The Homeland Security crows tells us that laws like the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act are necessary because they enable the government to collect vital information about terrorists who want to destroy the United States, terrorists like Osama Bin Laden and his Al Quaeda gang. The FISA Amendments Act and the Patriot Act violate our constitutional rights to be protected from unreasonable search and seizure, setting up secret surveillance of American citizens’ private lives, including huge grabs of commercial databases containing secret information about Americans’ most personal activities, as well as electronic dragnets that capture Americans’ personal emails, telephone calls, and Internet use – all without any search warrant. Homeland Security goons tell us that our constitutional rights need to be “balanced with” (sacrificed to) security concerns.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates now admits that American spying programs have not brought any news of Osama Bin Laden’s whereabouts for years. The FISA Amendments Act and the Patriot Act have completely failed to bring in any up to date intelligence to help bring the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
If the FISA Amendments Act and the Patriot Act don’t actually bring our government useful information about threats to American security, why have these laws at all? We would be better off repealing these unconstitutional laws and ending the Big Brother spying programs they have established.
When violations of our constitutional rights fail to bring us any information about terrorists, the argument that our liberty is being “balanced” with security becomes completely unbalanced. Rationally, it’s clear that the government would end its failed spying programs… unless they don’t actually have anything to do with terrorism at all.