Big banks get away with massive fraud, laundering money for drug cartels and terrorist organizations, while average citizens are guilty of financial crimes until proven innocent. The land of the free no longer.
Yesterday the White House released plans that would give all U.S. spy agencies access to the financial records of all American citizens in order to better “track down terrorist threats”, which administration legal experts say is “permissible under U.S. law”.
What happened to “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated”? That’s the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights in case Obama’s legal team needed a reminder of actual U.S. law.
The Obama administration is drawing up plans to give all U.S. spy agencies full access to a massive database that contains financial data on American citizens and others who bank in the country, according to a Treasury Department document seen by Reuters.
The proposed plan represents a major step by U.S. intelligence agencies to spot and track down terrorist networks and crime syndicates by bringing together financial databanks, criminal records and military intelligence. The plan, which legal experts say is permissible under U.S. law, is nonetheless likely to trigger intense criticism from privacy advocates.
Financial institutions that operate in the United States are required by law to file reports of “suspicious customer activity,” such as large money transfers or unusually structured bank accounts, to Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
“For these reports to be of value in detecting money laundering, they must be accessible to law enforcement, counter-terrorism agencies, financial regulators, and the intelligence community,” said the Treasury document given to Reuters.
So this new plan is to essentially make the FBI share the data they have with everyone else. There’s been no change in regards to the U.S. government being able to track, trace, and database all of your financial movements because they can already “legally” do that. That’s why Obama’s lawyers say it’s permissible under U.S. law.
What laws are the legal experts referring to? ”Reporting requirements are dictated by a combination of the Bank Secrecy Act and the USA PATRIOT Act,” the Treasury told Reuters. So two of the most liberty-killing pieces of legislation ever, one with a sunset clause because of its gross overreaches on civil liberties, are the justification for U.S. law, and not the Constitution?
We can breathe easy though because the Treasury said those laws come with “some privacy safeguards”. Yet privacy is no big deal to civil liberties groups any longer according to law professor Stephen Vladeck who told Reuters:
“One of the real pushes from the civil liberties community has been to move away from collection restrictions on the front end and put more limits on what the government can do once it has the information,” he said.
I’m not exactly sure which civil liberties communities he’s referring to here, but there hasn’t been any “real push” away from the issue of privacy to discuss what the authorities can do once they’ve already raped us. This statement by Vladeck is a clear attempt to move the debate away from the obvious violation of the Constitution to mundane procedural details.In essence, law professors say it’s settled law that you’re guilty until proven innocent in America. Every spy agency in the country can now have access to your credit card invoices, mortgage payments, account numbers, and bank transactions whether you are suspected of committing a crime or not.And if you are suspected of committing a crime, you’ll be punished without due process like a terrorist because that is the justification for trolling for your “suspicious behavior” in the first place. Meanwhile your tax dollars are being used to bail out the real financial criminals who defraud you, the government, and the public everyday.
How does it feel to be a slave?