A.J. DiCintio
Liberty under assault
By A.J. DiCintio
July 27, 2013

Emma Lazarus' sonnet "The New Colossus" contains the following comments about the iconic statue designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and given to the United States by the citizens of France:

"Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame/Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand/A mighty woman with a torch."

That woman is, of course, Lady Liberty, represented as Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom holding her torch of enlightenment 305 feet above Liberty Island.

Today, however, the liberty about which the statue enlightens the world, the liberty described and encoded in the Declaration and Constitution, has come under a governmental assault which ought to sadden and frighten us all the more because it comports with Shakespeare's observation that "When sorrows come, they come not single spies/But in battalions."

Of those battalions, the frightfully vast NSA spy network has been much in the news.

However, an article by washingtonsblog.com reveals further disturbing details that give testimony to the insatiable quality of the power loving impulses that arise in the hearts of politicans.

First off, the blog reports that the shamelessly politicized Justice Department recently stunned a federal judge with the claim that NSA spying, even against American citizens, "cannot be challenged in a court of law."

Now, given the government's bluster about the FISA court's supervision of the NSA, that assertion reeks of the foul irony that is repulsive to ordinary humans but so deliciously appealing to politicians they can't wallow in it enough.

However, that offense against liberty and the constitutional demand for separation of powers doesn't stand alone; for with diabolical irony, the oxymoronically named department also told the judge it claims absolute authority over life, asserting that while "Americans targeted overseas do have rights," those rights cannot "be enforced in court either before or after the Americans [are] killed."

There are two key things to say about that insulting claim.

First, it reveals how politicians use eternal warfare as a pretext for dissolving all three of the rights Jefferson enumerated in the Declaration.

Second, it establishes the honest, good sense exhibited by the blog when, having listed other liberty-destroying constitutional assaults perpetrated by the current administration, it concludes that while Bush eroded the doctrine of separation of powers, "under Obama, it's gotten worse."

In truth, the assault on liberty has gotten infinitely worse under Barack Obama.

For evidence, nothing is more powerful than the fact that two of the most important officials in his administration have lied to Congress about issues of profound import. . .the Attorney General when he lied about what he knew and when he knew it regarding the "Fast and Furious" debacle and the Director of National Intelligence when he lied that the NSA does not "wittingly" spy and collect data on virtually every American.

As rotten and criminal as those behaviors by AG Holder and Director Clapper are, they are all the more pernicious because of the example they set. And as expected, others in the administration have taken their cue from them.

Most notable among those amoral political lemmings are top IRS officials who are fully aware that the agency has trampled upon the fundamental rights of ordinary citizens and their political organizations, criminally released private IRS data about those organizations to political opponents, and snooped into the files of a candidate running for the U.S. Senate.

Yet when summoned to testify, they brazenly and disgustingly displayed contempt for the legislative branch, thereby mocking the authority not just of Congress but the Constitution and the entire American public.

To apprise the public of just how maniacal the Obama administration has become with respect to endangering the liberty that has defined the United States of America since the Spirit of '76 breathed it into life, this piece closes with a focus on John Fund's "Obamacare's Branch of the NSA" posted at nationalreview.com.

With respect to the latest battalion aiming its force against liberty, Fund's essay employs the following quote from healthcare expert John Goodman to inform us about the "Data Hub," the enormously gigantic, liberty-threatening fright that will be part of Obamacare:

"The Obama administration wants something the federal government has never [had]: a computer system that connects HHS, the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration, Homeland Security and perhaps other departments."

Now, just that much information about a modern, liberty-poisoning cyber-tentacled Hydra created, nurtured, and housed in its unapproachable lair by the powerful monstrosity that is the federal government ought to send every freedom loving citizen pleading for a club-armed Hercules and torch-wielding Iolaus to slay it.

Sadly, however, that information is not enough, given that the mind of the politician is capable of infinite treachery.

Therefore, it is necessary to report this:

Fund explains that to enroll citizens in Obamacare, the federal government plans to hire thousands of "navigators" who will offer counseling to Obamacare enrollees regarding health insurance plans and government subsidies for paying premiums.

Then, he informs us that the navigators (1) will undergo no criminal background checks (2) are not required to have earned a high school diploma (3) may, as they carry out their duties, register people to vote (a la ACORN) and (4) will have access to the world of personal information contained in the Data Hub's vast network of cyberclouds.

As we ponder all the ways by which government is threatening our liberty, including under Obamacare, which permits a politician, bureaucrat, or "navigator" who is a felon, political activist, or de facto community organizer to have access to our SSN, our health records, our IRS records, and a universe of other information about us, we may think about how Lady Liberty, could she speak, would answer a question about what to do about the rapacious battalions the government is sending against us.

Pointing to history, she could speak volumes. However, she might simply remind us that in a democracy people get the kind of government and the amount of liberty they deserve.

© A.J. DiCintio


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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A.J. DiCintio

A.J. DiCintio posts regularly at RenewAmerica and YourNews.com. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.


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