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Appeals Court OKs Warrantless Wiretapping

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posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 10:16 AM

Appeals Court OKs Warrantless Wiretapping

The federal government may spy on Americans’ communications without warrants and without fear of being sued, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday in a decision reversing the first and only case that successfully challenged President George W. Bush’s once-secret Terrorist Surveillance Program.
(visit the link for the full news article)

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posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 10:16 AM
Given the emotional climate at the time, and the history preceding this case, there is little chance, in my opinion, that the state will ever relinquish the power it now has as a result of our hypersensitivity to the specter of "terrorism."

In time, "privacy" will probably have to be licensed, bonded, and applied for.

Using government resources to spy on civilians became recognized as more than just a hateful practice once the Republican presidential scandal over "Watergate" had unraveled. It became a defining element of the reason doing so became a punishable offense.

The Foreign Surveillance Act made law that American civilians would never be the target of surveillance... if their speech or ideas were recorded inadvertently, in connection with surveillance of a legitimate target... any and all intelligence that identifies the American citizen would be removed and destroyed immediately upon detection. Exceptions could only be granted by direct authorization from the Attorney general of the United States. This was the legacy of the Executive Order of then President Jimmy Carter.

Enter 9/11 - making it unwise to restrict that intelligence gathering potential? Not exactly.

The laws were weakened by Executive Order even before the first Iraq-US confrontation in Kuwait. After 9/11 the former restrictions effectively became encouragements to seek the terror bogeyman wherever it might be imagined, inferred, or implied.

“This case effectively brings to an end the plaintiffs’ ongoing attempts to hold the executive branch responsible for intercepting telephone conversations without judicial authorization,” a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote.

The Defendants exonerated from liability here were not people, but organizations... FBI, NSA, The Department of Treasury... etc.

The case concerned a lower court decision in which two American attorneys — who were working with the now-defunct al-Haramain Islamic Foundation — were awarded more than $20,000 each in damages and their lawyers $2.5 million in legal fees after a tortured legal battle where they proved they were spied on without warrants.

Until yesterday.

“This case was the only chance to litigate and hold anybody accountable for the warrantless wiretapping program,” he said in a telephone interview. “As illegal as it was, it evaded accountability.”

They may appeal.

The San Francisco-based appeals court ruled that when Congress wrote the law regulating eavesdropping on Americans and spies, it never waived sovereign immunity in the section prohibiting targeting Americans without warrants. That means Congress did not allow for aggrieved Americans to sue the government, even if their constitutional rights were violated by the United States breaching its own wiretapping laws.

No redress.... thank you Congress... "our" supposed representatives in government.

We discovered that the warrentless wiretapping was happening in 2005... how? Because some documents were mailed to the attorneys involved in this suit... they proved that the NSA was intercepting their calls... and with the help of AT&T no less.....

The document was later declared a state secret, removed from the long-running lawsuit and has never been made public.

The sordid history of the eavesdropping, the retroactive immunity Congress granted the telecommunications companies, and the complete absence of accountability paint an ugly picture of the American way of life.... but since those in office and their friends aren't subject to it.... I bet they would prefer if we just went about our lives and not expect 'privacy'... nor have the collective voice and will to demand it.

EDIT TO ADD: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
(visit the link for the full news article)
edit on 8-8-2012 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 10:28 AM
do the people own the goverment or do they own us . in the uk this is now law for the goverment to eavesdrop on all communication by an individual . did u vote for this ?

posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 10:32 AM
Warrantless wiretapping on American citizens should have been the military's cue that no question the government had gone "rogue," clearly violating the constitution. There is not a single person in the military that can feel good about the oath they took. Cause they haven't defended it. All the people involved with this, however so slightly should be arrested immediately and thrown out of office for violating the constitution.

Tom Drake, a senior NSA official, quit over this and went through hell as a whistleblower over it, but was ultimately acquitted. And all his effort was for what? An appeals court to say "Screw you once again America?" and approve warrantless wiretapping anyway?? :shk:

So not only has the government gone rogue, but that court has too.

Warrantless wiretapping is absolutely unacceptable, in any shape or form, just like torture. And they're going to keep shoving it down our throats until we are shoving it down theirs...literally.

