It’s astonishing, really

There is an alarming clamor on the right to dispense with our Civil Liberties in favor of a police state run amok. It is apparently just fine with them to have the government peering into our windows and monitoring our email to protect us from those bad, bad A-rabs.

Reading the reaction to Richard Posner’s Op-ed in the WaPo today, I found a link to QT Monster’s Place, where she says

I agree with Rush. If I’m blown to bits by a terrorist bomb I can’t really worry about my precious civil liberties can I? Priorities Democrats, priorities.

Erm…. uh… Surely you pro-police state types are familiar with Patrick Henry’s quote “Give me liberty of give me death”? Or that ol’ Ben Franklin chestnut “Those who would sacrifice Liberty for Security deserve neither”?

I would say that your chances of being “blown to bits by a terrorist bomb” are slim to nil (although your chances have been somewhat increased by the current administration’s policies). Throwing away your fourth amendment protections to prevent said bits-blowing is roughly analogous to wearing a crash helmet whenever you’re out of bed, y’know, in case of falling safes or pianos. Aren’t these the same “conservatives” who argue endlessly against any sort of regulation of firearms possession? Let me make sure I understand you… you conservatarian types are willing to let the NSA snoop through your phone calls and your correspondence on the billion-to-one chance that Osama Bin Ladin is hiding under your neighbor’s bed, but god forbid someone suggest that maybe you don’t need an SKS with a 30 round clip. Where’s a calculated risk adjuster when you need one? Can someone tumble the numbers on “Chances of being shot” vs. “Chances of being blowed up by Osama”?

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for firearms ownership, despite what Rush might have told you ALL LIBERALS BELIEVE, but I am also for A SOCIETY FREE FROM UNWARRANTED SEARCH AND SEIZURE. Hello, Security Freaks? It’s the 4TH AMENDMENT CALLING!! Look, hire someone to tie you up and spank you or something. Don’t go fucking with what makes this country great.

From the Posner article mentioned above-

Innocent people, such as unwitting neighbors of terrorists, may, without knowing it, have valuable counterterrorist information. Collecting such information is of a piece with data-mining projects such as Able Danger…

The goal of national security intelligence is to prevent a terrorist attack, not just punish the attacker after it occurs, and the information that enables the detection of an impending attack may be scattered around the world in tiny bits. A much wider, finer-meshed net must be cast than when investigating a specific crime. Many of the relevant bits may be in the e-mails, phone conversations or banking records of U.S. citizens, some innocent, some not so innocent. The government is entitled to those data, but just for the limited purpose of protecting national security.

Y’know, buddy, if you’re that anxious to start an American Stasi, please fuck off.

I have some serious issues with the assertion that we must surrender our right to privacy to your terrorist witch hunts when I am also reading stories like this in the news:

Counterterrorism agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have conducted numerous surveillance and intelligence-gathering operations that involved, at least indirectly, groups active in causes as diverse as the environment, animal cruelty and poverty relief, newly disclosed agency records show.

The potential for abuse is HUGE, clearly. Please, brownshirt security ninnies- move to one of those countries that bans chewing gum and stones unmarried pregnant women, and leave MY COUNTRY alone.

crossposted at shakespeare’s sister


  1. Damn. Posner is usually more level-headed than this, and up to now he’d been one of my favorite judges. (Kozinski, however, is still the one jurist of whom I’d have a poster hanging above my bed, if Tiger Beat ever published saucy photos of cute judges.) It’s doubly weird, because as a law-and-economics guru, Posner surely is aware that the chances of another terrorist attack on American soil resulting in mass casualties is rather low.

    (I’m not saying, note, that there’s a low chance that there will be another terrorist attack; I think that probability is rather high, but I doubt we will see another 9/11 in our lifetime. My hunch is based solely on “if they could’ve they would’ve,” however, so don’t quote me as an expert.)

    *sigh* I’m just very disappointed in Posner today.

  2. It’s conservatives who are all for domestic spying? Really? You didn’t read this 60 Minutes transcript about the Eschelon program did you:

    Er, that program was created under that extreme conservative administration, the Clinton administration.

    Oh, and BTW, Carter was surveilling too, practically as soon as the FISA act was signed into law.

    Do you research for a change. Geesh!

  3. Actually, vadkins, I was opposed to Echelon way back when I first heard about it, WHEN IT WAS ONLY BEING DEPLOYED OVERSEAS.

    Maybe you should do your research for a change. GEESH.

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