The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is a strange duck, I refer to it here as the "Terror Court" to remind folks why it exists and what it does.
Here are some facts:
- The Court was originally conceptualized in 1978 (Pres. Jimmy Carter) in Public Law: 50 USC 1803(a)(103)(a) and was re-conceptualized in 2001 under the Patriot Act by President Bush the Younger, then re-authorized in 2011 by President Obama.
- The original Court was composed of seven District Court Judges, each from a particular Federal Judicial District, of which there are 94.
- President Bush's expansion of this Court increased the number of Judges to eleven.
- It is curious to note that although the Court was expanded by 50% under George W. Bush, it did NOT add any new judges to the Washington, D.C. area, which must by law, have at least three, but has never had more than that number. The Judges are scattered about the country, as shown here.
Judge Michael Mosman of the Oregon District was just added to this Court, which means Stumptown now has it's very own Star Chamber Court (assuming the Judge stays here in Oregon)! This is curious, since no other West Coast Judicial District has a Judge on the Terror Court. The West Coast was left out of assignments for this Court before last week. Then again, no plan has ever been discovered which shows why the assignments went where, either. Done in secret, dontchaknow.
Additionally curious is the fact that Judge Mosman replaced Judge Roger Vinson on the Court, and Judge Vinson is the one who signed the Order to allow the NSA to store all our telecommunications data.
Also curious, and also unknown to this blogger, is how the coincidence of time is involved here: Judge Vinson retired and THEN we heard about the sweeping telecomm surveillance order. Now we hear that our damaged-goods USAG is being urged to pursue how the information on which Judge signed that Order got released, with an eye towards Federal Prosecution.
Here's a clue for you, super-sleuth Holder: it had to be an American Patriot who released that souper-seecrit information you didn't want us to know.
More info for you, Mr. Holder: there are a lot of American Patriots out there, and all YOUR skeletons-in-the-closet will eventually come out, too. I don't possess any of those secrets, but I would support anyone who did, if they wanted to release them. I am not alone, either.
This Federal Government must get more of the "cockroach treatment": turn over those rocks, open all those cupboards and drawers, let the light of the publicity of the Free Press bring sunshine on these mis-deeds.
Exposure is the only way, short of revolution, to bring civility back to our governance. We all must hope that increasing the exposure works, because if exposure doesn't work, the next method will be our Darkest Hour.