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August 23, 2013

IG Report: NSA Analysts Deliberately Violated Surveillance Guidelines Multiple Times

They say, of course, that this was only due to some "overzealousness" in desiring to defeat terrorists.

Maybe. I can't help but think there was some overzealousness to simply intrude, say, on someone's ex-girlfriend's current boyfriend.

I mentioned in the podcast (with special guests Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelly, and Chelz) that I could almost support giving the NSA wide latitude if one condition were present:

That accidental violations would be punished by serious discipline -- say, two months off with no salary -- and that multiple accidental violations would be punished by a firing, and that intentional violations would be punished by a prosecution.

That, in theory, could keep this very dangerous and worrisome ability in check.

But it's only a theory, because as John Kerry and Eric Holder and Barack Obama demonstrate on a daily basis, The government never fires or disciplines anyone, no matter how serious or deadly or constitutionally-foul their transgressions.

Everyone's back to work at State. Lois Lerner continues drawing a paycheck and she's not even working. Her "punishment" is an extended paid vacation.

That that, huh?

So we're left with a very unsatisfying choice between "Let the NSA run rampant" or "Let terrorists run rampant."

And so it goes in America, a country which once had a government, but now is a government that has a country.

Some National Security Agency analysts deliberately ignored restrictions on their authority to spy on Americans multiple times in the past decade, contradicting Obama administration officials’ and lawmakers’ statements that no willful violations occurred.

“Over the past decade, very rare instances of willful violations of NSA’s authorities have been found,” the NSA said in a statement to Bloomberg News. “NSA takes very seriously allegations of misconduct, and cooperates fully with any investigations -- responding as appropriate. NSA has zero tolerance for willful violations of the agency’s authorities.”

The incidents, chronicled in a new report by the NSA’s inspector general, provide more evidence that U.S. agencies sometimes have violated legal and administrative restrictions on domestic spying, and may add to the pressure to bolster laws that govern intelligence activities.

The inspector general documented an average of one case per year over 10 years of intentionally inappropriate actions by people with access to the NSA’s vast electronic surveillance systems, according to an official familiar with the findings. The incidents were minor, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified intelligence.

...

The compilation of willful violations, while limited, contradicts repeated assertions that no deliberate abuses occurred.

Army General Keith Alexander, director of the NSA, said during a conference in New York on Aug. 8 that “no one has willfully or knowingly disobeyed the law or tried to invade your civil liberties or privacy.”

It also doesn't help that any time you ask this lawless administration a question, they simply straight-up lie to your face.


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posted by Ace at 03:22 PM

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