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FISA court abuses, the Patriot Act and stupid Republicans

Written By | Jan 19, 2018

WASHINGTON, January 19, 2018: While big-government Democrats and big-government Republicans were negotiating a spending compromise to prevent a shutdown of big, intrusive government, GOP lawmakers told Fox News a House Intelligence Committee report shows the Obama administration used the secret FISA court to sanction spying operations against its political enemies, by which they mean presidential candidate Donald Trump and his campaign team.

Sean Hannity.

Worse than Watergate

“This is far worse than Watergate,” said Fox News host Sean Hannity. “This is an abuse of surveillance and intelligence to win an election. It is a massive abuse of power, and it was all done by just a few people who think and thought they knew better than you about who should be the president of the United States. It is the biggest national scandal by far in our lifetime.”

There was no “man” in Cory Booker and his blubbering “mansplaining”

According to the Fox News website, a Thursday morning House Intelligence Committee vote split down “party lines, with Democrats voting against making it [the report] available for all members [of Congress].”

“I have read the memo,” Rep. Steven King tweeted, “The sickening reality has set in. I no longer hold out hope there is an innocent explanation… I have long said it is worse than Watergate.”

The heroic Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden.

And thanks to revelations made by National Security Agency computer consultant Edward Snowden in 2013, we know that the Obama administration’s PRISM program, with the blessing of the secret FISA court, collected the emails and cellphone communications of every American. A clear violation of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures.

GOP culpability

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner.

Is this what GOP Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner intended when he crafted the Patriot Act back in 2001?

Shortly after the Snowden revelations, Congressman Sensenbrenner told the Washington Post,

“I can say that if Congress knew what the NSA had in mind in the future immediately after 9/11, the Patriot Act never would have passed, and I never would have supported it. We have to have a balance of security and civil liberties.”

The “right balance” of tyranny

An understandably mortified Sensenbrenner was simply parroting President Obama’s sentiments. In a 2013 press conference designed to downplay the Snowden PRISM disclosure, Obama said,

“In the abstract, you can complain about Big Brother and how this is a potential program run amok, but when you actually look at the details then I think we’ve struck the right balance.”

There is nothing “abstract” about deep-state violations of our unalienable rights.

Now it appears the Patriot Act, authored by mutton-headed Republicans and reauthorized four times with broad bipartisan support, has moved beyond spying on average Americans to spying on Republican presidential candidates and their staffs – all on behalf of the Democratic Party.

And should its spying efforts fail to secure a Democrat a place in the Oval Office, the same Patriot Act sanctions the U.S. intelligence community to engage in domestic disinformation campaigns to delegitimize a duly elected Republican administration it does not like. Even to select a special prosecutor to engage in witch hunts.

It’s doubtful congressional Republicans will allow a government shutdown to occur this Friday. Their love of big, intrusive government prevented their repealing authoritarian Obamacare. And that love will prevent their defunding the extra-constitutional monster in Washington now killing our liberties – even if it’s at the expense of future Republican presidential candidates.

The GOP is truly the stupid party.

Steven M. Lopez

Originally from Los Angeles, Steven M. Lopez has been in the news business for more than thirty years. He made his way around the country: Arizona, the Bay Area and now resides in South Florida.