Archive for September, 2014

Michael Chertoff’s Brave New World

On the thirteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, various media outlets revisited the events of that fateful day, which caused me to wonder: how long it will be before 9/11 becomes a footnote in American history. After all, most of this year’s incoming college freshmen were entering kindergarten at the time the World Trade Center came tumbling down.

Nonetheless, it is the adults that I am most concerned about. The first group is the Obama administration, which seems hell bent on fulfilling George Orwell’s 1984 prophecy.  Americans are fortunate that the Constitution will force this group of misfits from power in the early days of 2017. Another troubling group is the cabal of neo-cons who have convinced Americans to surrender much of their privacy in the name of security.

Michael Chertoff is a member of the latter group. As a guest on Fox News last evening, Chertoff used the anniversary of 9/11 to chastise lawmakers’ efforts to marginalize the NSA’s Orwellian collection of Americans’ electronic data.

Now, Mr. Chertoff, a high-profile former prosecutor instrumental in New York’s Mafia crackdown, should know better. He is keenly aware that 99.999 percent of Americans using cellular telephones and the Internet have absolutely no relationship to terrorism.  Mr. Chertoff must know that government funded surveillance cameras at intersections in Sauk City, Wisconsin — a town with a population of 3,410 — will never capture an image of a plotting terrorist.  Still, Chertoff, Dick Cheney, President Obama, Janet Napolitano, et al, have spent billions and billions of dollars creating an American surveillance state in venues as small as Sauk City.  In the process, many of their special interest connections at corporations, such as Lockheed Martin, have received billion dollar government contracts paid for with borrowed money from China and quantitative easing.

And Michael Chertoff, Charles Krauthammer, Mark Belling, and the judges on the FISA courts, know full well that the NSA charter prohibits that agency from collecting information from American citizens while on U.S. soil. They further are aware that the Fourth Amendment requires warrants and court orders for searches to cite specific crimes that that have been or might be committed by specific persons before a search is authorized; yet they trample on the Constitution whenever it does not fit their political narrative.  When asked if the seizure of virtually every Americans’ cellular telephone and Internet data has stopped a single terrorist attack, members of both of the aforementioned groups refuse to answer, hiding behind national security concerns.  By refusing to answer, the members of these two groups are simply telling the public to shut-up, go away, and pay your taxes, as transparency is no longer needed in this republic.  Instead, American taxpayers should blindly trust the government, and leave our freedoms in the ever crushing grasp of the rubberstamps at the FISA courts, where an adversarial argument is NEVER heard.

Unlike this year’s incoming college freshmen class, I grew-up in an era when the United States was considered the land of the free and the home of the brave. Today’s youth have come of age in at a time when our nation is slouching, at light speed, towards China.  It is unfortunate these young people only know this nation as the land of the regulated and the home of the watched.

Class of 2018: it’s a brave new world out there.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

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© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2014