An Orwellian Realization
Big Brother is Watching
by M. Quinn
Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac.
- George Orwell
On October 24, 2001 one the most insidiously Machiavellian maneuvers took place on American soil a mere six weeks after the fatal attack of September 11th (911); entitled H.R. 3162 – better known as the U.S.A “Patriot Act”.
Even though this bill is presented as anti-terrorism legislation, it grants tremendous latitude to federal authorities to invade the privacy of American citizens – while taking a sledge hammer to innumerable constitutional laws.
A number of these enormous federal liberties are;
I. Roving wiretaps “without probable cause”.
II. Sneak and peek warrants “without probable cause”.
III. National security searches for individual financial records, telephone and Internet service provider bills, public library records and consumer credit reports “without probable cause”.
It also defines domestic terrorism in far-reaching terms such as any conduct that violates state or federal law and is dangerous to human life.
USA Patriot Act and Privacy Concerns:
According to the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution; this alleged act of patriotic legislation constitutes a blatant violation to the fundamental laws established by the founding fathers; and in fact is downright unpatriotic at its core.
The 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution emphatically states that:
“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 of affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or things to be seized.”
U.S. Constitution - Amendment 4:
Furthermore, upon an in-depth examination on the implementation of this Orwellian document, entitled; The U.S.A. Patriot Act – one must seriously arrive at the conclusion that the purported experts in Washington D.C. apparently believe that the American people are at best suspect; and at worse the enemy residing within its very borders.
A Federal Violation:
To exacerbate an already precarious situation, the Bush Administration has launched a full scale clandestine electronic surveillance campaign on U.S. soil, and has once again personified an egregious disregard for the laws of the land. The unambiguous contempt for the astuteness of the American people by overtly defending the violation of FISA (Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act) by calling these actions a “Terrorist Surveillance Program” is another act of presidential hubris.
The FISA Law of 1978 - Section 1809 states under "Prohibited activities":
A person is guilty of an offense if he intentionally —
(1) engages in electronic surveillance under color of law except as authorized by statute; or
(2) discloses or uses information obtained under color of law by electronic surveillance, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through electronic surveillance not authorized by statute.
(b) Defense It is a defense to a prosecution under subsection (a) of this section that the defendant was a law enforcement or investigative officer engaged in the course of his official duties and the electronic surveillance was authorized by and conducted pursuant to a search warrant or court order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(c) Penalties An offense described in this section is punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than five years, or both.
History Repeating Itself:
Contrary to popular belief, the matter of inherent federal authority to eavesdrop on American citizens absent a court order has transpired before, with some extremely familiar faces.
According to a 200 page historical document obtained by the Associated Press, an uncanny similar occurrence happened in the mid 1970’s during the Administration of President Ford. The astounding part of this event is that some of the principal players, whom defended the right to eavesdrop without a warrant, were Former President George H.W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld.
While serving as the Director of the CIA in March 1976, George H.W. Bush wrote a memorandum where he cited that he wanted to ensure the collection of necessary intelligence without the requirement of a court order, and repeatedly criticized a variety of telecommunications companies’ for their unwillingness to install wiretaps without a judge’s approval.
In a similar memorandum, former White House Adviser Jack Marsh advised then President Ford regarding the major objections raised by George H.W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and Henry Kissinger concerning the prerequisite of obtaining a court order to eavesdrop and collect information through the means of electronic surveillance.
Many in Washington D.C. stated that they were not surprised by the finding of the 200 page historical documents published by the AP. In fact, a former Justice Department Lawyer stated that for the most part political tigers don’t change their stripes.
From the days of the COINTEL program in the 1960’s, to the recent public disclosures on covert electronic surveillance on American citizens; it becomes quite apparent that the watchful eye of Brother Brother has clearly been in our presence for quite some time, and has now begun to reveal its menacing head.