Rights Of U.S. Citizens: Of Free Speech, and From Government Spying

The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming 1966 Movie

The opening video plays on humor. It’s amazing how the truth of such humor has affected the USA fifty-one years after the movie was first shown.

Consider Eric Greitens. He is the newly elected Governor of the State of Missouri. As his personal information shows, he is a former Navy SEAL, and not a man of great financial status.

Consider the life of Eric Greitens prior to his being elected to public office. As with any U.S. citizen, he was free to go anywhere around the world, and speak to anyone in any country, without any interference from our government. Limitations could have come from the nations where he traveled. Because Eric Greitens had been a member of the U.S. military, he had access to classified information, which was information that he was not allowed to share with foreign nationals, or with anyone else in our country who did not have a security clearance, or, even someone who may have had a security clearance but did not have a “need to know” of the information that Eric Greitens possessed.

Any potential candidate for public office is protected by the first and fourth amendments to our Constitution, which are a part of the Bill of Rights, which are also known as, “enumerated rights,” or personal rights against government intrusion in our lives. The key feature of the first amendment is “free speech,” whereby our government can not control our speech. The key feature of the fourth amendment, is that our government can not spy on us without probable cause.

Consider a U.S. citizen who may lead a company that has locations that are located throughout the world. The job of that person is to lead that company to financial prosperity. Such a leader may be required to discuss business dealings with any other business leader, or governmental official, regardless of the nation where that business may be located. Because this particular U.S. citizen/business leader is not an employee of the U.S. government, whether military, civilian or government contract, and has no access to classified information, there is no classified information that can be divulged to anyone else, whether American or foreigner. Therefore, such a U.S. citizen/business leader is protected by the first and fourth amendments to our constitution. That leader is free to speak without U.S. government control, and without U.S. government spying, whether that leader is in the USA or in a foreign country.

Consider our President. He was a business leader who had business holdings in the USA, and throughout the world. He had a responsibility to make his business successful. He also had the necessity to speak to business and government leaders in countries throughout the world. Because he was not an employee of the US government, or a government contract employee, and did not have access to classified information, he was free to speak to anyone, anywhere, about anything in any country of the world, with the protections of the first and fourth amendments to our constitution.

The charge against our President that he helped to “hack the 2016 election” is a charge that is an impossibility. As a candidate for office, he had nothing to do with the election process, and could have not done anything to affect the outcome of the election. The protection that we have in the USA against “hacking” our elections comes from the twelfth amendment to our constitution, which states that elections of the President and Vice-President are decided by the electoral college. The charges that our President is an illegitimate President, due to the popular vote, comes from Democrats in Congress, and from other Democrats, who should know the procedure for our election process. Even though they know, or should know, that Presidents and Vice-Presidents are elected by the electoral college, those democrats will not tell the truth to their constituents and, thereby,create great confusion in our country (I will not expound on the possible results of such confusion.) At the time that our government began spying on our “President to be,” he was not the candidate of the Republican Party. Such intrusion into his life was in defiance to the first and fourth amendments to our constitution. He should not have been the object of surveillance under the intelligence gathering resources of our former President. Such spying on members of his business or political committees was also in defiance to our constitution’s first and fourth amendments. If the tables had been turned, and if these intrusions had been forced on the life of our former President, my post would have been written in support of his constitutional rights, too. This post addresses truth, and not Trump.

The charge against our President that he “colluded” with the Russians, is also an impossibility. There is nothing that any of the other candidates, who were not government or government contract employees, could have shared with any person or any country. Such is not the case with the loser of the election. She had been an employee of the U.S. government, and had possessed a great knowledge of classified information.

There should be no surprise that the USA is a target of hostile Russian aggression. For anyone who was a member of the U.S. armed forces, during the Vietnam War era, it was a major concern that the former Soviet Union was a major threat to the peace and security of the USA. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the threat toward the USA has continued through Russia, who is the main-stay of the former Soviet Union. It appears that our former President did not take that threat seriously. It was his job to provide the necessary intelligence and security for the USA. Any hacking that took place prior to our current President taking office can only be laid at the feet of our former President. Please notice my words, “hostile Russian aggression.” I have many social media friends in the Slavic countries, to include Russia. My desire is to let those people, to include people from Russia, know that Americans are good people.

