While the political commentators in the nation’s capital are wrapped up in the debate over what to do about ISIS, and as one third of the Senate and nearly all members of the House campaign for re-election, the president’s spies continue to capture massive amounts of personal information about hundreds of millions of us and lie about it.
The president continues to dispatch his National Security Agency (NSA) spies as if he were a law unto himself, and Congress—which is also being spied upon—has done nothing to protect the right to privacy that the Fourth Amendment was written to ensure. Congress has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, yet it has failed miserably to do so. But the spying is now so entrenched in government that a sinister and largely unnoticed problem lurks beneath the surface.
NSA documents released by Edward Snowden show that the feds seriously deceived Congress and the courts in an effort to spy upon all of us and to use the gathered materials in criminal prosecutions, even though they told federal judges they would not. Among the more nefarious procedures the feds have engaged in is something called “parallel reconstruction.” This procedure seeks to hide the true and original source of information about a criminal defendant when it was obtained unlawfully.
For example, if the NSA, while unconstitutionally listening to the conversations of Americans hoping to hear about plots to harm other Americans (it has revealed no such plots from among the trillions of private conversations it has monitored since 2005), comes across evidence of a bank robbery, the NSA will pass that evidence on to the Department of Justice (DOJ). The NSA routinely does this notwithstanding representations to the FISA court that authorizes its spying that it is not in the business of gathering evidence in criminal cases.
It makes those claims because the George W. Bush and Barack Obama DOJs have argued to the public and to the FISA court that the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits all searches and seizures without a warrant, somehow applies only to criminal investigations and not to domestic spying. No Supreme Court decision has ever stood for that proposition, and the plain language of the Fourth Amendment makes no distinction between intelligence gathering and evidence gathering.
Rather, the language of the amendment is so broad and sweeping (“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated” except by a search warrant issued by a judge upon probable cause.) that for 230 years it has been held to restrain and regulate all government efforts to gather private information—no matter their purposes.
Nevertheless, the NSA’s agents and lawyers felt it necessary to concoct this groundless, disingenuous, and fictional legal distinction in order to persuade the FISA court that it is legally acceptable to permit untethered spying so long as the fruits of that spying are not used in criminal prosecutions. Curiously and naively, judges of the FISA court bought that argument.
So, what happens when the spying uncovers ordinary criminal behavior unrelated to national security? In order to keep its hands clean, so to speak, the NSA sends that evidence to the DOJ, whose lawyers and agents in cahoots with the NSA then concoct an explanation as to how the DOJ came upon the evidence. Of course, that explanation curiously and carefully omits the mention of domestic spying. DOJ lawyers know that if the beginning of the process of obtaining evidence is found to be unconstitutional, then the evidence itself can be useless in court.
This is what lawyers and judges call the “fruit of the poisonous tree.” Were this not so—that is, if the government could spread any net as broad and as wide as it wished and use whatever the net caught as evidence in criminal prosecutions—then the Fourth Amendment’s search warrant requirement would be meaningless because it would not protect the right to privacy as its authors intended.
Thus, in order to maintain the facade of spying only for domestic intelligence purposes, and to appear faithful to public and secret promises (the FISA court only sits in secret) that any evidence of criminal behavior inadvertently discovered by NSA spies will not be used in criminal prosecutions, and so as to keep the mechanisms of domestic spying hidden from non-FISA federal judges who are more likely to apply normative interpretations of the Fourth Amendment than their FISA court colleagues, the NSA and the DOJ began the process of parallel reconstruction.
Parallel reconstruction consists largely of the creation of a false beginning—an untrue one—of the acquisition of evidence. This, of course, is criminal. Lawyers and agents for the NSA and DOJ may no more lawfully lie to federal judges and criminal defense attorneys about the true origins of evidence than may a bank robber who testifies in his own defense claiming to have been at Mass at the time of the robbery.
