Michael Arrington’s (@arrington) blog post on UNCRUNCHED caught my attention today.
There’s a lively debate going on in the comments on his blog.
I wrote (awaiting moderation):
Although I can understand the inclination to believe that the existence of covert domestic spying programs are necessary to protect the republic, I feel it’s absolutely unacceptable to subvert the constitution in order to protect it. The ends do not justify the means; by any reasonable reading of the Federalist Papers these are acts of tyranny.
“If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify.”
Alexander Hamilton – Federalist No. 33
When I studied American History I had an excellent teacher who emphasized the importance of reading, and understanding the intent of the Federalist Papers. Recent revelations seem to be quite at odds with the core tenets of our democracy as elucidated in these essays.
I cannot answer the question if domestic spying programs are in fact necessary to protect the republic or not. I have no first-hand knowledge about the details of the programs or the threats they’re designed to combat. But this is a damn slippery slope. And, it’s of great concern to me that the administrative branch appears to be acting with impunity unchecked by congress or the courts.
+$0.02 – now back to software…