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Update: Snowden Redeemed: Secret Congressional Briefings Reveal NSA Listening to Phone Calls, Too... Without Warrants

Update: Nadler issued a statement this morning:

“I am pleased that the administration has reiterated that, as I have always believed, the NSA cannot listen to the content of Americans’ phone calls without a specific warrant,” Nadler said in a statement to several news outlets.

That was it. Talk about backtracking, or hushing up at least...

So CNET has since updated their headline on the original story, as well as amending a few other parts, which are annotated at the bottom of the article. Note well that Nadler did not, however, clarify what so "startled" him about what he heard in the secret briefing; nor did he clarify his line of questioning, either, which clearly included a concern about "if you want to listen to the phone...." before he was interrupted by Mueller's answer. And these were clearly concerns rooted in the briefing he had attended.

But all he released was just this cryptic statement. See, once again, the link in update II of this post at the bottom, which is a piece about the context and the laws in question (which presciently highlighted the ambiguity of the exchange, while addressing the possibilities).

In any case, we've all seen numerous reports, including from whistleblowers, indicating that call content is indeed recorded and stored, and that aspect is still not being addressed at all in these questions and cryptic statements. They are dancing around the language of what constitutes "collected," and statements like Nadler's, which says they "cannot listen to the content without a specific warrant," fail also to confirm or deny that they are indeed acquiring and storing all of our call content.(End Update)

Wanna know what about the secret Congressional briefings on the surveillance programs astounded Loretta Sanchez? This must read, hot off the press from CNET, redeeming much of what Snowden has alleged, sheds some light on it:

The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed "simply based on an analyst deciding that."

If the NSA wants "to listen to the phone," an analyst's decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. "I was rather startled," said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.

Not only does this disclosure shed more light on how the NSA's formidable eavesdropping apparatus works domestically it also suggests the Justice Department has secretly interpreted federal surveillance law to permit thousands of low-ranking analysts to eavesdrop on phone calls.

Because the same legal standards that apply to phone calls also apply to e-mail messages, text messages, and instant messages, Nadler's disclosure indicates the NSA analysts could also access the contents of Internet communications without going before a court and seeking approval.

The disclosure appears to confirm some of the allegations made by Edward Snowden, a former NSA infrastructure analyst who leaked classified documents to the Guardian. Snowden said in a video interview that, while not all NSA analysts had this ability, he could from Hawaii "wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president."

You're gonna wanna read it all: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57589495-38/nsa-admits-lis...

Update: Also, remember when Obama said this?

Nobody's listening to your telephone calls.

Alas, it appears that indeed he was being "too cute by half."

Or, as we mere non-politician types say: He was lying.

Update II: See also this piece for additional commentary on the context of the discussion on which the CNET article is based.

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Would somebody please copy this video..


..and send out copies to me and a few of your friends.

I have a feeling it will be important later.

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty" TJ

Just to add the Legal aspect,

Just to add the Legal aspect, the term "DOMESTIC" OFTEN refers to the "territorial jurisdiction" of the UNITED STATES and excludes the 50 states of the Union. I know this is a legal technicality, but when you are dealing with politicians, they are all either attorneys, AND/OR have a team of Attorneys telling them what to say.

For example:

    The Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.) is amended by adding at
    the end the following:


    ``SEC. 701. DEFINITIONS.

    ``In this title:

    ``(2) Domestic.--The term `domestic' means within the
    territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

see other examples...


If you think of yourselve as a leader, a natural leader that poeple will follow, then withdraw yourselve from all social media for when TSHF, many of us still need to interact with the sheep, but some of us will have to be prepared, and no I'm talking about breaking the law simply defending oneselve and the coming fight for freedom.

By going on google, facebook etc etc we are essentially plugging into the matrix.

Every Senator and Congressman

...who was aware of the unconstitutional program and said nothing to the American people should be recalled, or voted out of office in the next election. This includes Rand Paul if he knew about it beforehand (in my opinion).

