Skip to main content

The House will vote tomorrow on an important amendment that would limit the NSA's ability to engage in secret, bulk surveillance. It will be the first such piece of legislation to be voted upon since Edward Snowden's revelations.

Surprisingly, its passage seems possible as bi-partisan support grows, which has prompted the Obama administration to officially register its opposition.

And what logic has the White House offered to explain its opposition in the face of mounting public opinion against the NSA's secret spying on Americans?


The irony of this statement is so bombastic that it's difficult to take it as anything other than intentional self-parody. Either that, or the Obama administration is attempting to simultaneously kill irony and Americans' right to privacy.

For it's the DOJ and NSA which have used a "blunt" approach in establishing a massive surveillance infrastructure behind closed doors, a process that, with its rubber-stamping FISA court is anything but "deliberative," anything but "open."

And the public continues to be anything but "informed."

The amendment to be voted upon tomorrow, authored by Republican congressman Justin Amash and supported by his Democratic colleague, John Conyers, would aim to end the NSA's authority to engage in the vacuuming of digital data under the Patriot Act.

The amendment would prevent the NSA, the FBI and other agencies from relying on Section 215 of the Patriot Act "to collect records, including telephone call records, that pertain to persons who are not subject to an investigation under Section 215."
That the Obama administration would be opposed to the amendment, given the administration's war on whistleblowers and investment in the state's growing surveillance powers, is not surprising.

What is surprising? That it appears to be at war with irony as well.

Author's Note:

Here's the full White House statement in opposition to the defunding amendment, care of Glenn Greenwald:

In light of the recent unauthorized disclosures, the President has said that he welcomes a debate about how best to simultaneously safeguard both our national security and the privacy of our citizens.  The Administration has taken various proactive steps to advance this debate including the President’s meeting with the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, his public statements on the disclosed programs, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s release of its own public statements, ODNI General Counsel Bob Litt’s speech at Brookings, and ODNI’s decision to declassify and disclose publicly that the Administration filed an application with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.  We look forward to continuing to discuss these critical issues with the American people and the Congress.

However, we oppose the current effort in the House to hastily dismantle one of our Intelligence Community’s counterterrorism tools.  This blunt approach is not the product of an informed, open, or deliberative process. We urge the House to reject the Amash Amendment, and instead move forward with an approach that appropriately takes into account the need for a reasoned review of what tools can best secure the nation.

Originally posted to David Harris-Gershon (The Troubadour) on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 06:03 PM PDT.

