I find myself in the incredibly awkward position of agreeing with the United Nations, Germany, France, and Brazil all at the same time. Just writing that sentence makes me feel vaguely dirty on the inside. Still, it seems to be a fact of life these days. It’s not that I mind our government spying on other countries. I actively encourage it. Mostly, I’m simply embarrassed at the ham handed way our country seems to be handling its clandestine affairs. At this point, I really think job should be to get themselves off the front page of every newspaper in the world expeditiously as possible.
While I’m more than happy to let the boys at Ft. Meade do some quiet spying across the ocean seas, I want to make it perfectly clear that I don’t think that my government has the right to listen in on my phone calls, or read my email, or track my location just because in some Kevin Bacon-esq way, my latest tweet could be six degrees separated from the local Elkton Al Qaeda cell. Frankly, I think I’d rather take my chances with the terrorists than with the Everlasting Know-It-All that our government seems bound and determined to become. An American citizen shouldn’t have to sacrifice essential liberty for the convenience of the government simply because it’s easy to point the big ear inwards and suck up every available byte of data. If the American government wants to spy on Americans, it should be hard. It should be damned hard. I won’t make any apologies for my lack of interest in making it easy for the NSA, or CIA, or any of the other three letter agencies out there.
When it comes right down to it, I’ll trade being a little less safe for being a little more free every single time. After all, it’s hard to be overly afraid of the terrorists when our own government is spending an outsized amount of time watching us, listening to us, kicking in the doors of those who dissent, and generally acting like a bunch of terrorists and thugs themselves.