While parallel reconstruction is deceptive, unlawful and unconstitutional, I suspect it is but the tip of a dangerous iceberg spawned by the unbridled NSA spying that Bush and Obama have given us. When you mix a lack of fidelity to the plain meaning of the Constitution with a legal fiction, and then add in a drumbeat of fear, enforced secrecy, and billions of unaccounted-for taxpayer dollars, you get a dangerous stew of unintended tyrannical consequences.
Is this the government the Framers gave us? Is this the government anyone voted for? Is this a faithful and moral commitment to the Constitution, the rule of law, and personal liberty? The answers are obvious.
“NSA documents released by Edward Snowden show that the feds seriously deceived Congress and the courts in an effort to spy upon all of us and to use the gathered materials in criminal prosecutions, even though they told federal judges they would not. ”
This fucked up way to look at something and it’s already dead by the time when you look at it and you try to understand what was it like when it lived. That kind of contradictions, in a way like relationships, how people destroy each other. It’s a kind of what’s wrong with scientific approach or something.
Once there was an old woman who had a granddaughter named Little Red Hat. One day they were both in the field when the old woman said, “I am going home now. You come along later and bring me some soup.”
After a while Little Red Hat set out for her grandmother’s house, and she met an ogre, who said, “Hello, my dear Little Red Hat. Where are you going?”
"I am going to my grandmother’s to take her some soup."
"Good," he replied, "I’ll come along too. Are you going across the stones or the thorns?"
"I’m going across the stones," said the girl.
"Then I’ll go across the thorns," replied the ogre.
They left. But on the way Little Red Hat came to a meadow where beautiful flowers of all colors were in bloom, and the girl picked as many as her heart desired. Meanwhile the ogre hurried on his way, and although he had to cross the thorns, he arrived at the house before Little Red Hat. He went inside, killed the grandmother, ate her up, and climbed into her bed. He also tied her intestine onto the door in place of the latch string and placed her blood, teeth, and jaws in the kitchen cupboard.
He had barely climbed into bed when Little Red Hat arrived and knocked at the door.
"Come in" called the ogre with a dampened voice.
Little Red Hat tried to open the door, but when she noticed that she was pulling on something soft, she called out, “Grandmother, this thing is so soft!”
"Just pull and keep quiet. It is your grandmother’s intestine!"
"What did you say?"
"Just pull and keep quiet!"
Little Red Hat opened the door, went inside, and said, “Grandmother, I am hungry.”
The ogre replied, “Go to the kitchen cupboard. There is still a little rice there.”
Little Red Hat went to the cupboard and took the teeth out. “Grandmother, these things are very hard!”
"Eat and keep quiet. They are your grandmother’s teeth!"
"What did you say?"
"Eat and keep quiet!"
A little while later Little Red Hat said, “Grandmother, I’m still hungry.”
"Go back to the cupboard," said the ogre. "You will find two pieces of chopped meat there."
Little Red Hat went to the cupboard and took out the jaws. “Grandmother, this is very red!”
"Eat and keep quiet. They are your grandmother’s jaws!"
"What did you say?"
"Eat and keep quiet!"
A little while later Little Red Hat said, “Grandmother, I’m thirsty.”
"Just look in the cupboard," said the ogre. "There must be a little wine there."
Little Red Hat went to the cupboard and took out the blood. “Grandmother, this wine is very red!”
"Drink and keep quiet. It is your grandmother’s blood!
"What did you say?"
"Just drink and keep quiet!"
A little while later Little Red Hat said, “Grandmother, I’m sleepy.”
"Take off your clothes and get into bed with me!" replied the ogre.
Little Red Hat got into bed and noticed something hairy. “Grandmother, you are so hairy!”
"That comes with age," said the ogre.
"Grandmother, you have such long legs!"
"That comes from walking."
"Grandmother, you have such long hands!"
"That comes from working."
"Grandmother, you have such long ears!"
"That comes from listening."
"Grandmother, you have such a big mouth!"
"That comes from eating children!" said the ogre, and bam, he swallowed Little Red Hat with one gulp.
So the US wants to use “moderate” fighters in Syria. In other words they want to use one terrorist group against the other. They want to educate them and equip them with weapons. Last time they tried that the result was that they joined the IS and the IS had better weapons. Sounds like a sensible approach then, eh?
