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Bravo Oklahoma!

[The state of Oklahoma will] refuse material support, participation or assistance to any federal agency which claims the power, or with any federal law, rule, regulation or order which purports to authorize the collection of electronic data or metadata of any person pursuant to any action not based on a warrant…

- Draft Bill SB1252

28 comments to Bravo Oklahoma!

  • Mr Ed

    And what if a US Marshal says otherwise?

  • The state has its own police too, Ed. In reality most Federal authority relies on the cooperation of state and local authorities.

  • Mr Ed

    Yes Perry, the Federal civil enforcement arms are thinly spread, but this is not like the secession of Slovenia in 1991 (not for years yet, anyway). What did the State of Texas do at Waco to protect its inhabitants when they called 911 for assistance during an ATF raid, not a lot I recall.

  • You oppose this measure why exactly? Did Texas have some law prohibiting cooperation with BATF when Waco happened?

  • CaptDMO

    It doesn’t matter what a US Marshal says, they aren’t “entitled” to judge the merits of such warrants.

  • Mr Ed

    Perry, if you are asking me

    You oppose this measure why exactly?

    then we are at cross-purposes. I am thinking of the reality on the ground. What would happen should the FBI ‘OSNAZ*’ SWAT teams turn up to assist a US Marshal enforcing a Federal injunction requiring co-operation from the State authorities by carting off State officials?

    *

  • Paul Marks

    It is indeed a bit pointless – unless Oklahoma was to secede (which would actually be a good idea – for various reasons).

    However, it is a nice gesture.

  • Sometimes I despair Paul… no it is not ‘pointless’ unless they intend to secede. In politics, taking an unmistakable stand on a point of principle is what gets attention. Saying to the Federal Government of the USA, “No, we the State of Oklahoma refuse to be a party to this” is High Profile Principle Based Politics. Moreover it actually does present the Feds with real practical problems, not to mention stating unmistakably that refusing to accept the legitimacy of a Federal activity is actually a reasonable thing to do.

    But if you don’t think that is worth doing and will only see military based secession as a meaningful act worthy of your approval, say, having the Oklahoma National Guard blow up a Federal building or some such, well fine, then consider this article aimed at people other than you.

    Mr. Ed: Yes, well force them to do exactly that rather than using local assets. Polarise and radicalise.

  • KTWO

    It is a gesture. But the state bureaucrats will undermine the intent as much as possible.

    Regardless of what state elected officials may want or enact their state public servants are for absolute government power and the federal government is their Alpha Dog.

  • Mr Ed

    Indeed Perry, ultimately all political and State power flows from ideology and belief, even if it is a belief that others will co-operate with the government if you do not.

    A judge may have many legal powers, but if those who enforce the Court orders are paid by the State and follow their managers’ orders in place of a Judge’s orders, a judge is a powerless bureaucrat. If the Feds become nervous about enforcement, or have to demonstrate brute force, a physical victory may lead to moral then ideological defeat. When Charles I strode into the House of Commons and was in effect mocked by Mr Speaker Lenthall, he lost politically, and ultimately his head. The Soviet Union collapsed when people no longer believed in it, and they weren’t afraid to show that. This is one small step on a long journey.

  • Tedd

    I agree with Perry here. It reminds me a bit of the “notwithstanding” clause in the Canadian constitution. It empowers Parliament to basically do whatever they damn well please despite what the constitution says. So, in principle, one could say that it means we have no constitution. But in reality legislatures are extremely reluctant to use the clause (the federal Parliament never has). In the U.S., state challenges to federal authority are of somewhat the same nature: yes, the feds can usually over-ride them one way or another, but typically at significant political cost, so they’re not so keen to do so. It’s more than just a statement; it raises the cost of federal over-reach. (Though perhaps only slightly so, in this case.)

  • PersonFromPorlock

    As written, the draft legislation appears to prohibit state support of federal agencies, not actions. So once the FBI or the federal court transgresses, Oklahoma employees would be forbidden to cooperate with them in any way at any time. That might get their attention.

  • Paul Marks

    Perry as I said it is a “nice gesture”.

    Which is basically what you have said – accept that you use more words (I use a lot of words myself sometimes).

