The quest to cut off the National Security Agency from the utilities it needs to power its surveillance stations just gained a powerful new partner: Revolution Truth, a non-partisan organization created to provide citizens with information they can use to increase their participation in and influence on the governing process.
Tangerine Bolen is the founder of Revolution Truth and according to a press release, she has thrown her support behind the efforts of the OffNow coalition, describing it as an “exciting initiative.”
“We face an extraordinary assault on our civil liberties by a power we can never hope to match if we all work in silos. This is why it is ever more urgent that those of us fighting to restore our rights and liberties transcend our political boundaries. Together we are powerful, and together we WILL stop these abuses and force a sea change in the United States Government,” she said, as quoted in the OffNow statement.
OffNow is part of a wider effort spearheaded by Nullify NSA, a creation of the Tenth Amendment Center. The plan, aimed at cutting off the power to the surveillance apparatus, is outlined on the Nullify NSA website.
First, citizens should recognize that despite its immense and growing power, the NSA does have a weakness. The Nullify NSA information explains:
In 2006, NSA HQ maxed out capacity of the Baltimore area power grid.
"The NSA is already unable to install some costly and sophisticated new equipment. At minimum, the problem could produce disruptions leading to outages and power surges.
At worst, it could force a virtual shutdown of the agency." August 6, 2006
It's not just power. This physical limitation is a serious weak point for the NSA.
Next, the NSA can’t expand if it can’t count on reliable infrastructure. Again, from the website:
In order for the NSA to expand and be able to monitor virtually all communications on earth, it needed new facilities with access to a new power source, and natural resources.
In 2006-7, the NSA started searching for new locations to handle their needs.
In each situation, local access to water or a power grid, and cheap utility costs were a major factor in choosing a location.
In most areas, these resources are supplied — in whole or in part — by state or local governments. In others, by corporate partners.
Using the NSA’s new massive data center in Utah (shown) as an example, Nullify NSA explains how the plan would work in the real world, with the help of state legislators.
The new Utah Data Center, a massive spy complex, requires 1.7 million gallons of water every single day to operate.
Those massive supercomputers monitoring your personal information are water-cooled. They can't function without the resources to keep them at operating temperature.
That water is scheduled to be provided by the Jordan Valley River Conservancy District, "a political subdivision of the state of Utah."
Because of this, a state law can be passed banning this partnership. In short, they can turn the water off.
This tactic is the source of the OffNow coalition’s clever name.
In order to stop the lights and the water from keeping the listening stations and data collection centers operational, Nullify NSA provides sample legislation for use by liberty-minded state and local lawmakers. Here are a few details:
The 4th Amendment Protection Act is a state-level bill which bans your state and local governments from helping the NSA — in any way — carry out its spying program.
EXAMPLES: It would prevent them from:
• Delivering, or assisting in any way with the delivery of natural resources
• Using information in criminal investigations when provided without warrant from the NSA
• Continuing business with corporations assisting the NSA
• and more…
Overall, the surveillance-stifling strategy is comprised of a multi-pronged attack.
A successful campaign vs the NSA creating, as James Madison advised, "obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter," hits five areas:
1. State legislation
2. Local resolutions
3. Corporate protests — opposition to those providing the resources needed to carry out the NSA spying program.
4. Campus actions — a) protests against NSA/university partnerships, and b) organizational and student government resolutions formally calling for an end to such partnerships.
5. Environmental concerns — the waste of resources is massive, with millions of gallons of water being used every single day at just one NSA facility.
Revolution Truth is onboard and is determined to devote its resources to achieving the OffNow coalition’s worthwhile mission.
Tenth Amendment Center National Communications Director Mike Maharrey is happy to have the help of an international activist organization with the experience and enthusiasm for liberty such as Revolution Truth.
“Tangerine is absolutely right. We need to look past traditional political boundaries and work together," Maherry said. "Overbearing governments thrive on division and infighting among the people. That keeps us focused on each other, and lets them go on expanding their power and trampling our rights. But when we work together, we hold the power, and we can place the government back into its proper bounds. I’m thrilled that this fantastic organization is on board with the efforts to stop unconstitutional spying. Together, we can put the NSA back into its proper place.”
OffNow’s decision to focus its resistance on the local and state level is wise and is more likely than federal efforts to make headway in the fight to preserve the civil liberties protected by the Fourth Amendment.
The rights protected by the Constitution are natural rights that are the birthright of all people — American citizens or otherwise — and the protections afforded by the Bill of Rights should be sufficient to restrain the government.
Admittedly, the day has now come when the Constitution is viewed by the federal government as nothing more than a “parchment barrier” to be torn through on its march toward absolutism. The answer to systemic disregard for laws protecting our liberty cannot be found, however, in the multiplication of federal laws purporting to protect our liberty.
Designing lawmakers, presidents, and judges are unlikely to heed the provisions of a constitution-supporting bill proposed by this or that federal senator or congressman given that they demonstrate no respect whatsoever for the Constitution itself.
The remedy to this mortal malady seems to be the one described by Thomas Jefferson as the “rightful remedy”: nullification. In the Kentucky Resolution, Jefferson wrote:
In cases of an abuse of the delegated powers, the members of the general government, being chosen by the people, a change by the people would be the constitutional remedy; but, where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy: that every State has a natural right in cases not within the compact, (casus non fœderis) to nullify of their own authority all assumptions of power by others within their limits: that without this right, they would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whosoever might exercise this right of judgment for them.
If the federal government’s drive to accumulate unbounded power is to be thwarted, states and citizens must unite in their opposition to federal overreach and refuse to participate in or permit the enforcement of any unconstitutional federal act within their sovereign borders.
A powerful first step is to pass state laws and local ordinances turning off the power and the water — now.
Photo of NSA Utah Data Center near Bluffdale, Utah