With the ongoing debate over the Obama administration and the NSA snooping scandal, the basic question is whether trading privacy for security is a fair trade? Is the presumed added protection worth the loss of freedom? Those of us whom are not Low Information Voters recall what Benjamin Franklin said on the subject. ″They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.″ Barack Obama and his National Intelligence Director, James Clapper, see things differently. They think that trading privacy for security is just fine. Clapper is more upset about the National Security Agency program, PRISM, being leaked and made public than how it has been spying on all, and I mean ALL, Americans. But the spying does not stop just there.
Take for example the recent ricin letter cases. Two letters containing traces of the toxin ricin were mailed to Barack Obama and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg last month, resulting in the arrest of a man in Texas. Just as with the previous case in April, it appears that the wrong person may have been arrested. Thanks to a program by the U.S. Postal Service of photographing the front and back of each and every letter and parcel sent by mail, investigators have now taken the suspect′s wife into custody. It turns out that she may be the culprit, not her husband.
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, the odds are these days that a camera is watching and recording you. The Boston Marathon bombing case is a good example of how this technology helped lead police to apprehend the alleged bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Surveillance video at the crime scene helped give police images of the two brothers. Later, thanks to a man smoking a cigarette, he discovered Dzhokhar hiding in his backyard inside his boat. It turns out that a neighbor had surveillance video showing the alleged bomber entering the boat earlier that day.
The collection of information is nothing new from our government. Every ten years we have a census. We file tax records annually, many quarterly, listing a great deal about who we are and what we do. ObamaCare will make the collection of health records a national pastime. William Binney, the infamous NSA whistle blower, says that the NSA has been engaged in domestic spying since the 9/11 attacks in 2001. That the current snooping scandal is just the ″tip of the iceberg.″
A CNN poll conducted shortly after the Boston Marathon bombing shows that about 40% of the citizens are just fine with trading privacy for security. But 49% oppose the concept. Eric Holder and the Justice Department, already in the midst of their own snooping scandal of journalists, are also trying to block a federal court ruling that finds that the Obama administration has gone too far in domestic spying of the general population. To say that we may be heading for a ′watershed′ moment in U.S. history is putting it mildly. How much longer will what remnants of the Constitution we still have exist? Have we already tossed it out the window or lost it due to complacency?
Perhaps the only humor we can find to chuckle over comes from this weekend′s pow-wow between Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Obama reportedly discussed the matter of China hacking our computers. What difference is it for China to hack us, or for our own government to do so? At some point, the American people must either wake up and realize that we have to save and preserve the liberty our Constitution intended to protect, or just roll over and go back to sleep, finding comfort in a lawless tyranny.
We may even have to ask ourselves the really big question, does our Constitution protect us enough? Some pundits point out that if America had a parliamentary form of government, that the Obama regime would have probably been tossed out of power this week, if not a few years ago during the health care debate. For me, I always turn to the Swiss experience. When they were drafting their constitution, they decided not to adopt ours as it gave the government far too much power. Especially the power of the purse. In Switzerland, the legislature can only lower existing tax rates. Only the citizens can vote to raise rates or levee new taxes upon themselves by way of a plebiscite. Just think if the NSA did not have the estimated $80 Billion dollars they spend to spy on us each year. No money, no tyranny.
Big government, and tyranny, are expensive. It takes a lot of money to fund it all. So there is a price for trading privacy for security. More than just throwing away your liberty, your freedom. You are also throwing away your money and your future. Are you ready to get out of bed and do something about it? Or will you hit the snooze button and let destiny unfold with the Orwellian image of a face being constantly kicked by an iron boot? At the sign post up ahead…, the next stop, The Twilight Zone, or, as Obama would put it, the New Normal.