    It has no practical consequences unless Oklahoma secedes – which would be a good idea, but I doubt it will happen.

  • Paul Marks

    I continue to be baffled as to why any of this is news.

    It has been common knowledge that the NSA (like the electronic intelligence agencies of all major governments) spies on the general population for decades.

    There have been many popular books on the matter.

    Few people announce themselves as terrorists (or whatever – after all, to governments, tax dodging is even more serious than terrorism) – so the general population is spied upon, in case someone does something unusual or contacts someone who is already known to be “dodgy”. Then they merit further investigation……

    However, as has often been pointed out, organisations such as the NSA collect so much stuff that they get buried alive in it – and have trouble seeing what is useful in the vast pile (the needle in a haystack problem).

    Is it ethical to spy on the general population?

    No – as the individuals who make up the “general population” have not committed a crime (or are planning a crime)that merits such treatment.

    Even thought the “warrant problem” is got around in various ways (such as not actually opening and reading e.mails till a warrant is obtained – obtained by saying to a judge “Mr X had sent e.mails to Mr Y – Mr Y is ………. so we need to read what Mr X has said”).

    However, although it is not ethical, it is what governments (not just the American government) do.

    In the American case it has been normal practice since at least the time of President Franklin Roosevelt.

    “But I want to stop it”.

    Well this sort of spying is needed (absolutely needed) for the modern state (to catch tax dodgers, enforce insane regulations and so on – and blackmail people who might be a threat to the modern state “would your wife and children like to see the porn you have been watching …..” although this blackmail would not be legal for a private individual it does appear to be “legal” if the state does it, as the servants of the state are considered to have no personal profit from the blackmail).

    The modern state can not function without all this – due to its size and scope.

    Even in the 18th century (the 1700s) German philosophers understood that one could not have a “welfare state” without a “police state” (see F.A. Hayek – “Constitution of Liberty” and “Law, Legislation and Liberty”) they thought this would be a jolly good thing – and hoped to create it (although even Frederick the Great only laid the foundations of both – via such things as state education).

    Which brings back to secession.

    Do not like the NSA and so on?

    Then you do not like the modern state (which depends on such things). And that means the Welfare State.

    Therefore, logically, you want your area (say Oklahoma) to leave.

    “No I want the government to be as it was under Grover Cleveland – no IRS, FBI (or lawless “Anti Trust” stuff) and so on”. After all the IRS relies on mass spying (and informers) against productive people (even under Woodrow Wilson income tax reached highs of 80% or whatever during the First World War – who would pay that without a Police State?). And it did long before the NSA and computers.

    Well that (reversing the 20th century) is a benevolent ambition (a true tawny thing in heraldry).

    Good luck, you have my full support.

    Although the people will not thank you.

    After all (for example) the banking system depends on this sort of thing (government support – including the use of electronic measures). Otherwise such things as the gold market fraud (the gold market is one big fraud) would collapse. The same is true of the financial system generally (at least now).

    The people would not thank anyone who led to the collapse of the finical system – for example the vanishing of part of their “bank accounts” as in Cyprus (not that there was ever any real money in these accounts….. but let us leave that aside).

    Pull the string that leads to the unravelling of electronic spying – and all sorts of things unravel with it.

    And the people will scream and stamp their feet over their (our) suffering.

    Even though the whole vile system was bound to fall apart eventually anyway.

  • Perry as I said it is a “nice gesture”. Which is basically what you have said – accept that you use more words (I use a lot of words myself sometimes). It has no practical consequences unless Oklahoma secedes – which would be a good idea, but I doubt it will happen.

    Yeah because politics have no practical consequences? Nice to know ;-)

    I continue to be baffled as to why any of this is news.

    Yes you have made your lack of understanding in this issue very clear on many occasions.

    It has been common knowledge that the NSA (like the electronic intelligence agencies of all major governments) spies on the general population for decades. There have been many popular books on the matter.

    Please add a link to the books pre-Snowden which factually explain how the NSA sabotaged the underpinning encryption of parts of the internet. No? Yeah that’s right, you can’t. To quote an actual technical expert on the subject who wrote these word right here on Samizdata “It was like discovering that the aliens at Roswell were real”.

