Archives for posts with tag: constitution

Amendment to the United States Constitution

Reorganization

1) All political organizations at the national level are forever abolished; nor shall any state allow monies originating exterior to its borders into the political process; as well, no one shall serve in the corporate sector at mid-level management (or above) and subsequently play any role in government, whether state or federal.

2) All states shall apply a 5% threshold for political parties representation; this shall be construed to apply to representation at both state and federal level; and representation in either case shall be proportional. Furthermore, citizens, to receive state or federal benefits, shall be required to vote at state level at least once in two years.

3) The federal government shall not exceed a 5% tax revenue on the income of individual citizens, nor may any state exceed an additional 5% income tax revenue upon the individual citizens of the respective states to an aggregate 10%; but corporations that offshore accounts to avoid taxation shall have assets confiscated and banned from business in the territories of these United States; as well the property tax is abolished in the case of a domestic residence of modest means, the small farmer and the individual cottage industry; nor shall the federal judiciary over-rule a stricter environmental standard set by any state, nor any state over-rule a more stringent environmental standard set by the individual community.

4) Any police, judiciary or other authority, whether federal or state, inclusive of the corporate sector, that colludes in ‘color of law’ or otherwise conspires to, or violates the rights of individual citizens set out in the 1st through 8th and 14th Amendments, shall have the complicit individuals charged with Domestic Treason, which shall be defined at minimum as a Class A felony in any and all cases; further, the rights of foreign nationals and the lawful process of nations in relation to extradition shall be respected; as well, the Central Intelligence Agency activities division immediately and permanently disbanded; and no authority at state or federal level shall contract with any domestic for-profit business or any foreign agency for purposes of military policing (mercenaries), civilian policing or incarceration.

5) All military shall be converted to National Guard under the authority of the several state legislatures, is restricted to the physical territory of these United States, shall not engage in domestic policing; and furthermore, all previous government held tenures expire with the adoption of this amendment; as well the Office of the President of the United States is abolished & Congress converted to parliamentary model.

6) Article Six of this Constitution shall not abridge the 1st through 10th and 14th Amendments in the ratification of treaties; nor shall any treaty be construed to be ‘non-self-executing.’

Part One HERE

ve29

brought to you by the free speech clown

egregious liar

egregious |iˈgrējəs| adjective: outstandingly bad; shocking: egregious abuse of trust.

liar |ˈlīər| noun: a person who tells lies.

Lest anyone mistake my use of this definition in regards to Obama’s speech on the NSA, I mean this in the sense Obama is really good at telling lies. Alternatively, Obama is a pathological liar:

pathological |ˌpaTHəˈläjikəl| (also pathologic)
adjective
compulsive; obsessive: a pathological liar.

The National Security blog “Unredacted’ had yesterday quickly published a refutation of Obama’s claims with an excellent piece on official lies relating to the NSA’s surveillance programs. I will take this bit of work a bit further, pointing out how the USA has become so far removed from the rule of law as to convince our constitution has been utterly, entirely usurped, and Obama’s pro-active, purposeful participation in this world-threatening travesty. But first, keep in the back of your mind: a compulsive liar must tell an ever growing web of lies to cover any previous lies. When the liar has been busted (as Obama has in the ‘Unredacted’ blog), lies never intended to see the light of day must be covered with ‘half-truths’ completely unintended to set matters straight (i.e. more lies.)

Obama on the FISA (secret) court, June 16, 2013: “It is transparent…So, on this telephone program, you’ve got a federal court with independent federal judges overseeing the entire program. And you’ve got Congress overseeing the program, not just the intelligence committee and not just the judiciary committee — but all of Congress had available to it before the last reauthorization exactly how this program works”

Unredacted: “OpentheGovernment.org’s 2013 Secrecy Report notes, “the unchecked expansion in the growth of the government’s surveillance programs is due in large measure to the absolute secrecy surrounding the FISC and how it is interpreting the law. The FISC’s opinions interpreting Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act has allowed for a much broader collection of data than most national security and civil liberties groups, and even some Members of Congress, understood the law to permit””

Obama, June 16, 2013: “What I can say unequivocally is that if you are a U.S. person, the NSA cannot listen to your telephone calls and the NSA cannot target your e-mails”

Unredacted: “the NSA has significant latitude to collect and keep the contents of e-mails and other communications of U.S. citizens that are swept up as part of the agency’s court-approved monitoring of a target overseas.” This information is stored, for up to five years, and can be accessed as soon as the FBI gets a National Security Letter, for which there are still no requirements to seek approval or judicial review when sending”

Other than exposure of egregious lies by Obama and his minions detailed at Unredacted, the problem I have with this is the lack of challenging the secret court per se. My own position is (as a former adjunct professor of American constitutional law), there is precisely ZERO constitutional authority granted to Congress to create a secret court in Article III, section I…

“The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish”

…because of the Fourth Amendment language…

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”

…Fifth Amendment langauge…

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation”

…and the Sixth Amendment language…

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense”

…with the provisions of these amendments trampled by the very existence of a secret court. All of the preceding constitutional clauses are violated by the very existence of the FISA law. Obama, who still holds a constitutional law professor position at the University of Chicago, and Chief Justice John Roberts, both, know this. What has happened is, what should be a nonexistent distinction has been created between ‘legal’ & ‘constitutional’ in the American body politic, when in fact they must be one and the same. Consequently, unconstitutional (illegal) national security laws are crafted by the congress, signed by the president and upheld by the courts, and this is how ‘color of law‘ is substituted in lieu of constitutional principles (while pretending the constitution holds sway.) Now we have, as a nation, come to accept the idea what is called ‘legal’ but is illegal, is constitutional, when in fact the national security law patently violates the constitution, a national oxymoron. The secret FISA (FISC) court John Roberts should refuse to recognize, but instead has sole authority to appoint judges to, epitomizes a ‘soft power’ coup created by congress, usurping our nation’s rule of law. And so it is Senators like Diane Feinstein can claim “PRISM is legal” while ignoring the constitution (never mind her oath to uphold the same.)

But in fact Obama and Roberts, both trained constitutional law attorneys, know there was never any necessity for a secret court having to do with ‘national security’ on account of a well known principle of American law:

in camera
adverb
‘in camera’ law in private, in particular taking place in the private chambers of a judge, with the press and public excluded: judges assess the merits of such claims in camera. The evidence of the state had been examined ‘in camera’ on national security grounds [‘in camera’, late Latin, ‘in the chamber.’]

If this known principle were applied in normal federal courts, a judge would have the discretion to reject secrecy based on her or his opinion the government’s claims of ‘national security’ were spurious, false or self-serving when balancing any national security claims against a person’s rights when pursuing eavesdropping authority (still unconstitutional in some circumstance perhaps, but by far more legal integrity is preserved because a judge can weigh a wider scope of evidence and chastise the government in open court for misbehaviors.) Obviously this will not do in any state well on its way to being usurped by fascism and is  why we have a patently unconstitutional & subversive secret court. Relevant to this run amok trashing of our foundational law:

While running a murder ring in government as vice president, international criminal Dick Cheney’s top lawyer was Shannen Coffin, Coffin is a close friend of Chief Justice John Roberts. John Roberts appoints the judges comprising the FISC (secret court.) Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder have persistently refused to investigate and prosecute these criminal personalities, rather working to protect their interests, at the price of our foundational law (constitution’s) promises of personal liberties. Should you be asking yourself why?

Obama Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice includes the FBI which failed to investigate high profile drug cartel crimes tied directly to politicians in the USA under former Director Robert Mueller. Bush appointed Robert Mueller’s past includes stonewalling international narcotics money laundering investigations. Following on Robert Mueller, Obama appointment James Comey went from drug money laundering HSBC board director to FBI Director. What should we think about that?

