Mukasey: If You Don’t Give Up Your Privacy The Terrorists Win

Ever since the NSA programs were revealed we’ve seen a steady stream of Big Government elitists coming forward and telling us things like “everything’s OK, it’s no big deal”. And “we’re not listening to your phone calls.” And “it’s called protecting Amerika.” Things like “we have to do everything and anything necessary.” And here’s Michael Mukasey, who served as US attorney general

Leaking Secrets Empowers Terrorists

Once again, the tanks-have-rolled left and the black-helicopters right have joined together in howls of protest. They were set off by last week’s revelations that the U.S. government has been collecting data that disclose the fact, but not the content, of electronic communications within the country, as well as some content data outside the U.S. that does not focus on American citizens. Once again, the outrage of the left-right coalition is misdirected.

Good move, Mike: referring to American citizens who do not like to be spied upon as nutjobs. Great way to bring people to your side.

Regrettably, those best positioned to defend such surveillance programs are least likely to do so out of obvious security concerns. Without getting into detail here, intelligence agencies, with court authorization, have been collecting data in an effort that is neither pervasive nor unlawful. As to the data culled within the U.S., the purpose is to permit analysts to map relationships between and among Islamist fanatics.

Yet, the vast majority of American Citizens, who are supposed to be protected by the 4th Amendment, have nothing to do with Islamic fanatics. Furthermore, we have no idea what Government will do with the data that they gather. We do not like that all this metadata is kept, showing our movements. We do not like that The Government can capture in real time every keystroke. We do not like our emails and Tweets being captured.

The Founders were practical men who understood the need for secrecy. Indeed, they drafted the Constitution with windows and doors closed against prying eyes and ears even in sweltering summertime Philadelphia, lest their deliberations be revealed—not only prematurely, but at all. They realized that the free exchange of ideas was crucial to the success of their awesome project, and that it could only be inhibited by the prospect of disclosure, whether future or present.

Nice strawman. Because they were meeting in secret, not gathering data on fellow citizens.

Even zealots do not dispute that the Patriot Act, as amended, authorizes the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that was established under FISA to grant permission to gain access to the information at issue here. As to intercepting the content of foreign communications, I think it is best put starkly: The Constitution and U.S. laws are not a treaty with the universe; they protect U.S. citizens. Foreign governments spy on us and our citizens. We spy on them and theirs. Welcome to the world.

Nice deflection. Most citizens could care less if we are spying on foreigners. We expect our government to do that. The problem is the spying on US citizens.

Real damage was done last week by Edward Snowden, who on Sunday claimed credit for leaking the secrets he learned while working for NSA contractors. Every time we tell terrorists how we can detect them, we encourage them to find ways to avoid detection.

Surely terrorists, or at least their leaders, knew that America was going to do all we could to spy on them. Now they know that the US Government is more than willing to violate the 4th Amendment and treat the citizens like prisoners in a jail, to treat them in the same manner as terrorists.

I’m sure Mukasey would have no problem with the government getting a warrant to search his home daily, in secret, without ever notifying him about it, just to have some data in case Mukasey breaks the law at some point in the future or a friend does something wrong. Right? Right?

According to Rasmussen, 59% oppose the secret collection of phone data. 26% approve, 15% only watch Entertainment Tonight, er, are unsure.

Crossed at Right Wing News and Stop The ACLU.

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8 Responses to “Mukasey: If You Don’t Give Up Your Privacy The Terrorists Win”

  1. john says:

    The right wing screamed why wasn’t more done to stop the Boston Bombers?
    They surely did not seem to care much about operational security. In fact the right wing islamic fundamentalists are not at all careful with their communication security.
    This program began in 2006. Many on the left objected to how large the Patriot Act was, but it was championed by the right. Prism has been growing ever since.

  2. Ian says:

    Huh, that’s odd. You guys were much more receptive to those arguments up until…oh, say January 20, 2009. What happened? What could make you guys do a full 180 like that? I mean, you were fine with Bush’s oversight-free program, and you’re mad at Obama for going through FISA? You should probably straighten out that contradiction before going off like this. Makes you look kinda hypocritical.