  • Rob

    No pork for you, Oklahoma, until you repent and be a good boy.

  • Laird

    There is a lot of this sort of thing going around these days. In my own state (South Carolina) there is pending a bill which would “nullify” Obamacare here. (It’s not truly nullification, but it would prohibit the state from cooperating or participating in it in any way, such as by setting up an exchange, and it would indemnify anyone who was subject to a penalty [or a "tax", as it was characterized by the US Supreme Court] for noncompliance.) Utah has a bill pending that would deny water to the massive new NSA data collection center (which requires immense amounts of scarce water to cool the computers). Several similar bills are pending on other western states, including California if I recall correctly. Whether any of them will actually be passed and signed into law is unknown, but my guess is that they won’t. These sorts of bills tend to be introduced to great fanfare among conservatives/libertarians, and then are consigned to committee where they die or are amended beyond all recognition. The Powers That Be (among both major parties) hate them.

    Such bills are eyewash, but they are nonetheless significant. There is a growing groundswell of opposition to the continuous expansion of federal power, and such pushback can have an effect. Does anyone here remember the Real ID Act of 2008? It would have effectively created a national ID card out of the state driver’s licenses, by (among other things) requiring them to incorporate a biometric chip containing significant data about the individual. Many states, including my own, openly refused to comply with that law, and despite federal threats nothing was ever done to them and the law has quietly disappeared. I have never had a problem using my non-compliant driver’s license to board an airplane or enter a federal building. The idea of state nullification of federal laws goes back nearly to the beginning of this country: witness Jefferson’s Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, and the northern states’ refusal to enforce the fugitive slave laws in the years leading up to the Civil War. We see it today in Colorado and Washington State legalizing marijuana. There is yet hope.

  • Surellin

    If I’m not mistaken, Oklahoma also recently bruited a plan to refuse state certification of any marriages, since they don’t want to certify gay marriages. Good for them! The state seems to be on a libertarian roll. And, regarding the futility of a refusal of Oklahoma to cooperate with the loathsome Feds, I tend to agree with Instapundit’s recent article about “Irish democracy” and the efficacy of passive refusal to cooperate.

  • Surellin, yes that was an unlooked for positive outcome from the whole gay marriage thing. Personally I do not care if people marry their cats for all I care, if they can find a consenting one, so for me the issue is getting states out of the marriage certification business completely.

  • Paul Marks

    Perry – you do not seem to understand.

    Metadata will continue to be collected in Oklahoma.

    I repeat this statement from Oklahoma is a nice gesture.

    But it is nothing more.

    As for the idea that Mr Snowden disclosed the idea that metadata is collected – not true (it has been known for many years).

    What Mr Snowden actually did was to disclose the methods of the NSA.

    Whether or not Mr Snowden is an officer of the FSB I do not know.

    But he is certainly NOT some innocent bystander who happened to come upon the methods of the NSA.

    He went into the NSA with the express purpose of discovering them.

    “Yes Paul he intended to be a WHILSTLE BLOWER!”

    Quite wrong Perry – Mr Snowden did not act as a whistle blower.

    He did not go to the relevant members of Congress and avail himself of the protection of the various relevant statutes.

    Instead he published the methods of the NSA – to the direct benefit of terrorist groups around the world.

    He also availed himself of the protection of the FSB – whether or not he was a formal officer of the FSB (or an informal contact-source) before this time.

    Proof…….

    The New York Times lives by officially ordered “leaks” from the Obama Administration.

    If Barack Obama was really hostile to what has been done the New York Times would never have published anything from Mr Snowden.

    Instead it has been front page news in the New York Times – and in the “Guardian” newspaper (like the New York Times a long term SUPPORTER, not opponent, of totalitarianism – a supporter of Stalin, Mao, Castro and so on as well as Obama).

    I suspect this project is an effort by the FSB (and the political appointees in the UNITED STATES) to discredit the professional officers of the NSA and the CIA – and to reinforce political control of these agencies.

    “But this will be good for civil liberties Paul”.

    Oh no it will not be good for civil liberties – it will bad, very bad.

