FISA “Compromise” Completes Transformation of US into Full Police State
by Larry Chin
Global Research, July 11, 2008
On July 9, 2008, the US Congress overwhelmingly passed legislation permitting government spying, including immunity to telecommunications companies involved in secret domestic surveillance programs. With the stroke of George W. Bush’s pen, the US is now a police state by definition.
The extent of the spying program, and its larger implications, have been revealed by Mark Klein, who blew the whistle on secret domestic spying program of Bush/Cheney’s National Security Agency (NSA) and AT&T:
The update of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, called the “FISA compromise”, or more appropriately, the “spy bill”, largely completes the triumph of the Bush/Cheney administration and a bipartisan criminal consensus.
By convenient design, the FISA revision derails pending law suits filed against the Bush administration’s corporate spying partners (AT&T, Sprint Nextel, and Verizon), silences (the largely empty-to-begin-with) congressional investigations into Bush administration’s illegal domestic spying program. Presidential nominee Barack Obama and the Democrats have now moved to silence all discussion about the issue.
Fear itself, a.k.a. spying itself
Between the false flag mass murder of 9/11 and the creation of the “war on terrorism”, the USA Patriot Act and this new FISA revision, the Bush-Cheney administration and its enthusiastically complicit congressional partners, have achieved total victory–world war, open criminality, and the end of law itself.
It gives the US government unprecedented new spying powers and sweeping new legal cover for spying that goes well beyond even the original FISA law—which itself was an abomination that already permitted the US president broad surveillance powers.
Given the fact that the US government is a wholly corrupted criminal organization by definition, the political spin over “oversight”, warrants, the involvement of the Inspector General, etc. is all the more transparently ridiculous: the operatives of such apparatuses do not investigate or punish their own. Nor do they voluntarily stop the lucrative and intoxicating criminal activity that is their lifeblood.
In fact, the debate over the spy bill is a red herring, clouding the larger central (purposely unaddressed) issue: the “war on terrorism” lie itself.
The mass murder of 9/11 was a false flag operation, orchestrated and executed by the Bush administration. The “war on terrorism” is a perpetual covert operation, an endless pretext for war and murder, supported by a bipartisan consensus. (See “Who is Osama bin Laden?” and “Al-Qaeda:the database”.) No 9/11, no “war on terrorism”, no war in the Middle East. No “war on terrorism” lie, no dictatorial powers for the White House, and no beefed-up FISA.
Given that the “war on terrorism” is a lie, the need for unprecedented spying is also a lie. Just as 9/11 remains the endless pretext for endless war and terrorism, it also remains, in its countless propaganda manifestations, the justification for open totalitarian rule of force and intimidation within US borders.
The totalitarian criminal agenda is fully endorsed by neoliberal Democrats, including Barack Obama. According to the Obama campaign, “Senator Obama has said before that the compromise bill is not perfect. Given the choice between voting for an improved yet imperfect bill, and losing important surveillance tools, Senator Obama chose to support the FISA compromise.”
The pro-surveillance Democrats, led by Senator Jay Rockefeller and Obama (whose lame hemming-hawing justifications can be read here) are repeating asinine lies, and groundless excuses.
In calling criminal spying and covert operations “important surveillance tools”, Obama is showing his truest colors. Obama, whose politics and rhetoric have been consistently in line with the Bush/Cheney agenda on all of the most telling issues (war in Afghanistan, war on Iran, “terrorism”, “homeland security”, globalization, and most recently, other right-wing positions), is a smooth-talking and appealing front for the Bush-Cheney status quo. Obama and McCain, like Bush-Cheney, will continue to push the endless “war on terrorism” lie, and embrace every single criminal act conducted in the name of this propaganda construct.
All “homeland security”/Big Brother measures such as FISA, in any form, provides political cover for the US government to engage in criminal activity. Any politician, be it Bush/Cheney or Obama, who approve of any sort of “surveillance” is guilty of committing a criminal act, and of raping the Constitution along the way.
