The evolution of the surveillance state since 9/11 has been a marvel to witness in this country. What our government once proclaimed its dire mission to combat in order to protect the rights of the people has literally become a mission to “protect” us, whether or not our rights and principles are maintained.
The recent roll call for HR 2397 on July 24, presented by Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., would have limited spending on phone surveillance to court orders from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court against those who are the subject of an investigation, essentially defunding the NSA’s controversial “spy” programs that have recently been brought back into the light.
Many who might perceive Republicans as bastions and protectors of civil liberties should be confused that in the Republican-controlled House, 134 of them voted against this resolution to only 83 such votes by Democrats.
Not only did more Republicans vote against the amendment, but only 94 voted for it, whereas 111 Democrats voted to end such surveillance.
It seems that each side is but a mirror of the other when it comes to the ever-increasing surveillance state.
It was my understanding that regardless of party, office or seat, the oath to uphold the Constitution took precedent over sideshows that impress upon the public that our representatives are complicit in the compromise and support of an agenda that continues to supplant and replace our founding principles with authoritarian rule.
At what point do these elected officials assume the consequences of their refusal to honor their oaths of office in placing the people’s inherent and constitutional rights above the illusion that the government can grant them as privileges and rescind them by the unconstitutional, convoluted legislation they write?
Justin D. Klinkebiel, Corvallis