    A further point of interest.

    Check all the high ranking military officers who have been quietly removed over the last few years.

    No doubt this will be “good for civil liberties” also.

    “Democratic control of the armed forces”.

    A true People’s military.

  • As for the idea that Mr Snowden disclosed the idea that metadata is collected – not true (it has been known for many years).

    Snowden revealed the sheer scale, which was not known. If you claim otherwise, provide a link to it pre-Snowden. But the really important thing that was not known even by the very tech savvy, was the way they tried to compromise the underpinning encryption (which only partial success fortunately). That was the most important thing.

    What Mr Snowden actually did was to disclose the methods of the NSA.

    Good, otherwise we just have to take his word for it.

    Whether or not Mr Snowden is an officer of the FSB I do not know. But he is certainly NOT some innocent bystander who happened to come upon the methods of the NSA. He went into the NSA with the express purpose of discovering them.

    Provide some corroboration for that statement.

    He did not go to the relevant members of Congress and avail himself of the protection of the various relevant statutes. Instead he published the methods of the NSA – to the direct benefit of terrorist groups around the world.

    Which only goes to prove he is not delusional. When the system is corrupt and filled with careerists and placemen, relying on the system is crazy.

    He also availed himself of the protection of the FSB – whether or not he was a formal officer of the FSB (or an informal contact-source) before this time.

    Proof…….

    What that is ‘proof’ of is that after Hong Kong proved to be less safe than he had hoped for, he ended up in one of the few places the USA cannot reach him and therefore where he can remain effective (which is clearly what you really are holding against him… that he did something that has actually caused the security state serious problems rather than a ‘nice gesture’).

    The New York Times lives by officially ordered “leaks” from the Obama Administration. If Barack Obama was really hostile to what has been done the New York Times would never have published anything from Mr Snowden. Instead it has been front page news in the New York Times – and in the “Guardian” newspaper (like the New York Times a long term SUPPORTER, not opponent, of totalitarianism – a supporter of Stalin, Mao, Castro and so on as well as Obama).

    Oh good, then Obama will use this golden opportunity to shut down these programmes and then bask in the glow of world wide adulation that will without a doubt bring him, yes? Are you a betting man?

    I suspect this project is an effort by the FSB (and the political appointees in the UNITED STATES) to discredit the professional officers of the NSA and the CIA – and to reinforce political control of these agencies.

    Well they need to be discredited, so…

    “But this will be good for civil liberties Paul”. Oh no it will not be good for civil liberties – it will bad, very bad.

    Yes because panoptic mass surveillance is GOOD for us, yes? And compromising part of the underpinning infrastructure of the internet keeps the world safe from terrorists, pedarists and other bad people yes?

    A further point of interest…

    Irrelevant to any of this.

  • Paul Marks

    Actions have consequences and so do inactions.

    The failure of the American security establishment to defend itself (a failure that goes back many years – with professional officers insisting on looking outwards rather than INWARDS) has consequences.

    If Mark Felt (the person at the FBI in charge of Cong hunting in the United States in the 1960s) was still alive he would alive he would ask why nothing was done to deal with Mr Obama many years ago (before he got into a position of power). Nothing dramatic needed to be done – for example publishing his, pro Soviet, Columbia university thesis (which would be easy for a government agency to get) just before a key election in Illinois would have been enough.

    After all Mr Felt was a so called “whistle blower” also – he was the FBI “Deep Throat” who destroyed Mr Nixon.

    And the things that Mr Felt told the Washington Post about the Nixon Administration were true.

    Although these (trivial) things were nothing to do with why Mr Felt opposed Mr Nixon. The real reasons why partly professional (Mr Nixon imposing a part time nonentity as Director of the FBI on the death of Mr Hoover – Mr Felt that he, Mr Felt, would have been a better candidate for the job, indeed that a person appointed at random from the telephone directory would have been a better candidate for the job of FBI Director than the gentleman that President Nixon appoited) and partly National Security (Mr Nixon’s ideological collapse – including his going crawling to Mao, the largest scale mass murderer in human history).

    But the WaPo did not need to know that.

    As for Mr Snowden…..

