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NSA And IRS Scandals Show The Leviathan Has Slipped Its Chains

There is a pattern to the developing NSA and IRS scandals now enveloping the Obama administration – and it isn’t the establishment media’s obsession with how well or poorly Obama is doing handling the media in these constitutional crises.
The pattern is that these -- and other extra-constitutional acts of the Obama and George W. Bush administrations -- are all beginning to prove that the limited-government constitutional conservatives of the Tea Party, libertarian and conservative movements were justified in their concerns about the effect on liberty that the growth and lack of accountability of the federal government has had.

We wish we could join the Republicans who say this all started with the Obama administration -- but it didn’t.

Establishment Republicans, in most cases, failed to exercise anything remotely resembling oversight of the executive branch of government while George W. Bush was in the Oval Office, and Democrats have been similarly derelict since Obama gained the presidency.

This has allowed extra-constitutional surveillance programs (such as the NSA’s “Prism” program) to not only proceed, but to become accepted as “necessary” to national security without any real introspection at the elected level of the federal government about where such broad data collection programs might lead.

Where they lead, not unsurprisingly, is to a place where nameless government bureaucrats can read your email, listen to your phone calls, ask you about the content of your prayers, for video of your political meetings and the names of the children in the classes you teach – and also to discriminate against you if the nameless government bureaucrats decide they don’t like you.

And we think it is important to focus on the “nameless” bureaucrat aspect of the IRS and NSA scandals because to date, no one person has been identified as being in charge of, originating or approving any of the extra-constitutional activities at the heart of these scandals.

No one – not the President, not the Secretary of the Treasury, Director of National Intelligence, head of the NSA or the IRS has said, “Yes, I authorized the actions you are complaining about and here’s the compelling national interest and constitutional authority empowering me to do the things you object to.”

Adam Smith posited that the first duty of government was “protecting the society from the violence and invasion of other independent societies.”

In view of the NSA and IRS scandals, one can safely say that Smith's formulation has now morphed into the bureaucracy of government taking on a life of its own to collect whatever data is necessary to advance its collective security and discriminating against opponents to protect itself from anyone inclined to reduce its size and power.

In such an environment, the people are no longer the sovereigns in charge of the government; the bureaucracy has in effect taken over the government, and made itself sovereign over the people.

The NSA and IRS scandals have shown Americans that the federal Leviathan has slipped its chains – it is now up to the limited-government constitutional conservatives of the Tea Party, libertarian and conservative movements to rally the people to bring it to heel.

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