“The FISC is forced to rely upon the accuracy of the information that is provided to the Court,” its chief, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton, said in a written statement to The Washington Post. “The FISC does not have the capacity to investigate issues of noncompliance, and in that respect the FISC is in the same position as any other court when it comes to enforcing government compliance with its orders.”
President Obama on August 9th, 2013, transcript from The Washington Post:
What you’re hearing about is the prospect that these could be abused. Now part of the reason they’re not abused is because they’re — these checks are in place, and those abuses would be against the law and would be against the orders of the FISC.
Now here’s a report from The Washington Post’s Barton Gellman (posted last night):
The NSA audit obtained by The Post, dated May 2012, counted 2,776 incidents in the preceding 12 months of unauthorized collection, storage, access to or distribution of legally protected communications. Most were unintended. Many involved failures of due diligence or violations of standard operating procedure. The most serious incidents included a violation of a court order and unauthorized use of data about more than 3,000 Americans and green-card holders.
It’s hard to fathom just how bad that is, but consider these other tidbits from Gellman’s article:
One in 10 incidents is attributed to a typographical error in which an analyst enters an incorrect query and retrieves data about U.S phone calls or e-mails.
That’s both funny and disturbing. What isn’t funny at all is the fact that the NSA created a massive dragnet that they ran for months without court approval. Then when the court heard the arguments:
James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, has acknowledged that the court found the NSA in breach of the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, but the Obama administration has fought a Freedom of Information lawsuit that seeks the opinion.
And yet politicians adamantly defend the NSA and its programs, or are barred by “national security” from saying anything about them. You either agree, or you shut the fuck up. Democracy.
In one required tutorial, NSA collectors and analysts are taught to fill out oversight forms without giving “extraneous information” to “our FAA overseers.”
Either President Obama didn’t know about this report and these violations, and thus the biggest spy agency on the planet is lying to him, or the President is lying to the people that elected him. Quite honestly, I hope it is the latter.