soldier with rifle american civil warState Of The Union


An Example of Classic Government Tyranny:


The Brandon Mayfield Case


Brandon Mayfield was born in Coos Bay, Oregon, in 1966. He grew up in Kansas and served as an officer in the U.S. Army in Germany from 1992 to 1994. In 1986, he married an Egyptian national and lived in Olympia, Washington. He became a Muslim. The Mayfields have four children.

In 1999, Mayfield became a lawyer and established a family law practice in Portland, OR. In the course of his practice, he represented low-income clients at reduced rate through a program offered by the Oregon State Bar. One of Mayfield's clients became Jeffery L. Battle in a child custody case. In 2002, Battle was arrested and charged with the offense of trying to travel to Afghanistan to join the Taliban. Represented by attorney Kristin Winemiller, Battle pled guilty to attempting to use force against the United States Armed Forces in Afghanistan. He was sentenced to eighteen years in prison and fined $250,000.

In March 11, 2004, terrorists exploded bombs on a commuter train in Madrid, Spain, killing 191 persons. The Spanish police recovered fingerprints from a plastic bag containing explosive detonators that failed to ignite a dynamite pack. Two days later the Spanish police submitted digital photographs of the latent prints lifted from the bag to Interpol, which transmitted the images to the FBI in Quantico, VA.

The FBI's Idea of a "Match"

 

It is FBI policy that when there is less than 12 points of similarity between a latent print and a known print, a senior manager must review the alleged match. To conform to this policy the following happened:

First, an FBI technician initiated an "Automated Fingerprint Identification System" in an attempt to match the latent prints with known prints in the FBI computer system. The employee was unable to locate a match.

Second, the FBI technician asked the computer to return twenty candidates whose known prints had features in common with one of the latent prints, "Print #17." The computer produced what the technician asked for: twenty candidates whose prints were similar to Print #17. The computer delivered the list placing the candidates in the order of rank, most similar to least similar.  Mayfield's prints were included in the computer list as Candidate #4.

Third, on March 17, 2004, a "supervisory Fingerprint Specialist" for the FBI, Agent Green, concluded that Mayfield's left index fingerprint matched Print #17. Green then submitted the print to Massey, a former FBI employee, then retired, who the FBI used as an "independent fingerprint examiner," to verify his conclusion.  Massey verified it. Green then submitted the conclusion to a senior FBI manager, Wieners, for verification and Wieners did so. What did Wieners do? Despite Mayfield's left index print containing less than twelve points of similarity with Print #17, the FBI deemed the two prints "a match.".

Immediately upon Weiners signing off on Green's conclusion that the two prints were a "match," the FBI immediately launched into an investigation of Mayfield, using all the privileges provided it by the FISA Act of 1978 as amended by the Patriot Act and the Protect America Act. The FBI began a 24-hour surveillance of Mayfield, his wife, his children, and his associates and friends. It snuck into his house and office and rummaged through his papers and effects, and secreted in Orwellian style electronic listening devices in his bedroom and elsewhere in the house and in his office. It obtained by secret means Mayfield's bank and phone records. It electronically ease dropped on the family's phones, and Mayfield's law office business phone lines.

What did the FBI's "investigation" reveal about Mayfield, the Portland family law attorney married to an Egyptian with four children? He was a family law attorney practicing in Portland married to an Egyptian with four children, who had not been outside the United States since returning from Germany, in 1994. And he was a Muslim and had represented convicted criminal Battle in a child custody dispute!

Two weeks into its investigation, the FBI sent Mayfield's fingerprints to the Spanish police. The Spanish police compared Mayfield's prints to the latent prints taken from the bag and told the FBI that, as far as it was concerned, "there were dissimilarities in the comparison of the two prints for which there was no reasonable explanation;" and, anyway, they suspected that certain Moroccan immigrants were responsible and had taken them into custody. A week later, the FBI sent several agents to Madrid to sell the Spanish police on their view of the latent print matching Mayfield's. The Spanish police listened to the FBI's story and at the end of it, told the FBI agents they would review the prints again with the story in mind, but refused to "validate" the FBI's "match."

