In recent months, the Republicans have been desperately hunting for an Obama scandal. They tried to use Benghazi and the IRS targeting of tea-party-ish groups to attack the president but failed because the evidence showed no wrongdoing in the White House.
This time they may have been handed something by the Guardian - a liberal UK news source. The NSA is collecting telephone records of Americans suspected to create a database of phone call numbers and length of calls. It isn't so much a scandal as an issue of government overreach through the Patriot Act.
The Initiative has been going on for seven years . It started under GW Bush and congress has been regularly briefed. Senator Saxby Chambliss, the ranking Republican on the Senate intelligence committee, said "This renewal is carried out by the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court] under the business records section of the Patriot Act. Therefore it is lawful. It has been briefed to Congress. This is nothing new. This has been going on for seven years…Every member of the United States Senate has been advised of this."
The Republicans may have a scandal that will get people's attention. Unfortunately for them, they are part of it.
I'm all for civil liberties, but why do people care so much if the government knows whom they call, how long they speak, and from where? What are people afraid of, that the FBI will somehow deduce from this info that you're cheating on your spouse and reveal that on national television? What is it that people are trying to hide? I actually mean these as genuine questions, not sarcastic comments. I personally could not care less if the government has my phone records. I would be interested to hear from posters who do resent this and why it bothers them. Is it an abstract principle, a slippery slope concern, some real, personal fear, of something else that I cannot think of?Time for all rightwingnutwhackos to make and wear an aluminum foil deflector beanies, keep Uncle Sugar from extracting your precious thoughts.