The charges against our President are just that, “charges,” with no basis of truth. Consider the following information which shows illegal surveillance of Americans during the administration of our former President; that our former President was aware of the attempt of Putin to hack our elections and yet, did nothing to protect against, and advise our nation of, the attempt to create confusion in our election process. There is also the debate between our former President, and Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, when our former President said that Russia was not a problem for the USA.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Greitens

Eric Greitens
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eric Robert Greitens /ˈɡreɪtənz/ (born April 10, 1974) is an American politician, author, and former Navy SEAL currently serving as the 56th Governor of Missouri, since January 2017. He is currently the second youngest Governor in the United States, after New Hampshire’s Chris Sununu.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Greitens graduated from Parkway North High School before attending Duke University with a scholarship. After attending the University of Oxford as a Rhodes scholar and earning a D.Phil (PhD), Greitens later became a Lieutenant Commander of the Navy SEAL, serving four tours of duty around the world, commanding an Al-Qaeda targeting cell and earning a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart among other decorations. Following his military service, Greitens founded The Mission Continues, a non-profit organization serving veterans which he led until 2014. Time Magazine included him in its list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2013.

Previously a Democrat, he announced his candidacy for governor as a Republican, campaigning on a platform centered around ethics reform. After defeating three other candidates in the Republican primaries, he faced state Attorney General and former Republican Chris Koster whom he defeated in the general election on November 8, 2016.

THE BILL OF RIGHTS: The protection of citizens from government; a wall of separation, over which government intrusion is not allowed to climb over and intrude in the lives of citizens, to include the so-called “religious” wall of separation. Government is not allowed to climb over any part of the wall that protects citizens from government into lives of citizens. It is important to remember that the Bill of Rights is the rights of citizens from the government that it put in place.

https://www.aclu.org/other/bill-rights-brief-history

THE BILL OF RIGHTS: A BRIEF HISTORY

“[A] bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse.”
– Thomas Jefferson, December 20, 1787

http://quatr.us/northamerica/after1500/government/billofrights.htm

Bill of Rights

Quatr.us> American History> Government> Bill of Rights brown paper with writing on it
Bill of Rights

April 2017 – After the leaders of the new United States wrote the Constitution, they had to get the thirteen states to agree to it. Some of the states didn’t want to agree unless they could add some specific rights for individual people. So in 1791 the United States added ten new rights to the Constitution. They got the idea for some of these rights from the Magna Carta, and for others from the Iroquois Confederacy. These are called the Bill of Rights: the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution.

These are the ten individual rights that are in the Bill of Rights, in simpler words:

The United States Congress can’t make any law about your religion, or stop you from practicing your religion, or keep you from saying whatever you want, or publishing whatever you want (like in a newspaper or a book). And Congress can’t stop you from meeting peacefully for a demonstration to ask the government to change something.

Congress can’t stop people from having and carrying weapons, because we need to be able to defend ourselves.

You don’t have to let soldiers live in your house, except if there is a war, and even then only if the United States Congress has passed a law about it.

Nobody can search your body, or your house, or your papers and things, unless they can prove to a judge that they have a good reason to think you have committed a crime.

You can’t be tried for any serious crime without a Grand Jury meeting first to decide whether there’s enough evidence for a trial. And if the jury decides you are innocent, the government can’t try again with another jury. You don’t have to say anything at your trial. You can’t be killed, or put in jail, or fined, unless you were convicted of a crime by a jury. And the government can’t take your house or your farm or anything that is yours, unless the government pays for it.

If you’re arrested, you have a right to have your trial pretty soon, and the government can’t keep you in jail without trying you. The trial has to be public, so everyone knows what is happening. The case has to be decided by a jury of ordinary people from your area. You have the right to know what you are accused of, to see and hear the people who are witnesses against you, to have the government help you get witnesses on your side, and you have the right to a lawyer to help you.

You also have the right to a jury when it is a civil case (a law case between two people rather than between you and the government).

The government can’t make you pay more than is reasonable in bail or in fines, and the government can’t order you to have cruel or unusual punishments (like torture) even if you are convicted of a crime.

Just because these rights are listed in the Constitution doesn’t mean that you don’t have other rights too.

Anything that the Constitution doesn’t say that Congress can do should be left up to the states, or to the people.

http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1786-1800/bill-of-rights-and-the-amendments-to-the-constitution.php

Bill of Rights and the Amendments to The Constitution

The Ten Original Amendments: The Bill of Rights. Passed by Congress September 25, 1789. Ratified December 15, 1791.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The later amendments to the constitution

The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.

Passed by Congress March 4, 1794. Ratified February 7, 1795.

The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;–The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;–The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a =majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.
passed by Congress December 9, 1803. Ratified July 27, 1804.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/world/national-security/obama-putin-election-hacking/?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.df889e9a155e

The Washington Post – June 23, 2017

By Greg Miller, Ellen Nakashima and Adams Entous

(An article that was written about events of July 2016. Two excerpts follow. The link above will show the entire report.)

” In July, the FBI had opened an investigation of contacts between Russian officials and Trump associates.”

