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Presumed Guilty in the Name of Fighting Terrorism ^ | December 29, 2012 | Bob Barr

Posted on 12/29/2012 6:48:45 AM PST by Kaslin

The legal principle placing the burden of proof on accusers rather than the accused can be traced back to Second and Third Century Roman jurist, Julius Paulus Prudentissimus. Yet, this ancient concept, which forms the legal and moral cornerstone of the American judicial system, is quickly being undermined in the name of “national security.”

In August 2004, President George W. Bush created the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) via Executive Order 13354. The organization was then codified in December of that year in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA). The primary purpose of this secretive government agency is to serve as a clearinghouse for information related to terrorism, at home and abroad. Essentially, the NCTC takes data points and “connects the dots” to potential terrorist activities; all packaged in a massive database.

However, in a classic example of mission creep, over the last eight years the scope and power of the NCTC have slowly expanded. And, because this agency largely works in the shadows of the federal leviathan, neither the public nor its elected representatives in the Congress protested meaningfully.

In 2012, the operating guidelines for the NCTC were updated to include previously prohibited activities; prohibitions intelligence officials claimed had inhibited their ability to find and disseminate terror threats. For example, while the NCTC was previously required to immediately purge all records of “innocent” individuals upon discovery in the data sets being examined, the NCTC now retains this information for up to five years.

This expanded power now permits the officials at the NCTC to run dragnets of databases provided from federal, state or local sources in order to search for potential “patterns” of terrorist behavior. According to the Wall Street Journal, whose Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests unearthed much of the internal debate behind the changes to the guidelines, the chief privacy officer of the Department of Homeland Security called these new powers “a sea change in the way that the government interacts with the general public.” In a word, it is simply unconstitutional.

The change in the standards by which the NCTC now is able to troll data means every action a person takes that is logged into a government database, is subject to scrutiny for criminal behavior. Probable cause or reasonable suspicion – constitutional standards for invading a person’s privacy by government snooping -- are irrelevant in such a scenario. We are all presumed guilty of engaging in potential terrorist acts.

The implications are astounding. Innocent Americans now may come under investigation for perfectly legal shopping trips that suddenly appear suspicious according to the NCTC’s secret, predictive pattern-matching. A chemistry teacher’s purchase of new lab supplies, along with a box of pseudoephedrine for his cold, could have the Drug Enforcement Administration knocking on his door. Why? Simply because his name showed up on some database supplied to or accessed by the NCTC. “Probable cause?” Not needed; Uncle Sam is fighting “terrorism.”

Additionally, the NCTC’s status as a clearinghouse for information, and its broad powers of copying data sets from any government database, make it a nucleus of information across the United States, at the beck and call of bureaucrats at all levels of government.

For example, if it is not already doing so, the NCTC could begin collecting databases of gun purchases in all 50 states on the theory such data will be cross-referenced with known or suspected terror targets who have traveled to the United States. On the surface, this may appear to be a sound investigative tool; but in so doing, the NCTC would have a record of all U.S. gun owners who legally purchased a firearm. Such data would be invaluable if the government were ever to mandate a “gun buy-back” program, as was implemented in Australia in 1996.

Emails obtained by the Journal’s FOIA requests revealed heated, behind-closed-doors debate among officials in the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the White House. However, concerns raised by Homeland Security privacy watchdogs in a memo titled, "How Best to Express the Department's Privacy and Civil Liberties Concerns over Draft Guidelines Proposed by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the National Counterterrorism Center," were redacted. In spite of those serious privacy concerns, the Attorney General quickly signed the updated guidelines, according to the Journal.

Who knows what data on innocent Americans engaged in lawful activities will be scooped up, processed, scrutinized, data-based and disseminated by the NCTC. And, who knows if a simple shopping trip will earn the prying ears of a warrantless wiretap. The one thing we do know is that the protections against unwarranted government snooping into our private lives – heretofore guaranteed in the Constitution – become irrelevant and inapplicable. And this is a terrible and dangerous precedent to allow.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: banglist; bigbrother; gunbuyback; guncontrol; guns; invasionofprivacy; terrorism

1 posted on 12/29/2012 6:48:50 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Welcome to the USSA,comrades.

2 posted on 12/29/2012 7:06:13 AM PST by Travis McGee (
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To: Kaslin

Welcome to the USSA,comrades.

3 posted on 12/29/2012 7:06:21 AM PST by Travis McGee (
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To: Kaslin

Welcome to the USSA,comrades.

