Thursday, May 11, 2006

Can YA Here Me NOW!!!

Saying the wheels have come off this administration would be an understatement of gigantic proportions. This flaming wreck of a presidency is losing its base, plagued by a scandal a day, and has completely lost the confidence of almost 70% of the American people. Can sub 30% approval be far behind?
NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls
Updated 5/11/2006 10:38 AM ET

By Leslie Cauley, USA TODAY

The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.

The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren't suspected of any crime. This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews.....

"It's the largest database ever assembled in the world," said one person, who, like the others who agreed to talk about the NSA's activities, declined to be identified by name or affiliation. The agency's goal is "to create a database of every call ever made" within the nation's borders, this person added.
From the White House:
''The intelligence activities undertaken by the United States government are lawful, necessary and required to protect Americans from terrorist attacks...''
Dana Perino, the deputy White House press secretary
Reaction from the Hill:
"I don't know enough about the details except that I am willing to find out because I'm not sure why it would be necessary to keep and have that kind of information,"
House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio)

"The idea of collecting millions or thousands of phone numbers, how does that fit into following the enemy?"
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C).

"We need more. We need to take this seriously, more seriously than some other matters that might come before the committee because our privacy as American citizens is at stake,"
Richard Durbin (D-Il).
The program "is not a warrantless wiretapping of the American people. I don't think this action is nearly as troublesome as being made out here, because they are not tapping our phones."
Sen. Jeff Sessions, (R-Al)
As usual Pat Leahy puts the hammer to the anvil on this:
''Are you telling me that tens of millions of Americans are involved with al Qaeda? These are tens of millions of Americans who are not suspected of anything ... Where does it stop?''...
''Shame on us for being so far behind and being so willing to rubber stamp anything this administration does. We ought to fold our tents.''
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
USA Today supplies a FAQ about this issue.
More as it unfolds.

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