Despite the position of the Spanish police that Mayfield's print did not match the latent print, the FBI concocted false and misleading affidavits which it submitted to the FISA Court—a secret court that follows the Congress's idea of what constitutes grounds for searches and seizures—in order to secure approval of its Orwellian searches and seizures of Mayfield's papers and effects and ultimately to justify arresting Mayfield as a "material witness;" throwing him into a solitary confinement cell in prison where he remained for three weeks. He was released on May 20, 2004, when the Spanish police informed the FBI that it had matched the latent print #17 with an Algerian named Ouhane Daoud.

The Fourth Amendment Erased

In the course of American history, the Fourth Amendment has been abandoned now many times. Beginning with Abraham Lincoln's disregard of the Bill of Rights as a matter of "necessity" in time of real war, carried forward by President Roosevelt when he ordered a hundred thousand American citizens to be taken from their homes, herded into freight cars and thrown into concentration camps, to Richard Nixon's setting the Government's spy apparatus on the anti-war protesters and document-leakers in the Sixties; and now we have reached the golden day when the Congress of the United States walks in lock-step with the Commander-in-Chief, using the phony "War on Terror" to trump the Fourth Amendment's standard for surreptitiously searching  the Mayfield's family home, bugging its rooms, and ease dropping on the family's phones.

The beginning of the Government's latest end run round the Fourth Amendment can be traced to United States v. Smith, 321 F.Supp. 424 (1971), a case in which the government had conducted electronic surveillance of the defendant which eventually resulted in his conviction for the unlawful possession of a firearm. While Smith was appealing the conviction, the government disclosed to the Court of Appeals that for "national security" purposes, it had secretly monitored Smith's conversations with his family, friends, and associates. The government attempted to justify its conduct by pointing to the Crime Control Act Congress had enacted in 1968 which reads:

"Nothing contained in this law shall limit the constitutional power of the President to take measures he deems necessary to protect the nation against potential hostile acts of a foreign power (no kidding), or to obtain foreign intelligence information deemed necessary to protect the United States against the overthrow of the government by force or other unlawful means."

 

The quoted language appears to provide an exception to the Congressional law that makes electronic surveillance a crime, but regardless of the law the courts had long held that the Constitution, itself, bestows upon the President the power to conduct surveillance of agents of foreign powers residing in the United States, when he deems it necessary to protect the United States from hostile acts of a foreign power. However, in doing so, the President is still subject to the constitutional limitation on that power imposed upon him by the Fourth Amendment.

The Supreme Court has long held that the Fourth Amendment condemns all searches and seizures which are unreasonable, holding that an unreasonable search is a search which the general public would consider unreasonable if conducted without first obtaining a warrant issued by a detached and neutral magistrate as specified in the Fourth Amendment.

"The Government's rationale offered in support of justification is not supported by a reasoned view of the background and purpose of the Fourth Amendment.

 

We are not dealing with formalities. The presence of a search warrant serves a high function. Absent some grave emergency the Fourth Amendment has interposed a magistrate between the citizen and the police. This was done so that an objective mind might weigh the need to invade the citizen's privacy in order to enforce the law. The right of privacy was deemed too precious to entrust to those whose job it is to detect crime. So the Constitution requires a magistrate to pass on the desires of the police before they violate the privacy of the home.

 

Only last term, in Terry v. Ohio, we emphasized that the police must, whenever practical, obtain advance judicial approval of searches and seizures through the warrant process, and that the scope of the search must be strictly tied to and justified by the circumstances which rendered the search permissible." (Chimel v. California (1969) 395 U.S. 752.)

 

In United States v. U.S. District Court (Plamondon et al.) (1972 407 U.S. 297, the Supreme Court dealt for the first time directly with the problem posed by the Smith case, of Presidents, by executive order, authorizing searches and seizures of the papers and effects of citizens without judicial approval.

