On the 64th anniversary of the publication of GEORGE ORWELL’s classic “1984” BIG BROTHER is MORE than watching as WHITE HOUSE official defends seizure of American citizens’ phone records.
While Nixon may have famously bugged his Democratic opponents in the now infamous Watergate scandal of 1972 shattering his Presidency, President Obama defends the seizure of all Verizon customers’ phone data.
Today the Obama Administration admitted it has been gathering a massive amount of telephone records from at least one major telecommunications (and perhaps, possibly more) company, Verizon Communications, as critics charge the “transparency” Obama proffered to the American people was nothing more than a sham.
The shameful admission comes after the UK Guardian newspaper published a secret court order related to the records of millions of Verizon Communications customers on its website.
The order released originated from the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court commanding Verizon's Business Network Services Inc and Verizon Business Services units to hand over daily electronic data until July 19.
A senior White House official claimed the court order pertains only to data such as a telephone number or the length of a call, and not the subscribers' identities or the content of the telephone calls.
But as one critic charged, they may not know the content but they sure know the identities as listed within the telephone book or Verzion subscriber files.
Such information is “a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats to the United States,” the official said, preferring to not be named.
“It allows counter terrorism personnel to discover whether known or suspected terrorists have been in contact with other persons who may be engaged in terrorist activities, particularly people located inside the United States,” the official added.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration is already under attack for searching Associated Press journalists' calling records and the emails of a Fox television reporter as part of so-called inquiries into leaked government information.
Although suspected by critics, it’s not clear if the data gathering extended to other carriers.
More than one D.C. insider is calling Obama “the worst President since Nixon.”