Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Glorious Fifth: Postscript

Looks like the promised sky-covering fireworks naming of Snowden names at Pierre Omidyar's Intercept really has taken place after all, not on the fifth of July, but close. It's possibly the most shocking misbehavior by the NSA reported in the Snowden documents so far—involving the targeting of American citizens and even a Republican!—and I'm really glad to see it come out:
According to documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the list of Americans monitored by their own government includes:
• Faisal Gill, a longtime Republican Party operative and one-time candidate for public office who held a top-secret security clearance and served in the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush;
• Asim Ghafoor, a prominent attorney who has represented clients in terrorism-related cases;
• Hooshang Amirahmadi, an Iranian-American professor of international relations at Rutgers University;
• Agha Saeed, a former political science professor at California State University who champions Muslim civil liberties and Palestinian rights;
• Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the country.
Also glad to see that this despicable profiling of distinguished Muslim Americans ended well before the Obama presidency began, by May 2008. That's pretty interesting timing, by the way; the FISA Amendments Act that made the program definitively illegal was introduced (by Silvestre Reyes, D-TX) in June and signed into law by President Bush on June 10, so it looks as if NSA really hustled to clean up its act before the legislature made them.

Maybe when they say the Obama administration carries on the Bush policies on surveillance they're referring to the Bush administration's last five months, and the great 110th Congress with its Democratic majorities in both houses that reformed this rogue agency.

Lots more hilarity from Pottersville, Driftglass (with a most useful note on the grammar of past and progressive), and we'll keep our eyes open for more.

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