Breitbart.com recently carried a report saying, “During his speech in San Jose, California on Friday, President Obama took one question from the press on national security monitoring of Americans. Without any sense of irony whatsoever in the aftermath of the IRS’ targeting of conservatives, the administration’s stonewalling on Benghazi, the Department of Justice’s targeting of reporters, the Department of Health and Human Services’ leveraging of private organizations for Obamacare public relations cash, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s secret email addresses, Obama unloaded this line:
“‘If people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress, and don’t trust federal judges, to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution with due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.’”
See the report here: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/06/07/Obama-press-conference-problems-here
Well, ladies and gentlemen, we DO have some problems here! And the culprits are exactly the ones whom President Obama identified: the executive branch, Congress, and federal judges, or in other words, the federal government in Washington, D.C. As I have said repeatedly, the American people have more to fear from Washington D.C., than they do Tehran, Kabul, Baghdad, or Pyongyang.
Foreign governments cannot strip the American people of their liberties; they cannot expunge our First Amendment rights; they cannot eviscerate our Second Amendment rights; they cannot extinguish our Fourth Amendment rights; etc. But Washington, D.C., can do those things. In fact, Washington, D.C., is in the process of doing those very things right now.
And it is obvious that Obama KNOWS that the federal government threatens the liberties of the American people. He knows it, because he is hell-bent on helping the federal government do it. He is also feeling the heat of freedom-loving people who refuse to submit to his Machiavellian machinations.
During the commencement speech at Ohio State University, Obama said, “You’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all of our problems. Some of these same voices do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.”
See the report at Fitsnews.com here: http://www.fitsnews.com/2013/05/20/barack-obamas-ohio-state-voices-speech/
The Fitsnews.com report goes on to say, “Obviously less than a week after uttering these words it was revealed that Obama’s State Department deliberately misled the public (and Congress) about a 2012 terrorist attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya (someplace America shouldn’t be, it’s worth noting). And officials at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) acknowledged targeting groups on the basis of their ideology. And Obama’s Justice Department secretly took two months of phone records from three Associated Press offices. And then there’s the comparatively underreported matter of Obama’s Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius--who has been shaking down private companies she regulates for ‘seven figure donations’ to help fund the implementation of Obama’s socialized medicine law.”
Yes, Mr. Obama, the federal government in Washington, D.C., has become a “sinister entity.” And, yes, the federal government is “at the root of all of our problems.” Furthermore, it is true that “tyranny is always lurking just around the corner.” And you are right about this, too, Mr. President: there are millions of us freedomists who are indeed determined to “gum up the works.”
This past Tuesday, the AP released a report that began, “When the federal government went looking for phone numbers tied to terrorists, it grabbed the records of just about everyone in America.
“Why every phone number?
“‘Well, you have to start someplace,’ Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told NBC News on Monday.
“That breadth, that willingness to sweep up enormous information on Americans with no ties to terrorists, is making it hard for the Obama administration to tamp down controversy over a separate program, called PRISM, to monitor Internet traffic.
“In short, critics ask, if looking for terrorists means collecting every American’s phone records, how can anyone believe the president when he says Americans aren’t being monitored on the Internet?”
See the AP report covered by Business Week at: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2013-06-11/whats-the-problem-with-prism
Well, now it is out in the open: the federal government is collecting the private communications of the American citizenry. All of the American citizenry! Some of us have been trying to warn the American people of these shenanigans for years.
Glenn Greenwald at the London Guardian recently filed a report in which he said, “The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America's largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.
“The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an ‘ongoing, daily basis’ to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.
“The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk--regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.
“The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.
“Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.
“The disclosure is likely to reignite longstanding debates in the US over the proper extent of the government's domestic spying powers.
“Under the Bush administration, officials in security agencies had disclosed to reporters the large-scale collection of call records data by the NSA, but this is the first time significant and top-secret documents have revealed the continuation of the practice on a massive scale under President Obama.”
