NSA Ignores Laws and Constitution to Conduct Domestic Surveillance

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
08/19/2013
       
NSA Ignores Laws and Constitution to Conduct Domestic Surveillance

The National Security Agency (NSA) regularly monitors telephone calls and e-mails of innocent Americans, ignoring privacy laws, court orders, and the Constitution. This revelation comes from results of an internal audit and other classified reports.

On Thursday, the Washington Post published details of documents leaked to the paper this summer from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

According to the Post’s story, the documents display “a level of detail and analysis that is not routinely shared with Congress or the special court that oversees surveillance.”

As well, earlier this week, Representative Justin Amash (R-Mich.) posted a message on his Facebook page claiming that documents were withheld by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) relating to the scope of the NSA’s domestic surveillance activities.

Specifically, the constitutionally consistent freshman congressman claimed that the committee refused to disclose a declassified 2011 document that outlined the very portion of the NSA’s program that Amash tried to defund.

As was reported by The New American, the House of Representatives narrowly defeated an amendment to the defense appropriations that was sponsored by Republican Congressman Justin Amash (shown) of Michigan and Democratic Congressman John Conyers, also of Michigan.

The Amash Amendment would have revoked authority “for the blanket collection of records under the Patriot Act. It would also bar the NSA and other agencies from using Section 215 of the Patriot Act to collect records, including telephone call records, that pertain to persons who are not subject to an investigation under Section 215” of the Patriot Act.

Despite the threat to the establishment (or perhaps because of it), Amash’s measure failed by a vote of 205-217.

A spokesperson for the HPSCI responded to Amash’s claim, arguing that the congressman had ample access to the purportedly withheld document and others containing similar information.

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