Friday, August 1st, 2014

Freedom in America: Rest in Peace

Luis Miranda
The Real Agenda
June 21st, 2013
Reader Views: 600

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By Stephen Lendman

Political philosopher Montesquieu (1989 – 1755) once said:

“There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.”

International, constitutional and US statute laws no longer matter. Obama declared them null and void. He does so by disregarding them.

He consigned them to the dustbin of history. They’ve been heading there for years. Post-9/11, state terror accelerated.

Bush administration rogues enacted numerous police state laws. Previous articles discussed them. Constitutionality was ignored. Obama added his own. Doing so exceeded the worst of his predecessor’s policies.

Unconstitutional mass surveillance is official US policy. What Bush began, Obama accelerated. He did so straightaway as president.

Free societies don’t tolerate these practices. Obama authorized them secretly. He subverted constitutional law. He violated the public trust. He broke a key campaign pledge.

On January 8, 2008, he promised to end Bush/Cheney practices. Under an Obama administration, he said, they’ll be no “wiretaps without warrants.”

Straightaway as president he authorized them. On Friday, he tried defending the indefensible. He fell short and then some. His comments belie his policies.

“When I came into this office,” he said, “I made two commitments that are more important than any commitment I made: number one to keep the American people safe, and number two to uphold the Constitution.”

Americans have never been less safe. Freedom is more illusion than reality. Obama’s done more to subvert constitutional law than any previous president. He made freedom a four-letter word.

“You can’t have 100% security and also then have 100% privacy and zero inconvenience,” he claimed.

“We’re going to have to make some choices as a society. I think that on balance, we have established a process and a procedure that the American people should feel comfortable about.”

Obama made all the wrong choices. He violated constitutional law doing so. America’s unsafe to live in. Police state priorities threaten everyone.

Obama claimed surveillance “help(s) prevent terrorist attacks.” He lied saying so. No terrorist threat whatever exists. It didn’t earlier. It doesn’t now.

Obama called what’s ongoing “modest encroachments on privacy.” It’s sweeping, pervasive and lawless.

He urged Americans to trust him, Congress and federal courts. Why anyone would do so, they’ll have to explain.

“When it comes to telephone calls, nobody is listening to your telephone calls,” he said. “That’s not what this program is about. As was indicated, what the intelligence community is doing is looking at phone numbers and durations of calls.”

“They are not looking at people’s names and they are not looking at content.” Permission to do so, he claimed, requires “go(ing) back to a federal judge just like (for) a criminal investigation.”

“With respect to the Internet and emails, this does not apply to US citizens and it does not apply to people living in the United States.”

False on all counts. Civil libertarians expressed outraged. John Simpson heads Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project. He calls what’s ongoing “a completely unwarranted violation of our constitutional rights.”

Obama authorized sweeping domestic spying. He did so unconstitutionally. He institutionalized it. It’s ongoing daily. It’s warrantless.

The 2012 FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act renewed warrantless spying for another five years. It violated constitutional protections doing so.

Phone calls, emails, and other communications may be monitored secretly without court authorization.

Probable cause isn’t needed. So-called “foreign intelligence information” sought means virtually anything. Vague language is all-embracing.

Hundreds of millions of Americans are targeted. Major telecom and Internet companies cooperate. They do so willingly.

All three branches of government are involved. They’re complicit in sweeping lawlessness. Congress is regularly briefly. Bipartisan leaders are fully on board. So are US courts.

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) called what’s ongoing the most sweeping surveillance ever ordered. It’s challenging administration practices to stop them.

CCR v. Obama is currently pending before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Initially it was filed against Bush, NSA director General Keith Alexander, and heads of other major US security agencies.

At issue is lawless, secretive, warrantless surveillance. CCR sought a cease and desist injunction. In January 2007, Bush administration officials claimed the program ended. They lied saying so.

In August 2007, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) became law. Included is a Protect America Act (PAA) amendment. It permits unrestricted warrantless data-mining.

It claims to restrict surveillance to foreign nationals “reasonably believed to be outside the United States.”

Not so! The law targets virtually everyone domestically. It does so if the Attorney General or Director of National Intelligence claims they pose a potential terrorist or national security threat. No corroborating evidence is needed.

CCR challenged PAA in court. It did so in January 2006. It called NSA surveillance illegal. It lacks judicial approval or statutory authorization.

It violates “FISA’s clear criminal prohibitions.” It exceeds executive authority under the Constitution’s Article II. It breaches the First and Fourth Amendments. CCR wants data and other information collected under PAA destroyed.

