Baseball91's Weblog

November 19, 2013

Nothing To Fear Except Fear Itself

NSA logo Last night in the invisible world of unrestricted power, James R. Clapper Jr. , director of national intelligence, released what appeared to be the original court document authorizing the National Security Agency to conduct sweeping collections of Americans’ communications records for counter-terrorism purposes, according to a piece in the Washington Post. In what appeared to be the original court document, there is also the description of the NSA’s failure to abide by court-imposed rules to protect Americans’ privacy, showing an agency more interested in collecting cell site location data than it had previously acknowledged.

The description of what constituted bulk information “metadata” was redacted in the released documents. In an order signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, the National Security Agency was given permission by the secret court to gather in bulk information from e-mails and other forms of Internet communication such as e-mail addresses, but not the content. Its true scope, however, is unclear. This is about group power, unrestricted power, in a police state, over individual constitutional rights. Whatever the counter-terrorism purpose, however undefined. Who were these federal judges collaborating in what appeared to be “justice” in these secret courts? Inevitably did these justices belong to political parties, having given up any idea of an independent judiciary? What lawyer would dare criticize a judge, and put at risk his/her next case in front of the judge.

If a judge in the secret courts will give the NSA massive amounts of data to identify unknown people who may be in contact with terrorists’ whose e-mail addresses would be used to search the database, why not apply the same standard to domestic prosecutors? Is there a secret appellate court for bad decisions in secret courts? Is there a secret U.S. Supreme Court. Yet?

Franklin Roosevelt said in his first Inaugural Address: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Franklin Roosevlet tried to stack the Supreme Court with judge who shared his views of the world, which at the time never included concepts of secret courts and the unrestricted power of the sixteen agencies of the governments of the United States involved in “national intelligence.” It was the legislative branch with people named Boehner, Feinstein, Bolton who are giving the president’s intelligence agencies blank checks. When the NSA was spying on Angela Merkel, that spying included the most intimate parts of her life. If any politician is involved in illicit relationships, placing themselves in compromising positions, someone at the NSA has a view from the heavens of something that no human, in a military or political position, was ever supposed to have. The judiciary was set up to provide checks and balances rather than collaborate with the unrestricted power of the executive branch. When the judiciary abdicates this duty, there is something to fear, like the thinking of Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, like in the thinking by senators from California, Feinstein and Chambliss, about group power – the unrestricted power – in a police state, over individual constitutional rights. In a world with a booming population, people become just commodities, and individual rights are set aside for classified information, “under appropriate circumstance.”

In the New World Order there might well be something to fear when the elected officials ignore the first ten amendments of the constitution of the United States. Wasn’t this the same problem from the first eight years of the New Millennium, directed at the time at the Securities and Exchange Commission, when the regulators quit regulating? And now the judges who quit judging in open court.

http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5057/

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2 Comments »

  1. The Wall Street Journal’s Supreme Court correspondent Jess Bravin has written The Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantanamo Bay, about clashes between military lawyers and administration appointees, political interference in criminal prosecutions that would be shocking within the traditional civilian and military justice systems, inadmissible evidence obtained through torture, questioning twelve years into the process the structure of these courts under the constitution. What is the body of law or what is the foundation document that governs these secret courts? It remains a mystery to most Americans familiar with criminal and civil courts, in relation to the U S Constitution.

    Putting people to death without military precedent under Article One courts – these new statutory courts turned over to the military (rather than the Article Three court of the the U S Constitution) by the politicians. And in return, the executive branch gets residual suspicion. Traditional criminal norms have changed along with fundamental fairness, without military precedents. The civilians have turned out to be the bad guys in the justice system as constituted – as a demonstration that the executive branch thought he had to respond to the 9/11 attack – to handle the problem. Rather than the military commissions – men in fatigues who take orders – you cannot trust the politicians who created this mess? What can a military commission do that others in the Department of Justice at their disposals cannot / do not. How do you teach law students this new concept of law, in the New Millennium?

    What happens in a more and more urban society looking for the the genetically modified? Tech executives have expressed embarrassment in the disclosures of the National Security Agency surveillance, for the failures by technology and phone companies to protect the private security of their paying customers. What happens to people looking for answers in technology but who along with it, sacrifice something in the way of freedom and privacy in the name of “security?” What happens to people, especially men, who quit growing andd become so cold-hearted? President Barack Obama never mentioned the issues of secret government taps on overseas data centers and the weakening of encryption standards in a speech on January 17, 2013 of both American corrporations and American citizens. The president falied to address all this illegal cheating going on, when in the view of the world, the National Security Agency was on a par with the 17-year old who stole the information from Target about 110 million people. What happens to a nation looking for the “easy,” for leiure time, in relationships, in their spiritual life – if they had one? What happens in a nation when private and public live collide, and so few of the political elected people seemed to be concerned?

    Comment by baseball91 — December 31, 2013 @ 4:45 AM | Reply

  2. “And at the center of all that drama – for Rashi goes to no little trouble to explain that it does indeed stand in the center – the mysterious and somehow moving symbol in the garden, a tree that represents, I have come to think, both the pleasure and the pain that comes from knowing things.” -from Daniel Mendelsohn’s The Lost

    The CIA statement first reported by the McClatchy news service today was about wrestling with the meaning of American identity, one day after seeing politicians in Congress from the same political party as the elected leader living in the White House admit that he was spying now on Congress. It was part of their anguish that came to those who spent time trying to deal with those with ambition, to understand your distant neighbors who ran under the same umbrella that got you elected .. When up until now only journalists like James Risen got caught in the middle.

    While CIA employees were attempting to discover how congressional aides had obtained a secret CIA internal report on THE interrogation program, “some” employees acted in a manner inconsistent with “the common understanding reached” in 2009 between the CIA and lawmakers when the Senate Committee Investigation had been launched. The prepared statement to the press from the Media Relations Department of the CIA made reference to the CIA’s inspector general findings. When the “some” members of the legislative branch had been in bed with the Executive Branch and trusted too much .. when even in America, absolute power always corrupts.

    Comment by paperlessworld — July 31, 2014 @ 11:43 PM | Reply


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