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LJWorld.com weblogs Congressional Briefing

Roberts unhappy that NSA program made public

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Sen. Pat Roberts is unhappy.Thursday's [USA Today][1] report that the National Security Agency was collecting phone call records on "tens of millions of Americans" is just the latest in a series of breaches undermining classified programs.So while critics are concerned the programs undermine civil liberties, Roberts - chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee - is frustrated that they have become public, saying it warns terrorists about the methods being used to combat them.The [Washington Post][2] reports: "Though he did not acknowledge particulars, the president complained that any leak about 'sensitive intelligence' methods' hurts our ability to defeat this enemy.' Senate Select Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), who said he has been briefed on 'all aspects of the NSA's activities,' likewise said he is 'increasingly frustrated with the release of sensitive data regarding our nation's best defenses' against terrorist attack."[AP][3] adds: "Senate Intelligence Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., lamented leaks and said a select panel overseeing Bush's warrantless surveillance program, which was disclosed in December, has been fully informed of NSA activities. 'Calls for further oversight are unnecessary,' he said."[Fox News][4] adds: "Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., also issued a statement saying the appropriate members in the Senate are getting the information they need."'The bipartisan members of the Subcommittee on Oversight of the Terrorist Surveillance Program have been fully informed of all aspects of the NSA's activities. We have received several briefings and conducted three hearings with more to follow. It is critical to allow the subcommittee to continue its oversight,' Roberts said."Other links today:Sam Brownback links[(Bloomberg) Boehner Ridicules Senate Republicans as Party Tensions Rise:][5] The harsh words reflect growing tension between House and Senate Republicans, a divide that may complicate efforts to strike compromises on legislation and retain the party's control of the House in the November elections. ... Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas said members of his party should train their fire on more traditional targets. I wish the rhetoric were lower, and I think you're going to start to see that happen,'' Brownback said.Hopefully, we're past the stage of shooting at each other and we're going to start shooting at the opposition.''[(Hartford Courant) Senate Plan Takes A Step][6] Senate leaders Thursday broke a monthlong deadlock over immigration reform, making it likely senators will soon agree - probably within the next two weeks - on how to put millions of undocumented workers on a path to citizenship. ... Among the amendments that could be considered is a provision from Lieberman and Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., that would help asylum-seekers by giving them certain legal protection.Jerry Moran links[(Washington Post) A New Subsidy Takes Root:][7] Congress and the administration are engaged in a bitter fight over a $1.5 billion assistance package for farmers that senators tucked into a $109 billion war and hurricane-recovery spending bill last week. ... Rep. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) -- whose constituents would receive $75.2 million, more than any other congressional district -- said the aid is essential to many farms. "Agriculture is one of the most energy-intensive industries, and they have the least ability to pass that on to consumers. . . . The result is many farmers will be out of business absent some kind of help," Moran said, acknowledging that several colleagues view the subsidy with skepticism. "They ask, 'Why would we help just farmers?' "How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][8] [1]: http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-05-10-nsa_x.htm [2]: hhttp://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/11/AR2006051100539.html [3]: http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20060512/1045177.asp [4]: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,195198,00.html [5]: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&sid=alBW7lVQYvlw&refer=us [6]: http://www.courant.com/news/nationworld/hc-immigration0512.artmay12,0,7427720.story?coll=hc-headlines-nationworld [7]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/11/AR2006051101660.html [8]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed

Comments

GOPConservative 7 years, 11 months ago

I try to be open-minded, but I have a hard time believing the NSA. I have a hard time believing that having the personal phone records of millions of innocent Americans is necessary to fight Al Qaeda.

First, the Neocons blamed 9-11 on the intelligence agencies having too much information and not being able to digest it.

Now, their solution is to add the phone records of 26 million average Americans to their database!

Despite their claims that they are only using this information in specific ways, one would be a fool not to see the danger.

Anyone who understands current computer technology knows that the NSA now has the ability to create a profile on any of us with the click of a mouse.

They are asking us to "trust them." I might be more inclined to do that if this administration did not have such a pattern of dishonesty and crooked dealings.

Bush's lack of morality aside, we are giving the NSA great power. Even if the Bush Administration is telling the truth, some future administration may seek to take away our freedoms and turn America into a totalitarian State.

If you make phone calls to organizations or people who are opposed to some future administration, the data held by the NSA might cause you to end up sitting in a detainment camp after a major terrorist attack.

