The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was written to protect the American people against the government conducting Fishing expedition: a fishing expedition such as ordering the collection of the phone records and other electronic communications of millions of private citizens without probable cause.
Of course, some Americans seem to think our government leaders of this generation are much smarter than our Founding Fathers. A disinterested populace is a dangerous thing. Just because you don’t take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.
We’ve gone from a nation of folks willing to fight tyranny in a “give me liberty or give me death” approach to too many folks saying “yeah, I heard somebody say the government might be violating the Constitution with illegal spy tactics or something like that, but the Constitution is really naive and outdated. It was written by a bunch of dudes who have been dead for years. By the way, did you see that reality TV show last night? It was awesome.”
“You can’t burn the Constitution to save the Constitution.”
More from Ron Paul:
“The government does not need to know more about what we are doing. We need to know more about what the government is doing. We need to turn the cameras on the police and on the government, not the other way around. We should be thankful for writers like Glenn Greenwald, who broke last week’s story, for taking risks to let us know what the government is doing. There are calls for the prosecution of Greenwald and the other whistleblowers and reporters. They should be defended, as their work defends our freedom.”
On a similar topic, if you’re not familiar with what the government did to Fox News investigative reporter James Rosen, do yourself a favor by Googling the topic and reading up on it now. Same goes for Sharyl Attkisson, CBS news investigative reporter, whose story broke on the Philadelphia radio show of Landmark columnist Chris Stigall. Read about how their computers have been monitored and manipulated. Read about how the government painted Rosen as a suspected criminal in order to BS their way into a warrant.
If you’ve been too busy to pay attention, take a moment to start doing the math. Start piecing the puzzle together. Think about where this is now and where it has the potential to go. If the government can succeed in an effort to control, intimidate and eliminate the watchdogs and the people whose job it is to hold them accountable, where will it head next?
A survey reported by Fox News the other day showed two thirds of Americans were angered by the recent revelations of the spy game the NSA is playing on American citizens. One third apparently think it’s okay to live under a government that has disregard for our nation’s Constitution.
Here are some common reactions I hear from people who aren’t bothered by an overreaching government spy program (and by the way, if you want to read the thoughts of someone who thinks it’s ok, check out Chris Kamler’s column by clicking here).
1. They’ll say there are “laws in place” to prevent authorities from abusing privacy rights of citizens. Here’s a news flash: As noted above, these folks are manipulating and ignoring the Constitution, the highest law in the land. There is no law more powerful than the Constitution. That being the case, do you really think they give a squirt about obeying privacy laws?
2. Kamler writes that the concepts of a presumption of innocence and a respect for privacy are “naive ideals.” Really? Presumption of innocence simply means that authorities need to show probable cause. The idea that authorities should need legitimate probable cause is naive? Are you sure you want to live in a society where that’s the case? It would be fun to test Chris on that stance. If authorities don’t need probable cause for an electronic investigation then they don’t need probable cause on the street. For the next several days, can we get a police officer–for no specific reason–to pull Chris over every time he gets in his car? Not only pull him over but order him out of the car, search his car, search his pockets, search his wallet, and bend him over the hood while using a nightstick to perform a fishing expedition near his scrotum. After all, he was voluntarily driving on a government-built road, so doesn’t that give the government the right to get way up in his business? To make Chris feel better, the officer can whisper: “Relax. I’m doing this to protect you from terrorism.”
That’s what the government has the capability to do–figuratively speaking–by collecting all of your electronic data for no legitimate reason.
To use an internet phrase, most Americans would not enjoy those “terms and conditions.” Something tells me it wouldn’t be long before Chris and other “I’m fine with the government spying on me” types were longing for a return to the good old days when the government needed that “naive ideal” of probable cause.
2. Another argument you’ll hear from the big government types is “I’m not doing anything wrong; I don’t mind giving up my privacy. I don’t care if they look at my records because I have nothing to hide.”
Hmm. Sounds mighty brave to say. But I’m calling your bluff. You don’t mind giving up your privacy? Let’s test that position. If you really don’t mind giving up your privacy, please hand all of your phone records, emails, medical records, internet records, anything sent, received, or handled via electronic means. We’ll print some details of your records each week, perhaps picking out something a little more “interesting” as the series progresses.
How many weeks would you allow this to go on before you’re taking action to stop this ridiculous privacy invasion?
- 4th and 1st Amendments Under Fire; ‘Everyone Spies’ a Favorite Cry of US Apologists; War Against Journalists; ‘We Hit the Jackpot’ (safehaven.com)
- Document Reveals NSA Monitored 125 Billion Phone Calls in One Month (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)