The tag line following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States by Islamic terrorist was “we need to do a better job of connecting the dots.” Well, it seems that 12 years later no one has gotten any better at connecting the dots; not the news media, not Congress, and not the President. Now we’re under attack again. However, this time it’s not Islamic terrorist attacking us. The attack is against the citizens of the United States from within by our own government. Scandal after scandal has erupted not just in the last few weeks, but over the last few years. Ignoring the Rule of Law has become the mantra of United States Big Government. There is no bigger threat to our Republic than unchecked lawlessness. There are almost too many scandals to list. Start with the firing of Inspector General Gerald Walpin for investigating a donor to the Obama campaign, http://hotair.com/archives/2009/06/15/the-curious-firing-of-gerald-walpin-gets-curiouser/ , the New Black Panther scandal, the Fast and Furious gun running scandal, the IRS scandal, the Benghazi, the Associated Press, Fox News reporter David Rosen scandals, the alias email accounts by senior government officials, the illegal solicitation of money by the DHHS Secretary, the collection of phone records by the National Security Agency, the collection of internet and email data by the National Security Agency and the FBI, and who knows what the next scandal will be? Many of these “scandals” have a common thread that may not be apparent on the surface. That thread is the collection of data from private citizens. NSA is building a huge computer facility in Utah to process all of this metadata (since their already massive computer systems in MD aren’t big enough), http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/money/56428311-79/data-nsa-government-phone.html.csp.
Before you dismiss the foregoing supposition as partisan politics, note that the erosion of privacy and freedom did not start with the Obama Administration. Nor did it start with the Bush Administration http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USA_PATRIOT_Act in 2001, although President Bush and Congress moved the ball way down the field after 9/11 with the passage of the Patriot Act, , and then with the Patriot Act’s reauthorization in 2006, 2010, and 2011. The fact is that politicians from both parties have, and still, try to use information collected through the government bureaucracies to gain political advantage. But with these recent scandals, our government has taken great steps towards George Orwell’s 1984’s Big Brother. President Obama and Congress joined President Bush and Congress in eroding our freedoms.
When the Patriot Act was passed following the 9/11 Islamic terrorist attacks, many from both political parties embraced the promised “safety” of giving up a “little” freedom as an acceptable trade off to safety. One Senator, a Democrat, voted against the Patriot Act in 2001, http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/06/07/the-only-senator-who-voted-against-the-patriot-act-seemingly-predicted-this-day-would-come/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=story&utm_campaign=Share+Buttons. Former Senator Russ Feingold (D, WI) did not vote for the Patriot Act because the Act did not provide enough judicial oversight. Hindsight is 20:20, and now there is little doubt that Senator Feingold was the only one who was right. Even with the knowledge we have now about how a willing administration will “judge-shop” to find an appointed judge that will exceed their Constitutional authority. But even now, some like Senator’s Lindsey Graham (R, SC) (http://hotair.com/archives/2013/06/06/lindsey-graham-hey-im-glad-the-nsa-is-collecting-americans-phone-records/), Dianne Feinstein (D, CA) (http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-nsa-telephone-surveillance-revelation-20130606,0,2415540.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fnews%2Fpolitics+%28L.A.+Times+-+Politics%29), and Representative Mike Rogers (R, MI) ( http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2013/06/09/Congressional-intelligence-chairs-defend-NSA-monitoring-program/UPI-97731370802221/) see nothing wrong with collecting phone records, emails, and internet usage from millions of Americans.
Let’s connect a few of the dots (those in power will call this conspiracy theory to discredit the supposition) of some of the data collection efforts by the U. S. government, and extend that understanding to what a tyrannical government (not necessarily the current one) could do with this information. Note, it is not debatable that this data is being collected, but what is, or could be done with the metadata should be of concern. Watch on You Tube (transcript below) what U. S. Representative Maxine Waters said about data mining by the current administration, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIA1lQBqH1s
“The President has put in place an organization with the kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life,” Representative Maxine Waters told Roland Martin on Monday. “That’s going to be very, very powerful,” Waters said. “That database will have information about everything on every individual on ways that it’s never been done before and whoever runs for President on the Democratic ticket has to deal with that. They’re going to go down with that database and the concerns of those people because they can’t get around it. And he’s [President Obama] been very smart. It’s very powerful what he’s leaving in place.” – Maxine Waters
Just think about what you have already disclosed about yourself to the government, and the FACT that we now know that the National Security Agency is collecting a small part of that information, but we don’t know what we don’t know. That is, what else might they be collecting, and what could they do with that information? If you’re a Star Trek fan you know about the Vulcan mind-meld. What about the NSA data-meld? If the NSA can so easily collect the phone records of who you are calling, who calls you, and when and from where the calls are made, then put that into a database what else could they compile in that mega-database? Well we know they and the FBI have collected your emails, your internet shopping habits, the sites you visit, your Facebook and Twitter. Might they then put that into their mega-database? It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that they could merge that mega-database with say your IRS tax records (and soon your IRS health care records), plus criminal and civil court records, gun background check, sale, and Conceal Carry permit records, plus maybe Voter registration data, data from Unemployment applications, Motor Vehicle records, employee union records, college applications, student loan applications, bank records, records for donations made to political and non-political organizations and charities, and even information on you and your children from school records like Common Core data mining questionnaires. From what was a mega-database, a meta database is born, and they compile a dossier on you, your children, your family, your friends, your neighbors, and even the people you don‘t like. You say this is not possible. You say that no government would ever do that. But yet we are seeing what we never imagined our government would do even six months ago. Put aside your partisan politics, use some common sense, and ask what the other party might do to you if they were in power and had your dossier.
A big question is, what will Congress do to stop all this data collection, and invasion of privacy if anything? Some are suggesting a formation of a new Church Committee (1975), http://pjmedia.com/blog/nsa-electronic-frontier-foundation-wants-new-church-committee/?utm_medium=twitter. The Church Committee was headed by Senator Frank Church (D, ID). Senator Church said over 35 years ago . . .
[The National Security Agency's] capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.
Some lawmakers are expressing concern with the NSA surveillance. Senator Rand Paul (R, KY) says he will challenge in the Supreme Court the NSA surveillance activities, http://12160.info/page/rand-paul-on-nsa-spying-i-m-going-to-challenge-this-at-the-suprem. The question is, where are the Democrats like former Senator Feingold who prophetically warned against what we are seeing happen today? And why are so many Republicans not speaking out? Is it because they all want to have this power to hold over our head? The jackboot of tyranny is on our necks.