This blunt approach is not the product of an informed, open, or deliberative process.
How whoever wrote that managed to do so without choking on the cognitive dissonance, I don’t know.
On the bright side, we’ll soon have a full record of where all our congressmen stand when confronted with, well, the worst attack of the Republic and the Constitution that I can think of in my lifetime.
James Madison is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution”, and was a key figure both in drafting the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Sometimes he gets quoted on T-shirts. A prescient quote of his:
If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), one of the few Senators on the Senate Intelligence Committee that has been privy to some of these programs (and one of the even fewer, Mark Udall (D-CO) is the only one I can think of, who seems to give a shit) recently also quoted Madison. His remarks on domestic surveillance and the PATRIOT Act are well worth the watch/listen. He ends with this:
At this point in the speech I would usually conclude with the quote from Ben Franklin about giving up liberty for security and not deserving either, but I thought a different founding father might be more fitting today. James Madison, the father of our constitution, said that the the accumulation of executive, judicial and legislative powers into the hands of any faction is the very definition of tyranny. He then went on to assure the nation that the Constitution protected us from that fate. So, my question to you is: by allowing the executive to secretly follow a secret interpretation of the law under the supervision of a secret, non-adversarial court and occasional secret congressional hearings, how close are we coming to James Madison’s “very definition of tyranny”? I believe we are allowing our country to drift a lot closer than we should, and if we don’t take this opportunity to change course now, we will all live to regret it.
Unfortunately, it seems too few perceive that secret laws, with secret interpretations by secret courts, enforced secretly, and kept secret with extreme prejudice coupled with an unchecked, massively increased/invasive security apparatus and unbounded total surveillance (saved forever) might be an existential threat to a free society.
UPDATE: Votes here: