Our rights under siege

To save our future, fight for freedom from government spying

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Future Americans will look back on our actions today and either say we saved them or failed them.

Our level of tolerance for government spying will be one deciding factor.

If Americans in 2014 shrug our shoulders in ignorance or apathy, or throw up our hands in helplessness, or say there’s nothing we can do, or we’ve got nothing to hide – or that, hey, the government has to spy on all of us to protect us from a few crazy jihadists, right? – then broad government spying on not just us but on future generations will be given the green light.

And we will have failed our progeny.

We owe it to future generations, if not ourselves, to get this right.

The extent of government spying on us was revealed in a big way by fugitive former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden – and summarized neatly in this paragraph from a recent column by Judge Andrew Napolitano:

“Just how massive is this scandal? The Washington Post has reported that the NSA hacks into 500,000 American buddy lists and 600,000 American address books every day, and The Guardian of London reported last week that the NSA seizes 200 million American text messages every day. This is in addition to seizing the content of all cellphone- and landline-generated telephone conversations and copies of all emails sent or received in the United States. And all of that is in addition to seizing all bank records, utility bills and credit card bills of everyone in the United States.”

It truly is amazing the amount of spying we are acquiescing to today, and the lack of outcry in the media – which, of any profession, should be there to safeguard our freedoms.

Even when a government review panel warned recently, in unusually blunt terms, that the NSA spying is illegal and unconstitutional, the news seemed to melt like a wet snow on a spring morning.

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, in The Washington Post’s words, “concluded that the program raises serious threats to civil liberties, has shown limited value in countering terrorism and is not sustainable from a policy perspective.”

Indeed, the board said in its report:

“We have not identified a single instance involving a threat to the United States in which the telephone records program made a concrete difference in the outcome of a counterterrorism investigation. Moreover, we are aware of no instance in which the program directly contributed to the discovery of a previously unknown terrorist plot or the disruption of a terrorist attack.”

So, according to the government’s own review panel, we are breaking new ground in civil rights violations – the utterly warrantless mass collection of our email and phone records and communications – without any discernible progress to show for it.

“At its core,” the board wrote, “the (NSA’s) approach boils down to the proposition that essentially all telephone records are relevant to essentially all international terrorism investigations” – which, of course, is so ludicrous a proposition as to be laughable, were we not foolishly ceding our civil rights and those of our descendants.

As President Obama has summarily dismissed the review board’s warning and all other concerns, and as the nation naps through yet another assault on civil liberties, the courts may be the last refuge for our increasingly abused and neglected Bill of Rights.

May history forgive us.

On second thought, we may not be worthy of it.

Comments (38) Add comment
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gaflyboy
4197
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gaflyboy 01/28/14 - 11:45 pm
7
3
Excellent editorial!

Kudos ACES!

myfather15
49590
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myfather15 01/29/14 - 07:27 am
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In my opinion, there are two

In my opinion, there are two types of liberals!! Those radical committed liberal's who will go along with anything and everything this government does; and those blind sheep, decieved by the radicals and their false compassion!! They believe the LIES from the left that they want to help the poor, elderly and minorities!! Because it DOES sound noble!!

The RADICAL left have disguise their agenda, behind a false compassion and perception!! II Corinthians 11:14 "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." That word transformed in the Greek is disguised!! Satan disguises himself as an angel of light and they disguise themselves as the Champions of the poor and "disenfranchised".

People NEED to stop believing their WORDS and believe their ACTIONS!! Matthew 7:16 "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?"

Matthew 7:20 "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."

You do NOT get grapes from a thorns or figs from thistles; and you do NOT get compassion from Communists!! What you do get is complete government control, disguised as compassion!!

ymnbde
9182
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ymnbde 01/29/14 - 08:14 am
8
4
O'spying he will go!