On January 31, 2011, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed CCR’s case. In April, CCR appealed. The Ninth Circuit initially scheduled oral arguments on June 1, 2012.

On May 21, 2012, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a similar ACLU case. It challenged the 2008 FISA Amendments Act’s constitutionality.

The Ninth Circuit postponed arguments until the High Court ruled. On February 26, 2013, it dismissed ACLU’s case. It did so 5 – 4.

The Ninth Circuit requested supplemental CCR briefs by April 26, 2013. Previously it said it would reschedule oral arguments. On June 3, “the panel indicated that it would submit the case for resolution without oral argument.”

There’s more. Obama’s waging war on freedom globally. On June 7, London’s Guardian headlined “Obama orders US to draw up overseas target list for cyber-attacks.”

He did so by secret presidential directive. It was issued last October. A copy was leaked to The Guardian.

It says Offensive Cyber Effects Operations (OCEO) “can offer unique and unconventional capabilities to advance US national objectives around the world with little or no warning to the adversary or target and with potential effects ranging from subtle to severely damaging.”

Washington will “identify potential targets of national importance where OCEO can offer a favorable balance of effectiveness and risk as compared with other instruments of national power.”

It suggests operating domestically the same way. Perhaps human rights organizations, anti-war activists, social justice advocates, independent journalists, alternative media web sites, and other individuals and organizations challenging lawless government practices will be targeted.

Everyone is vulnerable. Police states operate that way. America’s by far the worst. Obama’s waging war on freedom. It may not survive on his watch.

Unrestricted surveillance, other police state laws, and global cyber attacks constitute full-scale war to destroy it.

According to Professor Sean Lawson:

“When militarist cyber rhetoric results in use of offensive cyber attack it is likely that those attacks will escalate into physical, kinetic uses of force.”

Cyberwar is official US policy. An unnamed intelligence source told The Guardian that cyber attacks are commonplace. Foreign computer systems are hacked. Doing so seeks information wanted.

“We hack everyone everywhere,” the source said. “We like to make a distinction between us and the others. But we are in almost every country in the world.”

Obama bears full responsibility. He signed numerous police state laws on his watch. He authorized lawless surveillance and cyberwar. He did so unconstitutionally. Claiming otherwise doesn’t wash. Documents The Guardian obtained refute his claims. US policy is do what we say, not what we do.

According to The Guardian, Obama’s “move to establish a potentially aggressive cyber warfare doctrine will heighten fears over the increasing militarization of the internet.”

On June 7, Gizmodo.co.uk headlined “Anonymous Just Leaked a Trove of NSA Documents. Included are DOD plans for Internet control. Information on NSA’s Prism program were released.

A link provided (http://thedocs.hostzi.com/) fails to gain access. Perhaps Anonymous was hacked.

Information the Guardian posted relates to nine or more major online companies cooperating with lawless NSA spying. Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, Apple, YouTube and others are involved.

Prism gives NSA access to search histories, emails, file transfers and live chats. It’s gotten directly from US provider servers. Doing so facilitates mass surveillance. Google denied involvement, saying:

It “cares deeply about the security of our users’ data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully.”

“From time to time, people allege that we have created a government ‘back door’ into our systems, but Google does not have a back door for the government to access private user data.”

Previous articles discussed Google’s involvement with Bilderberg. CEO Eric Schmidt’s a regular conference attendee. He’s participating now in suburban London.

Infowars reporters Paul Joseph Watson and Jon Scobie said Google and Bilderberg are “merging.” Schmidt thinks “privacy is a relic of the past.”

He wants Google transformed into “the ultimate Big Brother.” Conspiring with Bilderberg and NSA are key ways to do it. Company deniability doesn’t wash. Google operations are very suspect.

CIA funding reportedly launched them. Allying with Bilderberg shows what’s at stake. Bilderberg wants Internet control through “cyber resistance.”

It wants a ministry of truth established. It wants all public information controlled. Google’s apparently on board to help. Obama’s very much involved. He’s waging full-scale war on freedom. It may not survive on his watch.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

Delivered by The Daily Sheeple


Contributed by Luis Miranda of The Real Agenda.

Luis R. Miranda is the Founder and Editor of The Real Agenda. His 16 years of experience in Journalism include television, radio, print and Internet news. Luis obtained his Journalism degree from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, where he graduated in Mass Media Communication in 1998. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcasting from Montclair State University in New Jersey. Among his most distinguished interviews are: Costa Rican President Jose Maria Figueres and James Hansen from NASA Space Goddard Institute.

