When I first got to Washington over thirty years ago I walked all over town pretty much unmolested by the state. When I moved back to the area in 2016 I noticed something, especially on North Capitol Street on the way to the Hill. On top of every building there was a surveillance camera.

A lot of it was the product of 9-11. Probably some of it was due to the Patriot Act. You learn to sneer at the cameras, but not to notice it. Now the Biden administration wants to increase that surveillance to the point that intelligence agencies usually tasked with foreign operations would be taking part in domestic surveillance. This is patently wrong. Rep. Chris Stewart, Republican of Utah, is not happy with Biden’s plan.

Stewart: “The Obama administration’s well-documented weaponization of intelligence agencies against an opposing campaign in 2016 was both unprecedented and un-American.  But what we’re now hearing from the Biden administration has the potential to make Obama’s abuses look like child’s play. With the White House now suggesting they will turn the resources of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) inward to conduct domestic surveillance, they seek the power to covertly target and retaliate against political opponents, potentially silencing dissent.” We are talking about a full bore surveillance state in the hands of Democrats. What could go wrong?

“Given the way Obama operatives created a Russian collusion conspiracy out of whole cloth to serve their political agenda, Americans should be more than just leery of the administration’s justifications for this expanded surveillance. They should be terrified…There should be an impenetrable wall between the powers of U.S. intelligence agencies and any U.S. citizen. That is what law enforcement – specifically the FBI and Department of Homeland Security – is for, to act as domestic law enforcement officers, including acting against potential domestic terrorism.” As a former member of the Intelligence Community I can tell you, they do not want this task.

“Surveilling and tracking U.S. citizens is not, and never should be, the purpose of U.S. intelligence. No U.S. citizen should ever be under the microscope of the awesome power of the National Security Agency. No U.S. citizen should ever be under the microscope of the CIA, nor any of the other 16 intelligence agencies. Yet, that is exactly what the Biden administration, and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is proposing. By turning the power of U.S. intelligence against their own people, they will violate a trust that, once betrayed, will never be restored.”

This piece was written by David Kamioner on February 27, 2021. It originally appeared in DrewBerquist.com and is used by permission.

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