One Of Congress's Biggest Defenders Of NSA Surveillance Suddenly Aghast That NSA May Have Spied On Him

from the funny-how-that-works dept

Remember how Dianne Feinstein -- a huge supporter of the intelligence community -- absolutely freaked out about surveillance when it happened to her staffers (when the CIA snooped on their network)? It would almost be funny how the defenders of surveillance react when they're being surveilled... if it weren't so tragic.

As we noted earlier today, the WSJ just revealed that the NSA had no problem intercepting calls made by Congress as part of spying on foreign leaders, such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And, as you might expect, some folks are quite upset about this... including former US Representative Pete Hoekstra, who headed the House Intelligence Committee a decade ago. He sent out a pair of angry tweets about the news:

If you can't read those, he says:
WSJ report that NSA spied on Congress and Israel communications very disturbing. Actually outrageous. Maybe unprecedented abuse of power.

NSA and Obama officials need to be investigated and prosecuted if any truth to WSJ reports. NSA loses all credibility. Scary.
Of course, this very same Pete Hoekstra, who long defended NSA surveillance, didn't seem to have much of an issue when the NSA was spying on anyone other than himself. Just last year, in a debate with Glenn Greenwald, Hoekstra mocked the idea that anyone was upset at the NSA spying on foreign governments and said if there was anything to complain about, it was that the NSA allowed such info to leak:
If the country's intelligence techniques leak, what is to say our enemies won't also review the information, Hoekstra asked. He laughs at foreign governments who are shocked they've been spied on because they, too, gather information.

"Spying is a matter of fact,"
Hoekstra said. "The mistake that we made is that we had a NSA that did not put in the protections that it need to protect (it) ... they enabled someone like Edward Snowden to steal our documents and steal our national securities to the world."
Uh huh. But suddenly when it's his communications, the NSA "loses all credibility" and there needs to be an "investigation"?

And here's the very same Pete Hoekstra talking about how he was personally briefed on the "safeguards" of the NSA program and how he trusts the NSA to never violate civil liberties:
“I was briefed by the vice president and then-head of the NSA, Michael Hayden, and it was from my perspective a very thorough briefing,” recalled Hoekstra in an exclusive interview on Wednesday. “They talked about what the capabilities of the program were, how the programs functioned, and the protections that were put in place to make sure that American civil liberties were protected.”
Go on...
The Michigan Republican said he met with some of the people who administered the programs and came away convinced “they clearly understood the responsibilities that they had to No. 1, do their job, but also to protect Americans' civil liberties.”
I see...

Also, this is the very same Hoekstra, who back when he was running the House Intelligence Committee blatantly misled the public about the surveillance powers of the NSA. In that case, somewhat ironically, Hoekstra attacked a bill called the RESTORE Act, that would have granted a tiny bit more oversight over situations where (you guessed it) the NSA was collecting information on Americans. Hoekstra falsely argued that this would make it harder to track terrorists overseas (despite the fact that their communications weren't subject to the law). But now that his own communications got sucked up in surveillance efforts targeted at foreigners, it's a giant scandal?

Beginning to think that being a total hypocrite on these issues should be called "being a total Hoekstra."

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2015 @ 10:44am

    I'm outraged - outraged I say !111

    How dare they spy on me, do they know who I am?
    Heads will roll.

    Now, about that spying upon you, tough shit you peons.

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

  2. icon
    TechDescartes (profile), Dec 30th, 2015 @ 10:52am

    You're Obviously Confused

    When the NSA intercepts the communications of the American public, they are fighting terrorists. When they intercept the communications of Congress, they are spying. Fighting terrorists is good. Spying is bad. Got it?

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

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2015 @ 10:58am

    "Riley" == Supremes didn't want THEIR cellphones searched

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

  4. identicon
    Pixelation, Dec 30th, 2015 @ 11:02am

    In other news...

    Dog trained to attack bites owner.

    Reap the whirlwind.

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

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2015 @ 11:02am

    Re: You're Obviously Confused

    Me thinks, thou dost protest too much!

    You're either with us or against us!

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2015 @ 11:05am

    Re: You're Obviously Confused

    Yeah I love how using the fear word of the day somehow magically erases rights and laws already established to deal with the situations. Just like Communism before it, the overreach in the name of terrorism is nothing more than power hungry people getting away with evil in the name of freedom.

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2015 @ 11:06am

    The CIA was already caught spying on its Congressional overseers, and goons like Hoekstra stayed silent. So why is there outrage now? Hint: probably because of the target...

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2015 @ 11:10am

    Seething

    "Beginning to think that being a total hypocrite on these issues should be called "being a total Hoekstra.""

    Some insults are rude, but being called even a partial Hoekstra is out of bounds. Take it back!

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

  9. identicon
    Jason, Dec 30th, 2015 @ 11:14am

    Sadly, it's this kind of thing that might be the only real chance we have of reining in these surveillance programs. Too many people in Congress seem to think that anything goes as long as it doesn't affect them, so maybe getting swept up with everybody else is the only wakeup call they'll listen to. They sure don't seem to want to listen to their constituents.

