Spy on thy neighbor?

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The political left went ballistic when the Bush administration tried to track terrorists' money trails and listen in on their phone conversations.

But now it's suddenly OK

for the White House to gather the e-mails of those who oppose his radical health care proposals.

And to have neighbors snitch on each other's political views.

It sounds like something out of the 20th-century Soviet Union, but it's happening today in America.

The White House actually asked supporters to send in e-mails of any "fishy" arguments against the Obama health care plan - essentially asking Americans to spy on each other.

"We're not keeping a list," insisted Linda Douglass, director of the White House Office of Health Reform. "What is being said - not who's saying it - is what is being looked at. It's simply information that is out there."

There, now. Feel better?

You shouldn't. This country was constructed on an intense distrust of government, and this episode is a prime example of why. The notion of an administration compiling personal information on political opponents is nothing to be shrugged off - or trusted to dismissive denials.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, accused the White House of compiling an "enemies list."

"Nobody's compiling a list," replied Douglass. "I bet you that Sen. Cornyn knows that."

We'll just take that bet, Linda. We're game, for two reasons. One: How could Cornyn or anyone else possibly know what use the White House will make of Americans' personal information? Two: Why should Cornyn or anyone else trust the government not to use it?

Moreover, even the American Civil Liberties Union is opposing an Obama administration move to start collecting data on Americans who log onto federal Web sites.

The government has long banned the use of "cookies" and other data-collection techniques to amass information on computer users who surf federal sites. But the Obama administration is lifting that ban, and will be collecting the personal information.

Obama promised transparency - and perhaps for the first time, he's being transparent.

Distrust of the government is as American as apple pie and twice as crusty. Our founders so distrusted the very government they were creating that they wove checks and balances into the whole thing - including three separate but equal branches of government.

Even that was not enough. They immediately set about amending their own Constitution with a Bill of Rights to further protect American citizens from the government.

What do you suppose our founders would say - after they awakened from their faint - to the notion that citizens should spy on their neighbors for the government?

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Asitisinaug
3
Points
Asitisinaug 08/17/09 - 01:53 am
0
0
President Obama, like most

President Obama, like most politicians is an opportunist, pure and simple. Little that flows from his mouth is truthful and he will change ideas on a whim if necessary in order to eventually get to his real agenda. Nothing he has done or is doing is heading this country in the right direction from closing down a terrorist prison elsewhere and bringing them to the USA to giving billions of dollars to banks and the auto industry to now trying to play God with healthcare. This government in full control of the democrats is spending money at an alarming rate on social agenda items and cutting our national defense. The republicans didn't do much better in office with all of their pandering and gettng into bed with select businesses. The problem isn't democratic or republican, it is government in itself wishing to grow, control and have unlimited funds to spend as they please. We MUST work towards limited government and allow hard working Americans to keep what they earn to take care of theirselves. Everything that government tries to run from airport security to the post office to medicare or VA hospitals is laughable and billions of dollars in debt. We need a big change.

AhsanMinnik
0
Points
AhsanMinnik 08/17/09 - 03:23 am
0
0
Y'all should do what I do.

Y'all should do what I do. Everytime I get an email from a kook-aid drinker that supports this plan as it's currently written, I report it to the snitch email. I also report all the male enhancement emails, the lose 20 lbs in 10 days emails. the fix your credit emails, the you've won a forign lottery emails, the you had a realative in Nigeria die emails etc etc....If any of those were actually true, it would improve my mental health. By their own laws they are required to keep all emails. I think all that stuff fits in the 'fishy" catagory. Bon Appetite!

GACopperhead
6
Points
GACopperhead 08/17/09 - 04:38 am
0
0
Wiretaps without warrants,

Wiretaps without warrants, illegal. Reading mail or email without warrants, illegal, the government spying on it's citizens in any way without proper warrants is illegal and the same as N. Korea, USSR, Cuba and every other dictatorship. Keeping a list of people who have corresponded VOLUNTARILY, is not illegal, nor is it Orwellian. AC, is this the best you can do? Priceless!

Tigger_The_Tiger
0
Points
Tigger_The_Tiger 08/17/09 - 04:48 am
0
0
Keeping a list of people

Keeping a list of people because the brainwashed ones turned them in for revealing the truth, because they have actually READ the proposed legislation................VERY ORWELLIAN!

AhsanMinnik
0
Points
AhsanMinnik 08/17/09 - 04:55 am
0
0
In a time of universal

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
-- George Orwell

Roeschen
1
Points
Roeschen 08/17/09 - 05:29 am
0
0
GACopperhead - This is not

GACopperhead - This is not about national security, keeping our citizens safe, thwarting strikes by radical muslims. This is about spying on neighbors. Obama is asking people to snitch on friends, relatives, and neighbors. The founding fathers of our nation did not trust government; thus the formation of the 3 branches of government. It seems their fears were very justified. Everybody needs to fear this government. I am waiting for the establisment of the gulags.

