Thursday, June 13, 2013

Liberty in Crisis

The following is something that was written a little over 220 years ago.
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 to things to be seized.
Unless you've been living under a rock your entire life up until now, that is the 4th Amendment to the Constitution. It was included as part of the Bill Rights. The Bill of Rights was designed not to restrain the people of this country and tell them how to live and what they are allowed to do and how they are to behave. It was written to restrain the government and tell them what they are not allowed to do. It was a sort of Ten Commandments for the government. Thou shalt not violate free speech. Thou shalt not violate the right to own a gun. Thou shalt not perform searches on people without probably cause or written permission. It was by no means meant to be a list of suggestions for the federal government. They were, and are, requirements for the federal government to follow always.

Unfortunately, there are many in the current administration that do not believe so strongly in the Constitution.

Senator Lindsay Graham, for instance, seems to think that bloggers don’t have protection under the First Amendment. Wrong Mr. Graham! EVERYBODY has protection under the First Amendment. EVERYBODY! That even includes you.

Another example being the Attorney General, Eric Holder. He has been attacking the First Amendment rights of the press by illegally searching e-mail and phone records of various reports, not to mention the part he probably played by allowing the IRS to target conservative political groups.

Even Oklahoma's own Senator Tom Coburn has been saying that it is okay for the federal government to violate the Constitution by allowing the National Security Agency to conduct searches on the American people and their phone records because it is their right and that it is legal. Wrong Tom! It is NOT their right and it is NOT legal. The Constitution says it isn't. hat is particularly disturbing about this is that I once had a great deal of respect for Senator Coburn. This is a guy that has been said to carry a pocket Constitution wherever he goes and reads passages from it daily. Well, YOU’RE READING THE WRONG PARTS TOM! So as for any kind of respect that I once had for this man. Gone! Done! Zilch! None!

The Speaker of the House John Boehner has even come out and said that this Snowden guy that brought this NSA information to the forefront is a traitor. Time to wake up John, the only traitor is in the White House.

And then of course there is our Chief Executive that routinely violates the Constitution. His abuses of the Constitution go so far that I won’t get bother getting into specifics here. The man is a stain on this country’s history and definitely no friend of liberty.

This brings me to my point, if I had one in the first place. His most recent violation of the Constitution of course is allowing the National Security Agency to procure millions of American’s cell phone records.

Now, a lot of people are going to say that it isn’t Obama’s fault. They’re going to say that he isn’t to blame because his predecessor, George W. Bush was the one that authorized this to begin with. Okay, I can agree with that. George W. did start this and if he were still President he would be the target of my scorn but he isn't. Barack Obama is. And to try to tell me that it isn’t his fault is dead wrong.

Remember what President Truman said? The buck stops here. Well, Mr. "President", and I do use that term very loosely, the buck stops at you. It is your fault. Whether you initially authorized it or not, you are the President. It is within your power to stop it or continue it and you have chosen to continue it. So that buck stops with you. You wanted the job. You gotta take the blame that goes with all those lavish vacations you tend to enjoy so much.

And speaking of the President’s powers, it is not only within his power to stop these violations of the Constitution by the NSA, it is his OBLIGATION to do so. When he stood on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, he swore an oath to protect the Constitution. He has not lived up to that oath.

He is not only condemning the NSA for its unconstitutional wiretapping and collection of phone records, he is DEFENDING IT! He and others within our government, including Sen. Coburn, are defending by saying whatever the NSA is doing they are doing it for the sake of national security.

I’m all for national security and all folks don’t get me wrong but in this particular case, national security be damned! We are talking about a federal agency committing a crime against the people of the United States. We are not living in Soviet Russia people. We are not living in North Korea or China. We are living in the United States of America! We are living in a country not based on distrust of its citizens. We are living in a country based on liberty! As Thomas Jefferson said, the government should be afraid of its people, not the other way around.

Another Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, once said that Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

The idea of the NSA watching over us by monitoring our phone records is scary. If it doesn’t scare you people, it should. It violates everything that the Fourth Amendment was written to protect. We the people are supposed to feel safe in our homes and in our private lives. And if the government is the cause of you not feeling safe. There is a huge problem.

And even worse is that the person or people responsible for uncovering the truth about what is going on in our federal government are being treated as criminals! They are being hunted down with the same viciousness that our government had for the Rosenbergs. The truth is no longer revered anymore. We live in an empire of lies.

Our worst nightmares are coming true folks. We are on the dawn of fascist society. We are living in George Orwell’s 1984 and most people don’t’ even realize it.

And since the argument for the unconstitutional actions of the NSA is for the sake of national security, what has this illegal monitoring of phone records done exactly for national security. Can you guess? That’s right, nothing! Did searching through tons of phone records keep terrorists from bombing the Boston Marathon? Sure didn’t.

Our government isn’t targeting terrorists. They are targeting anybody and everybody. And then lying about it! Just a few months ago in a Congressional hearing, the Director of National Intelligence was asked by Sen. Ron Wyden point blank “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Director Clapper’s answer. No. He flat out lied! And then later said that the question couldn’t be answered with a simple yes or no and that he answered in the way he thought was most truthful. What’s so hard about saying yes or no? How hard a questions was it? Sir, does the NSA collect data on American citizens. Yes or No? Pretty simple question if you ask me.

On the light side of this issue is Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Once again, he is bringing the principles of freedom to this crisis of liberty. Sen. Paul has announced that he is going to introduce a bill in Congress that essentially forces the federal government to adhere to the Fourth Amendment to ensure that the rights protected by this Amendment are not violated by any government entity. Sen. Paul aims to force Congress to do their duty and restrict the expansive law enforcement powers of the Executive Branch.

Isn’t a sad day we live in when a U.S. Senator has to come up with a law to tell the government to enforce something they should have been and should be enforcing already?

I commend Sen. Paul for what he is trying to do in that he is trying to further bring to the limelight the continued abuses of power by the federal government.

In addition to this legislation that he is bringing before Congress, Sen. Paul is also calling for Americans to join him in a class action lawsuit against the Executive Branch for their violations of the Constitution. He wants this administration to know, as we should want them to know, that we the people are not going to stand for this complete disregard for the Constitution.

Standing alongside Sen. Paul is the freshman Congressman from Michigan, Justin Amash. Rep. Amash has said that he is also planning on filing a lawsuit against the FBI and the NSA regarding not only these most recent abuses of power but also against the Patriot Act itself, claiming that the surveillances practices carried out by these agencies is illegal.

Additionally, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the federal government on the basis of the violation of the Constitution. This could very well end up being the most important lawsuit to finally come up against the Patriot Act and why this decade old law hasn’t been scraped by the Supreme Court already is beyond me.

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