Congress Authorizes Spying On All Americans Without Due Process

December 11, 2014   |   ANTIMEDIA

Aaron Nelson
December 11, 2104

(TheAntiMedia) Yesterday, the House passed H.R. 4681. The bill, which was also passed by the Senate on Tuesday, authorizes spying on all Americans without due process. It grants the executive branch virtually unlimited access to the communications of every American.

The commentary below was published by U.S. Representative Justin Amash (yes, a member of Congress himself) on his official Facebook page late Wednesday night:

When I learned that the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2015 was being rushed to the floor for a vote—with little debate and only a voice vote expected (i.e., simply declared “passed” with almost nobody in the room)—I asked my legislative staff to quickly review the bill for unusual language. What they discovered is one of the most egregious sections of law I’ve encountered during my time as a representative: It grants the executive branch virtually unlimited access to the communications of every American.

On Wednesday afternoon, I went to the House floor to demand a roll call vote on the bill so that everyone’s vote would have to be recorded. I also sent the letter below to every representative.

With more time to spread the word, we would have stopped this bill, which passed 325-100. Thanks to the 99 other representatives—44 Republicans and 55 Democrats—who voted to protect our rights and uphold the Constitution. And thanks to my incredibly talented staff.

Amash also attached a copy of the letter he sent to his colleagues in Congress, which warned them of the dangers of passing the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2015 [H.R. 4681]:

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Block New Spying on U.S. Citizens: Vote “NO” on H.R. 4681

Dear Colleague:

The intelligence reauthorization bill, which the House will vote on today, contains a troubling new provision that for the first time statutorily authorizes spying on U.S. citizens without legal process.

Last night, the Senate passed an amended version of the intelligence reauthorization bill with a new Sec. 309—one the House never has considered. Sec. 309 authorizes “the acquisition, retention, and dissemination” of nonpublic communications, including those to and from U.S. persons. The section contemplates that those private communications of Americans, obtained without a court order, may be transferred to domestic law enforcement for criminal investigations.

To be clear, Sec. 309 provides the first statutory authority for the acquisition, retention, and dissemination of U.S. persons’ private communications obtained without legal process such as a court order or a subpoena. The administration currently may conduct such surveillance under a claim of executive authority, such as E.O. 12333. However, Congress never has approved of using executive authority in that way to capture and use Americans’ private telephone records, electronic communications, or cloud data.

Supporters of Sec. 309 claim that the provision actually reins in the executive branch’s power to retain Americans’ private communications. It is true that Sec. 309 includes exceedingly weak limits on the executive’s retention of Americans’ communications. With many exceptions, the provision requires the executive to dispose of Americans’ communications within five years of acquiring them—although, as HPSCI admits, the executive branch already follows procedures along these lines.

In exchange for the data retention requirements that the executive already follows, Sec. 309 provides a novel statutory basis for the executive branch’s capture and use of Americans’ private communications. The Senate inserted the provision into the intelligence reauthorization bill late last night. That is no way for Congress to address the sensitive, private information of our constituents—especially when we are asked to expand our government’s surveillance powers.

I urge you to join me in voting “no” on H.R. 4681, the intelligence reauthorization bill, when it comes before the House today.

/s/

Justin Amash
Member of Congress

U.S. Representatives Who Voted NO:

Amash
Bass
Bentivolio
Blumenauer
Bonamici
Brat
Bridenstine
Brooks (AL)
Broun (GA)
Burgess
Chu
Clark (MA)
Clarke (NY)
Clawson (FL)
Cohen
Conyers
Cummings
DeFazio
DelBene
DesJarlais
Doggett
Doyle
Duncan (SC)
Duncan (TN)
Eshoo
Farr
Garamendi
Garcia
Garrett
Gibson
Gohmert
Gosar
Gowdy
Graves (GA)
Grayson
Griffith (VA)
Grijalva
Gutiérrez
Hahn
Hanabusa
Hastings (FL)
Heck (WA)
Holt
Honda
Huelskamp
Huffman
Jackson Lee
Jones
Jordan
Kaptur
Kildee
Kingston
Labrador
Lee (CA)
Lewis
Lofgren
Lowenthal
Lummis
Massie
Matsui
McClintock
McCollum
McDermott
McGovern
Meadows
Mica
Moore
Mulvaney
Nadler
Nugent
O’Rourke
Pallone
Perry
Pocan
Poe (TX)
Polis
Posey
Rangel
Ribble
Roe (TN)
Rohrabacher
Salmon
Sanford
Schakowsky
Scott, Austin
Sensenbrenner
Serrano
Speier
Stockman
Swalwell (CA)
Takano
Tierney
Tipton
Velázquez
Waters
Weber (TX)
Welch
Woodall
Yarmuth
Yoho

justinamash

U.S. Rep. Justin Amash

Just last week Justin Amash was one of only 10 members of Congress to vote No on a war propaganda bill Ron Paul says ‘recklessly declares war on Russia‘ and essentially authorizes Obama to supply lethal weapons to the Ukrainian Government.

Who is this Justin Amash, you ask?

Here are 5 reasons why Justin Amash is leading the resistance provided by the founder of People Against the NDAA, Dan Johnson:

1. He regularly speaks out about the NDAA

Within days of the Senate vote on the 2012 NDAA, Amash published “The Truth about the New Detainee Policy” in Red State, one of America’s most influential Republican blogs, slamming the Senate’s decision to allow the indefinite military detention of citizens without trial. He gathered a coalition to fight the sectionscalled out their dangers in town hallsfact-checked the House Armed Service Committee’s “fact sheet” on the detention provisions, and he continues to support amendments to block the NDAA in the House.

2. He introduced the Smith-Amash amendment the year after the 2012 NDAA passed

Talk is cheap, particularly in politics. Yet Rep. Amash did more than just talk. Together with Adam Smith (D-WA), Amash introduced the Smith-Amash amendment to repeal the detention provisions in the 2012 NDAA. Though it failed in the House, Amash was able to successfully show that Republicans were complete hypocrites when they talk about Constitutional rights. The amendment failed 237-182.

3. He heralded the Smith-Gibson Amendment in 2013, and Smith-Broun in 2014

Not to be deterred by the failure of his last amendment, Amash supported the identical Smith-Gibson Amendment the next year, once again to repeal the detention provisions hidden in the 2012 NDAA. This time, Amash and Smith were able to gather an even larger coalition of Representatives, bringing the vote to a much closer loss of only 200-226. He voted “yea” once again on the Smith-Broun amendment in 2014, bringing the total times he supported an amendment to repeal the detention provisions to three.

4. He even goes outside of Congress

This is one thing that makes Amash stand out above just about anyone in Congress. When a bill was introduced in the Washington state legislature with intent to prohibit the 2012 NDAA’s detention provisions, Rep. Amash sent a detailed letter of his support for a bill that would never affect him and was nowhere near his district.

5. He won’t allow false fixes to slant his vote

One of the most dangerous threats to true liberty is false security. How better to disable a resistance movement, than, while changing nothing, convincing them they have won?

Amash has so far had none of that. He correctly spoke out against the Feinstein-Lee Amendment in 2012, a false fix heralded by many as the end of NDAA indefinite detention, even when powerful Senators like Rand Paul and Mike Lee supported it.

trustspy


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Author: ANTIMEDIA

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