I used to perform magic in my youth. One of the tools used is “Look over here!” (while doing something secretive with the other hand).
Knuckledraggin My Life Away posted about the following:
Attorney General Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Innocent Americans
In a secret government agreement granted without approval or debate from lawmakers, the U.S. attorney general recently gave the National Counterterrorism Center sweeping new powers to store dossiers on U.S. citizens, even if they are not suspected of a crime, according to a news report.
Earlier this year, Attorney General Eric Holder granted the center the ability to copy entire government databases holding information on flight records, casino-employee lists, the names of Americans hosting foreign-exchange students and other data, and to store it for up to five years, even without suspicion that someone in the database has committed a crime, according to the Wall Street Journal, which broke the story.
Whereas previously the law prohibited the center from storing data compilations on U.S. citizens unless they were suspected of terrorist activity or were relevant to an ongoing terrorism investigation, the new powers give the center the ability to not only collect and store vast databases of information but also to trawl through and analyze it for suspicious patterns of behavior in order to uncover activity that could launch an investigation.~
Redacted material visible at the above link
~But the request to expand the center’s powers led to a heated debate at the White House and the Department of Homeland Security, with Mary Ellen Callahan, then-chief privacy officer for the Department of Homeland Security, leading the charge to defend civil liberties. Callahan argued that the new rules represented a “sea change” and that every interaction a citizen would have with the government in the future would be ruled by the underlying question, is that person a terrorist? Callahan lost her battle, however, and subsequently left her job, though it’s not known if her struggle over the NCTC debate played a role in her decision to leave. SOURCE
I seem to remember the Democrats screaming about reducing the intrusive powers of government held by the Bush Administration under the Patriot Act. But their guy gets elected – twice – and not only does he re-authorized the Patriot Act, but adds to it the NDAA, and now this under the radar.
Of course, with everyone’s focus on the tragedy in Connecticut (Never let a crisis go to waste! – Rahm Emanuel) we’re more concerned about the gun control idiocy resurfacing than the ongoing erosion of all civil liberties.