Dianne Feinstein Admits That Her 'NSA Reform' Bill Is About Protecting Existing Surveillance Programs

from the oops dept

See, there's a problem when you lie: you always forget how to keep your story straight. You may remember, for example, that Senator Dianne Feinstein, at the end of October, released a bill that pretended to be about reforming the NSA and its surveillance programs. The bill was spun in a way that was designed to make people think it was creating real reforms, with a fact sheet claiming that it "prohibited" certain actions around bulk data collection, but which actually codified them in the law, by including massive loopholes. It was an incredibly cynical move by Feinstein and her staff, pretending that their bill to actually give the NSA even greater power and to legalize its abuses, was about scaling back the NSA. But that's the spin they put on it -- which almost no one bought.

But, it seems that even Feinstein has forgotten that her bill is supposed to pretend that it's about reining in the NSA. On Tuesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee met with the White House's task force, to discuss its recommendations for surveillance reform (which don't go far enough, but go way beyond what Feinstein wants). In discussing what happened in the meeting, Feinstein basically lets slip that she disagrees with the reforms suggested, and that support for her bill means that others are against reform as well:
Those recommendations were criticized by supporters of the NSA’s programs, including Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who has said that taking the information out of the government’s hands could put the country at risk. Feinstein has spoken out against proposed reforms that would require as much, and has sponsored her own committee bill that would preserve the agency’s methods.

“Our bill passed by 11-4, so you know there’s substantial support for the programs,” she said.
In other words, "my bill is for people who already support these programs." Exactly the opposite of what her marketing and public statements about the bill have been. Oops. Next time, she should try to not misrepresent her own bill, and maybe she can keep her story straight.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2014 @ 9:11am

    I think the real problem is people who vote often vote for incumbents we really need to educate people.

     

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

  2.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Jan 8th, 2014 @ 9:18am

    Re:

    Maybe the real fix is to vote every incumbent out of office. But that has it's problems too. However, they may not be as bad as the problems we have now.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Irving, Jan 8th, 2014 @ 9:27am

    Re: Re:

    Just voting out incumbents leaves you with a revolving-door system.

    The trick is to only elect those who have never held office before.

     

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

  4.  
    icon
    Manabi (profile), Jan 8th, 2014 @ 9:34am

    Re:

    Sometimes there's not much choice. My choices for senator next election will be Lamar Alexander, who's not great but compared to the crazy, extreme-right-wing crazy primarying him looks like Ghandi in comparison. There's not going to be an Democrat running who's got a chance in hell of winning here either.

    So what do we do? I could (and probably will) write in a candidate that won't win, but this will not stop the incumbent from winning. (Or worse, if Alexander loses the primary, the crazy right-wing guy from winning.)

    What we need are some decent candidates, period. Ones that are both sane and can win.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2014 @ 9:35am

    Isn't the US Government supposed to be about "We the People" ?

    I swear that this illegal spying and violating the rights of every US citizen should be considered an act of treason. Undermining encryption protocols and putting US infrastructure at risk, an act of high treason.

    IMHO, this shouldn't even be a debate, but we should just see heads rolling.

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2014 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Re:

    To do what?
    Get schooled on the job by the same people who advised the "other" people?

    You want to see change you change how law making is done.
    You don't just change people, you get a plan(laws) and then you put people there to follow that plan, otherwise the people with a plan will be happy to welcome any new people in the room with open arms and you lost another chance.

    This has been going on for a while, other draft their laws according to how they want things to go and try to put others in there to enact those things, if they can't do it wholesale they do it piece by piece, but they will do it.

    Voting means nothing without a direction, and directions in Washington means draft laws.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2014 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    That is only possible in few states since you need to sculpt that vision in the primaries.

     

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

  8.  
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    krolork (profile), Jan 8th, 2014 @ 9:46am

    They're only trying to protect us. Calm down everyone.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    anomynous, Jan 8th, 2014 @ 9:49am

    interesting memo to obama

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2014 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re:

    What we need are some decent candidates, period.

    The problem is that politics has become so dirty that decent people will not stand. Would you want to work with the usual crowd of self selecting politicians who get elected?

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Irving, Jan 8th, 2014 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That sounds like a very good reason to vote for independent candidates.

