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Dem. Senator disputes Obama’s claim that Congress was briefed
The Hill ^ | 06/07/13 | Jonathan Easley

Posted on 06/07/2013 5:40:01 PM PDT by neverdem

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) on Friday disputed a claim President Obama made at a press conference only moments earlier, when the president said that every member of Congress had been briefed on the National Security Agency’s (NSA) domestic phone surveillance program.

Merkley said only select members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees had been briefed on the program, and that he was only aware of it because he obtained “special permission” to review the pertinent documents after hearing about it second-hand.

“I knew about the program because I specifically sought it out,” Merkley said on MSNBC. “It’s not something that’s briefed outside the Intelligence Committee. I had to get special permission to find out about the program. It raised concerns for me. … When I saw what was being done, I felt it was so out of sync with the plain language of the law and that it merited full public examination, and that’s why I called for the declassification.”

At a press conference on Friday, Obama said that every member of Congress had been briefed on the phone monitoring program. The president argued that the policy, which was implemented in 2007, struck the “right balance” between privacy and national security, and that it had been helpful in thwarting terrorist attacks.

Obama also noted that federal judges had to sign off on the data gathering requests, which did not encompass the content of phone calls, but only the phone numbers.

But Merkley on Friday blasted the administration’s handling of the program, saying it had ignored requests from Congress to explain the NSA’s domestic surveillance actions, and that it was implementing the program in a way that did not follow the “standard of the law.”

Merkley argued that “plain language of the law” said that the NSA should only be allowed to collect phone data that related to an open investigation, but that the agency was using a “broad vacuum” to sweep up data from ordinary Americans.

“The administration hasn’t listened at all,” Merkley said. “We’ve asked for the rulings of the FISA court – the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court – about how it interprets the laws Congress passes to be declassified so we can have a conversation with the American people about that.”

“For example, the question is — how is scooping up your cellphone data, which tracks where you are, my cellphone data, related to an investigation?” he asked. “That’s the plain language of the law — related to an investigation. Well, certainly anyone would hear that and think that’s a certain hurdle that has to be met. That there’s a crime or a potential crime or a potential national security threat that justifies scooping up your information and my information. Clearly the administration has not followed what an ordinary person would consider to be the standard of the law here, and has not been willing to release the opinion of the FISA court in how they’re interpreting that language, despite repeated requests from Congress to do so.”

Revelations that the NSA seized millions of Americans’ phone records has pit the White House against civil liberties activists on the political left.

Many lawmakers knew of the practice, which had been going on privately since 2007, and defended it as a critical tool in the war on terror. But Merkley and his Democratic colleague from Oregon, Sen. Ron Wyden, have joined with some on the right, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), in denouncing the measures as riding “roughshod over liberty.”

The scope of the controversy broadened on Friday after the administration acknowledged a top-secret NSA program that collects information on Internet users, called PRISM, that taps directly into the servers of nine U.S. Internet companies.

The White House insisted PRISM was only aimed at foreign terrorism suspects.

“By the way,” Merkley continued. “When I sought information [on the phone surveillance program], the only information I got was that, yes there is a program sweeping up broad amounts of data through the records act. This second thing, which we just learned about, called PRISM, I had no idea about.”

“I don’t know how many people knew about it in Congress, but I suspect a very small number on the Intelligence Committee, so when the president says all members of Congress were briefed … well, I think a very small number of Senators in Congress had full details on these programs,” Merkley said.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; Politics/Elections; US: Oregon
KEYWORDS: jeffmarkley; nsa; obama; oregon; randpaul; scandals
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1 posted on 06/07/2013 5:40:01 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

Maxine waters knew.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIA1lQBqH1s&feature=youtu.be


2 posted on 06/07/2013 5:42:05 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: neverdem

Oh, oh.


3 posted on 06/07/2013 5:43:19 PM PDT by Former Proud Canadian (The IRS--a softer Gestapo)
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To: neverdem

OMG THE LITTLE 0 LIED?

who would have thunk?


