Saturday, August 17, 2013

Or Shalt Thou?

Another day, another revelation of government officials bearing false witness about NSA spying. The latest is a leaked NSA internal audit that found thousands of cases of illegal spying on Americans -- not on terrorists, but on American citizens inside the United States -- that directly refutes the president's lies of less than a week ago.

The leaked audit was published not by WikiLeaks, not The Guardian, not Salon or any publication that can be dismissed with a wave of the hand but by the Washington Post, the official mouthpiece of the US political establishment.

The audit covered only NSA facilities in the Washington, DC area, not the rest of the NSA's world wide operations, and it only looked at the preceding 12 months, but found 2,776 violations.

Democracy Now immediately looked up the video of President Obama saying that what the audit would reveal, just a few days later, just doesn't happen, period.

President Obama; "If you look at the reports, even the disclosures that Mr. Snowden has put forward, all the stories that have been written, what you’re not reading about is the government actually abusing these programs and, you know, listening in on people’s phone calls or inappropriately reading people’s emails. What you’re hearing about is the prospect that these could be abused. Now, part of the reason they’re not abused is because these checks are in place, and those abuses would be against the law and would be against the orders of the FISC."

It was stunning to see Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the number one domestic spying defender in congress, immediately jump up after the Post article appeared and claim that congress has found no violations of the law in its NSA oversight. Congress wasn't shown the audit, nor was the FISA court, which, like congress, has been put forth as our watchdog over domestic spying. We only know about the audit, and about the cases of eavesdropping on law abiding US citizens it found, because it was leaked by Edward Snowden.

Note: What's been revealed lately is just about the NSA, and represents only part of what the NSA is doing. It doesn't include promised revelations yet to come, and doesn't include spying on Americans being done by the FBI, CIA, ATF, DEA, Homeland Security or any other government agency that have been reported outside the mainstream media, although there have been recent mainstream media revelations about spying on Americans being done by the Postal Service and IRS, that have been overshadowed by NSA spying.

The World Socialist Web Site article on the leaked NSA audit catalogs some of the instances in which the government has made a statement about domestic spying that a subsequent leak proved to be a lie.


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