Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/17/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Threat of resignations caused Bush to revise programs.

The program that eventually would become PRISM, began under President George W. Bush, and was not as comprehensive as it is today. During the Bush administration, officials threatened to resign over the nature of the program, which even then intended to collect internet and phone metadata. Today, the sweeping program asks the American people to rely on trust that it is protecting their liberties.

Bush actually pulled back on some aspects of precursor programs after officials protested. Obama has had no such problems with PRISM.

Bush actually pulled back on some aspects of precursor programs after officials protested. Obama has had no such problems with PRISM.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/17/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: PRISM, privacy, NSA, Bush, Obama, internet, phone, wiretapping


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - New information from classified documents and interviews with NSA officials has revealed the history of the NSA's surveillance programs and the controversy it stirred within the highest ranks of the Bush administration when it was first proposed in 2004.

At that time, Acting Attorney General James B. Comet and other top leadership from the Justice Department were prepared to resign over a precursor program codenamed STELLARWIND. These officials had deep misgivings about the program as proposed, forcing President Bush to change the program to suit their scruples.

What remains unknown is what changes were made, and what was eventually approved by Comey and the Justice Department.

What is known is that STELLARWIND was succeeded by no less than four programs that collected data across the entire spectrum of communication, including phone and internet communication.

Foreigners were the intended targets of these policies, however it was evident that Americans would quickly be caught up in the net and their data collected.

According to a senior intelligence official interviewed by the Washington Post, who declined to be named, there's great oversight of the operations. "We have rich oversight across three branches of government. I've got an [inspector general] here, a fairly robust legal staff here . . . and there's the Justice Department's national security division," the official said. "For those things done under court jurisdiction, the courts are intrusive in my business, appropriately so, and there are two congressional committees. It's a belts-and-suspenders-and-Velcro approach, and inside there's rich auditing."

The problem is that we are left to accept his word. Nobody from the halls of Congress to the citizen on the street really knows any details of the oversight or if it is truly adequate.

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has called for "straight answers" from the intelligence community.

It is now known that massive amounts of "metadata" are collected daily by PRISM, aggregated and analyzed to reveal possible terrorist activity. Information is drawn from Silicon Valley sources including Google, as well as the major phone carriers, such as Verizon.

According to Edward Snowden who broke the veil of secrecy on the project, the entire project is "kept in check by nothing more than policy."

Naturally, policy can change based on world events and who occupies the White House.

The NSA has been revealed to be paying major communications providers for their data and spent an undisclosed sum for it in 2009 according to a classified, leaked document from the NSA inspector general.

At least one unknown organization "preferred to be compelled to do so by a court order" meaning that someone told the NSA no and had to be forced.

However, the NSA is collecting metadata, which is aggregated information that isn't necessarily tied to specific individuals.

What is understood is that there appears to be some form of oversight, but neither the public, nor Congress knows just what that oversight is, or if it is sufficiently robust to protect the liberties of all American citizens.   The NSA simply refuses to comment on the issue.

Without that information, the public is being asked to trust the government, something that the public should do less of anyway.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Stopping at nothing, Davos Man, Warren Buffett, donates staggering $1.2 billion to promote abortion Watch

Image of Obama awarding Buffett the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Warren Buffett has given $1.2 billion to fund abortion advocacy and "research." This startling conclusion comes from the New York Times, which is reporting that he donates hundreds of millions of dollars at a time to a foundation named after his late wife, Susan ... continue reading


Get ready America: Obama set to bypass Senate on international treaty Watch

Image of President Obama and his administration are getting ready to present a climate change treaty to the U.N. and are willing to ignore a Constitutionally required Senate approval to do so.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama is working to create a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut fossil fuel emissions; however, he is seeking to do this without ratification from Congress. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This agreement is ... continue reading


That was one costly Web site! In fact the most expensive in Internet history. The Cost of Healthcare.gov estimated $1.7 Billion Watch

Image of The 60 contracts related to the development and operation of the Federal Marketplace started between January 2009 and January 2014. The contracts ranged from health benefit data collection and consumer research, to cloud computing and Web site development.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

That's one might expensive Web site! It's estimated that the Healthcare. Gove Web site, intended to facilitate health care reform, or "Obamacare," has cost U.S. Taxpayers about $1.7 BILLION dollars. That's not even the half of it, as the U.S. government is ... continue reading


Obama administration announces new HHS mandate rules Watch

Image of Sylvia Burwell, HHS secretary, said that the new rules will ensure access to free contraception,

By CNA/EWTN News

The Department of Health and Human Services issued on Friday new rules regarding its contraception mandate, after the Supreme Court ruled against its application to certain companies this summer. (CNA/EWTN News) - The rules create a new way for non-profit groups to ... continue reading


BEEN THERE: Attorney General Eric Holder shares personal experiences while in Ferguson Watch

Image of Attorney General Eric Holder shakes hands with Bri Ehsan, right, following his meeting with students at St. Louis Community College Florissant Valley.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In Ferguson, Missouri to investigate the officer-involved shooting of teenager Michael Brown, Attorney General Eric Holder shared personal stories of his own encounters with racial discrimination. "I am the Attorney General of the United States, but I am also a ... continue reading


One percent? Try the MORE THAN A THIRD in U.S. who rely on Welfare Watch

Image of Back in the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Back in the "Occupy Wall Street" days, protestors rallied around the concept of the United States' "One Percent," which referred to the people with power in the U.S. government. On the other side of the coin, more than ONE THIRD of all U.S. households are now ... continue reading


SMILE FOR THE CAMERA! Texas Governor Rick Perry cheerfully turns himself in Watch

Image of Under duress, Texas Governor Rick Perry maintained an upbeat and positive attitude. Arriving at the Travis County courthouse in Austin for booking and fingerprinting, Perry gave a warm smile for his mug shot.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Under duress, Texas Governor Rick Perry maintained an upbeat and positive attitude. Arriving at the Travis County courthouse in Austin for booking and fingerprinting, Perry gave a warm smile for his mug shot. He's charged with felony corruption charges ... continue reading


HIDDEN FROM VIEW: President Obama renders decision largely in private, despite claims of transparency Watch

Image of Facing charges of executive overreach, to allegations that he is presiding over opaque policy-making, U.S. President Obama has been making decisions typically behind closed doors

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Facing charges of executive overreach, to allegations that he is presiding over opaque policy-making, U.S. President Obama has been making decisions typically behind closed doors. Unilateral action on such issues as immigration, gay rights and tax policy has ... continue reading


Texas Governor Rick Perry assembles formidable high-profile defense team Watch

Image of According to Michael McCrum, the San Antonio-based special prosecutor presenting the case against Texas Governor Rick Perry, the governor may waive his arraignment altogether.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Texas Governor Rick Perry must now complete the humiliating process of being booked, fingerprinted and having his mug shot taken - but he's gathering a formidable legal team in his defense. High-powered attorneys are being gathered after his indictment on ... continue reading


More than 37,000 undocumented children who crossed Mexican border - going back to U.S. schools Watch

Image of The Department of Justice in May issued a statement reminding public schools that they are legally required to enroll all children, regardless of their immigration status.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They come tired and hungry, crossing great expanses of the desert in search of a better life in the United States - and they're going back to U.S. school shortly. More than 37,000 South and Central American children, who made their escape without parents of ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Second Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18
6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we urge you, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 128:1-2, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents] How blessed are all who fear ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 23:27-32
27 'Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 27th, 2014 Image

St. Monica
August 27: St. Monica was married by arrangement to a pagan official in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter