Cheney pushing for the expansion and permanence of the surveillance law
Vice President Dick Cheney prodded Congress on Wednesday to extend and broaden an expiring surveillance law, saying “fighting the war on terror is a long-term enterprise” that should not come with an expiry date.”
Administration allies in Congress not only want the expiring law made permanent but amended to give telephone companies and other communications providers immunity from being sued for helping the government eavesdropping and other intelligence-gathering efforts.
Cheney is pushing for permanent and exhaustive government access to the private communications of citizens. He and the administration are using fear mongering to continue to justify unprecedented levels of governmental power, and to strip away the most basic rights of its citizens. The administration is using fear in order to be able to claim to want small government while imposing the most encroaching government America has ever seen. They are applying the conservative philosophy of the government as protector to justify the overriding of the conservative philosophy of individual autonomy and freedom from the government.
I’m not a buff on politics, but it seems to me that the time for Americans to drop what they’re doing and engage in mass revolution-level protest may have arrived—if it’s still possible, that is. With the government’s access to information and their ability to detain people indefinitely, without public notification, and without charge simply by asserting that they pose a threat to America, they are able to suppress exactly the type of dissent that is most needed to restore the Constitutional America and stave off the accelerating free fall into a fullblown Orwellian security state.
Some may say that now is not the time to rock the boat at home when the US is at war overseas, but when will the US not be at war overseas? Is there any reason to believe that the US will not be in a precarious foreign policy position any time in the remotely near future?
Another rebuttal may be that Cheney’s proposal will not pass. Well, lets hope that this is true. But even if it does not and the government continually passes additional non-permanent extensions to surveillance laws, the effects could be the same. Suppression of dissent and an effective elimination of the citizens’ rights and ability to stand up for serious change.
When it comes down to it, what matters more than our freedom? The time to act has come and the window of opportunity could continue to shrink.