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Domestic Spying Seriously Threatening Our National Identity

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History has taught us that absolute power corrupts absolutely. The recent spate of revelations of domestic spying involving various governmental agencies is alarming and represents a serious threat to the idea of America as a land that cherishes and promotes freedom and liberty as valuable national ideals to be protected and preserved.

Those individuals who seem to be in favor of such spying activity need to ask themselves if they've given any thought to the fact that hundreds of thousands of their countrymen have paid the ultimate price to protect and preserve our freedoms guaranteed to us under our Constitution. It is essential that the sanctity of our Constitution not be subverted in order to protect us from tyranny in its many guises. And yet so many seem so willing to so easily and quickly surrender their constitutional rights! Their silence on this subject is deafening and disheartening. All Americans should be outraged with this serious violation of our Constitutional protections!

In my view and in the view of many of my countrymen, the Bush Administration has exceeded its authority and has gone too far in their overzealous efforts to prosecute the war on terror. It only serves to change the face and dynamic of our country in ways that are abhorrent to freedom loving people.

Our system of checks and balances, which has served us well since our country's birth, includes the absolute necessity of having a free and independent press. It plays an essential role in keeping all of the players honest and our system free and open. This system seems to have gone awry in the Bush administration's quest to assimilate, consolidate and concentrate an unprecedented amount of power in the Executive branch. Of course, this accumulation of power comes at the expense of the legislative and judicial branches. (Whatever happened to the concept of three separate but equal branches?!) This is simply too high a price to pay for patriotic Americans.

Why are people so willing to quickly surrender their freedoms for the sake of what essentially amounts to an infinite, unending war on terrorism? Isn't it understood that collectively we are being asked to permanently sacrifice our freedoms? It is useful and imperative that we put this "War on Terror" into some kind of reasonable context. Important questions need to be asked so that we don't become the unwitting victims of our own efforts to protect our country and our way of life from our enemies. Important questions need to be asked in order to put the "War on Terror" into proper perspective: "What are the conditions of victory in this War on Terror? How do you determine when this war has been won? Who makes that determination? Are we sacrificing our national identity in our quest to prosecute this seemingly unbounded war?" These are all critical and necessary questions that need to be asked in framing this war in a national context. It is an important dialogue that needs to take place. Communications must remain free and open. It is also important that all points of view be freely given a public airing as dissent and debate have always played a pivotal role in protecting and preserving a healthy democracy.

If we are not vigilant, we will awaken some day soon to find that the net result of all of this domestic, anti-terrorist activity has only served to create an all-powerful, secretive, Soviet-style central government. We will have lost this war and not from enemies outside our borders but more accurately from those proponents within our own borders who argue for more security. Do we really want "totalitarianism-lite" and the real possibility of tyranny and dictatorship that are its inevitable result? All of our elected officials have taken a solemn oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. Apparently, it is more solemn to some than to others.

As loyal and patriotic Americans, it is our essential duty to ensure that these Constitutional guarantees remain in full force. For it is that document and that document alone that defines who we are as a people and a country. Without that document, and the spirit that it represents, we are nothing but a group of several hundred million people inhabiting a piece of the North American continent. But with that document guiding our thoughts and actions, we are AMERICANS!

Protect liberty. Contact your congressmen and insist that they take action against this outrageous spying program. It is an alarming and deeply disturbing assault on the essential freedoms and system of government that have served us so well since our nation's infancy when our Founding Fathers had the wisdom, intelligence and spiritual insight to codify that wonderful document into our nation's identity -- our political DNA.
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Mike Browne was born and educated in the United States. Areas of deep personal interest include politics, news media and reporting, economics, social justice, and disciplines affecting both personal and spiritual growth.
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