Predictably, Saxby Chambliss Makes a Bid for USA Freedumbest

I’ve written several times about how HR 3361 — what others call USA Freedom Act and I dubbed the USA Freedumber Act when it was gutted in the House — is worse than the status quo in a number of ways.

But I’m also aware that the Senate could make it worse. I’m still waiting to see what kind of surprises Dianne Feinstein has in store for Thursday’s Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

So I am thoroughly unsurprised that Ranking Republican Saxby Chambliss wants to make Freedumber worse.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) said the surveillance reform bill that passed the House last month goes too far in ending some of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) sweeping surveillance programs.

“I actually think they went a little bit too far on the bulk collection side of it,” Chambliss — the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee — said Tuesday while speaking a Bloomberg event on cybersecurity.

I actually think this is a calculated move to add various transparency measures that Pat Leahy will respond to, but open up the floodgates to a full Internet-and-smart-phone dragnet. It will allow those who’ve gotten badly played in this negotiation an opportunity to declare victory even as the dragnet gets even worse.

Add this to the evidence this  is all a big play:

Chambless said that he and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and ranking member Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) will be able to reconcile any differences between the House bill and a reform bill that comes out of the Senate.

“I’m confident that Rogers, Ruppersberger, Dianne and I can bridge that gap quickly if we can get a bill out of the Senate,” he said.

The Gang of Four is just working to get to Conference, where they already seem to have in mind what they’ll produce.

Before we’re done, we’re sure to see USA Freedumbest.

12 replies
  1. naughtzero says:

    But you knew this was going to happen, right?
    There was never any reason to hope for better than the piece of frankenshit that’s coming given the players…….

  2. anonymous says:

    Wyden and Udall should go to the floor and discharge their duties . . . they could do more good in one day than in an entire career in the Senate. Their cowardice is only equaled by that of the American people. How does it feel to pay for the pleasure of living in a fascist police state, America? How does it feel to sponsor war crimes in Odessa, Mariupol and Lugansk? How does it feel?

  3. orionATL says:

    consider this in light of the USAfreedumbest legislation snaking its way thru the senate (having already slithered thru the House that money built):

    – this legislation, under the leadership of president Obama and with the full compliance of the house and senate democratic and republican leadership, is going to legalize in important details a vast increase in american governments’ “rights” to spy on american citizens.

    – the bush and obama administrations have covertly and continuously conducted a 12 year program of extensive spying on american citizens

    -at the same time the obama administration has been conducting a 6 year war on news media reporting of government misconduct and on those knowledgeable insiders (whistleblowers) who give classified information of even the most trivial sort to reporters (see ew’s “doj’s cake-eating on journalists” of 6/2/14).

    can anyone doubt now that these two efforts are part of a calculated effort – deliberately linked in legislation and in legal fiat by the obama administration and senior congressional leaders – to use the NSA to collect personal information of every sort -financial, medical, friendship, sexual, political, etc – on american citizens

    while at the same time severely suppressing the public release of information from reporters and whistleblowers that would inform citizens of actions their government is taking to spy on them or, more generally, actions involving misconduct, illegality, or unconstitutional conduct.

    • orionATL says:

      throwaway line for a chronology:

      does the presidential execution of anwsr al-awlaki play a part in this drama?

      does the pappa cheney/babidoc cheney punch and judy show of 2009 play a role in this?

  4. C says:

    It is interesting that they all are rushing this out the door before the election. On the face of it it will allow them to “put this all behind them” and perhaps even campaign on lying about what this POS does. However it also smacks of desperation to get this done before the deck chairs are rearrainged and some of them (at least Rogers possibly Fenstein or Chambliss) actually lose the power to screw us over.

    The question is, will this headlong rush cost them because they push so hard so fast that they have to spend the fall explaining it and possibly losing on it?

  5. C says:

    Ultimately Obama’s legacy is best exemplified by his judicial nominees: “liberal,” someday, when it is safe.

  6. TomVet says:

    I don’t see what makes Saxby say that. According to my copy of 3361, which is the first edition before it got dumb and dumber, it says right here:

    “(i) authorize the production on a daily basis of call detail records for a period not to exceed 180 days”

    Wasn’t the original Verizon order exposed by Snowden on a 90 day re-up cycle? And didn’t the Prez say he was going to end this at the end of its current authorization, a few current authorizations ago? I think it’s still steadily rolling along waiting for this new bill to get passed.
    A little farther along we see that:

    “when produced, such records be in a form that will be useful to the Government”

    Useful to the government is real time. When Lavabit tried to do what this bill is proposing to do – have the providers do the work for them – they would have none of it. They said they couldn’t wait around for a report, they need it NOW NOW NOW! So just how is this supposed to work after all?
    I think it’s all a bunch of shit soup with a side of turd sandwich and they expect us to be dumb enough to swallow it.
    I’ll pass, thank you.

  7. wallace says:

    On the other hand, Obama just got a taste of his “privacy” being secretly photographed…

    I have $1k that says heads are exploding at the Secret Service.

    Kudo’s to Jean Ekwa…although I have a feeling he’s about to be visited know who.

    As to ole scumbag Chambliss..I got my mojo workin on a bout with Chambliss’ skull cavity. ..with permanent postherpetic neuralgia to boot. I’m sure he’ll appreciate it.

  8. anonymous says:

    Actually, one good thing about Obama’s history making domestic police state / foreign war crimes legacy: he destroyed the Democratic Party. By the end of the Clinton presidency we may see the beginning of a new form of government in America.

  9. whatfor? says:

    It will allow those who’ve gotten badly played in this negotiation an opportunity to declare victory even as the dragnet gets even worse.

    I don’t twitter, but this message needs to be tweeted and re-tweeted. It doesn’t seem to be getting across. Even the EFF says

    Right now, Congress is considering legislation that could be a first step to reining in NSA mass spying. But there’s a contentious political battle taking place on Capitol Hill, with NSA defenders pushing a weaker version of the reform bill while civil liberties groups campaign for powerful reform.

    I wouldn’t even call the best version of the bill a “reining in”. Unless you think a bit of dental floss will hold back a bunch of wild horses. But Freedumber isn’t a “weaker’ version of reform – it’s worse than no reform at all!

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