JUDGE ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO: Does The FBI Even Believe In The Constitution?

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at dailycaller.com

Last week, FBI officials boasted that in 2022 their agents had spied on only 120,000 Americans without search warrants! Under the Constitution, that number should be ZERO.

This revelation is supposed to give members of Congress comfort that the folks we have hired to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution are in fact doing so. In reality, the FBI and their cousins at the National Security Agency continue to assault and violate a core freedom protected by the Constitution — the right to be left alone.

The reason for the FBI revelation last week is the pending expiration of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the bipartisan animosity toward its extension.

Section 702 is unconstitutional on its face as it directly contradicts the core language of the Fourth Amendment. On its face, it permits the feds to conduct warrantless surveillance on foreign persons who are either physically or digitally present in the United States and all with whom they communicate — American or foreign — who are located here.

Thus, for example, if you call or text or email an art dealer in Florence, Italy, from your home in New Jersey or your cousin in Geneva, Switzerland, calls or texts or emails you at your home in California, the FBI can monitor all those communications without a search warrant. And then the feds can monitor the future calls you make and texts and emails you send. And then they can monitor all the communications of the persons you reached and all the persons they reach. As this expands on and on to the sixth degree, the numbers grow exponentially to hundreds of millions.

The reason for the search warrant requirement is to prevent a repeat of what British agents did to the American colonists before the Revolutionary War. Then, secret British courts in London

When the British used their general warrants to search colonial homes ostensibly looking for tax stamps in compliance with the Stamp Act, they were really attempting to predict who among the colonists entertained revolutionary ideas that might lead to a revolt against the king.

The existence and the enforcement of the Stamp Act proved so unpopular that Parliament rescinded it after just one year. But the former bond between colonials and their king had been irreparably breached and a sea change in colonial thinking pervaded the land. The core of that sea change was not taxation without representation; it was “freedom.”

To the colonial mindset, freedom had one universal meaning. It meant freedom from the government — from king and Parliament. 

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