This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
Americans are not able, any longer, to look to the government to protect their rights.
It's the government, in fact, that has "shredded" them, according to Pete Hoekstra, who was U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands during the Trump administration, after he served 18 years in the U.S. House.
Now a distinguished senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute, he has written there on the huge task facing the newly assembled U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.
He explains the group, led by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, needs to look into several major areas, including the extent of information that federal agencies now collect, any restrictions that actually protect the rights of citizens, and evidence that government bureaucrats actually violated policy to "target" individuals.
He wrote, "The evidence seems overwhelming. Law enforcement has acted in a way that enhances its capabilities and erodes the rights of American citizens."
He cited cases where the FBI used a scheme to obtain secret court orders for business records.
It was the Electronic Frontier Foundation that pointed out the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court must issue the order if the FBI so certifies, "even when there are no facts to back it up."
Then, too, the FBI can use "National Security Letters," issued without court orders, to grab information.
"In 2000, about 8,500 NSLs were issued. From 2003-2006 that number increased to 192,000. 'Sneak and peek' warrants are also now being used more extensively. Without any notification, these allow law enforcement to raid and search someone's home and computers, among other private property," he noted.
It happened during the FBI's collusion with Democrats to create the "Russiagate" conspiracy theory against President Trump, he explained.
It was Glenn Greenwald who explained then, "In sum, the IG Report documents multiple instances in which the FBI – in order to convince a FISA court to allow it spy on former Trump campaign operative Carter Page during the 2016 election – manipulated documents, concealed crucial exonerating evidence, and touted what it knew were unreliable if not outright false claims."
Hoekstra noted, "In an investigation involving conservative attorney Victoria Toensing, the FBI used the sneak and peek authorization to gain access to personal records without notifying her, even though she was not a target of any investigation. After 18 months, the Justice Department notified her the case was being closed without ever identifying who was being investigated or even what the issue being investigated was."
He said, "The work ahead for the Select Subcommittee on Weaponization is huge. It seems the collection of data by our law enforcement and intelligence communities is massive, much larger than any of us would have imagined even just a few short years ago. With the advent of new technologies, and passage of legislation after 9/11 that possibly has not aged well, the legal framework protecting American citizens' rights has been shredded. It seems abundantly clear that our government at multiple levels likely abused its powers, and the Select Subcommittee on Weaponization has a tremendous opportunity to set things right."
He said the Deep State's data-collectors including the National Security Agency, FBI, Department of Justice, Homeland Security and IRS, "to name but a few."
"If the government has this massive treasure trove of information, what are the protections built into the systems regarding the legal rights of the American citizen?" he asked.
"It is time for Congress to fully update the laws surrounding data collection and privacy. This also would give us the ability to see what still works, determine best practices to protect American security and civil liberties, and to end the things that do not – especially those that leave open a backdoor for abuse."