Friday, May 12, 2006

The spying of America

The biggest story in the blogosphere at the moment is, of course, the latest revelation, reported in USA Today, that the NSA "has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth".

Make sure to read the entire article, but this is what it's all about: "The NSA's domestic program, as described by sources, is far more expansive than what the White House has acknowledged. Last year, Bush said he had authorized the NSA to eavesdrop — without warrants — on international calls and international e-mails of people suspected of having links to terrorists when one party to the communication is in the USA. Warrants have also not been used in the NSA's efforts to create a national call database."

We're now talking about "domestic call records," about communication between and among people in the U.S. The NSA now has "a secret window into the communications habits of millions of Americans". More: "The domestic and international call-tracking programs have things in common, according to the sources. Both are being conducted without warrants and without the approval of the FISA court."

This is bad, to be sure, but here's my question: Does this really surprise anyone?

It shouldn't. Bush is waging his war on terror with frighteningly expansive presidential powers. In the case of the NSA eavesdropping program, he is waging it illegally.

Surely we all suspected that the spying didn't stop at international communication. Surely we all knew, prior to this confirmation, that Bush's America was spying on Americans themselves.

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We'll have more on this over the next few days, but, for now, you can find many helpful links at Memeorandum.

There are too many good posts to mention out in the blogosphere, but let me single out Unclaimed Territory, The Carpetbagger Report, The Moderate Voice, The Mahablog, Firedoglake, Balkinization, The Left Coaster, David Corn, Taylor Marsh, The Anonymous Liberal, TalkLeft, Pacific Views, Shakespeare's Sister, Obsidian Wings, NewsHog, Majikthise, Midtopia, In Search of Utopia, and Lean Left.

I'm leaving many out, but not intentionally. Go and have a look for yourself.

Do not ignore this story. Do not let them do this to you.

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