This past week, while glancing through the NY Times editorial pages, I came across a letter that had this statement in it:
” I have no problem with the N.S.A.’s checking my e-mail if it helps keep us safe, and I think most people feel the same. “
That sentence made my jaw drop, my head ache, and my blood pressure to rise.
This is exactly the problem with an awful lot of people who say such things: they don’t seem to understand or realize what the NSA is actually doing. They’re fine with it all.
Hell, if I knew for sure, I’d tell you.
But the truth is the NSA itself doesn’t know, the FISA Court doesn’t know, the Congress doesn’t know, and even the President doesn’t know for sure what the NSA is doing. They all justify it by every means possible but never explain it the legal rationale behind it. They’re quick to defend it and resent any implication that it might not be legal.
They expect us to accept without question their mantra of “Trust us, we know what we’re doing. It’s for your own safety, and our country’s safer because of it.”
They lie to us and the Congress about it, and then they justify their lying by invoking the ‘need to know’ clause-that we have no business knowing this stuff.
All we do know is that they’re collecting tons and tons of personal information that has absolutely little or no relationship to any terrorist threat, past, present or future. They’re collecting it because they can and they want to.
The main point of the arguments against all of their illegal activities is that it does not make us any safer. It does not protect us from terrorist attacks, it does not stop future attacks.
It does invade our privacy, and it does breach our Constitutional rights. It is illegal. It is in full violation of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
So, yes, I do not feel the same way as the letter writer to the Times does.
I don’t think most people do, either.
He is dead wrong, and for everyone who thinks that same way, I’d like to ask them one question:
If you knew for a certainty the NSA was reading your email, tracking your internet browsing, reading your Facebook posts, or listening to your voice chats, would you be bothered?
I sure would. I bet you would, as well-because it’s NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS what your private mail or conversations contain.
That’s why we must speak up, and continue to speak up-for it must stop, totally.
Throwing away your right to privacy is one step closer to a dictatorship where you’re monitored 24/7/365 for the sake of the “Homeland”.
And that’s a very terrifying prospect. East Germany had the last known example of this kind of mindset.
We don’t want to be them, do we?