I find the entire Edward Snowden situation, and the NSA's collection of our metadata, to be incredibly depressing. It is not just the fact that our government is collecting data on everyone in the name of fighting, but also the anesthetic reaction to this information.
"The poll, taken Wednesday through Sunday, shows a nation driven by cross-currents about the unauthorized disclosures by Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the National Security Agency, of sweeping surveillance programs that can collect information about millions of Americans and foreigners.
By 54%-38%, those surveyed say he should be prosecuted. Most Americans say the programs have helped prevent terrorist attacks, by 53%-41%, a point pressed by top administration officials including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
There is an almost even split on the most fundamental question. By 48%-47%, Americans divide over whether they approve or disapprove of the programs as part of the effort to fight terrorism. By another narrow margin, 49%-44%, they say the release of classified information serves rather than harms the public interest."
I hate to sound like a stereotypical "paranoid conspiracy theorist", but we really need to wake up as a country and force our elected officials to represent the people. I want to pull my hair out why government officials and the media treat me like a naive child who is afraid of monsters under his bed. They can roll their eyes, pats us on the back, and send us to bed with warm milk all they want. The fact of the matter stands, historically, when governments start sacrificing hard fought freedoms (the 4th amendment, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."), the results have always been bad for us.
In a war without end, such as the "War on Terror", giving up these rights so we can feel safe is permanent. If we sit back and let them "do what is best for us" there is no returning. Simple extrapolation makes me ask myself, "If this secret is loosely guarded enough to be leaked to us, what else are they hiding from us?” In the alleged model of freedom and democracy we have here, it is insane that we are all assumed to all be potential enemies of the government. You can say to yourself that "I am not a terrorist and have nothing to hide", but who is defining terrorism? As we have seen in the past, this definition has been skewed to suit the needs of the definer. As innocent as the collection of metadata seems to be, we should ignore history at our own peril. Jews were considered enemies of state in NAZI German, and political opponents are labeled as terrorists around the world to justify physical and political attacks.
I write my first blog as an open plea to everyone to not sacrifice your liberty for the illusion of safety. Before terrorists there were commies, and before commies there were NAZI's. If we allow ourselves to be manipulated by the "better of two evils" we chose to vote for, then we might as well start gassing Jews. For there is no difference between the two crimes; they are crimes of ignorance and complacency. It is our job to preserve the freedoms we have enjoyed for future generations. On our side this may mean limiting our protector’s means to save us from attacks, but it is our duty to our fore fathers to preserve the freedom they fought the Brits for.