Written by The Common Constitutionalist
Well, it sure is good president Obama has Mitch McConnell and the Republicans to bail him out or he would have no chance of reauthorizing the Patriot Act.
Establishment Republicans seem to be all for reauthorization, despite the fact it is an affront to privacy, liberty and, oh – the Constitution. But I guess to be a real Republican, one must appear strong on defense – in favor of keeping the homeland safe.
And isn’t that what the Patriot Act was designed to do? Wasn’t it passed to thwart terrorist plots before they had a chance to strike America? They tell us this is why all our data must be collected – because you never from where the threat may come.
And I suppose it has worked. All that data collection must have stopped hundreds of terrorist strikes. Otherwise, why collect it? Well, if you’re under that illusion – you’d be 100% wrong.
The Washington Times just reported that Inspector General Michael E Horowitz “concluded that no major cases have been broken by use of the Patriot Act’s record-snooping provisions. The agents we interviewed did not identify any major case developments that resulted from the use of records obtained in response to section 215 orders.”
Section 215 “allows government agents to compel businesses to turn over records and documents, and increasingly scooped up records of Americans who had no ties to official terrorism investigations.” But hey – if you have nothing to hide, they say, what are you afraid of?
FBI director James Comey said that maintaining the carte blanche authority to effectively spy on everyone with cause is essential. He said, “If we lose that authority, which I don’t think is controversial with folks, that is a big problem.”
The Washington’s blog wrote: “The NSA chief himself admits the numbers are wildly inflated, and there were only one or two terrorist plots foiled. The NSA’s deputy director says that at most – one plot might have been disrupted by the bulk phone records collections alone.” But since that claim, the actual events have “been whittled down to only one that actually relied on the call records program.” It’s no different than what the government does regarding everything – such as the monthly jobs numbers. They make a big announcement that all is well and later quietly revise that number down to the pitiful reality.
In fact, writes the Washington times, “‘Bulk data collection creates false leads, ties up investigative resources and, essentially, undermines national security,’ said Stephen Kohn, an attorney at Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto, LLP. ‘They have a large amount of agents who are working counterterrorism that have no human resources, no leads, no infiltrations, so they have nothing else to do.'”
In other words, FBI agents who used to go out, follow leads, infiltrate potential terrorist cells and use human intelligence are now forced into combing through literally tons of data acquired by the NSA on all of us. It’s a complete waste of manpower, resources and money and is likely to thwart exactly no one.
So, Republicans – scrap the entire Patriot Act and pass something which might actually work. Or instead, do what government always does – just leave everything intact, but simply rename it. Maybe the “Keep America Safe Act” – because who could vote against keeping America safe.
SOURCE: Freedom Outpost
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Since 2013, Christian news magazine The Olive Branch Report has featured the insightful writing and reporting of Greg Holt. His writing has been featured on American Prophet, American Clarion, Eagle Rising, Capitol Hill Outsider, Sons of Liberty Media, Rev. Austin Miles, and others. Greg is also the Publisher and Editor of Inspirational Christian Blogs.