Well, they’ve done it again.
We have another fake reform scheme that Congress claims will “fix” the illegal NSA spying program and make it “constitutional.” However, when you examine the specific details of their proposal, it actually does the opposite. The so-called reform broadens the scope of the NSA’s operation and can easily be interpreted to give it new illicit powers to play with.
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has proposed H.R. 4291 ‘to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to prohibit the bulk collection of call detail records, and for other purposes.’ Although this sounds good, the bill is shown to be something much different upon critical examination. CATO Institute research fellow Julian Sanchez explained it fantastically in a Mar. 31 article on Just Security:
“While this would at least presumably put an end to the current dragnet collection of telephony metadata, it is not at all clear how seriously it would constrain the government’s bulk collection of records on the whole. In some respects, there is at least a colorable argument that the new authority could expand the scope of government collection in some respects. Given the government’s track record on this front, it is probably not excessively paranoid to suspect that any such loopholes and ambiguities are likely to be exploited.”
H.R. 4291 is another federal fraud, and probably the least effective of all reform efforts coming out of Washington D.C., according to Sanchez. The fact that sworn enemies of the 4th Amendment, such as Rep. Mike Rogers, have been instrumental in concocting this phony reform plan says it all. These guys don’t exactly have stellar track records affording them credibility when it comes to protecting Americans’ basic rights.
The federal efforts at reform are little more than token measures, designed to quell the public’s fears and diffuse their outrage. True reform must come from the bottom-up and force the NSA’s hand. The feds will continue to hide behind ‘national security’ and other propaganda spiels until their hand is forced. Through the OffNow Campaign and its 4th Amendment Protection Act, we can deny the spy agency the resources it needs to function, and force the feds to get their house in order.
The Republican and Democratic Parties want you to think the only way you can reform things is by voting for them and sitting on your hands intermittently between elections. That is a far cry from the way the Founding Fathers designed the Republic to work. Resistance and engagement was supposed to be the life blood for the Republic, and it has shamefully been gone for too long. That is why we at the Tenth Amendment Center and OffNow are working so diligently to revive that spirit of resistance that has been lost so the feds can be kept at bay permanently. Please support us in our quest to do that before Washington D.C. becomes too powerful to ever reign in.