Thursday, January 10, 2013

Senate delivers fatal end-of-term blow to Constitution

In one of the final acts of the 112th Congress, the U.S. Senate dealt a fatal blow to the U.S. Constitution by passing President Obama’s National Defense Authorization Act for 2013, which contains the same illegal detention of U.S. citizens as its 2012 predecessor, and defeating amendments to and enacting Texas Republican Representative Lamar Smith’s House Resolution 5949, the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2012.

HR 5949 keeps the warrantless surveillance authority imposed by the Bush-Cheney administration under the FISA Amendments Act of 2008—the National Security Agency’s operation STELLAR WIND—in place. With the Obama administration forcing through the reauthorization of STELLAR WIND, illegal wiretapping by NSA of American citizens’ phone calls, emails, faxes, telexes, social networking instant messages (IMs) and short message services (SMSs), Voice-Over-IP (VOIP), and files contained in cloud storage can now be called Obama’s illegal surveillance program.

Obama was required by NSA to seek STELLAR WIND’s reauthorization because NSA requires congressional cover for the launching of the most massive eavesdropping and storage program in the history of the world. NSA will soon be storing every form of electronic communication sent and received by U.S. citizens at its $1.5 billion Utah Data Center located within the Camp Williams Utah National Guard base near Bluffdale, Utah. The NSA will be combining its signals intelligence functions as NSA/Central Security Service with its computer intelligence and information functions as part of its U.S. Cyber Command responsibilities under the aegis of a program known as the Community Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative Data Center that will deploy the NSA’s follow-on to its post-9/11 data mining program, the Novel Intelligence from Massive Data (NIMD). With its new powers granted by Congress, NSA has become the most intrusive intelligence agency in the world today.

A few senators attempted to seek amendments to the HR 5949, but no no avail. A substitution to the House bill offered by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and the Senate President pro tem, failed with a vote of 38 for to 52 against with 10 not voting. Other amendments introduced by Senators Ran Paul (R-KY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) were rejected by the Senate. The Paul amendment would have ensured that Fourth Amendments rights were protected under the re-authorization, Merkley’s amendment would have required the Attorney General to disclose Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court significant interpretations of the eavesdropping statute, and the Wyden amendment would have required an privacy impact report on the effects of the act.

The Democratic ringmaster for the “No” votes on the amendments was Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Also voting no were the “senator from NSA” Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), the senator from the CIA and co-founder of Capital Cellular Corporation and major investor in NEXTEL Mark Warner (D-VA) [1], the Bilderberg man Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) [2], Kay Hagan (D-NC), Secretary of State-select John Kerry (D-MA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and the outgoing Ben Nelson (D-NE).

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