Attorney General Holder had, in his past, arranged immunity for and to conceal the identities of corporate personalities responsible for providing cash and machine guns to a designated terror group:

“Holder himself, using his influence as former deputy attorney general under the Clinton Administration, helped to negotiate Chiquita’s sweeheart deal with the Justice Department in the criminal case against Chiquita. Under this deal, no Chiquita official received any jail time. Indeed, the identity of the key officials involved in the assistance to the paramilitaries were kept under seal and confidential”

And the Department of Justice’s FBI strategy:

“The FBI is committed to sharing timely, relevant, and actionable intelligence with …. the private sector as part of its national security and law enforcement missions”

Do you suppose this preceding means sharing intelligence with corporations? I expect so. So does Bloomberg:

“Thousands of technology, finance and manufacturing companies are working closely with U.S. national security agencies, providing sensitive information and in return receiving benefits that include access to classified intelligence, four people familiar with the process said. These programs, whose participants are known as trusted partners, extend far beyond what was revealed by Edward Snowden, a computer technician who did work for the National Security Agency”

And if this were not enough, recalling the NSA is essentially a branch of the Pentagon, what should we all think of the ultimate bosses of the organization comprising what is essentially a hyper-right-wing ‘Christian Taliban‘ ?

Huh. It would seem Obama is covering up a LOT. How much? Obama’s end run on our constitution, allowing the Pentagon’s NSA to hand the USA gift-wrapped to organized corporate crime in the military-industrial complex is the tip of the iceberg folks:

Deep State I Foundation article

Deep State II FBI complicity

Deep State III Heroin, Bags of Cash & the CIA

In other words, you cannot believe a word this man (who has bragged concerning extra-judicial assassinations “I’m really good at killing people“) says in his speech on the NSA eavesdropping. Snowden is not the criminal. The criminal is the President of the United States. Imagine his saying (he does) “For more than two centuries, our Constitution has weathered every type of change because we have been willing to defend it” included in his most recent litany of lies:

28 January 2014 update: less than two weeks after Obama’s direction the USA no longer hold the bulk records of American citizens’ communications, this weasel has already ordered an end-run on his words (to mollify) the USA populace in regards to the constitution (why would anyone be surprised?)

Obama’s speech [egregious lies] of 17 January 2014

At the dawn of our Republic, a small, secret surveillance committee borne out of the “The Sons of Liberty” was established in Boston. The group’s members included Paul Revere, and at night they would patrol the streets, reporting back any signs that the British were preparing raids against America’s early Patriots.

Throughout American history, intelligence has helped secure our country and our freedoms. In the Civil War, Union balloon reconnaissance tracked the size of Confederate armies by counting the number of camp fires. In World War II, code-breaking gave us insight into Japanese war plans, and when Patton marched across Europe, intercepted communications helped save the lives of his troops. After the war, the rise of the Iron Curtain and nuclear weapons only increased the need for sustained intelligence-gathering. And so, in the early days of the Cold War, President Truman created the National Security Agency to give us insight into the Soviet bloc, and provide our leaders with information they needed to confront aggression and avert catastrophe.

Throughout this evolution, we benefited from both our Constitution and traditions of limited government. U.S. intelligence agencies were anchored in our system of checks and balances – with oversight from elected leaders, and protections for ordinary citizens. Meanwhile, totalitarian states like East Germany offered a cautionary tale of what could happen when vast, unchecked surveillance turned citizens into informers, and persecuted people for what they said in the privacy of their own homes.

In fact even the United States proved not to be immune to the abuse of surveillance. In the 1960s, government spied on civil rights leaders and critics of the Vietnam War. Partly in response to these revelations, additional laws were established in the 1970s to ensure that our intelligence capabilities could not be misused against our citizens. In the long, twilight struggle against Communism, we had been reminded that the very liberties that we sought to preserve could not be sacrificed at the altar of national security.

If the fall of the Soviet Union left America without a competing superpower, emerging threats from terrorist groups, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction placed new – and, in some ways more complicated – demands on our intelligence agencies. Globalization and the Internet made these threats more acute, as technology erased borders and empowered individuals to project great violence, as well as great good. Moreover, these new threats raised new legal and policy questions. For while few doubted the legitimacy of spying on hostile states, our framework of laws was not fully adapted to prevent terrorist attacks by individuals acting on their own, or acting in small, ideologically driven groups rather than on behalf of a foreign power.

The horror of September 11th brought these issues to the fore. Across the political spectrum, Americans recognized that we had to adapt to a world in which a bomb could be built in a basement, and our electric grid could be shut down by operators an ocean away. We were shaken by the signs we had missed leading up to the attacks – how the hijackers had made phone calls to known extremists, and travelled to suspicious places. So we demanded that our intelligence community improve its capabilities, and that law enforcement change practices to focus more on preventing attacks before they happen than prosecuting terrorists after an attack.

It is hard to overstate the transformation America’s intelligence community had to go through after 9/11. Our agencies suddenly needed to do far more than the traditional mission of monitoring hostile powers and gathering information for policymakers – instead, they were asked to identify and target plotters in some of the most remote parts of the world, and to anticipate the actions of networks that, by their very nature, cannot be easily penetrated with spies or informants.

And it is a testimony to the hard work and dedication of the men and women in our intelligence community that over the past decade, we made enormous strides in fulfilling this mission. Today, new capabilities allow intelligence agencies to track who a terrorist is in contact with, and follow the trail of his travel or funding. New laws allow information to be collected and shared more quickly between federal agencies, and state and local law enforcement. Relationships with foreign intelligence services have expanded, and our capacity to repel cyber-attacks has been strengthened. Taken together, these efforts have prevented multiple attacks and saved innocent lives – not just here in the United States, but around the globe as well.

And yet, in our rush to respond to very real and novel threats, the risks of government overreach – the possibility that we lose some of our core liberties in pursuit of security – became more pronounced. We saw, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, our government engaged in enhanced interrogation techniques that contradicted our values. As a Senator, I was critical of several practices, such as warrantless wiretaps. And all too often new authorities were instituted without adequate public debate.

Through a combination of action by the courts, increased congressional oversight, and adjustments by the previous Administration, some of the worst excesses that emerged after 9/11 were curbed by the time I took office. But a variety of factors have continued to complicate America’s efforts to both defend our nation and uphold our civil liberties.

First, the same technological advances that allow U.S. intelligence agencies to pin-point an al Qaeda cell in Yemen or an email between two terrorists in the Sahel, also mean that many routine communications around the world are within our reach. At a time when more and more of our lives are digital, that prospect is disquieting for all of us.

Second, the combination of increased digital information and powerful supercomputers offers intelligence agencies the possibility of sifting through massive amounts of bulk data to identify patterns or pursue leads that may thwart impending threats. But the government collection and storage of such bulk data also creates a potential for abuse.

Third, the legal safeguards that restrict surveillance against U.S. persons without a warrant do not apply to foreign persons overseas. This is not unique to America; few, if any, spy agencies around the world constrain their activities beyond their own borders. And the whole point of intelligence is to obtain information that is not publicly available. But America’s capabilities are unique. And the power of new technologies means that there are fewer and fewer technical constraints on what we can do. That places a special obligation on us to ask tough questions about what we should do.

Finally, intelligence agencies cannot function without secrecy, which makes their work less subject to public debate. Yet there is an inevitable bias not only within the intelligence community, but among all who are responsible for national security, to collect more information about the world, not less. So in the absence of institutional requirements for regular debate – and oversight that is public, as well as private – the danger of government overreach becomes more acute. This is particularly true when surveillance technology and our reliance on digital information is evolving much faster than our laws.

For all these reasons, I maintained a healthy skepticism toward our surveillance programs after I became President. I ordered that our programs be reviewed by my national security team and our lawyers, and in some cases I ordered changes in how we did business. We increased oversight and auditing, including new structures aimed at compliance. Improved rules were proposed by the government and approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. And we sought to keep Congress continually updated on these activities.

What I did not do is stop these programs wholesale – not only because I felt that they made us more secure; but also because nothing in that initial review, and nothing that I have learned since, indicated that our intelligence community has sought to violate the law or is cavalier about the civil liberties of their fellow citizens.

To the contrary, in an extraordinarily difficult job, one in which actions are second-guessed, success is unreported, and failure can be catastrophic, the men and women of the intelligence community, including the NSA, consistently follow protocols designed to protect the privacy of ordinary people. They are not abusing authorities in order to listen to your private phone calls, or read your emails. When mistakes are made – which is inevitable in any large and complicated human enterprise – they correct those mistakes. Laboring in obscurity, often unable to discuss their work even with family and friends, they know that if another 9/11 or massive cyber-attack occurs, they will be asked, by Congress and the media, why they failed to connect the dots. What sustains those who work at NSA through all these pressures is the knowledge that their professionalism and dedication play a central role in the defense of our nation.

