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Sen. Feinstein (D-Calif.)  (Source: NewsReal)
Senator Feinstein feels the NSA should do the opposite of what the law says, focus its efforts on Americans

Inexplicably, one of the U.S. intelligence community's top allies -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) -- has reversed her previous rhetoric and condemned the U.S. National Security Agency's (NSA) effort to spy on the leaders of top U.S. allies including France, Germany, Spain, and Mexico.

I. Senator Feinstein -- Key Proponent of Warrantless Spying on Americans

To understand how odd this is, you first have to understand just how intimately involved Sen. Feinstein has been in promoting and expanding the U.S.'s unprecedented, ever increasing effort to spy on its own citizens, frequently going to bat to defend the intelligence agencies' questionable behavior.

For months Sen. Feinstein, who heads the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for the Democratic majority, for months had no compunctions with leaks that revealed the NSA was spying on Americans.

Senator Feinstein
Sen. Feinstein has defend the NSA spying on Americans unlawfully and without warrant. [Image Source: AP]

Leaks have shown that the NSA typically "assumes" individuals that use popular U.S. web services like Google Inc. (GOOG) and Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) are foreigners and hence it claims it can collect their unencrypted data without warrant, despite the laws that govern the NSA explicitly saying it is illegal for the NSA to collect warrantless surveillance on Americans.  And the NSA admits that it commits even more flagrant violations against American citizens -- flagrant enough to make even the NSA consider it "illegal" collection of American's digital data -- thousands of times a year.

Throughout all these leaks Sen. Feinstein remained a steadfast supporter of the NSA programs.  In June she called Edward Snowden, the man who leaked this information, a "traitor" for revealing to Americans they were being spied on. She said it was treason to reveal what the federal government was doing to the public, remarking:

I don’t look at this as being a whistle-blower.  I think it’s an act of treason.  He took an oath — that oath is important.  He violated the oath, he violated the law. It’s an act of treason in my view.

She has been crucial in overpowering civil libertarians on both sides of the aisle, including Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oreg.) and Rep. Ron Paul (D-Tex.), who believed Mr. Snowden was a whistleblower and deserved protection from prosecution.  Instead, Sen. Feinstein and her oft teary-eyed House colleague Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) successfully leveled criminal charges against the young leaker.

II. Editorials by Feinstein Defend Collection of Americans' Call Records

As recently as October Sen. Feinstein was adamantly defending one of the NSA's most controversial efforts -- the collection of an estimated 99 percent of Americans' call records without warrant.  These records are believed to allow the NSA to track most Americans' locations, at will, on a daily basis.

In a lengthy October 13 editorial in The Wall Street Journal (a News Corp. (NWS) publication) she wrote:

Since it was exposed in June by leaker Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency’s call-records program has become controversial and many have questioned whether its benefits are worth the costs. My answer: The program—which collects phone numbers and the duration and times of calls, but not the content of any conversations, names or locations—is necessary and must be preserved if we are to prevent terrorist attacks.
The NSA call-records program is working and contributing to our safety. It is legal and it is subject to strict oversight and thorough judicial review.

In that post she disingeneously states:

Working in combination, the call-records database and other NSA programs have aided efforts by U.S. intelligence agencies to disrupt terrorism in the U.S. approximately a dozen times in recent years, according to the NSA. This summer, the agency disclosed that 54 terrorist events have been interrupted—including plots stopped and arrests made for support to terrorism.

...despite the fact her own colleague Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Verm.) was able to get NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander to admit that he "believes" that the NSA's call collection information was only used in two cases where terrorist actions were disrupted (not 54).  What makes Sen. Feinstein's Oct. 13 editorial more disturbing is you can scrutinize her words carefully, you see she cleverly avoids claiming that the call programs themselves did this, but if you read the post quickly it is almost certain that you would think this is what she was suggesting.

NSA spying
The NSA argues it has to break the law sometimes to perform its duties.
[Image Source: Activist Post]
In a second editorial in USA Today on Oct. 20, she yet again puffed up the NSA's effort, writing:

The call-records program is not surveillance. It does not collect the content of any communication, nor do the records include names or locations. The NSA only collects the type of information found on a telephone bill: phone numbers of calls placed and received, the time of the calls and duration. The Supreme Court has held this "metadata" is not protected under the Fourth Amendment.

Sen. Feinstein
Sen. Feinstein wrote two editorials in the last month defending the NSA collecting the call records of Americans without warrant. [Image Source: Sen. Feinstein]

So if it appeared until this week that the NSA had no stronger supporter than Sen. Feinstein.