"The issue before us is an important one for the people of our country and their Government.  It involves the delicate question of the President's power, acting through the Attorney General, to authorize electronic surveillance in internal security matters without prior judicial approval.  Successive Presidents for more than one-quarter of a century have authorized such surveillance in varying degrees, without guidance from the Congress or a definitive decision of this Court.  This case brings the issue here for the first time.  Its resolution is a matter of national concern, requiring sensitivity both to the Government's right  to protect itself from unlawful subversion and attack and to the citizen's right to be secure in his privacy against unreasonable Government intrusion."

What brought the case to the Court was the fact that Attorney General John Mitchell, at Nixon's behest, had authorized the Government to ease drop on the defendant's telephone conversations.

Affidavit of Attorney General John Mitchell

"The defendant has participated in conversations which were overheard by Government agents who were monitoring wiretaps which were being employed to gather intelligence information deemed necessary to protect the nation from attempts by domestic organizations (read anti-war protesters) to subvert the existing structure of the Government."

First the Supreme Court examined the language of the Congress's 1968 "Crime Control Act" to determine whether it represented an effort of Congress to expand the President's constitutional power in matters involving national security. The Court found the congressional language to be a clear expression of neutrality on the issue, pointing out that the debate in Congress "explicitly indicates that nothing was intended to expand or to define whatever presidential surveillance powers exist in matters affecting national security."

Then, pointing out that the case does not involve the separate issue of the scope of the President's constitutional power to order ease dropping in the context of foreign intelligence matters, the Court focused squarely on the question "whether safeguards other than prior authorization by a magistrate would satisfy the Fourth Amendment in a situation involving national security." And held that there was not.

"It has been said that "the most basic function of any government is to provide for the security of the individual and of his property." And unless Government safeguards its own capacity to function and to preserve the security of its people, society itself could become so disordered that all rights and liberties would be endangered.  As Chief Justice Hughes reminded us in  Cox v. New Hampshire, 312 U.S. 569, 574 (1941): "Civil liberties, as guaranteed by the Constitution, imply the existence of an organized society maintaining public order without which liberty itself would be lost in the excesses of unrestrained abuses."

But recognition of these elementary truths does not make the employment by Government of electronic surveillance a welcome development—even when employed with restraint and under judicial supervision.  There is, understandably, a deep-seated uneasiness and apprehension that this capability will be used to intrude upon cherished privacy of law-abiding citizens. We look to the Bill of Rights to safeguard this privacy. Though physical entry of the home is the chief evil against which the wording of the Fourth Amendment is directed, its broader spirit now shields private speech from unreasonable surveillance. Our decision in Katz v. United States  refused to lock the Fourth Amendment into instances of actual physical trespass. Rather, the Amendment governs "not only the seizure of tangible items, but extends as well to the recording of oral statements . . . without any 'technical trespass under . . . local property law. Katz, supra, at 353. That decision implicitly recognized that the broad and unsuspected governmental incursions into conversational privacy which electronic surveillance entails necessitate the application of Fourth Amendment safeguards."

The Court then explained what the monastic society of the National Security Agency still refuses to acknowledge, that the constitutional definition of what is a "reasonable" search does not turn upon what is convenient for police efficiency. It turns on the more specific commands of the Warrant Clause in the Amendment, operating as a matter of course "to check the overzealous executive officers."

"These Fourth Amendment freedoms cannot properly be guaranteed if domestic security surveillances may be conducted solely within the discretion of the Executive ranch. The Fourth Amendment does not contemplate the executive officers of Government as neutral and disinterested magistrates. Their duty and responsibility are to enforce the laws, to investigate, and to prosecute. Katz v. United States, supra, at 359-360." ). But those charged with this investigative and prosecutorial duty should not be the sole judges of when to utilize constitutionally sensitive means in pursuing their tasks. The historical judgment, which the Fourth Amendment accepts, is that unreviewed executive discretion may yield too readily to pressures to obtain incriminating evidence and overlook potential invasions of privacy and protected speech."

