Today's news relating to the Verizon data and records siege speaks volumes about this president and his absolute abuse of power.
And when coupled with Eric Holder's abuses regarding the targeting of journalists and whistleblowers, Obama's positioning of John Brennan at CIA and James Comey at FBI, along with Obama's shift of drone warfare from CIA to DOD, which will now conveniently enable drones to operate within our borders, we all should be very, very scared. Because dissent, discussion, debate can no longer exist with this sort of omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent government.
In short, the deck is stacked against us.
Years ago, while in the midst of fighting the Bush administration for access to 9/11 documents that the 9/11 Commission needed to conduct its investigation, I met some old law school buddies for drinks. During our conversations, I railed against the Patriot Act and its inherent triggers against "our" privacy rights.
My friends -- all up and coming partners at law firms -- couldn't quite understand what I was so riled up about. As far as they were concerned, they didn't really care if anyone listened into their conversations or monitored their activities because they weren't doing anything wrong. Shrugging their shoulders, they ordered more drinks.
Because of the battle that I was up against in Washington and my self-described status of "activist," I felt quite differently. I wanted to know the definition of a "threat to national security" because I worried that with elastic logic I could potentially be deemed a "threat" to national security. Paranoid or not, I was concerned about the slippery slope.
But probably most importantly, after I watched my husband blow up in his office building while my government stood by and did nothing, I didn't trust my government -- not one bit.
Ten years later, I still don't blindly trust my government. And now it seems, for even better reasons.
Because to me, it doesn't matter what political party a president or his underlings profess to belong to. Every president (and all of his cabal) should be judged and held accountable for their actions -- not their words, their empty promises, pathetic excuses, or their lame marshmallow legalistic rubber-band rationalizations.
For years during the Bush administration, many groups fought against the Patriot Act and its illegal surveillance of U.S. citizens. They screamed about pre-emptive war based on lies. They questioned illegal "detainment" of "enemy combatants." They were horrified by torture and extraordinary renditions. They fought for the sanctity and protection of whistleblowers. They spoke out against Cheney and Rumsfeld and their evil Executive Branch power-grab that threatened the very principles of democracy, our Constitution and our precious balance of powers.
And yet, where are these people now?
Where are their eyes, their ears, and their screaming voices?
Why aren't their fists in the air and their passions emboldened?
Where is our collective conscience?
Because at this point, our Constitutional rights and privileges -- our national security -- are once again under attack.
We all need to pull ourselves out of our collective morass of self-absorption and myopic disconnect and start paying better attention -- hell, ANY attention -- to exactly what is going on in our country at large.
We need to start asking questions and demanding answers.
We need to rein in Obama's power. And the power of the Executive Branch.
Because at this point, given the boundless parameters now put in place by our Nobel Peace Prize-winning-former-community-organizer-of-a-President, none of us can afford to be innocent, benign bystanders.
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