FISC (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts) were created in 1978 under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, generally referred to as FISA courts. The Act was to balance executive authority and to hold the executive branch accountable for the expected invasions of your privacy and mine. Unbiased bastions of great integrity, we were told, describes our Nation’s FISA courts. There are eleven judges on the Court and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) seats all eleven. This means that Chief Justice John Roberts, seated in 2005, singly chose the FISA judges.
Since 2007 or so, though, the FISA Court has bulked up like A-Rod. The New York Times revealed that it has developed a complex case law interpreting the Surveillance Act, the Fourth Amendment, and its own jurisdiction. That case law—like the orders the Court issues, like the briefs the government files, and like the legal opinions from which those briefs flow—are, of course, secret. Source: National Journal (suspecting FISA judges are weighted Republican)
After Edward Snowden’s pulse-amping claims, now proven to be true, that the National Security Agency collected illegal data, billions of emails and phone calls, a flurry of lawsuits were filed. Tomorrow the ACLU says we should expect “big news” about “secret decisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.”
The Washington Post, September 7, 2013:
The Obama administration secretly won permission from a surveillance court in 2011 to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency’s use of intercepted phone calls and e-mails, permitting the agency to search deliberately for Americans’ communications in its massive databases, according to interviews with government officials and recently declassified material...
What had not been previously acknowledged is that the court in 2008 imposed an explicit ban — at the government’s request — on those kinds of searches, that officials in 2011 got the court to lift the bar and that the search authority has been used. Source: Washington Post
Did you catch the word “deliberately?”
Which Judge or Judges allowed the Bush-era specific ban to be over-turned? Were other FISA judges aware? I think they had to be. No one is naming names.
How many times have you heard the “5 year” lie since Snowed dropped the Spying bomb? The
government can keep the intercepted phone calls and emails for 5 years – bad enough – but it’s really 6 years, a full 6 years for the Community Organizer to destroy Republican candidates in the next two elections 2014 and 2016.
The WAPO article goes on to say the government queries must be “reasonably likely to yield foreign intelligence information.” Right.
Think NSA agents sneaking a look at his/her lover’s emails and phone calls – officially called spying on “Love Interests.” They did it.
Think conservative candidates running for office in 2014 and 2016. Mitt Romney’s financial records were illegally breached and leaked by the IRS.
Think the Federal Elections Commission finding a way to bring down a conservative presidential candidate. They’ve already worked with the IRS and Lois Lerner to turn over your confidential information.
Think Barack Obama and Jack Ryan, Obama’s GOP opponent in his Illinois Senate race. Ryan was the GOP nominee:
Flashforward to 2004. The Obama Senate campaign illegally obtains Jack Ryan’s sealed divorce filing and sees the Cleopatra Club references. Obama’s operatives release the embarrassing sexual fantasy material to the media, and the criminally stupid Cocktail Party here in Illinois makes the decision to force Ryan to withdraw from the Senate race after he was already picked as the nominee. I need to use bold for this, but Jack Ryan would have won that Senate race if the Cocktail Party GOP establishment had not forced him off the ballot. Read more about the sexual fantasy of a GOP candidate about his wife – fantasy, not reality, at HillBuzz
Think Obama’s actions against his longtime Chicago political mentor, Communist Alice Palmer, the incumbent:
To eliminate opposition, he enlisted teams of lawyers to examine and disqualify the ballot petition signatures of Alice Palmer and others on the ballot. He was so successful (he studied law at Harvard Law School) that he was able to have all of his opponents removed from the ballot. So when he ran for the state senate seat he ran unopposed. He denied Alice Palmer the opportunity to run for public office. Source: American Thinker
Think Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, which Obama taught countless workshops on as a Community agitator.
Rule 13: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
Rule 4: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.
Rule 8: Keep the pressure on.
If you are a candidate, or you are working on a high profile campaign, be ready, he has your emails and your phone call recipients:
…The court in 2008 imposed a wholesale ban on such searches at the government’s request, said Alex Joel, civil liberties protection officer at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). The government included this restriction “to remain consistent with NSA policies and procedures that NSA applied to other authorized collection activities,” he said.
But in 2011, to more rapidly and effectively identify relevant foreign intelligence communications, “we did ask the court” to lift the ban,ODNI general counsel Robert S. Litt said in an interview. “We wanted to be able to do it,” he said, referring to the searching of Americans’ communications without a warrant.
The court’s expansion of authority went largely unnoticed when the opinion was released, but it formed the basis for cryptic warnings last year by a pair of Democratic senators, Ron Wyden (Ore.) and Mark Udall (Colo.), that the administration had a “back-door search loophole” that enabled the NSA to scour intercepted communications for those of Americans. They introduced legislation to require a warrant, but they were barred by classification rules from disclosing the court’s authorization or whether the NSA was already conducting such searches…
But — and this was the nub of the criticism — a warrant for each target would no longer be required. That means that communications with Americans could be picked up without a court first determining that there is probable cause that the people they were talking to were terrorists, spies or “foreign powers.”
The May 2  Letter disclosed to the Court for the first time that NSA’s “upstream collection” of Internet communications includes the acquisition[s] [long redaction]. According to the May 2 Letter, such transactions may contain data that is wholly unrelated to the tasked selector, including the full content of discrete communications that are not to, from, or about the facility tasked for collection…
The government’s revelations regarding the scope of NSA’s upstream collection implicate [US Code] which makes it a crime (1) to “engage  in electronic surveillance under color of law except as authorized” by statute or (2) to “disclose or use information obtained under color of law by electronic surveillance, knowing or having reason to know tht the information was obtained through electronic surveillance not authorized” by statute.
The Court is troubled that the government’s revelations regarding NSA’s acquisition of Internet transactions mark the third instance in less than three years in which the government has disclosed a substantial misrepresentation regarding the scope of a major collection program…
Obama is lower than a snake and lives in a den with other bellies pressed to the underbrush. The FISA court supposedly shut down the illegalities in the program in 2011, but I can find nothing saying those intercepted personal messages and calls were destroyed (or not copied). Six years are a long time, and encompasses both coming elections.
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