The director of US National Intelligence James Clapper has confirmed that the United States has been exploiting a “backdoor” in national policy to commit warrantless surveillance on ordinary citizens for the past three years.
In a letter to Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, Clapper insinuated that our government has been using a ruling handed down by a secret FISA court in 2011 to subvert the fourth amendment rights of the Constitution, and that members of the NSA knowingly and willingly broke the law in order to spy on anyone who was suspected of being a terrorist.
This is the first time the administration has changed its tone about their use of wanton surveillance since Obama first responded to questions about the Snowden leaks back in June of 2013.
This landmark admittance of guilt means from now on, the administration and all its various agencies are not allowed to deny the existence of the programs, under threat of being tried in the Supreme Court for false statements or perjury.
“There have been queries, using U.S. person identifiers, of communications lawfully acquired to obtain foreign intelligence targeting non-U.S. persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States. These queries were performed pursuant to minimization procedures approved by the FISA court and consistent with the statute and the fourth amendment.”
This of course comes into direct conflict with statements we heard from the President just a few short months ago:
“When it comes to telephone calls, nobody is listening to your telephone calls. That’s not what this program’s about,” Obama said. “As was indicated, what the intelligence community is doing is looking at phone numbers and durations of calls. They are not looking at people’s names, and they’re not looking at content.”
Our government has lied to us for the past 10 years, for the past 10 months, and maybe even for the past 10 minutes.
Who knows how much truth Clapper is actually revealing here, considering he named no names of who was being targeted by the operations, nor did he implicate anyone who might be able to stand trial for their crimes against the basic human right of privacy we’ve all come to expect in the 21st century.