Rep. Peter King Says NSA Should Spy On Congress, Because They Might Be Talking To Al Qaeda

from the or-the-IRA? dept

Every day, Rep. Peter King seems more and more like a TV villain politician. He's so... over the top in his crazy surveillance state opinions that it's almost difficult to believe he's real. Just take a stroll through his previous statements, in which he's attacked the NY Times for supporting Ed Snowden, whom he calls both a "traitor" and a "terrorist appeaser." He's said that it's a "disgrace" that anyone might call out the fact that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress. He's argued that it's "slander" to call the NSA's activities "spying." And he's argued that Glenn Greenwald should be arrested and prosecuted for reporting on Snowden's leaks.

His latest, it seems, is in response to Senator Bernie Sanders' simple question to the NSA, about whether or not it was spying on Congress (I'll note that Sanders appears to use "spying" in the manner in which King has previously insisted was "slander"). King was asked about Sanders' question, and argued that the NSA should be spying on Congress because they might be "talking to an al-Qaeda leader."

Specifically, after a very leading question from the Fox News reporter, King says:
I think members of Congress should be treated the same as everyone else. If a member of Congress is talking to an Al Qaeda leader in Iraq or Afghanistan, why should that member of Congress be any different from any person on the street?
While that might sound ridiculous at first, I guess if any member of Congress knows about talking to terrorist leaders, it would be Rep. Peter King. As we've pointed out multiple times, King was a very big supporter of a known terrorist group, the IRA, back in the 80s, supporting the group that was known for bombing a shopping center, killing six and injuring 90.

King goes on with this whopper:
What they're trying to suggest is that somehow the NSA is spying on members of Congress. They're not spying on anyone.
Anyone? Really? They're clearly spying on lots and lots of people, because that's the NSA's job. King goes on to pretend, again, that metadata is no big deal since it just shows phone numbers. So, I'm curious, will Rep. Peter King release his own phone records for the last year? After all, it's no big deal. Just the phone numbers he called, the times he called and how long he was on call. Just like the info the NSA collects, and which King insists is not secret.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Arsik Vek (profile), Jan 6th, 2014 @ 12:00pm

    I think members of Congress should be treated the same as everyone else.

    I actually agree with this. The problem, however, is that the NSA has been boning everyone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), Jan 6th, 2014 @ 12:13pm

    Can we get a "we the people" petition going

    to perform a full-on drug test of all our congress critters? I really wonder what it would turn up. I'm very skeptical that these guys can make these statements "straight". They must be on some really good stuff that they aren't sharing.

     

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  3.  
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    Michael, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 12:38pm

    Re:

    I think members of Congress should be treated the same as everyone else.

    That's crazy. It should be the other way around. They need to start treating everyone else like members of congress.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 12:38pm

    WTF?

    Is King in some bizarre competition with Rogers to see who can come up with the most outrageous, dumbest public comment in defense of the NSA?


    * (My theory is that they have a secret personal bet between them on this where the loser has to pay for the winner's strippers for a year. Also Hayden and Baker found out about it and want in on the action but haven't figured out yet that the bet is just between King and Rogers.)

     

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  5.  
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    The Conscious Catholic, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 12:40pm

    NSA digging its own grave?

    its already effing up foreign relations, but now congress? Not to mention how many congressmen and women are going to offended by this "al-queda" accusation.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 12:41pm

    King's attack on Rand Paul is even more crazy

    An article at politico says that Peter King called Rand Paul 'irresponsible' for 'recklessly' creating paranoia about the NSA. Paul's statement that offended King? Rand Paul simply stated that the NSA has been abusing it's powers.

    In attacking Paul, Rep Peter King insisted that Rand Paul couldn't name a single case where the NSA abused their powers, because according to King "there aren't any".

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 12:42pm

    King's Calls

    It might be really interesting to see a record of King's calls from the 80's.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 12:51pm

    I have a problem understanding how some of our congresscritters could be termed to be representing us. Obviously local voters have some other idea what representing means than the general populace does.

    There are a select few, not necessarily to be envied, who put up a whole nother idea to the word representation and to whom that representation should go to.

    King is one of those who should never have been voted in and that should be rectified by his voters ASAP. It is obvious he doesn't represent the will of the people.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 12:51pm

    Seems you have a very, very broad definition of "spying" that perhaps overemphasizes what might otherwise be the collection of relatively innocuous information. Only the most clueless among us would believe that everything they do interacting with others is private. Of course various types of information are being collected by many groups for a plurality or reasons. The issue to me has always been at what point do I and others have subjective expectations of privacy, and then are those expectations objectively reasonable? This is the test from US v. Katz, which remains controlling law in matters such as this involving the 4th Amendment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 12:51pm

    Re: WTF?

