I completely understand the outrage over the latest revelations that the National Security Agency has been sucking up great gigabytes of data about Americans...
...except I don't.
What exactly did folks (not necessarily here but okay maybe here) think was going on?
How did people think NSA was spending about $8 billion and growing per year?
With the passage of the Patriot Act under Bush and its subsequent reauthorization, did people really think the DIA, the NSA, the FBI, Homeland Security, the CIA and god knows who else wasn't using every bit of technology they could get their hands on to do whatever they could get away with? Really?
I will never ever claim and don't believe, that there was any one who had even a remote chance of being elected President would have been better than Obama, but good grief, the apoplexy that has seized folks in the past two days is absurd. It doesn't take a conspiracy theory to have thought this was going on all along. And I won't be surprised to find out they've been hoovering up info from sources we haven't heard about or even thought about yet.
So, basically, I'm delighted to see the waving hands and fluttering hankies. I would really love to think the latest revelations will result in a return to the land of reason in terms of reinstating civil liberties and privacy and all. (Quick note: Anderson Cooper will be talking about all this to Ron Paul tonight. That is not a path to reason to which I am referring.) But realistically, I expect by this time next week, most of us--myself included--will be back to whatever we've been exercised about for a while.
The scope of the abandonment of basic Constitutional principles after 9/11 has been so big and has been going on now for so long that there is a sense of helplessness for many.
Sadly, for even more, there is the belief that this is part of the price we have to pay for "freedom." (And don't even get me started on the folks who say we sent our troops to Iraq or kept them in Afghanistan this long to "protect our freedom." Seriously, don't go down that road!)
We have all been giving up pieces of freedom since before that first "Shock and Awe" ticker crawled across the CNN screen ten years ago. I don't know when we will finally stop marching along while our civil liberties are eroded, or how we will begin to turn back this ongoing surrender, or even if we ever will. But I do know that the price we are paying is the loss of freedom, not its preservation.