It is with a great deal of amusement that I've been watching TV network news readers and breathless politicians in the halls of Congress today expressing their outrage over USA Today's startling revelation that the federal National Security Agency has acquired the phone records of millions of Americans with the intention of analyzing them for possible links to foreign terrorists.
I've also been reading the usual cries of "Bush lied!" and "Dictator!" all over the blogosphere. As to exactly how George W lied, they're not quite sure yet. Some have determined that the Bush administration has been "eavesdropping" or "monitoring" the phone calls of millions of Americans and that our President is being evasive about it.
When I looked at the headline in USA Today this morning on my way out of the hotel, my immediate reaction was, "This isn't news." And I kept walking. Didn't even wet my pants.
Well, folks, it is news. Old news from February:
AT&T Accused of Eavesdropping, Calling Record SalesThat's the extent of the scandal, by the way. The NSA has acquired phone records from AT&T, Bell South, and Verizon. No eavesdropping. No call monitoring. No invasion of homes in the dead of night (as only Democratic administrations can do it - see photo above).
By Martin H. Bosworth, ConsumerAffairs.Com
When telecommunications giant SBC bought AT&T and adopted the famous brand name as its own, it also inherited a lot of baggage, including an apparent inability to protect the privacy of its customers' records.
The company is facing a lawsuit for its part in allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to conduct surveillance on its customers, via granting the NSA access to their vast databases of customer records and information. [my emphasis] (link)
The NSA is combing through phone bills. The horror. Why, it's worse than 9/11.
Or so it now seems ...