The myth of democracy – exposed

by Justin Raimondo
December 15, 2014

It was a sneak attack. As the stream of borrowed money that funds the Regime was threatened with a (temporary yet embarrassing) cutoff, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Oceania), inserted what Rep. Justin Amash (R-Michigan) calls a “novel” provision into H.R. 4681, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 – one “that for the first time statutorily authorizes spying on U.S. citizens without legal process.”

The resolution was headed for a perfunctory vote by acclamation but the ever-vigilant libertarian Amash insisted on a roll call vote, putting the culprits on the record – and mobilizing 45 Republicans and 55 Democrats to vote an emphatic “Nay!”

H.R. 4681 is now the law of the land – and the implications are ominous.

Previous legislation, including the PATRIOT Act, at least attempted to create a halo of “legality” around the Surveillance State by requiring some procedural folderol prior to despoiling the contents of our email in-boxes. That this ritual was to occur in secret, with the “court” 98.9 percent certain to take the government’s side, is beside the point – the point being that all pretenses have been dropped. The idea that the government must answer in court to the charge that it is overstepping its constitutional authority has been overthrown – and with it our old republic. Citizens have become subjects – and all with the stroke of a pen.

That the penumbra of “law” was always a smokescreen for the rapacity inherent in all governments is something us libertarians could have told you – indeed, have been telling you – and yet one can hardly fault the skepticism of both liberals and conservatives. After all, don’t we have a Bill of Rights? Isn’t this still America?

The answer to both questions is no. The irrefutable evidence for this is contained in section 309 of H.R. 4681. As Amash points out:

“To be clear, Sec. 309 provides the first statutory authority for the acquisition, retention, and dissemination of US persons’ private communications obtained without legal process such as a court order or a subpoena. The administration currently may conduct such surveillance under a claim of executive authority, such as E.O. 12333. However, Congress never has approved of using executive authority in that way to capture and use Americans’ private telephone records, electronic communications, or cloud data.”

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