Court Documents Confirm NSA Surveillance of Americans Solely on Bush’s Orders

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Benjamin Franklin warned that he who sacrifices freedom to get security deserves neither.

We’re seeing the wisdom in his words in post 9-11 America with laws that have weakened or simply ignored constitutionally protected freedoms.  In the name of national security, Congress passed the Patriot Act, and several other laws to weaken many of our rights under the Constitution.  Also during that period, the Bush Administration authorized the NSA to collect data on millions of Americans.  This was done solely on George W. Bush’s orders and for some time before a FISA court judge allowed the data collection in 2004.  Of course, we didn’t find out about that ruling until it was made public in November 2013.

Politico reports in 2004 then Deputy Attorney General James Comey questioned the legality of some of Bush’s post 9/11 surveillance programs and he refused to re-authorize them.  That’s when the Bush Administration took the matter to the FISA court where Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly approved the program.

According to court papers from 2007 that were made public on Monday,

Specifically, the President authorized the NSA to collect metadata related to Internetcommunications for the purpose of conducting targeted analysis to track Al Qaeda-related networks. Internet metadata is header/router/addressing information, such as the ‘to,’ ‘from,’ ‘cc,’ and ‘bcc’ lines, as opposed to the body or ‘re’ lines, of a standard e-mail. Since July 2004, the collection of Internet metadata has been conducted pursuant to an Order of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

It wasn’t until 2006 that the Bush Administration acknowledged that it was collecting phone data, but made no mention of the email data it was also collecting.

If we didn’t know it before, it became all too obvious following Edward Snowden’s leaks – including the NSA Inspector General’s Report 2009 that our government was not only collecting data from our phone calls but from our email as well.

Since then, Rand Paul milked the Snowden leaks for all that he could before throwing Snowden under the bus earlier this year and misrepresenting  President Obama’s announcement of changes to the surveillance program.  Rand Paul went on to sue the Federal Government in the name of protecting our right to privacy with a stolen lawsuit, with Freedom Works as his co-plaintiff and with that great champion of privacy rights, Ken Cuccinelli, as his lead lawyer.  Larry Klayman also has a similar suit pending.

The ironies in this story are endless, beginning with the cast of characters. We have Rand Paul who believes freedom means businesses denying services to black people, denying women the right to make their own healthcare decisions and denying non-Republicans the right to vote as a great civil libertarian fighting for privacy rights that were, in reality, violated by the NSA solely on orders by fellow Republican, George W. Bush. We have Ken Cuccinelli who tried to regulate sex when he was Virginia’s Attorney General as the lead attorney in a suit on privacy rights.  We have Larry Klayman, who tried nullify Barack Obama’s presidency with a birther suit, and last year tried to stage a coup with his demand that Obama “put the Quran down.” Yet, he filed his suit because he is concerned about privacy rights?

It took these lawsuits against the Obama Administration to see court documents that reveal what a Republican Administration did to our privacy rights solely on the orders of then President George. W. Bush.  So yes, in a back handed way, if it wasn’t for Rand Paul trying to make himself over as a civil libertarian, we might still be in the dark about the origins of the NSA program and why the Bush Administration eventually disclosed its existence to the secret Fisa Court.

The fact remains that Rand Paul is trying to make himself over from a guy who opposed the Civil Rights Act because he thinks businesses should have a right to discriminate against whoever they please to a guy who cares about the privacy of all Americans at least so long as a black man is in the White House or when it’s tax dodgers hording their money in Swiss Bank accounts.

However, his respect for constitutionally protected privacy changes when it comes to women making their own health care decisions or planning the size of their families.

In Rand Paul’s world, privacy is merely his delusion of a ticket to the White House.

Image: Softpedia

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26 Replies to “Court Documents Confirm NSA Surveillance of Americans Solely on Bush’s Orders”

  1. This is just another illegal act among the thousands done by the bush/cheny war regime THEY WERE NEVER HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR.

  2. Yeah and the repubs complain about Obama’s executive orders to provide fair pay, jobs and health care. That’s terrible. But ol’ Bush can sign executive orders to spy on Americans, and water board people etc.. What hypocrites. This goes as far back as the Nixon administration when him and Cheney and Rumsfeld were buddies. Every since then whenever a repub got in office here they came out of the woodwork like cockroaches. When GWB finally got in there it was a dream team of idiots. He was just there to do what he was told. I suppose he can always plead ignorance.
    Rand Paul is an idiot of a different kind. Two faced and always wears the ugly one. The whole bunch make me ill, and I think I need to lay off the coffee for awhile.

  3. You know what the RWNJs will say: It doesn’t matter, it’s still Obama’s fault, so don’t be blaming us poor Republicans for this sordid mess!

