Tuesday 13th October 2015

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Government Looking For Witches Will Find Them

October 14, 2013 Featured Today No Comments


While the nation’s political class has been fixated on a potential government shutdown in Washington this past week, the NSA has continued to spy on all Americans and by its ambiguity and shrewd silence seems to be acknowledging slowly that the scope of its spying is truly breathtaking.
The Obama administration is of the view that the NSA can spy on anyone anywhere. The president believes that federal statutes enable the secret FISA court to authorize the NSA to capture any information it desires about any persons without identifying the persons and without a showing of probable cause of criminal behavior on the part of the persons to be spied upon.
This is the same mindset that the British government had with respect to the colonists. It, too, believed that British law permitted a judge in secret in Britain to issue general warrants to be executed in the colonies at the whim of British agents.
General warrants do not state the name of the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized, and they do not have the necessity of individualized probable cause as their linchpin. They simply authorize the bearer to search wherever he wishes for whatever he wants. General warrants were universally condemned by colonial leaders across the ideological spectrum — from those as radical as Sam Adams to those as establishment as George Washington, and from those as individualistic as Thomas Jefferson to those as big government as Alexander Hamilton.
e know from the literature of the times that the whole purpose of the Fourth Amendment — with its requirements of individualized probable cause and specifically identifying the target — is to prohibit general warrants.
And yet, the FISA court has been issuing general warrants and the NSA executing them since at least 2004.
The past week we learned in a curious colloquy between members of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee and Gen. Keith Alexander and Deputy Attorney General James Cole that it is more likely than not that the FISA court has permitted the NSA to seize not only telephone, Internet, and texting records, but also utility bills, credit-card bills, banking records, social media records, and digital images of mail, and that there is no upper limit on the number of Americans’ records seized or the nature of those records.
The judges of the FISA court are sworn to secrecy. They can’t even possess the records of what they have done. There is no case or controversy before them. There is no one before them to oppose what the NSA seeks. They don’t listen to challenged testimony. All of this violates the Constitution because it requires a real case or controversy before the jurisdiction of federal courts may be invoked.
So when a FISA court judge issues an opinion declaring that NSA agents may spy to their hearts’ content, such an opinion is meaningless because it did not emanate out of a case or controversy. It is merely self-serving rhetoric, unchallenged and untested by the adversarial process.
Think about it: Without an adversary, who will challenge the NSA when it exceeds the “permission” given by the FISA court or when it spies in defiance of “permission” denied? Who will know?
For this reason, the FISA court is unconstitutional at best and not even a court at worst. It consists of federal judges administratively approving in secret the wishes of the government. By not adjudicating a dispute, which is all that federal judges can do under the Constitution, these judges are not performing a judicial function. Rather, they are performing a clerical or an executive one, neither of which is contemplated by the Constitution.
And yet, the president and his secret agents and the politicians who support them would have you believe that the NSA’s spying has been approved by bona fide federal courts. It has not. Does the Constitution permit the federal government to put us all under a microscope? It does not. The government is supposed to work for us and derive its powers from the consent of the governed. Do you know anyone who consented to all this? I do not.
The traditional bar that the government must meet in order to begin gathering data on any of us is individualized articulable suspicion about criminal behavior. The purpose of that requirement is to prevent witch-hunts and inquisitions and knocks on doors in the night. Without that bar, there are no limits as to whom the feds can pursue.
What will become of us if the feds can watch our every move and hear our every conversation and learn our every expenditure and read our every e-mail and find out what we eat and whom we love and how we live? There are well over 4,500 federal crimes. The feds can find something wrong that anyone has done. Stalin’s chief of secret police, the monster Lavrenti Beria, once famously proclaimed: “Show me the man and I will find you the crime.”
History teaches that a government on a witch-hunt, unconstrained by law or Constitution, will not stop until it can brand someone as a witch. And an unbridled inquisition will not stop until it finds a heretic. The Constitution simply never entrusted the people who run the government with this awesome power. Rather, in the Fourth Amendment, it prohibited it.
If the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — which are the stated reasons for forming the United States of America in the first place — mean anything, they mean that we all possess the inalienable right to be different and the inalienable right to be left alone. Neither of these rights can be honored when the government knows all. And when the government knows all, and doesn’t like what it knows, we will have an authoritarian state far more odious than any history has ever known.
On the face of an all-knowing secret government are large and awful eyes — and no smile.

+ + +

(Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. Judge Napolitano has written seven books on the U.S. Constitution. The most recent is Theodore and Woodrow: How Two American Presidents Destroyed Constitutional Freedom. For more information, please visit www.creators.com.)