To say that our intelligence community follows the law, and is staffed by patriots, is not to suggest that I, or others in my Administration, felt complacent about the potential impact of these programs. Those of us who hold office in America have a responsibility to our Constitution, and while I was confident in the integrity of those in our intelligence community, it was clear to me in observing our intelligence operations on a regular basis that changes in our technological capabilities were raising new questions about the privacy safeguards currently in place. Moreover, after an extended review of our use of drones in the fight against terrorist networks, I believed a fresh examination of our surveillance programs was a necessary next step in our effort to get off the open ended war-footing that we have maintained since 9/11. For these reasons, I indicated in a speech at the National Defense University last May that we needed a more robust public discussion about the balance between security and liberty. What I did not know at the time is that within weeks of my speech, an avalanche of unauthorized disclosures would spark controversies at home and abroad that have continued to this day.

Given the fact of an open investigation, I’m not going to dwell on Mr. Snowden’s actions or motivations. I will say that our nation’s defense depends in part on the fidelity of those entrusted with our nation’s secrets. If any individual who objects to government policy can take it in their own hands to publicly disclose classified information, then we will never be able to keep our people safe, or conduct foreign policy. Moreover, the sensational way in which these disclosures have come out has often shed more heat than light, while revealing methods to our adversaries that could impact our operations in ways that we may not fully understand for years to come.

Regardless of how we got here, though, the task before us now is greater than simply repairing the damage done to our operations; or preventing more disclosures from taking place in the future. Instead, we have to make some important decisions about how to protect ourselves and sustain our leadership in the world, while upholding the civil liberties and privacy protections that our ideals – and our Constitution – require. We need to do so not only because it is right, but because the challenges posed by threats like terrorism, proliferation, and cyber-attacks are not going away any time soon, and for our intelligence community to be effective over the long haul, we must maintain the trust of the American people, and people around the world.

This effort will not be completed overnight, and given the pace of technological change, we shouldn’t expect this to be the last time America has this debate. But I want the American people to know that the work has begun. Over the last six months, I created an outside Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies to make recommendations for reform. I’ve consulted with the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. I’ve listened to foreign partners, privacy advocates, and industry leaders. My Administration has spent countless hours considering how to approach intelligence in this era of diffuse threats and technological revolution. And before outlining specific changes that I have ordered, let me make a few broad observations that have emerged from this process.

First, everyone who has looked at these problems, including skeptics of existing programs, recognizes that we have real enemies and threats, and that intelligence serves a vital role in confronting them. We cannot prevent terrorist attacks or cyber-threats without some capability to penetrate digital communications – whether it’s to unravel a terrorist plot; to intercept malware that targets a stock exchange; to make sure air traffic control systems are not compromised; or to ensure that hackers do not empty your bank accounts.

Moreover, we cannot unilaterally disarm our intelligence agencies. There is a reason why blackberries and I-Phones are not allowed in the White House Situation Room. We know that the intelligence services of other countries – including some who feign surprise over the Snowden disclosures – are constantly probing our government and private sector networks, and accelerating programs to listen to our conversations, intercept our emails, or compromise our systems. Meanwhile, a number of countries, including some who have loudly criticized the NSA, privately acknowledge that America has special responsibilities as the world’s only superpower; that our intelligence capabilities are critical to meeting these responsibilities; and that they themselves have relied on the information we obtain to protect their own people.

Second, just as ardent civil libertarians recognize the need for robust intelligence capabilities, those with responsibilities for our national security readily acknowledge the potential for abuse as intelligence capabilities advance, and more and more private information is digitized. After all, the folks at NSA and other intelligence agencies are our neighbors and our friends. They have electronic bank and medical records like everyone else. They have kids on Facebook and Instagram, and they know, more than most of us, the vulnerabilities to privacy that exist in a world where transactions are recorded; emails and text messages are stored; and even our movements can be tracked through the GPS on our phones.

Third, there was a recognition by all who participated in these reviews that the challenges to our privacy do not come from government alone. Corporations of all shapes and sizes track what you buy, store and analyze our data, and use it for commercial purposes; that’s how those targeted ads pop up on your computer or smartphone. But all of us understand that the standards for government surveillance must be higher. Given the unique power of the state, it is not enough for leaders to say: trust us, we won’t abuse the data we collect. For history has too many examples when that trust has been breached. Our system of government is built on the premise that our liberty cannot depend on the good intentions of those in power; it depends upon the law to constrain those in power.

I make these observations to underscore that the basic values of most Americans when it comes to questions of surveillance and privacy converge far more than the crude characterizations that have emerged over the last several months. Those who are troubled by our existing programs are not interested in a repeat of 9/11, and those who defend these programs are not dismissive of civil liberties. The challenge is getting the details right, and that’s not simple. Indeed, during the course of our review, I have often reminded myself that I would not be where I am today were it not for the courage of dissidents, like Dr. King, who were spied on by their own government; as a President who looks at intelligence every morning, I also can’t help but be reminded that America must be vigilant in the face of threats.

Fortunately, by focusing on facts and specifics rather than speculation and hypotheticals, this review process has given me – and hopefully the American people – some clear direction for change. And today, I can announce a series of concrete and substantial reforms that my Administration intends to adopt administratively or will seek to codify with Congress.

First, I have approved a new presidential directive for our signals intelligence activities, at home and abroad. This guidance will strengthen executive branch oversight of our intelligence activities. It will ensure that we take into account our security requirements, but also our alliances; our trade and investment relationships, including the concerns of America’s companies; and our commitment to privacy and basic liberties. And we will review decisions about intelligence priorities and sensitive targets on an annual basis, so that our actions are regularly scrutinized by my senior national security team.

Second, we will reform programs and procedures in place to provide greater transparency to our surveillance activities, and fortify the safeguards that protect the privacy of U.S. persons. Since we began this review, including information being released today, we have declassified over 40 opinions and orders of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which provides judicial review of some of our most sensitive intelligence activities – including the Section 702 program targeting foreign individuals overseas and the Section 215 telephone metadata program. Going forward, I am directing the Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with the Attorney General, to annually review – for the purpose of declassification – any future opinions of the Court with broad privacy implications, and to report to me and Congress on these efforts. To ensure that the Court hears a broader range of privacy perspectives, I am calling on Congress to authorize the establishment of a panel of advocates from outside government to provide an independent voice in significant cases before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Third, we will provide additional protections for activities conducted under Section 702, which allows the government to intercept the communications of foreign targets overseas who have information that’s important for our national security. Specifically, I am asking the Attorney General and DNI to institute reforms that place additional restrictions on government’s ability to retain, search, and use in criminal cases, communications between Americans and foreign citizens incidentally collected under Section 702.

Fourth, in investigating threats, the FBI also relies on National Security Letters, which can require companies to provide specific and limited information to the government without disclosing the orders to the subject of the investigation. These are cases in which it is important that the subject of the investigation, such as a possible terrorist or spy, isn’t tipped off. But we can – and should – be more transparent in how government uses this authority. I have therefore directed the Attorney General to amend how we use National Security Letters so this secrecy will not be indefinite, and will terminate within a fixed time unless the government demonstrates a real need for further secrecy. We will also enable communications providers to make public more information than ever before about the orders they have received to provide data to the government.

This brings me to program that has generated the most controversy these past few months – the bulk collection of telephone records under Section 215. Let me repeat what I said when this story first broke – this program does not involve the content of phone calls, or the names of people making calls. Instead, it provides a record of phone numbers and the times and lengths of calls – meta-data that can be queried if and when we have a reasonable suspicion that a particular number is linked to a terrorist organization.

Why is this necessary? The program grew out of a desire to address a gap identified after 9/11. One of the 9/11 hijackers – Khalid al-Mihdhar – made a phone call from San Diego to a known al Qaeda safe-house in Yemen. NSA saw that call, but could not see that it was coming from an individual already in the United States. The telephone metadata program under Section 215 was designed to map the communications of terrorists, so we can see who they may be in contact with as quickly as possible. This capability could also prove valuable in a crisis. For example, if a bomb goes off in one of our cities and law enforcement is racing to determine whether a network is poised to conduct additional attacks, time is of the essence. Being able to quickly review telephone connections to assess whether a network exists is critical to that effort.

