The NSA has been tracking details of every phone call and email by every American for years. I have no doubt that this is the case. Yes, this is in violation of the fourth amendment which states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
I know people rightfully blame both parties, although we should remember which one is in power when the “loophole” in the patriot act was taken advantage of. There are still differences worth noting between political views. However, despite the future blame-game the loophole isn’t specific to the patriot act and it wasn’t even really created by the patriot act. The actual loophole is that a secret court can approve things by any convenient interpretation of nearly every applicable law is able to provide a legal basis for whatever goal a political party in power has in mind. When you give your power away to governments, elected or not, you are guaranteed to get corruption. People want … period. Whether that corrupts their decisions is up to them and no “party” or person is immune.
This not-really-secret court is designed to approve search warrants by the federal government. It operates without public review, and the approval of a warrant requires little effort for the truly overworked federal judges. When a ruling for a search warrant is rejected, a reason must be given by the first judge which requires a lot of work. Rejected applications then pass up the chain for review again by a panel of judges. So the federal agents who apply, get two chances to have their motion approved. Interestingly, the article claims that no request for a search warrant has been denied since 2002.
Basically, America has set up a false secret court, outside of the purview of even the powerful leftist media, for the explicit purpose of approving search warrants at a maximal rate. Recently it was discovered, that the tired federal agents found their own loophole (judge) and simply issued blanket search warrants for the entire American republic. The whole damned thing.
Why not? It’s legal after all. At least it is according to a certain political view and it saves money and time over the constant individual warrant approvals.
Despite Real Climate hopes, global warming politics are a symptom of the problem, not the center. These two events have one similarity, layer after layer of expense based on exaggeration and unproven accusation. It is flatly obvious now that giving others control over every detail your lives will result in an existence under the sole of their shoe. It is a mathematical problem weighted against the individual and for the collective.
But there is a problem with all of my thoughts above that is worth some consideration. I believe that this phone-search is likely one of the most effective anti-terrorist programs in the federal government. Do you ever wonder how they find out about some of these weird bomb-plots or terrorists? Like the FBI somehow hangs out with 100% of the bad guys to find the newly converted ones? Basically, I believe with only tangential evidence that the programs for monitoring existed prior to the bulk warrant. It just took more work then and the collected info wasn’t admissible in court. How hard is it for our government to tap major land based phone lines.
This program clearly means that we have essentially become a herd of humans being hunted by NSA, FBI, CIA for the outliers. They claim that they are only hunting the truly dangerous people today but does anyone know whether the FOX reporters phone conversations have been used to out anti-leftist informants? How about those who know or reveal the truth about Benghazi or fast and furious. If the IRS abused its power, why wouldn’t a far more secretive NSA group do the same? Nobody is policing the police so it is unlikely that their powers aren’t regularly being abused.
Still, despite the obvious situation, gathering all phone records is a substantial component of our anti-terror defense. Patterns in calls and emails reveal international connections, pending dangers and coordination between anti-US groups. At the same time, we would be naive to assume that the information would not be used against the innocent for political purposes. One thing is for certain, the United States Government is more powerful and more corrupt than any time in history.
In the balance, allowing this kind of power in their hands is more than a little foolish. Not that being a fool ever stopped anyone from charging ahead. As always, it isn’t up to me which way policy goes, but were it up to me, I would endeavor to create a more difficult and transparent warrant system which only allowed warrants for specific threats. This would leave us more open to attacks by terrorists but the silent destruction of individuals lives has already been practiced by this government on a large scale for purely political purposes. I believe the balance is worth the additional risk.