There is news out there so important that I feel the need to reiterate what J. Clifford wrote about it yesterday:
Step 1: Racial Profiling, Religious Discrimination, Pre-Crime. Working from extensive data-mining operations that collect information on all Americans’ identity and activities, run statistical analyses to predict which Americans are most likely to become terrorists, based on independent variables such as ethnicity and religion.
Step 2: Wiretap those people who fit the profiling, discriminatory, pre-crime determination. Under current law regarding FISA, amended by the Patriot Act, Americans can be spied on by their government without a probable cause warrant from a judge so long as the government says “a significant purpose” of domestic spying is to collect intelligence on “agents of a foreign power.” Under the new FISA Amendments Act, the judge’s oversight on this determination is removed with the implementation of 67-day-long no-warrant no-judge surveillance of anyone at all whenever a presidential administration says there’s an emergency reason to do so.
A presidential administration can keep the information obtained even if after 67 days a FISA judge says the surveillance was out of line.
Did I say two-step dance? What about a Homeland Security waltz? What do you think a presidential administration would direct the FBI to do with such information?
Step Three: Additions to an extensive data-mining operation that collects information on Americans’ identity and activities, using the results to further interfere in American citizens’ lives and restrict their constitutional liberty.
This is not the liberty my Constitution tells me about.