Question: You seem to like to bash he government quite a bit but, really you have never said how you would protect national security. Really, I could care less if the government spied on me while they where looking for the bad guys because I have nothing to hide.. So my question is whats the big deal if a few liberties are taken away, in the name of security, if someone has nothing to hide.
ANSWER: The claim you should not care if you have nothing to hide is the standard response that has been used in defense of every oppressor. The solution is very simple. If they collect ANYTHING on a citizen, he has ABSOLUTE immunity from civil or criminal prosecution from anything that is non-terror related. Then the claimed purpose can be restricted to so called national security.
I had a friend flying in from Quebec. I went to pick them up and the TSA called my cell phone to verify I was there to pick them up. They then asked if I spoke French since they spoke little English. When I asked what is the problem since they were Canadian, the response was “they are still an alien.” Another friend flew here from Switzerland for a meeting. TSA asked them why couldn’t they talk to me over the phone and why was it so important that they had to visit me in the USA? The NSA claims its program “aided” in preventing 50 plots. There are over 300 million Americans. You do not question every single person. Do you question every person on the road and ask them if they had a drink even though they are not driving irrationally? Flipping everything to a NEGATIVE is the opposite of a free country. It shifts the burden of proof to you – that is the problem with if someone has nothing to hide. So if you worked late and did not have a drink, I suppose that argument justifies the police pulling you over and asking when was the last time you had a drink? He can detain you and say he wants a blood test. You ask why? He says – if you have nothing to hide then why object? It could take hours, but you did not have a drink so surely you would have no problem.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper just last March testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing and stated he was not aware that the National Security Agency was involved in such large-scale efforts of collecting data on Americans. How can Congress “oversee” the NSA when they lie straight to their face? (BTW if you did that it is 5 years in jail. Government employees are exempt from the same law that applies to you).
“Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Oregon Republican Sen. Ron Wyden asked Clapper at the March 12 hearing.
“No, sir,” Clapper responded.
“It does not?” Wyden pressed.
Nobody is asking the question why are they are storing everyone’s phone calls forever? The NSA claims to have collected data that “aided” them in stopping terror plots. Listen closely to the words “aided” for they do not claim that this project actually did anything by itself. Elliot Spitzer had to resign as Governor of NY because under the terrorist laws the bank had to report he wrote checks to a hooker. He had nothing to hide from a terrorist perspective either.
If you want all this data, it also requires far more work to go through it all. So even if there was a phone call that said tomorrow we will attack something, they are collecting so much stuff, they cannot get to it in any timely manner.
Very simple – give ALL Americans absolute immunity from prosecution from anything that is non-terror related if the NSA collects it. That will solve the problem. But you should know your history. The American Revolution was fought for this very reason – the king’s “general warrants” that his men just could seize anything and then prosecute you for any crime they might discover. John Adams said then and there the American Revolution was born. (see Boyd v US).
My family fought in every war right back to the American Revolution. Everyone who died was defending those rights in the constitution. Their memories have been insulted for what they died for, Congress deems not essential and national security is more important. By the way, the FBI now uses drones over US soil. They are NOT concerned with terrorism. That is NSA and Homeland security. They are using drones for non-terrorists activities. You may think you have nothing to hide, but every person commits 3 serious crimes in the USA every day – see Three Felonies a Day.
This ECONOMICALLY is how empires, nations, and city-states fall and die. We are transformed from a FREE nation to one that is of presumed guilt and everyone must prove they are not involved with something.