Has anyone read the 49,000 word original FISA legislation introduced on May 18, 1977, by the late Senator Ted Kennedy and signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in 1978?
I didn’t think so.
The first thing that jumped out at me, as my eyes were glossing over the “Definitions” outlined on page 1 of this “Act” (that includes 804 Sections), was that “Foreign power” means “a faction of a foreign nation or nations, not substantially composed of United States persons.”
Not substantially composed of (So, in other words, there can be a couple of U. S. “persons,” that “compose” a foreign power)?
United States persons? According to the definition found on page 1,443 of 22 USC 6010, a United States person means: “any United States citizen or alien admitted for permanent residence in the United States, and any corporation, partnership, or other organization organized under the laws of the United States.”
I wonder if the definition of persons includes the estimated 12 million illegal aliens that have “unlawfully” admitted themselves for permanent residence in the United States (using 2014 Homeland Security data, which, by the way, excludes refugees, asylum seekers and nonimmigrants)?
I also find it interesting that the mammoth United States Code can be found on a U. S. Government Publishing website with the byline: Keeping America Informed. Indeed.
The task of attempting to understand the myriad legalese and loopholes that comprise our modern day so-called laws is monumental and, quite frankly, impossible to accomplish (me thinks that might be the usurpers’ goal).
We should examine some of the additional myriad words, acronyms, clamps, bells and whistles relative to the groundbreaking (or earth shattering) legislation known as FISA written by the so-called “lion” of the Senate (or was that “lying,” as in what I thought about his cowardly, self-serving defense of the untimely, tragic death of Mary Jo Kopechne at the bottom of Poucha Pond on July 18, 1969).
The American people should periodically read about, and never forget, that sad piece of history, but I digress.
What are some of the many ways that our public servants have usurped our Fourth Amendment cast-in-stone protection against unwarranted searches and seizures? Well, there is the Terrorist Surveillance Act, which was the NSA surveillance program developed during the G.W. Bush administration (2001-2009). This administrative-state beauty of countless words was a part of The President’s Surveillance Program which included the warrantless surveillance program with the code name Stellar Wind.
Apparently, at the time, the GWB administration joined the late Senator Kennedy in ignoring the Supreme court majority decision in Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967).
And they all ignored the Supreme court (8-0) unanimous decision in United States v. United States District Court, No. 70-153 (known as Keith) (1972).
Both of these cases concurred that wiretapping was indeed included in our Fourth Amendment protection against warrantless searches and seizures.
Then there’s the Privacy Act of 1974 (8,253 words), the Protect America Act 0f 2007 (2,557 words), the USA Patriot Act (61,154 words), and the USA Freedom Act (20,950 words), to name but a few. All numbers shown in this commentary are approximate, but, I would bet taxpayers’ money that nobody has read any of them in their entirety!
I am also beginning to wonder if anyone has read the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights to the United States constitution. If you haven’t looked at your constitution lately, here are those 54 specific words that comprise the Fourth Amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
What’s that old advertising campaign slogan? You’ve come a long way, baby? Indeed we have, and if I remember correctly, that ad campaign was about women smoking. Oh, great. You know that the devil is always in the details, sort of like Alexander Hamilton’s unheeded warning in Federalist 84 about adding a Bill of Rights at all to our constitution for fear of the usurpers regulating that which is written but never granted to the federal government in the first place.
Alas, it seems that buggy has left the station, probably never to be seen again, and in fact with the current cache of usurpers posing as power-brokers in this country, if we were to try to eliminate the Bill of Rights in 2018, it would no doubt be couched in some big government takeover of even more of our liberties. I wouldn’t doubt that for one legislative minute.
So, as the story goes, the people continue to naively look the other way, while our usurper government takes our very specific 54 word limitation upon their power to lord over us, and strips the very essence of our warrantless-search-and-seizure rug right out from under our feet.
I am not the only one who believes that this type of lawless infringement upon our Liberty must be stopped. You can check out for yourself the myriad (also unreadable) online opinion pieces that have been written through the years since the battle of FISA Vs the Fourth first began its fateful journey in 1978 (not to mention the grief our beloved President Donald J. Trump is experiencing today as a result of this lawlessness).
Yet, it seems that no one has delivered the much-needed knockout punch that might restore our constitutional limitations, placed upon an overzealous, out of control government, by our Founders who were much more keenly aware of the potential tyranny of the State than we seem to be … the key word here is yet … It’s FISA (141,914), the Fourth (54) … but, this fight is not over, yet. I’m still praying for the underdog Fourth.