Monday, June 10, 2013

If You Don't Have Anyhting To Hide...and Ultrarunning

In all the furor--entirely justified, in my mind--over the just-revealed secret surveillance of U.S. citizens, it is well to hearken back to what the Constitution of the United States of America actually says.  It's the 4th Amendment, to wit:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Seems pretty clear to me: probable cause = specific suspicion = specific warrant.  No sniffing around just in case somebody might be a bad guy.

And definitely no thoughts along the lines of those expressed by the professional d-bag and U.S. Senator from South Carolina Lindsey Graham (If you don’t have anything to hide, you don’t have anything to worry about):

“I think we should be concerned about terrorists trying to infiltrate our country and attack us and trying to coordinate activities from overseas within inside the country… 
…I’m a Verizon customer. I don’t mind Verizon turning over records to the government if the government’s going to make sure that they try to match up a known terrorist phone with somebody in the United States. I don’t think you’re talking to terrorists. I know you’re not. I know I’m not. So, we don’t have anything to worry about.”

What seems crystal clear to me seems somehow murky to those in power.  Well, I guess I just figured it out, didn't I? (hint: P-O-W-E-R).

And the link to Ultrarunning?  What if--and stranger things have happened--the super-duper government trolling apparatus happened to flag a suspected terrorist who also was a long distance runner?  And that somehow the term "Ultrarunning" or "Ultrarunner" inadvertently got associated with the "bad guys'?

Then ALL your emails or Internet searches would be fair game for the spooks (just like this post undoubtedly now is being read by the NSA).

Don't think it can't happen.  It can.  I am a retired career Federal employee who has seen the bureaucracy in action for nearly 4 decades.  It has an inertial power of its own that keeps rolling long after reason should have prevailed.


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