It seems that nearly every day we turn on the news and are stunned by some new outrage coming from the Obama Administration. This latest slap in the face is the news that the Obama Administration, under the National Security Agency is collecting phone records of wireless customers. Not just Verizon, but ATT and Sprint and probably others as well. Not only that but they're collecting your emails, video chats and the pictures and documents you send online.
While this started in the last year or so of the Bush Administration there is reason to believe that the program has expanded, perhaps dramatically so, under Obama. And all of this runs counter to what then candidate Obama repeatedly said would be the hallmark of his "transparent" Administration. In a speech to the Woodrow Wilson center in August 2007 then candidate Obama laid out his foreign policy and national security vision:
Of course one of the primary criticisms of Obama is that he's "just words, just speeches" and on more than one occasion we've seen how Obama's failed record on foreign policy and national security is just that.
OBAMA: This [Bush] Administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we demand. I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom.
That means no more illegal wire-tapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are. And it is not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists. The FISA court works. The separation of powers works. Our Constitution works. We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers, and that justice is not arbitrary.
This Administration acts like violating civil liberties is the way to enhance our security. It is not.
Patriot Act Author: NSA Domestic Spying is Illegal
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) was a prime author of the Patriot Act insists that scooping up the records of innocent Americans is inconsistent with the provisions of the law.
Domestic Spying on Innocent Americans Doesn't Keep Us Safe
If the collection of our email and phone records kept us safe the Administration might have a stronger case to make. But this system did not stop Major Nidal Hasan from killing 13 in Fort Hood even though U.S. intelligence had intercepted emails Hasan sent to terrorist mastermind Anwar Awlaki in Yemen. The Army and U.S. intelligence refused to see the writing on the wall (or the email) perhaps because of political correctness which prohibits profiling Muslims.
Ditto for the Boston Bombers. We we warned by the Russians and had ample evidence that the Tsarvaev brothers had radicalized but we did nothing.
Meanwhile, we're told that average Americans have nothing to worry about. The NSA is an independent agency with ironclad safeguards against the abuse of information. Yeah. We heard the same thing about the IRS too!