Patriot Act Author Calls For Clapper's Prosecution And Rein In NSA Abuses

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

In an interesting twist of irony, one of the Congressman most instrumental in the destruction of civil liberties in these United States due to his authorship of the Patriot Act, Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), is now leading the charge to rein in NSA abuses. His disgust with the NSA became clear back in early June when he wrote an impassioned letter to Attorney General Eric Holder criticizing the illegal NSA activity happening behind the scenes. The key point here is that Mr. Sensenbrenner strongly believes that these guys are misinterpreting the legislation he wrote to justify everything they are doing. As such, he and others are proposing legislation to make it crystal clear what is and what is not appropriate surveillance.

Not only that, he is also calling for the prosecution of James Clapper the current Director of National Intelligence, who perjured himself in front of Congress earlier this year. Mr. Sensnbrenner said:

Oversight only works when the agency that oversight is directed at tells the truth, and having Mr Clapper say he gave the least untruthful answer should, in my opinion, have resulted in a firing and a prosecution.

This guy means business. More from the Guardian:

The conservative Republican who co-authored America’s Patriot Act is preparing to unveil bipartisan legislation that would dramatically curtail the domestic surveillance powers it gives to intelligence agencies.


Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, who worked with president George W Bush to give more power to US intelligence agencies after the September 11 terrorist attacks, said the intelligence community had misused those powers by collecting telephone records on all Americans, and claimed it was time “to put their metadata program out of business”.


His imminent bill in the House of Representatives is expected to be matched by a similar proposal from Senate judiciary committee chair Patrick Leahy, a Democrat. It pulls together existing congressional efforts to reform the National Security Agency in the wake of disclosures by whistleblower Edward Snowden.


It seeks to limit the collection of phone records to known terrorist suspects; to end “secret laws” by making courts disclose surveillance policies; to create a special court advocate to represent privacy interests; and to allow companies to disclose how many requests for users’ information they receive from the USA. The bill also tightens up language governing overseas surveillance to remove a loophole which it has been abused to target internet and email activities of Americans.


In July, a temporary measure to defund the NSA bulk collection programme was narrowly defeated in a 217 to 205 vote in the House, but Sensenbrenner said the appetite for greater privacy protections had only grown since.


Instead, the main opposition to Sensenbrenner and Leahy’s twin-pronged effort is likely to come from the chair of the Senate intelligence committee, Dianne Feinstein, who is supportive of the NSA but who has proposed separate legislation focusing on greater transparency and checks rather than an outright ban on bulk collection.

Of course Feinstein is going to push to block real NSA restrictions, she is one of the most authoritarian members of Congress, not to mention married to a gigantic crony capitalist, fraud artist.

Sensenbrenner also called for the prosecution of Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, who admitted misleading the Senate intelligence committee about the extent of bulk collection of telephone records.


“Oversight only works when the agency that oversight is directed at tells the truth, and having Mr Clapper say he gave the least untruthful answer should, in my opinion, have resulted in a firing and a prosecution,” said the congressman.


Sensenbrenner also called for the prosecution of Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, who admitted misleading the Senate intelligence committee about the extent of bulk collection of telephone records.


“Oversight only works when the agency that oversight is directed at tells the truth, and having Mr Clapper say he gave the least untruthful answer should, in my opinion, have resulted in a firing and a prosecution,” said the congressman.


The main thrust of the bill would tighten section 215 of the Patriot Act to limit the collection of business records such as telephone metadata, to instances where the NSA was able to convince courts set up under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Fisa) that the target was “an agent of a foreign power”, was “subject of an investigation” or thought to be “in contact with an agent of a foreign power”.


“We had thought that the 2006 amendment, by putting the word ‘relevant’ in, was narrowing what the NSA could collect. Instead, the NSA convinced the Fisa court that the relevance clause was an expansive rather than contractive standard, and that’s what brought about the metadata collection, which amounts to trillions of phone calls.”


“The haystack approach missed the Boston marathon bombing, and that was after the Russians told us the Tsarnaev brothers were bad guys,” added Sensenbrenner.

Since we know that the NSA hasn’t actually stopped any terrorist attacks, it’s even more disturbing to realize that they couldn’t even stop the only one (Boston) that did happen. What are these guys even doing?

Full article here.

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kaiserhoff's picture

About damn time.

ihedgemyhedges's picture

He can just say what the Europeans do. "Sometimes you have to lie." Really works well when you've got the right people covering your backside....

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

"What Europeans do"? It's what every kid has done since time immemorial.

IOW, when being adult about it gets to be "too much", regressing to childhood seems to be Plan B. / Fantastic! / sarc.

Zer0head's picture

So herr Sensenbrenner is having some second thoughts about the Patriot Act

I seem to recall that  Rudolph Hess had some second thoughts and was handed an appropriate remedy


and what is it about Wisconsin, the state that gave us Paul Ryan, Sensenbrenner and Jesse Ventura 


I am sure Canada would love to adopt Wisconsin







max2205's picture

Well I don't expect him to survive that threat....but we are all behind him

NoDebt's picture

Yeah, right.

