A June 6, 2013 London Guardian article first revealed lawless NSA spying. It was just the beginning of much more to come.
Information supplied by Edward Snowden showed the NSA spies secretly and unconstitutionally on its citizens and residents – besides overstepping its authority abroad.
He connected important dots for millions. He explained spying in America is pervasive. Constitutional rights no longer matter.
Anything goes remains official policy. The NSA, FBI, CIA, DEA and Homeland Security systematically operate by their own rules.
Snowden said “I really want the focus to be on (the documents he revealed) which I hope will trigger among citizens around the globe what kind of world we want to live in.”
Enactment of the USA Freedom Act (the renamed Patriot Act) did little to change things. US spy agencies continue trampling on Bill of Rights protections.
They compromise due process, habeas rights, free expression, assembly and association, and protection from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Big Brother spying continues unabated. Meaningful change remains elusive. Mass surveillance goes on in ways few Americans realize.
Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act is one of many unconstitutional tools. It’s unaddressed by Congress and the White House. Major media ignore it.
The NSA uses it to justify mass collection of phone calls and emails directly from communications providers.
Ostensibly used for foreign spying, it collects meta-data communications of Americans unrelated to national security.
It’s done without court authorized warrants. It collects large portions of Internet traffic directly from its providers – unconstitutionally and in violation of international human rights laws.
Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Skype, YouTube, Apple, and major telecommunications companies are complicit in spying on their customers.
The USA Freedom Act changed little. Judicial oversight is entirely absent. Congressional members are told little about what goes on.
Intelligence community officials largely stonewall them. Spying monitors friends and foes alike. It’s about control.
It’s for political and economic advantage. It’s to be one up on foreign competitors.
It’s for information used advantageously in trade, geopolitical, and military relations.
Domestic spying is longstanding. It’s got nothing to do with protecting national security. Not a single new millennium act of terrorism occurred on US soil – nor were any foiled.
Claims otherwise were false. 9/11 remains the mother of all Big Lies. It had nothing to do with Osama bin Laden or crazed Arabs. It had everything to do with scaremongering the public to support America’s imperial agenda.
The so-called “war on terror” is war OF terror on the American people and others wrongfully targeted worldwide. Washington needs enemies to justify its rogue policies. Fear-mongering creates them.
So-called bad guys are largely Muslims, Russians, Chinese, North Koreans, others not in lockstep with US policies, and ordinary people wanting respect for their fundamental rights.
Authority granted under the 1981 Executive Order 12333 remains deeply troubling. It’s used to justify recording 100% of foreign countries’ telephone calls.
Its loophole-ridden provisions let the NSA:
- “Collect, including through clandestine means), process, analyze, produce, and disseminate signals intelligence information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes to support national and departmental missions;
- Act as the National Manager for National Security Systems as established in law and policy, and in this capacity be responsible to the Secretary of Defense and to the Director, National Intelligence; (and)
- Prescribe security regulations covering operating practices, including the transmission, handling, and distribution of signals intelligence and communications security material within and among the elements under control of the Director of the National Security Agency, and exercise the necessary supervisory control to ensure compliance with the regulations.”
On July 31, 2008, EO 12333 was amended to:
- “Align (it) with the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004;
- Implement additional recommendations of the 9/11 and WMD Commissions; (and)
- Further integrate the Intelligence Community and clarify and strengthen the role of DNI as the head of the Community; Maintain or strengthen privacy and civil liberties protections.”
By law, NSA’s mission is limited to monitoring, collecting and analyzing foreign communications. It way oversteps by mass spying at home and abroad on the phony pretext of protecting national security.
Snowden revealed vital information everyone needs to know. “I don’t want to live in a world where there’s no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity,” he said.
Nor should anyone tolerate Big Brother intrusiveness.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.