Thursday, September 12, 2013

Come On! Just Tell It Like It Is

Trey Smith

A judge on the secret surveillance court was so disturbed by the National Security Agency's repeated violations of privacy restrictions that he questioned the viability of its bulk phone records collection, according to newly declassified surveillance documents reveal.

Judge Reggie Walton, now the presiding judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (Fisa) court, imposed a significant and previously undisclosed restriction on the NSA's ability to access its bulk databases of phone records after finding that the agency repeatedly violated privacy protections.

The documents, mostly from 2009 and declassified Tuesday, describe what Walton said were "thousands" of American phone numbers improperly accessed by government counterterrorism analysts.

They also indicate that US government officials, including NSA director Keith Alexander, gave misleading statements to the court about how they carried out that surveillance. (emphasis mine)
~ from NSA Violations Led Judge to Consider Viability of Surveillance Program by Spencer Ackerman ~
Come on, folks! Must we go through this same worn out charade every time we learn about one of these episodes. To mislead means to be deceitful. Put into common language, this indicates that government officials, including Gen. Alexander, were less than truthful or...drum roll please...THEY LIED. They told falsehoods.

It is interesting that, in almost all other areas of reporting, if somebody is thought to be saying dishonest things, the media is quick to point out that the person is lying. But when it comes to the realm of politics and government officials, reporters and commentators bend over backwards to avoid labeling a statement or testimony as dishonest. They will write "less than completely truthful" or "mislead." Sometimes, while labeling a statement as less than honest, the mainstream media is quick to point out that the offender merely was "mistaken," "confused" or "out of the loop."

Take off the kid gloves already!  That politicians and government officials don't always tell the truth isn't that shocking.

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