The Amash amendment to defund the NSA and stop the NSA from collecting of Americans phone records was barely defeated. In fact the amendment which was named after its sponsor (Representative Justin Amash) was barely defeated, only requiring a few more votes. One of those key votes was Michelle Bachmann, a representative and self proclaimed conservative who actually defended the NSA.
Bachmann compared the information being collected by the NSA to addresses on an envelope saying, “Is there a privacy right as to what’s been written on that envelope? No there isn’t. Where there is a privacy right is what’s contained inside that envelope,”. Yes Bachmann was a surprising defender of the NSA, there was also a surprising critic. According to the Daily Caller, “The Republican author of the Patriot Act angrily rejected the Justice Department’s argument that one of the law’s provisions authorizes the seizure of all Americans’ telephone records, “.
Before continuing on Its best to start at the beginning:
Edward Snowden, an employee of defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton at the National Security Agency. Revealed several acts by the NSA which violated Americans privacy rights (my opinion as no court has yet deemed anyones rights violated).
One act was a secret court order showing the US government had forced Verizon to transfer over the phone records of Americans. Another act was dubbed project: PRISM, which had direct access to data held by Google, Facebook, Apple and other internet corporations. Where is Snowden now? He is in Russia seeking Asylum. Currently the head of DOJ Eric Holder is writing Russias government in the hopes to get Snowden returned to the U.S. for charges of espionage. Snowden has been hailed as a whistleblower and many are calling him a hero. For a timeline on Snowden click here.
– We have learned that a secret court has existed in ruling upon and extending how far NSA electronic surveillance can go. This court is called FISA and it isn’t covered in the constitution and is therefore deemed by the Knight as being unconstitutional.
–NSA officials have explained how they are also spying on people, who know people, who know people, who are terrorists.
– According to U.S. News, “The Department of Defense is blocking online access to news reports about classified National Security Agency documents made public by Edward Snowden. The blackout affects all of the department’s computers and is part of a department-wide directive.”
-Before the Amash amendment was voted on the NSA called an emergency meeting to speak with the house Representatives.
– Forbe’s, has obtained blueprints of the new NSA massive data storage center. What kind of data is stored there? No one knows yet, it for the moment is still a secret. Is the data being just “merely stored” or investigated? No one knows the answer.
–Cnet has stated, “The U.S. government has demanded that major Internet companies divulge users’ stored passwords”.
–Microsoft indirectly hinted that Skype communications can be intercepted and handed over to the National Security Agency, according to two privacy and security researchers’ interpretation of the latest statement by the company regarding NSA surveillance.
The Debate Continues:
The Debate over the NSA and their actions is still being played out. On one side you have those like myself, who argue that if the NSA wants to collect my emails, passwords, posts, phone calls, then they should follow the procedures laid out in the constitution and get a warrant.
On the other side you have those like Bachmann and the president who believe that the NSA is merely storing the data and not sorting through it. They also argue that the collection of this data helps the agency get ahead of the terrorists and that it assists in preventing terrorist attacks. Really? Because that worked out so well in Benghaz! Lets look at a better example The Boston Marathan Bombing, where the FBI had intel and warnings but failed to prevent the bombing. Did they act on the intel? No. Did they stop the bombing? No. The same scenario happened with the fort hood shooting.
The final question; Why commit an evil act by violating the civil rights of Americans to obtain information for agencies to use in preventing terror attacks; when the agencies refuse to commit the good act by using the data to actually prevent the terrorist attack?
A Glass Half-Full?:
The Blaze has reported some much needed good news since the Amash amendments failure. The Pompeo amendment (championed by Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas) passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 409-12. However, “no one is talking about it,” Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) told TheBlaze on Thursday. The amendment that passed is reportedly intended to “ensure none of the funds may be used by the NSA to target a U.S. person or acquire and store the content of a U.S. person’s communications, including phone calls and e-mails.”
As Thomas Jefferson said, “When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.”