What many of us were well aware would happen when Congress blatantly passed an illegal and unconstitutional piece of FISA ‘legislation’ last year — after being bought off by the Telecoms — that virtually removed all oversight from the FISA law and granted retroactive immunity to those telecoms who were paid millions of taxpayers dollars to spy illegally on U. S. citizens, as demanded by then-President Bush has come to fruition: the National Security Agency (NSA) reportedly abused their ‘authority’ and illegally spied on U.S. citizens and possibly at least one Congress person.
According to Eric Lichtblau and James Risen from The New York Times, the NSA intercepted private e-mail messages and phone calls of Americans in ‘recent months’ on a broader scale than the legal limits established by Congress last year, engaging in ‘overcollection’ of domestic communications of Americans. The problems with the NSA’s surveillance operation have allegedly been ‘fixed.’
Questions are still unanswered and Intelligence officials say they’re examining the scope of the NSA’s surveillance practices. The Senate is allegedly probing the wiretapping violations as well. The extent of the surveillance techniques by the NSA isn’t clear.
New details have also emerged about the earlier Bush authorized domestic-surveillance activities, including the NSA’s attempt to wiretap a member of Congress without court approval. Members of the Congressional intelligence committees have been notified in the past weeks that the NSA had encountered operational and legal problems in complying with the new wiretapping law that was passed by Congress last summer.
Officials are trying to determine how many violations occurred when the NSA inadvertently ‘targeted’ groups of Americans and collected their domestic communications without proper court authority. The NSA illegally captured information involving ‘significant amounts’ of American traffic.
Not that it will come as any surprise, but accusations of ‘significant misconduct’ in the surveillance program — as described by the inspector general’s office — are said to involve many Americans that were targeted by the NSA in eavesdropping operations based on insufficient evidence tying them to terrorism.
Congress Made the NSA Abuses Inevitable
As with the vast majority of illicit ‘legislation’ passed by our illustrious corporately-owned-and-controlled Congress, despite false guarantees and promises of tighter controls being put in place, oversight of the NSA’s activities has been nonexistent. The only semblance of overisght — which is tantamount to having Chester the molester teaching grade school — of NSA activities is being done by the NSA.
It’s no surprise that the NSA illegally spied. The whole purpose of the 2008 FISA billed that was illegally and unconstitutionally passed by Congress was to enable surveillance abuses. It removed safeguards that were put in place when the 1978 version of FISA was passed, destroyed oversight over the surveillance of Americans and handed the government unchecked authority to spy on them. It wasn’t unintentional — Congress made the NSA abuses inevitable.
Before the FISA bill was passed last summer, many of its opponents warned of the consequences. In blatant disregard for everyone of their constituents, Congress once again revealed its usual developmentally challenged, bribed-and-paid-for methodology and illegally and unconstitutionally passed it anyway.
As noted by Glenn Greenwald from Salon News, abolishing eavesdropping safeguards was the central purpose of the FISA bill. Passing the illicit bill expanded the executive’s ability to wiretap and surveil the vast majority of all communications with Congressional blessing, destroying civil liberties and rights for years to come. It’s extremely unlikely that President Obama would willingly give up those illicitly gained powers on his own.
Not only was the legislation illegally and unconstitutionally passed, Key Democratic Congressional leaders and the GOP minority intentionally spread deceptive propaganda — lying to the public about how the bill would safeguard and enhance civil liberties protections. Obama lied about the ‘protections’ in the FISA bill when he too supported it. As a Senator, Obama said ‘given the grave threats that we face, our national security agencies must have the capability to gather intelligence and track down terrorists before they strike, while respecting the rule of law and the privacy and civil liberties of the American people . . .’ The NSA had the capability to gather intelligence and track down terrorists with the previous FISA legislation.
Obama also lied about the President’s illegal warrantless surveillance being ended with the 2008 FISA bill and about the judicial oversight — which, by the way, also serves as a reason to change how long politically corrupted federal judges can serve after being appointed by politically corrupted presidents.
Anonymous NYT Revelations Far From Comprehensive
The revelations by the New York Times article were just tidbits of information and are far from comprehensive and they are based on anonymous sources. We currently have no idea how deep these NSA violations actually go. There is still entirely too much secrecy surrounding politics in Washington. Those few members of Congress that were notified of the illegal NSA activities didn’t bother notifying their constituents.
There are also entirely too many crimes still being covered up by corrupted politics as usual in Washington. President Obama is doing everything in his power — including using self-alleged powers Bush illegally granted himself to keep too many treasonous crimes committed by our government covered up — which also serves as a reason to prosecute Bush and change the way ‘state secrets’ and ‘national security’ are used and abused.
To President Obama’s credit, he recently released more Bush administration torture memos that delusionally approved of using illegal torture against ‘suspected terrorists.’ Upon releasing the memos, Obama declared that those who committed the torture under the authority of a morally and politically corrupted Department of Justice would not be prosecuted because they were following orders. Mr. Obama is making a mistake. If criminals working for the federal government are allowed to get out of jail free for committing heinous acts of treason under extremely weak ‘legal’ authority, it sends a very disturbing message about how America operates. If you’re going to let one group of criminals walk free, you may as well release them all. As noted by Chris Floyd, the old crimes are being written off; the new crimes keep going on.
Passage of the 2008 FISA bill also illegally and unconstitutionally granted telecoms — again, telecoms that profited hamndsomely by helping the government illegally spy at taxpayer expense — retroactive immunity, despite the fact that the U.S. Constitution (the document that ‘elected’ officials swear an oath to but have total disregard for) strictly forbids passing laws ex post facto — in their ongoing attempts to keep treasonous acts committed by federal officials covered up. Our corrupted Congress is guilty of allowing illegal, massive domestic spying with no meaningful oversight.
For too long, Washington politicians have considered themselves impune for committing numerous illegal acts and what amounts to treason against those they’re theoretically elected to serve. Until a collective ‘We the People’ demand justice and accountability, nothing in Washington is going to change.