U.S. House rejects effort to curb NSA surveillance powers, 205-217

“The House on Wednesday rejected an attempt to curtail the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities after a furious last-minute lobbying campaign by the White House to defeat the measure,” Jeremy Herb reports for The Hill.

“The House voted 205-217 against the amendment from Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), which would have prevented the National Security Agency from using the Patriot Act to collect phone records of individuals who aren’t under investigation,” Herb reports. “A majority of Democrats — 111 — voted for Amash’s amendment despite the White House pressure, while 83 Democrats voted no. The GOP vote was 94-134.”

“Amash’s amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill pitted liberal Democrats and libertarian Republicans opposed to the NSA’s massive surveillance activities against both parties’ leadership and the Obama administration,” Herb reports. “Wednesday’s vote came after the White House and lawmakers who support the NSA’s surveillance activities launched a major offensive against Amash’s measure after it was granted a vote Monday evening.”

Herb reports, “On Tuesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney issued a rare evening statement announcing the White House’s opposition. ‘We oppose the current effort in the House to hastily dismantle one of our Intelligence Community’s counterterrorism tools,’ Carney wrote.

“The House also voted Wednesday on a more-limited NSA measure from Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) to prevent the agency from intentionally targeting U.S. citizens. It was approved in a 409-12 vote,” Herb reports. “Supporters of Amash’s proposal said that the alternative NSA amendment only re-stated prohibitions against targeting Americans that were already in place. ‘This amendment would have no impact whatsoever on the misuses of Section 215 [of the Patriot Act],’ Rep. Jarrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said.

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “John” for the heads up.]

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Secret court agrees to allow Yahoo to reveal its fight against U.S. government PRISM requests – July 16, 2013
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      1. Your gun is not going to stop the NSA from spying on you.
        Your gun is no match for an Army Apache Attack Helicopter.
        Your gun is no match for a Cruise Missile launched by ground, from the air or by a ship.
        Your gun is no match for a USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II.
        Your gun is no match for an Infantry Platoon of Soldiers or Marines.
        Your gun is no match for a Predator Drone equipped with Hellfire anti-tank missiles.

        In fact, your gun is no match for the local SWAT team or a couple of police cruisers.

        1. The problem in Iraq was mismanagement. General Shinseki accurately predicted what would happen before Dubya’s war of choice but was not listened to by the Chickenhawks that were running policy in the Bush White House.

          An adequate sized force equipped and trained for the occupation could have saved many lives and much heartbreak, but modern Republicans have a determined deafness when presented with facts inconvenient to their beliefs, philosophy or donor base.

  1. Message from the Supreme Commander of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to the Commander-in-Chief of the Socialist Republic of the United States: “Well done my son, you’ve shown your true socialist credentials. Please wait for a word from your Muslim brother-in-arms of the Al-Qaeda in Yemen.”

      1. No he’s just about nailed it. Nothing rational about your reply however. Once liberty is gone there’s no difference at all between one racist totalitarian government and the next.

    1. It seems in your hateful tirade against Mr. Obama that you’re conveniently forgetting how many Republican legislators voted for this.
      Now you happen to hate Republican legislators as well, then that works for me.

    1. Shut the fuck up, you brain-dead, ruling-party stooge. Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner both voted against the fourth amendment today, and you want to keep playing team red/ team blue?


        1. I’ve said it many times before – we need a purging. Term limits are way past due. I wear a certain color, but it doesn’t matter in this instance – the whole system is broken. At least this issue wasn’t red vs. blue, but it was still way too divided on basic civil liberties. Purge!

        2. … truly sensible comment in a thread gone painfully partisan! BLN can point out that it was the Dems who kept this, some other fuçktard can point out it was the Nopubs who set it up, but JCR cut straight to the point: we need to throw the bums – ALL the bums – out. If they voted for this, we should not vote for them. BTW: the entire Mass contingent voted to limit this vile unConstitutional outrage.
          Also: Darwin Evolved made some excellent points – in the wrong forum. This only matters here because Apple Inc has been caught up in the government’s misdeeds.

      1. JCR called it correctly & Paul is a dumb-ass. Dump the party affiliation, all. We are on a precipice, or at the tipping point re: liberty/freedom. Bush/Obama wrought a serious situ that gave/is giving our sovereignty to those w/o care re: preserving our constitution…a doc like no other. O-Care, orchestrated by the thug-IRS is the “wrap” on a life of freedom, as we know it. Call me a sensationalist and you’re like Paul = dumbass.

      2. WTF? Take a pill and cool down jackass! It is a fact I am stating…..134 from the fucking DOP and only 83 from the Dems. It is plain as day for anyone with even one single neurone to see. This is America today….two fucking parties is all you get. To make things even worse we either elect king Clinton or king Bush. Even with the Obama reign we seem to have plenty of strings being pulled by Mr and Mrs Clinton in the background. You think you live in a democracy? Fuck you!

