Washington, D.C., law enforcement agencies had their hands full when thousands of Americans from all parts of the political spectrum launched a protest on Saturday, demanding an end to the Obama administration's alleged spy program, according to a law enforcement source in the nation's capital.
Protesters displayed angry emotions leveled at the Obama White House and the hierarchy at the country's intelligence agencies especially the National Security Agency (NSA) which is responsible for most high-tech surveillance operations and electronic intelligence gathering and analysis, said Lieutenant George Lorenzo, who serves as a liaison officer with several police organizations.
The crowd of demonstrators began their protest at Washington's Union Station and marched through the streets towards the Capitol as they demanded the end of the leaked intelligence operation by the NSA code-named the PRISM.
While carrying banners that read "Stop Spying on Us," "Stop Watching Us," "No More Spy Drones in the U.S," and other slogans, the marchers demanded that the "Obama government" stop its unconstitutional eavesdropping, according to several news reports.
During the protest march, volunteers collected what they claimed were over a half-million signatures on a petition to Congress demanding they shutdown PRISM and other spy operations within the United States.
"History has taught us that pervasive government surveillance has a profoundly adverse effect on the exercise of free speech – a universal right enshrined both in the Constitution and in international human rights law," said an ACLU attorney, Steven Watt, said in a press statement.
"By failing to tell defendants that they had been surveilled by the NSA under the FISA Amendments Act, the government effectively shielded its warrantless wiretapping program from judicial review. We hope this reported policy reversal will change that," said Patrick Toomey, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project.
"The Justice Department told the Supreme Court that review of the surveillance law would be possible, but then made it impossible by keeping who was spied on a secret, even from defendants who had a legal right to know. This FOIA lawsuit aims to reveal how the government justified keeping defendants in the dark about evidence based on NSA surveillance, and what the policy is today," Toomey stated.
"Although many Americans are outraged at the NSA’s unconstitutional actions, few realize the extensive history of NSA’s spying policies. Since President Truman established the NSA in 1952, the agency has grown in both power and technological capabilities, enabling them to spy upon Americans without consent or probable cause," said FreedomWorks' Scott Alford on the conservative-libertarian backed group's web site.
The surveillance program, which Obama's minions claim is crucial for U.S. national interests, has also created anger overseas.
For example, European leaders gathered for a summit Thursday after reports of the NSA spying on French officials' and citizens' communications and also allegedly eavesdropping on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's personal cell phone.