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  • Heimdall

    Speaking of freedom and the communist and fascist style surveillance crimes not scandals, the following is a take on the subject that one does not read very often:

    A former president of a professional organization of reference librarians once stated,and I paraphrase: If you do not wish for information about their reading habits to be used against your patrons, do not collect the information. In other words, if a library, or, very importantly for us, a website, does not wish government intelligence or police organizations to use the patrons reading, or importantly, freedom of speech, against them, they should not collect that information.

    This needs to be clarified. Websites that are supposed to be dissident websites or promoters of liberty and free speech have no business requiring their patrons or even commenters to identify themselves. Furthermore, they have no business blocking the comments of those who wish to use web proxies. When they refuse complete anonymity, they put their patrons at risk. The current crimes that are incorrectly called “scandals” show just how much we are at risk and the “website owner” cannot protect us except by allowing us anonymity. If the website does otherwise, the website is working for fascist and communist totalitarians and the worst offenders are the sites that demand a special facebook or similar login.

    Facebook and organizations of that ilk are the very worst offenders and aggressors upon their patrons liberty. Any website that demands a Facebook or similar login is giving you the middle finger plus much extra. They are putting you in grave danger. Those which will not allow complete anonymity with a web proxy are also putting you at great, great risk.

    Sometimes it is difficult to differentiate between those who are just casually indifferent and negligent and those who are complicit in the aggressions and attacks on our liberties.

    • Anonymous

      Well said!

  • Ken, your UK friend

    Hi once again Heimdall. Europe has strict Data Protection Laws in place in which I’ll try not to bore you LOL, but Data must be Accurate, Relevant, up to Date and more importantly not kept any longer than necessary. I passed an exam in the DPA. Anything stored in the Cloud eg Banking, NHS records, Facebook connections etc was entered into a device in Europe yet swam through a Server in California so America could in theory keep data long deleted from the European organisations’ databases.
    We all change Mr Heimdall. I am getting old yet I am ashamed of many of my in haste behaviour as a youth. A world in which your ‘Youth is the Barrier preventing you from growing up into the Man you are truly meant to be’ is to quote Mr Snowden ‘a World I dont want to live in.’
    Pardon my tears.
    Thankyou.

    • RickE.

      Ken, you’re a young man! 10 years younger than I if I recall correctly!
      Your post above is VERY good, and I agree!

  • RickE.

    It’s very simple. Freedom is dead in AmeriKa.
    The police are mad dogs without restraint or morals. They lie, kill, murder, and enforce law unequally and with extreme prejudice, and selectively.
    Our government is evil, corrupt, and out of control.
    Our leaders are drunk on power, but not logic.

    Our country is now unrecognizable!

  • Ken, your UK friend

    Hi RickE, roughly 10 years younger than you. Further to my point our MOD (Ministry of Defense) are able to check everything and you hear of applicants being turned down for jobs due to a caution for conspiracy to steal a bicycle pump, age 11. Not even Banks, Military or the Police themselves would care about this. Phew! Relief!
    But imagine school leavers constantly being turned down for even the simplest Mac job due to a careless Facebook status update when age 8.
    The vetting procedures for job applications get ever more complicated and longwinded over time which I find paradoxical because over half of London is non native now and they seem to be preferentially hired. Their ability to speak english is very poor making it difficult to get your simplest order of ‘Without fries please’ correct.
    I digress but I totally avoid London now because if the Police cant do you for an obvious offence eg allowing your dog to foul on the grass verge, they’ll just make something up. And it always has the name ‘aggravated’ before it.

    • Jean

      Ken,
      The fact that they cannot speak Enlgish is in fact part of the point of hiring them. That apparrent preference is real.
      Same here this side of the pond.

      And whereas immigrants used to want to be the culture they were immigrating to, the ones coming now – to everywhere, it seems – just want the niceties. They’re unwilling to do actual work or do anything to assimilate. They want America’s wealth with Mexico’s laws. (Change the nationality as appropriate – Sharia law, or Hebraic law, or Cambodian law, etc.)
      Hey, dumbasses, if there was a shot at making “America” THERE – why are you bringing all the issues form THERE, Here? If HOME was so great, why didn’t you STAY there? My ancestors were starving to death! They left for a reason – and they decided they wanted to be AMERICANS.
      Mexican “undocumented workers” want to be Mexicans living in America but have no skills, no willingness to improve Mexico… So they find a way to get here, and then start being parasites… and we are stupid enough to accept them here.

      Idiot Amerikans.

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