        1. No, Paul, we don’t live in a democracy. Can you say “republic?”
          And this republic is eroding to the point of great concern and, I worry that there may be no return. You imply that we have no choice. Sorry to say, I have yet swallowed the futility pill, as the spirit of the founders is still a guide. I no longer care about parties (one or two) and I want to kill the king-ship and “I am-vaulted” mindset of our politicos. Talk about cool down, Paul?

      1. Believe it or not thats exactly what I was saying. Not very well obviously. Let me try again….

        I am saying that its a fucking partisan cluster fuck. If the Dems go one way the Bloods go the other. This is a none party issue yet we see one party heavily deciding the outcome. It sucks!

        1. Those who voted against this basic Fourth Amendment protection have broken their oath to defend and preserve the Constitution. In my opinion, treasonous. Let the bastards know you are done with this horseshit and anyone who supports it.

  2. So… basically the federal government is saying that it suspects every American citizen of being a terrorist, or a potential terrorist at the very least.

    If this attitude were expressed by an individual person, wouldn’t any mental health professional qualify this as extreme paranoia?

      1. Interesting there seem to be people with integrity here both conservative and liberal who think this is a disgusting aberration and a despicable destruction of liberty, and there are people who are apologists and people who want to ignore or forget or defend these actions.

        1. Agreed, it’s amazing to me how many will give away their civil liberties and who empower the federal government. There IS a slippery slope. What do you think we are seeing? Where does it end? The NSA did not stop the Boston bombers where we were told BY Russia that they are terrorist suspects. Last, what new liberties have we gotten? Throughout history, People want to be sheep.

  3. …which would have prevented the National Security Agency from using the Patriot Act to collect phone records of individuals who aren’t under investigation

    The 4th Amendment to the US Constitution already makes this BLATANTLY ILLEGAL.

    Next step: The lawsuits against our F*CKED executive branch for crimes against the US Constitution.

    And supposedly Obama is a constitutional scholar. If so, then how come I can properly read and interpret the 4th Amendment and HE CAN’T?!


    1. Years ago, I didn’t think someone like Obama stood a chance of getting into the mainstream Presidential election, let alone winning it. His success meant either things were finally changing for the better or he wasn’t really as great as he appeared to be. So sad it turns out to be the latter.

      The 4th Amendment is critical. Strike it down, and none of the other amendments matter. Free society fails when everyone is subject constant, random, and unprovoked search and seizure. Obama fucking knows this – but he keeps up the assault on this foundation of freedom anyway. He and 217 congressmen proved they are enemies of the free people of the world.

  4. So, a Republican motion going against the wishes of the Democratic President… was supported by the majority (57%) of Democrats, but rejected by a slightly higher majority (59%) of Republicans.

    Partisan heads are exploding across America as we speak.

    1. Just proves this is not a right/left issue. Both parties know these are illegal, unconstitutional and un-American programs. Both parties need to feel more political heat to end the programs and would rather see the courts do it (unfortunately that will take years, and perhaps a few more leaks).

    2. I’m not really angry at democrat party per se. I’m livid at those that voted against this or abstained and even more angry at Obama personally, but I see this as both parties doing the whole country a grave injustice.

  5. Let’s just get the counts straight here – remember a vote in FAVOR of the amendment would be to STOP the funding of the spying. A vote AGAINST was a vote to allow the NSA to continue.

    So how did it go in republicans/democratic votes?

    “The vote was surprisingly close, with broad bipartisan support in favor of the amendment, and equally strong support opposed; this is a vote that split parties. The final tally was 94 Republicans and 111 Democrats in favor, and 134 Republicans and 83 Democrats opposed.”

    In other words the majority of republicans – those who are always screaming personal rights – voted to continue the spying. A majority of Socialist – Commie – Pinko Democrats voted to END the spying.


    1. Republicans often side with law enforcement and military and national security. They were horribly wrong to support this but its not like you can make this a partisan issue. A democrat in the Oval Office is leading the charge against the four amendment and t destroy the constitution.

      Now I don’t let the republicans who voted to allow unconstitutional spying off the hook if it was up to me I’d like to see every one of the traitors who supported the NSA to lose their jobs and get booted out and the entire Obama admin to go with them and be replaced by people who support and cherish the constitution.

  6. And what did our President say to change all those minds? I’ll bet the conversation went something like this: “Hello [Senator/Congressman] ________, you really don’t want to support this amendment, because if you did I might need to look into what shows up three hops away from you, or better yet I can just let _______ from the Washington Post do the digging on why you’ve called ________ 13 times over the last three months….”

