Ah, the sweet smell of Thursday morning outright denial-of-reality.
Yes, in a sweeping scoop from The Guardian‘s Glenn Greenwald, it has been revealed that the Obama administration since at least April has been hoovering up millions of Verizon subscribers’ phone data – customers within the United States, calling other customers within the United States. Monitoring such ‘domestic only’ communications is strictly forbidden by the NSA’s mandate, but don’t worry, some hardcore Obama policy defenders on Twitter and on the cable news networks this morning have a reality distortion field… or wish they had one.
You see, according to such apologists for warrantless spying, this isn’t a big deal because a) Bush was doing it in some form also and b) it’s just ‘metadata.’
To address point A: and their point is? Weird world we live in when the best justification you can come up with is that the Mission Accomplished Guantanamo waterboarding torture war with the wrong country guy with a ranch in Crawford, Texas did it also. And point B: ‘metadata’ is just a spin word. The information collected includes call recipients and all location data, meaning where you are physically located whenever you make a call and every single social association you have (the people you call, the people who call you). This is the kind of rich domestic surveillance data the Nazi Gestapo and East German Stasi would have given their right legs to obtain. If this ‘metadata’ is not a violation of our privacy, Obama should release his own ‘metadata’ to the public, and his staff’s – it’d be fascinating to see every phone call they have ever placed, in addition to their locations at all times.