This blockbuster speech by Cong. Alan Grayson (D-FL) about NSA spying is a must-listen. He’s titled it: “American as Apple Spy.”
And yes, the speech is 20 minutes long, but it’s the best, clearest lawyer’s examination of what’s being done I’ve seen.
Grayson is sharp and on point. The speech is making the rounds on the Tubes, so you may have seen it already. If not, give a watch below. Here’s the end of the speech (you can find the entire transcript here at Daily Kos):
I don’t understand why anyone would think that it’s somehow okay for the Department of Defense to get every single one of our call records regardless of who we are, regardless of whether we are innocent or guilty of anything. I venture to say that there are Americans who have never even had a parking ticket; yet the Defense Department is pulling their call records as well. Eventually, we will find out whether the NSA’s own document is misleading and whether the NSA is not pulling email accounts and emails and photos and VoIP calls on people who are Americans, because, if you read this document, it sure looks like they are.
This is not the first time that we have had this problem. This is not the first time that the government has entered into surveillance on people without probable cause. Many of us remember that there was FBI surveillance of Martin Luther King, including the wiretapping and bugging of his personal conversations. I thought, perhaps naively, that we had moved beyond that. In some sense, we have moved beyond that because now they’re doing it to everyone. In fact, one could well say that we are reaching the point at which Uncle Sam is Big Brother.
I submit to you that this program, although the proponents picked it as American as ‘‘apple spy,’’ is an anti-American program. We are not North Koreans. We don’t live in Nazi Germany. We are Americans and we are human beings, and we deserve to have our privacy respected. I have no way to call my mother except to employ the services of Verizon or AT&T or some other telephone company. I’m not going to string two cups between my house and her house 70 miles away. That doesn’t mean that it’s okay with me for the government—and specifically the Department of Defense—to be getting information about every telephone call I make to her. It’s not okay with me.
I submit to you, Mr. Speaker, it’s probably not okay with you, and I know that, for most of the people who are listening to me.
As you watch the video, don’t think of the NSA as some free-floating bunch that reports to the president (like the National Security Advisor, which is a thing totally different).
NSA is the military, it’s a branch of the Department of Defense. NSA spying is the military spying. Memorize that. The Big Brother that’s watching you wears a general’s uniform.
Support Congressman Grayson in his fight to stop the military from spying on you. Read about his “Mind Your Own Business Act,” and consider signing the petition in support of it. Thanks.
Note: I’ll be at Netroots Nation again this year, so posting for the next 8 days or so will be spotty or non-existent. My apologies for that; I’ve been working to get the next big climate piece ready, and it’s fighting back. I hope to emerge with new posts next Tuesday, after I return.
If you’re attending Netroots Nation and you see my name tag walk by, do say Hi. I’ll be glad to talk with you.
To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius