Corker Seeks Explanation From White House For NSA’s Sweeping Collection Of U.S. Phone Records

Thursday, June 6, 2013

In a letter to President Barack Obama on Thursday, Senator Bob Corker, (R-Tn.), ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, sought an explanation regarding reports of the National Security Agency’s collection of U.S. phone records on Verizon’s network of 121 million customers.  A court order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court compelled Verizon Communications Inc. to turn over records for all calls placed within the U.S. and between the U.S. and other countries.

Senator Corker wrote, “On its face, if true, the collection of this massive amount of detailed information about the communications of American citizens raises extremely serious concerns about why such a broad collection is necessary and how this information is used.  The Administration must therefore immediately come to Congress and to the American people to explain whether this story is accurate, what is being collected, what it is used for, and how the privacy and civil liberties of Americans are protected.  Specifically, the Administration should explain exactly why this information is necessary to protect national security, what investigations this information is used for, how this information is stored, who has access to it and under what conditions, and whether and what restrictions apply to the government’s use of this information once it is accessed. Please provide me a briefing on this matter, whether classified or otherwise, by no later than Monday, June 10, 2013.”

Full text of the letter is included below:

June 6, 2013

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20500


Dear Mr. President:

According to an article first published in a British newspaper and supported by what purports to be an actual highly classified court order signed by a federal judge serving on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has requested and obtained, on behalf of the National Security Agency, access to the phone records of every American citizen and others on the Verizon network over a three month period.

On its face, if true, the collection of this massive amount of detailed information about the communications of American citizens raises extremely serious concerns about why such a broad collection is necessary and how this information is used.

The Administration must therefore immediately come to Congress and to the American people to explain whether this story is accurate, what is being collected, what it is used for, and how the privacy and civil liberties of Americans are protected.  Specifically, the Administration should explain exactly why this information is necessary to protect national security, what investigations this information is used for, how this information is stored, who has access to it and under what conditions, and whether and what restrictions apply to the government’s use of this information once it is accessed. 

Please provide me a briefing on this matter, whether classified or otherwise, by no later than Monday, June 10, 2013.

Sincerely,

Bob Corker


Owners Of Trucking Firm Involved In Tragic Wreck At Ooltewah Exit Ask That Cases Be Moved To Federal Court

The owners of a Kentucky trucking firm involved in a wreck in which six people were killed at the Ooltewah exit of I-75 on June 25 are asking that lawsuits in the matter be handled in Federal Court. Cool Runnings Express owners Billy and Cretty Sizemore are asking that the initial suit brought by Ryan Humphries of Cleveland, Tn., be moved from Hamilton County Circuit Court. ... (click for more)

Jimmy Anderson Named To Head Concurrent Grand Jury

Jimmy Anderson, who is retired from TVA, has been named to head the Hamilton County Concurrent Grand Jury. The appointment is by the three Criminal Court judges. DeAnna Anderson moves to head the regular Grand Jury. Bob Smith recently retired as Grand Jury foreman. (click for more)

Why Is The City Diverting Federal Transportation Funds From Real Need?

The city of Chattanooga and CBL, owner of Hamilton Place Mall, would have the mass of taxpayers believe that improving mall access from the interstate is not impacting us financially.   Namely, CBL has committed to fund the city’s match of $8 million, so they will receive $32 million in Federal Transportation Funds that are allocated annually to local jurisdictions through ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Hero Is Coming Home

In late September, a very special funeral will be held in Bearden, Tenn., when 1 st Lt. Alexander “Sandy” Bonnyman Jr., will finally come home to lie in peace with his family. Sandy’s been dead for 72 years now, ever since he was killed in combat on the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands on Nov. 22, 1943. He and a number of other Marine heroes were buried back then in a shallow ... (click for more)

NPSL Championship To Be Played In Chattanooga

The National Premier Soccer League’s National Championship will be held in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the league announced Monday.  The match will take place at Finley Stadium on Saturday, August 8th at 7:30 pm ET.     “We felt that having the match in Chattanooga was best for the league,” NPSL Chairman Joe Barone commented.  “It will provide us with the maximum ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Chattanooga FC Shuts Out Indiana By 3-Nil