The headline from Mail Online said it all last week: “Obama considers reigning (sic) in NSA spying on Americans and foreign leaders.” It is outlandish that millions of Americans will cheer this news, happy that President Barack Obama may become less of a totalitarian leader sometime in the future. According to the narrative, he is at least thinking about changing.
You can hear the applause from liberals. But what kind of leader — or, more accurately, what kind of ruler — spies on the people he is sworn to serve? What kind of President does this after he has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution? What kind of Americans are we to have accepted it? It is as if we are suffering from battered wife syndrome. The moment hubby tells us he might improve is the moment we all sit back and think, “How wonderful.” It is a sad state of affairs that we tolerate such things.
Of course, we have Congress to protect us, right? Think again. The National Security Agency (NSA) admits it is also spying on our elected representatives (so much for the separation of powers between the executive and the legislative branches). No worries; the NSA has promised it will not interfere in any way.
We have gotten used to Obama’s bad moods. They always seem to go away, and he is always sorry afterward — especially if he has ordered the execution of an American teenager, as was the case with Abd al-Rahman Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by a U.S. drone in the fall of 2011.
While Obama said he felt bad about the killing, White House press secretary Jay Carney said: “We conduct those strikes because they are necessary to mitigate ongoing actual threats, to stop plots, prevent future attacks, and, again, save American lives. These strikes are legal, they are ethical, and they are wise.”
In other words, Obama feels bad for assassinating a 16-year-old American, but the kid had it coming. What’s next when Obama gets upset? I suspect whatever it is he will tells us afterward how sorry he is and then explain he had to do it because we “just wouldn’t listen.”
Obama has scheduled a Presidential address this Friday telling us his surveillance plans for the future. We should be telling him. Of course, that would mean that we do not accept Obama in our lives. And how can we do that when a panel appointed by him came in last month with a 308-page report that said the way he is treating us is fine and dandy.
His experts — let’s call them friends of Obama — recommended that a program for collecting Americans’ phone records should stay in place.
“We are not in any way recommending the disarming of the intelligence community,” said Michael Morell, a former Deputy Director of the CIA and one of five members of the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies.
If we can’t trust a former deputy director of the CIA, who can we trust? Seventy-nine years ago, Adolf Hitler’s judges passed the Nuremberg Laws, which stripped the rights of Jews to be German and eventually stripped millions of Jews of their right to live.
Yet we accept what Obama and his co-conspirators tell us. The majority of us don’t think: “Wait a minute; this sounds fishy. I’m calling my Representative.” Why not? It’s because too many of us have been immunized to even consider protesting. Too many of us have been persuaded that we must need to hand over all our rights because the President tells us so.
The Poison King And ‘Butcher’ Harris
According to legend, King Mithridates VI of Pontus was in constant fear that his enemies would try to kill him, so he decided to inoculate himself by taking small daily doses of poison.
Building up tolerance is no different for society. A startling example is the acceptance of bombing that took off during World War II. In 1936, the bombing of Madrid by Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War was universally thought upon with horror. Even Adolf Hitler took exception to it. Yet within four years, cities like London and Berlin were routinely bombed by massive fleets of sophisticated multi-engine airplanes.
One man who knew all about killing civilians was Marshal of the Royal Air Force Arthur Harris. Also known as “Bomber” or “Butcher,” he was notorious for putting his chauffeur in the backseat of the Bentley and driving at breakneck speed. It’s said that when Harris was stopped one day by a police officer who suggested that such reckless driving was likely to kill someone, Harris replied: “I will have you know, young man, I kill thousands of people every night.”
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once complained to him about the massive civilian casualties being inflicted by bombing German cities. Rick Atkinson relayed the exchange in The Guns at Last Light: “When Churchill grumbled, ‘I’m sick of these raids on Cologne,’ Harris replied, ‘So are the people of Cologne.’”
But Harris and his Supreme Allied Commander, U.S. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, were the ones shocked and dismayed when nuclear bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Eisenhower’s dismay soon wore off. Once he became President, Eisenhower often was threatening, as well as planning, to develop first-strike thermonuclear warheads with hundreds of bombs that were thousands of times more powerful than the two dropped on Japan. Like Mithridates, his tolerance level for evil had risen to Herculean heights.
So has our tolerance when it comes to Obama’s evil network of spies who pry into our daily lives. We tolerate his domestic spy network and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which operates under his personal command in ways that are not dissimilar in theory — if not in practice — from Hitler with his Gestapo and SS. Imagine if Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan had attempted to implement such Presidential powers that today are in Obama’s iron grip. Those Presidents would have been impeached for even thinking of trying to strip the Nation of the Constitution. Today there is nary a complaint about Obama’s bad behavior. It is if we are scared to make him upset. Instead, we say: “Yes, Barry, we promise not to nag.”
Maybe we do need to worry about what we say. But, frankly, some things are worth fighting for; and I think it is time to stand up to this evil.
Yours in good times and bad,