III. You Can Spy on Americans, But Not on Foreign Leaders

Then something curious occurred.  This week, a piece in The WSJ, cited high ranking federal sources as claiming that even the President was left unaware of the NSA's five year long effort to spy on 35 top foreign leaders, many of whom led top U.S. allies:

President Barack Obama went nearly five years without knowing his own spies were bugging the phones of world leaders. Officials said the NSA has so many eavesdropping operations under way that it wouldn’t have been practical to brief him on all of them.

Obama spying
Sources close to Obama claim he was unaware of spying on foreign leaders. [Image Source: AFP]

The piece follows a statement from Edward Snowden, published by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) (who is suing the NSA for unlawfully tracking and spying on Americans), which provided new details strengthening the evidence that the U.S. was spying on top foreign leaders, contrary to previous Obama administration claims.

And with that, inexplicably Sen. Feinstein changed her tune, just 9 days after her latest editorial defending the NSA's spying on Americans.  She comments:

Let me state unequivocally: I am totally opposed.  Unlike NSA’s collection of phone records under a court order, it is clear to me that certain surveillance activities have been in effect for more than a decade and that the Senate Intelligence Committee was not satisfactorily informed. Therefore our oversight needs to be strengthened and increased.

Unless the United States is engaged in hostilities against a country or there is an emergency need for this type of surveillance [the U.S. should not spy on foreign leaders' email/phone calls].  It is my understanding that President Obama was not aware Chancellor Merkel’s communications were being collected since 2002.  That is a big problem.

In other words, Sen. Feinstein is fine with the NSA spying on Americans (who are "foreigners" to the NSA, don't forget), but when it comes to spying on true foreigners, that's where she can no longer support the agency's actions.

IV. The Law Says Pretty Much the Opposite

The NSA's powers granted by Congress specifically say it can only spy on foreigners.  These powers stem from the Executive Order 12333 (President Ronald Reagan, 1981) and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) (50 USC Chapter 36).

For example, 50 USC § 1802, says:

the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order... the acquisition of the contents of communications transmitted by means of communications used exclusively between or among foreign powers.

Now indeed, if the President did not authorize this interception it's a big problem, as the statute also says the authorization only lasts a year (so any authorization by previous President George W. Bush would ostensibly have expired in 2008).  However, if authorized by the President there's nothing in the U.S. Code -- the central book of law of the U.S. besides the Constitution -- that explicitly forbids the U.S. from spying on the leaders of ally foreign nations.

NSA spying
The law tasks the NSA from spying on foreigners, but forbids it to spy on U.S. citizens.  Sen. Feinstein is fighting to flip that equation. [Image Source: Nation of Change]

However, the law does specifically say that information may only be collected if:

there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party...

Clearly, much of the information the NSA collects comes with substantial likelihood that it's acquiring "communication[s] to which United States [people are] party."  Hence the NSA appears to be flagrantly in violation of the law of the land.

Sen. Feinstein seems to disregard this, and has said as much in numerous editorials.  But she appears greatly offended that the NSA has spied on foreign leaders, despite that being much closer to the agency's official duties.

Sources: Sen. Feinstein, ACLU [Ed. Snowden], USA Today [Sen. Feinstein editorial]

Comments     Threshold

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Makes you wonder....
By sorry dog on 10/29/2013 10:56:34 AM , Rating: 5
Who are these people who keep electing this troll to Congress?

RE: Makes you wonder....
By dgingerich on 10/29/2013 11:05:17 AM , Rating: 3

RE: Makes you wonder....
By djcameron on 10/29/2013 11:29:12 AM , Rating: 5
Not Californians, the IDIOT Californians.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By ClownPuncher on 10/29/2013 12:40:07 PM , Rating: 5
Idiots who prefer evil politicians. This Satan spawn should be impeached.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By niva on 10/29/2013 4:02:21 PM , Rating: 4
I am a liberal and I believe in the restriction of guns in the US.

This lady is the spawn of Satan though and every time I hear her speak I cringe. She needs to go, 5 years ago.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By MrBlastman on 10/29/2013 4:10:33 PM , Rating: 2
Your neighbors can keep you far safter with their arms and surveillance than any police department or government agency.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By MrBlastman on 10/29/2013 4:35:53 PM , Rating: 2

bah that's what I get for posting while on the phone.


