Rick_Sharpless Posted November 22, 2002 Share Posted November 22, 2002 In the 1960’s, for the first time, we allowed the government to institute searches to determine IF a crime had been committed, instead of searching only for the fruits or instruments of crime, after there was already reason to believe one had been committed. We were scared of criminals. Law enforcement needed to be able to PREVENT crime, not just catch criminals. In the 1970’s we created a “secret” court, the foreign intelligence surveillance court, to oversee the gathering of information through wiretaps and secret searches, on less than probable cause (which itself isn’t much) in the name of national security. But we said those searches and surveillances would never be used against US citizens, unless they were directly engaged in espionage, and even then, it would be used only to protect our country, but not to prosecute people (since the information was being obtained without following the rules). We were scared of foreign spies. We had to do it to protect ourselves. In the name of the “war on drugs” we allowed our government and others to drug test in the workplace and in schools and in government employment, regardless of whether public safety was involved. We were scared of drugs and had to protect ourselves. We needed these tools. In the name of “safety” and “security” and the “war on drugs” we raised a whole generation who when drug tested or forced to walk through a metal detector or when searched when in a public place or using public transportation says “what’s the big deal – I don’t have anything to hide.” We were scared and we had to protect ourselves from criminals, drug dealers, and domestic “terrorists.” We allowed the government to seize money and property because some cop somewhere thought it had something to do with some criminal activity. If they were wrong, you had to go to court and prove it to get it back. We were scared; the crooks had too much money and we had to give law enforcement more tools to stop the crooks. By the 1990’s we allowed any law enforcement officer anywhere in the country to require any ISP or telecommunication service provider, without a warrant, and without any cause, to disclose our web surfing and email correspondents, and to reveal all parties who called us and who we called, and in the case of cell phone providers, to tell where we were, and required all service providers to have the equipment to keep all of this information about all of us in case any cop anywhere wanted to ask. We allowed private organizations to collect information about us (accurate or not) and all credit or insurance transactions we ever entered into, and allowed other companies to keep information about every purchase we made, when, how much, to whom and where. We had to make sure those who were “high risk” did not cost those who were “low risk” anything. After 9/11/2001 we really got on a roll. We allowed the government to arrest people and detain them without charge or trial, and to brazenly refuse even to identify them, a practice condemned since at least 1215 AD. Most of us cheered the government on, They were bad guys who were detained. We were scared of them. We allowed the government greater powers to engage in domestic surveillance, without warrants or probable cause. We reversed the restrictions of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. When the “Justice” Department sought to implement these powers even the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, not known to be hostile to the government, and in its first public opinion since it was founded in 1978, found the Government proposals a bit much and noted over 75 instances where federal law enforcement agents has LIED to obtain surveillance orders, and many other instances where agents had used information obtained in an illegal manner. No agent has ever been prosecuted for breaking the law, but the “Justice” Department, rather than jailing those involved who abused their office and trust to take our liberty, instead expressed outrage at the court and appealed. Citizens were not invited or permitted to respond to the appeal. We were scared of nasty people and we needed to stop them. We supported the Attorney General. Not content with the powers already given our government, we passed a “homeland security” bill that, among other things, created within this new department an office headed by a felon, (former Admiral) John Poindexter, to create a new database and information system to combine all governmentally and privately collected information about our behavior, movements, government applications, licenses, statuses, employment, marriage, divorce, birth, death, driving, spending, insurance, buying, selling, etc. into one database that would allow the government to know what anyone did, who they were, and where they were. Of course, to link it all together, we use a number that we created in the 1930’s, with the assurance that it was “not to be used for identification.” My social security card still says that, the new ones don’t. In fact, those who said it would lead to a national ID system were labeled as hysterical extremists. More like prophets, wasn’t it? We were scared: How could we stop terrorists without such information. We needed a new “balance.” Has the balance ever moved the other way? For those who think this a partisan rant, all along BOTH parties voted in favor of most of these things. Mush of what was in the “patriot “ act was proposed by the Clinton administration after Oklahoma City, though it then died in rancorous partisan bickering and gridlock. Only a few in both parties opposed them. And never was there outrage – and those who questioned such measures were labeled crazy extremists – by both parties. History will record that the citizens of the USA did not lose their liberty to a foreign invader nor to the storm troopers of a dictator who assumed power in a coup. They happily gave it up to a nanny government through their elected politicians, who promised to protect them from the mean man that hides under their beds, or in the closet, or who did not look quite like them. Most of them cared for nothing more than to be assured of a warm bed, a hot (woman) and a cold beer. They wanted to “feel safe.” But after it all, they still were not “safe.” So climbers, we know that the world is not "safe." And there are a number on this list who don't seem to want the nanny government to protect them. Is there outrage here? And what to do about it? Or so lang as we get three mountain house meals, a hottie and a warm bivi are we content? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.