4 posted on 06/07/2013 5:43:45 PM PDT by hadaclueonce (dont worry about Mexico, put the fence around kalifornia.)
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To: neverdem

Team Kenya lied to us about the IRS for over a year. They will lie about the NSA until they get caught with their hands in the cookie jar.


5 posted on 06/07/2013 5:48:05 PM PDT by lodi90
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To: neverdem

cat fight


6 posted on 06/07/2013 5:50:42 PM PDT by blueyon (The U. S. Constitution - read it and weep)
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To: neverdem

Just another case of Obama’s enhanced reality........


7 posted on 06/07/2013 5:54:21 PM PDT by MamaDearest
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To: neverdem

Nothing will happen until several prog Sens throw this bum under the bus.


8 posted on 06/07/2013 5:56:03 PM PDT by Tea Party Terrorist (Those who work for a living are now outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: neverdem

And 90 percent of Americans support..., and most scientists and economists agree..., and...


9 posted on 06/07/2013 5:58:34 PM PDT by jimfree (In November 2016 my 12 y/o granddaughter will have more quality exec experience than Barack Obama)
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To: Tea Party Terrorist

This is a step up. It’s gonna be slow and take time but slowly Democrats are beginning to wake up and announce they are not 100% behind Barack.


10 posted on 06/07/2013 6:09:55 PM PDT by TexGrill (Don't mess with Texas)
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To: neverdem

his lips are moving so you know he is lying


11 posted on 06/07/2013 6:11:08 PM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: neverdem

Who were the senators that knew, and when did they know?


12 posted on 06/07/2013 6:21:17 PM PDT by NowApproachingMidnight (Civilizations die from suicide, not murder.)
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To: cripplecreek

Thanks for the link.


13 posted on 06/07/2013 6:27:15 PM PDT by neverdem (Register pressure cookers! /s)
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To: neverdem

Not only did Maxine Waters know, she knew that it was to be used as a campaign tool.


14 posted on 06/07/2013 6:31:59 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: neverdem

Where is the GOP leadership? is anyone home?


15 posted on 06/07/2013 6:33:15 PM PDT by Hildy (Falling down is how you grow. Staying down is how you die.)
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To: NowApproachingMidnight

Not only senators but members of the House. “Certain select members of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees”. I can’t name them all right off, but I think Dianne Feinstein chairs the Senate Intel Committee.


16 posted on 06/07/2013 6:36:14 PM PDT by txrangerette ("...hold to the truth; speak without fear..."(Glenn Beck))
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To: TexGrill
This is a step up. It’s gonna be slow and take time but slowly Democrats are beginning to wake up and announce they are not 100% behind Barack.

Only those up for re-election in 2014.
17 posted on 06/07/2013 6:41:36 PM PDT by Old Yeller
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To: NowApproachingMidnight

Mike Rogers chairs House Intel Committee, Dutch Ruppesberger ranking Democrat. Feinstein chairs Senate Intel Committee, Saxby Chambliss ranking Republican. Chambliss already endorsed this program after the leak.


18 posted on 06/07/2013 6:42:29 PM PDT by txrangerette ("...hold to the truth; speak without fear..."(Glenn Beck))
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To: neverdem; P-Marlowe
Obama also noted that federal judges had to sign off on the data gathering requests, which did not encompass the content of phone calls, but only the phone numbers.

The above sentence is not clear. Perhaps, that is intentionally so. I says that the judge had to sign off on the administration receiving only the phone numbers but not the content of the phone calls.

Notice that it does not say: (1) That the content CANNOT be collected. (2) That the content HAD NOT been collected.

There could be some incredible sleight of hand going on in that apparently innocent sentence.

19 posted on 06/07/2013 7:04:49 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True supporters of our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: neverdem
Maybe, one day soon, the 'RATs will abandon a sinking ship...Nah.

5.56mm

20 posted on 06/07/2013 7:09:50 PM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: neverdem

Mike Lee “Hadn’t Been Briefed” But Obama Says “Trust Us”

http://spectator.org/blog/2013/06/07/mike-lee-hadnt-been-briefed-bu

Senator Mike Lee, held a press conference to say that they had not been briefed on the NSA phone metadata dragnet.


