Tuesday, June 18, 2013

And So It Begins: Justifying The Loss Of Our Freedom By Stopping “What Ifs”

The older I get it seems the less things shock me.

I used to be shocked or surprised when politicians and government officials would defend their actions when they were caught. Now, after seeing it so many times on the local, parish, state and federal level, I just sit back and shake my head.
I’ve been pretty outspoken with my disdain for the federal government bending and twisting the Patriot Act to now include compiling lists of who ordinary citizens call on their cell phones and huge supercomputers analyzing emails for keywords all under the guise of “protecting the country from terrorism.”

In the last few hours, I’ve gotten several phone calls and emails from friends who disagree with me and think that the government has the right to do almost anything they want if it protects our country.
Earlier today, the National Security Agency chief, Gen. Keith Alexander, said that all the snooping that the government has done has helped prevent “potential terrorist threats” over 50 times since 9/11 including a plot to bomb the New York Stock Exchange.

My “friends” each pointed to that and said, “So, what have you got to say now?”
My answer is simple: So what?

We are never going to be 100% safe in our country and for every “potential terrorist threat” (and, what exactly does that mean?), we’re still going to have to deal with two knucklehead brothers from Chechyna  or somewhere else, who want to overthrow our way of life one marathon at a time.
With all of our snooping prowess and massive supercomputers we couldn’t stop two kids from buying some pressure cookers and fireworks and making their own “bombs” and conducting their own act of terror.

In fact, the U.S. Government has already admitted that there were no intelligence reports indicating that the Boston Marathon bombing, or any bombing for that matter, would occur.
After the bombing, in the Los Angeles Times, NY Congressman Peter King said, "I received two top secret briefings last week on the current threat levels in the United States, and there was no evidence of this at all."

The fact remains that our country has two porous borders, we have a flawed immigration system, and we can’t keep track of students or visitors that, initially, come to our country legally. Yet, we’re spying on our own people.
Should our government be concerned with some individuals that are in our country, what they do and who they talk with? Of course, with all of our technology and resources we should have an idea who the “bad guys” are. And, it’s not every Muslim.

We knew about the Boston Marathon bombers, the FBI interviewed one of them, and we let him go and chose to look the other way.
We saw the signs of the Ft. Hood shooter and we chose to look the other way. Even after it was exposed that his actions were clearly an act of terrorism, our President still sugarcoats this cowardly action by classifying it as an “act of workplace violence”.

We have thousands of foreigners here on student visas and many of them have stopped going to school and faded into our country’s woodwork. And, we choose to look the other way.
“We don’t have the manpower to round up illegals”.

Yet, President Obama can ask for $1 Billion for more IRS Agents to enforce ObamaCare rules.
We have troops stationed in foreign countries fighting wars that should never have begun. We give foreign countries Billions of Dollars in aid and their people hate America.

We can’t build a fence, a smart or a dumb fence or even a white picket fence, to secure our own border but we can build supercomputers to scan the emails of every American citizen?
Did you realize that the guy in the next cubicle is a terrorist mastermind? Neither did I, but that doesn’t stop our government from reading his emails and all the while smiling and telling you, “We’re doing this for your own protection”.

Our country is being overrun with illegal immigrants; we have antiquated laws allowing an illegal immigrant to cross the border, push out a kid here, and Voila! you’re a citizen – here’s where you sign up for welfare, food stamps and a free cell phone. Call your relatives - they can come here too!
Yet, we can spend hours debating whether Edward Snowden is a hero or he should be tried for treason.

Treason? If you watched ‘The Newsroom’ on HBO or watched Fox News in the past few years, you already knew almost everything you know now – Snowden is just a face, someone to attach blame to.
Did Snowden tell us some specifics and fill in some gaps? Sure, but it’s not like we didn’t already see the big picture. The FBI and IRS have had files on Millions of law-abiding citizens for years. Now, those manila folders have been replaced by sim cards in a building in Utah.

But, the reality is, our government can’t tell us how many illegal immigrants are here, how many foreigners came here on student or travel visas and stopped studying and travelling, or come up with a plan to secure our border before we give 11 Million or 30 Million or whatever the number actually is, a “path to citizenship” or amnesty, but, even as we speak, a government supercomputer is analyzing an email for potential terrorist keywords that my mom sent to me containing her recipe for Chicken Pot Pie.
Thankfully, the recipe doesn’t call for using a pressure cooker, otherwise my mom and I might be on another list somewhere.

Watch out for exploding carrots though. They can be really hard to clean up.   

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