In sum, the program does not involve the NSA examining the phone records of ordinary Americans. Rather, it consolidates these records into a database that the government can query if it has a specific lead – phone records that the companies already retain for business purposes. The Review Group turned up no indication that this database has been intentionally abused. And I believe it is important that the capability that this program is designed to meet is preserved.

Having said that, I believe critics are right to point out that without proper safeguards, this type of program could be used to yield more information about our private lives, and open the door to more intrusive, bulk collection programs. They also rightly point out that although the telephone bulk collection program was subject to oversight by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and has been reauthorized repeatedly by Congress, it has never been subject to vigorous public debate.

For all these reasons, I believe we need a new approach. I am therefore ordering a transition that will end the Section 215 bulk metadata program as it currently exists, and establish a mechanism that preserves the capabilities we need without the government holding this bulk meta-data.

This will not be simple. The Review Group recommended that our current approach be replaced by one in which the providers or a third party retain the bulk records, with the government accessing information as needed. Both of these options pose difficult problems. Relying solely on the records of multiple providers, for example, could require companies to alter their procedures in ways that raise new privacy concerns. On the other hand, any third party maintaining a single, consolidated data-base would be carrying out what is essentially a government function with more expense, more legal ambiguity, and a doubtful impact on public confidence that their privacy is being protected.

During the review process, some suggested that we may also be able to preserve the capabilities we need through a combination of existing authorities, better information sharing, and recent technological advances. But more work needs to be done to determine exactly how this system might work.

Because of the challenges involved, I’ve ordered that the transition away from the existing program will proceed in two steps. Effective immediately, we will only pursue phone calls that are two steps removed from a number associated with a terrorist organization instead of three. And I have directed the Attorney General to work with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court so that during this transition period, the database can be queried only after a judicial finding, or in a true emergency.

Next, I have instructed the intelligence community and Attorney General to use this transition period to develop options for a new approach that can match the capabilities and fill the gaps that the Section 215 program was designed to address without the government holding this meta-data. They will report back to me with options for alternative approaches before the program comes up for reauthorization on March 28. During this period, I will consult with the relevant committees in Congress to seek their views, and then seek congressional authorization for the new program as needed.

The reforms I’m proposing today should give the American people greater confidence that their rights are being protected, even as our intelligence and law enforcement agencies maintain the tools they need to keep us safe. I recognize that there are additional issues that require further debate. For example, some who participated in our review, as well as some in Congress, would like to see more sweeping reforms to the use of National Security Letters, so that we have to go to a judge before issuing these requests. Here, I have concerns that we should not set a standard for terrorism investigations that is higher than those involved in investigating an ordinary crime. But I agree that greater oversight on the use of these letters may be appropriate, and am prepared to work with Congress on this issue. There are also those who would like to see different changes to the FISA court than the ones I have proposed. On all of these issues, I am open to working with Congress to ensure that we build a broad consensus for how to move forward, and am confident that we can shape an approach that meets our security needs while upholding the civil liberties of every American.

Let me now turn to the separate set of concerns that have been raised overseas, and focus on America’s approach to intelligence collection abroad. As I’ve indicated, the United States has unique responsibilities when it comes to intelligence collection. Our capabilities help protect not only our own nation, but our friends and allies as well. Our efforts will only be effective if ordinary citizens in other countries have confidence that the United States respects their privacy too. And the leaders of our close friends and allies deserve to know that if I want to learn what they think about an issue, I will pick up the phone and call them, rather than turning to surveillance. In other words, just as we balance security and privacy at home, our global leadership demands that we balance our security requirements against our need to maintain trust and cooperation among people and leaders around the world.

For that reason, the new presidential directive that I have issued today will clearly prescribe what we do, and do not do, when it comes to our overseas surveillance. To begin with, the directive makes clear that the United States only uses signals intelligence for legitimate national security purposes, and not for the purpose of indiscriminately reviewing the emails or phone calls of ordinary people. I have also made it clear that the United States does not collect intelligence to suppress criticism or dissent, nor do we collect intelligence to disadvantage people on the basis of their ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. And we do not collect intelligence to provide a competitive advantage to U.S. companies, or U.S. commercial sectors.

In terms of our bulk collection of signals intelligence, U.S. intelligence agencies will only use such data to meet specific security requirements: counter-intelligence; counter-terrorism; counter-proliferation; cyber-security; force protection for our troops and allies; and combating transnational crime, including sanctions evasion. Moreover, I have directed that we take the unprecedented step of extending certain protections that we have for the American people to people overseas. I have directed the DNI, in consultation with the Attorney General, to develop these safeguards, which will limit the duration that we can hold personal information, while also restricting the use of this information.

The bottom line is that people around the world – regardless of their nationality – should know that the United States is not spying on ordinary people who don’t threaten our national security, and that we take their privacy concerns into account. This applies to foreign leaders as well. Given the understandable attention that this issue has received, I have made clear to the intelligence community that – unless there is a compelling national security purpose – we will not monitor the communications of heads of state and government of our close friends and allies. And I’ve instructed my national security team, as well as the intelligence community, to work with foreign counterparts to deepen our coordination and cooperation in ways that rebuild trust going forward.

Now let me be clear: our intelligence agencies will continue to gather information about the intentions of governments – as opposed to ordinary citizens – around the world, in the same way that the intelligence services of every other nation does. We will not apologize simply because our services may be more effective. But heads of state and government with whom we work closely, and on whose cooperation we depend, should feel confident that we are treating them as real partners. The changes I’ve ordered do just that.

Finally, to make sure that we follow through on these reforms, I am making some important changes to how our government is organized. The State Department will designate a senior officer to coordinate our diplomacy on issues related to technology and signals intelligence. We will appoint a senior official at the White House to implement the new privacy safeguards that I have announced today. I will devote the resources to centralize and improve the process we use to handle foreign requests for legal assistance, keeping our high standards for privacy while helping foreign partners fight crime and terrorism.

I have also asked my Counselor, John Podesta, to lead a comprehensive review of big data and privacy. This group will consist of government officials who—along with the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology—will reach out to privacy experts, technologists and business leaders, and look at how the challenges inherent in big data are being confronted by both the public and private sectors; whether we can forge international norms on how to manage this data; and how we can continue to promote the free flow of information in ways that are consistent with both privacy and security.

For ultimately, what’s at stake in this debate goes far beyond a few months of headlines, or passing tensions in our foreign policy. When you cut through the noise, what’s really at stake is how we remain true to who we are in a world that is remaking itself at dizzying speed. Whether it’s the ability of individuals to communicate ideas; to access information that would have once filled every great library in every country in the world; or to forge bonds with people on other sides of the globe, technology is remaking what is possible for individuals, for institutions, and for the international order. So while the reforms that I have announced will point us in a new direction, I am mindful that more work will be needed in the future.

One thing I’m certain of: this debate will make us stronger. And I also know that in this time of change, the United States of America will have to lead. It may seem sometimes that America is being held to a different standard, and the readiness of some to assume the worst motives by our government can be frustrating. No one expects China to have an open debate about their surveillance programs, or Russia to take the privacy concerns of citizens into account. But let us remember that we are held to a different standard precisely because we have been at the forefront in defending personal privacy and human dignity.

As the nation that developed the Internet, the world expects us to ensure that the digital revolution works as a tool for individual empowerment rather than government control. Having faced down the totalitarian dangers of fascism and communism, the world expects us to stand up for the principle that every person has the right to think and write and form relationships freely – because individual freedom is the wellspring of human progress.

Those values make us who we are. And because of the strength of our own democracy, we should not shy away from high expectations. For more than two centuries, our Constitution has weathered every type of change because we have been willing to defend it, and because we have been willing to question the actions that have been taken in its defense. Today is no different. Together, let us chart a way forward that secures the life of our nation, while preserving the liberties that make our nation worth fighting for. Thank you

^ None of what Obama has stated, can be believed

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Snowden and Snooping

Cambridge, Massachusetts – 12 December 2013

Remarks at the MIT Center for International Studies by Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. (USFS Ret.)

We live in what the National Security Agency [NSA] has called “the golden age of SIGINT [signals intelligence].”  We might have guessed this.  We now know it for a fact because of a spectacular act of civil disobedience by Edward Snowden.  His is perhaps the most consequential such act for both our domestic liberties and our foreign relations in the more than two century-long history of our republic.

