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The Insidious 'Protect
America Act'
By Joel Skousen
Editor - World Affairs Brief
Since the takeover of the Republican party by globalists (masquerading as Christian conservatives), the legislative evils they have perpetrated have always come clothed in nice sounding names: the USA PATRIOT ACT and the PROTECT AMERICA ACT are two of the worst.
The "Protect American Act" does no such thing. It now authorizes, under the cover of "foreign" eavesdropping the indiscriminate surveillance of the domestic side of the leger as well. As I pointed out last week, they've been doing it all along, now they have some official cover.
Here's a personal example: When I was Chairman of the Conservative National Committee in 1983, I was talking to a foreign friend in El Salvador about why he shouldn't trust the overtures of a certain US Army reserve Major who was trying to ingratiate himself with the emerging right wing political movements of Central America. Within a half an hour this non active-duty Major had burst into my office and was threatening me never to speak about him over the telephone again. Obviously, my call was monitored, without a warrant, and this guy had some not-so-lowly connections into American intelligence, just as I had suspected.
Let's face it: All calls are monitored by NSA computers. That's a fact. So be careful what you say on the phone. The government claims to have computer programs to filter out domestic calls and separate them from foreign. Even if they do, how can we know if they are used? Naturally, we only have the government's word on that. But, it gives us no reason to relax. Even if the government is telling the truth, which I doubt, they can't filter something unless they collect it first--and that has heretofore been illegal and unconstitutional. It's still unconstitutional because Congress cannot pass a law making exceptions to the 4th Amendment without amending the constitution. A statute isn't enough.
As Spencer Ackerman noted at the beginning of the week, "Experts are still digesting the revision to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [FISA] signed by President Bush yesterday... It's a fairly safe bet, judging by the amount of expert disagreement about the act's provisions, that most members of Congress don't know what they've just passed. What's clear is that now the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence can now obtain the international communications of U.S. citizens or residents without a warrant provided that such surveillance is 'reasonably believed' to be 'directed at' persons outside the country [a loophole big enough to drive a truck through]. The FISA Court's new, restricted role here is to determine -- up to six months after the fact of the surveillance -- that the government's procedures in seeking the primarily-foreign data is not 'clearly erroneous' [whatever that means]. If it isn't, the surveillance goes forward. [But, the surveillance has already been done before hand, and that isn't going to be undone!]
"...In short, it takes out from Fourth Amendment protections surveillance of a person 'reasonably believed to be located outside of the United States,' no matter who that individual communicates with, inside or outside the United States. 'This deems certain acts as not electronic surveillance as a legal matter, when they certainly would be surveillance as a factual matter,' says Marc Rotenberg of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. In fact, the legality of collecting such information without a warrant turns entirely on who the government says it's primarily interested in. 'If you are talking with somebody overseas, and the government intercepts that communication, it is electronic surveillance if government says they were directing the surveillance at you,' says Jim Dempsey, policy director of the Center for Democracy and Technology. That kind of electronic surveillance would require, under FISA, a probable-cause warrant [which is a secret proceeding so we can't tell when or if they do anything at all to counter the government. Word from those who know is that few warrants are issued, clearly not enough to represent only a pittance of government surveillance]. But the law allows the government to skirt that requirement by shifting the emphasis of its investigation: 'It is not electronic surveillance if the government says it's directing the surveillance at a person overseas.'
"This goes beyond the Terrorist Surveillance Program. As described by President Bush in December 2005, communications monitored by the TSP had to involve, on one end, a known al-Qaeda figure. Now, the subject of surveillance simply has to be 'reasonably believed' to have 'foreign intelligence information' and be, more likely than not, outside the U.S." In fact all this is for show. The government is surveilling everything but only slowly ratcheting up the public awareness of this evil and hoping to destroy, over time, any public expectations of privacy.
In the last two weeks, the media has been busy promoting new government statements warning about more attacks from a strengthened al Qaeda (without a shred of evidence, other than perhaps the government's own foreknowledge of terror acts it controls). ABC News seems to be the lead purveyor of the new government fear-mongering. Led by the National Intelligence Estimate and Homeland Security Department the Bush administration is flooding the media with briefings warning that al Qaeda is preparing a 'spectacular terror attack' in the US this summer (rapidly coming to a close). According to the AP quoting a new U.S. intelligence assessment, "Al Qaeda is stepping up its efforts to sneak terror operatives into the United States and has acquired most of the capabilities it needs to strike here." Still the DHS and the White House drag their feet about sealing US borders.
Patrick Briley, the number one researcher into the government's role in the OKC bombing, wrote this week: "Bush and FBI deliberate inaction against Iraqi, Hamas, Al Qaeda and Al Fuqra terrorists in the OKC super celland Iraqis already in the US from the first Gulf War and currently being brought to the U.S. is another indication that Bush is intentionally not adequately protecting the US from the most recent credible and known threats of Al Qaeda plans to use Iraqis for attacks in the US.
"Instead Bush is allowing the existence of the OKC super cell and Iraqis already in the US to blackmail US citizens for more police state powers and to advance world government and the NAU." Briley doesn't go far enough, in my opinion, when he speaks of Bush "not adequately protecting..." What his evidence really points to is that government doesn't merely tolerate these cells but runs them (through 3rd parties) for the purpose of fear and conflict creation. Briley is right about the eventual goal to get Americans accustomed to more police power and regional/world government.
This week the media was showcasing demonstrations on the explosive power of shoes with C4 explosives in the heel, and the power of vials of liquid triggered to explode-hoping to pacify the growing public disgust and discontent over heavy handed TSA travel restrictions on liquids and gels. To shore up the government's propaganda, the government hired NASA to prepare a little demonstration on the "powerful explosive" effects liquid explosives can have. ABC news and others were dutifully airing the piece, and giving interview time to Homeland Security's own Dr. Frankenstein (Michael Chertoff).
But what the little demonstration on liquid explosives didn't show is how difficult and precise the measurements have to be to produce a larger explosion, how unstable the concoctions are once formed, and how difficult it is to smuggle the electronic triggering mechanisms onto an aircraft. Explosives experts have commented in the wake of the British claims on liquid explosives just how improbable this scenario was and still is.
World Affairs Brief, August 10, 2007
Commentary and Insights on a Troubled World.
Copyright Joel Skousen. Partial quotations with attribution permitted.
Cite source as Joel Skousen's World Affairs Brief (<http://www.worldaffairsbrief.com> http://www.worldaffairsbrief.com )


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