Barack Obama has a big, scary excuse for supporting the FISA Amendments Act and its devastation of the fourth amendment protection from unreasonable search and seizure. Now that he’s done talking to Democrats for the primary elections, Barack Obama has embraced the politics of fear, you see.
Obama’s excuse for supporting practically unlimited powers for George W. Bush to spy against the American people: “Given the grave threats that we face, our national security agencies must have the capability to gather intelligence”.
Grave threats? Wake up, America! Look around you. I mean that literally. Go out your front door. Look up and down the street. Show me where the grave threats are.
You want to know what a real grave threat looks like? Imagine a powerful nation with an extreme ideology dedicated to the eventual destruction of the democratic way of life in the United States, with tens of thousands of nuclear weapons ready to fly on intercontinental missiles to American cities on a moment’s notice?
That’s exactly what the United States faced in the form of the Soviet Union. Total nuclear annihilation.
What’s the worst that Al Quaida could possibly do to us? Destroy one more big building? Let’s even suppose that Osama Bin Laden got a nuclear weapon. There’s no way that an Al Quaida attack with that nuclear weapon could do anything like what the Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal could have done to us.
Osama Bin Laden and his jihadists are pipsqueaks.
Yes, we Americans did give up our fourth amendment rights for a while – without our knowledge. Under J. Edgar Hoover, Americans had their telephones wiretapped – usually to absolutely no benefit. When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., for example, was spied upon by the FBI, it was with powers justified by the culture of fear brought about under the Cold War – but the real threat, the Soviet Union and their nuclear weapons, had nothing to do with the spying at all. We Americans suffered the results of that spying. The Soviets didn’t.
So, in the 1970s, when Americans learned about the extent of government spying against them, laws were passed to reassert the fourth amendment to the Constitution. The unconstitutional government spying was put to a stop.
And what happened as a result? Did the Soviet Union attack us with nuclear weapons? Did they invade in a Red Dawn because a vital tool of intelligence to counter the grave threats from the Soviet Union had been taken away? No.
The lesson of the Cold War is this: Government spying powers don’t bring security, and taking away government powers to spy against the American people does not compromise security. The excuse that Barack Obama has given, that we have to sacrifice our freedoms for the sake of security, is a sham.
We can be free. We don’t need to be afraid. Nobody is going to kill you if the integrity of the Bill of Rights is restored. Barack Obama, in his new allegiance of fear with George W. Bush, doesn’t want you to believe that, but history is clear in this regard.
Don’t forget that the Bush Administration actually had all the information it needed to identify the September 11 hijackers beforehand – and just didn’t pay attention to it. No extra spy powers would have stopped the attacks of September 11, 2001.
In case you’re wondering, no, I’m not going to let this issue drop. Some things, like the Bill of Rights, are too important to allow to expire along with the 24-hour news cycle.