Despite his opposition to surveillance during the campaign, Trump has flip-flopped once again and now supports the surveillance state.
His Homeland Security advisor, Tom Bossert, who worked with the Bush administration, penned an editorial for The New York Times this week calling for a reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Section 702 allows for vacuuming up emails, instant messages, Facebook messages, web browsing history, and more in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment.
“Cabinet officials and security professionals from different agencies will testify on this matter on Wednesday,” writes Bossert. “President Trump stands with them 100 percent on the need for permanent reauthorization of Section 702. Officials from the past two administrations also agree that we cannot have a blind spot in our defenses simply because a foreign terrorist on foreign land chooses an American email provider.”
Former NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander and Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers have repeatedly claimed NSA snooping has thwarted 54 terrorist attacks. This claim has been completely debunked. Like the baseless and politically motivated claim Russia hacked the election, the 54 terrorists claim is little more than fiction. It’s propaganda to justify a surveillance state.
Jenna McLaughlin writes “the reason there haven’t been any large-scale terror attacks by ISIS in the US is not because they were averted by the intelligence community, but because — with the possible exception of one that was foiled by local police — none were actually planned.”
The NSA and the government insist they only conduct surveillance overseas but this was dispelled after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union showed the NSA intentionally violated the law and spied on American citizens.
The surveillance state was created not to protect Americans from terrorists. It was created to spy on political targets in the United States. Evidence of this arose in 2014.
“Inside NSA there are a set of people who are — and we got this from another NSA whistleblower who witnessed some of this — they’re inside there, they are targeting and looking at all the members of the Supreme Court, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Congress, both House and Senate, as well as the White House,” NSA whistleblower William Binney said in March.
Binney said nothing will change “until we put people in jail, because they have violated laws and the Constitution, as well as the Constitution and laws in Europe and around the world. Until we start putting people in jail to make sure they don’t do this again, and start cleaning up what is going on, I don’t see this changing.”
Trump and his advisers will make sure nothing changes and the surveillance state continues to grow until it becomes the sort of totalitarian leviathan portrayed in George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen-Eighty Four.
Finally, is the move to make Section 702 permanent supported by Trump loyalists and the alt-right? Thus far, they have supported everything Trump has done, including killing people in Syria and Iraq. Trump’s pathological lies made during the election do not seem to bother them in the least.
Besides, the alt-right is too busy attacking the left and vice versa in a never-ending ideological running battle that serves as a huge distraction.
That’s why I call Trump Republicans and the alt-right neo-neocons. They are continuing the forever war and police and surveillance state agenda of the Bush neocons.
Reprinted with permission from Another Day in the Empire.