Weekly News: Syrian Chemical Weapons Destruction and the Patriot Act Author’s Bill that Reins-In NSA Surveillance

The following was written for the ongoing “Weekly News” section of The Aquarius Paradigm Weekly Newsletter, which we’re offering for $11.11 a month. Income from the Newsletter helps us get by, and the option to subscribe will be given below.

To begin for this week – It’s been reported that the destruction of the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons stockpile is moving at a great pace, and that the US is pleased with Bashar al-Assad’s compliance with the measures agreed to by the UN thus far. (1)

We all know about the August chemical weapons attack in Syria that prompted the US to nearly invade the country, as well as the measures that have since been agreed to for Assad’s regime to hand over their chemical weapons to be destroyed and a new transitional government to be set up in Syria.

The world was watching as it nearly seemed like United States was going to fling ourselves into another intervention in the unstable affairs of another country, and in my opinion, the people’s widespread protest against a western-led war with Syria paved the way for these diplomatic measures to come about.

The people arose and let our leaders know we don’t support war with Syria, and our efforts continue to bear fruit as the destruction of Assad’s chemical weapons moves along, seemingly with enthusiasm on all sides.

I’ll post a snippet from the Guardian, which reported on this story along with others.

“The United States and Russia are ‘very pleased’ with progress in destroying Syria’s chemical weapons stocks, US secretary of state John Kerry said on Monday. He offered some rare, if qualified, US praise for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

Kerry (…) said the Assad regime deserved credit for its speedy compliance thus far with the UN security council resolution calling for the elimination of the weapons. But Kerry stressed Assad was not yet off the hook.

‘Let me be crystal clear,’ Kerry said, ‘we’re very pleased with the pace of what has happened with respect to chemical weapons.’” (1)

The Guardian also discusses the chemical weapons destruction in progress, as well as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s call to the rebel groups to participate diplomatically in the transition.

[Kerry] noted that experts had started the process of destroying the stockpiles on Sunday, just over a week after the United Nations security council and the international chemical weapons watchdog acted.

‘I think that was a terrific example of global co-operation, of multilateral efforts to accomplish an accepted goal and they have moved with equal speed to get on the ground in Syria and begin the operations,’ he said.

‘I think it is also credit to the Assad regime for complying rapidly as they are supposed to,’ Kerry said. ‘We hope that will continue.’”

“Lavrov said the Assad regime, an ally of Russia’s, was co-operating fully. He stressed that the Western- and Arab-backed opposition must also comply and must ensure that chemical weapons not fall into the hands of extremists.

(…) ‘The responsibility is not only on the Syrian government, but also on the opposition and all the states in this sphere should of course not allow these weapons to fall into the hands of non-state actors,’ Lavrov said.

Kerry and Lavrov said they continued to make progress on preparations for an international conference to help set up a transitional government for Syria.” (1)

As long as the rebels can organize themselves properly and be a part of an orderly transitional government, the first signs of lasting peace in Syria are on the horizon. If this country, who war with seemed nearly inevitable such a short time ago, can so rapidly begin taking measures toward real and lasting peace, then there’s nothing stopping the rest of the world from following suit.

We’ve been told for quite a while that we’re entering a new era of lasting peace and harmony, and it seems that the public’s actions in protesting an escalation of war have called for an escalation of peace. Honestly, I think we need to seem many more such escalations.

Every country, even those experiencing widespread political violence and turmoil, can follow the path Syria is potentially beginning to lay out and become beacons for real and lasting peace.

My aim certainly isn’t to support Assad’s regime with what I’m about to say, but an initial concern I feel in regards to establishing a transitional Syrian government is that wealthy western powers will run it behind the cloak. I could see a new Syrian government suddenly becoming an ally of the United States, because the entire issue did seem, more or less, enflamed by the US-backed rebel groups.

In my opinion, nothing will change if we or the Syrian people allow their governance to be controlled by dominating powers whose presence as their “leaders” is simply flavored differently than their previous oppressors.

Let’s be as diligent as we can in regards to Syria, and if we hear that the Syrian people continue to be oppressed by their new regime, we’ll know that the cabal has a hand in running it.

Personally, I believe in a Syrian government established and run entirely by and for the people. Why should the Syrian people let their country be run for them by any powerful interest other than themselves? As I tend to make clear, I support a planetary governance model of every citizen having equal say in the decisions that are made.

There are billions of us on this planet separated out into individual countries and ruling bodies, and instead of looking toward any elite class to run our world or involve themselves in our affairs, political or otherwise, let’s wipe away judgment and status and see ourselves for the worthiness we each possess.

The Syrian people can run their country instead of letting the current regime or a new one backed by the United States continue to oppress them. In this crucial time of change for the Syrian people, their country is being given the international spotlight and in my opinion, they can do something good with it.

With the world’s attention on Syria, its people as a whole can rise up – not representing any religion or particular group, but representing themselves as a united populace who are ready to have equal say in the decisions being made in their country and on their planet.

No longer should the voices of the Syrians or anyone be stifled in the name of the agendas of powerful and wealthy interests, and no more should inequality exist for any reason. Syria now has the opportunity to do something unique, and as always, let’s salute another sign of the changing times on our evolving planet.

In other news – Republican Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, author of the Patriot Act, has prepared a bill to end the wide-ranging surveillance of US citizens granted to the NSA by the act. (2)

It seems that Jim Sensenbrenner has seen the Light as some have suggested, and is now working to present a bill designed to severely limit the NSA’s broad ability in the face of revelations of thousands of regulation violations and of NSA employees actually spying on their spouses.

