tbo: Tampa Bay Online.
Saturday, May 26, 2018
  • Home

The erosion of liberty

The erosion of freedoms and privacy under the Obama administration continues at a record pace. From the politically motivated IRS scandal targeting conservative groups, to the Department of Justice's subpoenas of the phone records of journalists, to the National Security Agency's collection of "meta data" of millions of unsuspecting and innocent Americans, to police agencies capturing license plate data of millions of motorists' and their whereabouts, privacy is headed to become a mere artifact of days gone by. While President Obama and his agents of secret data collectors claim all of this is necessary to protect Americans from would-be terrorists, it is merely a red herring. Although the collection of data began under President George W. Bush when the so-called Patriot Act was authorized after 9/11, the sponsor of that bill, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., chairman of the Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Oversight Subcommittee, said Congress' intent was to only allow seizures directly related to nationally security investigations - not for the purpose of spying on American's today for occurrences that may or may not occur in the future. Sensenbrenner's colleague on the House Judiciary Committee from the other side of the aisle, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said the problem is that the administration considers "everything in the world" relevant to fighting terrorism. The administration's stomping on Americans' expectations of privacy (there are no specific constitutional protections of privacy), continues with further destructions every day.
Last week, WHEC-TV in Rochester, N.Y., reported that a woman's car had been searched while at the Rochester airport after she used the valet parking service prior to boarding a flight. Upon her return to the airport, she found a note on her dashboard that her car had been searched by the valets at the direction of the TSA. This was done without her knowledge or permission, and she insists there were no posted notices that this could be done. TSA claims signs were in place that all cars are subject to search. TSA gave no explanation why the woman's car was searched, and it is worth noting no contraband was discovered. Regardless, the TSA's actions suggest the deterioration of personal privacy in the name of protecting Americans from terrorism remains at full-throttle. Our liberties will continue to be destroyed until such time as Americans say "enough is enough." From our founding fathers to modern-day presidents, the value of liberty and our personal freedoms have been on the forefront of the American way of life and are worthy of protections. Benjamin Franklin, one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence, is attributed with saying, "He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security." Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States: "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." And in more modern times, Ronald Reagan, our 40th president: "... freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same." President Obama appears determined to erode the rights and expectations of freedom and privacy of all Americans in the name of "security," based on the administration's real or perceived threats that may or may not ever occur. Accepting these indignities and losses of privacy and freedom in the name of security is just the beginning in the further erosion of all of the rights and expectations we as Americans hold so dearly. Chris Ingram is a Republican political consultant and political analyst at Bay News 9. Follow him on Twitter: @IrreverentView.
Weather Center