I started this morning by listening to a man’s dissatisfaction with yesterday’s column titled: “They were warned”. The commentary was pseudonymously posted by somebody displaying the handle “Sick Of It”. He wrote: “Thanks Sarge..it’s nice to know there are more pro-government fascists out there who have, as usual, failed to point out congressional authority to play cloak and dagger with our lives in the United States Constitution. If the American people finally get fed up, the men who implement these programs and support them will be executed for TREASON, not the whistleblowers. Now feel free to go back to your Nazi/Communist salute.”
In the first place, I’m neither a Communist nor a Nazi. I’m a concerned American citizen just as you are. But I see things differently. I have different experiences and a different viewpoint. For me life is a series of incongruous absurdities because of others’ actions and reactions to events distracting them.
The column approached the whistleblower situation from the point of a breach of contract. There are sanctions applicable for breaking your word where it pertains to government secrets. I detest the Patriot Act and consider it a vile knee-jerk reactionary response to 9/11. American presidents have been abrogating the rights of the people since 1781. John Adams had the Alien and Sedition Acts. Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus during the Civil War. Bush and Obama have this Data Mining B.S. to answer for.
People do damaging things to America because they’re worried about the possible consequences of doing nothing. The prevalent theory is “better to do something rather than being caught doing nothing”. This thinking has more to do with political expedience and posturing than it does with well-reasoned and considered strategies to avoid conflict.
It’s a matter of supreme naiveté on the part of the whistleblower to think he’s going to change anything with this revelatory action. Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning pulled the cat from the bag and let it loose. Bravo. (Note the sarcasm please.) All they’ve managed to do is concentrate attention on the one cat running around acting stupid and insane because it’s in the spotlight. In reality neither of these two people have stopped the Russian, Chinese, Iranians, British, French, Israeli and other intelligence gathering states and their organizations from data mining on their own.
So, Mr. or Ms. Sick of It, do you want to give these guys medals because they broke their oaths and turned their back on their country? Did they understand the ramifications following their actions? Would you want the deepest secrets and improprieties of your life disclosed and used to embarrass you and possibly prevent your consideration for employment or advancement by promotion? Of course not. But you seem to want to indict governments for doing what they KNOW is being done against them every minute of the day. You apparently feel the Patriot Act is not a good thing. If this is true, I agree. But I want you to tell me and my readers what you would do while antagonistic nations work to undermine our defenses in efforts to import terrorist actions; that work on the world stage to destabilize our government by diplomatic shenanigans and actions supporting enemies of this state.
I admit I’m not sure I know what to do, but I won’t thank any person who took an oath and violated it later to the effect of placing my sons’ home in jeopardy from people wanting to destroy this country. That’s not paranoia. America has resources others are jealous of. Then there are those who espouse political ideologies cloaked under the guise of religion and its expression. They have expansionist goals and ideologies. They think their rights supersede the rights of anybody not believing as they do.
I want to know what these people are thinking, doing and preparing to do before they can harm me and mine. And if that means we Data Mine, then so be it.
If the government violates their trust while mining (and I do intensely fear that possibility) then we must get rid of those violating the Constitution. That means the people must speak loudly and in concert.
But remember: nothing is black and white.
Thanks for listening.