To reference the article from the Guardian on this subject, the bill’s main aims are to:

Limit the NSA’s collection of phone records to known terrorist suspects. (2)

End “secret laws” by making courts disclose surveillance. (2)

Create a special court advocate to represent privacy interests. (2)

Allow companies to disclose how many requests for users’ information they receive from the USA. (2)

I’ll post a snippet from the Guardian about Sensenbrenner’s bill, and about the bill it’ll be matched with that’s authored by Senate judiciary committee chair Patrick Leahy.

“Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, who worked with president George W Bush to give more power to US intelligence agencies after the September 11 terrorist attacks, said the intelligence community had misused those powers by collecting telephone records on all Americans, and claimed it was time ‘to put their metadata program out of business’.

His imminent bill in the House of Representatives is expected to be matched by a similar proposal from Senate judiciary committee chair Patrick Leahy, a Democrat. It pulls together existing congressional efforts to reform the National Security Agency (…).

Sensenbrenner has called his bill the Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-Collection, and Online Monitoring Act – or USA Freedom Act (…).” (2)

The referenced article then mentions NSA employees’ surveillance of their own spouses, as well as Sensenbrenner’s call for James Clapper, Director of national intelligence, to be prosecuted for misleading the Senate intelligence committee about what the NSA has been doing.

“(…) ‘Opinions have hardened with the revelations over the summer, particularly the inspector general’s report that there were thousands of violations of regulations, and the disclosure that NSA employees were spying on their spouses or significant others, which was very chilling,’ [Sensenbrenner] told the Guardian in an interview.”

“(…) ‘Sensenbrenner also called for the prosecution of Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, who admitted misleading the Senate intelligence committee about the extent of bulk collection of telephone records.

‘Oversight only works when the agency that oversight is directed at tells the truth, and having Mr Clapper say he gave [an] untruthful answer should, in my opinion, have resulted in a firing and a prosecution,’ said the congressman.” (2)

The bill could have a particularly rough time being passed, partly because of another bill that seeks not to limit the NSA’s surveillance ability but to cultivate greater transparency about it. Sensenbrenner has said that this other bill would basically allow the NSA to continue what they’ve been doing under the guise of having “cleaned up”. (3)

As we continue to be given more revelations about the ridiculous scope of ability the NSA possesses to collect and monitor every bit of digital data from citizens of their own country and the world abroad, so will more bills that are written in the interest of the people likely be introduced.

Outrage over what the NSA has been allowed to do unchecked, and particularly over the cheeky manner in which they’ve repeatedly lied to the people about their widespread ability, is likely to bring down this empire of digital surveillance and collection of citizens’ private data.

We can all get active in the public arena and support Sensenbrenner and Leahy’s bills to rein in the widespread NSA surveillance, as well as every other bill that’s genuinely written in the interests of the people.

I didn’t know that NSA employees violated regulations thousands of times and actually spied on their spouses, but these revelations don’t surprise me one bit after everything we’ve heard so far.

At another time, I may have been more critical of Sensenbrenner for his work authoring the incorrectly-titled Patriot Act, because that act has served as one of the biggest usurpers of our freedom and rights.

I couldn’t say if he genuinely felt that what he authored was necessary for the protection of the people at the time or if he knowingly worked for the powers that were, but regardless, this individual is realizing the error of the Patriot Act’s ways and working accordingly to right the wrongs that have been made in the US government.

Terrorism is becoming less and less of a justification for the NSA as we learn that plain citizens have been spied on and have had their data collected and stored in a digital bottomless pit, and it’s refreshing to see so many individuals in my government stand up and work for the people.

Rand Paul is also involved in legislation designed to end NSA surveillance and data-collection, and as the people continue to make our voices heard on this issue and advocate such an end to their ability, so will people like Paul, Leahy and Sensenbrenner be more easily able to introduce their respective legislation to a body of lawmakers who see how unhappy the people are about this issue and could act accordingly.

I’d imagine the NSA has done much more than we’ve yet been told, and it’s important as these bills are presented to remember the revelations we’ve received so far. Need I remind you of some of the most telling ones?

The cabal’s power-obsessed spying on citizens who they honestly think they have control over is being exposed and subsequently ending, and it feels great to be on this world at this time of rapid exposure and transformation. Can you feel the transformational nature of the times we’re in?

This week’s news links:

(1)- “Syria: US and Russia Agree, Chemical Weapons Destruction on Track” (Originally posted to AP and the Guardian) at:

http://goldenageofgaia.com/2013/10/syria-us-and-russia-agree-chemical-weapons-destruction-on-track/

(2)- “Patriot Act Author Prepares Bill to put NSA Bulk Collection ‘Out of Business’” (Written by Dan Roberts) at:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/10/nsa-surveillance-patriot-act-author-bill

(3)- “The main opposition to Sensenbrenner and Leahy’s twin-pronged effort is likely to come from the chair of the Senate intelligence committee, Dianne Feinstein, who is supportive of the NSA but who has proposed separate legislation focusing on greater transparency and checks rather than an outright ban on bulk collection.

[Sensenbrenner quote] ’If they use a law like Senator Feinstein is proposing, it will just allow them to do business as usual with a little bit of a change in the optics.’” (See reference #2)

This concludes our weekly news.

PayPal

Image: http://www.altinkum-didim.co.uk/images/News.jpg

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s