Thursday, May 26, 2011

It's Worse Than We Thought

That fucking Patriot Act, where our government spies on us illegally and actually collects and stores information about it's own citizens, is up for for reauthorization again.
This time, Senator Ron Wyden (D) (Or), says it is even more nefarious than we thought.

You may think you understand how the Patriot Act allows the government to spy on its citizens. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) says it’s worse than you’ve heard.
Congress is set to reauthorize three controversial provisions of the surveillance law as early as Thursday. But Wyden says that what Congress will renew is a mere fig leaf for a far broader legal interpretation of the Patriot Act that the government keeps to itself — entirely in secret. Worse, there are hints that the government uses this secret interpretation to gather what one Patriot-watcher calls a “dragnet” for massive amounts of information on private citizens; the government portrays its data-collection efforts much differently.
“We’re getting to a gap between what the public thinks the law says and what the American government secretly thinks the law says,” Wyden tells Danger Room in an interview in his Senate office. “When you’ve got that kind of a gap, you’re going to have a problem on your hands.”
What exactly does Wyden mean by that? As a member of the intelligence committee, he laments that he can’t precisely explain without disclosing classified information. But one component of the Patriot Act in particular gives him immense pause: the so-called “business-records provision,” which empowers the FBI to get businesses, medical offices, banks and other organizations to turn over any “tangible things” it deems relevant to a security investigation.


Here is the link to the WIRED article.

There is much more there.

Basically, Wyden and Udahl filed an amendment wanting the Fed.Gov to disclose the reasons why it thinks it can secretly reinterpret the provisions of the Patriot Act and not tell anyone.
The point here is that Wyden isn't upset so much that they are doing it, he want's them to explain where they get this authority.

From the article;

The amendment, first reported by Marcy Wheeler, blasts the administration for “secretly reinterpret[ing] public laws and statutes.” It would compel the Attorney General to “publicly disclose the United States Government’s official interpretation of the USA Patriot Act.” And, intriguingly, it refers to “intelligence-collection authorities” embedded in the Patriot Act that the administration briefed the Senate about in February.

Wyden says he “can’t answer” any specific questions about how the government thinks it can use the Patriot Act. That would risk revealing classified information — something Wyden considers an abuse of government secrecy. He believes the techniques themselves should stay secret, but the rationale for using their legal use under Patriot ought to be disclosed.
My emphasis.

First off, let me say that Marcy Wheeler amazes me beyond words. I adore that lady.
She digs through the stuff our government doesn't want us to know every. damn. day.
Has for years.
I would nominate that lady for Attorney General in a heart beat, she is fucking AWESOME!

Secondly, I admire Wyden, he is actually one of the good guys.
I have followed him for more than two decades, maybe three at this point.
I moved to Washington from Oregon in 91 and he was in office then as a Representative.

This must be his way of putting some sunshine on some seriously nasty practices being employed while at the same time covering his ass.

What ever the reasons, it must be really fucking nasty what these assclowns are doing.

The Patriot Act should be allowed to die an undignified death.
It goes against our Fourth Amendment rights, word for word.

Believe this though, I got the link to Wired from Fark, the word is out and nobody and I mean nobody, in the government, is going to ignore Marcy Wheeler.
She is a force to be reckoned with and they fucking know it.
She has scooped the NYT, WAPO and every other major newspaper in this country before and I predict she will do it again.
She deserves a Pulitzer for investigative journalism.

Good on ya honey.


  1. @Comrade, welcome to the Corporatocracy. So long as you work for slave wages, don't question anything, and purchase cheap plastic crap from China, you'll be just fine living under it.

    If things go the way they usually do in situations like this (if history is any guide), they'll eventually pass laws that render the Constitution null and void, and at that point, there will be nothing anyone can do about it. I don't want to be around when that shit hits the fan... for some strange reason many people of all political affiliations have a problem with jackboots on their necks. {/snark}

    On a more serious note, we the People have more in common than the Corporatocracy would like. That's why they have all the "moral" issues they make much-ado about. They wish to divide us. They have pretty much succeeded too.

  2. One time, me and a pal were having a lively telephone conversation about the "ten-to-two" versus the "lobe centers" method of timing Triumph camshafts and I swear I heard snoring on the line...

  3. not a corporatocracy, a plutocracy. A country of by and for the rich. Who own congress.(who made it legal to bribe them)
    Who own our courts-SCOTUS not excepted
    Who own the executive branch.
    Damn but I am glad I am old. I won't have to put up with this shit much longer.
    Altho a rant every now and then does raise my BP.

  4. Anonymous7:49 PM

    I had hopes that the Tea Party or the Libertarians would actually stand up to this crap. But things never change. There's just too much money that the rich have available to pay the power to screw the rest of us.