Double Secret Probation

Respectfully Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty-Guest Blogger

I guess I am a little naïve, but I was shocked to read that the Obama Administration has a secret legal interpretation of the Patriot Act that is so large in its scope that some Senators consider it a whole new law!  “Two Senators have been warning for months that the government has a secret legal interpretation of the Patriot Act so broad that it amounts to an entirely different lawone that gives the feds massive domestic surveillance powers, and keeps the rest of us in the dark about the snooping.

“There is a significant discrepancy between what most Americans – including many members of Congress – think the Patriot Act allows the government to do and how government officials interpret that same law,” wrote the Senators, Ron Wyden and Mark Udall. “We believe that most members of the American public would be very surprised to learn how federal surveillance law is being interpreted in secret.”  The Senators tried to get the government to reveal some of the law’s contents, by forcing the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General to produce a report outlining when this secret surveillance has gone overboard. Yesterday, the effort failed. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said no to the report by rejecting Wyden and Udall’s amendment to the FY2012 Intelligence Authorization Act.”  Crooks and Liars

If two Democratic Senators cannot convince a Democratically controlled Select Committee to accept their amendment, all hell has broken loose and pigs can now fly.  If you think about it, as long as any government agency can keep their interpretation of a law secret, it amounts to a completely independent legislature that does not answer to the American people.   Senator Wyden gave an interview in May of this year and he addressed this very subject.

“Congress is set to reauthorize three controversial provisions of the surveillance law as early as Thursday. Wyden (D-Oregon) says that powers they grant the government on their face, the government applies a far broader legal interpretation — an interpretation that the government has conveniently classified, so it cannot be publicly assessed or challenged. But one prominent Patriot-watcher asserts that the secret interpretation empowers the government to deploy ”dragnets” for massive amounts of information on private citizens; the government portrays its data-collection efforts much differently.  “We’re getting to a gap between what the public thinks the law says and what the American government secretly thinks the law says,” Wyden told Danger Room in an interview in his Senate office. “When you’ve got that kind of a gap, you’re going to have a problem on your hands.”  Wired.com

Kudos are in order for Senators Udall and Wyden for bringing this discussion into the open.  However it amazes me that Democrats in the Senate would allow an interpretation of a law be kept as a secret.  Especially when that double secret interpretation hides the true meaning of how the government is allowed to spy on us all. In these times of severe fracture within the Legislature, it seems that one of the few agreements that made it out of Washington is one that holds the American people in the dark and prevents the truth from reaching our ears. It is time for Congress to understand that Americans want to know how this Administration and any Administration is interpreting the law.  We are not asking them to disclose State Secrets,  just the definitions of how the public law is interpreted by the Obama Administration.

Happy Birthday Mr. President, but it is time to come clean on this double secret probation that you have us under!

Respectfully Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty-Guest Blogger

76 thoughts on “Double Secret Probation

  1. Let’s hope that some cracks are starting to form… Wicked things going on this country of ours… They have to be exposed and stopped…

    ACLU Lawsuit Seeks Information from FBI on Nationwide System for Collecting “Suspicious Activity” Information

    August 25, 2011

    System May be Used to Track and Store Information about Innocent Americans with No Evidence of Wrongdoing

    http://www.aclu.org/national-security/aclu-lawsuit-seeks-information-fbi-nationwide-system-collecting-suspicious

    —————————-

    Published on Thursday, August 25, 2011 by The Progressive

    NYPD and CIA Need to Be Investigated
    by Matthew Rothschild

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/08/25-12

  2. After Cheating Scandal, FBI Agents to Be Tested On Surveillance Tactics

    By David Kravets Email Author
    August 11, 2011

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/08/fbi-surveillance-test

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation is planning to test agents about their understanding of the bureau’s surveillance guidelines, a move coming more than a year after the Justice Department discovered widespread cheating on the exam.

    Testing covering the recently amended Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide is to commence in the “coming weeks,” according to the Main Justice blog.

    The Justice Department’s inspector general concluded last year that a “significant number” of the 14,000 agents cheated on the required, open-book test given in 2009.

    “In our limited investigation, we found that a significant number of FBI employees engaged in some form of improper conduct or cheating on the DIOG exam, some in clear violation of FBI directives regarding the exam,” (.pdf) the inspector general’s report noted.

    Robert Mueller, the bureau’s director, said at the time that the agency would discipline agents who cheated. The inspector general concluded that the cheating included agents falsely answering a question on the test that they “had not consulted with others” while taking the exam.

