Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Secret Domestic Spying -- Chalk another up to things I don't understand -

In the wake of the latest revelations about secret domestic spying, a surprising number of pundits and politicians have leapt to the government's defense. This in spite of NSA head James Clapper's fidgeting performance before Congress a few short weeks ago where he outright lied about what his organization was actually doing. Under the cloak of keeping the homeland "safe," politicians from both the left and right have answered the clarion call for approval of further encroachment on our civil liberties. The seeming majority support is surprising because many of these same persons readily wrap themselves in the flag and defend the Constitution when it affects them or their guns. Now, it seems, they are saying that the 4th Amendment of the Constitution can be damned. For those who don't remember, this is what our cherished document says about this issue:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

That this outpouring of vocal support has influenced a public opinion majority is also surprising because these self-same pols and pundits have not yet finished investigating and castigating another arm of the government, namely the IRS, for its role in using its vested powers to target political enemies. Yet, the short-sighted would-be spies fail to see the possibility of the same abuses within the domestic spying program.

How many times have celebrities from all walks of public life, most especially politicians, been faced with embarrassing quotes only to claim they have been taken out of context? Yet they are willing to allow government bureaucrats to data-mine every conversation they've had for a period of years (many of which they wouldn't even remember) to weave together a narrative that could sound egregiously misleading. Whom among us has not uttered or written something in the context of the moment that wouldn't sound embarrassing or foolish at a later time?

When will the citizenry rise up and say that enough is too much? The evil of large government is not that it fosters social programs that cultivate a dependent population, as we have been brainwashed to believe. No, it is that such governments necessarily become fascistic as they concentrate power in the hands of all too many individuals who cannot be trusted to keep the best interests of our democracy in the forefront or their actions.

Just listen to the accusations of "traitor" for the whistle-blowers who go public with these abuses. Sounds like condemnations we hear coming out of Russia or China. So, whom have these people betrayed? The State? Or the people, who in a democracy are supposed to be the "government."

Wake up America! To paraphrase a line from John Donne's No Man is an Island: Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.