RE: Makes you wonder....
By superstition on 10/30/2013 4:17:16 PM , Rating: 2
I can trust that my neighbors can't be trusted with guns.

They can't even manage to maintain the trees and shrubs because they let their nastiness cause them to rip out the stuff on the property of other people so their place will look better.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By 91TTZ on 10/29/2013 5:46:21 PM , Rating: 4
I am a liberal and I believe in the restriction of guns in the US.

Taking away people's Constitutional rights doesn't seem very liberal.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/29/2013 6:31:07 PM , Rating: 2
You need to be real careful with constitutional rights - those are FULL of HOLES. Second amendment as recorded in the U.S. National Archives:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

See the holes? You guys in the U.S can bear all the ARMS (which also includes, but is not limited to knives, swords, crossbows, throwing stars, bazookas, rocket launchers, pitchforks, hoes and rocks) you want.

Your constitutional second amendment will not protect you from the consequences of actually USING those arms. You can carry them around all you like, show them off and juggle them around like a circus clown of you want. But if you use them, be very prepared to deal with the same consequences that someone in a country that has tight gun controls would face. The U.S. constitution does not protect you from using that gun the wrong way.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By MrBlastman on 10/29/2013 9:51:03 PM , Rating: 4
The consequence of not bearing arms is tyranny. The Constitution purposefully allows for them in order to prevent this from happening.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By tamalero on 10/30/2013 2:51:03 AM , Rating: 1
why every american thinks that "restrictions" means "complete removal"?

restrictions would mean to stop giving guns like they were candy in walmarts... specially selling them to people with mental instability issues.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By heffeque on 10/30/2013 9:20:41 AM , Rating: 1
You're asking for too much.

Also... what right does the USA have to spy on foreign countries? It's all very amusing to me.

How would people in the US feel if Chinese, North Koreans, Russians, etc spied on our emails, phone calls, contacts, etc... and our leaders too!

We're such hypocrites...

RE: Makes you wonder....
By ClownPuncher on 10/30/2013 11:10:27 AM , Rating: 3
They do.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By ezorb on 11/1/2013 1:00:42 AM , Rating: 2
I fully expect that all countries are spying on the US, any country would be a fool not to.

Are you even suggesting that Russia and China are not totally engaged in massive spy operations everywhere in the world?

What kind of weaksauce county do you come from that doesn't spy on everyone else.

Even the Vatican spies on everyone.

If you have a country, you NEED to spy on EVERYONE and EVERYTHING. That's real life, countries that don't do this are no longer around. They tend not to last long.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By MrBlastman on 10/30/2013 12:41:21 PM , Rating: 2
You are assuming we have a functioning system that helps address and correct mental health problems in America. We don't.

Prisons don't count. Prior to the 1990s we did have mental health facilities to put people away in... indefinitely if needed, to give them medical help for their problems. Nowadays we just stuff them in prison with other maniacs and make them even worse off than when they were first put in.

Mental health is a joke in America. Prisons are a business and all the liberals and conservatives alike feel that slamming people behind bars solves problems for even menial crimes when in actuality it does nothing but create an ever growing shadow-population of rejects, worsening the situation here.

So... before you say, "let's keep people with mental stability issues from owning weapons," you must first have both a methodology of identification and a modus of effective treatment in place.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By bitmover461 on 10/30/2013 10:56:50 AM , Rating: 2
The only holes are your interpretation. Since the stated purpose of allowing the people to keep and bear arms is to form a militia when neeeded, it is obvious that military grade weapons are covered in that right.

If you don't like it, start a movement for an amendment. Otherwise, yes, I should be able to own a rocket launcher.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By Schrag4 on 10/30/2013 12:40:10 PM , Rating: 2
Your constitutional second amendment will not protect you from the consequences of actually USING those arms. You can carry them around all you like, show them off and juggle them around like a circus clown of you want. But if you use them, be very prepared to deal with the same consequences that someone in a country that has tight gun controls would face. The U.S. constitution does not protect you from using that gun the wrong way.

What do you mean by "USING those arms?" For many people, they use their guns like they use their seatbelt - they hope to never rely on it but they still have to carry it or click it in order for it to be useful. Are you suggesting people not be able to carry?

The way your paragraph reads to me, it's like you're suggesting people can't just go target practicing in schools and shopping centers, blowing up cars in parking lots with their bazookas and such. Am I missing something? Nobody thinks the 2nd amendments affords them that right.