    (And I should know, Hoekstra was the Congressman from my district.)

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

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2015 @ 11:18am

    so now we just need to unencrypt all congress devices...

    Wouldn't take long to get this whole "encryption is the devil" mentality wiped out...

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2015 @ 11:23am

    Re: You're Obviously Confused

    it makes more sense when that argument is flipped.

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

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2015 @ 11:24am

    This is just a lot of hand waving and hot air.
    I doubt we will see anything concrete happen.

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

  13. identicon
    Quiet Lurcker, Dec 30th, 2015 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re: You're Obviously Confused

    Was trying to figure out what this whole anti-terror thing reminded me of, and your post called McCarthy to mind.

    Was just about to thank you for that when I realized that (bright spot here maybe?) we don't seem to have seen Gene McCarthy's spiritual descendant or successor (Deo gratias).

    At least, not yet.

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

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2015 @ 11:41am

    Mr Hoekstra, this is only one example of what you elected officials have visited on the citizens. I highly doubt you'll agree with that, so embrace this moment for what it appears to be: something you helped create. Get angry and tweet all you want, but at least review your actions and comments over the years and be angry at yourself.

    That's the least you can do.

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

  15. icon
    John85851 (profile), Dec 30th, 2015 @ 12:35pm

    Ah, he's a Republican

    Sorry for the generalization, but it seems like these kinds of stories happen all the time with Republicans.
    * "We need to have better family values in this country, but ignore the fact that I'm texting underage boys."
    * "Unwed teenage girls are bad and they're a drain on our society. Oh, look, Bristol Palin had her second child from a second father and she's not married. How brave."
    * "Drug users are bad and should go to jail for life. Except me. I don't abuse Oxycontin- I can stop anytime I want."
    * "Obama wasn't born in this country [though he was] so he can't be president. Cruz was born in Canada but he can be president."
    * "Obama is a Muslim even though he attended church with a controversial Christian pastor."

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

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2015 @ 12:53pm

    The Merkel effect

    A person in power doesn't care when something happens to others but is outraged when the same thing happens to that person.

    My guess is that it must be some kind of virus that people get when they are elected.

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

  17. identicon
    Anomynuos Crowad, Dec 30th, 2015 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Ah, he's a Republican

    Must have been during Feinstein's GOP phase.

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

  18. identicon
    Congressional shill boss, Dec 30th, 2015 @ 1:30pm

    Re: You're Obviously Confused

    There there my loyal shill minion. Good job!! You will get your raise when they raise the minimum wage.

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

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2015 @ 1:39pm

    Re: You're Obviously Confused

    The American public are obviously terrorists to those in Congress.The public guys have the power to remove them out of power; either peacefully or forcefully.

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

  20. icon
    Pronounce (profile), Dec 30th, 2015 @ 2:46pm

    Isn't it obvious? Seems obvious to me.

    Obviously State monitoring isn't about safety, it's about societal control.

    And government is about power, and power brokers. So it's a little unsettling for any of them to learn they didn't have as much power as they thought.

    That's what all this noise is about. Hoekstra just found out he didn't have as much power as he thought.

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

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2015 @ 2:48pm

    you guys are sadly thinking congress is the in-crowd. not true.

    we are rapidly approaching active dictatorship, where neither congress nor courts that don't follow orders matter even a little.

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

  22. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2015 @ 2:54pm

    Hoekstra was always a duplicitous coward

    Can't wait for him to fade away.

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

  23. icon
    ECA (profile), Dec 30th, 2015 @ 3:14pm

    What do you think the NSA is for??

    It amazes me that the people (supporting the NSA) dont understand WHO the NSA needs/wants to spy on..

    The Citizens have been kept in the dark for years...WHO knows more about whats going on then Those in the government?? Those in the the military..?

    Why would they wish to monitor it?? Blackmail? Military funding? NSA funding? any other ideas here??

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

  24. icon
    Jeremy2020 (profile), Dec 30th, 2015 @ 3:44pm

    I guess the best case was that this comes out and is linked to Obama which the mere mention of his name will make Republicans lose their mind and go after their friends in the NSA for spying on them.

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

  25. identicon
    Ryunosuke, Dec 30th, 2015 @ 3:59pm

    three words

    Told. You. So.

    you can put them in correct order right?

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

  26. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2015 @ 7:03pm

    Seems the twits over in the UK are having the same problem, good to see the folks at the GHCQ and the NSA are equal opportunity spooks.

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

  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2015 @ 7:46pm

    I hope I live just long enough to witness all these hypocrites lined up against the wall and shot for their crimes against the American public.

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

  28. icon
    The Original Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 30th, 2015 @ 10:38pm

    Just imagine...

    Just imagine if someone with the ethics and goals of a person like, say, J. Edgar Hoover were to get their hands on the information that can be "hoovered" up by the NSA, FBI, CIA, US Marshal Service, etc...

    How many members of the three branches of government are susceptible to blackmail?

