Monday, August 06, 2007

Our sad pathetic "Leadership"

From here

Under just some of the revisions, NSA can spy on any call you make to or receive from another country (or a place the AG reasonable believes is to/from another country), without a warrant, as long as Alberto Gonzales and the Director NSA claim they reasonably believe it involves “foreign intelligence.” There doesn’t have to be any connection with a foreign power with whom we are war or terrorist group. Just you and your foreign friends is enough. The FISA court may examine the overall process in some undefined, rubberstamp way, but it cannot consider the reasonableness of your individual case. Any pretense that the 4th Amendment applies is gone.

So you can be involved in totally innocent calls or e-mails with a friend or your cousin in London, and the government can spy on your communications without a warrant, without your knowledge and without the knowedge or approval of the FISA court. You can’t get access to what they learned or what they did with that information. All you’ll know is that you or your friend/cousin/kid/colleague can’t get on a plane. Or someone disappears. Oh, and as a result of the 6th Circuit Court overturning a District Court’s ruling that the original TSP was unconstitutional, you don’t have standing to challenge this wholesale eviseration of the 4th Amendment. No court review; just Alberto and Rove.

Bear in mind that every time you open up the comments section of Firedoglake, you are in communication with other readers in other countries. Facebook is now a venue for spying. Or maybe your kids are travelling in Europe and want to call or e-mail home. Or you order something from a Danish firm. Would you trust Alberto Gonzales to decide whether spying on you was reasonable, knowing he never had to be accountable to anyone? Do you trust Karl Rove to deal with the information they gather?

Virtually every Republican, plus 41 Democrats in the House and 16 in the Senate think saying “no” to giving the government such unchecked powers in violation of the 4th Amendment was either unreasonable or would have jeopardized their reelection.

We are a nation represented by sheep.

For more details on the FISA changes, start here and here.

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