The head of the National Security Agency said on Wednesday that extensive U.S. surveillance efforts had helped stop dozens of possible attacks and warned that making details of the top-secret spying program had compromised national security.
I can’t help but wonder who was involved in these “possible” terrorist attacks. While Obama assures us that the tracking of our every call and keystroke is to stop terrorists, there is no spying on the real “potential” terrorists in this country. That’s right, the government’s sweeping surveillance of our most private communications excludes the jihad factories where homegrown terrorists are radicalized.
Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover string operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee. Of course the names of the people on this Sensitive Operations Review Committee are top-secret. Wonder if that is because it is staffed by Muslims?
The Committee was set up when Islamist groups complained about FBI stings at mosques. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR – a Muslim Brotherhood organization) teamed up with our favorite leftist organization – the ACLU – to sue the FBI for violating Muslim’s civil rights.
Before mosques were put off-limits, the FBI actually launched dozens of successful sting operations against homegrown jihadists operating inside mosques and were successful in disrupting dozens of plots against this country. If allowed to continue, perhaps the many victims of the Boston Marathon bombings would not have lost their lives and limbs. The FBI might have actually seen or heard one of the Muslim bombers make extremist outbursts during a worship service.
The FBI never canvassed Boston mosques until four days after the April 15 attacks, and it did not check out the radical Boston mosque where the Muslim bombers worshipped. The bureau didn’t even contact mosque leaders for help in identifying their bombers after their images were captured on closed-circuit TV cameras and cellphones. This is particularly disturbing in light of recent independent surveys of American mosques, which reveal some 80% of them preach violent jihad or distribute violent literature to worshippers.
What other jihadists are counterterrorism officials missing right now, thanks to restrictions on monitoring the one area they should be monitoring?
Many Republicans are siding with the left in calling Snowden a traitor. Is he a traitor or is he a hero for exposing the left’s police state? Personally, I agree with Daniel Ellsberg of the Guardian: “there has not been in American history a more important leak than Snowden’s release of NSA material – and that includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago. Snowden’s whistleblowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what has amounted to an “executive coup” against the US constitution.”
Since 9/11, there has been, at first secretly but increasingly openly, a revocation of the bill of rights for which this country fought over 200 years ago. In particular, the fourth and fifth amendments of the US constitution, which safeguard citizens from unwarranted intrusion by the government into their private lives, have been virtually suspended.
The government claims it has a court warrant under FISA – but that unconstitutionally sweeping warrant is from a secret court, shielded from effective oversight, almost totally deferential to executive requests. As Russell Tice, a former NSA analyst put it: “It is a kangaroo court with a rubber stamp.”
For the president then to say that there is judicial oversight is nonsense – as is the alleged oversight function of the intelligence committees in Congress. Not for the first time – as with issues of torture, kidnapping, detention, assassination by drones and death squads –have they have shown themselves to be thoroughly co-opted by the agencies they supposedly monitor. They are black holes for information that the public needs to know.
These powers are extremely dangerous.
The fact that congressional leaders were “briefed” on this and went along with it, without any open debate, hearings, staff analysis, or any real chance for effective dissent, only shows how broken the system of checks and balances is in this country.
“It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than for a man to hear the song of fools.” And the song of fools is everywhere. We sit by idly and allow Obama and his ilk to waste taxpayer money in an attempt to label conservatives, patriots, veterans, christians, libertarians and even a few moderates as ‘potential’ terrorists, while terrorists operate with immunity within the protected domain of mosques in our own country. Our borders are left unprotected as terrorists infiltrating Latin America, while illegal aliens are given free rein.
“Woe to thee, O land when thy king is a child and thy princes feast in the morning.” Ecc 10:16