Watching a senior NSA guy like Tom Drake come right out and say that we are in a Police State should leave no doubt that we are. And sorry but Alex Jones was right on that score. The NSA confirmed it.
edit on Wed Aug 8th 2012 by TrueAmerican because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 10:54 AM
I don't like is un Constitutional and it should be challenged.

On the other hand, does it occurr to anyone to go underground and become "invisible?"

The more advanced technology and communications get, the easier it is to become "invisible."

I talk so little on the phone, the phone company actually called me up to offer a special plan and rate for below average users/ customers. I am not on any social pages, no I-Pad or I-Phone, I use the net so little as to get virtually no e-mails or spam, and even though ATS can be argued as a tracable outlet of info and opinions, I try to speak in such generic terms that it isn't much of a case against me.

Outside of the usual documents such as pay stubs, bank statements, tax records... all of which paint a very normal and boring lifestyle... their isn't much to know about me.

If someone was to try to organize resistance would they use the mail service, wording in personal ads, letters, non conspicuous meetings in public places, even sitting down at the country store with a bottle of pop "talking about the weather and commodity prices?"

If the government wants to listen in, there isn't much i can do about it except bore them to death with the "top secret" info of my mother falling in the yard while hanging out clothes, daddy getting some really nice tomatoes now and they will probably can some by the end of the week, there was a good crowd at church last Sunday and so and so is having a suprise dinner for her parent's 50th wedding anniversary, oh... and my uncle's wife is doing better after cancer treatments and they might ride up this weekend to see them... sure was nice to get some rain, and corn is going through the roof... beef is gonna go up again... are you gonna get a cow this time or not?
edit on 8-8-2012 by AlreadyGone because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 10:58 AM
I think eventually there will be no police, just federally managed military spread accross all cities/states
and you will also have military spying on you, not just regular law enforcers anymore

If you think that this news is bad remember one thing....
It's just the beggining, this is nothing!

posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 11:03 AM
reply to post by geobro

Unfortunately, those in the establishment say we actually did vote for this... via our proxies elected to "represent us" to the Federal government. Of course, common sense and even a cursory review of recent history tells us that this is just a game to them. They are going to implement whatever they can to ensure the Republican/Democrat duopoly of power is never threatened with replacement by a different political (read non-corporate) regime.

All of this surveillance and all of this 'security' is just a metaphor for controlling the governed... that and the top secret, never to be discussed publicly, "Continuity of Government."
edit on 8-8-2012 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 11:12 AM
reply to post by AlreadyGone

I understand your position; but sadly, it feeds into the "well I don't have anything to hide so let them look all they want." strategy of justifying why they can pick and choose whose privacy they will dismiss... and everyone spectating can only assume that it was justified.

What reasoning can be evoked to demonstrate that the only reason any government would have to include every single citizen as a "potential suspect" is a clear indicator of their "having something to hide" themselves?

The American citizen never before had to 'expect' to be 'suspected' - and the Federal government never before had adopted a 'guilty' until we say otherwise posture with every citizen. Military resources were for national security, not local... states employ and train police for that purpose. There was no such thing as defining an attack as "preemptive defense'...

As it stands now, the government has authorized itself to kill you... if you might be a threat... but they will never have to actually prove it to you. And as long as the judges are part of the scheme, they will now "rule over us", as opposed to "serving us" - as was the promise of the American Revolution.
edit on 8-8-2012 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 11:17 AM
reply to post by ModernAcademia

I want you to be wrong.... but it's more likely that you're not.

I don't want to fear that the government will use contracted security and foreign police to "maintain order" and 'root out bad guys'.... but I do.

I didn't want the fiscal abomination and political prostitution of our 'professional corporate politicians' to be made into "first class citizens" with enhanced rights and entitlements.. but they are.

And I certainly expected that the 'balance' between the three branches of government could maintain at least some hope of allowing the citizens to have redress, and be able to force government to remain true to "our" will..... but I was wrong.

edit on 8-8-2012 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 12:12 PM
Theyve been tapping me for ages anyhow. And im tsa approved for hauling explosives and having unescorted access to ports...

posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 12:49 PM

Originally posted by Maxmars
Given the emotional climate at the time, and the history preceding this case, there is little chance, in my opinion, that the state will ever relinquish the power it now has as a result of our hypersensitivity to the specter of "terrorism."