This past spring, Mr. Snowden decided to place his oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” and his allegiance to the Bill of Rights above his contractual obligations to the intelligence community and the government for which it snoops.  He blew the whistle on NSA’s ruthless drive for digital omniscience.  When he did this, he knew that many of his fellow citizens would impugn his patriotism.  He also knew he would be prosecuted for violating the growing maze of legislation that criminalizes revelations about the national security practices of America’s post-9/11 warfare state.

Mr. Snowden does not dispute that he is guilty of legally criminal acts.  But he places himself in the long line of Americans convinced, as Martin Luther King put it, that “noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.”  As someone long in service to our country, I am upset by such defiance of authority.  As an American, I am not.

Like Henry David Thoreau and many others in protest movements in our country over the past century and a half, Mr. Snowden deliberately broke the law to bring to public attention government behavior he considered at odds with the U.S. Constitution, American values, and the rule of law.  One point he wanted to make was that we Americans now live under a government that precludes legal or political challenges to its own increasingly deviant behavior.  Our government has criminalized the release of information exposing such behavior or revealing the policies that authorize it.  The only way to challenge its policies and activities is to break the law by exposing them.

Mr. Snowden justifies his flight abroad on the grounds that, had he remained within the jurisdiction of the United States, he could not have had a fair trial, would very likely have been subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, and would have been isolated and silenced to avert informed debate by Americans about the public policy issues his revelations raise.  Not so very long ago – let’s say in the time of Daniel Ellsberg – it would have been fairly easy to show that such fears were groundless. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.  Mr. Snowden has been driven to ground in Russia, a country with an incomparably worse record of lawlessness than ours that he never intended to visit, let alone reside in.  If he tries to go elsewhere, he will be hunted down and made to disappear.

Post 9/11, practices not seen in our political culture since the abolition of the Star Chamber by the Habeas Corpus Act of 1640 have again become commonplace.  Such practices include – but are not limited to – detention without charge or trial, various forms of physical and psychological abuse, and the extrajudicial murder of American citizens on the orders of the president.  All of these are facilitated by electronic eavesdropping, as is state terrorism by drone and death squad.  Like the inhabitants of countries we condemn for gross violations of human rights, Americans are now subject to warrantless surveillance of our electronic interactions with each other, the arbitrary seizure at the border of our computers and private correspondence, the use of torture and degrading practices in interrogation and pretrial detention, and prosecution upon evidence we cannot see or challenge because it is “classified.”

In the thirteen years since the 21st century began, many of the rights that once defined our republic have been progressively revoked, in particular those enumerated in the 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments to our Constitution.  The freedoms that have been curtailed include the rights to:

1) immunity from searches and seizures except “upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly  describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

2) not “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

3) “a speedy and public trial . . . and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation.”

Mr. Snowden has brought home to us that, while we Americans do not yet live in a police state or tyranny, we are well along in building the infrastructure on which either could be instantly erected if our leaders decided to do so.  No longer protected by the law, our freedoms now depend on the self-restraint of men and women in authority, many of them in uniform.  History protests that if one builds a turnkey totalitarian state, those who hold the keys will eventually turn them.

One does not have to approve of Mr. Snowden’s conduct to recognize the service he has done us by exposing the cancerous growth of our government’s surveillance apparatus.  The issues before us are neither his character nor the punishment he should receive.  The issues we must address are: (1) how much domestic surveillance can be reconciled with the Constitution and the immunities from government intrusion it once guaranteed to individuals and groups, and (2) where, against which foreigners, and to what extent such electronic snooping should be carried out abroad.

The United States was founded on the principle that “that government is best that governs least.”  This concept of limited government is wholly incompatible with the notion of an omniscient executive, still less one that is protected by secrecy from both accountability and the checks and balances imposed by independent judicial review, congressional and public oversight, or even common sense.  Yet, we can be in no doubt that our fear of foreign and domestic terrorism has caused us to nurture just such a governmental leviathan.

Judicial checks on surveillance activities by an essentially coopted FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance] Court have been both minimal and ineffective.  NSA has not always heeded its rulings anyway.  There is no evidence of congressional push-back against the steady expansion of snooping on Americans or foreigners or of presidential efforts to restrain either.  The very members of Congress responsible for intelligence community oversight professed to be shocked when they learned about the scope of NSA’s eavesdropping on both Americans and foreign leaders.  The president claimed ignorance.  Whether these political postures reflect dishonesty or incompetence is unclear.

What is not in doubt is that there has been a massive, ongoing failure by our government to conduct its intelligence activities in a manner supportive of our liberties and our alliances with foreign nations.  Both oversight and management of intelligence collection programs need urgent corrective surgery.   And it is time for a major pruning of the jungle of surveillance programs that national hysteria about terrorism, essentially limitless funding, and burgeoning technical capabilities have combined to produce.

The very purpose of the state is the management of the nation’s defense.  To do this, the authorities must have situational awareness and early warning of possible threats from both state and non-state actors.  SIGINT, like other forms of espionage and diplomatic reporting and analysis, is part of the answer to this need.  But SIGINT was invented to support actions on the battlefield.  For the most part, it remains a military project.  We do not – we should not – ask our military to exercise restraint when attacking perceived threats.  Armies are not expected to play by the rules but to win.  They are inevitably inclined to overkill.  It has been said that “an elephant is a mouse built to mil-specs.”  True to the military culture of excess from which it sprang, NSA is an intrusive collection apparatus that has evolved to “collect it all.”  “All” is much too much.

Given their invisibility, secret programs have a particular propensity to expand beyond their original purposes.  The view that activities that are not legal are not necessarily illegal, and that any and all technology should be exploited à l’outrance is what underlies the decision to “collect it all.”  It is hardly surprising that this has become NSA’s self-proclaimed mission.  Why does a chicken cross the road?  Why does a dog lick its balls?  Because it can.  Why does NSA snoop on everyone everywhere online?  Because it has the money and means to do so, not because what it collects meets any valid, externally determined national requirement, standard of efficiency, or foreign policy judgment.  The fact that we are able to do things that violate the trust and privacy of others does not make it wise or appropriate to do them.

What we have seen since 9/11 is a combination of adaptation to new international circumstances and a growing ration of purposeless program growth, only tangentially related to threats to our national security.  In the case of SIGINT, this is a dangerous misdirection of resources.  Conventional threats of all kinds are now minimal but cyber threats are escalating.  SIGINT capabilities should be focused on potential enemies and on defending citizens and their government against foreign cyber intrusions, theft, and sabotage, not on collecting information about citizens in the United States and other democracies.  It is neither necessary nor proper to spy on democratic foreign allies who do not spy on us.

It is not necessary because these allies are open societies that debate their basic policies in public.  We are represented in their capitals by diplomatic missions whose purpose, in part, is to keep our government informed about their motivations, reasoning, plans, and operations.  If we need to understand these societies and their capabilities and intentions better, we should strengthen our diplomacy, not our covert military trespasses against them.

Mr. Snowden documented misbehavior that was a Pandora’s box of embarrassments waiting to burst open.  It should have been seen as such by those who authorized and carried it out.  Their overreach has now done great damage to our moral standing internationally.  This is a painful reminder that eavesdropping on allies is no more compatible with mutually respectful and cooperative relationships than behaving like a peeping Tom is with friendship.

By alienating our foreign admirers and supporters, we have weakened our country’s political influence abroad.  By hacking into our great information technology companies to create Trojan horses, our government has spread distrust of U.S. products and services and damaged the competitiveness of our economy.  By belying the decent respect for the opinions of mankind with which we inaugurated our nation, Washington has catalyzed a global loss of confidence in the righteousness of American leadership.  By showing suspicious contempt for allies and ready hostility toward other nations, Americans have undermined the prospects for both future international cooperation by allies with our armed forces and peaceful coexistence with our competitors.

In the Cold War, we Americans and our allies justly saw ourselves as threatened with nuclear annihilation or ideological subjugation.  Someone in Moscow could turn a key and most of us would soon be dead.  The threats before us are in no way comparable.  Yet, in the face of a greatly lessened danger, our leaders have chosen – mostly in secret – to defend our freedoms and preserve our international standing in ways that diminish both.  Our own government has become a vastly more potent threat to the traditions and civil liberties of our republic and to the rule of law than al-Qaeda could ever hope to be.

