On January 20, 2009, America’s liberals rejoiced that the days of Bush-era fascism were over. As an article in Reason magazine reports:
Back then, liberals were raising the alarm about impending fascism because of post-9/11 policies such as warrantless wiretapping, wars of choice, military commissions, indefinite detention and so on.
Warrantless surveillance, for instance, drew intense scrutiny and saturation media coverage from the time it was discovered until approximately 12:05 p.m. EST January 20, 2009. Interest then dropped off markedly. After all, Barack Obama had promised “no more illegal wiretapping of American citizens.” So, problem solved.
Except it wasn’t. In fact, it got worse.
As late as last week, the Supreme Court denied review of an appeal court ruling upholding the constitutionality of the Federal Information Securities Amendments Act (FISA).
The FISA Amendments Act was signed into law by President George W. Bush on July 10, 2008 after being overwhelmingly passed 293 to 129 in the House and 69-28 in the Senate. Just a couple of days prior to its being enacted, Representative Ron Paul and a coalition of Internet activists united to create a political action committee, Accountability Now, and conduct a money bomb in order to raise money to purchase ad buys to alert voters to the names of those congressmen (Republican and Democratic) who voted in favor of the act.
George W. Bush’s signature was but the public pronouncement of the ersatz legality of the wiretapping that was otherwise revealed to the public in a New York Times article published on December 16, 2005. That article, entitled “Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts,” described the brief history of the “anti-terrorist” program:
Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.
Basically, the Supreme Court upheld the concept of legal immunity from prosecution for telecommunications companies that assisted federal agencies in monitoring the electronic communications — cellphones and Internet — of Americans not charged with any crime.
The official disregard of the fundamental principle of due process is the result of a bipartisan effort to codify the de facto repeal of the Constitution’s requirement of reasonableness and warrants before searches are conducted. As recounted by Daily Tech:
Click here to read the entire article.
Image: flag of the Fascist National Party (Partito Nazionale Fascista) of Italy during the 1930s and 1940s