OPINION – This past weekend’s vague though elevated state of “terror readiness” was a nice touch. The timing was perfect.
Maybe that’s why they’re trying to remind us “why we need them.”
Civil disobedience is a regrettable necessity when laws are used to abuse our natural rights. Henry David Thoreau advised that when official wrong, “is of such a nature that if it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine.”
There are times when unjust laws must be disobeyed or ignored.
It’s interesting how many times civil disobedience has been evident in American history. Refusal to enforce fugitive slave laws and Jim Crow laws were acts of defiance that helped to end slavery and segregation. There are moral laws that outweigh administrative acts of men.
Edward Snowden’s civil disobedience exposed the true depths of the secretive behavior currently engaged in by our government. By blowing the whistle on our government’s snooping on innocent people, Snowden acted in defense of moral law regarding our right to privacy.
This moral law is clearly spelled out in the Declaration of Independence and again in the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Government officials are no longer abiding by the legal and moral limits of their authority. They have given themselves permission — in secret — to know whom you communicated with, how you did it, when you did it, and what locations were involved.
Those who console themselves by saying “at least they didn’t listen to the content” are missing the point. Dragnet surveillance of the American people serves the interests of the national security state, not the citizenry.
When government is allowed to operate in secrecy, there can be no effective system of checks and balances. Unelected agencies can exercise their power subject to the rulings of a secret court without any kind of adversarial process or public knowledge of what those secret rulings are.
This behavior is consistent with an authoritarian police state, not the government of a free people.
Snowden is now living in temporary asylum in Russia with U.S. officials angrily demanding that he be returned to face their version of “justice.” In the current climate of security-at-any-cost, this means that he could be held in secret, tortured, and detained indefinitely for making his revelations. The huffing and puffing of the current administration for his return is a good indicator that Snowden has struck a nerve.
As Michael Rozeff said, “The government has made a fool of itself internationally over Snowden. The critics of Snowden, increasingly shrill and extreme, cannot fend off the truth of vast government overreach. A switch is in the process of being thrown in which the Empire is going on the defensive. It remains to be seen whether this change in the current will become a turn in the tide.”
Members of Congress who could or should have spoken out have been silent or deliberately obscure when commenting on national security. Why is this?
Is it possible that the greatest potential blackmail machine in the history of mankind has been developed and instituted right under our noses? This might explain why so many other nations’ leaders are marching in lockstep with the national security community. Healthy amounts of U.S. dollars and military armaments may also be providing leverage for continued, if not coerced, cooperation.
Through his attorney, Edward Snowden’s father Lonnie Snowden has sent a letter to President Obama that makes a compelling case against the NSA’s domestic spying agenda. This letter needs to be widely distributed through every outlet available. It needs to be read and considered by all those who value good government and personal liberty. It is attached in PDF here: Attorney Fein for Lon Snowden to President Obama re Edward Snowden.
There is a virtual media blackout on this story, but the arguments made by attorney Bruce Fein are grounded in sound principles. Rational people will find a great deal to think about whether they agree with Snowden or not.
Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives talk show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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