Sandy Weil crawled back on TV last year and shocked everyone by stating that Citi should be broken up (after he was the one who put it all together in the first place).  Nothing happened.  Just as nothing will happen with the Patriot Act but it's continued use in abrogating the Constitutional rights of it's citizens.

You want forgiveness?  Got to church or something.

You want to change things?  Too late.  You should never have penned the bill in the first place you son of a bitch.


mvsjcl's picture

He "penned" not a single word of that bill. It was handed to him and he dutifully pressed forward his masters' wishes.

NoDebt's picture

Good point.  All the more reason to put him on the short list when the guillotines roll.

boogerbently's picture

Doesn't "perjure" yourself, just mean LIE ???

You'll have a hard time, with anyone in DC, finding anything wrong with that !

MagicHandPuppet's picture

The only thing Jim Sensenbrenner says which should be treated as potentially sincere is what he writes in his suicide note.

NemoDeNovo's picture

Like ANY of this matters at this point???  The smoke and mirros are getting SO obvious at this point its nauseating, just COLLAPSE this Bitch and lets #REBUILD.

wee-weed up's picture



Bull-headed people who adamantly ignored cautions at the time...

That what you are doing will "cause great calamity" down the road...

Should have their noses vigorously rubbed in the time-honored sayings about...

Trying to put the Genie back in the bottle...

And opening a can of worms!

And comes the revolution...

They should be first against the wall!!

tarsubil's picture

Patience. Good things come to those who wait.

bank guy in Brussels's picture

Think that Sensenbrenner and the Rothschild family Guardian newspaper are playing more tricks on us

They are playing a game, trying to get us to believe that some of these psychopath US politicians are 'on our side'

It is likely bullshite, kabuki theatre ... but it is working ... now with even many ZH readers feeling that the Republican party types are 'standing for something' again with the budget-shutdown game

Always worth recalling that the wealthiest family in the world, the Rothschilds, dominate the UK Guardian newspaper and website, pumping the Edward Snowden revelations ... alongside the historic pumper of the CIA's media control, Operation Mockingbird, the New York times ...

« The Guardian is controlled by Guardian Media Group, whose chairman is Paul Myners, a past employee of N M Rothschild & Sons Limited. Guardian Media Group is owned by the Scott Trust, which became a limited private company in 2008, with all trustees becoming directors of the Scott Trust. Anthony Salz was appointed as a trustee of the Scott Trust in 2009; he is currently executive vice-chairman of the investment bank Rothschild. »

LetThemEatRand's picture

"now with even many ZH readers feeling that the Republican party types are 'standing for something' again with the budget-shutdown game"

But they're only down by one game and they could come back in the playoffs.

NoDebt's picture

"now with even many ZH readers feeling that the Republican party types are 'standing for something' again "

Don't count me in that group.  

SWRichmond's picture

Finding child porn on Sensenbrenners computer in 3...2...1...

HowardBeale's picture

Who would have ever expected the existence of an un-blackmailable politican!

Sensenbrenner, asshole of the century, but at least he's got no skeletons in the closet.

Element's picture

Saw this several hours back, got to wonder about the Pat-Act guy 'fixing' what he's helped wreck.


Reminder of recent boiling frog audio:

And this:

nmewn's picture

No shit.

At some point it will dawn on even the most dimwitted politician what they have done by passing "a law".

"Why, that could be my head in a basket. Lets try and think this thing through a little moar, it really doesn't need to be done now, does it."

Disenchanted's picture

Why pass more laws? The ones we have already are ignored routinely.


nmewn's picture


At the risk of sounding like a statist, I move -AGAIN- that every new law, must be accompanied by the removal of ten existing laws.

Afterall, the "monoploy" was built that way, it can be destroyed that way ;-)

seek's picture

My version of this after the "success" (/sarc and no /sarc) of the AWB is that every law has an expiration date, no more than 10 years out, and probably base the time on how strongly it passes (2 years for a 51% vote, 10 years for a 95% vote, etc.).

Eventually congress' time gets sucked up renewing the shit that really matters and they don't have time for all the BS.

Element's picture

Great suggestion, however they'd just do what they did with the US's 'emergency-powers', roll it over, ad-infinitum. All that's left is smoke some cigars try to drink all the brandy, and discuss the insider trading opportunities of some additional tweaks and 'change'.

Apologies though, unfortunately I seem to be at an impasse, beyond even entertaining the conditioned presumption that govts legislating produce anything that's not intrinsically antagonistic and deeply injurious to the alleged much-loved civilian comrade. Unfortunately I'm also increasingly exasperated with people who can't even face this, and insist on deluding themselves that reforms are viable solutions to a profoundly dysfunctional mechanism and process. OK, that's harsh, and rather 'finalistic', to face that, but it's honest, and thus bearable. Far more so than the standard response of desperately agreeing to pretend, indefinitely, against endless examples of devastating contrary evidence, regarding the general presumption that politics has worthwhile civil, congenial or even remotely acceptable solutions to anything that matters.

