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August 6, 2013

United States Senator Mark Udall

RE: The precarious status of the Constitution of the United States

Dear Senator Udall:

AMENDMENT IV of the United States Constitution:

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

The meaning of these words could not be more clear, or the intent of the founding fathers more succinctly stated.

What Edward Snowden has revealed to the people of America is that a secret government within our government has totally violated this Constitutional Amendment. Not only has it been violated, this secret government has secretly made this violation legal. What we now know is that in a single-superpower world, the U.S. has been building a system of global spying and surveillance on a scale never before seen in an effort to keep track of just about everyone on the planet.  It surveils not just potential future enemies, but also its closest allies as if they were enemies.  Increasingly, the structure built to do a significant part of that spying is aimed at Americans, too, and on a scale that is breathtaking. Our U.S. tax base supported mostly by the dwindling middle class has been robbed, and services direly needed by the people eviscerated, in order to build this monstrosity that sweeps up billions and billions of emails and telephone calls every single day from people around the world and in the United States who have absolutely nothing to do with terrorism. This not only demonstrates a clear lack of leadership by those elected to serve and protect, it illustrates that both of our political parties are morally bankrupt. What is also clear is that the official directorship of this massive surveillance agency has lied under oath to Congress, a felony, and that the top leadership in the Democratic Administration has lied to the American people. Our elected leadership has totally betrayed “We the People.”

As a Colorado citizen, I place this assault on the Constitutional foundation of this nation at the top of the list of any and all concerns in need of redress by our representative Congress. As a United States citizen, who has voted Democrat for thirty years, has worked on Democratic candidate electoral campaigns, and contributed financially when my employment made it possible for me to do so, I am informing you, that my confidence in Democratic Party leadership has been severely ruptured. In watching the unfolding of events since Snowden came forward with this revelation, in how the Obama Administration, and many members of the Senate and the House have responded, it has become clear that the Democratic Party has become a soulless shell that has merged into a bi-partisan surveillance-state government beholden to the campaign contributions of big banks, and the privatized DOD and intelligence industry.

The latest closing of embassies and consulates to demonstrate the dire ‘need’ for the trashing of our Constitution is accompanied with a fowl odor reminiscent of the red, orange, and yellow alerts of post 9/11. For eight straight years since 9/11, Democrats, every time there was a terrorist alert or a terrorist advisory issued by the United States government in the middle of a debate over one of the Bush-Cheney civil liberties abuses, would accuse the United States government and the national security state of exaggerating terrorism threats, of manipulating advisories, of hyping the dangers of al-Qaeda, in order to distract attention away from their abuses and to scare the population into submitting to whatever it is they wanted to do. And now, as we are in the midst of an actual debate over the dangers of excess surveillance, suddenly our Democratic Administration that has spent two years claiming that it has decimated al-Qaeda decides that there is this massive threat requiring the closing of embassies and consulates throughout the world. And within literally an amount of hours, the likes of Saxby Chambliss and Lindsey Graham join with the White House and Democrats in Congress to exploit and to insist that it shows that the NSA and these programs are necessary. As a postscript to the closing of embassies in countries such as Yemen: perhaps if President Obama stopped blowing up the people with drone missiles--people he arbitrarily places on his kill list (of a country with which we are not at war) it would not be necessary to close our embassy and evacuate Americans from that country (and others).

Of course, all thinking people are painfully aware of this secret government within our government’s ability to conduct a false-flag attack on our country to prove their point. But many of us still stand with Benjamin Franklin: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” We ask that our elected representatives stand with us.

As a Coloradoan, I thank all of the Colorado House Representatives—Republican and Democrat—who voted in favor of the Amash Amendment to defund this massive and egregious spy apparatus that is in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Unfortunately our Democratic President, and others in top (Democratic)  leadership positions teamed up with the neocon right wing of the GOP to defeat that amendment.

Senator Udall, as a member of the United States Select Committee on Intelligence, you are part of that secret government. While I acknowledge your and Senator Wyden’s subtle efforts to suggest this assault on our Constitution is illegal, I remind that as U.S. Senators, you have full constitutional immunity against prosecution for anything you say of the floor of the Senate. When Daniel Ellsberg was trying to get people to read the Pentagon Papers and understand the content, he tried to get Mike Gravel and other senators to go to the floor of the Senate and read them, because they would have been immune from prosecution. It took Mr. Snowden to come forward, who doesn’t have immunity, and tell the American people what is being done to them. And interestingly, when you were asked about Edward Snowden, you said, "I deplore his leaks." He had the courage to ruin his life to try to protect his country, while you, with your immunity have for all intents and purposes silently towed the bi-partisan DOD/NSA corporatized line.

I urge you to reflect on this issue, and to have the courage to stand against the forces of power in both parties who are intent on destroying the Constitution of the United States of America – who are intent on destroying a nation that once stood for freedom and liberty. I urge you to use your position and your platform to lead in defunding and dismantling this massive spy apparatus that can only be for the purpose of misuse, and is already being misused. I urge you to restore the full intent of the Constitution of the United States of America. I urge it for myself, for my fellow citizens, and for my children and grandchildren, and those of others, so that they may enjoy the country I once knew and loved.


Janet Wise


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