imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Congress Extends Warrantless Spying

by Stephen Lendman Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012 at 11:29 PM
lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

police state

Congress Extends Warrantless Spying

by Stephen Lendman

America's political process is lawless, corrupt and dysfunctional. Fiscal cliff hype, noise and theater continue. Destroying fundamental civil society social protections aren't mentioned.

Rushed through legislation targeted Iran's growing Latin American influence. On December 28, Obama signed the Countering Iran in Western Hemisphere Act.

It requires the State Department to "address Iran's growing hostile presence and activity." Washington wants the Islamic Republic shut out of the region entirely. It wants it isolated globally.

In 2005, Iran had five regional embassies. Today it has 11. Washington's influence is declining. Its traditional backyard grows more independent. Over time, imperial extremism makes more enemies than friends.

Police state harshness intensifies domestically. Presidential diktat authority overrides constitutional law. Secret kill lists mark targeted individuals for death.

US citizens and permanent residents are as vulnerable as others. Occupy Wall Street activists are called domestic terrorists. Indefinite detention is institutionalized.

Innocent US citizens and others can be held uncharged, denied due process and judicial fairness, and isolated in military dungeons forever.

America is unsafe to live in. It threatens humanity. Permanent war is policy. It rages abroad. It targets US citizens, permanent residents, and others domestically.

Those least advantaged are most harmed. So is anyone opposing US lawlessness. Dissent is an endangered species.

Democracy never existed and doesn't now. Rule of law principles are spurned. Wealth, power, privilege, and dominance alone matter.  Official policy may destroy humanity to control it.

Congress plunged another spike into freedom. On September 12, the House passed HR 5949: FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2012. The measure carried 301 - 118. Seventy-four Democrats joined 227 Republicans.

Nancy Pelosi voted Yea. Do did Steny Hoyer, Howard Berman, Brad Sherman, Gary Ackerman, Nita Lowey, and Marcy Kaptur.

On December 28, the Senate followed suit. With little debate, it overwhelmingly renewed warrantless spying 73 - 23. Thirty Democrats and Independent Joe Lieberman joined 42 Republicans.

Congressional profiles in courage don't exist. America's Secretary of State designee, John Kerry, voted Yea. So did Democrats Reid, Levin, Conrad, Cardin, Mikulski, Feinstein, Stabenow, and Schumer.

Perhaps before yearend, Obama will sign it into law. He may have already done so quietly. He calls the measure a national security priority.

New Year's eve enactment would repeat last year's December 31 disgrace. Indefinite detention harshness became law. US citizens and permanent residents are as vulnerable as others.

Unpopular measures slip under the radar when few notice. Weekends and holiday breaks conceal blows to freedom.

Warrantless spying is extended another five years. Overseas phone calls, emails, and other communications of US citizens and permanent residents may be monitored without court authorization.

Probable cause isn't needed. Electronic eavesdropping will look for "foreign intelligence information." Virtually anything qualifies. Vague language is all-embracing.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) asked why is warrantless domestic spying important? Key FISA Amendments Act provisions were challenged before the Supreme Court (Clapper v. Amnesty International).

Months after 9/11, Bush secretly authorized the NSA to eavesdrop on Americans lawlessly. Sweeping surveillance followed without court-approved warrants. Doing so violates core constitutional protections. Conditions now are worse than then.

On October 29, High Court oral arguments were heard. Justices will decide if lawyers, journalists, labor, media, human rights organizations, and others may challenge the constitutionality of warrantless spying.

In March 2011, the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled they and others the law affects have legal standing to challenge. ACLU spokeswoman Rachel Myers called it "a really big victory."

It means potentially affected parties "don't have to prove (they've) been spied on to challenge an unlawful spy act."

The Court overruled a district judge claiming otherwise. It said "plaintiffs have good reason to believe that their communications in particular, will fall within the scope of the broad surveillance that they can assume the government will conduct."

Their jobs entail overseas phone, email and other communications. Warrantless spying targets these activities. Government officials claim they may "be associated with terrorist activities." Corroborating evidence isn't needed.

"Political and human rights activists" opposed to governments Washington supports are vulnerable. So are individuals and groups targeted by US "counterterrorism or diplomatic efforts."

Plaintiff concerns are "reasonable." Government arguments don't wash.

At issue is fake national security concerns v. inviolable constitutional rights. The Supreme Court gets final say.

The Senate rejected proposed greater transparency/oversight amendments. Modest ones were dismissed out of hand. National security trumps rule of law inviolability.

Senators had months to consider the stakes and act responsibly. Instead, they waited until the 11th hour. Days before yearend expiration, they passed what demanded rejection.

Senator Ron Wyden's (D-OR) amendment eliminated no NSA powers. It would have forced intelligence agencies to report annually to Congress on how their surveillance affects ordinary Americans.

Senators dismissed it out of hand. They chose unconstitutional lawlessness.

Senator Jeff Merkley's (D-OR) amendment would have encouraged Attorney General declassification of some secret FISA court opinions. Summaries alone would suffice.

Obama promised to do it three years ago. Instead, he hardened Bush administration policies. He elevated rogue government to a higher level. He institutionalized massive national security spying. He wants victims denied their day in court.

Last July, the Wall Street Journal headlined "Spy Agency Activities Violated Fourth Amendment Rights, Letter Discloses," saying:

NSA spying violates constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. A "ruling by the US's secret national security court" admitted it.

