Thursday, August 26, 2010

Unconstitutional Surveillance to Continue · August 25, 2010

                         by Pastor Hal Mayer

“It is just a technical matter,” wrote the New York Times, the Obama administration says: We just need to make a slight change in a law to make clear that we have the right to see the names of anyone’s e-mail correspondents and their Web browsing history without the messy complication of asking a judge for permission.”

 But in reality it is “far more than a technical change. The administration’s request… is an unnecessary and disappointing step backward toward more intrusive surveillance from a president who promised something very different during the 2008 campaign.”

Instead of reducing surveillance without a court order, as promised, President Obama is proposing to allow much more of it. The President wants to increase the use of National Security Letters, which are administrative requests for information on telephone and electronic communications, such as emails and web browsing history, from telecommunications and internet service providers.

The right to privacy is a key element of the U.S. Constitution. After the September 11 terrorist attacks, this and other provisions of the U.S. Constitution were pushed aside by the Bush administration in favor of nearly unbridled surveillance.

“The F.B.I. used these letters hundreds of thousands of times to demand records of phone calls and other communications, and the Pentagon used them to get records from banks and consumer credit agencies. Internal investigations of both agencies found widespread misuse of the power, and little oversight into how it was wielded.

“President Obama campaigned for office on an explicit promise to rein in these abuses. ‘There is no reason we cannot fight terrorism while maintaining our civil liberties,’ his campaign wrote… ‘As president, Barack Obama would revisit the Patriot Act to ensure that there is real and robust oversight of tools like National Security Letters, sneak-and-peek searches, and the use of the material witness provision.’

Instead President Obama “successfully pushed for crucial provisions of the Patriot Act to be renewed for another year without changing a word… Instead of implementing reasonable civil liberties protections, like taking requests for e-mail surveillance before a judge, the administration is proposing changes to the law that would allow huge numbers of new electronic communications to be examined with no judicial oversight.”

Not only is this Orwellian, it is also predicted in prophecy.

“When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near.” Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, page 451.

While the Vatican and the U.S. administration are working very closely together in many ways, the assault on the U.S. Constitution continues on steadily.   Keep the Faith Ministry