At an April hearing on the Patriot Act renewal, Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, Democrat of Maryland, asked Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and Robert S. Mueller III, the director of the F.B.I., "Can the National Security Agency, the great electronic snooper, spy on the American people?" "Generally," Mr. Mueller said, "I would say generally, they are not allowed to spy or to gather information on American citizens." President Bush did not ask Congress to include provisions for the N.S.A. domestic surveillance program as part of the Patriot Act and has not sought any other laws to authorize the operation. Bush administration lawyers argued that such new laws were unnecessary, because they believed that the Congressional resolution on the campaign against terrorism provided ample authorization, officials said. Seeking Congressional approval was also viewed as politically risky because the proposal would be certain to face intense opposition on civil liberties grounds. The administration also feared that by publicly disclosing the existence of the operation, its usefulness in tracking terrorists would end, officials said.
WHY DIDN’T THE WHITE HOUSE TELL anyone? Why didn’t Bush ask for such power to be included in the Patriot Act? Because they didn’t think they had to. And why risk political opposition to something some might consider unconstitutional. . . . when all you would get is political opposition. This circle of logic will never be unbroken and we will always get the runaround.
THE WHITE HOUSE WON’T TAKE the time to get warrants, not even FISA warrants. You don’t need the Fourth Amendment’s “probable cause” a crime has been committed for a FISA warrant. All you need to show a FISA judge in a secret FISA court is a probable cause the person under surveillance may be an “agent of a foreign power.” May be. SOME WILL SAY the government needs as many tools as possible to stop threats before they happen, but in our haste to give the government whatever it wants something is lost. Lost is not just liberty of the innocent, but also the focus of those who should be watching out for us. In the blurring of procedures we know longer see who the true enemy is.
IT IS WORTH NOTING by its own admission, the New York Times sat on this story for a year. How different would the discussion of the Patriot Act be if this news had come out a year ago? And how would the President appear before the election?
FISA WARRANTS AREN’T HARD TO GETThe Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Annual Report(pdf) reveals that there were 1758 applications for secret surveillance in 2004, an all-time high. None of the applications for secret suveillance warrants were denied. In 2004, as in 2003, more secret surveillance warrants were granted than federal wiretap warrants, which have more stringent standards. A report on federal wiretapm warrants in 2004 reveals that state and federal courts authorized 1,710 interceptions in 2004, an increase of 19 percent over 2003 and more than in any previous year. Federal officials made an all-time high 730 intercept applications in 2004, a 26 percent increase over 2003. For more information, see EPIC's Wiretap and EPIC's FISA statistics pages.
NOTED HERE if you missed it. NO FISA WARRANTS WERE DENIED. But that is still too much of a bother for the government. Something above a one hundred percent success rate is not enough. And perhaps that is the problem. Nothing is enough.
THE NSA MISSION STATEMENT "The ability to understand the secret communications of our foreign adversaries while protecting our own communications -- a capability in which the United States leads the world -- gives our nation a unique advantage."
DO NOT TAKE OFFENSE In its wisdom the Department of Defense has taken the offense for you. In order to protect you better from the worse ones over there, we will spy on the worst and the not so bad and the good and the some we later determine are just okay over here. Anyone not okay with that may be investigated too. Our goal is to keep you safe so each of you will have an agent assigned to you. Do not be alarmed. We dodo not realize a danger greater than them could be one of usus one of us. Only one agent will be assigned to you for your protection. For now.
THE FUTURE IS ALREADY HERE. Wise up, amerikans. [story]
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger showed up to his Brentwood neighborhood polling station today to cast his ballot in the special election — and was told he had already voted.
YOUR FRIEND FRANZ K tracked the twisted path of your twisted “voting” irregularities where a Diebold “employee” voted for the steroid improved Austrian Arnold on October 25. Airbrushed Arnold was allowed to “vote” again. No word on how many times the Diebold “employee” voted or what “votes” count.
THE AMERIKAN ARNOLD who would run for President if you would change that silly Twentyfifth Amendment to your Konstitution probably went home to his painfully thin wife Maria Shriver who most likely watched him eat.
BE ASSURED your vote is “secured”. Diebold is working to make sure you don’t “see” such problems again.
AT THE KEYBOARD you may not yet know it, silly Amerikans, but you have something more ominous than a loved one coming in to see you with your hand on the mouse as you um enjoy yourself too much with what is on the screen. I, Franz K, come here to tell you self obsessed Amerikans you have more to worry about than the cockroaches who would tap in to every stroke you make on the keyboard with spyware and the like. [story] [hat tip: Scrutiny Hooligans]
NSA Patent Can Locate Internet Users Internet users thinking they can hide anonymously may soon get an awakening. On Sept. 20 the United States awarded patent 6,974,978. The patent was
filed on December 29, 2000 by Stephen Mark Huffman and Michael Henry
Reifer, with the assignee being United States of America as represented
by the director of the National Security Agency.
THEY KNOW WHERE YOU ARE, they know what you are doing. Have nice day.
QUESTION: What is the most intrusive thing that has come your way this week?
Amerikans, Enjoy Yourselves while freedom takes a walk. Here is the freedom walk Rumseld has planned for you to celebrate September 11. This was reported by that well known subversive Shamanic at Simian Brain.
