The former head of the NSA may say that the agency isn’t spying on the vast majority of Americans, but the author of the Patriot Act says it is a “big deal” for this to occur.
Former deputy director Cedric Leighton, in defending what one civil liberties group called the “broadest surveillance order to ever have been issued,” tried to downplay the report by the Guardian that revealed how under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of U.S. citizens were being collected in bulk regardless of if they were suspected of wrongdoing.
“I do not believe the broadly drafted [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court] order is consistent with the requirements of the Patriot Act. Seizing phone records of millions of innocent people is excessive and un-American,” Wisconsin Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner said in a statement Thursday.
Representative Sensenbrenner, moments ago appeared on “America Live” with Megyn Kelly and said it was a “big deal” despite what Leighton said. Sensenbrenner introduced the Patriot Act in 2001, shortly following the attacks on Sept. 11, although it was already written and sitting at the Justice Department. President George W. Bush signed the legislation into law the same year.
The report was based on a confidential order reportedly granted by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on April 25 that is good through July 19.
But the seizure of the phone records of millions of Verizon users did not mean the agency was spying on Americans, explained former NSA deputy director Cedric Leighton.Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner R-WI, author of the Patriot Act.
Lawmaker including Senate majority leader Harry Reid D-NV, and Lindsey Graham R-SC, have said that the program has been in place for some 7 years, and is responsible for the thwarting of several terrorist attacks.
The ACLU has claimed that they have even reason to believe that the order is not limited to Verizon, but other cell phone providers, as well as Internet providers. Mark Levin said moments ago on Cavuto:
We have all the makings of a police state. I don’t care what the hell some judge said some 30 years ago or 30 minutes ago. This is America, and the United States government is collecting way too much data on We the People, the private citizens.
Commentary from the Blogger:
Rep. Sensenbrenner disagreed to be sure, and quite frankly, I could care less if Senator Graham thinks that it is acceptable if the HSA goes through his phone records. I could equally care less if living in a police state will protect me from terrorists – which it will not – Levin is right.
This country was supposed to be different from other countries, and many people died to make it so. Mark is also correct to say “that we are not a constitutional republic anymore,” and we better “wake the hell up.” Because like Levin, “I don’t know what the hell we are anymore” either.
We better begin to rollback the power and function of the federal government and return power to the people and the states where it belongs. As Cavuto pointed out, people used to believe that Mark Levin was crazy when he forecasted that big government would lead to these kinds of power grabs.
Tapping the phones and confiscating the records of reporters, Washington directing the IRS to target conservative groups, a government that allows citizens and service men (and women) to die without attempts to save their lives in order to keep their sinister dealings a secret, and now, some 110 million Americans being spied on without cause or suspicion of wrongdoing.
And tomorrow they will do what? Is it still paranoia to oppose gun control Piers Morgan? We should send him and people like him packing to where despotism is cool, because they are starting to make me feel anxiety for my children’s physical safety.