Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Myths About Illegal NSA Spying on Americans/ Is The ACLU Fearful Of Exposing The NSA's Radiation Intelligence Program?

Keep in mind that the secret FISA court could never allow for the type of long-term satellite tracking and remote neural monitoring of Americans that the NSA has been conducting since the early 1980's; conduct by NSA agents which is treasonous and punishable by death.

The following compendium includes the lies that the Bush Administration have told the public in regard to his use of the NSA for illegally spying on Americans, as well as the facts behind what this Constitution raping NEOCON has done. I also mention that the ACLU for all of the good work that it does in defending American civil liberties is careful not to cross certain lines which would cause it serious credibility problems. However, this is not a true and complete defense of the US Constitution.

Here I mention the overwhelming evidence showing the Bush Administration was complicit in the attacks on 9-11, and that through a document known as I-99, Bush himself had ordered the FBI to stop certain investigations regarding possible terrorist leads. This has been documented by former FBI agent John O'Neill (O'Neill's informant Janet Parker came forward with this information after O'Neill was murdered on 9-11), as well as FBI special agent Robert Wright -- whom the FBI has prevented from publishing his book on the FBI's role in blocking investigations which could have prevented these attacks.

The ACLU has also refused to hear the cases of many individuals targeted by federal agencies such as the FBI and NSA for COINTELPRO type operations, as well as the NSA's illegal use of satellites to track Americans while using electronic brain link technology to remotely access and manipulate the minds of these citizens.

Also keep in mind that there is NO LEGITIMATE RATIONALE for the FBI or NSA to be spying on Americans within the privacy of their own homes, much less their own bathrooms! Yet the FEDS continue to conduct such depraved behavior, which is gradually destroying their own credibility as legitimate law enforcement. People who conduct themselves in such ways, even when working for the federal government are not law enforcement -- they are degenerate filth who should be hanged.

Moreover, the so called war on terror in this country is a complete hoax. A total fraud on the American people, to rob us of our rights as US citizens while putting each citizen in debt for the rest of their lives. The Bush Administration's war on terror (quite the irony since it ws complicit in the attacks on 9-11) has left it with the excuse that Americans can be robbed of our freedoms under in efforts to keep us safe from an invisible enemy. However, it is this Texas snakeoil salesman and his cronies in the Whitehouse who are the true red menace and threat to the welfare of the American people.

It is also clear from the ACLU's unwillingness to acknowledge that these crimes are regularly being committed by these federal agencies, that the ACLU is interested in only going so far in protecting the rights of American citizens. And moreover, that when these rights are violated by government agencies who utilize classified technology in which to do so, the ACLU is more concerned with towing the political line in such cases, while remaining out of the Intelligence community's line of fire.

And while this is good for the Intelligence community and its clandestine and illegal way of operating, it is extremely bad for the American people, who are the unwitting targets of much the Intelligence community's non consensual cover research and human experimentation.

Perhaps the ACLU is simply concerned about entering such uncharted and quite possibly dangerous waters, in which to confront a very powerful and out of control community of high-tech government predators.

And that is exactly what the US Intelligence community has become -- a community of high-tech predators who are no longer accountable to the US Congress, or the American people, in spite of the rhetoric that we hear Congress spewing from time to time -- in order to give us a false impression that they are really in control of what the Intelligence community in this country does.

In not one instance that I am familiar with, has the ACLU ever followed through on complaints reported to it by any American citizens being targeted for non consensual human experimentation. And by this I mean those citizens being targeted by satellite based weapons, who are being remotely tortured and slowly microwaved to death.

And the ACLU's concerns here should not come as a surprise since, even the US Courts are terrified of taking US Intelligence on, as has been evidenced by their refusal to hear John St. Clair Akwei's lawsuit against the NSA, or Charles Schlund's case against the Bush Administration and the CIA. These are the two most important lawsuits in US History, because they expose the shadow government which is operating beneath the democratic republic that Americans think they have control of.