In opposition to the Court's conclusion, the Government argued that the Court had recognized other exceptions to the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment, pointing to the exceptions of "stop and frisk," and "search incident to arrest." Therefore, why not recognize that the "special circumstance of domestic security necessitates a further exception. The requirement of prior judicial review obstructs the President in the discharge of his constitutional duty to protect domestic security, the government's argument goes; and he is not collecting intelligence for the purpose of prosecuting crimes but to neutralize subversive forces. Furthermore, the courts have neither the knowledge nor the techniques necessary to determine whether there is probable cause to believe the surveillance is necessary to protect national security, the problem of security involves too large a number, it claims, of complex and subtle factors beyond the competence of courts to evaluate. Finally, disclosure to a magistrate creates the undue risk of a security breach, endangering the lives of informants and agents. Whew! That's a long list.

Rejecting the Government's arguments, the Supreme Court ruled that the President must apply to a disinterested magistrate for a warrant before proceeding to conduct electronic surveillance or physically searching and seizing a citizen's private papers and effects. But, then, in what lawyers call "dicta"—The Court ruminates but does not decide—set the stage we Americans are standing on today.

"Moreover, we do not hold that the same type of standards and procedures prescribed by Title III are necessarily applicable to this case. We recognize that domestic security surveillance may involve different policy and practical considerations from the surveillance of "ordinary crime." The gathering of security intelligence is often long range and involves the interrelation of various sources and types of information.  The exact targets of such surveillance may be more difficult to identify than in surveillance operations against many types of crime. Often, too, the emphasis of domestic intelligence gathering is on the prevention of unlawful activity or the enhancement of the Government's preparedness for some possible future crisis or emergency. Thus, the focus of domestic surveillance may be less precise than that directed against more conventional types of crime.

 Given these potential distinctions between criminal surveillances and those involving the domestic security, Congress may wish to consider protective standards for the latter which differ from those already prescribed for specified crimes. Different standards may be compatible with the Fourth Amendment if they are reasonable both in relation to the legitimate need of Government for intelligence information and the protected rights of our citizens.  For the warrant application may vary according to the governmental interest to be enforced and the nature of citizen rights deserving protection.

As the Court said in Camara v. Municipal Court, 387 U.S. 523, 534-535 (1967): "In cases in which the Fourth Amendment requires that a warrant to search be obtained, 'probable cause' is the standard by which a particular decision to search is tested against the constitutional mandate of reasonableness. . . .  In determining whether a particular inspection is reasonable -- and thus in determining whether there is probable cause to issue a warrant for that inspection -- the need for the inspection must be weighed in terms of these reasonable goals of code enforcement."

It may be that Congress, for example, would judge that the application and affidavit showing probable cause need not follow the exact requirements of § 2518 but should allege other circumstances more appropriate to domestic security cases; that the request for prior court authorization could, in sensitive cases, be made to any member of a specially designated court (e. g., the District Court for the District of Columbia or the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit); and that the time and reporting requirements need not be so strict as those in § 2518.

 The above paragraph does not, of course, attempt to guide the congressional judgment but rather to delineate the present scope of our own opinion.  We do not attempt to detail the precise standards for domestic security warrants any more than our decision in Katz sought to set the refined requirements for the specified criminal surveillances which now constitute Title III.  We do hold, however, that prior judicial approval is required for the type of domestic security surveillance involved in this case and that such approval may be made in accordance with such reasonable standards as the Congress may prescribe."

Justice Douglas, concurring, put the reason for the rule most cogently when he wrote: :

"Due to the clandestine nature of electronic surveillance, the need is acute for placing on the government the heavy burden to show the exigencies of the situation make its course imperative. The federal intelligence machine (NSA, CIA, Military et al), its intelligence collage, rummaging forever through every recorded thought of citizens, simply to seize those few utterances which may add to their sense of the pulse of a domestic underground, conversations of millions of Americans monitored on secret devices which will remain in operation forever: Such gross invasions of privacy epitomize the very evil to which the Warrant Clause was directed."

