If people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress, and don’t trust federal judges, to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution with due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.
Well then you do have some problems, because I’m not about to trust the Executive (no matter who’s sitting in the chair) or Congress until and unless:
- Every American can see your college records and indeed all of your records prior to becoming President, including most-particularly who paid for your schooling, the grades you received, your application materials and any “special programs” you were there under, so we can determine if you actually earned what you claim to have done and who might have you in their back pocket.
- We have an explanation for your alleged Social Security Number and Selective Service registration, both of which appear to be facially bogus. Unlike you Barry Soetero, I remember very well going to the Post Office on my 18th Birthday and registering for Selective Service, even though I suck at taking orders and knew full well that being drafted would blow chunks. I did it anyway because that was my duty as a citizen of this country and despite my distrust of the government (especially today) if it actually became necessary for me to defend this nation nobody would have to draft me; I’d do what I had to do.
- We have a full and complete explanation of the “nice man” who our government appears to have walked around security in Europe with a bomb in his pants that was then used as justification for “rape scanners” in our airports. Oh, and said person apparently had no valid passport with him, which means that if he hadn’t been walked around security even if security sucked and would have missed the bomb he could not have gotten on the plane as the airlines will not board someone who has no valid passport for an international flight without an explicit government override. I am still waiting for the specific identification of the person or persons who did that and felony charges to be laid against them, since willfully violating airport security (especially with an actual bomb!) is a crime.
- We have a full and complete explanation for the fact that a “gentleman” in the OTS not only allowed a S&L to backdate deposits before the S&L crisis occurred, was identified and not prosecuted or even fired but that same individual then did the same thing at IndyMac bank and wasn’t prosecuted again, costing the FDIC millions of dollars and uninsured depositors their excess amounts on deposit when the bank subsequently failed. I remind you that bank fraud is a felony — and so is conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
- We have a full and complete explanation, along with felony indictments, for the myriad money laundering scams that various financial institutions have pulled during the period from 2000 onward, including while you have been in office, many of which have been fingered as benefiting either drug runners or terrorists. Again, money laundering is a crime as is conspiracy to commit money laundering.
- We have a full and complete explanation of “Fast And Furious”, a program which constituted the willful and intentional blind eye turned toward gun running for Mexican Drug Gangs and, given the fact that said transactions were on multiple occasions reported as suspicious to the BATFE and intentionally ignored appears to rise to the level of being a factual accomplice before and after the fact, and thus is facial evidence of hundreds of felonies committed by government standing alone.
- We have a full and complete explanation of a political group that claims to have hard proof that one or more individuals within the Executive, specifically within the IRS, gave tax information to an opposing political entity, an act that is a felony under US Federal Law.
There are literally dozens of additional outrages that have been documented in the press just over the last few years. I need no more than one of these outrages to be fully justified in not trusting the government.
But rather than one, I can name dozens.
You, Mr. President, wish to assert that we should “trust” that the government is engaged only in the use of data collection and analysis that is Constitutional — that is, collection and analysis that is limited to those persons outside the United States and therefore falls under foreign intelligence gathering that has existed for as long as governments have existed, or for which there is a warrant issued upon probable cause to the extent that it encompasses US citizens or persons within the United States.
However, the facts are that your administration has admitted to the blanket seizure of call data records for literally the entire nation and for which no plausible argument of foreign communication or probable cause can be raised. Irrespective of whether analysis is only performed upon such data at a later time upon probable cause The Fourth Amendment specifies that both search and seizure are prohibited; not in combination but separately, unless such requirements are met.
And yes, I’m well-aware that “pen registers” have been permitted under much-more-lax standards than interception of communication content, and that such requests are useful in criminal investigations. However, no controlling law or authority exists to the best of my knowledge covering blanket seizure of all call detail information without even the presence of reasonable and individualized suspicion, which is exactly what you’re doing.
Your administration has admitted to this act and one of the authors of the Patriot Act, upon which you rely for “authorization” (Mr. Sensenbrenner) has stated on the record that the act’s intent was never to make such an act lawful — probably because he knows damn well that it would be facially unconstitutional to do so.
The fact is that my odds of dying in a terrorist attack are 1 in 20 million — and that’s across a period of five years. Therefore, the odds annually are about 1 in 100 million — or less.
Even if I grant you the argument that discontinuing all of this crap would raise that risk by a factor of 10, which I do not incidentally, I am more likely to die by being mauled to death by a dog, struck by lightning, stung to death by bees, legally executed by the state, trampled by a horse (while riding), or sickened by chickenpox. I accept these risks.
I am more than ten times as likely to die by riding my bicycle, which I do nearly daily both for fitness and enjoyment. I accept this risk.
I am more than one hundred times as likely to die by contracting a gallstone, contracting hepatitis “C”, be murdered by a jackass with a gun, die from brain cancer, die from AIDS or die in an auto accident. I accept these risks.
I am more than one thousand times as likely to die from the flu or lung cancer (even though I don’t smoke.) I accept those risks too.
I accept the risk of death by terrorism. It is a minuscule risk to my continued existence. The facts are that despite the reason we call it “terrorism” is because the intent is to terrorize it’s damned ineffective in doing so among anyone who has bothered to remain awake in middle school math class because despite the few jackasses committing their evil deeds they have utterly failed to appear on the scoreboard in terms of the actual risk of doing me material harm or causing my death throughout my lifetime.
In other words, to the extent that such “investigations” and “actions” bear on civil liberties no such infringement is either appropriate or justified, purely on numerical analysis standing alone.
I therefore do not accept your bullshit request that I “trust the government” when in fact it is a publicly-known fact that the government has lied and sheltered those who commit felonies, both financial and violent, against the people on a repeated basis going back well before you were President and which, despite your claim that this crap would stop when you were elected, has turned out to be just another lie.