Speaking to a packed house this morning, General Keith Alexander faced a skeptical, and hostile crowd during his keynote address. A first for the conference, the NSA director faced a State of the Union-like disruption, when someone in the darkened room shouted “bulls..t!” after the General commented that the U.S. Government, “stands for freedom.”
The heckling happened several times, ending towards the end of the keynote when the General was holding a Q&A with Black Hat General Manager, Trey Ford.
After commenting that his reason for attending Black Hat was to ask the community represented by the attendees help the government (i.e. the NSA) “make it better” when it comes to data collection and the legal intercept programs, the unknown heckler responded to the General with a shout of, “read the Constitution!” to which Alexander responded, “I have, you should too.”
No, clearly the general has NOT read the Constitution. If he has, then he is simply ignoring it, most specifically the crucial Amendments known as the Bill of Rights. Those amendments were the touchstone and culmination, added by the Founding Fathers originally to cement support for the Constitution by specifying with total clarity key issues that many who wanted the foundling Republic to succeed knew has NOT been addressed in the Constitution itself.
Among these are issues of protection from warrantless search and seizure, guarantee of due process, all of the critical freedoms and guarantees for which the revolution was fought.
Now we have a federal government that no longer pays any heed to these guarantees, but acts in total disregard of the Constitution, and has thrown the common law basic principle of habeas corpus on the trash heap of history.
They claim their acts are “legal” because of the authorization for military force act, because of FISA, and because of the “Patriot Act” (In parentheses because it belongs there.)
ALL OF THESE “LAWS” ARE PATENTLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL ON THEIR FACE.
The legality of acts based on these laws is thus nullified and has no validity.
We have become a 24×7 police surveillance state, in which not only are all our data collected with no regard to warrant, due process, or reasonable causem the black operatives of our police state now invade and break into our homes and search them without warrant, due process, or probable cause.
All this under the cover of the new Star Chamber, the secret FISA court, the members of which have been hand picked and appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, solely at his discretion.
All of the machinery is in place for abuse by any tyrant. All we are lacking, and I am not sure we are not getting there faster every day, are those in power willing to use these levers of access and power to whatever ends they choose. What makes it even more problematic is that much of the data process is being contracted out to privater corporations, thus losing the control that government should be maintaining over these acts as part of the police power that only the government is supposed to have the power to enforce.
We are so close to the total hegemony of the corporate oligarchy and the end of the Republic that I think we may have already crossed the line, into what some scholars are now referring to as Inverted Totalitarianism.
The Republic is dead. The Constitution is in fact to our current political class just a dead, meaningless piece of paper. This despite the fact that in our system and society, swearing allegiance to the Constitution is the one, single valid and binding oath required of all members of Congress, the President, and the Judiciary.
Clearly those oaths have no meaning to those currently in power in this nation.