An independent executive branch board has concluded that the National Security Agency’s long-running program to collect billions of Americans’ phone records is illegal and should end.
In a strongly worded report to be issued today, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board said that the statute upon which the program was based, Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, “does not provide an adequate basis to support this program…”
The board’s conclusion goes further than President Obama…The board had shared its conclusions with Obama in the days leading up to his speech…
The divided panel also concluded that the program raises serious threats to civil liberties, has shown limited value in countering terrorism and is not sustainable from a policy perspective.
“We have not identified a single instance involving a threat to the United States in which the telephone records program made a concrete difference in the outcome of a counterterrorism investigation,” said the report, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post. “Moreover, we are aware of no instance in which the program directly contributed to the discovery of a previously unknown terrorist plot or the disruption of a terrorist attack.”
The politicians and pundits who say otherwise are liars, egregious and gutless, fools dedicated to doublethink. RTFA for beaucoup details, analysis – albeit as stodgy as expected.