The Fourth Amendment;
The right of the people to be secure ine 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 person or things to be seized.
After 9/11 fear permeated American life. We were an unsure people who were perplexed by an unwarranted attack on innocent people. The rest of the world had been dealing with this for quite some time, as have we at out foreign interests. After 9/11 many were willing to sacrifice civil liberties to help ensure our safety. The Bush/Cheney regime skirted moral authority and we became a preemptive strike country. Attack and ask questions later. The Patriot Act was pushed through with tremendous support from both sides if the aisle.
In doing so we were opened to a moral dilemma. How far is to far? The FISA Court, which was created in 1978, was given a kind of moral authority. It was up to this court to determine when our government was overstepping its authority. They determined that the so called data mining was legal. By determining that they also established how far these “spying” operations could go.
If the government determined something was wrong and needed to go through the data, they would have to go to court to get clearance. It is not as if they can go right in there and take what they want. Of course people will jump to conclusions to establish President Obama as a bad guy. The truth of the matter is that none of this can happen without the approval of the FISA Court. Which covers the executive and judicial branches.
Now for the legislative branch. The Senators, Republican and Democrat alike were informed. Every 3 months they had to go before the FISA Court to get the order aporoved. They had hearings for all Republicans and Democrats to come in and ask questions. The Senators complain that they were not allowed to talk to anyone who did not have clearance. That is how s TOP SECRET clearance works. You are told TOP SECRET information and you are not allowed to tell anyone else. If it concerned them so much why didn’t they try to learn more about the subject or ask more questions. This is about Senators who knes about something and did nothing to stop it, although then knew the American people wouldn’t like it. Now they are covering their tails.
The fact of the matter is this. It is Constitutionally legal. All branches of government knew about it. Why are American people upset? If you are not doing anything criminal you have nothing to worry about. This is the tradeoff our government chose to make and we chose to live with. It has gone on for 7 years and now it gets leaked. It seems as if the Republican scandal machine is in hyperdrive trying to find anything that sticks.