Cynical posturing and election-year flatulence from Obama’s legion of defenders and fans cannot hide what has happened, or who is responsible. The rape of the US Constitution is so overt and so egregious that it has set off a wave of outrage and backlash, spawning unusual new grassroots coalitions.
Clearly, however, the powers that be, including the Obama camp, has casually dismissed this relatively small portion of the US public out of its election-year calculations, regardless of how stridently they organize, blog, blow whistles or file law suits.
Senator Russ Feingold (whose own record on opposing the Bush administration is less than stellar) warned that the FISA revision “could mean millions upon millions of communications between innocent Americans and their friends, families or business associates overseas could now be legally collected.”
It means much more than Feingold states, and it has for many years—perhaps decades.
Spying: the pre- and post-9/11 norm
Returning again to the expose by whistleblower Mark Klein, his detailed and stomach-turning expose, which includes materials from the key court cases, exposes the fact that the NSA began breaking into local telephone circuits in 2001. As pointed out by Robert Parry, the current program may have been in place before 2001.
In other words, the spying program never had anything to do with international “terrorists”, and everything to do with a larger police state agenda, including the power to identify, designate and destroy individuals whose opinions run counter to those of whichever Big Brother is “in charge”. This is a long-planned program that 9/11 allowed to push to full fruition.
It is a well-documented fact that the US government’s spying capabilities are overwhelming, and that continuous illegal surveillance has always trumped congressional oversight, and the law itself. Obviously, the light reigning-in of criminal covert operations in the post-Watergate 1970s has been completely undone in the decades since.
Investigators such as former NSA operative James Bamford (author of the expose of the NSA, Body of Secrets) and Mike Ruppert’s Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil have thoroughly detailed the pervasiveness and effectiveness of a wide range of spying and intelligence programs used by intelligence and law enforcement agencies. These include Echelon and PROMIS, which are used by operatives in criminal fashion, as ordered by high-level officials, specifically to get around all oversight.
Completely unaddressed throughout the years of noise over spying and FISA, the Total Information Awareness Program (formerly known as DARPA, and spearheaded by Iran-Contra participant John Poindexter) has found new life as the IARPA program.
Nobody is talking about IARPA. Nobody will.
Welcome to hell, again
The George W. Bush administration seized the White House in 2000 by way of an openly stolen election, then cemented its criminal power into place with the unprecedented 9/11 mass murder, and its two resulting abominations: the fabricated “war on terrorism” (the pretext for endless global war), and the USA Patriot Act (the full-scale destruction of the Constitution, and the militarization of the US homeland).
These continuing atrocities were the works of a bipartisan “war on terrorism” consensus, a full partnership at the top echelons, whose overriding agenda is the survival of the criminal racket known as the Anglo-American empire.
The deepening of the war and security state has continued unabated. Under a US congress with a Democratic Party majority, nothing been done to stop, reverse or undo the world war, boundless US government criminality, open corruption, or the absolute and systematic rape of law itself. Now, particularly with a looming US presidential election, leading members of both political parties have shown their true colors: as flagrant proponents of military-intelligence/”homeland security”, and enthusiastic destroyers of the Constitution.
In The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, Victor Marchetti and John Marks wrote in 1974:
“The clandestine mentality is a mind-set that thrives on secrecy and deception. It encourages professional amorality—the belief that righteous goals can be achieved through the use of unprincipled and normally unacceptable means….
Today, exemplified by actions of the bipartisan US consensus, assisted by an acquiescent and dumbed-down populace, the clandestine mentality is not clandestine. “Professional amorality” is the norm— celebrated openly, and opposed by few.”
In other words, your life and all of your communications—from your emails, your web searches, medical records, and financial information, to your reading this article and clicking this web site—has been “hoovered up” by the US government’s spying machine, to be used against you at some future time, if the powers that be so choose.
If 9/11, the Patriot Act, and the relentless destruction of law since 2000 have not already make abundantly clear, a “Homeland Security” police state within US borders, courtesy of the spy bill, is now complete. Not even the trappings of a democracy remain.