(Article changed on January 25, 2014 at 15:19)
The latest blow to the ongoing national disgrace of the unconstitutional mass surveillance that is being conducted by the NSA with zero oversight came Thursday morning. The government's own Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board released a report that confirms what any rational, thinking American who is not in the bag for big surveillance already knew: that the NSA programs to collect phone metadata are illegal. Not that this is a big deal to President Barack Obama who is still riding high after basically telling everyone to go to hell in his overly hyped speech last Friday at the Justice Department. It was a real stem-winder filled with obfuscations, hedged admissions, vague half promises and the type of sheer malarkey that is the coin of the realm in the sad remnants of a once great country that has been turned into something abominable and called The Homeland. His speech earned him accolades from those who are most guilty in aiding and abetting the criminal conduct of the National Security Agency, in particular House Intelligence Committee overlord Mike Rogers and Senate Intelligence Committee queen Dianne Feinstein, who both belong in prison.
According to an article in the Guardian by Spencer Ackerman entitled "US government privacy board says NSA bulk collection of phone data is illegal":
According to the report, first published by the Washington Post and the New York Times, the privacy board found that the mass phone data collection was at best marginally useful for US counter-terrorism, a finding that went further than similar assessments by a federal judge and Obama's own surveillance advisory board.
Not only did the board conclude that the bulk surveillance was a threat to constitutional liberties, it could not find "a single instance" in which the program "made a concrete difference in the outcome of a terrorism investigation".
"Moreover, we are aware of no instance in which the program directly contributed to the discovery of a previously unknown terrorist plot or the disruption of a terrorist attack."
That one has to smart for the White House, especially after they were finally starting to gain a bit of traction in the massive counter-offensive to preserve the obscenity that is the NSA and to prevent further revelations of the boat load of illegal activities being conducted from being exposed. Obama fudged and punted the ball last week but what he did not do was to put any sort of at least a temporary restraint on the wanton criminality being conducted out of American Stasi HQ at Fort Meade. The programs are still in place and while the current 'debate' is over metadata what is not being discussed at all is that the metadata is likely just an indexing system that allows the instantaneous review of the real content that is within that data. This was brought up in an interview by Rob Kall of the progressive website OpEd News with NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake who calls the metadata collection the "cloak and cover" of the real secrets that involve "content collection". It comes at around the 40 minute mark in what is a very informative discussion with a patriotic American. Obama and his minions as well as the guardians and profiteers of the surveillance state's data-mining programs would love to keep the national discussion based solely on metadata but this is a truly a snakepit without a bottom.
The report is not going to sit well with the establishment. It was the same type of rebuke that was rudely issued to the Obama regime back in December by federal judge Richard Leon who ruled that the NSA programs are "Orwellian" and "likely unconstitutional" raising the hopes of privacy rights advocates that the data-mining for undefined future purposes would be checked. That was not to happen though as the wagons were circled immediately and the propaganda pushback came after another ruling, this one by Manhattan based federal judge William Pauley saved the day for the authoritarians who have been playing offense ever since.
The report which is the latest example of how far these people have gone will now be attacked, smeared and targeted by the legal eagles within the bowels of this corrupt administration just as Judge Leon's ruling was. Already Obama's flacks in the White House have taken to the media podium to denounce it with the same obscene indignity of the entitled that we have been forced to swallow for well over a decade over the terms of two presidents running now. In a decent country we would not be ruled by the likes of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, both of whom due to their ongoing authorization of these programs should have been impeached and removed from office.