The United States government is an elected body which is intended to represent the people of our nation. The facts prove that our legislators represent special interests and themselves. Professional politicians are wealthy men and women. The only issue of importance to them is achieving reelection. Speeches by politicians are all too often attempts to convince us that what they want is what we want, even when polls show just the opposite. We have a government which is out of control.
One amendment to our Constitution has been removed, the fourth, and our government is looking for a way to eliminate the first amendment next. The only amendment that may remain someday is the second. They’d never consider eliminating that one. It might cost them a few votes.
Sharyl Attkisson is a former CBS news correspondent. She alleges that the federal government spied on her work between 2011 and 2013. She is suing the government for violating her first and fourth amendment rights. Three separate cyber-forensic teams verified the violations committed against Ms. Attkisson.
During that time period, she was investigating the gun-trafficking story about federal agents who were part of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms allowing weapons to be purchased by Mexican drug cartels. It received the nickname “Fast and Furious.” She was also involved in the investigation regarding the attack on America’s embassy in Benghazi.
The invasion of her electronic devices was discovered when other family members began to notice irregularities in their operation. A laptop and Apple PC in her Virginia home began turning themselves on and off, even in the middle of the night. They also reported frequent interruptions in phone service and television transmission. She believes that it began when a government agent took her laptop to inspect it for malware. An extremely sophisticated program was installed which allowed government agencies access to her files.
Of course the Justice Department denied any involvement.
Today the House of Representatives votes on new rules for transparency and oversight of the NSA surveillance program and CIA torture operations. This will be the first indicator of which direction the Republican controlled Congress will take. Will more openness be the policy or will secrecy be maintained, denying access of information even to some members of Congress?
The House and Senate have rules to decide who does or doesn’t have access to classified information. Complaints reveal that under the current rules, they are not able to do their job.
In 2013 the House Intelligence Committee was to vote whether or not to support the current NSA operations, and extend its capabilities. Records show that a letter from the Administration detailing actions by the NSA was intentionally kept from the entire Committee. This omission resulted in some members voting for the NSA without complete knowledge of its activities.
On Christmas Eve last year the NSA finally admitted to spying on ordinary citizens. Hundreds of pages of information from the previous 12 years were released thanks to a lawsuit filed under the Freedom of Information Act by the ACLU. And sadly the debate continues about Edward Snowden. Is he a ‘whistle-blowing’ hero, or a traitor? You decide.
Opinion By James Turnage