3 Senators with Top Secret Clearance “Have Reviewed This Surveillance Extensively and Have Seen No Evidence That The Bulk Collection of Americans’ Phone Records Has Provided Any Intelligence of Value That Could Not Have Been Gathered Through Less Intrusive Means”

NSA’s Mass Surveillance Is Unnecessary

Mass spying by the NSA has never stopped a single terrorist attack.

Mass surveillance actually interferes with our ability to stop terrorism.

Today, 3 current U.S. Senators (Ron Wyden, Mark Udall and Martin Heinrich)  who are all on the Senate Intelligence Committee – with top security clearance and access to classified NSA briefings – filed a “friend of the court” brief pointing out that the NSA’s mass spying hasn’t stopped a single attack:

Now that the government’s bulk call-records program has been exposed, the government has defended it vigorously.  Amici [i.e. friends of the court … the 3 Senators, along with numerous security experts] submit this brief to respond to the government’s claim, which it is expected to repeat in this suit, that its collection of bulk call records is necessary to defend the nation against terrorist attacks.  Amici make one central point: As members of the committee charged with overseeing the National Security Agency’s surveillance, Amici have reviewed this surveillance extensively and have seen no evidence that the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records has provided any intelligence of value that could not have been gathered through less intrusive means. The government has at its disposal a number of authorities that allow it to obtain the call records of suspected terrorists and those in contact with suspected terrorists. It appears to Amici that these more targeted authorities could have been used to obtain the information that the government has publicly claimed was crucial in a few important counterterrorism cases.


As Amici and others have made clear, the evidence shows that the executive branch’s claims about the effectiveness of the bulk phone-records program have been vastly overstated and, in some cases, utterly misleading….

For example, the executive branch has defended the program by claiming that it helped “thwart” or “disrupt” fifty-four specific terrorist plots…. But that claim conflates the bulk-collection program with other foreign-intelligence authorities.  In fact, as Amici know from their regular oversight of the intelligence community as members of the SSCI, “it appears that the bulk phone records collection program under section 215 of the USA Patriot Act played little or no role in most of these disruptions.” …. Indeed, of the original fifty- four that the government pointed to, officials have only been able to describe two that involved materially useful information obtained through the bulk call-records program…. Even the two supposed success stories involved information that Amici believe—after repeated requests to the government for evidence to the contrary—could readily have been obtained without a database of all Americans’ call records….

In both public statements and in newly declassified submissions to the SSCI, intelligence officials have significantly exaggerated the phone-records program’s effectiveness. Based on the experience of Amici, the public—and this Court—should view the government’s claims regarding the effectiveness of its surveillance programs with searching skepticism and demand evidence rather than assurances before accepting them.

Indeed, NSA spying is not very focused on terrorism at all.  And even if some mass surveillance program were somehow necessary, counter-terror experts say we can keep everyone safe without violating the Constitutionmore cheaply and efficiently than the current system.

The NSA’s whole domestic spying program is a sham …

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  • charlestonvoice

    We don’t consider any of those senators trustworthy to be granted Top Secret clearances.

  • Adam R Sweet

    It’s not a sham. It has a different purpose than they are telling the general public. Its purpose is to protect the US.

    For those that don’t know, The US is a corporation. 1871, February 21: Congress Passes an Act to Provide a Government for the District of Columbia, also known as the Act of 1871*

    With no constitutional authority to do so, Congress creates a separate form of government for the District of Columbia, a ten mile square parcel of land (see, Acts of the Forty-first Congress,” Section 34, Session III, chapters 61 and 62).

    The act — passed when the country was weakened and financially depleted in the aftermath of the Civil War — was a strategic move by foreign interests (international bankers) who were intent upon gaining a stranglehold on the coffers and neck of America.

    Congress cut a deal with the international bankers (specifically Rothschilds of London) to incur a DEBT to said bankers. Because the bankers were not about to lend money to a floundering nation without serious stipulations, they devised a way to get their foot in the door of the United States.

    The Act of 1871 formed a corporation called THE UNITED STATES. The corporation, OWNED by foreign interests, moved in and shoved the original Constitution into a dustbin. With the Act of 1871, the organic Constitution was defaced — in effect vandalized and sabotage — when the title was capitalized and the word “for” was changed to “of” in the title.

    * Info from yet unpublished book, “Pentimento: Freedom Revisited.” As you will see when reading, just as much of my knowledge of the Trading with the Enemy Act came from Gene Schroder, et al. this, too, came from elsewhere — from Lisa Guilian of Babel Magazine, whom I first “met” by way of an article by Patrick Bellringer. So, we cooperate as we study and learn the truth. C. E.

    It operates in an economic capacity and has been used to fool the People into thinking it governs the Republic. It does is not!

    Capitalization is NOT insignificant when one is referring to a legal document. This seemingly “minor” alteration has had a major impact on every subsequent generation of Americans.

    What Congress did by passing the Act of 1871 was create an entirely new document, a constitution for the government of the District of Columbia, an INCORPORATED government. This newly altered Constitution was not intended to benefit the Republic. It benefits only the corporation of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and operates entirely outside the original (organic) Constitution.

    Instead of having absolute and unalienable rights guaranteed under the organic Constitution, we the people now have “relative” rights or privileges. One example is the Sovereign’s right to travel, which has now been transformed (under corporate government policy) into a “privilege” that requires citizens to be licensed.

  • SupernaturalCat

    Anti-war people, critics of American fascism, protest organizers, and most of all – those who keep beating the drum re 911 MIHOP (and other so called Conspiracy Theories) are THEE primary targets of the police state/NSA.