Mukasey: If You Don’t Give Up Your Privacy The Terrorists Win

Mukasey: If You Don’t Give Up Your Privacy The Terrorists Win

Ever since the NSA programs were revealed we’ve seen a steady stream of Big Government elitists coming forward and telling us things like “everything’s OK, it’s no big deal”. And “we’re not listening to your phone calls.” And “it’s called protecting Amerika.” Things like “we have to do everything and anything necessary.” And here’s Michael Mukasey, who served as US attorney general.

Michael Mukasey

Leaking Secrets Empowers Terrorists

Once again, the tanks-have-rolled left and the black-helicopters right have joined together in howls of protest. They were set off by last week’s revelations that the U.S. government has been collecting data that disclose the fact, but not the content, of electronic communications within the country, as well as some content data outside the U.S. that does not focus on American citizens. Once again, the outrage of the left-right coalition is misdirected.

Good move, Mike: referring to American citizens who do not like to be spied upon as nutjobs. Great way to bring people to your side.

Regrettably, those best positioned to defend such surveillance programs are least likely to do so out of obvious security concerns. Without getting into detail here, intelligence agencies, with court authorization, have been collecting data in an effort that is neither pervasive nor unlawful. As to the data culled within the U.S., the purpose is to permit analysts to map relationships between and among Islamist fanatics.

Yet, the vast majority of American Citizens, who are supposed to be protected by the 4th Amendment, have nothing to do with Islamic fanatics. Furthermore, we have no idea what Government will do with the data that they gather. We do not like that all this metadata is kept, showing our movements. We do not like that The Government can capture in real time every keystroke. We do not like our emails and Tweets being captured.

The Founders were practical men who understood the need for secrecy. Indeed, they drafted the Constitution with windows and doors closed against prying eyes and ears even in sweltering summertime Philadelphia, lest their deliberations be revealed–not only prematurely, but at all. They realized that the free exchange of ideas was crucial to the success of their awesome project, and that it could only be inhibited by the prospect of disclosure, whether future or present.

Nice strawman. Because they were meeting in secret, not gathering data on fellow citizens.

Even zealots do not dispute that the Patriot Act, as amended, authorizes the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that was established under FISA to grant permission to gain access to the information at issue here. As to intercepting the content of foreign communications, I think it is best put starkly: The Constitution and U.S. laws are not a treaty with the universe; they protect U.S. citizens. Foreign governments spy on us and our citizens. We spy on them and theirs. Welcome to the world.

Nice deflection. Most citizens could care less if we are spying on foreigners. We expect our government to do that. The problem is the spying on US citizens.

Real damage was done last week by Edward Snowden, who on Sunday claimed credit for leaking the secrets he learned while working for NSA contractors. Every time we tell terrorists how we can detect them, we encourage them to find ways to avoid detection.

Surely terrorists, or at least their leaders, knew that America was going to do all we could to spy on them. Now they know that the US Government is more than willing to violate the 4th Amendment and treat the citizens like prisoners in a jail, to treat them in the same manner as terrorists.

I’m sure Mukasey would have no problem with the government getting a warrant to search his home daily, in secret, without ever notifying him about it, just to have some data in case Mukasey breaks the law at some point in the future or a friend does something wrong. Right? Right?

According to Rasmussen, 59% oppose the secret collection of phone data. 26% approve, 15% only watch Entertainment Tonight, er, are unsure.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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