Dick Cheney Lies: Claims Not A Single Case Of NSA Abusing Its Authority
from the that's,-um,-not-true dept
There is the belief, he said, "that we have created in the National Security Agency this monster bureaucracy that's reading everybody's mail, listening to everybody's phone calls, infringing upon our civil liberties and civil rights. Hogwash." He claimed that there has not been a single case of NSA abusing its authority.Well, except an internal NSA audit that was reported on months ago actually found that the NSA abused its authority thousands of times per year. And, really, a big part of the complaints aren't necessarily that the NSA abused its authority, but that even if they didn't "abuse their authority" that the ability to collect all this information was legal in the first place. Meanwhile, we also know that there are also a bunch of cases where the NSA has admitted analysts willfully abused their powers. And, while the NSA claims that it's caught all of those involved, a large percentage of them involved "self-reporting," which suggests many cases of abuse slipped under the radar. And, of course, there were many other known abuses as well, including many years in which the NSA flat-out ignored the FISA court's rules on handling metadata, allowing it to be shared widely, despite rules and promises not to do so.
This also ignores the fact that both a federal judge and the federal government's privacy and civil liberties oversight board (PCLOB) found the program unconstitutional and illegal. Yes, others have found that the program is legitimate, but to ignore the still open-ended question as to the legitimacy of the program to argue that there's been "no abuse" of authority is ridiculous. Hell, even the famed rubber stamping FISA court came close to shutting down the program and elsewhere discussed how the so-called privacy protections within the program was "so frequently and systematically violated" as to mean that they have "never functioned effectively."
I don't know about how Dick Cheney defines "abuse their authority," but it seems like there's fairly strong evidence of pretty widespread abuse -- much of it taking place while Cheney was in power. Of course, since his definition of "abuse" seems to be "doing something that Dick Cheney personally doesn't like," then, I guess he'd be correct. But, given the rather clear -- and flat-out admitted -- cases of abuse, combined with significant claims that the entire program is abusive -- it would appear that Cheney is simply lying.