This tweet caught my eye. “The Bill of Rights is the foundation of American liberty, securing our most fundamental rights.” —President Obama on Bill of Rights Day — Barack Obama (@BarackObama)
I found this tweet to be most interesting as the effort to eliminate the 2nd Amendment that secures the right to keep and bear arms is ongoing and the 4th Amendment whereby citizens are protected from illegal search and seizures of personal data has been eviscerated by the National Security Agency. This is especially ripe given the recent federal court decision that finds the NSA spying on all Americans to be an egregious violation of the 4th Amendment.
The plain words of the tweet and the plain words of the Bill of Rights are to be taken as shibboleth by all of us. I hope those in government, whose power is largely constrained by 10th Amendment of the Bill of RIghts, also pay attention.
When the Benghazi disaster broke and the administration claimed it was due to some internet video, few people bought the argument. This occurred prior to the 2012 election and, had it been pursued by the media, could have been damaging to the Obama campaign. It was not covered again until recently and as it drew in the administration, a scandal concerning the IRS erupted prompted by a question planted by the IRS. It was a perfect deflection. The story was that applications for 501(c)(3) and 501 (c)(4) tax exemption by Republican organizations, or at least those that supported their positions, were unreasonably delayed. This meant that these Republican organizations were severely hampered in fund raising during the campaign. This also had an effect on the campaign. Low Republican turnout is said to be the reason for Romney’s defeat.
The release of this story served to deflect the media from further activity concerning Benghazi. At the same time, stories emerged concerning the phone taps of a Fox News reporter, and the AP. The media storm now focused on these new scandals, but only Republicans would be offended by action against a Fox News reporter. As the IRS scandal, originally said to have been caused by several rogue agents in Cincinnati, started to move towards Washington, a story emerged about the massive collection of digital data by the National Security Agency (NSA).
The NSA story caught the attention of most people, but this was the story that could be defended by Obama as legally done as the law and certain judges approved of the actions. Obama covered it by saying “You can’t have 100% security and 100% privacy at the same time.”
All of this started as the Benghazi scandal was moving closer and closer to the White House. The emerging issues were where was Obama for eight hours during the crisis, who caused the “stand down” of forces that could have saved American lives, and what was the murdered Ambassador doing in Benghazi anyway?
The interesting features of these activities is that the IRS scandal was explained with a Benghazi like excuse-it was a “video” was followed by rogue agents, although both explanations were debunked.
The wire tap and NSA cell phone and email issue was explained under national security purposes. The first to find leaks and the second to find terrorists. A claim that the NSA had stopped a terrorist attack on the New York subway system was immediately discredited. However, Obama’s claims of legality had some truth to it.
The scandals concerning the collection of private information is very important when viewed in connection with the IRS’s political actions. This is private information and should be protected. When our privacy is surrendered, so is our liberty. Of course, we still need to discover what happened in Benghazi and why an American Ambassador and three others died, maybe unnecessarily.
UPDATE: The focus on the NSA interception of American’s private communications continues to be Obama’s focus today. He and his advisors are claiming that 50 terrorist events have been prevented by the snooping. Absent are details other than general descriptions. If this were true, there would be arrests and other evidence of the disruption of terrorist activities. What is critical here is that this is an effort to deflect from the IRS scandal that continues to gain traction. As they say, you have to keep your eye on the ball.