Independent Christian Voice

Friday

Big Brother Bush is watching you

The New York Times reports on yet another agency that's engaged in domestic spying:
Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials. Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said. The agency, they said, still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications. The previously undisclosed decision to permit some eavesdropping inside the country without court approval represents a major shift in American intelligence-gathering practices, particularly for the National Security Agency, whose mission is to spy on communications abroad. As a result, some officials familiar with the continuing operation have questioned whether the surveillance has stretched, if not crossed, constitutional limits on legal searches. [...] Nearly a dozen current and former officials, who were granted anonymity because of the classified nature of the program, discussed it with reporters for The New York Times because of their concerns about the operation's legality and oversight.
For some, this is no big deal because, after all, we are trying to protect ourselves from terrorism in this country. I have no problem with trying to protect ourselves, but how many freedoms do we give up in the process and how far before it's too far. There's very little oversight and certainly very little accountability within this administration. The GOP-led Congress won't do anything until it hits close to home (which is likely more likely than they might believe). The ultimate point is this. If we lose our freedoms in the process of protecting ourselves from terrorists, then haven't the terrorists won anyway? It's a very slipperly slope when the government gets a taste of domestic spying. Today it's Arab Americans, tomorrow it could be activist organizations — oh, wait... that's happening today too...
(A paraphrase of a paraphrase of the poem written after World War II)
When they came for the Arabs and the Muslims,
I turned away
When they came for the Jews and the blacks,
I turned away
When they came for the writers and the thinkers and the radicals and the protestors,
I turned away
When they came for the gays, and the minorities, and the utopians, and the dancers,
I turned away
And when they came for me, I turned around and around, and there was nobody left...
And that's the point.

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