  4. Rand Paul, like his dad, is one of the biggest frauds foisted on the American people. He qualifies as a republican/teabag in the fact that he changes his story to reflect the wind direction

    see Mitt Romney and John McCain

  5. This is not news to those of us who keep informed with the facts, unlike the GOP who we know deplore facts that they themselves don’t fabricate and attempt to push via Fox News. But of course you know that the response to this will be that the Obama Administration will be blamed for this, yes Mr.Obama used his trusty Way-Back machine and whispered in Georges ear to make this policy decision.

  6. You speak the truth. I wish more people understood the scope of the damage the GOP has done to this country especially in the last 30 plus years or so. The party of Lincoln is no more! This is a party of mean spirited, cold hearted, greedy, racist, bigoted, corporate controlled, religious fanatics, and extremists. They care about fetuses but don’t care about children; they care about soldiers but not VETs. They hate civil rights, voting rights, women’s rights, gay rights, and anything fair. They don’t like people of color or the elderly. Putin and a fake Reagan are their heroes. They claim to be Christian but are against anything that Jesus believed in. They lie, cheat, mislead and dumb down the American public. Other nations disdain for the US come from the actions of the GOP primarily.

  7. You had me believing you were a true journalist until you started trashing Rand Paul. I’m no fan of the man, but once you put your opinion along with unnecessary adjectives and hyperbole, you lost me. Just the facts please, and leave your opinion out of it. That way, people like me will consider your reporting as unbiased. You are no better than a right wing blogger when you use their tactics.

  8. If you do not try people for their deliberate traitorous acts, where is the reason not to continue the negative behavior?
    The GOP is a party that pushes policies that attempt to destroy the USA government. They need to be prosecuted as Domestic Terrorists.
    http://rense.com/general16/thenewlegaldefinition.htm
    The laws are on the books all it takes is someone with the guts enough to enforce the laws.

  9. So, Obama is powerless to stop what he campaigned against and he has so little power that he can’t stop the program from exponential expansion to go past domestic to known terrorists data and now encompass ALL individuals and use collected info to go after specific groups that oppose him. [gasp] What do we do then?

  10. Patricia…Rand Paul IS trash. Trashing trash is perfectly appropriate. He is just another idiot moron libertarian who has lost touch with reality just like the entire Reich Wing.

  11. How well I remember the dismissal of concerns that the Patriot Act might undermine the Constitution. It was just some foolish “slippery slope” argument. Such reasoning was patently false, as we have learned by experience over the past 12 years. This is why I have no concern about NSA surveillance: If we have nothing to hide, we have nothing to fear.
    What can possibly go wrong?

  12. Well Shiva, At least Ron P is brave enough to denounce The Fed and suggest abolishing it & NOT renewing its corporate charter. Not that that absolves him of all his failings.

  13. We must prosecute both D &R the law should see no party… Violate the constitution get impeached. Tried for your crimes and go to jail just like gov corzine did. No purchased justice. (GSK and Toyota)

  14. Look, I warned people about GW Bush’s capabilities and penchant for illegal acts in 2000. People didn’t listen to me. He was a rotten governor of TX and worse president. He should be tried in the International Criminal Court at the Hague. He should be found guilty and sent to prison for life.

    And I DO blame Obama and Pelosi for allowing him to escape justice.

  15. Hope that in the hear after that smirk will be wiped off that mug, along with the smirk on a few other rethug faces. We all know who they are.

  16. Can you explain to me why it is Obama’s fault that GW Bush escape justice??? I know if he or Cheney leave the U.S. they can be picked up and prosecuted for war crimes and on of the govt. that found them guilty was MAYLAYSIA. Both cancel recent trips out of the U.S. because of this. So it they could be picked up outsides the U.S., WHY NOT IN THE U.S.??? THEY ARE AS GUILTY OF WAR CRIMES, TORTURE MURDER AND SO MANY OHTER CHARGES. I DON’T UNDERSTNAD.

  17. Really Gail MALAYSIA you have to be kidding me, How about you show us some evidence to these war crimes that would apply to either Bush or Cheney.

  18. •Computers collecting and analyzing Internet traffic is just as much “surveillance” as a person peeping through a window
    •Note that human rights law doesn’t allow mass, untargeted spying on ordinary, innocent people;
    End mass spying now! Section 215 of the Patriot Act should not be used to collect every single Americans’ calling records. And Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act shouldn’t be used to “incidentally” or otherwise collect Americans’ emails, phone calls, or chats. Protect the privacy rights of our digital communications.
    Securing digital data, one computer at a time…
    http://www.americansrighttoprivacy.com

  19. bwahahahaha..and this coming from the news source with family members in the WH..I am a Democrat and only comment in here when this rag reports false information. I watch it ALL from many news sources, and read THOUSANDS of reports. The blame goes to both Dems and Repubs. NOT just one party..

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