Posts Tagged ‘nsa’

1984Recently, additional news has surfaced regarding the government’s unlawful domestic surveillance operations. A former NSA analyst and whistle-blower, Russell Tice, has revealed that the government’s illegal spying on Americans is far more pervasive than previously known. In a brazen display of arrogance, government officials who have sworn to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution, are routinely violating their duties and responsibilities to the American people.

Information regarding the unconstitutional NSA surveillance program has been steadily trickling out for the past several years. Of particular import is the 2005 New York Times story that broke the news of illegal domestic spying, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s lawsuit detailing information that AT&T allowed the government to surreptitiously monitor the phone and internet communications of AT&T customers without warrants, and the revelations in James Bamford’s books uncovering the widespread incompetence and illegality of NSA domestic intelligence gathering operations.

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Russell Tice, the NSA whistle-blower, recently appeared on Keith Olbermann’s MSNBC program and provided shocking details about information he uncovered during his tenure at the spy agency. According to Tice, organizations, news agencies, and journalists were targeted with a 24/7 data-collection dragnet despite evidence of criminal or terror-related involvement. Compartmentalization procedures were employed to prevent him (and other analysts) from knowing the full extent of the unlawful NSA domestic spying operations.

According to Tice, “The National Security Agency had access to all Americans’ communications — faxes, phone calls, and their computer communications. It didn’t matter whether you were in Kansas, in the middle of the country, and you never made foreign communications at all. They monitored all communications.”

Tice revealed that the information gathered by the NSA sweep is “digitized and put on databases.” A $130 million, the 470,000-square-foot facility in San Antonio is being built to warehouse the spy data. NSA’s new Texas Cryptology Center will employ 1,500 people and “may eventually be able to hold all the information in the world.” According to James Bamford, the author of “Shadow Factory“, the goal is to know “exactly what Americans were doing day by day, hour by hour, and second by second… where they shopped, what they bought, what movies they saw, what books they read, the toll booths they went through, the plane tickets they purchased, the hotels they stayed in… In other words, Total Information Awareness, the same Orwellian concept that John Poindexter had tried to develop while working for the Pentagon’s [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency].”

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Despite George W. Bush’s previous assurances to the contrary, The NSA has been violating the rights of American (non-terrorist) citizens for years. The false-flag 9-11 attack on America was a pretext for legislation and unconstitutional executive actions designed to erode the rights of average Americans. With Osama bin Laden still on the loose (wink-wink), the military submerged in two far-and-away imperialist quagmires, and the economy in free-fall, the blatant assault on individual rights and privacy is, unfortunately, a minor blip on most Americans’ radar screens.

Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious ~ George Orwell (1984)

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Fourth Amendment: guards against searches, arrests, and seizures of property without a specific warrant or a “probable cause” to believe a crime has been committed. Some rights to privacy have been inferred from this amendment and others by the Supreme Court.

Source: American Civil Liberties Union

NEW YORK – A newly disclosed secret memo authored by the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) in March 2003 that asserts President Bush has unlimited power to order brutal interrogations of detainees also reveals a radical interpretation of the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable search and seizure. The memo, declassified yesterday as the result of an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit, cites a still-secret DOJ memo from 2001 that found that the “Fourth Amendment had no application to domestic military operations.”

The October 2001 memo was almost certainly meant to provide a legal basis for the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program, which President Bush launched the same month the memo was issued. As a component of the Department of Defense, the NSA is a military agency.

“The recent disclosures underscore the Bush administration’s extraordinarily sweeping conception of executive power,” said Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU’s National Security Project. “The administration’s lawyers believe the president should be permitted to violate statutory law, to violate international treaties, and even to violate the Fourth Amendment inside the U.S. They believe that the president should be above the law.”

The Bush administration has never argued publicly that the Fourth Amendment does not apply to military operations within the nation’s borders. The memo released yesterday publicizes this argument for the first time.

The ACLU has been aware of the Justice Department’s October 2001 memo since last year, but until now, its contents were unknown. The Justice Department informed the ACLU of the memo’s existence as a result of a FOIA lawsuit seeking information concerning the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program. The Justice Department acknowledged the existence of “a 37-page memorandum, dated October 23, 2001, from a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in OLC, and a Special Counsel, OLC, to the Counsel to the President, prepared in response to a request from the White House for OLC’s views concerning the legality of potential responses to terrorist activity.” Until now, however, almost nothing was known about the memo’s contents – except that it was related to a request for information about the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program. The ACLU has challenged the withholding of the October 2001 memo and the issue is pending before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The memo released to the ACLU yesterday cites the October 2001 memo but takes its argument even further. Relying on the earlier memo, the March 2003 memo argues that the president has authority as Commander-in-Chief to bypass not only the Fourth Amendment but the central due process guarantee of the Fifth Amendment as well.

“This memo makes a mockery of the Constitution and the rule of law,” said Amrit Singh, a staff attorney with the ACLU. “That it was issued by the Justice Department, whose job it is to uphold the law, makes it even more unconscionable.”

The March 2003 memo was declassified in response to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU, the New York Civil Liberties Union, and other organizations in June 2004 to enforce Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for records concerning the treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody abroad. The ACLU has been fighting for the release of the March 2003 Yoo memo since filing the lawsuit. A few weeks ago, after the court ordered additional briefing on whether the Defense Department could continue to withhold the memo, the government reluctantly agreed to conduct a declassification review by March 31. The Defense Department released this memo after conducting the review.

The 2003 Department of Justice memo can be found online at:
http://www.aclu.org/safefree/torture/34745res20030314.html

Documents relating to the ACLU’s NSA FOIA lawsuit are available online at:
http://www.aclu.org/safefree/nsaspying/30022res20060207.html

To date, more than 100,000 pages of government documents have been released in response to the ACLU’s FOIA lawsuit related the abuse of prisoner in U.S. custody abroad. These documents are available online at: http://www.aclu.org/torturefoia

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We want to post a good comment by Jim on “Global control: USA’s key agencies“:

“Finding Redemption Through Acceptance”, an essay on the “This I Believe” segment on NPR’s Weekend Edition, Sunday morning December 9, 2007, could not have been better written by the White House itself.

The essay asks us to accept all the “frames” the Bush administration places around facts about the War on Terror. In the face of vast factual evidence to the contrary, the conveniently anonymous author of this essay suggests that: (1) soldiers volunteer for duty in Iraq out of a desire to “make a difference”; employees of Haliburton, Blackwater, KBR, and other contractors in Iraq are motivated by a desire to do good (their $600,000 annual salaries notwithstanding); torture occurs only rarely and then by overzealous individuals acting without authorization; prisoners at Guantanamo are fed chocolates, play dominos and are “clients” of genuinely sincere caretakers; good Christian values of salvation and redemption are what the war is all about – not capitalism, globalization, corporatism, imperialism, terribly bad planning, failed policies, etc.

Could this essay be a propaganda plant, originated by the White House, the CIA, or a neo-conservative organization? Sadly, in our world and nation today one must give credence to that possibility.

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