    When every last bit of use is got out of him, Mr Snowden will (most likely) be killed (even if he is actually an officer of the FSB – and it is uncertain whether he is or not, my guess is that he more of a dupe, some idealist Ron Paul fan who the FSB pushed in a certain direction….).

    His death will be blamed on the CIA.

    The CIA will NOT have killed him

    But the New York Times (which lives by officially ordered leaks from government – but from certain bits of the government) and the Guardian will imply they did – as will the BBC and the other international media sources.

    It will be taught as a CIA killing in the schools and universities.

    It will be used as a reason for further “reform” of the NSA and CIA.

    Pushing professional Mike Baker types out.

    And giving total “democratic control” to the appointees of Mr Obama.

  • Paul Marks

    Perry – such books as the “Puzzle Palace” were on airport and railway newsstands (hardly secret).

    The world wide nature of the NSA was also on many television shows and radio shows – both documentaries and comedy shows. It was even written on the walls of public toilets in Paris (“Echelon is watching you”) many years ago.

    The “scale” was always known – world scale, both general population and world leaders (hence the oft quoted “needle in the haystack” problem – i.e if one gathers every bit of information on everyone, one is overwhelmed by all the stuff).

    The exact methods were less well known – that is the change. Now the methods are known – and people (both intelligence officers and members of the public) will die because the methods are now known (thank you very much Edward).

    I repeat that long standing supporters of totalitarianism (such the New York Times and the Guardian)would not have supported this project had it really been about rolling back the state.

    Nor would the BBC and other media outlets.

    It is part of the state trying to discredit another part of the state.

    Not about reducing the power of the state overall – indeed quite the contrary.

    Professional officers might (just possibly) have had some problems with using the power of the state for entirely “Progressive” purposes.

    The other elements will have no such reservations – indeed Progressive purposes is what they are about.

    “Mr Snowden went to Hong Kong”.

    And I am supposed to be believe that Mr Snowden did not know that Hong Kong came under control of the People’s Republic of China in 1997?

    Pull the other one – it has got bells on.

    By the way……

    Mr Snowden went on a course in “Ethical Hacking” in India.

    I rather doubt that he just came up with that idea out of his own head.

    Mr Snowden was, most likely. already being “run” – as the terminology goes.

    He would, most likely, have had an FSB Case Officer and so on.

    Even if Mr Snowden, at this time, did not actually know he was being “run” – and just thought he was following suggestions from “friends”.

  • Paul Marks

    A classic example of the failure to use information can be seen with J. Edgar Hoover.

    Hoover was classic professional “hoarder” of intelligence.

    And it is indeed a “classic” failure of professionals.

    Terrified of having their sources (and methods) exposed they just hoard information – rather than use it.

    For example…..

    Director Hoover could have saved Senator Joe McCarthy (from destruction by the establishment) and could have played a real role in driving out Communists from American life – but to do so would disclose the fact that Soviet electronic codes had been broken (something that Hoover was not prepared to tell hardly anyone – for fear the codes would be changed) so he sat on his hands and did nothing.

    Director Hoover also had enough information to destroy John Kennedy in 1960 – information on his Addison’s Disease, sexual antics, drug use and so on.

    Kennedy proved to be an incompetent President (as his micro management of the 1961 Cuban operation shows – demanding that different beach be chosen, restricting the bombing run to eight aircraft, and so on), but Hoover just sat on his hands as Kennedy was made President (even doing nothing during the rigging of the actual election). It is quite true that Nixon proved to be a terrible President (hence Mark Felt’s operation against Nixon in the early 1970s), but there was no evidence to suggest that he would be a terrible President in 1960.

    The appointment of Robert McNamara as Defence Secretary (by Kennedy) led directly to the political control of tactical operations in Indochina – the deaths of almost 60 thousand Americans and millions of people in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. These deaths (defeat) were not inevitable – defeat resulted directly from political intervention in tactical matters (war-fighting). Kennedy “ism” did not die with Kennedy.

    There is also the case of “Dr” Martin Luther King.

    Director Hoover could have destroyed this movement in a day.

