Monday, May 22, 2006

If You've Nothing to Hide ...

Today is Monday, 22 May 2006.

“If you’ve nothing to hide, you shouldn’t care if the government spies on every aspect of your life.”

This statement, often presented as an “argument”, floats to the surface of public discourse every time the government is caught spying on the citizenry.

This statement assumes that the natural social order of things is that every aspect of every citizen’s life is, and of right ought to be, the continuously- and perpetually-scrutinizable property of the State.

This notion contradicts the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which requires that, prior to any search (and this has been repeatedly held to mean physical, electronic, or otherwise searches), a warrant may for same be issued only upon showing of “probable cause.” (Note to Constitutional “originalists”: while you generally lust after extending the powers of the State, the foregoing is the only possible literal reading of this Amendment. Live your principles or concede your immorality.)

As Black’s Law Dictionary properly notes, “probable cause” means “having more evidence for than against.”

This means, constitutionally, that government surveillance of the citizenry is the exception rather than the rule. (Unless one assumes, in contradiction to American values, that all are guilty until judged innocent.)

“If you’ve nothing to hide, you shouldn’t care if the government spies on every aspect of your life.”

This statement, this attitude, is not only profoundly anti-American, if one believes that the rhetoric of freedom should be substance, not mere rhetoric, but is also a brutal assault on basic human rights, particularly as expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948 and legally binding upon Federal, state, and local governments.

This statement is the craven whimpering of a subject, not the proud boast of a citizen.

“Subjects” are those who forfeit to the State the right to decide; citizens are those who are “the deciders”.

Around 1900, on the Russian census form, Czar Nicholas II recorded his occupation as “owner of Russia.” The idea that the Federal government, and The Decider George Warlord Bush, are the “owners of America” is repugnant to the most basic ideals of humanity.

Limitless government spying on American citizens, in the style of Bush, Cheney, Hayden, etc. must be vanquished forever!


Anonymous Hari said...

(Found posted to

"People with nothing to hide have nothing to fear from OBIT."

- Spoken by Lomax, the "bear" in the 1963 "Outer Limits" episode, "O.B.I.T."

OBIT is a surveillance machine, the use of which by the government has permeated all levels of society. Its existence is carefully kept from the public.

More about the episode here.

Same as it ever was.

12:01 PM  

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