Obfuscate the Obscure

August 16, 2013

220px-PinocchioWelcome to harsh-reality’s end of the week — Friday!
Another day, another life —  sweltering, near-unlivable conditions up here on California’s north coast: The U.S. National Weather Service reports that the temperature in Eureka reached a staggering (‘round these parts) 73°, edging out the previous record of 71° set way back in aught three of this young century.
And we get hot real easy.

Forecasts call for ‘cooling‘  temperatures today, but who do you believe? Your sweating forehead, or some dumb-ass government agency claiming they have your best interests at heart?

(Illustration found here).

None of the above — especially if this agency “…find ourselves on the wrong side of the line…” a shitload of times, and that’s the lying side of the line.
The real heat is on.
The Washington Post  with the inside intel:

The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents.
Most of the infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by statute and executive order.
They range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. e-mails and telephone calls.
The documents, provided earlier this summer to The Washington Post by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, include a level of detail and analysis that is not routinely shared with Congress or the special court that oversees surveillance.
In one of the documents, agency personnel are instructed to remove details and substitute more generic language in reports to the Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
In one instance, the NSA decided that it need not report the unintended surveillance of Americans.
A notable example in 2008 was the interception of a “large number” of calls placed from Washington when a programming error confused the U.S. area code 202 for 20, the international dialing code for Egypt, according to a “quality assurance” review that was not distributed to the NSA’s oversight staff.

A lot of the shit was just sheer incompetence, but others, just freakin’ illegal and unconstitutional:

In October 2011, months after the program got underway, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled that the collection effort was unconstitutional.
The court said that the methods used were “deficient on statutory and constitutional grounds,” according to a top-secret summary of the opinion, and it ordered the NSA to comply with standard privacy protections or stop the program.

The story is really terrifying — if you think al-Qaeda is scary, lying, incompetent assholes are nightmares. And the problem, really, is there is no way to still this bullshit.
Apparently, the Post  popped the piece late last night and the various sprawling media will run with it as the top-of-the-news line for this morning. Seemingly, in the last few weeks a certain pattern has developed in that Snowden’s documents reveal lies and the NSA (with President Obama in the floundering wake) have to walkback all kinds of shit — sometimes lying about not lying.

Marcy Wheeler lays out some recent-historical background on the so-called Congress/Obama/NSA “oversight.”
Nothing but lies refuting lies.

Horribly, the most horrible of the horrible in the Post story:

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who did not receive a copy of the 2012 audit until The Post asked her staff about it, said in a statement late Thursday that the committee “can and should do more to independently verify that NSA’s operations are appropriate, and its reports of compliance incidents are accurate.”

So much for the ‘vaunted‘  Congressional oversight, huh?
According to TechCrunch: At every turn the NSA has lied and obfuscated. It has dodged, and later been forced to correct the record. Again, and again.

Whoa, people!
At least it’s Friday…

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