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Hoovering Away Our Future

By The Reverend Published: December 18, 2013

By now you've heard that Junior Bush-appointed federal judge Richard Leon has ruled that the NSA's hoovering program is most likely unconstitutional. "Almost Orwellian", the judge said.

Almost?

Judge Leon struck at the very heart of the Orwellians argument in defense of broad and blatant blanket violations of Americans 4th amendment rights by the NSA....

He wrote that our government failed to illustrate "a single instance in which analysis of the N.S.A.'s bulk metadata collection actually stopped an imminent attack, or otherwise aided the government in achieving any objective that was time-sensitive."

It has always seemed strange to me for defenders of the All Seeing Surveillance State to resort to "yes, but we're saving lives".....to justify their astonishing violations of the 4th amendment. In this "thinking", U.S. law takes a back seat to some perception of safety. And as I've argued in the past, if the 4th amendment protection against government searches and seizures without judicial warrants can be so easily set aside in the name of security and "saving American lives"......then what U.S. law couldn't be set aside in the name of protecting Americans?

But Judge Leon said that the government had not offered a "single instance" in which metadata collection prevented an "imminent attack." You might recall when the Snowden revelations first became public.....how people like Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Mike Rogers (R-MI) quickly appeared on the Sunday morning teevee "news" shows to tout the numerous "terrorist" plots that blanket metadata collecting had prevented from being carried out. I knew when they said those things that they were lying. Judge Leon seems to agree....thus the "almost Orwellian" comment.

Former CIA chief Michael Hayden wasted no time in pooh-poohing Judge Leon's ruling. Hayden appeared yesterday morning on Morning Blow and without cracking the slightest smile Hayden suggested that judges have their domain of expertise....law and the Constitution....and Surveillance State hoover-ers have their domain of expertise.

As Hayden explained it, Leon was simply not in any "position to judge the efficacy of the (hoovering) program." Hayden went on to say that it is only Congress and the President who can rightfully determine whether an obvious program of illegality is actually....legal. Not kidding......go listen to Hayden for yourself.

Hayden argued that Judge Leon was making a mistake by referring only to "imminent attacks" which may or may not have been prevented by hoovering. Indeed, hoovering has become part of "the fabric of our intelligence agencies."

What I gather from Hayden's comments is that as long as the hoover-ers were acting in good faith.......quite a leap of faith in itself....laws and constitutional amendments don't apply. Get a load of this pucky.....

"I would ask the American people, don't view this as them versus us. I would ask them to become knowledgeable about the specifics of the program," he said.

How is it possible for the America people to "become knowledgeable" about the hoovering program.....when intelligence leaders, like Hayden, have stonewalled any of that "knowledge" from being.....umm....known? All requests for transparency have been met with the same response....."that's classified because of national security concerns." Quite a scam...I'd say.

What was interesting from Hayden's remarks was the absence of any pushback from the powerful-loving-and-serving Morning Blow contingency. Hayden argued a case of situational ethics where laws and constitutional amendments must be weighed against security and safety issues. That's what leaders of military dictatorships argue, as well. Morning Blow participants simply nodded and yawned.

I understand how elected and appointed government officials are beholding to those who paid for their election or appointment. I get that. Ours is a democratic republic of the oligarchs. But can't our oligarch leaders at least pick more persuasive and credible representatives to mislead us? Is that too much to ask?

In the end....as I've stated before....nothing will change in the hoovering program. Nothing. Why? First, there's way too much money to be made selling hoovering equipment to the military-intelligence complex. The golden rule applies here. Second, "everything changed after 9-11." It didn't, of course.....but that's what our Leaders insisted, and that's what Americans were led to accept.

Gitmo should stay open. Waterboarding is not torture. The Patriot Act is essential. Presidential assassination-rights trump due process. Pre-emptive wars are acceptable and good. Wars against tactics eternal. All of those violations of law are now mostly accepted by U.S. citizens as essential to keeping us safe.

Those illegalities, just like the NSA's hoovering program, do not make us more safe. They just make us....the "last best hope for the world".....another lawless country.

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