Rick Jensen: Fighting back against the NSA
While many Americans shake their heads at the feckless backsliding of our current congressional Republican leadership, legislators in a handful of states across this nation are bravely taking a stand against the National Security Agency, a behemoth of unconstitutional breaches of privacy currently recording and logging every one of your calls, emails, text messages and online chats without warrants.
Ironically, it was just as House Speaker John Boehner surrendered the future of your children and grandchildren to the Democrats’ push for more spending, more debt and no fiscal responsibility that Maryland State Delegate Mike Smigiel was working a bill to coerce President Obama’s NSA into obeying the U.S Constitution.
The bill specifically forbids the state of Maryland to provide water, electricity or any other services until the NSA stops warrantless spying on Americans.
Like many legislative agendas, this one is promoted by a national group.
The Tenth Amendment Center is pressing for federal agency obedience to the Constitution.
While a couple of have bills with bipartisan support, the Maryland legislation has solely Republican support.
I asked Smigiel if he fears reprisals from the federal government and he said everyone has made mistakes in their lives, but he’s in office to do what’s right, not be fearful of reprisal.
If any officials at the spy agency decide to use secret information about him to intimidate him, so be it.
The legislative concept is simple: no agency, political subdivision or corporation providing services may provide any assets, services, participation or assistance in any form “with any federal agency which claims the power, or with any federal law, rule, regulation, order which purports to authorize, the collection of electronic data or metadata of any person(s) pursuant to any action not based on a warrant that particularly describes the person(s), place(s) and thing(s) to be searched or seized.”
Utilities that provide water, electricity, etc. would be banned under penalty of state law from doing business with the NSA until the agency abides by the constitution.
This is not unlike the federal government withholding funds from states that don’t abide by interstate highway speed limits or withholding education funds from school districts that refuse to abide by the federal government’s rules for public education, only in reverse.
There is historical support for this type of effort from Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
Both articulated opposing unjustifiable actions of the federal government by protest and noncompliance.
Naturally, the federal government is going to push back.
This time, the NSA’s truncheon is the Democratic Party in Maryland. A couple of Republicans have unexpectedly removed their support of the bill, telling Smigiel they’ve received “many calls.”
Who made these calls and how did the callers scare off these supporters?
Smigiel says he doesn’t know.
He does know that Rep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger, the powerful Democrat who reportedly entered Congress by what the Washington Post describes as “a crazy-quilt confection (redistricting) drawn for the express purpose of ousting the incumbent at the time,” can make the legislation “disappear into a committee leader’s desk drawer” with a phone call to the Governor.
Here’s what we know: the NSA is seriously violating the Constitution by spying on all Americans without warrants.
The Democratic President is aiding and abetting this activity by directing Congress to find a way for the collection to be stored by a third party instead of the NSA when the collection itself is the violation.
Republicans are for some reason too frightened to prosecute Gen. Keith Alexander for lying to Congress under oath. It’s on YouTube.
Democrats are fighting efforts to limit this government’s intrusion into your life.
When Republican George W. Bush was President, liberals took to the streets by the thousands and to blogs and newspapers by the tens of thousands to protest the policy of spying on Americans’ communications with foreigners.
Now, the Democratic Party President encourages the collection of all Americans’ communications and the streets are calm, outraged liberals are few.
Here’s what we don’t know:
Rick Jenson can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.