The First Step: Trading Liberty for Safety

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. – Benjamin Franklin

by Joe Keck

“My concern has always been not that we shouldn’t do intelligence gathering to prevent terrorism, but rather are we setting up a system of checks and balances? So, on this telephone program, you’ve got a federal court with independent federal judges overseeing the entire program.”

benfranklinSo said our Commander in Chief to Charlie Rose in a 45 minute PBS interview Monday night regarding the intrusive Federal claws of the Government probe on American citizens. Oh no, no need to worry. The Government has it all in control, nothing to see here, move along, people.

“And you’ve got Congress overseeing the program,” Obama assured us, “not just the intelligence committee and not just the judiciary committee — but all of Congress had available to it before the last re-authorization exactly how this program works.”

The Founders didn’t envision a nation where there’s this group of people that have all the power and simply give us their sincere promise to not abuse it . . . no, really, we promise. Really, we do. Pinky promise.

You see, that’s the problem. The Left, be it Democrat or Republican, does not see a big, powerful, omnipotent State as dangerous. They seem to think that all that is needed is to make sure those in leadership ‘promise’ and all will be safe for we mere serfs. The Framers of this Constitutional Republic didn’t think so.

As the necessity for The Bill of Rights proves.

How about this exchange:

Charlie Rose: So I hear you saying, I have no problem with what NSA has been doing.

Barack Obama: Well, let me — let me finish, because I don’t. So, what happens is that the FBI — if, in fact, it now wants to get content; if, in fact, it wants to start tapping that phone — it’s got to go to the FISA court with probable cause and ask for a warrant.

Charlie Rose: But has FISA court turned down any request?

Barack Obama: The — because — the — first of all, Charlie, the number of requests are surprisingly small… number one. Number two, folks don’t go with a query unless they’ve got a pretty good suspicion.

Again, just leave it to us. We’ll make sure we’re not doing anything wrong. I suppose, given that concept, we no longer need the Constitution. I mean, after all, if the Government is making sure it isn’t a danger to the underlings, then those darn founding documents are obviated. Superfluous. No need to have restrictions such as those put on the State a little over 200 years ago, because the Government won’t be doing anything untoward, anyway.

It promises, remember?

“…They’ll say … when you start looking at metadata, even if you don’t know the names, you can match it up … and you can yield all this information. All of that is true, except for the fact that for the government, under the program right now, to do that it would be illegal. We would not be allowed to do that.”

See there? They would not be allowed to do that.

Hitler wasn’t ‘allowed’ to murder 14 million Christians and Jews, either.

Because if they actually did do that, then . . . well now, I’ll tell ya’ . . . we just won’t be havin’ none of that, no sir’ee bob!

Keeping up with the President, John Boehner, REPUBLICAN Speaker of the House, said,

“The president outlined last week that these are important national security programs to help keep Americans safe, and give us tools to fight the terrorist threat that we face.”

Hell yes, Mr. Speaker. If just one life is saved at the expense of our Constitutional rights, then it’s all been worth it.

You go girl.

Yes. This is the first step. Don’t be surprised if the giant leap that is sure to follow isn’t so giant.

About the Author

Joe Keck is a writer of horror, thriller, suspense, and other fiction, some poetry and music, with the occasional op-ed piece on current events, politics, and theology. Although born in Oklahoma, he was taken to Los Angeles when he was an infant, or as his mother described, "the ugliest little thing I've ever seen", and raised there on the West Coast. He considers himself to be far superior to most on the artistic merits of film and literature, seeing the vast majority of such to be well below adequate. He has four novels and many short stories to his credit, and hopes to one day have them published, promising to hold critics like himself in harsh derision. He's currently restoring a Jason 35 sailboat and plans to sail the world, writing horror stories, and marveling at the illustrative works of the Creator and His Divine story-telling imagery. You may Find Joe's Website at

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