Extraordinary Power and Privacy Grab. That’s exactly what the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) is.Â FISA empowers the government to spy on U.S. citizens communications — their emails, phone calls, etc. As Libertarian Presidential Candidate, Bob Barr, notes in the video above, the only requirement some bureaucrat needs to tap into your communications — phone, email or otherwise — and record them for posterity is that the other party is located abroad. That person does not need to be a suspected terrorist, or a member of Al Queda, or even engaged in committing a crime! — nothing!Â Â The other party just needs to be at a foreign location.Â Moreover, private telecommunication companies were previously doing this illegally, and FISA will simply grandfather their prior crimes — clear violations of law — magically turning them illegal.
No doubt U.S. citizens have been willing to allow for lost liberty and privacy in this so called War Against Terror. What many don’t realize is that many of the losses of liberty they thought would be used against terrorists are, instead, used by the Big Government to fish around on completely unrelated situations.
This is just as advocates of liberty and freedom like the LP argued would happen with the Patriot Acts I and II. Instead of being used exclusively for terrorists wanting to kill U.S. citizens on U.S. soil — the whole reason we needed to suspend constitutional provisions of individual privacy and the requirement for a judge to approve the constitutionality / need of a wire tap and surveillance — communication data that is mined indiscriminately using government hired super computers is sifted through at the convenience of whomever is surfing for evidence of something. Such ill-gotten evidence is being used to charge defendants in crimes completely unrelated to terrorism, and is functionally no different than having authorities entering one’s home to see what can be found as evidence. Worse yet, with the added structure of FISA, the government covers-up its own evidence gathering methods, preventing the public from ever knowing it is being spied on.
In these advanced stages of global interventionist U.S. policy, where the U.S. administrations and many in Congress — and many of the voters — demand that whatever the U.S. wants all over the world, the U.S. should get — U.S. citizens are paying both with a badly inflated currency and dramatically decreasing freedoms. This author is reminded of George Carlin’s quirky observation:
“If crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part to us, do they?”
If that’s too pop-culture for you, we can just provide for you an original patriot from the era of the Declaration of Independence and an actual founding father, Samuel Johnson:
“Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.”