Vote outcome reveals how important maintaining and growing the surveillance state is to the political class
July 25, 2013
As expected, the Amash amendment to curtail NSA surveillance, unconstitutionally permitted under the PATRIOT Act, failed to gain traction in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
Last minute efforts by the Obama administration, members of Congress, including the leaders of intelligence committees, and the military-intelligence complex to scuttle the amendment proved successful as the final vote came in with 205 for and 217 against.
Debate in the House prior to the vote was particularly heated. Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican and the chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, insulted fellow Michigan Republican Justin Amash, who introduced the amendment. Rogers said Amash was engaging in debate on the House floor for the sake of “Facebook likes.”
The vote outcome revealed how important maintaining and growing the surveillance state is for the political class in Washington. Republicans and Democrats crossed the aisle to defeat the amendment. “The debate prompted unlikely alliances in the House floor, with both House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and deeply conservative Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) voicing opposition to the amendment,” Business Insider reported late Tuesday.
Bachmann’s vote demonstrated her unflagging allegiance to the ruling elite, who are keenly interested in building and maintaining a high-tech Stasi state. In the past, Bachmann has described herself as a constitutionally based Tea Party Republican, a farce once again revealed with the Amash amendment vote. Pelosi, on the other hand, does not pretend to support the Constitution she has sworn an oath to protect.
Prior to vote, a poll showed that 56 percent of Americans believe the NSA will go too far and violate their “privacy” rights wholesale (more fundamentally, NSA snooping is unconstitutional on multiple levels, particularly in regard to the Fourth Amendment). By voting to allow the NSA to run its surveillance scheme unchecked, the House has once again shown that it does not represent the American people.
Following the vote, a web page cropped up permitting outraged constituents to contact their supposed representatives and voice their displeasure. In addition to encouraging Americans to meet with members of the political class in person, the site provides phone numbers and a way to fire off tweets to Congress critters.
Sheldon Foote, a professor at California State University, said following the vote that the NSA spy grid is “an attempt to totally control the American people” and deny them “their constitutional liberties.”
More accurately, it is an attempt to control the political activity of a small number of Americans, those who actually pose a threat to the status quo of the establishment. On the other hand, millions of Americans, those who more or less buy into the political system and vote for Democrats and Republicans, do not pose a threat to the ruling elite and the political class vetted and promoted as our “representatives.”