It’s Snowden Again!

December 19, 2013

By: Rob Jones

Yesterday, I wrote my column about the NSA’s domestic spying program and the ruling by federal Judge Richard Leon, regarding its Constitutionality. Today I want to expand on that a bit, as there’s more to this story. As the title suggested yesterday and today, Edward Snowden is in the middle of all of this mess. Some say rightfully so and many say that Snowden is simply a patsy. That the government is looking to destroy Snowden for bringing this to light. Quite frankly, I’m among the latter. I’ve read much of what Snowden is accused of “leaking”. I served in the military and had a security clearance for my MOS. I don’t believe that anything Snowden leaked, was of a security risk. Especially with the thinking that it was unconstitutional. With Judge Leon ruling that the NSA spying is “likely violating the 4th Amendment”, Snowden made a statement, from Moscow.

Snowden was employed, by the NSA, as a security contractor when the documents were leaked. Snowden said, “Today, a secret program authorized by a secret court was, when exposed to the light of day, found to violate Americans’ rights. It is the first of many. I acted on my belief that the NSA’s mass surveillance programs would not withstand a Constitutional challenge, and that the American public deserved a chance to see these issues determined by open courts.” Senator Mark Udall, a Democrat and leading critic of the dragnet collection, also welcomed the ruling, saying, “The ruling underscores what I have argued for years: the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records conflicts with Americans’ privacy rights under the US Constitution and has failed to make us safer.”

Senator Ron Wyden, also a Democrat and critic of NSA domestic spying said, “Judge Leon’s ruling hits the nail on the head. It makes clear that bulk phone records collection is intrusive digital surveillance and not simply inoffensive data collection as some have said.” Senator Wyden further said, “Significantly, the judge also noted that he had serious doubts about the efficacy of the program. The reason that he and many others have these doubts is that the executive branch’s claims about this program’s effectiveness are now crumbling under public scrutiny. Protecting the country from terrorism is obviously vitally important but the government can do this without collecting the phone records of massive numbers of law-abiding men, women, and children.”

Whitehouse spokesman, Jay Carney, when asked, said that he had no comment on the case, as he had not heard of the decision when the press briefing had started and referred reporters to the Justice Department for reaction. Justice Department spokesman, Andrew Ames said, “We’ve seen the opinion and are studying it. We believe the program is Constitutional as previous judges have found. We have no further comment at this time.”

“…our law holds the property of every man so sacred, that no man can set his foot upon his neighbour’s close without his leave; if he does he is a trespasser, though he does no damage at all; if he will tread upon his neighbour’s ground, he must justify it by law.”

                    Lord Camden
                    The Founders’ Constitution
                    1765
     I’ve said before that I am a firm believer that the United States Constitution should be followed to the letter, by both parties. I believe that by doing so, not only strengthens our Nation, but strengthens both parties as well. Americans once trusted our federal government and we have taken our fundamental rights for granted. The Obama is elected and basically throws our Constitution out the window. Americans now lack any trust in our government. I’ll close with a final word from Judge Leon, who said, “The government asks me to find that plaintiffs lack standing based on the theoretical possibility that NSA has collected a universe of metadata so incomplete that the program could not possibly serve its putative function. Candor of this type defies common sense and does not exactly inspire confidence!” God Bless You! God Bless West Virginia! God Bless America!

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