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News Flash: FBI Continued Violating FISA After Promising To Stop, Will Continue As Is
Right. In other news, today is Friday, and the FBI will continue to violate FISA in the future. It has no incentive to stop. If you really want to read up on this non-news story—as non-news as Bull Durham’s Non-Report, try this link:
I get it. The Trump era abuses followed the Obama era abuses, which followed the Bush era abuses, which …
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I’ll restate briefly my previously stated position. I agree with the late Judge Robert Bork that FISA is almost certainly unconstitutional. Repeal of FISA will only return the situation to the constitutional status quo, which always allowed for warrantless domestic spying based on appeals to “national security”—regardless of what “principled constitutional conservatives” may mistakenly believe. That position has never been rejected in court. Warrantless ational security surveillance was not illegal before FISA and will not be illegal if FISA is repealed. What is illegal is intentional violation of civil rights.
The crazy idea that by passing a law we can alter fundamental human behavior is as foolish as the idea that by adopting a written constitution we can institute a system of governance that will be impervious to human flaws and will be self-executing. Consider—whatever happened to the war making power that has been, as far as I can tell, completely usurped by the ruling oligarchy. The only remedy for abuses of government authority is active and informed public participation in the electoral process, coupled with aggressive legislative oversight. The effect of a law like FISA, as Judge Bork presciently pointed out, is:
It provides an excuse for our elected representatives to look the other way most of the time;
It provides a platform upon which our elected representatives can grandstand and signal their own virtue to the general public—that was largely what FISA was all about in the first place, and Congress left themselves a convenient loophole for emergency surveillance;
It offers the perpetrators of the abuses a ready excuse and ensures that they will, ultimately, remain unpunished and free to continue as before, based on the plea of ignorance and incompetence;
The result will always be the bandaid approach that leads to a repetition of all the above.
Want a change? Tell that to your neighbors—and good luck. Only public outrage and jail sentences will change anything. I don’t see it. The reality is that nobody actually wants to do the hard work, the heavy lifting, of real and aggressive oversight.