Also republished by Writing by David Harris Gershon and The First and The Fourth.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Pat K California, claude, Alumbrados, Superskepticalman, cslewis, RF, Jsea, Mogolori, Chi, melo, grollen, copymark, dalemac, Sparhawk, Timaeus, El Zmuenga, texaseditor, Trendar, AaronInSanDiego, glitterscale, native, Me, msl, mimi, sphealey, Shockwave, just another vet, simaramis, Pescadero Bill, CleverNickName, liz, genethefiend, OLinda, Aspe4, mzinformed, LeftHandedMan, TarheelDem, RFK Lives, gjohnsit, expatjourno, hubcap, Heart of the Rockies, Dumbo, TheMomCat, Zinman, TracieLynn, sponson, Einsteinia, whenwego, ask, Pithy Cherub, chuckvw, cosmic debris, barath, roses, chechecule, taonow, MadEye, ctsteve, sidnora, Eddie C, Eric Blair, psnyder, hangingchad, Dallasdoc, mrkvica, Farugia, bula, crackpot, agincour, cosette, JimWilson, churchylafemme, HeyMikey, RuralLiberal, inclusiveheart, Oaktown Girl, zerelda, randallt, marvyt, Mosquito Pilot, TexasLefty, Paul Hogarth, boran2, sawgrass727, nailbender, humphrey, Bluesee, Simian, marina, radarlady, 3goldens, jrooth, caul, scurrvydog, Independent Musings, democracy inaction, corvo, Militarytracy, run around, grimjc, truong son traveler, craigkg, eightlivesleft, YucatanMan, Kevskos, Lepanto, FutureNow, bleeding blue, Sun Tzu, lotlizard, stevemb, Tool, WisePiper, ebgill, Zack from the SFV, sodalis, Lisa Lockwood, peacestpete, Indiana Bob, Alan Arizona, Jim P, SoulCatcher, martini, Knucklehead, Showman, K S LaVida, poco, esquimaux, Sanuk, detroitmechworks, WB Reeves, Medium Head Boy, Kingsmeg, vigilant meerkat, dharmafarmer, cardboardurinal, Yellow Canary, mooshter, AoT, The Wizard, VictorLaszlo, kck, blueoasis, Blue Wind, NBBooks, triv33, praenomen, MJ via Chicago, HairyTrueMan, Rosaura, gooderservice, joe shikspack, Sagebrush Bob, old possum, el cid, sceptical observer, Unitary Moonbat, onionjim, midwesterner, profh, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Dianna, Dreaming of Better Days, shaharazade, kurious, bstotts, markthshark, Little, Quicklund, NonnyO, cpresley, ammasdarling, fiver, Sapere aude, pgm 01, bluicebank, Jarrayy, SpecialKinFlag, Debs2, ColoTim, psychodrew, aravir, 0wn, FishOutofWater, CTDemoFarmer, david mizner, dclawyer06, suejazz, newpioneer, artisan, Kentucky Kid, HCKAD, martyinsfo, letsgetreal, jamesia, bobswern, CT Hank, leonard145b, madgranny, skod, JML9999, bewild, cloudbustingkid, kdnla, Assaf, shmuelman, Empower Ink, MKinTN, End game, CroneWit, Ezekiel in Exile, gfv6800, wayoutinthestix, MikePhoenix, scooter in brooklyn, poligirl, Aureas2, Involuntary Exile, elwior, filby, Buckeye Nut Schell, treesrock, KJG52, jamess, Greyhound, hwmnbn, MrJayTee, icebergslim, pickandshovel, bluesheep, triplepoint, mofembot, No Exit, temptxan, Horsefeathers, petulans, Al Fondy, priceman, Robobagpiper, rhutcheson, ZhenRen, Celtic Merlin, Rhysling, McGahee220, cybrestrike, J M F, Throw The Bums Out, arendt, greengemini, divineorder, lostinamerica, RenMin, radmul, BoiseBlue, ewmorr, Carol in San Antonio, maryabein, Methinks They Lie, dicentra, shopkeeper, dRefractor, RageKage, Joel Grant, UnaSpenser, dskoe, jfromga, catilinus, ruscle, coppercelt, FogCityJohn, flitedocnm, roadbear, The Free Agent, Crabby Abbey, mookins, Lost and Found, BruinBlue, gulfgal98, shenderson, Neuroptimalian, Jaimas, albrt, ffour, Funkygal, Johnny Q, 4kedtongue, Publius2008, Betty Pinson, DrTerwilliker, Floande, Nada Lemming, Wisdumb, annieli, Barbara Marquardt, Colorado is the Shiznit, Lost Left Coaster, ozsea1, StateofEuphoria, jm214, Hopeful Skeptic, smiley7, mrsgoo, PorridgeGun, thomask, Wolf10, tardis10, Faroutman, PhilJD, Sunspots, imlpdx, Willa Rogers, jadt65, SouthernLiberalinMD, PrometheusUnbound, No one gets out alive, DawnN, paulbkk, Take a Hard Left, BlueDragon, quill, jacey, anodnhajo, DeadHead, Williston Barrett, greenbastard, Mindful Nature, Siri, Jakkalbessie, orestes1963, dance you monster, just want to comment, Joieau, 420 forever, congenitalefty, Horace Boothroyd III, Mr Robert, lunachickie, AverageJoe42, George3, wasatch, deconite, Australian2, The Geogre, Chaddiwicker, Panacea Paola, argomd, quince, goodpractice, 3rock, gypsytoo, SixSixSix, culturememe, Alhambra, PALiberal1, JosephK74, GreenMother, greenbell, Smoke and Mirrors, Demeter Rising, Fishtroller01, moredamnpolitics, BroadwayBaby1, Jason Hackman, Kombema, Victor Ward, socindemsclothing, Stentorian Tone, OldSoldier99, Love Me Slender, Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees, JohnWKelly, patbahn, bygorry, Tony Situ

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site