In time, "privacy" will probably have to be licensed, bonded, and applied for.

I think you're pretty close to the mark.

But, I think a big part of why this kind of garbage hasn't caused much of a stir is because so many people in the United States think about this kind of stuff (warrantless wiretapping, illegal search & seizure, body scanning, etc.) as making them 'safer' and society 'better' many times have you heard somebody say "Well, if you're not doing anything wrong you don't have anything to worry about! Only criminals would oppose this kind of thing!"

The symptom is the government run amok. The disease is a constituency made up almost entirely of catastrophically ignorant, uneducated, willfully uninformed sheep unable to think critically about even the smallest things, let alone big policy issues.

Churchill once said "The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter." I don't know what the best alternative is, but more and more I think the sentiment was correct.
edit on 8-8-2012 by samcrow because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 03:36 PM
reply to post by Maxmars

My point is not that have nothing to hide. My point is that I may have something to hide and I am hiding it.

What am I hiding? The means to rebell against the very premise of the OP... tyrrany in the name of security.

How do we do that until it is time to act? By maintaining a front here on the net and in normal society... a front of subservience, normality, and "lawfulness"... all the while, much like the revolutionaries of the 1760s and 1770s, we meet in the pubs, taverns, and store fronts and pass info and messages while we smile and drink our Pepsi Colas and eat our Little Debbie Snacks or wonder about the weather at a church supper over fried chicken.

posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 06:22 AM

posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 06:30 AM
reply to post by Maxmars

i do not vote it only encourages them . if you do they will be back in 4 yrs wanting you to do it again
.......there will be none of that when im president

posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 06:30 AM
reply to post by Maxmars

edit on 9/8/12 by geobro because: double post

posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 07:01 AM
There are certain milestones that go unnoticed....little bumps in the road that signal
the beginning of the end of a certain way of life.

When at sea the milestone of utmost importance is "the point of no return." The point when
you have traveled farther away from the place you started than to the place you will arrive....

We in the US are experiencing the point of no return in real time.

The door to freedom, to liberty, and to the pursuit of happiness, has been slowly and inexorably
closing for the last one hundred years.

It is a sad testament to the state of humankind that we can so easily forget the past; that we can
become pampered and complacent, fattened like a sow and so weighted with the obese importance
of our daily lives as to not notice while we are being led away to the slaughterhouse.

And this ruling is just another milestone...just another bump in the road. And that is how most will
perceive it.

Just another drive-by looki-loo of another bloody accident....just a star on a post, just a flag without comment...

edit on 9-8-2012 by rival because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 07:16 AM
Nobody seems to have also mentioned the biggest tool the government as used against you (me too) in their drive to take more and more control. The whole justification for these actions comes from the government promoted fear campaigns to get deveryone hating and suspicious of everyone who is different. Fear the Russians worked for half a century so now we have Fear the Chinese/Iranians/Muslims etc. if a white American gunman runs mok he is a lone nutter, but if that nutter is a Muslim extremist rather than a Christian one it's the entire faith and all who follow it that gets demonised.

The govt wants its citizens afraid of outsiders because it allows them to do what they want and nothing unites a people behind its government like a fight with outsiders.

posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 02:14 PM
I have root access to $2 billion worth of switches, routers, circuits, etc. Believe me when I say the government has been doing this with or without the OK of the judicial system for a while.


posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 02:21 PM
funny how the feds can claim "sovereign immunity" and get their way, yet when an individual tries to use that term, they're branded domestic terrorists and crazies...

posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 12:51 PM
reply to post by Maxmars

Nice find, there is no escaping this ever increasing level of surveilance. It seems that any ruling that is for the people gets appealed then over ruled.

First it was:

FBI allowed to add GPS device to cars without warrants

Then it was:

High Court: Warrant Needed For GPS Tracking

Even though the information you brought forth in your OP is slightly different due to telecommunications being the method of surveilance it shows that there is really nothing we can do about it.

They can pretty much do anything they want without a warrant unless they get caught. Then if they get caught there is a long drawn out court proceeding that eventually judges against the citizens and allows the government systematic implementation of their plans to spy on every aspect of our life.

At least we know they are being honest with their deceit...if that's possible

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