~ Where the Sun Will Never Set on Our liberty ~
How many of us ever knew that a "secret court" ever existed, one that would meet deep in the bowels of the Federal Court building in Washington, D.C., in a non-descript chamber?
Many of us imagined some fat cat businessmen wallowing in their wealth, in a cigar smoke filled room somewhere, choosing winners and losers in the business and political world. We were very close in our imaginings. However, the entire nightmare is much darker and much more sinister than we could ever have dreamed up.
There is much more to the story about the NSA snatching information about all of us from the air and radio waves. They (NSA) has been given legal authority to do so, not by the Supreme Court, but by another court that has no transparency at all. It's called "Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court" F.I.S.A. for short. This 11 judge clandestine court was originally established to either approve or deny wire-tapping orders on a case-by-case basis. It appears however that their power has greatly expanded, expanded to the point where some legal analysts say FISA has become a parallel Supreme Court. In my opinion the FISA court dwarfs the Supreme court when it comes to wielding it's power. We've all seen how the Supreme Court has a tendency to legislate from the bench. Well, low and behold the FISA court, not only attempts to legislate from the bench, it considers itself a law-making body. The FISA court appears to be accountable to no higher authority, at least not on this earth. It should be noted that FISA's expanded authority began approximately 6 years ago. (Ring a bell? Hint: BHO elected president.) One of the FISA's latest decisions and probably most notable concerns the implementation of a legal (sort of) principle known as the "special needs" doctrine and found a way to sidestep the 4th Amendment's requirement of a warrant for searches and seizures. Then quickly handed that authority to the NSA, the FBI, the IRS and most assuredly to Homeland Security. Do you see where this is going? Basically the above named government agencies now have the power to determine who can be targeted for search, wire tap, GPS and any other surveillance technique they deem necessary, because now they decide who among us is a potential terrorism suspect. All without obtaining a legal warrant signed by a judge who has been shown actual evidence of the target's wrong doing. This amounts to giving the federal government permission to assume that anyone, under any circumstance, is a potential terrorist without a modicum of evidence. It's not unlike drunk-driver road blocks, that in essence assume everyone stopped is a potential DUI. Or like security checkpoints at airports, they are there because it is assumed you are guilty of being a terrorist until you are proven innocent, either by screening, groping and searching your carry on luggage. As citizens who have been frightened out of our wits since 9/11, the law enforcement agencies at all levels of government have us indoctrinated, and that all these security efforts are for the health and welfare of we the people. We are now used to being searched at airports and being stopped at those road blocks, we've become accustomed to our loss of rights given to us by the 4th Amendment. The FISA court is relatively one sided as it only listens to one side, and you as an individual have NO standing and cannot petition FISA to hear your side of the story. FISA hears only the government's side, which certainly tips the scales in the government's favor. The findings of FISA are rarely if ever made public i.e., what you don't know, you can't appeal. In case any of you are under the impression that judges on the FISA are and should be fair and unbiased in their findings, and that surely "justice" will win out in the end. You should be aware that since 1978 when this special court was established, there have been 1,800 cases brought for findings, all by government intelligence agencies for surveillance orders, and none were denied, none!
Constitutional Law Professor Geoffrey Stone from the University of Chicago summed it up like this: "I am troubled by the idea that the court (FISA) is creating a significant body of law without hearing from anyone outside the government, forgoing the adversarial system that is a staple of the American justice system." Straight and to the point!
Now it is necessary to understand that this is not a Republican or Democrat fiasco. As a matter of fact, all current 11 judges sitting on this special FISA court were appointed by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., 10 of them were nominated to the bench by Republican presidents. That duly noted, the real expansion of FISA power came in the year 2008, when congress passed new procedures in the FISA Amendments Act; stating that even the collection of meta-data (bits and pieces) must be considered "relevant" to a terrorism investigation or other intelligence activities. In essence, anything and everything you say, do, write or otherwise engage in, i.e., donations to conservative leaning organizations, membership in church, especially Christian or Jewish organizations, political affiliation with organizations that do not necessarily agree with the current administration's practices or policies, i.e., TEA Party, Freedom Works and Act for America, to name a few, will and are being documented by government intelligence agencies solely for the purpose of your prosecution or persecution at a later date of their choosing. I am not sure that the establishment of the initial FISA court was done with the present intentions in mind, but FISA will surely go down in the annuls of history under the heading "Court of Unintended Consequences."
The surveillance and documentation is being done by PRISM, the NSA's newest and largest computerized surveillance complex that is already up and online in the state of Utah. PRISM is recording, listening, storing every word I'm writing this very second, every word I've spoken on my cell phone, every banking transaction I've performed at my bank's ATM, every conversation on every social website, and yes, Skype and even my personal email is not private to PRISM. It's not just me either, PRISM is invading the supposed 4th Amendment protected privacy of every man, woman and child in this once free nation. If the terminology "Police State" ever meant anything to you, better look around, you are under surveillance wherever you go.
God Help Us