March 24, 2016

Why the NSA is illegal

Reader Supported News - NSA is not like the CIA or the National Security Council, which were created by the National Security Act of 1947. The NSA was created in 1952 by presidential executive order. That sounds fine. But only Congress can create a federal agency. President Truman did it unilaterally at the time and nobody in Congress complained.

Truman made the new National Security Agency subordinate to the Secretary of Defense. It’s a military organization. All NSA leaders, since the organization’s creation, have been generals or admirals. It has never had civilian leadership.

The problem with that is there is a federal law that prohibits the military from having any role in domestic policy. It’s called the Posse Comitatus Act. Passed and signed into law in 1878, the Act states: “From and after the passage of this act it shall not be lawful to employ any part of the Army of the United States as a posse comitatus, or otherwise, for the purpose of executing the laws, except in such cases and under such circumstances as such employment of said force may be expressly authorized by the Constitution or by act of Congress.”

That means that Congress can authorize the army to, say, assist local governments during a natural disaster. But it forbids exactly what the Obama administration is now mandating the NSA to do – provide information to federal and local law enforcement organizations on American citizens. It’s just simply illegal. It’s the use of the military in law enforcement. It’s an act of war against the American people.

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