Today I watched the PBS Frontline Documentary “United States of Secrets.” I found it at my local library, and I bet it is at yours as well. I recommend you watch it. It is a detailed history of how America ended up where its government is now spying on its citizens.
The threat of follow-on attacks after 9-11 was sufficient for the executive branch under Bush/Cheney to implement an unprecedented program of domestic spying. They lied about it and tried to cover it up, and they tried to threaten anyone who dared to alert the citizens of what our government was up to. Now we know the truth, but we don’t seem to care enough to do anything about it.
What came through loud and clear to me through this program was that it is naive of us to expect our leaders to fight against this move unless their constituents are demanding change. No elected leader can afford to stop a program when the threat of “causing” harm or death to Americans hangs over them if they try.
The electorate doesn’t care much about Constitutional details when planes fly into a buildings, Ebola lands on our soil, or ISIS jerks chop off the heads of Americans on YouTube.
Any President or member of Congress who fights to prevent the U.S. government from conducting unconstitutional activity in the name of national security will be blamed for allowing the next attack, so they cannot afford to do it. If we don’t want to be spied on by our own government, then we’re going to have to force our representatives to pass specific laws against it.