The fourth amendment to the Constitution is supposed to guarantee “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”. Unless of course you receive a national security letter, or you would like to go somewhere by flying and now you don’t even have to be flying to have random security searches conducted by the TSA. But why is this okay?
Most Americans seem to be okay with this, as it “protects” our national security and why would you protest it unless you have something to hide or are guilty of something. The TSA does pat-down searches on kids, make the elderly and disabled go through humiliating and horrifying experiences, and somehow things have ended up missing after they have gone through peoples’ luggage. What the TSA actually does is called security theater, a term coined by security expert Bruce Schneir. They are planning, “protecting”, and guarding against threat that will in all likelihood, not actually happen because such ridiculously elaborate plans and plots only happen in the movies or books.
The PATRIOT Act and the Department of Homeland Security were pushed through after 9/11 while the people of the United States still had fresh memories of what happened that fateful Tuesday morning and were fine with anything that would make them feel safer from terrorism. And more recently, the NSA has made national and global headlines with their PRISM program, which they use to “protect” the national security of the United States and collect massive amounts of data and logs on what is probably the majority of American citizens. The PRISM program started in 2007 but was not made known until a contractor for the NSA, Edward Snowden leaked information that it existed, what it did, and some of the companies that were involved in it. Senators John McCain of Arizona and Dianne Feinstein California both supported the PRISM program in statements made after its disclosure to the public by Snowden and brought up the fact that the program is legal and made possible by the PATRIOT Act.
So why do American still think it the PRISM program, the PATRIOT Act, the TSA, and the DHS are okay and are perfectly fine with allowing their rights to be violated by these abominations to the principles that the United States was founded on. There is even a secret court! While many of the American public have let fear control what they think is okay and not okay, many also want to see programs and government agencies like aforementioned eliminated and gotten rid of, but feel like they are fighting an uphill battle on a road that never ends and therefore don’t act because it would be pointless. Is it a
hopeless fight? Could programs and agencies that violate the American spirit and the Constitution be shuttered? The answer is YES, as so eloquently stated in the Declaration of Independence, that “when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security”. Is that what should be done at this point at time? NO, absolutely not. But it will come to that if Americans do not stand up now and use every form of recourse such as the court system, books, television, the Internet, and social media. This is what needs to happen America. Get talking, and then put those thoughts and ideas to action to protect the America that those 56 men signed their lives away for, and the many others who have fought and died for the freedom that the country enjoys.
Follow Saudi Young on Twitter @SauYou.