And it is for this reason why the aforesaid cases will never be heard. Two cases which the ACLU has never formally acknowledged. Moreover, the ACLU has never made mention of the Federal Reserve Bank fraud, or the fact that the Federal Reserve Bank and IRS are operating illegally and even more to the point, unconstitutionally in the United States. Or that there have been at least two dozen cases in which Americans have beaten tax evasion cases because their respective juries could find no law which authorizes the IRS to impose an income tax on the wages of the American worker.

Why has the ACLU ignored these facts, especially when they concern how the Federal Reserve Banking cartel and IRS are violating the US Constitution and Supreme Court decisions which have clearly determined that these organizations are unconstituional?

Why has the ACLU not come to the defense of those who are arrested for tax evasion, when it is clear from the law, that failing to pay a tax on one's wages is a not a crime?

For the same reasons that it has not come to the defense of Americans being targeted by satellite based directed energy weapons.

Those who have complained about being subjected to torture within the privacy of their own homes, by government agencies including the NSA, FBI and CIA, which are illegally deploying satellite based directed energy weapons in which to physically torture these citizens.

The ACLU has ignored these situations because while this organization is allowed a certain amount of latitude in bucking the status quo in this country, it is well aware that if it attempts to tell some very unpleasant truths to the American people about their own government, that this would be political suicide for the ACLU.

Which it most certainly would.

As others who have been targeted for such atrocities have stated, there now appears to be a parallel justice system within the United States, in which many American citizens are being subjected to a complete lack of Constitutional rule of law; many of whom have been targeted by federal agents who have used their authority to violate the rights of these citizens, under the US Color Of Law statutes -- a serious federal crime.

Violations under the Color Of Law occur when a duly appointed federal officer abuses their authority expressly for the purpose of denying American citizens their Constitutional rights -- something which since the attacks on 9-11, is occurring in unprecedented frequency.

And the ACLU refuses to get involved in these cases. Moreover, why aren't these agents going to prison for their crimes against American citizens, under the color of law?

And while these agencies -- including the FBI -- are quick to shout "terrorist" in regard to those whom they are attacking in such ways (if they admit to doing so at all), the truth is that in most cases those being labeled as terrorists have no terrorist connections, and do not represent any form of legitimate terrorist threat to the United States and its people. Regardless of what the FBI through its myriad smear campaigns would have the American public believe.

However, when the FBI and NSA would wage their own illegal satellite tracking of Americans, in which these citizens are spied upon within the privacy of their own homes, for protracted fishing expeditions which can encompass decades, it is clear that these agencies have become the terrorist threat which they claim to be fighting. Using a satellite to peer into an American citizen's home for decades is one of the most outrageous and precedent setting violations of both the 4TH and 5TH Amendments, as well every piece of human rights legislation ever documented. And to put it quite frankly, it shows the outright effrontry that agencies like the FBI and NSA have, when abusing technology that they have been entrusted with, to perpetrate their own criminal conspiracies.

I cite here the FBI's COINTELPRO assault on myself as one of the worst instances of civil rights violations ever documented in this country. And there are myriad other Americans whose rights are being violated just as badly, while their complaints are uniformly ignored by politicians as well as law enforcement; both of whom act in concert to obstruct justice by aiding and abetting such criminal and anti-American activities.

There is absolutely no rule of law in the attacks which they have and continue to wage against my person. And their attempts at demonizing me in efforts to cover up their own crimes, have only served to box them into a situation of their own making.

The FBI's idea of crime fighting is to commit crimes against those whom they cannot legally arrest. And to then either deny that they have committed such treasonous crimes, or attempt to justify them. To quote a former agent, "The FBI ARE PIGS."

However, in their own way, pigs are noble creatures.

These federal agents are RATS. Anyone who would videotape an American citizen within the privacy of their own bathroom is a FILTHY RAT.

Furthermore, there is no rule of Constitutional law in what these FEDS have done to myself and myriad others. These agents are criminals whose sadistic nature defines them and their lack of humanity. Something these Constitution raping Nazi's will eventually pay for, the result of their abject violations of the 4TH and 5TH Amendments, as well as virtually every other Amendment to the US Constitution.

