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Pretending to Care About Civil Liberties


Excellent post by Marcy Wheeler about Devin Nunes and Paul Ryan pretending to give a shit about civil liberties as a pretext for exempting Trump from scrutiny:

A mere three weeks ago, Nunes and Ryan were happy to have Americans surveilled with no evidence whatsoever of wrongdoing. Back then, Ryan backed suspicionless, warrantless searches of Americans as a necessary trade off. “This [bill] strikes the balance that we must have between honoring and protecting privacy rights of U.S. citizens, honoring civil liberties, and making sure that we have the tools we need in this day and age of 21st century terrorism to keep our people safe.”

Today, however, when a former Trump campaign adviser is at issue, Nunes and Ryan have discovered the due process they personally refused for so many Americans. The Nunes memo purports to show that an individualized FISA application against Carter Page did not adequately inform the FISA court about the political source of one piece of evidence among others. The memo argues the FBI did not adequately reveal “the political origins of the Steele dossier,” intelligence reporting paid for by the Democratic Party.


The way to deal with both of these issues is to conduct actual oversight of the general problem, not extend protections just to one man like Page.

The sudden interest in problems Nunes and Ryan showed no interest in just weeks ago is all the more telling, given several details about this memo.

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