Friday, July 18, 2008

#29 FISA , Liberty, and the Obama Shuffle

As I said earlier, I'll vote for him anyway. But, sad to report, he has signed off on amendments to the 30-year-old act of Congress (actually a pretty handy one, after REAL terrorism descended upon us) that will significantly broaden the government's powers to eavesdrop on US citizens without a warrant. Despite its complicated and sophistical language, the FOREIGN Intelligence and Surveillance Act Amendments Act (FISAAA!) does just that--effectively violating the Fourth Amendment guarantees against "illegal search and seizure." Telecommunications companies can now with impunity/immunity help Bush and Cheney spy on your PRIVATE e-mails and i-messages, and whatever. Obama had heretofore been speaking out and voting against these incursions, but now...not. (Another shuffle to the right, along with the Iraq pandering.) It's interesting that for awhile there, Liberal and Libertarian values seemed to be in tandem (as they most often are, at least for me), but, alas, no longer on this issue.

Listen, the neo-fascist administration currently in power is more than welcome to read and comment on this blogman's posts to their black heart's content and even become part of the Myriad Readers. But that's IT. Originally intended to spy on foreign-to-foreign communications (OK), FISA can now get right into the intimate depths of Joe Six-Pack's PC. If he or I had more political clout than we do (next to nada), who knows that we couldn't be blackmailed or intimidated by a hostile Gov't for what it finds there? Even though of no criminal nature. THAT'S why they've GOT to have a WARRANT... and THAT'S the protective wisdom of the Fourth Amendment... and of the Founding Fathers, one of whom I'll end with:

"Any society that would give up a little liberty for a little security will deserve neither and lose both"--Benjamin Franklin.

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