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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A government of secrecy and fear -- By Andrew P. Napolitano, The Washington Times

Every American who values the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, every American who enjoys the right to be different and the right to be left alone, and every American who believes that the government works for us and we don't work for the government should thank Edward Snowden for his courageous and heroic revelations of the National Security Agency's (NSA) gargantuan spying operations. Without Mr. Snowden's revelations, we would be ignorant children to a paternalistic government and completely in the dark about what the government sees of us and knows about us. We would not know that it has stolen our freedoms.

When I saw Mr. Snowden's initial revelation — a two-page order signed by a federal judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court — I knew immediately that Mr. Snowden had a copy of a genuine top-secret document that even the judge who signed it did not have. The NSA reluctantly acknowledged that the document was genuine and claimed that all of its snooping on the 113 million Verizon customers covered by that order was lawful because it had been authorized by that federal judge. The NSA also claims that as a result of its spying, it has kept us safe.

I reject the argument that the government is empowered to take our liberties — in this case, the right to privacy — by majority vote or by secret fiat as part of an involuntary collective bargain that it needs to monitor us in private to protect us in public. The government's job is to keep us free and safe. If it keeps us safe but not free, it is not doing its job.

 Since the revelations about Verizon, we have learned that the NSA has captured and stored in its Utah computers the emails, texts, telephone conversations, utility bills, bank statements, credit card statements and digital phone books of everyone in America for the past two-and-a-half years. It also has captured hundreds of millions of phone records in Brazil, France, Germany and Mexico — all U.S. allies — and it has shared much of the seized raw American data with intelligence agencies in Great Britain and Israel. Its http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/23/napolitano-a-government-of-secrecy-and-fear/agents have spied on their girlfriends and boyfriends literally thousands of times, and they have combed the collected raw data and selectively revealed some of it to law enforcement. All of this directly contradicts the Constitution.

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