McCarthy: strange to prioritize individual liberty?

National ReviewLibertarians such as Senators Lee and Rand Paul prioritize individual liberty and appear to doubt that Americans should be subjected to national-security surveillance at all — even though we have seen our share of jihadists and clandestine foreign agents who are American citizens. They seem to believe the government has not established that foreign intelligence surveillance authorities meaningfully improve our security — that all we can say for sure is that these authorities hold great potential for abuse, and have, in fact, occasioned abuse. That is a debate worth having. But the senators should not be forcing us to have it under the gun, at the risk of a windfall for alien enemies.

It's strange that prioritizing civil liberties of individuals is NOT Andrew McCarthy's first thought after Obama demonstrated repeatedly (starting with IRS abuse of the Tea Party in 2010-2012 and continuing to 2019 with SpyGate) that national security agencies cannot be trusted to resist politicization by at least one side of the debate. Well, perhaps strange is not the best word. McCarthy was only reluctantly brought around to the view that the FBI, CIA, et all, abused their power for political purposes. It's not really surprising that he would prefer to go back to his default position of trusting even agencies proven untrustworthy.

But the rest of us should refuse.

Elements of the FISA law have been abused. Trump has declared he will not sign a renewal of the law that does not contain reforms. We should stand with Trump and demand reforms to protect our rights. Yes, even if that costs some degree of security -- and the track record of the programs at issue here is pathetically bad. You can't find a needle in a haystack, but you can sure find a lot of straw that looks like a needle, especially if it associates with a political campaign you don't like.

This entry was published Wed Mar 11 01:34:56 CDT 2020 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2020-03-11 01:34:56.0. [Tweet]

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