Susan Rice, Joe Biden green lighted for FISA 702 illegal domestic spying
WASHINGTON, DC: FISA Court Presiding Judge James Baosburg has buried all 4th amendment constitutional protections. Allowing continued unfettered domestic spying by the FBI, DOJ, or CIA using NSA systems under FISA 702 authority. The very same authority leading to over 40000 illegal searches of NSA databases by the Obama Biden administration. Illegally spying on tens of thousands of their domestic political opponents between 2012 and 2016. An operation run by Joe Biden and Susan Rice, coordinated by John Brennan, James Clapper, and James Comey.
This type of illegal domestic spying was stopped by former NSA director Admiral Mike Rodgers, who alerted the FISA court. Judge Rosemary Collyer, Judge Baosburg’s predecessor, issued a scathing ruling in April of 2017 calling the DOJ and FBI “institutionally dishonest”. She described domestic spying using FISA 702 as being clearly “unconstitutional”.
Now Judge Baosburg has acknowledged the FISA court is unwilling to stop the practice.
Giving the green light to Susan Rice and the Biden Administration to abuse NSA systems to persecute Trump republicans in the search for “domestic terrorists”. Just as they used it against Trump and 40000 other Americans from 2012 to 2016. And created the Russia Hoax when NSA director Admiral Mike Rodgers cut them off from access. Sending in CIA operatives Stefan Halper and Joseph Mifsud to entrap George Papadopoulos and Carter Page. To obtain illegal FISA warrants on Carter Page and Michael Flynn. To continue to use the same NSA systems to continue spying on Trump well into his presidency.
Judge Baosburg has given Biden and Rice the green light to continue the illegal practice of spying on Americans. Any Americans. Without warrants. With no regard for the 4th amendment, constitutional rights, or the need for a warrant from a judge to access private communications. Or to target political opponents. While corrupting the administration of Justice.
It is an abdication of judicial responsibility and the clearest sign yet that we live in a partisan police state. Where the rule of law is deliberately applied unequally according to whether or not you are a Trump-supporting Republican. Where the very constitutional protections we count on are sneered at and abrogated willfully. Then when caught red-handed the judiciary turns a blind eye. There is no protection from a partisan rogue police state.
As techdirt.com headlined the story:
“FISA Court Says FBI May Be Abusing Surveillance Powers; Will Continue To Allow It To Abuse Surveillance Powers.” The article went on to say the abuse “that leads to most surveillance abuses is one the court can’t seem to bring under control: Section 702.
“This is supposed to be surveillance of foreign national security targets. But agencies with access to 702 collection far too routinely use this as a backdoor to American’s communications. And nothing about that has changed, eight years down the road from the Snowden leaks. A newly declassified decision [PDF] from the FISA Court shows the court is still willing to overlook egregious abuses of this authority to spy on Americans.”
The FISC again found that a series of overly complex but still ultimately swiss cheese agency protocols — that are admittedly not even being followed — resolve the Fourth Amendment problems caused by the massive governmental seizures and searches of our communications currently occurring under FISA Section 702. The annual review by the FISC is required by law — it’s supposed to ensure that both the policies and the practices of the mass surveillance under 702 are sufficient. It failed on both counts.
Tech dirt.com concludes:
“The key part of this summary is this: “admittedly not being followed.” Even when the government admits it’s violating rights, the FISA Court says that’s ok… as long as the government admits it. Candor is appreciated, but it would be better if the government stopped violating its own protocols and the rights of Americans. That’s where the FISA Court should draw the line. But it doesn’t. And it hasn’t in years.”
The Electronic Frontier Foundation put it this way:
As someone once said, “the Founders did not fight a revolution to gain the right to government agency protocols.” Well, it was not just someone, it was Chief Justice John Roberts. He flatly rejected the government’s claim that agency protocols could solve the Fourth Amendment violations created by police searches of our communications stored in the cloud and accessible through our phones.
Apparently, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) didn’t get the memo. Justice Roberts was concerned with a single phone seized pursuant to a lawful arrest. The FISC is apparently unconcerned when it rubber stamps mass surveillance impacting, by the government’s own admission, hundreds of thousand of nonsuspect Americans.
EFF goes on to note:
At the outset, unlike traditional foreign intelligence surveillance, under Section 702, FISC judges do not authorize individualized warrants for specific targets. Rather, the role of a FISC judge under Section 702 is to approve abstract protocols that govern the Executive Branch’s mass surveillance and then review whether they have been followed.
