Let It Snowden

December 18, 2013

By: Rob Jones

As a police officer, I must always be mindful of the United States Constitution, when carrying out my duties. One amendment that comes up quite often is the 4th Amendment, which says: “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”.
What this means is that every American citizen has a right to privacy. Period. I cannot just search someone, their home, car, cell phone, papers, or other effects, without having probable cause and then using that probable cause to apply for a search warrant. Once a search warrant is applied for, the judge will decide if it meets the criteria, to be issued as a warrant. Probable cause cannot be a supposition, a guess, or mere suspicion. If Joe Criminal sells a stolen TV to Tim Citizen and Tim Citizen writes a statement to this effect, that sworn statement is probable cause to apply for a search warrant of Joe Criminal’s home.
In the warrant, the home and any outbuildings to be searched, must be described in detail (a color photo is usually added). The evidence that is to be seized must also be listed in detail. This means that If the robbery resulted in a 55″ TV, a Playstaion 3 game console, and jewelry was stolen, each item must be described in detail, with serial numbers and photos, if available. I mention all of this, due to the admitted spying practices of the NSA (National Security Agency). President Obama has tried to sell this domestic spying as “we have to give up a little freedom for security”. No, Mr. President, we don’t. America is a country of laws. The 4th Amendment is not only being violated, but violated by our president.
Judge Richard Leon, a federal judge in Washington D.C., ruled Monday that the bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records by the NSA, is likely a violation of the US Constitution. Judge Leon went as far as to say that the seizures were “almost Orwellian” in its scope and further added that “James Madison, the architect of the US Constitution, would be aghast at the scope of the agency’s collection of Americans’ communications data”.
The case was brought by Larry Klayman, a conservative lawyer, and Charles Strange, the father of a cryptologist killed in Afghanistan in 2011. In Monday’s stinging ruling, Judge Leon concluded that the pair’s constitutional challenge was likely to be successful. The only comfort offered to the NSA was that Judge Leon put his ruling on hold, pending an appeal, by the government.
Judge Leon expressed grave doubt about the NSA’s rationale for the program: that it is necessary for preventing terrorist attacks, by saying “The government does not cite a single case in which analysis of the NSA’s bulk metadata collection actually stopped an imminent terrorist attack”. Judge Leon the added, “Given the limited record before me at this point in the litigation – most notably, the utter lack of evidence that a terrorist attack has ever been prevented because searching the NSA database was faster than other investigative tactics – I have serious doubts about the efficacy of the metadata collection program as a means of conducting time-sensitive investigations in cases involving threats of terrorism.”
Despite Judge Leon’s stern warning warnings that he was inclined to rule that the metadata collection performed by the NSA was unconstitutional, the NSA director, Keith Alexander defended the practice, vigorously, on CBS on Sunday night. “Plaintiffs have a substantial likelihood of showing that their privacy interests outweigh the government’s interest in collecting and analyzing bulk telephony metadata and therefore the NSA’s bulk collection program is indeed an unreasonable search under the 4th Amendment,” he wrote.

As far as I’m concerned, Edward Snowden was made a scape goat by this administration. Just like every incident, where Obama has been slighted or spoken of badly, he has retaliated by bullying. Snowden is no different. The problem now seems to be in keeping the ruse going. Easier said than done, considering that America is no longer buying and trusting of Obama. This case was just the beginning of what I see will be several suits, on the constitutionality of the NSA’s actions. The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) is also filing suit. Will these cases go to the United States Supreme Court? I think that they certainly will. Obama has bet the farm again and can’t take another major set back. As a firm believer in our Constitution and as someone who has studied the Constitution, the legal issues with the NSA’s data collection are clear. The NSA has no probable cause to request a search warrant. Especially one this broad. With no probable cause, they wouldn’t find a judge who would sign a warrant. Without a search warrant, this violates our 4th Amendment rights.

This has also clearly hurt our foreign relations with many of our allies. Rightfully so! The United States was once admired, looked up to, and highly respected by our allies. Those nations no longer respect us. They no longer trust us. Those are things that hurt us badly. It will take years for us to gain the respect back, if we ever get it back. What about the trust of our own people? America has no respect for a disrespectful president who violates the law as often as Obama does. America no longer trusts Obama. The polls show exactly what America is thinking and feeling. No matter how the Obama media machine spins this, Obama is in deep water and sinking fast.

I believe that what should happen, is that federal judges continue to rule against the NSA’s actions, and allow the government to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court. Once in the Supreme Court, I feel that this type of data collection will be ruled as unconstitutional and the NSA will be forced to stop. However, with this Supreme Court, there is no guarantee that “we the people” will win. What then? What steps are you prepared to take, to preserve our freedoms, our rights, and our way of law? God Bless You! God Bless West Virginia! God Bless America!



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