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Monday, April 7, 2014

The Secret State

What if Secrecy Trumps the Constitution?

By Andrew P. Napolitano
Lew Rockwell.com
April 7, 2014

What if the National Security Agency (NSA) knows it is violating
the Constitution by spying on all Americans without showing a
judge probable cause of wrongdoing or identifying the persons
it wishes to spy upon, as the Constitution requires?

What if this massive spying has come about because the NSA
found it too difficult to follow the Constitution?

What if the Constitution was written to keep the government
off the people’s backs, but the NSA and the president and
some members of Congress have put the NSA not only on our
backs, but in our bedrooms, kitchens, telephones and computers?

What if when you look at your computer screen, the NSA is
looking right back at you?

What if the NSA really thought it could keep the fact that it is
spying on all Americans and many others throughout the world
secret from American voters?

What if Congress enacted laws that actually delegate some
congressional powers to elite congressional committees,
one in the Senate and one in the House?

What if this delegation of power is unconstitutional because the
Constitution gives all legislative powers to Congress as a whole
and Congress itself is powerless to give some of its power away
to two of its secret committees?

What if the members of these elite committees who hear
and see secrets from the NSA, the CIA and other federal
intelligence agencies are themselves sworn to secrecy?

What if the secrets they hear are so terrifying that some of
these members of Congress don’t know what to do about it?

What if the secrecy prohibits these congressional committee
members from telling anyone what they know and seeking advice
about these awful truths?

What if they can’t tell a spouse at home, a lawyer in her office,
a priest in confessional, a judge when under oath in a courtroom,
other members of Congress or the voters who sent them to Congress?

What if this system of secrets, with its promises not to reveal
them, has led to a government whose spies have intimidated
and terrified some members of Congress?

What if one member of Congress Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat
from West Virginia, wrote to then-Vice President Dick Cheney and
voiced fears that totalitarianism is creeping into our democracy?

What if he wrote that letter in his own hand because he feared he
might be prosecuted if he dictated it to a secretary or gave it to his
secretary for typing?

What if he was terrified to learn what the spies told him because
he knew he could not share it with anyone or do anything about it?

What if the NSA’s chief apologist in Congress Sen. Dianne
Feinstein, a Democrat from California, took to the only safe
place in the world where she could reveal what she learned
from the spies and not be prosecuted for violating her oath
of secrecy and there revealed a secret?

What if that place is the Senate floor, and what if, while there, she
revealed that she approved of the NSA spying on all Americans but
disapproved of the CIA spying on her staff?

What if it is unlawful and unconstitutional for the CIA to spy on
anyone in the United States, whether private citizen, illegal alien
or member of a Senate staff?

What if the equality of the branches of government is destroyed
when one of them spies on the other?

What kind of a president spies on Congress?

What kind of members of Congress sit back and let themselves
become victims of spying?

What if Congress could stop all spying on all Americans by a
simple vote?

What if Congress could stop the president from spying on its
own members with a simple vote?

What if Congress is afraid to take these votes?

What if secret government is unaccountable precisely because
it is secret?

What if the people’s representatives in government have a moral
obligation to reveal to their constituents that the president’s spies
are spying on all of us, and they, members of Congress, have not
lifted a finger to stop it?

Would we all vote differently if we knew the secrets the
government has shared with a select few but kept from
the rest of us?

What if your own representatives in the House and the Senate are
lying to you because of fear of the consequences of revealing secrets?

What if the NSA chief claimed to a congressional committee, one
of those with which he secretly shares secrets, that all this spying
has stopped 57 terror plots?

What if the next day he changed that number to three plots?

What if he has declined to say what those three plots were?

What if a federal judge found that all this spying has not prevented
any identifiable plots?

What if all this spying doesn’t work?

What if the NSA has too much data about all of us?

What if the president knowingly declined to uphold the Constitution
and instructed his spies to do the same?

What if the NSA is so accustomed to spying on all of us all the time
that it lacks the ability to obtain probable cause and to identify the
persons upon whom it needs to spy?

What if the government’s culture of secrecy and spying
has taken on a life of its own?

What if even those who started it are afraid to stop it?

What if the NSA missed the shoe bomber, the underwear bomber,
the Ft. Hood massacre, the Times Square bomber, the Boston
Marathon bombers, the coup in Kiev and the Russian invasion
of Ukraine?

What if the NSA wasted its time spying on Aunt Tillie in Des Moines
and the Pope in Rome and Chancellor Merkel in Berlin, instead of
Vladimir Putin in Moscow?

What if secrecy has replaced the rule of law?

What if that replacement has left us in the dark about
what the government knows and what it is doing?

What if few in government believe in transparency?

What if few in government believe in the Constitution?

What do we do about it?



Andrew P. Napolitano is a former New Jersey Superior Court Judge.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/04/andrew-p-napolitano/the-secret-state

1 comment:

  1. Good questions! And now this judge says the government can decide in secret to kill American citizens without due process anywhere in the world: http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2014/04/04/court-improper-for-judiciary-to-decide-whether-killing-us-citizens-with-drones-violates-due-process-rights/#

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