A friend who has occupied positions of national prominence today sent me this email message. I think that it is timely and important and so I pass it on to you.
I just sent this out to my family and some close friends and wanted to share it.
We are living in a world where our emails, our telephone calls, or texts and our private conversations are monitored by the NSA (reminiscent of the Gestapo) by the Patriot Act, and our financial, health and personal information are being monitored by the IRS (aka the Gestapo) under the affordable health care act. I have dealt with the bureaucracy at all levels of government and know that it is not a system you can trust. My years of experience have taught me that you only believe what is put in writing, and even then you have to verify that communication.
If a functionary is given power to say no, then tribute in the form of adulation or subservience is the only way the bureaucrat will respond favorably. Ethics, conscience or morality have nothing to do with decisions. I am concerned that we are heading toward that totalitarian state similar to Nazi Germany.
Unfortunately, human nature has not changed much since one early biblical reference in the exodus where the “chosen people” grumbled about being led into a desert when they could have remained in Egypt and be fed and clothed and all they had to do was remain slaves or give up their freedom. And this despite the fact that they had physical evidence of the power of God being on their side.
Oh well, whether it is the scriptures, Socrates, Plato, Cicero or even the bad example of Neville Chamberlain “Peace in our day”, we will not achieve peace through government control. I pray that we come to our senses and trust in almighty God and not Government to lead us. We need to be active in resisting this intrusion of Government into all aspects of our lives. I do not want us to be like those Germans who liked the trains to run on time and were willing to give up their decisions to the state only to abhor and regret what happened to the powerless when the government took power.
My wife and I are doing what we can to resist the loss of freedom at the local and state level through our protests, and many times our protests are met with either apathy or intolerance. The time clock is running out for us exercising our freedoms before they are lost to the power of the state. This is above political parties or partisan rhetoric, we need to scrap our party labels and support policies which recognize our freedom of conscience and allegiance to God above all other considerations.
May God bless each of you in your efforts to know the truth.
Government is dangerous. Handle with care.
by Jeff Jacoby
The Boston Globe
THERE IS NO connection, of course, between the prosecution of notorious gangster James “Whitey” Bulger and the recent spate of scandals and revelations roiling the Obama administration. Or is there?
Law enforcement and criminal justice are essential functions of government. No civilized society could survive for long if it lacked tools to combat lawlessness or make dangerous villains answer for their crimes. And Bulger was certainly dangerous — “one of the most vicious, violent criminals ever to walk the streets of Boston,” as Assistant US Attorney Fred Wyshak called him in summing up for the prosecution last week.
But Bulger wasn’t the only one on trial in Boston’s federal courthouse. So was the government trying him. Bulger and his henchmen may have been the degenerates who physically committed the gruesome murders and other crimes that jurors learned about during 35 days of sometimes stomach-churning testimony. But it was other degenerates, in the FBI and the Justice Department, who for so long enabled Bulger’s bloody mayhem. They enlisted Bulger as an informant, protected him from police investigations, and warned him to flee when an indictment was imminent. “If the FBI had not made Whitey its favorite mobster, broken the rules, and rigged the game to his benefit,” reporter David Boeri has concluded, “Bulger would never have reached as high as he did.”
The corruption of the federal government was a key element in Bulger’s trial, as it was in so much of his sadistic career. Officials charged with defending the public from gangsters like Bulger used their considerable influence to defend the gangster instead.
It would be comforting to believe that this was a one-off, that law enforcement agencies never abuse their authority, that the immense powers of the federal government are always deployed with scrupulous integrity. But no one believes that.
As Bulger’s racketeering prosecution was playing out in Boston, other stories of federal overreach, secrecy, and obstruction were making headlines: The scandal at the Internal Revenue Service, which for more than two years had targeted conservative grassroots groups for intimidation and harassment. The Justice Department’s unprecedented designation of national-security reporter James Rosen as a “co-conspirator” in order to trawl through his personal email, and its surreptitious seizure of telephone records from up to 20 Associated Press reporters and editors. The disclosure that the National Security Agency’s collection of domestic communications data is far more intrusive than was previously known, with the NSA reportedly collecting billions of pieces of intelligence from US internet giants such as Google, Facebook, and Skype.
President Obama insists that none of this should undermine confidence in the federal government. “You’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity,” he told Ohio State’s graduating class in May. “You should reject these voices.”
At a press conference in June, he likewise assured Americans that they needn’t worry about the NSA’s vast data-mining operation being abused. “We’ve got congressional oversight and judicial oversight,” he said. “And if people can’t trust not only the executive branch, but also don’t trust Congress and don’t trust federal judges to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution and due process and the rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.”
According to Gallup, nearly half of Americans believe that the federal government “poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens.” A Rasmussen Poll asks whether the NSA’s metadata is likely to be used by the government to persecute political opponents; 57 percent say yes. Maybe we do have some problems here.
Or maybe Americans are remembering that government is always dangerous, regardless of the party in power. “If men were angels, no government would be necessary,” James Madison famously wrote. Alas, men are never angels, not even those entrusted with political authority. “In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”
The Bulger trial, the IRS scandal, our gigantic surveillance state – they are only the latest reminders that even the best government in the world depends on human beings, with all their human vices and appetites. Politicians, regulators, and law enforcement agents are as capable of villainy as anyone else. Government is dangerous, and should always be handled with care.
(Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe. His website is http://www.JeffJacoby.com).