October 28, 2013
Recently Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee (SIC), said that the National Security Agency (NSA) spying activities are not actually “surveillance”.
Feinstein said that the PRISM program “which collects phone numbers and the duration and times of calls, but not the content of any conversations, names or locations, is necessary and must be preserved if we are to prevent terrorist attacks.”
The senator claims that “our safety depends on the ability of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies—including those at State, in the military, and at the FBI—to discover unfolding plots by tracking connections between terrorists, especially plots tied to the U.S. homeland. This is why NSA’s call-records program is an essential component of U.S. counterterrorism efforts.”
She asserts that if only the NSA PRISM program were at work during 9/11 – perhaps the attacks would not have taken place.
Last month Feinstein was concerned about the government shutdown because the government furloughs that are “crippling” surveillance agencies within the Department of Defense (DoD) and diplomats in foreign nations.
Feinstein said: “Our shutdown is the biggest gift that we could possibly give our enemies. [With few exceptions], the lights are being turned off and the majority of the people who produce our intelligence, analyze intelligence and provide warning of terrorist attacks or advise policymakers of major national security events will be prevented from doing their jobs.”
The California senator asserted: “I’ve listened to this program being described as a surveillance program. It is not. There is no content collected by the NSA. There are bits of data – location, telephone numbers – that can be queried when there is reasonable and articulable suspicion.”
In the near future, Feinstein hopes to propose a bill that would create secret courts to “provide judicial oversight” to NSA surveillance operations with limited revisions to its current form.
Feinstein would have the American public believe that “the call-records program is not surveillance. It does not collect the content of any communication, nor do the records include names or locations. The NSA only collects the type of information found on a telephone bill: phone numbers of calls placed and received, the time of the calls and duration.”
Because the NSA is searching for terrorists, their effectiveness is dependent on their ability “to conduct queries quickly, without regard to which phone carrier a terrorist or conspirator uses. And the records must be available for a few years – longer than phone companies need them for billing purposes.”
While attacking the 4th & 5th Amendment rights of Americans with legitimizing illegal practices of the NSA, Feinstein is also seeking to have the 1st Amendment redefined.
The 1st Amendment 1st Amendment : “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
However, Feinstein said that the new Federal Media Shield would guarantee 1st Amendment protection to federally recognized journalists who are “real reporters” – not those “blogger” journalists in alternative media.
Feinstein claimed that the 1st Amendment is a privilege, not an inalienable right as defined by our US Constitution.
The Federal Media Shield (FMS), a.k.a. the Free Flow of Information Act (FFIA) states: “Conditions for Compelled Disclosure- In any proceeding or in connection with any issue arising under Federal law, a Federal entity may not compel a covered person to comply with a subpoena, court order, or other compulsory legal process seeking to compel the disclosure of protected information, unless a Federal court in the jurisdiction where the subpoena, court order, or other compulsory legal process has been or would be issued determines, after providing notice and an opportunity to be heard to such covered person.”
There is a stipulation that the governmental “party seeking to compel disclosure of the protected information [must have] exhausted all reasonable alternative sources (other than a covered person) of the protected information.”
The definition of what a journalist is is included in the text: “[The committee defined] a “covered journalist” as an employee, independent contractor or agent of an entity that disseminates news or information. The individual would have been employed for one year within the last 20 or three months within the last five years. It would apply to student journalists or someone with a considerable amount of freelance work in the last five years. A federal judge also would have the discretion to declare an individual a ‘covered journalist,’ who would be granted the privileges of the law.”
The definition does not “include any person or entity whose principal function, as demonstrated by the totality of such person or entity’s work, is to publish primary source documents that have been disclosed to such person or entity without authorization”; meaning that journalists within the alternative and independent media are now not considered “covered journalists” or even journalists at all.
In January of this year, Feinstein introduced her re-visioning of our 2nd Amendment with a draft a bill that seeks to redefine what is an “assault weapon” to include a more encompassing amount of guns.
In addition, there would be an initiative to force Americans to register their guns with the federal government under the National Firearms Act (NFA). This would give the federal government authority to confiscate weapons that were identified in violent acts.
Feinstein hoped to:
• Restrict the modifications to firearms available to citizens
• Classify specific modifications as illegal
• Restricting the acquisition of rocket launchers
With the redefining of assault weapons, semi-automatic, centerfire, rimfire rifles will be illegal; as well as the M1 Carbine and Ruger Mini-14. No more than 10 round magazines will be available.
The NFA will collect taxes of an estimated $200 per gun purchased as well as the owner file their fingerprints, photograph, address and obtain permission before taking the gun across state lines.
Guns could not be sold privately or passed down to heirs. The owner would relinquish their gun to the US government upon death.
Feinstein explains the bill “will ban the sale, the transfer, the importation, and the possession. Not retroactively, but prospectively. It will ban the same for big clips, drums or strips of more than 10 bullets. There will be a bill.”