BUSH ADMINISTRATION PUSHING DOMESTIC SURVEILLANCE ENVELOPE
Oct. 28, 2005
Secret wiretaps. Seized bank records. Unconsented physical
searches. Secret computer tracking. Enter the ever-growing
government world of domestic spying.
A recent Washington Post report (Monday, Oct. 24, 2005; A01)
stated, "The FBI has conducted clandestine surveillance on some
U.S. residents for as long as 18 months at a time without proper
paperwork or oversight, according to previously classified
documents to be released today.
"Records turned over as part of a Freedom of Information Act
lawsuit also indicate that the FBI has investigated hundreds of
potential violations related to its use of secret surveillance
The report also said, "[FBI] agents obtained e-mails after a warrant
expired, seized bank records without proper authority and
conducted an improper 'unconsented physical search,' according to
"Although heavily censored, the documents provide a rare glimpse
into the world of domestic spying, which is governed by a secret
court and overseen by a presidential board that does not publicize
its deliberations. The records are also emerging as the House and
Senate battle over whether to put new restrictions on the
controversial USA Patriot Act, which made it easer for the
government to conduct secret searches and surveillance but has
come under attack from civil liberties groups."
The Post report quotes David Sobel, general counsel for the
Electronic Privacy Information Center as saying, "We're seeing
what might be the tip of the iceberg at the FBI and across the
intelligence community. It indicates that the existing mechanisms
do not appear adequate to prevent abuses or to ensure the public
that abuses that are identified are treated seriously and remedied."
This writer has previously attempted to warn his readers regarding
the way this administration seems obsessed with trampling
America's basic liberties under the rubric of national security.
Americans should be very concerned when any administration,
Republican or Democrat, is willing to disregard or even suspend
the Constitution and Bill of Rights-for any reason! And that is
exactly what the Bush administration seems determined to do!
However, the Bush administration does not seem content to
routinely abuse our right to privacy. It has also publicly called for
the suspension of Posse Comitatus and for the U.S. military to take
charge of domestic emergencies. (Source: The Washington Times,
"Bush seeks to federalize emergencies," Sept. 27, 2005)
I believe it is urgent that the American people, especially people
calling themselves conservatives, become cognizant of the many
attempts by the Bush administration to eviscerate the constitutional
protections of our liberties. We must not allow this, or any,
administration to undo this remarkable experiment in liberty.
It is incumbent upon all Americans to remember that any
government that is unwilling to conduct itself according to the
enumerated principles contained within the Declaration of
Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the U.S. Constitution is a
rogue government deserving neither our submission nor support!
I urge my readers to listen to my radio interview with former
Georgia congressman Bob Barr.
At this very moment, House and Senate conferees are meeting to
resolve differences with each chamber's version of the just-passed
Patriot Act. The Senate version is preferable to that of the House.
The truth is, the House version is nightmarish, as it contains almost
no safeguards against further governmental abuse of power.
Congress is given oversight of the executive branch but heretofore
has done little to exercise this important responsibility. It is time
for people to let their congressmen know that they will tolerate no
more infringements upon their liberties and privacy! Or have we
become so sheepish that what previous generations of Americans
found valuable enough to fight and die to obtain we now find too
cheap to keep?
It is the responsibility of each generation of Americans to pass
down to the next generation of Americans a nation that is both
strong and free. This is not accomplished by laxity or indifference.
Claiming it is protecting America by fighting terrorism abroad, this
administration sends US forces to Iraq and Afghanistan. At the
same time, this same administration invades our privacy, attempts
to expunge Posse Comitatus, and routinely ignores our own laws
and Constitution. This, they say, is necessary to protect us from
terrorism at home.
However, if in the quest for national security, Americans are
subjected to ubiquitous surveillance, the loss of our right to
privacy, and the abridgement of personal liberties, who is going to
protect us from our own government?
© Chuck Baldwin
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