I think you should clarify what you're REALLY trying to say.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By Adonlude on 10/29/2013 6:30:42 PM , Rating: 2
She actually looks like Luto, the beast from Labrynth.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By ProZach on 10/30/2013 4:48:13 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree in defense of Maurice Sendak.

I think (bride of) F(rank)einstein looks more like the Wicked Witch of the East after being hit by a flying house, which is to say she looks like the average apartment manager lady.

Seriously, because of her shriveled ugliness I had to turn off images in my browser in order to read the article-- no bulls**t. Hopefully her picture will be omitted in future articles.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/29/2013 5:43:10 PM , Rating: 1
And who do you think would replace him? Do you really think that Biden would do any different?

Even if Romney had gotten into power do you think he would have done any different?

RE: Makes you wonder....
By ClownPuncher on 10/29/2013 6:33:59 PM , Rating: 2
We are talking about Feinstein, you silly goose.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/29/2013 6:37:28 PM , Rating: 2
OK, sure. Impeach her lame ass. The next one to take over will puck up right where she left off.

Same difference - smaller scale.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By Ammohunt on 10/29/2013 1:54:22 PM , Rating: 2
There is a difference? Californians that roll over to any and every dumb law/politician that gets enacted/elected.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/29/2013 6:35:30 PM , Rating: 2
That's just it.

Once the law is enacted or the politician is elected, there is absolutely nothing you can do to change it. Rolling over is not even in the picture.

When the politician is running for office, the last thing any of them will tell you is that they will spy on everything you do. No, they only do that AFTER they have been comfortably voted in and there is nothing you can do to stop it.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By dgingerich on 10/29/2013 2:11:07 PM , Rating: 2
Well, it's the land of fruit and nuts. What can you expect from them?

RE: Makes you wonder....
By Jeffk464 on 10/29/2013 2:21:13 PM , Rating: 2
Here is the problem, Californians aren't going to put a republican in and party politics prevents another Democrat running against her.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By Solandri on 10/29/2013 6:23:03 PM , Rating: 2
She's actually pretty centrist. Before she ran for the Senate, she lost to Pete Wilson (moderate Republican) for California governor. People complained that the two were virtual carbon copies of each other because they agreed on all the major issues. Of the two Senators (her and Boxer) she's the one Republicans can stomach.

She's just very, very wrong about this issue. It's an interesting issue because the far left is ok with it (the state is more important than the individual), and the far right is ok with it (we must do whatever we can to survive as a country). It's unusual for a moderate like her to be so strongly in favor of the NSA's spying.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By superstition on 10/30/2013 4:14:30 PM , Rating: 3
How stupid. Feinstein is a 1% war hawk "defense industry" saleswoman.

That you're still blinded by the fake partisanship of our dual-branded single corporate party in 2013 says a lot.

There is no real populism in Congress, especially the Senate. The are all servants of the rich and many are rich themselves.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By Bad-Karma on 10/30/2013 6:28:54 PM , Rating: 2

The Bicameral legislature was put in place so that in the Senate, the more populated states couldn't completely override the smaller ones. They are supposed to be there to represent the state governments, not the people directly.

The House is supposed to be the voice of the people.

The 17th amendment allowed the senate to be elected by the popular vote, which many think, warped the intentions of the founding fathers in the constitution. It really turns it into two houses of representatives.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By Jeffk464 on 10/30/2013 10:55:05 PM , Rating: 2
I don't disagree

RE: Makes you wonder....
By BZDTemp on 10/30/2013 4:19:16 AM , Rating: 2
Same thing :-)

RE: Makes you wonder....
By inperfectdarkness on 10/31/2013 3:40:06 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Too many Feinstein's, Boxers, Pelosi's, Waxman's, etc. The stupidity is systemic. It's EVERYWHERE in Kommiefornia.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By dgingerich on 10/29/2013 2:15:54 PM , Rating: 2
Why'd I get downvoted for this? It is, indeed, Californians who voted, repeatedly, to put this woman into office. How can you dispute that? Coloradans certainly didn't vote her in. (My idiot neighbors voted in Mark Udall.)

RE: Makes you wonder....
By Kiffberet on 10/30/2013 8:28:19 AM , Rating: 2
That's the biggest problem with Democracy - people who disagree with you are allowed to vote.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By JasonMick on 10/29/2013 11:12:32 AM , Rating: 5
Who are these people who keep electing this troll to Congress?
In this case it would be California.

A joke about California would seemingly be in order were it not for the fact that the politicians elected by most of the rest of the nation are equally bad.

