The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. (1)
Many have previously expressed tremendous frustration with the FBI’s seemingly lack of expediency and diligence regarding countless cases such as the infamous Hunter Biden Laptop story, or the 20/20 election, for instance. The FBI who turned a blind eye to terrorist warnings around attacks in San Bernardino, Boston Marathon, Parkland High School, Garland Texas, Fort Hood, Pulse Nightclub, Mandalay Bay Vegas, etc. deemed it worthy of thousands of FBI agents and incalculable man hours to hunt down those who may have been near the nation’s capital on January 6th, 2021.(2)
Perhaps they were derailed by a lack of passion, which they appear to have suddenly found in targeting every person who attended the Capitol Hill protests on January 6, 2021. As though they were recreating a scene straight out of Orwell’s 1984, the FBI is literally calling their effort the hunt for “America’s Most Wanted”. With much success, the FBI has been asking for help from their ideological acolytes in the media apparatus.(3) Indicative of the copious man power and hours entailed, the arrest list is quite extensive,(4) when compared to the 50 FBI Agents assigned to the Trump Russia collusion investigation. (5)
FBI chief Christopher Wray, says the agency is conducting 2,000 domestic terrorism investigations. (6) Candace Owens tweeted on March 3, “About 10 of my friends who attended Trump’s Speech but DID NOT go to the Capitol building thereafter have had the FBI turn up at their door to ask them why they went to D.C. This is criminal intimidation. Our FBI is trying to scare conservatives against ever gathering in the future.” (7) I have several friends who have relayed a similar experience where the FBI has either shown up at their door or called them for interrogation, some of whom were NOT at the Capitol building on the 6th. Many Americans won’t hesitate to open up their doors to FBI agents because they assume “those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear.”(8)
Unfortunately, most are not informed enough to recognize a violation of due process, or when there is an exploitation of a comprehensive federal false statements law,(9) that criminalizes casual comments. Federal agents have the right to lie to you and to put you in prison if you lie to them. Any citizen who makes a false utterance as simple as a “yes” or “no” to a federal agent may face up to five years in prison along with a $250,000 fine.(10) Brogan vs. the United States upheld that you can be not guilty of a crime but guilty of lying about the same non-crime.(11) This becomes quite concerning when innocent people are being questioned and potentially harassed. It makes one ponder how the FBI is finding the people they are questioning regarding the 6th and the validity of their actions. When social media platforms such as Facebook (12) and financial institutions such as Bank of America (13) are transferring private data to the FBI with much alacrity, it becomes a frightening notion that your future could hinge upon the accuracy of your memory.
The evidence suggests they are using a combination of data mining and enlisting the public to contribute. The FBI can remotely record your conversations and activate the microphone on your cellphone and laptop without the user’s awareness.(14) Relying upon selfies, social media posts (15), location data, geotagged photos, facial recognition, surveillance cameras and crowdsourcing, government agents are compiling a massive data trove on anyone (17) who may have been anywhere in the vicinity of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The compiled digital intelligence is overwhelming. What we know thus far includes, 15,000 hours of surveillance and body-worn camera footage; 1,600 electronic devices, 270,000 digital media tips (18) at least 140,000 (19) and videos; and about 100,000 location pings (20) for thousands of smartphones.
Investigative journalists Charlie Warzel and Stuart A. Thompson assert (21), no one is safe from this type of data pooling! “This data—collected by smartphone apps and then fed into a dizzyingly complex digital advertising ecosystem… To think that the information will be used against individuals only if they’ve broken the law is naïve; such data is collected and remains vulnerable to use and abuse whether people gather in support of an insurrection or they justly protest police violence… This collection will only grow more sophisticated… It gets easier by the day… it does not discriminate. It harvests from the phones of MAGA rioters, police officers, lawmakers and passers-by. There is no evidence, from the past or current day, that the power this data collection offers will be used only to good ends. There is no evidence that if we allow it to continue to happen, the country will be safer or fairer.”
According to John Whitehead (22), “this is the creepy, calculating yet diabolical genius of the American police state:the very technology we hailed as revolutionary and liberating has become our prison, jailer, probation officer, Big Brother and Father Knows Best all rolled into one. Databit by databit, we are building our own electronic concentration camps”.
This is antithetical to the due process stipulated in the 5th and 14th amendments, and an invasion of the privacies protected under the 4th amendment. Contrary to our founding principles of being innocent until proven guilty the January 6th investigations have utilized the Stasi reminiscent willingness of peers to turn in information, along with unsolicited retrieval of digital and technological resources to target “suspects”. Greenwald (23) declares, “Involvement of the intelligence community in the domestic activities of U.S. citizens is one of the most dangerous breaches of civil liberties and democratic order the U.S. Government can perpetrate. It was after World War II when the CIA, the NSA and other security state agencies that wield immense and unlimited powers in the dark were created in the name of fighting the Cold War.
I concur with Candace Owens’ statement, “I am a huge supporter of law enforcement but what is happening right now in America is not about enforcing any laws. It’s political harassment, plain and simple, and every American should be outraged about it. Conservatism is not a crime.” (24)