Few are aware that the FBI can now simply print a letter called a NSL , or National Security Letter, without a judge, that compels you to turn over anything they ask and you cannot tell or disclose that you have been ordered to do so, also known appropriately a ‘gag’ order.
If you disobey their order you can be put in jail for years.
Heroically, there are still some true Patriots, as well as an honest judge, who stood up to this most insidious form of fascism in Amerika, yet it cost him many years and who knows how much money to simply be able to tell his story.
Additionally, the President of the United States has sole authority, without need to be checked by anyone else to rendition (pick up and send to torture camps), jail, gag and even assassinate anyone he/she pleases without consequence, fair trial or retribution by those abducted. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/feb/05/obama-kill-list-doj-memo
My country ’tis of thee….
…not so sweet land of non-liberties
….of thee I scream!
Three years ago, I received a national security letter (NSL) in my capacity as the president of a small Internet access and consulting business. The letter ordered me to provide sensitive information about one of my clients. There was no indication that a judge had reviewed or approved the letter, and it turned out that none had. The letter came with a gag provision that prohibited me from telling anyone, including my client, that the FBI was seeking this information. Based on the context of the demand — a context that the FBI still won’t let me discuss publicly — I suspected that the FBI was abusing its power and that the letter sought information to which the FBI was not entitled.
Rather than turn over the information, I contacted lawyers at the American Civil Liberties Union, and in April 2004 I filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the NSL power. I never released the information the FBI sought, and last November the FBI decided that it no longer needs the information anyway. But the FBI still hasn’t abandoned the gag order that prevents me from disclosing my experience and concerns with the law or the national security letter that was served on my company. In fact, the government will return to court in the next few weeks to defend the gag orders that are imposed on recipients of these letters.
Living under the gag order has been stressful and surreal. Under the threat of criminal prosecution, I must hide all aspects of my involvement in the case — including the mere fact that I received an NSL — from my colleagues, my family and my friends. When I meet with my attorneys I cannot tell my girlfriend where I am going or where I have been. I hide any papers related to the case in a place where she will not look. When clients and friends ask me whether I am the one challenging the constitutionality of the NSL statute, I have no choice but to look them in the eye and lie.
I resent being conscripted as a secret informer for the government and being made to mislead those who are close to me, especially because I have doubts about the legitimacy of the underlying investigation.