Remember, remember the eleventh of September. That is the message being delivered by Bush era thugs in an open letter to RNC Chairman Reince Preibus over Friday’s daring “Resolution To Renounce The National Security Agency’s Surveillance Program”. The letter invokes nearly every bullshit talking point that Americans were fed after the September 11, 2001 attacks that were then seized upon by corrupt politicians and bureaucrats (including the signatories) and used to launch two ruinous Middle East wars and redistribute billions of dollars of taxpayer money into the national security state spoils system. The attacks also allowed for the massive expansion of big government creating the decidedly anti-American Department of Homeland Security, paramilitary police forces and legions of private contractors of enormously more expense had their functions been performed by civil servants. If you want to see exactly why this once great country is on the verge of collapse and goose-stepping towards insolvency you only need to read the open letter to the RNC.
The letter, obtained and published by the website The Daily Beast is stunning in its callous disregard for constitutional principles as well as a blanket denial that the NSA programs are illegal, as it as open letter and fairly brief here it is:
Dear Chairman Priebus:
As Republicans who are familiar with the threat that terrorism still poses to this country, we are compelled to dissent from the ill-considered resolution adopted by the Republican National Committee on January 24 by voice vote.
The Republican National Committee plays a vital role in political campaigns, but it has relatively little expertise in national security. Unfortunately, that lack of expertise is on full display in the resolution. The RNC condemns “the secret surveillance program called PRISM,” and claims that it “monitors [the] searching habits of virtually every American on the internet.” In fact, there is no program that monitors the searches of all Americans. And what has become known as the PRISM program is not aimed at collecting the communications of Americans. It is targeted at the international communications of foreign persons located outside the United States and is precisely the type of foreign-targeted surveillance that Congress approved in 2008 and 2012 when it enacted and reauthorized amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The errors in the resolution do not end there. The resolution falsely implies that NSA collects and has easy access to telephone metadata, when in fact every search of the data requires a reasonable and articulable suspicion and is strictly limited by the courts, with oversight by the intelligence committees of both houses of Congress.
The resolution says that the program violates the Constitution, something that will come as news to the many judges who have found to the contrary – and to the Supreme Court, which has said that such limited billing data is not protected by a constitutional expectation of privacy. The resolution’s claim that the program violates section 215 also runs counter to the rulings of practically every court to address the issue.
As far as we can tell, none of these facts was presented to the RNC before it adopted the resolution. It is a shame that the resolution reached the Committee without correction of its many errors.
Worse, the RNC resolution threatens to do great damage to the security of the nation. It would be foolhardy to end the program without ensuring that we remain safe from attack. This database provides a uniquely valuable capability for discovering new phone numbers associated with international terrorist organizations, including numbers that may be used by terrorist cells within the United States. Former Deputy Director of the CIA Michael Morrell has testified that having this capability might have prevented 9/11 and could help to prevent the next 9/11.
This is not a Democratic or a Republican program. Protecting Americans from terrorism should not be a partisan issue. The program was first launched under President George W. Bush. It was approved by Congressional leaders of both parties. And for good reason. It helps to keep Americans safe.
It may be appropriate to modify the program in certain respects, if that can be done without a significant loss in effectiveness, but abolishing it without any idea how to close the intelligence gap that 9/11 exposed is not a recipe for partisan advantage. It is a recipe for partisan oblivion.
Count us out.
The seven signatories are led by the three-headed monster of Michael Chertoff, Michael Hayden and Michael Mukasey. That latter is Bush’s former Attorney General who was an apologist for the grotesque torture programs of that administration and the other two have in their post government careers on the other side of that infamous revolving door become profiteers off of the same national security state that they themselves helped to create. With former government contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden having just given an interview to German public television in which he stated that the NSA programs are used for industrial espionage it is no surprise to see rats like Chertoff and Hayden getting restive. Clearly the revelations of NSA criminality that have already been made public only scratch the surface of what is to come and both of these men given their ability to reap the financial profits from the years when their salaries came courtesy of the American taxpayer stand to be outed as the corrupt swine that they truly are. Don’t forget that it was the lobbying firm inconspicuously named The Chertoff Group that opportunistically seized on the Christmas Day “Underwear Bomber” plot to bilk taxpayers into putting those nifty naked body scanners into the nation’s airports.
The open letter, following the deranged Peter King’s opening salvo will provide a platform for the other defenders of the rampant criminality of the NSA and the fascist state propaganda machine will be churning out jeremiads and screeds from their shills like link sausage made with tainted skunk meat. It is imperative to the corrupt system that has hijacked constitutional government in The Homeland to beat back the coming threat to their secret state and all of the tools that they use to protect it. The invocation of ‘the day that changed everything’ will be all inclusive but the RNC’s bold (although still suspect) move to begin to punch back at Leviathan is evidence that when it comes to the phony war on terror that the zeitgeist has already changed.
When the dam finally does burst on those other activities, aside from industrial espionage that these illegal and anti-American programs have been used for there will be no stopping the waves of outrage and revulsion and this is what truly terrifies the signatories of the open letter and their ilk.