Moreover, if the ACLU continues to ignore the requests of those persons being targeted for such precedent setting violations of their rights, this organization can never truly be considered a defender of both constitutional and human rights. Defending civil liberties and human rights is not about what is politically correct, or convenient.

It is about adhering to the US Constitutional rule of law, regardless of the difficulties in doing so. Those who would claim to be such defenders while choosing only cases which are safe or convenient for them, are not now, and should never be considered true defenders of the US Constitution or its Bill Of Rights.

At least the ACLU has taken one positive step in criticizing the Bush Administration regarding its overt use of the NSA to illegally spy on Americans. However, the NSA's spying of myself and many others far exceeds anything which the ACLU has mentioned below. Something which will never be discussed by this organization because it will become a target of the very crimes that so many of us are being subjected to in the present day, as US Intelligence agencies continue to decimate the US Constitution, while using us for non consensual forms of human experimentation.

Furthermore, it is doubtful that the ACLU will ever publicly admit that the NSA has the ability to electronically access and manipulate the minds of American citizens, by remotely attaching their super computers to the brains of these people -- a technology which is known as electronic brain link (EBL). A technology so destructive to the privacy of American citizens and their freedom of thought, that it bespeaks of the anti-Utopian society which writer George Orwell condemned in his horrifying novel, 1984.

I happen to know that the NSA has had access to this information, because back in 2005, I emailed the ACLU a link to a Website which contains the first six pages of Akwei's lawsuit against the NSA,by way of my AOL E-mail account. And I was able to check the status of the E-mail; which indicated that it had been opened. It was not long after this that the ACLU mentioned a more in depth investigation into the NSA's illegal spying of Americans, but to date nothing in regard to John Akwei's lawsuit against the NSA has been mentioned.

If the ACLU were to publicly acknowledge John St. Clair Akwei's lawsuit, it would help to alert the American people to how vulnerable they are to this technology, and just as important, how the NSA as well as the Bush Administration are guilty of committing treason against the American people.

However, the ACLU will not do so, because by doing so, they would make themselves a direct target of the US Intelligence Community. And this community will take revenge should the ACLU attempt to promulgate Akwei's information on the NSA's ability to remote neural monitor the brains of the American people, through EBL technology.

Such a courageous act by the ACLU would cause a public outcry for an independent investigation into the US Intelligence community, unparalleled in American History. Something US Intel cannot afford to have happen, since such an investigation would publicly expose the NSA's "Thought Police" mentality, and the technology which they use to deny Americans their right to Constitutional due process of law.

Furthermore, there is nothing about electronically accessing people's brains by way of satellite that should fall under the heading of national security. Such technology is a crime against humanity, and a violation of both the Nuremberg Code and Geneva Convention. Yet the US Intelligence community is routinely engaging in such violations in regard to myriad Americans in the present day. In reality, national security has been used by the NSA as a cover for its use of mind control technology on unwitting American citizens, which illustrates how the National Security Act has been wrongfully used since its inception, to cloak the criminal activities being committed by the US Intelligence community.

Perhaps someday the ACLU will work up the courage to eventually promulgate this information regarding the NSA's illegal satellite track and remote neural monitoring of the American people. This organization has accomplished many positive changes over the course of its history, and is certainly one of the greatest defenders of the US Constitution that we have in this country.

However, given that time is of the essence, I hope that it does not wait too long to undertake such a noble effort in which to address and promulgate the information contained in John Akwei's lawsuit against the NSA, since the NSA's mind reading/raping technology is a very credible threat to how the human race evolves in the future.

One in which people will no longer have free thought in regard to the choices they make, but will instead have the thoughts of those who wish to subjugate them to such psychological enslavement, sent directly to their subconscious minds, where they will have no choice but to capitulate and follow the computer based and clandestine directives of their "satellite masters."

Top Ten Myths About the Illegal NSA Spying on Americans

SOURCE: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Bush's "terrorist surveillance program" plainly violates the clear language and intent of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and is inconsistent with Americans’ fundamental First and Fourth Amendment rights.

MYTH: This is merely a “terrorist surveillance program.”