4 posted on 12/29/2012 7:06:21 AM PST by Travis McGee (
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To: Travis McGee

I used to think Alex Jones was a full bubble off of level. Now, not so much..maybe half a bubble.

5 posted on 12/29/2012 7:19:03 AM PST by TADSLOS (I took extra credit at the School of Hard Knocks)
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To: Kaslin

“This expanded power now permits the officials at the NCTC to run dragnets of databases provided from federal, state or local sources in order to search for potential “patterns” of terrorist behavior.”

Other applicable agencies didn’t use these methods to see the “patterns” leading up to Benghazi?

What a crock. What a lyin’ crock of TREASONOUS TRAITORS.

DISMANTLE these agencies.


While we’re at it DISMANTLE the newly formed CFPB...funded by the Federal Reserve and NOT subject to congressional oversight.

See the “pattern”?

Socialism Is Legal Plunder - Bastiat

6 posted on 12/29/2012 7:30:06 AM PST by PGalt
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To: Kaslin
Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes … known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.
James Madison - Political Observations, 1795
7 posted on 12/29/2012 7:43:55 AM PST by MamaTexan (To follow Original Constitutional Intent, one MUST acknowledge the Right of secession)
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To: Kaslin


Big brother is wathing you, for your own good. lol

8 posted on 12/29/2012 7:47:58 AM PST by Red6
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To: MamaTexan

Great quote! I hadn’t seen that one before. Thanks, MamaTexan.

Back at ya...

The universalism of Islam, in its all-embracing creed, is imposed on the believers as a continuous process of warfare, psychological and political, if not strictly military. . . . The Jihad, accordingly, may be stated as a doctrine of a permanent state of war, not continuous fighting.”2 — Majid Khadduri

From...The Quranic Concept of War...

9 posted on 12/29/2012 7:57:01 AM PST by PGalt
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To: Kaslin
who knows if a simple shopping trip will earn the prying ears of a warrantless wiretap

That would be FBI. The author does not seem to realize that the FBI is doing everything mentioned in the article and more, and the NCTC sucks in the stuff with potential links to terrorism. Now they are hanging on to it longer and "fishing", see but it is still info that the FBI collects and presumably keeps without restrictions.

10 posted on 12/29/2012 8:07:51 AM PST by palmer (Obama = Carter + affirmative action)
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To: Kaslin

These government alphabet agencies are meticulously tracking grandpa and his legal purchase of a hunting rifle, but missing major red flags like Major Hasan going Islam and murdering all those soldiers at Fort Hood. Typical. The government has become paranoid of its own civilians.

11 posted on 12/29/2012 8:20:39 AM PST by Flick Lives (We're going to be just like the old Soviet Union, but with free cell phones!)
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To: PGalt
DISMANTLE these agencies.

Not likely our "representatives" will dismantle them legislatively - the only way to dismantle them will be to win when they come for us.

12 posted on 12/29/2012 10:06:04 AM PST by trebb (Allies no longer trust us. Enemies no longer fear us.)
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To: Flick Lives

You’ve prompted me to share a large part of a message I posted elsewhere the other day.

To Islamic jihadists Sharia law supersedes all other canons of law, including our State’s and U.S. Constitutions. For our domestic enemies, bitterly clinging to the petrifying bottom branches of the totalitarian tree, turning a blind eye to Sharia law is acquiescence with the declared enemies of our freedom. It appears our domestic enemies think they can control the caliphate once the troublesome idea of a free citizen, which our Founding Fathers planted and protected with the greatest legal document of all time, is eradicated from our American heritage.

Meanwhile, using the shootings committed in schools, theaters and public gatherings, shootings committed by unbalanced individuals who share a tenuous similitude binding them one to another and which are never satisfactorily addressed by those who work for the clingers, our domestic enemies ramp up their attack on our right to bear arms.

So I’m going to change the focus today. Instead of presenting one more example of the madness of muslims, I’m going to toss a gut check out to you. To set the tone, here’s a link to an explanation of what was hidden in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013.

Here’s a link to the results of the Senate vote ignoring that matter

And here’s the link to the results of the House vote

OK, you see the picture of where our Nation is being herded and those who are doing the herding. Now another piece of that National picture emerges with this news

You might already be aware of that story and you might already have asked yourself, if it’s ok to protect the elite’s children with guns at school why are they fighting so hard to prevent our children from having the same protection?

