PRISM and the NSAPosted: 7 Jun 13
I told you so. I said it back when George W. was president that it was a bad idea. I told the Obama campaign during the transition that they needed to repudiate the Bush era domestic spying. I told the Obama campaign and the DNC every time they begged me for money that they would get no money from me as long as it was still officially sanctioned policy to collect the private communications of Americans. My wife thought I was being overly dramatic. But here we are.
I’m not the only one upset. There’s The New Yorker and the Huffington Post both have blogs about it. Forbes, remarkably, thinks it makes sense and is a good idea. The mind boggles. Back in the Bush era I heard people rationalize the Terrorist Surveillance Program with comments like these. I thought they were stupid then. Here’s the problem: even if you trust the current administration not to do anything Assad-like with this kind of data, what about the next guy to sit in the Oval Office? What about three presidents down the road? What do you think Richard Nixon would have done with this kind of data available to him? This kind of program is a BAD idea. It should never have been instituted, it should never have been defended and we certainly should never tolerate anything like it. Period.
I will concede this much and no more: it is just possible that someone has mocked up a PowerPoint document and hoaxed the Washington Post with this PRISM story. It’s just possible that this is the June equivalent of someone’s April Fools Day prank. But I doubt it. I feel pretty confident that the people at the Washington Post know how to vet a source and find enough corroboration to be confident in publishing a story like this, because whatever credibility they might still have is on the line.
I’m typing this in Google Chrome. So if the NSA is listening I have this to say to you. Bite me. Take your domestic spying and your “foreign intelligence” and stick it up your ass. Same goes for you Mr. President. What good does it do to be a Constitutional Law professor if you haven’t studied enough history to understand why we have the Constitution in the first place? Pull your head out of whatever orifice that’s obscuring your ability to see the folly of this program. And the Senate: there are only 33 vertebrae in the human vertebral column. There are 100 of you. Explain to me how even working together you can’t manage one spine. And the House of Representatives, ugh, where do I even begin. I guess I can be glad that this is a Democratic President, because when there was a president of your own party, you rolled over like Paris Hilton’s lapdog. But I’m afraid it’s too much to hope for that the GOP will be even a little bit consistent about their stand on government overreach. I mean your track record is already pretty spotty. “Hey! we don’t like Obamacare because we don’t think government ought to get in between an American and his doctor over medical decisions, unless that American is a woman making procreative decisions. Then we’d better make sure there is an entire legislature getting all up in your business.” If I have to rely on the GOP to protect my right to privacy and to be free of unreasonable searches, I’d rather have a new Constitutional Convention and try again from scratch.