Bring FISA Warrants Back to the Constitution


John R. Houk

© June 3, 2017

 

Since September 11, 2001 I have been very supportive of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) siding on the side of Security looking for foreigners with Islamic terrorist sympathies. Which means I was ok with Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) secret warrants to into domestic suspects that were foreign culprits or aiding and abetting Islamic terrorist sympathizers. I was quite ignorant that FISC was created by FISA by an act of Congress in 1978.

 

Even though I am not a great mathematician, it is not hard to figure out 1978 is way before 2001. That means the government was given legal authority to spy on Americans before Islamic terrorism. This is a HUGE Fourth Amendment violation issue.

 

Fourth Amendment:

 

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

 

The issue with a FISA secret warrant is that it fails with “probable cause” and/or “particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

 

Much to the Leftists horror, I do not believe foreigners deserve the full scope of the 4th Amendment as do U.S. Citizens. Thus I am good with secret warrants on potential foreign adversaries of the U.S. Government and adversaries American citizens that should benefit from the full protections a citizen is entitled to.

 

But another sketchy issue has arisen largely to the admittance of Muslim immigrants and refugees into the USA. That sketchy issue is that 2nd generation sons and daughters of the original Muslim immigrants and refugees have become U.S. citizens (naturalized and natural born) entitled to the full protections the citizenry deserves.

 

Now that I am convinced that Obama ordered the intel organizations to spy on Americans for political reasons more than to protect Americans from Islamic terrorists or foreign spies, FISA needs to be abolished OR at the very least reformed to conform to the intent of the Fourth Amendment.

Judge Andrew P. Napolitano more eruditely explains the constitutional ramifications of FISA secret warrants and the operation of FISC.

 

JRH 6/3/17

Please Support NCCR

****************

Spying on You, Spying on Me, Spying on the President

 

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

June 2, 2017

Jewish World Review

 

“The makers of our Constitution … conferred, as against the Government, the right to be let alone — the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men.” — Justice Louis D. Brandeis, 1928

 

After the Watergate era had ended and Jimmy Carter was in the White House and the Senate’s Church Committee had attempted to grasp the full extent of lawless government surveillance in America during the LBJ and Nixon years, Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. FISA declared that it provided the sole source for federal surveillance in America for intelligence purposes.

 

FISA required that all domestic intelligence surveillance be authorized by a newly created court, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Since 1978, FISC has met in secret. Its records are unavailable to the public unless it determines otherwise, and it hears only from Department of Justice lawyers and National Security Agency personnel. There are no lawyers or witnesses to challenge the DOJ or the NSA.

 

Notwithstanding this handy constitutional novelty, the NSA quickly grew impatient with its monitors and began crafting novel arguments that were met with no resistance. Those arguments did away with the kind of particularized probable cause about targets of surveillance that the Constitution requires in favor of warrants based on the probability that someone somewhere in a given group could provide intelligence data helpful to national security, and because the FISC bought these arguments, the entire group could be spied upon. The FISC unleashed the NSA to spy on tens of millions of Americans.

 

 

That was still not enough for the nation’s spies. So beginning in 2005, then-President George W. Bush permitted the NSA to interpret President Ronald Reagan’s executive order 12333 so as to allow all spying on everyone in the U.S., all the time. The NSA and Bush took the position that because the president is constitutionally the commander in chief of the military and because the NSA is in the military, both the president and the NSA are lawfully independent of FISA.

 

The NSA does not acknowledge any of this, but we know from the Edward Snowden revelations and from the testimony of a former high-ranking NSA official who devised many of the NSA programs that this is so.

 

The NSA’s use of FISC-issued warrants is only one of a half-dozen tools that the NSA uses, but it is the only tool that the NSA publicly acknowledges. FISC-issued warrants do not name a person as a suspect; they name a category. For example, it could be customers of Verizon, which includes 115 million people. It could be telephones and computers located at 721-725 Fifth Ave. in New York; that’s Trump Tower. It could be all electronic devices in the 10036 ZIP code; that’s midtown Manhattan.

 

When the NSA obtains a FISA warrant and captures a communication, the participants often mention a third person. The federal “minimization” statute requires the NSA to get a warrant before surveilling that third person. Last week, we learned that last month, the FISC rebuked the NSA for failing to minimize by continuing to surveil third parties to the sixth degree without warrants.

 

Here is an example of warrantless surveillance to the sixth degree. The NSA surveils A and B pursuant to a FISC-issued warrant; A and B discuss C; the NSA, without a warrant, surveils C talking to D; C mentions E, and D mentions F; the NSA surveils E and F without warrants, etc. This continues going out to six stops from the A-and-B conversation, even though this is prohibited by federal law. The final stop, which involves huge numbers of people, has been proved to have no connection whatsoever to the warrant issued for A and B, yet the NSA continues to spy there.

