Today is bittersweet for those of us who have warned about the dangers of an ever-expanding federal government for years. There is no schadenfreude when it is your own country that ultimately suffers the consequences of a slow motion Orwellian nightmare.
How sad is it that a foreign newspaper had to break it to us that the Obama administration decided it needed to monitor millions of Americans’ phone calls who have done nothing wrong? How long have American media outlets known about this, and how long have they sat on their hands while innocent people were under surveillance without knowing it?
It is little solace that the New York Times has finally admitted what conservatives have been saying for years — that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government that can take it all away (i.e., your individual liberties):
Within hours of the disclosure that federal authorities routinely collect data on phone calls Americans make, regardless of whether they have any bearing on a counterterrorism investigation, the Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every time President Obama has been caught overreaching in the use of his powers: Terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us to deal with them because we have internal mechanisms (that we are not going to tell you about) to make sure we do not violate your rights. …
The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it. That is one reason we have long argued that the Patriot Act, enacted in the heat of fear after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by members of Congress who mostly had not even read it, was reckless in its assignment of unnecessary and overbroad surveillance powers. …
A senior administration official quoted in The Times online Thursday afternoon about the Verizon order offered the lame observation that the information does not include the name of any caller, as though there would be the slightest difficulty in matching numbers to names. …
The defense of this practice offered by Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, who as chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee is supposed to be preventing this sort of overreaching, was absurd. She said on Thursday that the authorities need this information in case someone might become a terrorist in the future.
Indeed, massive legislation that fundamentally changes the relationship between the individual and the State should be read and fully understood before it is passed (and it would have been nice if The New York Times had applied its own logic to the passage of Obamacare). However, perhaps most frightening of all is Sen. Feinstein, who is now in the business of pre-crime. Who knew that ‘Minority Report’ would cease to be science fiction in such a short amount of time? The New York Times wins the understatement of the year for calling her defense of secret NSA wiretaps “absurd.”
Remember when President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law, and “made the status quo worse”(the “status quo” being all the things liberals hated about George W. Bush when it came to prosecuting the War on Terror)? I do:
The National Defense Authorization Act greatly expands the power and scope of the federal government to fight the War on Terror, including codifying into law the indefinite detention of terrorism suspects without trial. Under the new law the U.S. military has the power to carry out domestic anti-terrorism operations on U.S. soil.
So now we have a situation where women like Sen. Feinstein believe the government can monitor your phone calls because you might be a terrorist in the future (whatever that means), and the government has the authority to indefinitely detain you without a trial.
Why are Hispanics worried that Republicans would pass legislation to force them to show their proof a citizenship? The federal government already has the power to make anyone it wants—white, black, green or purple—disappear … indefinitely, and the Hispanic vote put the guy over the top who put his Johnny Hancock on the legislation. Thanks, guys. No es bueno.
President Obama once said that he wanted to “fundamentally transform” The United States of America, and no one thought to stop him and ask: “Hey, what do you mean by that?” Well, he’s definitely succeeding, but not in the way his followers imagined.
Behold, an illuminating comment from the New York Times comment section:
Don says he “can no longer laugh at the Second Amendment radicals who want to defend themselves against the government.” Guess what, Don? We’re not “radicals” if you’re saying that you’ve just had that smirk wiped off your face by the guy who campaigned as the ultimate change agent.
Bill Maher has come around. Jon Stewart has come around. The New York Times has decided to speak up and so has The Huffington Post. Now that all of you realize that the old maxim is true — “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely” — perhaps we can get to work on saving a great nation.