since Ms. Feinstein went on to say that she actually did not know how the data being collected was used?

[FISA link in original.]

Chilling you yet, to make fewer calls, to voice fewer criticism of our nation's power elite? More Times, same item:

Mr. Obama clearly had no intention of revealing this eavesdropping, just as he would not have acknowledged the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen, had it not been reported in the press. Even then, it took him more than a year and a half to acknowledge the killing, and he is still keeping secret the protocol by which he makes such decisions.

We are not questioning the legality under the Patriot Act of the court order disclosed by The Guardian. But we strongly object to using that power in this manner. It is the very sort of thing against which Mr. Obama once railed, when he said in 2007 that the surveillance policy of the George W. Bush administration “puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide.”

Two Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado, have raised warnings about the government’s overbroad interpretation of its surveillance powers. “We believe most Americans would be stunned to learn the details of how these secret court opinions have interpreted Section 215 of the Patriot Act,” they wrote last year in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. “As we see it, there is now a significant gap between what most Americans think the law allows and what the government secretly claims the law allows. This is a problem, because it is impossible to have an informed public debate about what the law should say when the public doesn’t know what its government thinks the law says.”

On Thursday, Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin, who introduced the Patriot Act in 2001, said that the National Security Agency overstepped its bounds by obtaining a secret order to collect phone log records from millions of Americans.

A separate NYT editorial, here, sums things up well:

But even in the unlikely case that the government never eavesdrops on the wrong people, the cost to civil liberties is still too high. The tiny chance of a useful match cannot justify collecting everyone’s phone records, or running searches on millions of e-mail messages and Internet chats.

As Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, put it today, imagine if the government required every American to report to the government every night who they spoke to, or texted, for how long, and from where. People would be furious, but that’s precisely the information the N.S.A. is collecting from telecom companies. And it’s precisely why the government desperately wanted to keep the practice a secret.

But now the world knows what many members of Congress have kept buttoned up for years. Will Democrats stick to their principles and criticize President Obama for perpetuating a practice that began under President George W. Bush? And will Republicans, happy to find something new to stimulate anger against the White House, demand actual change in a program they defended for years?

These are old dogs, so new tricks are not expected. And Wyden and Udall sending a CYA email to Holder, try taking that to the bank. Plus, those finely worded editorials were put online last week, the question being has the N.Y. Times since moved on? Klayman's effort, whatever else arises from it, may keep the NSA-government spying upon us the citizens on the front burner, rather than it rendering to an ineffectual end, back-burner.

Wydeen/Udall: We went on record. We got our "Not Us" ticket punched.

Too little. That simple. That tiny thing went fully unheard. Does Wyden care? Does Udall? Each can say "I wrote," to which the public rightly can say, "So what?"

The Moonies paper has this editorial. Reader comments on point are welcome.

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