I really wanted to get this article out quicker, closer to the time of the bill’s unfortunate passing in Congress, but was just too buried in other work. I finally got to it today…better late than never, I suppose…
Read it (or, I suppose, view it) and weep:
Last week Congress passed (the Senate on Wednesday, Dec 13 2023, and the House on Thursday, Dec 14 2023), the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) for fiscal year 2024, in which was buried not only an extension (and not the typical 4-year, but instead a 9-year extension), but expansion of the unconstitutional power of the intelligence agencies to spy on the American people without a warrant (see Glenn Greenwald’s interview with Senator Mike Lee below for more details) as provided by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)…regardless of years of demonstrable rampant abuse of those powers by those agencies.
(Weird, for some reason they keep acting like the American people are the enemy…but I digress…)
Prior to the vote, in an interview on System Update with Glenn Greenwald, Congressman Thomas Massie expressed his hope for reforms (like, say, requiring a warrant to access personal data on Americans, an extreme view to be sure), being a member of the House Judiciary Committee, which is currently chaired by Congressman Jim Jordan—hopes that were ultimately dashed:
Also prior to the vote, Senator Mike Lee sounded the alarm that section 504 of the bill expands domestic surveillance jurisdiction to public wifi systems—such as those offered by hotels, bookstores, restaurants, etc.—calling the bill a “Trojan horse”. (Also, the video of Lee grilling FBI Director Christopher Wray that they refer to in this interview is included directly below this video):
Now here’s the exchange referenced in the above video, wherein Senator Mike Lee grilled FBI Director Christopher Wray (keep in mind that “non-compliant” queries, as stated by Wray, means illegal queries):
After Congress passed the bill, Greenwald (formerly a civil rights/constitutional attorney) explains the corrupt process used to pass the bill, plus how Senator Rand Paul offered an amendment attempting to remove the 702 extension from the NDAA but was outvoted, 65 against/35 in favor, thereby failing by only 6 votes, and that the new Speaker Mike Johnson promised to make it a stand-alone vote, but went back on his word, allowing it to remain buried in the NDAA bill (like the good constitutional attorney that he is), and why the erosion of the 4th Amendment is so dangerous, along with breakdowns of the votes in the house and senate, demonstrating that it was a bipartisan, establishment coalition that passed the bill, not a partisan one:
And finally, Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams, hosts of the Ron Paul Liberty Report, calling Congress “traitors”, discuss the bill, the 4th amendment, the deceptive way the bill was brought to a vote as a “suspension bill” in the House, Speaker Mike Johnson‘s reneging on his promise to make it a stand-alone bill, and again how it was a bipartisan coalition that passed it, along with discussing the Patriot Act, the trillion-dollar military budget, the military industrial complex, how it all starts with indoctrinating children in government schools, how Intelligence officials are abusing their power for political ends in collusion with the corporate media, Edward Snowden weighing in, and finally, that we’re starting to see “cracks in the empire”:
Unfortunately, given the current state of affairs, I think things are going to get much worse in the near future, not better—regardless of who’s in the White House—because it’s the military industrial complex and the intelligence agencies, (aka the “deep state” or “permanent Washington”) running the show, not our elected representatives.
On the other hand, perhaps I’m wrong…we can only hope.
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