Monday, March 10, 2008

Liberty, Shmiberty

Taking another page from the book Who Cares What Congress or the Constitution Say?, the Bush admininstration continues in it's efforts to show that Big Brother is alive and well.

An article in today's Wall Street Journal spells out an NSA program of domestic spying. While the program technically is focused on international information, it's hard to draw the line in the digital age. As such, there's a lot of domestic spying going on apparently. For those paying attention, this is substantially the same program that Congress killed when it was the Pentagon doing it. That's right. Congress said no, but the administration is doing it anyway. I know. Stop the presses, right?

For those of you out there who might worry that a domestic spying program seems awfully Big Brother-ish, don't worry. Kit Bond, the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee says, "that's not what is happening today." Really? Because when I read the quote below, it makes me wonder.

"If a person suspected of terrorist connections is believed to be in a U.S. city -- for instance, Detroit, a community with a high concentration of Muslim Americans -- the government's spy systems may be directed to collect and analyze all electronic communications into and out of the city."

WHAT?!?! If there's a suspected terrorist somewhere in a city, any electronic communication into and out of the city can be monitored by the government? I'd be curious to hear when Senator Bond thinks that a Big Brother program begins. If being able to monitor every electronic communication in a city isn't Big Brother, what is? Where does that line get drawn?

Essentially, this program gives the federal government power to monitor electronic communications from anyone in the country. I mean, what city doesn't have someone who could be a suspected terrorist? I certainly doubt that the government is actually monitoring every communication I send, but the fact that they could is troubling to me.

What I really don't understand is why this isn't equally troubling to everyone. I get that we're fighting terrorism and that we have to take an aggressive stance to defend our liberties. But, in the end, should we have some liberties left to defend?

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