Edward Snowden recently was sent into hiding from the United States Government for leaking information about government surveillance of private individuals, which is in violation of the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The entirety of the country went into uproar when they found that the National Security Administration had tapped into the Associated Press’ emails, and had been monitoring their communications. This quickly added up into a laundry list of issues, containing the gathering of individual information based upon keywords used in Google searches, Facebook posts and the reading of private emails that contained no probable cause to search for national security matters.
The thing that I find troubling is, people are surprised. Americans everywhere forget that they were screaming for this to happen 10 years ago. Ten years ago, Republicans and Democrats both encouraged the PATRIOT Act, which had been sitting in a CIA filing cabinet waiting to be used someday.
These same people once lamented the loss of liberty. Benjamin Franklin, a founder of our country once said, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
In the midterm election of Bush in 2004, you had Democrats screaming about the PATRIOT Act, and a loss of liberty, then when Obama renewed the PATRIOT Act in 2011, Republicans were shocked that he would agree to surveillance without warrant.
Now, with the most recent addition to this long list, Republicans and Democrats are both offended. Did you not both sign up for this? Did you not both agree that our children would live in the basic beginnings of a police state, all in the name of “safety” and “security?”
This is not a partisan issue, but at the same time it is. This is one example where you have the two parties working together to collectively hurt Americans.
I have chosen a side in politics because I believe in limited government, personal responsibility and fiscal conservatism, but, I also signed on for consistency within my party. Neither party has been consistent in their opinions towards the PATRIOT Act.
Their current political rhetoric may say one thing, but their actions show another. As someone that studies the Constitution of the United States, I see the PATRIOT Act and NSA spying on our own, innocent citizens, as a violation of individual liberty, the rights of human beings, and the American Dream. Do some research and form your own opinion, but personally, I do not enjoy being watched when I am not doing anything wrong.
Advocates of the PATRIOT Act have stated “If you aren’t doing anything wrong you have nothing to fear.” At the point of bringing up old wounds of history, this was also the same concept used in National Socialist Germany during World War II.
We need to be able to be free, to have our First and Fourth Amendments secured.