    Simply releasing (“leaking”) the recordings of Rev. King’s chemical abuse and sexual antics would have destroyed it. Destroyed it with the truth – that the “Holy Man” was not holy at all. More seriously (although the scandal sheets would not have been interested) Rev. King had started to have a serious of meetings with Reds (to actively cooperate with them) – it was this that that given rise to FBI interest in the first place (the girls and so on were a chance discovery of an investigation which was really about much more serious matters – namely treason, giving aid and comfort to the enemy).

    Perhaps this would have been BAD thing to do (after all the South did support racial segregation – and racial segregation is a BAD thing).

    However, it was obvious from 1964 onwards (the Act of 1964) that the Civil Rights movement was not really anti statist – it wished to replace one form of statism with another form. And that the new form would be subversive (fundamentally subversive) of society. The society that J. Edgar Hoover had come into government (to counter the terrorism of 1919 and the vast movement of which the terrorism of 1919 was only the tip of the iceberg) to defend.

    Yet Mr Hoover still sat on the information (hoarded it) – rather than used it.

    And then Rev. King was dead (murdered) and it was too late to discredit him. He had become a saint – like Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was well meaning (but incompetent). Rev. King was a lot worse – but as with Nelson Mandela he has become a saint (and it is too late to do anything about that – which is why certain articles in the Spectator magazine are true, but a waste of effort).

    Before 9/11 a similar pattern can be seen.

    Professionals hoarding information (rather than using it – for fear their sources and methods would be disclosed) and agencies not cooperating with each other.

    The last problem (information being “compartmentalised” so that the “bits of the picture” are not put together) was tacked after 9/11.

    However, the destruction of the security protections (who got to see what) led directly to the cases of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden (people who would not have got close to this stuff in the “old days”).

    No doubt J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI and J.J.A. (the long term head of counter intelligence at the CIA – the man who sat in his miasma of cigarette smoke) would be saying.

    “Well we told you so…..”.

    If information is made easy to get to – the other side will get to it.

    As usual in life – there are no good alternatives.

    Just different ways to die.

  • Paul Marks

    I think that Perry’s sentence near the bottom of his comment sums up the basic fact that he has not really read anything that I (or Mr Ed – or anyone) has been saying

    “mass surveillance” will continue – including of the internet.

    This operation has never, at any time, been about stopping mass surveillance.

    If Mr Snowden is very-very stupid (which is possible – I do not know if he is or not) he may have THOUGHT that this was the operation is about, but that does not alter the fact that this is not what the operation is about.

    And never has been about.

    The operation is about discrediting the long term professionals, and strengthening the political arm (both nationally – and internationally).

    Look for increasing intervention to “promote Social Justice” and stamp out “Hate Speech” and so on (stuff that professional intelligence officers, Mike Baker types, were not really interested in). This will be the new craze for government (and “community stakeholders”) on the internet.

    Which is why the New York Times and Guardian types are quite correct to be pleased. As are the rest of the university crowd – after all these people are not exactly fans of freedom of speech (try saying un P.C. things in a modern Western university – and see what happens to you).

    And the FSB?

    As anyone who has spent a few minutes watching “RT” (Russian Television) knows – the Russian service carries on the same old anti Western campaigns out of HABIT.

    I doubt that Mr Putin himself (and his criminal inner circle) really believe in any of this (they are really criminal thugs – rather than sincere totalitarians like so many Guardian and New York Times types).

    Thankfully sincere belief in the agenda of the “international community” seems to be one fault they do not have.

    But they will carry on the subversion of Western society (using useful idiots and so on) simply out of habit.

    Why not?

    And it is hardly a secret.

    Again – it can be confirmed by a few minutes watching RT. The hatred of the West and the same old propaganda campaigns are familiar to anyone who remembers Soviet practice.

  • Sorry Paul, I am not even going to start read all that. Reply with a great deal more brevity please.

  • William T Reeves

    Well I’d Sooner have the gesture. Even if through the waving wheat that sure smells sweet the Feds comesweeping down the plain.

  • Dale Amon

    Snowden fired the shot heard round the world. It is up to the rest of us to make sure those echo’s never stop and that the so called ‘professionals’ end up with jail terms they richly deserve for violation of the Constitution they swore to uphold.