I remember during the dreaded “sequester,” government officials and media personalities were saying that planes were going to fall out of the sky, people were going to be eating diseased meat products because government meat inspectors would be put on leave, and we were going to sustain another terrorist attack because the Defense Department was “shutting down.” Of course, none of that happened, but the Obama administration tried its best to make things as uncomfortable as possible in order to blame Ted Cruz for “shutting down the government.” In general, conservatives didn’t fall for the “sky is falling” rhetoric from the government.
But for whatever reason, in the context of the Patriot Act and national security, conservatives in general believe every word out of the Obama administration about what would happen if the government weren’t able to snoop on everyone’s phone calls, emails, texts and whatever else. We’ll be subjected to another 9/11 if they’re not permitted to violate the 4th Amendment. The Blaze reported on the White House’s nonanswer as to whether we were actually safer because of the Patriot Act:
White House press secretary Josh Earnest ripped the Senate for allowing the Patriot Act to lapse, but dodged three times on the question of whether America is less safe.
Early in the press briefing Monday, a reporter asked on a scale of 1 to 10, how less safe is the United States compared to before the law as allowed to expire.
“That is something our national security professionals can speak more directly to,” Earnest said.
“We have these authorities that are included in the Patriot Act, the majority of which are not controversial and have been in place since 2001, and as our national security professionals tell us, have been used to elicit information that has been valuable to ongoing investigations,” Earnest said. “The question you’ve heard me offer up from the podium is: Why would we add unnecessary risks to the country and our national security because of Congress’s failure to act?”
He gave a similar answer to another reporter who asked the question again. Another reporter observed in her question that opponents of the Patriot Act point out that the law did not prevent a terror attack: “You and the administration can’t list or won’t list any concrete examples of how it did help. You won’t say whether the American public is less safe now. If this is so important, doesn’t your argument seem to be weaker than the opposition?”
Earnest again didn’t directly respond to the “less safe” matter, but explained there is broad bipartisan consensus for renewal of the Patriot Act and the USA Freedom Act.
“That is not the conclusion of 338 Democrats and Republican in the House of Representatives who came together on a common-sense bipartisan proposal that would implement reforms to strengthen civil liberty protections while also reauthorizing tools that our national security professional says are important in keeping us safe,” Earnest said.
Why don’t people get that it’s the same hoopla they gave us during the “government shut down” where nothing ended up happening? The government cares about one thing, and that’s power. They’ll do and say anything to keep their power growing.
Conservatives actually thought that Rand Paul’s recent Patriot Act filibuster was going to be bad for our national security, that he was somehow siding with liberals and the Obama administration, as if Obama is the one who wants to scrap the Patriot Act and the NSA. Obama doesn’t want to scrap those. He likes them and wants to keep expanding the surveillance powers of the government.
Where would we be today without the Patriot Act and the NSA? Honestly, probably right where we are now. Neither the Patriot Act nor the NSA’s universal data collection programs have done anything to prevent a terrorist attack. It’s impossible to sift through so much data and make the necessary connections to prevent a terrorist attack. Instead of focusing all of our intelligence efforts on collecting every possible piece of information on every person in this country without exception, the government should simply follow the 4th Amendment and focus all their efforts on those cases with probable cause. That’s all Rand Paul is saying. But unfortunately, most Americans prefer to live in a police state.