While claiming to fight “The Deep State” and drain the swamp, Donald Trump fights to save a controversial law which serves as a powerful tool for The Deep State.
The first year of Donald Trump’s presidency is coming to a conclusion and all but his most blind supporters can now see that he is more of the same – a continuation of the puppet in chief bowing to the interests of the military-industrial complex and the banking/financial elite. The collective interests of these groups (and their front organizations) – as well as their connection to corporate and state power, academia, and media – are what have come to be known as the New World Order, the Shadow Government, or more recently, The Deep State.
Since coming into office, Donald Trump has continued the Deep State plan of military expansion into the Middle East and Africa. This expansion has led to an increase in airstrikes, drone attacks, and the deaths of innocent people. He has also continued to place banking executives from Goldman Sachs in powerful positions and just today called Janet Yellen, the current head of the Federal Reserve, “excellent.” I won’t hold my breath for him to audit, let alone end the debt enslavement created via the Federal Reserve system. He even appointed a former Bilderberg attendee.
Trump has also played the role of great deceiver by promising to fix America’s illegal immigration problem while actually promoting the building of a border wall complete with drone surveillance, automatic license plate readers, biometric scanning via the face and retina, and DNA collection for VISA applicants. Under the guise of “border security,” Americans are being duped into caging themselves in an increasingly totalitarian police and surveillance state.
However, Trump is not finished firmly wedging himself in the swamp he repeatedly promised to drain. One area where we can clearly see Donald Trump fighting to support the status quo and The Deep State is surveillance. I predicted this much when Trump first appointed Jeff Sessions to Attorney General back in January.
More specifically, Trump and his administration are now supporting the extension of the controversial section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which is scheduled to end on December 31st. According the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Section 702 “allows the NSA to collect emails, browser history and chat logs of Americans. Section 702 also allows other agencies, like the FBI, to search through that data without a warrant. Those searches are called ‘backdoor searches.'”As revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013, Section 702 also authorizes two Internet surveillance programs known as PRISM and Upstream. PRISM gathers messaging data sent via Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and other tech companies, while Upstream taps into the so-called backbone of the Internet to gather data on targets.
While Congress debates several bills regarding the future of Section 702, the Trump administration continues to support the dangerous, unconstitutional measure. In early September, Aaron Kesel wrote for Activist Post:
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is urging Congress to “promptly” reauthorize section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) scheduled to expire at the end of this year.
The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats also signed the letter, addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
They added: “Reauthorizing this critical authority is the top legislative priority of the Department of Justice and the Intelligence Community. As publicly reported by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, information collected under one particular section of FAA, Section 702, produces significant foreign intelligence that is vital to protect the nation against international terrorism and other threats.”
Sessions was a vocal proponent of surveillance well before he joined the Trump administration and he is far from the only one advocating extending of section 702. Trump’s new FBI director Christopher Wray has been promoting terror porn in an attempt to scare Americans into ignoring the voices calling for reform or abolishing of FISA and 702. The EFF wrote this in response to Wray’s attempt to paint 702 as a constitutional program.
In order to get ahead of the opposition to the bills, Trump held closed door meetings with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, NSA Director Mike Rogers, and FBI Director Christopher Wray. The Washington Post reports:
the Senate committee on Tuesday, during a closed session, agreed unanimously to impose a new procedural hurdle for the FBI to review and use Americans’ emails and other communications collected under the authority. But the measure, proposed by Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), the panel’s ranking Democrat, does not go as far as civil liberties advocates say is necessary.
It does not require the FBI to obtain a warrant before searching for Americans’ communications. Nor does it require the court to demonstrate that those Americans may be engaged in criminal activity or acting as agents of a foreign power.
Instead of any meaningful reform, the Senate version of the bill to reform Section 702 asks the FBI to submit a request to the the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court if they end up in possession of an Americans data. This is the very definition of the wolf guarding the hen house because the FISA court is notoriously secretive with little oversight. Critics say a lack of transparency has allowed various federal agencies to run mass surveillance programs with no accountability.
The courts were originally created under the the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) in response to reports produced by the 1975 Church Committee. The Senate panel was tasked with investigating the foreign and domestic surveillance operations by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during the 1970s. The Church Committee also released detailed reports on the governments Counter Intelligence Programs (COINTELPRO) that were used against activists and influential voices of opposition during the 1950s and ’60s.
The FISA Court is a glaring example of The Deep State. A secret court run by secret judges who interpret the law behind closed doors and who refuse to publicly release their findings or their interpretation. Section 702 is only one of many tools at the hands of The Deep State and the Trump administration is doing its best to allow the program to continue.
(For a review of the current bills dealing with reforming Section 702 see this report from journalist Charlie Savage)
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
Derrick is available for interviews. Please contact Derrick@activistpost.com
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