Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘(FISC’

Impeach Brett Kavanaugh – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on April 22, 2020

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 which created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) was supposed to be limited to intelligence gathering of “foreigners.” Thanks to judges of the ilk of Brett Kavanaugh, it has been expanded to cover U.S. citizens.


Brett Kavanaugh does not deserve a place on the United States Supreme Court and should be impeached.

Why? No, not those sexual allegations; unproven. She said, he said.

Why then? In a word: privacy.

Our bedrock Constitutional protection from unwarranted invasions in this regard is the Fourth Amendment. It reads as follows:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

In what way does Judge Kavanaugh fall foul of this eminently reasonable public security blanket? He supports the Patriot Act. And what manner of beast is that, pray tell? Its full title is: “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.” The bottom line on this is that it gives the Federal Government tools that are incompatible with the Fourth Amendment. To wit, it short circuits the “no Warrants” safeguard. Specifically, this Act greatly enhanced the ability of the Federales to interdict citizens’ communication, while undermining the ability of the latter to engage in court challenges of these expansions.

Representative Justin Amash (R-MI) was the only Republican member of the House of Representatives to oppose this nomination of President Trump’s. He stated “Privacy advocates must fight. There are many potential nominees with a conservative record on abortion, guns, and regulations. The only question is will the Senate confirm one who is really bad on the #4thAmendment, when so much is at stake in upcoming digital privacy battles.”

True, Mr. Amash cannot vote on this matter since he is not a member of the Senate. But, enquiring minds want to know if this stance of his will affect the position of his libertarian soldier-in-arms, Senator Ron Paul (R-KY). Hint, hint!

Judge Andrew Napolitano, no pinko, he, either, points out that the Patriot Act allows two members of the FBI to authorize a warrant without any by-your-leave from a judge. The government may also demand that you not reveal to anyone else that your home and effects have been searched, not only violating the Fourth Amendment, but the First one too.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 which created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) was supposed to be limited to intelligence gathering of “foreigners.” Thanks to judges of the ilk of Brett Kavanaugh, it has been expanded to cover U.S. citizens.

A word about privacy, if you please. The Fourth Amendment, properly interpreted, limits the government, not anyone else, from invading privacy. Individuals may still “assault” each other’s privacy. If we could not, then the entire profession of detectives would be per se illegal. There go Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, Robert B. Parker’s Spenser, Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe and Robert Crais’ Elvis Cole and all real world counterparts. We could not so much as look at each other without undermining privacy. (When my kids were young they would complain “he’s looking at me; “she’s looking at me; my wife and I tried to assure them that this was not a rights violation).

This privacy business is akin to censorship. Only the government can do this. If a private concern does this (you can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater), they are not censoring you; they are only insisting on upholding their private property and contractual rights. Similarly for electronic platforms such as Google, Facebook, Amazon. They are not censoring the likes of Alex Jones, merely refusing to associate with him. Similarly, there are no privacy “rights” we can hold against other private citizens. The Fourth Amendment protects us only against governmental incursions.

With Mr. Brett Kavanaugh on the high court, these rights will be undermined.

Be seeing you






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Report: FISA Court Has Not Ordered FBI to Check FISA Applications Beyond One Lawyer

Posted by M. C. on December 26, 2019

Just in case you had a senior moment and thought the FISA court was a victim.

by Kristina Wong

The court that granted the FBI surveillance warrants on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page has only ordered that the FBI review all warrant applications related to one FBI attorney and not all FBI agents involved in misconduct, according to a report.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) earlier this month ordered the FBI to re-verify all previous Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant applications involving Kevin Clinesmith, the FBI attorney who falsified evidence in the FBI’s efforts to seek a renewed surveillance warrant against Page.

But according to a report by Fox News’s Gregg Re, the FISC did not order the FBI to recheck warrant applications involving other officials who made significant omissions and errors in warrant applications to surveil Page.

Fox News reports:

The FISC’s failure to request a comprehensive evaluation of previous submissions has stunned court-watchers who have questioned whether enough is being done to deter future misconduct by the FBI. In the past, the FISC has gone so far as to prohibit some FBI agents from appearing before the court after finding impropriety.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that Clinesmith had doctored an email that said Page was a source for the CIA to say that Page was “not” a source for the CIA.

However, Horowitz found many more examples of what the FISC itself has called “misconduct.”

In one example cited by Fox News, Horowitz found that an FBI supervisory special agent (SSA) responsible for ensuring that the bureau’s “Woods Procedures” were followed in this case — in that all factual assertions be independently verified and information contradicting those assertions be presented to the court — did not follow those procedures.

The SSA created a digital sub-file where reports by Christopher Steele, ex-British spy working for Fusion GPS, would be uploaded. Those reports were uncorroborated yet used to support the argument that Page was a foreign agent.

The SSA also suspected that Steele was a source for a news report that was included in warrant applications on Page, but he downplayed it in FISA applications. The SSA was also told by a State Department official that Steele was wrong about a claim but that information was not put in any FISA applications.

The SSA also failed to put in other information that was exculpatory for Page, such as Page denying to an FBI confidential human source (CHS) that he knew Russian officials Igor Sechin and Igor Divyekin, which Steele had alleged.

The SSA was also aware that Steele had provided his reports to the State Department, but the FISC was told that Steele “only provided this information to the business associate and the FBI.”

Despite this, the FISC’s Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer only ordered the FBI to identify and review all matters that involved the participation of Clinesmith, and advise whether his conduct has been “referred to the appropriate bar association(s) for investigation or possible disciplinary action,” according to Fox News…

Be seeing you

Collyer - Barr speak out about Comey, Clapper, Brennan ...




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