As the Obama Administration continues to downplay Islamic jihad terrorism and exaggerate the terror threat of “right-wing extremists, it is no wonder that it would be conducting surveillance on millions of ordinary Americans. After all, they’re the real terror threat. “Administration: NSA phone record collection vital to fighting terrorism,” by Aaron Blake for the Washington Post, June 6 (thanks to Kenneth):
The Obama administration says the collection of phone records from millions of Verizon phone customers has been indispensable in the war on terror, fighting back against critics who contend it goes too far….
“Information of the sort described in the Guardian article has been a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats to the United States, as it allows counterterrorism personnel to discover whether known or suspected terrorists have been in contact with other persons who may be engaged in terrorist activities, particularly people located inside the United States,” said a senior administration official, granted anonymity to discuss the matter before an official response is issued.
The collection of phone records has earned the ire of civil liberties advocates “” including some Democrats.
Former vice president Al Gore late Wednesday tweeted that the surveillance is “obscenely outrageous,” and Senate Intelligence Committee member Mark Udall (D-Colo.) expressed his outrage as well.
“While I cannot corroborate the details of this particular report, this sort of widescale surveillance should concern all of us and is the kind of government overreach I”ve said Americans would find shocking,” Udall said in a statement.
In a lengthy statement, the administration official didn’t appear to take issue with the Guardian report “” which is based on a court document the Guardian also published “” but emphasized that the order does not allow the government to listen to the phone calls.
Here’s the full statement:
The article discusses what purports to be an order issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court under a provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that authorizes the production of business records. Orders of the FISA Court are classified. On its face, the order reprinted in the article does not allow the Government to listen in on anyone’s telephone calls. The information acquired does not include the content of any communications or the name of any subscriber. It relates exclusively to metadata, such as a telephone number or the length of a call.
Information of the sort described in the Guardian article has been a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats to the United States, as it allows counterterrorism personnel to discover whether known or suspected terrorists have been in contact with other persons who may be engaged in terrorist activities, particularly people located inside the United States….