This is an open message to all NSA employees.
For those of you engaged in domestic surveillance, you need to understand that the surveillance state you're creating is defrauding the American people of our birthright -- namely the rights and liberties guaranteed to the People by the U.S. Constitution.
And, so doing, you are paving the way for an American police state, a "turnkey tyranny" in Edward Snowden's apt phrase, which becomes increasingly inevitable with each new, emboldened stride of the federal government away from the rule of law.
You will disagree with this -- as does any bureaucratic enabler of government wrongdoing as a matter of self-justification through a process of self-deception. For example, your website touts the NSA's "Dedication to the Nation":
"NSA/CSS employees are Americans first, last, and always. We treasure the U.S. Constitution and the rights it secures for all the people. Each employee takes a solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic."
Lovely sentiments indeed. What is quite obvious to most of the rest of us, however, is that this entire statement is as much a calculated falsehood as when Director of National Intelligence James Clapper looked our representatives in Congress in the eye and lied under oath about the very existence of domestic spying. Lying to Congress is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, but of course James Clapper will never serve a day behind bars, because, as we've seen over and over, our government crushes truthtellers and coddles the powerful, regardless of their crimes.
Now I ask you: Do you think we will be inclined to believe what your felonious leader or anyone else in the NSA tells us?
You say you "treasure the U.S. Constitution" -- another palpable falsehood, given that you turn the 4th Amendment upside down every day as part of your job.
Unlike our multi-thousand page laws today, the 4th Amendment is one short paragraph, easy enough to understand.
You have stolen the "right of the people to be secure" and turned it into a "right of the government to spy on the people."
"We've got congressional oversight and judicial oversight," claimed President Obama. Trust us!
But here again, the truth is a different story. The Wall Street Journal reported in June that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the critical oversight body, has declined only 11 of over 33,900 surveillance requests by the government in 33 years. That's .03 percent.
"The FISA system is broken. At the point that a FISA judge can compel the disclosure of millions of phone records of US citizens engaged in only domestic communications, unrelated to the collection of foreign intelligence...there is no longer meaningful judicial review."
Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center
The FISA Court itself agrees with this assessment.
"The FISC is forced to rely upon the accuracy of the information that is provided to the Court. The FISC does not have the capacity to investigate issues of noncompliance, and in that respect the FISC is in the same position as any other court when it comes to enforcing compliance with its orders."
FISC Chief, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton
And yet YOU need oversight in a HUGE way. A leaked May 2012 NSA audit obtained by the Washington Post identified 2,776 "incidents" over the previous 12 months of unauthorized collection, storage, access to, or distribution of legally protected communications. Apparently you violate the law, by your own admission, over 200 times a month.
"There is no legitimate explanation" for what you do, says Jim Sensenbrenner, author of the Patriot Act -- the law which has been falsely used as the authority behind your illegal acts.
The Bill of Rights was adopted "to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its [the government's] powers." Which describes precisely what you are doing. The 4th Amendment is not optional. It is the people's right, not the government's. We want it back -- just the way it was written by the Founding Fathers.
If the 4th Amendment itself is not clear enough to you, take a look at the 9th and 10th:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Reserved "to the PEOPLE" not "to the GOVERNMENT."
You've shredded the Constitution. You've stolen our rights. You've lost our trust.
NOW GIVE US OUR FUCKING RIGHTS BACK.
"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."