In one of their recent articles, NY Times tried to put a positive note on some pretty scandalous things.
But, even with their fancy words and writing it was hard to conceal the fact that during Donald Trump’s presidential run, FBI conducted a secret investigation on his campaign and its members in an attempt to extract information that could damage his chance for a term at the White House.
The situation can’t be more severe than that. Using counterintelligence powers of presidential administration to spy on your opponent and members of his staff who are members of the opposing party is grave as it can get. The same branch of operatives did the following during the Obama reign in the office:
* NSA was obtaining a private date of the US citizens.
* Press members were spied.
* Data of hundred individuals was presented to national security adviser and UN ambassador.
* Dossiers through which FISA warrants that were obtained were unreliable.
As all of the above wasn’t enough, FBI had a presidential candidate at the time, Donald Trump, under surveillance in action called “Crossfire Hurricane.” The irony in all of this is that Trump tweeted in 2017 that he’s under surveillance, but no one believed him. After the news broke out that this is indeed true, media tried to put the ball down. NY Times wrote that FBI was looking for Russian counterintelligence involved in Trump’s campaign, while Washington Post claimed that FBI was protecting Trump instead of monitoring him.
The former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, while guesting at CNN, tried to say that spying is a ‘good thing.’
With all of the fuss in this situation and high media involvement, many forgot about the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. If you are one of those that don’t remember what Fourth is, it says: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
The Fourth Amendment stands there to protect the citizens from its government. It’s the right to the privacy of our persons, houses, papers, etc. The government is not allowed to interfere with any of this unless a judge issues a warrant. The judge will only issue a warrant if there is probable cause that the invasion of privacy or surveillance will prove criminal behavior.
The warrant that was issued for surveillance of Donald Trump is based on an unreliable dossier bought by Hilary Clinton campaign. Even the FBI failed to disclose the critical information on which it’s based. The NY Times claims that FBI “obtained phone records and other documents using national security letters — a secret type of subpoena . . . ” But, national newspapers shouldn’t be the one advocating a government institution.
Yes, some government agencies are allowed to use security letters but only in matters that are connected with national security investigations. But even in this type of situation, they do not have a permit to do this while breaking the Fourth Amendment in the process. Spying on a presidential candidate by a government agency without a court, probable cause or any judicial oversight whatsoever is not something that should be done.
Many times through history it was proven that it’s dangerous to give government agencies the ability to subvert the constitution. Even if national security is at risk, Fourth Amendment should, and needs to be altogether respected.