Posts tagged “USA Freedom Act

The Man Against the Machine: U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner Reins In the NSA

A few decades ago, one of my class instructors joked that, “If pro is the opposite of con, then Congress is the opposite of progress.” With 535 legislators with different agendas, Congress is a body that is often pulled if different directions, many of which are dominated by well-heeled special interests.

This makes Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner’s USA Freedom Act an unusual species in Washington. This legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate with large, bi-partisan support, and was then signed by President Obama.

A U.S. representative since 1979, Sensenbrenner is a leader on legal issues that affect Americans’ privacy. He is keenly aware that the powerful pull the strings vis-à-vis their well-connected hired guns — lobbyists.

With the far, neo-con right ratcheting up the rhetoric regarding the expiration of the USA Patriot Act’s bulk data collection of all Americans’ telephone records, Sensenbrenner was able to build a coalition of Democrats and liberty minded Republicans to debunk the myths being bellowed by the national security statists.

One of the myths being promulgated by the neo-cons: There is no need to worry because the NSA is simply retrieving telephone calls and the length of these calls; none of these conversations are recorded.

First, if the government possesses every telephone call placed, and couples this data with the algorithms the NSA gobbles up by archiving Americans’ e-mails, Web clicks, and posts on various social media Web sites, an intelligence analysis with an eighth grade reading level could easily draw a portrait of any individual’s life. In essence, the government knows what books we read, who we communicate with, our political beliefs, and the means by which Americans exercise their free speech rights.

Second, the NSA does record telephone calls and, anyone who says otherwise is part of the government’s noble lie. Since 9/11, the NSA has recorded trillions of telephone conversations. To learn how these programs work, I would strongly encourage readers to visit the below link:

Today, Congressman Sensenbrenner appeared on the Jay Weber Show to discuss the USA Freedom Act. To hear the podcast, please visit the below link:

Any American concerned with the issue of security vs. privacy should be proud of Sensenbrenner’s accomplishment. Even the secular-progressive Milwaukee Journal Sentinel applauded this rare, bi-partisan legislation and the proposed oversight of these Orwellian government agencies:

Steve Spingola is an author, retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective, and a contributor to TNT’s Cold Justice.

His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2015