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Will Liberals Thank the Tea Party for Saving Their Privacy… and Liberty?

We wonder if liberals will join in the fight to rein-in the Obama surveillance state, or if they will even acknowledge that limited government constitutional conservatives have it right on at least one thing – the Constitution was written to limit government and protect the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of Americans from government intrusion, no matter who is President.

Mike Lee and Justin Amash

 

Among the “unalienable Rights” that impelled the Founders of the United States to fight the American Revolution three were listed specifically in the Declaration of Independence: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

We believe and regularly argue that privacy – the right to be left alone – is essential to Liberty.

We think there’s a good case to be made that President Barack Obama, and the security and surveillance state he has erected during his four and a half years in office, is the greatest internal threat to Liberty that the people of the United States have faced since the Civil War.

However, Obama wasn’t able to erect this monstrous apparatus capable of sifting through every domestic American telephone call and e-mail on his own.

It took Congress to pass the Patriot Act and its various updates and to pass the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) which created the secret one-sided court that has given the color of law to Obama’s unprecedented domestic surveillance program.

The fact that the capability to conduct such surveillance is now technically possible almost begs the Executive Branch of government to use it – and it should demand that Congress set clear constitutional boundaries and exercise oversight over whether or not the Executive Branch is acting only within those boundaries.

It is in the absence of congressional action that Obama has implemented this vast invasion of our privacy and pursued with virtually no question or oversight from the legislative branch.

However, thanks to a small, but growing, band of Tea Party supported limited government constitutional conservatives in Congress the legislative branch is slowly coming to recognize its proper role in maintaining our Liberty against the invasions of Obama security state.

Last week we reported that the House could soon debate an amendment to the National Defense Appropriation bill authored by Representative Justin Amash that would terminate the Obama administration's mass collection of Americans' telephone records.

Then National Intelligence Director James Clapper admitted that the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (created by FISA) has reauthorized the government's collection of internet traffic.

Of course Clapper, who has already admitted lying to Congress on surveillance matters, is our only source for this unless and until Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-Utah) legislation requiring the attorney general to declassify, when possible, FISA court opinions, which are currently classified, passes to provide lawmakers and privacy advocates with vital information on the secret FISA Court’s legal interpretations.

Clapper’s latest revelations also gave new life to a bill sponsored by Republican Representative Ted Poe (TX-2) to have the FISA court's judges nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Read more about H.R. 2761 here.

Poe, like Senator Rand Paul, has been a staunch advocate of privacy and has a number of bills, including The Preserving American Privacy Act (H.R. 637) that seeks to protect the privacy of American citizens by requiring that law enforcement obtain a warrant and individuals obtain consent before using a domestic drone.

The faint possibility that Congress might, under the prodding of Tea Partiers and limited government constitutional conservatives, finally rise to the occasion and defend the privacy and liberty of the average American finally manifested itself during last week’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Obama Administration's use of its FISA authorities.

Obama administration officials disclosed that the government stores everybody’s phone records for five years because the phone companies don’t keep records that long, the NSA had to build its own database.

Rep Randy Forbes (said such a huge database was ripe for government abuse. When NSA deputy director John C. Inglis said there was no evidence of that, Forbes interrupted (watch Forbes here):

"I said I wasn’t going to yell at you and I'm going to try not to. That's exactly what the American people are worried about," he said. "That's what's infuriating the American people. They're understanding that if you collect that amount of data, people can get access to it in ways that can harm them."

You mean like, say the IRS sharing information with local zoning officials, the EPA or the National Labor Relations Board about Tea Partiers or others who have views that are contrary to the policy goals of President Obama?

Representatives Justin Amash, Ted Poe, Randy Forbes, Steve King, Blake Farenthold, Senators Mike Lee, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are pushing Congress toward taking its proper role in defending the privacy – and liberty – of their fellow citizens from the intrusions of Obama’s security and surveillance state.

If they are to be successful, as we believe they must be to preserve our privacy and liberty, we wonder if liberals will join in the fight to rein-in the Obama surveillance state, or if they will even acknowledge that limited government constitutional conservatives have it right on at least one thing – the Constitution was written to limit government and protect the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of Americans from government intrusion, no matter who is President.

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Privacy

is part of the foundation of our Constitution. The Patriot Act was a knee jerk reaction to 9-11. It should be repealed- I do believe that was one of Mr Barry's "promises". But, like any other newly created "thing" in gov't (on ALL levels from local-federal)it begins to take on a life of it's own. What makes the PROGS so mad is that it doesn't differentiate between them and the rest of the lowly masses.
Personally I would like this to be turned around and have everything that Obama has hidden from the American people be made public. Then all the heads of all the agencies job applications made public. Then SCOTUS, FLOTUS. Congress, and down the line.
What good for the goose -----------------