Monday, April 15, 2013

Big Brother & Terrorism

In October, 2001, President George W Bush signed the Patriot Act giving the federal government broad powers, often ignoring our Constitution, to deal with preventing Domestic, or Foreign Terrorism on American soil.  At the time, this Blogger was very supportive as this new law was in response to 9/11, which resulted in the death of more than 3,000 people with the attack at the World Trade Center in New York City.   This law has been extended by Socialist President Obama, presumably to continue our battle against Terrorism.  But given the thousands of guns and millions of rounds of ammunition, being purchased by Obama's Department of Homeland Security, for no rational reason, this Blogger is beginning to fear the over reach of the federal government, as much as I fear Terrorists. 

Now with the recent Terrorist attack in Boston, there will be calls for even more stringent enforcement of the Patriot Act.   As it relates to foreign threats, we should use all means at our disposal to prevent another Terrorist attack.  The problem is the fine line related to violating the rights of American citizens in the process.   We know now that the National Security Agency is in charge of a huge new facility in Utah in place to gather data, which could include travel documents, bank statements, wire tapping, telephone records and reading email etc. of American citizens, without a search warrant.   The IRS claims it has the right to read emails that are older than 180 days without a search warrant, as required by the 4th Amendment of the Constitution, prohibiting illegal search and seizure.

Obviously, we want our government to keep us safe and to prevent Terrorist attacks; but how much of our freedom are we willing to give up in the process.  What we endure at airports may just be the beginning.  It practically took an act of Congress to get Attorney General Eric Holder to admit that Socialist President Obama did not have the unilateral right to use drones to kill American citizens, on US soil, without the due process of law.   

This Blogger is a student and former teacher of history that has learned the lessons of history well.  I know that we have reason to fear governments, including our own, that have repressed and murdered their own people.  The US in not innocent concerning acts of evil and even murder.  Don't forget the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798 and the Sedition Act of 1918 that allowed the federal government to put people in jail for criticizing the government.   Abraham Lincoln suspended the Writ of Habeas Corpus, which allowed the federal government to arrest and detain citizens without the due process of law.  Slavery in the United States, along with the discrimination against Blacks that followed, was enforced by government, not just slave owners.   Native Americans were slaughtered and forced to move to Reservations.   Franklin Roosevelt rounded up Japanese Americans and put them in Concentration Camps.  All of these things were presumably done with some rationalization in mind; but they were none the less evil and a threat to freedom. 

Our government needs to aggressively combat Terrorism; but we also need the protections of our Constitution to make certain that American citizens are not targeted for daring to criticize our government in the name of security.   It has happened before and it is now becoming clearer by the day that Big Brother is watching everything we do and say.  If we are not careful, we may lose our freedom in the defense of our nation.   If that happens, sadly the Terrorists have won, which has been their goal all along. 

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