Our ability to intercept, decipher, and understand the communications of those who wish us ill is an invaluable competency.  But it is a capability that coexists uneasily with a free society and with cooperation with other free societies.  Those who exercise it are – for the most part – patriots attempting to defend our nation, not infringe its liberties.  But our misapplication of their  ability to eavesdrop to their fellow citizens as well as democratic allies who do not spy on us is a perversion of its purpose that must be curtailed.  The collection of intelligence is essential to our national security.  It is not and cannot be an end in itself.   And in a democracy, it cannot be safely conducted without judgment based on a sense of propriety and self-restraint born of deference to the rule of law.

Freedom requires checks and balances, not paternalistic monitoring by the government.   It is now incontrovertible that we have failed to apply effective checks and balances to core national security and intelligence functions.  No one in Washington or anywhere else should be in a position to turn a key and deprive us or our posterity of the blessings of liberty.  It is past time to rethink and radically downsize both the warfare state and the undisciplined surveillance apparatus it has given birth to.

Original post at chasfreeman.net with my thanks to longstrangejourney.com where I’d initially discovered it

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VE18

Re-blogged by Ronald Thomas West

Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s -Jesus

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If The Left Are Sheep, The Right Are Fish

I was, quite frankly, astounded when then Senator Obama voted to give the telecoms immunity from liability during his run for the presidency. Obama is supposedly a Constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago, a position he holds, if not actively, to this day. But life for me has been, as it has been for many of you, and should be for everyone who wishes to grow in their understanding of our national circumstance, an exercise in the death of naivety

In my case, the naivety which had begun to die going to the above noted event, concerns the pure, concentrated and unmitigated gall that the votes of over fifty lawmakers who happen to be senators, a certain famous constitutional law professor among them, could thumb their nose at any oath to uphold the constitution with a ‘yea’ voting in a law that has three constitutional violations on it’s face, an ‘ex post facto’, ‘legislative pardon’ that violates our citizens ‘right to petition for redress’ by denying ‘suit at equity’ or access to the courts via lawsuit

Let me explain

The telecoms played ball with criminals in the Bush administration by participating in what amounted to warrant-less searches and eves-dropping without court order, stealing and handing over peoples personal information in criminal acts Americans had been historically protected from by our constitution and pertinent laws. This opened the telecom corporations to both criminal penalties and civil liabilities. There were crimes committed which should have been prosecuted and people have a right to sue. The potential liability looked pretty big and the telecoms lobbied for immunity

1) ex post facto. Our constitution specifically prohibits Congress making any “ex post facto” law, as typically or historically applied that means a behavior cannot be criminalized after the fact and applied retroactively, or more broadly, new laws cannot be made governing an event that is in the past. In this 2nd instance we have a valid constitutional claim prohibiting making a law excusing past criminal civil liberties violations against our citizens, violations which had created liabilities. What is required for the criminal aspect solely, is a PARDON

2) legislative pardon: Congress cannot give pardons to the individuals within the telecoms who’d signed off on and perpetrated the crimes, that is reserved by our constitution to the president and neither can the congress or the president pardon corporations in any manner excusing civil liability, the corporations must be held accountable and seek any leniency based on possible mitigation factors from the courts, because [3 & 4 combine to make a constitutional principle]

3) the” right to petition for redress” is promised to every citizen who has been wronged and

4) “suit at equity”, that is, the courts existing to do what is right by the citizen, is the avenue provided by our constitution to fulfill the promise of every wronged citizen’s ‘right to petition for redress’ or it should be said there is no right of corporate or government impunity. Citizen’s petitions for remedies and compensation may not be preemptively denied fair hearing, in our courts of law by the Congress

The oath to uphold our constitution had been meant to prevent such patently wrong laws in the first instance. That oath is become patently meaningless to the trained lawyers and professionals who should know these things and make up the congress, points squarely to the core of corrupt process usurping our rule of law

Now, what I’d point out to my conservative friends regarding the Senator Obama vote in the case of the Congress patently and illegally extending immunity to the telecoms in violation of every ‘yea’ voting senator’s oath to uphold the constitution of these United States is: that farcical and patently criminal vote violating our most fundamental rights passed with a majority of Republican senators backing. The Democrats voting in favor of the law were a distinct minority. YOUR conservative people’s representatives are primarily responsible for this particular travesty of justice, which has the effect of trashing our Bill of Rights particularly, and other provisions of our constitution generally

Get comfortable with that thought because now I am going to point to some more Republican chicanery undermining our foundational law that is going to hurt some more if you keep reading and are open and honest and willing to look at what has overcome us all, not at the hands of liberals or conservatives, but on account of all ourselves buying into the protected free speech that is political lies

The American constitution, any and all neo-con ‘Liars for Jesus’ notwithstanding, is based on secular ethics, not Christian morality. There IS a difference and that difference is sometimes quite pronounced, as I will demonstrate was the case with the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law forbidding gays serving openly in our military

As a heterosexual secular ethicist, I tolerate male homosexuals and actually get on quite well with lesbians. They very thought of sex with another man revolts me but that is largely beside the point. What I recognize, and what our founding law supports, is the idea a free society mostly cannot legislate morality. Time should have taught us this, as there have been numerous bigoted and unconstitutional laws in the history of our nation made by fundamentalists of one generation to the next.. but what it all boils down to is, it is our constitution’s demand that it is none of our business if a couple of guys practice fellatio, or lesbians cunnilingus, in the privacy of their home

If they are good citizens in a secular sense, perform their civic duties responsibly and don’t push their private sexual life in peoples face, we have to respect they have a right to their lifestyle and a right to be seen affectionately in public together no differently to my own behaviors with a woman in my life. Do I copulate in public with my opposite sex partner? No. Do they perform sex acts in public with their same sex partner? No. No differently, if I can kiss my woman in public, so may they kiss their same sex partner in public. I don’t have to watch and neither do you.. and insofar as influencing children, there is no more a rude thing to do to a child than force them into denial of our world’s realities, a form of lying, you do not raise aware citizens that way

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” crossed our constitution’s demand that there be “equal protection” of all citizens before the law. A law that allows heterosexual expression of one’s sexual preference only, violates the rights of gays. It is quite clear and it is that simple

Before I go into how President Obama and the Senate Republicans BOTH had subverted out rule of law and damaged our constitution with using the “don’t ask, don’t tell” as a political football, it is in order here to give a further short exam of the secular ethics our law is based upon, versus religious, or in the USA, largely Christian morality

Our nation was founded by people with varying experiences at the hands of religion, with nearly all of those experiences negative. It was not only the persecuted religious minority by the religious majority which migrated to what became the USA, but also the political dissident and intellectual who left a country with officially sanctioned state religion used as a tool of repression, such as employed by the Church of England and the Church at Rome, and the free or secular thinkers who abandoned Germany, France, Italy or Spain among many other nations where religious intolerance persecuted anyone who stepped out of the officially sanctioned lines of thinking. The result is what you see in our First Amendment, it is no accident that lumped together there, are freedom of expression, that protects the secular people particularly, and the freedom of people to practice ANY religion and very importantly, in the same paragraph religion is altogether forbidden in the affairs of state. This was the ‘original intent’ of our founders, again, any ‘Liars for Jesus’ notwithstanding

Of course our founders realized we live in an imperfect world and what they attempted to do was in fact establish a libertarian society which would create an environment for elevated awareness and advancement of the future generations with a generous opportunity for our citizenry- given in our founding law. Thomas Jefferson looked at the New England Puritans as hopelessly backward people living out a primitive demonic fantasy, whereas John Adams had a revulsion similar to homophobia in relation to Benjamin Franklin’s libertine philosophies and lifestyle, examples given, but they and other founders all did one thing very well, they tolerated one another, setting aside differences to both: win the revolution and write our constitution intended to preserve the rights of one and all despite their differences. As a group, these men realized there is a sole avenue to any positive future and that avenue is tolerance. This is driving purpose behind our having established secular republic where religious morals are deliberately allowed no part of government and those recent Supreme Court Justices who best personified these secular principles of tolerance were Republican or Republican appointed, Justice Brennan and Justice Stevens

