FBI head honcho James Comey behaves just as one might expect a 2013 President Barack Obama-appointed FBI director to behave.
He conducts himself with a confidence that seems unflappable, displays arrogance and, just like the president who appointed him, sometimes throws taunting in for good measure.
“FBI Director James Comey has warned that absolute privacy does not exist in the US, noting that a judge can compel anyone to testify about their communications – and even their memories. (CNN, March 9, 2017)
“Even our communications with our spouses, with our clergy members, with our attorneys are not absolutely private in America,” Comey said. “In appropriate circumstances, a judge can compel anyone of us to testify in court about those very private communications.
“He went on to state that although Americans have a “reasonable expectation” of privacy in their homes, cars, and on their devices, the government can still “invade our private spaces.”
“Even our memories aren’t private. Any of us can be compelled to say what we saw…,” Comey said.”
Comey said all this as if the loss of the privacy of American citizens is a loss that cannot be retrieved.
“Despite downplaying the existence of “absolute privacy” in America, Comey went on to assure those at the conference that the government cannot invade a person’s privacy without “good reason,” adding that it is a “vital part of being American.”
Comey said little on Wednesday at a Boston College conference about how the FBI deals with cybersecurity threats, but plenty about his plans to serve his entire 10-year term as FBI director
‘You’re stuck with me for another 6 1/2 years” he told conference attendees from both law enforcement and private sectors.
Comey apparently assumes that he’s too big to be fired by President Donald Trump or perhaps assumes Trump won’t be in the Oval office for the time the nation will be “stuck with” him.
Nor did he address why he has rehired disgraced former MI3 agent Christopher Steele, who authored the dirty dossier that had Trump ordering prostitutes to commit degrading sex acts in Moscow, or refer to the emails sent out from Hillary Clinton’s unsecured server, still out there somewhere in Cyberspace.
Comey, who passed off “all of us” having a reasonable expectation of privacy only in our homes, in our cars, and in our devices as a now iron clad state, was mum on what Judge Andrew Napolitano describes as the creation of a Congress monster that “is now coming for us.”
Napolitano described the Congress monster “now coming for us” in clarity:
“This Orwellian and absurd expansion was developed by spies and approved by judges on the FISA court. The NSA argued that it would be more efficient to spy on everyone in the United States than to isolate bad people, and the court bought that argument.
“Hence, FISA warrants do not name particular people or places as their targets as the Constitution requires. Rather, they merely continue in place the previous warrants, which encompass everyone in the country. FISA warrants are general warrants, allowing intelligence agents to listen to whomever they wish and retain whatever they hear. General warrants are expressly prohibited by the Fourth Amendment, which requires that all warrants for all purposes be based on probable cause of crime and particularly describe the person or thing to be seized—e.g., a conversation—or the place to be searched.
“Even though the NSA already has the legal, though unconstitutional, authority to capture any phone conversation or computer keystroke it wishes, its 60,000 agents lack the resources to listen to all conversations or read all electronic communications in real time. But it does capture the digital versions of all computer keystrokes made in or to the U.S. and all conversations had within the U.S. or involving someone in the U.S.; it has been doing so since 2005. And it can download any conversation or text or email at will.
“That’s why the recent argument that Obama ordered the NSA to obtain a FISA warrant for Trump’s telephone calls and a judge issued a warrant for them is nonsense. The NSA already has a digital version of every call Trump has made or received since 2005. Because the NSA—which now works for Trump—is a part of the Defense Department, it is subject to the orders of the president in his capacity as commander in chief. So if the commander in chief wants something that a military custodian already has or can create—such as a transcript of an opponent’s conversations with political strategists during a presidential campaign—why would he bother getting a warrant? He wouldn’t.
“All of this leads to information overload—so much material that the communications of evil people are safely hidden in with the mountain of data from the rest of us. The NSA captures the digital equivalent—if printed—of 27 times the contents of the Library of Congress every year.
“All of this also leads to the monstrous power of the NSA to manipulate, torment and control the president by selectively concealing and selectively revealing data to him. The Constitution does not entrust such power to anyone in government. But Congress has given it.
“All of this also substantially impairs a fundamental personal liberty, the right to be left alone—a right for which we seceded from Great Britain, a right guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment and a right for which we fought wars against tyrants who we feared would take it from us.
Yet after we won those wars, we permitted our elected representatives to crush that right. Those faithless representatives have created a monster that has now turned on us.”
Comey claimed in yesterday’s Boston address that he himself is a fan of privacy, especially with his Instagram account, which he said has nine followers and is limited to members of his family, and maybe a serious boyfriend of one of his daughters. “I don’t want anyone looking at my pictures,” he said.” (Politico, March 8, 2017)
It’s not anyone looking at his pictures that We the People care about, but that there’s no privacy for theirs.
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Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience in the print media. A former Toronto Sun columnist, she also worked for the Kingston Whig Standard. Her work has appeared on Rush Limbaugh, Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, and Glenn Beck.
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