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“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.”
Written in 1791 by James Madison as a part of “The Bill of Rights,” the Fourth Amendment to our United States Constitution was written when the memories of our founding fathers were still fresh with the recollections of British troops misusing a “general warrant” to search the homes of colonists for any reason, for whatever they may find.
The effect of the Fourth Amendment is to put the courts of the United States and federal officials, in the exercise of their power and authority, under limitations and restraints as to the exercise of such power and authority, and to forever secure the people, their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against all unreasonable searches and seizures under the guise of law. This protection is supposed to reach all alike, whether accused of a crime or not, and the duty of giving to it force and effect is obligatory upon all entrusted under our federal system with the enforcement of the laws.
This last week, Avril Haines, Joseph Biden’s appointee as the director of National Intelligence, revealed that in direct violation of the rights of U.S. citizens to be secure in the privacy of “persons, houses, papers, and effects” and simply be left alone as guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment, that the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted more than 3.4 million warrantless electronic searches throughout just the calendar year of 2021.
You’d think that meant that only 3.4 million Americans had their emails, text messages, phone calls, medical, and legal and personal records surveilled by the FBI, but each FBI search can lead to the records of thousands of Americans. Simple math quickly adds up to approximately the entire population of the United States of America.
These warrantless searches were allowed to happen because of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in October of 1978. This act was originally created in response to former President Richard Nixon’s usage of federal resources, including law enforcement agencies, to spy on political and activist groups.
The act was intended to provide judicial and congressional oversight of the government’s covert surveillance activities within the United States, while maintaining the secrecy needed to still protect our national security.
The act also created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to oversee requests for surveillance warrants by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies. The FISC issues their surveillance warrants based not upon an alleged crime as required by the 4th Amendment, but because of the possibility of contact with any suspicious foreign national.
Congress more recently passed Section 702 of the F.I.S.A. in 2008. Under Section 702, the U.S. government is allowed to engage in mass warrantless surveillance of Americans’ and foreigners’ phone calls, text messages, emails, and other electronic communications.
Information collected under this law without a warrant can then be used to prosecute and imprison people, even for crimes that have nothing to do with national security.
I grew up as an Army brat, and I graduated from a Department of Defense run high school in Brussels, Belgium where my father worked at NATO headquarters. If I were to make a call today to an old friend to request a special Belgian chocolate be sent to me, the rules as are currently followed allow the NSA to spy on my every form of communication, and then should I later call any one of you, the readers of this column, the NSA is allowed to spy on you, as well as any of the people that you may call, and then any of the people that they may eventually call.
The U.S. Constitution is supposed to be the supreme law of the land, but the rights that were guaranteed to U.S. citizens has been nullified by both Congress and the assorted ABC intelligence agencies that currently operate with impunity.
The “Bill of Rights” is now nothing more than a “Bill of Temporary Privileges.” Our federal government is at its core corrupt, and you, dear reader, are probably already on their watch list.