Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

You Don't Get To...

With the revelation of the NSA data collection from phone companies and collection information from major internet programs through the secret program called PRISM, Congress is now scrambling.  If my memory serves, when the Patriot Act was passed the very first time there was some discussion about how much information the government could collect.  We were assured it was needed.  It was overwhelmingly passed.

If you think this is a new problem, it's not.  Take a look at this cartoon.  Anyone notice who the President is? Yep.  The cartoon is from before 2008.  It is dated November 27, 2002. So to pretend that this surveillance is new, is to live in the fantasy land.  Welcome to Washington, DC.

Then came several reauthorizations, amendments, edits, additions, all the things that Congress does was done to it.  Reviews, oversight, and invitations to see what was being done have been made twenty-two times.  And also demands that it change from the ACLU.

Now that it is out how expansive the Patriot Act is, Congress - Republican, Democrat and Independent  - Progressive to Tea Party - are trying to spin this.  A few have admitted that it was done and that it has been successful and more than few are on their soapboxes announcing that they had no idea or disagreed, but were under a gag order not to discuss it.  Well guess what? Congress, Executive, and Judicial have all signed on to this, and you don't get to now pretend that you didn't know or that this is an overreach by this administration.

The only Senator that I know of that has consistently voted "no" is also one that I seldom agree with, Rand Paul.  Still, he is now on his soapbox about it, but where was he with his outrage when it was happening? I know he and other members of Congress were unable to discuss it, but there are many ways to announce your outrage without violating security.  How many bills, those of you outraged by the excess of the act, were introduced to limit its scope or repeal it? None is how many.

Yes, we live in a different time since 9/11.  Yes, we need to balance our security with our privacy.  No, you don't get to pretend that you didn't know or couldn't do anything.  No, you don't get to pretend that this is an overreach only by this administration and wasn't done by another administration.  Time to live in our reality.
All three branches of government approved now all three get to deal with the consequences.