President Trump’s nomination for Attorney General is a disaster waiting to happen.
Following his victory in the U.S. Presidential election, Donald J. Trump began the process of nominating candidates for various positions in his administration. Trump’s picks so far been more of the same – banksters with Goldman Sachs, a patron of the Oilgarchy (and Bilderberger), criminals, and other various authoritarians. But perhaps his most criticized nomination has been Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. Sessions’ nomination will be put to vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 24.
Sessions is a junior Senator from Alabama who has recently become a darling of the growing Alt-Right/Extreme-Right wing of the Republican Party. Media reports have so far focused on the possibility that Sessions anti-cannabis and pro-Drug War voting record would lead to a massive growth of arrests for victimless crimes like drug use. Sessions has also been attacked as a possible racist, or at the least, unfriendly towards equality laws. Finally, Senator Jeff Sessions’ past comments regarding immigration have some activists worried about how he will enforce immigration policy as Attorney General.
Each of these issues deserves your time and research so you may develop a more informed opinion regarding Jeff Sessions’ stances. However, I wish to take a moment to focus on Sessions’ views on surveillance and how that view will play into the issues mentioned above. In a new report, the Center for Democracy & Technology focuses on the senator’s voting record and comments on the government’s use of surveillance. His actions and comments should have all lovers of liberty concerned.
According to the CDT, “as a Senator, Sessions opposed the USA Freedom Act and was an ardent supporter of the NSA’s bulk collection program under Section 215 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, despite consistent evidence that the program never discovered or disrupted a terrorist plot.” As you may recall, the USA Freedom Act was touted as a bill that would effectively end the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records. Despite the fact that the passing of the USA Freedom Act did not end surveillance of emails, it is revealing that Sessions was not in support of a bill that was weak in the first place.
The CDT also notes that “at his confirmation hearing, Sessions would not admit that the USA Freedom Act bars the NSA from engaging in bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.” So, Sessions opposed a weak bill which falsely claimed to end NSA email surveillance and now say he does not believe it is true that the executive branch cannot reinstate bulk phone records collection. When questioned about this during his confirmation hearing, Sessions responded, “I can’t swear that that’s absolutely, totally, always true, but it appears to be so.”
Following the confirmation hearing, Senator Patrick Leahy submitted and publicly released follow-up questions covering a range of issues, including encryption, and the use of cell-site simulators (aka stingrays) for warrantless location tracking. The Center for Democracy and Technology, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Constitutional Alliance, and several other organizations signed a letter calling on Sessions to address the issues presented by Senator Leahy.
“We urge you to carefully investigate Senator Sessions’s record on privacy and seek assurances that he will not pursue policies that undermine Americans’ privacy and civil liberties,” states the letter.
The Intercept also notes the possibility of an increase in facial recognition and biometric surveillance do to Trump’s transition team and their connections to the industry. “Several people on Trump’s transition team are linked to a firm called Safran, a French defense contractor that has marketed expansive facial recognition and biometric software for law enforcement and intelligence agencies. As The Intercept previously reported, Morpho, a division of Safran, has touted a “Google” style search tool for capturing and storing the identities of potential terrorists using facial recognition technology. The concept has been criticized by privacy experts for denying due process rights to those ensnared in the terrorist database for simply having certain facial features.”
The CDT also called attention to the fact that Senator Sessions would not commit to the Department of Justice standards for subpoenaing journalists. During the confirmation hearing Sessions was asked to commit to the DOJ’s guidelines which limit the conditions under which journalists can be subpoenaed and forced to reveal sources. Sessions would not commit to the guidelines and instead claimed that “the Department of Justice does have sensitivity to this issue.”
Sessions would go on to say that “you could have a situation in which [the] media is not really the unbiased media we see today, and they could be a mechanism through which unlawful intelligence is obtained.” Today’s media is unbiased? Hardly. What Sessions means is that the compliant media of today is being overtaken by independent media and the government may want to question and limit journalists who obtain “unlawful intelligence.” This sounds like doublespeak for wanting to go after journalists and whistleblowers.
To be fair, Sessions alone cannot implement or grow the Surveillance State, the attack on whistleblowers, racists laws, or the Drug War. However, he can definitely set the tone for federal law enforcement agencies that focus on whistleblowers, immigration, police tactics, and drug policy. Sessions did say that if President Trump asks him to do something against the law he would resign. “This country does not punish its political enemies,” Sessions said.
Whether Sessions is being honest or not remains to be seen, but, as I have noted before, Trump’s role is to be the great divider within the U.S. Many anti-establishment activists are being duped into supporting another candidate and sucked right back into the system that is responsible for our woes. To truly be free or “awake,” one must continue to challenge the establishment narrative and break free of all the illusions and social engineering. To the free hearts and minds who see past the lies and games of Bush, Obama, and Trump, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for ActivistPost.com and the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter. Derrick is the author of three books: The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 1 and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 2