So the jokes on us (U.S.).

When the the American public feels the need to buy into one of two brands (aka the candidates that are put forth by the Democratic and Republican national political machines), both of which are owned by the same "company" (aka special interests that donate to both parties) you have no competition and this is the end result...

RE: Makes you wonder....
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/29/2013 11:24:29 AM , Rating: 1
Stories like this make me glad to be living in a country whose politicians are not such blatant idiots. Ours are far more discreet about their idiocy.

On the other hand, they are no doubt the ones being spyed upon by the American NSA.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By bill.rookard on 10/29/2013 11:38:46 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe they're trying to learn how they're supposed to be leading a country?

What the hell am I saying? Hahahaha. We know that's not true as evidenced by the blatant lack of interest in anything remotely connected to proper leadership here. I would have thought they would have learned something by now.

Guess not.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By Motoman on 10/29/2013 11:41:15 AM , Rating: 2
Democracy: a mechanism by which the people are guaranteed a government no better than they deserve.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By Shig on 10/29/2013 11:58:31 AM , Rating: 5
Democracy is equal representation. Post Citizens United, there is no longer equal representation. Representation is solely a derivative of how much you've donated to X campaign.

Don't have money to donate to a campaign? No representation for you. Don't make this into a party issue either, both sides are bought.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By drlumen on 10/29/2013 12:24:24 PM , Rating: 2
Government of the corporation, by the corporation, for the corporation.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By Motoman on 10/29/2013 12:58:55 PM , Rating: 2
Yup...and who, exactly, voted the people into office who did that?

We did.

Ultimately everything that happens is our fault, because we're the ones stupid enough to let it happen in the first place.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/29/2013 5:27:32 PM , Rating: 2
What do you figure would have happened if the donkeys got in rather than the elephants? (Bit hint: the same thing).

problem is the U.S. has a 2 party system where the winner gets to do whatever they please (almost absolute power) and the loser gets to sit on the side and complain about the injustice of it all (even though they would have done the same damn thing). There are no real checks & balances. Even impeachments are a farce since there never is any kind of real punishment, like imprisonment ever handed out (In all of the entire history of the U.S. show me one impeached president that ever went to prison or even got tossed out of his party with no pension).

RE: Makes you wonder....
By Reclaimer77 on 10/29/2013 5:32:20 PM , Rating: 1
What do you figure would have happened if the donkeys got in rather than the elephants? (Bit hint: the same thing).

The two parties, when viewed in the extreme, have clearly opposite ideological beliefs.

Your statement is largely false, hate to say. There IS a difference.

This apathy is exactly why we have such crap voter turnouts and the big mess we're in. Stop convincing yourself and others that there are no good options, and there's nothing we can do.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By Reclaimer77 on 10/29/2013 4:51:27 PM , Rating: 2
Citizens United had nothing to do with campaign donations. I get what you're saying, but it's getting a little old seeing the facts misrepresented so many times on the same issue.

If you believe in the First Amendment, you have to accept the Citizens United ruling. There's just no two ways about it.

Are you seriously saying Democracy in America is dead because labor unions and corporations can buy TV time and run commercials? Seriously??

Stop the hyperbole, please.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By DFSolley on 10/29/2013 5:22:56 PM , Rating: 2
No, their saying democracy is dead because people they disagree with are allowed to have a voice.
One side says corporations shouldn't have a voice, the other side says unions shouldn't have a voice.

I propose that anyone receiving government largesse shouldn't get a vote... But then those running government would send us all a check.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By TSS on 10/30/2013 7:26:38 AM , Rating: 2
Eh, no. Democracy is majority rule. If you get a majority, you can do whatever you want.

A Republic is equal representation, or minority rule if you will. Because a republic recognises that one way or another, everybody is part of some minority, AKA something they do not agree with the majority on, and thus deserve protection from the majority.

The U.S. is supposed to be a republic and was founded as a republic. It has turned into a democracy because it's leaders have convinced it's population through sheer ignorance that they're a democracy. One of the examples of this is nobody understanding the difference between a republic and a democracy.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By sorry dog on 10/29/13, Rating: 0
RE: Makes you wonder....
By MrBlastman on 10/29/2013 1:34:54 PM , Rating: 5
A joke about California

The land of fruits and nuts!