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Untitled 3

Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

Vatican revokes Catholic priest’s press credentials after he challenged archbishop

ROME, October 12, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Amid continuing concern about the Vatican press office’s “manipulation” of the family synod’s message, a priest who has been covering Vatican news for over 15 years had his credentials revoked last week, and was…Continue Reading

Condemned ‘Catholic’ group uses Vatican press access to challenge African bishop on homosexuality

Analysis ROME, October 8, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — At the Vatican’s press briefing Thursday, the head of a U.S. group that aims to change Church teaching on homosexuality challenged an African bishop for perceived silence on the criminalization of “gay and…Continue Reading

Cardinal Schonborn says Synod’s contentious parts are yet to come

ROME, October 9, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) –Thursday, October 8, saw a surprise for the Synod of Bishops on the Family, when the Synod Secretariat announced that the only German-speaking discussion group among the 13 discussion groups (circuli minores) is not, as…Continue Reading

Leading African cardinal critiques Vatican spokesman Fr. Rosica

ROME, October 9, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – South African Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, a leading cardinal on the organizing committee for the Synod on the Family, issued a pointed critique on Twitter of a controversial report on the Synod by the Vatican’s…Continue Reading

Archbishop Chaput: Synod’s working text risks ‘compromise’ with sin

ROME, October 8, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — Fresh off of the World Meeting of Families, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput gave a strong intervention at the Vatican’s family synod this week, warning that the meeting’s working text risks “compromise” with sin. The…Continue Reading

Canadian Catholic Schools Defy Archbishop on Transgender Policy

DMONTON, Alberta, Canada, October 8, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) – A Catholic school district in Canada is planning to approve a transgender policy contrary to its archbishop’s guidelines. The Edmonton Catholic school district in Alberta wants to push through a radical transgender…Continue Reading

Synod Showdown Report—October 5, 2015

We’re just out of the first press briefing of the Synod 2015, and things have pretty much picked up where they ended last year. The lead story, if you want to say there’s a lead to this, was a question…Continue Reading

Gov. Brown signs controversial assisted-suicide bill

Caught between conflicting moral arguments, Gov. Jerry Brown, a former Jesuit seminary student, signed a measure Monday allowing physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients who want to hasten their deaths. Brown appeared to struggle in…Continue Reading

Someone is Lying About the Pope’s Meeting with Kim Davis

Papal spokesman Father Thomas Rosica flatly denies Kim Davis met privately with Pope Francis when he visited Washington, D.C. which stands in flat contradiction to Davis’s claims. In Roscia’s telling Davis was part of a large number of people as…Continue Reading

Top Universities Defend Research Using Body Parts From Aborted Babies

Some of America’s top universities have signed a letter urging states not to support legislation that would ban the sale of aborted babies for research. The letter comes after ten videos surfaced exposing Planned Parenthood’s organ harvesting business, along with…Continue Reading

Catholic Hospitals Sued For Refusing Emergency Care To Pregnant Women

The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday announced that it is suing Trinity Health Corporation, which operates 80 hospitals nationwide, for refusing to provide pregnant women suffering from life-threatening emergency complications with abortions. Trinity Health hospitals have “repeatedly and systematically…Continue Reading

Too Scared to Pray? ISIL Cancels Prayers for Fear of Russian Airstrikes

The Islamic State terror group cancelled Friday prayers in the Syrian city of Raqqa and emptied mosques there out of fear of further Russian airstrikes, according to activists and city residents. According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights,…Continue Reading


Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 7

(Vatican Radio) Monday 12 Oct. Fr. Federico Lombardi SJ, spokesman for the Holy See, was accompanied by Fr. Thomas Rosica CSB and two couples – Pedro & Ketty De Rezende from Brazil and Ishwar & Penny Bajaj from India – at the daily press briefing for the Synod on the Family. It would be a welcome innovation if there was a proposal to the bishops of the world to ensure much more formation and accompaniment of couples…Continue Reading

Synod of Bishops, Week 1: Suspended Between Pastoral Despair or the Decision to Hope


Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia gave probably the best description of the Synod’s Working Document – and by extension of the Synod’s discussion so far. In his October 7 speech at the Synod, published on the archdiocese web site – Archbishop Chaput said that the working documents “present us two conflicting views: pastoral despair or the decision to hope.” The Synod Fathers’ sentiment after one week has been swinging between these two poles. Pope…Continue Reading

