Monday, July 29, 2013

Las Vegas Demlicans and Republicrats Vote Alike to Violate Our Constitution

Those who sacrifice our freedom for security achieve neither ~ Ben Franklin

Titus, Heck defend NSA surveillance in House vote

WASHINGTON — Southern Nevada lawmakers cited potential terrorist threats to the nation generally and Las Vegas specifically as reasons they voted Wednesday to allow the government to continue collecting phone records from millions of Americans.
Reps. Dina Titus, a Democrat, and Joe Heck, a Republican, found themselves on the same side as the House debated and then defeated an amendment to cut off funding for the National Security Agency’s controversial surveillance program.
The amendment by Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., was defeated, 205-217. Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., voted to curb the NSA program. Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., is in Las Vegas recovering from heart surgery and did not vote.
Titus said afterward that she was mindful that there are individuals and groups “who seek to do us harm, both at home and abroad.
“Las Vegas, one of the most famous cities in the world with over 40 million visitors a year, is consistently noted as a potential location for a terrorist attack.”
The Amash amendment, Titus said, was a “blunt attempt to eliminate a critical intelligence capability.” She said she preferred, as does President Barack Obama, a “careful and thorough examination of such programs.”
Heck, who sits on the Armed Services and Intelligence committees, has access to inside information about U.S. intelligence collection against terrorists, and how it is weighed against the constitutional rights of citizens, his spokesman Greg Lemon noted.
The Amash amendment would have eliminated Section 215 of the Patriot Act, “which we know has thwarted several terrorist plots against the U.S.,” Lemon said in an emailed statement.
“Congressman Heck believes these programs are critical to maintaining our national security,” Lemon said.
Amodei had no immediate comment after the vote.
Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at or 202-783-1760. Follow him on Twitter

Here's what the most popular candidate for President in 2012 said after his party took his delegates and votes away without due electoral process:

A House Divided Over NSA Spying on Americans
by , July 29, 2013
Last week’s House debate on the Defense Appropriations bill for 2014 produced a bit more drama than usual. After hearing that House leadership would do away with the traditional “open rule” allowing for debate on any funding limitation amendment, it was surprising to see that Rep. Justin Amash’s (R-MI) amendment was allowed on the Floor. In the wake of National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations about the extent of US government spying on American citizens, Amash’s amendment sought to remove funding in the bill for some of the NSA programs.
Had Amash’s amendment passed, it would have been a significant symbolic victory over the administration’s massive violations of our Fourth Amendment protections. But we should be careful about believing that even if it had somehow miraculously survived the Senate vote and the President’s veto, it would have resulted in any significant change in how the Intelligence Community would behave toward Americans. The US government has built the largest and most sophisticated spying apparatus in the history of the world.
The NSA has been massively increasing the size of its facilities, both at its Maryland headquarters and in its newly built (and way over-budget) enormous data center in Utah. Taken together, these two facilities will be seven times larger than the Pentagon! And we know now that much of the NSA’s capacity to intercept information has been turned inward, to spy on us.
As NSA expert James Bamford wrote earlier this year about the new Utah facility:

“The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails – parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration – an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.”
But it happened anyway.
Over the last week we have seen two significant prison-breaks, one in Iraq, where some 500 al-Qaeda members broke out of the infamous Abu Ghraib prison, which the US built, and another 1,000 escaped in a huge break in Benghazi, Libya – the city where the US Ambassador was killed by the rebels that the US government helped put in power. Did the US intelligence community, focused on listening to our phone calls, not see this real threat coming?
Rep. Amash’s amendment was an important move to at least bring attention to what the US intelligence community has become: an incredibly powerful conglomeration of secret government agencies that seem to view Americans as the real threat. It is interesting that the votes on Amash’s amendment divided the House not on party lines. Instead, we saw the votes divided between those who follow their oath to the Constitution, versus those who seem to believe that any violation of the Constitution is justified in the name of the elusive “security” of the police state at the expense of liberty. The leadership – not to my surprise — of both parties in the House voted for the police state.
It is encouraging to see the large number of votes crossing party lines in favor of the Amash amendment. Let us hope that this will be a growing trend in the House – perhaps the promise that Congress may once again begin to take its duties and obligations seriously. We should not forget, however, that in the meantime another Defense Appropriations bill passing really means another “military spending” bill. The Administration is planning for a US invasion of Syria, more military assistance to the military dictatorship in Egypt, and more drones and interventionism. We have much work yet to do.

Read more by Rep. Ron Paul

[...] Durbin hails House vote, sees growing support for oversight of NSA surveillance The Hill (blog) But the effort is likely to spur further challenges to the NSA. Sen. Wyden said in an interview on C-SPAN that the vote had “accelerated” talks about NSA surveillance in the Senate. “You are going to see a very strong and bipartisan effort in the …Lawmakers promise more scrutiny of NSA surveillance Los Angeles Times A House Divided Over NSA Spying on [...]
[...] Read Entire Article [...]

libori's avatar
libori · 9 hours ago
"an incredibly powerful conglomeration of secret government agencies that seem to view Americans as the real threat".
Power over and confiscating the wealth of the American populace has been the real purpose of America's wars at least since the Korean war. There is nothing to be gained by fighting poor people in third world hellholes. The real loot is the incredible amounts of wealth the taxpayer has to cough up to keep the military/terror industrial complex going.
Having intimate knowledge of every little detail of every citizen's life will cement this power and turn every American into the slave of those, who control access to this knowledge.

Orville H. Larson's avatar
Orville H. Larson · 4 hours ago
If all members of the Parliament of Whores--er, Congress--were like Ron Paul, we'd have no reason to fear.

Always good to hear from Dr. Paul.

Yes, the fix was in yet again. 

We were endorsed by Dr Paul in a previous campaign where we withdrew at Party request to watch their candidate lose. 

If you're tired of politics as usual, with government force and stealth taking more and more away from American citizens without due process or Constitutional court warrants, then fund US now to retire an incumbent not representing the will of the majority, so we can restore America's freedom, peace and prosperity. 

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