Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Government As Enemy

For most of my life I have considered the argument that the 2nd Amendment "right to keep and bear arms" provision was to provide us protection against our own government to be libertarian paranoia. What a fool I have been. Now that President Bush has trashed the 4th Amendment, I can see that the provisions of the 2nd and all the rest might soon follow.

The New York Times details the vast scope of President Bush's spying on Americans in complete and utter violation of the provisions of the 4th Amendment (sidebar at the right).

"The National Security Agency has traced and analyzed large volumes of telephone and Internet communications flowing into and out of the United States as part of the eavesdropping program that President Bush approved after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to hunt for evidence of terrorist activity, according to current and former government officials.

The volume of information harvested from telecommunication data and voice networks, without court-approved warrants, is much larger than the White House has acknowledged, the officials said. It was collected by tapping directly into some of the American telecommunication system's main arteries, they said."

America's major telecommunications companies made their networks available to the government spying without complaint and, illegally, in the absence of any government warrent or evidence of probably cause. Americans might want to think about a class action lawsuit against those companies for their illegal activities.

"As part of the program approved by President Bush for domestic surveillance without warrants, the N.S.A. has gained the cooperation of American telecommunications companies to obtain backdoor access to streams of domestic and international communications, the officials said...

What has not been publicly acknowledged is that N.S.A. technicians, besides actually eavesdropping on specific conversations, have combed through large volumes of phone and Internet traffic in search of patterns that might point to terrorism suspects. Some officials describe the program as a large data-mining operation."

I don't think 19 extremists could destroy the Constitution in just five years unless they had a group of willing accomplices in positions of power in the United States government, the media and corporations.