- A minor economic scandal surfaced in Utah this month
after Utah Power admitted that utility customers would begin paying higher
electric rates after the NSA completes a massive 1 million square foot
data storage center on a small military base in Utah County--Camp Williams.
- The power hungry monster will consuming millions of KW
hours (at discounted rates) forcing Utah Power to buy more electricity
elsewhere at higher market rates--passing on higher costs to the utility
customers. Utah ratepayers are naturally upset, but they ought to be more
upset by what the NSA is doing with all that electricity. They will be
powering massive data storage computers that store all the billions of
data bits they gather daily on the communications of ordinary Americans.
Welcome to the surveillance society!
- More ominous still, Utah County will now have a major
military target of interest to the Russians when they launch their long-planned
nuclear pre-emptive strike on America. The NSA is also completing a similar
data center in San Antonio, Texas, which will be nearly the size of the
Alamodome, making it another nuclear target. James Bamford reports on the
collusion between the courts and government to maintain this unconstitutional
- "The need for such extraordinary data storage capacity
stems in part from the Bush administration's decision to open the NSA's
surveillance floodgates following the 9/11 attacks. According to a recently
released Inspectors General report, some of the NSA's operations -- such
as spying on American citizens without warrants -- were so questionable,
if not illegal, that they nearly caused the resignations of the most senior
officials of both the FBI and the Justice Department.
- "Last July, many of those surveillance techniques
were codified into law as part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
Amendments Act (FISAA). In fact, according to the Inspectors General report,
'this legislation gave the government even broader authority to intercept
international communications' than the warrantless surveillance operations
had. Yet despite this increased power, congressional oversight committees
have recently discovered that the agency has been over-collecting on the
domestic communications of Americans [in reality, they gather all, not
part], thus even exceeding the excessive reach granted them by the FISAA.
- "I am an author and journalist specializing in national
security issues and terrorism, and often communicate with parties in the
Middle East as part of my work... I became a plaintiff in a lawsuit brought
by the American Civil Liberties Union against the NSA that argued that
the program was illegal and should be shut down. We prevailed in federal
district court, with Judge Anna Diggs Taylor finding that President Bush
had violated both the law and the Constitution, but lost on the government's
appeal when the court ruled the plaintiffs could not prove that they were
personally victims of the secret eavesdropping program [in essence, using
the old "lack of standing" argument].
- "In a decision worthy of Lewis Carroll, the appeals
court held both that the government could refuse to confirm or deny whether
it had monitored plaintiffs' communications and that plaintiffs could not
challenge the constitutionality of the program unless they could show that
their communications had been monitored [Catch-22].
- "A dissenting judge pointed out [correctly] that
the court's decision was inconsistent with Supreme Court precedent and
would effectively render the program unreviewable by the courts [indeed,
exactly what these government judges and co-conspirators intended].
- "The FISAA law essentially allows the agency virtually
unfettered access to the international communications of innocent Americans
in clear violation of the Fourth Amendment. Also troublesome is the fact
that the FAA emasculates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the
one independent check and balance between the agency and the American public.
Originally established as a response to the discovery by Congress in the
mid-1970s that the NSA had been illegally eavesdropping domestically for
decades, the FISA court required the government to show that there was
probable cause to believe that its surveillance target was an agent of
a foreign government or terrorist group in order to obtain a necessary
warrant. But the new law does away with this requirement, and now the NSA
does not even have to identify the targets of its surveillance at all as
long as it is targeting people outside the U.S., leaving the agency free,
for example, to target human rights activists or media organizations overseas,
even if they are communicating with family or editors back in the U.S.
- "Further removing the FISA court from any meaningful
role, the new law even gags the judges, prohibiting them from asking the
government who, what, where or why it is launching any particular surveillance
program. Finally, the FISAA fails to place any meaningful limitations on
the NSA's retention of phone calls, e-mail and other communications that
it collects -- necessitating the colossal data storage mausoleums it is
- "Among the most striking discoveries to come out
of the Inspectors General report was that, despite the enormous expansion
of the NSA's capabilities, including turning its giant ear inward for the
first time in three decades, no one could point to any significant counterterrorism
success [that's because the US uses terrorists for their own purposes--to
help justify these expansions of surveillance power, and thus must protect
their own provocateurs]. Instead, it warned that while the agency had little
difficulty collecting vast amounts of data, the trouble was analyzing it
- What Bamford doesn't say is that the foremost purpose
of this domestic surveillance is to build lists on those who will constitute
a potential and future anti-government to the all powerful state and its
- (End Excerpt)
- World Affairs Brief - Commentary And Insights
On A Troubled World.
- Copyright Joel Skousen. Partial quotations with attribution
- Cite source as Joel Skousen's World Affairs Brief http://www.worldaffairsbrief.com
- World Affairs Brief, 290 West 580 South, Orem, Ut 84058,