Former NSA Official: We Are in a Police State

Former NSA Official: We Are in a Police State

It’s almost impossible to keep up with all the news regarding the NSA’s (and by extension, the federal government as a whole) intrusion into our private affairs.  Snowden’s revelations opened our eyes, but now the sun seems blinding in its intensity.  Where we were near blissful in our ignorance, we are now almost inured to the idea that every single word we say, type, text, or email is being saved and read by people in our government.  Most people seem to have simply put on some sunglasses and gone about their day, resigned in their (incorrect) belief that there is nothing we can do.

Bill Binney helped create the mass data surveillance program for the NSA, and now he’s a whistleblower against it.  He’s been on network news shows and done countless interviews in the last several months.  Washington’s Blog talked to Binney the other day, and he had some staggering things to say about a little practice called “parallel reconstruction.”

The way parallel reconstruction works is this:  Law enforcement cannot use evidence obtained illegally in a court of law, nor can they use anything derived from it (‘fruit of the poisoned tree’).  This is why anything the police were to find in an illegal search of your home or car cannot be used in court against you.  Binney explains with the aid of some internal NSA slides how federal law enforcement agencies get around that little hurdle of illegal searches with your personal data:

These slides give the policy of the DOJ/FBI/DEA etc. on how to use the NSA data. In fact, they instruct that none of the NSA data is referred to in courts – cause it has been acquired without a warrant.

So, they have to do a “Parallel Construction” and not tell the courts or prosecution or defense the original data used to arrest people. This I call: a “planned programed perjury policy” directed by US law enforcement.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Federal law enforcement already knows the NSA data is obtained illegally and unconstitutionally, and that they cannot use it in court.  They perform an end run around the law and the Constitution by simply “reconstructing” evidence from other sources that will mirror what they already got from illegally snooping in your affairs.  In other words, they’re reverse engineering the evidence to make sure that whatever they take to court is legal—even though they already stole your information to make their case.

And, as the last line on one slide says, this also applies to “Foreign Counterparts.”

This is a total corruption of the justice system not only in our country but around the world. The source of the info is at the bottom of each slide. This is a totalitarian process – means we are now in a police state.

Before you dismiss this and say that “it’s not that bad,” consider this: Binney told Megyn Kelly that metadata is actually worse than the NSA listening to all your phone calls and explained why.

Aggregated metadata can be more revealing than content. It’s very important to realize that when an entity collects information about you that includes locations, bank transactions, credit card transactions, travel plans, EZPass on and off tollways; all of that that can be time-lined. To track you day to day to the point where people can get insight into your intentions and what you’re going to do next. It is difficult to get that from content unless you exploit every piece, and even then a lot of content is worthless,” he explained.

Also consider Obama’s speech yesterday, in which he talked a great deal and said nothing—unless you know what you’re looking for.  A few points:

They’re not abusing authorities in order to listen to your private phone calls or read your emails.

This is a very carefully worded phrase.  What Obama is saying here is not that the NSA is not reading your emails or listening to your phone calls.  What he’s saying is that they are not abusing authority to do so because they have been given that authority by the out of control federal government.  This is a very clever turn of phrase, because they average person will read that and assume it means the NSA isn’t in their business.  In actuality, what he’s telling you is that they are in your business, and that he is okay with that.

I have approved a new presidential directive for our signals intelligence activities both at home and abroad…we will review decisions about intelligence priorities and sensitive targets on an annual basis so that our actions are regularly scrutinized by my senior national security team.

Another clever statement.  He has approved more people doing reviews.  So what?  I review my financial statements every months, but it doesn’t mean that I change my spending habits or how I do things, because I’m already comfortable with how I have my affairs set up.  It’s the same principle here.  He will have people look at things, but they will not change.

…the program does not involve the NSA examining the phone records of ordinary Americans. Rather, it consolidates these records into a database that the government can query if it has a specific lead, a consolidation of phone records that the companies already retain for business purposes. The review group turned up no indication that this database has been intentionally abused, and I believe it is important that the capability that this program is designed to meet is preserved.

This may be the only thing you really need to take away from his entire speech.  Let’s break it down.  He denies that the NSA “examines” the phone records of Americans, and then in the next phrase he admits that all of your data is actually being collected and stored in a database that the government can query.  So, he’s dicing words here.  No, we aren’t actively tapping your calls, but we are collecting where you are, what you do/say/buy/want/use/visit, in case we decide we want it for something later, such as to get rid of you based on trumped up charges of being a dissident.

He says that the review group “turned up no indication that this database has been intentionally abused”, and this statement is huge because he’s saying two distinct things here.  The group didn’t find the indication.  It’s not that there wasn’t any indication, only that the group didn’t find it.  Additionally, they were looking for evidence of intentional abuse, which they would not have found anyway because according to the statement Obama made earlier, we already know that he does not consider the program an abuse of authority.  He is “telling the truth” in the sense that the program is not considered an abuse, therefore no evidence of abuse would be found.

The last sentence ties it all together:  I believe it is important that the capability that this program is designed to meet is preserved.  What, exactly, was the “capability that this program was designed to meet”?  Was it to ‘protect’ us, or control us?  Considering the NSA programs are already shown to have not kept attacks from happening, but have resulted in some egregious violations of the Constitution, the answer to that is clear.

I ask again…how much are you willing to put up with?  Better decide soon, before it’s decided for you.

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