21 posted on 06/07/2013 7:17:41 PM PDT by Smokeyblue
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To: neverdem

Okay, I’m starting to lean toward the “Obama has no idea what’s going on” side of the analysis.


22 posted on 06/07/2013 7:33:51 PM PDT by cdcdawg
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To: cdcdawg

He can’t be bothered with the details. He would rather play golf and vacation.

I think he truly doesn’t know a lot of this...

I also think that someone is throwing Obambi under the bus.


23 posted on 06/07/2013 7:49:47 PM PDT by RummyChick
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To: neverdem


Is it safe? Is it safe? Is it safe? Is it safe? Is it safe?
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OBAMA-RIGGING AMERICA




24 posted on 06/07/2013 7:59:48 PM PDT by devolve
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To: RummyChick

I’m becoming more and more convinced that the office of “president” is about as meaningful as Queen of England. He’s nothing more than a figurehead.... People are going to find out that presidents have little to do with anything these days.


25 posted on 06/07/2013 8:08:11 PM PDT by kjam22 (my newest music video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7gNI9bWO3s)
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To: RummyChick

I vacillate between the two extremes on this, but his background of never having done anything at all keeps bringing me back to it. He’s an ideological Leftist to his core, but he is not calling the shots in the least. He went to bed on Benghazi, and generally just reads what is put in front of him.


26 posted on 06/07/2013 8:18:25 PM PDT by cdcdawg
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To: neverdem

Oops, Jeff just got put on THE list.


27 posted on 06/07/2013 8:28:00 PM PDT by bgill (The problem is...no one is watching the Watch List!)
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To: kjam22
I’m becoming more and more convinced that the office of “president” is about as meaningful as Queen of England. He’s nothing more than a figurehead.... People are going to find out that presidents have little to do with anything these days.

These leaders deflect attention away from Soros and his Bilderburg buddies. No one looks at the puppet master when there is an animated puppet clowning around front and center.

28 posted on 06/07/2013 8:38:41 PM PDT by expat1000
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To: neverdem

Malto meal.


29 posted on 06/07/2013 8:41:40 PM PDT by RedHeeler
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To: cripplecreek

Okay, sorry....delete this...”HOLY SHIT”!


30 posted on 06/07/2013 8:46:45 PM PDT by IrishPennant (Excuse me...Here's your nose. I found it in my business....agian!)
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To: cripplecreek

I guess Nancy P knew too. Remember when she said “everyone knows Mitt Romney won’t be president?” with that smirk on her face. What did she know? They are all criminals.


31 posted on 06/07/2013 8:56:11 PM PDT by dandiegirl
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To: neverdem

...................I don’t know how many people knew about it in Congress, but I suspect a very small number on the Intelligence Committee, so when the president says all members of Congress were briefed … well, I think a very small number of Senators in Congress had full details on these programs,” Merkley said...................

Ok Merkley, where’ve ya been these past four years? Sitting on the toilet in the House chamber, waiting for some other wimp to ask a question????


32 posted on 06/07/2013 9:10:12 PM PDT by Noob1999 (Loose Lips, Sink Ships)
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To: Smokeyblue

Thanks for the link.


33 posted on 06/07/2013 9:15:42 PM PDT by neverdem (Register pressure cookers! /s)
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To: neverdem

CYA. Wonder how they’re going to slap down the back benchers who open their traps.


34 posted on 06/07/2013 9:22:55 PM PDT by Stentor
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To: neverdem
This is a big can of worms being opened up here. Obama makes it sound like the feds get access only to phone numbers and call data after a judge signs off. This is partially true and a smokescreen. But I think some have direct access to the switches and the data and content - all of it - all of the time. ... then who all has access to the pipes and what all did they do with the data? was this just CIA and FBI looking at the info or did political apparatus have access. inquiring minds want to know
35 posted on 06/07/2013 9:34:09 PM PDT by plain talk
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To: Stentor

Heads...pikes.


