Wednesday, July 9, 2008

JMO - Congress betrayed us

It's clear the new FISA laws passed by the Senate this week (7/9/08), Congress, and especially the Democrats, have betrayed the American people, the very people who elected them to represent them and their interests. It's clear the NSA, CIA, FBI and other agencies have been spying and conducting warrentless searches and surveillence on American citizens, as well as collecting a lot of information on and about totally innocent people.

In addition, the Senate gave complete immunity to the telecommunications companies to lawsuits for cooperating with the agencies in the spying and surveillence. In short, the telecommunications companies are in bed with the government to conduct invasive and illegal surveillence of American citizens. Our Congress and our government does not trust any and all us anymore.

And we now have Congress to thank for corrupting our Constitution in the name of something no one knows, no can explain, and no can identify without the obvious hints and allegiation to terrorism. Congress sold us out in the name of fear. And 70 of the Senators have no more information about the government's programs than we do. Our own government kept them dumb and blind, and they have decided staying dumb and blind is better than seeing the truth in the cold light of day.

As it stands right now, the FBI with the help of the CIA, NSA, DOD and other agencies can conduct covert invesigations and surveillence on any American citizen without a warrant, and if and when pressed to explain, the FBI only has to say they have information, no matter if it's fully corraborated or the opposite, nothing but a rumor or hint, that the individual has "ties" to terrorists or is suspected of providing "material support" to terrorists.

In short, they can simply lie to the courts, call it secret, and the judge has to say ok, because the law says the FBI doesn't have to produce any evidence, simply the suspicion of something. But to gain that evidence they can collect information about you without telling your and those asked can't tell you, and they can conduct surveillence on your phones, computer and Internet use, e-mail, etc. The very things you consider private can be described and used as evidence.

How? Suppose you're interested in the Islamic Society of North America, wanting to know about Araric people and Muslims. That and other information you search for through the Internet, at your local libraries, with credit card receipts at bookstores, or at meetings or public events can be used against you, suggesting you are interested something that is either related to terrorism at worst or unamerican at best.

Your name could be added to watch lists or no-fly lists, you could be the target of additional investigation, and you could be open to losing your job or other avenues of work if FBI agents starts questioning your employer, your friends, your collegues, etal. Shades of the 1950's is alive and well in the 2000's. You could easily be the wrong target of the FBI.

And after the dust settles, there is nothing you can do about, even if the FBI is obviously totally wrong. That's what they did with a man in Portland, Oregon when they falsely accused him of involvement of the Madrid, Spain train bombing. They arrested him and detained him without access to legal aid, calling his family, telling his employer, and so on. He was dropped into hell for months before the FBI said, "Gee, we're sorry, you're innocent."

It took him another 2 years to get a settlment from the FBI, but his life was shattered and much lost. All because the FBI said he was a suspect, even after the Spanish government and Interpol said he wasn't. The FBI screwed up, refused to acknowledge their mistake, then covered it up, and finally let him go without notice. And then fought the lawsuit against them, citing secrecy, the "national security", of the investigation and evidence.

They eventually saw the light of day and settled for a significant compensation. But the damage was done. And they now have more power to do that and more. Instead of freeing that man, now they can simply continue the fight against releasing him, labelling him a potential terrorist. As long as they wanted and can provide circumstantial evidence of links or ties to terrorism and terrorists.

All because of the new FISA bill passed by the Senate to be signed by the President. It won't be undone in our lifetime. People who get power don't give it up, and we have given the FBI, CIA and NSA, amoung other agencies, the power formerly guarranteed under the Constitution. They took an erasure to it and we lost, as citizens and as a nation and we are now the very enemy of our own government.

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