Monday, June 10, 2013

How Do We Reconcile The 4th Amendment Against Our Security + Freedom?; Snowden: Hero or Traitor?

"When I was growing up, we were afraid of Big Brother watching us. Now with Obama, we actually have a brother watching over us."...Leno

  • "Nobody is listening to your telephone calls," Pres. Obama declared last week. 
  • "Let me be exactly clear...if you've got health can keep your plan." That was what Pres. Obama promised to all Americans 5 years ago regarding ObamaCare.
  • "Any analyst at any time can target anyone. I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authority to wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president if I had a personal e-mail," said Edward Snowden, the former contracted NSA whistleblower just this past weekend.
  • In other words, Americans have to understand that once our records are in the hands of government bureaucrats, the next step to abuse is an easy one to take as evidenced by what we've found out about the IRS and DOJ in the last month.

  • In reading the recent news about Edward Snowden, the debate is now not only about potential government abuse, but whether he should be treated as a hero or traitor. Personally, I come down this way. If his leaks harmed our national security in any way, shape or form or placed any of our intelligence agents in harm's way, I would judge him as a traitor. However, as of today, it appears he only leaked the information about the NSA's surveillance program. As far as I know now (and this could change at any moment), he didn't leak any information about specific NSA operations that could harm national security unless one views his whistleblowing fits that criteria. At this time, I don't.
  • But no matter what side you come down on with regard to Snowden, one outcome is becoming increasingly clear: More Americans are becoming less trustful of the government. In fact, in many ways, the news that keeps coming out is becoming even more creepy and disturbing. For example, with the recent IRS revelations, we know the government targeted specific individuals and organizations for their political affiliations.  And when Pres. Obama essentially says to all Americans, just trust me (or the government), that's laughable.
  • I believe what we are now witnessing and experiencing is trying to reconcile the dilemma regarding more security vs. our privacy or threats to our privacy. On a personal note, I believe privacy is more sacrosanct and much easier to accomplish if were put more efforts into it (although that train left the station a long time ago). Security, on the other hand, cannot be guaranteed. We've seen our security breached time and again even with the trillions spent on trying to ensure it.
  • The fact is we've seldom had this debate. Well, these recent developments have now forced us into this debate. And every American should welcome it before it's too late. 
  • So allow me to leave you with this quote by Benjamin Franklin when he said, "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."