Now, if the left and right both forget Jesus’ admonition not to throw stones, that is, when we have begun throwing our found(er)ing law through windows like rocks with notes attached, and that is where we are now as a political culture,  with smears coming in the name of our constitution, particularly on the right because of “Liars for Jesus” rewriting American history, and stones thrown from the left because of a snotty disdain for any and all things conservative which had been smeared hopelessly by association with the criminal Bush, no matter the fact there are yet many fine and honorable people on the right, all is in a fine mess. And with the people distracted with fighting like a saloon brawl, money and it’s associated personalities in politics are having a field day while narcissistic politicians pandering to corporate greed are running away with our republic

Now, money in politics played off conservative Christian morality against liberal secular ethics with “Don’t ask, don’t tell” and both right & left of the American people lost and money in politics won with people divided and hating

Erstwhile constitutional law professor and faux commander-in-chief Obama had a court ruling in his pocket which flatly stated “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Now, if indeed Obama is commander-in-chief of our military, it was his undeniable duty to simply ORDER “Don’t ask, don’t tell” to be discontinued. But no, manipulative Chicago politicians don’t play the constitutional rules of the game straight, so he has his own Attorney General’s United States Department of Justice hold up the ruling with an appeal, while the senate neo-con Republicans threatened and blustered over repeal of what they know was patently unconstitutional “Don’t ask, don’t tell” law by the congress, an act that would make the court order moot

This play motivated both left and right, rank and file, to fight and pour tremendous energy into hating each other over whether a soldier can get his blow job from a man rather than a woman, and when nobody is looking at that. I hope you all suddenly feel real bright over why real problems this country faces, never get solved, all the while money runs amok in politics and Citizens United is not addressed with a constitutional amendment

But it is actually much, much more than that

It so happens both George Sr and George W Bush had a very close and intimate friend of decades in a real dilemma over “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Obama’s Evangelical Secretary of  Defense Robert Gates, a man epitomized in the warning President Eisenhower gave us about the “Military/Industrial Complex” and its power to corrupt our republic, had asked the Congress to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” in a move to buy time for his religious extremist generals belonging to the right wing “Officers Christian Fellowship.” The “Officer’s Christian Fellowship is behind the acts causing the U.S. military to be repeatedly sued via the Military Religious Freedom Foundation by over 33,000 active duty United States soldiers because the soldiers are being force fed extremist religious right hate propaganda by their superiors.  These extremist officers literally believe “Muslims are the children of Satan” and have pushed the USA efforts in Afghanistan as a religious crusade in an army where recently soldiers who sought combat stress psychological counseling were instead sent to a chaplain who told them their problems would be solved if only they would become “born again in Jesus” and “kill Muslims for Christ.” Small wonder there is epidemic suicide in the United States military not to mention the noted salient facts making an ongoing lie of Obama’s claims the USA is repairing relations with the Islamic world

Of course, in extremist Christian morality homosexuals are aberrant perverts deserving of nothing less than death according to primitive mosaic law and now we will have a whole new class of persecution in our military because the Congress repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell” while Obama’s Attorney General kept the case tied up in appeals, it was much easier for Robert Gates to sweep the related unconstitutional religious morals repression of gays by our extreme Christian generals and their religious extremist officer-minions under the rug. Now, illegal persecutions will fall under military justice structures and be much more difficult to bring justice into line with constitutional principle when gays are beaten or murdered with ‘friendly fire’ and lesbians beaten and raped with the tacit encouragement of the extreme homophobic “Officer’s Christian Fellowship” whose mission is a ‘Godly military’ in a crusade to “kill Muslims for Jesus Christ” in a military which already covers up not only rampant rape of its woman soldiers, but the murder of women as well– and going so far as the leadership at the Pentagon had ordered its top expert on sexual abuse not to testify before the Congress:

“But when it came time for the military to defend itself, the panel was told that the Pentagon’s top official on sexual abuse, Dr. Kaye Whitley, was ordered not to show up despite a subpoena.

Rep. John Tierney, the panel’s chairman and a Democrat from Massachusetts, angrily responded, “these actions by the Defense Department are inexplicable.”

“The Defense Department appears to be willfully and blatantly advising Dr. Whitley not to comply with a duly authorized congressional subpoena,” Tierney said.” -CNN

The ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ repeal had been preferred by the close Bush family friend and evangelical Robert Gates because he knows it rendered the Federal Court case moot and everything begins again from scratch with enforcing the rights of soldiers in the military system where his generals can finesse outcomes, and Gates also knows that his generals flipping their middle fingers at a federal judge’s court order overturning ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell” was a real risk because federal judges in theory can take over the operations of entire departments or even branches of government with a “Consent Decree”, pointed at people who refuse to bow to the rule of law and honor courts ordering our institutions into line with constitutional principles. Accordingly, the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and attending loss of Federal Court jurisdiction is in actuality a closet victory for the neo-con leadership of the USA’s military who defies our Congress and Constitution

Meanwhile Robert Gates’ generals religious right support base in the senate played to their homophobic electorate at home which collectively flipped out over the vote throwing out an unconstitutional law and would do so over any other act to honor the constitutional rights of ‘fags’ and Gates’s generals escaped a real catch 22. But is it the WOMEN soldiers paying for this religious impunity with 26,000 sexual assaults in 2012 alone in a military with leadership believing the only proper place of any woman is the bedroom and not the workplace. This epidemic goes unaddressed because misogynist officers in the command structure oversee the disciplinary process

All the while, the progressive left had been backing the right thing to do by our constitution, and are the very people Obama’s Department of Justice had been fighting in the courts while holding up with appeal the Judge’s order throwing out ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and otherwise no player involved except this one judge had honored our constitution, for all of our conservative voters swallowing the bait of their candidates oath to our constitution and professed love for our “Bill of Rights” of which the congressional record of rip-off will hurt the right and left both on other constitutional issues, such as privacy and PRISM. Restated, when you support the congress undermining any aspect of our constitution you don’t like, you have emboldened the congress to undermine aspects of our constitution you hold dear to your heart

And so long as politicians on the right have to pander to voters who follow mental whack jobs like Ann Coulter to keep the conservative vote in one block, while the left can’t shake off the legacy of Chicago style politics, any truly sane center ground allowing for real progress on issues that matter is pie-in-the-sky

There you have it- how in a most perverted sense the Republican senators play a supportive game in cahoots with Obama when it comes to their common cause of keeping the right and left fighting, while money runs amok buying our elections with political lies and in the course of things, trashes our constitution and national sanity

And finally, considering Jesus instruction to ‘give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, the oath to uphold our secular constitution could not be a more clear obligation to those Christian conservatives who would prefer not to be labeled hypocrites ..

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Dominionism

SAMSUNG

John Roberts appoints the FISA Star Chamber

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In the United States theory of law there is a known and in the past prosecuted concept called ‘color of law.’ Color of law is when the apparatus of state puts up a pretense of legitimate authority to pursue what are in fact illegal acts.

In the case of the FISA court, there is ZERO constitutional foundation for any secret jurisprudence violating American citizens’ individual rights laid out in our constitution’s first through eighth amendments, which the FISA court authorizing Prism in fact sets out to do.

In the case of Edward Snowden:

 

Congressional leaders Diane Feinstein and John Boehner have used the terms ‘treason’ and ‘traitor’ HOWEVER:

The actual traitors under any authentic American or ‘de jure’ rule of law are those persons putting forth a pretense these civil liberties violations are legitimate. This points first to the Congress authoring patently unconstitutional legislation, then second, to any president signing and implementing such unlawful authority and subsequently, any Chief Justice appointing members of said secret court under FISA law, and finally those persons accepting and serving FISA, these are the ‘traitors’ if our constitution were to mean anything in the present day, which in fact it would appear it does not.

It is clear our core American values in philosophy, theory and practice of law, have been discarded by the national leadership of both parties.

When Senator Diane Feinstein claims ‘prism’ is ‘legal’ she is in a philosophy of law tar pit. Prism is unconstitutional from top to bottom, our constitution’s clause authorizing congress to create courts does not employ language allowing a constitutional oxymoron, that is creating secret jurisdiction undermining other clauses of the constitution or one clause empowered to undermine the other clauses.