Out of the political turmoil of the Viet Nam War, and the gross violations of civil liberties the government's surveillance actions entailed, the Congress, taking the Supreme Court up on its invitation, got into the act of overseeing the President's operation of the Government's intelligence machine, by, first, enacting the Foreign Intelligence Security Act of 1978 which established a secret court to act as the Fourth Amendment's "neutral and disinterested magistrate" to determine the question whether the Government's application, presented to it, under penalty of perjury, recites sufficient circumstances to justify the conclusion probable cause exists to issue a warrant that—in the words of the Constitution but not the FISA Act— specifies with particularity the scope of the thing to be searched and the papers and effects to be seized.

Here is the Government's idea of a process which it thinks the Supreme Court will ultimately accept as consistent with its stated view of the Fourth Amendment's warrant command.

The United States of America, through the Attorney General, hereby applies to this Court, pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, as amended by the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools, the Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001" (USA PATRIOT ACT), Public Law 107-56, and by Public Law 107-108, for an order authorizing the installation and use of pen register and trap and trace devices to protect against international terrorism in investigations concerning TOP SECRET investigations which are being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) under guidelines the Attorney General has approved, pursuant to Executive Order No .12,333.)

Note: In other words, the President, by executive order, has authorized the Government's intelligence machine to conduct secret investigations. This began the day after 9/11 when President Bush issued an executive order labeled "stellarwind" of which the Office of Legal Counsel said:"Notwithstanding the then limits on such an operation, under congressional law, the President has the power to vacuum up the emails of all Americans."The Congress then amended its FISA Act to create an environment in which the President could continue, under the guise of congressional authority, to do what he had been doing.

 

As set forth in the declaration of Michael V. Hayden, Director, National Security Agency (NSA) , which is annexed as Attachment A, the objective of the surveillance authority requested in this application is to enable the NSA to discover and to disseminate such information 'to the FBI and other elements of the United States Intelligence Community.

The authority requested in this Application will allow the NSA to collect addressing and routing information (or "meta data") regarding certain electronic mail; as used in this Application, ["meta date" means all telephone records of Americans in the hands of Verizon, AT&T et al.

We will use the information in an archive against which "queries" will be run to identify persons and to look for contacts with other individuals who are reasonably suspected to be [potential terrorists] and to reveal communications links between such operatives.

Note: The Fourth Amendment does not know what "reasonable suspicion" means in the context of the disinterested magistrate doing his work in the review of the government's application for a search and seizure warrant. What the Fourth Amendment knows, and what the framers expected, is that the magistrate will determine, from the facts the government swears it has, whether "probable cause exists to justify the search and the seizure.

 

 Specifically, the addressing and routing information will be stored in the data archive, and the NSA will query the archive using known e-mail addresses that meet a particular standard. That standard is that other investigation and analysis have revealed that, based on the factual and practical considerations of everyday life on which reasonable and prudent persons act, there are facts giving rise to a reasonable, articulable suspicion 'that the e-mail address is associated with [the supposed bad guys].

Note: Under the Supreme Court's holdings, the concept of "reasonable, articulable suspicion" has nothing to do with the probable cause analysis the disinterested magistrate undertakes upon being presented with an application for a warrant. The concept was used by the Court in Terry v. Ohio to authorize an exception to the warrant requirement, not to authorize the magistrate to use the exception as the standard in approving an application for a warrant. In United States v. U.S. Dist. Court, the Supreme Court suggested that the Congress might create a special court to review the government's application for warrants in the national security context, and take into account in the process factors unique to foreign intelligence problems, but by no means did it suggest it would approve of the Congress changing the constitutional standard, much less delegate to the Executive the judicial function of determining probable cause.