GACopperhead
6
Points
GACopperhead 08/17/09 - 06:00 am
0
0
You guys are insane. If

You guys are insane. If someone has sent you an email, is it wrong to pur them on a list? Besides, MOST of what is being said is blatantly false. Wiretapping without a warrant is a direct violation of several Constitutional amendments. I guess the only one you all are concerned about is the Second amendment. You guys are just nostalgic for the days of the Wild West. Shootem up Cowboys!

HotFoot
17
Points
HotFoot 08/17/09 - 06:01 am
0
0
The usual drek from ACES.

The usual drek from ACES. Boy, you're really scraping the bottom of the barrel. Has it occurred to you that maybe someone on the OTHER side is doing something worthy of censure...such as lying, fomenting violence, lying, having abolutely no ideas, lying, encouraging paranoia, lying, lying, lying....? It does no good for me to pick apart your "argument" here, because your brainwashed, ODS (Obama Derangement Syndrome) suffering minions don't respond to reason. Suffice it to say that this editorial is bankrupt, per usual.

GACopperhead
6
Points
GACopperhead 08/17/09 - 06:04 am
0
0
Roeschem, your wait was over

Roeschem, your wait was over years ago, Bush created Guantanamo, remember?

Nativeson1
2
Points
Nativeson1 08/17/09 - 06:17 am
0
0
"What do you suppose our

"What do you suppose our founders would say - after they awakened from their faint - to the notion that citizens should spy on their neighbors for the government?" They would probably feel right at home...What this editorial is is much to do about NOTHING but twisting and false outrage...Do you honestly think that people emailing in some of the arguements they have heard others out saying in public forum (there goes your spying theory, if you don't want others to know keep your trap shut) is equal to what the Bush Administration did, listening in on the private conversations of U.S. Servicemen and their wives/relatives? Do you honestly believe they are the same? Do you honestly believe that there has ever been a time in our country's history that the government wasn't monitoring the citizentry? The FBI under J. Edgar Hoover was corrupt. He used the FBI like his personal Pinkerton's, keeping a list of those HE disliked, used the FBI to harass activist like MLKing and political dissenters. Hoover had a list of 12,000 Americans HE considered disloyal, and declassifed documents show he planned on suspending habeas corpus and detain them. Where was the ACES outrage then?

GACopperhead
6
Points
GACopperhead 08/17/09 - 06:22 am
0
0
It's only wrong if Democrats

It's only wrong if Democrats do it, don't you all know? Republicans are the only intelligent, patriotic people in the US. Everyone else should leave, as we're only commie pinkos. The Republicans get their policies straight from Archie on All in the Family.

justus4
107
Points
justus4 08/17/09 - 06:27 am
0
0
Stupid and dishonest is the
Unpublished

Stupid and dishonest is the charge here because: Remember the prof. Gates racial profiling example that most non-minorities say didn't happen. Well, what was the unidentified woman doing when she said she say "two strangers" trying to get into a neighborhood home. Yeah, yeah, "we" know the "she was looking out for her neighbor lie, or she was being a good citizen line" but she was completely WRONG! Her actions started a set of events that easily violated someone's Constitutional protections, so when should government intervene in citizens' lives: Only when a life is at risk. This e-mail story is another example of the right-wing actually saying almost anything about this administration. It won't work on the informed masses.

TechLover
15
Points
TechLover 08/17/09 - 06:30 am
0
0
Any of you righties remember

Any of you righties remember Operation TIPS? Did you support it?

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
9405
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 08/17/09 - 06:32 am
0
0
copperhead, you're starting

copperhead, you're starting to rust!

southernguy08
499
Points
southernguy08 08/17/09 - 06:43 am
0
0
GACOP, how do you explain the
Unpublished

GACOP, how do you explain the people getting E-mails from the WH that have never corresponded with them? I know you think Odumba walks on water, but this administration is far from angelic. And JUSTUS, talk about grasping at straws, how in Hell do you manage to tie this story with Henry Gates? I guess I've been looking at too much "non-minority media." And TECH, what do you call this?

nofanofobama
6856
Points
nofanofobama 08/17/09 - 07:04 am
0
0
justus4 have you ever heard

justus4 have you ever heard of community watch? i would certainly hope my neighbors would be as dilgent as she was. all gates had to do was act like a civilized person, instead treating the cops like crap. and collecting unsoliciated emails sounds like snooping and spying to me. obama is a radical who truly wants control over america.