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The_Twelve 7 years, 11 months ago

It takes self-serving, "ethical" people like Roberts to protect us all. As member of SenIntelComm, it looks like he knows more than he will ever tell the public. And the dirtier they get, the more he drags his own ass in the mud.

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moderator 7 years, 11 months ago

G.W. is proving to be nothing more than a fascist. It'll be nice to see him impeached after November.

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true_patriot 7 years, 11 months ago

America is in a constitutional crisis, but the corporate media, the mainstream Democrats, much less the GOP are too weak-willed and profit-oriented to stand up for the principles this country was founded on.

However, things are going to get real interesting next week when NSA whistleblower Russell Tice finally is going before the Senate Armed Services Committee in a secure facility on Capitol Hill. He is going to spill the beans on illegal and unconstitutional domestic spying operations that we have not even heard about yet, some possibly involving the illegal use of space-based satellites and systems to spy on U.S. citizens.

Moreover, he will tell them that one of his coworkers personally informed Bush's CIA Director nominee Gen. Michael Hayden that illegal and unconstitutional activity was occurring.

We'll see if those who view our country's crisis of democracy as they would a Monday Night Football game will wake up from their stupor and decide that dismantling the Constutition might actually be a bad thing for America.

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monkeyspunk 7 years, 11 months ago

Holding the line? Give me a break. The guy can't make a post without insulting people. He spews hate and bile, something he claims to abhor.

Rather than actually read someones post, and gather the entire context of it, he insults people, uses foul language, and somehow believes that makes him correct.

He is a child. If not in actual age, then in mental maturity.

You bring up an interesting point xenophonschild, and I don't think our Founding Fathers would even believe this was the same country they founded. Everything from taxes on liquor to our use of military force would just make them say "What the hell did you guys do?!?!"

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xenophonschild 7 years, 11 months ago

drewdun:

Good for you. You hold the line, consistently, against the forces of neo-facism and ignorance.

I'm an ex-convict on parole, and seldom use my phone except to call a literary agent in New York. Bet they're still checking me out.

I've read a lot of biographies inre our Founding Fathers - I wonder what they would make of this NSA initiative?

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drewdun 7 years, 11 months ago

"Keep up the good work Roberts. Catch the leakers."

I don't know how else to say this: you are an idiot.

Also, I doubt you read my offer from earlier. I'll repost it for you

jimincountry:when can I come to deliver your two-way TV? I need a reply, as business is going badly. I expected orders to be heavy here in the 'heartland' with all of its super-patriots like yourself (who think it a good idea for our kind and benevolent government to know exactly who we're calling), but for some reason, these good, red-blooded Americans here in the 'Heartland' of the 'Homeland' just don't want government monitors in their bedrooms. Why not? Do you have something to hide? You're not one of those insidious queers of the hate-America gay menace, are you? Or could it be that you are just a typical right-wing hypocrite who thinks it okay for the govt to spy on others, but you, oh, wait a minute, not so fast there buddy. Sort of like my friends dad who is an extreme right-winger who rails against lazy blacks and welfare mamas being on the dole, but by God, when he was out of work for over a year, he sure didn't hesitate to cash those government unemployment checks! TYPICAL F'ING REPUBLICAN

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BunE 7 years, 11 months ago

The government's bias against the press is really quite funny. You can always tell when something is very wrong in America: It is when the press gets blamed for doing journalism. Look at the Tonkin Gulf or Watergate or teapot dome. Come on, don't punish the leakers, get your house in order!

On a related note: Funny how the NSA (Executive Branch) won't give the Justice Department (Executive Branch) security clearance to investigate Wiretap I. So the white house is really the whitewash house? Is the scandal so big, they are worried about having their OWN people investigate?

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, Roberts needs to stop those people who are trying to preserve our constitution. That pesky constitution! It gets in the way of letting us doing whatever we want. Don't they know we're above the law?

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jimincountry 7 years, 11 months ago

Keep up the good work Roberts. Catch the leakers.

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gammimc 7 years, 11 months ago

sounds like Roberts is upset that another of this administration's lawbreaking wiretapping activities has been exposed.

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hipper_than_hip 7 years, 11 months ago

We've been listening into Bin Laden's phone calls since 9/11, and Osama knows it, so his organization has made adjustments to stay one step ahead of the CIA, NSA, etc. Does anyone really think that this is a suprise to the terrorists?

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i_tching 7 years, 11 months ago

And in related news, meth-lab entrepreneurs Mark Bennett and Jose Gonzales expressed their deep concern that their own dealings in illegal toxic drug manufacturing and sales have become public, which has endangered their production goals.

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