I think most people here

already knew they were recording the content as well.

Now the rest of the US also knows that, and further, that the lowliest of annalists has the power to fully destroy your life. A call or email's contents can be analysed if the annalist thinks he should.

What if you cut the wrong guy off in traffic?

People sometimes say "I don't care, I have nothing to hide". I wonder if that still sits well with them.

I suspect that everyone has said or done something, that, taken out of context, could cause some serious problems. And an annalist makes that decision, not a FISA court (also illegal, IMO) as they suggest.

"NSA Director Keith Alexander said this week that his agency's analysts abide by the law: "They do this lawfully. They take compliance oversight, protecting civil liberties and privacy and the security of this nation to their heart every day.""

I believe that, and I'm off to New York to buy the Brooklyn Bridge, I hear its for sale, I got this email saying so. ;)

Just open the box and see

I think it's one thing to suspect it and

another to confirm it. Who was it that said give me eight sentences from any man and I can have them locked up?

Aren't there like 1.2 million

Aren't there like 1.2 million secret agents with top security clearance?

If you can't trust government employees, who can you trust?

Another talking point bites

Another talking point bites the dust. It's only Metadata blah blah.

Next we'll find out they've been secretly activating the microphones and cameras in our devices.

ChristianAnarchist's picture



Beware the cult of "government"...

There are a lot of conspiracy

There are a lot of conspiracy theory deniers out there who are genuinely surprised.

For public consumption

What he gets handed to expose to the public, as opposed to the TRUTH seems to be perplexing President Obama. Look at his manner and expression during the "no one is listening to your phone calls" sound bite. I expect the eventual laying out of the whole shebang by the government, and the follow on sincere explanation that it's all done for our protection. As a result of this 'confession,' the people of the USA will not allow a continuation of this. Going back to constitutional guidance, they will cause the disillusion of the DHS, TSA, and the private/government/international intelligence conglomerate. The current leadership in the executive branch's days are numbered, along with the public face of our President. Sit back, observe and comment, but don't get carried away! It'll take care of itself. New times are a coming. Ones filled with freedom of choice, the liberty to self rely, and no more debt slavery for all.

Repeating history:

January, 1999:

Still, Echelon has been shrouded in such secrecy that its very existence has been difficult to prove. Barr's amendment aims to change that.

"If this report reveals that information about American citizens is being collected without legal authorization, the intelligence community will have some serious explaining to do," Barr said.


I wonder why

They've decided to come clean now - Seeing that so many , including Obama, have denied it.

Snowden Redemption Voucher

Redeemable for a whistle and a one-way ticket to any destination outside the United States, its territories and protectorates.

Fine print: Not valid for travel to the United Kingdom as of June 14, 2013. Other special terms and conditions may apply.

I suspect you guys are being

I suspect you girls and guys are being run by a bunch of girls and guys who cant distiguish between hollywood reality, and reality, reality(edit:clarification - your government, not the movement)........one is kept in the realm of the imagination, the other, away from the corruption of a authorative, out of control, border lining tyranical regime

This is'nt bloody minority report, might look cool in the movies, might give you ideas, but that does not mean whats good for the "movies" is good for a free society.......leave those where it belongs, in our imaginations.....until the people give their permission...for something that has had more civil rights, thoughts, put into it, then weekend viewing of blockbuster movie/tv show

The down votes obviously

The down votes obviously haven't read your comments before or they'd have understood it wasn't aimed at the liberty crowd. :-)


Thanks for your kind words,

Thanks for your kind words, but even to me i feel like im making a mountain out of a mole hill, for having reason to type that clarification, even while typing that clarification........the way i see it if someone wants to downvote, let em, for those ocassions where ive not thought things through, i welcome it, just so it makes me reread and consider what ive said, the ones that troll for the sake of trolling, and im not saying the person who downvoted me was a troll, but those i can take, its me not thinking things through im worried about, if that makes sense, a genuine thought out disagreement, i dont want to discourage, would make sad, i am still learning, and i still have ALOT to learn, i.e. ive thought about reading books on the subjects that dominate my thoughts right now, but ive not even picked a one yet.....makes me wonder if im not as awake as i think i am, or that is a fear anyway, even though i dont dismiss the possibility at all, i still fear why ive not done it yet, hopefull side says "right time, right moment"

i can take a few thoughtfull respectfull hits up the backside when i need it :)

