The NSA hasn’t had a lot of big fans since the June revelations that show it decided that U.S. terrorism laws designed to allow wiretaps of terrorists actually allowed it to wiretap the entire country (not to mention most of the rest of the world). But there has been one consistent fan girl: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chariman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Dianne seemed to be perhaps the only one in Congress who was actually up-to-date on the NSA’s mass spying and has defended it from the start. She has maintained that it is both constitutional and necessary for the government to record the source, destination, and duration of every phone call made within the U.S., proclaiming:
The call-records program is not surveillance. It does not collect the content of any communication, nor do the records include names or locations. The NSA only collects the type of information found on a telephone bill: phone numbers of calls placed and received, the time of the calls and duration. The Supreme Court has held this “metadata” is not protected under the Fourth Amendment.
Each and every defense of the NSA’s programs she has used has since crumbled. In August, for example, she stated that the NSA has “never… intentionally abused its authority,” when a few days later it came out that NSA analysts would routinely spy on love interests.
But apparently, last week’s revelations are indefensible, even for Dianne “<3s NSA" Feinstein. Upon the disclosure from the Snowden archives that the government was wiretapping the leaders of our closest allies, Dianne admits (or should I say, "claims") that she had not been filled in with all the details of the NSA's work, and commented, “let me state unequivocally: I am totally opposed.”
With that, it seems the NSA is fresh out of friends. It finally also shows that the NSA has always been fresh out of oversight: when the Senate Intelligence Committee and (allegedly) the President don’t even know what a federal agency is up to, who the hell does?