Just this past weekend, in the concluding installment of Truthout on the Mexican Border, it was noted that the US assists friendly Latin American nations with setting up widespread surveillance capabilities.
Unfortunately, a federal appeals court just ruled that the United States government may wiretap American citizens without a warrant being necessary. This legal finding means that any of us may have our telephone conversations monitored and recorded by US intelligence and law enforcement agencies:
The federal government may spy on Americans’ communications without warrants and without fear of being sued, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday in a decision reversing the first and only case that successfully challenged President George W. Bush’s once-secret Terrorist Surveillance Program.
“This case effectively brings to an end the plaintiffs’ ongoing attempts to hold the executive branch responsible for intercepting telephone conversations without judicial authorization,” a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote.
Although a separate suit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation’aimed at striking down warrantless wiretapping is still active, right now the latest ruling is the law of the land. This means you have no guarantee that the government is not monitoring your conversations, and no recourse if they are.
If that makes you feel like the Constitution is being tossed out the window, you won't feel reassured to know that the Obama administration is still trying to legally be able to arrest US citizens without a writ of habeas corpus. According to an article in Business Insider,
Today feels super-creepy. NDAA's imprisonment without trial provisions are trying for a second chance at life. Remind me to put V For Vendetta back on the Netflix queue...
Here's what's up. As reported earlier today, The White House has filed an appeal in hopes of reversing a federal judge's ruling that bans the indefinite military detention of Americans because attorneys for the president say they are justified to imprison alleged terrorists without charge.
Manhattan federal court Judge Katherine Forrest ruled in May that the indefinite detention provisions signed into law late last year by US President Barack Obama failed to 'pass constitutional muster' and ordered a temporary injunction to keep the military from locking up any person, American or other, over allegations of terrorist ties. On Monday, however, federal prosecutors representing President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta filed a claim with the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in hopes of eliminating that ban.
If this indefinite detention provision is eventually upheld, don't object to it too vociferously on the telephone: such an action might land you in jail without any charges being brought against you. That’s what the military governments in Argentina and Chile did, with US support, "during the dirty wars."
In Argentina, it led to at least 30,000 dead and thousands of more tortured.
Fascism creeps in slowly like a late evening fog.