Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Stick In the Eye

     A momentous decision, the first of its kind in quite a long whiles, to go in the direction of the public interest and common good, on the surveillance state issue, was made this past week in Federal Court. The presiding judge ruled that the NSA program “Prism” had very likely overstepped its authority under the Constitution with its “collect-it-all” telephony records gathering. The judge hearkens back to the case under which all state spying in the USA has proceeded since 1975, Smith vs. Maryland, and declares that the technology which now addresses the nation’s communications has evolved to such a point that the precedent set under Smith no longer applies, and that it is time for a new one, and a reconsideration of the abuse of the powers which Smith had previously allowed government to proceed on.
     The judge stops short, however, of calling the program “Orwellian,” and terms it “almost Orwellian.” This allows some wiggle room, for anyone who has actually read Orwell’s 1984 realizes full well that the police state powers the author described are a definite corollary to the current practices of the NSA. Further, it lays even more responsibility at the feet of the executive branch of government, how these powers are being put to use. And once again, Hif Majeftie, Barack Obama, has weighed in on the side of totalitarianism, all the while, washing his hands, and refusing to address the idea that his national intelligence officers have violated their privilege of office, and contravened the Constitution.
     Of course, this is no surprise to those of us who have been watching Hif Majeftie since his 180-turnabout on the idea of holding the Bush administration responsible for its torture and war crimes. Indeed, to keep blaming Bush for the policies which this particular president now has continued unabated (and ramped up!) on the issue of total surveillance, drone murder, indefinite detention &  assassination without due process, and indefatigable imperialism in Afghanistan and northeast Africa, is to overlook the bald fact that this president has been in office quite long enough to “own it”all- and own up.
     The ruling states that “Congress may not hang a cloak of secrecy over the Constitution” and  “Of course, the public has no interest in freeing the government from the burdens of complying with the Constitution!”[exclamation point in original].  This is strong language from a federal judge, appointed by G.W.Bush, the man most knee-jerk “liberals” would love to carry the weight and the blame for all of this as a means of letting themselves off the hook for being ever-decreasingly vigilant as regards to the totalitarian excesses of their own Dear Leader. It rather points up the fact that in this society, individuals are expected to think (and judges to rule) from their own conscience, not simply to parrot the endeavor of the people who appoint them. It is a good thing that someone recognizes- finally! that the Constitution itself is what matters here, not the government’s power and ability to intimidate the public. If there ever were a time when protest were truly needed in America, it would be now, when the most complacent of Democratic partisans only see the issues before the nation as “investing ObamaCare” and the “need for more gun control.”

     There are a lot of reasons that this ruling is well-timed and is a stick in the eye of the Cyclopean police state over which Barack Obama presides. It is high time that rights were returned to the people of this nation- rights which are inalienable and which the Founders of this country could never have foreseen would be brought into such imminent danger as that posed by the very agencies which have been tasked to ensure its freedom. Freedom no longer means what it used to, but only if people forget what freedom has truly meant in the past, and could mean once again. Especially if we the people, with the power of the vote, can prevent some of these people responsible for this state of affairs from ever once again holding public office.

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