You don’t have to be a terror suspect to be on Obama’s new watch list.
For journalists and lawyers to do their jobs effectively, they need to be able to keep information private from the government.
The federal government no longer recognizes this type of privileged communication. As we have seen with scandals like Benghazi and the IRS, it has been virtually impossible to build a case against the Obama administration, partly due to fear. Journalists and lawyers can’t talk to sources without compromising them. There is no privacy left in the Untied States.
Dan Froomkin wrote about this at The Intercept.
Virtually inescapable government surveillance exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has impaired if not eliminated the ability of news-gatherers and attorneys to communicate confidentially with their sources and their clients, according to a new report by two rights advocacy groups.
The report by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union is based on an exhaustive new survey of journalists and lawyers working in the areas of national security and intelligence. Both groups of professionals describe a substantial erosion in their ability to do their constitutionally-protected jobs.
Not even the strongest versions of NSA reform being considered in Congress come anywhere close to addressing the chilling effects on basic freedoms that the new survey describes.
So how does this apply to grassroots activists, citizen journalist or anyone who speaks out against the federal government?
This new report relays the facts, in writing that virtually anyone can be placed on the “new” watch list.
The report details how Obama has expanded the terrorist watch list system, “authorizing a secret process that requires neither ‘concrete facts’ nor ‘irrefutable evidence’ to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist,” according to a key government document obtained by the Intercept.
Instead of actual evidence, all the government need is the nebulous “reasonable suspicion,” which is considered one the lowest standards of proof in the American legal system. It’s less than “probable cause,” which is required to make an arrest.
For a detailed account of the expanded Obama watchlist, see The Secret Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist at The Intercept.
The link to the bill that Obama signed into law is below. Read it for yourself. This is not a political issue, it is an American issue.
I have backed up the bill in the event it is removed from the internet. Contact me through RebootingLiberty.com if the link goes down.
H/T Michael Dozier