    And if you are following along at home, Rogers vaulted to a significant the lead with the "your privacy can't be violated if you don't know about it" comment so ever since King has been trying to step up his game and take every opportunity he can to make as many dumbass comments as he can in a desperate attempt to come up with a real doozie that will top that one.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 12:54pm

    Re:

    "should be rectified"

    Send him to New Mexico. The police perform those sorts of services there.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Can we get a "we the people" petition going

    Boehner looks like he is full on drunk everytime I see him on the news. He even had a couple of crying drunks early on as speaker.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 12:59pm

    Re: King's attack on Rand Paul is even more crazy

    Rep. Peter King is operating under the rule that if there are no pictures, then it did not happen.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 6th, 2014 @ 12:59pm

    Re:

    Seems you have a very, very broad definition of "spying" that perhaps overemphasizes what might otherwise be the collection of relatively innocuous information.


    Personally, it's "spying" when data is collated about me without my knowledge or consent.

    various types of information are being collected by many groups for a plurality or reasons.


    True, but that information is almost always collected with your knowledge and consent (assuming that you read contracts). In the cases where it isn't, then those groups are also spying.

    This is the test from US v. Katz, which remains controlling law in matters such as this involving the 4th Amendment.


    Unfortunately, you are correct. I say "unfortunately," because that test is a huge, hairy trap that ensures that privacy will evaporate away like the morning dew. It works like this: once my privacy is being invaded by a government agency, and I become aware of it, then that privacy invasion becomes legal because I no longer have a "reasonable expectation of privacy".

    US vs Katz is a travesty.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re:

    well, right now they do it either way

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 1:01pm

    Re: King's Calls

    King's calls from the 80s might be the reason why he says so many ridiculous things today. This is the problem with mass surveillance, when you collect that much information, there is dirt on everyone that can later be used to keep them out of politics or to control them when they are in office.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 1:02pm

    Re:

    I have a problem understanding how some of our congresscritters could be termed to be representing us.

    To a politicians represent == rule.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Arthur Moore (profile), Jan 6th, 2014 @ 1:02pm

    Like people even know what the candidates stand for

    Have you tried to research who you're voting for?

    Where I am the only third party that I can find that even mentions the candidates is my local newspaper, and there online site is paywalled. So if I miss picking up the issue that focuses on the candidates I'm SOL. Worse, they only talk about the Democrat and Republican candidate. Third parties are barely mentioned. I've tried the candidates websites. When they even existed almost all of them were useless.

    I understand why many people don't vote. Despite what politicians want people to believe, an uninformed vote is worse than no vote at all. Combine this with the way that election districts work for house members and it's no wonder we get people like this in office.

    I really with the US had some sort of percentage representation in the house. Kind of like how most civilized countries handle it.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 1:03pm

    Re:

    King is one of those who should never have been voted in and that should be rectified by his voters ASAP. It is obvious he doesn't represent the will of the people.

    Are you sure? Perhaps the people in his district that elected him are just as - well, selectively intelligent?

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 1:04pm

    Re:

    In theory this sounds good, but how do you allow a spy agency the ability to spy on people who are supposed to be oversight? Especially when the spy agency listens to pillow talk and can get inside information that can allow them to blackmail those in charge of oversight?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 1:08pm

    Re: Re:

    "It works like this: once my privacy is being invaded by a government agency, and I become aware of it, then that privacy invasion becomes legal because I no longer have a "reasonable expectation of privacy"."

    The only argument to help your case is you have no idea how much they collect or when they collect it. Ignorance in this case may in fact be bliss...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Re:

    Unfortunately, you are correct. I say "unfortunately," because that test is a huge, hairy trap that ensures that privacy will evaporate away like the morning dew. It works like this: once my privacy is being invaded by a government agency, and I become aware of it, then that privacy invasion becomes legal because I no longer have a "reasonable expectation of privacy".


    And according to Rogers your privacy can't be violated if you don't know about it so there is no such thing as an illegal invasion of privacy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
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    Adam (profile), Jan 6th, 2014 @ 1:19pm

    A Modest Proposal

    It is a simple idea that Senators should be treated the same as other citizens. All people should have the same lack of privacy when it comes down to it.

