Saturday, February 18, 2017
The Rise of the Police State
By Jim Emerson, staff writer
Before Obama left office, he expanded the power of the National Security Agency (NSA) to share globally intercepted personal communications, including those of Americans, with 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections. The NSA is the collection agency of Signals Intelligence (SIGINT). SIGINT is intelligence-gathering by interception of signals, whether communications between people (communications intelligence—abbreviated to COMINT) or from electronic signals not directly used in communication. This includes cell phones.
The new rules greatly relax longstanding security limits which dictated what the NSA may do with the information gathered by its surveillance operations. For instance, rules had been written limiting the sharing of information with the DOJ and FBI. These include collecting satellite transmissions, phone calls and emails that cross network switches abroad and messages between people abroad that cross domestic network switches.
The take away, this change will allow more agencies to search through raw electronic data, reducing the risk that NSA may provide information that would be valuable to other agencies and allow the analysts to “private information about innocent people.” Such operations don’t require a warrant and could be easily sanitized and released to friendly media sources to smear political opponents.
The Flynn collection and release to the press is evidence of a rising police state. Flynn’s ouster was a soft coup engineered by anonymous, intelligence community bureaucrats loyal to Obama. In the name of “justice,” these agenda-driven analysts will gladly violate civil rights and destroy the constitutional republic called America. Donald Trump should be aware of the threat and reign in the Intelligence community, remove the guilty and return the remainder to their original mission of protecting the United States. Ronald Reagan’s Executive Order 12333 would be a good place to start as it contains built-in protections for U.S. citizens, permanent residents and companies. The collection of intelligence must be authorized by statute while being subject to oversight by Congress and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Unelected intelligence analysts must be reminded that they work for the president, not a political party. The leakers must be punished, not only for betraying a sitting president but for allowing personal loyalties to compromise the faith and rights of the American people. Trump’s critics don’t seem terribly concerned that highly sensitive intelligence information was leaked to the press. Clearly the ends justify the means, as Obama loyalists feel justified in using any means available to destroy a political opponent at will. The intelligence community, the IRS and the Department of Justice need to be reined in to serve the president or be eliminated outright. It’s obvious that the rouge agents are busy high fiving each other while stomping on the Constitution. Note the silence from civil liberties lawyers.
The leaking of classified information that reveals SIGINT operations is one of the most serious of felonies. Journalist and ordinary civilians can be prosecuted under federal law for disclosing classified information. The unauthorized Public release of contents of intercepted communications is defined this way by 18 § 798 of the U.S. Code:
Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information—
(1) concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any foreign government; or
(2) concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States or any foreign government for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or
(3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or
(4) obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processes—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.