The UK Newspaper the Guardian reportedly broke the story that Verizon has been ordered to turn over what are essentially phone logs for American citizens placing calls within the United States and to Europe. To be clear, they aren't intercepts or voice recordings, rather phone records that contain the information similar to what you'd receive on your cell phone bill.
Cancel your phone service, Big Brother is back and our rights are being violated!
Gotta love the Press, huh? And more "sources" divulging secret court orders to the Press? Exposing the Obama Administrations evil, dastardly deeds. Getting the Americans all riled up over a story to which they've given ZERO context.
Why I'm still stunned that these things happen I don't know...For the record, I'm not opposed to all journalism--just the kind of irresponsible journalism that puts U.S. National Security at risk.
So instead of boiling in my anger all day, I've decided to give some much needed context to the story, using nothing but my keen analytical capabilities--in hopes that this will reach a few of the reasonable, national security-minded citizens and call them off the ledge.
Let's begin at the beginning...
Anybody remember the April 15, 2013 Boston Bombings? You know, the attack which the press insinuated had occurred because of an intelligence failure on the part of the FBI and Intelligence Community?
The FISA court issued the order to collect the intelligence on April 25, 2013--10 days after the bombing. If my memory serves me well, that is about the amount time it takes to get a National Security Letter drawn up, approved, and authorized through the FBI and Justice Department BureaucraZy. (I'm just saying...it is very crazy).
Did anyone stop to consider, just for a second, that the FBI made the blanket request in response to the Boston Bombings? That the FBI may be trying to avert another planned terrorist attack? Or identify other individuals complicit in Tsarnev's existing network--if there is one? Possibly based on the information collected from the laptop and other evidence seized in the primary investigation?
Collecting phone logs is not NEW...and authorizations don't last forever--usually 30-90 days. The FBI must justify requesting authorization to get access to the intelligence and a JUDGE reviews the justification and approves or disapproves the order, then monitors the execution of the order for the duration. We have a system of checks and balances and--in this case--it works as it should.
And call me crazy, but the deaths of 3 Americans and the maming/injuring of 264--and the law enforcement effort necessary to capture everyone involved and prevent that from happening EVER again--is sufficient justification.
No, the irresponsible elements of the Press won't give this kind of context to the American people because, frankly, right now they have an agenda. They are angry at Eric Holder and the Obama Administration and their aim is not to inform but to SPIN to the Administration's detriment.
And a lot of people are falling for it, hook, line, and sinker.
What's worse about the situation is that now that this story has been splashed all over the press, this investigative technique has probably been rendered useless. Now that the bad guys know the FBI is collecting the records and for how long, they will find other ways to communicate until the deadline is up.
Our national security has been compromised by idiots who think the American public should know EVERYTHING right now, when their lives are safer everyday because they don't! Divulging the information to the American public means divulging the information to our enemies, those who mean to do us harm. That's why we have secrets and security clearances. It's not just to keep the American people in the dark and the press from the really juicy headlines. It's to keep the United States SAFE.
So thank you Guardian--and thank you Mr. Leak. Our country is just a little bit less safe because of your fine efforts.
When the next city gets hit, don't blame the FBI or the Intelligence Community for their failures.
Blame the leak.
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