Senator Lindsey Graham Defends NSA Surveillance By Arguing About Something Entirely Different

from the who-elected-this-guy? dept

We recently mentioned that Senator Lindsey Graham said he was happy that the NSA was collecting the data on his calls, because he doesn’t speak to terrorists. Of course, that’s an incredibly ignorant statement in many, many ways. However, Senator Graham is continuing to make very silly statements about the NSA surveillance program. During an appearance on Meet the Press, Graham defended the program because, he explained, we should be tracking terrorists:

“I believe we should be listening to terrorists, known terrorist emails, following their emails and following their phone calls. And if they’re emailing somebody and the United States or calling a number in the United States, I would like to get a judge’s position to monitor that phone call,” Graham said on “Meet the Press” on NBC. “If we don’t do that, another attack on our homeland is very likely.”

That’s nice and all… but the things he discussed — listening to terrorists, and getting info on their emails — have nothing to do with the new programs that have been revealed. That kind of stuff was possible well before all of these new things came along. The NSA has long been able to do surveillance on such things. And, law enforcement has been able to go to a judge and get a wiretap order on phone calls. But that’s not what has everyone concerned: it’s the fact that this program collects data on everyone. It’s not just collecting data on terrorists, and much of it doesn’t require having to go to a judge to monitor specific information. Rather, broad collections of data are being pulled, so that the NSA can later go through them.

It’s shameful that Senator Graham would so misrepresent what this debate is about. Either he doesn’t understand it (which is horrifying) or he’s deliberately misleading the public about it (which is worse).

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Comments on “Senator Lindsey Graham Defends NSA Surveillance By Arguing About Something Entirely Different”

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silverscarcat says:


He’s an authoritarian, what did you expect?

He expects every citizen to give up their rights and freedoms so that the government can control their every thought and action.

But don’t expect him to champion anything like universal healthcare or making sure that infrastructure or jobs are good. Nope, he wants the government to control your every thought and action, and then punish you if you get slightly out of line.

Benefits? Unless you’re of the elite rich and powerful, forget it.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Oh, so he’s not running because he’s been called out for being wrong and he knows it yet doesn’t want to admit it?”

No, he’s not bothering with you because commenter and all around smart dude Karl in the very first post you referenced in your link SHREDDED your entire argument and attempted to explain why you were wrong. That you didn’t take the point is as surprising as when my dog doesn’t understand Voltaire….

S. T. Stone says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Maybe because he recognizes the fact that you need serious psychiatric help to get over your obsession with him.

How much time did you spend writing that, anyway? And I mean researching all those comments, too. I refuse to believe you actually saved and timestamped all those comments for the sole purpose of making your comment. (Though I wouldn’t really put it past you, given your worthless obsession with turning ?the mockery of Mike Masnick? into your life?s work.)

out_of_the_blue says:

"this program collects data on everyone." -- That'd be Google, then.

Simple transposition: Masnick Defends Google Surveillance By Arguing About Something Entirely Different

Instead of mentioning Google’s surveillance that’s embedded in his own web pages and which spies on all readers (unless you use Noscript and an extensive hosts file), Mike is running yet another trivial item on Flaming Fascist Graham.

When a spying entity big as Google is left out, it’s intentional.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: "this program collects data on everyone." -- That'd be Google, then.

Stop reading the tricordist(or whatever the name is) blue.

Google can’t force other service providers to hand them data, Google can’t tap your communications, Google can’t track you without getting in trouble.

Also Google services are not the only ones around you can chose not to use those, except perhaps their ISP the Google Fiber, for all the rest there is a healthy competition in the market which prevents Google from being that naughty, like the government that doesn’t care and don’t even listen to concerns from anyone but their own.

Anonymous Coward says:

It looks like all the politicians are running scared. They are dancing in every direction but what they are not doing is directly and straight forward responding. It’s a sign they see this as needing severe damage control, not coming clean with the public about what has really been going on.

These answers are probably technically correct but not in the spirit of the law nor in public admissions that laws have been broken and that the Constitutional guarantees have been violated over and over.

As such this will continue to be a scandal not just with the American public but with the other world governments who see they can no longer be blind to rampant spying.

Anonymous Coward says:

Okay so if I’m reading the scoreboard correctly:
We have the greatest government scandal of our time, at least since Watergate and possibly worse?
Of which shreds up the constitution that the country was founded on.
Everyone involved is lying.
Anyone attempting to expose the corruption is labeled an enemy of the state and is tried to disappear.
The roots of the corruption sink deeper than anyone can possibly know.
It’s global.
It effects everybody in America and possibly more.

So how, may I ask, are we allowing this to continue? We know what the end result is going to be if it does. We’re going to end up in the future history books and not in the good way.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

It’s 2001-2006 all over again.

The government wants (needs) for everyone to be scred again. We got too used to the idea that the odds of being a part of a terror attack are so infinitesimally small, that it would NEVER justify the degree to which we have been spied on.

Graham’s comments are just typical politician double-speak: don’t directly answer anything. What the hell does he care anyways? Aren’t the members of Congress exempt from theis program?

His opinion on it, in my less-than humble opinion, is about as worthless as the answers from those in charge of it.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yeah, me too. Right after 9/11, there were three things that sent chills up my spine and made me fear for my country:

When Bush said “if you’re not with us, you’re against us.”

When Ari Fleischer said that Americans have to “watch what we say”

When they used the word “homeland” in the name of their new internal security agency.

Those three things, it turns out, were accurate harbingers of what was to come.

Anonymous Coward says:

I've had it with this non-answer bullshit!

You know, all I’d like to hear JUST ONCE is an honest answer to a question. EVERYTHING we get from ALL levels of government is half-truths, non-answers, or “the least untruthful” answer to ANY question concerning this.

Members of Congress, if ANY of you have ANY integrity whatsoever, demand a hearing and the FIRST person who gives one of these bullshit non-answers gets fired on the spot. That should set the proper tone for the rest of the hearing…

This is getting ridiculous and it’s insulting to even the most simple-minded of your constituents (OOTB, AJ, bob, horse-shit, and even the jerkoff who’s so infatuated with milk). It’s not as if Graham DIDN’T understand the question…if it is, then this dipshit needs to be fired, on the spot.

People like this have no place running a McDonalds, let alone Congress.

Anonymous Coward says:

See the post that over 200 people on TD have seen. See the post that mike desperately doesn’t want anyone to see. He’s so desperate to hide this that he’s blocking IPs, keywords, titles, and links.

Mike hates this post so much that he’s going out of his way to censor it:

the next edition will be out very soon.

How hard will he work to hide that from you too?

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