Hart: Data mining undermining American values

Hart: Data mining undermining American values

June 14th, 2013 By Ron Hart in Opinion Columns

In the wake of revelations that the IRS was used as a thuggish enforcement arm of the Obama campaign come further allegations of snooping by the NSA. Suddenly we all feel we have a creepy stalker. George Orwell's foretold world of an all-intrusive government is upon us.

Our freedoms have not been lost quickly or in war, but via the creeping incrementalism of government.

After the IRS persecuted opponents of the president, we are somehow to believe that he wouldn't use the National Security Agency's phone-tapping capacity against his political enemies?

To be fair, this initially started with George W. Bush, but he never used it for political dirty tricks. I have supported repeal of the Patriot Act for 10 years. Like any government power, it will eventually be abused.

Alarmed by Gitmo, Patriot Act aggressions, drone strikes, intractable wars, etc., even MSNBC is voicing concern about the direction of George W. Bush's fourth term.

Can we trust President Obama with our personal information? Consider his history:

1. In his 2004 run for Senate, Obama used despicable measures against both opponents. Democratic primary opponent Blair Hull was well ahead in the polls when his sealed divorce papers were leaked to the press. In the general election, Obama opponent Jack Ryan's divorce files were revealed; David Axelrod and Obama even dragged Ryan's child into the contest when custody documents were leaked.

2. Obama played dirty tricks on Hillary Clinton in their primary contest.

3. We all know how he blamed Bush for everything to get elected in 2008.

4. In 2012, the Obama campaign insinuated that all-American Mitt Romney had killed a woman with cancer. Romney's tax returns were discussed by Harry Reid on the Senate floor, no less. Doug Schulman, then the IRS commissioner, visited the Obama White House more than 150 times, compared to one time during the eight Bush years. You expect us to believe that IRS data were not being used against Obama's enemies?

5. Administration O-bots systematically lied to the world via U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, and the hapless producer of an obscure video was arrested. He is in jail, held without bail on dubious charges. Obama rewards his henchmen; he has appointed Susan Rice as National Security Adviser.

The NSA snooping leaks got really interesting, really fast. If there were a plausible case where those efforts caught a terrorist, we would have heard about it through Obama's media. Maybe the NSA is using the data it gathers to learn about us so it can better tailor NSA gift shop merchandise to our preferences? Or one day it might chime into one of our calls to let us know we are paying way too much to our Internet provider, and we can save money by using the "Family and Friends of Obama" plan.

Tech giants including AOL, YouTube, Skype, Yahoo, Google and Facebook cooperated with NSA's PRISM snooping program, either from coercion or lack of integrity. If you want Internet privacy, the only way is to go to Myspace. However, Fox bought Myspace, so Obama might be all over that site now.

It might turn out that we found Osama bin Laden after he looked up an old girlfriend on Facebook.

Both sides of the aisle have voiced outrage over whistle-blower Edward Snowden and want him prosecuted. It is nice to see bipartisanship where Republicans and Democrats get mad when caught being deceitful together. Readers, be afraid; the last time they all agreed was on sending troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, the Patriot Act, the TSA and on a resolution to honor Penn State Coach Joe Paterno for his "integrity and character."

Tellingly, Snowden ran for Hong Kong after a foreign paper, not our own razor-sharp press, broke the story. Snowden is rightfully afraid of his government. My guess is that he mysteriously dies soon, perhaps from acid thrown in his face -- or, as they call it in Chicago political circles, "natural causes."

Ron Hart, a libertarian syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author and TV/radio commentator can be reached at Ron@RonaldHart.com or visit www.RonaldHart.com