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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ain't No Need to Worry - by Sean Gonsalves

This week's phrase for Orwell's dust bin is: ''If you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about'' - as in, despite the illegality of the NSA's apparent ''data-mining'' spy program, ''if you're not doing anything wrong (illegal), you have nothing to worry about.''
 
The phrase, of course, begs the question: Who could possibly be opposed to such an important intelligence tool in the never-ending ''war on terror''? And if you don't think about it, it makes perfect sense.
 
Granted, it gives those pesky know-nothing peaceniks an opportunity to throw Benjamin Franklin's observation in the face of endless war hawks (''those who would give up liberty for security deserve neither''), but pay that no mind, my fellow citizen-soldier. Just remember, ''if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.'' Never mind that the whole idea silently denies that secret power breeds corruption and abuse or that it completely ignores history (i.e., government spying on terrorists like Martin Luther King).
 
''If you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.'' I mean, you can find people's Social Security numbers, medical records, photos, addresses and all manner of highly confidential material on the Internet. So what's the big deal if the government spies on us to make sure none of us are terrorists?
 
OK, sure, there's a huge difference between some stalker using sometimes questionable Internet information to target you and the most powerful government in the world run by a president who thinks his constitutional views are authoritative (except they don't apply to anyone in his administration). That doesn't matter when you realize how patriotic you're being when you simply trust the public pronouncements of the most secretive government in the history of the United States.
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