Even now im thinking why i had to explain that....i think im using the dp as my personal memoirs, you know

Dear diary :).......*im lauging at myself, goodnaturedly*

TwelveOhOne's picture


I love your thought process. That is what I'm seeking, correction when I'm wrong (which is more often now after the injury).

You're looking for a book. Message me and I will buy you "The Most Dangerous Superstition" by Larken Rose. I'm halfway through it and am blown away. Spoiler: the most dangerous superstition is "authority", and he explains it incredibly well.

I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.
http://fija.org - Fully Informed Jury Association
http://jsjinc.net - Jin Shin Jyutsu (energy healing)

I want so much to say, youve

I want so much to say, youve given me my "right time, my right moment", but looking at the concerpts for that book, i dont think my mind is ready for what appears to be a deep book on deep thoughts, even thought i suspect, i write as if i am......why i worry i might be half asleep, is that i want the deepness, but i also want the entertainment, i suspect i am a shallow person, or maybe a little part of me is, for instance.....and this is probably a silly request, but anything in the form of scifi, fantasy, but with the concepts of freedom and liberty, and paralel similarities to the current world, in those themes.....for my first baby step, whenever that should happen, i think the first book may be 1984

Thankyou my friend for your generosity, but id never allow you or anyway to spend their money for little old/young me, so although your offer does touch the heart strings :), id never ask nor expect it from my brothers and sisters.....well, unless i was able to offer something of equal value in return:)

Edit:and might i just add, unless my minds playing tricks on me, ive recently admired one or two comments i believe has come from you too, forgive my inability to be certain, it is recent, and there is always time ......well, foregoing a cosmic event ......boy, that was a depressing thought

TwelveOhOne's picture


I have also admired your comments. :)

Today I commented several comments on energy healing (Jin Shin Jyutsu), and also about my traumatic brain injury, so you may want to review my comments: http://www.dailypaul.com/user/52986

Try not to depress yourself, the sun is shining (here) and it's a beautiful day, and even if it was raining, that helps the plants that give us life. JSJ can help with depression as well.

I've started to post as well, I have two that I really liked, the "Citizen Journalism 4D Camera" and the more recent "Citizen's Arrest Training Guide."

1984 is a great choice; "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."

Many of Robert Heinlein's books are full of both liberty and wild sex, so you may enjoy those. :) "Stranger in a Strange Land" is one of my favorites, especially the concept of the "first witness" -- the judge asked the witness (to demonstrate to someone else) what color the house on that hill was, and she responded, "it is white on this side." A great primer in observation for my teenage mind. :)

Ayn Rand's works are also great, if a bit long. I've read "Atlas Shrugged" and highly recommend it, but it's over 1000 pages. I've seen the first of the movies, which was worth watching at least once, but haven't yet taken in the second (I think there will be one more).

Bastiat is of course great reading, as is Mark Twain. And many others you can get for free, from Project Gutenberg. Amazon gets books from there as well, so you can read many, many books completely for free if you have a Kindle (or just a PC, using their online reader).

One I really enjoyed reading was a book on cob, clay and chalk, for making buildings on the cheap which will last centuries.

Machiavelli's works are also worth reading, if only to understand the mind of the opposition. I prefer to live harmoniously, but that's sometimes hard with my injury as I'm more forgetful, and irritable.

I bought Fishyculture a camera when hers broke. I miss her a great deal, she was a great contribution to this site, with her posts and comments and wisdom. Here's hoping she returns; if so, I will resume contributing to this site.

