“Always eyes watching you and the voice enveloping you. Asleep or awake, indoors or out of doors, in the bath or bed- no escape. Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimeters in your skull.”― George Orwell, 1984
Try and wrap your heads around this.
(The Guardian) …..The use of the privilege has been personally approved by President Obama and several of the administration’s most senior officials: in addition to Clapper, they include the director of the NSA Keith Alexander and Eric Holder, the attorney general. “The attorney general has personally reviewed and approved the government’s privilege assertion in these cases,” legal documents state.
In comments on Friday about the surveillance controversy, Obama insisted that the secret programmes were subjected “not only to congressional oversight but judicial oversight”. He said federal judges were “looking over our shoulders”.
But civil liberties lawyers say that the use of the privilege to shut down legal challenges was making a mockery of such “judicial oversight”. Though classified information was shown to judges in camera, the citing of the precedent in the name of national security cowed judges into submission.
“The administration is saying that even if they are violating the constitution or committing a federal crime no court can stop them because it would compromise national security.
That’s a very dangerous argument,” said Ilann Maazel, a lawyer with the New York-based Emery Celli firm who acts as lead counsel in the Shubert case.
“This has been legally frustrating and personally upsetting,” Maazel added. “We have asked the government time after time what is the limit to the state secrets privilege, whether there’s anything the government can’t do and keep it secret, and every time the answer is: no.” [...]
Keeping in the spirit of Orwell’s 1984. Double think; National Security = National Terrorism?
Trust Me = Mistrust Me –But there is not a damn thing you can do about it.
Obama’s speech in San Jose June 7, 2013:
That’s not to suggest that you just say, trust me; we’re doing the right thing; we know who the bad guys are. And the reason that’s not how it works is because we’ve got congressional oversight and judicial oversight. And if people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress and don’t trust federal judges to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution, due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.
To say that we [already] have some problems, would be putting it lightly.
Nobody is listening to your telephone calls = Damn straight we are?
(CNN) …..All the revelations about U.S. surveillance programs in recent days have put the government on the defensive, set privacy advocates howling for reform and left millions of Americans somewhere in the middle, wondering what the news means to them and what, if anything, they should do about it.
The man at the top says they should just relax.
“Nobody is listening to your telephone calls,” President Barack Obama said Friday as he tried to reassure Americans who have had to digest a dizzying array of revelations in the past few days. [...]
Ronald Bailey at Reason’s Hit & Run on the 4th amendment forbidding dragnet searches:
I am no constitutional scholar, but I had some vague notion the Fourth Amendment forbids dragnet searches by government officials. The just-the-facts-ma’am jurisprudence website, the Legal Information Institute run by Cornell University seems to agree:
Law enforcement may only conduct a search if individualized suspicion (emphasis added) motivates the search. The Fourth Amendment prohibits generalized searches (emphasis added), unless extraordinary circumstances place the general public in danger.
Maybe it’s just me, but I think it’s pretty hard to get more generalized than snooping every telephone call that citizens make. And considering that your chances of dying in a terrorist attack is somewhere around 1 in 20 million, it’s ridiculous to argue that such a massive spying operation is justified by some kind of extraordinary circumstances that are placing the general public in danger. [...]
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