Congress:Obama Must Answer for NSA Abuses
Edward Snowden didn’t have a clue.
The revelations that forced him to flee the country are just the tip of the iceberg,when it comes to what the NSA has been up to.
Reports from media outlets like The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal have added context and detail that far eclipses the slime exposed by Snowden.
As a result,it looks like Congress will start taking its oversight of the NSA seriously.
“It appears the Obama Administration has seriously abused the authority granted to them by Congress,” Senior Senator Jim Inhofe,R-OK,told Capitol Hill Daily. “Just yesterday,we learned that thousands of Americans’ emails have been seized without any ties to security threats.”
The Making of a Monster
The NSA was originally founded back in 1952 and charged with spying on the coded radio signals sent by the Soviets. It is a relic of the Cold War,which has morphed into a dangerous tool that’s now being used by the U.S. government to spy on its own citizens.
Since Snowden told us the NSA collected metadata about our cell phone calls we’ve learned so much more. The NSA copies and sifts through 75% of all U.S. internet traffic. Your emails,your bank transactions,the tickets you bought from ticketmaster.com and the television shows you watch on Netflix (NFLX) are all captured by the NSA.
Did you send a text to your wife about what time you’d be home? They have that message,too.
We all stand naked without a secret before the NSA.
Now,I have no problem with the NSA spying on enemies of America. Nor do I have a problem with the NSA collecting data on individuals that have contact with America’s enemies. But there is no legitimate excuse for collecting the text I sent to my wife this morning telling her,“I miss you when I travel.”
Senator Inhofe also made this clear in his comments to us.
“While the NSA has been an essential tool in fighting terrorism,it is important we strike a balance between civil liberty protections and intelligence about those seeking to attack us overseas or here at home,” he said. “Congress has an important role to provide oversight of the NSA,and as ranking member of Senate Armed Services,I will work to investigate what laws were broken by the Administration.”
America on the Brink of Extinction
Americans expect privacy,and since the vast majority of us aren’t involved in criminal activity,we deserve to not be treated like criminals. This was the clear view of our founders and that’s why the U.S. Constitution includes such strong language prohibiting unreasonable searches.
Obama and the big government Republicans and Democrats that support him,tell us not to worry,that they’ll never abuse this information. But you’re foolish if you believe them. The history of mankind is full of examples of men and women abusing the powers at their disposal.
Just during the Obama years we’ve seen confidential IRS documents leaked to the media,we’ve seen the Justice Department wiretap journalists and we’ve seen public officials lie to Congress about the extent of these very NSA programs.
These are all outrageous abuses of power. Even an internal NSA audit has admitted it catalogued “thousands” of violations of NSA rules since 2008. Once again the veil of secrecy keeps us from knowing these violations.
And because these programs are so secretive,Congress doesn’t have enough information to adequately police the officials involved. Even the so-called FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Court has admitted they don’t even know everything that the NSA is involved in doing.
Government data collection will be abused. It already has been abused. The only real disinfectant for these problems is to end the secrecy.
The Maxwell Smart “Cone of Silence” must be dismantled and the secrets exposed.
There’s no good reason to spy on Americans that don’t have direct contact with criminal terrorists,and the numbers of Americans that actually fit in this category are far less than one tenth of 1%. Yet the governing elites insist they need to spy on everyone with a laptop and a smartphone.
This simply was not the way America was dreamed up,and the few morsels of her intended design that are left are getting swiftly peddled out by the very government that has her reigns.
Now,let’s just hope leaders like Inhofe are serious about their desire to find out what laws have been violated.
Your eyes on the Hill,Floyd G. Brown
This commentary was originally published at CapitalHillDaily.com and is re-published here with permission.
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