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1972 Supreme Court Dissenting Opinion re
Government Surveillance

This case [ Laird v. Tatum] involves a cancer in our body politic. It is a measure of the disease which afflicts us. Army surveillance, like Army regimentation, is at war with the principles of the First Amendment. Those who already walk submissively will say there is no cause for alarm. But submissiveness is not our heritage. The First Amendment was designed to allow rebellion to remain as our heritage. The Constitution was designed to keep government off the backs of the people. The Bill of Rights was added to keep the precincts of belief and expression, of the press, of political and social activities free from surveillance. The Bill of Rights was designed to keep agents of government and official eavesdroppers away from assemblies of people. The aim was to allow men to be free and independent and to assert their rights against government. There can be no influence more paralyzing of that objective than Army surveillance. When an intelligence officer looks over every nonconformist's shoulder in the library, or walks invisibly by his side in a picket line, or infiltrates his club, the America once extolled as the voice of liberty heard around the world no longer is cast in the image which Jefferson and Madison designed, but more in the Russian image.
Without judicial oversight or public knowledge, the U.S. government in 2002 was quietly compiling all-encompassing dossiers. Technology enabled, the Total Information Awareness Department of Defense initiative €”permitted infrastructure analysts to capture and store intimate data.

Citizen and business composites included, but were not limited to, e-mail accounts, social network contacts, phone usage, financial worth and health history. These no-cause-to-create profiles were congressionally discredited in 2003 but as the Edward Snowden released National Security Agency documents reveal these watch programs have remained in place.

Since his '05 appointment to National Security Agency Director, General Keith B. Alexander, has intensified Total Information Awareness surveillance policies.

There are many firms assisting the  U.S. Intelligence Community but Booz Allen Hamilton is a favored player.

Electronic eyes, domestic and foreign, are able to roam the massive Booz Allen Hamilton-designed, government-financed repositories for mischief, profit and influence. A Utah desert facility, code-named Bumblehive, will soon house the captured data.

The kinship between the contracting parties may be too close for comfort. James R. Clapper, Jr., Director of National Intelligence, was a former Booz Allen Hamilton V.P.   John M. McConnell, the Bush-appointed Director of National Intelligence, presently works for Booz Allen Hamilton.

The Booz Allen Hamilton company, presently controlled by the Carlyle Group, has a history
of chargeable improprieties and acknowledged in 2011 that the group Anonymous had breached its encryption firewalls. In its most recent financial statements, Booz Allen Hamilton reported that 98% of its billion dollar plus income was supplied by the government.

Over the years, numerous National Security Agency surveillance violation complaints have been filed in federal courts and all have been dismissed. The reason: lack of evidence.

Government intrusion issues are addressed by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Judges currently serving were chosen by Chief Justice John Roberts.

As punishment for publicizing embarrassing reality, Edward Snowden has been charged with: Theft of Government Property, €”Unauthorized Communication of National Defense Information and Willful Communication of Classified Communications to an Unauthorized Person.

From the point of the June 2013 U.S. universal spyware disclosure, the President and his representatives have issued Edward Snowden extradition requests and have promised economic sanctions for any country providing Edward Snowden safe haven. These actions raise ponderous questions.

At the close of his presidency, Eisenhower warned of perpetual war and the consequences of being under the influence of the military-industrial complex.

Eisenhower's words:

Throughout America's adventure in free government, our basic purposes  have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement,  and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among people and among  nations.
Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world.  It commands our whole attention,  absorbs our very beings.  We face a hostile ideology -- global in scope,  atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method.  Unhappily the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration. immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience.  The total influence --economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every  State house, every office of the Federal government.  We recognize the imperative need for this development.  Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications.  Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex.  The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.  We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted.  Only an  alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Originally posted to Lynne Vogel on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 08:17 PM PDT.

Also republished by The First and The Fourth.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good post. (8+ / 0-)
    The Bill of Rights was designed to keep agents of government and official eavesdroppers away from assemblies of people. The aim was to allow men to be free and independent and to assert their rights against government.
    The issue now, per Eisenhower, is the VAST amount of money in play.

    In short: aside from the pervasive and relentless violation of our rights, under the lie of "keeping us safe, the spy agency could be referred to as

    The N$A
    •  N$A....I like that. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999, DRo, CroneWit

      Bonus benefit: Helps "disguise" discussion about the agency by foiling searches for them! Using the '$' character instead of the 'S' character, we'll outsmart them yet!

      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

      by DeadHead on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 09:02:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent work. (6+ / 0-)

    Thank you for the diary.

    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

    by DeadHead on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 08:28:28 PM PDT

  •  pitiful, petty, peeping/piranha (4+ / 0-)

    Don Benedetto was murdered.-IgnazioSilone(BreadAndWine)

    by renzo capetti on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 09:01:15 PM PDT

  •  We know if you've been bad or good (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sceptical observer, DeadHead

    the NSA is commin to town...

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 09:24:33 PM PDT

  •  Collectors collect. Collection is a very primitive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    behavior. Mobile organisms all do it to some extent. In humans, especially primitive behaviors are prone to becoming obsessive as a consequence of repetition. So, there has to be an intervention. Why? Because, since we know that our time on earth is limited, we want to make the best of it and not waste it. Obsessive behaviors by our agents waste both our energy and time. Not to mention that things that need doing (to counter the vagaries of nature, for example) don't get done.
    Time is of the essence. Collectors, perhaps because they are focused on the acquisition of things (tangible and intangible), seem to lack a sense of time. Or, perhaps accumulation appeals because the results are visible, even if they are only electronic blips. One might assume that accumulation is a tactile process, but perhaps not. Quantity is, after all, a visual criterion. Which suggests that accumulation and hoarding are characteristic behaviors of people dependent primarily on the sense of sight. But, if that's the case, they could do worse than accumulate information and other figments of the imagination, unless the rest of the population sets up restrictions to accommodate them.
    If I'm correct and collectors collect to collect and because their processing skills are few, then the NSA is not much to worry about, except as a waster of human resources and time. Building haystacks out of data bits is the modern equivalent of counting angels on the heads of pins. It hurts neither the angels, nor the pins, nor the counters.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 04:41:30 AM PDT

  •  Actually, it's not the military industries we (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CroneWit, ballerina X

    have to worry about; it's the commercial guys, the fellows who pass the military hardware around so they can get a cut of the action.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 04:44:26 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for this overview of NSA development (0+ / 0-)

    and for your excellent collection of links, that will help us continue to educate ourselves.

    I mis-clicked and fell into an astonishing find:  John Poindexter's 2002 speech introducing his total Information Awareness (TIA) program just before an experimental run. --

    I've been collecting bits of NSA history as I find them, and I appreciate your providing this link.  In an earlier find, I ran across the Q&A session that followed the presentation by Poindexter and his colleagues (who talked about various aspects of the TIA system).  Members of the audience asked questions expressing concern about invasion of Fourth Amendment rights; they were told, 'Don't worry, we're gong to take care of that.'  (Sorry, don't have the link easily available.)

    After Congress de-funded TIA -- shocked by its implications for Fourth Amendment violations -- Poindexter became the architect of the contractor-dependent privatization system that has kept billions of tax dollars secretly flowing into the surveillance industry.

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