O'spying he will go!
O, O, presidio, O'spying he will go
not Stalin H or M
not Stalin H or M
our very own pres Barry'O
O'spying he will go
and the IRS it knows
the IRS it knows
the same info that pres O'knows
the IRS it knows
and the next pres Barry'O
the next pres Barry'O
O, O, that Barry'O
O'huntin he will go
and not a shot is fired
while our freedom is denied
by not the Russians but the O's
and not a shot is fired

Truth Matters
6168
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Truth Matters 01/29/14 - 08:23 am
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10
"there are two types of

"there are two types of liberals!! Those radical committed liberal's who will go along with anything and everything this government does; and those blind sheep, decieved by the radicals and their false compassion!!

This same writer recently, and rightfully so, took people to task for making generalizations about law enforcement officers. He/she should heed those words or really get to know some "liberals" so these kind of opinions can be put to rest.

ymnbde
9182
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ymnbde 01/29/14 - 09:57 am
6
4
to get to know liberals, truthmatters?

"but oh, if you only knew our real souls, you would like us
you would really like us"
but that reality thing is always so uncomfortable for liberals
and by their actions do we know them
their spying lying deficiting class warmongering actions
are how we know them

teaparty
11313
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teaparty 01/29/14 - 10:03 am
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5
"there are two types of
Unpublished

"there are two types of liberals!! Those radical committed liberal's who will go along with anything and everything this government does; and those blind sheep, decieved by the radicals and their false compassion!!"
Will said!! There is the leadership of democrat party that is made up of the Marxists, communists from 60s and 70s and their students. The rest is what Stalin called 'useful idiots'.

grouse
1635
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grouse 01/29/14 - 10:07 am
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and who started all this with
Unpublished

and who started all this with the Patriot Act??

Bodhisattva
5583
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Bodhisattva 01/29/14 - 10:07 am
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8
More of the hypocrisy we've come to expect from the Chronicle

No hits on the Chronicle search engine for "Stellar Wind"? Started 2001, expanded 2004.
A search on "NSA spying" yields 5 hits, all editorials from 2013, of course criticizing the current administration.
A Google search of "NSA Augusta Chronicle" had one hit from "staff and wire reports" of "the super-secret National Security Agency based at Fort Gordon routinely eavesdropped on the private telephone calls of American military officers, journalists and aid workers."
A Google search for just NSA Augusta Chronicle brought up numerous articles and letters, the ones I saw favorable to the NSA locating at Fort Gordon. "“This is truly a game changer for our economy,” Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver said. “I don’t believe the overall impact can be overstated. It’s just that big.” "U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., a leading advocate of Fort Gordon, worked closely with senior leaders of the Army and the Cyber Command to relocate the network’s headquarters to a more spacious facility in Augusta before his retirement next year."
A search of the Chronicle with just NSA came up with quite few hits, including this tidbit from May 14, 2006:
"The liberal media, and their gutless Knee-Jerk Caucus on Capitol Hill, keep trying to find a new outrage perpetrated by our side in the war on terror. But time and again, ordinary Americans aren't buying it.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll this week found that nearly two-thirds of Americans are just fine with the NSA's mining of phone data in order to detect suspicious flows of calls toward known terrorists' numbers.
Again, the liberal media openly want you to be shocked and angry that the Bush administration is mining phone call data in order to prevent another 9-11.
But the truth is, law-abiding Americans have nothing to hide - and the Bush administration isn't interested in them anyway. Nor does the data mining involve any eavesdropping."

So which is it? We don't have anything to hide and it doesn't involve any eavesdropping? It's all just a big knee jerk reaction by liberals and the "liberal media"? It's all great that NSA is here! It's jobs, jobs, jobs, for Augusta! We welcome them with open arms! They're protecting us from terrorism and not infringing in our rights in any way. That is, until we have a Democrat become President . All of a sudden they're the very essence of evil. Get the pitchforks, light the torches, and run them out of town. We don't want their kind down here and don't need their stinkin' jobs. Unless, of course, the GOP stops being the party of extremism and craziness and somehow manages to win the Presidency. We'll then welcome them again and all will be forgiven. They'll again be a force of good, protecting the nation and insuring our Constitutional rights at the same time, all while doing the exact same things.