    The old adage about the Golden Rule used to be "he who has the gold, rules" but now it's "he who has the information, rules."

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

  29. identicon
    Stupid, Dec 31st, 2015 @ 12:07am

    Not surprising

    They've also exempted themselves from insider trading regulations and the Affordable Care Act, so this really isn't too surprising.

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

  30. identicon
    BC, Dec 31st, 2015 @ 3:15am

    Re: Re: Re: You're Obviously Confused

    I think you mean Joe McCarthy (commie witch-hunter), not Gene McCarthy (liberal anti-war candidate).

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

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 31st, 2015 @ 3:18am

    He viewed himself as exempt from the laws he is enforcing on the serfs. When he discovered he was classified as a serf he got angry.

    He still supports anti freedom laws just when they are exempted for him.

    He is a traitor and should be hung as one.

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

  32. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 31st, 2015 @ 3:21am

    Re: What do you think the NSA is for??

    Along with why are they buying millions of rounds of hollow point bullets. considering their foreign enemies routinely wear military grade body armour.

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

  33. icon
    klaus (profile), Dec 31st, 2015 @ 6:07am

    I see good in this

    Yes, Hoekstra is a hypocrite and an obnoxious one to boot, but maybe he'll realize that it's no fun having random people scrutinizing every electronic thing you do. For no good reason.

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

  34. icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Dec 31st, 2015 @ 6:17am

    Turn-about...

    I think this is a clear example of the pot and kettle and which is blacker... Oh, sorry, I meant "darker". The world is just so screwed up these days. Well, I suppose it always has been, but it seems to becoming even more egregious in this lately.

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

  35. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 31st, 2015 @ 6:26am

    Re: Ah, he's a Republican

    Wait up, you are correct on most of the republican generalizations, but the same applies to democrats to.

    Regarding Obama being a muslim.

    there is a saying that reminds us to judge people by the fruits of their labors... so yes Obama is undeniably a Muslim by his own works! He had discontinued some Christian celebrations in the Whitehouse and has invited some Muslims celebrations.

    If attending Church is all that is required to be a Christian then there are a lot more of them around than anyone knows. And if attendance is enough for proof then why do you give Obama a pass on some of the more "questionable" churches he has attended.

    Looks to me like you are just a tool for the left.

    The birthright bullshit is a show created for and maintained by the tards running those games. Both Obama and Cruz had American Citizens for at least 1 parent during their birth. Both are legitimate US Citizens regardless of their location of birth!

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

  36. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 31st, 2015 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Ah, he's a Republican

    there is a saying that reminds us to judge people by the fruits of their labors... so yes Obama is undeniably a Muslim by his own works!

    Just because someone doesn't live up to YOUR standards of what a "good Christian" should be does not make them a Muslim. People like you make me sick.

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

  37. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 31st, 2015 @ 11:47am

    Re: Just imagine...

    The old adage about the Golden Rule used to be "he who has the gold, rules" but now it's "he who has the information, rules."

    Information is golden. Same basic rule.

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

  38. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 31st, 2015 @ 11:56am

    Re: Not surprising

    They've also exempted themselves from insider trading regulations...

    Which is one of the main reasons they were so happy to push the population into stock market gambling for financial retirement. The best way to profit from insider trading is to have a bunch of people throwing their life's savings into your con game. Whoopee! Good for you, bad for them. Fuck 'em.

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

  39. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 31st, 2015 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Ah, he's a Republican

    Feinstein is a dempublicrat, and she was mind blown when she found out the CIA would have the nerve to spy on congress too. Let's not keep pretending this has anything to do with which of the "two" parties they're a member of.

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

  40. icon
    That One Guy (profile), Dec 31st, 2015 @ 11:07pm

    Re: I see good in this

    Not a chance. At most he'll call for stricter 'safeguards' to be employed to make sure he isn't spied on again, while continuing to be in full support of the public being spied on.

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

  41. identicon
    notrelevant, Jan 1st, 2016 @ 7:56am

    Schadenfreude

    The schadenfreude is strong and tasty in this case, but I also have to question Hoekstra's basic intelligence.
    It's like this, if a spy agency (NSA) is going to spy on foreign politicians, when are they most likely to want to? When that target is talking to someone else in power (Hoekstra) or when he is talking to a nobody (e.g. birthday wish to a neice). It seems obvious to me that Hoekstra was an ideal secondsry target.

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

  42. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 1st, 2016 @ 3:05pm

    If you have nothing to hide pete?

    Dont you fucking dare complain

    Here let me enforce your conditioning

    TERRORISTS

    There, there......better?

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

  43. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2016 @ 5:46am

    (From Days of Thunder)

    Harry Hogge: All right. While we're still under a caution, I want you to go back out on that track and hit the pace car.

    Cole Trickle: Hit the pace car?

    Harry Hogge: Hit the pace car.

    Cole Trickle: What for?

    Harry Hogge: Because you've hit every other goddamned thing out there, I want you to be perfect.

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


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