36 posted on 06/07/2013 9:36:20 PM PDT by ogen hal (First amendment or reeducation camp)
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To: neverdem
Anyone else seen this?

"Seriously dangerous times ahead. Deadly times. War, and censorship under the color of authority and under the pretext of of national security"

DHS insider: It’s about to get very ugly

37 posted on 06/07/2013 11:07:38 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: neverdem

Anyone think the Clintons are the ones behind the leaks? There’s a mountain of information coming out...somehow.


38 posted on 06/07/2013 11:10:40 PM PDT by miliantnutcase
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To: Windflier

Didn’t Bo get authority to shut down cell phones and internet not long ago?

If communication can be cut for the sake of so called national security...as in Boston...could it not be done nationwide?

The article is interesting...but sounds like the Ulsterman sort of thing....still...I do believe taking down this country is in full swing regardless.


39 posted on 06/07/2013 11:27:40 PM PDT by caww
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To: Windflier

RE: DHS insider

I just read it from your link. I’m not sure what to make of it. In a way, it sounds a little bit like the “Ulsterman” WH insider thing. Ulsterman has pretty much been discredited as far as I know, but his stuff still came fairly close to the truth in some cases.

Even if the author here is giving it straight, there is no way to tell whether or not he is being played by his “source.” Why would the DHS source go to this particular author?

I personally think the best I can do is take in the information, apply a little skepticism and be on the lookout for other information that confirms or contradicts.


40 posted on 06/07/2013 11:33:40 PM PDT by Cap Huff
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To: cdcdawg

All he knows is what TOTUS tells him.


41 posted on 06/08/2013 12:58:29 AM PDT by matt04
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To: expat1000
“These leaders deflect attention away from Soros and his Bilderburg buddies. No one looks at the puppet master when there is an animated puppet clowning around front and center.”

Your comment got me thinking that the ability to eavesdrop anywhere, anytime, would also be a heck of an insider trading tool if one knew where to listen.

42 posted on 06/08/2013 3:00:16 AM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: neverdem

And the IRS is only for legitimate tax reasons.


43 posted on 06/08/2013 3:54:36 AM PDT by pas
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To: neverdem

The entire DNC knew. This is a coup d’etat with the
entire DNC in conspiracy against the US Constitution
and Law.

Book them.

Convict them.


44 posted on 06/08/2013 3:58:23 AM PDT by Diogenesis
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To: Diogenesis
"Book them.

Convict them."

Tar...

Feathers...

Rails...

Rope...

45 posted on 06/08/2013 4:00:15 AM PDT by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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To: neverdem
one of them is a liar... well, actually they both are, but you get my point
46 posted on 06/08/2013 7:37:24 AM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: cripplecreek
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIA1lQBqH1s

Crazy Maxine knew about this illegal database and talked about it this past May.

47 posted on 06/08/2013 8:21:05 AM PDT by Grampa Dave ('How empty and dead' were they to let Chris Stevens, one of them , die for 'Obama-Clinton fiction?')
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To: Grampa Dave

I’ve got some stuff over here for spreading around if you like including some things large enough for bumper stickers, t shirts etc. More added all the time.

http://s1182.photobucket.com/user/JohnNorvell/library/Freebies?sort=3&page=1


48 posted on 06/08/2013 8:36:52 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: wardaddy; Joe Brower; Cannoneer No. 4; Criminal Number 18F; Dan from Michigan; Eaker; Jeff Head; ...
What's it looking like? What's not corrupt as mortal sin?

President Obama's Dragnet ["The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue."] NY Times!

The All-Seeing State - The inevitable corruption of the permanent bureaucracy (Mark Steyn)

The Not-So-Veiled Threat to Non-Muslims in Tennessee

Agents of Influence (Some Cold War traitors in World War II and afterwards by Diana West)

Some noteworthy articles about politics, foreign or military affairs, IMHO, FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.

49 posted on 06/08/2013 8:36:53 AM PDT by neverdem (Register pressure cookers! /s)
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To: neverdem

Thanks for the ping!


50 posted on 06/08/2013 8:46:37 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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