Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
It is possible that at some point in the future there truly will be an "Arab Spring". Not anything like the sham that we have been witnessing over the past couple of years where totalitarian dictators are replaced by Islamic theocracy whose goals are far worse for world peace than the people they have replaced. It is possible, indeed if we don't want to see generation's of war between cultures, it is necessary that at some point the Muslim world rejects those who seek world domination by the Muslim faith as a sacred goal.
It may take many years perhaps decades for this transformation to occur, where Islamic extremist become outcasts within their own culture rather than their pop heroes, but it very well could happen. With modern communication technology and the instant proliferation of freedom as a "new" and cherished ideal among the youth of the world, this transformation may happen quite quickly. After all the "Green Revolution" in Iran was a very real movement with popular and wide spread support. The recent protests in Egypt against the Muslim Brotherhood is counter revolution against theocratic rule.
So it is entirely possible indeed likely that at some point in the future whether it be distant or near, the threat of Islamic terrorism will be greatly diminished. In fact according to President Obama, the threat has already been alleviated.
Today Osama bin Laden is dead, and so are most of his top lieutenants. There have been no large-scale attacks on the United States, and our homeland is more secure. Fewer of our troops are in harm’s way, and over the next 19 months they will continue to come home. Our alliances are strong, and so is our standing in the world. In sum, we are safer because of our efforts.Then the question becomes, in this future world when the threat of terrorism is all but gone, what will happen to the NSA "data center" in Utah?
The nation's new billion-dollar epicenter for fighting global cyberthreats sits just south of Salt Lake City, tucked away on a National Guard base at the foot of snow-capped mountains. The long, squat buildings span 1.5 million square feet, and are filled with super-powered computers designed to store massive amounts of information gathered secretly from phone calls and emails.We are told that the federal government needs to store all of this information in order to prosecute the "war on terror". What happens when there is no longer a war? What will they do with all this information, not to mention the multi-billion dollar complex, when the threat is diminished or gone?
Will they just turn off the lights and send everyone home? Will they erase all the records and sell off the mainframe computers at one gigantic yard sale? Will the buildings be turned over to the nearest town to open up a manufacturing park?
After all, the primary purpose we are assured is to protect us, the American people, from Islamic terrorist, protect us by recording our lives. Protect us by keeping records of all the details of our lives. Our phone calls, our e-mails, our credit transactions and who knows what else. Our Federal Government is protecting us by spying on us.
But what happens when the threat is gone? After all even though our president tells us that's "our homeland is more secure" now, these programs are not only still on going, they are expanding. Are we to believe that we will never be secure again? That the threat to our well being will always justify this incursion into our lives?
The truth is we all know that this giant apparatus of domestic spying will not simply go away. Future congresses will enact legislation that will allow for other important "uses" of this data. I am sure it will all be sold to us as being in our best interest.
After all, if this information can be used to fight terrorism, why not use it to fight crime? Or since our individual health is now a matter of national concern, why not use this data to monitor a person's health choices? The possibilities are virtually endless.
Everything we purchase today is pretty much on a debit or credit card, and all of this is digitally recorded. Now all of this information is stored "for our protection" by the government on a central data base.
Is it unrealistic to believe that at some future date that I will receiver a "friendly" text message from The Department of Health and Human Services like this:
We noticed you have bought twenty (20) one liter bottles of Coke over the past two months. Scientific studies have shown that consumption of large quantities of blah, blah,blah....please click on this link for more information.Or this from the Department of Justice
We notice that you have recently purchased a box of .45 caliber ammunition. A search of our data base finds that you have no weapon registered that uses that caliber of ammunition. Please contact us at this link within five days and explain the reason for this purchase.Is all this far fetched? Would your grandparents have believed that the United States Government would ever build such a complex in Utah in the first place? Do you believe it? Or is this something out of a Robert Redford government paranoia film?
This is not the "slippery slope" to a police state, this is the infrastructure of the police state. We now live in a police state. Free nations do not build billion dollar complexes with multi-billion dollar agencies to record and monitor every aspect of their citizen's lives.
It is not the Democrats that have done this, it is not the Republicans that have done this, it is an out of control Federal Government that has done this. It is a systemic belief by large numbers of politicians that it is their responsibility to take care of us, and us allowing them to do so. The easiest way to take care of people is to imprison them, not with bars and chains of steel but with the bonds that personal information at their disposal affords them.
Thomas Jefferson like most of the Founders and Framers understood that people especially politicians were fallible, that in order to protect the citizens against over reaching government other chains must be applied. He wrote; "In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."
In this debate over the NSA and domestic spying, what chain has come unbound? Where has our government of fallible men violated our constitutional rights as citizens. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution is pretty clear.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.What probable cause does the government have to syphon up my telephone records or e-mail or my credit purchase records. What have I done that would allow them to maintain a data base of information on me? What particular action have I taken to warrant the search and seizure of my personal records? The answer, like for most Americans is none. But they did not seize my records, they seized all of our records. And this by any logical application of the fourth amendment is "unreasonable".
Consider this, now that the secret is exposed, our children will grow up knowing that their communications and their very lives are being monitored by the state. Is that what America is about? How will this affect future generations.? Will it hinder and stifle creativity and entrepreneurship? How can it not.
Here I sit at the very beginning of this Brave New World, while some checks still exist to the "state's power" wondering if these very words, critical of the state will someday put me on a list as a subversive. I am choosing my words carefully so as not to be interpreted as some call to revolution, which is exactly what is needed.
Is the word "revolution" on some algorithm which will get me monitored? I doubt it, but now it is possible, now the government, not Google, or some sinister corporation but my own government has the power to record nearly everything I do in my life and create systems to monitor me should I somehow violate some regulation or law.
Imagine how future generations will behave, knowing that they are being recorded for possible violation of the state. Since we now live in a nation where laws are written which invest in nameless, faceless bureaucrats the writing and implementation of regulations beyond measure. It is doubtful that there is a single person living in America today that is not a violation of some administrative law or regulation. Now the Federal Government has the data bank needed to "catch" you.
I ache for my grandchildren and their children not because they will grow up in such a police state, eventually it will all just be "the way it is." I ache for them because unless we can somehow put this genie back in the bottle, they will never know an America where people are free.
Every politician, Republican or Democrat, who supports the gathering and storing of information on American citizens whether out of malice, ignorance or for good intentions is an enemy of freedom and must be shown the light or be held accountable.
If this is not reversed then the terrorist have truly won, they have brought down America. They have succeeded in imposing a secular Sharia law upon us where our government has the ability to control us and mold us into compliant serfs.
The Federal government is out of control by assuming control of our lives, they are no longer our servants but in fact have become our Fearful Master.
Welcome to slavery.