The big lie is that the National Security Agency (NSA) could have prevented 9/11 hence the need for its expanded powers. This agency in some form has been in the spying business since 1949 and it didn't prevent that nor were they identifiers for the recent Boston Marathon bombers whom even the Russians had warned a security threat. They did however do a good job of scanning for the bombers once the deed was done.
Welcome to the world of "Big Brother" -- an expansive invasive government body prying into one's personal space and stifling a sense of security as near as your handiest cell phone, iPad or iPhone and helped along by citizen complicity through face book, twitter and other on-line data sharing. In George Orwell's' book 1984 telescreens have everyone under surveillance and to further keep them in line the phrase, "Big Brother Is Watching You" is indoctrinated into their very being.
In 1949 the predecessor of NSA, the Armed Forces Security Agency was established as a cryptologic (decipherer of communications) intelligence body. Congress and the public have been blindsided by the extent of the national internal spying and operations of such a group and wrongly assumed that only foreign enemies of the state were the object of its scrutiny. As is often stated on "Mission Impossible" in the event of capture or exposure NSA didn't exist or was cloaked with terms of No Such Animal or No Such Acts because No Such Authorization from federal authorities was revealed.
The spying on US citizens and targeting of us with drones or wholesale collecting of our information without legal cause by any US agency is a clear abridgment of the law. In unchecked hands a totalitarian state of a few high powered folks at the top could rule if this is allowed unabated.
The activities of NSA surreptitiously being exposed clearly are a violation of the 4th amendment to the US Constitution which reads:
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 sized.
Solutions to this aren't complex.
- NSA Directors cannot be allowed to be simply Presidential Appointments without approval of the US Congress (both houses).
- NSA and its activities must be scrutinized and overseen by members of Congress (both Houses).
- The Patriot Act must be reviewed for renewal every five years not ten or more as is the current policy.
- Release and breaches of NSA materials secured without authorization of the US Congress shall put violators at risk for trials in special judicial courts for treason.
- Stop the sharing of personal medical information through electronic surveillance under Obamacare.
Such actions are a start to restoring the Citizen's Bill of Rights to the US Constitution and our Democratic Republic. In this 'sweet land of liberty', we must be prepared to stand for the principles of freedom, liberty and democracy under the US Constitution taking whatever steps are required to secure these for ourselves and others as desired. We must understand that we will stand up for citizens and stand by our friends protecting our people wherever they are located in service to this nation; but, we must also allow them their constitutional freedoms without interference. Congress must also understand that its members must do a better job in protecting our freedoms or be sent home.