I want to make a difference. I'm not as "financially leaky" as I used to be, but I intend to benefit others as much as I can, and a book is not a big deal, because I will give it to you and then you will give it to others, and it will spread.

I haven't yet taken the impulse to purchase a thousand of them, and leave them on city streets with a one dollar bill as a bookmark. I've heard of this done, and I think I may, but not today. Have to see a doctor today.

Hope you're in good health; cheers, (((((gomez))))! :)

I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.
http://fija.org - Fully Informed Jury Association
http://jsjinc.net - Jin Shin Jyutsu (energy healing)

"I haven't yet taken the

"I haven't yet taken the impulse to purchase a thousand of them, and leave them on city streets with a one dollar bill as a bookmark. I've heard of this done, and I think I may, but not today"

Funnily enough, i heard that too :)

Thankyou for the book suggestings, ive heard Atlas Shrugged mentioned a few times already, i think that'll be prominant in my mind as well as 1984 when the time comes

Woot for DailyPaul!

One of the things that others, and even we, overlook is that the Ron Paul campaigns of '08 and '12 created a network of activists that understand these issues. I don't think these stories would have received the traction that they have w/ out the work of Ron Paul running fearlessly against the establishment. There is a whole lot to be thankful for! Including the DailyPaul.

I added some videos and quotes to this story, above--adding some damning quotes from Obama:

"Nobody's listening to your telephone calls." - 2013 Obama

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake…

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint. – President Barack Obama 2009 inaugural address

Check out http://iroots.org/
"If you’re into political activism, at least for Ron Paul if not for anyone else, I strongly recommend spending some time with iroots.org." - Tom Woods

No Kidding!

Ron Paul running for 2008, has been a HUGE opportunity to give us focus.

Where would we be if he hadn't?

Local Representative

I'm pretty sure Nadler is my local Congressman. Assuming there's no libertarian candidate or liberty minded candidate from another party, does this mean I am actually giving voting for a Democrat a thought? I'm not saying he's a worthy honest Democrat like Kucinich but should him being 'startled' be considered a good thing?

I would hesitate were I you

I want my candidate to respect human liberty... which include civil liberties as outlined in the Bill of Rights and the right of private property. Too many of these people who pose as civil libertarians do not hesitate at all to use the power of the Federal Gov't to confiscate your property and debase the currency that you are forced to use.

Just because a politician throws me a civil libertarian bone, I cannot excuse the fact that is is quite willing to control my life through oppressive legislation and steal whatever I have as he so chooses.

Regarding Nadler...

He is good on non-intervention (anti-war) and "homeland security"


He is for every tax and every bailout and every increase in the debt ceiling
He is a big proponent of gun control
He is an advocate of Cap and Trade
He is against Net Neutrality
He voted against the disclosure of earmarks
He is an opponent of transparency with respect to lobbying activities

So you choose.

And for the record, Ron Paul likes and respects Kucinich, but my guess is he would never vote for him in a million years.


Appreciate the sound words of advice in regards to Nadler. Also for the record, I think that although Ron wouldn't vote for him, he is not against his followers choosing their own ways to further the ideas of liberty. He won't vote for Gary Johnson either, but a lot of those he inspires still did. That's the greatest thing about him. Although there will never be another Ron Paul, there have been many who are now a better version of themselves after having learned from him. I know I am.


“Nobody is listening to your telephone calls,” President Barack Obama said. The [National Security Agency’s email collecting] program “does not apply to U.S. citizens and…people living in the United States.” 

if this story is true, then

if this story is true, then he LIED to the American people, if he honestly did not know, then he is an incompetent commander in chief.

Ive never supported the calls for resignation/FIRED, in the past......but now you guys have PROOF, of either obamas lies or obamas incompetence...and not months apart.......i dont expect him to resign/FIRED...... but i do expect more eyes to be open for the next time.....and yes a little hope that he will leave......but if that happens, you guys have to seriously think about what will replace him, her, or any future president, when faced with such a situation