Monday, 02 September 2013

Hearing Shows Feds Think Americans Have No Privacy Rights (Video)

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A recent three-hour hearing by the House Judiciary Committee on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the secret FISA court, a followup on congressional inquiries surrounding the explosive information exposed by NSA leaker Edward Snowden, revealed that the Obama administration believes Americans essentially have no right to privacy. Despite the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment guaranteeing the right to be free from unwarranted government invasions of privacy, National Correspondent Andy Ramirez with the Liberty News Network attended the hearing and reported that the federal government has gone wild.

"They're not going by the rules, they're making them up," Ramirez explained in an exclusive video report after the hearing, noting that the law has been amended by the secret FISA court rather than regular courts or Congress. "Clearly, they’re changing things without public oversight. There is a great level of abuse of authority.... The executive branch has clearly crossed the line and are being called on it; for the most part in a bipartisan way, at least where FISA is concerned. The responses by the Justice Department and the NSA were flimsy, and that was obvious.”

The exclusive LNN report, shown below, features congressmen from both the Republican and Democrat parties expressing alarm during the hearing over the vast capabilities of the NSA to spy on Americans — and to violate individual rights. Among other concerns, lawmakers dealt with the FISA court issuing secret rulings purporting to re-interpret laws in a way that violates the liberties guaranteed under the Constitution. In a rare show of bipartisanship, the Judiciary Committee hearing revealed that the outrage over lawless government — at least in this case — transcends the political spectrum.

One congressman featured in the video, for example, noted during the hearing that the secret court approves virtually every single request by the government — the only party represented in the illegitimate “court,” which critics say is unconstitutional. Out of almost 34,000 government requests to the FISA “court,” the representative pointed out, the shadowy body denied just 11 applications. Other lawmakers blasted the government’s brazen violations of the Fourth Amendment. At least one congressman even threatened that Congress would refuse to renew the relevant section of the Patriot Act granting the purported authorities when the provision expires.

Three senior officials representing the Obama administration from the NSA, the Justice Department, and the sprawling intelligence apparatus provided lame answers to the tough questions. In the end, however, Ramirez said they essentially admitted that in today’s world, Americans really have no right to privacy in practice — at least according to the witnesses speaking for the executive branch. The next hearing on the subject is classified, so Americans may never find out widespread the lawlessness has really become.

“We have no expectation of right to privacy in any capacity even with a neighbor or spouse, and the government, through the FISA court, has gone beyond the intent of Congress,” Ramirez, a prominent law enforcement advocate and national security expert who has testified before Congress on multiple occasions, told The New American. “Plus, this is about looking at American civilians, not even terrorists. All the DOJ or NSA has to really do is show a straight face and the record shows their applications get approved with impunity by the FISA court. They are almost never rejected. The subject of the NSA request is not represented nor is anyone except the government. It is absolutely scary when you contemplate history and the facts we continue to learn.”

It gets worse, though, according to Ramirez. “Even more frightening is that nobody is being held accountable,” he continued, lambasting the administration’s attitude and the lack of real action to restrain it. “Section 215 of Patriot has been abused and it is time for it to be repealed.”

Watch the exclusive LNN video report here:

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