The Fourth Amendment Blues
-- U.S. Constitution: Fourth Amendment
For some time now I have been writing about the ineluctable fact that we are living within the pages of George Orwell’s 1984. Now, it looks as though this affirmation has finally come to light with the latest surveillance “scandal” coming from the White House.
Apparently His Omnipotence, George W Bush, can’t keep his nosey little self out of the lives of American citizens. This, of course, would be expected if we lived under a totalitarian regime of, say, the Saddam Hussein variety. But the last time I went to bed this was America, and even though everyone is insisting that I still live in America, I can’t seem to wake from the nightmare that I am living in a third-world country.
In 1791 the Fourth Amendment was put into place, but because of Nixon the Foreign Surveillance Act was instated in 1978. This act prescribes requesting judicial authorization for electronic surveillance and physical search in persons engaged in espionage or international terrorism against the United States on behalf of a foreign power. Requests are adjudicated by a special eleven member court called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
But, because of new technology, in 2005 the defense department expanded its programs aimed at gathering and analyzing intelligence within the United States creating new agencies, adding personnel and seeking additional legal authority for domestic security activities in the post 9/11 world. But, because the Constitution and the rule of law still exist in this post 9/11 world, Bush called the leak of the spy program “shameful”. Yeah, don’tcha just hate it when you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar?
Bush said: ''My personal opinion is, it was a shameful act for someone to disclose this very important (illegal) program in a time of (undeclared) war. The fact that we're discussing this program is helping the enemy ."
So, if I’m to understand this correctly, the above quote assumes that the “enemy” had no clue that their communications might be monitored? OK, I guess I'm an idiot, so I'll buy that. But, keep in mind that this theory is coming from the same Einstein’s who couldn’t imagine commercial airliners being used as missiles.
The Oakland Tribune has recently requested that readers send in their old and tattered copies of 1984. Once they've gathered 537 of them, they will send them on to every member of the House of Representatives. It is the Tribune's hope that this book drive will somehow wake the nation from its apparent hypnosis and bring them to the reality that Big Brother is still in control. If you'd rather not read the above link to the Oakland Tribune's article about the request, and would just like to contribute to the drive, here is their address:
401 13th St., Oakland CA 94612