Jon Lester
2269
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Jon Lester 01/29/14 - 10:38 am
1
1
Fine, but you need to be as vigilant with the 4th Amendment

as you expect everyone else to be with the 1st, 2nd and 10th.

dahreese
4674
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dahreese 01/29/14 - 11:35 am
6
6
What we have here is an
Unpublished

What we have here is an editorial going along with the way the wind is blowing.

And if the wind changes....

mooseye
264
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mooseye 01/29/14 - 11:59 am
5
2
We

the sheepole of the tainted states, in order to form a more perfect flock, establish injustice, insure domestic control, provide for the common offensiveness, promote the general welfare check, and secure the blessing of Obama for relinquishing our liberty and posterity, do ordain and establish this roughshod trampling of the Constitution for the United States of America.

dahreese
4674
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dahreese 01/29/14 - 12:58 pm
4
4
mooseye, you might keep in
Unpublished

mooseye, you might keep in mind that this "constitution" you're talking about, better known as the "Patriot Acts" was introduced and passed during the GWB administration.

And it had/has a good history of unlawful activity long before Obama arrived on the scene.

And the defense of it has come mostly, if not totally, from conservatives/Republicans - until recently when the wind changed and it became fashionable to speak against it.

(Not to excuse Obama,however).

Your post is just another, along with the usual 'conservatives' here of being a day late and a dollar short).

mooseye
264
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mooseye 01/29/14 - 01:10 pm
3
2
It

doesn't matter who started it, it is being perpetuated by the current "government". And I am a little more than a dollar short.
The fact is that the terrorist have gotten part of what they wanted by reducing our freedom with the knee jerk reaction of our so called, leaders. Lets strip search grandma in the name of national security.

dahreese
4674
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dahreese 01/29/14 - 01:29 pm
4
4
Certainly the terrorism has
Unpublished

Certainly the terrorism has played its part in our current dilemma.

However, even before 9/11, there was/has been a conservative American/business/political/military element (and I can back that up) that has wanted a system of keeping an eye on all Americans.

mooseye
264
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mooseye 01/29/14 - 02:47 pm
3
0
"They"

didn't strip strip search grandma before 9-11, that I know of.
So dahreese, you are saying you knew all about this prior to that time and did not try to inform anyone? You may be part of the problem.
And exactly how does it make any difference to our loss of rights and privacy that is was happening before or who started it?

dahreese
4674
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dahreese 01/29/14 - 02:53 pm
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3
"So dahreese, you are saying
Unpublished

"So dahreese, you are saying you knew all about this prior to that time and did not try to inform anyone?"

The information has been publically available for anyone to see for years - including you.

If I saw it, why didn't you?

faithson
4783
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faithson 01/29/14 - 02:59 pm
1
3
has wanted a system of keeping an eye on all Americans

really came into being during the 60's. the one's who felt that Pete
Seegar was "unworthy of respect".....

blh
45
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blh 01/29/14 - 04:03 pm
1
0
not a partisan issue

Not only agree the spying has to stop but I actually thought I heard some degree of support for Snowden. At least he wasn't called a traiter like most 60's era conservatives would have done. This whole thing is an issue that both lib's and conservatives can get behind.

myfather15
49590
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myfather15 01/29/14 - 04:46 pm
3
2
Truth matters

There is a little difference in a democrat, and a liberal!!

I actually know quite a few very liberal persons!! Had several debates with them last night on facebook, during the SOTU!! I've also had numerous conversations with them face to face, just as I would you if we knew each other. I'm not NEAR as hostile as I seem, J/K. I could have a very decent conversation with you and we could still be friends afterwards.

The point is I form these opinions from MANY conversations with people who support liberal policy!! Just as I've done on here many times, I will ask them certain questions. Such as; can you name me a single thing Obama has done to substational help to poor, not be poor?

