IS MASS SURVEILLANCE KILLING THE REPUBLIC?
by Sharon Rondeau
(May 16, 2015) — In an editorial published at WND on Friday evening, Atty. Larry Klayman presented several reasons why he believes U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow should have recused himself from presiding over a case charging Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio with contempt of his order to refrain from “racial profiling” of Hispanics during traffic stops.
Snow is a 2008 George W. Bush judicial appointee who last month demanded that investigatory information gleaned from an investigation Arpaio had launched involving a former CIA contractor, Dennis Montgomery, be turned over to him.
Between April 21 and 24, Arpaio and some of his deputies testified that they had defied Snow’s order as to how to collect information sought by a federally-appointed monitor from Snow’s decision in 2013 that Arpaio had violated the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights in the case of Melendres, et al v. Arpaio, et al originally filed in 2007 by the ACLU.
The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in May 2012 against Arpaio’s office for allegedly “intentionally and systematically discriminated against Latinos. They have accomplished this by stopping Latinos in their vehicles four to nine times more often than similarly situated non-Latino drivers. In addition, MCSO stops Latinos on the county’s roads without the required legal justification. Also, MCSO detains and searches Latinos on the roads, in their homes, and in their workplaces without legal justification for doing so. Further, MCSO mistreats Latino detainees with limited English proficiency by ignoring important requests if they are not made in English and punishing detainees if they fail to understand orders given in English. Finally, MCSO files baseless administrative actions, civil actions and criminal cases against its perceived critics in an attempt to chill free speech.”
The Obama regime itself has been accused, particularly in recent weeks, of “intolerance” as it relates to First Amendment issues.
Also last night, Carl Gallups of “Freedom Friday” provided an update on the Arpaio hearing in which he advised his audience to “listen carefully” and “read in between the lines” regarding a mainstream media article titled “Sheriff’s investigation was intended to discredit.”
During testimony on April 24, Arpaio stated that his attorney hired a private investigator to determine the veracity of a report made to Arpaio’s office that Judge Snow’s wife had publicly expressed that her husband wished to see that Arpaio was not re-elected during the time in which the Melendres case proceeded and Snow presided.
The media did not question whether or not Snow is now compromised. Neither Snow nor his wife has denied making the comments alleged by several fellow patrons in a restaurant prior to Arpaio’s 2012 re-election to a sixth consecutive term.
Gallups described Montgomery as having provided “reams and reams” of information as a confidential informant to Arpaio concerning mass surveillance of public officials and Maricopa County residents. “Apparently, there were people involved in tracking information and collecting information on citizens, including judges and including law enforcement officials, etc., around the nation, coming right out of our government offices, and apparently Arpaio and Zullo are privy to a lot of that,” Gallups said.
Montgomery has been characterized as a “con man” who perpetrated a scam on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2003 when DHS declared a raised terror threat and several commercial international flights were grounded. A story in Wired, citing original source Playboy, claims that Montgomery “was able to to pawn his technology off” on several government departments at various times in contracts worth millions of dollars over a period of years.
Montgomery has sued the federal government and New York Times author James Risen for defamation.
In his lawsuit against Obama and the National Security Agency (NSA) for alleged unlawful collection of personal data and communications, Klayman asked on March 20 of this year that Montgomery be heard by the judge in private session because of the classified nature of information Montgomery reportedly holds. “Mr. Montgomery can testify about the unconstitutional and illegal surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that is highly relevant and of crucial importance to the above-styled lawsuits, as he worked closely with these agencies following the tragedy of September 11, 2001. As shown below, Montgomery has attempted to alert appropriate government authorities that surveillance goes beyond what whistleblower Edward Snowden disclosed. In fact, the surveillance has even harvested the records of judicial, congressional, and executive government officials. Indeed, this is confirmed in no small part by Senator Diane Feinstein, previously the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who revealed that the CIA had illegally harvested emails and other information of her and her staff,” Klayman wrote.
Last July, CIA Director John Brennan admitted to having surveilled the Senate Intelligence Committee but apologized for it. Members of Congress have suggested that they and members of the U.S. Supreme Court have been targeted by surveillance under the Obama regime.
In June 2013, Snowden revealed to The Guardian that the NSA has been collecting billions of communications from Americans on a daily basis without a warrant. Klayman’s first court hearing on the issue resulted in a ruling in December 2013 from Judge Richard Leon that the activity was “likely unconstitutional,” while a May 7, 2015 ruling from a three-judge appellate panel stated that “the bulk telephone metadata program” used by the NSA to collect information is not authorized by Section 215 of The Patriot Act.
According to Arpaio, Montgomery had reportedly told members of his office that a government entity, perhaps the CIA, had breached the email accounts of Snow and other judges as well as bank account information of more than 50,000 Maricopa County residents, after which Snow appeared to identify the “Department of Justice” as being involved.
