Yet another story that should be all over the media, but I haven’t seen it much. (If you have, let me know.)
Why wouldn’t it be covered? I find that it reflects great discredit on the Establishment (both political parties, Deep State and Controlled Media). As I started to say yesterday, they have ways to decide what you’re going to hear about. For as long as they can, they will bury stories that don’t fit their agenda.
To review some background:
- Under the 4th Amendment, the government isn’t supposed to spy on U.S. people without a court-ordered warrant.
- “The FISA Court” is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 “to oversee requests for surveillance warrants against foreign spies inside the United States by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies.” (Wiki)
- But FISA Court hearings are secret and only the government and the court judge are present, like a kangaroo court. The adversarial system is abandoned.
- As such, FISA tends to be very lenient to the government. Over time, they have created a secret body of law that gives the government sweeping powers to do domestic warrantless surveillance under an alleged “special needs exception” to the 4th Amendment.
- One example – In 2013, Edward Snowden leaked a FISA order that requires phone companies to provide a daily, ongoing feed of everyone’s phone call data to the NSA. Super invasive!
- Even so, FISA isn’t toothless and doesn’t approve everything – as you shall see. They need to preserve respectability, at least in their own eyes.
- FISA judges are appointed solely by the Chief Justice of the United States. In this regard, Establishment Republicans control the FISA court.
That’s just background. Now for the news, as reported by John Solomon and Sara Carter at Circa.com.
Under President Obama, the NSA secretly conducted years of surveillance and searches on Americans that not even the secret, super-lenient FISA Court would approve.
The National Security Agency under former President Barack Obama routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall, according to once top-secret documents that chronicle some of the most serious constitutional abuses to date by the U.S. intelligence community…
The Obama administration self-disclosed the problems at a closed-door hearing Oct. 26 before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that set off alarm…
The normally supportive court censured administration officials, saying the failure to disclose the extent of the violations earlier amounted to an “institutional lack of candor” and that the improper searches constituted a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue,” according to a recently unsealed court document dated April 26, 2017.
The admitted violations undercut one of the primary defenses that the intelligence community and Obama officials have used in recent weeks to justify their snooping into incidental NSA intercepts about Americans.
Circa has reported that there was a three-fold increase in NSA data searches about Americans and a rise in the unmasking of U.S. person’s identities in intelligence reports after Obama loosened the privacy rules in 2011.
Officials like former National Security Adviser Susan Rice have argued their activities were legal under the so-called minimization rule changes Obama made, and that the intelligence agencies were strictly monitored to avoid abuses.
The intelligence court and the NSA’s own internal watchdog found that not to be true…
The American Civil Liberties Union said the newly disclosed violations are some of the most serious to ever be documented and strongly call into question the U.S. intelligence community’s ability to police itself…
RTWT. Naturally, the NSA is scrambling to reassure people that it has fixed the problem. Riiiiiiiight. And Susan Rice didn’t lie and none of the surveillance data was ever misused against Obama opponents or improperly unmasked. Riiiiiiiight.
To people who understand civil liberties and limited government, all this is a huge deal that shows how far out of control the U.S. “intelligence community” (Deep State) has gotten. Chris Farrell at Judicial Watch compares it to President Lincoln’s suspension of habeus corpus during the U.S. Civil War.
Where is the Special Counsel on this?
Or the media coverage? Bush’s NSA did some illegal surveillance in the 2000s – and in 2005, was duly slammed by The New York Times. A large kerfuffle. “But that was then.” It served the interests of someone powerful – someone in deep alliance with, or control of, The New York Times – to weaken Bush. Not so much with Obama, eh?
See the FISA Court’s declassified order spanking the Obama administration, here. By the way, note how large sections of the relevant law and dockets are blacked out, showing how the FISA system has created secret law that the citizens aren’t supposed to know about. That’s horrible.
Also from Circa: Comey’s FBI was neck deep in the abuses.
The FBI has illegally shared raw intelligence about Americans with unauthorized third parties and violated other constitutional privacy protections, according to newly declassified government documents that undercut the bureau’s public assurances…