  7. As an outsider to the USA, what makes me smile is the irony of the gun supporters who demand the rights to carry any weapon they chose. Does this group believe for one single second that if they had to rise up against a tyrannous government, that the said government would not be there to meet them…..curtesy of the NSA and the spineless fourth amendment.

    1. Hear hear. I always wondered what heroic vision they have in their heads about standing up to ANY government. If they want you, you’re pretty much already dead at that point. And there are sooooo many ways they can eliminate someone without risking a single man.

      You end up dead with LOTS of guns and ammo, though 🙂

      1. I am not sure which farmhoys (farmboys?) and which largest military machine you’re talking about, but I have a feeling it is not the one that had Apache helicopters, tanks, cluster bombs and other military hardware today in the possession of American government.

        It is absurdly ridiculous to believe that an American with a gun is enough to protect himself from the American government.

        What I find most amusing about so many Americans is the zeal with which they defend the most literal interpretation of their (often rather vague and ambiguous) constitution, and especially the first ten amendments — document(s) that were adopted over two centuries ago, when people owned other people (slaves), women weren’t allowed to vote, go to college, after marriage were practically property of their husbands and most couldn’t even work (except for very few menial jobs)… Daily reality was quite different from today (no electricity, no cars, no trains, no internet, no meaningful foreign involvement…). So, the document that was written by a small group of white rich men over two hundred years ago can’t possibly be so perfectly applicable today. Yet, there they are, the passionate defenders of this anachronism…

        1. You may want to check your sarcasm detector; you have probably accidentally left it in turned off…

          Oh, and incidentally, it is a bit different when you fight against your own people (even if they are in a uniform).

        2. My name is Predrag. not Drag.

          We can all talk hypothetically about “fightin’ for liberty”, but I can’t imagine a real life situation today in which ordinary Americans would pick up their guns and go fight their government forces in order to defend liberty.

          Americans of today are fundamentally different than Americans of two centuries ago. Students of history can easily admire the courage and determination of people who wanted to live their lives without interference of some abstract power personified in a monarch who cared little about them beyond the draconian taxation exerting on them. Those Americans had very little to lose.

          Today’s Americans are a shining example of victims of their own success. The convenience and luxury of today’s lifestyle makes it extremely difficult to stand on principle and risk loss of such comforts and luxury. Compared to most European peoples, Americans of today will very easily bend their principles in order to maintain the lifestyles (as much as they vehemently deny this!). It is very easy to corroborate this; while the concept of consumer boycott (for whatever reasons) lives very well in Europe, Americans have never ever successfully boycotted any one entity in meaningful numbers. In the run-up to the war in Iraq, massive public campaign against everything French was built up; yet, vast majority of French wine lovers continued to buy French wine, with importers reporting negligible drop in sales. In other words, while very strong on words, Americans will NOT go out of their (comfortable) way in order to stand for some principle.

          So, if ever there were a future fight for some liberty on American soil on the scale of colonial uprising (and declaration of independence) against the Empire, it is very unlikely it would gain any meaningful momentum beyond talk and bluster.

        3. As I said, my name is Predrag.

          As for the “coward philosophy”, I tend to agree. Americans have increasingly become cowards (with all due respect to poor souls killed in Iraq, Afghanistan and other modern ground wars). Increasingly frequently, though, Americans go to wars from their remote control centres hundreds / thousands of miles away from the battle zone, guiding their drones and missiles from a very safe distance, going into battle only with disproportionately overwhelming force and armour. While this is obviously smart military strategy (why would anyone want to risk lives by going against equally dangerous opponent), it doesn’t represent courage.

          Courage happens when one goes against a stronger foe, not because he believes he can still win, but because not fighting is simply not a proper moral choice.

          Last time Americans made such choice was in WWII (when German and Japanese military might presented a formidable foe). All the American wars since then were fought with overwhelming military might. And even then, there were situations where they still couldn’t win (Vietnam being the most obvious).

  8. Asking for a vote from MDN on the Daily Poll.

    How many of you think the NSA would continue to spy on us even if Congress had killed the program over an (expected) Obama veto? I think the national security state is now so entrenched and pervasive that they would do what they wished- the law be damned.

    Our Government tortured people despite being a signatory of the Geneva Conventions and other conventions regarding the laws of warfare and treatment of prisoners in violation of US law. Under our Constitution a Senate Ratified Treaty is US Law.

    The members of the House that voted to retain this illegal program – regardless of party – are unworthy of US citizenship, their office, your vote or the respect of free people anywhere.

    Since 9-11 our government has systemically trampled on just about every civil liberty that our Constitution lists as inviolate excepting quartering soldiers in our homes and the possession of firearms. This has happened under Democratic AND Republican Presidents. This has happened under Democratic AND Republican controlled Congresses.

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