Restated in the simplest terms; When the clause allowing congress to create courts is construed in such a way as to undermine other constitutional clauses, only one clause will count: the clause congress gave away to secrecy. You can forget about the rest, including the clauses which guarantee a trial by your peers, the right to confront your accusers, your right to freely associate, your right to peaceably assemble, your right of public speech, all of which you can now be prosecuted in secret, and now your private speech can be stolen and misconstrued in secret star chamber proceedings, et cetera, add nausea. The end result is no constitution at all. Only people living in denial, mental pygmies and deliberate liars could hold any other point of view. It is abundantly clear Color of law has overtaken the highest institutions of the USA. Does it say anything to you Dick Cheney lawyer Shannen Coffin is a big fan (and close personal friend) of Chief Justice John Roberts, the man who appoints the FISA Star Chamber judges? “The Star Chamber has, for centuries, symbolized disregard of basic human rights”  Faretta v. California 422 US 806, 821-22 (1975)

Obama must have been a terrible law professor or he has actually thrown out any principled view of American foundational law when ensconced in the halls of power, which appears to be a widespread and socially contagious disease at the apex of 21st century American politics; particularly noting Chief Justice John Roberts who appoints the members of the secret FISA court. With this ‘star chamber’ in place, one only need examine who is hunted and sent to prison or murdered without charge or trial, such as 16 years old U.S. citizen Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, as opposed to those rewarded for crimes of unspeakable magnitude; as fans of fascism and impunity were never in short supply in ‘civilized’ peoples power structures. And so it is the power corrupt, example given, recent Director of Central Intelligence General Patraeus who’d provided cover to James Steele in Iraq for organized torture centers and death squads, is rewarded with a seat at Bilderberg, where no doubt Patraeus can offer innovative method recently applied in Iraq to the longstanding organizing of Black African militia murdering Black Africans to the advantage of corporate rip-off of African peoples’ resources.

One only need compare this to the aggressive pursuit of Edward Snowden for whistle-blowing crimes against the rule of law; to understand what is actually going on in those rarified circles of empowered White men (a term inclusive of Condoleezza & Susan Rice) knowing what is good for deliberately disenfranchised Brown people, also known as corporate money means murder around the world.

If one carefully considers what Edward Snowden has stated in the video, it was never more clear corporate boards have access to all of the information corporate criminal personalities would need to prepare ‘kill lists’ independent of any governmental ‘authority’ Read it HERE

SAMSUNG

Condoleezza & CHEVRON have access to PRISM

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My investigation into breaking laws associated with a proposed CHEVRON drilling project stopped (nearly single-handedly) a CHEVRON exploration into what is believed by some to be one of the most potentially rich hydro-carbon domes in the USA (which happens to be under pristine wild land sacred to the Blackfeet Indians.) The subsequent dirty business of trying to take me out is in tandum with Bush-Cheney big oil personalities at the top of the corporate food chain. The George H.W. Bush White House was on board in 1989-1993 with counterfeiting the environmental laws process, and it became a Bush Jr/Cheney issue after the fact, particularly having to do with covering up the John Yoo/Jay Bybee torture lawyers earlier involvement with the Bush Sr administration’s corruption in this case.

Look at these CHEVRON personalities and their raw power:

http://csis.org/event/launch-project-us-leadership-development

When CHEVRON employs former Bush National Security Advisor & Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice together with  former NATO Supreme Commander & Obama National Security Advisor General James Jones, two of the most influential hyper-extremist Christians in the world, utilizing Congress for integrating CHEVRON policy to United States policy, I expect there is little doubt CHEVRON has access to PRISM to carry out its objectives, inclusive of when those objectives incorporate murder. These power corrupt people, responsible for numerous international crimes, actually believe ‘God’ places them above the law.

Their criminal reach has been nearly unlimited. When I had escaped the USA alive and subsequently positively identified CIA associated persons directly tied to attempted assassination of myself, I became a ‘national security threat’ on account of the extent of possible exposure of corporate boards deep reach into the security services and associated abuses of USA power. This is why nothing changed under Obama. My sense is, my story has become a threat to the entire status quo.

When the western democracies leadership preach (give lip service to) the rule of law, it includes everyone except themselves as pimps and whores for corporate boards that in actuality rule our lives using democracy as a front. It would appear this is why there has been no arrests and prosecutions related to my case, in which the relevant authorities have all the necessary information.

Watch Judge Napolitano excoriate the U.S. government’s PRISM constitutional violations HERE

Read National Security experts Valerie Plame & Joe Wilson’s take on PRISM HERE

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Related: Letter to Parliament

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North Carolina’s proposed new law:

SECTION 1. The North Carolina General Assembly asserts that the Constitution of the United States of America does not prohibit states or their subsidiaries from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.

SECTION 2. The North Carolina General Assembly does not recognize federal court rulings which prohibit and otherwise regulate the State of North Carolina, its public schools, or any political subdivisions of the State from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.

It could be claimed the seed of this had been planted when our federal judiciary had ruled the first ten amendments (our so-called ‘Bill of Rights’) were originally ‘unincorporated’ to our constitution, despite our ‘supremacy clause’ pointing out our Federal Constitution is applicable to the states in its entirety with this language; “This Constitution and the laws made in pursuance thereof; .. shall be the SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND .. ANY THING IN THE CONSTITUTIONS OR LAWS OF THE STATES TO THE CONTRARY NOTWITHSTANDING”

The ‘supremacy clause’ is reinforced by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments placement following the ‘enumerated rights’ of the first through eighth amendments. The key here is the Ninth Amendment’s words ‘un-enumerated rights’ or rights that have not been spelled out in the first eight amendments, may not be “disparaged” relating to the “people.” Our founders did not state ‘solely people in a federal jurisdiction’, and they did not because the federal constitution’s rights extended to us all, and only after these rights had been secured did they reserve any ‘powers’ to the states (in the Tenth Amendment.) Any idea it was the Fourteenth Amendment (portions of which our current Chief Justice, John Roberts, ignores at will) somehow ‘incorporated’ certain limited rights, was a stretch of the imagination the great Justice William J. Brennan rejected.

A ‘federal’ right (including our right to a secular state with no official religion) in the original context used by our founders meant a right extending to all the people of the states “any thing in the Constitutions or laws of the States notwithstanding” but self serving special interests federal jurists would subsequently construe a federal right to extend to a strictly federal geographic or federal court’s jurisdiction, to split certain rights away from “the people” so they could say when, how or even if, the Bill of Rights applies, or that is when any right had been ‘incorporated’ and became applicable outside of any federal jurisdiction.

Now this has been flipped by North Carolina; if they were to argue the perverted idea our Bill of Rights did not originally extend to the states but were strictly limited to federal jurisdiction, these morons should either win their argument or put the federal judiciary’s idea of incorporated versus unincorporated amendments in the true light of their  twisted special interests logic, further undermining our rule of law on account of those same federal court’s decisions.

For example, if the so-called ‘unincorporated’ Seventh Amendment..

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law”

..governing civil suits, is recognized solely as an unincorporated ‘federal right’ and is not extended to the people of the states (according to the federal courts), it has set up this question; if the Seventh Amendment cannot be guaranteed to the people of the states because it is solely a federal right, how can the First Amendment’s promise no law may be made establishing or prohibiting a religion, be an inviolate right of people under a states jurisdiction?

Our federal judiciary and North Carolina’s bid for Christian supremacy, both,  have thoroughly trashed our constitution.

Do you suppose next will be a proposed North Carolina law establishing an official state color of person as White? And following on that, an official state sex, Male?

But then, consider the USA’s top three law enforcement personalities are criminal mentalities in their own right; Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts runs in Dick Cheney’s circle of professional associates, Attorney General Eric Holder put together a sweetheart deal to conceal  the identities of the people who provided cash and machine guns to the death squads of the right-wing AUC Colombian terrorist group used to murder 4,000 union sympathetic people on behalf of Bush family friend Carl Lindner’s Chiquita corporation, and FBI Director Robert Mueller was a central player in covering up money laundering for terrorism related weapons and narcotics traffickers in the Bank of Commerce and Credit International (BCCI) scandal, it should be small wonder state officials would expect they can put our rule of law according to our constitution through a paper-shredder, you think?

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