RE: Makes you wonder....
By just4U on 10/29/2013 3:47:32 PM , Rating: 3
Doesn't sound very democratic does it? Get the population all partisan going for Team A/B but since both teams do exactly the same thing it's all an illusion to make you think there is a choice.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By superflex on 10/29/2013 5:22:29 PM , Rating: 2
Red Team/Blue Team both work for their bankster overlords.
The Red/Blue divide is to keep the sheeple divided.
And the music plays on...

RE: Makes you wonder....
By YearOfTheDingo on 10/29/13, Rating: -1
RE: Makes you wonder....
By ClownPuncher on 10/29/2013 12:24:01 PM , Rating: 3
Aren't there rules against 12 year olds making accounts and posting here?

RE: Makes you wonder....
By MrBlastman on 10/29/2013 1:34:02 PM , Rating: 3
He's a Californian. He's immune to scrutiny. They live in a Utopia, didn't you know? ;)

(in their polluted little minds)

RE: Makes you wonder....
By ClownPuncher on 10/29/2013 2:40:04 PM , Rating: 2
That's racist.

I'm going to start saying that every time someone disagrees with me. You think the NSA is spying on you? Only if you're racist.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By YearOfTheDingo on 10/29/2013 4:50:33 PM , Rating: 2
Certainly people aren't capable of appreciating sarcasm at any age.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By ClownPuncher on 10/29/2013 6:31:38 PM , Rating: 2
That's a tough one, especially in the context of your previous post. It's hard to tell in today's political climate.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By MrBlastman on 10/29/2013 1:32:27 PM , Rating: 2
All this freak of a human ever wants is to...

1. Take our weapons away so we are helpless.
2. Violate our civil liberties so we can be subservient.
3. Make us yearn for protection by the government because we are violated and helpless.
4. Repeat cycle.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By Alexvrb on 10/30/2013 12:45:30 AM , Rating: 2
Ah sir, you've been here before.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By Belegost on 10/29/2013 1:42:29 PM , Rating: 3
As someone who has voted against her every opportunity, I don't know who is voting for her. The woman is senile, she was not a good candidate 20 years ago, and her inane babbling has only increased.

The only reason I don't claim election fraud is that the principle of simplicity suggests the solution is mass stupidity.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By tng on 10/29/2013 2:40:50 PM , Rating: 2
I think that her outrage over the issue is because of this
it is clear to me that certain surveillance activities have been in effect for more than a decade and that the Senate Intelligence Committee was not satisfactorily informed.
She didn't know about it, how dare they run an operation without telling her!

As a Californian who has voted against this woman every election for the past 20 years, I find it much more plausible that she is angry because she wasn't in the know, not because the NSA is spying on foreign leaders.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By Reclaimer77 on 10/29/2013 4:57:55 PM , Rating: 1
Of course she knew. The President and the Democrats are in full CYA mode.

They didn't know about Benghazi
They didn't know about Fast and Furious
They didn't know about Obamacare raising premiums
They didn't know about the NSA spying, it's apparently a totally autonomous construct

They didn't know about being a looming disaster

We're either being lead by the most incompetent Presidential Administration and Senate ever, or their horrible liars. The only people more idiotic than our "leaders", are apparently the low-information saps out there who believe these are valid excuses.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By stm1185 on 10/29/2013 5:17:25 PM , Rating: 2
They didn't know Obama was lying when he said "You can keep your Insurance" at every public event.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By superstition on 10/30/2013 4:19:26 PM , Rating: 3
You apparently still buy into the "divide and conquer" fake partisanship. I would take a good look in the mirror before pointing fingers at others to call them stupid.

We have one political party in this country that has any measure of power: the 1% party. It has two brand names.

RE: Makes you wonder....
By hiscross on 10/29/2013 8:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
The American people. Only the best get their vote.

California senators
By Concillian on 10/29/2013 11:32:45 AM , Rating: 5
It's as if California senators try to see how far they can screw over their constituents and still get re-elected just because there's about a snowball's chance in hell California will elect a Republican senator...

Sometimes I hate my state.

RE: California senators
By Motoman on 10/29/2013 1:11:43 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah. Because Republican lawmakers never do anything that isn't in the best interests of the country.

Oh wait...

RE: California senators
By martin5000 on 10/29/2013 1:30:30 PM , Rating: 2
But if there was just a small threat that the incumbents might lose then they would have to improve.

RE: California senators
By tng on 10/29/2013 6:01:09 PM , Rating: 2
But if there was just a small threat that the incumbents might lose then they would have to improve.
I don't think that will ever happen in CA. Some of her statements in the past have been proven even in the local news to have been outright lies, yet she still gets elected in landslides every time.

