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Is the CIA in your underwear?

A year from now, if a friend asks you if the CIA is in their underwear, you probably won’t take the question seriously. You would be wrong. The CIA is spending millions in tax dollars to wear underwear next year.

Eleven years ago, when this column asked if the CIA was in your kitchen, people who just read the column title scoffed at it. However, then-CIA director General David Petraeus gave a talk to CIA analysts that he hoped would be kept secret. In the talk, he revealed that CIA vendors had discovered a means to log into the computer chips in microwave ovens and kitchen dishwashers. From there, they could listen in real time to conversations in a kitchen if the chatters were near the appliances.

Unfortunately for Petraeus, but fortunately for the Constitution, one of his analysts was so critical of the CIA’s disregard for constitutional norms that the analyst recorded a significant portion of Petraeus’ conversation and leaked it to the media . Is the CIA in your kitchen? Yes, not physically, but virtually.

The CIA, despite a clause in its charter that prohibits it from engaging in surveillance of the United States or participating in law enforcement activities, has a long history of warrantless domestic spying.

That last phrase “no search warrant” when used in conjunction with CIA spying is redundant. The CIA does not deal with search warrants. It behaves as if the Fourth Amendment – ​​and the First (protection of freedom of speech and press) and the Fifth (protection of life, liberty and property) for that matter – do not exist or somehow do not belonged to their agents.

Not long ago, I was challenged to a public debate at the Conservative Political Action Conference by the general who was then the head of the National Security Agency, the domestic surveillance cousin of the CIA. The topic of debate was whether warrantless domestic spying is constitutional. I accepted the challenge and aggressively pressed the general about the 17 federal spy agencies’ notorious lack of fidelity to the Constitution in general, and the Fourth Amendment in particular.

The general gave me two answers, both of which would have passed a bar exam. First, he argued that the Fourth Amendment only protects against unreasonable surveillance, and his 60,000 domestic spies behaved reasonably. After the laughter died down, I pointed out that the Supreme Court has held that all searches and seizures, all surveillance, conducted without search warrants are, as a matter of law, unreasonable and therefore in violation of the amendment.

It then retreated to a post-9/11 argument prepared by the Justice Department of the George W. Bush administration. This argument offers that the Fourth Amendment only limits law enforcement; it does not limit the intelligence community. I pointed out that this view is challenged by both language and history.

The plain language of the amendment has no exceptions. Rather, it protects “the right of persons to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects.”

Then I reminded him: we were friends, mind you; but I could not let him slip away with his public expansion of the document that he and I had sworn to preserve, protect, and defend: that the Fourth Amendment was written after British intelligence agents broke down the doors of the houses of the settlers looking ostensibly. compliance with the Stamp Act of 1765, but actually looking for subversive materials by people we now call the Founding Fathers.

I present this brief background to provide a flavor of the mindset of the feds who spy on us and to address the latest craze among the top-level intelligence people in the Biden administration.

Last week, the Director of National Intelligence, who is the nominal head of the 17 federal surveillance agencies, revealed to Congress that she had spent $22 million to develop cotton fibers that she called smart clothing. The fibers will allow the CIA and other federal spies to record audio, video and geolocation data from your shirt, pants, socks and even underwear. He presented this as the largest investment ever made to develop Smart ePants.

Smarty Pants: How Appropriate Is This Name For Federal Intrusion? Smarty Pants is the idiot who can’t stop talking and won’t change the subject.

The CIA does not directly develop its ability to connect to the kitchen microwave and dishwasher or socks and underwear. Rather, it hires outside groups to do it. In the case of smart pants, 28 American companies and tech labs have helped develop this monstrosity. Most are not household names, but some are, such as the University of Virginia (which is owned by the state of Virginia), Penn State (which is owned by the state of Pennsylvania), and DuPont (which owns most of the state of Delaware).

You can’t make these things up. The federal government’s appetite for surveillance is literally insatiable. And their respect for the natural individual right to be alone is non-existent. He tries to evade and circumvent the Constitution, using absurd and puerile arguments that have never been accepted by the courts, even though every federal employee has taken an oath of allegiance to the Constitution as it is generally understood and interpreted.

When the DNI said this to Congress, while Congress was on its summer recess, not a peep was heard from anyone in Congress or the sleepy White House for which the DNI works.

Does the government work for us or do we work for the government? Which employee manages to spy on their bosses by putting fake fabrics in their bosses’ underwear and then gets away with it? When will Congress protect our freedoms? When will this warrantless spying be enough?

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former New Jersey Superior Court judge, is the senior court analyst for Fox News Channel. Judge Napolitano has written seven books on the US Constitution. The most recent is Suicide Pact: The Radical Expansion of Presidential Powers and the Lethal Threat to American Freedom. To learn more about Judge Andrew Napolitano, visit


Author: Andrew P. Napolitano

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former New Jersey Superior Court judge, is Fox News Channel’s senior judicial analyst and anchor of FreedomWatch on Fox Business Network. His most recent book, It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong, was launched in October 2011.
View all posts by Andrew P. Napolitano


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