Tuesday, June 11, 2013

We Still Have Rights - At Least for Now


The events in the last months have shown the importance of a healthy skepticism of our government at all levels.  The fact that we are losing our basic rights must raise red flags that our way of life is under threat.  Our biggest risk is ourselves not terrorists, foreign countries, or even natural disasters.  People come to the United States because of freedom of speech, the right to privacy, the ability to decide how you want to live instead of a birthright.

Today the ACLU has filed a suit against the US Government and the National Security Administration (NSA) for a breach of their civil rights.  It appears that Verizon is the ACLU's provider, therefore, the ACLU has been harmed in its free speech, right of association, and right to privacy.  In addition, they stated in their brief that the patriot act gave the power to monitor foreign communication and never authorized the use of these techniques on domestic (American) residents and citizens.

The IRS has significant suits filed against it now due to a misuse of its authority.  Correspondence and other items of proof have made this more than a Hail Mary of a lawsuit.  The IRS has used taxpayer information improperly, including giving protected information to organizations competitors and adversaries.  Now we will give the authority to the IRS to make sure we are in compliance on our health insurance under the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare).  Can any of us truly say we trust them with ANY of our health information.  Many of us remember how those with AIDS in the early days were discriminated against.  What most of us don't know is the same thing happened with Cancer in the early days. Our experience has shown that medical records MUST be protected.  It could impact every aspect of our lives if it isn't.

Today, news came out that the State Department shut down an investigation of the US Ambassador to Belgium when he was accused of using under-aged prostitutes.  He represents the United States and need to be beyond reproach.  We can't claim that.  We did not complete the investigation to clear his name or prosecute him for breaking American law.  We just don't know.

Benghazi, well we know what's going on there.  Nothing.  No one has been arrested.  Almost everyone is using the "I don't know/recall defence."  We may never resolve that issue.

The Department of Justice has a spotlight on it for improperly subpoenaing records from the AP, James Rosen, from Fox News, and various others.  In Rosen's case to get the subpoena, the DOJ claimed Rosen was suspected of being a collaborator.  In addition, not only were his communications monitoring but those of his parents.  Rosen is at least my age.  My mother is 80.  I don't think she is a security risk to the United States  At least, not unless some of these officials show up at her door.  Before that Fast and Furious came to the forefront.  DOJ was sending illegal arms to Mexican Drug Cartels.  These guns have cost some of our Border Agents their lives.  It is ridiculous!  No one has really paid for that "great little idea," at least no one that made the decision - only our dead agents.  I have to believe their job is dangerous enough, we don't need to arm the people we want to keep out of our Nation.  It makes no sense.

Bottom line?  Our Government is using all of this as an abuse of power.  The IRS used its power and authority to hinder groups that had a contrary view to the beliefs that are currently popular.  They harassed groups for years without any resolution to their requests.  No denial, no approval, just endless limbo.

The DOJ picks and chooses what laws it enforces and how it gathers its info.  The only way our laws work is when they are applied equitably.  The job of the DOJ is to enforce all the laws of the United States, not just the ones they like.

The State Department has made us look ineffective and amateurish.  The way we have handled the Arab Spring, Benghazi, Syria, and the behaviour of our own officials has caused us to become a really unfunny joke.

We citizens have to make it known that enough is enough. We have to say that we have no willingness to give up our rights.  We have to protect our Bill of Rights.  Once they're gone, we'll never get them back.