With Edward Snowden lying low, NSA surveillance secrets dribbling out and Obama on the defensive, the government snooping story is still front and center. And while Snuggly the Security Bear is usually my go-to-guy for this sort of work, I wanted to give him a rest this week.
The Obama Administration and its defenders are emphasizing the fact that all NSA surveillance is subject to judicial review and the watchful eyes of Congress. After the recent hearings in DC, seems like our legislators are (surprise), fairly clueless about what exactly is going on. So that leaves us with "judicial oversight," which means the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The more I learn about this court, the creepier it seems.
All hearings and rulings are secret, there is no sort of "defense" like in an open court, judges can phone in their decisions and the FISA court approved 100% of the government's surveillance requests in 2011 and 2012. Which led me to imagine what it would be like to work as a FISA judge. How hard is it to say "yes" all the time?
Let me know what you think in the comments, and remember to pass along the cartoon to your friends and less-than-friends!