REALITY: When there is evidence a person may be a terrorist, both the criminal code and intelligence laws already authorize eavesdropping. This illegal program, however, allows electronic monitoring without any showing to a court that the person being spied upon in this country is a suspected terrorist. Plus, there already is a legitimate “terrorist surveillance program”—it’s called the “Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act” (FISA). >;<; span>>This federal law requires judicial approval of all electronic surveillance in this country in investigations to prevent “international terrorism” or “sabotage.” It unequivocally requires court approval of such surveillance, whether by the NSA or FBI. And it applies to any telephone or email to or from any American person in this country. FISA protects the constitutional rights of Americans, but if a person in the US were suspected of assisting al Qaeda then that would be the basis for getting a court order authorizing a wiretap under FISA, not for ignoring the law.

Without judicial oversight, there is no way to ensure that each person whose emails or phone calls are monitored by the NSA actually is a suspected terrorist. And, investigative reports that FBI intelligence agents have been flooded with worthless tips from the NSA about innocent schoolteachers and law abiding Americans cast serious doubt on this claim. And, as the New York Times noted: "The volume of information harvested from telecommunication data and voice networks, without court-approved warrants, is much larger than the White House has acknowledged...”[1]

MYTH: The program is legal.

REALITY: The program violates the Fourth Amendment and FISA and will chill free speech. The Fourth Amendment protects the right of the people of the United States to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures and requires court approval except in an emergency. As a bipartisan group of legal experts—including Judge William Sessions, the former Director of the FBI under President Ronald Reagan—concluded after analyzing all the constitutional and statutory assertions of the administration: “the Justice Department’s defense of what it concedes was secret and warrantless electronic surveillance of persons within the United States fails to identify any plausible legal authority for such surveillance.”[2]

The Supreme Court has long held that the conversations of Americans cannot be seized under the Fourth Amendment without court oversight.[3] In a case involving warrantless wiretapping by President Nixon in the name of national security, the Supreme Court stressed that “Fourth Amendment freedoms cannot properly be guaranteed if domestic surveillance may be conducted solely within the discretion of the Executive Branch.”[4] In that case, the Keith case, the Court reaffirmed that “prior judicial approval is required for the type of domestic surveillance involved in this case and that such approval may be made in accordance with such reasonable standards as Congress may prescribe.”[5]

Taking up the Court’s invitation, the Church Committee conducted extensive hearings and found that in the absence of any judicial check, the executive branch had spied on government employees, journalists, anti-war activists and others for political purposes. So, Congress passed FISA to provide the “exclusive” authority for the wiretapping of US persons in investigations to protect national security.[6] As the Senate Report noted, FISA “was designed . . . to curb the practice by which the Executive Branch may conduct warrantless electronic surveillance on its own unilateral determination that national security justifies it.”[7] By failing to follow the exclusive provisions governing wiretaps of Americans, the program violates both the Fourth Amendment and the letter and spirit of the federal law passed to protect and vindicate those rights.

MYTH: The Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) allows this.

REALITY: The resolution about using force in Afghanistan does not mention wiretaps and does not apply domestically, but FISA does--it requires a court order. When Congress passed FISA it not only provided that it authorizes the exclusive means to conduct foreign intelligence surveillance in the US but Congress also made it a federal crime for agents to wiretap without a court order unless authorized by statute. The administration now claims that the AUMF provides statutory authority to monitor Americans’ telephone calls and emails.

But the AUMF says absolutely nothing about electronic surveillance, and the Senate majority leader at the time, Tom Daschle, has noted that the drafters of the AUMF specifically considered and rejected language giving the president additional domestic powers.[8] Other Senators, from both sides of the aisle have concurred with Senator Daschle. As noted above, legal experts from across the spectrum have also written Congress to note that the AUMF does not authorize the NSA spying program.

In any event, Congress provided specific rules for wiretaps during war. FISA allows a limited 15-day exception to the requirement of court oversight of wiretaps in the US immediately following a declaration of war, but no more than that. In passing FISA, Congress sought to create a comprehensive statute to govern all possible justifications for wiretapping on these shores.