I suspect historians and philosophers have rather misunderstood why Socrates preferred to drink the fucking Hemlock instead.

czardas's picture

This is exactly what happens on the state level or in small Scandinavian states. The key is size, a city or state (NOT CA - it's a jungle) is small and nimble enough to make changes. We will NEVER have a mindset of working on only what's really necessary as long as we print money to pay for all that is not,

Vendetta's picture

"Eventually congress' time gets sucked up renewing the shit that really matters and they don't have time for all the BS."

They don't even read the shit they pass 'conveniently' packaged in 2,000 to10,000 pages of incoherent, loophole filled corruption guaranteeing gibberish.

chemystical's picture



And exactly why is it that these worthless pieces of shit have their epiphanies AFTER leaving office or after having presided silently over the corruption?

See:  Wilson in his book 'The New Freedom'.  "A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is privately concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men ... [W]e have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated, governments in the civilized world—no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and the duress of small groups of dominant men."

OR Eisenhower in his farewell address: "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes."

Lemme start the ball rolling on OKenyan's address bulletpoints: 

  • Beware of the communists and Jew bankers. 
  • Yeah, I wasn't Constitutionally qualified for the Presidency
  • Don't reciprocate the "quo" for well-heeled campaign funders' (aka 'investors') quid. 
  • Especially beware of CA congressperson's who have relatives in the business that you pump taxpayer money into
  • "Moochelle".  Yeah, I laugh at that one too, and, yes, she does have a fat ass and looks like a black Mary Tyler Moore who has gotten a lot of use from her lifetime pass at the Golden Corral
  • Rahm Emmanuel is a nice piece of bathhouse ass
  • Harvard and Columbia?  ROFLMAO, yes, I attended in name only and that's why no one remembers me.
  • I only call myself a "Constitutional Scholar" because the Ayers told me to.  I haven't ever been able to get past the Preamble.  No, wait, that's the Declaration, right?
  • I didn't write "Dreams Of My Father", and in fact can only guess at who my father is, but I'm pretty sure that he was in the Navy unit that liberated Birkenow...or something like that.  Maybe I'm supposed to say that was my uncle?  Grandfather?  It's difficult to stay on script without the teleprompter.


DosZap's picture

Clapper will soon have a Vince Foster moment,sorry Jake!!!,but too late.OboomBox has his private army NOW!,you dumb son of a bitch.

chemystical's picture

every time I drive past Fort Marcy Park I wish that more politicians and bureaucrats knew the way there.

y3maxx's picture

F**king eh!

and Ex Governor Jessie steps up to the plate this week and has the guts to denounce the American Political Party system...

Bangin7GramRocks's picture

Too late shithead! You helped open the bottle.

Balanced Integer's picture

I listened to Rep. Sensenbrener give an interview on the radio a couple months or so back. He certainly sounded disgusted with what had been done with the "Patriot Act" that he helped to create.

All I could think to say to him was..."Well, better late than never. Maybe you should've thought about that before you gave the government such expansive powers!"

Give the government an inch, and they'll drag you to the moon with no space suit. Even a "debt ceiling" to them is less than a token, ephemeral concept.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Is this guy finally at the stage in his life, where he needs to worry about his "legacy"?

Zer0head's picture

no he needs to worry about his soul.. and before that Nuremberg

LetThemEatRand's picture

How about a 2 for 1 special on the prosecution?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"What are these guys even doing?"

Why.........they're terrorizing US Citizens, that's what they're doing. What did you think they were doing? Most certainly not what they claimed they were doing.

<The only rule to follow is to watch what they do and not what they say.>

LetThemEatRand's picture

"<The only rule to follow is to watch what they do and not what they say.>"

Yes!   If that ever happened, the cognitive dissonance would end.


ebworthen's picture

You can't open Pandora's box for a supposedly "good" reason then expect to cram the horrors back into the box - anymore than you can put toothpaste back in the tube.

The Constitution and The Bill of Rights have a reason, a purpose, and very specific language and meaning; they are not "guidelines" and are no more outdated than the history of humanity.


Vendetta's picture

Even the S(R)OTUS has determined, in their infinite lack-of-wisdom and lack of courage, the preamble to the US Constitution is insignificant in their 'consideration' of the constitutionality of various pieces of legislation or other cases brought to their 'attention'.  That such persons can be allowed in their court demonstrates clearly the system is corrupt to the bone.  Note I wrote 'their' court because I know they do not represent the nation's interest.

FieldingMellish's picture

Activate the asset. Give him the green light when he is in the nest.

kchrisc's picture

How about we guillotine them both and call it a "two traitors for one" event.