Earlier this year, the House Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities, one of several Armed Services Committees, discussed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2014.
“The main subject of the hearing was Sec. 1061, otherwise known as Enhancement of Capacity of the United States Government to Analyze Captured Records,” writes Stephen Benavides. “This enhancement provision of NDAA 2014 would effectively create a new intelligence agency, one with the authority to analyze information gained under the Patriot Act, FISA, and known spying programs such as PRISM.”
Sec. 1061 authorizes the establishment of a Conflict Records Research Center by the Secretary of Defense. The Center would create a “digital research database” with the ability to “translate” and facilitate research on “records captured from countries, organizations and individuals, now or once hostile to the United States.” Additionally, the Center will engage in research to “increase the understanding of factors related to international relations, counterterrorism and conventional and unconventional warfare, and ultimately, enhance national security.”
In order to work effectively, the Center will require collaboration with the Director of National Intelligence in the coordination of “information exchanges important to the leadership of the United States Government.”
That coordination would require participation of all 16 member agencies and departments of the U.S. Intelligence Community. This would leave James Clapper, the man accused of lying to Congress about the National Security Agency’s domestic spying program known as PRISM, in de facto direction of another federal surveillance and data analysis agency. And while the Center would be officially directed and overseen by the Secretary of Defense, without unfettered access to secret and top secret information, the Center would be completely ineffective. These information exchanges would most likely include data and records generated by the mass surveillance of everyday people under PRISM, as well as surveillance of those identified as “potential terrorists” or “high value targets” by any one of those 16 intelligence agencies now in operation.
Benavides notes that because the war on terror is now borderless and permanent – due primarily to the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) – any “captured record” may be used by this new agency, including records collected under the sprawling NSA Stasi surveillance state now firmly in place and a prominent feature of the national security state.
“Thus, any captured document, audio file, video file, or other material could potentially be submitted to this new intelligence agency for research and analysis, all in the name of national security and counterterrorism, as deemed appropriate by a swelling government surveillance class,” Benavides explains.
In other words, the proposed NDAA “enhancement” would further extend the reach of the surveillance state into the private affairs of the American people, a reach significantly more expansive than previous documented, due largely to the recent revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden.
“While the National Security Agency swears that no citizen was spied on under PRISM, the very fact that cell phone metadata and online activity was gathered from millions of individuals guarantees that information was taken illegally from innocent people,” Benavides concludes. “We’re told that the government is attempting to minimize the amount of information captured from Americans, and that all of that information is being kept in specialized and restricted servers in order to protect our constitutional rights. But that’s difficult to believe when the Department of Justice is currently fighting the release of a secret FISA Court opinion that details unconstitutional government surveillance.”
More accurately, the government – including Congress with Dianne Feinstein, Mike Rogers, Lindsey Graham and Saxby Chambliss leading the pack – is lying to the American people and attempting to dismiss and cover up the NSA surveillance apparatus. Most of our supposed “representatives” are fully on board with the effort to turn the United States into the most effective police state ever imagined.
The goal here is obvious – the government has systematically designed and constructed a surveillance apparatus intended to subvert the Constitution and the Fourth Amendment under the bogus pretext of responding to the attacks of September 11, 2001 and engaging in a boundless and open-ended war on terrorism that does not threaten the United States and, as the evidence reveals, is largely nonexistent, but puts forward the policy objectives of the ruling elite.
The end game is not the eradication of al-Qaeda or the protection of the American people from the hyped-up ravages of terrorism, but the installation of a high-tech surveillance mechanism that will effectively result in a panopticon where political opposition to the establishment and the ruling elite will be virtually impossible.