There's been a lot of outrage and consternation since the NSA's classified program, to collect Meta data from Verizon Wireless (and likely other carriers as well) on essentially all calls made on its service, was leaked last week. The leaked information indicates that while the NSA is not eavesdropping on or recording the actual calls, it is obtaining the logistical data (which numbers called which other numbers, how long were the calls, etc.) and feeding that data to a mega computer with an algorithm to look for patterns indicative of terrorist activity; with subsequent leads being followed up on.
Here's where I say something that many people will find surprising. IF (and that's a big if considering the Obama administration, but more on that in a bit) this is the extent of this program, with no warrantless eavesdropping by agents of the actual phone conversations of the masses, then I'm actually ok with it. The reason being is that I am FOR individual civil liberties. This is not a paradoxical as it initially might sound.
There is a nuclear proliferation that has been occurring in the world that is unprecedented. This is different than the nuclear proliferation that occurred during the cold war with the massive build up of stockpiles between the US and the Soviet Union. This more recent proliferation has to do with ever expanding numbers of people and countries that have access to, and the ability to make, nuclear bombs. There are some very bad players in this group. There's Iran, an Islamist controlled state and a state sponsor of terrorism that by all accounts is very close to obtaining nuclear weapons. There's Pakistan, a nation that already has nuclear weapons, which seems perpetually on the verge of becoming an fanatical islamist controlled state similar to Iran. There's North Korea which likewise already has nuclear weapons and is controlled by a very unstable secular communist extremism.
I say that I don't have a problem with such an NSA program in its own right because of the state of the world today. It's because of a dedication TO individual civil liberties that I say this. Imagine what would happen to America if Al Qaeda or one of the other fanatical Islamic terrorist groups managed to explode a nuclear bomb in a major US city such as New York, Chicago or Las Angeles. Not even considering the massive human tragedy involved where hundreds of thousands if not millions would die; this country would run to give up their civil liberties entirely in exchange for security. All arguments in favor of civil liberties would be overwhelmed in the stampede that would occur after such an event. If an event such as that can be prevented by this NSA program then it would be actually more dangerous to individual civil liberties to NOT run that program than to run it. After all you cannot find the needle in the haystack without having access to, and the ability to look at, the haystack. When that needle is one that, if it explodes, is going to take not only the haystack but all of civil liberties with it, it's a needle that must be found.
The issue is that a program such as this requires an enormous amount of trust by the American people in their government, and the government officials must be worthy of that trust. Barack Obama, by his demonization of political opposition, by his administration's actions to thwart investigations into its own corrupt actions and, worst of all, by his actions to actually abuse the powers of government to be punitive weapons against political opponents, has absolutely destroyed any such trust from the American people. Given what Barack Obama has said and done I do not see him as my President, I see him as my persecutor and I know much of America feels the same way.
Much of the demonization of conservatives is actually being spoken by Obama's surrogates but there's no question as to where it's really coming from and who's actually calling the shots. If they must resort to such demonization and slander to advance their ideology and political position, you would think that at some point they would stop and ask themselves why that is. Meritless ideologies require such tactics whereas the ideas of Liberty, equality, and freedom can be advanced on their own merits.
Likewise, in conjunction with this slander and demonization campaign by Obama and his surrogates is the outright abuse of government power for political purposes. One of the most extreme and frequent offenders is Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder. The Attorney General, who is the head of the Department of Justice, is the nation's top law official and is given exquisite power and authority to enforce the nation's laws. These exquisite powers are entrusted to the AG and the DOJ by the American people with the trust that these powers will indeed be used to uphold the nation's laws and will not be wielded in a politically biased manner. With Holder's refusal to prosecute a clear case of voter intimidation because of racial bias, to his outright obstruction of the congressional investigation into Fast and Furious, to his abuse of DOJ power to intimidate states attempting to shore up the validity of their elections with common sense voter ID laws, to his abuse of DOJ power to effectively intimidate and infringe upon the freedom of the press, to his committing of outright perjury on that last count; Eric Holder has extensively abused his entrusted powers, which are given to enforce the nations laws, but instead have been corrupted to further President Obama's political agenda.
Holder has destroyed the integrity of a department whose sole justification for its existence is its integrity. His combined actions have been SO treacherous that (as a side note) I do not think Erik Holder needs to resign or be fired. At this point, Eric Holder needs to go to prison for what he has done. I do not make such an assertion flippantly or lightly. It's just that the treachery and damage to this institution, which is critical to government functioning, rises to that level. Holders actions have gotten to the point that they are beginning to undermine the rule of law itself.
Another example of abuse of power to conduct political persecution that has recently come to light is the IRS and its targeting of Obama's political opposition. Obama has tried to distance himself from this scandal by feigning outrage. The rub is that it was Obama himself that created the environment of persecution and demonization of conservatives that not only allowed for this to happen but encouraged it to happen. Obama claims to have no involvement with this but given the fact that the IRS Commissioner visited the White House 157 times while this was happening (and given Obama's past behavior) it's not too hard to discern what's really going on here.
The real problem with the NSA program isn't the program itself. The problem is with who is holding the reins of power currently. We have a President who has shown himself to have a complete lack of integrity. Obama has picked individuals for key and powerful positions (such as Erik Holder) who likewise lack integrity, precisely because they lack integrity and are willing to abuse that power for Obama's political benefit. The situation with the world and the dangers it presents is not going to change. What this situation with this NSA program really shows is just how important the character of the person who we put into power really is.