Print 25 comment(s) - last by marsbound2024.. on Feb 19 at 12:09 AM

New oversight committee gets ready to use American spy satellites domestically

In many ways, I'm not in the least bit surprised the U.S. government is forming a permanent task group to oversee the use of U.S. space-based resources for domestic use.  Of course, I am a little surprised that the U.S. government began the program in 2005 with almost no mention in the media outside of a few wire reports. 

The inevitable knee-jerk reaction: "No, no! The U.S. must never use its foreign intelligence powers domestically!"

Let's be a little more pragmatic here.  The United States, commander of the most powerful intelligence services in the world, will use spy satellites domestically eventually -- if it hasn't already.

For all the problems of the Department of Homeland Security, I can find little fault with the proposed National Applications Office.  The NAO, originally commissioned to start operations in October 2007 under the umbrella of the DHS, would be the oversight institution for use of foreign intelligence capabilities domestically.

The Office is currently on hiatus pending a Congressional injunction.

In 1974 Nelson Rockefeller commissioned a study that exposed several illegal programs inside the U.S. intelligence community, including the infamous CIA mind control program MK-ULTRA.  One of the lasting effects of Rockefeller’s commission included the creation of a Civil Applications Committee -- a committee designed to oversee the use of U.S. space-based resources for domestic purposes; Earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters -- that sort of thing. 

So guess what? We've already used those satellites for domestic purposes since the 1970's, though with an extremely limited scope. 

The NAO is an expansion of the little-documented, rarely-mentioned Civil Applications Committee.  It is compromised of three parts, one of which effectively replaces the CAC; the other two working groups will oversee homeland security, the other law enforcement. 

So why the Congressional injunction?  Privacy concerns, of course.  It's good to see someone didn't fall asleep at the wheel in Congress.  A report from the Associated Press claims the injunction is in the final stages of dissolve: the new Office could officially open doors as early as next month. 

After all, at least the government is playing by the book with this one.  One proclamation of retroactive immunity for illegal wiretaps is enough for 2008 already.

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RE: Damn
By A5un on 2/16/2008 6:03:20 AM , Rating: 2
I can never understand why people quote other people. All that accomplishes is showing that you've found another person who agrees with you. Big deal. So what if the people you quote are geniuses.

As for whatever you said about Lincoln and blah blah blah, well, the only logical conclusion / observation I can correctly draw on this would be that they too have not followed the constitution and violated their oath. Well, I guess that should be grounds for impeachment? Now, let's dig them out and give them a fair trial, shall we?

RE: Damn
By Ringold on 2/16/2008 5:23:21 PM , Rating: 2
People quote the founding fathers because the constitution is the ultimate law and their word provides insight to their meaning when it was written. The Supreme Court if I'm not mistaken looks closely not just at the constitution but also the Federalist Papers when they consider their rulings.Privacy and whatnot is clearly a constitutional issue.

I wouldn't quote Mr. T on constitutional issues. :)

In fact, you'll almost never see me quote any one except those people, and on the issues of what's constitutional and what is not. On rare occasion I'll quote Barry Goldwater and Milton Friedman, because they related ideas far better than I could and I'd rather be honest and not just plagiarize.

RE: Damn
By A5un on 2/16/2008 8:41:51 PM , Rating: 2
Well I can agree with you on the usefulness and perhaps interesting insights that one gains by examining other people's works. But why look to the authors of the Constitution when you've got the Constitution in front of you.

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs
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