As one of the C-Span callers pointed out during the phone-in discussion prior to the vote, even if the House and then the Senate had agreed to officially ban spying on Americans, the all-powerful security state would have easily found work-arounds. These people operate with impunity. They always have.
The one positive thing about this vote is that our Congress Critters are now on record for their allegiance or lack thereof to the Fourth Amendment and privacy rights. I'll post their names when I can get them. Then their constituents can decide whether or not they keep their jobs in 2014.
One point of amusement: You will be pleased to know that Tea Party maven Michele Bachmann sided with President Obama on this one, echoing bipartisan fear-mongering for the enrichment of the surveillance state. She very truthfully stated, "National Security is a clear and present danger."
A vote to de-fund the National Security Agency's sweep of
everybody's phone records may be coming as soon as today (h/t Jay and Fred in comments below). To call your reps and urge them to vote for the Amash-Conyers amendment to H.R. 2397, here's the page with all their phone numbers. (Make sure they vote against the red herring of the Nugent Amendment however.) Give them a buzz, and thus help ensure that yours will be among the last records in history ever to be swept up into the NSA dragnet before the money spout that keeps the monstrosity alive is finally turned off. Let's not stop until the entire Patriot Act is repealed.
Barack Obama and his police state henchmen are desperate for this measure not to be passed. Although he usually plays the hapless helpless victim when it comes to Congress, he is acting quite the thug via this White House threat issued last night, warning the People's House that they had best not adhere to the actual will of the people:
In light of the recent unauthorized disclosures, the President has said that he welcomes a debate about how best to simultaneously safeguard both our national security and the privacy of our citizens. The Administration has taken various proactive steps to advance this debate including the President’s meeting with the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, his public statements on the disclosed programs, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s release of its own public statements, ODNI General Counsel Bob Litt’s speech at Brookings, and ODNI’s decision to declassify and disclose publicly that the Administration filed an application with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. We look forward to continuing to discuss these critical issues with the American people and the Congress.
However, we oppose the current effort in the House to hastily dismantle one of our Intelligence Community’s counterterrorism tools. This blunt approach is not the product of an informed, open, or deliberative process. We urge the House to reject the Amash Amendment, and instead move forward with an approach that appropriately takes into account the need for a reasoned review of what tools can best secure the nation.Got that, proles? Obama met with some people behind closed doors, so it's all good. Endless talk is his antidote to populist dissent, so how dare representatives play along with mere citizens and actually do their jobs in the public interest for a change? How dare they stop the money that tamps down the populist dissent? This situation calls for obfuscation, not the blunt hammer of truth, says he. Barack Obama has sworn allegiance to the Military-Surveillance complex. Mr. Bipartisanship can't stand the fact that a bipartisan coalition of progressives and libertarians is actually staging a revolt.
All the more ironic that he is giving a speech today purporting to support the middle class.
Because Barack Obama thinks closed-door meetings should trump open Congressional votes. He is not only the anti-Democrat. He is downright anti-Democratic. We have met the enemy, and contrary to what Pogo said, it definitely ain't us.