FBI Director: Obeying the Constitution “Will Take An Awful Long Time”

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Top Tier Gear USA


Sometimes, despite laws to the contrary, the FBI just doesn’t have time to obey protections set forth by the U.S. Constitution.

While much of the news coverage of FBI Director Robert Mueller’s Congressional hearing this week focused on his admission that the FBI has used drones domestically, there were some other points raised, including his “defense” of the broad surveillance techniques that appears to amount to the idea that it just takes too long to obey the Constitution and go through the proper procedures before getting information:

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mr. Mueller addressed a proposal to require telephone companies to retain calling logs for five years — the period the N.S.A. is keeping them — for investigators to consult, rather than allowing the government to collect and store them all. He cautioned that it would take time to subpoena the companies for numbers of interest and get the answers back.

“The point being that it will take an awful long time,” Mr. Mueller said.

Well, shucks. Having some amount of oversight, someone in a position to make sure that the data requested is legit would just take too long? It seems like Mueller maybe has been watching too many episodes of 24. First off, it does not take an “awful” long time. Law enforcement has regularly been able to go through legal processes to get a wiretap or subpoena other information very, very rapidly, especially when they make it clear it’s an emergency situation. But the fact is, it’s unlikely that most of these searches are such a timely emergency that they need the data now, and can’t wait an hour or so until an employee at the telco can retrieve it for them.

Mueller later made some outrageous claims about how long it would take the telcos to respond to a request for information following the standard procedures in an emergency.

“In this particular area, where you’re trying to prevent terrorist attacks, what you want is that information as to whether or not that number in Yemen is in contact with somebody in the United States almost instantaneously so you can prevent that attack,” he said. “You cannot wait three months, six months, a year to get that information, be able to collate it and put it together. Those are the concerns I have about an alternative way of handling this.”

Mr. Mueller did not explain why it would take so long for telephone companies to respond to a subpoena for calling data linked to a particular number, especially in a national security investigation.

He didn’t explain it because it wouldn’t take that long — especially with the telcos who generally have a cozy relationship with law enforcement and a “how high?” response to the “jump!” command from the government.

More at: Tech Dirt

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  • Andy

    Used to be in law enforcement have seen this type of arrogance in the Feds a lot.They feel that they are the best of the best,but they are just big government beareaucrats,we could debate all day if the FBi is actually a Constitutional Legal law enforcement agency,their is no provision in the original Constitution for the legal existence of the FBI.Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

  • Heimdall

    Now the NSA criminals are making the claim that surveillance of all Americans has thwarted several terrorist attacks. Things need to be made perfectly clear: If the immense intelligence organizations of the United States, with all of the billions of dollars at their disposal could not have thwarted these attacks without ignoring the Constitution of the United States and without committing the crime of putting all of the citizens every action under surveillance, THEN THE MEMBERS OF US INTELLIGENCE AND LAW ENFORCEMENT ARE IDIOT MORON KEYSTONE COPS!

    The claim that the Constitution must be circumvented or these people cannot do their jobs is a damned lie! Anyone who tells you this is a damned liar!

    Furthermore, if it were a tradeoff, and it is not, it is not worth giving up your freedom! In other words, do not accept that your privacy and safety need be compromised in order to give you privacy and safety! Anyone who claims that such a thing is necessary is unworthy of your attention or your respect and should have his psychopathy treated!

    • Heimdall

      The FBI criminals are also making this ridiculous claim.

    • Row Weil

      That is an excellent and oft-overlooked point.

  • Heimdall


    Do not forget that the FBI thwarted the sincere and honest efforts of Bin Laden task force member John P. O’Neill who became head of security at and was killed at the Twin Towers. Do not forget about the FBI bureaucrat in DC who shut down Colleen Rowley’s investigation of the 9 11 terrorists and who also shut down investigation of an important lead in Arizona. Do not forget that Translator-Linguist Sibel Edmonds discovered immense crimes and terrorist-enabling where she worked at an FBI intercept facility.

    It is amazing that this clown would dare to show his face in public and make these absurd totalitarian claims!

  • Al Kipf

    The congresscreeps don’t have the balls to do anything about it. If they did the cowards would have cut funding off for this and the other non-sense (DHS, et al) years ago.

    The cowards have a vested interest in bureaucratic perpetuation. Where do you think the $85bn they print each month is going?

    The filthy pigs are lining their pockets with it while the Kenyan Occupational Government flaunts it without a mortal worry.

    Their day will come. God will NOT have mercy on their souls.

  • First, should’nt we ALL get to know why terrorist want to terrorize us. I mean, if it’s say, in response to one of their kin being blasted apart by one of our drones as “collateral damage” then is’nt them being angry at out gubment’s terrorism a plausible reason to try to not kill THEM, but just try to deal with them otherwise?

  • Harvey1

    What a shame that our protectors have now become our enemies! The FBI used to be a very well respected law enforcement agency and now it is just as corrupt as odumba, well almost. Our Constitution is the supreme law of the land and if our premier law enforcement agency ignores it all is lost. Most of the agents are good Americans, but the ones that ignore our Constitution need to be fired and changed with appropriate crimes and put in jail with the others that refuse to abide by our laws.

  • Patriot

    Obeying the Constitution could take 5 minutes if enough Americans called for recall elections and deposed the shills and nullified the federal government et-al.

  • gunslinger1964

    Well gezzz maybe this puke should of started a LONG TIME AGO, this guy is about as dumb as a box of rock’s. Obey the constitution, my goodness what a thought. FIRE THIS FOOL AT ONCE !!!!!!!

  • Bob Marshall

    It is not terrorist that will be the cause of America’s collapse.

    • Jean

      All empires crumble from within. They ALL decay and collapse. They are not conquered until AFTER the people have been corrupted.

      Rome fell from within. China. Kush. USSR. The people did things that were ill-conceived; they lost sight of their purposes, objectives, ideals, what made them worthwhile. Romans were an expansionist regime (series of regimes) which changed their society a few times (from republic to empire/dictator to Consulate). Once military service was reviled and reserved to the bribed barbarians (Germanics, mostly), the empire was done: the nobility was removed from the concerns of the populace, and from discipline and decorum.

      Amerika will be no different.

  • From Dear Leader on down, including this clown Mueller I’ll direct them to one of their foremost leaders for help w/the Constitution.

    As Nancy Pelousy said, “you have to read it to find out what’s in it.”

    • Jean

      You give the Democraps far too much credit: they cannot read. 😉

  • Lutz

    These demonic scumbags are all a bunch of traitors and cowards.

    War is imminent.