Dear Mr. President,
Yet another revelation of the NSA’s illegal activities in today’s NYT (“N.S.A. Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens” p. A1). The latest Snowden documents reveal that since November 2010, the NSA has been analyzing all Americans’ phone call and email logs without checking for a foreign connection. This shift from requiring a foreign connection “was made in secret, without review by the nation’s intelligence court or any public debate.” The documents also reveal that the agency uses “enrichment” data—bank, insurance and Facebook information, passenger manifests, voter registration rolls, tax data, property records and GPS locations from cellphones to “develop a portrait of an individual, one that is perhaps more complete and predictive of behavior than could be obtained by listening to phone conversations or reading e-mails, experts say.” On Thursday during a congressional hearing by the NSA protectors and defenders—the Senate Intelligence Committee—Gen. Keith Alexander, asked if “the agency ever collected or planned to collect bulk records about Americans’ locations based on cellphone tower data,” replied they were “not doing so as part of the call log program authorized by the Patriot Act, but… a fuller response would be classified.” More deception and misleading testimony we’ve come to expect from Clapper and Alexander. In spite of their bald-faced lies and contempt of Congress, they remain in their positions, leaders of an outlaw agency, their budgets, empire and influence continuing to grow, eating up more and more taxpayer dollars that should be used to better American lives. Feinstein is a true believer, the NSA’s main apologist in Congress. She has abused her position as Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, enabling this agency to run amok, just as you have fostered it and defended it, calling it legal, transparent and necessary for national security, You are both guilty of undermining the Constitution and democracy. You have both broken your oaths of office and should be impeached. I keep thinking of what Dilma Rousseff said at the UN last week: “In the absence of privacy, there can be no true freedom of expression and opinion, and therefore, no effective democracy. In the absence of respect for sovereignty, there is no basis for a relationship among nations.” Dilma Rousseff could teach you a thing or two about constitutional law. She could also teach people like Sen. Feinstein a thing or two about democracy.