Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Secret Court For The NSA... WTF!

For the last 8 months or so, I have checked out of the political scene mainly because I came to the realization that, in general, the American public is either A) too stupid, B) doesn't care to what ends Leviathan screws them, C) is happy with Leviathan controlling their lives or D) all of the above.

The way I see it, if the majority doesn't care that this country is going to go the way of the Dodo, why should I and, besides, what can I do to stop it?

By the way, I'm going with D.

I have to tell you, life has been as relatively stress free as it can be. Sure, working for a living will always suck, but I get up, go to work, come home and relax. I've also kept up with my running program, bought a classic car to restore, do a little backyard gardening and generally chill out on the interwebz on the aforementioned or playing fantasy baseball.

Very rarely will I even dip my toe into the political waters.

Well, today in one of my rare forays onto Memeorandum I come across a story from the NY Times about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and its power to allow Leviathan to run roughshod over the Fourth Amendment.
The 11-member Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISA court, was once mostly focused on approving case-by-case wiretapping orders. But since major changes in legislation and greater judicial oversight of intelligence operations were instituted six years ago, it has quietly become almost a parallel Supreme Court, serving as the ultimate arbiter on surveillance issues and delivering opinions that will most likely shape intelligence practices for years to come, the officials said.

In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation’s surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans while pursuing not only terrorism suspects, but also people possibly involved in nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyberattacks, officials say.

The rulings, some nearly 100 pages long, reveal that the court has taken on a much more expansive role by regularly assessing broad constitutional questions and establishing important judicial precedents, with almost no public scrutiny, according to current and former officials familiar with the court’s classified decisions.
Just think about these 3 highlighted phrases as a whole and tell me it doesn't scare the everloving shit out of you; it has quietly become almost a parallel Supreme Court, with almost no public scrutiny [and] has created a secret body of law.

What the bloody f*#&!

But wait, it gets even better, according to it's wiki page,
Because of the sensitive nature of its business, the court is a "secret court" – its hearings are closed to the public. While records of the proceedings are kept, they also are unavailable to the public, although copies of some records with classified information redacted have been made public. Due to the classified nature of its proceedings, usually only government attorneys are permitted to appear before the court.

It is also rare for FISA warrant requests to be turned down by the court. During the 25 years from 1979–2004, 18,742 warrants were granted, while just four were rejected. Fewer than 200 requests had to be modified before being accepted, almost all of them in 2003 and 2004. The four rejected requests were all from 2003, and all four were partially granted after being submitted for reconsideration by the government. Of the requests that had to be modified, few if any were before the year 2000. During the next eight years, from 2004–2012, there were over 15,100 additional warrants granted, with an additional seven being rejected. In all, over the entire 33 year period, the FISA court has granted 33,942 warrants, with only 11 denials – a rejection rate of 0.03% of the total requests.
So, I'm no rocket surgeon but let me see if I got this straight; there is a secret court that only Leviathan can appear before, it operates outside of the purview of the rest of the judicial system, it is not open to review or challenges by the public and it's a rubber stamp for Leviathan's Gestapo.

I guess my only question is, why do we even need SCOTUS or the Fourth Amendment then?

Maybe ignorance isn't bliss after all.

Via Memeorandum


  1. Good to hear you are doing well and unfortunately I have to agree that D. is the correct answer as well. I'm going to email you soon and say hello!

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