This weekend will determine whether or not the metadata collection of the Patriot Act will be renewed. I do not wish to speak to this as any kind of insider, for I clearly am not. Rather I think we all ought to step back and take a look at this from fifty yards away. Let us take an honest look at our corruptocracy, and let us do it from downwind. Let us do this having read the arguments that our Founders appealed to when they first established our liberties.
Defenders of metadata collection say that it is necessary in order to protect our liberty from terrorists, and besides, no evidence exists that such collections have ever been abused in any way.
The federal government is like some porch climbing burglar who thinks we are crazy to be worried about them pilfering the yellow house on the corner because why? Because all the controversy concerns the brown house and the red house on either side. We haven’t even thought about the yellow house.
So the metadata has not yet been abused? Okay, what has been? Let us start with the IRS. No one should be able to vote with a straight face on extending metadata collection unless and until all those who participated in the IRS abuse of power against conservative organizations are in jail. Are they in jail? Is anybody in jail? Is that even a possibility? What would happen to those who abuse power in Area X, were it to happen? The same thing would happen as happened to those who abused power in Area Y. What will happen to the NSA equivalent of Lois Lerner?
And then there were those NSA employees who spied on their “love interests.” Anybody remember that? Some of them lost their jobs. Some? And keep in mind that they lost their jobs for going rogue, spying in their own interests and on their own initiative. What would happen if the Attorney General were an old-time Clinton crony, and was requiring that the executive director of Tea Party Liberty Tree Recover Our Freedoms PAC have some of his affairs looked into? Right. Now the NSA employee would lose his job if he doesn’t abuse the system.
Think of this problem another way. Hillary is running for president, and this is difficult for her to do in those hip waders she needs for walking upstream in that river of corruption. No telling what she is doing out there in the middle of that stream because the trout have to all be dead by now. Saudi money is pretty hard on the trout.
The Clintons are shameless. They are grandmasters of brazening it out. They are venal, shady, rotten, and as crooked as a dog’s hind leg. They are on the take, and everybody knows it. They are on the take to the tune of millions, and approximately half the electorate cares. If you are not part of the solution — as the Clintons are not — then there is always good money to be made in prolonging the problem.
So if we extend these provisions of the Patriot Act now, who might be in charge of the program in a couple years? Hillary. And if she determined to abuse that information, what would happen to her? The answer is “whatever is happening to her right now.” Nothing. If she were to be guilty of seventeen civil liberties grotesqueries in a row, who would defend her? Everybody who is defending her now. What are the odds that she might get away with it? Judging from her front runner juggernaut status DESPITE her private email, wiped server, State Department deals with Clinton Foundation donors, maker-of-video-having-nothing-to-do-with-Benghazi-spending-a-year-in-the-slammer-anyhow, etc. down the street and around the corner, any one of which exploits would have put any Republican to the right of Romney in jail, I would say the chances of her getting away with it would be pretty darn solid.
Don’t you get it? Even if such a program could be defended in a hypothetically virtuous republic, we are not that republic. We are ruled by a corrupt elite, and they want a mountain of our information, and they promise that they will be oh so responsible with it. Not like those other times.
And, I would hasten to add, we are not even close to being that kind of republic. On top of that, the way you would identify such a virtuous republic would be by how quickly everyone in that republic recoiled from the idea of the feds having all that info. And James Madison just blinked and stared at me for a moment. “You’re joking me, right?”