    Shy should we treat congressmen differently by the government than any other person?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Jan 6th, 2014 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re: WTF?

    thanks for your reply...

    and a one word reply to that NSA-tool rogers:
    nanobots...

    fuckin' idiot hasn't got a clue about the constitution, human nature, nor technology...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re:

    Did you intend using "collated"? It's use under many circumstances is quite accurate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 6th, 2014 @ 1:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, that was a deliberate word choice.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
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    Internet Zen Master (profile), Jan 6th, 2014 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Re: Can we get a "we the people" petition going

    Considering the rabid Tea-Partiers he has to put up with in the House, I can't say I blame the guy if he is drunk. I'd be hitting the booze every night if I had to deal with that kind bullshit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    Internet Zen Master (profile), Jan 6th, 2014 @ 1:58pm

    Re: Re: King's attack on Rand Paul is even more crazy

    If that flies as a valid defense for the NSA, I will eat my hat.

    PICS OR IT DIDNT HAPPEN is almost worse than the Chewbacca Defense.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jan 6th, 2014 @ 2:05pm

    Rep King seems like the ultimate troll.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
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    MarcAnthony (profile), Jan 6th, 2014 @ 2:15pm

    Re:

    >>Seems you have a very, very broad definition of "spying" that perhaps overemphasizes what might otherwise be the collection of relatively innocuous information.>Only the most clueless among us would believe that everything they do interacting with others is private. Of course various types of information are being collected by many groups for a plurality or reasons.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Like people even know what the candidates stand for

    Y'know what I'd make, if I could? An open source smartphone app that calls up all the data on any politician; voting records, campaign contributions, Wikipedia article (if there is one), and whatever other sources there are out there, and lets you easily look up the track record and political leanings and stances and scandals and whatnot of every candidate. People should be able to easily make informed decisions about candidates in this day and age.

    Unfortunately, I'm only a beginner at making Android apps in Eclipse, and I don't know what sites the app should be scraping.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    MarcAnthony (profile), Jan 6th, 2014 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re:

    The tags interfered with that thought. Grrr.

    Seems you have a very, very broad definition of "spying" that perhaps overemphasizes what might otherwise be the collection of relatively innocuous information.

    There is no innocuous informationódata is data. Collect enough about someone and you'll have leverage over them.

    Only the most clueless among us would believe that everything they do interacting with others is private. Of course various types of information are being collected by many groups for a plurality or reasons.

    What you do in public isn't private but everything else should be. If information is collected about private citizens, it requires informed consent or it's infringing on privacy and liberties.

     

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  33.  
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    Lurker Keith, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 2:41pm

    Oh, come on...

    A TV villain politician, really? Why are you lumping this moron into the same category as Lex Luthor? Even Lex would be against the NSA spying on his activities (except during the time he was in charge, & no doubt was directing them to spy on HIS enemies).

     

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  34.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jan 6th, 2014 @ 2:44pm

    Re: Re:

    That would not be an improvement for most people, increasing not decreasing the scrutiny their private data was given.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 2:53pm

    I went to look up what district Rep King was in and saw he's 2nd District of New York.
    I was completely unsurprised. In fact, it makes a whole lot of sense now.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Oh, come on...

    The NSA would end up entirely operated and supplied by LexCorp, whether Lex was officially in charge or not. Department efficiency would probably go up; they might even catch an extra terrorist or two.
    The fact that LexCorp's competitors would suddenly start folding one after another for various reasons would be purely coincidental, and would have nothing whatsoever to do with any of the incidental metadata on their CEOs and directors collected by LexCorp contractors.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 3:28pm

    The NSA, Congress, and the rest of the government should be dismantled.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 3:29pm

    Re:

    No.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 5:00pm

    Seems King and his buddies are reviving McCarthyism.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 5:14pm

    The NSA needs more money

    "What they're trying to suggest is that somehow the NSA is spying on members of Congress. They're not spying on anyone."

    Clearly the NSA needs more money: it can't even do its own damn job!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 6th, 2014 @ 5:18pm

    Re:

    Seems you have a very, very broad definition of "spying"

    I believe you mean US Senator Bernie Sanders has such a definition... and it's one that a large % of Americans agree with.

    But, you know, if you'd prefer to fashion another bogus attack on me, go right ahead.

     

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  42.  
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    Mike, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 6:16pm

    How about your liberal friends across the aisle King? Are they talking to Al-Qaeda too?

     

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  43.  
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    amjugle2014 (profile), Jan 6th, 2014 @ 7:06pm

    what "should be rectified"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
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    Alana (profile), Jan 6th, 2014 @ 7:20pm

    Spy on Congress to find out who's spying on Congress.

    There's no way this could go wrong!

