25. Termination of the Domestic Spy Program: This is clearly a violation of our rights with little to no congressional oversight. The domestic spying list is estimated to exceed 1,000,000 people with an additional 20,000 citizens per month. President Nixon was impeached for breaking into the opposing political parties’ offices and setting illegal wiretaps; this was just one offense of known executive fraud. While George W. Bush wiretaps over a million people with impunity. The justification for this was to protect the nation by aggressively seeking evidence of terrorism and was authorized in a bill designed to be misleading, “Patriot Act.” This bill is a massive blow to our civil rights, as oversight in a domestic spying program and release of any intelligence about its workings or persons listed within it, is severely limited. This program must justify its existence with the actions it has taken. An oversight committee must release names removed from the active list.
One of Obama’s campaign promises was to eliminate the domestic spy program. Now that Obama is President of the United States of America, he has recently announced that the spy program will not only continue but it has been given legal immunity. George W. Bush was elected in 2000 on a platform of change, and so was Obama. It is becoming very clear that the only change we the people can truly believe in is the change we put in place via convention.
Obama administration defended warrantless wiretapping of countless Americans with two deeply disturbing arguments. First, the tried and true argument that state secrets privilege requires the court to dismiss any litigation against the wire tap program, in such that any suit “would cause exceptionally grave harm to national security.” During Obama’s candidate race, he publicly repudiated Bush’s use of this exact same argument. “Second, Obama administration claims that the US Patriot Act also renders the U.S. immune from suit under the two remaining key federal surveillance laws: the Wiretap Act and the Stored Communications Act. Essentially, the Obama Administration has claimed that the government cannot be held accountable for illegal surveillance under any federal statues.” (Jones, 2009)
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