MYTH: The president has authority as commander in chief of the military to approve this program to spy on Americans without any court oversight.

REALITY: The Supreme Court recently found the administration’s claim of unlimited commander in chief powers during war to be an unacceptable effort to “condense power into a single branch of government,” contrary to the Constitution’s checks and balances.[9] As Justice Sandra Day O’Connor declared in this case focused on combatants captured on the battlefield, it is “clear that a state of war is not a blank check for the President when it comes to the rights of the Nation’s citizens.”[10]

The President’s power to act in the area of electronic spying is at its lowest ebb--not its zenith, as claimed by Attorney General Gonzales—because Congress has created comprehensive rules governing electronic surveillance in the US in times of war and to protect against international terrorism. When President Truman tried to seize the steel mills to support the war in Korea, the Supreme Court rebuked him, stating that: “It is one thing to draw an intention of Congress from general language and to say that Congress would have explicitly written what is inferred, where Congress has not addressed itself to a specific situation. It is quite impossible, however, when Congress did specifically address itself to a problem, as Congress did to that of seizure, to find secreted in the interstices of legislation the very grant of power which Congress consciously withheld. To find authority so explicitly withheld is . . . to disrespect the whole legislative process and the constitutional division of authority between President and Congress.”[11]

And, the legislative history of FISA refutes the claims of the White House: “[E]ven if the President has the inherent authority in the absence of legislation to authorize warrantless electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes, Congress has the power to regulate the conduct of such surveillance by legislating a reasonable procedure, which then becomes the exclusive means by which such surveillance may be conducted.”[12] As legal experts have established: “Congress did not implicitly authorize the NSA domestic spying program in the AUMF, and in fact expressly prohibited in FISA.”[13]

In the current crisis, not only did Congress specifically provide rules governing electronic surveillance on these shores to protect national security, it also reinforced those very rules after passing the AUMF. Within 40 days of the vote on the AUMF, Congress enacted 25 changes to FISA at the request of President Bush in the USA Patriot Act (Title II, including Section 215 relating to getting court approval for business or library records as well as Section 206 regarding getting court approval for multiple-point wiretaps), but none of these amendments struck the requirement that the president get judicial approval to conduct electronic surveillance of people in the U.S. Congress has made other changes to FISA in the past four years.[14] This legislative history only serves to reinforce the continuing legal obligation of the administration to follow FISA regardless of the authority to use military force in Afghanistan.

MYTH: The president has the power to say what the law is.

The courts have this power in our system of government, and no person is above the law, not even the president, or the rule of law means nothing. Under our democracy’s separation of powers, the president cannot act as judge or legislator. It is high school civics 101 that it is the province of the courts to say what the law is, the role of Congress to make law and the responsibility of the president to faithfully execute the law, not re-write it.[15] The president’s actions violate these fundamental principles. This is especially so because the laws controlling government eavesdropping on Americans are well-established and clear. Numerous legal experts as well as non-partisan researchers agree that the president’s actions have violated these laws.[16]

The administration has claimed that Congress was briefed and thus approved of the program, but the few Members of Congress who were told about the program were prohibited from telling anyone else about it, and some of those members expressed serious concerns at the time.[17] Strong concerns about the propriety of the program were not limited to Congress. It has been reported that some of the federal judges on the FISA court who learned of the program expressed objections to its legality. Even members of the executive branch, beyond those who blew the whistle on the program, have objected to it. For example, it has been reported that Acting Attorney General James Comey indicated he was unwilling to give his approval to certain aspects of the program. And the program apparently was audited only in advance of the presidential election for fear that a new president would prosecute those who participated in the program.

Nevertheless, President Bush has arrogated to himself the power to unilaterally and secretly ignore laws passed by Congress, contravening the balance struck by a democratically enacted law. Under our constitutional democracy the president has the power to sign or veto laws—not to disregard them or interpret them away. The administration’s radical approach to presidential power is sadly reminiscent of disgraced President Nixon who said: “When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.” The president has claimed that he is doing everything within his authority to protect against terrorism but seems to have no awareness that there are any limits on that authority. He took an oath to “faithfully execute” the laws of the United States, not just the ones he chooses to follow.

