Saturday, June 29, 2013


What's both fascinating and sad about the state of U.S. journalism is that when presented with an amazing story- something people actually care about and about which they want in depth analysis- the media will stray into irrelevant sidelines. So it is that hours of news coverage about the NSA data mining and e-mail intercepting abuses tell you all about Edward Snowden's pole dancing girlfriend, his travelogue from Hong Kong, China to the Moscow airport, and debate whether or not the journalist who reported on the story- Glenn Greenwald, formerly of Salon, now writing for the U.K. Guardian- is a traitor who should be prosecuted. So where's the reporting on the secret FISA court in the bowels of the Justice Department that has secret hearings that issues secret orders to tap people's phones and read their e-mails-- orders that are never revealed to the public or even to the victims of their snooping?

The analogy that comes to mind is that if a man came to your office, told you that your house was on fire, and that you needed to call the fire department and rush home to see to your property, would you ignore his message and waste your time investigating whether that man was having an affair with his neighbor's wife? Who cares about the messenger who tells you your home is burning to the ground? Your only goal should be to put out the fire and to try to make sure it doesn't start up again.

So, media: do your job. Tell us why we need a secret court with secret hearings and secret orders to invade our privacy. Tell us why our phone carriers are forbidden under threat of criminal prosecution from telling us that they are turning over our records to the government. Tell us what our Constitutional rights are in the year 2013 when it comes to preventing the government from massively intruding into our lives. Remind the American people that two hundred twenty two years ago, in 1791, the States ratified the Bill of Rights, including this rather important provision, the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution:

"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."


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