Can you name me a single positive aspect of the ACA, besides not being denied because of preexisting conditions? Because it certainly isn't AFFORDABLE. The preexisting conditions is also a touchy subject, as many people have said this aspect alone, could bankrupt the entire system!! Why not wait and pay the penalty, until you get cancer, then get some quick insurance? I understand the aspect of wanting to HELP OTHERS, as we should!! But forcing Insurance to cover these people when they haven't been enrolled prior to the serious condition, could bankrupt the entire Insurance industry!! Which then, would need a bailout!!

Now something specific that Obama addressed and PROMISED AGAIN last night. Stopping tax breaks for Businesses shipping jobs oversees!! This sounds REALLY GOOD!! I want these jobs HERE!! But how many times does this man get to LIE ABOUT THIS, before people will realize he is LYING?

This was a MAJOR promise in his 2008 Campaign!! Those words he spoke last night, she used the EXACT same words in 2008! Now, let me get this right. He promised to do this in 2008!! For the first two years of his Presidency, democrats controlled both the House and Senate!! They didn't get a single republican vote on the ACA, yet they still got it passed and now it's LAW!! Explain to me why he couldn't have passed legislation THEN, to punish those sending jobs overseas? Why didn't he take serious action THEN, to create those job HERE, back then? Because this President is nothing but WORDS!! He is a silver tongued genious!! He knows what people WANT to hear and says it loudly!! Then does NOTHING about it!! He has learned and perfected the oldest political scheme in the book; tell the people what they WANT to hear and you do NOT have to follow up on it!! They only need to HEAR IT!! You do NOT have to follow through!! That is the way people are, unfortunately!!

The ones I'm referring to as blind sheep, are those who repeat liberal talking points, but when asked specifics, they can't name a single thing he has done that is positive!! They will just say "The ACA" without naming any specific aspect of it!!

The committed liberals also throw their complete support to him, but they are more trained and educated in how to answer questions. How to avoid the truth!! How to turn the question around and twist it, never really answering, but APPEARING to answer!! They KNOW they are lying and being deceptive, but couldn't care less, because they support the leftist vision!! They want radical change in the Country, and will say anything to get it!!

Yes, there are committed on BOTH SIDES!! Polticians in general, and those who are committed to their party, are very good at deception!! That absolutely 100% includes the Republican Party!! Yes, there are also blind sheep on the republican side as well. I was conversing with one last night. The statistics he was providing were ALL WRONG. Just for an example, he said when Obama took office, the debt was at 6.7 Trillion dollars, which I pointed out to him was very inaccurate!! He also said Obama has used more executive orders than all other Presidents COMBINED, which is also either inaccurate or a blatant lie!! I'm guessing a blantant lie, because that isn't even close!! Clinton AND Bush both used more executive orders that Obama has at this point in their Presidency!! I will not LIE to further my point!!

Now, maybe you do have a point and I shouldn't generalize people like this; I'll take your advice and think about that. I was just voicing my opinion, based on my experiences with liberal folks!!

myfather15
49590
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myfather15 01/29/14 - 04:53 pm
4
2
To other commentors on here;

I got another nastygram (email) from a fellow commentor on here, saying my posts are too long and to stop wasting people's time!!

First of all, I KNOW that last post was long!! But that post was directly to "Truth Matters" in reply to his/her comment to me!! If "Truth Matters" choses to read my post or not read it, whichever is fine. But YOU, may choose to not read it and pass right over it. I know many probably do this anyway!! So why get mad at me for long posts, when you have the ability to NOT READ THEM??? I see others with longs posts, such as Bodhisattva and I just pass right over them!! Sometimes I will read them, if I'm in the mood to address their non-sense!! But that is still MY CHOICE!! Make YOUR choice of which posts to read and get over it!!

corgimom
27746
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corgimom 01/29/14 - 05:08 pm
2
4
" Those radical committed

" Those radical committed liberal's who will go along with anything and everything this government does; and those blind sheep, decieved by the radicals and their false compassion!!"

