While the United States government allocates billions of dollars to the nation’s numerous intelligence agencies including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and those attached to the five branches of the Armed Forces, there were just recently a number of intelligence failures.
The United States government, including members of the White House national security team, were taken by surprise when President Vladimir Putin sent aircraft, troops, vehicles and weapons systems into Syria. The world was told that the Russian military’s mission is to join the Iranian military and jihadists from Hezbollah in helping that nation’s dictator, Bashar al-Assad. The Russian military immediately began battling both secular and Islamist rebels who control a large portion of that war-torn Arab country.
On Friday night, the world watched in horror as a large-scale, coordinated Islamic terrorist attack unfolded in Paris, France, leaving over 140 people dead and perhaps three times that number wounded. The attack included bomb explosions, shootings and a hostage-situation that turned into an mass execution. While many believe the perpetrators were members of ISIS, some also believe the attackers were part of the thousands of newly migrated Syrian hostages. As with the Russians in Syria and the recent Russian airliner bombing in Sinai, the United States appears to have been blindsided by the hugely successful and terrifying jihadists’ attack on the City of Lights.
Unfortunately, claim a number of military and law enforcement counterterrorism experts, the American people aren’t getting any benefits from the enormous amount of money taken from them in taxes to pay for a state-of-the-art intelligence gathering and analysis operation. In fact, a growing number of Americans believe that most of the U.S. intelligence apparatus is being misused to maintain surveillance of the American people. Even government agencies not considered part of the intelligence network, have abused privacy rights such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The largest number of complaints of unconstitutional surveillance of American civilians have been leveled at the National Security Agency (NSA), which runs the nation’s high-tech surveillance programs.
Meanwhile, Larry Klayman, the founder, chairman and general counsel of Freedom Watch, who once served as a U.S. Justice Department prosecutor, announced this week that the Honorable Richard J. Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia had granted Klayman’s motion for preliminary injunction.
The federal judge this week ruled against the NSA’s collection of Americans’ phone records that has outraged a growing number of citizens who say they never signed on to giving up their rights for the still inadequate national security. Judge Leon asserts that the current high-tech spy program “likely violates the Constitution” and said he believes “the loss of constitutional freedoms for even one day is a significant harm.”
“This court simply cannot, and will not, allow the government to trump the Constitution merely because it suits the exigencies of the moment,” Leon wrote in his 43-page decision “The government’s position that “Very high-speed Backbone Network Service” (VBNS) may no longer be a participant in the program is fundamentally at odds with its ever-escalating concerns of terrorist threats,” Judge Leon said.
“It defies common sense to argue, as they apparently do, that the government has chosen to omit from this breathtakingly broad metadata collection program a provider that the government has [spied] in the past and that, presumably has the infrastructure to continue assisting in that surveillance,” the jurist said.
In a similar case December 2013, Judge Leon ruled:
“I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every citizen […] the almost-Orwellian technology […] Records that once would have revealed a few scattered tiles of information about a person now reveal an entire mosaic – a vibrant constantly updating picture of a person’s life. […]
“No court has ever recognized a special need sufficient to justify continuous, daily searches of virtually every American citizen without any particularized suspicion. The Government urges me to be the first non-FISC judge to sanction such a dragnet. […] The Government does not cite a single instance in which analysis of the NSA’s bulk metadata collection actually stopped an imminent attack […]
“Because of the utter lack of evidence that a terrorist act 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 […] I have little doubt that the author of our Constitution, James Madison […] would be aghast.”
Larry Klayman stated: “Never before in American history have people been subjected to such egregious violations of their constitutional rights. Thank God that there are judges like Leon who will stand up for the American people. Without this, revolution is almost assured if more judges do not start to do their job, like Leon, and protect the citizenry from government tyranny.”