The administration has also claimed the right to do so based on a distorted view of history. For example, some have claimed that "President Clinton exercised the same authority" as President Bush, based on the testimony of Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick back in 1994, but what she actually said was that FISA at that time restricted only electronic surveillance and not physical searches in intelligence investigations, which was correct. In the wake of the Aldrich Ames spying investigation, Gorelick testified that "the administration and the attorney general support, in principle, legislation establishing judicial warrant procedures under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act for physical searches undertaken for intelligence purposes... the Department of Justice believes that Congress can legislate in the area of physical searches as it has done with respect to electronic surveillances, and we are prepared to support appropriate legislation." In October 1994, Congress amended FISA to require court oversight of requests to conduct physical searches in intelligence cases. Accordingly, claims that the last president did the same thing are just political red herrings.

So too are the arguments made by the administration about prior presidents. The Church Committee thoroughly examined the rationales used by some former administrations to try to justify warrantless spying in the name of national security, noting that any system of secret police “may become a menace to free government and free institutions because it carries with it the possibility of abuses of power which are not always quickly apprehended or understood’ . . . Our investigation has confirmed that warning. We have seen segments of our government, in their attitudes and action, adopt tactics unworthy of a democracy... We have seen a consistent pattern in which programs initiated with limited goals, such as preventing criminal violence or identifying foreign spies, were expanded to what witnesses characterized as ‘vacuum cleaners,’ sweeping in information about lawful activities of American citizens.” That is why, after its exhaustive examination of law and history, the Committee found: “There is no inherent constitutional authority for the President or any intelligence agency to violate the law.” It also stated ”It is the intent of the Committee that statutes implementing these recommendations provide the exclusive legal authority for federal domestic security activities,” the gathering of foreign intelligence on these shores.[18]

MYTH: These warrantless wiretaps could never happen to you.

REALITY: Without court oversight, there is no way to ensure innocent people’s everyday communications are not monitored or catalogued by the NSA or other agencies. During the Cold War, the list of people considered by McCarthy to be “communists” was long and it was wrong in many notable instances. In the 1960s, J. Edgar Hoover secretly wiretapped the communications of the leader of the civil rights movement, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., under the guise of national security. Before FISA was passed, President Nixon personally approved wiretaps of cabinet members, government employees, journalists and other Americans he didn’t like or didn’t trust. These and other revelations led to the passage of FISA to protect Americans’ Fourth Amendment right to privacy in their conversations from this ever happening again, by requiring judicial oversight of all US wiretaps including those in the name of national security.

Without a court review, there is no way to protect innocent Americans from having their every conversation recorded. And, unfortunately, the Bush Administration has a track record of pursuing ineffective anti-terrorist dragnets that intrude on innocent Americans’ rights. Examples include certain airline passenger identity screening programs and the now-outlawed Total Information Awareness data-mining program. Other examples include recent disclosures that FBI or Defense Department agents are spying on Quakers and other pacifists, environmentalists, and vegetarians, all in the name of national security. Without a judicial check, the powerful electronic surveillance tools of the NSA can be trained on anyone.

The administration has repeatedly stated that the president is “mindful” of Americans’ civil liberties, but our system of government requires checks on power, not deference to those in power. The illegal NSA program of spying on Americans gives unlimited power to the President, whoever he or she may be, without constitutionally required checks on that power.[4]

MYTH: This illegal program could have prevented the 9/11 attacks.

REALITY: This is utter manipulation. Before 9/11, the federal government had gathered intelligence, without illegal NSA spying, about the looming attacks and at least two of the terrorists who perpetrated them, but failed to act. As we know from the 9/11 Commission report, the main problem was not gathering information, but translating it, interpreting it, sharing it and acting on it in a timely fashion.

