Maybe it’s just me, but I have found myself increasingly uncomfortable with the constitutionality of the US Federal government’s growing number of secret protocols and proceedings before secret courts, FISA and others, where the defendants, often American citizens unaware they have violated secret rules put in place without Congressional approval, have no opportunity to defend themselves or confront their accusers. Call me excessively American, but the 1st and 4th Amendments and the “due process” clause of the Constitution all seem to guarantee that as Americans we have the freedoms to think, communicate, associate, worship (or not), without any government intrusion into our lives or those of our families and friends. As American citizens, we are also protected from illegal, secret recording and collection of our phone calls, emails and other communications by our government, unless there are specific, documented reasons that can support the issuance of a warrant by a non-secret judge. We also are guaranteed the right to due process, which includes confronting our accusers in open court, and access to whatever evidence has been presented to impeach us.
Can anyone find any of these protections in the Obama Administration’s prolonged assault on the Constitutionally protected rights of Americans to live as Americans? We are not the often spineless sheep that have inhabited European nations and conformed to the will of their Collectivist tyrants, who captured power long ago in nations that America has repeatedly rescued. And we have freed them from their own unwillingness to confront the continental cousins of the Liberal/Progressives: the Nazi Party, the Fascists, the Communist Parties of Eastern Europe and Russia and the various Socialist parties. All those Collectivist parties centralized their power, destroyed their national economies, often attacked other nations to distract their subjects from their misery, and eliminated the natural rights of their subjects, replacing them with “privileges” granted selectively by the omnipotent and omniscient “government.” Sound familiar? Of course it does, because Collectivists have a very limited set of game-plans or scripts to work from.
Up to the last year I had been unsettled by the occasional reporting of questionable surveillance activities by the NSA, CIA, IRS and other Federal agencies, but made the mistake of assuming the controls and limits put in place by President Bush and Vice President Cheney in the frightening days following 9/11/2001 were still being monitored. I thought that since Mr. Obama appeared to have adopted a limp-wristed version of the Bush/Cheney policies on terrorism and international conflict, that the same care would be taken regarding protecting the rights of American citizens. It now appears I was quite wrong in my trust, as were most Americans. The attached WaPo article documents that in 2011 the Obamites convinced one of our now many secret courts, American versions of England’s Star Chamber, to remove most of the restrictions on the Federal government’s ability to spy on and collect private information and communications from American citizens, without specific allegations of wrong-doing or warrants. Winston Smith of 1984 and Franz Kafka would understand where Mr. Obama is trying to take our country. So do I.
The “Surveillance State,” as it has been getting called in a broad range of the American media, has been a key tenet of Collectivist states around the world and across time. Since one of my observations that has been voiced in previous writings is that Collectivist civilizations predate Marx’s bizarre theories and even the works of his predecessors, Jeremy Bentham and Friedrich Hegel, and actually represent the intellectual descendants of ideas that underlay the absolute monarchies of much earlier times. Absolute monarchs were presumed to represent the totality of the state in their beings, with the subjects of the state comprising an indistinguishable mass whose only duty was absolute obedience. The idea of individual freedom was limited to the monarch himself (and the very occasional herself), with “freedom” of thought, travel, association, religion, communication, speech, and economics unthinkable for the commoners and only minimally for most of the aristocracy. This absolute centralization of power began breaking down in English society in the years proceeding King John’s forced signing of Magna Carta in 1215 at Runnymede, but the full emergence of the idea of individual freedom and liberty would take centuries to emerge as the central theme of the revolution of Great Britain’s American colonies in 1776. Thus, to my mind the key continuum in comparing societies or nations is not “Left – Right” as derived from pre-Revolutionary France, but rather “Individualistic – Collectivist,” with Absolute Monarchs like Czar Alexander and modern Collectivists, like Liberal/Progressives, sharing the Collectivist pole in the continuum and the Individualism of America’s Founders occupying the Individualistic end. Anarchy, the arguably most extreme form of individualism, does not represent a governing philosophy, but rather the absence of governance.
Absolute Monarchies and their Collectivist descendants like America’s Liberal/Progressives have always depended on “secret services” to monitor the compliance of their subjects. Hitler’s Gestapo, Stalin’s KGB and its predecessor organizations, and the secret services of Britain and pre and post-Revolutionary France all engaged in constant surveillance of the subjects of those countries, intercepting communications, opening mail, tapping telegrams and later telephone calls and private conversations. The goals were the same in each case. Human beings do not naturally conform to rulers and laws that restrict their personal freedoms and replace their own decision-making with those of monarchs or the “experts” of Liberal/Progressive bureaucracies. Our American Revolution was the first to be fought over the attempt of a distant monarch, George III, to restrict our economic and personal freedoms, quarter his troops in our homes and dictate our laws without our input or approval. One of King George’s tools, as well as King Barack’s today, was to restrict our ability to engage in confidential discussions by having his secret services infiltrate and capture the ideas of Americans, so that the coercive, police power of the Empire could target the leaders of our Revolution. My fear is that just as the American Liberal/Progressives of the Obama Administration seek constantly to enhance their control over our lives, our diets, our healthcare, our transportation, our freedom of association and our economic choices, reflecting the same strategies as King George, but effectively on steroids. The Obamites have begun using the tools of secrecy, hidden legal proceedings and illegal confiscation of our personal communications to further their un-Constitutional ends. Please read the attached article from THE WASHINGTON POST (yes, that WASHINGTON POST), and see if you share my concern. CDE