“You can’t have 100% security and also then have 100% privacy and zero inconvenience, we’re going to have to make some choices” -President Obama. First of all, we do not have 100% security; Obama is acting like the USA has a zero crimes rate, and no terrorist attacks, and all that people have to put up with is a little intrusion into their internet history. On top of the crime and terror attacks, we have just learned that the government agency the IRS targeted conservative and Tea Party groups based on their political persuasions.
Is it really a stretch to think that another government agency would not target specific groups based on politics? With the IRS we have a chance of getting to the bottom of things, but any questions the NSA does not want to answer can just be brushed off as “classified information”. But don’t worry, they say, we have the proper oversight in place, and we do not target Americans–trust us. I guess Ben Franklin’s warning is falling on deaf ears these days, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety”. Some variations of the quote include the phrase, “and will lose both”.
Watching the following clip brings to mind Saturday Night Live more-so than a Presidential Press Conference. “And if people can’t trust, not only the executive branch, but also don’t trust congress, and don’t trust federal judges, to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution, due process, and rules of law, then we’re going to have some problems here” -President Obama. People should not be asked to blindly trust the sections of a government that have let them down on numerous occasions.
Is Obama saying that Tea Party groups should trust that the government will not target them because of their political beliefs? Should the press trust that the Justice Department won’t target them for saying negative things about the government? Should soldiers and ambassadors trust that America will keep them safe overseas, and not misrepresent events for political purposes? Trust is something that is earned, and being elected President or to Congress is not sufficient to earn the trust of Americans, nor should it be. A healthy skepticism of government will keep them honest, while blindly believing that the government will do the right thing leaves the door wide open for abuse of power, and the erosion of rights.
I found the following line especially amusing, in a depressing sort of way; “The people who are involved in America’s national security, they take this work very serious, they cherish our constitution. The last thing they’d be doing is taking programs like this to listen to somebody’s phone calls” -President Obama. And I am sure the last thing the IRS would be doing is auditing conservatives because they donated to a Republican. And probably the last thing the DOJ would be doing is tapping the phones of the press because they reported unfavorable things about the administration. In fact, I might go so far as to say the IRS and DOJ take their work very seriously, and cherish our constitution.
The government has proven to Americans beyond a reasonable doubt within the last few months that they cannot be trusted, that they will lie to make themselves look good and their opponents look bad, and that they have no problem harassing and suppressing media outlets and political groups for their own personal political gain. Obama can say what he wants, but his credibility is gone.