Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Someone to Watch Over Me


("Surveillance- A Threat to Democracy")

The lack of moral outrage at the revelation of the extent of government intrusion into our collective private records can be attributed to two basics: the indiscriminate nature of the action and an inherent trust in this administration.

The fact that no one individual is being singled out for attention may make it feel that there is no invasion or trampling of Fourth Amendment protections,but it is the very fact of the enormous non-focused volume of the gathering of information that is so disturbing.

 So too, it is the "trust me to do the right thing" attitude of the government and President Obama's "welcoming" debate on this issue only when the question is involuntarily thrust into the spotlight that offends. I want to believe that this is not the era of Bush-lite but we should let the facts take us to the proper conclusions.

We should be demanding an explanation as to why there was no transparency and to know if there is a more reasonable and less overwhelming manner in which to  respond to the ongoing threats that propelled this program. To feel we are still insulated from scrutiny and to respond to the steps taken with a shrug of our shoulders is to provide an open invitation to future unwarranted incursions.


Anonymous said...

The lack of transparancy over this NSA weapon is really a balance of power issue. Our government doesn't want balance concerning this weapon, just as it really didn't want other nations to develop the atomic bomb after the Manhattan Project. (not too successful there). It is the mission of the NSA to maintain secrets, and more so during a war on terror. Our intelligence can no longer rely on just human intelligence. The threat to our security is so great that a sensible trafe-off has been made. By not putting our faith in the members of the intelligence committee, we are sending a signal that to trust representative government is wrong. I don't see any alternatives.

Anonymous said...

Bob, in this case, I agree with your loyal opposition, ie, anonymous. We must protect our Country and its citizens. If we get a list of phone call addresses, so be it. It is not ok to yell fire in a move theater, as free speech would demand., it is ok For our government to protect us. Is it wrong for google to "read" our emails and then target ads to our concerns, e.eg. Travel, golf? Of cores not. This info that the CIA collects is to protect us. That is the price of democracy.


Robert said...

I understand that the natural inclination is to say that the government is there to protect us, and what they deem appropriate and necessary (as long as we don't feel it is effecting our freedoms) is ok. But trust must be earned, and is not a given, and unless we are convinced that the rationale is legitimate and reasonable under the particular circumstances, we should not blithely agree. Terrorism is a scary thought, and like so many other areas of concern, can be the predicate for abuses of our rights if we are not vigilant. We all want to be safe, but what does that really mean, and at what cost?

by the way, I believe an edited version of my post should be appearing in the New York Times within the next day or 2