    To paraphrase conservatives from 2001-2008: Call me when you decide you love America more than you hate Obama.

  3. Realist says:

    Mukasey should have all his phones bugged and be put under 24 hour video and audio surveillance, and then he should be charged with treason, arrested, indefinitely detained, sent to Gitmo, put before a military tribunal, and tortured to death like he deserves 🙂

  4. The right wing screamed why wasn’t more done to stop the Boston Bombers?

    So did liberals. We wondered why the federal government ignored all the warnings from Russia. But, you’re creating a strawman, here, John, in that we have no problem with targeting people who are caught up in wrongdoing. The government should not be spying on you, John. I would fight for your 4th Amendment rights. Interestingly, all these programs failed to stop the Boston bombings, John. What do you have to say about that?

    That’s weird, Ian, because you Lefties were 100% against what Bush was doing, and put the blame 100% on him. As of 1/20/2009, you guys are A-OK with these privacy intrusions, and refuse to involve Obama in any sort of blame.

    But, again, we do not have a problem with using these programs against foreigners and terrorists. Using them on the averse US citizen? Problem. Big problem. Why don’t you have a problem with this, Ian? Are you now cool with the Surveillance State?

    Not sure about all that, Realist, his entitled to his Free Speech, though it is stupid, and designed to take away the freedom of citizens.

  5. gitarcarver says:

    The right wing screamed why wasn’t more done to stop the Boston Bombers?

    As others have pointed out, liberals screamed about this too.

    But it is important to note not just that there was “screaming,” but the content and context of the screaming.

    The FBI had information that the brothers were dangerous, and did not share that information with local law enforcement. The FBI had interviewed and investigated one brother in 2011, but then lost track of him. (And remember, when the FBI published the photos of the bombers, they indicated they had no idea who the bombers were.)

    The FBI also received intelligence from the Russians on the activities of the older brother and did nothing with it.

    So while the Feds were spying on innocent Americans not accused of anything, they botched – and badly botched – an actual terrorism attack by an actual terrorist that was on their radar.

    THAT is really what the screaming was about.

    If the Feds can’t use or are incompetent with the data they have on hand with those seeking to harm the US, there is no need for them to continue to collect data on innocent Americans.

    I mean, you were fine with Bush’s oversight-free program, and you’re mad at Obama for going through FISA?

    Except of course the Bush program was not “over-sight free.”

    Also, it should be remembered that the warrant for the NSA data collection from Verizon was not approved by two FISA courts. It was only a third court that approved the warrant. If Bush had done something similar, he would have been accused of “forum shopping” or trying to ram a totalitarian regime down’ the throats of Americans.

    Now that Obama – who campaigned specifically against the use of these tactics in 2008 – has suddenly done a 180, liberals are fine with it while displaying a selective memory.

  6. Frank says:

    Anyone else sense the hilarity in this post being crossed at a site called “Stop the ACLU”?

  7. david7134 says:

    I find it interesting that we have the TSA sticking their hands down our pants, but people don’t get upset until they learn that their cell phones are bugged. We have a serious problem with our government, namely, we need to get rid of it, completely. Then I find it amazing that their are people like john and ian that think we are playing some game, like fantasy football. This is not an issue of win or lose, we are all losing and we are losing to the politicians and the communist that control this country. It does not matter if you call yourself Republican or Democrat, they are the same and they are playing us like a banjo.

    John and Ian, those of us that are conservative, defined as want a small government with more libertarian ideals don’t care for Bush or Obama or Clinton or any of our great leaders. We have protested their efforts to increase the power of the government. You just don’t listen or understand what we are saying.

  8. Invaded_GumBalls says:

    What is funny, is that the left are really ok with spying on Americans and invasive data mining and storage. They don’t care if it is against the Constitution or violates certain bill of rights.

    They forget, that FISA as written, only “supposedly” allows the spying of foreign communications with overseas links. It was this crooked and corrupt administration that took it beyond what was authorized.

    The left could care less if laws are violated. It’s what they always wanted.

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