My readers will recall that on 17 February i posted here a letter i’d sent to Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and Protector of the People, in which i took strong issue with her apologizing to German Chancellor Angela Merkel for tapping her cell phone while remaining utterly unapologetic about tapping mine.
Here is Big Sister’s response on 26 February. I’ve taken the liberty of redacting my name from her salutation since i’d written to her from an alias in a feeble little attempt to make things a tiny bit more difficult for the 24/7 surveillance maintained by our national security apparatus over all of us dissidents and potential terrorists, but otherwise, not one word has been omitted:
Dear Mr. [redacted]:
Thank you for writing to express your support for alleged National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance of government leaders of our allies. I sincerely apologize for the delay in my response.
Dear Big Sister,
I find it rather amusing that you use the word “alleged” here since Angela and the whole world learned about this surveillance by reading documents leaked by Edward Snowden that made front page news when they were reproduced in their entirety.
As you are aware, recent news reports have alleged that the NSA conducted surveillance on foreign leaders of our allies, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as other countries and institutions that are friends and allies to the United States.
Again, what’s this “alleged”? Top Secret NSA documents describing this surveillance were released for everyone to read.
Please know that I strongly support U.S. intelligence programs like the NSA’s collection under Section 215 of the PATRIOT ACT and 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which I believe have been essential in preventing terrorist attacks at home and abroad. However, I am concerned about the potential costs of conducting surveillance on foreign leaders of allied nations.
You ignore here repeated testimony before Congress that surveillance of the communications of US civilians has not prevented a single terrorist attack. And yet you are concerned about ‘potential costs’ of surveillance of allied foreign leaders, but you make no mention of what those costs might be.
You may be interested to know that on January 17, 2014, during his speech on proposed reforms to NSA programs, President Obama announced that “unless there is a compelling national security purpose – we will not monitor the communications of heads of state and government of our close friends and allies.” I support this approach and several of the other changes proposed by the President, and look forward to working with the NSA and with the White House on these issues going forward.
So you and Obama have caved to international pressure and have stopped monitoring foreign leaders (or at least you say you’ve stopped). Again, my point remains that any reasonable person can see far more utility in monitoring the communications of foreign leaders than there is in monitoring every word uttered by loyal citizens.
Again, thank you for your letter. While we may not agree on this particular issue, I hope you will continue to be in touch on issues of importance to you. If you have any additional comments or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841.
No, we do not agree on this particular issue. I believe that your vociferous support for the gathering of intelligence on loyal American citizens goes far beyond the wildest dreams of the Gestapo, the Stasi, and the NKVD and that if you are not stopped, you will lead us into a complete police state. Well, without the monitoring of highly placed allied political figures, which apparently you think of as “professional courtesy”.
With Senators like you as our Democratic friends, what need do we have for Republican enemies?
United States Senator
Further information about my position on issues of concern to California and the nation are available at my website, feinstein.senate.gov. And please visit my YouTube, Facebook and Twitter for more ways to communicate with me.
Whew. Hard to come up with a good pic after that, but here’s one of a citizen who’s just discovered he’s being bugged: