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Constitutional abuses and threats against freedom for Americans have increased dramatically during Barack Obama’s Presidency and since Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives, an investigation by Capitol Hill Blue reveals.
Warrantless wiretaps are on the rise and the Obama justice department not only continued the aggressive, freedom-robbing policies of the George W. Bush administration but is hiding increased abuses under a barrage of “executive orders” and uses of “executive privilege” to classify documents.
Obama and Attorney Gen. Eric Holder claim any disclosure of abuses of power and spying on Americans by the government “causes exception harm to national security.”
Ironically, Obama used the same procedures this week to bury the truth about the controversial and failed “Fast and Furious” Justice Department gun-running scheme to allow illegally-obtained firearms to move unrestricted between the U.S. and Mexico. At least two of those firearms appeared at the scene of the murder of a U.S. customs agent.
Illegal detention of Americans, government prying into private lives and surveillance of of ordinary citizens is rising to “epidemic levels,” according to privacy experts and the abuses too often receive rubber stamp approval by the GOP-controlled Congress.
Republicans controlling the House Judiciary Committee this week voted down amendments to force increased accountability on government abuses and reauthorized the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) through Dec. 31, 2017 without any changes or safeguards to protect the freedom of Americans.
Marc Rothenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) said the actions of the committee to “collection of private communications of United States citizens” and limits accountability by the government.
“There is simply too little known about the operative of the FISA today to determine whether it is effective and whether the privacy interests of Americans are adequately protected,” Rothenberg said in testimony to the House Judiciary Committee.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) warns the “since 9/11, the privacy rights of Americans have come under a sustained assault that would have been hard to imagine in the languid days of August 2011.”
Notes the ACLU:
A constant stream of revolutionary new technologies erode existing protections, and greatly expanded powers for our security agencies allow the government to peer into our lives without due process or meaningful oversight. Our rights and liberties have undergone constant erosion since 9/11.
Ten years later, the websites we browse are tracked, our cell phones log our movements, our tweets are monitored by the FBI, our Internet communications being read and stored, and the NSA secretly wiretaps our calls. Things we once thought could only happen in far-away enemy states or distant dystopias are suddenly happening here in America. Sadly, it is no longer so hard to imagine a world straight out of the mind of Philip K. Dick, with personally-tailored advertisements that follow us online, or maybe even pre-crime predictors that turn us all into suspects when we haven’t done anything wrong.
Under the Obama administration, the use of “National Security Letters” by the FBI has increased. These letters force banks, employers and other sources of information to turn over private data on U.S. citizens without the knowledge of Americans and without oversight.
Authorized by the rights-robbing USA Patriot Act, the NSLs allows the FBI to compile extensive dossiers on ordinary American citizens.
“These are essentially secret subpoenas that are issued directly by the FBI without any court invovlement,” notes the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
The USA Patriot Act was rushed into law in the aftermath of 9/11 and most members of Congress later admitted they did not even read the act before voting for it.
Obama campaigned against the act in 2008 but become not only a proponent of the abuses of power allowed under the act but supported given the White House and government more authority once he became President.
Presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has not come out against the act or its abuses. Of the remaining Presidential candidates, only Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who has consistently voted against the act and its abuses, supports repeal of the act and other rights-robbing actions of the federal government.