Friday, August 16, 2013

Are 2,776 Rule Violations by the NSA "Consistent with the Constitution and Rule of Law"?

Back in June, Obama had this to say about the NSA snooping on innocent Americans:

This program, by the way, is fully overseen not just by Congress but by the FISA Court, a court specially put together to evaluate classified programs to make sure that the executive branch, or government generally, is not abusing them and that they're — it's being out consistent with the Constitution and rule of law.

Then comes this bombshell in the Washington Post today:

The NSA audit obtained by The Post, dated May 2012, counted 2,776 incidents in the preceding 12 months of unauthorized collection, storage, access to or distribution of legally protected communications. Most were unintended. Many involved failures of due diligence or violations of standard operating procedure. The most serious incidents included a violation of a court order and unauthorized use of data about more than 3,000 Americans and green-card holders.


The May 2012 audit, intended for the agency's top leaders, counts only incidents at the NSA's Fort Meade headquarters and other ­facilities in the Washington area. Three government officials, speak­ing on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified matters, said the number would be substantially higher if it included other NSA operating units and regional collection centers.

So 2,776 rule violations by the NSA in one year is really just at ONE center and the actual number of rule violations by the NSA is substantially higher.  Considering that even if they followed the rules perfectly the entire program is still a violation of the constitution and rule of law this number of violations is incredibly alarming.  They have absolutely no respect for our privacy or really anything at all.  
And can you imagine if your business or company violated the law thousands of times a year, what do you think would happen to you?  You'd have the FBI breaking down your door and arresting everyone involved.  But somehow, thousands of rule violations, impacting the privacy of countless innocent Americans leads to no major repercussions.  Is it constitutional for their to be one set of rules for taxpaying citizens and another for the looters in power?  That doesn't sound like America to me.

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