A BATTLE FOR FREEDOM FROM ILLEGAL SEARCHES AND SEIZURES
The Imperial March from the Empire Strikes Back movie would have served as the perfect background music as the next panel took the chairs in front of the committee. But only the shuffling of feet and a few hushed whispers broke the silence as the opponents of the Fourth Amendment Protection Act prepared to testify.
In the blink of an eye, the atmosphere of the room changed.
Panic replaced passion.
Hartford County State’s Attorney Joe Cassilly spoke first. He was no stranger to the committee, having endured Smigiel’s wrath during earlier testimony on warrants. Cassily jumped right to the point, making the absurd assertion that if HB1074 becomes law, he will no longer be able to collect child support from deadbeat dads. He claimed the bill would prevent him from working with virtually any federal agency. Cassilly became increasingly shrill as he went on to express fear that he could lose his job for violating the law and made some incoherent comment about presumption of innocence.
Having seemingly run out of steam, Cassilly turned the microphone over to Richard C. Schaeffer, Jr. who said he was testifying “as a citizen.” Of course, he was also testifying as a former NSA executive. He made a big deal about how many times he’d taken and administered the oath of office, swearing to defend and protect the Constitution. Then, apparently wanting to top Cassilly on the absurdity meter, he claimed NSA agents “take the oath very seriously and in no way would violate any law having to do with the citizens protection – defending the citizens of this great nation. I know for a fact this is not done.”
That surely left some in the gallery wondering if perhaps NSA employment somehow made one omnipotent.
Then Schaeffer got to down to brass tacks.
“This bill would put a lot of companies that support that agency out of business.”
Interestingly, Schaeffer never mentioned to the committee that he now runs one of those businesses. After retiring from his spy gig, he started a private consulting firm called Riverbank Associates, LLC, and serves as a principle for an organization called Security Innovation Network.
SINET is a community builder, strategic advisor and catalyst whose passion is to promote innovation, small and large business development and enhanced awareness of early stage and emerging growth companies and enterprises into the Federal Government and industry markets.
It would seem Schaeffer’s interest in this legislation possibly extends beyond that of a concerned citizen.
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The OffNow coalition is group of grassroots organizations and individuals spanning the political spectrum committed to stopping unconstitutional NSA spying through state and local activism.
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