Hrm… thanks to Bush and Iraq war there will be more terror attacks soon. :-/
I guess that’s the plan though. Helps to enforce certain laws, reduce freedom and increase nationalism and power grips. I really think it has to be a plan. Everyone said that this would happen and still they did it, with no actual reason. I don’t think any human being can be *that* stupid, killing thousands of civilists just to create terrorists.
Freshly-released CIA documents show how the largest newspapers in the country helped the agency contain a groundbreaking exposé of cocaine trafficking by its Contra proxy forces.
Basically if you are a journalist that actually does his work the government will hunt you down:
Thanks in part to what author Nicholas Dujmovic, a CIA Directorate of Intelligence staffer at the time of publication, describes as “a ground base of already productive relations with journalists,” the CIA’s Public Affairs officers watched with relief as the largest newspapers in the country rescued the agency from disaster, and, in the process, destroyed the reputation of an aggressive, award-winning reporter.
Librarians in Massachusetts are working to give their patrons a chance to opt-out of pervasive surveillance. Partnering with the ACLU of Massachusetts, area librarians have been teaching and taking workshops on how freedom of speech and the right to privacy are compromised by the surveillance of online and digital communications — and what new privacy-protecting services they can offer patrons to shield them from unwanted spying of their library activity.
Obama put climate change at the top of his second term agenda, and the administration unveiled a host of new green measures in the run-up to next week’s meeting, including an initiative to cut the extremely potent greenhouse gas used as a coolant in refrigerators and air conditioners.
It’s basically about how the US should cause fear and war in Europe and Asia to create “a new world order” and make sure the US remains the only world power. It’s about how the government should take control of the two continents and make sure that the nations are neither independent nor living in peaceful relations or work for the US as part of the NATO.
Now this sounds like conspiracy theories, right? Well, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who wrote many books about this is actually Barack Obama’s lead adviser on foreign relations. There are no secret about and again, one can just buy that book on Amazon and stuff. Like WTF?!
If you don’t get the book you should still read summaries.
EU and US delivered weapons to oppose IS(IS) and...
So the EU and the US sent weapons to the “moderate rebels” in Iraq, against IS (former ISIS). I was a bit like “Yeah great, sending weapons for peace. That’s how it works /sarcasm”.
Well, turns out that the weaponized groups now kidnaps people, sells them to the IS, now they have a ceasefire and soon I am sure they’ll have a nice economy based on weapons. Kinda like we progressive, western nations.
WEAPONS FOR PEACE!
But wait.. there is more they have in common with some western countries, like forbidding the teaching evolutionary theories, using social media for marketing, etc. Maybe that’s enough for a ceasefire?
You know… there are constantly dying people seeking asylum at Europe’s borders. That’s something that could be stopped, just like that. But people don’t give a fuck about other people these days anymore.
Someone says something politically and the whole world is shocked. There is a new iPhone, a new book and people camp in front of stores. People die and nobody gives a fuck. That’s so SICK!
In demanding written legal guarantees from NATO that its BMD system is not aimed at Russia, the Russian government has consistently brought up broken promises from U.S. officials from 1990, that NATO would not move “one inch” toward the East. Western leaders have repeatedly denied that promise was made.
Since 1999, NATO has annexed 12 countries that had been members of the Warsaw Pact. Three of these last had been members of the Soviet Union itself.
Oh and for people not living here. Russia and the European union actually had really good, friendly economical relations, even though they used to be the greatest enemies only some decades ago. There were no lies, aggressions or whatsoever.
So now the Barack Obama says he wants to have Scotland as part of the UK I hope people realize how important it is to become independent and not have an other part of the island or even some country across the ocean decide over them - no matter whether they remain part of the UK or as their own nation.
Also I really hope that people know this isn’t about borders, but independence. Even the European Union managed to become border-less, so why wouldn’t two independent nations, sharing one island be able to live border-less?
Whatever the opinion of people in Scotland might be, I really hope it will be their opinion that counts, not the UK’s nor the opinion of the US or Barack Obama.