"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." — Ben Franklin, 1759
We must blame it on George Bush the Younger and the hysteria after the 9/11 attacks. He mistakenly gave our government too much power to spy on us through the ironically named "Patriot Act" and other unaccountable federal agencies. A huge mistake. And a great blow to minimal government and our constitutional rights.
Under Obama, and now Biden, the hyperpolitical Democrats are reportedly using the NSA and other strong-arm government agencies against their political adversaries. The NSA, FBI and other agencies are spying and bullying folks with right-of-center political views. What do they think they are, Facebook?
The latest example is Tucker Carlson. The strongest opponent of the current leftist regime said he found out through a whistleblower that the NSA is spying on him. This is illegal, but when asked, the spy agencies do not have to answer — to anyone.
The U.S. government can't spy on an American citizen without a warrant.
Obama first weaponized the agencies against his enemies. The ones we found out about were Eric Holder, Obama's "wing man" attorney general, spying on James Rosen of Fox News and Lois Lerner, the IRS tyrant who harassed tea party organizations using the strong-arm tactics of the federal morass.
The IRS was used to target political opponents and then, when caught, it "lost" its emails. And Harry Reid lied about Mitt Romney not paying his taxes.
The NSA and FBI spying on political enemies reminds us all that we're a government of the peephole, by the peephole and for the peephole.
The corrupt New York Democrat district attorney going after the Trump Organization under a dubious pretense and arresting the CFO for not reporting his free parking are evidence of the uneven hand of "justice" under Democrat control.
Using the NSA to go after Tucker Carlson and the government's illegal data collection activities should embarrass all Democrats, a group very hard to embarrass. This is the most vengeful manhunt since Taylor Swift resumed dating.
We need finally to get to decide the limits of what of our government can force from us, and a healthy mistrust of government must be our guide in doing so. I'd like to think our government would only use the data collected to protect us from terrorism, but that is not the way this White House rolls.
Premised on ramped-up, post-9/11 fears, politicians since George W. Bush have built costly, perpetual Washington bureaucracies. It was voted on about 99-to-1 in the Senate. The last 99-to-1 vote in Senate was to go to war in Iraq. It always scared me when Congress was that unanimous.
The political class has a mission here: Scare the people, take their money and build itself an empire. That is what politicians do. Make upstarts scared of taking you on; that is the mantra of many in Washington. They fear the truth Tucker Carlson traffics in.
In my view, Edward Snowden did the country a service by telling us what the NSA was doing to us. What he did embarrassed and angered the political class. But a person does not go to jail for embarrassing our country. If so, Joe Biden would be serving a life term.
There was a freak tornado that hit Washington, D.C., last week. It came in from Virginia, uprooted trees and made its way toward our Capitol Building. It was clearly an act of God. But Democrats will make the FBI investigate. and expect insurrection charges to follow because God has right-wing ties.
Contact Ron Hart, a syndicated op-ed satirist, author and TV/radio commentator, at Ron@RonaldHart.com or visit www.RonaldHart.com.