Doing so "represented the first time the government has acknowledged US spy activities violated the constitution since the passage of a 2008 law that overhauled surveillance laws following the uproar over the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program in the (Bush) administration."

Obama officials provided no details about Fourth Amendment violations, when they occurred, or if anyone at NSA was held accountable.

The agency's spokesman, Michael Birminghan, said its director is committed to "transparency, compliance, and oversight."

He lied. Privacy experts say what's known is troubling. ACLU legal director, Jameel Jaffer said:

"If the government is engaged in surveillance that violated the Fourth Amendment, that is something that ought to be disturbing to not just legislators, but to the American public more generally."

Ahead of the vote, Wyden urged restraint, caution, and concern for constitutional protections.

"This is the last opportunity for the next five years for the Congress to exercise a modest measure of real oversight over this intelligence surveillance law," he stressed.

"It is not real oversight when the United States Congress cannot get a yes or no answer to the question of whether an estimate currently exists as to whether law abiding Americans have had their phone calls and emails swept up under the FISA law."

Senator Rand Paul's (R-KY) Fourth Amendment Protection Act would have protected personal emails from warrantless searches and seizures.

Privacy in America is threatened, he said. "Our independence and the Fourth Amendment go hand in hand."

"Somewhere along the way we became lazy and haphazard in our vigilance." Congress and US courts subvert constitutional protections.

Senators dismissed his measure 79 - 12. Eyes now await how Supreme Court justices will rule. EFF actively challenges lawless legislation in federal courts.

In mid-December, it targeted NSA's "dragnet warrantless surveillance program." The Supreme Court will rule on whether ACLU's FISA Amendments Act constitutional challenge will go forward.

It's involved in Clapper v. Amnesty International. It filed suit. It challenges FISA Amendments Act of 2008 constitutionality. As explained above, the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals let plaintiffs' challenge the law.

It rejected the Obama administration's catch-22 argument. It claimed no need to identify whose communications are monitored. Only those targeted may do so, it said. Secrecy, of course, prevents disclosure.

Moments after George Bush signed the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, ACLU filed suit. Doing so challenged the law's constitutionality.

Ahead of Friday's vote, ACLU "call(ed) on Congress to Fix FISA by prohibiting dragnet surveillance, mandating more transparency about the government's surveillance activities, and strengthening safeguards for privacy."

Tell your senators to fix FISA, it stressed.

On December 28, an ACLU press release headlined "Senate Reauthorizes Warrantless Wiretapping," saying:

Unconstitutional spying was extended another five years. Dragnet surveillance is institutionalized. Legislative counsel Michelle Richardson said:

"It’s a tragic irony that FISA, once passed to protect Americans from warrantless government surveillance, has mutated into its polar opposite due to the FISA Amendments Act."

"The Bush administration’s program of warrantless wiretapping, once considered a radical threat to the Fourth Amendment, has become institutionalized for another five years."

Congress abdicated its responsibility. It's become habitual. Carte blanche spying is policy.

Amendments to soften unaccountability were dismissed out of hand. Freedom took another body blow. It hangs by a thread. Perhaps the new year will eliminate it altogether.

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

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

http://www.dailycensored.com/congress-extends-warrantless-spying/

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
The Crackdown on OWS began with Declaring OWS Terrorist by FBI & DHS Anyone can be called Terrorist. Ask OWS. Tuesday, Jan. 01, 2013 at 5:40 AM

Local News

Change Links August 2018 A13 6:56PM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 4:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 3:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 1:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Carl Schmitt and the New Right A21 4:17AM

Le temps de l'extrême droite A20 1:05AM

Fbi attempts on my life A19 4:25AM

Paraphysique du non-dit A19 1:31AM

Paraphysique de l'autocensure A18 1:06AM

Illegal Russians Invited to West Bank at Invitation of Israeli Government Outside jewish A16 12:39AM

Nous sommes le système A15 11:30PM

Prosecuted: Have you had an experience that changed your opinion of the justice system? A15 2:55PM

Post-capitalist Perspectives A15 5:09AM

Big Brother chez vous, Big Brother partout A13 11:18PM

Vietnam Labor Watch Tackles Outside and Inside Exploitation of Nation's workforce A13 6:40PM

What it means to be an artist A12 8:28PM

Video: Lawrence Tribe: To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment," 59 min A12 10:11AM

Génétique de l'environnement A12 3:32AM

Video: Thomas Frank: Rendezvous with Oblivion, 58 min A11 12:48PM

Philippines – Duterte 2 Years on: Destructive, Divisive, and Despotic A11 1:29AM

Anarchie et anarchisme A10 4:13AM

July 2018 Honduras Coup update A09 11:23PM

The iranian Backed Militia Hezbollah Bombs Communty Center in Argentina July 1995 85 Dead A09 6:50PM

The Shortwave Report 08/10/136/18 Listen Globally! A09 4:19PM

Paraphysique du taulard A09 1:58AM

Pantarchy: Voluntary State and a New Catholic Church: Stephen Pearl Andrews A07 7:38PM

Against Market Radicalism A06 4:02AM

Négoce du vol organisé A06 12:59AM

Paraphysique de la litote A05 1:48AM

Kudzu Root grows in many US states has anti alcoholism help A04 5:09AM

Syrian People Suffe after years of Russian Air Bombings and Attacks by the Syrian Army2018 A03 8:05PM

Over 20 State Attorneys General Call for Shell Company Transparency A03 9:58AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy