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Stop Shunning Mr. Privacy

June 27, 2006

Our ‘hilarious’ and ‘informative’ went out the window weeks ago, and now our ‘clever’ is getting pretty threadbare. A valiant attempt to return to form will happen in the coming days. For now, there is only this:

Let me just set a few things straight. I recognize the reality that there are disgruntled people in the world who would attack, maim and kill civilians in order to “send a message.” That said, I have no problem with…

  1. …searching an individual’s home without their knowledge if they are suspected of being a terrorist.
  2. …infiltrating a club or organization if its members are suspected of terrorist activity.
  3. …looking at an individual’s library records if they are suspected of being a terrorist and such records will be useful in investigating terrorist activity.
  4. …looking at an individual’s medical records if they are suspected of being a terrorist and such records will be useful in investigating terrorist activity.
  5. …tapping and individual’s telephone if they are suspected of being a terrorist.
  6. …requesting the phone company’s billing records of an individual who is suspected of being a terrorist.
  7. …tracking an individual’s financial transactions if they are suspected of assisting in the funding of terrorist activity.
  8. …etcetera.

But really, is it too much to ask that these things be done LEGALLY? I’m thinking— if memory serves —that we’re supposed to have a system of checks and balances in place to handle exactly this kind of thing.

As far as I can tell, there are very few individuals in the world bent on carrying out terrorist attacks. But there are a very great number of innocent people who deserve to have their Amendment IV Rights protected, many of whom— I must believe, in order to preserve my own sanity —don’t even buy into the group-paranoia that makes everybody a suspect of terrorism.

It used to be that folks who shunned privacy— by, say, getting hot-and-heavy in a public place —were told, “C’mon! Get a room!”

Now the folks who shun Privacy are in peoples rooms. They should be told, “C’mon! Get a warrant!”

  1. June 27, 2006 3:27 PM

    Ha! Brilliant. Equating “get a room” with “get a warrant”!

    Yes, wanting things done legally is just too much. After all, you’re dealing with the government.

  2. June 27, 2006 3:59 PM

    Q: And the government response to this will be?

    A: Prosecute the media for reporting on this activity.

    As often happens, Democracy Now! got me going on writing this post with this noon’s report: Is Bush Administration’s Bank Spy Program One Part of a Resurgent Total Information Awareness?

    There was a great quote from Jonathan Turley, Professor of Constitutional Law at George Washington University, on the program:

    Congress has entirely vanished from any role in government. That is, in the last — I think the 109th Congress will go down as the congress that never existed. There will be no evidence that it ever played a role in governing. So we have no oversight being done by Congress. And what’s fascinating is that at that House hearing [about possibly prosecuting journalists under national security laws!] , I said, you know — when the chairman asked me, you know, “Why do we have all these whistleblowers? And I said, “Because they think that you’re a joke. They think this committee is a joke. You’re not doing any oversight. You haven’t done oversight in over ten years.” And what’s amazing is that three of the committee members immediately agreed and said on the record, “It’s true. We haven’t done oversight in over ten years.”

    [dripping sarcasm] I think that’s just fantastic! [/dripping sarcasm]

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