A New Look at Legal Eavesdropping in the United States

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Political analysts maintain that a Zionist-inspired approach to human values and legalization of eavesdropping in the United States which allows the government to penetrate deep into the personal lives of the American people, especially Muslims, will increase the number of terrorism foci in the world.

The concept of human rights mostly accompanies two other concepts of “basic rights” and “citizenship rights” and the three concepts are sometimes used interchangeably though there are subtle differences in meaning among them.

In general, citizenship rights is that part of basic rights which takes shape through constitution of every country as being “national” and only applies to nationals of a single country.

Many observers maintain that enforced laws of every country have a direct impact on the concepts of citizenship and citizenship rights.

Some of them divide citizenship rights into social, political, and civil ones, but it seems that such rights can be considered as personal and social responsibilities of citizens as well as government’s responsibilities toward them.

The citizenship and freedom rights of the American people have been enumerated in the United States Bill of Rights which was added to that country’s constitution in 1791. The most important citizenship rights of the American nationals are summarized in 10 amendments to US constitution as follows:
-    1st Amendment: Freedom of religion, speech, press, petition, and assembly;
-    2nd Amendment: The right to keep and bear arms;
-    3rd Amendment: No quartering of soldiers in private houses during peace time;
-    4th Amendment: The right of security of life, housing, and property against searches and seizures; warrants;
-    5th to 8th amendments: Due process and right to trial by jury in civil cases;
-    9th Amendment: Specifying that "the enumeration...of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people;
-    10th Amendment: Unenumerated rights (i.e., rights not listed) are reserved to the states or to the people.

However, George Bush, who has never cared for these basic rights allowed National Intelligence Agency of the United States after 9/11 terror attacks to monitor communications as well as emails of the American people without needing court warrant on the pretext of fighting terrorism. It was announced by Federal Commerce Commission of the United States that 8.3 million Americans had fallen victim to the monitoring process in 2005 alone and even secret information of such people as former secretary of state, Colin Powell, had been accessed.

The New York Times recently reported that the eavesdropping plan which has been initiated since 2004 and has turned into one of the main challenges facing Bush Administration in recent months was not limited to monitoring people’s communications and emails, but it allowed American intelligence agents to have free access to computerized information on all American citizens.

Robert Muller, FBI director, also confessed in front of a Senate hearing committee that his organization has used national security letters in 2006 to access personal information of Americans until internal reforms were made in 2007.

He added that breach of people’s privacy which occurred in the course of fighting terrorism, which had taken place between 2003 and 2005, has also continued into 2006.

Muller added that the measure has been taken through banks, telecommunication companies and other private businesses which had provided FBI with more personal information than was actually needed.

The US Senate legalized eavesdropping on the American nationals on Wednesday, July 9, by endorsing a recent ratification of House of Representatives and this was considered by some observers as the death of citizenship rights in the United States.

The plan, which has been approved through 69 ayes and 29 nays, considers judicial immunity for those telecommunication and electronic companies which take part in eavesdropping by the American government.

The plan was the most severe case permitting spying on the American people to have been approved during the past 30 years.

Accordingly, the US House of Representatives passed the plan as a law on June 21 through 239 ayes and 129 nays.

Senator Arlen Specter noted in this regard that if future historians looked back at Bush Administration, they would introduce it as the most repressing government in the whole history of the United States.

Senator Patrick Leahy from Pennsylvania noted that Bush Administration was exploiting the country’s resources to spy on the American people, promote torture, and breach environmental regulations.

Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey announced that while they cared for citizenship rights, the government wanted to make sure that it has all tools needed for fighting terrorism available.

He added that clear laws will be passed to allow FBI agents investigate people.

A major controversy surrounding eavesdropping law is the possibility for more racial, ethnic, and religious discrimination arising from the law.

According to this plan, Asian races, especially Arabs, will be under constant surveillance and using Arabic words is a cause of being monitored.

It is against the Bill of Rights to have an American citizen’s communications monitored on grounds that they have used Arabic words.

This will not lead to control of terrorism, but will cause humiliation and discrimination and further spread terrorism because it is the result of widespread discrimination in the world and lack of access by all groups to power sources.

Another setback of the plan is creation of information rents for US intelligence and security forces.

Although they say that the information will not be abused, widespread monitoring and eavesdropping surely leads to abuse of related information.

Approving such laws is a severe blow to liberal democracy in the United States, the country which has always tried to introduce itself as a utopia of civil freedoms.

It can also damage the credit of John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, and help Obama get people’s votes.

The Bush Administration has been the most security-charged government in the history of the United States, both inside and outside the country, and has taken a radical approach which has fanned the flames of ethnic, religious, and racial differences and has especially targeted Muslims and non-whites after 9/11 attacks.

Now, the American people clearly understand the meaning of checkpoints in the occupied lands because the security-based approach taken to Palestinians by Israeli regime has spread to the United States.

Thus far, millions of Americans have fallen victim to eavesdropping law and their personal freedoms have been restricted on grounds that they have used Arabic words or have been friendly to a Muslim.

Approval of this law by the US Senate is against the 4th and 9th amendments of US constitution on citizenship rights.

In other countries, people are only prosecuted when they commit a crime, but in the United States, the Bush Administration is considering all people as potential criminals and is tightly probing into their personal lives.


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