Were you surprised by the Verizon and PRISM surveillance scandals? The answer should be "no," at least if you've been watching closely. As Senator Ron Wyden's archive of obstruction and secret law indicates, it has been clear for years that Barack Obama has been setting up a surveillance state. But precisely what kind of surveillance state we were living under wasn't clear until June 2013. Perversely, Senator Wyden was forbidden by law to talk about these new secret laws because they were official state secrets. No member of the public was allowed to know what the new legal authorities were. It took the sacrificial efforts of whistleblower Edward Snowden to reveal that the new secret legal authorities involved the United States government collecting the data on every phone call, private e-mail message, text message, website visit and Facebook like engaged in by every law-abiding American, without our knowledge or our permission, in a manner expressly prohibited by the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Barack Obama promised to reform the FISA Amendments Act as a presidential candidate. As President, he dropped his reforms and embraced it. The provisions of the FISA Amendments Act give the Attorney General of the United States, a political appointee of the President, unstoppable spy powers to conduct physical searches of Americans' homes and spy on us as we talk on the phone or use the Internet. It can all be done without any evidence that the people being spied on are even suspected of a crime. All this can be done without question, without reasons, without a warrant. We knew this in 2009, and in 2013 the truth was shared with the world.
Barack Obama promised as a candidate in 2008 to undo the "business records" surveillance provision of the Patriot Act. As President Barack Obama fought any attempt at Patriot Act reform. President Obama broke his promises and broke faith with the American constitution in regards to this second law, too.
Take all this into account and Barack Obama's presidential motto should be changed from YES WE CAN to YES WE CAN SPY ON YOU, or perhaps YES WE SCAN. Big Brother is watching. Let your fellow citizens know with one of these anti-surveillance buttons, magnets, bumper stickers or (sweatshop-free) t-shirts.
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