February 17, 2010
Remember all the caterwauling by the Democrats and then Senator Obama about the Bush Administration's deliberate attempt to pry into the lives of Americans using the war on terror as an excuse. The protection of privacy was the battle cry against the dastardly Republicans in the White House.
In a matter of less than 13 months the Obama administration has taken steps that show its true colors and allegiance to the "big brother' philosophy exposed in George Orwell's "1984".
First: in a hearing at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, in an effort to overturn a lower court ruling, the Administration argued that a cell phone user has no expectation of privacy therefore the government can subpoena any and all cell phone records at any time for virtually any reason without the need for search warrant issued by a judge.
Second: The Administration, despite an earlier agreement with UBS (Switzerland) to turn over some banking information based on court orders, continues to demand that all banking records of Americans with Swiss Bank accounts be turned over without a Court order to the U.S. Treasury Department. Many Swiss banks are now refusing to deal with the United States or its citizens.
Third: In an unreported (in the US) story, the European Parliament just rejected a deal to allow US terrorism investigators access to international bank transfer information. The reason per Der Speigel:
The parliament would like to see the deal renegotiated to include greater safeguards for civil liberties and to address European privacy concerns.
The underlying problem is the real fear that this government in Washington D.C. has no concern for privacy but instead is looking to monitor legitimate banking transactions of its own citizens as well as not safeguarding the information gathered in the name of fighting terrorism.
The Obama administration has gone well beyond anything the Bush administration contemplated. Is the real motive to spy on US citizens? On the surface it certainly appears so. Yet the silence from the Democrats in Congress and the Left is deafening.