“At that point, the outlines of the Russian assault on the U.S. election were increasingly apparent. Hackers with ties to Russian intelligence services had been rummaging through Democratic Party computer networks, as well as some Republican systems, for more than a year. In July, the FBI had opened an investigation of contacts between Russian officials and Trump associates. And on July 22, nearly 20,000 emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee were dumped online by WikiLeaks.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/mar/20/trump-wiretap-claims-well-obama-did-secretly-spy/

Trump wiretap claims? Well, Obama did secretly spy

By Cheryl K. Chumley – The Washington Times – Monday, March 20, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Sen. Susan Collins, Republican from Maine, took to national television airwaves over the weekend to insist that President Donald Trump explain why he decided it was OK to accuse Barack Obama of wiretapping his conversations in Trump Tower.

Here, let me help: Because Obama’s White House was tapping into people all the time.
Are memories that short?

From May 2013, an NPR report: “The Associated Press is protesting what it calls a massive and unprecedented intrusion into its gathering of news. The target of that wrath is the U.S. Justice Department, which secretly collected phone records for several AP reporters last year.”

That was when Eric Holder was attorney general of the United States.

And as an attorney for the AP said at the time, the Justice Department’s collection of data included phone records — both home-based and cellphone — of AP reporters in Hartford, New York, Washington, and the U.S. House of Representatives.

The records of roughly 20 different telephone lines spanned the April-May 2012 time period, and roped in 20 or so different phones.

Then look at this, also from May 2013, from the Washington Post: “Journalists, First Amendment watchdogs and government transparency advocates reacted with outrage Monday to the revelation that the Justice Department had investigated the news gathering activities of a Fox News reporter as a potential crime in a probe of classified leaks.”

And just who was that Fox News personality?

James Rosen, the cable outlet’s chief Washington correspondent.
“It was downright chilling,” said Fox News executive Michael Clemente in a statement, of the government’s attempt to seize Rosen’s emails.

That’s just two surveillance operations on innocent Americans — members of the press, no less — from Team Obama.
But let’s not forget Sharyl Attkisson, a former CBS correspondent whose critical reports on the Obama administration’s handling of Fast and Furious and of Benghazi more than likely irked.

Attkisson, in 2015, sued the Justice Department, outright alleging the Obama administration had illegally hacked into her computer to secretly monitor her work. Justice denied — but it was a straddle-the-line type of denial.
“To our knowledge,” the agency said in a statement in 2013, after Attkisson went public with her accusations, “the Justice Department has never compromised Ms. Attkisson’s computers.”

It’s the “to our knowledge” that leaves open the doors. It’s just so easy to slide into the category of “yes, we did, but we had no knowledge of that.” Kind of like when Lois Lerner of Internal Revenue Service scandal fame — you know, when the IRS was found to have delayed nonprofit applications for tea party groups seen as unfriendly to Team Obama’s reelection efforts? — said she had no knowledge of what went on beneath her watch.
So Trump under surveillance by Team Obama at Trump Tower?
It’s hardly crazy talk.

“I don’t know the basis for President Trump’s assertion,” Collins said, during a “Meet the Press” appearance on NBC. “And that’s what I wish he would explain to us on the Intelligence Committee and to the American people. And I do believe he owes us that explanation.”

Quite right. But let’s be real here. The notion of Obama and his supporters putting an American under surveillance for personal and political reasons is not a left-field thought. Really, considering the history of the previous White House, and all the secret surveillance that went on during those eight years, it would actually prove more surprising to find out Trump wasn’t placed under watch by Obama teammates and cheerleaders.
Trump’s claims may be unfounded; may be proven. But in the end, the bigger story is this: Obama’s presidency tapped into citizens’ private information all the time. Isn’t that, more than Trump’s accusations, cause for more concern?

Romney & Obama on Russia during the 2012 Presidential Debate

Democrats hit Obama’s failure to counter Russian election meddling
Top Democrat says Obama should have done more to counter foreign interference

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jun/25/adam-schiff-obama-made-very-serious-mistake-russia/

By Valerie Richardson – The Washington Times – Sunday, June 25, 2017

It was the Democratic Party’s turn Sunday to sweat over Russian meddling as lawmakers acknowledged that President Barack Obama knew about the foreign election interference but failed to act until after the 2016 presidential race.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said the Obama administration should have done more to counter Russian interference, blaming election-year politics for what he described as “a very serious mistake.”

“The American people needed to know, and I didn’t think it was enough to tell them after the election but rather given the seriousness of this, I think the administration needed to call out Russia earlier and needed to act to deter and punish Russia earlier, and I think that was a very serious mistake,” said the California Democrat on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
(click onto the link to see the complete news article)

It should be noted that while I was doing research for this post, by searching for significant names, my computer locked up and was difficult for me to get it working again. Not long ago, as I was composing a similar post, using significant names, my computer also locked up. On that occasion, I had to ask my internet company to get my computer working again. There are email providers that have blocked my emails when significant names were written in the subject line of the letters. Are these “matters” of coincidence?

John 8:32. ” you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

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