Well, let's see, who was in office when the Patriot Act was passed- um, wasn't it that "radical liberal" George W. Bush?

But hey, don't confuse people with the truth.

corgimom
27746
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corgimom 01/29/14 - 05:09 pm
2
4
And when it comes to spying

And when it comes to spying on Americans, NOBODY did more to spy on people than the FBI, led by the gay, cross-dressing, ultra-conservative J. Edgar Hoover, who was being blackmailed by the Mafia while spying on private citizens that weren't doing anything wrong.

teaparty
11313
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teaparty 01/29/14 - 05:40 pm
3
1
“Well, let's see, who was in
Unpublished

“Well, let's see, who was in office when the Patriot Act was passed- um, wasn't it that "radical liberal" George W. Bush?
But hey, don't confuse people with the truth.”
Corgi, fact is Bush was not very conservative and made a lot mistakes but that does not change the fact of what the wanta be dictator is doing now.

mooseye
264
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mooseye 01/29/14 - 06:29 pm
3
0
and

if they wait a little longer the unemployment rate will drop more as people exhaust their benefits and still have no job. Just because you are off the roll doesn't lower unemployment. Jobs do. And raising minimum wages and taxing business out the wazoo doesn't create jobs.
And if I had a business over seas, and this clown wanted to penalize me for it I would just move the whole operation. It is my business, not the governments to use as a political ramrod.

teaparty
11313
Points
teaparty 01/29/14 - 06:58 pm
3
1
“And if I had a business over
Unpublished

“And if I had a business over seas, and this clown wanted to penalize me for it I would just move the whole operation.”
It is sad but we have an evil clown for a president.

dahreese
4674
Points
dahreese 01/29/14 - 07:26 pm
0
3
"“And if I had a business
Unpublished

"“And if I had a business over seas, and this clown wanted to penalize me for it I would just move the whole operation.”

And I'd be happy to help you move out.

corgimom
27746
Points
corgimom 01/29/14 - 07:43 pm
1
2
Dahreese, get a grip. Do you

Dahreese, get a grip.

Do you not understand sarcasm when you read it?

Geez!

corgimom
27746
Points
corgimom 01/29/14 - 07:47 pm
1
0
No, teaparty, he was very

No, teaparty, he was very much Republican. To think that he was a Democrat and a liberal is ludicrous, but if that's what you want to think, OK. He was well-known for his hatred of Democrats like Martin Luther King and the Kennedys.

dahreese
4674
Points
dahreese 01/29/14 - 08:02 pm
0
3
Excuse me if I don't find it
Unpublished

Excuse me if I don't find it funny that American citizens are suspected to be criminals and terrorists by their own government.

Liberals have been opposed to the Patriot Act since its passage.

In fact, it was written and put on the shelf until something like 9/11 would come along and it could be passed.

The majority of Congress voted for it because of political reasons - 9/11 had just happened and they were afraid of being seen as "unpatriotic" if they didn't support it.

The fact is, only a handful had even seen it before its passage.

The conservative position has been "If you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about."

That has been, until Snowden, the depth of their understanding and acceptance.

teaparty
11313
Points
teaparty 01/29/14 - 08:07 pm
2
0
“GWB was a 'liberal?!' A
Unpublished

“GWB was a 'liberal?!'
A 'Republican' 'liberal?!'
Have you ever consulted a dictionary to learn the difference between the words 'liberal' and 'conservative?'
Dahreese, being a conservative or a liberal has nothing to do with being a democrat or a republican. Bush ran as conservative but governed as a liberal. He grew the size of the federal gov’t by even more than the moron in the Whitehouse. Many of the republicans, like McCain, are liberals but most of the democrats are Marxist/communist.

Perhaps you should look in the “dictionary to learn the difference between the words 'liberal' and 'conservative?'” is has nothing to do with party.

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