Pope’s Morning Homily: Be on Guard, Evil One Is Always Trying to Deceive

At Casa Santa Marta, Francis Considers Necessity of Discerning and Watchfulness Vatican City, October 09, 2015 (ZENIT.org) Staff Reporter | 3436 hits Pope Francis today at his morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta recalled that a Christian should always discern what God is doing and asking in a situation, since the Evil One is always present as well, and trying to deceive. Vatican Radio reported that the Holy Father drew his homily from today’s Gospel…Continue Reading

Prelates Note Satisfaction With Synod’s Work So Far . . . Say Instrumentum Laboris a ‘Martyr Document’ Meant to Be Changed

Rome, October 09, 2015 (ZENIT.org) Staff Reporter Though reports from the 13 working groups read today at the synod of bishops showed generalized dissatisfaction with the Instrumentum Laboris, Cardinal Antonio Tagle of Manila says that is to be expected, as the working document is meant to be a “martyr document,” revised and corrected during the process of the synod. That was one of several points made at today’s briefing in the Vatican press office, to…Continue Reading

Santorum Urges Making Difference . . . CMP Videos Had Fast Impact, Pregnancy-Center Head Says

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — As GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum urged people to make a difference to save this nation, the leader of a pregnancy center here told an audience that the powerful Planned Parenthood videos from the Center for Medical Progress had an instant effect. Speaking at the annual fund-raising dinner of Phoenix’s…Continue Reading

Is Education Possible?

By DONALD DeMARCO It may seem odd to question whether education is possible. After all, is it not true that education is going on, if not flourishing, all over North America? The question, however, is not without merit for, in far too many instances, what passes for education is not really education at all. Relativism,…Continue Reading

A Movie Review . . . Giving Their Lives Over To “A Better Way”

By REY FLORES For the past year and a half since a young man named Mike Brown was gunned down in Ferguson, Mo., race relations in America have been going backwards. It wasn’t so much that the racism grew again in an organic manner, but seems to have been manufactured by the government and the…Continue Reading

“What Is Transgenderism?”

By BRIAN CLOWES Conclusion (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For all of the previous Culture of Life 101 articles on homosexuality, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “We psychiatrists should work to discourage those adults who seek surgical sex reassignment” — “sex-change”…Continue Reading

War Party Targets Putin And Assad

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Having established a base on the Syrian coast, Vladimir Putin began air strikes on ISIS and other rebel forces seeking to overthrow Bashar Assad. A longtime ally of Syria, Russia wants to preserve its toehold on the Mediterranean, help Assad repel the threat, and keep the Islamic terrorists out of Damascus.…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Mexican Exorcist Moves Toward Sainthood

By ELISE HARRIS VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN News) — Among the eight causes for sainthood advanced by Pope Francis is a Mexican exorcist who lived during the time of the Cristero War, and was mentored by a bishop who has since been canonized. The Pope gave the green light to move the causes on to the next step in a private…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . The Church Of Christ Is Visible, Imperishable, And Infallible

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM From the 15th century onward, there have been some novel doctrines about the nature of the Church of Christ. In order to avoid obedience to the pastors of the Church, especially the Pope in Rome, those creative little minds came up with the idea that the Church is not visible: That is, she has no…Continue Reading

Mission Of The Catholic Laity: Priest, Prophet, And King

By DON FIER Part 2 As baptized Christians, as we saw last week, each member of the lay faithful participates in the life and work of Jesus Christ and thus in His threefold office of priest, prophet, and king. As expressed by the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC): “The whole People of God participates in these three offices of…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. We recently celebrated the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. But aren’t there other groupings of angels and what are they? — A.C., Florida. A. Based on the writings of Saints Dionysius, Gregory the Great, and Thomas Aquinas, the Church has taught that there are nine choirs of angels. Beginning at the highest level, they are Seraphim,…Continue Reading

Choose To Serve Rather Than To Be Served

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Ninth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Isaiah 53:10-11 Heb. 4:14-16 Mark 10:35-45 In the Gospel reading today our Lord tells us that He came, not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. This is our hope for eternal salvation and, obviously, it is our hope…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Pope St. John XXIII

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 2 As we saw in part 1, the ecclesiastical career of Angelo Roncalli up until 1953 had already shown him to be a man dedicated to the Church. Frequently he had to serve the Church despite family tragedies. Wherever the Church asked him to go, he went obediently without complaint. Despite the many persecutions, sacrifices, and…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope St. John XXIII

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 1 Although rare, it is not unknown for a poor man, who had no connections and did not seek to develop them, to rise above all other men in stature and in influence over mankind. Such was the case of the sharecroppers’ son, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli. Throughout his ecclesiastical career, he was obedient and kind, but…Continue Reading