8/16/2013

With the NSA audit and the DEA cases, does anyone still believe that Obama is honest about no domestic spying?

When Obama said that there was no domestic spying was he ignorant of this NSA audit?  From Fox News:
. . . Despite repeated claims by officials that the NSA does not spy on Americans, the Post reports that the bulk of the infractions involved improper surveillance of Americans or foreign targets in the U.S. Some of the infractions were inadvertent, caused by typographical errors resulting in U.S. calls or emails being intercepted. Others were more serious.
The Post reported that the most significant violations included the unauthorized use of information on more than 3,000 Americans and green-card holders. In another incident, the Post reported that a “large number” of calls from Washington were intercepted in 2008 after the Washington area code 202 was confused with the code 20, which is the code for dialing to Egypt.
In total, an NSA audit from May 2012 reportedly found 2,776 incidents in the prior 12 months of improper collection and handling of communications.
In another case, the special court that oversees the NSA did not learn about a new collection method until it had been underway for months. The court ruled the method unconstitutional, according to the Post. . . .
All the collection of telephone numbers of Americans, who they called, how long they talked, and where they called from seems like domestic spying, but we were told that they weren't listening to the calls.  From the Washington Post:
The Drug Enforcement Administration has been the recipient of multiple tips from the NSA. DEA officials in a highly secret office called the Special Operations Division are assigned to handle these incoming tips, according to Reuters. Tips from the NSA are added to a DEA database that includes “intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records.” This is problematic because it appears to break down the barrier between foreign counterterrorism investigations and ordinary domestic criminal investigations. 
Because the SOD’s work is classified, DEA cases that began as NSA leads can’t be seen to have originated from a NSA source. 
So what does the DEA do? It makes up the story of how the agency really came to the case in a process known as “parallel construction.” Reuters explains:
Some defense lawyers and former prosecutors said that using “parallel construction” may be legal to establish probable cause for an arrest. But they said employing the practice as a means of disguising how an investigation began may violate pretrial discovery rules by burying evidence that could prove useful to criminal defendants.
. . .  There’s another reason the DEA would rather not admit the involvement of NSA data in its investigations: It might lead to a constitutional challenge to the very law that gave rise to the evidence. . . .
UPDATE: Senator Leahy expresses concerns over NSA problems and plans to hold another inquiry.
. . . Leahy's announcement about the additional hearing comes a day after an internal NSA audit published by The Washington Post revealed that the spy agency had repeatedly broken privacy rules or overstepped its authority. 
"The American people rely on the intelligence community to provide forthright and complete information so that Congress and the courts can properly conduct oversight. I remain concerned that we are still not getting straightforward answers from the NSA," Leahy said in a statement.  
"I plan to hold another hearing on these matters in the Judiciary Committee and will continue to demand honest and forthright answers from the intelligence community." . . . 
More on Democrats jumping ship at Fox News:
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called the latest reports "extremely disturbing."  
Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said: "Reports that the NSA repeatedly overstepped its legal boundaries, broke privacy regulations and attempted to shield required disclosure of violations are outrageous, inappropriate and must be addressed." . . .
Another article in The Hill has this:

Sens. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) warned Friday that recent revelations of privacy violations by the National Security Agency (NSA) were “just the tip of a larger iceberg.” . . .
But the problem is that they just can't tell us what the violations are.
Udall and Wyden, who both sit on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a joint statement that the new leak vindicated past claims that “violations of [privacy] laws and rules were more serious than had been acknowledged.”  
They implied, however, that privacy violations when far further than was revealed Thursday. 
“While Senate rules prohibit us from confirming or denying some of the details in today’s press reports, the American people have a right to know more details about the scope and severity of these violations,” they said. . . .

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