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 8:13pm

    Well if you had been watching 'Homeland' like both Mr king and I you'd know this was fully justified. Homeland is a true story.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2014 @ 10:15pm

    Re: Re:

    Words mean what the majority of people accept them to mean at any given time which is how language works.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
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    Clownius, Jan 7th, 2014 @ 4:08am

    Re: Re: Like people even know what the candidates stand for

    Be assured if you did they would probably beat you to death with copyright. The very moment you embarrassed the wrong politician.

    It wouldn't be legal but hey like saying "but terrorists" or"think of the children" your stuffed the second they pull the copyright card and no one gets punished for that sort of abuse.

     

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  48.  
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    Clownius, Jan 7th, 2014 @ 4:10am

    Re: Like people even know what the candidates stand for

    No way they would allow that sort of thing. Almost as laughable is compulsory voting. Politicians may have to actually try to convince the general public to vote for them rather than just a select small group.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2014 @ 6:02am

    there is nothing on this planet that prevents Bernie from issuing a subpoena to Alexander, and then holding him in criminal contempt of Congress.

     

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  50.  
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    ethorad (profile), Jan 7th, 2014 @ 6:57am

    IRA activity

    "[The IRA] was known for bombing a shopping center, killing six and injuring 90"

    Um, that's probably the least of their activities. Thats like saying "Al Qaeda is known for bombing the US embassy in Kenya".

    The Provisional IRA (one part of the various IRA groups) has a much more active history than that. They were responsible for multiple bombings, including assassinating a member of the royal family, an assassination attempt on the British PM (by way of blowing up the hotel where her party's annual conference was held), terrorist attacks on in the UK, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, and were involved with operations in the Americas (eg Columbia) and the middle east.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2014 @ 7:20am

    Re: Re:

    In an earlier article you posted you concluded it by stating:

    "The key line: "Members of Congress have the same privacy protections as all US persons." Meaning, basically, that they have no privacy protections when it comes to the NSA collecting data.".

    In my personal opinion your statement, which I believe represents your personal opinion, certainly suggests that your definition of "spying" extends to virtually any collection of information as seems to be the thrust of Senator Sanders' definition of the word.

    My point is that not all data collection is "spying" in the classical sense. For example, and as much as I detest any cameras for surveillance in public, is it really "spying" for cameras at intersections to take "photos" of vehicles, or for cameras monitoring pedestrian activity to likewise be viewed as one in the same? As I view it, the answer is "not likely", which is not an answer I happen to like because of my aversion to being "followed" merely because I happen to leave my home to run an errand.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Jan 7th, 2014 @ 8:08am

    Re:

    The NSA, Congress, and the rest of the government should be dismantled.

    Then what?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 7th, 2014 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re: Re:

    as seems to be the thrust of Senator Sanders' definition of the word.


    I didn't get that from Sander's definition. I got that he wanted to be sure that the NSA understood that the collection of phone metadata counts as spying -- which it eminently reasonable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
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    Noneofyourbuisness (profile), Jan 7th, 2014 @ 11:58am

    Why?

    Why is the NSA collecting data on Congress people? Do we really have to ask that question? The answer is to get more Congress people talking like Rep King. The use of the data collected seems to lead to some very dark areas including is this country still a democracy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
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    Lurker Keith, Jan 7th, 2014 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Re:

    Then we have a new Constitutional Convention & re-form the Government closer to what the Founders envisioned, & add a few more Amendments (since the bulk of our Constitution is good, if it were followed).

    We amend the Constitution so that violating the Constitution is a crime, & any member of Government to violate the Constitution is immediately removal from office & a new election is immediately held to replace the criminal.

    We go back to the idea of the Rich represented by the Senate, & everyone else getting represented in the House, including unrich or out-right poor Americans in the House. Perhaps we could set up some kind of system for appointing House Representatives like we do for Jury Duty, which would solve the problem of the Rich taking over both.

    We make Lobbying like we have now illegal.

    We make the entire Government system Transparent.

    We rework the Copyright stuff in the Constitution to properly work for the Public (i.e. reinstate the "limited times" & actually define a fixed period), if we even deem Copyright necessary anymore. If we deem Copyright unnecessary, then we just ban copyright in the Constitution.

    We also add to the Constitution that Secret Laws are Unconstitutional, illegal & don't count.

    I know I'm missing some, but just these changes would fix a whole lot of stuff.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
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    Lurker Keith, Jan 7th, 2014 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    *removed

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Gabriel Curio, Jan 7th, 2014 @ 1:42pm

    Is Rep. King referring to Homeland?

    Is it possible he was think about Rep. Brody from Homeland? I could see the NSA spying on a Congressman in that situation. If that's what he means, its seems like common sense.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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