Riverman1
87513
Points
Riverman1 08/17/09 - 07:21 am
0
0
The key point in all this is

The key point in all this is that the White House asked for the e-mails with addresses to be forwarded. Later when they were being questioned they said it was so they could answer the statements made in the e-mails. They could have said send the questions to them and they would answer without asking the entire e-mail with addresses be sent. They knew what they were doing.

HotFoot
17
Points
HotFoot 08/17/09 - 07:23 am
0
0
southernguy, you're really

southernguy, you're really OLD, right? Must be if you don't realize that the Obama campaign used Internet marketing techniques to identify and target messages to potential supporters. If you think that's wrong, then I guess you won't be shopping anymore, since pretty much every retailer is engaged in the same practice.

Rhetor
1026
Points
Rhetor 08/17/09 - 07:23 am
0
0
This editorial is far out

This editorial is far out into the outfield. E-mails belong to the recipient, not the sender, and there is no reasonable expectation of privacy for the sender. To compare that to illegal wiretaps makes no sense at all. Grow up.

Riverman1
87513
Points
Riverman1 08/17/09 - 07:25 am
0
0
Note to editor: "But now it's

Note to editor: "But now it's suddenly OK for the White House to gather the e-mails of those who oppose his radical health care proposals." "His" does not refer to "White House." Another pronoun should have been used or another word instead of White House. It was never established above the sentence that "his" meant Obama.

TechLover
15
Points
TechLover 08/17/09 - 07:25 am
0
0
southern: I get e-mails from

southern: I get e-mails from all kinds of folks I never corresponded with. That's why I have a spam filter, and tons still get through. I don't need a great new job opportunity, to hear a great story, etc. , and yes, no matter what they say, I CAN pass this up.

Riverman1
87513
Points
Riverman1 08/17/09 - 07:30 am
0
0
Never in the history of this

Never in the history of this country has a President asked American citizens to report their fellow citizens to the White House for pure political speech that is opposed to the White House's political interests.

jude1072
1
Points
jude1072 08/17/09 - 07:32 am
0
0
Please remember that ALL

Please remember that ALL correspondence to the White House must be kept and the e-mail lists can not be destroyed do to Federal Laws.

Riverman1
87513
Points
Riverman1 08/17/09 - 07:32 am
0
0
Oh, come on TechLover, you

Oh, come on TechLover, you know you answer the e-mails from Nigeria saying you won the lottery.

concernednative
28
Points
concernednative 08/17/09 - 07:39 am
0
0
Another tatic of the right

Another tatic of the right talking up stuff they don't even believe they don't seriously believe this administration is promoting the idea of spying on your neighbor but it is a right wing fear tactic they are trying now. All they are doing is asking for info on misrepresentations about hc reform so they can address them. This headline would have you believe the admin is asking you to rummage through your neighbors trash and tap into their wireless connection. You people are a joke at the ACES.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 08/17/09 - 07:41 am
0
0
justus - I really hope that

justus - I really hope that one of your neighbors witnesses someone breaking into your house and don't call the police assuming that it is not a crime in progress. Maybe then they will steal your computer and we won't have to read your incessant racial ramblings. Who knows, maybe your neighbor will think it is you or a friend you are allowing to break into your house.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 08/17/09 - 07:44 am
0
0
Wow GACop this is where I get

Wow GACop this is where I get to get you back and call you an idiot. Since the White House is required to keep all correspondence, any e-mail that is forwarded to them requires them to keep the information of every address associated with that e-mail. So if I send you and 100 of my friends (don't assume here that I'm including you as a friend) an e-mail and you forward it to the White House they then have 102 e-mail addresses. How is that NOT compiling a list since they HAVE to keep the correspondence?

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 08/17/09 - 07:46 am
0
0
*BOO* is all I can say, all

*BOO* is all I can say, all the frighten, scared and feared up people across the country, I'm yet praying.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 08/17/09 - 07:48 am
0
0
"All they are doing is asking

"All they are doing is asking for info on misrepresentations about hc reform so they can address them." - Posted by concernednative on Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:39 AM - AND how many times has the government, right or left wing, lied to Americans in the past? Oh I know, now that it is Chavez, oops I mean Obama, that is President the government will only tell us the truth. ROTFLOL!

pah4r
0
Points
pah4r 08/17/09 - 07:53 am
0
0
Why are the sane continuing

Why are the sane continuing to argue with the sheeple. It is futile to attempt to debate with those who come to the debate unarmed because of their mental incapacity to reason or think for themselves. Come on folks fall in line and let this mad man lead you to ruination. Get in step; any stragglers will be reported.

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