Terrorists erode our free society
The overall goal of the terrorists who hate us is to destroy our free society. They want to drag us down and force us to live in the kind of authoritarian states of which they approve.
They are succeeding.
In the past month, we have learned that, in the name of the war on terror, the government is secretly spying on journalists, obtaining their email and phone records with secret subpoenas.
Then we learned the government watches our phone calls, gathering records from phone companies, also in the name of fighting terrorism. These aren’t just international phone records or phone records of people who have somehow gotten their names on some terrorist watch list. These are the phone records of everyday people, your phone records, who you call, how long you stay on the phone, your location were when you were talking.
And the most recent revelation is that the government is watching people as they surf the Internet. The government is taking records from service providers and search engines, keeping a database of what people do online. Is it only international communications, as the government says, or is it domestic as well?
As frightening as all this is, the response of leaders in Washington, D.C., is just as scary. President Barack Obama takes the view that we should just trust him and other federal officials. He says they need these powers and programs and can be trusted to use this power in a way that doesn’t interfere with our rights.
And there are people who will swallow that. The truth is they have already interfered with our rights and cannot be trusted not to go further.
Some of us will be tempted to say: “I’m not doing anything wrong. If you’re not doing anything wrong, you shouldn’t be concerned about these programs.”
That’s a remarkably shortsighted view.
You may not be doing anything the government disapproves of now, but as this government grows in power and becomes ever more intrusive, who is to say that you will be safe?
The IRS has already been used to target groups that criticize the government. Should citizens worry that when they post a comment critical of the federal government on Facebook, that suddenly tax authorities will take an interest in what they have bought online and for which they have not paid sales tax? It sounds a little far-fetched, but didn’t the feds collecting our online and phone data seem far-fetched?
This program of spying on American citizens is an abuse of federal power. If this is allowed to stand, there is no telling what further abuses will come.
Terrorists hate freedom — especially the kind of freedom we have traditionally enjoyed in this country. When we whittle away at our own freedom or allow our government to cut great chunks out of it, we are assisting them.
From the New Bern (North Carolina) Sun Journal
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