See the Guardian report at: http://m.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/nsa-phone-records-verizon-court-order?CMP
Folks, did you catch that last paragraph? All of this spying began under the G.W. Bush administration, and it has continued and expanded ever since. Both Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C., are equally culpable in dismantling the Bill of Rights, in trampling our liberties, and in bringing the United States to the precipice of a police state.
According to other published reports, “The US National Security Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation have been harvesting data such as audio, video, photographs, emails, and documents from the internal servers of nine major technology companies, according to a leaked 41-slide security presentation obtained by The Washington Post and The Guardian.”
The report also said, “The program, codenamed PRISM, is considered highly classified and has never been made public before. The list of companies involved are the who's who of Silicon Valley: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple. Dropbox, though not yet an official part of the program, is said to be joining it soon. These companies have all willingly participated in the program, says the Post.”
See the report at: http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/6/4403868/nsa-fbi-mine-data-apple-google-facebook-microsoft-others-prism
So, let me ask readers a question: how is all of this different from what the Nazi government did in Germany, or what the communist government did in the former Soviet Union, or what the communist government is still doing in China? How is it different? It isn’t, and you and I both know it isn’t!
Well, now that the mainstream media has decided to actually cover the story, how will the American people react? How will pastors and Christians react?
For far too long the vast majority of Americans, including the vast majority of pastors and Christians, have turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to this burgeoning police state that began in earnest under G.W. Bush. Until now, when one tried to talk to their pastor about these things, he or she was dismissed as a “conspiracy nut.” And when one would try to educate his or her friends and co-workers, they would get the same response. How many times did we hear the retort, “This is America; it can’t happen here”?
Well, IT IS HAPPENING HERE; and this is America in name only.
Years ago on my website, I began compiling those few media reports that would surface regarding America’s plunge into a surveillance state. I invite readers to peruse these reports here: http://chuckbaldwinlive.com/Links/NewsLinks.aspx?Category=Emerging%20Police%20State
Again, the real question now is what are the American people going to do about it? With the exception of now-retired Congressman Ron Paul (and a few others), hardly anyone on Capitol Hill was interested in arresting this out-of-control federal government. What will Congress do now?
If Bill Clinton deserved to be impeached (and he did), Barack Obama certainly deserves to be impeached. And for that matter, G.W. Bush deserved to be impeached. Any President who deliberately and willfully tries to strip the American people of their Natural liberties by unleashing the spy agencies of the federal government against them should be impeached. They should also be tarred and feathered!
So, what is YOUR congressman or congresswoman doing? What is your senator doing? What are your State officials doing? What is YOUR pastor and church doing? What are YOU doing?
This issue transcends partisan politics. It should not matter to a tinker’s dam whether one is a Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, white or black, male or female, Christian or non-Christian, businessman or laborer. If we do not have the right to privacy, we have forever forfeited the right to call ourselves a free country.
Furthermore, shame on those corporations who, for the sake of money, are helping to turn our once free republic into a police state. Shame on them! And shame on those pastors and churches that have sat in their ivory palaces and refused to be the watchmen on the wall, the duty to which they have been called. Shame on them!
Yes, we DO have some problems here. The first problem is an arrogant, tyranny-prone, out-of-control federal government that, like a leviathan, is swallowing up our liberties. The second problem is the indifference, apathy, and greed of corporate America, the media (until lately), and America’s pastors and churches that refuse to do anything to resist it.
Make no mistake about it: what the federal government is doing by its wholesale spying on the American people is a blatant attack against our liberties, our homes, and our way of life. We (all of us) either fight off this insidious attack or forever are labeled as the cowards and traitors that we will have become. President John F. Kennedy is quoted as asking, “If not us, who? If not now, when?” Amen.
Chuck Baldwin is a syndicated columnist, radio broadcaster, author, and pastor dedicated to preserving the historic principles upon which America was founded. He was the 2008 Presidential candidate for the Constitution Party. He and his wife, Connie, have been married for 37 years and have 3 children and 7 grandchildren.