During testimony on April 24, Arpaio indicated that information Mongtomery provided had not turned out to be wholly credible, although Arpaio’s chief deputy, Jerry Sheridan, testified that a FISA Court judge in Washginton, DC had affirmed that codes provided by Montgomery reportedly used to decipher messages by government agencies were, in fact, accurate, a detail the mainstream media did not report.
On Friday, KPHO reported:
A federal judge harshly criticized Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office Thursday for pursuing a secret investigation designed to discredit the judge as he oversees a racial-profiling case against the lawman.
U.S. District Judge Murray Snow said Arpaio intended to show that Snow and the U.S. Justice Department were conspiring against him in two civil rights cases. Arpaio’s goal in trying to discredit the judge is unclear, but Snow has delivered some of the most crushing legal blows in the sheriff’s 22-year tenure, including a ruling that his officers racially profiled Latinos.
On May 8, Klayman filed an emergency request with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for a Writ of Mandamus ordering Snow to recuse himself from the Melendres case, but on May 12, the higher court declined to intervene. A status hearing scheduled by Snow for Thursday then ensued.
Represented by Klayman, Montgomery had asked to intervene in the case and that his proprietary work not be collected by the court. Documents posted on PACER on the case on Thursday and Friday indicate that Snow has not recused himself and that Montgomery’s motions were denied.
On June 4, 2014, The Phoenix New Times, which strongly opposes Arpaio politically, his policies and investigation into Obama’s documentation launched in September 2011, reported that Arpaio was “investigating” Snow and the Department of Justice and “using a Seattle scammer to do it.”
Snow quoted from The Phoenix New Times during the proceedings in April, asking Arpaio if he had read the article.
In his Friday evening update, Gallups indicated that the current court case is a manifestation of how the original investigation into Obama’s long-form birth certificate by Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse had “turned very dark,” according to posse lead investigator Mike Zullo. In November 2013, Zullo had indicated that one or two press conferences would be held, most likely in March 2014, to reveal the final investigatory results of the posse’s probe into the birth certificate and Selective Service registration form bearing Obama’s name which declared both to be “computer-generated forgeries.”
The mainstream media refused to investigate the results of the criminal investigation. In a recent exchange with a Washington Post writer, The Post & Email was asked, “Do you think it’s a media conspiracy?”
While one presser was to provide a final report on the birth certificate findings, the second was to detail a second investigation which Arpaio had opened at an undisclosed time on another matter. In February of last year, Zullo told Gallups on his show that Arpaio’s criminal investigation might delay the press conferences if further inquiry was warranted. Gallups rejoined that Arpaio was investigating something “deeply criminal.”
During court testimony last month, the birth certificate investigation was briefly mentioned.
In his column, Klayman stated that Snow was “required to withdraw from the contempt trial” because of a conflict of interest but “continued to issue court orders in an attempt [sic] harm Sheriff Arpaio and Montgomery.”
Klayman concluded his piece by stating that the judiciary “can protect us from the tyranny of the other two branches of government” but that unethical jurists “are the biggest current threat (along with President Barack Hussein Obama, himself, who not coincidentally was behind the initial federal investigation of the sheriff along with his comrades at the ACLU) to a healthy and functioning constitutional republic!”
The ACLU continues to represent the plaintiffs in the Melendres case, as does the firm of Covington & Burling, which often represents large international banks with ties to terrorist financing.
The Department of Justice had launched a probe into a claim of “abuse of power” against Arpaio but dismissed it unexpectedly in late August 2012.
The New Times described the suspicion that the DOJ and Snow could have been communicating about Arpaio as “a bizarre conspiracy theory.” Shedding any attempt at impartiality, the paper clearly celebrated in 2013 when Snow ruled that Arpaio had engaged in racial profiling. Embedded in the article is a link to a now-defunct website aimed at recalling Arpaio following his November 2012 re-election.
Following Arpaio’s testimony on April 24, The New Times inaccurately reported that “Arpaio admitted there had been an investigation into Snow’s wife.”
One year ago, Snow received “the Truman Foundation’s Joseph E. Stevens, Jr. Award in recognition of his significant contributions to public service as a lawyer.” Before his appointment by Bush to the U.S. District Court in Phoenix, Snow served on the Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct with the Arizona Bar Association.
When The Post & Email contacted the CIA in 2012 to ask if the agency were involved in vetting candidates for office, its spokesman said he could not comment on the matter or refer us to anyone who could.
Obama has been accused of retaliating against his political opponents by utilizing the IRS, ATF, DOJ and other government agencies. Individuals claiming to have been targets are Republican presidential candidate Dr. Benjamin Carson; former U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell; former vice-presidential candidate Wayne Allyn Root, an outspoken Obama critic who has also questioned Obama’s life narrative; Tea Party groups, military veterans, and Christians.