250 word discussion response (week 1)

Responses should be a minimum of 250 words and include direct questions. You may challenge, support or supplement another student’s answer using the terms, concepts and theories from the required readings. Also, do not be afraid to respectfully disagree where you feel appropriate; as this should be part of your analysis process at this academic level.

Respond to Michael:

In my opinion the United States can balance the need to protect the population, and protect civil liberties, civil rights. That being said the government can but it’s obvious through the recent collusion and obstruction investigation conduct by Robert Mueller that it is not doing any of that. Prior to 1970’s the Intelligence Community (IC) had very little oversight and were in essence free to conduct operations dictated by the executive or ones guided by internal wishes. That all changed with the Church & Pike commission, it found that the IC had conducted several intelligence actions against its own population and wanted to curtail or control that (Hayden, 2003, p. 252). With that the Congress created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 1978 as well as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). Both house of congress implemented oversight committees to make sure that congress is informed of the Federal IC, as well as going to the headquarters and field sites (Hayden, 2003, p. 252). The executive also created the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIP&R) which was superseded by National Security Division’s (NSD) Office of Intelligence which conducted oversight of the IC. The Operations Section handles NSD’s intelligence operations workload, including representing the government before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). The Operations Section is responsible for preparing and filing all applications for Court orders pursuant to FISA (“Office of Intelligence,” 2014).

The groundwork has been laid out for proper oversight and laws have been put in place to prevent the levers of power in this case the IC to respect the liberties and rights of the United States population. Until recently I thought that was really the case, but it is clear that all the oversight, rules, and regulations has not stopped IC and persons of the Department of Justice (DOJ/FBI), or the Executive Branch namely the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) from breaking any rules they feel needed to break and destroying U.S. citizens lives in the process. The DNI then James Clapper outright lied to a senate oversight committee when they questioned him about the issue of surveillance of U.S. citizens. According to Johnathon Turley “He was asked directly, “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions of Americans?” There was no ambiguity or confusion and Clapper responded, “No, sir. … Not wittingly.” That was a lie and Clapper knew it when he said it “(Turley, 2018). Was there any punishment no Clapper is a made guy in Washington, so some feigned outrage and soon it was forgotten and he was hired on as Intelligence commentator at CNN. CIA Director John O. Brennan also lied to congress about hacking committee computers to thwart the committees look into integration methods. Brennan said “As far as the allegations of, you know, CIA hacking into, you know, Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth. I mean, we wouldn’t do that. I mean, that’s — that’s just beyond the — you know, the scope of reason in terms of what we would do. {…} and, you know, when the facts come out on this, I think a lot of people who are claiming that there has been this tremendous sort of spying and monitoring and hacking will be proved wrong”. Well when the facts came out it turned out he lied and tried to cover for the obvious illegal activities (Downie, 2014). Where am I going with this, I provided two incidents of people in positions of power in the IC and showed all the oversight, hearings, visits will not help protect our rights, and liberty unless the Committees make an example of one of these leaders to send a message. You can look at the recent FISA/FISC action in the investigation of Trump where it seems someone in the DOJ had submitted FISA requests based on phony dossiers, and maybe even the head of the executive may have authorized investigation on a political enemy. If you think it can’t happen to you your wrong, if they can do it a political nominee for president and a billionaire with resources they could absolutely crush you if you cross a line that the powers that be have established.

Hayden, M. V. (2003). Balancing Security and Liberty: The Challenge of Sharing Foreign Signals Intelligence. Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy, 19(1).

Downie, J. (2014, July 31). Obama should fire John Brennan. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan…

Office of Intelligence. (2014, July 23). Retrieved from https://www.justice.gov/nsd/office-intelligence

Turley, J. (2018, January 19). James Clapper’s perjury, and why DC made men don’t get charged for lying to Congress. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/01/19/…

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