 

But it doesn’t stop there. The Bush interpretation of EO 12333 is still followed by the NSA. Its logic — “I am the commander in chief, and I’ll do what I need to do to keep us safe, and the NSA can do what I permit” — permits universal surveillance in flagrant violation of FISA and the Constitution. It was used to justify the surveillance of Donald Trump before he was inaugurated. It no doubt still is.

 

The availability of the information acquired by this massive spying is a serious threat to democracy. We know from the Susan Rice admissions that folks in the government can acquire intelligence-generated data — emails, text messages, recordings of telephone conversations — and use that data for political purposes. Just ask former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

 

And we know from recent tragedies in San Bernardino and Orlando, even Manchester, that the NSA is suffering from information overload. It has too much data to sift through because it does not focus on the bad guys until after the tragedies. Before the tragedies, it has no focus.

 

The now public rebuke of the NSA by the FISC is extraordinary, but it is also a farce. The FISC is virtually owned by the NSA. That court has granted 99.9 percent of requests made by the NSA since the court was created. Despite all the public revelations, the FISC looks the other way at non-FISC-authorized NSA spying. The judges of the FISC have become virtual clerks for the NSA. And the FISC has become an unconstitutional joke.

 

Where does all this leave us? It leaves us with a public recognition that we are the most spied-upon people in world history and that the president himself has been a victim. This fall, the NSA will ask Congress to reauthorize certain spying authorities that are due to expire at the end of the year. Congress needs to know just how unconstitutional, intrusive and fruitless all this spying has become.

 

Perhaps then Congress will write laws that are faithful to the Constitution — and if so, maybe the folks empowered by those laws will follow them.

________________

Bring FISA Warrants Back to the Constitution

John R. Houk

© June 3, 2017

_______________

Spying on You, Spying on Me, Spying on the President

 

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. Judge Napolitano has written seven books on the U.S. Constitution.

 

© 2017 ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

 

About JWR

 

JWR is a free magazine published five days a week on the World Wide Web of interest to people of faith and those interested in learning more about contemporary Judaism from Jews who take their religion seriously.

 

Our inaugural editorial is also our mission statement.

Readers, individuals wishing to submit an article on “spec,” or make a tax deductible donation and those seeking advertising rates may contact JWR by email or by calling (718) 972-9241. Please note that all correspondence with JWR remains our property and may be used accordingly.

 

READ THE REST

 

© 1997- 2017 Jewish World Review

 

Obama’s Saboteurs


Justin Smith nails the Obama criminal spying on political opponents straight on the head.

 

JRH 3/14/17

Please Support NCCR

******************

Obama’s Saboteurs

Undermining Our Republic

 

By Justin O. Smith

Sent 3/13/2017 12:30 PM

 

Setting a dangerous precedent for the future of America, the New York Times, the Washington Post and other Leftist propaganda machines and an army of the Obama administration’s holdovers, nothing less than saboteurs, have waged a war of innuendo and speculation and felony leaks for months in an attempt to destroy President Donald Trump’s administration and the government American voters demanded. They have turned their backs on the Constitution and the American people, their oath to protect and defend both, and they have sought to undermine our democratic process and the Republic of the United States of America.

 

Classified information leaked to the media – a felony – set speculation in motion as the New York Times and the left-leaning Mother Jones alleged collusion between Donald Trump and his advisors and Russia for the past six months, even though their own reports show an initial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) warrant targeting Trump and several associates was denied and nothing criminal was ever proven. And, according to Heat Street [HERE & HERE], a more narrowly drawn FISA warrant was granted in October to investigate the Trump campaign’s alleged links to Russia’s Alfa Bank and SVB Bank; the FBI found nothing “nefarious” and attributed the raised alarm to “spam”.

 

Essentially, Donald Trump was not named in the second FISA warrant, but surveillance of him and his inner circle, private citizens such as Michael Flynn, Roger Stone and Paul Manafort, continued up to the general election [HERE & HERE]. One can only surmise that Obama and his leftist minions banked on finding information that would defeat Trump; and after Donald Trump won, they continued surveillance in hopes of eventually impeaching and unseating President Trump.

 

If phone calls to Russia merit an investigation, shouldn’t Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been investigated for accepting a $145 million bribe from Russia and ROSATOM [HERE & HERE] in exchange for helping them acquire twenty-five percent of America’s uranium resources? Oh, wait a minute — Hillary is a Democrat, so just overlook any criminal behavior.