I moved here from out of state and I am convinced that most of the constituents of CA are complete morons or just don't care. Sometimes I feel alone out here with only Reclaimers posts to comfort me...

RE: California senators
By Concillian on 10/29/2013 7:18:46 PM , Rating: 2
I'm closer to Democrat than Republican. though I don't really consider myself to be either, I am technically registered Dem. My point was not about pushing one party or another... more about retarded voters.

Both the CA senators have tested the waters by essentially coming out and saying they are in the pockets of the major corporations and given the people the finger, yet people re-elect them over and over.

There are plenty of Republican states who have the same problem with Republican senators. The real issue is that there are some real polarizing issues that people seem to by and large agree with "geographically" so that an area becomes heavily one-sided for one party. Then that party doesn't have to put up a people pleaser candidate, they can put whoever the hell they want for election and they'll win.

RE: California senators
By Kiffberet on 10/30/2013 8:33:46 AM , Rating: 2
You need to move to North Korea, where you won't have to worry about retards voting.

In fact yo won't have to worry about voting at all. Mostly because you'll be too busy starving.

Either that or quit your b1tching and do something about it.

By tomx78 on 10/29/2013 11:09:43 AM , Rating: 5
Obama meets kids.

One kid: My dad says you are spying on us.
Obama: He is not your dad.

I'm not a US citizen
By lyeoh on 10/29/2013 11:16:48 AM , Rating: 3
Logically if your spy organization is going to spy on anyone it should be mainly spying on "foreigners" for the benefit of your country.

Allowing your spy organization to spy on your own people at will ("normal folk", politicians, CxOs, judges etc) gives them too much power (blackmail, leverage etc). You can't trust them to do this without strict regulation (e.g. court order).

And if they lie about the spying on locals, they prove they cannot be trusted.

And People Want These Clowns In Charge of Healthcare
By Arsynic on 10/29/2013 11:27:45 AM , Rating: 1
You give someone control of your life and death and they have control over you.

By bug77 on 10/29/2013 11:43:01 AM , Rating: 2
Not really. Public healthcare generally sucks, so you'd still have to resort to private facilities. It's just that it adds one more honey pot for corruption.

By kingmotley on 10/29/2013 2:42:46 PM , Rating: 3
We need to get this woman out of office. She's obviously delusional, and her comments are akin to wiping her behind with the constitution. SHE is the traitor, breaking the highest law of the land -- the constitution, and no crappy decisions the congress makes should ever override that.

It was time for you to either retire, or be charged with crimes against humanity.

Slippery slop
By RocketChild on 10/29/2013 11:08:27 AM , Rating: 2
You always heard that argument that something is never enough. Like spying on the enemy is ok...then it turned to spying on ordinary foreigners only was ok, just not US you hear, it is OK to spy on the enemy, foreigners and US citizens, just not leaders of allies.

It is funny this is being said, because unlike the electorate that has little power to really put a crimp on politicians for their actions...foreign governments can just decide to cut back on US imports, hurting American jobs/influence.

Morals...when you start to erode at them, it is easy to forget where you started.

Nasty fascists
By Shadowmaster625 on 10/29/2013 12:09:30 PM , Rating: 2
It is a rare moment when these people so blatantly show their true colors. These spy agencies we meant to spy on other countries, not on their own citizens. It is the hallmark of a tyranny when the state flips these powers around like this.

Standing alone.
By drycrust3 on 10/29/2013 6:12:02 PM , Rating: 2
In other words, Sen. Feinstein is fine with the NSA spying on Americans (who are "foreigners" to the NSA, don't forget), but when it comes to spying on true foreigners, that's where she can no longer support the agency's actions.

