Ever since the story broke that the NSA has been collecting data on Americans, dozens of political figures have come out criticizing the program. But some have also come forward and defended this blatant attack on the Constitution; specifically the Fourth Amendment. Senator Lindsay Graham is one of those who has sided with the dark side so to speak.
Not only has he sided with Obama and the NSA, but he has also made some comments that bring into question whether he feels any alarm at what the NSA is doing. For you, the reality that the NSA has been participating in a massive surveillance program freaked you out. But why not Graham?
I personally do not know. Maybe it’s because he’s has too much faith in the government bureaucracy. Who knows? But what I do know is that his recent comments are cause for concern. In response to the NSA’s collection of Verizon’s telephone calls over a three month basis, Senator Graham said that,
I’m a Verizon customer. I don’t mind Verizon turning over records to the government if the government is going to make sure that they try to match up a known terrorist phone with somebody in the United States. I don’t think you’re talking to the terrorists. I know you’re not. I know I’m not. So we don’t have anything to worry about.
Apparently, Lindsey has a great deal of faith in the US government. Not only is he willing to have a surveillance group keep a record of his phone calls, but he also believes that if you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear. Even though the government can change the definition of a terrorist at any moment, Graham doesn’t seem to find a problem with what he said.
He also doesn’t have a problem if the NSA suddenly decided to start censoring your email. In an interview on Capital Hill, Senator Graham made the comparison between censoring mail from the war zone during World War II and censoring email today to help protect national security.
In World War II, the mentality of the public was that our whole way of life was at risk, we’re all in. We censored the mail. When you wrote a letter overseas, it got censored. When a letter was written back from the battlefield to home, they looked at what was in the letter to make sure they were not tipping off the enemy. If I thought censoring the mail was necessary, I would suggest it, but I don’t think it is.
But what really got the cake, during the interview, was that Lindsay described the First Amendment as sacred, yet, stated that it has “its limits.” The fact that he even suggested censoring email makes it hard to believe that he holds the First Amendment in such high regard. The First Amendment has no limit. Limits are what end up being its downfall.
If Lindsey’s sole argument for allowing the NSA to collect millions of phone calls, and potentially billions of emails is that if you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear then he’s in for a wakeup call. The government could change the definition of a terrorist anytime they want. One day you’re considered innocent, and the next day posting anti-Obama comments on a website is terrorism.
The main barrier against that happening is the Constitution; specifically the First and Fourth Amendment. Sadly, Lindsey Graham doesn’t have much respect for either one. His statements reflect more of a third world despot than a Constitution-loving Congressman. And in a surveillance state he’ll be the first one to shackle the chains on you in the name of security and safety.