Organizers of the Pentagon's 9/11 memorial Freedom Walk on Sunday are taking extraordinary measures to control participation in the march and concert, with the route fenced off and lined with police and the event closed to anyone who does not register online by 4:30 p.m. today. The march, sponsored by the Department of Defense, will wend its way from the Pentagon to the Mall along a route that has not been specified but will be lined with four-foot-high snow fencing to keep it closed and "sterile," said Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of defense. [WaPo]
Organizers of the Freedom Walk have scheduled a dance afterward for all those who have enjoyed such previous "freedom." The dance requires that you of course start off on the right foot, then stay there. Those left out already know who they are. Enjoy, Amerikans, enjoy.
Franz K knows when language dances on its head. Freedom takes a walk indeed. How will you enjoy your September Eleventh?
the month of September we will post a tip each day to help you and your
family become better prepared for an emergency. All of the tips will
be listed here, so check back each day to read the newest tip.
Preparedness Tip #1 Take a moment to imagine that there is an emergency . . .
THIS MESSAGE is brought to you by the good folks HERE.
PLEASE INFORM me, Franz K, of any other absurdities we should be aware of
(AND YOUR EYES SHUT) Wake
up, silly amerikans. Your government says it can take foreign nationals
off planes and ship them off wherever they like without due process.
You should close your eyes and like it because they are defending your
freedom to be chained anyway they want. The case of MAHER ARAR should keep you up nights. Once again we hear an EXTRAORDINARY RENDTION of a sad song
IT IS A "STATE SECRET" why the Syrian
government that tortured Mister Maher Arar at Amerika's request
cleared Arar of any Al Queda connection, but the United States says he
still is. Look at the logic of the morally lost.
"Would not such treatment of a detainee - in any context, criminal,
civil, immigration or otherwise - violate both the Constitution and
clearly established case law?" Judge Trager asked. The reply by Mary
Mason, a senior trial lawyer for the government, was that it would not.
Legally, she said, anyone who presents a foreign passport at an
American airport, even to make a connecting flight to another country,
is seeking admission to the United States. If the government decides
that the passenger is an "inadmissible alien," he remains legally
outside the United States - and outside the reach of the Constitution -
even if he is being held in a Brooklyn jail. . . . Dennis Barghaan,
who represents former Attorney General John Ashcroft, one of the
federal officials being sued for damages in the case, argued that
Congress and recent judicial decisions tell federal courts "keep your
nose out" of foreign affairs and national security questions, like
those in this case. At several points the judge seemed to echo such
concerns. He said he had refused to read a letter from the plaintiffs
detailing testimony before a Canadian board of inquiry into Mr. Arar's
case because he did not know how to deal with questions that might
require the government to confirm or deny classified information. "How am I going to handle that?" he asked, rubbing his forehead and furrowing his brow before adjourning the hearing.
HOW IS THAT JUDGE GOING TO HANDLE THAT? Hopefully
not by taking a snooze so you lose more of your rights. This Mason
lawyer lady really has it both ways with a prisoner detained. The
prisoner is here so he can be caught, but once here he is no longer . .
. here. Twisted people make twisted arguments.
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO HANDLE THAT, AMERIKA?
At some point, you amerikans might want to remember that no matter how
much scrambled scribbling goes on trying to cross out whole sections of
the Bill of Rights in the US Constitution, The Constitution . . .
still exists. While terrible precedents are being set in lower and
lower courts, you amerikans need to remind your leaders you are a
nation of laws, not men. When men trample on your essential law, you
need to give them das boot.
COFFEE IS ON THE HOUSE, but you will have to up on the roof to get it. Today’s recommended brew is BROOKLYN BLUE.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: What is bugging you about your government?
RECOMMENDED READING [TRESY/CORRENTE] [EMPIRE BURLESQUE]
There's no such thing as the constitutional republic known as the
United States of America anymore. It doesn't exist, it's long gone; you
can look all you want, but it's just not there. [HAT TIP: KING OF ZEMBLA]
PIKTURE PERFEKT AMERIKA You Amerikans certainly enjoy having your piktures taken. I saw that movie with Robin Williams the other day. One of the his that you wouldn't immediately forget, or say you were funny some time back, but please shut up now. One Hour Photo. This Williams who wants you to forget he ever was a guy name Mork, this Williams kid does some bad things with one family and their photos. Or his character does. Very bad character. Do you Amerikans even know who you leave your stuff with? Do you know who you leave your children with? That Williams kid always kreeps me out.
Late afternoon coffee is on the house, but you will have to go up on the roof to get it. You can have whatever you like, but in the end how will you pay for what is free?
QUESTION: Has anyone, any business you trusted with your stuff ever gone all freaky deaky on you? Let me know. Because I kare.
TAKE A FLYER AMERIKA You Amerikans insist on the konvenience of flying, but you little realize what information the government has landed about you when you do. In an effort to make your skies more sekure, your government has sekured all your information right down to the longitude and latitude of where you live. You Amerikans have now been Globally Positioned in a System of Hell. This whole thing was supposed to be illegal in praktice, but the government just wanted to test the system. Then they farmed all your info out to a private company. Do you feel tested?
As always the coffee on the house but you will have to go up on the roof to get it. Today’s blend is Delta Dawn, a light blend that will give you wings to fly.
QUESTION: Have you ever been subjekted to collection of your personal data that was unauthorized? How did that make you feel? How did you find out?