     

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

  12.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 8th, 2014 @ 10:22am

    Re:

    The problem isn't really the incumbents per se. The problem is the money. Obtaining political office pretty much requires taking bribes (*ahem* "donations") from powerful, moneyed interests.

    I think some form of public financing for elections is a good first start at reform. No more private donations, period. Every candidate has the same sized warchest, and that warchest should not even approach the many millions of dollars that they are now.

    If that's not a possible goal, then second best would be to outlaw all political advertising on TV -- eliminating the #1 reason that huge warchests are required.

     

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

  13.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 8th, 2014 @ 10:23am

    Re:

    You're a funny guy!

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Kevin, Jan 8th, 2014 @ 10:29am

    This is why I wrote her twice to say I am never voting for her again.

    Taking the money out of politics is the only way to get this problem solved. I wish I had a good idea of how to do it.

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    Irving, Jan 8th, 2014 @ 11:03am

    Re:

    Taking money out of politics is easy; federally-supplied campaign funding per candidate with any attempt to donate outside money prosecuted as bribery would do the trick.

    Of course, this would require some sort of compensatory nomination scheme to allow only serious independents access to these funds. Setting the number of backers required to file a nomination at the proper level is key to accepting good candidates without encouraging non-serious contenders.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    phils, Jan 8th, 2014 @ 12:38pm

    Once again Dianne Feinstein puts on her NSA cheerleader uniform and runs around trying to scare everybody.

     

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

  17.  
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    Rapnel (profile), Jan 8th, 2014 @ 2:50pm

    It simply boggles the mind that this woman has any credibility whatsoever in matters pertaining to intelligence. Her top donors are pretty heavily vested in taking in the money of the American people. She's proven beyond a reasonable doubt whose interests hold sway over her actions.

    Feinstein is a staunch supporter of the U.S Surveillance State (USSS).

    How comfortable her life must be as one of the richest members of the Senate. Living proof that you can buy and sell anything.

    ... I wonder what the future holds.

    I am decidedly disgusted.

    Treacherous wench.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2014 @ 4:59pm

    The truth finally comes out. Senator Spystein is a liar and hates the US Constitution, and despises the civil rights of Americans.

     

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

  19. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Just Sayin', Jan 8th, 2014 @ 10:55pm

    If you weren't such a pirate maybe you wouldn't complain.

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jan 9th, 2014 @ 12:29am

    Re: Re:

    As an Englishman, I like non-serious candidates. The Monster Raving Loony Party was the one of the first things that got me to take notice of politics, in fact.

    Taking money out of politics is a very good idea, but placing limits on who is deemed "serious" to be eligible to run is a very bad one and ripe for abuse. I don't personally see the problem with funding the "non-serious" people, as long as it's verified that every penny is spent on actual campaign work and not funnelled elsewhere for profit.

     

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

  21.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 9th, 2014 @ 9:04am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I agree 100%

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Joe, Jan 9th, 2014 @ 4:53pm

    Re: Re:

    There's always a choice. The myth that you can only vote Dem or Repub is the problem. Run another candidate. Organize a grassroots campaign. If TN is as anti-democratic as many other southern states and you can't get on the ballot, then run a write-in campaign. Just don't sit there and say there wasn't another choice.

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    No Jojo, Jan 15th, 2014 @ 4:13pm

    Good fix to correct bad government

    Term limits for all politicians. Max. 2 x 5 year terms and one 5 year term for president. Another fix is 50% of all elected must be native indians. How is it that majority of religionselected are chosen ones?
    Regarding Ms FineStein--her husband is a multi billionaire--who gets major military contracts.

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    jon reid, Jan 15th, 2014 @ 5:28pm

    Swinestein not only has the face of a Daemon, but does the devils work efficiently.

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    Doc Holiday, Jan 25th, 2014 @ 9:31pm

    Just A Min here...

    Wheres the controversy?
    It's true that the Bill is named "reform" but Feinstein has clearly stated her position was in support for ongoing cell phone metadata surveillance, but with the provision that the records may only be reviewed by NSA when proper authority or warrants have been issued.
    I'm not so sure I agree with it, there's been no evidence it keeps America any safer to have EVERYONES phones tapped
    - but -
    This article has not given any surprising or shocking evidence of a change in direction or another for Fienstiens positions. It seems this site is all about generating (revenue) traffic off of "possible" stories

     

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


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