News and Tribune

Columns

June 21, 2013

NASH: Is it worth it?

(Continued)

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures. It requires probable cause before a warrant is issued. It has a requirement that a search warrant must be accompanied by an oath of affirmation of specifically what and who is to be searched. The NSA seems to be on a fishing expedition an end around of exactly what the framers had intended.

Some people argue that as long as you are doing nothing wrong you should have nothing to worry about. Others say that as soon as you start to give up just a little bit of your freedom it becomes easier and easier each time they take away something else.    

President Obama has defended the practice and insists that the NSA is not sitting around listening to our telephone calls. Former Vice President Dick Cheney believes that the Sept. 11 terror attacks may have been prevented if such monitoring practices had been in place in 2001. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell last week drew the ire of the Louisville Tea Party who called him a hypocrite for defending the NSA surveillance. When those three people agree that something is a good plan I really get confused.

 Over the next few weeks and months I am sure that we will learn more about the NSA surveillance program. We will hear how much safer we are and we will decide for ourselves if the intrusion into our lives is worth the security. While some members of Congress say they were fully aware of what was going on, others have insisted that there needs to be hearings to figure out exactly what is going on.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Could Franklin ever have imagined a world with the dangers that we face today? Could he have possibly foreseen an enemy’s ability to fly a missile into a skyscraper killing nearly 3,000 people. Could he have envisioned a rogue group placing a dirty bomb near Times Square with a blast radius that encompassed several million people.

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