Intelligence agencies were already overwhelmed by information – they had many thousands of hours of un-translated intercepts on bona fide terror suspects. There were at least a dozen intelligence reports or Presidential Daily Briefings that Osama bin Laden planned to use aircrafts as weapons to crash into buildings. The CIA missed opportunities to put the hijackers on a watch list, and even when the terrorism threat peaked level in the summer of 2001, the FBI, CIA and State Department failed to give vital information to the airlines or customers. The CIA, FBI, and INS failed to communicate threat information fully with each other or fully investigate suspected terrorists. Given the evidence of turf wars and bureaucratic dysfunction, the last thing the intelligence agencies needed before 9/11 was a volume of information about ordinary law abiding Americans to analyze on top of information gathered from suspected terrorists.

And the same is true today. The New York Times has reported that the FBI has been swamped by information provided by the NSA under Bush's directive, and that the information led to countless dead ends. One source stated: "It affected the FBI in the sense that they had to devote so many resources to tracking every single one of these leads, and, in my experience, they were all dry leads."[19] FBI agents have said that information from this program was useless and led to an enormous waste of resources and of the time of trained FBI investigators. Rank-and-file agents reportedly started to joke that the intelligence gleaned from the NSA spying was so unreliable that a new batch of tips meant more "calls to Pizza Hut."[20]

MYTH: This illegal program has saved thousands of lives.

REALITY: Because the program is secret the administration can assert anything it wants and then claim the need for secrecy excuses its failure to document these claims, let alone reveal all the times the program distracted intelligence agents with dead ends that wasted resources and trampled individual rights. Moreover, according to investigative reports, "The law enforcement and counterterrorism officials said the program had uncovered no active Qaeda networks inside the United States planning attacks.‘ There were no imminent plots--not inside the United States,’ the former F.B.I. official said.’"[20]

Unfortunately, the Bush Administration has too often made claims that prey on Americans’ fears but are contradicted by the facts. To take just one example, the President claimed the Patriot Act led to charges against more than 400 terrorism suspects and 200 convictions on terrorism charges, a claim the Washington Post noted was “misleading at best.”[21] In fact, the Justice Department’s own data revealed that 39 people had been convicted of national security related crimes since September 11th but “[m]ost of the others were convicted of relatively minor crimes... that had nothing to do with terrorism.”[21] And many others where never convicted of doing anything wrong after being swept into terrorism investigations.

The only specific examples the administration has cited are inconclusive. First, it claimed that NSA surveillance led to plans by terrorists to set up a training camp on the West Coast, but it offered no evidence that its illegal spy program was necessary to uncover those plans and that it could not use court authorized surveillance to investigate them. Second, it claimed that the NSA surveillance helped prevent a plot to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge with a blowtorch, even though the administration previously claimed the Patriot Act prevented this.

Again, the Administration has offered no evidence that it would have failed to get a court order based on information linking the man to al Qaeda. The FISA court has declined only four out of the nearly 20,000 applications for search orders, and the government prevailed the only time it ever appealed to the FISA court of review.

MYTH: FISA takes too long.

REALITY: FISA allows wiretaps to begin immediately in emergencies, with three days afterward to go to court. Even without an emergency, FISA orders can be approved very quickly and FISA judges are available at all hours. The administration has argued about the need to move quickly to wiretap suspected terrorists, but the truth is that in any emergency, electronic surveillance of any suspected terrorist in the US can be started without getting advance approval from the FISA Court.

Originally, Congress provided the executive branch with one day of delay after such an emergency, to send someone to court to ask for approval but in 2001, at the administration’s request, Congress extended the delay to three days.[23] This provision of FISA obviously provides the administration with speed and agility, but it does require an after-the-fact check from the court. This procedure comports with the long-standing interpretation of the Fourth Amendment’s requirements. The FISA court, like every federal court in the country, also has emergency procedures and practices that allow it to be accessed for orders day and night by federal agents. In fact, in the most recent statistics, the FISA Court approved 1,758 surveillance applications in 2004, an all-time high–without denying a single application. If the court needed more judges to handle more applications for surveillance orders, the solution would be for Congress to expand the courts’ budget, not for the president to bypass the courts and this independent oversight.

MYTH: Only liberals disagree with the president about the program.

REALITY: The serious concerns that have been raised transcend party labels and reflect genuine and widespread worries about the lack of checks on the president’s claim of unlimited power to illegally spy on Americans without any independent oversight. Even some people involved in administering the program were troubled enough to try to inform Congress about it and, failing that, to tell the New York Times.

And numerous Republican Senators have expressed strong concerns about the program including Senators Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Arlen Specter (R-PA), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Susan Collins (R-ME), John Sununu (R-NH), Larry Craig (R-ID), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and John McCain (R-AZ). Numerous conservative leaders like former Congressman Bob Barr, Grover Norquist, David Keene, Paul Weyrich and other principals in Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances, along with former officials like Judge William Sessions—who served as the Director of the FBI under President Reagan—Bruce Fein and former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean, have spoken out against the program. Conservative or libertarian scholars have expressed strong concerns, such as the American Enterprise Institute’s Norm Ornstein, CATO’s Robert Levy, and Chicago’s Professor Richard Epstein, as well as noted columnists like William Safire, George Will, and Steve Chapman. These voices join a chorus of concern from progressive leaders.

Every dollar spent on wild goose chases takes away resources from focusing on al Qaeda operatives. In short, this "terrorist surveillance program" makes us less safe and less free.Unfortunately, the president’s State of the Union address sets up a false choice: accept this illegal spy program or sit back and wait to be hit again. As some in the FBI have noted, this program has wasted time and precious resources on dead ends. The law already permits the government to obtain a court issued wiretapping order that allows it to eavesdrop on those suspected of aiding al Qaeda. These court procedures are intended to protect against eavesdropping on innocent Americans. Every dollar spent on wild goose chases takes away resources from focusing on al Qaeda operatives. In short, this program makes us less safe and less free. And the program plainly violates the clear language and intent of FISA, and it is inconsistent with Americans’ fundamental First and Fourth Amendment rights.[6] 24 50 U.S.C. ‡ 1805.


1 Eric Lichtblau and James Risen, “Domestic Surveillance: The Program; Spy Agency Mined Vast Date Trove, Officials Report,” New York Times, December 24, 2005.

2 Legal Experts Letter to Congress on NSA Domestic Spying Program

3 Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967).

4 United States v. United States District Court, 407 U.S. 297 (1972).

5 Id. at 324.

6 18 U.S.C. ? 2511(2)(f)

7 S. Rep. No. 95-604(I), at 7, 1978 U.S.C.C.A.N. 3904, 3908.

8 Tom Daschle, “Power We Didn't Grant,” Washington Post, December 23, 2005.

9 Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 524 U.S. 507, 535-37 (2004) (noting that “even the war power does not remove constitutional limitations safeguarding essential liberties”).

10 Id.

11 Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579, 609 (1952)

12 H.R. Rep. No. 95-1283, pt. 1, at 24 (1978)

13 Id.

14 Pub. L. No. 107-56, 115 Stat. 272 (2001)

15 Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803)

16 Legal Experts Letter to Congress on NSA Domestic Spying Program and see also Congressional Research Service Memo: Presidential Authority to Conduct Warrantless Electronic Surveillance to Gather Foreign Intelligence Information

17 Senator John Rockefeller's (D-WV) handwritten note to Vice President Cheney on NSA Domestic Spying Program and see also Harman Says Limited Briefings on NSA Program Were Improper

18 Final Report of the Senate Select Committee (Church Committee), Book II, April 26, 1976.

19 Lowell Bergman, Eric Lichtblau, Scott Shane and Don Van Natta Jr., “Spy Agency Data After Sept. 11 Led F.B.I. to Dead Ends,” New York Times, January 17, 2006.

20 Id.

21 Eric Lichtblau and James Risen, “Domestic Surveillance: The Program; Spy Agency Mined Vast Date Trove, Officials Report,” New York Times, December 24, 2005.

22 Dan Eggen and Julie Tate, “U.S. Campaign Produces Few Convictions on Terrorism Charges,” Washington Post, June 12, 2005.

23 Id.

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