June 20, 2008
The House has overwhelmingly voted to murder the Fourth Amendment:
The House on Friday overwhelmingly approved a bill overhauling the rules on the government’s wiretapping powers and conferring what amounts to legal immunity to the telephone companies that took part in President Bush’s program of eavesdropping without warrants after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The bill cleared the House by 293 to 129, with near-unanimous support from Republicans and substantial backing from Democrats. It now goes to the Senate, which is expected to vote next week.
Of course, the Senate will pass this “legislation” and the Fourth Amendment will become an anachronism. It should now be obvious we live in a fascist dictatorship and the neocons are in the process of destroying the last vestiges of the Bill of Rights.
“Our intelligence officials must have the ability to monitor terrorists suspected of plotting to kill Americans and to safeguard our national security,” said Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Republican minority leader. “This bill gives it to them.”
The Democratic majority leader, Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, was considerably more restrained in his support of the bill, calling it the best compromise possible “in the current atmosphere.”
Traitors, plain and simple. Both Boehner and Hoyer gave an oath to serve and protect the Constitution. Instead, they have paved another section of the road on the way to tyranny.
The deal, expanding the government’s powers to spy on terrorism suspects in some major respects, would strengthen the ability of intelligence officials to eavesdrop on foreign targets. It would also allow them to conduct emergency wiretaps without court orders on American targets for a week if it is determined that important national security information would otherwise be lost. If approved by the Senate, as appears likely, the agreement would be the most significant revision of surveillance law in 30 years.
The New York Times takes you for a moron. The only “terrorism suspects” out there are patsies, mental deficients, and government operatives. In actuality, as history repeatedly demonstrates, the government wants to monitor and “neutralize” — as J. Edgar Hoover called it back in the day — all domestic opposition. The the Defense Department, the FBI, and sundry Joint Terrorism Task Forces around the country do not snoop al-Qaeda, they snoop Quaker peace activists, as the ACLU discovered in 2006 after they filed a FOIA.
“In the 1970s Senate and House investigations established what many antiwar protesters and campus activists had believed for several years: that they were being watched and sometimes targeted by the government, including the National Guard and the FBI,” writes John S. Friedman. “Scattered evidence accumulating around the country suggests that the domestic surveillance that occurred during the Vietnam War may be returning, involving a more coordinated federal effort through the National Guard as well as the Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs), teams of state and local police, and federal agents, led by the FBI.”
“The NSA program, which involves the warrantless monitoring of emails and other communications in violation of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA),” explain Joe Kay and Marge Holland, “is only one component of a much broader policy undermining basic democratic and constitutional rights in the United States, all justified by a supposedly ubiquitous terrorist threat. However, their real purpose is to vastly expand the powers of the government to monitor and repress internal dissent.”
Now this “much broader policy” will be legalized, thanks to the House and soon the Senate.
Next up, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, working its way through the Senate.
Now, more than ever, it is time to read Milton Mayer’s They Thought They Were Free.
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