 

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) suggested the Obama administration’s extensive surveillance of Trump’s presidential campaign was troubling but not surprising. Hatch “suspected that they were going to do that anyways.”

 

How could the media and the Obama machine — the Obama Foundation, billionaire George Soros and Organizing for America — not expect Trump to counter-punch? But incredulously, they were unprepared for President Trump’s March 4th 2017 allegation on Twitter that former President Obama “had my wires tapped in Trump Tower just before the victory”.

 

Who in the Obama administration ordered the FISA wiretaps and why?

 

U.S. citizens normally cannot be searched or subjected to electronic eavesdropping without probable cause of a crime, however FISA makes exceptions if there is probable cause they are agents of a foreign power. No one person can state with a straight face that “Trump is a Russian spy”.

 

Retired Lt. Colonel Tony Shaffer, a defense intelligence officer trained by the CIA (Fox News), said, “I put this right at the feet of John Brennan and Jim Clapper, and I would even go so far as to say the White House was directly involved before [Obama} left”. He also asserted that it was clear sensitive information was divulged to the media by people who had access to beyond Top Secret material.

 

[Blog Editor: Here’s a Youtube video of Shaffer on Fox & Friends Weekend

 

VIDEO: Lt. Col. Shaffer: Potential Obama Wiretapping Is ‘Soviet-Level Wrongdoing’ @OBAMAFORPRISON2017

 

Posted by Wesley Veras

Published on Mar 4, 2017

@OBAMAFORPRISON2017 SHARE IT/MAKE IT VIRAL.]

 

On the same day of President Trump’s bombshell, Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager, told Judge Jeanine Pirro (Fox News) that the Obama administration was also “listening to conversations between then-Senator Jeff Sessions and the Ambassador from Russia while he was in his U.S. Senate office’. (And) the fact that the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act is being used to listen to a political opponent is “very, very damaging”.

 

[Blog Editor: Here’s a Youtube video of Pirro/Lewandowski interview:

 

VIDEO: Corey Lewandowski: Obama Bugged Sessions Meeting With Russian Ambassador

 

Posted by The PolitiStick

Published on Mar 4, 2017

 

Full Pirro/Lewandowski interview HERE.]

 

Please note that Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and many other Democrats met with this same Russian Ambassador. Their hypocrisy is on full display.

 

Some sort of surveillance of the Trump campaign occurred, if one can believe James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence. Clapper told NBC and ABC News that during his tenure in the Obama administration, up to January 20th 2017, there wasn’t any collusion or collaboration between Donald Trump’s campaign and the government of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

 

The NYT’s story “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides” on January 19th 2017 states: “The FBI is leading the investigation, aided by the National Security Agency, the CIA and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks … intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the [Obama] White House.

 

With FBI Director James Comey’s motivation suspect, he asked the Justice Department to confirm that President Trump’s allegation was “absolutely false”. This was followed recently with Congress’s demand for any and all documents concerning any Department of Justice investigation of President Trump and his campaign.

 

Once the Democrats had their “uh oh moment”, as Garth Kant of WND called it, they realized that a scandal bigger than Watergate was beginning to unfold. The Obama Justice Department had apparently used its legal authorities to target a political opponent and a presidential candidate.

 

Any outrage from the Obama White House is extremely exaggerated. Obama does not deny that Trump was being monitored by his Justice Department, and any spying on his arch rival, a man with the ability to diminish his legacy, was done with Obama’s blessing. Only a fool could believe that Obama was ignorant of the spying. [Editor’s Bold Text]

 

From the DOJ’s seizure of Associated Press phone records and Fox News reporter James Rosen’s email records, to heavy IRS scrutiny of the Tea Party and on to the NSA’s warrantless mass surveillance of American citizens, the Obama administration’s enthusiasm for surveillance and using government power against its political enemies is a matter of shameful record. Obama’s and the Leftists’ so-called “Resistance” to the Trump administration has developed the feel of a not-so-covert coup against President Trump. [Editor’s Bold Text]

 

Americans are entitled to the full truth surrounding former President Obama’s use of nation-state resources for the purposes of political gain. Sycophantic rogue agents of the NSA, the CIA, the FBI and the Justice Department, all Democrat ideologues and communists, have apparently subverted the U.S. Constitution and spied on President Trump’s presidential campaign in a manner that was not approved by any court, in order to derail his election and the Democratic process, leaking sensitive national security secrets along the way. And anyone involved, including Obama, must be prosecuted and placed behind bars. [Editor’s Bold Text]

 

By Justin O. Smith

___________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Text enclosed by brackets and all source links are by the Editor.

 

© Justin O. Smith