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noun: oath; plural noun: oaths
(1): a solemn usually formal calling upon God or a god to witness to the truth of what one says or to witness that one sincerely intends to do what one says.
(2a): a solemn attestation of the truth or inviolability of one’s words
[The witness took an oath to tell the truth in court.]
(2b): something (such as a promise) corroborated by an oath
[They were required to swear an oath of loyalty.]
Every federal government official that is empowered to enforce any of the laws of the United States is required to swear an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. However, just last week, the FBI boasted that the number of warrantless searches related to U.S. citizens or residents had dropped 96%, from 3.4 million in 2021 to just 120,000 in 2022.
This report was made with regard to the pending expiration of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and intended to give members of our Congress reassurance that those whose job is to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution are no longer targeting as many American citizens as they used to.
Under Section 702, and with the mandatory participation of every American telecom company, the FBI/NSA is authorized to bypass the Fourth Amendment, with warrantless access to the private communication of up to 334-million everyday Americans, “if” a person can in any way be tied to just once having communicated with a foreigner.
The American Declaration of Independence of 1776 states that “…Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
The first three words of our Constitution – “We the People” – affirm that the government of the United States exists to serve its citizens.
Reverend Edmund A. Opitz (1914-2006), a champion of freedom, was known to have espoused basically three phrases: (1) that there is a place for government in the affairs of men, and our Declaration of Independence tells us precisely what that place is; (2) that the role of government is to protect individuals in their God-given individual rights; and (3) that freedom is the natural birthright of man. All that the government can do on behalf of freedom is to let the individual alone and secure him in his rights by making others let him alone.
Opitz once surmised that “no one can read our Constitution without concluding that the people who wrote it wanted their government severely limited; the words ‘no’ and ‘not’ employed in restraint of government power occur 24 times in the first seven articles of the Constitution and 22 more times in the Bill of Rights.”
Ratified in 1791, our 4th Amendment was but one of 10 amendments that were added to our Constitution as the “Bill of Rights.” Specifically, the fourth states that:
“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.”
The reason for the search warrant requirement was to prevent repeats of what British agents had done to the American colonists prior to and during the American Revolutionary War, wherein, British courts in London would issue a general warrant that authorized the bearer to search wherever they wished and seize whatever they found.
Under the guise of confirming compliance with something like the Stamp Act, whenever the British used a general warrant to search the home of a colonist, the British were enabled to gather information regarding which of the colonists entertained opinions that were opposed to those of the monarchy and Parliament. The Stamp Act had proved so unpopular that the British Parliament rescinded it after just one year, but the damage had already been done, with the bond between colonists and their monarch irreparably breached.
Colonists stopped demanding “no taxation without representation” and instead began to demand “freedom.” In the end, freedom has only one meaning: “freedom from the government.” Within a short period, the American Revolution would grow from the ideologies of a small minority that despised the autocratic powers of the British Monarchy to farmers and laborers who supported the cause of liberty and freedom.
Having personally experienced injustices by the British government, James Madison (1751-1836) was keenly aware of the tendencies by governments toward aggressive policies. Enacted as the supreme law of the land, the Fourth Amendment was meant to be the bastion against future potential governmental abuses.
In drafting the Bill of Rights, Madison and his colleagues made a value judgment that natural rights should always trump any governmental need. If you are even slightly familiar with the Bill of Rights, you will note that there are no exceptions listed anywhere, within any amendment, that states an exception for foreign persons, bad people, dangerous people, violent people, or people that the government may fear.
The plain meaning of every word within the Bill of Rights protects ALL people, everywhere, from the tyrannical overreach of any government entity within these United States. The very purpose of the 4th Amendment was to present an obstacle to all levels of government, to avoid trampling upon the natural and unalienable human right to personal privacy of everyone, even the bad guys.
In 1803, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137, that “all laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.” With that, Section 702 of FISA is undeniably unconstitutional, as it directly contradicts the core language of the Fourth Amendment, permitting agents of our federal government to conduct warrantless surveillance first on any (and probably all) foreign persons who are either physically or digitally present in the United States, and then with all with whom they communicate who are located here, regardless of whether they are American or not.
Thus, for example, if you were to make a call, text, or email from your home here in Coosa County to anyone outside of the U.S. or to any foreign national within the U.S., for any reason, even just to order Chinese take-out in Alexander City, with no probable cause and without having to obtain a search warrant, the FBI/NSA can now monitor 100% of your communications.
Additionally, the FBI/NSA can now monitor all of the communications of any persons you may have called, and then the same for all the persons that they may call or message. As this expands on and on to the sixth degree, the numbers will grow exponentially to hundreds of millions.
Because the federal government has allowed bypass mechanisms – like Section 702 – to evade and avoid obeying the U.S. Constitution, I am convinced that most all within our federal government (and probably most within our state government) no longer believe the words of their oaths or feel bound by the values enshrined within our Constitution and its amendments.