Over the past ten years, the US Congress in concert with the Bush and Obama Administrations has denied our citizens their civil rights in what are likely to be millions of situations in the name of a fictitious "War" on terror. That this "War" was engaged without Constitutional authority is beyond question. There is no concept of war in any Constitutional context that allows a "war" on any person or group. If there were, the US Congress could wage war on its citizens at any time and in any place. Yet, this is precisely what has occurred. War has been waged against numerous groups of people, calling them terrorists without any court decision or other Constitutional protection.
Many of us have been taught that our country had a higher moral character than the vast majority of nations in the world. That our country had the "moral duty" to act in a superior manner than so many other countries throughout the world.
And that our lives depended on the rule of law.
None of this matters to either Congress or the past two Administrations. Bush and Congress, acting with anger and without legal training, pressed a business solution on a legal issue, determining that it was best for the accumulated wealth of the world to extend the United States' informal role of the World's Policeman to invasions of countries, occupation of countries and the killing of innocents in the name of anti-terrorism. Obama and Congress have acted together to kill US citizens abroad and claimed the right to kill US citizens at home without judicial review.
Effectively, we became terrorists ourselves, despite our and others' convenient definitions that call one group's actions unlawful and our own lawful.
The game is still playing out in our courts. Finally, another court, the one of Barry Bonds, single mothers and brilliant lawyers, has found the latest iteration unconstitutional despite the ten year hiatus between versions.
Let's start with the law. It is best summed up, and its Kafkaesque approach is brought to the fore, by Bloomberg's article on the case.
Google filed a petition to set aside a “legal process” pursuant “to 18 U.S.C. Section 3511 (a) and (b),” according to a March 29 filing in federal court in San Francisco seeking a court order to seal its request. Petitions “filed under Section 3511 of Title 18 to set aside legal process issued under Section 2709 of Title 18 must be filed under seal because Section 2709 prohibits disclosure of the legal process,” Kevan Fornasero, Google’s lawyer, said in the filing.
The petition itself was lodged under seal with the court. No details of the government’s demand for records were disclosed in the filing.
Section 2709 is a federal law authorizing the Federal Bureau of Investigation to issue NSLs requiring wire and electronic communication service providers to turn over subscriber information and other records that the agency certifies are relevant to an investigation of international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities. The law prohibits NSL recipients from disclosing they’ve received one.
Yes, that's right. You cannot know anything about the proceeding or even its process. If you did, you would violate the law.
It is a basic principle in our Constitution that we do not allow our governments to arrogate to themselves our freedoms. To do otherwise makes us Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and to a great degree China. We use public knowledge to keep ourselves free from an interfering government that believes it can kill citizens indiscriminately according to their own code and decision, that believes "war" is not based on countries and borders, and that believes it alone can keep its secrets.
Huge, important worries couch this arrogation in the most maternal terms when the government speaks for you. Our governments must take care of us. They must allow us only some freedoms. They must concentrate on our safety, for that is more important than freedom. They must control us in secrecy. To do otherwise would risk our shadow "enemies" walk like ghosts among us, brining their terror bombs and horrors into our country.
We are free because we are not free! Life is more important than freedom. Give up your freedoms and live.
It will be interesting if we finally find ourselves with another case before the US Supreme Court, that great institution that is supposed to be our last support for freedom. The same group who have given up our freedoms to the US military and the name of "terrorism" as defined by our governments.
So who treats our freedoms like goods in a department store, guarded by guards with doors often locked and proceedings kept secret in order to ensure we catch everyone who might be stealing or destroying our goods?
Democrats, who have moved to the Right since 2001, and Republicans, who have no idea these days where they are. They are all complicit with our governments as they seek to enact laws that prohibit review and investigation and allow governments to act as they wish as long as they mention the mantra "terrorism."
Google, whose massive databases are subject to subpoenas that could result in technical problems and violations of laws claimed from all sides, and massive difficulties with their billions of customers. A company whose reach is without borders, apart from the China-US-EU coalition whose major purpose is to investigate, obtain information, arrest and prosecute behind a great veil of silence.
The military, the FBI, the CIA, the enormous and expensive "intelligence" that has created a massive, interconnected law enforcement system incorporating your local police, the state police, the National Guard, the US military, and most corporations, cooperating in one massive effort to prosecute that "War" on terrorism that has now a life of its own, imprisoning our citizens, marking our lives everywhere and in every thing.
And Susan Illston, the federal judge of Barry Bonds fame whose life epitomizes San Francisco. Divorced, holding down the twin jobs of motherhood and work. Her views apparently reached a Constitutional roadblock or two, created by those Democrats and Republicans present in Congress over the past twelve years. She refused to stay blind to the Constitution, saying the law is unconstitutional.
I can't hear you!
I like it when you say my name
("The Fu-The Fu-The-Future-ture-ture-ture-ture...")
Y'all gon' love me
Feelin it's about to get ugly
P. Diddy's view of the future is interesting in its techno Afro vision. But the Future is what he is saying. The Future likes hearing its name. The Future is already ugly. We have very few to save us from our combined authorities, governments and others. A few voices who try to save us despite ourselves.
Politics are the future, as they are the past. As long as the majority of our formerly free country stay on line with the rest of those who believe we do not need freedoms, we may get what we deserve.
Only our voices matter.
And they remain largely silent.