On the confiscation of guns front here’s a news story you might have missed

And a late breaking development brought to US by Senator Feinstein

Now, I know that old saw, pry it from my yadayadayada might be coursing through your thoughts right about now but hang in there, we have a few more options before it gets to that point. The one I’m leading up to in particular is, I think, pretty sweet in an Alinsky/Cloward-Piven kind of way.

And that’s where the gut check comes in to play.

I’m certain you have heard of the White House We the People petition page. The one folks used to petition for their States secession from the Union? There is a new petition gaining momentum there since December 23. It’s a reaction to the attacks on our right to bear arms and it calls for the disarming of those protecting the President, the Vice-President and their families.

The idea being, if the children of the citizens of the United States, citizens who are pointedly recognized in the Constitution as the true holders of our Nation’s power, if our children of the true power cannot be protected to our utmost ability, then those we elected to work on our behalf should not be granted that ability. Is that not a reasonable argument?

Have We the People been so intimidated we cannot approach these bitter clingers of usurped power and demand our God given right to protect our children as they protect theirs and on top of that, bill US for that protection?

Now, I’ve pointed this petition out to others already and learned that some had to weigh their patriotic actions against the possibility of being put on a list.

I am not faulting their concern; the idea of being put on a list can be daunting to those who might believe their work within the system comes under the heading of Civic Duty and therefore keeps them list free. These Americans, bless their hearts, apparently think because they are playing by the rules, the domestic enemies will give them a pass if and when the time comes those domestic enemies get strong enough to step completely out of the shadows.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Perhaps you have noticed every time the Left gains ground they demand more ground. Every time a law is passed that diminishes our Rights a new law is introduced that takes more of our Rights.

And now they have passed a bill that includes providing them the power to detain Americans indefinitely without charges.

How long do you think it will take our domestic enemies to redefine what Americans deserve detention?

There is no denying lists exist. In the world of the power seekers lists are a necessity. As their fear of losing power increases lists become compulsory. Those in power employ and make good use of agents who encourage the fear of being placed on a list. It is a tried and true method of control. Think of the IRS. Hell, think of any alphabet agency.

But as one of their venerated leaders said once, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. If you yield to a fear of being placed on a list put together by an enemy of our Constitution you are yielding your very identity as an American.

If you fear a list how will you stand up to the gun collectors who are straining at the bit to break down your door?

Here is a chance, a peaceful chance, to let those designers of our chains know that you fear no man nor woman who openly insults your beliefs, your principles and your values and you defy those who compromise your families safety and threatens their rights to exist as free Americans even as they enhance theirs at our expense.

Join the five thousand plus Americans who have, since December 23, put their name on the line and put the line in the sand. Visit and feel what real American power is all about.

13 posted on 12/29/2012 10:24:23 AM PST by MurrietaMadman
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To: trebb

“Not likely our “representatives” will dismantle them legislatively...”

So true, trebb. Even Bastiat talked about this more than 160 years ago...

Victims of Lawful Plunder

Men naturally rebel against the injustice of which they are victims. Thus, when plunder is organized by law for the profit of those who make the law, all the plundered classes try somehow to enter — by peaceful or revolutionary means — into the making of laws. According to their degree of enlightenment, these plundered classes may propose one of two entirely different purposes when they attempt to attain political power: Either they may wish to stop lawful plunder, or they may wish to share in it.

Woe to the nation when this latter purpose prevails among the mass victims of lawful plunder when they, in turn, seize the power to make laws! Until that happens, the few practice lawful plunder upon the many, a common practice where the right to participate in the making of law is limited to a few persons. But then, participation in the making of law becomes universal. And then, men seek to balance their conflicting interests by universal plunder. Instead of rooting out the injustices found in society, they make these injustices general. As soon as the plundered classes gain political power, they establish a system of reprisals against other classes. They do not abolish legal plunder. (This objective would demand more enlightenment than they possess.) Instead, they emulate their evil predecessors by participating in this legal plunder, even though it is against their own interests.

It is as if it were necessary, before a reign of justice appears, for everyone to suffer a cruel retribution — some for their evilness, and some for their lack of understanding.


14 posted on 12/29/2012 8:51:49 PM PST by PGalt
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To: MurrietaMadman

Thanks, MM. BUMP for all the FReepers on the thread that see the dangers of BIG GOVERNMENT (Socialism/Totalitarianism)

15 posted on 12/29/2012 9:01:13 PM PST by PGalt
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