 

In Terry v. Ohio, a police officer is standing on a street and he sees on the opposite side a man walking back and forth in front of a department store. The man stops and peers inside and then walks on. He comes back, stops and peers inside again, then walks on. As he is returning to the store windows a third time, the officer approaches him, and asks him what is he doing? The man answers evasively and, concerned for his personal safety, the officer pats with his hand the outside of the man's pants pockets; feeling the bulk of a pistol, the officer then reached inside and removed a gun. The Supreme Court held the defendant's conduct gave rise to the mind of an experienced police officer that he was possibly casing the store for an armed robbery and this "reasonable articulable suspicion" justified the officer's patting down the exterior surface of the man's pants; once the gun was felt, the officer was justified in reaching without a judicial warrant into that particular pocket and, finding the gun, removing it. Hardly is this a basis, under Supreme Court rulings on the scope of the Warrant Clause, for the magistrate to use in approving the Government's application for a general warrant to do exactly what Justice Douglas warned it would do if the courts gave it the chance.

 

The resulting analytical product from the queries made to the data archive will be "leads" for the FBI and other elements of the United States Intelligence community to follow to find suspected [terrorists and their collaborators], disrupt their activities and prevent future terrorist attacks on the United States.

If authorized, of necessity this surveillance will result in the collection of metadata pertaining to electronic communications, including meta data pertaining to communications of United States persons located within the United States who are not the subject of any FBI investigation.

The NSA has determined that, such broad collection of information is necessary to develop a data archive that will enable the analysis the NSA needs to perform to find known operatives and to identify unknown operatives, some of whom may be in communication with United States persons, and many of whose communications transit the U.S. Internet irifrastructure.

The Court was briefed on the pressing need for this information, the manner which the NSA would conduct its surveillance, and the legal issues related to this matter by, among others, the Attorney General, the Director of Central Intelligence, the 'Director of the FBI, the Director of the NSA, the, Counsel to the President, the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, the Director of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC), and the Counsel- for Intelligence Policy.

Certain facts regarding the activities of [the world of terrorist presumably} are discussed in the declaration of George J.Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence which is annexed as Attachment B.

Note: The Government has not disclosed the supposed facts "discussed in the declaration of Tenet" which are supposed to provide the disinterested magistrate with probable cause to issue a warrant to search and seize the "metadata" of America.

 

Scope of the Government's Application:

This request is for pen register and trap and trace authority within the United States. All of the collection activity described in paragraph 6 above will occur in the United States, and will collect communications that are: (1) between the United States and abroad; (2) between overseas locations; and (3) wholly within the United States.

8. With respect to the requested electronic communications surveillance authority, the applicant seeks Court orders authorizing the installation and use of pen register and trap and trace devices to collect all addressing and routing information reasonably likely to identify the sources or destinations of the electronic communications identified above.

As noted above, such addressing and routing information is referred to herein as "meta data." For the convenience of the Court, a fictitious example of e-mail meta data is set forth below:

Data below the bcc line, including the subject line and the content of the message, are not meta data and will not be collected pursuant to the surveillance authority requested herein.

Note: As Edward Snowden has informed us, the Government, through its zealous employees, has by other means, and without the charade of the FISA Court, scooped up all email content of Americans and stores it in vast computer data bases, to peruse at its leisure.

 

The collection will processed on a secure private network that the NSA exclusively will operate, The NSA will restrict access to the private network to two administrative login accounts used exclusively by personnel cleared especially for this program. The NSA private network will be accessible via select machines, accessible only by cleared system administrators, using secure encrypted communications. The data will reside on dedicated servers and will not be comming1ed with data collected pursuant to other authorities. The datasets. Will be password protected and access to them will be restricted solely to individuals who are read into the program. When the datasets are accessed, the user's login, IP address, date and time, and retrieval request will be logged for auditing capability.

The NSA will inform the leadership of the Congressional Intelligence Oversight Committees of the Court's approval of this. collection activity. In addition, when and if the Government seeks a reauthorization from the ·Court for the pen registers and trap and trace devices in the Application, it will provide a report about the queries that have been made and the application of the reasonable articulable suspicion standard for determining that queried addresses were terrorist related.

WHEREFORE, the United States submits that this Application satisfies the criteria and requirements of the Act, as amended, and therefore requests that this Court authorize the installation and use of the pen register and trap and trace devices described herein, and enter the proposed orders that accompany this Application.