The end result is that nearly all Americans have their international communications seized initially and a huge number of them are seized and searched by the FBI, NSA, CIA, and NCTC, often multiple times for various reasons, all without individual suspicion, much less a warrant.
Second, the government agencies, especially the FBI, apparently cannot be bothered to follow even these weak protocols. This means that in practice, users don’t even get that minimal protection. The FISC decision reports that the FBI has never limited its searches to just those related to national security.
Even The Washington Post was appalled at the decision:
“A secretive federal court approved the FBI’s use of a powerful warrantless surveillance authority in November despite finding that the bureau had repeatedly violated rules meant to protect Americans’ privacy. The findings mark at least the third set of FBI rule breaches in the past several years, often involving large numbers of Americans’ communications. That raises the question, analysts say, whether a dozen years into the surveillance program, the issue is systemic.”
Baosburg found that FBI personnel conducted queries of data troves containing Americans’ emails and other communications, seeking information without proper justification. “While the Court is concerned about the apparent widespread violations . . . it lacks sufficient information at this time” to assess the adequacy of FBI system changes and training, he said
“In October 2018 the same judge said the FBI, against the advice of its general counsel, queried the Section 702 data using more than 70,000 email addresses or phone numbers. In a December 2019 opinion, Boasberg found that the FBI again transgressed the privacy rules by searching for information on a job candidate, potential sources and a crime victim.”
An unfettered police state using warrantless wiretaps – what could go wrong?
Here is the problem. No one has ever been held accountable for the illegal spying on domestic political opponents during the Obama Biden administration. Susan Rice and Joe Biden have never been held responsible for the unmasking and persecution of General Michael Flynn. No one in the FBI has been held accountable for the seditious campaign of spying and sabotage against the Presidency of Donald Trump. Now the same people who abused the NSA systems and the DOJ and FBI to spy on and persecute their political opponents are back in charge.
With a vengeance.
Who were the 40,000 American citizens illegally spied on by the Obama administration? By Susan Rice and Joe Biden. We will never know. We suspect we know. John Roberts and Antonin Scalia and Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Donald Trump almost certainly.
We are certain that John Brennan was spying on journalist Michael Hastings when Hastings was mysteriously killed in an explosive 3 am car crash in Los Angeles. Hastings was working on a story about how John Brennan and the Obama administration were using NSA systems for illegal warrantless domestic political spying on political opponents. Were his communications and emails being intercepted in the days before and after his death? We will never know.
Where is John Durham
For three years the DOJ and FBI in league with Democrat operatives allied with Hillary Clinton accused the President of the United States of being a Russian Agent. We now know that it was part of an elaborate seditious conspiracy to overthrow the Presidency of Donald Trump. Integral to their police state insurrection was spying on political opponents using NSA systems. Weaponizing the DOJ to persecute Donald Trump and the people associated with him.
John Durham is missing in action. It has been over two years since he was appointed. Now 5 months into the Biden Presidency and we hear no word. The silence is deafening and disturbing. The rule of law is apparently dead and buried. I cannot count the number of times I have written that we are about to find out what kind of country we live in. Well, now we know.
America is a police state. Where partisan activists will illegally use and abuse the powers of the NSA and intelligence agencies with impunity. To target and attack their domestic political opponents. Where Joe Biden and Susan Rice can spy on their political opponents and get away with it. Can sabotage President Trump and the American government and be given a pass. Where even the head of the FISA court, in the face of obvious misconduct, will take no steps to reign it in.
Does anyone think for a moment that Susan Rice and a vengeful Biden administration will not use this opportunity to continue abusing the NSA systems to spy on and persecute their political opponents?
Ask Rudy Giuliani if he thinks the days of DOJ persecution are over.
The government accessed his “cloud files” and his emails using the FISA 702 authority without a warrant. Now Judge Baosburg has abdicated judicial oversight and rendered the 4th amendment meaningless. Apparently, the 4th amendment has been a meaningless entity for decades. Now Susan Rice and Joe Biden are back in power. John Durham is nowhere to be found. No one will be held accountable for the crimes of the Obama Administration. For the Russia Hoax. The Mueller inquisition.
Hillary Clinton will never have to answer for taking hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes for the Clinton Foundation in exchange for Uranium One deal. Hunter Biden will never have to answer for his crimes. Neither will Joe Biden.
But Susan Rice and Joe Biden now have free reign to continue abusing the civil rights of all Americans. With a relentless and partisan campaign of warrantless illegal domestic spying. Against political opponents and perceived adversaries. Using NSA systems with unlimited capability. With no Federal Judge willing to step in and stop a clearly unconstitutional process.
It is a sad commentary on America. Or what is left of it.