There is an aspect here which is easily overlooked by Americans, which is that when a phone company outside of America, let's say a German phone company, is wanting to buy new equipment, does America want them to consider buying American equipment? With America's debt problems then of course! And what differentiates American equipment from, let's say North Korean equipment? "Well," you say, "the North Koreans might have placed bugs (as in "I wonder if they are talking about us?") in the software". And what about the Americans, would they do that? Well, up until now the American equipment manufacturing companies would have said something like "We don't do that to our friends" or "It's illegal in America, and you have exactly the same software as we supply to the American market". Meaning, of course, "no", they wouldn't.
Most countries will have some sort of legal expectation (e.g. their own laws) that their leaders communications are private, but now we know that Americans view their own citizens communications as a little less than open public viewing, so obviously one can expect the same viewpoint when it comes to foreigners.
"Anyway," you say, "Merkel should have encrypted her phone conversations" ... with what? An American 256 bit cypher program downloaded from the Google Play store? Now that sounds a bit tripe and just too obviously like an invitation to having your phone call recorded by the NSA.
My guess is it would be almost impossible for Merkel to have made even an encrypted phone call without involving some sort of American manufactured equipment or software, but this will change. Germany is a very wealthy country and has the financial resources to make changes quickly. This is also how the rest of the world is going to view American telecommunications equipment, servers, and software: with suspicion, especially if the software involved is closed source. Whether that suspicion is justified is irrelevant, the fact is World Leaders will be wanting more say in what their phone and internet companies purchase, and more open source software so their own experts can peruse it for bugs, and that will mean less importing of American equipment and software.
The simple fact is some sort of bugging software could be placed in a thousand different levels of equipment and be very hard to find. The end result will be to encourage countries to develop their own open source operating systems and versions of person to person software instead of relying upon what America supplies, which will hurt America for many years to come.

By bitmover461 on 10/30/2013 10:53:52 AM , Rating: 2
On a daily basis I marvel at the lack of outrage over our government's blatantly unconstitutional activities. I guess a country of lethargy gets itself a government of abusers.

By op-pop on 10/31/2013 2:21:07 AM , Rating: 2
Does the Senator form her own opinions or are the written for her by her staff? I often shake my head in disbelief hearing some of the statements made by politicians. While "being outraged" may be in does not always represent the common sense facts of the matter,

A lot of you missed her point...
By wordsworm on 10/29/13, Rating: -1
RE: A lot of you missed her point...
By ClownPuncher on 10/29/2013 4:26:26 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, shut up.

By MrBlastman on 10/29/2013 4:38:40 PM , Rating: 2
Wow. Now we know where those imbeciles that voted for Obama come from.

Oh, and what ClownPuncher said--shut up.

RE: A lot of you missed her point...
By SPOOFE on 10/29/2013 5:33:14 PM , Rating: 2
You're holding the children's book upside down, Bush

Took me ten seconds.

RE: A lot of you missed her point...
By Nfarce on 10/29/2013 10:20:13 PM , Rating: 1
Wow. Just wow. And we wonder how Bozo got elected with Demwit liberals like you runnning around believing that tripe you just defecated.

Thanks to Bush, the date 9/11 has more meaning.

As the 911 Commission Report concluding, NOTHING could have prevented 911 from happening, planning of which started under your other hero, Bill "Oral Orfice" Clinton. There were no specifics of what, who, when, or where. Actually there WAS something that could have prevented it: BANNING all Muslims and Middle Easterners from FLYING. But we know how well that would have gone over with you bed wetting tardlibs: PROFILING.

(You're holding the children's book upside down, Bush) At least Obama is literate.

If was a GAFFE. Like your hero Obama who thought we had 57 states, who can't speak a complete sentence WITHOUT the teleprompter telling him what to say.

Thanks to Obama, we don't have to worry about Bin Laden any more.

After nearly TEN YEARS of the Bush administration's intelligence gathering (which included WATERBOARDING that your hero Obama was AGAINST). All Barry the sock puppet did was stay the HELL OUT OF THE WAY.

Who knows? Maybe a bit of spying will help America end its cultural civil war.

Spoken like a true fascist dictator. There IS no cultural war in America. There is only a war on SUCCESS and CAPITALISM in America, and it's by you tardlibs on the deranged left. You people live in a sick, delusional, twisted mindset.

Obama is certainly better than Bush. For instance, he can hold a book the right side up. I'm pretty certain he knows that entrepreneur is a French word. And unlike Clinton, the previous good president, he knew how to inhale.

Still stuck on stupid? Your hero Ozero didn't even know how to pronounce "corpsman." And he's IN CHARGE OF THEM! Oh and I'll take the days when we had nine million PLUS more people in the workforce under Bush that have been lost under your hero Obama. Just like I'll take our 60% lower deficit, higher GDP growth, lower gas, food, and energy prices under Bush, and soon, the MILLIONS who will no longer have their private health insurance because they will be DUMPED thanks to know, the one that we were promised we would be ALLOWED TO KEEP?

Stick your head back up that hole of ignorance, worm.

By wordsworm on 10/29/2013 10:36:15 PM , Rating: 2
Your liberals are far too right wing for me. I'll be voting for Justin Trudeau in the next election.

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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