"

Respectfully submitted,

John Ashcroft
Attorney General of the United States of America

James A. Baker
Counsel for Intelligence Policy
United States Department of Justice

Note: Who exactly was it that declared, under penalty of perjury, that the facts set forth in support of the Government's application were true? The guy going around the country today, debating the necessity of the Orwellian world the government has imposed on Americans.

 

I declare under penalty of perjury that the facts set forth in the foregoing application are true and correct.

 

Michael V. Hayden
Lieutenant General, USAF
Director, National security Agency

CERTIFICATION
I certify that the information likely to be obtained from the pen register and trap and trace devices requested in this relevant to an ongoing investigation to protect against international terrorism that is not being conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

John Ashcroft
Attorney General of the United States of America

Was The Government Truthful in
Applying to the FISA Court For a Warrant
To Invade The Mayfield Family's privacy?

No

According to the federal court that handled the civil action for damages the Mayfield family brought against the Government, in 2006,

"[T]he FBI applied to the Foreign Intelligence Security Court for an order authorizing the FBI to place electronic listening devices ("bugs") in the shared and intimate rooms of the Mayfield family home, executed repeated "sneak and peek" searches of the Mayfield home, and performed so incompetently that the FBI left traces of their searches behind, causing the Mayfield family to be frightened and believe that they had been burglarized; obtaining private and protected information about the Mayfields from third parties; executed sneak and peek searches at the law offices of Brandon Mayfield; and placed wiretaps on Mayfield's office and home phones. The application for the FISA order before the FISA Court was personally approved by the attorney general at the time, John Ashcroft."

 

After paying the Mayfield family two million dollars to settle their civil action against it, the Government, through its so-called "Office of the Inspector General: Oversight and Review division, published its "review" of the Government's conduct in the Mayfield case.

"The Patriot Act affected the sharing of information about Mayfield with law enforcement agents and intelligence agents and the amount of information that the government collected.

 

The FBI obtained authority to conduct covert surveillance and searches of Mayfield pursuant to FISA. To obtain FISA authority, the government must submit an application to the FISA court certifying that a significant purpose of the requested surveillance and searches is to gather foreign intelligence information.

 

The application must also establish probable cause to find that the target of the surveillance and searches is either a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power. A foreign power is defined broadly to include any group engaged in international terrorism.

 

Note: Before 9/11, the FISA Act of 1978, required the Government to certify that "a primary purpose" of the requested surveillance and searches was to gather foreign intelligence information, which meant that, if, but if, in the course of searching for foreign intelligence information the agents stumbled across evidence of a crime, they could share that "incidental" information with law enforcement who then obtain evidence without applying for a search warrant from a magistrate. So, for example, had the agents overheard in their ease dropping Mayfield tell his wife he had stolen something, law enforcement might charge him with a crime.

 

 

We found that the affidavits [filed in support of the application] contained several inaccuracies that reflected a regrettable lack of attention to detail. In addition, we found the wording of the affidavits to be troubling in several respects. In particular, the affidavits provided an ambiguous description of the April 21 meeting between the FBI and the Spanish police, which apparently led the judge to believe that the Spanish police had agreed with the FBI fingerprint identification, when, in fact, they had not. [On the contrary, the Spanish police had told the FBI agents they did not see a match and had a suspect in sight who had nothing to do with Mayfield.] Finally, we believe the material witness warrant affidavit [that got Mayfield thrown into a cell] contained an unfounded inference concerning the likelihood of the existence of false travel documents regarding Mayfield."

 

Note: In other words, the Government manufactured a basis to create the impression that Mayfield was a flight risk and the judge had him jailed as a consequence. And the Government intentionally kept hidden from the FISA court magistrate the fact that the Spanish police had rejected the FBI's choice from its list of twenty can dates and in fact had arrested an Algerian whose fingerprints, in their opinion, were an exact match.

 

COMMENT

If the Government can so easily and willingly lie to the courts, even the bastard secret court the Congress created to facilitate the President's unconstitutional exercise of power, just to invade the privacy of a single American, who seriously can believe it has not repeatedly done the same thing to invade the privacy of all Americans?

 

Joe Ryan