Three-quarters of which the NSA can capture and record.
The above image was front and center on this morning’s Drudge Report. And it is telling, perhaps more so than even the folks at Drudge realize.
Such an image cannot be viewed in isolation. Bearing in mind Franklin’s warning about trading freedom for safety, one cannot but be most chagrined at the course of individual liberty during this present Administration, especially if you are not of a preferred color/gender/sexual orientation.
But the image above captures something deeper, more disturbing even than the predictable constriction of individual freedom by secular-progressives who desire a statist command-economy and all the forced equality trappings that go with it. What the image shows is a US General Officer, sworn to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, explaining how the subversion of that Constitution is helping protect us from bad people. He is, by transitive property, asserting rather unilaterally (and against the ruling of SCOTUS) that Americans have no reasonable right to privacy in their electronic communications.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Still ringing in my ears is the voice of Marine General James Cartwright, in full uniform, explaining how Constitutional limits on the authority of Title 10 forces represented “obstacles to mission accomplishment” which must be “overcome”, instead of those limits being bulwarks of liberty against the arbitrary and dangerous use of government/military power.
Here is where the political pliability of our senior uniformed leadership is far more than just disappointing, becoming instead a grave threat to our liberty and our Republic. The willingness of men like General Casey to insert the politically-motivated remarks about diversity in the immediate wake of a Muslim Army MAJOR killing 13 at Fort Hood (while shouting ‘Allahu Akbar!’), and CJCS Mike Mullen violating the most basic of discipline by offering his personal opinion unsolicited, while in uniform, regarding repeal of DADT, are of themselves deeply disappointing and corrosive to the credibility of both men, and that of senior leaders in general. Marine Commandant General Amos’ alleged actions in subverting the legal rights of Marines accused in high-profile misconduct is yet another example. But each is a symptom of a much larger problem.
The politicizing of our senior uniformed leadership is not a new phenomenon, but what is a far more alarming and grave situation is the willingness of these senior officers to set aside their oath to the Constitution and to the tenets of their offices in order to comply with and curry favor from their political bosses. Marty Dempsey’s shameful conduct in criticizing lawful free speech of a Veterans’ group was compounded immeasurably by his despicable actions in the Benghazi incident. He was quick to call a private American citizen and urge that citizen to refrain from lawful free expression, and did so in the execution of his office. Not only is that a blatant violation of the Constitution he is sworn to support and defend, but it was patently dishonest. Even before Dempsey made that call, he knew that his premise, the supposed video that sparked a spontaneous protest at the Consulate, was a lie. And he did it anyway, selling his soul and what shreds were left of his honor for his political masters. Worse, it seems General Dempsey was conspicuously derelict in allowing someone with virtually no Constitutional authority (Valerie Jarrett) to make decisions regarding deployment of military forces, when she likely issued the stand-down order contributing to the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and three brave Americans, and the humiliation of the United States internationally.
The Obama Administration has amply demonstrated its willingness, even eagerness, to identify political opposition as national enemies. The FBI identification of white Veterans who believe in small government and the Second Amendment as possible “domestic terrorists” happened not long after Obama entered the White House. Military exercises in which law-abiding political movements are posited as violent enemies of the state have been conducted on more than one occasion. In fact, the replacing of “Islamic extremist” with “violent extremist” has very intentionally allowed the far-left to demonize gun owners and believers in the right to keep and bear arms with that very label, “violent extremists”. The media, ideally a check to such detestable action on the part of government and its elected officials, has been all too eager and complicit in the efforts to demonize.
Not long following the Obama Administration’s Alinsky-esque demonizing of those who disagree with the socialist-progressive mantra has come the wielding of the apparatus of government to punish and persecute political opponents, and to cajole and threaten others into compliance and cooperation. The IRS scandal, in the wake of the Benghazi fabrications, is indicative of both the ruthless nature of this Administration and the dangers of unchecked government authority. Sibelius’ extorting of hundreds of millions of dollars for the support of Obamacare is another. The NSA surveillance revelations, first revealed by Edward Snowden, are unsurprisingly far more serious than we had been led to believe.
Our senior Officers, those who swore the oath to support and protect the Constitution of the Unites States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, have become politically pliable sycophants who follow unquestioningly the direction of their political masters. There may come a time when these senior Officers are faced with the moral dilemma of following orders from senior civilian (and other military) officials they know are in contravention of the law and our Constitution, or standing firm on their oath and honor to uphold that Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Alas, it is all too predictable which choice so many of them will make.
The men who held those posts once stood as the guardians of freedom, brave men whose moral and physical courage were to be admired. Not perfect, even sometimes badly flawed, but loyal to our Constitution and the oaths they swore. Those days, and those men, are gone. At the top of this post is photographic evidence. One more critical protection of our precious liberties has been dismantled, and replaced by yet more instruments of a dangerous Administration to increase and consolidate its hold on power. Such is the apparatus of rulers of the people, rather than government by the people. Should we lose our Republic, posterity can point to this time, and to these men, as the true beginning of the end. The shame and disgrace of those in uniform who helped it along will be eternal. And those they so desperately wanted to please will still despise and scorn them.