Last week, an amendment - if passed - would have blocked funding for a National Security Adminstration program that collects phone call records from Americans and suspected foreign terrorist alike. This funding would have ended the NSA's authority for the blanket collection of records under the Patriot Act. While the NSA is not listening in on every conversation and reading every email, most reports out of Washington confirm that they are storing them in a facility in Utah. So now, the federal government is storing your phone records and emails along with your credit card transaction information and soon-to-be health care record information.
The amendment failed by a razor, slim margin. 94 members of the GOP and 111 democrats voted to defund the NSA. However, the leadership in both parties, lead by minorirty leader Pelosi and Speaker Boehner voted to keep the funding in tact. This vote was another assault on our Constitution and individual liberty.
The framers of the Constitution did not trust big government. In fact, they created a framework that protected people's freedoms from the government. Without the Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments), the 13 orignal states would not have ratified the Constitution. These amendments protect the individual rights of the people - see amendment four regarding search and seizure. Simply put - they protect liberty.
The Congressmen/Congresswomen who voted to keep funding this NSA program will make these two arguments: 1) if you are doing nothing wrong, why worry and 2) we don't understand the terrorist threats and need to spy on everyone in order to catch suspected terrorists. The problem with #1 is that government can't be trusted now or in the future - what if we elect a president who uses this program for nefarious reasons. The issue with #2 is that while threats exist, we can't protect everyone and everytime. Evil exists in this world and we cannot create a risk free country.
BELIEVE in the Constitution and believe in nuturing the individual and not the government.
ACT by reading the Constitution and its Bill of Rights
SERVE by educating each other on why protecting individual liberty is paramount
We the People are the target of the government plain and simple.
Anyone who voted against the amendment to defund the NSA and its domestic spying program betrayed our nation's history, its founding and our individual liberties we hold so very dear here in the U.S., which is about as simple as I can be.