    The FBI did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

    Joseph Persichini Jr. resigned his position in December 2009 as head of the FBI’s Washington, D.C. office. The Office of Professional Responsibility recommended he be disciplined after an investigation said he finished the test in 20 minutes and scored high.

    The Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide has been amended to allow agents to search police and commercial databases to find information about targets without agents first having to open a formal inquiry.

  3. Gyges: “Lotta, I wonder if anyone has lived in a free society larger than a tribe. Some have just come closer than others.”

    ——

    I think we are pretty simpatico in that feeling but I’m not sure if that’s how it would work in practice. In a small group everybody knows everybody else’s business. I wouldn’t mind picking my own tribe. I think that was the attraction of the counter culture advocacy of communal living.

  4. Blouise, “My dad gave me a good camera in a sturdy case with a long strap and told me if someone was taking my picture, take theirs.”

    He sounds like he was cool and smart. Apples falling not far from the tree comes to mind.

    ________________________

    “I see a lot of them now when marching in Columbus but I’m marching with the cops who take great delight in going up to these guys demanding to see their identification cause “threats” have been made against the marchers. That’s almost surreal for me.”

    I bet it is. I think I would go into some cognitive dissonance-induced anxiety attack. 🙂 The few times my own union picketed though the police that showed up were actually empathetic and would say to the effect that they had their own bosses and fraternal organizations so they knew the score. It was interesting to interact with them in that way after interacting with them while advocating ‘other’ causes. it’s all about the community of interest. It was also a time when police showed up to a demonstration of just about any kind in short sleeved summer uniforms or regular uniform jackets or coats and not in military gear.

  5. anon nurse,

    guy and hummingbird: Awwwwwww, that’s soooo cool, thank you;

    DARPA and ‘hummingbird’: Those bastards! Right into your yard, your house.

  6. “I used to really like the hummingbirds, but the way I figure it, they otta know the words by now, don’t ya think???”(Bud)

    You are good! lol

  7. Blouise,

    I used to really like the hummingbirds, but the way I figure it, they otta know the words by now, don’t ya think???

    Can you believe the amount of love or trust that little hummingbird must have for the fella that was feeding it??? Amazing. The bird must have felt something… God, only knows us humans don’t…very often.

  8. Bud,
    I have a couple of sites similar to the ones you gave bookmarked … my granddaughter loves to watch them. I find them very relaxing.

  9. anon nurse,

    Yep … it looked just like that except no clicking sound

    The baby hummingbird was beautiful but Fish and Wildlife folk are probably coming after the kid.

  10. Blouise,

    I had to post this… 🙂 Please forgive me…

    http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/18/darpa-funded-nano-hummingbird-spybot-takes-flight-video/

    And, Blouise, it’s wasn’t paranoia, but rather “heightened awareness”… 🙂

    I was hoping for a reason to post the following and now I can… 🙂

    Blouise, lottakatz…bird lovers…,

    Speaking of hummingbirds, a friend sent me the following… and it’s very sweet… The music is, well…, you’ll see, but it grew on me…

    http://www.wimp.com/babyhummingbird/

  11. “I have not believed that we live in a democracy, a free society, in a long time and this is just another sign that we live in a totalitarian state. ”

    Lotta,

    I wonder if anyone has lived in a free society larger than a tribe. Some have just come closer than others.

  12. “I always looked right at them, smiled and gave them the finger. Good times.”(lottakatz) …

    My dad gave me a good camera in a sturdy case with a long strap and told me if someone was taking my picture, take theirs. Man, they did not like that. One cop almost chocked me to death trying to get my camera. The feds always tried to disguise themselves with sweatshirts or windbreakers bearing college logos. Their problem was that these pieces of clothing were always brand new complete with creases from packaging. They stuck out like a sore thumb. They really didn’t like having their picture taken but couldn’t break cover. Great fun snowing them.

    I see a lot of them now when marching in Columbus but I’m marching with the cops who take great delight in going up to these guys demanding to see their identification cause “threats” have been made against the marchers. That’s almost surreal for me.

  13. Blouise, LOL, once you set your feet on certain paths you might as well be open about it 🙂 Back in the Pleistocene when I did some marching there were always guys in suits taking pictures of the marchers and they weren’t news-guys. Some people would wear sunglasses or look away. I always looked right at them, smiled and gave them the finger. Good times.

    Those little drones are on their way, pretty soon they’ll hover en mass over every protest, demonstration and gathering of three or more people. Standard demonstrator equipment will include fly-swatters and small, hand-held EMP generators. It’s a brave new world 🙂

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