The Quaint, Outdated 4th Amendment
January 17, 2008
On Monday, Raw Story published an article describing some absolutely astounding comments made by National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell in an interview with The New Yorker (not available on-line). The fact that these comments have not been on the front page of every newspaper in the country and led every teevee newscast, and that there have not been loud calls for McConnell to be tarred, feathered, thrown in the back of a fucking wheelbarrow, and dumped headfirst into a fetid swamp outside of DC tells you exactly how far we have descended into sanctioned lawlessness in this country.
According to the New Yorker article, Ed Giorgio, an aide to McConnell, described a new plan for Internet surveillance that “would mean giving the government the authority to examine the content of any e-mail, file transfer, or Web search” (emphasis added). No warrants, no probable cause, no particularized suspicion, no nuttin’.
Could there be any proposal more outlandishly opposed to every single fucking legal and constitutional principle this nation was founded on? This is the kind of shit that King George (the one from England, not ours) was pulling that led to the American motherfucking Revolution, fer chrissakes!
Now, it’s one thing for a government spook like McConnell to propose this kind of whackadoodle insanity. He’s a spook, and it’s understandable that he’d push the legal and constitutional limits with this kind of thing. The Framers of our Constitution understood that Executive branch officials would attempt to aggrandize their own powers over citizens at the expense of the rule of law, as established by the Legislature and enforced by the Judiciary.
They also expected that a vigorous, free press would serve a key role in cabining government power, revealing overreaching by the Executive and motivating passionate resistance by the people and their proxy, the Legislature. Where’s the fucking outrage?
I did not hear a single goddamn word about this on any of the teevee “morning news” shows. I did see an interview of Rudy “Totally Out My Fucking Mind” Giuliani standing in front of a fire truck. (And did the pathetic quisling interviewing him ask him about the fact that he is running on an association with “heroes” such as firemen, but the real firemen of NYC actually despise Giuliani? Of course not.)
And the Legislature? Are you fucking kidding me? You might think that the Oversight and Government Reform Committee of the House of Representatives would have some interest in a government plan to, like, you know, eviscerate the Fourth Fucking Amendment of the United States Consitution. Sadly, no. They are too busy sniffing the jockstraps of baseball players while pretending to “root out” performance-enhancing drugs from the “national pastime”.
C’mon people!! This wackadoodle insane lunatic McConnell is talking about wholesale nationwide surveillance of the Internet communications of every single American citizen without any warrant, probable cause, or particularized suspicion of any kind. This is exactly the kind of dragnet the Fourth Amendment is explicitly designed to outlaw.
(And don’t even get me started on the fact that McConnell’s plan is going to generate vast government contracts for his cronies in the telecom industry. Anybody want to cover my $1,000 bet that the day after the inauguration of a Democratic President (god, let’s hope so), McConnell goes right back to a cushy telecom job/consultancy? I didn’t think so.)
McConnell’s henchman Giorgio also said, “We have a saying in this business: ‘Privacy and security are a zero-sum game.’” It is mind-shattering that a high-level government official, who I guess theoretically should be among the smartest people around, can be so absurdly ignorant of the history of his own fucking country, that he would think that this kind of fulminating bullshit would be considered a reasonable justification for crinkling up the Constitution and using it to wipe his nasty stinking shit-stained ass crack. Has this fermented droplet of cockdribble never heard of Benjamin Fucking Franklin? (You know the “liberty…security…neither” dude?)
This country is in big fucking trouble when people like McConnell and his henchmen are taken to be “serious intelligence experts”, and not pathetic laughingstocks unsuited even for the post of Tyson’s Corner village dogcatcher.